Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When you can't just "get over it"


Just as I think there must be a playbook for cheaters, I sometimes think there must also be one for husbands who stay in the marriage. It probably contains such lines as "You'll never let me live this down, will you!" Or "if you're going to bring this up every time you're mad at me, we'll never get past this." Or "I can't spend the rest of my life saying 'sorry'". 
Sound familiar?
One of the hurdles betrayed wives often have to clear is their husband's admonishments to get over it. It can be overt or, more often, subtle. But no matter, it's harmful either way. The thing is, we're trying to get over it. We want nothing more than to get over it. But, ultimately, we figure out that there really is no getting over it. We can get through it and get past it...but rarely do we get over it. 
It's not just a matter of semantics. To get through it, we need to process our emotions, to acknowledge the pain we're in, take steps to address the residual damage from betrayal. To get past it, we find that we've arrived at a place where we can accept what's happened and while few of us are glad for the experience, we can recognize that some good came out of it. Getting "over" it, implies leaping past all that damage to a new stage where our husbands are magically forgiven and their act of betrayal is never spoken of again. We get "over" the flu. We get "through" betrayal. 
A crucial part of getting through is exploring just how this has impacted us. We desperately need someone who can acknowledge our pain, who understands that each of us walks a different path, a different timeline. Someone who understands that betrayal changes who we are, and that we need to figure out who this new us is. It's one of the reasons I created this site. To give betrayed wives a safe place to process everything they're going through, with the benefit of the experience of those further along the path to healing. 
A therapist can be a lifesaver. Someone to help you examine the role you played in the breakdown of the marriage, without ever holding you to blame for your spouse's choice to cheat. My own therapist kept my head above water. But I've heard stories of therapists who, clearly, don't have a clue about betrayal. 
But there's another tool in your arsenal. It was a desire for a wise someone with whom she could talk – someone ideally who understood intimately the experience of betrayal having been through it herself – that prompted Laura S., a betrayed wife in California, to create the Infidelity Counselling Network, a free phone counselling service for betrayed spouses. Laura and I discovered each other on social media. Since then, we've talked personally and shared our stories. We've grown to appreciate and support each other's work, knowing how important it is to have that sense of community in the wake of betrayal. Her Infidelity Counselling Network has been busy training peer counsellors (who've been through betrayal themselves) to provide wisdom and support to callers. If you crave someone anonymous  with whom to share your experience, give Laura's counsellors a call: 650-521-5897, ext. 101.


126 comments:

  1. Elle

    This came at a very apt time...I had a fight with my husband last night, over something really small...and he started accusing me that I'm staying in this relationship only because he's forcing me to and that I'm not happy about it.

    Well, I'm trying hard to accept him back after he cheated on me for 3 years with my friend. Even after I found out, confronted him, he repeatedly went back to her. Now after 4 months, he's stopped all contacts with her, and swears he loves only me and wants to be with the family. Well, I'm not over it yet. The details of the affair is too fresh in my mind (having read all the graphic details in the emails exchanged between them), the repeated betrayal is too much to handle and I'm not sure if I love him anymore.

    I definitely need this!

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    1. Anyone who carries on an affair with your friend (some friend!!!) for three years doesn't have a leg to stand on. Factor in NOT stopping it when found out, and he's got a LOT to remedy. That fact that you haven't killed him (and her) makes you a saint.
      What he clearly doesn't grasp is just how incredibly deep the wound he inflicted goes. Four months is mere seconds in the healing-from-betrayal timeline. You're likely still in some sort of shock.
      And of course you don't quite know what you want to do and whether you love him. He's behaved in a detestable way.
      You need to give yourself time to sift through all this stuff and figure out whether you want to give him (and if he deserves) a second chance. He took his sweet time deciding whether or not he wanted to stay in the marriage...now he needs to give you the same chance.
      Most experts suggest not doing anything final for at least six months after finding out. It takes that long, they reason, to finally digest it all and figure out what's next.
      Hang in there. The ball is in your court. If he can't give you time without pressure or accusations, then he's being incredibly selfish. Again.

      Elle

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    2. I was with my husband 17 yrs and off and on for 15 he cheated I would always take him back on a hope he was being sincere about wanting his family we have been seperated a year and he with someone else and has been it was what split us up and I still feel like I'm dieing inside literally like I'm dieing the pain is still fresh and it still hurts as bad as the day I found out he treats me like no one like I'm just a stranger he has left me to finatislly take care of iut kids everything my car recently broke down and he wouldn't even look at it or ask if I was OK I don't know what to do to stop this pain and hurt I just need something or someone to tell me how to make this stop once and for all!!!!!

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    3. Cassie,
      I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. I think healing begins when you stop expecting him to be anyone other than who he is. He has shown you he's disloyal, deceptive and uninterested in having a relationship with you that's based on kindness and honesty. So...you know exactly who he is. He won't be there for you. But YOU can be there for you. You need to start treating yourself with respect and kindness. Will the hurt disappear overnight? Of course not. But once you stop looking at him through a lens that ignores his huge flaws, you might start to feel the teensiest bit grateful that you're not living with all that bullshit anymore. Your life is yours now. No more worrying if he's genuine. No more wondering if he's lying. Let his new girlfriend deal with such a serial cheater while you get on with your life.
      It's time to let go of the fantasy that he was anything other than a total ass. And start surrounding yourself with people who genuinely care about you and want what's best for you.
      In the meantime, I would also urge you to seek counselling to support you through this. The incredibly deep hurt you feel likely also has to do with your childhood. I suspect this guy isn't the first person to break your heart. It's time to heal your heart from old wounds too.

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  2. I'm 17 months out from Dday and one thing that I continue to struggle with is a sense of horror at myself for staying. Did you experience anything like that? My husband is doing all he can - therapy, individual counseling, treating his long-denied depression, he's accountable for his time and his activities, etc - it's not that I'm horrified that I'm staying with HIM but that I stayed at all. I continue to judge myself as weak and pathetic. I'm trying to tell myself different stories - to see staying as a strong and courageous thing - but I have these waves of horror out of nowhere. I'd like that part of getting through this to come to an end.

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    1. Yes, I too struggled with that. Ultimately though I realized that I was more concerned about what others might think of me staying. The reality of my situation was that my husband was truly making change. He was becoming a far better husband and father. I honestly believed he deserved a second chance…and that it was better for all of us to give it to him.
      But society's notions of cheating don't leave much room for that option. Women are applauded for kicking the guy out. Those who stay are dismissed as doormats. And though we know it takes incredible strength and bravery to turn a marriage around, those deeply ingrained messages affect us.
      What finally "cured" me was recognizing that, on my death bed, I'm not going to think to myself that I was glad I "showed him" by kicking him out. I knew that, at the end of my life, I would nonetheless be proud of my own integrity and conviction and strength in keeping my family intact. That my kids deserved a home with their father in it. That's not right for everybody…but it was right for me. And I have no regrets. What's more, I'm far more aware now of how many women must be going through this (or have gone through it) and none of us know because those who stay simply don't talk about it.

      Elle

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    2. Your reply Elle, was spot on. I have wavered little in my desire to stay. But my women friends and sisters who haven't had the experience of infidelity keep saying subtle things that make me feel weak, naive or stupid for staying. Most people think it is a "deal breaker" but if you both are committed to restoring love and trust, you have something worth trying to recover. I am the only one who knows what my husband is really like and what our relationship is based on--there was love and trust. We just created alot of pain between us and we have to take responsibility for what we have each done. The waves of horror are just that, waves. If your partner is doing the work and you are too, there are no warning signs that he is pathological or still hiding, you can ride the waves.

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    3. I'm going through the same thing.I think"how could i be so stupid?...so weak?" My husband, too, is dealing with depression and is now taking steps to "get a handle"on it (damage already done). I feel like his depression , his lack of self esteem and insecurities is the excuse I give myself for staying and trying to work it out...and despite all the hurt and indescribable pain he has caused me, I feel this weird need to protect him?...maybe I'm an enabler.ugghh

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    4. Still weak coming up on 1 uear in 2 days...cant stop the tears..i stayed...having 4 daughters..hes an awesome dad...he tried hard but recently went back to his old ways...he made a comment tonight. ..how many times did you smile? Forgetting i worked all day have 4 girls a house amd mouths to feed and clean up too...tjat is a big battle...feeling not appreciated..but his view of me is im not happy but miserable...i dont yell or complain...im scared because i think this was his view of me when he cheated...im trying my best but i lost my semse of self..life was so care free...god gave me a gift of love and trust...i lost that amd will mever get it back....depression has been setting in lately.
      He refuses therapy and tells me that if he has to hear about it amore im driving him away. .i kuat wamt him to know how i feel..nonody understands unless it has happened to you..

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    5. Still weak coming up on 1 uear in 2 days...cant stop the tears..i stayed...having 4 daughters..hes an awesome dad...he tried hard but recently went back to his old ways...he made a comment tonight. ..how many times did you smile? Forgetting i worked all day have 4 girls a house amd mouths to feed and clean up too...tjat is a big battle...feeling not appreciated..but his view of me is im not happy but miserable...i dont yell or complain...im scared because i think this was his view of me when he cheated...im trying my best but i lost my semse of self..life was so care free...god gave me a gift of love and trust...i lost that amd will mever get it back....depression has been setting in lately.
      He refuses therapy and tells me that if he has to hear about it amore im driving him away. .i kuat wamt him to know how i feel..nonody understands unless it has happened to you..

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    6. Patricia.. I think we are the same person. I have 4 kids as well. It was a year ago a week ago for me. I have exactly the same thoughts as you. I feel like I have to be on my A game 24-7 showing my husband that I happy. I am a happy person and for 15 years of our marriage I had no help. He helps me now to earn back my trust, but I still have hard days as I am sure you do as well.

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    7. Dear Patricia I know exactly how you feel. I discovered 4weeks ago my husband had been cheating on me for the past 6 years. He says the affair was so on and off that it was actually less than a year that he was with her. He says he doesn't know why he did it because he didn't love her and he has been feeling guilt and disgust all these years but kept going back. I was determined to leave him but he literally cried and begged me to give him another chance. He can't imagine life without me. We have 3 kids and my youngest is 3. My greatest problem now is I feel so much disappointment in myself for giving him a second chance. He is doing everything right to show he has changed and can be trusted. I feel he doesn't deserve another chance but when I see how happy my kids are I see that it's worth it. Maybe one day I will get over his betrayal but for now I decided I am not going to let his infidelity ruin my life anymore. I was miserable for a long time because I suspected it but never got concrete proof and he kept on denying it. Now I am a much stronger woman. I don't blame myself for what happened and I decided it's not going to be my responsibility to make this work this time around. I am just going to be myself and be happy. I have so much to say I could write a book

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  3. I really appreciate this blog post. I can't believe what great timing! I am 20 months out from d-day #1 and 17 from d-day #2 and yes, this pretty much sums up where we are at right now. My husband has done everything he can possibly do from d-day #3 on to earn back my trust (he has) and we are both still in therapy but we are having a rough time. It seems like now I'M the "bad one" who can't forgive and he's now the "good guy" cuz I believe even our marriage counselors seem to treat him like wow isn't he amazing cuz they probably see so many crappy husbands who never do the hard work after cheating to keep their marriages together. Pardon me if I'm not "over" it yet. You're right, it's about being heard by the one who hurt us. Thank you for hearing me today.

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    1. It's crucial that both of you recognize that healing has its own timeline. Like grief, you can't rush yourself through it because it you "should" be further along. Unlike the grief that follows death, there's a "bad guy" in this scenario who wants you over it so that he isn't reminded of what he's done.
      It's wonderful that he's made such positive change. But just like a drunk driver who stops drinking and goes to AA, it doesn't alter the fact that he ran somebody over before he embarked on self-improvement. I doubt you're trying to punish him…you're just acknowledging the deep, deep wound that betrayal creates and doing your best to heal it, not pretend it isn't there.

      Elle

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    2. I hear you...my husband told a few of his close friends of what he did. He also said that he's now back with me and we are trying to work it out. They just applaud him for owning up his mistakes and making amends.

      No one asks me how I feel about the situation or if I'm actually taking him back. It's like I've no choice but to accept him back, now that he's on the mend!!!

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    3. Anon, im 5 months from DDay1, 4 from DDay 2 and 3 weeks from DDay 3. We went through 3 counsellors and have finally found someone who is blunt and honest with my husband. This new counsellor is the first to tell him ZERO contact, and that even in the future he CANNOT have friendships with women. Something is broken inside of him that makes him step outside our marriage. My husband is making amends and working much harder now at being better at giving me the time and the reassurance I need for recovery. He has been downloading "affair recovery radio" podcasts and has been listening to them while he's driving for work. I don't know if any of this helps at all, but you aren't alone. you aren't crazy. and one day at a time you will get through this. xo

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    4. Beverly,
      Thanks for sharing that. We're all stronger for the support we're given.

