Wednesday, September 8, 2010

For the newly betrayed...

Though I'm more than three years out from D-Day #2, lately I've felt as if I'm dealing with it all over again. And though I know this happens (it's called "recycling", says my therapist, and it's NOT to be confused with regressing), it still frightens me that I'll never get past this.
And it reminds me of those first few weeks/months. Perhaps by outlining what happened to me in those hell-filled days, I can help someone else whose days seem too dark to ever see light again.

Or rather lack thereof. Though I'm tossing and turning lately, immediately post D-Day I barely slept a wink. If I was able to fall asleep at all (thank-YOU Gravol!), I would awaken a few hours later with that horrible pit in my stomach and the tears would flow again.
Rest assured (ha!), you will sleep again someday. Melatonin can work wonders -- it's non-addictive, available in the vitamin section of your pharmacy and basically gets your adrenal system under control so that your body isn't sending shots of adrenaline to warn you that you're under attack. The attack is over. Now's time to figure out what the hell happened...

Though I suppose it's possible to turn to food for comfort, every BWC member I know couldn't touch a think – not even Brownie Fudge Meltdown with Skor bars sprinkled on top. The upside was a butt considerably smaller than pre-D-day. The down side was, well, the down side was that I felt like absolute crap, no matter that I looked awesome in skinny jeans.
Eat what you can – a small bowl of soup, a few bites of grilled cheese. Whatever you can get past that lump in your throat. Steer clear of junk food...and alcohol. Both contain the wrong kind of calories and can lead to increased self-loathing. Keep your loathing targeted where it belongs – at your husband.

Staying sane
I'm not exactly an expert on this one. I swear I'm nowhere near as sane as I once considered myself. However, I'm still standing and my children haven't been taken from me so I must be doing something right. The best advice I can give is to keep the focus on you. As much as you can, resist indulging in fantasies of what you'd say to the OW, given the chance. Or what you'd do to her. Or trolling Facebook to find out what she's saying. Or calling her cell phone to leave nasty messages. Or. Or. Or.
It might be a struggle (some days more than others) but focus on what YOU need: a warm bath, a good run, some new clothes, lunch with a trusted friend, a movie marathon... Whatever! Give it to yourself. And when you find yourself thinking of the OW or your husband with the OW, picture a huge  STOP sign. Or put an elastic band around your wrist and give it a good snap when you shift focus off of you.
There's nothing you can do to change what's done. But you can treat yourself with the respect that everyone should treat you with. And, in the process, find your way back to sanity a whole lot faster.

Find help
I was more devastated by my husband's betrayal than I ever dreamed I would be. It, quite literally, killed my spirit and send me spiralling down. If, like me, you find yourself harbouring thoughts of suicide, run, don't walk, to your phone and call a suicide hotline or find yourself a therapist who can pull you back. For me at least, suicide looked like an escape hatch from seemingly insurmountable pain. But the pain is surmountable. It's an illusion that you won't get over it. You will. That I can promise.

Gather strength from those of us who've been there
There are some great online groups with plenty of wonderful, wise people who can assure you that life will get better. is a great site, which saved me from total despair more than once. And please don't hesitate to share your story here (or just lurk, if that's all you're ready for!). We're a great bunch of women. Though the details of our betrayal might vary, we share a strength and a compassion. And a road back to happiness.


  1. I'm 5 months in from my D day.
    Death seems like such an easy way to end the pain in the middle of the madness sometimes. That's how bad the hurt of from your partner betraying you is.
    the thoughts were only fleeting for me.
    I however I have many fantasies that bring a happy feeling and a smile to my face ( how bad dose that make me!) of thinking of my husbands death and what I would say at his funeral- complete with me dancing on his grave.
    Back to reality though...
    WE are still trying to work it out. Apparently. I have lost all love and respect for my husband, but still cling on there for the sake of so many things that would be lost in a divorce.

    I wonder how many of us hang on for a time only to walk out of the marriage down the track when things are better for us. Kids have become older, you get back into the workforce or any other reason to leave a dead marriage?

    Dose any marriage ever resurrect and become loving again?
    All I seem to find is depressing stories of people just like me that held on to what was left- and that was as good as it got.

  2. There are stories out there, of couples that insist their marriage is wonderful. I think it takes a lot of work and the circumstances, too, play a role. It's easier to accept a one-time transgression, I think, more than serial cheating. My husband's sex addiction has been tough to accept.
    Most "experts" (psychologists, marital therapists, etc) who deal with infidelity suggest a six-month period of doing nothing. Just hanging in there and not making any big decisions (unless, of course, it's an abusive relationship). And most couples I know took between two and five years to feel completely over it. A friend of mine who left her husband even told me that it was eight years (and she was living with a great guy at that point) before she could go a day without having some thoughts of the betrayal.
    So...time. That four-letter word again.

