Thursday, December 21, 2017

When He Silences You

There are a lot of new betrayeds to the site lately. And one thing I'm hearing about a lot is husbands who refuse to talk about the betrayal. They take either (or sometimes both) of two approaches: The husbands who like to believe that they're nice guys insist that they don't want to talk about the betrayal because "it will upset you". They swear that they have only your interest at heart and they see how agitated you get when the topic comes up. So while they would talk about it, they really don't think it's the best thing for you. The second group refuse to talk about betrayal or the marriage because they don't want to talk about it. They get angry and defensive and double down on whatever their story is and continue to insist that you know everything so really, what more is there to say? And why should they have to talk about this. It's "in the past".
Anyone who's read my responses to the betrayeds with husbands like these who come here seeking advice on why they're stuck know that I have absolutely zero patience for these guys. Actually, that's not true. I have the tiniest sliver of patience for the guys in the first group but none for the second. Both groups, frankly, make my blood boil.
The simple truth is: You cannot heal from something that you cannot talk about. A wound requires air to fully heal. Particularly when you're being asked to forgive the betrayal, being also told that you mustn't speak of your pain seems to compound the cruelty. It sounds an awful lot like emotional abuse. It tells you that your pain is less important than his comfort. And, let's not forget, he's the one who created this. Not you.
Unfortunately, you can't force someone to talk to you, especially when he's convinced that he knows what's best for you (though if he's so brilliant at knowing what's best for you, tell me again why he cheated?) and that the best way for you to move through pain is to ignore it and "put it in the past". Which is sort of like telling someone who's been run over by a truck that the resultant broken bones shouldn't be spoken of or treated. Pain is pain and it doesn't vanish because we pretend it's not there. Indeed, pain that isn't expressed in healthy ways will find its expression in unhealthy ways: depression, self-harm, substance abuse...the list goes on.
So what do you do if your partner refuses to discuss what he did and how it has harmed you and the relationship? Well, though this site is known for its support of women who choose to stay, I urge women whose husbands can't or won't talk openly about the infidelity to think long and hard about why they're staying. A marriage in which one partner is silenced is not a healthy one. Staying might keep you married in a legal sense but it's not a partnership nor a friendship if you can't fully express who you are and what you're going through. Women should insist that their partner learn how to communicate about this and any other difficult topics. Often the affair itself was partly a consequence of broken communication between spouses. Learning to communicate will make any marriage healthier and less vulnerable to infidelity.
Those who resist are often prioritizing their own comfort and their own fear at experiencing the shame of their actions. Some, of course, are garden-variety assholes who simply can't be bothered hearing about your feelings. To them, I encourage you to say 'good riddance' and to you, I say 'lawyer up'. But to the first group, who have spent a lifetime keeping their own shame and self-disgust at by refusing to acknowledge it, learning to face consequences and express empathy to others is a crucial step in being a good person and, I promise, a happier person. Wading through the muck inevitably delivers the waders to dry land. Eventually. Insisting that he face his demons is an act of kindness, even if he doesn't see it that way. A benefit, of course, is that he becomes better able to support you in your pain without demanding that you deny it.
What do you say to a resister? "If you want me to stay and learn how to forgive you, then we need to talk about this." I always urge couples to seek out a good therapist to help them. It's crucial to have a safe space where partners learn how to talk about such an emotionally loaded topic with respect and honesty. And it's hard to create that space without an objective and compassionate third party who can also point out where partners aren't really hearing each other. If your version of "talk about it" always leads to recrimination and screaming and hysterics (somewhat to be expected at first but must give way to healthier communication), then he's going to retreat emotionally if not physically. But if you two can learn to really hear each other, then you're on the way.
If he won't attend counselling with you, then go alone and solicit the support of your therapist in how to begin asserting boundaries that keep you emotionally safe.
An affair is a deep wound but it needn't be a mortal one. However, any partner who further wounds you by refusing to acknowledge your pain and allow you to share it is telling you that your heart is not safe with him. Believe him.


