Thursday, April 16, 2015

"There's Something You Should Know...": Does how we find out about his affair affect how we heal?

by Steam

I am approaching my 16-month anniversary here on BWC and this coincides almost directly with my D-day.
I notice so many of our stories are so so similar, and our reactions to discovery bring the same sort of shock. None of us can believe it, few of us saw it coming, and the majority of us thought we were in as close to a “perfect” relationship as we could have imagined. 
 But some, I understand, did not go as berserk as others. 
I am one who identifies with berserk.
If my H had come to me and said “I have something to tell you,” would I have reacted the same?
How did you find out, and why does it matter?  Does it matter?
I have often described my own D-day. My husband was gone for a few hours when I found out. Before I melted into a screaming, heaving, weeping heap on the floor, I went through a lot, both on our shared computer and within myself. In case you missed my story, I, quite by accident, discovered his other life while on vacation and using one computer. He was out shopping (and texting and e-mailing too).
 Apart from my mouth possibly hanging open, I may have looked calm when I found what I found but inside I was dying and I was pissed. The first things I saw were shocking but did not send me reeling. It was the cold, hard evidence that he actually HAD slept with someone (and then later found two someones) that sent me to the absolute brink and yet I didn’t react, not yet.
I had that computer to myself for two hours (I even welcomed a visitor to the house in the midst of all of it but, when I knew I could not hold it together, feigned sudden illness to get him to leave) and although I was in complete disbelief, I was not crying. Not yet.
By the time he got home I had more than enough info, seen more than enough photos, read more than enough e-mails to last a hundred betrayed lifetimes.
It was not until he walked into the door that I absolutely EXPLODED.
As I had searched and discovered, I now realize I was processing all of this info, and I was processing alone and could take my time and knew what I thought I would do when he got home. I would confront him, either (a) smugly or (b) calmly.
I was wrong on both counts.
I came unglued. I screamed. I hit (I have not hit anything or anyone since I was a child, not even a wall, in anger).
Boundaries were set IMMEDIATELY, lines were drawn IMMEDIATELY, threats (which I no doubt would have carried out at the mention of a 'wrong' word) were made IMMEDIATELY. None of this was done delicately or with any sort of tact or restraint. It was a screamfest along the lines of 'you do THIS or we are fucking DONE!' 
I'd had two full hours to gear up and I let him HAVE it.
But what is it like if your husband tells you instead? I try to picture it in my own life. If my H had come clean and told me, would I have reacted the same? Would I have somehow given him some credit and had a different visceral response? Would his confession have toned my reaction down?
Would I have said to myself “he fucked up but at least he told me”? Would I have immediately experienced the same sort of grief that we all get to eventually? The same rage so many of us have? Would I have made the same immediate demands that I made?
Or would it have been tempered by his honesty had he cushioned the blow by saying something along the lines of 'I'm sorry, I did something horrible.'
I’m not sure there is a cushion large enough.
I have searched out discovery info and its bearing on relationships for months because I cannot imagine a worse way of finding out than mine (maybe because it's mine) and there are many ways to learn the news.
None of them are good.
Some people are told by a third party, some by the OP, some people get a warning, an anonymous email or maybe ask out of suspicion and are told the truth...and, yes, some are told by their spouse straight out.
But though there's little research on the impact of how we find out, I did come across this from Dr. Timothy Loving — yes, his real name – from “The Loving Lab,” which seems to specialize in the science of relationships.
In his findings, the relationship where the cheating partner discloses the affair without being asked suffers the smallest decline in “relationship quality” (I believe there is no “small”). The cheater caught “red handed” though?  Their relationship suffers the largest decline in relationship quality, but that same partner “caught red handed” is most likely to be forgiven.
Yes. I know. I had the same thought. Why?
(You can read the short article here.)
I take exception with some of the statements and you might too but I have my own theory which is from the only experience that I have.
When you have actually caught your partner "red handed,” be it in person or, in my case, via the computer (Dr. Loving does not make a distinction so I don't know his definition), you pretty much get the full picture. I have no doubt I know 99 percent of what went on and 100 percent of what I need to know and have no unanswered questions. I suspect a few 'first bases' in that year that I don't know about but I don't care anymore.
I saw all I needed. So much that, sometimes, I wonder why I decided to stick with him.(I don't know where that came from) immediately. From the depth of all this pain, I somehow knew exactly what I was dealing with and had to decide if I could eventually come to live with what he had done and make something new from it together. 
Would I have reacted the same if he had told me? I have no doubt in my mind he (maybe not all men, but he) would have edited his experiences heavily (I found out quickly that what he referred to as “just online flirting” included dickpics, really filthy language and unbelievable lies, including lies of omission). In these online conversations, I did not exist. At best, when he was with one of his "hers,"  I was referred to as “a girl he saw, sometimes”. 
I wonder about those of us who are still struggling. Believe me, even though H and I have made tremendous progress and have a better relationship than ever, in every single way, I am not “over” this and I don't think I ever will be, completely.
It is now just a part of me that does not hurt as much as it did.
But those of us who are struggling – is it is because somehow we feel like we don't know everything and so cannot process everything?
And if our husbands try to “spare” us by not disclosing what we need to know, might this hinder our own process of healing?
I am asking. I don’t know. I see so many of us in pain, months and months and years later. Unbearable pain that I don’t know how we all get through.

But we can and we do. Somehow, we do.


  1. Steam, thank you for the insightful and provocative article. My husband confessed to me about the affair. For two months prior he had been telling me that we needed to separate but could not exactly explain to me why. As I found out later, he had told the OW that he was leaving me for her. Then he found he could not in his words "push me away." So he decided to come clean and work on the marriage. In fact, as you may know we recently separated and are still working on the marriage, yet he remains confused and unfortunately I believe addicted to her.
    In any case, as for DDay… When he told me I too screamed, came unglued, told him to leave, go to her, he tried to reach for me, I screamed again, don't touch me! After 21 years of intimacy and sleeping in the nude, I scrambled to get something in front of my naked body. But I will say my outrage did not last long… that morning. I very quickly turned to tears as did he. Do I give him credit for telling me? Honestly, I'm not exactly certain. He had a 4 1/2 year affair… If he had told me sooner… Perhaps when it was just emotional, before it got physical… Before she slept with another man, which was in fact would cause the turmoil and their relationship… Yes, then perhaps I would've felt better. Although I'm glad he told me regardless of what happens with us… I sometimes wonder if his telling me was more to alleviate his own guilt and tremendous anxiety. So, from my perspective, what happens after D day, is more important than whether or not it was discovered by the betrayed spouse or confessed to by the wayward spouse. Frankly, I would've rather discovered it myself and be with a wayward spouse who is 100% committed to reconciliation… Than to have been told by my husband who is not 100% committed to reconciliation because he's f***d in the head ...

  2. I feel your pain. My husband needed relief from his guilty conscience. 6 months ago he confessed to me a 3 yr affair with a coworker. I am still devastated. We went to marriage counseling. I read several books. All very helpful. I recommend this. But I am still so grieved. I almost ran into her a few weeks ago in a public place. It got me to thinking what I would do if I did. I am really angry at her. He is truly repentant and tells me daily, if I need it, how sorry he is and how this will never happen again. I love him and want my marriage to work. I am forever changed and I don't like it. But I am determined to let God make something beautiful from these ashes. On Dday I cried out to God " What do I do? This is not how you treat people you love! God help me!" I distinctly felt the God speak to my heart. "Then show him" I was like "what?!?" "So show him how to treat someone you love". This has been so hard! My trust uas been betrayed! My pride has been trampled! My anger enraged! Its completely unfair! But I love him..... So I've been trying. My anger/pain surfaces and he responds as well bad he can. Comforting and reassuring me. He has come leaps and bounds in his Christian walk. He is flourishing. I feel a bit jealous about this. A few weeks ago I was praying that God would show me the joy to come from this ordeal. I was complaining that he was doing so much better than I am. Again the voice ofntje Lord spoke to my heart. "Tammy, but isn't he worth it!?" Yes. He is worth it. I thank God my marriage is on the right road to recovery instead of the lie of a good marriage that wasn't. It hurts every day. I am still trying to get over it. Sometimes it overwhelms me and I break down. Does anyone have advice to give me on forgiving her? Forgiveness frees me not them. I have to live in this skin. I'd rather not be bitter. I don't like the constant obsession.

    I thank you sincerely,

    1. Tammy,
      I think forgiveness isn't something we can force. It needs to come from a deep compassion for yourself, which translates into a compassion for the other person. I sense a frustration in you that you're not further along. Be gentle with yourself. Betrayal is a deep, deep wound. Think of the consequences of Judas' betrayal!
      One exercise I'll suggest is to actually send the OW (not literally, just figuratively) your wishes for a peace and love. It's part of a loving-kindness practice that urges us to send everyone, beginning with those close to us and extending outward, peace and love. It can be really REALLY hard to extend thoughts of peace and love toward someone who has hurt us and to whom we have no real relationship beyond their connection to our spouse. But it can slowly pry open the heart and allow forgiveness to take root.