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  4. I am still struggling to forgive 10 months post D day. My husband was rejected for an academic promotion today - as the OW had complained to the university about their affair, I couldn't help but ask him if the complaint had been a factor. He was furious with me, but I was secretly glad

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    1. Ten months out is still really early in terms of healing. Forget about "forgiveness" right now and focus on simply observing his behaviour within the marriage. Accept that, as you continue to see him committed to you, creating positive change in himself, the feeling that leads toward "forgiveness" will grow and it won't seem like something you do so much as something that happens.
      In the meantime, be gentle with yourself. Betrayal is excruciating and takes a long time to heal from.

      Elle

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  5. I'm almost 2 years out and still wonder if I should be with him. The OW had claimed she was pregnant at the time and he did stop all contact with her the day he told me, but I still haven't been able to get past the affair. This was the 2nd in our 10 year relationship, the first was about 4 months in and I found out about 6 months after. Why do men have to be so incredibly stupid?

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  6. I am very confused about 4 months ago I asked my husband if he loved the ow and he said yes I also asked him if he wanted to be with her and he was not able to answer it he said it was a tough question he also said he loves me this happened about 4 months ago we have been doing great. However we have not been able to be sexually active with each other he said feelings are not there not that he doesnt love me....he hasnt spoken to her in like 6 months....should I be worried....will the sex come back?? Why was he not able to answer to my question? Thank you in advance.

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    1. I can't answer your question about whether the sex will come back. Is he not able to be sexual with you? Or not willing? Is it a physical issue? An emotional one?
      He didn't answer your other question because he didn't want to hurt you. It's possible to love you…and still want to be with the other person. He's likely still deep in the fog of the affair. But without further information, I really don't have a clue what sort of affair he had. Did she end it?
      As for your question, "should I be worried?", if you're asking do I think he's capable of cheating again, the answer is yes. It doesn't sound as if he's clear on what he wants. The deeper question is what do YOU want? What do you need to see from him to have the marriage you want?

      Elle

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    2. I'm so sorry to hear t his and I feel your pain..what I identify w you is similar...its been almost 3 yrs since my H got caught. .its been tough road but we are better than ever...however there has been sex but sometimes different...noticeably, I finally brought it up and he admitted fantasizing about her...he said he thought he loved her than but not now he in love w me..really??? Thats hard to believe! !! He immediately we nt to therapy. .I'm going this week bc his therapist asked as he..I'm heart broken he dudnt s address this 3 yrs ago...I feel he been cheating in hus fantasy! ! I'd press for answers...good luck. ..

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    3. I wonder why he didn't just lie to save you from further hurt. Maybe the therapist can uncover why he isn't protecting your feelings even now.

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    4. I'm glad he didn't, I lived a lie for the past 3 yrs...bc of the differences in sex I would have thought he was having an affair anywa y...and I guess he was, he used me...I'm devastated. ...

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  7. Yes infidelity is something you get through and not over.

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  8. Hi ladies, I'm 6 weeks post d day and I'm as well as can be given the circumstances. However last night I was right back to the day of discovery, the reason why because I found an old photo of the ow in her underwear, a photo he had forgotten to delete of his mobile. The wound was open once more I was angry as I felt I'd come so far in my recovery to take me right back, my h was angry because it was all brought up again and because he told me the truth he feels the photo should be of no relavence, my gosh was he so wrong. After a discussion of anger and frustration of the whole situation we managed to get back to some ' normal ground' again whatever that is simply because he reaffirmed that I was the person he loved and wanted to be with. Sadly though I couldn't get the image of the ow in her underwear out of my head, I'm angry that she sent this pic once my husband had told her it was over it was I believe a way if trying to entice him back at the time of me just giving birth to our son. She knew I would be a mess both physically and emotionally and she played it to her advantage, thankfully it didn't work, I feel so upset and angry that another women could do this. So sad and cruel

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    1. Im so sorry that we are both in this awful situation. I found out my husband has been having an affair since the month we found out we were pregnant with our son (18 months ago is when it began) (whad been trying to conceive for 6mths.) My husband disclosed the affair 5 months ago and has since gone back to her and started it back up twice... the latest dDay being 3 weeks ago. I would be extremely concerned because unless it was a very old picture hidden in the recesses of his phone... then there is no way that he "forgot" to delete it. if it was recent, he kept it for a reason. He needs to contact his service provider and have them block her phone numbers from his phone. He needs to change his phone number, he needs to get a new email account, etc. There needs to be ZERO contact. Trust your gut instinct. I learned from my counsellor today that infidelity causes symptoms similar to PTSD. Our brains log every single detail in an attempt to identify trauma coming in the future and to prevent us from being taken by surprise again. Every time I thought my husband might be cheating again, I was correct. IF you suspect he has started it up again, stick to your guns. He has not put the consistency over time into repairing the relationship. You have absolutely zero reason to trust him right now, but you have every reason to trust yourself. He has NO right to get angry or be mad at your bringing up the affair. HE cheated, HE has to make amends. It is completely normal for you to want to talk about the affair and in fact that is one thing that will help you to recover is to talk about it and sort it out. please, look up affairrecovery.com and look into some of the resources.

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  9. Any feedback on the above would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance ladies x x x

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    1. Sam, trust your gut on this. I refused to believe my caring considerate husband would have an affair in the first place and then I let him trick me three times into thinking it was over when it wasn't. I could no longer hide from the truth when she decided since there was no way he was leaving me that she would harass me into leaving him to try to gain the same result. My husband was also suffering from depression like many of the H's described here which I find interesting. I believe it is finally over this time because she was so cruel in her harassment of me. One of the things she did was send me screenshots of txt exchanges between them with sexual content in them and when I didn't react to her (of course I showed him the kind of woman's he was risking his family for) she then threatened to send them to our 21 year old daughter. I files a harassment complaint at that point and told him to leave if he couldn't agree to zero contact with such a monster. I'm 5 weeks from what I believe is a severing of all ties but I'm cautious and I won't be fooled again. If he is refusing to block her number, email, & social media account then he still want contact with her. Plain and simple. if he comes to bed later than you and gets up earlier, if he seems distant and insincere with his apologies. Don't believe him! He's either still seeing her or wants to. I too question my motives for wanting to stay in my marriage. The compelling reason is that we enjoy each other, we have fun and I truly love him and believe he loves me too. He is very remorseful and it's sincere this time. I just wonder why I'm still feeling so sad and such a deep sense of loss now that I'm sure it's over. We've been married 26 year and this is really our only period rough enough to even consider separating. The only thing I'm struggling with him in right now is that because he is relieved the affair is over, he thinks I should just be over it and he gets angry if he catches me being sad. I'm glad for the perspectives provided here. I'm glad I'm not alone with this difficulty moving past this. Thank you all for sharing.

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  10. Hi Sam A,
    Sorry you're here…but glad you found us.
    Six weeks is still so incredibly raw. It probably seems like forever…but your body and mind are just absorbing this new reality.
    The photo she sent was a desperate bid to pull him back in. Imagine how desperate you would have to be to send a near-naked photo of yourself to someone who's broken it off with you. Pitiful.
    And yes, it's sad that people do this to each other. But as the saying goes, "hurt people hurt people."
    Hang in there. Do your best to focus on your son and be present to him, which might help you also keep those awful thoughts at bay. He's what matters, not some pathetic woman in her underwear who wants what you have.

    Elle

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  11. Thanks Elle such reassuring words, your right my son brings me so much joy, he makes me smile even when I don't feel like smiling. My self esteem has definetly taken a battering following the discovery of the A, however I am working on both my mind and body with a personal trainer and counsellor :) had my first session of counselling today and was telling her about this site and how it has been my saviour, thank you so much x x

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    1. Atta girl! Take charge of your mind and body. And I'm so glad you're able to feel joy in your son. Too many women have to deal with betrayal around pregnancy/birth and it's such a shame that they can't see past their pain. Your body nurtured and produced a perfect little being. That's better than tight abs!!

      Elle

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  12. Elle (and any other informed person out there), can you share some insight on how to choose a couples therapist? My husband and I have been seeing someone for almost 3 years. She was an intern when we started (I thought we just needed communication help back then....). Now I am not sure that she can address the needs we have after the cheating. She claims that infidelity is her specialty but I feel uneasy not having someone with decades under their belt. However, she does know us both very well. Do you have recommendations? What worked and didn't for you?

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    1. I'm not sure experience matters as much as someone who just "gets it." We went to two couples counsellors, one who's an expert in sex addiction. And it just wasn't a great fit. The woman we have now is wonderful. Each of us is convinced that she's kinda on our side…which means that she's doing a wonderful job of allowing each of us to feel heard. As a result, we're better able to really hear each other. What's your gut feeling? Can you give it a month or so and see if you think you're getting somewhere?

      Elle

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  13. Hi mbs

    We have a male counsellor and he is fab, doesn't hold back tells us exactly how it is. Was apprehensive about a male counsellor initially as I was worried he may be bias but quite the opposite. If you leave a session feeling fulfilled and looking forward to the next one id say you have a good counsellor.

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  14. January 31, 2013, I stumbled upon the profane emails between he and one of his nurse/co-workers. It began when I was away for the 1st time in our then-13-year marriage, while I celebrated my mother's 75th birthday out-of-state.
    Unbeknownst to me, It began as an emotional affair in August, 2012 and upon my arrival home after my 10 days away in October, 2012, he manifested his exit out the door.
    While he separated from me & the children those 6, anguishing weeks, he claimed he was "too angry to come home" & "he couldn't come home until he got in with his assigned counselor"- it all seemed logical then, since it was November, 2012, holidays and all.....
    I begged him to go on a cruise with me on December 14, 2012 - our 1st time EVER without the children - it was, in my eyes, a Miraculous reunification.
    He returned home to me on December 18th, 2012.
    I found the emails on January 31, 2013 and he categorically denied EVERYTHING. After nearly an hour, he admitted to having sex with her ONE time. He swore on our 5 children, his mother, my life - ONE time.
    Time stopped for me and the me I once was became possessed by an unrecognizeable entity. Fast forward to June 20, 2013 - 3am, the day after our 14th anniversary. Since "D-Day", 1/31/13, I had accepted I'd gone mad, for those 5 months, I was certain there was more. He maintained his story and continued to allow me to live in torment. At 3am on 6/20/13, I sprang from our bed to study the nude photos she had sent (during their affair) for the umpteenth time - hiding in plain sight, was the JPEG date on the last photo - December 18th, 2012 1:30am - the day after we returned from the cruise and the same day he returned home. He had returned to the house he had stayed at while were separated because "all of his work gear was there and he wanted to spend some "guy-time" with his coworker/friend who had taken him in." He texted her within a couple of hours that night and she came running.....for what he now admitted was their FOURTH time - aside from 2 "favors" she performed in a parked car. 6 times in my mind.
    It is now December 27th, 2013 - but to me, Every Day is D-Day - the one in June or January, take your pick.....
    Counseling, medication, nothing seems to help me....I've lost over 50 pounds though I was proportianate to begin with - I cannot eat, I cannot sleep, I cannot escape my own mind.
    Sll the while, he continues his own long-overdue therapy and tells how "sorry" he is.
    Meanwhile, I just want to die, for I cannot overcome this unfathomable, endless nightmare.

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    1. pamperedjane,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. It sounds like a year of hell. And the trickle truth you've experienced certainly doesn't help.
      You can't turn back the clock. This has happened. No amount of wishing can make it un-happen. So what are you going to do about it? What is your counsellor saying? Did your husband's betrayal trigger some deeper pain from long ago? Have you considered that you're post-trauma and might need a different type of therapy to get past this?
      Betrayal is excruciating. As any woman on this site will attest, it's a pain unlike anything we've experienced. But at a certain point, we accept that this is our new reality. We can spend the rest of our lives lamenting our lost fairy tale, or we can figure out how we're going to push through this and create something worth having. You need to stop thinking of yourself as a victim and begin thinking of yourself as a warrior. You will triumph over this. But it starts with figuring out what's holding you back. Do you believe your husband is being honest now? Do you want a marriage with him? Does he truly recognize just how damaging his actions were?
      In the meantime, perhaps your counsellor isn't working for you. Consider finding someone else. Read the posts on this site to get a sense for what areas trigger you (those posts will be the hardest to read or will make you cry) and start excavating your pain.

      Elle

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  15. I feel exactly he same my husband had an affair with a colleague whilst i was caring for my dieing father. Trickle truth is an over generous description of his ability to be honest i have done all the work to try to come to term with this hideous experience.They bith still work in the same place and i begged hin to change jobs. He is a passive aggressive bully and two and a hslf years on ive lost 5 stone and look great which he hates.He is suspicious of me and isnt often very nice to me ?

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    1. Can I gently ask why you're still with him? It sounds like the cheating was simply part of a larger package of abuse. He doesn't treat you with respect or kindness. But why aren't you treating yourself with respect and kindness? You deserve it. You are worthy and deserving of love.

