Share Your Story: Finding Out Part Two

Discovering a partner's betrayal is excruciating. But we need to share our story to heal.

171 comments:

  1. I came across this blog a few weeks ago the same way a few others did, one night I typed in google "I caught my husband and my bestfriend having an affair and now I wanna die" and before coming across this blog I felt like I was losing it going crazy, my reactions to things were so uncharacteristic I had no idea who I was and still don't. My DDAy is January 13, 2014 so it's been a little over 3 months and I've never been thru anything ever that could even compare. So finding this blog has literally been a lifesaver you all told me I'm not alone and God I've been feeling so alone and so scared. You put a name on pain shopping lol thank you, because I could tell you why the hell I was doing it but that didn't stop me but instead of wondering what the OW was like I knew everything about her good bad and ugly because she was a huge part of my life. Someone commented that surviving an affair is like have PTSD and I couldn't agree more! When it first happened I could talk with my husband about it we even laughed at something's... That's crazy!! But as time went by and that shock and local anesthetic started to wear off I started to go insane I feel pain, humiliation because not only did my husband choose to betray me with my bestfriend he brought so many ppl into it his family, MY OWN FAMILY, his friends, coworkers, MY FRIENDS and for whatever reason he and she began spreading lies about me that I was sleeping with her exhusband and one of her friends and they drug my name thru the dirt and none of it was true NONE!! I feel I have no one at all I'm so lonely and I feel this intense fear all the time. I wake up in panic attacks and I'm scared to be alone with myself, I'm petrified of those vision that take over me like a tidal wave sometimes and I can't stop them. I tried to commit suicide twice and for some reason I'm still here, two weeks ago I begged God to take me home make it stop hurting. I have no self worth because as I said earlier I know the OW woman better than anyone and so did my husband, she cheated on her husband many many times, she had slept with other married men, and he hated her couldn't stand her hated that I was always there to pick up the pieces for her. I'm a person that has to know why why did it happen why, I feel my husband lets himself off the hook, when I wanna talk about the lies, deceit, manipulation, he says isn't that what affairs are?? Well yea they are but if don't understand why you did it and how you were capable of something like that how will you change?? I feel like there's nothing that's right I don't want him to have actually loved her but on the other hand if she meant nothing to you why did you risk losing your family?? I'm hurting so bad right now my heart just hurts I just wanna feel ok again I wanna feel safe I don't wanna be scared anymore...

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    1. Sweetheart I am so sorry for your pain. And so sorry that you are at a point where you believe the only escape is to end your life. Please know that's not true. Please know that you are worth so much than this. You need help navigating this excruciating pain. And help is available. You need someone to point you toward a future where you feel whole and worthy and joyful. That day will come but you have to fight for it. You're strong enough. We all are though so many of us were exactly where you are right now. In such a dark place that we simply couldn't imagine light again.
      Yet here we are...and we can show you the way.
      Your friend is poison. It's that simple. She's not your friend. She is a deeply damaged person. But that's her problem, not yours. Don't for a second think she is anything other than damaged. And sadly damaged people frequently create damage in their relationships. Stay far away from her.
      Please get counselling for yourself so that you have steady support from someone who can help you with the PTSD. It's very real and it's terrifying. But you can deal with it.
      You'll have ups and downs. Trust that the downs won't last forever, even when it feels like they will. And trust the ups will become more common and the downs more rare. Trust yourself to be stronger than this.
      You've been deeply, deeply wounded and, I suspect, this isn't the first time in your life that you've been betrayed by people who are supposed to care for you. But that's about THEIR worth, not yours. You are always worthy, always deserving of love and respect. Start by giving it to yourself. Every single day, remind yourself that you are worthy. It sounds hokey but it works. We believe what we tell ourselves. So don't tell yourself lies about your unworthiness. Tell yourself the truth. Your husband's affair was about HIM. Your family's involvement with the deceit is about THEM. You deserved so much better. So give it to yourself in the form of self-respect and self-love.
      If you choose to stay with your husband (assuming he's completely remorseful and willing to do everything -- EVERYTHING -- he can to deserve this second chance and help you heal), then you get to set the terms. If you need to talk about it, then you talk about it. If you need reassurance, then you get reassurance. If you need to check his phone or his computer or ask his friends, then that's what you need. This is about him proving to you, over and over again, that he's being honest and transparent. That you can slowly learn to trust him again. But at this point, he's shown you that he can't be trusted. Rebuiliding trust is a long, slow process.
      So, you will certainly not be "letting him off the hook". You are giving him the chance to be a better man. If he can't do it, then there's the door. The gift you give him, to be someone who deserves you, is a generous one. I hope he realizes that.

      Continued below...

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    2. Please also know that this is still really raw for you. I could barely function for the first six months (to a year!!) after my D-Day. Seriously...I cried in grocery stores, stared at the ceiling for hours at a time, and, yes, considered suicide.
      But here I am. With a stronger marriage and, even better, a much deeper self-respect and ability to trust myself. That's the real gift of going through trauma. Your own strength and wisdom.
      Again, I'm just so sorry for what so many people did to you. Please, please find someone who can help you through it. And please take a good long look at the people around you and make sure they are good for you. I cleaned house, so to speak, post D-Day. I got rid of a lot of toxic people in my life. It was lonely...but as I got stronger, I found people who were far healthier -- people who knew how to be real friends. But that will also come with counselling. A good counsellor will help you learn to set clear boundaries around yourself.
      I hope you'll continue to post here and let us know how you're doing. I've little doubt that you'll end up being just fine.

      Elle

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    3. Elle thank you so much for taking your time to respond. When I first saw your response I have no idea why but I burst out in tears and had to take a min to compose myself before I could even read what you wrote lol I know kinda silly but I read your blog every single day and feel such a kinship with you and these women... But yes I agree with what you said about cleaning house, and I guess I did something like that though probably not the most healthiest way, I have stopped talking to anyone and everyone even those that I have no proof or even suspicions that they were even involved I am so scared to let anyone near me or my family. Since DDay we have moved two states away, not because of my husbands affair because the moved had been planned before, but even since moving here I still feel very scared to let anyone near me. I believe what you said about my exbestfriend though that doesn't stop me from looking up her FB page everyday, I am ashamed to say that I do that but I do. I keep thinking one day I'm gonna see remorse in her eyes or see something/anything that she is hurting like I am. I don't understand!!!! I never would've done that to her and she knew how much I loved my husband I don't know why she wanted to hurt me like that, hurt my children. I feel so torn one min I hate her for what she did and the next min I'm sad about it. And yes I know I need counseling there are too many things that I can't make sense of and I need an outsiders view to help me to see things that I am just to close to, and my 90 days probation will be up at work in two weeks and I will have insurance and I will be seeking some outside help. Also I find myself having these reoccurring dreams and they are always the same its always my husband and the OW laughing at me, and I wake up and for the next few days I walk around feeling so ashamed, so humiliated, so embarrassed I don't wanna look in the mirror. I found that letter you wrote to husbands and it was so dead-on. I want to move-on I want to be ok i really really do and sometimes I won't be thinking about really I'm not and a song will come the radio, or something as innocent as looking at the date on the calender and without any warning my thoughts go right back like I'll look at the date and I'll think 3 months ago my husbands was with her at such and such place or whatever it might be. also one thing I have been struggling with is because it was my husband and my bestfriend they knew everything about me and when I was 14 I was raped and it came out that they discussed that among themselves and decided it never happened and Elle that has been one of the toughest betrayals out of this whole thing, that was one of the hardest and scariest times and it took me years to process that in a healthy way and the fact that they even talked about it rips my heart my heart out. I'm sorry but I have to go for now thanks so much for listening,,, BrokenHeartedWife

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    4. Tabitha,

      Now I'm crying...and so rage-filled I can barely type this. THEY decided your rape didn't happen? That's so unbearably cruel. How DARE they!
      The fact that you've been able to process the trauma of rape as you say, "in a healthy way" is a testament to your strength. And that same strength is going to get you through this. Please stop stalking her FB page. It's only causing you pain. It's like picking at a wound. Put a big stop sign on your computer, or block her or snap an elastic band on your wrist every time you're tempted. I know it feels hard -- we have an illusion that we can somehow control things if we know about them. But it's an illusion. You're only hurting yourself further.
      That's step #1. Step #2 is to get a counsellor the second you've got insurance. I have little doubt that your earlier trauma has been retriggered by this. I'm no psychologist...but I've heard so many stories. The women who have the hardest time moving past this seem to be those who experienced childhood trauma. We marry someone who makes us feel safe in the world then BAM, they betray our trust and we're right back where we were feeling scared and alone and on high alert. So please know that what you're feeling is normal under the circumstances and can certainly be dealt with by a good therapist.
      Your flashbacks -- the date, a song -- are also "normal" responses. They will get less frequent with time (and therapy). There were details I thought were seared on my brain and now I can barely remember.
      And your dreams?? Just your fears playing out in your brain. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of. This is not your shame to bear. But again, shame probably has lots to do with your childhood stuff. I'd love you to consider reading the book, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. She writes a lot about shame and she writes beautifully about it. I think you'd get a lot out of it.
      Step #3 is to start replacing all that negative self-talk with positive self-talk. You are so clearly a warm, intelligent person who has been so deeply hurt. My 11-year-old daughter put a sign on my mirror that reads: You are beautiful. You are talented. You are strong. I see it every morning when I brush my teeth and I have no doubt that it changes how I see myself. You are all those things too. Tell yourself every single day. Tell yourself a hundred times a day. You did not deserve this treatment of you. This affair wasn't about you at all. It was about two damaged people who caused damage in others' lives. Think of them as drunk drivers. Just stupid and reckless...but creating pain in innocent people's lives.
      Hang in there, Tabitha. I'm glad you've found comfort in this blog. I promise you it gets better but you've got to do some of the heavy lifting. Starting by staying away from that toxic woman's FB page. And, with time, I hope you'll begin to let other people into your life. You'll be wiser. You'll have clearer boundaries. You'll recognize those who make you go...H'mmm, maybe not. With time I hope you'll feel safe again, knowing absolutely that, no matter what others do, you can always trust yourself to keep you safe.

      Elle

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    5. When I found out I instantly became numb . I lost who I was and I have never gotten the old me back since. I think I am in a constant state of numbness blocking out any emotions and keeping well away from showing any emotions or love towards my husband. I feel an ache in my heart when I say hurtful things to him but I feel like I need to punish him and make him feel as low as he made me feel. I just want to let my walls down and grab him and forgive and forget but my pride and my anger hold me back. Now if I even so much as see him glance at another woman I just want to leave him. Help me Ellie. Tell me how to feel better and how to let him back in and to stop doubting everything he says and does cuz he had changed for the better , he has changed his life around and hates himself for what he did and yet I can't let go. I get panic attacks whenever we go anywhere that attractive women might be and spend the whole time there wondering of he likes an of then and would he sleep with them given the chance. I hate being so wrapped in fear.

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    6. I experienced something similar -- a lot of us do. It's called "the plain of lethal flatness" or "the dead zone". It's a way of avoiding the pain but it also prevents us from feeling anything, including joy.
      What your husband did was excruciating. But what you're doing now, to him and to yourself, is also excruciating. You're keeping both of you locked in this anger. You can't rebuild a marriage from a place of anger.
      You also need to stop telling yourself that the "old you" is gone. The "old you" is buried in anger and fear and hurt. She's still there. Be careful of the stories you tell yourself around this. What you tell yourself will become your truth.
      It's telling that you want to take down your walls. That's a very human need and it makes complete sense. It also makes sense that you're scared to do it. Your husband betrayed you. On some level, you're so terrified of it happening again you won't allow him in at all, except into your rage, which is a way of keeping him outside. You're hurting him, sure, but you're also hurting yourself.
      You won't immediately stop doubting him. Trust is rebuilt with time and honesty and transparency. It's rebuilt by letting him show you that he can be trusted. It's rebuilt slowly.
      The only way out of this is through it. Ask for his help with this. Tell him how frightening this is. How scared you are of being hurt again. But tell him also that, with his help, you're willing to take the walls down. That you need his support.
      That's how it's done...and it's worth it.

      Elle

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  2. I learned in 2013 of my husband's activities.

    My husband of 42-years initial affair [that I know of] happened with a woman he had met earlier at a car show in another state. She comes to our town at Christmas to shop/visit relatives. It was a mutual one-night hook up that happened while I was in the hospital for a week. December 2011.

    He hooked up with her again, the following holiday but this time, he couldn't get an erection. So what did he do? He asked ME to call the doctor and get Viagra. And of course, I did! December 2012

    The next few months were strange. He kept referring to weird thoughts and wanting to have sex with an employee [whom I learned later he did approach and told her he had 'my permission'. She's a friend and told me everything]. 2013

    Last Friday he told me he'd had sex several times since the beginning of 2014 with another woman but assured me 'it is not emotional, it's mechanical, like getting your teeth cleaned'. I asked what he paid and his response was 'nothing, she's an easy whore'.

    He is a narcissist. Toss in emotionally cruel. I demanded individual and couples counseling - he's agreed - appointments are scheduled.

    I am angry, betrayed, confused. I cannot imagine resuming a sexual relationship. It is on pause until counseling breaks through. I've already told him he has to be tested for sexual diseases.

    I liken this to being stuck at the bottom of a lake unable to see clearly because of the silt. The silt has to settle and I will eventually see what's ahead of me in the water.

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    1. Like having his teeth cleaned?? That's right up there with THE most ridiculous defense I've ever heard. Have you read the blog posts about the stupidest things men have said when caught cheating?? That would be a winner.
      Ugh. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm glad you're getting counselling. Even if he backs out, I hope you'll go.
      In the meantime, I hope you'll be gentle with yourself. He's put you through a whole lot of pain. Your analogy makes a whole lot of sense. It is hard to see too far ahead when you've experienced such a shock and betrayal. Give yourself the time you need. And feel free to continue to share here. Sometimes writing it out helps us get clearer on our own feelings.

      Elle

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  3. Boy do I need all of you..
    I wasnt married to this man but easily could have and Thank God I didnt.
    I was dating a Chief in the Navy for 4 years..In the 4 years we were together he went on 2 deployments in 2 years..I waited for him both times with open arms.
    The problem was that for a 1 1/2 years I was promised the world. I felt like I had met the man of my dreams the one who would have my back and NEVER hurt me.
    In march of 2013 he came home and long story short..Came home was actingh weird the suddenly it happens..I get a letter from facebook from a ex girlfriend who he spet with and she was mad that he was with me..( I didnt know we were having problems) I was devesated not just because of the cheating BUT he only slept with her one night and in that one night he decided that he loved her, wanted to move her out to Cali and move her in with him..Oh did I mention she was married? So I find out and I am blindsided, hurt and he swore that the only reason she had reached out to me was because he loved me and wanted to be with me..
    Now im 48 and yes I was hurt, I know that people make mistakes and he promised to prove to me how wrong he was..That what he did went against any morals he had.
    I stayed and tried..God I tried..It just was to hard to trust and he didnt make a effort to help me deal with it..We as woman know when things arent right..
    So March 4th of this year my best friend died of rectal cancer..2 days later he felt it was the right time to break up with me and 2 days after that was my birthday...That was the worse week ever.
    He just shut off..Done..
    2 weeks later he tells me hes " dating" a woman...Another stab..
    He came by to get some stuff and we talked, cried, held each other and even kissed but when he left we still werent togther.When talking to him he wanted me to know that this new woman he had only seen a couple times and hadnt heard from her in a week so as he says, I dont know whats going on with us"
    Yesterday my son gets on his instagram and sees a pic of my ex with this new girl.,It was taken before she stopped talking to him but it was taking at the Chiefs Ball..Its a huge dinner and its where the Chiefs and the other half can enjoy a nice night out..That was another stab..I was the one who couldnt wait to go to this ball as I was the one with him when he got pinned to be chief..So he took her..
    The pain I felt by all the betrayal and deception was horrible..I have never had a man ever do me like he did..Heres the funny part..When a person in the Navy does this to his "WIFE" it is looked down on and he is the one who does the reprimanding.
    I lost my cool yesterday..I said things that werent nice and It wasnt one of my best moments.
    I could go on and on..But I feel like he was a oppurtunist and was always in my money..eating my food, staying in my house that was paid for as he never had money..
    I feel like such a joke..I hope one day when the dust has settled and hes left with just memories he will realize all I had done for him..,
    I hope he feels a little bad as to what hes done..I am contstanty trying to figure out what I did that was so bad..Im to old for games and drama and I thought as I got older things change..wishful thinking..
    anyway..Venting

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    1. Please know that this isn't about anything you did or didn't do. This is HIS failing, not yours.
      Frankly he sounds like more mess than anyone needs in her life. Re-read your post to me and you'll see how nuts he is --- he wants to move a MARRIED woman whom he spent one night with into his house? That's not the thinking of a sane man.
      Leave him to his crazy. I suspect there'll be plenty more heartbreak for anyone who gets involved with him.
      Try and feel grateful that you dodged the bullet. You've got a son, a paid-for home and the chance to learn from this. He's got...what? A string of messed up relationships with women glad they're done with him??
      I know it hurts, I really do. But it would hurt far more to find this out after you've married him and he gets 50% of everything you have.
      Hang in there. It gets better.

      Elle

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  4. My husband sees a lot of people in his consultation, and some of them share personal information with him. He tells me that he has talked to several people in that context who have just shrugged of the infidelity and forgiven their spouse as soon as the spouse had promised not to be unfaithful again...They were just happy to have their spouse back.
    Considering the massive trauma and heartbreak that I and everybody else on this blog have suffered I find that very hard to believe that anybody who has an inch of love for their spouse couldjust get over it ... Could any of you explain why some people would find it easy to forgive infidelity?

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    1. I think some people are so removed from their own emotions that they can simply compartmentalize the pain and ignore it. It's like dissociating from trauma.
      I think it has less to do with "forgiveness" than "pretending".

      Elle

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  5. I found out this past February. My husband left his email up, mistakenly, and I took it upon myself to go through it. Because honestly, I had a distinct feeling of intuition for a while but could never quite pin-point what the feeling was. Low and behold, I found email confirmations of adult friend finder accounts, emails to other women looking for a fun hook-up. I also found email confirmations of hotels that he had reserved, around our area, when he promised he was going to training out of state. One of the reservations, or "trainings" fell on the evening of Valentine's Day. I was at home, snuggling and loving on our two babies, while my husband was snuggling and loving on someone else. I confronted him, calmly. At first, he ignored me and denied it. He even had the nerve to TRY to turn the situation on ME and became angry at ME for "snooping". He finally came to me and explained that he did have an account because he was bored and wanted to have some fun. He swore that he never acted on anything, and never slept with another women. As for the hotels, he claimed that one was reserved for his brother since he lost his ID card, and the other he reserved as a "test" to see if I'd snoop in his email again. He stuck with this story, and while I didn't believe him, I felt that his actions, and ways towards me, spoke the truth for him. He changed, drastically. Showered me with affection and love and admiration. I wanted to trust him again, so I moved forward with getting there.

    Fast forward to this past Friday Once again, he had training. My intuition told me otherwise, but I never had proof. Before he left, I took note of the car's odometer because I knew, if he was NOT lying, the mileage would prove it as he was supposed to go out of state. I spoke to him later that night, but he did not give me the hotel address, and I did not push it. When he returned, I checked the mileage which showed that he could have only drive to and from work. There was no way he drive out of state, as he promised. I'm so stuck as to what to do, how to approach it, how to deal with this situation. I am so in love with my husband and we have a 1 year old together. We get along so well, he is my best friend, and have made so many positive changes in our relationship. We are supposed to be building our dream home next month. Then this happens. Am I assuming the worst? Should I let it go? Wait until other incidents happen? Or should I just leave? How do I approach an unfaithful Man again without proof, and without pushing him away?

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  6. Husband admitted emotional affair. He however brought her to our home while I was out of town and they got high and HE got naked and then put his clothes back on and said they did not do anything. Other woman had same story. In fact she is the one who told me. Husband said it was true when I asked him. I am having trouble with the fact that he was naked in our home and they had all night. But she left (walked home) at eleven pm. Said when he showed him his naked body she left. She said they NEVER did anything ever! No touching ever! After I found this out and confronted other woman she filed a harrasment complaint at work and my husband quit before they could give him the paperwork. (They later mailed it) the story has never changed. Affair lasted five months and they didn't ever do anything??? They saw each other everyday and had TONS of alone time. She is thirty years younger than my husband. He said she made him feel good,smart and needed. He took her groceries to her home after work he later told me. He did so much and they both said nothing physical or sexual ever took place. She is completely out of our lives and husband is discusted by what he did. We have been married 31 years. I just need some type of for sure proof that nothing physical happened. Husband says he knew that was a line that he could not cross when that time was right in front of him. He has never told me not to talk to anyone or not to ask questions. I don't know if for him we have gotten through this so far And he is not going to confess anything or what. Other woman told me more info and detIls than my husband. He agreed that they were true but said he was to ashamed to say it out loud. What do you think. Can a husband get naked and have all the opportunities and never do anything? She is not attractive and is overweight and she even said to me that she didn't know why my husband wanted her when he has me. She was really honest in the beginning and then she got scared I think about losing her job. I need an unbiased opinion please help!!!

