The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
Really stuck again after 15 months D Day. Things are fine for a few weeks and genuinely we are getting along, but the pain of what he does sometimes feels like a cancer eating away.I always think there is something he is keeping back from me, it can wake me in the middle of the night. I want to get rid of this feeling as I cannot imagine living with it for the rest of my life.I also feel terrible anger towards her. I want her to feel disgusted with herself, I want her to have low self esteem, to wake in the night and feel the guilt of what she's done.Today is not a good day. Tomorrow will be better. Feel like a steam train that sometimes has to make a stop for more fuel.
Hi Anonymous,My therapist called it "recycling" not "regressing", even though I sometimes felt I was sliding backwards. Oftentimes it's because something isn't being processed properly. In your case, it sounds kinda post-trauma stuff. There's something called Post Infidelity Stress Disorder (I love that the acronym is "PISD" or "pissed"). But it sounds as if you might have that. I certainly did. And no wonder. Infidelity shakes our sense of safety in the world. It's no wonder we wake up from sound sleep feeling scared and anxious. No wonder that we occasionally fear the future. The key is to go over the memories and ensure that they're processed -- ie. filed in your memory -- in a way that allows you to continue moving forward. Perhaps these occasional lapses are your cue that need to revisit certain aspects of what happened to ensure that you can move through them, which would also help you put to rest so much anger towards the OW. It will begin to matter less what the OW feels. Ideally you'll get to a place where she's of no consequence to you. You'll recognize that she could have been anyone. She was convenient and willing. I hope tomorrow is better. And the next day, better still.Elle
Elle, Thank you for your reply. I think you're bang on the money with the PISD acronym, thing is, as you probably know, the cheater feels that he has revisited the situation enough! Typical response, " We need to move forward from this, I've told you everything, there's nothing more"... how the hell do I satisfy the itch when the person I'm asking to scratch it is sick and tired of the whole thing. How does any man do what he does to a family and then end up making the innocent party feel like a nuisance? I know that sometimes, enough is enough, but I'm finding this really tough to deal with. I don't care what the other woman feels in some ways, I just need to know that that piece of plankton has fear the way I do. Angry beyond belief at the moment. I knew life wasn't fair, but jeez, this is destroying me.
Yeah, I don't buy the "we need to move forward" and "you shouldn't dwell on the past" crap. This isn't "past" to you; it's right now. He was never in the dark about what was happening, YOU were. What these guys can't seem to figure out is that the more they're willing to talk about it with you, the quicker you can move past it. It's not the details you need per se, it's the safety. It's reassurance. It's confirmation that, yes, you know everything; that you're not going to be blindsided again. Telling you that you should be past it is like telling a cancer survivor that she shouldn't need a doctor assuring her it's gone. The anger, in my case, feeds on my husband's resistance. The more he wants to push this chapter of our lives under the rug, the angrier I get. I didn't ask for this. But since he's asked me to accept what he did and move past it, then I get to determine the rules for doing so. And so do you.That said, and as you imply, there are lines that don't want to cross. As you as you're willing to acknowledge when you're starting to "pain-shop", then you should be free to talk about this as much as you need to...with the understanding that the more freedom you have to talk about it, the less you'll need to. Elle
Anonymous and Elle,I found out about 10 months ago that my husband cheated with three women throughout our 17 year marriage. Our counselor is preparing me for the pains that can come when "anniversaries" occur (Initial Dday and any other Ddays' that may have come after that). My husband's perspective is quite different than mine as our Ddays' approach. He is proud of all the hard work and strides he has made this year: he has quite drinking, he's very open and honest when I want to know details, he's where he says he is, etc.However, our counselor recognizes that it is not what I am feeling. She is having us each do an exercise about things we are grieving since Dday. Examples, I am grieving being betrayed by my husband and best friend. I am grieving the loss of who I thought we were as a couple. I am grieving the strain this has put on my relationship with God. I am grieving the bitterness that I feel toward these women, my husband, and men in general. I am grieving the loss of security I thought I had. I am grieving the anxiety I feel now when my husband travels. I can go on and on and on. In fact I did- pages worth! I highly recommend this exercise. It has been extremely therapeutic for me.Best of luck. I'll be thinking of you.Nancy
I am ten months out from D Day (found out less than a month into my marriage that my husband was carrying on multiple affairs) and I was wondering if anyone else has gone through a period where you were no longer attracted to your husband and you just weren't, "feeling it"? We have gone through intensive therapy and have made a lot of progress but I feel stuck. I don't know if I'm just thinking about his affairs too much, if he isn't doing enough to win my affection again, or if this is just a "normal" part of the process. Any light you could shed on the subject would be a blessing. Thank you!
