Share Your Story: Finding Out (This section is full.)

Just found out that your husband cheated? Tell us more...

204 comments:

  1. I have been married for 4 years now. We have 2 kids, a four yr old and a 6 week old. Last week he went to attend his father's funeral and he forgot a to sign out of his email account on our laptop. I wasn't even looking for anything, but when I saw that he had exchanged 12 emails in 4 days with a woman we work with, my heart rate shot up and i was gasping for air. Before even clicking on the email, I knew this couldn't be good. She was talking to him about the photos she had sent. He was asking for more and saying they were beautiful. she felt lost in his absence, he missed her. She was encouraging him to take it easy and get some rest "for her". Now are in a multi level marketing business and this woman is one of our recruits. I know her, she has been to our house, our kids have played together. She has been acting uncomfortable around me since my husband left to go to the funeral. She does this nervous giggling anytime we're on the phone, and we talk often because of our business. She chooses to talk to other people in our office instead of talking to me, even though I'm technically the one she needs to report to. I've made some comments to my husband about her, and how she seems very uncomfortable, and he obviously figured I was suspicious because the next day I noticed he had deleted the emails he had exchanged with her, and when I searched her name in his emails, nothing came up. And then he remotely signed out of his account, so I no longer have access to it. He never said anything to me about his email, he's just acting as if all is normal. We've had our share of problems in the past. I believe he has cheated on me, I've found condoms in his pockets, messages on his phone and many unexplained absences. I never got any solid evidence and he always denied every accusation. He never admitted to anything. About 2 yrs ago, after seeing some very incriminating texts I gave him an ultimatum, he packed his bags, we didn't speak for weeks. Eventually, we started to speak, he never did any of the things I asked of him, he just unpacked his bags and stayed. Since then, our relationship has gotten so good. He has become what I thought was a "dream husband": loving, considerate, helpful, affectionate, ideal father. I was so shocked when I saw those emails. I can't believe he is doing it again. But is what I saw enough proof?? I am madly in love with this man. It's like a spell has been cast over me. Even after I was convinced he cheated before, I never wanted to leave him. I wanted him to be sorry, to apologize, so we can work it out. But he didnt apologize, he denied everything. And I stayed with him anyways, and our relationship got unbelievably good. And now I don't know what to do. I don't want to confront him while he's away, but when?? his father just died. And I don't want him to deny it again. And I don't want to end my marriage. I have this burning urge to talk to the other woman, to tell her I know. And see her reaction. I can't believe we have to work with her. What do I do? Tell her I know, then tell him she confessed this way he cant deny it? What am I supposed to think every time they work together? Or do I tell him I will work with her exclusively, so that they don't spend any time together. Her working with us benefits our business, but I still just want her gone from our lives and our business. I have these moments where I'm like "I must be crazy, I'm probably imagining all this, I just had a baby - maybe this is postpartum depression". But I felt nauseous and threw up a few times after reading those emails, my gut feeling can't be wrong. Am I crazy for still wanting to stay married after so much deceit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want you to ask yourself what it is you "love" about this guy when you suspect that he respects you little enough to conduct an affair (whether physical or emotional, it doesn't matter. He's clearly doing something he shouldn't or he wouldn't feel the need to delete e-mails) right under your nose, jeopardizing your marriage, your family and your business. What, exactly, is so great about this guy? I don't want you to think about how great he COULD be if he'd just stop flirting/cheating/whatever but who is he right now. Does he really deserve your love?
      In any case, it's time for you to, as Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert says, replace your wishbone with a backbone. You don't need undeniable proof of anything more than an inappropriate relationship with one of your employees. You've got the power here. You saw what happened to him when you booted him out before. He needs you (and apparently he also needs the ego strokes that affairs provide).
      I'm sorry about his father but he clearly wasn't thinking about what was convenient for you when he was sending those e-mails.
      I think you take a stand, tell him you saw those e-mails and don't buy any of his minimizing, blame-shifting or denying. What he did was inappropriate at the very least. It was unacceptable behaviour for a married man and an employer.
      The woman has got to go. No question. I don't care how much she helps your business, she's dangerous to your marriage. If he won't fire her, or let you fire her, then he's more interested in his affair/business than in saving your marriage.
      The key is going to be staying strong and not allowing yourself to be swayed by him minimizing this. "But we never did anything." "She just sent me photos of herself sky-diving because I said I wanted to try it." Or whatever other total crap he comes up with.
      You're right. Your gut isn't wrong. It's telling you that your marriage is under threat. If you genuinely want to save it (and like I said, ask yourself if this guy is a great guy doing a bad thing or a bad guy that you've transformed in your mind into a good guy) then fight like hell.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the quick reply Elle! I have thought long and hard about who my husband is and why I love him. And you are right, he doesn't deserve my love, but I can't help it.

      We had a meeting at our office this morning and she sat right next to me. I managed to stay very pleasant, but I was so full of rage that I imagined gauging her eyes our with my pen (no need to worry, I would never actually do this). He's not due back home for another 10 days. I don't want to address this over the phone, I know I can't talk to him until he gets back. But to be honest I'm having a very hard time not confronting her. Is it a bad idea to confront her? I will have to see her at least 3 to 4 more times before he gets back, I don't know how much longer I can stay quiet and composed. I feel like it will just come out of my mouth eventually, so I might as well plan it out so I can better control the conversation. And I don't know why, but I really want her to know that I know. Is that messed up or what? Help please...

      Delete
    3. Ina,
      The fact that you haven't a) confronted her and b) gouged her eyes out is a testament to your incredible self-control. Hats off to you!
      It makes perfect sense that you want to confront her. So much of the rage that we feel is, I think, due to the fact that we feel made fools of. It's crucial to us to get back some sense of control.
      However...I would think carefully about who you want to talk to first. I would do my best to compile as much evidence as you can. Any e-mails he hasn't deleted; texts; phone records; VISA statements. Anything that indicates an inappropriate relationship. You don't need these...but they certainly strengthen your case and make it much more difficult for him/her to deny or minimize.
      If you talk to him first, what's likely to happen? If you talk to her first, what's likely to happen? Figure that out...and then make the move that puts you in the most powerful position. The fact that she's employed by you certainly makes her position more vulnerable so you might be able to use that to your advantage.
      I think your wise to confront him in person. I would, in the meantime, visit a lawyer and figure out what your legal position is. The more prepared you are, the more you can catch him off guard, the more likely you can control the outcome.
      And then, if he chooses to rebuild your relationship, be prepared with your list of requirements. Will you reconcile only if he seeks counselling? Will you reconcile only if he reveals any and all passwords, computer info, phone records? Will you reconcile only if she is let go? You determine what you need to move forward. It will be very difficult for you to move past this if you have to deal with this woman on a regular basis. What's more, why would you want an employee who clearly can't be trusted to have your best interests at heart.
      Good luck with this. I'm so sorry you have to go through this.

      Elle

      Delete
    4. Ellie,

      I have been with my husband for 15 years and have 3 children. We were in our late teens when we met and started dating. The closer we became the more I learned about my husband's past of cheating. I attributed it to his young age and immaturity.

      The past 5 years of our marriage have been tough with each of us losing a parent and my husband losing his job. He was unemployed for almost 4 years and I became the primary bread winner. I worked anywhere from 10 to 12 hour days for fear of losing my own job. Due to the stress, my husband and I got into a physical fight almost a year ago. He moved out and we started individual and marriage counseling. He has been home a few months and I found an suspicious text on his phone. I began to dig because I knew something was wrong. I questioned him and he lied to my face on several occasions. After I had strong proof, he confessed to two on line affairs . The text and pictures were beyond graphic. He never told his own counselor about the affair until I demanded him to. He said if I didn't find out he never would have told me. We agreed to boundaries such as not using his email on his phone. After checking it, he logged on to his email . When I questioned him he told me he didn't care that I asked him not to and that he feels like he's trapped in a cage and he's not going to follow my rules anymore. My heart is aching and I just don't know if this is worth the pain.

      Delete
    5. Sarah,
      Nobody can determine if it's worth the effort of trying to rebuild a marriage but you. Given his lack of remorse and his blame of you for his behaviour, you might just be pushing a boulder up a hill.
      Why is he in counselling? What does he say he wants from this? Is he interested in reconciliation? He sounds, frankly, rather immature.
      You can't rebuild a marriage on your own. He needs to commit to it (which means giving you total transparency and honesty) or not.
      Perhaps it's time to ask him to leave again until he's clear on what he wants, in which case you may or may not be waiting.
      I'm sorry…I know how painful this is. But letting him disrespect you that way is no way to move forward.

      Elle

      Delete
  2. We have a very tight group of couples friends. We have all been together over 20 years, are in our 40's and our children are still in school. Holidays, vacations, every weekend BBQ, all of us all together.
    I have felt uneasy for a the last few years that my husband and one of my closest friends were too close. They were always quick to answer with a reason or excuse if asked about anything by myself or her husband. They would dismiss us saying that we know they tease, play, flirt and "it is just how we are." When I get the nerve to ask both why they text so regularly and often (ie: a Sunday afternoon when we had all just spent the weekend together) they still had excuses.

    This has continued for over 2 years. I too talked to her daily via email or text as we were very close friends. I decided earlier this year to remove myself from many group events and asked for us to do things from time to time alone away from the group. That didn't happen. My friend would tell me he didn't like going with out me but he didn't stop going nor did we do anything together alone.

    A couple of months ago in a rare moment for both, I saw one of their phones unattended and there it was. The text said "I can't wait to see you today. I am so in love with you I can barely breathe when we are apart". Needless to say it took every ounce in my body to keep breathing in that very moment. Every suspicion, every gut instinct was right. I dont think I believed what I saw but I knew in my heart it was true.

    I waited to bring it up until we were alone. Initial response was "you went looking for this". Then almost immediately he shifted to it "is not what you think, those are just words, we never intended to hurt anyone, it was just texting." Both denied anything physical. For a week she denied even an emotional affair. She finally started with the same exact excuses he gave me. I did not tell her husband, who is one of my husbands closest friends as well. He does know I severed my friendship with her and I told him it was becasue her and my husbands behaviour was innapropriate and I wasnt comfortable with it. I told him I asked my husband to stop as well. He did not ask me any questions and has not contacted me since. I can only assume he is more comfortable living in denial or with the unknown.
    My spouse says he wants to be home, chooses me, doesn't love her, it meant nothing, it was a mistake, she was just nice to him etc.

    I am not blaiming either one and I also it wasn't about me, it was them. I do though feel so very hurt and angry my friend who knew every detail of my marriage from me, shared such intimacy, with him. It is such a violation and betrayal by them both. I am trying to believe it is over. They both swear it and since I didn't tell her husband she'd be an even bigger idiot to continue.
    Anything I did look into or ask about irritates him, and he says I am snooping and he needs privacy. I read enough other texts and know it wasn't in my head and not new. They maintain it was only a few months. I know details at this point are irrelevant. I feel he should be helping me move by reinforcing what he says and show me. If he truly loves and supports me I would think I could feel it. If he wants to be home, act like and it and not be defensive.
    I have told them both her husband should know so he can make the decision to stay with her or not as well as to continue or sever his friendship with my husband. They are both staying quiet since I did not tell.
    I really appreciated reading all the posts. Thank you for the venue to vent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry for what you're going through. It must feel like a double betrayal.
      I have to say that I think you're giving them a pass. They both lied to you and betrayed your trust. He does NOT get "privacy" when he's using that privacy to violate your trust. He lost the right to privacy around the same time he chose to abuse it. If he is even remotely interested in rebuilding your relationship, he needs to stop all contact with this woman, make sure SHE knows there is to be absolutely no contact and then give you access to his phone/computer or any other forms of communication. If he won't do that, then he's clearly making a choice and, sweetie, it ain't you.
      His being defensive is a counter-move designed to get you to back off. Don't fall for it. You have every right to make demands. You get to set the terms of reconciliation, if there is to be one.
      And I would absolutely tell her husband. You're right that he deserves to know what's going on and decide if he wants to stay in a relationship where he's being betrayed by not only his wife but his close friend. If they won't tell him, then you should. And don't let them minimize what was going on. I don't care if it was one day, one month or one year. They shouldn't have been doing what they were doing and they know it. Don't let either of them bully you into being quiet or pretending to not know what you know.
      I don't mean to sound harsh and I know you're likely reeling from all this. But you need to stand up for yourself and demand being treated with respect. He should start by begging you to even consider giving him another chance. And you need to give some serious thought to whether you should bother...

      Elle

      Delete
  3. Needless to say, my world is shattered. Its in pieces. I dont know what to do. I then had a Private Investigator hired in Sg to trail them. What i didnt expect is to hear all the heartbreaking details. I went back to the counsellor we went to and pour my heart out. She asked me to stop looking for details and its not healthy for me but i cant stop. It's like i constantly looked for more pain to wake me up and realised he's beyond saving. I didnt tell him i had him followed (for real tis time) cos i'm fearful of what he will do to me if he knows. But i dunno how to confront him. My sister said i shouldnt confront...just pack bags and leave. But thing is

    1) I'm dependent on him financially (my sis said she will take care of me but how long can that be and i dont wish to burden her)

    2) priority is my little girl. She's just 5. I'm worried what kind of damage it'll do to her. She just started in a new school and fitting in.

    3) I think i need the admittance from him to have my closure. sort of like to admit (not to patch things back) that i wasnt the "u think too much" woman he painted me out to be. I want him to take ownership of the guilt and pain he inflicted on me. But how can i do that? Cos the first day he was there, the OW met him at the airport and they were careful not to be intimate. But she accompanied him to the hotel to check in and didnt reemerge when PI had to knock off after 4 hours (altho she didnt bring any luggages so didnt appear to check in with him) Then he sent me 2 texts, one to ask how was i feeling? and the other to say "everything ok?". I didnt reply at all. and he called the next day and when he sensed my coldness he said "u behaving this way is not helping at all" so i said, what do u want me to say? U know what u have done. And he STILL said "i have no one, no one outside ok!" In a dignified tone to boost!

    How can i get him to take ownership without triggering tht abusive monster ? He wont even admit it
    ! I'm starting to think all those words he said when i discover his one night stands are all false. Lies. Lies even to the counsellor. He is merely always saying things he knew we wanted to hear.

    And oh, i also found out he's been posting his face pic onto dating websites, taking selfies and all. And also, in 2012, i found this email title with his name as subject reference saying XXX to book lily or sara? So he WAS STILL booking call girls long after the first incident and before i found out about the supposed one night stand.
    I still want to protect my daughter. As much as a bad father he is....at this age, she adores him. I just dont have the heart....she saw me being sad and asked me several times.
    he's throwing everything away. And i dont know wat to do and how to move on. A friend advised why dont i stay and pretend i dont know but not treat him merely as a provider and housemate for a few years until our girl grows older. But how does one do that? How do i heal?In my brain, i cant wrap my mind around how to reconcile the man i love and married to this scheming manipulative bastard.
    He's returning home tom night. I'm lost. pls help anyone!

    Lost Soul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lost Soul,

      You need to get out of that house. He's physically and emotionally abusive. This is about your safety -- and your daughter's. I think you already have all the information you need to know. I don't know what the laws are in HK, but surely you're entitled to some sort of financial support from him for you and your daughter?
      In any case, take your sister up on her offer and get out. If he chooses to change and you decide you still want to make your marriage work, you can deal with that later. Right now, your daughter should NOT be seeing a man throwing chairs, hurting her mother...and neither should you be using any sort of physical force on him at all. It sounds as if you both could benefit from anger management.
      He might be throwing everything away but,unfortunately, you can't control that. Especially when you're in the midst of it. Please leave for now, continue to see your counsellor to help you feel strong.
      Your marriage is not a partnership but a battleground right now. Please take care of yourself and your little girl. She needs a strong mother most of all right now.

      Elle

      Delete
  4. Thanks Elle for the prompt reply.

    Thing is, i HAVE to get him to agree to moving out. If i move out, it'll be very disturbing for my girl. I tested her earlier by saying why dont we move closer to your school? Just the 2 of us. And she was very sad and asked if we could bring our dog and her toys. She's very intuitive. Ideally, i'd like to be separated from him. But i need him to agree amicably. Cos to this man whom i no longer know...MONEY is EVERYTHING to him. When we fight, he always seems to have this distorted thinking that he has sacrificed EVERYTHING. He thinks that the SOLE role and responsibility of a father and husband is to provide financially. (makes u wonder which century is he from eh?) And so, every time we discussed his parenting, he disagree that he has much to work on, and that he's the perfect dad who gives much material comfort to his daughter. If i so much as to "demand" he moved out, he would flipped and say "why should i be the one that moves?" And then things will turn ugly ....which i'm trying to avoid. He's heavily in debt now....hence i think that's the reason why he's hiding the affair, not becos "he still loves me and dont wish to lose me" cos he knows if i found out (which is the case now) i'd demand for separation/divorce and he cant afford to do that now (maintaining 2 homes)

    Lost Soul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lost Soul,

      As long as you wait for conditions to be ideal, including having a little girl want you to leave her father, you'll be waiting forever. There will always be a reason to stay -- sometimes a good one (ie. not wanting your daughter to deal with the hurt of divorce). But a man who's abusive, and you staying with him, is teaching her that what he does is okay. You're essentially showing her that women need to put up with this. And I suspect that's not what you want her to learn.
      She's a little girl. Unfortunately sometimes children get wounded as a result of their parents' choices. But removing her from such a toxic situation is better for her, even if it hurts in the short term. And allowing her to love her father, in spite of everything, is good for her too. She can and should still have a relationship with him. But she needs you to take of yourself so that she can learn that women take care of themselves.
      Of course, it's up to you. But, at the very least, please visit a lawyer and see what possible steps you can take.

      Elle

      Delete
  5. To anyone out there who is on Verizon friends and family calling plan: Create a username and password using your cell number. Log in and you will see the other phone(s) on the plan. Select the phone you want to view and click "manage plan". Then you will see a little button on the right that says "usage details". Take a few deep breaths and click on it. Now you are able to see the date and time of all texts and calls. You can even go back three months for texts (you can't see the content, though)and phone records go back 18 months. Anyone who is on the calling plan is able to view the records so you are not snooping or spying. Good luck and I hope this provides some of you with peace of mind (for better or worse)just how much you can trust your husband. Oh, you might want to download the info for your lawyer. My husband sent and received over 6500 texts in one month alone - 99 pages of date/time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My problems first started when my father passed away suddenly 2 years ago. I was struggling to come to terms with it and my way of dealing with it all was to shut everyone out. My husband took it upon himself to seek attention from another woman on facebook and they were messaging eachother all the time. Something clicked one day and i just looked on his fb account only to discover all the mssgs. They were nothing more than flirting but i was crushed that he would do this to me when i needed him most. He said i wasnt there for him emotionally or physically. I moved on from this after a few mths but then my husband was diagnosed with depression. We have been through hell over the yrs, both lost parents, 2 businesses failed leaving us in debt etc so i could understand why he was so down but as much as i offered him my support he wouldnt talk to me. He turned to one of my 'friends' and told her allsorts of things. She focused on the parts relating to our marriage and family and used them against me. She contacted me and told me he didnt want to be with me anymore but was staying because of the children etc. They were txting eachother constantly and he woukd sneak round her house without me knowing. He told me at new year that he didnt love me anymore. I was crushed. Id given him everything and this was how he repaid me. We have had so many rows over her and He says its over but i dont believe him. How can i ever learn to trust him after all the hurt. She was my friend and he my husband. They betrayed me. I dont sleep very well now as its on my mind 24/7. Im a shell of the person i used to be. My confidence is shattered and i cant believe what anyone says. He tried to make out it was me with the issues and that it was al in my head but i saw some of the texts they sent. It wasnt just friends or advice. It was at the very least an emotional affair, i dont know to this day of it was or is physical but it makes me feel so sick to even think about it. If i didnt have 3 children with him id have left months ago but im trying for them and for the fact that im an idiot and still love him even after all the hurt he has caused me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,
      I'm sorry for everything you've gone through – losing your Dad, your husband's betrayal, losing businesses. It's a lot of loss and grief to process.
      Your husband is a master at deflecting responsibility. He needs to start be getting his depression treated and under control. And he needs to acknowledge the pain he's caused you. You can take a good look at yourself and your own role in the breakdown of your marriage. It's normal to grieve the loss of a parent and you should be able to count on a spouse to support you through it. But did you "shut him out?" This isn't about blame -- it's about responsibility. Owning up to what we're accountable for...and what we're not.
      Whether or not there was physical infidelity or not, he betrayed your trust. He took what was private between the two of you and invited a third person in. This third person also betrayed your trust.
      But...you can't change them. You CAN change yourself. You can tell yourself as often as you need to hear it that this betrayal was about HIM not you. This is not about you not being loveable or worthy. It's about his own insecurities and loss and inability to deal with it in a healthy way.
      So you need to ensure that you process this in a healthy way. If possible, find someone who can help you through this -- a counsellor, a minister, a social worker. Read what you can about grief and loss and betrayal. And take good care of yourself physically -- eat well, exercise. You've been through a lot and you need to nurture yourself. Treat yourself with respect and kindness.
      Then, if he's able to accept responsibility for what he did and stop blaming you, it's possible to rebuild a marriage. He needs to cut off all contact with his FB friend and your mutual friend. He needs to commit himself to understanding why he went outside your marriage. Both of you need to understand what had led to the breakdown of the marriage so that you can figure out how to go forward.
      You're not an idiot. You're a woman who's been through a lot. Be gentle with yourself.

      Elle

      Delete
  7. This is a double-whammy, and probably different than most people's stories on this blog... I found out in early August that my husband of almost 11 years cheated on me, but the thing is I cheated too. His affair was for a few months right around the time of our first wedding anniversary, and mine was for a few months one year later. Neither of us had any clue. We married young and we had many, many difficulties in our marriage back then. Life is different now... we're grown together, learned how to communicate better, have mutual friends, have a daughter and I'm pregnant now too. The time of our early marriage was very very hard because we lived on the East Coast (we're from the West) and he had a demanding job that was basically his life. His theory back then was to focus solely on work and later in life, he'd live. I was miserable and lonely, and he was stressed out from his job on a daily basis. Anyway, we want to stay together and make it work, and boy are we working hard. Almost too hard. We talked every day for hours for the first two months, and now we're both exhausted from all the crying and stress and yucky feelings of getting over an affair. I should say he also told me that there was one time a few years ago when he was out drinking with his softball team and cuddled and "stuff" with another girl, but he thinks he didn't kiss her. His affair has totally thrown me for a loop. I understand my own because I remember how awful I felt then, how I wanted a baby and he would say "ask me again in 5 years". But it hurts me that he started cheating before our first anniversary! I would have bet millions of dollars that he never ever would have cheated. What makes this doubly hard is that I have not told anyone except one friend who lives very far away, and we email sometimes. I am seeing a therapist which is helpful, but otherwise I feel completely on my own and have no support. I don't want to tell anyone about the affair because I'm afraid that, even if I can move on someday, other people won't be able to. I don't want to be reminded of the affair when I don't want to be. I haven't wanted to know the details of his affair. He wanted to know about mine, and I told him. He didn't love her, he just was attracted to her and got an ego boost. For what it's worth, I knew her and thought she was quite ugly, but it's taken a huge toll on my self-esteem because it makes me think, am I ugly? I used to feel fine about my appearance and now I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror. I hate how I look. I wish I could change my face, my hair, everything, but I can't. I don't know how to feel better about myself. I need to like myself again. How can I do that? Thanks.
    Marie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marie,
      Even though the affairs happened long ago, learning about it now probably makes it seem as if it's happening right now. So much of what you're feeling is the same as anyone else learning about a spouse's affair.
      Given that you had an affair yourself would give you some insight into how easy it is to slip into something for escape. No matter that you think your circumstances were somehow more deserving of cheating, each of you was using the affair to escape feelings you weren't capable of communicating to each other.
      And that's what you both need to figure out. More importantly, what messages did each of you give yourselves that allowed you to cross that line...and how can you ensure that you won't cross it again. Life is ups and downs so you'll continue to experience some lows. You each need to trust that the other isn't going to jump into bed with someone else at the first sign of difficulty.
      Are you in marriage counselling? That seems like the most logical place to sift through much of the baggage that each of you is left. I think once you get clearer on the reasons behind his affair, you'll be able to let go of the notion that it had anything to do with your physical appearance.
      I also wonder if your sudden issues around self-esteem have to do with owning up to your own affair. I don't think you feel too good about your own choice to cheat. I can imagine it might feel good to imagine almost making yourself over and starting again.
      Whatever drove each of you, it's worth figuring out to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

      Elle

      Delete
  8. Found out my husband was having an emotional affair for over a year with so done we knew through town. We are trying to work things out, although he has wanted me to et over faster than I was ready for. My question is has anyone ever had to experience running into the affair partner through town functions and so firth and how did you handle that? I have difficulties when I see her out in town and it brings up the whole thing for me again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After I found out about an emotional affair that my husband had with a friend of his best friend's fiance, he was asked to be in their wedding....and, of course, the OW was in the wedding too. It was difficult to say the least. Honestly, I don't think I handled it very well. If looks could kill, she would have died several times during the wedding and reception. I keep having that image of them at the altar. While we live in another town, he visits his friends occasionally, which makes me worry that he will run into her.

      Delete
    2. That can be really tough. Like a constant reminder or fear of being reminded, which can keep you totally off balance.
      I created a sort of plan for how I would respond. I knew what I would say (I even rehearsed it), what I expected my husband to do if he was with me, and so on. It helped me feel prepared and help reassure me that my husband and I were a team, and she was our opponent. I did run into her a few times (she worked with my husband but was let go) and knowing that I needed to sort of be on auto-pilot (revert to my script) really helped.
      Remember YOU did nothing wrong. You can hold your head high. She's the one who should be feeling ashamed and off balance.
      As for your husband wanting you to be over it?? They all do. They all want this to magically disappear so that they don't have to experience guilt/remorse/embarrassment/etc. But it doesn't work that way. Experts say THREE to FIVE YEARS to move past betrayal. It gets better...but it takes a long time.

      Elle

      Delete
  9. Got married this yr in May, found out in Aug that my husband had been having an emotional and physical affair w a married coworker since June, less than one month after we got married! We have been together for 9 years, he was my first bf which makes this even more painful. He had a lot of problems and instead of confiding in me, someone else or dealing w his issues in a mature and healthy way, he instead decided it was better to run away from our marriage and have an affair. I asked him to move out 2 days after he told me and he said he stayed w a male coworker for a wk then the next wk he moved home and I was led to believe he's been home w his dad since then however I found out from his male coworker that he had only stayed w him for 2 days and at home for 2 days, the rest of the time and even now he has been staying w the OW.
    I can't believe they can be so evil, self-centered and have such a lack of morals. It's so clear why he was so adamant that he had no feelings for me and was ready to move on, he had already moved in w the OW, obviously if they're continuing to live in their sin there's no way he will see how destructive their decisions are right now. She is married and has 2 kids, I know she's really messed up because her and her husband have an 'open marriage' or are 'separated.' So during our separation I kept holding on to the hope that he would want to reconcile or change. I read a ton of articles online and books, talked with friends, met up w my husband 4-5 times and talked to him online and have even been going to counseling. I can't believe I wasted all this time for someone who has no heart.
    He had lied and said that they weren't seeing each other during our separation and continued to manipulate me by saying that him and her agreed that this was wrong and they were trying to be patient and wait and see what they want and he didn't want to be with her because of me and his situation. It's disgusting to know now that he kept lying to my face and pretending he was doing this for himself and didn't want to be w her when in actuality he's been sneaking around having fun w her while I'm being miserable waiting around at home by myself believing him. I'm glad his coworker finally told me or I would still be an idiot waiting around and wasting more time on someone who is not worthwhile and doesn't deserve my love anymore.
    For now I'm concentrating on healing and gathering my strength to leave him. It will be difficult but at least I know I can leave now with no regrets. I'm not sure if I should be the one to file for the divorce, I feel he hasn't because he's been trying to come up w all these excuses trying to pin the blame on me for 'driving' him to have an affair which is childish and is probably waiting for me to file so he can tell people, "well she was the one that wanted a divorce" so he'll look better. The other alternative to me filing is to confront him, tell him to stop being a coward and to be a man and file for divorce if he wants to be w her so bad. It's so selfish that he can continue to have an affair while I've been faithful this whole time and will still continue to be until the end of the divorce because I value the commitment of marriage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry for this. Not the dream you thought you getting, huh! I know it's excruciating.
      However, you're going to rid yourself of these toxic people. Stop worrying about what he's doing, who he's doing it with and when. He's a liar. Liars lie. She deserves him so let them go stew in their own toxic sludge together.
      You're going to figure out what's absolutely best for YOU. You're NOT going to play their stupid games. You're going to file for divorce, say as little to him as humanly possible, and move on with your life which is going to be WONDERFUL. Don't for a second worry about what other people think. You did nothing wrong but marry a jerk, which hopefully will give you radar so you'll avoid them from now on. If he needs to blame it on you, then that only speaks further of his poor moral character. Take the high road on this one. You'll be proud of yourself, which is more than he (or she) can say.
      I promise you that you'll get through this but you need to put the focus back on you and what you need to heal from this and move forward. Thoughts of making them look bad, or revenge, or getting even are simply keeping you stuck in the muck with them. Pull yourself free and move forward.