  1. Elle
    This is so true.
    I became so frustrated with my STBX lack of humanity, lack of talking to me - yet he'd talk to his whores!!!
    (weak pathetic piece of shit he is....I'm having a "f you day X today- probably triggered by the Christmas time)
    My STBX refused to acknowledge my pain, refused to go back to counselling and really open up. At one point he said something along the lines "I can't handle this, I'm really not feeling good at all". ( WTF!!?? Roll my eyes in disgust and repulsion ).
    He was a little bit of the first cheater you talked about, and a heck of a lot of the last type of cheater Elle.
    I've finally had to let go of someone who is extremely cruel, selfish and immature in so many ways. I was not going to be disrespected continually by this bastard..(and his stupid parents).
    I know he's got major issues and I was willing to be with him and work through them with him....but he doesn't want to heal. His issues go back to his family upbringing/environment, but there's some hold there which I can't get to figuring it all out, and I really think he's just gone too deep in all this mess he created. It's easier for him to live a life of lies than face the truth that he's fucked up and destroyed the family life of me and our kids.
    Despite all this, our separation was due to him - all him and what he did and refused to do, and as much as it nearly killed me, I am still here. Yes I have my bad days, but as a person, I am much better and stronger than him and my moral and family compass is still right on course!
    Him - He's stuck with his lying arse hole self for the rest of his life. Ha...and..
    I really no longer care for him.
    Hang in there ladies. Know you are worth so much more than what he's not giving you.
    Gabby xo

  2. I forgot to say, after I was in my moment of thinking about STBX...which made me angry. I've got it all out now. I'm fine. LOL
    The silence. He used to silence me, control me - "don't say this, don't say that...etc"
    He no longer has any control over me. He no longer can silence me.
    Into our second separation, I have been telling my friends the truth. (Not half obvious he's not around any more).
    To not have someone hovering over you with their control and me just trying to keep the peace - it's liberating.
    Gabby xo

    1. Gabby, That liberation must feel really good. And I bet, looking back, you wonder what the hell you were doing putting up with that.
      I see it a lot -- where women begin to silence themselves over the years to avoid rocking the boat. I grew up in a family where I was the boat rocker, and consequently, I was to blame for everything. Not the addicts but me, the person pointing out that everything was NOT okay. As an adult, I carried that fear of boat rocking into my marriage where his issues and my issues creating a perfect storm where I tried to talk and he tried to shut me out and neither of us listened to each other at all. Without learning how to get over that, we'd still be locked in that struggle or we'd be apart. But it took BOTH of us wanting better. One partner can't fix a marriage.

    2. Gabby I totally get what your saying, I’m guessing now he’s gone you feel like a didferent person. Their negative energy can get you down. I’m so glad you are free from him and his shitty antics Gabby you deserve waaaaaayyyyyy more my love . I can hear your strength and determination Gabby, I love your language it’s nearly as foul as mine when I’m slagging my h off lol your right though a good rant makes you feel better.. keep us posted Gabby so pleased for you xxx

  3. Very good timing for me. Just last week, my h (who has been living away since October) asked me why I kept mentioning things from the time of his affair (last year), saying "I already acknowledged that. Why do you keep bringing it up?" I told him that I need to understand WHY. I will keep asking him...

    The thing I keep 'bringing up' is why he didn't talk (to me/ to anyone) about the pressures and problems building up inside him before/ instead of having an affair.

    At the time, I knew something was wrong, but had no idea another woman was involved. I kept thinking of ways for my h and I to spend time together. I often asked him what was wrong, etc. He kept evading the question and started avoiding me.

    Afterwards, that made sense. His guilt and shame were making him turn away from me. But I still don't understand why he turned away from me BEFORE...

    I couldn't think of any other ways to communicate with him. I really did try everything.

    I wish he had been able to communicate with me with words instead of his selfish actions.