Absolutely. In fact, it's something I'm struggling with now. After periods of hyper-sexuality, I'm now finding myself struggling to want intimacy with him. It's generally when I'm feeling distant from him emotionally -- and sex simply doesn't feel "safe".But yes, I think it's normal...but nonetheless something that requires your attention around why you're feeling it right now.Elle
Me too! Totally normal. A year after discovery of long-standing involvements with multiple other women,I'm not as much as angry as grossed out and turned off. Sex in cars? BJs on a golf course from the wife of his college roommate? Emailing ribbon-wrapped pictures of his dick on Christmas am to other women while his daughter opened gifts? I seldom feel anything stronger than repulsion now. Pleasant companionship and co-parenting seems all that I want from him.rhoderunner
Rhoderunner, I'm so sorry to be laughing at your agony…but ribbon-wrapped dicks?? That's hilarious! What the hell makes these guys think their "junk" is so attractive? Does anyone, ever, want to see a picture of this? Totally cracks me up. Elle
This probably isn't the best place to post this, but I'm feeling desperate and wanted to ask for advice.I've posted here a couple of times about my husband's affair. He told me about it 18 months ago. Our recovery has been very good, albeit extremely difficult. The last couple of months have been even better. I'm actually beginning to feel the anger and resentment really fade, a lot. Things are good between us and within me.The problem is that today a very good male friend who has been married for over 30 years emailed me and, in the midst of a conversation about what's going on in his life, told me he's seriously considering having an affair. I know his history with this. I know he loves his wife. I know there are marital problems, involving sex and intimacy, and that he has tried to solve them, has talked to her about them, has had some progress with that but not enough, has at times come to accept the problems, at other times has been miserable, and at least one other time in the past considered an affair but didn't go through with it.And now he slipped into a conversation that he's considering it again.Of course I want to scream, "No, don't do it! Please...for me." But I haven't told him about my husband's affair (I haven't told anyone but my therapist) and I don't think I'm prepared to do it now.I'm thinking of simply saying, "No, don't do it. If you feel you're that stuck, tell your wife that you're thinking of it. It's the only honest thing to do, and it might very well lead to her really listening and understanding your frustrations." And then maybe send him a link or two that spell out really well why not to do it.Any suggestions for links? In particular I'm thinking of articles/posts written by men who had affairs, especially men in similar situations to my friend, who eloquently explain why it was such a bad mistake. I know I've read articles like that, but now I can't remember where. I guess if I'm not going to reveal my husband's affair, I'll have to find an excuse for having come across that article...Of course it should be obvious he shouldn't have an affair. But he thinks he's tried everything. He thinks it's hopeless. He loves his wife and doesn't want to leave her. They have grown children and grandchildren and a happy life. He knows she'd be devastated by an affair. He would intend for her to never find out. He thinks he's stuck, and he's unhappy.Believe me, I'm not making excuses for him. I want to make sure he doesn't do this! I'm just explaining his thinking in hopes someone can suggest the right words to stop him.Any thoughts?
