Feeling Stuck? Part 21


  1. Curveball city. After 8 months of living apart, my h suddenly declared he had broken up with his ow. Three days later, floods of tears and a choked "I'm so sorry". I was really surprised. I had already been (sadly) making plans to leave our rented house and started to look for different accommodation... After all the ups and downs of the past year, I was suspicious of this sudden change. Hardly dared to hope. Didn't know if I wanted him any more. Felt a mix of happiness, surprise and wariness when he caught me for a hug (during his emotional waterfall).

    Sure enough, his next words were that he really wanted us to try again. Before I could speak (and I was taking my time to let things sink in), he told me he still loved the ow and he wasn't sure about me.

    Latest development: we went to a counsellor together where he said he did want to try. It turned out he had given notice to leave the apartment where the betrayals had taken place, assuming he could just move back in with me.

    But he didn't ask or consult me. Just assumed. I told him this made me feel so disregarded and taken for granted. He responded that he thought I wanted to try again. Duh! He doesn't have a CLUE about communication and respecting people's feelings.

    Today he phoned to say he was moving in his boxes of stuff. I was completely taken aback. We had a talk. I'm letting him stay on the couch until I leave for the summer in a month. But I feel really ambivalent about it all.

    Does anyone have tips about setting boundaries and limits when you are forced to live under the same roof for a temporary period?

    Context: not much money, rural place, toddler to be cared for (he has contributed financially and parentally all along), I'm leaving in a month = not feasible for me to find another place to move to in the meantime... andI he claims he can't find anywhere

  2. Selkie, what a difficult situation to be in, you've managed to keep things together for the last 8 months and now because your h thinks he's ready to give things another try he turns your world upside down. Has he explained why he has ended it with the ow, how do you feel about him still being in love with her? .. this next month will not be easy Selkie he's withdrawing from someone who he has had a relationship with, my concern is for you. You must set some clear boundaries if he is to come back on the couch.. there has to be no contact whatsoever with the ow, if you and he are to try and heal from this he must have no contact. What are the consequences if he does?. Like you said Selkie he doesn't have a clue about respecting your feelings therefore you need to ensure you respect your feelings, continue to self care and put yourself first. Personally I wouldn't give him too much attention at this point until he proves himself to you. I would be tempted to keep things the same as they were when you were living separately, your right to be weary Selkie stay strong and keep us posted. Big hugs I understand how difficult this is for you, remember keep focusing on you and your little one xxx

    1. Thanks, Sam A. It's so hard. He's away for work for a few days this week, which is a relief. I found some of his clothes in the laundry basket and just felt so fed up. I picked the other stuff out from around them- he can wash them himself. (To be fair, he never asked me to wash them, but I just feel so many aspects of his presence as invasive. There is soooo much stuff for us to address first.)

      He has stopped the relationship with the ow, but has not (yet?) deleted her past messages. He told me he looks at them sometimes trying to figure out what happened. He thinks he "was fooled"... I think he was fooling himself. What is the point of holding on to these messages if he "really wants us to try again"? I simply said to him that deleting them would be an important step for our relationship. I am under no illusions as to his current capacity to manage to do anything much.

      I am really finding it difficult to set consequences for things. He is finally trying to change/ get things moving (albeit at an excruciatingly slow pace and in a very very clumsy manner). Part of me want to encourage that. Another part of me wants to scream "Wake UP! You're not the only person in the world. Think of my feelings for a change!" I just think it would be counterproductive.

      I'm leaving for the summer in just over a month, when I hope to finally have some time and space to myself to reflect and replenish my inner resources. I am aware that this month might be the last time we are living under the same roof. I know it could be a crucial period for the future of us all. I don't want it to slide by uselessly, but I don't feel clear enough to set any ultimatums.

      We are doing family things together with our daughter- but he is in a confused state and not really good at talking things over. I am glad he is now seeking professional help, but I'm not sure how long it will take to see any improvements in his mental health. In the meantime, I have to preserve my own wellbeing and that of our toddler (who is doing great for now, luckily).

    2. Selkie, I'm sorry I'm just getting to this message now. And I'm so sorry for what you're going through.
      But I'm going to urge you to really start setting boundaries based on WHAT YOU WANT. Now what he wants. Not what will rock the boat the least. But what you actually WANT. And that's going to mean that you need to sit down and figure that out. I think your plan to let him stay on the couch while you get ready to leave for the summer is good. And he should absolutely be spending time with your daughter. His "confused state" shouldn't get in the way of being a present and responsible father.
      But set some ground rules. You're not there to do his laundry, to clean up after him, to be his mother. He either takes care of himself and his stuff or he finds somewhere else.
      Selkie, Sam A has given you really good advice. You absolutely must be clear on what you expect and what the consequences are for violating that. Boundaries aren't "counterproductive" as you put it -- they are rules for having a relationship with you. And given that your relationship with him has been, from the sounds of it, based on HIS rules and not yours, it's time for things to change.
      Someday you're going to have a teenager and this is good practice for what you'll be dealing with then. ;) Setting boundaries/consequences isn't about not loving the other person, it's about taking care of yourself and keeping yourself emotionally safe. Which is your job.
      His job is to learn to respect those boundaries because that's what being in a healthy relationship is about.

    3. Thank you, Elle. I barely have time to take a shower these days- intense period at work and every minute at home is either housework or childcare. I am travelling for work for two days soon and plan to use the train journey to sleep and also to reflect on things. I've been so busy keeping things going that I really haven't (dared to/ wanted to) taken the time to really ask myself what might be best for ME.

      It will be a big learning experience for me. I realise now that I have spent too long being concerned about other people at the expense of my own wellbeing. I have been trying more self-care and treats for myself since finding out about the affair (and thanks to tips on this blog - thank you all!), but I tend to either occupy my mind or distract myself (rushing around being busy)... or else just zone out altogether (running, massage, yoga). The one thing I cannot do is to stay still and let things come in on me. All those thoughts and feelings. I have been writing my thoughts and feelings in a notebook, but always in a big rush (in the carpark before work, in my bed before sleeping) and it's more of a release than a reflection.

      I really hope I will get the space and clarity to figure out some good boundaries for this next month of unexpected cohabitation.

  3. I would appreciate some input and perspective. I first posted in 2014 about my husband of 22 years who had been sleeping with escorts and having online affairs, CL hookups, and one-night stands for a decade. We have stayed together and our marriage has been so much closer and we've been happier than ever before. After I found out about the escorts, on D-Day 2 of 3, we made an agreement that outlined what was/wasn't acceptable, including what counted as porn, which I didn't have a problem with. I had caught him signed on to his escort website account then, which he had claimed he used as porn. I said in no uncertain terms that it was NOT porn, and it was off limits. Well, last week I did a random browser checkup on him and found that he had been on Eccie, his favorite escort site. I confronted, he admitted he had been on and claimed, again, it was just porn because he was bored with the usual porn sites and wanted to "mix it up." His story has evolved every time we've talked. First it was just a peek, then in 5 peeks in 3 years, then 5 in 6 months. He admitted to looking up some of his old favorite escorts just to "see what they were doing." He swears he did not call, text, email. or have any contact at all. As far as I know, he has been sexually faithful for 3 years. I have told him that I am considering divorce and that he is clearly fucked up, needs help, and is a lying sack of shit. Oh, and he also admitted that he started chatting with women and sexting after our son was born, 17 years ago. I am overwhelmed. I don't know where to begin. Every fiber of my being thinks that he is beyond hope, our marriage is over, and I'm a fool, and yet, here I am. He is started IC and has gone to a SAA meeting, which left him visibly shaken. I don't think it means much at this point.

    1. Hi Cactus Flower, have you considered making his continued participation in IC and/or SAA a non-negotiable for you? My H also suffers from depression/drug & porn addiction/cyber affairs and our IC has made it very clear to him that taking his meds and going to counseling (right now we go either as a couple or as individuals 1x/wk - in the future that may only need to be 1x/month or even less, but never stop) is mandatory. For now he gets it and he is committed to keeping up with it. I did make h promise to stop porn after Dday and he agreed but I caught him on it a few times when I was out of town, then I made it clear that it was a non-negotiable for me and so far he is keeping his promise (although it's only been a couple of months). I see porn for an addict as a slippery slope, it was my H's gateway drug to cyber sex which opened the door to actual sex. If your H has truly been diagnosed with SA then you need the advice of a professional - I think porn for a SA is like telling an alcoholic they can only have beer but no hard liquor. Having to play PI in your own marriage is exhausting on so many levels - for many months after Dday I was doing just that. P.S. What is CL? not sure I know that abbreviation. Sending camaraderie and support your way.

    2. Yes, IC and a support group/sponsor are non-negotiable, and he can't just quit after a few sessions thinking he's "better." I told him flat out that if he doesn't to figure out what is wrong and fix it we have no future. As for the porn, after this last episode I've said he has to be porn-free. I said it's like an alcoholic hanging around the liquor store just to " see what going on." He asked if Playboy was okay, LOL. Um...no. I'm really not sure about the SAA. I think there is value in the 12 steps for anyone who is struggling with stopping negative behaviors/addiction, but I don't put much stock in "sex addiction" per se. Still, he can learn a lot from the experiences of others and gain insight into his own problems and motivations. He's been so shut down from any kind of self-awareness that it's a major step forward just for him to admit what he's done. BTW, I used the slippery slope analogy too. He denied that it was, but then admitted that when he's watching porn he's in a "sex fog" and doesn't think about what he's doing. Exactly, dear. SMH. And CL is Craigslist. Ick.

    3. CF,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Being disappointed a second (and third and fourth...)time is devastating. Just when you think you can relax and let your guard down.
      He clearly has a problem. But it's HIS problem. I'm glad you've set some clear conditions on reconciliation. And, of course, at any point if you've had enough, even if he's doing everything "right", you get to make that choice.
      In the short term, however, it sounds as if you're willing to see what he does next. I would encourage you to seek help for yourself, to ensure that you don't try and manage his recovery. While you can support his recovery, you don't want to fall into explaining it to him.
      You've laid out what he needs to do. Now it's up to him to do it. And yes, total abstinence from porn, etc. is the only way. It's something he'll learn in SAA if he's willing to listen.

    4. Thank you, Elle (and Steam and BeG!). Yeah, it's hard to back off. We stayed up until 1:00 am the other night talking and fighting, and that was my limit. I had an aha! moment yesterday when I finally FELT the truth that nothing I do will matter, or DID matter in the first place. I had full access to his accounts and whereabouts, and he still broke the rules. It's all on him now. I'm looking into my options and working on moving on with my life.

    5. Amen for that! It's liberating (and yes, a bit terrifying) to realize that we can never ever control another person. They get to decide what they'll do and WE get to decide what we'll do. And what you're doing sounds exactly right.

  4. Cactus Flower, you are so much like me. I too never had an issue with porn and my H DID treat escort sites and craigslist as porn. It was a big turn on for him to check out the sites, check out the girls, verify the phone numbers etc etc--or at least that is what he told me after D-Day 1. and I believed him.

    So porn and reading online sites was not on my list of "nevers" when we were working things out.

    What I did not know at the time was that he had REALLy acted out on these sites after years of looking (and a few times, before I met him). So now, those things are NOT cool in my book. Some people can handle booze and some cant. Some people can handle websites like that and some can't. i used to be addicted--not really addicted, but I was drawn to first the "lonely hearts" ads in old newspapers and to the personal ads--even when they turned sordid--years and years ago. I read them all the time, my jaw often wide open in shock--but never ONCE did i act on them, and I never thought my H would either.

    But that's exactly where he went running to for D-Day 2.
    I also found him on facebook,checking up on a girl he had met in person around D-day one, in a strip club but never hooked up with. I FLIPPED. He asked if he was NEVER supposed to check on her and see how she's doing???? He was shocked that I had such a boundary. I told him, this woman was a gate way drug for him, he pursued the hell out of her for over a year and she was part of the time that just about ruined my life. so yeah, she was also off limits as was ANYONE from that time frame. Case Closed. BTW you're not a fool, he's the one who's off his gourd. I feel for you girl, I know the exact feeling.

    1. I think they don't want to accept that it's all off limits. They're like children.
      Of course my H claimed that he never agreed to the list of banned sites, even though I left it hanging on the wall above our toilet (at his eye level) for nearly a year and he never once disputed it. I said that it didn't matter whether he agree or not because he doesn't get a vote. He lost the right to have a say in the rules 17 years ago. You know, Steam, I have looked all over the escort sites, and for the life of me I don't understand how he just looks at pictures. After PornHub it seems like pictures wouldn't be enough. I suspect he's been making use of the links to cam sites and free videos. He denies it of course. TBD.

    2. CF, I agree with you. Shortly after Dday I caught my H using pot (he's an addict - practically daily x 2 decades behind my back) and so we had a huge blow-up fight in the middle of the night - screaming, me telling him to get out. I vividly remember the first words out of his mouth when I told him choose pot or me was "you can't tell me what to do". It was SO childish. And then I had my ah'ha moment. No one ever told my H "no" before, not his single-father who did his best but basically had no rules and not the mother who abandoned him and got to be his 'friend' on holidays and not the women on porn sites. A few weeks earlier in MC H said to me to justify his actions "I hated you". MC stopped & asked him: "who say's I hate you?" H had to answer honestly: "children".

      They have to 'man-up', no woman wants to have her husband be an emotional juvenile and at least in my marriage that made me loose respect for him, which allowed him to tell himself the narrative 'she doesn't love me' which allowed him to justify cheating.

  5. Hi ladies. I desperately, desperately need some advice. My H and I are doing great. For the most part. He says all the right things, is very attentive, travels for work less (even though he should), we feel more connected, still have a lot of great sex, and do much more together than ever before. Today is the 1.5 year mark from dday. We went to counseling and worked things out, renewed our wedding vows, and everything is great. Except my h continues to drink in secret. I have found his hidden liquor, called him on, and he's promised not to do again. But I've recently discovered he is still secretly drinking liquor. I know. I can tell when he's been drinking more than just beer. I found another hidden bottle but now I just don't even look. When I called him on it he said he would quit secretly drinking if I quit smoking (which I do not do at work or in front of our adult children and most friends). We are both to some degrees addicts but at least my smoking only hurts me. I agreed but haven't quit yet.

    Here's the problem. H is retiring in November. We're one month away from 38 years of marriage. Now H is on a kick to have me retire with him. I'm nervous. My job is the ONE THING that I feel I do well. For the most part I love my job (it's only the daily 1 1/2 hour one way commute that does me in). He always knows where I am and when I'm coming home (my current boss does not let me spontaneously leave early). I'm nervous about giving up my job. I'm 57 but eligible to retire. In my entire life I am FINALLY good at something. I want to retire but I'm nervous. If I give up my job I won't be able to get it back. I don't have an IC right now and our MC won't see me unless h refuses to come with me and I'm afraid to ask him. We've come so far and I'm afraid it will be a set back. H always says the past is the past and we are good now so only look forward. H says he would never do anything to hurt me again and is so ashamed, etc. and I do believe him. But I'm still a nervous wreck. He wants to travel, spend time together, hike, etc in our retirement - with me. Any idea why I'd be so nervous about committing to it?!?

    Any advice? Please???

    1. Feeling lost, if you are uncomfortable with your husband's drinking then it's a problem. Can you bring this up in MC? Perhaps he is self-medicating. As you can see in my note above my H is recovering from pot & porn addiction. H was self-medicating depression caused by being abandoned by MIL when he was a toddler. He hit rock bottom and our marriage just about ended over it until he was willing to get help and finally understood why he was doing it. H tried to give me an ultimatum to quit drinking (although I am not an alcoholic) in order for him to quit pot. It was manipulative and I called him out on it. But I did agree to do that because I believed it would help H get sober. Quitting smoking will be good for your health - do it not because he is manipulating you but because it will be good for you.

      As for retirement, can you kick that can down the road a bit and revisit it later? I think the alcohol is the priority for now. It is so important that people maintain purpose as they age, that doesn't need to be traditional working full-time, but you do need to be fulfilled. You have time to think about that. Don't let the two get wrapped up in a kitchen-sink discussion. Focus on the possible addiction.

    2. Feeling Lost,
      Browneyedgirl is right. And your husband knows it's a problem or he wouldn't be sneaky about it. What's more, the "I'll quit if you will" is simply manipulation. You're not sneaky about your smoking. He may well have an addiction but, at this particular moment, I wonder if it's the sneaking/lying about it that's a bigger trigger for you.
      The thing is, Feeling Lost, you get to negotiate things in a marriage. Your fear of rocking the boat has likely led to you giving in plenty in your marriage. He wants you to forgive the deepest betrayal. You're agreeing and things are going great. Now, he's telling you, on some level, that making any sort of demands on him is "living in the past"? Uh, no.
      I would urge you to rock the boat. Start treating your own wants and needs as perfectly reasonable and valid. Start respecting yourself. If his drinking is a problem for you, then you get to ask him to stop. If he refuses or lies about it, then that's on him. And you need to have clear boundaries in place so that there are consequences to it. For instance, if he drinks, he sleeps on the couch. No begging. No blaming. Nothing. Just -- "there's the couch". He gets to decide if it's worth sleeping on the couch to keep drinking.
      As for retirement, you get to decide when the time is right for you. That's it. What feels right for you. If you want time to figure that out, then take that time.
      There are lots to reasons why you might be avoiding retiring with him. From the sounds of things, you don't have an equal voice in your relationship. I wonder if he's a wee bit dictatorial (ie. telling you that by examining the thoughts/behaviour that led him betray you is "living in the past". Most call it learning from their mistakes). Your job is not to please him or acquiesce to him. It is to treat him with kindness and honesty. That is his job to you, as well. Your responsibility to yourself is to treat yourself with kindness and honesty and to respect your own needs/wants.
      Take notice of when you're fearful of asking him for certain things because that's a sign that you're not in an equal relationship. It's a sign that you're giving in to avoid confrontation or to avoid his displeasure. That's co-dependence and it's impossible to have a healthy marriage when one or both partners behave that way.

    3. Feeling lost, your post struck me on how many times you used the phase , "I'm afraid." It sounds like your the one walking on egg shells. So you both decided to R but there are serious disconnections still lingering. My husband was a closest smoker, he was afraid of me. I told him I didn't care if he smoked stop hiding it. He did and. I Bought him a pack of cigarettes and in about a year he quit all on his own. Your husband is keeping secrets from you that is not good. Your keeping secrets that you don't want to quit your job right now because you don't trust him yet - your keeping secrets from him not good. The good I see is he wants to be with you. He wants you so he needs to understand you don't want to quit your job because you still don't trust him. He wants to spend time with you but he needs to understand your not rejecting him as a person but you are still healing. Bring the drinks out of the closest. Why not? You all have to be authentic in what you want in a relationship. Don't be afraid to rock the boat. That is how you learn more about him and if you can begin to think about trusting him. Rocking the boat in normal. You both need MC to learn how to talk to each other.

  6. So last night I had a trigger and I tried to play it off. H pushed me and pushed me until I told him. It was something the COW said to me years ago (she was a relative). It appeared she knew personal things about my marriage. H insisted he never told her that and it must be she had a lucky guess (that IS plausible, and I tend to believe him, it was something general).

    So after many months of H taking accountability he reverted to blaming me with 'I had an A because I thought you didn't love me anymore and here are all the things you weren't doing to make me feel loved'. I really can't stand it anymore. I did love him and I got angry and told him that I am not going to keep being put in a position of defending myself when I did nothing wrong. What bugs me the most is after all he has learned he still can not say 1 negative thing about the COW. But he had plenty of negative things to tell her about me. For the love of dog please can't H hate the COW?!?! After all, H ended the A himself >7 years before I found out about it. Their relationship was so superficial, 99% email. The problem is I don't think he can come up with anything negative because he never really got to know her all he heard was 'I want you, blah, blah, blah'. Never dawned on him that someone who would cheat on his cousin might be a manipulative liar. All these years H believed COW was a good person who just had the misfortune of being in a bad marriage to his cousin.

    H cancelled his IC apt this week - that was the 1st one he missed. We'll see if he self-corrects course. Most importantly I really do not want to share my kids time and another thing I really do not want to give H 1/2 of what I have earned. I have got to find a way to be happy. Kids are good, career is great, I am working out again, I do nice things for myself again. But when it comes to marriage I feel like I'm settling.

  7. So having spent some time reflecting, here is what I have come up with:

    He is lying about something that happened 18 months ago because, as Elle said, he is terrified of opening up a can of worms. He is worried that if he admits to seeing her again at that time, that I am not going to stop there and demand more and more details. I am pretty sure he saw her (I went back through our finance records...he actually stayed in a hotel round the corner from her work! She probably visited him there, they probably had sex but she would have had to go home as it was her wedding anniversay the next day - you CANNOT make this shit up!!!!)

    I could confront him, tell him what I know but what will come of it? I know he is lying, he knows I know this. He simply looks a fool on all fronts. I don't think there is much satisfaction in hearing it from him anymore.

    I have decided, with monumental effort to focus on me and my emotional health and turn away from this new potential conflict. I am not letting it slide, I am simply preserving my own sanity.

    I can't help him if he doesn't want to be helped. I have actually come full circle and feel pity for him. It cannot be pleasant to live in a world of lies as he does. He must be exhuasted and he isn't a bad person, I honestly think he cannot bear to look at himself too closely because he will hate what he sees. He works out alot, and I think this is also a manifestation...trying to look good on the outside to hide to darkness within.

    So I am working on my garden, taking the kids to the beach and trying hard to find happiness in little corners. Ironically, this approach and actually letting him see my sadness rather than my anger seems to have had some effect on him. He seems disarmed by me admitting how vulnerable I feel, and how alone. I also feel better for just admitting "You made me sad, you have hurt me."

    I am a work in progress, my life is a work in progress but you know what??? That is the same for everyone, not just the betrayed. We are maybe just a bit more aware of it. Here is to a new day, and (another) new beginning.

  8. This weekend was so hard. Recently I feel like I have been frustrated or hit with different things unrelated to our marriage where I have been let down. I have made the statement to my husband that I feel like there is no karma and doing the right thing does not get rewarded. And I do not mean as in constant acknowledgment but more on a deeper level like good friends just not listening to you and other types of situations. Or with work having to be faced with working on a project people that are negative and degrading. I feel like I give my all to my immediate family, friends work etc and not in an overcommitted way but high quality effort.

    Since dday I do feel more fragile and less capable of handling these situations. In the past I would have said whatever. But now it hurts more. I try to open up and not be so closed off but in the past few weeks it has just been hard. Well my husband feels like it is all his fault. And honestly I am not sure what to say to him. Basically I say to him yes when the person who is supposed to be there for you and made the ultimate vow and promise does what he did I am having trust issues among other things.

