Share Your Story: Finding Out, Part 5 (4 is full!!)

200 comments:

  1. Sigh where to even begin? 5 months ago I was told by him that he had a drunken one night stand that she has claimed resulted in a pregnancy. The child is one month old. She offered to let him sign away rights which he has agreed to.

    This has been a nightmare. The rug was ripped right out from under me. I don't believe his story, and she harasses me endlessly.

    I have reacted strongly to this betrayal and my words haven't been kind to him. He feels I should be over it by now and that I am crazy. How am I supposed to act? What should I be doing?

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    1. Commenting on my own story simply because as I spend more and more time in my own thoughts I have more awareness. I don't believe it was only once and I he never admits to more. The first few months he was there for me. Now hes had enough. "we have beaten this horse to death" etc. I wish he would give me the whole truth, its been 6 months now, so I can find some sense to this story. I feel so disrespected, so violated.

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    2. He feels you "should be over it by now"??? Is he serious?? He clearly has no understanding of just how traumatizing such a trust violation is. You haven't reacted any more 'strongly' to his betrayal than those of us who've been betrayed. Experts say it's one of the most painful things we can go through -- it alters how we feel in this world.
      But honey, waiting for him to treat you with respect sounds like it will be a long wait. You need to stop waiting for permission from him to feel your feelings. They are legitimate. Please, seek help for yourself to help you process the pain. Tell this Other Woman that if she continues to harass you, you will file a restraining order and then go through with it if she doesn't listen. You do NOT have to put up with this. You deserve to be supported through your pain. And if he can't or won't do that, then please do it for yourself.

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  2. I desperately need to touch base!!! I have been a warrior for 4 years, I have received SO MUCH care and advice from you all.
    I REALLY thought I was getting on OK ,I believed it was all behind me. My husband was home now, didn't go out without me .Life was good then MEALTDOWN!!!!!!
    This morning we lay side by side in bed drinking our first cuppa HAPPILY.
    We talked about our worry over our tiny grandson.. Husband snapped that I was stupid(he called me that all the time I asked if he was having an affair. I KNEW he had OW yet he looked in my eyes and called me stupid!!!
    Whatever happened in that split second I am not sure .I went up like a rocket.
    "STUPID am I , well not THAT stupid!!!!" I said some bad stuff called OW the most rotten names I could, I insulted HIM and re lived it all over again.

    He refused to talk, got up screamed obscenities at me and rushed out to the car and drove off.
    I have truly opened a can of vipers I have cried for hours I am distraught and feel as if I am going mad.
    WHY???? after so many peaceful/happy months.
    Is this normal??? I hope I can get by this horrible meltdown. THANKS FOR LISTENING

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    1. You ask why, after so many peaceful/happy months. Well, he delivered a HUGE trigger to you. He called you "stupid", which is not only unkind and disrespectful (and untrue), it also took you right back to that time when he was using that word frequently. That's the thing with post-trauma. One trigger and WE ARE RIGHT BACK THERE.
      I suspect the worry over your grandson is putting strain on each of you. And his response to strain seems to be to lash out at you -- to make you the target because anxiety that we can't do anything about is always looking to attach itself to something. So BAM.
      What he did was unacceptable and I hope he's man enough to own up to it and apologize. And also to take steps to ensure he doesn't do it again.
      Your response, while undoubtedly harsh, was a response to his insult. Not mature. Not helpful. But hardly surprising.
      So...take ownership of your own bad behaviour. But do NOT take the bulk of the blame. It's not yours.
      And know that this is going to happen until each of you has processed this enough to put it behind you. It might help to agree to have a timeout when things escalate. But what you experienced is neither uncommon or, to be honest, wrong. His behaviour was wrong. But having these meltdowns can shine a light on the areas where we still need to do some work. And it sounds like he really needs to do some work around how he speaks to you.

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    2. Anonymous October 20, that kind of situation would be a good reason to go back to MC and have a little check-in or tune-up. Elle is right, post-infidelity stress disorder is real. Triggers are real. H needs to understand how to manage them with you and for you for the rest of your marriage.

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  3. I can really sympathise with this and YES it is normal. As Elle said, triggers put us right back in that time. I've been doing a huge amount of work on rewiring triggers and trying to associate them with a feeling of my own strength and goodness rather than let me fall into a hole (Living and Loving after Betrayal by Steven Stosny is helpful). But despite the work, there sometimes comes a cluster of events or statements, or perhaps just the one phrase that will make me explode, instantaneously. Often I find that the worst triggers are those that are close to something I once felt about myself so they automatically go to very negative core self-beliefs, some of which are deeply rooted and long term (sometimes coming from childhood.) No doubt at one point you may have considered yourself stupid for not realising about the affair or for sticking around and as Elle says, with something so emotive as problems with your grandson you're already feeling vulnerable and exposed so your husband's 'stupid' remark raced quickly to a place in you of incredible hurt. Take time to boost yourself up, take pride in your qualities and forgive yourself for your strong reaction.

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  4. I am in a personal Hell. I cannot get my husband to forget or forgive my outburst.
    He says he doesn't have to put up with this kind of whipping about stuff that its time to put behind us .He says its over now and he cannot be with a miserable person like me that OW was at least fun.
    Oh I know he is saying these things to hurt me or punish me because we appeared to be back to happy.
    Truth told I am not happy ,he thought he loved OW and couldn't leave her broke every rule in the book .
    I realise I have papered over the cracks in my broken heart and once I upset him he tells me he wished he had gone to HER now.
    Maybe it was just temper. who knows?
    I am hurting inside so badly .crying constantly thanks for being there.

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    1. What an absolutely despicable thing for him to say. He has no understanding of what he has done to you, how he has hurt you. My husband has been very poor at dealing with my 'outbursts' and has sometimes turned it back on me to say I was holding onto stuff etc. It has taken me four years (and a great online depression and anxiety course) to realise that it is not healthy for me to be struggling like this all the time, making excuses for them and so on. In your case I would be tempted to really draw a line and say 'if you don't want to be with me, that's fine, because the hurt I feel under the circumstances is perfectly normal for such a huge breach of trust. I've stayed with you despite the hurt and if you can't face into that then I can't be with you.' Easy for me to say - perhaps I'm saying to you what I should say to myself. I don't want to break up the home for my four children. But it just seems that until some of these spouses realise what they are about to lose they carry on with this awful mentality that it's your problem not theirs. We need to decide what we can live with and how we now deserve to be treated. He should never have said this to you and you need to be powerfully and assuredly aware of that and tell him. Please let us know how you get on.

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  5. It's been a 13 mos since the ow's husband told me, through a text, of my husband's affair with his wife. My h works with her...still. They do not work in the same office, but they work for the same organization and are within 5 mins of one another.

    My h and I have been in counseling for one year. At first, we seemed to be steadily working on repairing our marriage - actually building a new partnership. Something changed this past summer; however... he withdrew emotionally and didn't want to discuss anything of a serious nature involving our relationship."Can't we just enjoy each other" became his common phrase. I backed off, gave him space, then attempted to talk again. Same response from him.

    A few months ago, he tells me he loves me, but he doesn't think he's "in love" with me. Last month, he tells me he's not sure if he wants to stay married to me.

    A few days ago, our 17 yr old daughter discovered he had an affair. She was devastated, to say the least. She struggled with telling me she knew, as well as keeping the info from her younger brother (they are quite close). My h and I talked; we agreed our daughter should not carry such a burden. My h and I sat down with our children and told them we were at a difficult point in or marriage and had been seeing a therapist. My h told our children he "messed up" and made a "huge mistake," but that he and I are "working on [our] marriage."

    Earlier that same day, as we discussed our course of action with our kids, he said again he wasn't sure what he wanted. I have had enough. I have worked hard on myself as well as repairing our marriage. I have taken a long, hard look at myself and admitted I should have done some things differently. I have asked for forgiveness. I do not blame myself for his choice to have an affair. I know that I'm not perfect, though. I have been sincere in my words and actions. I have allowed myself to give my h opportunities to rebuild trust. I have offered him space -- actually an "out" twice, but he does not leave.

    Now that our children know, I cannot exist in this limbo state any longer. It's difficult enough for myself, and I will not let my children suffer through this.

    I love my h. I believe he and I can create the partnership we both want together. He says he's "scared of what might happen." I am, too! That does not keep me from remaining positive and contuing to try. However, I am beginning to lose hope. I cannot be enough for both of us.

    Why would he tell our children we're working on our marriage after he's told me he's not sure that is what he wants to do?

    I think he has not really dug deep into why he had the affair. He doesn't seem to be doing the hard work, so to speak. He was surprised that I did not automatically kick him out when I found out about his affair. I'm still very confused about that... My h is the love of my life. I tell him that, I've told our family and friends that, and I have shown it privately and publicly.

    I'm still bewildered, and deeply hurt, by his actions and his words. He will seem very interested in me, physically and emotionally, but then he won't... until he is again. I don't know how much more I can bear. I feel like I've given all I can.

    Does my experience resonate with anyone reading this? How did you cope? How did you make a decision and stick to it? I know everyone's situation is unique... Thank you for listening.

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    1. Anonymous,
      I'm so sorry you're going through this. I wouldn't be surprised if he's still in some contact with his affair partner or, as you note, simply hasn't examined what it was he was seeking in the affair. Danger? Excitement? Escape? A reflection of himself as interesting and sexy? Who knows. That's for him to figure out. But if he's refusing to do the work, then you need to make some hard decisions for yourself. I have a feeling he'll panic if you do actually ask him to leave. I suspect he doesn't want that. But YOU need to get him off the fence so you can move on with your life, either with him or without him. And that's what I'd be inclined to tell him. You've given him plenty of time to get his shit together and he hasn't done. So...I'd tell him that you would like to rebuild your marriage with him but that you cannot do that alone. Until he can fully commit to you, which includes seeking counselling to examine why he risked his marriage and his family, then he needs to leave. Give him a timeline so that he doesn't drag this out forever with promises. It will be hard on you and on the kids but it might also give everyone some space to absorb all this.
      He's telling the kids what he thinks they want to hear and what make him look like less of a bad guy. Is he a pleaser? Hates conflict?
      In any case, you deserve better than this. And I think as long as you're hanging around like a loyal puppy dog, he's going to take you for granted while he indulges in his narcissistic "I just don't know what to doooooo." nonsense.

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    2. Anonymous October 23, reading your story I think your H needs to go to IC and stick with it. In MC we discovered my husband suffered from major depressive disorder which came out as anger and he was self-medicating with porn, pot and inappropriately emailing with a married family member. It all stemmed from being abandoned as a toddler by his mother. He is now in IC and see's a psychiatrist regularly and is on medication. CH's have to do the hard work of understanding what is wrong with them and keep doing the hard work of healing what is wrong with them.

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    3. Anon - since he’s waffling have you thought of going away? I got to a point where I was stuck and had no clue what I should do so I decided to have a weekend away. The thought of me being stuck and wanting to retreat terrified him. He was like....well what will happen after the weekend? What will you do and who will you talk to to get unstuck? Wow so many questions to a wife that was faithful and trustworthy. I planned it out and in the end he purposely foiled it by inviting our close friends over for a football game and did the inviting in front of me so I would have to stay.


      Did I know where I was going? No! I had a couple business trips after that and that was good separation to think. I think they InVision permanent and it scares them.

      It’s very hard to go away with the state of affairs ( no pun intended) but sometimes you need to give them a reality check. Just as he’s not a sure thing, you aren’t either!

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    4. Elle, Browneyedgirl, and Heartfelt:
      Thank you for listening, responding, and being empathetic. I appreciate your kind words, as well as your to-the-point observations and advice. It wasn't until recently that my two close friends that I confide in about the affair began sharing similar responses with me. Both have said they want to see my h and me save our marriage, but now they state it's very difficult for them to say anything positive about him. They are still very supportive. My mom has refrained from contacting him (my daughter told my mom she knew of the affair before she told me - whole other story) and telling him he needs to "get his shit together and wake up to what he has and appreciate it." Part of me wishes she would, but the other part realizes this isn't her struggle.

      I have thought about going away for a weekend, and I have thought again about telling him to leave and not return until he makes up his mind. I shared this info w/our MC, and she suggested we come in for a session before I flat out tell him to go. She also knows now that our children know, and she has made a few referrals for our daughter, as she asked me if she could start seeing a therapist. Yes, my 17 yr old feels she needs to work this, and possibly other things, out with a therapist. I'm proud that she knows herself well enough to make this request, but I'm also saddened that she feels she NEEDS TO EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. This stirs up more anger toward my h. Just when I thought I had worked through my anger and doubts many other emotions... I'm back to anger again. Not good.

      My plan, before I had talked w/our MC a few days ago, was to ask my h if we could talk... ask what he's been thinking/planning... if he still said he didn't know/is confused/whatever, I planed to tell him to leave. I love you, I want us to work, but you need to leave and figure out your situation - and if you're serious about coming back, get yourself into therapy. If he surprised me with a more positive response, I still planned to say he needs individual therapy/counseling. I've been told I'm too aggressive, so perhaps I should soften my words? Just typing that makes me a bit angry.

      Thank you again. This is the first time I've reached out like this to strangers, but I'm glad I did. I hope all of you are doing well and doing what you want to do for yourselves.

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  6. Ano 6:32 PM, this is LLP and 13 months out it is still raw. Your husband's waffling back and forth is not helping you in Recovery. He told his kids that because he wanted to look like a good father and didn't want them to think negative about him. At one year, like you I looked respectively at what I could have done different in our marriage. Like you, I saw what I could have done differently. Don't be so hard on yourself please at this point. Your husband is making this even harder on you by his back and forth. Just what helped me, is I scheduled a meeting to discuss us. He was prepared and I could prepare myself to remain calm knowing I was going to hear things that will hurt very deeply. I would want to know why he is really truly acting this way, I would want to hear the absolute truth because I had being in limbo. Here are the questions I asked. Are you sure you want to be with me? Did you come back to me or our family? Do you realize I can leave too? Why are you staying? Where does sex factor in? Are you at the point where you feel like you are losing yourself? Were you drawn by the general idea of having an affair or did you feel pulled by this specific person? Did you think it would help you stay in our relationship or leave? What is your hesitancy to stay or go,did you discover new parts of yourself that you want back? You need to have a frank, open discussion. If you do be prepared to hear things that is going to hurt to your core. But I would rather be hurt than strung along. If he isn't honest with you at this point, that is on him, not you. You are giving him a chance to communicate his needs to you and then it's up to you if you can live with it or you can't. Don't pussy foot around with your life and what you need or want. I really feel for you and if I lived next door to you, I would get my shit kicking boots out, knock on your door and ask to see to speak with your husband. You did nothing wrong. You are a good enough. My heart goes out to you. I can tell you are a very compassionate person. Hang in there, you got this. Love to you.

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    1. Thank you for your frank response. Thanks for sharing how you approached your husband; it makes a lot of sense to me.

      The question about "Where does sex factor in?" is a big one for me. My h and I have always enjoyed a robust/passionate/frequent sex life. As you can imagine, having sex with him after finding out about his affair was difficult, to say the least. Then, there was a period of a few months where I felt like I was pursuing him several times a week - I was always initiating. He was happy to oblige, of course, but he didn't initiate. Recently (since the whole I-don't-know-if-I'm-in-love-with-you and I-don't-know-if-I-want-to-be-married-to-you bomb drop), I'm rarely interested in pursuing sex with him. I still think about him sexually, but the thoughts are fleeting where they used to be lingering. He has initiated sex the last two times - the first time was hot, the second time was emotional and seemed like he attempted to connect with me. Of course, he said nothing about either time, except "I love you" right before he drifted off to sleep. I hope this isn't TMI. Trying to state in an appropriate way how much of a role physical connection (sex, hand holding, hugging, snuggling, butt smacking, kissing, etc.) was in our marriage.

      I don't know what to think about either of the last two recent times. Maybe I shouldn't think (analyze?), and just accept it as a positive experience? Why am I still thinking about it, in general? Probably because he and I used to have damn good sex (no matter what "type" of sex) on a regular basis for our entire marriage - until he effed it up.

      I guess the point of all of this is: Should I be having sex with my h while he's trying to "figure out" what he wants? If he's so conflicted, why should I give myself to him in that manner? Is he taking me for granted yet again?

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    2. Anonymous, there is no one best answer to the "should I be having sex with h...". They only clear cut "no's" would be if he is still having sex with an OW or if you both have not been tested for STD's. Otherwise I say it is YOUR choice. If you are doing it because YOU want to. If you are doing it to make H happy but you don't like it then say no. Keep telling yourself: it's all about what YOU want.

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    3. Anon, maybe it isn't the sex but the romance? My H said he missed the romance in our relationship. His definition of romance and mine was so different. His idea of romance would be for me to sit next to him and watch a movie. Holding hands. Making out. Simple things that show I care. Maybe your H thoughts on sex aren't what you think. Our sex life was never good. He asked me if I ever like sex. I said I learned how to not to like. He was rough, uncaring etc... I had a hard time with sex, every time I would look at his penis I could see the OW sucking it. It would be hard to be thinking about sex in the same way when he isn't even sure if he is all in? Have sex for you, when you need it and the way you need it. Sometimes you may need to feel close to someone or you may need to have aggressive angry sex. Have sex with your H if you want to. He may be missing that type of connection with you. Ask him then you will know what he thought about it. I was surprised when my husband told me what he wanted.

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  7. Background- He cheated (one night stand he claims) and she gave birth to his child. I saw a picture of her and the child that is so vile and it upset me terribly. I’ve has a very difficult time processing this. I sent him the picture and said how could you choose her over me? Look at her? How could you throw away our whole lives for that? The baby was in the pic and he doesn’t want anything to do with the child. He immediately sent me a message to never contact him again and blocked me in every way. He’s never done that before. He always tells me I’m dramatic and crazy in my reactions to the situation. Am I?

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  8. Anon, 12L24 PM. You are not crazy. Are you divorced? Do you have children? My heart is breaking for you. He is making you feel crazy, it is gas-lighting. He is avoiding the circumstance and avoiding any explanation because he doesn't want to admit HE did anything wrong. You have not done anything wrong. Can you explain how you found out? Did he have this baby while he was married to you?

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  9. Not married but have known each other since high school. No kids together. I found out because he told me ( but not about the child). For the first few months we both cried a lot of years together. A month later his daughter told my daughter that “this slut was pregnant”. When I confronted him, he didn’t know his kids knew yet. Didn’t mean for it to find out this way.

    He seems in heavy denial and can’t deal with it either. He wants nothing to do with the child and never wants to talk about it. He’s drinking more and more and is completely unavailable.

    He’s never blocked me before ever.

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    1. Timbbey, think about going to IC and put this man who doesn't want to do the hard work of winning your trust back in your rear-view mirror. This is hard enough married with children and a reformed CH that wants to do the hard work of reconciling. Better things are ahead for you!!

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    2. Timbbey, it sounds like a rough reality you are going through. Be glad you are not married and don't have children together. It sounds you both are divorced. He just showed you the type of man he really is. He isn't what you thought he was and he just blind-sighted you and broke your heart. He wants to run away. He sounds not only to be a cheater but irresponsible. Do you really want your daughter around a man like him? I would count yourself lucky you found out the truth. He obviously didn't think of the consequences because maybe he thought you would never leave.

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  10. I am DESPERATE once again!! Things were going so well I truly believed I was in recovery, I have never stopped loving my husband . I still do yet feel it is only one sided.
    I need to understand, I need you all to be frank with me and let me know if I am wrong without realising it.
    D DAY was 3 years ago his LTLA finished 2and a half years ago.
    HE like every one who betrays lied constantly . Late nights, days in work he should have been at home, coming in with "love bites" on his body, smelling of her perfume it was an horrendous time and I did everything possible WRONG!!!
    I knew he was with her(20 years younger than we are) He cried and told me he was in love with her.Asked me to give him time to make her finish their A.
    I KNOW I WAS WRONG !! I thought I had won my life back and I do not believe that he still sees her, Is home more again.
    My problem is that I had 2 complete nervous breakdowns and tried to starve myself to death.
    I feel like I won nothing in the end as my H is verbally cruel.. calls me stupid ,says I am abusing him that I am a controlling bitch who steals his freedom. says I am his jailor and at times he could run away.
    The trouble with me is that I am frightened ,so very scared.
    He drives long distance to work and had a bad collision on his last night with OW.
    I have panic attacks if he is late sometimes I break down hurting myself and vomit with anxiety.
    I get NO love or sympathy for my problems H says its blackmail and he will NEVER submit to it!!!
    I take lots of meds for depression /anxiety and do try to hold things together .
    The only thing that works for me is to SAY NOTHING as once I do he throws every insult he can at me...I sob ...he gets angrier.
    I just feel so lost

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    1. I am so sorry for the pain you're in. Anonymous, I want you to carefully consider what I'm about to say to you: You are in an abusive relationship. You are allowing yourself to be controlled by someone who is not treating you with respect or kindness or decency. And you deserve that. I don't think you realize that you deserve kindness and respect and decency. I suspect your husband isn't the first guy to treat you like this. And I suspect you've spent a lifetime being hurt like this.
      Of course, you're frightened and of course you're scared. Because you've handed your power over to someone who is hurting you with it. And when he's not hurting you, you're hurting yourself. You're depriving yourself of your own kindness and your own respect.
      If you are on medication for depression and anxiety, then I am assuming that you have a doctor and, I hope, a counsellor. I am hoping and praying that you will go to that counsellor or doctor and ask him or her to help you become well, to help you learn how to care for yourself, to treat yourself with respect and learn how to stand up for yourself and learn what a healthy relationship looks like.
      It's possible, Anonymous. It's possible to wake up knowing that you are safe because YOU keep yourself safe. It's possible to go to bed knowing that you will be okay because YOU will keep yourself okay.
      Being in a relationship in which you cannot share your pain without him becoming angry with you. That's not an emotionally safe relationship.
      And you deserve so much better.

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    2. Thank you for your time which must be precious. My H tells me constantly that I am abusing HIM because I try to control him by my sensitivity/depression.
      He reads out to me articles that list how a control freak behaves .I admit that I feel I do fit some of those things yet I never want to stop him being free to do his own thing .Somehow my brain just goes into a panic attack ,I pace the floor like a caged lion. I do see my doctor who is very good ,I have seen three counsellors alone my H says he doesn't need one . I side lined him and OW comforted him .BUL***IT, I know he is shifting the blame to ease his guilt .
      All I want is his love and kindness maybe a little understanding about how much he hurt me.
      He seams to truly believe that we are free spirits NOT in jail. He thinks when I am ill I am trying to control him yet it doesn't feel that way ,I just panic and my mind plays terrible mind movies because such a short time ago he lied SO well.
      Will this nightmare EVER end.
      Things go very well for both of us so long as I keep my problems to myself and as he puts it "give me some peace!!"
      Please tell me if subconsciously you think I could be a control freak!!
      I just get so upset again and have panic attacks. I do not know how to behave once again.

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    3. Anonymous, your H is gaslighting you. Go up to the search bar in this blog and type in that term and you will have a lot to read. The gaslighting has even convinced you to ask us if you are a control freak. NO, you are not. You are a wife who expects the covenant of the vows your H made to you to be kept. Gaslighting is emotional abuse. It happened to many of us on here, myself included, to varying degrees. Once I learned what it is I was able to discuss it in IC and MC and I was able to not engage and feed into the manipulation. Good news is it has only happened once since I started responding differently and this time it was a much smaller, trivial argument and the next day H came and apologized because he knew it was wrong. My H is in IC and sees a psychiatrist since Dday. The nightmare can end if your H is willing to work on better self-awareness and coping techniques. If not, please consider putting some safe distance between yourself and this unhealthy situation.

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  11. Hi there Ladies!
    My story is a long one so I’ll try and keep it as short as i can . I have been married 34 years, we married young, 19 and 20, and we have had our share if problems. My entire family (mother,father,sisters and brother) all have drug and alcohol addictions . I was spared from this terrible disease but suffered my own, and that was the caretaker, fixer, savior of all their problems at the expense of my own life and marriage. 3 years ago after my children were grown and out on their own we decided to move out of state , to get away from it all, to have our time together and some peace. Well it didnt turn out that way at all. 8 months ago , simply by chance, while looking at a phone bill i found out that my husband was having a 5 yr long “ emotional” affair with the worst person imaginable, my older sister. I quoted emotional bc im 99% sure it wasnt physical, I believe this not bc my lying H says so but bc they have know each other for 35 years and have always had a friend/brother sister kind of relationship. I have no words to explain the shock and pain this has caused me. I have been hurt so deeply not by one but by 2 people who were supposed to love me. As I said i found out simply by mistake as I had absolutely no idea and trusted my husband fully! As far as my sister , Im not overly shocked that she did this bc thru the years she had developed a deep hatred for me and resented me , but him, my husband, I have been knocked completely of balance, my entire life as I knew it has been changed. He was always my guy, on my team , the 1 person I relied on and trusted, all that has changes and I feel so alone. I have no friends here, my brother moved here in may and is sober and in a program but i can not burden him with this as he is struggling himself right now. This was supposed to be our time our adventure , just him and I , and I feel so isolated . I could fill a book with the reasons of why, but the short of it is... our sex life has suffered thru the years and he has felt rejected by me, he felt I didnt want him or need him, he became emotionally unavailable to me which made matters worse. Thru his own counsling and our MC he has discovered he had developed a narcastic personality which allowed him to basically blame me and resent me for everything and he needed someone to boost that huge ego and she was more than happy to take that role! I dont know that I can ever forgive him for all the lies and betrayal but we are in MC and he is in his own counsling and he has been trying , I see the work he is putting into changing and after 8 months the anger I have felt is lessening, the pain has become a bit more tolerable, and I feel stronger now but i am faced with a huge problem... I see him differently, i dont have the respect that I had for him, my pride in who he was and who we were together is gone, I miss the man I loved and question if he was ever who I thought he was. I desperetly want this to work, this man was my best friend and partner for most of my life but I just can not shake this nagging feeling that i do not love this man before me and its breaking my heart! He tells me its still him and that he loves me and has always loved me but he developes this sickness that he hid so well. My heart is broken and I dont know if it will ever mend for me to stay in this marriage. Ive read it here over and over... i am changed by this experience and right now my main focus is me!

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    1. Strongernow
      Each one of our stories are both long and short. Truth we’ve been together as long as we’ve been together and the short of it is our spouse chose to cheat...period. That’s on them. We were/are as unhappy as they were telling themselves at the time they cheated but somehow we come through stronger than they are and we rise above their choices. I’m stronger too and my h continues to tell me just how strong he sees me even in my weakest moments. It’s a daily struggle but if you think about it so is everyone else’s marriage even if it’s not tainted by betrayal! Sending hugs and light to lift you forward!

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    2. StrongerNow,
      I'm so so sorry for all the pain you've been through, as a child and now as an adult. You worked so hard to create a good life out of the mess of your childhood. I know that feeling well. And then to have it devastated by the choices of people around you is excruciating.
      It sounds as if you and your husband have done a lot of work already -- within eight months and that's incredible. But I wonder how much you're allowing yourself to just grieve. Rather than try and fix and work and roll up your sleeves to address the problem, how much time are you giving yourself to feel your own feelings around this? Your heart is broken. And before it can truly heal, you have to fully acknowledged the broken-ness.
      Like you, I wondered if I could ever feel the same way about my husband again. And at first, I didn't. I couldn't. I saw damage. I saw selfishness. I saw failure.
      And then, when I shifted focus to me and, occasionally, allowed my husband to support me in my pain, I began to see him differently. I saw strength and courage. I saw a man facing his failures and trying to become better. And I could respect that.
      What your husband did to you was a betrayal in the worst way. And I admire his willingness to deal with that now, to shine a light on the lies he was telling himself.
      And you might never feel the same way about him again. If you're like me, you thought he was your safe place in an unsafe world. A harbour from the storms. And when he turned out to BE the storm, it's painful on a primal level.
      He isn't the man you thought he was. Or rather, he's a man who had secrets.
      But for now, I would encourage you to just grieve the losses you've experienced. I suspect this is bringing a whole lot of old, long buried pain too. If you don't have your own counsellor, I think it would be wise to get one. Take the focus off of him, off of your marriage and whether it will withstand this. And just excavate your own pain and hold it as you slowly heal. You will eventually come to a place where your "next right step" as wel call it on this site, becomes more clear.
      In the meantime, I'm glad you found us. I hope you'll stay and read and continue to ask questions or offer your thoughts. The women here are wonderful and smart and kind and compassionate and know the pain you're in.

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  12. Anon Nov 11--I am sorry I am just seeing this, but what Elle is telling you and what BrownEyedGirl is telling you is right on the money. There are cheaters (who can be seen as abusers) and then there are blatant abusers. Any time a man puts the blame on you for HIS mistakes, that is abuse. That is a man deflecting his part in something he has actually DONE. And he tells you to keep your problems to yourself? No, get with or stay with therapy, and kick that problem out of your life. I don't even know your "man" and I really dislike him. A whole lot. I had a narcissist boyfriend for three years, I know what it looks like. It looks like your husband.