Mountainsailing,I think this is an appropriate place to post this question and I'm glad to read your other post (below) that you've composed an e-mail to send to him that you're comfortable with.I suspect this is a situation many of us come up against. We want people to learn from our situations...without actually revealing that it's our situation. Sounds as if you've handled it well. I have sometimes resorted to the hypothetical "friend who's going through this..." fallback story in order to pass along information I've learned first-hand without revealing that I learned it first-hand. In casual conversation, if someone brings up anything about cheating/affairs, even celebrity gossip, I'll often say that I know someone who went through it and it's far worse than any of us can really imagine. I think you deserve a lot of credit for trying to stop your friend from making what could be a painful mistake, for both himself and his wife, while maintaining your privacy. You've acted with integrity. And, for what it's worth, even being on the "betrayed" side, I can empathize with your friend's desperate desire for intimacy and sex. It's a basic human need. And it's a shame that his wife can't seem to acknowledge her husband's pain. We all have our breaking points and men who cheat aren't always the bad guys. Life just isn't that black-and-white. That said, the act of cheating, while it may serve needs in the short term, generally wreaks far greater devastation than anyone intended. So I hope he heeds your words.Elle
I sent the email and my friend appreciated the advice and acted on it. Instead of going ahead with the affair, he told his wife what was going on -- told her he was feeling stuck and unhappy and had been considering an affair.I gather things went pretty badly at first...understandably. But they continued to talk, and the last I heard he felt there was some hope that something good will come out of this. It's too soon to tell. But they're listening to each other, and as far as I can tell he will NOT go ahead with the affair. (It certainly wouldn't be a secret now if he did. And I guess his wife will be on guard against the possibility of an affair. That's something few of us had. But really, I can't see him doing it now that the subject is out in the open AND he and his wife are in serious, open discussions.)I've always wondered what would happen if my husband had talked to me instead of having an affair. And I've wondered the same when reading about other affairs. Would it have helped? Would we have been able to move in the right direction at that point? Would I have understood the gravity of the situation? I think I would have, but that's hindsight, and who really knows?
I wanted to follow up on this. I was afraid to ask my friend how things were going but I finally did. My friend replied that things are going quite well between him and his wife. Of course his relevation hurt his wife deeply and caused a lot of upset. But by his being completely honest with her, she was finally able to see the pain he was going through.And in turn, he realized he had over time stopped letting her know his feelings, in part to avoid continuing to hurt her with them. He wasn't aware he'd been doing this until she just now began to open up to him. So the change went both ways, which I'm now thinking is one of the big clues to this kind of communication breakthrough. It's almost always the case, no matter who is "wrong" or "right," that we both need to let go of our defense mechanisms.By letting her know he'd been thinking of an affair, he was able to show her in a very concrete way that he wanted -- needed -- to be appreciated and desired, and she finally really saw how strong that need was.So they're both communicating on a more honest level. It has made all the difference, and he sees a good likelihood of them pulling through this to become a happier and stronger couple.Of course there's still a chance they won't be able to reconcile after this, still a form of betrayal. But they'll have dealt with their relationship from a point of honesty, not one where only he knows all the facts. And isn't that what we all wish we'd had? No matter how things work out, I know he made the right decision in telling her.
Thank you, this site has made me realise that I am not abnormal in still feeling pain nearly two years after our D day. I have berated and castigated myself for still revisiting the hurt and bewilderment that my husbands very short lived affair has caused for all of us, I put it down to my sometimes dodgy mental health.Sometimes you can't see what is in front of you and need others to point it out. I should have recognised the signs, I have been feeling numb, swinging between happiness and despair, known that I haven't been myself. I now realise that I have been displaying PTSD like symptoms. I say I should have known as I have successfully dealt with PTSD before (for a completely unrelated incident in life). It is now time to 'pull myself up by the bootstraps', use the previously learnt strategies and not feel bad about 'feeling bad'.
Not abnormal at all. Those who see betrayal a lot (ie. counsellors/marital experts) generally say it's 2 - 5 years to get through this and resume "normal" life. It was far closer to five years for me. And yes, betray is definitely trauma. To treat it as such generally moves healing along at a quicker pace. I'm so glad you recognize this and can trust yourself to the process of healing, on your own time. So often betrayal opens old wounds that never healed so recovering from it is often about much more than our husband's choices.Elle
I don't know if this is appropriate or not and I haven't seen any posts on what I'm about to ask but here goes... Do any of you wives think about revenge?!! About cheating on them. I find myself looking even though I know it wouldn't make me feel any better and wouldn't take the pain if what he did to me away! I want revenge on him. I want to betray him like he did me...