    I also explained that I feel I lack closure since he is so vague about why he did it. He basically said again he got married too young. I mean I guess that could be true but I find it hurtful and upsetting since I never once asked him about getting married. And if that is true why did he pressure me into having kids. He has no answers.

    He owns up to being a poor husband and father and what he did was wrong. He says he can only focus on himself now and he claims if we have enough corrective emotional experiences it will make it better.

    He claims to understand how I feel but I am just unsure. I feel so conflicted since he is a new person and has changed so much. He is doing pretty much everything right. However I am stuck on the past and not just the affairs anymore but the treatment of me and the kids. And basically how he handled not wanting to be married anymore. I feel like he is dealing with this as if he had a few one night stands. Which is still bad but with what he did for 10+ years I am struggling. I know it could be worse jennifer loved these women or wanted to be with them, he broke up with them over 15 months before dday so there is some clarity.

    At a certain point he said as he has in the past maybe he has done irreparable damage. He just wants me to be happy. It is hard for me when he says this since I feel like we are mismatched in how to heal. I am not sure what else I need but I do need something more. It is frustrating to me when he throws this out there. I feel like it is unfair. I think he hates any of this coming up. He says he is never leaving me unless I ask him to. Idk sorry this has gone on so long. Thanks for reading/listening

    1. Hopeful,
      I'm reading what you wrote and thinking , "Me, too". This betrayal has left me so exposed (for lack of a better word). My feelings are hurt so much more easily than ever before. I question if karma is real. I wonder if the way I was raised set me up to be hurt by people who don't share the same values and if I'm now setting my kids up for the same. But the truth is I wouldn't want to be someone without the values I have. I want to be honest and caring and to have integrity.
      I posted somewhere else about how our therapist and I discussed where my marriage fell apart. I told her I felt like my husband had lost his way and his now I have the man I married back. She told me she doesn't see him as having lost his way.. She said he's gone through his life behaving the way he has but he's now on a higher plain of recognition. He's basically lived his life acting the way he did without acknowledging how his actions affected others. But now he sees how his actions affect others and so he's more considerate in what he does. He recognizes the capacity we have to hurt others with our actions and he doesn't want to be that person. It's hard. I think in many ways I'm still mourning the loss if something I never had. My marriage wasn't a fairy tale. He wasn't the Prince Charming who was going to treat me better than all my exes had. I married a man who carried a lot of baggage from childhood, who grew up in a dysfunctional home, and didn't know how to love me in a healthy way.
      I hate that my husband was the kind of guy who risked our family for sex with a slutty co-worker. I hate that he lied to me and I was so trusting that I never doubted him. I hate that I loved him and gave so much throughout our marriage to have that love be taken advantage of in the worst way. I hate that it took blowing up my world for him to get better, but that's where we are now.
      I'm struggling with looking at what we've had for the past two years as a new beginning. I'm still holding on to some of the past stuff even though he's acknowledged the ways he's betrayed me. I struggle to see the man he is and not the mistakes he's made. He hangs in there. He's still apologizes. He wants to help me heal. And I still hate all the things he did, but I love him. I love the person he's become.
      It's so freaking hard.

    2. Thank you for your words. I too feel that my husband is a great person. My husband was not doing anything "wrong" before he started cheating but he never made a decision without thinking of himself first and foremost. I mean everything in life. All I can point to is that he was indulged, given whatever he wanted and got a lot of attention growing up. Well when that ended with age even though he was still young these bottom feeder women were an ego boost. So he was not cheating but he was always out for number one. I cannot even count the number of times that I asked him why am I at the bottom of his priority list with the kids just right above me. Well that turned into I am the negative one etc.

      And it is great to have this wonderful husband who loves me so much and would do anything for me. But I am so tired of our past. I agree we never had the fairy tail even though to everyone besides the two of us it was/is. The number of times we have to reminisce about us makes me want to puke. I hate it. It is all just a joke to me. And I am resentful since I made choices for us as a team and our family that now I cannot go back and undo. But he never made any choices besides make more money and work a lot that benefited our family. You are so right this is so freaking hard. I am searching for a way to get past this.

    3. Hopeful, Dandelion and all others...

      I so get all of the feelings of anger, resentment, the past behavior that got us here today. The denial and not wanting to deal with "it", the fucking disregard of it all and of me. D-day 2 was 12/1/16 and the ugly truth of it all finally came out. He was then on the fence about out marriage til 3/17. He just didn't want to deal with it. He still wanted me to get over it...lol...Ahole!! He's been home 3.5 months and has been real nice but he still didn't want to deal with it. If it wasn't for my best friend, I would have had to deal with this shit by myself. Yea, I'm seeing a therapist...once a week. He just couldn't help me on the days I needed his support.

      On 6/20/17 I went to see my therapist and she told me I should stop being nice to him. That I was making it easy for him to continue his denial. She was right to a certain extent. My level of compassion has broadened with all of this, as well as my empathy. It is who I am and it drives me. I am grateful. But when I left her office and opened my car door, the blast of 91,000 degree heat hit me like a wall and I realized that I had had enough. Again I would have to change in a way I wasn't comfortable with in hopes that he would notice something. Instead I shouted loudly "FUCK THIS SHIT" I wasn't hurt. I wasn't sad that it came to this. It was his choice to not deal with it. I was free at last to only focus on me. No more emotions about the past. Holding on to that truth was only was only hurting me. No more why won't he change. No more him, how he feels and what can I do to support him. His choices are his. Mine are mine. I am choosing for the first time in my life to focus on me. What he did does not define me.

      It's been a week and I'm so incredibly free from all of that. He had his first appointment with the therapist last week, the day after mine, and has finally decided to look at it all. ALL OF IT. He is in the "confession is good for the soul" mode. I feel validated and heard but I realized one very important thing from this. His journey is going to be far more painful than what I went through because he created all of the shit. I truly feel sorry for him. I am still at home because I am happy here. He is also here but there are no expectations from my part. I will support him when I can because I have learned the importance of support, but it's for me mostly, not him.

      If you can, let go of hope and expectation from him. It is liberating and sit back and observe quietly. If you find yourself brooding, then get a pillow and beat the shit out of his side of the bed while you curse him and his decisions while you wale and cry. Learn to Enjoy YOU in what ever way possible. For me it's art. I haven't felt creative for 8 months. That was one of the most depressing times of all of the shit storm because art is an outlet for me. I have been on a creative roll for a week and I'm so happy. Find your love of whatever that may be. Nurture yourself without resentment in your heart.

      I know it's only been a week since I've seen my own light and I don't know what tomorrow will bring but I will nurture myself always. I will know in my heart that I'm doing my best to grow. To transcend the hurt he created. I owe that to me. He is no longer the ruling factor.

      Thank you all for sharing your lives here. This blog has been one of my salvation and guide to heal myself and turn the energy of hope for saving my marriage to saving myself. I never thought I would see the light at the end of the tunnel. I never thought I would find my way back to myself again, but I have and I've discovered a powerful, humble and compassionate woman whom I dearly love and cherish. Love to you all and thank you for being here

    4. OliveMee, you rock! I hope I will one day get to where you are now. I still have empathy and patience for my h even though I am NOT ok with his floundering. It's hard for me because I truly believe I have more emotional resources and a greater capacity than him, so I feel somehow obliged to be there. But I know there's no point trying to be a partner to someone who cannot appreciate what's right in front of him.

    5. Selkie. I rock today. Like I said, I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that he is not the ruling factor. Your last statement is exactly where I was at last tuesday. He did not appreciate what was right in front of him and I was done putting anymore energy into trying to show him all that he should be grateful for. I don't really care about the affair. I had a HUGE problem with the lying, disconnect, disregard, gas lighting, his misdirected anger, etc. It's his problem to deal with now. I see through him. He is willing to foot the bill and I'm so okay with that. After 22 years of marriage, 17 of it being bliss, and me putting up with his 5 year bs streak, I earned it and then some. Like I said, if he is willing to really deal with his shit now, he's going to hurt far more than I have. I will support him and not rub his nose in it, but I no longer sugar coat anything. It's all about me and staying strong and at peace with my choices. I hope you find your peace soon. ♥

    6. One of the biggest surprises was how painful this is for my husband. I assumed since he made these choices he was happy and had a great time. Nope he was miserable the entire time 10+ years of it! And since he had ended his affairs long before dday I assumed he was past it. He knew the damage he was doing to me and our marriage the entire time but over the past 2+ years he is living it and it is hard on him. And not hard as to what I am saying or doing but hard as in him having to face it and cope with what he did. He said it will be his biggest regret ever and he will never totally get over what he did. He worries about his funeral some day and feels bad I will have to sit and listen to everyone say good things about him when they have no idea. His goal is to live an authentic and transparent life he can be proud of with being a husband a father as his top priorities. We will see..

    7. Hopeful30. I so get what you wrote. He said this weekend that now that he sees the extent of his actions he doesn't know how he will ever get over the hurt and pain he caused me and himself. He admitted that while he met her he thought about what he was doing and why during the 50 minute drive one way, while with her, and the drive home. But he chose to do it cause he convinced himself we were over. He just didn't want to deal with reality. He deeply regrets that now and that none of it was worth it. He asked me to join him in his IC session today to just be present and call him out on his bullshit. I was hesitant cause of my comfort but I figured that nothing he could say would hurt as bad as the big picture, so I went and I'm glad cause it was very revealing. He's hurting and accepts full responsibility for his choices. Again, I felt very validated and am so glad I'm not crazy. I don't feel sorry for him. I will support him on his journey cause I admire him for finally being conscious. Time will tell how we will end up. Right now, I just want for us to be in peace within ourselves and see where that takes us. Best of luck to you and your journey ♥

  9. Hi Jennifer, Hopeful 30, Dandelion, Hazel, et. al.,

    Gosh reading your posts this weekend they all struck a chord with me. My H too ended the A 7 years before I found out about it and after many weeks of trickle-truth I learned that ending it meant communicating with the COW less and less frequently over a period of weeks/months then never contacting her again. H never told her "I am choosing my wife' granted he says he did it that way because he felt he had to let her down gently or else she would tell me and H never wanted me to find out about it. Emotionally I really feel the need for H to send ex-COW a letter stating how much she ruined our lives and that he loves me and regrets every interaction with her. That is never going to happen. And the logical part of my brain says being dumped without explanation followed by NC may be best. IDK. I am also stuck because 7 mos past Dday H still has nothing negative to say about the COW, he filled her email inbox with volumes of negative about me and never got to know her beyond superfluous crap but I want him to despise her. Recognize her for the manipulative lying cheater she was. Not going to happen because he didn't get to know her well enough to see any flaws. And like many of you I can not take any crap from him even unrelated to the cheating - if H is in an angry mood and I get the brunt of it my inner voice says 'I stayed with a cheater and I shouldn't have to put up with any more crap from him, none, ever again'. I feels like he should be scared to death to upset me when my bags are virtually packed and I've finally accepted that marriage is only one day at a time. Anyway, each of your recent posts resounded with me. I'm so thankful for you sharing your feelings.

    1. Thank you for your words. It does help to communicate with others in the same place. I feel the same way about the ow. The one he told her he could not continue in the affair and he wanted to be fair to her and her kids since he would never leave me. She was still fine with it and begged to keep going. She kept texting him I guess. She finally found a new boyfriend that she can have a public relationship with. The other one he just said leave me alone via text when she kept contacting him after dday. So zero closure in my books. He says it would not be good to initiate contact with these women. He said nothing good can come of it. In the end I decided since they are not part of our lives they have taken up enough of it and I am done with them. The one called and texted recently when she was drunk with a friend so he blocked all their numbers. Lovely. And this is after 2 years three months with no contact. I mean what a loser. Granted I already knew that it just proves it.

      And yes anything that happens I feel similar like you have to be kidding. You put me through this and now this is happening. Whether it is big or small I feel this way. This is so hard to navigate and not feel like I am going to fall apart or lose my mind.

  10. Hi Ladies,

    I want to thank each and everyone of you for the time you took to reply to my post. And to those that didn't, thanks for thinking of me and understanding.

    I have so much to think about. So much to do. And a boat to rock. I am going to figure out what is right for me to do and go for it even if I rock the boat to do so. I've never been one to rock the boat. I go with the flow. However, after the A I have been much better about asking for what I need and speaking my mind. Probably need to do more of it though. I really liked our marriage counselor but since she saw us as a couple would prefer to keep it that way. I'm going to suggest to h that we go back for a refresher course. If he says no, then she will see me alone, but I'm pretty sure he'll agree.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me so much to think about and work on. Right now I'm thinking of various ways to approach things. Hugs to you all.

  11. I too am in this place of healing, I feel stuck. I just hit my one year from D day.

    My story is a long one.. 4 years worth.

    In 2012 my husband and I hit a rough patch in our marriage, we were 4 years in. We had just gotten a new neighbor, a divorcee and single mom. I took our twins which were 4 to a friend's house upstate for the weekend. She had come over to borrow a cup of ice and it transpired from there.

    He began mowing her yard and fixing her house up, we began to argue everyday about it. By this point he was sleeping on the couch and we didn't have a relationship but he refused to move out so we were stuck together as I was a stay at home mom at the time. He would sneak over her house in the middle of the night and they would get physical. I confronted her one day and she began crying and insisting she wasnt interested. She seemed so sincere, best liar I've ever met. We actually over time became friends, good friends but she was still sleeping with my husband behind my back, they would travel at this point and meet for sex.

    My husband went through a period in 2013 where he moved out for 6 months than he said he wanted to make things work and I wanted to believe him for the sake of our children who were devastated. During that time she had been telling him I told her stories of cheating on him that continued until the end. He believed her and it pushed him closer to her. I'm not saying he wasn't a willing party but I also think she's one good manipulator.

    I decided to go back to school in 2014 so I could make something of myself and move my children out of that situation. I believe that's when they started to fall apart. I noticed her wall coming down and her friendship turned genuine instead of fake which was the reason I ever confronted her to begin with. I thought if she had any shred of humanity she would eventually see the person her actions were affecting, our kids were also good friends. She had moved a boyfriend in who I can only acknowledge as a diversion for the situation because right before d day she kicked him out.

    Fast forward to D day..2016

    I could feel the guilt in the room as he walked in it. I asked for the millionth time if they had any sort of relationship and he finally told me the truth. My heart sunk in my chest and my insides felt like a nuclear bomb went off inside my ribcage. Even though I "KNEW" I didn't want to believe it so when there was no more doubt to coast on, it became real.

    That morning my friend happened to be there and when the neighbor first saw me that day she tried to come say hi but I had said friend intercept her for fear of killing her. I've never lost control like that in my life.

    We are no longer friends but I am working on accepting my husband back for many reasons, our kids need him close to them is one, another is that I never stopped loving him regardless of what he was doing to me. We've been together since 05.

    Here's the twist, we began salvaging our marriage immediately. I felt more love and devotion than I had our entire relationship. We were intimate again like in our teenage years. This was June of 2016 and by September I got pregnant. We have since had our baby and I am very happy with him despite the circumstances surrounding him.

    I know those who know about it judge me for my choices and it bugs me even though I know it shouldn't.

    Fast forward to one year post D day..2017
    I have healed a lot. Therapy helped us grow a lot too. My issue is the feelings of judgement from friends and HER. I still have to live next door to her and she sees me with this baby, she's even grinned about it. It drives me nuts.

    Currently with my husband, he has learned his lesson, I can see it in his eyes when he talks about it. He said it was like he wasn't in control of his actions, like auto pilot. He is truly sorry.. but I am not ready to trust or accept it I think. I feel stuck in the healing process.

    This is my story, I needed to put it out to a judgement free zone.

    1. Anonymous 6:30am-

      So sorry to hear your story. It is so sad how it all sounds familiar to us. You are in the right place. I will say a lot of things have helped me but this is the best most productive and supportive place I have found. I think for me it is the "me too" feeling. Honestly other things help but there is something about being with others who really understand what you are going through.

      It sounds like you have made great progress. Is there any option for you to move so you are at least not right next door to this woman? I know sometimes it is not an option but for me that would help a lot. My husband is a mental health professional and talks about corrective emotional experiences as being powerful in healing however if you live next door to her and have that as a constant reminder it is hard to replace feelings and memories with new ones to help override the negative. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Anon 6/29,
      I have kept my story to a very limited few (except here) for many reasons, to include fear of judgment. You are in a safe place and will find no judgement here. That's what I love so much about this group.
      Hugs! ❤️

    3. Dear anon,
      No judgment here!!! After reading your story I know you are one amazingly strong woman to endure what you are, AND your kids have a very unselfish loving mom. You just keep valuing and focusing on the good, like you obviously have been disciplinig yourself to do.
      I wish you could move,(or evict the neighbor, tee hee). Keep digging around in this blog, there's a lot of wisdom and experience here.
      Don't be hard on yourself! It sounds like you are making lemonade out of some seriously sour lemons.
      Love and hugs. (Ahh, bet that baby is precious!)

    4. Thank you for the positive words hopeful 30, dandelion and truth.

      There is something comforting in talking with people who have been through it too. I have a couple friends that know and they just don't understand why I made the choices I have, because they've never been cheated on by a long term partner who you've had 3 kids with and spent your entire 20's with and then some.

      Moving is not option unfortunately, we've talked about it for when I'm done getting my degree and am contributing more financially. Until then, I'm stuck seeing her every day.

      She has a new boy toy now who lives with her, he does everything my husband used you do for her and then some, she's currently had him preparing and painting the outside of her house. My husband made a comment to me yesterday " I can't believe that used to be me, I see it now.. how obvious it was. I'm so sorry"

      I think it became real for him when he realized she has about 20 or so guys she messes around with at any given time. She tells them all their her only and the truth couldn't be more different. She even had a guy who was someone else's boyfriend.

      I created a user name to stick around for awhile. I think I like it here. :-)

      I'm going to to explore the site more.

    5. Gemini29,

      It sickens me each time I hear of one more OW who the BW knew and was kind to. Truly only a mentally ill person who can pretend to be your friend while having an A with your H. Have you considered applying for a restraining order from OW?

      Glad you are going to stick around.

    6. Gemini

      It sounds like you both have the right perspective. And you both know what she is about. I know I would be motivated to get to the point where I can relocate. The flip side is you know what she is all about even though she is a bad reminder. I got to a point with my husband that I know he cannot be with me all the time and there is opportinty to cheat everywhere. So I really focused on our relationship and what I needed to feel safe to move towards trust and forgiveness and eventually being happy. It was a hard shift and it took time for me not to focus on his affairs. Now I do not think much about the affairs but more about us. Glad you are here to stay!

  12. So a sort of interesting story. My husband goes on his phone what I would consider too much. I know it is usually for sports stuff or to reply to texts from friends or his parents. Well recently I have noticed when I walk up he hits the home button vs just leaving what is on the screen on there. Well last night he did that and turned it upside down when I walked over to him. I did not get upset at him but just said you know when you do that it makes me suspicious of you. He had no idea what I was talking about. He initially got really defensive in the first moment. I stayed so calm. He apologized immediately and said he had no idea he did that. I found that so interesting he is so unaware and to me it was like red flags everywhere. I had been sitting on this bringing it up to him. I wanted to see if it was a pattern and also when he did that but turned it upside down it just hit me. Part of me still is suspicious. He swears I can take his phone and inspect everything and look at it anytime. I know if he wants to do anything he can find a way so not much comfort in that. I still look to his words and actions with me and how he lives this life. I know this catches him off guard but not sure it will ever go away. I just cannot get complacent.

    1. Hopeful 30,

      I've noticed mine does the same, he also says I can look through it and that he has nothing to hide. I don't know if it's his behavior or me not wanting to be hurt again but either way it feels suspicious. I think it will go away over time but that requires full trust and I don't know if that will ever happen.

    2. Oh Hopeful,
      My heart races just thinking about seeing my H with a phone like that. My H got rid of his smartphone shortly after DDay and I swear it was one of the first steps towards me being able to breathe again. Its weird for him to not have a smartphone in 2017, but I'm okay with weird -- it was the sexting I had a problem with :)

      This is a sincere question for you to think about -- You say you did not get upset with him. Why not get upset? You have legitimate reason to be upset.

      I say this with true care -- I think you need to insist that your husband go to counseling with you, career / distance / reputation and all his other excuses why not be damned.

      I've been reading your story for years -- it began at about the same time as mine -- and there are a lot of similarities. I think we've been stuck at a lot of the same points. And lately you sound different than early days -- I think you are being too cautious around his feelings. Stop being so dang calm!!! :)

      I'm rooting for you!

    3. My husband did the same thing, turn the phone off , hit the home button. Carried it on his belt like a side arm .
      I made excuses for him , that he was just doing sports and such. After all I had access to his phone.
      I was wrong , he hid things and deleted text etc..
      Thing about iPhone is even when you delete its not gone.
      Do spotlight search , any name , number , see if anything pops up .

    4. Hopeful, how can they be so unaware? My h used to do that too until I pointed it out to him. I never would have said anything before dday but now I am speaking up more and more. If something bothers me, I say it. And when he says I can inspect & look at anything I want, I do. And I don't try to make it look like I haven't look. I can and will look when I want. I'm not going to be complacent. I do know that with technology today, it is so easy to do cheat (god how I hate to even write that). For now. I'm looking less and less these days though. My guess is he'll quit doing it since you said something. At least I hope so.

    5. How do you use spotlight search?

    6. I googled how to do it .
      After opening the home screen , you swipe your finger from the middle down , then type in search , woman's name or something simple as a pet name ,like baby.
      You can also open messenger and type in an area code and see all numbers that were text in that area code. Even if they have deleted the text ,the number is usually still there.

    7. For the spotlight search don't you swipe left to right. A search feature comes up and you can search by numbers, key words etc and it pulls up lots.

      as far as how I respond I have found it to ne more productive to approach discussions less emotional. My husband had pretty much stopped any and all defensiveness or if he does he realizes it immediately. Honestly I am not emotional about this all. I am tired and worn down somewhat but I have also learned that I cannot operate at that level all the time. It is hard for me to feel that way sporadically. Instead it increases my anxiety really about everything. I find if I am matter of fact it is just better for me. Should I get angry and be more emotional I am not sure that is in me. I have come to grips with the fact I might never know if he is cheating again. But I have learned I have to be my best advocate and speak up for myself if something does not feel right. I feel like that is the best I can do and take care of me too.

      As far as therapy goes I do need to bring it up to him. We will see. I know if I demand he goes with me he will go. I can do that I am just not sure how productive it will be but that is not for me.
      When I read about therapy and all that it entails we have gone through the checklists and the process. But I know every therapist has their individual ways based on their type of therapy. The one I am most familiar with is cognitive behaviroal therapy. This is what my husband and my therapist practice and it has gone well for me. More to look into. Thanks!

