The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
Truer words were never written.
It can feel the same at first and scary but it's also so good to choose yourself. That's true about anyone who doesn't respect our boundaries. For some it's a cheating spouse whose got zero remorse or empathy or ability and willingness to change. For some it's a meddlesome or controlling family member. And then one day we've had enough. And we choose ourselves.
Is a wife obligated by moral standard to give a very sorry and very remorseful husband a second chance?Sorry if I seem heartless. A part of me is numb
You don't owe him anything other than your own honesty. Nobody is owed a second chance. Your responsibility is to be honest with yourself and live your own truth. That's it. That isn't heartless at all. That said, numbness can get in the way of knowing what we truly want. Don't feel obligated to make a decision one way or the other until you feel clear (or at least more clear) on what they decision is. Too often I think we feel as though we need to react decisively. Nothing about this is easy but if we give ourselves time to absorb it all and begin to process it, sometimes what we want becomes more clear to us.
I don't believe anyone would say a betrayed wife is morally obligated to stay in a marriage. The husband forfeited his marriage vows to commit the act(s) wether there is remorse afterward or not. A wife can chose to stay in the marriage for moral reasons of her own, but she should never be seen as obligated to do that (in my opinion). It can be just as morally "right" to stand on your own two feet alone despite a husband's remorse after the fact. The morality ball is squarely in your court.
Oh, Anonymous, no, no, a thousand times no. You don't owe him anything. To whom you owe your honesty is yourself. (And I'm talking to myself as much as to you!!) I am about 18 months out, and I just don't feel loving or particularly charitable toward my husband. I am not sure that this is something I can move past. It changed the way I feel about him and the way I see him. I'm grappling with what to do right now because I don't want to ruin my children's childhood with a divorce (not that my cheating fucking husband thought that far into his behavior). But i don't think our romance is coming back from this. I could be in a companionship relationship, but I don't know if I can be back in a romantic relationship with him. I don't feel like we're anywhere near approaching "we're so much stronger after the affair than before" that I see so many other people post. I'm not convinced it will happen that way for us. It makes me sad and angry at him all over again. Anyway, I think we only owe ourselves respect, love, and a promise to be honest with ourselves about our feelings.
Periwinkle I remember feeling like why can't I just get past it too! I'm still a work in progress and I hope that I don't give anyone the feeling that it was easy and quick but, if the right circumstances happen you might be surprised in the future if he's capable of winning your heart again. That's up to him and you get to decide if it's enough or if he's got more work to do. My h now understands the daily struggle that his choice of fun caused both of us! Sending hugs!
Theresa, I have been so closed off and skeptical for many reasons. And lately my husband has stepped up and gone above and beyond totally surprising me. Now the challenge is for me to accept that and be more open with him. It feels like I need to relax or exhale. I think I have been so tense and vigilant protecting myself these past 2+ years.
Hopeful 30I finally did relax once we finally finished with the cow! I know how hard it's been for me so all I can do is urge you to keep fighting for your own happiness! Sending hugs!
Anonymous July 27, if understanding the opinion of a faith leader is important to you I recommend asking that question of your priest, pastor, rabbi, etc. I can tell you 8 mos out I am still with my H trying to decide what I want. But I did meet with a priest who advised me to give a retreat a try and see how my H responded. But he also told me because my H never truly kept our vows that I would likely be able to get an annulment if that is what I decided.
I think I gave up so many days in the months after Dday and then by 8 months dealing with the ups and downs and another stupid move on his part I had it!! Probably the first time I stood up for myself and said eff it! I can survive and if I'm not it today or any day then I just don't need this...choose another. It was the first time he stood after an argument and really understood what he had done to me. It was as if it was the first time it hit him that he could loose me. I chose him each and every day after all of this betrayal and yet he still wanted test me with posting on social media to other women's posts, loving their stupid selfies and on... I HAD it. You spend your life looking over the fence thinking it all looks good when you have someone standing right in front of you that is the shit! She's it all. And.you.dont.get.it.I found this a few days ago and it really made me smile. Choose Her Every Day (Or Leave Her) by Author: Bryan Reeves....https://bryanreeves.com/choose-her-everyday-or-leave-her/I don't like the image up top, so try and ignore that. Us BWs can do without graphics like that after all we've seen in their history.The song by Sara Bareilles - "I Choose You" is also one of my favs. An upbeat tune that I listen to when I need a pick me up on a walk. Kinda puts a bounce in your step. Have a good Friday and weekend!