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  13. After what I thought was a good (not great) 15 year marriage, DD was 1 year and 4 months ago for me. I wish I had found this sight in the beginning but glad I'm here now. My h had spent 3 years working out of town and only being home on the occasional weekend here and there. The last of the 3 years he spent in one location which is where the affair happened. The physical affair was 2 months not sure of the emotional. My h has been remorseful since DD and been very vocal about wanting to work on and save our marriage and has done just that. After reading others posts on here I realize now that most of us all go through the same thoughts and feelings. I did the hardcore investigations and freaked my husband out with how much I knew about her as well as when they were spending time together. For about the first 4 months after DD, I wasn't sure we were going to last. His lies were absolutely killing me. He would even lie when I was showing him black and white proof that I knew the truth. I couldn't understand how he could look me in the eye, lie to me, then tell me he wanted to be with me and loved me. Amazing!! Since then we have done a lot of marriage studies on our own. We have had no professional counseling. All of our healing and repairing has been through trial and error but also the Lord. We were both backsliders before DD but the affair pushed us back. I understand not everyone on here believes however, it is what has gotten us to the place we are today in our marriage which is better than it has ever been. We still have things to work on but it gets better every day. What I feel helped me was his willingness to admit he was completely at fault and that he has been so understanding with my "craziness" about it all. He stopped all communication with her immediately even though she was still emailing him. He allowed me to put accountability apps on his phone and will hand it over to me whenever I ask even though I don't need it. My h has done everything in his power to make sure that he is being extremely transparent with me about everything including his porn addiction that had been a secret for almost our entire marriage. I just want to say to all the hurting that read this, there is hope! However both have to want it and be willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary. I still have my triggers from time to time as well as moments of heartache. The good thing is that now days they are just moments and not hours, days, or weeks. I wish you all the best and if anyone ever wants to talk, please feel free to contact me. I will be happy to help in any way I can.

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    1. crankviperette, I'm glad you found us. And thank-you for sharing your story. It sounds as though you two have worked hard to get where you are.
      It always sounds a little nuts but I insist that a marriage can be better post infidelity, assuming both partners really work for it. It pushes us out of complacency, which can make any marriage feel pretty lousy. I hope you'll continue to share here and to offer your hard-won wisdom to others.

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    2. Crankviperrette,
      Your story is similar to mine. I've been married 40 yrs and just months ago discovered a poen addiction that has been going on the entire 40 yrs off and on and just recently escalated with the internet into a 5 yr internet porn addiction. Subsequently disclosure of a past affair came out and a visit to a prostitute. I was shocked as my husband was supposedly a scriprure quoting fundamentalist Christian. The affair was even more shocking. The fact that he had this secret life has changed me forever. What is keeping us together us his complete admission and his utter shame about it all and his grief about hurting me. He is in 12 step sex addiction groups and private counseling. He wants to rebuild the marriage. I think I want to but have been so damaged and have so many triggers. I am 65, he is 73 so I am afraid I'm staying for financial reasons and because I'm older. I have vivid dreams about his sexual encounters with the OW who was an ex gielfriend. I wanted details during his disclosure and he told me places where they had sex including in our house where we used to live. Even though this affair happened over 35 yrs ago, to me it just happened! I can't stop dwelling on it and also on all the porn I discovered on his laptop, and the stories of him buying porn movies and magazines during our marriage, and the prostitute he visited at a massage parlor. It is all so shocking. I thought I knew this man for 40 yrs and now I feel our marriage was all a big, fat lie. We always had sex so denial was not an issue. He has been diagnosed with a sex addiction. I'm just not sure I can emotionally deal with this disease..i commemd him for stepping up and he gets frustrated when I keep wanting to talk about all this. Ugh..it all sucks! I feel sad, depressed and angry.

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  14. Thank you Elle and all the great woman on this site! Your insight Elle is spot on! I realize I have been doing what I always have done and that is to try and fix this at the expense of my own feelings! Bc i didnt place value on how I feel/felt neither has my H ! He has always been emotionally closed and I assumed I knew how he felt by what little he shared thru the years. How wrong i was!!! I have learned that my H is a very self centered, selfish man who placed so much blame on me that it was easy for him to do this and lie every single day for 5 years! Thru counseling he has opened up and has told me he felt if I had been meeting his needs he wouldnt have needed to talk to her! Funny things is he never told me i wasnt! Sure, we would fight occasionally and he would say hurtful things but I took that as just angry words! I have soent a lot of time beating myself up for being so blind but slowly, I am putting that crap back on him where it belongs! He became a skillful betrayer and let me see only what he wanted me to see in order to be able to keep up his affair! Finally, I am putting my focus on me and how I feel where it hadnt been for a very long time!
    Finding this site and reading all your stories has helped me feel I am not alone in this painful journey!

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  15. i've been reading the past week or so and have found such comfort in knowing i'm not alone. Elle, you're wonderful and i thank you and all the other ladies here. i wasn't sure whether i'd remain a silent participator or share my story, but i'm having a bad morning so i thought i'd speak up. maybe it will help. sorry in advance for the novella.

    i've been with my husband for almost 15 years. he's divorced with two girls whom i've loved since they were tiny, but now at 16 and 18 i call them my little women. his ex-wife is an alcoholic with her own trunk of issues so they live with us primarily.

    i knew in my gut several weeks ago that something was wrong. i found an influx of messages to a particular number on the phone bill but when i checked his phone to see who it was they'd been deleted. one thursday he unexpectedly had to go to his second job, just to check on something. when i checked the phone bill again i found no one from his job had called or texted him, only this other number. i work in IT, so i installed spyware on his phone and it didn't take long before i had proof. i confronted him. she's an old friend, someone he “dated” when they were 16. she's in an abusive marriage. she'd cried to him about her problems and he apparently told her we were unhappy. they messed around together a few times and then had sex on that thursday.

    full disclosure is that our relationship (obviously) isn't perfect. i always prided myself on our great communication - i thought we could talk about anything. but things have been stagnant for awhile. boring. and not just in the lack of bedroom activities. i'd felt it, but i still loved him and was happy being with him. i figured people go through lulls and we'd get past it. i can take ownership for the things that i may have contributed to being wrong with us, but right now i can't think about anything other than him sneaking around with this other woman.

    i went absolutely crazy. i've barely eaten in weeks and when i do i can't properly keep anything down. a friend i confided in pushed me to see my doctor. she looked me over and listened to everything i'm dealing with and insisted i start taking something daily to level me out, plus something to keep in my purse for emergency moments i spin out of control. i look in the mirror and don't even recognize myself anymore. who is this person taking mood stabilizers just to keep it together?

    to his credit, if he deserves any, i do believe he's sorry for everything. he immediately cut contact with her, went for an STD test, tells me to leave the spyware on his phone as long as i want, and we started therapy yesterday. it went okay i suppose. i've journaled, confided in my friends, read so much of the advice here, but i still have such a hard time trying to move forward when i feel so stuck. it's been about a month since all this started. i know that i need to give it time but i've come to hate time. pardon my french, but f*ck time. i've googled whether it REALLY takes years to recover from something like this. i've read countless stories and journeys. jay-z and beyonce supposedly worked things out in 6 months. that's not so bad, right? i can do six months. i need to be realistic here, i know. it's just that the thought of feeling this way for years scares the hell out of me. i don't know if i'm strong enough.

    he's in a band. i know there are always girls. i know that some have made passes. i know that the one he did this to me with once made a pass. he's always turned them down. he turned her down. until this one time. how am i supposed to get past that? how am i supposed to live with it over my head for the rest of my life?

    thank you so much for letting me share and listening to my current misery. my best friend instructed me to send her a list of 3 things i'm grateful for each day while i go through this garbage. today on my list of gratitudes i'm adding all of you.

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    1. maebe
      How do any of us live with our new knowledge. It’s literally like having the breath sucked out and you struggle to just breathe. I’m not sure if it matters if it’s just one time or long emotionally packed affair. Realizing that he was capable of doing everything that he did is mind boggling! I’m getting through it one day at a time and even if I still have a few bumps. I trigger when my h travels and he knows that but he’s still having to travel because we need the roof over our head. I have read about the time involved and the work that it takes but I never thought it would take this much work for me because I love him right? Well I’m sorry to say but it just takes more time than I thought. I like that we are part of your gratitude! I share that feeling as well!

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    2. Maebe,
      Your friend sounds wonderful -- her advice is spot on.
      But, as you're discovering, unless you've gone through the excruciating pain of betrayal, it's hard to know how you're going to survive it. Time is indeed part of it -- but more to the point, it's what you do with that time. And remember too, the timeline doesn't mean you're going to feel barely functional until some specific time and then magically feel better. You get better incrementally, sometimes sliding back a bit, sometimes leaping forward. So right now is likely the worst of it.
      But, despite you barely recognizing yourself, you sound incredibly stable. You recognize that your marriage wasn't perfect and that each of you played a part in that but you also recognize that his betrayal of you is inexcusable. Those are two separate things. He had plenty of options of how to respond to a lacklustre marriage besides cheating.
      However....I would urge you to keep doing what you're doing. Self-care is crucial. Talk to your friend. Share and read here. Find those small things to be grateful for and notice the days when the light is filtering through the darkness a bit more than the day before.
      Rely on pharmaceuticals without guilt or shame if they help. There's no trophy for surviving infidelity without help.
      Hang in there, maebe. This isn't a sprint but you will heal. And if you take the time to truly rebuild your marriage, you might just find it's gained a richness and a depth that it had lost.

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    3. Maebe, sorry for the late reply, I wanted to offer up some advice on the time span, Don’t put a time on your healing, you can’t rush this unfortunately as much as you’d love to wake up tomorrow and life be back to normal it’s unlikely gonna happen, I’m really sorry your hurting it sucks.time will pass and your feelings will change? You’ll feel happiness again and catch yourself off guard when you laugh, your allowed to feel good so make sure your planning things into your daily routine that make you feel good, a bath, reading a book, painting your nails, going for a walk along the canal or whatever it is. Maebe this site has saved many from the brink of infidelity I’m 4 years from dday 1 and 18 months from d day 2 the same ow on both occasions . She’s a distant memory these days, an annoying itch on others but primarily she’s not on my radar. Nowadays I look after myself firstly then my kids, then my h if I’m not too exhausted with looking after me lol.. we’ve been on a long road of recovery having split following d day 2 we still living separately but it works for us.. different strokes for different folks I guess.. we have 2 boys so we focus on them. If you need any more info just ask maebe but trust me when I say you will be ok .. sending you hugs at this difficult time xx

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  16. Theresa, Elle, thank you.

    i've always been a relatively level-headed person. was in therapy for some issues i went through when i was a teenager, kicked out of my dad's house at 18 and had to learn to take care of myself, lost my mother to illness at 23. i'm a bit of a fighter. when you fall down, you pick yourself up and you keep going. i don't really know any other way to be. my mom had a couple of gems that i quote often -

    "pain is an inevitable part of life. suffering is optional."

    and

    "everybody's got sh*t. it's up to you whether or not you sit in it."

    i guess i'm just finding it harder to apply my usual positive outlook to this than i would to other things. i like to practice positive affirmations, and in place of those lately i've taken a page from StillStanding1's book and started writing down statements of radical acceptance to say aloud instead. it's comforting to me!

    i'm more of a pilates and yoga person, but i was thinking running might be good for me. i thought i'd start slow with morning walks but so far i just turn off my early alarm and lay staring at the ceiling until i run late for work. i'm trying to not beat myself up for that, either. if there are any other runners out there i'd welcome any pointers on getting started.

    today i accept that it's a bad day, and i hold hope that tomorrow will be better.

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    1. Dear maebe,
      My advice to you regarding running; 'just do it'. Don't over think it. Just lace 'em up and go. I did and if I can anyone can. I started with short distance (and I mean short) alone, no music, early morning. Just me, my thoughts, my pain, and the fresh beauty of the day. I put one foot in front of the other, some days adding a few more paces to my run. I'm not able to explain it, but, it did something deep within me, became part of loving myself. I rarely missed, and never shamed myself if I had to do a short one. I didnt quit. It became routine. I craved it. I just offer this as encouragment to you. (Somewhere in the archives Elle talked about her running, and it encouraged me). Maybe it won't end up to be your thing, no judgment here! Keep us posted as you feel to.

      Ps stretch out your hamstrings a little before you head out.

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    2. thank you, Truth :) i'm going to take your advice and try again to start first thing tomorrow!

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  17. My story is very similar to a lot of the ones I have read but also very different in a lot of ways. I know every story is unique in its own way. I hope this isn't too long.
    I recently found out that my husband had watched a porn video. A little background: we are christian and we both agree that we shouldn't watch porn. When I found the video, my husband lied and said he didn't watch it. I let him know that if I found out differently, I would consider separating and that I could only work it out with someone who tells me the truth. He finally admitted that during the past few years, he has watched porn on several occasions. He tells me it was never pre-planned (meaning it was always a spur of the moment thing) and that he always felt guilty about it after. I was so upset that he had been hiding this that I didn't talk to him for a few days.

    When we finally started talking about it, I was asking him questions and one of the questions I asked was "Have you ever considered having an affair?" His answer was, "I had an affair." I was so shocked, I thought I didn't hear him correctly so I asked him to repeat himself and that's exactly what he said. I was devastated and had my first ever (and only) panic attack. I thought I was going to die. I was confused because I didn't think he had time for an affair, I thought I always knew where he was. Like many others that have posted, we have always had a good relationship, or so I thought.

    It turns out that the affair lasted for 3 months from November 2014 to January 2015, and they had sex 4 times during this time period. The thing is, he said he never intended to have an affair, and he didn't go looking for it. He was supposed to meet a group of co-workers for lunch and only one showed up, which is now the OW. He actually found her annoying but during lunch she started talking about sex-related things out of the blue. It caught WH off guard but he kind of liked it and was curious to hear more. They ended up going to lunch a few more times, and she told him she had a crush on him. Of course that made WH feel wanted, but WH says he never reciprocated any feelings for her, he never led her on to think he liked her in that way, but he just liked the sex talk. It was general sex talk and not geared toward each other.

    WH was helping her with some work related stuff (with her new job as she no longer worked with him) and she said it would be better if they went to her place so they could use her laptop. They were sitting on the couch "working" when out of the blue she leaned over to kiss him. WH says he had let his guard down because he didn't anticipate anything like this happening, he felt comfortable being around her, and when she started kissing him he just "lost all control". One thing led to another, and that's the first time they had sex. Afterwards, he was shaking and in shock himself, he couldn't believe that had just happened. He went into a "fog" where he felt like he had already done something so terrible that it could get any worse, so the next time OW seduced him, it happened again. Then again. And again.

    During the last time, WH had an epiphany moment, and decided then and there to cut off the PA completely. I don't think there was ever an EA because he was never emotionally attached to her. I am disappointed that he didn't tell me sooner but when I asked him if he had an affair, he came out on his own and told me the truth. I feel like he's remorseful but was hoping to be able to look at it from different angles so that's why I'm here. He has also done things to assure me that he will never watch porn again. Does he sound like he's truly remorseful? I would only consider R if there was no chance of this ever happening again.

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    1. Elle,
      I would love to hear any comments you might have on my story.
      Thanks for reading.
      CuriousRoze

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    2. CuriousRoze,
      I'm sorry you're here but I'm glad you found us. Sorry for the delay in responding.
      You say that you would only consider reconciliation if there was "no chance" of this ever happening again. But nobody, including your husband, can give you any guarantees. As you no doubt recall, you and your husband "guaranteed" each other, and the world, that this wouldn't happen when you gave each other your wedding vows.
      So a big part of healing from infidelity is coming to terms with this idea that none of us can ever really be sure of another person. But...we can absolutely take steps to minimize the likelihood of it happening again.
      First and foremost, I think is for your husband to really get clear on how it happened in the first place. Sure, she instigated it. But he allowed it. What was he telling himself in those moments that made it okay? What made the porn okay? It's crucial that he understand the stories he was telling himself. I'm also a little nervous of absolutes -- such as he will "never" watch porn again. There's a reason he was watching it. What was it giving him that he wants in his life? If you two can discuss this openly without judgement and with hearts and ears open to each other, then I absolutely think marriages can recover and be stronger. But not if one partner still thinks he/she needs to hide.
      Are you in any sort of therapy with each other, where you can begin to discuss this in a safe, open place? I think some sort of counselling if really important so that each of you feels as though you're being heard.

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    3. Thank you so much for reading my story and for your thoughtful comments. We have done a lot of talking and he was very clear that the reasons he gave me for what he did are not excuses. He just wanted me to understand his thoughts at the time.

      He knew he shouldn't have been meeting her for lunch. For him, he would take one small step at a time, so the next step up would be another small step until it had gone all they way. Does that make sense? He knew it was wrong, but also didn't think it would end up the way it did. Once it did go too far, it was either own up to what he did and face the consequences, or not deal with it, and that's what he chose. I won't go into detail about the epiphany he had, but it helps to know that after that moment of clarity, he immediately cut off all physical contact with the OW.

      He also did not realize the huge impact porn had on his thinking. He saw it as "just this time" each time then always felt bad afterwards. It was never okay in his mind, but he would just give in when the temptation came up.

      Thankfully, we had an excellent therapist who went through a pornography treatment workshop one-on-one with him (I got to attend with him too) and it seems porn was not the root of the problem, but masturbation to relieve feelings of stress, boredom, or being alone were. Since he has stopped masturbation, he has had zero desire to view porn. He also learned what other things he could do when he's feeling stressed, alone, or bored.

      Throughout the therapy, she also did marriage counseling as time permitted and went over boundaries, etc. He always knew the boundaries, but now he understands why they are so important in the first place. He thought he could play with fire and not get burned. He has since been very careful about who he has any sort of personal conversation with.

      Thanks again for your comments.
      -CuriousRoze

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    4. CuriousRoze,
      It sounds as if your husband has done a lot of soul-searching, which is good, of course. But remember that your pain needs attention too and all the "recovery" in the world on his part doesn't necessarily reduce your pain, which is completely legitimate.

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  18. I'm not a betrayed wife (or a woman at all for that matter), but as a person who has been through the wringer of infidelity and come out on the other side, I find this blog to be very well done. I was a member of most of the well-known infidelity support sites, and they are generally train wrecks...either too pro-cheating spouse, or too pro-reconciliation at all costs. Kudos to Elle for being so insightful.

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    1. Hi Clint B.
      welcome to the club no one wants to join! Elle certainly is amazing. We don't get many guys here, so would love to hear your story when you are ready - how many years ago this happened, and how you are feeling now. Just wondering if it takes as long for men to get through this as women. I hope you are ok.
      Gabby

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    2. Hi Clint B.,
      No, we don't get a lot of men though the occasional one finds himself here, in part, I think, because there doesn't seem to be a lot of support for betrayed husbands out there, which is a shame. Infidelity doesn't discriminate on the basis of gender. It sucks, no matter what. And it takes a long time to work through the pain and come out the other side. The mandate of this site (if it has one beyond "be kind") is that none of us can ever possibly know what's "right" for another person in terms of whether to rebuild a marriage or leave so the focus is instead on healing ourselves so that, however we end up, we'll be okay.
      Please don't hesitate to join in the conversation. You are more than welcome here.

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  19. CuriousRoze, I am not sure this will be helpful. I am so glad your husband went through with therapy and the porn workshop. I never had much of an issue with porn, until I found that for some men (like my H) it was a kind of gateway drug because he is a sex addict. But i digress. ]

    My first marriage I had been married about a year and I was VERY young. I had a really great connection with a co-worker. We didnt see much of each other because our shifts only overlapped a short while, but we saw each other at work functions and meetings and the like and I found him quite attractive and fun and i could tell the attraction went both ways...we had chemistry, in spite of the fact that I was married..

    One night after one of these functions he asked me over to his house for a beer. Thinking back, I know this is ridiculous, but I thought to myself-"im married, so nothing will happen" I'm MARRIED, so we will just hang out, IM MARRIED and we're just friends. UGH. i really thought being married made me Untouchable..that I would never try to take it further nor would this guy.

    well, he did and I left feeling SO much shame and guilt. We still flirted afterwards and remained friends for a long time, but I will never forget the lesson I learned that day. That I am still human, and that things don't "just "happen" I chose to flirt, i chose to choose his company and i chose to go to his house in the middle of the night. I was a friggin idiot to think nothing was going to happen, but it made me realize quite young that things can spin out of control very quickly when you think you have it all under control or you try to rationalize your behaviour

    I am not a VP Mike Pence fan at all, but I totally understand why he does not have dinner alone with a member of the opposite sex. I still will occasionally, but I know my level of attraction to the person--or if none exists at all, I tell my H exactly where I will be and i never EVER go to a single man's house if I feel any energy flowing one way or another. If I choose to go with someone who I have a strong attraction to then I know exactly what can happen. and I choose for it NOT to happen and NOT to get myself into situations like that, not since that night.

    I trust that your husband has learned the same lesson and I bristle at the statement "it just happened". no. we INVITE it and ALLOW it to happen. There are a lot of steps to get there, skip just one of those steps and you can avoid a damaging situation. My hope for you both is that he's learned that. it's a painful and helpful tool
    Best thoughts to you.

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  20. Swan on the surface
    The short answer is yes that’s a perfectly normal way for you to process though the pain. I’m so sorry you found this blog because I know exactly how you feel. I’m glad you did find us because this site has kept me somewhat sane for 3 moving to 4 years keep posting and these wonderful women will guide you through! Sending hugs!

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  21. Swan on the surface, welcome to the club nobody wants to join. I'm 2 years 6 months past his disclosure and days away from our 39th wedding anniversary. My spouse brought his maladaptive sexual stuff into our marriage and although I've read thousands of pages, watched hundreds of videos and posted here a lot, the pain of his history of cheating and prostitutes still crushes my heart. I'm doing so much better than I was thanks to this blog and all the wonderful, strong, creative women who share their lives and stories. We all live our own version of "normal" and you live yours. We get to the point where we recognize when we need to change some things and if not, a post or two here usually allows our secret sisters to point out things we are blinded to or just did not think through. Welcome sister. Keep breathing.

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  22. I found out on New Years Eve. Does this mean every future New Years will be a trigger, a memorial to my pain, a reminder that you weren’t who I thought you were?

    I will be standing there at some party, a cool glass of champagne in hand, remembering text messages assuring her that you would not be sharing a bed with me tonight, or that you had a dream she was sitting spread eagle in a sink, shaving, or that you like having a sweet gentle lover like her.

    Everyone will be wearing shiny party hats and eating stuffed mushrooms and I’ll be empty in the chest, remembering the “you and our kids are always the most important to me.”, the “I would never cheat, especially not with her”, the “I’m sorry you’re feeling uncomfortable about her, but there’s nothing going on, thanks for letting me know how you feel.”

    You’ve fucked up my beach, my trip to Mexico, my house, my store, my friendships, my trust, my great love, my family. And all of my future New Years parties.

    And it’s January 9th and I haven’t yet decided on my resolutions for this year.

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    1. Anonymous
      I’m so sorry you found this blog! Not one of us ever expected to be here including our founding sister Elle! I’m glad you did find us since every single one of us knows just how you feel! It sucks so bad that first year...I can’t lie about that but you begin to reclaim the holidays...one at a time. It’s a process that each one of us goes through our own way...no right way except that you find your own way and with the help of every one of these brave ladies, we will give our knowledge of what worked for us but you have to realize that we are all still struggling with one day at a time and one step in our own right direction! Sending hugs!

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  23. Very short version, husband met a woman 3 years ago who pursued him over a 20 month period in which they met up about every 6 weeks for a couple of hours in a hotel( yes I hacked his phone and got texts dating back 3 years) so I know she did all the chasing. It has been over for over a year - he finally ended it by refusing to meet her, not answering calls etc. Since finding out about 5 months ago, I spent the first 2/3 months hating everything about her but since then I’m questioning him and why he allowed himself to be pursued and never had the guts to say no initially. It’s like he never fought and he even said he let it carry on because he was scared a- she would tell me and b- tell her husband who she said would come after him.
    So it’s like finding out again and being thrown back into the turmoil. He admits he did it because it was exciting and he was getting away with something he knew was wrong. He says it wasn’t about her and that it wasn’t her he was into, she was just there and convenient. He can’t explain what was wrong with us, me or why he felt the need to do it. We both agree we had/ have unless I’m having bad days a very happy marriage. But this is not enough for me as I’m really struggling to process it all. Any words of wisdom or shoulders to cry on?

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  24. Swan on the surface
    I hear you. You can cry on my shoulder.
    My husband's new whore, another work colleague, also pursued him and the two of them had a friendship that way overstepped the boundaries of marriage which equated to an emotional affair - then physical. For him, it was all about getting his ego stroked. He's a narcissist, and an entitled piece of shit.
    Your husband has a cheek to say he let it carry on and for the reasons he gave! My god. The excuses they give!
    I only hope you are both in MC as your marriage can not heal on your own. If he's prepared to go to MC with you, try and hang in there to sort through all this shit storm he's thrown your way.
    PS I'm impressed with your detective skills.
    Hugs
    Gabby xo

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    1. Hi Anonymous!
      I was just reading thru aome comments and saw your with the big N word (narcissist) and I feel your pain. My H has been diagnosed with N and now it all makes sense! The blame towards me for everything under the sun, the excuses as to why he did what he did, and the big item....his EGO! Its funny how much I ignored thru the years while his ego was growing to the size of china! And how I didnt notice that he found a person to stroke that ego fir 5 years in an emotional relationship with my sister!!
      We are in MC but how do I believe anything he says when I have learned how easy it became to lie?
      I feel like its two steps forward and then I see something in him and we go three steps back!
      Is it the same for you? Do we have a chance at a real/truthful marriage?
      Feeling so frustrated!!
      Thanks Gabby for sharing!
      Sue

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  25. It is almost two years since discovery and I'm still discovering.
    After discovery, I left for a week, only coming back to pack my personal belongings. When I met my husband I told him no second chances. I never refused sex with him nor my first husband. I said I don't understand why a man would seek sex out of the marriage if there was a willing woman waiting at home. First husband had one night stands. This is my husband's first affair.
    She chased him for 2 years before he asked her out for coffee. I saw it and told him she was interested in him. She was very obvious. The first time they had coffee, she told him she was happy in her marriage and that it wasn't her first affair. She said they would only be friends and when she was bored she will move on. Oh and they were not to talk about their spouses. Yea right.
    Early in their affair, I was told by a friend of mine he was seen with another woman, but I just shrugged it off as he volunteers (he's retired) and picks up other volunteers some of which are women. A month later, friends (husband and wife) stopped in to visit but my husband was at a committee meeting and when I told them that he asked me if I was sure that where he was but his wife stopped him from saying anything else. My husband and I were in our local grocery store picking up a few items after visiting our grandchildren. He was standing at the end of an aisle while I was further down getting whatever it was when I saw her coming up to him saying you didn't tell me you were going to be here, then she saw me and turned on her heels and walked away. I asked him what did she want and he said I don't know. I didn't tell him I heard what she said. That was the Saturday before my discovery. Sunday night I fell asleep on the couch watching tv when I suddenly woke up. I noticed him texting then smiling. I waited a second or two and asked who was he texting. He said a random friends name and I mentioned it was strange for them texting this late in the evening. I stayed up. About 15 minutes later he said let go to bed. Which we did but by then, I made up my mind that when he fell asleep I was going to check his phone. We both fell asleep. The next morning when my alarm went off, he got up to take the dogs for their morning walk. I jumped out of bed and grabbed his phone. I saw their texts. Him - Hi. Her - Hello. Her - what did you do today? Him - I was outside with nothing on but my boxers. Her - I want to slide my hand up your boxers and touch him. Him - Grrrrr. Her - and slide him inside me. Him - 9 and a half hours. Her - Awwww you’re counting the hours. Him - I'll bring the cockring. The remainder of the texts weren't viewed so after I read them I saved them as unread. Her - don't like the ring. She waited a few minutes then text - XOXO. That was the only text messages between them as he would immediately delete them when they were done sexting.
    After viewing the messages, I went into the shower. During my shower my mind was reeling, I decided I was going to look at the messages again. Guess I wanted to make sure I saw what I saw as the contact name was a man. My husband is x sailor and I heard him and coworkers talk to one another that way. When I went to look again, his phone was gone. Yup I saw what I saw. After I was ready to leave for work I looked at him and told him he was too late getting his phone, I saw the texts. I was in shock, I just left and drove to work. Still today I don't know how I got there without any incidents.
    When I got to work I went on his phone account and got her cell number. I put the number in facebook and her profile came up. It was that woman that I told him was chasing him.

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    1. I'm so sorry for what you're going through Eileen. I'm glad you found us here. There's a whole lot of wisdom in the words of the women here. We know the pain you're in. And we can promise you it won't last forever.

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  26. my husband and I have been together for 10 years married 6. he has always had a problem with cheating. we moved to a different state because I thought having his mom close would help. we have 4 kids we just bought a house and car. he made me quit my job and be a stay at home mom. this was never in my plans. now he is openly cheating with another married woman.He isn't even hiding it from the kids. I don't know what to do. I want to leave him but I cant afford a lawyer. I just need to get me and my kids out.

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    1. Anon, what does your Mother In law think of this? If the kids are aware I would assume she is aware as well? If he’s going to openly do this in front of you and the kids then that becomes a very unhealthy situation. If he’s working and you are a stay at home mom, you essentially are working and gave up you job to do so. I would call around and see if you could meet with someone to explore your options and discuss an exit plan. You more than likely can get on a payment plan. He’s going to need to come to grips with this impacting him financially one way or another. You can bet he would be faced with alimony and child support, so why on earth would he move to make a change? So for now he’s gonna have his cake and eat it. You need to get your plans in order and take care of you and your kids. He’s going to continue this behavior until consequences hit him. Clean up your act and be a role model and father/husband or understand that a lifestyle change is in order to make things better for your kids. I would hop your MIL would support you and have your back.

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    2. Anonymous, Yes, please get yourself to a lawyer and figure out what you're entitled to. What he is doing is emotional abuse. His control of your life is emotional abuse. You need to get help and get away from this. You have options. Take even just one small step today to figure out what they are so that you can come up with plan. You will feel so much more empowered once you realize there are ways out of this.

