Feeling Stuck Part 16 (15 is full so PLEASE POST HERE)

200 comments:

  1. Fragments of HopeJune 7, 2016 at 4:16 PM

    2.5 years after D-day and (then D-day 2 nine months later)its been a long road. There have been other life trials, the fallout from my m-in-law's stroke and my eldest boy (15) with aspergers has not attended school for 18 months. Tomorrow the state exams start but he wont be able for them. They are not vital but I've had to change my mindset hugely to take a long term view to take the pressure off him and help him to feel better in himself and start to make positive choices. The toll of any one of these alone would be hard enough but like us all, life throws plenty at once. We've had very little help and terrible mental health services for our son. I've begun to heal and considering all it's a miracle (there are three other kids to support and help as well) that I'm beginning to feel a little better and beginning to be able to get back to work creatively (only now am I able to focus a little on my novel writing again, a difficult loss too). But the point of this rambling post is to say that, while I can feel myself coming back up from under water and my husband and I are having more close moments I still find it easier to laugh and be strong when he's not around. I find his mere presence triggers my anxiety (and he's being perfectly normal and nice). I've always been anxious and I guess this trigger feeling will subside over time but it's difficult when its the person you are trying to get closer to. It creates a barrier. Who else has this feeling? Also I know I do care for my husband (although ours was a more gradual, friends first relationship, not fireworks)and often feel very close to him but I see people here saying how much they love their husbands, is it just me, but I find it hard to use that word, there's always a feeling of hesitation (different communication styles for sure is one thing. There's a lot more in our backgrounds that perhaps has contributed to not having that 'wow' feeling (I had it for someone else in the past) and I've always wondered if I had the right feelings (which may have contributed to affair, NOT CAUSED. Yet so much about us together is brilliant. I guess while the kids are here, I try to remain as open to everything as possible, I just don't want to live a lie.

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    1. Fragments of hope
      Yes I did find for me my h was my first trigger! He was traveling for work when his ow blew up my world and when he returned, I feel like looking back, I decided to take him back and work on our marriage. Then the ow spent those 6 months dribbling more of her truths which left me guessing if my h was so being honest or was she saying the truth! Talk about a roller coaster ride! We finally began the process of him telling me about the affair from his perspective and I sort of had to find the middle of her version and his. So he and his phone became a very big trigger even though by then the poor sap was showing me his text as he was reading them to keep me from triggering to the point of melt down which happened frequently in the first year. The hardest part for me is the persistence of this ow. Even with a no contact order in place she reached out to my h when her teenage son died and we sent her a text of condolence. We thought surely that would end her dependence on him. 7 months after the death of her child, she sent a text asking him to meet for drinks and 'no hard feelings'! WTF! He called the attorney and she had to go back to see the judge who read her the riot act according to the attorney and he thinks she finally gets it. For at least one more year she has to leave us alone. So yeah I know just what you mean by your h being in the house raising your anxiety level! We're only 3 months past the last contact so I can get on shaky ground very easily! So telling you how I feel sorta like you, I can't imagine how you feel given the extra stress in your life! I guess for me, my love for my h never left but there were plenty of times that it felt more like I hated him than loved him! The love is more prevalent now but depending upon his actions which have completely changed from before dday, I can still have moments of doubt not in him, but more in myself to stay on the right side of sanity when I trigger or something he does angers me! I'm such a work in progress and this has been the hardest of times since October 22, 2014! Our relationship is far better than before but still a long way from perfect, whose life is perfect anyway? I'm with you! I want a more honest relationship that feels like we are both in it together! We're getting there one day at a time! Hugs!

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    2. Fragments, I also have difficulty saying I love you and feel anxious with him around. I love you sometimes feels phony. I don't feel either infatuation or nourishing types of love right now but I know I love him because I know I'd be gone otherwise. And I know that I very much care about him.

      I feel anxious when he's around because he's a pain in the ass sometimes (he's working on it) but also because I struggle with the sense that I relaxed, trusted him and felt very safe in what I thought was a very honest relationship before and then the shit happened. So I am unconsciously terrified that if I relax, shit will happen. It's not rational but it is. The feeling of safety comes and goes now.

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    3. You had not one but two d-days. Your hesitation is understandable. I'm sure you thought after the first one that might be the last but then nine months later wham. You get hit again. Nine months along is a fair amount of time and healing. Maybe you are hiding the "wow" and not letting it go free because of being hurt and pain again. All of it is understandable. You sound like Elle calls the flatness zone. Just my opinion but don't expect so much out of yourself considering. If you remain flat you won't get hurt. Like my therapist said, "you married a selfish asshole but there are other things about him which are brilliant can you live with that?

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    4. Fragments,
      For one thing, I think our culture has done a number on all of us who think that marriage can sustain that "WOW" feeling. Like you, I married the guy with whom I had developed a deep friendship that turned to love. I'd had the crazy rollercoaster relationship that was a combination of over-the-moon-love and deep-in-the-mud-agony and I realized it was really unhealthy. I think we both because a bit addicted to the highs and lows because it kept life exciting and it distracted us from the fact that we really didn't have much else going for us.
      So...
      Marriage is a constantly evolving relationship. Where do you want to be today? Is your life better with your husband in it, generally speaking? You might fall deeper in love with him as time goes on and the pain of both D-Days lessens. Or you might find, as your kids grow up and don't require so much of your mental energy, that you're life isn't better with your husband in it. We're horrible at predicting our future selves.
      So I guess, all any of us can do is figure out what we want at this moment in time. And then do our best to make this moment in time the best it can be for us and for those we love.
      I'm glad the fog is lifting in terms of all you've been handed this past couple of years. It's enough to knock any of us to the ground. The fact that you've managed so well is a testament to your strength and your own integrity. But I've little doubt that it's also taxed you emotionally. I wouldn't be surprised if there's just very little of you left to give to your marriage right now. Give yourself some time to feel solid ground beneath you. Honour those feelings of anxiety but try and root out what's behind it.

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    5. Fragments
      I can totally relate to that. My husband's presence can be a trigger. Last night as we were sat on the sofa he was on the phone - even showed me what he was looking at, but it didn't stop me thinking about how he probably used to be sat on the sofa next to me messaging the whore and that set me off.
      Like you fragments, I have begun to heal, I share good times with my husband, something I never thought possible a few months ago, but I am also struggling with how I really feel about him. 10 months since d-day and I'm still trying and we are still in couples therapy....so why would I keep showing up, why would I keep trying everyday to re-start our marriage if I didn't still love him.
      I don't know whether it's because we still haven't had sex. I think having sex and him moving back in are such huge things and perhaps I'm keeping him at arm's length over them so I still have my safety barrier. Maybe if I took the leap it might just be ok, but whatever is preventing me from taking it makes me question whether I do love him. I actually don't fear the future, our therapist asked me the other day if I think he'd do it again and in an instant I said no, I believe in him (don't trust him yet tho) because of all the work he has done and is doing to repair the damage he has done and to himself, all the remorse he feels and how much he hates who is was.....but it's the past that is still the problem and making me question how I really feel.

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    6. Coping,
      The sex thing is really really tough. It requires such a vulnerability. I struggled with it too and our therapist really just told us we needed to "dive back in". We were both craving more intimacy, I just couldn't get past the fear that I was somehow unleashing a torrent of pain. She reminded us it would be awkward, like being teenagers again. And that it might suck at first.
      You're still not too far out past D-Day so don't hurry. And maybe examine your feelings a bit more deeply. Imagine what it might be like. Examine how that feels in your body -- anxiety, fear, excitement, dread. But be careful of drawing conclusions at this point.

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    7. Fragments of HopeJune 10, 2016 at 8:32 AM

      Coping, as Elle says, the sex thing does require such vulnerability, even though my husband's affair was emotional (bar hand holding, hugs & dinners, I THINK) he has noticed that there is a rebound effect after the closeness of sex and that I withdraw or become somewhat angry/triggered after it. It's very scary to show such intimacy. But, if like you say, your husband himself is a trigger, anxiety is NOT an aphrodisiac, its a flight response - right in the other direction I find. Usually I find i am in the mood if we've had a productive heart to heart and I truly feel connected. You'll have to see if you can get to that point but it may be early days yet as Elle says and at that early point only the tip of iceberg has been worked through, in my experience. Wishing you the best.

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    8. Queen B, you are a strong amazing woman. Your husband is a fool for not valuing you and the chance you gave him. Maybe this is the wake-up call he finally needs to pull his head out of his ass, maybe you're done for good. Either way, you will make it through this, and we're here for you.

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  2. 20 Fucking months of false reconciliation. Secret meetings, "just talking," lying to my face for 20 months. Everything else seemed so good, doing all the right things, the love, the sex. omg the sex. how am i going to live without that? Lying to the MC, the IC. His pain, his need, his self loathing, he needed to "wean himself," to get his fix like a drug, it's not love, he backslid, I'm too much of a "black and white" thinker. Bullshit card. Minimize card. Poor me card. Blameshifting card. He has a full deck of dysfunction. 20 months of her outside the coffee shop next to our business & me writhing in anguish & ignoring her to reconcile, to be the better woman, to protect our small town reputation/our business/our only source of income, to move on. And she's there to see him...because he kept talking to her. And now I'm filing & my 5 children will be devastated & our wonderful family homeschool business bike shop fantasy is going up in flames. My parents' anguish, his parents' anguish, my sister's family, his brother's family, our friends. all because he wanted his relationship with her--in whatever form--more than he wanted to be honest with me. And more than he wanted to protect me, and love me & the kids. I'm flayed open & bleeding buckets. I'm done keeping his secrets, the whore finally got my 30oz cranberry/coke drink in her face still sitting pretty outside that goddamn coffee shop yesterday. and now i'm going to be cast as the "bitch." cause he "loves me & wants whatever is best for me & the children...." blah blah blah. I am sick. I have wonderful friends. Thanks for letting me vent. You all have made me stronger these past 20 months so now i can do the hard shit before me. Run Baby Run!

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    1. I sincerely hope she was wearing her favorite white shirt when the cranberry/coke hit home!

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    2. I am so very sorry your H doesn't see the beautiful wife and children he's losing. Did the MC and IC call him out? You need to keep you safe no matter what. If that's to run, than go fast sister. If he can't or won't honor the boundaries you've set, then it seems like your bleeding will drain you. No children need to see their Mom drained. You can do this. No matter what your choice is. We're here for you Queen B.

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    3. Queen B, You are the queen! You gave him an incredible gift and he is the fool for not realizing how incredibly lucky he was. I'm sorry for the pain he's creating but I've no doubt that you are going to be just fine. And you're going to show your beautiful children what self-respect and boundaries look like, which will serve them well.
      Your dreams will resurface in another form. Your energy and your light will return.
      In the meantime, there's a chorus of us behind you applauding your strength and your resilience.

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  3. Also, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him. wtf

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    1. Queen b, Firstky let me say i am hurting for you right now. I know exactly what your going through having just discovered the same thing of my h. Vent the anger as much as you can in as many healthy ways as possible... Do whatever you need to get through these next few hours/days/weeks. It's heaetbreaking even more so when they tell you they still luv you, makes it all the more confusing. We're here for you always ... Please keep posting and know we got your back.. Big hugs xxx

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    2. Thanks u all. He sees what he's done & is sick. But not wallowing; just taking it. I feel like I am getting truth. He has called her baby daddy in front of me & called her to stay away & her employer / his business friend (since they had sex on the couches at her work during business hours...2 years ago) He has come clean to anyone I ask to make this right for me. For our kids. He is apologizing to everyone in my family, he has held his parents as they've sobbed. Our poor employee has been a rock! He is taking everthing I'm giving to him & NOT begging me to stay or talking me out of separation / divorce. But saying he will do whatever I want to make me happy, even if it doesn't include him. He will be confessing to our children & our older ones in more detail, our oldest's scoutmasters (so they can help support my 16 year old son) & our pastor (so the kids' youth group leaders can help support if need be) Everyone knows. I have gone nuclear. This shit has got real. I am channeling my inner sameul jackson mother fucker. I want him so bad. I've loved him since I was 14 years old & I've fallen in love again with him these past few months. He has found another place to stay per my request for after we tell the kids & he moves out...a week after the "baby" turns 8 & father's day...Ugh. He says he is determined to make whatever amends he can for me & the kids. He cut off all contact 3 months ago cause it was making him totally sick. Is he a sociopath? Is this real? Am I stupid to think we finally have all the cards on the table & can heal? We see the mc Monday & I will kick my h out 1/2way & talk to the mc alone. I am totally & finally in control & it feels good. And safe. And powerful. Am I crazy to believe he was only talking periodically to her over the past 20 months, with very few private meetings & no intimate contact? She used him for her shoulder to cry on & he used her for the acceptance treat. Never love. But still--the LIES! She has tried to hurt me by actively being in front of the store when he told her it wasbpainful. She has been part of our marriage for 2 years..I should put her in the Christmas photo.. & it makes me sick. He has thrown me & the kids under the bus for 2 years. Not cared enough, not protected me, not stood up for me, not enough. And he is going to take the hits now. He is flaying himself open for our whole small town to see. And I am just watching... And I wish her shirt was white, but I'll take the light blue!

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    3. Hi Queen B. Exactly the same thing happened to me and probably loads of other ladies on this blog. Elle or anyone WHY OH WHY do they bullshit and say its over time and time again only to be found out yet again!! Queen B he will now expect you to believe him,and will say " why dont you believe me??" because he told me time and time again it was over.... why make it so difficult. YOU have made the commitment to him, try again together and bang another knife in the heart. This is something i just cannot get past. I feel for you, how it hurts so deeply..... time helps but the scares are still there. xx

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  4. Fragments of HopeJune 10, 2016 at 6:37 AM

    Theresa, Aelia, Lynn Less Pain, Coping and Elle, thanks so much for your very thoughtful responses. I find its like too parallel tracks, either triggered, anxious and subseuently 'flat' but when the stress of life lifts I have found feelings there. Gosh this is a strange week. After over a year of my DS with Aspergers not being in school and blanking everything off, (a huge meltdown and a tough day day before yesterday), he has a really positive meeting at the new school he's decided to try,he starts studying after not opening a book in months 24 hrs and decides he will try, after all to attend one of his state exams (he'd skipped the first two, we had got used to the idea he couldn't sit them after no education for a year). Even though there is no way he can do great in it, its a huge step for him to face it! I'm sitting here waiting to hear from him as he will have just finished (and it thinking of doing further exams). Later I have to travel 200 miles to a funeral (a family friend of my parents.) Our feet haven't hit the ground but my husband and I have really held together in a full on, difficult week, hugged more than ever and so on. Maybe I just havent been able to see the wood for the trees and I know there is a feeling that the whole family is on the up. (The stress of course has a circular effect, my son's probs impacted on us hugely and then we fed that stress back in and DS1 and others picked up on it. While the stress factors haven't gone away and my son may not be able to face school in sept after all, fingers crossed there is now a breathing space so I can begin to feel again and see what is possible in this marriage. Love to all xx

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    1. Foh,... So pleased you can now see the trees.. That's a step in the right direction.. And a reminder we need to live for the moment.. Enjoy the breathing space foh... : ) xxx

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    2. Fragments,
      I hope you can find time (maybe during the drive) to simply exhale and focus on these small steps forward. Sometimes we need to loosen our grip and trust that those around us can hold on to their share. I know with my kids, it's often when I back off that they step up and assume more responsibility for their lives. Like the Chinese proverb says, when we're always holding our child's hand, it gives them one less hand to use.
      In any case, I'm glad to hear things are looking up. God knows, you deserve a break.

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  5. I thought this was a great first person account from the OW (who learned her lesson): https://www.yahoo.com/news/cheated-left-abusive-pastor-husband-190000101.html

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    1. Interesting. You can see the selfishness shining through nearly every sentence. It's so clear, even though I expected it, it's still kind of shocking.

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    2. Wow. The article reads like EVERY SINGLE AFFAIR STORY I'VE EVER HEARD. God, it's exhausting. They all think they're different.
      But I confess I giggled a bit at the post-script. Karma indeed.

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  6. Fragments, "I still find it easier to laugh and be strong when he's not around." I get that. My H and I definitely have close moments and our fun - yet with him, I feel exactly as you stated at times. It is especially apparent of late as he is in this amazing good mood much of the time. He is back, so to speak. The affair was a part of a larger mid-life crisis - in January of this year he told me he was having such a hard time coming back - and now, here he is, Mr. Happy. And it pisses me off. So, I enjoy going off with my friends and having a good time. And when I am with him I enjoy myself - and at times I am triggered. Or, at times he is simply annoying and I take my space - leave his presence, whether in another room in the house, or to the beach. That is new for me, since DDay - prior I would feel the need to stay close. That "wow" feeling - it comes now and again, mainly during/ after a time when one of us has been away for awhile - typical, absence makes the heart grow fonder. It's strange. My h and I have a different relay since the affair (of course) - from my perspective, we are close, while at the same time, more separate, in a good way. Thinking this through as I write - I feel close in a more clear-eyed view. Whereas before DDay I felt close, almost blindly, now he has to deserve my closeness - as I do his. And ... my sense of security and safety comes from me, and him. Prior, I believe I relied on him too much for my sense of security - or I thought I did. So, I like all that ... and I trust that in time it will only get better. Peace & Light

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    1. Fragments of HopeJune 13, 2016 at 3:53 AM

      Thanks Melissa, I know what you mean about 'here he is, Mr Happy. And it pisses me off.' Last week I felt so jealous of him having the peace of mind that he has robbed off me. He can be happy and relaxed because I didn't pull the rug out from under him. Re: feeling closer when away. I've just come back after a weekend away, all good stories except he left the kids with his parents on Friday until really late to sort out a work thing. I feel like 'as soon as my back is turned'. Even apart from that I still feel very anxious being back in his presence. Reading about the poor ladies who have just been blindsided again, months and years on I feel frightened. I had second D-day nine months on and it just makes the ground so shaky. You can never really relax and believe it will be fine, you just have to have an exit plan. What kind of life is that though?

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    2. Since dday over a year ago I went away for three nights with friends. It was good and bad. I struggled myself in many ways. some of this was related to the behavior of others in my group. That I cannot control but it did affect me. I thought these women could, have been or could easily by ow based on their behaviors.

      Well what really got me was my husband promised me I could go away and he would take care of the kids and all would be good. Well I was out with my friends and I get a call from him saying his mom is begging to have the kids and he was going to meet a friend out. We did agree he would call vs is text about this kind of stuff. I hate texting so much is lost and can be read the wrong way. Well calling me caught me off guard and I was not in a place to have a discussion. So I didn't agree or disagree. It really ruined my night. Whether he was doing anything or not didn't even matter but it was how it went down. Of course I didn't want him to be doing anything but it was so upsetting. It was so casual to him like nbd. So when I got home we had a major discussion. For him he sees all of his actions as nothing since he says he has changed so much. For me it just was so upsetting he made a promise to me and changed it while I was not able to contribute or discuss it with him. And I am pretty sure this was a regular thing over the years I would go out of town, parents watch kids then guess what he was available. I never went away that often but his affairs were both sporadic so when you only see someone two times a year not a big deal. We talked at length and I told him how I felt in detail and how it is not acceptable to me. I went away feeling good since he had promised me and based on what he had done in his affairs that I could not accept these types of changes. He totally understood and felt bad he even did it. That night he kept calling me too wanting to talk with me and he was in close contact so that was good but he really seemed to get it. This is all so hard and is frustrating that our relationship has to go through this. But every time we deal with this we move further along and I see progress. And in the back of my mind I know there are no guarantees with anyone out there. And I have invested lot with my husband and we have our kids. So I will work my hardest as long as he keeps working at it too.

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    3. Fragments, I think of the exit plan as not a bad thing… Simply my own sense of security. The best I can describe it as is this: there are no guarantees in life. The only constant, is change. So, I believe my husband will not cheat on me again. If he does, I know that I am prepared to be on my own. It can never be a bad thing. There is also the possibility that my husband will die before I do. Again, I have grown stronger through all of this and know that I will be fine. I would rather trust and live a good and happy life, than live in a sense of anxiety and mistrust for something that MIGHT happen. I am certainly not saying that it is always easy. This is my life and I choose to be happy. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us, whether there is an affair in our lives or not.
      Peace & Light

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    4. Hopeful30,
      It makes complete sense to me that you would feel destabilized by him creating a situation similar to his cheating days. Those situations are huge triggers. Sounds like you handled it well -- and this can be something where he shows you that he really gets it. That he recognizes why you were upset and that he understands that he created this dynamic. And that's how trust is built. Not by having everything be perfect post D-Day but by addressing situations when they arise and showing, time and again, that he's willing to accept responsibility and make amends.

