Monday, August 7, 2017

"How could he do this to me?": You may never understand. And that's okay.

The one cloud that hung dark in the days/weeks/months after D-Day was this question: How could he do this to me?
Inherent in that question is, of course, a whole lot of fear. How could I have been so wrong about him? What does she have that I don't have? Is he lying to me now?
I was certain that if I could just understand what he was thinking, what motivated this behaviour, then I could anticipate it happening again, I could gauge the likelihood of a repeat performance, I could protect myself from further pain.
I've come a long way since then. I no longer torture myself at 3 a.m. with toxic worry. I no longer believe that I can choreograph others' actions. I catch myself when I begin to assume blame for others' bad behaviour. 
And though I've gained a lot of insight into my husband's choices, I'm not sure I will ever understand how he could do this to me. Not really. 
But I know something else. It doesn't really matter.
There are lots of reasons why people cheat. But most of them fall under the umbrella of "I liked how it felt." That can include the sex itself – the physical feeling – but more often it includes the psychological feeling. People who cheat like the excitement. They like the anticipation. They like feeling as though they've turned back the clock: they're sexy, they're interesting, they're young. And, frankly, who wouldn't like that? I can remember all those feelings from back in the day. I loved flirting. I loved knowing that the person I was with was dazzled by me. We're our best selves when we spent only bits of time with another person. It's easy to hide our flaws, easy to imagine that life will be easier.
Those of us who can't imagine cheating, however, have an ability to think a few steps further down the road. We can imagine coming home and looking at our partner. We can imagine the day he finds the text. We can imagine our affair partner giving us an ultimatum – him or me. We can imagine just how awful it must feel to betray someone who doesn't deserve it. Consequently, we can't imagine cheating. The price is simply too high. 
Cheaters? They don't get past the "I like how this feels" stage. Or, if they do, they go back and rewrite history to somehow justify what they're doing. We're nags, they tell themselves. We've lost interest in sex. We're probably miserable too. In fact, they wonder if we're cheating. Or if we want a divorce. In any case, if nobody finds out, nobody gets hurt, right? Seems like everybody cheats anyway. 
In my husband's case, cheating was like booze. It was a way of numbing himself from feelings he couldn't stand. Even before I entered his life, he relied on sex to to keep at bay his feelings of loneliness, inferiority, grief. 
Do I understand how he could do that? Not really. Not anymore than I can understand my mother pouring herself a vodka and coffee for breakfast.
But I can understand that a whole lot of people prefer distraction over feeling their feelings. It happens all the time whether I understand it or not.
So "how could he do this to me?" isn't the right question for me. It gets me nowhere.
The right question, for me and for any of us who want to rebuild our marriages, is this:
What is he doing to ensure he never cheats again?
Is he doing the hard work of figuring out how he did this? To understand the stories he was telling himself? To learn how he was affected by cultural messages, family messages? Is he willing to really feel his feelings – including those around his cheating? Willing to listen to your pain even though it makes him feel terrible? Willing to support you as you inch your way through days and weeks and months of trauma?
Because that matters far more than how he could do this in the first place. Sure it would be nice if these guys were incapable of cheating. But they are. And so what shapes our marriages from here is how far they're willing to go to repair the damage they've caused.
It's really really hard. The issues that led them to cheat are the same issues that make it hard for them to own up to it, to accept responsibility, to do the painful work of understanding why. I don't know of many who can do that alone, without the help of a therapist or a support group. They lack the emotional bandwidth, the psychological tools to heal themselves and, therefore, help you heal too. 
But that is for them to manage.
You? Your job is to stop asking "how could he do this to me?". You only need to know that people cheat because they're damaged in some way. Hurt people hurt people. Damaged people damage people.
They did not do this because there's something wrong with you. They cheated because there's something wrong with them. 
And they need to fix it.


51 comments:

  1. Elle - I am moved to tears, I have chills, I'm nodding a big YES YES YES! How is it that what you write here is just what I needed? I have said before my biggest hurdle is that is that my husband still works with the OW. With one tiny exception, I have not seen anything that tells me he is lying or not committed to me. I have seen him make strides with our counselor. I have seen his interactions with me change. But I have felt stuck - stuck in fear and stuck thinking what is wrong with me? And how can I guarantee he won't cheat again? I sometimes fail to hear him say he knows never again. Your words - thank you. That is all I can manage today is thank you. I've been holding on so tightly to control...and spying...and checking...and it's getting me nowhere. I have to move past the fear.

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    1. Jules
      Elle always writes just what we need to hear and it's her special gift that she somehow pulled out of the pits of her walk through the same things we're just beginning to stumble through! I'm so thankful for this beautiful lady too! She has literally saved thousands of us through the years with her blogging! Now Elle, stop blushing! We all know this is truth! Thanks!

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    2. Thank you Theresa. I am amazed how helpful this site has been - just to know we are not alone! And thanks Elle...again! (hugs)

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  2. I asked myself the "how" question for 8 months. On "fuck this shit" Tuesday, it became "HE did this to you. How are you going to respond/handle this?" Trust is the biggest issue between us and he knows it. I don't check his devices any longer cause if he is doing something and hasn't figured out to delete that shit off his phone/computer, then he's a bigger idiot and coward than I gave him credit for. The shit we betrayed spouses choose to live with by giving them another chance is a HUGE gamble and my husband is just now realizing that and that knowledge is painful for him. The more he allows himself to deal with what he created, he feels something similar to what we have felt and continue to feel as the months and years go by, only his comes in the form of guilt, remorse, regret and disgust with himself. He wept when I told him no matter how things work out for us, we will never be the same, and I don't see that bond we had ever truly being restored. That's just how it is right now. When I say the same, I'm talking about just how good we were before he lost his mind and chose the dark side. Yea, he convinced himself that we were over, instead of dealing with his shit which affected us and that he blamed me for. He chose to talk shit about me to her to justify his cheating. He says he regrets all of that now. I hope he does.

    For myself, I am making a huge effort to not think about what he did and why. It was consuming me and kept me from living a my life. I called her and asked her 2 questions. She answered them to my satisfaction, I wished her well and hung up. I freed myself with that call. I felt a tidal wave of emotion but was able to put most doubt and suspicion away forever. This past weekend was the first happy and gratifying weekend I've had with him in years and he agreed. So time continues to be all I have to see how things will go for us. I quietly observe and take it in. I honor myself and my badassery and I'm learning to open the door of love a micron at a time.

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    1. Olive Mee - you are a bad ass - good for you! Look at your healing and what you have done. Your words rang with me - when you said making a huge effort to not think about what he did and why. I think those questions, along with my fear, is consuming me and I have to get it to stop. It is keeping me stuck. Also - what made you decide to contact her? When it all came out, I was the one who sent the e-mail to her saying it was over. Husband read it of course and agreed, but it came from me. Her response back to me was hurtful - taking no blame or even apologizing and I have known her for years. A few days later she wanted to reach out to me but husband said no (he admitted it was to protect me and maybe a bit her back then over 18 months ago) but she has since contacted me. I have wondered if I need to have one final conversation or just let it go? You are doing great - thanks for sharing!