My D-day was 12 days before my 19th anniversary. My husband goes out of town a few times a year. Well on this outing he left at midnight so he wouldn't get in all the holiday traffic (memorial day) well on the 3rd day of his trip I hadn't heard from him so I messaged him. He called me and told me his phone was dead. Well i decided I look at the bill online. He had been texting another woman ( who is also married and she's in the same town as him ) well the texting had been going on for around 7 months. But just a few until the last month they were texting all the time. 50 to a 100 a day. Sometimes right under my nose. Well when he left at midnight the texting started and for his 12 hr. Drive they text. They text all hrs. Of the day and night. So when i told him i knew about the text he swears it was just friends talking. So i told him i wanted to see the text when he got home. Well he came home the next day and when i asked to see them he told me no cause he deleted them....so we had a huge argument. Then when he took a shower that nigjt i noticed he shaved his private area. So i asked about that.. he said oh i done that a month ago.. and im gonna do it from now on. ( but he hasn't. He's a bushy as can be now ) he hasnt text her anymore. But she has a few times. She's even private messages him on Facebook with a wave.. and a pic of her legs sunbathing..so we have deactivated Facebook. He says NOTHING happened that they were just friends. And he loves me and only me. He is and always has been very affectionate to me also compliments me. Telling me how good I look and I'm pretty... but I don't feel that way anymore. I feel fat ugly and worthless.. and I don't understand how after 20 yrs together he could hurt me like this. Cause he knows how I feel about cheating. (First husband was a cheat) but anyhow .. how do i let go of the wondering and worry ? I went to Dr. He put me on antidression meds. It helps alittle.but i still cry ALOT and sometimes just the smalkest thing can trigger it. Then he gets upset and wants to know What's wrong now ? When I tell him he's like oh that again.. but he won't explain things to me. He just wants it to blow over and that be it..but I don't know how.I love my husband and want out marriage to work but I don't know how to live with the Not knowing of what really happened
Hi Anonymous,So many text messages. I am sorry but the evidence is that he cheated. He deleted the messages too. I am so sorry. Please get yourself tested for STD's.Mine also deleted the texts - all I saw was the phone bill with all the numbers on. I was able to find some messages on his computer through the messages app he had on that and also you could try Dr Fone on his phone if you really want to see them. I found enough but does it help? I needed to see them. The number and timing of the texts tells you the horrible truth. He lied when he said his phone wasn't working and he's still lying. I am so sorry.Hope you find some peace and take care of yourself xxRiley
I am not sure where this might fit on the blog but wanted to share this link from Affair Recovery. I am not a religious person but I have been watching this guy Samuel's videos and watched the more recent ones that his wife did. Maybe some of you will find them helpful too. They have some free things to read if you sign up. I've not paid to join or done any of their camps.https://www.affairrecovery.com/survivors/samuel/what-do-we-do-pain-created-infidelityI just watched several to catch up and one of them has this theme of taking care of yourself and knowing your limits. Be strong my women warriors, be strong.
Thank you, Elle. One of the gifts of this site was learning that it doesn't matter if I stay or leave as long as I get to choose. Part of me believed that I had to leave h for cheating, since infidelity is a deal-breaker. I decided that strength meant I could decide what came next, and that there was no room for anyone that felt the need to judge. Some experts say decide nothing for six months past d-day-- this helped me a lot. I still worry, I still wonder, but no one gets to choose but me. We had a good day today at the beach. The near-naked women didn't make me cry. I'll take it. Stay strong, my warrior friends.
Snowbird, I also feel those beach triggers and they use to reduce me to jelly inside. I got the same sensation when I saw all those "massage" signs and even when I see young beautiful Asian women. It has been a process for sure to accept that this happens. In my secret world I sometimes see those triggers and think, "this would be a great time for you to have a heart attack and die". Terrible, right? I decided to wait an entire year before making any decisions and I am glad I did. It has been a challenge. We are going to be snowbirds this winter. Heading to beautiful Arizona for some adult fun and bonding. When you post, it makes me smile so wide because I see this time in my life as a good time to make a new start without any baggage.
I want to apologise to everyone here for not being able to give support and comfort to you. I will pay you all back when I'm me again I promise. I also want those who replied to my comment to know that your words are diamonds to me. I read your replies over and over again. I haven't told anyone except you. Thanks wonderful and amazing ladies.