      Elle

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    2. The truth is I dont know why. We have been together for 20 years and its nver been really right. He has no insight into the man/woman power dynamic inherent in domestic abuse and has assaulted me by hitting me on two occassions and during the time shortly after i fiund out when i was distraught and 'going on'as he terms it when i tried to cuddle him to make up he bit me.The grief in relation to dad is all mixed up and i cant bear that the OW knows the most intimate details of his dreadful death and funeral. Ellie i am bereft I have a close female friend who is almost like my carer and my husband hates her and thinks she influences me to be negative towards him .I spend a lot of time with her and hes becoming increasingly suspicous thinking seeibg someone else.When im with her i feel comforted and safe as when im with my children when im with him i dont but cant seem to find the strength to make him go .He did leave on two occassions but i asked him to come back -i dont know whats wrong with me?Thankyou for yaking the time to listen and reply.

      Delete
    3. Anon,
      Nobody has the right to hurt you. Not physically and not emotionally. You don't need him to understand that…YOU just need to understand that. He'll never give you permission to leave. But you need to give yourself permission to leave. Or to insist that he leave. You do have the strength. You just need to tap into it.
      I'm sure you're exhausted from everything you've been dealing with. Perhaps you could start by seeking counselling. What does your friend suggest? What would you say to one of your children if they were in your situation? I'm guessing you wouldn't tell them to wait it out. You would insist that they get themselves into a situation that is safe, both emotionally and physically. You owe it to yourself and to your children. One hit is one too many.
      So many women have been in your situation. Please just ask for help. You don't have to do anything more than simply get clear on your options. Start by contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline at www.thehotline.org or calling 1-800-799-7233.
      You say you don't know why you haven't left (or told him to leave and stay out) but my guess is that, on some level, you don't believe you deserve better. I don't know what he's told you over the years or what you heard as a kid…but I'm telling you that are worthy of love and respect. We all are. You're clearly a smart, compassionate woman capable of great love. Please know that.

      Elle

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  16. Only 2 years into our marriage, I am just 3 weeks of finding out. He had a full blown relationship with a married women at work who might I add told my H her marriage was an "open relationship", But her husband doesn't know about the affair. My H
    took a week off of work because he needed to find himself again. He said Who he was at work wasn't him. Everyone knew about the affair, co workers and boss. He would brag and they would support him with high fives. His boss even told him " I've cheated on my wife 3 times but we have 3 kids so..." He is doing everything he can to show how sorry he is and tell me it will never happen again. But he is going back to work and she will be there. Any advise so I don't go crazy thinking about him working with her everyday. My love for him is strong but right now my pain is stronger. Not sure how I can function At my own job while he is at his job with her. He broke it off but she continues to say hello everyday. So everyday he is reminded of what they had. My in laws are in town and know about what happened. My mother in law told me " I don't know how you guys will ever work now that he's done this" ... Wow thanks for the support.

    Feeling scared hurt angry and betrayed

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    1. I think it's time for your husband to find another job. Seriously. He works in a toxic environment. I'm not surprised he doesn't recognize who he was…we can be impacted by those around us and take on their value system unless we're highly vigilant and really clear on our own moral code.
      Does your husband recognize this? Can he see how he was affected? Of course he needs to take personal responsibility for his choice -- it was, after all, him who ultimately decided to have the affair.
      And yes, it's very hard for you to feel "safe" when day after day he's in contact with her.
      Can you and your husband come up with a strategy to help you cope? It's important, in the wake of an affair, for you two to rebuild your marriage as a team -- to create an environment where it's the two of you working together to get past this. Anything he can do to make it clear that he's on YOUR side and will do whatever it takes to help you heal can go a long toward re-establishing safety within your marriage.
      I'm sorry for what you're going through. We live in a crazy world where that sort of deceptive and hurtful behaviour is worthy of "high fives".

      Elle

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  17. I have been feeling better, not great but better since he has been home. He recognizes my pain and constantly apologizes. Any thing I ask he does, walk the dog and help around the house. But I keep asking myself how long will this last? I think I'm feeling better because he is at home. But what about when he starts work again. We are very young. We married at 19 and 20. Now 22 and 23 with no kids. I knew the odds were against us from the beginning as everyone I knew constantly reminded me that getting married at a young age is stupid. But I don't feel that way. I feel like I married the man I love the man I want to raise my children one day the man i want to grow with, my soul mate. But it's hard to escape from my head and the play back of everything he told me about the affair. We recently moved to a new state, new jobs and new home. He is looking for a new job but has had some difficulties. Im afraid I can't ask him to leave his toxic work place without something else lined up which means I have to deal with this pain everyday of his going there.

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    1. One of the hardest parts of this is not letting your brain go into overdrive. After feeling so out of control, we want to feel hyper control. The thing is, you don't know what's next. Some feelings that you think will last forever, simply won't (ie. I'll never be happy again or I'll never get over this). Others will last longer than you think. The best (and hardest) thing you can do is to try and take this a day at a time. Just focus on the moment, breathing through the pain, relishing any moments of joy.
      As for the job, I understand that it's not always easy (or possible) to simply walk away. In that case, you both need to determine what can be done to make the situation as easy for you as possible.

      Elle

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  18. Any advice ?? ^^

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  19. My husband and I have been married many years and have 4 teenagers. Five years ago I found out he was having an affair with a coworker. It had been going on 4 years. We agreed to keep going and, although I was devastated, it seemed to be working. A year ago I found out he was still seeing her. This has been a long year and about 5 months ago we started sleeping together and were slowly moving on.

    About 6 weeks ago I was sorting clothes for the dry cleaners and found a memory stick. It contained videos of them having sex, edited "porn" really, complete with cheesy music. It has taken me back to square one. I don't feel I'll ever get over it now.
    We are in counseling and he tells me he's a different pers

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  20. Sorry got cut off. He says he's changed, he loves me and the family etc etc.. Reading your post made me feel I'm not alone.

    I feel weak for staying, not even sure why I have, other than my kids and we do get on.
    I haven't told anyone - shame - and every time I look at him, I see him and her in their movies. I have no money of my own and I stay home. I even beat myself up for that now. It makes me hate myself and my life. Five years I've been living this and please let it get better...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. What you've experienced is such a shock. And our body responds accordingly -- we feel threatened, our safety is compromised. It takes time to absorb the information and gain back our sense of agency. Sometimes a lot of time, especially when the affair went on quite a while and there's already been false reconciliation. Makes it that much more difficult to trust again.
      We often feel weak for staying because our culture is so unforgiving of women who stay. But it's important to figure out whether you feel weak for staying because you really don't want to stay and are aware that you're not respecting your own deepest desires. Or whether you feel weak because we're "supposed" to kick men out when they cheat. I think that's something to talk about in therapy -- and I would urge you to get a personal therapist to help you through this.
      Finally, what's up the memory stick? Why does he still have this? Why didn't you know about it? In order for any marriage to survive this, all secrets have to be out in the open. Each time we discover yet another piece that we didn't know about, it sets us right back. He needs to tell you EVERYTHING -- though you get to determine when it's too much or not enough. Something like a sex tape should have been out in the open.
      I'm really sorry you're going through this. But I think step one is to determine what YOU want to do from here. You can change what's happened (which is what most of us want) but you can certainly determine what your future holds. If you've been home with the kids, you're entitled to support. Perhaps, also, it's time to create a life that fulfills you -- whether that's paid work or volunteer, or whatever. Time to treat yourself with kindness and respect...and curiosity.

      Elle

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    2. Hi, i too discovered a zip drive with naked pictures of the whore. This was a year and a half after the affair ended. Why do they keep pics,porn...momentos? I honestly believe they still want to hang on to all the good fantasy feelings that the other person gave them. Is it wrong? Heck yeah! It makes me wonder if the other woman woman were to step back in the picture would my husband reengage in the affair. Part of me thinks yes! Thats a hell of a way to live wondering when or if my husband is going to cheat again. Additionally, my husband has never given me the whole truth either. Sorry for your pain. Seeing those pics makes you feel soo sad..i know!

      Delete
    3. Anon,
      These affair mementos are a huge red flag. Whether or not they would lead him to cheat again, they nonetheless hold a certain power over him. Part of moving past an affair is recasting it as what it was -- a deceptive act that hurt people he loved.
      Not knowing the whole truth of what happened is also concerning. I think it's very hard for you to heal, and for a marriage to be rebuilt, without total honesty.

      Elle

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  21. My husbands affair ended 22 months ago. I discovered it 9 months ago by accident. He gave me access to his email, facebook. These were both means by which he communicated with the other woman. Ever since then i have been looking at these and i also installed a mobile spy software. What i learned is that i dont think he still has communication with her. He still checks his email often and fb. I think he is worried she will send a message to him i might see it before him. I want to confront him about this but honesty hasnt been his best policy so i dont want to let him know about my methods of collecting information. HONESTLY and i have told him this I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Im expecting that he will cheat again. He asked me what he needs to do to bridge the trust. I want to say close your email and facebook dont delete your browsing history. He always claims that he barely looks at these. I can see otherwise. However, I know that if i give up my cards(my spy software) and confront then i better be ready to act because thats the only way i have control of what's real vs. what he says. I'm a stay at home mom who wants things to work out. Just wondering any thoughts?

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    1. Anonymous,
      If you want things to work out, then I think you need to do more than simply hold your breath. And you need to expect more from him than that he simply not have contact with her.
      The thing with affairs is that they're fantasy (assuming he has no intention of making it reality by leaving you). They're an escape from our daily lives and all that entails -- the boredom, the loneliness, our fears of aging, our insecurities and routine disappointment. Affairs suddenly make our lives exciting. They make us feel sexy and alive. So without really understanding why your husband was tempted to cheat, and why he engaged in something with this woman knowing he didn't want to lose his marriage, then it's hard for you to trust that it won't happen again.
      He needs to come clean -- full honesty -- about everything that happened, how it happened, and how he plans to ensure it doesn't happen again. He needs to understand why he allowed it to happen. Why was he willing to risk his family? What stories was he telling himself to make it okay to step out of his marriage?
      And you need to do more than simply spy. I don't blame you for not wanting to disclose your methods -- and in the short term, I think you need to keep tabs. But you don't want to spend your life doing surveillance. You want to create a marriage in which you rebuild trust. Right now, you don't trust him, and he doesn't seem to trust you.
      I would urge you both to get into marriage counselling where you can unpack this affair, and figure out how you're going to create a marriage that feels solid and is built on honesty and trust. Until then, you're stuck holding your breath.

      Elle

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  22. ive been with my husband for almost 6 years all together dating and married, hes always had problems with porn and he liked to call people he dated just to see what they would say, hes also always been a liar. well its been 6 months since d day and i cant get past it. somedays im "happy" somedays i cant see him without getting mad or cry. its been really hard. when i found out, he wasnt seeing the ow anymore for more than over year but he was still watching porn and calling prostitute and he particulary talked to his last ex girlfriend, he asked her to give him bjs and she always rejected him. he's really insecure and always blamed everyone for his mistakes and expected other people to fix his mistakes or he though they will magically dissapear withouth him trying to fix them. He says he changed because he realized how much he hurted me and how much he broke our marriage, he told me everything about the affair and everything he ever did. hes been trying to fix our marriage, he promised hes not seeing speaking or watching anything hes not supposed to. he tells me he wants to fix my heart and our relationship and that he knows he will never do it again because that would mean he will lose me this time. i dont know how to get over it because i feel i have lived a lie with him because since the beginning we had problems with porn and exs and i feel like he never loved me even though he says he has never loved someone like me , he says im the love of his life and that he couldnt live without me. but how can i believe that when he had me and he decided to be with someone else, he didnt care for my feelings until i found out. how do i know our marriage would work

    thank you

    d.

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    1. d,
      I'm sorry for how much pain you're in. You've had to deal with so much.
      You're wise to not trust his promises. He's lied to you before. What you need is some sort of indication of how he plans to keep these promises. You also need access to his phone/computer/etc. to confirm any suspicions you have.
      There is no way to know if your marriage will work. And frankly, you've got a tough battle ahead, given his previous deceptions. He has been enormously disrespectful to you and your marriage. He has a lot of amends to make.
      If he's serious about making them, however, you can rebuild your marriage to be stronger.

      Elle

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    2. Its weird because ive always have had access to his phone computer and everything except his work email but since that d day he gave me the password too and ive looked and loiked and havent found enything anymore, we had a figth yesterday and i almost walked away but i didnt and he was crying hysterically and he did what you says about the promises and plans on his own, he said that to me before but this time i was able to really see it in his eyes. I know hes not a bad man he just had a horrible addiction (porn) and that clouded his mind, everyone in my family loves him and sees that he is a good person to the point that no one would ever imaginr what im going throu and i dont want to break that bubble for everyone else either because i believe we can work things out, i know he changed, i spy on him all the time and for 6 months i havent found enything anymore and believe me ive looked, i have my ways and nothing has come out, so im glad, but at the same time i am still looking cause i dont want to believe so much that he would hurt me again, which he says he preffers to die than to hurt me again.

      d.