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    1. Feeling Numb,
      This might sound crazy but I'm not sure what difference it would make if he was, in fact, physical with her. He has clearly violated his vows. He got naked with another woman. I think you're hyper-focussing on whether this was physical or not and, in a way, distracting yourself from the larger issue, which is that he betrayed you and, therefore, you can't believe anything he says.
      That's the big casualty of betrayal -- our trust in our spouse. You still don't know if what he's telling you is the truth. You could ask him to submit to a lie detector test (some women do), you could create a "disclosure" meeting with a counsellor where he tells you absolutely everything (some women do), you could assume you know everything you need to know to decide whether or not to go forward.
      The choice is yours. This wondering and looking for clues and confirmation, etc. will make you crazy.
      And, in the end, will it change anything? He has cheated on you. What you need to know is whether or not he's willing to do the tough work of rebuilding your marriage based entirely on honesty and transparency. That means he doesn't get to decide who you do and don't tell, he doesn't get to determine whether you do or do not ask questions. He betrayed your trust. He got naked with another woman. That's cheating.
      Now it's your call what happens.

      Elle

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  7. Please someone comment!!' I need to hear what you think. I am Stuck!!!!!!

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  8. Elle can you give me your opinion?

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  9. We have done the therapy and transparent honesty. When I found out she was the one that gave me details. She said it is open now so ask her anything and she will tell me. She gave me her new cell number cuz she changed it so my husband would stop texting her. She was very sincere and open. We were chatting on computer and she said she would like to meet someplace so we could talk face to face. I told her what would that change and she said she didn't know but thought it would be better than chatting on computer. We did not meet until a chance meeting in town. She cried mad said she was sorry she was not a home wrecker and didn't want this to ever happen and she never had relations with my husband. That was her word she chose to use. My husband told me they met at a park and got high. She didn't know I knew that. She is the one that told me he brought her to our home and that he showed her his naked body. She said she got embarrassed and that is when she left. I told my husband all this and he admitted the truth and said he lied about the park. He said he thought I was going to leave him so he was not telling me all the details. He then told me and is now transparent. I don't think he thought she would tell me so much. After that night of the naked time in our home they continued to call and text for four more months. They saw each other every day at work and we're alone with disabled people in their homes. They had TONS of opportunities to do what ever they wanted. They said they talked only. Also my husband sent her a nasty text about what he wanted to do to her. She showed it to me and said if I can get the records I can see everything. I told her that I could cuz my daughter in law worked for the cell company. She encouraged me and told me what dates to look for and everything. I don't know why I find it so hard to believe that they never even kissed. They both have said only touching was when she left our home they hugged and that was it. I told my husband she told me they kissed and he got angry and said she was lying and wanted to meet with her. All three of us and she by then was. to talking to either of us and had filed harrasment charges at thief work against my husband. I am just having trouble with them having so much time and talking about sex and they didn't do anything??!! Just seems so strange. What was the point of it all??? And my husband and I are doing we'll and being honest however it just doesn't make sense to me. Why did they not do anything?!!!! Husband says when the time was there he wanted to but he just couldn't cross that line. Is this possible?

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    1. The thrill of an affair is the escape it creates. The fantasy -- we reimagine ourselves as we think the other sees us: sexy, interesting, exciting. Most who engage in affairs but don't want to lose their marriage say the sex wasn't the big part of it, the escape/fantasy was. So yes, it's possible that nothing more happened. And it's possible that because "nothing" happened, it allowed it to go on even longer because they could convince themselves they weren't really doing anything wrong. I've heard of many men who, once they've crossed the line, are so disgusted with themselves and their affair partner that they end it.
      I think the best thing you can do, assuming you want to rebuild your marriage, is to let the did-he-or-didn't-he part go and focus on the emotional aspect. Why was he texting her? What was the appeal of the fantasy? What is missing in his life? What stories was he telling himself about what he was doing? Of course, it's always best to do this with a professional counsellor. Marital counselling sounds is a good idea too.
      In the meantime, you're going to have to choose, I think, to either move on without him, or accept that, even if you don't understand it, he's told you the truth. (Frankly, those of us whose husbands cheated with really emotionally and physically unappealing people are equally baffled. None of this really makes sense.)

      Elle

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    2. OMG!! That is exactly what she said to my husband. They were only talking they were not doing anything wrong!!! My husband told her ok would we b talking like this if my wife was here?? He told her that yes it was wrong that they were having an affair! She said no that they were just talking. You have given me some wonderful words and things to do to help us move forward!!!! Thank you so much!!! So wired u said exactly what my husband said was the reason. It was the fantasy/excitement. He said it was not "her" it was the whole excitement and ego of it all.

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  10. I posted my story in the multiple affairs column back in April. I found out about my husband’s affair in January. The affair started in Dec 2007 and ended by mutual consent in July 2009. It was mostly emotional but she did give him a BJ and they dry humped with cloths on. He swears that he never had intercourse with her. After the affair with the OW ended he began to watch porn excessively and partake of video sex chats online. Then in February 2010 he started contacting escorts. Most gave him BJ’s or let him fondle them but he finally took the plunge and had sex with one and then three more. The last was in May 2011. STD tests came back negative and we are in therapy. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t feel I can ever trust him again. I asked him how he could be with those women and still claim to love me. He says he was just good at compartmentalizing his emotions that he never stopped loving me. Gee I wish I could just compartmentalize my pain! It seems like such a cheap excuse for his behavior. How could someone do this and still claim to love you? How am I ever supposed to let him touch me again? The sight of him every day is a constant reminder of what he did. I feel like I am being held in a prison with no hope of escape. I need advice. Please help

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    1. Alzada,
      Are either of you in therapy? It would certainly help you understand his "thinking" when he was engaging in affairs. And he definitely needs it in order to better understand how he allowed himself to do this even while "loving" you.
      It's not enough for someone to say they'll stop. You're right in that, why would you trust someone without more proof that they've really undertaken deep change. You need to see evidence that he truly recognizes the impact of his betrayal and understands what drove him to do it.
      And therapy would certainly help you understand how to begin to trust yourself, which will lead to trusting him (assuming he's deserving of that trust).
      The alternative is, of course, to leave the marriage. Lots of women simply don't want to give their husbands another chance...and that's a legitimate course of action. You get to decide what's next. The only "prison" is one you're putting yourself in.

      Elle

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    2. Elle,
      Yes we are in therapy. We started therapy before I found out about the first affair. We had been to two sessions because I found porn on his computer along with escort sites. He agreed to go after that. When I ask him what he was thinking he says that he wasn’t thinking at all. The therapist had him take a test to see if he was a sex addict. He said he would be at risk to become one if he continued down the path he was on and that he has “compulsion” issues. I just feel like everything the therapist says is an excuse for my H’s behavior and is just asking me to accept what happened and that he is trying to be a better person. I thought I married a good person, an honorable man, who would never in a million years have sex with a whore or cheat on me. So I am having a hard time accepting that he is trying to be a better person. I want him to divorce me. I want him to do what he should have done six years ago when he was unhappy with us and had the first affair.

      Delete
    3. Alzada,
      None of what he's finding out in therapy is an "excuse" and never should be treated as such, though I can understand why you view it that way. He can't un-do his actions. What he can do is learn what thought processes allowed him to engage in it and ensure that he has strategies in place to ensure he doesn't go down that path again.
      Can I ask why you're waiting for him to divorce you and not moving ahead with it yourself?
      Rebuilding a marriage after betrayal is incredibly tough...but almost impossible if one of the partners doesn't really want to be there.

      Elle

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    4. Elle,
      Part of me wants to reconcile. Part of me wants believe that he won’t hurt me again, that he will be the man I thought he was. Then I remind myself that this is the same man that lied to me for six years and in some respects has been lying to me our entire relationship. The angry and hurt part of me wants him to lose the thing he suddenly values enough to save; when he didn’t seem to give a damn before. I have made an appointment with a divorce attorney. I want to know what my options are. I almost feel that we would be better off if we were separated for a while. I can’t stand to be around him. I hate him. I just see him with the whores and the OW and I want to puke. I told the therapist how I felt. He said I need to view things from “today’s truth” not “yesterday’s truth”. To me they are all truth. You are right; he can’t undo what he has done. I just don’t think I can forgive him for what he did. Maybe because he was so good at pushing me away I have no love for him left. Part of me thinks this effort by him is “too little, too late”. Thanks for your advice. It helps.

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    5. Alzada,
      It makes sense from our reptilian brain's point of view to want to stay "safe" and by "safe", it means not trusting anyone who has shown he can't be trusted.
      But that logic doesn't allow for second chances. Which is fine, if you don't want to give him one. There are lots of women who simply won't and that is absolutely their prerogative. There's no right or wrong way through this.
      If, however, you do want to give him a second chance (and you honestly believe he deserves it), then that sort of punitive thinking, in which you want to punish him for what he did and refuse to believe he can change, will prevent any possibility of rebuilding a marriage.
      It's completely up to you. It's incredibly hard, I know, to trust someone who has betrayed us. It takes courage but it also takes a deep trust in ourselves to keep ourselves safe, which can be hard for those of us who have rarely felt safe in our lives.
      That said, it also takes courage to recognize when, as you said, it's "too little, too late".
      But no matter whether you stay or go, it's in everyone's best interest (not sure if you have children) to find a way to let go of the pain and anger. It will poison you.

      Elle

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  11. Hello, I am wanting to figure out how to bring up questions and or feelings I have without my husband saying OMG I have told you this! Or say why do we have to keep reliving this?! He says how it makes HIM feel and that he knows I hurt but reliving the same thing doesn't change anything and it makes him feel worse. REALLY?! He does say he gets that we need to but he says all the time the same thing......I don't remember. How on earth can he not remember details!!! I get upset and say ok so how can you say you know you did NOT do anything physical if you can't remember details of what she said or what you said. Needless to say it ends up with him saying he loves me and wants our marriage to last forever but he can't ever feel good about himself because I keep bringing up this affair. We are in debt and stressed out about finances but that doesn't mean I can just get past this affair and never talk about it. What do I do??

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    1. Is he at least open to hearing about what this experience is like for you? If so, there is a post on this site that you might want to print off for him, or paraphrase for him.
      Here it is. http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2014/04/my-letter-to-husbands-just-talk-about.html

      Keep us posted.

      Elle

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  12. Nine months post d day and I just found evidence (irrefutable) of more affairs, not just the one that he admitted to that I found evidence of in August. What do I do now? I feel so lost and confused. I should have known the story behind this one was too good to be true. He had affairs with all the women with whom I suspected him of cheating for all this time. For 10 plus years of marriage. Why did I stay? Fear of abandonment, being alone, having to be a single mom to our 2 kids, losing my great house, embarrassment of being yet another divorced bitter woman. Do I confront him or just forget it? What does it matter if it was just one or 5? I don't want him to touch me ever again. Right now I want to die. My poor beautiful innocent children who have to see me in pain while he's working. I haven't told anyone. So what do I do?

    Sam

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  13. I just posted a few hours ago after finding evidence of multiple affairs, 1 from even before we were engaged. I posted that I want to die. That's not true. He called from work and could tell from my voice something was wrong. I told him over the phone that I knew and was giving him one chance to admit once and for all. He refused saying the past is in the past. I said not good enough because this means all the excuses for the other affair were bullshit -- problems with our marriage, childcentric relationship, stress from his new job.

    He just wanted to have his cake and eat it too. It was flattering. He must have ego issues (I do to but I don't sleep around). And he just wants what most men want -- to have sex with many different women. I told him I have to know what I'm saving. He said it cycles and goes away and comes back.

    If I know he did it, why do I have to have him admit it. I told him because I want to hear his version of why. He wouldn't budge. I said you made your choice. He said and what choice have you made I said nothing. I really don't care at this point. I'm not crying. I don't want to die. I am devoid of all emotion. No he doesn't have to admit it. No it won't change anything. Maybe it would just give me closure. Maybe then I could feel like he was finally being honest. In order to take responsibility don't you first have to admit what you have done? Don't they make criminals say the words aloud?

    Sam

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    1. Oh Sam. I'm so so sorry. You've been so focussed on moving forward and trying so hard to build a stronger marriage. I know how devastated you feel.
      You're right. Unless he's willing to come clean about everything, then it's very hard (impossible!) to rebuild a healthy marriage. And you're also right in that by coming clean, he's owning up to what he did as much to himself as to you. He's forced to really face what he's done, without minimizing it in his head, or pretending it didn't really happen. Many experts suggest a "disclosure" session with a therapist -- a place where you're supported while you basically hear his list of offences. Without it, you're always wondering if there's more. And yes, you do need to know whether or not your marriage is worth saving. And the only way he can help you with this, is by letting you into the truth of what was going on in your marriage all along.
      I wish I could give you a hug, Sam. But please know you'll get through this. You're so strong and so smart and so full of energy and support and compassion for the women on this site. You're an amazing person who doesn't deserve any of this. And you'll get through.

      Elle

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  14. The good news is that if there were multiple affairs then as Peggy Vaughn said about her husbands affairs, it never was about me not being pretty enough, not having a good enough body, not being fun enough, or not being good enough sexually.

    The bad news is that means it's all on him. I can't fix our marriage. He has to fix him.

    Sam

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  15. Ugh Sam. I am so sorry. I always find your thoughts valuable. You seem wise and generous and you don't deserve this.
    I hope your H has the courage to get help, such as with Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. But it is on him to stop living in denial.
    I hope you find peace soon.

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  16. I also want to share that even though I don't believe that my H has had other affairs, several weeks ago some other shocking secrets came out. Not only was he watching porn excessively but he was engaging with women one on one on porn cams. I had no. idea. I am still stunned. He admits that the porn was a precursor to the cheating with a live woman.
    It just shows how affairs reveal deeper problems beyond just unhappiness in the relationship or that some other woman met his needs. It takes a really long time and alot of inner struggle for the real truth to come out and for the cheaters to stop hiding from themselves. Just 6 months out of the fog and I am just learning what a long road we have ahead.

    -MBS

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  17. I thank all of u for ur kind words & for sharing ur own stories. It really helps. Thank god for this site and although I am agnostic, i do hope there is karma. God bless all of you for being here with me.

    Sam

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    1. I'm glad you know we are all here with you. There's solidarity in sharing each other's pain. And joy too. There will be joy.

      Elle

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  18. Husband admitted emotional affair. We did all the steps and I met the other woman I have talked to her and now my husband and I are doing well. However he keeps bringing it up. Example; yesterday he told me he began to get very depressed and was thinking of how selfish and how on earth could he do what he did when he has me. He just beats himself up and goes on and on about how he just does not understand what he was thinking or doing. He can't believe what he did and he knows he will never do anything like that again that he wants me forever and is so grateful I am still with him and that I still love him. This is all beautiful and it sounds and feels good to hear and feel his love and commitment to me. BUT, it makes me feel like is there more that he has not told me and by having random bouts of such guilt and shame when we are doing well and times are happy. Has he not confessed everything and just keeps apologizing to make himself feel better or to keep me off the trail. We work ion the same place so I know where he is all the time. But why keep bringing it up? A month ago he would get upset about conversations always ending up talking about the affair. He still does not enjoy me bringing it up asking for details again and again. He does answer me but now why is he always so sorry and bringing up how he can't believe he did what he did. Makes me suspicious in a weird way.

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  19. What does this mean? Is he hiding overcompensating? Am I paranoid? I know he loves me and affair is over. Not sure what to do. I feel like he is going backwards with feeling so much shame and guilt. Is their more?? He said no he has confessed and been transparent about everything. Not sure what is happening.......

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    1. FN,
      One of the lingering souvenirs of betrayal is a hyper-vigilance and a near-constant fear that we're being played...again. Sometimes, of course, we're right. But often we're not. And the challenge is figuring out which is which.
      My general rule was to bide my time. I would ask if I was feeling particularly suspicious and watch his reaction like a detective. In my case, I never learned anything new and he wasn't cheating again. But it took time and a few false accusations for me to finally begin to relax my grip.
      He's going through a series of emotions, too, which is something we tend to forget. We think WE are going through his. But they are too, albeit in a different way. The fact that he's able to apologize now for something he couldn't apologize for before might well mean that he's beginning to really recognize just what he did. That the fog is lifting. That he's pre-empting your need for apology.
      The best you can do is ask for reassurance when necessary and give him the chance to show you he's working to be a better man. Trust...but verify.
      And give yourself a break. This emotional roller coaster is exhausting. Let it go. Trust that you'll know what you need to know when you need to know it. Trust that you can survive whatever happens. Breathe.

      Elle

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  20. I am so sad. I am a mother of two beautiful kids aged 6 and 8, a hardworking professor at a large university in a highly competitive and technical field. I have been with my husband for 23 years - married for 16. We have both been lost for a long time - unable to share our emotions and to deeply connect as we lacked the tools to do so. We met when we were 19, so it is not surprising that we did not learn everything we needed to know in order to become successful. Unlike some of our friends, we have very healthy kids, we are financially very stable, and we are fit, go on lots of trips, and do a lot to enjoy our lives. But somehow, we both lost each other along the way.

    I learned last year that he was emotionally involved with a co-worker, and then I dug enough to discover that he was sexually involved too. They stopped in Aug 2013 and had one horrendous slip in late Dec (I somehow realized what was going on and confronted them at the hotel lobby). We have been to weekly therapy since last Aug, and I have since seen hard evidence that the affair was over and that he wants to be with me, is truly committed to being with me and being faithful to me, etc. I do believe that he is committed to these goals, yet I had a nagging doubt about another former colleague of his. Witho the details, I confronted him with evidence and questions today -- I learned that he and this other woman had sex 5-10x in 2010.

    We have been working hard to heal and improve our marriage since Aug 2013. I have examined how I bury my emotions and hide in work; I am not open/vulnerable with him. He has learned to be vulnerable with me, & share his needs, wants, disappointments, fears, and happiness. We were like robots before - we had a fun family life, but we were not emotionally intimate.So now I have old and new, painful information. Now, what do I do with this knowledge that he was such a mess and chose to have two affairs, but he has recently (since this Jan) worked extremely hard on himself and our marriage. I see the evidence, and I see a man who clearly wants to live with honesty, integrity, love, vulnerability, etc. I am forgiving him, but how do I deal with this new information, the hurt, the sadness, and the questions for details, etc. It is easy to condemn him for making the choice to hide the earlier affair, but I truly think that he was so fearful of losing me and at least 1/2 of our kiddos.So what healthy actions can I take here? I have been loving, understanding and patient through this horrible experience since the beginning. At this point, I don't think that there are other affairs waiting to be unearthed... My therapist said that we are remarried: we are in a new marriage since Jan. If this is true, then does the first (newly discovered) affair matter? How do I move on with trusting him, living life, sharing experiences, etc.? We were both admittedly a mess, but how much can I forgive? I won't forgive further lies or hiding major secrets and he knows it - I am so much more valuable than that and I deserve better!!! So where do I go from here? I can't share this latest revelation with my family or friends, and I worry about telling my therapist or our marriage therapist. What questions should I ask or discussions should I start with him? I know this woman from the newly discovered affair - should I email or call her? Quite frankly, I am sick of this drama and how it makes me short tempered with my kids and not enjoy my regular life... I thought that our marriage was ok, and now I realize how withdrawn I must have been and how sad and messed up he was. See the conflicts? I am responsible for my part in our marriage dysfunction and for that same part in our healing (50%?), but I did not choose affairs as my outlet so I lack the understanding of how to comprehend what his relationships mean and how to step forward from here. Your comments and experiences are much appreciated if I (yes, don't laugh) the technical professor can figure out how to correctly post on this blog. Thank you...

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    1. Unknown,
      I'm sad you've had to find yourself here...but glad you found us.
      Your understanding of the situation is bang on -- you are responsible for your part of the marriage, but not the least responsible for his choice to cheat. That's his to own.
      How much you can forgive is a really personal thing.
      But I'm curious about your hesitation to talk about this latest revelation with your therapist or couples counsellor. That's what they're there for. Affairs thrive in secrecy. And marriages stagnate in that darkness. It's crucial to be able to have open and honest conversations about not just this but anything -- dreams, desires, frustrations, hopes, whose turn it is to wash the dishes.
      If you believe your husband is worth giving a second chance, then you proceed from the understanding that he had serious issues and an inability to express/deal with them. As long as he's willing to seek help for those issues and make genuine changes, then it bodes well for your marriage. From you point of view, you recognize just what wasn't working in your own life and create changes from there. Forgiveness tends to come organically -- from a mutual recognition that you've rebuilt a stronger, more open and respectful relationship that's also more emotionally satisfying.
      In my experience, the time came when it didn't matter if he'd cheated with one person or twenty. It all arose from the same issues of his. Once those has been dealt with it became easier to trust him and move forward.
      As for your question re. his affairs, those are for talking about in couples counselling. It's reasonable for you to want to hear just what he got from those relationships that made them worth risking his marriage.

      Elle

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  21. Elle,

    Thank you. I feel funny being called unknown from my post above as I know myself pretty well ;). I actually can’t sign my name as I am not famous but I am not unknown (professionally at least). But perhaps it is fine too as so many elements of my experience are reflected in posts all over your blog and so “unknown” really represents many of our common experiences!

