Thursday, April 4, 2013

Five Ways We Hurt Ourselves After Our Husband's Affair

Infidelity is excruciating. Never in my dreams did I imagine how excruciating. Like most women, I had talked about what I'd do if I found out my husband cheated. My friends and I, when we heard of someone having an affair, would inevitably say to each other, "Well, if my husband ever did that, I'd show him the door so fast..." We imagined we'd wipe our hands of the scumbag, throw his stuff on the front lawn and be done with it. At no point did I imagine years of therapy, anti-depressants, and a stack of books on my bedside table that covered on everything from forgiveness to sex addiction.
Life has a way of messing with my plans.
I've learned, however, that though I clearly couldn't control what choices my husband had made (oh, if I could have!!) I could learn to control myself. I say learn to control myself because I'd never really thought of it that way before. I'd always operated from the "I am what I am" school of thought. That my responses to life were the result of some personality lottery, and I received a rather impetuous, emotional, mercurial one. So when I knocked a television off a table to indicate just how angry I was with my husband well...how could I control that? I was fiery.
Ummm....no.
Over the years following discovery of my husband's cheating, I began to recognize just what I could control (actions). And what I couldn't (feelings). By controlling actions I can so often better manage feelings. I can keep them from galloping away, and taking me with  them. The goal, of course, isn't to turn into some sort of automaton whose feelings are experienced with precision and control. It's to get to a place of healthy healing, where you can feel all your emotions – joy, pain, fear, excitement – without acting in ways that aren't consistent with your values.
Unfortunately when we're in such emotional pain we can lose sight of what we can and cannot control. The part of our brain that performs the so-called executive functions has been hijacked by the part of our brain that focuses on pure survival, our reptilian brain. And by survival, I'm not referring to scrapping it out with our five-year-old over the last piece of pizza because we're starving...but rather emotional survival, a craving to understand just exactly what the threat is that we're dealing with so that we can be prepared for it. It's a rational impulse. But our ways of achieving it can be irrational. Julie Gottman calls at least some of our behaviour PTSD and had this to say in a New York Times story about deception: "When secrets emerge ... the partner suffers profoundly. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the result — being battered by unwanted intrusive thoughts about the betrayal, nightmares, emotional numbing coupled with unpredictable explosions, sleep disturbances and hyper-vigilance as the partner or spouse searches for yet some other betrayal."
Consider these five ways we hurt ourselves in the name of "survival".

Pain shopping (or asking the same questions over and over and...): Most of us, when we finally get proof (or an admission) of cheating from our spouses are flooded with questions. How did this happen? When? Where did they meet? What did they do? Did he meet her friends? Did other people know? What does she look like? Where does she work? Does she wear high heels? Is she vegetarian? and on and on and on, until our poor brains simply can't absorb the volume of information and our spouses can't even keep track of the details.
The need to know is crucial and valid. For too long, we've been outside the door of the affair with no awareness of what's going on behind it. In order for a marriage to heal (or you to heal on your own), it really does help to open the door and have the chance to take a look around. But – and it's a big but – at a certain point you have all the information you really need. The rest is pain shopping.

Digging for "evidence" of an affair he's already admitted: My husband came clean fairly quickly about his affair. Within 24 hours I knew pretty much everything I needed to know. Did that stop me from rifling through his drawers, his phone records, his VISA statements and anything else I could get my hands on? Of course it didn't. I was like some sort of crazed forensics expert, pouring over everything as if it could doubly confirm what I already knew. Did I discover anything crucial? Nope. Not a thing. Sure I saw some receipts for dinners out with her. But given that I already knew they'd slept together on a number of occasions, what did it matter that he felt obliged to buy her a steak? I already knew at that point he was a liar and a cheater...everything else was a matter of degree. Do yourself a favor. Find out what you need to know to paint the big picture. Then stop. At this point you're distracting yourself from actually feeling the pain of what you now know. You can't dam up that flood of emotions no matter how long you spend looking at receipts. 

Staying in contact with the Other Woman: I sent the OW a Christmas card (my D-Day was December 11) in which I included a photo of my husband and our kids, along with a note about how I knew how much she'd "done" for our family. It was the type of card that, had she taken it to my husband's and her employer, would make her look insane because on the surface it was innocuous. Almost sweet. But she -- and I -- knew exactly what I was saying. But that was where the contact stopped. I know too many women who stay in touch with the OW, either via Facebook or mutual friends or even face-to-face, and I can't believe anything good can ever come of it assuming the OW knew about you. Block her on FB, steer as far out of her way as possible, cut her out of your life. She's poison.

Numbing ourselves with drugs/alcohol/food/shopping/insert-compulsive-behavior-here: Oh...it's tempting. So tempting that I didn't take a drink for months after D-Day because, as the daughter of two alcoholics, I was pretty sure it would end badly. But forewarned is forearmed. Recognize that right now you are incredibly vulnerable. And for most of us the discomfort of feeling vulnerable is something we'll do almost anything to stop. Like eat a chocolate cake, buy four pairs of shoes, pop Zoloft like it's candy, even exercise to the point of injury. Whatever your compulsion of choice is, now's the time to put it under a microscope and determine just how much is healthy...and how much is harmful. You need you right now. Not some numbed out zombie with too many shoes.

Maintaining toxic friendships: Infidelity brings up a lot of issues for a lot of people. There are those who will suggest you "get over" this, those who dismiss your angst with impatience that you don't just kick him out, those who avoid you because your experience brings up uncomfortable feels about their own marriage. It's tempting to keep everyone close because you're feeling so alone. But toxic people simply make your pain and loneliness worse. You need compassion and understanding, not blame, frustration, impatience or unsolicited advice. If there's no-one in real life, please remember that we're here, we know your pain and will lovingly guide to toward healing.

That's the short list. Are there things you do that you recognize are only hurting yourself? Share your story here. Others will no doubt recognize themselves. Together we'll heal.


246 comments:

  1. I think you covered the big ones!
    Another way I hurt myself was by constantly trying to establish timelines for recovery. I started with "It's been a month, shouldn't I feel better by now?" (I know, pretty funny, right?) From there I went to "It's been a year, I should be over this by now!" to "It's been four years, I REALLY should be over this by now!" Finally, sometime during year five, I realized this process can't be measured in time, and might never be completely finished. I wish I could have understood that from the beginning. Maybe it wouldn't have made as big of a difference as I imagine, but at least it would have been one less thing I beat myself up over.

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    1. Yes, that's definitely one of the ways. I also did that, constantly measuring my "healing" against the calendar. And like you, I finally realized that there is no finish line where I'm magically healed. There's just life, which continues to unfold and which I can now embrace having absorbed everything I learned through this whole experience. Though, frankly, even "embrace" isn't a word I would have used a few years ago, when I focussed on simply surviving.
      Elle

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  2. This was an incredibly helpful post. I think I may print it out and refer to it daily. I am just a little over a year past d-day #1 and coming on on antiversaries #1 with d-days 2 and 3. I have many unhealthy coping habits and I am fully aware I am not coping as well as I'd like to. I have resorted to drinking nightly; I know this is not good for me. I also know that my fake FB so I can stalk OW-1 is very unhealthy. I realized yesterday that I feel good and strong as long as I'm "doing" something--housework, going to the gym, taking care of my family, but the minute I sit down to relax, I just can't. Sitting still makes me face everything and I get so overwhelmed. Thank God I'm still in IC!

    Thank you again for a great post.

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    1. Inflicted,
      Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad it helped.
      I'm also glad that you're able to recognize that some of your coping skills aren't serving you in the long term. Please don't be hard on yourself. Few of us actually cope as well as we'd like to. The key is acknowledging when we're not and setting about doing it differently.
      Drinking is dangerous because alcohol is, of course, a depressant. So even though it might seem to be your friend, easing some of the ache, over the long term it will make life seem even more bleak. That's one habit to stop right now.
      It's interesting that you notice how keeping busy makes you feel good. And, by all means, continue to go to the gym (boost those endorphins!), take care of your family (boost that oxytocin!), housework (well, it's good to have a clean house). I'm going to challenge you, however, to try and sit with your feelings just briefly, instead of pushing them away. So often we become masters at putting our pain somewhere that we don't have to feel it, and keep ourselves busy either with healthy or unhealthy actions. By learning to sit with it (either in meditation or sitting on a porch watching the world go by or whatever), we can begin to process it at the same time as learning it isn't going to devour us. I wonder if you, like me, think that the pain is so huge and so overwhelming that if we open ourselves to it even just a bit, it'll be like a tidal wave. Like my five-year-old son said when my mom (his nana) died, "I"m afraid to start crying because if I do I might never stop." He kept it locked in, and of course it came out in other ways -- fighting with his sister, sobbing over a broken toy.
      See if you can allow yourself to feel it (you might also want to try writing it in a journal) but in determined times or increments. For instance, you might set a timer for five minutes and decide to let your mind go to those dark places but when the timer beeps at five minutes, be ready to go out the door to meet a friend for coffee, or head to the gym or whatever. Or try writing three pages of feelings. But at the end of the three pages, put the pen down, shut the journal and focus on something else. Hopefully you'll be able to let the pain out in a way that feels manageable. And that, eventually, you'll be able to just sit and actually relax without fearing where your mind will go.
      Of course, your therapist is helping you do this already. For a set amount of time you can process what's happened in a safe environment. Ideally, you'll learn that YOU can be that safe environment. That you've always got your own back. That you can feel a whole range of emotions without any of them carrying you away.
      Let me know if you give this a try. I'm rooting for you.

      Elle

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    2. Hi, Inflicted
      At the time you and Elle wrote this was about the time my husband began to take his affair to the physical level not just emotional. It's now Aug 2013. D day was June 18. Since that time, my husband and I have reconnected and are in therapy. Our relationship is stronger than it's ever been. And I'm fine when I'm with other people or busy doing something: helping at school, housework, etc. But when I'm by myself, I beat myself up for how I contributed to the demise of our relationship. I think back to how he treated me so badly. I think back to how the OW initiated and was the aggressor in the relationship (please know that I'm aware that he was a willing participant as well). I don't much care for me and really don't like being left alone with my thoughts and feelings. They're so...toxic. And it's not always like that but when they are, it's debilitating. Thanks, Elle, for your response. I am going to try the journal and setting a timer for me to write my feelings in it.

      Monique

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  3. Hi your articles have really been helpful and unfornately seem to relate to what I am going through at the time. I am a little over a year past Dday and boy I didn't think this time last year I would still be married! My husband and I have been together going on 10.5 years married though only almost 1.5 and the cheating took place just a few months into our marriage and the kicker I was pregnant with our first child. We are high school sweet hearts first loves best friends soulmates never really had major fights or broke things off. He always treated me like a princess and I always thanked God every night for home and its just so hard to believe that that same man could betray me the way he has. At the time this took ace he had been working out if town for a year coming home either on the weekend or every other weekend. We did become quite distant during that time I had a lot of anger and resentment towards him for not being there during the wedding planning, the start of are marriage, and there for me when I was sick with pregnancy. I just didn't have much to say when he called to check in I know he needed to do this to support of but it angers me so much more that I felt so alone and he was messing around. Like all of you I would of bet a million dollars that my husband would never do anything like that he would never chance losing me boy do I feel like a naive fool. I think what bothers me the most about the whole thing is what it's done to me I see the world differently as if people just aren't always what they say. I have become so hypervigilant always worried that it will happen again. My husband has truly done everything he could do to reassure me but I still feel like I need to be controlling and have my eyes on him at all times. I was never ever this kind of person and I hate it bc I feel this way it's hard for me to see the trust ever coming back. I also feel crazy that I feel more love and attracted to him then I ever did and I feel like you idiot he cheated on you! I'm hoping all this is normal! I just wish I knew that this wont happened again because he is a really good guy and an amazing father and I just hope we can heal. I worry that my obsessive controlling behavior will push him away but I don't know how to get a grip, then sometimes I feel it's justified for what he's done but I also know a healthy marriage won't be produced from this behavior.

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    1. Anonymous,
      Everything you describe is, sadly, common and your reaction to it is quite normal. You're not in that it's not healthy in the long-term but for now, you're responding to this in a perfectly normal way. Your sense of safety in the world was threatened so of course that would make you hypervigilant to another threat.
      There's much evidence that those of us experiencing betrayal respond in a way consistent with post-traumatic stress. The hypervigilance, the distrust, the fear that this could happen again if we're not on guard. Are you in any counselling at all? Is your husband? It's really helpful to view this as post-trauma and allow yourself to heal accordingly.
      If your husband is able to remain transparent and honest, you'll likely be able to trust him again but that trust is earned not given freely. And you'll never feel that blind trust again. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. The good that can come out of this is an increased trust in ourselves to cope with life's pain, a wisdom borne of learning just how strong we are and that people, even those we love, can let us down.
      The increased attraction to him is also normal. Google my post on "hysterical bonding". It's one of those things that so many of us are confused about and think we must be crazy.
      Glad you found us. Welcome.

      Elle

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  4. My big problem is pain shopping. I feel like I want to PUNISH him with the dirty filthy details. I don't think its working. I am punishing myself. But my CS is a truth trickler so it makes me feel entitled to do this - I know I shouldn't but I am just being honest. If he would just tell the whole truth, full disclosure, it would be OUT and done with. We start MC in a few weeks. I am hopeful under the guidance of a therapist we can find our way through that painful disclosure process and then I can bury those nasty images.

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    1. I think whether it's pain shopping or not depends largely on your motivation for needing the details. At a certain point, we know all we need to know (that point is different for each of us). There are things I heard that I later wished I hadn't. But, to be honest, I can't now conjure up much detail of anything he told me so it didn't stick in my brain.
      If your husband hasn't been fully transparent, I think that's the real problem, not your need for more detail. We KNOW when we're not getting the whole story and it drives us crazy. We've been shut out...and we don't want to be shut out any longer. He needs to understand that by doing that to her, he's simply impeding your ability to move past it faster. It's counter-intuitive to these guys -- they think they're "protecting" us from more pain (not to mention protecting themselves from more guilt/shame). But by feeling like we're no longer shut out -- and the OW is -- we can process it more quickly.
      I would insist in MC that full disclosure (you decide what "full" means to you. Get clear beforehand on what you do and do NOT want to hear) be mandatory.

      Elle

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    2. Thanks as always Elle, yeah, I am working on what I can and can't accept. The other day for whatever reason I was obsessed with knowing what the OW's drink of choice was. Why?! It made me so mad that my CS still knew the answer. It ate at me, "why is it important enough for him to know that about her? that he cared enough to remember? it was a tender piece of her that made her human and it pissed me off." but WHY was it so important for me to know?! i am barely entering the stages of IC so perhaps that will become apparent eventually. it still just eats me. and its stupid. it makes me feel stupid. but then i get mad, if only my CS would give me the TRUTH, and stop with the truth trickling, then I could get good and mad & GET IT OUT of my system. instead i make up these movies, these dialogues, in my mind, and they drive me crazy.

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    3. I do think it's easier when we can dismiss the OW as some sort of "other" who isn't fully human. So when we come up against the fact that they aren't viewed by the entire world as utterly vile, it trips us up. And I think also that evidence that he actually knew her in some way is painful..
      BUT...you know that about the two of them. Asking for more details is only hurting you at this point. You do need to stop the trickle truth. It's excruciating. He needs to come clean, answer your questions so you can move on. Would he agree to answer your written questions? Might be a chance for you to see, on paper, everything you need to know then, before you give them to him, edit out those questions that really don't move you forward.
      Just a thought...

      Elle

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  5. Dear Elle,
    Thank you so very much for your gracious reply. I read and re-read your response at least twice blinking back the tears. Yes, I did risk getting crucified on this site, and it's OK if I do, I will humbly take it and will not defend my actions. It was simply wrong! That's why I ultimately ended it. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I will stand the pain and do the right thing and try to regain my self-respect that I lost somewhere along the way. While I was "the other woman" I am also "a woman" - one who prides herself in being good-hearted despite of my wrong-doing. I grappled with my actions daily, I writhed in guilt and pain throughout the entirety of the affair. But I fell deeply in love with him, I fell for the Hollywood version of our story: 2 youth who drifted apart due to circumstances, then 25 years later out of sheer coincidence found each other again in different parts of the world, albeit, both now in broken marriages (so he led me to believe). It was intoxicating and the highs were addictive! I loved him! For a while I convinced myself it was meant to be (how delusional) until reality set it; the magnitude of what I am doing to my dear husband and to his wife, the reality of him not being the man I thought he was. I caught him telling lies and became suspicious there were other women. The removal of the rose-colored glasses brought clarity to the existing illicit situation and that was very sobering. I never found unequivocal evidence, but I understand what you mean by "knowing before you knew". He will never tell his wife out of fear of losing his children, that is entirely his decision and I would personally never interfere with that, but now with my husband's insistence on revealing it to his wife I am caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Your advise is shedding light on an immense conflict I'm having: On the one hand, I vehemently do not want to be responsible for the unnecessary suffering and the possibility of the dissolving of a family - this is his second marriage, I understand his current wife was "the other woman" when he left his first marriage and family for her. On the other hand, I wish to support my husband in his quest for vindication and his strong sense of justice. I think he is also seeking to commiserate with her and sincerely feels compelled to reach out to her to give her the benefit of knowing. I wish to thank you for taking the time for your thoughtful response and for hearing me. I truly appreciate it! In a way, I have found a measure of comfort on this site by hearing the hearts of the wounded wives.
    Gratefully, Diana

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    1. Diana: Elle is truly giving you wonderful insight and I hope you are wise enough to utilize it all. If you find yourself working to rationalize your behavior in any way...you have strayed from the path of potential recovery.
      I hope you don't mind if I make one more point.
      You are not "CAUGHT" in the middle of anything. There is no middle ground here. You were wrong...period. You and your affair partner have already done all the damage. What your husband wants to do by telling your affair partner's wife, is stop the bleeding and find a place from which all of you can begin to heal.
      He will be doing her a favor. There's no vindication, no justice....
      Just a deep hope that with totally transparency and brutal honesty stronger relationships will prevail.

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    2. If you want to rebuild things with your husband then do what he asks and LET THE WIFE KNOW. Let your husband tell her. Why the sudden concern for the OW and the children. You never cared before so quit protecting the other man and fill the wife in on your dirty secret. Sorry for the harsh words but I hope this opens your eyes. If you want your marriage than be concerned for your husband not protecting the other man and his family. Because once again, it's not as if you cared about them before!

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    3. I don't condone cheating in any regard. That being said, I feel that the OW is often just as much a victim as the wife. She is searching for validation and finds it in a man. This man is undoubtedly an insecure little boy in reality or else he would have left his wife if the relationship was truly that bad. I know that many women may judge you, and perhaps some of that judgment is deserved, but I feel that you were just another victim of a man and his stupid ego and pride. No wonder we as women are ANGRY FOR A REASON!

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  6. Diana,

    It's way too late to prevent yourself from having responsibility in this woman's "unnecessary suffering" or dissolution of her family. You (and he) ARE responsible for it, whether she's aware of it or not. You both knowingly engaged in actions that were directly related to causing her suffering and/or the possible dissolution of her marriage.
    I'm not interested in raking you over the coals. You came here with an honest question and I responded with my honest advice. But, Diana, I want you to re-read your post about your affair and try and count the places where you blame-shift, minimize or otherwise reduce your responsibility for the shitstorm you've created. Your husband is in excruciating pain. Your job, if you're remotely interested in rebuilding your marriage, is to get completely clear on why you were willing to blow up so many people's lives (including their kids) in order to have what thought was a "Hollywood love affair". What allowed you to think that was ever okay? Your further job is to support your husband in what HE needs to do to get himself back on some sort of solid ground. If he feels the need to tell this woman, then that's what he needs to do...and you'll help him. It's not about "protecting" anybody. It's way too late for that. Being a former OW herself, she no doubt knows what this guy is capable of. But knowing he's capable of doing it TO her, not only WITH her, is a different story. She deserves to know.
    Good luck with that and with rebuilding your marriage with your husband. I really do hope you'll take this as a wakeup call to look long and hard at your sense of entitlement, and to truly take the consequences of the choices you made.

    Elle

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  7. Elle, Thank you for your candor. I did re-read my post, and understand why you think I am "blame-shifting, minimizing, reducing" my responsibility for my part of the destruction I caused. I am in the process of learning from my grave mistakes, and the only way I can do that is by reflection and examining how I compartmentalized so many selfish decisions to make this affair seem acceptable that I've lost all perspective. I have completely removed myself from this situation, confessed to my husband, and have let accountability rush in. My husband and I are working through this painful time together, but there is also a lot of work to be done within myself. Why I could be capable of the sense of entitlement you speak of and in all the areas I failed my husband and enabled the married man to betray his wife. It is my sincerest heart's desire to be contrite and know that my genuine repentance is accompanied by "fruits worthy of repentance." I am thankful that I found this, I am humbled, and I thank you again for taking the time to dignify my post with your response. I will cooperate with my dear husband and will keep you posted.
    Diana

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    1. Can I suggest that you get yourself a copy of "After the Affair" by Janis Abrahms Spring? It's written for both partners. Good luck.

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    2. Thank you, Anna.
      I've been reading a lot and undergoing ruthless introspection. I will read this book.

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  8. I'm sorry but really Diane? Your attempt to turn yourself into the victim on this of all sites is stomach churning! Yes we stick together, we don't judge, we support - ONE ANOTHER - not the other woman and that's what you are. I come here for support for fellowship for understanding to take it, to offer it and you and your pitiful attempt to come across as the wronged party has upset my whole day - it sadden and sickened me.
    What happens when the wife of the man you were sleeping with finds out? When her world falls apart and she reaches out looking for something anything that will make sense of things, make her feel normal? What happens if she finds us? If she finds elle? If she needs support - she won't find it here because you sullied this site for her? You believe she was the other woman first, really? Is that what he told you? Or what you told yourself to make it ok? It's not ok.
    I have forgiven my husband- I haven't forgiven Elles husband or anyone elses - that's the job or choice of each wife
    Feeling compassion, sympathy or anything other than contempt for the other woman - any other woman - that's easy - but having to even acknowledge your existence using something I should have to do here!
    We are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, wives. Wives of men who cheated- that doesn't make us martyrs, fools or pushovers .. This is not a safe place for the OW no matter how she spins her story!

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    1. Anonymous,
      I'm sorry Diane's comment has upset you. I do want this site to feel safe for betrayed wives. Diane asked a question -- she wanted to ask it privately but I have no forum for her to do so at this point – and I answered it.
      All we can do is hope that those who did make the choice to become the Other Woman recognize the pain they've caused so many people and resolve to never do so again. While I would desperately love a world where people recognize pain BEFORE they cause it, I'll have to settle for one in which people learn from their mistakes – acknowledging, of course, that plenty DON'T learn. Which one Diane is remains to be seen.

      Elle

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    2. To the people who had the problem with the OW commenting need to kindly get a grip. I have been the OW & I have been the BS, so because I was once an OW, that means I can't post here? Gimme a break. I want to hear from everyone so I can learn from my mistakes, and learn what to look out for in the future. Don't blame random OW's for their past mistakes, especially when she kindly stated how terribly remorseful she is, it's not like she came here harassing the betrayed. This isn't grade school. Your husband's could've said NO to the OW but guess what, they didn't, so you get to get mad at OW's that you never even met on infidelity forums and yet you go home & play house with your husband every night, the one who betrayed & lied to you? Um yeah that makes tons of sense. We should all support & learn from each other no matter what side of the fence you are on.

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    3. Swungtime,
      This is a site for "betrayed wives". There are plenty of places on the Web where OW can bitch and complain about us. This is not one of them.
      I assure you that just about every betrayed wife I know is desperately trying to "get a grip". And I'm sorry that we can't give you "a break". Sure it's our husbands who are primarily to blame...but anyone who knowingly gets involved with a married man is inviting disdain.
      And, to be clear, there seems to be only one commenter who had an issue with Diane's post here. There was no vitriol, no cruelty.
      And yes, for the record, we do "get to get mad" at anyone we feel played a role in our misery. And, also the record, none of us are "playing house". We're living our lives and trying to repair very damaged relationships. We are experiencing the worst pain of our lives.
      As a betrayed spouse, you are certainly welcome to post here and share your experience. And, as an OW, you probably have insights we could benefit from. But please don't take your own problems with others being mad at you out on women here who have said nothing to you and are simply articulating their experience.

      Elle

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  9. I have been reading this post for almost a year now and have been frightened to respond. I discovered my husbands second affair 10 months ago. We have been married just under 20 years. We have two amazing teenagers who have never seen their parents fighting because we really hadn't. We always got along flawlessly. His job unfortunately sends him away every week for 4 to 5 days at a time. Hotels , women always traveling with him, you get the picture. The first affair was three months in 6 years ago and the last was a year long, sex 4 times together in that time. We have been attending counseling but I feel like it goes no where. I am told that I need to determine if I can forgive or end it. At this point I want it to work but nothing feels special anymore. I love you, your beautiful still make me angry. If you can tell someone else these things it has lost it's meaning. I believe that I do suffer from PTSD and don't know how to move forward. The pictures of them in my mind overwhelm me no matter how busy or how hard I try to refocus. I would love any help, I believe that I owe this to the beautiful family that we love and created.