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  23. I found out five weeks ago that my wife/partner of 15 years cheated on me 8 years ago. I swear, I knew it at the time but she denied it all these years.
    My mood swings are getting better but they are still there. I know she wants me to move on and get over it. That sounds awful but I know she wants me to get over it for my own sanity. She sees the pain I'm in. I told her that she's had 8 years to process what she did. I've only had a month. I cry so much. Some days are better than others. It's worse when I don't eat. I get to the point where I can't eat because I feel sick but I feel sick because I haven't eaten.
    When we talked about it yesterday, she wants me to ask my therapist how long this is going to take. I told her that she will say, it's different for everybody. I feel like I'm in mourning and I know that the grieving process varies for each person.
    I don't think about leaving. I decided early on that I wouldn't. This is my home.
    I would never do it but I think about suicide just to get the awful thoughts out of my head. I get stuck on one terrible thought, like she can't play her infidelity off on spontaneity, it just happened. She was the one who bought the condoms. This was her plan.
    I hate spying on her. I feel terrible after I do it because I find nothing. She keeps telling me there's nothing there and I want to believe it but it's so hard. I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. What will I find out next?

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    Replies
    1. The pain you're in is, sadly, pretty common around here. Your wife, frankly, doesn't sound too compassionate. This might be old news to her, but it's brand-freaking-new to you. It's a shock. It leaves you pouring over every moment of the last eight years wondering what was fact and what was fiction.
      Her desire for you to "get over it" is also pretty common among offenders. But it's unfair. It's their way of saying that "your pain is making me uncomfortable -- guilty, shameful, disappointed in myself -- so please get over it so I don't have to feel all those yucky feelings.' Understandable that they would want this but completely unfair to you. And completely lacking in any true understanding of just how devastating betrayal -- a violation of trust -- is to the betrayed partner.
      Try and eat -- smoothies were my go-to because I could ingest calories without food getting stuck in that lump in my throat. Soup is also good.
      It also might be worth talking with your therapist about the notion of PTSD. A lot of betrayed partners experience post-trauma symptoms -- a heightened sense of vigilance, that anxiety about what signs you might be missing, the "shoe drop" feeling. It's surprisingly common and worth exploring with her.
      As for how long it takes to get over this? It certainly helps speed things up with a spouse that is patient and compassionate and completely transparent (and understands our need to check things -- that's how trust is rebuilt. By checking and finding, repeatedly, that our fears are unfounded). But it nonetheless takes a long time. Our trust has been betrayed. And it takes years -- most infidelity experts say 2 - 5 years -- to move past that.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. "guilty, shameful, disappointed in myself" That's exactly what I sense in her.
      She has her wonderful moments of compassion and sensitivity. Really. There are times when she can see I'm about to meltdown, have a flashback, and she's there for comfort.
      I betrayed her two years prior to this incident so she knows how it feels. But she knew right away. She suspected it and I confessed immediately because I knew I couldn't hide it.
      Our marriage will work out. I'm sure of it. The roller coaster ups and downs are not as dramatic as they were in the first few days/week. We've committed to each other. We have to keep reminding one another that good days and bad days are all part of the process.
      We're both in therapy. My therapist has been great. In our first session she explained to me that analytical people, like I've realized I am, take problem solving, A, B, C, D. Step by step. Creative people, like my wife, just want to get to D.
      Thank you for this blog. It's been very helpful.

      Delete
  24. I am only 3 months out from discovering that my husband had been cheating me on me for at least a year with a work colleague. I suspected something was up for a long time, but he always spun the situation to make me sound like I was just being jealous, crazy and insecure. And I started to believe it..I wanted to believe more than anything that I was wrong in my suspicions. My world shattered the day I overheard a conversation between my husband and his mistress that left no doubts about the extent of the affair.....and still my first reaction was to try and save the marriage..I tried to see things from his perspective and try to understand what I had done wrong to lead to that situation. We both moved into seperate houses but didn't actually break up, and since then I have been in this torturous limbo where we see each other a few tmes a week...he wants to act like nothing has happened, and gets mad when I am upset or so much as allude to why we are in this situation...
    I am at breaking point. I am too ashamed/scared to tell anyone other than my immediate family what has happened (I guess also wishfully thinking this will pass and we'll go back to normal), so I go around at work/with friends holding it all in and pretending like nothing is wrong, dropping my husband into stories so it seems like he is still in my life...when I am literally broken inside and I get home and cry till my eyes are red and puffy. For months now I have had so many points where I have literally wanted to end my life, and have even thought about how I could do it. I must hasten to say that when I think about what that would do to my family, I realise I wouldn't go through with it...but I also realise that in those moments I am not thinking straight. Since the affair came out, my husband has been SAYING he loves me and wants to work things out, but I found out he was at least still talking to his coworker, and was on an online dating app. Stupidly, I can still only try to take his word as to his explanations for these things....and while I realise that if I was giving advice to a friend it would be so different...at the moment I know I cannot kick him to the curb and have to endure this hell where we are "together" but "not together"...because saying goodbye would honestly kill me right now. I am doing what I can to survive.
    I just needed to tell someone, to be able to talk about what is happening and hopefully get a reply from someone who understands what this living hell is like. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

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    1. I completely understand that feeling of not being able to leave. And I'm not going to suggest it. What I am going to suggest is that you create clear, strong boundaries around what you will and will not accept from him. Right now, he's got two women (possible more) on the line. This is feeding his ego to the point where it's doing all the thinking for him. It might seem as if you're "keeping" him, at least partially, but in fact, you're giving him the time and space to carry on with other women. NOT okay if he's remotely interested in saving his marriage. And NOT okay if YOU are remotely interested in saving his marriage.
      Take this time of living separately to get yourself some counselling. Get clear on why you fear abandonment so much that you're willing to accept his half-commitment. It will take some time...but with a good counsellor, you'll come to understand yourself better and him. You'll come to set clear boundaries grounded in self-respect. You'll come to insist that he (and others) treat you with respect because you'll know that you're worthy of it.
      Trust that you will survive this. We all have. It's excruciating, I know. It's the worst sort of hell, I know. And I couldn't imagine surviving it. But here I am. Here we all are. Having fought back the temptation to die.
      You will get through this. But you need to fight for yourself first. Treat yourself as kindly as possible. You don't need to pretend to anyone what's going on. You get to decide whether you tell them or not. But this is NOT your shame. This is NOT on you. He made a choice that makes it clear that his moral code is compromised. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. What's more, there are, literally, millions of women going through exactly what you are. Whether or not they admit it, women in your office have gone through this, or will go through this. No matter. This is your road to walk, however you choose to go.

      Delete
  25. Elle, thank you so much for your reply, you have no idea how much it means to be able to share what I'm going through and to get feedback from someone who knows what it's like. You really are doing a wonderful thing here with this community.

    You are absolutely right, I need to set clear boundaries about what I will and won't accept. Thing is, he's already violating those boundaries - honesty and sincerity are so important to me and I'm fooling myself if I think he can ever give me that...he has so many wonderful qualities that I love him for, but they are not among them.

    It stings to realise that I am selling myself short, under the guise of love - what I thought was the love of my life - but it's true.

    Thank you again for your words, you have helped more than you realise xx


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    1. I think he's violating those boundaries, at least in part, because they're so fuzzy. You've been allowing it.
      I know it's hard. There's something called, in the infidelity world, the 180. It's basically a set of guidelines to keep you sane and clear-headed while making it clear to your spouse that his fence-sitting just isn't going to cut it anymore. You can read about it here: http://beingabeautifulmess.wordpress.com/the-180/
      There are some parts I don't completely agree with. I'm not big on game-playing. However, I do think it's important to make it clear that you won't tolerate his cake-eating (ie. having a cake and eating too). You're either the prize he's willing to fight like hell for, or you're out the door.
      It'll seem terrifying at first. Do it anyway. It'll seem like you're giving up. You're not. You're actually taking firm steps toward a better life, with or without him.
      You'll get through this. I promise.

      Delete
  26. As I read the date you posted this it seemed so ironic! my H ended his A in October 2013. I did not find out for certain until this June.

    So yes, I'm still hurting, it was more emotional than it was physical. They worked together and fortunately, he is no longer there. I have told him I'm not sure I could have stayed with him if he was because as much as I'm having issues with trust now...if they were still working together, not a chance! Although, she had told her H who worked with them and they had been working on things since January.

    I wish this hurt, disappointment, anger, frustration would just disappear, but I also know that is completely unrealistic.

    I'm just taking it one day at a time and so is he, we'll be ok, but it will take time...its a marathon, not a sprint!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Anon,
      Yes, it is a marathon. Stick with your plan to take it a day (a minute, or an hour) at a time.

      Elle

      Delete
  27. I too am healing like all of you. I have been married for 19 years. Married very young in our teens. We had only been with each other intimately. He changed that and tore my world apart. I'm in my mid 30's and have struggled for a year and six months now since I found out. I lost a ton of weight because I was so sick and couldn't eat it sleep. I fell apart and my job for a decade came to an end. I moved to another state to try to learn to sleep, eat, breathe and live because I knew I wouldn't last where I was. My heart was so broken. I was also dealt the trickle truth but it came from the other person. In a way it's helped me a ton because some truth is way better than living a complete lie. My family is now all together in our new place, but I still have bad dreams of the old. I too suffer from when is the ball going to drop syndrome, but I am finally realizing it's just me and feelings not reality at all. I know that there is a God in Heaven that loves me and he isn't coming off that throne and it gives me some peace. I know that I have strength and that it came through all the pain. I almost gave in

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    1. I'm glad you didn't give in. You are showing, every single day, that you can move through this. Is your husband supportive? Are you able to let him help you when you're having flashbacks? That goes such a long way toward rebuilding a marriage.
      You're right that it's often those thoughts in our heads -- not present reality -- that trip us up.

      Delete
  28. I am not married but I have been betrayed by someone who I thought I would marry. We work literally 5 feet away from each other. We dated for 3 1/2 years and last year he struck up a "friendship" with a nurse who no longer works with us. I questioned him about this woman and he also told me I was being jealous, and insecure. This past May I found another text. He refused to answer questions and shut down. He moved out as well. He at first said he wanted to give our relationship a break. But came back and said it wouldn't work because of all the things that have happened. I was working through this as best I could. But yesterday I found out on Facebook that they are getting married. I am shocked, hurt, disappointed and embarrassed. I have to go to work in an hour and I know that people are talking behind my back. I know I did nothing wrong but love a snake so why am I feeling ashamed and embarrassed?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Don't be ashamed it's ok. Talk is talk and nobody knows everything but the two of you. Not even the new person. You are blessed that you got let out of his lies before it was too late and you had a full family he would hurt. Know that you are a wonderful person capable of real love unlike what he has shown is his kind of love. It hurts a ton I know I'm the one that posted above you. You are someone worth more than you can imagine. Now you can learn to live again in truth and start a real life not a fake show. Be strong and know

      Delete
    2. His cheating is a reflection of his poor character and lack of moral compass. It doesn't reflect badly on you except in that you were hurt by his deception. I suspect many of those who you fear are judging you have been in your shoes. Few of us escape being betrayed at some point in our lives.
      Hold your head high, knowing that you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. If people are talking behind your back, they're either a) heartless and therefore unworthy of your concern or b) talking about you in compassionate terms and therefore could become friends.
      Whichever it is, practice rising above it all. I guarantee that the day will come when this is a bad memory that is far behind you.

      Delete
  29. My husband's affair was discovered on December 29 through a text message to the OW. Her husband confronted him first by phone where he denied it, then he came to my home to tell me personally. I was in shock that the love of my life, while we were having problems at that time - but they seemed to be getting better, would actually do that to me.
    There was no communication between them after that other than her emailing him to tell him how unbearable everything was and him replying telling her that he was sorry but that's how it had to be and that he was never going to have contact with her again.
    Since then, at my request, We have both quit our jobs and moved over an hour away. He has changed his phone number also and has truly made an effort to make it up to me.
    I found this blog at a great time and I am relieved that what I feel is normal. Earlier tonight, before i read this, I told him the same thing about not getting over it but getting past it - almost word for word.
    I feel that I could get past it easier if I was sure he came clean about everything but I think there are still some things that he told me that he is still holding on to the lie about. I know it's to spare my feelings but I value the truth so much that I would rather just know.
    He wants to forget that it ever happened and doesn't understand why I can't just let it go and trust him based on his word. The reason is because I suspected before that something was going on but when I asked him, He said no and that was enough for me.
    My question is...how can I just accept that there are certain things that I will never know the truth about for sure and it's probably better that way? I love him and I believe that this was the first time (I feel that his attitude change during the affair was apparent enough that I would have noticed it before if this wasn't the first time) and I really believe that it won't happen again. We have come so far and other than the questions I hsve about the past and insecurities, we are really better than we have been in a long time. I go through bouts of thinking that if it happened once it will happen again and I wonder if he ever thinks of her. I need to get past the
    se issues to really move forward permanently and stop having the set backs.