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  7. Anonymous June 13,
    Hopeful and Theresa have given you some great information. I can tell you that I've felt similar feelings and questioned how in the hell my husband could do these things. It's taken me a long time (We're one year and two months from our final d-day.) to get to a point where I understand on some level what happened. It by no means excuses it. It took working through my pain and getting to a point where we could start looking at my husband's deeper issues that I could really hear and process where his head was... aside from up his ass. This is still very raw for you and, as most of us likely were at 7 weeks, you are still reeling from the blow of finding out.
    I think, as the betrayed spouse, we try so hard to apply logic to our spouse's behavior. How could he love me and still do this to me? But nothing about affairs is logical. Affairs are built on fantasy and deception. It doesn't make it hurt any less, but I see it repeated in so many stories. I could go on about the issues that led to my husband choosing to have an affair, but it's easier and simpler to say he was in a pretty unhealthy state of mind. Again, it doesn't justify his actions. Plenty of people have unpleasant childhoods, issues in their marriage, etc.. and choose not to have affairs. Unfortunately, that is the path my husband chose. I now recognize that it takes a very unhealthy/hurt/broken person to be able to hurt someone else in the way my husband hurt me. It's still a struggle some days because I'm a pretty logical person. I recognize that actions have consequences. My husband didn't think about the consequences because he was so wrapped up in himself. He was selfish.... another trait of those involved in affairs. His selfishness drove so much of what occurred. His willingness post d-day to own his actions, to dig into his issues and work to never be that person again is what made me give our marriage another chance.
    Be kind to yourself, Anonymous. This is a lot to take in. Allow yourself time to grieve because this is very much a loss There is so much kindness, compassion and wisdom on this site. You will find a lot of support here. I know I have.
    Hugs!

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  8. Dandelion, I agree with everything you have Said. I'm a logical thinker too, shame my husband wasn't/isn't. I can only work in me and let him decide whether he wants to be a better person or if he wants to remain a selfish, people pleasing ass hole... Not in my control, .., great insight dandelion .. Thank you xxx

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  9. Anon June 13
    Dandelion is so right. I will be 1 year post DDay July 11th. I didn't join this site until I was almost where you are at 7 weeks. Selfish - it's all selfish, hurtful, crappy and totally unbelievable. It really is. To this day I still think - "well, seriously, there had to be SOME reason he decided to be with the OW - SOME logical reason". Frustrating - but there is none. We have been in couples counseling since 2 weeks post Dday - at my H's request. My H is doing the best he can - and I think his BEST is Shitty - but for him - it's the best he can for now.
    I agree with journaling....I wrote and wrote all the time. I read books, Brene Brown - everything; Not Just Friends, and many other books.... I still read everything. It keeps me sane.
    My H still makes comments in counseling that he hopes that "One Day" this won't be a topic of conversation. Really?? This will be a part of our lives forever - thanks for that gift. It just won't be THAT thing we talk about as often. It's always on my mind, in my heart ... It just doesn't hurt as much today...And I can honestly say from some of my posts from back in September - it hurt so bad, I didn't really believe all these women on here that told me to hang on - take care of yourself, be gentle with yourself etc, that it won't last forever... They are right, so right - and I love them for their shared experiences and insight. You'll make it - I promise. No matter what you decide to do. And you don't have to decide anything right now - just take care of yourself.

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  10. One thing that has helped me is a read some of these books over again. Reading them at different points in this process I see new things.

    I think for the husbands it is a really hard process. Mine as many are want to fix everything or ignore it all. For my husband he said it is so painful knowing how much hurt he caused me. He said at his lowest point he thought about leaving me just so he would not have to deal with it. In the end we are both glad it has come out. It has been hard and when I find other stressors come out in life it makes dealing with the affairs hard too or I am more on edge. My husband has changed so much and the most helpful thing is he is not defensive. This was a major tactic or habit he had. Over time I gave up on facing it. Well that has changed a ton which helps me. And he is in tune and willing to bring things up to me or he notices when I am on edge. We talk about my concerns and what is interesting is he is totally aware and usually shares the same concerns. Lots of work ahead but lots of hope too.

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  11. So yes there WAS one last sexual interlude..of course there was. 8 months past dday1. It disgusted him completely--he said he went there to self destruct & possibly get a shred of the "acceptance" he was desperate for. Didn't happen. Made him sick. Woke him up. And since then, last June, he's still been telling her he feels like shit, periodically, on the street outside our business. keeping in touch--why? And The way he has told me--2 weeks of TT has been excruciating. And it may not be over. Our counselor likened it to not wanting to hurt a pup when u clip the tail, so u do it an inch @ a time. Sobfest with my parents last night; but we actually discussed a lot of my old wounds from earlier on & they heard me & it was oddly healing. He is desperate to keep me. I am either sad, enraged, numb or fearful. There is something so cruel about this that seems like a personal attack. We r doing a controlled separation for the month of July (waiting for kids to return from camps), so I can get some space. I can't think with him crying around the house, or making me coffee, or offering to rub my feet. He's working thru a list of people he is telling to make amends. I want the fairy tale. I don't want to hurt our children. I want the man I thought he was. But how can I trust this person again??

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    1. Queen b, that's the million dollar question ' how can any of us trust again' having recently discovered the same as you. I questioned this With my therapist she said its normal to not touch the stove again without gloves once we've been burnt. We proceed with caution, with grace with our 'adult head' as she calls it untill we decide whether we stay and reconcile or separate and still be best parents we can be.... I get where she is coming from... I continue to journal when I'm angry to clear the puss on the wound and if it gets knocked again by a trigger which is often I journal till the puss is clear and continue to do that... Again a technique from my therapist...When my angry head appears I take myself to the 'adult' place again... Not easy nor does it always work but I can only try...their are no gurantees... Life's a risk ... We've been hurt again it's the worst feeling in the world I want to erase it all, but I can't so I ride the waves untill they calm...

      I've had a few shit teary days I'm unsettled and agitated ... Waiting for some calm and a glimpse of hope.. . My husband isn't the best at comforting me but he does try and I try to assume as Brene brown says he is doing his best, not my best but his best....

      It's been 8 weeks since we have slept in same bed, I miss him, I miss that human touch the way we used to be... It will never be like the way we used to be.. This is something that will change us again ...

      Queen B, I wish I had the answers for you, but you'll know what feels right for you and your family.... Keep us posted ... big big hugs xxxx

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    2. Sam a, thank you. The journaling suggestion is a good reminder. I haven't done that much in the past few weeks & its usually my go to. I miss him in the bed, too. But now every time I fall asleep around him (on the couch, or shared bed arrangements @ family reunion), I wake up with nightmares or just jerk awake. The fear is deep.

      I have destroyed his custom build (by him) bicycle...and he is just taking these hits. I see glimpses of the man I married. He is healthier than he's been in years. Is it enough? Is the damage too deep? I have no doubt we can be friends or great co-parents...but a romantic partner?... Will my body even let me? I'm glad he's moving out this weekend. I'm so much stronger this time around. I fully believe I am capable of building my happy life...will he be part of it? I guess I don't have to know now. He says he will wait years for me to decide if need be.... I won't wait years to decide; that's not fair for the kids involved or me. But it was sweet to say anyway.

      Back to our mc today to discuss what & how to break the separation ('time out") to the kids this sat. What a shitty thing to look forward to. Thinking of you, too.

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    3. So much of our pain comes from a desire to know how this is going to turn out. We're justifiably terrified. But we just don't have the answers to our questions. We never did...we just thought we did. We never know what life is going to deliver but we anticipate that tomorrow is going to be pretty much like yesterday. And then we get slammed by betrayal or a horrible diagnosis or devastating news...or we get the promotion or win the lottery or get wonderful news. And nothing is the same. Even weddings and dream homes bring lots of stress because humans hate change.
      So...the best advice I can offer is do your best to journal (keeps you more rooted in the moment), and keep bringing yourself to right here, right now. Right here, right now, you are breathing. Right here, right now, you are okay. You're in pain, of course. But you're okay. And assuming you're taking good care of yourself, you'll get stronger. You'll become clearer. You don't need to know today what you'll want to do tomorrow, or the next day. Give yourself that space to sort it out. Be gentle with yourself.

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    4. Great reminder Elle thank you 'right here', right now' xxxx

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  12. Things had just seemed SO GOOD between us for the past few months...

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  13. Hi Elle, it's been 2 months since d-day and he's doing everything right... But the love I still had for him helping me through this has suddenly disappeared. I really want to try, we were getting there and he was going to move back in. But now I feel numb, nothing at all and I don't know what to do. I find myself obsessing over the OW and I know he's sorry and wouldn't do it again but I dont know why or where my feelings have gone.

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    1. Sharmaine, I think numb is where we go when we're emotionally overwhelmed. I've found that I move in and out of numb depending on what's going on, what I'm working through, what I'm remembering etc. I've started to take numbing more as a sign to take it easier on myself, take care of myself where I think I used to take it more of a sign that maybe I was done with him. I think this is a hurtful enough situation that I can't imagine making it through without some self-defensive numbing.

      Also... I initially responded with a big love feeling for him too that gradually became mixed up with confusion and numbness as I started to sort out exactly what happened but before I really much of a grasp of it yet. Maybe you're starting to sort things out?

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    2. Sharmaine,
      Aelia is right. Numb is something of a "safe" space when emotions feel overwhelming. It protects us, to some extent. But it also prevents us from working through some really difficult feelings that would then free us of them. So yes, use this signal as a reminder to be gentle with yourself. To, perhaps, give yourself a bit more time. To make an appointment with a therapist who might help you dig beneath the numbness to the pain below. To recognize that betrayal creates a storm of emotions that can include love in all the sadness and anger.
      You might also be focussing on the OW because it's easier to focus on what SHE did than on what your husband did. He hurt you so deeply. And even though you love him, there's no glossing over that. But by pulling these feelings from the shadows, we can examine them, consider whether they're still true and then make a choice about what's next.

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  14. Good morning all. It is Sam. I havent posted in a really long time. I'm over 2.5 years from dday 1 (sexting and a few days later a physical affair) and over 2 days from dday 2 (another physical affair). things have been great. Although I still think about stuff daily, I almost never cry over it anymore. I don't hate him or them. I don't look thru any of his stuff. I have free access to his phone which i almost never look thru. I don't google them to see if anything new is going on in their lives.

    I got billy joel tix for last nite. A native new yorker in my 40s i have never been to a music concert. This was a 30 year old dream, since high school. I had asked hubby if he could go, since we live about 2 hours away from the city. He said he would make it work, blah blah blah. I told him I could always go with my brother, who lives in the city and is single and would prob come along.

    Yesterday morning he started with the crankiness. He doesn't want to go like 0% it's all for me so he doesn't want to hear later that we never do anything i want to do (which i have never said, because no matter what he suggests i always go along and try to have fun). At which point i said i realize that and thank you for coming with me.

    Then the inevitable text that he's going to be late. He has an add-on cath. we r both physicians but he's an interventional cardiologist so he is always late to everything. But after 20 years I'm used to it. Instead of getting angry I said ok your job comes first your patients are important so dont worry we will still catch most of the show.

    Then the car ride to come pick me up followed by the subway ride in during which he complained the entire time. I tried to laugh it off but as we waited for the train and he said we would walk in as billy joel was saying thats all folks I felt that i was about to cry. finally then he stopped.

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  15. Part 2

    I said tonite was about my anniversary present to myself (our anniversary is tomorrow) so stop. He did. But I wanted to say so much more. I wanted to say did you complain this much when you went into the city to see a show with 2 other guys and 3 other girls years ago when we were dating and you never told me about it (i heard that one from my son a few weeks ago although not whom with just the where)? Did you complain this much when you went into the city to see not one but 2 broadway shows with an emotional affair partner? Did you complain this much when you went to the city to see the body exhibit with your last sexual affair partner? With that last one you also went to some really boring butterfly exhibit. although that wasnt' in the city i know bc you have since told me you hated it. Did you complain then?

    What kills me is I wasn't even angry that we ended up being an hour late. I was disappointed but what killed me and ruined the entire night was his attitude. I had told him in the morning so what if you are going solely for me? Do you never do anything just for the other person? The parentheses there is like for your other women. Of course the answer was yes if you did it for them then you should do it for your wife and mother of your 2 children in spades!

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  16. Part 3:

    For the last 2 years I have been trying to do things with him that he did with them to try to overwrite their history. Now I finally was assertive enough to tell him something I wanted to do something new for us both something neither one of us had done with anyone before but he ruined it. He should have been flattered that i wanted to share this experience with him. Every time we go out without the kids it's with his friends or a work colleage this was just us.

    I'll tell you this much. The next thing that was on my to do list was for me to see a broadway show but I'm definitely not going with him. That I will ask my brother for. And i'm also going to look for local ballets or dance things that I think my 9 year old daughter would like to see and I will go with her.

    I feel like telling him congratulations you have managed to rub salt on my betrayed wounds yet again.

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    1. Sam, I have kept up with your story from years ago, so I'm so glad u posted. Did I read correctly that you are 2 days from finding another pa? Ugh. My heart hurts for you & I am so angry for you as well. He should consider himself privelidged to see a billy Joel concert with you & hold hands & kiss you the whole way there!!

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    2. Oh Sam,
      First, let me say how lovely it is to hear from you. I've missed your voice here!
      But secondly, your husband (who I remember has always had trouble putting your needs and wants before his own) sounds like a child. He also sounds a lot like my own husband. I dealt with it by, yes, going to events without him and instead choosing people who shared my enthusiasm. But every year, on my birthday, we see a play (it was something my mom and I always did and after she died, I didn't want the tradition to end). The first couple of years were awful (they also coincided with the first couple of years post D-Day). I finally sat him down and told him that this was incredibly important to me and that if he refused to behave like a grown up and share in MY joy, then he was no longer welcome. I told him exactly what I expected: reservations at a restaurant, him being ON TIME, and an attitude that made it clear he realized time spent with me was a privilege. I didn't sound nearly as bitchy as I sound writing it down, I just expressed my deep hurt at his total lack of consideration for my feelings.
      He got it. He really got it. Since then, we've tried different restaurants that he's found, we've seen 8 different plays, we've had picnics, etc. I sometimes give him a nudge if the date is coming closer and I know he hasn't yet organized something. And he LOVES feeling like a good husband instead of an asshole. Win-win.
      Sam, I know how much it hurts to feel like your feelings don't matter. Try not to go down that path that leads to all the things he did with other people. Instead, focus on who he is now and who YOU are now. You are someone who was counting on him to share in your excitement at a lifelong dream come true. You were someone who expects your husband to put your dreams at the top of his list and behave like a partner and best friend. Those are reasonable expectations. He fell far short. You can give him another chance or you can choose other people but there's a price to be paid for letting him off the hook, so to speak. And that is no chance to heal this particular wound. So while he might like the opportunity to not attend events that don't mean anything to him, he's missing the chance to witness your excitement and be grateful that he's there with you.

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    3. Elle, I just need to echo something you said... "And he LOVES feeling like a good husband instead of an asshole." I've seen this too and it's huge. I swear sometimes he looks at me like a wiggly puppy who is sooo proud of himself because he Sat when I said Sit and knows he did the right thing.

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    4. It's one of the ironies of so many of these guys. For all their bravado, a lot of them are insecure and frightened and desperate for praise. But that feeling of doing the "right" thing, has to be internalized. They have to recognize that it feels good to live a life of integrity, to support the people they love and to stop telling themselves stories about how nobody loves them enough.

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  17. Hi Sam, lovely to hear from you!!! : ) it's like hearing from an old friend. I'm so pleased you felt ok to go it alone for a while, that's the great thing about this site you can check in and out whenever and wherever you may be in your journey of healing....

    It's great that you decided to try something new and invited your husband to be part of it, Just sorry your husband didn't have the common sense to go along and enjoy the ride even if it wasn't his cup of tea. We would do that for our h wouldn't we?? I agree Sam he should have been 'flattered' that you wanted to spend that time with him, you could have easily taken someone else. Did you tell him how hurt you was by his behaviour, I bet he probably doesn't even realise how hurt you are by it.... It's really difficult because in the past I have purposefully not included my husband in a family gathering as I know he doesn't like some members of my family however I can tell he's been hurt by this.. It's tough trying to juggle making everyone happy so I find making myself happy matters the most :)

    Sam dont leave it so long next time xxx

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  18. Sam,
    What is really sad that he didn't see you reaching out to him to span the betrayal healing bridge to make new memories. But your future plans to do what you want to do may not be the best solution either, like "there so just take that". Our therapist taught us how to compromise when he likes sometime that I don't like. Why would he take call on this day? Doesn't he have a partner? His reward was a reimbursement of $1200 for a catch (Medicare). His cost was his wife's feelings of resentment. Still a high price. My husband has to sit in a command post trailer during an event. That is his job. Sitting in a trailer fours hours I hate. But my therapist convinced me to try it. So I did and it is not that bad and tolerable. I go mainly because my H wants me to be with him. I watch TV and I pad. Then I got yo know several of the cops who always have interesting stories of what is going on behind the scenes. So all in all, no I don't like it but found ways to tolerate it. It is my choice to stay home or go. But to just leave him behind, his choice, sounds like an avoidance of the true issue of what you feel. Call board meeting with him. Talk. If it comes up again talk about and make a plan. He sounds like his still lacking insight on how to help you heal or what you need. I just say to my H, I bet if psycho bitch kindergarten teacher ask you fix that you would be right on it immediately. You couldn't do enough for that bitch.

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    1. Sam
      I'm to the point in our relationship that I tell my h when he hurts my feelings! It has happened quite frequently since dday changed every dynamic of our relationship. Laughing and playing together used to be the easiest part of our relationship but after he chose a different 'play mate ' for a few years as she so delicately phrased it, finding things to do together that didn't trigger me has been a challenge! I'm so sorry your h can't see the gift he's been given! Sounds like he needs a therapist! I must say that I do think it's taken my h a while to figure out how to balance his selfish desires over spending time with me. Of course that's always been a thing for our whole relationship given that our first years of careers and raising children and fast forward to now with the knowledge of how he spent his time during those years. He was so changed by his experience and I continue to see the man I thought I knew and I hope your h is making changes in himself as well! We wives can't undo their past but we can help them shape our future! Keep trying to find mutual interests but realize as I have had to do, that there are some things that my h will never share the same interests in and likewise the one passion he had but gave up at least for now was volleyball and it was the sport he shared with her and I refuse that as it triggers me just to see someone playing. I'm working on that. But my point was that he gave that up and now I'm trying new things such as footgolf. I never would've thought I could enjoy the cross of soccer and golf! But I did! Hugs for the frustration I know you have!

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    2. Sam,

      So sorry you are having to deal with the this. Have you guys been to therapy together or alone? I agree with Lynn regarding going off and finding others to do things with, my therapist would say that concerns him. He totally agrees with doing things outside of the marriage but at this point in recovery it really has to be putting the marriage first is what he says. And yes it might not be doing what you want. I think at least in my husband he was very selfish in having his affairs and just did what he wanted without regard for me or our family. To me this seems like a trait or character flaw. He goes out of his way to take care of others. Whether it is family, friends or patients he is there for them. Well over time based out of guilt, shame whatever it was he distanced himself from me. He really had to decide what life he wanted. I was willing to give the second chance but the expectations and boundaries I set were pretty much non negotiable. And what is interesting to me is they have evolved and gotten what I would say is "more strict" than right after dday. Our expectations of our marriage are higher than ever now but that has evolved. At my last therapy appointment I said I was concerned since he is spending so much less time with his friends all by choice but will this all explode? My therapist said this is a great thing that he is putting us first above everything else and this is how it should be with our primary relationship above all else. And work can be a challenge my husband has patients and for years he hid behind that. Now though the tone has changed. Emergencies come up but he is on the phone as quick as he can when he is done wanting to get home and wanting to be in touch. I agree that work is not the issue it was his attitude when you were together once he got home. Maybe a therapist could help with communication too. For me I honestly just shut down after so many years of gaslighting etc. I would bring things up to him just to be given an excuse or told that it was me. So for me I have has to become much more assertive. When I do not like something I am quick to explain how it is making me feel. And we try to talk about how to not repeat it in the future. This is not easy at all but what I have learned at least for us we both have to put our marriage and ourselves first as the number one priority.

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    3. I have to toss in another vote for telling him until he absolutely gets it. My experience was similar in the sense that I couldn't get the man to do fuckall with me for years (SELFISHNESS) but he was happy to spend time with her once she showed up in his life. It just made sense to him to spend time with her to keep her happy. With me, he acted like a short tempered jerk, complained, criticized and generally acted like a teenager forced to go out with their parents instead of their friends.

      And I now know, he had absolutely no clue that this made him miserable to be with. Actually, he believed his behaviour was fine and I was the one who was no fun!! He saw my reactions and being clueless about his, mine appeared to be the problem. He even took it one step further and "read my body language" and decided for me that I wasn't going to be any fun that day and started to be a jerk because he was anticipating! He could ruin a day before I even got involved! lol But now, we can talk through these things and I have the chance to say.... wait.... no, I'm in a good mood and looking forward to this... so the rest is in your head!

      For the spending time with her, I initially ripped him apart. There was no way I was letting him out of fulling understanding exactly how much that hurt me. She was worth his time and I wasn't -- so what the fuck was wrong with him that he thought that??? At that point, I didn't care if he got upset and left me when he heard it. And... he actually heard it.

      But now, I find some way to talk to him about how what he does effects me. He basically has had no clue all along. How this is possible from a man who can function elsewhere in his life is incomprehensible to me but it's the truth. It's gotten to the point where I can tell him he's glaring or tell him he needs to stop running his mouth at that guy in traffic or needs to relax his body or smile if he's not actually pissed off because he really looks pissed off... etc. etc. and he's reached the point where he can modify on the spot without taking it personally. So.... maybe yours is as clueless as mine?

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    4. Aelia, I think I've said this before but is there any chance we could be married to the same guy??? Seriously though the traits are identical so much so I could write your story ...with respect aelia I'm glad I'm not the only one dealing with such a man.. And pleased that you have eventually got through to him... Gives me hope as mine is like talking to a brick wall sometimes... gosh I feel like screaming sometimes .... Thank you aelia xx

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  19. Over 3 years now since DDay and I don't believe what my husband has told me. So many lies. I don't know if he is telling the truth or not. He is the original boy(man) that cried wolf!

