Join the Club...and Share Your Story

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Betrayal is lonely as hell. It also often silences us. We fear looking stupid. We dread people's pity. We don't want their judgement of us...or our cheating spouse. So we keep our stories to ourselves.
But our stories are powerful. They reveal what we're telling ourselves. And they reveal what we're not telling ourselves. By tell our stories, and being brutally honest, we can gain clarity and insight. We can begin to own what is ours...and let go of what isn't. By telling our story, we can begin to heal. 
I invite each of you, when you're ready, to share your story. You can include your name or post anonymously. You can share your heartbreak, your anger, your fear, your hope. (I only ask that you don't post anything that's disrespectful to others' choices or experience. No slamming reconciliation or divorce. No pretending that your choice is the only choice, or even the best choice. It's YOUR choice.)
I'm going to ask you to follow a few rules so that it's easier for others to find your story. Give it a title that lets us know, roughly, what you're sharing. Perhaps it's "The Other Woman was my Best Friend" or "Coping with Depression" or "I'll Never Have Sex Again" or...you'll no doubt do better than I with the titles. Your stories can be long, they can be short. They can give us the whole saga or you can focus in on a tiny part of it. 
By sharing your story, you not only respect your own path, you give voice to many others who can't find their own truth yet. Though the circumstances in each of our stories might be different, the feelings are pretty much the same. And recognizing that so many of us know your pain and have walked the same road can go a long toward putting us on the path back to wholehearted living.
It's YOUR story. Own it. Share it.
We're listening...

202 comments:

  1. I am so glad I found your blog. Two months ago my husband sat me down and told me that one year ago when he was in Manila (he had been in Asia for 10 days and had a 48 hr stopover in Manila,a friend of our's travels there on business and asked my husband if he would like to join him and see this part of the world, I was all for it, because it would be interesting for him to see. I thought it was a great idea at the time. He had a free afternoon and went across to the mall from the hotel and as he was approaching the mall a woman grabbed his arm and asked him "are u by yourself and would u like some company", she was of course a prostitute (dressed in shorts/tank top/flipflops) So my "wonderful" husband of 26 years replies "yes". Off the two of them go back to the hotel across the street and she puts a condom on him and he starts to have sex with her, and he stops after the "first" entry and can't continue, breaks down and tells her to get the f**k outta the room. She wouldn't leave until he paid her, so she get's paid the $50 and leaves. He kept this from me for one whole f**king year....he put my health at risk, he betrayed be, he kept this secret and lived a "normal life" for the entire year!!! He said he couldn't keep it in anymore, he would suppress it down inside anytime it started to "creep" up, and then prior to him disclosing this to me, he was having alot of night sweats, loss in appetite, blaming all on work related stress, so I believed him, because I never ever thought in a million years that he would ever do this to me.(I'm sure alot of faithful wives feel this way). Upon my husband's insistance we have started marriage counselling and also going to see our pastor for counselling. It has been 2 months since he disclosed this to me and I have told him that I don't know if I will stay or leave, I'm still sitting on the fence!!! I thank you for reading my post and please pray for me in whatever I decide. God Bless!!!

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    1. Thank-you for sharing your story...and I'm so sorry for the pain you're in.
      It sounds as if you've got good support -- from counselling and your pastor -- in determining how to move forward. Most "experts" in infidelity recommend waiting six months before making any big decisions (unless there's abuse/refusal to end affair/so on) simply because you're likely still in shock. We tend not to make the healthiest decisions until we feel as if we can live beyond moment to moment. You want to be able to take a long-term view and determine whether you're ultimately better off working through this and, ideally, rebuilding a marriage, or whether you simply can't move past this and are better off parting ways.
      There is no right or wrong path to healing and no hard-and-fast timeline. Some heal quickly, some (like me) more slowly.
      I hope you'll continue to share your journey with us -- we can learn a lot from each other.

      Elle

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    2. Hmm...I think I could easily forgive that; it seems like your husband is actually a highly conscientious person because he could not even culminate the sex act!! That is crazy; I know in that mood, it is very difficult to override the physical urge. It was just a dumb physical thing; like the difference between someone randomly shoplifting vs. someone making a plan to steal your money daily for a year. I think it would better if he had not told :$ Just let it go. Holding it over your husband will just make him more uncomfortable and you more difficult to love. It's very hard to cuddle an angry person.

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  2. Thank you for everyone sharing their experiences, On the 19th August 2012 I lost my Mum to her battle with a brain tumor then 5 weeks after the funeral I caught my husband cheating on me with someone he met at a stag do! It took three weeks for the full extent of what he had done and I have been struggling to accept everything, I had to hold my head up at the wedding just after it and the OW was there, I spent the day surrounded with a few friends that had been informed and I did a great job keeping my distance and enjoying the occasion! Husband and I are working on keeping things together but with 2 kids under 5, no spare time and no support really, I am still so hurt and waiting on getting counselling is taking forever and I crack occasionally and cannot cope with it all and I just feel he can forget it a lot of the time and the OW gets to walk away etc (most people blame just the person in the relationship but when the OW knows full well circumstances of family household etc she is just as bad) I am happy alot of the time with my small family and husband but there is always doubt etc....still raw and emotional!!

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    1. I'm so so sorry for all that you've been through. I lost my mom just a few months after D-Day #1 and just two weeks after D-Day #2 (when I got the WHOLE story) so I know how awful it is to try and grieve the loss of your mother while grieving the loss of the marriage you thought you had.
      I'm glad you've got friends who can support you through this. Surround yourself with those who can let you lean on them. You won't need to forever...but for now, it'll certainly help.
      Counselling is great and I hope you get into see one soon. Are you going alone? Or is this couples counselling?
      This is still pretty new so I'm not surprised you're still feeling raw and emotional. Especially with the additional pain of losing your mom. You've got a lot of grief to work through. I can't say much except that time will work its magic, as long as you're also doing the work of healing -- taking care of yourself, talking about your losses when you need to, continuing to feel grateful for your wonderful kids. The great thing about kids is that they remind us to live in the moment so do your best to join them in discovering the world. It can be a great way to pull you out of regretting the past/worrying about the future.

      Elle

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  3. Dear Elle,
    I guess I'm here like many other members, searching for a piece of mind. My husband is a minister who had an affair with a member of our congregation. This in it's self is hard to deal with because he stands in the pulpit and teaches against this. For over a year I had known that this affair was going on, but of course he denied it. It only came out when he was faced with being outted about another affair with his first daughters mother. That one I can handle a lot better because we're 600 miles away. But I'm in a situation now where I'm faced with my horror on a daily basis. This is not something that we wanted to spread around the church so it was kept private. Every time I'm at church I'm reminded of how my husband betrayed me. It's not something that we can run from. We have 3 children together and packing up and leaving is not an option right now, however when and if the chance comes we're out of here on the first thing smoking. I guess my question is how do I get over this when I have to look at the other woman all the time. It's gotten to the poing were she feels comfortable coming to my home to drop of things to my children. Some days I'm ok and others I still feel dead. I feel like he has put me in a position that can't excape from. I wen't through my period where I was crying every 5 minutes, but then I had to pull it together quick because I'm the ministers wife of course. Please help. I'm tired of feeling depressed and sick over this.

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    1. Dear Minister's Wife,

      I'm so sorry for what you continue to endure. It must feel horrible to sit and listen to someone preach hypocritically. Clearly your husband has serious issues, especially if this is a second affair. What is he doing to deal with it? Does the church offer some sort of counselling or support? I think affairs within ministry are more common than we think -- it's a tough job. Not an excuse...just the truth.
      Why, might I ask, do you have to deal with the OW? It should be made clear to her that she is to have absolutely NO contact with your husband or your family. You certainly should NOT have to face her at your own front door. You need to get really clear on what you will and will NOT tolerate. You're being an incredibly good sport about this...but maybe it's time to start respecting yourself enough to insist on certain behaviour from your husband and from the OW. Starting with keeping her as far away from you as possible.
      Please don't think you're obliged to put your feelings away because you're the minister's wife. You need a safe place to let them out. Where you can be honest about how difficult this is and figure out what you need to get back to a place of feeling safe and valued. Until then, you won't "get over" this. Even with all that in place, you don't get over so much as you get through this.
      In the meantime, you need to set some ground rules to protect yourself and your family right now. This woman has some nerve! Don't put up with it. YOU did nothing wrong.

      Elle

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  4. I found a video of D. Flirting with a bartender in March of 2012. He convinced me it was a sophomoric moment and there was not a chance he would ever risk losing his family. I made him promise on our 5 children's lives he was being honest with me and he did while stating me straight in the eyes. It was something we did when we spoke of BIG things. I can tell you the exact clothes we had on and the exact spot we were standing in. I knew something was off, but before that moment I never questioned or suspected anything inappropriate, after that moment I began checking up on him. I never found anything suspicious, which made me feel worse about my insecurities. In August we lost our 14 year old son in a car accident. I cannot begin to describe, so I will not, why this is important to know is he promised on our children's life. 1 week after the funeral I was going through cards and messages from friends and family reading special memories people had shared trying to smile. It was my youngest sons 7th birthday, I was determined to have a tear free day! Unfortunately that did not happen! Someone he had spoken about in the past left a cryptic message about how she was still there if he ever needed and would not bring up the past. I opened up His Facebook and there she was. I was able to access their deleted messages. In 2010 they had a fling. This time he did not deny it. It took a month to get the whole story of betrayal. 4 women, 3 years of lies, and various forms of deceit has been a difficult pill to swallow.

    In late 2009 he was misdiagnosed with depression after the death of his father. D had always had ups and downs but after his dad died they became more severe. His father physically and emotionally abused him for most of his childhood. Once his father died his dreams of having a father son relationship went with him. This coupled with his mother who, never had a kind word to say about her alive husband, began romanticizing about what an amazing provider and husband he was triggered him to seek professional help. (I'm still pissed she did not protect her baby. It was and still is horrific to watch. ) D. Was put on an antidepressant. I have now found out that a bipolar person cannot be on an antidepressant without the combination of a mood stabilizer. It can cause Increased mania and lack of impulse control. Who knew?

    I struggle with this because at the end of the day he made choices. He chose to lie, cheat, manipulate, and endanger my family. He chose to continue the behaviors. He chose to not communicate the crazy impulses he was having with his dr. HE CHOSE to swear on his son's life and now he is gone. One of his nasty 4 choices ( I affectionally refer to them as whore1, whore2, whore3, and you guessed it whore4), showed up to the funeral and had the nerve to sign her name in our son's guest book. I can't even picture what she looks like but I would be able to tell you what her signature looks like from a mile away. I cannot tell you how many nights I have stared at it....Do I rip out the page? Do I leave it? Does it matter... it won't change a damn thing!

    I have lost all respect for this man whom I once believed was my rock, my soulmate, my best friend. I do not even know who he is! While he feels so much better with the addition of drugs, and by unburdening his soul, I still cry in the middle of the night. I have recurring nightmares every night!

    During the day, we are polite and kind to one another, we have 4 boys to focus on and help them through their pain. They do not need to worry about more loss. We go to counseling together and independently.

    I fear this pain will never end!

    Time is a Four Letter word!

    Thanks... this felt good to write it down! And Thank You for sharing your journey through hell and making me smile with your witty comments.

    Me

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    1. Dear Me,
      Thank-you for sharing your incredibly painful story. I often said, when first learning of my husband's betrayal, that the only greater pain could be losing a child. I'm so incredibly sorry that you've had so much grief to wade through.
      My mother passed away not long after D-Day and though I know it's nothing like losing a child, the grief, for me, got all wrapped up in other other grief of my husband's betrayal. It was hard to figure out where one grief ended and the other began. You have an enormous amount of healing to do around both your son and your husband. I'm glad to know you're in counselling as this is too much for any one person to bear alone.
      I completely understand your focus on his "choices" but hope you'll be able to get to a place where you can recognize that "choice" for someone dealing with mental illness isn't the same as "choice" for an emotionally healthy person. Given also the abuse your husband suffered as a child, I'm sure he's got plenty to sift through as well, in order to understand how he allowed himself to let someone else (four someone elses!!) into your marriage.
      Again, I'm so sorry for the loss of your son and your sons' loss of their brother. No-one should ever have to know that pain. And the fact that you're able to be there for your kids and keep yourself moving forward is testament to your incredible strength.
      I hope you'll continue to share here. It does feel good to get this stuff out...especially to people who've been there.
      Welcome to club no-one wants to join! We're glad you found us.

      Elle

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    2. This seriously made me cry...sorry for your loss

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  5. Can I make it?

    Dear Elle:
    Thank you for being so eloquent--Elle and all who post. Reading the blog and your stories have helped me in a way that no other friend, therapist and family can. No one gets it unless they've been there.

    I am trying to regain my sanity--it's been three months since I found out my husband was having an affair for about a year, with a co-worker, someone I knew, someone who came over to my house with her husband and kids for pool parties, for my daughter's birthday party and for some 'double dates'. I found some suspicious emails, then I found the blog he was writing to her. He decided to break it off with her the December prior to see if we had anything left in our marriage--then he decided in the new year that he wanted to be with her. This blog was an ode to her, to get her back. I was full of quotes, places, songs and videos describing her as his 'soulmate and muse'--this was what he engraved on my wedding ring. It was so painful to see the words in black and white. I confronted him and he at first denied it, then knowing he would, I handed him the copy of the blog. He admitted it finally and I told him to leave. Then enter nervous breakdown--I was physically ill for weeks, lost weight and lost my mind. I let him come back provided he see a therapist, we continue with our therapy and he have no contact with the OW--he also said he would sign an affair pre-nup. He tells me again and again that he was crazy, we were so detached and that he just wanted someone to make him feel special. He said he was not attracted to her, he enjoyed the attention and the thrill and he thought I hated him. He said that he is so ashamed of himself and that I am truly the love of his life and he will spend the rest of his life making it up to me and our two young girls He has been doing everything well so far (although it still bothers me that they work in the same building), going to his counseling sessions, reading books and letting me have open visibility into his life, phone email etc.
    BUT I still can't let it go--I ask myself all the time, is he staying because I found out? He was blogging to her the very same day I confronted him--how can he just decide he loves me now and not her? How could he so easily and so disrespectfully spend time with the both of us together? How could he disrespect her kids and our kids so much and another woman's marriage (she is separated from her husband now living apart) I have asked him all of these questions too--his usual answer is that he was crazy, immature and he is now a man.
    I am pumped up on anti-depressants (no history of depression prior to this) and I am am scared I am living in a fog. I am so afraid to be vulnerable, like most of the other posters speak of. I am so afraid to live the rest of my life with only half a heart. I do love him, and he is being so great--doing everything right--but I am not sure that is enough. In the day-to-day it is--I have moments of shier happiness that we've never had in our marriage before--I've even wondered if this is a blessing in disguise. But here are times when I feel such profound sadness for his actions and for the fact that he risked it all, and put our girls at risk. I sometimes wonder if deep down I am staying for them. As a devoted mother I will save them from any pain--and I will shoulder the pain of the affair if it means protecting them from having a divided family.
    I just feel so lost--never imagined my prince charming would do this. I never imagined feeling so much pain and heartache.
    Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories--you have all helped me so much and given me hope--like a virtual 'hug' that I so desperately need from people who understand.
    Thanks again to all--Jamie

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    1. Jamie , your story sounds a lot like mine in the fact that he is trying hard to make it up to you. Sometimes it feels like "everything is so great now....what's the catch?"

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    2. Jamie,

      You're probably tired of hearing that time will work its magic...but it's true. Three months out is still so incredibly raw. I felt like I wanted to die, just to escape the pain. I used to tell my husband that he'd ruined me -- that I would never feel joy again. And for a few years that was true.
      What I wish I'd known then is that there is no "perfect" out there. Prince Charming doesn't exist. Each couple has its challenges and a lot more than you realize are dealing with infidelity.
      Lesson #1: Stop comparing yourself to these mythical others.
      Lesson #2: Focus on the positive. You say your marriage is getting better? Keep working on it. By the time you're done, you'll have a deeper more meaningful relationship because you've weathered the tough times. Even if you eventually leave, you'll leave with a deeper partnership which will ensure you're better parents to your kids.
      I felt for a lot of years that I was willingly sacrificing my happiness for my kids' security and stability. I don't feel like that anymore. I think that was what I told myself because admitting that I was staying because I loved my husband and believed we could make it seemed too frightening.
      In any case, here I am with no regrets. We still have our issues (for God's sake, why can't the man leave the AC at a temperature that doesn't turn our house into a deep freeze) but in so many ways, our relationship is deeper and we're so much more compassionate with each other.
      Consider this a "virtual" hug. :)

      Elle

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    3. Thanks to you both....I certainly think every day: "What's the catch?" or when is my world going to crumble again....it's so hard to trust and believe everything is going to be okay. Thanks for the advice Elle--stopping the comparison to the OW and obsessing with her is my hardest challenge. I find myself so angry with her as I've never received an apology from her, no remorse, no shame. At least my husband shows remorse and shame, every day and is repulsed by what he did. Positivity is my motivation right now--trying to look at this as a blessing in disguise, and looking how every day my husband and I are moving closer and closer together forming the bond that we've always both wanted and fixing our relationship problems to create the deepest bond we've ever had. But I can't help but wonder....
      Knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel with your story helps too. You should be proud you are helping so many and that this experience, despite the anguish and horror, has helped in the healing with others. Keep blogging, and everyone keep posting. We can get through this together.
      virtual hugs to all. Jamie.

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    4. Your story is like mine, I just have known most of the women not really spent time like that. They are all coworkers and he is a repeat offender. But yet, I love him. He is still a good husband and amazing father, I cannot deny that. I feel as you do, I can bear anything if it means my children will be happy. Believe it or not, most of the time, I am happy too. Good luck and God Bless

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    5. Hi Jamie,
      How do you feel now? It's been almost 10 months since D-day and I feel I could have written what you wrote. My husband is doing everything right, couples therapy, individual therapy. It hurts so much and is still so confusing. I found out when he sent me a text meant for her. He denied it for months until I hacked his email and facebook. Still not sure if I am staying, never thought he would do this, we've been married 25 years, empty nesters. So much confusion and pain.

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  6. Hello Elle and ladies-4 months ago today I found out my husband was cheating on me with a former co worker of his. She is half my age and well, I had NO CLUE this affair was going on (as I'm sure many of you felt when you found out).January 18th, I was home with my children. My son and I were off from school and I was upstairs working on the bills. To give you some background, we have been living with my parents for the last 4 years due to finanicial issues, school and lack of funds to purchase a home.Anyways, as I was going through the finanical process as I do every month, I got curious and started looking at the records on our cell phone bill and you can probably guess what I saw! YEP! that same number hundreds of times on text and on call records. I immediately started shaking. I was kidding myself that this was a MAN'S number. So I contacted my best friend who has been and seen hell and high water with me. I requested she call this number. Minuets later, my friend revealed this number belonged to a young lady. I immediately lost it. How could he? It all came flooding in.I know this girl...I taught her sister..He works with her...They're friends on facebook.I found out they had been seeing each other off and on for two years. They slept together a handfull of times and have been talking pretty consistently.I also have two kids who had also met her.Of course I was angry...livid would probably be more like the appropriate word. I grabbed the largest suitecase and started packing anything I could grab from his side of the closet! My mother witnessed all this and actually helped me pack his things.I drove to his place of work, took out my spare key to his truck, threw it in the back and texted him his stuff was in his truck. He responded in shock. "I said I knew what was going on"...He said "We're were just friends...she's my outlet". Well after some angry conversation...I calmed down and we agreed to meet at the local park. The lying *&^%$#*@ convinced me he was just friends with her and visa versa. I let him come home and I let it go until the next day.... received a very lengthy text from this girl's mother during my 5th period class. She told me EVERYTHING. Again, I was furious. I immediate texted Kevin the message and called him a F-ing Liar!!! I told him leave work NOW. He said he couldn't but I said I don't care what you have to tell your boss, you will leave now if you want ANY chance of saving your marriage. We met at the same park and I lit into him like a TON OF BRICKS. Too keep it short, I did allow him to come home, but like everyone else I asked those age old questions "What am I doing?" "Does he REALLY love me?" "How could love her?". I demanded lots of counseling, no outings with friends, full access to his cell phone and so on. We went to counseling. Things were getting better in small doses. In February, the girl texted me and asked me to have him call her. He dad was having open heart surgery. I never responded but I did tell my husband she contacted me and he was NOT to talk to her. Well that request fell on deaf ears. Things, in my eyes, were progressing until May 20th rolled around. I came home to a story about how this girl had started spreading rumors about a friend of his. She had supposedly started saying the baby she was carrying was my husbands (which I found out was not true) However, this lead to me uncovering that he had been still talking to her. He saw her with our children AGAIN at a local ice cream shop and was telling her he loved her!!! Second devistation. I felt like such a fool. How could I have let this go on? I didn't see it! I demanded he cut off contact and he ignored that request. My current mental status....I'm angry with him. I feel stupid and betrayed. I question if I should even CONSIDER taking him back? I appreciate any feedback. I want to work things out...I still believe I love him. I love our children. I'm just so distraught.

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    1. I'm so so sorry for what this guy is putting you through. In answer to whether you should consider giving him another chance...certainly not right now. You can't have a marriage with a third person in it, nor can you reconcile with someone who won't respect you and your needs. He needs to get clear on whether he's willing to lose his family over some girl who's carrying someone else's baby (did I get that right???). And you need to get clear on whether you can have a future with him that doesn't involve lying and deceit and a total disregard for your feelings.
      Stand firm, at least publicly (you can fall apart in your mom's/friend's arms). As long as you're showing him that your boundaries aren't clear, then he'll continue to disrespect them.
      I know how hard this is, especially when you've got kids. But your kids are watching you all the time to see how you respond to life's problems. Show them that you ALWAYS treat yourself with respect...and they'll learn to do the same.

      Elle

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    2. Thanks Elle.
      To answer your question, The OW (More like girl) was spreading rumors about another woman (Former co worker) and my H (Probably hoping it would get back to me and split us up, but I know this person and that rumor is totally false).

      This incident has since been reported to the HR department. So I am hoping we won't see more from it. The OW is participating in destructive behaviors and I am praying my H has seen the light. The OW is CRAZY!

      Since Sunday, my H has gone to counseling for help. He has stated he will be faithful. He will never go back. Our counselor is REALLY good and knows our history. I am still skeptical even with what my H has said. I stand my ground. I have told him if I find out he is still even speaking to her, his stuff will be out on the front lawn. I will NOT tolerate it. I deserve better than that. My H says he wants to show me he can do it and be the man he needs to be. I am protecting my children, showing my H what he has done to us!!! We are in a very special situation in that we have been living with family for 4 years and our marriage fell apart. Not to make excuses, but I too am no angel. I was not the wife I should have been and I am working on this. The last 4 months have been hell for me. I thought I was doing everything right. my H own mother told him how big of a jerk he was on the phone yesterday. It came as a surprise to me and he WANTS to go back to the counselor.

      We will see I suppose. I'm not completely convinced. I don't even wear my wedding rings right now to show him he is going to have to work pretty hard to get me back in ANY way. I am praying for a better marriage comes out of all of this.

      Thanks for your response Elle.

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  7. Thank you for sharing. It really helps to have a place to vent and come together with people who share in the same pain of infidelity. I just started my blog, so please go and check out my story at www.IamNotInLoveWithYou.com.

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  8. E: I really like your blog. I have been searching and reading everything for about a year now. The Big D day was June 30, 2012. I have been on many community sites and so do not belong there. I have a tendency to upset everyone with my - what I call - logic. I am very emotional when it comes to my situation, but when I read others situation, I can become very logical which upsets everyone. It's so my personality. So I end up leaving every single site with bad feelings. Even other blogs of great women who have been so deceived by their partners leave me with nothing. But I found yours and now have it book marked and so enjoy just reading your thoughts from time to time.

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    1. A: Glad you found us...and that you like it here. I know it's tempting to believe we can see others' situations clearly, but one thing I really learned after what I went through is that I really have no idea what other people's lives are like. And I realized how quickly I was jumping to conclusions about the state of people's marriages, children, careers... That's not to say you shouldn't offer up your thoughts to others, just recognize that you're generally only seeing a very small part of the big picture. And that you're also only getting one person's point of view.
      If you're so inclined...why don't click on the "share your story" button and fill us in.

      Elle

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  9. For anyone willing to comment...

    Yesterday was my 12 yr anniversary. My H did nothing for me. I didn't do anything either but for obvious reasons. I think I basically told him I didn't want to celebrate a week or so ago. It kinda hurt he didn't go ahead and send me flowers or something, but he did honor my wishes. I think the pain from what happened just really clouds my judgement and wants.

    My question is....
    Should I be upset? I'm not angry cause it was my choice, but why does he start listening to my wishes now, but never did before?

    Samantha

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    1. If he's anything like my husband, he's so busy worrying about screwing up (again) that he misses obvious cues. It's hard when you're feeling so confused yourself but it's really important to say what you mean and mean what you say. Can you back to him now and tell him that you were hurt...even though you recognize that he did what you told him to do? It's when we stop talking about our feelings and sharing our vulnerability that the healing grinds to a halt.
      To answer your question, there is no "should", there's simply how you feel (and feelings are not facts, they're just...feelings). If you feel upset, then that's how you feel. But share it with him in as non-blaming a way as possible. Sort of an "in hindsight...I should have told you that flowers would be nice..." or whatever. You're navigating new territory so it's important for both of you to be clear.

      Elle

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  10. Elle- You're right! I just feel so confused. Some days I want to work things out and then others I wonder if I'd be better off. Divorce is not a solution in my opinion. People are people. I think I will go back and tell him.