Anon July 29,No. No. No. Do not apologize to us for anything!! You just take care of yourself. I, personally, know the choking pain of silence, as do many others here. I commend you for reaching out on this site. Keep visiting and keep reading. I did that for 6 months before I was ready to comment. I am sorry for what you are going through. Hugs.
Anonymous I'm just glad you found comfort in the words spoken to you by these wonderful ladies! No apologies needed because I know I probably took more than a year before I felt like anything I had to say to anyone could possibly help them through these difficult times! Hugs!
Oh and just so you know, it took a long time for me to find me again! More hugs!
Anonymous, no apology needed. We are like migrating birds in formation. Sometimes we lead and fight the wind for the rest and other times we need the shelter and guidance of the leaders. Be kind to yourself.
Anon, you don't need to apologize. You just don't. You are here for help and we are here to help you. Just showing up is enough. You are allowed to receive help and love and support without needing to worry about whether you are giving back enough or not. You've found one of the safest places to be wounded, raw, sad, angry, not yourself, not OK. whatever you are feeling or need to feel. Sometimes just hearing someone who gets where you are or what you are going through is all you need. Keep reading. Keep taking care of you. Much love!
Beach Girl,That's both beautiful and accurate.
If it is 4 years from d-day #1, and your spouse still thinks his pain is just as bad as yours, continues to feel sorry for himself more than for you, and says that he is tired of talking about what he did wrong (mostly I do the talking, actually) and when are we going to talk about what I did wrong.... is it a good time to say you have had enough? I feel it in my bones and I am giving up the fight to have him do right by me but my kids don't deserve to have a broken family. Last night the subject of other people's divorces came up and they were very clear that it was a terrible thing for the kids they know. I don't have much of a support system where I live. My family is far away and when I call my mom, she is not on my side. She says that my expectations are too high (the marriages she compares mine to include ones that are characterized abuse, spousal rape, and severe personality disorders) and I should carry on for the kids and just do my own thing, like she did/does. I know divorce is nothing to be ashamed of, but the logistics of separating are so daunting and are going to ruin our lives for a long time. Sometimes my spouse seems ready to accept responsibility and has made a big turn around in many areas of his life and behavior but for the most part humiliated me and mostly expects me to suck it up.
I do not think any of us should suck it up and go through the motions. But I do understand thinking about your kids. I feel that way at times too. Some days I am just so tired of this being a part of my daily life. I am tired of worrying if something is wrong when my husband is just stressed with work but how can I know. That was always one of his go to excuses for the 10+ affair years. And over those years I asked him directly about women. So I hear what he is telling me but when regular life enters it is hard for me not to feel like it is the old life it that makes sense. One thing I do know is I think my husband is and will always be more affected by his actions than me. I never thought this would be true. He is able to compartmentalize them better but when they come up it is way worse than me. I can see the upset, stress, sadness it brings him. All he can do is try to do better which he is doing but it hangs over him more than I expected. All of what society tells us is not true, it was not fun and exciting for him. It was depressing and sad and he has to live with his choices forever. He is thankful for this second chance. But it goes in highs and lows just like it does for me and we do not match up at times. Maybe that is what is going on for you two. I am sorry your mom is not understanding or giving you the support you need. It is so hard and that has kept me from telling others. Can you determine what you would need to move your marriage/relationship forward or to a better spot. When I am feeling less than great about us I think about what has been going on and what I need. In the past during the affair years I would have sucked it up but now I speak up. There are not always good answers but now I expect him to listen and to work with me to help me/us feel better. What is interesting is the majority of the time he feels the same or similar.
MBSI'm so sorry that your h is still being in my opinion unreasonable! I wish I could help you but only you will know when you've had enough of his disregarding your feelings! I'm not sure when we reached the point of it not being a daily discussion. I guess somewhere between dday and getting the whole story through my h eyes and not the cow but I finally got to the point that I was just sick of asking questions that usually had the same answer as the hundreds of times I asked them. I struggled for a long time with how much happier my h was than I was feeling! We rarely discuss the affair unless I have a trigger and then we discuss the triggers and not the details of the affair. He tells me he's not the same man as he was then and I can see the change. Is he the perfect h, no but no one can be perfect. He takes time to plan dates and he also takes time for activities that include both of us and this has brought us closer together! Sending you hugs!
