Monday, February 25, 2013

Obsessed with the Other Woman

I recently received a question from a BWC member noting that she's feeling "obsessed" with the Other Woman, despite her husband's commitment to her and the marriage, and desire to rebuild their relationship. She writes:
I am on the crazy train and I can't get off! I constantly want and dream of getting revenge on the OW! I constantly sabatoge myself: I might be having a decent day and I look up the tramp on FB and I am in a rage! My husband is truly doing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING he can to try to make our marriage better and stronger. I get angry at him basically for the fact that the OW exists. I am scared I will push my husband away with my comets and total insanity. I know I need to let "it" go. Intellectually I know that I am allowing her way too much power over my life and I know that I am only hurting myself. Please help me! I found out -full details- of the affair 5 months ago (from the OW  – she was only to happy to tell me). I am destroyed. I am angry, scared, and feel as if I will never feel normal again. I will never feel sane again. Please  – any advice on how to get past obsessing over the OW will be welcome. I just see her going on with her happy little life as if she didn't destroy a whole family and it infuriates me.
This experience is, sadly, not uncommon. And many betrayed wives act out their revenge, not something I recommend.
It's good that you recognize that this is only hurting you and your marriage. But recognizing it and stopping it are two different beasts.
I'll get to the stopping in a bit. Let me start by looking more closely at why you're doing this.
The feelings we experience in the wake of discovering a spouse's affair are primal. Abandonment. Rejection. Terror. Existential angst. So many of us have spent a lifetime avoiding those feelings. Trying to keep everything under control so that we don't have to feel those scary feelings. D-Day blows the lid off that.
By keeping your focus on the OW, you're avoiding those scary feelings. You're replacing them with cruddy feelings too – anger, for a start. But anger is hurt and fear in a mask, and my guess is you're feeling both those things in spades. I sure as hell was.
And, like you, I indulged in revenge fantasies at the start. I used some behaviour modification strategies (see below) because, like you, I knew it wasn't helping me heal at all. But feeling anger was far more preferable to pulling back the curtain and seeing my terrified self behind it. On some level, it felt as if my entire survival was at stake. It felt that primal. So I came out swinging, at least figuratively.
Over time though (and with a whole lotta therapy), I was able to see that the affair wasn't about her at all. She was convenient, nothing more. And I was able to examine my pain and my fear and recognize how deep they went and how they had lain dormant until the affair forced me to look at them and acknowledge them and work through them. I'll never say the affair was "good" for me...but I will say it forced me to face some demons that needed vanquishing.
I suspect your obsession with the OW might be similar. Outrage is understandable and, at the start, can be a healthy response to emotional injury. Obsession though is not.
So...what are you going to do about it?
There are behaviour modification techniques you can try. They sound silly but are surprisingly effective. An elastic band around your wrist that you snap each time you start thinking about the OW. A huge picture of a stop sign on your computer reminding you to NOT check out her FB page. A said-out-loud "NO!" or "STOP!" each time you think/do something related to her. The idea is to put a bit of distance between the temptation to obsess and the act. In that brief space, you want to remember that this is hurting you. You could even write a list with two columns: "What I Gain From Focussing on OW" on one side and "What I Lose..." on the other, and then keep it somewhere you can't ignore.
The other thing you could do (and this is something that worked for me, along with picturing a big STOP sign when my mind starting going down that well-worn path) is give yourself a time allowance to indulge in the fantasies. Say five minutes or so (even set a timer with an annoying beep) and then imagine the WORST possible scenario for her. Feed her to her starving cat. Run over her – repeatedly – in your car. Allow her to contract leprosy. But when that five minutes is up, immediately stop and get back to your real life. The idea is that by making something forbidden you're making it more desirable. Anyone on a diet can explain this. But allowing yourself a taste of it can keep it at bay. But this only works if you absolutely stick to a brief time limit. Once you're down that rabbit hole, it's hard to pull back out. (A weird thing happened to me when I allowed myself to indulge in my darkest revenge fantasies. I ended up feeling sorry for her. I was badass!! She seemed so pathetic and at my mercy. I felt powerful for those few minutes....and I decided ultimately to use my power for good (get my life back on track) than evil. Besides most OW are quite talented at screwing up their own lives. They don't need us to do it for them.)
If you're so inclined and your husband can stomach it, enlist his help in imagining some revenge fantasies. (Not all guys can handle this – in part because they're conflicted about her but also because recognizing that your sweet wife fantasizes about putting the OW's hand in a meat grinder can be a bit unsettling). If he can handle it though, it might be something you two can giggle about and feel like you're on the same team. But, and I'm saying this before my lawyer calls me in a panic: DON'T EVER ACT ON THESE VILE FANTASIES. There...that's the fine print.
However you proceed, whether by delving deeper into feelings behind your anger or behaviour modification or, better, both, this is a problem that's within your control. You can't change what happened but you can control how you respond to what happened. Don't give this woman any more real estate in your head. She's not worth it. Your husband figured that out. Now it's time for you to figure it out as well.

Elle

130 comments:

  1. Oh Elle! Thank you so very much for addressing my problem so perfectly! I am so very glad I posted that question today. I have been debating whether or not to post on here so many times! You and all the others that post have and continue to help me. I check almost daily to see if anything new is posted. I really don't know what I would have done without you Elle. I actually feel relief for the first time in 5 months that I may actually be able to do this. I want to be sane again. I will keep you updated with my struggle. You and Shawn have made a difference for me. I love the idea of putting a stop sign on my screen!

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    1. You absolutely can do this. The problem with obsessive thoughts post-discovery is that we're already vulnerable and tired and feel weak so we feel like we just can't fight anymore. Sometimes it just takes a deceptively simple strategy to remind our brains that our saner self is still in control, at least most of the time.
      There will be triggers. Learn to recognize them and have a strategy for dealing with them. You might still dream about her. Again, recognize that you can control your waking thoughts...and then do the best you can.
      As my beloved therapist always says, we can't control our feelings but we can control our actions. You might still feel that horrible knot in your stomach when you hear her name or her face appears unbidden in your conscious. But you CAN control what you do next. Which is banish her.

      And it gets easier. Promise.

      Elle

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    2. 2 months post DDay and I too have an unhealthy obsession with OW. I read her blog posts on movies ( she was a 27 year old masters student, my husband her supervisor- cliche much?). My husband is doing all the right things- answered my questions honestly, analysed his own behaviour and taken full responsibility. Despite this, I constantly play over scenarios in my head whereby we meet and I confront her and she is ashamed and ultimately apologises-!this gives me a strong sense of power, but I am trying to limit the amount of time I spend thinking about her. I have found out from reading her blog that she has returned to the US, which has given me a huge sense of relief, but a tiny part of me would have liked to have witnessed her shame, especially as she spent time in my house, playing with my dog and children.

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    3. For a long time, I wanted to see remorse in the OW. I cooked dinner for her, I commiserated with her when her marriage fell apart...she OWED me an apology. Did I get it? Ha! It takes someone willing to engage in a whole lot of self-examination to offer up a true apology for bad behaviour. And, let's be honest, people who engage in affairs are generally there because painful self-examination isn't exactly top of their list of things to do. So we're kinda unrealistic in our expectations.
      Try the behaviour modification suggested in the post to see if you get past the scenarios in your head. The less brain real estate you give this woman, the better. YOU play with your dogs and children! :)

      Elle

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    4. 1 1/2 years post finding out about the OW, I still want to win the lottery so I can hire someone to find her, become her BFF and totally screw up her life. How unhealthy is that?

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    5. Violet,
      She's simply not worth your time (or lottery winnings!). You need to shift focus to yourself and get support for all the pain your husband has caused. As I noted in my reply to your other comment, please take care of yourself and treat yourself with the respect that you'd offer a friend in the same situation. What your husband is doing is so disrespectful. He has seemingly no compassion for what he's put you through...and therefore no indication that he won't do it again.
      You're worth more than this.

      Elle

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    6. Can someone help me plz i really need support..i think about one of the OW and have let it consume me to the point i threatend her kids and her saying i will kill her and her kids and she was a whore

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    7. Anonymous,
      You're going to get yourself in a whole lotta trouble for threatening her or her kids so, as you clearly know, you need to stop right now.
      Are you in counselling? It sounds as if the pain and anger are simply overwhelming for you. Betrayal triggers all sorts of deep, deep wounds in us and it can be so difficult to move past. But a therapist can guide you towards healthy behaviours that will help you recognize that this woman doesn't hold power over you. You're giving her that power. And you need to cut off any attention toward you as if you're cutting off her oxygen supply. Come up with alternatives whenever you're feeling enraged toward her. Punch a pillow. Go for a walk. Call a friend. Turn up the music and dance really fast. Anything to distract yourself and get past that impulse.

      Elle

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  2. Elle you must've read my mind! Do you have antennae out in the universe?

    Ugh I am embarrassed this problem CONSTANTLY plagues me. Some days I am so good and then others... I get so angry when I think of the actions of the CS and OW. They make me feel like a loser - the fun they had while I was the nanny at home with the kids, paying the mortgage, working, keeping it together... and they had dates. Dates?! Argh that rage just takes hold & hangs onto me. Triggers set me off and I can't let go of the rage. For me a trigger is biz travel - tomorrow I am set to travel for work & it makes me think of the times by CS used those opportunities to dump the kiddos at the sitter so he could act on his affair. This week I told him at the VERY LAST MINUTE of my travel because I felt like I could not trust him. I don't want him having time to plan another tryst. How pathetic is that?! I know he was mad that I did that but I can't help it. And then I say something bitchy. I am a year in and I thought I would be much better. But I'm not.

    On the bright side the CS has been home for less than 6 months & I can stand to be around him much more. But now, this whole new year - I just keep thinking last Valentines he was with the OW vs me sitting home with the kids, last St. Patrick's he was with the OW vs me at home alone, cutting coupons, kids at grandmas, last Spring Break... well you get the picture. Is this gonna happen every holiday?!

    I try to remember, "He's picked you. He came back. She is a camel faced midget. She's 15 years younger but you are accomplished, professional and well liked! You are a better PERSON than she is. He even told her so!" I don't know. I try to picture her with a pig nose & sometimes that makes me laugh. Ugh. I know time helps... I just wish it would help sooner.

    Thanks for the posts Elle!

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    1. I have a very similar case but the OW now has a son for my husband. I don't think I cope with his lies anymore.what do u think I should do.

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    2. Anonymous,
      I think you answered your own question. "I don't think I can cope with his lies anymore." You shouldn't have to cope with his lies. There should be no lies. If there are, then there's your answer. Treat yourself with respect and remove yourself from a situation where you are not being treated with respect and honesty.

      Elle

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    3. I have 2 daughters & she has a son. We were both pregnant @ a time bt had mine 1st. She gets everything done for her because she has a son. We come from the part of the world where gender is of great infleuence on the success of the marriage. My in-laws accepted her on that note. Unfortuntely in my country, the man dictates the fate of the woman in marriage. Am full of regrets. Divorce is a stigma from our culture & religion.I can't cope with rivalry but am so uncertain about what to do. I have not stopped crying & just feel like eloping with my children.

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    4. Ugh. I'm so sorry that you're trapped by circumstance and culture/religion. Lack of respect for women and girls doesn't serve anybody.
      I think you can still do your best to respect yourself. You would know better than I what that might look like. Model to your daughters what self-respect is. What can you control? What can you insist upon? Is your family supportive in any way? Are there other women in the same situation you can find support with? It's crucial that you understand you are NOT alone in this. Whatever the cultural circumstance, there are women around the world who understand exactly the pain you're feeling. And we share your pain. You are worthy of being treated with dignity and respect, as all people are. See if you can figure out what that might look like for you...
      I hope you'll continue to share here.

      Elle

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    5. Elle,am very grateful that I found someone to talk to. A few weeks ago,I sat him down to talk to him about our marriage & asked him if this marriage was important to him & he said yes but I could feel the insecerity in his voice & attitude. He denied all the allegations & left me feeling like was just hallucinating. A few nights ago,I was @ work & later discovered he didn't sleep at home. I asked about some things which he should be aware of if he had slept at home & he was quick to deny it & again left me feeling like 'there she goes again'. The 1st I caught him,he denied it until I had a proof. This morning,he didn't know I had checked his bag which contained some clothes for the office tomorrow. As usual,he would call/send messages of how he needs to do something relating to his work & thereafter tell me to lock up because it's late. I intend trailing him & remove his number plates as a proof so that when I leave the truth is known to everybody why I did or else a lot of false things will be said about me.
      Am very grateful for your time.

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    6. Gathering undeniable evidence is crucial. Can you access his computer or cell phone? Women have been maligned through history -- as long as you know the truth, then you can walk with your head held high. Just please ensure your safety.
      And, again, please know that you're not alone in this. There are legions on women who know the pain you're in and the challenge of getting out of an emotionally abusive relationship.

      Elle

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  3. Elle: You beat me to the blogging punch. I was gonna write about this tomorrow. I still might and include a link to this post. Would that be OK?

    As you know, I was completely obsessed with the OW. I was sure she was the key to all the answers I needed to figure out why my H cheated. I got very creative (crazy) in my attempts to get her to talk to me. And, it wasn't just about getting answers, I wanted to humiliate her. I told her parents. I told her new boyfriend. I even went to her church! Haven't posted about that yet. I was a full blown, one flew over the coo-coo's nest, loon!
    I cringe thinking about it all, but I can't undo the year I lost waging war on her. We can't go back, right? I only think of her now when I blog and my blog is my therapy. I write about it and I'm done with it. When the computer gets shut down so does my brain with any thoughts of the affair.
    If I can only preach one thing to the choir of the betrayed, it's all about letting the OW go.
    Say it with me, Sisters....She ain't worth it!! Let her go and ye shall be free!! Hallelujah!!

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    1. I after finding out about my H affair, posted a short story about the OW on"Report a Skank" and it's still after a year and a half on the web. After all she is a SKANK. She knew my H was married yet continued to pursue him non-stop. He finally caved.

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  4. Love your blog! Thank you! I am only 3 weeks into the mess but have gone through an amazing amount of healing already (which does worry me a tad that it happened so fast.) What I am learning is that every situation is different and they can be different in a million ways but most of the feelings we feel from the betrayal are the same. Rage towards the OW is one I battle with daily. After imagining a dozen ways to destroy her I turned to art and drew one of them out! Such great art therapy!!! I am starting to feel sorry for her too... in my husband's case she could have been anybody... just an "object". Thank you for sharing so much! You obviously are helping so many wonderful women who never deserved this pain.

