Finding Out, Part 6

118 comments:

  1. it was late , i called him and he didnt answer, that was wierd, i tried to remember the last time i called my husband in the last 6 years and he didnt answer, but i thought whatever, maybe he is busy, 30 min latter he called me back saying he will be home in 2 minutes , 30 min he arrived, i remember looking at him and just...something wasnt right, but i thought, crazy me! , and i asked where u been is everything ok? he raised his tone, i was working why you keep nagging me, and it just clicked, he never screamed ,ever in my life ,he is not a screamer ,it was just....soooo wierd. he ate and i stared at him, its like ive seen this before, a deja vu(with my ex boyfriend). he went to sleep, 1 hour latter i took his keys went to his car and there it was...a condom in the back seat, he just fucked a hooker , that happened 3 weeks ago, it doesnt seem real, it cant be me, not me, not the guy who proposed to me on the top of the mountain, not the guy who said he will allways be honest with me, the guy who stayed up all night to fill the house with baloons for our aniversary, the guy who took care of me when i was sick, walking 3 hours in the snow to get to the nearest pharmacy,the guy who is so nice that everyone arround him adores him, it just cant be!! but there it was! i just knew from that moment.....oh...my life will never be the same again, i will never be the same, and oh boy was I naive and dreamy!

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    1. Ally,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. But glad that you found us.

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  2. Ally how are you? You are in the throes of possibly the most painful time of your entire life. We know, we've all been there. It's a side and a situation none of us thought we would ever ever see. I am so sorry.

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    1. im ok, this blog helped me a lot, i didnt decide what im gonna do, he came clean with his other lies, which somehow hurt me more than the hooker...
      I dont know what im gonna do with him, he isnt the man i married.we went to therapy, but i just dont believe him now at all, we dont have children yet, so now im thinking i should get out now, becouse it might be harder latter,we were planning on trying, he is verry broken,and so am i.

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    2. Ally,
      I'm glad this blog is helping. And yes, "broken" sounds about right. I suspect you're learning a whole lot of things about him that you couldn't have imagined. And it feels overwhelming. If you don't know what you want to do then it's perfectly fine to do nothing right now. To just focus on your own healing from this, to treat yourself like a good friend going through hell. Be gentle with yourself. Don't expect too much. One foot in front of the other. I promise this gets better and I promise you will get clearer on what you want to do. Be patient with yourself.

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    3. omg yes, his drinking addiction, porn addiction, his many other lies, his childhood abuse. Its a lot.
      i feel so stupid for not seeing all of it.yeah all i can do now is focus on my healing.

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    4. Ally,
      SO many of us beat ourselves up for being "stupid" for not seeing something that these guys have spent a lifetime learning how to hide. That doesn't make us stupid. It makes them masterful liars. Trusting someone isn't something to be ashamed of. Believing in someone isn't stupid. But, when we know better, we do better. Give yourself a break. You're loyal, open-hearted and compassionate. Not stupid.

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  3. I loved still standing1s blog ...SO inspirational.
    I believed my marriage was on track, believed we was in recovery. I somehow have doubts now.
    My husband of 45 years broke ALL the rules he was NEVER transparent infact lied on for 6 months after D DAY(4 + years ago)seeing the OW.
    I tried SO hard to compete as I saw what was going on as she was a horrible dirty fighter leaving her marks on his body her perfume strongly on his body things she had avoided before I found out.

    He knew I knew what was going on but would hold me and tell me "its YOU I love, please believe that!!"
    In the end I tried and nearly succeeded killing myself !! still she carried on pleading with him NOT to drop her.
    Even rang me several times telling me she was as young as our kids and he loved HER now, told me to F**k off and leave them alone.
    I now wonder if I fought her and should have given up.
    After a couple of years things settled ,he had definatly finished his affair. I admit I was scared stiff when he was out, I hated it and believe it was me being paranoid.
    He has semi retired now and is in the house more has left his work colleagues behind ,hoping to keep in touch .
    He found out he was NOT all that .no one cared.
    My problem is that he never really said sorry never regretted the affair said I had won!!!!!!
    We are older people now and he is not interested in making love to me anymore blaming ED will not try Viagra says its time to stop sex now .

    I still want the closeness I grieve for my love to be accepted.We are best friends(he says)

    He gets SO angry if I even hint at his Affair told me every time I do I will regret it and so I watch my words

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    1. Anon, excuse my bluntness, I'm usually not QUITE as pissed off as I am right now, but your husband sounds like a dick. "you won"? "you'll regret it"? Screw him and his threats. the lying after D-day is incredibly common as they tell themselves that we, the wives should not be "burdened with all the details" when the reality is that they don't want to fess up to what slime buckets they have been or continue to be. but two years out he still gets angry AND days its time to "stop sex now"? What the heck????? GO with your heart following StillStandings1st words, go while you're feeling inspired and strong. You deserve so much better than this. The only way through this would be some therapy to learn how to cope and my guess his that he wont go, but I think you should anyway. because after all of this, we can only change ourselves. big hugs and best wishes to you and much much better days.

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    2. Anonymous, honestly, I doubt your husband is not interested in sex anymore. Sex is a normal part of life for healthy people and even people who are not "healthy" still want sex. If he won't go to counseling now, maybe you ought to consider it because it seems like there is so much left unsaid between you and you deserve so much better.

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    3. Anonymous,
      I'm with Steam. Your husband does NOT get to decide the rules after he cheated and lied and literally dragged you through hell. If he wants you to stay with him and give him a second chance, he damn well better prove to you that he deserve it. What, exactly, have you "won"? A guy who won't do the hard work of figuring out why he cheated on the woman he promised not to? A guy who can't be bothered to care about your desire for intimacy? Hardly a prize.
      If you're not in counselling, Anonymous, i hope you'll find someone who can help you. You need to fight but not for your marriage -- for YOU. You need to make it clear that YOU are the prize -- a loyal, dedicated wife. And if he won't fight like hell for you, then he's not worth that second chance. You deserve so much better than the way you've been treated.

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  4. Thank you for your wise words ,I know you are right, life was such hell for many years yet I believe in my vows made before God ,I made those vows and hate the thought of breaking them.
    I am nearing 70 now yet am told constantly I look in my 50s, not that it matters ,I look after myself, ok I am a bit too heavy but otherwise good for my age .
    Most people told me SHE was a down grade ,a course selfish but over 20 years younger than us!!with a young figure boo hoo.
    I have posted on this site for years ,some may remember me as Polly so could read my history including him showing me porno pictures of them together taken by phone. He told me on D Day it was so I new it all(his version of transparency)lol

    I didn't listen to you as most told me to get the hell out of here, I simply couldn't, I am not a coward just a stupid old woman who loves her imperfect husband.

    I am so depressed because him not wanting ANY intimacy has been so very hard.
    He will hold my hand but kisses are extremely rare as he thinks they get me expecting sex(does a bit)

    We have a good life together a wonderful home etc yet I feel dead inside .I love him with all my silly heart even knowing he cannot possibly feel the same.

    Because I tried to die I have been forced into many therapists hands yet I cannot believe in them because husband and his young lover are both therapists!!!!
    I know they all have to talk to each other as on going training (no names obviously) but I know so many of them it wouldn't be hard to guess.
    He is and always has been unable to show or discuss his feelings ,he puts on a bravado I know he doesn't feel ,he is false to woman ,a flirt, charming ,full of promises.

    THOSE type of women see his charm and think he is a silver fox a sugar daddy. He cannot see its all false because as usual he was told how wonderful he is and gives the best sex she ever had .Which is a laugh as SHE is a serial adulterer herself willing to have sex on the first date.

    He is my only sexual partner and I am finding it increasingly difficult to stop thinking about those photos.

    I love you all my fellow warriors I really do yet I feel broken and depressed.


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    1. Oh Polly! Yes, of course, I remember you.
      You are not a "stupid old woman". But you do NOT treat yourself with the kindness and respect that you deserve. Please, PLEASE get a counsellor who can help you begin to heal from this. Whether or not you stay or go, you deserve to feel good inside. To value yourself. To find a way to take pleasure in your life.
      Start there -- with a counsellor. An honest, ETHICAL counsellor. Just because your husband and his OW are therapists just means that SOME are not ethical. But plenty are. Step by step, Polly. (And, incidentally, shouldn't your husband and his OW be reported to the governing board? They should NOT be giving anyone guidance about how to live their lives.)

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    2. I am so sorry to hear your updates. My husband is in the mental health field. I struggle with all of that too since I was always made to feel that he knew all due to his education, training and professional experience/success. He has been highly successful and at a very young age. His affairs did not have any connection to his work or profession luckily. It was shocking to me everything he did. He has told me he was telling himself no in his head before he started either affair and he knew every second it was wrong. Lots more on that...

      After dday 2 I almost fell apart since that felt like a worse betrayal than dday 1. He suggested I find a therapist. I chose to travel. He and his colleagues are the sought after and most experienced in our region. I knew I wanted to go far away. I found the travel therapeutic and my therapist did double sessions to start. I looked for someone who was licensed and a specialist in betrayal and infidelity. I could tell by their website and the answers to my email questions the person was right for me. I also wanted someone that had no idea who I was or more important who my husband was. Of course my therapist looked him up and understood that aspect of my relationship.

      I do think finding the right person is critical. Do it for you more than anything. I looked at it that way. The therapy time was for me. It was my support. We talked through so much. It was helpful when talking with my husband since he always knows what to say and always keeps his cool. I feel like this is a unique issue I have faced. No one would ever guess that knows him. The flip side the work he has done he says has helped him at work. He thinks it is a huge benefit to those who he works with every day.

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    3. Polly, if you are saying that your husband and his AP are both therapists you can probably report her to the licensing department in your state if you want to. Each profession has a Code of Ethics and they are breaking the code big time. You husband is a jerk. Steam and Elle have given you good advice. I am almost 70 too and I've seen an attorney about this. My husband has towed the line since D-day. I'm not willing to stay with him if he doesn't. I am also in good shape and people rarely guess my true age despite my gray hair. Please, please get help. Go away somewhere with sunshine and warm water for a week. Do anything that will bring a smile to your face. Much love and a big hug.

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  5. Oh Polly, I remember you, damn it! I remember how cruel your husband was back then. He almost sounded a little nuts. (sorry, I don't mean to make fun of your husband, but he ticked me off then and he's doing it to me again!) You have to get into therapy Polly. All the wishing and wanting in the world is not going to change anything. and please remember, you could look 30 or BE 30 and it still would not change your husband. You cannot control him. He can barely control himself. Please start somewhere with a shrink--anywhere, anyone just for YOU. You owe yourself a chance at happiness.

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  6. I met my HB 20 years ago. I was surgeon he worked in finance kind loving sweet. I had a huge social network He was my soul mate. We A rollercoaster ride ensued Parents died, two children and miscarried 3. We became incredibly wealthy. I gave up work to look after 6 houses him and the kids. My son was very sick. Last 5 years were not great. 2 or 3 nights a week I was with the kids were at school out of the city. I was running around everyone said, “How does he do it?” I take a lot of stress and working like crazy on his never-ending projects kept me occupied. I did preserve was a decent school and values for them. We were a very close family. 2 yrs ago he stopped being the No1 in the worked at what he did ... oops ...I had no idea his ego was so linked with his stinky job which we both detested for its stressful ness and the nutcases he had to endure working with It had taken a great toll on him and he always struggled as he really had no friends. He never made friends easily and that was always a burning issue for him. He then hooks up with a friend’s husband H. He showed H the city and they had fun. H was a good guy. Sadly, H is a very bored rich guy who has made his way through all the Russian ladies at the local Expensive Gym. He gave my husband DHEA /a male form of HRT. I told my husband it was a bad idea, so he went rogue. Hitting the gym, popping the supplements lots of Xanax for the shakes. For the first time in his life he was really nasty and aggressive. I knew work was very bad, but I just protected myself and the kids. It was like a train hurtling down the Track. at times he could be himself for a few hours. He lied and locked his phone. It was obvious he was having an affair. I talked to older friends who said I had to get my son thru his college exams and my daughter was being bullied. I was exhausted. So, I waited He’s not smart. I on a family holiday He texted away. I got him drunk. My son asked him to open his phone. l told my son He was just texting some friends nothing serious “yeah mum see dad would never ever have an affair!”. Dad had a little Russian Olga on the payroll. She was sleeping with my crazed botoxed stressed drunk burnt out husband for about 9000 dollars $ pcm Dior bags ,D&G dresses poor woman sometimes for the rent sometimes she couldn’t sleep at night for worry as shed overspent on her amex with 500$ facials. We were living separate lives and I would only ever buy shoes and no couture!” he then sobered up and realized I was actually leaving with his kids, his millions, sanity and my reputation. he pleads begs finishes with her. It was awful and all he could say is “I can’t believe it and it was horrible. I loathe myself. I want to stab myself. I lost my soul and my sanity. “He then told me he had a one-night stand with another Russian. This one was an ex Miss Russia and too beautiful to turn down but she asked for and received 6000$ mirror after the first date and he walked away apparently.
    So, where I am. Bleeding wreck of husband off all pills on antidepressants declaring love for me. I am a good-looking woman and I am a surgeon with many friends I am pretty ok. frankly. He keeps telling me how pretty I am and how nicely I am dressed etc. maybe that’s what He cares about! So, my marriage to an emotionally incompetent successful man has ended. My kids don’t know, and I loved him till the city did rob him of his soul and his sanity I can go anytime.
    On this trip together, we both took so much flack and he betrayed me, He says I have to imagine he was mentally ill and accept he is committed to making our marriage the best ever I have to move on one way or another. Fundamentally it’s hard to respect him. All I can say that makes any sense is that he is human, and I have time. I do however feel in limbo, but I have decided to retrain as a surgeon asap come what may. Staying is really hard. Humiliation is not easy. I am a fighter, but I also feel sick that my best friend is now pathetic. I am so incredibly hurt. Leaving seems the easier road

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    1. I'm so so sorry for everything you've gone through. But here's the thing: you can accept that he was struggling/mentally ill/etc. And still realize that you don't owe him anything other than respect as the father of your children. YOU get to decide what's next for you. And you get to take as long as you need to decide.
      Are you two in any sort of counselling? Are you? It might help you work through the anger you feel at what he's put you through. Whether you stay with him or not, you need to process the pain so you can move forward.
      And he needs to work through his own stuff.
      In the meantime, there's incredible support on this site and a ton of info. I'm sorry you're here but glad you found us.