    I think talking to others who are experiencing what I have is so helpful. I have two very good friends I confide in and they both say I'm crazy, but they love me anyways and just listen. One said "you know you deserve better!" But was is better? And is the grass really going to be greener? I still love him, but after I found out he was still speaking to her just two short weeks ago, I'm very much injured. Though I try to hide it around him. Right or wrong, I want to repair and dredging him through it daily is not going to work. I just don't know what is the best balance for talking about my feelings without wearing him out!

    Samantha

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    1. Samantha,
      It's something of a dance in the early days. My husband's therapist said that he didn't have to listen to me if what I was saying veered into cruelty or simply was going around and around in circles. And though I balked at it (frankly, I thought he should sit and shut up and give me the floor for as long as I wanted it), I nonetheless grew to recognize that I could easily go down a path that would never end until my voice gave out. So...perhaps you two could negotiate a similar plan. You have to know that he can listen to you when you need to talk, but he shouldn't have to endure outright abuse or a conversation that descends into "pain shopping". Setting a time limit is a good way to start. Ask for 10 minutes of his time during which he isn't to defend, deflect or minimize. Simply listen and offer support/empathy/compassion. Sometimes a good conversation will come out of it at which point you can keep talking. If not at least you've had 10 minutes of sharing your pain.

      Elle

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  11. That's pretty much how I feel. But I know I have to limit it and give him time to digest it. I'm just TERRIFIED that this isn't REALLY over. Our therapist said for my H to not contact the OW even to tell her it was over. I don't know I agree with that. Thoughts on that?

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    1. Yes, I can imagine that you're feeling shell-shocked...and somewhat unsure, given his recent contact with her.
      I'm inclined to think there needs to be a no-contact letter sent to her, registered mail. You should draft it together -- basically stating with no emotion that the letter is to inform her that there is to be no contact going forward and that you expect her to respect that. You could issue ultimatums but I'm not sure there's any use. But the letter is only as good as your husband's conviction to stick to it.
      I once heard about a wife whose formerly unfaithful husband signed a contract given her his boat if he contacted the OW or was unfaithful again. The main point of the contract was to give her some reassurance that he was serious about not cheating on her again.
      In the end, I don't think we can ever stop someone who's going to cheat again. All you can do is define your own boundaries around this (ie. what will you do if he contacts her again? File for divorce? Kick him out? Relegate him to the couch? Whatever it is, make sure it's something YOU'LL ACTUALLY DO.) This isn't to "punish" him but to give you back some measure of control and dignity. And to re-establish your own safety.

      Elle

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  12. Hi E, again. Again, like I stated above, I really enjoy your site. Because of this site I am able to free my temptations to go back to other infidelity/marriage sites where attacks are the norm.Thank you. In a May 2012 you wrote a blog, sorry forgot the date, and the first comment is from a woman - upset, rightly so about her husband- that the blog you wrote was not helpful, as her, like mine, hubby had had multiple liasons. You wrote back that yours did too. I misinterpreted several of your blogs then, as I thought it was with one young co-worker girl who you had very funny revenge episodes with. Am I confused on this? If so, so very sorry. (Love the revenge stories so much, btw..love, love, love, so funny, too funny AWESOME Laugh OUT loud funny). If I'm not confused, do you have a blog or two that tells more of your story? I really hope I'm not confusing blogs...As again, I prefer this one and do not want to remember the rest. You are thorough and do not candy coat = you are real 100%. And always interesting, and a very good writer. Plus and more importantly, you are still married, working through this stuff/crap, and helping the -us- still married get another point of view - instead of the usual - well, things are terrible, MC, things are great now, now we are divorced...

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    1. No, you're right. D-Day #1 revealed an affair that my husband conducted with a co-worker -- his assistant. D-Day#2, roughly six months later, revealed that he'd been a sex addict for our entire relationship. So...the first six months of my "healing and dealing" were trying to make sense of this bizarre affair with someone he almost hated. The rest of the healing was incorporating this new knowledge into our lives.
      Yes, we're working it out...and I would, in fact, be one of those who say our marriage is better. Not better because of the affairs, of course, but better because of the work we've put into making it better.
      Thanks for your kind words. My intention, with this site, is to provide a "safe" place where anyone can post their thoughts/experience around being betrayed regardless of how they've chosen to respond to the betrayal. I won't put up with demeaning or judging anyone else's choices. We're all doing the best we can. I will sometimes offer up my thoughts on what someone should do. And I will occasionally point out when I think someone is being emotionaly abused or disrespected. But I'm aware that none of walks in the others' shoes. All we can share is what works (or doesn't!) for us.

      Elle

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  13. I have been a reader of your blog for quite some time. It gave me great comfort, just so you know :)
    My husband and I are still together after learning of affairs and porn addiction. We have had a few D days, but the last (and final I surely hope) was May 2012. So we are one year past, one year sober/clean from his addiction. I have started to share my story and my journey of choosing to stay in my marriage with my blog.
    I hope some of you can share with me there.

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  14. I am starting to share my story on my blog
    http://thiswillnotdefineme.wordpress.com/
    Found out my husband had a 2 yr affair and a porn addiction. My first Dday was Sept 2010 when I discovered some of their emails, and we struggled up until May 2012 when we realized he had a porn addiction. So we have been working on our marriage and a porn addiction for just over a year now.
    Your blog has been a great help for me :)

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    1. Sherfafard,

      Glad you found us!

      Elle

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  15. My earliest exposure to infidelity: my dad's affair on my mother. My parents reconciled, and have been married 38 years. Due to the pain and lasting effects I have seen on both of them, I swore I would never let it happen to me. I met my husband at a work conference out of state. We immediately clicked and were fast friends. After we went back to our separate states after the conference he confessed that he was in love with me and: he was separated. I was in shock that he hadn't told me until that moment, but we then felt it was appropriate to say goodbye. After about a year passed, we got back into contact and formed a relationship. He begged me to marry him, though his divorce was not yet final. He reassured me that their marriage was over, they were living in separate countries and she was in another relationship. They just hadn't signed the paperwork. In my mind, they were separated for 2 years when the divorce was finally official. We got married a few months later and I moved to his state to finally start a life together. I began feeling uncomfortable. I could tell people were a little taken aback when they met me-some of them didn't even know he had gotten divorced, let alone remarried. I began to withdraw a bit, and was often sad and knew there was something I was missing. About a year after we were married, I had my first D-Day. I found dozens of emails and chats he had with an old friend-it was clearly sexual and I knew he was having an affair. He swore to me that it was only via email/chat and NOT physical. He was remorseful and admitted wrong, but also ultimately blamed it on my "coldness." We went to counseling. He would get irritated with my continued insecurities and tell me to let it go. I tried, but this nagging gut feeling just wasn't going away, so I snooped on his computer and was shocked. SHOCKER #1: An email exchange between him and his ex-wife where he explains how much he regrets that they ever divorced, he lied about his relationship with me, told her he only married me because she wouldn't talk to him anymore after checking his bank records and finding out he purchased a ticket to come see me. I had been the other woman for her. I was devastated. After seeing what my mom went through, I was the other woman! How could he have put me in that position? I was so naive. SHOCKER#2: An email exchange with him and his affair partner (my OW#2). He was in a professional group with her a year back. In the emails I found he said he loved her, she loved him. He told her that the past year had been rough because he just stopped contact with his divorce attorney. HIS DIVORCE ATTORNEY. He told her WE were separated! He begged for my forgiveness, cried, told me "there's something wrong with me." The first few months after were a blur. I was in shock. Then I went into research mode-books, counseling. I tried to understand him. He was so remorseful and desperate to reconcile, I tried. We went to counseling together, individually. We had good days. We had hell-ish days. I contemplated getting a divorce, how could I live with a relationship built on lies? I had a feeling he was back in contact, I asked and he continually denied it and made me feel guilty for asking (classic gaslighting). About 10 months in I logged into his phone account online and saw he had been in contact for MONTHS with both his ex-wife and OW#2. I was obviously furious, and actually a bit relieved: this was IT. He moved out. I was sad, but felt relief for the first time in YEARS. Eventually he begged me to let him show me he changed, begged me to believe in him one more time. I let him back into the house, but I haven't let him back in emotionally/physically. I see small changes in him, but not the major changes I would need. He still has not agreed to be transparent with me and has not sought counseling himself. I feel as though he has given me NO reason to believe he has changed and this won't happen again: I don't feel safe with him. Not sure where to go from here.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,
      Thanks so much for sharing your story. I'm so sorry for all you've been through.
      I want to highlight your second last line: I don't feel safe with him. You're NOT safe with him. That's a feeling you need to trust and let it guide you towards a future in which you do feel safe.
      I'm curious why, after deciding you'd had enough, you let him back in. Until he's willing to do some serious work around his lying and manipulating, he's incapable of a healthy relationship. Which just leaves you in limbo until and IF he's able to do the recovery work necessary.
      Have you considered contacting his first wife? For one thing, you might feel better if you were able to let her know that you were completely in the dark...but also because, by comparing notes, you might get a clearer picture of just how manipulative this guy is. Your view seems clouded by hope that he's different than he's shown you. I don't doubt that he's a messed up guy whose deserving of some compassion...but compassion doesn't have to come in the form of staying in any type of marriage with him.
      Short version: Show him the door. Tell him you can't have a healthy relationship with him until he's healthy. In the meantime, do what you can for yourself to get past the trauma of discovering so many years of lies, and, perhaps, some of the trauma of your parent's relationship, which seems to have affected you deeply.
      And please...keep us posted on how you're doing.

      Elle

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    2. Thanks, Elle. I let him back in because he begged--he swore he would show me he could be a better man, a better husband. He knows I can be easily manipulated through guilt and empathy I have for him. He told me I could be upset with him, not talk to him, etc and it didn't matter because he was going to prove it to me. After a few weeks, he grew tired of my distance and began throwing himself into new projects (he's an unemployed artist) with new friends and late nights. He begrudgingly showed me his phone from time to time to "prove" he wasn't in contact. He treats me nicely to my face, but all I have is his word that nothing is happening (which doesn't mean anything at this point). He is just very upset and frustrated with me for "giving him nothing," but I keep reminding him that I was honest with him at the beginning as to the distance I would keep from him until he proved he could be trusted. We have been speaking about ending our marriage recently, and NOW he made a counseling appointment...NOW he is looking for jobs...he is saying he wants to work on our marriage but I need to "cut him some slack." He still feels as though giving me access to accounts is "spying." Yes, I had hope, but I am beginning to realize that may have to take the journey to recovery on his own (if he chooses to) because he keeps dragging me down in the process. Yes, I had hope, and you're right, I just need to pay attention to what he's shown me.

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  16. I've posted on this site before. It's now 13 months D Day and although we've got through this so far, the pain is hurting me so much. I feel that I've only just discovered his affair, I've moved back to that dark place the first couple of weeks I found out. Is this usual? I want to hurt him emotionally and I keep bringing up details that I thought I had accepted. I want to see him winded the way I was. Our daughter now knows about his affair,( 3 weeks ago) she is only 14! Perhaps this is why its hit me again as I'm hurting for her too. She was shocked when she found out and there were tears but she said she still loves her dad but ashamed that he could possibly do that. She hopes we can work this out but she would fully understand if we wanted to divorce as she wants the family to be happy; which generally we are. She knew something was wrong but we only told her that I was upset because daddy had been selfish. When she sat down a couple of weeks ago when I was quite low she just asked " daddy hasn't had an affair has he?" and I took a deep breathe and said yes but the affair had been over for a couple of years but I only found out after the event. We've tried to answer her questions honestly and she has seen a photo ( on fb) of the OW which shocked her. I'm just having one of those really bad days and feel like running away.

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    1. Anonymous,
      I suspect the fact that you've recently told your daughter is causing you to somewhat relive the pain of finding out about it yourself. It's crucial to your daughter that you allow her to love her father while nonetheless acknowledging that he's flawed, as we all are in various ways.
      This could be an opportunity for you to grow as a family -- to recognize that sometimes we screw up but that we take steps to mitigate the damage and make amends. But that, even then, there can be lifelong consequences for our lapses in judgement. As long as she knows that both of you are there to listen to her, answer her questions and support her through this, she'll manage.
      13 months is still pretty raw in terms of the healing process so don't beat yourself up for not handling this relapse better. It happens, due to any number of triggers (anniversaries, reliving it through another person -- ie. your daughter, certain memories...) but doesn't negate the healing that has already taken place. Just take this chance to be compassionate with your self. To recognize that maybe there are still things that need addressing. Just don't engage in pain shopping, where you revisit it in a misguided attempt to "understand" it.
      You've been through a trauma so it's no surprise that you're experiencing post-trauma. Could you see a counsellor, if you're not already?
      In any case, acknowledge that, though you may not be as far along the path of healing as you'd like, you're also not where you were (even if it feels like that right now). It's a lapse, that's all. A chance to curl up and be gentle with yourself until you're ready to re-emerge, even stronger. In the meantime, keep talk of divorce, etc. to yourselves. Despite what your daughter says, kids almost inevitably prefer their parents stay together. Please don't expect her to take on an adult role before she's truly an adult.
      Hang in there. I promise it gets better.

      Elle

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    2. Elle, as ever, your advice and compassion got me over a very difficult weekend. I know that you're right when you say telling our daughter has brought back the trauma. I've also wanted to make sure that her fathers behaviour isn't considered acceptable. I would hate for the recent events to set a bench mark for her future relationships, in as much as she will not evaluate things with an independent head if it ever happened to her; wouldn't want her to stay because, mummy did! It would be interesting to see posts on this site from ladies/gentlemen that are 20, 30 or 40 years post betrayal... Wonder how the pain feels after decades and if after all that time they had any regrets, or if they felt it was the best decision they ever made to stay?
      To the lady who found out her husband had to go the venereal disease clinic, please keep yourself safe. Use the time to find out your options financially and try and keep your cards close to your chest. I'm so sorry for all your hurt and pain. It must be a terrible strain worrying about the financial side. I hope and pray the cloud will lift, and usually I would say try and work on things, but you could be fighting a loosing battle. My thoughts are with you. Keep checking the site, it's worth its weight in gold and sanity! x

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    3. I'm glad it helped.
      You brought up an interesting point re. how this might impact her future choices. My father had an emotional affair on my mom (a sort of "work" friendship that my mother knew nothing about and that the woman clearly intended was something more). My mother's response was to drink herself into a psych hospital, which obviously didn't help me much as a kid. I sometimes wonder about my own response to my husband's infidelity based on what I knew as a kid. On the one hand, perhaps it made me more likely to reconcile (my parents stayed together); on the other, the betrayal was so devastating for me because I thought I'd finally found a "safe" relationship. Perhaps a blog post on this is in order... Thanks for the idea!
      Ultimately, I think as long as the lines of communication stay open with your daughter, she can use this in her arsenal for future relationships. She can be aware how easily it can happen, how even "good" people can screw up...but perhaps draw her own line in the sand about what she will and won't tolerate. I think if more couples discussed this and brought the possibility out into the open, it might be less likely to occur.

      Elle

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    4. Elle, Think it would be great to start a blog post on this. I will write and update how things go with our daughter. Can I ask a question? Did you know when you were a child that your father had an emotional affair or did you find out after. Would your parents ever talk about it to you. I suppose there wasn't any social media to turn to, or perhaps that was a generation that kept things to themselves. Your poor mother. Very interesting to know if it gave you the determination to work on things.

      I always thought my daughter had guessed what was going on, my counsellor told me she was sure she knew due to the questions she was asking, however, she had no idea.

      Isn't it funny, when our daughter was born my husband said he would " Kill anyone" who harmed her. I wonder if he realised he would be the one harming her. Throughout all this I've realised my husband is very needy. His desires and needs go before anyone else. One good thing, he has realised how selfish he is, and genuinely trying to work on it. He said today, " We only get one shot at life and I've mucked it up" Well perhaps he has, but the ending might be better. Onwards and upwards.


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    5. So sorry it has taken me so long to respond. Really, really busy!
      To answer your question, yes I did know. I was right there when my mother got the phone call from the OW's husband. I knew immediately that something was wrong. My mother did talk to me though I don't remember her exact words. I worshipped my mother and was sure that she would "fix" everything. She invited the woman to our house and, in her ladylike way, made it clear that this woman was to stay away. The woman simply refused. I was stunned NOBODY disagreed with my mother. Over the next months and years, my mother descended into total alcoholism.
      She had been sober 25 years when she passed away almost six years ago and we had become wonderful friends.
      But yes, I think that did give me a certain framework when it happened to me. My mom was the first person I called and her first question to me was: "Do you love him?" I said yes and she said, "then fight for your marriage."
      She and my father would have celebrated their 57th anniversary a month ago if she was still alive. And I know neither regretted their decision.
      Onwards and upwards indeed.

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    6. Elle, Thanks for replying when you're busy. My goodness, your mother sounded a very dignified strong lady, and in a way, I suppose we all on this site have her to thank for making her daughter the sort of person that can understand the betrayed. I hope she can look down and see the work you have done with this site.

      My mother too asked me that same question first when I phoned her to reveal about my husbands affair. She actually said " you make a go of it and see what happens in a year, don't tell anyone yet, and make sure he tells you everything and that he had definitely cut contact" She also spoke to my husband and said " You fool, you had it all, what a shame that you ruined something so strong, well you need to put some hard work in now"

      Such hope to know that your parents never regretted their decision. Elle, you have been a life line. Cranky girl.x

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    7. Cranky,
      Thank-you for your very kind words. They mean a lot to me. Yes, my mother was an incredible woman. She and my father said something similar to my husband. They said something along the lines of everyone is entitled to mistakes...but only a fool makes the same mistake twice. He couldn't believe the compassion they showed him. It literally changed him. He'd never been given second chances in his life at all and couldn't dream of telling his own mother what we were going through because he knew she'd be done with him. I honestly think compassion (which is NOT to be confused with allowing someone to walk over us) creates far greater change than dismissing someone.

      Elle

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  17. Two days before I had surgery I opened an insurance letter of benefits to my husband expecting it to be from a recent visit to the cardiologist. Instead it was for a visit to his doctor with the medical billing code V.102.6- contact or exposure to venereal disease. I asked him what this was, why didn't he tell me or have me make the appointment if he was just "itchy". The following day I looked in his computer (we've always had an open door policy with emails, etc) and found an email he wrote back in late March asking a lawyer friend how he could help his "friend" understand divorce in our state. The last line he said "You've probably guessed by now we're seeing each other but her marriage was shot long before I entered the picture.". Talk about getting the s*** kicked out of you... I confronted him and he acknowledged the relationship- it's been going on since late February- she is 31, married, has two boys 2, and 7. Does not want a divorce. Oh, did I mention my husband is 61? This girl is 3 years older than his daughter. I can't tell you how utterly devastating this whole thing has been. My husband did not want to go to marriage counseling or try to fix what's broken- he just wants to have sex with her and what's more- he actually thinks he loves her!!! And she loves him... blah blah blah it just makes me sick. He wants our marriage to continue like nothing has happened- yeah that worked for about 3 days then I blew a gasket and sent an email to her telling her how she destroyed my marriage and cc'd a few select people in our inner circle. She replied that she's sorry, won't contact him, fine. My husband then starts getting angry and resentful to me for stopping the affair- he just can't understand why I won't let him see her. I go on his compute again and find all the picture they've been texting back and forth- the boobs, his erections, her ass, and vagina. I was so upset but he tells me I deserve it for going on his computer and "snooping". Believe me if I thought there were pictures I would have looked for them the day I found out about the affair. He still doesn't want to address our issues or seek counseling. Then more hostility , more anger, the home life is getting ugly until last Tuesday I wrote an email to send to her agreeing to let the relationship resume- I made hubby read it before sending it. Within 2 minutes he was skipping around the house, whistling, texting her when they can hook up, telling me how much he loves me, kissing me, giving me hugs.... this is so freaking schizophrenic. I've lost 10 lbs in two weeks, I can't eat; to sleep I have to load up on ambian and zanax.
    I married late- I was 38 and we just had our 8th anniversary last month. I never dated married men- they were always off limits no matter how desperate or lonely I was during those single years. now I find myself a seething ball of anger and hostility- checking is freaking underwear for indications if he's seen her. And with black underwear it's very obvious... I hate myself for doing this, I hate her and I hate him. For what it's worth my parents and family are incredibly supportive, I have a great doctor who I can talk to, and a great psychotherapist. I just found this site and want to tel my story while my husband is having his Father's Day brunch alone with his daughter. I just couldn't go and look them both in the eyes.

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    1. Anonymous,
      You don't need to tell us how excruciating this is. We know. Believe me, we all know the pain you're in.
      And you're right. This is completely nuts. Why did you tell him he could continue his relationship with her? It's one thing for it to be going on behind your back...but to give him permission when that's NOT what you want? I don't get it.
      You've got a choice from the looks of things. You can fight for your marriage, though it looks as if you've got a helluva battle. Or you can refuse to fight, which I suspect is your better option. Treat yourself with the respect that HE should be treating you with and insist that you won't consider reconciling with him until she is completely out of the picture. If he chooses her, then you've spared yourself years more pain of being treated with absolute disregard.
      I know neither option is particularly appealing. And both will require a long time to heal from. But to allow yourself to be treated like a second-class citizen seems unbearably and unnecessarily masochistic.
      Please...don't put up with his mid-life crisis by giving him permission to treat you this way. You deserve better. Much better.

      Elle

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    2. He became abusive to me when I told him to stop the affair. If he was sorry and wanted to fix our marriage that's one option but to get angry, hostile, and aggressive at me because I took his toy away is another story. That's why I agreed to let him see her because I don't want to get hurt physically or financially. I haven't worked in 8 years, have no income and almost all assets are in my husbands name. In retrospect I feel he though he anticipated this day. And...when I sent that email I was telling myself, him, and her- he's not worth fighting for. She can have him.
      I just need to get through the pain and shock- up until three weeks ago I thought this was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. This is just too drama for me, my body can't handle the stress. She was smart enough to take her facebook page down or I would've been sorely tempted to post those naked pics of herself onto her wall. I feel bad for he kids and husband.... If you detest you partner so much why stay married??? I bet in her case the 2 year old isn't ever her husband's biological child.
      This is just awful... I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

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    3. I'm so so sorry. Please contact a lawyer and figure out what you're entitled to. If you haven't been working and even with assets in his name, you should be entitled to a fair share, depending on where you live.
      In the meantime, get strong. And then, please, get out. You're right. She can have him.

      Elle

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    4. I spent a better part of yesterday reading the posts written by the other betrayed wives- thank you all for sharing your stories. It is comforting to know I'm not alone and while my situation is not great, it could be a lot worse. I had four years of fertility treatments but was unable to conceive so I'm thankful there are no children involved. My husband is dragging around enough guilt that when the divorce does happen I will most likely get a decent settlement. He has not lashed out (although most likely advised by his attorney not to- because he would have to move out of the house if he threatened me in any way, shape, or form- and that is state law, ladies!) and all the credit cards are still working. His accountant and business manager both think he behavior is reprehensible and they will not let him hurt me financially.
      Last night I moved his toiletries to the guest bathroom and his clothes into the spare bedroom and viola- I have claimed the bedroom and master bath as my own so I don't have to medicate so heavily at night. He didn't put up a fight, not that I would expect one he seemed to take it as a matter of course.
      I would like to recommend a little book called "Orchids on Your Budget" by Marjorie Hillis. It's loaded with timeless advice on how to live well and after reading bits it has given me hope that I can and will rebuild my life on my terms.

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    5. Anonymous,
      Thanks so much for sharing your own story...I'm glad you found us. I'm sorry for what you're going through, but your approach is an inspiration to all of us. It's crucial to understand exactly what we're entitled to financially and to know our rights. I can't stop thinking of the woman who posted yesterday, who's husband threatened abuse if he couldn't continue to see the OW. It's insane...and nobody should have to tolerate that sort of cruelty. I hope she'll read your post and take your advice.
      Thanks also for the book recommendation. I'll look it up.
      Elle

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    6. Anonymous,

      Read Love must be tough by Dr. James Dobson and implement it. If required find his contact details from Google and talk with him. It will help for sure. You will find this book on audible.com or kindle edition is also available. Do not order hard copy if your H is opening your mails.

      I will pray for you.
      KT

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  18. Ladies, I am 4 years past D-Day - and so many of your stories echo my experiences. It's comforting and appalling all at the same time. However, this is what strikes me as I read through these:
    - I started reading Glass's Not Just Friends in the midst of this mess; I would find myself reading a chapter about what was happening to me approximately 2-3 days after the event. It was surreal, almost as if someone was watching over my shoulder and recording it. After having read that and your stories, it is apparent there are common threads (lying, denial, victim-blaming, etc.)
    - Not long after this, my oldest son went off to college. His is an engineering college, so therefore there is a high boy:girl ratio. The school has a mandatory course on the freshman curriculum called Courtship and Marriage - it helps the boys who are suddenly not getting enough attention and the girls who are getting too much attention deal with it in a more adult-like manner.
    >> Putting these two thoughts together, it strikes me that a course like this would be good in high school, with the inclusion of a course on infidelity. It's hid in the shadows as a shameful event that no one wants to acknowledge, but I can't help but wonder if throwing a "you learned about this in High School, snap out of it" at the wayward spouse in the midst of his temporary insanity would have done any good. And yes, I've come to think it's a form of mental illness, which unfortunately, punishes the people around the involved parties.

    - h

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    1. H,
      Yes, we often joke that there must be a cheaters' playbook because their behaviour seems to almost follow a script. And similarly, our responses are textbook.
      That's so interesting re. your son's school. Very smart. I think far too many of us grow up with warped views on what a relationship really is. I've also often thought there should be parenting classes offered in school -- because that, of course, is where so much of our warped views of ourselves take root.
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I think you're on to something!