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    1. Yay for you! Maybe you can sell your "betrayed" art on Etsy! I'm sure many of us would love a painting of the OW getting her just desserts. :)

      Elle

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  5. I totally understand exactly what u are going though. Unfortunately for me it has been almost 2 years since the wench called me to tell me of their affair and then even met me in person just to see what I looked like and what my plan was. She is also married. Everyday since Dday I think od her, them, what they had. It went on for 9 months and according to her they had sex "about 5" times. I had no clue at all, my husband made love to me 4-5 times a week and we would go to movies, out to dinner, etc. They always met in a bar n drank. He never took her to dinner, movies, etc. yet the week before he ended it he took her to a jewelry store where she picked out silver bracelet. The sales clerk told me he didn't even stand by her while she picked it out n paid for (with his money) that he gave her outside the store. Yes she gave me the bracelet at our meeting and I called the jewelry store, cried my eyes out to the manager who let me return the bracelet and get my money back (although he had to go with me). Was it a gift of guilt, a hush gift or because he loved her. She believed he was going to leave me and she was ready to leave her husband when he told her it was over. Shocked that her dream was over she called me. According to him he told her as soon as it started that it was over, but she threatened him telling him that she would call me if he did and then she started stalking him showing up where he went. Trust me when I say the past 2 years have been extremely hard for and for me. I do not cut him any slack and hold him equally responsible. As I told him he should've called her bluff and said yes come tell my wife and bring your husband when you do. But he didn't. So everyday I try to understand what their relationship was, why it happened and what was it. Was it a friends with benefits, a love affair, a delusional pathetic alcoholic who was so miserable in her 2nd marriage that she thought my husband was her savior. Yes she told me how much she loved MY husband. And that he loved her. We have been together 40 years 3 children 3 grandchildren and now everyday of my life is haunted by her. Would it have been better to not know. Some days I think so. I've been in therapy ever since Dday and work everyday to heal. Just don't know what to do. He has been doing everything right but I still question everyday what happened and did he love her, why weren't they having hot sex and wining and dining if he loved her as she claimed. Could he truly not love me. And this is not the first time, he is a serial cheater which I believe is a problem within him. I pray everyday for the pain to heal.

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    1. I can feel your pain in every line. I'm so sorry for what you've been going through. Two years might seem like an eternity but, in my experience and what many "experts" say, it can be up to five years before you feel this is really behind you.
      I suspect a big part of your problem with moving forward comes through in your last two lines: "he is a serial cheater, which I believe is a problem within him."
      Bingo.
      This has nothing to do with you. He has chosen to stay with you, to have children with you, to make love four or five times a week (!!!) with you, to have dinner with you... But he's clearly got demons that he doesn't want to face and it's much easier to distract himself with someone new.
      Is HE in counselling? It's wonderful that you've got somewhere to sort through your feelings but he needs that too. He needs to understand why he's done this (despite the pain to you) to ensure that it doesn't continue to happen. Until then you're constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.
      What he learns in therapy can either be shared with you or not -- that's his business. But it's completely reasonable for you to expect that he at least assure you that he's learning and gaining insight in order for you to feel safe. I think your desperation in understanding what this woman meant to you is really an attempt to gauge your husband's state of mind. The woman was just a convenient prop to stroke his ego or distract him or give him permission to sit and drink and do nothing. But it's your husband who needs to get clear on the why so that he can assure you.

      Elle

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  6. Thank you so much for this amazing post! This encapsulates exactly where I'm at right now. Soon after d-day #1 I created a fake FB profile just so I could keep an eye on her. After all, in my situation, she and my husband had an affair 16 years ago her kept from me and she reappeared after 14 years and they took up again, so I know the b**ch is patient!!!! I realized I was moving into a danger zone when my weekly check-ups on her became multi-daily as I bookmarked her FB page onto my phone. I deleted the bookmark a few days ago but I have a lot of anxiety that I "don't know what she's up to." I have told my H I do check up on her and I told our marriage counselors so it's not a secret.

    Thank you for your help in providing insight as to why I have become obsessed with her (it's been over a year since I found out and my H has had NC for over a year) as well as help dealing with the emotions when the temptation hits. I will try your suggested techniques. I really need some peace and sanity. I do know when I'm going over the edge. Thank you for helping me understand what's going on with me.

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    1. Inflicted,

      You're welcome. And good luck. Keep us posted.

      Elle

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  7. Thank you for responding. Its such a long story, we did go see a Priest which he agreed to in the beginning but all he said was he "didn't know why". He tells me it's not me. I had a gut feeling but because he picked me from work on time everyday and was home early and called me when he was out I guess I chose to believe that it was impossible. That is until she called me. We also tried a marriage counselor who pretty much said I had a problem since I was interrogating him daily and "punishing" him. So after that meeting I was so upset we never went back. He tells me I need to let it go but everyday I am just as stuck as the day before. I try to understand what exactly kind of affair was it. I try to convince myself if he was truly in love with her wouldn't he had wanted her more sexually since he has such a high libido. According to him performance didn't always peak in those times. And why whould she say "about 5 times" what is that anyway, 4-1/2, 4, sometimes it worked and why a bracelet after all that time and then end it. I try to again convince myself he couldn't have loved her and she was just a stalking psycho mess but am I kidding myself. Everytime he had an affair they never lasted long and the sex was always limited (is it his way of mentally feeling like he isn't really cheating). He says "I've never loved any of them, only you" and I've never left you or our kids (like his father did). Should I feel good about that. And that witch controls my thoughts, I want her to be unhappy as she made me. And of course she called on my son's BD (I'm sure she didn't know) but I did. Who calls and reports an affair when she herself is married - she actually didn't care about her own husband or me but trully had hoped I would leave him. After our in-person meeting for her to give me the bracelet I told her she could have him and she lit up like a kid in a candy store. And even after she called him - I guess her husband must have felt something because its like he made a FB page just so I would find him with only one picture of her on it. So I told him everything. Oh and she even had the nerve to bring her dogs and meet him in the park when he walked ours (that happened about 3 times) She was never in my car they always met at some dive bar, he was in her car a few times. Its like he did everything to hide it and cover his tracks and she just wasn't going to let him go. So as I said earlier my heartache comes from trying to understand what the heck kind of affair it was. I drive myself crazy every day. I never sleep and when I do I have nitemares of them, I finally started eating again. Have been going throuth EMDR therapy. Its just such a mess. I don't know if I am suppose to just look the other way again, or hold my heah high, or leave the only life I have known. And then what, would I be happier, either way I have to live knowing the cause of my pain.

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    1. You're supposed to do whatever you need to do. From your letters, you NEED to understand why this happened. Which, I think, is quite healthy. When we get a diagnosis for cancer, we want to know WHY we got it so that we can stop doing whatever we're doing. It's simply logic. Your husband's lack of curiosity (and frankly, justifying his behaviour) is concerning. It doesn't matter whether he had sex once or 100 times; it doesn't matter whether he loved them or not; it doesn't matter how long it last -- the fact remains he chose to step outside his marriage and deceive you. That's NOT okay. And now that you've found out, you need some answers and it's up to him to get them for you. He may never be able to truly explain to you in a way that seems acceptable to you. Though I grasp intellectually why my husband cheated, I still will never truly "understand" how he could do that to me. However, I do understand enough to trust that it likely won't happen again. And you need that too.
      So...you need to figure out what it is you need from him that you're not getting now. And then insist upon it. He created this mess, he can certainly help clean it up. If he refuses, then perhaps that makes your next decision a bit more clear. A refusal to face why he did this leaves him more open to the possibility of doing it again. You might also want to check out the Web site of Peggy Vaughan, author of The Monongamy Myth. She has an article about the need to know. Here's the link: http://www.dearpeggy.com/2-affairs/com023.html
      Incidentally, I leave for my first EMDR appointment in an hour. Has it been helpful for you at all?

      Elle

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  8. For me it has been about a year and a half after D-DAY. We have been working hard and although the past year has had ups and down, I think we made the right choice sticking by. My main issue right now is the obsessing so when I read this post today it really clicked for me. The OW is a serial cheater and already embarking on her third marriage with a guy she met probably while seeing my husband. So there's plenty of dirt available!! However, she seems not interested in having anything to do with us, and I believe that my husband is also over the whole relationship. However, I still struggle and constantly find myself checking her FB page, as well as her fiancé's, kids, friends, etc... So although I am still working at it... I can suggest some strategies: 1. keep at it but be patient with yourself; 2. if it makes you feel better to know what she is up to, I agree with the idea of not completely restricting yourself; 3. find something productive to do and shift to it whenever you feel tempted---- for me it's going over this and other blogs and online material that is helpful in my recovery; and 4. treat or congratulate yourself when you go through a day, couple of days or weeks without obsessing... Even when you must deal with this or other issues, I am sure if you look back to how far along you have walked you will be proud. Love yourself above everything, and understand that you are a much interesting, loving, intelligent, and stronger person than any adulterous hag!

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  9. On one hand,I agree - obsessing about the OW isn't good for us - I finally got to that point when I was able to save up enough for a backup fund - if it happens again, he's OUT. Period. Having some sense of control over a situation (whether it's this or any other problem: unemployment, drinking, whatever) goes a long way toward healing, in my opinion.

    The only thing I disagree with on this is if the OW is a repeat offender. She may be talented at screwing up her own life (and yours), but she's also capable of screwing up another (or several other) unsuspecting woman's life also. At what point do we need to become activists in our own common defense? We need to heal, yes, but at some point the societal issue of the serial adulteress needs to be addressed.

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    1. Yes, yes! Let's create a vigilante group (we'll call it "activisim") to out serial mistresses so that other women can be spared the pain. Or at least know who their enemies are. Count me in! :)

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    2. And me! Name & shame,'my' OW is now onto her 3rd affair with a married man having destroyed her own marriage when she cheated on her husband. Part of me reels sorry for her, pathetic creature that she is! I sent her a letter 2 weeks ago, telling her quite directly exactly what I thought of her, her lack of morals & the fact that normal people don't go around destroying other human beings. I also sent same letter to her parents, which included details of how she dropped her knickers on their lounge floor, and asking them to try and guide her back to morality before she assists in destroying any more family's. My therapist says bad idea, and tried to discourage me from sending it. I took her advice to wait and think it through, I did for 2weeks, still wanted to send it, so sent it, am patiently waiting for some class of reply, but regardless what that, if any, may be, I couldn't give a fart! I feel better now she knows how I view her, it gave me a kind of closure on the obsessing, and with that I'm content. In addition to that, I think I'm going to go on a date, not for revenge, but for me. Thoughts?

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    3. I wouldn't hold out for a response. At least not the response you're hoping for. But at least you've made it clear where you stand, which hopefully gives you some measure of control and closure.
      Move on. She's not worth further thought.

      Elle

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    4. With infidelity, there frequently is no sort of restorative justice with the OW and this leaves the betrayed spouse with an open wound that time, hard work etc. etc may or may not heal. This is compounded when the OW later goes on to infect another marriage. Our silence fosters this.
      A vigilante is one who acts outside of the law. I had a legal binding contract with my husband that was filed with our Church & county government. The OW was very much aware of me but yet (along with my husband!), attempted to circumvent that contract, to take something precious away from me. I understand why the betrayed spouse may not what to make public the affair, but I'm sickened knowing that the OW in my situation did invade another marriage in my husbands office, using the same m.o. I did not know about MH's or the other affair until several years later. The other betrayed spouse does not know- I have to keep that secret, too. The OW is now assigned to yet another supervisor. Should his wife be aware of his subordinates history? There does need to be some activism; I think this is one reason i continue to obsess about the OW, 3 years later. Too damn many secrets.

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    5. We shouldn't go outside the law, I agree. However, there ARE laws on the books against infidelity. In addition, marriage IS a contract and should be held to the same standards as other contract law. Why AREN'T these being enforced? Because it's not politically correct to do so. And I agree, our silence enables this.

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  10. You are exactly right. I tried telling him that when someone dies we know why but this I have no understanding. The EMDR is helping I don't get the sick knot every minute I think about it. It is draining emotionally - so many tears. I am just mentally exhausted. It's almost like a bad movie I watched a long time ago, just knowing I watched it but if it wasn't for the pain I would say I don't remember it (kind of like a fog). Its like I'm waiting for an ending or the fog to lift so I can see what's there. I have followed every advice, read so many books, blogs, I could recite half of them in my sleep. I just don't know what it is he needs. I go to work everyday, keep the house clean and neat, cook, take care of all the financials, kept up with the kids and now grandkids, have maintained my appearance, weight, and style, gives him what he wants when he wants it, stroke his ego(the only think I see that I don't do is drink) - I was always at home being responsible while he was out having "fun" at my expense, and yet he enjoyed the thrill of sitting in a bar with an unemployed, uneducated, unattractive, married drunk who could wait on that bar stool at any time of day and follow him around like a lost puppy while her husband was at work. She would go so far as to leave notes on our car and sit outside his work waiting for him. I just feel so disgusted and frustrated. One part of me sees where he ignored her but she just wasn't having it. She wanted him at all costs. This who situation consumes me every minute of every day - some days I don't know how I make through - the stress has probably aged me another 10 years. My friends and certain family members that I told (only a few) all say leave him (but as you know its easy for them) because it is not them who has invested a lifetime. Yet some of them are only now related because they are wife no. 2. (so should they give advice to me) I have made one conscious decision and that is to not even talk to them anymore about what I go through daily because their advice was only bringing me into a deeper depression. I however came across your blog and I am always interested to see how other people come out on the other other side. The only one I talk to now is my therapist. My husband has shut down and if I try talking to him I just always get the same answer "I don't know why, it just happened, I wasn't in love, I've only loved you" and then a new day and it starts all over again.

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    1. You wrote something in this letter that I think sums up a large part of why you're having so much trouble. You wrote: "I just don't know what it is he needs." Sweetie, it isn't your job to figure out what he needs. Or to guess what he needs. Or to somehow magically be able to provide all that he needs. It's your job to be his partner, and HIS job to communicate to you what he needs. And even then, you don't have to provide what he needs if it violates your own value system/sense of safety to do so.
      You sound like a wonderful wife. But his affairs have nothing to do with you. Really. They are about him trying to fill a hole or distract himself from pain that me may only be barely aware of. Let me repeat: His affair is absolutely no indication that you haven't been the best possible wife he could have.
      But...let me ask you a question. Is he the best possible husband? You need to start putting YOUR needs at the top of your list. You are not responsible for your husband's happiness only your own. You are responsible TO your husband to be an honest, caring partner. Your are responsible FOR yourself and your conduct.
      Have you ever read the book "Co-Dependent No More" by Melody Beattie? I bristled at the thought of being "co-dependent". I thought it seemed so pathetic. But, not surprisingly, it turns out that's exactly what I am. Someone who puts everyone's needs before mine. Someone who tries to anticipate people's needs so that I've met them before they can even ask. And all of that simply turned me into someone who barely even acknowledged that I have needs...let alone was capable of getting them met.
      Consider that you need to start focusing on you and take the focus off him. I know it's scary. I know you're afraid that if you stop tending to him that he'll stray. Or he'll find you unworthy or unlovable or simply not enough. But you are enough. You've always been enough. Until he figures out why he's doing this, he's unfillable. Nothing and no-one will be enough because he doesn't believe HE is enough. We can't seek out external things to fill an internal emptiness. You're using him for that. He's using other women.
      As for your friends? I suspect they only want what's best for you and hate seeing you in pain. That said, they need to shut up and support you where you are, not where they want you to be.