      Elle

      Delete
  10. A month ago I found my husband of 15 years had an affair for the past year.To top it off the other woman befriended me after it began for the sole purpose of being around my husband more.She introduced to her husband to mine and planned golfing activities for them to get to know each other better.WORSE ,my daughter being three years older than hers,embraced the big sister role by being able to play with dolls and things that you just don't do with your 12 year old friends.The most time was being invested into being a best friend to me. She was with me or talked to me everyday for a year. I am sure she and I spent more time together than she ever spent with my husband. Although she is 11 years younger than me,we shared the same sense of humor, and sadly the same insecurities. I saw her going through the same struggles I had went through not that long ago. I could see so many similarities, maybe I felt sorry for her or sorry for myself (the me I used to be). I was very protective of her.She did not have a good relationship with her mother.She had no respect for her mother and I totally understood why, yet I would tell her don't treat your mother that way, because it makes you a bad person. A couple of times she ask me "can I call you momma?" I said no,"I'm not old enough to be your momma". Then other times at my home with my 14 year old son and 12 year old daughter she would say "I want to be one of your kids." My kids adored her, my son is very shy and she called herself his girlfriend, told him how cute he is and how the girls are going to be crazy over him. She is only 14 years older than my son, the same age difference as my husband and her.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ok let me back up because I know you are wondering how this woman came into our lives. My cousin is married to her cousin. My cousin wanted to take a cruise to Alaska,and talked about getting a group together to get better rates.So this slut went, brought her daughter along,but her husband stayed at home with their toddler.Of course cruises are known for the gambling which my husband loves and I hate, now add the alcohol, which has always changed everything about him, from his voice to his facial expressions, and most of all his judgement. So,yep you got it, somehow they went from strangers to screwing on this cruise that was a family event, both our children were with us. I am still here for one reason only,my husband and I had been having major problems in our marriage for quite awhile,nothing at all to do with infidelity. t was just life taking it's toll on both of us,taking each other for granted and that sort of thing. Both selfishly waiting on the other one to do their part first. I had a ex-lover contact me after running into him in Walmart, of all places. He immediately told me how beautiful I was, he went on and on.Then about a week later he called my house, I even told my husband about it. His reply was",well I'm not worried about it because if you are dumb enough to be with that pathetic SOB then I don't need you." Also, let me add here that my husband, for what ever reason, never told me I was pretty. He did once while dating. Surely he must because he married me. But I guess on some level, it bothered me.The next time my ex-lover called I talked to him. We JUST talked. I know it was inappropriate. I was really thinking about filing for divorce, NOT to be with ex-lover. Prior to running into the ex-lover I asked my husband if he ever thought he might be happier with someone else, he cried and said yes. I suggested separation and marriage counseling. He agreed, but before I could find a proper arrangement for living during the separation, he checked phone records and saw that I had talked to ex-lover. He was devastated, but wanted to make things work,he said no to the separation. I had no problem telling the ex-lover to never contact me again.I was glad my husband had found out before I had a chance to screw up, this was a wake up call for me. Also for the first time in years my husband seemed to have an interest in me. Well that only lasted about 3 months. He no longer trusted me,very understandable.3 months after finding out I talked to my ex was when the cruise took place. So I can understand how an affair happened in our marriage. If I never knew her, I would be so much better at getting past this. Our problems existed already, it shouldn't even be about her.But SHE made it personal. She could have just had her affair and never got to know me. But she did and then She tried to convince him that I didn't love him. She learned of our problems and used them against us. She would say I deserved better than him and she believed he was cheating on me and he was such an asshole in the way he speaks to me.The affair had finally ran its course and they became sick of one another. She was demanding to see him, or to end it with him if he didn't leave me by a certain time, by this time he had realized that I wasn't so bad after all, and he didn't want to leave me and our family. But she would call again, asking him in to seeing her one more time. I think she wanted to get caught, because that is what happened.Her husband looked through her phone and found text she never deleted. She confessed everything and her husband told me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, this woman is absolutely twisted. Stay as far away from her as you can.
      What do you and your husband want to do? If you plan to trying to rebuild your marriage, then this woman needs to be absolutely cut out of your lives (and the lives of your kids). It's hard when kids are involved, I know. But simply saying that she had been dishonest and that you can't tolerate dishonesty in a friendship is probably all they need to know.
      It's good that you're recognizing the problems in your marriage prior to the affair. And kudos to you for acknowledging how easy it can be to fall into an affair when you believe you're unappreciated and so on. It sounds as if you're husband was telling himself the same story.
      So, first stop, I think, is to a marriage counsellor's office so that you two can start figuring out what each of you is doing to contribute to a marriage in crisis.
      Unfortuantely, the affair causes a whole lot more damage so doing triage is a crucial part of rebuilding the marriage. But then you have to get down to the business of dissecting it. When a marriage is in crisis, it's likely because each of you has let small resentments and disappointments simmer for years. Perhaps believing that it really isn't all that bad. But they build up and boil over, as each of you discovered.
      Hang in there. Get rid of the OW...and then move forward.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. Twisted
      I posted originally for you to "tell me what to do" or ask you when I would be ok. After I read your reply, I realized I had already made several of the steps that you suggested. To answer your question "What do we want to do?", we are together and closer in some ways that we were before.The thought never entered my mind to leave. I stood my ground and said "aw hell naw bitch you are not destroying my family". I went into protective mode and I told her husband to STOP with the details. I wanted to know when it began, and did his penis enter her vagina? And how sure of it was he. He said she confessed everything and intercourse took place starting on the cruise.That was all I wanted to hear from him. I can't remember exactly what my first words to my husband were, it was over the phone, and he came straight home to talk about it. At first he tried to lie about intercourse, until I told him how I knew. The first day he tried to say it was because he didn't believe I loved him. And by me talking to my ex he just couldn't be sure that nothing more than talking took place Blah,Blah,Blah. I went into a rage,I broke things,I slashed the seats on our pontoon boat,4 days prior her,hubby and kids and our family rode on it. The next two days I sobbed uncontrollably. The shock was horrific. The nightmares were insane. The images were relentless, they played over and over. I read how others took control of their images and changed them up,so I imagined her headless, like a chicken you see in the supermarket. Every time the image tried to intrude I would picture him screwing a supermarket chicken. To my amazement my mind stopped imagining it. So, that proves that we do try to pain shop, when no longer a trigger for pain, the images stopped. After about a week, I found that I could actually get busy with housework and make it an hour or two without thinking about it, BUT when I did it would hit me so hard, just like I had heard it for the first time. The periods of time that I could go without thinking about it, were becoming longer but still the shock was fresh

      Delete
    3. She texted me apologizing for hurting me, telling me that she did befriend me at first to be around him more but then she really became my friend and its me she is sorry for to lose. BULLshit! After talking with my husband calmly I learned that she had manipulated both of us. That is when I learned that she told him I loved my ex and fanaticized about him and was just waiting on him to leave me so I could be with him. She figured since they got caught he would leave me and be with her. NOPE he was sad to see me hurting but it was a burden lifted and he was relieved to not have to worry about her getting mad and telling me or me finding out. I texted her back telling her what she had with him were stolen moment,stolen from his family, that is all you ever had.you never had his heart. I told her I didn't want to talk to her ever again. then I blocked her number from our phones. Don't get me wrong it is still hard to swallow, it sounds like something out of a lifetime movie. But by reading everything I could from others experiences I am now able to control when and how I think about it. Again thank you so much for the strength it took to start your blog

      Delete
    4. Yes it does sound like you are already doing much of what is recommended in the wake of finding out about a spouse's affair. And it also sounds as if you're moving along quite well. You likely will continue, for awhile, to have those sudden realizations, when it feels like you're just finding out all over again. We've often discussed on this site that many of us experience post-trauma symptoms – and that feeling is one of the symptoms. Remind yourself that you're safe and doing okay.
      I LOVE the headless chicken thing. That is pure genius. But you're right -- we have much more control over where we allow our minds to go than many of us realize.
      You're on the right track. Hang in there.

      Elle

      Delete
  12. I'm sure I sound like everyone else when I say my husband is the man of my dreams. We fell in love fast and were married within a year. I had never met anyone like him and was the happiest I have ever been in my life. We have always been a power couple that our friends admitted to being envious of. We were so close, loving, and somewhat straight laced. My husband has always been a goodie-two-shoes (no drugs, limited alcohol, loathes smoking, hardly ever cusses, etc.) He is a great father. I am t-ball mom and he is the coach. A couple of years ago, right after our only child was born, my husband lost his job which was a huge blow to our finances. My full time job was decent but not anywhere near enough to support our family. We were living quite comfortably and my husband had a really great job that came with a company car and free gas. When he lost his job, he was literally laid off and dropped off. We had a 5 month old baby and could afford to pay our house note AND keep the utilities up so we made the decision to move in with my and keep our house notes up so we did not ruin our credit in the meantime of him searching for employment. Even though he has a business degree and years of experience it seemed near impossible for him to find adequate work. Even McDonalds would not hire him because he was "over qualified." During this time we were also dealing with some family issues on his side of the family and he became extremely depressed. He would not admit but we all saw it. He was just never himself again. I never understood what it does to a man to not be able to support his family, but I do now. We were forced to live at my parents for exactly one year and when my husband finally found another job (nothing compared to his previous job) we decided it would be best for us to move back home where we could be a family without chaos. I don't care how good of a family you have- it's tough to move back into your parents period but then bring a baby and a husband with you and it's an entirely different level! Anyway, we moved back home things were getting better but he was still not the same. He was always good to me- he just had lost that "you're the love of my life" attitude. He no longer was as protective as he once was, never jealous like he used to be, did not want to do anything around the house, withdrew from our friends. Before all of this we used to entertain all the time and have lots of friends over for dinner parties, football games, board game nights, etc. It was as if something in him died when he lost his job. A lot of nights over the past couple of years I have asked him if he still loved me the same as he used to or if he was happy with me and he always replied with various forms of "of course.. why would you even ask me that?" I always shook it off and went on even though I knew something was not right. TO BE CONTINUED. TOO LONG FOR ONE POST.

    ReplyDelete
  13. CONTINUED...PART II OF III
    On July 26, 2013 I received a scholarship for my teaching education and also resigned from my 7 year job at the local University to finish my education. It was a BIG time for us. It was also the worst night of my life. I was awoken from a very deep sleep to my husband bawling his eyes out telling me he needed to tell me something. I jumped up because it scared me. I thought someone had died and flipped the light one. The words I heard and will never ever forget were, "Baby, I have been seeing someone. I am so sorry." Long story short he slept with one of the kids on our t-ball team's mom. She sat by me at every t-ball game watching our sons play ball together and our husbands coach together. We are not real close to them but close enough. We live in a small town and everyone knows each other. We have one grocery store- Walmart. He slept with her three times during the month of July on his lunch breaks. They were both playing that app, "Words with Friends" and one evening after the game was through, she messaged him and it all started there. She began to flirt and he flirted. Then it got sexual and then it turned into "I wonder what would happen if we were ever along together?" Soon she was meeting him in the mall parking lot sleeping with him in the backseat of her husband's F150. She is a stay at home with 2 children (4 years and 5 months). Her husband is a police officer. How stupid is that?! Did he really think he could sleep with a police officer's wife and him never find out? Over a 5 week period, the OW sent my husband 37 pornographic pictures of herself. He would receive these disgusting messages while he was at work and while he was at home with me and our son. He was exhausted the entire month of July because he never slept. It's tough living a lie!! I had no clue. I apparently sleep so good that I never noticed him getting up several times in the middle of the night to go to the "bathroom." TO BE CONTINUED.

    ReplyDelete
  14. CONTINUED PART 3 OF 4 (thought i could do it in 3 but did not work) ...
    On July 26 after my celebratory dinner the OW made one mistake and that's all it takes... she fell asleep after sending a message to my husband. He replied back to her and her police officer husband came home early from the night shift. He saw her phone lighting up and picked it up only to find a message from my husband that read, "Goodnight beautiful. Dream of me." He then responded to my husband and then tried to come to our house to kill him. He told him he better wake me up and tell me right then or he was going to when he got to our house. ALL of this is taking place while I'm asleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He ended up not coming to our home because my husband finally told me. I have been in another world ever since. My first plan was to pack all of my stuff, find a place to live after I got my job back since I now would have to support myself and child, and of course get a divorce BUT then somehow I found a place of forgiveness in my heart. I saw a HUGE amount of pain in my husband’s eyes. It was like he finally woke up out of that depression he had been in and realized what he had done to his family. He was in fetal position crying for what seemed like hours on our couch crying out to God and asking for forgiveness. He goes to church now, prays over our family, treats my like a princess, swears he will spend the rest of his life proving his love and making this up to me, and acts like the old him that was lost when he lost his job. I chose to stay. It sounds weird but we are all over each other. We make love almost every night and can’t keep our hand off one another. BUT I just can’t get past it. We go to counseling every week and I have cried every single day since July 26. I have lost 28lbs since then and have no motivation to do anything. I am so heartbroken that I have dropped out of school (only 1 semester left before graduating), left all social media other than this, don't hardly talk to friends, and have no desire to be a teacher anymore. I feel love sick, heartbroken, mournful, and completely lost right now. He was my best friend and although I see him trying to make this work and I really want it to work too... I can't get past it and I know I need to if I want this to work. I CHOSE to stay here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My DDay is also July 26, 2013, and like you It was a special day for us since it was our first day vacationing with the kids after my husband had just returned from his three month contract on a cruise ship. I'm still a mess at times, cry every day, the sadness remains and it seems like it's never gonna go away. I have not forgiven him, because I'm still trying to understand how he could do this to our family, just risk it all, 13 years of marriage and three kids. We're still together, but it's the hardest thing I ever had to do, I don't know if I want to stay or go, I'm still an emotional mess to make a wise decision.

      Delete
  15. CONTINUED PART 4 of 4...
    I wonder how long I will have flashbacks of that night, thoughts of her on top of him in that truck, and this deep deep sadness that is consuming me. I feel like a part of me died. Our counselor has put me on antidepressants and they seem to help a bit but I don't know how long I can keep this up. All I do is RUN RUN RUN! I take my aggression out on the pavement and run for the first time in my life. I want to move away from here so bad- my hometown. I want to put our house up for sale and disappear from here so our family can heal. Even if it's just for a year or two and then we can move back close to our families if we think its best. Every time I leave my house I see something that reminds me of her. The ball park is a huge trigger for me and of course our mall now. Every F150 I see shuts me down. I drive 45 minutes out of the way to go to the next cities Walmart just do I won't run into her. I know I have done nothing wrong and should not go out of the way but honestly I do not want to EVER see her again. Please keep me and my family in your prayers. I have got to get myself together. I can't remind my husband every day of what he did... he already knows and is hating himself because of it! Even our counselor agreed and said that he was suffering from PTSD since the loss of his job, vehicle, home, and family problems he went through. It was going to take something BIG to wake him up to reality and unfortunately it came at the expense of his wives heart. Isn't it ironic, don't ya think? I just wanted my husband back the way he was before.. and I got him.. just after he had to have an affair to realize what he already had right in front of him. THIS SUCKS and I would not wish it on anyone, except for the OW of course. I wrote her a 7 page letter and mailed it to her with our family return address stamped on the front. I would have paid money to see her reaction when she saw our last name. HA. It was the classiest, meanest letter you could ever read. On top of all of this- my family does not know. I am very close to them and they have been so worried about me because they can tell something is different. I look different for one- I am 30 years old and my face is sinking in, huge circles around my eyes, and even accumulated some gray hairs. They have asked several times if I am okay because I am acting different. I just can't bring myself to tell my close knit family who absolutely love him and actually know HER. They would be devastated and never look at him the same again. Our world is forever shaken. So, that's my sob story and I wish it wasn't. The End. Love, E

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. E,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Your pain is written in every line.
      We've talked a lot on this site about post-infidelity stress disorder (PISD -- which seems the perfect acronym), an actual thing that many of us experience. It's pretty much like PTSD, and symptoms include panic, anxiety, a feeling of being right back then when it first happened. It took me a long time to recognize that much of what I was experiencing -- the rapid heart rate when I saw a car the same model as hers, etc. -- we PISD. Infidelity is trauma, so it shouldn't surprise us that we respond to it that way. With everything else you were going through, your world must suddenly feel very unsafe. It's that lack of feeling "safe" that can stand in the way of healing.
      Healing is particularly difficult when evidence of the affair could, literally, be around the corner each day. I don't blame you at all for driving far out of your way to avoid her. In fact, I think that's healthy. Do whatever you need to do to feel safe and to be able to just breathe, if only momentarily.
      I do suggest you share what you're going through with your family. Tell them you don't want their judgement and that it will be hard, but that you simply want them to support both of you as you heal. They must be frightened for you and if you think they can do it, I think the support for you would be wonderful. I'm wondering if you're someone who's forever keeping everyone else okay. Maye it's time to stop demanding that of yourself. To let others take care of you for a change. Keeping up the charade is exhausting. What's more, it keeps you in a place of shame and you have nothing to be ashamed of.
      I'm also concerned that you're giving up your own goals. I hope you'll look at this as a temporary setback -- the chance to get back your strength before you resume your goals. You sound like someone who threw herself into everything, which can be wonderful. But it can also make discovering a spouse's betrayal even worse. It makes you wonder who you are if you're not what everyone thought you were.
      I get the feeling that you need to give yourself permission to just be angry and hurt. To acknowledge just how deeply you've been wounded. And then, to slowly recognize that they can't keep you down. That you're stronger than that. That time does indeed work magic if we do our part by refusing to "pain-shop", refusing to give in to the mind movies, refusing to allow others' actions to define us. It's not easy -- none of this is. But it is possible. Especially for someone who seems as task-oriented as you.
      Consider giving yourself a time allowance to indulge in the pain. Like you, I ran. I would go out when it had just become dark and let myself cry and inwardly rage the whole time. By the time I came home, I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Consider using that as your time. The rest of the time, tell yourself to wait until it's your time. Won't always work...but it will some of the time, which is improvement. Each time you find yourself focussed on something else -- how beautiful your children look, a starry night, how great you look in skinny jeans -- make note of it. Take a mental snapshot and use that as evidence that you're getting better in tiny increments.
      This takes way longer than any of us could have imagined.

      Delete
  16. DD1 was almost 3 months ago. I tell you the weeks, the days, weeks, hours... WH had been having an emotional affair for 2 years and a physical affair for at least 9 months with his coworker. OW is also someone I considered one of my best friends. WH was also friends with OW's husband. The wives would spend time together. The husbands would spend time together. And the families would spend time together. We freaking went on a almost week long vacation with them in June. I wanted to talk to WH about making OW/spouse guardians of our kids if something happened.

    I consider DD2 almost a month ago, that is when I found out that the emotional stuff had been going on for 2+ years probably. The lovely walks together started in January 2011. The sad thing is I probably would have been ok for a while if I would have known.

    But what I didn't know is they were spending time alone together on their days off. They both worked 4-10 shifts, so each of them had at least 1 day off during the week. Conveniently, she did the schedule for them. He was always home at night. If he wasn't, he was either bowling or golfing with the guys/brothers. It was the times when on their days off they would meet at MY house, her house in her son's bed, her mothers house, a quickie in each vehicle before work. Take a shower in the bathtub that I have to bathe my kids in. And those are the only ones that I know about. Who knows what I don't know. In January, WH, OW, OW's husband, and our youngest son when to FIL's cabin for the weekend to go snowmobiling. I stayed home with the other two kids. While, WH and OW were screwing around in the next room that my son and her husband were sleeping in.

    At the beginning of July, I finally went with my gut and asked if there was anything emotional going on. He said no, of course not. About a week later he said, "well, if guess the relationship between them isn't good if I had a problem with it." He said there had never been anything physical.

    And then he got a phone call at the end of July and looked panicked. OW had told her husband. Her husband threatened to tell me.... "You know when you asked if anything physical was going on......"

    I asked when did it start....... The answered changed - After the guys bowling trip... Just before the bowling trip.... April.... February.... January.... The dates kept on shifting. I know I was rattling off 100s of questions and wanted immediate answers. But he lived it.... But WH never thought of the kissing as being physical... And there was no official penetration. I guess I start kissing any guy I want... I guess touching and no actual penetration doesn't count as physical or cheating either..

    He said he has always loved me 100%. And says he will defend that to the end. I still say bull crap on that. I say you can't love me 100% and still love and be with another woman like that. Yes... They both confessed they loved each other.

    OW's husband keeps texting me too. I have quit being his pawn in this game. I was trying to be nice since I know what he was going through. But the last one texting exchange lead me to find out that the emotional/holding hands & walking started in January 2011...

    It really pissed me off that I had called him on their relationship in September of 2012 and April of 2013. But they were "just friends". And I guess since all 4 of us were friends, I didn't think anything could be going on.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Now what to do... We have been going to couples therapy and he has been going to individual therapy. He says he is very remorseful. I want to believe it. I want to believe there has been no contact other then strictly work related. They haven't had any unaccounted for days off together. I guess that is the good thing about her doing the schedule... How can I know. I can check his email every minute, but he could be faster then me. After the September fight, he quit texting so often and they went underground to email. I check the phone records, but who is to say they don't have disposable phones...

    The other thing is about intentions. He says his intention was never to leave me, but how do I believe that now. It bugs me about what her intentions where too. At one point, OW told her spouse that if things didn't work out between them, she would pursue my husband again. Her spouse said OW is only happy if they talk/think about the future and not the past. I said it won't work if you don't work through what was the issues in the first place. The answer back was OW wasn't getting enough quality time...

    I know I am going through the grieving process. I am part way between denial and absolute anger. But it is so hard to see the light of the end of the tunnel. We had been married 9 years (10 in April) and have three kids. Right now, I don't know what to think of our marriage and if we even had one. I didn't realize the lack of communication we had. Part of me is afraid that I never have known him. If he was never telling me his issues, how should I have known?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you're feeling is quite normal, under the circumstances. Normal to wonder if he's a total stranger. Normal to wonder whether anything in your marriage was real. When we discover what capable liars our spouses are, it makes everything they've ever said or done suspect.
      What do YOU want to do? You've outlined what he wants...but what about you? If you want to rebuild your marriage, I think he needs to find another job. Or at least another shift. You need to completely cut this woman (and her husband) out of your lives. She is a threat to your marriage.
      And you need to ensure that you have access to all your husband's e-mails/computers/phones/etc. In order to rebuild trust, you need to be able to verify that what he's saying now is the truth.
      The counselling will help both of you sift through what was going on that allowed him to make this choice.
      Give yourself time to continue to grieve, to go through the various stages. Be gentle with yourself. If there were problems in the marriage re. communication, that can be addressed in counselling. But at no point did those problems make it okay for him to cheat.

      Elle

      Delete
  18. I feel like I've been lost in a place where everything looks familiar but no longer means what they used to mean. A beautiful walk in nature where I connect my spirituality and the beautiful colors and lessons of the outdoors, for example, have turned into a walk where I wonder what my partner is doing at home.

    Before I write of what happened and where I'm stuck , Ill share a short piece of me. I think life is precious and brief - a cherished gift. I wake thankful for each day and end it with more gratitude. I have survived a traumatic childhood and breast cancer in my late 40's. But I don't think of myself as "survivor" - I think of myself as continually learning about me , the world, and those I'm blessed to share it with - known and unknown. I have been through many different practices towards healing old trauma including counseling and neurobiological approaches which have been very helpful.

    I met someone wonderful. I'm lesbian so, by default, she is female. smile. It was in all ways the relationship I had been looking for. We connect in all ways - values, humor, service back to this world, understanding the preciousness of life, adventures, simple time at home, romantic, more....

    I thought we also shared the same value about fidelity - she swore she was devoted to me, committed to the relationship. "would never do that - promised." Then her other girlfriend found me on the internet FB and everything unraveled and we cling on to putting it all back together.

    The deceit is the most horrible, I read text and emails she sent the OW - I talked to the OW - no longer in contact though.

    My partner did not admit to the details I had, still insisting on the extent of what happened - then finally agreeing but offering no new information. Her version was that she was los- she said she told her what she thought she wanted to hear... a "lost time" for her based on her own difficult childhood - I could see that given what I know of her and also from what the ow told me.

    It has been a clydescope of shock, trauma, anger, grief, and trying to understand what to believe. Its like two experiences. On one hand my partner ended the other relationship, went to counseling, is going to counseling with me, opened her email and phone records to me. On the other hand, there are things which still feel secretive and talking about hose things leads to fights. A bit about the fighting, the affair was like a porthole to our old wounds - our / my fighting - yelling, saying things I couldn't believe came out of me - it all providing an unwelcomed opportunity to look at that behavior which did not align with my values and I've done much work on that. My partner has also done work on her defensiveness and what she does under threat. And underneath all that understanding - I have not been able to ask her about things that don't feel good to me without us fighting about it.

    I'm an author and often think of this as having two possible endings - 1) the trauma of all this has my filters off and I'm misinterpreting what is happening. 2) she became more sophisticated on how to hide contacts with someone else -- she was sophisticated to begin with.

    Its all about trust - do I trust her? do I trust my intuition - which I admit has been wrong while under trauma and then spot on other times. I'm done with cashing her every move and looking at her phone - really if there's someone there, she is hiding it and I also want my life back - my full life, my full being in the world and not hijacked by suspicion of her actions. The love is intense and really beautiful and there are some days when I can admit, I may never know if there is still someone else and I can go on with her or I need to leave and end this torment and again fully enjoy walks in nature, though without her they will not be the same..... I'm stuck. I want my life back - the one I came so close to having after a lifetime of working towards it....

    thank you for listening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marie,

      I'm so sorry for not only what you're going through now but the pain you've soldiered through from childhood. Like you I thought I'd worked through all that stuff and my reward was this wonderful marriage. Not so much.
      The thing with betrayal is it frequently re-opens old wounds that we thought were healed -- issues around trust and abandonment, worthiness and our safe place in the world.
      I'm getting the sense that you don't completely believe she's being honest. I'm curious why you feel that way. Is it fear of this happening again? Or is there some gut feeling that things just don't line up?
      In any case, it's really hard to make long-term decisions in the midst of the post-trauma storm of betrayal. Can you simply give yourself some time with no pressure to figure out whether you stay or go? For some people, it's a kneejerk reaction to dump their partner. Others know from the get-go that they want to work it out. Others, like me, needed time. To sift through everything and determine what I wanted...and whether my husband was willing to do the incredibly hard work of earning back my trust.
      You will get your joy back. You've done it before and you'll get there again. But right now, your responding to trauma in the way we do. Remain open to joy. Trust that you'll know what's right for you. And that you can be your own safe place in the world.

      Elle

      Delete
  19. Dear Marie,

    Rather than trying to make a decision now on whether you should stay or go, try and give yourself a decision holiday. It won't be out of your mind, but I can remember those long vacations in the days before internet that we thought about things whilst on holiday but you couldn't really put anything into action. The usual stuff, must change bank accounts, must do decorating, must ring mother in law and cancel Christmas, you think about them but you know that you wont be dealing with them just yet.

    I do feel that you're concerned that things have been kept from you and that she is smart so she will have the ability to hide things from you. Tell her! Let her hear your concerns, try and set times to discuss but have a cut off point until the next " discussion" Write things down in-between and see if they are still worrying you at your next discussion.

    You say it was a beautiful relationship and you feel that's changed and you want your old life back. I hate to tell you this but you will never get the old life back as it was. Saying that, I know from experience that you can gain something else, something even deeper if that seems possible, it can add a new dimension to the relationship.

    As an Author, you will understand more than others that a story has many dimensions. The trauma is not pleasant, but it is what it is. My hurt was indescribable in the first 6 months, awful in the following 6 months, and 6 months further on its upsetting on same days. I'm looking to the future when I have the odd moment but can look back and see that we did it. Whatever " it " is.

    Don't worry about arguments where you say things that you cannot believe came out of your mouth. I behaved like a woman possessed, I shocked the hell out of myself. You will know what to do one day. For the moment, take a decision holiday and try and enjoy second by second the wonderful things in nature that you so enjoyed before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      This is such great advice. With your permission, I'd like to post it as a "guest post" on the main part of this blog. You've summed up so beautifully how to get through those early agonizing weeks.
      Please let me know if this is okay.

      Elle

      Delete
  20. Elle, That would be good. So many people( without realising) helped me on my journey. You were my mentor throughout this!
    Anything we can share that will help or resonate with someone is worth doing.
    Reminds me of POW camps when they were digging away at dirt, one thimble at a time to escape, one prisoner said, that's a waste of time, it aint gonna help. How wrong he was when many managed to escape. I feel the same way about this site. All here to support each other, up days, down days and those really cranky days. We will survive.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Elle and Anon - and all others who read my words and sent a healing vibe into the world - thank you!