    8. Hopeful 30 -- Sounds like you and your H are ahead of me and mine in communication and saying what you need. I'm definitely still stuck in learning stage. Both my H and I grew up in families where it wasn't okay to get upset -- mine because it was "disrespectful" and his because if you didn't say unpleasant things out loud then they didn't exist.

      For me I was so dang tired of feeling anxious and restarting OCD behavior abt a year after DDay so I sort of shut down and resigned myself to thinking well I've learned that I can't control him anyhow so I won't rock the boat over little things now that things are "good" with us. And he was so terribly guilty and sorry that he felt he didn't have any right to "complain" even about things he legitimately should have been upset or at least annoyed with me about. We thought we were doing great because we weren't arguing and I was rarely having triggers anymore.

      Then a few months ago we went back to our counselor for a check-in because I didn't know how to shake my sadness and wanted to ask abt EMDR. Instead, after seeing us interact she called us both out for not being genuine with each other and said we were headed right back to nursing resentment and we weren't living the marriage we had fought so hard to create that first year after DDay. Having a third party see our dynamic and give us ideas for a course correction was super helpful for us.

      Our mantra now is "just say it!" We're in our 40s and 50s and learning for the first time that we are allowed to be upset and express it -- without meanness or rage -- but with honesty. The other person might not agree, but they aren't going to shatter into pieces or despise us or leave us. I feel such relief and comfort from this new open-hearted way of relating with my husband that I just want to share it with everyone -- I have the fervor a new religious convert :) -- my apologies if I read too much of myself into your situation.

    9. I do think it is a process. I would say I grew up where there was little conflict or upset. It was not acceptable in my house. My husband grew up in a setting where more was said and expressed but forgiven quickly.

      I would say for us we are ahead most likely only because of his professional background. He is way ahead in many ways of most men I would say. However I feel he does utilize his knowledge to his advantage. There are many ways to deal or cope with betrayal but he has his ways and ideas. He sees things in a very specific way and his way seems to be right since he is a professional. So I am chipping away at this. I think the root is he takes everything so personally since he grew up entitled and being told he was great or something. Even something simple I will say I don't like and can he stop. But he takes it personally.

      And for us I really do not want to be too aggressive verbally with my husband because of our kids. i think it is healthy for them to see parents disagree but not more intense fighting. Early on when things were more tense we only spoke when they were at school or we were not home.

  13. Question - did you guys celebrate your anniversary in the year of your D-day? Ours will be 11 years married, 18 years together 7 months post betrayal. I'm struggling with this. I feel like we have nothing to celebrate. At the same time, we've committed to trying to make our marriage work, so I feel like I wouldn't be holding up my half of the deal if I don't. It's still a month away...

    1. Christine,

      I felt the same way last year D day was just 2 months before our 8 year marriage anniversary and our 11 years together.
      I was reluctant to celebrate because he and the OW had relations on our anniversary the year prior. But I took a chance.

      We went to Disney Epcot for a long weekend and drank around the world. We really reconnected that weekend and made some great replacement memories. That was actually the weekend I got pregnant with our third(and final) child.

      I say take a chance and do something for the two of you. Go away, take a staycation.

    2. Hi christine, my wedding anniversary is also next month. If my H plans something I will participate but I certainly have no intention of being the one to plan anything for him. It's almost like I expect H to win me back every day, especially on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries. Like many of the other BW have commented, I too hate wearing my wedding rings since my Dday 7 mos ago. To me the rings are a symbol of broken vows. I find it so hard to buy H a card since Dday. 90% of the ones you find are all gushy 'I'm so lucky to have married a man who is so wonderful, would never betray me, blah, blah, blah...' and the other 10% are superficial, funny, flirtatious. I guess I'll go with one of those. Sigh.

    3. Christine,
      I'm wondering what you want (it all may feel so yuck you may not even know-that's ok). If you do, I encourage you to dig deep into your courage and tell h. I myself haven't always followed my own advice though.
      I'm over 2 years out. My h efforts are sincere. My past, in regards to my marriage, is not a place I let my mind go much because all the happy times have a painful shadow over them. That mental examination of what was real, what was not, it's exhausting!
      My last anniversary I was feeling a bit neutral about it and decided I could go through the motions of celebrating. I did the traditional cards, rec'd flowers, put on a pretty dress, dinner out. Deep inside though I celebrated ME. All day I celebrated my survival of the worst pain I could endure. Told myself how far I'd come, how I was doing a great job at rising up out of the ashes. How strong and beautiful I had become. It ended up being a very special day for me, I'd never smothered myself with that much self-love in my life! Wierd, but got me through!

      You will make it through your anniversary. The day will come and then it will go,and be 'past'. My heart goes out to you at this painful time! Love and hugs.

    4. No. Its been 2 years / 3 anniversaries. (The first was 2 weeks post DDay1 and 2 days post DDay2 and I'm pretty sure I was still kicking him in the balls.)

      I actually dismiss it and have told him I expect him to do the same for the time being. He honors that. It has been just a regular day, with a bit more sadness.

      But in my case, lots of painful issues have come to the surface since DDay (via counseling) related to our wedding. For me, I know which day I truly felt the bonds of our marriage (DDay), and I know what that day means to me: I am married to him, for better or for worse. I'm just not sure what I want to do with that anniversary yet.

      Regardless of what you decide you want to do with your wedding anniversary, I don't think you should decide based on "holding up your half of the deal." You held it up for 11 years. Its been 7 months since you found out that he did not. Let him hold it up for a bit, and give you a break. He skipped out on your marriage -- he can understand if you need to skip out on a day. Talk to him, I bet he'll understand. Best wishes to you! Hugs!

    5. Yes we did. Dday was 5 months before our 20th anniversary and we had known each other 25 years. It was my husband's idea and we went on a trip. I was happy to just get away from day to day life. However dday 2 happened on the trip of course after an evening of drinking. It was crushing since he had told me everything on dday 1 but minimized everything. However things did nkt make sense and then on dday 2 it was way worse since it for me caused a lot more pain. To be honest I would celebrate dday over our anniversary but we only know about dday. My kids know our anniversary so we do celebrate it. I cannot come up with a legitimate reason to not recognize it.

    6. Christine 6/29...Do what feels right to you. Our 22nd anniversary was 9 months post DDay 2. As he was on the fence for almost 4 months after DDay 2 and didn't start really facing reality until 7 weeks ago, I had no interest in celebrating when he brought it up. He suggested going away to our favorite place and retaking our vows. I wanted to laugh out loud, but instead calmly explained that I was not going to nor ready to retake vows. I was all for going away, but no where near ready to celebrate. And that's what we did. On the night of your anniversary, we toasted that we were still together. That's it and I was glad for it. Do what feels right to you all the time. It's all about YOU now. Sending you love and hugs...

    7. It hurts too much to celebrate especially because one of the emails to OW stated: "I should never have married her." And that is the one thing I can just never, EVER forget. We can be wrapped in each other's arms and loving and emersed in joy and that one statement will just make me jump and pull me from the moment and I am once again afraid and worried that I will never have this joy and love again (ironically I kept myself from him and us). I worry about trusting his words, about trusting him again, because there were no problems that I was aware or can see. I was blindsided completely and he was always a man of great honor and scrupples... I want to live in the moment and just enjoy but the devastation will never leave my heart. He is both the man I fell in love with and love, and NOT, at the same time! I asked last year not to acknowledge our anniversary date because it meant nothing to him and simply reminds me of those words written to OW about me the one he says he loves and wants to be with forever! Yet, he was willing to betray his vows to me in an emotional affair, for emails mostly and pictures of her, doing things for her, writing her letters and poetry, doing many of the things he used to do for me. I DID however want to encourage and move forward with US,for me, for him, so I asked if we could celebrate US a different day and month. I will see how that goes this year? I hope I can get past that heartbreaking statement. But I fear there is no way to erase such a burn on your heart! It will always be my demise I think - no matter how hard I am trying. Will always love him - I have never stopped loving him. I just realized that I can't make him love me - he either does or doesn't. My love for him is not really dependent on his love for me. Doesn't mean I accept and love all behavior it means I love him no matter what he decides or feels... and that LOVE is pretty damn special to me and I cherish it! regardless of what may happen in the future. I pray I can forget it someday? but how??? it was easier to forgive.

  14. Fourth of July is no longer a fun holiday for me. It represents the weekend I found out about my husband's affair. It was July 6, 2015 and I was working at my home office when my house phone rang. A good Samaritan called to fill me in on the truth. I kept my new knowledge to myself for 4 days before I couldn’t hold it in anymore and I told him that “I knew”. It's a day I'll never forget and I'm finding it to be one that leads up to a lot of anxiety. I don't celebrate DDay and I find it hypocritical to celebrate our anniversary. I’m exhausted from these 2 years of knowing. I’m exhausted from 2 years of couples counseling. I’m exhausted from still being mad and hurt. Why am I still being indecisive of my decision to stay. If I’ve decided to stay, why do I still think of leaving? Why can’t my mind focus on staying and our future? My inner self says the answer is … because maybe staying is the wrong decision. ~Sunflower

    1. Sunflower,

      I totally understand where you are. My dday was March of 2015. I think part of it for me is I thought I would feel better or different by now. I am not sure what I thought that would be but I thought it would be different by now.

      Things have changed a ton so I am thankful for that and I will say our marriage is in a great place. We are closer than ever and if I take my husband's word and trust all he is saying I am in a really great place. He is understanding it can be hard still to trust so I appreciate him understanding and continuing to give all he can to me.

      For me I actually feel somewhat good about dday. I have looked at it as the day everything made sense. And even though it was really hard we started to redefine our marriage. Many highs and lows but every year when I look back I think about how far we have come. Our anniversary is not something I look forward to and I think that is common. It all is fake and celebrating vows that were broken.

      I ask myself all those questions too and I tell myself I just need more time. I am tired and worn down too. I question so much and it is exhausting. My goal is to focus on the present vs the past. I am going to start journaling again and participate in yoga for more mindfulness. Not sure it will help but I always feel better when I try something. And I am looking for a new therapist to see if that helps. Hang in there and I understand exactly where you are.

    2. Sunflower and Hopeful 30, I can only speak to my person situation but you both resonate with me too. I just passed the 2 year D-day antiversary in June. I also thought I would be in a much better place by now when this whole thing blew up. I am baffled by the deep dark hole inside of me that this caused. Don't get me wrong because there are many good times. I made the decision to stay to protect my adult kids and especially my daughter from the knowledge of what my husband did. My therapist and my best friend both tell me that my adult kids would be OK if I got divorced but I really do not want to put them though that if it can be avoided. My husband knows that he gets one chance to clean up his act and he is doing a good job I think. He does not want to go back to his old life. For him, things are 100X's better. For me, I'm still in shock but I hide it well. I am doing everything I can to make myself happy in hopes that I can live a life where I don't have blatant reminders of my husband's history but realistically I understand that will never happen because affairs, prostitution, massage parlors, porn and just all the crap that goes along with all of that is everywhere and it isn't going anywhere soon. Things are so much better now than a year ago and I believe that time really does do wonders. There are things from my past that I thought I'd never be able to look at or think about without tears but now I am can reflect on those old hurts. It is exhausting to know that I live with a stranger. After 38 years together he is still a stranger with a sordid past. I find myself at times looking at him and wondering who he is although he tells me I see the authentic person. Like many others on this forum, I wonder if I will ever be able to trust him again. His biggest fear is that I will never forgive him or trust him again. Maybe I will and maybe I wont but the only way I'll know is if we continue on this path together and he doesn't go back. He says his life is so much better now. He feels alive, honest and authentic. My internal mood swings are crazy. There are times I look at him and hate his guts so much and times I look at him and remember falling madly in love with him as the love of my life. I've actually purchased a bunch of blank cards with tender and sweet verses on the front so I can capture my loving feelings for him when they happen. Two days ago I had another serious meltdown and spent the afternoon in bed curled up in a ball crying after a series of triggers happened over 48 hours. I just could not diffuse them. After he and I had a major cry and some conversation he told me about an article he just read in a military magazine about veterans having Moral Injury's. He related so much to that article and after I read it, my heart just became much more tender towards him. Yesterday I took that opportunity to pull out one of the cards and write a few lines in it for him. I put it on his desk and he found it hours later and send me a thank you text. I find that if I take the precise moment to act positively when something happens and my heart is open to him and us, it really does add precious minutes and hours to my overall positive feelings about where my life is going. He wants to stay with me and says he will never betray us again. I want to believe that so as long as he doesn't mess this up again I am willing to put in the time and do whatever it takes to heal myself. Happy 4th.

    3. Beach Girl, All very well said and your words ring true with me too. It is that feeling of living with a stranger. I hear his words and watch him but it really seems too good to be true or is this all a false front like the majority of our years together were. I agree for me I think time is what helps. I have told him that I need continued proof/reinforcement from him. That does help and I am sure to thank/point out when he does something that makes me feel good and positive about me/him/us. I go back to all of that positive reinforcement I practice with the kids.

      I do reassess from time to time and as of now the good still outweighs the bad. Having kids really does complicate all of this for me. Without kids I am not sure I would have the perseverance and stamina to have gone this long or further. I am not staying only for my kids and I would be sure to separate/divorce if I thought our marriage was negative for them. I do not believe in limping along for them only to be done with each other once they are out of the house. I truly believe that would cause as much if not more damage than a divorce. However saying that with my kids at the ages they are I honestly am not sure I could handle a divorce. My husband has been a good dad and has really stepped it up a lot but I cannot wrap my head around not being with them and there for them and together. I know people do that but it would take me a long time to get to that point. So for now I focus as much as I can on me first and our marriage second. They are great and understand that need for both of those things and see the healthiness in that. Hope you all had a great 4th!

    4. Sunflower,
      I'm sorry for your pain and exhaustion. You have every right to ignore the 4th, good for you for owning your own feelings!
      While reading your comments I was amazed AGAIN at the HUGE disconnect between how movies/media often portray infidelity (tee hee, just fun in the moment, no consequences, you deserve it, mama will never know, etc) and how betrayal REALLY FEELS. It's crazy, really! Early on I couldn't even watch shows, commercials, or look at checkout magazine covers without melting down. Now I'm a ways out, and have been able to, I am continually amazed. I'm constantly thinking 'um, no bw thinks 'that'is funny', 'um, no bw would bounce back that fast from h betrayal'. They don't capture the excruciatingly slow pace with which the pain subsides to bearable, among MANY other things!
      Thanks for sharing your feelings and frustrations. Isn't this blog a great place to vent? It's been sanity and clarity for me.
      Hoping things are looking up for you, now that the 4th is over.

  15. Beach Girl & Hopeful 30 --- thank you both for responding. It is very reassuring to hear from others who are at their 2 year DDay as well. It makes me think I'm not alone and not off track for my own progress. Many thanks, Sunflower

  16. I have another thing that is really bothering me, (of course) couple of examples of my H emails to the OW. This was when relationship was a couple months in, beginning friends on Facebook, exchanging cell #'s, texting, I love you more than life type texts ( never said more than "I love you dear" to me before now, stupid texts " I love you the bestest and miss you the mostest " Seriously, are you 12? Numerous texts all day every I love you, I miss you, I worry about you, I only want you happy, things will be great when "we" become "us". All done 10 months worth 2016.
    Partial email he sent last May & June:
    You need to know
    how much I greatly appreciate your wanting me to smile
    more and loosen up. It's nice that there is somebody
    that cares to see best in me, very refreshing. You are
    a healthy ray of sunshine for me, for just the thought
    of you brings me out of the "dark", and your company
    in person is valued immensely.
    Never have deleted our chats, just can't do it. But I know it's the smart thing to do
    so I will begin the process soon, but i will NOT delete those stunning pictures you sent the
    other night, You are missed every minute and know that I did not want to let go of you
    last night. You nourish me. I will contact you this evening. (HIS DARK SITUATION WAS 8 DAY AFTER OUR GRANDDAUGHTER WAS BORN)
    Then in August prior to our 29th anniversary he emailed to her:
    NOTHING can change my opinion of you! My mind races
    many times also merely thinking of the way things can be
    between us when the time comes. Everyone has times of
    weakness and confusion and right now your limits are being
    tested by the present situation.

    Believe me when I say that I have truly "heard you". To be able
    to divulge hopes, dreams, and plans with someone is a great
    thing to look forward to. Yesterday, when you texted me "I know
    in my heart we would be very happy", my eyes welled up because
    I know in my heart the very same thing. I am aching right now also
    because of my present situation. Safe to say we both have situations
    to rectify before our thoughts and dreams can be a reality. In my
    mind I am counting on it. I pray you are as well. I know that you
    know how I truly feel about you and I'll always be in your corner.
    Her situation was her family was a pain in the butt to her, she was not married. I am telling you ladies, these kind of words never came out of his mouth before this person. He swears he never ever intended to leave me, never was going to live with her, made up the BS about how awful it was for him. He never communicated much, never romantic, or affectionate in all of our 30 years together, so this crap that came out of mouth says was just BS. Got caught up in the talk. Oh yes, he frequently went to her apartment on the lake saying he was fishing. 10 months sex 4 times, couldn't "get it to work" 4 times. Never uttered words of love to each other in person. Just text & emails. My favorite, texting her Christmas Eve all evening at my mothers house for our family Christmas & Christmas morning telling her I don't matter but he'll be thinking of her all day. Swears never loved her though, never leaving me, etc. Do I believe his crap about not loving her? Do these men make all thes BS promises to the OW and they're really just lies? I don't get it & don't know what to believe. He has had 0 contact with her from Dday

    1. debaw,
      I can only speak from my personal experience and what I've read and it seems that some people can, in fact, do this. I only ever saw a limited amount of the contact between my H and the OW. My husband has always said that he never intended to leave me for the OW. He was clear with her from the beginning that it was just sex, but there was a lot of manipulation involved. He complimented her and told her she was beautiful because that was her complaint about her husband... that he never told her she was beautiful. �� He listened to her talk all the time because it benefited him since she would give him sex. Eventually I guess she got tired of being the "side chick" and started giving ultimatums that she wasn't going to have sex with him anymore until they were "both single". He still never said he was leaving. Then she started to message him that she loved him and he always replied with "love you too". It was never said in person.., always by text. And yes, I too wondered "Are you 12?" Ballsy enough to screw someone on your lunch break in the backseat of their truck, but you can't say I love you face to face.
      Everything I read says the affair is fantasy. A lot of people are caught up in the affair fog and they say and do things that they later are shocked by. D-day shines a bright light on the affair and the damage it's caused. Their behavior is exposed in all its selfish, disgusting and immature glory. My husband liked the ego boost he got from the OW. She complimented him and told him what a great guy he was. But it was really more about the sex for him. She agreed most times he wanted to meet for sex. And he continued to do and say what he felt would keep that going.
      I think my H was definitely in a sort of fog from the time I discovered phone records until the full truth came out on our last d-day. His story has remained the same since then though and, looking back on how everything transpired, I believe him. We're 2 years and 3 months past d-day and he's done a lot of work on himself and our relationship. He's owned up to all his shitty behavior and worked to figure out how he ended up being the person who chose to betray his wife. I think it would have been a whole lot easier for him to just leave.

    2. debaw, I am pretty new to learning about the mind of a cheater, but I have learned this much thus far - most of them have some degree of mental health issues. So it's not surprising that what they write and say and do is illogical. That doesn't make it hurt any less. But I hope it brings you some comfort when you are feeling like nothing makes sense that you were sane and they were the crazy ones. It's one of the reasons our H's need IC to figure out what the hell is wrong with them and do the hard work of being aware of it and fixing themselves.

    3. 18 months post-d day, I managed to open up the disk he had in the safe with all of the texts and photos and videos from the affair (I wanted him to keep it in case she accused him of sexual harassment - and I cracked the code - let me know if you want to know how I did it!). It started very innocently, and then she slipped in a few suggestive lines -- always laughing and saying oops, she didn't mean it... and then, about 4 days in, she sent him several naked photos and videos -- he was like a 13 year old -- totally sucked in. She chipped away at me, saying I looked like someone who would be "sweet" in bed, unlike her who keeps a vibrator behind her shampoo bottle and never wears underwear with a dress!! Please! When my H commented I was pragmatic and hard-working, she spoke about how devastated she would be to have a lover speak of her like that, and when I came home from my complicated job after a stressful 15 hour day and went to bed to sleep, she told him there was something wrong with me -- a wife should always be available to her husband -- not sure how she's the expert, with her divorce and an ever-changing cast of "boyfriends". He was for sure in a fog - his texts to her were a constant theme of "I love my wife but I love you too..." Frankly, it made for amazingly boring reading, and when he'd try to pull away, she'd send a naked video or photo - and he was pulled back in. I'm not excusing him for a second - he is responsible for the months of pain and despair I experienced -- and he experienced too. She set him up to be addicted to her, and it was clear she was also addicted to the power of it all -- sex is a drug and she knew just how to use it. Debaw -- the stuff your husband wrote is just that -- the musings of an addict looking for his next hit - it just isn't real or sustainable.

  17. Thank you for that response! My H was addicted & obsessed for sure & now he shudders wondering how, which I reply " Beauty is in if the eye of the beholder ". He never told her he loved me, or bragged on him. Mainly that I was a dud, I didn't matter, he said he never told her he didn't love me, but never said he did. Which saying I don't matter to me is saying he didn't love me, but of course again, he didn't mean that either. He was trying to make her feel better about herself. Well screw that! He promised her he was leaving her & told me that he fed her full of BS. Lucky for him she wasn't as crazy as we were told, otherwise there would have been some pretty scary retaliation, which he said he was already fearing before Dday. 7 months since then& we have a long road ahead of us. I wish those marriage retreats weren't so dang expensive. Thanks again, sounds like you H definitely got hold of a sicko that sucked him in.

  18. Hang in my friend -- it's a long road for sure, and I know every road is different -- but this site helped me so much. I lurked a lot, saw lots of wisdom, and on the couple of occasions when I was just lost (there were way more than a couple), I put a call out here and got solid advice - every time.