  4. Amen! It’s hard to wade through the affair fog when they are in denial, but stick to your guns ladies. Like Elle stresses, you can’t heal without talking it out.

    The entire ordeal would not happen if the gift of gab was in full motion. Going outside a marriage to feel better is a selfish act. If you cannot talk about it you are beyond selfish!

  5. I went through all of those types of silencing and also just the plain old "it's too painful for me to face...". He was a master at utilizing whatever he needed to in order to make me feel as if I was the problem both during the affair years and after dday. One thing is every time it happens it reminds me of all the years of gas lighting. It is hard for me to separate from those feelings. It is a physical reaction even if it has nothing to do with the affair it brings it all back. I think the hardest thing was not how he treated me during the affair years but what happened post dday. He knows based on what he does and he still used his same ways to allow him to cope. For some reason I thought he might be thinking of me. I was so wrong and did not get how this all would unfold. It hit me 5 months after dday he was still looking out for himself. No matter what he was telling me that he was trying to protect me and other excuses. That was when I turned a corner and started to realize I have to listen to myself. And if I was not okay with it then it did not matter what he told me.

    I know my husband has different intentions now and lives a completely different life but those feelings and experiences are hard to shake.

  6. Elle, this is all so true, and so well-said.

  7. This is so true. When I have to talk about the affairs I know it causes pain for my H, so I do try to choose my words carefully and time my conversation well (But I can't always do that even). I have felt badly before when I've had to pull him out of his "everything is fine now" haze and back into reality... that's just because compassion is my superpower. I knew instinctively that facing my pain was the only real consequence he was going to have (he could rationalize any others). If he had refused to face it and talk about it, I would have had to leave. I do remember being in total disbelief about some of the ways he expressed how hard those conversations were for him. In the very volitle beginning, I remember him clutching his chest and saying, "I don't know how much more my health will hold up to take this." Of course when he said that I was standing there in awe. I hadn't eaten or slept in three days. HIS health? REALLY?? Another time he had a near panic attack when I brought it up and he asked, "what are you doing to me?" I paused and just asked, "you think I am doing something to you? I'm pretty sure we were discussing something you did to me... what did I miss here?" Even through his anxiety and pain, I kept talking. He learned to have our family dog next to him and how to breathe. He needed to do whatever he needed to do to sit there and stay present with me and engage in these difficult conversations. There are conversations we have now that are unrelated to affairs that can get uncomfortable, and I see him breathing and petting the dog. I say all that to point out that Elle is not saying a man must enjoy these conversations or even handle them perfectly to heal a relationship... they do need to keep showing up for you that way and continue to refine their personal skills to handle the pain, shame, and anxiety it stirs up if the marriage has a chance. Just clarifying for any newbie out there. No H LIKES talking about it (at least I haven't heard that). No one says, "Honey. Sit down. I want to talk to you about something I forgot to tell you about the OW. It's a minute detail, but I really want to hear how you feel about what I did." It can feel like pulling teeth sometimes for all of us I think, but refusing to participate is an absolute deal breaker. Being a baby about it is just annoying (and they learn how to handle it better with practice.) Keep giving them lots of chances to practice instead of keeping silent!

    1. Ann - thank you for this. It was certainly the reminder I needed that I need to stop being silent ... it's hurting no one but myself. :) I keep saying "after the holidays" ... but I've been miserable and I know he feels it but unless I bring it up - it will stay under the rug he's placed it.