    2. "...This is not how you treat people you love! God help me!" I distinctly felt the God speak to my heart. "Then show him" I was like "what?!?" "So show him how to treat someone you love".

      Tammy, this resonated deeply with me. I love my children unconditionally, I want them to know right from wrong, but there is not a single thing they could do to make me not love them. I've hurt people before (just not like this) and asked for forgiveness. We all need God's grace. <3 Kris

  3. Ann from Texas - thank you thank you thank you.... Oh my goodness thank you for sharing all you have. That's my life ... Me.... That's like what happened to me, but get this I spent three days gathering info until on the third night I exploded and let him have it like you. Just let him have it... And was so ashamed of myself because I prized myself on having dignity and self control... Now since then over two years later I have had about three or four additional experiences of loss of control. Not like the first... But I did drop kick my purse into a wall one day... So much shame but it felt good really good to show me as me at that time. The inside me that was full of hurt and rage kind of just escaped for a moment or two... Love you girls tons I truly do ;) such a blessing to be sitting here crying feeling relief because I let people know what I did ,)

    1. Shame?? Ann from Texas, give yourself some compassion. Instead of feeling ashamed that you showed your anger, give yourself a HUGE hug for not murdering anybody! The fact that there's no stories of bloodshed on this site means we're all freaking saints.

  4. And a question please… Somewhere I read on one of the articles/posts that there was a volunteer organization where you could have someone talk to you about the infidelity… Can someone please repost where I would go to find that. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Melissa,
      It's called Infidelity Counselling Network and it's fabulous (run by a woman who has become a friend). They have more need than counsellors so it might take some time to get hooked up to a counsellor but absolutely contact them. It's a volunteer-run, not-for-profit. But...did I say it's fabulous??

    2. Infidelity Counseling Network is fabulous and has LITERALLY saved my life. I talk with my peer counselor about 1-2 times per week. I also text her and she texts me. We talk and laugh about things and also the madness I'm dealing with. It is free but they accept donations. They are not professional counselors they are "US" and have been down this road. Talking to friends and sisters and others who have not been where we are - it is OK but in my case talking with someone who has actually experienced betrayal and survived -- PRICELESS ...

  5. My husband owned up to his fling as he called it but only because the ow (a friend of ours!) was going berserk, even though the affair had been over apparently for at least a year maybe eighteen months but our sons were friends and she used them having a fallout as an excuse to vent her fury and anger at the time. She and her husband we're separated and as I understand it getting divorced but she decided I think to deflect her pain onto me, my son and my husband. He phoned me from work unexpected on 2nd July '13 sounding awful. He told me to lock the doors and not to answer the phone! He then said what train he would be on and that if I wouldn't mind could I pick him up from the station. He works in London and his day starts at 7 so you can image my anguish when we were having this strange conversation at 10am and then he was on his way home, I remember saying to him, I am frightened, what's going on?! His reply was that he had always loved me! I locked up the house and waited at the station in agony. I was crying and thinking about money problems, bailiffs but never, never that he had had an affair! When he finally sat on the sofa, we drove home in silence from the station and said he had been s fool and done something so stupid but and again that I must remember he had always loved me, I immediateky thougt he had remortgaged the house and got into debt when he was laid off work several years earlier but hadn't had he courage to tell me. I never ever thought that he would tell me he had been sleeping with a friend, my sons friends mother, someone we had both supported as she was going through a tough time with her husband. I had cooked a birthday lunch for her only a month before, not to mention the many, many favours I had done for her! My ears were ringing and I remember saying no, no and then running upstairs to get my eldest son out of bed so that we could drive us to my mothers. He was supposed to be enjoying his summer break having just taken his A levels. On my way downstairs I realised I couldn't just run away and take his two younger brothers out of school. I collected my thoughts as much as I could and decided to go to see my closest friend instead. Leaving my poor son and my husband alone in the house. Not my greatest moment and one that I regret. I wish I had stayed more composed and not given my son the awful news in that way. I still haven't told his brothers something he thinks was unfair at the time- he shoulders the burden of knowledge with me- and it was the way he discovered that his dad had an affair with a women he knew well and had spent some time in her company and with her children. I think if only my husband had taken me for a drive or a walk in the woods. I know he only told me because the OW was threatening to and apparently she was very abbusuve and angry so he feared she was going to harm me in some way too! Anyay, he did tell me himself but that has been no consolation and I am struggling with being in our home - maybe it is PTSD. We saw a counsellor for several months which really helped and are still working on our marriage but 18 months further along I am still very hurt. I had to spend the first year after discovery seeing 'her' at the school gate. I gave up mutual friends and dont shop
    locally to avoid her. Although I know this was none of my fault, I was a good a wife as could be and also a kind friend to her.
    I think it doesn't matter how you discover, it is devastating. Betrayal by the person you love and trust the most in the world is unbearably painful, even if they own up to it themselves.

    1. I'm so sorry. I think when the OW is a friend, the betrayal is compounded. That someone could be so duplicitous astounds me.
      Glad you shared your story. I'm wondering...if you found therapy helped you and your husband, are you still doing it? The PTSD thing is very real as it related to infidelity. You might need therapy related to that too.
      In any case, you're certainly among friends on this site.

    2. Thank you Elle, I discovered your site about 4 months after Dday and you and the other beautiful ladies here have been my light in a very dark tunnel. I have told only a couple of people and have felt very lonely and sad., Reading all the posts and comments has helped me to know that what I have been feeling is completely normal. You are so compassionate and wise. Everything I read here is me- the pain, the questions, exactly what I have been struggling with.

      In reply to your question re counselling. Yes, it really helped. Initially I saw a counsellor on my own, she was very well meaning but looking back I think I was still in shock and it was too early in the discovery process to get any real benefit from the hourly sessions. She did however tecommend an Imago counsellor for me and H . I have to say the two hour sessions were very expensive but absolutely worth it. I can honestly say without her help we probably wouldnt still be together. Bizarrely even with her in the room my H and I felt such a strong overwhelming connection we were completely taken aback. She showed us how to be vulnerable and to listen- really listen to each other. She wasn't at all judgemental and helped us to discuss our most painful issues- our autistic son, the loss of my H's beloved father to cancer and most importantly my H's infidelity. My husband said on our first visit 'I am here only because I think it will help my wife! Well he couldn't get over how wrong he was. We actually began to look forward to our time in counselling as we felt so connected and we loved hearing what the other had to say.
      It is about a year since we last saw her and we are due to see her again today actually. We have be struggling/ I have been struggling since Christmas and my H feels this and booked to see her. He is even taking half a day off work as she is fully booked. I don't know how it will go but I can't fault my H since DDay, he has shown me nothing but remorse and tenderness, especially when I have been distant. .
      I do struggle being in the house though and I know he wants to stay. Sadly, I remeber all the times she was here and the moments I felt uncomfortable in their presence but was too blind to understand those feelings.
      I was also a very open person- ha, no boundaries! So pretending to the whole world that I am happy and together is difficult. As we all agree on this site, if only we could openly discuss infidelity without fear of judgement.

      Much love and thanks to you Elle, you have been a much needed friend in my darkest moments.


    3. Florence,
      I've no doubt that your house would be a huge trigger to you. If moving isn't an option (and, admittedly, it is extreme), what about changing things around. Moving furniture, painting, a few different throw cushions. While it might help on a visual level, it might also allow you to reclaim your space. This is your HOME. Think about how you can make it your sanctuary. Think, too, about how much healing has taken place there. In some ways, it has been a refuge for you, even as it triggers bad memories.
      Let it also remind you of the boundaries you've built. The wisdom you've gained from recognizing that those moments of discomfort were YOUR wiser self telling you something important.

    4. Thank you Elle,

      You are absolutely right. This is my sanctuary and I do have to reclaim it, this has been our family home for 21 years. A spring clean, a lick of paint and some new accessories will help as you so wisely suggest. I have been allowing her too much space in my head recently. Our counseling session was a huge boost too. I think when I am stressed and anxious I tend to use my husbands affair as place to 'hang all the blame. I also find myself dwelling on the injustice of it all instead of looking at my life now and how much better it is. It is changed but I am stronger and wiser. it's easy to focus on the negatives - but that doesn't help you to move forward and to live a happy, fulfilled life.

      Thank you again for your wise words and this safe, compassionate place for us all to share.

    5. That's such a good point re. how the affair can become the lightning rod for anything that's wrong in our lives. Even now, so many years later, I can quickly jump to blaming my husband's infidelity for any dissatisfaction I feel in my life. I imagine that other couples, without infidelity, are somehow happier. And then I get talking to friends and their husbands drive them a little crazy too in various ways and I realize that we're actually pretty "normal".