      Elle

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  19. For Anonymous, being hurt financially is an unfortunate reality in today's world of so-called "No-Fault" divorce. An affair just rubs salt into that wound that we call divorce.

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  20. 2-years later ...

    I won't go into details, but things are really the best they have ever been for our family and our 17 year marriage.

    Here's my issue:

    I have never, ever hated anyone in my life. Most people who know me would say I am the nicest, most caring person. My job involves having a lot of compassion for people, and I really do well at it. I go to church, maybe not every Sunday, but generally. I try to be a good person.

    But I hate her.

    I despise her.

    I absolutely detest her.

    Two years later, I still hate her like the first day I found out.

    Thoughts of her run through my head probably 10 times a day and usually end with me (in my head) screaming at her to swing at me once so I can rip every piece of hair from her head. (Mind you I have never been in a verbal or physical fight with another girl in my life...)

    I could never actually hurt another person, but, to be honest, if I saw her bleeding in a road, I think I could definitely walk right past without helping her. And not feel bad about it.

    I used to think, "If I could just forive her..." but two years later, I can't even hear a song by a singer who shares her first name without my blood pressure rising and feeling sick to my stomach. I don't think what she did was forgivable. Her actions harmed my children. I can't even pretend to forgive her.

    Some people say, "I learned to feel sorry for her ..." Haven't done that. I feel sorry for my kids, for my family's fincial situation which she helped make horrible, for a lot of things, but I don't feel sorry for her. Not even a little. I found out her house foreclosed, and I actually laughed and hoped she had no where to live.

    I don't feel intimidated by her. I don't feel ugly or fat compared to her. I don't feel she is smarter than me. I just absolutely hate her.

    I hate everything about her - the city she lives in, the stupid profession she is a part of, the car she drives - you name it - if it is at all related to her and I know about it, even in the smallest way, I hate it.

    I have never talked to her.

    She is not big on facebook and neither are we, so, there's no online stalking or anything like that. Though, I do admit to going to google, putting her name and city and then "is a horrible person", in the hopes that if I do it enough, it will just come up automatically when anyone searches for her. (Again ... I know this is crazy ...)

    I have seen her once, and I was so upset at the time, I really don't know if I would recognize her if I was standing next to her. Her image is sort of like a ghost or something that isn't quite real, so I don't really identify my hate to a face, but more to just a feeling.

    I hate her so much.

    Once I wrote on another website that I hadn't gotten over my feelings about her, and a whole bunch of posters gave me the, "You're blaming the wrong person" thing. "Your anger should be directed at your husband" speech.

    Well, I don't care. That's not what I'm going to do.

    I just hate her.

    However ... 2 years later ...

    It actually takes too much of my energy to hate her this much. I could probably put even more energy into making things even better. And for that reason, I wish I could stop hating her even just a little. Maybe I will now.

    Thanks for having this site : )

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    1. Wow, thanks so much for posting that because i too get the "your blaming the wrong person" speech all the time. Well sorry but ive already blamed him and got over it. We are happy but the trust is still slow to come. I HATE HER! She deserves just as much blame as he. She knew he was married with 3 kids and 8 grandkids and still did it. I HATE HER! We are 18 months into our "new" relationship but i still hate her just as much if not more than ever. Its nice to know someone else is just like me. Makes me smile :)

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    2. Agree. I think that's one of the hardest things I've had to deal with is that I'd learned to HATE this much. It, and the ANGER were overwhelming. I feel like I've lost part of myself.

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    3. I posted on June 16 and I hate her so much. I hate she was the aggressor and I hate my husband for being weak. I hate the fact they continue to hookup 2 or 3 times a week, text and call each other constantly. But.... I have a plan.... I know her name and I'm fortunate to have girlfriend who lives in her town and has kids the same age as she does. I want her ostracized and shunned, and get this- she has a children's party business that she is trying to get MY husband to invest in!!! How much business do you think she'll get once wives find out she is a threat?? What if my husband decides not to invest when he realizes how much our divorce will cost - next husband, please!! If anyone out there is reading this who is considering having an affair with a married man you better run for the hills, sweetie. Women have ways of turning you into a leper and we don't appreciate you taking our man away. You should have stuck with your OWN HUSBAND. I dream about writing the letter A on your forehead in red lipstick and making you wear it in public for a week.

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    4. Sorry I've taken so long to respond. Busy summer already!
      In any case, I think you know that this hatred is damaging you way more than her. It's like you've drank the poison....but you're hoping she'll die from it. I know from your post that you know all this. But...and I know it's a big but. It's really, really hard.
      Here's what worked for me. I indulged in the fantasies of ruining her life for a while. I let myself hate her with her pore of my being. But when I started realizing that I was becoming MORE like her -- bitter, small-minded, angry -- I decided to stop. I made the conscious choice to not give her any more real estate in my brain. I started picturing a big red STOP sign whenever I would start to think about her. And, belive it or not, it worked. It had become a habit and, by breaking that habit, I broke the cycle of anger. It might take more for you...like wearing an elastic band around your wrist and snapping it anytime you think of her in any way, shape or form.
      But, for YOUR sake, please stop. She's a loathsome vile person who doesn't deserve to consume your life. And your just giving your life over to her. You have only a finite number of minutes on this planet...and your giving those precious minutes to her. Please. No more.

      Elle

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    5. Hi Elle:

      June 21st "hater" here :) Actually, Amy M.

      Just wanted to let you know that although I probably sounded like a crazy person, I was going through a few emotionally tough days dealing with some issues that brought quite a few "flashback" feelings.

      Though I do admit to still truly hating the "horrible person", my life really does roll along pretty well now (2 years later). I have done some of the things you mentioned (stop sign, rubber band) in the past to keep the thoughts in check, and it does help. My anger/sadness/fear/hate really did paralyze me for about the first year, but I am learning to deal with it.

      It also helped for me to just write it all out here and feel like I "told" someone else about my feelings, as I don't talk to any friends or family about this (besides my husband). Thank you again for having this site.

      Amy M.

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    6. Amy,
      We've all been there...most of us more than once. It helped me to realize that, even when the feelings seemed overwhelming and I felt like I was right back "there", it was a temporary setback. And maybe not a setback at all but a chance to revisit some strong issues that weren't completely resolved in my own mind.
      Glad to hear that you're doing well. At two years out, I was still a bit of a mess frankly.
      And yes, it's crucial to be able to share your feelings with people who get it. Who can let you rant and rage without judgement because we've been there.
      Glad you found us!

      Elle

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  21. Oh, I know how you feel. One year post D-day, if I think about her, I still feel the same. It all comes down to the same thing for me: Her actions harmed my children or at least in my case, put their health and happiness at risk. But I do feel much worse when I think about her and build this hate than when I focus on the good changes in my husband, my self, and my marriage. So all I can say is, I think it's okay to hate her, to wish the worst for her, but for yourself, to try to limit that to once a day or better yet, even less.
    Liz

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    1. Ladies, I'm so glad I'm not the only one doing some mighty big " hating" Yes, I blamed my husband, ( and I am dealing with my feelings for him) but she was out on the prowl, waved and winked at him and the silly fool phoned her after seeing the company she worked for, to ask if she knew him or our family. She remembered him and told him she liked his car! Anyway, they meet for lunch and straight away he tells her he's married with a son ( he did have his wedding ring on)... told her he's never been unfaithful but was mesmerised by her. She said would you like to meet again, and so the affair started.

      I do admire her compassion though, she said she wasn't a home wreaker, not sure if that's while she was getting into bed with him, and she said after her last affair with a married man she would never do it again. She was never bothered about using contraception, but she was very polite and asked if he had anything... Shame my husband forgot to ask her.

      So, although my husband is a weak shallow man whose head was turned, if she had met him and said, " Sorry, don't do married men" then life would have been so different. It really does take 2 to tango.

      The hate thing: well I too can't stand her name, I cannot go to the city where she works, I can physically be sick thinking about her hands over my husband, the thought that she's seen him naked, the fact that she made him lunch, made him laugh, made him miss time with his son.

      How I control the anger when it gets really bad. I remember the story he told about how she had a fit because she thought he slept with me one weekend... Oh how I laugh, we were sleeping together all the time and she didn't know. I laugh at the fact he had to shower her with compliments but he said there were certain parts of her body that he found repulsive. I feel smug about the times that he couldn't maintain an erection for her. I laugh at the clothes he found cheap, the state of her house and the lack of intellectual conversation. These are the things that keep me sane. Will the hate ever go, I sure hope so because my time needs to be devoted to me and our family.

      Looking at all the lies married men tell to women that are such a cliché, one should feel sorry for these type of women. " Thick" springs to mind.

      Thanks ladies for all your stories. Keeping a very cranky girl sane. x

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  22. I have been reading your blog posts all morning and it's like I'm reading my own thoughts. I found out 5 days ago that my husband has been having an affair. Actually--two affairs. He is in the Army and currently serving a year in Korea. He had a sexual fling with one woman a few months ago, and then left her when he met the woman he developed a "friendship" (emotional affair) with. He didn't sleep with the second one, though that one seems to bother me the most.

    He is vowing to do anything it takes to rebuild our family. He has cut her off and demanded she cease all contact (in an email in which I was BCCed). But, he's still on the other side of the world. How do we rebuild our marriage when we can't even touch?

    She has been emailing me. Horrible, vile, evil things about how my husband never loved me or our children. I know she's crazy and not worth my time or energy, but it still feels like a dagger. (BTW, the OW's name is Lay. Seriously. I couldn't make this stuff up).

    I'm trying to focus on me and our children. I'm strong and I know I'll be ok either way. As I told him, I deserve to be with a whole, healed, trustworthy man. I hope and pray he can become that man again. But, that's up to him to do the work.

    He's coming home for two weeks on Tuesday. And I plan to work on our marriage. I've recognized my own part in our issues, though I know I am not at all responsible for the affairs. I just want to rebuild our life. I want my best friend back.

    Has anyone had to go through this while a husband is deployed? After his two week visit, he has to go back to Korea for 4 months, and I'm scared to death. How can we continue to rebuild our marriage while he's on another continent, and within miles of the OW?

    Thank you for creating this space. And I'm so very proud of all of you. Of all of us.

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    1. Similar situation. We live in Oklahoma and my husband works in PA. He's there for 4 weeks and comes home for 2 weeks. Its probably not possible for you to fly and see him as he is in Korea. I will be making monthly trips to PA to spend 4 days with him which will help. And we discovered Tango on our smart phones. So we video chat daily. I also send care packages to him every 2 weeks. Im trying to think of anything and everything to keep our lives entertaining while he is away.

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    2. Pam,
      You rebuild your marriage one day at a time. Try not to put so much pressure on both of you to somehow rebuild something in two weeks. Instead, try to simply feel grateful for each others' presence, for salvaging something that was in jeopardy. Try to allow him to support you in your pain. THAT is where a marriage is rebuilt. Not in spectacular moments, but in those intimate moments when you're both at your most vulnerable...and the other is able to be there for you. You'll get through this. It's not easy. And certainly a marriage stressed by distance alone is difficult, let alone one that's also experienced a violation of trust. However, as long as he's genuine in his commit to rebuild and you're able to do the same, you two can do this.

      Elle

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  23. Thank you for that. It probably won't be possible to go see him, but we do Skype often, and will be doing so even more. I've always sent care packages (this is his 5th year-long deployment in 10 years), and they do help. But, nothing compares to face-to-face and, even better, skin-to-skin contact. I wish you the very best as you work to reconnect with your husband. I hope we're both able to put our families back together.

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  24. We are together 31 years, 3 children. He cheated occasionally and while I knew, I couldn't face it honestly. H is a recovered addict who runs a drug rehab, so he is the best liar out there. And I just couldn't protect myself. I put it Ina box in me and went on. At some point he started a real long term relationship, the clues were there, over those years we deteriorated. I entered a long serious depression which hrt my life and our 3 children so much. The distance grew. Btw, he was not denied sex by me.
    Wen I found the emails over a year ago, he said that they we both in a caring profession and that's how people talked to each other. She runs a drug rehab too. Lives vary far away but they met in Albany. I asked him to leave. He wouldn't. He got into therapy, a men's group, couples counseling, several intense weekend counseling/ retreat things.

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  25. It was a lot of hard work but he is really changing his behavior. He is here a lot more and present to us for the first time in years. He is more caring of me than he has ev been. Starting to be a good father. Actually a part of our family and a husband to me. He had become a nasty mentally declined, physically falling apart, given to weird outbursts. He has really improved now he's just grumpy and not in great shape.
    I see now that I was severely depressed for a long time. Lost weight, isolating, minimally functional, living infear. I now have my life back. I no longer wish life was over. I am starting to function, think clearly, open myself up to the love and support of people who were just waiting for me to welcome them in. Suddenly, people from decades ago arecontactingme. And they love and miss me. I'm working at restoring happy relays with my children and people I was unkind to. I am staring to be a functional woman. I have days of joy now. I also have days of hurting and tears. But I don't go hide in my bedroom, I keep going.
    I am wounded and suffering. I obsessively think of the Hirt done me and the nicer H is the worse the hurt is. I fight it with prayer and cognitive behavioral therapy. I no longer have him on the kidney stone diet . I at times wish he was dead but no guilt for wanting to be done with pain. I fight the thought but accept where it comes from. I work very hard because I see how far I have come, how much better off the family is and think how much better it can be next year. He has admitted next to nothing but the fact if infidelity. I wasn't ale to hear it before, but now I think I can bear anything. I am thinking I will say he has to be honest about some stuff so I can heal and we can figure out what went wrong, or else I can't continue with him. Some say let the past alone, others that you can't have secrets and have to work through it together. I don't want gross details, I do want to know the last time and how he justified it to hi self. Thoughts?
    They betrayedthierspouses, but also what they are. He is a recovered addict and they both run treatment places. Helping him lie and cheat is terrible when your whole life is telling others not to. And he's not as far away from being a junkie as he thought he was, despite 40 years "clean". Thanks for being there.

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    1. As a former addict, I would think he'd be able to recognize his behaviour for what it was -- deceptive, hurtfut, indulgent. And I think you're right that you need honesty from him to heal. As long as he's not coming clean, he's living the fantasy. And coming clean, as I'm sure he also knows, is crucial to recovery. It's called "taking inventory" in 12-step parlance.
      I'm so glad you've been able to make strides in your own process dealing with depression. And kudos to you for rebuilding some relationships in your life. Now you've got the strength and clarity to see what else you need from him.
      Good luck. Keep us posted.

      Elle

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  26. I found this blog and I am posting because I can't talk to anyone and I am going crazy in my own head. I've been married for 10 years, together for 5 before that. We have two young children. We have struggled throughout our marriage to keep passion alive and to keep from becoming what my husband says is "like roommates." About every six months he would bring it up and I would basically blow him off because I didn't want to deeply examine our relationship. What would that lead to? What if he wanted to leave? What if I did? How would I start over and what would happen to my children. I should mention that I am the child of divorce and stability is very important to me for my children.

    About six weeks ago, I was using my husband's computer and I saw something pop up on a messenger site with a name that I didn't know. I read the chats and saw that he had been sexting and also emailing women from craiglist. I confronted him and he said that the family meant everything to him and that he would stop. He wanted to earn my trust back and stay with me.

    Last week we were on vacation. On the drive, he brought up the roommate conversation again. We talked a bit about it, but nothing was resolved. The last night of vacation, I was taking a picture with his phone and a strange text popped up. He grabbed the phone from me and deleted the messages. I didn't talk to him for a few hours. We finally had a conversation and he told me that it was nothing, just a girl he knew from running. Maybe she had sent the text to him by mistake. I didn't sleep that night. The next day we talked on the way home and he continued to deny that anything was going on. When we got home, he went to go pick up the dog from the kennel and we went to a friend's birthday party. That night when he fell asleep, I searched his emails. He had been very careful but forgot to delete a few sent emails. There were emails there from him telling the girl to be careful and to delete everything. I went upstairs and grabbed his phone. He came downstairs and I confronted him. He continued to deny it until I ran a program to recover his deleted messages. There were texts from that night while he was supposedly upstairs asleep. He had seen her that day when he went to get the dog. In the texts they repeatedly told each other that they loved each other. He finally admitted that they had a sexual relationship. He said he didn't know if he really loved her but he loved that infatuated feeling you get when you first fall for someone and he felt that we hadn't had that connection for a long time.

    My first reaction was to kick him to the curb, but then he asked me if I loved him. He said he really didn't know and that was one of the reasons he was so confused. I had to really think about it. I know that I do love him. I just think we haven't been in love for some time. We talked all night and we want to try and get back to where we once where. He has given me all access to all of his electronic information and we emailed the girl together to cease contact.

    It's been two days since my discovery. I can't stop crying and it's hard to function. I am ok when he is here but when he is gone I start to think too much and I break down again. I am scared that we will try to make it work and it won't. I don't know if I can handle that. We are seeking professional help as soon as possible.

    Thank you for letting me share. It helps me to get it out there.

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    1. Anonymous,
      Your experience is pretty textbook. And your reactions are too. I was terrified any time my husband left the house for the first few weeks. That was when my mind went to dark, dark places.
      Getting professional help sounds like the place to start. You're acknowledging that, though the affair is entirely HIS responsibility, the fact that the marriage had become stale falls to both of you. I'm certainly not defending what he did, but it does sound as if he's been trying to get your attention on this for a long time.
      A good counsellor will insist that he take full responsibility for the affair and the emotional wreckage from it, but then move on toward a relationship where you both can discuss your needs clearly and respectfully and navigate toward a marriage that serves both of you (and your children).
      I hate to admit it, because affairs cause so much long-term damage, but they can serve as wakeup calls and move us toward relationships that are deeper and more meaningful.
      Please don't hesitate to keep posting. It can be such a lonely place when you're going through this. And you'll still have a lot to get through. Rebuilding trust can be the toughest part.

      Elle

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  27. Thank you Elle. It helps to have someone to talk to. I would like to ask your advice about something. My husband has pledged complete honesty about everything and he is answering all of my questions, even when it hurts me to ask. I have been hiding somethings myself in our marriage. I haven't been unfaithful, but I have hidden debt and things happened to me before our marriage that I have never shared with him. I am scared to be truthful because it might change his mind about staying with me, but how can I ask him for complete honesty when I am not giving it?

    Thank you,
    Anonymous aka M

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    1. M,
      You ask a really crucial question. And I suspect you already know the answer. A friend of mine recently discovered that her husband had dug the family into debt and she viewed it as a total betrayal. It meant pulling their kids out of their private school, cancelling plans for renovations and her starting a business to help pull in money.
      What made her stay was that her husband took steps to make amends for his own financial deceptions and she owned up to the role she'd played (removing herself from any awareness of the family finances).
      What happened to you before your marriage, unless you think it affects your husband in some way, doesn't necessarily need to be disclosed. We don't have to reveal everything about ourselves...and in fact I'm not sure we could. But the debt certainly needs to be discussed, perhaps after you've sought debt counselling or whatever seems appropriate.
      Without honesty and a trust that you tackle things together, there really can't be a true intimacy in the marriage. And without that true intimacy, both of you are open to making the same sorts of mistakes again.
      He deserves to know, just as you do. But it's important that neither of you hold each other's transgressions over your heads. You acknowledge them, deal with the emotional repercussions and move toward some sort of reconciliation, whether rebuilding the marriage or dissolving it with respect.

      Elle

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  28. Hello Elle it is very comforting to know that theres help out there for us. I need your advice. Just two months ago I found out my husband was connecting in a much deeper way to his business parter after leaving me pregnant and with a 7 year old son. He left for a couple months in during this time he was sharing with her very private information of us, hugging in the office, chats at nights, sharing music and dreaming about the company that they just started. He denies that anything ever happen between them but it is hard to believe. This woman is very smart, she knows a lot of the business, she is confident and helps him with the company because she has all the experience that he needs (which I dont because I never got myself into his business)
    Well after founding out I was already 6 months pregnant, he decided to move back in to the house, I really want to save my marriage so ended up saying yes. This past two months it has been like hell, fights everyday, he admitted that all was wrong and that he wants to be with us but he does not want to sell his part of the company because it is a great oportunity, thats why he continues long talks over the phone, they work alone in the office doing estimates, invoices and thats something that I cant live with. He has asked me to trust him again but it is very hard after everything that happened. I am pushing him away everyday with things I say and I cant leave the past in the past because it hurted me very much. We been married for 10 years and never thought in my life that he could have and emotional connection with another woman. What should I do because this is very painful.
    Yours
    R

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    1. The way I see it, there are three options: The first is for him to choose either his business or his family. There's clearly a line that's been crossed between him and his partner and that's threatening to your family. The second is for you to become involved in the business -- copied on all e-mails, privy to all phone calls, though that would likely be exhausting to you (with a newborn) and doesn't change that there could still be something going on behind the scenes. And finally, you could ask him to sign some sort of contract, giving you ownership of his part of the business if he cheats on you. In all cases, I think you should get yourself some counselling in order to work through the anger and hurt you already feel and so that you can talk with him in a way that doesn't make the situation worse (and, of course, you have a young child with another on the way -- so it's crucial that you both model treating others with respect).
      Give this some thought and talk it over with him. Without yelling or fighting, try to get him to understand how painful and frightening this has been for you and how it's crucial, especially with you pregnant, that you feel safe in your relationship.
      Good luck. And please take care of yourself and your son as best you can.

      Elle

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  29. Almost three weeks ago, I asked my husband if he was having an affair with J. He immediately admitted it. I had asked him when he was in bed reading for the night, after we tucked in our six year old and done all our nighttime things to keep the house running. I ran to my closet to change back into clothes and leave the house. I didn't want to be anywhere around him. He followed me, gave me a book HE had read about making love last, HE asked me to read it and HE asked that we enter counseling. After six hours of me asking questions, him answering and crying, he finally went to the basement to sleep. I only asked three things: 1.) when we go to counseling we both give it 110%; 2.) he never have contact with her again and 3.) he get tested for diseases. We went to our first counseling two days later. Lots of other details, but fast forward to now.
    On Monday at the fourth counseling session, he said he couldn't give up J until he "follow the road to see where it leads him." He says he knows that he is giving up everything, but he needs to do this. Obviously, I was devastated. The counselor said that we could meet again today to discuss the separation, but then there is really no point in meeting together again. I had only told one friend about the affair and what was happening.
    I came home and started gathering my support team. He wanted to come to the house after work to get "what I need to survive." I let him, but left with our daughter and had my dad stay at the house. He had to face my dad and hear what he had to say. My dad is a wonderful person and did his best to convince him, but no luck. I did have my dad take his garage door opener and that made him very angry.
    I called a few more friends and everyone has said, "I NEVER thought that this would happen to you." We have been together 22 years and married 17 years. I have had people who said that they would have bet their life, or their last $100, that this wouldn't happen to us.
    It is happening because last Fall, due to the tough economy, my husband lost his company. He had been a small business owner his entire life and he was very, very sad. I was sad also, but not like he was because this was his life's work and his dream job. In addition to this happening, I had to have major surgery and my daughter and I were living 2000 miles away for her to attend school. He was supposed to be there with us when we planned on this private school, but with the company failing, he was only visiting us.

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    1. Anonymous,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. But I'm glad you found us.
      I think it's important, eventually, to recognize that perhaps there were problems in your marriage that weren't being addressed. However, please don't ever think this gave him reason to have an affair. There were plenty of other things he could have done to deal with the problems with his business and in your marriage. This is not your fault.
      I hope he comes to his senses...but in the meantime, I hope you'll do whatever you need to do to move forward into healing. Recognizing this is his painful choice and that you did nothing wrong.
      I'm glad you've got the support of your family and friends. That will carry you a long way.

      Elle

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    2. Anonymous, I too hope that he comes to his senses. When you started your letter and he immediately admitted the affair and agreed to counselling, it sounded like he wanted to make things work. I presume he has still been in contact with J and undoubtedly he has told her you now know. I wonder if she convinced him to make things work with her or perhaps the relief of you finding out has made him think, well, she knows the worst now I'll give it a go with the OW?

      From experience, men really do live in a complete and utter fantasy world with the other woman. My husband convinced himself that he liked the clothes she wore, the music she listened to, the sex, the perfume the make-up, in actual fact he hated it all, but it was the thrill of the affair. Its almost like children in the playground creating a fantasy world that at the time, they really do believe. Many times I heard my daughter and her friend talking about getting a flat together, they were both going to win the lottery, have lots of ponies, have a swing in their flat, a swimming pool, a slide and a kitchen full of doughnuts and chocolate, they were going to have their nails done everyday and never go to bed early. They were 9 at the time! Cut to my husband and the OW.. They were going to live in a mansion, my daughter of course was going to really like his new partner, they would take long driving holidays, also have a farm with lots of animals. It makes my husband cringe when he repeats this story and he couldn't believe how he even managed to get to that point. I sometimes think that for certain men, an affair is like an illness. Brains left at the departure lounge.

      I do hope things work for you, whether it be on your own, or your husband finds out that life with his OW really is a fantasy and you feel that you can make a go of it. You have done nothing wrong. I wish you well.

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    3. Ha! Brain left at the departure lounge. I love it!

      Thanks for the words of wisdom (and humour!).

      Elle

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  30. When will this nightmare end...