  19. Oh my God!!!! I am so mad! And I don't know who to tell... last year in April I found out my husband of almost 8 years had been cheating on me with 1 woman for 5 years. And within the month found out about much more. So much more / his sex addiction. This came out after counseling.
    So we decided to try to make it work and have been in recovery.
    A big issue for me throughout all this time is the other woman, the 5 year one.
    I mean if I let myself think about all the others I'll get mad too. But this 1 woman just hurts so much.
    And I've been told over and over again not to look at her social media. Well sometimes I'm good about it, sometimes not.
    The last time H and I fought, it's because I looked and got upset so he says I'm not workings my recovery. Which pisses me off because I am, even though I'm not perfect. So I haven't said anything about looking since. And what she's doing now is so out of bounds!
    She is pretty much writing a book about the relationship (a very sexual book), and posting it!
    I haven't read more than a couple of words on those posts,but I'll read comments from other people and all they say is she should write a book and how steamy it is and to please keep posting. It is so humiliating!
    I don't know if I should tell H because he'll get mad about me looking. Which again, pisses me off.
    She is mad because of the way they ended. Which was in front of me, him saying he didn't want her to contact him and taking back something he'd given her, because I found out about it, and thought if she kept it, she would still use it and profess enteral love or whatever. Because she's crazy.
    Now, he got himself caught by sending me a crude msg meant for her. So they both knew I may get to the bottom of it, but probably didn't expect it.
    Anyways I'm rambling but I am so mad about her posts. I think they started last week.
    But all last year she's posted so many things. Like his name, profession, specifics about their relationship. But this is just writing everything out step by step!!!
    It is so hurtful and I have never done anything to her except stay with H and ask him to take that thing back. That's it! No more... this is so humiliating. We don't have friends in common. But some acquaintances. And he has a pretty public job. I've never been confronted by anyone that knows or that's seen anything. But it's still soooo embarrassing!

    1. Kay,
      I can imagine just how infuriating this feels. And how powerless you must feel. Thing is, you are powerless over what she's doing. She gets to write whatever she wants. The only person you're not powerless over is yourself. And you can control what YOU do. I know it's hard. But I also know that checking her social media is self-destructive. The only person who gets hurt when you do it is you.
      I understand the impulse to want to know what she's doing. When we've been betrayed, the fear of being blindsided is horrible. We would rather know the worst than not know and be blindsided when we find out.
      But, as you're discovering, knowing is excruciating, particularly when you can't do a damn thing about it.
      So...if you and your husband are rebuilding your marriage, then that has to be your absolute focus. She needs to be cut out of your life like a cancerous tumour. She is toxic. As for her "steamy" writing, my guess is she won't include the humiliation of being with someone who was only with her because she was willing and available, she won't include how pathetic she felt when she got tossed under the bus. She's writing fantasy. That's all it is. And your husband has to deal with the consequences of her outing him. I know it affects you too; of course it does. But you did nothing wrong. Anyone looking askance at you isn't someone you want/need in your life. You did NOTHING wrong. And what you decide re. your own marriage is your own business.
      Please don't think I don't get how humiliating this is for you. I do. But, at 10 years out, I just get how screwed up our cultural understanding of affairs/sex addiction is. And no amount of hand-wringing and fury is going to change that.
      What we can change is ourselves and our response to it. We can move forward in our own lives with integrity and do our best to be grateful that we're not as screwed up as someone filling her social media with "steamy" stories.

    2. Thank you for your reply. Yes, of course I only have power over myself. But you are so right, it's getting blindsided that hurts the most, and that I'm terrified about. I don't know how far she's going to take this, I keep telling myself that everything she's writing is fiction, because if you go back through her FB all those years. She's always sad, angry, lonely etc.
      but she definitely doesn't worry about saying she was the other woman. She's talked about it throughout this year. And how she's traumatized by that last day. That she has ptsd because of it.
      She sent H an email last year "proper ending to their relationship" not the "horrible" way it happened.
      I mean, I just want to kick her... traumatizing was what I found out at 1 am that day. That's traumatizing.

    3. Yep, exactly. SHE knew what she was doing. Having a relationship with a married man. Her eyes were wide open. She just doesn't like how it turned out. NOTHING like not having a clue what's happening and being betrayed by the one person you think you can trust. She sounds like someone who breathes drama the way the rest of us breathe oxygen. My guess is she'll find a new drama sometime soon. These types always do.

    4. Kay, can you & H get a restraining order or sue her for defamation or slander for what she is writing? IDK but I think I'd at least ask an attorney.

    5. Kay, keep in mind she is pissed because she lost. She wasn't good enough. She wasn't pretty enough. No matter what she did or pulled - she lost. He to choose one or the other. He choose you before he knew that anything was going to change. She is really pissed big time. She invested 5 years of her life then it was over. Don't get me wrong - she is a sleazy stupid whore. But I'm trying to explain why she doing this on FB. She wants attention again, she just woke up from her fantasy world. She doesn't even have the dignity to slither away. She doesn't care about you or hurting you. It is about her and getting what she wants. My therapist told me these women are like a black hole. My therapist said these women try to get attention. When it doesn't work then they go silent. Every few months they try again to get attention. My therapist was right but it too almost a year for the OW to knock it off.

    6. If he does that then he'll out himself. (Not that I don't think everyone knows). We talked about it for a minute last December when she sent some anonymous emails mail saying he was going to be "exposed" or whatever. She's very dramatic.
      We decided against to see what she'd do next. She calmed down. Then in January I got a couple of emails saying things about what he did, but the were pretty vague and I thought it was spam. Until a few weeks later that something happened and I though it might be her again.
      But I haven't heard anything since.
      I know he's been diligent about checking the mail before I do, so I'm assuming she sent some warning to him. He's supposed to tell me if she makes any type of contact, but I found an email when I went through his messages with his sponsor. So now I can't trust him on that. He said he didn't want to fight or whatever. And he'd told his sponsor about it so bla bla bla.
      Anyways, My point is i think he got a msg that something's going to happen. And he doesn't want me checking her fb (because my recovery---- ugh). Last time I did it was a big blow up and he got pissed that I checked. I think because I didn't take his his typical "I'm sorry" well. What she posted that time was more about feelings and things she considered sweet about him.

      But he ended up defensive, which is his MO if he sees that I'm not civil about it. His way of shutting me up I guess. (We've not been doing good at all these past few months---- since I started EMDR therapy and the next day I saw that FB post).

      So now I'm not "supposed" to look on FB. He doesn't have one. (Since DDay). So I haven't said what she started posting this time. And I don't know if someone else has said anything.
      That's the only reason I can think of why he'd get so mad for me looking.

      As for her, I think everything she's posting is her truth. I mean she put a text from him on there.
      I think she romanticizes everything because that's how she felt.

      So I'm stuck and I'm so angry about it.

      I'm not sure I'm making any sense. With his job, everyone where he'd get a restraining (not that he even can), knows him.

      Thanks for the thought anyways

    7. Thanks Lynn, yes I guess she "lost", if only we were doing good though. These ups and downs are worse then last year. Mainly because last year he was still acting sorry and with empathy. Since I read the one about some nice things he did for her, he did a complete change. Now says that's all I ever want to talk about.
      But that's not true either, it's just another way to make me not talk about it. I'm just tired of it. I think I'm getting to the point where I don't care if we fix it or not.
      Lynn, did you mean the OW took almost a year to back off? How long has it been since that? Or are you waiting to see if she'll do more? What kind of things was she doing?
      My H's therapist think this woman has borderline personality disorder, and I agree. I honestly think that if he had left me for her, my pride would never let me do some of the things she has. But she's never actually confronted me. or tried contacting me using her actual name. On fb she's very brave.

    8. The crazy ow ... continued to call text and email 7 mo post d day she even sent me a 5 page email to my work! Over 2 years out now she moved far away though I'm not convinced she's forever gone just occupied for now? Idk right before d day she got his name tattoo on her arm a gesture of true love??? It's visible to all and she still has it and has not coveted it up??? Psycho... Elle says a daily reminder of her mistakes everyday? Maybe? Hang in there till you get clear.

    9. Kay, I wrote a reply and it disappeared. I have to go but I will write more tonight. I have so many thoughts about what you are experiencing and want share since my H is a defensive type too.

    10. Wounded, OMG on the tattoo!! See, I wouldn't get my H's name tattooed because I I know that is crazy! Maybe it is a reminder of her mistake, but the way some of these women think, I'd say it's a reminder to go back and stir things up. Because they are entitled to what and who they want. The frustrating part for me is that she'll act like a victim. Talk like H and I plotted this whole thing together just to destroy her (again, very dramatic). And I can't just yell back "hey, idiot, i got blindsided! I had no idea you existed!! You knew I did and you were trying to figure out a way to cover it up when I found out!"

      Lynn, I look forward to any advice and experience you can offer.

    11. Kay, your trauma goes very deep, for about 70% of your married years there was the OW. This is entrenchment not to say your H can't dig himself out. I insisted that my H and I went to the OW house and I witnessed him telling her it is over. I ask her, "What makes it ok for you to suck my husbands dick? What do you tell yourself that allows you to do that?" She called our house at one month wanting to resume their friendship. Then she called at six and nine months. In between were the drive-by's. Her trend was every three months. Finally I went to her house at 1.5 years to confirm is my husband was telling me the truth. We talked for 2 hours and he was telling the truth, their story was the same. I also had to meet - what type of woman can keep my husband interested for 2.5 years? Anyway I finally wrote her a letter telling her she lost, she wasn't enough, see how important she really was to him, her opinion didn't matter why call, she could have been anybody all she could do was sex and even that wasn't enough, town whore etc... I enclosed an pre-paid envelope for her to return the jewelry he gave her as an act of contrition. I told her I told her God would give me my justice and when she was laying on a heap in the floor, think of me. She slithered away.
      Defensiveness = my husband still is and I have decided that is just his personality. What we did so we could communicate was every Sunday for as long as I wanted we talked about the affair. The rest of the week, I wrote down my questions and saved them for Sunday. That way he was prepared mentally and so was I. This started about a year post Dday. I learned to listen, not accuse, not react but try to understand. Somethings he said was very hurtful and I wanted to lash out, sometimes I did. He was still trying to justify his actions in a twisted way. He does own this shit-fest but tried to tell me the reasons for what he did. We started out at the beginning with one affair-free day and increased the days as time went by. There are some concerns about what you say. Was his diligence in check the emails your request or his? He is already deceiving you still by not letting you check his emails. There is a program called Dr. Phone where you can retrieve deleted texts. A year out is not that long. Your H sounds like he is still trying to control the circumstances. He has no right to tell you what to do for your healing. You decided that and healing has no deadline. I still look at FB from time to time - for me it is being diligent. Five years is a long time and I imagine their relationship runs deep so I would be super diligent in all regards. Don't let him blow you off. You don't feel safe with him and let him know that. Some of his defensiveness might be addict withdraw from sex and her. I imagine he is in a panic trying to figure out how to fix this. The withdraw from the AP can be crippling for the cheater. I'm not trying to make excuses for your H, he may be fighting several battles. Ask him - are you going through withdraw from her? What do you miss about her? What do you wish would happen right now with her? Be prepared for his answers. Most of all he has no right to control you or tell you what to do he lost that right. Some of his struggles may not have anything to do with you but what is in his mind. You sound so strong, don't be bullied. I know that tough balance between trying to "be enough" and setting boundaries of what you will tolerate plus being afraid of him going back to her. It is really hard and the push back is hard to stand up to but you seem to have a lot of common sense and intuition. You will figure this out as well as stay or go. Love to you.

    12. Lynn, thank you for your reply. I'm going to bed but I will answer tomorrow. :)

    13. Lynn, you are right, out stories are very similar. And we have been advised to talk about it once a week and for me to write my questions down---, but to do me to go over them and ask myself if they are still important or if I truly want the answers for them.
      when I brought it up to him however, there came the defensiveness... I think he acted like it was a life sentence. Which is so hypocritical because the night when everything came out I asked him how long would he have kept her if I hadn't found out? And he said forever. (I just realized the unfairness of this as I typed!)
      But I am going to do what Hopeful30 said and ask him to be patient (And not be defensive because he's not patient).
      The problem will be bringing it up. I am trying to avoid any fights. Especially now while we seem to be "good". Even though it's just on the surface.
      Sometimes I would like to talk to her, but what if she does have BPD? I'd just be stirring the pot.
      Or giving her ammo for her FB diary.
      I have a question, though, did she return the jewelry? I had told H to call and end it right when I found out. It was probably 3 am. But she didn't answer. I'm glad she didn't because the next day it dawned on me what that thing represented to them. It meant he "owned" her 🤢... he had said it was a BDSM relationship. 🤢🤢🤢
      And I had seen that morning her fb page. Years of sadness, anger, frustration.... almost nothing about her kids. It was all about them.... even though she didn't name him. It was obvious.
      That's why I knew she'd keep taking pics of herself with that thing on (all her pics had it- she never took it off).
      So I'm glad she didn't answer and that it was face to face. And she returned the thing and I later threw it in the trash at a church. I didn't tell my H where immediately because I didn't know if they'd contact each other and just lay low. He thought I'd thrown it in the lake. And I said I wouldn't dirty up the lake with that.
      He's been diligent with the mail. The letters we got were via old fashion mail.
      He will let me see his phone and email whenever I ask for it. But he would know to delete anything. His sponsor has an app linked and he gets everything tim does from his phone. But I don't really know how much he goes threw it. And calls him out on it.
      I wish there was a way to just get the email addresses that get used to and from. That way you would know if he's making new email accounts (that is a great idea!! I wonder if it exists -lol)
      He has gotten emails (that's the one I caught- so now I don't trust that he tells me).
      And its on him because he had been showing me up until that point and I was calmer about it.
      Another thing is he is so good at compartmentalizing. And I know all of them are. But he just doesn't seem to care about her... I don't know if it's the type of relationship they had, where he was a god and she was nothing--- (and I get that even so he was texting constantly, so it's not like he wasn't was free of her) but the attachment seems to be so much more from her side once the breakup happened.
      I think it's because he had so much more going on in his addiction. Things he's had to face head on in order for us to stay together. Face with his counseling and 12 step program. I probably don't know half of it.
      I keep digressing here!! I think it's becoming my journal. Lol

      Thank you very much for your reply! I really appreciate it!

    14. The same thing started to happen in my situation . I blocked her from all my social media and she sent a video of my husband to my sister to give to me. My poor sister had NO clue what was going on. She threatened to post the video for all to see . ( and for all I know she still may) My husband and I did go to the police. We told them the whole humiliating story. They did take action by calling and leaving a message and going to her home. She never answered the call or the door, but it has been 6 weeks and she has been silent. It maybe worth a try

    15. SB... I truly hope that helped... what is the overall time she's been acting this way?
      I haven't talked to H about it though. And since she hasn't sent something to us or me directly in a while, I doubt we can do anything. I something does happen, I probably will push more. But I doubt H would go for it. Unless I'm having a mental breakdown. Which sometimes I feel like I will. Or at least a screeching fit. Lol
      The other day he posted something on twitter. First time in months. I asked him not to do it again (it was some political reply to a tv show host 😒 ). I asked him and said just please don't rock the boat. Don't set her off. Just don't. And I know I sounded sick and tired. He shouldn't have ANY social media as far as I'm concerned. When everything happened I thought twitter was fine.
      But now I don't. And I went in her FB account and sure enough. She insinuated someone is trying to contact her on twitter and Pinterest. On the private msgs.
      I checked the dates. And sure enough. It was the day after he tweeted.
      And it's not that I blindly believe him when he says he doesn't contact her.... I just think if he starts cheating on me again, it will be with any other person that hasn't proven to be so unstable.
      So I just think she saw him tweet and said that. What I do wonder is if she actually thinks it's his way of reaching out to her. And she actually believes he is. Instead of just trying to get a rise out of be so he will contact her. Who knows.

  20. There's no way in hell my H would tell me not to check the ex OW Facebook page, even if he tried to tell me not to, I'd be doing it anyway. She does sound like she has totally flipped her lid. If a person can actually feel grateful for anything at all after being cheated on, I'm grateful my H's affair partner never bothered us again & we were warned she was f'ing nuts. Especially after lying to her so much & promises he made to her with no intention of following thru. Our daughter (who has gone thru the same thing) said it's these fake promises the men give these women are what causes crazy bitches. My H sure turned me into thinking I was going crazy with my horrendous mood swings. Good luck my friend, stay safe!

    1. That's what I think about looking at her FB. But the thing is, everyone says the same thing. My & his therapists, my sponsor, everyone says not to look. And that's what he uses against me.

    2. Kay, I will say it is easier to say to someone what they should do. And I agree in the end for me it was much better once I stopped searching for the ow on social media. But honestly it was a phase for me. One day i was searching and I just thought I have had enough I am miserable. I cannot control or change these women. I am going to focus on me and my husband. I am going to put 100% into myself and our relationship. But I had to get to it on my own. Really it was just dragging me down and not giving me anything. And I do not think him using it against you is helpful. Does he understand why you have continued to do it. Has your therapist offered any tips on how to pull yourself away from doing this? This is complex and it hits all of us different and at least for me it feels like a roller coaster ride. I tell my husband and have for over two years he needs to be patient to me and until this happens to him he needs to be understanding. And even if someone has been betrayed on some level we all feel and process things differently. I have heard of people disabling their social media for a brief time or permanently if it is not healthy for them. Some people find something else to do so every time they want to check it they listen to a song or go for a walk. Think about making small changes too and do not be too hard on yourself.

    3. My husband disabled his Facebook, but that's where he "got acquainted " with the other woman. He's obviously one that can't handle social media. I wish I could get her out of my head. She doesn't bother us, she & I have communicated but I end up going backwards instead of forward. My therapist told me that she has power over me as long as I obsess over her. I've got to stop or I won't be able to move forward and Kay as hard as it is, everyone is right. I need to listen as well and do what Hopeful said & put 100% into myself and my relationship with my husband. I pray I can as this is tearing me apart. I pray you can as well

    4. I have talked to my therapist (and his therapist), and they've given me advice on how to stop. But I'm just not ready. I think that it's so hard not to, i get sucked in to looking at people from elementary that I don't have anything to do with, like I'm looking of their vacation pics and all of a sudden I think, Why and I even looking at this?? And that's people that I've had no contact with (or even want contact).... so someone obsessed with my husband and that their affair has hurt me so much, and it's ALWAYS on my mind. I have questions that I will never get answers from him... and I know that even though her posts are her fantasy versions of the story, there is still a lot of truth in them. Also I just want to know so I'm not blindsided. Although by this point I don't think anyone will say anything to me. They would have already. Not even my sister told me the latest. She waited until I said something.
      I have done small things to not look. But honestly, the latest one was not healthy! I went into a website for "other women". Kind of to see their mentality. Some of them are crazy... like they get mad if the MM lies to them. They say there's reason to lie to the wife but never to the other woman. Hmmm.
      This worked for me not going to her social media as much... but it definitely isn't one of the "tools" I got from my COSA meetings. 😬
      But that's why I ended up here. I needed to get our side of the story.

    5. Kay, there's a OW website? Talk about pathologic!

    6. I've been up and down with checking up on the OW on social media. I did for a long time, then I stopped for a while. Then something happened that made me feel like I needed to know what she was up to so I wouldn't be caught off guard by her. The OW in my case has never been overt enough to do anything to me directly. Her method is to always be just under the radar and it's always on social media. Elle pointed out to me once that this is just her sad way of trying to remain relevant. It's so true. And for over two years now, she's gotten no response.
      I will say that when I don't check up on her, I feel better. However, I also understand it's not easy. And for a period of time, I did it because I felt like I needed to protect myself. If I knew what she was up to, she couldn't hurt me. And partially, I think it was like watching a trashy talk show for me. You know it's awful and dysfunctional but you keep watching to see it implode. But when I stopped, I realized that I was keeping myself tied to her and the pain she caused me. No amount of checking up on her and trying to understand her motives will ever make it make sense to me. Mostly because I don't think the way she does. I won't say I'll never check on her again because I'm not perfect, but for now I'm not and I feel better.
      I know there are website out there for OWs. At one point, I chose to read two blogs, one by a single woman having an affair with a married man and one by a married woman cheating on her husband. I felt like if I read them, maybe I could understand what prompts people to do it. It reinforced what I knew before reading them... the fact that they're just really hurt/damaged or selfish people doing what they can to justify their actions. It made angry and sad at the same time. And it didn't give me a miracle answer that made me feel better.

    7. Dandelion, Same here... exactly the same. I feel better when I don't look. But then I get a gut feeling. Or it's some anniversary and I know she's going to say something stupid. Her ups and downs are so extreme too. Some that make me roll my eyes, some that hurt deeply. But at the end of the day, I always feel so good when I don't take the bait. Because I know that's all she wants. And maybe if I knew that a response would stop it, I would. But I definitely know it will never stop it. Only fuel it.

  21. For those of you who have worked through the affair and reconciled with your husband, was there a point in your recovery when you no longer felt anything for him? Not love, not hate, just... nothing? I'm experiencing that now. September will be three years since D-day. My husband was in so much pain over what he had done, he was remorseful, he did everything he could and still continues to do everything to keep me. We went to therapy and a support group for infidelity, we did it all. I still have bad days but I'm so far from where I was, never thinking I could get here and so proud of myself for having made it. And yet for the past few months I just don't want him around. I could just do without him. We have a 10 month old daughter and I feel like she has replaced him in my eyes. All I care about is her. But I don't want to feel this way, we worked so hard to bring our marriage and ourselves back from the edge of the cliff and I don't want to give up now. But I feel nothing for him. Is this just a phase? Will it pass? I'm so disconnected and I don't even care. What do I do?

    1. I think about this sometimes too, Alyse. I sometimes thing indifference is the most ominous emotion you can have toward your spouse. Do you have an IC? It may help to talk it through with a therapist. We do therapy & a support group too and I'm waiting for the day that I can look at H and feel like I love him. I do hope I can because the flattened feeling leaves me filling a void and it's not him, it's me. I can tell he does feel love for me. Betrayal has such significant long-term consequences. It's not like damaging property that can be repaired or replaced. Some have suggested to write a daily gratitude journal and include some things you are grateful for in your H. IDK if it will work for me or you. I feel your struggle. Hopefully there are others on here with good advice for us.

    2. Hi Alyse
      The emotional roller coaster we experience after our husbands betrayal! I can only speak of my feelings. I am 20 months out from D Day 1. When I first found out about the affairs - it was hysterical bonding for 1 or 2 months, not always sexual, but just wanting to be close. Then when I realised he was in the affair fog and I had a gut feeling he was still in contact with his whore - a gut feeling that proved correct and lead to D Day 2. We separated for a couple of months toward the end of the year, and now we are back together as he assured me he was prepared to give me all that I asked for to heal our marriage. Well. He is so full of shit, it spills from his mouth in more cover ups and lies that I don't believe a word he says. He refuses to go to MC, he refuses to be transparent. So I now refuse to speak to him or do anything with him, other than the necessary "family children" things. I really hate him and all that he now represents and presents himself to be. See my husband is not remorseful. I believe he has mental health issues and narcissistic traits. I don't know how I would feel if he was really prepared to work on our marriage and be remorseful - that's something that I'll never know. I've been to a few IC and they have all said the same thing - he will never change. It's all so pathetic. Despite my anger and sheer disgust at this pathetic excuse for my husband, in all other aspects of my life I am extremely happy -and this is now where I focus my energy on. Myself, my kids and my friends. I feel I've wasted enough years (30) with this man I don't want to be with someone who can't admit to their own stuff ups and try to fix them etc. I know what you mean about having your child replace your husband. I too put all my energies into raising our kids as I got kindness and unconditional love back from them. I suppose we put our energies into our children cause we know they will never betray us like our husbands did. So I don't know if this is a phase, or if this will pass, and you have been healing differently to me because your husband sounds like he's been willing to work at your marriage. So that's what I don't know. Mines not working at our marriage - yours is - and the both of us feel so disconnected and feel nothing towards our husbands. All I can say to you is just look after yourself and your young daughter. Keep yourself busy with her. I remember when my kids were 10 months old. The world was full of such wonderful new experiences to them, and I loved showing them and teaching them something different every day, that should help you take your mind of the busyness of worrying for a bit at least. (sorry just going down memory lane).
      Keep us posted.
      Hugs to you
      Gabby xo

    3. Alyse, I'm scared of that happening to me... I'm over a year out but with lots of problems still. But sometimes, when he's being an ass, I think "you are gonna drive me to a point where I just don't care about you, and then you'll be sorry. Because there will be no going back"
      And for the sake of our son who is 3 1/2.... I wouldn't like that to happen. For one, I think H would blow his recovery and spiral out of control in his addiction. And I wouldn't want my son around him. And two, he helps out a lot with our son. Which is his responsibility, and I just don't want to do it alone.