  6. Steam, your words like Elle's resonate deeply and spur my personal journey forwards with every entry.

    My 41/2 anniversary is coming up in May (Mothers day O' Course). It makes me shudder to think that I was already suicidal (Before) the discovery. That's how sick our family system was and how utterly alone I really felt. Everything "Looked normal" but it was as if I were in a "fog" something was missing and wasn't right with me and the world. I was self-critical, self-medicating (alcohol), depressed, angry, Blaming myself for any and all of the children's problems etc. But felt I was the "Problem." next to my "Lofty-Spouse," family Hero. I wasn't "good-enough," on so many levels it hurts to look back.

    On that weekend prior to finding out the truth, I remember looking at a small pond and body of water thinking, "If I kill myself and drown right there no one will find me for a while."

    Then a few days later our middle daughter discovered a compromising text on his phone.

    Suddenly all the lights went on in the room and If I could have willed myself dead wouldn't be here today.

    But something else happened

    I said...."That's IT?! Because I thought I was going crazy all these years. "So THAT'S what I've been feeling and sensing but couldn't put a finger on!

    That discovery was to prove my liberation and lead me back me.

    I wish he had come-clean but believe it would have endured and his mistress come to his funeral and me..not knowing.

    I will never forget and even the word forgiveness doesn't cut it. I'm looking for transformation instead. Bet I will be in my 80's still asking questions and thinking about what I call my "gentle-vengeance's" but Hell No - more suicide for me. This pain's my psychic tattoo.

    For my husband my new feeling is that infidels are "Clueless," until proven otherwise.

    With great respect and love to all here

    1. Valkyrie,
      That's HUGE. That awareness that YOU weren't the crazy one is absolutely HUGE.
      Coming up on five years, though, I would really urge to loosen your grip on the pain you still hold. That's how transformation takes root. By releasing your hold on the pain and opening up to the healing. You've recognized your strength. You've learned just how strong your desire to survive is. Now let it transform you.

  7. So my story of discovery follows Steam's a bit, but I also like another above searched for proof before confronting him...and I was going to be an adult, calm, collected. And I was. For about a day. I'm a year out and my emotions are somewhat under control most of the time. In a recent MC session, I asked my H if he EVER thought about coming clean, coming to me and saying, we have to talk...ever? No. So there you have it. Back to what has been written about tons on these pages- he never thought. Ever. When I look back on how I handled it...oh so mature..the adult...let me understand this...I want to throw up. What I wonder is how things might have been different had I done what Steam and others have done- read the riot act to him...hit him (figuratively) upside the head with a 2x4...left the proof on the kitchen table with a note that when he's ready to come clean, call me and I'll come home....that's what I wonder. But I also know that we all handle things in different ways, and the way we handled it when we discovered was the best we could do at the time.

    1. C,
      Yep. I often wonder what might have changed if I'd felt stronger when I found out. In my case, I fell to my knees. I could barely function beyond taking care of three kids and finishing a book (which, come to think of it, is functioning pretty well).
      You're right though. We did the best we could under the circumstances. And now that we know better, we do better. We can better draw those boundaries around ourselves and call out anyone who violates them. We don't have to let those first days/weeks/months define the rest of our lives. We can continue to evolve and insist that the relationship evolve too.

  8. V--how interesting along with mortifying,of course, one thing I DID leave out was that some people DO get a sense of relief, just as you did after feeling something that felt off kilter without reason ACTUALLY HAD A REASON. That is a hell of a wake up call. and although I don't wish this sort of pain on anyone, I am glad yo know that it did help you wake up to something better and know you were NOT crazy after all. Hugs to you.

  9. I have often said that if I had found out in any other way, I wouldn't be here trying to rebuild this marriage.

    I lost my husband in August of 2014 for approximately three weeks, though I like to round up now to six weeks to accommodate his foggy memory. And, like a form of cancer, I want to make sure we get it all. I treat what happened to him as an illness because its the only way I can wrap my had around it without going insane. Anyway, he had ended it fairly quickly but she tried everything to get him to continue, threats, lies, videos, etc. after a couple of weeks of that she called me and told me, hoping I would throw him out. Yes, she was that pathetic --- she would take him by default. Her last ditch attempt to hurt him was actually a blessing. She did my husband and me a huge favor. He finally escaped her. Once I knew, she had no power over him, and I finally understood why he had been so depressed and down. If I had discovered "it" as it was happening, I would have left. I found out after he realized his mistake and came back to me. For me, that makes all the difference in the world.

    Having said that, I usually try to be so positive but lately feel like I'm back on the floor again. When I try to see too much of the picture of what's happened I become overwhelmed and things seem so bleak. He is doing everything right, everything, but lately I feel empty. Sometimes I don't feel anything at all and it scares me. And I hide it away and try to move forward. Now who is compartmentalizing? Now I'm tucking away uncomfortable thoughts because I don't know what they mean or how to react to them. I'm really scared that I'll never be whole again, just a bunch of pieces that don't fit together anymore. Why is this happening now? Our communication has never been better, our friendship never stronger, his love for me never more obvious than right now. Is it normal for me to suddenly withdraw? Is this empty lost feeling similar to what he felt before having sex with a complete stranger? I think I now have some insight into how infidelity happens. I don't think its that they disn't care about us, its that they found themselves in a place where they couldn't feel anything and it scared them. This is where I find myself now, let's hope its temporary.

    1. RT,
      I think that's EXACTLY how infidelity often happens. It's an escape from feelings that we can't manage, or it's an escape from that "this is it?" sense that hits all of us at some point in our lives.
      Let that understanding guide your compassion. And know too that what you're experiencing -- the "plain of lethal flatness" as it's sometimes called -- is normal. After the incredible rollercoaster following D-Day, maybe it's our brain's way of taking a breather. Just make sure you don't stay there. Feeling nothing, after feeling such pain, can become a bad habit. Let yourself catch your breath but then push through those uncomfortable feelings. This isn't easy, even with a "model" ex-cheater. The damage wrought by infidelity is real and it's deep. But you'll get there.

    2. Thank you, Elle.

    3. RT,

      I'm 9 months post D-Day and that's exactly how I feel. He is doing everything right, but I don't care. Is it too much too late. He always did everything right, that's way I don't know if it's sincere or "S$%^ I better do this or she is gone."

      I will never know, but I need to move on and try to believe that his reasoning and actions are for the right reason - to save our marriage.

      I'm just taking it day by day.

    4. Anonymous: Day by day, hour by hour, and sometimes minute by minute. That's how I move forward with this man I love so deeply. Learning to trust him again is a very slow process, and quite honestly, I'm exhausted. So tired of the pain, the uncertainty and the triggers. I want my innocence back but I know I really don't want to be that naive ever again. I feel like a yoyo sometimes and I honestly don't know what I want anymore, I'm just trying to tread water so I don't drown and take us both down in the process. I'm often envious of him, he seems to know exactly what he wants and he is trying to achieve that with me. I'm too scared to want or expect anything...... I'm holding us back and feel badly about it.

    5. RT,
      I don't think you're "holding" the two of you back so much as stepping carefully into an uncertain future. That's to be expected. Be gentle with yourself. You just had a landmine explode in your life. Of course, you're going to walk a little more carefully.

  10. Update ladies: I spoke with our marriage counselor since my husband and I have become separated. She said that because of that… And because of the fact that he contacted the OW even though supposedly it was only once… She said we are not in the position for marriage counseling. He had said he was going to reach out for individual counseling. she also said a few things ... I should not pursue him…I should not attempt to force him into the individual counseling it needs to be on his own accord…and I should decide for myself if I want to go through with the full six weeks separation or if I want to decide sooner to end it and pursue that which I feel. In other words, come home and work on this marriage or let's get a divorce ... Or simply, let's get a divorce. since he moved out on Monday he texted me twice on Monday texted me on Tuesday called me on Tuesday came here Wednesday, ended up staying for dinner no contact on Thursday texted me a lot today and right now he's here mowing the yard. all the other contact seemed on the positive side… And tonight, he seems rather cool, just here to do business. we are supposed to have a date on Tuesdays. To be honest… I am still entirely baffled as to what happened to our marriage? Everyone sees us as the perfect couple, always having fun, always being adventurous ... Hell, we both quit our jobs and took a 6 1/2 month motorcycle trip across the country in 2006… Who does that? So very sad. Very, very sad. I wish he just had the balls to come to me… Or the balls to go to therapy with me, and really put the work into it… when I wanted him to years ago. The IC I see says I have a blind dedication towards him… Especially now, somehow I'm not thinking of his faults. The hardest part… I can't control him… I can't control his desire to remain in this marriage and work hard… I can't control his desire to go to counseling with he so desperately needs… I can only control myself. And with that, ladies, I sign off… And I work to be a stronger me.