    2. Thank you, Ann. And great job, Elle. H never likes talking about it, but I keep talking anyway. I went in angry circles until I figured out what I needed to hear. Mira Kirshenbaum's book on trust ("I Love You But I Don't Trust You") helped -- I needed h to tell ME what he put me through. I loved him, I tried so hard to make him happy, and he took us both off the rails. I needed him to convince me that it wasn't about to happen again. If I asked, "What were you THINKING?!" he learned to say, "I wasn't. I wasn't feeling well." He never excused his behavior, but he had to learn to stop arguing with my pain. I started feeling better the day he said, "Biggest mistake of my life." When I asked what I did that caused it (I'd rather take blame than be powerless), he learned to say, "You did nothing wrong. You didn't deserve this. I want to be here, I want to be with you." If you can figure out what you need to hear, tell him. If he's a decent guy, he'll say it, and then he has to live it. Three years and counting. xxoo

    3. I really like your responses, Ann. And I think compassion probably IS your superpower! Thank you for sharing.

  8. I think 24/7... but I am having issues with talking lately cuz it’s truly tiring ... I hate that I have to talk so much about it over and over ... I write too... my husband will write back and answer , but I hate that I still have to think these things. It’s been 2 years...

  9. This is great, and timely.

    I am two and a half year outside of DDay. So we don't talk about very much at all. But occasionally I get triggered, and I might throw him a nasty comment. Which he ignores and we move on.

    The season in general is a trigger for me. That first Christmas after DDay felt like a mockery. He shit on me and our family. How could we celebrate anything?

    We made a Christmas card for the first time this year since before his affair. Actually, he did it. I refused. I'm not fully healed. Some things are still very raw for me.

    He will listen if I press. But I sometimes don't bring it up because a darkness then settles in among us, even if it's brief. Yet I know talking about it is important I think. He says talking about it seems to make me so angry. Ya think?

    I think I need to express again how deeply he has hurt me. That i am forever changed and I live with it daily. There was a small argument about a month ago. I can't remember what it was about. But I must've referenced the affair and he was dismissive. And a dick. We went to bed angry. But the next morning he sat beside me in the bed after walking the dog and bringing me a coffee, like he does every morning. He said gently to me that he never meant to dismiss it. He said he knew I was hurting and it was wrong to silence me essentially. He knows he has to be uncomfortable in order for me to vent. I guess that's good.

    As much as I'm happy that you here are more calm and peaceful moments, it annoys me in a way that it's back to normal for him. Like he didn't miss a beat.

    Does he really realize how lucky he is that I stayed with him after fucking my next door neighbor and friend for seven weeks while we all hung out? Does he realize fully the damage he cause me? The shell of a person I was when it hit? The classroom of fifth graders I failed because I could barely get out of bed? The shitty mother I became because we created those kids together and it seemed false?
    God, when I think about how screwed up I was because of him, I mourn for myself. Jesus, he destroyed me. I know Im surviving, and in many ways stronger as a result. But I can't forgive what he did to me and our family.

  10. Tryme - I get you anger. What do you want out of the marriage going forward? Sometimes it helps to push the anger aside and have the thought that it’s your turn to be selfish. What is it you want from him now? You have every right to ask and demand. If he’s willing to put your needs first, then possibly the anger will subside.
    It’s hard to deal with the triggers cause they don’t get it’s not 1 trigger. It’s the date you thought it was going on, it’s christmas, your birthday, his birthday, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Dday and any damn day in between. He violated you, your commitment to each other and it’s a long road to recovery. I’m at 2.5 years. Still have outbursts, trigger days and I now just blurt it all out. He’s understanding that his 10 month affair took our 17 year marriage to its knees. As we approach our anniversary in the next week, he is very proud to say 20. For me the reset button got hit and it’s 2+. Am I mad that I don’t feel good about 20? Damn straight. I love him, but the quantity of years is nothing. Quality is where I’m at 2+ is small but still a celebration.

    1. Heartfelt, I also feel the same way you do. We will hit the 39 year mark in January however for me, it is just 2.5 years from D-day so that is the reset. I'm only able to look at the day we married as another day in the month of January. Nothing to celebrate now that I know he started cheating on me 3 years into our marriage. The only marriage value I see out of him has been since D-day. So be it.