      Elle

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    2. I did read the book and it is so me. I've always been the one to help everyone but myself. I was always the do gooder. I always wondered if that was the reason. We had a blow up yesterday because I do need to know why it happened. How can I stay married to a man if I am not what he wants or loves. I know I shouldn't think that way but I do. All I think about everyday is what to do. I have so much hatred towards her and anger towards him. I feel crushed devastated. I try to pick myself up but by the end of the I fall again. I think about all the time that has been stolen from me by being consumed with this. I think about would the past two years have been like if I wasn't going through this. I think about what tomorrow brings as well as today. Some days I feel like just giving up and claiming defeat. I wake up wondering what's next. And I feel that wench should be humiliated and she feel what I feel. How is fair that my life gets screwed and she goes back to her pathetic life and bakes ia cake. 40 yrs with one person is a long time. Not sure how to walk away and start over but the fear of it happening again and not knowing why sometimes seems like an easy out. My therapist keeps telling I will know the answers (not soon enough for me). This drama is very tiring.

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    3. I'm sure you're exhausted. I'm exhausted just reading about your thought process. You're trying to manage things that are beyond your control, which is a recipe for total exhaustion and burnout.
      The only way toward healing is to take the focus off of him and back onto you and what you can reasonably manage. What this means is that you will bite your tongue instead of asking him to answer something he simply can't answer. He doesn't know why he did it. Without therapy, he might never know. The short answer is that he did it because he's unwell. Not because you are or are not wonderful.
      But you absolutely MUST stay focussed on your healing not on him. And I promise that the path will become clearer. As E.L. Docotorow said, "you might never see further than your headlights but you can make the whole trip that way." For today, stop the begging for answers from him and simply be still with yourself. Do the same tomorrow. And the next day. Don't think about her. Don't think about him. Think about you. You can do this. You must do this.

      Elle

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  11. Well I was strong for a day and 1/2 but today I looked up the skank on FB! I am disappointed in myself. I am do worried that she is going to try and contact my husband (she has before). I don't trust that my husband will tell me if she does. He tried to hide it and frantically "cover it up". He swears he would never do that again. It is also hard because she works at the same place that I do. I feel so paranoid all the time. I am still in so much pain and hurting so badly that I have trouble accepting how hard my husband is trying. How can I hate a person and love him at the same time? How can I ever get past this? I don't know if I can take the pain for another week much less 5 years that you said it can take to stop feeling the pain so intensely. Like I stated in my first post -my husband is doing anything and everything I ask right now. He even emailed the OW a nasty message when she tried to contact him last time. He is trying over and over to prove his dedication to making our marriage stronger -and I keep reliving all the ways he has hurt me over and over. Obsessing over how much I hate the OW and wanting to make her suffer -well my life right now is just anger and pain and frustration. I have always been the person who sets her mind on something and I make it happen. I am a doer. I can't get over this and put my life back together. There isn't anything I DO to make this pain go away. Sometimes the anger and rage feels more proactive. It feels like I am doing something -I am inflicting more pain on my husband for doing this, I am (hopefully) causing some suffering for the OW when I insulting her. I have all this frustrated angry energy that I have to do something with. I don't know if any if this makes sense. I obviously not the writer like you Elle! I want so badly to explain my hurt and I just don't know how to.

    I am signing my name. I am the one on the crazy train( and it is a hell of a ride)

    Faith

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    1. Yay! Let's celebrate a day-and-a-half!! I'm guessing that's longer than you've been going. So keep at it. Go for two days next time. Or three. Atta girl!
      But you're right about the pain. You can't will this pain away. All you can do is the next right thing. Which is treat yourself with respect and don't engage in behaviour that's harmful to you (FB??). Which is insist upon transparency from your husband -- whatever that means for you (do you need his phone passwords? Computer access? Some way to get assurance that your paranoia is just that? You won't need that sort of reassurance forever...but you do need it now. So ask for it.
      Just keep doing the next right thing. And then the next. An hour will turn into a day will turn into a week. And it will get easier, I promise you that. I didn't believe it either. I thought I would spend my life miserable and bitter. But you won't. Try to recognize those tiny glimpses of pleasure. Those moments when you forget, for a second, that your husband is a lying douchebag and you hate his cheating guts. Hang on to those glimpses, trusting that more will come. For me, it was a winter day walking my dogs when I noticed the sun sparkling on the snow. Beautiful, I thought. And there it was. Possibility. A glimpse of a life in which I could appreciate beauty. I clung on to that moment like a talisman. And more followed. And then more.
      It will come, Faith. Time, that four-letter word, will become your friend. Have (I can't resist) faith...

      Elle

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  12. Thank you Elle. I had a bad day and again you were there for me. It does make me feel better -a little less insane-that so many other women are feeling the same feelings I am. I so want to believe that I will feel better and I will find happiness and peace again some day. I hate to even say that my job and even my children fail to make me happy. And then I get mad all over again that my CS did this to me and made me this person that I no longer recognize. I live my children desperately but I have no patience with them. I am so tired of trying to put on a happy face and fake it for them. This isn't thier fault. They are part of the devastation that my CS the tramp have caused. I am trying so hard to be the strong mother for them. But I am exhausted with everything and it is showing. However the really sad part is that I still have plenty of energy to try to think of new ways to torment the OW. Why can't I channel all that energy towards good instead of evil?

    Faith

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    1. Faith,

      You CAN channel that energy towards good. Long after this woman had faded into the background (and she will, she will!!), you'll have your kids. I know what a challenge it is. I can remember dreading having to pick my kids up from school because I just didn't have the energy to put on a brave face. At the same time, they are the reason I didn't just down a bottle of pills. My own mother attempted suicide when I was 14 and I vowed to never put my kids through anything like that. That promise to myself is what kept me going.
      You don't have to be a perfect mother. But you do have to be there emotionally as much as you can. It helped me to imagine what I would tell my own daughter if she (God forbid) was someday going through what I was. And then I followed my own advice. It wasn't easy...but it worked. And even though they were quite young, they remember those dark days when "Mommy cried a lot".
      Right now I think your anger is fuelling you. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But let it fuel you toward healing. Living well is truly the best revenge.

      Elle

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  13. I am glad I don't live in the prison that some of you live in. When I was cheated on once, I took him back. Spent the rest of the year giving him hell. Almost the same exact time a year later, he did it again with someone else. Took him back again and spent another year or so giving him more hell. After 3 years of that prison of punishment & pain, I wanted out! I knew I had some good years left ahead of me & I left, for good. I never regretted it. I am free! Him & I are good friends, always will be. If I needed him, I can call. He's had several girlfriends after me & he recently got married too. It's good that nearly a decade later I can look back & think, "thank God it's not me." I am happy for him. I wish him the best, but once again, THANK GOD IT AIN'T ME!

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    1. Indeed! Kudos to you for seeing the writing on the wall and recognizing your future if you stayed. However, please try to respond with compassion for what others are going through and the choices they're making (ie. not referring to our situation as a "prison"). There is no one-size-fits-all choice when it comes to many of life's challenges, betrayal included.

      Elle

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    2. Hi..reading this with tears! ! Great advice!! I feel the oaib too! All the same for me with the obsession w the ow.. however my hubby was caught, thought he was in love w her (no sex ) kissing. .a deeo friendshio for 2 yrs..I caught him in the beginning stage..so he says. He works w her. He works for the governent not easy to get another job, its been 3 yrs our friendship us better we spend a lot if time together. .however sex has been different, distant, less, being our kids are older one is married we have time and more privacy now. .the sex wasent as good as the rest of our marraige..being they worked together, the sex thing w us, I have been obsessed with looking her up on line. line recently my husband confessed he fantasizes about her while we have sex, sometimes he thinks I'm her!! Also a song that always reminds him of her he sonetines fantasizes about her then...I'm devastated again..he is going to therapy its been 3 wks. So far therapist said he may suffer from madonna whore complex..he says he in love w me does not want her..help I'm falling apart! !!

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  14. Elle
    Can I ask another question? Unrelated to above? It's my wedding anniversary next week - 18 years, sounds stupid but do I celebrate? We used to, the year he cheated- the years before- but now it doesn't feel like I should be celebrating, it feels like I failed but not going out for a meal not marking it in some special way feels wrong and like the OW wins? I don't know what's right anymore?
    Bee

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    1. Bee,
      Try and get past the "shoulds" and move to what you want/need. It sounds as if you want to acknowledge the day in some way...but not really 'celebrate' it. And forget the OW completely. She's not part of this in any way. There are no "winners"...just survivors. And you are one. Give yourself some time to be still and think about what feels right. How do you want to feel at the end of the day?
      I don't think my husband and I did much of anything on that day, the first year. We might have done something small simply for the sake of our kids. But as time has passed, we've moved back into acknowledging it as a significant day though I still don't think I "celebrate" it.
      But make it yours. It might even be worth talking with your husband about it and tell him how you feel about it. He might have some idea of how you can "reclaim" it.
      Let me know what you decide.

      Elle

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  15. Ladies I am 6 1/2 months into this mess and Im in afghanistan. I am laying low till I get home but recently I exposed him and told him I new. I said the marriage was broken and I am filing for divorce. I am obsessed with the other woman as well. I want to ruin her life as she did mine. I know my husbands to blame as well but I look at her FB picture, I feel crazy at times. I just want a day where I can laugh and say look what you threw away for bar trash. I have good days then I have today. Tell me this gets easier becuase honestly I feel like I cant take one more low blow.

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    1. You're at least the second woman on this site who's posted in Afghanistan and whose husband is screwing around while you're putting your life on the line. Unbelievable.
      Unfortunately this obsessing seems to be a natural stage post-betrayal. But whether it lasts a few days, weeks or months (or years!!) is up to you.
      I sometimes think it's easier to blame the OW than it is to put the blame squarely where it belongs -- on our spouse. Yeah, she's probably got the morals of an alley cat. But ultimately she has no loyalty to you. He, however, should.
      And plotting her ruination is a distraction from feeling the depth of the pain and betrayal he created.
      I've suggested elsewhere that you give yourself a period of time during which to obsess (like five or ten minutes a day). Then, when the time is up, you get on with things. If you find your mind wandering to thoughts of her, remind yourself that it's not time for that. It's a way to discipline your mind...and contain those thoughts which can become overwhelming.
      Don't look at her FB page except during those few minutes (if at all).
      The thing is, you've got to go through all the pain and rage and despair to get through to the other side. Distracting yourself with the OW is a way of avoiding those feelings (well, except the rage, which really just masks hurt and fear).
      I'm guessing you've got support there? A counsellor or someone who can help you through this stuff? With everyone else you're dealing with on a daily basis, you could no doubt use some help.
      Hang in there. It really does get better and those feelings disappear. If I think of the OW at all (which is rare), I just feel a slight twinge of disgust and/or pity. But the key is not feeding that obsession. Starve it instead.

      Elle

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  16. My CS still doesnt get it! I stillhave questions. Everytime i think i have asked all the questions i possibly could -i come up with a few more. I think i have stated before how angry i am. And yes, Elle -my anger does fuel me. I am trying very hard to focus all that energy into healthier "thoughts and actions". However, it is exhausting! And when i am especially worn out - my anger and insanity leaks out. I ask questiins and i dont ask niicely. I am downright nasty (he did adisgustingand hateful thing to me and i and iwont tip toe around it). I am nit sorryfor it. I want him to knowand feel how hurt and pissed off i am. And he does. He abused me for zo longand iam making him suffer. His response is that iam "choosing to be miserable" and that i am choosingnot to move in". CS is trying, he really really is. Almiost too much at times- he is over doing it at times. He actually said that i "harp on things" and i am "dwelling onit". Well lets just say my response was nit one of my -our- best moments. How could he actualky accuse me choosing this hell?! CS chose this for me and ( therefore chose it for himself)! He threw me in this hell. My question is ... do you think i can in fact choose to just "move on"? I cant stop the constant reminders of all the horrible things that CS has done to me - and i remind him. It has only been 5 months since DD. Should i be further along in my healing? My thoughts have been that HE DID THIS TO ME -TO US- therefore he needs to just suck it up and take and accept the fall out from it! Obviously not forever can i continue this, but at least until i can look at him without being reminded of the sack of shit he WAS and the things him and the ugly troll did together! What do you think -am i being more insane than i should be at this point?

    Faith

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    1. Faith,

      You're being as insane as you feel right now. There is no "should" or "should not".
      Five months out, I was a raving lunatic wanting to kill herself (when I wasn't fantasizing about killing him) to just end the agony. So I'm in absolutely NO position to judge.
      That said, I'd love YOU to learn from MY mistakes.
      You can't choose your feelings. You're angry and likely still shocked and traumatized by this. That's normal. But while you can't choose your feelings, you can choose your actions. And I honestly don't think your actions are punishing him as much as they're punishing you. Besides, making him feel like a total piece of shit isn't moving either of you forward.
      What is your goal? To make him pay for his mistake? Or to rebuild a marriage that is much less vulnerable to outside threats? Punish him? Or get to a place where you can see his affair as a tragic choice that taught him just how much he needs and values his family. Yes, he should have known that. But he didn't. Just like we don't appreciate our legs until we almost lose them.
      Five months is still early. But the longer you spend punishing him, the longer until you both get to a place where this is part of your story rather than THE story. Your anger is consuming you. You don't want it to become a habit -- you don't want it to become you. And that's a real possibility. I see many women who use their anger as a shield YEARS after they've been hurt.
      Stop asking questions. My guess is you have all the information you need to know. You're pain shopping at this point to keep your anger sharp and fresh. For your sake (forget about him for a minute), stop.
      Now...you might want to ask him (beg him!!) to stop with the "you're choosing" bullshit and the "you're dwelling" crap. That's like throwing fuel on a fire. But you need some sort of code so that when you start going down that path to fury, he can gently remind you that he's here today and that he can't undo what he's done but that he's desperately trying to become the man he should have been all along. And you need to listen. I don't doubt for a second that this is excruciating for him. I'd pick being cheated on over being the cheater any day of the week. I would HATE to live with the pain I'd caused to someone I loved. And many cheaters do hate it. So they minimize it. And deflect it. Because it's too horrible to acknowledge it. (Some, of course, are just narcissistic assholes but your husband doesn't sound like one of those.)
      Can you find another outlet for your anger? I used to go running at night where I could cry and pound the pavement until I was exhausted. (I also got a body that looked AWESOME out of it!)
      I'm not saying that all people who cheat shouldn't be left to stew in their own disgustingness...but I am saying that, if our goal is to learn from the experience and become better people, that's not the best path to enlightenment.
      Hang in there, Faith. And consider that his betrayal of you has also opened up old wounds that might need healing. Any time we have trouble moving past, it can sometimes indicate past trauma.

      Elle

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  17. I wish icould figure out what trauma or past wounds occured! I am drowning. Honestly Elle i would never hurt my children like that. But i am so upset every morning when i wake up. It takes all my strength to get up, paste on a happy face and keep breathing. I am so tired of it all.

    Faith

    On a positive note ....i dont give a flying f#%* what the whore is dking right now!

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    1. "On a positive note ....i dont give a flying f#%* what the whore is dking right now!"

      See?? Progress... :)

      Elle

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  18. Lol thank you Elle. You still get me -even with all of my terrible typing skills! ;)


    Faith

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  19. Faith - I am at 9 months post Dday today and I wanted to offer a glimmer of hope. I was a raging maniac for months. I kept cycling down into the pit and just when it seemed like maybe I might find the bottom of it, I'd go deeper. Finally, my therapist suggested anti-depressants and in Feb I started taking them. I don't know if its the anti-depressants alone or the combination of anti-depressants, therapy and time but my last month has been getting progressivly better. I've still experienced some rage but it hasn't turned into 3 day rage benders like I had been experiencing. I wasn't obsessed with the OW woman so much as obsessed with replaying it all over and over in my head, turning over every detail to make sure i wasn't missing something and, as Elle said, keeping my hurt and anger fresh. That helped ensure that I was keeping him at a distance - over there, way far away from me so he couldn't get close to hurt me all over again. It gave me the illusion of being safe.