    4. Alyse, I have also had times when I look at my husband and just ask myself, "who is this man and how in the heck was he capable of living a secret life for 35 years?" It blows me away. Through therapy I've come to understand that good people make bad choices all the time. Some people make bad choices most of the time. I know a lot more about my husband's childhood now than I ever did and although it is no excuse for what he did and never will be, he owns all the choices he made and has never blamed me. There are times when I hate him, times when I love him, times when I don't particularly like him, times when I appreciate him and times when I question everything. You are in a different phase of your life than I am. My kids are grown and have kids of their own. I chose to stay initially to give it a year to figure out what I wanted to do and I did seek legal advice. Finding this blog saved my sanity. I don't know if my marriage will last. There are so many positive things that I share with my spouse but I often find myself thinking of him as a good companion and not a husband. We have great sex, enjoy many of the same things but there is still a part of my heart that is reserved and protected. I now see my husband as a very flawed human being who really did the best he could most of the time. I have thoughts of revenge affairs but that is not my style and I rarely ever think like that now. I've told him that I truly regret not having the love of a man who has no history of whores, massage parlors and incall escorts and that I feel cheated. That upsets him a lot and I've been known to say, "how about I spend the next ten years having random hook-ups so you can see how it feels?" Honestly I think most marriages have ups and downs and I know that over the 38 years I've been marred there were times when I was infuriated with him but I never said a word. I just stuffed it and stewed until I calmed myself down. Those days are gone forever. Now, I make sure to address whatever it is in a timely manner when I am calm. Peace to you.

  22. I'm just about there myself & im only 7 months from Dday. I think I am so darn angry & hurt is my problem. Seeing all the words of love & promise for a future together but saying he never loved her, was leading her on to get what he wanted. I'm just so pissed I can hardly stand looking at him. He is extremely sorry, but he has no where to go. I wonder if he is staying with me because of that. But he says he loves me & he has stopped all contact. I'm so afraid I am going to lose all feelings for him. 30th Anniversary next month. Is this normal when you loved them so much that the hurt they caused just ruins that love? Is that possible?

    1. I think their betrayal can ruin our love. I am really hoping it will come back. Although there is nothing bad any longer happening I want to be with someone I feel love for. Right now I love him like a verb, I treat him kindly, etc. But I do not have romantic feelings for him anymore. I hope it comes back. I wish I knew how to do that.

  23. Alyse, There were several times in the last 3 years, I felt nothing. It comes and goes. I feel like I do this because I can get on objective view of our relationship. If I remove myself from feeling it is my way of looking at our marriage from different "don't be fooled again eyes." It also just feels good to take a break from the worry. If I don't feel anything than I just don't care or worry. It feels good to feel empty. It also puts my mind in a place as you say, I could do without him. Maybe it is some type of control mechanism. It is hard to describe but I feel like some part of my emotional brain is gone just gone.

  24. I have a question for all of you and need guidance. I have forgiven my H mainly for me, as that is what I've learned helps me. It has helped a whole lot and he is truly a model husband. 30 year anniversary this month. He has done everything he possibly could do to make up for his affair. He is sincerely sorry, had no contact with the OW and she hasn't bothered us. He is so ashamed and having difficulty forgiving himself. My question is, since I have forgiven him, the things I have read is that you don't throw any of this in their face, you move forward to repairing the marriage, as we are through counseling, church, etc. But how does a person handle triggers? Do I hold it in? Do I discuss it with him? How does one get it out of their mind, when something triggers these painful memories. We are 7 months from D-day, so I know there are going to be things that come up this first year and something did just last night. Just something stupid on television that was commenting on a husband that cheats on his wife is only sorry after he is caught. That is what I have told him numerous times, but it's eating at me. I want all of this to go away of course, but not sure how to handle these dang triggers. Any suggestions???

    1. debaw, I totally agree with everything you said that forgiveness is for you. I know my husband was thankful that I forgave him but he told me he could not forgive himself. He is working on it he has told me and he is finally starting to like himself after 12+ years at least if not more.

      As far as triggers go this is what has helped me. I try to bring them up and talk with my husband in advance if I think there will be one. This has helped me and him too. He almost always feels the same as me. He does not want to bring it all up since deep down he does not want to talk about it or if I am doing well he does not want to dredge it up for me. But almost every time I have brought up a trigger he says me too or I already thought about it. If it is after the fact I bring it up since I feel like he is my support system and he needs to know. Sometimes I think this helps in future situations or for him just to understand. Other times he does bring up something that triggers him. We got to be able to do this though by me working to be less emotional when we talk and he has become less almost never defensive. Really we are both here to try to work through this and we both realize we are not always feeling the same at all times. We try to be there for each other and understand. This is not always easy but it has worked for us. And I know he does not always want to hear what I have to say or vice versa but he has told me he knows when I say something it is not to hurt him or to lash out at him but to move forward. In the end no matter how painful he is glad he is there for me and wants to help me through it and I feel like that is his responsibility.

    2. Debaw,
      You're doing better than me -- I think at 7 months I was still occasionally triggered by his breathing. The reminder that he was still alive and still my husband could put me over the edge :)

      Triggers are seriously and shockingly awful, but they do get easier as you heal. It will get better and they will become fewer and farther between. Some things that would have triggered me into a complete meltdown a few months ago now just turn my stomach a bit, or make me roll my eyes.

      I think the key to this is that you are healing alongside him. I definitely advise NOT holding it in. Be honest with him. Honesty is not the same as "throwing it in his face." As you heal, you'll get to a place where it is not about HIM, it is about the AFFAIR, which was damaging to both of you (tho obviously in different ways).

      So now when I get a trigger, for example if we get an invitation to an event that reminds me of an OW, I tell him "Hey this really hurts and I'm going to freak out if I have to even see it for two more seconds. I need you to make it go away for me." He says that instead of feeling accused, he feels like it is his opportunity to step up and protect me, which makes him feel good, like he's righting his wrong.

      Talk to him. It will get better. Hugs!

    3. debaw
      I'm late to read your story but I just wanted to say that I know those triggers so well! I like Brown eyed girl tried to handle the triggers by myself but when I did, it just delayed the backlash and now I tell my h as soon as I have a trigger either in person or I text him and he calls me. This is the only way I can get through them. I'm 2 years and 3 months from dday and I occasionally get a trigger that brings me to my knees but I find it doesn't last as long as that first year when she was still attempting contact. She was/is mentally unstable and we do have a restraining order in place but she had to go before the judge twice before she finally left us alone and even then she occasionally drove by our house for a few months. She lost her teenage son on our sons birthday and chose to reach out to my h for comfort and he only responded that Theresa and I will pray for your family. Three months later she wanted to 'meet up' for drinks no hard feelings. That's when he asked the attorney for advice and he asked her to see the judge again and told us that he thought she finally gets it. Crazy how the ow thinks she owns our h even when they tell them that they are through with them! It's their fantasy that the marriage will fail and then they will be there to help pick up the pieces. My h told his cow that even if we divorced he didn't love her and didn't want anything to do with her. How humiliating was that and then to keep stating that she loves so many times about him but he was a coward and weak man who couldn't go after what he truly wanted! She was/is delusional. It's getting easier as time goes on and my reaction to triggers is not what it was in the first year because I don't lose control of my anger like I did before. I'm calmer in explaining how they make me feel and it helps my h truly understand how deeply hurt his choices were for both of us! Hugs! You are not alone!

    4. debaw, This is such a roller coaster ride. I am at almost 2 1/2 years since dday. I thought if I can make it through x amount of time things will be better or I am not sure what I thought. And yes they are better. But it is different than I thought. We have both come far individually and together which is great but I have grown to accept that this is part of our history/marriage. I am not one to focus on it daily but both my husband and I realize this will be part of our lives. If he considers even going to golf or watch a game with friends or gets invited out of town or vice versa if I get invited out of town the discussion begins. At first I hoped we could erase it and move past it completely. But that is just not going to happen or I do not see that happening. In a way I am glad because I feel like it needs to be considered when making decisions. I do not even need to hold it over his head or anything he wants me to be comfortable and okay with anything and everything he does. There are days when it still feels impossible but the good outweighs the bad right now by a lot. I have kids at home still and I vowed on dday to put everything I had into this for both me and them. For me the biggest motivator to stay is my husband has said his goal is to be the best husband and father and live a transparent and authentic life. So far he is doing this and showing it through his actions. I made a decision that for now that is enough for me. I can say I still have doubts and I am guarded but I continue to focus on today and the good. Hang in there!

    5. Hopeful 30, thank you for that encouragement. It's good to know it gets better, some days feel great, some days the pain is so fresh I totally lose it and you're right, this will be a part of our lives always. Hopefully the good outweighs the bad for us soon. It seems it's bad a lot. I know he wants to make things up to me & hates what he did, but the OW & I have communicated some via text & emails. We were going to meet and she was going to answer questions for me, but I think I was being set up & I realized she was not my friend & would say anything to hurt me. My H promised her so much & told her so much BS I felt she was preparing for retaliation. She implied that they loved each other & she wasn't jealous because she knew he stayed with me for our daughter & grandkids, pretty much implying he didn't stay for me. He wants nothing to do with her & hasn't, he said he never loved her & even though we're 7 months from day I want him to write her a letter letting her know it was all BS. He said he's always loved me & he doesn't know why he did what he did and had no intention of leaving me. I don't know what I want & shouldn't care how she feels, but I want her to know so bad he was feeding her full of BS. Thanks again for your input. I'd like to know your opinion of his writing a letter. We both got new wedding bands, he got a new truck because she rode in his truck, so he's trying. We go to counseling & he's just been a perfect model husband.

    6. Theresa, thank you for your advice on the triggers. I like the idea of letting my H know when I feel a trigger coming on and agree you need to let him know. You are so correct. Some of these triggers can bring you to your knees & just 7 months from day I have some doozies coming up. Unfortunately I say mind blowing emails & the most serious one was August 22. One week before our 29th Anniversary. Hard to love & hate someone at the same time, but he's really been a model husband. Just hope it's really. My doubts and lack of trust is huge!
      Thanks again & don't keep those triggers from your H!

    7. debaw, It really is hard and honestly it took us 9 months until we had a major break down. My husband was working so hard to help me. I think it just took me so long before I showed my anger. Then I would say for us at about a year was when I started to feel better just myself. It was interesting at that point was when I saw my husband I guess fall apart. I am not talking about doing anything wrong but more he let his guard down and his tough exterior. I figured since he chose to have these affairs he was happy, he also ended both long before dday so that was not an issue so I figured he was at peace with them. I was so wrong. Even at 2 1/2 years I would say he is dealing with way more than I am. He beats himself up for his decisions and how he handled everything. And in the end there are no good reasons any of this happened. He has to live with that. He looks at me and is thankful for me but he sees someone that was always there and honest. It is really hard for him.

      As far as the ow go I wanted to reach out to both but in the end I decided nothing would be gained. I think there are two sides to every story and each person even hears and feels different things. What they could tell me who knows if it would be accurate. I guess if I wanted dates and locations maybe but my husband had two affairs overlapping over two years that were sporadic. The one affair he is not sure which year it began in. So that bugged me for a long time. But in the end I decided through talking with my therapist it would not mean anything to me. I think it is Esther Perel who says to ask the more important questions. I wanted to know what they meant to him, how he felt, what he got from these relationships, did he want more from them, did they want more, etc. That is where I decided to focus. And in the end I felt it had to be about us and us only. These women took too much time away from me and my marriage already so I decided it needed to be about us. I think it has been helpful for us to turn inward. It is still a work in progress and this is just what worked for us. You seem like you are on the right path and it is hard and confusing at times. Take your time and listen to yourself and what you need.

    8. Sal - I have been sitting her bawling because there are other people who KNOW what I am feeling -- and then I read this: "You're doing better than me -- I think at 7 months I was still occasionally triggered by his breathing. The reminder that he was still alive and still my husband could put me over the edge :)" and I can't stop laughing! Oh MY! Thank you for that spot of relief and thanks everyone for sharing and helping us to help each other realize we are not CRAZY nor ALONE in our pain and journey!

  25. Debaw, I'm probably not the best person to advise on this since I still can't get the thoughts out of my head... but it's been such little time for you. Only 7 months, that is too fresh. Time will help you.
    Triggers are a PTSD symptom (or related to or something). And there are exercises that you can do to help make them go away faster.
    You can look up grounding exercises for triggers. The thing is you have to make the commitment to try to get rid of them (this is where I fail because I just wallow in it).... other tools that I've learned at support meetings is as soon as a trigger comes, focus on something else: call someone that has been through recovery and that will be gentle on you (someone snapped at me once and said I have to just put it out of my head and forgive and forget. This is unfair, we need time to process it. Don't let that happen, if someone said that, try someone more supportive). Another is to read something that will you. We have some books from these support groups... the one day at a time books, and you can just pick a topic you are struggling with and read a bit.
    Have you tried EMDR therapy?
    It's what would probably help the best. I didn't try it until our 1 year anniversary.
    It's for PTSD. It just helps with the gut wrenching pain that comes with the triggers. You will still have the memories, it doesn't wipe anything away, but when the triggers come, the pain isn't unbearable. The good thing about it is that it's so fast. I've only had 3 sessions.
    I'm sorry you're struggling with this, it's so hard! But remember 7 months isn't that long. I think a huge help would be having support from your H.
    On our year anniversary from DDay, he brought me flowers every day that week... he was very understanding of my highs and lows.... it wasn't until about a month later that everything started going to hell with us.... but you seem more willing than me to be forgiving, so maybe you can get throw this better.... good luck!

  26. Hopeful30, thank you so much for your comments. I like your idea about talking about it ahead of time when you're aware of a trigger approaching. My husband said he has no triggers, that he tries not to think about it. Does this mean he doesn't care? He listens to me and says how sorry he is and wants me to talk to him when things bother him but I know it makes him uncomfortable & feel guilty. He has conveniently forgotten dates & lied so much in the beginning after d-day, that it makes it difficult to even discuss things sometimes without remembering how much he lied(like he started seeing her end of Sept when actually April) I know he's trying. Some days I'm walking on sunshine, some days I can't quit crying. Thank you again for the suggestions about handling the triggers.

  27. Sal, thank you for your suggestions. That's what I have to realize is that talking to him about these triggers is not throwing it up in his face. It's good I shouldn't hold it in, because I'm not that kind of person that can do that. I'd probably explode. You're right 7 months isn't very long & sometimes him being in the same room sends me over the edge, just looking at him at times, I think "OH MY GOD, HE CHEATED ON ME", then there are those moments that I can't get enough of him. Unfortunately I saw emails & texts that were horribly romantic (which he's never been with me in 30 years, but suddenly is). It's going to be a tough trigger Christmas Eve during the big family celebration & Christmas morning when we have our Christmas breakfast & gift exchange with my daughter & her beautiful family. His nose was in his cell phone nearly the whole time "playing slots", nope he was texting "her". Our granddaughter's first Christmas & on 12/31/16 I found all of his texts during our family Christmas celebration telling her how much he loved her, & how I didn't matter. Of course he swears he never ever loved her & was feeding her BS, but to my heart, it was love & not BS. So the holidays will be tough. Getting ready to go to San Francisco the end of August for the big 30th which last year about that time he was emailing her about getting out of his painful situation & their dreams coming true of being together which he claims was more BS. How will I handle those triggers? Hopefully having so much fun I won't think about it & ruin our trip. I appreciate your input & hugs! Thank you

    1. Debaw,
      I know exactly what you mean by the sudden "Oh My God He Cheated On Me." At over 2 years I still have moments where that hits me over the head. Things can be going along just fine, great even, and then BOOM. Shocks me, saddens me. But I will tell you that those moments have become much more rare. They will for you too, as you heal.
      I hate to sound like a downer, but you should prepare yourself for a rough August trip and Christmas. I recommend (1) telling your H now that it is going to be super hard for you, (2) telling him what you think you are going to need from him (while reserving the right to need something completely different in the moment) and (3) asking him if he is having any triggers, and what he plans to do about them. These honest conversations can be super difficult, but also of great comfort, as they can help you feel like you are on the same team again.
      Best wishes to you. I hope this August trip is everything you want it to be!

  28. Kay, thank you for your response and well wishes. Our therapist said I was suffering from a form of PTSD as well. 7 months is still very fresh and at least I am not crying everyday anymore. She did do the EMDR therapy on me which helped me realize this was his fault, not mine! He never really put the blame on me, he owned it from the beginning, but said we'd disconnected, which was news to me. I wish I could be hypnotized to erase all of the horror from my mind. As far as the forgiveness goes, I don't feel like I'm doing very good. I'm told I need to for myself & know there is no timeline, but maybe it's too soon, but know I'm to forgive in order to work on trust & healing. Slow process that is for sure. I hate to hear that everything went to hell for you. Are you still together. I wish that there was a support group here in town for me to go to meetings like you did, but this blog has helped. You are right, it's hard to find someone to talk to about it without getting a "get over it" snapped at you. My mother doesn't really want to hear about it, her & dad were married almost 60 years when he died. So she'd rather bury her head in the sand & of course doesn't want me to be in pain.
    Thank you for your response & support.

  29. Thank you Sal! I will discuss these things with him in advance. A very good idea. He says he has no triggers, so I guess he tries not to think about it or doesn't care as much as I do. I pray the upcoming inevitable triggers will not be too intense & we make it through them. I'm glad to hear it gets easier. Thanks again for your best wishes

  30. Hopeful 30, you are so right! I need to concentrate on US! The 30 years we've been together I saw him break down only one time but he has sobbed and sobbed for hurting his daughter & I so much. When she said to her dad " you saw how hurt I was when my H did it to me and what I went thru & you did it to my mom. Man, that got him bad. She wouldn't speak to him for a couple of weeks. He was perfect, and he got knocked off the pedestal she had him on. Part of me wanted him to write her a letter telling her he never loved her & lied about a future together and he started to do so if it made me feel better and more apt to trust & believe him. I decided against it and let sleeping "dogs" lie. So concentrating on us and repairing & rebuilding is my goal and has been his. My H is going to have a harder time as well. He's mortified at what he's done.

    1. It took my husband 2 years past dday to tell me he was starting to feel better about himself. That is a long time. And he said he hated himself for at least the 10 years he was having the affairs. And he broke it off with both women about 15 months before dday. That is a long time to feel that way about yourself. I don't feel bad since he made these decisions and he has the personal and professional skills, knowledge and tools to have chosen a different path but that is a lot. I am thankful he has been able to turn things around and has been happier than ever before. I am sure I would have made it but was determined to try my hardest at least for the sake of my kids who are still at home. One of the ow did contact my husband 2 years past dday. He showed me immediately and we blocked the numbers together. That was our agreement. I told him no matter how hard he might think it is on me he needs to show me any communication. If he does not and I find out about it then it would be very bad. My one suggestion as you move through this is do not hesitate to state your expectations and boundaries. Mine became I guess you would say more strict and higher expectations. What I expect now compared to right before dday is night and day. Some things relate to the affairs but many now at this point are my expectations I have of our marriage/relationship. When I was really struggling this spring with a variety of things with us I just said to him that it was becoming too much work and that things needed to change. It was not fair to me and starting to not be worth it. He heard that and boy has he elevated his behavior. In the end I have found I have to say it like it is with him and lay out my expectations otherwise I keep it all in and that is no good.

    2. Dear Hopeful 30,
      Your comments are very motivating to me! They give me courage to speak up for myself, which I find difficult to do. Thanks.

    3. Truth, I am so glad to hear that. It helps me so much to connect with others here. And related to this and many other relationship dynamics I find they have become habits. Daily life and long relationship/marriages does that. I am a person who takes charge and does things. I challenged my husband and maybe I should have asked to separate at some point when he was not supportive of my goals to work on us. But instead I focused more on me and my kids. I think in the end that was part of my attraction for him. I am very self reliant and a self starter. I am also a pleaser though so that is where I become agreeable. Not anymore. I speak up and make my voice heard.

  31. To all of you warriors who read and post on this site:
    I am 2 yrs. post DD #2 this week. In those 2 yrs., I have quit my toxic job, broken my collar bone in a way that required surgery, lost my Dad to the great beyond, started a new career, quit drinking (off and on – now off), and have currently been hospicing my Mother for the last 4 months. Through it all, I have depended on this website as a compass and barometer to help guide me through the storm. I have often thought of posting, but until now, I never felt the right words bubble through my consciousness and rise to the surface.
    I realized this morning, while paging through the various sections of this glorious site, that I wanted to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories. You have helped me to weed through my own over-grown garden of heartbreak, devastation, loss of faith in humanity (let’s just say it: men), rebuilding, reconciliation, resilience, and resurrection (not always in that order). While I realize that there is no conclusion to this journey, I do feel like I have left the scorched earth phase and can see green growth happening within and around me. You women warriors have been a sisterhood of shared sentiments and a wisdom that has helped to keep me centered and sometimes sane.
    I would like to offer a special shout out to Elle: Queen of all things warrior, Phoenix, and Still Standing 1. You have been the three wise women for me whose words and wisdom resonate and percolate. You have taught me that there is no right path. You have caused me to ask myself difficult questions, and you have spoken your own truth with compassion and empathy for all of the others of us to sift through and learn from. Thank you, Elle, Phoenix, and Still Standing 1, for your fierce, take no prisoners, kick ass response to the horror of infidelity.
    Elle, there have been times that your words have caused the earth to move under my feet and my level of awareness to expand in ways that often feel like a growth spurt happening right before my eyes. Thanks to you and this site; I am kinder to myself, to my husband’s pain, and to my never-ending process of healing. In your care and maintenance of this site, you have given the rest of us a gift that has no bounds.
    I send love and strength out to all of us who have found this site, no matter where we are in the many manifestations of the healing of our hearts. I hope that others will continue to find this priceless gem of internet sisterhood that we never had hoped to need. Thank you one and all, I hold you in my heart and in my soul.
    White Stripe

  32. An amazing and inspiring story about trust, resilience, and hope. This is the story of Mary-Claire King, the researcher who found the breast cancer gene--
    it begins on the day her husband left her for a graduate student.