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    1. If anyone can reply to guide me through this I would really appreciate it. I feel like I'm going insane. There are times that I feel like everything is okay and I'm moving forward and then I have a bad day and it feels like I'm back at the beginning. Any advise or input would be appreciated. Thank you.

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    2. Getting through betrayal is like walking through a dark forest. Sometimes you feel as though you're getting somewhere and sometimes you feel hopelessly lost.
      It sounds as if you've actually made a lot of progress (I'm assuming you're the same Anonymous that posted the original comment). You ask how you can accept that there are certain things that you'll never know for sure. There is no secret to this. You accept by...accepting. I don't mean to sound trite or dismissive because I know how confusing and horrible this is. But I've come to understand that so often we get in the way of our own healing. We think if we're healing that we'll feel good, or at least better than we did. But some days healing looks and feels like hell. Some days you'll notice a bit of sunlight filtering through. But often it's dark and cold and terrifying. But through it all you're teaching yourself that you are stronger than this. That you are not lost. That you've always ALWAYS got yourself, which is all any of us have ever had.
      I will suggest that your husband's desire to just put all the behind you is wishful thinking. It doesn't work that way. The only couples I know of (and I know of a LOT) who've actually transcended betrayal and created a better relationship are those who worked like hell to sift through the wreckage. Each spouse did a LOT of soul-searching (and therapy) to figure out how they got to their respective spots...and how to ensure they never returned there. Pretending you can just "put it in the past" sounds heavenly...but is the stuff of fantasy. Either deal with it head-on or expect it to bite you in the ass.

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    3. This, Elle, is exactly where I am right now. I felt like I was making progress, and now....
      I struggle with acceptance. I know eventually I'll get there, but right now, today, I'm back at disbelief that this went on for 7 years, hurt, anger, the whole ball of wax. He's working through counseling to understand why he did what he did, but it feels so slow.
      You're right that we often get in the way of our own healing- I feel as though that's what's happened today and yesterday. I came out of this last crying session determined not to turn into the OW who was needy and dependent. I've told myself that she was who my H really wanted- a needy dependent woman and if I'd known that, I could have been needy, too. But that's a lie- I am not and never will be a needy little girl. I'm proud that I'm independent and self-sufficient. I had to be while my H was gone for periodic military duty, and I was sure that's what he wanted me to be. So no whiny, needy little dependent girl for me.
      We are both doing a lot of soul-searching and I hope that soon we'll be able to have the conversation I need so that we can close out this sad period in our marriage.
      C.

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    4. C,
      It can be so hard to be patient with the process. It feels like forever. Most experts say two to five years to feel truly "healed" from betrayal.
      Whatever you do, don't betray yourself by thinking you need to become a different person. You don't.

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    5. Thanks- and what is so scary for me (maybe us, not sure) is that we are older (60's) and it's not like we have another 30-40 years (although that would really be nice!). I know I can't speed things up, but it's not like we're in our 30's or 40's. And does it take that long to forgive him? Do I have to heal first in order to forgive? Who here has forgiven their husband and how did you do it and how long did it take? And what did you do in order to forgive?
      C.

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    6. C,
      I think your emphasis should be less on forgiveness and more on healing yourself from this pain and rebuilding a marriage. Forgiveness, in my mind, isn't a goal so much as a consequence. I think if he's committed to understanding why he jeopardized his marriage and how to become a better husband; if you're committed to healing yourself from the pain of betrayal; and if you're both committed to building a respectful, loving relationship, then the rest falls into place.

      Delete
  30. hi,

    I really need help. i've only been married for a year, and i found messages 3months into our marriage on my husbands phone which he accdently left unlocked. they were from his ex-gf (they dated 6/7years) who is now married and lives in canada with her husband and kids. ive never felt such deception in my life. i suspected him from before i found the messages, and i saw a foreign number which he hadnt saved and confronted him about it and he got defensive and said it was just a cousin. it was that same girl. ive felt like killing myself so many times and i do resort to self harming when it gets too much. weve spoke about it and he just doesnt understand what im going through, at the same time i dont want to leave him but i cant live with him/have a life like this. help me, please.

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    1. Honey, We all know that horrible pain of betrayal and too many of us resort to self-harm. My daughter began cutting herself two years ago and it's a slippery dangerous road to go down.
      Please find yourself a therapist who can help you through this. Right now your prime focus needs to be on you. Nobody is worth losing your life over. My guess is you have years and year of buried pain that you express in self-harm and suicidal thoughts. You're screaming for somebody to acknowledge all the pain you're in.
      I hear you. But, more importantly, YOU need to hear you. And you need to nurture yourself like you would a small child. You need to protect yourself.
      My daughter found a wonderful counsellor who helped her recognize when the feelings just felt like too much, when she felt like she was being swallowed by her pain. And then she showed her how to manage it. You're strong enough to do this. You're already coping with the excruciating pain of your husband's betrayal. You will get through this. There are thousands of women on this site every day who are getting through this.
      But you need to ask for help. Start there. Please call a therapist or try a hotline. I don't know where you're writing from but you can Google suicide hotlines or self-harm hotlines.
      You are worth so much more than this. You are lovely and sensitive and in so much pain. Please let me know that you've taken this advice and found someone to help you.
      Re. your husband's betrayal: get yourself to a stronger place and then you can address that. We'll help you every step of the way.

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  31. Hello, I have been with my husband for three years and we have a beautiful 18 month old son. I love him with every ounce of me. Unfortunately, 6 months ago I found out he was talking to another girl. He would always let me hold his phone, answer calls, text messages etc. Until for about a month he always had his phone in his pocket away from me. I confronted him about red flags that I noticed and assured me nothing was wrong. Out of nowhere he started giving me his phone to hold and everything went back to normal after our relationship was spiraling out of control. Up until one night a text came in from another girl everything went down from there I confronted him and he started pleading and admitted yes he started talking to another girl but ended a week before I found the text because he wanted our relationship back and couldn't bare losing me and our son. I forgave him and I am very cautious of everything in our relationship. I give him his freedom and try to not keep him on lockdown for I feel that wouldn't do any good for us. I need help getting over this I pray to God I get through this betrayal it really has taken a HUGE toll on me at times I can barely look at his face or be around him Without wanting to slap the living daylight out of him! I really need help to cope with this! Many guys chase me but all I want is him but my emotions get in the way of me being happy and that is all I want. I don't want to hold A grudge against him I love him more than I can explain. I need help to get over this I have been seeking help any way possible I am begging and desperate for any type of counseling!

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    1. Rosie,
      Betrayal impacts us in HUGE ways. So it's not surprising that you feel yourself spiralling.
      It's crucial to examine the infidelity. For your husband to figure out what he was thinking, why he was reaching out to other women, what he was hoping to achieve, in order to ensure that he recognizes those feelings when they crop up again and knows how to manage them in a healthier way.
      And I would urge you to get counselling for yourself to help you deal with the fallout of this. It changes everything. Our world is turned upside down. Being a relatively new mom is tough enough without this as well.
      There's tons to read on this site that can help you, too. I hope you'll take some time to go through the posts and realize that there are many many women who've been where you are.

      Delete
  32. Hi! I have a crazy story that seems unreal yet, it's my life. About a year ago a crazy husband comes to my house to tell me his wife and my husband had an affair. After confronting my husband, he denied that they had sex. He said it was inappropriate text messages. I was heart broken and shocked. My husband and I have a beautiful family and have been together for a long time. Everyone said he would not do this to me because he loves his family. After about a month of torture from the woman's husband (never ending text messages), the other woman called me and admitted to f--king my husband and those are the words she used. It was one time and it was her husbands fantasy( although my husband didn't know that at the time ). Crazy!! Right? This hit me like a ton of bricks. She was the one that I had to hear the truth from. My husband has cried and begged for my forgiveness. I am in a constant struggle to trust and believe that this is my new reality. Because I no longer had trust, I went digging. I found emails where he was soliciting sex with no strings attached. He says now that nothing ever happened with those. Also, just recently I used a website to try to pull up deleted text messages from and old phone. This revealed that he was texting another woman just before this one night stand. He claims this was just inappropriate text messages and when I called her that is what she claimed too. I have had to discover all of these acts on my own because no admission has come from my husband. He says he was scared I would leave him. Everything that I have discovered is from before Dday. He says he will never hurt me again and that he never wants to feel the way he felt when he thought he had lost his family. We had a bad experience with a councelor one time before so he doesn't want to go. He says just let him prove he has changed. I can see the change in him but I am still scared that I am married to a man that could allow himself to betray me in a way that destroyed the person I was. I am no longer living in a bubble thinking "my husband would never".

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    1. Yikes -- I just saw this post. Sorry to be so late responding.
      What you're going through is, sadly, predictable. The denials. Then just admitting as much as you have evidence for. Then promising that he'll change. He might change. But he also might not. Without any real insight into why he was doing this in the first place, you're left trusting someone based on a promise when it's already clear he's able and willing to lie to you. And he's left trying to stop doing something that clearly provided something to him or he wouldn't have been doing it.
      I don't buy the "bad therapist" excuse. There are absolutely bad therapists out there. But there are also really really good ones who can help couples most past the devastation of betrayal.
      Frankly, I would make his commitment to therapy an absolute requirement of reconciliation. You need to SEE that he's willing to make himself uncomfortable to figure this out. You need him to show you that he'll do whatever it takes to help you get past this...and to understand how to prevent himself from going down that road again.
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. We all know how excruciating it is. But it's time for you to start insisting on some things from him. I would also urge you to get counselling yourself. This is a rough road.

      Delete
  33. This is a really great post, as I'm over 3 years out and STILL struggling. "IT" keeps coming back to bite me in the ass. We will do fine and then I'm back to playing detective again. He recommitted himself to our marriage right after D-day #3 and we've been through extensive counseling for the first 2-1/2 years. What we are dealing with now is the ghosts of the past that keep popping up to haunt us. He's getting worn out being accused of things he's not doing because of "what he did", and I'm afraid to trust again. It's a vicious cycle that just keeps repeating over and over. We've been together 25 years and have 2 kids and I feel like he's my best friend and a great dad and he's REALLY trying. Is this just called "consequences"???

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    1. Inflicted,
      No...consequences shouldn't be hurting you. This is PTSD. This is your brain doing everything it can to ensure that you're never going to be blind-sided again. It's hyper vigilance. It's fear. It's...trauma.
      There's some info on this site about post-trauma and there's also info elsewhere on the Web. A therapist who recognizes post-trauma following betrayal can also help. Once I was able to recognize my own response as post-trauma, I was able to deal with it. You're not crazy. You're just responding to a traumatic life event. But it's time to approach it in a more healthy, whole-hearted way.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for this for I too have had this after going on the 3 year post DD
      The death of my daughter has been so hard and my husband knew this so betrayal felt even worse!

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    3. Anonymous,
      I'm so sorry about the death of your daughter. I imagine that's the only pain that could be worse than betrayal. To experience both is exquisitely unfair.
      I hope you have lots of support in your life to help you through this pain. If you would like, I'm sure many of us would be happy to hear your story and offer up our support and our compassion for you. Nobody deserves this.

      Delete
  34. D day was 10 months ago.Some times I can go for days without thinking about it & others times it hits me like a bus & it's hard to catch my breath.I do not trust him one little bit and I'm constantly worried and suspicious.He says I should be over it by now and gets angry and we fight.He blames me and also OW for throwing herself at him as the reason why he cheated.Not much personal accountability from him.I believe he is a narcissist due to his personality traits,separate from the cheating issue.I have never been through a pain as deep as this and time is not healing my wounds.Any advice would be wonderful?

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    1. Okay...we've got a whole lot of stuff going on that's NOT going to help you heal. For a start, he needs to be fully accountable for what he did. That means recognizing the cost of betraying your trust in him -- your anxiety, your inability to feel safe, your suspicions. Those are all completely NORMAL responses to betrayal.
      As for being "over it"? That is going to take a LONG time (two to five years, say psychologists and marriage counsellors) and will taken even longer if he continues to tell you to be over it. The quickest way to get over it is with the help of a supportive, remorseful and repentent spouse who's willing to be totally transparent (access to any and all phones/computers/etc.; clear about where they are and who they're with, etc.) and to do the hard work of figuring out why he cheated in the first place.
      But, given that you can't control him and his commitment to your healing, what are you doing for yourself? Please find yourself a counsellor who can support you through this. Betrayal is often the most painful experience we can have. You need someone to help you through this.
      You need someone to help you set clear boundaries around what you will and will not tolerate from him. YOU get to set the rules of reconciliation. YOU get to decide what you need. HE cheated. If he wants to rebuild a marriage with you then he needs to give you what YOU need.