    First, thank you for your advice. I am at the end (hopefully) of a year of discoveries. I learned of my husband's emotional affair last June 3rd, which then turned out to be sex too (learned that in August) and then, they took a break until the very end of Dec when I found them at the hotel. Then we come almost full circle to finding about the earlier affair (Affair#1) at the end of this May.

    I actually feel optimistic (despite how I sounded yesterday). I was just thrown for a huge loop when I learned that this affair#1 was real. But you are right - you reach a point (I think that I may be getting there) where it does not matter if it is 1 or 20 affairs. He went to both other women because he never learned to cope or talk or share - and I was too occupied with my job and having two young kids to notice. I figured out that he had affair #2 last year by playing detective, yuck, and by being more aware. I was trying to reengage him and found that he was not willing to participate (at the time, now he is in 110%). That was the warning sign. I am sad for him that he was so lonely and made these choices of which he is now very ashamed. I really am. I see a man who is now trying so hard to make up for his lack of integrity by being fully engaged, loving, participative, and everything that he was not.

    The good news is that we have a strong foundation. We have both taken huge steps to move back into our marriage. We are working to be much more attuned to each other, be open and honest, and we only want to move forward together. We go to individual and couples counseling, and we will talk with our therapists about affair#1. This scares me because, although it is over, #1 seems like a step backwards that he kept it from me all this time. I also still care what others including our therapists think of this (why? Silly me). He and the #1 partner are still friends – and he offered to close that door. While I see his point that he felt that telling me about an old, closed affair would unnecessarily hurt me (he is not having affairs anymore - this is a long term change!), I strongly disagree and he should have revealed this to me (and I told him so).

    I have heard many times what he got from those relationships that made them worth risking his marriage, and I still don't understand that they were worth that risk. I have read a lot of books, blogs, etc. about others and I just don't get it. Yet we are becoming strong, able to talk (despite yesterday's secret / revelation), he and I are both willing and working to make genuine and major changes, and we are learning about what was not working before and how to not fall into those old patterns. We are going to be ok, and our marriage is worth it. He is a man who has made several poor decisions but who is working hard to overcome them. We both have battle scars from this but will be stronger and more connected as a result.

    Elle - thank you for providing this forum for people like me. None of us ever thought that we would be here - right in the middle of a salacious daytime talk show… But it just goes to show that we are all vulnerable and need to stay on our game from the beginning to stay connected, open, communicative, etc. within our marriages. Honestly, we were not in a terrible place as a couple and it happened to us - so I do think that this can happen to anyone. But we clearly had major room to improve. And anyone can help themselves, learn new and healthier skills, and find a better relationship - perhaps with the same partner or with a new one.

    Thank you, I needed a friend this weekend. - "Not so Unknown" ;)

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    1. Not so,
      You may never "get it" in the sense that you could see yourself doing the same thing. But I do think eventually you'll "get it" in that you might see how he could convince himself that what he was doing was somehow okay or a victimless crime.
      In any case, I'm glad you're feeling better. This is a freaking roller coaster sometimes. Up, down, up, down....

      Elle

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  22. Hi all,
    Five months ago I learned my husband was having an emotional affair. All of this is confirmed because of text records I was able to download from his phone and iPad and email. It was 28 days long when I discovered it and for certain they had planned to see each other for sex over the next two months on business trips to her state (busted!) and he spent another 6 weeks reaching out to her by phone all the while telling me it was over. When I found out he'd been talking to her over those 6 weeks it was really over, he had finally decided he wanted to stay together, broke it off with her for real and starting tryling mending things with a remorseful heart.

    We had a great 20 year marriage. We were a close couple, sex 3-4 times a week, united front with the kids, intellectual discussions, humor at llfe, all of it. Through his therapy and what I know about him, the affair was all about his getaway/escape from the pressures of our life (high special needs child), including his perceived failures at providing for our family. I'm trying to beleive that even good marriages can involve infidelity. (Hard to take)

    I know it is over, but of course, not trusting it's over for good. We are working towards reconcilation and he's doing all the right things. I had extended a lot of compassion to him that first couple of weeks and he just took advantage of it for the next month after that. I think we would be golden if he had truly ended it after the first week or two of discovery. He's completely on board now, has never been more devoted and knows what he wants because he almost lost me.

    During the "telling the truth" stage he was in that first 2 days, he told me about a one night stand he had 8 years ago with a work colleague from another company at a conference. They both realized it was a mistake, never spoke of it again and work together sometimes (she does not live in our city).

    I'm having two big issues while I work MY way back to HIM. One, I feel the pull to tell 28 day affair woman's husband (from my detective work, I do not think my husband is her first/only). I have over 2000 text messages between the two them so I know a lot of intimate details about her (several pictures of her she sent including a naked one) and her marraige, husband, etc. At first I didn't want to put more negativity out there with revenge and figured he probably knows what he's got after 15 years of marriage and I shouldn't tell him but then I think, why should she get out of him knowing? Would I want to know if I was him? I would want to, but I'm a woman, how would a man feel? I don't feel it's from a place of revenge now. Husband said it's my choice, whatever I want to do, is fine with him. Then I also think "let sleeping dogs lie."

    The second issue is the 8 year one night stand person. I want her to know I know, and husband agrees because he and she shouldn't have a secret but how to tell? Should I email, call or let my husband call her while I'm in the room? Husband said however I want to handle is how we will.

    I'd love some perspectives on how others would proceed, those of you who have been through this, and I thank you for sharing.

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    1. Reese,
      You sound incredibly level-headed and compassionate so I suspect whatever your gut says you should do is the right answer. For what it's worth, I think spouses should always be told. I don't think it's fair to know more about someone's marriage than the person in it. He deserves the right to determine if he wants to be in a marriage with her. I think any disclosure needs to be handled calmly and "just the facts" and then you remove yourself. However, I know easier said than done. I might also take into account any children, etc.
      As for the second one, I would be inclined to send her a message yourself, letting her know that you know what happened and that you and your husband are working hard at making reparations to the damage in your marriage caused by his deceit. On behalf of betrayed wives, I think we need to let women know that their actions cause deep and lasting damage. Not all will care, of course. But some will. We all need to be accountable for our actions.
      However, that's my take. Others might weigh in with their own thoughts.
      Your husband sounds like a really decent guy, by the way. All betrayed wives should be so lucky as to have a partner so supportive of her healing.

      Elle

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    2. Thanks Elle, those a great points. I appreciate your perspective on those points. For the month long affair partner, grown kids, in 2nd marriage. After I found out and my husband told her I knew, she sent an email that she told her husband (so I didn't have something over him, whatever), so it might not even be an issue because he knows. I suspect though as the OW, she doesn't exactly have a knack for honesty and morals.

      Thanks for yoru compliment. I am pretty proud of the grace I have shown and I'm proud he's doing what he has to in order to repair the damage.

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    3. 'On behalf of betrayed wives, I think we need to let women know that their actions cause deep and lasting damage.'

      Would be interesting to discuss this. I'm about to send a terse NC letter from my husband to the OW referring to future work events (which he's avoided this year). In discussions, which were friendly and collaborative, I suggested we gave no information about our marriage except that I know 'everything' (I doubt any of us remember everything) and nothing about his state of mind except that he regrets 'everything'. That's easier. He's happy for me to add anything I want. I think a contribution from me would only add to the drama which is in my opinion the principle reason for getting involved with a married man. I also suggest to wives here that anything you write to someone who has caused you this degree of harm better be something you wouldn't mind being read out in Court by a Judge.

      Having said that, I think we SHOULD say something, and the high ground is not for the wankers who say 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,' as if we are still in the late 17th century. Misquoted.

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    4. I agree, Iris. There's no need to share anything beyond that we know what happened. The more astute among them can extrapolate just what we think of them. The others...well...they'll think what they want.
      It speaks, I think, to our need to have our pain heard and validated. But it's insane to think that women who knowingly get involved with married men are likely to do that -- or are even capable of it.

      Elle

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    5. Ditto.
      I initially contacted the OW via email since our families know each other. I told her she was causing pain to my children. I told her she was messing up a 17 year relationship. I stupidly thought she had a conscience.
      However, I am glad I contacted her. She needed to not forget that other people were involved in her shennanigans. My texts and emails were just in the vein of "I know your secrets and you are not going to hide from me." I just had to get in her face so I could burst her little fantasy bubble.

      Delete
    6. Thanks again. I think you're right, just the facts. I've written a draft of a letter that is around 600 words, so I imagine I'll be cutting it down. I totally would read this in a courtroom (great way to filter out Iris). I took out any sarcasam but left in enough details so he can confirm that I know what I am talking about. So far I'm ending like this "You may already know some of these facts, as she did email my husband and say she told you everything about the relationship and plans for sex so this letter may not even be relevant. Again, I debated contacting you at all because I didn't want to be vengeful or put more negativity in the world than already had been passed to me and my family by my husband and your wife, but in the end, I decided if the roles were reversed, I would want you to tell me."

      So, the big question... trying to decide if I put my contact info on it. Decisions, decisions.

      Delete
    7. Although the OW had a NC reply to a 'fishing' email last year she wasn't aware I know what happened. This pissed me off, and I felt, like the fellow BW who'd like to contact the ons 8 years later, 'he and she shouldn't have a secret'.

      If you would like my thoughts, anon:

      I agree with Elle about contacting no 1. If it's the case that she regrets what happened you have little to fear, but she may regret it because it was not so good for her rather than how it might impact on you. You might not want to 'poke a skunk' who is in an unstable frame of mind (ill-advised) but I see no reason not to send a polite note informing her that you're aware of what happened, that you've been told she regrets it but that she should understand that the consequences of this behaviour extend well beyond the singular event. I wouldn't share too much of your own state of mind - if she's a decent person she will be well aware it's caused you pain. People don't normally like being told off though. I wouldn't send it from your email account, too easy for her to reply. This is for you and your peace of mind, not for her. And I do think it should come from you, not your husband. In my case I didn't write the note, but the situation is different.

      There could be consequences. This is why most people tell you to keep your head down. Whatever you decide to do, decide for yourself - be confident in your decision and it will make you feel stronger. Infidelity makes us feel we're not in control, and we certainly can't control other people. But we can decide that something is right, and stand by it. You may find that others are not as sure of themselves as they thought they were.

      good luck x

      Delete
    8. sorry - Reese, not anon. Bewildered already. Sometimes the replies appear out of sequence.

      This is the husband of the other ow, is that true? So it's recent. And you think he knows something but are not sure?

      You know you're going to cut the message down, don't you, until it just says: 'I understand that you're aware your wife and my husband have had an inappropriate relationship..' and then you need to decide exactly what it is you want from this man. He does not need more pain. You could say little and suggest he contacts you if he wants more details, but then you have to be prepared for his response. He's not going to be pleased with your husband. But people do seem to do this and deal with it well, from reading accounts elsewhere.

      If my husband's OW had been married/attached I would have talked to her partner, no question. I'm glad for several reasons that wasn't the case.

      'I totally would read this in a courtroom'. You're lucky not to be in Britain where the Judge might ask your barrister, peering over his bifocals, "What exactly IS a 'skank'?'

      Delete
  23. First to not so unknown:

    Ur story sounds just like mine. My husband & I are both physicians. 2 kids 9 & 7. I found out in August about an affair 3 years ago. Since the tome that affair ended but before d day, my husband made himself much more available to me & the kids, spent more time with us, & was infinitely more appreciative of everything i do to help his career. Once d day came, he now became more open with his cell phone, disclosing his whereabouts, & cutting off all relationships with other women at work that I might see as inappropriate.

    Last week I discovered an affair from 10 years ago, which sounds like around when I was pregnant with our first child. By the time of his 2nd affair our marriage was in a rut, & we have started to communicate better & more honestly. But I don't think that was the case 10 years ago. Yes I did let home know that I knew. Our discussion of the details went much better than with the later affair, although he remembers much less since it was so far in the past. We have been together for 20 years, married for 12, & I told him I feel like he's been lying to me for 10.

    I know he didn't tell me abt the earlier affair because he was afraid, ashamed, & didn't want to hurt me further. But also I think it's actually a little easier to get over multiple affairs because it's proof positive in my mind that there was nothing special about them except that they made themselves available. They weren't soulmates or any such crap. And it actually made me more confident in speaking with him, because I told him he couldn't blame his job (his job 10 years ago was a lot less rigorous) or our relationship (we weren't busy with our kids yet). I told him now I know he's to blame & I can't fix our marriage-- he has to fix him.

    As for telling, the later affair ow initiated a divorce while they were cheating so there's no point telling her husband. The earlier affair ow is still married with 3 kids & I really want to tell her husband. They live 10 minutes away from us & I got their phone # from the white pages. I told my husband why shouldn't she suffer too. Since this whole drama began I keep telling my kids that ur actions have consequences & we all have to consider that before taking action. I think it's a lesson she should learn. God knows my husband has.

    Sam

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    1. Sam,
      While I agree that her husband should know, I think we have to get really clear on our motives. Not to get all Dalai Lama on you, but doing things to cause others pain will frequently backfire and, frankly, can end up making us feel worse. That's not to say that we're unaware that our actions might cause pain...just that we don't do them for the purpose of that. It's more that we don't take responsibility for the collateral consequence of causing her pain -- she made her bed, etc. etc. Our goal is to ensure that we treat others (i.e. the husband) as we would want to be treated. Her husband deserves to know what his wife is doing behind his back because he deserves the dignity of determining whether or not he wants to be married to her. (But be careful -- he might come after your husband with a shotgun.)

      Elle

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  24. My husband and I had been through so much that I never thought I could be hurt as bad as his affair hurt me. We had been married for a few years when he was hurt at his job. He couldn't work so I supported our family and he stayed home becoming addicted to pain killers. We finally decided to have major surgery on his back. In a year he was back at work and moving up quickly to the top position at his company. I quit my job and became a stay at home mom. I thought things were going great and that we were living the good life. A decade passed and we lost our oldest child to a heart attack at the age of twenty three. We were devastated and it took years to find myself again. We survived with our marriage still intact. Which is hard to do when you lose your child. Time passed and I thought we were doing well. Then my husband came to me and told me he was in trouble. Unknown to me he had become an addict again and needed help. We immediately took him to a detox and they placed him in a drug rehab. It was so hard because he was our sole support and I had become so dependent on him for everything. We sort of changed roles in our marriage. I found out he had spent everything we had on his drug habit. He still had his job though so I was able to pay everything while he was in rehab. At the end when I went to pick him up, he was changed, acting distant. Well he returned to work and travels a lot. One morning I got a phone call from the hospital, I raced to be at his side, he had an accidental overdose of the meds they placed him on. He was incoherent so I took his phone. They put him in ICU. When he was stable and awake he was hungry so I went to get him some food. That's when I got the shock of my life. She text him Hey babe are we still meeting this weekend? I really need to be with you. I went into shock. I left his food setting on the table blindly ran to my car. She text Can you talk? So I text Who is this? She text Babe have you had a heat stroke? I called the number. She answered quickly, I asked how long have you been fucking my husband? She replied I had the wrong number and hung up. I called back and she told me to ask him. I went straight to the hospital. When I got to his room he tried to deny but it was written all over his face. Pure pain, total shock, unbelievable heart break, but you all know how it feels. Come to find out, he met her in rehab. He had been seeing her 2 months. It started the week he got home. All the signs were hidden because I was walking on eggshells trying to make his life easier thinking his actions were because of his recent sobriety. His affair has been the absolute hands down the most horribly life changing thing that has happened to me. I have doubted everything I ever believed. Our entire 20 years together was a sham. I could not lose another person from my family so I stayed. I made him call while I listened and end the affair. He was willing to do anything and blames the affair on his state of mind while in rehab. I don't believe anything anymore but just couldn't tear apart my family. He lost his job and I was worried he might harm himself. My love for him was true..nothing like his love for me...We haven't had therapy because we lost our insurance coverage. I am working again and so is he but things are so hard. But life goes on. Things will never feel the same. I felt crazy. I felt desperation. I felt so alone. And I found this site which has helped me to realize I'm none of these. I have been wounded by no fault of mine. Our marriage is not perfect but I was faithful.

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    1. Leaning,
      I'm so so sorry for everything you've been through. That's a whole lot of muck and pain you've had to wade through.
      But...and there is a but...here you are. Leaning but still standing, as you put it.
      I know, however, that you want more than that. And it's time for more than that.
      Logistics might not be making it easy for you two to get therapy. But what about reading a book together about getting over affairs. After the Affair by Janis Abrams Spring is a good one but I suspect you can find others. Or have him read some of the posts on this site. There's also a "wayward" section on the survivinginfidelity.com Web site where guys who've cheated can find others to keep them on the straight and narrow. My point is that you need to reconnect through your healing from this. And he needs to be there to support you through it. That's how your resentment fades and your anger dissipates. By him showing up and supporting you through this, day after day after day. By acknowledging the pain he's caused. And letting you experience that pain and grief and loss, but knowing that it won't last forever.
      He's clearly got addiction issues so, at the very least, he should be in some sort of 12-step program. Again, he needs people to hold him accountable, who will recognize the bullshit, and allow him to rebuild with a measure of pride. You might also regain some pride in him when you see him working so hard to become a better him.
      In the meantime, I'm glad you've found us and that you know we're here and that we know your pain around this. You're not crazy. You're not desperate. You've been betrayed. But you'll get through this too.

      Elle

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  25. That's exactly what my husband said. I'm not going to contact her husband. I don't know what the consequences to us will be if I do. Her husband may come after y husband so I think the prudent thing is for me to do nothing.

    But I'm pissed at my husband. He's afraid of he consequences of me telling her husband but he wasn't afraid that he might be caught 10 years ago.
    10 years ago he wasn't afraid because he wasn't thinking, he was just feeding his selfish desires.
    Anyway, if I said something & this guy came after him as a result if have a tough time dealing with my own guilt. I always tell people I live by the sleep at nite rule-- as long as I can sleep at nite I did the right thing. Me not telling doesn't make me feel bad that her husband has a right to know; but if I did tell & something happened to my husband & my family got hurt I wouldn't be able to sleep at nite. So I'll just choose to protect my family. I just hope karma takes care of her.

    Sam

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  26. 13 of April is my D-Day, even thought I think I could sense it from the start and honestly "I do not know" is the only response I can think of, when I ask myself: what now?

    B

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    1. "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable response right now. It's tough enough just getting through each minute without trying to figure out the rest of your life. Give yourself time to work through the shock and the grief. Trust that the feelings, if you let yourself just feel them, won't wash you away with them. They will pass. And then things start to get clearer.

      Elle

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  27. Thank you Elle so much for your quick response....it means so much that there is someone out there, who understands and had similar experience, who felt the same pain. I searched the net looking for some sign that one can survive 'this'...or shall I rather say, not only survive 'this' but get even stronger. That's like a light at the end of a tunnel. Problem that I'm experiencing now from what I read on your blog, seems to be a pretty common for betrayed wives....my husband is not really eager to talk to me about all the affair stuff and tends to say that I keep asking same questions over and over again, and he knows that he did something that hurt me so badly. Maybe in a way I do ask many questions, but I think I just want to hear those answers over and over again, so finally I could believe what I hear, somehow understand it...since at this point, I keep thinking: where the hell did it come from?. The mixture of feelings and thoughts that are stuck in my head....sometime I feel that my head is not big enought to fit all of them, and that sooner or later it will explode. Punishing my husband is not my intention when I ask all those questions..I want to put some logic into this nightmare, that I never expected to be a part of. Those thoughts are rushing one way and another, I think that if I could sell some % of them I would make some serious $$. Buy one get one free....anybody interested?

    B

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  28. This past Thanksgiving, I was sitting on the love seat next to my husband of 19 years. We were laughing and talking about all the fun we had planned for the day. I was silently marveling over how after a little more than a year of heartache we had actually stuck it out, got help, and here we are almost happy again. You see, about a year and a half previous to that day, I discovered that my husband was involved with about a dozen women online. He never had any physical contact with them, but the relationships were as loving and sexual and disgusting as anything I could ever have imagined. Pictures had been sent both ways, long phone calls had been made, a false life had been invented, I love you's were exchanged, gifts were sent and received, long sexting sessions were going on several times a day... His initial reaction was less than ideal (it was all my fault, why had I invaded his privacy, he hated me and couldn't wait to leave me and our 5 children, etc.). My world crumbled. I was so in shock. According to his accusations I had been horrible to him and had been so neglectful. This came as an absolute surprise to me because although we were no perfect couple-we went on weekly dates, texted and talked throughout the day, we kissed everyday. He was my best friend. So I was crushed. I rushed to therapy, my bishop, family/friends and begged for help saving my marriage. Eventually he had come out of his insane fog and we started working on rebuilding our marriage. To be continued...

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  29. ...Continued...So here I sat on Thanksgiving 2013 morning in amazement that we had actually made it. My prayers had literally been answered. Then I got a Facebook message that has haunted my world ever since. It was a message that read something like, "Hi, are you married to xxxx xxxx?" I showed him the message and we looked at her pictures trying to figure out how we knew her. I was sincerely puzzled. Then came the rest of her message. He had been involved with her for several weeks and she had *69'd his number (he had called her from work). She looked up the business online and saw a picture of my husband with a name that was different from the one he gave her. She looked him up on fb and then saw me listed as his wife. Somehow I made it through the holiday (I didn't want to ruin it for the children and we also had a guest with us as well). I later found out that he had again been involved with multiple women online and by his admission it had been going on for 6 months.