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  7. I'll start from the beginning. We got married Sept 8 1990. Within 2 months my wife was sleeping with my best friend Nick Early in the spring when Nick and I were drinking he told me about an affair he was having on his wife. He told me she lived up north and when he said he was fishing he would spend the weekend with her. He told me how great she was and all of the dirty details of their weekends together. I pulled away from him and told him that it was wrong what he was doing. We went on are honeymoon as planned in late spring. There was a lot of tension between us I could never explain so I just thought we were a young couple finding our grove. The honeymoon was great we made love for the first time unprotected and were blessed with a son we named after my father. We moved 90 miles away for a job opportunity and fought through the next 3 years. We were blessed with another son she always wanted to fight and was never 100% there. In 95 I was offered my dad's portion in the company when he moved up so I jumped at the chance to move home she was reluctant . The first summer back home we went up north to visit some friends and Shawn confessed he was having an affair. On the way home that night I was telling Debbie about how disappointed I was in Shawn . I looked at her and said how lucky I was. I could see how pushy Nick was and knew he was a cheater. I told her I'm sure he tried to kiss you however I trusted you enough that you would never do that because of how much your dad hurt your mother during his affair. She started bawling. D-Day #1.Now that here she told me she felt relief and I was told mom forgave dad . We left it at that. Our life was always drama . In the early fall of 2009 I started hearing rumbles about her drinking with a guy after bowling and she started coming home later and later. She kept pulling away more and more. I knew something was up but all she did was scream and act out the following May I kicked her out and joined the dark side. Within a month I was dating my old prom date. I knew it was wrong things never seemed right I guess I was just broken. I wasn't secretive but the boy 19 and 17 never met Tammy for a year. . I couldn't do that. During the divorce we started talking and reconnected. After a year and a half Debbie came home 2012 . Things were better and she was still hung up on the Tammy deal.in 2006 she told me about an online friendship with a man.
    Ok I'm done. We had a counselor we used as needed. At this point I dove deep into counseling and a mixed group. Debbie went and never opened up. As i got more healthy and started working through things I started asking the questions that mattered. Then out comes her admitting this summer to a co worker booty call when we were separated. My issue was telling all of her family and our friends I kicked her out over Tammy yet no one was told about Brian and Chris (booty call). Then comes more details on the 7 month affair with Brian from the bowling alley. She would leave a half hour early a couple days a month to stop at his apartment for sex.He was partner number 3 she brought into our marriage. We did some praying and holding of each other. I held her and told her to admit to the men she slept with during our marriage and ask forgiveness . I forgave her. I asked for forgiveness for Tammy and she forgave me. We exchanged breaths said the Lord's prayer. I held her arms so as she couldn't wipe the tears away to let them fall. Then I told her we would shower to wash each other off. I'm usually not this way I just think God was directing me because I'm still in awe what we did. I went to the hope rising conference through Affair Recovery in Austin and she found a counselor that deals in infidelity . Then comes last Sunday. She breaks down and tells me about the 2 month affair with Shane . He would be number 2 in the partner order and the 4th D-Day. This is the worst.

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    1. Oh Tom, I'm so sorry for everything you've gone through. It must feel like a cascade of pain, one after the other after the other...
      I'm glad you're getting help. No matter what happens with your marriage, it's crucial that YOU heal your own heart and learn how to set boundaries in any relationship, including with friends who are engaged in behaviour you can't condone.
      I'm glad you posted here and you'll undoubtedly discover just how incredible the (mostly) women are here. Smart and compassionate and supportive.
      Welcome. But so sorry you need to be here.

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  8. Hello. I am commenting because, while it is the last thing I want to do, I feel that I should break the ice (for myself).
    I found out a month ago about at least a year and a half's worth of web-cam sex between my husband and strangers and some messages that appeared to indicate that he was organizing hookups between locals...?
    We have been married 7 years. We married when I was 19 and he was 21. We were incredibly alike and so in love. We play music together in a band, we hike, we read, we write poetry, we eat farmers' market food... None of it fits together.
    A couple of months into marriage, there was a pornography "issue" which exposed a lot of sexual history that I hadn't been informed of prior to the wedding. I decided to start saving money so I could leave. In time, we worked through it and I allowed myself in a few years to trust him again.
    This year (before I found anything out about my husband), my father died. I felt like I was thrust under water and could only drink chicken broth and sit at my desk vacantly. I was out of it for several months. During this time, I (for the first time maybe every) allowed myself to completely depend on my husband. I told him i thought I was falling in love with him again. Because so much was happening in my world, I had to be completely vulnerable with him. He let me cry into his shoulder, bought me ice cream, read me bedtime stories. I had never allowed him to care for me so much.
    A month ago, I discovered that he was involved in this world of hookups, swingers, and casual sex through craigslist personals. I confronted him with the facts I knew, that he had met with a particular person for sex more than once this year... He said yes he had. I asked him about some of the messages and of course he said he had organized other people meeting up for sex but hadn't actually done it, except for the one I knew about. He seemed broken, wondered how he ended up here, said he had an addiction and wanted help, begged me not to leave him.
    Obviously I'm lost. I don't want to be with someone who could do something like this. I don't have it in me to "comfort" and addict. My father was an alcoholic; my family is full of drug addicts. I think my husband wants to call himself and addict because it draws more sympathy than "I am an adulterer".
    Instead of feeling freed up to move on (I'm only 26! I could take care of myself better than this!), I feel burdened. I feel like it's my responsibility to handle this kindly so he Gets Help and Gets Healed.
    Anyone else find it easier to turn more compassion to the betrayer than yourself? Does it feel like you can only give compassion to one person, yourself or the betrayer? I feel like I owe myself a better chance, but I don't want to give up on someone I love when he needs me the most. I'm so conflicted and frustrated!

    THANK YOU for this site. I have read so much and been enormously comforted already.

    -c

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    1. C,
      Wow. Fast forward a decade or two and you've got MY story. I grew up surrounded by plenty of addicts. I was so proud of myself for "breaking the cycle" and NOT marrying an alcoholic. Because I was so focused on addictions I could recognize, I missed a lot of signs that my husband was a sex addict. However...that's exactly what he is (though 12 years clean or sober or whatever term fits).
      I completely understand your reticence to "comfort". But whether he's a sex addict or garden-variety adulterer, it is NEVER your job to help him heal. That is always and only on him. Because you've spent much of your life surrounded by addicts, my guess is, like it or not, you've learned a lot of co-dependent behaviours, foremost among them taking care of other people, feeling responsible for other people, feeling like it's your job to ensure that other people get the help they need, etc.
      That is co-dependent behaviour. And it is toxic.
      Your job is to heal from this massive betrayal by your husband. Whether or not you stay or leave, this will be your job. To grieve, to process the pain, the eventually move though it in a way that allows you to remain open hearted.
      You said a few things that make me think this will be hard for you:
      That opening up to your husband after your father's death was the only time you "allowed him to care for me so much". Which tells me that you have spent a lifetime not needing people.
      You let down your guard, was vulnerable...and WHAM. You were hit with discovery of this new betrayal.
      Which likely also retraumatized you from a whole lot of childhood stuff. I remain convinced that those of us who grew up in dysfunctional homes of any stripe have a harder time with betrayal because our boundaries are already so messed up, our sense of self is already so fluid and there's often already such a deep reservoir of pain that we've kept at bay.
      So, again, your job is to heal all this.
      In the meantime, your husband needs to be in some sort of counselling. I suspect he is a sex addict. The behaviours he was engaging in are risky. They also sound inconsistent with how he viewed himself. He doesn't sound like a guy feeling dissatisfied with life or his marriage or whatever. He sounds like a guy medicating loss or trauma or whatever via sexual acting out. I'm no expert. But I think it's at least considering that he's a sex addict.
      But...again. That's HIS job to fix, not yours.
      Staying or going is a huge decision that you can make now, or wait. There is not "right" or "wrong" way to respond to this.
      It's perfectly reasonable to take some time to catch your breath, focus on you, and try to find solid ground beneath your feet again. It's also perfectly reasonable to tell him to hit the road and that you need to be alone.
      Your healing is about what you need. Try and be still as often as possible to get a sense of what you need so that you're responding from self-care and not anger or vengeance.
      And hang in there, C. You will get through this. I promise you that.
      Also...I'm so sorry for the loss of your father. And for this betrayal. I lost my mom (25 years sober) six months after discovering my husband's affair and three weeks after disclosure of his sexual acting out (beyond the affair). I know how complicated that mixed up grief is. Be gentle with yourself. Be patient with yourself.

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    2. C, Elle has excellent advice here. I second the importance of focusing on taking care of you. I looked at it I needed to make that my top priority whether we ended up together or not. I felt like my life depended on it. I also knew it was hard to make decisions in the first year. So I really focused on me and what I could control. My therapist helped me create a plan and work through issues. We also role played and I knew what to say to my husband. It was such a huge support. This site is excellent and finding the right therapist for me was critical.

      So sorry you are here but welcome.

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    3. Hello Elle and Hopeful 30,

      I so appreciate your responding (and so quickly). I have thought much of what you said, Elle, and I think it has been immensely helpful to realize that I need to focus on my own healing. I have found out more and more since the initial discovery, and all of it on my own. I am scared to death, I have no words for my husband, and I am floating through life. I am so terrified of doing the wrong thing that I can only do some yoga and try to eat healthy while fulfilling all my regular life's obligations. I feel like the longer I float through life trying to get through day-to-day, the less of a voice i will have when I finally decide what I want to say about it all. Does this make sense?

      I can't look at him; every now and then we have conversations that end with us both hopeful and talking about serving orphans and doing all this good in the world... but I think it is just to make us both feel better about the truth of the situation.

      I don't feel safe in my home. He has been extremely suspicious of me and has followed me when I have gone out with friends and I have caught him at night looking through MY phone. I am so afraid and so paranoid, I feel so violated....

      But I can't help but look at him as a sad child and I can't bear to do anything that would hurt him.

      Is this "codependent" talk?
      I feel like I need a break from my home so I can get out of this fear paralysis. I don't want to do anything because everything feels crazy. But the situation is crazy.

      Sigh. There is no rest for the traumatized mind or the broken heart.

      Thank you again for this site. I feel a community here; it makes me feel less like "why me?" and more like a regular human being who things happen to sometimes, because it is life.

      -c

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    4. C,
      Everything in your post is SCREAMING that you need some time and space to get clear in your own head. All that stuff about what you're allowed to do/feel is old stuff. It's not rooted in reality. You get to leave today, tomorrow, three weeks from now, five years from now. YOU get to make the decisions about what is the right choice for you whenever you want to make it. You do NOT have to wait for the "right" time. The "right" time is when YOU decide it is.
      If you don't already have a therapist, please PLEASE get one. You need someone to help you sift through all of this (plus the old stuff) and separate the healthy from the crazy. And then learn how to set healthy boundaries that keep you emotionally and physically safe.
      That's your job and it's your biggest responsibility. You are not responsible for him, only you.

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  9. These early days are so very hard, with emotions all over the place and the world seeming to spin out of control. Do what you can to breath, hydrate, eat (even smoothies count as food now) and get rest. Unfortunately, the things that help are time, and as Elle suggests, expert help for yourself. If you can hang in there with these you will be able to move forward whatever your future holds. In the earliest days when I was hit with my husband's acting out, I just tried to keep in mind the mental image of planting my feet. It felt concrete and basic, and like something I could manage to do. It was a mental frame of mind that allowed me to focus on myself, start to take inventory of who I was and what I valued, and begin to summon the resources, internal and external, that I needed. So my wish for you is that you begin to be able to plant your feet. So much can flow from that simple step.

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  10. Ugh. Where to start. Married 28 years. Finally empty nesters of 3 lovely children in college that I had devoted my life to homeschooling along with working for the business my H started 20 years ago. The day after dropping the youngest at college in Aug, he hits me with "I'm so confused right now, I love you but I don't know if I want to be married to you." And yes he had JUST turned 50. I was floored. I had made plans for us to travel and spend more time together...more time for sex and fun etc. More time for me to get into shape (3 babies in 4 years takes a toll on a body) and devote myself to my marriage and providing a great place for my family's home base. I asked if there was and OW and he said no. (Technically true for that ONE moment in time). So I asked him what he needed to do to decide. He said he needed time. And then the next day became very clingy and "lets work it out, do a marriage seminar, spend time together, etc.)" So I thought it was a brief blip. I went with him on all business travel (I had retired a month previous from "our" business to allow someone younger and with more knowledge of a growing business to take over my role). Things were awkward, but moving forward. Except he would make comments about our lovemaking. And that I needed to learn to kiss properly (?) and he was critical of me in a way I had NEVER experienced before. Then he took me on a beach vacation for my birthday. Everything was going well until we hit the hotel and...we ended up in separate beds! And he was always "going for a run on the beach" or taking a bath to soothe his muscles. I would say I love you and try to cuddle and he would withdraw. So strange. I didn't know what to think. We got home and he hits me with "still confused, want spark in life, not sure we ever had that spark, don't want to go my whole life without passion" kind of bullshit. I was completely floored. I had to go on a 12 hour drive the next day (I'm sure he wanted me to cave and get a hotel so I wouldn't be home before he left for out of town work) and while driving I called my peanut gallery (5 friends/relatives that have my back) and they all said the same thing: THERE IS A WOMAN. I didn't believe it. I called him and asked him point blank. And as I'm driving, ALONE on a 12 hour drive, he tells me that he had and affair with a woman at one of the plants where his company does installations. Back in March. I lost my mind. I shook the entire time I was driving home to get to him. When I get there I confront him for details. He said a bunch of stuff everyone on here has already heard but what sticks in my head most was "well, for one, the was GORGEOUS. And wanted me. And liked being with me. And was a good person." I asked him why he didn't just stay then. He said things at home had made him think that it was wrong. (There had been a major accident involving all of us and especially me). And then hearing my plans for our future on the way home from dropping the youngest off at school made his fantasy fog of "me not caring" into utter bullshit. He said he needed time to think about it all. I realized that he wasn't considering his future exactly, he was deciding between the two of us. He had to leave the next day to do another install that he said wasn't near her (lies) and I honestly thought things were over between them and I was trying to keep him from going back to her. I asked if he wanted me to go with him and he said no he needed time. So I stood face to face with him and asked him to promise me not to be in contact with her if he really wanted to clear his head. He promised and kissed me goodbye. I wrote him an email about how much our marriage meant to me and that I was trying to understand this midlife fog that was in his head (his words) and all he needed to do was reach out to me and we could figure it out together.

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  11. The next morning I found all of the phone records. He had been out of touch with her from dropping off the kid at school until the day before the birthday trip. And they were in constant contact during my trip. And then I found the messages. "I think she's getting the clue that something's wrong. Any day now it will hit the fan and it will be over. I hope you have room at your table for me at the holidays, I don't know where I will be welcome..." etc. He had promised me no contact and then called her an hour later on his way to her town. I called his phone repeatedly and when he finally answered, I said "if you are with her or have plans with her, don't come home." That all of those feelings of wanting to make it work would be gone. He freaked out and said he wasn't with her and drove straight home to me and broke down. I was at a loss for what to do next. I would find out later during the trickle-truth that he had been standing IN HER HOME when I called WITH HER BODILY FLUIDS STILL ON HIM when he got my call and left her standing in a daze in her kitchen.

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  12. There are more tawdry details that I will post in other areas, but that was the gist of it. He called her the following Monday to cut off all ties and told me before he called and after he called and spelled out everything he said to her. As far as I can tell there has been no more contact between them. I'm just struggling with the aftermath of discovery. Its been 6 weeks. I don't even know who I am or he is anymore. He is broken for what he did. But I find myself coming to his defense to sooth his conscience over it all when he should be busting his ass to keep me from walking. I told him "my kids are grown so my role as mother has changed quite a bit. I've retired from the business we started so I'm no longer employed. And now you want to take the title of wife from me. Who am I supposed to be now?"

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  13. Anon
    Reading this I am SO angry at your husband. He has acted so much like mine in many ways - selfish.
    You need to put in place some boundaries in your marriage.
    I suggest you get counselling for yourself and the two of you. If you can get him to MC, do so, and stick at it, if you want your marriage to work, and you can see him doing the work to appreciate you wanting to stay.
    This affair fog that they are in is real, and can be an extra traumatic experience for you. Please take care of yourself and be around those who support you.
    With your kids gone and you having more time on your hands, may I suggest, if you haven't already, start to find hobbies that you enjoy doing on your own. You are wife, mom, and many other titles. Don't loose sight of the fact you are whoever you want to be. Don't let him take anymore from you.
    Hugs
    Gabby xo

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  14. Thank you for your kind words, Gabby. (Yes I accidentally posted all of that without knowing how to use my "name"). It has been 9 weeks since that day I called him and as far as I can tell, they've not been in contact. He has done and said all of the right things to support me but I'm still struggling with triggers. I did find an amazing counselor and she's helping, but I am joining the ranks of all of my sister on here trying to figure out why I keep obsessing over HER. I've even set up a fake FB page so I can see what she posts. She blocked me, and the H deleted all of his social media and messenger type apps that they used to use. But when they were on their break and he was "trying" with me, he used to get on her FB page (they were never FB friends so I wouldn't get suspicious) and she would post things publicly as messages to him about missing him. She's still doing it and he has no idea, but I know she's still reaching for him. It makes me crazy! And I'm ashamed to say it, but it makes me feel a bit better to see her posting how hurt she is and all of the sad songs etc. Sometimes I feel like he escaped the relationship, but now I'm the one tied to her. Ugh.