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    2. My dear Jules. My breaking point\fed up\not changing to suit anyone's needs but mine, came the day my shrink told me I had to stop being so nice and accommodating to my husband. I walked out of her office and was hit with a wall of hot air when I opened my car door. I realized that I've done enough changing for him. Hence my "fuck this shit" moment. While I don't have a problem with change\boundaries, I do have a problem changing my "nice way of being" nature. I am going to be who I am and it's up to him how he deals with it. He knows I'm not fucking around any more. I didn't ask to be pushed up against the wall and deal with this kind of emotional hell. Change is good but not when you've been made to be a bitch for speaking the truth only to turn around and agree with me after he took the steps he did. I had had enough. I was no longer afraid to be without him because, frankly, I deserve better. That knowledge was freeing. I don't have a job and would have to live with mom till I get on my feet, but I know that now and I'm not afraid. Since D-day 1, I had a plan in case it ended but I was scared shitless. I was afraid of the what if's. I allowed myself to think about the worse case scenarios and feel the fear of it all. It was terrifying and so incredibly sad to even be thinking about that, but I'm glad I did. It made me realize my self worth and capabilities and that I am not dependent on him. I knew I would be okay. I now know I will survive all of this regardless of how it goes. You will too. All of us will.

      I called her because her and I were friends and I needed to know these answers. I know she feels like shit over what she did, so I called her and asked her 2 questions. 1. When was the last time she spoke to my H, and 2. What did he say to her about me. She gave me the same answers my H gave me. It could mean they are in kahoots to give the same info, and it can be the truth, but I will not be ruled by suspicion created by their fuck up. I don't think either of them are evil enough to do that. Also, He can't hurt me any more than he already has. I feel that my H is being honest finally, and really ready to deal with his shit. He's actually at the therapist as I type. Has been going for weeks now and making progress dealing with his anger and all that stem from that.

      I have let it go. I never had a problem with the affair it self. I have a very different view of sex from the average person and I'm very okay with my views. My problem was the lying, the treatment, and complete disregard from my husband, for about 5 years. I've never been a controlling person. None of us are possessions, but he crossed the line when he blamed me for noticing that something was wrong with us and saying something about it. I allowed him to suck the life out of me and he got mad at me for changing. Looking back, I should have kicked him in the ass and told him to back the fuck off, but I didn't. I can say that he will never treat me like that again and he knows it. He knows that if he were any other person, I would have set them on fire and pushed them out the door.

      In closing, this journey has hardened me a bit. It could be temporary, it could be permanent. I don't know yet as I'm in self preservation mode, but it's also made me a better human being. I'm stronger than I know and I love myself once again. I want to continue with my art, helping the less fortunate, loving my 6 dogs and helping my H during his time of growth. I also would like to help other people that are experiencing betrayal when the time is ripe. I'll say it over and over again, This is his fuck up and it won't define me. No matter how bad things have been in our relationship, his\her cheating was never the way to go, but they chose that path. Not us. How we come out of this is entirely up to us and that is wonderfully empowering. Love to you all...♥

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    3. Olive Mee and Sam A - thank you for your reply, for your sharing, for your insights. I know that much of my healing is slowed down because they do still have contact through work. But like you and others have said here - I can't let my fears, my worries, my past - define how I heal. I know I have been doing it for a while, but I keep responding to everything my husband is doing - not outloud but in my mind - as in the past. As if it were before dday and before things changed. It's so hard not to assume the worst. I am trying to change my way of thinking, trying to live in the now, trying to treat him as if he is telling the truth, not lying.

      Sometimes I have similar thoughts - of if I did contact the OW would she say the same things he has told me and would it be because it was the truth or because they are in kahoots. And it keeps me from moving forward, from really living in the now. Like I have said before, the constant checking, the constant worrying, the constant viewing things as the past - it's killing me and I can't keep staying here. I need to be strong, to change my way of thinking, to heal this.

      It hurts so much to think of what he did, for years. But - if I want to heal myself, and my marriage - I can't let it define me now. I can't think "he's calling me after work and talking to me just like he did back when he was involved in the EA" - because things are different. It's scary, it's hard, but I have to keep trying as hard as I can to believe. And at the end of the day - I KNOW I WILL BE OKAY NO MATTER WHAT LIFE THROWS AT ME. It may hurt, but I can't let that fear of pain keep me from living now.

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    4. Ladies, you all rock! I can't stop wondering why? How could he do this? I thought we had a good marriage & he is doing everything he can to make it up to me. The guilt is eating him alive(yay!) but I'm terrified he'll do it again. Olive Mee I loved what you had to say and you were spot on. I'm 7 1/2 months from day and I've never had a lot of self confidence but I have zero self esteem. He talked shit on me & trashed our marriage to her, but swears he didn't mean it. He thought she wanted to hear stuff like that & wanted her to feel good about their affair. He never dreamed in a million years he'd get caught or see any texts or emails. He knew I trusted him with all my heart. I always said there are 2 men i trusted with my life & whole heart. My dad, (who passed 12 years ago & I miss every day) and my H. Now zero trust. I know I'll never regain my self esteem. Even if she was ugly & only a couple years younger, she was half my size. Like meth addict size. I know I have to work on this low self-esteem thing, I just don't know how. We are going to marriage counseling plus started counseling with our pastor & his wife who is also a minister. I'm totally stuck!

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    5. Dearest Debaw. Of course you are stuck. This is one hell of a trauma and it takes time to get through it. Everything you believed and trusted has been crushed by the one person you trusted completely, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even though you may not see it right now. I've had self esteem issues till I was about 40. I found my voice when I was 45 and it was grand. By the time I was 54, I was stifled by my own choosing, to a certain extent, in order to keep the peace, and yes, my H had a hand in it as he is a master manipulator and knows how to get his way. Looking back, I'm amazed that I let myself go almost completely, but I did. No regrets because I learned from it and that will never happen again. Understanding why the infidelity occurred has been my saving grace and restored me, my self worth and self esteem. I'm not saying it was easy to look at the ugly truth of it all but it was worth taking the step past the fear. Finding out that he was in a place where he convinced himself that the marriage was over, the shit he told her to justify the affair and ease his guilt, hearing him tell me that he hadn't loved me for years but didn't have the balls to tell me, hearing him say "I was hoping you would end the marriage so I could say I tried",to name a few, was all devastating/soul crushing/ego destroying/profoundly sad, but as time has gone by, oceans of tears became rivers, then streams, and now just a good cry, I've come to see how screwed up my H is. How much pain he has carried his whole life with all the trauma from his birth til today, and I understand why he chose that path. Doesn't make it easier, but it's made me stronger and wiser and more compassionate. For me, more good has come from the shit storm than bad.

      I don't allow myself to wade in the pool of "why did he do this to me? or how could he? or What did I do wrong/what's wrong with me? Why did she, my friend, do this?" for long. Ironically, she looks like me. I have all the answers to those questions but it takes time to deal with them. It's hard to step into fear. To look at the ugly truth of it all. It's heart breaking but it needed to be looked at, acknowledged and accepted in order to make a forward step. To become unstuck. Even if it's for a moment. Accepting what has happened is not saying it's okay, but I have found that once I acknowledge and accept things as they are, I have a choice to change them or leave then as is. I never gave him a reason to lie and cheat. That was all him. When I doubt my self worth, my esteem, my integrity, I remind myself the choices I've made and the ones he made and I feel good about myself. It's something I do most days. Some days more than others, but I'm determine to come out of this smelling like badass roses. I'm worth it and so are you. I don't trust him right now, and maybe never will, but I only have today to deal with and am learning to not live in future fear/worry. That's a time waster for sure. I'd rather waste MY time laying in bed all day reading. This is MY time. This is YOUR time. Be super good and gentle with yourself. It doesn't come easy but it gets easier. Women aren't taught to nourish themselves, but the payoff is worth it. Don't feel guilty for being selfish with your radical self care. Find yourself, your voice, your boundaries. It's all about you now. Sending you comforting love and hugs...♥

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  3. Yes exactly! It is so easy based on what I knew initially about affairs (which was very little and what society says) that I kept saying this to myself. In the end I cannot change why he did it. To me they all will always sound like excuses since I will never see a valid reason. Sure I can understand it more but I just know I will never get past seeing it as selfish. My husband said he knew from day one that it was wrong and the consequences would be major but he still went ahead. And you say it all exactly whatever he had to tell himself he did.