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  35. 6 months ago my Christian husband, of 40 yrs, gave me full disclosure that he had an affair for 28 yrs and kept it a secret for 36 yrs. Like most wives I knew something was wrong for decades. The woman was my best friend, closer than a sister of 40 years. She was my adult children's other mother since they were born. She would pray with me through the years regarding my fear my husband was having an affair. Our families took all of our vacations together. I was more intimate with her than my husband. (Not sexually) we are in a Pure Desire Counseling that deals with sexual addictions. I go to a betrayal and beyond group as well. My husband has nothing to do with the woman and neither do I. I have two adult kids who are broken and damaged and want nothing to do with their dad. My life is blown apart. I have absolutely no zest for life and I feel no joy in anything. I am broken and seeing my children hurt is unbearable. My husband is remorseful and willing to do anything for me. I'm lost. I feel different from all my friends and I just want to be isolated.

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    1. Diona,
      It's no surprise you're lost. To find out that virtually your entire marriage -- as well as a long-term friendship -- has been smoke and mirrors affects your entire sense of the world. It affects your belief not only in other people but in your own judgement. If that was not what you thought it was, you no doubt wonder what WAS true. And I'm not surprised that your children feel utterly betrayed too. The world tends to look a lot more black and white when you're younger. And I suspect there isn't even the same level of (crappy, for the most part) support for children of cheaters. They're somewhat adrift.
      I think it's important to, if you're not already, validate their feelings of betrayal and hurt. Behind anger is inevitably hurt or fear. They too probably question their own judgement -- their ability to trust what's right in front of them. Betrayal is so devastating. It takes years to work through.
      All you can do is ensure that you're taking care of yourself and getting support for yourself as you work through the grief and the post-trauma of betrayal. And model to your children what survival and self-care look like. Talk to them. Let them share their feelings with you without you defending your spouse or your decision to stay with him. Simply listen to them. Acknowledge their pain. You can't fix it. But you can sit with them in it. You can remind them they're not alone in it.
      But it's important, I think, that you don't lean on them for support. Rely on your support group. Read books about affairs and recovery. If necessary, speak with your doctor about anti-depressants, just to get you back on your feet.
      You might feel different from all your friends but you're likely not. You just don't know who among your friends has experienced this because nobody talks about it unless they leave.
      There are, statistically, about half of all marriages (some say closer to three-quarters) impacted by infidelity. There are many MANY of us. And we know your pain. You sound incredibly strong. And incredibly compassionate. I am so sorry for what your whole family is going through, but particularly what you have had to face. Nobody should have to go through what you are. But you will get through this. Ask for help when you need it. Practice radical self-care. And trust that you've got the strength to get to the other side of this pain.

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  36. I know it is heartbreaking to witness your life fall apart because of your husband's selfish deed. It is terrible that it takes on a full affect on the whole family, but love yourself first. Love yourself so much that nobody can break you. Find yourself in the midst of this nightmare. It is going to be hard you are still in the healing process, so don't be so hard on yourself. Now it's all about YOU. Own it and live out your beauty within

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  37. Me and my husband have been together for 6 years and married 2. We have two children 17 months and a month old. I found out he had a one night stand 2 weeks ago when the girl texted him. He denied he knew the number and I finally got her to call me the night after she texted. She told me everything and couldn't believe he was married with kids. He finally confessed and told me everything. It happened 4 months ago with a woman that worked at the hotel. it was around the time he was working out of town and was never home and when he was home it was only for a night and then he'd have to leave the very next afternoon. He also works with men who cheat on their wives and they get drunk right after work. But it got to the point where we barely spoke (text or call) bc I was busy with our daughter and he would work from 5 in the morning till 7 at night. And I guess I kind of got comfortable with that. I had my gut feeling but I never thought he would do anything, flirting yes but to actually have sex with someone else, never. He told me she was flirting with him pretty bad and that she gave him her number and they started texting and everything happened over a 2 day period. He said the next night they did it. I've asked him if they kissed or did other things and he said no it wasn't like that it was strictly just sex. He also told me how guilty he felt after and pretended to go to sleep so she would leave (it was in his hotel room) but instead she woke him up and they did it again!!!!! So he not only had UNPROTECTED sex with this woman but he had sex with her twice. He told me he doesn't even want me to see her bc she's that unattractive. My heart has completely shattered and I have no idea what to do. I'm heartbroken. I'm not making excuses for him AT ALL but I had never left our daughter and he was always asking me to leave her and go to the movies with him or just out to eat but I couldn't. She also sleeps with us so we never had alone time, but instead of talking to me about it and letting me know how he felt he cheated! Idk if I should stay or leave, I think of staying with him for our family but I can't get him and her out of my mind and how he was intimate with another woman besides me and then he came home to me, what if he gave me something?!?! I don't understand how he could have texted this woman and I not cross his mind at all? I mean he had 2 days to think about it so he KNEW EXACTLY what he was doing if I was to have sex with another guy omg it would be a whole nother story. But if I think of leaving I don't want to see him start another life with someone else.. I'm so lost and so sad.. He said he'd do anything that he would change his number, get a tattoo of my name on his ring finger, and that he wouldn't go out of town unless I went with him and he's already deleted his fb. It feels like I'm being stabbed in the stomach every time I think about it and I don't think ill ever be able to overcome this

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    1. Honey this is going to be a long and hard journey but not impossible! I know it is unbearable to think of and sometimes you might feel like you're living a nightmare. But do not worry because you have two beautiful children who love you. You must put him to the test to see how far is he actually willing to go to win your love and trust back. There shall be no limit if he really wants it all back. Remember you are not the problem HE IS. HE did the deed. HE hurt you. HE deserves to be put through the worst to win you back. This is the time for you to love yourself and embrace your self be the most beautiful you can be. Be the most wanted and show him that he can't have you until he shows that he DESERVES you because you didn't deserve to get hurt the way you did. This is going to be hard but not impossible. Love yourself so he can love you all over again! You got this beautiful

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  38. It's been 2 and 1/2 months since I discovered my H's betrayal of at least 10 months (the time he & ow began and ended communications). He has changed his affair story at least 7 times. He was very persistent that he wants to save this 15 yr marrige. I entered individual counseling almost immediately upon finding out.

    He has done very little to demonstrate he really wants to work past this. He even suggested that I let it go. He has delayed setting up arrangements for marriage counseling and continues to blame me for everything.

    I also know that I have certain events that trigger recently displayed PTSD behavior, like being determined to identify every phone number in his contact list. This makes me feel out of control. I want to drown my pain with alcohol, fall asleep and wake up as if it's just an incredible nightmare. Last night I finally got some sleep only to wake up after a dream that two random distraught women called me to say that my H had cheated with their family member who was now impregnated. Even when I sleep there is no peace.

    I am doing my best to get through and heal this pain. I am grateful for your blog.

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    1. Annon,
      You need to establish some really clear boundaries in your marriage that include what you need from him to "let it go". He can't wish this away. He made a choice that devastated your marriage and now, whether he likes it or not, he needs to find a way to re-establish trust and integrity. He needs to SHOW you that he can be a better man. At this point, his words are meaningless.
      Figure out, with your therapist, what you need from him. Give him some clear boundaries. For instance, if marriage counselling is a requirement (and I think it should be): Give him a deadline to find a counsellor and make an appointment. If you need an honest and final version of his affair, then insist that he give you a full disclosure, and then verify what you can. If he's trying to prove to you that he wants to be an honest husband who's learned from his mistakes, then he's doing a really horrible job of that. And you need to figure out just how much you're willing to tolerate before showing him the door.

      Delete
  39. I have had a hell of a year. First I am not married but I have been with my SO for 3 1/2 years now. I found out a year ago that he had been having an affair that spanned over 8 months. This means it started right when we decided to take the next step in our relationship and move in together. Well he came to me and told me a severely half truth in an attempt to "come clean" because he said he wanted to get married but didn't want there to be any secrets. He stated it was a one time occurrence a long time ago. Come to find out it was a whole other relationship and she didn't even know I existed. The ow mother was concerned and started digging around via social media and the truth came out on that end. He was in turn afraid she would come to me so he told me his story to make himself look better. Eventually the whole truth came out and he never spoke to the OW again. I made the desicion to stay and we began working towards fixing our relationship. Then 6 months ago he began texting a waitress he saw at lunch everyday and they said some pretty nasty things to eachother. I found this before it actually progressed to a physical relationship but now I just can't stop thinking about it. He is doing everything he can to show me that he is not having an affair because he wants to continue our relationship and I love him to the point that I feel sick at the thought of him not being in my life but I'm just so angry all the time. I'm always accusing him of cheating again and I question every little thing he says and does. I hate this bitchy angry person I have become but I just can't stop. I am throughly convinced it is just a matter of time before he does it again and I feel like my anger is a way to shield myself for the impending doom that I see coming whether it actually does or not. I need advise on how to overcome these feelings because I feel like even though he is the one that cheated I am going to be the one that ends our relationship because he gets tired of being chastised 24/7.

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    1. Unknown,
      Relationships can withstand betrayal but it often takes a firm foundation on which to rebuild. At this point, your relationship is built on sand.
      If he's serious about creating a life with you – and you genuinely want to take that chance – then he needs to get therapy to sort through why he's risking everything he says he wants for relationships he claims to not want. There's something that's seriously in the way of him creating an honest relationship with you and it has everything to do with him and his issues.
      I think that's the only way forward. It's not enough for him to show you he's not having an affair. You're clearly unconvinced that he's not ever going to cheat again. He needs to understand why he's gone down this road and how he's going to ensure he never goes down it again.
      In the meantime, I would urge therapy for you too. Whether you stay with him or not, you need help healing the damage done by his betrayal. You need to get clear on how you can move forward.
      Hang in there, Unknown. You'll get through this. But I think each of you needs some professional guidance.

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  40. i have been with my husband for 18 years, 3 years ago we had our first child. once she came everything changed. he started going out more coming home late and drunk. 2 years ago he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with someone who he was managing. he denied the whole thing but last year i read many sexual texts between him and another coworker. this affair had been going on for over a year. i am lost, we went to therapy with our pastor but I just can't get over it. i don't know how to trust him when the two of them are still working with each other after crossing that line. I am torn i want to stay with him for my daughter i did not want her to grow up with divorce parents but at the same time i can't keep living this way.

    i just don't think I can trust the two of them working together, he spends a lot of time at work. I just feel like the two of them still working together is just temptation to do it again. She knew he was married with a child and could careless so i think what would make it stop know.

    he makes it seem like i am the crazy one that i should be able just to move on but how can I. I am so lost :(

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    1. What most cheaters don't understand is that healing from betrayal (for BOTH of you, not just the person betrayed) involves rebuilding a marriage. It's not enough to simply stop cheating. There needs to be an understanding of what brought him to the point where he cheated...and how he's going to ensure he doesn't do it again.
      And I get so frustrated with the "you need to move on" mentality of cheaters and, sometimes, counsellors. We would LOVE to move on. But there's no moving on until the wound of betrayal has been treated. And that involves a lot of time and lot of compassion and a lot of support. My guess is you've had little compassion, little support and not enough time. What's more, while he's still working with him, you're being asked to "trust" someone who has proven himself to be untrustworthy. Why in the world would you do that? Like asking the fox to guard the henhouse.
      I would urge you to create some strong boundaries around what you need from him to stay and rebuild a marriage. There's no point staying in a marriage for the sake of your daughter when that marriage is leaving her mother feeling unsafe and unvalued. You deserve more and so does she.
      I think you should find yourself a counsellor who can help you create strong boundaries and conditions so that you can move forward with intention. He doesn't get to decide how long you have to "get over" this. YOU get to decide that.

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  41. It has been almost a year & a half since I found out my husband was having an emotional affair, not sexual. He has tried so hard to be a better husband & father, but I can not seem to get over it. This same woman contacted me back in May to inform me that my husband was bothering her at work, like
    reporting her for talking on cell phone to long & informing her boyfriends (by the way she is married) boss that they were meeting during work hours. I do NOT believe her, my husband is a professional & has no time to for this nonsense. I think she was just so unhappy that she wanted to start in with me again.I pretty much told her to leave me alone. But, I can not help but to still be angry with my husbanf for bringing this person into my life. I have tried so hard, but when I hear a certain song or a certain quote in which he said to this person I get furious! I also never got all my questions answered so that still bothers me. We did go to marriage counseling for several months but my husband thought we were over it & did not return. I know I am jumping all over here. I forgot to also mention that my husband still works in the same building as my husband everyday. I am fine on the weekends, but once Sunday evening comes I am a mess again! He doesn't want to talk about & says we need to just move on. I really have no one to talk to about this, all my family thinks im fine & have moved on. I just want to know if I will ever get over this? Thanks.