    It was exhausting. I'm praying that my new calm sticks around. Personally, I had to get to a place where I was kind of sick of myself. I came off another multi-day rage and couldn't really stand myself that day. I was utterly refusing to hear a word my husband was saying, all I was doing was punishing him and myself, and I thought "if I truly won't consider anything that he's saying, then I need to leave." I knew that day I needed to make some changes, for myself. But I had to go through the rage to get to that place. Sometimes I wonder if part of me wasn't also seeing how much my husband was willing to endure to stick it out. Kind of a risky game if that's what it was but he stood in it, I'll give him that. Like your husband, mine has been trying so so hard but much of his trying was "a day late and dollar short" to my mind for several months. I'm starting to be grateful now, though, for the efforts he's making and what I think are real changes that are starting to emerge in him.

    Anyway, hang in there. Nine months still hurts like crazy but I'll take this over where I was 4 months ago. Damn if that isn't progress! You'll get there.

    Leslie

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  20. Hi guys, its 4 weeks since D day for me and i really can't see me EVER getting over it! Nearly every waking thought is about ow and him! The rage i feel is so overpowering i don't know how i'm functioning. His affair lasted 3weeks and when i say she is a Jeremy Kyle throwback i'm not joking!! Popeye tattoos,bald patchy head ugly as sin and personality to match(Was told by teachers if she didn't refrain from the use of appalling language in front of everyones children she would have to wait outside the school to collect her children!!) He dropped her as soon as i found out and threw him out, which happened to coincide with my 40th birthday(my gift from him was finding out he'd been sc***ing some vile slapper) He's back now and SOOOOO sorry (as i'm sure they all are)he swears he'll never do it again and he loves me but how can i put this behind me b4 i go insane? Ive deleted his fb account (his idea) but now i cant keep tabs on the skank, ive even thought of making up a fake person to befriend her(sad i know) I blame him completely for betraying me, she owed me nothing, but even though i know this and i totally accept the fact that i am in everyway a much nicer person than the ow why am i so obsessed with her?

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    1. Four weeks is still incredibly raw. And please try NOT to keep tabs on OW though it's incredibly tempting to do so. It's an attempt, I think, to make sense of a nonsensical situation and to try and regain some element of control. We think that if we can somehow understand what it was that made our husbands cheat, we can ensure it doesn't happen again. Thing is, he cheated because of what he didn't have, not because of what she did have. In other words, it's not her, it's him. It's one thing to understand that intellectually but you need to absolutely know it. And that seems to come with time.
      In the meantime, just focus on taking care of yourself as best you can. Whether you stay with him or not, you need to tend to your own healing. All of it takes time. A lot of time.
      BTW, who's Jeremy Kyle?

      Elle

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  21. If you're all planning to "out" mistresses, I hope you're also planning to divulge your husbands' names. It's fair to hate the other woman, but the blame belongs solely with your husbands.

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  22. It's not the other woman fault she did not give you the marriage vows!
    She did not promise you fidelity or did not make any commitmet towards you to stand by your side in thick or thin.
    It's soley your husbands responsbility to stand by the vows given to you.He is a grown up man and responsible for his own actions.
    I can understand your pain and hurt but it's important you guys redirect your pain and anger towards the person who is the reason for your misery and that's your very own husband.Stop obsessing about the other woman she may be a victim too.
    Men are pigs they use a lot of fake stories and promises to trap women.
    Women are normally emotional and believe in true love,men trap woman by making them feel special and loved.Women get to emotionally attached and believes there sobby stories. Men are pigs so rather focus your anger towards taking revange on your husbands.
    The best revange is to look after your self do things that makes you happy.Like joining a dance class,working out be healthy and live in peace and harmony.
    Life is presious dont waist it on negativity.

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    1. The ONLY way the OW can claim to be a victim is if the husband lied about being married. Otherwise getting involved with a married man is wrong no matter what the man tells you. Never get involved with a married man! That is very easy, very simple. So yes -the CS is the one who betrayed the wife. But the OW plays a huge part on that betrayal by simply not turning away from a married man. OW are bottom feeders and sorry excuses for women. Thier feelings deserve no more consideration than they gave to the faithful wives.

      Faith

      Faith

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  23. Thank goodness I found your site. I seriously thought I was going insane with how much I thought about the OW. http://www.dowehavetotellthekids.blogspot.com/2013/04/an-attack-of-crazies.html

    I'm going to print out your post and follow all of your suggestions so I can just put her out of my mind. It's not about her at all.

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  24. OMG! I am so glad i happened upon this post! It's been 19 months since I found out about hubbys affair and your article describes me to a tee! One difference is that the OW has remained in contact with my husbands family (inlaws, son, brotherinlaw and a cousin) She even calls herself Nonie to 2 of our grandchildren. The family however apparently does NOT support our decision to stay together as they continue to be her friend. THIS is what drives me insane! I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT TO DO! Please help me, any advice is much appreciated :)i can be reached by email at elisa.stanton@hotmail.com

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  25. Elisa,
    I can't believe his family would do that to you. What was your relationship with them like prior to your husband's affair? Are they using this as an excuse to sort of push you out?
    What does your husband think? If he's chosen to rebuild your marriage, then I think part of that is protecting you from the OW and her involvement. He can't control how his family responds to her...but he can certainly control whether you have to deal with her. I think it's crazy to expect you to tolerate her presence in your life. Sometimes we have to take the high road (i.e.. when a spouse marries the OW and she becomes our kids' step-mom) but in your case I think you can avoid her completely. If it means missing out on these other people too then so be it. They certainly aren't your friends.
    I'm sorry because this no doubt compounds your pain. It's a sad truth that something like this often reveals to us who are true friends are...and are not.

    Elle

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  26. Am so glad I found this site, am a young lady, jst married 4 years ago, I can't believe my husband cheated on me with a younger lady, jst when I thought am still in my honeymoon phase. Anyways I found out about his affair 3months ago. I got all the informations mainly from her facebook. Now am sooo obsessed with checking her facebook. I can't seems to stop. My husband said he has ended ther relationship but I keep seeing new pictures taken in his car n' she post them on facebook. Now this causes a lot of fight between my husband and I. He doesn't know where am getting my informations from. Am sooo tired and hurt by his continous lies. Now pls advice me, should I just tell him I've been checking her facebook, n' she's been postings pictures taken in his cars because I need my sanity back. It's like am going crazy n' my husband keeps begging and acting like he's sorry n' still goes out with this girl. Please advice me. I have 3 kids n' I can't seems to get my daily chores done.

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    1. It's not enough that your husband says he ended the relationship. For one thing, it sounds as if he's lying; for another, ending the relationship is not the same as re-committing to his marriage.
      You need to set some very clear boundaries around what you will and will not tolerate. And I'm guessing that spending time with this woman, whether in a "relationship" or not, is out of the question.
      It's no surprise that you're struggling to care for your kids and get your chores done. Being cheated on is excruciatingly painful, especially when it sounds as if he's doing nothing to make amends for the pain he's caused.
      Don't tell him how you know anything. You need to insist that he break it off with her - a no-contact letter to her making it clear that the relationship is over and that he's committed to rebuilding his marriage and that she is NOT to contact either of you. And then you need to get to the bottom of why he thought this was an acceptable way to behave in the first place. Without doing that, you'll never really create a marriage that can withstand future temptation.
      I'm so sorry you're going through this. Nobody deserves such disrespect and pain. But please, insist on being treated with respect...and start by treating yourself that way.

      Elle

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  27. Loving this post. It's been 4 1/2 months since D-Day. Most days I no longer have knots in my stomach. That is until I look her up on FB and find something to get upset about. I'm a smart woman and I know I should think about me and not her but I think I must already have obessive tendancies. She sent me a message on Twitter the other day. Not addressed to me but definately directed at me. I responded with a very childish remark about her age and weight. I would love to take the high road but I too feel like I have to keep tabs on her to find out if they rekindle their affair. Its like telling yourself not to scratch a misquito bite. I looked up directions to her husbands job today. I have had fantasies about telling him- they are stronger today. I just keep telling myself that nothing good will come of it. I just cant believe the arrogance of her Tweets "He will never love you the way he loves me" "He still thinks of me often" "In life we may walk away because we want to protect others even if it means settling" "You may have him physically but I will always be in his heart"

    Its like she's begging me to tell her husband!

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    1. The temptation to join her in the trenches is strong. But you'll feel so much better if you do take the high road. Even if -- especially if -- the OW is goading you like she is. She WANTS your attention. By not giving it to her, it's like you're depriving her of oxygen. She feeds on the attention.
      What's more, I'm a firm believer in telling the other spouse. I know that I would want to know and it seems somehow complicit in the affair to NOT give the other spouse the opportunity to determine for him/herself whether they want to stay in a marriage in which their partner is cheating.
      I know it would be horrible to have to tell someone the news. But I still think it's the ethical thing to do.
      I'm curious...why aren't you telling?

      Elle

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    2. I'm not telling for a few reasons. I'm a very empathetic and compassionate person - I hate the idea of inflicting pain onto another person, even if I did not cause the pain. Honestly, I think the main reason is because I'm afraid that he'll leave her and she'll end up pursueing my H - although he assures me that he is done forever - theirs was a very long term affair that was on and off for many years.

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    3. Fair enough. Though I always come back to knowing that I would want someone to tell me. However, we all need to respect each other's path to healing.

      Elle

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    4. I am also not telling the OW's significant other, they are not married but have been together about 4 years. I have gone back and forth with this for the 10 months since D-Day. I am to the point now where I think it's been to long to tell him. There is a chance he may already know as I blasted it on my husband's FB page tagging her & on a mutual group page. It was taken down within minutes, but I know plenty of people saw it. I feel like she probably has already told him some lie and done damage control in case I did contact him, so I kind of figure what's the point. He probably won't believe that she was 100% the aggressor and that she preyed on him. Then I think what if he's like her, a horrible person, a cheater, or something and what's the point...

      Delete
  28. We obsess over the other woman because we want to know what she has that we don't. The answer is NOTHING. My boyfriend was depressed and anxious about his finances and work. Instead of turning to me, he decided to escape from his problems by having an affair. He was so eager for this escape that he convinced himself that he had a real relationship with this girl. Until I found out. I told him that he was free to leave and never contact me again. I threw his stuff out on the lawn. In short order, he was begging for forgiveness but still conflicted about his feelings for her. They kept in touch and ended up having sex again. The weird thing is that made him see that he really didn't want her at all. After that he put his all into our relationship. When I asked him why he came back he said "When I thought about gaining her and losing you, I just couldn't do it". My biggest problem was my obsession with her. I kept viewing her FB profile (she had photos of them together and comments about me). I made him ask her to take them down. That showed her that she definitely no longer in the running and that he feelings were not important. But I couldn't stop. Her face became the symbol of my pain. So here's what I did. 1. My boyfriend and I BOTH blocked her on FB. (That must have stung. She was apparently using her aunt's account to spy on him and when he unfriended the aunt, she tried to contact him again). We also unfriended/blocked other people who were mutual friends so that she couldn't see any of our activity. 2. We BOTH blocked her on our email addresses. She tried to contact us both on our work addresses and we blocked her there as well. 3. I made a list of all of my amazing qualities. At the top were "self-respect" and "confidence" - 2 traits she definitely doesn't have since she apparently confessed to my boyfriend that she attracts men in relationships (she means that she is attracted to them because they can't commit to her and/or she gets an ego boost from taking away someone's man). 4. We avoided places we might run into her and although we did anyway we BOTH ignored her and her silly friends. 5. My boyfriend and I got rid of all reminders of her - emails, contact info, letters, photos and even items of clothing (I loathed a polo shirt I bought him because she was touching it in a photo). 6. Before I blocked her, I downloaded photos and stupid sayings she had posted (including one about "promise me, you'll never forget me...". I scrawled all over the photos every mean thought I'd ever entertained and printed all the emails I'd written to her and never sent. I held a bon fire with one of my best friends and 2 bottles of wine. We made toasts to the "flat, skinny, loser who likes to wear read lipstick and trampy clothers". 7. I hit the gym, bought myself a whole new wardrobe, including Agent Provocateur swim suits and lingerie and put them to good use ;) Whenever my boyfriend (now fiance) looks at me, I can tell what he's thinking - "how stupid could I have been?" Once I stopped obsessing over her, I put all that energy into our relationship and myself and, boy, has it paid dividends!

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  29. This blog in particular hits a sore chord with me, because my healing has taken so much longer because of the added hurt the OW chose to inflict on me after finding out about my partners betrayal.

    My D day happened back in April, to put it short, my partner got involved with a scumbag ex of his last year, and it started off when she came out of left field and started private msging him on facebook, using it as a way to seek attention from him at a vulnerable phase in our relationship (which was pretty damn solid up to that point) which SHE very well knew he was in, kids and all…I had no choice but to finally confront the ex because HE couldn’t bring himself to devastate me with the heartbreaking truth, understandable when you do genuinely love the loyal partner you didn’t intend to end up cheating on aye?