    And yes I really work to focus on the questions and what is still troubling me that can be addressed now. Of course we both want to prevent this in the future. Now more than ever I see how he is so different deep down than he acted in front of me I guess. Now I see so many flaws. I have them too but I feel like I am one of those people as you say that stops themselves before going down the wrong path. That is just who I am. What troubles me is he will never agree that things are connected and behaviors in one area of his life are similar to his affair behaviors. To me everything he does is connected. If he makes poor decisions with his friends then to me this is a red flag. I am not saying he is doing anything wrong but I question his internal judgment on so many levels. He has worked on it and made progress but in the end at this age we are deep down who we are. I know his behaviors have changed and he promises he understands the seriousness of the second chance. I just sit and think are we too different, too far apart. I have voiced to him my concern than another shoe will drop and that keeps me from going all in. He is patient and continues to prove to me. So far that is all I can ask of him.

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    1. Hopeful, I so get what you mean about affairs being selfish. Mostly cause they are. It was for my H. He chose to create chaos and hell rather than deal with issues that have haunted him his whole life. Issues that are trivial compared to the path he chose, but those are his choices. We are different and choose to deal with our crap. What has helped me to deal with the chaos is just focusing on myself. Radical self care as Elle tells us to do. I am learning to not worry about what he does cause it wouldn't matter anyway, and he can't hurt me any more than he has already. I am learning to just focus on me and what I want on a day to day basis. I have no expectations for him. It's just not worth it. I do question if I still love him or if I will ever love him like I did. There's a few things that have to be earned by him, like respect, and maybe that will open the door to love a little wider, but that will come with time. I understand your statement of being "too different and too far apart" but that doesn't mean we can't learn to love again. I'm learning to not worry about tomorrow and things I can't control. We only have today and I try to make the best of it for me. Many hugs to you...♥

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  4. Jules you will get to a point where you realise that you have no control over whether he will cheat again so being on high alert constantly will only keep you in the same place, I know it's easier said than done but please try to stay focused on what he is doing to help you heal, concentrate on you and what you can do to help yourself heal. Jules I'm 4 years from d day 1 and 2 year from d day 2 both happened with the same woman I never thought he would do it a second time but he did, I thought he had changed said and did all the right things and still cheated so we never really know what lies ahead. I suppose I've gotten to a place where I'll
    Never be ok with him cheating why would I accept that but I accept he is a man with many flaws, he doesn't see them like I do I've become skilled at behaviour with the time I've spent married to him. On the flip side he has a whole lot of good in him too, try to balance the good/bad. Talk things through with s counsellor jules, what's stopping you from moving forward? Only you can answer that question and maybe your h can help you with moving forward. Keep us posted and take care you xx

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    1. Sam A - thank you for your post. I so so appreciate your advice and support. I think what is holding me from moving forward is the fact that he does still work with OW. It was a decision we made together and I almost made it an ultimatum, but with the help of a counselor who we both trust I have not made him move...yet. But can I ask - how did he meet the other woman? Had you thought they had gone no contact after the first one? Honestly - I think my fear that he never really stopped his connection with her is what scares me. It was very much a long term EA, which he swears was not physical but I sometimes wonder. But he has sworn to me, in front of our counselor and in front of his parents it was not physical. We are 18 months out from Dday, and I think really it is just my fear that he will do it again. But...like you say here - I am starting to really realize that all this checking, all this assuming the worst, all this thinking we will end up divorced is keeping me in the negative place and focused on the past and the lies instead of the here and now. The present. I really hope that if I can get some clarity from not checking constantly or worrying constantly and just focus on me, on our marriage and our family (we have 3 boys), that I can get to a place to be more happy and content...and not fear the future.

      I have seen the worst in this life. Our first pregnancy was twins and we lost them at 22 weeks. We buried them. And right there - that grief, that raw, unimaginable grief is when we started not connecting emotionally. That was almost 14 years ago. So we have a long time where we were living together but not really connecting. I can understand why he was vulnerable. But it's all the times I asked him about it, told him I was hurting, begged him to see me - really SEE ME - that hurt the most. I don't want to feel that again. But...I have seen the worst in the loss of my children. I fought and beat breast cancer 3 years ago with no emotional support from him and now I am working as hard as I can to heal from this. I can do it. I am a survivor. I just have to believe it.

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    2. Jules I take my hat of to you, a true survivor you are!!! You have fought so much pain so much hurt on your own, the cancer and the loss of your twins is more than anyone should have to deal with in a life time let alone betrayal. I'm not sure if you had counselling for your losses but please get some individual counselling for yourself you have heaps to wade through and I think individual counselling will benefit you greatly, the joint counselling will hopefully help you and your h work through issues and look at ways of moving forward . Jules unless you have any evidence to suggest it was a physical affair you can only go with what your h has told you. If you feel like there are more stones to be turned then have a session where you can ask questions that are causing you so much anxiety, it might help to relieve some of that pain.

      You asked where my h met his ow, they met at a wedding ( I wasn't there) she gave my h her number and the rest is history. After d day 1 I believe there was no contact for some 3 years I could tell because my h was very present in our marriage. I could tell the minute things changed I remember the day, and I knew he was back in contact and low and behold he was. Sad but true and he was caught out once more. Following the 2nd d day he was asked to leave, he found somewhere to live and we lived separately for about 6 months it gave me time to get myself together, get some counselling, work on me basically oh yeah and visit the ow I've posted that event somewhere on here you'll have to read it. I didn't blame myself the second time around, I didn't want any counselling with him and I didn't care whether he wanted me back I was completely selfish. We're on better terms now he stays over on the couch most nights he still has his own place, so if I'm feeling overwhelmed I'll ask him to go. My youngest is 4 and he was a big part of why I gave him another chance he basically adores his dad. I have no evidence to suggest he's in contact with her I rarely think about her or them together I met her face to face and that gave me everything I needed to know. It was everything that Elle explains on here just dirty sex she was nobody, just easy and available. I don't know what the future holds I don't think past today I keep myself busy with my 2 boys a part time job and lots of good friends and family. I put myself and kids first now and always will.. hope that has helped Jules.. it's a long road it's taken me 4 years to get here to be okay but it's taken some serious self care on my part.. thinking of you xxx

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  5. My husband and I are separated and ultimately will be getting divorced at some point. He cheated on me twice (that I know about). We've gone through lots of counseling and I now know this was all the affects of his sexual addiction and upbringing. We've been making great strides in counseling and while the marriage will be ending at some point, our friendship may be able to remain. It's been a little over a year since I found out about the second woman. I've moved into my own apartment and was finally starting to feel a little bit of "me" coming back amidst all the fear and uncertainty that is to be my future without my husband. We were making progress on being friends and moving into a new type of relationship. And then I found out something that threw me for such a loop I couldn't believe it. He was over my apartment helping me move something and his phone lights up. I look down at it - and staring back at me on the screen is the name of the woman he first cheated on me with. I was literally shocked and felt like I was instantly falling into the black hole of disbelief. I could not believe that she was in his life in ANY way. The emotions that ran through my head and heart in that moment were like that moment when you find out your spouse has been cheating on you. Of course he tells me they are just "friends" and that nothing is going on and he's told this woman that his priority is helping me through all this. Unfortunately after all this, I can't even believe him. He told me they were friends for months before finding out about their affair so that line doesn't really work on me anymore. To say I was angry, hurt and disappointed is an understatement. Even though I know we are not going to be together in the end, there is still no getting around the pain of feeling like your husband, or whatever you want to call him now is keeping things from you - even if nothing truly is going on. Because knowing she was in the picture without my knowledge is him, once again, not being honest and truthful. Seeing her name again brought up EVERYTHING. It made me sick. He told me that after he left he immediately reiterated to her that they cannot be friends in any way and that his priority is my healing. And I'm like, my healing?!?! Didn't you think about any of that before welcoming her back into your life?? I have not talked to him since Thursday night when all this happened. We aren't divorced yet so if anything IS going on, he's technically cheating. Of course I would want to believe him that nothing is going on but after all this time my intuition doesn't trust any of it. Sad really - on so many levels.