    Your words carry such kindness and wisdom - please know how much that makes a difference. This site offers the first deep breath I've had since finding out.... Tears of gratitude .

    My partner and I do talk about my suspicions. For months that has led to fights as she became very defensive - now, she is trying more to listen to me and validate feelings - as in she understands why i would have them. and she tries to provide answers when I ask. Sometimes I need to see things - phone records etc. and other times I feel like that gets out of control - "it's never enough" type of response in me so I don't always do that but instead look at the anxiety that comes up in me and what attaches to it.

    Your words fit with what I'm feeling and trying to do - not make a decision about if her actions now are genuine or a sophisticated lie. I do believe she loves me and genuine about us- I'm less sure about what we may also be there with "out of control" connections to others ... more difficult thing about this is I don't know if its PTSD or my senses are correct - not trysting myself is crazy making. there are things that just don't add up even with our talks.. But I make room for believing because there are times I Thot I was so right and came to find out I was misinterpreting things. I have very good instincts. Twice before I found out I had this sense just by a statement she made on the phone- she was with the ow both those times.. Now that same antenna goes off and she and partially me attribute it to PTSD ....

    so, ive moved away from that rabbitts hole. As much as possible. I'm not making a decision now. Working on it moment by moment. And mostly trying to care for my heart and be thotful of hers. If she is with someone else still, then she will be the one loosing so much - and if not, she's certainly working very hard for us.... Two abuse survivors together is challenging with caring for what cones up- throw in infidelity and its tender - and very complicated times...

    I want to cultivate caring for me. To be with my feelings that come up - all the messy feelings- but not let them hijack my life - im working to stay connected the the beauty I feel for life - be precent with my child and focus at work ... Sometimes I'm with that - other times the anxiety associated with feeling something else is happening is so strong, I fade away. It's not " a thought" it more like a full body experience .... Visceral .... And having that part if each day is packed with much

    One step, one breath....

    Thank you Dear Ones for your virtual hand on my shoulder .. I don't feel so isolated

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly why I created this site -- because the isolation can feel as crippling as the betrayal. We need each other.
      It will be hard for you to learn to trust that gut instinct. You likely do know when it's giving you valuable information...but I wonder if, in childhood, you were told that your instincts were wrong. I was frequently told that what I was seeing wasn't happening, that what I was hearing wasn't happening. It's crazy-making. So as adults, we need to learn to listen really closely to that little voice. There are times when it over-reacts. But if we check in with it -- or you check in with your partner (calmly), we can generally get clear on what's really happening.
      Rebuilding trust is hard work. At a certain point, we have to simply close our eyes and jump. There is no way to ever know if those we choose to share ourselves with are completely honest. But we can get ourselves to a place where we can trust that even if we are betrayed by them, we won't betray ourselves. Doesn't mean it won't hurt...it just means it won't destroy us.

      Elle

      Delete
  22. First of all, I would like to say how glad I am to have found this blog. It feels so good to be able to talk about my pain without the fear of judgment or unwanted opinions. I haven't told anyone about this yet and refuse to do so because I fell as if I cant trust anyone with this information. My husband and I have been married almost 3 years. But ever since our relationship started, we have never really had a stable lifestyle because he is in the Navy and his ship is always out to sea for as little as a week and as much as 4 months straight. But this year was the year of his deployment (our first and only because he is getting out of the military soon). The ship left in February but I moved home with my daughter in January because I was pregnant and a full time student. I have always looked at my husband as the best thing to ever walk into my life, honestly, I held him on a pedestal. But this past Saturday my husband admitted to an affair. He said that it went on for 3 months (june, july, aug) AND SHE'S PREGNANT!!! :'( He said that he wanted to admit to it in person so that his apologies could seem more sincere but he couldn't live with the guilt anymore. He said that pretending that nothing had happened was eating him away because he loves me and our two daughters (the youngest which he hasn't even met yet because she was born in May). I knew that he was having a hard time out there because for a long time now, he has been depressed. But I never would have suspected an affair. I was so heartbroken. I was lost and I just wanted him dead... But at the same time, I just want this deployment to be over so that I can have him back. I daydream of being in his arms because I have missed him so much, but then I snap out of it and start to cry because I realize how this is going to affect us for the rest of our lives. Yes I want to work on our marriage and I still adore him (even though he is a piece of shit)... but we now have to deal with this new child and the OW for the rest of our lives. She has said that she doesn't expect anything from us because she knew what she was doing and is now owning up to her sins (that bitch). After all that is said and done, I just want him back so that we can start the healing process. We have already started to deal with it through email and over the phone when he gets the chance to use a phone, but it still feels unreal because I haven't seen him. I want so badly to run into his arms on the day of the homecoming, but I also want to stab him in the chest! I know that I am going to be happy on the pier because I'm going to be surrounded by happy families... but once the noise is gone, I'm going to look into those blue eyes of his and cry my eyes out. The only reason that I am choosing to forgive him is for MY own good, because if I don't forgive, I cant move forward. Also because I truly believe that he only did it out of his deployment-funk. He has said over and over that he will work for the rest of his life to regain my love and trust. He really is a great person with a good heart and I cant picture my life without him... and I'm still hoping to wake up from this nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you found us...but so sorry you need us.
      There are a LOT of military wives who go through this. I'm sure it has a lot to do with deployment, including the stress and anxiety, but also opportunity.
      In any case, you've got a lot to work through. And yes, dealing with another child can certainly make things more difficult.
      However, it sounds as if you want to make this work, and it's certainly possible. There's lots on this site to help you through the early days when he returns. And I think if you search, there's a post about dealing with another child. Does your husband want a relationship with this other child? Does the OW want him in the child's life? He's, of course, financially responsible for the child as well. But that's all stuff that he can work out with the OW, though it impacts your family as well.
      For now, until he returns, see if you can process your own emotions to sort of "stabilize". Can you access a therapist? It can really help you work through much of the anger and confusion.
      I would also suggest that both of you get couples counselling when he returns. He's going to be dealing with a lot himself after deployment. Factor in a betrayed wife and a child with the OW and he might struggle with being supportive for you when he's dealing with so much. Is there anyone in your life you can lean on for support? It can help to tell a trusted friend or family member. This can feel incredibly isolating.
      Hang in there. You can get through this and rebuild your marriage. There are plenty of us on this site who have done so. I'm hoping some other military wives might weigh in with their advice.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. I too am a military wife and going through my own mess. june 2013 caught my husband texting late at night at our friends house, we were staying there after dinner etc... so the next morning i had the presence of mind to quietly check his phone ( he still sleeping) and there it was pic, texts etc.... romantic meetings,dinners etc... several names and numbers. we had been married for 12years 2kids and met at school. he broke down and cried didnt try and cover it up, he just went to pieces and i was the one holding it together ? the next few days weeks were awful just a nightmare... my husband is perm based away from us and only comes home everyother weekend, so he had to return within a few days of me finding out.

      I couldnt put my finger on it but i still felt that there was more, so i set about trying to access his emails, got his phone logged online to get details of what texts etc.. he been sending. September 2013 i finally got into his email account... and there was more numbers, emails and pic.. nothing new since june 2013 when he said he would stop, however reading the emails i stayed up all night to do so, i could put together times places... it had been going on for years, 4 years in total, he would chat with some online and that was it just talking, he met some only as friends, and he met some and lied that he was seperated or some just didnt care he was married and he slept with them. once they got serious he would get rid of them and get another to replace them.

      So i rang his commanding officier and told him what i had found and that if he wasnt home by night time i would be on the next flight to him and onto the base. I rang my husband told him that if he wanted any chance he was to come home that day no matter what, no excuses. He did.

      While he was travelling home i emailed all the contacts explaining who i was and what i had read and what i though of them.

      When my husband came home i asked him to email all them and to explain what he had done and make it clear that there was to be no futher contact and that he wanted no further contact with them. he did straight away

      We had a few nasty emails and texts from very unhappy women mostly fooled like me.

      We talked and talked and i have to admit that some of it was hard to hear, that he felt that i no longer needed him, that i had shut him out of my life. I knew myself that our marriage was in trouble and that we were distant for a long time... now i knew why from his side anyway. I did resent him for being away and leaving me to bring the kids up and leave my job to do so.
      i was thinking of leaving him on many occassions but kept hanging in there hoping it would get better, i know i wasnt the perfect wife but i was always true to him... and will be aslong as we are together.

      He has assured me that i can stay in our house with the kids, nothing will change in my life, he will pay mortgage etc.. money for kids if i dont want to try to make it work, he says that none of it is my fault, he knows he made the wrong choices and is relieved that i know and he doesnt have to live a lie anymore? i have access to all his emails, phone account online. he has answered all my questions open and honest everytime.

      Some days i am so mad i could kill him and all those he was with... and some days i am ok not great but ok... i can understand why he did what he did it was wrong very wrong.... so i am trying everyday, just taking one day at a time, hanging in there believing we will get through this cause i still love him and he loves me too. hope, i hope that we make it...

      Delete
    3. I hope you do too. Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds as if you're exactly where many of us have been. Hanging on by our fingernails as we ride the roller coaster.

      Elle

      Delete
    4. hanging on by my fingernails..................

      Just a update, we are still trying to put things together again, but sometimes i do feel that after all my husband has done he could try harder to woo me back again, i know that sounds strange but i want to feel as special as he made some of the other women feel. Sometimes i think hes just not that fussed about the whole thing and expects life to go on as normal, when i dont think i will ever be the same again. I know that i will never give my heart totally to anyone again, i will always have that bit of a guard up just incase. I do have awful moments of doubt and trust issues where i just could vomit at the thought of being fooled again and wonder if i have done the right thing? by giving it a another go. I am haunted by stories of once a cheater always a cheater.. i honest dont know when i will get over this, i know that you do learn how to hide how you are really feeling and paint on a brave face.

      I also found out that if you have an email address and type it into fb it will automatic bring up that person, which i useful if you are trying to see what the other ladies (term used loosely) look like. I wish i could vent off at them sometimes, thats just revenge and something i need to work on. I do hope that years from now when they are settled with someone they love and have a family ( like i was) that they come home early from work, or read an email etc and find out that there husband has done to them what mine did to me, i know thats awful but somedays i could wreck havock all around me, i just get so mad at it all. As you can see i am still working at it and it is taking me time, and i cant make any promises that i will make it in the end either ? sad and empty today.

      Delete
    5. Be careful of those sweeping convictions -- that you'll "never" be able to trust, that you'll "always" feel sad or whatever. It's tempting to think this is our new reality…but it will change. You can give your heart totally. You can trust again, especially because you can learn to trust yourself through this. You can learn that you can survive extreme pain and betrayal…and come out the other side. That you are strong and wise. Doesn't mean we'll never be hurt again. But it means we won't lose ourselves in the pain.
      Give yourself time to recognize that betrayal brings up all sorts of our own issues -- unworthiness, fear, grief, abandonment -- that were already there. It doesn't create those feelings, it dredges them up. It's up to us to exorcise them.
      Let go of all those narratives you've heard around "once a cheater", etc. It's bullshit. Some guys never learn. And to them I say 'good riddance'. But I think you know whether or not your husband has learned anything from this. If he hasn't, there's the door. But if he has and if he's truly committed to rebuilding his marriage, it can be a deeper, stronger bond for what you've weathered. There's incredible strength in choosing to give someone another chance. Feel proud of that strength. You're no fool…this doesn't mean he gets a free pass. It means that he's got another chance to get it right. What he does with that chance is up to him.

      Elle

      Delete
    6. many thanks for that elle, i am def not having a good one today, i think i am loosing my mind to be honest, i seem to be back tracking instead of going forward. i am going through a phase where i am very worried about the length of time that he was able to live a lie for... over 4 years and how he lived with us during that time and i had no idea at all.

      i am particular hurt by the first woman, elaine. He met her on a night out 2009 while i was pregnant with our second child and saw her a few times... then she moved back to scotland. the emails i read between the two seemed very close ( i really miss your knickers on the bathroom floor) that was MY husband to her. She had written ( remember the time we did it in your uniform? mmmm) i know that they met up again in 2012, 3 years after they had their affair just for a coffee and a chat? she was pregnant by her then partner, what kind of people meet up and betray who they are with, with secret meetings etc and if she meant nothing to my husband why did he meet her again, to remember the good times? God i get so lost in those words and to think that i had him in the room holding my hand when i gave birth to our daughter ! makes me crippled with pain and that i cant move on beyond this.

      How is one human capable of living a lie for so long and we still had birthdays, christmas etc which now are all lies to me and make believe. When i checked his phone records he must of been texting them all the time even when at home with us. one month had over 3000 texts to different numbers.

      One of the more recent conquests april,june this year wrote in an email that they had got themselves another fu** buddy that just wanted it an hour or so a week? it makes me wonder what sort of person or people my husband was with ? and that she emailed that to him, what sort of
      relationship if any did they have?

      another one emailed back to him heartbroken that she thought that he was her soul mate and couldnt believe that he had lied and created a fake life of meetings with her, he had to email her and put her off moving hundreds of miles to be with him? he had lied that he was being deployed to scotland with his work and she wanted to go with him? she knew nothing of me or our kids or even that he was married.

      I read anothers posts on fbk from 2012 oct/dec time that she really missed her man, he was at home with his children and that he would post her a christmas present. She hoped that he would say yes to what she had asked him ? (god only knows what was) and to my horror i realised that this was my husband she was posting about.

      I am just worried about the depth of lies, and the fact that in my eyes he carried on "normal" for so long, it is clear that he was seeing 3 or more at one time and telling them all lies. i guess i am just frightened for the future, i will not survive any more hurt or lies. If i see any evidence of any other women me and my kids are gone for good.

      Delete
    7. As my husband's therapist put it for me, in response to me asking what do they have that I don't: "What these other people have, you don't want."
      They're sick, messed up people. And, let's be honest, your husband was one of them. And that's his task: to figure out just how he was able to compartmentalize to the point where he could live these two separate lives. Being fearful is a normal response to learning you were living with someone capable of such deceit. But you don't want to stay fearful. Which is why you need to create some sort of system that allows you to trust…but verify. Do you have access to his phone/computer/VISA bills/whatever? Check them over routinely until, slowly, over time you'll come to recognize that there's nothing there (assuming he doesn't do something stupid). If you do see something, you'll know. It's also wise to figure out what your exit strategy is and communicate it to him. If he is a sex addict (there's always the risk of "slipping") what are the consequences. Is the marriage over? Or does he have to move out temporarily? Or attend 12-step meetings? Take charge of your future by figuring this stuff out. Even visit a lawyer on your own to determine what your rights are, what you're entitled to, etc. This can contribute toward feeling "safe", which is crucial for you. Some women even get their spouses to sign a contract: ie. you get the house outright if he cheats again, you get his car, or whatever. No guarantee that he won't still betray you, of course, but again a measure of safety.
      And please try to stop dwelling on the e-mails/texts/etc. That doesn't serve you in any way. You know he cheated. That's all you need to know.
      Try and look forward and let him sift over his past to figure out what the hell he was thinking.

      Elle

      Delete
    8. thankyou, wise words as always. im giving myself and my head a break now. To quietly sit down over next few days or longer to clear my head and really think what i want and how i can get there, for myself and my children (thankful they know nothing of his stupidity) getting strength from all the strong women i have read about on this site. xo

      Delete
    9. hanging on by my fingernails.....

      I have been thinking and i know now that if my husband chooses to throw away the chance i have given him that is it, its over for good no more. I own my fathers house (thk god) and we will go and live there with him, end of. My mind is clearer now and i know that i am willing to work at our marriage and try to rebuild a better stronger future for us. but again i am guarded it is still early days, nearly 6 months have passed which is no time at all. but i know now that it was my husbands choice it had nothing to do with me, and the people that he was with were again his choice, i have no connection with them, nor would i want to, they are different from me. i choose how i behave no one else, so if my husband chooses to betray me again, then he is now clear on what will happen, its up to him which path he takes.

      I do feel strong at this time, im not saying i wont have bad days im sure i will, i am stopping or trying to stop looking them up on facebk to see what
      they are doing where they are living etc.... rubbing my own face in it?

      My husband has changed the way he is working to, and is only away for 4days at a time and home for 3days, which is a lot better for us all. we have talked and he is leaving the military within the nx year once he has served his notice. He wants to start again, leave that life and i will be glad as all the women he saw were from around that area in england.

      So at the min he is making all the right moves, saying the right things etc. i am able to see mobile phone tracking numbers etc, read emails at anytime and i find nothing out of the ordinary at all ? mabey he has changed ? only he can make that choice. thankyou for all your help through replies and reading other peoples blogs etc...

      Delete
    10. hi, i have been reading a few other peoples stories and their experience, i have to agree with the woman who speaks of being emotionally crazy, this is exactly how i feel, i go from wanting to rebuild repair to total dispair so quickly i actually dont know my own mind i think, and i struggle to believe that yes this is my marriage ( what is left of it) and my own life! and i have let someone do this to me and i am willing to try and repair ?

      I am also finding triggers hard to deal with. example i was putting my husbands uniform into the washing machine and then from no where my inner voice said " do you remember the time we did it in your uniform? " that was in an email i read from one of the whores. That was me in tears again after i had been holding it together so well.

      I just dont know if i trust my own judgement and the choices that i am making or if i am blinded by own vows that i made when i married, am i blinded by love to what my husband is really like ?

      Is he the liar that he was for the four years he pretended to be the happy husband, while he was building up a hareem all around somerset in england, he was also on a sperm donation site (unregulated) offering to help people get pregnant through ai or actual sex ? he said in his profile that he had fathered 5+ children (2 with his wife) when i asked him he said he was ashamed and wanted to make his profile look good ? and it was lies, more i thought no change there then. it has been about 3years ago he was on that site and i have no evidence that he met up with anyone from it, he deleted his profile and said he hadnt met any of them.

      Im not actually upset at this time, which i find strange i am just wondering what the hell i am doing sometimes ? carrying on day to day trying to be normal when something so un normal has happened to me and my family.
      i think i am loosing my mind, i certainly dont know my own mind nor what the hell was in my husbands for the past few years ? even just typing that takes my breath away, "past few years" just pitching up for holiday time, weekenders etc... making up the numbers, part of the crowd not really wanting to be there, i suspect rather be over in somerset looking up one of the hareem. i am very confused, never thought i would be, thought it would be cut and dried if anyone ever did what he has done to me... ?

      Delete
    11. I'm so sorry for what you're going through. That feeling of craziness is pretty common. Your life has been turned upside down…so feeling crazy is actually pretty normal under the circumstances.
      He's got a whole lot of explaining to do. To offer up his sperm?? What's he saying about all this? What the hell was he thinking?
      Hang in there. There's lots of great info and wonderful women on this site who know exactly what you're going through.

      Elle

      Delete
    12. i am sorry to say that i am feeling no better, prob worse to be honest. i have tried to put a brave face on daily but its not working at all. i was thinking back to the 23rd june the day i found out and thought i would check my husbands phone records for that day, bad move. i found that when he went back to work the following day he was texting all the time to various women he had fooled in the yeovil area after i had had my heart broke the previous day by him, so much for remorse ? when i confronted him he said he was trying to deal with the situation in his way getting rid of them softly softly..... personally i would of just told them to F*** off.

      i am going through a phase of do i just accept what he has done and how easily he threw our marriage away ? and that i meant and prob mean very little to him, just be happy that i know hes not up to anything now and hes not the great love of my life i thought he was. We havent got the fairytail, romantic ending i wanted ? or do i just say enough i cant get past this and you need to go because everytime i am near you i cant get over what you have done and how little i meant to you at that time. he swears he wont stray again, says im his life, will never forgive himself for what he has done to me etc....

      I suffered from post nat dep after my first child and i have had to go back onto the med as directed by my doc to try and get myself back on track.

      I am filled with so much fury and loathing i could explode. and yet my heart breaks at the thought of being without him?? i am filled with smart coments when i see anything that could be related to what we are going through on the tv etc.. which i know is childish. i want to remind him of what he has done, make him know how much emptyness i am filled with, the numbness that i feel everyday. and hes like your never going to get over this are you ? saying he knows he has done wrong and lives everyday with the shame of what he did to me? quering my own sanity daily.

      Delete
    13. hanging on by my fingernail................I would just like to wish all the women and urself a Happy Christmas and a turning of a new leaf in the New Year. Either you are like myself and hanging in there in the hope that it will get better or have moved on to a new chapter in your life. Enjoy your Christmas and time with your children, make it special for them no matter what else is going on around you. Remember YOU have done nothing wrong and its your partner who has the making up to do, the lies, filth and sole searching has to be done by them. You know who you are and the importance of your family..... it wasnt you who at one point though so little of it they chanced to risk it all. Give yourself a break from the maddness and hopeful the new year will give you some clear thinking of your next move..... i am hoping for this. Knowing that this Christmas its just my husband, me and the kids.... thankgod.

      Delete
    14. still hanging on.........just past the seven month of d day. i have been able to put a lot of what my husband did behind me, by the way he treated the women he had met, slept with and lied to over the past year ( i know it was him putting his needs first using whoever he came into contact with and to hell with the consequences).....but in a recent arguement, which came from my own panic if hes going to do it again and should i continue down this road of repair etc etc.... so i brought up the first one, who i am convinced was more than a chat online and do you want to sleep together no strings situation. he roared in rage at me "she knew about you and the problems we were having and she didnt care..." Problems ? i didnt think we were having any problems at that time, i was pregnant with our second child and blissfully unaware of any affair. He strongly denies Affair. it meant nothing he says.....but i read emails etc they seemed very close, friends even. i think it continued for well i dont know to be honest. and this is what i struggle with, that with her there was a link, a connection, he didnt treat her with the throw away attitude he did the others, or was it because she was the first ? i dont know. this one really cuts the deepest....the fact that well her choose her over me and the kids. i wish i could let her know how much i hate her, but then surely i should hate my husband too ? bit confused. hate the thought that he did normal things like meet, chat, laugh, build something with her? it wasnt just a physical thing. ( which is bad enough) they met up as friends for a coffee a couple of years after it had ended ? yes i am confused as to how to get over this "affair" dont know why i can sort through all the others and close away but somehow she is different ?

      Delete
  23. Hi Elle,

    I'm having a really bad day. I read your site and you seem so wise and kind in your replies, so I am writing in hopes that you will write back and ???.

    I have been with my husband for 12 years. After the birth of our first child 4 years ago, he started pulling away. I saw it, I tried to help but in retrospect all I did was overcompensate and over-give. When I got pregnant with our second child, he seemingly stopped liking me all-together. I thought it was because I was pregnant and he was fearing that mother-infant bond that happens after birth. I vowed I would be the best wife I could, yet nothing I was doing was working. After the birth it as if he completely checked out. He had nothing to do with me or the baby, he was drinking heavily and was just not present. And he was cruel. Boy was he cruel. This is not an adjective that I would normally ever put in the same sentence as his name. 5 months after the baby was born, our anniversary was approaching and I gave him this gift: one more year of marriage - with counselling - which was to start in one week.

    5 days later I found out he had been having an affair. It started with some random woman he met 2 weeks after our son was born. I had seen a text on his work phone and had googled the number. Here is the kicker...she's a prostitute. So I had the pleasure of seeing her naked (which does nothing for my self esteem). He wasn't a paying customer, nope...she was 'dating' him and another married man at the same time.

    He ended it immediately and was devastated. He can barely describe the moment he saw my face after I found out. He cried for weeks and weeks and devoted himself entirely to me and our marriage. I don't even remember the first 3 months. How I managed to care for a newborn and a toddler is beyond me.

    So now we are 6 months in and for the most part I can say that we are healing. Counselling is going well and we are having to deal with some really heavy issues and work really hard.

    But then we have days like today. Days where I can't even imagine going on or staying in this marriage. He broke my heart and my spirit. He actually lusted after, pursued and slept with a woman who wasn't me. All the while he completely neglected his family, was an alcoholic and was cruel to me. How do I get past days like today? More to the point, how do I get passed days like today when I don't want to?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've all had days like you're having today. Sometimes we have a lot of them in a row. But we survive them. Cry if you need to. Go to bed and pull the covers over if you can (what am I saying? I clearly forget what it's like to have small children…). Sit with your kids and read a book. Look into their eyes and remember that there's lots of beauty in the world.
      And trust that this is just a bad day (or two). It's not the rest of your life. Your husband had a wake-up call that, unfortunately created a lot of collateral damage. He was likely facing all sorts of issues around you being pregnant/new mom, which, sadly, isn't uncommon for men. That he lacked healthy coping skills isn't an excuse for what he did…but it is an explanation. And when we know better, we can do better.
      Give yourself credit for the incredible strength it took to face the worst pain of your life and somehow keep a baby and toddler alive. That's super-hero strength. Give yourself credit for the strength it takes to give a broken man another chance, even when he broke your heart once.
      And don't give this OW any more power than she deserves. She was available when opportunity struck. That's it. Like a blow-up doll.
      And recognize that betrayal changes us. It can change us for the better -- making us appreciate every moment of grace in our lives (or at least most). Or it can make us bitter and cynical. Who you become is your choice.
      You sound like a warm, compassionate, loyal person so I'm guessing you're going to choose the former. That doesn't mean you can still have your moments of rage and disgust that people do this. It just means you won't choose to stay in that state. And that's all today is. A temporary visit to a dark place. Get your kids involved in beating up some pillows to teach them how to appropriately vent anger. Go for a fast walk to work out some rage.
      Recognize that your husband made a horrible choice that he would undoubtedly un-do if he could. Yes, he was a total asshole. And if he was still that person, I would tell you to pack your bags and your kids and get out. But it sounds as if he's trying really hard to NOT be that person again.
      So…figure out what you really need in this moment. To vent? To cry? (Put on a sad movie and tell the kids you're crying at that)? A hug? Some fresh air? A cup of tea? And then give it to yourself, just like you would to your child when they're having a bad day.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. Sorry…I meant to say "that doesn't mean you CAN'T have your moments of rage…" Of course you can. Indeed you must!

      Elle

      Delete
    3. Hi Elle,

      Thanks for your reply. The problem is with all this emotional craziness, when do you know? I honestly just do not know that I want to be with this person who could hurt me so badly. Yes, he's doing all the right things and I believe he is being genuine. However - I just don't know that I care. I don't know that I want to forgive him. I know I will have to eventually, but that doesn't mean that we have to stay married. It just means that to move on with my life I will eventually have to forgive.

      I don't know if this is just yet another manic episode and I'll be crying next week about how much I love him and that I am committed to my part in making this marriage work. I guess my problem with time and waiting it out is that I am afraid of it. I'm afraid of letting go....even just a little.

      And yet again I find myself astounded that this is my life, that this is even happening.

      Delete
    4. That was my problem too -- whether to stay or go. For a long time (a couple of years at least) I felt that I had sacrificed my own happiness for that of my children. I had accepted that I was giving them an intact home in exchange for any chance for me to have a relationship with someone else.
      But somewhere in there, things changed. I decided that if I was going to be "stuck" with my husband, I might as well make the best of it. So we sought help and I realized that I did want to be with him. That rebuilding our marriage was the best possible outcome. And I haven't regretted that choice.
      It's not, however, for everyone. It might well be that the best choice for you is to move forward without him as your husband. But give yourself a bit of time on the roller coaster before you make your decision. We simply don't make the best choices when we're in the midst of such confusion. Some women know clearly what's next…but a lot of us don't.

      Elle

      Delete
  24. I work for Bray Entertainment, the co-creators of History Channel's Pawn Stars, and we're working on a new docu-series about Trust & Relationships, and looking for people who would be interested in being interviewed on camera discussing their experiences. We're most interested in your unique situation as a family-run business, but would also love to hear any other relationship experiences (parent/child, marital, best friends, etc), that you'd feel comfortable sharing.

    We're looking to conduct these interviews this Monday afternoon, at our offices in Hoboken. If you're interested, please feel free to get in touch! I look forward to speaking with you!

    We are hoping to find couples that are willing to talk about a time in there relationship where trust was broken. Rather then this being Jerry Springer, we want to show how trust can be regained and how that happens.

    This will be for a sizzle reel, which is like a trailer for the show that we can present to the networks.

    Best,

    Christine
    cstirrat@brayentertainment.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. DDay.... Her husband called me and told me what no one ever wants to hear. I said "Are you sure?" He said he has the proof in his hand, her phone with their texts from that days talking about the sex they had on Friday and different positions. She had been one of my best friends and her kids and my kids were friends. They both admitted she started it and it was just sexting until the last few weeks. He said he had fallen in love with her and I kicked him out.

    6 months out…. We are working it out. He came home after a week so we could really talk and go furniture shopping. I got a new bed and couch (forgot to mention they had sex twice in my house... guess where). Things with us are surprisingly good. I will not go as far to say the affair made us stronger but I am no longer afraid to talk about it when I am having a bad day and why. I am no longer ashamed of my body regardless of the size. I still see her though. Too often. I will go weeks without seeing her and then she will be there. It sucks. I want to scream, yell, hit, make a fool of her, tell her I forgive her, tell her we will never be friends but our kids probably will be so we need to figure out some way to move past this, hit her. I feel crazy. I tell my husband and he just holds me and tells me how sorry he is he put me through this and wishes he could take it back. He doesn't talk about it though and it concerns me. He says he knows with all his heart he made the right choice to stay with me and thanks God everyday I didn't leave him. Should this bother me that he won't really talk about to me?