    I do know that he has not been in contact with her since I knocked on her door, only to be opened by a husband. Hence it was over.

    I do know that he is deeply sorry and is a changed character, so different. He has put up with my mad behaviour that I know if I don't stop soon he will full out of love with me.

    BUT a big but. I still don't believe what he's telling me. Mainly did they have sex or sexual contact. Should now after 3 years should it be the ruin of my marriage. after all after 3 years if they did he is never going tell me. Or is he actually telling the truth!

    I've become needy and insecure. He's the only one earning money. But then I've always been the home maker, helping with the business. Looking after children and now grandchildren.

    He now says he can't remember, don't want to remember. It was a big mistake and will have to live with it for the rest of he's life.

    But I feel he's changed so much. Such a different person there must be more. But then I think could he really have 3 years of lying whilst he carry son saying that nothing happened. But yes he walked through our front door and looked me in the eyes just coming from a hotel with his girlfriend so, unfortunately he can

    We had such a fantastic sex life, even whilst he had the girlfriend. She even in the middle if us when we kiss. I can't get her out of my head. He says he don't even think about her, doesn't have trigger that remind him.

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    1. Jane,
      I'm wondering if your feelings have more to do with something else going on in your life than what happened three years ago. It might be that your intuition is telling you there's more (though would it make a different at this point?) but I can't help but think it comes down to a line you wrote about not making any money. Is that contributing to a sense of powerlessness? A feeling of insecurity? If you are in therapy, it might be worth talking it over with your therapist...or seeing a therapist if you don't have one. Betrayal, of course, takes a long time to heal but it can also point us to old wounds or entrenched ways of thinking that no longer serve us and need re-examining.

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  20. Jane,

    Have you individually or together been to a therapist? For me I went alone and it helped me a lot. I really struggled wanting to know and understand as much as possible with what happened not in graphic details. But I would say how many times were you with this person? When did the affair start? He could not even tell me which year it started. He knew it was the tall and between two different years but no clue. He explained it to me he realized shortly after this all started it was the worst decision ever and he hated himself. He felt like he was slipping into a black hole and miserable yet he felt he had done permanent damage. His affairs were sporadic so he would go 6 months without seeing someone. And one affair lasted ten years but he only supposedly saw her three times. He ended both before dday ever happened so that helped some. But it was really hard for me. I kept thinking am I missing something.

    Well it was something said on here that helped me. I am sure I am not saying it correctly but it is goes like this in 20 years you are looking at a photo of yourself and is it black and white with you distant or is it a color photo and you are full of life. It made me think about what kind of life do I want. And then talking with my therapist I went through the fact I cannot change anything my husband did and if I am committed to this marriage then I need to decide do I want to move forward and what will it look like. We focused more on what I needed and wanted going forward. Setting boundaries has been huge. We have had some major conversations about some very important topics and we deal with things head on. It is going well but for me it was a process of letting go and realizing he could never tell me everything and in the end I did not want to know it all anyways. I understand you want to know if he was intimate but I guess you need to decide if it is a deal breaker. And maybe a therapist could help just you or both of you work through this if it is a sticking point and holding you back. When things were important for me to understand or know I was very detailed with my husband why. And at a certain point I was almost matter of fact about it. And I have told him what I need and the importance for me moving forward. It did sink in but for me I was able to let go of the details based on what I expected and wanted from a husband moving forward. And I did tell him he better tell me anything I needed to know so no other shoes would drop no dday 3. At that point I had given him enough time.

    Now if we hit bumps we discuss it right away. I address things as soon as possible and do not let resentment grow. On the flip side I try to remove some emotions so it is not like I am personally attacking him and I also make a major effort to point out what he is doing well. Some things are obvious and others are not to him. Good luck!

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  21. Sigh... I now have bigger issues than ever. I've discovered that my H has been keeping secrets and lying to me all along. But not about an OW, that I know of anyway. He's secretly drinking - a LOT. Earlier this year I looked on his work bank account and there were weekly charges to a liquor store. I was just sure he was buying it to booze it up with the OW. When confronted, he had clearly been drinking, we argued and I left the house not knowing where I was going. I had no where to go (didn't think about a hotel, duh...) but when I got home he admitted he was secretly drinking. We argued, he said he would quit, but nope. I've found where he hides his bottle and believe me, it's not hidden very well. I had a consultation with a therapist on Monday and am going back next Monday to begin. I don't know what to do. I feel flat. I've lost all joy. If he's lying about drinking, is he lying about the no contact with the OW?!?! I can't make a decision on anything. I'm afraid to confront him. It will get ugly. All I do is pretend to be fine. Always on the verge of tears. I'm not fine. Will I ever be able to ever answer honestly when someone asks how I'm doing? I HATE HATE HATE this. I never in a million years would think that I would ever be like this. Monday can't come soon enough.

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    1. Feeling Lost,
      So SO often, the addiction goes hand in hand with the cheating. There's such self-loathing, such shame, and zero boundaries.
      I suspect that if your husband got treated for the alcohol addiction and stuck to a sobriety program, the cheating would stop, if it hasn't already.
      You need to set some boundaries for yourself and, if you have them, for your kids. He simply can't continue to abuse alcohol, lie about it, hide it and continue to live in your home. He needs to commit to some sort of sobriety program. And you need to find support for yourself. Al-Anon is a great place to start. Find a meeting and I suspect you'll listen to a lot of stories there that sound like your own.
      If you're afraid to confront him (can I ask why?), then start with Al-Anon, which should give you the support you need to begin to stake out boundaries for yourself.
      Feeling Lost, I've been through addiction with many family members and it's hell. But YOU are not the crazy one here.

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  22. I find that Al Anon is so helpful for dealing with the drinking of a loved one.

    Focus on YOU rather than HIS behaviors can help. That way when anyone asks how YOU are doing, you will be able to better answer. It's tough to do the emotional work for yourself, him, AND the marriage.

    You are already taking care of YOU by going to a therapist. GOOD FOR YOU!

    At the end of the day YOU are who lives in your head and heart. When you love you and take care of you, then you can tackle the "other" folks and issues.

    Good luck Feeling Lost.

    None of us ever believed that we would be in 'this' situation.

    Our trust is shattered as well as what our dream of our marriage.

    We CAN put ourselves back together again.

    It sucks that we must!

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    1. Yes, Suzanne, Al Anon can be a lifesaver. I hope Feeling Lost finds the support she needs to deal with this.

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  23. Hi Hopeful 30. Thank you so much for your response. I am really greatful that you took the time of thinking of me and writing.

    I have been reading this blog since not long after my world falling apart, over 3 years ago. I read that it's helped people but to be honest I understand and have empathy for what people say but it doesn't help my feelings.
    Time is helping, I'm not an angry mad women every day. Some days I actually don't say what comes into my head and then it disappears.

    Elle, I re read your points a few times and yes I think my life is not how I expected to be.
    You probably remember that our business (that I pushed for) lost money and cost us our house. I guess that's the main issue. She runs a family business with her husband. Part is wedding receptions. So while she let my husband cry on her shoulder she not only went home to her family business but was the big I am helping people start the first day to their married life while knowing what she was doing could end mine.
    She then went home to a very nice house while my husband went home to our lovely house knowing we were losing it.
    So yeah I guess I'm still so angry. not only did I find out 6 days after becoming a granparent for the 1st time but she knew all about him that he was 7 and half weeks early weighting 3 and half pounds.
    My anger and hate simmers inside every day.
    I love him, he's my world. We've been together 35 years, longer than without him. 3 children and 2 grandchildren now.

    He is so sorry and wants to draw a line under it. Is it so easy. No I don't think for I moment that he's not telling me the truth.

    I don't want to live with him but don't want to live without him.

    I've not been on a 1st date since with him in 1981. He has. I've not kissed anyone else since 1981 he has!! I am SO jealous I'm gutted that when he was unhappy he could just go and find someone.

    I do try and and get on with life, but not the same person as this has affected me badly.

    Just licking my wounds.

    Love to you all xx

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    1. Jane,
      Your pain is so palpable. And it's legitimate. What happened to you is JUST NOT FAIR. None of it. And I've no doubt that this woman is poison. But Jane, you're going to have to find a way to let go of this because it's like a huge rock standing in the path toward healing, toward joy.
      Do you see a therapist? Have you explored why it's so hard for you to let go of the OW and what she did? Does this trigger some sort of long-buried betrayal that might be compounding your pain? I'm a lot like you, I think. The world is black and white and right and wrong. Except it's not. Sometimes really awful things happen to really great people. And sometimes horrible people have wonderful things happen in their lives (I'm talking about YOU, Kardashians!). But at a certain point, we have to decide if we're going to stew about the fact that a home wrecker is living like a queen, while the queen lost her home, which gets in the way of enjoying what you DO have...or if you're going to stay focussed on gratitude for what's in your life right now.
      Gratitude journals sound hokey but there's research to show that gratitude is the ONLY emotion directly linked to happiness. So consider taking the time, each day, to focus on what you have in your life. Five things a day -- morning or night. Legs to get out of bed. A great cup of coffee. A grandchild's small hand in yours. My guess is your life is incredibly rich in so many ways that SHE will never understand.

      Delete
  24. It's been so long since I've posted anything here. It's been 3 years and a few months since D-day. It has not been an easy road. My husband had a long term affair- I, like many was completely in the dark.
    Last year I felt so much better, not thinking about the affair as much and feeling good about my marriage. Recently, all I can think about is the affair. I frequently get overwhelmed with emotion and have been crying a lot. The memories have hit me like a ton of bricks. I feel like something is off in my marriage right now. Can't quite put my finger on it.
    I travel for my job and over the last 6 months have been away more. I suspect that is what it is, but I'm so afraid not to list to my intuition that something is wrong. From the beginning I told myself, I would stay with him until the last child graduated from school and that has happened. (my own personal commitment to myself)
    I have been very frank and open with my husband and told him how I am feeling. He swears nothing is going on.
    It's so frustrating to be back in this dark place again.

    Any advice?

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    1. Shalleen,
      My therapist calls it "recycling". Those moments when you feel as though you're right back at square one. She insists that there's still something to learn, that you're processing something more deeply. When you check your intuition, what is it telling you? Is there any evidence that something is going on? What did your husband's post-cheating response look like? Has he done the hard work of really examining what he did to your marriage, of really acknowledging the pain he's caused? Is he able to tell you that he will NEVER hurt you like that again?
      Perhaps, given your self-imposed deadline, this is about really examining whether YOU want to be there. The coast is clear for you to leave now. That's frightening. Any potential for big change is frightening.
      This "dark place" can often shine a light on things that need examining. Try not to be frustrated but to instead remain open and curious.

      Delete
  25. Shalleen... My advice would be to Go with your gut.. Follow up any concerns .. I was 3 years out and had the same feelings something wasn't right he became distant, going to the gym 5 days a week, spending more time out of the house than in.. I got that dreaded feeling in my gut he may be back with the ow and as difficult as it was to follow through I did and guess what I was right... I'm 8 weeks out from d day 2 and the marriage is pretty much over with, living separately and I'm considering divorce.. I'm glad I found out though as the not knowing was harder...an absolute ass to say the least..

    This may not be the case with you shalleen but please talk it through with your h, tell him your fears.. .. I hope you manage to get to the bottom of this shalleen and it's a happy ending... Please let us know how you get on...

    Sorry your in this predicament.. Stay strong xxxx

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    1. Thank you Sam A. I am going to push my h to go back to marriage counseling, we haven't gone for about 8 months. Marriage counseling for him is painful, whereas for me it is helpful.
      I really don't where to begin in validating my concerns or disproving them. My h is VERY tech savvy and would never leave a trail for me to find. ( is a digital forensic expert) Short of hiring a PI, there isn't a lot I can do but wait and continue to question and be observant. I just know and feel something is off.

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    2. Shalleen, I think therapy is a really good idea, the road of healing is long and requires intervention at every cross road.. I'm with you shalleen I get so much out of counselling, my h on the other hand struggles, we're having separate session following the recent revelations.. Not sure where this will take us..

      The sitting and waiting is exactly what I did, I had faith in myself and God that I would find out somehow and I did. My not so bright h left a trail of clues for me to find, looking back I'm certain he was doing it on purpose to be caught our..

      I really hope you can get to the bottom of what it is that's 'off' shalleen .. you really need to take care of you right now.. Be the best at looking after no 1... The rest will come together one way or another... Keep posting .. Thinking of you xxx

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  26. Been Married for 19 years, with 2 lovely teenagers, my husband and I liked a social drink but he liked to drink alot and even since the kids were born always drank too much and was constantly makeing a prat out of his self, when we went out of a meal I always drove ( I did not mind but sometimes would have liked a glass of wine with my meal) He would drink too much sometimes and become very nasty to me and would put me dowin in public and also on my own, my oldest child is very fiesty and my husband would pick on him when he was drunk - it got to the stage where I had to tell my kids to be careful and not to wind dad up as he was drinking - I really did not think that his was a problem at the time but looking back now I shoul have thrown him out back then - but I loved him and I was scared to be on my own......then my husband had an affair with a co-worker last year, I had been watching him for a while (about 6 mohths) knowing that there was something going on with someone but I could not quite prove it, his phone was with him all the time, his phone was guarded and he was deleting his phone call register all the time, I managed to find out that he was texting her and calling her all the time. He went on a trip with a male friend and "just happened" to bump into her, she got very drunk and could not find her way home so my husband and friend invited her to stay in their caravan - apparently in her own room........ he did tell me this when he got home from that weekend - but when I asked his friend the question the meeting had been pre-arranaged that afternoon and they just did not happen to bump into her. She bought him a concert ticket and when i asked who bought it he claimed it was one of the guys in work - I asked the question 3 times over the space of a few months and each time he claimed that a man in work had bought them but I already had a copy of a message stream between him and her stating that she had got the tickets......at this stage I was extremely suspicious but still could not prove anything. My husband was a drinker and when he drank he would text her lots and he was totally obnoxious to myself and our kids. He was never violent but just really nasty and horrible when drinking. Then one weekend last September I happened to come across his i watch, I looked at the messages and he had been messaging her and in one of the messages he told her that she was a younger version of him and that he loved that and that he had so much still to teach her. So I just blew up - the adreline pumped through me and I chucked him out - he denied all of it....I made him ring her and I called her so many bad names down the phone that I am ashamed - I could not help it I did not even know it was in my vocabulary. She said they were just friends and that they did nothing. I hate her and I still hate my husband, I took him back under the condition that he never speaks to her again ( i dont belive that he does not talk to her) and that he does not drink (theres a whole other story to the drinking) I decided he could come back only because of the children - I am really trying, we dont share a bed but we are living under the one roof and he has stopped drinking and is really trying to be a good husband and father - but I think I was beginnning to hate him before I could prove the affair....I hate him now, I hate the way he walks, I hate the smell of his breath, I hate the way he chews....Oh my what am I going to do.....? ~Also I have found that our circle of friends dont invite us anywhere anymore - that makes me so sad......What do I do? I can never be happy and Im certainally not making him happy. Im so hurt about my old friends, one of them only contacts me when she wants information and I made the mistake confiding in her and I think she shared it with my other friends, I feel betrayed by my old friends..... I am a very strong woman, I love and provide for my chidren, How do I make that final decision to ask him to leave and divorce him, I no longer love him, I really do hate him...

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    1. Sweetie, I don't blame you for hating him. He's behaved in a loathsome way. You divorce him divorcing him. I think we expect the "right" decision to feel good. And often it feels horrible. But that doesn't make it wrong. It just makes you human. Of course, it's going to feel horrible to break up your home. But a home where he treats you all badly, where kids have to be careful not to upset Dad, where there's no mutual respect or kindness or integrity, isn't much of a home. You and your kids deserve a home that's warm and full of love. YOU can create that for them but it's going to mean making a tough decision.
      Focus on that first. In the meantime, be careful who you confide in. It's shameful that your friends would hurt you when you're down but they're showing you who they are. And who they are isn't too nice. But that's their shame, not yours. You keep being you. Strong, loving mom and fierce. Create a divorce that shows your kids that you respect yourself and can extend decency to their father because he's their father.

      Delete
  27. This is for those trying to understand marraige. Not something that makes sense if you are just coping with shock and trauma. But lots of deep thoughts. Warning, it is Esther Perel who sometimes gives short shrift to trauma but here, I think it is a terrific analysis of sex, love, passion, and why some marraiges die. http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510236/binah

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    1. Thank you MBS - I really enjoyed the podcast - I always learn from her.

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  28. Yesterday was 1 year to the day that I found the text message - one year to the day. My H doesn't even remember - nope, not a clue. I was edgy the whole weekend, but my H doesn't even ask why and of course, I don't say a word...until evening. We had a discussion until my H turned defensive. I was doing ok - but just couldn't listen to my H's bullshit any longer. I know I said some hurtful things last night - but I just don't think I can apologize. I actually meant them, I did. My H has made me suffer for almost 1 year, trickle truth, denials, etc. I am sick of it - I can't tell his truth from a lie because he was so damn good at lying for 18 years. He says he loves me, but I don't feel the love from him. I don't know that he is actually capable of loving, or showing love. H says the words - but he is so into himself. It's always been about him - always. I just found out a few weeks ago he shared something extremely private about me, with his former boss. This, was quite shocking given the fact that my H doesn't share anything personal with anyone, no one, and per my H, never shared anything personal with the OW whom he was with for 18 years. His former boss was, of course, a woman, We were all friends - but I have not heard one peep from her since she left the company my H still works for, My H denies sleeping with this woman, but it doesn't have to be physical, as we all know. My H stated that his "work" was suffering - so he had to tell her why.....REALLY?? But could his "work" have been suffering because he had been boning OW for 5 years at this time?? H says of course NOT, it was not "her". It's just one more deflection, one more half truth, one more lie. It's amazing that he thinks our personal life, our marriage didn't suffer during his affair - that he was managing things just fine and guess what! No one knew about his affair - so therefore he must be doing everything just right.

    The more I learn, the less I like my H. I'm just blah.... it makes me sick to my stomach. I just can't respect him for what he did to us, to me and to himself.
    Adding to the "It's everyone's fault but my own list", not 15 minutes ago my H backed into a dump truck in front of our house. I was out front, I saw it, I saw the dump truck... WHO can't see a dump truck. He backs out of the driveway and hit that dump truck - AND then gets out yelling at me and them "Where the hell did that come from". I just stood there and looked at him and said REALLY?? Oh, and the dump truck was here for us - working on OUR backyard. WTF...and wouldn't speak to the guys in the truck ... or me - and just took off after looking at his tailgate. Well....I'm sorry that happened - I told H so. So he had to call me and drive his point home about how that dump truck should NOT have gotten in his way. He should be able to back out of his driveway with no obstructions, etc...blah, blah, blah...I'm sorry this happened, I know it sucks - it's going to be fine.
    But you know what? In the back of my mind I am thinking....again, you blame everyone but yourself, it's always everyone's fault - but never yours.
    I didn't like to do the things you liked to do, We weren't really that close at the time, I didn't think you really loved me, and the list goes on.... But my H isn't saying this is WHY he took up with the OW really, that's not what he means. Well, hell - then quit using that as an excuse for your bad behavior or a reason to justify what you were doing. Instead how about telling me what you were feeling at the time.... so my H decided to get back at me with another woman. Classic - and thanks. Dday is July 11th - I can't hardly wait.

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    1. Anon1998,
      I can't help it but I'm laughing so hard at your husband backing into a DUMP TRUCK and blaming...the dump truck!!! That is SUCH a perfect metaphor for so many of these guys who just REFUSE to accept responsibility for the shitstorm they've created.
      It is hard or impossible to respect anyone who won't take responsibility for himself. It's like dealing with a five-year-old who constantly insists that it "wasn't me".
      I think it's clear that your husband has the emotional maturity of a child but it's something else that concerns me: you smoothing things over for him. You listening to him whine without calling him out. You allowing him to deflect responsibility. You can't change him, Anon1998, but you can change you. And that's good news.
      Because this wasn't your fault. None of it. And it's not your job to make him feel okay about himself. That's HIS job. And it comes from behaving in a way that's honest and responsible and decent. It's HIS job to keep his dick in his pants. HIS job to check his rearview mirror to make sure there aren't any DUMP TRUCKS in the way. It's YOUR job to behave in a way that keeps yourself emotionally safe and respects yourself. You are responsible for YOU, not him.
      He needs to take a long hard look at himself and figure out how he allowed himself to cheat on you. What stories was he telling himself that made it "okay"...and does he recognize now that he was lying to himself?
      Whether or not he can do that remains to be seen. But, in the meantime, you can find a therapist to help you begin to create strong boundaries around what you will and will not tolerate in your life. And constantly blame-shifting is, I would guess, something you do not want in your life.

      Delete
    2. Anon1998, I'm laughing at the dump truck too out here. Mine got a speeding ticket once and blamed it on someone following him too closely so he had to speed. I told him I was pretty sure his foot was on the gas pedal, not the other guy's. lol Man, he was pissed...

      I think some of them don't have the self-esteem to admit they've done something wrong. They already feel fundamentally worthless and whatever it is they can't cop to feels like proof it's true. Much easier to blame the dump truck then face and deal with your accumulated fuck-ups.