Hi MBS I am so sorry you don't feel more support and understanding from your mom, her advice and comparing marriages seems very narrow and hurtful. Sucking it up is never good advice because we can never really suck it up forever- eventually things break down even if it is just our own physical mental emotional health. We have to love ourselves through this process and sucking it up is not loving ourselves. I am also so so sorry that after 4 years your h is not more understanding and accountable for the pain and heart break he has caused. You may recall that my h and I are separated and I finally had enough when it was just so clear to me that his selfish narcissistic drives would prevent him from ever truly understanding being accountable and doing the work to share with me the marriage I want and deserve. He is also very focused on his pain and my needs affair related or not very very very far down the list of things to give attention and caring. Once I really accepted that he just won't/can't do the work and can't see or break free from his enormous ego and selfish ways I hit the enough limit. Of course I'm still in the process of ending things and his accident is a delay and makes it harder but I know in my bones I'm making my way to the exit. I know it must be so so hard to think about the impact on your kids if you and your husband divorce, but please know that divorce does not make your family broken. Family always comes in a generic variety pack... there are no whole designer brand familiesI have often read your posts and been inspired by them. Keep going, we know things I the fullness of time and listen to your own voice. Others will try and quite it or convince you to ingnore it, but.... don't.... listen to your own quite voice. It will lead you home. Love and support sisterBecky
I found this site last March and am so very grateful to Elle and everyone else who posts. I have not posted since initially telling my story but I come here often to read - it has been such a Godsend to know that I am not alone in my feelings, and I am NOT CRAZY!Anonymous July 27, I have asked myself the same question, "am I obligated to stay and try to work this out since my H seems so remorseful?" D-day was 18 months ago, I learned of multiple affairs, raging porn, and that he is a sex addict. We had an in-house separation while we initially went to couples therapy, then stopped that while we each tried to start healing with individual therapists. We did a formal disclosure at the sixth month mark, where I learned some things that were so traumatizing I told him he needed to move out for awhile. That was just over a year ago.... we continue to see our individual therapists, and I also started seeing a trauma therapist about four months ago. He expected to be out of the house for just a couple months, until I "cooled off." He was pretty defensive initially, then became very remorseful, shame-filled and struggled with guilt, and I was so hurt and angry our communication was more damaging than helpful. To add to the problem, his sobriety date keeps changing - while (he claims) that he is so much better, hasn't screwed around with any more women and has stopped ogling and objectifying, he still turns to porn occasionally. My gut instinct hasn't failed me yet - when I get the feeling he's gone there again I ask, usually he says no, but I find out later that I was right. So, I'm still dealing with lying and porn. He left his company recently and while he doesn't need to work for financial reasons, he doesn't need this much time on his hands. I've brought up the job issue several times, at one point he said he didn't want to work, but agrees that it's not healthy to sit around so much. A job prospect did come up that would involve frequent travel, staying in hotels, which is where a lot of his acting out happened. I voiced my concern, and he agreed it would be very challenging. Fast forward a month, and I find out he has accepted the position, starting next month. He, by his own admission, did not tell me because "I didn't want you to try to talk me out of it or tell my why it wouldn't work. I need this for my self-confidence, to get my footing again. I need to get my swag back." So, where does that leave me, or our marriage? Granted, he's been out of the house a year and may not feel much hope, but to lie about his sobriety date changing so often over the last 18 months, and now to accept a position that he knows will make me feel unsafe is probably going to make my decision a little easier. I had already told him I didn't want to live in fear of this ever happening again (which I now know could happen with him or anyone else), but I feel that he is still acting selfishly, making choices without considering how it will affect me, or "us". In fact, he's making a choice to knowingly put himself in an environment conducive to cheating, whether that is with real women or the online version. I am emotionally drained. Right now, being done with this is sounding like the right choice for me, whether it is labeled "giving up" or "had enough."
Hey HeartinFlight, I just wanted to say I hear you. It must be so discouraging to have your H doing things with apparently no thought as to how they might hurt, or trigger or otherwise affect you. And dear lord did he literally say "get my swag back"? Is he 15? Sorry, I just feel like this is ridiculous but that is my own stuff coming up. The lying about sobriety dates sounds like shame in action to me. Which means on some level he doesn't feel safe being truthful which is usually about family of origin stuff.What are you doing to take care of you? How's your support network? You are not obligated to stay or go. But I would gently suggest that you are obligated to take good care of yourself. I got to the point where I realized there was no one else responsible for that job. If I don't take care of me, no one else was gonna.Is there any way to talk through this new job with him and ask for what you need in terms of boundaries and reassurances? The bottom line is that if they want to cheat again, they are going to and all the rules and check-ins aren't going to change that. Honestly, at 18 month and with the separation, I can imagine that so much is still raw. I'm at 20 months post d-day 1 and my divorce is almost final. I am generally doing really well and recently become very sure I made the right decision, despite holding out and fighting for it many months. But there are still times when I am triggered, still go through a "how could he just give up and stop loving me?" and I'm not even contemplating a future with this man anymore. I was scared when I thought of staying and scared when I thought of leaving. It can be paralyzing. Give yourself time to feel what you need to feel and get clear on your next step. No rush. That was one thing I had to wrestle with. at 47 I felt like I had my life stolen form me and that time was a-wastin'. But I realized I needed to slow down and breathe and do some recovering and some deep learning. I don't think you need to label being done as giving up or had enough. It could just be that you are getting clear on what is best for you and just you. Much love!