    1. I also want to add that this story reminded me that we are more than somebody's wife/exwife, mother, sister, or daughter. One day, betrayal will not define us and we can choose to live lives with greater meaning and consequence.

    2. Love that story. I had listened to the podcast a while back, and then now again from that link.
      What struck me the first time was exactly what you said -- betrayal will not define us.
      What struck me this time was the title -- I hadn't realized the Moth titled it "Who Can You Trust?" Perfect.
      Such a powerful story. Good to hear again today. Gives me hope. Thanks for sharing it.

    3. I read this (can't recall where -- was posted on Facebook, I believe). What a phoenix-from-the-ashes story, huh?

  33. How do couples reach the point of "being better than ever","more in love now than 'before'"? It's been almost a year and a half now. Couples counseling, books, etc have not seemed to help. Do I continue trying and we keep going down the path we're currently on, or is there a time to officially call it what it is?

    1. Anonymous
      My h was so relieved and so happy when the proverbial cat came out of the bag! He was sick of trying to convince her to leave him alone and not blow up my world but to her credit I guess, she told him that I deserved to know the truth. Well that's all good to know the truth but figuring out who was telling me truth became muddled with both of their truth. I now know what a lousy man I was married to and what a prolific lie he was able to lead by telling himself as long as I didn't know it would never hurt me. He didn't lie to me per say but in his mind because all he did was with hold truth about his week of 'work'. That's the first thing I taught him because that too was a lie! Now I'm not going to tell you that this has been easy but if you and your h are working together to make improvements in your relationship, you can see what a new relationship can be built. We've literally had to start at the beginning of our marriage and work our way through every resentment that we've had. Petty things that added up through the years. Then some where in the middle of this we had to make an effort to find things that brought us back together and we did this slowly...so slow sometimes that I didn't think we would get to where we are now. That said, we both struggle with some of the triggers and we have setbacks but we have the right to ask for 'a do over'. Both of us have good and bad days and sometimes life is a struggle even without the added stress of betrayal! The time is different for every couple and at times it feels like we're on top of the world and then there are times where we feel like we are back at the beginning but those times are fewer than the good ones! Thank God. From my perspective I say only you and your h can decide when to make any permanent changes! Good luck and sending hugs!

    2. From what I have read it is really different for every person and couple. I have heard some that say it correlates to the length of affairs. My husband had two affairs over 10 years that were sporadic. I think part of why we moved forward faster is he broke it off with both women about 15 months before dday. And I have highs and lows related to it. And honestly I feel like it will always be present and a part of our marriage. There are parts of our marriage that are better than ever. We are close than ever before after working so hard together over the past 2 1/2 years. We both truly feel like we are each others best friends and have only told each other what we have said. We both keep working on our relationship together. But there are rough spots for sure. And I question myself at times since the feelings I had for so many years are gone but those seem to be somewhat of an illusion now. I have sat and thought a lot about what would I gain but moving on. Would I really be happier or would I be leaving a good relationship. I feel like there are no guarantees with anyone unless I choose to be on my own. Right now it has remained worth it to continue working with my husband. What are more details on what happened, what you have done and how you are feeling? Is there something else you can do or try or what is holding you or him back?

    3. Anonymous, I think the "better than ever " is different with every couple, especially where the H attitude comes into play. My H said he was glad I found out so the double life could end. He felt caught up in her web & fear of retaliation. The idea that we almost lost each other over this I think scared the crap out of him. He seems so sincere that it will never happen again, & beats himself up, cannot forgive himself. The shame made him want to end it all. But I read how devastated so many h's are then turn around & do it again a couple years later scares me to death. He's 100% more affectionate & loving than ever before. I pray that it's sincere. It will take a long time to forgive & never will forget, but hopefully it will get easier. We enjoy each other so much now.

  34. I just wish I could get hypnotized & have all of the loving crap he text to her & love mushy emails promising a future together erased from my mind, as well as images. He's trying so hard. Being so loving ( which never was to me, but sure was to her) to me. Saying & texting romantic things, 2 vacations this years, flowers & gifts like crazy, not wanting to be away from me ever since DDay 8 months ago. Celebrated our 30th Anniversary recently. So why has he held this romance deep inside where only she was able to release it? Now that he's been caught, dumped her, said it was a fantasy, never meant all the love stuff, the forever stuff, was never going to leave me. He was with her 10 months. Why can I not get this stuff out of my head!? I'm constantly talking about it, bringing it up, he's seems sincerely ashamed but he lied to me so much, even regarding details after DDay! I think I'm losing every bit of my sanity. I'm so hurt. He cannot explain why he said this stuff to her but never to me. He says he doesn't know why. I asked him if he even wondered when he was telling her how much he loved her why he never told me these things. Nope, didn't enter his mind. Sometimes I hate him so bad I want to kick him out, can't stand to look at this total ass, but I always love him so much. I'm pretty certain I'd still be miserable if I did kick him out, but he really wants it to work. He says he wants forever with me! How do I get this out of my head & start healing & forgiving? I cry every day. I can't stand the pain. We've been in therapy since January. Dday was 12/31/16. Help help Help!

    1. debaw, Oh, how I remember wishing I could have a lobotomy, or get in a horrible accident and have all my recent memories wiped out. I know exactly how you feel.
      Time does heal. I honestly can't remember so much of what my husband told me. But I guess I do remember the stuff that mattered. He cheated. He lied.
      Here's the thing: I know you're devastated. I know how much you think he somehow felt something for this woman because of what he said to her. But affairs are about fantasy. They're about reinventing ourselves to live in this parallel universe in which we get to be...someone else. Which means, what does your husband say when you suggest to him that you would love him to be that way with you -- romantic, over-the-top, etc.? Who was that guy? And what was it about the affair that made it easier for him to behave that way? I honestly doubt it was the woman herself -- it was the idea of this different reality. And the thing about affairs, as much as it pains me to admit, they can give us a glimpse of things we might want to change in our lives and our marriage. I don't doubt for a second that your husband loves you deeply. But, like most 30-year-married couples, you've likely settled into your particular dynamic as a couple. What if you told him it's time to shake things up -- to get to know each other again. You're not the same people you were 30 years ago. Some things are static, sure. But other things change. Talk about that. It's tough. Especially when we're feeling so vulnerable from betrayal. But what if you mustered the courage to talk about this stuff? You might just discover why he's hesitant to be so romantic. You might discover that you want things to be different too.

    2. Debaw
      It's just so raw that first couple years!
      I say that knowing that it's been 3 years tomorrow for my dday. And it's still raw. At its core it's still raw every time he hurts my feelings and everything that reminds me that someone else mattered to him then and the list goes on and on...but if there's a glimmer of hope that you can get past all the ugly along the way, you can still have a chance for a better tomorrow! I'm just saying each and every day is a chance for a better place to be! I'm so sorry this is so hard but I know it is. For all of us that are what I call it it to win it for life no matter how hard it gets! That's what my h has said from the beginning of this nightmare! Hang on tight get some help from therapy no matter what kind and you have a chance! Hugs!

  35. Hopeful 30, he had multiple (at least 20-30) emotional affairs from 2009-2016 and one physical one, though he swears they never had sex. He lied to me every time I confronted him. He cheated on me all throughout my one and only pregnancy. Our son didn't know/recognize his father for the first year and a half of his life b/c he chose to be with "her" rather than home with his family. He told her he loved her, asked her if she'd leave her husband and be with him, etc. I feel like we're just drifting along. He doesn't want to talk about it or his feelings b/c he feels rotten about himself. I'm glad he feels remorseful but it's hindering our communication. We go to a counselor, we've read books together, done couples exercises to try to help us reconnect...I'm not allowed to bring up my feelings or discuss anything. There's a possibility he might have a sex addiction as he wants us to have it multiple times a day, everyday. Idk how I feel about how that aspect possibly played into the affairs or how I feel about it, if that makes any sense. I don't want to leave, we have a history of 14 years together - unfortunately the majority of them have been fighting and arguing over sex and housekeeping, his 2 main irritants regarding me. I struggle to see how we can make this stronger, better, more resilient when it seems there's still so much blocking our progress.

    1. So sorry. My husband started one of two affairs while I was pregnant too. And this was a pregnancy he pushed me to consider. I was not the one pushing to have a kid. I can understand how you feel based on what has happened. My husband never went to a counselor but at a certain point I said to my husband what the boundaries are and what I needed from the relationship. It has not been perfect but over time things have changed. I wish he would get more in touch with truly why he did everything he did. I have some reasons/excuses but I do not think they are that valid or helpful.

  36. Even though things have improved dramatically with me and my spouse as he is addressing the shitty ways he was a husband before the A, things are by no means healed WRT to the A. We are now starting with our 3rd MC. Having gone through 2, I am alot clearer on what I am looking for--someone directive, straight talking, and who wasn't going to obsess about teaching us better "communication" and focus on "problems in the marraige" (which there were but we need to deal with first things first). We might have found that person--from the Bronx, he cusses, and told us that he wasn't going to use the time for us to talk to each other while he sits back and listens. He also said made a plan for us to get down to business for 12 sessions, and then we will see where we are; rather than just go on endlessly. He told my husband that for 90 days, he should do everything I have asked for around recovery, and then if I am still a "bitch" (my husband keeps painting me as unstable and too angry when in reality, trying to live with incomplete healing is crazy-making. The new MC even acknowledged the crazy-making before I even said it--whoot whoot) he should leave. That is all that I have wanted for years.
    Anyway, I am on the fence about staying married after the saga of the last 4 years, but I have cautious hope. That said, I feel personally healed in so many ways.
    The thing that was incredibly shocking was that the new MC asked my husband how long the affair was and he said "40 days." My eyes bugged out of my head. His affair began in March 2013 as an emotional affair, progressed to physical in April/May, continued in June, D-day #1 in July, a 2 day sex fest when I was away in August which led to d-day #2, false NC in October, another sex fest in November when I was away, and then only when her husband let me know they were in contact, final NC in December. 40 DAYS???
    He claims he is counting from when they had sex in August to the false NC in October where he told her they would take a time out so he could work on our marriage. WTF?!
    Clearly there is work to be done. Thank goodness, when I told the MC what the real timeline was, he did a little speech on authentic truth.

    1. MBS, This guy does sound promising. And I'm with you re. how exhausting and frustrating this must be. Your husband is still refusing to fully own what he did. I'm often stunned at how many of these guys somehow convince themselves that what they did wasn't so bad because their wife nagged, or was bitchy, or was withdrawn, etc. So often, we become that way because we sense the distance in our partners, or we feel invisible, or we're dealing with our own pain/loneliness/sense of mortality. Glad this guy has a sharp BS detector. Keep us posted.

    2. Ugh. I should have seen the backlash coming. The MC telling my H that he should just suck it up and defer to me was what my H has been avoiding for 4 years. He keeps pulling out that he is being punished, blah, blah, blah. Well today, he insisted that he should go swimming for "self care," even though we had already negotiated times for us to both do self care and he had spent the day out all day yesterday. For the record, this has been a big point of contention for our entire marraige--he is the party, fun guy, who avoids the hard stuff. We had agreed to do family business this weekend and I usually go to yoga in the afternoon while he is the on duty parent. All of sudden, he started treating me like I was being unreasonable and that I was making all the rules and that "he was doing this for the family [as in if he is happy then he will look after things]. Things escalated from there as I realized and asserted that he had plenty of personal time on the schedule and if he felt that he needed to swim, then he should do it during the time he had scheduled. He is very good at goading, gaslighting and stonewalling so I got pretty pissed off via text. But I realize that is how he manages to make himself look like the victim. So soon everything became about how I yell at him and judge him. But I think all of it was just a countermove for feeling cornered and that he was going to have to suck up his victimhood per the counselor. Anyway things got worse throughout the day and he drove off, leaving me with everything to look after and refusing to communicate. I finally got him to tell me if he was going to take the kids to school. But during the whole time, I realize how it was virtually impossible for him to change. That we need to separate. The new MC is willing to help with that, so that is probably the next step. I am done with the victimhood. Unfortunately, he told my kids that he is going because he doesn't like mommy yelling at him (4 years ago, he told my daughter that he went with the other woman because he was mad at mommy--she was 9). My kids are lecturing me and I can't tell them my truth because it is grown up stuff.
      He has made alot of behavioral changes but I don't think he can fundamentally change this immature, self-serving side. I am so sad and disappointed. But at the same time, it proves why I have a hard time trusting when he says and does the right things. That lasts for a little bit but then he starts to feel sorry for him self again and the cycle begins again....

    3. MBS
      I'm living with a similar type personality. Our last blowout was in his opinion because I really didn't want him to play in a golf tournament with the fellas from the office but the real issue was him telling me that he was finished but he wasn't home when he said he would be it was two hours later and too as soon as he did get in the house, he had to spend another hour on the phone with a work issue. And he knew I was triggered by seeing the cow driving up the road but his spin was that I was pissed he played golf and was I sure it was her car. That's what triggered my meltdown. He didn't understand that it doesn't matter if it was her car or not the fact remains that it triggered me and he didn't try to help me through any of it. He just doesn't get how difficult it is to put trust back but yet he falls back into the old pattern of going and coming with disregard for my needs to know that he's returning when he says he is. We were able to discuss this the next day but I was left with a new pain to work through. He doesn't want to do mc for the same reason your h doesn't. He doesn't want to face the truth of what his selfish choice has caused! He just wants to concentrate on the present and how much happier we are. Well this all made me rethink my anger and I can tell you that his version was not what I was feeling that day. I'm sorry you're dealing with a man that seems to be as selfish as mine. Perhaps if you do a separation it will open his eyes. He didn't want someone to tell him with you listening that he is the reason that you are in need of mc. Mine is the same way but I plan to ask for us to have something as soon as I can find one that works in our town. As big as our town is, I can't believe how hard it is to find the right kind of therapist. His cow was a substance abuse therapist and she thought she could cure his addiction to alcohol but he really doesn't have a problem knowing when to drink and when not to. This is the hardest season of our marriage but we're still trying our best one day at a time. Hugs!

    4. Hi Theresa,
      I remember that we had alot of similarities with our H's. Addicts have such an unconscious desire to not feel bad that even though they are not using, they engage in other behaviors like throwing responsibility for their choices, on to someone else. I get the blame for grown up life with children being difficult and requiring sacrifices. When he doesn't get to do stuff he feels like doing, it somehow becomes my problem.
      According to him, I have been punishing him for 4 years. Well I realized that I have been punishing myself for 20 years--hoping someone will be different than they really are. The hard part is there are good parts of him but fundamentally, he can't show up with humility and generosity--there is too much shame (narcissist father, parents are addicts).
      He also likes to take the moral high ground when I get angry--he likes to portray me as unhinged and out of control--so he gets provocative when he feels cornered. And I am really quick to anger--but I know that the reason for my anger is that I haven't gotten what I need to truly reconcile and forgive yet I am trying to suck it up so we can live to together. That is not sustainable. I think my task is to not take the bait when he starts gaslighting, goading, or trying to turn the tables. I wonder if your H also somehow is also trying to keep himself out of the dog house by unconsciously trying to maintain a level of power over this situation and avoid feeling bad, by keeping you fragile too.

    5. MBS
      When we discuss my feelings and we are not in the heat of arguing he appears to understand how what he does effects my mental state. That said, he doesn't want to keep hashing what lead me to be this way. I have a hard time when he doesn't do what he says he's going to do but he's been like this even before he had the affair. His inability to just call when he is going to be late led to my meltdown but more than anything I felt he disrespected my feelings of the trigger just by saying was I sure if it was her car in the neighborhood. When we discussed the next day, I explained that it didn't matter if it was or not the fact that I was triggered by the experience and then had to deal with it alone for six hours and then he just tried to dismiss the need for discussion. I'm sure it's because of his difficulties with words and that's why I feel like we could benefit from therapy. I don't wish to have a therapist that's just going to berate him but I want one that could teach both of us better ways to get through the hard stuff. I'm not fragile most days but when he makes me feel like I'm over reacting to a situation, I blow!

  37. Elle, he is very romantic now. Very loving. He swear they never said anything romantic to each other in person, mainly text & a few emails. We go on dates, he wants to be with me all the time & tells me he never wants to live without me. He said he feelings for her weren't real. That when he went to see her, he never wNted to stay long & he was only able to have sexual relations 4 times during the 10 months (1 time would have been too many) He only went to her place a dozen or so times. It's the words of love that are killing me. He says he felt like he was having a relationship with the phone since he didn't want to say them in person. I'm not sure what to believe because he's lied to me so much. Those texts haunt me constantly. I have these visions that he'll run into her, all these feelings will return & he'll cheat on me again. I have got to learn to work toward healing and repair, stop wasting my energy on reliving the past. I know this & can't control it. Next week will be a year when I was out of town & he spent most of the weekend with her. I know this first year will be tough, I just wish I was stronger. Thank you Elle. I have to try & remember it was a fantasy, pretend, not real. He's trying to open up to me more. I'm going to try & figure out something that will put this out of my mind. I love this blog!

    1. debaw,
      Let's get one thing perfectly straight: You are NOT weak. Betrayal is among the most painful things that can happen to us. It is devastating. The fact that you're upright and functional and able to string a sentence together is evidence of huge strength so please PLEASE remind yourself often just how strong you are.
      And yes, the first year is horrible with all the "this time last year" reminders. So just accept that. But you will weather it.
      Do you do any mindfulness stuff? Meditation? Anything that can get to focus on the "now" rather than what's happened or what might happen will go a long way toward grounding you. As the Buddha says, all suffering comes from living in the past or the future, neither of which we can do anything about. If you can learn to live in the moment -- to do your best to tell yourself, "right now I'm safe. Right now I'm fine. Right now, I'm where I want to be".
      I'm also wondering if you're suffering from some post-trauma stuff. It's surprisingly common with betrayed partners. The world feels unsafe to us, our partner seems like a stranger, we wonder if we can trust anyone, we wonder what horrible thing might be happening that we also don't know about... Might be worth talking to a therapist who deals with post-trauma.
      If you do a search, there are some posts on this site about it. Glad you found us!

  38. Thank you Elle. Yes we've gone to counseling from the beginning & one of the behavioral health providers from the clinic I work for diagnosed me with PTSD, but I refuse to go on antidepressants. I hate how they make me feel. I think the meditation is a good idea. I do not feel safe & in constant fear of what may be happening without my knowledge. After all, it went on for 10 months & I had no clue because I trusted too much & never dreamed in a million years my H would ever do this. Especially now that he has the experience on how to cover his tracks. I'm unsure how to search on this site for particular subjects though!

  39. Feeling stuck and yet feeling that doing nothing might be my best weapon... I would love to hear some ideas, if anyone can help.

    After a dramatic emotional return in May (after being away since last October, having an affair with a work colleague), my h did a u-turn during the summer and told me that he doesn't want to make any effort to repair our relationship.

    I had given notice to our landlords and moved out of our shared rented home for the summer with our daughter. I came back a month ago in the hopes of achieving some resolution face to face (rather than via Skype).

    My h has now found a place to move out to. (It's been a looong month, with him on the couch and refusing to "commit" to sharing housework.) He has given no forethought to anything to do with our 2 and a half year old (he forgot to collect her from her carer last Tuesday) or to financial matters. His name is the only one left on the lease, so he is liable for all the rent here, so it's kind of shooting himself in the foot not to sort this out at least.

    On Wednesday we are going to see the mediator again to try to put something practical in place for the next few months. I asked for this meeting some weeks ago and he agreed. I requested that he give me some proposals or ideas of how he sees this separation working out before the meeting, so I could consider them. (As he is the one who wants the separation, I figure he should come up with some ideas as to how to go about it.) He has come up with nothing.

    My dilemma is: I do NOT want to do all the work of organising things on a practical and logistical level. I never wanted a separation, and resent having this burden put on me. However, I am almost certain that unless I act, nothing will actually happen.

    I don't want our mediation meeting to be a waste of time, where he waffles vaguely about arrangements that would suit him, without having done any research about child development or equity.

    If I come up with a plan, then I am facilitating his passivity. If I don't come up with a plan, then all of us are going to circle around the situation for another boring and exhausting while.

    My question is: should I bide my time and see if the practical and administrative chaos will cause him to hit the 'rock bottom' he has been avoiding by the skin of his teeth for the past few months? Or should I be proactive and get myself and my daughter out of this infernal swamp of ineffectual floundering?

    (Disclaimer: I don't have a clear vision of where I want to go or what I want to do next!)

    1. Selkie, to me, it is clear. You decide what would absolutely work best for you regarding separation. And then that’s where you start. He either goes along with that, in which case you get your best case scenario in this particular situation, or he is forced to start negotiating for what he wants. I think you’re past the point of trying to force his hand.

    2. Selkie, I almost responded exactly as Elle did above. I think you have a golden, and I mean golden, opportunity to decide exactly what you want and need for you and your daughter and let him deal with the rest. I do not see this as "facilitating his passivity" at all! I see this as a gift from the universe to choose you and your daughter first and foremost. Knowing me and my personality I'd probably ask for everything including 75% of his paycheck just to see if he might actually agree. Make your wish list and make it comprehensive with life insurance, medical insurance, retirement accounts, monthly support, child support, etc. Just go for it because you deserve it and so does your daughter.

    3. Thank you, Beach Girl and Elle. I have a yoga class tomorrow morning before our meeting with the mediator, so I will use this time for reflection.

      What do I really want? I want him to wake up and make amends for all his selfish actions. I know this is not on the cards.

      Second best choice: absolute flexibility in child care arrangements (including acceptance if I choose to move elsewhere with our daughter, even back in my home country), fair financial contributions and that he move ALL his stuff out within three weeks. I need space.

  40. Selkie, you just go for it and let us know how it turns out. When I was growing up with my younger siblings my mother had a rule. (We lived in a very tiny apartment and the four of us shared two bedrooms.) If she came home from work and our "stuff" was not put away, she would do one of two things. 1. If it was just one or two things she would pick them up and toss them into the basement. 2. If there were several things she would put them into a garbage bag and then toss it into the basement. Honestly it did not take us long to learn to pick things up. I'm voting for the large green garbage bag for your husbands "stuff". It sounds like it might take him a lifetime to realize what he has lost. You could evaluate how many garbage bags you need for his stuff in case it comes down to that.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Beach Girl. He is into water sports so I wouldn't even be able to lift some of the equipment! But I could take away the padlock from the shed...
      I don't want to be petty, but sometimes I feel it is a great (hidden?) talent of mine!