It's a fair question. I think a lot of us feel that need to even the score. In my case, there had been so many infidelities that I felt I had carte blanche to pretty much do whatever (and whomever!) I wanted. But I also knew deep down that wasn't the answer. I knew that I wouldn't feel better. I suspect it would have made me feel worse. In the end, what mattered to me was being someone I could look in the mirror, someone who could look her kids in the eye, someone who was living life with integrity.Others, though, have found a "revenge" affair made them feel sexy and desirable again.I wonder though if brining another person into an already messy situation is just asking for more trouble. I've also read that when a betrayed spouse has an affair, the partner who originally did the cheating doesn't feel the same level of betrayal. In fact, I've read they actually feel better. Like their own cheating slate has been wiped clean.In the end, of course, it's your choice. But the anger/revenge stage doesn't last, unless you're generally an angry vindictive person. And when the stage passes, you'll want to know that you didn't do anything you regret.Elle
No, I never considered a retaliation affair. When I objectively looked at his experience, it didnt look like he really enjoyed it all that much. We strugled a LOT after the affair and there were times in it where our marriage was very weak, but I avoided other men like they had the plague...I REALLY didnt want something like that to complicate matters even though I was left fully devoid of love for LONG LONG stretches of time. After my husband died (15 months ago) I came to be reacquainted with an old boyfriend I dated 28 years earlier...we live 35 liles apart with a small overlapping "stomping ground" about halfway between our houses. I genuinely thank God that I never ran into him during the bad times of my marriage. The way things went, he and I were able to start new and fresh and honestly and validly with our love.
I suspect it would have made me feel worse. In the end, what mattered to me was being someone I could look in the mirror, someone who could look her kids in the eye, someone who was living life with integrity.Your words coming out of my mouth!!!!!I guess I needed the reassurance from you. I needed to ask you. It's so hard. Most days I'm fine and then others when maybe there's the opportunity I'm like I should, he did. I know it sounds crazy but I want to , to see what he said what it was like. How could he do it. I know that in the end that's just not me.... I have always wanted the husband and kids the family. I would never jeopardize it. I just get so mad at him I could scream. I could never look into my babies eyes after being with another man. But he could.... But then the next moment I can. I hope it will pass like you say but like I said it has been awhile and now only now the feelings of cheating on him are coming to surface
Crazy thing is, as I've healed through this, I'm better able to understand how people cheat. I suspect it's like anything -- a little lie that grows easier to tell with time, an increased ability to rationalize that nobody is getting hurt, a sense that "everybody" does this so what's the problem. Marriage isn't about making a choice on a wedding day; it's about making that choice over and over and over. Some people who are less self-aware or who aren't really clear about what drives them, cheating feels less of a choice. Those are the ones who say it just "happened" or "I didn't mean to." In their minds, that's exactly what happened. Which is why they need to really get to the root of their thinking to ensure it doesn't just 'happen' again.The anger will dissipate. I often think the stages of betrayal are like the stages of grief. And we are grieving. The loss of the marriage we thought we had, the loss of what felt like safety, the loss of a future that doesn't have this in it...Elle
I find solace in your blog as it speaks to me, normalises my emotions and experiences and feeds me with little feelings of hope that we can get past this. Thank you for this. I read only websitesby people who have gotten through to that place I want to be - stronger - this pain to mean something in the end. I long for it though I fear it is still further away than I would ever want.I am five months out. I am dealing with it every day. I am not yet day to day, I am hour to hour, but at least past minute by minute. I know everyone is different. I know it will take longer than I want. What I would like to ask you specifically is how to get him to do the “hard work” you speak of. I have asked him to look at himself to understand why this happened. How he could do something he never thought he would do. How he could lie to me. How and why. His reasons are not his. They are formed over background of the daily routine, a bit of nagging and a bit of disheartening work. Most of it lays it at my feet. Or he has taken my words and said it was just weakness. I want him to look at himself, his vulnerabilities and how he could do something that he never thought