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    1. Anonymous,
      Only you can determine whether you want to stay or go, but if you feel as if counselling is going nowhere, my guess is that it isn't going anywhere.
      You do suffer from PTSD. There's increasing research that many, many betrayed women experience PTSD. It might be an idea to put the couples counselling on hold and focus on yourself right now. Focus on getting past the trauma (EMDR can be quite effective). At that point, you'll be much better able to figure out whether you can get past this.
      A big part of that, of course, is how much your husband is able to support you in your healing and be brutally honest with himself about how he allowed himself to make such painful choices. It's not for him to search for excuses, but rather understand what messages he gave to himself that this was somehow okay so that he can rewire that messaging.
      But that's not something you can control. For now, get focussed on getting past the trauma and getting clear on whether you're willing to do the hard work of rebuilding a marriage (and whether he's capable of doing it with you).
      I'm glad you got the courage to post. Whatever you're going through is undoubtedly something that someone here can relate to. I appreciate you sharing your struggle.

      Elle

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    2. Thank you so much for your response. I have been dealing with this alone, besides my husband and counselor, for fear of judgement by family and friends. That I could not Handle. My husband is trying so hard to be understanding and kind as well as coming to a reason why this has occurred. At this point, just about 11 months into this mess, I want it to work very much. I just can't seem to accept that I am wanted and loved any more. I feel so replaceable. Your EMDR therapy sounds hopeful, but having a hard time finding availability in my small town area. I so badly want to feel happy again. I have lost much too much weight and just don't know myself anymore. I did read your post today about living life for the beautiful gift that it is, just having a rough time getting there. Once again thank you for your kind words and to all the strong and brave women who post here

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    3. I think your challenge with feeling lovable and wanted is actually in the first two lines of your comment -- your fear of judgement. What's the fear with that? What power does others' judgement have over you? As my therapist so often reminds me (I NEED a lot of reminding), it's not what others say about us, it's what we say to ourselves. I suspect that your fear of others' judgement is based in large part on the incredibly harsh way you judge yourself. Do you, on some level, think you're unworthy of love? Unworthy of being wanted? Did you husband's affair trigger some deep sense of unworthiness within you? You absolutely are worthy of love simply because you exist. But you need to believe that. And when you do, all other judgement won't matter.
      You're not replaceable because there is no single other YOU in the world. That's not to say there aren't other people to have dinner with, to talk to, to have sex with... But there is no other YOU. With your thoughts, your dreams, your unique way of seeing the world. You did NOT deserve the pain your husband created. And if you choose to give him the chance to redeem himself, that is your choice. But with him or without him, you are worthy of love.

      Elle

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    4. Wow. I really am glad I just found this site after googling "I want to die after my husbands affair." I don't really want to die, I just wish a meteor would land on me so I don't feel so horrible.
      Anyway, I just wanted to tell the above poster that an acquaintance who told me she was cheated on by her first husband, they subsequently divorced, regrets how ashamed she was and how she told no one. It didn't give her a chance to get to really work through the pain because she couldn't talk to anyone. Anyway, as a private person myself, I am reaching out for others to talk to because I realize how much I need it. Also, the word has gotten around our community and lots of people have reached out to me with kind words and sweet gestures that have helped me not feel so bad about myself.

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    5. Hello, I know exactly how you must feel, my husband of 26 years cheated 3 months ago while I'm currently recovering from breast cancer and still going through chemotherapy. One shock after the other.The shame that he could do this at all and even more baffeling while I'm sick. I don't know why I'm so ashamed I didn't have the affair? I guess its to admit failure and all your hope and trust is gone.Somehow I will get through this, thanks for listening.

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    6. Anonymous and Susan,
      You are not alone in this. There are many, many of us who know your pain. In particular, Susan, it's bizarrely common (as oxymoronic as that sounds) to hear about men cheating when their wives are dealing with illness, elderly parents, disabled children and all manner of life's issues. I think, far too often, men can't deal with things when we're emotionally preoccupied with other things and so they distract themselves with an affair. Crazy yes. But too common.
      I hope you'll both continue to post here, read others' stories and trust that you will get through this. Share your pain. Work through it here and in real life, either with a counsellor or with trusted friends who can support you without judgement.
      You did not deserve this. And you will come out the other side.

      Elle

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  10. Growing up wasn't so beautiful after experiences of abuse and rape but my husband changed my world. He was my twin and missing rib (so I thought). I was shocked to discover he was having an affair when I was pregnant of my second daughter. 6months later she was pregnant and their families got involved. I do a shift job and he takes advantage of that. He finally admitted when i had a proof. He later claimed that he wasnt going on with the affair but I still see him deeply rooted in it. She gets everything done for her because she has a child (son) for him which is my worst fear. He's quick to explain his financial constraints when I ask for anything. I made the mistake of being too independent for a long time but i felt that was a thing to do as a good wife. I feel so uncertain about what lies ahead and just think i want to opt out. i really want to move on and so he claims too but "to what?" is what I keeping asking myself. I can NEVER be involved in polygamy because I cant handle it. I feel stupid over all the supports I have ever giving him because they are working against me now. What do you advise i do

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    1. Anonymous,
      I am so sorry for all the pain you've been through in your life...and the pain you're in now. You haven't deserved ANY of it. You are deserving of love and honor. But that absolutely must start with you giving it compassion and love to yourself. Which means absolutely getting out of this relationship. You are not honoring yourself when you put up with him still being in any sort of relationship with a woman he got pregnant while cheating with you. I'm sorry a child is involved but that was HIS doing, not yours. He has taken advantage of you in far too many ways. You wonder what you might be moving on TO? How about a life in which you're not always wondering where your husband is or who he is? How about a life in which you can spend what you want, when you want and on what you want without answering to someone who's using money to control you? How about a life of calm and peace, where you can begin to surround yourself with people who deserve you? Who don't cause you pain? Who don't betray your trust?
      Please get out of this incredibly unhealthy relationship. Start by getting a counsellor and beginning to heal from all your childhood trauma. Your husband's affair is undoubtedly triggering trauma from your childhood, which is perhaps what is keeping you paralyzed in this harmful marriage. He might have "changed your world" but he's not that person anymore. You deserve so much better. And it's out there. I promise. You just have to stop waiting for someone to give it to you, and grab for it yourself. Anyone who has overcome what you have is strong and brave. Do this for yourself.

      Elle

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  11. Numbness..not sure if I should end it? Not sure if I still love him? 7 yrs married with a beautiful 5yr son. I was raised never to lie and always tell the truth. Doesn't matter if I move forward 5 steps. Suddenly I am 7 steps backwards. Granted only 6 days since DDay ( I found out on Fathers Day!)but I feel no better at reconciliation. Yesterday was good day. Today bad day! I feel like a hamster on the wheel.

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    1. Numbness! The fact that you've found this site and can even put something into words is amazing after 6 days. I'm 13 months post D Day. If I look back to that first week, I really cannot remember it apart from feeling sick, disorientated, shaking, tearful and a deep anger like I have never experienced. It took 8 months to find out the whole truth. Each time he would say " Now you know everything, I promise" but I just knew there was more and kept on asking...That made the healing harder as it took me back to the same spot from the moment I found out.

      Has your husband told you everything and is he wanting to make the marriage work. I am so sorry that you have a young son that needs you and your time and you have the trauma of this to deal with.

      I wish someone had told me at the beginning not to put a time scale on things. I kept thinking " well its one month now I should feel better, 3 months, 10 months" but its a work in progress. The worst is over but I still get absolute melt down moments. It can be something on tv that strikes a chord or makes me think " Um, wonder if they went there, did that, talked about that" and then I'm unsettled for the next few days.

      I only told my parents and none of our friends know. I had the husband that was up until that moment pretty much perfect, he was the least likely to have an affair...Reading these blogs will make you realise there isn't a particular type, but the pain us wives and mothers feel is pretty universal.

      There are people here who will support you. Rant and rave and try to take good care of yourself. You really are not alone. Share the anger, and hopefully the better days.

      Cranky girl. x

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    2. Six days is, honestly, so little time. I know it feels like time has slowed to a crawl. And I'm so sorry you're going through this. But at this point, if you're able to breathe and function somewhat, then you're a rock star.
      Give yourself time to process what's happened. It's considered trauma-inducing to go through this.
      Cranky girl's advice is bang-on. Thanks, Cranky Girl, for picking up the slack for me. I love that we can help each other through this.

      Elle

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  12. Found this site and have discovered some of the comments. I am reassured that I am not alone in many of the thoughts and actions. I am 33 years into our marriage, we are both retired from work and I discovered some months ago that my husband has been in contact with (5 years) and slept with (once he tells me, I think so as she lives at the opposite end of the country)with the ex girlfriend I 'stole' him off 34 years ago.
    He insists it is over and ended and his phone records show this is the case. I am paranoid and suspicious and wary as this started after all this time I will only relax when I see her obituary in their local paper. We both want our marriage to survive and have been much more together and things are generally good, but I think he expects me to accept that, move forward and stop thinking about what he has done. It isn't that easy and I just want to say this site is helping.

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    1. Paranoid and suspicious is, unfortunately, a state too many of us are familiar with. The best advice to rebuild trust, I think, is "trust but verify." In other words, trust that he's doing the right thing...but check that he is. Check phone records, e-mail accounts, etc. Ask him questions. Confirm with friends if necessary. The only way to rebuild trust is for him to repeatedly be where he says he is, with whom he says he's with and doing what he says he's doing. And for you to know that.
      His wanting you to "accept" and move on is pretty typical...but simply doesn't work in the long run. This isn't something to accept so much as heal from. It's like asking someone to "accept" that they've been run over by a truck. You've got damage from what happened and that needs tending to. Ideally he'll support you as you tend to your needs, and even help you by listening to your paranoia and suspicions and reassuring you. By doing that, he's going a long way toward truly strengthening your marriage rather than rebuilding on faulty foundation.

      Elle

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  13. He said he got together with her when we were having problems a few weeks into marriage.

    I am mad. Especially as it was a big decision for me to have a baby with him. He said he was not in touch with her for 4 months but emailed her to say we had a baby. Then they restarted communication and he eventually went to usa from uk to see her 4 months later.

    He hired a hotel room for 5 days but insists they did not have sex. Apparently he could not get it up as he felt bad.

    I do love him bit his betrayal is enough to cancel that out. It is only my child stopping me. I never wanted her to jabe divorced parents.

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    1. Confused,

      I am so so sorry.

      Given that your child is so young, I wouldn't stay simply for her sake. She would simply know nothing different if you were to divorce and remain civil and respectful to each other.

      If you stay, do it because you want to rebuild your marriage. Or at least stay to give yourself time to decide what's next. But if you know it's over for your marriage, then my advice is to get out now.

      If you choose to rebuild, then he needs to absolutely stop all contact with the OW, give you access to all phones, computers, etc. He needs to shut her out and bring you back in.

      And then you both need to do the hard work of rebuilding after betrayal.

      But first, figure out whether you're interested in giving him another chance. What does he offer that's worth keeping? When you can answer that he's a good guy who made a bad mistake, then it's time to rebuild. If he's a not-so-great guy who made a bad choice, then cut him loose.

      Elle

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  14. I just discovered this site and realised i went through all that was listed in the article. It's been 7 months since i found out my husband, my soulmate, someone i trust my life with betrayed me with a co-worker. 3 weeks into affair, he realize he is not the only guy in the office she was involved in n indication that she is a gold digger, he confessed, beg for my forgiveness for his mistake n did everything he could to regain my trust. We had counselling for past 3 months but i m not getting better. In fact, my pain is worse as i feel i want to leave but i still love him so much. I forgave him but mentioned during therapy i want us to distant each other till we both feel it is no longer painful to part. I told him he has desecrated our relationship with a slut n i m finding it increasing hard to stay on. Has anyone been through this before?

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    1. I've said it so often I sound like a broken record...but healing takes far longer than any of us can imagine. Experts say it's three to five years to work through the mess of betrayal.
      That said, some people simply can't get past it...or decide that they don't want to. Which is perfectly legitimate. He broke his vows and you now get to decide if that's a deal breaker for you.
      That said, you mentioned that you still love him and that the's doing what he can to help. And given that seven months -- though it feels like a lifetime -- isn't that long in the betrayal world, you might want to sit tight for a bit longer and see how you feel at a year. Most experts recommend waiting six months to a year simply because your emotions are so volatile that it's hard to know how you really feel.
      There is no right or wrong way to healing. We each get to chart our own course.
      Hang in there. Stick with therapy. It will become clearer.

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  15. I found out nine months ago my husband was having a six year affair with a friend I considered family. I'm devastated....my husband has been really working hard at making himself an open book, I know he's trying and feels bad. My problem is the how long the affair went on and how easy it was for him to lie to me. I'm hurt not only at what he did to me, but also what my "friend" did. I feel like if they didn't get caught he would of still carried on with this, like our life together didn't matter. We've been through counseling and I do forgive him, I guess I don't understand what happen and I'm so hurt at what my "friend" did to me (by the way her husband found out three months before I did and didn't tell me). I called him to see how they were doing and I guess he told my husband if he didn't tell me he would if she ever contacted me. Lucky I did or my husband would of continued to keep this secret and who knows how many more. I'm angry at him and my so called "friend". I still have nightmares, find pictures of us all together with our children. I've known them for at least 9 years. I just want this pain to stop.

    RSC

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    1. RSC,
      I can't imagine the pain you're in -- betrayed by your husband and a close friend. This is also an argument for what it's crucial to tell the spouse when you know his/her spouse is having an affair.
      You have a ton to work through, no matter how conscientious your husband is being. That's a truck-load of betrayal. I hope you have counselling to help you through this. Is your husband also in counselling? To figure out why/how he could compartmentalize so completely? You're right -- that's a long time to live with deceit.
      The pain will stop...though I'm sure you doubt it ever will. But I assure you it will. Time is your friend...but you need to help things along by processing your grief and anger with someone who's safe.
      In the meantime, please feel free to share your thoughts here. There are so many of us who've been where you are and it can certainly help to have those among us to help you along.

      Elle

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    2. We have been in counseling and I guess in my husbands line of work it's very common for them to compartmentalize. He seems to be doing better, but after what happen I'm so afraid he could easily go back. I really appreciate this website and thank you for all your words of support. I have had no one really to talk to, outside of counseling, nice to see I'm not alone. I guess I struggle with the amount of time the healing takes. I hate having emotional up and downs, but I'm glad to know it's normal. I'm afraid to trust anyone again and hope that to will pass as well.


      RSC

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    3. The trust comes back....but it takes a long time. And I'm not sure it ever completely comes back. I'm certainly more wary of people than I ever was. I tended to be VERY naive. Now...not so much.
      Hang in there. Glad to have you here...though we all wish you didn't need to be.

      Elle

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    4. RSC,
      I have a very similar story. The OW was my best friend. Our kids played togther and a whole chunk of my life is with her in it. I've been trying to work things out with my husband but my kids will randomly mention her and her kids and its like stab in the heart. I wish we could forget and the pain would stop.

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    5. I have a similar situation as well. We were family friends for a long time. His family is still friends with her on fb. I don't agree with that but they aren't my family. It's been 5 yrs and I still don't completely trust him. Don't know that I ever will. I find myself questioning things I wouldn't question with an honest spouse. It takes time.

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  16. My husband had an affair with a "friend" of mine that lasted about a year until I found out. I always had suspicious thoughts relating to her and questioned my husband a lot. He was very mean to me over the last year and now that I know, he has decided that he was wrong and I am the only one he wants. I can't get over the mental images of them together and the thought of her trying to raise my children. How do I move on an keep my marriage in tact?

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    1. It's hard enough when the OW is a faceless stranger...it's worse, I think, when it's someone close to us, whom we can easily imagine everything about them.
      You didn't say how long ago you found out. In the short term, the only past is through and it will be hell. Mind movies will likely play constantly in your head and it will be hard to eliminate thoughts of the two of them.
      But...the more mental energy you give those fantasies, the stronger they'll become.
      If you and your husband aren't in counselling, I hope you'll get some. You have a tough road to get past the betrayal and your husband is going to need to support you if you both want to rebuild your marriage.
      This might go without saying but there needs to be absolutely NO CONTACT between your husband and this woman...and I'd advise you to never speak to her again. Keep in mind that she personally was likely never the appeal to your husband. Chances are she was simply a convenient distraction from the real issues of his -- whatever those were. He needs to get clear on why he allowed himself to go down that road and figure out how to ensure it never happens again.
      If you both commit to working through this, you can rebuild a stronger marriage. There are plenty on this site who have done exactly that.
      But your marriage won't be "intact", it will be rebuild. It's like going back and rebuilding a foundation all over again.
      Hang in there. It does get easier with time. But it's a long time.

      Elle

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  17. To Diana and the "OTHER WOMEN" who need a forum or place to ask what to do I found one perfect for you ---- it is called
    the-other-woman.com Their forum provides a place for you to discuss your pain and ask questions from women who have done that been there and are in situations like you. I hope their words of wisdom will suit your needs better than ours on this site. I was benefiting both my emotional/physical feelings by reading advice on this site until I came upon your story. I do feel like you portray yourself as the victim. You and the MM are both responsible for the pain, agony, and trust on both families, especially the children. If you had any idea of the pain and anxiety my girls have gone through because of my husband's and his GF actions. I cannot and would not even begin to try and explain the past 6 months to you. Hind sight is 20/20 . But ask yourself this Diana.... If the shoe was on the other foot and you were betrayed how would you feel?

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  18. I don't know where to start from as I am in so much pain. I literally feel that my heart has been shattered to pieces which can never be joined perfectly together. Me and my husband we're childhood sweethearts, we fell in love at the age of 16 (me) and 18(him). We got married in June 2013, 2 nights ago I found out that he's been having an affair with his co-worker. I have met the girl and thought they we're just good friends. He never told me about their relationship even though he says that he wanted to but didn't want me to go through the pain that I'm going through right now. The night I found out, I asked him if they had sex, he replied that "I swear on your life, we did everything except intercourse!" The next night he wanted to be intimate with me as I told him that I had forgiven him but I cannot forget what you did. I asked him politely if he had done anything, he then spoke up and said yes they did. I read his text messages which were horrible, I thought I would faint after reading them. He said that he is so sorry and that he wants to make me feel like a princess and start all over again. However, he says that the OW said that she depended fully on him when taking life decisions and that he wants to stay in contact with her just as a friend. I am experiencing all sorts of things right now. Hatred, betrayal, cheated and that I am a fool and so naïve. I don't know what to do. I love him so much, I cant live without him and I cannot even think of leaving him. What should I do in this situation? In addition, I want to know the complete truth as I still think he is hiding things from me. the worst thing is, he says that "I did everything before marriage", and that a few months before he said to her that we should now go our separate ways as I have to get married (to me). I don't understand if that makes a difference, at the end of the day were still in a relationship, the only thing was we were not living together and we never had intercourse during that time.

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    1. I'm so sorry -- I don't know how I missed this comment.
      Your story is so familiar -- many many women have been in your shoes.
      But I want to start with a few things. You CAN live without him. I'm not saying you need to...but please know that you can. In fact, unless he's willing to come completely clean about what happened and cut this woman completely out of his life and recommit himself to your marriage, then I think you should live without him. No man is worth sacrificing your self-respect.
      All those feelings you have -- hatred, anger, fear, shock -- are completely normal under the circumstances.
      But, I'll say it again, he needs to cut off ALL contact with this co-worker and make it clear to her that it's completely over. The OW, after cheating with a married/engaged man, doesn't get to keep him a friend. That's absolutely not fair to you. It's cruel. It's crazy.
      You need to have unfettered access to all his phones/computers/whatever so that you can check up. The idea isn't to become a marital police person, but to be able to check up and reassure yourself that there isn't any contact. The more open he is and the more reassured you begin to feel, the more trust you can build back.
      In the meantime, I strongly urge you to get counselling to deal with all the pain you're going through and to dig deep to discover why you feel you can't live without him. If there's one thing I've learned through all this, it's that we betrayed wives can live through just about anything.

      Elle

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  19. I cheated on my wife. It was with an ex girlfriend from 14 years prior and my wife and I have been married ten years. The woman I cheated on her with was someone who broke my heart years ago by lying and cheating on me in that relationship. I still can't understand how I allowed myself to be involved with her in anyway. She is also married with kids.

    I fought waves of guilt that I felt and specifically when it came to my daughter. Yet I continued to have the affair. I ended the affair over a year prior to her husband contacting my wife. I wanted to focus on my marriage, I wanted to finally fix it. I was tired of the guilt. I had hoped she would not find out as I knew how much pain it would cause her.

    Why did I cheat? I wasn't looking for just sex. Familiarity certainly helped foster the affair. I was looking for intimacy, physical and emotional. Someone that wouldn't say "No" 9 out of ten times I tried warming them up to the idea of sex. Someone who was supportive and yes, said nice things to me.

    You see, my wife slowly dialed back the amount of intimacy. She would be perfectly happy to never have sex again. She would perform "maintenance" sex when she felt she had put it off long enough. Not having that connection with my wife was killing me.. lack of true intimacy, knowing that I was getting maintenance sex. Not having her support and commitment in other aspects of the marriage... All conspired to lower my self esteem, cause me to be hostile, angry, frustrated. I insisted on counseling back in 2009, again in 2010 and again in 2011. She always went with me reluctantly and she would always slightly "improve" things between us. She would do just enough to satisfy the needs for improvement in the marriage and ass soon as we stopped counseling go back to the rut.

    After she found out, she asked a million questions. I told her everything. It was a mere week before we were intimate again. We seemed to be more appreciative of each other. We entered counseling this time and now she is a willing participant. The counselor pointed out that by withholding intimacy(physical and emotional) she opened the door for me to me tempted. This is true. If I was happy in my marriage I would have never cheated on my wife. I would have never risked so much. I sound like a jerk. The problems in the marriage in part drove me to cheat when the opportunistic other woman from my past came upon me. THAT CHOICE... to have an affair is on me. Ultimately I am to blame for that, but please understand there was cause and effect. I find and have always found my wife to be beautiful, sexy and told her such. I tried everything to make things better to the point perhaps I gave up and was trying to get balance from an affair. That is on part what happened... I got from the affair what I truly needed from my wife... While living with the stress of it all. It affected my work, my health. It actually made me try harder in my marriage to cover it all up. The OW and I both mused that the affair may actually save our marriages or perhaps end them, but in the interim just prolong them.

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  20. Continued due to the character limit....
    I can say that my affair in many ways, 90 days post my wife find out has potentially saved my marriage. I think She finally woke up, finally realizes many things. It woke me up too - just how stupid a choice it was, just how much I put at risk. We have a long way to go but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. Ironically, the affair isn't what will end the marriage, but the same marital issues we have had for years. If we can't get to that place then there will be no 2nd affair for me, I will end it this next time.

    Point is, there is many times factors in the marriage that can allow, push, encourage, or indirectly influence a spouse to cheat. Sometimes Men and Women are just jerks and are cheaters through and through, but many of us make that mistake, never wanting to, but we find ourselves there. I still can't fully understand why it was her, why this OW was the one I had the affair with given our bad history.

    The other thing I do have a problem is that within a couple of weeks, it was as if the affair never happened. We were happier, functioning better. It bothers me to a large degree that my wife after just a few days became nonchalant about it. I wanted her to be mad, I wanted her to hold me accountable to her pain for a period of time. She says it's because I ended the affair and it had been a year - that it would have been different if I was still in the affair and very different if I had lied to her about any details she already knew.

    Time will tell. The affair may be what saves my marriage as stupid as that sounds. I know many here will not receive that statement well... And I do not mean to use that to justify the affair, but if ten years from now we can look back on this pivotal moment in our marriage as what propelled us back together, forward in our marriage then perhaps then that statement will truly have some validity.

    I guess my question to the women here is did you recognize issues in the marriage that contributed to your spouse's temptation to cheat or are you absolute in not having any responsibility for it?

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    1. I take responsibility for issues within the marriage...but absolutely NOT for his choice to cheat. As Anonymous phrased it so eloquently below, that's their thing to own. I've been tempted (I think it's the rare spouse who's never even been tempted) but I knew enough not to go down that path. That's not who I want to be.
      To many though, the ego boost they get from another's attention is so intoxicating. It becomes a craving.
      I'll try and write more when I'm not on holiday.
      But one red flag to me is your wife's response. Simply doesn't seem in proportion to the crime, so to speak. I wonder if she's in denial about her own feelings. Or if she's cheated herself and this relieves her guilt. I don't know...but it seems weird. I think the only good from an affair can be the cracking open of the marriage where long simmering issues finally get addressed.

      Elle

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    2. You are right. I do own the decision to have the affair. I will always own that one.

      Thank you for your input on her response. She has a difficult time expressing herself when cornered or put on the defense. She likes to take the path of least resistance. Personally, I highly doubt she had her own affair. I would have know as I control every penny of the household expenses, see every text message/phone call and as the IT guy around here I have spot checked her from time to time and there is no evidence... And yes, I became more snoopy when I started the affair... Funny how the one that is lying and cheating (ME in this case) gets paranoid that maybe their spouse is doing the exact same to them.