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  27. My H and I met 8 years ago and we were never really suited from the beginning. We had nothing in common and our relationship was never really “easy” and didn’t flow well. Nevertheless we went on to have a child, we were both at an age where we were ready and we fell pregnant really easily. I really should have listened to my gut from the beginning. He was a heavy drinker and also into porn but because I was a drinker as well I ignored all the red flags. He was also in business with his family and his life was pretty much about alcohol and his family business. He had no interest in anything else and drank every night to relieve the stress of work. Our relationship became functional and we decided to have another child to give our son a sibling. Nothing really changed with his drinking. I was incredibly lonely but did my best to look after our children and run the house. By this stage s*x was non-existent. Our relationship broke down and we eventually it got to the point where we realised we couldn’t go on like that so he moved into an apartment down the road. In my mind our relationship was over. One night I went out with some friends and I met someone. I exploded inside the moment I looked at this man. But I struggled a lot with how I felt about this other man because I started to question if there were some things I could have done differently with my H (at this stage I didn’t know that he had ever cheated on me). About a week later I decided to look on the computer at his iMessages and there it all was, Messages of him booking his “happy ending” massage parlours several times a week, high-class hookers (one he even hired the night after our daughter was born while I was in hospital recovering from a C section). I was shocked and sat there for hours reading it all. A few days later he confessed but justified it all as being lonely and craving physical touch. He claimed that there were 5 of them in total spanning 3 years but that he “only had s*x with 2 of them, the others he just cuddled.” Now that I understand my H better, what he was really saying is that he was too drunk to have s*x with the others. So pathetic.
    So I started seeing this other man and it was magic. I fell very hard for him and I told my H about him. My H decided to go to my family and seek solace in them and for them to all get together to “make me come to my senses, stop this nonsense with this other man and go home to my family.” He cried and told them how heartbroken he was that I was off with someone else and that he only cheated because he was lonely and I wasn’t being intimate with him. Meanwhile, he was still visiting massage parlours! I pleaded with them to listen to how unhappy I was and that he had been cheating on me for all those years but they didn’t care. They said “what did you expect – you weren’t sleeping with him.” They felt that I would be a “loser single mum” and that I needed the financial security of staying with my H. Everyone just wanted this whole mess to go away so we could all go back to pretending we were some kind of functional family. My sister and I will probably never speak again as her attack on me to beat me down was relentless and savage and I will never get past some of her behaviour. My mother isn’t well and probably won’t live long and she may die before we reconcile. In March last year I tried to take my life. I just couldn’t understand why my family were treating me this way. I needed them and they turned their backs on me.
    Where I find myself today is still spinning and unable to make a decision. I let the other man go because it all just got too much with everything happening with my family. I decided to go back to my H but I can’t seem to get past all of his betrayal. He is pressuring me to get past everything and be intimate with him again but every time he touches me, I want to scream. I can’t even stand his leg touching mine in bed. I’m so afraid to separate from him as I have no family support and it’s so scary with 2 young kids. I feel like I know what I want to do but I am too scared.

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    1. Indigo,
      Every thing in your letter is screaming that you want out. And, frankly, that sounds like a good idea. The problem seems to be the power your family has over you and your choices. But they aren't the ones living your life. It's YOURS. YOU get to decide how it turns out. In your case, the cheating is almost immaterial. You weren't happy with him before you discovered his cheating. And I don't buy the lack of touch excuse. He had plenty of options to talk this over with you, to seek counselling, to ask for a separation or to simply ask you for an open marriage. Instead, he lied.
      Indigo, get yourself to a lawyer so you can figure out what you're entitled to. And then, if I were you, I'd suggest a separation so that you and your husband can be more clear-headed about the next step. He needs to get his drinking under control (and I would ask you to take a hard look at your own drinking and determine if it needs to change). And your family needs to mind their own business. I'm sorry about your mom. I hope you can spend some time with her before she dies without allowing her to tell you how to live your life.
      Nobody who leaves a miserable marriage is a "loser single mom". The single moms I know are strong and smart and fierce. They are women who would rather be alone than lonely within a marriage. So start paying attention to how much space in your brain you're giving to other people to tell you how to live your life. And start asking yourself what YOU want and how you're going to achieve it.
      Hang in there, Indigo. You will get through this. But it's a whole lot easier when you silence the chorus of outsiders telling you what to do.

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  28. I have spent a lot of time reading all of your posts and it has helped knowing Im not alone or crazy for the way I feel. I found out my husband was having an emotional affair with my sister 11 months ago and if I had a crystal ball to see I would still be hurting this bad after almost a year I would have left!
    We have been married 34 years and I thought this man was my best friend. With a friend like him who needs enemies, right?!?
    It has been crushing to learn he is not who I thought he was and my life with him wasnt what it seemed.
    I do not know how to move forward with our marriage knowing what I do. There seems to be no safety or comfort in our relationship now.
    His relationship with her is over as is mine with her. My relationship with her had been over for a few years already due to her addictions and abuse towards me. He knows how much pain she caused me and SAID he supported my decision to cut her out and yet chose to keep her in his life. It wasnt just an occasional conversation, it developed into some sick addiction itself with them talking sometimes 10x a day the last 3 years(first two years it was 1 a day). We moved out of state 4 years ago so I know there wasnt any physical relationship, or at least I think I know as he would travel back for bussiness occasionally. I dont even know if that matters bc I dont think that would make it any worse for me.
    So here I am 11 months later and I can not seem to find forgiveness for all the lies, all the blame he held towards me, I trusted him 100% !
    I want it to work but I just do not know if it can. It feels like everything I thought and felt in the last 5 years was just me being a fool!
    How do I shake this feeling and go on living? I am hopelessly stuck!

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    1. Strongernow,
      What a betrayal! With your sister!! Of course, you're struggling to reconcile his betrayal of you with the person you thought you could trust most in the world.
      But here's the thing. A year feels like an eternity...but you're still really raw in terms of healing from betrayal. Most experts say three to five years and, I'll be honest, I was pretty close to five. That doesn't mean I didn't feel better within those years, just that I didn't really feel it was behind me. At one year out, I had no idea if I was going to ultimately stay or go. I was just getting through the day, albeit with less tears than in the weeks following D-Day.
      My advice to you is to worry less about your marriage and whether it will work out and more on you and your healing. Two people in your life betrayed you. I suspect you feel very alone. And you've got a mountain of pain to process.
      So take time to do that. To not feel as though you should be on some timeline that means you should feel better by xx date but rather to just let yourself heal in your own time.
      Do you have a counsellor to help you through this? Do you journal your thoughts? Do you have a trusted friend to whom you can turn?
      Is your husband able to support you in this? Is he taking the time to sort through what the HELL he was thinking??
      As for feeling like a fool -- trust me, there were fools in this situation but it was NOT you. You were a loyal, trusting wife who believed her husband and counted on him to ensure the marriage was emotionally safe. He let you down in the worst possible way. That's on him.
      Your job is to be gentle with yourself.
      And to give yourself permission to grieve and process the pain without any deadline.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Elle! Just hearing someone say that Im not “stuck”” or that I should “find forgiveness” has helped tremendously! I do feel very alone and these posts help me feel like I have people who understand! My “person” whas my H, and although our marriage wasnt perfect I saw him as my friend. I have confided in a friend of mine and she was my shoulder to cry on in the beginning but I have stopped sharing my feelings with her bc I can tell she thinks I should either forgive him or leave. And right now I cant seem to do either!
      I just returned home from a vacation with my children and feeling alive and laughing with them has made me realize just how empty and alone I have been. They are both adults now but they do not know any of this and I will keep it that way. They both adore their father and I cant break their hearts the way mine has be broken. These last few days being home I realized I have been so consumed wiith trying to fix this, fix my marriage, that I have forgotten me! Im glad to hear that I am not the only one who doesnt know if I should stay or leave after almost a year from D day!
      I am reconsidering if I want to continue MC right now. We have both been frustrated that it doesnt seem to help and I am womdering if it is bc I am not ready. I know he will be very upset if I say I want a break from it bc he sees it as a sign that I want to stay. He has become so needy that I get anxiety when I know he will be coming home from work. He is relieved the affair is over and that he has been able to share how unhappy he was and tell me all the things he couldnt find the courage to say before/during the affair. Isnt that just perfect?!? He breaks my heart but feels better and excited to have the kind of marriage he has apparently longed for!! I asked him why he stayed if he was so secretly miserable and his answer was....”I love you and I always knew things would get better” . Things would get better???? How the hell did he think anything could get better while he was lying to me every damn day for 5 years! I just do not understand who and what he turned into right under my nose and I didnt see it! Who is this man that became such a good actor? I never suspected a single thing and I only found out bc I happened to look at our phone bill more closely bc it had gone up and I scrolled past his phone line to look at our elderly uncles line. Imagine my surprise when I saw her number over and over again! At this point I hadent spoken to her in over a year!
      Im rambling on bc I have absoluetly noone to share with! Thank you all for being here!!
      Sue

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    3. Sue,
      It's the height of irony, isn't it? So many of these guys are relieved when the affair is over and they can finally talk about their true feelings. And yet, it takes them shattering us to get there. So yippee for them, right? While they're celebrating their newfound emotional freedom, we're curled in the fetal position on the floor wanting to die.
      It seems as though you spend a lot of time "protecting" your husband from your uncomfortable feelings. He doesn't get to use you as a security blanket while he deals with the guilt and shame of what he did. That's what therapy is for. And if he's not in individual therapy, then he should be. And maybe that's where you two should start. Him dealing with his stuff, you working through your own pain and then deciding, down the road, about putting the marriage back together or not.
      I couldn't do marriage counselling right away. I needed to stem my own bleeding first and my therapist was a life-saver, literally. In the meantime, my husband was seeing someone himself to sort through his messy stuff. And it was watching him really wrestle with a lot of demons that helped me respect him again. I saw how hard he was working.
      Sue, it's not your job to take care of your husband. It's your job to take care of you so that whatever relationship you show up in, you're showing up as your best self. No resentment, no guilt. Just you, wanting to be there.

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  29. 23 years together and I find out, yet again, that he is having MULTIPLE texting and online "affairs". I know that it's not just online, he's visited with many of them but denies having sex. New condoms have shown up in our "sex bag"...not used...but we don't use condoms, so why is he even buying them? Dick pics galore, Snapchat, Sexting, etc. This isn't the first time. I know it's constant but it's only when I get suspicious of him that I investigate and find out everything I've been pretending isn't happening. I'm afraid that financially, I can't do it alone, but I don't want to feel this way anymore. Help.

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    1. Anonymous,
      I'm so sorry you're going through this again. Did you have any consequences in place in case you discovered he was cheating again? If so, what were they?
      I would start, if I was you, by making an appointment with a lawyer to determine exactly what your financial picture would be if you left. I suspect it's not as dismal as you think. And then I would ask myself, what price, exactly, I was putting on my peace of mind. It's worth a lot to be able to not worry about what your husband is doing and with whom. It's worth a lot to treat yourself with respect and to have only people in your life who do the same.
      You have a possible life that doesn't involve checking your husband's actions and then feeling devastated when you discover what you kinda knew you'd discover. You deserve better than this.

      Delete
    2. Glad I was able to find this post. It's still going on and has consumed my life. Checking the phone log, searching numbers, linked his Google account to my phone so I see emails (nothing there), search history (so. much. porn.)...linked his messenger only to find the most disgusting conversations happening, in real time...instead of confronting him and leaving, I threatened the women, taking screenshots and saying I would post the conversations on their friend's timelines. I'm exhausted. I give up. It prevents me from being productive at work, it makes me feel like I have to be a porn star, I forget who I am and have no idea what I should be anymore. I confront, get mad, give the silent treatment, then forgive. We aren't married so I get nothing, he has nothing anyways and we rent. We live week to week. I could very easily go stay with my parents. Our daughter and her boyfriend live with us though, so I can't up and leave. I feel like once they fly the coupe, I'll be ready to do the same. We love so hard when we love, and have fun most of the time, but those moments are now outweighed by the constant sexting. He has tried therapy, only to get into an emotional sexting relationship with the therapist. I can't win. I should obviously leave, right?

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  30. I have hesitated to share because I did not go through it in “real time”. Due to a damage caused by a bad therapist and the addition of alcohol, 6 months ago I found out about an affair my husband had 30 years ago. It feels like it shouldn’t matter now, and it is embarrassing to admit how much pain it has caused me.

    The high points:
    - We have been married for 41 years, and have no children
    - He taught martial arts and she was a student
    - I dug myself in deeper and asked questions (which I wish now he did not answer) and found out it went on for a year. They had sex after class in the dressing rooms after everyone else left. She went with him to a week-long martial art workshop out of town (while I was at home missing him)
    - One of my many first reactions was to feel my whole marriage was a sham (of course he cannot understand why I feel that way – “the best times of my life have been with you”)
    - I am heart broken, I am angry, I am sad, I have cried every day since I found out (in private)
    - I feel played for a fool, I am humiliated, I should have known
    - I have read self-help books, books on mindfulness, tried to meditate
    - Reading advice like “let it go”, “live only in the present”, “give up what you can’t control”, etc. make me very angry, like I can JUST CHOOSE to let it go
    - More helpful are readings about forgiveness being a process, and that healing comes in waves, that it is not linear
    - I am trying to live in the present, and enjoy his company (because I really do)
    - But I am discouraged because as soon as I think there is some healing, the constant negative thoughts overtake me (and the painful visuals, and the many questions)
    - I can’t think about events in our past without thinking about if it was before or after the affair, all my memories of our past have become painful
    - I overthink, I analyze, but I know the answers are not there and they never will be
    - Talks/fights with my husband about it just end up going in circles and make me feel worse, so now I keep the pain to myself
    - I realize he cannot say the words that will make me feel better (whatever those are)
    - I realize that for him it really is ancient history, he is not thinking about it, that the drama now is only in my head, that it doesn’t really need to impact my life with him, but that is not helping me feel better right now
    - I want closure that will never come
    - I cannot talk to any of my friends about it, and attempts with 2 therapists were not helpful
    - I am tired
    - I am too old for this s**t






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    1. Anonymous,
      You are so not alone. Plenty of us discover things after the fact -- sometimes LONG after the infidelity. And that makes no difference at all. To you, this happened yesterday. To you, your marriage has a huge question mark hanging over every part of it. We wonder what was "real". We feel foolish and humiliated. And yes, we feel tired. And frankly, none of us should have to deal with this shit, no matter our age.
      Ignore the advice that doesn't work. Telling you to "live in the present" is ridiculous. And, to be honest, you ARE living in the present. Your JUST discovered a long buried secret. The fallout from that is happening for you NOW.
      And, as you're discovering, healing from that betrayal is a process.
      Of course, you're going to have a zillion questions as you try to make sense of your marriage and its history. You're rewriting your history with this new information inserted into it.
      That's a normal and, I believe, healthy part of the process. Less healthy (but common) are the "mind movies" -- the imagining of the infidelity. How it came about, what it looked liked, etc. There's nothing to be gained from that and, honestly, what you're imagining is probably nothing like what actually happened. Life is not a porn movie.
      Your husband needs to accept that you need support through this -- and support comes in the form of listening to you, of answering your questions, of holding you when you need it and leaving you alone when you need it. He needs to respond as if the infidelity was yesterday because, to you, it was. The pain is raw and acute and NOW.
      I'll also challenge some of your beliefs: Closure can come. With time and work. The right therapist is out there. Don't be afraid to keep trying. You might "overthink, overanalyze," etc but that's who you are. There's nothing "wrong" with you.
      Anonymous, you didn't deserve this. But you will get through this. Treat yourself gently. Be kind to yourself. Trust that you have the strength to get through this and that you can, with time and work, get all the answers you need. If one of the answers is why do good men in happy marriages cheat? It's usually because they told themselves a story in which it was okay. It's up to your husband to dig deep and figure out what he was telling himself that make this okay. And to share that with you, along with what he learned about himself and how he reconciled it in his own head/heart.
      Hang in there, Anon. You'll get there.

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    2. Dear anonymous February 5, 10:28,
      I am so sorry for your pain. It is very understandable that you are feeling this way, the wound is a fresh one to you.
      You said you haven't shared here before but I hope you've been visiting this site and spending time digging in the archives. It,and my faith, are the things that kept me sane.
      I am almost three years out and can affirm many of the things you read here.
      -you will make it thru
      -care, respect, and love yourself
      -you are beautiful,stronger than you think
      -believe that you are only responsible for
      your own actions, not the actions of others
      -it's OK to let people see you've been crying
      -it does get better with time
      -let your senses find things that please
      (I remember in early days loving and
      concentrating on the feel of the breeze on
      my arms, listening to the sound of it in the
      trees, watching the beauty of sunrise and
      sunset, loving the feel of my throw,
      enjoying the warmth of my coffee mug.
      And I mean for endless spans of time.
      Just being still with my pain and a small
      pleasure for comfort).
      -you will be stronger for it
      -value yourself, do not rely on others'
      estimation of you for your worth
      -be your own friend and cheerleader
      -speak up for yourself
      I would read many of these things from others, not feeling them myself and wonder 'will I ever move along, will I ever feel that'? I have. Not without many sad days and a lot of hard work on myself, but I have!
      I am one of those , now, that can truly say I have good days, feel happiness again, feel some warmth towards h, my thoughts aren't consumed with 'it'.
      Hang in there! Better days are ahead! I hope your h can show you he is doing the work that Elle mentioned above. I read from others that many times you need to ask and explain to h, explicitly, just what it is that you need and expect because they aren't going to go there and figure it out on their own. Speaking up for myself was so uncomfortable but it got easier the more practice I had.
      You are so not alone, even if you feel your circumstances differ from other's here.
      Visit and post as often as you feel the need to. These women are a big soft resting place.

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    3. Thank you so much for your reply. At first, I could not bring myself to read the stories of others, but now am finding this sight very helpful. The communication we had about it at first was so painful, I just cannot go there again at this time, maybe later. Despite my pain, I feel I am stronger than he is, as strange as that may sound.

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    4. Anonymous, I've been married 39 years and my husband disclosed his past to me in June 2015 by saying he thought he had AIDS because he had been paying for sex for years! Then he told me had had a brief affair in 1981! If you recall that photo of the young girl running naked in VietNam after being burned by napalm, that is how I felt when he told me. I was stunned, had no idea of his secret life and felt like my whole marriage was a lie and a farce. I/We are still together and for the most part, pretty stable and happy. I still trigger badly at times. I just made an appointment with a new therapist who specializes in sex addiction to see if she can help me deal with "mind movies" and triggers that abound. This is so hard. My husband feels great shame about his behavior and choices and promises never to do anything to hurt me again. All of us have different stories but we all have pain from the actions and behaviors of the person we trusted with our soul. To know that my husband can have meaningless sex with strangers just sickens me and I've told him that. It sickens him too. After he went to counseling he told me so many truths about his past and childhood which led him to use self-soothing sex from a young age. He does not handle stress well at all and now we know it. We both turn 67 this year. He has to live with his story for the rest of his life. I have to live with his story too. When I first found out I promised myself and him that I would stay for a year unless he watched porn or bought sex again. That was a deal breaker. He got off all social media too. He gave me all passwords and he sold a car and so many more things to make my life easier. It is really hard to look at the person who you thought you knew only to find out they had another side of them that is so not what you would have ever guessed. Please find a good therapist so you have someone to talk to. If you don't like her then try another one. Having someone to talk to really helps as does this site. This blog has saved my life on many occasions. Much love and a warm hug from someone who knows that pain in your back from being stabbed.

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    5. Beach girl- I can relate to so much of your post. Knowing now that he had a secret life, and feeling like my long marriage has been a farce. I am very leary of therapists right now, 2 recent bad experiences. I cannot bring myself to talk to any of my friends about it. At first I could not even bear to read anything on this site as it was so painful, but now I am able to do so. That is helping. I am carrying on and keeping things to myself. I hide the tears, but they still come daily and I really wish for the time that this is not always on my mind. Will post/reply now as mel (instead of anonymous).

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    6. mel, thank you for the response. I've been watching some videos about sex addiction evaluation and also on betrayal recovery. Specifically I watched the two part Steven Stosny Living and Loving After Betrayal. Those were very easy to follow for the most part and made so much sense to me although I am 2 years and 8 months out. My husband's issues are deeply rooted in childhood abuse, neglect and trauma and until this all happened and we both had some counseling I would have never known about his life. There are things he shared with me that are terrible. I know he did not care at all about the prostitutes and I doubt he cared about the two time fling way back when. The fact that he did not care about the women does not lessen my pain but I am slowly trying to move forward. Stosny talks about our Core Values and getting back to them for recover of self. That makes so much sense. I can't change the past or control my husband's actions today or tomorrow but I have to learn to control myself and my emotions because they are slowly killing me. I now have a heart issue from stress. Kind of sucks but he is committed to caring for me and today I know he is sincere. I'm on my third therapist myself. If you can find someone who understands intimate betrayal or a Gottman trained therapist, please give it another try. You are worth it my dear secret friend. We all are. What I know for sure is that although my husband had a secret life, not all of our marriage was false a lie. He had a secret, yes. We did have a family and shared a lot of good times but they were never related to his acting out. He is a very hurt man who is healing. We had a convoluted conversation last week when I triggered badly and I asked him why he did not feel badly giving our daughter away at her wedding knowing where his hands had been on girls younger than her and he said, "No". My family life had nothing to do with the fact that I hated myself and wanted to die. WTF? Again, I can only work on me and I will leave him to work on him. We have very strong boundaries now and I did see an attorney early one to make sure I knew my rights and what I was entitled to should we divorce but I really did not want to divorce him because I love him. I love him even though he made those awful choices but we both know that those choices can never be made again without severe consequences. It is easier for me to love him knowing how awful his childhood was because I understand how adverse childhood experiences color the way we all grow up and the choices we make. I may never forgive him but I don't know that yet. I will likely never fully trust him again and he knows that. He just assures me that he plans to live his life according to his Core Values and those include feeling fully the pain and joy and not medicating with sex. Much love.

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  31. Thank you for your kind reply. In an ideal world I would get all the answers I need, but I know I will not. That is why I feel that real closure is not going to happen. He is incapable of discussing it. There are many reasons for that (abusive childhood being one) and I understand some of those. The only options I see now are to either leave because of a 30 year old affair that he cannot help me through or to accept the situation and carry on. I have thought long and hard about this and I feel there is too much here to lose. I want to stay. I am thinking there must be others out there who choose to stay and move beyond it even though there is not an ideal "resolution".

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    1. Anonymous
      It takes a long time to accept the mess he made and much longer to reconcile that we’re never going to understand why he made such a stupid choice and it really doesn’t matter if his affair is 30 years ago or just last month! I’m one of those that chooses every day that I want to be with my h and because of the changes I have witnessed and the way he treats me daily, it’s becoming easier to live in the present and I find that it doesn’t bother me as much as in the beginning but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still feel that deep hurt down in my heart! I’m still a work in progress! Sending you hugs and understanding!

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    2. Theresa, I am new on this site and feel encouraged to read your reply to anonymous. My husband is working super hard on himself and has dramatically changed the way he treats and communicates with me. I'm still not sure what I want to do, but it is encouraging to read of others that chose to stay. Thanks!

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    3. Brokenbella
      I’m glad I could give you encouragement. I’m so sorry for what you’re living through but I’m glad you found this blog! It’s still a big blessing for me! This is a very confusing process when we are first learning of our h betrayal! Each one of us goes through similar feelings and each one of us deals with it in our own way and time. If you’ve read enough of this blog, you will find that most of us have ups and downs and each of us has to come to our own place with our h and it all depends on how much work our h is willing to do and it also depends on our individual choices of stay with or separate from our h. That said just know that most of us here truly understand how this feels! Sending you hugs and prayers!

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    4. Anonymous, Yes, there are, literally, millions of us who choose to rebuild our marriage after betrayal. You'll find a ton of support here, lots of wisdom and compassion. What you won't find are people who think you need to "get over this." It takes a lot longer than any of imagined. But you will get over it. Be gentle with yourself. You're grieving.
      And Brokenbella, welcome to the club none of us wanted to join. Like I said, there are loads of us who choose to have a second marriage with our first husbands, as it is sometimes put. Keep reading, keep posting, and trust that the pain does go away and life, again, offers joy.

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  32. So confused right now. Married 23 years together 26. Husband went through a "prostitute phase" early in our marriage. He claims to have pulled himself out of that one. Then, a couple of one night stands while traveling over the years, and most recently fell into using massage parlors and even had full on sex there sometimes. He hid it all very well, but I always had a feeling something was up. Two years ago we started marriage counseling and he also started an anti depressant because he was super irritable. He says that is when he was able to stop his cheating. Discovery day happened when I realized a few months ago that you can look at someones google search history. I went on his account and looked at his search history. 2014 was the last time google showed anything. It was full of searches for massage parlors, strip clubs etc. When I fronted him out, he spilled everything (at least that is what is says). We are in still in marriage counseling, he is in deep counseling learning about his childhood issues of shame and humiliation etc etc. and he also started seeing a psychiatrist, where he learned he is bi polar type two. This makes so much sense and all these years I thought I was just married to an intense guy. Mood swings, hyper focused on things in phases. I understand so much now but still WTF? A part of me can see how much closer we could grow through this. I am proud of him for doing so much deep work and figuring out his issues. He has owned it all for six months now. Never tried to put blame on me for anything, but I am also so mad for the lies and cheating. So mad and hurt and part of me wants to leave. I've never been so confused.

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    1. Brokenbella,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Not surprisingly, mental health issues play a huge role in infidelity. Bipolar can also create a lot of issues around sexuality. My eldest daughter is bipolar type 2 and I've come to learn a TON about the illness. I wouldn't wish it on anybody. The mania isn't so high but it can still create a hyper-sexuality/promiscuity. And the depression is brutal. Medication makes all the difference in the world -- as well as therapy, exercise, sleep and routine.
      While he's dealing with his own issues, I hope you'll take some time to focus on you. You've had decades of confusion, i'm guessing, and a life of his needs/moods taking priority. It's going to take some adjustment but you need to begin to create a relationship in which YOUR needs are equally important. And, right now, MORE important because you're the injured party here.
      So use this time to heal yourself -- therapy is a great start. But also, find support where you can. This site is wonderful for that. Do you have friends or family that you support you too? Are you able to find a support group or anything that provides info/support to partners of those with bipolar? Make sure you're also getting exercise, sleep and taking good care of yourself.
      Brokenbella, you can get through this. But it's a whole lot to deal with at once. It sounds, however, as if you're both on the right track. One step at a time.

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    2. Pt.1 I have known my husband for 4 yrs & been married 5 months. We went though a lot to be together because when I met him he was serving time for a crime he didn't commit. I thoroughly investigated it before even considering befriending him. Turned out it was a poor defense and his ignorance that lost his case. The mother of his child committed a crime and because he knew of it and walked away they got him for attempted conspiracy which basically meant he didn't tell on her. He didn't want his child being born in prison so he kept his mouth shut and ended up being served 7 yrs for it. The woman ultimately gave away his son while he was locked up so everything he did was for nothing. We would sit and talk on phone and emails from Jan 2014 til I took a break in 2016 to deal with a lot of things with work and home. In 2017 he was released on mother's day and we began talking again. We were getting the chance to know each other personally. During this time I helped him start getting his life on track with job leads and school. Managed to find him factory job that paid well. He'd use my pc to do it all and was doing very well.. then he restarted his Facebook account.. that's when the problems began.. He added over 200 random females, a few he actually had knew from his past.. some he'd met at work. He'd spend large amounts of time lurking their pages and trying to spark chats with all those women or hang out with them. I asked why didn't he make more male friends and his answer was because he had trust issues with most males.. I began to feel it was the other way around.. Then it went to porn sites and video chats on them.. After enough annoyance with catching him masturbating with them I finally looked at his phone and saw numerous attempts to get pics and video chats with the girls he added on Facebook. We fought a lot about his behavior with no resolutions. He even gave me crap about talking to a guy during the time we had stopped talking.. Looked him up and started asking questions. He got upset because I didn't tell him about a person that I wasn't involved with. Gotta love the deflection...
      I had seen many suggestive conversations and caught him many times with porn or illicit attempts that the other women ignored which always put him in bad moods or he'd rant about it on his page. When confronted he got irritated that I snooped.. Well it was my spare phone and laptop he did it on.. We were supposed to be starting a relationship so I was entitled. He's emotionally cheated more than I can count. He says he's never cheated on me but everything he did said otherwise. He had chats with one from the Philippines and always talked about her beauty and if he were single he'd love to have her.. "But he was in a relationship so he wasn't" Given how often he'd say those words it was like he was convincing himself not to or so he'd avoid guilt. Others he'd casually ask for pics and if they used video chat. Then there was one from his pre-lockup days.. He was her deceased boyfriend's friend and was looking out for her and her kids after he died.. That was fine til he spent vast amounts of time texting her. I got curious and read those and once again saw affectionate talking.. She kept putting him off but boy did he try.. Again when confronted he said he didn't til I repeated word for word the texts.. He claimed she was just weird and they had weird talks but he'd never sleep with her because she was like a little sister.. But last time I checked you don't talk about regretting doing something with a person or pour your heart out romantically to a sibling.