    She used this approach as her opportunity as a last chance to dig her heels in and twist the truth to make it seem so much worse than what it really was, even though I clearly asked her to hurt me with the truth, not push me off a cliff with a bunch of bullshit. He saw what hurtful crap she wrote to me, 20% truth but 80% lies in it too, and he felt sick, what he knew was a flash in the pan fling, she tried to portray as a drawn out love affair, long past the point where things improved for us as a couple. Actions do speak louder than words. Despite her knowing how much pain myself and our kids already suffered from all the months I’d spent stressed out and hurting whilst trying to get to the bottom of a pointless screw up which he now resents her for so willingly choosing to play a part of, she ONCE AGAIN robbed me of a chance to fix things with my partner in a rational, calm manner based on the the facts.
    He was now left with a distraught, hurt wife, who’s candle got burnt at both ends, because a spiteful, bitter little slut couldn’t have something she was never entitled to in the first place and was too focused on wanting to get her revenge back at my partner for a behaviour she actively chose to indulge in, if someone has half the decency of a normal human being, who would want to cause more pain and aggravation for the partner who never hurt anyone? It’s the same nasty traits that get these selfish, thoughtless, usually ugly, slappers caught up in the deceitful act in the first place. Period. Desperation is an understatment for those we shall not speak the name of, (Miss Yukich) ‘aka every faithful woman’s version of the boogeyman. Husbands/partners can make some pretty bad, heartless choices in their lives when it comes to their loyalty to a life partner, but it doesn’t happen without the encouragement of such women like the one I had to deal with. Not every woman can just walk into someone elses relationship and help themselves to another womans man in a physical or emotional way, despite what’s been told to them in the contrary, most women act on their better judgement when given the clear signs to back off, or they just practice plain decency and morals.
    To the couples out there who are fighting their way back from hell....Best of luck with the healing for you and yours, may his misjudgement pave a new path for you both with more forgiveness, understanding, passion and love than you ever knew could exist, as it now does for us xox

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  30. Elle, I just found your blog, Friday morning I woke up to several picture text messages of my husband, not only of him but of his car, our home, a happy bday message in a white board and one from his younger self. I freaked out and walked out side. I texted him the pics and ask him why this woman sent me these pics. She was smart enough to send me her contact card with the messages. About 3 weeks ago I received some fb messages from a man asking me for answers, I told him I had no idea who he was or why he wanted answers from me. Friday it was all clear, he message me again a couple hrs after I got the pics, he gave me his number and I called him, he was the ex husband of the woman my husband had been cheating on me for over a year. I couldn't believe it, I thought what we had was so special and strong. When u came back in the house about 1hr later, he confessed, he said it had been a mistake a drunken night on may 2012, he tried to break it up but she had treatened him that if he didn't talk to her she would tell me. Which she did, he says he was stupid and a coward, he wanted to tell me so many times but couldn't find the courage to do it. He met her in several hotels and her home even though he says they only slept together 3 times, he says that it wanst love it was just sex to shut her up and try to keep her away from me. He says he loves me and I love him so much I can't imagine myself without him, he has swore I will never have to worry about him doing anything like this again, to what I answer he wasn't suppose to do it in the first place. I have forgave him and he is trying to make it up to me, at least he says he will spend the rest of his life trying to win back my love and trust. The interesting thing is that the OW ex has called and text me asking me not to hurt them, he begged me to not contact them because she is so scared of me... I mean really? She is the one who destroyed my life, why would I have any compassion for them? She has two small children, I the mist of my anger on Friday I texted her several times and told her she was a disposable woman, to be a mother to her children and stop messing with married men, (my husband said there had been 8 men before him & several after, she is a whore), I also told he that she didn't know anything about me but I know a great deal about her, which gave me an advantage. I want to destroy her, her career, her life, I know where she lives and she was smart enough to send me all her phones and work info. Should I destroy her career by contactiy her job? I really want to, I want her to suffer, I want her to be scared even though I told her ex that if she didn't contact us we wouldnt contact her. I don't want to ever hear their name again but I can't sleep, I can't eat, talk breath, I just cry all the time and I want to die. Im so sad and don't know what to do, please tell me it will get better, and I will start feeling again, right now I'm just a shell with nothing inside. Please help me!

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    1. Yes it will get better but it takes time. A long time.
      If you want to rebuild your marriage, you need to lay down some ground rules. First off, your husband is to have absolutely no contact. He is to send this woman a letter, copy you on it, making it clear that he is committed to making things work with you and she is to never contact him or you again.
      Next, your husband needs to get clear on why he did this in the first place. Really clear.
      You need to get tested for STDs. It's humiliating but necessary.
      As for wanting to destroy the Other Woman, chances are your anger will simply be refuelled the more you try. You can never make her feel your pain. And, in my opinion, stooping to cruelty will only make you feel worse. You can threaten her that if she doesn't back off and stay out of your life, you'll take steps to affect her employment. But for the most part, the more you focus on rebuilding your marriage and the less you focus on her, the better.
      Hang in there. I know it's hell. I know! But time will work its magic.

      Elle

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  31. I am tormented by "not knowing" everything. My husband and I are trying to work things out. He promises to be faithful and loves only me. I discovered that my husband was on the mailing list for a lingerie company. It was odd because he had not bought me lingerie in 23 years. I found a charge card in his wallet for the lingerie company so then I went to phone records. Sure enough, there was a strange number that came up often since January. I sent a text to the number pretending that I was my husband. She responded. She indicated that they knew each other pretty well. She mentioned her kids and the possibility of meeting up later with him. I was crazed! I confronted him. He admitted to talking to her via text and phone. He even claimed he had bought her some lingerie and then changed his mind about giving it. He claimed she had found out he was married and didn't want to get more involved. He admitted he had hoped to "hook up" with her but nothing more. At this point, I only knew a few things....my husband had been talking and texting a 29 year old for the last 3 months, bought her lingerie, and met her a few times at bars. He told me nothing had become physical and their communications were more like friends . I wanted to believe him more than anything so after a couple of weeks I let him back in to my heart. Of course, I was crazy over wanting to know more. I knew in my heart there was more to the story. My hate for her was growing! She is 15 years younger than me. He promised that he had cut communications with her. He was being romantic and loving.

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  32. In early August, I decided to check his phone while he was sleeping. I knew he had wiped all text conversations from his phone back in March. I was looking for something new. Call it a woman's intuition. Starting in April, he had loaded Tango on his phone. I found it and found text messages and pics. They had been communicating via Tango from April to July. I knew they had talked also because there were missing pieces in their text communications. She sent him pics of her in a thong, her cleavage and her in sexy outfits. She also sent him screenshots of lingerie she wanted him to buy her. She even sent him a 30 second clip of a song about "finding love in a hopeless place". Oh Please! In June, she thanked him for the present he had dropped off for her on her Birthday. My husband is smooth and charming. He tried to convince me that the Birthday present was small and meant nothing and the pics she sent of herself were unsolicited except for the thong one. He said he asked for that one just to see if she would send it. Understand that 4 months ago, he had told me this was a nice girl who backed off as soon as she found out he was married. Apparently, not so! I love this man and I can't bare the thought of him wanting to be with her. I can't bare the thought that this whore continued contacting him. He has told me over and over, that he loves me and will prove it to me the rest of his life. He just says that it was a mistake. I just want to know how big the mistake actually was. I know he will never tell the whole truth. He says he has told me all there is to tell. I don't believe in my heart he is keeping this information from me for a selfish reason. I think he keeps it from me to protect me. He has seen my pain up close and personal. One night, I decided to text her. I made up my mind that I was going to be respectful and non-judging. The purpose of my text was to find out information so I could decide what direction to take. She responded to each of my text with so much immaturity....saying things like "really?", "very funny", "hahaha". I felt like I was texting a teenager. She refused to give me any details telling me to leave her alone or she would call the cops. I promise my text was very kind and simply a woman reaching out wanting answers. At this point, I realized I will never know the answers and that this girl was uneducated and emotionally immature. Please don't misunderstand....I blame my husband for this 100%. I just can't get this whore's face and butt out of my head. It is tormenting me. I really believe in my heart if I knew the whole story, then I could find a way to get over this. An apology from her would be nice, too. My friends just say to consider the worst scenario and ask myself if I can live with that. All I can say is...I don't know. Of course my ego is deflated and my insecurities are at maximum high. I don't look 29 any more...never will. I am losing weight and hitting the gym. I bought a new wardrobe. Still doesn't change the fact that I look 45. Why can't my husband just love 45 year old me! He and I have raised two beautiful children. We have been a team working through problems for years. It is a shame that this emotional affair may possibly destroy us..or me. I just want to get the OW out of my head. I want to stop wanting to know more about their relationship. I wish her life would fall apart! I would never act on these feelings of revenge...just hope that karma will take some action. How can I get over this?

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    1. The only way to "get over" this is to deal with it head-on. Your husband needs to stop "protecting" you by pretending it was no big deal. And, sorry, but if he was truly interested in protecting you, he wouldn't have done this in the first place.
      So...please try hard to stop beating yourself over looking like a 45-year-old woman. Your husband's behaviour is about his OWN insecurities. And she wouldn't be involved with a married man if she had an ounce of self-respect.
      If you want to rebuild your marriage (and I urge you to think long and hard about whether your husband is worth giving a second chance), he needs to come clean about everything that happened. As long as he's protecting himself (and her), then it puts you on the outside of their relationship. He needs to pull you in and shut HER out. Which means he needs to send her an No Contact letter. You can find more here (http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2009/09/step-1-in-saving-your-marriage.html).
      And then you both need to get either individual counselling or marital counselling in order to be able to work through the damage this creates, which is HUGE. Think nuclear explosion.
      It is possible to rebuild a marriage after betrayal but it's incredible hard (and long) work. Both of you need to be incredibly committed to it.
      In the meantime, read here, post any questions and please know that you can get through this.

      Elle

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  33. I am a bit surprised at your advise for me. For most of the other posters, you seem supportive of them working out their issues. I am planning to stay in this marriage. Remember, I have been married to this man for a very long time. It has been a good marriage until now. I think he was going through some kind of midlife crisis and I was off working and not paying attention. He says he has told me everything. She won't tell anything. Maybe because she is embarrassed. Really not sure about her. He says he told her a while back that he is working things out with me and loves his wife. Is that a No Contact Letter? He says he will even text her if I want him to (with me there) and tell her I am the only one for him. He tells me he is sorry everyday. He has told me several times that he feels terrible guilt for what he has done. He has also told me that he hates talking about it but he will everyday for the rest of his life if that is what is necessary to be with me. However, my imagination still runs wild. I just can't help but thinking that more happened between them. Then I consider the fact that her generation is used to communicating only through text and maybe there was no physical contact. The emotional affair is still glooming though. Maybe I am a little conservative but sending a married man a picture of myself in a thong is loose! Also, asking a married man to buy me lingerie seems like a girl with no moral character. Maybe it is just me thinking there is more. Maybe he did tell me everything. This is my dilemma. And....I still can't get her fat face out of my head!

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    1. I'm sorry if I didn't sound supportive. Believe me, I know how you feel and it's hell. I ache for what yu're going through.
      It wasn't clear to me from your original post that he had made it clear that it was over. And, frankly, it was your mention of him minimizing the fact that he'd bought her a present and that she'd sent the photos to him unsolicited that made me suggest to you that you think about whether you want to be married to this guy.
      You also posted that you know he will never tell you the whole truth. That is a red flag to me. So many of these guys try to protect themselves by not revealing the whole story. But, in my estimation, the only way a marriage can be rebuilt is to have total honesty and transparency around the affair. The not knowing can become debilitating. These guys have lied. But you need to know that he is willing to be totally honest from here on in.
      If he is minimizing his affair (and it was an affair, whether they were "physical" or not), it's disrespectful and incredibly hurtful to you.
      That gut feeling that there's more is often a really good indicator that there IS more. Not always. Sometimes our fear gets out of control and we start imagining things. But for me, I pretty much "knew" when I had the whole story. Until then, something just didn't feel right. And I've heard so many others express that same feeling.
      You also note that he's expressing guilt. Is he showing remorse? Is he willing to give you unfettered access to his lines to communication? Do you genuinely believe this was an uncharacteristic lapse in thinking on his part?
      I still advocate seeking professional help. Often, in the presence of a counsellor, a husband is more likely to tell the whole story, hoping, perhaps, that the counsellor will keep we betrayed wives from killing our spouses when we hear it.
      I completely support women who want to rebuild their marriages. But I simply wanted to make clear that it's really, really hard to heal from betrayal even with a supportive spouse. When that spouse is insisting that what they did wasn't such a big deal, it's even harder. I sincerely hope your husband is telling you everything. And that you're able to let go of this Other Woman and recognize that she was simply convenient and willing. If not her, then it would have been someone else.

      Elle

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  34. Your point that she is no one special just somebody convenient makes me feel better. I know that seems weird. Just in the last month, he has told me I can look at his phone any time and I can even track him if I want. Before he was very secretive about his phone. This make me think it is really over. I have a lot of time and heart invested in this marriage. I don't believe he is a bad guy. He seems to have this idea that love and this thing with her are two different things. He has told me that I am his love and she meant nothing. I just want to be sure she understands this. It is my pride getting in the way, mostly. He continues to tell me it was a mistake and will never happen again. Maybe time will help me forget her. I just keep telling myself that she is nothing special. When I first learned of this back in March, I went in to a very dark place. I am typically a very positive person. I can see the light now. If it does happen again, then I am done. (I know the signs now.) I will hold my head up and move on. I will continue to wish that the OW will have to face that she has hurt another human being. My husband is facing this now but the OW got away with it. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  35. I absolutely HATE that she exists too. I hate the fact that he's able to move on like getting up and brushing off his pants and look forward as "she meant nothing to him." He was merely "self medicating." I hate the fact that she knew about me but she still enticed him. Believe I want to take all my anger out on her but I know he's the problem. Though it infuriates me to know end that she's not picking up the pieces from the destruction that he left behind. She was okay with the no strings attached.
    crap! I'm glad she was ugly with acne scars all over her face,make up that was a black as black. She's hideous old and fat! Sad to say it's a lot better to move on from that than it would be to a woman who was beautiful. But then it makes me wonder... how did he.....sparing you all the details. I'm sure you get it.

    I had asked him if I'm a good listener? He said; "I'm the best!" I had asked him if he felt cared for. He said; "Absolutely!" I asked him do I show passion. He said; "Yes!" I asked him if we have fun. He said: "Always!" I asked him if he's satisfied in bed? He said; "No one ever came close to what you make him feel!, you're amazing!"

    But he cheated because he was harboring anger from 4.5 years ago. Something that had happened when we had met. Something that he said he had forgiven years ago. Very complicated story. So trust wasn't that important to him. His angry was more important than my trust. He said, "You were never supposed to find out" LOL.."Yeah, nobody is ever is supposed to find out. But we did... asshole!" How did you expect our relationship to flourish with that dark secret?

    His demons came out! He became a hurricane and I'm proof of the destruction he had left behind. It's not fair. Those two can move on and believe me, he's genuinely remorseful but I'm hurting in agony and yes, I want her to feel the pain that I'm feeling. Is it easier to hate her? YES! She is pond scum! As I said, she knew about me. "Oh she's a kind gentle woman" he said! "Pfffft, Really?" What kind of "kind & gentle woman has sex with a someone's other half??? If she was that kind of woman she would have said; "I will be here to listen but I will not get tangled up in that mess. She had written me anonymous emails in hopes I would get so angry and leave him so she could have him.. Sure she was ok with the no strings attached..

    I guess the best revenge is knowing fully well she crave him more and wanted him. I get to wake up in his arms, I'm the one he makes love to (though I still want to puke at times) I'm the one he spends his times with. I know he truly loves me. Hahaha Bitch!

    Yeah, but I'm still hurting deeply and trying to be around him is hard. One minute I'm ok then the next minute I dream of punching him..... Grrrrrr!

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    1. Yep, we've been there. It's normal to hate her guts. Just be sure you let go of that hatred after a bit. It will consume you.
      I'm curious about your husband having his affair because he was angry with you. I hope he's getting clear on ways to express anger in a healthy way...that doesn't involve holding on to it for 4.5 years, pretending he's over it, then detonating the nuclear bomb that is an affair.

      Elle

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  36. I will post the part you're curious about tomorrow. But here's a burning question! I want detail of the sexual act. He won't tell me! He asks me what good will that do? His stories don't add up. So I'm trying to put the pieces of this puzzle together so I can make sense of it. It disgusts & infuriates me to know end knowing she was loving every minute of him. Why the hell do I want the details? Sometime's I feel I'f I find out every detail I'll break what intimate moments they had and he can't feel that revenge!

    Sadly, his assumptons were DEAD wrong and he ended up screwing that bitch for nothing! I asked him do you feel more guilty now knowing what an ass your are for assuming!?

    Why do I have this need to know the details & should be tell me?

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  37. Simple question!