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    1. I could have written your story. More than 4 years from
      D-Day, marriage counseling, individual therapy reconciliation and I was finally happy again. Last year I hacked his facebook and found lots of flirtation and inapproriate correspondance. We have been apart but living together and I can tell he has a new girlfriend, which he denies. I have had enough finally. Looking for my own house in a ridiculous market. Currently we are polite roommates and he is still lying. I feel good that I did everything I could and gave him every opportunity but it still HURTS!

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    2. Pink Shoes - you really have to put it into perspective that it's an illness and an addiction. He is reaching out to others because of Hurt that he cannot explain. More than likely it's things he hasn't figured out about himself. Hurt people Hurt people. That is so a line I can understand. Hurt people also hurt very good people. He's in a bad spot. Yes, you tried and gave him opportunity. For whatever reason he didn't want to get to the bottom of that alone in order to fix the two of you. It's on him. It hurts HUGE. Hugs to you today.

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    3. Photo Girl, I know exactly how that "phone lights up scenario goes" The ping in your heart and oh the anxiety, etc. It's awful. You feel like your heart is getting ripped out of your torso. You've never known pain like this and whether you are in a mindset divorced, like you said, it's still not final. It's additional heartache that you did not need. He will long for the day of you and he talking once he gets through being on this temporary high.

      Hugs to you today! Do something special for yourself this weekend and remember we are here for you on good days, sad days and all the in between day. Life goes sideways and then it gets set in a direction that you will find soon. :)

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  6. I don't understand how he could torture me with all the gaslighting. It really was torture being told I was craxy, imagining things, losing my mind. I knew something was going on, just could never prove it. After a brutal argument about 2.5 months before Dday, I sent her a text telling her to stay away, keep her kids out of my yard, or I would expose her. He sent her an email that I didn't know anything and he would never put her in harms way. WTF!!?? What about me being put in harms way? Actually the question should just be, what about me.

    This past weekend I asked him why he put me through that hell. He said I don't know, let's have a good weekend and talk about something else.

    I wish he would see a therapist. I did, I went on medication and feel like I've done the hard work. My Dad died earlier this year and he wouldn't even attend the memorial service with me because he was afraid my sisters or best friend would say something. How sad is that. I guess I'm getting past some anger and see him as weak and quite pathetic.

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    1. BeagleMom,
      You see him as weak and pathetic because he's acting weak and pathetic. Not attending your dad's memorial? Not talking with you because he doesn't want to "ruin the weekend"? Puh-leeze.
      He might no longer be cheating but it seems he hasn't learned a bloody thing about why he cheated. He's still telling you, in many ways, that his needs matter more than your needs. And that's not healthy or sustainable.
      The question is "what about me?" And it's a crucial question. He continues to expect you to deal with his cheating in a way that doesn't make him uncomfortable or put him in a situation he doesn't want to be in. BeagleMom, it's time for you to start fighting for yourself, to start treating yourself with respect. What do YOU want? If you want him in therapy in order to rebuild a healthy marriage, then insist on it as part of you staying with him. If you want him at an event, even if it makes him uncomfortable, then insist on it. This isn't about making HIS life easy (he made this choice, remember, not you), it's about him being willing to do the hard work of helping you heal from his betrayal. If he's not willing to do that, then he's showing you what the rest of your life will look like.

      Delete
  7. I am stunned to read both Sam A's and Photo Girl's posts here. My heart just broke in reading that in one case, he went back to the same woman after all that healing. And in the other, that first woman is there again. My God. After all this time, two years out for me, she has been a non issue in his mind. For me, I'm consumed still about her. What she's doing. Is she happy. Does her husband make her suffer. Does she even give a shit about what she's done. For him, he says it was over the day her husband exposed it.
    We live in the same town. She is PTHo president. I can't escape bumping into her from time to time. I think about what I would do if it happened again with her. Or if we decided to split and she popped up on his phone. Holy shit. I'm so sorry for you both. For that pain still being there. I'm just stunned. I feel like the only answer is to protect yourself as much as possible. We can rely on no one. And that's awful.

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  8. Your timing is perfect as always, thank you.

    There are days when I look at him and ask this very question. I am 7 months out from D-Day #1 and 4 months from D-Day #2 (via suicide letter) and until recently asked questions on specific details on what he was doing, with whom and why.

    These questions lead to so much anger (towards himself), that I now have broken closets from his rage. I don't feel I am in any sort of physical danger, but it scares me emotionally. This is coming from a man that never raised his voice or showed anger before d-day(s) during our entire 7 year relationship.

    He will not answer any more "detail" questions. There have been so many women (the acting out started long before me and was happening during our entire relationship) so I don't believe I will ever know the entire story. I do know he is still lying about some of the details because I read his Patrick Carnes workbook (he does not know I read it). The details he is lying about are bad, but why lie about some of the bad details but tell the truth about other bad details?

    Is he doing all of the right things today if he is still lying about some of these details? The admission of these details will not take away what he has done and will not take away my hurt....so do I let it go in the spirit of moving on? I think he is telling himself that one of the 12 steps of "unless it causes someone harm" applies in the lying of these details. And maybe it does, I don't know.

    He is not acting out today, and I will never understand why he acted out in the past - that is what I am trying to remember today. I just don't know how long it takes for the innocent partner to stop trying to figure out all of these details.

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    1. Try me
      It takes as long as it takes and that's different for each one of us! Mostly I no longer ask how he could do this to me/us, I wonder how he could do that to himself! When I learned that he took her on a business trip 'to shut her up from telling me' eyes rolling, I asked him how can you have sex with someone you claim not to love? His answer...it was just sex...eyes rolling, he said no different from watching porn and jacking off! Omg! Men.....

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  9. Try me your absolutely spot on when you say we 'can rely on no one'.. xx

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  10. Other than how could you do this to me? I'm asking how could you do this to me for so long?.
    The affair lasted 3.5 years. I don't know how to handle that part of all the information that came my way.
    3.5 years. Why that long?. He swears he didn't enjoy it. That he got dragged a long and just let it go on.

    Too tired to talk more about this
    Thanks to Elle and thanks to all for giving me somewhere to talk.
    Btw. I always pride myself on keeping a very clean mouth. Well that changed. The words I have used to describe the ow..... I didn't know I had that in me.

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    1. Tell me about it ... 10 years occasionally meeting now and again ... with 4 years more constant and 1 year a complete shit show make my head spin scenario where the more he claims he wanted out the deeper he fell in trying to keep it from me ... So he says. She was available and willing and then Bat shit crazy ... it became too much his double life and he came home and told me.

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    2. Emma and Wounded
      I'm there with you! My h was sick of the affair, sick of the cow and still took her on the business trip and fucked her one last time.... yep this shit gave me a potty mouth too! I'm a work in progress!