    Our 11 year anniversary is Saturday, Nov. 9th. Hers is the 10th. There is so much more too this than I can put in this message but she became a big part of our lives and I was blind to it. I miss my friend and it sucks to know why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelly,
      I'm so incredibly sorry. What a total bitch. And I bet your husband feels like total crap.
      Of course you're angry. You were betrayed by two people you trusted. Double betrayal.
      It sounds extreme, but if there's any way you can move further away from this woman, I would. I don't know the ages of your kids, but if they're young enough to not really notice, I would also suggest you slowly replace her kids with other friends. Sad for the kids, sure. But better that they have a mother who doesn't constantly feel off-balance because she has to deal with someone who was so incredibly cruel.
      Re. talking to your husband. If you feel the need to talk to him, explain that to him. Explain that it isn't to make him feel horrible (though that might be a side-effect of it) but that he's the person you turn to for comfort. And that you need comforting. He owes you that, no matter how awful it makes him feel. Your job is not to protect his feelings.
      See if you can salvage your anniversary (which can be a tough day to get through). Lower your expectations -- just try and get through without tears. Perhaps focus on your kids -- a wonderful product of your relationship with your husband.
      And hang in there. It gets better.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. Elle, Thanks for the feedback. I just recently found this site and it has already helped a lot. It is so comforting to know there are so many women out there that go through this and make the decision to stay and fight for their marriage. My family actually doesn't know about it but my H's parents do. I made the choice to not tell my family because the relationship between them and my husband has always been strained. Not because of anything my H has done at all but truthfully my mother is a judgmental bitch and has issues with all of my siblings spouses. I am close to one of my brothers and I hinted to him about what happened, just telling him a friend started sexting my H. He flipped out and started saying how he would kick his W out in a heart beat if she ever cheated. Anyway, I chickened out and didn't tell him. Some days I am fine with that and other's it sucks. I do have a good relationship with my preacher who knows what happened. Currently my H is looking for a new job, unrelated to this, but it would make moving a good option and my H knows I am all for the move. Unfortunately We live in the very small town he grew up in and her whole family is there so there is no hope of her moving. I have one co-worker that knows what happened that always tells me to remember when I see her that I did nothing wrong. I chant that in my head when she is around.
      We decided to go a little big for our anniversary and are going on dinner train. I am going tomorrow to get pampered all afternoon before hand so I can truly feel like a queen on our day. I am hoping though to talk to him more about the affair in the coming weeks. there are definitely unresolved issues. I just need this day to be about us without the 3rd wheel.

      Delete
    3. That's great. I'm glad you found a way to honor the day while honoring yourself.
      And I'm glad you've got some people (pastor, friend) that you can confide in. I had a friend like yours, who would remind me, when I knew I would run into the OW, that she had my back and that I was the one who could hold my head high.
      Your brother sounds like we did before it happened to us. We all think we'd kick the person out. None of us ever said, "well, I'd probably let it go…". It's infidelity's big secret that so many of us stay and work it out, and are grateful we did. Enjoy your pampering.

      Elle

      Delete
    4. Ugh, I was starting to feel better today and really ready to go into tomorrow with a clear head but tonight while I am working out, my 5 year old says, "Mom, A (her 5 year old son) and I saw each other at school and we really miss playing together. can't you tell her you are sorry and make up?" I wanted to scream but simply told him that they are welcome to play at school but his mommy and I will not be making up. She really hurt Mommy, not the other way around. The worst part is this is tearing me apart and H over heard the whole thing. He didn't jump in and say anything, didn't say anything to me about it after my son left. Just acted like he heard nothing. He fell asleep on the couch afterwards and 3 hours later is still down there while I have taken a shower (and cried) and fed the kids and put them to bed.
      H has honestly been really good when I need to talk but I know he is at that point where he just doesn't want to talk about it. He has done "all the right things" from the DDay but when things like this happen and he sticks his head in the sand, I feel the pain all over again. I feel at times like I have to be strong for the whole family and it sucks. I need to shake some of this by tomorrow. I am really determined to have a great anniversary.

      Delete
    5. Please try not to have such high expectations for your anniversary. Just show up…if it's great, then great. But if it falls short, that's okay too.
      Re. your son: It doesn't hurt kids to understand that we have boundaries. That there are some things we simply won't overlook in people and dishonesty is one of them (he doesn't need to know how deep that dishonesty goes). He's certainly allowed to be friends with her kid…but that you've chosen to not include her in your circle of friends. I think we can do our kids a disservice when we don't show them firm boundaries.
      Hang in there. Just show up. Feel great about how far you've come, which really is amazing.

      Elle

      Delete
  26. Hi Elle, I just found out my husband is cheating on me again. This time he has been involved in craigslist "casual encounters." I found an email on his ipad and have notice suspicious behavior lately. And I think I might be done with our relationship. I forgave him last time, but I am frustrated and unhappy with his lack of desire to our "fix" our relationship. I having a difficult time trusting and haven't even confronted him yet. I am afraid of his reaction... more lies, deceit, hatred. And I don't feel safe confronting him... he owns guns. Should I do it in a semi-public place, like a park or something? And I'm not sure who I should confide in... lots of super judgy people in my life.

    How do I confront him? Not sure what to do. I feel like a failure. Do I need to gather more evidence before I confront him? What if he denies it? Should I ask him to leave our house?

    Thank you for this website, it has been nice to put my feelings in writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so so sorry. You must feel completely wrung out.
      Is he a violent guy? What makes you think he might hurt you? If you have any qualms at all, make sure there's someone there with you to ensure you're safe. Do you have proof that he's cheating again?
      Think carefully about who you can trust. Is there anyone in your life who can simply be there for you, without judgement. To just support you? Your parents? A sibling?
      There is a phone line you can call (650-521-5897, ext. 101). It's free…and offers peer counselling with people who've been through this. They might know how to approach this better than I.
      And please, please -- you are NOT the failure in this. You are trying valiantly to stay strong in the face of betrayal. That is brave. You can get through this.
      But you need someone on your side.
      Please let us know how you're doing…

      Elle

      Delete
    2. Elle, thanks for the support. He is not violent, just an emotional person. And he has since deleted the email and I don't have a copy of it. Thanks for the support line info - I will give them a call. And I think he knows that I know.... I haven't confronted him yet. He has been really nice to me the last couple days - doing things that he normally doesn't do... making me breakfast, cooking special dinners...

      Delete
  27. PART 1 - I am devastated. A couple of days ago, my husband and I were on our way to romantic weekend to see the fall leaves. We checked into our beautiful cabin by a trout stream complete with a little waterfall and planned to grill steaks, drink wine and enjoy the hot tub the next evening. We went hiking the next day to a great waterfall, took a lot of pictures, just enjoying the beautiful fall weather and scenery. We decided to drive over to a cool restaurant which is situated on a river for a late lunch. We got lost along the way on some twisty remote back road but laughed about it and we finally made it to the restaurant. We had no cell phone connections - it's pretty remote. But the restaurant had Wi-Fi. I logged in with no problem and checked my messages, said hi to the kids. He had trouble, I took his phone, got him logged in, and his email popped up and I saw something weird. Subject line said: "bj swap m4m." I first thought spam? I opened the email and read an exchange between my husband and another man - my husband knew the lingo ad gave a time and said he had a place to meet. Then I looked and saw other emails. I managed to read another one which referred to a picture my husband had sent of his penis. Then of course, I questioned my husband, who denied it, said it was spam, then finally admitted that he was just fooling around and hadn't actually met anyone or done anything.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Part 2 - Right about then the waitress brought our meals. I told her to pack them up because we had to go. We left and I started asking questions. He was answering but seemed guarded. By the time we got back to the cabin the reality was setting in and I was hysterical, and crying uncontrollably. I wanted to drive home but he convinced me to wait until the next morning. He slept downstairs on the couch. I cried all night. We drove home in silence for awhile. Finally I told him to start talking. He says he knew it was wrong, that he just let it go too far and that it started out as just curiosity. Then I find out that after his first divorce, which means he would have been late 30's to 40's, he had experimented and had 4-5 encounters for oral sex with men. Anonymous strangers. We married in 2000. We were both in our forties. Now we are in our late 50's. Leading up to this have been some other weird things. He used to make a very good income and lost his job, but then did consulting and did very well.. Then the consulting came to an end. He has a pension, not a ton of money but it is a small income and he began taking it as early retirement. He did not look for another job. He gave me excuse after excuse. I would find jobs, he would find something wrong. He finally got an adjunct teaching job which pays very little. He was spending a lot of time on the computer and his cell phone. We also sell some things on the internet and I thought that's what he was doing. Apparently he was fooling around with craigslist male for male ads for months. He has taken a lot money out of our savings, and retirement. We were not ready to retire. I still work. My job provides the health insurance. I am in shock. This man is my everything. I trusted him. I have been married before, and have had other relationships and never have I trusted anyone like I trusted him. He has been wonderful, thoughtful, romantic, caring, and understanding. He has always supported me when I screw up or do something stupid. We are great companions. I thought this was it - we would grow old together. He never had children but I had 2. We have grandchildren that he adores and they adore him. So he is begging me and apologizing and seems really remorseful. He has made an apt for us to go to counseling. I have agreed to go. I don't know what to think. Is he bi sexual? Is he gay? Is hs having some mid life crisis? All of the above? He is still here in the house and sleeping in another room at my request. I don't' know. I just don't know. I think I am still in shock and not thinking clearly. I feel that I have lost my whole world. Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pat,
      I'm so sorry for what you've found out…and the attendant shock, grief, agony. We've been there.
      It's not at all surprising that you're in shock. Your entire world has been turned upside down. My story isn't unlike yours in that I found about "encounters" that involved both men and women. Like you, I struggled to understand what this meant.
      It's going to take time to absorb all this so for the time being, him sleeping on the couch and you simply not making any sudden moves is a wise strategy. It will sink in. It sounds as if there's a lot there that he hasn't told you about, from the job losses to the Craigslist stuff. My advice is to assemble what you can of a support team -- a close friend, perhaps, a therapist. People who can help you through the short-term craziness.
      And perhaps deal with your husband via a counsellor. Disclosures can be really traumatic because they often seem like our spouse was living a completely different life right under our nose. It can help to hear the information with a professional in the room, who can help you absorb it and assure you that it isn't about you, as nuts as that sounds.
      Whether he's gay/bi-sexual or a sex addict (or a combination of those) remains to be seen. For now, focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Eat what you can, avoid alcohol or whatever your coping method of choice is (unless it's a healthy coping method, like exercise), try and sleep (melatonin can help) and trust that slowly this will sink in and you'll get past it, either with him or on your own.

      Elle

      Delete
  29. We have an appt with a counselor tomorrow - I guess that's good. I'm just exhausted. Mentally and emotionally a wreck. Good thing I work from home - I can look like hell and cry when I feel like it which is pretty often. I did find myself feeling angry today which is progress. I even made Mac n cheese this evening. Hadn't eaten much since finding out. I worry that the holidays are soon - what do I do? The timing of this was great. I cannot imagine sitting down to TG with him and my family. Then Christmas. But maybe I will know soon enough. Maybe what will be will be. Thanks for listening and your support. I haven't figured out who to talk to about this. Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat,
      Good. Show up to the appointment and listen to what the counsellor has to say. You'll know fairly quickly if this person has both of your interests at heart. And yes, be easy on yourself while you cry and rage.
      I found out right before Christmas…so those holidays are a blur of tears and recriminations. I regret that I didn't hold it together better for my kids and my parents. It was my last Christmas with my mom before she died.
      Does anyone in your family know? It can help to feel like you have an ally over the holidays -- someone to just give you a knowing smile or a hug. Someone who knows how hard this is for you.

      Elle

      Delete
  30. My husband & I have been very happily married for 14 years. We always considered ourselves soul mates, best friends, the loves of our lives. We've been hit with some hard stuff too, job loss,losing a home,moving states,sick babies,miscarriage, bankruptcy, and through it all, our love has never once faltered. About 6 months ago my husband's personality started to change. He got very depressed, introverted, I knew he was dealing with some crap with his parents (they're always causing trouble), but something was really wrong. He went to a psychiatrist and got on an antidepressant. He seemed better. I told him I thought he was going through a real mid-life crisis. He wouldn't talk, just pushed everything away. We started fighting more. It got bad around September. We would try to talk and it would go nowhere. We decided to start marital counseling because even through all of this we knew we would never get divorced and we still loved each other desperately. At this time he also decided to stop taking his antidepressant. He did not follow the weaning off schedule the Dr. gave him, he just stopped cold turkey (which I told him not to do).2 weeks ago I came home and went on his Ipad to go on my FB, and his FB was already signed in. I found a private message between him and my best friend! He was travelling for work at the time and he had been crying on the phone to me that week telling me something was not right with him and that he was a mess. This message to my friend was along the same lines. I confronted him about it and he denied anything was going on and that he had just turned to her as friend for emotional support. I believed that for about a day. Then after confronting her about it as well, it finally came out that they had slept together once. Everything else was just phone calls & emails. Obviously I no longer work at this place. My boss/friend has told me she will never forgive herself. But that she is in love with my husband. My husband wants nothing to do with her. It was basically a one night stand and they didn't even finish the act, he kicked her out of the hotel room before they even finished b/c he was so disgusted with himself. He was drunk and on anti-anxiety pills. He has done & said all the right things since I found out, he's gotten on his knees and cried and told me I'm his soul mate, he can't lose me, he's so sorry, he will never do it again. He says he went through a horrible time emotionally and made a huge mistake that he would give anything to take back. He wants to move on and spend the rest of our lives together as happily as we did the first 14 years. He is taking his antidepressants again and will probably never go off of them. My problem is, and I know it's only been two weeks and I need to give myself time, but I feel like I will never be able to forgive him for breaking our bond. He let this woman into our marriage and I feel like I will always think of this everyday for the rest of our lives. I still love him desperately. We have two incredible boys (12 & 9). We were really just the happiest family, and I can't bring myself to even begin to understand how he could do this, no matter what his mental state was. I am so overwhelmingly hurt and disappointed. I cry every single day. I can't eat, I can't sleep. My main worry is that I will never be able to get over this and I will, in turn, ruin our marriage because of my possible inability to forgive him. We are in marital counselling and we are reading through a book together about getting over an affair with exercises at the end of each chapter that we do together. He's doing everything right and I feel like I should be on board and able to get over it but I can't so far. Will there ever come a day where I won't wake up with his affair the very first thing I think about and the very last thing I think about before I fall asleep????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The short answer is "yes". The day will come when this is a sad but distant memory. But it takes a long time. Much longer than any of us ever imagined. Most experts say it's three to five years before you truly feel healed. That doesn't mean it's total hell until then…but that healing takes place slowly, incrementally.
      Two weeks is so little time. You're likely still in shock, your mind and body reeling from this. For now, just focus on eating (smoothies, soup, toast -- anything that will get calories into your body), trying to sleep (melatonin is a non-addictive, natural sleep aid -- get it where you find vitamins), try to get some exercise (mood-boosting hormones) and be gentle with yourself.
      Don't rush the healing. Your husband will be anxious to push this along, in part to alleviate his own incredible discomfort. But you'll be on a different schedule. He knew about this, you didn't. So you're already a bit behind him in terms of processing it.
      But give when each of you has to lose, yours sounds like a marriage worth saving. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Know (and tell your husband) that there's going to be a whole lot of hurt and anger and sadness that you need to slog through to get to a place of forgiveness. That the best thing he can do is be there for you, acknowledge the pain he's caused, promise you as often as you need to hear it that he will never hurt you like this again.
      I'm so sorry for your pain. You were doubly betrayed. But you can get through this. You will get to a place where you can look back at this, not as something "good" but as something that did come with some gifts -- wisdom, compassion and an even deeper love for each other.

      Elle

      Delete
  31. In February, 2010, I saw the cell phone bill. Usually, my husband opened it and paid it. That day on the bill there were 4,305 texts to one number. That is about 143 texts a day. There were also several 3 and 4 hour phone calls to another number. I used the computer and found out that they were 2 old girlfriends of my husband's from high school. One lived a mile up the street from us. They were both married and each has 4 kids. These conversations had been going on for a year, that I could see. My husband said it was just friendship. So, I called them.
    One said that he told her that he was leaving me for her. The other had had him over to meet the family several times. That one told me she was happily married. I threatened both of them. Stay away from what is mine. We have been together since we were 19. 27 years ago. We have 6 kids together.
    The woman up the street called the police on me for threatening. So, in the middle of the night, I dumped 3 bags of the rottenest garbage I could find in her yard. Not my best moment. She was the happily married one. Since then, she met someone online, and left her family.
    I ended up hospitalized with the grief and anger of all of it. Twice.

    I thought things were getting better, and then 2 weeks ago, he came home from work, crying and told me his "best friend" died. Her name was Erika. She drank herself to death. I did not even know of her.

    I am back to anger, rage, grief, sick stomach, and not being able to get out of bed. He promised they were just friends, and that she wanted to meet me, but he told her that I would not like her,

    Will I get through this? I feel as though I am dying.


    Alison

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alison,
      Yes you'll get through this but you've got to believe this. This is tough…but you are tougher.
      Your husband, however, has some serious explaining to do. He needs to tell you everything and be completely honest and transparent. Brace yourself because I suspect there's a lot of stuff that has been going on. But there's no way to move forward without understanding what was going on behind your back. And then you get to determine what you're going to do with that information. If he wants you to even consider staying with him, he needs to come clean and then he needs to get help. He needs to figure out why he would jeopardize his marriage for this. What is broken in him that needs fixing.
      Lean on the medical system if it gets you through. Lean on trusted friends. Lean on us. Take care of yourself -- eat well, sleep as much as you can, get exercise. Treat yourself like you would a sick child. Nurture yourself. This is a shock to your system and your body is reacting as such.
      But we've all managed to get through though, like you, we weren't so sure some days. Just take it a breath at a time. Focus on tiny slivers of joy in your life and trust that those will grow.

      Elle

      Delete
  32. It is Thanksgiving. I feel like never getting up again. I hate that we are going to my friend's home, pretending to be a happy family. My oldest kids, 24, 20, and 17 are not speaking to their father. The youngest 3, 14, 13, and 9, just seem confused and sad.
    I made an appointment for counselling for myself for Tuesday. I hope it helps, because it is all that I can do to breathe.

    Why are men so F&%@#d up?

    Thanks for listening, Elle.

    Alison

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alison,
      You are going to continue to breathe. In, out. In, out. And you are going to allow yourself your sadness. And you're going to allow your kids their sadness. Talk about it. Share it among yourselves. You can show them that it's okay to be sad. To not know what's going to happen next. But to nonetheless keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that you've got each other. Your older kids' anger is really just sadness with a target attached (their father). Behind anger is generally hurt and fear.
      Can you share with your friend that all is not great…but that you're grateful to be among friends, rather than feeling like you have to wear a mask? Can you and the kids have some sort of signal so when it all feels like too much, you can go for a walk, or have a hug, or otherwise offer each other support?
      This is one of those tough moments that can bring all of you closer together when you create something of a "team" mentality. No-one gets left behind. That's a huge family you've got…let them lean on you and trust that by being strong for them, you'll get strong.
      Hang in there Alison. We've all endured Thanksgivings and Christmases and Hannukahs and birthdays and anniversaries. They're hell…but in the end they're just more sand through the hourglass. It's the attempts to create the "perfect" holiday when our lives feel anything but perfect that trips us up.

      Elle

      Delete
  33. I had a hard day, but made it through. Breathing. Now it is night time, the hardest time for me. It feels so heavy, dark, and lonely. I started "sleeping" on the couch. I just sit there with the tv on for background noise.
    How can someone take another persons feelings so for granted? How can he sleep so peacefully?
    Thanks for being here everyone. It helps.

    ReplyDelete
  34. My first hint that something was wrong came when my husband and I were in our hometown to attend a party to celebrate some friend's anniversary. My sister-in-law mentioned that she saw all his posts on Facebook to a mutual family friend (I didn't even know he had a Facebook account). Later when I asked about it, he told me she had sent him a friend request and that she was very sick and dying. The part about the friend request did check out, and it seemed to be common knowledge with members of my husband's family that the OW was suffering from the same illness that one of his sisters had died from a few years ago.

    I decided to take what he had told me at face value, but I did some checking. I went on Facebook and looked at my husband's FB page. I could see evidence that the OW spent a good bit of time posting things to his page and there were lots of posts between them on their pages. She posted love songs, love posters, songs about forever love, and she referred to him as "her special angel" and "her special friend" throughout the 2 months from her friend request and to my finding out about the contact between them. I started asking lots of questions, and I got the old "we're just friends" that every betrayed spouse gets. I asked why he didn't tell me about her contacting him or about his Facebook page. He said that he knew I didn't care for her (I had been acquainted with her younger sister when I was in High School and when I started dating my husband the OW had told me that "I wasn't good enough for him). Strange she was already married and had a toddler at the time. My husband's family and the OW's family had lived in the same neighborhood when they were children and he had "dated" this woman briefly. After more questions I was told by him that they had been emailing each other, but they're "just friends" and she's happily married (She's on her fourth marriage).About 2 weeks after the anniversary party I came home and found my husband talking to HER on a cell phone I didn't know he had. "We're just friends and she's sick and dying" became his new slogan. At this point in time my husband had his mom and his sister pass away in a 6 month time period. That isn't an excuse but it gives some insight into his vulnerability. He kept telling me that he wasn't doing anything wrong. I asked about the inappropriate tone of the posts she sent him, and he said that she said stuff like that because she was out of her mind or reaching for straws because she was dying. I noticed about that same time that the posting between them wasn't showing up on their public pages on FB. Later I would discover that they had started privately messaging/chatting back and forth on FB after I started asking questions. About a month after my discovering the phone I found some of their private messages on his computer. The messages were more like flirting not really sexual, but I lost it and my marriage was essentually over as far as I was concerned. He begged for my forgiveness and told me he was sorry he had ever let her in our lives. I think he meant what he said. I also think he was sorry that he got caught, and that he hurt me. I don't think my husband meant to leave me or end his marriage, but he certainly wasn't thinking about me when he did what he did.



    ReplyDelete
  35. 5 months ago I found out my husband was having an affair. We have been together for 19 years. Up until a few months prior to me confronting him, I thought we had a pretty good marriage. Yes, like most couples, we had our ups and downs, but we always talked things through, our sex life was good, etc. All of a sudden communication stopped. I would ask him what was wrong and he would practically jump down my throat and get angry with me and tell me there was nothing to talk about. When I would approach him about sex he would tell me he wasn’t in the mood. Ok, we had a lot going on. We both worked full time jobs, have a small business on the side, were doing several remodeling projects, and he was in the midst of changing jobs….stress so I thought, but my intuition was telling me something wasn’t right. I have always been trusting by nature, never checking phone records, looking at texts, etc. but I noticed several times that when I would look at the history on the computer there would be one female that he was constantly messaging back and forth. At first, total denial, then my instincts took over and I started snooping. I even confronted him one day and asked him straight out but he denied it and stupid me believed that I was crazy and imagining things. In the meantime, my health started to deteriorate. I started losing weight, I was constantly thinking that something was amiss until the day I decided to hack his FB account and I found everything I needed to find out. I was devastated. I confronted him immediately and he didn’t deny anymore. He said he never meant to hurt me but that he couldn’t do this anymore. Things were really bad at first, he became the victim, lashing out at me when I would walk the floors all night or cry or wanted to talk and he was still communicating with the OW. I finally told him that he wasn’t the victim in this situation that I was the victim and because I still did love him that I was setting him free to figure himself out. I got the I Love You but I’m Not in Love With You. I’m not attracted to you anymore…blah blah blah. I went into therapy immediately. He just started therapy about a few weeks ago. He finally realized just how messed up he was. It has been slow going with the sessions although he says he is committed to figuring himself out. I know it sounds crazy but I’m in this for the long haul, I love this man so very much even though he has turned my world upside down. My therapist tells me this is something that cannot be moved along quickly or we will just end back up in the same place. I feel as long as he is showing me something I can chug along. I thank GOD every day for the two very special Angels in my life that have gone through this themselves and have survived and have stronger marriages than they did before. Without them, I don’t know what I would do. I, unfortunately, had to stop talking to a few other friends until I work through this because there was just too much negativity. I take it day by day and try not to look too far into the future. Some days I think that everything will work out and other days I feel like they won’t. One thing I know in my heart is that I did everything that I could to try to save our marriage. I’m hoping that by him going to therapy now that he will eventually look at it that way too. Right now he is still too self-absorbed and is not really looking at the whole picture. I know two things though, either way, I will be OK and I will be a stronger person when this is all said and done. I know it is going to take many months of counseling on both our ends and many conversations between us. I just miss my husband and the intimacy and friendship. Everything just seems so awkward right now. I just think I’m expecting too much too soon….thanks for letting me share my story….

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you for sharing your story. It sounds sadly familiar. But I'm glad you're confident you'll come out the other side. You will.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. Thanks Elle. It is so very difficult, especially right now with the holidays. Sometimes I feel so very alone. What gets to me the most is his total self-absorption. I'm glad he went willingly to therapy and on his own but at some point he has to open up right? I feel so very sorry for anyone that ever has to go through this. It is absolutely horrendous and no one deserves it!!!

      Delete
  36. Hi Elle! I am so relieved to have found your blog! Sure wish I could sit down with you and have a cup of coffee to share my story. I found out about my husband's cheating the day before Thanksgiving 2012. We had been married at the time for 12 years and been together for 16. We have two small children…5 and 2 at the time. My story is a bit unique as I found out he was sleeping with prostitutes. I was COMPLETELY floored. We have had a great marriage (or so I thought) and we are good friends. I never once in my life suspected that this would happen. Sometimes I feel thankful that at least it was a prostitute and he didn't have an emotional connection with anyone. Maybe that just makes it feel better to me. My anger was incredible and deep. I was so angry that he would risk my life and my health and in fact the safety of our children by doing what he did. I found out about it when I was called by one of the prostitutes "boyfriend" (pimp) because he wanted to extort money for me to show me what he thought was evidence of what my husband was doing. I could not believe it. Here I was preparing for the holiday and was on the phone with a man telling me that my husband had just been with a prostitute moments before. My heart was shattered and I was in complete shock. To give the short version…my husband only admitted (the next morning) to sleeping with that one prostitute. It wasn't until 3 weeks later that he provided me with a disclosure letter which he read to me himself though both of our tears. He admitted to sleeping with one other prostitute a total of 3 times, twice unprotected. I was sickened. Only a few days later he came home with a piece of paper that he says was mailed to his work showing that this young prostitute (age 19…my husband was 51 at the time) was pregnant! My world came crashing down! She ended up ending the pregnancy which is another entire story. My husband and I went to counseling for around 8 months. He and I talk about it a lot, we have done several couples workbooks, etc. with one another and he has really been doing all the right things. He stated that once his world came crashing down and he hit rock bottom was only when he could see with clarity how terrible everything was that he had done. He felt that he almost needed to hit rock bottom to wake himself up. He recognized that it wasn't about the sex at all, it was about the power, the thrill, the rush of it all. He obviously did not think he would ever be caught and he knew so (or thought he knew) by being with prostitutes that he had no connection with. He has not had one slip up yet as to where he is, what he is doing, etc. He was very forthcoming with answers in therapy and has been overwhelmingly remorseful. I feel like we are on a good path, but there are days when I wonder about it all. How in the world will I ever truly trust him? I still think of him as a beautiful liar. I trusted everything he told me. Our marriage was good and strong. When he says all the "right" things to me today it feels great, however these are the same things that he said to me before. How will I ever trust in the words?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly your story isn't that unique. There are a lot of women on this site whose husbands slept with prostitutes or were with men or transvestites or any other manner of cheating.
      And we all know the feelings you're describing. It takes a long time to get past this. I know eight months seems like an eternity but when you're recovering from trauma, it's not that long. Most experts say it's three to five years to feel "healed".
      As for trust, you'll likely never have that blind trust again. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. You now know that he's capable of deceit. But you now also know that you're capable of handling the worst pain you could imagine. That ability to trust yourself is what eventually allows you to feel safe in the world again.
      In the meantime, continue to let yourself experience those "down" days. Ask yourself if it's because of new information or an instinct that needs your attention, or if you're letting that old fear or trauma trigger you.
      As for your last question, ask your husband what he has to say about that. He might help you understand just how heartfelt his words are now.