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    1. Anonymous,
      What the last three posts have in common is women who are having trouble "moving on" from their partner's betrayal...and partners who think it's time to move on. Thing is...they have NO idea how devastating betrayal is. They have NO idea how long it actually takes to "move on". Experts say it's three to five years, and that's with two partners committed to rebuilding a healthy, honest relationship. When one of those partners lacks compassion for the pain he's caused, then I think healing won't happen at all.
      This woman is toxic. But your husband brought her into your lives. Your husband should not be speaking with her at all. There should be absolutely no contact. If he does happen to bump into her, then he needs to let you know right away. He needs to avert his eyes and walk on. Is he doing that?
      Re. marriage counseling: why is your husband the one deciding that you were "over it"? Does he often make arbitrary decisions about your marriage without consulting you? This is about YOUR healing. YOUR pain. YOU get to decide what you need.
      I think you'd be wise to find your own therapist. And then, if you decide you're ready to re-do marriage counselling, then do it. If he refuses, then he's sending a very clear message that HIS comfort matters more than the pain he's caused you. I know I'm sounding harsh. But I'm so fed up with guys who detonate the bomb and then get fed up when the clean up bothers them.

      Delete
  42. Hi my dday happened around 11/2014 but is started to suspect something was going on in oct 2013 when by mistake he called my daughter by another womans name. i found a cc bill that had a charge for a motel when i confronted him about it he told me that they didnt do anything that she changed her mind. i know hes lying about that he still has not admitted to me what happen. this name that he called my daughter i found that she works with him and supposedly she is not the one that he took to the motel. i dont believe him at all so before finding this out i found so much evidence resteraunt reciepts differnt things like that i started snooping threw everyhting. ive shouldve caught on cause in 2013 he was so distant and was treating me so bad. we had no sex for a long time ive shouldve known. my point is i feel like im loosing my mind i still cant get over it im still jealous i still suspect that its his co worker now hes changed hes been trying to make it work but im at the point im not sure what i want cause sometimes i feel like he is still lying to me im not sure if thats my jealousy or anger messing with me. is it normal to still feel this way after its been so long. i feel like i cant get over it.

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    1. Anonymous,
      It's impossible to "get over" something he's telling you never happened. You can't rebuild a relationship with someone who's consistently being dishonest. This is crazy-making stuff. You know something happened but he's telling you it didn't, or it didn't with this particular person, or you're wrong or crazy or whatever.
      You know that something happened and whether it was or was not actual sex isn't the issue. He's doing things outside your marriage that are not okay with you. He's engaging in behaviour, whether sex or not, that is harmful to your relationship.
      I think he either needs to come completely clean -- which means telling you EVERYTHING and verifying it -- and commit to rebuilding a relationship with you that's based on total honesty and transparency or you give him his walking papers. Because living in this fog will drive you nuts. Then it's your choice whether you want to even try getting over this. He should have a whole lot better reason for not cheating on you than "she changed her mind".

      Delete
  43. Not sure where to begin . I'll start in 2012. I'd found different things in social media with my husband being inappropriate with women being a married man. Telling old high school friends how good they looked in these trashy duck face pictures. It was here and there. I would confront him it would be fine for awhile. So it got swept under the rug so to speak. I held on to it tho. End of 2012 our middle child was diagosed with cancer. They told my husband while i ran home , which added to the horrible experience.. My husband was our only souce of income so back to work he went shortly after. He maybe had a week off. I stayed at the hospital went to all my son's appt. While he either slept or went to work. We just went through the motions of live for the first 4 months such a blur. Ugh. I would find text between him and a female coworker. About work, the day , and our son ! Over a period of months she switched to his shift. One time while i was in the hospital for a week stay he came to visit with a hicky on his neck. We have moved up in time to June2013. I ended up leaving the hospital to surprize him at home. Where he said he was but wasn't. I searched all over , at the time i didn't know where the coworker lived. But now know thats where he was . with her while i was in the hospital fightinh for life with my son. I let this go kept focus on our child until the 4th of july 2013. When she had texted him. And i pretended to be him. Found out a lot . i freaked . took the kids to my moms and came back home to wake him and confront him. First he denied. Never could say it but i knew I'd been with him 10 years. I kicked him out changed the locks admitted to him that in 2011 i sent pictures of myself to a guy. Since we were getting it all out . and i felt horrible all those years ashamed that i did that to the man i loved. He was out of the house for about a month and a half. We would talk here and there . at first it was hard for me. But when i finally was finding me again he wanted back in. Said it was over blah blah blah. So we got back living together i moved upstairs and had separate living . we finally got to marriage counseling somewhere. There was so much going on , treatments for my son . we did his maw together. He texted her right after we got back ! Had a day set up to go with her and couldnt cancel. I was so confused. I gave up again . but i kept going to counseling. To fix me and it has helped i still go today. Not sure what it is doing now tho . i started getting ready for divorce. Now sure when it was i think early November 2013 but he had got hurt at work. I was out with a friend and he called me . idk what how this all happened but i found the coworker met up with her and took her to my home to confront him . make him choose i dont know what i was thinking. But at the time it seemed to help. It was hard. Seeing how another woman talked to my husband how they interacted . i just wanted him to pick and stop going back and forth. As much as it hurt my sole . He finally picked me . and we started back to counseling . things got better . no contact with the coworker. He left that job . he ended up staying home with the kids and i went to work. That went on till now . he found a job and i am back at home with the kids. I felt like we were doing really well. Till a female coworker has texted him. Work stuff blah. He has been honest about everything. I feel myself wanting to freak out again. I'm not sure what to do . i dont want to punish him and i want to heal and not live in the past. What do i do ? I feel im needing help again. Thank you all for reading

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    1. I'm so sorry I didn't see this post until now.
      And I'm so sorry for all that you've gone through. I suspect each of you has found your child's illness such a challenge.
      But it sounds as if this is something of a pattern with your husband that isn't really being addressed. It's not enough the "pick you", he has to commit to changing your marriage. I'm so glad you're still in counselling and I would encourage you to continue. Part of your counselling will need to be helping you create boundaries in order to establish a healthy marriage.
      What's happening right now? Are you still together? Trying to rebuild a marriage? Too often I see couples think they can just agree to "move past" betrayal. It doesn't work that way. It requires addressing why the betrayal happened in the first place. What isn't being dealt with? Why is one partner choosing fantasy and escape? It's his responsibility, of course, to figure out what's driving his behaviour. You are absolutely not to blame for his betrayal.
      I hope you'll give us an update.

      Delete
  44. So to begin with I have been with my Fiancee for 10 years. I first found out about him texting other women when I was 8 months pregnant and I woke up at 3 in the morning to find that he was texting. When I asked what he was doing he denied anything and said he woke up to check the time. I was very naive and let it go. When my child was 9 months old I found that he had been seen his co-worker for almost 1 year. I found a text that said that they loved each other and it broke my heart. Before talking to him about it I found emails, text, and a many phone calls from her. The worst part is that I considered her a friend. After I showed him the proof he swore he was never going to talk to her again, but he kept talking and texting her. I got pregnant with my second child and again the same story with the same woman. I told him I was done and he told me to give him another chance. I did and he has been amazing, he's trying so hard to win me over. After 5 years I still can't get over it because not only was it sexual it got to an emotional connection and that is what continues to hurt me. I try to move on and forget about it but When we drink a little the truth comes out I know a lot of the affair because he confesed everything. He told me he choose to stay with me, but that if i'm still doubting him then he should of choosen the other woman instead of investing his time in trying. I was fully committed to him and it was all about him for the first 5 years and he never appreciated that. Now that he is all about me I don't appreciate it. I don't know what I'm supposed to do I just don't know if I can ever trust him again and move on. I just can't see myself starting over and maybe that is what scares me.

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    1. Anonymous,
      None of us "gets over" betrayal without a whole lot of work. Betrayal rocks our world. It changes how we view the world. Many of us experience post-trauma symptoms -- hyper-vigilance, an inability to trust, fear, anxiety, triggers. That's "normal" under the circumstances.
      Your husband's insistence that you should be grateful or else he should have picked the other woman is ass backward. HE should be grateful that you're giving him the chance to show you that he deserves a second chance. He cheated. He's no prize. You're a loyal wife. YOU are the prize.
      Betrayal doesn't just happen. He needs to get clear on why he cheated and what he was looking for and how he's going to ensure that he doesn't go down that path again. And you need support as you heal. Both of you should be in some sort of counselling to help you through this, either individually or as a couple. Too often, the betrayal gets swept under the rug, especially with someone who doesn't want to "live in the past" and wants to "move on" from it. Without processing it, it festers, as you're discovering. And then it comes out when you've had too much to drink, or are over-tired, or otherwise let your guard down. You need to be able to talk about this constructively. And for that, you'll need help.
      As for starting over, we often fear what we don't know. Maybe it's time to consider that starting over without him (and his controlling behaviour) is preferable to staying in the same relationship with someone who cheated and expects YOU to be grateful he picked you.

      Delete
  45. Hello I have been with my husband 416 years now and out of the 16 years he's cheating on me 95% of that. My husband cheated on me again a year and a half ago with a coworker. I file for divorce and when I file for divorce we went to court and he cried basically saying that he wanted his family back so I stayed and reconciled. A couple months after I took him back he was still in contact with his mistress. I found out that he went to her house and got money from her and I really believe they had sex that day as well. I forgave him but I really didn't want to be in the marriage anymore but I stayed for the sake of my children. He claimed that he was trying to change but he kept telling me that I wasn't getting over the affair fast enough for him so he started to treat me badly not sleeping in the same bed with me not taking me on dates and just acting like I wasn't there or that I didn't mean anything to him. I decided to put him out and take charge of my life but still feel so much resentment towards him and so much anger and so much hurt as if the affair happened yesterday. I really am still very hurt and upset that he doesn't even take the time or he didn't take the time to make sure I was okay and he didn't give me time to heal he didn't help me heal all you did was blame me for the reason why he cheated. We are not together now and I am definitely moving forward with the divorce but how do I get this pain out of my body and out of my heart so that I can make room for God to bless me with someone who truly loves me and won't hurt me.

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    1. Charmaine,
      You were in an abusive relationship with a controlling and immature man. It will take a long time and a lot of help to move past that. You are NOT to blame for his cheating. That is 100% on him.
      You get the pain out of your body by being compassionate with yourself. You forgive yourself for putting up with it. You forgive yourself for loving him. And you applaud yourself for taking control of your life and leaving him behind. That takes a lot of courage.
      And it takes time. None of us gets over heartbreak quickly or easily, even when we know our husband was a total idiot.
      Give yourself time to heal. Be gentle with yourself. Take care of yourself. Find yourself an awesome counsellor who can help you build a life for yourself that feeds your soul.
      You can do this, Charmaine. And you're so much better off without him. His inability to see your beauty and your value is HIS flaw, not yours.

      Delete
  46. Married 12 years. My husband cheated about 6 years into our marriage. I found out about it when I stumbled upon emails and nude photos, but was in such shock that I just shut down and didn’t confront him right away. It was a 3 month emotional affair with an ex-GF from his past (who lives out of state), that turned physical when they arranged for her to visit while I was out of town for 4 days with our son at his soccer tournament. She made the trip, stayed in our house, and then they continued the online/emotional affair for another 3 weeks until I casually confronted him over dinner. He didn’t try and deny it, said he was sorry, immediately cut all ties with her and that was that. I never had an emotional outburst, nor do I believe that I received a heartfelt apology… we just sort of swept it under the rug. We never went to counseling because after trying 3 different counselors, “no one was a good fit” is what he said. I got tired of tracking down counselors. Any time I tried to bring it up, he would listen politely, but nothing ever was resolved. And now 6 years later… nothing has changed. I did see a counselor on and off for about 3 years, no luck.
    I can’t stop thinking about what would have happened had I NOT confronted him when I did. It only stopped because I found out. Also, I wish I would have had the opportunity to show my emotions… now, if I just decided to lash out… he would have no clue what I was going off about until I told him. He assumes I’m over it since I no longer bring it up and have mastered the art of suppressing my emotions on this matter. So in that regards, I can’t blame him if I’m not showing my emotions anymore, but there was a time when I did try and didn’t feel I got anywhere… Now our insurance doesn't cover couples counseling. Ugh… I don’t know what to do.

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    1. Anonymous,
      There is no statute of limitations on pain. And the problem with sweeping problems under the rug is that they're still there, even if they can't be "seen".
      I'm curious why you said "no luck" re seeing your counsellor for three years. What kept you going for three years? What were you hoping to achieve?
      It sounds as if you're not planning on leaving your husband, but you do want to address what happened in a way that allows you to heal from the betrayal and begin to trust him again. Maybe the best thing to do is to simply be honest with him. It will be hard -- uncomfortable conversations always are. But it's likely preferable to living with this constant pain, like a thorn in your shoe.
      Tell him you need to talk. Don't let him brush you off with "its in the past". No it's, not. It's very present for you. Don't let him encourage you to sweep in under the rug. That hasn't worked for you. This is about YOU and what you need to heal. And he needs to hear this even though he won't want to. A marriage is about two people. He violated your trust and betrayed your vows. Now it's about YOUR healing.