    Not sure if this is the spot where I'm supposed to share my story but here goes...
    I've found out on June 1 that my husband had been having an affair since the fall. He said it was mostly a friendship with a co worker and they only had sex once. To make a very long story a little shorter- I got sober on nov 8 after realizing I would lose myself, my husband and my kids if I didn't. It was 8 months on July 8. I was feeling great but then a few months ago became very depressed and agitated to the point of self harm. I felt like I was going crazy and begged my husband for help. In may I went to a psychiatrist who thought I was just very overwhelmed with being a sahm to 5 kids and put me on medication. Almost immediately I began to feel better like I was getting my life back. And then my husband asked for a separation. I was so confused. He wanted me to move out. I told him I wasn't go to do that so he suggested we go to a marriage retreat. I was so relieved and hopeful. At the retreat he told me about the affair. I had to drive 5 hrs back home with him. It was hell on earth. He dropped me off and went to stay with a friend. For the next week he refused to talk to me about anything besides finances and the kids and said the marriage was over. I got a lawyer and was days away from filing for divorce when he asked to talk to me. We talked for 3 hours and it felt so good. We decided to go to marriage counseling. For the last 2 weeks he has been remorseful and says willing to do whatever it takes to save our marriage. He said they had sex once, he felt horrible and then ended it. I still couldn't understand how he would choose to have an affair right when I got sober- the one thing I thought he wanted me to do. But I love him and our family. We had our first counseling appt yesterday. Before it I told he I needed to know all the truth so I wouldn't be hurt all over again if more came out. He promised I knew everything. After the appt I talked to a friend and told her I felt like there was a block to me moving forward. He was saying all the right things but I still felt so unsure. She said she thought he was still lying. So I asked him one last time if I knew the truth. He said they had sex twice. The weekend he left to go fishing out of state. The weekend I was low I felt like if suicide was an option I would do it. He screwed her in his pickup that very day. That is something I cannot get past. If there was ever a time to be honest it was now. I begged him to tell me all the truth and he couldn't even do that. I feel like such a fool. I was actually starting to trust him again. Now he's begging for another chance. The idea of being a single mom to my 3 yr old twins, 5 yr and 7 yr old makes me sick but how can I stay with a man who valued my life so little? Not to mention my 20yr old who says she will never trust men now. The funny thing is since he's been gone I am sad and angry and confused but my depression and weakness was lifted on June 1st when I found out. I really believe that my body and heart knew all along that he was gone.

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    1. Nicole,
      Congratulations on getting sober. That is, above all, something you can be enormously proud of. You've given your kids their mother back and though everyone will likely go through an adjustment period (even good change is still change), life is undoubtedly better sober than at the bottom of a bottle.
      The thing with addiction is that the whole family tends to adopt incredibly unhealthy behaviours. So with your sobriety, it's likely time for the whole family to get "clean". If there's any way you can get your kids in counselling, it will serve them well. (I speak as the daughter of an alcoholic mother who got sober when I was 19. How I wish it hadn't taken me so many years to seek help for co-dependency, shame, etc.)
      Your husband's choice to cheat is probably part of those unhealthy behaviours. That's NOT to say you're to blame. He made the choice. It is to say that, whenever there's addiction, there's likely a lot of trauma that hasn't been addressed and that gets self-medicated in various ways. An affair can often (not always) be viewed as the same type of distraction as any addiction -- gambling, alcohol, sex, shopping. It's a way to avoid feeling pain or fear or loneliness or shame or...
      Perhaps, given your body's response to him leaving, you both need a bit of time apart to sort through all these issues. The goal, of course, is to build a loving, honest marriage and a safe, loving home for your kids. Taking your addiction out of the equation is a HUGE step in the right direction. But now it's time to deal with all the reasons you sought escape in the first place, for your husband to deal with all the feelings he has around that (and why he chose you in the first place), and for your kids to get clear on some of the unhealthy behaviours they might have adopted (lying to others about their home life, experiencing shame, blaming themselves, and so on).
      When my mother got sober, I got mad. Yes, I had wanted it for years. But when she finally did, I lost my role in the family as the "mom" who was taking care of everything while she drank. I was angry that she'd taken so long to get sober. I was angry that all of my pleas for stop hadn't worked and that she'd finally just gotten sick of herself. It took me a few years to deal with my own anger and hurt. When my mom died six years ago (today is the anniversary), she'd been sober 25 years and we'd developed a really incredible relationship. I miss her daily.
      Your challenge is to accept and acknowledge everyone's feelings around your sobriety (even when they're lousy feelings) and stay firm in your conviction to stay sober.
      I can't say it enough: You've given your gifts an incredible gift even if they don't realize it yet. You're showing them that someone can turn their life around.
      I hope you're able to rebuild with your husband. But even if he's not up to it, or you decide it's not what you want, please trust that you can handle it.

      Elle

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  31. Nicole, Another betrayed here applauding you for getting sober. That is amazing and you really should be very proud of yourself.
    What a time you've been through. I do think that Elle is right when she says that it might do the children good to get some counselling.

    You say that he admitted once to sleeping with the other woman, then you found out it was twice. All I can say on this matter is that sometimes there is more, but the affair partner cannot get it out in one go. It took around 8 months for me to get the truth. After 6 weeks or so of him telling me I knew everything I decided to call a so called truce... We were going away for a few days and before the vacation I told him I wouldn't ask him on a daily basis, but on the vacation I needed more truth, so he had a little time to think about it and REALLY come clean. I told him my heart had already been broken just knowing he'd slept with her once, I was angry at one gift he bought her, one missed school concert, so he may as well fess up to everything. I tried to tell him that all the time he was keeping it back from me, he would feel bad and never really move on. That doesn't mean to say you need to know every detail. From his point of view, it was a really shameful thing for him to admit he slept with her at every opportunity, however, it was empowering to hear at the end of it that he really couldn't face sleeping with her anymore, and I do remember the nights he came home early saying that he cancelled a work meeting.

    I feel that working out why an affair happened is like unravelling a knotted ball of wool. We had a really good marriage and sex life, but its taken me over a year to work out that there were a few tiny knots in my ball of wall, and when I took my eye off that ball, it was yanked and the knots got tighter. In my case it was depression on my husbands part, perhaps a bit of mid life crisis and also the fact that he was approached openly by the OW. But, had I taken action when I saw the depression approaching, I may have been able to confront it openly with him. Saying that, it was his decision and I do not feel in anyway responsible for his affair. Things hopefully will start to unravel for you and I hope and pray that you can all find a different healthier way in which to move forward. You have taken the most wonderful step yourself.

    Keep looking at this site and read the other blogs from months back. They really do help and remember, you are not alone. Elle recounts the story of her mothers addiction with compassion and the honesty in which she remembers feeling annoyed that her mother regained sobriety on her own when Elle had been trying for many years and her position as carer/mom became redundant. It is warming to hear that she had the most wonderful relationship with her mother after, and 6 years after her passing still misses her deeply. Sure its made Elle the woman she is today.

    Each story here will mean something to you and you will pick out bits that are so similar. Be strong and I wish you well.



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    1. Each story does indeed help us understand our own. There's such strength in a community like this -- of those who've been there coming together to support each other. Thank-you for sharing your story. The ball of yarn analogy makes a lot of sense.
      And thank-you also for recognizing how much I loved my mom. Despite everything (I sometimes even think because of everything), I admired the courage with which she faced her own demons. I was so lucky to have her as my mom.

      Elle

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  32. Hi All

    I am not sure if I have been cheated on, but I know a woman sixth sense is always right. I have found things about my H that made me investigate and now I am at the point where I have accepted it and prepared my mental state and I am now trying to prepare my physical state, I believed that I would have left but as time has gone on I know now that its more likely that I would kill myself, so to avoid that I am preparing myself. I know that its not good and that it looks like I am waiting for this man to cheat, but its not, I just don't wanna fall apart and find myself drifting between two worlds(death and dissolution).

    I love him and he is good to me and our kids but I can feel that this is happening or its coming and for all I know it might be happening, a lot of what has symptoms that a lot of the cheating men have in the start of the affair has happened so I know that I am not crazy, so my mental state is ready, my emotional state needs to get sorted and my physical state will take sometime.

    I have sent your blog to friends of mine and every woman I know, so eventually this will no longer be a silent cry!

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    1. Anon,
      I'm not entirely sure what you're saying but your declaration that you'll kill yourself is concerning. Please don't make threats and please care enough about your children if not yourself to seek help as you navigate whatever pain you anticipate coming your way. No guy is worth depriving children of a parent.

      Elle

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    2. Dear Anon, Your post has really worried me. I think you've been silently going through the trauma of infidelity without actually knowing 100% for sure, although a woman's intuition is a wonderful tool and usually quite accurate. Please put these dark thoughts out of your head or seek professional help or use a help-line.

      You say that your husband is good to you and that you love him. Go over all these blogs again, yes there is heart ache, anger and despair, but you will also notice that people are always trying to find a way.... A way together or a way alone but knowing that you gave it a try or at least got your thoughts into some coherent order.

      Have you attempted discussing this with your husband, in your heart you already think something is wrong, so although it may come as a shock, you are already living in that world, and all the time things aren't confronted, you will stay in that state of limbo and not have the opportunity to put it right or make a different decision.

      Keep safe and I pray that you find the extra strength to see this segment of your life through to the next chapter. Do come back and give this site an update. We're all here for you.

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  33. My husband confessed second round of infidelity (9 years after the first one we suffered).

    The trauma is beyond words - the effect on my weight, feeding habit and sleeping habit, mood and work is debilitating.

    We live oceans apart... The OW is a married woman. My husband is begging me to take him back, and I have decide to work things out with him. However, he insists on not letting me see this OW as I have requested in order to enable me to attain closure.

    I am struggling to reconcile this refusal with his pleading that I accept him back. Crazy.....

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    1. With round two, it's time to ask some questions of yourself and him: What is different this time around? Why didn't he learn his lesson before? What in the world would make you trust him again? And what in hell makes him think that you owe him ANYTHING? If you need to meet the OW, then that's exactly what you should do and he has absolutely no right to ask you to cease and desist unless you're carrying a gun you intend to use.
      Ask yourself why you need to see her. How would that give you closure? What if she's younger/prettier/thinner/whatever? What if she's not? How will meeting her change anything?
      That said, you're in the driver's seat if he wants to reconcile. You get to determine what you need to move forward. If he won't respect that (within reason), then that's a huge red flag.

      Elle

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    2. You certainly are in the driving seat! You don't mention if you have children, but what would your husband think if your son or daughters partner had done that to his child, promised faithfully never to do it again, and then roll on 9 years they did. I think he would be telling his child to run a mile, or if you had done the same thing to him, ask him what advice he would give himself.

      Seeing the other woman could hurt you or make you feel better. it's a 50-50. I was lucky, it worked in my favour as she was a joke and my husband was soooo embarrassed, heck it made me feel really good about myself, but it could have worked the other way. So give that one some thought.

      Good luck.

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    3. how hard to get up from the bed these days. thank you for your support.

      my problem is not what she looks like. I just want to see the face without a heart. He was discussing me with her, and would be on the phone with her while his other phone was ringing from my call. I feel so insulted.

      we do have children - 14 (girl), 12 (boy) and 6 (girl).this is part of the reason I am considering staying - my children are crazy about him, and I don't know how to spoil their joy with my pains...

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    4. I know, it is hard to get out of bed sometimes, keep trying, don't look too far ahead, just think, I'm going to do it today.

      Well, she doesn't just have a face without a heart, she also doesn't have a conscience, integrity, or honesty and also she must have some sort of malicious streak in her. I can understand you wanting to see her. Have you asked your husband the reason he's so against it. Is it because he's worried there will be a big scene, perhaps he's really ashamed of her.

      My daughter too was devoted to her father and that is the reason I didn't walk out that night, I didn't want her heart broken too. We tried counselling. The counsellor was pretty definite by the questions she asked us that our daugher had some kind of idea that her father had been unfaithfull. Anyway, 1 year post d day the pressure got too much, I was a different person and I admitted that he did have an affair. She was very tearful and couldn't believe it but a few months on, her relationship with her father is still good, she can talk openly with us and said that she wants to move on. One of her first questions was, does anyone else know? We told her only my parents and she has asked that we keep it that way as she would be so ashamed of him.

      Please let us know how you get on. Get your thoughts clear and take one step at a time.

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    5. Wow. I wish for every husband (or wife!) considering cheating to have heard your comment that your daughter doesn't want anyone else to know because she would be so ashamed of him.
      Can you imagine anything making an erection shrink faster than the thought of your child knowing exactly what you did...and feeling ashamed of you.
      Ugh. Can't imagine anything worse.
      Your daughter sounds like a smart girl. I'm sorry she's had to go through this pain too but the honesty with which you've handled it will likely serve her well.
      Thanks for sharing your support and wise words.

      Elle

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    6. Thank you Elle!

      Wouldn't it be wonderful if this site could pop up in men's and women's email that were thinking of having an affair so that they could see the devastation it causes.

      I am so proud of my daughter, she has handled this with dignity and a strength that I never knew she had. 14 yrs old, bless her. I too am so sorry she has had to go through it. In some respects it made it easier for me once she knew as she was really getting worried that there was this difference in our relationship and I was finding it hard when she would comment about a news article or tv show with people having affairs. She would look at me and say, thank goodness we've got daddy, he would never do anything like that. It broke my heart in a way I never thought it could be broken.

      She has given me strength in ways she didn't realise. She said to me once, it must of been awful for daddy seeing that woman when he had such a beautiful intelligent wife, he must of felt embarrassed when he was with her, I really can understand why he didn't want to take her out. She was also so pleased when she found out her father showed a photo of me to her.. I was fuming beyond belief at the time, but her words were like balm...Mummy, she must of felt like an old hag when she saw your picture.

      So yes, she is a smart girl, but yet another victim of betrayal. I hope and pray that her heart is not more broken than I can see.

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    7. The other upside to your daughter knowing is something I just thought of when I read your reply. And that is that it's teaching your daughter to trust her intuition. She was getting worried because things were clearly different between her parents. By being honest with her, you've given her the gift of knowing that when she's feeling something isn't right...then it probably isn't right.
      I had a different experience growing up with alcoholic parents. Clearly things were going wrong...but I was forever being told that things were "fine". What that teaches kids is to doubt their instincts. It took my husband cheating on me (and me realizing I had sensed months earlier that something was up) to recognize that my instincts are bang-on. And that has been quite empowering.
      Your daughter sounds like a wonderful kid. As mom to a 15-year-old, I'll warn you that there are certainly days when I'm shut out of her world. But, like you, I feel absolutely blessed to have a smart, warm-hearted, great teen. And though she doesn't know about the affair, my kids do know that we were having problems and that we sought help for them. I will never tell my kids that things are "fine" when they aren't

      Elle

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  34. I am in need of advice... With that said I know I am the only person that can make this decision and I know I have to figure out my heart and my head. I have posted here before but not sure I shared my whole story. Dday for me was March 2011 and I was 6 months pregnant. My husband and I had been together 9 years at the time but married only since October. We had gotten pregnant on our honeymoon in Maui things were great all we ever talked about was being parents and starting a family. I forgot to mention that we were high school sweethearts so I guess I should of seen the curiosity thing coming. After we were back from our honeymoon my husband had to work a couple hours away so he just stayed in a hotel that his work payed for with another guy that was immature and going through a divorce I didn't feel good about it at all. Anyways he would stay there during the week and come home on the weekends. Things started to get tense between us I had a lot of anger that he was gone and not there for me he felt he was doing what he needed to go to be a provider. But anyways around dec. he met this bartender at a place they went and ate at and eventually it led to her bringing him and his friend food one night which later turned into them hooking up. This chick found me in Facebook and wrote awful things to me things I know wouldn't of came from my husband like he never loved me, our marriage was complicated, he never wanted a child with me, etc. she played the manipulated victim. So through therapy couples and individual on my part we moved forward. I still didn't know if I was making the right decision bc like many of you it was my deal breaker! So this year has been rough as I have kept my heart guarded. Just last week we went on a vacation I felt great content and happy scared to even say it. I was seeing the man I loved in a new light a wonderful father and really a good partner. While on vacation we took a nice stroll in the evening on the beach just him and I and I could feel he was closed off. That night we made love and cuddled and I just couldn't shake something being up. So the next evening he gave me his truck key to go pick up food and I saw his work phone in the door. So of course I decided to look at it and guess what I see text between her and him they were nothing loving or sexual at all just hi what's up etc. however she texted I love you for real he never responded back. So I if course flipped told him we were done and he ruined his second chance. That there was supposed to be no contact with her.

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  35. Part2....
    He claims that there had only been contact 5 or 6 times through this year and she would text him hey and trying to see how things were between us. What I don't get is how in his mind he believes he was protecting me and just hoping someday she would get the hint and move on. My thing is he shouldn't of even entertained her by replying he said it was like once he replied he feared that if he didn't keep replying nicely since he did once that she would turn it into something more and contact me again on Facebook. I told him he should of came to me with this at there very beginning but I says he felt like he was on such eggshells and I was threatening to divorce him over everything that he didn't want to be divorced. Why don't men get that honesty proves so much more! The thing is I think he realizes I am at my breaking point he has cried for 3 days smothering me with affection showing me compassion and honesty like he never did before it was like before he kept things in in fear of doing more harm. I wanted him to realize we have and always have been best friends and he needs to feel like he can come to me about anything. He let me know all these things outside of us that I had no idea that were bugging him. Any ways he told me he wants to get individual counseling which he has never before because he wants to figure out why he feels at the time covering things up to avoid an argument is better than complete honesty. My question is should I run did he blow his second chance I know there was no more physical cheating and I know she has an obsessive issue and can lie. I know my husband is completely in the wrong and I just wonder if he will be able to ever be honest. It just kills me for 8+ years I never caught him in a lie I just don't get it!! The things is even through all of this he is the one I want to console me and I want to do the same for him. What to do...

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  36. I meant Dday was March 2012 oops

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    1. You're right in that only you can determine whether or not you're able to move forward from this with him in your life.
      I will say that many men who cheat tend to avoid conflict in many ways. They often have a long history of not speaking up about things that bother them or upset them for fear of creating conflict. Peace at all costs seems to be their motto.
      I'm glad for you husband's sake and your child's sake that he wants to get individual therapy to get to the root of why he thinks lying to "protect" you is better than giving you honesty. That will serve the whole family better. Conflict is part of any relationship. No couple agrees on everything and the challenge is to be able to create compromise where necessary, while ensuring that each partner feels heard and respected. Not easy at all. But crucial.
      Without that honesty -- and the freedom to express our opinions -- resentment builds. And that's where it's all too easy for people to convince themselves that cheating is okay. "She doesn't appreciate me." "He doesn't share my dreams." Etc. Etc.
      I'm so sorry you're going through this. Keep us posted about what you choose to do.

      Elle

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  37. Having trouble letting go of anger towards the OW... Part 1

    A year and a half ago my husband told me he'd had an affair with a coworker and friend who I had also gotten to know. They met only a year before when she started working with him. They quickly became friends and he would often have a beer with her after work. After a while we all started going hiking together: the three of us and, for a while, her boyfriend. (They broke up after a while.) She made overtures towards being my friend. I did the same. I didn't like her a WHOLE lot, but I'm not terribly social so I figured that was all it was. Then after time she began to cool towards me. She would say little, snippy things that made me feel belittled.. I had no idea why she was acting this way.

    The first thing I said when he told me was, "I'm not 100 percent surprised." (That actually blew me away later when I recalled it. I HAD been worried, but I hadn't really believed it was possible.)

    The second thing I said was, "Do you want to stay with me?" He said yes, if we could work on some things. And with that we began to talk.

    When he told me, I was of course devastated. I was miserable and could barely stop crying for months. I lost 15 pounds (and I was fairly thin to start with). But my husband did everything right. He owned up to everything right away. He said there was no point in lying any more: If we were going to work on our relationship and make it work, he had to be honest. And he has been. He told me it's his fault, that I'm not to blame for the bad decisions he made. He said we need to communicate and pay attention to each other, the lack of which he felt was at the root of what had made him unhappy for quite some time. (While still reiterating that the affair was NOT my fault in any way.)

    So we've been rebuilding and it has been very good, in that regard. We talk. We plan. We have fun. We do more together. We enjoy each other. We plan for a long and happy future together.

    But of course there is still pain, and all of those issues you all know so well. The fear that things still might fall apart. The worry that I'm not good enough. The anger that he betrayed me and deceived me. The resentment that when I tried to ask him what was wrong, he evaded my questions. And also resentment that before he met her he was unhappy with me but never even hinted to me there were problems, so there was nothing I could have done. The sadness. So much sadness.

    And I'm angry with her. I never spoke to her after I found out. I haven't seen her except for a couple of very brief encounters, at a distance, barely even sure it was her. And it kills me because I WANT to confront her. But I know that even if it had ever been a good idea (and really, it wouldn't), it's long past the time when it would make sense. And all it would do is tear open wounds and risk new outbursts.

    They still work at the same place, but not closely. It's really not feasible for him to change jobs. I never asked him to and wouldn't now. They studiously avoid each other. He says he can see she's still angry with him, but still, she keeps her head down and avoids any contact. He stays cool and neutral, just avoiding her and not thinking about her. But it's frustrating that she blames him completely and, from what she said when he last talked to her, clearly doesn't see any fault in her own actions.

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  38. Having trouble letting go of anger towards the OW... Part 2

    They were attracted from the start. He didn't fight it beyond telling himself nothing would come of it. Early on in their friendship, he told me that her former husband had cheated on her, with her sister. She has never forgiven her ex or her sister and she's still bitterly angry, many years later. After telling me about the affair, he said that he told me about that so I'd know that she would never have a affair herself, and therefore she wasn't after him. He believed that. He believed that would stop them both from acting on their attraction, and he admits that was weak of him.

    So they hung out as friends and discussed their lives and their relationship problems. They had beers and walked her dogs. He did favors like trimming her tree branches after a storm and helping her find a new vehicle when hers died.

    None of these things are out of character for him. He's a good friend to his friends, and he has often had female friends. That was never a problem for me because it was truly never a problem before. This time, though, he had been unhappy with me (without telling me). He felt an attraction he hadn't felt towards "just a friend" before. She was sweet and kind to him when he felt a need for that. He made excuses to be upset with me, exaggerated my faults, blamed me for things that either weren't my fault or were his fault, too. All of these things he told me as soon as we started talking about the affair.


    So all three of us went hiking together several times, along with a few other social activities. And in the meantime their attraction was brewing, and then one day, on a walk together, she kissed him. He didn't stop her. They didn't even question whether it was the right thing to do. They just continued on for a few months being affectionate and a little more than "just friends." And then they had sex three times in December.

    After that they began to question what they were doing. They halted the physical activity but continued to behave as friends for a few weeks. Then she gave him what amounted to an ultimatum: Stay away from me. Tell your wife about our affair or I'll tell her. But we can't see each other at all until then.

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  39. Having trouble letting go of anger towards the OW... Part 3

    He procrastinated for a few weeks and then, finally, told me. After we talked for some days, we agreed he should call her and tell her that we're staying together and he won't spend time with her again. He did that and it seemed to go well. Some weeks later she texted him several times in one day to say he broke her heart, etc., but since then there has been no contact.

    I now realize she thought I'd leave him and he would be hers. Why, I'm not sure. When her husband cheated on her, SHE wanted to make the marriage work. They went to a therapist, but her husband wouldn't talk and eventually it fell apart and they divorced. Why would she assume I'm so different from her that I wouldn't want to save MY marriage? Maybe she didn't believe I really love him; maybe that was a part of how she justified what she was doing.

    That's a big part of why I often think I want to talk to her. I want to know what she thought of me that made her think it was okay to hurt me in the same way she was hurt. She gets vehemently angry when people slight her, even relatively small slights like telling one of her secrets. And yet she can hurt me in the worst way she was hurt, and somehow she's not even at fault? I want her to acknowledge her fault in this. Yes, I'm aware that my husband was the one most responsible to me. I've been angry with him and delved into every aspect of how he wronged me. But I'm mostly past that now. We've worked through it, discussed it, resolved things. With her, I have none of that: just pure, raw anger and hurt. I haven't had an apology of any sort. I want that.

    Sigh.

    Recently I've made some steps towards what I'm calling "letting it go." I feel like maybe I can finally, truly release all of this anger towards her and just...let it go. I hope I can. Otherwise it's going to eat me up.

    I have no one to talk to about this other than my husband and my therapist. I made the decision from the start not to let anyone else know about the affair, because it would only cause more people pain and us more upset. So it's good to be able to share my feelings. Thank you!

    (I wonder if Part 1 didn't get through. I realized afterwards I didn't type all of the CAPTCHA stuff, and yet it behaved as if it went through...)

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    1. Mountainsailing,

      Your story sounds almost textbook. Have you done any reading around affairs? Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass is a classic. The reason I suggest that is that I suspect you're giving this woman way more power than she deserves. This really had little to do with her and everything to do with what your husband projected onto her. She was an escape from a relationship he was dissatisfied with but didn't have the guts to communicate to you about. Total fantasy.
      As for wanting to know why she could do such a thing? You've pretty much answered your own question. Anyone that bitter over her spouse's cheating with her sister (!!!) hasn't done the hard work of healing from that sort of pain. Absolutely I get her anger and hurt. No question. But to then to use that anger to get involved with a married man clearly shows that she's got a whole lot emotional baggage.
      My situation was similar in that the OW I first learned about was my husband's assistant. Her marriage had split up because her spouse cheated on her. When I confronted her, the words out of my mouth were "You, of all people, should know exactly how I'm feeling. Why would you inflict this pain -- that you know -- onto someone else?" The problem was that I was addressing the question to someone with the emotional immaturity of a 14-year-old. She was hurt and angry and humiliated and she felt quite justified feeling powerful by humiliating someone else.
      I suspect you'd be in for a similar conversation. This woman feels like the injured party. You're probably right that she hoped that bringing the affair into the open would destroy your marriage. When that didn't happen, her trauma (from her husband's affair) was triggered and she lashed out.
      This, of course, is all two-bit psychoanalysis...but based on a whole lot of anecdotal evidence.
      Short version? She's nuts. Crazy. Broken.
      You're applying logic to an illogical person. She doesn't follow the same rules.
      Put her behind you as best you can. It will get easier with time.
      I can honestly say I barely think about the OW anymore. If I do, it's generally with a sense of pity. She recently had a child, I heard, and I find myself hoping that she's smartened up enough to be a good decent parent.
      What does your therapist say about this? No doubt he/she sees narcissists like all the time (then again, do narcissists seek therapy? Probabaly not.)
      Hang in there. It gets better.