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    3. Pt2
      We fought about my trust with that situation and he saw nothing wrong with it. He'd go over to his friend's house for a day or night and when he'd come back more odd messages would be on the phone. Eventually he started keeping phone glued to him and deleting messages and anything else he'd been doing. Checking his email showed he joined many hook-up date or porn sites including tinder.. When I asked about it he said he joined sites to make friends.. I pointed out what tinder was used for and questioned the date sites which he claimed he didn't know.. We all know the purpose of that site.. After months of me harping on it he finally dropped the many skank duckfaced Facebook list he had. He stopped running around as much and focused on working. Things seemed well for awhile and we moved together. Eventually we decided to set a wedding date and made the announcement. Many were happy for us and congratulating us then that (sister) friend of his laughed at it and posted "that he was running from the truth of who he was and what he should really be doing" she talked in riddles so I summed it up simpler. I instantly asked her what the hell that meant and got no response..then asked him.. He messaged her and she continued with the roundabout implications.. He only read her comments aloud or let me see a few but not the whole conversation. He lost two friends that were supposed to be in our wedding because he drove to the middle of nowhere(locator app proved it) with their 22 yr old daughter (when he told me he was at their house) and said that he thought her sister was hot growing up and now that he saw her he wanted to f*** her too.. He's 6 yrs older than her.. Her mother saw it and blew up, told me and cut him off. He denied ever being out with her like that til I kept bugging about it... Then he finally admitted to it saying he didn't want me to get mad like I always do and why was I checking on him.. Our fights got worse because on our wedding day he was trying to go meet up with another female he hadn't seen since he'd went away.. He could've invited her to the wedding but instead he went and chatted with her a few hrs before we walked the aisle. He started hanging out at her place. She was married with an autistic son. He said he was friends with her husband too. We'd visit them and eventually I started feeling awkward with the situation. He started wanting to go everyday or stop by for random things.. He'd always be texting the woman.. When we'd fight he'd leave in the midst of it and go there.. Her husband worked midnights and usually when my husband visited he'd either be gone all day coming home after 3a after me chewing him out or he'd make sure to take off closer to midnight and go talk to her because she was going thru what he was doing to me. Though he refused to acknowledge that he was hurting me. His refusal to rectify problems he created or alter behavior patterns kept me triggered. He'd change just enough things to where I couldn't say it was exactly the same. He always quick to say marriage is new or having a serious relationship because he'd never done had it before and he expected me to be ok with his destructive learning method. My last conversation with the woman that made me stop being nice was her getting mad when I told her what I was going through with him and she blurts out "really?! and he says he never uses protection because he don't like it" I had a "time freeze what in the f***?! moment" Told him about it and he dismissed it as stuff he openly shares.. No he doesn't or he'd have told me and every other person I seen him talk to..

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    4. Pt.3
      Then they'd have random indirect arguements that he never let me read.. After I told him if he continued his path then he'd be proving they were involved.. Even her husband made the comment.. I didn't let up and in his attempt to be transparent he ended their friendship and quit talking to her.. He didn't want everything out in the open and worked on he'd just sever the people he got in trouble over. After all of that he started back to just working and keeping to himself limiting his time online.. Then he got in touch with guys he grew up with which was fine but along with them came more questionable females then he started wanting to hang there often.. He'd say he was going one place but he'd be everywhere else on my locator.. Yes.. I traced his locations because he lied or hid where he really went a lot. He got mad and said he didn't snoop on me when in actuality he was using the locator app long before I was on me. 
      He began to just work and come home but had an annoying habit of always offering rides to the girls at his new job til I told him not to do it again because of where it went in the past. He hates being reminded and makes me feel bad for making points refering to things..
      I've become a shell of who I was and can't find any happiness because I'm consumed by the negative feelings that developed towards him. We don't talk without arguing and sex doesn't happen because I don't want him touching me. He's done a lot to leave many triggers with me and gets mad if I bring them up. He expects me to heal without any signs of trauma. I've never found concrete proof on him physically cheating but no man fights to go sit with a female friend at 2a. Even though it's all past I can't get beyond it and his apologies no longer matter because he's said sorry and repeated or did worse so many times.  
      My daughters saw it all and detest him. He's very immature with responsiblity of his actions.. If my daughters dislike him for things he did wrong then he feels he doesn't have to like them either.. He's trying much harder to salvage things now but I don't know how to get through my hurt and anger. It's all I feel towards him now. Anger when he's around me, frustration and tears randonly. It's been less than two months since he's stopped most of the behavior but I'm still triggered. We still fight a lot but it's over triggers or small things I no longer have patience for. I'm ready to throw in the towel and he's fighting me on it. I feel I'm losing it because I can't get over how bad it hurt and I don't trust him or see him as the man I love anymore.. I trust nothing he says or does.. If he said the sky was blue I'd go out and check... I sacrificed a lot for him and had no regrets... Not til I started losing things without choosing to. Never shared the entire story with anyone.. I feel like a fool most of the time because I lost friends because I married him.. Thought it was just because they were on an "I hate all men kick" He swears he doing right and I haven't had to deal with anything that he use to do but I can't stop feeling uneasy anytime he uses his phone or talks to people now.. Haven't gotten therapy due to insurance problems but am looking into it now.. Whether he gets any is on him but I know I'll lose what's left of my mind if I don't. I'm just amazed at how many others have gone through this and am glad to know I'm not alone though it's bittersweet because no one should ever have to go through it.

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    5. Maybe what I've dealt with isn't anywhere near what all of these amazing women have endured, & I'm sorry for taking up time and space. Continue the wonderful things you do helping those in need. I'd remove my postings if I could. Again...very sorry.. Take care

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    6. Anonymous,
      I'm so sorry I missed your post. And please don't think that what you're going through doesn't "deserve" time and space. There is room for everyone here. And certainly what you're going through is betrayal. Emotional affairs are every bit as devastating as physical ones.
      So please, continue to share your story here. You're more likely to get response when you post on the most recent blog posts because there's where most of the readers are.
      In the meantime, I would strongly urge you to find a therapist or a counsellor who can help you regain your sense of self and figure out what you want to do moving forward. Your husband is gaslighting you (you can do a search for "gaslighting" on this site to read bout it -- basically means trying to convince you that what you know isn't what you know, etc.). He is refusing to accept responsibility for behaviour that is disrespectful to you and causing you pain. It doesn't matter whether he's physical or not. He is betraying you. He is disrespecting you. He is hurting you. That should matter to him.
      And it should matter to you. You deserve better than this. I don't doubt that your husband has a whole lot of emotional pain of his own that he's distracting himself from by seeking out attention from other women. But that's not YOUR problem to solve. You cannot control him. But you can control you and how you respond to this. It begins with one step. Make a call to a therapist. Or call the Infidelity Counselling Network (which has a pay-what-you-can policy). You can get through this, Anonymous, but you have to fight for yourself.

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  33. Can I just say Elle, that I have looked at a lot of infidelity sites. But yours is the only one that seems to be positive.

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    1. M,
      I'm glad you found us. And yes, there's a lot of hurt out there that often comes out as vitriol and anger. We're positive in that we respect each others' choices and that the pain is the same, whether we stay or go. And it's a pain we all know too well. We're here to help each other through it.

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  34. I'm glad I found this forum...believe it or not, I found this forum through a Male only forum discussing cheating on their spouses. I hope to share my story once I have the nerve to do so. In the meantime, I look forward to reading all the posts from other women who are going through this. I'm trying to forgive and forget. Is this even possible?

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    1. I'm glad you found us too. And whenever you're ready to share, we're ready to listen. I suspect that your story will sound a lot like ours. The circumstances might be different but the excruciating pain is the same.
      To answer your question, I don't think you'll ever "forget" if by that you mean this will seem like it never happened. But you can "forget" in that you won't think of what happened every day, or even every week. But it will always be there. Part of your story. We can't erase that. But we can use this part of our story to help others, and, by doing so, create something beautiful from it.
      I'm curious which forum you were on, and the context. Can you fill me in?

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  35. whew - here goes:
    6 weeks since DD. Discovered bc OW sent a FB message, but OW lied in her disclosure, said happened when H & I dated/1st married & stopped after our daughter was born (said was "an ethical thing" for her) but he’s been pursuing sex w/her for last 20 years & she’s said no. So, I get to spend 24+ hours trying to process that horror - and wondering if this person was saying "no", who was saying "yes"?
    I confront and learn that the affair began in 10/2008; last sex was 10/2017 (but non sex “lunch” in 12/17). So, NINE years of betrayal; bc she lives out of town, was sort of “same time next year” (at her hotel when she came to our city). They’ve known each other FORTY years; she’s an old girlfriend he never told me about. They’ve had “lunch” since H and I met, but he kept her a complete secret– another betrayal bc he’d tell me when he saw other old GFs (many of whom came to our wedding). 6-12 months after they broke up in early 80s, she contacted him, they had sex, and immediately afterwards she tells him she got married – nice gal, huh

    Even typing this makes me cry. Next friday is the 27th anniv of our 1st date; July will be 24 years married. And this whole time he had a secret "friend". BC of OW 1st lie then reality of more recent sex, it's like the entire marriage - every single happy memory - is shattered. I struggle to find any happy thoughts about it. We’re in couples counseling, but took him a month to see individual therapist.
    He cheated on the past loves, and I knew it. He also cheated on me - once - while we were engaged (drunk - fight - massage parlor BJ I discovered by finding the receipt).
    I worry that there is no redemption for this man - that it's part of his character (a phrase used by the OW). He swears there are no others (except another old GF who is his hairdresser –they “made out” in fall 2017); he's cut all ties to both.
    I don't know how to stay or how to go. I love him, but am not sure if that could ever be enough to sustain marriage. I wonder if he only wants to reconcile bc he doesn't want world to know who he really is/capable of.
    I'm 54, morbidly obese, & know divorce is scary: lifetime w/o partner - has anyone trolled the dating sites? Pretty scary - and being financially ruined -his income is 4x mine.
    It's like I've lost my entire identity. I'm known as a "badass" strong woman - and I am. But I feel I lose that identity if I stay. So it's me or my marriage (not a good way to frame, but that's how I feel).
    The triggers/complete panic attacks are better. I still can't sleep. And I'm obsessing. Yesterday, I purposefully opened texts OW sent me. Why? I know it will just hurt me.... It's like watching the film Titanic; every single time I think they will steer that wheel enough to avoid the iceburg - like I will read it again and somehow learn it's not true. Pitiful.
    I feel such sadness for my husband too; it's beginning to feel more like pity. He's a pitiful person for doing this; for thinking it would never be discovered; for letting it go on for so long.

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  36. Also interested in opinions about writing to the OW. I've not done it bc I want to be clear about goal - is it to hurt her? to try and find closure? I think it's too soon. But it pisses me off that there are so many folks roaming this world that have inflicted such horrific pain upon others and get to dance around w/o a care in the world. I want to send letters to every friend of hers on FB and let them know what she's done (the OW had a significant other - that my Husb knew about - so I dug a little & turns out he is married! My "honorable" man sure can pick 'em)
    This was never an 'exit' affair, but I don't know if I can ever respect him again. I know I'll forgive (I'll need to do that for myself it nothing else), but I don't see how to be married to a man I don’t respect; who is capable of such bad acts - whether or not I worry if it will happen again, I've just lost all respect for him.

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    1. Anonymous,
      Ugh. I'm so sorry for everything you've been through. And I'm glad you found us. We're pretty badass too, even those of us who stayed.
      I'll make a few points up front. Six weeks is still so incredibly raw. Its a miracle to me that you're upright, let alone at a point where the panic/anxiety is decreasing. I don't doubt that you're strong as hell.
      But I would urge you, as best you can, to just rest for now. To take some time to figure out your next right step rather than feel like you have to make a choice right now. I would rather you responded to this with a choice than reacted from impulse or some misguided notion of what badass women do when their husbands cheat (as much as I love Carrie Underwood's "Next Time He Cheats", I fear it has done little to bring appropriate respect to those of us who decide to rebuild a marriage rather than trash a pickup). Cause here's the thing: What he has done is devastating to you. But it's not the whole of your relationship to him. As hard as it is to believe, all those moments with him that felt good WERE good. Both things can be true. That he was cheating on you and that he loved you. As my mother once said to me, "people love us the best they can even when, sometimes, their best isn't very good". I suspect there are plenty of demons that your husband needs to face and figure out why he risked something that mattered to him for a woman who didn't. That's HIS work to do.
      Yours is to be gentle with yourself and figure out what's next for you. If you choose to stay, I want you to do it because you're rebuilding a second marriage with your first husband. If you leave, I want you to leave with an open heart. So...take your time. Rest. Read the wisdom of the women here. Write. Begin an exercise program that reconnects you to your body and your beauty. Confide in friends who will withhold judgement and simply support you. Do things that nurture you.
      Do NOT bother contacting the OW. She sounds toxic. If you're so inclined, let the wife of the guy the OW is cheating with know, anonymously or otherwise, just what her husband is up to. I think every woman deserves to know so she can make her own choices.
      And I would demand that your husband seek therapy to figure out just what the hell he was thinking. And it certainly wouldn't hurt for you to find a therapist who can support you as you work through this too. Whether or not you stay, it hurts like hell and it really helps to have someone who can objectively help you through.
      I'm so so sorry. But I have a feeling you're going to be just fine.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous Feb 23,

      I'm so sorry for the pain you are in. I'm glad you've found support on this site and hope you also find support through MC & IC. You are not alone. BWC is a very supportive community of amazing women who understand how you feel.

      My early advice is to see: 1) your GYN (yes, get tested for STD's), 2) an attorney (learn, know your rights), 3) an IC and/or MC (preferably both), and 4) a spiritual advisor (for me that was a priest, but whomever's counsel, if anyone, is important to you and will keep your confidence).

      If you feel very compelled to write the OW I recommend writing it for YOU and never sending it to OW. I let my MC read it and she recommended I let my H read it too, but I did not send it to OW and I'm glad I didn't. OW are unworthy of our attention.

      You will make it through this, just focus your own healing and on today.

      Delete
  37. About 4 years ago my now husband and I slowly became friends and started dating. Soon into dating (not exclusively) he had a female friend who he used to live with and have a relationship with who moved to another state. They talked all the time and I found emails of them sending naughty pictures to each other. She had no idea we were together. SO i confronted him about it and we split up for a while. A few months go by and he asked me back out. he wanted to start over and I said sure. Things were good and our job was having both of us relocate to another state. He was leaving 2 months before me and also starting graduate school. He moves and I come down for a visit and everything is fine. Then I notice girls from his school are texting him often and I tell him I dont feel right about it. When I get back home he ends things with me and tells me that he just wants to date me (no exclusively). He tells me that he still wants to sleep together and will try to make time for me but that he doesnt want anything serious. I was devastated. I was about 4 months out from this last breakup when I moved to the same state as him for work and we lived so close and I knew no one I still kept in contact and we hung out a few time as friends and it was fun. my birthday weekend and I told myself that if he doesn't make any plans with me then I am cutting him off for good. I needed to set a boundary and this was going to be that boundary. he made plans to ask me back out and I said yes. Things are better than they have ever been. I notice he isnt talking to anyone else and the female friends he does have at school come to group events and i am there and they all seem nice and he encouraged me to befriend them so I did. THen we get married. the first 8 months of marriage are the best. Then he tells me he cheated on me. At first I think he is talking about all the times we are dating and I tell him its okay I am over all that. He doesn't confirm so I start thinking and I ask who and he tells me a girl from school, the same girl he encouraged me to befriend. I ask when and he tells me THE SAME WEEK WE GOT MARRIED.I was so angry and hurt and so unsure of everything,our whole marriage I was so happy and he was lying about it all. 6 months later that we sought out counseling. I wanted to stay, we have kids together. Counseling had its up and downs but overall it was good. I learned a lot but mostly I was allowed to talk about the affair and explain my side of feelings in a safe environment that he was a part of. he is in his last semester at this school now and SHE is still there. I am assured that they do not speak but they do have some classes together so he does still see her on a weekly basis. Now it is about 2years since the affair and I still am on the fence about leaving. I still love him but i am anxious and angry and short with him all the time. He is tired of me using the affair as my reasoning for being mad, but that is why I am mad. When I think about being separated from him I get sad and thinking about him with someone else hurts too. I don't know what to do at this point. is it ever going to get better??? Should I stay or go? and If i leave him I will be changing jobs and moving out of state, which brings up more issues. UGH

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    1. Anonymous,
      Let me start by saying I'm sorry for everything you've gone through. And I'm glad you found us.
      I'm curious about the counselling you both went through. What did your husband regarding the cheating? What understanding did he gain about why he did it? And did he come up with any sort of plan for how to manage himself should he feel tempted again? Without that, it's hard to know whether this guy is actually wanting to be a better person or whether he just wants to move on without really learning more about why he would hurt you like that.
      As for you, the being short and anxious is a clear sign that there is still pain there for you around the affair and within the marriage. It sounds as though you feel somewhat emotionally abandoned by your husband with your pain -- that you don't feel supported by him as you work through it. Betrayal is devastating and it takes a LONG time to work through. Two years is not very long.
      I would encourage you to go to therapy on your own so you can process your pain around this and figure out what you want to do next.
      And I would be honest with your husband -- that he doesn't seem to fully understand just what a trust violation betrayal is and that it's "normal" for you to feel anxious and untrustworthy of him. That he needs to show you that he will never do that to do you again, not simply tell you that things have changed. You need to SEE that things have changed. And it sounds as though you're not seeing that.
      One more thing, Anonymous. Don't stay in a marriage because changing jobs and moving sounds awful. If that's the only reason you're staying, I think it's time to pack up and go.

      Delete
  38. I didn’t think my heart could break any worse than it has already. I’ve never been so sad or lonely in my life. Here’s my story- (broken into a few parts, please hear me out)

    We were all friends, or so I thought. Right under my nose, my husband (of over 20 years) and someone who I thought was a close friend, were secretly in love. There was a big group of friends, about 10 of us, who all got together 1-2 times /week. The ow was a coworker of my husbands, and we've known each other for a few years, but had gotten closer during the 6 months that their affair was going on. Now I know why we spent so much time together. It was a cover, I was used as a cover so they could spend more time together. Sneaking glances & words when I turned away. In my own home.

    It’s been about 6 months post d-day. I know you all know how difficult this is! Somedays are better than others. Sometimes I feel happy & have a little laugh, and some days I’m dreadfully sad. Husband said it was nothing physical other than one kiss, but admits everything was completely inappropriate. I’m not sure what to believe. It was a complete betrayal by both of them I know her & I’m sure she felt like she met the man of her dreams & I was in the way.

    I didn’t kick him out right away, it would have cost money for rental and I certainly didn’t feel like he deserved the freedom of his own place with no home or family responsibility. He had been spiraling downhill for about a year but somehow managed to keep his job. The drinking escalated beyond social to him being drunk just about every night. I was done with him. Especially since this was the second time I’d learned he had cheated. The first time was 7 years ago. I thought we worked it through. We went to counseling. He was sorry. I was his rock, he said. He was proud to be my husband. However, he never worked on his own issues. And they were big ones. A couple weeks after the recent d-day we began talking a little. . He says he never loved her- & he can’t believe he did what he did. He is working extremely hard getting himself straightened out, and it’s really remarkable. He turned into a respectable human being, kind, caring, takes full responsibility, he’s everything I thought he was when we married. He is dedicated to putting a smile on my face every day. I’m hopeful but of course I’m very scared that it will happen again. I can’t take any more pain.

    I didn’t keep his affair secret this time. I was so sick from discovering it. Select friends and family know including the group of 10 who OW #2 was a part of. I didn’t badmouth the OW- I figured her actions spoke for itself. At the time, I was sure I was divorcing him. I don’t regret telling people. They would have known that something was up. The thing is- both my husband and the OW are extremely likeable people- they smile a lot, compliment others. I feel like I’m the only one in the world who dislikes her.

    My entire family is in therapy. I’m in IC, MC. Husband is in IC. It has helped.

    Unfortunately, due to the nature of our lifestyle & his work, I’ve had to see OW regularly. It has been horrible. I have panic attacks but am able to snap out of it, and keep my ‘courage suit’ on.

    continued- Gem

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  39. Part 2

    Here’s the latest heartbreak and I need you all to help me. The “close” friend group has resumed spending time with the OW. After I revealed what was going on between my husband and OW, they were wonderful. Anything I needed, if I wanted to talk, get together- they were there for me. I never asked anyone to choose between friends. But being that I was doubly betrayed (I am the innocent party here) and because they witnessed my hospitality to her & watched her compliment me and my family, my home, while betraying me in the worst way, I thought they would have my back and take a stand. I thought that they would not want anything to do with someone who hurt me this way.

    Whether my husband and I stay together in the long run is irrelevant – what the OW did to ME was absolutely horrific. They don’t have to like or forgive my husband. Or they can absolutely forgive both of them. But to welcome her so-called friendship and accept her phony acts of kindness is a betrayal from my “friends” that I never thought would happen.

    I have never felt so alone in my entire life. My heart hurts, my skin hurts, my head hurts. I want to curl up in a ball and never move. I’m dying inside. Has anyone ever experienced a triple betrayal? Please help me.
    -Gem

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    1. Gem,
      Oh honey, my heart is breaking for you. How devastating, on so many fronts.
      But here's the thing: Those "friends"? They're not. I know it hurts and I know how hard it will feel to extract yourself entirely from the group. But that is toxic. To actually watch someone lie and deceive another person like that and then to be okay with it speaks volumes about their own moral compasses. They are showing you who they are...and who they are is a group of people who can overlook despicable behaviour as long as it directed at someone else. Those are not people you want in your life.
      You and your husband need to find a new group of friends. People who reflect your own values. People whose actions and ethics are in line. People with integrity. People who don't foster friendships so they can cover for their deception. It's really sick, isn't it?
      Let me tell you a story. I had a "friend" in high school who I watched cheat behind other friends' back (with their boyfriends), lie to people, etc. I didn't like it but it didn't really affect me and she always had a reason why what she was doing was somehow okay. You probably know where this is going. Yeah..well..finally her boyfriend dumped her and she ended up with mine. And all I could think was that I'd known who she was all along. I shouldn't have been surprised. I watched people rally around her (she was bubbly, cute, etc.). Now? She's on husband #4.
      Those people are willing to allow that toxic woman in their midst. So nobody should be surprised when she moves in on another woman's husband or boyfriend, or lies to them, or cheats them in other ways. Leave them to their soap opera lives. You're better than that. And your husband wants to be better than that.
      I know you feel alone. But I promise, Gem, you won't feel alone forever. You're going through hell right now. Keep going. It gets better. I promise.

      Delete
    2. Hi Gem, I am so sorry you have been betrayed not only by your husband but by someone you called a friend. There are many of us on here whohave experienced the betrayal of not only their husband but also a friend or family member (that is what happened to me). I think the larger group of friends in this situation doesn't know how to react unless they have been betrayed themselves. If it was one of us we would choose sides. You get to have boundries with everyone in your life - including this group. If it is healthier for you to let them know it is a trigger for you to be friends with her friends then so what helps you heal. It is also completely reasonable for you to expect your husband or the OW to begin the process to change companies so they no longer work together. Your heartbreak, your rules. I'm glad to hear your both in counseling. This is a worthy topic for IC & MC.

      Delete
  40. Thank you for the kindness & encouragement. And thank you for understanding. We're in a club we didn't choose to be in and it's tremendous to have this kind of support, from women who have been there.

    I found this group years ago, the first time he cheated. I revisited it again before d-day #2- say about 8 months ago. It was that inkling that something wasn't right- his drinking was escalating & he seemed slightly distant. I was getting insecure because OW #1, who I had never met & lives about 50 miles away, became involved with a summer activity near our home. I let it tear me apart. I googled "once a cheater always a cheater?" and ended up here again, with all of you. I used to think his cheating was my fault. I wasn't a good enough wife, I wasn't actively sexy enough, I didn't listen enough. The house wasn't clean enough. I wasn't enough. By the time I discovered this second "emotional affair" a few months ago, I was armed with the confidence that the sisters of BWC gave me. His lies and his ego were not worth spending another moment with. I told him that he didn't deserve me. None of his cheating was ever my fault. I deserved someone who would love and cherish me because I am worth it. I told him that he was nobody's hero.

    These OW are horrible. The first one "friended" his family & close friends on Facebook, even people she didn't know or hadn't seen in many years. She had open conversations with my in-laws, who she knew didn't know that she was involved with my husband. She chose to be involved in the activity near us knowing that it was likely our paths would cross. They did. I think these women do it on purpose.

    The second OW, my former 'friend' actively sought out our mutual friends & enticed them with, shall we say "free stuff" that most people wouldn't turn down. Decent people would turn down free stuff from a bad person. I know they're not my friends and I'm feeling better today. Today a friend told me that he supports me 100% and would never give the OW the time of day. God bless our good friends and all of you ladies.
    -Gem

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  41. WTH just happenedMarch 24, 2018 at 6:06 PM

    It’s been almost two weeks since I found out. 20 years together and now it’s done. He is still seeing her but tells me he thinks he might want to work it out. He won’t answer any questions about it, all I know is she is from work. He tells me he loves me but doesn’t even ask for forgiveness. I asked him to leave when I found out, and he did. Now I’m going crazy thinking of what he is doing. I can’t breathe, I want to kill him, I want to find out who she is and shame her, I want to kill him, I can’t sleep (even with sleeping pills). I literally feel like I’m going crazy except I almost feel relieved that I wasn’t crazy and wasn’t wrong. I know it’s done, god I don’t want it to be done, and yet I know it’s done. Does any of this make sense???

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    1. Yes, been in that spot. It has been over three years since dday. And we had been married for 20 years and together 25 years. It was a mixed bag of something so hard to comprehend and then the pain, sadness, loss of trust etc. All I can suggest is to give yourself time.For me I decided to not make any decision early on. And it is a process. My husband told me some but a second dday 5 months later happened. And it was with more details. I knew he was not being honest with me during those five months. My husband had two affairs over ten years and broke up with both women about 15 months before dday. Even though he was done with the affairs he had a long road to recover. And honestly he is still working through it more than me at this point.

      For us we decided we both wanted to commit to trying to make it work. He was unsure if he could or wanted to. He did not tell me that at the time. But honestly he lived his life in such a dishonest way for so long he did not know if he could change. For me I honestly stayed for our kids. I knew I would not stay forever but had to give it my best shot. The entire first year was me working through my pain. After the first year it was his working through what he had done and more of a focus on our marriage/relationship and what we both wanted.

      My biggest suggestion is even if it is just for you find a therapist. I found one who was licensed and specialized in betrayal. It was amazing and helped me a ton. Also we set a once a week time for us to talk. This allowed us to not focus on it 24/7 which neither of us wanted to do. Daily I would write in a journal sometimes just words, questions or my thoughts. I would look through this before our talks and it helped me focus on what was bothering me the most that week. I could see themes. This helped a lot. Early on I realized I was hyper emotional which is all valid but it was not helping me at all. And my husband was shutting down or he was defensive. He worked to just listen and I worked to be more focused. This of course was not right away. I think figuring out what you want and then for me coming up with a plan was critical. Setting boundaries and expectations came after working through the pain. We both worked really hard and are in a great place now. I will say though it is constant work and it will forever affect us. But saying all of that we are closer and better off than ever before. Keep coming here, post your thoughts and questions. That helped a lot too for me.

      Delete
    2. Wth just happenedMarch 31, 2018 at 8:44 AM

      Thank you for your words!
      He has decided he doesn’t want to work it out.
      I have found out so much more since then and I too feel his whole life has been so dishonest. He lied about money - had credit cards I didn’t know about, didn’t pay the rent (I got an eviction notice right after dday). He even had already introduced her to my kids as friend numerous times. She worked with my daughter. My whole life for 20 years has been one huge lie.
      I have found a therapist- because I’m not sure how to even live right now.
      Do you ever feel human again?
      I feel like I’m watching through a tv screen - but yet it is so real.
      I’m dying and don’t know how to move.

      Delete
    3. WTH just happened,
      Everything (everything!!) you're feeling and experiencing is totally normal, under the circumstances. And I know it's hell. I remember that feeling of just wanting the world to go on without me. I remember that horrible dread that my life was never going to be the same, that feeling of being tossed aside.
      But here's the thing, WTH, his cheating is NOT about your worth. His cheating is HIS failure, not yours. I'm so sorry he's being so cruel and so thoughtless but that speaks volumes about his character, or lack of character. He has zero integrity. And he's caught up in in this fantasy world in which he feels like he's something special. Reality will intrude soon enough, when he's held accountable for the mess he's made.
      What I want you to do RIGHT NOW is get yourself to a lawyer who can help you protect yourself financially. If he has racked up debt, then you want to protect yourself as much as possible.
      So...short-term plan is to protect yourself from the consequences, as much as possible, of his total irresponsibility. The healing will come, I promise. The day will come when you have healed yourself and realized that you deserved NONE of this and that he is no prize.
      But right now...keep yourself safe. There's a ton of wisdom and support on this site. We can help you through this.

      Delete
  42. WTH just happenedApril 3, 2018 at 1:01 PM

    Elle,

    I think you lieterally saved my life by writing this. It can feel so isolated in this situation, and you made me feel not alone.
    I took your advice and talked to a lawyer - wow thank you, I would not have thought of it and it’s going to be so helpful!
    So He now says they aren’t together anymore and wants to work it out, but while not living together.
    I am not sure about any of it, and am just trying to get my stuff together first.
    Today is a better day - I haven’t cried yet and I went back to work!
    You are amazing Elle!

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    1. WTH,
      I'm so glad you spoke with a lawyer. And I'm glad my response helped you feel less alone. That's the whole point of this site. Betrayal can feel so isolating but there are, literally, thousands of women who come here to share their pain and find support and compassion. You are so NOT alone in this. You stay focussed on you and what you want. At the very least, you need to protect yourself as much as possible from his poor financial decisions. You need stable housing. Create a plan that keeps the focus on you, so that, whether or not he actually steps up and becomes a better man, YOU will nonetheless be okay.
      Hang in there, WTH. And keep reading this site. The women here are among the most amazing you'll ever know. And we know your pain.
      You'll get through this. It will be a roller coaster. But you will find solid ground.

      Delete
    2. WTH, I am so glad you met with an attorney. It will be helpful and provide support you need as you move forward. Also so good you got scheduled with a therapist. And is always said on here focus on you. Based on what you describe with your husband he has many issues and lots of work to do himself. One of the hardest things for me was to not feel like it was about me. Over time I can see now that every decision my husband made was about him. He never even thought about anyone else but himself. It is hard to comprehend and does feel like a night mare. Find things that are positive and take care of you.