      Delete
  29. Elle -
    The Dump Truck - seriously...BIG WHITE HUGE dump truck! But it goes along with a pool - that we agreed would be built months ago - but H kept dragging his feet because he says he has no guarantee I will stay. He actually said that in front of our marriage counselor - seriously. We had plans, before all of this shit went down. It's karma - it really is - but he won't see it.
    Elle, I've been seeing the same individual counselor for about 11 months ... you helped me with my first "homework" assignment back then. We are working on boundaries, small ones first and those are being heard. The bigger, just between me and my H, ones are hard - and scary. Because what if he can't do it - and I actually have to tell him to get the fuck out?
    When you say I am responsible for just ME - well, my fabulous background and family history ...well, I'm a fixer - I feel more responsible for the emotional well being of everyone around me...but just can't seem to focus only on me. Why the hell do I make excuses for my H..try to make him feel better, etc - what the hell is the matter with me??
    I think our conversation began honestly, and I was being honest - but when he got defensive and starting in on the "well, but you this or you that crap" or just the insane deflecting crap - I can't help myself. I couldn't. I am not proud of everything I said - I'm not. And I act like I don't care - because if I act callous and mean - he won't know that he's actually gotten the best of me. But he acts just like he used to and I retreat back like I used to. I hate it.
    So - counseling tomorrow and I know I need boundaries - I think it's time. I am just scared he will test them.....and this feeling, the same feeling I used to have when I was a kid - and my Dad would come home wasted and yell and scream at my mom...and me. I was an easy target - and I would just try to make everyone happy - but guess what? It never made him stop drinking - NEVER. So, I know the truth about what I need to do - it just makes me sick to think my life may change forever - and well, I don't want to be alone. My H is not willing to look inward - it's been a year. So how long do I wait? HOW LONG....how many more dump trucks will there be??

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    1. Anonymous 1998
      I know just how you feel about this taking you back to earlier childhood pain! That's been the hardest part for my h to understand about PTSD as it relates to his affair! One of the things about what you say is your fears of being alone. I told my h I could feel alone with him sitting right beside me watching tv if he's not including me in the show he's watching! Staying in a relationship that isn't happy is no different than living a life alone! I lived alone for the entire time of his affair! For the first two years in a separate home on the lake and him in the house we own for work! He came home on weekends and made me feel like the most important thing in his life only thing is he was making her feel the same way Monday through Thursday! What an ego boost for him! We had to dissect the parts of his affair that hurt me the worst and then we had to begin to create a new together time. We're literally learning how to be with each other just like in the early years of our marriage. I hate how your h refuses to look inward that's the first place I started was with me and my h had already begun to work on himself from the second month into the affair. But he was stuck with crazy and she just wouldn't stay away! Your h had a very long emotional affair and hasn't got a clue why or how he was able to do that? He's avoiding at all costs because he doesn't know how to deal with the shame and pain of what he's done! It's always someone else's fault! I'm so sorry you are still fighting for your marriage alone! He needs help! I'm thinking of you and you will know when you are done waiting on him to grow up and be a man! Hugs for the mess you are dealing with!

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    2. Anonymous1998,
      Your husband is just another version of your drunk father, blaming everybody else for his shame and poor choices (okay, alcoholism isn't necessarily a "choice" but you know what I mean). And not surprisingly, you're responding the same way you did as a kid. If I can just make everybody happy, then everything will be fine. It's that old "magical thinking" that you have WAY more control than you actually do. It's terrifying as a kid to realize that the people you rely on to keep you safe are horrible at it. Far better to imagine that you are powerful. But you were a little girl. A terrified little girl hiding behind the illusion of control and responsibility.
      1998, you're not a little girl anymore and those old survival strategies are keeping you in a place you don't need to be. They're keeping you stuck in a marriage where you're, yet again, trying to keep everything from spiralling completely out of control. But you're married to an adult (even if he doesn't act like one) who is responsible for himself.
      I also grew up in an alcoholic home and those old habits die hard. I was the over-functioner and, not surprisingly, I married a sex addict. (I was so busy congratulating myself that he wasn't much of a drinker that I completely missed that he was an addict of a different sort).
      But this can be the silver-ish lining of this shitshow: you've still got old wounds and bad habits from childhood that are being pulled into the light and it's time to address them and heal them. They're not working for you. Even though I thought I'd worked through a lot of the pain from my childhood, my husband's betrayal triggered all sorts of deeper emotions -- a terrible fear of abandonment, for one thing. By processing that again (and I don't doubt there's still stuff buried in there), I feel on more solid ground than ever. I know that I will be okay no matter what happens and that gives me the freedom and comfort to stick to my own boundaries. When we operate from fear, even if we're barely aware of it, we disrespect ourselves.
      Hang in there, 1998. You'll get there.

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    3. Anon1998, my stomach flipped a little when you said you were scared he'd test your boundaries. I know that feeling! For me I don't think I had any real boundaries until I got to the point that I was honestly okay with leaving him. Because ultimately that's what we have to be prepared to do if we want our boundaries to be respected, right?

      At first this was more due to anger, numbness and feeling like he had basically "left me" already. Over the course of a year or so I faced up to all the things I was afraid of about leaving him. It's like I suddenly realized that I needed to be ready no matter how he felt about it - even if he saw me getting ready to go and had to (poor him! -- why did this ever stop me from taking care of myself???) deal with the fear that I might! I couldn't just trust him any more. Besides, I needed to be ready in case he left me. I realized I should have been doing this all along! So I started to build my life so I would be fine either way. And then a magical thing happened.... I didn't even need to threaten him outright about boundaries. He got it.

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    4. Aelia -
      I guess if I am really honest with myself - I am afraid of being alone at 52. I didn't choose that - I never thought I would be alone. But I can honestly say, I've been alone (just like Theresa said) even though I've been married to the same man. So which is really worse? Second - I sacrificed my career to take care of my H and my kids....trusting that we would always be together....even though now I realize I never felt that he took care of me - I was always too busy taking care of everyone and everything...but never myself. I never spoke up - hardly ever. So now - after 28 years of marriage...I have the house I have always dreamed of and worked my ass off for ,,, this life - a nice house, nice things - the kids are on their own and we're still young enough to enjoy what we would call "the good life". So I feel I deserve something out of all this shit. I was able to get a job - doing something out of my comfort zone - and I am doing well. But not well enough to maintain the lifestyle I want at this point in my life. I don't think I should have to take 10 steps backward because of my H's decisions. I know how this will sound - but - HE OWES ME. I cannot afford this house on my own ... but I could keep it and find someone to rent a room, I guess if that's what it takes. But I still have a problem with feeling like one day, I am going to wake up and everyone is going realize I am a fake - that I am not that good at my job .... that my job will disappear. I am afraid of never being able to find someone that will love me and that I will love. Getting back out there is not something I want to do. I have always said to my close girlfriend - "Gosh, I am so glad I don't have to get out there and date now". It's so different than it was when I was in my 20's.
      I know today, I mean this, that he is comfortable with the fact that I am not going to put any boundaries in place. Being angry is not a boundary, being scared is not a boundary, being silent is not a boundary. So, instead of me silently wishing, hoping that he would suddenly want to look inward at himself, or be considerate, or accept responsibility for his actions - I need to be clear ... in my actions and attitude. Not angry, hateful - which is what I think...no, I know, I have been doing for the past 6 months or so. I'm being passive and I need to be present.
      Thank you Aelia - for your words.

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    5. Holy similarities between the lot of us some days. I agree with Theresa too. I lived alone with him for years.

      It occurred to me one day after the affair, that living without him would have been just like living with him except with less money and without having to be concerned with what he wanted/needed/was or wasn't doing etc... So basically, he was replaceable with an evening part time job with much less stress involved and I'd probably have some spare time left over! Spend that spare time with friends and voila - I could be better off without him. If I ever wanted a man again, I could probably find one as useless as he was acting at the time without too much difficulty! So I started to expect a lot more from him for what I put into him!

      Before he played like a child and dodged all adult responsibilities while I drove myself crazy trying to keep "being nice" and "patient" with him and trying to get him to do the things he'd told me he'd do "someday" while doing it all myself in the meantime and resenting it. Can't nag him! Can't be mean then he really won't cooperate! Can't sound accusing or he'll have a tantrum! etc. etc. I couldn't tell him what I really thought because he'd have a defensive shitfit and might leave me or make staying with him miserable! Oh noes! Why was I so desperate to stay with someone who was acting like a rude, selfish spoiled child?? Because I wasn't taking care of myself, I was too worried that it might hurt his feelings/make him feel insecure.

      Somewhere in my life I had learned that I needed to be "nice" to other people no matter what and that this would show them the way I wanted to be treated but that's just not true. Being nice to people who un-apologetically treat you like crap isn't being the better person, it's being a doormat. I took this so far that I was willing to be nice to the COW when I thought he'd sucked her into our bad situation! This lesson still smarts.

      I made excuses for him too. I saw his potential. I hoped he would become that guy I remembered and loved and saw glimpses of sometimes. I focused on the good. I forgave. I let things go. I rationalized and minimized. I don't feel bad about these things any more because I now believe that this is actually all wonderful and loving stuff as long as you're applying it to someone who is wonderful and loving back.

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    6. Anon1998,
      Aelia's point is so powerful. That you need to be ready to leave in order to be able to really make the choice to stay...and for him to even begin to respect boundaries.
      And this is where your own work comes in. Betrayal rips the rug out from under us and exposes our soft spots. But we can use this trauma for transformation. We can begin to work on the things that leave us feeling as though we're fakes, that at any moment people are going to pull back the curtain and realize it's just scared little us and not some superwoman. So many of us feel that. But it's not weakness to acknowledge our vulnerability. And it's not safety to stay in a marriage out of fear.

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  30. Hello everyone! I am ten weeks post DDay. We are going to counseling, but I am struggling with feelings about ambivalence about continuing on with the marriage. One of the issues I am stuck on is this: Is there really a "cause" or "reason" behind a husband having an affair? Or is it just that he is simply a selfish, entitled jerk? Is the search for a reason and for meaning behind the affair a fool's errand and an attempt to make everyone feel better? Am I looking too harshly at the concept of counseling when I say that I think it is a bunch of BS just meant to make us feel better and steer us toward reconciliation? Because afterall, if he is just an entitled selfish jerk, the decision to leave would be easy. But if there were really and truly some defect in our way of relating that made him "vulnerable" to having an affair, then maybe I am looking at too harshly.

    Thanks in advance everyone!

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    1. Love my dog more
      Yes to your questions! The main cause for each story and husband choice is different but yeah there is a root cause! It's your husbands job to figure out his 'cause'! My story includes a full blown mid life crisis because we had been a couple since I was 15 and I'm now 58. Been married to the ahole since I was 19, raised two children have two grandsons. God bless what I know you are feeling! There is hope! Keep reading and posting! Hugs!

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    2. LoveMyDogMore - love your name!
      It would be easier to just say, yeah, he's a selfish jerk, end of story, and move on. A lot of times I wish life was really that simple, like in the chick lit novels.
      But it's not. No "underlying cause" could justify what he did. But you are not trying to justify him. You are trying to put this whole nightmarish situation into some kind of context you can understand. You need that, and probably so does he. You will probably never get all of the answers you seek - I didn't - but hopefully will get enough so that you can finally process and work through it. 10 weeks is so fresh. I am at 10 months, and I realize now that, when I was at your stage, I was still in shock, and I still had so much to work through and process. You have a long road ahead, sweetheart. Take it slow, and get all the information you can, from him and about him, so that you can, in the fullness of time, make a decision about your future that will give you some peace. It will be a long time in coming, but it will come.
      As someone who is recently divorced, and is content with my decision, I encourage you to take your time and be absolutely sure of your decision to reconcile or not reconcile. It's a marriage. Give it everything you've got. Then, if you end up with a successfully rebuilt relationship like so many on the site, that will be its own reward. And if, like me, you eventually come to the decision that it cannot be rebuilt, you will be calm and peaceful in your decision, with fewer regrets.
      Hugs and good wishes to you! You are not alone-we understand!

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    3. Selfish, entitled jerk probably IS the short answer... lol I find it's given me a sense of security to feel like I understand what went wrong. I feel like I understand myself better and could avoid a lot of the same pitfalls. I'm still vulnerable to new bullshit but would be a new relationship anyway. Understanding how he got there can give you some insight as well into whether or not you want to work through things with him. Sort of like getting an estimate at the mechanic before you decide to fix the car...
      And I feel like I need to say that he was "vulnerable" to having an affair when he was born with functioning sexual anatomy. lol

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    4. Lovemydogmore,
      Whether or not you ultimately decide to rebuild a marriage with this guy or not, betrayal is traumatizing and therapy can help you process all those feelings so you don't carry them with you. Trust has been broken and that's a deep wound.
      Some people do wash their hands of a "selfish entitled jerk" and carry on. But given that more than 50% of married men report cheating, there's a lot of selfish entitled jerks out there. When we don't treat our pain, we will inflict it on others. And that's essentially what affairs are. They are an attempt to distract ourselves from uncomfortable feelings that we're ill equipped to handle.
      His affair is not about you. I hope you know that.
      Deciding to stay or go is, of course, up to you. What has his response been? Is he able to acknowledge just how badly he's hurt you? Willing to do the hard work of figuring out why he violated his vows to you? Someone unwilling to do the work is someone you should walk away from. But someone who will take full responsibility for their horrible choice and work to rebuild a marriage can help create a richer, deeper relationship.
      Here's the thing, lovemydogmore: people are going to disappoint us. None of us is infallible. It's what we do with our mistakes that defines our character. Do we own them and become better people? Or do we brush them off and avoid looking at ourselves too closely? The difference is living a large life and living a small one.

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    5. LMDM, "feelings about ambivalence" everything you thought to be true has been a lie. You have no reality yet to replace it so stay ambivalent. I sat on the fence for 18 months until I made up MY mind. "Is there really a "cause" or "reason" behind a husband having an affair?" There are many reasons and a jerk is just one of them. My H had about ten different reasons. He is going to lie at first and may continue to about the affair. So listen then validate. It is going to take time for you to understand the circumstances that allowed him to cross the line. Your concerns and questions are legitimate and understandable because you don't have all the answers that in someway you can wrap your head around it. "Am I looking too harshly at the concept of counseling" My therapist stated up front she was marriage biased but if I did decide to leave she would help me through separation therapy. Many times because I didn't know what my issues were, I didn't understand what the hell she was talking about, her comments were foreign like appropriate self assertion, self compassion, loss in of my husbands masculinity (he is an army officer really, yes really), the list goes on and on. I challenged, questioned my therapist constantly. I did every homework assignment thoughtfully. Unless this therapist says or does that is totally against your core then stick with it for awhile. I thought my therapist stuck up for my husband a lot until in a private session not too long ago - she said basically "you fell in love with an asshole but it is up to you to decide if the good outweighs the bad and how many changes he has made to make himself a better person." Just my opinion, but your questions about yourself, his actions, and what is right for you will reveal themselves eventually. I wished I had all the answers at one time but it just doesn't work that way. Think about other challenges, disappointments, lies in your life and how long it took to unravel how you felt about it. You hold the power now to do whatever you want. He lost his chance to make decisions for you after he made the CHOICE to cheat. Be selfish, be totally selfish, absolutely selfish and focus on what you want. Looking back I put my husband to the test in many ways over 18 months. Such as throwing every book on our shelves at him. I tore up every picture that fell on him like snow. I didn't cook, take out the trash or pick up a dish for 6 months. Let it pile up so what. I had a tummy tuck, hair extensions, and bought a new wardrobe since I threw out clothes that touch him that might have touched her. He bought me pearls, new blue diamond wedding ring, blue diamond necklace. I remember my therapist said "well if you leave at least you will have nice jewlery." I sold any furniture or threw out anything that may have touched her. My husband took money out of his 401k to pay for all this since he could spend so much on his whore, sex on call, like movies on demand. I said things to him to hurt him and make him cry several times so he could feel my pain. Well passed the test and made improvements in himself. I decided to stay. With Elle's help and other strong woman on this site I finally understood bad things happen to many people and still go on to live a meaningful life. I'm pretty hard headed so it took me a long time to get it. I think Elle must have told me this twenty times. Steam gave me good advice, I admire the strength of 1998, Melissa was always kind in her words, Aelia makes me laughter, Theresa writes the truth, each woman on this site challenges, speaks the truth and the bull sit meter is very accurate. Give yourself that dreaded word "time". You may feel like running away as we all did. Take care and stay in contact.

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  31. LoveMyDogMore, there is a great book recommended by our marriage counselor called After the Affair. There is a chapter (or more) that delves into the "why" behind an affair - it is my belief (and certainly the case with my h) that there are a combination of factors that create the perfect storm. And yes, your h should work on figuring out the why - but that doesn't mean he will figure it out. We can surmise the "reason", yet don't expect 2+2=4; if you tried to come to an ultimate answer it could make you crazy. To me, an affair is the result of so many factors - societal, cultural, biological, psychological, environmental ... I remember being struck by something in the book that I would never have thought of ... death. The death of a loved one can contribute to someone having an affair, or continuing an affair (obviously someone who has psychological deficits and somehow cannot handle the pain of that death) - prior to and during my husband's affair three people whom he was very close to, passed away. And yes, I used to make myself crazy wanting to know the why. I now accept I will never know the absolute why. I got so tired of thinking about it, analyzing it - I now resort to what my 90 year old friend said when I told her about my h having an affair - "What is he? Stupid!?!?"
    Yah, pretty much.

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    1. Melissa I love your 90 year old friends thinking 'is he stupid' I agree that's what it boils down to stupidity my h said it himself that was the only word he could muster.... I agree in that there can be so many factors that contribute an affair not helpful for the betrayed, but it can give us an insight into our partners.. I will give that book a try Melissa thank you xx

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    2. My husband is reading after the affair. As the betrayed I did not find it as helpful as other books. He is finding it meaningful. For me I look at the whys as excuses really. No reason will ever satisfy me. I would never and have never thought of betraying anyone ever. It is against the fiber of who I am. I feel it is important for him to understand why in depth. And for both of us what contributed and could this happen again. How were boundaries shifted, was it the situation, was it a specific incident? And moving forward transparency and honesty really has to be the biggest priority for both of us no matter how uncomfortable the topic is. I do not want to be blindsided and for me I would rather be told face to face anything that happens or comes up in any aspect of our lives. But this took a year to get to this point for us. I think it helped since he had ended both affairs before dday and also I think it helped that he works in the mental health field. Sometimes I think that last one is a drawback but ultimately it was a benefit.

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  32. Hello, precious friends!
    I finally finished my school year, and it was such an incredible relief. Since then, we have had a beach trip, I have taught Vacation Bible School and a week of theatre camp, and we've had a Six Flags trip. So it hasn't exactly been restful. But it has been such a relief not to have to go to work every day, while trying to work through the healing process. It's what I needed, and I'll be ready, hopefully, to go back to work in August with a peaceful heart.

    My divorce was final on Wednesday, June 28, the day after my 18-year-anniversary. My husband, toward the end, wanted to reconcile. But after eight months of working so, so hard on my marriage, only to be disappointed and deceived repeatedly, I made the decision to divorce in March, and I never looked back. And God bless him, he agreed not to compound the pain and trauma by contesting. I am grateful to him for that.
    I care for him very much, and I hope he resolves his many issues and finds happiness. And I still get sad when I think of my old hopes and dreams for us. He was going to be my best friend and partner forever, we were going to be crazy old folks together. I had to grieve that. And it breaks my heart that my children have to finish growing up a new divided family. I never wanted that for them.
    BUT - I know that I did everything I could. And I am so relieved to be free of the nightmare of doubt and deceit. "Phoenix" was my dream from the beginning, to rise from the ashes. It's a process, but I am much farther along now. I am starting over, reinventing myself. Bonding with my girls. Life is.....Hopeful.
    I send hugs and kisses to my BWC friends. I can never adequately convey my gratitude to you. When I was drowning, you threw me a life preserver. You are amazing, loving women. God bless you!

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    1. So happy to hear how well you're doing. Thanks for checking in, Phoenix. XO

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    2. Phoenix! So glad to hear you're doing so well. It is wonderful to hear that you feel hopeful.

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    3. So happy to hear you are doing well, Phoenix!

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    4. Oh Phoenix, Sometimes the dream we have for ourselves doesn't take the shape we imagine but can be as wonderful or better. I'm so glad to hear from you and so glad to know that you're doing well. It sounds as if you and your husband are able to give your children the love and security that they need, which is what really matters. For them to know that they are valued and loved. Families take many forms.
      Keep us posted. Congratulations on finishing school. And keep rising, Phoenix.

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    5. Phoenix It is good to see your posts. I have been a member of this club for the past 8months...I have found strength in your posts.As you and Elle have said none of us envisioned this path but we're all on it together wishing you peace and blessings for your future

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    6. Phoenix, so glad for your update. I am sure it has been hard at times but you tried your hardest. thank you for sharing.

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    7. Thank you, friends! I don't want to lose touch with the group; y'all have meant so much to me over the last 10 months!

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    8. Thank you, friends! I don't want to lose touch with the group; y'all have meant so much to me over the last 10 months!

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    9. Phoenix! Hi! So great to hear from you! I am happy that life is hopeful and you are starting a new chapter with a positive spirt.

      Lots of love
      Becky

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    10. Thank you, Becky! I hope you are doing well!