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    3. Dan,

      I am 8 weeks from the start of this terrible nightmare. My husband had multiple sex partners, did on-line chat for 20 years, we have been married 32 years last month, went to strip clubs. Boy, this just blindsided me into next year. Nobody would have every believed that my husband could do this to me. I don't know what contributed to my husband cheating. I am still trying to figure that out. But he was emotionally absent. I wasn't. But my husband didn't want to have sex with me. Actually he hasn't had sex with me since 2005. Shocker. I was the one constantly asking him for sex or telling him that we need to work on our marriage or that I was so lonely. So do you have any words of wisdom for me?

      I have always been a devoted wife, holding down the fort when my husband was constantly out of town on business. Waiting on him hand and foot when he got home. NO I DO NOT TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIM CHEATING. FOR ANY OF IT.

      Now any words of wisdom for me!

      TL

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    4. I have none. In my wife's case, there was still love regardless of how she was failing the other parts of the marriage. Some people just cheat and I believe that it is some sort of primal need. Others are just jerks. What reason has he given for cheating and not wanting intimacy with you? The reason he gives should tell you all you need to know - if he was just plain selfish or if there was something in your marriage that he found lacking.

      My wife, was oblivious... even with our fights, even with counseling, and our many 1 on 1 conversations about the issues in our marriage. If it didn't impact her, then seemingly she didn't need to adjust anything or care. You may or may not be the same... See, my wife thought everything was fine and she was doing all the right things. She wasn't and she ignored every warning sign leading up to my affair.

      Again, I think every marriage has many of the same problems, but the depth, cause and effect of those problems are what can be distinctly different from another marriage.

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  21. Hi Dan, ( Part 1)
    Do we ever really notice the seasons changing in a day? we suddenly wake up one morning and the leaves are off the tree and autumn has arrived, and before we know it, spring flowers appear. I can only tell you my story.

    I knew my husband as a friend for years before we married. We got married 15 years ago and have a 14 yr old daughter. It was a very good marriage( and is starting to be so again) Hopes and dreams came to fruition, good sex life, and much laughter. Just after our daughter was born I was very ill and needed hospital treatment. No problem, just everyone was a bit preoccupied with me. Life carried on. Just after that I needed to take on some extra work to cover household expenses for various improvements, still fine but perhaps I was a bit more preoccupied and perhaps because I had such a long day the sex dwindled a little, but everyone said to him what a wonderful capable wife I was.

    Move on a few years after that, my father became very ill and nearly died, few more months of dividing my time to help my mother. Things were fine, and everyone was saying what a great daughter I was. A while after that my husband was made redundant and I took on extra work and helped with the finances, yet again, everyone said what a wonderfully strong asset I was to my husband. Things were okay. Then came along a new job for my husband which took up more of his time, but things were ok ( ish) Few years on, 2nd redundancy. Things were fragile.

    It was a gentle drip drip, less time to spend on each other, I think my husband felt demoralised with the career situation and I was trying to work and look after our daughter. He felt I didn't spend enough of my time on him; selfish of him, yes, but if he felt that way, then he felt that way.

    A couple of years ago I was driving to work and I saw my husbands car come out of a drive to a block of apartments when he should have been at work. I went to honk the horn but something kept me from doing so. Thought about it all day and felt fear. He came home that night and I noticed he smelt different. I knew! I had to go to bed in a hurry as I was hyper ventilating and didn't want him to know. I needed to work this out in my own head.

    A few weeks passed and I knew that he was seeing someone. Didn't have proof other than seeing him that morning and he was acting differently.

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  22. Dan, Part 2.
    The next week he had to go on a residential course out of town. It gave me thinking space. I put my daughter to bed that night and sat down and started thinking back. I loved him unconditionally, but I couldn't be that rock at all times. I walked around the house and saw what a wonderful home it was, I looked at our gorgeous daughter sleeping who is a joy, I watched our wedding dvd, I looked at old holiday photos, read old valentines cards and love letters. I couldn't believe that he was being unfaithful, but I also didn't realise what sort of affair it was. By the end of the evening I was shaking. I knew that if I confronted him then, our world would fall apart, his father was going in for a major life threatening operation, my mother had been diagnosed with cancer and our daughter was anxious about school and her grandfather. I needed to keep this together.

    So, I carried on and made a few remarks that he was late home, smelt of funny perfume. A few gentle hints that I knew. I would confront him another week/month year. Just let me sort everyone out, let me save my marriage and keep the status quo, just for now.

    I kinda knew that his affair was over without officially finding out; He was home earlier and more guilt on his face when I told him I loved him, although I told him throughout, it was as if he was hearing it for the first time.

    Move on 2 years and his phone bleeped. I checked a message from a work colleague, but for some reason checked his sent messages. He had sent a text to her even though it had been over for some time. He hadn't seen her but kept texting throughout, he said he wanted to keep a check on her to make sure she wasn't wavering in her view to expose him. You see, I knew all along, but I finally had to confront it, I couldn't put a band aid on this. Well, it hit me like a tidal wave.

    So, to conclude this, yes, in retrospect I did recognise issues after I first knew about the affair, but I am absolute in not having any responsibility for it. I had a couple of offers from other men at work, a few would say, your husband doesn't appreciate you, but I always took his defence and would rather have had a real down to earth conversation had I felt in anyway that I was close to having an affair. No matter how difficult, I couldn't have intercourse with another man all the time I was married, I couldn't look my daughter in the face. I could have a darn good moan about him, I could spend less time at home and more time on hobbies, but a sexual affair, no.

    Affairs take a lot of planning, money, lies and time. Wouldn't it be wonderful if that time were spent putting something back into a marriage that seemed stale.

    I really hope you can work things out, think back to the time when things did work.

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    Replies
    1. We'll see. :) I have hope but it is dwindling fast as she is reverting back to her usual self even with the counseling.

      As for the difference between our marriages... You were holding down the fort, you went to work, you were a full partner in your marriage and yet he cheated. So no, I do not suspect you should feel responsible.

      Flip side of that for me... My wife has let me down four times when it has come to her employment. Quit her long time job eight months into the marriage. Went back to work full time after four months and requested a new car for the longer commute. Bought car. Quits that job after three months - citing the commute. Which wasn't that bad as I ran that road every week during those hours... So now, new car payment, and non working wife. She took some part time jobs... I took new job and six weeks later was told to relocate. I told her first one to find a job wins... She tells me she might have a high risk pregnancy due to her age.. SHE ISN'T yet pregnant at that point. She was happy to watch me commute to work over the mountains in winter for several months to keep up appearances with the new employer. Then we had talk about continued fertility and adoption... and that we had already spent near $25k out of pocket on the process. I told her that if she wanted another invitro or to adopt she needed to work full time to help me with the fertility related expenses. She agreed to get her resume together and go job hunting... She did neither.

      To this day she doesn't understand how much resentment those events have caused in our marriage. Add in the intimacy issues and her elevated anxiety condition and it was the perfect condition for my to have an affair. I'm frankly surprised it took me that long.

      So that is the difference. I would like to think that if she hadn't fostered that resentment via her lack of work ethic that I may not have had the affair, but once is one thing, four times is a bit hard to forget... And I'm assuming when our daughter starts school in three years that she'll pull the same shit all over again.

      This past week has been difficult as I have recognized her telltale trait of sliding back into her rut/comfort zone. I'm not going to let her pull that again as I felt like we were on our way to a healthy marriage and I'm not going to let her sabotage it again.

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    2. Dan,

      You say one of the main factors in your affair was your wife letting you down 4 times with employment. Another factor was the lack of intimacy and also that she never said nice things to you and didn't seem interested. Was your marriage like this from the beginning or did it gradually descend into this.

      I went back to work very quickly after our baby was born and worked right up to due date. This is something that my husband really regrets as it put so much strain on me that I became stressed, exhausted and sometimes so tired that I would have to pull over on the journey home and rest for 30 mins before I could continue- obviously I didn't always feel like being intimate after that as I still had another 4-5 hrs once getting home to prepare for the next day, express milk, wash, cook, iron and clean.

      I can hear the frustration that her not working has caused you, but I so wish I had of had more time to float around being a mum and wife. Was your wife adverse to work prior to all this?

      I presume in counselling you have expressed the resentment that these issues have caused?

      I know that you say you are the IT guy at home and you had control over the money and you checked things when you were in the midst of the affair, however, I've known a couple of women who had affairs without needing to use email/websites and unlike men usually haven't had to do the spending on affair partner. One friend in particular had a handyman working next door, she was in the garden, they struck up a conversation which lead to a coffee one morning, then the affair started in full and he used to pop over a couple of times a week when he was on lunch or to and from work. She never called him on the phone, he knew her situation and he was not married himself. There is always opportunity.

      You said that you felt you were on the way to a healthy marriage, did your wife feel the same way.? One last question; did your wife enjoy the job she did, was it her career/ambition? Just wondering if she was in a career she hated.

      Good luck.

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    3. She had the cycle of poor work ethic before we even became pregnant. Many excuses as to why she wouldn't take certain jobs, etc. Now that she is the mother to our child, I have no problem with her staying at home but do not look forward to the future when the same issue comes up again. As for her satisfaction with a career... I can't say I love my job, but it is what I have to do for my marriage, my household and my family - period.

      So that built a lot of resentment. Couple that with the intimacy issues, and the anxiety issues, and I've never been more frustrated in my life. The saying "I've never felt lonelier then I've felt being married" rings true here. As far as intimacy, she slowly retracted certain things from our sexual menu - things she did obviously enjoy before ( she is honest about those things), but decided we didn't need those in our sex life anymore. That alone wasn't horrible, but when you are turned down for intimacy 9 out of 10 times, it gets old. It impacts your self esteem, and it makes you even more resentful. Nothing I tried made it better... All the nice things we are supposed to do to each other... None worked. Had her checked at doctors for issues that might drive it... Hormones, etc. Not much of any issue found. She turned into a prude shortly after marriage and admits to having issues with intimacy. She says I am the first man that she was with that focused on her during intimacy... and to be honest, when we are intimate, even if it takes her some time to get warmed up - it is wonderful. The quality of that intimacy in most instances is awesome. I don't have high expectations on frequency, but once a week, some sort of intimacy seems within reason. We are doing better with that now.

      I have brought up everything in counseling. My wife feels responsible in many ways for our plight, but I also feel terrible as I know she feels like she is being attacked. We have a long way to go. Time will tell. I have days that are entirely joyful with her now - more than I've had with her in a long, long time. Our biggest problem that I can put my finger on is mutual respect. Since I've discovered that as part of our problem, I've been noticing more and more the ways that I feel disrespected... It was more common from her than I thought... and probably our biggest issue right now. It is hard to be respectful to her when I see lack of it from her on a regular basis... Thanks for letting me share... This is most helpful even if I'm one of the bad guys on a forum of women. :)

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    4. Dan,
      You don't sound like a "bad guy" at all. Just a guy who's frustrated and doesn't feel heard within the marriage.
      I suspect there's deeper issues with your wife that have nothing to do with you. Her comment that you were the first guy to focus on her pleasure during sex is telling. Is she in any individual counselling? It might help her get clear on her own issues around intimacy, which could include some shame stuff. Sex can be fraught for many women -- notions of "good girls don't", "slut", etc. can wreak a lot of havoc before we claim our sexuality. Our culture isn't always easy on women around this stuff.
      The "entirely joyful" days sounds promising. Do you tell her this? How much you enjoy just being around her? Don't assume she just knows.
      As for the mutual respect, I'm wondering with the more you say, how much she's able to respect herself. It's impossible to truly respect others when you don't respect yourself. Or if you don't much like yourself. No matter what her issues are, she's worthy of self-respect and self-love. We all are.
      So yes...long way to go. But it sounds as if things are getting better, even just marginally, instead of worse. In my experience, it can sometimes be a case of two steps forward, one step back...until one day you realize you're exactly where you want to be.

      Elle

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    5. Here we are in December... Things are still continuing to improve. We took a vacation to our home state and that is where the OW lives. Wife never brought it up... Until my best friend invited us us to dinner with another old friend who is married to the OW's sister... Awkward. I had told my best friend when I got outed by her husband... and asked him to not invite this other buddy's wife. I did this to appease my wife who would have felt uncomfortable in her presence -understandably. It was the right thing to do. We ended up having a very nice dinner.
      That was in early October and she hasn't brought up the affair since. We have been to counseling a few more times and we are doing better and better... Lot more focus on us and time together with our daughter as a family.

      The past resentment issues still haven't been addressed. That is actually part of our next counseling session. It will be another attempt as we never really fully addressed it in a previous session months back. It is still the lynch pin of mixing our marriage. I need her to take responsibility for making some bad choices, not supporting her partner when he needed her too... I need her to admit she let me down and that it won't happen in that context again. I understand perhaps why she made the choices she did... but I can't accept them and move on until she takes ownership of the impact they had on our marriage. We'll see how it goes.

      Yes, she is in individual counseling now for the anxiety and intimacy issues. Not sure she is taking it completely seriously, but given the improvements in the relationship, it probably is working some wonders.

      I'll be bringing up the affair again to her soon... Just to see how she feels now and if there are any new burning questions... I do that from time to time and maybe that is what has helped her forgive me and move on... Not sure.

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    6. I might add... I still think about the affair daily... I still feel the shame from it all. I told my wife this... That not a day goes by that I don't think about the affair and how I feel about it. No, to be clear - I don't miss the affair. Do I wonder how the OW is doing? Sure. Do I check up on her in anyway to find out? No... I think that whole thought process is tempered by the thought that the OW took advantage of me in the process of the affair...I was ripe for the picking. That doesn't justify my choice at all, but the sense that she was far more manipulative than I ever thought possible has crossed my mind. In part because when we ended our affair, she soon took up with another man while still married herself....

      Anyway... I digress. I know many women on here feel they never knew their husband - my wife felt the same way... maybe she still does in part. I have thrown myself at repairing our marriage, I have answered every question in full no matter what the question was and how uncomfortable it was. I think that is in part what has helped us move forward.

      Sometimes I feel if I write an entire Cliff's notes or case study on my own affair it would help other husbands before or after they make that mistake... or help jilted wives understand some of the whys a bit better... but while my affair was not unique, it probably is never exactly the same as others...

      I love my wife. I love our family. I never in a million years thought I would have done this to us.

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    7. Hi Dan,
      Perhaps you should write a "Cliff's Notes"…or a post for this site. Let me know if you're interested.

      Elle

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    8. Elle,

      I would be more than interested. Perhaps we could do an interview/Q&A format... How do I contact you?

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    9. Hi Dan,

      Reach out to me via Twitter (I'm "@elletomany") and then you can send me a private message. I'll provide my e-mail then and we can communicate re. a post. I hope you understand why I can't post my e-mail on this site.

      Elle

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  23. A year later, and I'm still stuck in some of this kind of behavior.

    I'm losing hope.

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    Replies
    1. Recognizing what you're doing that's standing in the way of your own happiness is key to stopping the behaviour. We can't stop what we don't even know we're doing.
      So...look at it as the first step. My counsellor explained it this way: There's a puddle and you walk right through it and, only when you're wet and on the other side, do you turn around and notice the puddle. After a bit of time/counselling/awareness, you notice the puddle when you're standing the middle of it. After more time/counselling/awareness, you begin to notice the puddle BEFORE you step right into it, and can walk around.
      Simplistic, but a good visual of what happens to us when we're trying to modify our own behaviour. We can't change the fact that there's a puddle...but we can learn to not get wet.

      Elle

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  24. As I sit here reading all of the posts, I realize that I am not alone.

    The thoughts and feelings that I have daily are "normal" per se...

    My parents divorced as a result of my father having an affair. My siblings and I have suffered the ramifications of our father's choice for years. Our family has been ripped apart and nothing even resembles what we once knew to be our family. The lessons that I realized during this time of my life was that affairs don't just affect the people involved in the affair. It affects every person that they know and love in some capacity.

    I suspected during my first marriage that my ex-husband had many affairs. It wasn't what ended the marriage, but it definitely was a factor. I never had solid evidence of this, but always had suspected that it had happened. When I remarried, I was certain that our relationship had the solid foundation to make for a good marriage... Or so I thought.

    We dated for 3 years and after my first marriage, I finally thought that I knew what a good relationship looked like. We rarely fought or disagreed. I thought that I finally had found someone that I could actually trust. We were married just over 5 years ago. On the night of the wedding, it seemed as if he whole demeanor had changed toward me and the marriage. It seemed as if he felt that he had "ball and chain" syndrome. Like he just locked himself in a cage. Shortly thereafter, he reenlisted in the military.

    Never in a million years, did I think that I would be a military wife. I honestly had no clue on how to behave or react to this newfound life that was now mine. From the first separation of a 4 month school, I had difficulty with the military culture and the ever apparent attitude of many people in the military who believe that it is acceptable to have affairs when married / have affairs with people who are married. During this first separation, my husband called me and mentioned that he was invited to partake in a threesome with a married couple. I was furious and became incessantly hypervigilant pertaining to anything and everything that he did. I am sure that it was annoying. Every time that I brought my feelings to bear, he would minimize my feelings and tell me to deal with it. A few months later, he had a 4 week training with his unit and I had noticed 2700 text messages between he and another soldier. I questioned him on this and he mentioned that she was having emotional issues with deployment. I asked him to disconnect from her and counsel her to seek outside therapy. Shortly thereafter, he told me that he was command directed to deploy with the same unit, which I later found out that he had volunteered to go on the deployment.

    In my heart, no matter how many times he professed his love for me... I KNEW! I found shreds of proof and he would incessantly tell me that I was the only one for him.

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  25. There were numerous occasions where I confronted him. I wanted him to fight for our marriage. I wanted him to fight for us... To be what he solemnly vowed to be on our wedding day.

    In the months leading up to the deployment, there was so much stress. At one point, I had attempted to commmit suicide. I am not proud of this. I felt as if I had no other alternative. I could not fathom why ANYONE (including the OW) would be okay with causing this much pain on anyone. I called her at one point and asked her "Why?" Her response? "He is YOUR husband." She then hung up on me.

    Just prior to the deployment, I went to his commander and discussed the situation. I didn't want to ruin his career, I just wanted the affair to stop. Shortly after they left, I was recieving calls from people in the unit who knew what was going on in detail. I received a call on the 4th of July that they were laying on a bunk snuggled up together watching a movie. That night, I took my wedding rings off and decided that I needed to pull myself back together.

    There was very little contact between he and I during the deployment. He did come home during his R&R time and he still seemed distant. I had very little faith that this marriage would EVER be repaired or last for that matter.

    Just prior to his return to the US, I asked who was going to file for divorce. He said that he didn't want a divorce and asked if I would try. Initially, I didn't want any part of it. I thought (and prayed) about it for a few days and decided to try. It was and has been one of the most difficult choices that I have EVER made in my life.

    Following his return, our marriage seemed to be better, but it seemed like there was always an elephant in the middle of the room. I thought that I didn't want to know the intricacies and details of the affair and just wanted to move forward from what felt like a bad dream. I recently found the correspondence between the two of them over a year period of time. The bad dream became a horrific reality.

    It was horrifically painful to have the realization that:
    1. The OW who I call "Howdy Doody" is not even remotely attractive.
    2. He was lying to me and spending weekends at her apartment.
    3. She claimed to be pregnant at one time.
    4. She mentioned that she wasn't handling the role of being the OW very well.
    5. Her mother indicated that she liked what she heard about him and couldn't wait to meet him.
    6. That she was excited to have him for a whole year all to herself.
    7. The OW NEVER considered the ramifications of their actions and how these actions affected my children and I.
    8. Many of our friends knew and just turned a blind eye.
    9. My brother who is also in the military knew and also turned a blind eye and also allowed them to spend a night at his home. In one conversation, when my brother told my husband that he felt that he and the OW were a little too cozy, the OW thought it would be funny to tell his wife of his indiscretions.

    In the weeks since finding this information and having open communication with my husband, the elephant in the middle of the room has been removed. Unbelievably to me, it has opened up the chains of communication and we are having conversations that I thought that we never would. He is being accountable and owns his mistake. It is still difficult, but I am taking it day by day.

    I am working on discontinuing the pain seeking and living in the present moment. I so badly want to confront the OW for my own sake, but from what I have read, this isn't a good idea. I am struggling with this daily. Any thoughts?

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    1. Finally addressing the "elephant" is exactly the way to start your path out of hell. And the quicker you leave the OW behind, the better. There's little to be gained from confronting her. Any satisfaction will be short-lived and your inviting her further into a situation that you really want her out of. Your husband needs to give her a No Contact letter or text. You can read more here (http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2009/09/step-1-in-saving-your-marriage.html).
      There is a deep level of betrayal that you'll both need to work through. Individual counselling as well as marital counselling would be a great idea. You've no doubt got some deep wounds from your childhood as well as your first marriage. And, I suspect, your husband does as well. Deployment can also create trauma, which needs addressing.
      So...you can use this as the opportunity to both get to the root of some deep pain that prevents both of you from being your best selves. And you can do that whether you choose to stay together or separate.
      Keep taking it day by day. I'm so sorry that you weren't supported by other people (friends, family) in your life who knew this was going on. That must hurt as well.
      But you're clearly strong and clear-headed. You'll get through this.

      Elle

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  26. I discovered this site tonight and was reading through the thread looking for some guidance on how to let go of the pain. 5 years ago I discovered that my husband had been involved in an affair for 6 months. I can't say that I was as shocked as some of the posters here. Having come from a long line of divorced women, I knew the risks and potential outcomes of sharing my heart and my life. And, truthfully, I knew that he was capable of such action. He stepped out on girlfriends in the past and I wasn't naive enough to believe that marriage would change that. I had no preconceived ideas or expectations one way or the other. Like most, I am sure, I was angry and hurt when I found out. I wanted all of the details. Looking back, I realize that I needed the details, because we had always shared everything to that point. Requiring him to share this was a way to make it less his or theirs. She was no longer to be his secret, his get-away. I did contact her to get a sense of what I was dealing with and to unleash a bit - though I was extremely civil. Later, she would contact him to say that I was harrasing her by email and had destroyed personal property, none of which was true. He sent me her email stating this and I responded, with a copy to my husband, letting her know that I was sorry that she was being harrased but was certain the police would be able to assist her as tracking identities through IP addresses was easily done, assuming of course it was not her doing this herself. As for the destruction of property, that was not my style. If I were going to seek revenge, it would more likely come in the form of a Christmas card to her family, parents, friends with one of the choice x-rated pictures she emailed to my husband. Yes, I printed them all off and stored safely way. I did my best to forgive. Tried to see his side of things and how it all might have come to pass, not that any of the reasons made it "right" or acceptable. I reminded myself that as his wife, I was not his judge or jury, or even his defense. I am a witness to his life. 5 years later, I find myself glad some days that we have continued on as we have had some really great moments. Yet, I can't get through a single day without being reminded somehow of the betrayal, of the blatant choice to risk our relationship over and over again. It eats away at my gut and sinks with me into depressions. I have gained so much weight, stuffing my face everytime he walks out the door. Intimacy is dead. I don't want to be him that way anymore, because of him and because of me. We can't afford therapy or counselling at this time and truthfully I don't know that it would help. I gave everything prior to betrayal so that he would never have a reason to stray, but he did anyway. Now, I don't really give much at all and can't seem to get motivated to. As for the OW, I don't think on her at all now and haven't for a long time. She wasn't the problem. I have no doubt that if it hadn't been her it would have been someone else. And it wasn't her that made promises to me or her that I had built a life and dreams with. She was just a dupe, a pawn, in this whole thing. I almost wish that he cared enough for her to leave us. I could have respected that more. I am not sure why I am writing all of this. Maybe because I have never said it aloud. And because I need help getting myself, my thinner, healthier, vibrant self back. I use to be a sensual, sexual creature and now I am frumpy lump who can't stand to look in the mirror.

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    1. Your story is heartbreaking, in large part because it seems you're now breaking your own heart. You sound like such a lovely, intelligent, warm woman who's pain is so deep.
      You mention you can't afford therapy, though the right therapist can work wonders. Have you considered Overeater's Anonymous? I suggest this because I wonder if the 12 steps might help you heal from the betrayal. There's much wisdom in those 12 steps that can help you heal from any manner of deeper wounds. You can find yourself a wise sponsor to guide you along. And it's free!
      You mentioned that you gave "everything" before the affair and that didn't stop him from cheating. And yet your words also imply that your recognize that his cheating wasn't about you. That something in him was broken. So I wonder what you really believe about his cheating. It truly wasn't about you. Coming from a long line of divorced women and marrying someone you knew had cheated indicates that, on some level, it was a risk you were willing to take? Why were you willing to take it? What about him seemed worthy of your love? Or did you think you didn't deserve better?
      I suspect there's a lot of deep, deep hurt in you that precedes the betrayal. The beauty (if you can call it that) of dealing with a spouse's betrayal is that it can give us a chance to excavate so much accumulated hurt that we've buried. Betrayal blows everything wide open and we just can't hide it anymore.
      You seem to be trying to bury the hurt again, this time beneath weight. Weight can be a way of making ourselves invisible to others. But you deserve to be seen and loved and valued.
      I sincerely hope you continue to reach out here and elsewhere, that you'll find someone to whom you can share your story who can remind you as much as you need it that you're a beautiful soul who deserves joy, and that you can heal these wounds and move forward.
      I'm so glad you posted here.