    1. Melissa please stay in touch and let us know what happens. I think about your situation frequently. In a way, you know one way or the other if he really wants you and he is not coming home out of guilt "to do the right thing". I wondered forever so long if my husband wanted me not just the fringe benefits. I wish sometimes we would have separated so I could have a clearer view of MY circumstances without looking at the guy who caused them. Frankly you sound like you are doing amazingly well in this horrible situation. Stay strong.

    2. Thank you Lynn ... your words touched me. Yes, as hard as the separation was and is… I do feel that I need it too. And thanks for encouraging me, that I am doing amazingly well ... You made me feel stronger. Thanks again.

    3. Melissa,
      Lynn's right. You are doing great. I know it sucks. It's such a hard lesson to learn -- that we can't love someone into being the person we know they can be. Except with ourselves. You can absolutely love yourself into a place of peace with your circumstances. Your counsellor is right, I think. I would completely back off, keep communication to a minimum. You'll not only give yourself some much-needed space away from trying to control him, it will also give him one final kick in the head about what this really means for him. I suspect he can't quite imagine life without you because he's never had to.

  11. Steam,

    My oldest grandkid would ask "Do you feel me?"...

    Steam, I feel you...

    I also 'feel' why your alias here in the club is 'Steam'.

    I am Terry Telephone but soon might undergo a name change - I'm thinking "Screaming Silently" is more appropriate.

    I'll be back later tonight because I needed this post of yours so, so, so very much. This has not been a particularly good week but the super glue that holds me together has not failed yet. (glue = BWC and my peer counselor)

  12. SilentScream (former Terry Telephone)April 18, 2015 at 12:48 AM

    Part 1

    I found out and then one year later I found out again. In May 2013 I saw an email on his computer from a national hotel chain asking for a “review of our recent stay”. I knew we had not been to that hotel since 2012 and I promptly deleted the email - without opening it. I blew it off as junk mail -- spam. A few days later another email arrived with the same message in the subject line. This time I opened it and wondered why it was even there. I asked HIMSELF why he was getting an email from the hotel chain and he said “remember I told you someone stole my credit card”. I did vaguely remember him talking about a stolen credit card. I did not think about it until several weeks later when my mind asked me - how did the people who stole his credit card get his email address and his preferred customer account number for that hotel chain??? That afternoon I asked him -- how did the thief get your email address?? He said absolutely nothing just shrugged his shoulders and went about his business. ((Now I know that the very next day he was back at that same hotel with his affair partner)) I did let it drop and did not really think about it until almost exactly one year later. In May 2014 that same hotel chain sent another email asking the same question. This time I did NOT delete the email or ask him any questions. I started my investigation. I contacted the hotel chain customer service department and got a fax of the complete list of all his “visits” to any of their locations. I found out that he opened the preferred customer account way back in October 2004 when he checked OUT of this particular hotel!!! I was NOT with him in any hotel in October 2004!!

    In the time that followed my ‘investigation’ period I was very calm. I thought I had him dead to rights and he would certainly confess to his activities when presented with the irrefutable information I had. Well in June 2014 I finally felt I had the information to go forward. On a Sunday morning I presented him with the information. He looked at it and just handed it back to me. I lost it. I screamed and cursed like a mad woman. I demanded he tell me what in the hell was going on. He said nothing. Nada, zip, butkus!! Not one word came out of his mouth. Well then I started throwing things and breaking anything in sight. He tried to grab me but I pushed him away while breaking more things. I then told him I was packing my things and leaving. At this point I grabbed some trash bags and began packing the dishes. Well needless to say when you throw dishes into trash bags - they break. He kept trying to stop me and I kept getting more bags and “”packing”” more dishes. Then he started to talk. I demanded to know her name - he told me and that is when the rest of the dishes somehow got broken. This DDay went on for months. Each day, week and month another trickle of information was revealed. One night about 4 months into this madness I decided I’d just rather die. Next day I purchased a gun and some bullets - had to wait several days for background checks but then I picked the gun up. I rode around in the car for about 8 hours that night contemplating which position I’d place the gun to make sure I was successful. By the time the sun came up I had decided that it was not worth it. I decided HE was not worth it. I decided I was MUCH MORE important to myself. Several days later I returned the gun and the bullets to the store. The guy who sold me the gun also made the refund - when he asked why the return - I told him I changed my mind.

  13. SilentScream (former Terry Telephone)April 18, 2015 at 12:49 AM

    Part 2

    Shortly after that we had a really big argument and I locked him out of the house. He tried to get back in by putting a ladder up to the second story -- he fell and broke his ankle/foot and fractured his lower back. I called the ambulance and he was kept in hospital for 5 days. I am 8-9 months out from the original DDay confrontation but I now know so much more than I ever expected. He was in several affairs and also seeing a prostitute. He still refuses to take a lie detector test -- because HE knows HE is lying. HE is going to counseling and I think he has a pretty good therapist. I do not trust him. I know he is still keeping secrets. I do not think he is acting out sexually at present because he has not been able to drive a car (right foot/ankle broken).

    What am I going to do?? Do not really know yet but I am making preparations for either path -- prepping to go and prepping to stay. We have not been intimate this entire time since June 2014. I can’t let him touch me because I feel like he is filthy. I think about the many, many other men who had sex with the prostitute that he was having sex with and I literally want to vomit. We have both been tested for everything and are both negative. We both go back for the 1 year tests in June. .Can ‘t be too careful. Sometimes I just start screaming and screaming - it stops after a few minutes but leaves me totally exhausted. I’m in therapy but actively looking for a new therapist. My telephone peer counselor is great. We talk and text. I started this journey as Anonymous. I then became Terry Telephone. I am now Silent Scream.

    It is a roller coaster, I am on it and the stop button is broken…

    1. Oh Terry/Silent, your story is breaking my heart. I can't imagine how low you must have felt to buy a gun and I'm so incredibly grateful that you didn't use it. I can't imagine this site without Terry/Silent on it! Your comments make me feel so wonderful.
      You've got so much pain to process. Your husband's refusal to just give you the whole story only compounds that pain.
      I'm so glad you have your peer counsellor. And fingers crossed that you'll find yourself an awesome therapist. You need a safe place to work through all this and regular reminders that the world needs you in it. And that you will absolutely get through this. Whichever path you choose, you're going to be just fine.

    2. Oh my Silent Scream you have been through so much. I'm gonna tell you your not the only one whose husband does just dish out info to. My very own father explained to me that with holding the info for him was out of complete shame... So what little info I've gotten from my husband is so much more impactful than nothing at all. My dad also told me there are things he spoke of with me my momma must not know because hurt is hurt no matter the time that passes and he loves my momma so he doesn't want to hurt her further.... That being said we as betrayed spouses owe it to ourselves to not forget what we have learned but forgive no matter if we stay or need to leave. Once we get through the shock and pain, we need to assess the situation and make a decision on safety. If you still love and feel safely respected and now truly appreciated. You are ok to stay, you did love the person dearly. If you are mistreated you are not safe... So please make choices that make changes happen. It's a long ride to decision time it took me over a year to decide. I'm still with my sweetheart even though I'm still rough around the edges when it comes to forgiving and not hurting. I had a wonderful epiphany one day that made me realize the only doormat I was being was the one I allowed people to make me out as. I am no door mat I'm just stronger than most because I put my foot down and demand respect in return for my respect. Love you tons Silent Sream... Your name describes me for so long
      - Ann from Texas

  14. Terry Telephone/ Silent Scream

    I loved your name Terry Telephone and I love this new one too but hate to hear your in such pain

    Just read your recent entry and wish I was near you and could give you a Damn Big Old Hug.

    "I Feel You........ Too."

    (And I did the same thing but different with a gun)

    I'm sorry for any of us betrayed spouses stuck with self-absorbed-criminally-selfish partners and that "Never tell, Never tell, Never tell." and lie, lie, lie (even in a court of law until proven with pictures) to survive while we just want the simple --------- truth.

    Sending you a psychic hug saying you are not alone and we are all here with you on this painful journey

    AND WE WILL MAKE IT THROUGH SISTER you just keep on standing tall.

    P and L

  15. Terry Telephone/ Silent scream

    You speak to ALL our are loved and needed.....

    You Da bomb!

    Stay where you are NEEDED

  16. TT/Silent Scream

    I just went back to watch the Robert Wiess Video Internet Sex, Infidelity and Working with Betrayed Spouses (this video saved my life!) made me feel validated instead of crazy.

    "It is tempting for an unfaithful partner to attempt damage control by initially revealing only some information or none at all.

    A majority of addicts (58.7%) and partner's (69.7%) reported that there had been more than one major disclosure. THIS IS A NIGHTMARE FOR THE BETRAYED SPOUSE because we just want the bottom line-the ground is shifting beneath my feet when is this earthquake going to stop!? Typical disclosure nightmare is *he denies everything and blames you *he will disclose only what has been already disclosed *he discloses a bit more * he is confronted as more things come out then he will disclose all - maybe or seeking relief he dumps everything with no warning and then seeks immediate forgiveness."