    It's out there in the open that he cheated. But I keep finding out more times that he had meet her. The last finding was right after I threw him a surprise party for completing his masters. He said he was there just to talk. I don't buy that story. He had already "been" with her a few times already. Like I'm supposed to believe him? So is this revelent that he went over there? I know he already cheated within that time frame. I guess I want to know how often did he play me & pull the wool over my eyes! He's still not being honest because he would then have to look at his imperfections! As the old song goes, "How long has this been going on.....?"

    *sorry for all my typos. On my phone and really hard to type and see what I'm writing!





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    1. We've all been there. We know the basics -- the time frame, that it was or was not physical. But we want the details. Like you said, we want to know exactly how we were played.
      I'm on the "get details" side for a couple of reasons. For one, I do think it gives us a stronger sense that we're not going to be blindsided by details we don't have. It allows us to feel as if we have all the evidence and can begin to move forward. As well, it forces our spouse to come completely clean and "own" exactly what they did to us. No sugar-coating, no minimizing, no pretending/lying. I think it's crucial that there be full transparency going forward...and that can only really happen if they come completely clean on what they did. That said...at a certain point, it becomes pain shopping (around the time you start asking whether she wore briefs or a thong).

      Elle

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  38. Unfortunately, he won't tell me. He says that "I'm pushing him away!" Wow! Talk about projecting!" It's then some how is turned on me. He can pull himself up, brush off his pants and move on because he feels better that he got his revenge! No I didn't cheat. When I had met him I was ending a relationship. He & had an unconventional relationship where it wasn't going anywhere. He was also moving out of state which it made it easier to sever the relationship.. We had dated for four years and there were never feelings exchange. So my other half came in at the worst possible time and yes I was selfish! I want about to let a good thing go. But at the same time I didn't expect the other one to do a 180 degree flip either. He went crazy on me told me he loved me yadda yadda... and I found myself torn. I found my perfect partner and the whom I knew for four years does that! I had flow to Colorado to say this is done. That's was 4.5 years ago. We were only a few months into our relationship. Yes there were emsils exchange BUT nothing there. It was like talking to a friend. Nothing there eccrpt one heart feltt email where I did our my guys but said it was too late. My other half had found them. He kept that in for long for a time & even ended our relationship for six weeks. He told me he forgave me and we moved on. So I thought! So each time he got upset with me he harbored his anger. Did we discuss it? Yes but he still stewed in it. So 4.5 years invested in us he did that! Yes 4.5 years ago!

    So now I'm hurting and trying to pick up the pieces of my heart! He now just wants to move forward! Pfft. Yeah easy for him!

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    1. He's treating this like a game. You don't get to even the score without a whole lot of damage left. It sounds as if he needs to figure out a way to handle his emotions in a mature, communicative way. I'm sorry for what you're going through. That's a long time for him to harbor a grudge.

      Elle

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  39. Ugh typing from my cell phone again. Sorry for the typos! :/

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  40. I swear I feel as if I'm bipolar! Up one minute then down the next ready to rip his balls off! I just can't put these sad feelings aside nor should I!

    I feel as if I've been robbed of my happiness. I can't enjoy the days because I have those nasty little triggers of what he did! Somehow I feel I'm feeding his ego by letting him know that I'm upset. If he doesn't hear from me he definitely sees it.

    Some days I just feel like saying "see ya" because I fear that the next time things that don't go right in his happy world, he might run back to her! He said he wouldn't but right now I don't trust him!

    Sadly when he told her that he was cutting it off he was I'm the phone with her for almost an hour. Why? A week later he had called her to warn her that I might show up at her place of work! Like I'd do that! Wouldn't give that drag queen that kind of satisfaction!

    What I'm fearful of us that since he could screw that ugly drag queen he can find anyone that gives him the attention. He's an extremely handsome guy too! Salt & pepper wavy hair, killer smile, tall great, shape & I bet she was on top of the world that he actually paid any attention to get. Believe she, her looks are hideous! Over dyed hair thats faded, black make up, acne scars, she's a size 18. I guess it doesn't matter. He used her. So how do I trust him again?

    God! I hate feeling this way!


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  41. He said he self medicated. Please can someone help me out here. If it's self medicating how? He'd have to be pretty damn cold hearted not to have any thoughts of me when he was having sex with her, right? If he did have thoughts of me, please can someone explain to me how that would be self medicating? I thought the idea of self medicating would be to make pain go away?!

    Honestly, I don't buy his excuse one bit. I believe it was the excitment and the attention which gets me so upset because I have this guy everything. His ego was bruised and he acted like a baby.

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    1. It does sound cold-hearted…but it's not at all uncommon for these guys to completely compartmentalize. It begins as a way of coping with neglect or abuse in childhood. But becomes a way of life. A way of avoiding feelings that are just too uncomfortable/painful for them. It's an incredibly unhealthy way to live, but, as nuts as it sounds, it's not personal. In other words, it's about his unhealthy coping mechanisms. It has nothing to do with you.
      You don't have to buy his excuse. It's completely up to you whether you want to stick it out while he gets therapy for his issues. And that's only if he's willing to work through his stuff. There's nothing wrong with saying you've had enough.

      Elle

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  42. I am going through the same thing as we speak. I was literally just on the OW's facebook looking at her stupid smiling face that I just want to destroy. I found this page while looking up ways to get revenge. I hate her so much. I was 7 months pregnant with our second son after 6 years of marriage when this occured, with two women. I can't seem to pull myself out of it and have built up so much anger and bitterness that I actually scare myself with some thoughts. It has helped me to see the responses here. I know I'm not alone in this. I realize I am obsessed with the situation and the horrible fantasy of ruining their lives like they did mine. I have to stop. It feels like my heart has been run over by a semi a million times. One of the biggest problems is that he is trying to work on himself and I do think he regrets it. In some ways I wish he would have never come back. My young children are the only reason I stayed. This isn't healthy and I feel so stuck. Thank you ladies for sharing your stories. You are not alone.

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    1. Nope, you're definitely not alone. I'm glad that you recognize how harmful it is to focus on her, though. Most of these people do a good job ruining their own lives. It can't feel good to go through life being deceptive and deluding yourself into believing you're not just accepting scraps. Focus on your kids…and being someone they can learn how to be a good person from.

      Elle

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  43. Its comforting to know I'm not crazy and I'm not evil and need locking up for my thoughts, reading this and relating to all the women out there who have been broken too. I don't know how to get through this though, its been over a year and i still eat myself up over it, surely i should be past it by now? But every time he goes out i bombard him with texts and angry messages and i mean EVERY TIME. Im terrified he'll see one of the other women again. Two. I want to cry, how can i possibly trust him again, i try to and yet every time he goes out all i can think of is who he might be with and what he's doing. Some days its great, some weeks i can go without thinking about anything of the sort, but then he'll want to go out with the same horrible mates he used to go to the pub with when it all happened. I want to just move away. I don't know what to do and i feel like I'm alone, and that the only person i have is my partner, so if i end it, will i feel worse? He's changed for me and given up so much but i can't get over whats happened and i don't know what to do about it, time doesn't seem to be doing anything for my broken heart.

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    1. Janie,

      I'm glad you're found us. No you're not crazy and certainly don't need locking up (unless you start acting on revenge fantasies…).
      And a year isn't actually that long in "healing" time. That said, your response to his going does seem a bit out of proportion. What I've learned is that if a response to a situation seems out of proportion, it's generally because we're responding to a new circumstance with an old survival skill. In other words, his going out isn't just about his cheating but about some deep (likely childhood) fear of abandonment that triggers over-the-top fear and panic in you. Ask yourself: Do you really think he's out cheating? Or is this something deeper? Did his cheating trigger a deeper belief in yourself that you will be left alone?
      If that's the case, then it's time to get clear on what the deeper injury was (that's not to say that cheating isn't a deep injury at all…when I say "deeper" I'm referring more to an injury that occurs long ago). If you, unlike the rest of us, had a perfect childhood and this is exclusively about his cheating, then what can he do to make this easier for you? Could he text you regularly -- just sort of check in and assure you that all is fine? Could you go along? Or could you make plans when he goes out so that you're having a good time on your own with your friends? See if you can come up with a strategy that makes his going out less frightening for you -- perhaps if he goes out, you get to treat a friend to dinner or something. Or buy yourself something you'd like. Or get a massage.
      The sad truth is you can never really trust him. You never could. We can never really trust anyone to always operate in our best interests. We can hope. But ultimately the best we can do is get ourselves to a place where we know we can trust ourselves to be fine on our own. We can never truly be happy with another person if we're trying to escape ourselves. So that's where your work is…

      Elle

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  44. I've been thru an ordeal with another woman. She claims to have been with my husband. He says its a lie because he rejected her. But she has a lot of details...so I'm really torn on who to believe and its driving me crazy.

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    1. Gather what evidence you can (dates, details, etc.). Ask yourself whether or not you believe her. Do her details makes sense? Does your instinct tell you there's something there? Can you access his computer or phone to see if there's messages?
      Sometimes it comes down to instinct. You may never have proof…but you know yourself whether your marriage has felt safe or not.

      Elle

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  45. How does my post take to be posted? I'm new here...I identify with you all..i did write my story. . H avent seen it yet??

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    1. Kathleen,
      Welcome. I'm glad you've found a place where you recognize your story. I have to "approve" all posts because I don't want anyone able to post things that are hurtful and damaging to us when we're so vulnerable. Sometimes I get to this quickly…sometimes it can take awhile. Sorry!
      Not sure where you posted your story…but I'll try and track it down. In the meantime, take a breath and trust that, like so many of the women here, you'll get through this.

      Elle

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  46. Hello..I posted yestetday for the first time iv done nothing but read everyone stories. Although I wish these feelings on no one at least I don't feel crazy!! Obsession for other women, to feeling bipolar bc I'm planning my leaving him to feeling in love w him the next!! What I have realized when reading another post was the shame?????? I don't want anyone to know..is that the reason I'm staying??? I just don't know how I feel? Again. ..bipolar!! I would have to say as unhealthy as it is looking up on line the ow is. ..she is so different then me (sometimes makes it worse for me) lately, lookong sooo many photos ...she's not all thst great!! My husband may have been in love w her, obviously still is if he's fantasizing about her for the past 3 yrs. .as that hurts all I can feel sometimes one day hopefully a wonderful man will say to me really? You'd be MY fantasy my everything!!! In my mind to fantasize about someone especially looking committed to your spouse I'd think the fantasy should be a knock out!!! Right??? Like a jennifer Aniston? ?? Its insulting..but that's love, when s omeone is beaufiful, sexy, pretty even when others don't agree. .I have to except that. .I slowly am. .I when I do, (this is when my fear kicks in) money..I need money to leave...where and how will I go..oll feel scared, I have to look in my grown sons eyes and tell them , my younger one (17) heard everything when I comfronted my H...they will know, ill feel do imbarrased, I'm overwhelmed by it all!!! I'm a yoyo!! Think as hard as it is ill wait until after the holidays ..dec is a bad month as its 'the month " I found out..and then he can blame me, I played him!! Love that one!! Its all my fault when I talk about my confusion w staying with him, when I'm ok or seem ok..then he us remoursefull and blames himself..what's that about? Hope for dome guidence here...

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    1. Anon,
      Yoyo pretty much describes all of us in the early days following discovery of a spouse's affair. Everything you're feeling is normal, under the circumstances. It's the reason why most experts recommend not making any major decisions for about six months -- to give your emotions time to settle.
      This is not your fault. Your emotions are a response to his betrayal. You can't control what others think if they find out (or if you choose to tell them) but you can certainly control what you tell yourself. This is NOT your fault.
      Control what you can: stop looking at photos of her. It's self-harm. Be gentle with yourself, treat yourself well, and trust that your emotions will settle down eventually. Get professional help to sort through all the conflicting emotions. As I said, control what you can.

      Elle

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    2. Ty Elle, for responding and for the site...I'm feeling out of control! ! In your opinion do you think I'm nuts to think he still in love w her bc of the fantasizing? ? His therapist said he may suffer from Madonna whore complex??? My H says he isn't in love w her!! Ths ts why he getting help to find out why he can't get her out if his mind... they work together H said he thinks it out if guilt...he needs to get a new job!! Or I wouldn't even consider nothing!! Let me know yoyr opinion please...ty

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    3. I honestly don't know. I wish I could give you an answer. I think him telling you that he fantasized about her was cruel. I don't understand why he would do that.
      I don't know how determined you are to rebuild your marriage. You could simply give him time to sort this out with his therapist. There are plenty of things that I think we betrayed wives honestly don't need to know/hear about. Things that would simply hurt us. And things that, ultimately aren't important. But that our spouses need to work through to clear the confusion in their own heads.
      Yes, he needs to get a new job. The more distance he puts between himself and this woman, the better.

      Elle

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    4. I agree, however sex was different, i asked why ? I guess he felt truth was better then me coming up w my own thoughts. ..and we all know what I was thinking. ..saw his therapist today he said it is the Madonna whore complex..therapist wants to work w me...

      Delete
  47. You were giving great advice up until the revenge part of imagining running ow over with her car. Sorry to disagree but those thoughts just add fuel to the fire & prevent healing. Don't wish bad karma on anyone. You expand what you think about & you will only be manifesting more bad karma your way. The ow just might have been your bad karma. Heal & focuson yyour marriage or leave the bastard to her. That would be the best revenge.

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    1. You do get that I didn't actually run her over in my car, right? It was a fantasy. A harmless fantasy. Sorry…but I don't buy the karma stuff. I agree to a point that we reap what we sow. But there's just now way I deserved this woman in my life. And frankly it showed incredible self-restraint that I didn't run her over in my car.
      And, of course, that was then. Today I rarely give her a thought.

      Elle

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  48. I am sooo glad I found you ladies. My husband had an affair with a woman 7 years younger than me BUT much heavier than me. Although she is pretty the fact she was larger than me and taller than him kin of left confused. I was at the end of my pregnancy when I found out. Per my husband she listened to him and was sweet with him. He tells me it was not the sex NOT! but off course he is not going to tell me. He got her pregnant and after he ended the relationship 1 week later she lost the baby..who knows if she was really pregnant. My husband has changed for the better..the only thing that kills me is his wondering eye. I get easily jealous now..when he catches me looking at him he quickly comes over and kisses me and if I tell him something he tells I am jumping the gun and making a big deal. He never admits he is looking at other women. He doesn't do it ALL the time. In the past few months I've caught him twice. I know it might be me..and I know I cannot expect him not to look but I hate he does it in front of me and it makes me so insecure and disrespectful in front of the other woman he is looking at. 5 years later I feel I am in the same place I was..every day I think of leaving him but I think of my kids and honestly he is a good, hardworking man who made so many good changes to show me he loves me. I just feel so insecure

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    1. This is where you're going to have to be really honest with yourself...and him. Is he being disrespectful when he notices other women? For example, is his gaze lingering on them? Would they feel aware of his gaze? We notice attractive people all the time without being obvious. But if he's truly being obvious, then it's very disrespectful to you...especially when you're feeling so vulnerable in the wake of his affair. That's a passive-aggressive thing that needs addressing.
      However, if you think you're hyper-sensitive about this because of what happened, then that's something you need to deal with yourself. You can certainly tell him you find it really disturbing when you become aware that he notices someone attractive. Or figure out what it is you need from him in those moments when you feel completely vulnerable. Him telling you you're over-reacting likely isn't helpful. But what if he told you, in that moment, that he's aware of how much pain he's caused you and that he is doing everything he can to make sure he never goes down that path again. That he thinks you're beautiful,inside and out, and that he doesn't want to see pain in your eyes again.
      Ask yourself what will work...and then ask him.