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    3. Emma,
      Welcome to the potty mouth club. I can't say I prided myself on a clean moutth, since I work in an environment where profanity is pretty common. But once the full truth of the affair was out, I said words I never believed I could. I only used fuck to describe what my husband did with the OW because that's what it was. Calling it sex would be like dignifying it. And the things I said about the OW... words I never believed would come out of my mouth. But I suppose if the shoe fits... I've lightened up a bit over two years.
      Trying to make sense of my husband's actions exhausted me. There are things that still don't make sense and I'm accepting that they never will. He wasn't ok or healthy so expecting his reactions to what was happening to be either normal or healthy was making it worse. My husband is one who was partially discovered (He lied and said it was an emotional affair.), cut off contact, but then resumed the affair a few month later when the OW contacted him, despite me having caught him responding. Her actions weren't healthy or normal either as I contacted her that night to ask her to respect my marriage. While you would think being a married woman herself she would have taken this as an opportunity to run, she went back to fucking him within a week. All this time, we were supposed to be working on our marriage. We were going separately to a therapist and he was continuing to lie. It was a complete shit show. He was a wreck. I say that not to elicit sympathy for him, but because it's true. He was caught up in a really awful situation of his own doing. He knew he was hurting me in those last few months but he had no one to turn to but her because no one knew. And she used it as a great opportunity to manipulate him. Messed up people doing messed up things.
      The affair and everything surrounding my discovery of it sucks. But the healing that's taken place over the past two plus years has surprised me. My husband had acknowledged and worked on things I never anticipated. The same guy who yelled, "I don't need a therapist to help me fix my marriage!" during the affair is now the first to suggest we go talk to our therapist if we hit a rough patch. He says he wishes anyone even considering an affair could get a glimpse of the pain it causes because if they did there's no way they would do it. As for me, I also see areas where I'm much better. There's still pain from time to time but it's no longer that sharp, "I can't breathe" kind of pain. The sadness lingers a bit from knowing our marriage can't ever be what I thought it was, but there's also a recognition that it's real and honest.
      Keep coming back. Talk when you feel like it or read if that's all you feel like doing. We're here for you.

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    4. I too was shocked by some of the words and combinations of words that came out of my mouth. It became the norm after DDay. In fact, I have a profanity laced knick name for that whore, This must be part of the healing process.

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  11. This post is amazing. I could have literally written every single word myself as this is exactly what I have been experiencing since finding out the whole truth about my spouse. "How could he do this to me?" This question tortures me every day. I want to understand so badly, because somehow I have the idea that if and when I will be able to understand his betrayal, I will feel better. But I don't think I will ever be able to understand. Besides, I can't help thinking that for him to be able to do this to me, then he must not truly love me, that he's lying to me right now about how he feels about me, and that it's just a matter of time until he betrays me again... It's so sad to live like this...Thank you for making me feel not so isolated in my emotional pain... Hugs!

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  12. Lol

    I use the dirtiest, nastiest words now. It has changed me completely. I call her a whore, to her face when I see her. It spews from me! I call her a cunt and a whore when we talk about it, but we don't anymore. All that does is make me angry all over again. We don't discuss it.
    Another thing. Someone here said "he can no longer hurt me. He already did." Yes! That's how I feel! I don't even think about him cheating again. Perhaps it is because I've come to become very reliant on myself and put effort into my self care. I wasn't a jealous wife before. I didn't nag. Nothing like that. We were disconnected. I get that. I was unhappy too. But I didn't fuck my next door neighbor and friend for weeks, while we all hung out as friends. Ridiculous. I never saw it coming.

    So the damage is done. All we can do is move forward. Blah blah. Tough very true. We betrayed are lefty with the wreckage though. We have to deal with what it has done to us. It's very hard. I'm grateful for this site and all the ladies here.

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  13. Ladies - not sure where to post this so adding it here. Just need some support. I struggle with the constant worry that my husband is still lying, and a big part of it is that he still works with the OW. I try so hard to fight letting the past take me under, as my other comments on this post indicate. And I know that it would be better for all if they did not work together, but I am also aware that we made this decision twice, even with a counselor helping, together. (It's a long story). But - I struggle as well with my own lies. Like today - on my lunch hour I drove down to see if they were parked together. After some construction on their building last year, parking was different. All last year they didn't seem to part together - even on opposite sides of the building. My husband told me that due to new changes this year he was going to move where he parked. It is the side she parked on last year. It was this morning before he left, our kids were still here and we were chatting, but he said something like "it's mostly just other aids parking there" and I didn't question it. But I wondered if she was parking there. So I went a little crazy and drove down today and see that they are parked right next to each other. It makes me crazy, but I have no idea how it happened. I mean he went a little early today so he could have been first, then she parked next to him and he has no idea. But it made me sick to my stomach. They never used to park right next to each other (before dday) but close enough they would walk out together most days. So it flashed me back to that.

    here is where I struggle - I am trying to balance building trust with him by not interrogating him all the time. I mean, if I tell him I drove down just to see where they parked he would think I was crazy. But yet that is my right. He still has daily contact with her - so I am allowed to wonder, to ask, to question. How do you handle it when you want to "accuse" without accusing? I mean - I feel like just asking if he got his spot on the north side and then asking if other teachers, like the OW, are parking there and see what he says. If he mentions it, great. If not - my decision is what to tell now or if I want to wait and see other stuff later.

    But then I go back to all the wonderful advice so many have given here - there is not one thing I can do that will prevent him from starting things up (or never stopping) wit her if that is what he is doing. And between us at home - it is better. Like I said he is doing a lot of things right and working to heal this.

    Sorry ladies - I'm having a down moment and just needed to vent and share and get advice...aside from the obvious of they still working together. That is my reality right now and I"m trying to make the best of it and not shoot myself in the foot because I am so scared to just trust.

    Hope that makes sense and you all don't think I am crazy.

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    1. Jules
      I don't think you're crazy by any means because I know I couldn't handle my h being in a job that included daily contact with his x ow! Talk about being crazy yes I would be crazy! I know how hard this is! Somehow you need to let your h know you saw their cars parked beside each other. They could be assigned spaces but if they are that could be changed. I'm not sure how your h is working on rebuilding the relationship with you, but he needs to be doing everything he can to help you with your anxiety! Which by the way is normal given that they still work together! But until you are able to talk with your h with completely honest feelings and keeping your emotions in control you will continue to have the feeling of being crazy. Truth is your situation is crazy! I'm not sure how hard it would be for him to change schools but I think that would be a solution for most of your anxiety. My h was traveling during most of our first year post dday and that had to change because I couldn't take living alone four days a week with her driving by my house daily. Talk about crazy. Yep I felt crazy! This year he has still had to travel but most of the time it has only been over night and this has allowed us to heal together as a couple. I'm fully aware that if he chose to cheat again he could but this experience has been so painful for him/us that I feel certain that he couldn't at least for now. That said, this still isn't a easy road to travel and he and I have to work hard to achieve the relationship that we want. It's a choice we make together each day when we awake and we're trying to stay connected through the day even when he's on a project deadline. It will be up to your h to bring it up that she parked next to him but if he's not comfortable telling you, I still think you should let him know that you know! Hugs! I hope my rambling thoughts help!

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    2. Jules, I agree with Theresa. I think it's really important that you voice your concerns with your husband and problem-solve together. I think most (all?) of us would freak out if our husband's parked right beside the OW. I think contact between them should be minimized as much as possible and you two need to be able to talk about how to manage that. If there is unexpected contact -- ie. he discovers she's parked beside him, then he needs to immediately let you know. The point of this is to put you two on the same team. Allied in your focus to heal your marriage. At the risk of sounding dramatic, she's the enemy.
      It won't always be like this. You will get to a point where trust has been rebuilt to a state where you will feel more relaxed. But you're not there. And it will take a while to get there. But it's built through moments like these, when you two are honest with each other and able to support each other, as allies.