    They diminish and devalue their partners and DISTANCE themselves EMOTIONALLY in order to live with acting out. They externalize and blame their unmet needs on the betrayed spouse and tolerate this ambiguity BECAUSE "I can not love you and be close to you and betray you and hurt you at the same time UNLESS I'm a sociopath or psychotic. But what I can do is devalue you I can distance myself from you - I can blame you and hold you way over there so I can say to myself "I deserve to go over here (and act out sexually).

    1. SilentScream (former Terry Telephone)April 20, 2015 at 2:50 PM


      WOW! Your post sent me reeling. These statements from your post which I assume comes from the video is so POWERFUL! I'm going to the first couples session with HIMSELF tomorrow afternoon and I intend to print out your post to take with me. This Robert Wiess video is on my things to do for tonight. I might just watch several of his videos.

      Thanks, Thanks, Thanks and oh yeah -- THANKS!!!

    2. SilentScream (former Terry Telephone)April 20, 2015 at 3:16 PM

      Elle, Ann from Texas, Valkyrie, Everyone else who hurts, Everyone who has moved forward to healing::

      Thanks for the words of wisdom and the love. I really, really need it right now. My current therapist told me that the longer a relationship has been the harder it can be to survive betrayal. HIMSELF and I have been together 44 years. Ups and downs yes of course but I thought it was mostly pretty good. Now - who knows.

      I'm a forgiving person and I can just about forgive anything but the constant keeping of secrets and telling of lies - oh hell no!!

      I must say - I AM GOING TO MAKE IT!! I will be different but that is OK.

      If anyone comes across that roller coaster STOP button - push the damn thing!!

  17. My story of discovery, sort of had a blend of things that happened. I had been suspecting something going on, but my attempts to find anything on my own failed. I checked his texts and phone calls after nights that he was out late, and always found texts from the guys he said he was with. I felt guilty checking his phone and distrusting him, and ignored my intuition. On D Day he came home and sat down on the couch, embraced me and started crying His dad had just died 3 months prior and his mom was in the hospital with a minor issue. My first thought was that something worse was wrong with his mom He was sobbing and couldn't tell me what was wrong. I was comforting him and holding him, asking him what was wrong. Eventually he managed to choke out the words 'I'm sorry' . Those 2 words shattered my world. I knew instantly what they meant. I went into complete shock. I couldn't move or speak. My arms were still around him, but my body went rigid, everything started spinning and I couldn't do anything. He told me that he wished he was telling me of his own accord, but it was because my girlfriend found out and was going to tell me if he didn't. She thought it should come from him and I am glad she handled it that way. I feel that coming from him, even though it was forced was better than me finding out from someone else. I left that night and went to my friends, as she was the only one who knew. Ironically, she had split up with her partner because he cheated on her. Her partner coincidentally moved to the same condo where my husband's mistress lived and that was how the 2 year affair was discovered by my friend. Her partner saw him and his truck there on several occasions and at odd times. I didn't just rely on him telling me what happened. Like you, Steam, (once the shock wore off) I hacked into his phone and email and read every painful piece of communication exchanged between the two of them over the last 2 years. I don't know if this was better or worse for me. We have been together for over 30 years and had just celebrated our 25th anniversary. Yet here were these emails professing his love for another woman; poems telling her how great she was. There were also many draft letters trying to end it with her, telling her he loved me too and couldn't leave me, that I didn't deserve this. Most of these letters were never sent to her. There were emails to her trying to end it, but she threatened suicide if he left her and this was enough to keep him from following through. I know that it wasn't just the threat, that there was still a part of him that didn't want it to end, so he convinced himself he was only staying until she could end it without harming herself. (it was a load of crap, she was manipulative and tried every tactic to keep him, even after he ended it and we were trying to work on our marriage.) I don't think there is any good way of finding out, but I imaging the worst way would be walking in on it and seeing it with your own eyes. That would be a difficult image to remove, even though our imaginations can sometimes be worse, we can read more into the emails, letters, etc. than what is really there. I really wish there was more we could do to prevent this from happening to other men and women. This is the most traumatic event I have ever had to go through. I am 18 months out and am still suffering from his affair. This weekend we ran into the OW at an event we were attending. This was the first time I had ever seen her in person and she was volunteering and had to search my bag. I felt the tension but didn't register completely until I walked away with my husband that it was her. I asked him and he nodded.

  18. You can NOT be intimate and violate your partner at the same time unless you are psychotic or sociopathic (we humans are built this way) It's hard to be really close to someone and hurt them at the same time so they Devalue and Distance creating a WALL and feel JUSTIFIED in doing what ever they want."

    There is so much information on this video! It makes me jump around the room with relief and excitement. SOMEONE GETS ME.....

    And We can help each other by holding and validating all our emotions and experiences working to manage this agonizing intimacy trauma.

    1. Hi V,
      Can you post a link?

    2. SilentScream (former Terry Telephone)April 20, 2015 at 3:18 PM

      I think this is the link. I just found it and will be listening tonight!!

  19. SR PART 2
    After walking away from her, my heart was racing, but what was worse for me was the inaction of my husband. I needed him to put his arms around me and hold me and tell me he loved me and was sorry I had to go through that. When we got to our seats, he did ask if I was okay, but he didn’t do or say anything to reassure me or comfort me. When I asked him later about what he felt when he saw her, he said it was awkward and he felt bad for her and for me. That he wished he hadn’t created this and put us both in this situation. From the beginning he has taken full responsibility for the affair, to the point of taking all blame from her, even though she knew he was married and wanted a friends with benefits relationship until she started having feelings for him, and then she wanted him to leave me. He has felt remorse and guilt for me but also for her. I cannot handle him feeling guilty for her. His remorse for her feels like he hasn’t let go of his feelings for her. He says she is a person and she has also been hurt in this, because of him. I am struggling with my need for him to dissolve all feelings he had for her in order for me to feel secure. She continued to try to contact him and come between us for over a year after he ended it with her and told her he loved me and we were working on our marriage. I even think she volunteered for this event because she knew he would be there. When I try to talk to him about how it affects me knowing that he feels guilty when he sees her, he gets upset and feels that I am trying to tell him how he should feel. I honestly don’t know what to do. What I need is for him to tell me that she doesn’t matter to him, that I am the one he loves and he doesn’t care if she’s hurting or if it’s awkward for her. But he can’t tell me that. I even asked him once if we were to run into her somewhere if he would put his arms around me or hold my hand to show her that we were together and he said ‘that would be cruel, like rubbing it in her face.’ He said how would that make her feel. I said what about what it would be for me. What about how it would show me that you wanted her to know we were solid, that it really was over between them. What about the message it would send to me, how it would reassure me that how I feel is more important. He didn’t have a response to that. I can’t shake the feeling that he still has feelings for her, and even though he chose to make the marriage work, when he sees her it brings back other feelings for him. He says he feels guilt when he sees her about the pain he caused her, but my intuition says there’s more to it. Or maybe that is paranoia. The problem is I don’t know how to get rid of these feelings. How/when will I stop feeling threatened by the feelings he had for this OW.
    Anyway, thanks for this site and allowing me a place to express my deepest thoughts and fears.

    1. SR,
      I'm so sorry for what you've been going through. That many years of marriage is worthy of a whole lot more than your husband has been giving you.
      The thing is, while I absolutely understand that you need a show of solidarity from your husband in front of the OW (and at the least, I think he could grab your hand or something), it indicates that your husband isn't a complete monster in not wanting to hurt this woman further. Given her rather fragile state (I'm so sick, frankly, of women using suicide as a way to manipulate people), I can also imagine his fear in somehow ramping things up again by stirring the hornet's nest.
      That said, your worries about his feelings are, of course, valid. How does he behave most of the time? Is he able to support you when you're feeling frightened and anxious? Is he open to learning how he can reassure you when you need it? Are you two in couples counselling to work through this stuff with an objective therapist?
      Ultimately, you and he have chosen to rebuild your marriage, which has got to be painful to the OW. So, no matter what, she's been rejected. I wonder if much of your anxiety and hurt is around how disempowered you've been in all this. Standing there while she searched your bag must have been horrible. And I'm sure it would have done you a world of good if he had simply made it clear that his loyalty was to you, not her.
      However, that's not what happened. Nonetheless, perhaps you can strategize about what you need should this ever (God forbid) happen again where you run into her.
      Incidentally, did he ever send her a No Contact e-mail, making it clear that she was no longer welcome in his life and that he would be busy earning his second chance with you? If he didn't, I don't think I'd bother now unless she attempts some sort of contact in which case he needs to make it very clear that she is no longer in his life in any way/shape/form.