      Delete
  47. My husband has worked overseas for fifteen years, coming home for two weeks every three months. He came home at Christmas, and two days after, dumped me (in front of our 16 & 19 yr old daughters - they were devastated, too) for a 26-year-old Russian. Said she's amazing and that he loves her. Then after begging relentlessly for two days, he 'came to his senses'. Went back overseas and put in to come back to America with us for good. Still waiting on that to be finalized.

    After going back, while talking, he proceeds to tell me he was in a committed relationship (even lived with her for over a year) wth another young Asian girl for FIVE YEARS! ...FIVE YEARS!

    Now demanding I get over it. Says we'll have major issue if I dont get over it...

    I told him i wanted to write the ow, whom he swears he hasnt spoken to since, but he said he wouldnt and to just let it go. He's defending her. The five year fling is married with a child now so he doesnt ever hear from her (it ended 3 years ago). He thinks it was so long ago that it shouldnt bother me. Says it was better to sleep with one than a lot.

    I was faithful to him but because he never touched me, I thought he was impotent (he's only 51). Stupid, I know, but i slept naked beside him and nothing. We kissed, held hands, etc just no sex. He now says if wed had sex he wuldnt have done any of this. Another reason to blame myself.

    Swears he loves only me and wants nothing more than his family. Im bitter, hurt as hell, and because my job was being a fulltime mother, Im broke other than child support, and we'd struggle bad.

    7 of the last night years have been tainted. Every memory, everything. My mom died in this time...worst time of my life. He was home to support me and went back to ow #1's arms (both ow knew about me). They saw pics of our daughters, me, etc...a total double life.

    I feel like Im in a soap opera whirlwind, and Im too dumb to know how to stop loving/believing him and leave!!!

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    1. Mary,
      You are feeling the same way anyone would feel after discovering a husband's double life. You are NOT dumb. You are betrayed. And it hurts like hell.
      Mary, there's just no way you can "get over it" without a TON of support and therapy and a commitment from him to help you through this. Nobody "gets over" such a massive betrayal quickly or easily. Betrayal is a primal wound, it affects our deepest selves, it changes how we see the world. Many MANY betrayed partners experience post-traumatic stress disorder and need different therapies to help them heal from it.
      I hope you'll start by getting a therapist for yourself. This therapist can help you develop the strength to see a lawyer just to get clear on what you'd be entitled to should you or he decide the marriage is over. You don't have to do anything but just gather information.
      And then you need to make it clear to your husband that HE created this situation and that if he expects you to even consider giving him a second chance, he's going to have to follow YOUR rules right now. They start with giving you the e-mails of the Other Women so that you can check in with them. It's no guarantee that they'll tell you the truth -- it's more about you husband's willingness to be open.
      And then you are going to insist that he start working close to home. No more overseas trips. He needs to get therapy to figure out how he was able to lie and deceive his whole family. There's something seriously wrong with anyone capable of that level of deceit.
      He has a whole lot of mending to do with your daughters too. That must have been devastating to them as well.
      Mary, NONE of this is your fault. NONE. He is blaming you for his failure to have any integrity at all. That's HIS problem, not yours. You lived your life with honesty and integrity. He didn't. He's lucky to have you and his two daughters. He'd darn well better start acting like he knows that.

      Delete
  48. Just a few months after we got married, he told me he does not like my friends. He never supported anything I did, telling me he fears I would fail if he did because he believed he was a failure. He was smothering me & it was really annoying. I met a man who was helping me through my school project & we had inappropriate conversations which came to an end after he humiliated me at a church marriage retreat. A few years later, my mom was diagnosed with cancer and was in hospital for 2 months, I went to see her 3 times a day & my husband only went with me once. I had an old friend whom I was comfortable to be around when he comes to town & we spoke about so many things, just never our marriages. This man started pursuing me sometime after my mom left the hospital, I resisted & even shared some of the texts with my husband. At some point I gave in & had an emotional affair that become physical & I slept with him once. I the meantime, my husband was also having an emotional affair & exchanging inappropriate text messages with 3 women. Eventually, we were counselled by our pastor & it was agreed that we all cut ties with these people. At that time I had already cut ties with my AP & made things very clear to him. Meanwhile, one of my husband's AP moved to town & called him up & he called her back, this really set me back as we had agreed "no contact". When I confronted him & asked how he would feel if it was me contacting my AP, he said it would be unacceptable because my affair had more weight. Again this contact was addressed in counselling & he said it was foolish of him & said sorry. I found out that he squandered his pension & one of the people he gave money to was this AP. In the meantime, I quit my job & I didn't want to make him feel like there is no man in the house, so I asked him to sell my car & settle it as I did not want any debts while I am not working. I just found out on 11/01/2016 that he did not pay off my car & instead used the money on his own things, leaving me with a debt of a sold car. I did not confront him or say anything that day, I only spoke to the pastor who confronted him, however, on 12/01/2016 he forgot his phone & a call came in & it was the AP. I asked him why she was calling & when last there was communication, he lied & told me, he did not know why she was calling him. I asked him to than call her in my presence, put her on loud speaker & tell her never to call again. He refused, drove off & returned after a few minutes telling me he was feeling forced to call the AP. He called he but refused to put her on loud speaker, when he eventually did, the AP indicated that it was him who has been texting her & she got the impression that they could be friends again. I packed my bags & decided to go to my parents but the pastor spoke me into staying so I moved into one of the other rooms. My husband has apologized & indicated that apparently he just wanted to apologize to the AP for having had an Emotional Affair with he & all the things he said to her but I can't stand him. I don't even speak to him & can't bring myself to speak to him. He would text me & I would find it so annoying & tell him to stop & how stupid he is. He would communicate this to the pastor (counsellor) who would call me & tell me I'm in a bad place & that what I'm doing is not right & that I should make it a point to greet my husband & talk to my husband. I finally told him I do not want to be counselled by him anymore. I was confused & thought the composition of my brain had been altered for sometime until recently. I could not concentrate on anything & putting a sentence together was so challenging. Now I'm at a stage were I don't know what to do, I feel helpless & without direction.

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    1. Anna,
      You need to find someone who can offer you wise counsel and who isn't also counselling your husband. This is about you finding healing from all this and getting clear on what you want. Your marriage sounds incredibly unhealthy and I suspect each of you needs to work on him/herself in order to bring a healthier self back to your marriage.
      Neither of you is blameless and you both need to get clear on how to be in a mature marriage. Or to figure out whether or not you want to be in the marriage at all. Both choices are equally valid.
      Anna, please seek out a counsellor who can help you. Frankly, I'd find someone unassociated with your church who can simply view the situation objectively and help you find your way through this. There's clearly a lot of pain that each of you is experiencing and it's showing up in the way you're treating each other. I hope you'll find help.

      Delete
  49. My husband was having an affair for 8 months or more and also sexting two other women. He says there was no sex with them but he sent nude pics of himself. How do you get the images out of your head and find your happy again and how do you build trust and forgiveness. I find when we go out he is always watching and looking at other women..he says he us not. He is very remorsefull and says he wants to be with me....it's like he had another life..we have been married for 34 years...

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    1. Anonymous,
      I'm sorry I missed your post. Just saw it now.
      You build trust and forgiveness by watching him become a man of integrity. By watching his words and actions match up. And by seeing him take full responsibility for the pain he's caused and make changes in himself to ensure he doesn't go down that path. And you build trust and forgiveness by remaining open-hearted and giving yourself a ton of nurturing and love and self-respect.
      As for his looking at other women when he's out, if you're uncomfortable with his behaviour then he needs to respect that. What is he doing exactly that you can point to? And then...expect him to be accountable for it. Many of us look at attractive people. It's natural. But if our partners are hurt or threatened by it, then we don't do it. It's a matter of respect.

      Delete
  50. I love the thought of this support system for women like us. Thank you for thinking of such an outlet.. As I've been reading most of these post, I think to myself, "omg, I'm not alone?" - It's been so hard trying to "get over" the betrayal in my marriage.. I'm just now realizing that it's not getting over.. it's "getting through it". Those words gave me such great in-site on how I'm dealing with all of this. My mother always told me to choose my husband wisely. Of course I didn't listen. I only hope & pray my daughters don't fall in my same lane & pray to God my son's are better men than their father.
    Cheers to better days for all of us!

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    1. Anonymous,
      Yes, we don't get over we get through. I hope that you're holding your husband accountable for his betrayal so that your sons can watch their father become a man of integrity. Honest, respectful and decent. If he hasn't changed, or isn't willing to change, then staying in the marriage is an act of disrespect to yourself.

      Delete
  51. I've been in my marriage for 7 years now. My husband was upfront from the beginning that any contact with the opposite sex when there are known feelings is cheating. A few years into my marriage, I found myself in contact with a man that I briefly had a relationship with but much more considered a friend. I knew he felt different, but thought as long as I kept it at the friendship level, it would be fine. I didn't talk to my husband because I didn't feel it was anything that he would understand. It finally came out a few weeks ago and it was devastating. I know that this group is all posts about wives who have been cheated on, but I'm trying to understand what you feel like. There were never any physical acts in my scenario, just an emotional void that I was attempting to fill. I don't hold my husband accountable for my actions as I should have been more adult about it and figured out a better way to handle my own troubles. My question to anyone here is, how do I help him heal? He's so angry and I'm so sorry, but I don't know what else I can do. All ties to the other person have been severed, and I would never do anything of this sort again, but it's so difficult knowing that I did this. I can't undo this. More so, I don't know how to make it better.

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    1. I admire your willingness to try and understand your husband's feelings. None of us could have imagined just how excruciating betrayal is. I always imagined I'd be angry...but not the fall-to-my-knees pain that I felt. It's some sort of primal wound. It calls into question our sense of who we are, our sense of safety within our marriage, our value to the other person.
      Assume that his pain is beyond what you can imagine. And then just keep showing up. Listen to his pain. Hold him as he cries. You certainly don't need to put up with verbal abuse but knowing that it comes from a place of such deep hurt might help you respond with compassion. Behind his anger is a gaping wound.
      And...figure out why you went outside your marriage for something you were really seeking inside of it. Learn why people cheat. Figure out what you were telling yourself that made if somehow okay, even knowing your husband's verbalized feelings about it.
      When you're both ready, see a marriage counsellor so you can learn how to communicate in a way that makes room for both your feelings.
      You can't make this "better". It really is a matter of him processing the pain of betrayal. And men, in particular, have a harder time forgiving a wife than a wife does forgiving a husband. Our culture doesn't give men much of a choice but to man up and move on.
      But you can show him how sorry you are (without making this about you and your feelings), and just be there, day in and day out, as he works through this.

      Delete
  52. Today marks 365 days since I discovered my husbands affair. 365 days ago we had been married for 33 years, today we have been married 34 years. When I accidentally learned about it, I moved out. With in 3 months time he begged me over and over again to forgive him, told me how sorry he was. He also suffered a nervous breakdown that resulted in him being escorted by police and 2 of our kids to the hospital for metal eval. During that time I became a stalker. I was able to hack into his several emails and retrieve conversations. I learned how to 'catfish' the two of them. I needed to know it was over. I sent him messages that appeared to be from OW. He upheld his promise to me to have no contact with her. He never responded to any of them. He deleted them. I sent her messages from 'him' and as a result had quite a conversation with her as my husband telling her over and over again it was over before finally I stopped responding to her. Every once in a while I would log into the emails and see that there was nothing to worry about. But I am so depressed about the person I have turned into. I have no idea how to start getting over this pain. My husband does not want to talk about it he said he is sorry and that talking about it just brings up bad memories. My sisters suggested I take all of my journaling and put it into book form. They thought that might help me find or begin a path to closer on this chapter of my life. They thought I could write an ending to my story. I did just that. (Please don't think I'm trying to sell any books, if anyone is interested I will be happy to share with you.) While it was helpful to write an end to my pain at least in fantasy, it has not helped me move forward in real life. I keep wondering what he saw in her, what I did wrong, does he really love me or was he just as scared as I was about a lonely future. Why am I still second guessing his every move. A phone call that hangs up after 2 rings, getting our rv all 'decked out'. I still look over at him at night and cry wondering what went wrong. Sometimes I fear my family and friends will think Im crazy if I tell them how Im feeling. Sometimes I wonder if staying was the right decision, but is it fair to leave now after a year of him doing nothing wrong. I wonder why he and OW get to go on with their lives with no repercussions for their actions. Why am I the one that is crying, still a year later. Why am I the one researching blogs, looking for answers. I don't understand why my feelings are still so raw.

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