      Elle

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  27. It's been three years since I caught my husband of 40 years cheating and was badly beaten and battered for it -- that was his reaction. I had 40 years of emotional abuse that I managed to blame on myself -- mostly because he blamed me, my doctor blamed me, the church elder I confided in blamed me, counselors blamed me, and finally my adult children blamed me. The automatic reaction -- which I bet you're having too right now -- is to say "All those people can't be wrong!" And that's exactly what I said to myself.
    But what I didn't know until both he and I had serious counseling with a trauma-trained psychologist after the affair was that he was a pseudo-psychopath who manipulated and charmed everyone. He had Narcissistic Personality Disorder as an offshoot of alexythymia and attachment disorder. In other words, he had feelings but (a) did not know how to process them (b) could not identify them (c) was obsessed with making sure no one found out that he couldn't feel the same things they did.
    He spent his whole adult life practicing "impression management", where he would put on a different, charming, perfect face to everyone. I saw him do this with others but became conditioned to think that the reason he was growing increasingly angry with and contemptuous of me was because I was useless. When our children were little I was troubled because he was too judgmental and critical and would hit them at the drop of a hat. I put a stop to the hitting but he was still negative and authoritarian -- typically alexythmic, we belatedly found out.
    I won't go into details of the betrayal but they couldn't have been any worse or any more hurtful – my sudden discovery of sex addiction on a massive scale, finishing with moving from pornography and internet sex to a perfect teenage partner who I loved and trusted like a granddaughter. That, plus thinking I was going to be killed when he didn't stop slamming my head into the wall, left me with PTSD.
    Reading the letters on this site, I saw a lot of good advice that has heartened me. Yes, I stayed with him. He was my first and only boyfriend. He had an "epiphany" after almost killing me, and has done everything possible to get help, taken responsibility and completely cut out anything that might reanimate his old addiction
    Our biggest problem has been my PTSD, which leaves me in constant pain, having vivid flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and outbursts of anger. And I haven't been able to control them.
    What I realized, reading this, is that I actually HAVE come a long way since D-Day 3 years ago: I no longer "police" him; I no longer ask for details and torture myself with them; and today, reading this column, I realized that I can work on controlling and separating my actions while in a PTSD state separately from my feelings. I can express hurt instead of anger. (What I am actually feeling when PTSD takes over is profound terror.)
    I also realized I don't have an exit plan in case it ever happens again. That's hard, since I am now disabled. But I will see what I can do.
    Thank you for this site

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    1. Anonymous,
      I can guarantee that anyone reading your story would NOT think to themselves that you, in any way, deserved the abuse you received. I am so incredibly sorry for everything you've gone through. And so sorry that you weren't able to find one sane voice in there to validate your experience and assure you that you were worthy of respect and love and kindness. I hope you're able to be that voice for yourself.
      I'm not sure what you can do re. the PTSD. It sounds like more of a physical response to head trauma than an emotional response. What do your doctors say?
      I had good experience with EMDR and I know it's often used to help those with PTSD. Could you look into it? Are you in counselling still? I think I'd start with medical doctors first, though.
      Again, I'm so sorry. Please know that you've found a compassionate place here. We do NOT (or at least we try very hard not to) judge others for the choices they've made in their lives. We're all doing the best we can with what we've got. What I wish for you is peace and self-love.

      Elle

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  28. Thanks so much, Elle. I was surprised and touched to get such a fast response from you, and thank you for the kind words about me not deserving the abuse, which is something I never heard until we saw the trauma psychologist 40 years after it started. When you go for years and years gradually thinking you do deserve contempt, it's very hard not to feel guilty just for breathing but I am now working on getting back my self-respect.

    My best accomplishment is that I did manage to teach my daughter to have self worth; and now she is happily married with two supremely happy children and a husband who is also a kind father. My poor son, however, married a woman with the almost identical profile to his father; and was betrayed, abandoned and suffered major trauma himself, which makes me very sad. He has a kind and loving heart, and deserved so much better than I was able to teach him he deserved.

    The pain I referred to is emotional, so no, not from injuries. We did have the very good psychologist but moved to another city several days away, so no help now. I am leery of counselors, after having multiple experiences where (without ever having met me) I was sat down (after my husband had been seeing them) and told everything from I must admit my part in causing my husband's unfaithfulness to how I was not "adventurous enough in bed" to being lectured on how I was not "helping" my husband. But my husband found a really good counsellor and is doing famously. We can't afford EMDR but it is on my list for the future. And I am on the waiting list for a medical clinic; but no chance of finding a doctor in my area.

    I honestly do feel that I have turned a corner, though. And your site helped me analyze my progress very objectively and clearly. I will be returning, and my heart breaks for every other betrayed spouse on here. If I had a wish, it would be that everyone who is cheated on realize that it is their spouse's failure and fault; not theirs. Thanks again, especially for the kind wishes. I have saved a copy of your response and will re-read it every time I start to hate and loathe myself (which is usually after PTSD episodes.)



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    1. I'm glad to hear that you're feeling as if you've turned a corner. And, like you, I wish the one thing every betrayed wife understood was that her husband's choice to cheat is about what's missing in HIM not her.
      And I'm absolutely delighted to hear that you're able to see your situation far more clearly and recognize the pattern of abuse that was absolutely NOT your fault. When we know better, we do better. And it sounds as if you're better able to champion yourself and give yourself the nurturing and love that should have been yours all along.
      I hope that your son will continue to learn from you that it's never too late to try and get it right.
      Could your former psychologist recommend someone in your area? He/she might be able to make some calls or know of an association or something where you could find someone who comes recommended. Or you could simply try out one and if he/she didn't feel right, then move along. My husband and I are on our third marriage counsellor and she's helped us more in a few months than the others did.
      I wish you well as you continue this journey. Glad you found us.

      Elle

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  29. Thanks, Elle. That is a very good suggestion about asking my former psychologist. I will email her.

    All the very best to you too.

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    1. I have read your story and admire you for sharing and also for being such a strong lady. After all those years of feeling worthless and not having the back-up from people that should have supported you, I think you are admirable, compassionate and one hell of a woman.
      So glad you found this site. Elle always gives us hope and words of wisdom and now you too will be helping fellow "Betrayed"

      May the sun shine brighter for you every day from now on. x

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  30. I found out about my husbands emotional affair (could be more) 71 days ago. It has been my worst nightmare. We had no problems in our marriage before this happened. He and the OW had been texting each other secretly for 18 months...over 43,000 times, up to 199 times a day. There were also hundreds of phone calls and many pictures sent back and forth. The OW just so happens to be the same one he committed adultery with, on his first wife, 36 years ago. She lives 3 blocks from us. My husband can't remember anything that was said or texted and therefore I am not getting last this. I have never seen anyone as sorry for anything as he is. He says he loves me and wants forgiveness. I don't know how to forgive what I don't know. What can I do?I do love him, but I can't live like this.

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    1. Ugh! Three blocks?? Can you move? I'm not even kidding. That's way too close. Far too many triggers to deal with on a daily basis.
      What is it you need to know? I'm not sure that poring over 43,000 texts is going to tell you anything more than you already know. Is he denying things you suspect are true?
      I think, at this point, all you need to know (and be able to check) is that there is absolutely no contact between the two of them and that he has sent her a letter to that effect -- that he wants nothing further to do with her and that he is working on his marriage. Given that they communicated rather prolifically, you'll likely want his passwords, access to phones, etc.
      And then ask yourself what it is you feel you need to know. Surely he can remember the big questions -- ie. did he tell her he loved her, for example.
      I also strongly urge you to get some counselling. I strongly urge HIM to get some counselling. How is it he allowed the woman who brought down his first marriage back into his life to potentially destroy his second? That's the big question...

      Elle

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  31. thank you for this site... i am dealing with being betrayed by my boyfriend of 5 years. i know its not the same as being married- the pain is just as intense. i am 41, he is 42- so not just 'oh, go find someone new and get over it' like in my 20s. i am crushed and he got so mad when i confronted him on this last set of lies, he wants no contact with me and has accused me of stalking him, even though we just had sex last week (things were fine between us then- i only become a 'stalker' when he is caught in lies). i think i am finally ready to move on and stop being emotionally abused by him- the roller coaster of emotions is INTENSE.and this morning i saw him (we work at the same office- which makes it MORE intense)and he said 'oh you smell good'. and i said 'thank you. have a nice day' and walked away... which is a HUGE victory for me- yet it made me angry and sad at the same time. if you would be so kind as to respond- i am taking all support that is given. even if you don't respond- this website has been a tremendous help and i can't wait to reread it when i get home! thanks.

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    1. We don't use a yardstick to measure pain on this site. The pain of betrayal is excruciating, no matter whether you have a ring on your finger or not.
      I think you already know, however, exactly what you should do. You make reference to his "last set of lies", indicating that lying is a pretty common practice for him. You mention "emotional abuse".
      This guy is no good for you and by cheating, perhaps he's done you the colossal favor of making it abundantly clear to everyone that he's just not good enough for you. You deserve better. You deserve a guy who doesn't lie, who doesn't emotionally abuse you, who doesn't manipulate.
      I want you to remember how good it felt to walk away from him, with head high and dignity intact. And I want you to remember that as many times a day as it takes to keep on doing that. He'll try and pull you back in, I guarantee it. He knows you're too good for him and he doesn't want to lose that. But you're not going to fall for it. You are ready to move on. To find someone worthy of you.
      And if you ever forget that, come on back here and we'll remind you.
      I'm all for giving guys second chances WHEN AND IF THEY DESERVE THEM. Not all do. And this guy sounds like a definite NOT.

      Elle

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    2. Thank you Elle for your reply. And I felt so empowered and strong for about 15 minutes- in 1 minute increments, 15 different times. I know that my self esteem is SHOT and I do not know where to begin to build it back up and get mentally and emotionally healthy. I go thru moments of having extreme energy and then moments of wanting to just get in bed and cry. I am angry at him and me (How could I have been so wrong? How could I have given my heart to someone that never cherished it? Why would I do that to myself?) I am so confused, not just about his actions but also about how I could let myself be treated this way. Do you have any ACTUAL STEPS on how I can get thru this? Unfortunately i do not have money for a therapist... but I know I need help. I used to deal with things in unhealthy ways but now I am a Christian and I really want my heart healed fully and wholly without revenge or intense angry outburst... yet I feel those things well up inside. SO do you have steps I can take to get thru this and feel strong? Thank you for letting me post here. And long term, I am scared to open my heart to another man because what if I pick wrong again? But being an only child and 41, I am starting to fear growing old alone. I feel crazy. And when you say I am too good for him, I wish I could believe that.

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    3. You DO believe that -- in one minute increments. And that's what you need to hang on to. Stop beating yourself up for making a bad choice. That's what life is for...to learn. So learn from this mistake. Take the time to figure out what attracted you to him. Did you ignore any warning signs in yourself? Did you overlook things in order to keep the peace?
      Re. Actual steps: Like anyone trying to change their behaviour (whether dieting, alcohol or jerky men), it's a matter of setting your intention each and every day. I will not disrespect myself or allow anyone else to disrespect me. As much as affirmations seem kinda hokey, they work. Tell yourself (often!!) that you are worthy and wonderful. A loving person who deserves to give and receive love. My 10-year-old daughter has a post-it note on her mirror that reminds her she is: beautiful, talented, kind, a good friend.
      But mostly it's putting in time. It's putting one foot in front of the other. It's taking time, now and again, to note progress. You may be alone but that's better than being with someone who doesn't value you.
      Take the time to explore who you are. Indulge interests you have. Date yourself for a while. Take yourself out to a museum, or a movie, or a park. I suspect that once you've learned to love and value yourself, you just might find that others notice the change. That sort of spark in someone is attractive.
      Regarding not wanting to feel anger or vengeful: Give yourself a break. Your heart has been broken. You trusted someone who didn't deserve it. Of course, you're angry. Consider giving yourself an anger allowance. Say, 15 minutes a day, to beat a pillow, write an angry letter, scream in your car, throw a tantrum. Then, when the time is up, stop. I used to go running and the angrier I got, the harder I would run until I had exhausted myself and my anger. Not only was my anger spent but I got in awesome shape!
      Don't let fear rule your life: fear of making another mistake, fear of being alone, fear of being angry, fear of letting him back in. You're the one in charge of your own life. Face it with the courage and conviction you've shown in your posts here. You deserve better. That's all you need to know.

      Elle

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  32. Hi!
    I read some of the stories and I can truly say I can relate to them. I found out my j sband was cheating on me almost 6 months ago we are seeing a therapist right we have been for about 4 months it seems to help. However there are times when I can't help but to feel sad, angry, depressed. There are times I can't sleep or eat. What can I do? I love him and we Want to work it out...help?

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    1. It probably feels like a lifetime has passed since you found out but, in healing time, it's not long at all. You're still processing through the emotions: rage, sadness, numbness, despair, sometimes even joy (though it doesn't usually last at first).
      If you can't sleep, consider taking melatonin, which is a natural sleep-aid (non-addictive) that gets your adrenal system back on schedule. Try and eat, even if it's just a banana and a piece of toast. You need to take care of yourself right now, the same way you would an injured child.
      And give it time. Trust that each day, with both of you committed to rebuilding, takes you closer to a better marriage, even the bad days. There's so much pain to work through and so much loss. Think of it as grief work. You're grieving the loss of the life you thought you had, the man you thought he was, the marriage you thought was safe.

      Elle

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  33. Thank you so much Elle....all this happened a week later after my 2 years old nephew passed away....I feel like I had 2loss...after I found out he was very attentive and living always making sure I was OK but after a while that changed I'm not sure why...our marriage was not great to begin with we lost respect for one another, and connection which is what drove him to do that. (Not justifying his actions) but I do take some responsibility. I am still struggling with the fact that he said HD loves her...how can you love 2 people? Is that possible? If he loves her why isn't with her?....that kills Me every time I think about it. We have a 6 year old son who is our life we love him equally and he is our incentive everyday to make it work. There ate times where he acts cold and others when he is loving it is very confusing sometimes I feel like he is obligated to work on yhr marriage because of out son...and in reality he wants to be with her, maybe is just me and my crazy thoughts....I'm taking anti depressing I want to get better for me and my lil angel and for the sake of our marriage...I know I need to change my ways too cause I know I contributed to his affair in a way. There are days when I feel OK and there are days when I'm down he wants everything to be done...I feel rushed to healing but its not that ready :-(....I am glad I found you Elle <3 ....if is OK would it be possible to email you?

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    1. You did NOT cause his affair. Not in any way. That was a choice HE made.
      I think many of us recognize that we play a role in how healthy our marriage was or wasn't. But having an affair is like detonating a nuclear bomb.
      Healing takes time. A long time. I'm glad you're getting treatment for depression. That will help.
      As for whether your husband wants to be with you or the OW, only he can really answer that. If he wants the marriage to work, he needs to be in it 100%. If he wants to be with her, then he owes you that honesty as well. But he can't have it both ways -- one foot out the door, unwilling to work through what happened.
      However, that's all out of your control. You can only control yourself. Get as clear as you can on what YOU want. Do you want a marriage with him? If so, what does that marriage need to look like?
      As for my e-mail, unfortunately I can't give it out on this site. There is an Infidelity Counselling Network you can call that has been posted on this site before. A trained counsellor (and fellow betrayed wife) can talk to you about your experience and suggest ways to move forward. It's free. The number is: (650) 521-5897, ext. 101. And, of course, you can continue to read here, post your thoughts and absorb the compassion and insight of the many wise souls on this site.

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  34. Oh by the way did I mention that the woman my husband cheated with is a marriage/family therapist!...that upsets Me the most to know someone who trust can do this.

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    1. Please tell me you've lodged a complaint or reported her to a licensing board! That's unbelievable.

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  35. He wasn't her patient that's why I was not able to do anything ...but it is a disgrace that people who are suppose to help you can do this type of thing ....it seems to me she took advantage of the situation and her career to do this knowing we were married with a son...it makes me sick every time I think about it :/ but I have to let it go I can't keep poisoning myself with this low life person without ethics.

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    1. No, you're wise to leave her in the past. Nonetheless, I'd certainly be tempted to lodge a complaint or otherwise warn others that her moral compass is a tad off.

      Elle

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  36. I did call her job to made her boss aware but at the end she went to the cops to say I was harassing her and told everyone I was crazy and I was having a field trip making things up and she even called me immature idiot!...

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    1. Wow. That's one dangerous marriage counsellor. God help the poor soul who takes her problems to her!

      Elle

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  37. Agree!!...but I believe there is a god....eventually she will pah for what she's done ....right now I'm spending my energy in makjng my marriage work ...karma will take care of her.

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  38. I wish that I had found this website eight years ago. That's when my husband cheated on me. Talk about PAIN...there were many days and nights that I just really did'nt want to live anymore. Not only because of the betrayal of physical intimacy, but also the betrayal of my husband not being the person I gave him credit for being. I felt stupid for ever thinking that we were SO close, that we were inseperable, we were so GREAT together. We were married twelve years when he betrayed me. The betrayal that plunged a sword into my heart and soul. I felt like a fool for ever saying that he was the only person who really undertood me...BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. I never told anyone about his affair because if I decided to stay in the marraige I was afraid that everyone would think I'm stupid for still loving and wanting him. And I did stay because at that time I just could not see myself without him. I couldn't imagine him NOT being in my life. And for the most part, I forgave him, I suppose. At least I stopped thinking about it incessantly after a few years. YES, YEARS. It took me about four years to stop re-living the betrayal and all the negative feelings that came with that. It also took about that long for me to stop throwing it back at him everytime we had an argument. But living through this nightmare changed the dynamics of our marraige and family. We stayed together eight more years after the infidelity. Our divorce is final this year. It would have been our 20th anniversary. I have healed and for whatever reasons I just wasn't ready to let go until now. Yes, the divorce was my choice. I'm in a good place with myself now. I don't think I could have been happy or content without him until now.
    On some level I felt superior to the OW because he left me to be with her, but he came back because he still wanted to be with me. Because he loved ME. Whatever shitty thing the two of them had he did NOT love her...whatever. Healing might take some time, but the pain will end. I hope this helps someone. Keep strong for yourself and do NOT feel ashamed or guilty for your anger and tears. THEY F**KED UP, not you. Let your spouse feel the shame and guilt.

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    1. We weren't around eight years ago (I was still living the fantasy at that point!!) but I wish you'd found us four years ago.
      I'm sorry for all you've gone through. Wishing you peace of mind as you head into this new chapter in your life.

      Elle

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    2. Ditto Elle, I too wish you could have had this site 8 years ago and I also wish you peace.

      Isn't it just awful looking back at the life we were so content with only to have any lovely memory smashed to bits. I'm just 15 months D Day and I have decided to stay, but who knows what the future will hold. I didn't think it would still hurt me the way it does- getting better but still hurts.

      He will never be the man I married and I will always doubt him.

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    3. I remember well feeling just as you do. That I could never trust him again. That he was NOT the man I married. While both things are technically true (and true for anyone!), they don't feel true.
      I trust him as much as I've learned I can ever trust anyone. I've learned that I can trust myself to handle life's struggles, no matter what they are.
      And my husband isn't the man I thought I'd married. But he's a man who faced his demons head on and is working hard to be a man that he's proud to be.
      Fifteen months probably seems like an eternity but, on the healing spectrum, it's still quite raw.
      Focus on where you're going. Focus on where you are right now. Where you've been is only valuable as a guide-post. You're not there anymore. You're getting better. Which means you can get better still.
      I know it still hurts. And you've likely still got lots of trigger, which remind you how much it hurts. But be careful when you're focusing on the hurt, that you're not focusing on the fear of it hurting again. Too often, I think, a trigger takes us right back to that moment when we found out or shortly after, when we weren't able to emotionally process what was happening. We were frightened. You're safe now, if only because you know what you can handle.

      Elle

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    4. Thank you, Elle.
      I think I am focusing on the fear of it hurting again. Because I've kept such an outward appearance of normality, I sometimes think I've swept over issues and then it comes back to haunt me another time.

      I keep thinking that if he was so very good at lying before, then wants not to stop him doing it again. I think its the skill at the lying which is terrifying. I now understand that 15 months is such a little time in betrayal, before all this I assumed people made a decision to stay within a week or so and then proceeded and it would take another 6-8 months and things would be fine. How deluded was I?

      I think the men with trickle truth are really difficult to deal with. I have never had an affair, but if I had, I would want to keep blurting the truth until I had purged my soul. Guess that could be the difference between men and women or more likely honest v dishonest. I really would not want that noose around my neck.

      I know there are things that are embarrassing/painful to admit to, but I would much prefer handling the truth, I want to know the times that they discussed me in unflattering terms, but also the times that he perhaps didn't. He swears the truth is out.

      We hear each day about the public cost of people smoking, taking drugs, alcohol, and gambling, and money is poured into campaigns telling people to think of the consequences and yet I haven't seen anything about affairs. Sure wish there were some scary commercials on tv showing the fallout of having an affair- STD's, children in therapy, wives in therapy, attempted suicides, lost jobs, people taking drugs and using alcohol to take the pain away, grandparents hurt, basically lives tragically ruined. The cost must go into billions. Thoughts anyone?

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    5. Your idea of a public service announcement around affairs is wonderful. I've often thought (and said on this site!!) that I think if people really understood the true cost of affairs, they'd think twice.
      But so many of us just don't have a clue how devastating this is until it happens. I always figured I'd dump anyone who cheated, then move merrily along my way, happy to be done with the guy. But this goes to the very heart of our worthiness, our sense of place in the world. It's crippling, at least in the short term.
      That need to know does dissipate with time. I know there were details my husband told me (that I had demanded!!) that I couldn't even tell you about now. After a while, with true healing, the OW becomes background noise. She's still kinda there...but you don't really pay attention.
      Does your husband understand your need to know the whole story, even the worst bits? That it's your way to completing the picture? Is it something you could arrange to have a "full disclosure" with a marriage counsellor?
      Hang in there. It sounds as if you're doing better than perhaps you give yourself credit for. This all takes far more time to get through than any of us ever imagined.

      Elle

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  39. I believed so much in my husband during his affair which was his second time round with her I thought he did not want to have sex with because of medical issues Hope they had a good laugh over that one.He stayed with me but now does not unstand why I do not initiate sex anymore I am now beginning to use him for his money as he has always accused me of. I also work full time. I am getting cosmetic things done Before I found how he was using me and her I believed we were growing old together 33 years of marriage in a text she even called herself his piece on the side. Yes I met in 2000 and she told how wonderful he was I dummy me believed in him and did not think he would be interested in someone that had been married twice with 4 kids She is 8 years older than our oldest son who was going thru intensive cancer therapy at the time. Iused to think he was sexy now I see the ugliness in him. He is one of those people that have the luck of the Irish. No he never was completely honest with me even though I told I could get past it if he was. His does not jive. Lesson learned--Never never place anyone before yourself or children. This one got froggy and leaped. RUINED MY SEX LIFE. It does not matter if you stay home or work or if you are sex addict wth him or have no desires men do what they want to do. It really does not matter what your belief or faith is in them

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    1. Anonymous,
      I think the person you're hurting the most right now is yourself. Staying with anyone for his money sounds like emotional suicide to me. Spending that money to cosmetically enhance the outside is simply a mask for the pain that's inside.
      You've been through a lot. Having your son so sick must have been terrifying for you. I imagine it was terrifying for your husband as well.
      I have no idea whether he's a good guy who did a shitty thing or just a jerk. That's for you to decide.
      But please treat yourself with enough respect not to simply accept payment for his mistreatment of you. You deserve better than that. But you need to believe you deserve better. You need to believe that you can create a wonderful life -- with or without him. And wonderful does not necessarily include injections or fillers. It includes good friends, satisfying work (or volunteer work), a solid relationship with your children. Please demand more for yourself.

      Elle

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  40. My "D" day was 9-11. I'm still in shock somewhat but more angry. I feel as if I'm bi-polar with the ups & downs.. Though I can't change what happened, I go over & over in my head the details, where I was when he was doing this. Going over cell emails, texts comparing hers to mine. How was I so trusting when I had an inkling something was up. He was so mean to me then sqo loving. Her emails to him were sickening. We have a hot sex life and believe me this women was below average in looks. She tempted and teased him on the phone as well as he was probably pleasuring himself.. And I'm obessed with the very details of the sex part. His hands mouth & other body parts touching her. Yet he tells me he's so madly deeply in love with me! He told that to me the night he went and screwed her! My God! I'm so broken! He said she was a kind person! Bull shit. She knew about me. What kind person does that? I know easier to get made at her when he's the one that made this selfish choice. Though she liked him so much that she was willing to get what ever she could from him. She even sent me emails in hoping she split us apart. God Damn I hurt & am so broken. He said he did it to stuff Medicate? Well now how do I self mrdicate the pain he caused me? I hate this I really really hate this!