  41. I am reading this blog daily &find support &wisdom here,but had been afraid to write.I am 14 mo from that horrible day.I have been married 21 yrs. 10 yrs ago,I found condoms in my husbands car.We worked through that time & I had felt happy since,though more vigilant.He works in hospitality w/crazy hrs which has not helped.We had many good yrs & he is still the companion I like most to spend a day with.After getting married,I learned of his childhood trauma, being given away at age 5,then returned to his parents because they could not go through with their plan to "give him a better life" They lived in poverty & there was an issue of infidelity w/ his father.I started seeing a pattern of him possibly taking things from work-but it was hard to know. He explained "samples" things being "discarded".I started to see his closet grow with clothing never on credit cards,explained with "tip money"but way beyond our means. He went to church with us, always hard working and loving towards me and the kids. Last summer, after spending a wk in CA w/the kids-he stayed home to work, I saw a text on his watch saying "thank you for making my bday so memorable-not thinking about kissing anyone except you.” I asked him about this & he said it was a customer bday @ his restaurant.I asked to see the thread of the messages-he hugged me & said "Either you trust me or you don't & professed his love for me.I felt something very wrong & prayed hard for truth. Later that day,I was called by a store after he left his wallet.I happened to be in that store and picked it up.My son was going to take it to him & noticed a woman's credit card in the wallet with the same initials as the text.I questioned my husband about it.He blamed me for snooping . He said it was just a customer that wanted her daughter's dinner paid for and was very angry, He later questioned our son on who found the credit card.This caught our son's attention.He also asked whether or not deleted texts could be recovered. This led our son, unknown to me, to hack his phone & investigate his father.He brought to me that my husband was spending time w/this OW & showed me maps of his path to her house, restaurants, &once to court(she had a 3rd accusation of stalking)when he was supposed to be w/ our daughter while I was at Mayo Clinic with our son. I am sorry this is to long, but need to continue

  42. continued...He was at a restaurant instead of at work so I tried calling him. I got no answer.My son was upset and put a find my phone alarm on his phone.This brought him home to explain "we are just friends".The kids got in their car& I followed to stay w/them. We came home after my husband left to sleep in his car.It was traumatic for all.The counselors say kids are taking this hard because they discovered it &take it personally-not just between me &my husband.Initially, in counseling,my husband tried to blame me for being "jealous"He denied any sexual affair-said OW was wealthy trying to help raise money for a medical problem with our son.I later discovered texts "i cannot wait to tuck you into bed", "please promise not to kiss anyone besides me til your next bday".I confronted this in counseling He said he was only flirting w/her for her money. She offered to buy him a house to leave us &pay for the kids college-lives in one of the largest mansions on the northshore,let him drive her porsche…She has a known reputation of this behavior I have heard.The betrayal of this is humiliating to write.I have asked our MC if I am dealing with something more pathological.He thought just insensitivity on my husband's part? During MC he called me pushy and controlling. I begged him to go on an intensive retreat recommended by our MC. Eventually he went & I had hope.He returned with a different attitude.Gave heartfelt apologies to me and kids.Promised to put family first,but the next day he was fired from his job-possibly partly for taking the weekend off for the retreat. He quickly found another job.Taking this job did not allow for him to continue with the support group with men from the retreat. In our last MC session, I confronted him about the excessive amount of suits in our home .He stormed out & would not return.Later at home, he admitted theft when he went through a turmultuous job season. He is depressed-tried a couple sessions of ind counseling but gave up feeling it could not help.I am in ind counseling.Putting this in writing makes it look so hopeless I am so worried about the medical problems of our teens & now their emotional health. I am not in a good financial position to leave, but I also want so badly healing & redemption.I had so much hope after the retreat,but when I asked my husband today how committed he was to me, he said he is struggling with his commitment to me because he does not think I will ever get over this.He is so sad about the kids. Our son's counselor has told him that it is his decision whether or not he wants a relationship with his dad & my son chooses no.Our daughter's has a goal to get them in a room together in the future which my daughteragreed to consider.I am worried my husband will not have done the work on himself needed &if he restores any relationship with her, he will again fail her.They only know the tip of the iceberg. Do I stay? keep praying &hoping?Do I leave & hinder any possibility he will see his children again? I feel pathetic for still loving him after all of this I miss our family and cannot bear to think of another season of holidays

  43. Still dealing with EA after 29 years. MC at time didn't believe in EA's and let H off the hook and didn't have him look into his behavior with our mutual friend, classmate and eventual co-worker. OW was such a flirt and talker. H was in love with her before I came into his life. I pursued him for dating a few years after they met. H didn't have a chance to date OW - she was already dating the man she married. Over the course of our first year of marriage, H made it clear to me and our friends and one of his other co-workers that OW was his priority and I was "the evil, nasty old wife". I was 23-24. He was treating me like FIL did MIL. I vetted him on this while dating. He saw FIL behavior, didn't like it, said he wouldn't treat me that way, but that is what he started to do right after honeymoon. I loved him and wanted to keep working on marriage, not run off after 2 weeks. The betrayal behavior got so intense, our mutual friend group stopped including us. The first New Year's Eve Party as a married couple was with this friend group - OW's H and I sat far apart watching TV and waited for over an hour while OW & my H rang in the New Year alone on a balcony. Both abandoned. H was mean and nasty to me, while being all sweet and caring to OW in front of my face, my friends and co-workers we saw during lunch. Yes, they met for lunch with me tow, delusional until it dawned on me how much OW meant to her. I confronted him alone later and gave him back his rings. I told him it's me or her. H called her, broke it off and they cried. I feel like a BS because we were married, but he never really took the marriage to me seriously - I felt like a cockhold. I also feel like an OW went I try to see it through his eyes - H loved this other OW first and by marrying him I was a physical substitute for her, willing sex partner with a good paycheck, not willing to drain his bank account & willing to do housework. Since MC back then didn't believe in EA's, he was never made to open up to me about his actions/thoughts and work at his issues. No sex between them = no issue/my imagination/my insecurity. We swept it under the rug and tried to create a marriage, but he frequently treats me like he did then, as "the wife" to be negative about and to expect the sex act from when he is aroused after being in his man-cave for hours, drinking and ignoring his family's evening routine upstairs. Recently went 18 months without any physical contact except a quick kiss hello/goodbye. He said he got tired of asking for "action" because of all my no's. He treats me like I'm supposed to service him whenever he needs it. I've called him out over the years on this selfish behavior and his comments to me, but he ignores me and then gets angry at the no's. Recently, I put my rings in a clear baggie and gave them to him. I am tired of being the object called "the wife" and being "marked as taken" by the rings. I feel like the OW he never really wanted to marry, but feel like the BS because we did get married.

  44. Feeling stuck and triggered every so often. Triggers right now are 21 yr old daughter is in serious relationship and I am wondering if he will betray her. Also, H did a very minimal 30 year anniversary meal - got a BOGO for a cheap mexican place - just the place to go with your BS that now deals with HBP and Pre-Diabetes. No card, no flowers, no handholding, no cuddling, no thanks for hanging in there with me all these year. H just wanted to save money on food and be able to say to others that we went somewhere to "celebrate". Not really a celebration. Over the years before kids, I planned to leave several times, but I felt I still loved him in some way. When he had appendicitis in his 40's and was hospitalized for a week with an infection, I thought at one point - how would I feel if he died because of this - I felt relief at the thought. It would be over, not of my doing, and I would have kept to my wedding vows - ..for worse.. to death do us part.

  45. Hi All. I've posted before, and many of you have been supportive and insightful, and I am grateful. I've followed your stories and challenges for quite some time now, and I've told my story already, but I'm at a crossroad and I'm searching for strength. I'm grasping at straws here and need to hear something...anything...from people who understand. Aside from one friend who has been going through the same thing too, I have NO ONE to talk to. Friends with whom I have shared bits of this have mysteriously disappeared. I don't blame them.

    I'll try to make this as brief as possible, but will probably fail. It's deep and wide and complicated, like the mess in "The Cat in the Hat."

    Background: Husband of 22 years, two adolescent children. I am his first real relationship, and I was married, briefly in my early 20's to an alcoholic/drug addict. I've had three long term relationships, including my first husband and current one. All three cheated on me. I guess you could say we both have attachment issues. There were signs of hesitancy and distance between us from the start. He seems confident and is fiercely smart, but is actually extremely insecure. The first complaints from him about not enough/too boring sex started before we married. By year 10 we were averaging about 1-2 x per week, which he was upset about but despite one or two threats to go to prostitutes, I NEVER even considered the possibility that he would cheat on me.

    Issue: Three years ago I found out he'd cheated on me with someone in our house while I was away with our kids for a few days. He admitted it, swore it was a one-off drunken hookup, and left for a week. I caved and took the blame owning to how miserable he'd claimed to be for so long, and he swore it was over, truth was told and we reconciled. Over the last three years, I kept digging (my radar shrieking that he was lying). There were three more waves of discovery in which I found that he'd been sleeping with escorts and CL/BP girls, had multiple email accounts, burner phones, and dating/hookup accounts. I found, and read, emails, escort reviews (in detail), photos, and chat archives that dated back 17 years. I found out he'd had unprotected sex with a stranger, online affairs on swingers websites, and even described himself online as "in cheating husband mode."

    EVERY time I confronted him he lied and told me only as much as necessary to claim that he was telling the truth. He re-contacted an escort who was his "friend" and went to his Eccie account to use as "porn." We made three agreements/constitutions, all of which he violated. Last July I discovered he'd been back on Eccie (again, as porn), looking up his all time favorite escorts, and looking at sites featuring 18-22 year olds in amateur porn. He is particularly fond of that demographic and once bragged online about fucking an escort "because she's a teenager." Again, he swore reform, went to a few sex addicts anonymous meetings, saw a therapist a few times, and signed a fidelity plan that included a ban on porn and nude images. This was not because I'm against porn, but because he admitted that it's like a gateway drug for him, and that he would get caught up in "a porn fog" that led him to websites like Eccie. He agreed that if he slipped (when he slipped), he would tell me and I agreed to work with him. Radical honesty, we said.

    Part II following...

  46. I'm sure you all know where this is going. Instead of PornHub it's now Netflix and Tumblr. He was on the latter within hours of agreeing to not do it. He's been hiding it for three months. When confronted, he reverted back to his pattern of denying, gas-lighting, minimizing, and lashing out rather than own up to it. He claims he doesn't trust ME not to freak out and reject him (SMH), that he's HALT: hungry, angry, lonely, and tired, and bored because I work weekends. He's a normal American male who wants to jerk off to teens and escort images. He's not going to be denied this! It's not PornHub, it's just pictures. It's Netflix. He had to delete his viewing history so the kids didn't see it. Makes sense, right?

    I am desperately trying to hold on for a little longer until my kids finish high school, but I don't think I can. I've moved out of our room and try to avoid him as much as possible. We are stuck in our home due to financial and logistical reasons, so I'm making the best of it. Oh, and did I mention that he's been unemployed for 6 months? That we recently had to pay tax penalties because his business was failing and he was too upset to file taxes for two years? I'm the primary earner now. For years, I believed he was the strong one, and I was the wreck, but now I know that it's the opposite. I'm conquering my fears and insecurities, and staying in this relationship is killing me. However, I am paralyzed. I don't know how to stay or how to leave. Any input, support, or ass-kicking would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

    1. Cactus Flower,
      You know this but I'll say it. You need to get out of this marriage. I would start by meeting with a lawyer. Figure out the best way to move forward to protect yourself as much as you can. Get your ducks in a row. I don't imagine he'll fight you, given what you've said. He's got a serious serious problem and I think he knows it. I'm hoping he'll agree with you to take steps to ensure this is as painless as possible for your kids.
      But start by meeting with someone who has seen so many marriages dissolve and knows the ins and outs. Begin to get used to the idea of an exit plan.
      It sounds as though it's not going to be clean or easy. That's okay. You can do this, and you will be free of someone whose hands are around your ankles and who is holding you back. It will hurt. But that doesn't mean it's not the right decision. It will be hard for your kids but that doesn't mean it's not the right decision.
      I admire your courage, Cactus Flower. You've tried so hard, given so many chances. You've offered him the chance to deserve every new chance you've given him. He can't do it. Won't do it. So you are staking a claim in your future. Brava to you!

    2. Hi Cactus Flower
      I completely understand where you are. I am 2 months into our 2nd separation. I too hoped to wait for another 7 years until our youngest had finished school. I couldn't do it. I couldn't live with the constant lies and disrespect. He'd be texting women next to me in bed, whether "just friends" or something else, how in the hell could we sort our marriage out if your head and time were elsewhere!! Finances are a huge worry, and that part hasn't hit me yet, but if it means the kids and I have to move somewhere smaller - I'll worry about that when and if that time comes. My h never wanted to do the work to get our marriage back to some sense of normality. It was easier for him to live with the lies than having to face the truth with me and the kids- sick man I know!
      I have done so much grieving over the years, and the initial first couple of weeks were extremely hard and such an emotional roller coaster, but now I am having so many good days - more than bad days. The kids are old enough to communicate with him on their own, as I have decided to go no contact (except for a few household things etc) which for me - has helped me start to forget about him and all the shit he comes with. Doing it on your own will be tough but you may have to start somewhere. I hope you can find peace. These cheating husbands really piss me off. Sending you many hugs
      Gabby xo

    3. I'm done. I feel it in my bones. I hate it, but I hate the thought of staying so much more. As far as I know, he's not cheating, but after a series of fights about him making big (> $500) purchases and/or financial decisions without talking to me first, I came home to find $1000 worth of patio furniture outside; his "treat" for finally bringing home a paycheck for the first time in 3 years. He decided that the 50/50 odds that I would be furious were worth it. Now, he thinks I'm divorcing him over patio furniture and trying to do something nice FOR ME.
      So now, I'm the bad guy. I've devastated him, crushed him, just when he got a job and life was perfect. I'm just an angry, bitter, hateful woman who can't stand that he's finally changed, so I have to find excuses to punish him. I'm irrational and sad. I need help. The fact that he isn't cheating on me is PROOF that he's reformed! And now I've ruined his life. I'm out of town for some family time and space, which I'm sure he'll use as an excuse to act like a shit again.
      Add me to the divorcing/separating page!

    4. Oh Cactus Flower,
      I'm so sorry for what he's putting you through. But stay focussed on what you know. He's offering up all the counter-moves -- blame-shifting, anger, resentment. Rather than look at HIS role in this, he's casting you as villain. This won't change. Until he takes a deep dive into his own behaviour, this is who he is. And he may never take that deep dive. So yes...time to leave and save yourself.
      Do what you can to stay focussed on moving forward and try to ignore all his "noise". It amounts to blah blah it's your fault blah.
      He's not going to make this easy, from the sounds of it. But hold firm. Do what you know is right for you. It has NEVER been your job to take care of him. It has always been your job to take care of you.

    5. " am tired of asking permission to live.
      Its like I have no say, no value...I am not an individual.
      I am a married individual" ~the hubs

      Sweet Jaysus...I am so worn out.

    6. Counter-moves, Cactus Flower. That's all they are. Detach yourself from them. He wins by painting himself as the victim. Don't buy into it. Practice sounding like a broken record (if you can't just ignore him). Something like: "I'm sorry your choices haven't turned out as you'd hoped." Then...nothing more. Walk away. Hang up the phone, or whatever. Counter-moves. Just remind yourself these are counter-moves designed to hook you back into a conversation/argument/whatever.

  47. Couldn’t think of a better place to post this new development dropped on me tonight. The proposed opening of a new office for my h satellite to our hometown has decided that the fellows need to be looking for apartments? What the fuck? I wasn’t comfortable with him traveling there each week for six months how the hell would I like this news. He asked who I could ‘pay’ to do the daily care of my 80 year old mother? How about not one soul would she trust with her dementia! She doesn’t trust the cleaning lady and she just barely accepts meals on wheels. This all said I told him I wasn’t prepared for another life altering move for his career! I have moved three times in the past 20 years! We’re supposed to be slowly making it to full retirement... sigh...he’s brushing off his resume and during the two weeks off at Christmas he will be looking for a change. God help me get through the holidays!

    1. Theresa, be proud of yourself - it sounds like you were clear with your needs and I'm glad to hear that although he may have started out misguided your H will apply for other jobs. A new job could be the best Christmas present.

    2. browneyedgirl
      I did make him understand and I reminded him this morning of my anxiety went through the roof last night and I had a hard time sleeping. His answer just don’t worry so much, we’ll figure it out... and so I’m busy working on the baby quilt and trying to stop my heart from racing. I tell him I’m not easy to understand but he’s got to understand how hard living apart is when we’re working so hard to repair our relationship. I think he gets it? Thanks for understanding!

    3. Hi Theresa,
      I'm glad you're able to stake out your own boundaries around this, even when it feels awful and you're in the midst of your anxiety. And I'm glad he can seem to "hear" you. Keep talking about it and working as allies in recreating a marriage, while also managing other responsibilities, such as your mom. Remember, a second chance is a gift you're giving him.

    4. D Day was Oct 27 , 2016 when I found out that my husband of 17 yrs had an emotional turned physical affair for 2 yr . Here is the story . For the past six years the marriage had issues mainly with his son from his former marriage . We both are senior citizens . We went into therapy and I thought the issues were worked out as we seem good again ...NOT !! Suddenly in the spring of 2015 ... I was ignored, not looked at , rejected me when I took his hand etc and totally checked out . I kept asking him what was wrong , would he go back to therapy and he said no ....I accused him of having an affair and he , like others, made me feel like I was nuts.....A few months later he was very ill and hospitalized . I learned later that he was having his friend contact her from the hospital as well as he was calling her at our home when I was taking care of him at the home !! That was the worst !! Fast forward ....In Sept of 2016 he told me he was leaving me since I asked him many times if he wanted to leave and his answer was no ....He said he was staying at a hotel ( a lie ...he took an apartment ) He said he was leaving in a few days . I was hysterical and went outside to the corner to call my friend . When I returned he was gone .....clothes and pictures off the wall .....Fast forward....a week later he calls me asked to come over he needed to talk . Told me he loved me , a terrible mistake and wanted back . Again I asked if there was someone else and he said no .....Fast forward a month later . We saw each other ( oh and he told me he did not want to date others while we were separated ) for that month while living apart and he was totally committed and wonderful . Unfortunately , because of my mistrust and detective work , I found out from his cell phone about her ....Of course at first it was denied and then he fessed us to say it was for 6 months . Found out all the lies little by little over the next 10 months ... It was more like 2 yrs , he stated there was no physical relationship til he left that week ...not ....he did not have sex but made out with her 2 blocks from my home in her friends backyard many times...Oh he had ed .....He did admit that he had oral sex with her when he brought her to a hotel but thought it was ok because that was 5 days after he left ! He said he was curious but at the same time knew he wanted me back ! Yeah right ...wanted me so badly and it was such a mistake that he ran to the hotel ! I also found out he was still calling her everyday for the month he was trying to get me back and saw her 4 times ! His claim was that he saw her to try to end it slowly because he feared she would come back to me and blow it all up .At the same time he felt he needed her to talk with in case I ended it with him and we did not make it...yeah right ! I am a mess. She works at the bank on my corner and I see her car and her . The triggers are the worst .....He saw her before she went to work ....when he went to work took her to lunchn....to his clients which was an all day affair etc ! By the way, during this time I was ill and going through a very emotional time (during his affair ) I do not know what to do as I am in constant pain from this betrayal and cant get past it . He feels that he has now told all and I should not be questioning him any longer . He claims he will do whatever he can to make it up to me and will spend his life trying to make me happy . I know he is trying and I do not believe he would do this again after what we wnt through this year but still I am sick over this . At this stage of my life having little financial security on my own and being a senior citizen and alone scares the hell out of me . If it were 20 years ago I would have divorced him as soon as I found out . I hate him for what he did and I hate her for being a participant in this betrayal . Oh and she put in a false complaint against me that I was at her job stalking her when I was NOT there ! Talk about adding insult to injury ...I need help . There are times I want to die just to stop the pain

    5. Oh Anonymous I’m so sorry for your pain. I too was at 17 years when Dday hit. It was an emotional affair turned physical months later on a work trip. You had gaslighting like I did as well where you feel like YOU are going nuts! The first day and many days after I wanted to die due to the pain. I had never experienced pain this severe. I was a complete emotional wreck that had to pull it together for my kids.
      He sounds like he’s willing to accommodate your needs so FIRST start by making a list of items that would make you feel safe. You need full transparency of ids and passwords to accounts, phone, etc and many boundaries in place. This will help your anxiety and fears and he needs to do this for you ASAP.
      SECOND he says he’s on board so you need to make yourself and your health #1 priority. Your eating, sleeping and if you can do some exercise...even walking to get your body in motion. Try your best to lift yourself up from the known fetal position. We’ve alll known this position and feeling. You are in good hands here. Come back and let it out. It helps to have a sounding board with common Betrayed Wives. So sorry for your pain today. Hugs

  48. Thank you so very much . I am in terrible pain each and every day . Today was especially hard and I do not know why . He will not talk about the affair , tries to mitigate it with telling me he did not ever love her ...she stroked his ego and made him feel good . He just went day by day for almost two years . As said , the trickle affect every few weeks was what set me back to square one and he cant understand why I have not made progress . To this day I do not believe what he told me about how he felt about her (called her everyday when he was able to sneak in the call and saw her when he could sneak away ..lunches etc ) I think my doubting him (as he keeps saying I know the truth ) is what is keeping me so stuck . We have been in therapy and have an appointment again next week . Yes he is trying and I do and have complete access to his phone and computer email ....It is me that is having this wall up and at this point he tells me that he can not go on any longer in this marriage because of the harassment that I am doing to him and the stress he is under . Talk about stress ....I am a basket case who has never in her life been so depressed and filled with as much anger and pain . I do believe that we are at the end of the rope and if I do not start to forgive and move forward he will leave .....Thank you again . I am truly sorry that you had to go through this pain but so glad to find people who understand and care . I have wonderful friends but fortunately they do not understand this pain and although they are filled with empathy they do not know what to say to ease the pain .