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  33. Phoenix it's so nice to hear from you, great to hear about your exciting new chapter in your life!! I'm kinda envious of you, Phoenix you sound like a new woman, ready for new challenges ahead for you and your girls..it just goes to show that whatever decision you choose, you can come through the other side in tact. Im so happy for you Phoenix : ) keep in touch big big hugs xxx

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  34. Thank you Elle. I don't know who you actually are, where you live or what you look like. But you have such a gift your truly an amazing person xx

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    1. Aw Jane. Thanks. I look just like my avatar but with more wrinkles. I live in Canada, not far from the U.S. border.
      And I think the "who" I am is closer to the truth on this site than almost anywhere else, though I suppose all of us have many "who"s: I'm the school mom, the dutiful daughter, the loyal friend, the corporate wife, the journalist and author, the speaker, the animal lover, the social justice activist...and the betrayed wife. All of which adds up to me. :)

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    2. Elle, I also live not far from the Canadian border in the far northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest. I'm 20 minutes from the border, NEXUS pass in hand. Love you and all you do. Beach Girl

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    3. Other side of the country, BG. :(

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  35. So many triggers these days. Summer is hard for me. Dday 2 last summer rocked me more to my core than dday 1 did. Dday 1 was shock but dday 2 ripped through me and was honestly much more difficult and set me back in how to process the betrayal and establishing trust. My husband's first affair started in the summer in a guy's trip before my second was born. I struggle with her birthday even. He cannot understand it. He sees it as not connected at all. But for me everything is connected. He gives one reason for all of his decisions he was not mature enough to handle what was going on in our lives so it was his escape. But tied up in all of it for me was the fact that I was left to take on everything for 10 years with very little actual support and often made to feel like I was the problem. Financially and career wise he was very successful during that time. I think that helped him feel okay since we were well taken care of etc. I struggle to even bring this up. In reality there is nothing he can do about it. And I already known he does not see it my way and how I relate the two. And I tell myself maybe I need to just let it go and be happy for what our life is now yet it is hard for me to do that still. I find myself crying and breaking down about it yet I am not sure if there is anything he can say or do that will help. It is all so frustrating since I know we are in an amazing spot but I feel like I have this dark cloud following me around.

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    1. Hopeful30,
      I was (am?) in exactly your shoes. For the first decade of my marriage, my husband built his career while I freelanced, gave birth to three kids and ran the house. He was cheating the whole time, though I didn't know it.
      One of the things I had to face once the truth came out was that cheating was only a piece of my anger towards him. The other piece was the fact that I'd been emotionally abandoned for most of our marriage. He brought home most of the money, which he believed gave him a pass on everything else. I begged and pleaded and badgered him to spend more time with us, to participate more in our family...but it was always "work" that took priority. And then I'd get the bullshit about he needed to work to keep a roof over our heads, blah blah blah. In other words, shut up and be grateful. By the time I learned about all the infidelity, I was already choking daily on my resentment and anger.
      So...a big piece of rebuilding our marriage has HAD to be addressing those other resentments. Yes it was likely his immaturity and emotional inability to deal with being a grown up. But that doesn't mean he can wave his hands and say "I'm different now" and you'll magically feel better about the whole thing. YOU were the one carrying the load while he was playing at being a bachelor. He had the freedom to build a successful career because YOU were doing everything else. Drives me crazy that guys don't get this.
      That dark cloud is legitimate, Hopeful30. It's telling you that there are things you need to address around your resentment of those years. You need him to hear your pain. You need him to acknowledge that you are a HUGE piece of his professional success. He might need time to absorb that. Sooooo many guys just don't realize how much goes into caring for children and a home. They really think it's playtime, while they're out earning a living. But if THEY had to shuttle kids to dentist appointments, or playgroups, or lessons, or deal with sick kids, etc. etc., they'd quickly realize that suddenly that meeting will have to be rescheduled, that conference call will be missed, that lunch with the colleague is put on hold, that seminar conflicts with a child's parent-teacher interview, etc. etc.
      He doesn't need to "see it" your way to respect that YOU see it that way. I don't need to be black to acknowledge that the Black Lives Matter activists' experience is legitimate. I can respect THEIR truth, even if it isn't my worldview.
      Examine that dark cloud and see if you can parse out what's there...and then determine if you can chalk it up under "the guy he used to be but isn't anymore" or if you need more from him.

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    2. Elle thank you so much for your reply. We have had major discussions related to this. He says different things. He does acknowledge that he would not be where he is today without me. And he understands that he was a terrible husband and he was the cause of all problems that arose in our marriage or our family. And he has always said that it is our money and that I am the most amazing mom... But for me I struggle since in the end he basically says he was a horrible husband, was not there for me, he will never forget what he did and the pain he cussed me. Initially he said he was not in love with me and he was unsure what he wanted. He says now and has for a while he has never been more sure of anything and wants to be with me forever. It is great but makes me cringe. He says even if I left him today he would not go back to his old ways. He hated himself and he feels so much better about the life he is leading now for himself not just me. Again it all sounds great and he gushes at me all the time. So I think what else can he do for me. Where is it coming from. Will time help. Is it pain shopping. When I really sit and think about it I end of feeling like this all went on for a long time and one year or a little over a year is just not enough time to get past this all no matter how amazing he is towards me or how our marriage is. I also have not gone to my therapist since it is summer and the kids are home. Maybe it would help or will help if I schedule an appointment. At a certain point with my husband I feel like we have gone over it as much as we can. I try to praise and reinforce the positive things he does that help me and he responds well to that. This is a hard time of year for me so I think that is affecting me also. Thanks!

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    3. Although i worked out of house along with carrying the load AND THEN SOME!!!! I find i too can be bittee or we and I can make changes now so i can lessen or better yet not build in resentment ... i always put me last without a second thought afterall i was supermom wife and work ... so now simple as it might be i dont sweat myself to perfection weve learned thats overrated right!!! I now dont miss my haircut i make time for mani pedi and or decide well do take out today because i need a break. If i want to play outside and i should b cleaning now i say that will be there tomorrow the house is good enough you see its little things really combined with alot of be kind to yourself and if u can mustard it up a little compassion to him goes a long way too that doesnt mean not being mad or letting it go ive found it to just be more zoomed in on the things we can actual control and choose. My h long term cheating so much i let go or even told him to do cause he works so hard needs a break blahhhhhhh now now now i need a break too and we Both need to work on this carry load and run family marriage together active participant full speed ahead .. it helps hes sorry and tells me so on his own too ... still hurts and when i think back to how it used to be i can cry or spit nails but that wont change it ... we can only change today ... hopeful in with you girl and am sending u some sparkle for the day.

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    4. H30,
      I would encourage you to make an appointment with your therapist. Sometimes there are things brewing beneath the surface and it's only when we begin really talking that they bubble up.
      But yes, a year isn't so long to really digest all the emotional upheaval and trauma of betrayal, on top of resentment related to other aspects of the marriage.

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  36. Hopeful ... much of our story is similar the dday 2 also shook my core the long term affair many many years ... lies... money ... time ... years years years!!! i am fast approaching the first anniversary of dday 2 along with a year out since he fucked the whore again! Im hopeful dday 2 first anniversary will glide over much like my 1 year dday anniversary did so much anticipation... thinking ... feeling and i think even healing. It still hurts but i also see differences and change from where 1 stood last summer. Im even enjoying the sum on my face imagine that and when thoughts invade or tears fall i try to just let them. I get it .. i hear you and more importantly we walked the same path im in your shoes ... ur in mine too. I find it much easier if i stay in the now some days easier than others. I know! I know i know ....i just wanted you to know this too.

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    1. Wounded,

      Yes so similar. Dday one was something that seemed daunting but ended up being good. And we just moved past it and continued great improvements. Summer seems to be harder. I feel exactly the same dday 2 rocked my world, my daughter's bday is coming and he started the first affair right before she was born, dday 2, our wedding anniversary all before Labor Day. I know I need to focus on the day in front of me vs anticipating what is coming up. I tend to get anxious. My husband is working hard and he knows what will trigger me. I appreciate that but only helps a little. Baby steps...

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  37. I am new here, and I need your advice - affair happened out of town on extended business, girl friend from high school, (we are in our 50s) she wanted it to be like it "used to be" she wanted a savior. he fell for it, he's a great savior :-( , and draws energy from it. this happened over 4 months - after the first 2, he came home, there was the disclosure (not a lot of detail and some lies still, at this point) I thought we were starting to heal - he had to go back to her town to finish his assignment, and to break it off, with my insistance, of course. I really thought he could do it. anyway, he was back home in March of '15, and I found out he was unsuccessful (albiet, trying) to break it off - in fact - they were still in contact when he was back in our town. I have questioned him and questioned him - I understand about 80% of it - I know his weaknesses - I realize our marriage was in a weakened state already. She seized the moment, and declare he was everything she ever wanted in a man. Question! Now that I am strong(er) (15 months later) I want to confront her - not to get more information, but to stand up for myself, because she wronged me - she tried to take what wasn't hers to begin with. I have composed a letter - should I send it!??? here is is...what has been your experience in this? is the letter balanced? what can i anticipate happening? they have been under "no contact" sucessfully for 15 months. I would also feel I need to run it past my husband before sending. I just want to call her out on her shit! I feel i am being diplomatic, do you? letter to follow, too long....

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  38. I am new to this site, although I am a year and a half past Dday I have never cheated on my husband. I have composed a letter I want to send to the OW for closure. Any advice on this? I have labored over it, and feel it is my truth, without too much judgement - I would love an honest assessment! Do people do this? Does it help?
    {OW name} –
    As you know, I am aware that you and my husband had an affair for 4 months at the end of 2014- ‘15. I know the pain it has caused {husbands name}and I, and I am guessing for you as well.
    You may have moved on, and your time together may be a distant memory, but {husbands name} and I still have to look each other in the eye, and be present in the shared knowledge of all the aspects of the deceit and physical betrayal. {husbands name} has shared so much about this, because of course I needed to know.
    I hold {husbands name} the most accountable in this affair because he broke our vows, but in the name of ownership, I would like to focus on your role here. You may be thinking .... “but he is a free agent – no one ‘owns’ another persons feelings….” True. Because it takes two… I am not blaming you for the affair… I am however blaming you for knowingly sleeping with a married man – who happens to be mine. I take this personally.
    Both you and {husbands name}acted without my consent and in secrecy - something I have never experienced from my husband, and nothing I would wish on anyone. I felt betrayed and devalued by both of you. For my sake, I feel a need to speak up…. This is for me. Also, if we ever cross paths, I want there to be no doubt in your mind how I felt about your part of the deceit. I too, have been involved with married men in the (distant) past – I am no saint - there is no judgment of you – only truth in the pain it causes. I know the motives, the cajoling, the fantasies, and the heartache that this sort of false union can bring, and the disrespect I have felt for myself. I am reminded now of how sorry I feel about this, and have been humbly called to re-examine my own ethics, morals and motives from that time.
    I know how “things happen” and how heart-strings are pulled. I know my husband very well, and am aware that he has a way of connecting emotionally, and is a compassionate listener. You say he allowed you to feel “safe and loved”, but there was obviously no safe way for any of us to move through this mess unscathed by what had happened. In {husbands name's} way of relating, I believe he felt (as I assume you picked up on), that he was ultimately responsible for your feelings due to the nature of the intimacy – that since he contributed to the dilemma, he would see it through to some sort of mutually beneficial conclusion. I feel you may have tried to use his compassionate nature to persuade him to take some sort of emotional responsibility. He felt he had ruined our marriage, and I understand that you may have encouraged this belief. I felt blindsided and disadvantaged due to the physical miles between {husbands name} and I, the close proximity of {husbands name} and you, and the shame he carried with the affair…. which further estranged us… all part of the "affair" dynamic.
    I also understand how you thought he was what you needed, that you hoped it was mutual, and if all else failed, you could try and convince him of this. Convince him to go against his commitment to me. Think about this.
    Even though you have the unique perspective of knowing {husbands name} in high school, people grow up, evolve, and change – to simply think you could pick up where you left off after so many years….children… marriages…. feels like a fantasy to me, not real life. .. to be continued, it was too long please read my next post......

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  39. A physical connection doesn’t change this fact – it was not permission to try to influence his behavior. To declare that {husband's name} was exactly what you needed and were looking for, when he was and is, clearly my legal, spiritual, and lifelong spouse, feels like attempted theft of the most precious thing in my life!

    You had no right.

    What is also painful to me is in the name of sisterhood - this feminine bond of glorious support and compassion for our gender in truth, honor, and love, you would not only be intimate with someone else’s man, but then try and interfere with his desire to reconnect with his wife and work on his marriage, and to not honor “no contact” when it was first presented in January. I am especially galled at the continued contact while he was here, in our home – sending pictures, texts, and hanging on while he was here for us.

    You may not have been aware, but I had already forgiven {husbands name} over Christmas, and we started our rekindling and newfound heartfelt connection then. He threw away the shirt he got on your road trip together as an act of contrition, because I asked him to, in January. I know he said he was “half-assed and unclear” about breaking off the relationship with you, but {husbands name}’s desire to heal his marriage was there and evident in the letter he sent you for no contact in January, and we all 3 needed the respect that this type of proclamation deserves – you were aware of the state of depression and vulnerability he was in.

    I feel that your fishing for continued contact and not giving him his space was to not give him the opportunity to “step-up” to the man he was trying to be – and the shame and sadness I feel when I think of this missed opportunity for him to “come into his own” by unsuccessfully breaking ties with you entirely in January is immense. The guilt Marc carries from failing to do so is palatable, the entire affair was damaging to his self-worth, and he still caries scars. He regularly expresses regret to me over ever getting involved with you in this way, and the hurt it caused.

    Your talk of respect is not my truth - no one was given respect in this affair – don’t kid yourself. Secret texts, sexual emails and clandestine meetings are the stuff of fantasy and manipulation, not respect. I am especially galled at the continued contact while he was here, in our home – sending pictures, texts, and hanging on tightly while he was here for us to reconcile.

    The way {husband's name} and I view the affair is that our marriage needed a wake up call – and this was it. As damaging as it initially was, the results of my forgiveness towards him and his humility and true remorse to me, have created a new vision of what life with love and gratitude in marriage is and will continue to be. This has been our salvation.

    I only ask that you dig deep in your heart and ask yourself, “what kind of person would deliberately help take down a marriage and sabotage efforts to have that marriage rekindled,” and then ask yourself, “is that is who I am?”

    You must have anticipated some repercussions for this from me – and no, I’m not going to “kick your ass” (as you asked {husbands name). I feel you don’t need me to do that, you have had to deal with the repercussions yourself – not fun… and I feel compassion for you in this respect. I believe sharing my perspective on the affair to you is one the “amazing life lessons” you spoke of from your affair with {husband's name} – maybe the only real lesson left to learn.

    I sincerely wish you happiness and peace in your heart as you navigate life in the future….


    (My name)


    PS - You have my permission to share this letter with your therapist

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  40. Survivor welcome to the group, sorry for what your experiencing right now.
    I'm going to be really honest and say 'no' don't send this letter, I hope you got some comfort from writing the letter but personally that's as far as it should go, the reason being is she doesn't care about you, your feeling, thoughts your life.. She knowingly had an affair with your h, she was in it for her own selfish needs and no amount of your words, compassion and understanding will change that... A great saying from Elle is 'hurt people, hurt people' she's damaged material and the only way to deal with her is to give her ZERO attention... She doesn't deserve your time and effort... Trust me she will thrive on the fact that your even entertaining her it's exactly what she will want.... So please please don't send it, rip it up, burn it and continue to rebuild your marriage .. You need to keep her in the past and move forward with your h..
    Survivor I'm not sure if your in counselling but I would suggest you find a counsellor that can help you work through these issues... You need to take care of you now... One day at a time.. Please keep posting here .. We're here for you xxx

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    1. Sam - First I want to say, thank you. Thank you for being honest and showing your support. I guess i stumble over this because part of my past has to do with not standing up for myself. I finally have a voice - the voice of outrage. it is a strong voice, as I know you all know. I am not in counseling. I went, and it was at a time where i was so low, I really couldn't speak my voice. I had no internal compass. it was when I was very small, and a very small person does not matter - they are inconsequential. So why pay $150 a visit, when I'm not getting $150 out of it? If it was free or minimal cost, I would have continued. the bottom line is, my darling husband and i have really, really, reconnected. we are on an enlightenment path, that was not clear to either of us when we started. Of course we have baggage, but we "see" each other now. I am still outraged by the OW, but she has her own life to deal with - I get that, and still need to be re-reminded. My husband told me on the phone tonight (he is working out of town - *sigh* ) that my ex-husband missed out me (my current husband is of 15 years, my past husband was the father of my 2 children, and was a 7 year relationship). What validation is that?- pure joyI feel supremely lucky to have this man in my life, and he is not full of BS - we have come so amazingly far. I am the luckiest girl in the world. I am against spending money, when we have so many great books at our disposal, and we are reading them together - and hi-lighting, commenting and discussing. What I feel is, when I get "stuck" or feel my husband is "stuck" I will suggest therapy - that hasnt happened yet, but very well may. I did feel *stuck*when I reached out to this group on what to do about the letter, and Sam, so happy you replied. I have sensed what you said is real in the past, but I needed to get back in touch with that feeling. Thank you!!! :-) you are an angel. I intend to lean on you ladies for support. Thank you ALL for being here.

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    2. I will also say, this is the sweetest f**king letter from a stranger that I have ever gotten. Thank you again, Sam A.

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    3. Your welcome survivor : )

      The ow will get what's coming to her without you doing a thing... I want to spare you from any more pain survivor..

      Continue to treat yourself with the care you need .. Be kind to yourself.. Sending you big hugs xxx

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    4. Survivor,
      I absolutely understand the impulse to send this letter. And while I understand Sam A's advice (it's advice I've often given too), I think that sending the letter isn't the issue so much as what you hope to achieve by sending the letter. What are your motives? If they are, as you note, to express your feelings and give a platform for your voice -- then absolutely. Send it. But be aware that you're opening the door to this woman for communication unless you make it very clear that any subsequent communication by her will be ignored...and then actually ignore her.
      However, if, as Sam A points out, you're sending the letter because you think it will open this ex-girlfriend-turned-other-woman's eyes...then save yourself the postage. As Sam A says, she doesn't care about you. You were essentially invisible to her. A shadowy inconvenience in her life. The letter might make her realize that a flesh-and-blood person was affected...but more likely she'll read it as triangulating her back into your relationship. Attention is like oxygen for a lot of these people. It affirms their existence. It makes them feel important. Hurt people hurt people.
      I hope your husband has completely cut off contact with this person and made it abundantly clear that she is not welcome in your lives. And I think you'd be wise to do the same.
      If you do send the letter?? I'd cut it by half and stick remove any references to your own past. I don't think that's relevant. Your focus is on the role she played in your marriage. And I think the letter would be more powerful if you stuck to her participation in the deception and betrayal of another person.
      That said...you need to do what feels right for you. We each get to walk our own path and none of us really knows the right choice for another.

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  41. I would love and appreciate any feedback to this letter - I think it will make me feel better and more in control if I am able to speak my mind. I don't think she will come back with accusations, but if she does, I am OK with that. I just want to stand up for myself! Has anyone out there had similar feelings? I have had NO verbal, written, or any kind of exchange with her, ever. she knows I know, I oversaw the final (attempt 2-3) no contact letter - the one that stuck - the one that was written when he was out of her town, and no longer under her influence. I feel like my voice was taken away - my truth - I feel so taken advantage of from this woman. Is this appropriate? do people often get burned by this type letter? (above) I just want peace in my heart!!!!

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  42. I like your positive name, survivor. You have to decide what is right for you. Prepare yourself because Sam is right she doesn't care. I decide to go see the OW to compare his and her stories. I spent 2 hours with her. I had to find out if he was lying. He was not but there were a few details he forgot. (Yeah right). It helped me. I saw immediately why my husband chose me. I could see she was purely available like a fast food drive up place. Sex on call. Talking to her adult to adult helped me. I came out getting the information I needed. It scared the shit out of my husband. The problem with the letter is you will get the satisfaction you crave for justice because you will never know her reaction. If all you want to do us vent and expect nothing else then send it. Keep in mind these woman live for attention bad or good. You are giving her attention. She will relish your are upset. You might shorten your letter she could care less if you forgave him. You are blaming her for HIM not stepping up? She is going to laugh. You are complimenting her that she gave your marriage a wake up call? She doesn't need a lecture of asking herself who she is. This letter is too good for her. Sorry to be blunt, nor trying to hurt you but telling it from a different perspective. I hurt for you.

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  43. Ask yourself one question-why? What is the purpose? If the purpose is to tell her how terrible she is then no, she doesn't give a shit what you think. If the purpose is to see what she had over you, how could she captivate your husband, then no. He reached down, she is a low-life pathetic no values skank. If your purpose is to tell how much she hurt you, then no, she could care less. I went to see the OW face to face and spent two hours with her about 18 months after Dday. My purpose was to see if my husband was lying to himself and me. I wanted to compare stories. It was eating me alive that he maybe still lying to himself and me. I was so calm, I had a mission. Sugar dripped out of my mouth, I empathized with her pathetic delusions. But I got the truth. I didn't want her to feel threatened or get her pissed off that defeated my purpose. I didn't belittle her, call her a home wrecker or whore. My therapist said it was the only time in her career this had a positive outcome. I felt empowered. She had nothing over me. I'm better in every way. She is runner up, second place never wins. I could see her what for she is and knew why husband didn't go with her. I understood 99 percent of what the affair was all about. I can't tell you how superior I felt. I found out he wasn't lying. I found out what I thought he was lying about it was too painful for him to remember. I also found out what he told her about our marriage which he couldn't tell me as openly as he talked to her. That really hurt but I was able to put on a good front. I can manipulate and win an academy award for best actress, I learned from the best, my mom who faked cared about me. So I was able to pull it off, do you have the skills, will power, and fortitude? If you deep down know you don't stay away. It will be one of the most painful things you ever do in your life. For me the reward of getting both sides was worth the pain. I have interview skills from my business career so I had experience with talking to people and getting out the truth. Do you? I thought about this for 2 months, planned it out. Then I put her address in my GPS and off I went. It scared the crap out of my husband which was a side benefit of my little excursion. He knows now what I'm capable of not a weak withering wife laying in a puddle on the floor. I'm a wife that can slay dragons. He also learned not to under estimate me. If you have trouble right now in your healing process by standing up to people don't do it. Remember, she hates you, she wants your life, she doesn't give a shit about your opinion or thoughts. She has no conscience and is not bound by any code of morals. Whatever your motivation or purpose if you can't deal with this type of person then don't go. I know I'm very blunt, black or white but I want to save you some real pain. If you want to get back at her but can't confront her then call and request sex toy catalogues and give them her address. Rise up and get Karma going. We are one one bunch of strong women so don't mess with us. You pull the tail on our fighting tiger, our head turn arounds and all your going to see is teeth.