      Elle

      Delete
  37. Part 2: The ruminating has decreased thankfully. I continue to be in therapy and have done some EMDR work with my therapist which has helped with the trauma of it all. I just wonder when I will ever believe him? I am sure he wonders the same thing. No matter what he does, how perfect he is, how do I know? I also beat myself up about wondering if there really were only 2 prostitutes. Maybe there were more? He says he has given me full disclosure and that he understands that partial truths are not helpful….but how do I know? How do I ever accept that what I know is all there is to know? I feel like I should believe in what is standing in front of me now, and not what was behind me, but I have no trust in anything anymore. It seems that when I do start to feel good and comfortable there is a little committee in my head telling me to watch out and be hypervigilant and not believe him or his story. When do I accept that what he has told me is all there is to tell? I feel like I am doing damage by not letting go and walking forward but I can't seem to find the trust and belief in him that I need to heal fully. I have told no one about this besides two counselors….the one he and I went to together and my current therapist. I am too embarrassed to share this with anyone. I am longing for trust and wanting to believe him, but it seems impossible. He is trying so hard, I am too, but I know I am doing damage at the same time. Uuuuugh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon,
      You say you've done some EMDR work to help you with the trauma. And I know it works. But what you've written -- that you're hyper vigilant and fear trusting again -- sounds like trauma.
      Part of it probably never will trust again, if by trust you mean that you'll always blithely assume that he isn't capable of deceit. You can't unknown what you now know.
      What you can do, however, is trust your own ability to handle whatever comes your way. And that offers its own relief. You can re-establish a sense of safety by reminding yourself that you can handle life. And recognizing that you can never control his actions. You never could. But you can trust your intuition, with time. And you can work together with him to establish a relationship in which he can share with you when he's struggling. And he can do his best to establish a "plan" in case he's tempted again (if he gets involved in a 12-step group, they generally help with the plan). In other words, you can both try and create a marriage in which it's highly unlikely he'll cheat again. But life is never 100% predictable or guaranteed. It never was. And those of us who thought our husbands would "never" cheat were deluding ourselves.
      I also think you might want to explore your "embarrassment" re. his cheating. This is on him, not you. So, on some level, you're taking responsibility for it, even if it's just for having chosen him, or choosing to rebuild a marriage. You did not cause this. You are not responsible for it. And choosing to rebuild a marriage with someone genuinely remorseful and willing to do the incredibly hard work of it is a sign of strength. It's a sign of deep compassion for both him and yourself. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. I know what you mean -- a lot of people just wouldn't "get it" and are very judgemental. But don't pre-empt that judgement by judging yourself.
      Uuuuggghhh indeed. But you're getting there. :)

      Elle

      Delete
  38. Part 1:
    My name is Barb and I’ve been married for 37 years. This is my story of finding out.
    My husband is retired military, retired police officer and recently retired Private Investigator. We have 3 adult kids, all married now, and 3 grandkids. He traveled extensively as an investigator and dealt with sex and murder cases mostly.

    Fast forward to 2004. We moved to a different town at his insistence. We fought over moving. I did not want to go and threatened divorce…..but of course I finally submitted. I spent the first 4 years there hating it and wanting to go back home.
    During that time my health went really south. I began having headaches and low back pain. (Neck injury from many years before) When it was all said and done I had had multiple cortisone shots, a hysterectomy, a nerve killing shot that permanently damaged the occipital nerves in the back of my head. I have a permanent headache 24/7 as a result. Double carpel tunnel surgery, and finally neck surgery, and of course many many dr. visits. 32 providers in all for everything I went through.

    In the fall of 2005 he came to me one morning and confessed an emotional affair with a woman from one of the attorney offices he was “mentoring” to become a PI. The next morning he confessed he had been viewing porn on the computer since about 2000. I was extremely hurt. He apologized and promised to never let it happen again. We worked it out between ourselves and did not seek counseling and did not tell the kids.

    In the fall of 2009 after my last surgery, I was well enough to take a part-time job. I was later promoted to office manager and more hours. My husband traveled more and more for cases. He would often be gone all week.

    In June of 2010 we moved again to be near our son and family to be able to be grandma and grandpa. Heavy travel continued. In the next couple of years I knew something was wrong between us, but chalked it up to him being really tired from the traveling and case load. He became grumpy, self absorbed, short tempered, and he isolated himself in his home office more and more. He was critical of the kids and it became like pulling teeth from a chicken to get him to do anything that wasn’t his idea in the first place. And there was no intimacy between us.

    March 7, 2012 I received a FB message from a man I did not know saying that he wasn’t finished with his conversation with my husband regarding sexual advances made toward his wife during a FB conversation between her and my husband. It turns out this woman was a grade school classmate of his 50 years ago and they found each other initially on Classmates.com, then friended each other on FB. I thought this had to be a stray message with the coincidence of my husbands same name. I almost deleted it. Later that night as I spoke to my husband over the phone, I ask him who this woman was. At first he denied knowing her, but as I described the message he figured out who I was talking about. He then admitted that he had this conversation with her and that it got out of hand. He would not tell me the content of what they talked about, but he just said it was inappropriate. I cried. He said he would come right home the next morning. I said no, we needed him to keep working. The next day I replied to this man and he sent me their messages. In that conversation he admitted to this woman that he’d had a couple of mutual sexual affairs and they were very beneficial to him because of my illness. It wasn’t satisfactory at home, but he didn’t want to leave me and he explained the reasons to her. He also said he loved me. He was trying to hook up with her for sex as he traveled to her part of the world often. He was looking for a long term sexual relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Part 2:
    I was outraged, mortified, and all of the other things that we are when we find out. I printed off 2 copies of this conversation and put them in my desk. My daughter was living back at home with us, and I sure didn’t want her to know. It was very hard that evening to keep myself together. I was in bed when my husband made it home that night. He got into bed as usual and went to give me a kiss and I turned away and told him that probably wasn’t a good idea.

    The next morning I had a Dr. appointment back down in the town we had moved from. I had to go. So, early that morning I confronted him. We went in my office and I produced the 2 copies and I made him read it. We had lots of words. He ask if he could go with me and we could go by and talk to our former Pastor that I had worked for. I said ok. I cried all the way (3 hour trip). I was so distressed as I told my doctor what had happened, that they had to give me a pain shot and other medication. We did stop and counsel with the pastor for 2 hours. When we got home we called a family meeting with our 2 kids that lived there. We told them that mom and dad were having some trouble, but we were getting counseling and that everything would be alright. My daughter bought the story, but as I would find out later, my deputy sheriff son did not. My husband made arrangements to get us into counseling the very next week.
    We fought a lot. I was exploding on a regular basis as he kept feeding me trickle truth for months. He kept telling me there was no more to tell, and there always was. He admitted that he’d had about a 4 month long affair in 2009 with another woman from the same attorneys office as his emotional affair, and she was the one to break it off because she didn’t want to continue dishonor me in that way. She was a good Christian woman after all. Right. He admitted his ‘current mistress’ lived just across the river in the next town and that he’d answered her ad on CL. In reality he was the one who posted the ad looking for sex.
    He would call me everyday when he was away. He would kiss me goodby…..then drive across the river to have sex with her. He even drove back to her town one night for sex, then drove back to his hotel room about an hour and a half away.

    There were so many lies that came out over time and it was really hard. However he seemed to be doing everything right. But somehow my gut told me he wasn’t ‘sorry’ enough. There was no emotion. He said he felt nothing – like he was dead inside. We went to counseling faithfully. We tried to re-connect sexually. It didn’t work out very well at all most of the time. I was so angry and he was so guilty.

    Last Nov. I logged onto his FB account and saw that he had contacted both OW. I confronted him. He was mad that I looked. I grew suspicious. I downloaded a spyware program onto his computer so I could monitor everything he was doing. He had no clue. As I learned how to use the software I found a few things, but did not confront. Then as Christmas was drawing near I began to be more suspicious. I figured out from the software that he had a secret e-mail account and discovered some messages to the woman from 2009, and also a contact e-mail to the most recent woman. I made copies of what I had. And there was also evidence that he was looking at porn all along from his confession in 2005. I made an appointment to see our counselor Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. He wanted us to come in the very next day to confront in his office. We did not have that chance.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Part 3.
    . I was shopping with my daughter that afternoon. My husband called and said he was going out of town to do some Christmas shopping and wanted to know what his budget was. It was very unusual for him to leave town for business even if it was a short distance and then back to another shopping store where we lived. I was very suspicious. My daughter had moved out by this time, so she went home and I drove to the OW home and staked her out. I thought maybe my husband might go to her house. He didn’t show, so as I began to leave and drove past her street, she was also pulling out. I tailed her. She figured out it was me and tried to ditch me. She took me up into an adjacent neighborhood that my husband previously had told me she lived….which she did not. However I did loose her in heavy traffic down by the mall. I hurried home and got on my computer to discover they had made plans to meet for sex. I went into panic mode. I printed out what was available and figured out their plans. I immediately got in my vehicle and started to the place they were suppose to meet. I called my deputy son as he was off duty and told him what was happening. He followed me. We parked my car and I got into his car and we staked out the parking lot in question. We made a couple of phone calls to my husband to gage where he was and when he would be home, etc… We found the OW van and watched her. She went into a restaurant for about 20 minutes then went back to her van. At 5:35 pm my husband pulled into the parking lot. He got out and went to her vehicle. We waited for a while before deciding they weren’t going to her house or anywhere. We drove up on them. I got out and went to the van and was going to take a picture from the outside looking in. It was so dark and I was so panicked, I began pounding on the window and screaming that if he wanted her he could have her. Then I opened the van door and caught them. He had his pants down around his ankles. They both still had their tops on….she in her nighty…. And she was on top and rolled off to the side when I opened the door. My husband shoved me back out the door and closed it, but not before I introduced myself to the whore. My son was also standing there and saw what no child should ever see. We went back home and I stopped all cc’s and froze the bank account. Husband was allowed to come home to gather his personal belongings and some clothes and was allowed to have one cc to get a motel room for the night. I did not see him. My son dealt with him and my daughter consoled me in another room. My husband texted with me for quite a while that night. He did go shopping for a gift for me, and also stopped at a jewelery store bought me a new wedding ring to begin our new life together. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!! He knew it was wrong but said he couldn’t help himself…..he had to stop and get some sex with the OW before coming home with my new wedding ring. I made him take everything back. And I took everything back I had purchased for him as well.
    He found a cheap motel for the night. The next day he had no choice but to meet me at the counselors office. He did. I read to him all the text’s and e-mails I’d collected. I reminded him about his children. His daughter who he was the first one to hold and bathe her and rock her when she was born. She would be getting married soon and he just chose not to be able to walk her down the isle. His 2 sons who had followed in his career footsteps didn’t want anything to do with him. And me. He chose a whore over his wife and children and grandchildren. And the stark reality set in.

    He broke down that night in the counselors office. He was finally at the bottom and had lost everything that was precious to him. He fell off the couch and grabbed onto my legs and whaled and cried out to God for forgiveness. He had his “come to Jesus moment”. I’ve never seen someone so broken.


    ReplyDelete
  41. Part 4
    He went to live at his brothers house in a different town in a 25’ travel trailer. Over the course of the next 3 weeks I was to find out the rest of the story. The first time he cheated on me sexually was 27 years ago when I was pregnant with our 3rd child, our daughter. He was in the CG and had gone back to Virginia for a school. He went to the bar and hooked up with a woman and went to her house for sex two different nights. Then he says he was horrified at what he’d done and stayed away from her and the bar for the rest of the time he was there. He kept the secret for 27 years. Then the 2009 affair happened. After that in the year 2010 he was involved in a number of one time sex events with people he met on FB and a biker site and CL. There were 2 incidents involving a 3-some. Lots of sex chats with people on the internet, as well as the admission that he went back to the most recent OW’s house for sex twice AFTER we started counseling.

    He contacted another former pastor that was in the town his brother lived in and began counseling and joined a men’s group to being his healing. We lived apart for 5 months until we could get our house sold. We moved again in July of this year and he immediately joined the men’s Pure Desire group which was recommended to him by our counselor. He retired from his Private Investigation business. We were not ready to retire financially. This whole mess has been a financial wreck.

    But....Had it not been for me being witness to his pleading to God, and his subsequent confessions and sensing the true sincerity and emotions that I had not seen before, I would not have chosen to continue the marriage. I have seen true healing begin, although to be honest, at this point I can’t say we will for sure make it. But I believe we will. I have also joined the women's group for betrayed wives and it is a God send.

    I can’t begin to describe what emotions I’ve gone through, the hours and hours of crying and episodes of all out war. The last 27 years of my marriage has been lived with a man I did not know. But, I know I don’t have to try to describe because all of you know all too well. So, that's my story of finding out. Thanks for anyone who was willing to wade through it all to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you for sharing it. Sounds like you've gone through hell. Is he in treatment for sex addiction? In a 12-step program? Like any addiction, sex addiction is prone to relapse without a support group or program to keep you "clean".
      I'm so sorry for all you've gone through. I hope you'll continue to post here. You'll find compassion and support.

      Elle

      Delete
  42. Elle, I've been following your blog for about a year now. It has helped keep me sane many times and I so appreciate the venue you have created to help those of us who are traveling this road. And yes, he is in a recovery program. It's called Pure Desire and is a program by Ted Roberts and headquartered from Gresham, OR. There is a program designed for the wives called Betrayal & Beyond. I would encourage anyone who finds themselves where they did not choose to be, to go to the website and see if a program is in their area. There is no cost except for the materials. It has been an essential part of our healing. www.puredesire.org A good support group is absouletly a must. Yesterday was the one-year mark of catching him in the back of whore's van. We made it. The days leading up to yesterday were more stressful than the actual day. As I look back, I can see that I have survived a lot! We are at a better place now, thanks to lots of therapy and the pure desire groups. There is so much grief and heartbreak to still work through, but I do have hope - thanks be to God that gives me strength. And a willing husband who has been set free. It will take a while, but I believe complete healing will come over time. The severed relationships with our kids is being restored. We have the best kids in the world!! Although they, nor I,... will ever forget (and we should not forget!!) the past can be forgiven and the future re-written. It's a hard place to be and again, I'm thankful for you Elle, and this place for women who are in this nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
  43. My H cheated on me with his carpool buddy who is also a coworker. She and I met socially several times and even had a shared birthday dinner together last year. He talked about her all the time and then suddenly nothing....no casual mentions of her name no usual updates. His texting skyrocketed. One day he left his work emails and other email accounts open and there were many suspicious emails. To make a long story short it was me asking about what was going on and him denying it until the evidence was in front of his face. "Just friends" "not sexual" blah blah blah. The worst part is we were in Marriage Counseling at the time and he denied and lied in there to. Also, he was having the affair the whole time we were in counseling. As an example of his denial, I found a close up picture of her boobs in a bathing suit she had texted him while she was on vacation with her little girls and her husband. He saved it on his computer. I printed it out and brought it to MC. I asked him if she ever sent him sexy pictures. He said no no no. I said "I have the picture in my bag" he said "I have no idea what you are talking about". I reluctantly pulled it out in front of the MC and showed him and he said "oh I forgot about that". Zero accountability.

    Anyway the worst was when we had come to a certain R and had a nice weekend. He swore they never had sex just held hands. For some reason I believed him. Her husband (who I knew as an acquaintance) called me that Monday night and told me my husband sent her a text at 11 pm after she had fallen asleep so he picked up her phone. He ended up spending an over an hour reading "the most graphic and sexual things he has ever read" as he told me.

    I felt like such a fool. They no longer carpool together but they still see each other at work. In this economy I don't want him to just quit willy nilly. Her husband doesn't work so he is in the same boat.

    Its so hard...he just called and said he was running late because of traffic but the truth is how do I know??? The thought of them doing it in our car where our kids' car seats are makes me want to puke.

    Thanks for listening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Let's get this clear, though. You are NOT the fool. (Read my latest post re. lies we tell ourselves.)
      This sounds still quite new so it will take time to re-build trust. Do you have access to all his e-mails/phones/computers/whatever? Can her husband account for her whereabouts? You don't want to create a long-term situation where you have to double-check everything he says…but in the short term, it is a way of building trust. Each time he is where he says he is, or he's with who he says he's with, it builds trust.
      And, of course, any time he's caught in a lie (even a small one) destroys any trust you might have rebuilt.
      Keep working with your MC. And keep reading here. There's lots of info on how to deal with those early days of dealing with the pain and the level of deception.

      Elle

      Delete
  44. Have not written since Thanksgiving. I have been trying to stay busy with my daughter's college applications, and shopping. Every day it is still so hard to breathe. To put one foot in front of the other.

    I started therapy. She tells me not to make any life altering decisions when my head is so addled. I keep thinking that I cannot do this any more. Any of it. Everything is so draining. I cry all of the time...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alison,
      I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. You can do this. It absolutely sucks. I know how horrible it is. But I promise you that if you keep putting that foot in front of the other that the day will come when you see a sliver of light. And then you hang on to that sliver for all it's worth. It will grow.
      I think your therapist is right. Give yourself time to work through this pain -- to examine it and figure out how you're going to get through it and what you're going to do.
      Cry when you need to but try to also let yourself experience joy in whatever form it comes. It must be an exciting time for your daughter -- getting ready for that next chapter of her life. Perhaps focus on that. Try not to play the "this time last year…" game, which is a recipe for misery.
      You're right. It is draining. It's excruciating. But you're surviving it.

      Elle

      Delete
  45. I found out 3 days ago about my husbands affair. The only reason it was discovered was because the OW husband came to my door with an 8 page letter for me. He wrote about the late night text messages he found, about confronting his wife who said they were "just friends". My husband was home when I received this letter and swore that he did text this woman, who he worked with 10 years ago, but had not seen her in all that time. I believed him. A few days later he admitted he did see her, 3 times, but just as friends. Again I believed him. At which time I said if there is ANYTHING else I should know, tell me now. He said he did have inappropriate text conversations with her, but he felt so bad he stopped them. I believed him. We have been together 15 years married for 10. Why wouldn't I believe him? Well 3 days ago he can't take it anymore and tells me he let me give him a Bj in our car. I was rendered speechless. He says he knows our marriage is over since there is no way I will forgive him. He says after it happened he felt so awful he never spoke to her again. This happened in nov. he said he can't believe what he has sacrificed-me, his kids, his marriage- for nothing. He wants to die. He hates himself and says he will do anything to make it right.
    We have three children 8,5,1 and it is Christmas time. He is still at home. I don't know what to do next. I feel like I am a walking dead person. I am fine as far as crying or being a mess. Maybe it is still shock but so far I can function. I don't want to look at his face. I want to punch him in it. I don't want to talk to him but I want him to know how much I hate him for putting us through this. I am struggling so hard with confirming the OW husbands fears that he wrote in the letter. I have the truth but he still doesn't. I want to tell him so bad since the only reason I know was because of him. I don't want him to feel the same way I do though. Ignorance is bliss to some degree. There is so much tht has been put squarely on my shoulders- do we work it out or not, do I confront the OW or her husband? What the hell do I do next? Any advice is welcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay…here's what I'd do: Tell her husband what you know. He already knows even if he doesn't KNOW. Give him the chance to decide what to do next. He deserves that.
      Now…for you: Give yourself time to process this. You are still in shock. The rage and tears will undoubtedly come. But for now, your body is in survival mode. I'd strongly urge your husband to stay out of punching distance and give you space. But try not to disrupt your kids if at all possible. They might sense that something's not right (kids have incredible radar, even if they can't articulate what they're experiencing).
      And then, with the holidays over, figure out what's next. Most experts recommend not making a decision for the first six months, simply because your brain isn't making its best decisions right now. Work through all the emotions…and then figure out what you really want. IN the meantime, your husband can help his case by coming completely clean and getting himself some therapy to figure out why he jeopardized everything that matters to him for something that doesn't.
      And hang in there. We've all been where you are…and we've made it through. It's the worst experience I've ever had. But it's over. And now I can look back at it as simply something I went through.

      Elle

      Delete
  46. Part 1 My husband and I have been married for 10 years now…in March will be our 11th Anniversary. We have a 9 year old daughter who adores him. He is active duty military and just returned from his 4th deployment. I found out four days after his return from a 9 month deployment that he had a 3 month emotional affair with my BEST friend. He came home on a Monday (which she came to his homecoming and dressed me in my sexy corset that evening so that I could have sex with MY husband that night) and on Wednesday when I was at work he when to her home and they had sex with her for the first time. I found out by him leaving he Facebook page open.
    I can’t even begin to explain the since of loss that I felt…We didn’t even have time to get reacquainted intimately before he went to her! I missed him so much while he was gone. All I wanted to do was be with him, hold him, and kiss him since he was gone for so many months. The hardest thing about all of this for me is that this “BEST” friend was coming over to my home every weekend hanging out with my daughter and me for the past 2 ½ months! We did projects at my house, made plans to go shopping and girl’s weekends. We were planning her graduation coming up in May. She was my “person” that I thought was helping me thru the tough times of this deployment. We talked about everything…home, my job, her school, and her parents, sex! She even helped my daughter and I when my daughter was going thru a hard time with her dad being gone. OH, did I mention she is going to school to be a counselor? She already has her Masters so this is not someone just starting out in this field. This person, as with many of you, was someone close to the family and was a trusted friend. My husband and her befriended each other on FB, as we were all friends on FB. The relationship started out as friends according to them both. He often said that they just chatted mostly about her school and she helped him get thru some stuff about his first marriage. Which he told me about a few months back. She would tell me how my husband just loves me so much that he talks about me being the most wonderful thing in his life…”moon and stars”.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Part 2 When I found the FB posts I was completely devastated…like the world “stopped” devastated. I never saw it coming…I never thought in a million years that my husband would do this to me. You see he had this done to him with his first wife. He lost his children because of HER being unfaithful. He had felt what he now has made me feel and I couldn’t believe this was happening. When I confronted my husband he didn’t deny it. He told me the truth. He said that he was so upset with himself afterward that he barely spoke to her and left. Before he could get into his car he physically got sick and again on the way home where he had to pull over. He was so ashamed with himself. Since finding about his affair my husband has been completely transparent. I want to save our marriage…I don’t want to lose my best friend and husband. He even researched online to read all that he could to help me and us get to a place where we possibly work thru it. He called to set up marriage counseling for us and we have attending 3 sessions so far. (Feel like it is helping a lot). He has been so open to whatever questions I have and has even sat down with me to read most of the FB posts trying to answer my questions concerning his meaning to words like “I love you”!
    So here is where I am today….I know our marriage was not perfect. We did a good job pretending that is was and all that knew us. We were disengaged with US. We were stuck in the same old norm for many years. I didn’t feel affectionate toward him…I loved him but just afraid to give him affection for fear that it would ALWAYS lead to sex. I know now that affection can be just that… true loving affection and it can mean so much more as well. I thought I was supposed to be superwoman. I was a military wife and had to handle everything with no worries or complaints. I know however this is NOT my fault, he chose to have the affair and she did as well. I know his role in all this. I believe he is so remorseful and guilt stricken. I see the pain in his face the shame in his eyes. He has owned every part of this situation. He has even gone as far to go to our closest friends to apologize for hurting our family and me. He has cried and cried with me. He removed his FB account and blocked her number. He leaves his phone unlocked so that if I want to check it I can along with his emails. I truly believe he is sorry and wants for us to work it out. He has said many times if it takes 20 years to earn your trust he would endure every moment because he deserves it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Part 3 Now about the OW, She was MY friend…how could someone who was your friend do something like this? And for me…I miss her terribly! WHY? WHY do I even care about her?? I miss OUR time together, our friendship, and our plans. I long for that time we shared before all this. Is this normal??? I did meet with her after all this came out. We met at a public place and talked for about an hour or so. She was noticeably shaken. A complete mess. She apologized for hurting me and being a part of something so horrible. She understood my anger and hurt. She said that she would never contact my husband again. With that being said…I have not found any evidence that they have had any contact. (But I am still on the look out and am not trusting anything at the moment) I was able to forgive her…please let me explain why I needed to do that. I need to be able to move forward with my marriage and in order to do that I have to let the hate go or it could spill over into what I am so desperately trying to fix. Now, that is not to say that I am not angry with her and sometimes want to just pound her into next week. I am not that person and don’t want to be.
    My husband chose to have this emotional and physical affair with this person. However, he was deployed when this whole thing started. He was missing his family and at war! I know his part in all this but I can’t help but hold HER to a higher standard because she DOES know how to get into peoples heads due to her soon to be profession. Plus, She was here with me knowing how hard this all was for my daughter and me. She manipulated me into sharing intimate stuff about my husband and my marriage. I was willing to share with her because I thought she was my friend. Why do I care about this person? Why do I miss her? Please if anyone has any advise on this please let me know. I know we could never be the way we were and she could never be a part of my life but if there is any way for me to work thru this I would love to hear it.
    I do believe that my husband and I can get thru this. We are in counseling and he is very willing to do anything that I may need to gain even a small bit of trust back. Which has been the part of all this that has made me feel like he really does love and care for me and our life together.
    Lastly, I just want to say that this site has been a true blessing. It has helped me understand my feelings and the reasons for some of my actions. For instants, the primal sex thing. We have had more meaningful, loving and satisfying sex since the affair came out. I was so torn as to WHY I would even want to have sex with him. Now it makes since and I am ok with that.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Part 4 This site has given me hope and understanding. Knowing that I am not alone in this is just a load off my shoulder so to speak. I feel I can come on this site when things are going bad and maybe find some answers or better yet peace of mind that I am NOT going crazy. Sorry so long…I just wanted to get it all out!
    Thank you Elle for sharing…
    Cracked but not broken

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cracked,
      Please know how sorry I am for everything you've been through. There are a LOT of military wives going through the same thing (including a good friend of mine). I don't think we can underestimate just how psychologically damaging deployment can be.
      I don't doubt your husband's sincerity in wanting to save his marriage. Continue your tact of "trust but verify" if only to slowly rebuild your own trust in him as he consistently proves himself worthy of it.
      As for your friend, no matter how heinous her actions (and they were heinous!), you're going to need to grieve the loss of that friendship, or what you THOUGHT was that friendship. Any loss impacts us and this woman played a large role in your life. But I wouldn't let her in again. She's proven herself dangerous. Let yourself feel the loss. But recognize that she wasn't a true friend, no matter how she might have appeared. A wolf in sheep's clothing.
      Hang in there. It gets better.

      Elle

      Delete
  50. I've already posted my story but i was just wondering if it was normal for a cheating husband to tell his wife that he has fallen in love with the 22 year old OW, and that he still loves you but not like you love him. Then later, he says that he's not in love with her anymore and that he is learning to love me but now he loves me(all this within 9 months). What does this mean? What is he trying to tell me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's trying to tell you that he had his head so far up his ass he didn't know which end was up. Sadly, yes, it's normal. Has he done any reading about affairs? I know Shirley Glass's "Not Just Friends" is a book that many couples have read together. I believe it goes through "the fog", which is that stage where the cheating spouse convinces himself (in order to alleviate guilt about what he's doing) that he's not in love with his spouse, that she doesn't appreciate him, blah blah blah. The other person, who is acting as a reflection of all the wonderful things the cheater wants to believe about himself (he's sexy, interesting, romantic, smart, vibrant…), becomes beyond reproach. She "gets" him. So they create this cocoon in which they're misunderstood, star-crossed lovers who are being thwarted by a hostile world. Truth is, they're messed up people who can't face real life so they're escaping from it.
      Many, many men, once the fog has lifted, feel even more deeply in love with their wives, in part because they seem just how loyal and strong they are. And they're aware of just how deeply we've been wounded by their actions.
      I suspect you're husband is trying to tell you the trajectory of his experience, without any real insight into it. He knows how he feels, but hasn't quite figured out why he felt that way.

      Elle

      Delete
  51. It has been 3 days since my husband of 25 years finally admitted to the affair I had suspected he was having. He's a self employed contractor and has no one to account to for his daytime hours. His affair I found out has been going on for 4 years. 2 years emotional and 2 years physical. I know the OW; he has done several remodel jobs on her home. She is married with 2 children and both she and her husband are well respected in the medical community in our town. During one of the remodels my husband mentioned that she and her husband were having marital issues. He knew this because she confided in him. Red Flag, I said you should NOT be discussing her marriage with her, it's inappropriate. He said they were just friends and she needed someone to talk to. Of course, that's a lie and she knew what she was doing and I now know that he knew at the time I was right but unbeknownst to me they continued their conversations long after the job was over. At my husband’s request we invited her and her husband to outdoor BBQ's and Birthday parties, we exchanged Christmas gifts, she's facebook friends will all my family, neighbors, she starting going to our church a couple years ago (another red flag I had to suck up) and we're friends, not inner circle friends but friends. My lady friends did not care for her and felt she was too flirty with my husband. I again mentioned this and he said it's nothing and I'm just being "paranoid". I should say that up until this time we had a great marriage, full of fun, friends, family and we have often been put on a pedestal as a model couple. We have two daughters 21 and 22, one in college, one recently graduated. Both live out of town. This last year has been strained at home. My husband would pick fights, be short with me and very dismissive. This was not the man I married by a long shot and when I would ask during a calm moment if there was something he needed to tell me he would just say the lack of work was making him stressed out and ask forgiveness for his transgressions. I wanted to believe him but there were other clues that just became too obvious. His phone was never out of his hand, he wouldn't tell me who that text was from when I'd casually ask. He's just say I was suffocating him and needed to get a hobby. Just the other day I ran across an article about the signs of cheating. I read it to him and said he has ALL the signs; it's time to tell me. He sat down and with a blank look on his face said he'd been in an affair. The guilt was tearing him apart, he's been full of self-loathing and he was all messed up in his head. He said he wanted to stop before I found out but the thrill and the sex was too addicting. He also said he has developed feelings for this woman and she for him. Her husband moved out about 11 months ago. I had heard that news at the time and had a terrible feeling of foreboding. I knew in my heart I as right all along but he had made me second guess every gut instinct I had until I was just a blithering paranoid idiot. He admitted that was part of his defense mechanism, push me away so I wouldn't ask questions. He said he wanted to tell me so many times but he thought I would kick him out. I've have said that many times, "if you cheat on me you're out of here". After his admission I gave him the ultimatum to move out or end it. He ended the affair that day and has not talked to her since.......as far as I know. But who really knows what to believe when the man you have placed all your trust in has been lying to your face for 4 years. He says he has the option to move in with her and she would pay our mortgage so he could leave me as guilt free as possible. He said that fantasy was very appealing but in the end he told her no, he was in love with his wife and was committed to trying to heal all the hurt and fix our marriage.