    Everyday since has been a progressive deadening of my heart. I told him that I didn't want to make a rash choice out of anger so I would give it some time. I'm finishing my final year in aRN program. As I sit here tonight I wonder why I stayed. He's so apologetic now and gives me space when I need it. But I do not love him. I feel nothing for him. Well I do feel some things. I feel disdain. I feel sick. The thought of being physical with him or even holding his hand makes me absolutely ill. I'm clearly not happy. In fact, I'm pretty depressed. I wonder how much is worth it. I feel like I'm dying here. I wonder how leaving will affect my five children. I want to do the 'right' thing, but what's right? I decided not to make any definitive choices until I graduate in June. I can barely sit in the same room with him. We do get along well enough on the surface. We laugh, talk, and do family stuff. We get along fine as friends. But how on earth does he expect me to ever trust him or feel anything for him? Yet, maybe with time it could happen. I'm so conflicted what to do and graduation day is fast approaching. Is it even possible to heal after a second round of online affairs?
    -K

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    1. K,
      To answer your direct question, yes, I think it's possible. But it's not always prudent. It really depends on the specific situation.
      It certainly sounds as if he's got some serious issues. I'm curious what he did during the time you were rebuilding your marriage. Did he seek therapy? Was he able to recognize his pattern of behaviour as unhealthy (not just say it, but really realize it?). If not, he was pretty much white-knuckling it. If he has an addiction, it's not surprising that there are setbacks, though they really are excruciating for an addict's family who feels like they can finally exhale.
      Ultimately, the decision rests with you. He might be able to finally put those demons to rest and be a wonderful husband and father...or he might not. There are no guarantees. You've got to determine 1) whether you're interested in giving him the chance or 2) if, no matter what he does from here, you can't or don't want to stay with him.
      There is no "right" in this. There is only what's right for you. Give yourself time to figure it out. In the meantime, he should be, at least for his children, working hard to get himself figured out.

      Elle

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  30. I have decided to finally post in this section. I am coming up on the one year and woke up, with a start, on Sunday morning at 1a.m. and thought "now it is June" and have hardly slept a wink since then. I asked my husband, point blank, on June 19th last year and he admitted. However, it wasn't until June that I started having any idea that he had been in an affair for 9 months. Today was the day that I found a letter in the mail from an attorney's office, thanking him for consulting him about "family law." WTF - "family law" - how about "I am willing to throw away my whole family for a whore law?" It was this letter that planted the seed in my mind that something was very wrong. It took me a couple of weeks to add up the pieces. A year later, we are still together and he is doing everything he is supposed to do, and more. Am I better, nope, still cry every day. I had started eating again, but the nausea is getting the better of me since Sunday. I still feel disposable, unlovable and stupid. I am with a good therapist and, thankfully, have Elle and the ladies here, but I grieve my losses with such intensity, it scares me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anti-versaries, as we call them around here, are brutal. Even when we think we're moving along toward healing, they rip the rug out from beneath our feet. So, for starters, recognize that this is a really tough time.
      As for your own healing, if you honestly don't feel you're becoming stronger, then you're stuck and need help getting unstuck. Please find yourself a counsellor who can help you work through your trauma. This takes a long time to get through but by one year, you should be seeing some evidence that you're healing, even a little bit.

      Elle

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  31. I found out my husband was having a secret "friendship" with my sister , who I thought was also my friend. Looking back, I feel so stupid for not figuring it out earlier! I used to talk to her everyday , then she just stopped calling me and wouldn't return my calls. She constantly needed "help" from my husband with her car, but had our mother call and ask him to help her ...my husband started leaving the room when his phone rang, only after I found out about them did I check the bill and see it was her he was talking to. I called my sister and mother -farked her (on the answering machine) for her secret relationship with my husband, it's been 6 years and she still has yet to call me and explain her side . The fact that we have had no contact ( even though she lives only a few miles away) makes me believe she is guilty of something ! My husband insists nothing happened and they were just friends...then he says she was just someone to talk to about "personal" matters ...he won't tell me what those personal matters are...as I said its been 6 years and I am still so hurt. My husband refuses to admit he did anything wrong, I tried counseling on my own and she just told me I need to forget about it and move on.
    Before I found out, when the 3 of us were together I would get this weird feeling in my gut that something was going on and I ignored it....I was so stupid! I always felt like there was some secret between them, but I trusted both of them....what a mistake that was!
    Even now I still check my husbands cell phone bill every month and I do see numbers I don't recognize . I want to call them and see who they are but I'm afraid to find out he's still talking to her.
    I haven't forgiven him or her. I haven't spoken to my sister (or my parents or other sister) since this as they seem to think its ok for my husband and sister to have personal intimate conversations behind my back (and God knows what else they did ) I know I will never speak to any of them again, it's too painful to be betrayed by family. I don't think I will ever forgive my husband either. I know I will
    Never trust him again either . I was a fool for the first 19 years of our marriage , I won't ever let my guard down again. Everyday I have cried over this...everyday I think about the betrayal, I hope someday it will end.
    I still want to know what they talked about, what was so personal that he couldn't talk to me about it. I do stand form in that if I ever find out something physical happened, I will leave, no question about it! I don't think I can move on until my husband admits he was wrong , and tells me everything. I don't think that will ever happen!

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    1. I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. Frankly, the counsellor you went to is an idiot. And your family are jerks. Including your husband.
      Does your husband still have contact with your sister? If what he was doing was so innocent, why can't he tell you about it? You can't have a healthy relationship with someone who won't be honest with you. It's that simple.
      Thing is, you can't make him tell you anything. What you can do is get a GOOD therapist who can help you create really clear boundaries about what sort of behaviour you will and will not tolerate in your marriage and in your life. From what you've said, I think boundaries are something your family doesn't understand and likely never taught you. Boundaries are basically "rules" we create to keep ourselves safe, emotionally and physically. For example, a friend who lies to you is violating your boundaries around honesty. A husband who secretly meets with your sister is violating your boundary around fidelity and trust.
      Please get yourself a therapist who can help you. This is far too long to feel miserable and betrayed. But you can learn the tools to begin standing up for yourself. Expect pushback. Your husband and family likely don't want you to learn to stand up for yourself. But you need to do this for YOUR sake. To create a life of self-respect. I hope you'll do this...and let us know how you're doing.

      Elle

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    2. I can't be sure he is having no contact with her . After I found out they were "friends" and told him how hurt I was they went behind my back I told him he had to stop talking to her. Christmas Eve ( years ago, a few months after I discovered ) we were watching a movie and his phone rang. He went downstairs to the basement . When he didnt come back after 20 minutes I went downstairs and apparently he didn't hear me coming. I walked up behind him and startled him. I whispered "who are you talking to?"...he wouldn't answer so I took his phone and listened, all that the "other person" said was "sooo...."...he snatched the phone from me and I again said "who is it"? He told me it was his son, from a previous relationship (an adult) and I said "why does he sound like a girl? ". My DH then said to his caller " you need to stop calling here, it's causing problems"..and hung up . After, I checked the phone bill and saw it was my sister he was talking to. I was devastated, why would he even answer knowing how hurt I was about it??? I don't know, nor have I ever known her cell phone number so she may be still calling him, I don't know. She never had my cell phone number so I was shocked she would have my husbands cell phone number...he claims he doesn't know how he got it...
      My family and the therapist seem to think its OK for a man to talk to his siter in law..and I would agree, as long as the wife knows about it. But the fact that it was so blatantly hidden from me makes me think its not so innocent and my husband gets so defensive whenever I try to talk to him about it .
      I agree my therapist was an idiot , all she wanted to do was work on my "anger" issues...I think I had a right to be angry!!! Isn't anger a natural emotion ?? If we aren't allowed to express our anger we would all be stepford wives!
      Anyway, it feels better to be able to talk about it...I have no one to talk to about it . I've been betrayed by every one I've ever known and have no friends, now no family either ....

      Delete
    3. You can always come here to talk about it. Betrayal isn't just between husbands and wives. People betray us in many ways.
      Do you have a new therapist? You need someone who recognizes what deep wounds betrayal creates. And who also recognizes that a husband having secret conversations with his sister-in-law is NOT okay. Especially a sister-in-law who is not good to his wife. It's very disloyal to you.
      What's more, he's lying to you. Which, even if he wasn't doing anything more than talking to her, is still a problem. Lying is not okay. Lying infects a marriage and undermines trust. NOT okay.
      Anger? Absolutely this creates anger. But I want you to consider that behind anger is almost always hurt and fear. The anger makes us feel strong and powerful. Hurt and fear makes us feel small and vulnerable. And yet, anger is simply masking those other feelings. For your own peace of mind and your own future happiness, I hope you'll explore what's behind your anger. Your anger also keeps people away from you. It probably scares people, even good people who could become friends. You need healthy people in your life. But to attract healthy people, you need to get healthy. Which starts with understanding your emotions and gaining control of them.
      I suspect you have a deep well of hurt and fear for all the times that the people in your life have let you down. Have treated you like you don't matter. Have behaved as if you're not worthy and valuable and loved.
      You are all those things, whether the people in your life (who likely don't feel those things about themselves -- they're just spreading their dysfunction around) see it or not. You are worthy of love and belonging. You are worthy of respect and kindness and decency. But...and this is a big but...you need to start by showing it to yourself. Ask yourself what treating yourself with respect would look like. It might look like kicking your husband out of the house until he can be honest and loyal. Or forever. It might look like insisting he treat you with kinds and transparency (which means total access for you to his phone, computer, etc). Whatever it looks like, I want you to imagine it. You might not be able to act on it yet...but get used to what it would feel like. You'd feel lighter and more at peace. You'd be showing the world, no matter how others treat you, that you're better than that. That you are worthy. That just because they're messed up, you're not going to get pulled into the muck with them.
      I know you want better for yourself. It's clear in your letter. So give it to yourself.

      Elle

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  32. I found out in March of this year that my husband had cheated on me. I am not ready to share the story yet but hope I can one day. What I am struggling with amount other things is that I want to contact the other woman. I do not know her other than what he has told me. I have questions about what happened because I am not sure he has been totally honest. Do I contact her and see if her answers support his story or let it go and continue to try and work this all out with what he has told me. I have her phone number so I could call or text her. I have not told him that I am thinking about contacting her. What should I do. Someone help.

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    1. I generally think contacting the Other Woman is a mistake. For starters, her loyalty likely lies with him, not you. She has no real incentive to tell you the truth. You already know that she's morally compromised or she wouldn't have been involved with a married man. What's more, she's in a position to really hurt you. She could tell you things that aren't true and are very hurtful or things that are true but that you really don't need to know.
      I think the real issue is that you feel as if your husband isn't telling you the truth. Are you two in counselling? I think that's where you need to get clear on what really happened. He needs to understand the value in coming clean to you -- and how it is the only way for you two to move forward from this in a way that's healthy.
      If he can't, or won't, then that tells you a lot about his own commitment to rebuild his marriage.

      Elle

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    2. I too found out on March 31 2014 after finding some emails. I'm not really ready yet to share my story, but would like to say don't contact the other woman as nothing good will come out of it. I really feel for you and I know what you are going through.

      Delete
  33. Thank you! I think I thought the same thing which is why I hadn't done it yet. Just needed the reinforcement. I am going to talk to my husband about my thoughts. He has been really supportive so far. We are not in counseling and that is also the next step I feel we need to take. He has already said he is willing to go and do whatever it takes to get thru this. Thank you again and for this blog. It has helped me in so many ways already.

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  34. I try and I manage not to think that it's me who did something wrong....but it's very hard to get rid of this thought that maybe the Other Woman was sexier, nicer, funnier and so on....those thoughts live in my head...that he would text her, send her emails, and slept with her. It lasted for few weeks...
    I just simply can not believe how my husband could jeopardize what we have for this ****.
    He keeps saying that he is so sorry, he will never do it again, he fels so guilty and disgusted by what he did, and how it hurts me...that he wish he could turn back time...
    Is it even possible that men do something like that, but they actually are just flattered by what the Other Women tell them.silly stuff like....that they are great, masculine, and everythign that those awful OWs always wanted....can they be that shallow? I have days when I feel a little better....and then the moment I think about it everything is gone...do not feel happy happy anymore? can one feel happy after the other half was not nice to me for a period of time, when they were being verry nice to OW?
    I think that I was like a walking-talking feeling of guilt...that is why my husband would treat me differently. As if he felt better when we had an argument about silly stuff...I think that they he felt in a way excuced....
    Not sure, all those feelings, thoughts in my head....can one overcome this and feel secure and wanted in a relationship again?

    empty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Empty,
      What you're feeling is, sadly, "normal" under the circumstances. And also quite astute. The cheating spouse falls for what they see in the OW's eyes, not necessarily the OW herself. They like the reflection of themselves -- sexy, interesting, smart, exciting. Shallow maybe. But more likely lost and lonely and unable to find their way out of it. It happens to so many of us in life. Things haven't quite turned out like we thought. Life seems boring. We wonder if this is "it". Even those in good marriages are vulnerable to the temptation of someone who makes us feel like our best selves (well, except for the lying and cheating bit).
      And yes, it's not at all uncommon for spouses to rewrite their marital history -- to cast the wife as a nagging shrew, to pick arguments. It helps them, in their twisted way, to justify what they're doing. As if they "deserve" to be cheating because, after all, their wife doesn't appreciate them, blah blah cliché blah.
      Finally, yes you can overcome this and feel secure and wanted again. It takes a lot of hard work, especially by your spouse to understand why he did what he did, and take steps to rebuild a solid relationship. It takes communication and patience and compassion. It also takes a desire to want to rebuild. Not everyone wants to..or should. It often depends on whether the relationship was a good one at one point in time or whether it's always been unhealthy.
      Either way, you won't feel empty forever.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. I did contact the other woman and she ran straight to my husband asking for his help in asking me to stop as she was too scared her husband of 4 years would find out. Ive been married for 21 years.

      Delete
    3. Saddened,
      Why doesn't her husband of four years know? I believe that the other spouse has a right to know what his wife is doing and determine if he wants to stay in the marriage. I would want someone to tell me.

      Elle

      Delete
  35. And when am I to know that it's not worth working on? our relationship was good, even though my husband has always been moody, but I knew that before we got married. However those last weeks, when I felt that something wrong is happening, he was like a completely different man. Like not my husband. This is the part that I do not understand. At that time he started drinking a lot over the weekends, as if he couldn't bare what he did, as if he dried to kill what he did with gallons of alcohol.
    Now he keeps saying that he loves me...and I do not know if what he says now it's true.
    He has a choice, as we do not have kids, so it's easier...if he wanted to be with OW he could...I can see that he wants to rebuild and that he is lost himself and so angry at himself that he did it to me, that he did it to us....I just find it hard to believe that one can take that road not thinking about consequences. As if what we have is not worth anything......
    How am I to believe that what he says now is true, when those same lips would tell me lies...when I asked direct questions about the OW as I did feel that something was in the air.

    empty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Empty,

      It's really hard for us to understand what happens to people in an affair. They often do become not themselves. They are living a fantasy and in their fantasy, their behaviour has no consequences. Or they tell themselves that nobody is getting hurt because "nobody" knows. Or they convince themselves that they deserve to cheat because their wife nags/complains/withholds sex/is too focussed on the kids/ too focussed on her career/too busy with her dying father/whatever. What an affair is NOT is logical. And you're trying to apply logic to an inherently illogical situation.
      The only way to determine if what he's saying is true is to take that leap of faith and let him show you. You don't have to. There is no "right" way to handle a spouse's affair. Leaving is as valid as staying.
      But if you want to rebuild your marriage, one that, as you said, was "good", then you need to give him the chance to show you who he really is. It will be really hard for you. You will have doubts (which are valid and you are entirely wise to challenge him about anything that feels dishonest). You will be terrified. You could be hurt again.
      That, however, is the truth about life. Any of us can be hurt. Not just by our spouses but by friends/parents/children. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is at the heart of what it means to be human.

      Elle

      Delete
  36. I don't think I can cope anymore. I can't think, I can't eat, and is also effecting my job as I am not functioning well and making errors. There is not a time of the day that I don't think about what my husband has done. Our marriage now is virtually over as all we do is fight. What bothers me the most is that the OW has gotten away with what she has done as I am not brave enough to message her husband. She is able to continue her life as if nothing happened. Mind you she and my husband were on for 4 years. Since 2011 three months before his 40th. I only found out on 31 March 2014 after reading his emails.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Elle, Thank you for your response....It is true, I do have doubts...but I try do to everything to make it work. My husband says he's going to work as well, and can see that he tries, but he keeps asking me - what's up, when he sees that I'm sad..and I'm sad nearly all the time...and I'm thinking...come on - what's up? I mean..it's not like I'm going to get over it in a month or so...and then he is kind of upset or cross that I'm quiet and that I look depressed...is that normal? I would think that he should come to me, be more supportive, than react like that....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,
      Show him some of the posts on this site to give him an idea of just how deep the hurt of betrayal goes and just how long it takes to move past that pain. (In particular, this one: http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2014/04/my-letter-to-husbands-just-talk-about.html)

      Elle

      Delete
    2. Thank you Elle, it's me - Empty, I just failed to signed my post.....I forget about so many things right now...One day I feel quite ok, and another I feel like I'm gonna cry all the tears that I have...I know you mentioned that I try to apply logic to an inherently illogical situation, that's true...I still remember emails that the OW would write to my husband...her imagining herself with him and "their" kids.....looks like she has a screw loose in her head. After only few weeks she kind of hoped for God knows what..she would say that nobody knows him as well as she does, and nobody would ever understand him, or love him the way she does....manipulating we all know who! Just do not know how to cope, I feel that nothing makes me happy at the moment, feel lost, unsecure, ugly, not attractive, even dumb sometimes....
      And now even though he says he so wants to make it all work...I'm scared, that because I'm like that nearly all the time...unhappy, gloomy and "yuck",one day he's gonna wake up and come to conclusion, he does not want to be with me since our life is so sad now...
      The only thing is that it's not my fault! I feel like a balloon without air....air that I had is gone because of what happened...and I'm just a sad piece of rubber now..
      I also do feel like telling the OW, that she is so pathetic, that she even can not find herself a single man, but she only looks for married ones, with good financial situations, good job etc. And how about one day, she is in our shoes, how about that? But on the other hand, I do not want to do that, I'm not gonna lower myself to her level, to even talk to her!
      Empty

      Delete
    3. Empty,
      Everything you're describing is "normal" under the circumstances. Betrayal brings us to our knees. Whether or not he'll stick around to rebuild your marriage is, of course, up to him. But you can't bury your pain to make him comfortable. He'll either step up and help you through or he won't. Either way, you'll come through fine. It takes a long time but you'll get there.

      Elle

      Delete
    4. You are so right, I can not bury my pain, I need to let it out of my system, need to cry it all out. The thing is that my mood changes one second after another it's like a crazy rollercoaster....it can be everything, music, some perfume, tv comercial that brings the nasty stuff out and I'm sad & angry again.
      I think I'm more angry than sad these days...I blame him for what he did, what he did to us and what he did to me....to my dreams and hopes, and to my memories...as now they kind of seem to be fake....how am I to treat them as real...or is it really possible to love your wife, and do something like that? be lost and then try to go back to his life?
      I know that he is suffering, since he is to blame, and he knows it, that it's him who did something terribly wrong to someone he loves.

      Delete
    5. The roller coaster is a ride we've all been on. It will settle down. In the meantime, let yourself feel the full range of emotions. The only out of this is through. Eventually you'll have processed it all -- the grief, the rage, the sadness. At that point, you'll be able to assimilate this part of your life with the rest. It becomes not so much an event that changes your past as one that changes your future.
      And yes, it is possible to love your wife and still make such a painful choice. Affairs, in so many cases, are about fantasy and escape. Not unlike descending into a bottle of scotch, or losing yourself at a slot machine. It triggers the same part of the brain, that offers that rush of good feelings. And then, of course, reality sets in. And you either do it again or find your way out.

      Elle

      Delete
    6. And how am I to get rid of the fear that I have next time my husband gonna say that he needs to stay longer in the office? How was it with you? Did you manage to really really get over all the pain, or does it still live with you deep inside? Do certain things (music etc) remind you of what you had been through or you can say that it's all behind you and that your husband is a changed man?
      Empty

      Delete
    7. Empty,
      I can say it's behind me now, though every now and again, I get triggered by something. It's rare, though.
      The fear dissipates after your husband consistently shows he can be trusted. It happens by checking up on him...and discovering that he's being honest. If he must travel for work, then have some sort of system whereby he checks in with you hourly. Or writes you a long e-mail before bed telling you how much you mean to him and how he won't risk losing you, or whatever you come up with that works for him. Ultimately, he needs to make the choice to NOT do that again. You can't control him. But you can determine whether or not he's deserving of a second chance.