      Delete
  43. I have been looking at the website for a month now trying to get the courage to write my shit down, I’m so confused. DDay for me was Jan 24 2018, and I had only discovered my husbands affair because the husband of the mistress told me, I was totally blindsided yes my marriage was not perfect I was too comfortable in the fact that this was married life or my married life. This year August I will be married for 25yrs make my stomach turn just thinking about it, I’ve had a physically,mentally,verbally abusive relationship with my husband for most of the marriage, the physical abuse stopped 6 yrs ago. I don’t know why it stopped but it did and I put up with the rest mind you it’s not all the time we do get along for the most part. We have 4 mostly adult children . My husband has admitted to the 7month affair with a woman in our small community of course he said it started innocently helping her with her farm equipment while her husband was at work(he works for an equipment dealer)then she started texting him and calling him for more help and then it just turned physical, visiting her while he was working and after work(told me he was working late) then on weekends a couple times while I was a work. My husband said he felt that I didn’t care about him and I never told him I loved him but he got that from her, I admit it’s hard to love someone when the beat you, but I always took care of him and our family and his 90 yr old mother that he moved in. The OW sent me a text apologizing and wanted to clear the air...told me they loved each other and were planning on telling us on my husbands birthday and were planning on having kids (my husband had a vasectomy 15yrs ago) and they were going to live in my house because of his mom.my husband swears he basically agreed to whatever she said she was needy and kind of annoying that she showered him with loving attention and he liked it and for the sex??? But he says it wasn’t great sex... yeah whatever and that he’s glad (in a way) he got caught because it was ended. We are in marriage counselling and he is trying to be better and it is in a way but I’m broken, I don’t know if I can do this am I so foolish to think he won’t do it again I have access to all passwords and phone but I did before as well but he always deleted his messages.i struggle with if for 7 months you had this deep relationship with someone and from the day of discovery it’s all done he says he hasn’t talked to her other that when she called (the next day) I was there and he told her it was done he didn’t love her and he made a mistake and he was working on his marriage and she sounded hurt but that was it... do I believe him how could I, I feel so stupid,

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    1. Nancy Dykstra, I am so sorry you are here. I would suggest you find a therapist to meet with. I understand the physical abuse has ended but honestly I think mental and verbal abuse can be just as bad. I think that is so important to get the help of a professional.

      As far as should you believe him... from my experience personally and reading so many stories of betrayal is that rarely do they tell the entire story. Whether that means they minimize the affair or if there are others. That is all part of working through this. In the end my husband had two affairs over 10 years, fake email, fake fb, watched porn.... etc. None of it felt okay. But in the end it was the fact he lied to me. Of course we did the STD tests, set very strict boundaries and worked through the details as much as I needed then the pain. After I got to a good point then he has been working through what he did. I do not know if he will ever get over what he did. It does hang over him. By working with a therapist though I worked through this process at the right speed for me.

      And do not think you were stupid. You are dealing with two people that lie and sneak around. You did nothing wrong. I told my husband that I will take zero % responsibility for this. He never came to me and I went to him many times asking to work on our marriage and was always positive. He lied to my face when I would ask if he ever talked etc with other women when he was out, at work or travelling. Every time he said to me no never. I refuse to take any blame when he lied to my face. He could have handled whatever he was feeling a million different ways but he chose the worst option. That is on him.

      Delete
    2. Nancy,
      I'm so glad you were brave enough to post your story and so sorry that you had to find us.
      I agree with Hopeful30. Please find yourself a therapist just for you who can help you process the devastation of betrayal but also help you come to terms with the abuse you've experienced. Nobody deserve to be treated like you have been. You are not stupid. You deserve love. You are worthy of that. And that he wasn't able to love you the way you deserved is his failing, not yours.
      And I hope you're being fully honest with the marriage counsellors about the abuse you've experienced. Your husband needs to be accountable for that.
      And finally, please know that you're not an idiot for staying. YOU get to decide what comes next. Nobody else. They don't walk your path. You've experienced pain that nobody should have to experience and you get to decide what you're going to do with that. You don't owe him anything other than honesty.
      Anonymous, we're rooting for you. There's an army of women on this site who know your pain and know that you don't deserve any of this. I hope you'll continue to share your story. There's incredible healing to be had in sharing your truth with others who can hear it.

      Delete
  44. I would like to share my story here and get some advices from all of you.
    A little background :

    I am 44 years old with 2 kids aged 8 and 10. I knew my H when we were 16 and he was my only love. We had a happy relationship and a healthy sex life. Our kids are happy. His parents live with us since we got married and we are very close. We do not quarrel nor fight often.
    H travels very often for work, a week or more every month. When he does not travel, we only get to have dinner with him once or twice a week as he has to work at night too. We spend our weekends together as a family most of the time.He is known to be a good husband who provides for us, a dedicated and fun father to our children and a filial son to his parents.

    However, for the past few years, our relationship started to have some cracks. I realized that we were not close and we seemed to have lost some connection. He was travelling more and I became very independent and self-sufficient. I switched my full time job to a part time job so that I can spend more time with my kids when they finish school. I manage the whole household myself, knowing how busy and how hard he has to work to provide for everyone at home.
    Feeling that we had grown apart, I talked to him. I asked that we go counselling because I felt that something was missing in our relationship. We only had sex once or twice a month. At times, he rejected me because he said he was tired. But he assured me that everything was fine. We just needed to spend more time together. We tried to go out as a couple at times, for dinner or movies. However, I just did not feel any connection. I did not know what was wrong with us.

    I felt lost and sad. So I occupied myself with my kids, my work and going out with my girlfriends. He missed out on a lot of family trips and important family events due to his work and travel. I was upset but I could not do anything.

    That was in 2015.

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  45. Come Feb 2018, my son was playing games on H's old mobile phone. He stopped playing and left the mobile on the table. I did not know why but I just picked it up and scrolled through his phone. I have never checked on him or questioned his whereabouts. I gave him a lot of freedom all the time and trusted him wholeheartedly. However, I did not know why I checked on his phone that night.

    Whatever that I had seen devastated me. The messages he had with the OW were intimate and sexual. They even went on holiday together to Maldives and had a rendezvous there! They started seeing each other in end 2014.

    I confronted him. I knew this woman. He was always talking about her and her son. He used to bring her son to our house for playdates! I could not believe it!
    He finally admitted and came clean with everything after a few days. And he said they had already stopped the affair in August 2017. He claimed that he had never wanted to give up on the family and had made known to that OW. They broke up because they always fight. He apologized and pleaded me to stay for the sake of the kids.

    I could not sleep nor eat for a few days. I told everyone in the family, including mine. Everyone was shocked.
    I was crushed, unable to think and unable to function. I still have to keep a straight face in front of my kids because I do not want them to know.

    I thought that I could not face him at home. But surprisingly I could! I even demanded sex from him and we have wild sex 2 to 3 times week! I don't know what's wrong with me! I am angry and upset and yet I want him!

    We went for MC. It helped a bit and we managed to communicate better with the help of the therapist.
    He made effort to come home for dinner more often and try to meet us for lunch everyday. He touched me more often and deleted all the messages, photos, contacts of that OW and threw away the things she gave him.

    It has been 46 days since the day of discovery. Sometimes, I still cry and think about what had happened. I questioned him why he had to hurt us and he said it is not helping us to move forward. Sometimes, I am ok and sometimes I am not. When I not ok, I feel very down and don't wish to talk. I will think of all the messages and photos that he had with the OW. I will picture themselves having sex.

    It hurts a lot.

    The counselling helps only on that day . After a week or so, my bad feelings come back. I don't know what to do. I had tried to occupy myself and keep myself busy. I read, I work out, I sing and dance. But the thoughts will still come back.
    Also, whatever that he does now or say now will trigger anything. Because I will always associate them with last time. I don't trust him.

    What should I do? How can I overcome all these feelings of negativity ? How can I trust him again?

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    Replies
    1. I can so much relate to you. Week after I found out, I demanded sex, that is so not me... He hen thought that maybe I will accept and move on, but now week 5 I cannot stand to even see him. I am so angry. My kids are big, 18,21,25.. but still I want them not to know. They are at crucial time of their studies.. I will not allow them to be devastated and suffer in studies because of his judgement error,. They do not deserve it.Maybe they will be fine, but I will not take that chance. Now I am left with extreme anger, and do not want to go for counceling, it will not solve my issues.. Only when I am prepared to forgive and move on, I will, not now, not even close. Funny thing is I realy did not think he will ever do it. His justification was, we were emotionally disconnected. YES we were, I however did not take the highway, he did. he sys it is a man thing.. bullshit, I also suffered alot with our lack of "good" marraige. he always blamed me for being cold and distant. HE CAUSED IT WITH MANY TIMES HE LIED TO ME REGARDING FINANCES ETC. After D day, I jumped him like an wild women with LOTS op passion and sex.. I wanted to show him that the real me is still in me, and I can be the perfect bed partner, I just did not want to. SO NOW he saw the "old" me, and was smiling, but now I do not want to even look at him... I AM SO ANGRY... I feel cross with myself for giving into his sexual fantasy, I enjoyed it also.. but I think now I did not do the right thing... It hurt so much and I am not feeling sad I am only feeling so damn much like a fool for not seeing through him earlier. I also think I will never trust him again. He says i can, but NO THanks...

      Delete
    2. Unhappy,
      Honestly you're doing incredibly well, given that your D-Day was a little more than a month ago. It takes years for most of us to truly get past betrayal. Everything you're feeling is normal, including the sex (which is referred to as "hysterical bonding". You can search for a post on this site about it). But it takes time. And it will take a lot of work on your husband's part to show your, day after day, that he is working hard to be a better man.
      Stick with the counselling. Be gentle and patient with yourself. You've experienced a deep betrayal and that takes time to absorb, let alone heal. You're likely still, to some degree, in shock.
      Keep doing everything you're doing that's helping -- the working out, reading, dancing, etc. Talk to those who can support you. And trust that time and the work you're putting in re. therapy will help you heal.
      And keep reading this site. There is a ton of great information and support here. I'm glad you found us.

      Delete
    3. I agree you are doing well. This is the hardest thing that most of us have ever dealt with in our lives. My dday was over 3 years ago. And honestly the first year was me processing and working through the pain, betrayal and most of all the lying. The past two years have been my husband working through all of what he has done. My suggestion is to figure out what works for you and what you need. What I need has changed over time. My expectations from our marriage are higher than ever and I have let my husband know that.

      Also at least for me this healing process is a major roller coaster ride. Many highs and lows. Right when things feel good there is a trigger or something else. What worked best for us is we eliminated all obligations but the bare minimum. For the first year we only worked, spent time together and time with the kids. We said no to everything else. We planned a once a week meeting where we would talk about the affairs, us or us as individuals. On the other days I would write in a journal and that helped me see patterns and what was still bothering me and what I wanted to bring up. And seeing a therapist for a long time was helpful too.

      Delete
  46. Hi, D day was 5 weeks ago. I was shocked as this so totally out of character for husband. He is always the one that said how he will never do something like that.O well he did. married 26 years. YES we had a difficult marriage thus far. good times but mostly stress full times. He worked abroad for 8 years, only came home 3 weeks every tree months. I had to be mom and dad, kids was 7,10,14. Our relationship was better when he was away, because it was online, I resented him for not making"life" work in real life, and he had to go abroad to earn decent money. Was plan for 5 years, I had to do my part in emotionaly providing for kids, and I had a full time job, he was suppose to support financially and at times when he was home, he took over the kids, for me to sort of take a break... worked well, but 5 year plan turned into 8 and he came back to SA to work for last company in SA. emotionally we were worlds apart at that time. We operated our marriage like a company with him abroad and I was home. NOW he was back and I struggled getting to grips with "us" again.At times we had honestly nothing to say to one another. that was due to being apart so long.we have grown apart. STILL i kept up my end of the deal all the time, kids now 18,21,25 All of them are successful in studies and I know I have motivated them and guided them all the way. NOW I found out that he had an whatsapp/FB/phone affair for past 18 months.he justified it with we grown emotionally apart and she made him feel validated and good. hey had 2 sexual encounters. WTF... I also struggled and also felt alone.. He sys it is a man thing.. BULLSHIT, now he sys he is sorry and will never do it again, I say again WTF . On D day, I gave him the whole of 18months printed FB messages, it was disgusting, video clips, photos, texting with girl 29 and he is 53... SHIT I was shocked.. My thought was NO NOT HIM... but yes he did it. I feel so much resentment towards him, I cannot even begin to describe. I confronted OW via email and wanted closure. I received a letter from her familyu lawyer warning me not make contact with her or her family or she will ge an restrain order. THE FLIPPEN cheeck. She then blocked husband also on phone and FB. and he also received a letter from family friend that is the lawyer.She obviously do not want her husband to find out.I was not intending to tell him, I wanted info. My kids cannot find out, they are at crucial stages of there studies. It will not be fair to them, they adore their father. Bit now I am stuck... I am so angry.. Do not think I will every get over this. It was not the sex that is getting to me... no, it is the fact that he drooled about her sexy body, blue eyes etc.. That was something he always told me... now I can never hear it again.. He took that special something away from me now. I honestly do not know if I even want to forgive him..

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  47. Anonymous, I am so sorry for what you've gone through. And I'm sorry that your husband continues to blame shift for what he did. I think you know this, but let's say it anyway: His choice to cheat was HIS choice. Nobody made him. He had lots of options available to him if he was unhappy with the marriage other than cheating. But he chose to cheat. That's completely on him. And if he wants you to give him the chance to rebuild the marriage, then he needs to start by accepting FULL responsibility for his choice and figuring out why the hell he risked his marriage. That's on him.
    Your job is to give yourself some time to heal, and to be gentle with yourself. It's perfectly normal to be angry, it's normal to think you'll never get over this. But I promise you, you will. Whether or not your marriage survives, YOU will get past this. But it takes time and it takes work. If you don't have a therapist, please find one who can support you through this. A safe place to talk and rage and vent and figure out, step at a time, how you want to proceed with this.
    I would put the OW aside at this point. I mean, WTF with the restraining order?? Forget about her. She's cancer.
    Your focus needs to be you. And your husband's focus needs to be supporting you as you heal and being fully accountable for the stupid choice he made.

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  48. I am so thankful for this website. Thank you Elle. It really helps a lot by reading and finding out that what I experienced (the sex) is normal and there’s actually a term for it! I know I just have to keep trying and trying. It’s really tough to keep those thoughts away. I love my H a lot despite what he did. I wish I can forget everything. The pain is hard to bear and yet at the same time, I also want him to bear the pain. I want him to know how much I am suffering and I want him to apologise to me over and over again.


    Can’t trust men anymore

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    Replies
    1. Unhappy, Yes all so true. I too even now 3+ years past dday wish I could forget it all. However I try to live in the present. You are still early on but take it day by day. I will say my husband and I feel the pain of his betrayal in different ways. Of course the lying and loss of trust for me will always be there. For him it is his biggest regret ever. I would say at this point it hangs over him more than me as far as regret. I think what is important and I try to focus on after all our work is what is the current reality. What is he saying and do his actions match that. I have posted elsewhere but my husband has said he wants to live his life with 100% transparency and authenticity. He is doing really well with that and I focus on that since neither of us can go back and change the past only the future. It took us a long time and lots of work to get to this point but it is possible. I think it is a grieving process and you go through ups and downs. Hang in there!

      Delete
    2. Unhappy,
      If you need him to apologize over and over then tell him that. I needed that too. Even when I responded with "well, too bad you weren't sorry BEFORE" or some other smartass response. I needed to hear it. Until I didn't. The day does come when you don't need to hear it so much. But that day will come sooner if he can respond to what you need with compassion, even when it reminds me of what a stupid thing he did.

      Delete
  49. I joined this sisterhood 10 weeks ago, when during a search in a drawer for an old bill, I found an empty prescription for Viagra which I knew hadn't been used with me. While I had for some time thought my husband seemed distant, preoccupied and at times inexplicably hostile, infidelity was not what I had suspected at all. After 36 years together and 30 years of marriage, I thought I knew this man. Clearly I was wrong. Turns out that he had been conducting brief "f$#@ buddy" relationships with a series of 4 women for 10 years during business trips he took. To say that I was blindsided would be mild- it was as if I found out that gravity didn't exist. I was completely out of my mind for the first 4 weeks, cycling through emotions as rapidly as I blinked. While it didn't take much pushback to get him to admit cheating, he fought and fought me on giving me the whole story, claiming that no good could come from it. As the days moved ahead, he finally admitted the bare outlines, and finally yesterday gave me the unvarnished truth. It was difficult for him, but he did. I have to say, yesterday after the revelations was the first time in 10 weeks I have felt like myself. I can finally see the possibility of a way forward, assuming he remains committed to MC and IC for himself.
    As if this weren't enough, my father died 3 weeks ago and my father in law should pass away in the next month or so. The pain from my husband's actions, however, far outweighed my suffering at my father's death. Emotional abuse during my childhood has always made me scared of trusting, and I truly thought my husband was my safe place in this world. I knew he wasn't perfect, and I knew we had our issues. But I never knew he was capable of such deceit for so long. He is ashamed, and now sees the enormity of what he has done to our marriage. I know we love one another, and I know he wants to grow. I just hope that he will walk this walk with me, because if he can't, I am going to have to walk it alone.

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    Replies
    1. loner,
      It's bizarre, isn't it? Exactly the thing our husbands fear the most -- that if we know the whole story, we'll never forgive them -- actually becomes the opening that allows us to imagine that we can heal from this. Study after study shows that we can over the sex, it's the deception that's so hard to move past. And as long as they're refusing to tell us everything, that deception is still there. We need total transparency. It's their opportunity to show us respect and honesty.
      I'm so sorry for everything you're going through. I lost my mom weeks after the second D-Day (when I learned the WHOLE story). And I know what you mean. Her death was painful but my feelings around it weren't so complicated. Betrayal is devastating. Like discovering gravity doesnt exist pretty much sums it up.
      Hang in there, loner. You will get through this, whether with him or not. But if he's truly willing to do the work it takes to understand why he did what he did, then it's certainly possible to rebuild a marriage with him.
      Keep reading here. And know that you are going to be okay.

      Delete
  50. So here we go. I am almost 5 months past D Day and i've been reading this site for a while and I feel ready to share some thoughts as I am really struggling. I found out in December that he had been having an affair since September. Not long I know compared to some of your stories. We are not married but we do live together and have recently bought a house together (since D-Day, I know, could be a bad move) but at the time I felt I really did want to do it.
    I had been making some good steady progress, threw him out, went through hysterical bonding and now we are working on building our home together but I seem to have hit a low point. I can't stop thinking about her. I HATE HER. She knew about me, she came into our previous home. The affair may have been brief but it was the planned nature of it all that hurts the most. I knew something was wrong and that he was cheating almost straight away. How do we know in our instincts? I just had to find the evidence. It was all happening as he was being the 'model boyfriend' planning me the perfect 30th birthday party. People said to him how amazing he was etc at the party and to be honest it's just all spoiled that milestone in my life now.
    I really want to make this work but I just keep thinking about him with her and how could he have done this and kept all those secrets and hid from me. Sitting next to me on the sofa or laying in bed together and speaking to her. Why bother? Why not just leave?
    Some of the things he said when D Day happened I just cannot let go of too 'i wasn't sure if i loved you', 'we're both sacrificing too much' just will not leave my head.
    I don't know her, but I sure have found her online and she doesn't work too far away from me. I almost want to see her now as I really want to hurt her and make her life a misery.
    The added challenge is that he is now undergoing medical tests for a potentially terminal health condition. That has made me feel a whole other set of emotions about losing him when I thought we could get through all of this.
    I fear he will start it up again with her and he has started saying things like 'i'm tired' when he is quiet which I since learned he said when he was feeling ashamed.
    Are they signs of the affair behaviour? Is he just feeling ill?
    Unfortunately we can't cut her out because he works with her and at first he did refuse to get a new job becuase it's great money but he did say that he is going to start looking - I guess I had to make him realise it's his decision.
    I have no evidence he is cheating again I just feel uneasy and just so devastated and sad when I think of what he did/was doing and it makes me just ask myself if I can really get through this. I do not want to leave, I do not want it to be over. I just don't know if it's worth getting through it? Will I forever be anxious now?
    With that and then the health anxiety thrown in it's just such a difficult time.

    Anyone experienced anything similar?

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    1. justnotsure,
      Anyone experienced anything similar? The answer is an overwhelming consensus of "yes!". That's one of the hardest parts of this (among all the other hardest parts!) is that once trust has been destroyed, it takes a long time to rebuild. And you likely will never trust anyone in the way you might have before betrayal.
      How are the two of you navigating your relationship now? Is he offering anything more to you than "I wasn't sure if I loved you", etc? In other words, is he really trying to figure out why he risked a relationship with you? It's not uncommon for people to panic somewhat when a relationship gets more serious but most of us manage to do that without cheating. The cheating indicates an inability to manage or, at least, a strong discomfort with negative feelings and because life is already delivering more negative feelings around a potential illness, he needs to be able to manage those emotions in a healthy way. Affairs are escape. They are a way of avoiding things we don't want to think about. He needs to really understand how he used the affair in order to be far less likely to do it again. And he also needs to really understand the toll it has taken on you -- the damage it causes relationships and the pain it causes those we love.
      Your questions imply that he's not able to reassure you either at all or in a way that is, truly, reassuring. How is communication between you? Has he been able to accept full responsibility for the choice he made and the damage it has caused? Has he gained any insight into his behaviour? Betrayal is devastating but I don't buy the "once a cheater, always a cheater" narrative except when the cheater doesn't learn a thing from his behaviour.
      And finally...if you're not in counselling, I would urge you to find someone to help you. The desire to make the OW miserable is pretty normal but it's not healthy. And it's only going to make YOU more miserable. She's a symptom of your boyfriend's lack of boundaries, not the cause. I suspect your real anger is with him but, for some reason, you can't express it to him. Or he can't hear it. In any case, a smart therapist can help you through this and guide you toward a decision that feels right for you.
      Hang in there, justnotsure. None of us are ever really sure. But we can get there. Trust your experience. Demand accountability. Insist on open communication.

      Delete
    2. justnotsure, welcome to the club nobody wants to join or admit to belonging to. Elle has given you some very good advice. If you hate her you have to hate him too because he is complicit in all of this. My thought is that since you two own property together and are not married, you might be wise to seek legal advice in the event he does have a serious health problem. Terminal sounds awful. Some of us have spouses who were so disgusted with their own behavior that they stopped all "acting out" after disclosure and some of us did not have that experience but all of us were devastated by the betrayal of the person who was supposed to guard our hearts and souls with their lives. Individual counseling for both of you would be first on my list and then couples but honey, you are young and this guy knew better all along. It wasn't your fault that he could not manage his life/emotions/feelings in such a way that he chose not to talk to you about it. This was my husband's problem too. He tells me now, regularly, that he wishes he had the courage way back when to talk to me honestly about his feelings about everything in his life. I never knew. We've been marriage almost 40 years now and working on building a stronger and better marriage. He knows he has one precious chance to walk the line and he has worked hard to do it. He wanted to save our marriage and he is doing everything in his power to make amends.

      Delete
  51. Anon, I agree with Elle - run hard and fast away from this perverted situation. You don't deserve to be treated like you don't matter. Get into therapy. Do you have friends you can stay with or a relative for awhile? You will need some support of some type. This absolutely appalling. What did they say? Family members may not believe you or be on their side. Guess what you don't need family like that. What to do:

    1. Go to a temporary safe place. Go no contact with either of them.

    2. Get to a lawyer immediately.

    3. Find a therapist.

    4. Let your kids know this is not their fault, like it is not your fault. They are experiencing Grandma and Dad betrayal.

    Pray and pull whatever you have from your gut, get strong, get mad if that what it takes. Do not listen to any bullshit excuses from them, that is why go no contact if you can to down-out their "I'm so sorry shit". Ten years is a choice to hurt you. They knew it was wrong. No matter what they say - this is not your fault

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  52. Hi. I found out my husband was having an affair about 8 months ago. We went back a forth a few times and he ran back to her every time. Now he’s decided that he really wants to be with me and that he loves me. My problem is that I don’t know how to move past it. He works away from home so that’s a big issue. I told him that it’s always on my mind but he said if I keep bringing it up it’s going to push him away. I don’t know how to not talk about it. I don’t have many friends and I don’t want to talk to my family about it. Sometimes I feel like I need to bring it up so he knows I’m still not over it. He gets so defensive when I try to talk to him about it and he makes me feel guilty for bringing it up. I know I should try to move past it but I don’t know how, I feel like when I talk to him if I don’t bring it up I will explode.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,
      There's a saying on this site: My heartbreak, my rules. He is asking you to give him a second chance after betraying your trust repeatedly. He doesn't get to set the rules for reconciliation. YOU do. He is asking you to move past what is often the most painful thing we can experience. So no, he doesn't get to set the terms of that.
      You can't get past this without talking about it. It will lie in wait and sabotage your relationship. Pain that doesn't get healed becomes infected and will come out in other ways, via depression or self-harm or anxiety or substance abuse.
      If talking about your pain is "going to push him away", then he's not worth keeping. If he is so fragile that he can't handle facing the pain he's caused you, then it's a matter of time before he jumps ship again. The only way I've EVER seen people move past betrayal is when both partners commit to healing from it: the cheater does the hard work of figuring out why he cheated and how to make sure he doesn't do it again and the betrayed partner moves through her pain by healing it, inch by inch. Learning to trust again, learning to set clear boundaries, learning to respect herself and her needs.
      Sweetheart, you shouldn't "try to move past it". Of course you don't know how. It doesn't make sense to move past something without understanding it.
      He's manipulating you into silence, which adds pain to the pain you're already experiencing. You need to feel heard. You need to have your pain acknowledged. And you need assurance that he is doing everything he can to become a better man.
      If you don't have a therapist, I hope you'll find one who can help you with this. And, of course, this site has a ton of information. Search the posts about countermoves and boundaries.
      I'm sorry for what you're going through but please know that everything you're feeling is perfectly normal. What isn't okay is the way he's responding to it. He created this situation. Not you.

      Delete
    2. One more thing. Here's a post I wrote for husbands wondering why their wives can't "move past it": https://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2014/04/my-letter-to-husbands-just-talk-about.html

      Delete
  53. Part 1 - In advance I feel like my story could go on for days - I'm sorry for the length but I feel like I have to tell someone as I've been holding all of this in for 8+ months.

    I'm not sure when D-Day was as I'd known for a few months, but confession time was the first Monday of October 2017 at 4am when I confronted him with his credit card bill that listed a purchase from a website that only sold intimate things for women - but not intimate like lingerie - intimate like period cups and kegel balls and personal massagers, only one of which I could even see a couple using. Basically I knew whatever he bought wasn't for me and there was no point in lying about it as buying this sort of thing for anyone indicated at a bare minimum a level of personal discussion that went beyond friendship. He confessed he’d bought kegel balls for a co-worker he’d previously had a flirtatious one night fling with almost 3 years before and that he’d been having a 4-month affair with her allegedly since May of 2017.

    I’d already done my research by the time his confession happened. I’ve read messages between them, searched his computer’s history, and downloaded everything off his deleted phone and had it recovered (granted I never read most of it as I knew enough that I didn’t want to read it as it was too soul crushing – but I’ve seen enough). I’d seen screenshots of her saved in a strange folder in his email. I’d seen purchases of lingerie, cock rings, and “spray” to help “last longer” – that he still to this day claims was for “us.” I’d seen visits to hook up sites and surfing craigslist for relationships and visits to porn sites and a lot of downloaded porn (admittedly I did not see any communications with anyone – just visits to the sites). I discovered that he had done this to the girlfriend he had before me as well (the websites and porn and that he had previously had a secret email address that was no longer active).

    When confession day happened I had already given him multiple chances to come clean or to end our relationship. I explained that my being with him came at a massive personal cost - I had moved across the country and gave up my fantastic paying job for us to be together (we had an off and on long distance relationship from 2008 to 2015 before making it official – off only because the distance just made it too difficult – we lived on opposite sides of the US), and had changed jobs twice in two years as the job market where he lived was terrible and I was getting ready to change again. I had previously what most would consider a fantastically paying job but had taken an over 50% pay CUT to move with him. If we were to go our separate ways I would have to move again, and my resume was suffering already from changing jobs so frequently.

    Prior to my moving he confessed to an alleged 1 night make out session with…his friend’s wife. It gets better – he, the OW and her H all work together in a very specialized field where they all spent 8 hours a day basically trapped in a room no larger than that size of a large bedroom, and he had been friends with her H before she even began working there. Her H was one of his best friends. I stupidly overlooked the glaringly obvious LACK OF MORALS that comes with messing with your friend and co-worker’s wife and decided that it was a drunken event, and he confessed, and that it wasn’t worth ending everything over, so aside from that 1 day we didn’t even discuss it. I thought I was being “cool” having made stupid drunk decisions before in my life, but I was being an idiot.

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  54. Part II –

    He confessed prior to my moving and claimed that at a party at their house he drank too much and was staying in their extra room when she came in and kissed him and that he had kissed her back but then stopped it. He claimed that’s all it was when he confessed – and I would have never known except we had an argument after I had moved and I for some reason decided to search his message history where I found evidence of their talking before the alleged 1 night thing (mostly her telling him she was interested in him) and some after (where it’s clear they didn’t actually have sex but there was more than just a kiss involved for sure – it’s also clear that the physical meeting only occurred once). The messages after she disparages my looks, calls me a loser (I have 3 advanced degrees and used to make what most would think was an insanely good living, have been given awards for my community service every year for 10 years, blah blah blah – and she’s never met me and doesn’t know anything about me) and gives him advice on where to find someone “better” – and he agrees with her about everything about me, and even tells her we’re not in a “serious relationship” and denies my moving to live with him, but says they can only be friends. He then says her friendship is “very important to him” etc…it’s all a bunch of bullshit. As far as I can tell she terminates the conversation when he admits that he and I are together. For whatever stupid reason when I confront him with this he downplays it, says he doesn’t know why did said those things, and that we are great (we seemed great so I believed him).