    2. Anon,
      I am sorry you had to go through that and without adequate support. All I can tell you is that my significant other needed some time to see things for what they are (even after he chose me), and soon when he was no longer too close to the situation to see it, the distance allowed him to realize where his priorities were supposed to be and why her feelings are not his concern. That she and him made choices that hurt me and I did nothing to either of them. He no longer feels any guilt over her, and that's okay because I'm sure it's not lost on him that she probably feels no guilt over us.
      This is a long winded way of saying that your husband might need to understand that he did this to you; he did not do anything TO her, he did this WITH her. She chose to do this with him. I understand where Elle is coming from on your husband trying to be empathetic, but I hope eventually he will see that you guys do not owe it to her to be or look like any less of a couple to spare her feelings.

    3. Wow, better half, that is such a brilliant way of looking at this. Absolutely this was done TO us, but it was done WITH the OW. They were complicit in this deception. They were accessories (in more ways than one). Thank-you for that.

    4. Thanks, I was afraid that this might just be seen as a simplistic way of viewing the situation but in my mind it's just what's rational. To me it's just ridiculous to think a betrayed should spare the feelings of someone who deliberately disregarded any concern for yours and in a much more severe way. It's really hard to deal with a cheating partners lingering feelings of loyalty or concern for that person but it gets better, the fog lifts. I just wish husbands and significant others were more aware from the beginning not just of the affair partners actual character, but at least of the fact that it's asking way too much to ask that we protect their feelings too - especially when it comes to not "flaunting" the marriage/relationship. I mean, come on. You were there first building a life with this person but now that someone helped him do something that almost killed you from the inside, you're supposed to not look romantic for her benefit? No, sorry, that's insane.
      But I read something interesting about this in an interview with the author of "not just friends". She talked about how in the beginning a couple sees the AP in very different ways, and that a good sign of their recovery is when those perspectives finally start to be more on the same page. This has definitely happened with me and my SO and I wish the best of luck to everyone here in this aspect because it's so satisfying at first, but mostly relieving. At first you wonder how could he not see all the awful things I see, but one day you might realize that he has not in fact permanently lost his mind.

    5. BH,
      I think at first the cheater sees the AP through the gauze of fantasy. Not what's there but what he wants to be there. It's not unlike what happens in the hazy lovely days of any new relationship. We overlook the bad and hyper-focus on the good. It's the long-term part of a relationship that challenges us to see the whole person...and find ways to love that whole person or to get out.

  20. I don't think just how we found out impacts how we recover, but it is how our spouses handle the affair aftermath. The book "How to Help Your Spouse Recover from Your Affair," identifies all the ways that unfaithful spouses can burn the bridges to healing and reconciliation. Certainly, being found out rather than confessing is one way. But also trickle truth, failed no contact, stonewalling discussions, avoiding your partners pain, lack of humility, failing to recognize the full depth of their destruction.....
    Basically, the longer a spouse takes to stand up for truth, their partner and their marraige, the more difficult the healing. At some point, reconciliation becomes unlikely. My spouse has definitely toed that line--even though he initially "confessed."
    I do think that one "advantage" of not catching him in the act or digitally is that I don't have many mind movies or visuals, except for the ones I make up based on what I already know.

    1. MBS,
      I think there are many things that affect how we respond -- certainly how our spouse responds is huge.
      I wish more people understood the value in a clear, detailed accounting of the affair that allows us, the betrayed spouse, to understand quickly and absolutely just what we're dealing with...and can then make our choice based on truth.

  21. Elle,

    Unfortunately I can't post a link for this remarkable video but to say that I bought the CD right from amazon and it's called "Internet Sex Infidelity and Working with Betrayed Spouses." By Robert Weiss. He has several books but I've never seen this content in print. In this video lecture (for professionals) he really focuses on the betrayed spouse and impact of living with secrets and lies, issues around disclosure etc and hits home everything we are all talking about. Also believes that often betrayed spouses are misdiagnosed by professionals and culturally misunderstood.

  22. I have so many things to say but really they have already been said.

    What I have figured out is this:

    What happens to the marriage seems to depend not on how the betrayed spouse finds out but on how the betrayer handles it. I did go thru trickle truth, stonewalling, denial until it was impossible to deny. My husband said in a recent email that he doesn't see how NOT downplaying his relationship with the first affair partner will help me. He is right. I still don't know all the details but after 1 1/2 years I don't really care anymore.

    He has spent the last 1 1/2 years trying to make it up to me, chauffeuring the kids to activities, meeting with teachers, helping me around the house, sticking up for me (somewhat) in front of his mother in law, even shoveling snow. Those last 2 were always sticking points for me. The last 10 years since we had a first child I had pretty much felt abandoned. There were many times his mom drove me nuts and he was nowhere to be found. I never expected him to say something to her in my defense but at least if he could have listened while I complained about how she yelled at me for this or that (she lives with us & took care of the kids since I work full time). And shoveling snow, that was all me. Just as I will never forget that he cheated on me, I will never forget that as I pulled in from work one day (we had both left work early because of an impending snowstorm) he was already shoveling a path from the front door so it wouldn't be icy the next day when the kids had to walk to the bus. Just as I will never forget noticing how soft his voice got when he was on a private call when I suspected he was talking to another woman, I will also not forget how many times I the last year and a half he has sensed right away when I was sad or angry or triggered & he has made me get it off my chest and we talked about it until I felt better.

    About 5 years ago one of my friends husbands cheated. They went to marital counseling 1 year and she ended up divorcing him. Why? He continued with the affair.

    My sister in laws husband cheated about 4 years ago. She begged him to go to therapy he said too late & contined cheating. She threw him out of the house and spoke to a lawyer abt divorce. She lashed out, told their 21 year old children, and even told his boss. After abt 6 months of him living with his affair partner he begged my sister in law to take him back. They went to counseling & their marriage now is better than ever.

    My h & I did not go to counseling. I read a ton, I visit this website often, & he has been willing to listen and be there for me.

    So I think the best predictor of success in rebuilding is whether the cheater is done, can assume responsibity for their actions, & help their spouse heal. I don't think it has much to do with the type of affair, how we find out, or how long the affair lasted. Lucky for me my husband is mature enough now to know what he wants for himself. That is a lesson only he could learn. It just would have been nicer for me if he didn't have to be taught it (I instinctively knew this lesson myself).



    1. Sam, your posts always make me feel more calm, more reasonable. Thank you.

  23. Oh Sam believe me I all but begged the dr to plesse tell me why he thought his findings pointed towards the cheater being caught red handed might lead to being forgiven more often and if it's possible that being caught actually means there can BE no denial and thus more immeduate boundaries (and possible valid hysteria) by the betrayed and he is given NO CHOICE but give it up. I Still don't have that answer but agree with you. If the cheating spouse stops the affair, is transparent and forthcoming and willing to deal with whatever comes up the chances of a successful future is much more possible. I can't imagine healing from this and surviving this any other way.

  24. So here I am, one year and one day post Dday and have another bombshell. I have spent the last year trying to believe that my husband has told me everything. There is always this little doubt that keeps creeping in and stopping me from believing everything but I was almost there. Still grieving and stuck in a world of pain but starting to feel like I could believe it. So, I googled some info about undeleting texts and there was my second bombshell, proof that there were far more that just the one time having sex....he admitted to may be 5 now we are up to 10-15 times....still don't know the truth. So much more was revealed and I don't know if I can live with it. It sounds like this is normal though.....just as you think you can come out the other side in one piece you find out more devastating information. I am so tired of this. My husband tried to commitment suicide at the time and I told him I needed the truth then. I have asked him for the past year about 100 times if he was telling me the truth and each time was the same. He kept telling me that he told me everything. Now I know for the past year he was still lying to me. How am I to believe anything out of his mouth again. I decided it was time to tell her husband everything and he was very thankful. He suspected something was going on for years, now he knows. It sounds like she is finally coming clean but probably still lying. My husband says he didn't tell the whole truth because he was terrified of losing me and now he is closer to losing me than if he had just told the truth to begin with. Why are people so dishonest and stupid. Why do they think of only themselves. He has been threatening all evening of killing himself again, I tried to keep him home and he left anyway and he keeps texting me saying bye. I doubt he will actually do it, sound more like he is trying to get sympathy but I don't have it in me right now. Both my adult son and me have asked him to come home and he and I can discuss things. This time instead of crying in hysterics, the rage came out and I threw and broke things, slammed doors and broke one. I pushed him and he fell backwards into the closet and broke the door. I was so angry I couldn't stop myself. I now just feel lost. How do you love someone so much and hate them at the same time? I don't even recognize who he is. Its like sleeping with a stranger. I don't recognize him. He is not the man I married. I asked him to take the consequences of his actions and help me not run away but he doesn't know if he can. I don't know what to do at this point. Words of wisdom would be so appreciated.