  3. I'm 2 months post D-Day.....we are trying to fix things, too. I still love him and I do want to work it out. I definitely feel much better than I did 2 months ago. But I still have my triggers and then the emotions swing big time. Trusting him and believing him again will be my biggest hurdle. I hope it doesn't take 2-5 years! But he does know if it happens again, we're done.

  4. I still loved my husband 2 and even 4 month in. This 5th month has had a huge swing in the other direction with my emotions.
    I'm wondering now if it's ever possible to get it back, when you have to learn to love what your actually married to?

  5. It's strange how many of us go through almost a "honeymoon" period following D-Day. We cling to our spouses as if they provide oxygen. Then, when the shock has worn off, we frequently swing the other way – and all the rage and fury is unleashed. We not only hate what they did, we loathe their very existence. I remember fantasizing that my husband receive diagnosis of a terminal illness – I figured that would eliminate my two major problems: him...and my need to not be the "bad guy" (in my children's eyes) for leaving my marriage.
    Three-plus years later, I'm still married, he hasn't died (having never received diagnosis of a terminal illness) and I no longer loathe him.
    The thrust of what I'm saying is this: your emotions will be all over the map for at least six months...perhaps longer. It's why most marriage experts suggest waiting six months to a year before making any major decisions. Let your emotions settle. They will, as long as you give them breathing space.

  6. And here I thought I was starting to get a grip on things and then I hear that it could swing the other way.......not looking forward to that........

  7. I think it helps if you can try and detach from it to a certain extent. Sort of what I have to do with my hormonal pre-teen daughter. If I put too much stock in her wild mood fluctuations, I'd lose my mind. Instead, I simply try and ride them out.
    If you can do that with your emotions, I think you'll find you will plateau. Either you'll feel (most of the time) as though there's still love there and you want to work it out...or you'll come to the conclusion that you simply can't. Either way, it'll be clear...or at least clearer than it feels right now.

  8. I actually think I've done a pretty good job of "detaching"...that's why I feel I'm having more good days now then bad. But then like yesterday, after my appt. with the therapist, my emotions get all stirred up and I go home very confused about what I'm supposed to be "feeling". My husband is only taking baby steps towards some of the things I need to get past this. His belief is to be done with it and put it in the past. I can't change how he feels or make him do anything. I can only tell him what I need. Very frustrating.....and then to read and hear what he "should" do but won't makes it worse. Then of course, I get all suspicious again. I keep telling myself calm down....if he does it again, then be done with it and get out. Easier said then done, though.....ahhhhhh, I hate this emotional rollercoaster!

  9. Detaching for me was really tough. I tended to micro-manage everyone and everything.
    But one day I read some book (can't recall which one) and the writer said that if I'm focusing on what my husband should be doing, I'm managing his recovery, not my own. It was what I needed to hear. I did tell him that, as part of my commitment to staying, he needed to go to a 12-step group for sex addicts. If he chose not to go, that was his choice. But then I would leave. I like to think I meant those words as I said them. He took them seriously and did/does go to meetings. It was really tough for him...which also helped me see that he was committed to our marriage. And to being a better person/husband.
    Wanting to sweep it all under a rug is a common response from men who cheat. It's painful to look at our shortcomings. But I think it would be healthy for you, if you haven't already, to create some boundaries around what you need from him in order to move forward and feel safe in the marriage. If he won't seek help (and the right therapist will certainly insist that this NOT get swept under the rug), then you will have to take steps that protect you. Whether that's move into a guest bedroom, move into an apartment, begin divorce proceedings, whatever. It can feel like manipulation. But if the intent is to protect yourself and create safety for you, then it's for the right reason. If it's to try and make him do what you want, it's for the wrong reason. And yes, I know the two can get pretty tangled up.

  10. I can't thank you enough for this site. It has been less than a week since I discovered the emails which confirmed that my husband was involved with someone else and that they were more than just friends. There has not been full disclosure on his part yet. He's not ready, he says.
    I have identified with so many of your posts, which in itself is insane to me, but knowing that I am not alone makes me feel less crazy. I am deeply grateful for your guidance.

  11. That's EXACTLY why I created this site. I found the sense of isolation and "apartness" was killing me. I would have loved an actual support group, but am not sure if I would have had the guts to show up in person even if such a thing existed in my city.
    It's incredibly gratifying to me – and helps with my own healing – to know that this site is helping others. So thank-YOU very much for letting me know.

    FYI to all readers: I'm hoping to create a real sense of community and, for that reason, would welcome guest blogs. Anyone who wants to create a post is welcome. The more voices and the more experience we can share, the richer we'll all be from the support.