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    1. Lynnlesspain
      I love the suggestion of sending sex toy catalogs! That made me laugh so hard just imagining the look on the cow face when she recognized what they are! I also don't like the idea of giving her the attention she is craving from continuing to contact by sending a letter. We tried texting her and it just made her try harder to get him to meet her. He refused and now that she's been told by the judge to leave us alone, I don't give her any more room in my head! Survivor, the peace you seek comes with time and the response from your h as to how he treats you. Keep venting here, we all know how you feel! Hugs!

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    2. In a way, I would love to compare stories too, but I don't think I have the skills, or the fortitude. I would have to do it on the phone, because she lives far away. I would love to have been a fly on the wall to hear how you did that!!!! Kudos, girlfriend.

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  44. Survivor - Here my letter I never mailed. I took bits and pieces from others writing. You had no right to insert yourself into my marriage.  You had no right to come between a husband and wife. You had to right to come between a father and his daughter or sons. You had no right to fuck my husband and I don't know what you thought you were going to gain by doing so.  Yes, this is his fault.  It's also yours.  I really don't give a damn who the pursuer was, the fact is, YOU knew that he was married and that makes you just as responsible as he is. What kind of woman knowingly sleeps with a married man KNOWING that there is no chance for a future? Why would you do that to anyone, but most of all yourself?  My God, even when he told you it was over at your house with me standing there, you still called to talk to him. What type of woman calls 6 then 9 months later to try to re-insert herself into our marriage again? You know exactly what you were doing. Did you REALLY believe that YOUR thoughts, the thoughts of the person intruding on our marriage, would matter to either one of us? See how important you were to him?
I think it's horribly unfair that I did nothing wrong yet I am the one suffering the most.  I see the grief and remorse in my husband's eyes and I know that if he could go back and change things, he would. You could have been ANYBODY...it was never about YOU.  You weren't friends, you were a vagina and an ego boost for him. At the end of the day, he chose me without a second's hesitation and threw you under the bus. Was causing me to suffer this way worth what you got in the end? Why, would you want to inflict this on me? You have been victimized by your own husband and now my husband. Someday you will know again this devastating agony that I felt..someday a whore, like you, will slither her way into your relationship and when you're laying on the floor in a crumpled heap of devastation barely able to breathe because of the horrible grief and pain, you'll think of me.

My marriage is going to be fine...as a matter of fact, MY JR (he hated that nickname) and I are stronger than before.  He loves ME and is doing everything in his power to right his wrongs....you?  You get nothing. He wants nothing to do with you. You know today my husband used you. My husband rejected you. You tried hard to take my place but you know you didn't succeed. You are a failure. You realize in your dark heart you had two years of his lies, casual passion, loveless interludes. You know you are not good enough. I wake up without a guilty thought in my head. You have caused irrevocable pain to me, both our families, my children, daughter-in-law's, and friends who all know you to be a home wrecker, surprised that you are not the sweet teacher you portrayed. My children comment that it sickens them that you would be teaching their children morals, right and wrong. Your reputation in town probably goes far beyond what I know first hand. Even two years later, they remember our family devastation and your name is brought up in disgust. I found evidence where he wrote you checks in your name for what he said was "on-call sex", $500 and $300 although you denied it. The money you requested and he gave you was money robbed from our family. Our friends and children know about the money If you have any decency left, enclosed is a prepaid envelope for you to send the necklace he gave you for Christmas as an act of contrition. Take some accountability for the pain you caused our family. Sleeping with married men isn't going to fix you. It is a sickness. The cure is living with integrity and confidence. It is doing the right thing not what makes you happy. You knew better. My husband's refers to you as a whore and our family/friends couldn't agree more.

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  45. I wrote a letter as well. I did not intend to send it nor will I. It was more for me to get my feelings out. I agree with Elle, the OW could care less about how you feel or I feel. Mine actually thinks she did nothing wrong because she is single. Can you believe that!? Her FB page actually states what high morals and integrity she has!

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  46. Can you please tell me how to make a new post rather than just a comment? I wanted to share my story. Thank you. :)

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    1. Hi Debby,
      There isn't a place to create a new post but you can comment on any of the posts (or go to one of the pages at the top, such as "Share Your Story..." and write it there). Any place that feels like it suits is a great spot to tell us what happened. I'm sorry you need a place like this...but so glad you found us.

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  47. Survivor,

    I considered sending a letter or even more calling the two ow. I thought about it a lot. I wrote out long lists of questions. I went back and forth for a long time. In the end I decided to not contact them. I spent a lot of time on this and decided to focus my energy on my husband and his decisions and us going forward. For me I questioned how could I even trust what these women would say to me. And maybe it is their truth but it does not match my hauband's thoughts. My husband broke it off with one over a year before dday with no contact. The other one he had not seen in 5-6 years but still emailed. After dday he showed me all communication and only got one text from each. The one who he had continued emailing kept texting him and he showed me and he replied to stop texting and never heard from her again. The other one texted him when a mutual friend died. He showed me immediately and we discussed what to do. In the end we decided he would ignore it since it was one text. I do struggle at times thinking of how much hate I have for both of them and they both pursued my husband the one did for four years. They were both single so nothing to lose for them. They were both sporadic relationships which made it next to impossible to me to figure out without being a detective. In the end I am glad I did not contact either one since I know there is nothing they could say or tell me that would make it any better.

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  48. All good advice, and first thing, I will cut the letter down with the advice above, and give it a look with fresh eyes, and reevaluate. This is all good advice, and she is big in triangulation - that is how I taught my husband about the concept - (he is too - and is working on it) but by using her as an example. I would love to meet with her to Lynn- but I am so "nice" it would be hard to have the type of conversation and be true to myself - plus (thankfully) she is 1500 miles away. I truthfully just wanted to vent. I had to put up with reading all her loving correspondence, and she didn't have to see me as a human being at all - of course, except once he was back home, she must have looked on FB- which I peppered with all kinds of connection things for my husband and I - took big pictures of the roses he gave me with him in the background, with the caption, "Honey, you still make my toes curl" - what drives us to get back like that? I don't know, but it felt good (and was true). Plus all the remodel pictures of our new home together. So yea, I know she saw it because 6 months after he was back, she blocked me on FB - she was probably afraid I was going to slam her name right there on social media. OK, I hear you all. I'm going back to work. our healing is going sooo well anyway, yesterday he told me "your ex-husband missed out by not having you in his life" and "you have taught me so much" we read books together that are helpful about how to relate and set boundaries and be fair and compassionate. Thank you, Ladies!

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  49. Llp I bloody love that letter it put a smile on my face but would no doubt wipe the smile of the ow face... I hate these bitches so much. ... Whores indeed .. Well written Llp xxxx

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  50. My motive is just to speak up. I know the truth in his heart, I probably know more about the dynamics than even she realizes. i dont care if she responds, and I have edited the letter, which before left me vulnerable, but the new version just calls her out on her *shit* without a shred of compassion. It is still truthful. My husband is working out of town right now (yes, i trust him) and will be back in a week, so I have time to mull it over. LynnLP, I hear your pain! What a piece of work! Marc has been careful to block all contact avenues, so there has been no contact - no way to contact - and she knows she can only exert influence in person - and he is 1500 miles away, so there is that. She did send him his rebuttal to his final no contact letter which i will post here later, it makes me sick. No talk of the wrong doing - just all the wonderful life lessons, feeling safe and in love, valued, respected ugh! I have a hard time not calling her out on this shit! I had to read all of that - I doubt she ever saw any of my feelings, except on FB when he was home. Thank you ladies for being here! what a great group!

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  51. Lynn- you are right - I do not have the *stuff* to face her at this point - but I too, wonder what he told her about our marriage - the truth will never come from my husband, I realize that - I can craft words on a page, but do not have the fortitude to sit with her. One of my first thoughts after i found out - but before I knew the facts was, what if my husband died, and she showed up at his funeral? What is true, in my truth, could I kick her out? Or, was she the "love of his life" and I would have no right (and he is with me for connivence or to no lose 1/2 his money)? Now I know better - I would show her the door!! has anyone had this thought? it drove me crazy - she would never come "pay respects" because she has no respect, anyway - he is no good to her dead! Ha!

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  52. OH! The way they toss about morals, integrity, respect, ethics, safety! It is mind boggling - there must be a part of them that knows thats just not true, but if they say it enough....

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  53. One of my husband's biggest fears and he said he had nightmares about if for years is he would die and all this would come out about his affairs. His biggest fear now is our kids will find out. It is hard for us but I see it weigh on him every day and he says it haunts him every day and he will go to his grave with this regret. I hope my kids never find out it would just not be good as long as we are together. This stuff is just not easy.

    One ow has a connection to one of my kids best friends mom. He had no idea how this works but it will be a bad day if she is ever around our child. It already bothers me that she sees photos of my kid posted on this other parent's fb page. Ugh.

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  54. HELP!! When will this get better? When will I stop having complete come aparts about nothing? Most importantly, when will I start to love my H again?

    We are 9 months out from our Dday. H seems to be trying. We have had occasional little white lies that make me absolutely crazy. However, I have found no evidence of betrayal again...and believe me when I say I look...a lot.

    My bigger issue now seems to be how I feel about my H. I am seriously afraid that I have fallen out of love with him and that it will never come back. There are no more butterflies. When he comes home after a long trip I can't wait for him to leave again. Everything he does annoys me. And I have little/no interest in sleeping with him.

    Am I the only one that feels this way? Is it normal and will it stop?

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    1. Rae,
      No, you're not the only one who feels this way. The person you trusted most betrayed you. Some people can't or won't move past that one truth. And that's their prerogative. I was only able to feel as though I was falling back in love with my husband when I saw how hard he was working, day in day out, on becoming a better person. When I saw his genuine remorse and deeply held regret. When I could begin to respect him for fighting so hard.
      But without that? I doubt I'd still be here.
      I'm curious what your husband is doing. The "little white lies" might seem like nothing relative to sexual/romantic betrayal but they speak to a person's character and I've no doubt they put distance between both of you. You can't have true intimacy in a relationship in which one partner is hiding part of him/herself.
      Are you two in counselling?
      If not, you might want to consider giving marital counselling a try, or going to individual counselling where you can sort through your own conflicted feelings in a safe space.
      Or, Rae, you can always make the choice to leave the marriage. There isn't a "right" way through this. The "right" path is the one in which you show yourself honesty and respect.

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    2. Rae
      I think we have all felt like you in some part of our journey through the mess of betrayal! I second everything Elle has said! She is so wise! The time is different for each of us as to how long it takes to stop the meltdowns! I haven't had one this month but I sure came close in March when the cow sent a text and more recently we returned from an out of town trip and there was a cryptic message in front of the fence where my beloved lab stays! My mind panicked and until I heard from the pet sitter and my h went to speak to our neighbors, by the way they had requested utilities to be marked for a new fence, I imagined 'her' coming close to my pet! I'm getting stronger each day but I struggle at times with anxiety about an up close encounter with the cow! I'm afraid I might be arrested for assault! Not sure if I could hold my anger in for the way she treated us after the affair was clearly over. So like Elle, my h attitude of fixing himself first and then clearly understanding how much this changed the dynamics of our marriage and clearly putting us before any of his selfish want to do, only then could I get to s better place! Hon, it's a long road and each of you have work hard but if you're both willing it's so worth it when you get a new relationship that gets better each day! Hugs!

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    3. Thank you do much Elle and Theresa for your input. I haven't been to this site in several weeks before last night because I have been better and I go through these phases when I just don't want to think about it. But you guys have been here when I have needed it from the beginning and I am truly thankful for that.

      The "little white lies" that I referred to are stupid little things that would probably mean nothing to anybody...except me. For example, last week when he was out of town we were texting and he said he was in bed. When I called at that moment he was actually in the elevator on the way to bed. To him that is just a shorter text...to me it's another lie on a long long list of lies.

      I am in therapy. I started because of this site. I don't know how much it is helping but I am going religiously. He already had a therapist and has made several thousand excuses not to go. I know that he is ashamed of his behavior but this bothers me a lot. However, one of the things I am working on with my therapist is that i cannot control his...or anyone's...behavior.

      I have considered leaving. I still consider it almost everyday. The conclusion that I have come to for now is that I would be leaving more to punish him than to help me, so for now I am staying.

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    4. Rae,
      You sound really grounded right now. You're taking care of yourself, seeing a therapist (therapy is like training for a marathon, progress comes slowly but one day you realize you can actually go the distance alone), and weighing your options without being impulsive. Hang in there.

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  55. I have a question that was triggered by your connection comment, Hopeful 30.

    Connections.

    My husband's darling (barf) youngest sister knew from the onset that her brother was fucking the cow at my Alzheimer's mother-in-law's home (age 80) when he was 'caretaking' Friday nights. When I asked him what his sister thought of this, her reply was "I support you in whatever makes you happy."

    This is the same sister that, for the past 30 plus years, would ask my husband to go to lunch when she was in town and look directly at me and say "This is just a brother/sister lunch."

    There were MANY issues my husband didn't deal with for over three decades and he is a changed man. The man I thought I was marrying.

    Question: What do you do with the accomplices? Those that knew and said NOTHING to you? There are quite a few of "his" friends who knew, and I USED to consider them OUR friends.

    Feedback about what you've done? Are doing? Want to do?

    Thank you, each of you, for your posts. Everyone is in my prayers.

    Suzanne : )

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    1. Suzanne,
      Accomplices can be toxic, particularly if they continue to violate very clear boundaries.
      You and your husband need to get on the same page around this. He needs to make it clear to other people in his life that you and your marriage is his absolute priority and everything/everyone else needs to either be in support of that or at the very least, not in the way of that. It's really hard for "pleasers" and those with porous boundaries to draw these lines, but it's crucial for healing.
      There people are not friends of the marriage. To watch a brother self-destruct and betray his wife and respond with a shrug and a "whatever" makes clear that his family of origin likely has some bigger issues that have been there a long time.

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    2. One more thing, however. It isn't really the responsibility of friends and/or family to intervene in an affair, necessarily. However, in a healthy relationship (sibling, friend, whatever), I would expect the "accomplice" to not be an accomplice. To make it clear that they will not be complicit in the lying and betrayal of someone.

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    3. Suzanne
      There were several of his friends from volleyball that knew about the affair. They didn't contribute to it but I'm sure it made them uncomfortable the first time they met me as that night cow who has been told not to show up, sat at a table drinking a beer telling me what a wonderful friend my h had been when she was going through a terrible divorce. So yeah I kinda know how you feel about someone that knows but doesn't bother to tell you something is going on with your marriage. Our neighbors knew her as she lived in the house for a couple of months when she was homeless from the divorce and my h was busy being her best friend, however, I don't feel any animosity toward them for minding their own business and not getting involved. I'm even getting to the point where nothing she shared with her many texts messages bothers me much! I'm guessing it's because my h has made sure to make more good memories of us than the few she kept insisting were his 'real truth'. I'm so sorry for what you are going through but if you h does the right thing and I'm with Elle, even little lies should not be in a couples relationship. He has to work on himself only you can change you! Hugs!

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    4. Suzanne,

      This is one of our major sticking points. My husband claims that his friends know nothing and have no idea what he did. I do not care so much that they know or were aware but that they sat by for 10 years. As I have told him i would never let my friend sit at a bar and have a guy grab her phone give it back to her and then she disappears. Or that a friend would go off with a guy or drive a guy home. It would never happen. One of us would tag along. ( I am of course speaking of marriend freinds and even my single friends do not act this way.) But at the core of this is who do you surround yourself with. What type of people. People who are permissive or break the rules themselves. They push the boundaries. And yes maybe it is harmless. Maybe it is a game of golf every week without telling the wife or leaving work early to watch a game at a bar. Again not the same as betrayal but it is still deceptive. And what is the chance the boundaries will shift. And if they feel they can do that what is the big deal if you give someone a ride home who needs one or the woman takes your cell phone and gets your number? To me it is all connected. I just see it no other way. My husband will accept that but still stands by these were all his decisions and his friends are not responsible for him. We go around and around about this. My husband has backed away from his friends, has set his own self imposed curfew, drinks a lot less, turns down nights out, out of town trips all the time. He has made a major effort to create couples activities, nights out, dinners out. Some have happened but none of his friends or their spouses are very interested in that. So he has made major adjuastments to his behaviors and how he spends his time but I am so bothered at the core that he thinks they had no influence and they were that clueless over 10 years. Again I do not hold them responsible at all it is just I question as you said are these friends "friends of the marriage"? We have talked about this so much and I am struggling how to get my feelings and point across. In the end I think he figures these are friends of 30+ years and they will always be his friends. I am definitely his priority but my skin crawls when he tells me what good guys they are when I do not feel that way about them. Maybe they will always be great guy friends but they do not live their life in a good way and they do not have a marriage i can respect of value.

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    5. Hi Suzanne,
      This has been a biggie in my relationship. I second the (barf) sister. Actually, there's 6 of them, so that's a whole lotta barf over here.

      Here’s where my H is at with friends and family… no contact with former friends -- none -- and very limited, very superficial contact with his family. He has done this with the support and guidance of both his IC and our MC.

      At first I was concerned if these “no contact” changes were wise. I told him I was worried they would be extreme and unfair. But as he pointed out, so is adultery, times 10.

      We may have more flexibility in the future. But for now, this is what is workable for us. He's slowly, mindfully, building new healthy friendships. And he's coming to terms with the reality of abuse in his family. He is focused on becoming MY friend again, and on full engagement in our little family. These have been his choices, and he says he is feeling authentic and GOOD for the first time in his life. I can see it -- even the way he carries himself has changed for the better.

      This is what I'm trying to focus on now too. I am lonely for our old "friends" sometimes, but only in the way I am lonely for my old marriage, and for getting drunk on sweet wine with rough boys behind the movie theater at 15. Nostalgia for the fun parts, but really I know that was some f-ed up bullshit.

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    6. I think I've read all your experiences at least 10 times now. Digested. THANK YOU all for sharing I so much appreciate each of you. My h doesn't have any contact with the supporters; he also has superficial contact with the barf sister.

      Crumb balls. There are SO MANY unfair facets to infidelity. Some days I actually spit on the ground (geez I hope no one is looking!) in disgust. This actually helps. I have no clue why!

      My h's boundaries are getting better. His omitting even a simple thing is a trigger for me but that's getting better, also.

      Again, THANK YOU ALL for being strong women.

      Suzanne : )

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  56. Fragments of HopeJuly 21, 2016 at 4:02 AM

    Survivor, I just wanted to add my experience to those who've answered already about sending a letter to the OW. I was exactly like you in that I felt I had 'no voice', my existence had been obliterated by my husband and the OW. In fact, just after the terrible affair fog month following D-Day 1, I developed laryngitis and actually couldn't speak! Nine months after D-Day 1 and my husband cutting off contact, I found a message in my 'Other' folder on Facebook written by the OW in the first few days after my husband stopped talking to her and she couldn't get in touch with him (she was obviously incensed). It was written to me in the guise of 'I think you should know' it was full of entitlement and her sad story of how my husband had made a commitment to her and lied and so on. At first I was not going to answer and felt pleased that she had been inadvertantly ignored for 9 months. However then I felt just as you do that I needed to speak up and show her that there was a real person affected by her actions. The letter was balanced, understanding her perspective but called her up on her actions. However, her response was to ring my husband in anger that I seemed to be 'blaming her.' Obviously she had no remorse or insight. He rang me in a panic, admitting she had contacted him. I felt bad because he was facing a very important work meeting that day. However, coincidentally, it turned out that they had been in contact for a month (friends, no strings attached, yet) and she was gleefully able to answer my letter back. I had asked that she stay out of our lives, she responded 'then why is he in constant contact with me for the past month.' She was able to fling the knife again and was only concerned for herself, still selfish and remorseless. She blamed him for fooling her (she said he had said the marriage was over) but she had been the one prodding him to end his marriage while knowing (she spied on facebook) that we were making him lovely cakes for his birthday and so on. Anyhow, I REALLY understand your need to have a voice and to speak out, it was so important to me too and I am quite proud of the letter I did send. However, based on my experience, it will not enlighten the OW in any way, they will not see the light (unless it was in them already to do it), it may anger them, make them reach out to the OW and give them ammunition against you. The OW often has a negative view of the wife and since we all operate with a 'confirmation bias' she will pick over any letter you send for evidence that you are 'crazy, bitter' etc. As the others have said, if you do write to her make it very short and to the point and do not include any of your own personal stuff. The letter you showed us was very heart on sleeve, I would not give the OW any of that vulnerable information, it will not soften her and you are opening yourself up to her warped judgement. As for wanting to know what your husband said about your marriage, reading this blog, the affairs operate almost on formula and cliche, the wife doesn't understand or appreciate him, she nags, she doesn't give him what he needs (sex, affection, gratitude, freedom, hot dinners, appreciation, insert relevant item). I found out through texts stuff my husband said, all usual couples and marriage stuff with a grain of truth but blown out of all proportion and taken out of context. It did not do me any good to hear the specifics. Just take it that he dismantled the good in the relationship to justify what he was doing and exaggerated any resentments, slip ups or issues. The complaints my husband had against me were petty and nasty and purely to gain him sympathy. I don't think it will help you to witness the details. Two years on what really matters is that he discovers why he did it and works on himself to fill those gaps in a positive way shows constant remorse and a willingness to repair and make reparation until you can fully trust, build and love. Best wishes.