      Elle

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    2. Thank you so much for the reply. Yes, I have read Not Just Friends and I remember it being one of the most helpful of the several books and websites I've read on the subject. But it's been a while since I read it and it sounds like I could use a refresher. ;) I'll definitely go back to it.

      Thank you also for the reminder that it really had little to do with her. Once my husband left the "affair bubble" and saw her for who she really was (and is), he was appalled that he ever fell in love with her. She's selfish in all of her relationships, uses people, and judges everyone extremely harshly – except herself. She blames everyone else for any problems in her life but never seems to look at her own role in things. And she manufacturers or exaggerates problems to get pity and attention. He sees all of that now. I guess I need to be reminded of it, though.

      "But to then to use that anger to get involved with a married man clearly shows that she's got a whole lot emotional baggage."

      Exactly. It makes me want to scream at her: Don't you see what you've done? Don't you see you hurt me in exactly the same way you are still angry for being hurt? How does this make sense to you?

      But of course there's no point. I agree with you that's she's broken. And even more:

      "You're applying logic to an illogical person."

      Yes. That. I need to remember that. I need to let go of her and stop dwelling on what I assume she was thinking. I need to stop caring about her point of view or her motivations.

      To his credit, this is something my husband reminds me every time I let him know I'm thinking these things.

      "Hang in there. It gets better."

      God, I hope so! But really, I DO know this is true. It has already gotten so much better. I no longer cry every day, let alone ALL day as I did for the first few months. I no longer think of the affair ALL THE TIME, as I did for most of the first year. So now I just need to stop thinking about HER, and all of the things I want to say to her. I think I can do it. But it's taking more time that I thought it would.

      Thank you again. It really does help to read everyone's stories and to get a little feedback and what's still bothering me.

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  40. hi
    I found out my husband had been having a 3 year affair on june 7th,we live in cali,she lives on east coast he saw her 4 times,but they spoke daily.
    a little background my husband and I have been married for 20 years,im 42 hes 48,we have 2 grown daughters we always had a good friendship we never fought except maybe the last year,cause I could sense he was different not his happy go lucky self,but I believed it was cause of all the problems weve had,we filed for bankruptcy,lost a business,a home,a car,and I thought with the stress of all this,and his stress at work was overwhelming,and I also believed he was going through a mid life crisis.
    well he met this woman playing cards online,she vever even met him and bought him a laptop 2 years ago(which he said his work supplied it to him)and the reason she bought him the lap top was cause our desk top took a crap,and she wanted to continue to play cards,who in the hell buys someone they don't know an expensive laptop?
    anyways the day I found out I called him at work he rushed home,and he said he wanted to do anything to save our marriage,and set up counseling sessions for us,and answered all my questions.
    he said he hit rock bottom,and hated himself,and now he feels like he has ptsd,which I feel like I have,to make matters worse I saw a picture of this woman who is severly over weight,short hair(my husband loves long hair always has)and shes way older than me,i know if she was cute I would still feel horrible,but I look at her and think wtf?is wrong with me that he had to go there,my self esteem is in the gutter,he says he doesn't know what he was thinking,and that nothing was real it was just an escape for him.
    well now this crazy woman keeps emailing me,nasty ugly stuff I finally blocked her,i just don't understand as I did nothing to her
    I have since blocked her,funny thing is she has my phone number,but never calls just hides behind her computer.
    I can see a 20 something falling for everything a married man says but come on a 50 something,if hes lying to me did she not think he was lying to her,and another funny thing is my husband told me she was always accusing him of cheating on her,with who?his wife,i did have a little sypmpathy for her at first,i believed she was a lonely woman and my husband was the first man in a long time to be nice to her,but I don't feel bad for now at all after the nasty emails.
    my husband and I have been getting closer,and I feel like im more in love with him now than 2 years ago,but the trust issues are driving me crazy,cause ive never been paranoid,maybe I should have and this wouldn't have happened or at least found out about it sooner

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    1. Anon,
      Similar to Mountainsailing above, I think you're dealing with a garden-variety crazy OW. You ask, what kind of person buys a perfect stranger an expensive laptop? A crazy person. A desperate person. Someone who places so little value on herself that she thinks she needs to buy attention. Someone who lashes out a wife simply because you're where she wants to be.
      Place your attention back on yourself and your husband. Let him do the hard work of getting to the root of what allowed him to go down this path. In the meantime, it sounds as if you've got a lot of stress and disappointment in what's happened that needs addressing. This economy has messed up a lot of people's lives. Sort through your own feelings about what's happened, work to put it behind you, and start moving forward.
      The paranoia generally goes away, assuming you're taking steps toward healing. It's still quite new to you. It takes a lot longer to heal from betrayal than any of us think it will.
      Your husband needs to offer you total transparency -- access to his computer, phone, bills, bank account, whatever you feel you need to see to ensure that nothing seems out of the ordinary. This is so that you can slowly trust that he's being honest. It takes time. He's shown you that he's capable of deceit over a long time. So it will take a long time for him to prove to you that's behind him. You will likely never trust him as blindly as perhaps you did. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Acknowledging that those we love are capable of painful mistakes is, for many of us, part of life. People disappoint us. We often disappoint people. The key is to learn from the mistakes and take steps to ensure we don't screw up again.

      Elle

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    2. Speaking of ensuring that we don't screw up again have any of you done or considered an infidelity contract??? Opinions please...

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    3. elle
      first thank you for taking time to reply to my post
      and yes I have all my husbands account passwords now,hes very remorseful,he says he was like in a fog,and he hit rock bottom,and says he wont feel good until I feel better.hes ashamed of himself.
      yes we have found a very good counselor,who weve been seeing,and I never believed in them,it makes me feel better everytime we leave her office,she has put a lot of things into perspective,and says in her 25 years of counseling couples,shes never seen a more remorseful man as my husband,and made me realize that things weren't going well in our marriage before,it had become stagnant,and its no excuse for cheating,but I can now see that we did have a lot of problems,like doing things without each other,i would go out with friends,while he stayed home,he would invite me to go to east coast,his family lives there,and I never wanted to go,we pretty much lived separate lives.
      now I feel that im falling in love with him more everyday,i know he has always loved me,everyone has always commented how crazy hes always been about me,but there was a point that I didn't feel like I loved him,in a way a wife should love her husband,for the last 5 months things have been going great,but he was still talking to her,he said he couldn't get rid of her,cause she would threaten to tell me,and he knew how hurt I would be,and didn't want me to go through what im going through now,and she wouldn't leave him alone,if he didn't answer her call she would start power calling,and he said it was just easier for him to answer,and say hi and she would say that's all I needed,i never thought I could hate someone,cause that's not me,but I hate her,i know its my husbands fault,and I felt bad for her at first,but all the nasty hateful messages she sent me,ive learned to hate her.
      so yes im focusing on me and my husband now,and putting our marriage first above everything else,and I know it will be a long road ahead,and I will have good,and bad days hopefully as the days and months go by,the good days will out weigh the bad days
      thank you so much

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    4. RE: Infidelity contracts: I've written about them on this site. I know Dr. Joy Brown (whose radio show I used to listen to) advocated for them. And I, frankly, think they're a good idea. I've asked my husband if he would sign something giving me the house if he ever cheats again. He has said yes. But then I realize that doesn't really make any difference. Guys who cheat never think they're going to get caught. They don't cheat for that reason necessarily...and I'm not sure that those who do cheat would NOT cheat if they risked losing something valuable. The MARRIAGE is valuable. The FAMILY is valuable.
      So I guess if a contract is viewed as a deterrent to the potential cheater, I don't think it's much use. But if it's viewed as a "reward" for having to go through heartbreak again, then go for it. It's a great question. Perhaps I'll post something about it and get others' feedback.

      Elle

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  41. Interesting note, Elle, about the bad economy messing with peoples' lives.

    For us, cleaning up the financial aspects has been almost as difficult as cleaning up the emotional aspects. (Actually, for me, sometimes I am better able to focus on cleaning up the financial parts than I am at healing the emotional.) I bet there are a lot of families still feeling the financial effects of 2009-2011 affairs.

    Though I'm getting a little better with letting it go, for a while I could ramble things off like, "Well, if you hadn't spent $103.64 on that stupid bottle of perfume for the horrible woman, maybe you'd be able to get that new fishing pole now. Too bad you didn't think of that."

    And though I have come to see that some of my comments weren't helping anything, in reality, because of the bad times, we did lose our family business and our house and ended up in huge debt which we are still trying to pay-off. (Sometimes I have had to make light of it just to not cry.)

    I know I can't blame everything on the horrible woman, but she did contribute to the situation. She had no problem in accepting gifts, trips, and taking money from us while our family was losing everything. The whole economy was in a nosedive and without my husband and I being a strong team during that time, it was a perfect storm which has left a lot of financial fall-out for us. And of course, horrible woman got to walk away from it all without a thought to how it affected our kids or family's future. (Grrrr...)

    Oh well. Our family may be paying out a huge percent of our income now to debt that we have nothing material to show for, but, we do have each other. And I guess I'd walk through debt-collection-hell for the rest of my life for that if I have to.

    Amy M

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  42. Hi everyone I will go by CM. I have been in what I thought was a committed relationship for the last 5 years not married and have a 2 year old and currently 41weeks pregnant now with our second.
    I have been knowing him since 2005 and now iam 27 yrs old. He finally confessed to me a day before Mother's Day after about 2 yrs of speculation that he was messing around with my whore bag sister before our first son was born and my other whore bag sister our first official year of our relationship.
    I speculated my younger one did because she said it one day while we were arguing while I was about 2 months pregnant with my first that if I didn't stop she will break my heart. I immediately had a feeling she was talking about sleeping with him since she slept with my ex boyfriend before him. So I asked her what she meant and she said nothing so I pounced on her like lion and walked her like a dog. However after e fight was over she still didn admit to nothing but was bragging how my ex boyfriend paid her but never said nothing about him. So I just thought she was just mad that we argued and wanted to make me mad and make me think they had something going on since she knew that I knew what she is capable of doin something like this again mind you she is a schizo and depressive so I had brushed her off. But it was still on mind.
    When he told me the truth that night since I grew tired of the speculation for all this time just constantly thinking about it daily I was relieved but very hurt and felt alone since I have our 2 yr old son and was 7 months pregnant. I put him out the house since he wasn't paying any bills anyhow for about 3 weeks he was practically in the streets.
    Then June 7 his second young sister had died at the age of 34 of a heart attack and I felt bad and let him come back home plus I needed help watching our son since iam was still working full time as a nurse. And I don't have much family support. Of course he appoligized and said the last 3 yrs he hasn't cheated on me an said he will marry me and get a job and be a changed man instead of the a$$ hole he has been during our whole relationship.
    I told him that we can't be together since he did something that can never be truly forgiven and that I just wanted him to be here for the kids and we could co-parent. He agreed but wantede to try to forgive him even if it takes a year or two. Unfortunately I feel so stupid to say since letting him back home in June we had intercourse twice but any other time I would tell him not to touch me which he respected. I somewhat still have love for him but iam still like blah towards him most time I try to be just cool for the sake of him being here with our son and being a great dad and help.
    He works odd jobs here and there and has been helping somewhat financially. As far as my sibling i forgave since i felt like I had no choice anyway since I need help with my kid and eventually my newborn when he gets here but I rather have their dad there for them then my own siblings, I feel like the less people around that did me shady the better.
    I don't want to be with him but I don't know how to deal with this as far as co parenting and leaving sex out the equation. I know after he is born I will just say no and put him out if he doesn't understand that and deal with being actually single raising my two kids and having my siblings help out instead . Sometime I wish we could be together but I know it's impossible. I couldn't be with anyone with visions of them doing god knows what with my siblings.

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    1. CM,
      You sound amazingly sane in the midst of total craziness around you.
      I'm so sorry you're going through this. And now to have a baby too. You must be absolutely exhausted -- physically and emotionally.
      You must take care of yourself, first and foremost. You can't be a good mom to your kids if you're feeling so beaten down.
      Your sisters sound absolutely toxic and I think the less you have to do with them, the better. Given their total lack of respect for you, I'm surprised you do want them around your children. They're not exactly great role models for honesty and integrity.
      As for your partner, I think it's great that the two of you are willing to be respectful to each other and co-parent. That's absolutely the best for the kids when parents can put their own problems aside and focus on being good parents. However, I think having him in the home is unhealthy for you.
      Given that you have a good job and seem to be the only adult that has any sense, you need to protect yourself from the toxic people around you.
      My advice? Give your partner some time (six weeks, for example) to find his own place and try and get a steady job. He should be contributing something financially to the situation. Make him useful to you as you get past childbirth and dealing with a newborn. But then it's time for him to get his own place.
      Start asking around about childcare for your kids. See if anyone knows of a good reliable sitter or decent daycare. Your sisters need to be kept at a distance until (and if!!) they get healthy and are willing to earn back your trust.
      Your most important job right now is to be a good mom to your kids and it sounds as if you're great. It's the people around you who are messing you up. You want them to grow up to be a decent, honest people, which means surrounding them with decent, honest people now.
      Take some time to figure out what you want your life to look like -- a partner who doesn't cheat on you and who contributes to the household, siblings that don't screw your boyfriend, children growing up in a healthy home where there's honesty and integrity. And then figure out how to make that happen.
      It starts by removing those people who can't treat you with respect.
      I'm so sorry, CM. You sound incredibly strong but nobody deserves to go through what you're going through. Remember that...and only let people into your life if they deserve to be there.

      Elle

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  43. Thanks Elle,
    Iam staying strong just cause I don't want to be miserable. It makes me mad sometimes and sometimes sad just because I have two kids with him, when all this could have been avoided and I could have been on my own and out of all three of their shady lives.
    But iam content when I see my kid smile and happy around his dad and being a family for him.
    I work midnights so daycare is not an option right now and plus for two kids it can get expensive plus his money is not consistent. I hope eventually he can move out on his own and find a stable job to support his kids.
    It's funny how he still wants to be a family and be with me since he claims he loves me so much and can't live without me. But he will eventually get it.
    All I care right now is my kids, and their happiness and my own.

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    1. Yay for you, CM. You'll get through this. Sounds as if you're already much of the way there. Just keep reminding yourself (though I think you already know), his cheating had NOTHING to do with you and everything to do with his own issues, not to mention those of your sister(s). People with their stuff together don't do that to other people.
      Hang in there.

      Elle

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    2. Thanks Elle :-)

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  44. I have found this site and I am grateful for a chance to tell my story to understanding ears. I am 62, my husband is 63 and we have been married for 33years last Friday. D Day for me was 9/11 in 2012 as I was waiting at the departure gate to get on a transatlantic flight to the 'Happiest Place on Earth' with our daughter, my sis and her granddaughter. He mistakenly sent me a text that was meant for the other woman, that by the wording, made it clear there was an affair going on. Somehow I managed to complete the holiday without anyone realising what had happened and decided to find out what I could before tackling him. On my return he was very distant and cold but he hadn't realised what he had done with the text, so didn't know I knew. I 'hacked' into the last 6 months of his phone records and found hundreds of texts and calls to one number. Now 6 months prior to D day he had a heart attack and was now recovering so I thought this had proved the catalyst and it was a recent happening. Eventually when I summoned the nerve to challenge him he admitted that he had been having an affair with the ex girlfriend that he dumped to go out with me as long as 34 years ago. To make this story shorter I have since discovered that this contact started on the day of our 25th anniversary when they met locally by chance and exchanged phone details and set up secret email accounts, so this was going on for over 7 years without my knowledge. I have recently retired from a very demanding academic post and we did not have a lot of time for each other, but this does not excuse him in my mind.
    We had a very emotional time for some months but have agreed to stay and rebuild our marriage and that all contact with her would cease. He emailed and phoned her and broke it off. However I was still checking his phone unknown to him and there were a few messages which he lied about at first but did eventually say that she was attempting to keep contact. She is 60 years old, no children, married but had only been married for 3 years when all this started with him. Her husband does not know.
    There has been no contact that I know of for the last 5 months and I am feeling hopeful as we are closer than for a long time and things are generally good. I do have 'meltdowns' at so called 'trigger' moments and these he finds hard to cope with. I am very mistrustful and want to believe in our future together. I have gone against everything I always said I would do by staying and trying to save things and at times I feel I am being too 'forgiving' and spend my times consoling him for the upset, although his health problems are probably caused by the stress of his affair. I have told one person, an ex work colleague who is not involved with us as a couple and she is very supportive. I will not tell family as it is difficult to keep a secret in these situations and I will not hurt our daughter even though she is an adult.
    My problem is that now things are good between us most of the time he feels I am going over things too much when I get upset and he would rather forget that he ever caused me so much pain. I still don't think he has any idea what he has done to me and he never will. Complete trust will not ever return but I am hoping for some peace of mind and better sleep.

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    1. Your need to go over things is quite common and important to healing. It's a way of ensuring that you've got the whole story. That you're not going to be blindsided again. Unfortunately most unfaithful spouses have a really hard time with it. It feels to them as if they're being raked over the coals again and again.
      Without that freedom to talk it over and revisit it when we feel triggered or insecure, however, we feel silenced and invisible. Like our pain has to be put away. And that's a horrible feeling, especially after knowing how "invisible" we were to our spouse during their affair.
      Are you two in counselling? Or individually? It would help you both, I think. Affairs trigger all sorts of emotional trauma which needs addressing (and might help you sleep!)
      Hang in there.

      Elle

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    2. Update
      I suggested counselling but knew it would be a 'no' and I think I agree with him. We did have another going over things the other night and I did tell him that I knew he had lied about meeting her but not how I knew. He had told me he met up with her in September 2011 for sex for one evening and that at the time he had told me he was playing a gig with his band.
      The latest reveal is that it was actually September 2012 whilst I was away with my family and it was a full hotel weekend of sex, which was all he was after.
      Do I believe this story, which is more plausible, or is it another 'tale'. It is the 4th version. He also told me she had visited our town earlier but her husband was with her so they couldn't meet. The reason he gave for not telling the 'truth' earlier was that he thought it would hurt me too much. He doesn't realise that each lie makes it harder for me to trust or believe that I am getting the truth.

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    3. Curious why neither of you thinks therapy is a good idea. It can offer a "safe" place to get things out in the open and begin to understand each other's point of view.
      Each time his story is "revised" or something new comes out retriggers the initial trauma. I wish men would get this through their heads and stop "sparing us the pain". It's WAY too late for that. They're not sparing us the pain, they're sparing themselves the guilt and humiliation of their actions being pulled into the light of day.

      Elle

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    4. The therapy is not a good idea as I know most of the counsellors in our area on a professional basis so I would find it difficult. I will see how things progress though and I am not ruling it out completely. Your comments on their attempt to 'spare us the pain' are exactly how I feel. It is himself he wants to protect. I do admit to doing a lot of internet searches etc and I know a lot about her but I am trying not to do this any more as it is counterproductive.
      At this time things are going relatively well and there is a good deal of hope that we can get through this but I still think he underestimates my pain and the time it will take.
      This site and your support is proving valuable. It helps to know the steps I am going through are the same for others and also what I can do to help myself. Thank you.

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  45. July 26th, 2011

    Finding out it wasn't done in May ...

    I have been going through the "anniversary blahs" - those lovely times of year when I remember more than usual, feel more than usual, go through it more than I'd like in my thoughts. I have about 3 days stuck in my head each year, "anniversary?" dates of horrific emotional hurts. (Wish I could call them something different.)

    For the last month, more than I had for a while, I had started to relive the "2nd Anniversary" of "The Big One", the day that it all finally came to a screaming, crying, hugely hurtful, dramatic, almost tragic, end.

    I have been reading my journals from those days, and the hurt in my words is so strong. I was so lost, so devestated, so truly confused, so angry, so sad, so everything all at once ...

    For a few weeks, I have been trying to figure out if I wanted to put some of those words and thoughts here. I had actually taken my journals tonight and started to type out the entry from that day. I was thinking that if I just put it here, maybe I could get it out of my head.

    But then he called.

    My husband has a really tough job now to call and "visit" from. It's not easy for him to make calls, even sometimes in an emergency. But he did tonight, in the middle of a shift, in the middle of the night. Just to say, "Hey, love you, it's OK."

    He knew I was a little clingy tonight before he left. He doesn't keep track of these "anniversary" days like I do, but he knew it was something. Without me saying something about it this year, without me even crying today. He knew.

    It wasn't more than a 2 minute conversation, if even that. But it was perfect. It was just what I needed to be OK tonight.

    So instead of writing about the trauma of July 26th, 2011, I am going to end with the hope of July 26th, 2013.

    It's still not perfect. It's still not easy. Sometimes it's still a roller coaster. But ... the bumps are finally getting smaller and slower, like more towards the end of the roller coaster.

    Thank you for having this site and talking with me about this during the last month. I think that after tomorrow I'm going to be more OK again. I'm going to try to focus on my 2013 life instead of my 2011 life : )




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    1. I'm so glad your husband was able to be there for you in exactly the way you needed. And happy that you're beginning to see that, while there's still hurt, you've moved on from where you were when you found out. Sometimes we get so focused on how we're not where we thought we'd be, we lose sight of the fact that we're also not where we were. Healing takes time.

      Elle

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  46. Will I ever feel safe?
    Well here it goes... It's been 5 years since my husbands affair. Till this day he still defends himself saying it wasn't an affair because there was "no physical contact." It kills me when he reminds me of this fact. He never came clean about this emotional affair that included lunch dates and phone calls and admitted that he had feelings for his coworker. To put it lightly I was devastated! My world had turned upside down and it seemed like he could just go on with life. We have worked things out and have been to counseling for the past 4 years but the truth is I still struggle. I have found that I have pushed everyone away and can't let anyone get close to me. My husband still works with this girl but she was moved to another dept. Till this day I have never spoken to another woman who has had their heart crushed from an affair. I feel like nobody understands the damage it has caused in my life. Will I ever get over it?

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    1. Whether or not your husband acknowledges this as an affair, IT WAS A BETRAYAL. So many women whose husbands have cheated say it was the lying and deceit that they struggle with, more than the sex.
      I wonder if your husband's betrayal triggered an earlier betrayal, given your trouble letting people get close. You feel unsafe, which is normal given that your husband violated your trust.
      It would be good if you sought individual counselling. Given that it has been four years and you haven't moved last this part with him, I think it's time to focus own hay YOU can do to get past that hurt yourself.
      Sad that your husband can't acknowledge that this is about emotional trauma, not whether he stuck his man parts in another's woman parts. By not respecting and acknowledging your experience- and being accountable for it - he's compounding your pain and vulnerability. We need to be seen...and have our stories heard.

      Elle

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  47. I have a question.

    I found out about my husband's affair a couple of months ago. He moved out first, a few weeks after, but I was the one who told him to go ahead and sign a lease for an apartment. I didn't feel like I was in control of my anger enough to work on anything or reach a decision yet, and I don't think he was really sure what he wanted to do, either, although he lets it seem like I am the one who made the decision to separate.

    What is your experience- was it a bad idea to separate? Does it only widen the gulf and make reconciliation less likely? We are trying to preserve as much of our friendship as possible and don't want to lash out while we are still so raw. Of course I worry that he will just choose her if I separate- but then, wouldn't that be a sign that's what he really wanted all along? This was his high school girlfriend and he really had strong feelings for her, even though we have been together for 19 years. So it is really hard to think I could trust him again. But at the same time I know that I could change my mind (maybe in an hour- haha. Still on the roller coaster)

    When I read peoples posts here, on one hand it gives me hope that we could work things out, which then makes me worry that I acted in haste when I told him to sign a lease. But then I read of how the pain lasts so long, and it is a lot of work to save the marraige, and it makes me scared to try. It is so hard to know what to do. I believe he cares about me, but I don't know if he loves me enough anymore, and I worry he only wants to save things for "the marraige" and "the family"... not for me as a person that he loves and misses. Don't get me wrong, of COURSE the family/kids count, but I don't want that to be why he comes back, and then I'm just Mom but not his true love.

    Aarg. So anyway, has anyone had a separation period, and how did it affect things?

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    1. I didn't ask my husband to move out though sometimes wonder if I should have. I think the distance can give both of you the chance to get clear on what you want. Curious what others think...

      Elle

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    2. I couldn't do it either. I thought about it, and I told him I thought about it...But i knew I would NEVER let him come back. I knew he would run back to her just for attention, sex, whatever. I needed control to be perfectly honest! I wanted to know where he was at all times. I WANTED TO MAKE THE NEXT MOVE. Whether that was divorce or working things out. May not make sense, but it did to me. I hated him and wanted to kill him, but my kids needed their Daddy and I needed the piece of mind that while he was in our house, he was not with her.

      MS

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    3. In our case, my husband did not move out - he asked if I wanted him to move out. I had two reactions to that:
      1) He didn't want to make the decision to move out, he wanted ME to do it (and therefore be The Bad Guy), and
      2) I told him he could move out if he wanted, or not, but as far as I was concerned he was running away from his problems (plural) and had been for some time (i.e. running to her instead of confronting things head on). My husband is a classic passive-aggressive personality. Sometimes I think we needed that separation - hard to say in retrospect. - H.