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    1. Hi ElleBelle
      (great name BTW)
      It is advised to not keep searching the OW as it is considered to be pain shopping, and keeps you stuck. I'm not the best one to advise on this, as I look to see what's going on. If this is really unsettling you, speak to your IC about it. It wont be a one session fix, so just be prepared, as there will be triggers.

      We look and search the OW for answers, clues, hints of them with our husband. We have been blindsided before, and it's a defence mechanism to be prepared and one step ahead of them in their sick lives. It is just natural instinct to want to protect yourself with knowledge.
      I was with my husband for 30+ years and when he entered his new job, I was "not allowed" to be part of his life there, to come in to the office or meet anyone. So for me, I had to see who these whores are. I'll never know the skanks he had one night stands with or whatever with when travelling interstate on business, but the ones that he's been with for a while I am able to see who they are. And they are not much at all to look at and nothing I would want to be in life - a desperate woman who couldn't get her own man, so is happy to take someone else's husband and break up a family and be with someone who walks out on his wife and children.
      And no need to be ashamed. You haven't done anything wrong. I'm glad your husbands skank is feeling some hurt. I wish her a Christmas filled with more heart ache.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    2. For me the FB stalking was a phase. My husband only had a fake FB to stalk these ow, their friends and family and other women he met. It was and still is disgusting to me. He has said he cannot have a FB page since he gets obsessed with being a voyeur.

      I could not stop checking in on the ow. In addition I was checking his emails, accounts etc. At a certain point I just could not do it anymore. It was eating me alive. But I had to come to the point on my own where I was done. It was such a relief. I never told him I was tracking the ow but I did tell him that I expected him to have perfect behavior. I am not a private detective and will not live my life that way. I do have access to all of his accounts except his work email and voice mail due to doctor patient confidentiality. I know all his passwords and can pick up his cell phone at any time.

      I suggest to you to stop tracking the ow. For me I turned that time into time I focused on me and my husband. There will always be another woman, temptation etc so I really decided all that time and energy was going to go into bettering our marriage. I was so much happier once I got to that place.

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  15. Thanks for the replies, it helps to know that others have been there and that it fades over time. I told myself in the beginning that I was looking for hidden messages to him or any sign that they are reconnecting. And in looking back through her public feed (the posts she intentionally made public for him to see) I could tell by the date of the post what was happening between them. Like when he went AWOL on her during the affair, she posted "their" songs and poems about her hurting. She is doing all of that again now, its just she doesn't know he's not looking. However at one point during their hiatus, when he sent someone in his place to the plant where she works, she blew up her feed with angry stuff and missing you stuff and getting you back stuff. She contacted him the next day and they started back up. Now he won't be able to see any of that anymore, but she can still contact him. And unfortunately (as I've posted elsewhere) he can't avoid going back into the plant after Christmas. I'm struggling with it all ANYWAY but I'm gonna keep stalking until after he gets back from there. I want to see if she blows up again. I feel like if we can successfully navigate these waters, then I am done with the stalking. I do have access to all of his accounts and now I only check them once a week instead of several times a day. So I think its getting better. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

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    1. I'm in the same boat in the sense of backing off checking all of my husband's accounts. Still, I check one of OW's account every so often on FB. She posts the same things you speak about, missing him, being broken hearted, etc. Mostly I try and keep tabs on where she's at, city wise. She lived far away until a recent fire that took her home and has now moved back to our hometown which puts her much closer to my husband and his family with whom she has a long history. :/ Keep at it. You'll get to a point where you don't have to keep tabs on her anymore.

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  16. Hi all. Almost a year after D-Day(s) and finally found this blog. I've been going through all of the blogs on another site that are helpful, but not really a place to vent and read other stories from women. I feel so disconnected through all of this since we haven't told anyone other than two close friends... not even my mom, my best friend. So thanks for sharing - makes me feel not quite so alone.

    Keeping this as uncomplicated as possible, my story begins with my husband and I being teenage sweethearts. He was my first and only. We moved in together young, got married about eight years ago and have a beautiful 4 year old son. About middle of last year, he started acting strange. I had never EVER had doubts about him. He was always my support system, my best friend, my everything. Everyone told me he adored me. So when he began to get defensive about things, like me questioning where he was when he would come home late or me asking who he was messaging at 2AM when I would wake up halfway through the night when our son was a baby, I got spooked. I told a close friend about my feelings... Kind of over a course of about 6 months just kept telling my friend. He had actually had an affair on a partner a long time before and had experience. Finally one night after I unloaded but finished with "I know my husband would never cheat on me..." he told me "Look, I think that too, but his actions are saying different. These are the same things I did when I was cheating." So I started digging. I found he was texting a phone number quite a bit, like hundreds of texts. Kept track of the phone bills. The day after a horrible Valentine's Day where I basically had to force him to go to dinner with me, I went home from work sick and he went out. I logged into his Google account and checked his activity - I found it all. GIFS and image quotes about love and sex and finally finding that someone all downloaded and sent. Craiglist ads he had written dating back to the year I was pregnant with our son, looking for women. Two email accounts I had never known about. A snapchat account (Snapchat is seriously Satan... cheater's paradise IMO). He got home and I confronted him. He showed me everything I thought, including a four plus year sexting affair with someone he told me was like family, someone who he had grown up with. And he promised to stop. About a month later, DDay two happened when I was called by one of my best friends. His wife had come clean about her affair with my husband... sneaking out to meet, holding hands, even sneaking outside when we were in groups so they could make out. It was awful. I felt like I could die. I lost so much weight. I hated myself and clung to him, and then hated him and clung to myself. I stayed strong for my son, kept going to work, all the while battling the most horrendous thing I have ever faced.

    A year almost now. I'm dreading Valentine's Day. Dreading it. And I feel almost a little guilty reading some of the posts here. My husband has, if anything, been completely committed to recovery. Cut off all communication with anyone inappropriate immediately. Gave me all of his passwords and access to his phone. Done counseling. Says he's now suddenly remembered how much he loves me and how I'm the only person he's ever really wanted, and he's changed. And I try to be grateful. And some days are easier than other. And I love him.... but secretly, sometimes, I hate him too. :(

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    1. adriverswife,
      I'm so sorry for everything you're going through. And I'm glad you found us. It's crucial to have some support network to remind you that your'e not alone and that, despite everything, you will get past this. To be honest, for less than a year from D-Day, you're doing incredibly well. A whole lot of us could barely function for that first year. And yes, it's good that your husband is remorseful and supporting you in your pain but that doesn't change the pain itself. Betrayal is excruciating, as you well know. And it takes time to grieve, to process everything, and to begin to heal from it.
      So, our mantra on this site is to be patient with yourself and kind to yourself. To be gentle on those days when you just want to curl up in a ball. To remember that you won't feel like this forever. To find joy -- perhaps in your beautiful boy -- wherever you can.
      Welcome to the club we all wish we didn't need.

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  17. Elle, I appreciate your kind words. Honestly, being kind to myself is probably the hardest part. I go through times where I cant even look myself I the mirror. I pick myself apart... maybe if I was prettier, or not so independent, or maybe if I dressed nicer he wouldn't have cheated. And then sometimes I'm level headed, I remind myself that it's not me, its him I face and own what I could have done better through the years but remember to not take ownership.

    I have a close friend who lost her baby right after birth last year. I asked her how she kept going with all the grief she must be feeling. She gave me the best advice... to face it head on. Give it the time it deserves. Walk right through it and let it happen. It's hard sometimes, the pain gets so rough I feel like my heart is physically breaking, but I keep returning to that point of just keep going, just let it be.

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    1. I am so sorry you are here. Betrayal is really hard. It is a major trauma. I am almost at four years past dday. It does get easier. It is not something that controls what feels like my entire life. It has been a ton of work and we have both learned a lot.

      Please know this has nothing to do with what you did, how you look, what kind of person you are etc. This is your husband's responsibility. Have you seen a therapist at all? That really helped me. I went to one individually. I think it is good to see one individually and as a couple. My husband is a mental health professional so we are a little different.

      I do think you are right. You need to face this and go through the process. For me it felt like a roller coaster. Or things would feel great and something would hit me. For me the first year was about dealing with my questions, pain and figuring out if I wanted to stay. I started to feel better and then at about that point was when I saw it hitting my husband. This took me by surprise. He had ended both affairs on his own 15 months before dday. And I figured that if he chose to have these affairs and broke up on his own by this time he would be fine. But at least for him I realize I think the trauma was even worse. It made sense based on what he did. But this caught me off guard.

      For us too once we set boundaries and I was not really worried about the past affairs or even anything happening going forward we began to focus on our marriage. We have spent a lot of time figuring out what kind of marriage we want now and in the future.

      You are doing amazing. One last idea is have you journaled? That really helped me. I would look back at what I wrote and I could see my progress. Sometimes when you are in the middle of it I find it hard to see how far I have come.

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    2. Your friend is incredibly wise, a driverswife. It seems counter-intuitive but the only way past this is through this. Which means sitting with the pain, really examining the ways in which we're hurting ourselves (judging ourselves, etc.). Here's the thing I try to remind women here all the time -- the absolute truth: He didn't cheat because there's something wrong with you. He cheated because there's something wrong with him. Tell yourself that as often as you need to. You will come to know it's the truth.
      And yes, journalling can be a really powerful way to process your feelings. Write it all down. Even the really really ugly stuff. It can also be a way to measure healing. You will begin to notice that the ugly stuff isn't so ugly, the anger not quite so red-hot. Takes time though. For now, let it all out. And trust that the feelings won't consume you.

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  18. I think journaling is a great idea. I haven't done this yet, but I've been thinking it may be a great way to get out what I'm feeling.

    I haven't talked with a therapist alone yet, just done some couple's counseling. We're pretty tight financially and haven't had the means to do a lot in that regard. I feel like he's in this with me, which is more than I've felt in the past few years, at least. And he's committed to changing. He never cried before this - now, he'll cry if I have a good day, or if I talk about the future. I know he feels remorse. I just struggle with the resentment and insecurities... I have terrible nightmares. Probably one of the worst parts of this all has been the constant nightmares.

    I'm thankful for your responses. This group seems like a good start to feeling like I'm not alone in all this. <3

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    1. One thing regarding journaling is I would sometimes just write a list of words, doodle etc. I did not put the pressure on me to write something profound etc. I used it for what I needed. Also I totally understand financially it can be hard. We also set aside one time a week to talk about the affairs. This was a time we both agreed to and the kids were not home. This was huge. It allowed him to be prepared and I think helped him get past his defensive nature. I also would read what I had journaled the week before. I could see patterns. I would go into the conversations knowing what I wanted to talk about vs just rambling or going off on tangents. In the end I never felt better after those types of conversations. Initially it was focused on the affairs but over time it moved more towards our relationship in general. Then the rest of the week we focused on each other and ourselves. He did not worry that every phone call or every time he would come home from work he would be bombarded. Of course if I needed to bring something up I did but this allowed me to process and determine what was worthy of a discussion. It helped me calm my thoughts and refocus my energy.

      That is great your husband is there for you. I can relate to the nightmares and all the other horrible outcomes from this. My guess is some of it is time but also try to work through it based on what you need. One example was things were going well. But at about 15 months I just slid backwards. I was confused and did not understand. I brought it up to my husband and through our talks we realized that I felt like things were going back to "normal"/pre dday. It was summer, he was golfing more, participating in sports, had a guys trip. Also all things I connected with his cheating.

      One great article which is short and sparked a lot of discussion for us was in The Atlantic. The Masters of Love by John Gottman. My husband brought it home from work and it spurned a lot of conversations. I love all of the Gottman books. I also really liked everything by Shirley Glass Not Just Friends I think is the title. For me I read everything I could get my hands on. In the end I read more than my husband ever had as a mental health professional. Crazy but true. If you are comfortable check and see what books your local library has or buy them used on ebay even. For me when I am taking action I feel better and more in control. I can see a path forward.

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  19. I've posted before about my partner's sexting obsession, which has turned into my obsession. It's all I think about, and consumes my life. I linked his Google account so I see his search history, in real time. Just checked and he's in our storage area of the apartment building, looking at porn and talking to someone on messenger. I had his messenger linked to my phone, but he's since created a new account. Thank God because when it was linked I was seeing his disgusting conversations and photos happening in real time as well. Going on 27 years together, 21 year old child that still lives at home. If my child wasn't here, I'd have no problem kicking him out...I think. He's all I've even known for over half of my life. When we are good, we are good. We have the most amazing sex life, believe it or not. I'm in such denial about what is really going on in my life that it infuriates me. I KNOW this is NOT healthy, I KNOW I deserve better, I know I can do this alone...so WHY DO I STAY??? I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY I'M SUCH A COWARD!!! I'm a force at work, I am an amazing Mother, I CAN DO THIS...SO WHAT IS STOPPING ME??? I'M SO FRUSTRATED!!!

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    1. Anonymous January 8, please make an appointment with a counselor asap so you have someone to process this with. If your partner is not interested in changing his behavior, maybe it is time for you to change yours. A counselor can help you sort this out. Good luck. If he knows that you know what he is doing and he chooses to continue doing it, he has a big problem too.

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    2. I'm with Beach Girl, Please PLEASE get yourself a therapist who can help you unpack why you're staying with someone who has ZERO respect for your boundaries and for commitment to you.
      And maybe you're waiting to understand why you're staying rather than just taking action and walking out the door. Scary? Absolutely. But what advice would you give to one of your children if they were being treated as you are? I suspect you'd tell them to respect themselves enough to leave. You can figure out the whys later.
      But...start by making an appointment with a counsellor who can support you through this.

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    3. Thank you for the advice. I've never gone to therapy because I've always seen myself as being the one that can figure it out on my own. I'm definitely past that point now, I DO need help. Hearing this from you both is validation that I've got to find out why I think I deserve to be treated this way. I do know for sure that part of the reason I stay is because of his mental health issues. PTSD (sibling and parent committed suicide), bi-polar disorder, ADHD, depression...etc. So I feel like I'm his caretaker in some ways. Should a "spouse" feel like a caretaker? Probably not. He's also one of my only friends. I have a sibling that's my best friend, and one other friend from high school...to which I would never divulge any of this information. I'm afraid that losing the one person that I can tell EVERYTHING, will send me into a downward spiral. So conflicted.

      He's fully aware that I know and see everything. He'll stop for a week, promise not to do it again, the cycle continues. So is it lack of respect? Or is it to get my attention? So confusing. Therapy is absolutely necessary. You're both so right.

      The children comment REALLY hit me so hard. If my child EVER came to me with this information I would make it my life's work to get them OUT...ASAP! Thank you for putting it into perspective.

      Going online to find a therapist now. So glad I found this blog!

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    4. Bonus Comment...my co-worker suggested a therapist...the name sounded really familiar. Looked at his "people"...she is on the hit list. Priceless.