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    1. Everything you're feeling is absolutely normal, under the circumstances and every woman here can relate.
      We've all gone over the details like a forensic specialist, even though we already know everything we need to. We've all dealt with the "mind movies" of our spouse and the OW. We've all felt the shock and outrage that our husbands were capable of lying to us, of loving us and then being with the OW.
      All normal.
      The bad news is this roller coaster ride (the bi-polar feeling) will likely last weeks or even months longer. The good news is that you can expedite healing by allowing yourself to just go through this. To accept that this is akin to the stages of grief that you must process through. It helps incredibly if your spouse is able to support you through this -- letting you cry, vent, scream -- without offering up excuses or defenses or calling you "crazy". The best thing he can do is trust that this is part of the process. You ARE grieving. The loss of the marriage you thought you had, the loss of the man you thought he was, the loss of the future you thought was yours.
      Your husband is right in that he did likely do this to self-medicate. It sounds nuts...but affairs distract us from uncomfortable feelings (fear, loneliness, loss, anxiety, depression). Like any other unhealthy behaviours (drinking, drugs, excessive shopping/gambling/eating), affairs give us a sense of excitement, of "aliveness". Of course, it's an illusion. And generally creates a huge mess. But people engaged in them don't think of that. They just like the feeling of escape.
      If you want to rebuild your marriage, your husband needs to figure out what, exactly, he was "medicating".
      In the meantime, you need to be gentle with yourself and resign yourself to simply getting through this day by day (or hour by hour, if necessary). Sleep when you can, eat well, don't escape into alcohol or drugs. Seek out counselling to help you through. He should, too.
      You'll get through this. We all have. But it takes time and self-care.

      Elle

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  41. It's ridiculous to send a card with a picture of your nice family to the Other Woman because if there is one person who knows that things are not the way they seem, it's her. By blaming the Other Woman you don't look at the real problem: your husband! He is the one who cheated on you, not her. Husbands who want to cheat give signals to women or like to be seduced by women. Your husband might not want to leave the marriage (very often because it is scary the leave his comfort zone, not so much because he is crazy in love with you) but there is a good chance he will cheat again. I would not want to be married like that!

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    1. I'm tempted to not respond because I suspect you're simply someone who likes to create drama. To come on a site dedicated to wives trying to overcome the agony of being cheated on and make an inane comment like you did strikes me as not just insensitive but cruel.
      But I'm also guessing that you've been screwed, literally and metaphorically, by a married man and this is the story you tell yourself so that you don't have to feel like shit for your part in it.
      It's up to you to either learn from the mistakes we make in life or absolve ourselves of responsibility for them. And then to convince yourself that any marriage in which a guy has cheated must be pure hell and that these men stay only out of a desire for their "comfort zone."
      I would not want to be married like that either. And if he was still that person, I wouldn't be.

      Elle

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  42. To the person who posted: the O/W knows that things are not as they seem. Well, in a way, they are exactly that- but it works both ways. There is a blog here about another woman telling her betrayed friend about her affair. She was the one who was well and truly duped ( as well as the wife) but the thing is, when affair partners have our husbands, they are getting a snapshot of them, and a very nice snapshot too. They only get the romance/bullshit and the so called hot sex, and according to a lot of women, they are faking the sex and the men too, to make it seem hotter than it really is. Yes, of course the husband has done wrong and all the time there are gullible women, it will make their job a lot easier.

    Coming back into a household after admitting an affair and wanting to work things out is really not comfortable. Especially when the wife has asked for a fair divorce, allowed access to the children, asked family members and friends not to judge him, and told him she is heartbroken, but will be honourable in all aspects. When that man puts himself through therapy, has begged and pleaded to stay, has offered to do anything within his means to lead a better life, to be open and transparent, then I think its the O/W who has no idea what this man is like. He may do it again, she may have an affair, his children might have affairs, but it doesn't mean we don't know that person or it is destined to fail. Life is very short, we only get one chance, and with some good work, we can salvage a very good marriage. Haven't heard of too many affairs being salvaged.

    I would imagine you have been let down by someone otherwise you wouldn't have been so cruel. But, if that's how you feel, than its your prerogative. Perhaps spend your time on other sites that would appreciate your input. We rant and rave about our husbands here, but we are supportive and not destructive.

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    1. Thank-you for your measured, compassionate and intelligent response -- that I was incapable of making because I was so stunned by this comment. I posted it (though I could have simply deleted) because I think it illuminates, better than I could, the myopic view of many OW who think they somehow have a window into our world based on the words of one person who has a vested interest in painting a distorted picture.
      Again, thank-you. This was such a beautiful response.

      Elle

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  43. My pleasure, Elle. You did the right thing posting it, if nothing else, it gives us an insight into the warped mind of the O/W and in a funny way makes us stronger. Vile, vindictive, delusional, petty and far too interested in us. Vent over!

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  44. Hi Elle,
    The day I found out was Sept 12, 2013. I guess I had a feeling because I was digging through his email. There it was in the sent file, he thought he had deleted all the remnants but Oh No I am good at finding things out. This was a one night stand when my husband was away on business in Denver. They tried to follow up with a few days of emails. It should have been a red flag to her that my husband only provided an email. Any way I can recite each email just as written. I guess after a few days she noticed his only replies were during work hours so there must be a wife. First I called my husband and asked "who's Pam" he stumbled around said it was someone he only talked to through work, then she was a Fed-Ex delivery driver (she does work at Fed-Ex) for his work, he couldn't get it straight. I had her number from the email so I text-ed her, I asked she stop communication with my husband. She said it had stopped a month prior, I asked how she knew him,she said they met at a baseball game,I asked did you know hes married, she said he told her he was separated. I told her " no we have been married twenty three years". I asked if anything physical happened, she replied no they just hung out at the game. At this time my husband came home we went in our room and I asked "did you sleep with her" and he answered "yes I did". That was it my life flashed before my eyes, my life was a lie. I began with the questions, the whys, the wheres, what does she look like, am I prettier, so many things I just kept asking question after question causing more pain for myself. During this time I text- ed her and asked her why lie? She replied she didn't know what he had told me! My husband and I spoke for a long time we talked about our four children, our grandchild, our life, his story lined up with hers. I knew right away I didn't want to throw twenty three years away, he was very nervous about how I was going to react in the coming days but he wanted to stay. He told me it was a mistake and he was sorry for the pain he caused. Our decision was to become totally transparent with one another, total disclosure. He turned over all passwords and told me what accounts he had. Even though he did this I used one of those on line reverse email look ups that track any online profiles linked to the name. I am fairly sure he has told me everything. I did the stalking of the OW on Facebook, and I still monitor everything my husband does but he is okay with it. We have seen a counselor a few times but mainly we check in with each other everyday, he holds me whenever he sits down, he answers my questions, he reassures me constantly, and well he should. I think with time our marriage will become stronger then it ever was but I am only two days away from one month since I found out. I look everyday for things we can do to improve our situation, thank you for blogs like this it helps to not feel alone, which I am because I opted not to share this with anyone. I want the pain to stop and wonder how long it takes. I read all the posts of other women on here and I relate to so much, the feeling broken, the obsession with the act. I cant eat, cant sleep, this story I have told you is going through my head on a loop.I am trying not to self medicate but I must be honest, as I write this I am finishing my glass of wine. I will continue to read this blog, look for answers, and put my life back together some how some way, at the moment though it seems like such an overwhelming task.

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    1. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.
      It seems like an overwhelming task because it IS an overwhelming task. Be gentle with yourself. One month out is still incredibly raw. Your poor brain is still processing everything. We often respond to betrayal as trauma. We kick into survival mode and it's only later that the feelings begin to emerge.
      Try and limit the wine to one glass. It can be tempting to numb the pain...but just creates more problems than it solves. Hang on to those slivers of peace, however tiny. They'll grow the more you focus on them. Eat when you can (a smoothie can go a long way toward keeping you healthy and it's easy to swallow). Take melatonin, a natural supplement to help you sleep. And trust that this will get better. You're through the worst of it. The rest is letting time work its magic, while you two continue to rebuild a marriage.

      Elle

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  45. Hi i also have a problem and dont know what to do about it anymore, ill try and make it short as possible, i was out of state last august a two hour time difference and everytime im out of state my husband would call me or text me when ever he could well on a specific night i was talking to him on the phone and he said he had to charge his phone and be would cal me when it was charged so i said ok, well hours passed and he never called me i text a friend of ours and ask if he was with my husband and he said yay hes talking so much and i said oh he mustbe drinking cause thats what he does is talk a lot, but i only really ask bbecause i wanted to make sure he was ok, he ended up calling me at about 2am where i was he left a messege saying sorry so late i was at our friend matts house i love. Well next morning someone had text me told me he has at there house ( another friend of ours josh) and he left there house the same time as someone named jen so i didnt think anything of because shes some girl that lives like two feet away and dont even know.. well once i talk to him i ask him if he was at joshes he says yea and i said was that girl jen there to and he says yea.i ask if they left The same time he says yes. I said ok and did she ask u to come in the play cards (i asked that because someone told thats what happened) well he says yes..so i say andddd. Did u go in ber house and he says yes. So right there i hang up on him..he calls me back and he says they were sitting on the floor cause she had no furniture at the time and she handed him the cards to shuffle them and she kissed him. So yes i hung up again on him.. he calls back.. he said she did that and i got up and left.. hmmm well after me asking more questions that wasnt all that happened there was some kissing and touching involved he said he was at her house for lime 15 minutes hes not sure.. i ask him stright out if he hax sex with her and he says no.. idk thats hard for me to beleive.. i wasnt going to come back he was basically begging me to try and work things out.. now he says itz because he had 7 beers and he doesnt know why or how it happened but he remembers what happened, i dont understand that how can u tell me what happened but u dont knkw how it happened..and another thing is i see this girl every day she literally lives like two feet away. Ive wrote her about all of it and she denied it all that pisses me off more idk if i should bring it up any more because he gets so pissed but idk what to do abkut it ive been with him 13 years and been married 5 years. We had no problems everything was fine i was only gone a week before all that happened. Any advice

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    1. My advice is for your husband. He needs to control his drinking. If he can't control his actions when he's drinking, then he shouldn't be drinking. It really is that simple. If he wants you to give him a second chance, then he needs to get treatment for his alcohol use. Otherwise, what's to stop this from happening again?
      It might go more deeply than that. He might have, on some level, given himself permission to cheat. And that should also be explored. But certainly alcohol allows us to do things that we otherwise shouldn't. So that's where I'd start.
      I'm sorry for the pain you're in. It's excruciating when someone we trust betrays us.
      Please know that he's the one who needs to make amends. The girl is clearly toxic so I'd steer clear of her and insist that my husband make it clear that she is to stay far away from him too.

      Elle

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  46. Almost a year for me since d-day, and things are so much better for us. But my husband has been, as some say, a "truth trickler". A couple months after finding out, I called the OW myself and asked her questions I needed answers to. She took it well and it was helpful in some ways, but insisted that he must have misunderstood if he thought it was more than friendship. He says she came onto him, even asking to run away together, and he enjoyed the attention. She says it was just "friendship" until it he ended it out of nowhere. I felt for a long time that I had answers I needed, and later learned that she has a history of this from those who know her. I believe she is a liar, but because of his lies, should I tell my husband I talked to her? I hope he would feel betrayed by her and finally tell me everything - how emotionally involved they were, etc. He also says I know everything now, but he has said that before. Am I just hurting us both by bringing it up? I wonder if I will ever be satisfied. Or do you think it would help him to see how she is willing to throw him under the bus to save herself?

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    1. H'mmm. On the one hand, I'm generally of the mind that the less you involve this person in your life, the better. On the other, it is a bit of a he said/she said situation and telling him you've heard her version of the story might be a wakeup call to him. I honestly don't know. I think whether you come clean with him hinges on whether you think this will re-involve him (emotionally) with her in the form of following up with her to see why she said what she said. If not, I'd be inclined to tell him. And to let him know that his unwillingness to come completely clean with you is another form of betrayal by keeping you on the outside of his relationship with her. The only way you two can rebuild a marriage is if he relinquishes all ties, emotional and physical, with her and you two ally yourselves.
      Re. whether you'll be satisfied. That's something you need to answer yourself. I began to recognize that I was, at a certain point, "pain shopping." It was a way to keep the issue fresh, to ensure that he didn't think it was over and so that I could constantly remind him how much he'd hurt me. But I recognized that I was hurting myself. I was preventing myself from moving forward. So I stopped asking for info...and now I honestly don't care. And, frankly, I forget a whole lot of what he told me anyway.

      Elle

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  47. So glad I found this sight. It's been 6.5 months since D day. My husband cheated with someone we had known socially since high school. He had always had a crush on her and we would occasionally see her out on the town. The last time we saw her the reconnected and began their affair. We moved out of state about 5 months after the affair started it they continued an emotional affair and he would occasionally fly back to the state for business and they slept together again. He accidentally sent me an email meant for her one night professing his "love" for her. That is how I found out. Then two days later someone from his office sent me an envelope with an opened card saying that my husband had been receiving theses in the mail at the office from the OW since we moved to the state. I was devastated. We are in MC and he says he wants the marriage to work but he is not being affectionate except for sex and I mean sex not making love. I try to be loving but get frustrated that I was the betrayed party and I seem to be the one having to do all the work trying to repair our marriage while he goes on as if nothing happened minus affection and the words I love you for me. Also, he tells me that I will be a mean and vengeful person if I tell the other woman's husband. The other woman knew me! She attended our wedding with her husband!! He has a right to know. She had the audacity to tell me not to involve he husband a children! I didn't - she and my husband did when they started the affair! I want to call her husband so badly but everyone says not to. Doesn't he have the right to know?!?!?
    My husband swears that he is not in contact with her anymore. If that is true then he shouldn't even know if I tell the other husband. He says he will feel even more guilt if he hurts even more people, if I tell her husband.

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    1. Absolutely you should tell the husband. He deserves to know so that he can determine if he wants to stay in a marriage where his wife is dishonest. The other woman and your husband aren't the least bit concerned about who gets "hurt" except themselves. They're trying to protect themselves...and they you want you to help them. Absolutely NOT. You are doing nothing more than giving him the same courtesy that you would want -- the truth about the person he's married to. What he decides to do with that information is entirely up to him.
      As for your husband, why are you doing the lion's share of the work to rebuild a marriage? What if you were to stop? What if you were to simply make it clear that you are willing to do the enormous task of trying to move toward forgiveness...but that he needs to meet you at least halfway. By being totally transparent, by reminding you daily that he's so lucky you didn't boot him out, by being someone who actually learned something from his mistake. If he can't/won't do that, then I suspect you're simply delaying the day when the marriage is truly over.
      You've had an incredible betrayal. Please do what you can to heal yourself from this...and then determine whether or not you want to give him a second chance.

      Elle

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  48. Hi. I just found this site today. Sept 4, 2013, he told me he no longer loved me. Sept 6, 2013, I found out about his affair. Two weeks later, I find out that it wasn't just emotional but sexual. And, yeah, by the way, he had two one night stands. Jan 2013 and June 2013. Did he have the courage to tell me this honestly? Well, Sept 4 he did. But, everything else, I discovered on my own and then confronted him. He never came clean about things unless I asked him. He is a liar and I am angry. We have been married 22 years. He cannot tell me why he decided to cheat. I feel that he owes me an honest answer. I have been to 4 counseling sessions and we have been to one as a couple. In some ways, we are closer than ever. And, the sex life is better than ever. Then, I have a counseling session today in which the therapist says that I am correct in wanting to know why he did it. He says he has no idea why. I think that is crap. I am so angry, sad, hurt.

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    1. Yes, I think you're completely entitled to knowing why he did it...but I also think he might be telling the truth when he says he doesn't know. The short answer, of course, is he wanted to do it. Sex was available and he took it.
      The longer answer, though, likely requires some introspection. And if he's not prone to introspection, it's like learning a different language. Nonetheless, he should be seeking an answer to that question if only to ensure that he doesn't go down that path again. Like someone who pours himself a drink after a tough day at work, there's a reason, even if he doesn't acknowledge it (he feels as if his hard work is overlooked, he fears not being promoted, he's resentful about his pay cheque, he's stressed about a big project, etc.). None of this is to say that any of his reasons make it okay that he cheated. Just that he can begin to recognize the buried feelings that made him think it was okay.There has to be a narrative that these guys are telling themselves -- that they "deserve it", that you won't be hurt "if you never find out", that you don't appreciate him, that she thinks he's "sexy" or whatever. It's crucial to figure out what that narrative is...and write a new one.
      It's great that you're feeling closer. But without an understanding of why he did this (and not just once!!), there's no reason for you to trust that it won't happen again.
      So...if he honestly hasn't a clue, he should get himself to a therapist who can help him figure it out. He owes you that.

      Elle

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    2. Anon,

      I knew exactly why I cheated on my wife. I felt so much guilt that I believe the exercise for me was identifying the factors in my marriage that justified my actions - And yes I knew it was the wrong choice and yet I made it anyway and continued to justify it based on what was wrong in my marriage. In my case I had an emotional and physical affair with just one woman. -If it had been more, if it had not been emotional, if it had been random women, then perhaps I wouldn't be able to explain it.

      I still can't understand why I could actually go through with it...As my wife put it... " this isn't the man I know, this isn't the man I married, you are the last one I would ever think of having an affair"

      There is a reason there somewhere as to why he cheated, even if the reason has no basis in justification.

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  49. My partner had an emotional affair (with a dabble into physical but not sex) with a woman on our street (a few houses away). Neither of us are moving and I have to see this woman regularly becuase most of the neighbors on my street regularly socialize outside of thier houses and at frequent neighborhood gatherings/parties. We are in therapy and our therpist has my partner on a 90 days of no contact contract but how do I get past this when I have to see this person and drive by their house every day and when my partner will still see the person (hard to avoid unless we never go outside or go to another neighborhood party again which is not practical in terms of living my life longer term). I need advice on how to get past my anger and the sick feeling in my stomach every time I see this person or see them anywhere near my partner (even though they aren't talking to each other but just in the vicinity). If my partner and I repair our reletionship with therapy, I still have to deal with this other person because of the living situation. I am unable to completely cut this person out of my life even if I wanted to.

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    1. Ugh. That's a horrible situation to be in. There's no way you can move?
      I think the only way to deal with this is to ensure that you and your husband are completely together on how to proceed. Can you have a sort of "code" to signal to each other (when others are around) that you're on the same side in this? Can you try and picture her in a really negative way so that seeing her makes you giggle? One woman on this site began picturing the OW with the body of a supermarket chicken. Eventually every time she thought or saw this woman, it was looking like a plucked, pathetic chicken. Sounds crazy...but those kinds of things can work.
      I'm sorry for what you're going through. Time can also work magic...

      Elle

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  50. My D-day was 9 months ago. I just had moved into a new house and had a new baby (my 3rd). I woke up to a phone call from my best friend. I thought she was calling to tell me she missed me since I just moved away from her to a new city. She called to tell me that she found Jesus and had to clear her conscience. She told me that 3 years ago her and my husband had an affair. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I called my husband who was at work and he tried to deny it. I told him that her husband had proof and then he folded and told me it was true.

    9 months later...we have been through therapy and for the most part are doing ok. I have tried to forget about it. I pretend it didn't happen. Well atleast in front of him. I love my husband but I can not seem to forgive or forget. I picture him with her. I can't get the OW out of my head. I just can't stop thinking of him and her together. My husband is very remorseful. He is trying so hard to be better but I still feel so hurt and broken. I was reading other posts and hearing that it has taken some women years to "kind of forget" kills me. Can I feel like this and pretend for YEARS? I have 3 kids. He is a great father and I love him but YEARS of feeling like this. I look at him sometimes and think I should have left him 9 months ago. Other times I see him and think about our future. Weve been married 10 yrs and I can picture us growing old together. I just wonder sometimes if I'm only staying because I'm scared to leave.

    I just want to forget and stop hurting all the time.

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    1. I'm so sorry for all you're going through. Though it's over for him, for you it feels like it's just happening.
      While it does take years to truly feel healed from betrayal, that's not to say you feel the same way for years...and then suddenly it disappears from memory. Rather, it's a slow and steady (with occasional relapses) progression toward a time when it feels part of your story, not the whole story.
      But it's crucial to NOT pretend. To not simply push it down and hope that feeling goes away. The only way out of betrayal is through, which means getting clear on what he was thinking when he engaged in the affair, and what feelings you're experiencing as you try and come to terms with it.
      It's great that he's remorseful and working hard to be a better person but he nonetheless needs to understand (and help you understand) just how he allowed himself to go down that path.
      And he needs to acknowledge that his choice creates all sorts of emotions in you -- loss, grief, abandonment, fear, insecurity, lack of trust.
      So I urge you to not pretend. That doesn't mean letting every emotion out in a torrent. It does mean allowing yourself to feel (and express) all those feelings. When you're sad, to cry. When you're scared, to seek out reassurance. When you're insecure, to do what you need to do to feel safe. You need the space and the time to process these feelings. Only when you've excavated this, so to speak, will you begin to experience healing.

      As for whether or not you're simply too scared to leave...that's again something that will become clearer when you're not chasing your feelings away. I doubt that's the case...but you want to ensure that you're staying because it's the right choice for you, not out of fear.
      And, finally, her desire to contact you to "clear her conscience?" Unbelievably selfish and cruel. That's not to say she shouldn't have told you? It is to say that you deserved to be treated with greater kindness and compassion that simply a dumping ground for her guilt.

      Elle

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    2. I'm so bothered by this post. Because she "found Jesus", it was necessary for her soul-saving to SHATTER YOURS? It almost makes me nauseous. No, it DOES make me nauseous. "Jesus called and he told me that I can get into the Kingdom of Heaven if I destroy your life". It sounds oh-so-Christian to me.

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  51. Hi...I have read about all of your above stories...my husband had 3 affairs in a marriage of 32 years, the first 2 women I knew there husbands and I told them about the affair, both of them divorced the OW. The last women was from an internet dating site, I was on my husbands case very quick, he admitted but only stopped the affair 6 months later, I spoke to the women a view times, and through internet got hold of her husbands phone number after the affair was stopped. We are ok now, went for councelling and I have decided not to put myself through all the stress again by checking up on everthing my husband does, in that way I have healed faster, the only thing is I can't stop checking her out on facebook to see how her life is going, this she does not know as I can only access her facebook through her daughters facebook. I have a very big urge to tell her husband but don't now what it will serve after a year and 8 months. I also feel very strong about going to her office and show her what I look like as she is very fat and I am slim and looking good for my age. Why is it that I have these urges? Irma

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    1. Irma,
      The urge to show your face to her is quite natural. You want her to see that you exist...and that you're not who/what she might think you are. But, frankly, it's better at this point to simply let it go. Stop going to her FB page. She's not the problem. Your husband is.
      I worry a bit about your desire to stop checking up on him and "healing faster". I think it's important to stop checking up at some point...but given that your husband has cheated three times in your marriage, I'm curious as to what he's doing differently now to make you think that he's behaving himself.
      I hope he is...
      If you choose to tell her husband, be prepared for having invited her, to some degree, back into your lives. That's not to say you shouldn't tell him. Frankly, I think all betrayed spouses have the right to know exactly what their spouses have done. It's just to say that if you choose to tell him, do so in a way that simply offers up what you know to be true...and then leaves them to deal with it. After that, do NOT get involved further.

      Elle

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  52. We are still not divorced at this point....so when I see him with another woman (as I did over the weekend in the parking lot of his gym...yeah, she just "happened" to be working out as well") - and he was hanging in the window of her SUV....talking, laughing...this is the SECOND time I saw these two together. The other time was back in the summer...I was trying to get hold of my daughter...no answer on her cell...I was very worried...called his cell...no answer....then I drove over to his condo - and loe and behold...the same blonde bimbo I just caught him with in the parking lot of his gym....there they were...walking across the parking lot of his condo at 12:30 AM - as I'm frantically trying to search for my daughter...good thing they were on the sidewalk or I would have ran them both over. I slammed on my brakes..got out of the car and started blasting both of them. Called her a whore....and warned her to stay away from my husband. This time when I caught them in the gym parking lot...it took everything in me NOT to get out of the car and smash both of their faces. I was enraged. And I HATED myself for getting that upset. What's wrong with me??? Yeah, I want to get back together with my husband...as a matter of fact we were going to, and did for about a month...then he snuck to a bar (mind you...he promised no bars and no clubs to me before we got back together...cause we had to build up trust (he cheated on me while we were apart 4 times - he also cheated on me 10 years ago while we were still living together)....so I reminded him of our pac and that I won't tolerate this kind of stuff behind my back. He then said, "no one is going to tell me what to do" and we broke up for the SECOND time since we have been seperated. I feel like a ping pong ball. I'm exhausted, sad, depressed and feel like I just don't want to continue with life anymore. I was thin last year at this time; even when he was fucking his 29 year old girlfriend at the time. Now I gained 70 pounds, feel like crap and don't care about anything. He is so toxic to me...why the hell do I even want him back??!