he himself could do. And I want him to be honest with me about it. He says he will not be able to give that to me, that I will not ever understand, because there will never be a series of tick boxes that answer it. He says he perpetually worries that I ask questions to get to reasons that blame him that he can give me that allow me to understand. He asks how important this is because he does not think he can give any more, does not think there is any more and does not think I will ever understand.I can see it all of it. Much of it like a cliché. He was getting miserable, feeling bored, tired of the family routine, work suffering from a recession, not having a purpose and heading for a mid-life crisis. I saw it months before. I wrote about it. I spoke to him about it. I told him he needed to make a positive choice and that I would support him in whatever he wanted or needed to do. I would have in anything, but this. As I see it, she came along. There was enough of a push, enough of a pursuit and much attention. And so lunches and lunches and lunches. It lasted 5.5 months before I made him tell me what was going on. In truth I knew something from the first week. We are/were that close. He was that transparent. He was/is my best friend. We sit now, plodding through our lives. A few highs and lots of lows. We had a five or six what I would call good weeks, dappled with conversation and issues and a fight or two, but where we were getting through it together and showing each other kindness and love and consideration. We went on a holiday with my entire family. He faced all of them. He apologised to my parents. We got through it and it felt good. Then we came back, resumed our lives and the routine and it stopped from his side, as quickly as it started. We went back to counselling once, but it has been very unsuccessful. I wanted to bound out of it every session feeling good or as if we accomplished something, but nothing, but suppressed anger from him about what was said and we would reel from it for days. I did not feel the counsellor was helpful. She did not make him answer questions. She said she was not “solution orientated” whatever that means. I wanted it only to “do good” but was never left with anything positive. I want to talk. He wants to bury it. He has told me “all he can of the detail.” There is nothing more he says. But what I realised I am missing is the emotion. He will not engage with it. He is miserable, miserable every day. I try to take every day as new and start positive, but I struggle against what I get. I suffer for every conversation as he now questions if it is doing “any good.” And he says we have to balance my need to talk against his need to not. Otherwise it is not good for us. He stopped the kindness, the love, the shows of affection. We sit somewhere, I don’t know where.
I think a lot of us have been where you are right now. Left with all the baggage of a spouse's affair, but none of the upside of a stronger marriage, deeper relationship. Is it possible your husband is depressed? If he's got any sort of mood disorder, it's almost impossible to get him to empathize with you and what you need right now.If I were you, I'd start with individual counselling. You need a place where you can vent and explore what this has done to you. I would also think he would benefit from individual counselling himself, though I suspect that would be a tough sell.Affairs don't just "happen". There's always some sort of framework that builds to it, that allows some people to say "yes" instead of "no". It makes complete sense that you want him to figure this out so that YOU can trust that next time opportunity arises, he's got the tools to give a resounding 'no' and mean it.I suspect your desire to understand it is perceived by him as guilt-inducing or shame-inducing. You say he's "miserable every day". Is he beating himself up over this? Again, counselling for him can help him focus on becoming the man he wished he'd been then. Shame is crippling. I recently wrote a post about what you're dealing this: our desire to talk about the affair, to bring it into the light of day, and our spouse's desire to bury it, to "move on". There's a line, of course, where talking about it becomes harmful. But until that line is crossed, it's crucial to have a spouse who can understand your pain. You can read more here (the point about our spouses is towards the end): http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2013/09/healing-from-betrayal-why-we-must-tell.htmlI'm so sorry for what you're going through. Elle