  12. hi !! i just found out about a week ago that my husband cheated on me .. and i decided to give him a chance but all i see is him as a liar and a cheater coz he did it right after a month after we got engaged , and i cant get over it now .. i am not financially capable of taking care of myself .. but everytime i look at him all i see him is as a liar / cheater .. and i dont want to live like that for the rest of my life .. i dont know what to do .. coz we live with his family like his older bro ..coz my husband cant afford to buy a house .. and i feel sick when we try to get physical , it makes me sick .. but he says he dint get physical with her coz the OW and my so - called husband sent pics to eachother .. and i saw them in the mail account .. i duno what to do .. he says he wants to be with me but i dont belive him coz i just dont trust what he says .. and i duno what to do :'(

  13. I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this. You feel as if your husband is a liar and a cheater because he IS a liar and a cheater. And of course you have trouble getting physical because you no longer feel "safe" with him. He betrayed your trust and that's a huge violation that takes time to heal.
    Is this the man you want to be with? Is he a good man who made a mistake? Or do you think this is evidence of his true character? Is he willing to be accountable to you -- letting you access his e-mail accounts, phone records, whatever you need to regain trust? If not, that's a huge red flag that he's either continuing his betrayal...or that he simply doesn't recognize that he's violating your boundaries.
    You also need to determine a course of action for you, whether that's staying and trying to heal (which will ONLY work if he acknowledges what he's done as harmful to the marriage and wants to commit to ensuring it never happens again) or leaving. Staying in a marriage because you can't afford to leave is no good in the long run (or even, really, the short run).
    Good luck. A good book to consider is How Can I Forgive You by Janis Abrahms Spring. You can probably find it at your local library. Knowing that others have gone through what you are and survived it can also help you trust that you'll get past this, too.

  14. I thought the 'problems' in my marriage were primarily my husband's dissatisfaction and stress from his current job. He withdrew and became more and more distant. I forgive myself for not recognizing the symptoms of cheating because ALL the men in my family are emotionally distant and withdrawn. I had not heard of sex addiction. When I discovered his withdrawl and rejection of me were the affects of intsensifying sex addiction, my world and my sanity crumbled. I screamed and raged the first day. I screamed how he needed some serious therapy, which turned out to be truth.
    All the sex addiction books only made me more angry and more depressed. I had missed my husband in my life for so many years and not realized, we had mad bunny sex for a couple of months before I could no longer stand for him to touch me. That is where we stand separate bedrooms, separate bank accounts, but we are back to holding hands and acting like high schoolers attempting real relationships for the first time.
    For any woman who has begun to realize how distant and unavailable the man in her life really is, and affairs and sex addiction can be a symptom of this distance, I highly recommend 'The Emotionally Unavailable Man.' It gave me empowerment, chided me for my victim stance, opened my eyes to just how closed I was from experiences in my own past. It is also for the men, and offers concrete suggestions.
    My husband and I, along with 12 step, therapy, group, meditation, on and on and on, are using this book as a guide to better communication and healing. I still have cold fear most of the time, about my illusory past, about my highly uncertain future. Relapse is a serious possibility, and terrifies me that I will have to make that final decision to end 12 years of emotional investment. I have hundreds of triggers (try sobbing through 'The Sound of Music' to feel really pitiful about yourself), but I have a plan, with kindness and not being 'the nice wife', and an inkling of hope.
    It has only been 5 months. I see some positive changes, and some that leave me cold and anxious. I am giving it a year and doing what I can to take care of myself, and examine my own family of origin that let me get myself in this mess in the first place.
    Maybe I will get wise, and create my own luck.

  15. We've been married for 11 years and I never thought that he could cheat on me. Few months ago, I felt so alone running our family then I learned about his affair more than a month now. So I realized, that is the reason why I felt so alone, why he seems easy to get angry and does not talk much about how we are doing in the house, then I thought he was just too busy with his work. All along I thought I married a perfect husband and a good father to my 3 children. Then after discovering his affair of maybe 3 months, he stopped it right away and told me that he was so sorry for what he's done, that it was nothing serious and that he loves me and he wants to grow old with me and spend the rest of our lives together. He is asking for a second chance. Until now, I can't believe how a man can love his wife if he cheated on her to satisfy his needs to be desirable. How can he do such a thing knowing that in doing so can ruin our marriage, and worse, can break his wife's heart. I used to be a happy and positive person, but right now, I feel like I'm devastated, It's affecting the way I take care of our kids and my work too. I've lose some weight since. I hate feeling this way and I wish this will just go away. I did not imagine myself like this. I realized, I've been sleeping in a fairy land and now just woke up living a nightmare. I'm trying very hard to learn forgiveness.

  16. I'm so sorry you're going through this. It IS devastating and it's still quite new to you. Things will get better, I promise. But in the meantime, take care of yourself as best you can. Work and parenting likely will be compromised. It's hard to NOT be totally consumed with your feelings of betrayal and hurt and fear and anger. I told my kids quite honestly that I was going through a tough time and that it had nothing to do with them. And that, while I was trying to be a good Mom, I might be a bit distracted. I assured them that I was doing my best to get better as quickly as possible.
    Hang in there. Keep reading. Sounds like your husband is doing what he can to assure you. But make sure he listens to you. Responds to your triggers. Is totally transparent. That way trust is slowly built back up and you can create a new marriage based on a strong foundation.
    You weren't living a fairy tale, though, in hindsight, it seems that way. You were simply trusting of someone you thought was trustworthy. I hope for everyone's sake, he learned a tough lesson. One he won't repeat.