      Elle

      Delete
    8. Hi Elle, thank you for your note...I can see he is trying and can see how much he is upset and angry at himself to see me hurt, to see my so unhappy right now....he feels so guilty and keeps saying that it was the biggest mistake of his life, since he loves me...
      Empty
      There was alcohol involved....is it possible that people do stuff like that after alcohol...I still do not believe that one can not control themselves that much.....that they do stuff like that, that they do know what and who they can loose, but still take this road to few moments of some sick excitement that can and actually does ruin life of the other half...

      Delete
  38. Ok. I've hit rock bottom. I blame myself for everything now. I'm done and I'm finished. Can't cope as I let this happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saddened,
      I've been exactly where you are. I couldn't imagine myself not feeling this excruciating pain. I felt wild, unable to escape it. I wanted out. Not of the marriage, but out of my life. I didn't think I could bear it another minute, let alone day or week or year.
      I came very close to driving myself to a psych hospital, thinking they could at least keep me from harming myself. I ended up curling into a ball and crying myself to sleep. When I woke up, I called my therapist and, shortly after, she put me on anti-depressants. As much as I hadn't wanted to take them, they saved my life. They gave me the space I needed to just breathe and to acknowledge the slivers of joy that still existed in my life.
      Please know that so many of us have been there...but we're not there anymore. His affair is NOT about you. It's about his own pain, his own inability to deal with issues, his own need to escape.
      You need help. You need someone to guide you through this, more than we can do on this site. Please call a crisis line, get a therapist and begin the task of healing. I know you won't believe me, but this can be the start of discovering who you really are, of tapping into a strength you don't yet know you have, and becoming the person you were meant to be. I promise you it will get better but you have to reach for it with everything you've got.

      Elle

      Delete
  39. Dear Saddened
    I went to the OW house to confront her hours of finding out. All I had was a number, my husband had run out the house! It was 9 o'clock at night by the time the PI came back with a name and address and took over an hour to get there. I had no plan, no idea of what i was going to say. I was, looking back a mad desperate, frightened person.
    My 2 youngest children came with me (19 and 23). she recognized my car when i pulled into her millionaire estate. well she would she had sat in it and ? with him. she had in seconds to tell her husband so he came out and defended her! pretending to call the police. He is ex army so i guess his training kicked in on how to deal with a situation.
    He gave me his business card and told me they owned a private members club together
    I went home, my husband came back for a while and carried on lying on how they had met etc until her husbands text came through with some details so then he run out again and slept the night in his truck!
    That was in April 2013. over the months my husband told me bits and pieces plus more lies to shut me up. I had turned into a complete mad women by now.

    I found out everything I could about her. Her husband puts their life on youtube/google etc so it was easy. I know more about her and her family than my husband. In September 2013, knowing her husband was out the country I drove to her business. she came outside and I spoke and I spoke. I was calm although all i wanted to do was hit her! I had rehearsed everything and It came out good. She said nothing just listened being the nice person my husband told me she was!! she said I think thats enough, I told her she was a whore and I left. I felt good for a short period of time but it didn't last.
    I was really scared but told myself that they weren't scared when they met up and done what they did.
    I have the urge to go to her again every day and smack her in her smug face! Violence is another feeling that has become an everyday friend. Maybe Karma will arrive instead.

    They have both said 'oh sorry I made a mistake' I feel that their mistake will stay with me forever...long after what they did has gone.

    So I guess what I got out of contacting the OW was that I stopped the affair! well I hope so, trust or lack of, is the another feeling that lives with me now

    He has ruined an amazing marriage, I'm not very good at pretending and being fake. So to forget it and move on as if it didn't happened is not something I am capable of. But I am trying. I know that we need to go to MC and that is something I will do after celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and our eldest son's wedding in the next couple of months.

    Keep reading and re-reading the blogs on here, they do help, Best wishes xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jane,
      Thank you for understanding. I am very lost at the moment and know I need help. My marriage is over and there is no going back. I've decided not to tell her husband.

      Delete
  40. OMG my husband has just sent a message to the OW husband. He says he feels so guilty that he needed to let the OW husband know. I am very scared of what the consequences will be.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Everybody I speak to tells me it will get easier and I'll be able to get on with my life. But WHEN will it get easier???? I just can't cope with this pain. The bastard hurt me, he broke my heart but I still love him. Am I crazy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saddened,
      It takes a long time but it is happening, slowly and incrementally. You might not even notice that you're healing until that day you realize you haven't cried so much, or you notice something that makes you really smile.
      You're not crazy at all. You're trying to deal with the crazy-making situation of understanding that the person you love betrayed you.
      Try not to go down into that spiral though...you know the one, where you think a negative thought, which leads to another, then another, and suddenly everything in your life feels like total shit. Try instead to hang on to something positive, no matter how small. Give yourself credit for tiny "successes" -- like getting out of bed and showering, like being able to get to the grocery store. Recognize that you're showing incredible strength by being willing to see where this goes.
      None of this is easy. But we need to be careful we're doing everything we can to respect and nurture ourselves through this.

      Elle

      Delete
  42. Dear saddened
    I've been in this hell for 14 months now and I don't think the pain will ever go. I do know if it was the other way round I would want to talk if that helps him. He seriously thinks it's okay to say 'i made the biggest mistake of my life' 'lets forget it and get back to how we were' I don't think i'm capable? If we did split up I know I would regret it as I love him so deeply. He's my life 33years. But I really don't know HOW to forgive
    We have no money...its all gone due to the business that I pushed for. Which is the reason he had the affair. so he says. but I don't know cos a 58 year old finds a women anytime. He just couldn't resist.
    i don't enjoy life anymore. I have no one that has said in the last year 'how are you' I'm dying inside.

    Sorry Saddened I wish I could help your pain x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane,
      How are you today?
      Did you notice how bright the sky is and how green the leaves have become? The sky is always blue above the clouds.
      It will be a good day. Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself so and it will be.
      I am at 14m too and wish you a really good day.
      Inchworm

      Delete
  43. Came across this blog few months ago and was reading through it on-off while I'm trying to pick myself up since the D-Day, nearly 6 months ago (Dec 2013). Sharing my story here as I really need an outlet to share my story. I'd yet to share this with anyone. Only my husband's family (mum and sis) knew about what happened (without the details. So please bear with me if I get too detailed.

    My husband got posted overseas for 2 year stint in mid 2012. As I'm doing well in my current job, we decided that we will be able to work this out with frequent meet-ups and daily FaceTime.

    At the start, everything worked well. We were both excited of his new prospects and exploring a new location. We meet each other in person for at least once every 6 weeks and each visit lasted at least 1.5 weeks to 1 month.

    In mid 2013 (1 year after), I noticed that I began to feel uncomfortable with his behavior especially texting. I mentioned to him that I felt that he was addicted to his phone and even got pretty upset. He assured me it was his group chat with his co-workers and that he will try not to be on his phone that much.

    I visited him in Aug'13 and Oct'13 for 1.5 weeks each time. He also came back home for 2 weeks in Sept'13. I got upset at least 2-3 times over his texting during this period. In Sept, when he was back home, I was so upset that I even demanded to check on his phone but found nothing.

    Then in late Oct/Nov, I even got upset when we were talking on FaceTime or Skype and demanded that he did a walkaround in his apartment to assure me that no one was there. Of course, I spotted nothing.


    All these while, I felt so bad to be suspicious of my husband and told myself that I should trust him and be fortunate that I've such a nice and sweet husband who do small little things for me.

    Then at end Nov, I visited him again and this time for near 6 weeks. As usual, I took a cab to his apartment and will be at the lobby waiting for me. When we were in the apartment, I was expecting the usual "welcome hug/kiss" from him. But there wasn't any. I felt a bit sad and told myself not to be too sensitive as I sat on the sofa to settle down. Suddenly, my husband came with a pic we took together on a day trip which I'd placed in the living room and apologized to me that he didnt put it back there after "cleaning". My guess is that he thought I'd noticed the missing pic and quickly took it out to "clear the air". But I was still so bothered by the lack of intimacy that I didnt even took note of that. I just smiled and jokingly asked him whether he kept it cos some other woman was visiting .

    I didn't say much after that though deep down I was already suspecting something. Few days later, I tried to have sex with him but he was not able to do it. This was a surprise as I was the one who always don't want to have sex with him and he will be more than excited if I ok-ed with it. I asked him straight in the face whether there was another woman, he told me a straight no and asked me not to let my mind wander. I sort of believed him and told myself not to mention this again thinking the non-erection may hurt his ego.

    In Dec due to bad weather, I fell sick on-off for nearly a week. In mid Dec, we took a trip and when we tried to be intimate again, it failed. I still comfort him and said it's ok and it maybe due to tiredness from the sightseeing, etc.

    We spent Xmas Eve with a home-cooked meal and me falling sick again with a bad cold on Xmas Day. My husband cooked meals for me and took good care of me and I still told myself not to be stupid and suspect him.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Then came the big bomb on D-Day.
    I met him at his office building and had dinner and did some shopping.
    When we were out, he told me he needed to check his Blackberry for work and hence need to look at his phone. Then when we were on our way back on the subway, he made a comment about me doing something in the past which I told him I did not. So again, I asked him is it someone else who did that and he was acting 100% sure that it was me who did it. I

    When we got back to the apartment, I sat on the sofa to watch some TV while he was at the dining table looking at his phone again. I asked him to sit beside me to have some "together time". He obliged but did not talk much to me except chasing me to take my shower. After sometime, I went into the bathroom but U-turn out as I forgot something. At that very moment, I saw him secretly taking out his phone and texting again.


    I guessed I had actually known something was happening but kept telling myself to ignore the signals.But this time round, I decided to walk up and asked him to show me his phone. When I saw his face, I already had the answer. He refused but I insisted pulling the phone out from his hand. Scrolled through messages he had and found the OW text. My husband was a very careful person. There was no history. But just so happened that the OW had texted her but he did not have the chance to read, reply and delete yet. It was a msg from her telling my husband not to think that she loved him that much.

    I sat down beside my husband whose face was pale like a white sheet and asked him calmly question by question. Who is she, how long had it been, had they held hands, kissed, had sex,, how many times, etc. After that I went into the bathroom. Once inside the bathroom, I just cried out loud not believing what had happened. When I was out from my shower, my husband was just standing there speechless. I just chased him to shower as I don't know how to face him. When he was out, I just broke down again and cried hard. He hugged me but never mentioned that he will break off with the OW. So I asked, so do you want a divorce? His immediate reaction is a big NO and said he'd never wanted to leave me. So I asked him to call her to sort it out. He refused saying it was already late at night and maybe we can wait till the next day. I refused to budge and so he finally tried calling her at 2am+. Her phone was off and we've no choice but to go to bed.

    Amazingly, my husband was able to sleep through the night leaving me lying on the bed, wide awake, waiting for the dawn to come.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Morning came and it was a working day (31 Dec to be exact).The OW is his co-worker. 10 years younger than him. Single.
    I asked whether it's possible for him not to go to work and he agreed and text the other co-worker that he's sick and not able to report for work.

    I asked him again when he was going to call her to end it. He refused to and said he want to tell her in person instead. To me, this only shows that my husband did not want to end the affair and I lose my cool. I threatened to call his mum which he thought I would not do so. I called aand my mother in law still asked whether I've any plans to go anywhere for the countdown. I think my voice gave me away and she asked me whether everything is ok. I told her I'd a big flu and hence sounded so different. I didnt have the heart to tell her as she dotes on his son very much and is a widow living on her own now. She insisted that I passed the phone to my husband and interrogated him. My husband finally confessed and told him that he'd OW. My MIL then talked to me and asked me to stay strong and be calm and not do anything rash till I return back to home country. She also told my husband to call the woman immediately as I requested to end it immediately.

    So after an hour or so, my husband called OW on his phone with speaker on. OW still asked how is he hearing that he had reported sick. He then told her that I'd found out about the affair and they have to stop. The OW still had the cheek to said that since they know nothing can come out of it at the start (my husband said he had told her that it will end once he returns to home country and he will not divorce me for sure), there's nothing she can do and still asked how m I?!?!? I suspect that she knows the speaker phone is on and purposely said that for me to hear and to show my husband how generous she is. After some silence in between, they reluctantly said Bye to each other and hanged up.

    What follows that day was hell for me. I refused to talked to my husband. I've no where to go but stuck in this apartment where he brought her up and had sex with her. Everywhere in the apartment seemed dirty. I shut myself up in the master bedroom as this was the only place she'd not stepped into ever since they'd started the affair (she visited the room once when my husband was showing her around the apartment before).

    ReplyDelete
  46. On-off throughout the day, I interrogated my husband for details of the affair. I was still confused and looking for answers on what triggered off the affair, trying to piece everything together. So the initial story I gotten from my husband was that he initiated the dates with her, she felt guilty towards me and don't want to be reminded of me, she was a virgin, etc. I asked him when was the first time they'd sex. He could not remember. I told him to call her to ask as I need to know how long it'd been going on and if it's her first time, she'd surely remember no? He refused and I did lose my cool again in the afternoon and hit my husband to vent my frustration. He finally relented and called her to ask. She gave a date, and I told my husband that it's the night he took the red-eye flight back home. He confirmed to me it's IMPOSSIBLE as he did not remember asking him up at all the night he fly back.

    My emotions for the day is just like roller-coaster. I'll sometimes just hug my husband and cried hard, Sometimes, I just don't want to see him and chased him out. I drank up the 2 bottles of beer in fridge and begged him to buy back some hard Chinese liquor. I drank a bit, went crazy (texted OW using my husband's phone saying wife decided to divorce and so lets be together again) and was totally knocked out and slept finally for the next 2-3 hours. Before I was knocked out, I still made dinner for my husband, which I myself find it amazing.

    Finally, I woke up near 10pm. My husband tried to make me have some food. I tried but my stomach cannot take down the solid food and I felt nauseous. I just sat at the living room with the TV on and watched the countdown shows.

    1 Jan 2014 came.
    The OW posted a pic of her hand with a ring on WeChat Moments commenting that she had bought the ring for herself and that she wished those who love her and those who she love a happy 2014. Obviously, this was a posting which was meant for my husband eyes to see.
    I asked my husband more questions as I know that this OW is not simple and I need to piece all the information my husband can still remember together. I even left a comment on her post using my husband account saying that he will buy the ring for her. My husband knew about my posting and though reluctant, allowed me to post it. That night, my husband slept at around 3-4am while I again stayed wide awake. I sat down and began to type an email to myself on what had happened to release my emotions. It helped to clear out something out my head and I was able to think better. I began to pack my luggage. At around 8am, my husband was up and looking for me. We'd a bit of breakfast and I told my husband I want to go and pay her a visit at her place. Of course, he refused and I threatened to just go off with my bags. He finally agreed. But changed his mind after we were at roadside hailing for a cab.
    After some "negotiations", he brought me to the block of walk-up apartment she and her parents were staying at. He tried to call her on the phone while we were on cab. But phone was off. He called her again when we reached (near noon) and she finally picked up. When my husband told her we were downstairs, she was angry and asked what do we want. I told my husband, if she don't come down, I'll shout and let the whole block know about their affair. After some time she finally came down but refused to stay put at where I was standing and told my husband to ask me to move over so her parents won't see us. I refused and my husband went to and fro to ask either of us to move. So I told him, tell her that if she don't come over, tomorrow, I'll appear at your office. I also made my husband tell her to 1) apologize to me 2) tell me in face she's not going to have anything to do with my husband anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  47. And I was so right about her! When she walked over to apologize to me, my husband was still walking slowly over. She apologized to me with vengeance and glared at me. And when my husband came, she said in a remorseful and regretful voice that she won't have anything to do with him again. As much as I wished to slap and scold her, I told myself not to do anything rash or I will lose the game. I just thanked her and asked my husband has anything to say. He just said he felt that he was sorry to both of us. And I just told OW that we won't hold her up for her lunch

    When we got back to the apartment, I cried again and started to tell my husband what had happened. My husband said he was surprised with her behavior as well as she actually told him she don't owe me anything. This was in stark contrast to the "guilty her" that she portrayed or he chose to believe. He also told me the first thing she asked him was whether he knew I posted comments on the WeChat and when he said Yes, she was angry. I told him that she may had wanted to "expose" me but had failed. I also told my husband the change in her tone and behavior before and after he walked over. He was shocked.

    That night, I pieced up the bits and pieces I knew from him. I knew I maybe lying to myself thinking that it's her fault, etc. But I also knew that I must let my husband see the scheming side of her instead of feeling guilty towards her to make a "clean break".

    The only consolation through that few days was that my husband took 100% blame and responsibility of what happened. He told me regardless whether she had schemed to be with him, it does not make him any less responsible. I made him promise me 3 things, which he agreed 1) give me a surprise every month 2) to write down what he's grateful/thankful about every day 3) never ever to talk to her outside of office.

    He promised and we start our bumpy road to recovery .....

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    Replies
    1. Picking Up,
      I'm so sorry for all you've gone through but glad you found us and were able to share your story.
      It's crucial that both you and your husband have absolutely no contact with this woman. You need total access to his phone, computer, etc. And you need to stop posting anything on any social media sites that she's on.
      If possible, your husband needs to find another job where he's not in touch with her, or you two need to come up with some sort of plan of how he can avoid her. The point is to make it completely clear to her that it is over and that nothing will occur in the future. It's the only way for you and your husband to move forward. And he needs to do a whole lotta work to support you in your healing. He need to get clear on why he betrayed you.
      Taking full responsibility is a great first step. but it's only the first step.

      Elle

      Delete
    2. Hi Elle,
      Thanks for your reply. It really helps to feel that I can share the story with someone without any judgement. I do not dare to share this with my family as my parents are already struggling with the divorce of my sibling.Though my husband's family know about it and was supportive to me, I sometimes can't help to feel that they maybe siding him by asking me to "let it go".

      Actually my husband tried to totally avoid the OW at work. And once we're back in our home country, the contact with the OW should be zero.I told him not to avoid her as I don't want him to come across to be scared of her.

      But I can't help to now and then push my husband to "provoke" the OW to sort of test the water whether she will be interested.
      I posted messages to her 2 of her contacts on China Twitter page to tell them about her being the OW. I told my husband I want her friends to judge and know what kind of woman she is.

      My husband tried stopping me saying I will be addicted to that. But to me he was more worried of blowing things up and that the OW retaliate and expose the affair @ office.

      I'm confused whether I'm being spiteful or that my husband is just interested on protecting his own interest.

      Delete
    3. Picking Up,
      Ask yourself what your motivation is. I personally think that "provoking" the OW is playing with fire. I think your time and energy is better spent focussing on rebuilding your marriage. And I also think that trying to control others' impressions of the OW can backfire. People are sometimes loyal (at least publicly) to her; or we make ourselves look petty and mean, something the OW is happy to point out to her friends. Honestly, I think it's best not to give her any more time/attention/energy than she's already taken. She's not worth it.

      Elle

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    4. Hi Elle

      Thanks for your independent advice. Somehow it feels different when the same thing come out from a 3rd party than my husband. When he told me not to contact her/post anything on social media, I felt he's more concerned on protecting himself and maybe her.

      For the past few days, I'd asked myself why I wanted to do this and why I have the constant outbursts (the last 2 days had been bad. I could not control my anger and tears). I was thinking can it be due to

      1) I crave for his attention and showing that he cared for me
      2) The feeling that I've control over him/her and that I can expose them anytime
      3) I'm just going mad and is in a state of depression

      I'm now going through a difficult period to understand my own mood swings and what are my triggers. Is there any good suggestion on this?


      Anyway, few days ago, my husband talked to the OW (on my insistence). I had hoped that he can properly end and tell her that everything is finished and that it was his decision and not that it ended due to my discovery and to retract his apology to her as I felt that he had done nothing wrong to her as all along she know that he's married. But all my husband said was that he think the whole affair is a big mistake and should not had happened especially seeing how sad I am now. I'm still upset over him not telling her he's not sorry to her and made it seemed as I'm the weaker party.

      Today should be the last day my husband is seeing the OW. His office co-workers are buying him a farewell lunch and most probably she will be there. I did tell my husband that I'm upset about him not retracting his apology. So not sure whether he will find a chance to tell her that. Can't wait for us to return to home country where there may be less triggers for me to be reminded of her.

      Delete
    5. Picking Up,
      I suspect your moods are the result of all three. Betrayal is crazy-making. Whether or not he apologizes to her is, I think, small in the grand scheme of things. The less he has any contact with her, the better. The affair was a mistake is the perfect thing to tell her. It's over, is the perfect thing to tell her. And then the absolute key is to have NO CONTACT going forward. She's old news.
      Hang in there. I think once you're out of country you'll have fewer triggers and will be able to begin to rebuild your marriage.