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    1. That statement -- "he is so toxic to me" -- and subsequent question "Why the hell do I even want him back?" is what you need to figure out for yourself. The first part -- "he is so toxic to me" is what you need to keep front of mind. You say you won't tolerate his behaviour to him, but then you DO tolerate his behaviour. We teach people how to treat us, and you're teaching him that he can cheat on you and you'll still be there.
      Completely disengage from any interaction with him. Find a counsellor who can help you answer your own question. Why don't you think you deserve better than this serially-cheating clown? Why are you tolerating behaviour that you've insisted you won't tolerate? Once you can answer that, you'll be a lot closer to being able to demand better for yourself. You DO deserve better. But you need to believe that.

      Elle

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  53. Hi Elle,

    Thanks for answering me. I guess after a year of being seperated, I truly believed things would be better...not worse. I think the worst part about this is back in August of this year, he went to Florida by himself of course, and wound up french kissing some bimbo in a club. I found out (thru Facebook) and I confronted him. He then decided that he had enough of the club/bar life and we started getting back together again. He told me he loved me every single day. I was so excited because I haven't heard him say this in such a long time. Then he snuck to a sports bar to watch a game with his buddy...told me the next day (because he KNEW I would be upset....cause he broke our agreement)....then told me that no one tells him what to do. My whole point to this was we needed to rebuild TRUST again and the only way to do that is to stay in neutral places...like a friends house, go to a diner, go to a bowling alley....you get the picture. I was pretty upset he ended it so fast!! WHY? My only answer is that he is that selfish....marriage is a give and take and it doesn't look like he wants to give anymore. So hence...this is the third time I have to go through all of this pain :(

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    1. Make it the LAST time you go through all this pain. You're right in that this is his stuff, not yours. Marriage is give and take; it's about building trust and intimacy and being that safe place in the world. But don't value marriage above yourself.

      Elle

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  54. Hi, i read all your stories and i am really proud of you all....im 5 years old married and i discovered several non serious affairs of my husband some i ignored and some i confronted him with and accepted teh apology as soon as he did apologose for the ak eof my family (i come from seperated parents and dont want my kids experience teh same). i am working full tim ejob to help in the household and to build our family....i discovered my husband sexual affair one month back (i am pregnant and have 2 kids) since then i feel i am crazy because one night i kisss him and hug him and the other think of killing him.
    Now we are back as on efamily and he's acting as if nothing happened and as he said sorry and promised not to do it again i shouldnt even blame him with my eye looks.
    im soo tired (35 weeks of preg) and i feel im still bleeding from inside and unhappy at all and dont know what to do.
    i am surprised that there are some ladies here still suffereing after 3 yrs and above, and iam dreaming everynght of the day where i will forget and come back to myself the lovely wife and mom.
    my biggest problem is i read messages from him to hear explaining how happy he was with her and that always makes me feel more hurted than ever.
    Also it wasnt th eonly one on his phone who he was flirting and saying such romantic words...i dont know if he really deserves forgivness or not

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    1. I'm sorry for the pain you're in…and dealing with it while also being exhausted by pregnancy.
      I'm not sure what you mean by "non-serious" affairs. If you had the expectation of monogamy when you married him, then any affair is serious. Any time he goes outside your marriage for something that he vowed to only have inside a marriage (whether physical or emotional), then he's disrespecting you and your marriage.
      From what you say in your letter, he doesn't deserve forgiveness at all. He's done nothing to indicate that he's making change. He simply apologizes and then proceeds to do exactly what he wants. That's not healthy for you (physically or emotionally) nor for your children.
      I urge you to take a stand and demand the kind of marriage you want. If he can't give that to you, then you're better off without him.

      Elle

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    2. Dear Elle, thank you soo much for your reply and sorry for the mistyping in my previous message but i was writting and my eyes full of tears.
      I just want to explain one thing that you might understood wrong, which is now since i knew he's so clean and doing his best to please me and making me feel his love. however if i opened that subject with him and ask any question about it he will ignore me totally and suddenly turns to be very bad stating that he doesnt even wanna remeber what happened and he wants to get over it.
      I am confused if he's really ashame of what he has done and doesnt want to confornt himself by saying anything about it or he's strong enough to see himself unmistaken.
      I cant deny that not talking about it helped to make me think of it less than before or even to image what happend between them.
      Also let me explain when i meant by non serious relations was what i cought on his mobile is him talking to his brother on chat that he really loves another girl but still thinking of how to open th ematter with her..(one side love )
      but he denies it and explained that these things is only men chat and has nothing to do with reality till definitely i found on his mobile his chats with other girls one month back (it wasnt the girl he mentioned with his bro chat).
      Unfortunately i love him and feel too weak w/o him as i experienced the family seperation before and suffered alot which makes me doesnt want to do this again.
      we are soo good now togetehr, even better than before but i am afraid that would be repeated again....thank you again and again

      Delete
    3. I call bullshit on his claim that it's just guys talking. No way. He's minimizing what he did in the hopes that you'll drop it.
      Do NOT drop it. What he did crossed a line and he knows it crossed a line. He also doesn't get to dictate whether or not you're allowed to bring it up. He made the choice to type the message…now it's your choice to figure out what the hell he though he was doing.
      That said, you can't make him talk. But what you can do (and I think you should do), is determine just what you will and will not put up with in your marriage. You are better than this. And I suspect on some level he knows that. Maybe he should be sleeping on the couch until he recognizes just what he's done to you. Maybe he should move out until he's willing to be in the marriage with no secret texts about other women. He can't have it both ways. But YOU need to take a stand or you'll continue to have to deal with his one-foot-out-the-door nonsense.
      And, for the record, you'd be fine on your own. Nobody is worth sacrificing your self-respect.

      Elle

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  55. Part 1

    Hi,

    I first found out my husband was possibly having an emotion affair right before we went on vacation in April of this year. He started to be very overprotective of his cellphone. I was not snooping but he excused me of looking on his FB several time. I wasn't though. At about that time, my grown daughter had told me that she had walked in on my husband telling some short blonde that she was cute. I finally one day before we we went out of town of vacation in April to look at his Facebook messages. In the messages there was proof of some fraternization with a woman in another state. I kept this to myself. This person has excess to my husband through work upon occasion even though she is in another state.

    We have been married 32 years. I caught him doing hot chat 20 years ago and after telling him that this was standing in our way of a happy marriage he quit. Little did I know that it would continue after that. When we got home from vacation at the end of April it took me until the middle of May to ask if he was having an affair with this woman in the other state. He told me no that they were just good friends. I asked why she said she wanted to see him that if they were just friends why was she sending private messages thru Facebook to him? He said he didn't know. He said they were just friends. At the time I didn't know that the hot chat with other people had started back up after I caught him 20 years ago either.

    I told him in May that this stuff had to stop. That I wouldn't put up with any of it. At the time he stopped everything. But I didn't know how much he was stopping because all I knew was about the woman out of state. I know from what I found out later that he stopped everything.

    I slowly started to put my life back together. My husband and I hadn't had sex in 8 years. That goes all the way back to 2005. During the course of all of those years I would bring up the fact that we haven't had sex in all that time and that I missed up and he would get all sullen or despondent until I told him it was okay. I will be okay. He would tell me the reasons why he couldn't have sex was because he thought he had diabetes (which he now does) or that he had ID (which he does now). I believed all this. He travels out of town for his job. Some times every week for as much as 5 days a week and then we start all over again the next week. I would wait sometimes 3, 6, 8 months at a time before I would bring it up again. When we were on vacation in April, I told him we needed to work on our relationship because I missed us.

    After May, he was more attenative. Still I felt that there was more. At the end of August things got the better of me and I started pouring over his computer big time. I have to admit, I thing I knew all along things were right but haven't found anything in all this time. Spot checking in the past 20 years, credit cards, phone bills, etc.

    Part 2
    Next

    Thanks

    TL

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  56. Part 2 (Continued)

    Hi,

    Well in August I found a secret email. He has been on a singles website, "says he is single". He has had 14 sexual encounters with other women with unprotected sex. He has sense tested negative for everything "Thank God". He has had women send him numerous sexually explicit photos. Had hot sexual chat via FaceTime. Met women for coffee or dinner, kissed, but no sex. Met and had sex in women's apartments and his hotel room. Has gone to at least 10 gentlemen's clubs and had lap dances.

    I am crushed. I was totally blind-sided. He was totally transparent. When I found his secret email he denied it at first. Then I told him be very careful about how he answered that question. He told the truth and then I asked the password and he said he didn't know. I said that is okay. I will get on it. I changed the password but didn't want to look right at first. When the new email password came thru he told me that it was out there and asked me not to look because I wouldn't like what I would find. It took me a couple of day. Boy, I was overwhelmed. The next day I said how many women did you sleep with. He told me.

    He is so remorseful. He went into to take a test and it came back clean. We have been in therapy since day one. Two hours a week. Doing all the self-help books. Self-esteem, Love Languages, Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Forgiving Ourselves. Letting Love In, etc.

    He cries and tells me how sorry he is. That he just wants to die for what he did to me. I know he feels this way. I see this in his eyes. He constantly apologies to me. He is working from home now and is always checking on me. Waiting on me.

    How come this is so hard. I do love him. I know from his actions that he loves me. He is so afraid of losing me now. Is it to late. I hope I forgive. It has only been 8 weeks but this hurt is so insurmountable, I feel like I just want to curl up and die.

    I feel like 20 years I have been cheated out of the live I deserved. Hoping that it would turn around and it never did. I am co-dependent due to a sexual and abusive childhood. I can see why I didn't want to see what was right in my face.

    Help me please.

    Thanks

    TL

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    Replies
    1. TL,
      I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I've been away but am now back at my desk.
      And I'm so sorry for what you're going through (and for what you've gone through). There's lots on this site that can help you navigate your way through this.
      But this isn't simply an affair -- this is many, many encounters (which is what I experienced too). There's a reason your husband is seeking escape in sex. But it's up to him to figure it out. I don't think it's a coincidence that he married someone with sex abuse in her background. My guess is each of you needs to heal from childhood trauma and you recognize something similar in each other. However…I'm no therapist. But each of you needs one. I'm sure his betrayal is triggering all sorts of emotions in you left over from the betrayal you experienced in childhood. Just let me tell you, you did NOT deserve this. He made choices that have affected you…but his choices are about HIM not YOU.
      My recommendation is that he seek counselling for sex addiction and get himself to a 12-step group. I suspect he'll meet others like himself. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself. Take the time to really experience what his betrayal has triggered in you, but with the adult knowledge that you do not deserve this. That you didn't do anything wrong.
      The marriage can be rebuilt and become a greater focus when each of you feels more whole. For now, I think you should educate yourself about sex addiction…and get a therapist who can help you get past your co-dependence.

      Elle

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  57. How do you know when you have gathered enough info and asked enough questions about the affair? I want to see the texts and emails and know what was said. But they aren't available. N has said that he doesn't want to hurt me with the details. But I am hurt by not knowing what he has said to her. I have enough knowledge of the physical encounters... I think. But I want to know what he said. I know they said "I love you." But I don't know what else. Do I want to know the nature of the emotional/intellectual connection that he claims they had?

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    1. MBS,
      You know when you realize that anything more that you learn is simply pain shopping. That the information isn't going to tell you anything really new…that it will just make sure the wound stays open. You know he said he "I love you". You know about the physical encounters. Anything else is simply going to be a variation on both of those things.
      My advice? Let it go. I kept asking and asking and driving myself crazy. My husband's therapist finally told him he could stop the conversation when it was spiralling downward. And I finally realized that I was pain shopping. I adopted a 24-hour policy. If I had a question and I still wanted the answer 24-hours later, I would ask it. Most of the time, I couldn't remember 24 hours later what the question even was. And virtually all of the stuff my husband told me (dates, times, positions, whatever), I can barely remember (thank GAWD!).
      If you want to rebuild your marriage, let all that stuff go. If you want more reasons to hate him in the event of the divorce, ask away. He was vile. He was a total jerk. You know that. If you think he's still that person, get the hell out. If he's not…let it go.

      Elle

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  58. Hi, Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have kind of a "special" case. My D-day was this past labor day and it was with my best friend at a large camping weekend, before I was able to get there, because of my daughters' school. They did not "go all the way" but did kiss and some heavy petting. When I got there, my husband treated me very badly and I overheard a conversation he had with someone which made me leave, mind you I still didn't know. My "friend" acted as if nothing was wrong, and most of our other friends new what happened. Once I found out, I did what you suggested and blocked her from our lives and all my "friends" who were there as well. Unfortunately, she isn't out of our lives completely because we were so close that I am the god mother of her sons and she is like a favorite aunt to my teen girls. My oldest is having the hardest time. I don't want to take her favorite aunt from her, so when she asked if she could contact her, I didn't feel I could say no. My biggest issue is that I was not only betrayed by my husband, but also by the person I trusted most in my life and all my other friends. I feel totally alone most of the time. I have no one to talk to. I will be doing fine, but I am so scared he is going to decide he should not have come home with us and leave for good, that I feel like I have to "on" all the time. I didn't even know we were having problems until this all came out. We have been under a lot of stress as a family because we moved 6years ago to help my elderly mother. She had dementia which we did not realize and she got violent and terribly mean to me, along with that I was being treated horribly at work, I was a high school teacher and we had a principal who chose a few of the vetren teachers to use as examples of his power. I would throw up on the side of the road on my way to work. The only thing I felt was solid and I could depend on was my marriage. Guess not. How do you learn to trust again is my big question. I don't mean that I am scared he will cheat again, I mean I am scared he will leave outright. He assures me he will talk to me before it goes there next time, but the fear is still there. I am also very glad you mentioned PTSD, because after the last 6 years I really think if I were to go to a professional I would be diagnosed. I can't concentrate like I used to be able to. I can't handle when too many things are going on. I cry at the drop of a hat. In general I am a hot mess!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Of course, you're a hot mess. It's a miracle you're still upright. You've had way more than your share of stress. If you haven't been to a counsellor/therapist, please get yourself there. You need somewhere to be able to unload everything you've been going through. And you need to start figuring out where your responsibility begins and ends. You can't hold up the entire world and you'll kill yourself trying.
      Your husband and "best" (ha!) friend is the worst sort of betrayal. If he isn't down on his knees begging you to give him a second chance, then what is wrong with him?
      He'll "let you know" next time?? Uh…no. If he wants a marriage with you, then he needs to understand just how deeply he hurt you and be willing to do whatever it takes to help you through this. In the meantime, your counsellor will help you sort through why (and whether!!) you want to give him a second chance. I suspect it goes straight to a low sense of self-worth (which has no doubt been compounded by your mother and your asshole of a principal). You deserve so much better than you're being given.
      So…you're an awesome mother to want to allow you daughter to continue a relationship with woman. But (I'm not sure of your daughter's age) it's completely reasonable to also let your daughter know just how deeply this woman betrayed you and explain that you simply, for your own self-respect, allow her in your life. It's ultimately your daughter's choice and I hope she appreciates just how painful it is for your to take the high road on this. But it's also good for her to see that you have very clear boundaries about what you will and will not tolerate in a friendship. Let your daughter know that she can always talk with you, in the event that this OW is saying things to her that make her uncomfortable (untruths about you, your husband, whatever).
      I'm so sorry for this mess you find yourself in. But control what you can -- yourself and your response to this. Let go of the rest. You can't control your husband, as you've learned the hard way. But once you learn to trust yourself, you'll recognize that's all you need to get through.

      Elle

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    2. Hi Elle.... my husbamd is also a cheater. I have known him since i was i was 16 yrs old and he was my everything, we never married but hav been living together fpr 18 yrs i consider him my husband likeme as his wife . We have 3 cchildren. 17 yrs old , 15 yrs old and a 10 yr old, he says he cheats on me because thats a way of paying me back for my ways, im not the kind of person that keeps the house clean , i have gained weight and he says.I've let go. Im always depresse .he his cheating with a girl half his age on of his employees. This girl knows about me i use to worl with him

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    3. Anon,
      Please read the comment below, also addressed to you.
      This is, simply put, abuse. He is hurting you in the worst possible way. Nothing you've done warrants his treating you with such disrespect and harm (give me a break re. the house and the weight!! I'm a crappy housekeeper! I've put on weight after three kids! So has he!!)) .
      I urge you to get help for yourself to help you deal with how little you value yourself. You need to be your own "everything". You need to be a woman who shows her kids that she (and therefore each of them, too) is worthy of love and respect. If you don't believe you are, then find a therapist to remind you as often as you need it, that you ARE worthy of love and respect. None of us is perfect (I'm sure there's plenty about him that drives you a little nuts) but to cheat on you and throw it in your face is the height of cruelty.
      Tell him to leave until he can treat you with respect (you're the mother of his children, for heaven's sake!!). And while he's out figuring out what an idiot he is for losing you, figure out what you can do to treat yourself with respect. Do you like what you see in the mirror? Are you comfortable with your weight? Are you as healthy as you'd like to be? Do you feel your house has a level of tidiness that makes it a safe, orderly place to be? Change what you can, seek help to change what you want to but aren't sure how to, and let go of the rest.
      Like him, for example. You can't change him. For the life of me, I can't imagine what you see in this guy. You deserve so much better. But you need to believe that deep in your soul. Please find a therapist or counsellor or minister or friend who sees you for the warm-hearted, loving, loyal person you are. And who can assure you that perhaps the best weight to lose is HIM.

      Elle

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  59. Dear Anon, Sorry to say this, but he shouldn't be your everything and for goodness sake, run for the hills. I am 99% of the time convinced that marriages are worth saving, but honestly, he's doing it to pay you back!
    Firstly, make sure you haven't contracted any std's. Go and see a counsellor because to have this low self esteem is terrible. You have 3 children, are they aware of what their father is up to? I really don't know how you can put up with this, but the fact you're on this site is a start.
    YOU DESERVE MORE.

    You're still very young and you do not need to put up with this. I really don't know where to go with this, just hoping Elle and others will step in.

    How dare he!

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  60. I don't even know where to begin. Your article hit the nail on the head for me! My husband cheated on me in 2010, we relocated our family across 2 states to try to start over and have some distance from the situation. He met her at his job in our home state and they were physical twice. He told me about the affair 4 months after it started and he decided he wanted her instead of me. I was devastated and crushed but I didn't want my marriage to end. I decided I would go on a date and see if that got his attention, it did. He decided he wanted to stay with me and our kids and ended things with her. From 2010 to Feb 2013 I thought everything was going great! We had moved, and even though it hurt and I thought about it from time to time, our day to day lives seemed to be getting back to normal; with the exception of this gut feeling I kept having. I needed to know for sure that he hadn't had any contact with the OW since 2010 so I contacted her on Facebook and basically threatened to let everyone in her life know what she had done unless she answered some of my questions. To my horrifying surprise I found that they never lost contact. They had been in contact almost daily since 2010, either by email or by a fake FB page he had set up, when we were still in our home state he would even meet her for lunch. Somehow I was able to forgive him again even though to this day I'm still angry! Only to learn that he had a sex and porn addiction and that he was talking dirty and having basically video sex with other woman from porn sites. He has been doing individual counseling and we did MC for a while. I continued to have contact with her on FB and still to this day speak with her. I guess I am wondering if my having contact with her is not in my best interest. I've been able to forgive her as well but find myself still needing more and more information...to the point that I talked her into giving me her username and password for her email account so I could read exactly what took place between them and even saw the nude pictures they would send each other. I keep telling myself that it's OK and keep repeating the phrase, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". I need advice on how to deal with all of this because when I have down time at work I'm constantly searching to see if there is more he hasn't told me!

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    1. I'm concerned about your statement that "somehow I was able to forgive him again even though to this day I'm still angry." You haven't forgiven him…you've chosen the path of least resistance, which is to put your feelings (anger, hurt, sadness) aside in order to keep the peace.
      Of course you're angry. You've completely rearranged your life thanks to HIS screw up…and now you find out that he's still cheating. And that he has a porn/sex addiction.
      And rather than be furious with HIM, you're focussed on the Other Woman and treating her like an ally. Forget her. She's toxic. It's not healthy for you to have any sort of relationship with her.
      You need to get clear on how you feel about your husband. And what you're going to do about it. There's no point in keeping your "enemies" close as long as he's continuing to manufacture enemies for you. He needs to get clean, get treatment and commit to a marriage with you for you to even consider giving him another chance. What is he doing through all this? Where is his accountability? What is his commitment to stopping this insanity?
      You've already put up with far too much. No wonder you're angry. Let that anger spur you to stand up for yourself and either get out of the marriage or insist that he get treatment and be accountable for what he's done. Forgiveness can come when it's clear that he deserves it.

      Elle

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    2. He is in counseling on his own and he (and she both) swear they haven't had any further contact since I found out about in in Feb. I think I know in my head that having any communication with HER is toxic for me, but if it wasn't for her, I never would have known that they were still in contact because he swore to me that they weren't. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't have found out that he had an email address I didn't know about which led to me discovering the porn addiction. I know I need to stop Pain Shopping but it's hard when he's lied so many times. I guess I'm at a lost for "how" to trust him again. He obviously no longer uses that email address since I made him give me the username and password, but I know if he wanted to he would just set up another one. I really do love him and I really do want our marriage to work and in from 2010-Feb 2013 I wasn't focused on it until I kept getting that gut feeling. I guess I need to know from you and others if there are ways short of hiring a PI to know for certain that he isn't doing anything.?!?!?!

      Delete
    3. While I recognize that you want as much information as you can…I hope you can also recognize that if the only way to get it is by being in touch with his affair partner, then something is seriously wrong with your reconciliation.
      It's not pain shopping when you're still discovering new information that changes things. It's pain shopping when we're simply confirming information we pretty much know.
      You can't trust him again and to do so would be dangerous. If he's interested in reconciling (and you are too), he needs to give you access to all his devices (phone, computer, etc. including passwords). You can even install a key logger on his computer which will give you access to everything he does on it.
      However, I generally think that if you need to go to extreme lengths to confirm that he's not lying, you've got a much bigger problem than a guy who made a big mistake. If, knowing the pain he's caused, he's willing to keep causing it, I don't think he's a great candidate for reconciliation.
      Ask yourself, honestly, whether this guy is truly IN the marriage and willing to do the incredibly hard work of rebuilding it. If the answer is anything less than absolutely, you've got an even tougher road a head.

      Elle

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  61. all the points you discussed here are all confirmed facts. it can be very painful when someone you love and trust so much betrays you. it seems like the whole world has crashed on you! however one will be creating a bigger problem for him or herself if they dwell too long on the pain and agony of the partners infidelity. thanks so much for this post. permit me to share it on my facebook page for my followers to see

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  62. I'm not sure if anyone has experienced this here, but I feel like it is the worst. I found out the end of June 2013 that my husband of 7 years got another woman pregnant. To make things worse, I was on bedrest with twins and we have a preschooler as well. Also, the OW took care of my 4 yo while I was in the hospital, she came to my baby shower, would check on me, etc. She and my husband were coworkers, knew eachother for over 5 years and in just 3 months recently everything happened. My husband's selfishness and her wanting a relationship by any means necessary is what created such a mess. Currently we are in counseling and he is doing everything possible to meet my needs and wants to make me happy considering everything has happened. We have not heard from her and he has no contact with her whatsoever. I have access to everything of his, if I need/want it, etc. But, like most woman on here, when alone I am sick to my stomach. I am searching her FB to see her postings....under a fake name of course. It's just sad and not good for me. I want to be rid of these emotions. I just want help. I'm going to be honest on here and say what initially kept me here is my 3 beautiful children. He is incredible with them. (Except those 3 months of course). If it weren't for them. I would be gone. But in the process I do see a major change in him. I guess sometimes we have to learn the hard way. In this case my husband had to learn a major lesson. It's just very hard. Especially when alone.

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    1. You'd be surprised at the number of women who experience betrayal when they're pregnant or after giving birth. Statistically, men are more likely to cheat at those times.
      It doesn't change however how truly despicable it is to hurt someone at that time (or any time, but especially then). That woman is contemptible.
      For your own sanity, stop FB stalking her. If she wants nothing to do with you and your husband, then so much the better. Your life is better without her in it. I understand the desire to want to prepare yourself in case she seeks you out, but it's not worth the cost of staying tethered to this woman via social media. Cut her off. If she seeks out your husband for support or whatever, deal with that when the time comes.
      And yes, I too stayed with my husband because I had three young kids and was too emotionally crippled by the betrayal to leave (and was also aware that my decision impacted my kids so I needed to be absolutely sure I wanted out). But I'm glad I stayed. Like your husband, mine has done what he could to become a better husband and father…and person. The silver lining.

      Elle

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  63. I truly thank you.