Hi MBS, some thoughts for you. Cheaters do what they do because they are coming form a hurt broken place. It sounds like you and your H are both not feeling heard right now. I think this can be normal, actually, no matter what the history of the couple. I think not feeling heard or valued can derail you, even when there hasn't been infidelity.Every person processes shame and grief and pain differently. I can hear and feel how angry and disappointed you are. Do the feelings of pain and grief have to be a comparison? Does he say his pain is just as bad as yours? Or can it be that you both have pain (albeit different and from different sources) and leave it at that? Can you both allow for each others pain? I'm just wondering if there is a way to reframe both of your current experience so you can start hearing each other and feeling heard. I'm also wondering if his version of apology and remorse don't resonate with you. There are different apology languages, just like there are different love languages. Maybe you could communicate to him what making amends would really feel like for you. Maybe him just saying sorry isn't enough, you need to see him take some action. What would make you feel like he really cares?On the other had, as pro marriage as I am (and I am), if you feel it in your bones, if you are convicted that he is not going to change, you need to listen to that. Your kids don't deserve a broken family, but they also do deserve a healthy, happy mom and not growing up in a tense unhealthy environment. "Mom, I didn't want you guys to get divorced, but you are so much happier and healthier now, I can see it was the right thing." This is a quote from my then 17 year old daughter. wow. I'd rather model healthy self care and relationships than have kept them in a toxic environment, with behaviors that they will later repeat in their own future relationships. And as far as the advice from your mom (and from anyone we get advice from) it is usually about defending their own choices or their family or origin stuff. It clearly is not about your best interests. Don't stay because you are afraid to go. Don't stay for the kids unless you are both willing to work to maker a better relationship.I know separating is scary, but its because it is so unknown. Go see a lawyer, get an understanding of where you would be financially and what your rights are. It can make it less scary and suddenly you'll have the freedom of true choice.I'd also say, if you are not seeing a marriage counselor, try that. A neutral party to draw out feelings, unmet needs and do some reframing, one who is skilled and can give you communication tools, might make all the difference. I can hear how fed up you are and how hurt you are at his selfishness, but I can hear how conflicted you are about leaving. I can see you recognize that he has made efforts to change. This is where the conversation with yourself about expectation might be helpful. What if he is really doing his best? Can you let go of expectations and reframe how you see his efforts? I'm not saying lower your standards, or accept abuse. But if he is moving in the right direction, even if its not at the pace you'd like or wish, can you give him and yourself more time? If the answer is no, then its no. And that is OK.These are just my thoughts and perspectives. They may be completely off base and you can take or leave them as you see fit. Your not obligated to stay or "save your marriage" and you are not obligated to go and kick him to the curb. All you need to do is what is right for you right now. XOXO ss
SS, your wisdom and experience blows me away. I am so grateful for your words. You have clearly come through that dark curtain in a position of strength. Thank you for sharing it with us. While I feel like I am doing "OK" I certainly do not feel like I can offer others any wisdom based on my two years and 1 month survival. I'm not gasping for air most of the time.
Thanks so much Beach Girl. I think about and read about communication and relationships and love and being mindful and expectations just a ton. I want to do better next time. So even though I know I didn't deserve what's happened, I also know there were things wrong in my marriage and my behaviors and coping strategies (like avoidance) and not taking care of myself or asking for what I need, contributed to the over all dysfunction. I really, really, really want to do better next time. Helping here is also a way to help myself, if that makes sense. I worry that I pontificate sometimes. Cause I know I have a turbo fix it mode that drives my daughter nuts. Working on chilling there too. But kind of like I suggested above, what I wrote is as much about my own stuff as anything. We're all here helping.I get so much out of being here and reading here too.
Still Standing and others, Thank you for your thoughtful and wise words. I have alot to ponder.