    2. Heartfelt and Beach Girl-
      That's it exactly! I see it as a reset at 2 years 7 months come December 30th. And yes, triggers can be anywhere at any time. He gave me a really nice Christmas card, acknowledging that this season is hard for me and that he'll try to make it feel special. He knows. He gets it, as much as the betrayer can get it.
      I don't know what I want from him goIng forward.
      Some days this is all good. Others, I want to punch him for what he did.
      I'm hearing rumors that the cuntbag and her dysfunctional family may move south. One can only hope. That will help immensely.

    3. Tryme, yes it’s hard to deal with this pain even 2+ years out. My Dday was the day after my birthday. My birthday will forever suck. I cannot get past the filmstrip of how it played out and I rewind and play it each year. This year I’m turning 50 and two weeks after bday heading to Waco, Tx with my friend of almost 45 years. We are going to live it up, see the silos, harp design, drink a bit ;) and just plain ok Girl time! Probably a Thelma and Louise trip of sorts. I’ve never gone on a trip without the H or my kids in the 20 years. He’s gone on about 6 trips alone...2 to meet his affair partner!
      So hopefully on my trip he thinks about how I may have felt holding the fort down while he was selfish and planned out a future with another. I feel selfish having fun without my family with a best friend. I cannot imagine what on earth would go through someone’s head thinking they can f’around when your family is back home.

  11. A cheater who is showing true remorse will do what they need to do to help you heal. That is how you know the remorse is genuine. Because remorse is only the very first step of healing. If they can't even take that first step, they will never make it on the marathon that is recovery. I am five years out, and I will tell you it does get better. But it never totally goes away.

    One of the first things I did after d-day was make a list of deal breakers. I told him bluntly this was his chance to either prove he deserved me or that he deserved to see me walk out the door. We had a bump part way into counseling. He had held some things back. His whore ever so helpfully revealed a few bombs on social media. At our next counseling session I calmly requested a double time slot for the following week. I announced that I would be arriving with a (long) list of questions and he should be prepared to answer them with the truth. I explained the consequences of any further lying by omission. The counselor asked me why I felt I needed to know everything. I laughed and said....he says he wants me to FORGIVE him. You cannot FORGIVE someone unless you know exactly what it is you are FORGIVING. I told her that I was not offering a blanket forgiveness. There are no "get out of jail free" cards in my world. He could answer or we were done. I think he knew I was at a breaking point because I had reached a stage of calm. I told him the choice was his, and I thanked him for showing me that I would be just fine without him.

  12. My husband talks down to himself for what he did. He doesn’t know what caused it but he regrets it everyday. He said it’s an all day everyday thing that gets more intense when I am upset . Which makes sense.. I don’t feel badly , but I know it’s not healthy I’m beating him up and he’s beating himself up too...

  13. They do this without even a thought to their spouse... I read somewhere that they don't think of us at all... more like an object that needs to be worked around. We are taken for granted, rather then valued. Even if they are sorrowful... it is such a huge character flaw, or a moral flaw or an ethical flaw that allows a man to do this to his family. How does this type of thing change? Not instantly. Its just not possible. It takes time, and no one knows how long or even if its going to happen.

    I read that the deeper the affair the more harm to the family (a husband’s behaviors could become abusive; my husband was emotionally abusive). Also, interestingly the deeper the affair (emotionally) the more resentment lingers for the wife. I think my husband has done all that he can do on his own to fix his mistake (blaaah mistake - forgetting that it is garbage day is a mistake - this is not a mistake lol). He is blind to the root cause of it. The fact that he harmed me and his children only proves to him how much he sucks - verifying every feeling he ever had about himself. I feel it is easier for him to run to another woman then to live with these intense feelings of hate for himself. There are many qualities that caused the affair that are still very real in him and it is scary. They are deeply rooted. How to root them out then? Work with him, support him. It's infuriating. Resentment can push you over the edge. My pain is very selfish. I wanted to die. I was happy to go if my babies would be okay; of course, they wouldn't be and I know that. To be in a position where you are betrayed then must have to help your spouse figure his own shit out while he is still behaving stupidly sometimes is awful. But this is my life now. I must say that to myself every day to try to get past the disbelief I still face... the utter shock - he strayed. He had another relationship. But not because I wasn't enough. Because he is broken. He cannot, absolutely cannot see the value in unconditional love. He has so much love in his life and he has turned his back on it, not because he doesn't want it, he wants it so desperately, but because he cannot see it for what it is. Instead, he sees other superficial garbage as happiness. He refuses to believe otherwise. And so here we are stuck.