  17. Thank you for your response. I am trying very hard to forgive, but sometimes I would tell myself "so that's it.. after being betrayed by the only person you trust and he's your bestfriend too, he would ask for forgiveness and he expects things to be normal again." He just lost my trust and respect for him after D-day. I know I still love him but I hate him for what he's done. He changed my beliefs. Now, I realized that no relationship/marriage can be permanent. Before, I felt so secure in our marriage and I thought that this is something that will last forever. I was caught off-hand, never saw this coming. But now, I've learned a very important lesson that even the most important person in your life can betray you, we better look after ourselves, so we will not end up miserable. - Jamie

  18. Loving and hating him simultaneously is quite common. I would swing within hours from thinking I couldn't live without him to wanting to, quite literally, smother him in his sleep. Cut yourself slack and know that the wild mood swings will lessen in time. As much as I hated to think the three-to-five-year healing period applied to me (I was SURE I could do it faster), here I am, four years out, and finally feeling as if it's all behind me.
    That said, one of the casualties of betrayal is that blind trust we had. We'll never again think that we're absolutely safe. However, we never really were -- it was always an illusion. And now we recognize that.

  19. I just discovered this site thru a friend...I am 6 years past D-day #2...which happen within 3 months after D-day #1...same woman. At the time I had 3 young children and was paralyzed with the fear of having to raise them on my own and never finding someone new. I immediately went into survival mode having come from a broken marriage myself I did not want my kids living that life. I emerged myself in therapy with and without my husband...and while I am not taking away from the betrayal of what he did I believe even now that his affair was a symptom of a bigger problem between us and that I too had things to work on.

    It has been a long road and even now there are times I wonder where he is and times where we just don't connect...but the best part has been how much more honest we are with each other and not just about his whereabouts...I say what I mean when I mean it...if I wonder where he is I ask. Is it annoying to him...sometimes but as he says "I made this bed and I have to live in it". I love my husband but we both acknowledge without our kids we are not sure we would still be here.

    In the days following your discovery you will feel so many's ok to feel them all...pain, anger, betrayal, rage and love...lean on your friends but only the ones you can trust. That was another casualty for me...friends who just couldn't deal and ultimately were too judgemental to forgive my husband even though I had. I learned so much about compassion and not judging weary, be vigilant and most of all... always be true to yourself. If you can forgive and move on don't worry about other people...even now in my darkest times I wonder if I made a mistake...but I love him, my family, my children and that was enough motivation for me to push thru the pain. I am proud I survived this and while it is true you are never the are stronger...for me, stronger than I ever thought.

  20. Wow, sounds as if we lead parallel lives. Now, almost five years old, I still wonder if we'd be together if my kids hadn't kept me tethered at the time. But, most of the time, I really like my life. I can't quite imagine myself without my husband. Would I be happier? I doubt it. Life would be different...but not necessarily better. He's becoming the man I always thought he was. And he's my friend, through thick and thin.
    I'm glad you, too, have found peace with your choice. No-one can make it for you, as you point out.

  21. 6 months now and I still cry every day over a mountain of things. I, perhaps mistakenly, asked him to tell me everything and now I replay it in my mind all the time. Will it happen again? Can I really forgive and forget this one? My own pride is injured - everyone at his work knew. Not only that, but she was a cute little thing with big curves, so my self-asteem is also shot. I don't have anyone to talk to and I feel like my mood swings are going to ruin our marriage - one that we both want to keep, for ourselves and our two little ones...

  22. Anonymous,
    You're still pretty new to this... Six months might seem like a long time, but to heal such a deep emotional wound takes years.
    I, too, asked to know about everything. And though it hurt to hear (and I, too, replayed much in my mind, eventually that stopped. Even I got sick of it), I ultimately am glad that I don't expect any new surprises because I do think I know everything. It's important, though, to keep that in the past as much as possible and not let it destroy your present. Yes, things definitely suck at the moment and you're likely still reeling from the news. Especially when we feel made a fool and we wonder what others were saying/thinking about us.
    But you did nothing wrong. And those who didn't tell you, though they're cowards, likely didn't intend to hurt you, but rather hoped to spare you. Society doesn't quite know how to handle adultery. Most of us just turn the other way and figure it's none of our business. And when the spouse does find out, many just don't know what to say or do, so they do nothing. Just when you need a show of support more than anything. I often think the loneliness and isolation following betrayal is almost as devastating as the betrayal itself.
    But you need community now more than ever. Is there anyone you trust with the information? Who can support you unconditionally and give you the time to sort things out?
    We're always here, of course, but I think it helps to have someone in real life. A counsellor can be a great help, too, even just to unload some of the incredibly overwhelming feelings.
    And please stop worrying about her "cuteness". Regardless of her looks, her morals are ugly.