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  64. 3 days to my 22nd wedding anniversary,2nd year that we separated going thru divorce.I'm not coping again.I thought I was better than last year but my pain is still killing me.He cheated with a girl that worked for him.I found out and told him to leave until we can see what we want.I was destroyed emotionally that my thyroid packed up.Ended up on medication and was told that I need an operation.Had a twins going thru matric year trying my best to keep all together so they can finish it and go to varsity.Other one was a second year at a university.I was trying to be there for all of them.Then told him if we want to do anything we should go to counseling.And we did started doing a bit better when I felt that he needs to commit more and move back home as I felt overwhelmed with everything I need it to do for our family and to deal with my horrible pain in my heart.He asked for more time but I felt he was keeping in contact with her and made an ultimatum that he needs to make up his mind.Anyway after I packed his things from our house he started dating her again.Seeing them together on whatsapp profile made me fall in pieces again.

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    1. It sounds as if he's moving on, which gives you permission to do the same. Of course you're heartbroken. Marital breakdown is hard in any case, but particularly hard when it's the result of infidelity. You're left with so many feelings of loss, humiliation, sadness, anger. That's all completely normal and it sounds, too, as if you've been holding it together for your whole family while he's off dating his paramour. It's time to tend to yourself. To allow yourself to process all the emotions. The only way out of this is through it, which means experiencing all that stuff. It won't kill you. You will get through.
      If you don't have a counsellor, please find one -- someone who can guide you through all this and remind you that you'll survive. Someone to help you find yourself in this mess and create a life going forward that serves your needs.
      Whether or not he's in your home, he should be responsible for your kids, though they're adults themselves.
      Your health is crucial so you need to ensure that you're doing everything you can stay healthy. That is more important than anything else right now. Figure out what you need to do to tend to yourself.
      And please don't take his betrayal as evidence of your worth. You did not deserve this. And any relationship that's the result of cheating isn't a relationship is statistically destined to fail.
      Hang in there…and stop checking whatsapp.

      Elle

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    2. I know all this but have an emotional melt down when everyday things get to me.I left my country,my family and friends for this man...Never worked here.Was a housewife,don't have much skills for work.I am so lost.Feels like one day he decided not to be husband and dad.He pays me crumbs of his table always crying he doesn't have.Just had my divorced lawyer taking all my savings for his fees not getting me anything from him.It feels like making all over bad decision in life.I can't help thinking what kind of person can make me try therapy and sleep with me pretending that he want it to fix us and as soon as I told him some serious decision need to be made said he can not do it and if I tell him to choose he will have to choose short term not long term meaning me..Made me believe he was sorry but....there was always but.I know I am a good ,fun,sexy looking person that people think it's younger at lest 5 years that I am but most of the times I don't feel that way.Why can't I let him go???Do I even love him or the idea of him??Or is it just that I don't like being chosen one??My brain knows that after everything I will never thrust him again as in one of our talks when we were going through confession he told me he cheated with 3 more but just smsing ..I don't believe that it wasn't physical too :P After all that I still tried to work it out which doesn't make sense.My feeling was that he did it so he can say he tried as in everything through process find negativity.It looks like that man that I loved and loved me is gone and I can't except that as he loved me so much....I loved who we were together this loving husband and wife and kids that loved being home because it was fun.We had a hard life getting where we are today.Could of enjoyed it finally after so many sacrifices.Now he wants that with someone else.I lost all that,hopes,dreams and I don't know how to move on.This person (him)sometimes hates me so much and if he speaks (sms) to me it's always angry and uncaring .I don't understand and some how I need to so I can move on :( I am so lost in all this..I was the strong person ...what happened to me?

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  65. Hi there,
    I just found your blog. I found out about my husband's affair in October, after we had gone out of the country for a 30 year anniversary/second honeymoon trip. I found out he had checked a private cell phone for messages the day after our 30th anniversary, and called someone the next day.
    I should preface by saying that I have always snooped, because I always knew that something was up. I found all kinds of stuff, leading me to believe this has been going on for at least 11 years, possibly longer.
    I think it started with pornography. Then, I made some personal growth decisions that he didn't like, but were good for me. I have a history of anxiety and depression, and were put on a lot of meds that caused me to gain a lot of weight and be very tired.
    He apologizes on and off, but I believe he is still seeing someone. Maybe not the first person I caught him with (not in person, but through emails), but maybe 1 or 2 others.
    I have 3 children, all grown, and one has a mental illness. I realize that this strain didn't help things. However, seeing as he started looking at extramarital affairs websites 11 years ago, this has been going on for a long time. When he gets mad at me, I think he is just mad that he got caught.
    I have forgiven him, but I have to stop snooping. It is killing me.
    I told him I am not leaving. He said he isn't either. I am in therapy (have been for a long time anyway), and she has been very helpful.
    I will come back to this site and read more. I also was completely devasted by what I found out. NONE of my immediate or extended family know. If they did, and whether I left or not, I am sure I would hear backlash on how it was partly my fault.
    My spouse could very well have a sex addiction, plus a narcisistic personality disorder. He is in a technical field with an advanced degree, so he is the primary breadwinner.
    Thank you all for listening. It was so helpful to read that I was not alone, that other women were hurting if not more than I am.

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    1. I am so sorry for everything you've been going through. Eleven years is far too long to feel unsafe in a relationship. In fact, one day is too long.
      I question your choice to forgive him. What are you forgiving him for? And, frankly, he doesn't seem to want or need your forgiveness.
      I also have to ask, why aren't you leaving? Why do you tolerate someone who doesn't have the courtesy to support you emotionally while you've been raising children, including one who's challenging?
      And, finally, I'm going to venture that part of the reason you're staying is because you grew up in a family where you were blamed for all sorts of things that were not your fault. This is NOT your fault. I don't care if you gained 500 pounds and slept 23 hours a day. It is NOT okay to cheat. If he was unhappy, it was up to him to tell you and urge you to create change for a more positive marriage. If you refused, then he could always leave. But lying and deceiving is simply not okay. Of course you were devastated.
      You are, of course, entitled to alimony should you leave. I want you to talk to your therapist about why you've stayed with him. And whether that's truly the best decision for you. I'm not asking whether you're scared…it would be terrifying to leave, I'm sure. But that doesn't mean it's the wrong thing to do. You do not deserve to feel this way. You deserve someone who values the work you've done in the home. Start with yourself. Treat yourself with respect and kindness. And demand that everyone else (including your family!) do the same.

      Elle

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  66. Dear Anon,
    Firstly, so sorry for what you've been through and secondly, a line you wrote really stuck out.. hearing a backlash on how it would be partly your fault. NO, NO NO! Perhaps there are things that need addressing in the marriage but don't ever believe your behaviour gives your husband a right to do that.

    You've said that you both want to stay in the marriage, but you really need to get to the nitty gritty of why he has been looking at sites etc over the years and having an affair. You dam well need to snoop if he cannot sit down and explain everything and give you some assurance this is stopping and he seeks help.

    Of course the strain of 3 children and one with a mental illness takes its toll, but if you had been going through this together I'm sure it would have been a little easier.

    Please do come back to this site and read all the blogs from years back. You need to cherish yourself and make a decision about what you will put up with. It does sound as if he has a problem with sex addiction. Be kind to yourself.

    I wish you well.

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  67. Thank you everyone! I didn't bookmark this site for obvious reasons, and had forgotten the name of it.
    I saw the doctor a couple of weeks ago. My regular doctor was sick, but I saw someone else. She was very thorough, and since all of my blood and lab work has come back normal, I was very much relieved.
    She did say something, though, that I did follow through with, but it has not been met with positive results. She said until my husband gets tested, he must wear a condom.
    I bought some, although I never really liked them. No condom, no sex. Well, it has only happened once that he will wear one. He's been angry, and I don't do assertive real well.
    Someone hit the nail on the head. My parents almost love him more than they do me. Same with the rest of my family.
    My mentally challenged young adult really needs their father. This young adult is almost 24, and worships their father. The illness this young adult has, 10-15% of them die of suicide.
    The new year is coming soon. I have some big resolutions to get healthy, and my young adult and I are going to do this together.
    I know this makes no sense, why don't I leave? I just couldn't. I was not taken care of properly when I was young, and I will not leave my young adult in the dust.
    I will write this blog name down, and come back again.
    Love and blessings to you all.

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    1. I'm glad to hear your tests are clear. And good for you for insisting on condoms. A lot of us struggle with being assertive. But this isn't about you making a point, it's about you protecting your health. You're no good to your children if you're sick/dead. He should respect that.
      As for leaving/staying, on this site we completely respect each person's right to make their own choice. We just want to ensure that it IS a choice…not a feeling of powerlessness. You've chosen this path because it's best for someone (your child) whom you love deeply. That's a completely legitimate choice.
      And I'm glad you've chosen to make some positive changes in your life. As I'm sure you know, a lot of resolutions go off the rails so it's key to remind yourself that progress can be slow. But as long as each day you're doing something to move yourself in the right direction, then you'll be fine. As my friend suggests we ask ourselves, "what's my next right step?" No need to focus on the destination so much as that "next right step".

      Elle

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  68. I just found out two days before Thanksgiving that my boyfriend of 18 years and friend for 62 years (we've known each other since we were 3 years old) is having sex with his recently deceased (10 months) best friend's wife. She lives about 60 miles away and kept calling him to come down to help her or accompany her to social events with her colleagues so she wouldn't have to go alone. I don't think anything happened until about 4 weeks ago. While everything else in our relationship was normal I noticed that he was standoffish and barely hugged me and would just give me a perfunctory kiss. When I asked him why he wouldn't share my bed with me, he told me he couldn't because he was having a sexual relationship with her and it wouldn't be fair to her. FAIR TO HER!!!! He told me I'm the smartest, funniest, strongest woman he has ever known and that he loves me deeply and that we are best friends and always will be. I asked him to end it immediately and he said he couldn't because he had developed feelings for her. He said it wasn't planned and that it just happened unexpectedly a few weeks before. I said BS, it wasn't an accident. We have always maintained separate houses but he spends most of his time at mine. That night we had our first big fight. In the heat of anger I said some nasty things about him (and her) and then he left. The next day I texted him to ask him to please reconsider before our relationship was destroyed forever. He said he wouldn't because she gave him the sex he needs. I should mention that because of some medical problems we haven't been able to be as sexually active as we had been over the years. I then told him not to contact me again until he was no longer seeing her. I told him we couldn't be friends because I don't share. He texted me back that I couldn't stop him from being friends and buddies with me, wished me a Happy Holiday season and a good 2014. I couldn't believe the person I've loved and trusted all these years could be so cold about things. He didn't even have the decency to break up with me or tell me he was losing interest in me because of sex before he hopped in bed with her. What do they talk about - how much they both miss her husband. It just makes my skin crawl when I think about it and how sad I was for her and sending food and cookies down. I've lost 6 pounds since Tuesday, I can't sleep, I can't eat. I want to call her and tell her what I think of her and what she is. I want to post flyers on the college campus where she teaches warning people about her. I want to take a chainsaw to his deck and flatten his tires - all these crazy emotions and thoughts that are so far from who I am. I'm usually happy, upbeat and forgiving. Now I'm just confused, broken hearted and lost. I've entertained thoughts of selling my house and moving since we live in a small town where I'll inevitably bump into him. I even (at 3:00 a.m.) packed up two rooms in my house to start getting ready but I've lived here my whole life and I don't know where I'd go. I'm trying to stay calm and think rationally but I can't. I facilitate between wanting him back and never wanting to see him again. How do I keep going and pretend it's OK when it's not. Christmas is coming and I don't even want to see my grandkids or even put up any decorations and a tree. I feel like I'm on autopilot and that I'm going to crash at any moment. What should I do? If we had been married then there would be more to make him stay and try to work things out. But we're not married and he can just move on. Should I hold out hope he'll start missing me now that I've shut off contact with him or should I just write off the past 18 years as a mistake and move on? When I listen to the tape in my head and think about what is happening it seems like I've awakened in a nightmare and my safe world has been blown to pieces.

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    1. Just because you're not married to him doesn't make it hurt any less. I'm sorry for what you're going through.
      Unfortunately what you're going through -- and what you're feeling (rage, pain, revenge) -- is normal. Don't do anything that you might regret. Feel the pain, punch a pillow or scream at the top of your lungs when you're angry, cry when you're sad. Trust that these feelings won't last and that they won't swallow you. The more your can express them, the quicker they'll wash over you.
      You're right -- you can't be friends with him. He seems to think he can have it both ways. Her for sex, you for friendship. But that, clearly, doesn't work for you so continue to make that clear. He's being a fence-sitter -- trying to stay at least somewhat in your life to hedge his bets. No way. He's either in or he's out.
      Do your best to go through the motions, if only for your family. Are there parts of the holidays that you can enjoy without him? Meeting friends for a meal or drink? Walking? Volunteering to help others? Shake yourself up a bit by trying something new. Remind yourself that you're still you and worthy of love and compassion. You will find that in yourself again. But there's no question that this is a long painful road.
      As for 18 years being a mistake? Nope. We learn from every person in our lives -- whether they stay for 5 minutes or a lifetime. In time, you'll recognize that your relationship with him brought good and bad. You'll be able to see what you learned from it and what you'll want differently in another relationship. I promise you will get through this. Just focus on you right now, be gentle with yourself. This holiday will be hard…but in the end, it's just another day.

      Elle

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    2. Elle,
      Thank you so much for the advice and insight into my situation. I know when it's happening to us, we feel like we're the only one in the world it has happened to but just reading about what other's have gone through and your responses helps tremendously. I took you advice and went for a long walk in the woods today. I just let the tears stream down and the peace of the forest wash over me. It did help. At least I'm cried out for awhile and maybe tired enough to actually sleep tonight. I'm going to just get up and keep repeating it for as long as it takes and my body will be in better shape and hopefully my mind and emotions will follow.

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    3. That's exactly what I did. Walked my dogs each day, trudging through the snow feeling like I had the weight of the world. Then one day I noticed the sun sparkling on the snow. It was pretty. That was it. But it made me realize that I could have these tiny slivers of not-being-totally-miserable. A friend recommended I hang on to those moments. Perhaps even photograph them and place them around my home to remind me that not-being-totally-miserable was possible. If it was possible for a few seconds, then it was possible for a few minutes, then a few hours, then a few days and so on. It worked. Those slivers became days and weeks and months. They will for you too. But in the meantime, keep trudging through. Your mind and emotions will follow. Don't force it. But be aware when you're spiralling down. Feel the pain…but don't wallow in it. Don't let it become a way of life.
      We're here. There are a lot of wise, compassionate women on this site who can light the way.

      Elle

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  69. We're married for 2yrs. Been together 8yrs. It started with this OW at his work who is going through a divorce with a cheating husband. Then there was a work conference away from home for 4 days where she opened up to him about what shes going through. The day he got back he couldnt stop talking about her to me telling me how terrible it is what she is going through and that he never wanted that for us and how much he loves me. That same day he bought new cologne and said his going on a diet to lose weight and needs to get fit. The OW has a child and is older than me. She is pretty but without a doubt I am just as pretty and skinny and do everything for him. His friends envy him because he married such a wonderful woman. Then a week later I found messages from him to his friend telling him how he cant stop thinking about her, everytime we're intimate he thinks about her and how hot she looked everyday at the conference. I confronted him and all he could say was sorry. He said nothing happened between them but how do I know how long till it does? I dont know how to deal with this. And he now continues as if this never happened. I am just being paranoid or should this be an alarm for me to do something about it? Please help this is driving me insane

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    1. Alarm bells are going off like crazy. He has one foot into an affair, which is at least the beginnings of an emotional affair. Anytime a partner is putting time and energy into another person that should be going into his marriage, it's alarm bell time.
      And a woman who has been cheated on can be particularly vulnerable to the attention of a man. She's likely feeling insecure and lonely and scared. And to some men, those qualities are like catnip. They can make some guys feels like knights in shining armour.
      I strongly urge both of you to get to a marriage counsellor, who can make it clear to your husband that he's playing with fire. This has nothing to do with whether or not you're pretty and skinny, but everything to do with the fact that your husband is clearly seeing something in this woman's eyes that he's missing in himself -- he probably feels like he's exciting, sexy, interesting. Heady stuff for someone in a longterm relationship who's starting to wonder whether he'll feel that again.
      So…get to a counsellor to figure out where things have gone even slightly off the rails. Talk to your husband about your fears. Ensure that he understand just how dangerous what he's doing is. Don't fall for his "we're just friends" or "she needs help right now" or whatever other bullshit he's offering.
      You're instincts are right. Trust them. We all wish we had!

      Elle

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  70. Hi, i just found this blog and it's been so comforting to read that Im not as alone as i thought i was in dealing with a cheating husband.

    Its been 1 year and 2 months since d day and honestly i thought it would be easier for me to deal with by now.

    My husband and i met while he was in the military. I was 31 and had never been married. Previously i had longterm serious relationships but could never see myself getting married. When i met my husband i admit i was guarded. I had been cheated on and hurt by past men so i was cautious. Everything about him was perfect though, even more than perfect. I knew id met "the one"! We only dated 6 mths before we got married. I didnt feel any hesitation. It was so right. After we married his military contract ended and we moved out of state. We were both excited to start our lives together. We would be near his family. Everything was going so well for us. Then....

    One day about 5 months into our new lives together i stumbled on some pictures that were hidden on his laptop. They were pictures of naked girls in horrible positions. It was disgusting. I confronted him. He said they were old and he thought he deleted them all. They were from his deployment, so he said. This all made me suspicious. I never would have thought he'd be the type of person that would have stuff like this. Then i started digging into his email accounts. I found IMs from multiple women that were disgusting. And they were recent. The whole time we dated and even after we married he was having cybersex with these girls. He told them each he loved them, how they were beautiful, he even denied being in a relationship with anyone when they asked. He told them things like, "you're my everything", that he wanted to start relationships with them, called them "baby", he even told one of them that our song was "their song". I was devistated. The worst part was these were not random women. Some went to our church. Others lived in the same city as us. Some were past friends of his.

    So i've moved to another state far away from my family. I have no friends here. His family thinks he is a good man. I cant even go to church without thinking every girl that says hi to him is possibly a threat. I confronted him with the messages and he denied them. Even when i showed them to him he denied them. Finally he somewhat admitted he had had an addiction to online chat and that he would stop. It seems like he is minimizing everything he has done to me. He hurt me. He hurt us. Everything he's ever told me has been a lie. I dont even believe he means i love you when he says it. He told all those other women the same thing as me.

    Im so angry still about everything. Hes just brushed it all off and acts like nothing ever happened. I havent told anyone because it will make me look stupid and i dont want my family to hate him if we work things out. I just wonder will i ever get past this?

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    1. Your situation, unfortunately, is not uncommon. There seem to be a lot of military wives dealing with infidelity and sex addiction. And sex addiction seems to be the issue here.
      It's also common for addicts to minimize what they're doing. They're masters at lying, including to themselves. "It's no big deal." "Lots of guys do this." "It didn't mean anything." "I'll stop." Etc. Etc.
      The reason you're not further past this is that nothing, really, has been resolved. He hasn't acknowledged the pain he's caused you. He doesn't recognize just how deep the wound of his betrayal goes. To him, it was entertainment. To you, it was absolute betrayal of your vows and friendship. You don't believe him because he's lied to you…and has done little to prove to you that he's trustworthy.
      You both need to see someone who can help you with this. Patrick Carnes is the pioneer in sex addiction research so you'll find info online. He also has a number of books. But I would also recommend seeking a counsellor who can help both of you through this difficult first stage of disclosure (where he tells you everything he's done and said…so that you're NOT wondering which woman in church he's chatted with. You'll KNOW) and recognition that even if no physical cheating took places, what he did was cheat. Emotional infidelity is real and it's devastating.
      Hang in there. Check out Patrick Carnes and sex addiction. I suspect it'll sound familiar. My guess is it pre-dated your relationship with him. My husband, like yours, seemed too good to be true. He had been a sex addict since before I knew him. Kept it hidden for 12 years. Crazy.

      Elle

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    2. Thank you for replying to my post. It helps to hear feedback on my situation. I will look up Patrick Carnes online. When I first found out I insisted we go to a church counselor. We only went once. The whole session was horrible. I was crying and upset and he just acted like I'd just get over it. He admits he was wrong and doesn't want to hurt me. He wants to be transparent with me and has given me his passwords and seems to be trying. I just cant look at him the same way anymore. I want this marriage to work but I dont know how. I know we need counseling and would probably be able to work through this more easily, I will try to find someone to talk with. I know this might be a strange question to ask but how did you deal with being intimate after you found out? Things before I found out were wonderful. We would have sex very regularly and it was always very enjoyable. Now it is very rare and feels like work. I dread having sex because all I can think about is the other women. He apoligizes constantly about what he did and swears he wants things to be how they were but they arent. And i dont know if they ever will be right again. I asked the marriage counselor at church about how to handle this and she told me I shouldnt stop having sex with him. She said that i would ruin our relationship. I dont know what to do though. I dont feel that i should have to make myself have sex unwillingly. It brings back past memories of rape when i was younger and that makes the whole situation worse.

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  71. Elle

    My husband and I have been married for 18 years. Our marrage was not always easy. Like all marriages it came with it's share of ups and downs.....good times and bad. Some of the bad times over time made me question if this was something I could tolerate forever. At the time of my husbands affair his behavior declined. I suspected something. I tried to search for clues but I was out of the loop so to speak on how to access phone bills. I pretty much felt like he was having a mid life crisis and I felt helpless. Through the 2 months of his affair which i was unawear of.....I felt as if our marriage hit rock bottom. I was depressed over it. I so bad wanted an out but knew I needed to make the best of the situation for our kids as long as our relationship appeared health to them. Through the two months he was still affectionate...told me I was beautiful.....blah blah blah. Have to say I knew I still cared about him and loved him but I didn't feel "in love" with him anymore because of how bad the bad times were getting. Then the day came that a text meant for her came my way. That was the most devistating day of my life. Days followed were lies upon lies. I would pick myself up...brush myself off only to fall again when I would find another lie. I found the whole truth when our pastor told him that no matter how painful it will be...you have to tell her EVERYTHING. The words were painful but I needed to hear it. So hear I ama little over 4 months from THE DREADED DAY. I have good days and bad.....sometimes good weeks and bad. The visions....thoughts.....they pop in my head whe I look at him or when we are intimate. He can say sweet things and in my head I'm thinking if it or I'm so great than why!?! I'm trying to work on that. He has been absolutely AMAZING through my stuggles and frustrations. I feel I have it better that most betrayed wives because he is 100% change and crazy to say but a better man today than the day I married him. His relationship with the OW was more of a control thing ....no attachment to her. He totally dropped any contact with her and she has moved away. I feel I have the best and easiest situation for healing. My problem I'm struggling with is I don't know where I stand as far as being "in love" with him anymore. Or do I even want to. As for now I'm with him and trying. I don't know where I will be as time passing. I know the pain will ease over time.....I hope as the pain eases.....my love for him will grow. I just wish that this "new" after affair was the one I would have had from the start. Thank you Elle for this blog....its good to know I'm not the only one in this seemingly silent struggle in many marriages.

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    1. I know four months seems like an eternity. But it takes such a long time to heal from this. I think you either need to fully commit yourself to rebuilding a marriage with him (and expect him to the do the same) or separate. I think the "in love" stuff is fear. It's one foot out the door just in case it doesn't work out. And that's not serving either of you.
      I get how frightening it can be. I know that you're having a hard time imagining that it can ever feel really good again. But, if you truly do want to "try", then at least open yourself to the possibility that it can be really great. That you can get to a point where the affair becomes a horrible memory that also brought some gifts with it, assuming each of you truly works on becoming a better partner.
      It's not fair, I know. We kinda think that we were the devoted one so we shouldn't have to do any of the work. But marriage just doesn't work that way. He need to take responsibility for the affair and all the damage to trust that cause. But you both need to take responsibility for creating a better marriage now.
      So, no, you're not alone. I'm glad you found us. And I hope you'll find your way clear of the fear (might take longer than four months -- it sure did for me) no matter whether you stay or go.

      Elle

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  72. Thank you Elle for your words. I know I need to 100% commit to a direction. I think what's holding me back is in those "bad times" drinking and temper were an issue. At those times I was scared and I would avoid any conversations that might trigger something. Its a blessing that he completely quit drinking and I can talk to him about any problem we are having in our marriage with out him exsploding. Before I would walk on eggshells around him. He sees now over the years how toxic the drinking was to our marriage over all those years. At the time of his affair his behavior escalated to heavy drinking ,heavy porn. His affair also took place at a clients house. His job takes him to abd into peoples homes all the time. So every day he drives away to work the opportunity is there. So yes your right and I know....its fear keeping me half in this and half out. It's fear topped with a big ole scoop of trust. I know I will figure it out. Thanks again Elle.

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    1. You've got a lot of built-up anger to work through…and you've learned not to trust him. That's not a bad thing. Of course you don't want to stay mistrustful. But at this point, he needs to earn your trust by staying sober and staying faithful. By being where he says he's going to be and with whom he says he's with. Over time, the trust will come. But it takes a long time. Infidelity is a "trust violation" and it's one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a person. We feel as if the world isn't safe. And that, of course, is also how you felt with his drinking. And it wasn't safe. Now, hopefully it is. But it will take a while before your body, which stores trauma, learns this.
      The key to getting over the fear is recognizing that you were safe because you can trust yourself. You can trust yourself to take care of you. You can trust yourself to never put yourself in a situation where you feel disrespected or unsafe. Once you get to that point, the world -- and your marriage -- will feel a whole lot safer.