Elle,Thank you so very much. How you manage to answer everyone with such knowing and kindness and saying all of the right things is truly amazing. I have read that article, thank you. I peck through your blog on a daily basis always finding some thread of positive energy and support. Some days I worry it is like my drug - no shopping, alcohol or gambling - just the BWC blog.I am seeing an individual counselor, she is great. She says that I have a great capacity for understanding and through my reading and thoughts of, around and about him now probably understand this more than he does or may ever be able to. My great concern is that if he doesn't, and chooses to believe it was simply the nagging and routine of everyday, we are not protected and I cannot ever be sure that it won't happen again. She said that I can never be sure of that anyway. That is hard to handle. I have asked him to see someone individually, he will not and has asked me to stop asking him. He speaks to no one really but me, although there are a few friends available, but constantly says "I am not talking to anyone." I think he may be depressed. I think he may have been slightly before. He was always a glass half empty guy - now we struggle to turn the tap on. I try desperately to be positive, but I am not perfect in this of course. I have said sorry, shown him more empathy and acknowledged his emotional discomfort more than he has mine from the beginning. It may be guilt. It may be shame. I get through a number of days positively and then crack at a trigger or at the complete lack of positivity and trying from him. It throws me for a loop and makes me question that this isn't what he wants and I wonder what he is really thinking, feeling and desiring as he can't show me what I clearly state I need. For him each break is the next excuse for an emotional negative response. It is wearing me down. I cannot continue keep myself going and to counsel him. It is as you have said elsewhere "each nursing our own wounds." I do not know how to force him to get more help. He needs it as ultimately we all need it.I want the power and strength from getting through this. I want the trust and honesty that Peggy Vaughn and Shirley Glass speak of. I have asked him to read extracts to try to understand what I cannot seem to explain. I do not want to be guilt-inducing, I want to be the friend that he can talk about things open and honestly about those painful feelings though I struggle with it without the security of knowing that this is what he wants. It all feels circular. Maybe it is too early, maybe it is too raw for both of us. Thank you so much again for every word you write.NJgirlinUK
NJgirl,You can sustain this. You can't continue to hold both of you afloat. It's hard enough keeping ourselves going after betrayal. To manage his healing too is simply more than one person can -- or should -- do.Although there's no way to "make" him get into counselling or read what you'd like him to, you can make it a condition of reconciliation. Without him getting deeper understanding in why he did what he did, he's left with the shame/guilt without the benefit of a toolkit to create a stronger marriage. It's like a drug addict who stops taking drugs. Great first step...but they then have to figure out to live in a world without that particular escape. Given that your husband seems to be dealing with depression, it's tough. The depression makes him less likely to seek help, and the less likely he is to seek help, the deeper the depression becomes.Whatever you decide to do, I hope you'll continue to put your own healing and well-being first. It's not your job to heal him. In fact, it's co-dependent to take responsibility for that. I know that seems contrary to all the "we are one" and "us against the world" marriage stuff we're taught to believe. But the healthiest marriage is one in which each partner takes responsibility for their own stuff and ensures that they're not harming the marriage.Hang in there. Treat yourself well. And consider taking the scary step of insisting he get help or lose you. This can't last long-term.Elle
You say I can sustain this. Some moments I feel strong and determined. Others I feel like I am leaf blowing from a tree. I am still really struggling. We are at 7 months. I haven’t gone as far as make it a condition that he see someone yet. I am still debating whether we should go back into couple’s counselling. It is longer between my upsets. I still cry at some point every day, but I let it happen for a minute or two and then move on with something positive. I cannot do this in front of him. He does not deal at all well with my upset therefore I am guarded and set back which feels unhelpful and unnatural for me. He spends much of his time in avoidance or unhappiness. I have asked him in many different ways for many different things, whether it is giving, touching, talking, reading. He is either unwilling or unable. Maybe crippled as you say. I did ask him if he may be depressed. He was angry that I may think it, frustrated that I may talk to someone else about it, whether it is my counsellor or his mom. He thinks I am still looking for the reason(s) it happened, the tick boxes he calls them, and if he is depressed then I can say that was it. I just want to be able to move forward on at least a slightly upward trajectory. If this is one of Peggy’s plateaus, it is a shit one. My counsellor is trying to get me to separate from it, find other things that make me happy and “lay it down.” I get it. I try to do it. I have been better week on week. I try