    Fast forward 2 years to 2017. I moved to be with him into a horrible job market from a great one in my field. I had to wait almost a year for my licensing to come through so I spent a large amount of my saving waiting it out with him and the few job offers I was getting weren’t great and paid crap. I thought things were great with us, but my job search went horribly and I decided to take a job in another state for a year – a very prestigious job that I believed would help me find the permanent job in his area that I wanted (it did help but the pay here in this region is just terrible). After being away for about 6 months he started being downright rude to me on the phone or seemed distant and disinterested. I confronted him about it in June of 2017 and I was told he wasn’t sure he wanted to stay together as I seemed disinterested in him in general and he needed to not talk for a few days. I realized some of what he said about me was true (it was true – I’d been distant and I had been diagnosed with a medical condition in 2016 that made me prone to depression and had turned my sex drive to basically nothing) and I wrote a very long very soul searching email to him discussing literally everything I could think of that I should have told him, taking the blame for the demise of our relationship, and basically begging him to work it out. He called a few days later (after having 3 days of uninterrupted time with her as it turns out) and told me he did not want to end things, and ACCEPTING everything I had said – making me feel like I had been the problem and he was so magnanimous for taking me back!!!



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  55. Part III -

    Over the next few months he seemed distant and still not himself. I asked him if there was anyone else, as I knew something wasn’t right, even after our “talk” in June. He did the usual lying nonsense, and when confronted with questions he told me I was crazy. I found some photos of her – the OW – the same one he had flirted around with in 2015 – nothing sexual – just pictures in his email that he left WIDE OPEN on MY laptop – almost like he wanted me to find them. He acted crazily possessive of his phone, which isn’t abnormal for him except he never took it to the bathroom before, and had changed his password from one I knew to “a different one” because he “felt like it.” I knew it was all lies. From the minute I saw the photos of her in his email in July I KNEW and set out to catch him. I immediately began making comments about going our separate ways, giving him “outs” and even threatening to leave, to which I was told I was “nuts” and that nothing was going on.

    I didn’t buy it but I didn’t leave. For a while it was almost like my life was so ruined anyway that I was going to catch him and ruin his too. It wasn’t enough for me to just search his history, I downloaded the cache of his computer and had it examined – he thought he was so sneaky, yet he knew I had done some forensic computer stuff at work, yet I guess he thought I was dumb, and I was, as for whatever reason, I stuck around, believing that he wanted to be together I guess based on what he kept telling me. And then his attitude changed in late August – he became the guy I knew again – doting, totally attentive, happy, genuinely happy to talk to me, but yet although it appeared great and I wanted to just accept it, I had that nagging feeling that I had to hear him confess or there was no chance for us. The middle of the night in October, after about 6 weeks of really great times, I confronted him with the kegel ball purchase, and I got my confession.

    Allegedly since May of 2017 through August of 2017 he was fucking his friend’s wife (the same OW as before). He bought the kegel balls for her because she felt uncomfortable about her vagina post-birth (which was a year prior). At some point, he thought they had “fallen in love” but he had broken it off in August (which aligns with his mood swing). Since then his story has changed so many times it’s impossible to tell what happened. First he claimed it was only sex for him but emotional for her and that he broke it off. Then he claimed it was emotional for both of them but that he broke it off because he realized he wanted me. Then he insinuated that he broke it off because it was impossible for them to be together because of he H and their work and her kid (she had a 1 year old at the time of their affair) but he was happy he did because he was happier now. Who the F knows what really happened or why. He claims he had to block her from his phone because she wanted to make it work somehow.

    After the basic confession, where I went to the airport and flew back to my temporary job 4 hours later, he was very apologetic and seemed to have a bit of a breakdown on the 3rd day. He switched shifts so he barely works with her now – his doing not mine – as an act of faith and because he felt like he should get away from her. He claims he felt incredible guilt about it and wanted to tell me numerous times but didn’t because he hoped I would never know and we could be happy. He basically claims it was a “huge mistake” (yeah, your dick just fell into her) but refuses to acknowledge (to me at least) what I see as crystal clear issues with his self esteem and the history of affairs that run RAMPANT through his family. He just won’t discuss it.

    I’ll stop here as I’ve rambled long enough – needless to say we are still together and some days I’m good and other days I’m horrible. I don’t trust him most of the time and then feel guilty because of it. I’m lost.

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    1. Lost,
      I'm so so sorry for everything you've gone through. But I don't actually think you're as lost as you think you are. I think you know exactly what you want, you just haven't yet discovered that you have the guts you need to demand it.
      I'm unclear whether or not you're married but I would encourage you to get your own place. I think you need some space because this guy has a way of getting into your head and messing with it.
      You know exactly what's going on. I suspect you have a really good read on this guy and have been refusing to hear the whispers until they've become a roar. I'm not saying he's not redeemable. But at this, point he's giving you every indication he's not redeemable. Without him being willing to take a long hard look at his pattern of behaviour and why he's risking what matters to him for people who don't, he's a bad bet. If he's willing to do that, you can decide then whether or not to wait it out. But I were you, I would wait it out from the serenity of your own place.
      Lost, you know you deserve better than this. It's okay to want it. It's okay to demand it. In fact, you seem to have no trouble recognizing your value in the work world. You need to recognize your value in relationships.
      If you don't have a therapist, I hope you'll find one who can help guide you through this.
      You don't trust him because he has revealed himself to be untrustworthy. You feel guilty because he's somehow convinced you that he deserves a second chance without actually doing the hard work of deserving a second chance. A therapist can help you parse out the bullshit.
      And this site is incredible too. The women here are smart and funny and have the hard-won wisdom of having been betrayed. If you comment on the most recent posts, you're more likely to get responses so that's where most of the voices gather.
      Lost, you'll get through this. But not by sitting and hoping he'll change. Rather by respecting yourself. By treating yourself with the kindness and decency that you deserve.

      Delete
    2. I omitted some of what he has done on his own because sometimes I am so hurt and angry I don't know how to handle it, and I have really tried not lashing out at him as I realize that doesn't help anything - not even me (we went through a month period of that in January and it was terrible for both of us). We have talked about this and for the most part he is sensitive about it - as I said he changed shifts (his job is even harder to relocate - and it is super specialized so just finding another job isn't an option - only a transfer is which would take about 2 years to do) and has talked about transferring (which again would also require me to go through the same process to move), activated locator on his phone so I can see where he is whenever I want to, told me his password to his phone, leaves the computer open, and seems to try to understand when I get upset.
      Just yesterday after I wrote my above post he could tell something was wrong and said he said he wants me to feel comfortable and happy and he wants me to trust him but understands that can't happen overnight...yet it's clear that he does not understand REALLY how I feel. He says things like that and then sometimes seems frustrated that I can't just snap out of it (although he's never said that - I so feel for all the women on this site who aren't even getting what I am getting from in in the way of talk - if he told me to get over it I would absolutely lose my mind)...yet I want more.
      He will listen to me all day long about this stuff, and he even asked me what he could do to help me...but what I want him to do he simply will not...which is take a look inside himself and grasp why this happened and actually talk to me about it. My fear is that without this soul searching he will repeat the same behavior, and I just can't go through that again - I will not be the nice, calm, cool, collected person I have been for the most part. In that respect I'm still teetering on the edge.
      And yes, we are married (sorry, to me it's always been just a piece of paper - it's the commitment that has always mattered to me). My quandary is this - I can't move out and get my own place here. If I move, I will have to move back across the country to live with my parents (an idea in my 40s that makes me cringe) where again I will have to go through a 1 year licensing process which is expensive and I can't work in my field while I'm waiting for it to come through - I have a massive student debt load and my pay cut basically put me in a position where I used to have about $4,000 a month in disposable income and now I have $246. He pays for where we live and I pay my own bills and buy groceries - it's part of what irritates me so much. I've always been a fully independent person, financially and otherwise and a realize that partially due to my own stupid decisions and partially because he was straight up lying to me, I've put myself in a total financial mess and if and when I leave I want it to be on my own terms. My resume now has 3 job jumps in 2 years - and I really had to do some talking about it last time. If I try looking for work after being at my new job for less than 5 months it won't be pretty.

      Delete
  56. And thank you for this:

    Without him being willing to take a long hard look at his pattern of behaviour and why he's risking what matters to him for people who don't, he's a bad bet.

    Thank you for being able to put into words what took me a hour to write. This is the real problem. On the surface he seems to try to do everything he can for me and while I struggle to trust him, I do believe that he is remorseful and wants me to feel better (he has told me numerous times this is not my fault, but his for instance) - but he has a real problem with looking "inward" and when I push that he clams up. Granted it's better than before where he would just get angry and defensive if I even mentioned that he has a problem...now he's actually willing to listen to me and not flip out....ugh, I don't know. I hope...

    It reminds me of something I was told by a friend:

    "Someone once told me hope floats and shit sinks. Just be careful your hope didn't attach itself to a pile of shit."

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    Replies
    1. What about couples counselling with someone who can help him see the value in doing the work to figure out why he cheated and also the value in rebuilding a marriage together rather than expecting you to do all the heavy lifting? We have a saying on this site: My heartbreak, my rules. Which basically means, you broke my heart. Now I get to set the rules for reconciliation. And one of those rules is often: Seek counselling. Either on his own or with you.
      I don't doubt he's resistant. Most of these guys are. The idea of taking a look at feelings they've been avoiding their entire live (and often "medicating" through sex) is terrifying. But the alternative is a life sorta half-lived. A life driven by impulse and avoidance, rather than intention.
      Ultimately his call whether he decides on counselling...but I would present it as a non-negotiable. Not as punishment but out of a genuine desire to foster intimacy within the marriage, to rebuild a second marriage with the same guy. He doesn't know it yet but once he's taken a look at what he's avoiding and realized he can handle it, he'll feel a thousand times better.

      Delete
  57. He uses his job as an excuse for not going to counseling, even for himself (he struggles with depression and has for a long time). Unfortunately his job, which is very odd (government contracted - secret clearance - etc) requires a medical and mental health clearance every year, and requires you disclose any doctor you see, and why. Apparently ANYTHING involving counseling requires a whole bunch of meetings and discussions with supervisors and a committee meets to decide if you need to be "on medical leave" before you can return. While not super likely, he could end up being placed on leave with pay until his vacation/sick times runs out - with no guarantee of when you can come back which could equal leave without pay, which would be a disaster. All your records go to the entity and government for review - it's a total violation of privacy that most of us would never submit to (and he's not making this up - I've read the regulations when he was considering going to counseling years ago for his depression).

    I think his fear is that if he goes to counseling of any kind that they will suggest that he is put on medications. Once that suggestion is made his work will be halted, even if he does not go on them. I have suggested that only I enroll in counseling and that he comes from time to time but is not a "patient" per se but he hasn't taken me up on it. It stinks - a lot.

    Personally I think that he is VERY unwilling to discuss going as the records could go to his work, and whoever reviews them would know what had happened - as it involves several people there it is very concerning to him. While I don't think they would get to read doctor's notes, from the regulations I'm not sure. As for me, I want to be ready to leave if it comes to the point where no progress is being made (without having to discuss the details with my parents), and for right now, financially I'm simply not. I realize I have to push the counseling or therapy issue eventually, as I know my influence (and ability) to get him to take a look at what is broken is limited and I need help doing so. I have been looking for "alternative therapists" that are not licensed and are more "spiritual advisors" as that would not have to be disclosed. Maybe I should post and see if anyone has any suggestions?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to me yesterday/today. It really does help! Like most people on here I feel better today - but who knows how I'll feel tomorrow. Ugh.

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    1. Can he go and pay out of pocket? I just paid cash to my therapist and no one got his notes or knew I went besides my husband. I went to someone far away over 1 1/2 hour since my husband is in the mental health field and he is the go to person and practice in town. My therapist made my first few appointments extra long and then just once a month. Some therapists will be open to phone appointments after meeting once in person. Also he could attend with you without being the patient or the couple is the patient. Also has he thought of considering making a career move or transitioning? I know that can be hard for a variety of reasons but if he cannot find any way to get help then it would be worth exploring.

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    2. He would (we would) be financially demolished if he left his job - and honestly I don't think he would even if he could. The cash idea is a good one - he would still have to omit things from his background check...my idea is attending where I am the patient and he is just there with me. I will see if he is really open to that or not.

      I have my good days and bad days. As I lie here tonight I feel like I should leave - as in some ways I have no doubt it would be easier. Other times I feel like this has ruined me - that I will never trust anyone again...never feel that open to anything caring again. It's frustrating as normally I've been able to just move past things in my life, but this, this is crushing.

      Delete
  58. Anon, you deserve so much much more than this. I completely understand you wanting to leave. Just some FYI if you decide to stay, My H and I's finances are COMPLETELY separate (that's one smart move i made from the beginning). Since i have great insurance and he does not have mental health in his, my shrink puts me on the forms for insurance and he is tagged as a 2nd person--for a little bit more per hour. His name does not appear on my insurance forms. One thing for sure and you already know this--he needs to get to the why of these things-some people will avoid their issues as long as they can. i know i do and I actually GO to therapy.:)

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    1. Thank you for your reply. He is someone that takes their time "warming up" to any new idea, and I think he really struggles with accepting that his parents pattern of behavior has definitely influenced his ability to be introspective. His father cheats for years and eventually leaves his mother, but due to her financial situation and remote and impoverished location they live in his mom still has to work for his father's company and his new wife - the woman he cheated with - and everyone pretends this is fine and refuses to talk about it - has really made him "cold" at times.

      All that being said he used to balk at the idea of going to counseling and recently he listens more and doesn't get angry about it when I suggest it for HIM and not just for me. Basically he accepts that he has his "demons" as he puts it and that maybe it would help. This is a big step for him, but the problem for me is whether I'm willing to wait it out and see what happens. I waffle daily. I'm just so tired.

      Delete
  59. hurting_but_fightingJune 5, 2018 at 11:36 AM

    hello everyone..I just want to share my story just for the purpose of letting all the emotions come out of me..
    it's been almost 5 months now since my H admitted how he cheated on me..
    it was the night before our youngest son's birthday..
    he had a one night stand with a woman who needed a money in return..
    that was the most hurting part. learning that he had an intimate moment with a complete stranger..
    my mind was so blank. i actually was ready to kick him out of ourlives, but then thought about our kids.. we have 3 beautiful kids who love him so deary and it will break my heart to even imagine them always asking where their daddy had gone. that's what i did..i choose not to be selfish and stay with him..

    but, what i want is to find peace of mind.. i have already told him all the things i want to say.. but a huge part of me wish to take revenge.. to make him feel the pain he inflicted on me as if i died.. and the most hurting part is i can't tell it to my family or my friends because i need to protect him. to save his image as they will definitely would turn their backs on him once they would find out. and im sure they will only advise me to leave him..
    i know i said i had forgiven him but it still haunts me..

    i just want to understand why i had deserved to experience such hurting.. it's just too painful that i wanted to just shutdown.. the only reason that keeps me sane are my kids..they don't deserve to suffer the way i suffered just because their father made a horrible thing..

    i tried to change some things that i might havr done in the past that somehow make him did what he did, but the heck.. i know i've been good to him. i know i only do things that's pleasing to him and yet he still choose to break me.

    i want to know why..i want to be answered and find a way to move on.. for myself, for the children, and for the sake of our marriage..

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    1. The "why" and the "how (could you do this to me)" is the hardest part in my opinion. I didn't care about details really except the basics (how long did this go one etc) but the why is something I don't think you ever "fully" understand (and I think a lot of cheaters don't fully understand it themselves). I too wanted to know why he could do that to me after I stood by him and changed my life for him - and what kind of person is willing to screw someone over they allegedly loved. Why if he had those desires did he not just end it with me or talk to me about it?

      Granted I do think that part of the "why didn't you tell me you felt however you felt that brought this on," or the "why didn't you respect me, us, enough to not do this" feeling is the really hard part to get over. I've been told by him I was "back burnered" and he felt "unhappy and unloved" by me, and that he "liked the attention" he was getting, and that he felt "euphoric and super-emotionally connected" to someone in that way you only do when you first meet...blah blah blah. None of that told me WHY he disrespected me so much that he could not at least tell me he felt that way and see what I would do. None of that told me why he disrespected me so much that he felt it was okay to sacrifice my happiness for his own. None of that told me why he was able to look me in the eyes and lie to me with EASE for so long.

      In the end, no amount of asking is going to TOTALLY erase those issues for you. No amount of asking will totally erase the fact that the man you are with was not only able, but did, disrespect your relationship and breach your trust. And most importantly, no amount of asking will make HIM figure out WHY he did it - and that is the most important thing of all, which is why I think counseling is so suggested here and on sites like this. Because until HE is able to figure out the REAL why, there cannot be a fulfilling answer to your questions.

      I'm sorry you are going through this pain - I really am. Until this happened to me I had NO IDEA how awful this experience can be. The best you can do at this point is figure out what you want to do and what you NEED him to do in order to make this workable.

      Delete
    2. Hurting But Fighting,
      You didn't deserve this. It's that simple. And the "why" likely has NOTHING to do with you. Cheating is about moral failing discovering opportunity. It's about seeking something outside yourself (sense of importance, excitement, feeling interesting and sexy, etc.) that is more healthy to find within yourself and within your relationship.
      Jodie is right. You might never get the answers you need. But the good part is that you don't need those answers to move forward. You can set clear boundaries that demand he seek help to figure out those answers himself. And then you can focus on healing from your own pain. He cheated on you and that is excruciating. He isn't the guy you thought he was. That doesn't mean you can't give him a second chance. But it does mean that he has a whole lot of soul-searching to do in order to better understand how he betrayed you and how he managed to convince himself that was somehow okay. That's his job.
      Your job is to focus on recognizing that his cheating isn't your failure. It's his.
      Find a therapist who can support you as you work through the pain.
      And take it a day at a time. You don't need to know what you want to do long-term. It's enough to get through the day.
      Hang in there. Keep reading here. There's a ton of great info and incredible women who can guide you toward healing.

      Delete
    3. Wow, Jodie, I could have written your post. I've been reading this site for 2 years but have never shared my story with anyone. 3 years ago, having been married for more than 25 years, I completely believed that my husband was the kindest, most moral man I had ever known. He's a great dad, grandfather, son, son-in-law, everything a woman could hope for. Sure, he didn't communicate well, but that was more or less forgiven because he was so great in every other manner. Then I started receiving anonymous messages that he was cheating on me. For over 2 years I received messages, confronted him with each one, and he denied it. We spent hours thinking about who would be crazy enough, who hated us enough to want to cause us this much trouble. There was literally no one we could think of, and with each email I grew more doubtful, but he insisted he would never do such a thing. He looked me right in the eyes and said he never could. Then the photos came. Nothing illicit, just enough to give credence to the messages. He was actually relieved to have everything out in the open. His pain was over but mine had just begun. He said it was "just sex" because he was depressed and lost due to job stress, and who knows what else. Mid life crisis maybe? Sex addiction? Lord knows he has always had an over active sex drive and used sex to relieve stress. Now, after two years of individual and couples counseling, he is frustrated that I can't just move on. If he had come clean with the first message, I think I could have. But the lies haunt me. I find myself doubting everything he says. He's proven he's not the guy I thought he was...but he still seems like the guy I thought he was. It's as if for a while he became someone else, someone he doesn't even recognize or like. He is remorseful, but truly doesn't understand the trauma for me. He's never been able to successfully answer the why question, or how. How did he make it ok? Why was sex so important that he was willing to take such chances? He says he was lost and didn't care about anything. But I was living with him and didn't see it, so besides the trauma of his actions, I have to live with my own blindness. How do I trust my own gut again? How do I trust that he won't become that guy again? He's no closer to answers than he was 2 years ago. I am stuck. My roller coaster goes from being absolutely certain that I want to remain with him, to knowing beyond all doubt that I can not. I have absolutely no idea what to do. He has zero empathy for any of this and wants me to accept that he is different now. I also know that whether I leave him or not, the pain does not go away. I can't go back, I can't move on. What does the future hold? I can't do a day at a time forever.

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    4. Anonymous, I'm so so sorry for what you've been going through. And I'm grateful you trusted us enough here to finally share your story.
      I hear a similar story all the time -- a husband, relieved to finally be out of the shadows, can't understand why his wife is taking so long to "get over it". They can't understand the trauma. They just don't g get it. And their inability to get it ends up being a big part of the problem -- keeping their wives stuck in this limbo.
      Is your husband is any kind of individual therapy? Cause it sounds as though he hasn't fully reckoned with the damage his deception/behaviour caused. It sounds as though he's still minimizing and, to some extent, dismissing what he did as somewhat harmless. But two years of gaslighting you? That's really tough to get over. Two years of him looking you in the eye and telling you that up is down and black is white.
      Have you two done any couples counselling too? Cause I think it would really help to have someone regularly pointing out to him that he's turning away from your pain, that he's minimizing what he did and that the only way to heal as a couple is for him to be able to show up for you, to tell you as often as you need to hear it that he is doing everything he can to ensure he never does that to you again. But you need to SEE that he's doing everything he can.
      Two years isn't so long in terms of healing but it's even harder when your husband won't acknowledge the depth of your trauma and own his role in it.
      I hope you'll continue to share here. The women here are, as you have likely seen, brilliant and kind and compassionate. And they know your pain.

      Delete
  60. Hi all. I would like to share my story with you in the hopes to find some way forward as i have no idea what to do.
    My partner and i have been together 4 and half years now and have a 6 month old sob together. When i was 8month pregnant i found out that he cheated on me the previous year. We talked things through and i decided to give him a second chance. After giving birth this felt really awkward between us and i spoke to him about it, but he would always tell me i was imagining things and this is how women are after giving birth blah blah blah.

    One day i decided to go through his phone(something i never done before) and found oyt his been having a few relationships of his own. I was tormented and kicked him out(not my finest moment but i was consumed with rage). A month passed and we never spoke. He would talk to me once a week and act as if nothing had happened ( which would add to my anger).
    We are approaching 3months past D Day and i still find myself tormented. We communicate regarding our son and when he visits he still calls me "baby". I call him on his name trying to keep things formal.
    I feel so broken and stuck. I am trying to forgive him but i can't fully do that if i don't have all the answers. He refuses to talk about what happened and when i bring it up he just shuts down and i end up speaking to myself.
    How do i ever get past this betrayal? How do i start building a future for our son without him?. I feel so so stuck

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    1. Anonymous,
      You can't forgive someone for something he won't admit doing. He wants you to just put this behind you and pretend it didn't happen. There is no possible way to rebuild a healthy relationship in which there's this MASSIVE betrayal that never gets dealt with. And why would anyone want to have a relationship with someone who has so little regard for your pain (that HE caused) that he can't bring himself to support you as you work through it.
      I suspect much of your relationship has been about avoiding those tough conversations. These things don't usually happen in a vacuum. So my advice, if you want to try and work things out with this guy (and you certainly aren't obliged do and he isn't giving you much reason to) is to make it a condition of reconciliation that he attend therapy to figure out why he cheated, why he's unable to acknowledge his own guilt and your pain and how he made what he did "okay" in his own mind. Only then would I even consider trying again...and only if you're seeing positive change and a total acknowledgement of the pain he's caused and a genuine desire to never do that to you again.
      In case you're interested, this guy is not alone in his desire to just wish this would go away. Here's my post on it: https://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com/2014/04/my-letter-to-husbands-just-talk-about.html

      Delete
  61. It has been almost 4 months since I found my husband at a neighbors house and confronted my fears. He was having an affair with a girl almost half my age. I turned 50 during the affair time, And our 16th Anniversary was 4 days prior to that night. He had been staying out all night a couple times a week. Blaming Alcohol and the boys. Most other nights he would be home much later then normal. I remember asking him if he was having a mid life crisis. His response was I’m not into fast cars and women. I was so naive and stupid that wasn’t even where I was going. I thought he was just trying to relive youth. The night I found out he had asked me for sex and I told him to wait until the kids were asleep. When the time came I went to the bedroom and he hopped up and said he was going to a friends house. I guess that’s when I couldn’t understand. I watched a little tv but my brain kept saying something wasn’t right. So, I got into my car and drove up to the friends house and saw my husband’s truck across the street. At first I couldn’t beleive it was his truck. I went up and down the street 3 times until I noticed a sticker on the back of the truck. I knew it was his. I made a complete fool of myself. Banging on the door for all the neighbors to hear. I started yelling his name to open the door. It took him several minutes to get to the door. His face said it all. He looked hurt. I went home, we had our fight and I left. I only stayed gone 2 nights. I think part of it was because I wanted to know he wasn’t with her, the other was our children. He tried to tell me that he wasn’t doing anything. They were just talking and hanging out. He used phrases like “she talked more like a dude then a girl”,” I wouldn’t even know how to begin to kiss a 26 year old. She’d probably slap me.” The thing was the only light on in that house was the bedroom light. My heart wanted to beleive him so bad. But my brain wasn’t that stupid. He finally admitted to it a month later. I felt like someone had just kicked me in the gut. Lie after lie and he doesn’t understand why I still don’t beleive half of what he says now. He does stay home, he doesn’t drink, does everything with me or he doesn’t do it. And not by force. He says he feels like that time period wasn’t even him. The bad part is we see her all the time. She drives by our home or other neighbors homes when she sees his truck there. I feel angry all the time. His friends he was hanging around with at the time knew all about it. I still have problems sleeping, eating, and just being normal. I feel like I’m not good company for anyone, and I know my kids are perfect people but they have to see a difference in me. In us. I feel lost, depressed, anxiety, pure hate, and so much lack of control. We were going to counseling but we had to take a break do to money issues. I try and talk and I guess I never pick the right time. He did talk to me about it one night a few months ago. Most of the time now he says I don’t know or nothing. I feel like I’m going crazy sometimes. Like I would love to just scream until I can’t no more. I don’t do it because of neighbors and family. And I’m not saying words, I just mean the action of screaming. I can be doing dishes, practically anything and something pops in my head and this happens a lot. And my brain will just keep going until I’m mad or crying. I feel like a different person. I love him. I always have. But I don’t know if that’s enough. We were fighting a lot during that time. Money, him staying out for all hours of the night, drinking to much. But we never stayed mad. I just don’t understand what went wrong. How? I never thought of this with him. And now I feel I always will. He left a permanent scar on my heart.

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    1. Betrayed217,
      Everything you describe sounds so familiar to not only me but to pretty much everyone on this site. The shock, the pain, the fear, the desperate need to just scream. It's all, sadly, normal.
      There are, however, things you can do to help yourself. If he could afford to go drinking for months before D-Day, I suspect you can rustle up enough money for you to see a therapist. Not couples counselling. Just you. A place where you can metaphorically scream. A place where you can begin to take back some control, to process the pain, to figure out what you want this "new" marriage to look like. Cause that's the thing with betrayal. The old marriage is dead. You need to rebuild a marriage (if you want to...leaving is also an option) based on total honesty and transparency. He needs to be totally accountable for the pain he caused and that includes answering all your questions. You deserve to know exactly what the man who's asking you for a second chance actually did, for how long and why. And that's HIS job -- to figure out the why. Sure alcohol played a factor and so did his shitty friends. But there's a reason he was drinking and hanging around people with no scruples. What story was he telling himself that allowed him to violate his own moral code and hurt the one person he'd promised never to hurt? He needs to figure that out.
      And you need a safe space to begin to find yourself again. A place to regain your strength.
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through but you have more control than you realize. He is asking YOU for a second chance. What is HE bringing to the table to deserve that? What do YOU need in your marriage to feel emotionally safe enough to give him that second chance?
      Betrayed, marriages rebound from infidelity all the time but it takes a whole lot of work. It takes commitment from both partners to be honest, to support each other through it and to ensure, especially, that the injured party feels safe and heard. YOU get to set the rules. We have a saying on this site: My heartbreak, my rules. Figure out what those rules look like.
      In the meantime, read this about why we need to be able to talk about what happened to us and why we need our partners to talk to us. Hang in there, Betrayed217. This is a tough road. But you are stronger than you know.
      https://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com/2014/04/my-letter-to-husbands-just-talk-about.html

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  62. Hi, I'm glad to find this blog. 7 weeks ago, I caught my husband cheating on me. We were together for 23 years. 8 years staying together and married for 15 years. We have two boys, 9 and 11. He has been a good husband and a good father. He is always a MR Nice guy. Everyone likes him. I trusted him with all my heart. BUT not anymore. He told me he wants this family and he wants me. But he still keeping his affair contact. His affair partner message him once in two days. He said we pushing him too hard and he can't breathe. He said he wants to leave this place, leave everything behind and start a new life somewhere else. He is trying to run away from what he has done. He asked me to give him more time to forget. He said he ended their relationship but he still keeps her contact and they met twice after the disclosure and still texting her.
    I can't trust anything he says. I can't sleep, can't eat, can't concentrate. At first, he blames me for not meeting his needs, he wants me to change. I did but he never stop asking more. Is torturing. I can't express my feeling because he doesn't wants to listen. I can't be myself because he doesn't like my characteristic. He said he is afraid of me since the first day we met. How ridiculous. I can't believe he said that.
    He started to pinpoint everything he doesn't not like about me in these 23 years. I don't know what to say, what to do. I'm so confuse. Why didn't he tell me earlier? Why he married me at the first place if he has so much dissatisfaction? Why now? Well, I'm 43 and she is 24. My husband said she is beautiful, makes him feel comfortable and release. I don't like this kind of feeling. Everyday, when he has to go to work, I always suspect he will go meet the girl after or before he goes to his office. This is crazy. I know, I'm crazy.