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    5. Anonymous,
      I am surrounded by people with mental illness. Daughter with OCD, another daughter with bipolar disorder and a ton of addiction in my family. But here's the thing: they cannot control their diagnosis but they can absolutely choose how they manage it. Medication, therapy, group support, meditation, the list goes on. You are not his caretaker and you're not doing him or yourself any favours by acting as one. You're also not helping your own kids by modelling to them an adult relationship in which one partner acts as the adult and the other acts as child.
      I know it's hard. And I don't doubt that you believe he's your best friend. But that's not how a best friend behaves. Right now, you need to save YOU. And when he's left with nobody to police his behaviour he'll have a choice to make: either deal with his issues or not. But he'll have nobody to blame but himself when his life isn't working the way he'd like it to.
      I don't mean to sound harsh. But you are harming yourself. You deserve better.

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    6. I agree with everything said here. I worked through things with my therapist but what I felt was best was using my therapist as a support, resource and sounding board. My therapist gave me confidence. Setting boundaries and expectations is critical. But honestly my husband and I had been together a long time and much of our life together was habits. So I needed some validation that my boundaries and expectations were necessary and acceptable. Having that support helped me so much. We can all benefit from therapy.

      I think also the most important thing to remember is we cannot control others. Like you said he will stop and start up again. That is on him. He needs to decide if he wants to change and what he needs to make those changes. Then he will show you once his actions match his words. But you cannot make him change or do the work. You can only set the boundaries and expectations for what you you need.

      And I totally agree your kids pick up on things and staying together is not good modeling. The best thing you can do is to get the support and help you need. Who knows where it will lead you but great job taking the first step.

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  20. I have no advice to give, because I too wonder sometimes why I didn't just leave. Just give yourself some grace. You're being beat up enough as it is, right?

    Love is... so hard. :(

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    1. This hurts...I AM being beat up enough and will try to give myself some grace. Thank you. Why do we do it? They would have no problem leaving if the right opportunity came to fruition. Are ALL men like this?????? I'm beginning to think the answer is YES...100%!!!

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    2. One thing I heard over and over through reading and on this site was not to make any big decisions in the beginning or all of this. Of course unless you are in danger that is another story.

      It is a ton of work and exhausting. However there is hope. Many of us on here are in a much better place. I will never say it was or is easy. But as we approach four years since dday I am glad I stayed. I am not sure I would have without our kids being part of the equation. My husband had affairs with two ow over the course of ten years. I mean it really was horrible. It was bumpy, we had two ddays five months apart. The first 12 months for me was really hard. After that things improved. That was when it really hit him. It is a little bit of a roller coaster but we have both committed to working this out together.

      The one thing that I think it was Elle who told me was watch to see if his actions match his words. He has completely transformed his life. He is not perfect but he lives his life with 100% authenticity and transparency. Things are really good. Now we work on our marriage and ourselves individually. This will always be part of our story. Sometimes we still have serious discussions. We both cry at times. But we also sometimes joke about it. I never thought that would happen.

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  21. D day.... Valentine's day. Ugh.

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  22. My D Day was January 6, 2019. My husband of 5 1/2 admitting to me that he has had an addiction to porn for his entire adult life. He is 51 and I am 48. After being encouraged by my brother to not be reactive and take time to seek some understanding around Why, When & Who I spent night #2 seeking understanding. My husband admitted for the first time in his life that he had first been exposed to porno at the age of 6 yrs old and was sexually abused by his oldest brother. In addition, he was bullied all through junior high over his "manly-hood", which caused extreme insecurity. He had never spoken a word of this to anyone until that moment. Having experienced and acceptance of my own childhood trauma, from years of sexual abuse, my immediate reaction was to offer support to my spouse and the Pandora's Box that we just opened. I was still devastated and angry over the lies, I made a promise to my husband that I would not turn my back on him and would be there for him if he opens up, with full transparency, to me and he seeks counseling and therapy immediately, which he did. I asked to see where he was going to look at porn. I wanted to see the sites, so I knew what to block and watch for. I asked if he ever messaged the woman as some of the sites were clearly soliciting sex. He confessed to infidelity. He admitted to 7 women. All the women were with escort services or massage parlors. He also admitted that he had engaged in this behavior throughout his prior marriage of 20 years. My husband has shown a great deal of emotion, remorse, guilt, shame and relief that this is finally out in the open. I demanded all the details from time frames, where, what the woman were like, what they did, and on and on. I asked why, how could I have not known, what was wrong in our relationship, piecing the dates to key times in our relationship, to what is wrong with me? Do I now needed to compete with prostitutes to fulfill what my spouse was wanting? I have self-insecurities with my appearance, weight, hair color, sexuality and blame. The fear of facing my life staying with him was just as bad as facing life alone at 48. How would I ever trust another person. I can't imagine ever trusting anyone! My days would rotate from sadness, to anger, to devastation, withdraw and suicide. Yes, even suicide. We went to church together for the first time in a very long time. I cried through the whole service. After wards I asked my spouse to drive me to every location that he met these 7 women. Reluctantly, he did. As we drove to one scummy hotel and apartment to the next, I couldn't make sense of what would motivate him to go into such places. After the last location, I let my tears out. I wanted him to see these places from a perspective that was not driven by a porn/sex addiction. I wanted him to personally show his wife the places he went to. I wanted him to see the hurt he brought into our marriage, our family and me. That afternoon, I spent the next 7 hours alone in my car. Every thought imaginable went through my mind. It has now been just over 6 weeks. I am still with my husband. Many of you, like me, are likely wondering why in the hell am I staying? In addition to all the thoughts mentioned above, my reasons for staying are this; I love my husband, not what he did. I have to accept that I am dealing with several very big issues. 1. My husband has had numerous affairs on me. 2. My family is completely broken. 3. My husband is now dealing with some serious trauma from his childhood that he has never spoken about in over 45 years. I chose to pray, A LOT. I had to remind myself that when I married my husband, I made a promise to love him through sickness/health, through good/bad times. My spouse broke his vows, my trust and the commitment to me and our marriage. But that does not give me justification to break mine. I know God forgives my husband. So I needed to learn to as well (which I have). And I am now encouraging him to forgive himself, which he has yet to do.

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    1. Wheresthelight,
      I am so sorry for the pain you're in and, yes, the pain you're husband is in. Like you, my husband had an addiction. And the single best thing I heard from my husband's counsellor, when I asked what these women had that I didn't was this: "What those women had, you don't want." You saw yourself the scummy apartments, the seedy places. These are damaged people seeking comfort for their emptiness. This isn't love or anything like it. It is self-soothing.
      Your husband has a long road ahead as he processes his childhood trauma and the guilt and shame from his infidelity. You are under no obligation to stay with him. But whether or not you stay, you have your own pain to process. I am convinced that those of us who experienced childhood trauma are particularly wounded by infidelity. It often re-opens old wounds.
      I hope you are both able to be in therapy -- separately at first and then couples counselling, if necessary. You both need a safe space to work through this pain.
      But here's the thing I want you to know absolutely. There is nothing wrong with you. He didn't do this because of you. He did this because of his own deep pain/trauma. His porn/sex addiction pre-dates you.
      You are enough. You have always been enough. That people in your life haven't valued you is THEIR deficiency, not yours.
      My husband and I are still together. He worked very hard in recovery from sex addiction. He has never relapsed, which makes us both lucky. He has become the man I thought he was all along.
      It's possible to move past this, Wheresthelight. It takes work and it takes time. But it sounds as though you're an incredibly loving, compassionate person. But use that on yourself. Do not manage his recovery from this. He needs 12-step groups and accountability but it is NOT your job, it is his. Your job is to take care of you.

      Delete
  23. Elle,

    Thank you. If you don't mind me asking, how did you get to the point of accepting the fact that the memory never goes away. I feel like I not only have the reminder of the Dday anniversary each year, but I also dread our anniversary. He bought me a car in December, right in the middle of 2 of the 5 affairs. I hate the car as it reminds me that it was a guilt purchase. I can't get away from this consuming my thoughts and draining every ounce of energy I have. I have not had a full night sleep since Dday, Jan 6th. Other than this blog I have no one to talk to. I feel like I have to live hiding this pain so no one will know. Other than our counselor and our adult kids, no one knows. All our friends still see us as the perfect couple, when in reality I want to burst at the seams. The more I read, the more I hear that years later this still effect the effected partner. How did you learn to move past it and trust again? Yes, we are in individual counseling. We have been recommended to start a couple session next week though. We have been in individual for 6 weeks. And he is in a support group as well. For him he is moving forward and putting this in his past. But for me it is very much my present and my future. Thank you again!

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    1. Well...the good news is that the memory becomes just a part of things. Like a square on the huge quilt that is your life. That bad news is that it takes a long time. Years. It gets better incrementally. At two years, I was still a mess. At three, a bit better. At five, beginning to think this was truly behind me. At seven, better still. Now, at 12 years out, I have to think hard to remember how awful it was. It's something I know...but no longer feel. Like remembering a long-healed injury.
      The trust comes back slowly. I saw the change in my husband. I saw how hard he was working. He told me how ashamed he was and how desperately he didn't want to be "that guy" any more.
      Like you, I felt incredibly isolated. Very few people knew. It's why I created this site. Use it as your sounding board, your place to spill your feelings, your secrets. The women here are truly incredible. They will comfort and inspire you every single day.
      Control what you can to help you move forward (ie. I would sell the car, for instance. It's just a vehicle but it represents something painful). Let go of what you can't control.
      And trust that you will get through this because I promise you that you will.

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    2. I feel similar to Elle. I am almost four years out from dday and I can say what she is sharing is similar to how I feel. It is really hard going through this and the first 1-2 years is hard. I also felt like I was on a roller coaster ride. It was filled with highs and lows. Being early on sleep is so hard and that at least for me only made me feel worse. I worked really hard to sleep as much as I could. I slept with ear buds in playing music from one band that always made me feel better all night every night. If I woke up for some reason that helped me. We each need to find our ways to cope. My husband also put a huge amount of his energy into helping me through all of this. He held me a ton. And we said no to everything for at least the first year. We only worked, exercised and took care of our kids. But only at the bare minimum levels. I even stepped back from responsibilities. I find even now I get overwhelmed easier than I ever did pre dday. I am really intentional about what I spend my time on. I choose to focus on things I want to do. I spend a huge amount of quality time with my kids.

      For us the only people that know about his affairs are the ow, him, me and my therapist. No one else. It was hard and I felt lonely. I could not trust him yet I did not have anyone to turn to. My husband urged me to see a therapist after dday 2 which was about five months after dday 1. It was a great support for me.I did not believe in myself and had no idea how to even move forward. I was paralyzed. I could not trust my gut since I felt like I let myself down by trusting him.

      For me even considering the idea of trusting my husband again took time. Elle suggested setting boundaries. My therapist helped me in detail. We had everything very specific. For me that was the only way I could even think about moving forward. Then gradually by listening and then seeing if his actions matched his words I began to start to trust him more.

      I could go on and on for pages. Take time to figure out what you need today. What will help you. I agree sell that car do what you need to. Post as much as you need here. It has been a great support for so many of us. I still say hearing someone say "me too" is so powerful. We are here for you!!

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  24. To all the women on here, can you please share with me how many good years in your marriage did you have before the dishonestly started and the infidelity took place? I am hearing so many success stories of relationships getting stronger and I am wondering if it has to do with the fact that you started off with a solid foundation in your relationship. For me we have only been married 5 1/2 years. Come to find out his porn addiction and inability to have self control has been taking place our entire marriage. My struggle is that he is very remorseful and wants/is getting help now, but had never done so before. I am having a hard time with this "life sentence" I am now facing with hearing, although relationship are stronger, it took years to get there.

    Thank you all for your courage to share your response. This is literally the only support group I have besides my 1 hr counseling session.

    Thanks,
    WTL

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    1. My husband's sexual acting out predated our relationship so though I thought I had a solid marriage, it was entirely built on lies. So...yeah.
      What worked in our favor was my husband's disgust with himself and sincere desire to become a better person. I waited it out, mostly because I was too emotionally wrung out to leave...and by the time I felt strong enough to leave, I no longer wanted to.
      This sucks, WTL. There's no way around that. It's horrible and painful. And there are no guarantees. If you're not ready to leave, then watch and wait. He'll either show you that he's sincere -- you'll see the changes in him -- or he won't.

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    2. WTL, Great advice from Elle. I will say we were together dating and married 15 years before it started. We were really close. He had two affairs over the course of ten years though. That is crazy and a lot to process even typing it now still. I do think we had a lot in common and were really close even through all of this. My personal opinion is though that he always was selfish and pushed the boundaries and limitations of what he wanted to do. He described it as the boundaries shifted at some point in his mind but they were not always there. It is hard to go back in time and second guess the way things were. We are four years out now and I have no idea if I would have stayed without having kids with him or being married 20+ years. I knew for me I wanted to give it my all. And I realized whether I stayed or not I needed to work through what had happened to our marriage. I took Elle's advice and went to therapy. No one else knew or still knows even almost four years later. I kept repeating to myself what Elle said and I trusted the process. My advice is to work through what you need and want in recovery and then moving forward eventually. Even now I try to focus on the present, today. My husband will start talking about the future and even that can be hard for me a little bit. Keep posting and going to therapy. We are here for you!

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  25. WTL it all predated me. Just like alcoholism, this stuff progresses. We had a good 8 years and then 5 years where is alcoholism was progressing. It wasn't a full blown daily thing, but I got to the point where going to parties or gatherings with him set me on edge. I was working a TON so I didnt care to get out there and paint the town red much anyway. It was the 13th year together that it all hit the fan. His alcoholism had progressed quickly to a point that I was done with it. I'll never understand why the discovery of his main whore and numerous others along the way did not make me kick him out then and there. It changed the course of everything. I decided to stay and FIGHT> D-day was was 2013, D-day 2 was 2016 and that was a doozy. Here we are in 2019, he's sober, he's helpful, he's supportive, he's still anxious and still a perfectionist which are not good traits. He's still neurotic, but he puts up with me and knows hes damn lucky to have me. I probably have not had a huge trigger, I would guess, in a year. I never thought I would feel this way. Never thought i would be free of those endless mind movies and wanting to kill him. But here I am. so while i kept an eye on him, i kept focused on me. I'm still me, I too am anxious, I'm a worrier, but I loosened my grip on his recovery and he's doing ok, and I dare say, I think I'm doing better than he is. Hang in there. It's an AWFUL time. But there are millions of us who have survived this. Outside of BWC and a couple of support groups along the way, only two friends and our shrink know--plus after D-Day 2 a couple members of his family (which is too many) it's really no ones business. NO one knows what this feels like unless they have been there. Everyone here knows how much this hurts. I am so sorry, I remember this blinding pain.