  23. I went crying to my best friend the day it happened, but her reaction was anger towards my husband and that didn't really help me. Her advice was to immediately divorce and that hasn't changed, so now my husband and bf have fallen out and we don't talk about my husband at all...
    I am thinking about seeing a professional, but live in a very small town where privacy is nearly impossible. I am also not sure how the pros here would see it...
    My situation is perhaps a little different to many of the ladies experiences here. My husband's infidelity wasn't an on-going thing, but a number of on-night stands. I live in a country where it's accepted by a lot (definitely not much of the younger generation) of the women that the men will get 'restless'. I'm not sure my husband knew how much he would hurt me until I actually found out about it... As we've grown up in different cultures, I decided to tell his parents, who he respects and who I am also close to. I thought they would be able to give us both advice on how to ride through this. Well, although they were upset (perhaps because if I were to leave this marriage, their grandkids would move with me to the opposite side of the hemisphere), they said what I have heard a lot of women here say in the past - at least it wasn't a girlfriend, where emotions are involved - as far as I am concerned, a betrayal is a betrayal. They did try to help me, but it just wasn't what I needed.
    I have explained in no uncertain terms that I will not be back if there's another slip. My husband swears he'll never do it again but I know from my questioning that most of his workmates, as well as circles from high school and other mates that his drinks with, all consider it OK, and also do it from time to time. I believe this to be true.
    Needless to say, he hasn't been out of the house other than to work in the past 6 months, but we can't go on like this forever. He's going to be presented with the opportunity again and I'm going to have to trust him - something I can not do or imagine being OK with at the moment.
    He's been as supportive as he can be since it happened, and is doing anything and everything he thinks might help, but even I don't know what he can do to help heal things at the moment. I guess I won't know if he REALLY understands the depth of my hurt, since words don't seem to be enough and we have had such different upbringings. Still, international expectations aside, my rules are no other women, and I want that to be final.
    I'm not sure such a situation can really be understood by someone who doesn't know they culture here, and I'm not sure what sort of advice you can give... perhaps I just need to get it out there.
    Thank you for your response :) P

  24. Although I knew the culture, I didn't think my husband was one of 'them'. I also blindly believed it stopped after marriage. I guess I am somewhat the idiot here, huh. P

  25. Anonymous,
    It is crushing when the people we turn to for support only compound the hurt by not giving us what we need or by simply not being able to handle our situation. I told very few people but I did confide in a close friend primarily because her marriage had split up because of infidelity. I figured she would know exactly how I felt. Instead, she dismissed my intention to try and work out my marriage with a shrug and a "well, I couldn't do it." When you're already feeling so vulnerable and fragile, even the slightest hint that you're making the wrong choice or that you're handling it wrong or whatever can feel like a death blow.
    Re. cultural mores: It sounds as if your husband understood that, regardless of his upbringing, you had different expectations of your marriage. Because of that, I don't think he can fall back on the "but everybody's doing it" defence. If it was okay, he wouldn't have had to hide it. End of story.
    Learning to trust again is a lifelong battle. I doubt you'll ever be able to trust blindly, to just KNOW that he isn't cheating. But, truthfully, none of us can ever just KNOW our spouse is faithful. We learn to have faith that they won't hurt us again. And faith isn't without doubt. It's doubting, but choosing to give him a chance anyway. The doubt will certainly decrease with time. The more he reveals himself to be trustworthy, the more you'll trust. There might be a period of time in which you'll want to randomly check his cell phone, or call him at any time and insist that he answer. Some betrayed wives have even subjected their spouses to lie detector tests. Whatever it takes to help you feel safe, then I'm all for it (within legal/ethical confines, of course). And he should be all for it, too, if he's truly committed to helping you heal.

    And no-one who trusts their spouse is an idiot. Loyal perhaps. Naive, maybe. But not an idiot. An idiot is the one who betrays that trust.