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    1. slumberyong,
      I am so sorry for what you're going through. His behaviour is pretty typical among cheaters. BUT...I'm going to say some things to you that might sound harsh but I want you to know that they're coming out of concern for you. You need to make it clear to him that you will NOT tolerate his behaviour any more. Absolutely NO contact with his affair partner. NONE. If he wants his marriage and you, then he needs to cut off contact with the affair partner.
      You also need to stop putting up with his criticism of you. He did NOT cheat because of you. As you point out, he married so. But often men who cheat rewrite history or tell themselves lies in order to justify what they're doing. So suddenly they decide that the wife is a nag, or she's difficult, or "scary". It's nonsense. So don't put up with it.
      I think it's long past time for some serious boundaries in your marriage. You need to make it clear that if he wants to be in a marriage with you then he needs to be a kind, decent man who DOES NOT CHEAT. If he can't do that, then you are better off without him.
      I would strongly urge you to seek therapy to help you process the pain you're in and to help you learn to create clear boundaries in your marriage about what you will tolerate and what you will NOT.
      This man sounds like a bully and a child. He wants everything while you are in agony over his cheating. He should be comforting you, he should be supporting you in your pain. Instead, he's criticizing you and blaming you. Do not put up with it. You deserve so much better than this.

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    2. Elle, thanks for your advice. Yes, I'm seeing a therapist. I don't know what to expect. I want to be happy even though I'm a different person now. I want to move on. I don't want to stuck here with him. Every day is suffering.
      I can't stop thinking about him seeing the girl any day and coming back home pretending like nothing ever happen ... is killing me. I feel like I'm sharing my husband with another woman. If I keep quiet, he may think is okay to do that. If I talk to him, he ignore, he says I'm pushing him and that makes him wanted to go to that girl more.
      I think he still loves me but the feeling that the girl gives him is just too hard to resist. We are together too long and there is no more excitement in between us.

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  63. We just passed our 29th anniversary and at the dinner table I called him on watching porn in my presence, still sleeping with other women and needing more affection from him. We live like roommates and partake in a lot of small talk. The now and then relationship conversations are always started by me and generally result in THAT session only, then we go on our marry way. This time it's different. The conversation didn't sabotage our anniversary meal, but I feel like we are still at the same place. He says he can't give me what I truly want AND YET he will still maintain a relationship with some woman that he sees occasionally. By the way him seeing other women has happened since our daughter was born 22 years ago. Different women, same reason. I'm beginning to know that it's HIS problem, HIS emotional-less approach, HIS porn/sex addiction. However...MY problem is that I'm married to him. I've been reading so many different websites and have appointments coming up. For all the many reasons we all know, I don't want divorce AND YET I don't know if I can continue being married to a man who 1) fucks other women, and 2) won't show me that he loves me. Thanks.

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    1. Valerie,
      What do you get out of staying? Because I think the cost of staying is high. He has told you, clearly and unequivocally, that he will not give you what you want -- a faithful, emotionally engaged marriage. So you need to decide whether what you get by staying (and only you can answer that) is worth it.
      The reasons for cheating are absolutely on him. You are not in the least responsible for his choices. BUT...you are responsible for your choices. And you have chosen to stay with someone who is openly cheating on you.
      I'm glad you've got appointments coming up -- lawyers and therapists, I assume? I hope you've also got an appointment with the doctor to ensure he hasn't given you any STDs.
      But Valerie, I hope I don't sound cruel because, believe me, I am so sorry for you or any woman dealing with infidelity. It is soul crushing. But there's a reason you have stayed with a man who treats you as disposable. And it's your job to figure out why and what you want moving forward. You deserve so much more than this. And I suspect you have so much to give to someone who can open his heart to you.
      I hope you'll give it some long thought -- where did you learn to live on crumbs? I've written about that exact thing. This post might help: https://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com/2017/11/where-did-you-learn-to-live-on-crumbs.html
      In the meantime, continue to read here. The women here are fabulous and they know the pain you're in. And they can share their wisdom or just offer support. You are among friends here.

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  64. Thank you Elle. I looked at "crumbs" and know that I have a difficult decision before me. It aches! STDs are not my concern b/c we haven't had sex in nearly 8 years. (tell tell sign, eh?) And WHY haven't we had sex? I got tired of coming out of the shower and seeing him already watching porn that was WAY too up front for me. No foreplay. Or, I guess that lust WAS his foreplay. On the way to work just now I had an imaginary conversation with him...coming clean about something I found the other day. While looking in our safe for something I found a 3-page list of his pass codes. On it is an Amex account, an account to a Marriott, tumblr, kik, a Pay Pal account just for him, the lucky app. A CHEATER ALWAYS CHEATS and he's been doing it for a long time. Is living with and loving him enough crumbs for me? Well, I also read his journal (yes, I betrayed HIM!) and have memorized his last entry: "I don't know if I can give Val what she truly wants. Actually, I know I can't. Truly a dilemma for us." And there you have it. That's the man I married nearly 30 years ago. Sad.

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    1. Valerie,
      Sorry for the delay in getting to your post. This blog gets a bit unwieldy for me at time.
      I'm not the least surprised at what your husband wrote. But I suspect you're looking at it wrong. He clearly needs help -- it sounds as though he's in pretty deep with the acting out. And you are certainly under no obligation to stay with him if that isn't what you want. But if you do want to try and rebuild a marriage with this man, then he needs help. He likely needs a 12-step group, and he certainly needs a therapist who understands porn/sex addiction. He can't give you what you need because he is shame-filled and self-loathing and can't see his way out of this. He is talking like every addict in history.
      You would likely benefit from a 12-step group too for those married to addicts -- and you certainly would benefit from a therapist who can help you sort through what your next right step is.
      You don't have to live like this, Valerie. You deserve better -- either with him or without him.

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  65. Like so many other, I never thought I’d find myself in this club. But as I sit here nursing my beautiful 7 month old, I realize that I need to share, that I need community and others who have been there, and that can come from an online platform like this one. Thank you for creating this space.

    My husband’s disclosure was on December 1, 2018. Our daughter was born in August and his most severe cheating (paying for sex at a “massage parlor” – he ended up just masturbating but I think he would have done anything she was willing to do as he went back multiple times until something happened…) happened the weeks right before and after her birth.

    We’re still living together and trying to heal.

    The back story/context: We’ve been married almost 8 years. We’ve moved across the country together. We served in the Peace Corps together a few years into our marriage. We’ve traveled the world together. We (like so many others here) had a wonderful, not perfect, but great marriage.

    We returned to the US and got jobs post Peace Corps. We started trying to conceive our little one as we were beyond ready to have a baby (we had to wait extra due to Peace Corps and tropical illnesses we had). We conceived right away and were just so so sooo excited. So happy. So in love. Everything expecting a baby is supposed to be.

    And then it all went south. He started freaking out about becoming a father. His job ended up having a lot of trauma and he couldn’t handle it. Within a few months he was suicidal (a year ago this week actually). I was 3 months pregnant and our whole family was on suicide watch as he quit his job and spiraled into a really deep, dark depression. He was out of work for a few months and this is where his infidelity began to escalate. He had a little dip with alcohol and other substance abuse, but for whatever reason, those forms of acting out were only a once or twice thing and then he never did them again. I continued with months 4 - 9 of pregnancy and what started as just looking at porn (a sour point in our relationship, but not a deal breaker….just a tricky space) escalated to soliciting photos from people we knew in Peace Corps, and then to online video sexing, then to masturbating at work and while he was driving home, then to going to the massage parlor multiple times.

    He came home after the last massage parlor trip, where he’d masturbated with the help of the “masseuse” and said we needed to go to couples counseling. Our daughter was two weeks old.

    As my daughter giggles in my lap right now, he’s at a group, sharing with other men who have come clean and who are trying to repair their lives. We’re trying to heal, and I know it takes times, but I felt today that I, too, needed a space to share about this terrible journey that started a year ago with his suicidality and continued to other various levels of betrayal.

    Our marriage ended that disclosure day. I wasn't wearing my ring (swollen pregnant and postpartum fingers...) but then couldn't put it back on once I lost enough weight because I knew. He still wears his...but it's chipping. How tragically symbolic.

    I think I’ll be able to forgive him; I’ve made some progress on moving through my parts of it. (Thank god for counseling, even if we are using up our savings to be able to afford it all.) But he’s torturing himself so much with shame and self-loathing (probably not a surprise for someone who was so down they were suicidal) that I don’t know if he’ll ever be able to forgive himself. If he doesn’t, if he can’t, I’m not sure where that will leave us.

    All I can do though is try to find peace and healing myself. To get out my anger and rage. To try to remember that it had truly, nothing to do with me, even when it feels like it did. I can’t heal him. I can only give my own heart the opportunity to heal so that my next marriage (with him or not) can have a chance.

    Love and light to you all. I’m glad this club exists.

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    1. Emily,
      Ack. I'm sorry I missed your post. But welcome. Your story sounds like so many others and makes clear, again, that cheating is not about you or even your marriage but about the person choosing to cheat -- looking for some sort of distraction/escape from his own feelings. Trauma, fear, feelings of inadequacy or depression or anxiety.
      I'm glad you found us. And so glad you've found comfort here. The women are, as you likely noticed, warm and compassionate and open-hearted. You are among friends.
      Your marriage sounds like it's on track to become richer and deeper than even before. As you note, it takes hard work and willingness of, especially the betraying partner, to dig deep into his soul.
      I hope you can find joy in your baby. Those early weeks/months can be exhausting in themselves without betrayal to complicate things. But I hope you see the promise in your baby's eyes.

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  66. @Emily, thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been coming here for about 4 years. Tomorrow is my antiversary and I’m here to tell you that it gets easier. As with any trauma you don’t forget, but you do heal. I’m sorry you endured this during such a special time in your young family. I was in the midst of my teens becoming independent when it struck our family. It’s shattering, life altering and brings you to your knees. Life becomes a blur for a time and then it becomes clear. This isn’t about you and it’s not about the birth of your special little girl. It’s about him and his lost soul. You are still in the early stages and anger, rage, sadness and being stuck are all a part of the journey. You will find laughter and joy. They sneak in to let you know you’re still alive. Love up that little gal, practice self care for YOU and things will fall into place. It’s at times two steps forward and four steps back. Keep on keeping on! Return here often to read and soak in stories. They helped me immensely to feel normal. ((Hugs))

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    1. Heartfelt, Thank you so much for extending our BWC welcome. My absolute favorite part of this site is how you all reach out to others and open your arms and your hearts. How you guide each other along. I feel lucky to be among you.

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  67. Seething Mad from a man whose wife betrayed him and the 100s of men I have met whose wives decided it would be fun to have an affair and betray. Just like men that have affairs, women have affairs and both are EQUALLY wrong. We are all hurting as we ache for our kids and the future generations that will suffer from the result of infidelity. Please do not make this a woman hating men issue or visa versa. It is an adult problem that is pandemic. Men and women were built to be in loving life-long relationships and this infidelity has to be addressed and taken to a level of better two way relationships.

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    1. Anonymous,
      There isn't a woman on this site who doesn't have empathy for anyone who's been cheated on. You're right -- this isn't about man-hating or women-hating. It's about hating the infidelity that destroys families. There aren't a lot of men on this site (though there are a few) but you are welcome to share your story and seek guidance and support, just like anyone else who's been betrayed. I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. But you're among friends here.

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  68. Just found this site yesterday. I have been so uneasy lately, it feels like it's been so long since D day and I'm not feeling much better about things. I feel so alone as I have nobody to talk to about this. There are very few people who know because I feel so much shame. I first knew he was fooling around July 2015. He had been working out of state for about a year due to there being no work locally. He came home in late August and was home most of the time after that. From July until Christmas 2015, I confronted him many times. He denied it so many times. She had left the state and moved back home. I get a partial truth Christmas day 2015. Over the next few months, I get more and more details. She had moved in with him a few weeks after meeting, he went to a family reunion with her. All this time, denying that he is having any contact with her anymore. He then tells me a few days before my birthday that he wants to try and be with her. I moved out for about six months. During this time, he pursued her for a bit. It is my belief that she turned him down, but he insists he decided not to be with her. She never traveled to our state and I believe things have been over since then. He asked me to move back in quite a few times before I finally gave in. For a period of time, I was obsessively checking for evidence. Constantly looked at call/text logs. I stopped over a year ago. What I still have trouble with is that when I had very good evidence and confronted him, he denied it for months. We have not been to therapy, I have suggested it many times. He has been heavily drinking since around the time of summer 2015 when it all started.

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    1. Amy,
      Your heartbreak is palpable in every word you write. I am so sorry. I wish I could wrap you in a hug. You've been through the wringer. Such a roller coaster.
      But here's the thing. You have more control than you realize. You get to decide what you're going to do with your life. Are you going to continue to try and rebuild a relationship with this guy? If so, what do you need to begin to feel emotionally safe with him?
      The heavy drinking is likely a factor. His refusal to go to therapy also makes this difficult, if not impossible. You simply can't have a healthy relationship with an emotionally unhealthy person.
      There's a lot of posts on this site re. boundaries, which are crucial in order to keep you safe. So keep reading. You're among a group of incredible women who, like you, have often kept this horrible secret from those closest to us. But please know Amy, the shame isn't yours to carry. He didn't cheat because there's something wrong with you. He cheated because there's something wrong with him. And staying isn't shameful. You get to decide how you respond to this. But I do think that shame is telling you that you don't believe you're treating yourself with self-respect. That's easily remedied by starting. Treat yourself with respect, and kindness, and compassion. We teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves.

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  69. Hi, I'm a male and I found out 2 years ago that my wife was having an affair with a co-worker of mine. We have been together for 12 years, and have 3 wonderful kids. I was totally devastated . She told me because I was having an health issue that she thought was related to her infidelity although she used protection. There were signs... I found, totaly by chance that she was periodically looking at his facebook profile but without any messages going on between them. That was the first time I was looking at stuff in 12 years. I was confident with her being faithful, and we talked about it in the beginning of our relationship. I strongly stated that it was really important, that it was a deal breaker. I asked her if there was something going on between them and she swore that nothing happende and that she just looked at his profile a few times because she met him at the grocery sotre. I accepted that story and told her that I had been very scare that she was having an affair. A few months later, I found a strange file on our computer and opend it, it was a email sent to the same guy ending with her name and 2 kiss xx. I was mad and asked her what the hell was going on. I left the house angry and went to work. When I returned home she was crying and told me that she was only talking to him when I was at work in the evening. I said that it wasn't acceptable and that I would not tolerate this. She answered that she called him to say that she didn't what to speak to him anymore. I believed her and after a few weeks I didn't think about it anymore. Two years later she revealed her affair to me. I screamed, said nasty words to her... She said they had sex only once and that it was over from the second time when I found the email. I didn't leave, I couln't even think. Over the days we talk and talk again. I chose not to leave because she was still the women I loved. I saw a therapist that helped a lot sorting things out but still I feel stuck between what she has done and what she is now. In the 2 years gap, she saw a therapist too ( I thought it was for another reason) She worked on self-esteem mainly. She said she cheated to get a ego boost, that she didn't think she was a good mother and a good wife. She felt better doing it but miserable the second after until she see him again and so on. I feel that she changed and is remorseful but I still think about it everyday. I feel so insecure now. I feel it's getting better but it takes so much time, it's exausting. Well, I hope for the better and try to do better communication with her but will I ever be confortable in this relationship? Who knows? For those who believe in Karma... he is now in jail for dealing drugs and no longer my co-worker! Thank you for this great blog Elle, I wish I will not need it anymore one day!

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    1. Hazaard,
      I'm so sorry for all that you've gone through. I'm sure the day will come when you don't need this blog anymore. In the meantime, I'm glad you found us.
      Two years probably feels like an eternity but it's not so long in terms of healing from infidelity. Most experts say it takes anywhere from two to five years to fully heal from it. Both of you are doing the right thing -- seeking counselling for you to process the pain and for her to figure out why she was risking what matters to her for someone who didn't.
      Would you consider doing couples therapy now? It can help teach both of you to communicate better so that you feel closer. Your feelings are quite normal under the circumstances -- you no doubt feel vulnerable. But if you are able to share that with her -- and she's able to really hear that and acknowledge it -- it can help both of you to feel closer. And if you can hear her fears -- of not being a good wife and mother -- then that's, again, how closeness develops. Intimacy is really about being able to share our deepest selves and feel accepted and wanted. But that can feel particularly hard when you've felt betrayed. She likely has some shame around her infidelity too, which can get in the way.
      In any case, as you know, there's lots of info and incredible people on this site who know your pain and you help guide you toward healing. Please don't hesitate to share on more recent posts (which generally get more response because more people read them). And hang in there, Hazaard. It really does get better.

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  70. I found out in Sept 2017 that my husband of 32 years had been having an affair for 3+ years with a woman of the same age that he used to work with 20 some years ago. They met once or twice a month, he used the cover of going to a meeting for a hobby he has had for 40 years. Just to make things more hurtful, our son was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in 10/2013 and she invited my husband to lunch in 12/2013 to “get an update” on our son then asked my husband if he wanted to “hook up”. (WTF was her problem, was she a sociopath??) He said no at first, but changed his mind several days later.
    For the last ten years or so, he had gotten more and more hateful in personality, no one was right but him, no one could drive appropriately, do their job right etc. I tried to offer an alternate view but then it was just "you never take my side!". Also, Truth be told we were not having sex at the time as I had breast cancer with chemo in 2006 and sex became increasing painful for me as well as my sons devestating diagnosis...that didn’t help my libedo. We attempted sex at times but it was painful for both of us and my husband was not patient about it. And who wants to have sex with someone they really don’t even like anymore?
    The story goes that During their affair my husband had issues with ED, basically not being able to get an erection but about every 6th time. They had very similar personality types (hating everyone and everything in the world, and each one would fuel the others fire for this hatred) and always had conversations revolving around these things they disliked (work, world events, etc). The sex (when it happened) was robotic, no intimacy (no kissing, cuddling), like a business transaction. They had nothing in common other than the similar personality type.
    He said the original intent started as a desire for sex but after about the first 6 months he went more for the the conversation; she would agree with his “Everything/everyone sucks BUT me” talk...something I wouldn’t do. His counselor said it was an addiction.
    Why he would have continued this affair for all those years for conversation? I could see if the sex was spectacular, but apparently it was not, But still was attempted at every visit. He also said he seemed like a working arrangement, like going to a job...
    I was completely blind about this.Nothing seemed different in our home life, we still did things together,cuddled on the couch, held hands, etc.
    My husband has been completely honest with any questions I’ve asked and broke off all communication with this woman since d-day. We are trying to reconcile, but there are so many unanswered questions in my mind still: why did this go on for so long when the sex was so bad, time constraints, ED issues, etc. He cannot come up with answers, he‘s tried to, but even he doesn’t know why, it makes him sick to think about it.
    So fast forward to Sept 2018, our 25 year old son passed away. So much hurt and pain for one person to deal with. My husband has definitely changed. He is very remorseful and has so much guilt on board.. He is now everything he should have been all those years ago. Why can’t I accept him for who he is now and not the person he was? I almost feel we are bound by trauma, not love. I know no affair is a good affair, but I am thankful the affair ended with a clean break...like a light switch being turned off. If it was so easy to stop, why didn't he do it 4 years ago?? I just can’t seem to move past it. We’ve been to several counselors and they just seem to make things worse; dredging up the past with every visit. How do I put my trust back into him (or myself for that matter) to move forward. I want to be happy. Before the affair, I stuck by him 100%, even during his most hateful times, I tried to make him happy, but I guess he thought he just wasn’t getting enough attention... our son was the center of my attention (something I would NOT change, even now)

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    1. Oh LCH,
      I am so incredibly sorry for everything you've been through, including the loss of your son and your breast cancer. So much pain and trauma. I wonder if his affair has become something of a lightning rod for all that other pain which doesn't so much have a target. Sure you can be made at the universe for what you've gone through but it's convenience (and not unreasonable) to point at what he did. That's not to say that your pain around his affair isn't completely understandable. He betrayed you when you were already reeling from so much.
      But (and please don't think I'm making an excuse for his affair), he was hurting too. He was reeling too. And when we're vulnerable and hurt and none too emotionally mature/healthy, we do incredibly stupid things. He wasn't with her because of sex or even conversation. He was with her because misery loves company and she was misery with skin on. It almost sounds like self-harm -- like people who drink even though they know they're going to hate themselves for it. You can drive yourself crazy trying to understand his/her crazy. But that's on HIM to figure out why he betrayed you in order to ensure he doesn't do it again.
      It's your job to heal yourself from so much. You already sound like an incredible woman -- a fierce and strong woman. While he's getting his own house in order, I would urge you to seek help processing everything you've gone through. A safe place where you can explore the pain and begin to release it, bit by bit. Your ability to maintain a belief in the world and your refusal to harden your heart (like your husband did) is an incredible gift and it will serve you well.
      For now...forget couples counselling and find someone who can help you. I would insist that he do the same. Keep your side of the street clean, as my friend puts it. You did NOT cause him to cheat on you. You were focussed on your son, which is what ANY loving parent would do. Its sounds as though your husband was unable to express his own grief, which hardened into anger. It's his job to deal with that. Yours, as I said, is to begin to let go of some of the pain. I hope you'll find a wonderful therapist who can help you with that.
      In the meantime, you'll see how many incredible strong compassionate women are here. Post as often as you want. Share your story. There are others who know your particular pain but all of us know the pain of betrayal. Welcome to the club none of us ever wanted to join.

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  71. SHORT STORY:

    1970 to 1977 – sexually abused by my father
    1981 – mom finds out, but for whatever reason stays married to my father for the next three years, sleeping in the same bed with the man who had molested his own daughter, HER own daughter
    May 1998 – start of my relationship with my husband
    Feb 2000 – moves in and we start acting like a married couple without the piece of paper
    Aug 2006 – emotional affair with ex-girlfriend (first OW), busted with a REALLY long phone call, asked to have calls in our home instead of behind my back
    Oct 2006 – busted again with the first OW – discovered he was still talking to her and emailing her at work – affair ends
    Oct 2007 to Oct 2014 – visits second OW and has flirty relationship with her behind my back on solo trips home to England – she’s an old friend from 30 years ago that he’s never mentioned to me
    2013/2014 – somewhere around this time I completely let my guard down and trust him explicitly (the first time I’ve trusted ANYONE in my life)
    Sep 2015 – we get married per his insistence – we go to England and Italy together, don’t visit second OW (as I assume he was afraid I would call him on his flirting and “ruin a good thing” for him)
    Oct 2016 – has sex with second OW on his next solo trip home to England
    Oct 2016 to Dec 2016 – secretly carries on affair with second OW long distance
    Dec 2016 – discover it and he promises to stop
    Dec 2016 to Mar 2017 – locks me out of everything, doing it behind my back, treating me like crap for the first time in our relationship (Jekyll and Hyde kind of thing), insists on me letting him go on another solo trip to England to “prove that I trust him”
    Mar/Apr 2017 – goes on solo trip and second OW moves into his hotel room for the 9/10 day trip
    Apr 2017 to Jul 2017 – does everything he can to convince me that we need to try a “marital sabbatical” and then happy accident for him – his father has a stroke, falls down the stairs, is paralyzed, and he convinces me that it would be good for him to go to England to help out his family and we could have that “marital sabbatical” he was talking about
    Jul 2017 to Sep 2017 – moves in with OW without my knowledge
    Sep 2017 – returns home and actually is no longer acting like a monster – I figure if he did do what I think he did, he’s at least gotten it out of his system
    Apr 2018 – we go to England together to see his family and friends
    May 2018 – second OW finds out about it and breaks up with him as he’s lied to her about the extent of his relationship with me (his wife) and when he would be able to get back to England to be with her
    May/Jun 2018 – the second OW and her mother start torturing me with the details to get back at him
    Jun 2018 to Oct 2018 – disclosure after disclosure, all of which are coming from other people
    Oct 2018 to Feb 2019 – during a trip back to England which had been previously planned and paid for, I was given one final piece of information that sent me over the edge, so I stay behind in England to sort my head out.
    Feb 2019 to Present – still trying to figure out how my life went so wrong.

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    1. Oh Unknown, You have been dragged through hell. I am so sorry for everything you've gone through (and are continuing to go through). Do you have a good therapist who can support you through this? Who can help you process the layer upon layer of pain and betrayal be the people closest to you? You need help to get through this. I'm so glad you found us. The women here are incredible and we know the pain you're in.
      In the meantime, I want you to look yourself in the mirror and remind yourself, every single bloody day, that you have lived your life with integrity. You are worthy and decent and lovable. That others betray you is about THEIR problems, not yours.
      But...it sounds as though you've got a whole lot of work to do around setting healthy boundaries (no surprise, given what your mother and father did to you. You've likely never seen healthy boundaries modelled in your family). Boundaries are your rules to keep yourself emotionally and physically safe. As a kid, we can't control that stuff. But as adults, we can.
      I grew up with dysfunction so, like you, I hadn't a clue what to avoid in other people. The signs were all there but I missed them. Or, like you, I believed people when they said they'd change.
      There's a post I wrote awhile back based on a comment by the brilliant Esther Perel. It was about how we come to "settle for crumbs." I settled for crumbs. And dear Unknown, you've been settling for crumbs too. No more. This is about healing you. You deserve so much better than what you've been settling for. You deserve kindness and love and honesty and loyalty. Your husband can choose to become a better man (and you can choose to either give him another chance or not. It's absolutely your choice) or not. But either way, it's time to heal you so that you can free yourself of toxic people and toxic behaviour.
      Welcome to the club, Unknown. None of us ever wanted to be here. But here we are. And we're a helluva amazing group of fierce wonderful women.

      Delete
  72. Thanks for your reply. I've tried a few therapists ... the first was a couples therapist, but that was at a time when my husband was still spouting off things that would make your eyes pop out of your head ("I went to England to work on our marriage and didn't see a problem living with another woman while I was getting my head back into our marriage"), so I was really just going in order to validate the eye popping moments when he would say that. So then she sent me to see an individual therapist who said I was too messed up and traumatized with PTSD symptoms for her to help me and she referred me to someone else. I went to that next therapist who specialized in EMDR therapy for people with PTSD symptoms and that was working. Then I got hit with the extra information while on vacation in England, ended up determining that the best thing for me was to have distance from him, and sent him back to the U.S. on my own while I stayed behind in England. Didn't have any luck with therapists while I was there, have gone to a weekend intensive therapy session for infidelity and have follow-up calls/assignments from that, but need to go back to looking for a good individual therapist again who can help with this second phase of the process (don't know if I should go back to the woman who specialized in EMDR therapy for PTSD or find a different therapist).

    I'm just all over the place right now. Anyway, thanks for reaching out. I find it therapeutic to tell the story and feel like someone is listening and able to at least sympathize if not empathize. Thanks again!

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    Replies
    1. Unknown,
      This thread is about to fill up (it won't post any replies after 200 and this one is the 200th so you might want to move to one of the more recent posts. Don't worry if it's not totally related to the post). But...I did want to say that EMDR worked miracles for me. Regular therapy can take a LONG time with post-trauma, whereas EMDR can move you through it more quickly.
      In any case, I hope you'll continue to share your story because you're right -- it is therapeutic. And it's not just helpful to you, it helps others here to feel less alone. We learn from each other and we support each and we cheer each other on.

      Delete
  73. Hi,
    I am not married or have kids. I feel like most of the resources out there are for married couples. However, I have been with my boyfriend for 8 years and lived together for 2. I thought we were doing well. We had are moments of bickering or arguing but nothing dramatic. I’m almost 30 and am having a lot of friends beginning to get married and I thought we were on the right track of getting there too. One weekend when I was out for a bachelorette party, he had some work friends over and ended up sleeping with one of them. He told me two weeks later.

    I was shocked, and not expecting it at all. I always thought cheating happened when your relationship was struggling or someone was not happy in it. Not when everything was good and you were beginning to look at engagement rings. I think the worst part of it was the cliché of him sleeping with his intern in our home, in our bed. I am frequently triggered just by walking around our house or being in our bedroom when I know which parts they had sex in.

    He claims it was a one night stand. He was drinking way too much and he told me because he wants to stay together and needed to be honest. I still can’t get past the WHY part. He drinks with his friends all the time, he has never slept with someone else. I constantly ask him are you not happy? Are you sure you really want this? He says as horrible as the situation is, it has matured him and made him realize what his priorities are. He realized he was taking advantage of our relationship and he is ready to settle down now. When I kept pressuring him for a why, the only thing he could come up with is that he is constantly pressure by friends and family to propose when he isn’t ready, and it could have been subconsciously a rebellion against that? Still though, I’m like so you slept with someone else because you don’t want to marry me? I’m so confused by it all. I feel like he is saying the right things and being honest, and since then has been spending more time with me and doing things to make me happy but I can’t get past it.

    I still constantly picture them together when walking around my house. I still don’t understand why it happened. And if we were good, how will I know it won’t happen again when we are perfectly fine in the future? I have made the decision to stay with him, but it has been months and I still can’t go more than a few days without tearing up. I think I’m getting stronger and then something triggers me such as a song on the radio. I still love him but I feel as though my love for him has changed, it feels different, more guarded. I get jealous going to friends weddings, seeing engagement rings, or double dating and seeing how happy others are. We can put on a show, I even had a friend mention recently how much she loves our type of relationship and I was want to SCREAM. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON. WE ARE NOT OKAY. I’m trying to heal, I feel as though he is trying to change for the better. I just want this feeling of doubt and uncertainty and low self-esteem to go away.