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    3. I agree with the others I do not think you are crazy at all. That is one thing I have learned in all of this is to speak up. Once I start holding things in it drags me down in so many ways. I tend to have increased anxiety and I spiral downward. For me I have to speak up. If he thinks I am crazy that is on him. And I have found that triggers or anything else I struggle with at least I am relieved after I bring it up. Sometimes it does cause him extra anxiety and stress since he caused all of this ultimately. But those were his choices.

      I agree with Elle too that if you agreed to him still working with the OW that is even more reason to be able to talk about it. And even if you set initial boundaries then maybe they need to be revisited. I have said to my husband that it would be smart for him to tell me anything that might be considered questionable at all. We have had specific discussions about what would be things to bring up and he has been good about it. I have told him I will not get upset if he is honest vs hiding things from me. I do believe the affairs were hurtful but the worst part was he lied to me and hid things. I don't deserve to be treated like that and none of us do.

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    4. Jules, About 3 weeks after my dday I was concerned about the ongoing affair. I found out pretty much on my birthday (dday wknd) and the week prior to my bday he was all giddy and he booked a trip for his buddies 50th birthday. After dday I had an aha moment that maybe just maybe it was not only a bday trip but an additional bonus of the OW. It drove me nuts in my head and I confronted him about it. After going through all the gaslighting prior to dday and the fact that I had NO CLUE what that was or that it was happening, when this conversation occurred it just seemed to be a blurr. He was set to go see his buddy and we got in an argument the day prior. I said, "I feel like this is a trip to see her." His response was, "no, it's not a trip like that." Now I think back and think, WTF, stop, drop and roll, what......? Not a trip like that?? Who says that? Oh, it's not a trip like an AFFAIR trip? I made it through the next few days and then I was like....whatever! If he thinks he needs to do this, then so be it! His choice again. You make mistakes and learn from them. IF you make a mistake TWICE, it's a choice. At this point in the game, he needs to know your feelings and he also needs to know that you have a choice to be honored, loved, and cherished by someone. That someone can be another.

      You can drive yourself crazy thinking...what IF. Thing is, you need to get it off your chest to him. You are so worth it OR he would have left. You are worth it and IF he chooses to do this to you again then it's a poor choice and it has nothing to do with you. It's on him. Work on yourself, be selfish about caring for you and suddenly he will wonder what all he's missing out on. Once I got my self esteem back and knew that I could live without this mess I was better off and boy did my H notice. Be true to your feelings and let him know the hurt everyday as he leaves to work with her. He cannot know this pain. Tell him that until the day he's not working with her and in the same parking lot you will wonder. It's his job to make you feel safe and if he has to park a mile away and walk a mile into his building for your safety, I hope to God, he chooses to walk the damn mile and think of you every step of the way. He should not park near, be near or walk in the path of the OW because ultimately his choice is YOU.
      xo

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    5. Jules. These wonderful women have offered up the best advice possible. You are not crazy. Your life was turned upside down by your husbands lies and betrayal. That in it's self is enough to make you feel crazy, but then add anxiety, a grief so profound you don't think you'll ever get through it, him working with the OW, everything else and there are months, years, that you feel crazy cause it is crazy. You are trying to make sense of it all so you ask questions. Everything you've believed and were socially conditioned to believe has been crushed, including yourself and your sense of self. I felt bad for months every time I questioned him about the affair, cause he would act all butt hurt and indifferent, and then one day I stopped apologizing cause I remembered he created this madness and I didn't care if he felt uncomfortable. I found my voice and I learned to love hearing it. I still don't give a rats ass if he is uncomfortable. You need to just think about you and your level of comfort. This is part of the shit storm he created and he needs to deal with it so you can heal. Elle wrote and incredible post about the men dealing with it and here's the link....

      http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com/2014/04/my-letter-to-husbands-just-talk-about.html

      Read it and if you think it will do your husband any good, have him read it. I know my H has this bookmarked in his kindle, along with other posts. Educating myself about what is happening to me has been a life saver. This blog is a life line. We are all here for you Jules. Sending comforting hugs and love to you

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  14. Jules, please stop torturing yourself like this. Make a conscious effort to stop yourself when you go down that road of what if!!!! Flick a band on your wrist, go for a walk, have a cup of tea, ring a friend, read a book, come here And post do whatever you need to but STOP yourself. All that wasted energy your using could be spent on you, take up a new hobby I've just signed up to a casting agency for extra work on tv programmes, commercials etc I'm flipping chuffed with myself I've got some work through next week the h wasn't too keen but who gives a shit about him, it's all about my needs not his.. seriously jules pay some attention to your needs and look after them. You'll be so damn busy concentrating on you there will be no time left for snooping on your h.

    You could also speak to your h about how your feeling, it's not crazy at all it's fear that's been instilled by him. If he's good at listening and comforting than great if he isn't it might just make you feel worse.

    Jules start believing in yourself, this wasn't about you, this isn't about you, you can let his betrayal take you down or you can call time on his bullshit issues and concentrate on yourself.. come back fighting harder and stronger .. just imagine we are standing shoulder by shoulder .. we got your back Jules xxxx

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    1. Sam A - I know I already posted a "thanks" to all of you but I read and re-read your post above a few times just today. I remember reading it the first time and just hearing you say "stop torturing yourself" and I just keep saying YES YES YES! I feel like I have tortured myself for years...by my own thoughts mostly, but also by snooping, being secretive myself and being fearful to confront (all before dday). Now I am forced to keep memories - things I shouldn't have heard roll around in my head - and I'm just tired. It's all in the past, it's been done - his choices my choices - and it can't be changed. I have GOT to focus on the here and now. Just in the last few days, after talking over things with my husband, and then the great support from all you ladies here - I've felt much more clear. Are the thoughts gone? Hell no. This will be a long road. But I have done much better at some meditation time, some affirmation time, and thought stopping. The negatives pop up, especially around what he might talk to her about at work still - but if I focus on what he tells me and it feels like it is the truth, that he is trying and being honest....it is progress. Just because something happened in the past doesn't mean it's happening now. I have to not be an idiot or naive, but I can't keep torturing myself. You are so right! Thank you!

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  15. For those who have done it, how do you get past the "How could he do this to me? Why wasn't I important enough to matter? How can he say he's always loved me if he had multiple affairs? How do I believe him?"

    I found out 14 months ago that my husband was having 3 affairs at the same time. 2 of them he had sex with and 1 was just emails back and forth. I also found out that these affairs were going on for at least 3 years. All 3 women live in another country. He went twice in the past 3 years over there "to take care of his mom". Which I'm sure he did but obviously that wasn't the only thing he was doing. 14 months ago I found the secret email account he used with them everyday and that's how I found out.

    So it's been a little over a year. My family got involved and so did his family. He was humiliated. I saw him cry, sob really, for the first time in our relationship and it made me feel like he deserved a chance to change and fix his mistakes.