      Elle

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  49. I just happened upon this web site while I was looking for ways to forget about the OW. Like all the other posts I have read on your blog, I now know I'm not alone!! Ikeep thinking about the OW and how it happened, what led up to this, etc. It all happened when we went on vacation with our three kids and our friends came down with their 2 kids towards the later half of the week. We went camping by the ocean. We have been going to same place (not with any friends) for a couple years now and love it!! So here is a little background to my story... So I have Psoriatic Arthritis, and was finally diagnosed January, 2013 after 2 years of pain, with no medication that was helping me until that June, 2013. With this I was also working full time at my one job long hours from 7:30am-8:00pm and sometimes 7 days a week. It was draining me!! We also took in 2 of our relatives, my sister-in-law and tennage neice, into our home for 2 years as well. Which is Financially, Emotionally and Physically draining as well. When I would get home late, I felt like I did not have my husband's full attention which I wanted so badly. We finally decided to go on vacation June, 2013 with out my neice, just by ourselves, a time to reflect and get our family unit back on track! We had a wonderful week, our friends came down on Tuesday night, all was great!! The kids were all having a blast that week and enjoying the beach! So my girlfriend of 8/9 years asked us to watch her kids in our trailer that Friday night into Saturday Morning as it was her husband's birthday and she wanted to have alone time with him. I thought it was a great idea, so I said yes. Later that evening, I started an Arthritis flareup and turned in early around 8:00/9:00pm. Asked my H if he wanted to come in and he said he would stay up for a little while with our friends. So I wake up at 2:00am, Saturday morning, to see my girlfriend at our bathroom sink washing off her hands. I didn't say anything to her as I just assumed she came in to check on her kids before heading off to bed in their tent across the way. A few minutes later, my H stumbles into our bedroom and said he was sooo drunk he was just going to pass out. I honestly didn't think anything of it at the time, I just figured they all stayed up late having a great time drinking and catching up together. So the next day is when part of the truth came to light. It took several days for me to find out the whole truth and how she told her husband she wanted to f*** her friends in front of him, then he got upset and walked away leaving them alone in front of our trailer to do whatever, she supposedly took advantage of my H when he was blackout drunk. However he said all he does remember is she jerked him and he went limp, nothing else. I kinda beleived him about being blackout drunk as once in a blue moon, he has been. (Not agreeing with it 100%, but I know he has in past been blackout drunk) to be continued...

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  50. Anonymous continued from H being black out drunk...
    So needless to say, I quit my job so I can have more control of our family life, no more switching kids from babysitter to babysitter (went through 4 different people within 5 1/2 yrs) and got the extended family out of my home as of July, 2013!! My H and myself have gone through councling, but it still gets to me that a friend could do this, not only against her H and family, but also against me her friend (so I thought i was) and our family!! I was and still am very angry at her and her husband for knowing what was happening and NOT stopping her and the act between them two!! So pissed!!! I think about her quite often and how I would like to tell her in-laws and all the other friends she has as she might do the same to their husbands and families too!! We use to go to their extended family parties in the summer and winter and have missed both major events this past year. Her mother-in-law said to me, that is two parties of ours that you have missed now. I have to create lies to them as I still like them as friends myself. We do not talk with them (our old friends) at all since this all happened. But it is hard not being able to tell the truth to her mother-in-law and to our kids who keep asking to play with their kids and bringing their names up periodically. What do you think I need to do? We are going to church and focusing alot more on the family by doing alot more activities together. He promises has never in the past done anything like this and never will again. Help me please, any thoughts or ideas???

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    1. I'm so sorry! I just found this post.
      I think you're doing a lot of right things -- taking back control of your family, eliminating the chaos.
      It's hard when your kids are friends with hers. I had a similar situation where a friend had betrayed my trust (not infidelity related) and our daughters were friends. I tried to ensure that they could keep up their friendship but it petered out. I think you could do the same with your children. Simply explain to your children that you no longer want this person in your lives as a friend -- that was dishonest and you can't tolerate that in a friend. But that if they choose to remain friends with her children, then you will do what you can to allow that. It's important that our kids see us setting healthy boundaries so that they, too, can recognize that it's okay to put boundaries around their own friendships.
      I think it will also help you see just how much you're doing to protect your family and your self from such dishonesty and betrayal. As I said, you're doing so much right.
      And I'm sorry it took me so long to respond.

      Elle

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  51. I am sorry I had to cut this in half!!! 1 Of 2
    I found out that my H had gotten into an affair shorty after our 13th anniv. It was very surprising given his personality & history. I am his 2nd wife, his 1st wife cheated on him a lot! It was a short affair, only 6 wks, but it hurt like hell! After a long & slow process that took many years to bring himself to this point in his life; he was depressed and hiding it!. He wasn't looking for an affair, the OW just started offering an ego boost that he became addicted too! It was short because having sex with her once was the "hit" of reality of what he was really doing. He worked with her so he didn't want to make her angry & he just didn't know how to get out of it! It ended when I started discovering the truth. He has taken full responsibility for his actions, answering every question, counseling, lots of self analyzing, & is even understanding if I digress! He has changed the way he looks at life. He admits I did nothing wrong, it was all about what was in his head. He has face things about himself that he never though needed to be changed; And started to change them! He now tries everyday to live up to his full potential as a H & a father, & it makes him a much happier person! This was the ego boost he was really looking for!!! Now to the OW. My need of revenge is because of her attitude about everything!!! She is also married with kids! She is miserable! She knew my H was married, she had known him for 3yrs. At that time I was having some health issues that were taking a toll on me physically & emotionally, he thought of this woman as a friend & confided in her about our frustrations with the drs not being able to figure out what was wrong. She took these talks as him complaining about me & voicing his unhappiness in our marriage. She loved him, she saw him as her night in shinning armor! She felt given her past that she deserved him; at my cost. So she went after him. She wanted my life, wanted my H, she wanted him to save her! She had no regards for me at all, I was just a road block to her! She would manipulate each step forward in the relationship. She saw his hesitation when he was unsure & convinced him it was okay! He admits it didn't even dawn on him that when she was asking him if he would leave me, that she really meant it. He may have been screwed up in the head at the time, but he always told her "No". When she realized her manipulation wasn't working, as planned, she came up with a new approach. She wanted to prove to me that they were just friends by starting to befriend me. She convinced my H that we should get our families together & she personally contacted me about eating dinner with her family! It never happened! Luckily!!! We later realized it was part of a plan she was devising! If he wasn't going to leave me, get me to leave him!

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  52. I am sorry I had to cut this in half!!! 2 of 2
    When he ended the relationship he told her he took pride in being an honest & faithful H & only since he had met her did he turn into a liar, deceiver & a cheater! He lied to me, himself and her! Her response was "are you calling me a liar?". He admitted that the affair was a mistake & regretted every second! She said she was not sorry, nor has any regrets. Her attitude towards this is what driving me towards wanting revenge. At first we both agreed that she shoild not know that I am privy to the affair, she can't have him fired but retaliation was a worry! The problem was since she thought I didn't know, & I was at my H work, she would pass me with her head held high.. That irritated me! She also wanted to be able to still be friends. My H told her that out of love and respect for his wife, being friends was no longer a possibility, ever! Even after he gave the NCO (except work related) she tried to text him, or she would try and manipulate him into situations where she could be alone with him at work. This made it very difficult on me! Her thinking she has some sort of right to my H. It got to much to handle and I told my H something needed to be done, but again he was very serious about the NCO! I did not want to get in her face at their work, & I worried if I said something outside of their work she would hit me! A real winner isn't she! So I told my husband I wanted to give her a signal that said "fear me"! We agreed on an appropriate action. So when I was driving away from their work and saw her outside, I flipped her off! She was shocked and immediately ran to question him as to why I would do such a thing, his response was "think about it" and he walked away. Since then she has avoided him completely! But to me this is not enough! I have had people shit on me all my life and I have always taken the high road!! I have always been the better person! And I have had it! This OW went to far! She had a plan to destroy my marriage! Now, I realize that she had tunnel vision her true plan was to just get my H, I was an after thought! She didn't care if she ruined my life, as long as she was happy! She didn't care about my children or her own. She just wanted her fantasy world to be the 2 of them. I am suppose to be comforted by karma coming back to her! I am not. She is not a good person (not just my opinion, but that of their other coworkers) and she did not deserve to get my H! He, now being clear headed, looks at her with disgust, questioning what he was thinking. He was so blinded by depression that he thought she was special, she is not! But this is still not enough! I did nothing to this woman yet I keep her secret, no one at work knows, including her husband (who also works there). I am not normally a vindictive person, but I feel like this OW had a "hit" out on me, and I spoiled it. He has heard from the rumor mill and look of her, she is falling apart. personally & proffesionally! But this is still not enough for me! She blames the whole world for her problems, not herself. Her life falling apart is directly related to the choices she makes! But, as my husband puts it, I want a pound of flesh!!! I know she will never apologize to me, hell I know she blames me for her not being able to be with "the only man that has ever made her happy, the only man she has ever loved". I'm not even sure what will be enough to ease this feeling I have & what will make me feel vindicated!!!

    Thank you for listening!!!

    St Elizabeth

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  53. I'm not necessarily in the same situation, but over a year and a half ago, my boyfriend left me. He gave no reason as to why or anything, several months later we got back together when i asked him if he was seeing anyone else the time we had apart, just to clarify, i wasn't seeing anyone else as i was too upset to even think about that! He said no (fair enough, i stupidly believed him). And if it wasn't for my snooping (i know i shouldn't) i wouldn't have found out about this OW

    To this day, i still constantly check her Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram, I've even googled her and it really gets me down because she is a heck of a lot prettier than me and i always compare myself to her. Her life seems to be a lot better too, her friends, job, career etc. And to top things off, i know where she lives, which is annoying as she lives near my sisters, so basically I'm on the look out every time i go to that area!

    It also upsets me how my boyfriends friends absolutely loved her, they never ever made the effort with me whatsoever, and they love her after a month! i have tried talking to my boyfriend about it because even after a year and a half it's still affecting me but he just gets really angry and annoyed at me so i'm basically bottling my feelings up all the time!

    I really need help because every day something gets me down and its most probably because of her, i need to learn to stop myself from checking up on her all the time! I'm only 21 and i don't want to be getting myself down every single day for the rest of my life because of something what happened over a year ago.

    Thank you!

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    1. Honey, I am so sorry for what you're going through. You're right -- you're only 21 and you deserve to feel hopeful and happy about your life. However, 21 is old enough to understand that there are things you can control (your own feelings of self-worth) and there are things you can't (making your boyfriend more supportive and compassionate).
      Let's start with what you can control: So this girl is pretty. There are lots of pretty girls who lead really miserable lives so don't assume that her looks are a ticket to happiness. What's more, there's lots of versions of "pretty". You say she's a lot prettier than you. Says who? You sound like a kind-hearted, warm, sensitive person. Don't get hung up on "pretty", though I know how hard our culture makes that. Focus on what IS pretty about you. Ask your friends what they think your best feature is. And then focus on that and don't pay attention to the other stuff. So many of us have a script in our heads that goes something like: "Oh god, I can't wear that. It makes my butt look big. Ugh. I wish my eyes weren't so squinty. And oh man, what's up with my skin? Why am I breaking out? and blah blah blah." Pay attention to what you're telling yourself. And when you notice you're being really mean to yourself, picture a big red stop sign. Or snap an elastic band on your wrist. As stupid as they sound, affirmations (you know those "I'm a good and beautiful person" actually work. Science backs this up. Give them a try!).
      Now...what you can't control: Your boyfriend. His friends. He had a fling and then came running back to you. Now they're his fling's fan club. I can imagine how hurtful that feels. But you're giving them the power to make you feel "less than..." You're NOT less than her. That's your stuff (have you spent a lifetime feeling "less than"?).
      But I am concerned at your boyfriend's lack of compassion for how hurt you are. You say he gets "angry" at you. For being hurt? For his own discomfort with how he hurt you? A real man takes responsibility for how his actions have hurt you and supports you as you heal from it. He can't control his own friends but he can certainly tell them to shut the fuck up about this other girl when you're around. Out of respect and kindness for you.
      You can't keep bottling up your feelings because they'll come out in other words, such as self-loathing.
      I want you to take the time to really think long and hard about what it is about this guy that makes you want him as your boyfriend. Get past the shallow (he's good-looking, for example) stuff and really imagine spending a lifetime with him. Think of all the hurdles we face as life goes on: sick parents, losing a friend, troubles with children, job loss, etc. And then ask yourself if you can imagine him holding your hand, wiping your tears and truly being a partner to you. If you're not so sure, then maybe it's time to free yourself. Give yourself credit for the incredible person you are. And trust that the right guy will see how gorgeous you really are.

      Elle

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    2. I think personally it's because i'm a very self conscious person which is why i compare myself to others constantly, even though i know i shouldn't, i still do! The only thing what worries me now obviously is if my boyfriend is with his friends and she ends up being there too!

      When i say he gets angry, he usually tells me to 'stop going on about it' or 'it was ages ago'. He knows i am hurt by it but i think he feels that by ignoring what happened then all will be fine!

      Apart from all whats happened, he is an amazing person, but it's always the negatives what outweigh the positives, i've lost my trust in him, its slowly rebuilding but i still get that pang of worry and jealousy, i know he will stand by me if anything unfortunate did ever happen. I just can't seem to get it out of my head.

      Thank you so much for the help!

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    3. Nina,
      Obviously the self-consciousness is something you can work on yourself. It will honestly make life so much easier and better if you can stop looking to your left and right and seeing how you "rate" compared to others. In the end, we've all got to run our own race.
      And I'm glad you feel that your boyfriend is supportive in many ways. Can you talk to him about this when you're feeling calm and strong and tell him that, while you've worked hard to get over this, you still have residual insecurity around it -- explain how much it would help you to have his reassurance, and how much it would help to know that you can trust him to tell you if he's ever where she is. Perhaps, given how threatened you feel by her, he could promise to leave if she shows up. Or make sure he includes you and makes it clear to his friends that you matter to him. Yes, it's annoying to him to have to do this. But I suspect if he did that a few times, a lot of your insecurity would dissipate and you would feel much less threatened by her. You might be pleasantly surprised by how far a calm, confident conversation with him would go. It's part of any healthy relationship for each partner to be able to express their needs and their wants, confident that the other will listen to them and respect them.

      Elle

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  54. Oh, dear...
    It has been over a year since the D-DAY and I am still bound and determined to ruin her life.
    I have never felt so much anger and disgust towards anyone.
    It does help to know that is somewhat normal to feel this way and wish her all the bad in the world...
    The thing is..I already know she is living in hell right now...but I feel is not enough...
    I am not this mean, horrible person..never been, but when it comes to her...I feel like I am a horrible person and want to damage her more...
    I tell myself it needs to stop at some point...but I don't know when.
    My husband has been so amazing and remorseful and our marriage is seeing depths of emotional intimacy that we have not ever had...for that I am grateful.
    I still ask myself why did i have to hurt so bad,,,why did I have to suffer so much, and I did nothing wrong.
    He is working on forgiving himself for the mistake he made...I forgave him..I am just still obsessed with her.
    Want to keep tabs on her...I know so much it scares me.
    Grrr... I need support.