      Elle

      Delete
  48. Yes I am dying inside. I cant look at him and can't talk to him. I never thought I coI'll hate a person so much. All he cares about now is how the OW is coping since he told her husband. I cant believe this as he told me he wants to contact the OW to see how she is. Is he bloody serious? ? Unfortunately we both still live in the same house. I still cook and clean for him as we also have a ten year old and don't want to spoil her routine. He now believes that I am either a lesbian (to which I take great insult) or I am having an affair. WTF has he nothing better to think. Ladies I can tell you now that in the 21 years of our marriage I have never ever thought of having an affair nor am I gay. I think this is his only way to hurt me. I just dont know anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your husband is nuts. Lesbian? Seriously? Based on what? Affair? WTF? And the fact that he wants to contact the OW is insane. She brought this on herself, along with him. Each of them needs to face the proverbial music. Sucks but they made the choice.
      In the meantime, he needs to get clear on where his loyalties lie -- with her or with his family. He doesn't get to have it both ways.
      Saddened, you're not "dying" inside though I know it feels like that. You're in such pain and you need support. Are you in counselling? Is there anyone in real life who can help you through this? Your daughter must also be confused and struggling, even if she doesn't understand what's going on. I hope you'll find help for both of you.

      Elle

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  49. It's my 30th Wedding Anniversary on 21st July, I am meant to be booking a holiday to celebrate. I don't want to!

    I just want to sit and cry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane,
      If you don't want to book a holiday, then don't book a holiday. I think it's important that you pay attention to what you want. To not feel obliged to celebrate something that, at least right now, doesn't seem worthy of celebration. I didn't celebrate my anniversary for a few years. It seemed ludicrous to me. My kids were young enough that they barely noticed. And now, with enough time passed and enough healing done, I'm able to acknowledge it as something that deserves acknowledgement.
      But that took time. Figure out what you really think you'll want -- or wait until you're more clear. But please don't disregard your own feelings around this. They're too important.

      Elle

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  50. So glad I found this site! Just the sheer number of posts gives me comfort that I'm not alone in this!
    My D-day was 5/30. Actually 4 months earlier I had found hotel charges on one of our accounts. He had told me he "met someone" and he was able to talk to her about his problems and she was helping him work on his marriage. He told me they were just friends but he really valued their meetings and just didn't want anyone to see them together so they would talk in hotels. He agreed not to see her again and we started going to counseling.
    Back story - our sex life plummeted after I had our two sons, age 2 and 4 at the time I found the hotel charges. I wasn't as into it as he was and despite him telling me over and over how important it was for him to feel needed, for me to initiate sex, for me to make him more of a priority, I always put the kids first. I admit, I had as much a role in the crappy state of our marriage as he did. I resented him for not helping me with the kids more and I pretty much kept it all to myself because I kind of prided myself on being self-sufficient and not a nag. I'm not the kind to put myself first or ask for help. I'm a successful professional and out-earn him by quite a bit, which neither of us mind. But the home chores and child-related duties were always very lopsided. I always expected him to help more but I never asked, I just wanted him to know what I needed. Which I know now is stupid.
    Anyway, we started counseling for 4 months and got nowhere. He said he thought of me as a best friend or a sister but wasn't attracted to me anymore although he admitted that I was indeed attractive. We never fight, we get along great, but the spark was dead and nothing the therapist suggested worked. We didn't have sex for 6 months. Finally we started having sex, started having more of a dating type relationship and things were looking great. Until one day after we had sex he just shut down, told me he was trying to feel differently about be but just couldn't and he wasn't sure we could make it. He took a nap and I went digging through his computer. Found all the evidence I needed to know that the "friend" was actually someone he'd been sleeping with for a year and he didn't stop after I had found the hotel charges. I confronted him and he broke down crying, couldn't stop apologizing, told me he felt like the scum of the earth and basically let me make all the decisions from that point on. He slept in the basement for 3 nights and we at first decided to separate then after 24 hours I decided I wanted to give it another shot but only if she was totally out of his life. It took about 10 days for him to end things with her - he admitted that it was harder than he anticipated and he went through a real "grieving" phase which sucked for me. I read texts between them and it was hard - they told each other that they "loved" each other but he kept telling her that he had to try to fix his family. She was pissed (poor bitch). I asked him A LOT of questions and he answered them all, despite how brutal some of the truth was. SEE NEXT POST...

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  51. PART TWO:
    He's now doing pretty much everything I told him I needed. Even leaves his phone laying around the house now which he never did before (I should have known). We both admitted how much of a relief it is that the truth is out in the open. I now know why therapy didn't work - and we both feel more optimistic that maybe we have a shot.
    I lost quite a bit of weight in the last 6 months and for the first time in months I'm gaining weight and sleeping through the night. I think about the affair daily, am constantly googling her name (we blocked each other on Facebook), sneaking looks at his computer. I have flashbacks to the moment I found out. I have images of them sleeping together daily. But I actually do a fairly good job dealing with them. We have sex about 3 times a week now and although it's not like it was when we were dating it's better than it's been in years. I still wonder if he's thinking about her when he's sleeping with me. It's only been a month so far but we are actually having more good days than bad days. He's panning dates, sending me fun/sexual texts when I'm at work, flirting with me, touching me, everything I've missed for the last year. He's helping with the kids, making dinners, staying home with the kids while I do what I need (gym, shopping, golf, etc) We are making long term plans together.
    I wonder if I'm just in denial or taking it too easy on him? Is this just the honeymoon period and things are going to crash and burn soon? I want to forgive him and feel close to doing that. Trust will take time. Luckily (and thanks to my therapist) my self esteem is decent and maybe that's what is helping. I know how many times better I am than her and how stupid he was to risk losing me and risk breaking up our family. Am I nuts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you're not nuts. You're lucky, relatively speaking. You've found your way back to each other, though you had to take a painful detour. I hate even implying that I think affairs can be "good" for a marriage because I do think they create far too much damage. But I do think that an affair can sometimes make crystal clear just how much we cherish what we already have...and encourage us to rebuild a stronger marriage in the wake of it.

      Elle

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  52. I haven't read all of these comments but I just need to write...and forgive me if this is kind of rambling but I've had a bit to drink....a couple days ago I found out that my husband has been having an affair....AGAIN with the same woman. First time was last summer and I'm still processing that. We went to counselling together after that first time for a couple sessions but I got angry because it seemed the counsellor was just taking his side, trying to find out what I had done wrong to cause him to have an affair. So we went for a few times then decided we'd work it out on our own, we did talk a LOT about the affair and I thought it was all finished. Then a few months later I went on my own to a counsellor because I really wanted to figure out how to get over the affair, since the affair I coudn't have sex with my husband I was so disgusted with him. I wanted to figure out how to get the images of him with the OW out of my mind. So I shared with him how I was trying to get over it, figure how to make our relationship better. Turns out that right at the that time he got back together with the woman. OH, also at that time I found out through hormone tests that menopause would happen within 6 months, I told him that too, and that probably that was a main reason why I had zero interest in sex with him. He agreed that we'd have to find a solution together to deal with my lack of interest in sex (now a hormonal problem as well as emotional) So... seems his solution was to give up on our marriage and just sleep with that woman again...regulrarly until I found out about it by chance two days ago. So when was he going to tell me if I hadn't discovered it myself? Now he's extrelmely apologetic, says he's cut her out of his life, that our family and I am the most important things in his life...but how can I possibly trust him again? He already said the same things last summer adn apparantly they mean nothing because he started seeing her again in spite of the fact that he knew he hurt me to the core. Now I'm feeling suicidal and feel absolutley no hope that we can make anything better, anyway his words meaning absolutley nothing he's proven himself to be a liar how can i possibly trust hinm again? At the same time how can i look after our two young children alone if we do divorce? I feel so powerless at the moment....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Please do yourself a huge favor, though, and don't drink right now. It only compounds your pain and your cloudy thinking. I know how painful this is. And I know how tempting it is to dull that pain. But the only way out is through.
      You need some time and space to figure out what's next. His second betrayal is so hard to get past. He's really blown any goodwill you had toward him.
      I would ask him to leave right now to give you the space to determine whether or not you want to stay in your marriage. You could continue counselling with him and on your own, to work through all this. I suspect that, after some time to clear your head, you'll either decide he's not worth the effort of getting past your disgust sexually, or you'll see that he's a changed man and be willing to work toward rebuilding your marriage.
      At this point, you don't trust him. He's shown you he's not to be trusted. You can, however, trust yourself to stay strong and, when you're ready, make the decision that's best for you and your kids.

      Elle

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  53. Could someone answer a question for me? What kind of father carries on an exit affair in front of his daughter so that she has to bring it home and tell her mother what's going on? Then he has the nerve to say he loves his daughter and didn't do anything to hurt her. She's in counseling now because she started cutting herself. The loving daddy will only text her and refuses to call her on the phone and he's only done that 3 times in the last 5 months. He doesn't contact me to inquire about her welfare. I'm not upset that he carried on the affair, we were having our fair share of problems and if this was the only way he wanted to deal with it then so be it because when someone doesn't want to be with you there is nothing you can do to change that, understood. Hurting your 13 year old daughter is inexcusable.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is inexcusable. And I'm so sorry your daughter is harming herself. My own daughter engaged in cutting briefly (thankfully). It's terrifying as a parent to see your child hurt herself. She's clearly in a lot of pain and struggling to deal with it.
      I can completely understand your rage at your husband for his selfish and childish behaviour. However, for your daughter's sake, I hope you'll treat him with decency and respect. He's her father, albeit a shitty one. She deserves the freedom to love him, even though he doesn't deserve it. She also deserves the freedom to be able to be incredibly angry at him, without you making it about your anger.
      I applaud your mother bear instincts. And your daughter needs you so badly right now. Continue to support her as she works through this, letting her know that, like you, she's strong enough to get past this, wiser and more compassionate. That pain doesn't last forever. That even people who love us can let us down. That we can create boundaries to keep ourselves safe when people aren't treating us with respect.
      But yes, inexcusable.

      Elle

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  54. Everyday when I wake up I just don't know what mood I'm waking up to. I'm having more bad days than good. I'm tired of feeling this way. I just want the pain to go away and it won't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saddened,
      It won't "go away", at least not for a long while. But you can hang on for dear life to those days that aren't so bad. Those not-so-bad moments will light the way to more not-so-bad moments, until the not-so-bad moments outweigh the bad ones. None of this is easy. It's the hardest thing you'll ever do. But you can do it. And when you emerge on the other side, you'll share your wisdom and your strength with others who are where you were and you'll guide them along. Just like we're doing with you.
      Elle

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  55. My D day was January 1, 2013 at 15 years of marriage. I received an anonymous text saying that I needed to look up Highwaydryver online and see what my husband was up to. I showed my husband the text and at first he laughed and denied anything. I looked at him and said I know your idea of sex is different from mine, "What have you done?". He told me he had been having an affair and gave me the name of the one he saw the most. A few months before D day I saw a text come across his phone saying, 'I can't until on yahoo tonight!!! I love you!!!". He laughed it off. I was ignorant enough to believe him and did not read the the text any further and gave him his phone. It did not occur to me to start checking his phone. I trusted him. I was cooking and we have 4 kids so I honestly thought it was wrong number. Haha, I know stupid. He said he had been seeing her for 2 years and it was 4. I was in complete shock and I guess I went on autopilot. I looked up his user name online and found that his profile was on multilple sexual sites. Lots of sites. Then come to find out he had 2 user names. The first week I took kids and stayed with my family for a few days. I talked with the OW and she told me it was 4 years and that he would not leave me because he was terrified of me taking away our kids. I told her I had given him an open door to leave. My husband told her immediately that he was not leaving me, I read the text. That same week we had to put our bulldog of 13 years to sleep. The OW text me as I was on my way to the vet saying, "What if he stays?". I thought, What is the...?, she is crazy. I text her back saying I was on my way to put our dog to sleep. She text, "Oh, I remember how hard it was for him when you put Maggie to sleep". Maggie was our lab of 15 years that we had put to sleep the summer before. The fact that she knew Maggie's name and that we put her to sleep cut deep and really opened my eyes to how bad this was. She started calling my husband after she text me over and over. He would not answer, but she kept calling, saying that she would not stop until she got a private conversation with him. He answered the phone and vet and stepped outside the door. I could see him talking to her. I took our dog on back and he came in a few minutes later. It was one of the hardest days of my life. We then went to my in laws to tell them and bury our dog. My father in law interrupted me while I was talking about what I had found out and said, "there was no reason to rant and rave about this that he knew something was wrong for a long time". I am still have trouble forgiving my father in law and I feel he might have had an idea that my husband was cheating. The OW continued to text my husband for 3 months telling how much she loved him and all the things he said to her. I finally called her work when she text from a work phone. She stopped after that.
    to be continued

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  56. The next few days I left the kids with my husband because I trust that he is a good father still and went to stay with a friend. It was much needed. I came back after a couple days and I had this unusual urge to have sex with my husband and the urge has continued. I admit before D day our sex life was not good and has not been for a while. I struggled with depression for years and then we had 4 kids. I was pregnant with our twins when my husband met his main OW. He had been cheating for 2 years already with multiple women he met online. He traveled for work so he would meet them during work hours and always be home on time. He also took his main OW that lived close by out of town on so called business trips. He had sex with many women he says and says I give this OW too much attention. He saw her most because she was local. He erased his yahoo account before I could see it. I saw a list of names on his phone of women he had talked with and no telling what else. He was living a completely other life while I was working and raising kids. There are too many things to tell that now I realize how much he was not there for me. My mom died when the twins were 4 months. My husband had little empathy for me and too out of town trips the first months after she died. He would get family to stay with so it made him feel better.
    to be continued

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  57. The truth was very hard to get from him. He told me a few things about him and the main OW, but then he would get angry and shutdown. There were lots of ugly fights, crying and anger. We managed to recover after all of them. He refused to be honest with me about taking her out to eat. He finally told me the name of a couple places and said the rest of time they ate pizza in the room. I finally talked to the OW and she named a long list of places he took her to eat and some of them were local out in broad daylight. The audacity that he had to take her out to eat at a place I loved and went to eat at after work sometime is heart wrenching. The thing I felt he was lying about was pictures of them with there clothes on. He said they were all sexual. She says there are pics of them of their clothes. She says they were a couple and it was more than sex and a good time. He says he was just using her along with many others. He says he did things with her to keep her happy so she would keep ........ him. It bothers me deeply that I had to get the truth from her and she said they were a couple. She text him the day she told me all the stuff about them and told him she would not lie to me, etc. He text, "tell her whatever you want". Then she text, "it sickens her that you won't admit to her the actual kind of relationship we had". He did not respond. He says he refuses to talk her and thinks it is not good for him to say anything to her. I am hurt that he did not say anything to her to take up for me or deny that he loved her. He says he did not respond to help us. He says talking to her will only hurt us more. I asked him to write her a closure letter explaining her how he really felt. He wrote a letter for me to send. I have not sent it. He says he did not love her and does not miss her.

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    1. As much as you want him to defend you/your marriage, I'm on your husband's side. Don't engage with her at all. No contact! I think you should send the letter he wrote, assuming he makes it clear that he will not have any contact with her going forward. He clearly doesn't seem to care at all what she thinks. She, on the other hand, under the guise of helping you, is telling you some really painful stuff. None of that mattters. What they ate, where they ate. All that matters if you're choosing to stay with him, is whether he's done with her.

      Elle

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    2. Whoops -- I'd missed the first two parts of your letter. You've got a whole lot of betrayal to get past. While I nonetheless stand by what I wrote (above), I also think that, given the length of the affair and the myriad ways he let you down, if you choose to stay with him, you need some help (counselling) to help you process so much grief. I'm so sorry for all you've been through.

      Elle

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  58. My husband is doing a lot to try to help me feel secure again. He leaves his phone laying down and he tells about all his calls. He text and calls me frequently throughout the day while at work. He still works on the road so that bothers me some. I feel he loves me and wants to be with me. I feel he does not know how to handle the pain of what he has done and that he can't fix it. He says he is not that person anymore and every time I bring it up he feels horrible. He is paying me attention and doing all the things I always wanted. Most of the time our relationship is better than ever except when the hurt of the betrayal is too much for us to bear.

    I go to a counselor when I can and my husband would go if not for work. I stay at home with kids so he has to work. We read several blogs weekly and talk a lot. I think I just need someone to talk to who understands my situation.

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    1. Glad you found us.
      He probably does struggle with the guilt/shame of what he did to you and his family. But I'm glad you're still able to read blogs/talk about it. It's important that you can share your pain and begin to feel safe in your marriage again. It can't be swept under the rug.

      And yes, we definitely understand your situation.

      Elle

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  59. Elle, I wanted to write to you about one of the many aspects of the journey that I find myself on – this being about my self-enforced anonymity, silence and stigma of being the betrayed partner.

    When I found out, I was angry. I thought I had experienced anger before, but this was different. If I imagined my anger as a picture, it had my heart in the middle, with spikes driving through it, surrounded by a haze of fear, bound up in pure frustration and then the outer skin was burning, molten lava of spiteful venom.

    I was thrust into a new dimension of my life – a sort of matrix situation. I had heard about affairs, but I never appreciated the wholesale devastation of being on the receiving end of the fallout of an affair.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have not been wrapped up in cotton wool through life. I, like you, have had my fair share of traumatic events, relationship issues, family troubles, death, moving countries, children with special needs, and so the list goes on. I considered myself a well-rounded, emotionally stable person who was able to roll with the punches and become a better, wiser person for it.

    Then the day came. You know, THE day. Obliquely labeled ‘D-day’ by our fellow members of the betrayal club. In a single moment, my emotional capacity for pain was completely recalibrated with a despair that was deeper, wider and more vacuous than I ever thought possible.

    Here I was having a full-body experience of the disease of betrayal and yet I was unable to tell anybody. I didn’t know what I wanted to with my marriage, so felt unable to share my pain lest I heard the inevitable ‘just get rid of him’ and then be the recipient the pitied scorn that followed if I didn’t. I was coping with enough voices deriding me in my own head without having external ones adding to the cacophony as well.

    Therein lies the rub. At a time in my life when I needed support, compassion and shoulders aplenty to cry on – everyone around me was completely oblivious to my pain.

    In a rational moment I decided that we should keep ‘the incident’ from the children. As an aside I chose the word ‘incident’ as an all-encompassing term that was more palatable to me than the word ‘affair’. This is despite the fact that incident implies a one-off occasion than an ongoing series of choices. I was quickly to learn about the world of ‘triggers’ and the fact that they extend to words too. Back to the children…. they were at the frontline of my pain, so this was especially difficult to navigate, but I felt quite strongly that to tell them would thrust them into the middle of something that they had no control over and was certainly not of their making.

    So, I find it a supreme irony that I find myself behind a veil of silence by my own choice, but also not of my own making (I can thank my husband for that). That is why this blog is such a godsend to me. It allows me a window into other’s journeys and a safe outlet to express our pain and fears. I wanted to let you know Elle that what you have provided through this blog is more healing, relevant and appropriate to me not only because I am a ‘betrayed wife’ but because of my self-enforced anonymity. Thank you.

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    1. Thank-you so much for your words. They mean so much to me.
      Your experience sounds so much like my own. I often maintain that it's the isolation and loneliness post-betrayal that is (almost) as painful as the betrayal itself. We feel exiled. Apart. Fraudulent.
      There are so many of us. So many suffering silently while we project an "all's fine" face to the world. It's why I created this blog. It's why I respond with frustration to the Chump Ladies of the world who are so quick to judge and shame anyone who doesn't just kick him out. This path is so painful that we need to support each other, strangers who guide each other toward healing.
      Please continue to share on this site. It feels really good to let it out in a place where others can empathize, offer support, and even advice if you're seeking it.
      In the meantime, please know that the day will come when you might feel able to share with those in your "real" life. I've slowly confided to people over the years whom I trust to keep my confidence. It's not the same as having that support when you're going through it, but it's helpful nonetheless.

      Elle

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    2. Anon,
      Your words resounded so clearly for me. I feel the same way... except, I made a (slightly hasty) decision to tell. After D-day #1 told just a handful of people--my parents and his mother, my sisters (with whom I am not very close) , his good friend who is like an "older brother", and my crazy newly divorced friend. I thought, "by god, he is not going to slink away with this disgusting deception. People close to him need to know about this vile behavior. He is only able to carry one with this woman because it is a delicious secret. They don't get to have this secret." After D-Day #2, the floodgates opened. Lots of people came to know. Mostly because the AP was a mom in our extended circle of preschool parents/friends. Their cheating happened in conjunction with group events and trips. The one "friend" I told, mentioned it to one person in the community and within 2 days, the whole community knew. But i also decided to be open with it. He was getting away with deceiving and using his wife and kids and justified it. He didn't get how he was hurting us and he needed someone other than me to burst his fantasy bubble. Once the ugliness was let out, I believed that it would not allow him to continue with the woman. I also needed to openly appeal for help. I couldn't take care of myself and my kids and I was desperate. And anyway, turns out she she had already been blabbing to her whore girlfriends.
      I don't think the result of being open was what I anticipated, but I don't really regret it either. It was going to come out anyway. The public humiliation was already built in. And I didn't want to pretend my life was normal even if I had to act semi-normal. I even told my new boss and coworker (yep, I also started a new job 3 days after d-day #2).
      However, what I have discovered is that even though 90% of the people in my life found out through one means or another, the immense support I thought I would get, wasn't there. People have so many issues around this stuff. It makes them uncomfortable in some many ways. Even my mother barely asks me how I am doing. No one knows the way one's soul dies with this kind of betrayal. Even if they went through it, they don't want to touch it again. It's like inviting the grim reaper back in your house after you have cheated death.
      Even now, when I mention how down I am, I get blank looks and random comments.
      So the loneliness doesn't go away. And frankly, I have the additional sadness of how many people failed to be there for me. It feels like additional rejection. It might have been different if I had one or two very close and trusted friends. But in the last 12 years, I have been busy moving away from my home town and starting and raising a family. Building new, intimate friendships, wasn't on the front burner. Sadly, the one old friend who i know would have been there for me died just a few weeks after d-day #2 after fighting cancer for 18 months.
      So that's why I am here. Thanks for being part of this space, Elle and the other betrayed wives.
      -MBS

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    3. Hi Anonymous

      Your words described described how I feel as well, especially the part on suffering in silence due to his making. I still remember the pain, anger, sadness, stress I went through the first week. From the day after D-Day I was constantly running a fever and having sleepless nights for at least 3 days.