    But every. single. day. since then I think "Did I make a mistake? Society says I'm weak for giving him another chance. People say only insecure girls would keep a cheating husband. Does that make me weak then? But it takes so much strength everyday NOT to divorce him. It takes so much strength to try to forgive him. Should I have been harder on him? Should I have kicked him out for a while? Does he see me as his partner? Or is he doing the same BS behind my back?" These thoughts consume me. I don't feel like the same me anymore. I feel crazy! I also find myself comparing how he talks to me to how he talked to them in the emails. He was so affectionate with them and talked about wanting to have sex with them. Why isn't he like that with me then? He has done so much since D Day to show that he loves me. He's also answered every single question I had no matter how many times I asked the same things. And he was supportive, comforting, and remorseful. I don't want to keep making him feel bad by going over the same things over and over. It really messes with him when I talk about how damaged I am. He has told me how much it hurts him to see how much he hurt me but he will still listen to anything I want to say. But how many times can I tell him the same things?

    My 2nd question is did your husbands show more interest in you sexually after D Day? My H did in the beginning and now, a year later, it has fizzled down on his part. His mom passed away last month. When I asked him about why we don't have sex he said it's because he's sad. But that little devil voice in my head tells me "Are you sure that's the truth? What if he's just cheating again and lying to you. You don't really know. So here are a million reasons why you should doubt him and fell less confident about yourself"

    How do you get past that? I wish I could go to therapy but I can't afford it right now. How do I kill those detrimental thoughts that seem to rule my life?

    -Bella

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    1. Bella. I'm so sorry you are here but I hope we can help you through this hellish time. First off, His choice to cheat was his choice. It's not about you. Please believe me when I say that. No matter how bad things were between you two, him stepping out was the wrong thing to do. This is not about you. I so relate to your feelings of comparison to how he spoke to her verses how he speaks to you. I've had that conversation with my H and am fully aware that our relationship was stale to a certain extent. We've been together 24 years and that happens if you don't work at it but it's a combined effort. He has told me that chatting with her was new, fresh, and taboo. Add a stale relationship that he convinced himself was over, midlife and he was intoxicated with this new woman that offered him an effortless release. He admits that he has put virtually no effort in our relationship regarding keeping things zesty.

      You are a very strong woman to choose to stay and deal with this shit. Never doubt that. This isn't a walk in the park, ya know. And don't dismiss in the strength you have to stay.

      As far as sex, Elle wrote a post where she refers to it as hysterical bonding. It's like you're making up for lost time or something...at least it was like that here, and then it seems to fizzle out. I don't remember the exact reasons why that happens but it happens. Your H losing his mom could be part of the reason why he has slowed down. You've both been/are going through the ringer with the betrayal and the death of his mom could have knocked the stuffing out of him. I know the voice of suspicion is a chatty bitch and we all default to 'what if" thinking. It's all part of the shit storm. My suspicion is not at an "all consuming everyday level" but still present in my life. I'm 10 months out from D-Day 1 and 9 months out from D-Day 2. It takes time to restore any amount of trust. My H dragged his feet for 7.5 months before he realized that I will never "get over" this but rather get through it/learn to live with it, and he's been fully present for 6 weeks. I have very little trust/respect for the choice and steps he took, although I do admire/respect him for finally taking the steps to heal himself and deal the weight that he's carried around literally all his life. I don't take his choice personal any longer. It does me no good. I take responsibility for my shit, am learning and living in integrity. I never did anything to push him to take the steps he did and nether did you. Please believe in that.

      Educate yourself about what is happening. Read all that you can. It's helped me so much to read about, and understand, why he chose to cheat instead of talking about our issues. He has recently shared how horrible he feels that he has followed his bio dads steps by cheating, his step dads propensity for lying and how he blamed and punished me for everything. I knew I had damaged goods when I hooked up with the guy, but 23 years later I'm finding out some very heavy and dark shit about him. Spend time reflecting without blame if you can. Be kind with yourself. Be selfish and take care of you. Worship your badass self for choosing to stay and work on you and your relationship and know that you will get through this. I promise. Sending comforting hugs and love to you.

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    2. Bella, These are three questions that are the hardest to answer. I'm not sure I really understood but I finally got enough information over 2 years. I can only answer from my experience which I hope helps you. If you can't afford therapy then give your H a book called, "How to help your spouse heal from your affair." 1. How could he do this to me? 2. Why wasn't I important enough to matter? Adulteress are selfish. My H justified the affair in his mind by - I didn't care about him anymore, I didn't appreciate him, he resented decisions we made about family matters and that resentment turned into a hate of sorts. He admits he twisted things in his mind that removed him from the love of his children even. He admits - he was an asshole and HE pushed everyone away. You can't do a terrible thing to someone without justifying that is ok, you deserve it. He wanted to escape. He felt old, irrelevant and nobody cared. Basically he made it easy for him to betray me. He did it to me because, he wanted to do it. He didn't care about me at the time. If you convince yourself that nobody cares about you anyway it makes it easier to do whatever you want. It justifies the act. Ask your H how did he justify the affairs? 3. How can he say he's always loved me if he had multiple affairs? How do I believe him?" This is a hard one because a serial cheater which from what I read is a damaged person in someway with specific needs that you can't heal. Maybe some of the other ladies can answer better. As far as how do I believe him, that is easy I'm 3 years out and I don't. He doesn't get that part of me anymore.

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  16. I don't even know where to begin. I don't know if I consider this past Wednesday Dday or July 3rd, when he told me he didn't love me anymore. The OW and h have known each other since September, phone/text conversations didn't start until June. In July alone there is 33 pages of the their numbers sending text back and forth. He swears there was nothing physical. I don't know what to believe.....this is mumber 2. Just over 6 years ago he had a confirmed physical affair and subsequent pregnancy scare. I am an absolute mess, a friend gave me this site, I have just been reading and absorbing the stories and advice. Last night his world started caving in, his problems (which at least he is starting to realize are bigger than his thought his feeling have suddenly changed for me) and has an appointment with a therapist on Monday. I am calling today to get my appointment. Because of his job his is pretty much required to keep it up. I am thankful because if he had been willing to do this years ago we not be back here. I have turned into a crazy person I don't recognize. The term gaslighting I thought was for "other" people...I now realize this applies to me and I am devastated that I allowed this to go on...OW just filed for an annulment this past Tuesday, think she really thought H would file too. I found her and her now second ex, he helped me confirm some things. I wrote messages to her and a mutual friend, I exposed her for what she really is. I am in the beginning and I am so scared. He came home last night even after I had sent him a text saying he wasn't welcome home. Whatever your belief system I believe God had a hand in him not getting that message. We talked and made some boundaries. I am perfectly ok with him sleeping beside me but I am so broken and I pray for the day he begins to realize what he has done. Thanks for listening.

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    1. Hi Anonymous Aug 12, I have so much compassion for what you are going through. I too have had more than one Dday. The #1 thing is to put yourself and your needs first. I am happy to hear you both have counseling apts. That is a hopeful step. And you have already made boundaries. It took me longer than a few days to do that so give yourself a lot of credit for that. You probably have already read this advice: H never has contact with the cow again. H gives you full access to all his devices & passwords. H goes to as much counseling as you need for tow reasons: a) to figure out what is wrong with him so he never does it again and b) to help you heal (as long as it takes). I would recommend you don't contact the cow or her bh any more, there is no benefit to you or your marriage by communicating with the whore. Two pices of info I needed to have for my own piece of mind a) I went to a lawyer to understand my rights and the divorce laws in my state (not because I intended to file but because knowledge is power) and b) to my Gyn to get tested for STD's (and later a short-term prescription for antidepressants). There is lots of good info on this blog. You will find the BW on here are compassionate and non-judgmental. No one will tell you what to do (unlike some sites that say you must kick him to the curb or others that say forgive faster than you are ready to). We will all hold you (and each other) up and remind you that you are worthy, you did nothing wrong, this mess is all on CH and to make your own health (and the health of your children if you have kids) your first priority. If you want to give your self a nickname to post again just click on Reply as: Select profile... Name/URL (choose a name and leave the URL blank).