  26. Thanks again for your response. You're absolutely right, I am making excuses for him. He knew what he was doing.
    My husband has been very apologetic from the beginning and is doing his best to make amends. I, regardless, have days when I just can't help but take strips off him and I leave him looking like he's about to cry. He doesn't make excuses for his actions, and admits he was calculating and deceitful (although there was denial at first, he couldn't keep it up and confessed within 30 minutes of my confrontation), but I think my hurting is hurting him, if you know what I mean? In your experience, do you think I should find a new way to vent, or is it important for him to know the depth of my feelings? Sometimes I look at his face and become afraid he's going to run out of strength to work through this with me...
    His response is always that this is the cross he has to bear and that he's sorry, but I don't think he is talking to anyone about his feelings...
    I go through stages like this where I feel sorry for him, and then I remember again the way I discovered his infidelity in the first place - finding a bragging mail to a coworker on his phone saying he could hardly walk after his night out - needless to say this really gets under my skin and I wonder how one person can be SO different in different situations?!
    I still look at his phone from time to time and he finds it completely intrusive. He feels like I need to know everything and it's a bit too much for him, even with all that has happened. He will let me look at it, but I can tell he deletes ANY personal mails. From anyone. I don't think he's up to anything anymore, and I do understand that he feels violated because I looked at his messages in the first place, but I explained that it sometimes puts me at ease to know for sure. I asked him not to delete his mails, but he says he deletes them because they are rubbish or insignificant. He actually has two phone, a private one and a work one, and he doesn't even bring his private one in from the car anymore... It's probably not worth looking anyway - if he were up to something, he's learnt from his mistakes. P

  27. I don't have much sympathy for husbands who find you checking up on them to be "intrusive". They've revealed themselves to be untrustworthy... I certainly don't advocate for wives to become Big Brother-ish, but there's frequently a period of time in which many betrayed wives simply need reassurance. And since we know our spouses are capable of lying, we need solid proof. The more our fears turn out to be groundless, the better able we are to rebuild trust. I know some men feel that they're being punished by the intrusion...but they need to put themselves in our shoes and look at the situation through empathetic eyes.
    Re. anger and hurtful comments: I said some pretty awful things in the wake of D-Day and I regret it. I don't think it did anything to help my husband understand my pain but rather made me look – and feel – like a shrew.
    I would definitely suggest a different way of expressing your anger. Do you exercise? I discovered that going for a run at night during which I'd rage at the injustice of it all would leave me pretty much spend (and in better shape!). Punching a pillow? Writing your rage in a journal? It's important to get it out but it needs a certain...censorship. If your goal is to rebuild your marriage, then both of you need to soften your stances and work toward that common goal, even if it means him getting over his dislike of "intrusion" and you holding your tongue sometimes. Not easy...

  28. My venting at him only makes me feel worse afterwards, so I'll try finding a new outlet and let you know how I go.
    Thank you for your sound advice. I am so glad I found you xxx I hope others will read my story and get in touch - it's nice even just to know there's someone who's willing to listen...
    Thank you agaon. P

  29. That sense of isolation is the main reason I created this blog site. I felt so alone in my pain and even though I knew there were other women going through this, no-one really talks about it. It's important that we share our experiences – without judgement – and support each other as we heal. I'm trying to work in a format that will allow women to share their stories with each other and create something of a community. Might have to switch blog platforms.
    Hang in there. It will get better. Hard to believe...but true. :)

  30. I had been having a good run - not forgetting, but being able to put the thoughts out of my mind again before getting too worked up. That was, until today. I ran into one of my husband's workmates that had been in on his infidelities and helped him hide them from me. I didn't slap him like I imagined I might (and how many times I have imagined that moment), neither was I rude nor polite. I know it's my husband's deed in the end, but I can't help wanting to shift some of the blame. I guess I want to think my husband is not completely evil, and was just perverted by some nasty workmate, although deep down my husband needed no encouragement.
    Some days I wish I hadn't suspected a thing and checked that phone.. but I guess then the betrayal would have continued until it was unforgivable. I still think about divorce from time to time, just so I don't have to worry about where he is, but I don't think that would stop me caring in the end...

  31. Your feelings seem pretty normal to me, under the circumstances. And kudos to you for NOT resorting to violence. Glad we don't have to post bail for you on assault charges. :)
    Try and chalk it up to a trigger. There will be others...but while they sometimes take us back a few steps, they get easier to recover from as time goes on.

  32. It's been 3 weeks since I found out about my husband's infidelity. My story differs in that the person my husband betrayed me with was my own BROTHER. How can I get through such an appalling act? Only God can see me through. I'm writing because I need an escape and I need advice from people that have been betrayed by their husbands.

    I'll give you a bit of background. We have five children and in the last four years because of kids, work, financial difficulties we started drifting apart. Not sexually but emotionally, on both parts. We both became distant and unaffectionate, sex is the only thing that brought us together. In the past six months my husband seemed a lot more promiscous, he began liking porn (bi-sexual included) and there was just something there that I couldnt pinpoint but I knew something was just not right. He would look at other woman less discreetly than he ever had before. I had NEVER before the past six months felt insecure or disrespected by him and if not becuase I almost caught them (it happened literally in my own backyard) I would have never suspected something like this. My brother was in prison for 9 years and came home this past November (coincidentally things started getting weird around this time). My brother has a girlfriend so I'm not sure if prison lifestyle awakened something in him, either way, both of them must have some sort of same sex cravings going on.