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    1. One thing I have found interesting is things my husband told me on dday one and the days following he has no memory of. The actual facts but him describing reasons and his feelings he has no memory. And what I have found that we are now 15 months past is at all the different stages he has felt different. I am sure during the affairs he felt different too. He had to tell himself whatever he had to in order to make himself not feel like an even bigger jerk than he knew he was. He had to spin things in his favor. He is disgusted with himself and what he has said to me and how he has treated me over the years. But it took him time to get here. He is shocked when i tell him the things he has said to me. And at the time maybe it is how he felt and he meant it or maybe it was a defense mechanism. Who knows but at least for us I have seen my husband's personality, words and actions evolve through this healing process. Where he started is worlds apart from where he is 15 months out. But this did take a lot of time and work. It has been hard for me to understand since I am not that way. I am steady, honest, reliable and unwavering. I have not changed who I am or what I stand for at any point in my life. It is hard to look at him and see he was able to change to such extremes. I understand what allowed him to do it a little but there is still work to be done. I guess I just wanted to say be true to yourself but realize especially if you are early on his perspective might evolve as he heals from all of this too. Of course no contact and setting the proper boundaries are a must but I remember thinking he has been patient with me now it is my turn to be patient with him.

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    2. FOH, that is one of my fears that they will resume some form of contact or "friendship" months from now. How did you handle that when you found out? I think that would put me over the edge. I don't know if I can reconcile if he ever went anywhere near OW again..

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  57. Fragments of HopeJuly 21, 2016 at 4:17 AM

    Rae, I am two years out and still very recently felt like you do regarding will you ever really love your husband again. I was numb, still in shock and very anxious, coupled with other problems at home (a sometimes hostile Asperger teen) I just did not have the space or confidence to 'feel'. Some of it also related to my husband's efforts, sometimes he was argumentative as to what he felt would help, my blankness and negativity sometimes put him off trying. However someone has to break the cycle and my husband recently is taking my suggestions on board. He was paying lip service to caring but was finding it hard to really show me (in the romantic sense) that I was important to him, we were both afraid to step forward. Truthfully I may have gone if it wasn't for the kids, I was so put off by what he had done and couldn't not see a way back. However I began to see glimpses and feel good with him and feel the odd surge of affection (he noted that sometimes I would then step away again, in fear, after an affectionate exchange). Until recently even he was despondent that there would be bad instances in between the good so much that we would forget the good. But in the last few weeks the good seems to be joining together, feelings of love, appreciation, comfort, confidence etc are returning and i think they all have to come together. I'm only one example but due to my own way of processing the affair and old hurts it has taken me two years to start to feel the love again. I probably should have done more counselling but I also think that a particular upward spiral/dynamic has to establish itself in the relationship (I am hoping for similar with my teen, it hasn't quite happened yet.) before you can really find the love again. That's my pennysworth anyway Rae, there is certainly nothing unusual about how you are feeling.

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    1. Rae & FOH,
      I too am currently struggling with the "will I love again?" question. Just talked w my counselor about it yesterday. She gave me great advice and said she'd actually be worried about me if I was all-in ready again after "just" 1 year, considering length & depth of his deception. I thank God for her guidance.
      But truly, I cannot say thanks enough for the ladies on this site -- FOH, reading "there is certainly nothing unusual about how you are feeling" from someone I know has been in my shoes is INVALUABLE to me. Hugs.

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    2. Sal, I agree. It takes a long time to really work through the depth of betrayal and to make a healthy choice about how to proceed.

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    3. Good grief, it is so helpful to read this from so many. I too continue to struggle with "will I ever truly love this man again?" in my head and heart. He has done so many positive things including changing his life but the fact that his porn addiction was grandfathered into our 37 year marriage that then progressed to prostitutes with the full blown sex addiction over the past 10 years continues to give me pause about my life and future. I am 65 and feel like I am damned if I do and damned if I don't stay. He tells me he loves me daily and has a mantra every night "I honored you today, loved you and was faithful to you as I will be tomorrow and every day after than". I tell him I believe him because I know it is true when he says it.I tell him I love him because I hope that by saying that over and over it will become true. I don't trust him and this pains him. I understand that his sophisticated ability to compartmentalize his life allowed him to still "love" me and "want to be married" while succumbing to the cesspool of his addiction. If we separated it would be such a shock to everyone because we appear to be the "perfect" couple. My husband looks a lot like the old man on the movie "UP" so you can only imagine how our adult kids and family and friends would feel if they knew he had a longing for escorts and daily porn. Ugh. I suspect that being raised Catholic has its downside for my recovery. This site is a safe haven. I am working toward happiness one day at a time. Much love to all my sisters out there. Beach Girl

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  58. I posted my story but it never showed up. Does it take time to post? It's Ben a few days...

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    1. Hi Debby,
      Was it on this thread? I try to moderate at least once a day (sometimes two times or more) so it should have appeared by now. Sometimes, Blogger swallows posts and I have no idea why. I hope you'll try again.

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  59. I thought so..ill try again. I am new on this site..sadly I needed to find a group for this. Something I never imagined could happen. It's been 7 weeks since DD and its all I can think about 24/7. I am so distracted from my life because I keep replaying everything in my head. My story is the typical husband mid life crisis thing. He wasn't getting the attention he needed etc. everything he did reads like a midlife crisis article. Lost weight, got braces, worked out 6 days a week, irritable, he colored his hair, changed the pass code on his phone numerous times. I knew in my gut something was wrong and going on but u have never dealt well with confrontation so when he would get mad and tell me I was being ridiculous and that his work made him change it I would just accept that. Now I feel so stupid. Things finally came to light may 27th the weekend of our girls graduation party. OW sent me a fb message stating she had been having a relationship with my H for 18 months! I was devasted but we had a house full of company, two precious girls graduating and a party to deal with. It as the hardest two days of my life. Once it was over I dragged it out of him and he confessed. I made him leave for a week, took him back and have been yoyo-ing from love to hate. I want to punch him and kiss him the next minute. He has begged for forgiveness and says it was the worst mistake, he didn't care about her, all the things you read a man says when caught with his pants down. So now I'm here lost..don't know if I can ever trust him again. I can't get it out of my head. She has tried a few times to contact him but he has blocked her hopefully. I want to confront her but I know it wouldn't matter. How do I move on, how can I stop the movie reel in my head of this awful event? Sad and broken hearted.. And fucking pissed!

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    1. Debby,
      Sad, broken-hearted and fucking pissed is pretty much the epitaph for us post-D-Day. But pissed is good. Pissed is the fuel that will move you toward healing. Pissed means that you aren't taking responsibility for HIS idiot move. And pissed means you have enough self-respect to ensure that, if you give him a second chance, it will only be because YOU have decided he's deserves it.
      And that's what he needs to show you right now. That he deserves it. And he shows you by being totally transparent. You note that "hopefully" he has blocked her. That's something you should know based on being able to check his phone whenever you choose. He's lost his right (for the moment, at least) to privacy. He needs to show you that he's honest and he shows you that by creating an environment that any time you try to verify where he is, what he's doing, who he's with...it turns out to be true. Not to turn you into a nanny state, simply to give you the chance to begin to trust again. And for him to make it clear that he's willing to do the hard work of making amends.
      What's more, however, he needs to figure out why he risked someone that mattered for someone that didn't. What stories was he telling himself that made what he was doing okay? My general recommendation is that he needs to see a therapist. Most of these guys aren't the most insightful or they likely wouldn't be in this situation. They need someone calling out their bullshit and encouraging them to really examine their feelings. Many of those feelings (fear of growing older, missing out, etc.) are legitimate. It's the expression of that (cheating in order to feel "alive") that's the problem.
      What's more, whether or not you give him that second chance is a choice you get to make. There's no "right" way through this. There's only what feels right to you. And figuring that out can take time so don't pressure yourself to decide one way or the other until you're ready.
      The movie reels do tend to disappear with time but you can move things along by trying your hardest to change the channel when you begin. Snap an elastic on your wrist to remind you not to go down that rabbit hole. Or go for the walk, pick up a book, call a good friend...anything to distract yourself.
      You'll get there Debby. It's a tough road to walk but there are many of us on it with you who will help you along.

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    2. Debby
      I'm so sorry you had to join us but glad for you that you have! You have every right to feel pissed as well as a multitude of other emotions! You can't see trust yet as seven weeks is still raw pain! How disappointed you must feel that this is happening right when you have some joy of watching your children graduate and be almost crushed inside! When I first found this blog, I read it from the first post on through to the present ones! The advice I find here will help you get through some of the toughest spots! I don't advise contact with ow because the one in our situation is/was mentally unstable. She doesn't care about you because you are why she doesn't have her sex partner any more. She probably knew she was dropping her truth bomb on you during a special family time. The mind movie unfortunately lasted a long time for me but you can get it out of your head and replaced by a new movie of you and your h. It's going to be hard work . Therapy has been very beneficial to most of us who post here. Just sharing what you are feeling and journaling the feelings are also ways of dealing with the hurt angry sad emotions. Time is your new best friend and if your h is doing the right things to prove he's a changed man, the trust issue will resolve in time. I'm so sorry for what I know you are feeling and it does get better with time! Hugs!

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    3. "Sad, broken hearted and pissed". Keeps me honest and moving forward. Love it, Beach Girl

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    4. Debby, I know it seems hard to believe, but you WILL get through this, you WILL heal, you WILL laugh again, you WILL be whole again.

      A lot of tough work, but you got here in such a short time (seems like a life time, right, this last 7 plus weeks?).

      Read, read, read and you will find all of the answers for which you look.

      We are your cheering section.

      Suzanne : )

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  60. I talked to a friend tonight that is a therapist and she said I probably am experiencing some PTSD which I would never have thought about something like this before it happened to me. It is the most traumatic thing that has ever happened to me, I find myself looking at cars as I walk out to mine or look at my house as I pull up, I keep expecting another shoe to drop.. A package or something to show up from this person, does this make sense! She doesn't even live here. Maybe I've seen too many life time movies or fatal attraction?! It's like a loss of safety some how? Does anyone else experience this?

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    1. Debby,
      A LOT of us experience that. And a lot of us struggle to accept that what we're experiencing is PTSD because we think that's only for war vets and rape survivors. I've written quite a bit about it. Check out this post: http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2013/09/healing-from-betrayal-why-we-must-tell.html

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    2. Yes! I hear you on the PTSD. I seriously did not trust gravity for the first few months. I couldn't figure out how the fuck I was ever going to just relax and be in the moment again without the fear that if I stopped frantically obsessing about what went wrong and what he did and what I did and the terrible things that happened and all the things that meant or didn't mean that my life as I know it might spontaneously go *POOF*. ...Insert cloud of falling glitter here... It passed. It took a year and a few months maybe for me?

      The obsessing passed. Still working on the underlying problems that came to light and that still feels like it's going to take the rest of my life or the rest of my life with him... But not so much processing the shitfest itself any more. And finding at nearly 2 years now that there are times I feel like I'm just over it. I think it was Elle who said once that someday it will feel like it is just something that happened in the past. And that's starting to happen now more and more. Then I have a day where I need to process something - disappointment, shame, anger and then the next day I'd rather think about a hobby.

      The biggest help for me at first was identifying and focusing on the things that depended on ME and therefore felt more controllable. My job - my hobbies - my friends. Taking care of myself. Making positive changes for myself. Figured out and came to terms with how my life might look without him. I still go over this plan on bad days.

      I even went through a phase where I felt like the universe was going to conspire against me if I tried to make it on my own. Paranoia much? lol I've since decided to accept that I can't control the universe or the man - just me. So it's safe to relax again because I know how to take care of me.

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    3. Debby -
      It's all so damn shocking, fucked up and just unexplainable. I still don't get it. Really, I don't. My H had a relationship...ummm, another life with OW off and on for 18 years. Long story.... but it's all true. So very hard to accept - but true.
      PTSD is REAL. I have been working my ass off individually, and also couples counseling - but I can tell you it's hell. I have come a long way, but still don't really know where I am headed at this point.
      I love him one day and feel super close ... then he does his "old shit" and I just feel like WTF??
      I will take my time and decide what it is that I want from us, me ... our marriage or whatever. I do want to stay together - but I am still waiting for my damn H to be transparent. Elle and everyone has always said that is so important and my H should be transparent - well, he has a really hard time with that. He gives me little bits and pieces of SHIT and I put it all together or make stupid assumptions (sometimes) - this is definitely not my H's strong suit. Eh - but I put the number of years together, cuz he told me it was only 7 years....when it really started in 1997.... What I am faced with today is.... I feel she is not the only woman he has fucked, confided in, slept with, emotionally attached to... because he cannot EVER be honest. H's comment is "You just never believe what I say, so why should I even try" or "No matter what I say, you never believe me anyway" - like it's my fault. Seriously??
      So, I am just trying to concentrate on taking care of me - I find that SO FUCKING hard as I have always felt responsible for everyone's happiness. But I am trying.
      You take care of you - it's hard. Fuck the OW - she is a piece of shit. You are better, you are worth it, you are beautiful, you are enough ... and always have been. Patience - so hard for me to say that when I seem to lack that ... but hang in there and take care of you.

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    4. Debbie - YES! It is traumatic, it changes you, it changes everything you thought you knew and understood and believed. No one really gets it who has not been through it. I certainly didn't, prior to Dday. But this is honest-to-God trauma, and it takes all of your faith, strength, humor, and support system to get you through it. You won't wallow forever - recovery will happen - but for a while, this will take most of your attention and strength. I remember asking the questions on this blog, all those months ago - will I ever stop obsessing? Will I always think about it day and night, see it every time I look at his face, experience the triggers constantly? And yes, for a while, that was exactly how it was. It will take time. Take it slowly, one day at a time, be good to yourself, make sure you have the comfort and support you need. And make sure he knows: the blow you've been dealt is a life-changing one. It is going to take a lot of time, talking, grieving, crying, writing. praying, singing, exercising, and/or whatever else you need to process this. Hopefully he will stand by you and help you in the healing process, instead of dealing you fresh pain, as my former H did. Either way, though, you are beginning a journey., and you have a ways to go. God knows you didn't ask for it, but eventually you will emerge stronger, with peace in your heart. Hugs to you, Sister!

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  61. Trying to remember "I can't control the universe or the man..just me" Thank you for that. I look forward to the day that you and Elle describe and can let it go and say it was something that happened and we moved on..seems like a far off distant day! But. I realize I'm fresh in the mix of it. 8 weeks today. Sucks. Can I just have one day where I don't think about things..we have been having sex again and all I can think about at times.."I wonder if he did that to her? Dammit I taught him that!" 😡 I read yesterday on the PTSD article to make myself say "stop! It's not happening now. It's in the past." Hard..so hard

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    1. Debby - I've been where you are. 8 weeks out is still a raw and emotional time. This blog has been a great help to me. I'm only 7 mos. past dday and yes, this is hard

      Regarding the sex, yep think that too many a times. My husband tells me all the time that it's in the past, I feel ashamed of what I did, it'll never happen again, I'm more committed to you than ever before, etc. I believe him although there are times when I still feel on high alert. This is where the time part comes in. Little by little as time goes by, things have gotten so much better. There are days where I have to tell myself the same thing - "it's not happening now. It's in the past. Let's move on together."

      Be kind to yourself these early weeks in. Phoenix's words were right on.


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    2. Debby, something that i think is a great suggestion is to keep a journal. Six months down the line you may feel down, feel like you are not getting anywhere so look at how things were 6 months ago and you will have come so far..... that's a great suggestion on the wonderful ladies on this blog. Unfortunately i didnt do it and i wish i had. Some days i felt like my head was going to explode, like i had a demon living in there!!! BUT DONT GIVE UP HOPE IT DOES GO AWAY.... Most days now i feel like a human being. Your strong, time will heal xxx big kisses

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  62. Thank you! Your post was full of ,y new favorite word these days! Fuck! Haha never said that word so much in my life as I have these past 8 weeks! My husband has a hard time with the transparency too. He thinks he's protecting me? Yea like he was the whole time he was fucking around...there's my word again! Haha I haven't lost my sense of humor so I have that going for me atleast! I wonder if the husbands have been lying to our faces for so long that they just don't know how to be honest anymore, or at some point it just became so easy to lie? I don't have that in my make up so its hard for me to relate. I have never had the poker face..plus I have catholic guilt issues and I'm not even Catholic!

    Love your last part. New mantra..Fuck the OW she is a pice of shit! I am better, I am worth it, I am beautiful, I am enough!

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    1. Ohhh Debby -
      Isn't the catholic guilt just awesome!! Gosh, couple that with my upbringing and we have one HUGE CLUSTER FUCK!!
      Fuckity, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck. UGH. I've never used this word so much in my life as I do now.
      I was so beat down in so many ways - and this whole affair thing - I mean, it just was so shocking. Its been almost 13 months - but there are some days it feels like yesterday.
      I still question myself if I am doing the right thing by staying - but I don't want to make any decisions yet. I feel like I let myself down by relying on my H all those years, giving up my career to raise our kids etc. We had our problems - but really?? My H only gave me 9 years into our marriage before he decided he gave up. That's the way I look at it - my H gave up.
      But now he wants me - he wants me back. I just don't know if I want him back though.
      Ugh - I have hired a PI today. Funny - but this is the same PI i hired when my daughter called and said she needed us to come get her cuz her fiance was MARRIED??! I got on the next flight - but my H couldn't go....why you ask?? WELL, cuz he already had a business TRIP planned two days later with his fucking girlfriend. So, I went alone. I cried with my daughter, cried for my daughter, helped my daughter ALONE...all because my H had to dip his dick in the cesspool of OW. THIS is what hurt me most - and guess what - he never volunteered this information... I just put two and two together and Whala!
      Oh but wait ..... he ALWAYS loved me!!
      WTF and FML and SMH -
      I'm not always like this Debby - really I am not.

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    2. Debby and Anon 1998,
      He's not "protecting" you if he's lying, minimizing, deceiving. He's protecting himself. It's that simple. As for whether he's been lying so long, he doesn't know how to be honest with you, the truth is he's been lying so long to HIMSELF, he doesn't know how to be honest. And that's where therapy comes in. Any husband serious about wanting a second chance will want to figure out how he allowed himself to go down that path. Many of them violated their OWN value systems...and are mystified how that happened. It happened because they lied to themselves and believed their own lies. That their wives didn't appreciate them, that nobody would get hurt, that they deserved some fun, blah blah blah. Total bullshit.

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    3. Elle -
      You are so right. You have said these things many times in response to my comments about how my H never volunteers anything, can't remember etc. When I see how many women on here say that they can see so many changes in their H's. I'm not looking for miracles or anything in an instant - but I just thought the same thing this past weekend. If my H really wants that second chance he talks about - why then does he not make an effort to get help for himself. I've been telling him for a year "Something is seriously wrong with a person that can live a lie for 18 years and think a SORRY is enough". I've heard it all from my H...I never gave him enough attention, time, sex - all of this was when he was traveling 2 weeks out of every month, the kids were 7 and 9 and I worked a full time job...plus getting everyone where they needed to be - mostly alone because H was out of town. Ugh - it was so hard.
      We went to counseling three different times during the first 9 years we were married. Always about how he never got enough of "whatever".
      Then he just didn't want to go anymore - but what I didn't know was - he was already involved with OW the last time we tried counseling...he didn't want to go back.
      So - I hope he keeps going to his individual sessions, I hope he helps himself whether I stick around or not. WHY IS MY H so SLOW...why can't my H make outward efforts - emotionally, physically etc. He can only say I LOVE YOU and YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU RIGHT. He thinks because he has had a downturn in travel - that he is making an effort. But he is still not tuned in, doesn't share his feelings, thoughts etc, and definitely cannot sit with me when I am just lost in my feelings and sad. So - here we are. I feel like its a stalemate. I don't feel romantic, loving, sexy, fun ....around him right now. That bothered me until about a week ago. Now it just makes me sad and refocused on just getting me back on track.
      I just always looked at your words Elle, and thought - What progress, when will WE be there?? I see others at the 1 year mark and their H's have made progress....it's just sad that my H isn't there - I don't think he is capable. What do you think about Electroshock Therapy?? Can't we just WIPE his mind and make him a Stepford Husband - I can mold him, shape him - make him whatever my heart desires lol!

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  63. Hi Sisters,

    I read something today and I wanted to share it with you all.

    "None of us would go freely, if we knew ahead of time what love is going to ask of us. Human faith lays the necessary foundation for the ongoing discovery of love."