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  26. D-Day, June 13th, 2018. We had been rocky for years, he drank and spent the majority of his free time in bars playing pool. I really didn’t care because he was such an ass when he was home. We have two beautiful daughters that I was virtually raising on my own. I was very privileged to be a stay at home mom. I felt so sorry that he was missing it all!!! I was the the busy dance/gymnastics mom running my girls everywhere and loving every second of it! PTA president and volunteered at any school event available. He drank and wanted to be in bars. I was over that scene and had no interest, we were going in two totally different directions. He was never abusive physical but emotionally was a different story. Not directly, it’s hard to explain. He abandoned us but he’d be around for key events, recitals, gym shows and would always help me volunteer at school. It wasn’t all bad but it for sure wasn’t good. Our sex life was almost nonexistent, all because of me. I wasn’t interested in being intimate with a man who otherwise never choose me and didn’t have the time. He was lonely, I was lonely but we still did stuff together and loved each other. It’s difficult to explain. I missed the fun amazing guy I married so I stuck around hoping he’d show back up. Cue the affair!! Female coworker that also had a bad marriage enters the picture. They worked on tons of projects together and were pretty good friends. No worries from me because my husband might be an asshole but a cheater he is definitely not. They went to lunch together golfed in the yearly golf outing together and texted very often about non work stuff. They had very similar interests so I was never concerned. The one time it crept into my mind I shit that down quick. Even if he would she was very much like me, PTA mom and she was very involved in her church, the Sunday school teacher. So, no worries there. I am not religious at all but I had a very false sense of security about her faith. Her and I never personally conversed but would share things with each other via my husband. Recipes, school fundraiser ideas etc. and buying stuff from each other’s kids fundraisers.
    He used porn. I didn’t like it but what could I say. On the day I picked up his phone that he left unattended for the first time in forever, I was shocked!! Opened right up to the texting between the two of them. Hundreds of texts, they texted constantly!!! Confided in each other over their sexless marriages. He initially confided in her for advice but she had none to give. Her husband wasn’t interested in having sex with her even though she desperately. They Sexted too. They’d race to see who could finish masturbating first after exchanging photos and sexual chats. They’d also just text sexually and masturbate to each other’s photos! I confronted him, Affair ended, I contacted her via text. I was so professional too, eloquently degraded her. Sent her husband a letter with copies of her text exchanges with me. Let it slip to her PTA moms, whoops!!! They still work together, it’s excruciatingly painful. Husband is “looking” for another job. I am working on letting it slip to their coworkers. I’ve remained gracious through the whole shit storm. My husband is working hard to redeem himself. He fucked up majorly. He says he didn’t think it was cheating since they weren’t ever physical and he was only doing it to save our marriage so he wouldn’t “bug” me!!!! Not sure I am buying what he’s trying to sell me. He quit drinking and has been 100% decicated to me and the girls. I am thankful it’s here but damn, I do not want to belong to this club! Thank you lovely ladies for letting me release. I could have went on forever!!!! I’d love all and any advice dealing with the current work situation.

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  27. Scorned_Girly I'm so sorry you found yourself in this situation and part of the club you never wanted to join, but you've landed in a safe place. We all get the pain, shock, trauma. We get that "just because" nothing physical happened doesn't mean it wasn't cheating.
    I'm glad to hear he is trying to make things right and rededicating to you and the family. In he in AA or another program to help him stay sober and accountable? Are you in couples therapy or individual therapy? If not Please consider both options. This is a tough thing to navigate without expert, neutral help. Look for a therapist who understands addiction and infidelity. What are you doing to take care of you in this time? What are your requirements and boundaries for him to have the privilege of a second chance with you?
    It's so complicated when they work together.I think the ground rules are minimize contact. As much as possible do not work on projects together. He needs to disclose to you any time they have contact. For real. And if he is going to look for a new job, it requires sincere effort. Step 1 get that resume up to date. Step 2 apply, network Step 3 follow up etc. He needs to aim to get a certain number of applications out. Or work with a headhunter (I don't know what kind of work he does, but maybe that applies). Hang in there. It s a tough road but you will be OK. Glad you got it all off your chest. Come back and let it all out whenever you need.

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  28. Last October, I looked at my boyfriend's phone on a Saturday morning while he was in the shower and we were getting ready to go away for the weekend. I had never felt the need to look at his phone before but something made me do it that day. I opened his text messages and saw 'I fucking miss you' from a number that wasn't saved in his phone and had a little crescent moon beside it. At the time, I didn't know that the moon was so that it didn't show up in notifications but I learned that quickly. I scrolled through the messages from this person, seeing messages discussing our relationship, this person asking for money, discussing THEIR relationship. I couldn't believe it and had no idea what to do. We had been together for about 14 months and even talked about getting married. (We're in our 30s, just to give some context) I didn't say a word about it that day or the week following. I needed to figure out what was right for me, I went to see a therapist during this time for help. These were uncharted waters for me and for our relationship that seemed like it was great before that Saturday.

    I gave myself a deadline of the following Sunday to confront him about it. I felt like a zombie that week, barely managing to just go through the motions of living a life and sleeping beside him in bed every night. In fact, I went to the couch one night after tossing and turning while he was laying beside me snoring away. I waited until the very last minute that Sunday night to talk to him and tell him what I saw. He came clean, that it was his ex girlfriend and I've since learned that he didn't tell me everything that night but told me quite a bit. I made it clear that he needed to choose to be with me or her and that he had to cut off contact with her which he promised to do.

    I found out that he was still giving her money about a month later and then again in December. He had emailed her in October and told her that things needed to end. She went off her rocker after that, found out who I was and started sending me 'waves' on Facebook to which I didn't respond. On January 4th, she actually sent me messages telling me that he doesn't love me, that they had unprotected sex, screen shots of their messages, etc. I replied to her and told her that I didn't have any interest in engaging with her, then blocked her. Then she emailed him saying horrible things about me which is when I found out that he was still sending her money in December. It is also when he cut off communication and the money with her.

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    1. Melissa,
      Ugh. I am so sorry for what you're going through. I'm glad you found us. Whether or not you stay with him or leave, it really helps to have people to process the pain of betrayal with and to help you move forward from it.
      He is still lying to you. So what does that mean for your relationship? If you're not going to leave, then I would urge you to put some REALLY clear boundaries in place around honesty. He needs to understand that keeping things from you, consistently and over time, erodes trust and does even more damage to a relationship.
      This woman sounds toxic. Is he scared of her? Does she have leverage over him? There's some reason he's not just cutting her off.
      If you want to give him the chance to learn from this, then, again, it's time for some rules. I understand the resistance to that. Who wants a relationship with "rules" but these are really just stating the types of rules that go unspoken in most relationships -- honesty, integrity, not sleeping with ex-girlfriends. And what are the consequences of violating those? You get to decide. Does he leave? Do you?
      Melissa, I know this feels like hell but please know you will get through this. I don't know if your relationship will, but YOU will. Keep reading here. There's a ton of info around boundaries and NO CONTACT. I also wrote my book (you can see in the margin to the right) to act as something of a roadmap to getting through betrayal. Hang in there. I'm glad you found us.

      Delete
  29. There's more but the box seemed to message the characters I could post at one time...

    In February, I asked to see his phone because something wasn't sitting well with me and I've learned to trust my gut on this subject. I had told him that if she emailed him, he needed to tell me about it and that if he responded, we were done. When I looked at his phone, I saw an email from her where she called me Miss Piggy as she had previously and another one that was an etransfer request, begging him for money. I checked his sent folder and it didn't appear from the folder or her messages that he had replied. I was angry that he hadn't told me and frustrated that we've had so many conversations about trust yet he broke it again. He said that he didn't want to hurt me by showing me the nasty things that she said about me and I explained that I didn't care what that crazy bitch thought about me.



    So here we are in April, I occasionally check his phone, after asking to see it and it seems that she hasn't emailed him and her number is still blocked. She still posts photos on Instagram with captions like 'Take your time, I'll be here waiting'. He doesn't have Instagram so I don't know if she's hoping he sees it or what. I know that I need to stop checking up on her but like others that I've read here, it brings me a small amount of joy to see that she's suffering.



    He works part time at a golf course between where we live and she lives (she's in the next city over, about 30 minutes) and he told me that he used to go to see her after work, never at night. Now that it is golf season and he's back to working there, I am finding it very difficult because I know that is when he used to see her and how easy it would be for him to see her again. I don't know if I should go back to see the therapist? If we should go together? Or is it just going to take time to rebuild the trust that I once had for him? He told me that he hasn't seen her since before I found out and I believe that but I also know how easy it would be for him to see her and that's what I'm having a hard time with.

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    1. Melissa,
      Yes, that four-letter word, t-i-m-e. But also trust is built by doing exactly what you're doing -- trust but verify. You don't want to create a police state but you need to verify that he's where he says he is, doing what he says he's doing, etc. As for him violating the boundary of not telling you that she e-mailed him, he needs to understand that NOT telling you is harming the marriage. That protecting you means honouring your boundaries, which include total transparency. He doesn't get to decide what you see or don't see. That's your choice.
      Ultimately, yes, it is relatively easy to get away with cheating. And that's where our boundaries come in. We can't control them but we can control ourselves and how we respond. If my husband cheats again at this point, knowing what he knows, then, for me, it's a deal-breaker. He knows who he can reach out to for support, he knows that he can talk to me. If he chooses to cheat, then he's choosing to exit the marriage.

      Delete
    2. I told him after the last set of messages that he didn't respond to but also didn't tell me about that if I find anything else, I'm done and he's gone because I've never given him a hard time when he has told me. I always say 'thank you, I appreciate that you told me' and I don't get mad because he comes forward about it and tells me or shows me.

      I get so frustrated and angry because sometimes I feel like I have to do so much even though I was not the one that made the mistakes. Does anyone else feel that way? I'll suddenly be enraged with him but I try to reel it in, especially when I can see that he's putting in effort to be better when I stop myself and think about it.

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  30. She is a toxic woman and apparently has mental health problems. After the messages she sent him in January and I gave him a book that I had bought to read, he said that he finally realized what I had been telling him, her mental health is not his problem and he is not responsible for her.

    I'm so happy that I found this site, it is what I have been looking for.

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  31. Thank God I found this site. I now know I am not alone. My parents are still married. One was an alcoholic one was absentee...both serial cheaters. It made me a co-dependent adult with commitment issues. I turned down 4 previous marriage proposals because of my issues. Therapy for these things made things some what better. My HB was my first long term relationship. He told me I was different than all the other girls he dated. When he proposed, I accepted because I thought he really meant that. His cheating pre-dates our marriage. When we lived together prior to marriage he would pull disappearing acts (sometimes all night) with weak alibis...I should have left then. Within the first year of marriage: late night outdoor phone calls, "butt dial" calls, countless sexual text messages, apps, pictures, video, pics of his manhood. This has continued throughout 12 years of marriage. When confronted through these years he would make me think I was crazy (gaslighting). It wasnt until Dday at the end of 2017 when confronted with 5 years of screen shots that he confessed. First he said it was because of not enough sex (I guess twice a day is too little), then it was I didnt want to bother you, then it was I was feeling selfconcious so talking to these females made him feel better. All BS. On Dday he told me he couldnt even promise he wouldnt do it again. I found condoms in a car trunk that only he has access to about a year after Dday (up to old tricks)...claims someone planted it on him...I dont know who is more stupid...him for lying or me for staying. Third time I have found condoms in 12 years and same lame reason. Why marry me if you want to live like you are single...you asked me, remember? Im convinced all men cheat...that is why I was so afraid of commitment cause I knew I would get hurt. I told him I will leave once our child graduates...dont know if I will even leave then. I feel so weak...then our finances are so tied together....I think he is with me for financial gain...I always keep a good steady job...guaranteed meal ticket...he has the nerve to threaten me for alimony if I leave. I just hate myself...this is so not me. I thought it was the way I looked or maybe cause I was getting older, but these women he deals with look ghastly and some are bigger in size that what I am. I am looking for a counselor that deals with infidelity to help myself. He refuses to get counseling so I will have to go it alone. I also think, who wants a 40 something year old divorcee with kids? Wasted my whole thirties on this. I am so sad.

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    1. Katrina,
      You are SO not alone. And your story sounds a lot like mine. I was so busy making sure I wasn't marrying an alcoholic like my parents that I ended up marrying someone with a sex addiction. Had NO idea until 10 years into our marriage. His addiction pre-dated our relationship. He used sex to numb his feelings, to avoid intimacy. Sex addiction is often called an "intimacy disorder".
      But your thinking is getting in the way of making healthy choices for yourself. For one thing, forget about whether anyone else would want you for the time being. You would need to be healed from this betrayal before you are healthy enough for a healthy relationship. You'd likely wind up in another dysfunctional relationship.
      So...step number one is to get a counsellor that understands infidelity and, ideally, sex addiction. Because I suspect that's what you're dealing with. A sex addict.
      Two: If your husband wants you to even consider staying with him, he needs to get into treatment for sex addiction and find a 12-step group. I suspect he'll discover a lot of men there like himself.
      Three: Sit down with a lawyer and figure out your financial situation. It might well be that you have to pay alimony but surely that's better than staying in a miserable marriage with someone who refuses to seek help for himself.
      Four, AND VERY IMPORTANT, he didn't cheat because there's something wrong with you. He cheated because there's something wrong with him. And it's HIS job to figure out what that is and make sure he never does it again.
      Katrina, I promise you will get through this. But pay attention to those spiralling thoughts that just take you to paralysis. I've been where you are. And it's hell. But you don't need to stay there. Keep reading on this site, trust that you are stronger than you know, and that you will get through this.

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    2. Thank you Elle. Your kind words have given me motivation to keep going. I have known all 12 years but Dday was still soul crushing. Some days I am OK. Other days I'm not.

      Delete
  32. My boyfriend of 6 years had a terrible year. I feel that I still don't know the truth (if he was or is having an affair or not) but they say if you think it it is true. Ive been seeing a therapist for a year and she thinks from things I said that he could have been but he wont come clean and I don't know what to think. We broke up three times in a year and a half over his bad behavior don't know if his true personality came out or something more going on for him. He is prone to depression. I feel that I need to know the truth but he says he never cheated. There are forms of cheating so not sure what he thinks is cheating. I want to get to the bottom or I feel I am just living on the edge of something. Everyone says he behavior alone is enough to go but I went back to him and he has been acting much better. I just want to know the truth and feel I don't. How can I find out if he wont say.

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    1. Anon, All I can say is my husband of over 20 years had two affairs over ten years. I asked him more times than I can count over those ten years if he had ever cheated on me, had interest from ow, any encounters with women etc. He always looked me in the eyes and said "no, never, nothing like that has ever or will ever happen". I was not naive and we had many discussions while dating, pre marriage, before kids about expectations etc. For my husband he was selfish and did everything only thinking about himself. He was detached and hated his life for a long time. I would not say my husband is prone to depression however I think it weighed him down. He is excellent at compartmentalizing things for sure.

      We have worked really hard together. He has worked and transformed himself. He is such a different person now. In my case he minimized things a lot on dday. He tried to tell me the affairs were shorter and had less contact. He also "forgot" about his fake email, fake FB, craigs list etc. It was true he was had stopped using the fake email and craigs list. I think he lost track of everything he had done.

      I suggest you figure out what you want and need in your life. Then set very detailed boundaries and expectations. He will reveal himself. Take care of yourself!

      Delete
  33. First I have to say thank you to ALL of you, I found this site a week after D-day and it is helped so much. I am 3 month in and I feel like I am in a horrible nightmare and I just want to wake up! We have been married for 8 years together 14 and I found out he has been having an affair with his sister in law for the last 4 years. They talked every day and every night for 4 years. lots of phone sex when our kids were home even, meeting in hotels, and sex at his family's home. I am so lost. I knew we had been distant, I had been a stay at home mom for our kids and when the last ones started school I went back to work, nights, so we stopped talking. I still took care of everything, the house, kids, bills, everything and had dinner on the table when he got home. Honestly the only thing he had to do was wake up and go to work, oh and not fuck someone else- to much to ask I guess! everything else was taken care of for him. So when I noticed things were off the rails a bit I quit my job, found something during the day, started reading books on how to help my marriage, and do more things together and as a family, but it was to late they had been together for almost a year at that point. I feel so dumb, I know this is not my fault it is his, but I just don't know how this is the man I married. How could he do this. He says he loves me and never wanted to leave, but I can not connect the two in my mind, how can you love me and do this? I have taken the advice on here and not made any major decisions about my marriage for at least 6 months and we are in MC and it helps, I will be great for days and all of the sudden I will be screaming at him and asking question like a interrogator. Heaven forbid he stumbles on a detail or something new comes up, then WW3 is on. I have refrained from calling him names for the most part, occasionally idiot or jackass will come out, but well that is the truth in my opinion. I have done all the crying I can do and now I am SOOO angry, I have never been so mad in my life and I do not know what to do with this rage. I am good until I see him and it all builds up from the day. I feel stuck and I do not really have anyone to talk to. Thank you all for listening/ reading and thank you all for how caring you are, you have helped me so much without even knowing it!