    ReplyDelete
  52. CONTINUDE FROM PREVIOUS POST
    I want to believe what he says; if he wants to try and fix this I will give it time. He doesn't think they were ever discovered by anyone and I never heard anything and we're in a fairly small town. He thinks it would be easier on me to reconcile if I didn’t have the stigma of everyone knowing my husband had cheated and I was taking him back. He also said he is fully prepared to come clean if that's what I want. I don't know what I want. I've confided in my sister who lives out of town and I have a therapy session scheduled for this Saturday with a marriage therapist. This has been the worst thing I've ever experience and from everything I read it's not going to get better any time soon. Anyone who has been around us the last year has seen his change in attitude towards me and I'm sure more than a few think we have some sort of marital issue. We decided to honor a commitment with two close couples for New Year’s which was two days after discovery. It was a very casual night of card games. I had been so extremely sad that I thought putting on a happy face might not be so bad. While at the get together my husband stood up and said he wanted to apologize to everyone and to his wife for the way he has been treating me. He knew his actions were hurtful to me and made our friends uncomfortable. Said that I asked him to move out or shape up. When anyone tried to console him he said, I don't deserve a hug my wife is the one who deserves your attention. I felt like it was a first step and I appreciated it. I haven't had him move out, He's sleeping on the couch but I'll admit, I asked him to come to bed so I wouldn't be so alone and despondent. We just held hands and cried and talked all night. I haven't eaten or slept more than 2 or 3 hours a night since this happened. What should I do? Make him move into another bedroom or move out? I am on a roller coaster and want to hit him in the nuts one minute, break a plate another minute and then I'm asking him back into our bedroom. Am I sabotaging recovery by making it too easy for him? I'm supposed to go back to work tomorrow but here I am at 3:00 a.m. at my computer. I don't know how people handle this. Any advice would be so appreciated

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      People handle this the best they can at the time. That looks different for each one of us.
      The roller coaster is pretty "normal" under the circumstances. The not sleeping, not eating is also, sadly, normal. Do your best to get calories into your body (smoothies and soup were about all I could stomach), try and sleep (Gravol or melatonin can help).
      The marathon talking/crying sessions, though exhausting, can actually go a long way toward getting each of you through this. He sounds genuinely remorseful, which bodes well for rebuilding your marriage. It's crucial that you two create a "team" mentality -- in which she's recognized as an enemy to your marriage and treated as such. No contact, by either one of you. Refuse to allow her to e-mail, call, whatever. Check your husband's phone, computer, whatever to verify that he's being honest with you.
      Sadly, you should both be tested for STDs. And then, assuming you're both clean, if you want to resume a physical relationship, then go for it. You can read more on this site about "hysterical bonding", which a lot of us go through.
      There is no right or wrong in this. Keep you self-respect. If him sleeping on the couch feels better, then do it. But if you're doing it to "punish" him, don't bother. The punishment, assuming he's a decent guy, is knowing the agony he's putting you through, every day. I remember my husband telling me the hardest part was looking in my eyes, seeing so much pain, and knowing he'd caused it.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your response Elle, I am so grateful for this site. It has been two weeks since D-Day and it's been very tough. One of my main concerns is my husband depression and his need to contact the OW to make sure she's okay and not waiting for him. He also wants to tell her not have have affairs with married men, blah, blah. He says he wants to work on our marriage but at times he is so remote and when he answers me honestly he says he's thinking about her and trying to wrap his head around it all. We found out the other day, that about a year ago she had planted a rumour that he was unfaithfull in his marriage. Mind you they had been seeing each other on the sly for 3 years and my husband went to great lengths to keep is covered up. He did not want me to find out and end our marriage. I think little revelations like that will help him get over his loss but it''s like a knife twisting in my heart when he says he is also getting over the loss of his relationship with her. How long should I let this go on before I cut my losses and let him go so he can find out if she really is his soul-mate. He said it's like an addiction and he's getting better but we're in such a fragile state. I don't feel like I can be real, get angry, get depressed without pushing him over the edge. I don't want to be a fool to try and repair this if he can't get over the affair. How much time does it take for the fog to lift?

      Delete
  53. I want to say that I am on an 8 year journey through my H's midlife crisis, but really, my whole marriage was a struggle. We met very young and clicked right away, he ws military and had a dark, brooding, sexy bad-boy mystique. I missed the clues/red flags during our courtship that marriage to him would be very hard and I am still really angry at myself for that.

    In long retrospect, I have realized that my H REALLY REALLY struggled with decisions...we courted right up to a natural "get married or not" place 3 times before I finally said "Im weary of this, either we create a life together or we dont and I move on". For the next 26 years he insisted that I "forced him" to marry.

    He didnt do well with accountability either...he blamed me for EVERYTHING, really to an absurd degree. In the process of blaming for YEARS, he never developed the coping skills he would need...blame can only take you so far in coping. He was always grumpy and difficult but there were little spurts of contentment in our life where we raised our kids and enjoyed each other. For years though, even when he was a jerk, he was my jerk.

    At 18 years married, he had a HUGE work disappointment ...he became cold, distant, selfish, critical, crass, & mean. Now looking back I think he had a terrible depression underway. On April 17, 2005 he told me he wanted a divorce because I had been a "terrible wife" and gave me a laundry list of my offenses (virtually all of which were overblown and absurd). He had also been talking a lot about Susan at work. I was 3 months into the hell of an impending divorce when I finally discovered the smoking gun of the (?emotional) affair between him and Susan.

    He swore up and down that it was "just" an emotional affair with some kissing. Im so embarrassed to admit this but I believed him when I was told that they had spent time together on work trips but he swore to me that they never had sex. He knew just what to say to me to make me believe his story. I offered to D him so he could go off with her but HE would have to do the paperwork. (The same man who could never decide anything) He panicked and was terrified of being seen as "that guy" who left his wife/kids for a younger woman. He broke up with her but was even then convinced that she was the love of his life living in the house with him while he grieved losing his whore was the WORST thing I have ever suffered in my life (which will surprise you as you keep reading).

    I was absolutely determined to save our marriage...I am a devout Roman Catholic and felt God lead me to keep him close and pray for his soul (which really was in peril). He moved away (not with OW but for a dream job) for 18 months and during most of the 2 or so years after the affair, he was a pretty big jerk.

    We limped along in a reconciliation for 7 years...some good some bad, mostly somewhere in the middle but the worst part of it was that he never really took accountability for how ass-bastard mean he was for the really bad time just before/during/just after the affair. Him not ever making true amends grieved me 90% as bad as when he did it in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Part 2

    I was genuinely surprised that my heart didn't really heal in the 7 years after his "emotional affair"...one night in the shower, I asked God "Why do You let me continue to grieve so?". Husbands career (which had huge ups and downs in the intervening years) was tenuous and he (in his typical depressive manner) had threatened to leave (geographical self medication) again. One morning about 15 months ago, I went to check on him knowing he didnt feel well and hound him dead on the floor.

    I was heartsick and grief stricken but his long emotional and physical absences in our marriage had trained me to function well in the face of such a disaster. I felt a huge urge to clean out his office as I needed to close down his business and felt compelled to understand the details of it. About 3 days into sifting through everything (about 6 weeks after his death) I found a CDRom of photos of OW. We had moved after the affair was over which meant that (intentionally or not) he brought that shit into my house after the affair was "over". Also, at the time of their breakup, he was supposed to dispose of all the shit associated with it. I had a huge "come to Jesus" moment where I forgave him and threw out the CD.

    In the months after that I began to admit to myself how abusive he had been in our marriage. He was very angry all the time which too often burst into white-hot verbally abusive rage. He was very mean when we argued..once he was mad, there were no rules or boundaries to what he would say and he was very cruel. I lived every moment of my life afraid of his anger and his departure brought me a new sense of calm.
    At about a year after his death, I found his travel claims for all his business trips and I looked for the one where I know he saw OW...he had "come clean" to me about then seeing each other on that trip but he claimed it was a chance meeting. There I was 7 years after the trip, a year after he died looking at hotel receipts that indicated that he had piled lies on top of lies when he "came clean" and id he had nothing to hide, he would have had no need to lie. I now believe that his claim that it was just an emotional affair was a lie that kept distance and poison in our marriage and turned our "reconciliation" into a foolish sham and joke. There was also a gift from OW in that same pile of papers which called into question another "assurance" he had made to me about the end of their affair.

    There are a LOT of things that piss me off (PISD indeed !!!) but the very biggest is that when he was mean, he was SO MEAN, he was a big brave man when it came to hurting and destroying and criticizing me. He could pummel me with cruel words until I was a quivering mess then tell me that I overreacted. Yet when it was time for him to show some f'ing courage and tell the truth, he lied and weaseled away like a cowardly schoolboy. There I was holding the evidence and he was not alive to even scream at.

    Its been about 3-4 months since I found this shit in my house and Im still livid...I feel like I gave my life to a man who shit on it with abuse and betrayal and when I could have left him after the affair, he lied to me to keep me on the string. We had financial problems when he died, but he had a million $ life insurance policy and I am now comfortable. (Ironically, in a bizarre reversal of circumstances, my new love has more money than me, go freaking figure).

    Honestly though...I was a devoted and loving wife and I craved his love and devotion in return more than air...I hope and prayed and put up with more shit than anyone ever should and to be frank, my heart and devotion were worth more than a million dollars. I do acknowledge that I am blessed to have it $ was one reason I never left him before, so I know how it can keep you trapped.

    ReplyDelete
  55. part 3 Im still SO MAD at him and there is no way for him to make amends now...I think its tragic for the one person who knew him best to deep down think of him as such a jerk. He was a good son, good brother, great friend, good military officer, unpredictable (sometimes good/sometimes bad) father but honestly a bad husband.

    I have a friend who is a "Medium" and she said she received messages from him (interestingly coinciding with both post-death discoveries which she did not know about). The first message was "I get it, I understand" and the second was that he wanted me to find love again and be happy and he loves me so much. Blah blah ...I told her if he contacts her again tell him to keep it, Im sure heaven is populated with lots of repentant ax murderers who "love" everybody...I begged for his love for 29 years. meh.

    My biggest struggle has evolved into a spiritual one. Im positive that my presence in his life was pivotal in his salvation...I prayed for his soul for YEARS and I believe I was successful and if I were spiritually sensitive and concerned to do it in the first place, you would think that would give me solace, but it doesn't, my worldly self still sees it as a misery. I feel like I went on a 29 year arduous mission trip and saved one soul.

    I hope the unsettledness I feel now resolves someday some way . Our daughter (17) adored him and she seems really mad that I have adapted so well to his death...as if I were fine with it but she does not know the extent of his abuse to me and Im not going to tell her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      I'm so sorry for everything you've gone through. I can imagine how you feel genuinely ripped off -- of a decent marriage, an honest husband, the chance for him to atone… Thing is, you gave him decades already. Don't give him any more.
      Have you sought any therapy to help you sift through your anger? Anger is what is called a "secondary emotion", generally masking hurt and fear. You endured emotional abuse for a very long time so I'm not surprised that you'd feel both hurt and fear…as well as outrage that he never did come clean. But I urge you to find someone who can help you process all these emotions and put them to rest. You're clearly a very smart woman who's done a great job of intellectually understanding what he did to the family, but I suspect you haven't quite come to terms with it emotionally.
      I'm happy for you that you've found love. But as long as you've got your anger for him contaminating your present, it will be hard to allow yourself to be content.
      As for your daughter, she certainly doesn't need to know the nitty gritty details but I doubt it's a secret to her that he was difficult to live with. It's possible to be honest-ish -- validate what she knows about how hard it was to live with his issues and how hard you tried and how sorry you are that she's lost her father. But that you had longer than she did to grieve the loss of him, emotionally before losing him physically. Sometimes we cling most tightly to those things/people we fear because we've defined ourselves through them. Without them, we wonder who we are. Perhaps she needs permission to admit that he had faults…but that doesn't mean she didn't love him. And that he loved her the best he could, even if his best wasn't always so great.
      Please give yourself credit for the strength you've shown for so many years. And then apply that strength to healing yourself.
      I hope you'll keep letting us know how you're doing.

      Elle

      Delete
  56. It's been 5 months since I found out my husband has been cheating on me. We've married for 13 years and have three kids. My husband is a musician who works in the cruise ship industry and goes away 2 to 3 months and comes home for 6 weeks . When I first found out he’s been cheating he told me that it was the first and only time, but soon I was to discover that it wasn't. Back in May 2012 I found a email to a girl saying that he's been thinking of her and missed her I confronted him but he said that they were very good friends and he admitted to one kiss while drunk but no sex, so I bought his story and let it go, however when I found out about his latest affair back this past July, the light in my head went on and instantly I knew that the girl from May 2012 had to be an affair, so I contacted her and she confirmed that indeed they had an affair, so now with hard evidence he admitted to this one as well, then I asked him if there were any more and he admitted to one more, so that makes three. He's told me that he started having affairs in 2011. However I've been digging in his emails and found some emails to one of his friends dated 2010 in which there is insinuations that my husband is sleeping around with a lot of woman while he goes away to the ship even prostitutes, the emails are not very clear, the language they use is kind of in code, I had asked him about it, but he denies it, he says that is the way they talk. Then I found another email to another of his friends this one is 2011 in which my husband tells his friend that he misses ship life, because there are more woman, drinking and sex. He wants to work on our marriage and he left the end of November to do a three month cruise but he resigned his job to come home and try to save our marriage. However, I have my suspicious that there are more that those three affairs he admits to. He keeps saying that there is nothing else to tell, but my gut feeling tells me otherwise. He's coming back on Sunday and I still don't know how to get him to tell me everything if there is more to tell. Let me clarify that while I was trying to confirm that he had an affair with the girl from 2012, he went to great extends to cover his tracks to make sure I wouldn’t find out, you can’t imagine the hoops I had to jump to confirm that he had an affair with her. He doesn’t admit to anything unless he is presented with undeniable evidence. What do I do? We’re going to counseling together, and individually, but I still not sure if I want to stay in the marriage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well…as a condition of reconciliation, you could ask him to do a polygraph test. Lots of women insist on this.
      I think the counselling is a good place to start. Whether or not you choose to stay with him, you need be able to co-parent so it's worth clearing the air at the least. As well, give yourself time to process all this. It's a lot to absorb. It sounds as if a lot has been going on. He needs to figure out what the hell he was thinking…and you need to determine whether or not you want to try and get past all this.
      So…short answer is give yourself time to process through the emotions. It will be hell…but you can do it. And then, when the dust has settled and it's clear what he plans to do to help you heal, you can determine if it's enough for you to give it a chance.

      Elle

      Delete
  57. I found out about my husband's "Emotional Affair" just over a week ago. I'm so very raw and it's all so fresh I can't even see straight.

    She is a friend of ours, and they work together doing exhibits. He represents her work. Four days after I found out, he left on a pre-arranged trip to an art show of her work. They are together at this very moment.

    I'm at a loss for what to do right now. He says he wants to work things out, but he won't stop working with her and they're "such good friends" he won't even stop being friendly with her.

    About a year ago, her husband contacted me with suspicions that they were having an affair. I thought he was crazy. Why would his hot young wife go for my old man? I vehemently defended them. I said he shouldn't worry.

    Nine days ago I accidentally found texts on his phone between them. They were really flirty, but I didn't get a chance to look through them very well before he showed up and took the phone out of my hand. I freaked, I confronted, he came clean. At least I think he has come clean. He says that they had no physical affair - just a very very strong emotional affair. He said "I'm only human, what am I supposed to do when a beautiful girl tells me she wants me?" He seemed pained and ashamed of it all. He swears it wasn't physical.

    A day later I told him I wanted to see all the texts. He said he deleted them out of shame.

    I called her. She admitted that she had feelings for him. She called him her best friend. I asked her to stop flirting with my husband. I asked her to stop threatening my family. She seemed numb and maybe a little shocked that I called and wasn't yelling my head off at her. She said I was "so awesome" that she "loved me" and that I was a "lucky girl". I told her I would not be calling her husband. It was for them to work through and not my business to tell.

    Tonight her husband contacted me online. He asked a lot of pointed questions. I deflected. He said their 8 yr old son came out of the room at night one night and saw my husband with his arms around his wife, pressed up against her. It made the child very uncomfortable and he waited to tell his father.

    I don't want to lie to anyone, but at this moment, if he goes crazy on her and she's there with my husband, she will simply go to my husband for comfort. I will probably tell her husband what he wants to know when they're not together.

    I am still so raw, it's still so early. I still think we can work through this. Especially if they haven't had a physical affair. But I'm freaking out with doubt and I can't do anything about it. I can't tell my friends, I'm too ashamed. And if we do work it out, I don't want them judging me or him for the rest of our lives.

    And I feel like I let the other spouse down. If it were me, I would want him to tell me. I would want to start processing it once I knew for real. After all, he's going through the same thing I am.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry for what you're going through. I'll warn you that the "emotional affair" likely has at least aspects that are physical. So brace yourself for that possibility. Even without any physical component, it's clear that both of them have their heads totally in the fog. For him to think that he can continue to work with her while salvaging his marriage is delusional. He needs to tell her to represent her and then he needs to tell her that there is to be no contact. Unfortunately, he can't have it both ways. She's clearly a threat to your marriage.
      Expect him to fight this. Sounds as if he already has. But as long as she's around, you're going to feel frightened and uncertain and that's no way to live. Neither your husband nor her have any boundaries around this and that's utterly unfair to you and her husband to be expected to put up with that.
      I would absolutely tell her husband what you know. As you said, you would want the courtesy of someone being honest with you. As well, it gives another set of eyes and ears watching. There's the chance that it will split up her marriage and she'll run to your husband…but it sounds as if that's happening anyway. He deserves to know. And your husband and this woman need to have this fantasy world brought into the cold light of day where they can each see the cost of their "friendship".
      I'm really sorry. But I think you're in dangerous territory. Your husband is kidding himself. I'm sure he hates the position he's in. But he needs to recognize that he has put himself there. That this woman is a threat to your marriage. And that each of them stands to lose more than I think they really realize. You need to be that cold bucket of water that makes it clear just how high the stakes are.
      Hang in there. Take care of yourself. I know how lonely this can feel but if you have one friend or family member to confide in, it can go a long way toward keeping you feeling strong. A good friend won't judge you. She'll simply support you whichever way this goes.
      And, of course, you can continue to post here. There's a lot of wisdom and compassion on this site.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. Thanks for that Elle. I'm starting to come to reality a little bit. I dread what I think I will hear from him and that is that he won't do No Contact. I keep reading about that being the No 1 deal breaker and I think he won't even make that commitment. So I'm mentally trying to prepare myself for the worst. In 9 days he's back home and until then I'm just in limbo.

      When the art opening is over in a couple of days I will probably spill it to the other spouse. It's not as if I'm going to tell him in order to damage her or their family. He pretty much already knows. I'm not doing it out of spite, rather out of respect.

      This is hard. I will never understand why someone would rip out hearts and tear apart two families just for a bit of passion and fun.

      Delete
    3. He has to make a decision. So many of these guys feel like a victim, completely forgetting that they're the ones who created the situation and having no real understanding of just how traumatizing this is for the betrayed spouse. But in order to conduct any affair, one needs to become adept at storytelling -- that nobody will get hurt, that they haven't done anything "wrong", that they "deserve" some fun, that it's fate, blah blah cliché blah. And then it all hits the fan and they feel persecuted.
      I confess I get a bit tired of it all. It comes down to basic respect and doing the right thing. It really is that simple.
      And yes, I hope you will tell her spouse. So often we know before we KNOW. And it's crazy-making to know on some level while your spouse and often others are telling you that nothing is going on. It's worse than knowing, I think. At least when you know what you're up against, you can make choices.
      Hang in there. You're a strong woman, clearly able to be rational. You'll get through this.

      Elle

      Delete
    4. Im the other "Anonymous" above whose husband died after a bad "emotional affair" that turned out to be physical after all.

      You should read "Not just friends" by Shirley Glass and please know that if he has been caught this deep into an EA and still wants to be married, if he isnt ACTIVELY doing something to heal your relationship, he is abusing and manipulating you. EAs are SERIOUS, they ARE cheating, they are serious disrespect and abuse. Once they cross a line, it cannot be uncrosssed...if you want to stay married, I suggest you make cutting ALL ties with her as a condition of remaining married. If he wont do that then it is very telling where his priorities are. I suggest you not lie or hide his filth for him...why hide his actions from her H? Your marriage is in SERIOUS trouble and Im very sorry for it.

      During our reconciliation, my H was seriously considered for a job that would have made him the other woman's boss. He tried to justify an ongoing work relationship between them. I had decided for me that there was no way I could accept ANY contact between them , ever, for any reason. He had worked years in his military career to set himself up for a ggod job after retirement and this job was supposed to pay about $300,000 a year.

      Delete
  58. My D-Day was December 7, 2013. I had felt a distance between us for the previous month, so thought I would reach out. I made a nice dinner with a good wine and we had great conversation during the meal. Then, I told him I was feeling that distance and said we need to do something to reconnect. He replied with silence and a sorrowful look in his eyes. I then said that I guessed the root question was did he want to reconnect and he said no. Was there someone else, I asked. Yes. That night I moved into the spare room. The problem was it was almost Christmas and our two adult daughters were coming home. The younger one, who is 27 and back in school, would be there in a week and be staying for three weeks. The older one, who is 32 and married, lives on the far side of the country but would be at our house with her husband on Christmas day. We decided to give them one last Christmas as a family before we told them, so I moved back into our room.

    On Christmas Eve, I went to visit my mother, who is 95 and in a nursing home. She was so feeble that night and I was very upset when I got home. My husband was in his den and also looking very upset. He had come across some old things that belonged to the kids when they were young. He told me there was too much here to walk away and he wanted to try counselling. I agreed, under the condition that he cut off all communication with her. He said yes.

    The next few days were wonderful. We had a great Christmas with his family, and then another great day with my sister and her family a few days later. But here’s the problem many of you don’t face. Fifteen years ago, my husband was diagnosed with ADHD, which brings with it a lack of impulse control and little knowledge of social boundaries. Then, about a year and a half ago, he was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder. He absolutely hated being told he has a mental health problem. He has been seeing a therapist regularly and also doing a lot of reading and work through self-help books. On the morning of January 4th, we made love and it was beautiful. I know he felt it and meant it. On the morning of January 5th, he read something in one of those books that made him realize he usually didn’t do what he wanted to do. On the afternoon of Jan. 5th, I was out for a walk and saw him leaving the OW’s house. (Did I mention that she is married and lives with her husband just four doors away from us?) I confronted him and he said he was concerned about her so just dropped in. I told him he couldn’t be committed to our relationship and still do that. He said he would stop seeing her if I still wanted to try counselling. I said I would think about it.

    The next morning I told him it was over. That broken promise was one too many. You see, this is affair number 3. The first came after 14 years of marriage, the second after 29, and this at 36. I had been able to forgive the others because I understood and accepted the problems that ADHD created. Now, knowing that Bipolar II was also a participant, it’s even harder to be angry about it. But, for my own self esteem, I could take no more. We’re still in the same house, working out how to split everything fairly. We both face a very uncertain future financially. I’m 61 and he is 63. We would have been okay after we retired but now, splitting what we will have and doubling our expenses will not make for a comfortable final quarter of life. Now, as well as losing my husband and best friend for 41 years, I will lose the home I have lived in for 32 years. And we still have to tell our children. Even though they are adults, they will be devastated.

    I cry a lot. I feel worthless. And I am going to miss him so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry for the pain that you're in. Please know that your worth isn't tied to his actions. It sounds as if you've tolerated a lot, and done it with compassion. But his ADHD and bi-polar doesn't make him exempt from a moral code. Is he on medication for his bi-polar disorder? Has he undergone any counselling re. his ADHD? There are certainly things he can do to better understand his challenges and manage them. That, however, is not your problem.
      Allow yourself to grieve your loss. It's still very fresh and raw. You've got a lot to wrap your head around. But please, know deep in your bones that this is not your failing. I imagine you're emotionally exhausted from all that you've been doing to make your marriage work, even while he consistently dis-respects that. And don't discount the possibility that life just might be a whole lot less exhausting when you're not dealing with someone else's issues.

      Elle

      Delete
  59. Well I can't say I just found out I can say this past week I finally heard him admit he had been sleeping with the tramp and many other.... across the street. I call her by many names since when she moved in I tried to be her friend and she set her sites on my husband right away. They have been at this for over 2 years according to my daughter. Thats right I said my daughter as these poor excuse for a woman decided that giving my daughter details of what was going on and then trying to tell my son, my kids came to me and said more is going on then you know, every time I asked him he would say nothing has happened she offers and I say no. I told him many many times to stay away from her. I confronted her in the beginning and asked her to back off I was getting bad vibes.. she stood in front of me and said she would never ever do anything to ruin a marriage and went home crying.. After I found the first messages about her giving him a key and being in bed naked watching pornos oh and dripping she had the nerve to look at me and ask what had she ever done to me and call me the bitch. This christmas my H told me he would not be buying gifts for the kids this year and I had to buy them. He bought me 3 pairs of jeans and a pair of running shoes...she got diamond earrings he claims were given as a friend only gift. To say the least I screamed at him it was over.. he was so mean on this evening.. two days later he calls and wants to talk I told him to get the earrings back and I will consider it.He has also now agreed to counseling. My biggest question is how am I to live across the street from her for however long it takes to sell our house.. yah thats right now I have to uproot my life no matter what if we stay together or not. All I can think about right now is what can I do to make him hurt as bad as I do right now. He keeps telling me he does not blame me if I leave him, I almost feel as if he is to chicken to make the choice and is laying even more on me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. Your neighbour sounds utterly crazy. Think of it not as moving out but moving UP. Away from lunacy. We left our first home thanks to a crazy neighbour -- no affair involved. And yes, it's frustrating. But in hindsight, it was a good move. A fresh start.
      Focus on the counselling and getting clear on how to rebuild your marriage (or getting clear on whether you want to rebuild your marriage). Don't worry about knowing right now what the future has in store. Betrayal messes with our head, making it hard to make clear, smart decisions. Take a breath and focus on keeping yourself okay. The rest will come.