    Now to stay or go? I still don’t know. I know I am getting stronger. Like being run over by a bus, my progress has been slow to heal. I believe very strongly in forgiveness and that a person can change, but to move past this blow has been so hard. It has ripped me apart. It has challenged everything I hold to be true. It has changed a part of me. I really loved that innocent part of me. But oh well. That is LIFE. I don't think that war vets have an easy life, I don't think that children who have been abused have an easy life, I don't think that people who grow up in drug, alcohol homes have an easy life. I think there are many people out there who do not have an easy life. I think my life could be worse. And I think its important to count my blessings. 1) he is not cheating now 2) He is treating me well now 3) He is still funny and charming even if I hate him he can get me to smile (and he knows it that prick) 4) This only-had-one-man-in-my-life girl doesn't have an STD anymore thanks to advances in drugs lol 5) My kids adore me. They adore me and I adore them. I am so very grateful for my wonderful energy draining, whinny demanding babies. I was meant for them and them for me. They are my rock stars and my life’s blessings. And if that is all I get for blessings from here on out, well they are enough for me.
    I pray it all works out in the end for my family. I must try to love over hate, I must try to forgive over grudge, I must try to live in the now and be thankful, yes thankful... because it still could be worse... it can even still can get worse. But I’ll survive now. I know that. You all have helped me see that. Until the next rage rant…


    1. Blindsided,

      I continue to experience very similar thoughts and emotions (the bad, the good...) as you describe. Some days, or even some parts of days, are more difficult than others. My anger resurfaces, and I try to find ways to express it. My pain, that out of nowhere pain, still exists. Will I ever not feel that pain? Take a breath, I remind myself. Refocus. I am surviving, like you stated, I am surviving now.

      My children are closer to adults (17 and 15) than the sweet babies you have, but, like yours, they are my greatest blessing. They recently discovered their father's affair, which although I tried to protect them from that knowledge, I feel less exhausted now. I still wish they never knew, and if I allow myself to think on it, I am sickened for their pain of knowing this truth about their father and my husband.

      I'm curled under a blanket on my couch, looking over our living room... the beautiful Christmas tree, the village below it, the wreaths and garlands, the traditional decorations on the mantle... and my eyes rest on gifts to me from my husband. There are so many this year, our 2nd Christmas since d day. I don't need those gifts, no matter how many he continues to place under the tree, no matter how excited he is about them, no matter how often I've overheard him tell our daughter how he can't wait for Christmas morning.

      What do I want from my H this Christmas, or any day? For him to say:
      Please forgive me. I don't deserve it, but I'll keep asking: please forgive me. I want to be a better husband. I want to prove that I now realize what choosing an affair over our marriage was the worst action I could have ever committed. I'll never understand the destruction and pain I've caused...

      I could go on and on. I wish he could talk openly with me, break down his barriers, and really SHOW me he is committed to me and to building a new partnership.

      Maybe his excitement for this Christmas is his way of starting that dialogue. Maybe I should be thankful because, like you said, Blindsided, it could be worse.