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    1. Anonymous, I am so SO sorry for what you're going through. But please know this: Everything you're going through sounds exactly like what the rest of us have experienced. The shock, the trying to figure things out, the RAGE. A marriage expert said that he worries less about the women who are angry than the women who aren't because that anger is healthy -- it's about you knowing you did NOTHING to deserve this. It's about you knowing he violated your trust and your boundaries. The challenge is expending that rage in a healthy way. For me, it was running. I would pound that pavement while fantasizing about beating the SHIT out of the OW and my H. I would then cry (I ran at night when it was dark). Some women go to the gym, others scream into a pillow, some write their rage onto the page. But try and find some outlet and some way to organize that anger.
      Anger can also be a way to "protect" us from the deep deep pain of betrayal so, when the time comes, look behind it. Trust that the pain won't swallow you. You sound incredibly strong and clear-headed. Trust that you will get through this.
      Do you have a therapist? A safe place where you can release that anger and that pain, where you can begin to process it? If not, I would urge you to find someone.
      And then...give yourself permission to make choices when you're ready to make them. Not before, not after. When YOU are ready.
      Set clear boundaries in the meantime. I personally wouldn't allow the s-i-l anywhere need me, my home, my children. She has revealed herself as untrustworthy.
      And...I'm glad you found us. Continue to post. Continue to read. As you likely have already noticed, the women here are incredible. Smart and strong and so compassionate.
      You'll get through this, Anonymous. I promise.

      Delete
    2. Anon, I am so sorry you are going through all of this. Everything you talk about is so familiar. You are right about everything you say. I had the same thoughts. I knew going into marriage it would not all be easy and it would take work. So if there were ever issues I too would read books, suggest ways to improve communication, schedule date nights etc. We are about 4 1/2 years past dday and I will tell you it has been a process for both of us. I think of it almost like a grieving process. And it felt like a roller coaster ride at times. I honestly worked through a lot for the entire first year. I think my husband held it together trying to help me face it all and stabilize. What surprised me is how much he has had to work through and go through figuring it all out himself. Honestly I thought he had it all figured out. He had two ten year sporadic affairs. He had broken things off 15 months before dday. So I thought he must be okay with it all. He has done a lot of work and changed a lot.

      I will say none of his decisions make any sense to me and never will. And he too will tell me he cannot believe he is the same person. It is mind numbing to me but it is what it is. At a certain point I had to agree that I would never understand it and move forward. I did that because he made major changes and it took a lot of time. I listened a lot. I also agree with Elle. For me the most important thing was getting my own therapist. It was so important. Hang in there, post as much as you need, ask all the questions and/or read along. We are here for you!

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  34. Looking for very specific group/person of support. DD 12/22/18
    Affair was long term (4 years) and occurred more than a decade ago.
    At the time, OW inserted herself into our family. Her husband was in school and their relationship was poor. She doted on our kids (then ages 4, 6, 9, 11) and embraced our traditions and acted as a friend to all of us. As secret relationship deteriorated with husband, she basically replaced it with her relationship with me. She and her husband moved away when he finished school (affair ended with some lingering emotional attachments but my husband supported my relationship with her throughout). We became like sisters, talking daily and frequently visiting her (without my husband) as her family grew. Her husband always suspected affair, confronted her every few years and she finally confessed and then they told me.

    My husband and I love each other. We want to be one of the couples that builds a new marriage that is much healthier than the old. Both in therapy, both committed to recovery and healing with LOTS of baggage to unpack.

    I love the OW and her husband and her beautiful kids. I miss our friendship but know serious work has to occur before any kind of relationship can re-open, if ever.

    Devastation isn't a large enough word to hold all of the grief, sorrow, anger and (wierdly, I know) LOVE that I feel for all of us.

    I am looking/hoping someone can point me to others who may have had a shared experience. I read accounts on this blog and hurt for all of you but cannot wade through pain that feels in so many ways different than mine in order to find even one person who has lived something like I have.

    Grateful for your help.

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    1. Limberlost,
      I confess I've never quite heard a story like yours. There have absolutely been women here who were very close friends with the OW before discovering the affair. But I don't think I've ever heard of one who wanted to continue -- down the road -- a friendship with the OW.
      I'm curious why. From the sounds of it, she continued to lie to her husband before finally confessing. So I'm not sensing any big come-to-Jesus moment in which she reckons with the pain she's caused. So...why do you want her in your life? I'm honestly not judging, just curious.
      I will post on Twitter re. your story and see if anyone there relates to your situation. You might also re-post this on a more recent blog post, because those get more eyeballs than these evergreen threads.
      I'm wondering what you want from someone whose experience is similar to yours. Are you looking for confirmation that it's a wise move? Guidance re. how to move forward?
      In any case, I'm glad you found us and thank-you for sharing your story here. I'm sorry for all that you and your family have gone through.

      Delete
  35. Thank you for the non-judgement as I know these are unusual circumstances. To be clear, my relationship with the OW didn't become a sisterhood until late in their relationship. She obviously has some heavy-duty issues that I don't think I will ever comprehend. She was an expert manipulator and deceiver. My husband's issues in allowing her to insert herself are being carefully worked on. I just find that love, whether it is for a husband or for a friend is still just that. It's love. I wasn't wrong to have those feelings and they don't just evaporate because of the betrayal. I'm not looking for any confirmation about my relationship with the OW but I don't know what I will decide about that relationship in the future. But I get to decide that. Me. I had no control of this narrative for 13-14 years but now I do and as I learn to trust myself again, I'll decide what place the OW holds in my life. She is reckoning and in therapy. I'm relieved about that mostly because I want her kids to have the healthiest mom possible.

    Like most of the people here, I want to know that I am not alone in all of this pain and there would be comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one who has had a unique experience like mine. I'll repost if you recommend it but am new to blogging communities in general and don't know how to choose an appropriate spot.

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    1. Hi Limberlost,
      I'm so sorry -- I made assumptions that, on a slower more careful reading of your post, were clearly wrong. Yes, I'll delete the tweet. And I suspect you'll find others here who certainly understand your pain around being betrayed by a friend, as well as a husband. There are, sadly, many.

      Delete
  36. My guess is that there have been women who were very close friends with the OW not only before discovering the affair but before the affair started. In my case, I did not know the OW until after the affair had started. She wanted to see what his life was like and he allowed her full access to it. And then, they both allowed me to invest in a friendship knowing it's origin but trying to keep it all a secret from their spouses. It is messed up for sure.

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  37. Elle, found your twitter post regarding my circumstances and it didn't fairly represent what I am looking for or the details of my situation. Should I just delete my comment above? Are you able to delete your twitter post? I did not say that OW lived with us. I did not say I wanted to reconcile with her. While both of those presumptions make for interesting twitter fodder, feeling like this may not be the venue for healthy healing.

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  38. Elle, thank you for the more careful reading. I spent more time reading other posts and imagine there is literally weeks of reading ahead of me but how do I find some help regarding this now, when the aloneness feels so heavy and the need to connect feels so real? Where should I repost this?

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  39. Limberlost, I saw your post a few days ago and have been thinking on a reply. About 20 years ago, I reached out and became friends...of a sort...with someone I had caught my husband with. Who knows why, but I felt sorry for her. We connected for a while. Ultimately, there were too many mental health issues to deal with and it became tiring. When she stopped calling, I let it go. It helped me at the time. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. It is possible to care about the OW. I was a 70s girl, so maybe it's the "free love" thing lingering in my mind. By the way, my husband and I are still married...42 years.

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    1. dragonspirit57 Thank you so much for reaching out to me. We decided we needed to tell our kids about the affair a few weeks ago and are now feeling the impacts of that in our relationships with them. That and a few other tough events have put me back in the trauma of Dday weeks. Thank you for replying. I'm in my therapist's office more this week and have other friends supporting but most can't really understand that the loss of the OW relationship is in some ways more grief filled than what I am going through with my husband. 42 years...I hope that it has given you at least as much joy as sorrow.

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    2. limberlost Some years have been great, some not so much. We have current issues that need to be worked on as well. It's never perfect, but it's pretty good most of the time and that's really all you can get anywhere. I do love him and I can't really imagine him not in my life. I've always told him, "life with you is a lot of things, but it's never been boring".

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  40. Hi Limberlost. I'm kind of in your boat. My friend hooked up with my husband. I loved her too. I even confided in her when I suspected something was going on and she told me not to worry. I found out it was her on D-Day2 ,12/6/16. It was a gut punch like no other cause it wasn't bad enough that he was cheating and treating me like shit, but he did it with my friend. I called her one day after many months and told her she was as much a POS as he was and told her to fuck the fuck off. I don't regret telling her any of it. She apologized. I didn't care. I don't need friends like that. It's all heart breaking. I'm still with my husband of 24 years. Progress is slow for us because he is slow on taking care of him, but I'm doing good and getting better. I hope I was able to help.

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  41. Hi, I am married with 4 young kids, my husband went away for two weeks on a group holiday with one of our mutual friends. When he got back I sensed something was wrong but he just was distant and confused and not sure what he wanted. I knew something had happened and texted our mutual friend to ask her if she knew anything. She didn't answer all day but I figured they were whatsapping back and forth. When he got home he confessed he had got close to her on hol and they had been kissing and cuddling but swears nothing else. My husband is a really decent man and I think he is as shocked as me that he could ever betray us like this. The thing is I still love him and think I could move past this but he keeps saying he is emotionally numb and I know he feels awful, but he won't say whether he wants to stay or go! He is talking to a counsellor today and booking a joint appointment for us next week. He is being really considerate towards me and obviously feels huge guilt and pain for me but I'm struggling with the limbo of him not knowing what he wants to do. He says he has cut Ties with the woman and it's not about her and I instinctively believe him but just want to know why he's not fighting more to keep us together? Am I just deluding myself? Is it all over? It all hurts so much but what hurts most is his inability to decide what he wants!

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    1. Anonymous, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. It's excruciating and I know it's made harder by your husband's ambiguity.
      Here's the thing: Affairs feel (mostly) good. They are exciting. They make us feel alive. And that's why so many otherwise good, decent people get caught up in them. But it's more often than not that the affair partner doesn't really matter. The affair partner isn't the appeal, the affair is. My guess is that your husband isn't so much enamoured with the affair partner (though he might think he is) than the idea of escape, of being someone else even for a little bit, of the intoxication of discovering someone thinks we're pretty awesome.
      And I suspect that's where your husband is right now. Caught up in the headiness of what might be possible versus what he knows, which is you and your family.
      And it's not that there's anything wrong with you. Not at all. And I imagine your husband will figure that out. I hope a counsellor will talk to him about what affairs represent and why they're so seductive. Being a husband and dad of four kids is probably a lot. I bet there are days that you'd like to just toss it all and go on holiday and be someone else for a little while -- not a familiar wife, not "mommy". But you sound like you have your head on straight and wouldn't do that.
      Affairs are escapes from monotony, from stress, from loneliness, from our sense of mortality, etc. They are fantasies.
      There is no shame in giving your husband the chance to figure this out. In the meantime, i would insist on No Contact with this other woman. She is a threat to your marriage and needs to be excised from your lives.
      I would insist that your husband continue in therapy to figure out why he's risked everything that matters for someone who doesn't.
      In the meantime, I hope you have support too. A counsellor is ideal -- someone who can support you as you process the incredible pain of betrayal.
      What your husband did was wrong, but knowing it's wrong isn't the same as refusing to understand how it can happen. It's your job to help yourself heal from this. It's HIS job to figure out how to better manage emotions and feelings so that he isn't seeking outside his marriage what he can find inside his marriage.
      It's possible, Anonymous, that this can be a wake-up call for him to realize just how lucky he is. It's possible that you two can create a deeper marriage from having walked through this.
      I suspect a lot of his ambivalence/numbness right now might be a consequence of confusion, but also shame and guilt.
      Don't give him a pass on this. Yes, he can earn a second chance but don't sweep this under the rug. It's a signal that there are things that need his and your attention.
      Hang in there. We're here to vent or seek support or ask questions. The women here know exactly what you're going through. We've been there and can light the way forward.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for your reply Elle, I can't believe this is all happening, he spoke to a Relate counselor over the phone today and said it didn't help that much and would probably be better for us to go together. He has actually come back from work and broke down a bit, saying that it's all hitting him and he feels like a total p@#+! and couldn't believe he was doing this and messing everyone's life up, he actually admitted that he has feelings for her and hates himself for it. So now I am devastated....he's had to go and stay with the kids who are at his parents 2hrs away so us coming back with them tomorrow. I just don't know what to do, I feel like I can't live without him! I know I will have to be strong for the kids, but I just want him here and to try and mend things. He says he still has feelings for me and he is obviously devestated to be hurting me and everyone but can't get over what he's done and the fact that he has feelings for her. I'm not a walkover, I feel like a strong woman but I'm so scared if losing him it's ridiculous!

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    3. Anonymous,
      Being scared and being strong are not mutually exclusive. Of course, you're scared. And I don't doubt for a second that you're strong enough to get through this. And to be strong for your kids who will undoubtedly sense something's not quite right (I think it's generally wise to be honest with them in an age-appropriate way, along the lines of "we are going through some difficult things but we're getting help and you don't need to worry" kinda thing).
      And please do make sure you get some help. My therapist honestly saved my life. I clung to those appointments like they were a life raft.
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. But, whatever happens, you are going to be okay. And you are not alone.

      Delete
  42. Part 1: Hi ladies! Finding you was a relief. D-Day was just at the end of November for me and I am still a total mess. It came right after my husband had a stroke. I went on his phone after the stroke to get some contact information off it for people I needed to tell about the stroke. Got way more than that, endless text messages, sexting and videos with the OW. It was like a double whack to the head. We had been having issues before the stroke, but we also had a 23 year marriage that I thought still had a solid base of love underneath. Apparently not strong enough.

    A bit of back story. Back at the end of May, my mother who has normally been a rock of stability in my life, became suicidal. We had to take her to urgent care and then bring her to live with us in our small house. Not an easy situation, but she was my mother and I had to be there for her. We hid all of the sharp instruments in the house and I took time off work to stay with her because she wasn’t stable enough to be left alone. I also have two kids on the autism spectrum. Between the kids and my mom, I didn’t have much left to give my husband at this point. Eventually, my mom went to stay with her sister for a month. In the mean time, someone told me that a friend of my mom’s may have used meth in her house. I decided to have it tested and sure enough, there was an issue. We needed to get away from it all and took a family vacation. When we got back, though, the stress of returning to the situation had me in a bad place and my husband and I got in a fight. My husband has some mental health issues and things happened that I didn’t know if I was ok with. I asked him to go stay with his mom temporarily. We weren’t calling it a separation yet. I thought of it as a chance to give each other space and ponder what had happened and what we wanted for our relationship.

    My mom returned a few days later. Because the meth contamination level was not that bad, the health district let us do the clean-up. It saved money, but was a huge job. All of my free time was spent at her house working on this. In the evenings, I still had to talk her through her feelings of wanting to kill herself. I thought my husband understood that I was totally maxed out emotionally. He had returned to live with us in September to help with the kids and school. I asked if we could wait until my mom was more stable before we turned the focus onto our relationship and where we wanted to go. I know he didn’t like being put off, but I was at my wit’s end. By early November, my mom’s house passed its inspection, she went to stay with my sister for awhile and I was ready to focus on my husband and figuring out our situation. We both took a day off of work and had a great talk about our relationship, how we each expressed love in different ways and maybe hadn’t been speaking the right “love languages” with each other. I was very much encouraged by the conversation and excited to see if we could make changes based on it to improve and work on our relationship. My husband was hesitant. I didn’t get it. I figured what could it hurt to try working on things and then if it didn’t help, we could re-evaluate our relationship, as needed. He tentatively agreed. Now, I know why he was hesitant. While I was off helping my mom, he met a woman online. He told me when we were discussing our relationship that he had made a new best friend online, but insisted it was innocent. He said if it was a man that I wouldn’t care. I tried to be open-minded at the time. Well, turns out they were already way more than friends by then.