      Elle

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  73. Hi everyone!
    Horrible how many of us are out there but I am very happy to find a place where I can see what other people are experiencing in same horrible situation as I have been in for over a year now. It so sad that I and I believe many of you feel ashamed to talk about this to people who are close to us when we didn’t do anything wrong…
    I am not married; I am with my BF for over 5 years now and its LDR, bad as it is. I was supposed to move to his country year that’s coming but I am not even sure anymore I should do that. Anyway 2 years ago we had really bad period as it’s hard to be in LDR and we were fighting a lot, mainly both losing patience with time ahead of us until we can be together (finances – visa issues….). He became rather depressed and distanced and I felt something must be wrong, but he would always stick with me as he claims out of his great love for me... At one point I got sick of it and decided to snoop around to see what he is hiding and doing behind my back. Anyway I found out that during one of our fights he hooked up with a girl, exchanged tons of sex txt and finally had sex with her, I confronted him, he tried to get out of it for few minutes and then admitted and started crying, swore how much he loved me and how he will be a changed man now on. He kept that promise, he became so much more devoted, his life turned into either working, being with me in person or on Skype, getting better job, saving every penny so we can be together, gave access to email, facebook, phone and so on… But I didn’t stop snooping and I did found out after a month there was another email he used to use for dating, escort sites and web cam sites…sick. I must say that he did delete all accounts and email once I found out about the affair and stop using but still swore to my face he wasn’t doing anything else till I caught him in his lies again. I kept on begging to tell me if there were other things and of course he swore there were none. And now year after all the crap when I finally got a bit better he admitted that some pictures I saw was send to dude from work as they were planning 3some… and so on… of course I forced him to email dude to see if that happened, suggesting I knew everything, and it never took place but still… To cut it short… there were so many other little lies and hiding things and details even that we supposed to move on. Now I can’t stop thinking if more things were hidden and I don’t want to spend another year or more recovering and then find something by accident or on purpose, I think I might really go mental at that point.
    I would appreciate if you all could give me some insight on if things like this happened to any of you and for how long and what your advice is in general. I only feel I can’t be on this roller-coaster much longer, on one side this perfect loving BF and on the other side dark secrets from the past that keeps hunting me and kicking me back to square one. Sorry if English is bad and thank you all xx

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    1. Anci,
      Your English is fine. I'm glad you found us.
      I strongly urge to let this guy go. Don't change your life in the hopes that he'll change. He's showing you who he is BEFORE you commit the rest of your life to him. He not only lied once, promised to change…he continued to lie and conduct himself behind your back in a way that he knew was hurtful and wrong. You're wise to recognize that this could (and perhaps will) continue and that you're simply prolonging your agony. Maybe the Visa issues have been a good thing in that they've kept you away from him. Someone with his issues would likely have been doing what he's doing even with you right there.
      Cut him loose, give yourself time to heal from the pain and find yourself someone who's honest and decent and who you can trust.

      Elle

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  74. Where do I start I have been with my husband for 24 years married for 15 years 4 beautiful children the day before our 15 year Anniversary I found that he has been a member chatting on a Bisexual website for the past 12 months sexting men and woman and as far as I know the past 3 months he has hooked up with 1 woman and 2 different men but one of the men he has hooked up with several times he said he has only received oral from both the lady and men and I do want to believe this but at the moment I believe nothing he tells me .He tells me constantly he is sorry and why do I keep going over it and over it. I feel like a crazy lady I have joined the same chat site acting as a male and also have joined acting as a female its like I have to find out every little detail of these people that he has been with and I cant believe how many cheating people are on these sites. He said he is straight he was just curious that's all and that it will Never happen again but I'm not male so I cant compete with that side of sexual gratification n I cant tell anyone cause I am still protecting him as any wife does he said he would do anything to fix things but is that because he knows I know his secret and he is scared that I will tell as he is really so anti gay well that was what he made me believe or does he mean it when he says it meant nothing was just a head job but It seemed the more he followed up on this world the more into he got my world feels like its falling apart I cry every day and now its near Christmas and I'm trying to play this happy family when its just killing me inside can he stop will he.He is willing to do counselling also but this is how bad a place I am at I even picture the counselor having his way with him I just want it all to go away !! sad fact is that it wont and I know I need help dealing with it all :(

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    1. A couple of things: There's no such thing as "just a head job". Either you're cheating…or you're not. This is his attempt to minimize something that he knows was deceptive. The "I was just curious…" defence is a common one. Not buying it.
      Secondly, you're wise to believe nothing he's saying right now. He's probably in panic mode and trying desperately to put the cat back in the bag. Too late.
      Do yourself a favour and back out of that Web site. Like you, I was stunned to realize that there was this whole world of sex hookups that I knew nothing about (not completely true -- I knew it existed but had no idea it would impact me. And certainly didn't have a clue about the extent of these sites).
      So…yes, you're feeling crazy. Normal response to a crazy situation. But remember, you're NOT the crazy one. You were just going along, living your life.
      If your husband is remotely interested in rebuilding his marriage (and you're even remotely interested in considering that too), he needs to give you total access to all his passwords/phones/computers/etc. And then he needs to seek help to figure out what this "curiosity" is about. Is he gay? Is he bisexual? Or is this an addiction that required new thrills to achieve the same high?
      You should also find a counsellor to support you through this. You're going through trauma. Your life feels upside down. You don't know who to trust and who not to trust. You don't trust your own judgement. The world likely feels terrifying to you right now. That's trauma. Acknowledge it. Be gentle with yourself. Surround yourself as much as possible with people who can support you. Take care of yourself -- eat, sleep, exercise. Avoid anything that provides more stress. Help your kids through this -- they likely sense that something's wrong. Validate their experience but assure them that you and their father are working on making things right. They just need to know that they're safe.
      You'll get through this. I was right where you are. I remember how horrible it feels. But it doesn't feel like that anymore. You'll get there too.
      In the meantime, work through all the pain and grief and fear. Let your husband face his demons. But in order to feel safe, you need to be able to check that your husband is being honest and transparent.
      Hang in there. My own D-Day was Dec. 10, 1996 so I know well the hell of a crisis right before the "happiest time of the year".

      Elle

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  75. I found this site today while googling "affairs and breast cancer". My D-day was over 7 years ago, I still have PTSD, although I am so much better. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 days ago, when I got home and was able to react I had a breakdown that felt exactly like the breakdown 7 years ago when I found out my husband was in love with his secretary who was our daughter's age and he was leaving. I believe that most illnesses are caused by emotions and I am wondering if any one here has had this experience. The breasts signify our femininity and I think emotions can get stuck there after an extreme shock and betrayal.Thanks

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    1. I'm so sorry for everything you've gone through. While I suspect there is something to the body/mind/heart connection I hope you're not blaming yourself for your diagnosis. And I'm sure this diagnosis took you right back to that place of being completely out of control. Do you have a therapist or counsellor you can talk to about this? I'm not sure if anyone on this site has had a similar experience. I (too) often hear of women going through cancer and then finding out their husbands are cheating. Perhaps someone will weigh in with their experience.
      In the meantime, I hope you find the support you need to help you through this. And to ensure that all those residual feelings of trauma and grief are dealt with.
      Feel free, of course, to share your journey here.

      Elle

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  76. Thank you for your caring reply, I do have a support system. I do blame myself for not fighting for what I should have financially and for not being able to totally forgive him. The blessing I see in the experience is that I never would have discovered who "I" am if this had not happened. I was always a wife or mother, I got much satisfaction for that, but I didn't know who I was or what I needed. The reason I ask about the cancer connection is I have known women that this has happened to, and am wondering if it is widespread. I wonder if doctors ask their patients if they had betrayal.
    Just curious
    thank you again for your kind words.

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  77. My D day is New Years day. My partners ex lover certainly knew what she was doing when she decided to make sure I knew about the affair.... It was also the day before we went on our annual holiday - the same special place each year. So from now on every New Years day will be blighted for the rest of our lives and I very much doubt we will be able to holiday in our favorite place ever again. Women who have affairs with other women's men should be shot at dawn. Oh and of course I blame him equally, please don't think it only she whom I hold to account, but none of this makes these rememberable times any easier to bear, with him or without him.

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  78. I found this site while looking for information to help me decide whether or not to continue in my marriage. My husband and I will have been married for 10 years in May and have been together for 13. We married young and have had our share of problems, but fidelity has never been an issue, until now. My husband is an alcoholic and has been to rehab. He did very well for several months but had a set back in September. During the time that he went to rehab, I was made aware of a friendship that he had with a female coworker. I knew about her when she started at his office because he was responsible for training her. He was upfront that the majority of the men in his office found her attractive, but led me to believe that he didn't and only saw her as young and unintelligent. While he was in rehab, he gave her his personal cell phone number and she felt comfortable calling to check up on him. It was only one call. I really didn't think much of it and wasn't threatened by her in any way. We all work in similar industries and I even worked with her on a project for my job. Around early September, I discovered that my husband and this woman spoke on a regular basis, outside of work hours and that the things discussed were of a personal nature. He would confide in the details of our marriage with her. At the time, he claimed that he would seek advice and that she 'almost always was on my side' given any situation. I also found out that they would go to lunch together, alone several times a week. I told him at this time that I was uncomfortable with the level this friendship had reached and it needed to be scaled back dramatically. He agreed and told me that he would not go to lunch without other people present and would only discuss work with her from that point forward. I trusted him and had no reason to believe otherwise. But...in the last week, everything has changed. I found out that they never stopped talking, he is still contacting her on a regular basis. He has been deleting text messages, call logs and emails. I also found out that he has been to happy hours with her and while she sat across the table, lied to me on the phone and told me she wasn't there (also had his friend do the same). He insists that they are only just friends and nothing physical has happened. This woman is also married and her husband is also uncomfortable with the situation, which I found out thru a text message conversation my husband forgot to delete.

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  79. Part 2 - The kicker to all of this for me is that I am 7-1/2 months pregnant, due in February. I am blindsided that this has happened and I am not sure what to do. He has been fighting to keep in her his life and insists that he can't quit his job. Claims that he hasn't spoken to her since Saturday, but on Tuesday, she texted and asked for my number and he gave it to her then lied to me about it. Again. She reached out to me and after talking to her, I don't believe that anything physical has happened. I think that she truly sees him as nothing but a friend, but I don't think that he only sees her in that way. He admitted that he wants to talk to her if he had a bad day or a good day. The text messages I saw, he was asking for reassurance from her that they were okay and she wasn't mad at him, simply because she hadn't responded to his text messages for a few hours. I shared a funny video with him one evening after work and I found out that less than an hour later, he was texting her to share it with her. I know that I may sound petty or turning that into something bigger than it should be, but I can't understand why he would do that, rush to share some dumb commercial with her. It couldn't wait until the next day? Why tell her at all?

    Now, he claims that he wants to work things out, that he loves me and our unborn son. He doesn't want me to leave. But, in the next breath, he tells me that it wasn't an emotional affair, just a friendship. That I am acting crazy and he has done nothing wrong. He also claims to feel neglected and said that it was my fault he turned to someone else. Yesterday, he got mad at me because this woman hasn't spoken to him in 2 days and has acted 'hostile, almost rude', going as far as not entering a room if he is in it. He believes that I threatened her and I haven't. I explained my opinion and she said she understood. I truly believe she is simply trying to respect me by not talking to him.

    I don't know what to do. I don't know if I am making this bigger than what it is (these pregnancy hormones aren't helping) or if I should feel justified in my betrayal. I don't believe he actually has any intention to quit his job or stop speaking with her, especially since his feelings are hurt in the way she is now treating him. I don't want to make any snap decisions and I honestly am not sure how do make a decision given that I am pregnant and will have a newborn. I feel like that is where my focus should be and now my entire pregnancy is tainted by this. I won't be able to look back with happiness at this.

    I just want someone to tell me what to do, pack up and leave? Stay and fight? I feel like I shouldn't have to fight for anything that all of the effort should come from him. He says that we don't need counseling and that he chooses me, so everything should be okay now. He wants to never mention it again and pretend like it never happened. I know that I can't.

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    1. I'm sorry for your pain and your confusion.
      Until your husband gets sober, it's hard to believe the marriage is worth saving. You and your child will always be second to alcohol.
      I think now is the time you insist that either he begin a 12-step program to get clean or you can't stay in the marriage.
      And this friendship certainly sounds inappropriate. It's the old story -- if you wouldn't do it in front of your wife, you shouldn't be doing it. The fact that he's lying about various parts of the "friendship" reveals that he's aware that he's doing something he shouldn't be, whether or not it has escalated to a physical relationship or even whether the woman is interested.
      But as long as he's drinking, his thinking will be impaired (whether drunk or sober). Tell him to get clean and then figure out whether you want to stay or not. You've got enough on your plate to deal with.

      Elle

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  80. Hi

    I have just found this site and been reading everyone's experiences, and can identify with something in each and every one.

    Let me explain I found out in May this year that my husband had been involved with sexting with 3 women, 1 of them I knew, 1 was a friend of his from school who he reconnected with through FB and the other was a contact at work, since then I have received trickle truth from him, I finally found out in November that another old friend from school who he had reconnected with through fb who I was totally unaware of he had an affair with ( well sex on 4 occasions)

    I too was totally trusting of my husband never in my wildest dreams did I ever think he would betray me, I always thought if our marriage was to go through this type of pain it would be me conflicting it ( 23 yrs married)

    Since he finally confessed all, he has been totally transparent he is so remorseful, even depressed as he hates his self for what he has done to us as well as to me, however although I have constantly asked questions he has answered some pretty graphic ones for me ( I cannot understand why I feel compelled to know full details but I did) I still feel I have not been told everything, I do not know whether this is down to how everything was revealed by trickle truth or whether my instinct is still right, he insists he has now told me all, sex was only with this woman and it stopped after 4 episodes, and was over 18months ago, however he resumed contact with her but only for coffee on a few occasions he says this was down to fear of her telling me if he did not attend, she was ill you see so he said he knew nothing was going to happen when they met up, the last time he saw her in May she was very ill and she had mentioned that when she was better they could resume their affair, he admits he did not have the guts to tell her he did not want to resume this, he just thought if he continued to cut contact she would get the message when I found out about the texts, he apparently contacted her as well ( even though I was unaware of her) and she apologised for causing trouble and has not contacted him since ( how very noble of her, cow) I have recently heard she has died of her illness ( I have no compassion for her in fact I am pretty hard faced and think she has reaped exactly what she has sown, although please note I do recognise it is my husband that is at fault, I just feel cheated I have been unable to confront her and feel cheated of this)

    When I ask my husband the details, he said they talked dirty through texts, and from this during meeting for coffee she mentioned she needed to go see to her horses, he explains he was fully aware of what was on offer and what would happen and still went ahead, however he says he really does not know why he did it, he says he has never stopped loving me, never had any intention of leaving me, never had any feelings for the OW and just thought as long as I never found out it would be ok, I have been his only ever sexual partner, and he has admitted he had begun to wander what it would be like to have sex with someone else, however I said that if he had done it once, that would have answered his questions yet he went back for more, I find it hard to accept that he doesn't know why, I want him to tell me that things were not right between us or something but he says he loved his life and he really does not know why he did it, I then think that he obviously came to his senses, but that does nothing to help me,, after he finished his affair he then began sexting with the other 3 women, so again I said he was looking for another affair he denies this, he explains it that it boosted his ego, although he admits he cannot guarantee that it would not have progressed to more.

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  81. Apologies but i couldn't post all my rant on one post, so below is the continuation. lol


    I have constant images of him and his lover, I have days where I wander whether I am only trying to work on our marriage as I do not wish to be alone, I don't believe that to be true as I truly love him, but I have always said I would not tolerate any betrayal, and I cannot believe I am prepared to give him another chance, he does all the right things we are spending any free time with each other, he is so affectionate ( although he has always been this way, I find it hard that I did not see something different in him to realise he had an affair) I find it hard to tolerate the lies and deception he performed all emails and texts were deleted, I never thought him capable of it, and I blame myself for that. he has said I can do anything I wish that I need to do in order to regain any trust I can as he will never hurt me again, I have a tracker on his phone, I do not use it every day, however I have the option to see where he is at any time of the day I wish, and he has said that when he checks this tracker and sees that I have not checked he feels hurt that I am not bothered to see, maybe this is the route of why he had the affair maybe he felt I didn't care, I have always loved him but we both have admitted we had got into a routine that did not give us time on our own, we were to much involved in doing things for our grown up children or young grandchildren, we were having the grandkids every Saturday night sleep over yet this is the only day he gets off work each week, so you can see we were not giving each other the attention we should have I accept that and we are making up for this now, I too have experienced hysterical bonding and until reading on the internet it was common I was upset with myself that it felt in my eyes I was rewarding him for his bad ways, I want my marriage to work I have good days and I have bad days, today is a bad day, I have not confided in anyone of his affair although I had confided in in his sexting to a friend, I think this is down to I truly believe she would suggest I leave him and I really do not need anyone telling me what to do I need advise I need to hear how others have coped how they have handled things, I do not want to feel bad or wrong for the decision I have made, I so wish I could talk to someone as I think it would help for me to rant and rave and get it out of my system, so If I have a bad day I tell my husband, he listens and he tries to comfort me by showing me affection apologising for his hurting me, however I know it hurts him to see me like this and it then affects him he hurts because of what he did he is so ashamed and he is hurt because he caused my pain, so I don't want to see him like that again as we have both shed many tears, so I am hoping this site will help me, maybe even typing all my feeling out will help me, I apologise for how jumbled all this may read, I have literally just typed what has gone through my head, i think the one question i would like to share is should he be able to give me a reason to why he cheated, or is it possible that he really doesn't know.

    Thanks for reading

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    1. It is possible he really doesn't know…but that's not the same as saying there wasn't a reason. He needs to figure out what he was telling himself that allowed him to do something that violated his own moral code. Ideally, he'll do this with a therapist who can coach him through examining his feelings, thoughts.
      And yes, virtually all of us said we'd never tolerate cheating…so you're not alone. However, most marriages do survive it. The key is to ensure that your marriage not only survives but is rebuilt in a way that's stronger and deeper.
      Continue to check up on him now and again as that is how you'll rebuild trust in him. Continue to talk about what happened and share your feelings about it. It sounds nuts but working as a "team" to heal can make your marriage stronger.

      Elle

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    2. Apologies for my absence, I had not bookmarked this site when I wrote my essay.

      Thanks for your response Elle.

      Things are going ok for us, however I cannot stop myself bringing this up all the time which only makes me feel like it is D Day all over again.

      We were recently on holiday, just me and him some sun and relaxation, yet all I could think off was him and his lover, I always tell him when I am struggling we both end up in tears, I just cannot get the picture of him and the OW out of my head, I then progress to although he stopped the affair he still needed emotional texts for his ego, so he had not come to his senses on his own accord, I try to make myself think that if he had managed to stop himself it would be better than only stopping because he was caught, I then cannot believe that he wont do it again as everything came out in trickle truth, we have looked at counselling but we cannot afford it, I so want to have a reason for why he cheated on me although I do not know whether that will resolve anything for me, I struggle when I have time on my hands when I am in the bath, songs trigger the pain, I hate myself for keep reliving the pain for both of us but I cannot seem to help myself.

      I still cannot share my secret I am too ashamed and I know I have nothing to be ashamed off but in the way I see I do, my husband obviously needed something else from another woman that he wasn't getting from me, be this attention (as it couldn't or shouldn't be physical contact as that as never been an issue)

      My husband told me today how he struggled at work, all he could think about was me and how I was feeling, and that he felt ashamed that he had caused me this pain, although he was trying to be honest and open with me I looked into his face and all I saw was the man who cheated on me not the man I married and loved, I could see his pain but so what it is self inflicted was what my voice in my head was saying, yet in no time I could look at that face and see the man I love ,how can my emotions swing so fast from one to another and how long will I keep reliving this pain, as I am the one who brings it to light all the time.

      Apologies again for my long rant, and thanks for taking the time for reading and responding, I have read previous posts and I can see so much of my pain in others and each response does help whether it is for me directly or someone else, I am so glad I found this site as I amongst other who do understand.

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  82. After almost 4 years since I found out and it has all since ended and things are back on track I still suffer with PTSD . I find myself on the verge of tears at times or full of anger at the idea that she might have done this with him or did that with him or he might have spent time at her place or he might have met her family and I just think "how dare they?" How dare she have acted like he was hers to show off, like she was a part of his life? I want to let go and I want to heal and I guess I have begun the healing process because it doesn't hurt as much anymore though a part of me will always hurt to some extent. I love my husband and he is my everything and it hurts that for a moment in time I wasn't his everything and he was able to see past me and he wasn't thinking of me when he first slept with her or how he just pushed me aside in order to be able to take her to concerts and things he never made the time for with me. I have lost my ability to trust. I feel like the instant I trust I am giving it the chance to be sabotaged so I hold back my trust so as not to be able to be taken advantage of again. This is probably unhealthy emotionally and I feel numb at times but I can't bring myself to fully trust . Certain perfumes and scents can bring back bad memories for me and it's like it all happened yesterday . I'll be ok. One one once told me that you count how long someone betrayed you for then double it and you will get an idea of how long it takes to heal from the betrayal . I guess that means I have six years to go.

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    1. Anonymous,
      I've heard that formula re getting over something too and I don't believe it. I think some people never get past it, though they likely don't work to heal. And some people get over it more quickly. I think it depends on our basic temperaments, our families, our life experience.
      In any case, I think you need to seek treatment for the PTSD. Four years is a long time to still be fearful and mistrustful. I felt like you…kinda numb. Just last year, I began EMDR which is kinda weird but that really works. It got me feeling things again. I can't recommend it enough. Look into it. You deserve to live again.

      Elle

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  83. Hi elle, i am so glad i found this sight im going thru the same thing. My husband cheated on me with co workers on his job his supervisor called me and told me about what was going on. I felt like i was going to die i was hurt still am. He would have sex every morning at work in the bathroom with her and on lunch breaks and sometimes before he left work. They have been screwing for almost 2 years. Same routine everyday. I had no idea it was going on i would go to his job and everyone would act as if nothing was happening. I played the fool i was laughed at behind my back. I thought how disgusting she was for only giving bathroom action. He came home and i just went off on him started fighting him crying thinking how could u do this to me. He didnt even fight me back he kept saying how sorry he was but b4 that he said his reason for doing it was i wasnt giving him attention. I called the OW and asked her about the affair she denied having one with him and insisted he was lying. I was confused. I said u dont have to lie he told me everything, she still insist nothing happen. Why is that? But anyway its been a year. Since it happened i made him quit his job. He hasnt made contact with her or anything he is trying to be a good husband trying to keep me smiling. But i cant im soooo hurt i stare n space thinking about it. I cry get angry and fight him. I cant control my feelings. He sometimes flinch if i raise my hand scared ima lash out. My husband is a pretty big guy i dont stand a chance n a real match. But he lets me hit him he will say stop n how sorry he is but never lays a hand on me. I beat myself up wondering if the OW misses my husband and vice verse. I sit a wonder alot i loose sleep and imjust in misery. What should i do

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    1. Djay,
      I completely understand your rage but you can't hit him. Just as it's not okay for a man to hit a woman, it's not okay for a woman to hit a man. Abuse is abuse.
      That aside, of course you're hurt and angry. Given that it has been a year and you're still struggling, I think it's time to consider that you're dealing with trauma. You need to seek counselling to help you heal from this. Betrayal trauma is real...and will continue to make life hell until you work through it.

      Elle

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  84. I felt as if I have been betrayed. I thought the man I love wasn't going to let me down. The OW called and told me everything. I felt so hurt that I just shut down towards everything except my children but sometimes I don't want to be bothered its been a year since the situation and I still feel the same type of pain after I found out. Not only did my now husband hurt me but the OW did too and the crazy part about it is, I didn't even know her and never seen her before. But she claimed to have known me and seen me before. It still hurts and my husband thinks that I'm always trying to be the victim because a year has went by and I just feel hurt still. I'm shocked I felt like I didn't give myself a chance to heal because I went ahead and married him like 2 months after the situation. I don't know why and I don't understand why I did what I decided. I really love him but I refuse to be hurt by him again in the future and I feel really paranoid. I do become numb at times and I just don't understand why I can not move forward.

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  85. I'm incredibly depressed. Found out about the almost year long affair two weeks after our son was born and one day after the last time they were together. I hate anniversary date and now vday is coming and I hate that too. We live together he says he has remorse and he seems to have changed but I can't get past it. He gave me a disease and I didn't even know and had to tell him bc we had no symptoms. Found out when I went for my six week check up after my son was born. Confession was late Oct 2013, and I think about it constantly. I'm in grad school now and raise my son, but I don't work and BD provides a roof and vehicles and food for all three of us. I have been trying to get past this but I can't and it's catching up to me. There are days I'll just break down or small comments urk me. Idk what to do. I'm sinking!

    -smm89

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