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    Replies
    1. Anon,
      You need to recognize that your hyper-vigilance is hurting yourself more than it's hurting her. And it's a habit, which means it can be broken.
      Ultimately it was your husband who betrayed you. This woman might be the most vile person on the planet...but your husband is the one who invited her into your lives. I'm not suggesting you shift your rage to him. Rather recognize that the quicker this woman is ushered out of your lives, the better. She's toxic. The farther away, the better.
      Focus on what you now have and take steps to stop focusing on her. Don't check her social media. Don't drive by her home. Don't try and find out how she's doing. She is NOT the problem.
      As for the residual questions...you were collateral damage. Your husband made poor choices and you got caught in the crossfire. Not unlike being hit by a drunk driver. Someone else's poor choices hurt you.
      Control what you can (you) and let go of what you can't (everyone else).

      Elle

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  55. Thanks so much. You are right. I am collateral damage. Hate it.
    I don't look at her social media- blocked her.
    Thank God I never took it upon myself to go by her home, even thou I know where she lives. There was a restraining order that we took on her, that day I saw her, was the first and only time and I felt sorry and pity for her.
    My anger flares when the triggers show up...but I am learning how to cope and allow myself a few minutes and then re - focus and remember that we are in a better place today.
    Thanks for your reply.

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  56. Do any of you fell in enraged after reading stuff like this? My problem is that when I read stuff like this and I play back in my mind of what he said; "She meant nothing to me" I get mixed thoughts about how some people can have sex simply for having sex and no attachment involved.
    Making Love;
    How it makes you feel: How doesn’t it make you feel? Foreplay stimulates your pleasure center while increasing feelings of trust and intimacy, while actual orgasm relaxes the mind, reducing anxiety and fear. Regular climax is even better, boosting your immune system while easing depression, heart disease, and chronic pain. Why: With so many emotions involved, sex can’t be dismissed as a purely physical occurrence. “Unlike other species that engage in sexual contact to procreate,” says Dr. Arden, “we have cultivated sexuality as a way of expressing love, which is why we say ‘making love.’” Studies show that orgasm bonds us to our partners on a neurological level, thanks to the burst of dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins released by our brains. The health benefits are happy
    side effects.

    Elle, I learned more about his cheating. I had found out that he had this woman on the side for four years. At this point, I don't want to know how many times he had sex with her. I know they had a lot phone sex. But what gets me is that when we were in our darkest moments is when he'd call her up! I say that's conditional love, wouldn't you?

    I'm slowly trying to get past this. D-day for me was 9-11-13 and today feels no different than 5 months ago. The level of trust I have is not there. I'm paranoid, skittish, fearful. I feel like I'm always checking up on him. I HATE IT! I lost my freedom. He wrote something to me in an email that was nearly identical to what he had written to her. Well, if he felt nothing for her, then what does that say for me if he wrote similar words? He just basically demoralized my very existence of who I am to him. This is agony. Pure agony!!! Loving someone you can't trust has got to be one of the worst feelings ever!!!!

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    1. I am so sorry. I know your pain too well.
      Is been over a year for me. I still feel the hurt and the confusion as why.
      Even though he is living every day showing me he loves me and he is sorry....I still feel angry and hurt. It is hard loving someone that hurt us so bad...but there's light at the end of the tunel. Just make sure he has no contact with her. 4 years is a long time. How is he assuring you is over?

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  57. Hi...

    His way of dealing with this move on and don't look back. He has been loving towards me, but that's the problem. He was loving me throughout the four years he has this woman on the side. Writes me an email telling me how much he's so in love with me and his commitments holds, blah, blah, blah. But this thing of a woman had written him a very sexual email and he writes back in terms of him wishing he could be there to touch her! That's my problem. Trust! See, I was totally blindsided, a knife in the back! Being loving and caring does NOT HELP because he was that way when he was doing what he was doing.

    I had hunches but because I had trusted him, I put them off. Now, as I mentioned, I lost my freedom because I'm constantly checking up on him and it is the worst feeling ever!!! I HATE IT! My gut still has all the red warning flags flying high. Not sure if it's still because they were never down from the time I had found out.

    I HATE this woman. HATE her with a passion. The reason being is that she knew about me. I'm not a spiteful person at all and usually move on after someone has done me wrong. But this I can't let go of. The only power I have is that I stopped the game between them and I'm the cause of her not getting what she wanted. Yet, he was using her(I laugh).

    I can check his phone, his computer, but if he wants to contact her, he will find away. And that's why I can't trust him. I had asked him why he had deleted the history on his phone and he said he always does that. Then I got the why the hell are you so paranoid speech! "AHHHHH HELLOOOO???? Maybe because you pulled the wool over my eyes for the last four freaking years and kicked me in my ass to the ground?!"

    Still the triggers are the hardest part. Sometimes, I just want to walk up to him and sucker punch him like the triggers that slam me. Trying to talk to him about it is like trying to have peace with countries that have been at war for centuries. He says, I'm bringing us backwards!!! That's one way of evading it, huh? I feel like he wearing a badge of honor and a smirk on his face because he now feels he got even. I never cheated or even had an emotional affair.


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  58. part two

    Do I believe he loves me? I have no doubt in my mind that he doesn't! And that's the problem too. If there was a doubt, I'd sadly pick up my things are move on. I love him deeply. But this damn hurdle of building this by myself is draining. I look tired and dull.(weather's not helping) The life and happiness that once filled me for him as he was my rock is veiled in slim! I believed in him, I believed that he would never do such a thing because he was a man of integrity.

    Was this a F*ck up? NO! He knew damn well what he was doing. Going out for a bike ride to defrag but taking a little blue pill that day?! Oh no, he knew damn well what he was doing!!!! As I said, he demoralized my very existance!!! He was a weak, selfish, unrealistic soul. A man in the workplace who never failed, a man in his family that never failed. And when things weren't happening his way, his alter ego kicked in and like a whiney baby who didn't get his way, ran, called or did whatever with this woman. Or for other reasons rather than being mad at me. Lack of sex? No! Our sex life is fantastic. What that ugly faced, cottage cheese, fatty had on me is beyond me? Unless it was things he wanted to hear. Oh of course, because she wanted him. Even to stop by her place days after I threw him a party??? We weren't arguing, fighting or had any stress between us. We were acting like two crazy kids in love!!! I DON'T GET IT! I guess he'll never cop the real reasons why? No matter how often I ask, he evades them

    I HATE term when it's used in cheating. Mistake is forgetting to put gas in the car, or a typo or giving the wrong directions. And it also gives them a plea!!!

    As I've mentioned in previous posts. I will never forgive him. Well, maybe that's a little too harsh. Forgiveness is all about trust. No way do I trust him. I really hate that I can't. I want to so bad but I just can't.

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    1. Becca,
      Trust isn't something you're going to magically feel one day. It's the consequence of repeatedly verifying that he is where he says he is, that's he's with who he says he's with. Exhausting, yes. But necessary to slowly rebuild trust.
      That said, why are you bothering? You say you don't believe he loves you. He's dismissing your fears. He's refusing to acknowledge just how much pain he's caused. He's not supporting you emotionally through the most painful experience of your life. What, exactly, does this guy bring to the table that's worth fighting for?
      The only way to rebuild a marriage that will last is for both partners to recommit to do whatever it takes. Total honesty and transparency, mutual support, counselling. And total responsibility by the cheater for what he's done.
      I'm sorry Becca for the pain you're in. It's time to ask yourself whether you're better off without him.

      Elle

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  59. Hi Elle,

    Sorry as I gave the wrong impression here. I was just going on one of my tantrums there. He does love me very much. We are great together. You'd look at us and think; "Wow there's a really stable couple!" We do know how to have fun with each other, and with other things, there is respect. I trust him in other areas too. Lastly, there is a lot of love between us or I don't think I'd be able to stay.

    But because his alter ego kicked in, he held onto that grudge where he felt jealous?!? This was from something in my past. I never cheated or had an emotional affair. He also used a crazy excuse to why he cheated which was how I felt about his ex-wife. Ex wife is a spender and can't manage her money and lives out beyond he means. She used their son to get what she wants and weasels her way out of paying anything. He paid for everything. Clothing, school, stuff, medical, haircuts. you name it, he paid for it. She paid nothing. She also received a HUGE support check that would give the average person a payment for a mortgage. She got a tummy tuck, eye lift, shops all the time and I see him paying off his student loans, making ends meet and she didn't care. You know, I still don't know why they ended up in a divorce? He told me he was never really in love with her. ??? I do know that could be true because that is how I felt about my ex. BUT getting back to topic, each time I had confronted him about how I feel about that, he got extremely defensive. We'd argue about this regularly. The arguments started in late 2009. And a few months later is when I started to noticed this woman in pix and honestly, I laughed because she was NOTHING to look at. So I thought nothing of it. I'm not saying looks count because we all know it's how the other person made them feel at the time. But he does have women throwing themselves at him and if he was gonna cheat, I thought it would be with an attractive woman! Was I ever wrong!!!!

    So I guess in his mind, that was his way out and as he called it, self medicating! This is the only time you will hear me call him an asshole!!! Because he was. He likes to live in the land of perfect! Where no one or nothing challenges him. Who cares about my feelings?

    His son is now college and ex continues to figure out ways to have him pay for stuff. She uses the salary differences to try and make him pay and since he comes home to her house during breaks and stuff, in her mind, he should pay her groceries and other things! I now keep my mouth shut. Grrrrrr!

    Yes, I'm exhausted. I don't like how I look. The stress is taking a toll on me. Can't exercise right now either. I have no other outlet. And my poor, poor friends. They've watched me turn from a happy person to a negative depressed person. On top of this? There are other things in my own life which is also bringing me down. I needed to lean on him, feel safe with him but I hear him talk to me and comfort me and says things that were nearly identical to what he had said to her. I think to myself, if he had no feelings for her, why did he talk to her they way he talks to me? Then those damn triggers come in and I start to hate him for doing this to me. I cringe!!!!

    I've never been betrayed like this before and this trust building is the most difficult thing I ever had to do. It's more than work....

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Becca,
      Sorry -- you wrote "Do I believe he loves me? I have no doubt in my mind that he doesn't!" But I'm assuming you meant to write that he does. Yes?
      If you're going to stay and rebuild your marriage, it sounds as if some foundational things need to be put in place. You must start taking care of yourself -- eating well, exercising (even just walking), and shutting off the negative self-talk. You also need to let go of this stuff with his ex. That's between him and her. Sure it's frustrating. But stay out of it. He might see the situation more clearly when he's not feeling he has to defend her (and his decision to give in to her demands).
      This is a tough road to walk. Insist on transparency and honesty. Treat yourself with respect. And give yourself time.

      Elle

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  60. Yeah, that's what I had meant. I went off on my tantrum.:D and didn't pay attention to what I was writing. Sorry!

    I wish I would had received that advice about his ex five years ago. At the time, it just felt as if he cared about her needs more than mine. Our therapist pointed that out as I could not articulate that. A big plus is that he has considered my feelings and has stopped feeding into her so called helplessness. So I'm very thankful for that. I turn my cheek when she calls and asks for stuff. Believe me, it's one hell of a horse pill to swallow!!! On the flipside, I wish he would be that considerate to the pain and destruction that he had caused.

    You know... I just thought of something. Come to think of it, they way I felt how he had treated his ex was a form of betrayal. Not saying that it was, but they way he responded to her demands and helplessness I felt as if I was the mistress. Then he this woman on the side that he had run to when I expressed hurt and frustration that her lifestyle was interfering with ours? Like I said, she's barely around, but when she is, I turn my cheek.

    But then him hanging onto something that was quite ridiculous and throwing it in my face after I had found out about his long time, on going, so called friendship with benefits!? Believe me that was the thing that came out the very last time he was actually physical with her. We had just came back from a trip and things didn't go the way he planned them to be. Again, he had these unrealistic idea of how it was gonna be. He was disappointed but he never let me in on it. He pretended everything was great and he was having a wonderful time and couldn't be happier while he was holding it in. Then as soon as we got back. BAM! I got an earful of how disappointed he was. He also brought up what happened four years prior to! and that he's been hanging on to it. Though we had talked and talked and he told me he had let it go. I guess he didn't?! He then went to defrag with a bike ride and ended up at her house. You know,the way he made me feel that day and blamed me for things I had absolutely no control over, I should've been the one that cheated. But I don't go that route nor it never had crossed my mine. I felt like I did something wrong because his expectations were blown. All my faults were thrown in my face, my kids faults, everything! I stood there like an oak tree, (with tears) taking every punch he threw at me. And that night, I laid there wondering where did he go? I was worried sick but I allowed him to unravel and think things over.. or that's what I thought he was doing.

    Yes Elle, I need to respect myself and right now and I guess that's where the struggle I face is at. I have some demons I'm battling and it's just not him.

    Sometimes, I feel like time is my enemy!!!!

    Thanks for listening... :)

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  61. Hello friends, I am from India. It has been couple of days since I found out about his ifidelity, which was mostly on the lines of internet and phone sex with ladies known to me. Still unable to get out of it, though I have sought professional help to control my emotions.
    I run a business and have a 7 year old son, and am still not able to get back to running my business. Doc says I should take a break, say 15 days to get back to my routine. The post here helped me a lot to introspect. Thanks much for all the support. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you have helped me heal a little. I am grateful.

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    1. India,
      I'm glad you found us and so sorry for what you're going through. The pain of betrayal (which is the pain of broken trust) crosses borders and cultures and language.
      Your husband's betrayal has undoubtedly changed how you view your marriage, how you view him as your partner and how you view your place in the world. Trust betrayals often threaten our sense of safety in the world. We wonder who can we trust.
      I think you need to determine how much time you need to take off. Sometimes work can provide a good distraction from the pain and remind you that you're a successful, smart woman with lots to offer. But sometimes you need quiet to tend to the emotional wounds.
      I'm glad you're finding comfort and support here. We all know the pain you're experiencing and very many of us have come out the other side. We've found happiness and peace again. You will too.

      Elle

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  62. My problem is she was my "best friend". My husbabd and I were having problems for a long time. She went after him. She was also married. So, there are SO many triggers for me. And, we live in a semi- small town. My husband is very remorseful. How do I stop the obsession when there are so many triggers?

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    1. Some "best friend". Poison!
      I would start by doing everything you can to eliminate any reminders of her from your life. You'll never be able to completely rid your life of reminders but you can minimize them.
      I would also try and enlist your husband to help you. What can he tell you about her that will allow you to see her as the pathetic soul she is?
      There are strategies you can try -- snapping an elastic band on your wrist when you start thinking about her, for example.
      Are you in counselling? If not, this might be a question for a counsellor. Perhaps others on this site will also weigh in with their thoughts.
      In any case, please also know that time really does work its magic. If you can focus on rebuilding your marriage and really know how damaged this woman is to be able to betray someone like this, I think you'll find she recedes from memory.

      Elle

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