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  48. This nightmare is my life :(

    Woke up unusually early on 12/1/12. Had urdge to find and look for his cell phone. I found it the text from WH to OW "wanna fuck". Tried to stand up almost passed out. This is where my world was ripped right out from under my feet!

    When he ended with OW she flipped out and started stalking me to the point of me obtaining a restaining order.

    This is constantly in my head, nothing seems the same, and I trust nobody.

    We are trying to make it work and he is being very accountalbe at all times. Just don't know if that's enough. I just want to get away but with three kids and limited funds--not happening.

    Now I'm a super jelous wife and never was before (I hate that). I feel completely needy and attention seeking (hate that more).

    He just keeps telling me it's the worst mistake of his life and will prove to me he's is worthy of remaining my husband.

    ...that was about 6 months ago. Now my days are getting better and better. I understand why he did this....they are (were) broken NOT me!!

    We are getting away in a couple of months, just the two of us :o)

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    1. I didn't find messages but I did find the number hundreds of times. You're journey sounds a lot like mine. And my needy tendencies have only gotten worse! I left facebook for awhile too bc of all the drama and I could view her stupid facebook page. My husband deactivated his forever I think!

      My husband is very non communicative but he too SWEARS it will never happen again. Time will tell, but the Betrayed Wives need to remain strong!

      Hugs to you girl!
      MS

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    2. Hang in there!

      Delete
  49. I also have been reading each and every one of the stories shared here and I too as the previous person, feel both comforted and at times hopeless in doing so. As the previous woman stated, seeing how after 3, even 5 years later there is still so much pain, makes me question if l will
    be able to make it given that I'm only 6 months into this experience from hell. I need to share my story, I need for other woman like me to hear my story in hopes to communicate that we are not crazy or irrational as much crazy and irrational behavior we are participating in :) First I want to respond to the question of, should one separate from the cheating husband? Well the only answer to that is that there is only what is right for you. I kicked my husband out because I hated him and was beyond angry that I could not even look at him without wanting to spit in his face. I needed the space. Of course I then felt even more abandoned but it was what I needed at the time. I didn't see him for a couple of weeks but he would call and text nonstop as so did I in trying to find some answers. In the following 4 months he was out of the home he sometimes spent the night if I allowed it but then I felt serious abandoned issues resurface each time he left so I told him that either we worked it out together everyday or we seek a true separation. He moved back home. Either way, nothing can help us from avoiding the emotional roller coaster that eats up at our soul.

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    1. There's occasional pain years later but if you've both focused on healing, it's minimal. I would go so far as to say, I can look back now and see the gifts that I gained by this experience.
      However, you're right. Emotional roller coaster in the shorter term.
      Set some ground rules. There's lots on this site about steps to take: insisting on no contact, access to any and all e-mail accounts, cell phones, etc. marriage counselling is recommended if only to give you a safe place to hash this out.
      But please trust that the pain will end.

      Elle

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  50. Dear Elle, I've posted here before. Part 1

    I found out January 21 that my husband was cheating on me with a coworker that was half his age. From what I have read over the course of the last 6 months is this seems to be more common than I think. Never thought I would look at my experience like a Lifetime Channel story.

    I wanted to post to just get this off my chest. So I have an image in my head of this girl he slept with and had an emotional affair with. She is now in a relationship (which I do regret looking at her facebook page, but I couldn't help my stupid self). I don't know if she will pursue my husband again...I am hoping not. He says he has not had ANY contact with her since Mid-May...He was STILL talking to her after all the counseling and pain I had been through..and yes...telling her he loved her....But he did say he told her he was working things out with me. I don't know how this was supposed to make me feel better but whatever.

    Anyways, today we have been able to communicate without HIGH emotion. No crying or yelling. Just very "matter of fact" conversation. I voice my concerns and he APPEARS to listen. He says the cheating will never happen again and he loves me. I know I just want to move on, but I am still having trouble. I still have images and still ride the emotional roller coaster!

    But on a brighter note, I am back to my workout regime. I'm back to caring for my body and somewhat my mind. We've decided to forgo the counseling at this point as I feel we are at a good point to try to do things on our own. We have open lines of communication and I am getting better at balancing when those times to have serious conversation should be.

    THERE IS HOPE! I just try to fulfill his needs and he does the same. That's all I can ask for. Checking his phone and his accounts drove me crazy and I no longer feel the need to do it. I need to know this is a want and not a forced thing on his part.

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    1. Thanks for posting. Can I ask you something? It is killing me that I think the OW is still heavy on my H's mind. We haven't done counseling, etc. has yours talked about how he can have feelings for her and even love, and how did he justify his continued deception?
      I am so scared that I will try to reconcile, then face a similar discovery as yours a few months later. He won't give me a straight answer when I ask about thier current status. Which is my answer in and of itself, I guess, at least he's not telling a lie. I don't think they are very actively involved but I think she's on standby.

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  51. Posted here before Part 2

    Just a top to those just NOW finding this page and finding out...The one thing that helped me the MOST..

    Writing a letter..Contract..that stated EXACTLY what would happen should he still be cheating or cheat again! It is something I must hold to should I find out about anymore infidelity.

    I simply stated in a one page letter my terms for continuing the marriage and that if I did find out....I WOULD DIVORCE HIM.
    I've never said it myself..He's suggested it to me a couple times in the course of our 12 year marriage..I I have NEVER said it. I wanted to be crystal clear what would happen. Much like you would with a child! And I know for my own self respect, I will hold to the promise I made in that letter.

    Just a tip. It will help you to make a stand against the infidelity and set a goal for yourself should he feel he can have his cake and eat it too!!

    Remember to love yourself....The OW is just not worth your time!

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    1. Yes, I too think a contract can go a long way toward helping you feel a measure of control. That can be so hard- that feeling of total OUT of control.
      And yes, the OW is NOT worth your time.

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  52. I stumbled on your blog and have found a lot of comfort in what you and the others have written. A few months ago my husband had an emotional affair with a coworker. Like everyone else on here I felt beyond hurt, betrayed, lost, lonely, everything. We went to counseling and really seemed to work through it. I am even having our third baby now and for a while things were really good. Ideally after this he would have found a new job, but he wasn't able to. With me becoming pregnant and already having 2 little kids we needed his income and insurance. We agreed he would continue to work at the same company and he would stop being friends with her outside of work. Well several times I have found that he was continuing his friendship with her outside of work. First I found out they became Facebook friends, after a huge fight he unfriended her. Then I found out he was sending her emails just about things he found "humorous" and after yet another fight he stopped emailing her in the evenings. So now this morning I saw a comment he wrote on a Facebook post referring to her as his "close friend." I just lost it. He swears nothing is going on between them romantically and I actually believe him. But I am broken up that he considers her his close friend and that they don't just talk about work things at work but they confide in each other about personal matters. He said ending their friendship has been harder than he thought. I believed him that they were simply co-workers and now I find out their friendship never ended. I know his comment sounds trivial, but it feels like such a slap in my face. The one thing I needed was for him to not continue his friendship with her outside of work, and he has shown me he can't do that. It makes me feel like I come second to her. I don't think he wants to hurt her feelings and I hate that she is not hurting. After all that happened she doesn't deserve to not hurt.
    I don't know what to do. I believe the affair is over but I do not feel that I come first in his life. I told him after we have the baby I want him to leave his job. He said he would if he found a better one. I'm scared about the future because I don't think I can handle him putting her before me any more. I want him to leave his job to help our marriage and I'm afraid he ultimately won't. I'm just so tired of him and this OW hurting me over and over again. I just don't know what to do.

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    1. You are not trivial at all. You tried to trust again, dealt with him working in the same place, then find out about more deception. It doesn't matter even if he is "just friends". After a betrayal like this, a small lie is as bad as a big one!!! Because if it were me I would start asking myself "if he can still lie after seeing my hurt, will he always lie?" or "if he's lying about being friends with her, what else is he hiding about them"
      Not to say that ur husband is lying, but he has to understand what is running through your head, you know?
      For the first week after d-day, I thought my husbands affair was only emotional- and it is still horrible. I could understand a flung- after 19 faithful (I think!!!) years- but talking to someone obsessively, about me? The kids?! It killed me. Still does. More than the sex.

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    2. Little Mama-
      It is NOT acceptable for him to be friends with her. My counselor made that clear to me and my husband when I found out what was going on. If it is not necessary for him to communicate with her, then he needs to stop. Mine husband tried to stay friends and did the same crap with not wanting to hurt her feelinsg...EXCUSES!!!....and eventually, he got a taste of who she really is bc she started spreading rumors!

      My husband and I deleted our accounts. Facebook has become a MAJOR issue in marriages. Either delete both or share ONE.We now share one that I control. He said he's not interested in having one. Works for me LOL!

      Same thing with email. You should NOT have separate accounts for A LONG WHILE. Not until you feel comfortable.

      He needs to be accountable for his whereabouts too! He should check in with you daily so you know you are first and on his mind. This will help your trust issues as well...It did me and let's me know he thinks of me. Your trust has been broken and he needs to EARN it back.

      Tell him calmly and emotionlessly (no crying/yelling) in order for this marriage to work....

      He must
      1) cut off all unnecessary contact (If he is not her manager and visa versa...It's unnecessary)
      2) NO MORE INDIVIDUAL FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS!
      3) YOU need to stand your ground. I know you have two kids...I do too (4 and 10 years old)...Stand up for them and yourself and tell him what will happen-Verbally and Written- if he continues the relationship.

      Good luck sweetie...We are all healing and we are all here to support each other.

      MS

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    3. The contact absolutely has to stop. She is NOT a friend to your marriage or you (to say the least) and he needs to grow up and recognize that his ego strokes or "friendship" doesn't trump your feelings and the marriage. His loyalty must be to you above ALL else.
      And yes, stand your ground. This is about helping YOU heal. If he's not interested in doing anything it takes to help you get past his violation of your trust, then show him the door. He doesn't get to be married when it suits him and single when it suits him.
      I'm so glad others weighed in with great advice. You guys are so great!!

      Elle

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  53. One of the hardest things for me to deal with is to know that my husband could lie to me so well. I've known him for 19 years and always given him complete trust. He travels, he has a cool guy career that could get him all kinds of girls, but I have never been one to worry. And when I did worry- for the past few months in particular- I asked him, straight out, for the first truly serious time in our relationship, if there was someone else and he said no.
    And now my whole idea of him is shattered. If I give him another chance, will I feel like I have to keep being a detective? Scouring the phone bill to see if hes called her? Checking his phone for text apps? I don't want to be that. I hate it, it isn't me. But I am so scared to trust him again. I feel like she is part of his heart now and does that make it too late?

    Well I am the person that said above that I asked him to sign a lease and I worry now. When he was here, we talked more and I would have had answers to a lot of my questions by now. But since he moved out we barely talk about things in any depth at all. And he is out of the country for over a month now so even though the space might be good, ultimately, it is hard not to stew with these unanswered questions. Believe it or not, that whole "envision a stop sign in your head" idea someone mentioned here- it really helped! I didn't think it would.

    Part of me hopes this time away will make him really want me back. So far I get mixed messages. When he landed overseas he send me a long heartfelt apology text. Made me feel so much better about myself.
    Well, just got the phone bill. Completely clean...except he also sent her a single text the day he landed. Aaarg. I haven't made him actually promise not to talk to her- after all, I kinda told him to leave- but at the same time he knows that continuing his relationship with her would totally nix me taking him back.This is all so hard :-(

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    1. Among the incredibly difficult tasks we have to face in the wake of betrayal is figuring what among our own responses is genuine and what is manipulative. It was so hard for me to figure out if I really wanted him to leave or if I was telling him to to gauge how much he'd resist it or how hard he'd fight for me. I was frequently "testing" him. Which doesn't really serve any of us well.
      So getting clear (with the help of a therapist who has seen all this before) makes a big difference and allows us to focus on what we truly want...and whether our husband is capable of giving that to us.
      If he wants to rebuild a relationship with you, he absolutely must stop all contact with her. Three is one too many.

      You're right. This is so hard. But we often make it even harder because our ego gets in the way. Our fears that this will happen again. Our deep, deep wound.

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  54. I found out my husband had cheated on me one day by accidentally grabbing his phone (we had identical phones) while dropping off our 9 year old son to his Writing tutor in May 2012. If he hadn't called the phone looking for it I would have never known I even had it. We were going through a rough patch in our marriage and I had suspected that he was "talking" to another woman but could never prove it. I dropped off my son, sat in the parking lot and went through the messages he had sent to this woman.

    My husband is in the military and travels every once in awhile. In November 2011, he had to fly to Arizona for a 3 week class. He called me everyday to tell me how much he hated it there and couldn't wait to get back home. After a week of being there, the stories started to change. He would tell me that he and some of his other classmates would go out to a bar. He would tell me how crazy some of the guys were hitting on this girl from the class. That he felt bad for her because he knew she didn't want anything to do with them. As a matter of fact, he boyfriend was there visiting her at the time. Later he would tell me that after class they would go running together. After that, they would catch a movie together.

    Of course, being a slightly jealous wife, I would say, "Wow, you're spending a lot of time with her. You sure her boyfriend doesn't mind?" He would never have anything to say to that besides, "She said he was cool with it." I looked forward to him coming home ASAP. He came home and continued to talk to this girl "as friends." I would even tell him to tell her I said Hi. I'm sure that message never got relayed. I became more vocal about how I thought he was talking to her alot and, of course, he would say I'm just being jealous and crazy. She lived in Virginia and we live in Florida. Eventually, he told me that she was going to deploy to Afghanistan in a couple months. (I cheered silently.) That was a load off my shoulders.

    Early March 2012 he tells me he has to go to Miami for a week for work in April. He said he needed some time away from us, his job, reality, for a while so he would add on another week to his work week in Miami. I was upset, but said if he thought this is what he needed then so be it. I completely understood as there were times I wish I could just get up and walk away from everything for a week. I booked his hotel that he requested, helped him pack his bags, and even helped him with the new GPS we just bought. The night we packed his bags he was in a great mood. I couldn't smack that smile off his face if I tried with a frying pan.

    It was 2 weeks after that I mistakenly grabbed his phone. So, of course, I went through the messages. And just as I had suspected, but hoped I wouldn't find, there were messages between my husband and this woman. I thought, well damn, even in Afghanistan she's still texting him!! Her phone bill must be sky high! And then I read the texts. "I miss you already. I wish you were here to rub my back again. Love you" Miss you already?? Rub my back AGAIN? LOVE YOU?!?!? I will never forget that short trip back to the house from the school.
    He didn't even try to hide it. I asked and he said yes. The woman had flown from AFGHANISTAN for her R&R to be with my husband in Miami.

    I don't cry everyday anymore. I don't think about it everyday anymore. But I still hurt a lot. And I still remember. I will never forget.

    I know you can't tell me when I will start to trust him fully again. And I know you can't tell me that things will be better. I just hope by sending a long sad comment on some random blog will help me feel slightly better by knowing that others have been in my shoes and have lived to see another day.

    MV

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    1. MV,

      I'm glad you chose to send your "long sad comment" onto this particular "random blog" and I truly hope it made you feel even marginally better.

      Sounds like you've been through hell. I can't tell you when you'll trust him again but you likely will never completely trust him again. But that's okay. You never could. None of us can ever truly trust someone else, even if we believe we can. You CAN get to a place where you trust that he has the tools to stop himself from going down that path again...so that if he does, he does so knowing exactly what it's doing to you. And you can absolutely get to a place where this feels like a horrible chapter in your life...instead of your whole life.

      I hope you'll keep posting and letting us know how you're doing. When you're further along, I hope you'll also share what you've learned with others who are just finding out. That say, we help each other along the path to healing.

      Elle

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  55. Jealousy: I was never a jealous person before this. I was proud to not be worried. I thought I had nothing to worry about... Until the affair was going on. I didn't know about it, but I was worried that their friendship was more than just that. But i didn't really believe it, and I felt guilty for not trusting him!

    Age and "love": The OW was 5 years older than me and my husband. She wasn't younger or prettier. She wasn't smarter, sexier, or even nicer than me. She and my husband were genuinely (albeit selfishly and stupidly) in love. It wasn't about sex, although it eventually came to that. That's one of the things that hurts the most. He really did love her.

    Recovery: We are doing well together, my husband and I. He truly wants to do everything it takes to fix things, make things better, and make a good future together. I do, too. We're making good strides in that direction. It's still hard, though. I think I trust him, but who ever really trusts again after this? My biggest problem on that front is believing he loves me. He says so and does everything he can to prove it. And I believe it when he's saying it. And then, when that belief isn't being actively reinforced, I lose faith again It's a matter of self esteem. My self esteem is shot.

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    1. Mountainsailing,

      That's one of the toughest parts of this...rebuilding our shattered sense of self. But I will venture to say that our esteem wasn't very strong in the first place if it depended on another's love to survive.
      That is YOUR job in this: to rebuild your esteem so that you absolutely believe in your own worth, no matter what anyone else does.
      I'm glad you're doing well together. I'm sure it'll continue to get better when you're both committed to making it so. But you'll never feel completely safe within the relationship until you trust that you would be completely okay without it.

      Elle

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    2. So true. That's been a top subject lately in my individual counseling.

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    3. It seems a life-long (so far, anyway) task for me too.

      I suspect it's a problem for a lot of us. I don't think there would be so many affairs if people felt complete within themselves.

      Elle

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  56. My story reads just like a lot of others, my paid and feelings are just the same, i find it comforting to know other women feel as i do, shell shocked and stunned!! with my brain telling me to run a mile and my heart wants to stay!!
    I have been with my husband for 15 years, he is nine years younger than me, i have to sons , grown up now, and he has a 16 year old disabled son who has lives with us for two years.
    For background info, we have been through a lot together, money problems, my youngest son had cancer for tow years, my parents are elderly and need a lot of care, but we were so strong and close i never dreamed he would do anything to hurt me, ever!
    Since xmas this year, i noticed my husband seemed stressed out, not very happy, i had asked him many times what was wrong, he denied a problem.
    In march this year we went out as a group with some of my cousins, and i noticed his "talking" secretively to one of my cousins, she is his age, married with a child. For the first time in my life with him, alarm bells rang, two days later, i checked his mobile phone account and found over 5000 tesxt between then, going back to november last year.
    I confronted him, he completely denies ever meeting up/touching/ being attracted to her, and broke down, saying he is very unhappy in his life, for many reasons,(work, a failed relationship with his brother, stress of my parents) couldnt talk to me, as i over react (i did!) and that this was the outlet for his unhappiness. I made him aware that this type of betrayal (an emotional affair) was completely unacceptable to me,i confronted her also, and advised her to stay away from both of us, i looked at my own behaviour towards him recently, and changed my ways to help mend the problems he saw in our relationship. This appeared to be working, as we got on great,i really felt things were better. A month ago, i began to feel uneasy again, just gut instinct, i went through his work bag, and found a gift from her to him. I was devastated, i confronted him again, to be told she had met him from work that day, he had found a way to contact her again by ringing her from work, and she had asked to meet up.
    I called him all the names under the sun, asked him what hell he thinks he trying to achieve here, if he wanted to leave, just leave, dont keep punishing me for his unhappiness, he said , he is happy with us, he is very unhappy with the rest of his life, and he doesnt know why he needed to call her, why he feels compelled to call her??
    this was two weeks ago, i do have to say, this time his behaviour and what he has done actually seems to be sinking in with him this time, he is very remorseful (wasnt last time) and has sought a councellor for his issues with unhappiness. I cant tell you how totally out of character this is for him,he is/was the most sincere honest man i ever knew,i truly believe he has depression, i told him this back in march and had asked him to get help then, he vowes to prove he is sorry and it will never happen again,and will do whatever it takes to help me have trust in him again. My heart says stay, my brain says run!! its a mess. But i love him and i do believe he loves me.
    Im in a nightmare, i cant live without trust, but a third chance! am i being a fool??

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    1. With cousins like that, who needs enemies!
      You're not being a fool because you're feeling conflicted. So many of us go through that sense of head/heart confusion.
      One of the evergreen bits of advice following learning of an affair is to give yourself time to get clear on what you want. The early days are a blur of tears, tantrums, recriminations... It takes time to determine how you really feel in the midst of all this (ie. is this a good guy who made a really bad choice, or someone for whom an affair is just another level of deceit?).
      It sounds as if the first time, he didn't really recognize how wrong his behaviour was (emotional affairs are often dismissed as not really affairs, except by we betrayed wives). Give him time to sort his own stuff out, and take time to get clear on your own. If it feels right to you, relegate him to the couch or a guest room.
      You both have so much to deal with right now that I've no doubt it has taken an emotional toll of both of you. It's crucial that you each have outlets (not just each other) to work through the stress. Any one of those things (elderly parents, disabled child, sick child) is tough. That you've been able to hold it together is a testimony to your strength.
      Hang in there. If you choose to stay in the marriage, set some serious ground rules in order to help you re-establish trust: absolutely NO contact with your cousin for a start.

      Elle

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  57. Dear Wives, Mothers, Daughters, Sisters,Friends - All Ladies. I found your sharing incredibly caring and appreciate the effort to bring our pain into the open with honesty. I am writing to you from Australia and I find the hundreds of days/thousands of hours I have researched and learned about my husband's Midlife Crisis, America seems to have much greater morals and values in society than I have experienced here. It leads me to my story but also my question trying to find out if my story relates to anyone's experience in America or is it just Society in Australia that no longer has family values. So here goes, and I will try to be as brief as possible. My husband after 24 years/27 years together, left for the first de facto (yes, moved in within one month), then returned to me saying they had just been friends (I was completely lost and believed him) then we reconciled Nov 2012. Three weeks before Christmas he told our two sons (20 & 17) and myself that we couldn't be a family anymore. One month after telling me he loved me more than ever, he had moved in with the second de facto. But for me, this is only (hard to believe) the smallest part of his betrayal or attacks against me. He justified his actions with all his relatives and our friends and his colleagues with lies of how terrible I was. This is the hardest part for me to contend with today - his colleagues wife said she would help him find dates, his colleague took him to topless taverns, his brother, his sister and his 76 year old mother told him that she couldn't wait to meet the new women. These were my family too after 27 years. He met a psychologist once who told him if he was ready to move on within one month of 24 years marriage - there was no wrong or right if that's how he felt. He divorced me two months ago and brought his new de facto into the Court -we've had no fault divorce in Australia since 1975 and the Judge said we have an open court system and she could stay. Every single one of my husband's support people told him congratulations and 'move on'. It is an understatement to say after the abandonment of our beautiful sons and myself, he left us all reeling but to add many attacks against me of slander and malice, we couldn't recognise him anymore. Part 1 Hazel

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  58. The worst of it all is that in Australia all this behaviour by him is acceptable and even congratulated and that marriage is about moving on when he felt like it. Even our Courts herded us all in and completed 5 divorces in 20 minutes. We do not have hardly any alimony or spousal maintenance cases because they are very difficult to achieve in Australia. I wonder how a whole country - laws, friends, family and an old grandmother who has denied her own grandsons be part of a whole family - can be so lacking of values, morals, compassion or empathy. My husband (ex) has been pat on the back for walking away, we don't even know where he lives anymore and not one person in his life (except myself and our sons) has asked him to think about this - he told me everything I have explained here in November. I called our friends, they don't call me back. My sons live with knowing their grandmother supported the end of their family. Even my best friend and my parents who are very good people live in a state of conditioning where they just say "I have to move on" the day after my husband left. This country does not value or support marriage and family, in fact, adulterers are congratulated for 'moving on'. The slander and malice has been more hurtful than the other women. But from what I read about American people, relatives and friends often work very hard to help a husband or wife reunite. In Australia there is a whole-society attitude of our saying "Too bad, so sad" which means the same as "Bad Luck, oh well". I would be interested to know if adulterers are generally frowned upon in America? I have often read that if a husband has an affair, (in America) his own parents/relatives will not speak to him yet here in Australia every man I know (sadly, my brother too) walks out on his family and makes up a justification for it and (absolutely) everyone tells them they did the right thing. My husband's (ex) mother is a Catholic who attends every week - I cannot understand? Thank you for reading, Part 2 Hazel

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    1. Hazel,
      I've heard similar stories told by American/Canadian betrayed wives. Your husband, quite frankly, sounds like a jerk. And though I know how hurt you've been not only by him but his family and friends, I suspect you're better off without him. It's incredibly sad that he's abandoned his own children. Children always need their parents, even stupid parents like him. Please try to consider yourself lucky to be spared any more time on this guy. Seek out people who share your values and avoid toxic people like those in your ex-husband's life. I know enough Australians to know that there are some good people too!
      Hang in there. And please don't give these poison people any more of your emotional energy.

      Elle

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    2. Hazel,

      I think infidelity isn't much different in North America. A lot of people are blasé about it...until it happens to them. But our culture tends to blame the wife in some cases, or chalk it up to men being cads.
      In any case, I'm sure the lack of support from your family and friends is horrible after the pain of betrayal. Can you talk to them and explain to them how hurtful their behaviour is? Not in a blame way, just in a "I want you to know how painful this has been for me" way. If not, I think perhaps your friends weren't very good friends. Maybe this is the time to build a new life surrounded by people who genuinely support you and respect you. Show your sons that it's possible to create change and demand respect. Show them that being a man means loyalty and self-respect and compassion. That strength means sticking with people even when it's hard.
      And don't even bother trying to make sense of these hypocrites who sit in church but don't actually live the values they hear preached. Spend your time with people who make you feel good.