      Now I'm back in my home country, I find that working helps to relieve some of the pain/stress that I'm going through. I still get upset but slowly getting better, though at times I feel like I'm putting up a false front to everyone.

      But by choosing to suffer in silence, we avoid the judgement from others on why we're not leaving our husbands, which in turn maybe better.

      So hopefully each of us can offer some words of support to one another so that we at least have a channel to air our "grievances".

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    4. Anon here.

      Thank you for your replies. You are so right MBS in that his ‘delicious secret’ was something I yearned to tell everyone about. Bring his life down and cripple him in the same way he’d taken a sledgehammer to mine.

      In his world/mind he is considered a man of integrity, a leader and something other people aspire to. I used to think that way about him as well. So I suppose the good thing is that The Incident has allowed me to see him for the human that he really is. Flawed like all of us, and actually fairly immature in a great many ways.

      Going through this journey has allowed me to grow a backbone. He continues to be on a very short leash as he earns his way back into my heart. He doesn’t like many of the conditions I have imposed, but understands that he is the one who has wrought havoc on our lives and it is up to him to prove himself.

      No longer do I tolerate his patronizing patter and as a couple, we continue to be a work in progress.

      Going through this journey has humanized us both. Which, whilst I’d NEVER wish or choose to go through the fallout of betrayal, I do acknowledge that the chasm that is created can, I hope, be filled with better communication, greater compassion and the holy grail of forgiveness.

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    5. I'm so sorry, MBS, for everything you've gone through. Losing a friend, your mother's lack of support, that feeling of rejection. You've had so much. So let me offer you a huge virtual hug. You're one tough MBS!
      You're absolutely right -- all of you -- about how uncomfortable infidelity makes people feel. It triggers so many deeply held emotions that too many people find themselves unable to support those going through it. I've heard similar experiences with people who've had terminal diagnoses. Some people just can't/won't expose themselves to the extreme discomfort of supporting another person through it. Tells you what they're made of.
      But infidelity also, as Anon points out, a way into a deeper compassion and the "holy grail of forgiveness". Never again will I judge a woman for her choice to stay/go. No longer do I assume that I know what someone else's marriage is like simply from having seen people socially. Infidelity is a game-changer in many ways.
      And, to remind all of you, you've saved me so many times, with your words and your support and your trust in this site. Wish I hadn't needed to create it...but I can't deny it has given me many many gifts.

      Elle

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  60. Back in 2008 (we were just married a year) a friend of my husband's came to visit. They had been friends online for much longer than I had known him and I was worried about her coming, but afraid to say no. I put on a brave face and welcomed her in. She stayed with us for a week (she lived out of state).

    I had a feeling about her & him and was very insecure. I even pulled her aside and made her promise not to do anything. Fast forward 6 months. During this time they talked on the phone all the time, chatted online. Although I was suspicious of what might have happened when she was visiting, I was destroyed by the emotional affair going on.

    At this time one of her children (she was married) was in the hospital and my husband said he was close with that child & wanted to drive down. I said I would want to go with him and we would stay in a hotel. He got very upset- slamming things, so I dropped it. I knew if I said he could not go, it would make our marriage worse, but I also knew if I said yes, he would cheat. I knew I was sending him away to break my heart. He left for the weekend- and 8 hr drive ONE way- and I cried the entire time. I was devastated. When he came back, he denied anything happened, but they stayed in close contact.

    During this entire time, he was not close with me. Emotionally, mentally, ANY way. He had said- almost as soon as we got married- that I was a mistake. That he never loved me. He never should have married me. So this, just cut me deeper.

    One night I was sick. Our bathroom adjoins our master by a half wall. You can hear everything, there is no door. I had gotten up in the middle of the night as I was ill. I heard his work cell ring & hear him talking. I hear him say "I love you too, I miss you" & then he talked about me. And not in a nice way. I just sat there- tears streaming down my face- trying not to make a sound. When he hung up, I flushed the toilet, walked in, threw down my ring, & went to the other bathroom.

    He came and stood outside the door, accusing me of being dramatic. He yelled and screamed at me. Saying I was not sick. A few days later he said that he had this happen with his first wive (something I did NOT know) & that he made the wrong decision and left her. He said that nothing happened, but he would cut things off.

    A few months later I left town for a trip. While gone he never called me, but I called him- or tried too. I had a feeling though, and called our phone company to check outgoing calls. Sure enough- every single night for HOURS he was on the phone with her. When I came home I confronted him. He denied it again & had the balls to accuse ME of doing something wrong by checking with the phone company!

    We finally had it out. I was sick of it. Tired of it all. I kicked him out and while he was stomping around the house packing his things, he says to me "Fine! You want to know the truth?! We did sleep together!" In fact, the first time was in OUR house! And then he had to drive EIGHT hours to cheat on me! ONE WAY!
    Not to mention the year of lies. The years of mental and emotional abuse and pain. The almost 2 years of emotional affair.
    After he left, I lost it. I had never felt that level of pain. That utter sense of betrayal. It would have hurt less to be stabbed. At this point I did not have a job. On top of losing my husband, I had no clue how to support myself. I filed for divorce, got a job and sold my ring. I never had an engagement ring, and the band did not bring much at all, but it was a symbol of too much pain- of lies. I could not stand to look at it. (continued below)

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  61. During the next two months I did a lot of soul searching. I was so hurt. In NO way did I love him anymore. I was pissed off & sad. But somewhere along the line I was forced to face a truth I really did not want too. God forgave me. Forgave me MUCH more than what he did to me. And God said I should forgive as He forgave me. I hated this with a hatred that poured out of me as hot acid. The thought burned. I screamed "HOW CAN YOU ASK THIS OF ME?!" and yet...I really don't know how it happened. I think I finally just agreed to obey His command, & somehow, I was able to forgive. And so I dropped the divorce & he moved back in.

    However, nothing got better. He refused to go to counseling. He said he would rather divorce me. He told me all the time that I did not really forgive me (which hurts like HELL since forgiving him was the most painful gut wrenching thing I have ever done). And to make matters worse- he never really apologized. He never seemed to even care. Never acted remorseful. He seemed to think it was unreasonable that I did not want them in contact since they were friends.
    Now years later, this still effects me. It does not help that earlier this year I found her trying to contact him online and when I called her on it, she blamed me for the affair and attacked me, saying I was crazy. I know that is not true at all, but it made it all fresh. Like cutting open a scar.

    I am so fearful he will leave. I am very defensive. When he is late I am worried he is gone. He does not want to spend time with me and that makes me more fearful. I worry when he does anything. I think about the women in his life & wonder if he is cheating. He still tells me those painful things. He knew the day were got married he had made a mistake. We go several months before he will touch me, and only then, when he is high. He tells me I am bad in bed. So bad he cannot make himself do it with me.

    I am so crushed. My heart is in tatters. I want SO bad to make this marriage a good one. I have read books and tried to change, but why on earth do I have to be the ONLY one to do that? He throws temper tantrums and yells and screams about the dumbest things. I swear he is a child! Or autistic. Or something! IDK...I'm just so hurt. He makes NO effort to understand me, and if I try he will shout "It is always about YOU" but at the same time I have to understand everything that upsets him and make allowances for him- and he does not have to make any for me?

    I know I am not over this. I am not mad at him, but it is still effecting me. My trust and respect are gone. I am just a depressed worried wife married to someone who cannot stand to touch me and dislikes spending time with me, but who refuses to go to counseling since he "doesn't see anyway it can be fixed" Well, you know what- it won't be if you never try!

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    1. Sweetheart, You are in an abusive relationship. There is NOTHING you can do to make this marriage better. The only -- and wisest -- thing you can do is get as far away from this man as possible. Forgiveness is not about giving someone the chance to hurt us again. It is about letting go of the pain. It is about releasing yourself from a prison of hatred. It is absolutely NOT about going back into an abusive relationship. That is co-dependence. That is masochism. In no way, does God want us to disrespect ourselves so completely.
      Please find yourself a counsellor who can help you understand what a dangerous situation you're in. Please kick him out and this time for good. Don't listen to his recriminations. Don't listen to his horrible words. They are the words of an unhappy and cruel person.
      You cannot change him. But you can ensure that you create a life filled with peace. The only way out of this is OUT.
      Forget counselling with him. Get counselling yourself. You deserve so much better.

      Elle

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    2. Please. As a person raised with God, I do know that He doesn't want his children abused and beaten down. If you get away from this abuse, as painful and scary as it may seem, you will realize how much of a shell of a person you have become. God doesn't want that for you.
      Forgiveness means letting go of hate. It doesn't mean being a martyr for the marraige. You can leave the marriage with love and compassion for yourself first, as well as love and compassion for him. But you are not responsible for getting him to be a better human being. You are only responsible for being a whole and healthy person, yourself. That is all our God/creator/the universe, wants for us.

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  62. I picked up my lap top and a window was opened to Adult Friend Finder I thought i was spam ad shut it down very fast.... but wait did that say my husbands name??? The next day I opened my lap top afterwork and it was open to that again, yes that was hi picture and a name I recognized I freaked out and shut it again. A couple of days later, coming home from work I opened my lap top and there it was again, I stayed and looked this time. It was pornegraphic and gross the things he said sounded NOTHING like him, I dont even think he wrote it! He did say his marriage wasnt cutting it anymore and he wasnt looking for a big change in his life just a fuckbuddy.... I was crushed and pissed. Went to this gross site and set up a fake profile, opened up a dummy email (God I can not unsee the filth I saw) and checed him out. I was sitting in my living room, he was in our bedroom an the desk top on the web cam fondeling himself live on the internet, I messahed him and wit hin 2 question I had him saying yes come over tomorrow during the time I was working for a live hook up.... I vomited and freaked out and quit the messaging so we never really confirmed anything. I feel soooo sick and can not believe this is the man I married.

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    1. I'm so sorry. It's traumatic to discover the man you thought you married has a secret life. I hope you're taking care of yourself. Let us know how you're doing.

      Elle

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  63. It's been over a year now since I found out what my husband had done and I'm still here hanging on by my fingernails. I lost my father suddenly at the start of the year and I think it took something so awful as this to clear my head of all the crap of what did she look like? Why did he do it? Was it my fault ? And on and on......wasting so much of My life on what my husband had chosen to do with his. It's his baggage not mine. I have moved on and am trying to live my life with him & our kids the best we can make it. I have not forgot what he did but it's not going to poison my mind and my own self worth. I saw where our marriage was failing and we are working through it. Some days are bad but most are good. Please think of yourselves and what you need to survive this awful time in your life, do what is right for you, your heart will tell you if you give it time. I have chosen to stay cause I wanted to.....and still do. I want to make it work. I am stronger than what he did it will not define my life or me, just as if my choice was to leave. Life is short, too short make it the best you can for you. This is a choice made by another human being sometimes it's not fair or right but if it has happened then you can drown in it and let it become your life or you can go back to being the strong person you were with it without your husband, it wasn't you who was weak. This is a good day I hope to have many more for me, cause I'm the important one, put yourself first and go where ever that leads you in your life...................

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  64. D-Day anniversary #1 is next week--4 days before my son's birthday. Its been the first truly good day.
    I have been dissatisfied as he still struggles with how to own this. My husband has been continuously going deeper and deeper into how he relates to himself, his damaged psyche, and to our marital problems. But to the affair? Not so much. Somehow, a few keyswitches were not flipped yet. Despite how much change we have both achieved, his approach to recovery has still been tinged with avoidance. To say that it has been rocky is an understatement. But today he reached down deep this week--partially because our therapist wouldn't let him off the hook ;). We just had one of our scariest fights earlier last week. We almost called it quits. But instead of giving up (since I wouldn't let him) he sought to go deeper into why. I can't ask for anything more but I am not accepting anything less. I am asking for alot--for him to profoundly change. But he is welcoming the opportunity, slowly but persistently. I never imagined how hard and painstaking this would be. But I can start to feel the rewards.
    Just wanted to share a slice of the slogging through. Finally, one year in, I think I can almost taste the possibility of healing.

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    1. MBS,
      That's really great to hear. And it's all most of us really want -- to see that our spouses truly get the pain they've caused and are willing to dig deep to some painful stuff to ensure they don't do it again. Ultimately we all win...but it's hard to convince some of them of that.
      Happy birthday to your son. And glad your first D-Day anti-versary is letting some light in.

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  65. This is really long I am so sorry – it has been very therapeutic for me to write anyway, not sure if anyone will get to the end of this essay!!
    Hi, my d-day was April 5 this year, my husband had been having a full blown affair with a work colleague. This site has been a huge help to me since then, thank you so much to you Elle and everyone else who has shared your stories. At last I am going to share mine. My husband's affair went on for close to a year. Other than being suspicious for the week before d-day I had been totally oblivious, it was not on my radar at all. It has been so hard to get past that everything that happened in that time (and despite our issues we did still have some good times), was fake and tainted.

    Anyway once it all came out, he didn't hesitate for a minute that he wanted to end the affair. He called her straight away and told her it was over. He had been making some pathetic attempts at ending it on and off before d-day but she would get extremely emotional and he was too caught up in the fog and too much of a people pleaser to just be harsh with her, and would be weak and get sucked back in. He has always been someone whom I and others thought of as an honest and decent person, and he must have been telling himself he was trying to end it so he wasn't such a bad person. All along she was the one pushing, and he let the affair happen to him. So back to after D-day - he sobbed and begged and told me he would do anything I wanted. While I was barely functioning after D-day he took over cooking, washing, kid's school lunches and drop offs etc. All things which he had hardly done at all before and especially the past 12 months, he had been so absorbed in his job, and her as it turned out. (I had been getting very resentful and wasn't giving him much love or admiration - he got plenty of this from her!) He left his phone lying around (why had i not noticed before that his phone had been on silent for months...), and gave me access to the phone bills and email accounts. He told his superiors at work about the affair and asked to be moved to a different project. He wrote her an email telling her that he chooses to be with me and asking her to respect that. He asked that their interaction at work be purely professional, and that while he cared about her, their love was based on fantasy, not real like ours.

    So after the initial shock, grieving and rage, we did pretty well. It was a real wake up call about what was wrong with our marriage before. We have been talking at a much deeper level than we ever have. I have been working really hard at appreciating the good things he was doing, letting him know I'm attracted to him and not taking him for granted. We went through hysterical bonding and even after the initial rush of that was over, our sex life has been great. (This was a big issue before, I was tired and often resentful and he wanted sex a lot more than I did.) We were going on lots of dates together and just having fun together. While there were things I was struggling with, I was very hopeful that we would one day be one of those couples who could look back on the affair as saving their marriage. My husband still working with the OW was really hard but he had been keeping it professional, communication when they were not in the same office which is most days was only on his desk phone or on the mobile if absolutely necessary. He was coming home early, encouraging me to meet him for lunch, looking for another job albeit taking a lot longer than I would have liked. I must admit that when I would read here about it taking years to get over an affair, that 2-3 months out is still extremely early, I would think we were different.
    (part 2 following...)

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  66. Part 2..
    Then one niggle after another happened regarding the way he was interacting with her at work. I was also struggling with his desire to move on from the affair too quickly and 2 weeks ago we started counselling at my request. As far as the work interactions I saw an email where it was work related but he was very familiar and called her by the nickname he used in the emails I saw on d-day - this made me feel like being physically ill. The mobile phone calls were getting more frequent and there were never a single SMS from her on his phone. I didn't have a problem with work related sms, just asked him not to delete them but he insisted “she knows not to sms”. He managed to reassure me each time. But I just couldn't shake my gut feeling that something wasn't right. I was going mad imagining the affair had started up again. But it just didn't gel with how good things had been with us - he seemed to really be happy with me, and after all he was getting his emotional needs met by me, why would he need her?? Then one night I lay in bed and was shaking with rage and fear when I realised it just didn't make sense that it had been so easy, that she hadn't tried anything with him after the initial week or so. When she had been so relentless before, and convinced that they should both leave their spouses and be together. The only explanation was that she hadn't needed to because she was still getting something from him. And how could 2 people who work so closely but are travelling between different offices for meetings not send sms's. He listened, was so patient and understanding and appeased me just enough for me to go back to sleep.

    So long story short I wanted to do something to stop me wondering one way or another. I worked out that i could logon to the phone provider’s web site to get sms details and asked him for the password. And her number was there in huge amounts, would average about 5 a day. They are only on work days and just about all during working hours.

    After a screaming confrontation he has fessed up to me that she has been breaking down at work and on the phone, telling him she misses him and she is still pushing that they belong together. Usually on the phone or in an sms. That early days he was really struggling with his feelings and his concerns for her. He maintains that he would be sympathetic but would just kept telling her that he has chosen me, she has to move on, tell her husband, see a counsellor. She wanted to go for lunch to have closure and he said no. Over the past few weeks the crying and the emotional calls and sms's have stopped and they have evolved into a kind of friendly working relationship. The sms's now are all work related but they have a friendly tone which he didn't want me to see.

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  67. Part 3...
    I am so shattered by this. After all that we have gone through how could he lie to my face over and over. Especially lately when I had been going through so much stress with these lies driving me crazy. He says it was because he thought this stuff would make me worry and put us backwards, and he is so adamant that he had it under control and he "didn't do anything". He is leaving the job in 2.5 weeks and then in his mind it would all be ok. As I'm sure you all understand I just can't get past the disregard and lack of respect, to have those sorts of interactions with her and then to lie over and over. We had previously a lot of long conversations where I thought I had made my feelings and expectations clear - was he not listening at all? Or does he just not care? Does he not see me as a real person, just part of something he has to fix? And of course how can I even let myself believe that he is telling me the whole story. My anger is dissipating now, and I am left with something worse, just sadness and disappointment that I am married to someone who is capable of treating me like this. He is full of remorse or so he appears, says he gets it now how stupid, selfish and arrogant he was to decide that he knew better than to be honest with me. I don't want to let him touch or hug me, I refuse to be that stupid to fall for his BS again. He is very good at telling me what I want to hear. I can't make any sort of decision, I am starting to think of life as a single mother but going through all that seems so hard, as does trying again to work on this marriage. We went to the MC tonight, he made the point that for me if I lied to someone like that it probably would show lack of respect and care, but he is a different personality and it is not necessarily the same for him. I necessarily shouldn't judge his actions by how I would act. But I don’t know, it seems pretty basic to me – if you cheat and lie to your wife for a year, and are given a second chance, your wife deserves and needs nothing but total honesty. Why bother lying to me to that extent to cover up things that I was expecting anyway?

    Am I a total idiot for letting myself think (for the briefest of moments) that at least he lied with kind of good intentions, that he will learn from it, and that he is being totally honest now and there is nothing more to the story? I suspect I am...

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    1. My advice is stick with the MC for a bit. I completely understand your anger. And maybe his continued deceit will be the proverbial straw for you. In the meantime, however, you need to co-parent no matter how this turns out so I recommend continuing MC and seeing where your feelings take you. It might be that his moral code doesn't line up with yours. Or it might be that, like many of these guys, they're so conflict-avoidant that they'll do just about anything to "protect" you (ie. themselves and what they want) until they really come to understand just how disrespectful that is.

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    2. Wanted to add one more thing: I am a firm believer that the other person's spouse (partner/fiance/whatever) should be told what's going on. For one thing, I think it's only fair that they have the same choice to stay or go. But for another, it pulls the entire affair out into the open where it generally looks far less appealing than when it's in the shadows.

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  68. Dear Elle & everyone on here,

    After months of reading everyone elses stories, I feel it is time to share mine.

    My hudband and I have been together for 11 years, married for 18 months. We got together when we were 19 years old, and have always had a good relationship. Admittedly things had become a bit boring & we were both complacent, but I never imagined that the person I loved most in the world was capable of betraying me.


    My 'D-day' was October 14th last year. A few months prior to this my husband and I had been at a party together, and I was told a few weeks later by a friend that he had been flirting with a girl who was there (a friend of a friend). I had no idea at the time, we are both quite independent socially, and it is not unusual for us to go off and do our own thing. I was pretty upset, my husband basically denied it but we agreed that things had become a bit stale and something needed to change. I thought things were then better, but I was wrong. October 14th my husband came home at 6.30am after a night out with friends (when he wasn't home by 4.30am I tried calling him but he didn't reply). I was worried he had been hurt, or got too drunk, or lost his wallet. I never imagined he was with someone else.