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  43. Part 2: I know I was not meeting his emotional needs during this time and our relationship was far from perfect before then, but I can’t believe he took this time where I was so over-burdened already and went and had this online affair. He believes that he found his one true love now, the person who finally understands him and accepts him. And I'm sure that she was willing to get kinky with him by video when I have been too tired in recent years with two special needs kids to feel up to a whole lot of sexual activity. (and now blaming myself in my head for not making more effort in this area)

    Anyway, finding out right after the stroke, I had no idea what to do with this information. Even as I found their messages, she was continuing to send messages, it was a constant all day stream on his phone and seemed like it had been that way for awhile. I decided I would confront her first and ask her to back off some without telling him I knew. She was quite apologetic and agreed. I didn’t tell her to stop because he was still in a fragile place and I didn’t want to throw him off. Finally confronted him about two weeks after the stroke when he got home. I told him I wanted to support him throughout his recovery and wherever life might lead as a result, but he needed to stop this thing with her. He couldn’t do it. I pushed him to choose and he chose her. He is living with his mom now who is helping him with his rehabilitation. He is planning his future with this lady who he has known maybe 3 months. She apparently says she is willing to make changes in her life to be with him. She lives half the country away and is married with a kid. WTF?!?!? As a sidenote, apparently, it will take about a year for their plans to come together to happen. In the mean time, I’m the one spending hours dealing with all the logistical mess of his stroke (insurance, disability claims, etc) so that he can have a good recovery and leave me to be with her.

    These last six months have been brutal. First, I felt like I lost my mom. She was no longer someone I could go to for support. Basically, I had become the parent to her. Then, the fight with my husband that created a tense situation between us and then the stroke and affair, one right after the other. My husband and I have been together since I was 19. I can’t even begin to comprehend a life without him. I feel like my whole world is shattering around me and there is nothing I can do.

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  44. Part 3 (sorry so long!): I know you all have experienced the range of emotions that goes with something like this. I have hated myself for not being a better wife, hated him for what he did, cursed out the ow in my head, raged, grieved, felt hopeless and lost. I think grieved more than anything. He was not perfect and sometimes the mental health issues were a real challenge, but he was my best friend, my love, my companion and he has left me for someone he just met. How do people do this to someone they care about? How can he just want to up and leave his kids without a look back? And you would think the stroke would make him (or her) rethink things? Nope. By the way, his mobility is fine. It was mainly speech affected, but he is improving every day. But it makes having conversations about all of this a challenge. For me, there is so much to process about what happened and about making this huge change to our lives and he is not yet at a point to communicate well his thoughts on it. As his language is improving, though, sometimes I think he just doesn’t want to respond when I try talking to him about everything. So frustrating. I finally got out of him that he is sad about the split, but does not regret his decision in the least. F that. When he had rough times over the years and needed second chances, I always gave them. I go through a rough patch (not of my creation, but it did make me less patient and more irritable) and instead of giving me a chance to make it up to him later, he takes off with someone new. 23 f#ing years and two kids and then this garbage thrown at me. I think right now I am in a bitter moment. I don’t even know what to do with myself. I am not sleeping well. I can barely stand to eat. I hate that I have let him turn me into a total mess when he seems totally calm about it. Thanks for letting me share my story. Any support appreciated…

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  45. Shattered Dreams,
    This is the umpteenth time I've tried to post this. It keeps vanishing when I hit publish -- fingers crossed that this time works.
    I'm so sorry for what you're going through. As you've already discovered, there are many many incredible women on this site -- compassionate and wise and supportive. Please don't hesitate to reach out when you need support. We all know the pain you're in.
    There are a few things I want you to consider:
    First, please get yourself a therapist who can support you personally. You need help processing the deep pain of betrayal. And you need someone who can help you set firm boundaries.
    Second, speaking of boundaries, it sounds like you don't have a lot. For instance, why are you handling the paperwork/logistcis around your husband's disability? That's his job. If he can manage to nurture a relationship with a new woman, he can certainly manage his own paperwork. Don't take on what isn't your responsibility. He needs to realize just what he's preparing to leave behind. He needs to grow the hell up because, frankly, he sounds like a petulant boy who was feeling ignored and sought comfort with another woman rather than a true partner to you.
    Third, you are going to be just fine. You are clearly a strong, capable woman. But I suspect you've spent much of your life taking care of other people rather than taking care of yourself. It's time for that to change. You deserve to be care for and about -- and it starts with you doing it for yourself.
    Shattered, I know how devastating this is. And I'm sorry your husband has his head so far up his ass that he thinks his choices make sense. But I suspect you're not going to convince him otherwise -- I think he's going to learn this lesson the hard way. And by then, I hope, you're going to be well into a new life without him.
    (posting for Elle who is having technical issues)

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  46. He told me he was going to be working late. Hes a contractor who owns his own company so it's not out of the ordinary. I havent heard from him since 8 and its currently 11. It doesnt feel right. His office doesnt have heat and we are I the desert where it gets to about 25 at night. Around 12am he finally comes home and is surprised I'm still awake . I feel off I feel like something's no right. I push it aside and get my cuddles and fall asleep.
    Morning comes and were sitting in bed with our coffee talking and I finally turn and get a good look at him and my eyes land on a mark on his shoulder. My whole world comes crashing down . He fallows my line of site and says hes going to shower. When he comes out I tell him to sit and his face drops . I tell him I've seen the mark. He tells me the line of bs. It's not because of you. It just happened. I thought we could go out to dinner and nothing would happen. I tell him hes going to be late for work. I'm in panic mode my brain has just stopped . I cant react. My children are out side the door wanting morning cuddles. This was 3 days ago. Christmas is almost here and I dont know what to do.

    I was off that day so I didnt have to worry about how I was going to pull that off. I go up and took the kids to school and just drove around after that in the open desert crying, for an hour before I finally couldnt take it any more and pulled over. I'm a smoker and I went thru half a pack in about an hour just trying to calm down enough to get home .
    I'm finally home. And I just curl into a ball until it's time to get the kids.
    He finally comes home and we get to talk. We say we will try and work thru this. Hes so sorry and I told him I wont ever go through this again. If there is a next time I wont try and fix it I will run . I tell him it's going to be hard I'm going to wonder where he is and what hes doing all the time until my trust is back in him .

    I cant sleep, I cant eat. My mind wont stop going and going. I have no idea what I'm doing. It's a few days before Christmas. My children have no idea



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    1. Unknown - I am so sorry for what you are going through. Everything is fresh and raw right now. I am six months out from D day and although we are reconnecting to some degree, I am so disgusted by what has happened that some days I am so sad and angry that my H just steers clear, giving me my space. He knows why I feel this way and understands that it is because of his actions. Tonight he is lingering in a depressed state, it is probably due to my mood of late, but I know that it is not my fault. He knows it is not my fault. He knows exactly where it originates... Make yourself a priority. See a therapist. Don't make any decisions today. It is okay to not be okay right now. (all good advice that I received here) Keep reaching out to this group of amazing woman. Hugs.

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    2. Unknown,
      I just read your story and so want to send you a virtual hug! It is still so recent for me too (end of November) and I connect so much to what you said - not being able to eat or sleep and having to deal with kids and holidays. This sh#* sucks! I hope you made it through the holidays ok. Such crummy timing (not that it is ever good, but seriously!). Hang in there and just figure things out one day at a time. Beyond Frazzled had some good advice. You are not alone...

      Delete
  47. Thank you, Elle! I have started to reply a few times, but don’t finish and then by the next day, my emotions are in a totally different place and what I want to write has changed. Sometimes I want to beg him to change his mind and stay; other times, I want something to throw at his head and tell him exactly what I think of him and other times I just want to curl up in a ball and cry endlessly. But sometimes, I am able to see a silver lining and think maybe this is an opportunity to take a different path and become a stronger, better person. So much of what you said struck close to home. I know that in the past I have let things go with him that really were not ok with me in my heart. But because I love him and I always hoped that with therapy he could work through his issues, I have stayed. Definitely thinking through the whole boundary issue more. And yes, I probably have done too much of caring for others and not thinking of myself. Even my jobs over the years follow that pattern. Fortunately I have found a good therapist. I hope I have the strength to find a healthy path out of this and that my non-logical love for him and, yes, fear of being alone don’t take over my actions too much. I’m realizing I have a neediness for love and he was good at expressing love in a way that I didn’t have as a kid. I know that I need to grow as a person and be able to find that I can give myself love and not depend on others to fill me up in that way.

    We managed to pull off a Christmas with the kids pretending everything was normal. All I kept thinking was that this likely will be the last time we spend the holidays all together as a family. Almost lost it a few times because it just broke my heart so much. This year has been such crap. Need to find my sources of inspiration to lead me into a better place in 2020 and re-envision who I am and what I want to be. Thanks, again, for your thoughts and support!

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    Replies
    1. Shattered Dreams,
      You WILL get through this. Let yourself cry when you need to. My therapist once told me there was an old story that we all have a finite number of tears to shed in our lifetimes so cry away. You won't cry forever.
      And I'm so glad you've found a good therapist. That support is crucial. And the women here, as you've already discovered, are incredible and can light your way forward. Whatever choice you make, ensure it's one that YOU are comfortable with (I know...sometimes the choices range from awful to awful-er).
      And give yourself time. This is a long road. You will have days when it feels as though you're going backward. You're not. Trust yourself, trust the healing process. Be kind and gentle with yourself.

      Delete
  48. Shattered Dreams - I am so sorry for what you are going through. I can relate in a way... of course all of us here can relate, but my H was looking for his escape while I was holding everything together. Him, out of work. Me, trying to make ends meet. His mother ill, me trying to make sure she was taken care of. Groceries, Doctor appts, whatever she needed. Then, just as I thought that we were finally turning over a new leaf - him back to work and carrying his share of the finances - he starts "hanging out" with our new neighbor. She was such a wreck that I didn't worry about it. (what the hell could she offer that I couldn't) And then, in June of this year I find out that they had been screwing around for the last 6 months. Before that I had expressed concern that it appeared inappropriate and that he needed to consider that because neighbors will talk... but he assured me that they only hung out in the garage when the garage door was open and they never came into the house. So, again I ignored my instincts and trusted him. We trust them because we truly believe that we "know" what dedicated men they are. Then we feel like asses for not knowing better. My H also has mental health challenges. He has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder which brings its own challenges. We have been together since we were teens and would have celebrated our 30 year anniversary in August. (I spent the day alone, I took a hike and journaled.) We are selling the house - new surroundings, new beginnings, away from her - he has come to the conclusion (after much reflection) that he was disillusioned about her intentions. Of course it was exciting to receive attention from a much younger woman, but he now recognizes that it was not genuine, but two broken people looking for escape. I am in a panic about moving to a new place together while we are still in such an unsure place ourselves. I also hope and pray that the move will help us to find our calm so that we can determine our best route from here.

    I am hopeful for you, taking on the roll of self care is such an important step. I had been doing so much for him and for everyone else that I was last on the list. The morning after D day, I told him that he had better get up and deal with his own s#!t because I was not responsible for taking care of him any longer. If he wanted to screw around, he could leave and take care of himself. (granted he had not just had a stroke, I can only imagine how you must have felt that you had no choice but to take care of everything.) I catch myself falling back into the role of caregiver and have to immediately step back and remind both of us that it is not my role to “mother” him. He is an adult and needs to act like one. I have been surprised (and pissed off quite frankly) that he is stepping into that adult role. Why did it take this for me to insist on living with an adult?!

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  49. Beyond Frazzled,
    Thank you for sharing your story. Every story helps so much to decrease the feeling of being so alone. Because it feels so f#ing lonely right now. I guess it is that even though friends and others can try to be there for you, only you can feel the intense pain you are feeling.

    Good for you for pushing your husband to take on an adult role. And I totally get being pissed off seeing him being able to step into those shoes. I think one thing I am afraid of if my husband does hitch up with OW and her daughter is that I will see that come out of him. I pushed him to be a more full partner and father for so many years and he didn't step up to the plate. If this new person brings that out in him, what the hell does that say? Were our kids not worth the effort but her kid is? Was I not worth the effort, but this new more exciting person, his new "soulmate" is? Anyway, I will think of you and try to remind myself when I start trying to do things for him that I am not his mother or caretaker. I offered to be there to take care of him after the stroke, but he made the choice to pursue the OW and so that should have adult consequences. The biggest trick for me is that some of the things he needs help with tie into finances. If he doesn't get everything set up just right with disability payments and such, I'm financially screwed, too. I only work part-time because I wanted to be there for the kids and so I am not in any kind of place of financial independence yet. Means I have a fine line to walk. As I am sure most women on here ask themselves, how the hell did this suddenly become my life? It was screwy enough before dealing with the mental health issues.

    I feel for you having to do something like buy a new house together in the aftermath of everything. I will hope for you that it offers some sort of new start or fresh outlook, or at least better clarity for what you each do want.

    Have to try to go find that elusive inner strength to be there for my kids... Since they don't know yet, sometimes I wonder if they can tell what a mess I am or not. I'm sure I at least seem like a space case to them lately. Oh well. Trying to give myself some grace for not being the parent I would like to be right now.

    Thanks, again, for the reply.

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  50. Shattered Dreams,
    Thank you for your response too. If your husband chooses to "step it up" for this new relationship, I would expect it will be temporary. It will have nothing to do with you or your family not being enough. He is trying to prove to someone new that he is enough. They are masters of deception. Until they snag their prey and settle into their own comfort. Mental illness is enough to cope with, add deception and betrayal on top of that and it is more than we can bare.

    Our house went under contract this week and I just about had a nervous break down. We were driving home from looking at a house that was darling when I realized it was too close to our current location (and the OW). My H sensed it too - he knew there was a problem as my demeanor darkened. I was able to get into my therapist the next day. We explored what I was feeling and that evening I expressed to my H what I was feeling, and he responded more appropriately than I expected... He knew that my wounds need to be healed and that they are the cause of his actions. Needless to say, we did not put an offer on that house and he was more open to looking at locations he wouldn't consider before.

    Finances! I can only imagine what you are going through. I have been the sole provider many times through his on-and-off periods of unemployment. While working full time, I had to ensure that he was following up on jobs and filling out paperwork for unemployment pay so we could continue to eat on my meager salary at the time.

    I would say you are doing an amazing job with your children and your self care considering the shit show you have been dropped into.

    Take care. Hugs to you.

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  51. Thank you, Beyond Frazzled. Re-reading your posts help. Are you settled into a new house now? How is that feeling? I posted this on the separating page, also, but my husband told me last night that he doesn't want to do therapy to discuss our options (reconciliation vs. divorce). We had just barely started with two sessions. He is simple done. I slept maybe one hour last night and had to stay home from work. Total wreck. I should be looking at the bright side of not having to deal with his emotional baggage any more, but I am not there yet. I am just totally messed up. Major depression mode.

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    1. I responded on the other post too but SD, please please be gentle with yourself. Of course, you're reeling. This is another shock to your system. And yes, I suspect the time will come when you feel a measure of relief. Not your problem anymore. But right now...grieve. You will not stay there forever but it's important to acknowledge the sadness and pain.

      Delete
    2. SD, I am sorry to hear about this news. I completely understand about breaking down, but I can only imagine what you are dealing with. It is different from my path but our paths are all stained with betrayal and for that I feel tremendously sad and wish I could offer some sort of comfort.