      I know I will survive. I look forward to the day when I can say

  14. In the early months my h tried to minimize and he tried full disclosure but he couldn’t understand PTSD. He also tried to silence me until I demanded he listen to my pain. Over and over until I had processed my way. We’re slowly working on us and even though I have triggers occasionally he knows that he can’t and shouldn’t silence me but listen remind me again over and over that he’s not that man he was and he gets it and he’s so sorry. It’s a long hard journey but one day at a time. That said I have been very stressed getting my mother through her hospital stay with her heart attack and I placed her in the rehab center for up to 21 days to see if she’s able to return to her home and live alone. Now I’m having to self care and that includes my heart cath and possibly stints. Even though I’m healthy on the outside apparently the stress of my past 3 years have caught up to me. I’m eating better exercising more but find it difficult to put me first. My cardiologist gave me my wake up yesterday and I feel better knowing that he is looking out for my health. For now I’m going to enjoy my children and grandchildren and relax through Christmas! Hugs and peace to us all and if you’re just beginning your journey please know that it doesn’t last forever that knots in your gut and you can build it strong again! Many blessings to us all!

  15. I have searched and not found a story like mine. My husband cheated about 21 years ago. I left him when he denied it but gave me the "I'm just not sure I'm in love with you" spiel. I moved to an apartment with a 2 and 4 year old. I told him he could come home to an empty house and take care of it. After 2 months, he showed up and begged me to come home. He was stupid, he missed us. I went. He wouldn't talk to me about any of it and we buried it. We recently had our 25th anniversary. I recently began counseling on my own and one topic was this long ago betrayal that still plagued me and contributed to my current depression. I caught the H on a good day and told him how arrogant he was to think he knew best for me as far as that time and that I deserved more. He finally came clean. He managed a restaurant for his parents then and I thought his AP was at the one he managed. It turns out he had a side chick for oral sex there. He went out of his way to pursue someone at their other restaurant which was an 30 minutes the other direction. That one lasted almost a year. I was newly pissed because he knew my assumptions and never corrected me. I also demanded her name. They live in a very small town and I have no desire to make pleasantries with someone who screwed my husband knowing full well that he was married and had 2 little kids. She knew me. I worked there some also. He finally told me who she was. I actually thanked him for finally being honest with me. A week later I asked if there was anything else he should tell me before we move on from this. After he took a run, he came back and told me he had had another affair and a one night stand about 2 years after we reconciled. He had changed jobs and was in training out of town. Once again he pursued her, a younger, single chick. He's a pilot and she was a flight attendant. I asked him if he could choose any better cliche. She even went on a few trips with him. Nice, huh? I'm home with kids and hormones and he's dating. He says he never had any intention of leaving us and she knew this. During this affair, we actually moved to a bigger house and I became pregnant with our third child. I remember him actually being exited about the changes. Little did I know. He says it was burning out by the time I got pregnant. As if it matters! He was screwing around on me while I was pregnant! The last one, according to him, happened when he went with his captain and a flight attendant to a hotel room with a bottle of bourbon. He says the flight attendant pursued him and she was "just so beautiful" he had a one night stand. He thought that was some kind of good explanation for why he had a one night stand. He's usually a relationship guy. I am so beyond pissed. He has lied to me for all these years! I apparently let him get away with it. He says the third child and house were a catalyst for his new ways. He says he has been faithful and loves me very much. I did finally get the apology I should've had so long ago. I can see his fear that I will leave. I told him I have had an exit strategy since those early years. He was very surprised to hear that. We have 2 kids that are now grown and 2 teens at home. We are having some hysterical bonding at the moment. Not from me...from him. He's very afraid. We started counseling but I don't want to go. As far as I'm concerned, he can go and figure out how to deal with me and this mess he created. He views all of that period as one big continuation. I see someone who wooed me back and thought he could have his cake and eat it too. I told him he just needed me to wash him cum stained underwear. He says he didn't expect so much trauma for me since so much time had passed. The holidays really sucked. Now we get to sift through the wreckage again. I hate him. I love him. I have a lot to figure out this year. Please, keeps me in your thoughts and prayers!


    1. Michelle, there a few others on here that are pilots wives. I dated a pilot before marriage and he pretty much pursued me long distance and then told me openly of his escapades like it was a job/lifestyle. I was like, well good for you. This is not for me. I don’t think he was ever told no, and had a hard time that I didn’t want him. Good grief.