      Elle

      Delete
  60. My life is perfect........on Facebook – An easy title for me to pick because I bet my life does look perfect to a lot of people on the surface. (I am having a really hard time meeting the “character limit – so I am going to post in 2 posts….I’m hoping that works). We're going on 14 years of marriage and 19 years of being together. We have 3 beautiful, healthy kids. 11, 8 & 6. "Life happens"- one day you wake up and you have "grown up problems". (Not enough space for all the details - but finances have SUCKED! We opened a business. It failed. We're strapped!) He's drinking way too much and us "getting by" became my life - I would tell him we REALLY needed couples therapy. He REFUSED to go. Fast Forward - He said that I never initiated sex and I didn't "enjoy" it -that I didn't make him feel wanted. I would tell him that he was never sober - and I hated having sex with a drunk. I would tell him he didn't make ME feel wanted either. He never wanted to be home. We never had the money for him to take me to dinner - but he always had the money to drink w/ the guys. It was a vicious cycle. I even spent one month of making sure I initiated sex with my husband EVERY day. But it was never enough. No matter how much weight I lost, no matter how many bikini waxes I endured, no matter how much b.s. I tolerated.....my life was sad. I finally decided that I needed to do something and I needed to open my eyes to the possibility of infidelity. He denied it. He tried to lie - he tried to make excuses - but I didn't back off. Just like sooooo many times before, he tried to make me think I was "crazy". Finally, he confessed. Not MY husband. I seriously expected I would uncover one night of a drunken mistake (if I uncovered anything). I didn't expect to uncover a "lover", "a long term affair"....WTF?? A 9 month affair? To be continued....hoping this one didn't exceed character limit.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Continued....I found this site because I googled "hysterical bonding". I couldn't figure out WHY IN THE WORLD I would have sex, willingly, with the man that just betrayed me in the worst way possible. 5 hours after finding out my life REALLY was a lie...I told him I needed him and we had some of the best sex we've ever had!? That is craziness. How can I WANT him? How can I NEED him? Why was it his shoulder I needed and still do? He is the ONLY thing that makes me feel safe right now. So, here we are....6 days after D-day - and I'm still reeling. He is still the only person that brings me comfort. We have had the MOST INCREDIBLE sex of our entire marriage the last 6 days. I know I have a lot of mixed emotions and fears right now - but I feel like I love him more than I have in YEARS. He hasn't had any bourbon. He hasn't spent a dime on alcohol. He hasn't gone to a bar. I know - it’s only been 6 days. But it’s like he has been set free from the hell and prison he had put on himself. He drank to numb his pain and guilt (according to him). It sucks because the truth "set him free" (in one way) -but it has imprisoned me. He says he will do ANYTHING to make our marriage work. And, I want to believe him. I don't think it’s because I'm scared of being alone. I don't think it’s because I'm scared of what others will say. I don't think it’s because of the kids. I think it’s because I finally realized how much I really do love him. But I also don't know what I think these days! Then, I think of her and the things he did that were intentional. She wasn't a "drunken mistake". I haven't asked if it was "HOT" sex. I haven't asked if it was the sex that made him keep going back. Because I don't know what is worse....the fact that it was GREAT sex or the fact that he had an emotional connections with her? He swears it was never about "her". He said it was him being selfish - it was an escape. No responsibilities. No financial stresses. No parental problems. I have a really hard time with the deliberate rendezvous. Is it natural for me to want to know all about their torrid affair? Will those thoughts EVER stop swirling in my head....did they do it doggie-style? Did she have a great body? Did they have oral sex? Does he miss her? Her smell? Her touch? Her voice? He says absolutely not. But I say he was willing to RISK IT ALL to have sex and phone calls/texts with her - You don't risk it all for someone you don't give a damn about. You just don't. I have always been strong and independent. I've never been that girl that HAS to have a man. I've never considered myself "weak". So why do I feel that way right now? Am I staying in my marriage because I'm weak? Am I turning to him for comfort AND sex because I'm weak? I'm ashamed to tell anyone about the sex. I feel so terribly confused and alone....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's start by making it really clear that six days is so incredibly raw. Nothing is going to make sense at this point. That's why the hysterical bonding freaks us out. It's crazy. But we're so wounded that the only thing that DOES make sense is seeking physical comfort and closeness.
      So please, give yourself some time to fully process all this (which will take weeks, if not months) before you start applying all the judgements -- weak, ashamed. You're not weak. You're wounded. (That said, be careful. It's wise to get yourself tested for STDs. I know, I know. It's horrible...but prudent.)
      With time and a lot of talking with your husband, you'll hopefully begin to process all this. Your assessment of an affair is that of a rational person who hasn't had one. HIS version of events, frankly, sounds a lot more likely. So many of these guys really don't care about the other person. She's a diversion. An escape. A reflection of themselves that makes them feel good. A convenient distraction from life's woes. In his mind, the idea of "risk" was remote. They're masters at convincing themselves that nobody is going to get hurt, that they "deserve" this because the wife doesn't appreciate them. It's so cliché...but clichés often exist because they're true.
      Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Don't judge yourself. Give this time to settle. Give each of you time to determine what this really meant...and whether or not you want to rebuild your marriage. There's no shame in recognizing that your marriage is something worth rebuilding. There's also no shame in deciding that this was the death blow. Each of us is entitled to the course of action that feels right for us.
      And please know, you're not alone. We've all been right where you are, trying to make sense of something we never imagined we'd have to deal with. And we've come out the other side. Some opted for divorce but most of us on this site are choosing to rebuild.

      Elle

      Delete
  62. Loop Da Loop #1

    My D-Day was December 29, 2013 at 6:06pm - 22 days ago. The last normal conversation I had was with our 15 year old son about the practicality of combining his sock and underwear drawers. My husband and I are 38, have been together for 25 years, married for 13. We have two sons - ages 15 and 10. We have had the typical ups and downs in those 25 years and have never not come through them together. It's just always been a given that we will come out together on the other side of whatever crap we were going through. The latest 'down' was his series of job losses and increased drinking - drinking with friends, not me. I began declining to go out drinking with him - too expensive, too embarrassing to end the night with a drunk husband and no way home, and I suppose partly to punish him for not stepping up and putting the drink down and getting and keeping a job. For 2 years we rode the cycle of good-eh, not so great-getting yucky-full on yuck-back to better-good...Through it all I never doubted we would come out the other side together. We had arguments and I made threats to leave if his behavior didn't change; he would promise to make the 'tough' changes and the cycle ride would start again. One night in early June 2013 he said some particularly hateful things during an argument and I told him it was the last straw and actually began packing up to leave - I packed boxes and bags all night long. He begged, he promised, he told me he would do anything if I would just give us another chance. God help me, I thought I had finally gotten through to him. I thought we were finally on the road out of the 'down'. 4 days later he began sleeping with Her. It was 6 months of parking lots and back seats, constant text messages and illicit meetings. He even booby trapped our unattached garage one late night when he snuck off to meet her - so he would know if I had come out there looking for him - so he would know if he had to create a lie. It was 6 months of lying to my face, of walking past me to leave our house to meet with Her. 6 months of him giving Her the attention I was begging for, giving his relationship with Her the attention our relationship was in such desperate need of. During those 6 months he had sex with Her in our motorhome in our driveway, with our children feet away in the house, while I was out of town for the weekend. He had sex with Her in the basement of his brothers house while the brother was out of town - the same house he escorted his children and I into for his family Christmas party - where he watched his kids, nieces and nephews play on the floor, sit on the futon where he had had sex with Her. It was the worst 6 months of my life and I didn't even know it - I get to know now though and it's killing me.

    How could he say he would do anything to save our marriage and then, 4 days later, begin doing the one thing that was sure to destroy it? I know all the lines about it not being rational and I can't apply a coherent thought process to his decision - but I have to try and understand it or I don't think I will ever come 'to terms' with it.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Loop Da Loop #2

    We are absolutely in the throes of 'hysterical bonding' and I feel so torn about that, torn about staying or leaving, torn about how I'm approaching myself in all this and torn by my inability to present an 'even' attitude. I compare myself to Her during and after sex with him, I cannot go one day without picturing the 2 of them together, without knowing that they were texting while he was right next to me, on outings with our kids, on milestone days for our family. The things he wouldn't give up for me and our family, he gave up for Her. I feel the betrayal every where I turn. And yet it is still his arms I turn to when the feelings overwhelm me. He says She meant nothing to him - of course he says that, right? But, if that is true, than what have I been? You don't give up something for nothing, so She had to have been significant to him in some way. He says the sex was never good - then why go back for more? Why risk your life for something that isn't any good? He says he never wanted to hurt me, didn't realize how badly he was hurting me, that he never stopped loving me. That makes the hurt sting just a bit more - that his idea of love has the capacity for this type of action, that my feelings weren't apparent to him - that my eventual anguish over what he was doing wasn't apparent to him. Again, rational thought doesn't apply, right?

    The last 22 days have been some of the best and worst of my life with him. I panic when I can't reach him on his phone, I question his whereabouts - he lied so much in 6 months...and is terribly good at it, I never suspected a thing. Every lie he told fit in with the behavior he had been exhibiting for a year and a half. An affair wasn't on my radar. I try to be calm when he gives me answers to the need-to-know-details questions I ask - and I fail miserably. He has been patient for the most part. He acknowledges his role as 'bad guy' and helps me to paint her with the same brush. He was the one to suggest counseling (when we get the money, of course, of course) and the one to say he wants to earn back the trust he threw away. He's saying all the right things and I want so badly to believe it is all true and sincere - but I keep coming back to the day in June when he said he wanted us back and then took us down further than we have ever been. I don't trust him to be careful with me - but I still want his shoulder to cry on!

    The crying gives way to anger gives way to despair. I am convinced that this empty, hollow feeling won't ever leave my stomach, that I will never experience a day where this doesn't define me and our marriage in some way. Do you know what feeling I'm talking about? Your stomach flutters and feel so empty? This is not the woman I wanted to be. We were each others 'only' - God, we started dating when we were 14! We had only ever had sex with each other - and now he has 6 months of experiences I will never have, 6 months of intimate experiences that don't include me. I feel broken, with parts missing - like I will never be completely whole again regardless of how he and I end up. There are days I'm sure I want to stay, need to stay, must stay with this man. Other days I'm sure that the pain won't end if I stay with him, that it will just get rubbed raw again through proximity to the source of the pain. Day one, after he told me His Truth, I kicked him out...and he was back within hours and I was so stupidly glad to have him here - it felt like the last feeling I should be having. I don't know if it was fear of what he might do, meet with her, if he wasn't here with me, or fear of him never coming back that made me elated to see him walk back in that door. I still don't know.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Loop Da Loop #3

    It is over between them - that's why it all came out. She didn't want it to end, he ended it anyway (always doing what he wants, I guess - damn who gets hurt in the process...) She told her sister who She knew would be sure to tell Her husband and the rest is so much water under a very rickety bridge. Her husband and I talked a few times - the piece/peace of mind I somehow thought I would gain didn't materialize. I suppose at first I was glad to have someone with the exact experience to vent to - but in the end it just became competing anger and his anger with my husband - none for his wife, wasn't helping. My own husband was glad I had reached out to Hers - I'll never understand that. She has tried contacting me, has left messages for me, has referred to Herself using the 25 year old nickname my husband has for me, has insinuated that I am the lesser woman for not having 'the balls' to confront Her (yes, truly a classy example of a woman). I'm tempted at times to call Her - but, to what end? To compare notes? To hear Her tell me about myself? To listen to Her feelings for my husband? The messages She has had Her husband relay to me involve acts between Her and my husband - She is telling her husband to tell me what She did for my husband, She is telling her husband the many varied ways She betrayed him in an attempt to hurt me deeper. Is that completely insane?! Instead of humility and grace, She is throwing details to Her husband about Her own betrayal of him and doing so to compound my devastation. I know Her, we have known them since high school, and She has never been someone I had any amount of respect for - just not a good person...and She was able to touch my life in ways I never thought possible - and it was my own husband that gave Her that ability. So much wrapped up in this affair.

    So, there is my story - so far. I can't imagine what else is in store for me as I try to work through this for our marriage, for our family and for myself. I struggle with the feeling that if I don't try, don't give it my all - then it won't be him who threw away 25 years, but me who tossed it all. I don't know if I will ever be confident in whatever decision I make - is the decision for me or for us... is there a difference? How do I KNOW I'm doing the right thing, not the selfish thing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loop Da Loop,
      We have all been exactly where you are. We know the ups and the downs and the plateaus. We know that "will I ever feel joy again?" feeling and the "my marriage is forever tainted" feeling and all the other confusing feelings. For all that we like to believe we're each unique, our pain seems to share a common trajectory.
      So please trust when I tell you that the pain will diminish and eventually disappear altogether. You might always feel a bit bruised in the part of our heart where you store this, but it can become a part of your life that had made you who you are -- strong, compassionate, wise. Or it can become a part of your life that makes you bitter. That doesn't depend on whether you stay or go, it depends on how this defines your world.
      This woman sounds like absolute poison so do NOT talk to her. Attention is like oxygen to many of these Other Women. They don't care who gets hurt as long as they feel important and powerful. Again, do NOT give her the satisfaction. I think you're also wise to cut things off with her husband. The further away you are from these people, the better. I'm sorry for him...but why he's not throwing her out is a mystery. And not your problem.
      Give yourself time before you make any big decisions about whether to stay or go. You're so raw right now. You need time to process through the anger and hurt and sadness. Give yourself at least six months...some say a year. Within that time it will be come clear whether you can or want to rebuild your marriage. It also ensure that your husband is either going to make change long-term or not.
      It also gives you time to take a look at your marriage prior to the affair and recognize where things went off the rails. I don't doubt that you loved each other...but I'm sure you can see from what you wrote that there were issues within the marriage that needed addressing in a healthy way.
      I'm sorry for all you're going through. But, again, please trust me that this can be a chance for each of you to better understand yourselves and each other and, with work and healing, create an even deeper love.

      Elle

      Delete
  65. Hi Elle and Loop Da Loop - this is "anonymous" from Jan. 17th - the one with the perfect life on Facebook :-) You can call me "Shell". First, I want to say THANK YOU, Elle. Your words of wisdom and understanding are so greatly appreciated and needed. Loop Da Loop - your life and my life have quite the common thread. There are many similarities in your situation and mine. My heart ached when I read your "story". It sucks to have "a story", doesn't it? Why couldn't my story be the one about the lady that won the lottery and all her problems magically disappeared?? LOL! I guess because that would be a Fairy Tale, right? So, here we are - two women from two totally different lives, with two totally different husbands but one very real and similar pain. I'm glad I found you ladies - I'm just sorry for the reason that we've all seemed to find one another.
    I am having a very hard time with the hysterical bonding and the intentional deception too. A one night stand....a drunken mistake - I guess I get that. Like you, "Loop" (hope that's okay if I call you "Loop"), we had a "come to Jesus" over the summer. Mine was in July. He was going to slow down on all the drinking and work on our marriage etc, etc. I did everything I could to put a focus on our relationship and right the wrongs. I thought we were making progress. And, for awhile, we did - but the cycle always started over again. So, maybe I'm worried it will start all over again? (I'm having problems with spaces - so I'm continuing with another post....)

    ReplyDelete
  66. Post continued......We've only had 11 days of "truth" between us and those 11 days have been days of constant communication and awesome sex. How is that?? He committed the ultimate betrayal and now I bear my soul and body to him? Like you, Loop, I am torn and I can NOT stop thinking about the torrid details of their relationship. I have asked him some of my questions. Yesterday, as I cried on his chest (as we lay in bed) - I finally mustered up the nerve to ask if they ever took a shower together. That's one of the things that took me YEARS to do with my husband. I have so many insecurities about my body - and the shower made me feel so vulnerable - but I knew that he liked sex in the shower - so I put that fear on a shelf and I went with it. And he would tell me how much he loved taking a shower with me. So, I had to know - did he shower with HER? He swears he didn't. I chose to believe him - but he could be lying through his teeth. I am dying to know other details because they swirl through my mind too. So, for what its worth, you are NOT alone.
    And its like we've been in each other's mind when you say " He says She meant nothing to him - of course he says that, right? But, if that is true, than what have I been? You don't give up something for nothing, so She had to have been significant to him in some way. He says the sex was never good - then why go back for more? Why risk your life for something that isn't any good? He says he never wanted to hurt me, didn't realize how badly he was hurting me, that he never stopped loving me. That makes the hurt sting just a bit more - that his idea of love has the capacity for this type of action, that my feelings weren't apparent to him - that my eventual anguish over what he was doing wasn't apparent to him. Again, rational thought doesn't apply, right?" I feel the same way - how can he say "it wasn't about her" or she "means nothing to him" or "it wasn't about the sex"?? For what it's worth - my husband doesn't know your husband, and I don't know you - right? But they are saying the same things...so, maybe, there's a little truth in what they are telling us? My husband says it was about the "escape". Our finances suck. We have three kids - and they are good kids - but they can stress us the hell out! He says it was about escaping "reality" of all the things he "THOUGHT" were so bad. But, when he saw what he stood to lose, he realized that his reality was pretty damn good - that he had everything he needed right here in front of him. Now, whether we chose to believe them is up to us. Continued in next post......

    ReplyDelete
  67. Post # 3 - Elle, you have definitely been a beacon of hope and a voice of reason to me. Your understanding and advice are the only thing that has made sense to me in 11 days. I guess I just felt compelled to reach out and say "Thank you" to both of you. I hope we can help each other through this REALLY dark time. Certainly all circumstances are different and what is right for one may be wrong for another. But to know I am not alone - and my need for intimacy from my husband doesn't make me a "freak", has brought me peace and in a way, a little bit of clarity.
    We have a REALLY long road ahead of us - and that sucks. Its daunting. I have times throughout the day when I feel "normal" for a just a bit. Like it didn't happen. Or maybe it did - but its okay and we'll be better because of it. Of course, like every other emotion we experience on this horrific roller coaster ride -those thoughts and comforts are fleeting. But I guess, in the grand scheme of things Loop, its good that we have those thoughts and feelings no matter how "fleeting"? It means, somewhere, under all that pain, maybe just maybe, there's a bit of a scab starting to form over the wound. That maybe, just maybe, one day we'll be left with just the faintest of scars.....And we'll be stronger, and wiser and more complete because we're survivors. At least, that's what I like to believe. Now, when the wolf starts knocking at my door again and I want to run and hide in my despair - I know where to turn to gather some strength. Although I'm sorry we had to find each other this way - I'm thankful I found a source of strength and hope that I can return the favor! We WILL get through this - we just need to keep reminding each other :-) "Shell"

    ReplyDelete
  68. Hi Loop and Shell. I am Anon66. My 'story' is similar, though I am married 44 years and found out my husband has been cheating with multiple women for at least the past 7 years. I have gone through every stage of anger and despair you describe. It has been 6 months since my D-Day and believe it or not there are many days in a row now when I am actually happy. I still ride the roller coaster of emotions. BUT I can see that time does help heal some of the pain. And I still share all your insecurities, especially wondering if ANYTHING he says is truth or lies. But please hang in there, especially if you and your husband are able to get counseling. He needs to try to understand the intensity of your feelings and that he, not you, are the cause. I told my husband today that I feel like I have PMS on mega-steroids! Good luck and keep sharing here if it feels good to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  69. #1
    'Shell' - I'm still very much in the phase of feeling like there are specific things I need to know about my husband and Her. Yours was the shower, mine was being on top. I am so insecure about my body, I was always so reluctant to put myself on display to him like that. I knew she had to have been on top, the places they were meeting to have sex dictated that position....and it crushed me to know that what he has so rarely felt from me, he got from Her.
    I've been diligently reading through this blog from start to end and I keep finding myself at odds with what everyone seems to agree is the best way through this. Like, why do I have to change because of what he did? Why do I have to be different now? Why does my life now have to include suspicion, lack of trust and fear? Some days I feel like, he put me here, why do I have to do all the work to move myself to a better place? I'm probably irrational - go figure!
    I had just been wallowing in how 'Our Story' has been blurred and how unfair it is that he had to take it to this level and how, regardless of how it ends, this part of the plot absolutely sucks - but I have to incorporate it into the rest of 'My Story'.
    I find myself looking at people wondering if they've been cheated on, or done the cheating. I find myself thinking too much about the 'if only's' and 'what if's' and, even though I know it does no good, I can't stop. I replay what should have happened. I should have gone out to the garage that night, I should have at least looked at the cell phone bill, what if I had popped home unexpectedly...it's endless.
    The hysterical bonding aspect has come to a screeching halt. I guess it's finally sinking in that he had an affair, a relationship - that he invited someone else where only I had been before. He thinks we've stopped making progress and I have a hard time explaining to him that we can't make any lasting progress while I'm trying to work through what his decision has created for me. I can work on us and gloss over myself and we'll be fine for eternity - but if we want more than fine with a spit shine, I (WE!!) have to work on me and my feelings. God, I still don't know from one hour to the next how I actually FEEL about all this. (I feel like I'm not making any sense as I type this!) {character limit demands multiple posts…}

    ReplyDelete
  70. #2
    He has told me that he had to 'mess up this bad' to realize what he had - and, I'm sure in his head that is supposed to sound reassuring and give me the warm fuzzies - but it doesn't. At all. It make me feel like an overdue library book - you forget it's there until you get the notice about the fine. I'm just exhausted by all the back and forth in my head and with him. He doesn't want to talk about it - says there are no more 'blanks' that need to be filled in. He's so wrong. I have plenty of gray areas surrounding what happened. I just don't know the difference anymore between what I want to know, what I need to know, and what will help me to know. I don't want to add any more pain for myself, but I also don't want to feel in the dark anymore. Right now I want to know every single thing he knows. God, I almost called Her today! For sure she would give me a run-down of events. But, is that the way I want it? I just want the truth, regardless of what he thinks it will do to me. He had his chance to consider my feelings and proved horribly bad at protecting them - I don't think it's up to him to decide what I 'get' to know. Just finding a time and place to talk is hard enough, let alone picking a topic from the mess of them that have cropped up. There is no counseling going on, so it's kind of a do-it-yourself hack job of figuring out emotions and reactions and reasoning. It's a mess. I feel like I’m the only one talking, I talk and talk and talk and he just looks at me. I want to listen! I want to hear him talk, to hear what he has to say without my prompting or having to ask a question. I just feel like he should be offering up more to me; why does it feel like I’m the one fighting for him??
    His entire family knows (and his family 100% blames me and the way I 'conducted' this marriage...I could go on and on about these people...). My sister knows - but we haven't talked about it beyond that it is something that happened. I don't want to share this with anyone I know at the same time I want to tattoo it on my forehead for the whole world to see. I want someone to talk to, but don't want the advice or the looks or the lasting perception of me that goes along with telling anyone. He has always been the one I turned to when I needed to talk or vent or cry or work something out for myself...and I feel kind of unmoored by all this. Another level in the Mall of Unfairness; who do you turn to when your go-to guy goes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. " I feel like I’m the only one talking, I talk and talk and talk and he just looks at me. I want to listen! I want to hear him talk, to hear what he has to say without my prompting or having to ask a question." I could have written this. TALK TO ME and beyond answering the questions I ask. - MYR

      Delete
  71. #3
    Last week was a 'good' week and I thought to myself, I am incredibly good at working through my emotions and understanding that what has happened can't be changed, I can only change the future and yadda yadda yadda --- only to spend Monday a blubbering mess again feeling pitiful and worthless. I want the sinking feeling in my stomach to go away, I really, really want to just pretend that none of this matters and just brush it aside and move on - and I could totally do that! It would be so easy...until it jumps back in my face a month from now or a year or 10 years.
    I avoid the life I had before this. I don’t do any of the things I used to – they all seem so incredibly pointless now. Him? He’s back to joking around like nothing happened, secure in his belief that his obligation is satisfied: he told me, he apologized, end of story. Cue the happily ever after. I just can’t get away from the thought that I am the only one changed by what he did. He may have regret, but I have a hole.
    I am probably coming off as extremely selfish, and I’m sorry. My intent with replying to your comment wasn’t to rant about the continued crap state of my marriage but to thank you for reaching out to me – it helps – as you no doubt have discovered – to know that someone else is feeling the same way you do. It’s about more than not feeling like you’re alone, it’s kind of like feeling like you still are a part of something. And I desperately want to be a part of something that doesn’t hurt.
    Take care,
    Loop

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi Anon66 - This is "Shell". (post #1) Thank you so much for sharing your "story". WOW! It never ceases to amaze me how many people in the world are living through their D-Day (even as we speak!). It's quite sad, actually. So many simultaneous and parallel stories..... But, every cloud has a silver lining, right? And it looks like we are all sharing the (metallic :-) Silver Sharpie and making our lining together!
    Anon - it is inspiring to me to hear that after only 6 months you have days that are actually "Happy" - all day! I am on Day 12 (Saturday will be 2 weeks) - and I think my days are going relatively well, for the most part, but usually - at some point - I start to question it all. My doubts, fears, suspicions start to sabotage what I believed to be true just hours prior.... I hope this is "normal"?? I've been a little bummed because I had an appointment to talk to a counselor. I was "hanging in there" because I knew she and I would talk....then weather cancelled my appt. and now I have another 2 weeks before I get to see her! UGH! She and I have been talking for about a year. Trust me, I am sure she won't see this as a "shock". Bless her heart, she probably wanted to grab me and shout "OPEN YOUR EYES". But, she didn't. She let me discover it in my own time...when I was ready, I suppose. I told her, on more than one occasion, that someone doesn't just up and decide they want a separation with out a damn good reason...there has to be a carrot that's dangling somewhere, right? After all, he stands to lose a lot. She would always listen and say, "why do you feel that way?" or "what do you think?" - she was trying to teach me to trust myself and my instincts. And, I get that now. I needed to find out when I was ready to find out. And, thankfully, I didn't persist too soon. I'm not sure I would be handling things as well if I had found out when we were in some of our most fragile states. I found out just after a week of being away, together, as a family. We haven't been able to do that since our youngest was 6 months old (and he's 6 now). We were given a week away as a Christmas gift from my family. That week away gave us both "perspective". He realized what he stood to lose was everything he had ever wanted. It was all right here the whole time and he was pissing it away. I realized that I was fighting a demon that I couldn't see and it was threatening our well-being as a family. For my husband, he came back thinking he needed to bury the past and do everything in his power prove his love for us. Unfortunately (for him) - his conscious got the best of him - and he started drinking, heavily, again....I knew something was very wrong. Why, as soon as we returned to reality, did he start drinking to get through the evenings with us? How could he look at me one moment and say he loved me - he loved our family - and he wanted it more than anything...but drink until he was drunk - even after I had asked him to stop? I thought he had a serious drinking problem. He would tell me that he didn't. I assumed he was in denial. But my gut drove me....I knew he was drinking so heavily for a reason. There had to be a reason that he HAD to drink. It didn't take too much digging before I found his "reason" and SHE had a name....

    ReplyDelete
  73. Post #2 - So, now, almost 2 weeks later - we've had ups and we've had downs. I've cried for no reason (out of the clear blue) - and I've laughed. I've had hope that we will come out of this, together, on the other side as stronger and happier couple. I've had fears that we'll start counseling and we'll uncover more demons than I can handle. My guess is that I'm not saying (or feeling) anything anyone a few months or years ahead of me on this horrific time line hasn't already said or felt. But what makes it tolerable is knowing that I can come to this site and reach out to one of you. It gives me hope to know that you won't blow roses up my butt and tell me that "it's all gonna be okay". I've found a forum of strong women that will paint a very real picture of what to expect and how to get through it. I'm very thankful to you Elle for providing us this forum to meet, and chat, and share. Its a place to cry and a place to wipe our tears before we gather the courage to go back into the ring for another round. But, most importantly, I thank each of you for reminding me that I do have something that is worth "the fight". Sometimes, I will need to retreat to my corner for a little coaching and encouragement - and it looks like there's PLENTY of that here! And, when I've gathered my strength and perspective, I go back and fight for what is right for my life. I'm rather solid in my belief that I did marry the right man and we are meant to weather this storm together. Counseling starts next week.... Regardless of the outcome, to know you are all here to pick me up when I fall is a God send.
    Anon66 - I love your analogy PMS on mega-steroids. Couldn't be more true! I will be sure to share that with my husband tonight. Today is a little "emotional" for both of us....he went to the doctor and got tested for HIV and all the other STD's that I now have to think of as a possibility in my life....I'm sure the doctor gave him a little bit of an "ear-full" too. His blood pressure is back up - he had to go back on blood pressure medicine. He isn't quite 40 (39 yrs. old) and he's worried about his blood pressure (again). She told him that he has to get to the root of the problem - and I couldn't agree more. But it also scares the hell out of me.
    We have to get to the root of why he cheated and why he was so unhappy. He swears he loves me more than anything and wants to keep our family together. And, I know the uncertainty is scaring the hell out of him. He knows I'm trying - and I told you about the "hysterical bonding" - so that has to be a little "encouraging" (lol!) - but I know he worries that I will change my mind. And, I think that's because we're going to have to do more than "scratch the surface" in counseling.
    But I worry that he will change his mind. I worry that we will uncover the reasons he was/is unhappy and they will be things beyond my control. I worry that I will learn she was/is more than an "escape". I worry about so many things.
    Can you share with me some things I may need to expect that you experienced when you began counseling? Anyone? I know we all have different stories - but did you all have the same fears and inhibitions going into this phase of recovery/rebuilding? - Shell

    ReplyDelete
  74. Anonymous - (Post #1) Hi - it's Shell. Let me say that everything you wrote about is something I have felt at one time or another. And, you are NOT selfish. You are so right - it is such a relief to feel like you've found a "safe" place to talk to people that know how you feel - to feel you are not alone in this hell makes it bearable! And it does suck that the reality of it all is that we got thrown into "The Mall of Unfairness"....we didn't go there because we WANTED to - we're here because IT HAPPENED TO US. Remember that - you didn't do anything to justify his choice. Was my marriage perfect? No. Could I have done things differently? Yes. Was I gonna win "wife and mother of the year"? Not just "no" - "HELL NO!". We're human and to err is human. And, to remember that is a two way street, is the hard part.....Your husband, my husband, all of our spouses "erred" - and they are all human too. It doesn't make it "right" or "okay", please don't misunderstand and think that I'm giving them a "free pass". I am not. But, they too are human. They made a mistake. A big one.One that has huge implications. How we decide to face reality and deal with this situation IS our choice. He can't make this choice for you. You are in the driver's seat. You are in control. I have to keep reminding myself of that fact. I felt there were soooooo many things "out of control" in my life. And, prior to knowing about my husband's infidelity, I kept saying to him that I felt like I had "no control over anything in my life anymore". Our finances are a disaster. My kids have been misbehaving. Our house is completely unorganized and messy. My husband had become a "drunk" for all intensive purposes. I felt like I was on a doomed plane. I was going down and didn't have the knowledge of HOW to pull it out of the dive. But knowledge is power. And we have the knowledge of the infidelity. What we do with it from here is up to us. You're the experienced pilot now. Think about that for a minute - let that sink in. YOU ARE IN CONTROL. You couldn't control what he did and you can't control what led him to it - but you can control how YOU rebuild and recover. We can’t control whether or not they will do it again. We can only hope that they will take away as much from this horrid indiscretion that we will take away from it. We’ll have some battle wounds – scars that will be there forever. There’s no denying that fact. But how we nurse those wounds and HEAL is up to us. It’s not up to him. Trust me, you may think he’s secure in his belief that his obligation has been satisfied, but I will guarantee you that he has some serious insecurities about what you may or may not do going forward. I get that he is “your go-to person” – which makes it all the more horrible. My husband is my “go-to person” too. It sucks when “your person” is the one that hurt you the most. Where do you turn? I’m asking myself that same question. You turn to like-minded people that can help you. And, thanks to Elle, we all found each other! I’m not saying we’re all “like-minded” in the sense of what we chose to do about our situations – but we’re all like-minded in the fact that we all want to “heal”. We all want to help someone else heal with us. Continued in Post 2...