    I digress and I'm sorry if I don't make sense but I'm not myself. Two people who I love dearly have hurt me in a way I never imagined. I have loved and cared for them both so much. I can't let either of them out of my life. I don't want either of them out of my life.

    My husband confessed to me and he's been apologetic and remorseful to the point that I truly deeply believe him and have forgiven him. Nonetheless I still hurt and I can forgive but my healing process has to take way. He said it was a one time thing. I want to know if this has been ongoing. They both say it was the first time. He's doing everything he can to reassure me of his love and I believe him. He cries and holds me and tells me he loves me. We both want our family and we've realized that both of us stopped caring for our marriage. We both want to rebuild it.

    As for my brother, I spoke to him the day after D-Day and haven't again since. I had to be angry at someone so I chose him since being angry at my husband would defeat the purpose of rebuilding our marriage (in my eyes).

    Here's where I am confused. After the initial discovery I've been extremely hurt but it seems like as a husband and wife we've become more united and open. I felt like I needed him and he needed me. We couldn't stay away from each other. I really NEEDED him to go on with my day. So this past weekend we went to a family event and my brother wasn't there because of what happened. My mother is the only one who knows and thank God for that or I'd be crazy not being able to talk about it with a soul. So she told my brother not to show up so I wouldn't be uncomfortable. The idea of my husband and brother together makes my stomache and chest hurt in such an inexplicably way that I can't imagine what would physically happen to me if I were to see them in the same room. But turns out his absence has made me angry at my husband now. I dont want him to touch me or talk to me but I'm faking it to avoid hurting his feelings. I don't want to regress in our relationship and I don't want to push him away. But my ENTIRE family is broken. My household as well as my extended family. This weekend we have another family gathering and my brother is supposed to be there but he won't be. I'm really angry and don't know how to cope.

    I don't know what's normal. Are my feelings supposed to shift this way? I'm not seeking professional counseling but I feel at times I'm gasping for air and maybe I should.

    1. Appalled,
      You have been dealt an incredible trauma and it's no wonder your feelings are swinging all over the place. Two people whom you loved and trusted violated those privileges and hurt you profoundly. Please give yourself time and space to grieve and slowly make sense of this.
      A counsellor/priest/therapist would be a good idea, I think. It's so hard to sift through all these feelings. It's great that your mother is supporting you in this, but it's got to be excruciating for her too.
      Try not to think too hard right now about your husband's sexual orientation and what this means for you. My husband had same-sex affairs (he's a sex addict and the gender mattered less than the excitement/titillation) and there's lots of research indicating that we all fall somewhere on the continuum of sexual orientation -- that few of us are EXCLUSIVELY one or the other. But I think that's for farther down the road.
      Right now, you need to just focus on keeping your kids okay and yourself sane. Your husband also needs counselling to sort through why he would do this – and risk your marriage. And to ensure he has the necessary emotional tools to resist temptation should opportunity present itself again.
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. You will come through it, I promise. But right now your focus needs to be on you and your healing. Let your husband and brother deal with their own issues.

  33. This may be I apologize in advance.....My D-Day was 5/30/2012. It has been one emotional rollar coaster after another. My husband was haveing an affair with my bestfriend for 5 years, in my house while I slept! Now, mind you when I confronted him he originally told me it was only 1 year, about a week went by and I forgave him becouse I felt in my heart that he truely was remorsefull. He told me that his love for me never left, it was just his head. A few days past and I then found out it was a 2 year affair, again I forgave him. Just a few nights ago after a counseling session, he admitted it to be a 5 year affair. I felt like I was punched in the stomach and all the emotions that I felt from D-Day was back. His reasons were she made him feel good and blah blah blah. Her reasons were out of love..oh and she was a virgin as well, so he took her virginity, which in my opinion, they will forever have a special bond together. I'm going crazy!! I told him I needed counseling for myself. His response was all I needed was time, and then compared this to someone who just lost a dog....really!!!??? He says if I keep thinking about it I will never move on, but I don't know how to not think about it, that's all I think about! I told him I dont know who I am or was...I'm lost. I feel like he expects me to get over it and move on so we can be a happily married couple with a stronger relationship...I want that, I really do, but since learning that it has gone on for 5 years..all I see is my maiden name and divorce papers. I do have to say that I've become quite the actress...I tell everyone I'm fine so that way they dont see the pain I feel or the thoughts that are running thru my head.