    Let's have faith in ourselves, in each other, in our families and one way or another in one form or another love will be revealed.

    I am at a scary crossroads- my H and I are planning to live apart for a while. So I am trying to just keep faith with myself and him.

    Love and support sisters
    Becky.

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    1. Becky,
      Please do keep the faith in yourself. You are strong enough to walk through this pain. You are brave enough. You are enough. Whatever happens, you are enough.

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    2. Becky, you are on my heart and mind. You have shown such wisdom and strength, so much love. i know what an incredibly difficult step this is. I wish I could give you a hug. There will be some painful times ahead, but I pray that you will find clarity and direction. You ARE a woman of faith and love. Nothing can change that. Embrace your support system, take your time, and take good care of yourself. I am praying for you. Sending my love and support!!!

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  64. So my husband and I have had some more in depth talks. I am 15 months out and it is odd as we talk more now I find it less comforting. I think it has to do with so much time has passed and hearing things my husband is verbalizing now is exhausting and hard. Nothing about new information or anything but more insights on himself. To me it is all so intertwined and related. He does not disagree but I am not sure if him thinking about this all and telling me is enough. I have a hard time even putting into words how I feel about it all right now. I think okay we will talk and really there is nothing resolved and I hear more of his thoughts. I am glad he is sharing with me. That is a huge plus and good he is thinking but I kind of feel like we are vacillating.

    And ulitmatly I am still having that feeling of normalcy. And things have not gone back to where they were during the affair years as I call it but that just every day life slipping back in. And I really thought today about what that means for me. And in the end I just do not feel special any more. Maybe it was his extra efforts for me or even himself to connect. He says the right things and is always open to talk. It is just blah. I understand why it is this way but until recently he called me every day from work. Now not anymore. And I know he is busy and he is excited to talk with me after work but I guess I grew to like what felt like extra connection. And just times where he is a little more snappy or short. It makes me honestly think are we a fit? But I have no idea if it would be better without him. I know every day cannot be perfect and birds singing. And I don't want him to feel like he has to call me. But I have definitely zeroed in on this. When I have brought it up to him he says yes we have been busy and had a crazy schedule and he misses our time together too. Is this normal or a phase during affair/betrayal recovery?

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    1. Hopeful30,
      I think it's a "normal" phase of any marriage, whether impacted by infidelity or not. And it's our choice of whether to weather that phase that determines whether our marriage survives. The stakes just seem so much higher post D-Day because, frankly, we have a really good reason to just walk out the door. So we feel as though we need an equally good reason to stay. And "blah" doesn't feel like much of a reason.
      A bit piece of rebuilding a marriage post-betrayal is communication. Can you tell him that you're finding it hard to listen to his insights? That you appreciate him talking with you but that, for some reason you haven't quite figured out, it's contributing to discomfort on your end? Or maybe that's a chat to have with your therapist first. To see if you can figure out what's up. And please tell him the things that make you feel special. A short phone call, a text, a card...those things mean something to you. And by telling him they mean something to you and him doing it doesn't make it less special, it makes it moreso. It means that he's listening to you, that he's making the effort to do something because it's important to you. We're socialized to believe that the only gestures that matter are ones that we don't ask for. But that completely disempowers us and leaves us passively hoping that other people can read our minds.
      None of this is easy, Hopeful30.

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    2. Elle,

      Yes all good insights. I agree without dday and betrayal this would all be just a busy normal life. And to be honest since dday my expectations are elevated both like you said because I need more to stay and also since there were extra efforts post dday I saw more and want more now. The status quo or busy life just is not enough. And I know there are phases but that betrayal makes it hard to take.

      I am torn on his disclosures. I feel like I am not sure I want to hear it or am capable of processing it. However, I feel like it is something to encourage for him to confide in me and tell me his thoughts. I know I am sensitive about a lot of things that happen basically triggers. Sometimes it is how he looks or talks to me or something related to his family happens. It is like a primal feeling it just takes me back to the affair years. I do not focus on these things or obsess over them but when they come up it is almost like a shock or flash back. And back then I might not have liked it but I connect those behaviors with the affairs now. And as we get farther along in this process I feel like things are loosening up maybe. He will say he will tell me something. For example, he told me he would not look at pornography. Well recently I asked him and he admitted he had. Then he said he said originally he would not look at it but if he did then he would tell me. Well I do not remember that part. Maybe he did say that but now I feel like I am dealing with an attorney or need transcripts. And in the end the point is he did not tell me till asked. Well my mind goes to what if one of the ow contacts him. Will he only tell me if asked. Related to the pornography he really confuses me. He used to say it was not a big deal boys will be boys... Well then I really pressed him on it and I did push him on this due to his professional background. He deals with sex offenders and I know he has had to deal with this in his practice. What he was telling me was so backward. So I told him either he was delusional, lying to me or not up to date and not treating his patients with proper information. Well he has come around. He says he knows our relationship is better with him using as little pornography as possible. He said in the past two months he only looked at it twice if I can believe that. He said he is not even sure why he looked at it and it is not something he got any great satisfaction from and it all confuses him. So I am not sure where to go with all that. This is where sometimes I wonder if our beliefs and morals are just too different. I hear how he wants to be and what he wants to stand for and he is making great strides at this but is this who he is? Or is he someone that really only wants to look out for themselves, more selfish, immature, not put other people first, etc...

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  65. Hi i haven't been here for a good while it has been just over 3 years since d day 1 and 2 and will be 3 yrs dday 3&4 in a few months, i posted under anon previously, however i feel the need to reveal myself.

    Well im struggling and i dont know why.... i found out my H was talking dirty too a stranger who he had got to know via a facebook poker group, exchanged numbers and texted each other sent dirty pics. they never met dday2 i found out he had put profiles on affair sites (several actually) dday 3 he had sexting with old school pals he had reconnected with on facebook, and Dday 4 i found out he had an affair with one of the old school pals, which he finally admitted to the affair when hearing of her death ( he had cut all ties with her immediately after dday1)well he has done everything asked and expected of him, he as a tracker on his phone, i rarely check it now, i have his email passwords, he doesnt use facebook any more, his choice, and i dont check up on him anymore, he takes me out, we have been to so many events something we never used to do, he will do absolutely anything for me, he is so remorseful it is untrue and for the past 12 months things have been good, i rarely thought of his affair, i did have triggers but i worked through them they were not going to control me, i never have believed i have been told the whole truth i have always felt there was more to be heard although he strongly denies this, but recently i am struggling, i dont particularly want sex with him,mainly because i picture him and the OW together i cant stop it, there are times where i look at him and could punch him in the face, i bite my tongue when i could refer a situation to his cheating, because i still see the hurt he has for what he has done to us..... why after going through a period of such calm do i now feel like i am only months out of the fog.... i dont believe he is cheating but who am i to tell i never thought he would of cheated on me in the first place, but i cannot understand why i am feeling the way i am i feel like i have gone backwards, yet he has done nothing for me to be concerned about, or nothing i am conscious about... It still riles me that if i do mention i am struggling he doesnt respond he pretends he doesnt hear, and i know that he does that as it hurts him to talk about it as much as it does me to ask, if i really want to discuss i push for it then he freely answers whatever i ask, but his memories were flakey even on dday.... from what he says for his affair he was made to feel good from the sexting, contact with an old schoolfriend from facebook was intrigue and he does admit he was aware of where it was possibly heading, i was his only sexual partner and he admits curiosity got the better of him, the dirty talk made him feel good boosted his ego and he thought i would never find out

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  66. Part 2

    and he admits that if i did he honestly thought we would be through but he says he pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind he compartmentalized, me his kids his grandkids , and put us in little boxes, we were never anywhere near the box he had his ow kept in, he says she knew he loved me and had no intention of leaving me, i believe this she was ill a heart condition i think she was grateful for any kind of attention and sex she could get ( still doesnt stop her being a whore)however he says once he started he didnt know how to put an end to it, he admits she offered him a way out but he didnt take it as he was frightened she wouldnt keep to her word, however on dday1 when i found out about his sexting to a stranger he said he told her i was becoming suspicious and it was over, she accepted this and didnt contact him again, although he was petrified everyday he still did not know if she would keep to her word, so after writing this all down i think the question i want the answer too ( and i have asked) why tell me about the affair when she was dead, when he knew his dirty little secret would not be told ( not by her anyway) i am thankful i know the truth to some extent that i am not living a lie, but i dont understand it and i think this is still eating away at me casting shadows and doubts, and i think that is why 3 years down the line i am having issues... her daughter facebook messaged my h to ask him to call her, of course i had access to his facebook he didnt even know his password at this point, so i told him and got him to call her ( at this point i knew she had died but didnt tell my H i wanted to see his reaction to the news) he barely reacted i think he was shocked and uncomfortable at the same time, not knowing what to say to the daughter so as not to sound callous but not wanting to show too much sympathy as i was sat right next to him... i asked him if the daughter knew about the affair, he said he didnt think so as far as he was concerned he had met her but was introduced as a friend from school that was popping into visit a sick friend from the past ( i will add here that he admits he visited for around 2years but reckons they had sex 3-4 times, as she was ill on many occasions) not sure if i believe this still but try to look at does the amount of times really matter once is all it takes.

    Im sorry i am rambling, i am stuck its not like when i first found out im not crying everyday i havent cried about it for a good while, but there is not a day goes by where some trigger does not make me recall what he has done and what he put me through, why is this happening all of a sudden, we seemed to be doing so well.

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    1. Distraught
      I'm so sorry you're having some of the flashback feelings! I have to say that dealing with a h that compartmentaliz even a little piece of life is tough! Mine became so good at it for his whole life and I couldn't wrap my head around it because I'm not capable of doing it but I did eventually understand it! It's basically a defense mechanism that allows them to hide painful or stressful areas of life while on the outside living in a fantasy of the affair. My h could switch between the two boxes easily during the beginning of the affair but when he tried to end the affair it became too stressful and he abandoned the ow by telling her that she had to figure out how to move on without him and she said it was time for honesty with me. Her last attempt to keep him her threat to tell me. He told her to do what she felt she had to do and so she blew up my world with truth. She thought I would run for the hills and I almost did more than once but when I didn't she couldn't understand why I would want to stay in a fake marriage. However my h by this time was totally out of the fog and his real concern was her threat to ruin his career. But somehow he grew the balls to press harrassment charges and almost two years later she still reached out for a meeting and drinks with no hard feelings! WTF? No hard feelings? I was at the point of if I was confronted by her like she kept threatening, I would be the total shit out of her! Then I guess I finally figured out that she had to cure her own world and leave us the hell alone. We've had four good months of peace and are in a really good place. Now for your question about why'd he tell you after she died, only he can say for sure but it sounds like he's been struggling with his own guilty conscience and the only way to get past it was for him to share with you and then he can feel better about himself. Just my opinion but I do know how the triggers can throw you for a loop! I'm so new at giving really good advice on how to deal with them because I don't always know what is going to trigger me until it happens. However I am learning new techniques of dealing with them. Breathing exercises and meditation and music my list goes on and on. I also have to have joy and happiness and it was hiding from me for the first two years but by God I have found it! First just little snippets and gradually more days of happy than sad. If you have a therapist that can help you through some of the hardest things that keep you stuck! I'm counting on the strength I see that you have for surviving the first three years to help get you through your current triggers! Hugs!

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    2. Distraught,
      You say "I'm struggling and I don't know why". I do know why. You've been through hell. And even though you've handled it really well, and even though your husband is doing everything "right" and even though it's been a year (which, frankly, isn't all that long), you've experienced trauma. And so many of us are glad to get to that place where the sting isn't so acute. But then we're left with...the plain of lethal flatness. That stage where we aren't in agony but we don't feel good. We don't feel much of anything except a pervasive sadness that this whole shitshow happened.
      It could be that you're experiencing post-trauma stuff. Are you in therapy? Do you have someone to explore this stuff with? It could be that the idea of moving on from this is terrifying and, on some level, you're resisting it because it means being vulnerable again and god help us, if it happens again.
      I've noticed that when things start to get pretty good and "normal" again, a lot of us kinda freak out. We're afraid we're letting our husbands off the hook, we're afraid that without the intensity of our pain we might feel nothing, we're afraid that without constantly reminding our husbands of the horrible thing they did, they'll do it again. There's lots of stuff going on. Try writing it down. Try talking it over. But don't ignore your own feelings. They matter.

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    3. Thank you Teresa and Elle, i do think he was struggling in what he had done (Theresa) hence why he told me, he said that once he had slept with her once he realised he had passed the point of no return, he didnt know how to stop it without it blowing up in his face and that frightened him, so he felt he had no choice but to carry the affair on, although he said he did visit but made it clear nothing could happen as he needed to be home, he felt this would be enough to prevent her from blabbing to me which would have been very easy for her, i also think that due to her illness she was happy with whatever she could get (bitch, lol) and i can see from how he has explained things to me that he would feel trapped after having sex with her once ( i just cant believe he got that far along) i can see (i dont agree) that he was curious about sex with someone else, lets be clear here i already had a daughter when me and hubby got together i was no angel, however i have not even looked at another man in our 25yrs of marriage ( other than a few high celebs) so i had played the field as such, dont get me wrong this doesnt mean he had that right to do what he did but i can see how he took things to a level which in the heat of the moment went further than it should, it was then BAM reality hit him to what he had got into and he didnt know how to get out of it..... i think the amount of ddays i had is why i still think there is something he is not telling me, and although he insists he has told me everything even though it has killed him to do this, i have this nagging doubt, but i think the ddays show how he gradually spiralled into cheating from his curiosity.

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    4. Elle - you too are so right, i think i had reached a point where i was having more good days than bad, we had got to a point where i wasnt needing to check on him all the time, i didnt get reminded he had played the field, i became trusting again and i think it has scared me.... because i definitely cannot go through this again, i am frightened of relaxing, my pain has eased we have some normality back in our lives and that is how we were when it all blew up in my face... how do i get passed this, i am having so many triggers all of a sudden, sex with him now i vision the 2 of them, i do get passed it i force myself too but it kills me inside... there are so many programs here in the UK with cheating i cannot control my tongue all the time it is like i need to remind him as well as myself what he did to us, i dont want to be like that i want to stop this, i hurt him just as much as i do myself, and i see his hurt and i hate myself for it, he has done everything i have asked and alot of things i did not ask for, he is a different husband now but the same if that makes sense... ( maybe a little too needy at times, with his constant i love you, but i think he still needs the reassurance and i am happy to give him that, because it has been 3 years if i was going to leave i would have gone by now, i do love him but i must admit i do feel i hold back on my love now, but he has to accept this he caused me to be like that and i cannot change how i am at this point maybe in a few more years this will change too, i remember being told when this first happened you need time, i didnt believe it at the time but 3 years down the line i am so much better, a few slip ups at the moment hence my return to this page, everyones input has been invaluable, and it has made me realise i may be able to help someone on here with my story and how i felt and coped, and if only 1 person reads it and it eases their pain i have repaid a little of what i owe to this page, because i owe everyone here alot, you have kept me sane, you have eased my pain and you have helped save my marriage, thank you.

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    5. Distraught,
      This is one of those crossroads where you can actually make your relationship stronger, assuming you can each really hear the other. Tell him how you're feeling within the context of "I need you to understand what I'm going through right now." Tell him that the triggers are back, tell him that sex feels fraught right now, tell him that while you appreciate everything he's done there will still be times when you backslide a bit because of how deep the wound is. And then (fingers crossed), he can support you through this. He can hold you when you're not comfortable with sex, he can assure you over and over that he doesn't want to be that guy ever again, he can acknowledge your pain, acknowledge his own pain and you can get through this together.
      But it begins with you being able to talk to each other without accusations. To be able to hear each other without resentment. It's a skill and it's not easy but it's the way to a stronger richer marriage.

      Delete
  67. I am excited to read Glennon Melton Doyle's new book "Love Warrior." I just read this blog post of hers and wanted to share these words of wisdom here: http://momastery.com/blog/2016/02/29/marriage-divorce-and-redemption/

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    Replies
    1. I read this post recently as well and can't wait for the new book!!

      Becky.

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  68. Fragments of HopeJuly 26, 2016 at 3:54 AM

    Debby, FOH here, you posed me a question above (Like many here, I discovered my husband was in contact again a few months later and you asked how I dealt with it. Firstly I just want to say how sorry I am you are going through this, it is horrendous, changes us and takes a long time to get through. It is a betrayal that goes to the very core of us. Keep reading the blog posts and the advice from everyone here and let us help you through it. In answer to your question, the second betrayal (though he was just in touch as friends, not romantically) almost finished us off in more ways than one. If he had come clean that she had contacted him and that he responded and kept in touch (though he was telling her nothing would happen) it would have actually helped us hugely. Instead it felt to me that even though he had seen how hurt I was I didn't give a damn, that he had learned nothing about lying and so on. From his perspective (and so many betraying spouses) he had not fully worked through what she had been for him (and in many cases it's an ego boost or escape from depression and life pressures). There is a huge addictive factor with these affairs, they press the serotonin button and make people feel good and they want to keep pressing the button. Add to that the guilt they feel when they finally wake up to your pain and they are in real danger of turning to something to assuage their guilt and numb the pain (and quite often they go back to their happy place - the OW. It's like the fix they can't get away from, like drugs or alcohol. Affairs are (mostly) not about love, they are about feeling good and, sadly, for the OW, it's all about the feeling, not about the person. My husband was thinking of starting a new life with the OW but when I asked him he couldn't tell me anything about HER he really admired. Anyhow, you are at the early stages, what you need to know now is that your husband needs counselling to see what function the OW had for him, you need clear boundaries, transparency - where he is, devices and so on. It's like keeping an eye on an alcoholic. Your husband needs to do a hell of a lot of work on himself to find appropriate ways of filling any gaps such as gaps in self-esteem, loneliness, sense of (career or life) failure. He needs to give 300 percent to you to make you believe that you are important to him. If he hesitates at any of this, remind him that this is for both of you, to help you stay together, for a good marriage, for your girls, to help him be a man of honour and good values. It is not to punish him or make him feel guilty. He needs to commit himself to reparation - making good what has been destroyed. In the first few months I was flailing around and was not aware of what might happen. Debby, at least you have this place as a sounding board and your husband would benefit from being aware of the real mechanics of an affair and the work he can do. I wish you well with it.

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  69. Becky, wonderful word, forward thinking and not negative. Shows your strength. Thanks for sharing.

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  70. Hey girlfriends- I learned something in therapy I wanted to share. I talked about feeling guilty. Maybe I should have done this or that. I feel guilty if I choose this way but not the other way. She said guilt only come to mind if you did something wrong. I can count the number of times I felt guilty but did nothing wrong. Next time you feel guilty, ask yourself "Did I do anything wrong?" If you didn't there is no reason to feel guilty. If you didn't fear follows guilt. I'm also learning how to believe what people tell me. After betrayal I stay on high alert, this and happiness do not mix. So my assignment is to try to take what people say at their words and respond accordingly with what I THINK. She says all the time I spend filtering out; are they lying, are they trying to take advantage of me, caveat everything, hedge my bets and anticipate what they want to hear. By the time I filter this in my head quickly before I speak robs me of energy and happiness plus makes me a difficult communicator because a bunch of shit comes out of my mouth with all these checklist that go through my mind just to determine the other persons intentions which again I'm looking for a threat. Just wanted to share. Luv ya.

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    1. LLP,
      Have you ever read Byron Katie's work? It can be a bit much to absorb but she insists that the very first question we ask ourselves is "is it true?". We tell ourselves so many stories about others' motivations, others' thoughts, others' intentions...when most of the time we have NO idea what's going on in their heads.
      As for the guilt, that's so much childhood stuff. I feel guilty for breathing air that other people should be breathing. I've had to do a ton of work on giving myself permission to just exist on this planet. I feel as though I need to "earn" my place here. And while that might make me incredibly productive in the social justice world, it doesn't always make me very happy.

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  71. Dear Theresa
    Our stories sound so similar.I truly struggle with the whole complementing thing. In my h case I find it is excuse to f%#k the OW without having a reason why. He tells me how he never thought of me when he was with her and vise versa...but that's a lie.When he was with her he was texting me and lying about being stuck at work and when he was home with me he was secretly texting her.My h Ow also threatened him with telling me a bout their A.so he stayed in the A for 4 months longer than he had to. Amazes me because he was never a man that you could threaten.We are in counseling ... progressing. I thank heaven every day for this site and the brave ladies who share here

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  72. I am at the end of my rope. 3 years after D.day one and 2.5 years after d-day 2 I discovered that my husband has had a new girlfriend from april to august this year. It was a beautiful plus-size model who asked him to go out for a coffee. I had seen the FB message, and asked him to stay clear of her, as I could guess her intentions. He did it without telling me, and was better at hiding his trail this time, as he learnt from the mistakes he made 5 years ago, when he had had an affair frenzy for 6 months. He had promised to work on our marriage, but as time passed, he thought that I should be over it, even though he failed to do the necessary work. He just acted as a good husband… until he hooked up with her. He slept with her in different hotels, whenever he was in LA and NY, where they could meet. He tells me that he must be sick to have done it, and says that he will do everything he can to show me that he wants to win me back. I am so tempted because I feel so bad, but I cant see what he could possibly do to get us through this.
    I have called ny best friend, who is in Europe. I have no friends here. She tells me I need to get away from him, and the children – one is disabled . she wants me to come to her house to stay, but I am in such pain, I don’t want to go anywhere, and I worry for my children. He travels all the time. Please tell me what to do?

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