    1. Anonymous,
      So here's the thing: This guy metaphorically ran over you in his truck and now he's telling you you're not healing and forgiving him fast enough?? And it's supposed to help you that you now know that he didn't really mean to run you over??
      Anonymous, you (and the therapist) need to make it clear to this guy that he doesn't get to dictate the terms of your healing, including the timeline. What's keeping you stuck is that this guy wants you to somehow magically "be over" it without offering you the emotional support that would help you. I don't know a SINGLE couple that have healed from infidelity -- really healed from it -- that haven't had to work at it really really hard, which includes talking about it over and over and over. Anyone who has experienced trauma -- and make no mistake, infidelity is trauma -- has to go over the story repeatedly as they incorporate it into their new reality. I could barely think straight in the months following infidelity. I needed to ask the same questions again and again, I needed to hear again and again that he would never do it to me again and I needed to hear repeatedly what he had learned from the experience so that I could KNOW he never wanted to go down that road again.
      And even then, it was hard. Even then, I would break down at the tiniest of triggers. Even then, I would freeze and panic when he was five minutes late getting home.
      Of course, you have a wall up. What is he doing besides not cheating? What is he doing to offer comfort to you? What is he doing to tend to YOUR pain around this? He's telling you you're doing it wrong. That you're not healing fast enough.
      I'm so glad your friends can offer empathy. You need that.
      I hope you have a counsellor who really understands infidelity. Please check out Esther Perel's podcast. It's called Where Do We Begin and you can Google it for whatever device you have. She talks repeatedly about how the unfaithful partner needs to listen to the betrayed partner's pain -- really listen to it without defending himself, without trying to fix it. Just listen.
      Your husband needs to learn to do that. He's the one who caused this, not you.

    2. Anon, I will say the best thing my husband did for me was be patient and he stopped being defensive. I agree with Elle there are times where i still ask the same questions and we are almost at 3 years from dday. It does not happen often or dominate us like the first year but things come up and I refuse to not talk about something to make him feel better. Of course over time our communication is high quality and not attacking at all. And over time getting to those deport questions Esther Perel talks about was critical. Over time i realized i could not change what he did. That took about a year for me. Then it shifted to what kind of marriage do I want. It was no longer about saving what I thought I had but more about my needs, wants and expectations from the relationship.

      Also I will say going to individual therapy helped me a lot. Honestly it validated my feelings which i had not had in our marriage for 10+ years. My therapist was also a great sounding board and to next steps and telling me honestly when my husband was doing well and what I should not tolerate. It was the support that I needed. And really the past two years have been about my husband working through this all and transforming who he is. I never would have expected that aspect. It has been remarkable to watch. This is a long process but more than ever I know it is a lifelong process.

    3. Anonymous. I want you to know that for a full 9 months I got trickle truth. He said to me not even 24 hours after Dday “ this isn’t going to work if you don’t trust me” WTF was going through my mind. You lied, gaslighted me into the nuthouse and you think that the journey to trust is gonna be fast? Trust is earned. And earning it takes a hellava lot longer than what these Husbands understand! Like Elle said, you got hit by a truck and if knocking you down wasn’t enough you got run over and then have the constant side effect of you heart ripping each day. I soooo understand your pain. One you have this it’s a place you can easily revisit. I blocked out the pain of childbirth but this one sticks.

      For 9 months I can say we made progress but it was pure hell. We took 2 steps forward and 10 steps back. He would get angry with me like you are experiencing. The anger and lack of patience is their SHAME. He would say, “now just last week was one of our better weeks and now you’re bringing this up and setting us back. Why do you constantly have to do this.??? I’m not going to live like this!” By Christmas of 2015 I looked at him and said, none of this fallout is my fault! This is your problem, addiction, etc so figure your f’n Shit out or there is the door. I’m done. That was me finally blowing up after 9 months of ptsd. I never once lost my cool, raised my voice etc. he stood there and his face said it all. She is done with me!
      Don’t be afraid to get to that point. It was a turning point and helped immensely. They have no idea that they put you and 10 baggies of shit into an insta pot to cook. If he’s not willing to sort through the 10 baggies with you, then it’s on him!
      This is when forgiveness starts and you need to let him know. Talk this over with your therapist and see if she can get through to him.

      Wish I could be there for you in person!

    4. thank you again ....We have been fighting terribly as whenever I bring it up and ask a question (because there is so much I do not still believe ) it end in a fight . I am beginning to feel like it is hopeless and so does he . I am so depressed and so lost as I just do not know where to go from here financially and otherwise . The thought of going home ( I am in Va for three months trying to feel better but it is not working ...you can run but you cant hide ) where I have to see her car and her makes me ill . I cant seem to stop obsessing about his affair and over her . I would like to do whatever I can to hurt her as she has done to me . Yes , while I blame him 100% she was a very willing participant...To add insult to injury she sent me details and in person of their affair telling me how much he loved her and how his marriage was over for many years and he wanted to leave me for years . He did leave for a week but claims until the end when he decided to leave he never told her that ever . Do I believe him ...NO and this is part of my not being able to go forward . I really do not see much hope here and it is not because of his still seeing her because I believe that is over .....it is because he is unwilling to listen to my pain . He says he is 100% to blame and there was no reason for what he did (although he did claim it was his insecurity and the need to stroke his ego and that he did not feel loved ...and I was a nag etc !!) He does show remorse but still I know I harass him with the details but cant help my behavior . I guess when you are lied to for as long as I was you still do not believe and the most simple lie (like he said he only took her to diners ...it then came out that he took her to fancy restaurants .....) is painful and back to square one.
      Thank you again .....Talking to someone who has gone through this means so much . I have a feeling that we are not going to make it together and that scares me . I do not think I shall ever heal with him or without him

    5. Anonymous,
      Until he can really hear your pain and let you express it, without getting defensive, without getting frustrated, it's almost impossible for your marriage to heal. He lied to you. And now he gets frustrated that you don't believe him?
      Are you in therapy yourself? Whether or not your marriage survives this, I think you need someone who can help you begin to heal from this pain, someone who can help you process it. Because you are stuck. You are experiencing a sort of post-trauma response. And you don't want to live like that. You say you can't control your behaviour but you can. You can't control your feelings but you can learn to control your behaviour. That's NOT to say that your behaviour is the problem, necessarily. But I think if you can get to a place where you feel more in control of yourself, you'll feel better.
      You will heal, Anonymous. But you're going to have to work hard at it. And you need someone with experience helping people to guide you through it.

    6. Anonymous- I had many bad days and couldn’t explain what the problem was or identify what the trigger was. Just an all round bad day filled with anxiety and depression. Note: never had anxiety, depression or self esteem issues ever before dec 2014 and I was 46. It may also help for you to tell him that you have bad days and there are many. He’s to know on those days that he needs to give mental and physical support to you. He cannot act like this is bringing him down because at this point he needs to lift you up. Yeah I understand the H is going through stuff too. He needs to want to work together and move through this. There’s no skirting the issue to get through.

    7. Again, my sincere thanks for your heartfelt replies . I am totally in agreement with you that my being stuck has much to do with his response and lack of response to my pain and necessity to speak my mind . Of course , I question him over and over to hear the truth. After all , this man lied to me for two years during his affair and then for 10 months after he returned .I still do not know the facts as they really are ( her stories were totally opposite to his minimizing . In addition , his actions that I found out about spoke more of the truth . Why he came back to me after one week and why he suddenly dumped her after he finally had sex with her ( yes he took her to the hotel 3 days after he left me ...swears it did happened before but who knows the truth of that one ! ) I am going to return home this week for a week (dread seeing all those triggers ) and I am seeing my therapist who is a new therapist . We were in counseling both as couple therapy as well as individual for close to a year that was no help . I will take your advise and surely discuss his hurtful attitude toward my needs to heal . Thank you again from the bottom of my heart ! I do not know if we will survive because of this trauma but this, I guess , is the last attempt ....and yes I will not heal if he does not get his act together .....You cant put a timeline on pain recovery ! Hugs

    8. I will say one thing that still is hard almost three years later is none of it will ever make sense to me. I am not saying that to be dismissive or to say I just let go of things but it is how I feel. I asked over and over and I think we each need to decide what we need to know. My husband had two 10 year affairs at the same time. Trickle truth went on for about 9 months. I finally wrote him a letter. It worked really well. Our discussions were going no where. I would get emotional and he was defensive. for me it was easier to put my thoughts on paper. It was very effective. He sat and told me everything he could think of. Granted as you can imagine over 10 years he could not remember things. He could not even remember what year one of the affairs became physical between three different years. Crazy to me but he said it was the last thing he wanted to remember or celebrate. Again crazy to me. But writing that letter and him opening up helped a lot. At 9 months we had the biggest blow up we had yet. But between 9-12 months was the best for me. At one year was when my husband finally started looking at himself. He was so focused on me and me not feeling so much pain. the past two years have been about him facing his shame, what kind of person he was and who he wants to be. I have been very firm and even more selective on what I will accept with the passing of time. He has totally transformed himself. He is a new person. But it has taken a lot of time and work. And you are right there is no timeline on this. I feel like it is when you are pregnant they said don't expect to lose the weight fast you gained it over 9 months. My husband gained a lot of baggage over 10 years of affairs so it was going to take time to recover!

  49. Anonymous - I’ll be thinking of you as you head back and hoping the triggers can subside. This is hard whether you stay or leave as you fully understand. Just encouraging you to keep in touch here, give yourself a name, and give yourself time. I’m at 2 1/2 yrs post Dday. It’s easier but still painful at times. It’s helpful to talk with women who understand your pain <3

  50. Thank you again.....I returned last night for the week and passing the bank that he managed to go see her at 3x a week for 2 years was painful (she was in the drive through where she had her privacy ...this is how it started ) Although the bank was closed and her car not thrown in my face or seeing her walking ....the knot in my stomach still existed ...In the Spring of 2016 (after over a year of his affair ) was when he admitted (who knows if this is true ) that he had a physical relationship started with her (no sex ...so he said ...just making out in the yard of her friends home ) Coincidentally , this is when he decided to get an apartment and leave me . It seems obvious to me that this new (he claimed he kissed her once before that and it was just a nothing kiss ..Lol ) development with her is the motivation for him to find an apartment and leave . Of course , he did deny this and said he left not because of her but he was not happy . He just cant be honest no matter how much I tell him that it is his lies that continue to keep me stuck ....So many thinks he said do not make sense and very hurtful . I realize he is embarrassed and ridden with guilt but I did not cause this and need honesty to build trust ....I have two appointments this week with a therapist that I had gone to twice ( the former we had seen for a year and it was a waste ) I hope she can get through to him and I hope that she can help ease my pain . I cant believe that I have to sell my home and move because he had no consideration for me by choosing to have an affair with this pig on my corner ! I do not know where to even go after living in my home for 25 years with an area that I am comfortable and love .....Thanks again Oh by the way I came across a site on the net that for a small fee will hook you up with telephone help with women who have gone through this betrayal and survived . Are you familiar and is this a good outreach ? Thanks again and many hugs ....Ellyn

  51. Ellyn, yes!
    Elle has posted about this before. I’m cutting and pasting from an earlier post she did a month or so ago. Hope this helps.
    The incredible Infidelity Counselling Network, which I know many of you have used over the years. http://www.infidelitycounselingnetwork.org/

    For quite a while now, I've linked to Infidelity Counselling Network, a pay-what-you-can peer counselling group that operates out of the Bay Area but is, of course, available to anyone with a phone. I know that many of you have used the network – it's impossible to overstate how valuable it can be to have someone to speak with when you're in such pain. Someone who understands, someone who's trained in listening, someone who can recommend resources and strategies to cope.

  52. unfortunately when I went to the site to register I found that they are filled and advised to check back in few weeks . I will do that ...thx

    1. Yes, they're undergoing a transition right now but will be back up and running at full capacity soon. Sorry you have to wait.

    2. I got started on the right track when I found a wonderful peer counsellor through ICN. When she had to stop the free counselling, she recommended affordable coaching through betrayal trauma recovery https://www.btr.org/coach. There are a lot of great ressources there... and my husband who was a very bad case of combined intimacy anorexia and sex addict, finally changed after a weekend retreat called Every mans Battle. He is a Christian which I believe was important so I dont know if a non believer would benefit as much as he did.... I just wish he had gone a long, long time ago.. and not waited until he realized that he had actually lost me.

  53. well I went back to the new therapist today with my h . The therapist totally believes that his affair was based on his need to be stroked for his insecure feelings about himself . I do not know if I buy this entirely as most of us will feel insecure at one time or another ....Does that mean we all should go out and cheat ? To be ...no one held a gun to his head ...he had an affair because it was exciting ....he was attracted to her ....it was an escape to his fantasy with who he felt was Dolly Parton ( ha ha ...she was nothing but a padded push up bra exposing herself with her low cut tops looking like she was ready, willing and able .....He wanted it !! I am tired of excuses by him or the therapist . Sure , he enjoyed being stroked ( don't we all ) but that is only part of the story in my opinion . I am going to see her alone on Thursday . She feels I definitely have ptsd and need lots of help ....In this regard she is right . I did bring up my h attitude on my healing and his handling it like a jerk but she feels that I need to see her alone to deal with the issues with her .....I was a bit disappointed that she did not seem to want to work on this with him but I will talk to her about that when I see her this week individually ......thx Ellyn

    1. Ellyn,
      I think it's important to recognize that understanding the catalyst of an affair is not the same as excusing it. It's important your husband understand what stories he was telling himself about it, how he was able to make it okay in his mind...while at the same time acknowledging that what he did was NOT okay and that he risked what mattered for someone who didn't. But getting to the root of why he cheated is the first step in making sure he doesn't do it again.
      And yes, PTSD is surprisingly common among betrayed spouses. There are steps you can take to help mitigate the post-trauma. It sounds to me as if you're still feeling as though your husband isn't paying a high enough price for what he did, and while I suspect most of us would agree on this site, wrestling with your own anger around what happened will also help you move forward in your healing. You can't undo what he did. But you can, with time and support, come to accept it and feel more in control of your own feelings. Ellyn, betrayal is brutal. And I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. But I fear that you're giving away the power you do have waiting for a husband to somehow make you feel better. I'm not sure he can do that until you've come to terms with the pain on your own. I'm hopeful your therapist can help you with that. And I'm hopeful that your husband can learn to support you in your pain and learn how to help you feel emotionally safe.
      One last question though: Do you have any sort of trauma in your background? Betrayal can often re-trigger old stuff in those of us who've had dysfunctional families and it seems to compound the pain we experience. Sometimes we need to also deal with the old stuff to move past the new stuff.

    2. I did not have any other trauma aside from my catching my h five years ago attempting to have an affair . The affair never began ( it was a woman out of state that he had an affair with 20 yrs ago _ because I found the emails in time . I saw the therapist individually this week who agrees that my h has not told the entire truth about certain info of his affair (how he felt about her, things he told her that this beauty came back to me with for further torture ) . She feels that I probably will never know and I have to be able to forget and live with it or move on ......I will have another session next week as I do need lots of help . As said , if it were 20 years ago I would have divorced him .....If I knew when he came back after away for a week ( I still believe that something happened in that hotel room with that whore that had him coming back to me with tail between his legs ) instead of a month later, what the truth was I would have divorced him .....The month he was back before Dday was great ....then the bomb hit !! Anyway , this is the most difficult journey . I so appreciate your help ......Have a wonderful holiday ...Ellyn

  54. I did reply yesterday but do not see my post . I saw the new therapist who believes that the entire affair was based on having his ego stroked .....! I did discuss his lack of empathy and patience and being on the defensive . She did not say much about that ....but did say that I was classic in my symptoms of PTSD and she wants to see he individually tomorrow . I will go and then continue with phone sessions as I will be in Va for a couple of months .....Too bad the infidelity site for support is filled but I will keep trying . Hope everyone has a joyous holiday . Ellyn

  55. I have wanted to post my story on here for it feels like in my circle of friends, they just don’t get it it has been about a year since I found out and we decided to stay together. When do you finally feel whole again, you trust them again & the fear that they are not going to do it again? I have typed out part of my story & wanted to post it, but still is so painful. You would think after a year it would still not be so hard.

    1. Anonymous,
      I don't doubt that a year feels like an eternity to you. But for me, after a year, I was just getting my head above water. It takes a LONG time to get past the pain of betrayal.
      But while you might not be "over" it, my guess is you're a whole lot better than you were a year ago when you found out. And that's what you can focus on. You're not where you want to be but you also not where you were.
      As for when do you feel whole again, trust him again, etc. -- that depends a whole lot on the state of your own heart and your marriage. I felt whole again when I realized that staying in my marriage wasn't a default position but a choice. And that I wanted to be there. I felt like I could trust him again when I realized that he hated the person he was even more than I hated the person he was. He did not want to be that guy again. And so I trust him to make choices to support that desire.
      Are you two able to talk about the affair and what it's changed in your lives? Are you able to share your fear with him and is he able to really hear the impact on you and reassure you of his own intention to not do that to you again?
      We can sometimes feel "stuck" after a while. We're not in agony anymore but we're not happy. It feels like limbo. But I believe that healing is still occurring. It's just occurring where you don't see it. Keep talking to your spouse, keep your heart soft and open, and make sure you're treating yourself with gentleness and kindness.

    2. Hi I just happened to read your post and am going through what sounds like what you are now . It has been a little over a year since d day for me . My h had an emotional affair for almost 2 yrs that turned physical at the end and ultimately a hotel room at the very end . It hurts like hell and I too question if I will ever feel better ......I have been in therapy both couple and individually for over a year . Did not help but I attribute that to the wrong therapist . Recently, I started with a new therapist and hopeful she will help . I feel stuck and my h is disgusted with my lack of progress . Perhaps if he was honest with me instead of all the continued cover-ups for months I would have made progress ...At this point he does not want to talk about it and gets angry and defensive when I bring it up.....Sorry for your pain and believe me you are not alone in this painful journey

  56. Anyone else feel like Christmas and New Year is a bit of a trigger?
    I'm posting 'feeling stuck' today because I really need to put down in words what is going on. I'm looking for a change and I'm hoping perspective will offer that today.
    DO was addicted to port from his teen years, this lead on to see addiction and multiple affairs. I found out after we'd been married 10 years. We are 7 years on from d day. Unfaithfulness is not the only issue in our marriage. I ended up very controlled and intimidated by him, as well as isolated. After d day, I, stupidly agreed to keep the infidelity a secret, and to just blindly forgive him. This was a big mistake for my mental health. He offered no reassurance and nothing to build trust. While this was going on, we had 3 kids and a very low income. He was self employed and although working all the hours, still not earning much. 5 years ago, I ended up being the main earner.
    Of course I still had full responsibility for the household and kids. So I ended up diagnosed with Epilepsy in May 2017. DHL has now become sole earner while I recover at home.
    All these yearsites, I think I have been expecting DH to be my knight, to be that guy who sees my needs and puts his family 1st. And he just isn't that guy.
    Of course he doesn't see it. Yesterday I was putting youngest child to bed, and dealing with middle child, who has behaviour problems. I came downstairs and DH was on the sofa on his phone. When I said that he could help, he told me he was. I think his reality is very different to mine.
    So things have shifted. In 2027, DH did get a job, and he has done some MC sessions with me. We moved house so the kids and I are less isolated now.
    I should be grateful to DH for these things. But I'm not. I do feel owed. I do feel like there is a huge debt that he can't pay back.
    Have I forgiven him? I would say I have, but that I need to keep doing that, it's not just a one time thing.
    Through these last 7 years I have got to a place of forgiveness and healing where I know I love him and want to move forward with him. Then I've got scared and DH has messed up and we are back to the beginning again.
    2018 is here, and I want a new story, or at least a new chapter in this one. I want to move on from this negative cycle.
    I know that means me being brave, more forgiveness, humility and trust.
    I can see DH doesn't have the character to make steps towards me. To truly face his issues and turn over a new leaf. I know he needs me to reach out to him. To show him love and acceptance. I know that if I swallow my pride, he will be there, willing to move towards me.
    But I don't know if I have that in me.

  57. I am not even sure anymore if i want to share my story....I am so sick of my story, I hate it! I have wrote about it, read about it, asked about it, thought about it every minute of everday for over 2 years now. And I just really am tired of it. It doesn't ever get anywhere and I am just ready to wake up from this horrible nightmare that I cannot seem to get up and out of back into reality and life with my husband that for sure , never would in a million years do this stuff that this horrible nightmare entails. PLEASE I JUST WANT TO WAKE UP!!!

    1. Sean H, I don't blame you. It does get tiresome. You're posting in "Feeling Stuck" so I'm curious why you feel stuck. What's happening (or not happening) that's getting in the way of you moving forward?

  58. Feeling stuck is certainly an appropriate description! It is almost a year (mar 10th). I am fortunate that my husbands affair was short (only 5 months, and of that only 2 weeks physical.). It still hurts. I’m hoping that once I get through the “firsts” - ie first anniversary since, first Christmas first, first Valentine’s Day since.... it will get easier. Right now it certainly feels like I am the one who is holding back our progress. He’s doing all the right things. But i can’t let it go. I can’t do valentines because I remember that last year, it wasn’t me he was saying I love you to... I feel angry most of the time. I know I need to let go and I am trying to understand what is stopping me from moving on because I feel like it’s up to me. It’s almost like, he got to make a choice- work on our marriage or not, and I didn’t. I was so focused on ensuring his commitment that I didn’t check in with myself to make sure that I was committed. And now I can’t seem to commit. In any case, I feel stuck :(

    1. Hey Christine, Sorry you're here (and sorry it took me so long to see this post. The older threads don't get seen so often.) I'm glad you found us though.
      Don't rush your healing from this. You seem to be minimizing the impact of his betrayal. It doesn't matter whether it was five months or five years. It hurts. It's devastating. And it takes a long time to heal and rebuild trust. I'm glad you recognize that you have some work to do around respecting and honouring your own feelings. Are you seeing a therapist? A safe place to work through this is crucial.

  59. Sounds maybe dumb- but I can’t stop reacting. The game goes like this. He goes silent for weeks. I’m ok for a few days and then my
    Mind gets the best of me. So I send relentless emails. He rarely responds and then after a few days he will call. He does not ever talk about the one night stand he had. Direct anger towards me when I do. Any suggestions on how to redirect my compulsion to getbstuff off my chest? I know he made this bed, but it is driving a deeper wedge between us. I no longer know if reconciliation is even possible.

    1. Timbbey,
      It's not dumb at all. It's normal. But it's not healthy for you and it's keeping you stuck in a toxic relationship. If he can't discuss his betrayal of you, then there's little hope of healing. If he refuses to acknowledge the pain he's caused, then he's telling you that a relationship with him in one-sided. He's showing you exactly who he is -- and it ain't pretty.
      You need to set some new rules for yourself that include respecting yourself and your own needs/wants. Infidelity is not okay with you, so why are you willing to reconcile with someone who cheated on you and who won't support you as you work through the pain of that?
      If you don't have a therapist, I hope you'll find one. You need someone to help you see your own value and to treat yourself with respect. Nobody will respect us until we learn to respect ourselves. You deserve better than this, Timbbey. He needs to either become better...or you need to walk away.



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