      Elle nailed it, as always. Give yourself time to grieve. Allow that sadness to wash over you; cry, scream, hit the couch cushions as many times as you need to. (or maybe that was my path)

      I want to share something with you that many, many months of therapy has lead me (and my H) to realize, this has nothing to do with you or your children. He was trying to fill what was lacking within himself with an escape, a fantasy. That is so F'd up I can't even begin to understand it. Please be gentle with yourself.

      We close in one week on the new house. I am relieved and terrified all at once. It is past time to move on. I still am not sure if that will be together or separately. Once we get into the new space, I hope that will become more clear.

      I am sending virtual hugs your way. I wish I could do more.

      Delete
  52. Hi there! I'd like to share my experience.

    I met my bf the New Year's Eve before last. We started talking and hooked up twice in January and February. At this time, he was casually dating a workmate of him and he stopped the relationship in the middle of March (or so he says). He never told me about her but she did know about me. Then, he left the job in summer.
    The problem is that last Christmas he went back for the business dinner. He got really drunk and slept with her. She then sent me a message via a fake Instagram account on Christmas Lottery Day!!
    I felt like I was going to kill him but I decided to stay with him (sometimes I don't know why). We've been going to a therapist, got some personality tests and the pshych is really optimistic on us. Btw, alcohol has always been an issue and since then, he hasn't drunk any.
    The problem is that I don't know if this relationship ended in March or if he kept on dating both of us for longer. He swears he didn't but I can't know for sure and sometimes I don't know what to do or how to feel!

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    1. Cindy,
      I'm sorry for what you're going through but glad you found us.
      I suspect you've hit the nail on the heal re. his drinking. Alcohol plays a role in a whole lot of cheating, though that doens't mean that the cheater is off the hook. He still chose to cheat. But alcohol certainly impairs our decision-making. I'm curious re. how he's addressing his drinking. I hope he's seeking help and support.
      Re. your question about when they stopped dating: I think you're focusing on the minutiae when a larger issue is there. That you can't trust him to be honest with you. You didn't find out about his infidelity from him but through her. Whether he stopped seeing her in March or later is emblematic of that larger issue: He isn't honest.
      Whether or not you stay with him is, of course, entirely your decision and there are women on this site who've stayed, those who've left, those who've been left, those who separated then reconciled... It runs the gamut. But ultimately, you need to make a choice that's right for you. However, you want to make that choice with a clear sense of who this person is and what he contributes to your relationship. This could be a wake-up call for him. Or it could be evidence of what you can expect if you stay with him. They key will be his response to this -- how willing he is to examine why he did this, why he drinks and how to stop.
      Betrayal is excruciating so I'm not surprised that you're feeling confused about how to feel. Just let yourself feel the pain of it, knowing that it will fade.
      But also, that confusion is giving you important info about your own ambivalence re. this relationship. Give yourself time to sort it out. In the meantime, you can see just how serious he is about making reparations for his behaviour.

      Delete
  53. Dear sisters, dear Elle,

    I am in the darkest hours of my life and the only thing that shows me that there can be sunshine again is you. I am so grateful Elle that you have created this blog. I don´t know what I would do without you, without you sisters!

    My D-Day happened on January 3rd. But it all started months earlier. I came back from parental leave and those little moments started to arise, those moments when you can feel something is not right. We all worked at the same company. I would enter a room, and she would flee. I would join them in the canteen, and I could feel my husband´s sudden tension. It was right in front of me the whole time. But of course, you don´t want to believe your gut feeling, do you?

    The very first time I confronted him, he gave in that a friendship had evolved between them. He felt sorry that he hadn´t told me earlier. I saw how sorry he was and believed him. Not realizing yet that this was actually the starting point that I would lie to myself. And obviously not knowing yet that a friendship that is kept secret is a big red warning sign.

    Within the next months, the OW kept behaving weird in my presence and I would confront him from time to time. And every time he made me believe that it is me being too sensitive and judging encounters with her wrongly. I started to think that I am crazy.

    And of course, all the classics happened: Finding a receipt for a wine bottle bought at the day when I flew to my friend, he telling me before that he had a quiet evening that day. He buying himself new underwear. He taking a shower before he would go to a sports club where she also would be, etc.
    I kept confronting him, asking him if he had been unfaithful. No - he answered every time and stupid me would believe him every time.

    I lied to myself over and over and over even though deep inside I kind of knew. I guess, it´s the instinct of self-preservation.

    However, we both quite jobs and moved to a new country but I just couldn´t shake it off. Whenever I was alone, it came over me. The cruel doubts, playing those moments over and over in my mind to find new hints. Or trying to make myself believe that my fine antennas have just misinterpreted everything.
    But then the evening arrived, the evening when his little thumb was too greasy to unlock his phone and I saw how he put his code in. 1-2-3-4-5-6 (Stupid me had not tried that easy one before!).
    I couldn´t sleep all night long. At 4 am I got up and started crying desperately. At 7 am his alarm rang and he went to take a shower. As soon I heard the water running, I took his smartphone with my shaking hands. I unlocked it and went straight to messenger. And there she was on the very top of his contacts. I scrolled through his messages, hundreds of messages until I found clear proof. Black on white it said: “On our business trips the view outside of our hotel window was never important.”

    The world I knew was gone, the life I had was over. Collapsed within seconds. Just like that. I let him had breakfast and let him leave for work. Within the next hours, I asked myself over and over though: Am I strong enough that I could just pretend for the rest of my life that I don´t know about it? Can I just play to live happily ever after? No! I decided I couldn’t. The last months of suffering had shown me that I couldn´t. And with the strength of knowing that I was not a „crazy wife who had imagined all of this“, I confronted him. He did not deny anything.

    I am still in the storm but I decided to fight for our marriage. It is still early days, but I am regaining power, thanks to you. When I am reading your lines, I now I am not alone. It is a hell, I never knew could exist, but I am not going through this fire alone. I have you at my side. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Breathe,
      Your name is perfect. And that re-centering, that grounding of your breath, will help you through.
      Your story sounds like so many others here. The suspicion, the gaslighting, the proof, the shock, the pain.
      Yes, you are still in the storm and likely to be there for a while. But while it rages around you, stand firm. You are strong enough for this. You will emerge from this fine as long as you hold true to yourself and your own integrity. Whatever happens with your marriage -- and there's every reason to believe it can become great as long as he's willing to do the work too -- you will be fine.
      Hang in there. And...breathe.

      Delete
  54. I found out one week before Christmas, my boyfriend of four years who i just had a new baby for was cheating on me. I always felt something was off, he was always working late. I was so busy with are new baby, I let alot of weird behavior go. I saw the girl's number and saw that he has 8 missed calls from her. I called her phone two days later, i needed time to think about everything. She confessed to having unprotected sex with him for the last 6-7 months , and also sent me a video of him naked with them kissing getting ready to have sex. I was SICK! I almost passed out, I cried until i lost my voice. He came home from work begging me for forgivness saying he dont want to lose his family, also he will marry me to prove it . At that time I was not ready to give him up yet, he went out the next day and got me a ring and the following day we went to City Hall and got married!! This was two months ago, I married him out of pain and shock. I am now married to him but deep down inside i still dont fully trust him. After he ended things with her she stalked us, saying she was pregnant but later confessing she was lying after she got abortion money from him. I had to get my number change. She just recently stop harrasing us , but the wounds are still fresh in my system, I want to heal and have a healthy marriage but are foundation is not solid.

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  55. (Part 1) September of 2019 is when my fiance had an affair. We were going through a pretty rough time. He didnt tell me until January of 2020. He just couldn't keep it to himself anymore, he said it was eating him alive and he often had thoughts of taking his own life for what he had done to me (he had gotten the help he needs). Cheating was something we both swore would never happen, it's just not who we are as a person, which is part of the reason it was eating him alive because he just couldn't understand why or how he could do that.
    The first night was a weekend we were spending at our trailer. We were celebrating mine and one of my fiances friends birthday (we will call him R). My fiances friend (R) and his wife (L) have a trailer in the same park, so there were a bunch of friends up there celebrating with us for the weekend. My fiance drove up friday night, and i spent the night at his moms because she was watching our daughter for the weekend. I was driving up Saturday morning. My fiance had driven to R's house Friday night so they could drive up together. L had a friend (K) with her that was coming to the trailer, and as they were leaving to drive up she decided to hop in with my fiance. K is the one my fiance had sex with that friday night. I knew she had been interested in him before because my fiance goes over the top with everything he does for me - hes literally like a guy you see in the movies. Anyways they got really drunk and she made a move on him and he didnt stop it. He said there was such a lack of attention from me to him that that's what made him not stop - he loved the attention and the feeling of someone wanting him. My lack of attention towards him I guess had gotten so bad that even the drive thru lady smiling at him would leave him feeling amazing.
    When I drove to Saturday I could sense something was wrong (we had a couple arguments over the phone as I was driving to the trailer) but he just played it off that he was tired from the late night before. Fast forward to saturday night, we were all sitting around the fire and K decided to come and sit between my fiance and I, leaning over to him asking if he was ok. Instantly I had a guard up and thought that was strange. I talked to my fiance about it and he played it off like it was nothing.
    2 weeks later, we were at R's and L's wedding. Both my fiance and K were apart of the wedding party. K and I got super drunk and were dancing and having a fun time. She had come to the bathroom with me and had asked how my fiance and I were doing and asking about the problems we had (he had vented at the trailer when we had our phone arguments) and I basically said we were good and that if we were going to break up it would have happened a loooong time ago (had a really rough time our first year together) to which she responded with oh really? Again, I had a guard up, thought it was strange, mentioned it to my husband and he shrugged it off.
    From october to january things were getting really good with us. We were having sex more, joking around, being playful more. When he told me, he said it only happened once at the trailer. Ok. I could forgive him for that, it was a one time thing, I could visibly see how much it affected him as he was uncontrollably sobbing.

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

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  57. As I walked in the room, he threw down his phone and then I knew. He was cheating one me. The man everyone said could never do that, was with a woman younger than our youngest child. Intimacy went over a decade ago. His choice. He told me he just didn’t like sex. He was asexual. He was struggling with impotence. It wasn’t me it was him. I was devastated but I stayed. He was flirting, sexting. Sending photos. Something he’s never done with me ever.
    Isupported him in everything. I worked very hard and I kept trying to attract him but nothing helped. He refuses to discuss feelings at all. He can be silent for days often to punish me but he is lovely in so many ways despite the passive aggressive emotional abuse. Over two years ago I even lost 220lb in weight to attract him back. Nothing worked. We were a team. We laughed. Had a great relationship. Despite the lack of intimacy.
    He met her at work. He had a laugh with her and gave her his number. She messaged him the next day and so it began. She was engaged and during the affair she married her fiancée. She was having sex with my husband in her marital bed while her husband was working.
    Since DDay I can’t describe the agony. I’ve attempted suicide and been hospitalised twice. I’m not eating not sleeping and it’s been well over two months since I found out. I’m so is excited I ask him to see his phone and he goes crazy accusing me of being abusive. Being a control freak. It’s all my fault he cheated. He absolutely shuts down when I try to talk. He will walk out the room and that’s it. I’ve basically been in bed since I found out. We are on lockdown here so that’s been easy but of course I have zero support. Our grown up children know but don’t care as they don’t want to take sides and he’s a great dad. So I’m completely alone. The pain is indescribable. So much so I was given Valium but my doctor won’t give me more. I go between being understanding to such heartbreak I cry for days. I’ve cried so much my skin is literally peeling from my face. I’m obsessed with her. I told her husband but he didn’t believe me. She’s unattractive and extremely overweight. Basically like me before I started taking care of myself. I see no hope. No future becaue he goes from telling me I’m a crazy abuser and he wants me out of the house to being so sorry my heart breaks for him. I love him so very very much. We have had sex several times since I found out but knowing he was lying all these years has broken me. He’s had an emotional affair before and he swore to me he’d never cheat. He was lonely becaue I control him and my insecurity means he can have no friends. But I’m insecure becaue of the way he is with other women. So much so I can’t have female friends. He will compliment them - never me. He will talk about his current obsession constantly. So I just stopped having friends to prevent upsetting him by being suspicious. I can’t stop obsessing about him with her. I see it in my head. Knowing he held her after sex has destroyed me. Can anyone help me. I pray for death as a release from this pain. I’m waiting for counselling but the waiting list is over a year and I have no income to pay privately. When will it end. I believe he’s genuinely remorseful. He’s shown more emotion since DDay than in 30 years of marriage. Help me.

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    1. Deborah, I am so incredibly sorry for the pain you're in. Everything you describe sounds incredibly familiar to so many of us. The wanting to die, the isolation, the shock, the confusion. But please know that you will get through this. I want you to start by finding a therapist who's yours alone, who can help you begin to process the pain you're dealing with and the grief. Something has died -- the marriage you thought you had, the person you thought he was.
      And please know...he didn't cheat because there's something wrong with you. He cheated because there's something wrong with him. That's not to say that your marriage wasn't in trouble. We each bring our own baggage to any relationship and it's on us to work through it so that we can learn healthy ways of being together. But it is NEVER your fault he cheated. He had a zillion other alternatives, including asking for a divorce. He didn't want one. He was using the affair to deal with his own issues -- likely around intimacy, emotions, loss, a sense of powerlessness. But it's HIS job to figure that out. And I would insist that he, too, seek therapy to figure out why he risked what matters to him for someone who doesn't.
      In the short term, keep taking care of yourself. Eat healthy food, try and get outside for a walk, sleep when you can. Avoid alcohol. Avoid any compulsive behaviorus. It's tempting to seek distraction or comfort in shopping, food, booze, pills, whatever. But that doesn't solve our problems and often only creates new ones. You are stronger than you know, Deborah. I took anti-depressants for a bit, as did a lot of women here. They can help keep our heads above water while we learn to swim. But you will discover a strength you didn't know you had. Please don't ask your kids to choose sides. They deserve to be able to love you both freely. Use your therapist as a sounding board, as someone who can support you as you work through this.
      And you will get through this Deborah. It's a long road. But we've all been there and...here we are. Still standing. I never imagined that pain would be behind me but it is. I am, honestly, happier than I've ever been. But I've worked hard to get here. I've dealt with a whole lot of old demons of my own. And I insisted he deal with his. You cannot have intimacy with someone so afraid of his own emotions. He has a long road too. Whether or not your marriage survives, I don't know. But you will. And you will be fine.

      Delete
  58. I'm new here and not sure if this is the right place to put this, but I wanted to express my "finding out" story and how over two years later, I am still struggling with everything.

    I found old text message threads on my husbands ipad while he was away at work for a few weeks. From the previous year for a 3 month period. He didn't just cheat on me, he had a full blown affair for over two years. I thought it was maybe over because I only saw texts for 3 months, but I was able to do a little sleuthing and realized not quite the case. I messaged him not to come home, sent him one of the pictures of the two of them, and then waited. that same night that I messaged him, I also messaged her looking for answers, but she wouldn't answer me, instead, (I could tell from looking at our shared phone account) that she called him right away, so I knew it wasn't finished with.
    All of this after two children (at the time they were 7 & 9) and 15 years together. I had no idea. Looking back now I can see signs and red flags of course, but during that time, he was still so sweet to me, posts on insta for my birthday, gifts and flowers for no reason, still going out on dates together, still traveling, still living. Of course we had our disagreements and issues, but nothing we didn't try to work on. But the last three years I really struggled, I gave him so many outs, telling him I was unhappy and nothing was working. He had me feeling like everything was my fault, so much that I started counseling, and found out about the affair a week later, so I quit at the time.
    How do you get over this? How do you trust a new partner? How do I get over thinking about how I had no idea and how I feel like it was my fault and if I hadn't acted a certain way, he wouldn't have cheated? I have lost so much of my self esteem, and self confidence and can't seem to move forward.

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