      Elle

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    3. Hang in there, Hazel! I agree with you about the no-fault divorce - I think (and have stated in other posts and places) that a marriage CONTRACT should be legally held to the same standards as any other business contract...Sadly it is not. In my case, we stayed together, I believe in part with pressure from his family. Understand, however, that his family will always BE his family, regardless of his behavior, whether they cease to talk to him or not.

      I do wish, however, that there would be some case for Libel in the court system and that "No Fault" should be justifiable - that is, if it's truly "no fault" then he should be a reasonable period (say a year or two) before he can hook up with another woman or it violates the "no fault" clause.

      Delete
  59. I feel for you as that has been the general attitude towards my ex, ah well it happens, something must have drove him to it (irish catholic mother who wont face up to her sons behaviour and does what many mothers here do, places blame on anyone else but on her son and even perhaps her own part in how her son was raised etc) and of course his brothers saying ah you are not the first and wont be the last. None of his friends have expressed dissaproval and yes I think that marriage and fidelity are no longer valued, are disposable, and people take the easy option when faced with dificulties, rather than doing the work to sort out problems. People have a sense of entitlement that sometimes astounds me. Here in Ireland its been my experience that women dont raise their sons to be good partner material.

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  60. Married to a sex addict
    I found the texts and emails between my husband and numerous women and men on our six-year wedding anniversary. My husband and I had been together since we were 15 years old - a total of 15 years. Never in my worst nightmares did I ever imagine he would betray me like this. I had no clue that he was a sex addict or that he had been physically cheating on me with multiple women for at least two years (that's what he admits to). He has since told me he has been addicted to porn for awhile now. Through the emails, I discovered he had an online alter-ego and was on numerous dating and adult sex websites. He texted and emailed these people constantly. There was even one young woman (only 21 years old with three young children) that he had an ongoing relationship with for over a year. I saw all their texts and emails. That hurt more than knowing he had had numerous flings. The fact that he had a real relationship with this girl hurt the most. I had been loving in a cold, loveless relationship where I was the partner putting all the energy into "fixing us" while he was giving all his love to her. He literally texted her every morning "Good morning beautiful". My husband has maybe told me I am beautiful about 5 or 6 times in the 15 years we've been together. I have always struggled with my self-esteem and told him so many times I wanted to hear that he thought I was pretty or beautiful, but he never could say that to me. I have struggled with anorexia over the past couple years to try to get the "perfect body" in hopes he would love me more or tell me how good I look. The weird thing is other men often tell me I'm pretty and I've been hit on right in front of my husband a few times - he didn't even react.

    Now that I know about all the affairs and his addiction, everything is starting to make sense. I now see how he could treat me so poorly and be so cold all the time. I understand why I was always the one initiating sex or wanting to show affection. I have also been questioning everything he has said and done over the past couple years. All of the memories seem jaded now because I know that even when we were on holidays or celebrating birthdays or Christmas he was texting, emailing or meeting up with other women. In a way I feel relieved because I know why nothing I did was enough for him and that it wasn't me or my fault even though he always made me feel that way.

    I kicked my husband out the day I found those emails and texts - on our wedding anniversary. Since then I have continued to uncover so many lies. I read your blog post about Pain Shopping and I was definitely guilty of that - asking him a million questions, forcing him to recover all the deleted text messages. I don't know why I did that, it just caused me so much more pain. I think I almost needed to confirm that I was making the right decision by divorcing him. It's hard to admit that the person you've loved and cared about for 15 years isn't who you thought he was at all. It was just so hard for me to believe that he could do all these things to me. The thing that disturbed me the most, more than the pictures and raunchy sexting and emailing, was the texts I discovered indicating that he had brought the 21 year old girlfriend into my home and had picked her up in my car after he drove me to work. That still makes me want to puke every time I think about it.

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  61. Married to a sex addict cont...

    Since I kicked him out, he has begun to see a sex addiction counsellor. He asked me to go see her as well so she could explain his addiction to me. I was very reluctant, thinking she would try to convince me to take him back, but I am so happy I went. Because he consented, she was able to tell me what they had talked about and what she felt about his recovery. His counsellor told me he has a very extreme addiction and may also have other personality disorders on top of the sex addiction. The thing she told me that confirmed that I had made the right decision by filing for divorce was that she knows he is not ready to change and that he has not hit his rock bottom yet. She said he is living in denial and doesn't think this is a big deal. I cannot save him and I cannot be there as he continues to spiral out of control. I need to walk away. This doesn't mean I've stopped worrying or caring about him. I just can't talk to him anymore unless it's about the divorce or selling the house.

    Since making that decision, I have felt a huge relief. He had asked me to help him through his recovery - now I see how extremely selfish that was of him - but I felt like I should try to help him. After all, we were best friends for 15 years. I can see now that I would never be able to heal if I was trying to help him heal. I need to cut the ties and move on with my life. It won't be easy, and it won't happen anytime soon but I need to do it for myself.

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  62. Hello Everyone!
    My name is Iria. I am sharing my story with all of you trying to find some guidance and honest opinions. I met my husband 13 years ago. I was at the time only 17 years old. We have been married for 9 years and have two wonderful daughters. My husband was my first everything and I thought he was the one. I was so naive because I thought my husband was a different person but I was so wrong. I trusted to him 100%. I never doubted him and I never doubted his love. I was so wrong. I believe that was my biggest mistake I trusted to him so much.
    I am attending College and I am full time student. Most of the time; I have to study and take care of my kids. I thought since he has been so supportive with me to improve my education I should give him some space and let him go out with his friends. I never thought …no even for a minute that he was having an affair with a co-worker of his. This woman is married and she has a son. Anyway, my husband told me about his affair about a month ago. He confessed of having one year relationship with this lady. I was in shock because I never imagined that he could betray me in this way. I just do not understand why he did this to me. I keep asking myself over and over the same question. I asked him why he did this to me and he responded that it was just sex. I know this lady has a long list of sexual partners and I am sure that she has more experience than me in this subject. I know my husband knew this. In fact, she was having sexual intercourse with my husband, her husband and her ex-husband. This is crazy and I just do not get it. Furthermore, his betrayal was not only sexual but also emotional..
    It is funny because I always took care of myself and my reputation. I have only been with one person until now. I was raised with the religious idea of waiting for the right person and that is exactly what I did. I am so stupid because I always try to give the best of me. I always tried to be a good mother, wife, daughter and friend and at the end this is what I get. I thought my husband was the man of my life and I feel like I do not know him anymore.
    I told my husband to leave the house right after he confessed me the truth. Well, he also told me that the lady had a baby who just turned 3 months old and this baby is his. Can you believe this? He had sex without protection. He did not think in all the sexual diseases he exposed me to. My husband is living with his parents and he wants me to forgive him and to give him another chance. Unfortunately, what he did to me is so hard to forgive and forget. I am so stress with the school that I do not want more stress in my life. I still love him but I will never trust to him as I did before. Something inside of me tells me that maybe he is not the man for me. Maybe all this situation has happen for a reason. My questions are: Do I should give him a chance for our kids? How could I ever have intimacy with someone who betrayed me in this way? Should I just move on with my life?

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  63. Hello Everyone!
    My name is Iria. I am sharing my story with all of you trying to find some guidance and honest opinions. I met my husband 13 years ago. I was at the time only 17 years old. We have been married for 9 years and have two wonderful daughters. My husband was my first everything and I thought he was the one. I was so naïve because I thought my husband was a different person but I was so wrong. I trusted to him 100%. I never doubted him and I never doubted his love. I was so wrong. I believe that was my biggest mistake I trusted to him so much.
    I am attending College and I am full time student. Most of the time; I have to study and take care of my kids. I thought since he has been so supportive with me to improve my education I should give him some space and let him go out with his friends. I never thought …no even for a minute that he was having an affair with a co-worker of his. This woman is married and she has a son. Anyway, my husband told me about his affair about a month ago. He confessed of having one year relationship with this lady. I was in shock because I never imagined that he could betray me in this way. I just do not understand why he did this to me. I keep asking myself over and over the same question. I asked him why he did this to me and he responded that it was just sex. I know this lady has a long list of sexual partners and I am sure that she has more experience than me in this subject. I know my husband knew this. In fact, she was having sexual intercourse with my husband, her husband and her ex-husband. This is crazy and I just do not get it. Furthermore, his betrayal was not only sexual but also emotional..
    It is funny because I always took care of myself and my reputation. I have only been with one person until now. I was raised with the religious idea of waiting for the right person and that is exactly what I did. I am so stupid because I always try to give the best of me. I always tried to be a good mother, wife, daughter and friend and at the end this is what I get. I thought my husband was the man of my life and I feel like I do not know him anymore.
    I told my husband to leave the house right after he confessed me the truth. Well, he also told me that the lady had a baby who just turned 3 months old and this baby is his. Can you believe this? He had sex without protection. He did not think in all the sexual diseases he exposed me to. My husband is living with his parents and he wants me to forgive him and to give him another chance. Unfortunately, what he did to me is so hard to forgive and forget. I am so stress with the school that I do not want more stress in my life. I still love him but I will never trust to him as I did before. Something inside of me tells me that maybe he is not the man for me. Maybe all this situation has happen for a reason. My questions are: Do I should give him a chance for our kids? How could I ever have intimacy with someone who betrayed me in this way? Should I just move on with my life?

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  64. Hi.Firstly I am so glad I have come across this blog. I do not know anyone in person who has been through what I have. It's been 2 years now since I found out about my husband's 1 year affair. I believed all his lies. He even got her pregnant and aborted the baby. I always thought I would end marriage if my husband had an affair. I did think I would rather have found out about his affair after 3 years of marriage rather than be married for 30 years and then him have an affair. I guess either way it is difficult. He was sorry immediately. It seemed he had formed a friendship with OW after she had lent him £5000 as a loan as he was going through financial problems. Obviously, one thing led to another. I sit and pick out moments when he showed me love and maybe guilt during his affair. He did sleep with her but he always made love to me quite often. I don't even know why he was with her. she isn't even that good looking albeit younger than me. He knew he would lose me and his 3 year old son. I changed the door locks, put a restraining order on him when he tried to break in. After all that he fell to my feet crying asking for forgiveness. Since that day, OW obviously wanted answers of my husband as to why he used her even though she knew he was married. He paid her back what he owed and moved on. It has been 2 years and I know he is trying. Tells me his whereabouts, lets me check his mobile phone etc. There have been so many tears about the fact that I can't trust him. I'm so scared to show him trust in case he takes me for a fool again. What if he is just staying for the sake of our son? And not because he loves me? I would like to know does it really get better? Anyone here, has their marriage improved/gotten better after affair? And if so, please tell me how?? I am desperate. I don't think he will ever have an affair again, as he says he has too much to lose. But that is only if he gets caught? I have stopped now, but I did end up self harming myself a year ago...None of my family know about his affair.

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  65. I logged on the computer this morning and find my husband's facebook acct still logged in. So I went snooping. I found out that he has been talking with his ex. I was shocked, I couldn't believe it. I continue reading he was trying to meet her for lunch and asking her if she was serious with her bf. I seriously wanted to throw up. They were talking about what he wanted to do to her. So I know this was no innocent conversation. I wake up husband and talk.to him about what I saw.All he said was sorry. Like that's it, all and forgiven. How do I tell him how much this hurt me? How do I know he will stop talking to her. How can I trust him after this?

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  66. How do you subscribe to posts?

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  67. I am from NZ and we are the same here, just move on, how sad too bad never mind. My ex husbands brother with a failed relationship and his best friend with 4 failed marriages were his advisors and they all said the same thing never mind just move on, we had been together for 27 years and still have 2 children at home it was huge for me, he was told that there is no going back, because its too hard now better to just find someone new and make a new life. And thats just what he's trying to do but we have kids together and its hard to keep things sane for their sake. What I find really interesting is the new women's attitude she demands that he cuts all contact with me he is not allowed to speak to me only the kids.She checks his phone his email and he actually goes out of his way to ring me when she's not around. Why do these women get involved with married men they must know that a cheater is a cheater.

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  68. Dear Elle,
    I'm writing this on behalf of someone that I care a lot about, she is my aunt and like a mother to me since the passing of my Mom 4 years ago. My aunt has discovered that her husband of 30 years has been having an affair, it's been a week and a half since she found out (he is my uncle btw). They were out with friends one night and he was texting all night on his phone, however it wasn't until on their way home that she questioned who and what he was texting, he then of course denied that it was anything important. When they got home she insisted that he hand over his phone and he would not of course. She came out and asked him if there was someone else, and he said yes. With all this she was naturally extremely hurt, but worst of all he won't tell her anything more! He says it was just texting and nothing physical (I have my doubts). My Uncle says he wants to work on things but says the affair is non of her business. We live in a small town and my Aunt feels it's someone she knows and she wants to know who this other woman is and I don't blame her. They've had many talks and he refuses to divulge anything to her, but claims he doesn't want to lose his family. She has asked that he send the OW a message saying it's over and he won't even do that. At this point she doesn't know what's going on. My main question is does she have a right to know who this OW is?? She has since kicked him out until he wants to fill her in. She is a mess with all the unknowns and I feel terrible for her, I just want to offer as much support as I can without getting involved and I came across this site, which is amazing btw.

    Thank you!

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    1. Your aunt has the right to know whatever she wants to know. If he won't tell her, then he's making that choice with the knowledge that he's completely disrespecting her position as his wife.
      She's smart to kick him out. He clearly isn't interested in protecting her or supporting her right now so allowing him the benefits of a marriage is crazy. Let him figure out whether he wants to make his marriage work (in which case, he breaks it off, sends a No Contact letter that your aunt is copied on and begins the hard work of rebuilding her trust. If he doesn't want his marriage, then she's better off not spending any time trying to talk him into it.
      She can't force him to tell her who it is…though if it's a small town, there might be those who have an idea. I hope she holds her head high. This is excruciating and I'm glad she's got you for support. This isn't about her, please tell her that. It's about something broken in him that he's seeking in an incredibly unhealthy, hurtful way.
      Tell her to stand strong and insist that he answer her questions if she chooses to come home. He doesn't get a free pass. And let her know, there's lots of posts on this site about what to do when you find out.

      Elle

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  69. Hi all,
    This particular thread was "full" until I deleted some earlier comments. So if I hadn't responded, I'm sorry. I couldn't see your comments.
    There is much information on this site that would answer many of your questions. If you still are seeking advice, please re-post and I'll do my best to respond.

    Elle

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  70. Married for 15 years with 2 children, I found out my husband cheated on me between 2007 - 2010 with 2 women. I know about both affairs, but the truth came out because I found out, not because he confessed. He has drip fed me information about his affairs and 3 years on and I still have good and bad days. I think getting drip fed the truth has hindered my recovery. Although I love him and want it to work, Im haunted by the past and live in fear that one day I will re-live that horrific pain and devastation. He made those selfish choices and I can try and be the best wife, mother that I can, but there are no guarantees in life that he won't hurt us again.

    I think because I live with that constant fear its stopping me giving myself 100% to him. I find myself keeping back a little like its a safety blanket. Its as if that safety blanket will make the pain less if he strays again. I believe he has changed and I do think he would move heaven and earth to make me happy, but I am finding myself shutting down from him, I would even say that I'm suffering from low mood and depression as a result. I feel stuck, scared and very sad. I have been for counselling, we did try marriage counselling but his heart was never in it.

    I also dwell on how pretty and young these women are to me and end up feeling very low about myself. I am seriously contemplating ending the marriage, its not fair on either of us and maybe its the only way to end the pain.

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    1. It sounds to me as if you've move forward in your marriage but not past the affair. It's still very much a part of what's in the way.
      I also talk a lot on this site about how betrayal can lead to post-trauma…and it sounds as if that might be the case with you. Post-trauma is when we experience life as if, at any time, we need to be "ready" to be hurt again. It's feeling as if the pain is never really far away. The challenge is to re-file the experience as memory, not trauma. To feel stronger from having survived, not fearful about not surviving again.
      I urge you to get counselling again…with a new counsellor if the other wasn't too helpful. Ideally someone familiar with the fallout of infidelity.
      In the meantime, you need to get clear on what, exactly, you need from your husband. An accounting of exactly what happened and when? To be available to answer your questions, offer support whenever you express a need for it? An indication, in the form of his own work via therapy, that he truly understands why he did what he did…and how to ensure he doesn't go down that path again?
      It's crucial for you to feel safe in your marriage in order to have a real partnership. He needs to recognize that his actions altered your worldview…and certainly impacted your sense that he's your safe place in the world. In order to rebuild that, he needs to understand why he betrayed you, why he jeopardized his marriage and family, what he was seeking in those affairs that he didn't think he could get within the marriage. Affairs aren't about what's wrong with you…they're about what he's missing in himself that he doesn't think he can achieve. A man unhappy in his marriage might have an affair…but will generally use it to exit his marriage. Those who want to keep their marriage are cheating primarily because they're unhappy with themselves and an affair distracts them from feelings that are painful or uncomfortable. They're escaping pain.
      Whether or not your marriage survives, I want to assure you that you can survive this. But even if you end your marriage, if you don't take the time to treat the trauma of his betrayal, you'll simply carry your fear and pain with you. You need to heal from it, with or without him.

      Elle

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  71. Thank you so much for this site. I have been up all night reading it, nothing helps in the same way that hearing testimonies does. My husband had a mid life crisis ten years ago. He had moved to a new job in another state and our children and I were to follow him when the school year ended. They were in early middle school and the last year of elementary school, respectively, and I was finishing my Master's thesis in a totally new career field. But my husband decided he needed to find himself, and that he and I didn't belong together. He found that he just hated me so much, and that our 14 years of marriage were a mistake. After going back and forth on his decision for several weeks, he told me on Easter Sunday that he had decided we were irrevocably finished, with much vitriol. He filed for divorce, and the papers came in the mail on my Graduation Day. I grew up with a challenging mom and alcoholic father, but none of that drama compared with the pain of the divorce. I lost weight and had to go on anti-depressants. Words don't capture the depth of that awful time, but I can recognize it in the posts here. Well, 6 months after this saga had suddenly started, it ended just as suddenly with a contrite email asking me to consider staying married. The divorce suit was dropped, the mid crisis ended. The kids and I moved up and resumed our lives. It was a few weeks after we arrived that I came across the incriminating emails he had written during the divorce time. He was in love with another woman, as his friends and I had suspected. She was a piece of work, but was not interested in him - either stringing him along or just a person with poor boundaries. He didn't stop the divorce just because she wouldn't have him. Instead, it played out like a mid life crisis does, tying in to my husband's feelings of inadequacy when he hit 40 and went through a career change. But that didn't stop me from going through all the suffering that betrayal brings. It was a lot of painful work, but I can tell you that for some marriages, there is healing. Being able to look back after 10 years, I can say that this whole episode was an isolated incidence and not a recurring behavior. Still, it changed me. I struggled with many issues, one of them being hatred for the OW. Blinding and obsessive. She came back to my husband's workplace unexpectedly because it turns out she was adulterously involved with one of his colleagues. Broke up that marriage with no consequence, it was like the poor Australian woman who posted above, with no community support. What is wrong with community today? Anyway, it still haunts me after 10 years. Night before last I had a dream about the OW, even though it's been so long and we haven't lived in that area for years and my husband has had no recurrences with wanting to end our marriage. Just a bad dream, and I was plunged right back into the fresh horror of it. Unable to relate to present circumstances. Unable to function in the present relationship with my husband. Consumed with hatred and anger, wanting to scream at him and hurt her. It's been a bad 24 hours, and now it's starting to lift. Bewildering - no matter now thoroughly you deal with trauma, our psyches are delicate and just a stupid dream can totally take you over. Leave you absolutely out of control as if you were drugged or hypnotized. Anyway, thank you again for your site. You are a very gifted woman. God bless you and all of the women who post.

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    1. You're welcome. That's the thing with trauma. We think we've put it past us…and then suddenly we're triggered and it comes flooding back. I went through EMDR, which is this weird therapy whereby a counsellor uses bilateral stimulation (tapping on your knee, for example, or asking you to follow her finger with your eyes back and forth) but it's really effective for post-trauma -- to refile traumatic memories in a way that makes them less frightening. It's a matter of re-processing the feelings so that they no longer have power.
      It might be worth looking into as it seems there's still some trauma there.

      Elle

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  72. HI.. my husband has had an affair for three years. I found out about his cheating a few years ago, he denied it and i wasn't too strong, health wise. Now the matter has come up, he has told me he has been cheating on me and has a son with the other woman. Its hard and gets harder everyday. We have kuds of our own and i just feel like just running away leaving everything behind. dont know what to do. He says he wants his life back, what he had with me...but to me we never had a life and he never loved me...i am starting to hate him more and more as the days pass, i am trying to forgive him and stay for sake of my kids but its too hard to...i feel like he is lying and doing same things but its like i just don't want to feel anything anymore...just worried about if my kids will have to pay for his sins....

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    1. You simply can't rebuild a marriage (or "forgive") if he hasn't taken steps to understand why he's done what he's done and without figuring out how rebuild a marriage based on honesty and transparency and respect. Without attempts on his part to make amends (really make amends, not just say he's sorry), your contempt for him will simply grow.
      Are you in counselling to help you heal? Are you in couples counselling? Cheating is incredibly hard to heal from without the help of an objective person.

      Elle

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    2. One more thing...this page is pretty much full so if you comment here again, I can't be sure it will show up (if there are too many comments, this site just can't show them). Please post on another page if you can.
      Thanks,
      Elle

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  73. Oct. 11 2013 is when I opened my husbands computer to find a fake facebook account and him sex chatting with about 6 different girls. He says it was just a fantasy and didn't mean anything to him. I never thought this would happen to us. We have been married 13 yrs. and together 15. I am just heartbroken and I don't know what to do. We are in counseling, we started counseling about a month before I found out. Our marriage was already in trouble. After our first counseling session I felt like we were going to make it, like we were falling in love all over again. Sex was off the charts and I was so happy. I had found were he was looking at girls online and asked him about it and he said do you really think I am above this. At the same time he was facebooking a girl he had started a band with and it was getting flirtatious and I put a stop to that. I cant stop thinking about this. I cant focus on my job or my kids. I just want to run. We love each other but I just don't know if that is enough.

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    1. Tina,
      I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. It sounds as if this still feels very raw to you. It takes a long time to get past the pain, much longer than any of us would expect.
      Do you feel as though you're making progress? Is your husband genuinely remorseful? Does he recognize just how painful his choices were? Is he willing to do whatever it takes to rebuild trust? It's not enough to love each other, you both have to be willing to act out that love by being honest and trustworthy and always taking the other person into consideration in any choice we make. Once that's in place, a marriage becomes even stronger.
      That said, there's still a lot of pain to slog through. You need to grieve the loss of the marriage you thought you had. So often we want to jump right to making it better, without accepting that we need to grieve.
      Give yourself time. And insist that he do everything necessary to help you move forward.

      Elle

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  74. My husband cheated on me after 16 yrs of marriage... he married another woman without my knowledge and when I wound out he left her again... I had a tough life and my kids were taken from me at the age of 4 and 5 and send overseas... but I have them back now after I have threatened to leave my husband unless he brings the kids back to me. Now we all all playing happy family but I cannot overcome the betrayal ... I am also not allowed to talk infront of the kids but they already know what their dad has done.... I feel nothing for my husband but my kids begged me not to give them a broken home...

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    1. I'm so sorry for what you've gone through. I don't blame you for feeling nothing for your husband and I certainly understand making sacrifices for your children. I wonder about the wisdom, however, of allowing small kids to determine the course of your life. No child wants a broken home...however, I can't help but think that an emotionally healthy mother who's NOT in an abusive marriage will ultimately provide a better home for your children. Have you found counselling? I think someone who can help you see the level of abuse you've endured and continue to endure might also help you find the strength to make really tough decisions and to know what's right for you and your kids. I suspect right now your fear of losing them again is enough to keep you imprisoned in your marriage.
      What your husband did was cruel, to both your children and you. It's abuse. I hope you'll reach out for help in your community to find a way into a much better life. You deserve to feel safe and whole, and so do your children.

      Elle

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  75. My husband and I knew each other from high school. Not to long before him and I started dating I had ended a 7 year relationship with the father of my two beautiful children. I thought that was it for me at that point and I wasn't looking to be swept off my feet, but that's what happens. My husband swooped in and swept me off my free. He treated me like i was a queen. I was takin by him and the love that he showed me and then maybe 6 month into the relationship we were engaged. Our wedding was this past summer and I and my kids had never been happier. It seemed that thing were finally looking up for me. Just to give you a little back story my parents split when I was 7 my mother then started a 9 year relationship with the father of my sister and brother he was not a great man. He sexally, mentaly, and physically abused me from the time I 8 up untill I was 17. Then I met the father of my children who I was with for 7 years and he mentaly and physically abused me. So when my husband came into my life I was shocked that there were really men in this world that were good. It seemed like i was going to cobalt be able to breath without worrying unfilled January or this year the 7th to be exact. I found out he had been having an affair for the passed three months. That's Dday #1. Him and i talled about everything and we were going to work on things because we wanted to stay together. Dday #2 just came out three weeks ago. When my husband had told me that he did cut things off with the OW for a little while and then he started to see her again. Mind you while the affair was going on she had been to my home more than a few times before it came out in january. Her and i used to talked and hung out and could have been friends. Now if things couldnt get worse my husband tells me that she is pregnant. It seems like it just one thing after another. In between Dday #1 and Dday #2 I had a feeling that my husband was still seeing her and I was not happy unfilled he came clean with it. I just don't know were to go from here. PTSD is right. I have to be doing something always and even then the thoughts that haunt me just come anyway but they are far worse when I'm alone. My emotions are all over the place. One minute I'm happy the next I'm crying or angry. I want to work on things with my husband but I'm at that crossroads of to do or not to do. I have two children and it is very hard to do anything for me...time off to think about things would be a great idea if I could, but I cant. I want to be happy with my husband again but at the sametime I don't want to have these thought for the rest of my life. Right now I'm still confused dazed and lost. I guess I'm just looking for some guidence. Thank you for having this blog. I needed to get this off my chest. I have talked to a couple of people about this but this was helpful. Again thank you.