    1. Hey Anne,
      The threats of suicide sound awfully manipulative. However, for now, you can assume he is indeed suicidal. However, it is not a good idea for you to be the person to help him. You cannot take care of him. If you are so rage filled, then being around you will not help him if he is suicidal. It will trigger his own self loathing and make the suicidality worse.
      Also, if physical confrontation is happening, you should not be trying to "talk". Ask others to look out for him and tell him to call a crisis line. You can also call to have him 5150'd which means that he will be taken to a psychiatric hospital since he is a danger to himself.
      This situation sounds extremely volatile and can escalate.

  25. I don't have any wisdom to share. I know that you think that his withholding information regarding how many times they had sex is just proof of more lies and inability to trust him again. However, has he been truthful about everything else? I think that my husband has been truthful about everything else but I still don't believe him with regards to specifics on all of his affairs. I certainly don't know how long each of the affairs lasted or how many times they had sex or when they started or when they ended. He may know at this point or he may not know because it was so many years ago. What I have told myself, however, is that I don't really care if it was 10 times or hundred times if they lasted three years or 3 days. The point is as Elle said in a previous post he cheated.

    I recently posted elsewhere that I was triggered a few weeks ago. My husband said to me at one point he doesn't understand how his not minimizing the significance of his affairs will help me. And he's right. Keep that in mind before you make any decisions based on the fact that your husband withheld more information and is probably still withholding information.


    1. Sam,
      I think what all of us want is honesty. We're tired of being on the outside with no way of seeing what's inside. By sharing the truth of the relationship, it shows us a certain respect. It gives us the whole story and we can then make a decision from that. I've absolutely said that, at a certain point, the details don't matter. What matters is he cheated and we know that. But I nonetheless think that when we ask for information, we have every right to expect that we'll be told the truth. Not minimizing. Not half-truth. Not what we want to hear. The truth. Someone who continues to sugar-coat things, or reveal only what won't get them in trouble is someone who, in my opinion, hasn't learned very much from all this.

  26. SilentScream (former Terry Telephone)April 22, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    Hello all,

    There are times when genius - TRUE GENIUS - must be shared !!

    Elle posted this some time ago. I just discovered it and I LOVE it so being me I wanted to share.

    After you read it go to a window, open it and shout to the world, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!" (whispering is OK -but- make it a forceful whisper)


    Elle, I hope you permit cross posting. This essay of yours is so EMPOWERING I just had to share it again with everyone here.....

  27. After my husband left the house, he went to a hotel with a bottle of alcohol. He called a few times and lied to our son about where he was and told him to take care of me and don't be like him. He told me that I deserve better than him and to find someone new and I would forget him in a couple of weeks....and don't collect his body. I asked him to come home as did my the way my son is an adult and handled it all very well. He has a very good head on his shoulders. He reminded my husband of something that his dad told him continuously growing up "if you do something wrong, its better to tell the truth and divulge all the information up front as its always worse when you lie and get caught". My husband say-see I was right. I checked our credit card and found that he checked into a motel and was heavily drinking. He kept texting and calling so I felt comfortable that he was not harming himself. We asked if we could come pick him up but he didn't want us to so we decided that we would stop asking. I finally went to bed after midnight and set up the phones so that he could reach me during the night. I got about 1.5 hours of sleep and tossed and turned the rest of the time. He called me at 4 am and said he just wanted to hear my voice. He went back to sleep and I tossed and turned going over his new revelations. In the morning I went back to the phone as I knew he was still lying. I found more texts when I did the spotlight search to see the first line of previously deleted texts.....I got even more info. When I spoke with him in the morning I asked him about the information and he started to divulge more info. The reality is that he previously told me that about 10 years ago, he agreed to meet with OW at a park and she made advances to him that he was unable to resist for reasons he still doesn't know. He said they met about 4 times which escalated to intercourse once. He said he felt so guilty that he vomited and told her no more even thought she asked for more. They continued a friendship which he kept hidden from me for 9 years and said that her constant yapping on the phone distracted him from his anxiety, one day that he was particularly stressed he agreed to meet her at a park again where they began making out. She received a phone call and was hanging over the back of her seat and playfully pulled her pants partially down and he touched her ass and took pictures which I later found. The truth that is slowly trickling out now that her husband knows, the new texts that I found and I spoke with her last night for 2 hours (although she is also a liar). He said that she was just a friend and then said okay, she was my whore. Nice talk. She previously tried to back track and say that she wouldn't touch that piece of shit. The texts I see include statements like they think about each other 24/7 and you are my sweet man and if I have my you won't be wearing very much and I miss us etc. She said he initiated and he says she did. So for the past year I have known there was more, it was eating away at me and he constantly told me there was nothing more. I told him I was ready to accept more but he needed to tell me the truth. I understand the sentiment that it doesn't matter how often or how many or how long but I find that I need to know the extent of what I am trying to get over. It makes a huge difference to me what his feelings towards here were or are. He previously joked about loving his stuff so he loves his wife. He says it was a joke and that he loves me but I find the new revelations to be too consistent with him only being with me so it doesn't cost him anything. He eventually blurted out that he did it because he wasn't getting enough at home. I am and have been able to accept that that is definitely a part of it but I am not willing to take all the blame for that. Years ago when I gained a few pounds (and was still very thin) he told me he didn't like fat and was complaining about me gaining some weight.

  28. part 2
    Since then, no matter whether I am heavier or thinner (I struggle with my weight and go up and down a lot) I feel like he looks at me and sees fat and is disgusted by what he sees. Even though over that past 20 years, he has changed and when I am thinner is able to tell me he thinks I look great and now tells me all the time that I look beautiful, I still can hear him saying "I don't like fat". I was sexually abused as a little girl and have told him that when he just grabs on to my breasts or goes straight for my genitals, it can stress me out, my body stiffens and I have to battle in my brain by telling myself to relax, its my husband, not my grandfather thats touching me. He previously said that it shouldn't happen as its him touching me but he never understood that. Having said all that, I have since told him that when he is out of the house 6 out of 7 days after work and gone most of the weekend days or evenings with his hobby (coaching a sport etc) and his only concern when I talk to him is if I have food ready for him, I am not exactly in the mood. If he isn't present, its hard for me to want to have sex with him. As I said to him yesterday, you were never here to have sex with. He expected me to want to jump on him at bed time when he got home when I was tired from doing absolutely everything around the house including errands, looking after 2-4 dogs and running our son everywhere and helping with his homework on top of having my own career. I needed some attention from him to be in the mood to want him. We have since discussed this and he sees that he was very selfish and made a lot of mistakes. I appreciate that he can say this but to tell me that is why he had a very long term affair when he was never here is very hard to take. So while we were talking on the phone yesterday morning, I got angry with him and I could hear him drink something. We kept talking and yes, I was still very angry and then his voice became slurred and he stopped talking. I called the hotel to ask them to check on him. They went to the room and he told them he was sleeping. I felt a little better and figured he was just over exhausted from not sleeping. Our son and I tried for hours to get him to respond either by text or by phoning him but he didn't answer. We both thought that he just didn't want to talk to anyone but by early afternoon (the original call when I spoke with him was about 9am) I was so worried that I called the hotel again and asked if I went there would they let me see him and they said they would have to get his permission to let me up but I knew that he wouldn't if he wasn't talking to me on the phone. They agreed to check on him again and call me back but I didn't hear from them for a long time...or what seemed like a long time. I called again and they said they would send someone up again. They tried to get him to answer and when he didn't answer, they tried to go in but he had the chain on the door. They called 911 and the paramedics and police had to kick in the door and found him passed out. He had taken approx 50 sleeping pills with alcohol. They told me what happened and after having to give the police a full report of what was happening, I went to the hospital to see him. I stayed with him for about 4 to 5 hours and the entire time he only woke up very slightly and wasn't able to form any words. He tried to smile and touch my face. I feel guilty and angry at the same time. He has been saying for a year that the only way he would leave me would be in a body bag. I know he says he loves me but part of me thinks he has just talked himself into it. I am very conflicted. I look at him and a part of me wants to make it work and another part is so disgusted and hurt that I can't see how there could ever be a future for us. How can I ever get over the extent of his affair, especially when he says he never loved her and doesn't know why he did it. There was no guilt during that decade.

  29. part 3
    part 2
    There was no guilt during that decade.When I spoke to OW, she said they were really just close friends and that she loves him but only as a friend. I said only friends don't have sex. OW said she couldn't explain it but that her therapist told her that it sounded like he was an escape for her and maybe she was for my husband. The texts sound a whole lot more like genuine loving feelings and I don't know if thats something I can get over. I do know that I need to give it more time before I make any decisions as the pain is so severe....even more severe than the original DDay, I think. Even though my gut told me that there was more, I did not expect it to be this bad and maybe I am to blame for continuing on my own to try to get to the truth. I read the posting that Silentscream posted and it did actually offer a little head is going to take some time to wrap around that and I don't know if its possible for me to deal with this at all. I also don't know if I want to go on without him. I feel like his statement about only leaving if its in a body bag is putting too much pressure on me to have to stay with him so that he doesn't take his own life. I have felt on many occasions that I would like to take a bottle of pills or jump off a bridge so I don't have to feel anything anymore but I don't do it as its would devastate my son. I think my husband is in a world of hurt of his own making which may very well come from unresolved traumas from his child hood that he doesn't want to dredge up with a therapist even though I asked him to. The world is a very cruel place that has many selfish people in but also has a lot of good caring people in it. I just don't know how I fit in it anymore and with whom I want to fit in it with I guess.