    1. Sunflower,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Betrayed by the two closest people to you is beyond excruciating.
      You haven't even begun to deal with the emotions and your husband needs to recognize that what he did was like dropping a nuclear bomb. Dog dying?? I've had dogs die and I've been betrayed by my husband and the two things aren't even close in terms of emotional destruction.
      Don't even think about forgiving your husband until you've had the chance to process what's really happened (which means total disclosure from him and total transparency going forward -- he doesn't go anywhere, do anything, etc. without you knowing where he is and what he's doing...until you feel "safe" with him again). He absolutely needs to know that what he's done to you (and with your best friend!!!) is a huge trust violation and trust violations take years to get over. Your sense of feeling "lost" is perfectly normal. The foundation you've built your life on has been completely shaken if not shattered. And it takes time to feel on solid ground again.
      As for "not thinking about it" -- that's a very common response from husbands. What they're really saying is that they want to wish it all away and go back to "before". But he's had YEARS (five of them!!!) to process what's really going on in your marriage. You've had about five minutes to process the same information. What he's also saying is that facing the pain he's caused you is could you please not act so hurt. Unfortunately he made the choice to betray you. You had no say in the matter. You're simply reacting (quite normally, I might add) to the news that someone you trusted with your heart has shattered it.
      I don't mean to sound all dramatic...but it's impossible to overestimate the emotional pain caused by such a betrayal. You are simply a different person going forward. The feelings of "lost" will diminish with time. And it certainly is possible to build a strong marriage. But it's NOT possible until he agrees to have NO contact with your friend (who, I'm assuming, is no longer your best friend) and to commit to helping you through the pain of healing. And by helping you, that means NOT telling you how to heal...but simply holding you and reassuring you and letting you heal on your own schedule.
      Counselling is highly recommended for BOTH of you -- you to come to terms with what's happened and rebuild a sense of safety in yourself; him to get to the bottom of why he would do something so deceitful. I'm sorry "she made me feel good" is only scratching the surface. He needs to dig deep to ensure this never happens again. It's the least he can do for you...and himself.
      Good luck, Sunflower. Please feel free to post here whenever you want. We've been there and we've come out the other side. My own husband cheated for our entire marriage...yet here we are. Better than we were and, dare I say?, happy.


  34. I just found your blog and I'm sifting through it post by post. I am only 3ish weeks out from D-day. I was a pitiful sobbing mess who would have gotten on her hands and knees to beg.

    But that has changed in the last few days and now I'm pissed. And with that I am taking control again and finding myself.

    Thank you for posting and sharing your thoughts and this rollercoaster you have been on. I have a blog too that I'm using as my virtual diary of this helps so much to just get it out!

    1. Hi JR,
      Welcome to the club nobody wants to join. Glad you found us. And glad you're finding your strength. You'll feel as if you're on a roller coaster – angry, sad, bewildered, numb – for the next months. But you'll get through. We're here to help.
      Don't hesitate to post any questions/comments. We can help each other along.


  35. Hello Everyone, I am the newest member of this club nobody wants to be a part of. So far, all I can say is thank you for all of your stories, words of wisdom and support. It has been enlightening to see that we can come back from this and others are suffering the exact same feelings I am. Just when I thought I was unreasonable and crazy, I read all of your stories and realize I am not alone.

    I feel like I have a huge billboard over my head and everyone can see it when I am in public like they know, it's terrifying, embarrassing and likely not true, but that's how I feel. Does anyone else feel like you are pretending or have to put on a fake smile and face for friends, family, coworkers or strangers that don't know what you are going through? I feel like a phony and absolutely ridiculous when someone asks "Hi how are you?" and you respond "great, thanks, you?" which is a total bullshit lie. I don't feel like that here.

    We have started couples therapy and therapy on our own as well to try and get through this. I needed help right away, could not wait a week to get in for therapy and didn't trust the internets "once a cheater, always a cheater" posts everywhere. My therapist recommended a book called "Getting past the affair" (available on Amazon, I downloaded the ebook copy), it was seriously a life saver and allowed me to start coping, understanding and work through the pain.

    I still have angry thoughts, urges, nightmares and don't trust my husband. I lost 8 lbs the first 3 days after I found out and have not slept much since (it has been 2 weeks). I imagine this will get better with time. I need to be the bigger, better person here and get through this. I know she meant nothing to him and does not stand a chance against me for real estate in his heart but that does not make it hurt any less. I am still in disbelief and shell shocked about the situation. There are some really great days and I feel like I am over it, then some really crappy days when I can't see how I can live with him. My instinct is to run just to get away from the hurt, not because he is a terrible person.

    He screwed up, dealt with his problems in a totally different, unhealthy and not acceptable way of doing so between the affair and a bottle. Then I remember, he has been there for me, for 7 years through some of the worst days I have had, why shouldn't I be there for him when he needs me most? Yes, he screwed up, big time, and I am not okay with what he did, however, he is seeking help personally and with a couples therapist which a manly-man tradesman mechanic is never likely to do. He is completely torn up, I have never seen him this hurt before. I think I owe it to him and myself to see this through. If I dont, I risk losing the love of my life over a meaningless tramp. Then what, he gets the personal help he needs and becomes a better man for the next woman? Ya right! Not fair if you ask me, I put up with the shit and pain, I should get the better man that comes out of this. Just my opinion at this point, today, not to say it wont change tomorrow, or in 5 minutes from now when another mood swing or rush of emotions invade.



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