    ReplyDelete
  75. Post #2 ...It makes me sad that you don't have a therapist - so whenever I get in to see mine - I'm happy to share what I learn. I'm not saying she will be right (or wrong) - but if I feel I am benefiting from my time with her, then I'm happy to share what I learn. We have our first "marriage counseling" session on Wednesday. We've never done any type of counseling - so it’s gonna be interesting, to say the least. I pray it is helpful. And, again, I am happy to share what I take away from our sessions. Right now, I'm fortunate enough to have insurance that covers therapy. And as long as it’s covered, I'm going to go. There's no way I could afford it if it weren't covered. But maybe there are other options out there? Have you checked on a support group in your area? I know - that's a scary thought. Walking into a room where people can see you and talking about your husband's infidelity with total strangers. The anonymity of this site is a beautiful thing! Going to a “support group” doesn't sound like a whole lot of "fun", does it? But, it does sound like it could be helpful. Remember, they aren't going to judge you - they are there for the SAME reason. They probably had the exact same apprehensions about walking into that room. You will not be alone. And if you hate it, you don’t have to go back. You don’t have to share “your story” the first time you are there. You probably don’t even have to give your real name. And if you see someone you “know” – trust me, you’re secret is safe with them! LOL! So, a support group may or may not be a “good substitute” for therapy – but it may be an option worth considering. Trust me; I am an "over-due library book" sitting on the shelf next to you. I love your analogy and I can totally relate. I get that you need him to fill in the blanks for you. I want ALL the details - and I know that some may hurt more than help. For that reason, I've held off on asking him some of my questions...for now. And, I DID call the other woman. It sounds like the OW that you are dealing with will aim to cause you more pain. For what it's worth, I would avoid her at all costs. She is not going to make you feel better about yourself or help your healing process. She sounds like she's vindictive and only out to cause more heartache. Don't give her the satisfaction of making contact with her. Oddly, my OW SEEMED to want to help. I think she felt so awful about what she had done (which gave me some satisfaction, I won't lie about it!) - That she actually wanted to "help" in some way. I told her that she wasn't allowed to decide what I should and should not know. The only thing I asked from her was honesty. I explained that I got to make the decision about what I should and shouldn't know and she owed me that much. She reluctantly agreed. But what I have to tell myself now is "there are two sides to every story". I've got his version. I've got her version. Somewhere in the middle is actually the truth. His perspective and her perspective are obviously a little different....she needs to believe she was more than an "escape". I get that. So when I hear details from her, I have to remember that they are being told from the perspective of a woman that NEEDS to believe she meant something, no matter how little, to him....so think back to the things she told you. Take some of it at face value. Her version of the story is exactly that - "HER" version. I also can relate to you saying part of you wants to hide it and the other part of you wants to tattoo it on his forehead. I'm right there with you! I have a friend that went through a divorce recently. She said if there was one thing she could do differently, it would be who she did and didn't tell what was going on with her marriage prior to making her decision to divorce. Continued in post #3

    ReplyDelete
  76. Post #3 - She reminded me that people WILL judge. They will judge him and they will judge me. Some will say I'm weak if I stay - others will say I must have been a real bitch because he's a good guy - why else would he cheat on me? Some will look at him and see him as "once a cheater, always a cheater” - while others will somehow see HIM as the victim. So, for what it’s worth. I would be very selective about who you tell and what you tell. I don't want another couple to be "discussing" our situation when unbeknownst to them, their child is listening - and then I have that kid running back to school telling everyone - including MY kids! Tell only your most trusted of friends. For most of us, that's a very small circle of people. But I do completely understand your need and desire to tell. You are NOT alone!
    I have all the same fears, insecurities and needs that you have right now. I feel like my husband may get too comfortable because of my need to talk to him, and because of the "Hysterical Bonding". Let's cut through the bull - the man is getting the best sex of his life! (At least I hope its the best sex of his life!!) - I don't want him to think I am "rewarding" his behavior. It pisses me off that he benefits not only from all the sex - but from my constant communication. He knows he's my "go to person". And that's a scary thought. Its like I worry I've given him the "power" to be in control of me both physically and mentally. Does that make sense? So, I've told him about this fear. I've told him I am not trying to "punish" him - but I don't want him to feel "rewarded" right now either. He says he gets that - I'm not sure if he does - but you know what I DO know?? My husband certainly did not expect me to have sex with him the same day I found out about his infidelity. He didn't expect to have sex with me EVER again. He knows that if there's ONE THING he can't predict - its how I will react and recover. He seems comfortable in the fact that I haven't made life "hard" for him - and sometimes that really pisses me off. But I have to remind myself - its MY PERSPECTIVE. I can't put words in his mouth or mind. I don't truly know what he is or isn't feeling right now. I can only know what he tells me - and he's only going to tell me if I ask. So we need to keep the lines of communication open. I know you feel… you are talking and talking and talking.....I feel the same way. I get the wanting to listen for a change. I'm right there with you! So what do we do about it?? We persist. It sucks to feel like you're the only one fighting. I told my husband that I needed him to show me that he would fight like hell for me. Continued in one last "brief" post (I promise to stop rambling very soon :-)

    ReplyDelete
  77. Post #4 - He offered to leave one day last week. He said it was to give me "space" so I could sort through my feelings (this was the day I talked to "her" - and I got REALLY angry about some details that differed between their stories...). I saw his offer to leave as him wanting to run away. Another attempt for him to "Escape". He told me that was not true, at all. He was trying to do whatever would "help" me. He thought if he left for a little while, it would help me sort through my feelings. I told him leaving would make me feel abandoned. He said he didn’t think about that – it never occurred to him that I would feel like he was running away. He thought he was doing me a favor. Then I had an “A-HA” moment, I told him that we just "communicated" for the first time in a LONG time!! Instead of “reacting” to what we THOUGHT the other person was saying or thinking - we talked through it. We realized that we had two different perspectives and but the same intentions. I explained to him that I needed him to stay and FIGHT for us. He says he understands now. I don’t know - Time will tell, I suppose. I struggle with the Demon of uncertainty. You are NOT alone. The uncertainty of not REALLY knowing what's going on in his head, of not knowing how this will all "play out", of not knowing if he will do this to me again, of not knowing if I'll ever be able to stop thinking about the horrid details of their sexual positions etc., of not knowing if I'll be able to forgive.....the list goes on and on. But there's one thing we CAN be certain about....we have found a "safe" place (THANKS ELLE!) and we'll navigate these waters together. When you feel you need a life line - come here and you'll find one :-) And I will try like hell to remind myself of these words. It’s so much easier to tell someone else that they can get through this and it’s all gonna be "okay" - then it is to believe the SAME holds true for myself! Why is that? I guess (hope) that is something I will learn in therapy. I think we just need to make ourselves believe that we ARE worth the fight and we DO deserve to be happy again. So, if today is “one of those days” for you…..stop for a minute and remember that your happiness IS worth fighting for – you DESERVE to love and be loved. (I really hope I didn't "ramble" too much and I helped you find some clarity). - Shell

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shell, Loop, Anon 66, MYR and so many others,

      Please continue to share your stories. By doing so you'll discover a few things: first, your story isn't that unique. You might feel alone in the world with your pain, but others know exactly what you're going through. And they feel for you. And their healing can light the way for yours.
      Second, these guys really are confused as hell. They really don't know why they risked the one thing that really matters to them for something that really doesn't. That's what therapy is for. So they can get clear on that...and ensure they don't do it again.
      Third: those body/sex insecurities? We all have them. Porn stars have them. Models have them. OW have them. Husbands have them. Sex is often where we most vulnerable. It's why sex can be so powerful, for good and bad. But part of this journey is to recognize that you are enough, just as you are. He didn't cheat because you have body issues. He didn't cheat because you won't be on top. He cheated because he was looking outside himself for something that only ever really come from inside himself. A sense of value. Or purpose. Or meaning. Men cheat because they like the reflection of themselves they see in another's eyes. They feel powerful and sexy and interesting. They feel as if they can reinvent themselves. It's a fantasy. And when the fantasy is revealed, they're often horrified by what they've done. But cheating can feel intoxicating...and it has NOTHING to do with you. You'll come to understand this.
      In the meantime, keep sharing.

      Elle

      Delete
  78. From Loop.

    Thanks Elle, perspective seems so hard to come by and every little bit helps. Last night my husband and I talked, so quietly - it was Q&A style, but with low voices and thoughtful pauses instead of me rushing to ask another question before he finished one answer and breaking into sobs and desperately filling the silences - the conversation just went how it had to go. Does that make sense? He says, more than anything, he wished he had a 'reason why' to give me. I told him that until HE understands his reason why then he can't offer me an explanation: he has to understand it before I can. We are definitely stuck there. And I wonder if the 'why' should be as important to me as it is.

    His OW texted him on Friday from a different number, he made no attempt to hide it and asked me how to respond. My suggestion? DON'T RESPOND! I thought about how this site talks about attention being oxygen for some OW's and I don't want to give Her anymore of mine. She wanted to make sure he was 'ok', said She meant no harm, just that it was important that She know he was 'ok'. (I checked phone records, the only texts from her were the ones he told me about, the ones he showed me, the ones he didn't respond to). She then contacted me on Sunday, telling me how sorry She was for screwing up everyone's life and how She hated herself and understood if I hated her. Give. Me. A. Break. 'Sorry' is weak and self serving in this case. I did not respond. I want to, but I'm keeping my oxygen for myself.

    Insecurities have been brought out and discussed between my husband and I and I wish that I could believe the proclamations he makes about my body and personality; everything just seems so fabricated now, nothing is real or believable.
    He is home all the time now, before he stopped in to eat and sleep it seemed. Our 10 year old says, "dad seems like he is getting back to his old self again." (He spent 2 years as a man we didn't recognize, the last 6 months of which involved the OW). I feel like if my kids are happy having this dad back, with the way things are in our hone now, than I should be too - that that should be enough for me.

    We don't have insurance, but I am actively trying to find some way to get us some counseling - I want him to understand himself so that I can have a better understanding of the man I married - warts and all - and have some sense of what I'm getting myself into if I stick this out. I want him to know and understand himself as much I want to know and understand him and the people we are together and what that means for our marriage or the end of it. I feel like I'm babbling - but it feels so, so good to say something that someone will hear and understand a part of.

    I don't like how what he did has totally changed the landscape of who we are as individuals. I understand it, of course, would change our marriage - but that it has changed me as an individual is hard to accept. It has added insecurities and fears. I try to only look at small sections of the Big Picture I have been painted into, to make sense or 'come to terms' with small brush strokes at a time, but it gets overwhelming when I realize that they are all connected and if I don't get a handle on the Big Picture than all the small things will forever be tripping me up.

    I am so glad you are all here, even if it is only to hear myself talk and think out loud.
    ~Loop

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loop,
      I remember well that sense that this had "changed" me...and I believed not for the better. Now, however, I can honestly say that all the fears and insecurities that my husband's infidelity dredged up are being exorcised. They were there. No matter what he did, they were already there, hidden. Now I've done battle with them. They're not gone, but they're dramatically weakened. They don't have nearly the power over me that they once did, even if I wasn't always conscious of their power.
      Try not to get too "big picture" about things. Take it a day at a time and you'll be able to eventually look back and see patterns...and look forward and make predictions. In the meantime, trust that today is okay. That you're getting there, a step at a time.
      For example, your response to the OW's overtures was perfect. And my guess is that's not necessarily how you would have responded a while back. Now, though, you can see her behaviour for what it is: a desperate attempt for oxygen.
      Loop...you're doing great. Better than you realize.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. God I needed that, Elle. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I need to stop looking for 'sweeping change' in the way I'm moving through this; I hadn't considered how much turmoil I likely saved myself by taking the 'no oxygen' route with Her. (I did write her a lovely reply, then carefully hit 'Save' and added it to my personal journal). Today marks 1 month with The Truth and all day I tried so hard to avoid reflecting on what has happened in the last 30 days -it caught up with me tonight and I rounded out dinner with a good, long, deep weep in the bedroom...with my husband by my side ~ I suppose that's a pattern I should focus on too - he is Here Now and since I can't change where he was Then, that needs to feature more prominently in my handling of all this. He brought us here, so it seems only fair I give him the chance to help bring us somewhere else.
      I hope you know just how much that simple last sentence impacted me. If I could embroider, it would be on a pillow by tomorrow evening: Better Than You Realize. Thank you for putting yourself out here, for giving us all a little hope that the one-size fits all approach to after-infidelity has quite a bit of elastic.
      ~Loop

      Delete
    3. Loop,
      I love that analogy -- that the one-size-fits-all approach has quite a bit of elastic. Beautiful.
      You know you'll go through tough days still. The danger, I think, is in thinking the dark feelings will last forever. For some reason, we don't trust joy. We think it's fleeting. But we believe that sadness or depression will go on and on.
      It's really important right now to focus on how you're moving forward, even if that forward momentum feels incremental. You might not be where you want to be...but you're also not where you were.

      Elle

      Delete
  79. Part 1
    Reading some of these posts has really helped me and others have introduced me to new ways to obsess about this. My story is different from the rest so far and I need thoughts/advice. My husband and I have been together for 5 years and just had our first child 6 months ago. We are very happy, But we've gone through a period of being detached from each other since our son was born. I was all about my baby and we just started having again(I had a hard time accepting my body after baby). I complain a lot about being stuck indoors all day and well we just aren't our usually happy selves together but i dismissed it as post baby Blues and wasnt concerned. . And NEVER thought he'd cheat on me. His affair wasn't really an affair, it was an encounter. He was driving home from work one day and while stopped at a light a girl asked him for a ride. It was 10 degrees out that day and she needed to go just a few minutes past our house so he agreed. While driving She looked over at him and said , "mm you're hot you wanna go somewhere? " and she reached over and started rubbing his thigh. He said yes and she directed him to some empty parking lot where they had sex in his truck. When it was over she asked him for money and said if he didn't pay her she wouldn't get out of his truck! He was in shock and tried numerous ways to coerce her out of the truck but she refused and he was afraid to force her out. Finally he snapped a picture of her with his phone and said he would bring it to police(to tell them what exactly i don't know)and she finally got out.. And he came home to me. I had NO IDEA. That day he walked in as if nothing had happened. We were arguing over the phone that day and continued to be testy with each other at home. The next day he randomly brought home a bottle of my favorite bacardi and started making me drinks(just 2)..I stopped drinking when i became pregnant 18 months ago so I was feeling pretty tipsy. (Keep in mind I still don't know about yesterday) My husband only had a few sips of mine. He started coming on to me pretty strong-the strongest he had come on to me in months and months and even though I still have no sex drive I realized he was trying to get me drunk because he wanted to get me in the mood! I felt really guilty that he felt like he needed alcohol just to get his wife to have sex with him! So i forced myself to put my insecurities aside and we had the most amazing sex we have had in a really long time that night. Well the very next day I went to the corner store by my house and the cashier said she had to talk to me. She knows me and my husband because we go in there all the time but let's just say she's not the classiest of people. Well it turns out the girl that my husband picked up was her "friend"(or co-hooker maybe?!) When she left my husband that night she jotted down his license plate. When hearing the description of this guy who "ripped off" her friend, this cashier girl was basically like hey I think I know that guy. I'll skip all the details about the anxiety and trauma that took place when I confirmed it was him, but basically I acted like I knew and he confirmed my worst fears by admitting it was true. He cried and begged me to forgive him saying he messed up and it just happened and he wasn't thinking. He said he felt disgusting after and even more so after realizing she was a hooker (how dumb could he be? ) I'm just so confused because I want to believe that this was a one time thing and that it fell into his lap because that's easier than knowing he went out looking for it, but on the other hand it doesn't change the fact that it happened and now I will never know if it will happen again or if it happened before. I would've never known if it wasn't for this crazy string of circumstance!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Part 2
    I'm sick so sick for myself for my marriage for my son! I sacrificed so much and he couldn't even remain loyal to me through our first phase of feeling a little distant from each other!? The craziest part is I'm not angry, I'm just sad! We haven't even fought. I've only cried as he held me and apologized over and over again. He's reassured me it was not my fault and he takes full responsibility for his decision, but he also admits it probably wouldn't have happened if we weren't going through this rough patch. I haven't even considered leaving him I'm just focusing on how I'm going to get through it. Maybe because it was only physical and I don't have to give her an identity because he treated her and dismissed her as a whore. Which she was. But I'm worried that I'm not even handling it yet and I'm in shock and it's going to hit me one day out of no where. It's only been a month. I cry a lot and I always think of it when we drive passed areas I'm wondering where it happened but I won't ask. He walks me through these weak moments holding me when i cry saying he's sorry and that we're gonna get through this. We too have had this hysterical bonding with starting to have good sex again and just being very close again. Any input on how I should handle this is welcome. I don't want to keep writing because I'll never stop! Thank you in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Distraught,
      You're right in that you're probably still in shock. Discovering a spouse's betrayal is traumatizing. Factor in the postpartum stuff and your poor system is in overdrive trying to process everything.
      Each of us, however, experiences it differently. You might be able to move past a lot of the angst given that your husband has completely dismissed her and is being supportive.
      However, it's important that he explores why he chose to do this. There's more to all our choices than simply opportunity. In order to ensure that this doesn't happen again, that he's clear on what he was telling himself that made this "okay" to him, he needs to talk to a counsellor or do some deep soul-searching.
      You might also find that, with time, you're ready to ask some tougher questions. But right now, seek comfort and trust that you'll get through this.

      Elle

      Delete
  81. PART ONE
    I am so glad that I found your site, it's so relieving to know that I am not alone with my story, but even more so with my anger, fear and feeling like my world came to an end.
    I will try to keep it short, but that probably won't work, because I would like to include as much background information as possible, because I am also hoping to get some valuable advise from you.

    I just got 40, consider myself to be an attractive and ambitious professional woman, and I am with my fiance for almost 3 years. We met on an online dating website in April 2011, and from the beginning I had the feeling that he is something very special. The way he articulated his beliefs and feelings, he seemed to be so polite, well mannered and charming. I never met a man like him. He is African American, while I am European, but I have lived the last 6 years in the Caribbean, with my now 17 year old daughter.

    After we met online, we talked and emailed very often, got closer to each other and in August the same year we finally decided to meet, so we went on a 2 week vacation to the Dominican Republic. It was awesome, and for me it was no surprise to find out that he was the man I was always looking for. He was not only very handsome but also well-mannered, a real gentleman, opens the door for me etc., and he treated me very well and sweet. After that vacation we both knew that we wanted to take this further, so we went on another vacation in Puerto Rico in October, which was also great. In December he visited us in Grenada, where we lived at that time, he met my daughter and she immediately liked him. We had a great time there, and he met my friends and neighbors, and he enjoyed his time on the island with us. He visited us again in March, and then we went to visit him in Texas in May for three weeks. We met his 9 year old daughter, who also immediately seemed to like us, and this was the point where we started talking about finding a way to live with each other. I tried to get a work visa sponsored and even found a company who offered me a great and well paid job, but unfortunately they were to late with the petition, all work visas for that year were already used up. At first we thought about getting married but then we decided against, because we both didn't want to just enter marriage for the wrong reasons.

    My daughter and I went back to Grenada, and I went to see him again in August, for another vacation to the DR, and finally in December 2012, we went to the states for three months, where we also met his immediate family and close friends. Everybody seemed to like us immediately, and overall his whole family welcomed as so warmly.
    He found out that his ex-wife planned to move to California, and since his daughter is everything for him, he asked if I could imagine to move there with him. I said yes, because I wanted to be with him, so why wouldn't I move with him? He proposed on Valentine's Day and I said yes, and after we went back to Grenada, two months later, we started the long and exhausting process of getting a fiancee visa for myself, to be able to go to the states, marry him and apply for a green card. Boy I tell you, it took so much money, time and energy to get all papers together, and we even had to involve his dad to ask him to act as co-sponsor, because my fiance didn't make enough money then.

    ReplyDelete
  82. PART TWO

    I didn't want to wait for the visa interview in the Caribbean, plus I haven't seen my family in 6 years, so we decided that my daughter and I go back to Austria to wait for the visa interview. I found a good job here for those months to make some money, and my daughter decided in the meantime that she wanted to stay with her dad and go to school here. So I would now move to the states without her, which was very painful, but she is old enough to decide for herself, so I said yes to that.

    In August 2013 he came to visit me in Austria, where he finally met my parents, family and friends, and we also went to Italy together. We both love to travel, and we did have a great time, but were also fighting a lot, but more to that later.

    Since then we haven't seen each other, and I just had my visa interview last week, and now got my visa in hands! Planned departure for the states is the 13th February, in two weeks.

    Now my problems:
    The first 1.5 years of our relationship were really great, he was cool, very open and honest, I never mistrusted him, he never hid anything from me and despite us fighting quite a bit, we loved each other very much and were happy with each other, and enjoyed travelling together.

    The longer we stayed apart, the more difficult it would be to maintain communication without ending in fights and misunderstandings, and during the second year I started to have doubts about his mental health. I researched a lot and he shows (more and more now) the typical signs of bipolar. Very loving one day, aggressive and hurting the next day, throwing away what we have, telling me that I am annoying and so needy and insecure. I have to say that I found out that I was in Menopause already with 39 years, and the year after that I went through hell, due to the lack of proper treatment on the island where we lived. I am now officially in Postmenopause, and since I am in Austria I am on HRT, which made everything so much better. My anxiety attacks and depression are almost gone, and I feel normal again. However, during the first year of trying different antidepressants, he had to go through hell with me, and I admit that I was really not a pleasant person to be with during that time. We made it though, but that phase of our relationship took its toll on our intimacy and connection.

    The last months since his last visit we had so many fights, some of them really bad, that we got very disconnected, and two ok weeks were mostly followed by one bad week, where we wouldn't talk a lot, and every fight ended with one of his typical anger outbursts, and I tell you, this man must be bipolar, there is no other explanation! One minute he is the most loving man, the other minute he calls me names and says he wants out.

    He always kept going with me through the visa process though, and there have been a few occasions, where he could have said, no, I don't want you to come here, I am not going further. But he always made sure we had all documents, we spend tons of money on sending documents over here, not talking about lawyer cost and consulate fees.......he really did everything to support me, even in times when we barely spoke with each other, because of another bad fight. He is very moody, and I believe it's bipolar, and I found a way to handle him a little better, I can sense when another episode would soon start, and I end the conversation on a loving note. It worked better, but yet he is very unpredictable, and there were so many situations, where I couldn't keep my mouth shut, which made it only worse............

    ReplyDelete
  83. PART THREE

    So now, I feel like shit, all my friends tell me to leave him and not go to the states, but I can't wrap my head around it! I know for sure that they didn't have sex yet, because of what she was saying in that video, which doesn't make the whole thing less horrible though. But I think now, I want to fight for him, I am not giving up on what we planned, just because he is exchanging explicit and very private videos?

    I have to add that he was married to a woman for 12 years, they have a daughter together, and he was a heavy drug user and an alcoholic too. He is sober for 6 years now, and I always admired him for that strength. I do think though that this might have triggered him being bipolar, and I am wondering if that's the reason why he cheats on me and kind of having 2 faces, telling me he loves me and is not giving up on me etc.???

    I am so destroyed, but I kind of made my decision to go to the states as planned, meet him and see for myself if that video thing wasn't only to satisfy his extreme sexual needs, while I was not there yet. I know this sounds awful, and maybe I am naive, but I do love him so much, and we planned a future and I invested all my money and energy into moving there. To give up now, while I don't even know if he cheated before or if this was the first time? I just think that I need to fight for this, because he can be such a great partner and friend, only once he has those shitty episodes, he is an asshole. Now I don't want to find excuses for his highly inappropriate behaviour, but if he really is bipolar, then I want him to get help. I have no idea how I will get him to get checked out, but I would like to suggest couple therapy anyways, because I think we might need it. We plan to get married within 3 weeks of my arrival too, so I can file for adjustment of status asap and get work authorization. We do need my income, so we can't really delay on that too much.

    Please tell me, is it totally not to understand that I want to give us a chance, a real one, because we never actually lived together, apart from those 3 months we were there to visit. We are mostly a great team, especially business wise, we have the same goals, and share a lot of hobbies, like travel and art, he is a blessed writer and director. I am not sure if he can change, but if he is sick, I don't want to turn my back on him, but give him a chance to get better. I may sound so naive, I can hear myself........but I do love him so much, and I just want to believe also, that that woman is his first and only one, and they didn't have sex yet, which makes it even more possible for me to see it as a vent for his sexual desires. I want to add that we always have really great sex, we are both very open and we do things that you just don't do with just "anyone", but only if you know each other well and trust each other. While it hurts to see that woman sending him those videos, I also know that he can't possibly have any other intentions with her, because she got 5 kids, is divorced, and he always said that women with young kids or more than one kid is a no-no for him. I do know that I have so much more to offer than her, besides, he is getting so much better videos from me lol No, I am not feeling like laughing, but that woman I don't really see as a real threat, as in him leaving me for her or something like this. If that would be a possibility, he would have never gone through with my visa, wouldn't he?

    ReplyDelete
  84. PART FOUR





    Whenever I started to have doubts about his commitment, he would say I should look at the actions, he involved his dad to be a co-sponsor, we just rented a nice apartment in California together, his dad had to co-sign the lease too, and we started to furnish the apartment, to be ready for my arrival. His daughter sends us collages of images of us al the time, with the words "Love is the most powerful thing in the world" etc., she is so excited to see us as a family. So while he was right that his actions should speak for itself, when the day came to pick up my visa, I had a strange feeling, and I did something that I am not proud of at all. I knew his email password and I went through his emails, and what I found there blew my head off. I found some videos of a woman that he met on a high-school-reunion last August (I recognized her face because I saw her FB profile, she is his FB friend too), that were VERY explicit of nature. One video was her talking to him (never saying his name, but it was obvious enough since it's his high school colleague, so not just some porn video), about how this is the first time she shared this side of her with him, that she never saw him this way, and that she hopes that, when she finally gets to see him, that this experience would be so great that there is nothing to compare it with!!! The other videos were really nasty, she was doing it herself with all kinds of vegetables etc. I also found a video of my fiance, jerking off. All on the same date, the 27th of January, 4 days after my birthday.
    I don't have to tell you how I felt, my whole body was trembling, and I just wanted to die. The thing is that the same woman once put a photo of him and her from that same high school reunion as her profile picture on FB. I was a bit stunned when I saw that (that was in December), but I thought, well, that might have nothing to say, just a hug and that's it. But who would put such a pic as their profile pic, unless she didn't know that he was engaged and soon to get married?? So now I do know that they obviously talked after that reunion, and now they are exchanging those nasty videos, while he is telling me the last week how much he loves me, how much they are waiting for me there, how much he needs and appreciates me......................!!!! On my birthday he sent me such a sweet email, and also the days afterwards, up until the day I found out, he was very nice and I thought, great, we are getting better again.



    Please let me know what you all think of my story, and if me wanting to go there and figure it out and fight for him, is total bs???

    Thank you all in advance.........I really need support, can't even focus on work or anything....I think I already lost 6 pounds in only 2 days.............the first day I only felt like vomiting all the time.......I do a little better today, but the "mind movies" of her still pop up in waves, and it's the most horrible thing...........

    One more advise I'd love to get from you who went through this already......my best friend told me I have to grow myself some balls, get stronger and detach myself from my emotions. I am a very emotional person, which also always annoyed him a lot. I would like to get stronger mentally and less needy and emotional, are there any tips from you how to learn this?? Thank you all so much!!!














    ReplyDelete
  85. I am the poster of the above 4 parts, but I just realized that PART THREE and PART FOUR are somehow completely mixed up, and I can't edit them anymore, so I do hope you can figure out what comes first......... ;)

    ReplyDelete