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  74. D day for me was July 28, 2019. He was taking me on a date and wanted me to map the restaurant for him. I asked for his phone to GPS it and he yelled "NO!". I laughed it off and said "what are you worried I will see your girlfriends messages?" and laughed. The look on his face I will never forget as long as I live. It is permanently burned into my memory along with the date. He said it was emotional for 6 months then sexual for 6 months. She was 27 he is 51 I am 47. She broke it off with him because she found a man and moved in with him. She told my husband their age was a problem, and the relationship was going no where. I blew up when I found out. The rage was so strong. Then came the gut wrenching pain and the tears they have happened every day for me since D Day. Little background he took a job in Austin TX, but the kids and I stayed in MS so they could finish their schooling. We have two boys 19 & 22. The 19 is very unsure of himself but extremely smart. Graduated HS at 16 and has one semester of Community College left. Plans were to move to Austin where our son would attend University of Texas. Other son is off at MSU. He has always been a head strong independent young man. He goes after what he wants and lets nothing stop him. My husband is a workaholic. I quit my job years ago to be a stay at home mom and support my husband as he climbed the corporate ladder. I took care of everything for many years. He traveled a good bit to begin with. He was there for the birth of our first son but then had to fly out and didn't see him again for 9 months. So the kids have always been with me and I with them.

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  75. Before he took the job in Austin (because the company here is MS closed and no one else designs computer and cell phone chips in MS) he took a job in Albuquerque NM. He moved out there first and then I followed later. The kids stayed at home at that time, my oldest was there to take care of the youngest, but when he got the job in Austin I came home to be with the youngest because the eldest went off to college. Plus my special needs brother developed colon cancer and I helped take care of him for 4 months until he passed. My husband has always been a loving, wonderful, driven, bread winning, great father and husband and would never cheat on me and had not until moving to Austin when this 27 year old caught his fancy. We would still meet on weekends 4 hrs for me and 4 hrs for him and still took Christmas vacations as a family during the year he was with her. Little background on me. I was emotionally and physically abused by my alcoholic father. I and my sister were also molested by my father. I moved out of the family home when I was 16 and no one cared. I felt guilty for leaving my sister (3 yrs younger) at home with my father, but I couldn't take anymore of the abuse and I was too young to take care of myself and my sister. Finished HS with honors, AAS degree with honors. Met my husband at the Community College and married him once we got our AAS degrees. We continued our education as a married couple and received our BS degrees both with honors. I told my husband all about what happened to me as a young girl starting at age 7 before we married. I had never told anyone, but there was something wonderful about this man that I wanted to share everything with. So I held nothing back.

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  76. I did not realize what that trauma had actually done to me. My husband had a long road of breaking down my walls of protection to get in. Trust is very hard for me you see. But I dropped those walls for him and ended up relying on him all the way (which is something I had vowed never to do with a man). We have had a wonderful and rough marriage as I ended up in counseling to begin to heal from what my father had put me through. I always felt like so what things happen in every family you survived and you are strong this is in the past just get on with your life and let the past remain there. I did not truly understand the impact it had on my life. I had issues with sex. Triggers. PTSD..My husband was there by my side the whole way. He was just wonderful when I was a complete mess. We traveled with the kids each summer for 3 months and made amazing memories which I had never had before. It was also very hard for us to get through, but we did. Then in Austin, he became consumed with work and we began to see less and less of each other. I begged him to make time for us, but he was trying to level up in his job. That was more important than I was or the kids were.

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  77. Then on our family Christmas vacation I noticed he was so cold and so mean. If I tried to have a conversation with him he just became so angry and would even curse at me. I just thought wow this job is really taking its toll on him. But no it wasn't the job at all. It was another woman. So current day. He took 3 weeks off of his job to be home with me, but he is void any emotion at all. If I cry he becomes angry. He says he did it because "he wanted too" He said he caught feelings but were unsure what the feelings really were. He says he loves me but is not in love with me. He says he wants to spend time with me again to get to know me again..to fall in love with me again. Meanwhile, I look at him and my mind thinks "did she touch him there" "did he hold and caress her hair like he does with me after we make love" etc.... He was never the kind of man that would do something like this...yet he was. Everything for the past year seems a complete lie...our memories...our family...because he was leading a double life and I was so daft because I had no idea it was going on...I am crushed beyond words...can't sleep..can't eat..can't even do my job at work (I went to work when the kids were older for something to do). Honestly I have no idea how to handle this....I am so lost....it seems that all the counseling that I have done for the past many years has just come back to square one...but this time I don't have my husband to lean on....

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  78. I found our 2 weeks ago that my husband, to whom i have been married for 10 years and engaged for 3 years, has been cheating on me. He cheated on me right after we got engaged, then cheated again a couple of years into our wedding. He also kept on trying to lure girls throughout our marriage, chatting with women, and trying to meet up with them. I caught him 2 years into our marriage chatting with girl, but he promised it was nothing and i chose to believe him. 3 years ago, when my son was 3 months old, we were coming back from a one month holiday from New Zealand and i saw a chat with some woman he was planning to meet that same night, after travelling 24hrs with a 3 months old baby and coming back to a problem with our house (plastering fell off), he told me he needed to meet a client! I had to make a phone call on his phone and saw the chat... I think my new mum hormones and all the stress i was coming back to made me forget about it and let it go easily but i know, looking back that I shouldn't have let him go so easily. That was a big sign, that was proof that he was ready to go any length just for sex with a stranger. He didnt care about me or his son.

    Since my brain decided to let go of that, I continued living like nothing happened until 3 months ago i caught him on Tinder. That did it. I was furious. I knew i had to stop lying to myself... I finally knew my husband was not what he claimed to be... He was disgusting. I again confronted him and he sweared nothing more happened other than chatting. Who would believe that? But well, again somehow, i decided to live in denial and I gave him a chance although it broke my heart and id cry everyday.

    2 weeks ago, I finally learnt the whole truth. through some strange turns of events, i managed to get all out of him. He confessed cheating on me before our wedding and once again after our marriage. He then confessed to watching a lot of porn, sex chatting and also having a crazy obsession lusting after women he would come across or see everyday.

    The disgust i feel towards him is unexplainable. I have hit rock bottom and i am completely lost and unhappy. I feel like my world has come crashing down although i always had my doubts. I feel worthless.

    He claims he wants to change for us. He has been through therapy and has been told that he has commitment issues based on his childhood. However, my therapist thinks he is just addicted. He is ready for us to have couple's therapy and we have our first session tomorrow.

    For my son, I want to give him a chance, but the hurt, the anger, the betrayal is so bad i am not sure i will be able to make it through. I am not sure i will be able to trust him again. I want to believe him that he wants to change, he appears genuine. But then again, he always appeared genuine but still managed to cheat on me for 13 years without me knowing... or well... doing anything about it. He is such a good liar.

    I am completely lost and heartbroken. Each day i think i have no more tears to cry but they come crashing nonetheless. I fear I fall into depression. I cannot concentrate at work...i feel like i am losing everything i have ever had...I actually feel like i have nothing anymore... Because my husband had been my everything.

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  79. Hi there!
    I'd like to share my experience.
    I met my bf the New Year's Eve before last. He was casually dating a workmate of him. We only hooked up twice in January and February and he stopped his relationship in the middle of March (or so he says). Theh, he left the job in summer. He never told me about her, but she did know about me.
    The problem is that he went back for Christmas dinner, got really drunk and slept with her. She sent me a text message through a fake Instagram on Christmas Lottery Day!!
    We've been going to a therapist, got personality tests and the psych is quite optimistic on us and says we're highly compatible.
    The problem is that I don't know if this relationship ended up in March or if he kept on dating both of us for longer when I already started having feelings for him. He swears he didn't but it's impossible to know for sure.
    Btw, alcohol has always been an issue because it has a really bad effect on him and since then he hasn't drunk at all...

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  80. September of 2019 is when my fiance had an affair. We were going through a pretty rough time. He didnt tell me until January of 2020. He just couldn't keep it to himself anymore, he said it was eating him alive and he often had thoughts of taking his own life for what he had done to me (he had gotten the help he needs). Cheating was something we both swore would never happen, it's just not who we are as a person, which is part of the reason it was eating him alive because he just couldn't understand why or how he could do that.
    The first night was a weekend we were spending at our trailer. We were celebrating mine and one of my fiances friends birthday (we will call him R). My fiances friend (R) and his wife (L) have a trailer in the same park, so there were a bunch of friends up there celebrating with us for the weekend. My fiance drove up friday night, and i spent the night at his moms because she was watching our daughter for the weekend. I was driving up Saturday morning. My fiance had driven to R's house Friday night so they could drive up together. L had a friend (K) with her that was coming to the trailer, and as they were leaving to drive up she decided to hop in with my fiance. K is the one my fiance had sex with that friday night. I knew she had been interested in him before because my fiance goes over the top with everything he does for me - hes literally like a guy you see in the movies. Anyways they got really drunk and she made a move on him and he didnt stop it. He said there was such a lack of attention from me to him that that's what made him not stop - he loved the attention and the feeling of someone wanting him. My lack of attention towards him I guess had gotten so bad that even the drive thru lady smiling at him would leave him feeling amazing.
    When I drove to Saturday I could sense something was wrong (we had a couple arguments over the phone as I was driving to the trailer) but he just played it off that he was tired from the late night before. Fast forward to saturday night, we were all sitting around the fire and K decided to come and sit between my fiance and I, leaning over to him asking if he was ok. Instantly I had a guard up and thought that was strange. I talked to my fiance about it and he played it off like it was nothing.
    2 weeks later, we were at R's and L's wedding. Both my fiance and K were apart of the wedding party. K and I got super drunk and were dancing and having a fun time. She had come to the bathroom with me and had asked how my fiance and I were doing and asking about the problems we had (he had vented at the trailer when we had our phone arguments) and I basically said we were good and that if we were going to break up it would have happened a loooong time ago (had a really rough time our first year together) to which she responded with oh really? Again, I had a guard up, thought it was strange, mentioned it to my husband and he shrugged it off.
    From october to january things were getting really good with us. We were having sex more, joking around, being playful more. When he told me, he said it only happened once at the trailer. Ok. I could forgive him for that, it was a one time thing, I could visibly see how much it affected him as he was uncontrollably sobbing.

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  81. (Continued)
    A couple days later I get a message from K. She said he had gone to her house a couple times after the weekend at the trailer where they hung out and had sex. That they were texting and telling about how neither of them wanted it to end. That they kissed at R and L's wedding. I was so mad and in shock I thought I was going to faint. My legs felt like jello. I phoned my fiance and was screaming at him. At first he tried to play it off like he already told me. But he only told me they did it once. He thought he was doing me a favour by telling me what he thought was the worst part (that he had sex with someone else). But to find out all these other details from her only made it 1000 times worse. I didnt think I could stay with him. I was the angriest I have even been in my whole life. He rushed home from work and had his dad come over to watch our daughter so we could go and talk. (Our daughter is 11 months old and I had put her down in her crib after I read the message from K since i was feeling weak and was screaming at my fiance). He explained everything and how K made some things sound like they were more than they really were. For example, the kiss at the wedding, my fiance was outside puking and she had walked up to him and tried to kiss him, where he stepped back and asked her wtf she was doing and told her to stay away. What eats me up still is that I almost went back to check on him as he was sick, but his friends had pulled me away saying I didnt need to and that he was fine. A couple days after the wedding my fiance had said something to her about how she was acting at the wedding (trying to get other married men to sleep with her) which pissed her off and made her end things with him. He said it worked in his favour because he wanted to end things with her but not in a way that would make her want to message me
    It's so hard not to go through all the what ifs. Anyways, we talked it out, I calmed down a lot, we agreed to go to couples counseling. I blocked K on social media as I didnt want anymore messages from her. 2 days later i get a text from her, with the screenshot of the message she sent me on facebook. She works at a cellphone company and that's how we believe she got my number cause she didnt get it from anyone else.

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    Replies
    1. Unknown,
      I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. Your story sounds, of course, like so many here.
      As you're discovering, this can be a wakeup call for an unhealthy relationship -- albeit an excruciatingly painful one. But it can lead to one or both partners getting the help they need to create a healthy relationship. Given that you two are parents to a little girl, I can understand why you want to try and work this out.
      It's absolutely possible to create a great relationship even after such pain and deception. Your fiance sounds like a pretty good guy, though he did such a stupid, hurtful thing. You'll find loads of support here and an army of women who know exactly what you're going through. I'm glad you found us.

      Delete
  82. Hello, I found out my husband lied to me 15 years ago just 2 months ago, but I am in so much pain. I don't want to exist, I want to disappear, but I realize I could never do that bc I have 3 young kids, parents and sisters that I would let down. My husband and I have been together for 16 years, 12 of them married. 2 months ago, I was throwing away old receipts from 2005 (15 years ago), a victoria secret receipt fell out. I noticed it was the month my husband and I were broken up. I asked him about it and he said he didn't know what I was talking about. I dropped it, but it bothered me so I sifted through the rest of the receipts for that months and I found a receipt for condoms and 2 restaurants. I texted it to him and I didn't get a response all day. Then he come home and looked mortified. He told me that the victoria receipt was an attempt to flirt with a girl at work and she found it inappropriate so asked him to stop. The 2 reatuarant receipts were from 2 dinners he had with a girl that he confided in. He promised he never had a girl at his house or kissed anyone.i found another receipt and he kept telling me he didn't know what that was for. Then he came home and made up a lie that a girl fr the gym asked him out. Then after a month passed by, he said he needed to confess. He said everything he said was a lie. He said he met a girl a few days after we broke up at and she came over for dinner twice and once, they went to victoria secret to buy lingerie. He said he wanted to show her he could buy stuff and he was cool. He doesn't think it was his idea bc he's uncomfortable with things like that. He said they made out and when he tried to touch her boob, she stopped him. Then they didn't go out again. He said the 2 restaurants were true, it was a girl he confided in. Then the 3rd girl was someone fr work. She showed interest in him and so they went to dinner. He kissed her after dinner bc he said she liked him a lot and she was nice to him.
    He lied to me 15 years ago when we got back together. I asked him if he dated anyone, kissed anyone or had anyone at his house and he said no. I was ask other times and he always said no. And even when I first found the receipts, he said no again and again. Then he lied, sorry after story. I'm in wo much pain. I know my husband didn't sleep with anyone and that we were separated at the time, but it feels like he cheated. Does it feel like he cheated bc he lied and I took him back bc I believed he was faithful during our break? I cry every night. I think about him with this girl at his hous and making out. My husband swears on his mom's debilitating health that they never had sex, but I don't believe him. I don't believe anything he says. My sisters say that my husband would never cheat on me and this was a long time ago. They know him as a geeky and kind of uncomfortable person. They didn't think he could do this and lie to. But I hate him and I want to leave him bc of this pain i feel. I cry myself to sleep every night. He tried to hold me and I cry. He tries to kiss me and it reminds me of him kissing the other girl.

    He is very remorseful and always apologizing. He says he would be devastated and his world broken if he found out I did that. He says he wish he could have seen a therapist then or visited his family during our break so he could have reflected on what caused the breakup. Bc when we broke up, he was afraid he was infatuated with me and that I was the pretty party girl that liked a nerdy guy. He was afraid that he was with me for the wrong reasons and that since I was the only reason he was in CA (his family and friends are in the east coast) he was afraid. He said he wished he never saw other women. He said he didn't realize how much he loved me and so he lied when I asked him if he dated or kissed anyone bc he was afraid of losing me.

    I'm so torn. I need help. I need to process. I'm in so much pain. Why do I feel like this?

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    1. Oh Anonymous, your post is breaking my heart.
      Let me start by saying I know that feeling of wanting to disappear. But remember this: What you are saying is that you want the PAIN to go away. You want to stop hurting. But if you are EVER going to actually do anything to hurt yourself, please PLEASE reach out to a crisis center or counsellor or someone who can get you help.
      Because YOU matter. You are in pain. And that will dissipate, I promise you it will. But it will hurt for a long time, incrementally getting better.
      But let's start with your value. His affair is about what's wrong with HIM not what's wrong with you. You are enough. You did nothing to deserve this. He needs to take time to understand why he risked everything that matters to him for people who didn't.
      In the meantime, you need to focus on your own healing. I believe that those of us who grew up with dysfunction of any type sometimes struggle more because we already question our own worth. We already have rather fragile trust bonds with other people. I don't know if that's the case with you but if it is, this is your chance to heal those old wounds as well.

      Delete
  83. I have been debating this but god I need someone to talk too. I have been with my husband 14 years this april. There probably has not been one complete year where he hasn't cheated in some capacity. I mean when we were younger and we were just starting out there were tale tale signs.. I was naive he was my high school sweet heart and we got married when we started college.I ignored the signs in the beginning thinking no those girls are lying when they say he flirts or whatever. Well a few years into our marriage and after our first child was the first big disclosure. I found out he had been seeing a married woman from his job. As well as calling several different dating hotlines and trying to meet up with several women. At the time I found all this out I was also dealing with having our son diagnosed with a disability. It was a horrible time in my life. He said he would change he would be better so on and so forth. I desperately wanted to believe him. Then it kept happening no more co workers. thank god! But more of the phone line sex sites things like that. He pacified me by saying it was all talk no physical contact. This pattern repeats through out our 14 year relationship. We also had 2 more babies over the course of this our girls. I know I know your probably like why stay. Well to be honest on some level I believed him when he said he wasnt physical with them. He has some severe body insecurities that keep him from even sending actual pictures of his own body to these women he talks to. Anyways 5 months ago was when I found the one that finally broke me. You see he has done this on and off for all our relationship and he has gas lighted me the whole way. But everytime he did it it was for a month or a week here or there. But this time when I caught him I found out it had been over a year. He had a secret email with 18 different dating profiles. He talked to women in our area he hadn't done that before and the real final straw was his going on those websites asking these women if they wanted to meet up...
    All their conversations were sexual and he said he was in a relationship had kids was looking for something on the side. I had a gut feeling one night and went through his phone and that's when I saw it all. I broke when I saw it he had finally broke me. I threw up I couldn't eat for a week. To add to the misery my birthday literally fell 5 days after I found out. I had to put up a happy face for my kids and our families but it was awful. He begged he pleaded he said he was sorry he didn't wanna lose his family he never met any of them it was all talk. Blah blah blah. I wanted him out. I needed space to figure out my next move where to go from here. Prior to this everytime I caught him he never wanted to go to counseling. But after I said I wanted him out he was all about counseling.. all about any type of therapy we could seek out. He even wanted me to pay to spy software installed on his phone so I can have peace of mind. And he can have accountabilty. He did seem to be trying. But slowly but surely the couples therapy sessions dwindled his enthusiasm for all that went away. If I wasn't constantly pushing it on him he had no interest to try to do it himself. I did see changes he was attentive and loving and all that. But I was still hurting. I am still hurting. I can't explain this sadness that turns into anger and sometimes hatred and oh the resentment i feel... I just feel like this is like all the other times. He will do it again. And I will have no one but myself to blame for it. I don't know why I still love him but I know I do. I just wish it was enough to overpower all the other emotions and triggers I feel in a day.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous,
      I am so sorry for everything you've gone through. You don't deserve any of this.
      There's a couples counsellor named Esther Perel, who writes books and has a podcast. She asked a person, who had been dealing with infidelity, a question: "Where did you learn to settle from crumbs?" she asked. And I'm now asking you.
      "Where did you learn to settle from crumbs?" Because somewhere along the way, you have come to believe that you don't deserve better. You have come to accept the lying and the gaslighting. You have come to see your role as being compassionate and understanding of HIM while disregarding your own pain and everything you've done to be a good mother and a loyal wife.
      I'm not telling you to leave. We each get to make our own choices around how we respond to betrayal. But I am asking you to prioritize yourself and your own healing. If only to help you be a better mom to your kids, to model to them what self-respect and self-care looks like.
      You cannot control him. You cannot make him go to counselling. He clearly fears losing you. And then that fear gets lost in his own issues and he begins to prioritize what he wants over the fear of losing you. So...stop trying to convince him that you and your family are worth fighting for. He either will or he won't.
      But YOU can fight for yourself. And I hope you will. Forget couples counselling until he begins taking responsibility for it. Use the money instead for individual counselling. Find someone who can help you figure out where you learned to settle for crumbs and how to STOP doing that. Find someone who can support you through this agony.
      YOU are worth fighting for and I hope you will fight for yourself.
      It's quite possible that he'll see you treating yourself better and realize that he'd better smarten up or lose you forever. Or he might not. Either way, you can't control that.
      Focus on what you can control. You. Treat yourself with respect. Treat yourself with care. Be kind to yourself. Show your kids that it's healthy to take care of yourself, emotionally and physically. I suspect your husband has a whole lot of issues and insecurities that he distracts himself from with these affairs. And make no mistake, he is cheating on you whether it's physical or not. The time and energy he's putting into relationships with these other people is time and energy he's not giving to you or his kids. If he wouldn't behave this way with you right beside him, then that's the clue it's behaviour that's unacceptable.
      Anonymous, fight like hell for yourself. You're worth it.

      Delete
  84. I'm very glad I found this site tonight. No one knows about my husband's infidelity, so I really need a place to vent and therapy isn't until Wednesday. Lying on the couch with my 2to today, I suddenly put two and two together about something that happened 5 years ago on my birthday. My husband and I were not married yet, we had a 4 month old baby. It was my birthday. He didn't come home from work, I called him twice and cried myself to sleep. He called later that night or maybe in the morning and said he'd driven around and gone down to his hometown a few hours away to meet up with some friends. Fast forward a few years, I find out about several affairs, we work on it, we get married. But I had seen one of those women had tagged him in a post the day after my birthday thanking him for "country bumpkin biscuits and gravy". He lived in a super small farming town. Tonight I'm putting it together that the night he never came home, MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY, he was with this woman. She had recently moved across the country and had come in for a visit. I'm enraged. Feels just as fresh as if my birthday would have been yesterday. I don't want to fight with my husband about this. We are both in therapy, working on ourselves and trying to get through this. We are madly in love. But damn. I just needed to get it out there.

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  85. 2/19/2020 DDay - I am still in ... something. Hubby and I have been together for 29 years this June. 4 kids (2 from my previous marriage, 2 together). When we were first together, he was carrying on cyber relationships that were an issue. I refused at first to marry him because I had been there, done that. I was at the end of my 7 year marriage and was not divorced until a year after we had been living together. He was so insistent that I agreed and we married on our 5 year anniversary in TN. Spent the weekend with the kids at the Great Smoky Mountains and took lots of photos. Get home, he immediately sends them to his latest conquest "here I am at my property in the mountains" type caption. Confrontation - he sees nothing wrong with it and continues his online pursuits for a while. They fizzle out but damage has been done. My insecurity was not helped by his anger (which now I know was caused by his anxiety - from single to dad of 4 within 4 years). Fast forward a couple of years and my high school sweetheart starts pursuing me online. I was swept away and probably would have left if he had not made it clear after the initial romancing that all he was after was the chase/sex. Hubby and I separated for a time and eventually somewhat reconciled.
    Fast forward to present. While we were not great, I thought we were doing better. We had moved in with my parents to care for my dad with dementia. I still resisted getting too close to hubby - afraid that I was "giving in" for some reason. I thought about getting help because I really wanted to be "good" with him. He had tried to change over the years so he wasn't always so grumpy and stressed out. We worked together in our craft business while both working full time jobs. He told everyone he loved that I worked with him out in the shop. Found a small, mom and pop boutique to put our stuff in. Younger woman owner - 10 years younger than me - her husband, and mother ran the shop. Never a fan of the woman because she was too complimentary of me - always blowing smoke and telling hubby that he needed to treat me like a queen, etc. She became friends with my children (she has none of her own) and was invited to our house for family events (we collect strays and always open to others).

    Hubby was very restless - wanted to go. Didn't matter where, just wanted to go. I arranged weekend getaways for us. I noticed though, that he made every excuse to visit the shop - need to drop this off, need to pick this up. A good friend of ours worked next store to boutique so he was usually there too but something didn't feel right.

    I finally had enough after seeing the three of them together at a local restaurant we all were meeting at - our friend, this woman and my husband. Body language for both men was so intent on her. When it was time to leave, she hugged me and told me how excited my husband was about this weekend that I had planned...WTF???

    Two days later while I was packing picnic for our trip away, husband left phone unattended and I broke down and snooped. Yep - there it was in black and white. Him pursuing her - her sending him inappropriate photos. For 4 months, they had been pursuing this affair emotionally - he was trying to get her to meet for sex. They were kissing in OUR shop while the rest of the family was in the house making Xmas cookies.

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  86. part 2 - I confronted him - he denied. He admitted to a little. Tried to cancel weekend but I said we had to go - we couldn't resolve anything if we were there at the house with my mother.

    Lots of talking, yelling, accusations back and forth over that weekend, but we resolved to move forward. I am convinced that this woman is a sociopath who used him to get what she wanted. She wanted my family's affection because she didn't have it. She constantly sent me messages saying she missed me, sorry I couldn't drop by the store, and all the while she was sending him photos and making plans to have sex with him in my house... She uses her sex appeal on men to get them under her thumb - my husband and friend are both victims.Idiots - but victims nonetheless. We cut all ties to her and hubby has committed to doing whatever he can to help me heal. He has listened to everything I sent him (love "Not Just Friends" by Glass and your site!). I am thankful that we are working through this.

    I still have my bad days - today is one. He is great about helping me and is learning to communicate so that we don't end up fighting because I am sad. Some days I get up and don't think about it - but I still have sleepless nights. We are talking about counseling but both of us have had negative experiences with that (individually and as a couple). Many days I am still numb and I am hoping that I can find the happy "me" again - I don't like being sad. I think I am past the angry phase most of the time.

    Thank you for being here and allowing me to share my story. I am angry at him but even angrier at her for violating the "woman code" - violating my trust, trying to become part of my family, trying to pretend to be my friend all the while texting and talking to my husband. She may never have had physical sex with him - but that doesn't matter does it?

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    Replies
    1. No, that doesn't matter at all. Betrayal is betrayal. And I'm sorry for everything you've gone through. Your plate is beyond full with caring for kids, mother and now this! It sounds as though both of you struggle with commitment/boundaries, which is where a good therapist can really help you. I'm sorry you've had bad experiences. Therapists are no different than any other profession -- some are incredible (and will change your lives) and some are not. I hope you'll consider trying again because it seems as though you both want to do better in your marriage but without the skills, it's hard. So many of us need to learn how to better communicate, how to set and respect boundaries, etc.

      Delete
  87. Hi, my name is Liz. I'm new to this, I actually found this online. I wanted to use this platform because I'm kind of alone. I moved out here with my husband 2 years ago and I still dont really have any friends out here.
    I just found out today that my husband had sex with one of his old friends here and lied to me about it for a year and a half. I am so upset and lost and I feel so alone in all this. We have 2 kids and I'm only 24... my mom was a single mom, and I keep thinking about my kids... I wished I had a dad, and i dont wanna put them through that.
    I really need some guidance and just someone to talk to, really. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Liz,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I, too, thought about my kids and it's largely what kept me in the marriage in the early days after D-DAy. BUT, unless he's willing to do the hard work of coming completely clean about everything and commit to becoming a better husband and figuring out why he cheated on you, then staying is not a good long-term plan. You deserve to be in a committed relationship with someone you trust.
      You'll find a ton of information on this site and likely come across many whose situations sound a lot like yours. But please know you're not alone, you will get through this and you deserve better. Your children deserve better. He can either become better or not.

      Delete
  88. I think this is the best place for me to write this. I havn’t really wrote on this blog except when things were going on over a year ago but I’m a lurker on this blog, reading up when i feel down.
    I’m not sure what i need today, maybe to know i’m. Not crazy, maybe to know other people get like this. Becasue at times i feel pathetic and childish for not being able to control my thoughts and feelings, i feel sometimes it’s maybe me not making the effort!
    So i found out when i was pregnant over a year ago, of course i took him back i was pregnant. He works away, always has and this cannot change, he’s away for two weeks home for a weekend. I’m used to this but obviously all this changes things and makes it that little harder, easier for my thoughts to run away with me, easier for me to bottle things up aswel i guess. Therapy is not really possible due to him working away and we are in the uk it’s not a big thing here or atleast not in the countryside where i live so we have never done therapy/mc. He has answered a lot but cannot givw me a specific reason as to why?! He says it wasn’t me and he still loved me it just happened he didnt really love her (but she tells me they’d talked marriage, babies, living together) he acknowledges they spoke about that shit but says it disnt mean anything, he never had any intention of any of this. After i found out there was a couple of months of back n forth of him not knowing what t do. It’s left me so insecure of whats real and what isn’t. I’m getting better though, i believe he loves me, i can tell he’s making an effort, things are how they used t be but there’s always a niggling feeling of u didnt have a clue before, how do u know this won’t happen again, and hate towards him. Triggers - his car (we each have a car, mine being the family car we usually go about in when he’s home) i was in it the other day (she’s been in iy too)and it just set me off! He was like so you’re never going to come in my car ever, what do u want me to get rid of it? Says it’s unrealistic (it is, it’s a lease car and he can’t get rid just yet) but i feel pathetic, why can’t i control my feelings on a small car journey?! It caused a massive argument i ended the relationship and this time i feel calm like a sort of peace but i know it’ll all come crashing back down on me soon. This whole drama has given me anxiety. (Not major) but an issue i never had to deal with pre affair. I don’t know what i’m asking here to be honest, i think i just needed to write it down. I’m still very sad about the aituation, so hurt. My friend has just found out her fiancee has been cheating, he left her and i feel it’s triggered me. Of course i’m there for hwr so hearing how she is feeling is taking me right back and i feel stupid for beingbwith him when it’s being said he’s an idiot, better off without him, can’t trust someone like that etc in a group chat becausr not everyone knows
    I dunno!

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