    1. Anne,
      Oh my goodness, I can't believe how much you've gone through. And here you still have this amazing attitude that the world has a lot of good people in it. And you're one of them, Anne. You're one of the good ones.
      Here's what I want you to do:
      Ensure that your husband gets therapy. He's attempted suicide. He's made plenty of threats of suicide. He needs SERIOUS help.
      Find yourself an amazing therapist. You've also had a world of pain that you need to begin to heal. You've tolerated a husband who uses your weight to determine your worth, which is absolute bullshit. You are going to show the world how to treat you by treating yourself with kindness and love. You are going to remind yourself every single day that you are beautiful and kind and worthy of love.
      You are going to STOP talking to the OW. This person is toxic but she's NOT your problem. Cut her out of your life like a cancer.
      You are going to give yourself the time you need to get absolutely clear on what you want going forward. Your head is so muddled by everyone else's insanity that you can barely begin to pat attention to yourself. Un-muddle your head by focussing on you.
      You're going to get there, Anne. Keep posting and sharing your story. Bask in the support on this site. Get yourself help.

  30. I can't say enough how much this site is helping me put the mess that goes on in my brain into some kind of order. It helps to sort out my emotions and give me permission to feel them even when I am thinking why can't I just get over it. Thank you again for this site.

    1. I'm so glad that you found us, Anne. Your feelings are absolutely okay. Betrayal is excruciating. And you've been betrayed by people in your life who should have been protecting you and cherishing you. But now you're an adult...and YOU can protect and cherish yourself. Feel your pain and trust that it won't last forever.

  31. Anne I sympathize with u. Him killing himself or not is not on u. He brought this on himself & u sound like ur trying to be understanding. U cannot be manipulated into staying with him so he won't kill himself. Right around day I also thought abt it (I'm sure many of us on this site have) but didn't because I realized I want to see my kids grow up.

    As for his long term affair being ur fault because u weren't having sex. That's pure bullshit. My husband tried that with the 2011 affair which was the first one I found out about. We were having problems in our relationship & not having sex. I said but then u don't cheat. U go to therapy, u talk abt it, u work it out. Then when I found out abt the affair in 2004 when we were having plenty of sex & didn't have kids yet, were newly married & didn't have those relationship issues like no alone time & being distracted from each other by our children, I texted him that I was relieved. I said I'm off the hook. The problem was never me or our marriage. You have to fix u.

    Ur husband doesn't know the specific y but I can tell u the general y: he was bored/depressed/felt neglected, needed some excitement/variety/to feel young/to feel desired. He has to be mature enough to see those motives but learn how not to act on them by cheating. I have felt that way myself but I didn't sleep with someone else.

    As for sex, men don't need foreplay because of their testosterone. Women are different biologically & need foreplay. I wasn't sexually abused as a child & have told my husband on more than one occasion that I need foreplay. Perhaps ur husband needs u to be specific when u r together: tell him exactly what to do like tell me this or kiss me here or take his hand & guide it.

    My h & I are doing well (I think) without therapy but with a lot of reading on my part. But perhaps u & ur h would do well with therapy-- an impartial professional who can help u with all these areas.


    1. Good point, Sam. Sounds like her husband didn't have a clue how to be intimate. Intimacy isn't body parts, it's so much more.

  32. Thank you so much for the support and all the comments throughout this site that have encouraged me to look back. We had some more volatile times. I found out they told each other that they loved each other and after another serious melt down on my part, we have been able to talk reasonably. That was my very worst fear and I sunk into a deep depression. Once both of us were in a place where we could rationally discuss our relationship, he was able to tell me the whole story(or at least what seems like its finally the whole truth). He told me that he never loved her. As time went on and he was agreeing to meet with her less, she became more clingy and started telling him she loved him. This made him very anxious and uncomfortable. He said he told her he loved her just to shut her up so he didn't have to discuss it with her any longer as she kept pressing for him to say it. He began trying to end things and she apparently became a bit nasty and forceful. He kept talking to her but didnt end things and he doesn't know why yet. He still doesn't know why it all started in the first place but after we had a few really good talks in the past couple of days, he says he desperately wants to go see a therapist on his own also in order to figure things out in his head about his past and why he acts the way he has. There are some issues that he realizes that he needs to finally deal with in order to be the man I need him to be and the father that our son still needs. We also discussed how we used to spend time on intimacy, not just sex and it all stopped. He said he sees his errors and will never make that mistake again. As well we discussed my part in it, he wasn't feeling sufficient intimacy and love from me and she was making him feel more wanted then what I made him feel. We both agree that was no excuse for what he did but we both agreed that life took over and we didn't notice that our relationship had taken a back burner to "life" stuff. Thank you all so much for having the courage to reveal your stories and revelations about your own relationship and feelings as it has helped me to look at mine with more understanding. Even our therapist was not able to get me to this place. There is much work to be done in our relationship and I doubt that the immeasurable hurt won't continue to plague my life for a while yet but I do believe we are in a place where the real healing can begin. I will probably still require this site to unleash some of the hurt and anger but I believe I can heal from this. Thank you all

    1. Anne,
      It's amazing that when we get to that absolute rock bottom and our spouse is there too, sometimes we can actually recognize that there's nowhere to go but up.
      It sounds as if your husband had his rock-bottom moment. When the defences fall away, when he's finally able to recognize just what he's done and ask how the hell he got there.
      What so many of these guys just can't get is that telling us the TRUTH liberates all of us. It gives us a starting place. Yes, it might mean the marriage is over. But a marriage built on half-truths and outright lies is a time-bomb anyway.
      You can heal from this...whether with him or without him.

  33. I don't know if you read comments on old posts... but I have been reading this blog in all my free time. Some stories feel like they're directed at me. This one, was overwhelmingly like mine. I'm only 2 months out. I am past shock but hurt every day. I found out about his numerous affairs by looking at his phone and he told me the rest. Propositioning strangers for sex, admitting he was married but I was more of a roommate to him and didn't take care of business. I work overnight as a nurse to support him while he finishes college.... He brought women to my house while I worked, left to meet them while I slept during the day. I never,ever,ever saw it coming. I looked through his phone one night while he slept. Poured through it for hours, then at 6am turned on the bedroom light, threw his phone through the wall and asked, "Is there anything you want to tell me?" I am with you, I went berserk. With all the ways to commit infidelity, I haven't found a lot about men searching it out online. It's usually articles about porn, or friends/neighbors/coworkers that became more. So I'm not sure how to feel about it. He did it for 8 months and will downplay it to them being his "friends". I do get some solace from this blog and I'm so grateful for finding it.

  34. I was a berserker too. My h came home and laid down on the bed and got really quiet when I tried to get what was wrong out of him he said "I don't know if this is working" so of course I said "I still want to be together I love you and we can work through anything." Then he started crying and said "Before you say that there's something else." And I felt all the blood drain out of my head because I knew what he was going to say. "I slept with someone else and now she thinks she's pregnant."

    I lost my shit right then. I screamed directly at him "HOW COULD YOU?!" And on and on. I also remember hitting his arm and asking how it could happen and WTF and is this a joke and my high point was either when I told him to shoot me in the head and just kill me because I couldn't take the pain or possibly when I started just screaming at the top of my lungs without any words. Or maybe when I started screaming "I think I'm going crazy. Am I going crazy? Did I go crazy?!"

    This would have to be the low point of my life. And I would have to say finding out from him wasn't all that great vs finding out myself. Either way feels like your life is ruined and there's no way back I imagine.

    They only had sex twice during one visit where my GENIUS h was "trying to calm things down" (by putting your dick in that skank TWICE?! When you lied to me about seeing your work colleague?! Is that calming something down? Because I must've been pretty calm during this whole drama too!)

    And after I warned him if he EVER had ANY inkling he might want back into our relationship to keep himself back from her until things were more settled he ignored me. Kept hanging out with her using the baby as an excuse and now she's miscarried AND been fired from her job.

    Guess who is broken hearted because he "kinda fell in love" but wants to work on things. It wasn't love. You told yourself you, your new gf and your illegitimate bastard child were going to ride off into the sunset together and when it fell through the best friend/wife is back in spot #1.

    Wait, the unstable, gf with the abusive ex husband and their 10 yo and her creepy hangers on and uncaring parents AREN'T your ideal new family?!


    There will be a LOT of work needed after this one!



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