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  17. Ladies....Elle, Sam A, Olive Mee, Anonymous, Hopeful 30, Theresa...and all of you - THANK YOU! I so appreciate your support last week. My husband and I had a few rough days...talking, dealing, stressing, pulling away, coming back together. I was gone overnight Friday for a family event and he stayed home and it was probably good to have just a little space. Bottom line - he is learning how painful it is for me that they still work together. But beyond that - he is really starting to see how deeply he hurt me. These past few days were the first time that he just seemed sad. And he voiced that sadness twice...once saying he just felt so sad that I was in so much pain. Then after I got home Saturday and we talked again - it came out as in he is just so sad knowing that he is the reason for all this pain. He has never voiced it in that way. I go back to our counselor Friday for some more help. I have fears that I can't control (what I don't know about the past - fear it was physical or he still told lies even after dday; as well as fear he is still in the emotional affair and/or lying or will do it again), and my fear I can control - my fear that i will sabotage our marriage because I refuse to move forward from the past. I have told him before how I wanted to let go of the past...but I didn't really feel it until now. This weekend I was sad over a few things, and really just tired....exhausted....with all of this. I'm not giving up, but I finally am starting to believe that focusing on ME - what I want, what I need, my healing - is where I need to go. Hoping the rest will follow.

    My husband also talked about how after watching a show recently about a father having depression after the births of his children - when we were watching it, I wondered if he was making any connections but didn't ask - just let him watch. Well, after we talked Saturday he said that ever since we lost our twins he feels there has been a mild depression around him. Not something he feels all the time, but something that has held him back and led to his choices. I added the led to his choices part - I think he is struggling with admitting the why he had the affair, but I don't think it's for lack of trying. I think he is working hard to heal ME, US but also himself.

    I think he is seeing that I hurt every day he goes to work. I stress, I worry, I hurt. I don't thin he realized how much, but I think he is starting to get it as best he can. I think I have been trying to control so much so I won't have any more pain and that just will not work. He has been coming home on egg shells wondering how I will be or how he should act...that is no way for either one of us to live.

    Thanks for the continued support. I know it is a roller coaster battle that is far from over, but I finally feel like maybe as painful as the past few days have been, it was some progress towards more healing.

    Hugs.

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    1. It sounds like you both made some great progress. You seem on track and in a great place really learning to focus on you. It will continue to help you. And for my husband I think he did focus so much on taking care of me that he did not even deal with himself. Even at 2 1/2 years out he hates to talk about it all. We are in a different place now but at times issues arise and I will not be quiet or keep my feelings in. But he has verbalized how it scares him still. He says he knows he is doing the right thing 100% of the time but he has such great fears over me and our marriage. It is interesting since it feels as if the tables have turned. In the beginning I felt like he had control due to his decisions but I have learned I have the control over me and if I stay. I have said it before but I thought when I learned about the affairs that he was happy why else would he do that but in the end he was miserable. He still says it was his biggest regret and has to live with it every day. I am glad he sees it this way and takes it that seriously. I do not hold it over his head but it is important for me to hear the impact it has had on him. For me that is critical in him making the decision to not do this again.

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    2. Jules sounds like big steps forward!!! Well done to you and your h : ) xx

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  18. Christine, I am feeling exactly like you. How do I know he truly feels about me like he says he does, no matter what he says I'll never trust that it won't happen again. I worry everyday. 7 months from my dday. He told the ow so much stuff that he swears was all bullshit, so how do I know he's not doing the same to me. I hate this constant worry.

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  19. Okay ladies, please explain this one to me. I found out 12/31/16 that my H had a physical & very emotional affair for 10 months. To give you a little background, my H told me early on in our relationship that sex was just not that important to him. I had been married before to someone that wouldn't keep his hands off of me, and had been engaged so was pretty aware how men were, but my current H was different. He came from a dysfunctional family as far as I'm concerned. He kept putting if telling his mother we were getting married, so I told her as we were on our way for a shopping trip. He had to pull over & take a Valium. She was living with a married man & had been at that time for at least 10 years, yet she wanted to be the only woman in my h's life obviously. She was very beautiful and her man was 20 years older than she. Anyway my H was never very affectionate by any means. I got "I love you dear " on a regular basis, always kissed me bye even if he was going to the store, his compliments consisted of " you look nice dear". We will be celebrating our 30th Anniversary in 2 weeks. This man never flirted, never mad comments about other women, the last person I ever thought would cheat. His friends were as shocked. Back in November he told me he wanted a divorce and hadn't loved me in 3 years( which was the length of time we had zero sex.)Probably for 5 years prior to that we had sex on our Anniversary only. 2014 I had rented a very romantic condo on the lake, beautiful place. Had a meal catered in and he basically turned his back on me at bedtime. I felt humiliated. There was no way in hell I was going to instigate sex after that obvious rejection. So that was the end of that. I figured his little bit of sexual interest had run it's course. Well the divorce he wanted was because he was very angry over my $20,000 credit card debt. I thought that was weird because all he ever ask me before was will credit cards be paid before we retire. I'm 61, he is 60 and our retirement age is 67. I said yes, I am paying the 3 year amount. So I was shocked when he mentioned the divorce & asked him if there was someone else, which I knew was ridiculous & he said no & I believed him. I kissed his ass the next couple of months. I cashed in some of my retirement stocks to pay them off. He didn't speak to me during Nov and December. Treated me like shit. Well he didn't file for divorce but made it clear I went behind his back & betrayed him but running up credit card debt. So I had these dreams 3 nights in a row that he had a girlfriend. One night I decided to do some snooping. He always kept his phone in the living room charging. Sure enough under A name of a tire company were words that could have come from a harlequin romance novel to this woman. All I saw was the lady 2 weeks of the year but I was shocked & hurt beyond belief. 2am I got his ass out of bed & of course he denied everything. Just a friend, just talk. Well as the day went on he finally admitted to the affair. A girl he went to school with but never knew, he got aquatinted with over Facebook. Of course he lied about everything and as time went on I found some truths. He had promised her he was leaving his dark and painful situation for her. I never bitched at him, ever. He went golfing when he wanted, fishing when he wanted, unfortunately she lived st the lake, so guess where he was instead of fishing. April I found emails from the year before how he couldn't wait for their dreams to come true if being together. Mushy mushy mushy stuff. He swore he was feeding her full of bullshit the entire time, never planned to leave me, never had any intentions of having a future with her.

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  20. Part 2:continues
    From the beginning of his flirting with her on Facebook how stunning, beautiful & gorgeous she was (she was f'ing ugly) which began in February of last year, turning into texting her several times a day how much he loved her until Dec 30th. He starting going to her house in May & in all that time had sex 4 times, & couldn't get it up another 4 times. She confirmed to me they were not intimate hardly at all. Never exchanged words of love in person, only via text & emails. He immediately dumped her when I found out, telling me he's glad because he was afraid she'd retaliate if he broke it off & had quit going down there the first of November because he was tired of her, but the texting had continued until dday. He is so romantic now & loving, more sex than the entire time we've been married. He has no clue why, what came over him. Regretting telling me he wanted a divorce immediately. I think he needs a shrink. How can anyone do a 180 like that? I have the husband I've always wanted but do not trust that he really loves me, even though his actions sure seems like he does, plus I'm afraid he'll do it again. He said I was a great wife, but he's either lying or he doesn't know what came over me. Is he insane?

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    1. Debaw,
      Wow, sounds like you have been through confusing times. I feel for you! I don't have advice but will be interested to hear what others have to say about your situation. Hang in there.

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