      I’m so sorry with what you are going through. Good for you in saying “clean up your head and shit with counseling. He needs to understand what is wrong with him!

      Holidays do seem to suck, no matter what. I have an anniversary during that time and then the whole New Years and reflection trips you up. Keeping you in my prayers. It is nice to have the upper hand, knowing your worth, an exit plan etc.
      it’s a new year to set your boundaries and list of requirements for the relationship. You got this!!

  16. My H was a complete asshole during the affair. Every fight he mentioned divorce. But always made up with me soon after like nothing had happened. I was aware of the affair and would say things about it from time to time but had no proof. He would defend her but not directly as if she may or may not have existed but later would retract his words and say he was just trying to make me mad. After finding out for sure, he would still defend her. He said he did it to make me mad still. Now he talks to me as much as I want but hates it when I make comments to him when I have triggers. But he deals with it. It’s the bed he made and he has to lay in it. And he knows it.

  17. I have been dealing with the infidelity of my husband for 2 years now (including the 9 months of my pregnancy without any support from him) but lives with me and made my life miserable. I had stayed because I was scared and sad of not giving my baby a whole family the way I had back then.

    When I left our apartment to give birth to my baby, I had done the whole birthing thing and sleepless night with after Cesarean pains alone and never bothers him who at that time is having the peak of his extra marital affair to his colleague.

    Finally, as my baby turns 7 months, I have decided to blocked my husband in any means of communication so I can start living my life with my baby. But eventually, he had managed to come back to our lives and I believe that we would be happy only to find out that he is still cheating on me though he does not often meet the girl but I know that their communication is everywhere (emails / phones that i do not have access), fake social media accounts with fake accounts names and the likes. I am loosing my mind and just wanted to share my sentiments to those i had never met but I know have been through a lot just like me :(

    1. Anonymous, I'm so sorry I missed this comment. You are not losing your mind. You are completely sane but dealing with an insane situation. Your husband has shown you exactly who he is. You know that. And I know you wish it was different. But you cannot change him. I hope you'll continue to to move forward in a life without him in it. He doesn't deserve you. And I bet he knows it.

  18. I'm experiencing this sort of thing right now. Stonewalling basically. Anytime I express my emotions or ask any questions in a less than calm, almost "poor him" manner I'm immediately shut down. He hangs up and won't call again for hours, or even a full day. This is so frustrating because when this happens the emotions just bubble up and I stew inside, causing the next conversation we have to be even more volatile (on my part mostly). My D-day is still very fresh. It's not even been an entire full week yet, since finding out- not from him by the way. An in-law let it slip. As he had been bringing the OW around our family. Well, "his" family. I truthfully feel as though I am never going to get through this hurt and anger. Every moment of every day I seethe or cry or both. I'm furious and betrayed by him, ofcourse.. but also by our family.. many of which I had such love, trust and respect for prior to all of this. I'm constantly wishing I could just wake up and this all be a horrible, awful nightmare.

    1. We all remember that horrible feeling of unreality -- that desperate wish that this is all a nightmare and we'll wake up. I'm so sorry for what he's put you through.
      As you're discovering, it's all but impossible to cram those feelings down and pretend that everything is fine. It's also incredibly unhealthy to do that. And he's manipulating you by refusing to speak with you unless you behave in a certain way. Why are you giving him so much power? It should be the other way around right now, as you deal with HIS infidelity. HE should be the one asking you what you need from him to heal from this. HE should be the one supporting you emotionally as you deal with the pain.
      I would tell him that you are not interested in speaking with him at all until he can take full responsibility for the pain he's caused and until he's willing to accept the consequences of that -- which includes you being able to express yourself. If he can't do that, then he's telling you that his discomfort matters more than your pain. I would also insist that he seek some form of counselling to learn how to manage others' emotions (not to mention his own). Do not tolerate this sort of emotional manipulation. You deserve better.



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