    Initially when he got home he tried to say he had gone to a late night casino with friends - I knew this was rubbish, he had never done that before. He then told me he had gone back to a girls house. I started laughing, I thought he was joking. Split second later I realised he was being serious. Shouting, crying and hysteria ensued. I couldn't believe what he was telling me. Later that day he told me he was leaving me, that he wasn't happy. This hit me harder than anything, I was distraught. I went to stay with a close friend for a few days. I told him I loved him and I wanted to try and make our marriage work.

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  69. When i returned home a few days later, my husband told me he wanted to try and sort things out. I got the details of what happened with this girl - she was a random, they went back to hers, they kissed and fooled around. She knew he was married. They did not have sex. I later read emails he had sent to his friends confirming this is what happened, I do not doubt this is the truth.


    A week later I found out he had been emailing the girl from the party for 2 months. I was distraught all over again. They weren't sexual, but very flirtatious. This girl is engaged and due to marry soon. I asked him to email her to say he would not be contacting her again. She replied saying no problem. I also emailed her saying I had read the emails, and made my feelings on the matter quite clear. She responded protesting her innocence, but she did not respond to my reply. I later heard that she said she wasn't surprised I was angry. No shit Sherlock! 


    We then went away to Mexico on the holiday that had been booked for our first wedding anniversary, it was a combination of amazing sex and copious tears. Mentally I was all over the place. On our return I asked to read my husbands emails to see if this girl had tried to contact him. She hadn't, but I found out through looking at emails he had sent to his friend, that he "hadn't cheated on me before, apart from that time i had sex with Michelle 8 years ago".......who the f**k is Michelle?! A girl he worked with who he had a one night stand with, something I knew nothing about, or ever suspected. My husband said he was young and stupid at the time, and he knew I would have ended things if I had found out (true, we were only 21 at the time and had only been together a few years).


    We both still wanted to try and make things work. We attended couples counselling for 3 months, and it helped, although it wasn't a 'magic cure'. I still struggled with feeling of hurt and anger day in and day out.


    9 months later and I am finally starting to believe we can do this. We did not have a good weekend - I saw the girl who he went home with in October at a music festival we were at. I had looked her up on FB & Twitter immediately after it happened, and although I then blocked her on FB, I looked at her Twitter account periodically. I knew what she looked like. I plotted revenge on her countless times in my head, ranging from sarcastic cutting emails to physical violence. I never really thought I would be confronting her like this. I went up to her, told her who I was, and screamed at her. She looked scared, she was remorseful, she tried to play it down. I went away feeling even more angry, none of the relief that I thought I would feel came. I started to wonder if i would ever move on from these all consuming angry thoughts. It's draining and above all it is not me. I am generally a happy cheerful person. I hate feeling angry, insecure, uncertain, upset.


    However, I had a moment of clarity today. I looked on this girls Twitter profile, even though I had promised myself and my husband that I would stop. She had posted a quote, 2 days after our confrontation. It said "just chuck it in the fuck it bucket, and move on". And I think she is right. Not in the sense of just move on from the infidelities, and forget it happened. But in the sense of stop wasting my time worrying about her, thinking about her, looking at what she puts online. She just is not worth my time. She is obviously wanting to forget all about it, and I think it's time I finally let go of this anger that I've been holding onto for so long. No matter what I did to hurt or humiliate her, it would never be enough. It's time to focus on my marriage and being happy. Life is too short to stay angry forever. I just hope these feelings last and I can properly move forward. I know how hard it is, and will be, but i want to feel happy again. I want to be me.


    Thank you to everyone who has posted their stories - I know I am not alone, and it is a great support.

    C

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    1. C,
      Yay for you for getting to that place where you realize she's just not worth your time and energy. And yay for you for taking your own happiness into your hands. You might have those moments of "is this real?" but if you stay focussed on living your own life with integrity and honesty and compassion, then what others do won't have the same devastation. You'll always know who you are and what you want your life to be

      Delete
  70. " if you cheat and lie to your wife for a year, and are given a second chance, your wife deserves and needs nothing but total honesty."
    God, that sounds like my belief post D-day #1. In fact, your whole experience rings very familiar so I might sound a bit preachy.
    I learned after d-day #2 and for the betrayals that continues for months after, that what you deserve and what he can give are two separate things.
    Here is what I suggest you ask yourself: How close does he want to align what you deserve with what he can give (he can't give you everything). How much are you willing to allow him time and space to do that? Is he willing to really get to the bottom of how he can treat you with respect, honesty, and authenticity? He might not be able to get all that just yet. Affairs make people lose their integrity and ability to think about the people they truly love. So it may take him time to really get it and act with integrity and real love for you. But do you believe he is an essentially decent man who deserves you and deserves the chance to get it right?

    But two things FIRST.
    1) can he put in place all the safeguards you need? Whether they seem paranoid and grossly inconvenient to him. You can ask for phone checks, email passwords, NO CONTACT (if he has to let his boss know, then so be it. It is his problem). Your emotional safety has to come first. But don't rely on that as assurance and fixing the problem. That is why the next thing is the most important.
    2) Take your own emotional health into your own hands. It is up to you to take care of yourself. Treat yourself how you want to be treated. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Take time for yourself. Get outside help and support. Read all of elle's posts on how to take care of yourself, handle the triggers, etc.
    You are not an idiot for trusting someone you love. But now you need more than blind faith to regain trust. It will take a long time and alot of hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  71. No you are not being a total idiot and your therapist is wrong. It is not different for you lying or him; it's just that you are on the receiving end of it. All of the books I have read say that you should expect little setbacks; it doesn't mean he is lying about everything. He lied about the sms because he was afraid to tell you; he wants your marriage to work and he was afraid to tell you and rock your already rocky boat.

    And after almost one year of going through this myself I can tell you that unless you follow him around every second of every day you will never be sure of what he is doing.

    Also, although you think 2 months is too rapid a recovery, I also had many moments in the beginning where I felt good. We had hysterical bonding sex, he was so attentive to me and the kids, we did more things as a family in the few months after d day # 1 than we had in years. But it was take 1 step forward & 2 back. Or sometimes 5 back. What you experienced lying in bed at night was partly your instincts telling you something wasn't right (which it wasn't bc he was in fact lying) but it was also your fear. You were afraid it was too easy. You were happy so something had to be wrong. That also happens to me sometimes. It cycles up and down, but gets less frequent with time.

    Hang in there.

    Sam

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  72. Thank you for your kind words Elle, I am certainly going to do my best :)
    C

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  73. Since writing the post I am feeling calmer and have decided that I am not quite ready to give up on this marriage yet. Thank you so much MBS, Sam and Elle for your wise words. They have helped me to get a bit of a reality check about what he is capable of for now. But also helping me realise that with time (and a hard slog..) maybe he can eventually "get it" as MBS puts it and be able to treat me with genuine honesty,love and respect. I want to at least give him the chance to do this. We will keep doing the counselling, I will not trust him so easily this time without him earning it and time will tell. I'm glad you ladies will be here to help me through this.

    Whether or not he has told me the whole story?... after slogging this out with him all week, my gut feeling is that he has told me pretty much all of it. (Of course I am still scared that am a total fool for this.) I would like something more concrete to back up his story - he needs to be harsher with her and put a stop to her still trying her "are you ok? let's go for coffee" crap (his words) and I will ask him to do this on speaker phone.

    As to telling her spouse Elle I did think about this a lot early days. Firstly I don't know how to contact him other than getting my husband to tell me their address and I'm not up for a face to face confrontation. Who knows how he will react. She has recently told my husband that she has told her's but he has admitted that he has doubts it is true. But your point about getting it out in the open is very true, it might help to snap her out of her obsessive fantasy. Will sit on this for now but don't want it to take up too much of my head space...

    ReplyDelete
  74. I myself am struggling a lot with telling the spouse of the 1st other woman. Yes it was 10 years ago. If someone had told me I wouldn't have believed it anyway. But when my husband and I went to her daughter's christening her husband came over to her while she was talking to my husband and was pretty pissed, saying she should talk to some of her other guests. He also referred to my husband as her "work husband" but didn't seem too happy about it. So he probably suspected it.

    To my knowledge they are still together. I would like to say that I want to tell him because he deserves to know, but that's not it at all. I am not normally a vindictive person but I want her to suffer. Why should I be the only one suffering here. The problem is, my telling would make her husband and 3 kids suffer more, and who wants that on their conscience.

    But I still can fantasize about it.

    Sam

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    Replies
    1. That's so often what trips us up...that our telling will hurt people. But it's their choices that create the hurt. Nonetheless, I know it can be difficult. And I don't want anyone feeling obligated to do something that doesn't feel right to them.
      Sam...I think you should do whatever feels right. Whether or not your motives are pure, I continue to think that every spouse deserves to know who he/she is married to. Whether or not the children find out is up to the couple. That's not on you.

      Delete
  75. Hello,

    I found this page late last night as I sat in bed wondering how I got here. I don't know what stage I'm in. All I know is I got this funny feeling that something was off and my husband was acting odd. I had never suspected anything until I went to check our cell phone bill because it was higher than normal and I noticed several calls on his phone and text. The calls were not consistent but only when he left the house or on his way home. Finally one morning when his phone alarm went off and he was in the shower I went to turn it off and a text came through and it was her. It didn't say anything to lead me to believe some hot and heavy affair was happening until I asked him about it and he lied about who she was by saying it was a guy. Her name is one of those that can be guy or girl. I later found out who she was...she works with my husband. He has not admitted to anything but talking to her and won't even say why he lied. I told him we don't lie and hide friends. I feel like I know something is going on but he won't admit anything so how do I deal with something or move on when I don't even know what I'm dealing with!!???? We have talked a lot, well I have done most of the talking and he says he will try to work through this but what the hell are we working through??? I'm so confused and I know he's still texting this person. We have been married 10 years with 1 child and my gut tells me to say F&*& YOU and file for divorce but I don't want that for me and my family. I can't go on like we have been but I'm getting no answers and as normal as he's acting I no longer trust him. I'm not so much looking to be told what to do just some support. I feel awful, I hate how I feel right now. I feel worthless and sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your instincts are right. It's inappropriate to be texting a woman from work unless it's completely work related. Given that he lied to you about who she is, he's clearly hiding something. People with nothing to hide, hide nothing.
      I think you need to make it completely clear that you are not sharing your husband with anyone. He's either in the marriage (in which case, he won't mind dismissing a female friend for the sake of his wife), or he's not.
      You could lay low and continue to snoop. Ask around his work. Check his phone records. I've never been good at that stuff but many women have found out exactly what they're dealing with by doing this.
      You could go to therapy with him and demand a full disclosure. You could point out that many MANY men who cheat on their wives describe it as the stupidest thing they've ever done -- they either lose their families (not to mention their self-respect) or they have to face the pain in the eyes of the person they love most in the world.
      No matter what you find out, please know that this is NOT about you. People who cheat, even emotional affairs, are seeking escape from their own feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, stress, boredom. They like the fantasy. It's exciting. It feels validating. But it's not real. And it causes immeasurable pain.
      Hang in there. We're here for advice/support/compassion.

      Delete
    2. I feel like all the facts are in my face but I want him to tell me. I feel like I can't move forward until he says SOMETHING. I know it's up to me and I'm giving him the power to continue this behavior. He seems more concerned about defending her and his "Friendship" with her. Only story he gave me was if rumors got around work about this he could be forced retired and lose our daughters college fund. How dare he put his actions on me! I can't try to get past this not knowing all I'm dealing with especially when he tells me we can get through this. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like kicking him out!

      Delete
    3. You're in the total crazy-making stage, where he tells you you're over-reacting, that there's "nothing" going on, that you're being jealous and insane. If all that is true, then why did he lie about the message? It's as simple as that.
      Another red flag is the defensiveness he's showing around his "friendship". If she is truly a work friend of his, then she'll undoubtedly want to get to know his lovely wife. Why not invite her over for dinner? Or all go out for a drink?
      There's not much you can do to force him to admit what's going on, except to suggest that, since there's nothing going on, he won't mind you randomly checking his phone. Or his computer. Or getting to know his "friend". You can push this...but ultimately he holds the answer.
      I think you know what's going on...and it's up to you how you proceed. Kicking him out doesn't seem like a bad idea cause it might force him to smarten up and recognize that he might lose you. If he leaves willingly, then perhaps he's not as invested in his marriage as he should be.
      I'm really sorry. I'm not good at this part. My husband admitted everything pretty quickly. What I will say is that so many of us "know" what's going on before we, literally, know it. Our gut instincts are pretty bang on.

      Delete
  76. It's coming up on one year since I discovered my husband's affair. Today, I told him he has to leave. I cannot live with this pain any longer, suffer in silence anymore. Since I discovered his betrayal, each time we have sex, it's like she's in the room. I cannot rid myself of her ugly image. I might have been comforted a bit had she been a beautiful woman, but this woman, there are no words to describe how truly awful this cow is. Before I had discovered his cheating, he had accused me, relentlessly, of being attracted to this person or to that person, people who were close friends -- people half our ages, my daughter's friends! I've always been faithful. I didn't understand the nature of my husband's jealousies. I had a hard time even taking him seriously because cheating was the furthest thing from my mind. But here I sat in our den, doing taxes that were overdue and I look on his bank statement and see The Western Motel and the Super Inn. Classy chick, there, apparently. I look at her Facebook page. Cannot stop looking at it, watching her videos and her gangsta images, truly repelling. She was 26 at th time. He's 30 years older. I cannot make sense of it. He swears it'll never happen again, but part of the problem of not being able to get over it is that he has amensia. He had confessed to being with her three times (I found two receipts). He says, "she wasn't any good" and that he was trying to get over his "pain" from "my cheating" ... it's so absurd that I cannot process it. We went to counseling and I decided I'd give it a gallant try getting over it. It's not happening. He has to go. Maybe he can take her with him. I desperately need this woman out of my life, and in doing so, it appears as though I lose my husband. The really hard part, I would have told you all before this happened, that my husband loved me so much he would have never considered cheating on me. I was so terribly wrong. I feel dirty and cheap and in need of STD testing. I just want him to go. It's not getting any better. It's only getting worse. The trust is completely gone, and mostly because of his unwillingness to be honest with me. Even when I first found out it took him four days to actually tell me what he had done. Until then, I didn't know if he was in love with someone, if had been with another man or six whores and a dog. My imagination was wild. It is the most hurtful thing I've every encountered. Now, when I ask, he shakes his head and says, "That was a year ago, I don't know. I don't remember." That's not doing anything to help. I'm admitting defeat. So hopeless at this point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many of these men just can't understand how crucial it is that, in the wake of betraying us, they absolutely have to come clean. To open the door to the affair and let us walk in and try and make some sense of it.
      Without that, as you've discovered, you feel alone and abandoned.
      As for the OW? She won't be out of your life, even if your husband is, if you continue to read her FB page and so on. You need to cut the cord on that one. You need to relinquish her to the past. Otherwise, she'll continue to haunt you.
      I'm sorry for your hopelessness and sense of defeat. Sounds as if you did your best. But it takes two.

      Delete
    2. I can tell you it's no comfort having the other woman be attractive. Every woman my multiple affair husband has had a physical, emotional, or sexting affair with has been thinner than me & attractive. Although he says I'm prettier than all of them, I have either met them all in person or seen pix and they all have better bodies. Each one was attractive in her own way. And although I know and he says and I have read that it was all about him and had nothing to do with me or our marriage I can tell you that it's still hard to stop comparing myself to them.

      If you want to understand (only a little because I don't think we will ever fully understand), you have to stop thinking like yourself and start thinking like a man. In general, I believe that even the most ethical among them will have sex with anyone who offers them an orifice. It doesn't matter what she looks like, what she does for a living, if she's married and has children herself. One statistic I read was that 60-80% of men cheat over the course of their lifetime. They can't all be with attractive women.

      Sam

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  77. I wrote the other day about my husband still not admitting anything is going on. It has been very tense in the house and our 3 year old has caught onto it. Last night I had truly had enough because I know he's texting this OW. His phone went from maybe 60 text a month to already being at nearly 2000 text for this month alone. He sneaks off into the other room to text or waits till I get up to do it. I finally asked for his phone and he flat out told me NO! As he was telling me no it's non of my business he was deleting stuff from his phone. It took everything out of me not to smack him on the head and snatch his phone. He told me to get the F away from him. So many things have been leading up to this :( He came in the room and we continued to argue, he tells me I'm crazy and acting like a detective. I'm sorry but having 20-30 min conversations with this so called "friend" and texting like crazy is not just a friendship and you lied about her being a female since her name is unisex! We have been married 10 years and this is not the first time he's done things that made me get that gut feeling. I always push it aside and tell myself he loves me, our life, our child, there's no way he would do that to me. I finally had a long talk with my long time best friend and we counted together all the "Friends" my husband has had on the side and I've always given him the benefit of the doubt. I guess I just lived with it in denial. This time it has hit me tooooo hard and this girl works on the same base as him. Before it was always out of state friends which doesn't make it better but for some reason that made it easier for me to look away. I'm so ashamed of myself for letting this man do this to me all these years and now to do it like this. He could get in trouble at work and I believe that's why they are doing their best to keep it hush hush and make me out to be the crazy one. I have no desire to contact her, my feelings of hurt and hate are more towards him. I do feel like contacting her boyfriend but what would that do? Nothing. I feel like I have let myself down and our daughter. I feel like I'm morning the loss of my marriage without his admitting what he has done and that's hard. I feel like a fog has also been lifted and I'm starting to think Divorce is my only option. I'm scared for this, I don't want a fight, I just want what I deserve and my daughter. I'v never felt pain like this. I can't eat, sleep, and every morning i puke my guts out as he soundly sleeps and still continues on with his life having a good time. I need an army of supporters to get me through this :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've got an army of supporters. There are, literally, thousands of us on this site who know your pain, who've lived through the fog and the fear, and who've come out the other side.
      This isn't healthy for you or your daughter. Model to your daughter the strength and self-respect it takes to say "no more." Make it clear that your husband's behaviour is inappropriate, if not adulterous and that you aren't going to accept it anymore. I've said it before, people with nothing to hide, hide nothing.
      Don't make any big decisions unless they feel like the right choice. There's nothing wrong with giving yourself the time and space to figure out what's next. In the meantime, however, I think you're wise to tell him that he needs to leave. The fighting in front of your child is no good. Until he can behave like a respectful husband, he's not welcome.
      Expect pushback. Expect all sorts of accusations about how "crazy" you are, about how you're pushing him away, etc. etc. But stand firm. He has refused to protect your marriage, he has refused to acknowledge your discomfort with these "friendships", he has refused to share his phone to prove that it's all innocent. In other words, he hasn't treated your feelings with any sort of respect or consideration, which is what we expect of our spouse.
      Try and sleep, eat what you can (soup, smoothies, toast, whatever). Avoid alcohol/drugs/anything else that might impair your thinking. Be gentle with yourself. Trust yourself. And take care of yourself.
      And remember your army here.

      Delete
    2. I only found out about 2 of my husbands affairs years later when I had evidence in black and white that he couldn't deny. The other women he's still denying but he probably had sexual affairs with them too. But for the last 10 years I "knew" also and would snoop and he would always blame me. I was crazy. I was invading his privacy. He would even accuse me of cheating. All this to distract and throw me off (apparently typical). I can't advise you what to do because I didn't throw him out when I suspected. Now that my suspicions were confirmed though it was already in the past, so I never had to see whether he would stop for me/our marriage, although he says he would have. I can tell you that he has stopped all suspicious behavior, always notifies me of his whereabouts, and I have access to his phone. If he ever started with that "you're crazy" bullshit again I don't know what I would do.

      I think your husband and my husband are the same (as many other cheating spouses)-- my husband admitted nothing until it was irrefutable evidence, and even then he only admitted to the one affair that was in black and white. Months later he admitted to another affair again when it was irrefutable (a 10 year old voicemail that talked about having sex). Since the others are only suspected by me he still won't admit to those. But at this point it doesn't matter, 2 affairs or 5, as long as his behavior has changed.

      I feel for you. I remember being so frustrated in your shoes so many times. Good luck to you and you are most definitely not alone.

      Sam

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    3. Thank you Elle and Sam for your replies. It means the world to me knowing you both care enough to talk to me. I once again caught my husband in a lie last night and I do believe he was with the OW last night before he came home. I told him I was done and I can't do this anymore. He didn't fight me about it, still continued to give me no answers, and the pain in my heart is numbing. He's not fighting for anything. I thought I was worth so much more and the man I felt was my best friend has just crushed that. I took our daughter to my parents and we're discussing our new living arrangement that is going to happen. I asked him to leave. I don't know what else to do. I can't handle all the lies in my home. All he was concerned about was if our talking tonight would mean he would have to stay home all night. He reminds me I'm the one who wants this and I said I'm done. How is this my fault??? I'm just reacting to his lack of reacting! I feel like I'm being mind F$*Ked here!

      Delete
    4. You feel like you're being mind-fucked because you are. He's deep in the fog of an affair -- can think only of how your actions will affect him. Keep doing what you're doing, which is drawing clear boundaries around what you will and won't accept.
      And, please, don't ever confuse his unwillingness to fight for you with your worth. You are worthy of so much more than this. He'll figure that out eventually -- hope it's not too late for him. In the meantime, however, you take care of you and your daughter. This isn't about you at all. You two are just collateral damage.

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