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    1. Elizabeth,
      I'm so sorry for all the pain you've been through in your life. Nobody deserves to be used and abused by someone else the way you've been.
      Unfortunately when our childhood experiences are so damaging, we're left with little experience of how to recognize "healthy". Too often we recreate what feels familiar even though it's unhealthy for us. And "healthy" can often seem boring to us.
      I would urge you, if you're not already, to get some counselling. To help you sort through those raging emotions. I think it's also completely reasonable to expect your husband to seek counselling to in order to determine why he would make such devastating choices. My guess is he's got his own demons to battle. But that's HIS battle, not yours. Your job is to get yourself to a healthy enough place that you won't tolerate disrespect or unkindness, let alone abuse. And to ensure that your kids see you treating yourself with respect, which of course, gives them permission to demand the same respect for themselves.
      Betrayal is devastating. And when you've already experienced so much betrayal in your life, there's no doubt that your husband's betrayal is triggering much of that earlier pain. Please find yourself someone to talk -- a social worker, a psychologist, a minister or priest -- who can help you through this pain. In the meantime, we'll remind you, as often as you need it, that you are worthy of love and respect. That you have the strength to get through this. That the world is also full of wonderful people who can support you through this. We know your pain. We've lived it and survived it and, in many cases, grown healthier because of it.

      Elle

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    2. Thank you Elle for the support. At this point in my husbands and my relationship we have grown apart and he does his own thing...not because I have tryed to push him away he is just having a hard time with my emotions and doesn't know how to read me so he is no home much. I feel as though things are slowly falling apart do to him not understanding why I'm acting the way I am. I have been talking with my pasters wife and they want to get together with my husband and I to talk about this and give us some information and books about affairs and how to over come it. I talk with her only because her and her husband have as well gone threw an affair and they are very strong now. The love that they give off is powerful. I'm trying to stay positive and move forword, slowly... I hope for the best but constantly think of the worst. But reading all the articles and comments here are helping me understand what I'm going threw is normal. So thank you for all of this.

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    3. Elizabeth,
      I'm glad you've got support from your pastor and his wife. There can be a lot of shame attached to cheating so your husband could be avoiding feeling his own shame. He could be emotionally unequipped to deal with your pain. Or he could just be a jerk. If he won't support you through this -- including visitor with your pastor and his wife -- then it doesn't bode well for your marriage. But please understand that is HIS loss. He's clearly got his own issues and if he isn't brave enough to own up to them, there's little you can do about it but take care of yourself and your kids.
      I hope, for everyone's sake, he's a bigger man than that.

      Elle

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    4. I guess he is just a jerk...and a whole lot of other names because I was contacted today by one of his ex girlfriends and she told me that he was still seeing the OW and was planning on leaving me when he could. To be with her. When I expected him to be home tonight at 6 he didn't show. I waited till about an hour and messages him and asked him if it was all worth it. He of course denied that he was seeing her, a little further on in the conversation he didnt stright out say he was with her still. I just don't understand all of this right now and it all hurts so much. To know the man you love doesnt love you back anymore. What walk hurts is the fact that he blames me for him doing this. I know it wasn't just me it takes two. I guess now is the time to heal and move on with my two beautiful babys. Still thank you for your help.

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    5. Oh Elizabeth, I'm so so sorry. Please, please know that this is NOT about you. It's not that he doesn't love you, it's that he doesn't even know what love is. As one author of a book about cheating wrote, "men cheat because of who they're not." He's not someone with a stable moral compass, he's not someone capable of honesty, he's not someone able to communicate with you about issues, He's someone who looks for an easy distraction for himself so he doesn't have to look too hard at who he really is.
      It's his loss. That of course, doesn't mean it will be easy for you. I know how heartbroken you feel. But you are strong enough to handle this. You've survived so much in your life. I'm sure you feel that you're due for some happiness and you are. Nobody deserves this pain.
      I hope you'll continue to meet with your pastor with the hopes that he can help you through this. To provide support as you go through the ups and downs. Please know, however, that many, many women have been where you are and have created wonderful lives for themselves. Right now it's hell, but it won't be that way forever.

      Elle

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  76. Dear Elle,
    I'm so glad I came upon this site. It's 4:56am and I've been up sibe 1:20am crying and thinking and crying and going crazy in the head because I don't know what to do. You see, my husband is a cheater! We've known each other for 13 yrs but married for 8 months. Presently, we live on different continents because of situation beyond our control but, we talk and text everyday and Skype every other day when possible. I have planned to move back latest Dec 2015 after my studies ends. We have 2 kids, both below 8 yrs. He visits us about twice a year which is not right by me. Anyway, we have come a long way. He got deeply involved with someone after our first child was born that's when I left and traveled to my present location. Been here for the past 5 yrs and all through that time to present, he stays in constant contact and supports us financially. He begged for forgiveness and assured me that things were different and he needed me back in his life permanently. Thus, he came and we got married. 6months later, someone calls me up anonymously and tells me he's in a serious relationship. He denies. I did my reseach I found pictures that prove he was lying. I confronted him with the evidence, threatened him with divorce and he finally admitted to it. He saids he's sorry and it wasn't anything and has promised to put an end to it. But the problem is I'm still hurt and the fact that he's so many miles away doesn't help. I've tried to forget it and move on but I can't. Every day I lie awake thinking is he still seeing her? Is he been honest with me this time around. Should I end this now because we are miles apart or continue on? He will be coming to us for vacation soon and I really do not know how I will react. I've asked that we go for counseling and he reluctantly agreed. He wants us to go on a separate vacation elsewhere and discuss it just the two of us but I don't want it so. You see I've somehow lost trust in him. I feel he'll say anything to keep me. We have done that before. I want something new. There's a void in my life that I hope professional help can fill. I feel helpless right now. I do not trust this man again and it hurts. What must I do? What can I do? I need help! Will couselling help?

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    1. Oh, how I remember those days of crying through the night. I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. Please know we've been there. There's light at the end of the tunnel and we'll help you find it.
      Of course, you don't trust this man. He has lied to you twice. Your mind and heart, very wisely, are telling you that you are not emotionally safe with him.
      Whether or not professional help is the answer, I don't know, but it likely won't hurt.
      It all comes to whether or not he truly has learned his lesson and is committed to honesty and loyalty and fidelity. That's almost impossible to know with you two living so far apart.
      I think it makes sense to go to counselling and bring up all these questions then. Gauge his reaction. What does he want going forward? What does he say about why he betrayed you in the past? Does he acknowledge that he has betrayed you completely? Does he understand that your mistrust of him is the consequence of HIS actions?
      You always have the choice to opt out of this relationship. But it sounds as if you want to know whether or not counselling with help. I would urge you to get counselling on your own as well to get clear on your own feelings.
      I hope you'll let us know how you're doing.

      Elle

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  77. I need advice...
    I'm 7 months pregnant with our second child. For months I had been feeling awkwardness, tension and an overall change in my relationship with my husband. I thought it was maybe him finding my pregnant body unattractive and I expressed to him that I feel like we were losing our connection. Early February he left for a work meeting for 3 days nothing out of the usual. When he returned things for even more strange, at first he began waking up extremely early going out getting us breakfast all which I thought meant he was trying to make things better and put an effort into making me happy... Little did I know at the time it was something else.
    After being so nice for a couple of days he started acting very distant. Wouldn't come to bed, would be gone early in the morning which was very unusual, starting to get out with guys friends a lot more than usual..
    I got suspicious and naturally began snooping, found out he got a new extra phone account, found he had been talking to a girl, sending pictures, and then the kicker... Found a confirmation for a plane ticket under her name in his email he had bought for her to fly down here on the dates he told me he had his next work meeting. Naturally I confronted him all about it and it all hit the fan. He denied it all got angry at me for snooping and wanted to take "a break". End of February I moved back in with my family, the more I tried to force him to tell me the truth about what I found the more he pushed me away.
    About a month later of us living apart (which was just a couple of weeks ago) he came clean about everything.
    He admitted to meeting the girl at his first meeting, there was no second meeting he flew her here to stay in a hotel together, admitted to sleeping together, and not just with her he has also been sleeping with other people here and there since I left, he first said he loves her and she was going to move here to get an apartment together. I felt like my gut was being twisted hearing this all. She knows all about us expecting a second child and still decided to come here to sleep with him anyways what kind of woman does that.
    Recently he has been saying he wants to make an effort to spend time and work things out between us as but not get back together wants to start off just as friends. I don't want to get back together with him right away either but we are obviously still married how can we work things out as friends. We've been spending some time together he's been saying he loves me and being honest about when him and the other woman talk on the phone and some of what they talk about. I told him I want to work things out we have been happy spending time together but he has to get rid of her for good and he can't seem to do that. He won't stop talking to her and I know he has feelings for her. Oh did I mention she's married also..
    I don't know what to do because we have spent time and I'm falling back in love with him but that fact that he continues to talk to her kills me and hurts the worst. If he loves me why won't he stop commuicating with her? What on earth am I supposed to do. We are expecting a child in about a month and he says he loves me but I have a feeling he loves her too. Why can't he just choose me we have been married for years they have known each other for two months. Why on earth would he want to be with her knowing his family is suffering and falling apart. And I hate her for the fact that she knows about our situation with a child and baby on the way and she still feels like she can have him and just come here to live with him and constantly talk to him!

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    1. Sorry I missed this. This thread is full so the only way I can publish your comments on this one is if I delete older ones. So I apologize for missing this.
      The short answer to your situation is simple: You cannot rebuild a marriage as long as the Other Woman is still a part of it. Unless you want a marriage with three people in it (which is what you have right now), he needs to cut off all contact, or you need to step away.
      It really is that simple. If he wants a relationship with you (and be a full-time dad to his children), then he needs to be a faithful, honest man.
      You're right that the OW is poison. She's definitely got her own issues...but don't make them yours. If she's willing to have half a man, that's her problem. But that's not what you want.
      At this point, I would make it clear that he has a place in your life as father of your children but that's as far as it goes. It will be hard, I know. But do your best to put up a wall around yourself that he not welcome to pass unless he's willing to do the hard work of figuring out his own stuff...and coming to you as a husband who's worthy of you.
      Let go of any feelings about her. She's nuts. And he's clearly a bit crazy right now too. If they choose each other, then trust that their crazy will carry on and be glad you're not part of it.
      I know it hurts. I know how excruciating it is. But at a certain point we have to choose ourselves and our children and our own self-respect over participating in crazy.

      Elle

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  78. In my case the OW and I were friends for 2 years. I even remember having a conversation with her about why would a woman want a man who cheats on his wife - he'll do the same thing to you. Yet several months later that's just what she did. All marriages have problems. But if there was any moral fortitude in this country, women would consider married men off limits. PERIOD! Then maybe the men would be forced to deal with the issues rather than escaping them.

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  79. Just a long story short,in 2008 I discovered my husbands affair by finding a motel reciept on our bed one day. I confronted him and he denied it just saying she was a friend he was helping out. She knew he was married and that I (the wife) was very real, he had convinced me to let her move in at some point and he introduced us. That lasted one night, the following night I came home early from work and kicked her out while he wasn't there. He did a lot of shady stuff and it's too much for details but basically years after being caught 3 times with her and with multidudes of evidence against him he continued to see me all the while denying he was ever with her. I know he has been with her this whole time, we seperated in the end of 2008 because I left our home the last time I caught him and last year after my son was born I told him not to ever come around me again, his chance was over and I wasn't going to allow my son to watch him jerk me back and forth. To this day we are still not divorced even though I told him to file the papers 2 1/2 yrs ago, I refuse to file because I'm not going to pay for his adultery...he caused the break in the marriage he should pay.I know they're still together and he still denies it, of course I'm sure she doesn't know we slept together around the time my son was conceived and when I was 4 months pregnant, my son thankfully is from a 6 month relationship I had shortly ended before hooking up with my husband. I'm seeing someone new and it is very good, he treats me way better than the ex ever did, yet I still find myself angry at what my husband did,the fact that they're still together, and that he still lies about it. The girl is not attractive and as far as I can tell very boring, she puts out that she's a fashionista but anytime I or anyone I know has seen her she's very plain and not put together. I want to get past it and stop obsessing but I don't know how and feel that I can't without him actually being man enough to confess it and give me a divorce.

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  80. I have been married for 19 years and found out 6 weeks ago that my husband has been contacting and meeting up with escorts. He claims there were 5 in total over the past 18 months, but no way for me to know for sure. He says he is being totally honest in our discussions. I thought we had a very good, solid, happy relationship. Good communication. Spend quality time together. Enjoy each others company. Etc.

    He has been very stressed at work for the past 2 years. I have previously been in a work situation which was very stressful and led to depression. So I understood and was trying to be very supportive of what he was going through. However, I had zero clue anything was going on with other women. Really out of character for him.

    With the confrontation he now realizes that he is very depressed and has been for a long time. He just wanted to crawl under a rock and hide from everyone. He is a very logical person. He knows this behavior is wrong. However, he says he has no rationalization or reasoning for his actions. This seems odd to me, as when you do something you know is wrong, you generally have to rationalize those behaviors to yourself. This piece seems to be missing for him.

    During the past 2 years he has also been drinking excessively. We talked several times about his drinking, but it would never stop. Coping mechanism.

    He believes he was in a "downward spiral", and engaging in "self-destructive behavior". But no rationalization. And he doesn't seem to think he should have any rationalization for it.

    He is now seeing his Dr. and is on an anti-depressant. He has stopped drinking. He says he wants to work though this and heal our marriage. But, I just don't know if I can do it.

    There was a incident a year ago where I found he had been on Adult Friend Finder and I found some incriminating selfies he took. He said nothing had been going on with anyone and that one of the guys at work had a log in and shared it with a group of them. At the time we had a huge "trust" talk and I was repeatedly assured it would not continue. He also agreed to do research on being emotionally supportive of me. He tried for a while and then he seemed to believe that his good behavior at home and helping with chores was being emotionally supportive. I tried to explain that for me I don't take that as being emotionally supportive.

    I feel like I am rambling.

    I have done a lot of research, but have not clearly linked cheating as a result of being depressed. Is that possible?



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    1. It's absolutely possible and even likely. Many people "self-medicate" in a number of ways -- booze and drugs, gambling, shopping, and sex. Anything that offers an escape from feelings that are unmanageable for the person experiencing them. And that's what cheating usually is, a distraction, an escape, a fantasy world.
      If you want to rebuild your marriage, it sounds as if your husband is doing all the "right" things in order to understand why he did what he did...and put new coping strategies in place.
      That might be the best he can do right now. With time and more therapy, he might get to a deeper understanding of why he finds certain feelings impossible to manage. But he's probably telling you everything he knows right now. He probably is confused as hell. The short answer is, sex feels good. It makes us forget life's problems. Even the thinking about getting sex -- where, when, how -- distracts us.
      You certainly have every right to just say you're done with it. Getting over betrayal is a long, tough process. It will take time whether you're with him or not so it really is your choice whether he's worth giving a second chance or if you're not interested/willing to do that.
      I hope, however, for his sake that he addresses his issues. We imagine that sex must be exciting and romantic. But for a lot of these guys who use it as self-medicating, it's shameful and something they mostly just want to compartmentalize.

      Elle

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  81. My husband and I have only been married for 1&1/2 years, together for a total of 3 years. He recently confessed to having sex with a coworker a handful of times the last couple months. I had known he was friends with this coworker since she started working with my husband 9 months ago, and knew that they were getting closer and closer. I warned my husband the effects of creating a bond with someone of the opposite sex when he first started talking to her, and asked him not to share personal things with this girl, only work related things. Of course, just like telling a child not to touch a glass vase, he was too tempted to do what I asked him not to. He has formed an emotional and physical bond with the coworker, and is now torn between the two of us. At first, he just said they shared an emotional bond, that they hadn't had sex. He went to two counseling sessions with me with our Pastor, but declined to go after the third session. I believe the reason for this was that he felt guilty about lying to both me and our Pastor when asked if he had been physical with the OW in our second session of counseling. He confessed to me the week after our second counseling session that he had been physical with the OW and was feeling guilty about it. Since starting counseling, the OW stated she did not want to have anything to do with my husband, but he is still pining for her. He knows that only 1% of relationships started as an affair actually work out, and yet he is still torn. I still want to go to counseling, I truly want to make it work, but I don't know how long I should hold on. As hard as it was to learn of his affair, I know that we can make it. He is trying to set up an appointment to see a therapist to work out his issues, and I want to wait until after his therapy for him to truly decide. He says that he is afraid that if we get divorced, it will be the worst mistake of his life, but that if we stay together he is afraid he will cheat on me. Which makes me think he is always thinking of the worst case scenario instead of making the decision to fight against tempations. He knows all the statistics, he knows what the right choice would be, so I don't understand why he would have such a hard time deciding.
    I have also talked to the OW, just to see what she says about everything that has happened. She states that she told him to leave her alone, but my husband says she still texts him every once in a while. I have no doubt that he talks to her at work also, instead of them just avoiding each other like I would like them to do. She says my husband pressured her into having sex with him, and she felt bad about it but didn't say no. That she told him that he needed to be sure that's what he wanted. Like, what kind of guy is gonna say no to sex when they are in the thick of it? It is so hard for me to understand how people are ok with having an affair?! And this is the second marriage the OW has torn apart, which my husband was well aware of. I work with the other girl whose marriage was destroyed by this same OW four years ago and have gotten conflicting information from her and the OW. Which makes me question the OW's credibility.

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    1. Quiet Thinker,
      Let's start by leaving the OW out of your healing. Anyone who will sleep with your husband (knowing he's your husband) does NOT have your best interests at heart. She's not honest, is without integrity and should, in no way, be given any more access to your life. Shut her out. These women feed on attention like it's oxygen. Cut it off.
      Now...you simply can't rebuild a marriage on your determination alone. Until he's willing to recognize that he's violated your trust and wants his marriage, then there's one too many people in your relationship. I know how desperately you want this to work out. I know how hard it is to give up. But I'm suggesting that at this point in his emotional life, he's incapable of being a healthy, respectful partner to you. He's simply incapable (and, it seems, unwilling to learn).
      What can you do? You can start creating boundaries around what you will and will not tolerate. As long as you're loose about what you'll accept with his behaviour, you give him carte blanche to bleat about "confusion" while he keeps two women on the hook. Demand respect. Demand honesty. He'll either smarten up quickly, or it'll be clear that he's not in your marriage, that he's not willing to rebuild and you can move forward knowing that.
      But start by cutting this OW out of your life. She's toxic. You deserve better than this mess. Demand better.

      Elle

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  82. My story is very similar to the other courageous posters on this site. I am sharing my story in hopes that I can gain a little more insight on my situation and continue on my healing journey.

    My partner and I became pregnant unexpectedly. The choice for me to continue the pregnancy was a decision I made, and my partner openly stated he was spiteful with me about me voicing my continuation of the pregnancy. He chose to stay in our lives and shifted to wanting to be a father. A few months before I delivered our beautiful little girl, I had suspicions that he was not being truthful with me in regards to a woman he trains with (he competes in triathlons). This woman never liked me from the first time I met her – she was cold, aloof and always paid too much attention to my partner in my presence. Needless to say, 3 weeks after my daughter’s birth I found out that he was spending time with her (going to lunch with her when he said he was at a client lunch; going out with her at night when he was supposedly ‘out with the boys’ celebrating our daughter’s birth) and text messaging intimately with her (often about details of our relationship and relationship issues). He would sign these messages, “XOXO” and “you are an amazing woman”. I confronted him on all fronts. He denied everything but then broke and told me he had been spending time with her and lying to me about it, but that nothing ever happened between them. He said that he didn’t do anything wrong, that I never liked her and he was just being there for her as a friend (she was going through a bad break up). Which I called BS on. I do not know if I believe him that they never slept together, but regardless he had an emotional affair with this woman. He betrayed me at a time that I was most vulnerable and was in need of his support. I had been going through a difficult time prior to our daughter’s birth as well. I was taken care of my very sick cat who had been with me 17.5 years. He passed away only three days before my daughter was born. I was devastated and I needed my partner’s love and support. He was not there for me. He left the hospital the night our daughter was born and stopped by this woman’s house. The list could continue… sadly.

    I told him she needed to be out of our lives. He promised she was. He also promised he would ever tell me if he even ran into her (since he has the potential when training). Well, 1.5 years later this woman is still reaching out to him and he is still lying to me about it. I just found out a few days ago. He sees her at the pool where he swims, and she sent him a birthday message recently. I am on my way out the door, as I cannot and should not tolerate this behaviour. I have been so angry this past year. I take responsibility for the damage my anger has done to our relationship, but he is not showing me that I can trust him or that he values me. I am trying to heal and move forward and forgive him. It is so hard though when he continues to lie. He has lied about a few other major incidents as well over the past two years, which he does not see as a problem. When he lies he tells 6 different versions of the story before he admits the truth (or what I hear as the final reason). We are in therapy. We have been for the past 1.5 years, but nothing seems to be helping this. He is a good father to our daughter. I am so confused, and angry at both him and myself. I feel like a fool for tolerating this behaviour – though I know it is his to own, not mine. I am trying to find strength for my daughter, as she is the loveliest and dearest thing to me. How do you know when enough is enough? Or maybe I know, but I don’t have the strength to act on it.

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  83. Guess to start we tried to start a horse business 13 yrs ago that didn't go well and used up nothing but energy and money. I had a heart attack in 2010 and just couldn't do as much. After the heart attack I started having problems with walking. After about 10-15 ft I would be in extreme pain. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, Still having some problems but much better. My husband took Chantix to stop smoking which lead him to start having to take antidepressants and sleeping pills. He also started smoking pot daily along with who knows what. Many days I couldn't even get him awake for him to get up and go to bed.He took a lower paying job a little over 5 years ago that is less physical since his job was causing him problems.
    Well, things starting changing with him about August last year. Yeah we notice these things. Then it started that he just had to stop off and do some things before coming home. That worked up until November then I looked at the phone records. . Then in November presented him with I know you are seeing someone I have the information. He wanted to know how I knew and of course he changed his phone carrier. Changed our checking account to his not ours. Cashed out all the cd's. But, I have copies of everything, which he doesn't know about. Pictures of him at motels. I get a small disability and opened a checking account and put it in there. He has continued to pay the bills but complains. Told him I paid the cable and insurance and doctor bills and everything for myself. And didn't get enough to pay anymore. He said he doesn't want a divorce. Said he would never apologize for what he has done but he was taking back his life. Found his pot, found where he is growing some. Pictures of course of everything. I was told that what he is doing I brought on myself. I thought how, getting sick. OK he has a history he did this to his first wife. Oh how they can make a case. So it has been a long hard 5 years for me. He comes and goes as he pleases. He stays closed up in his bedroom if he is here. Sometimes stays gone for days at a time. Has purchased a travel trailer that he doesn't know I know about. I dont have any family except for my daughter who is living with her boyfriend who is an alcoholic. And a friend from the past that I didn't know well but is being there for me 100 percent. I have found you cant change stupid (husband) and being under so much stress is not healthy for me. Yes scared of what will happen with me with no money and no where to go. I have to leave that in the lords hands and just do what I can do. I am 60, have had to go rounds with my heart. Diabetics, high blood pressure and high cholesterol on top of the walking issue. I need dental work and put it off over the years because of the shortage of money but he has gone every six months. Again women need to look out for themselves and stop doing for everybody else first. I worked so hard sometimes only 2-3 hours a day for years and now it was in vain. One of those time if only I had know moments. Cant change the past but hoping I have a much happier less depressing future. Although I have all paper work and copies of documents to go to the attorney with today in a safe place, not here my mammogram came back with issues on both sides so tomorrow I go to get that taken care of. And I finally made an appointment to get checked for STD's tomorrow as well after the other test. Yes, I tried to make this right. I told him I was sorry for anything that I did to cause this and would do anything to make it right. He doesn't want to make it right. But, he doesn't believe in divorce, and doesn't want one. At least probably not until he is sure he has everything totally covered up. Funny how there is always a paper trail and how stupid men think women are if the women are smart enough to keep their mouth shut most the time and only ask the right questions.

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    1. Honey, you've got enough to deal with. It's time to get him out of your life. You say he "doesn't believe" in divorce? So what! You don't believe in staying with someone who won't respect you or treat you with kindness. Seriously, dump him. I suspect some of your health problems might just go away once you unload a nasty husband.
      Focus on your mammogram results (which, let's hope) come back with good results. And then get yourself to a lawyer to make sure you get every cent you're entitled to.
      Please. You deserve so much better than this. Show your daughter what it means to stop holding on to dead weight.

      Elle

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  84. Mammogram came back good today. One less thing to worry about. He again told me he wasted his life on me last night. And came in today and said lets sell the house and you can buy a new car. I said what and sleep in the car. Getting paper work together tomorrow and going to try to get to attorney tomorrow. Heartbreaking but this man has a serious problem.

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    1. You have been given a second chance with your mammogram results. I'm so glad you're seeing an attorney. You don't deserve this abuse. Wasted his life?? Puh-leeze. You're about to get your life back. Yay for you. Won't be easy, I know. But that doesn't mean it's not absolutely the right thing for you to do. Treat yourself with the respect and dignity that he's incapable of.

      Elle

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