to get lost in the autumn, the holidays, the children, friends, activities. He is what triggers me over and over for the lack of it all, the hope, the anticipation and the disappointment. I go back and forth now between wanting to do it together and considering the 180. I want us to heal together, be stronger together, walk together, talk together, but it seems no matter how hard I try I mess it up as I desperately feel that I cannot do it alone and cannot get through to him. But how do you 180 in a life with a job, a routine and two beautiful children who you are trying to protect, although seeing cracks all over that bubble I try desperately to patch around them? How do you protect yourself, be kind, be strong, be so controlled (cheerful and outgoing but not overly enthusiastic) and not show any weakness - when the reality is you feel so tender and are looking for that one person to hug you and say it is all okay or going to be?Inchworm
Hi! I noticed you're living in the UK. Me too. I've become BAN coordinator http://beyondaffairs.com/BAN/cities.htm in our city. There's also one in London. Hoping you might be near to either London or Exeter. We all need support!Mara x
Mara,Sorry for the late reply. I am in Scotland, so not close enough to London or Exeter.Support is so good, but no groups up here and I am too fresh to coordinate or administrate at this time.I hope you are doing well.Inchworm
To back up abit I too feel like why shouldn't I cheat too? I never would because it is just not who I am, but when your spouse says things like it just happened, it was just new and different so that made it exciting, you want to respond back, "well then if it was so exciting for you why shouldn't I give it a try too?". It's the answers most say. My spouse too feels so sorry and terrible yet has no real answers except repeating what our counselor has said. That he was purely selfish, thinks only of himself and needs to change that. This still does not answer the why. We are 15 months out so hang in there. This is a lengthy process and not an easy one. I continue to rely on this site for help and Elle does a great job at that along with everyone who shares their story. Stay strong and continue to fight for the answers to you and your husbands happiness.
I don't know where to begin. I am two and a half years into this journey of healing and acceptance. It took so long to accept it. All of it. I still feel blindsided by small revelations I hadn't even thought of before. My husband and I have been together for 12 years. I've been faithful to him since the day we met. He took my virginity and I cry now for that girl. So in love. So stupid happy. It turns out he was cheating on me while we dated, while we were engaged and planning our wedding, after we were married, while I was pregnant with our first child, and once ( he says) after the baby was born. My husband has sex with strippers. Yes, sex. Apparently, a lot of those places are essentially just "massage parlors ". He had the nerve to tell me once that he told himself it was basically just masturbating. Wow! He has soooo much respect for women! I told him if you went there to touch someone's naked body and dry hump them for an orgasm you had sex with another person. Whether you respect them enough to acknowledge their personhood or not. He did this weekly, sometimes several times a week for years. On his lunch break . To relieve anxiety. My husband had OCD and this was his release. A way to both relieve the pressure he puts on himself and subsequently feel more anxiety. It fed upon itself. I know all these things and I know he's healing through therapy. But I can't heal too. I get worse it seems . I have fantasies, dreams at night of being swept away by a strong man. Not physically strong, just strong in mind and resolve. I've lost so much respect for him. I've become obsessed with what he did. I watch lesbian porn too often. It's the only thing that gets me off and I hate it. I hate myself and feeling like this victim. I picture myself as the other woman. I want to be her . To be the object of desire. Not the sad victim at home, crying and alone. Sex is terrible, I feel nothing but sadness and anger during sex. I don't know where this is going but it can't be good. I'm just hanging on most days.
You are in so much pain. It's palpable through your words.On the one hand, you seem to recognize that your husband's betrayal was all about him, that these women barely registered as human beings, and that he's getting better. On the other hand, you seem caught in that belief that these women were desirable, sexy and exciting.You also mention your own curiosity with lesbian porn, which, frankly, is nothing to be ashamed of.Like you, my husband's sex addiction prompted me to explore some of the deeper curiosities of my own sexuality. It made me aware that our sexuality spans wider than a lot of us acknowledge. And that's healthy and normal.What's not healthy is using other people for our sexual gratification -- dehumanizing them in the process. It sounds as if your husband recognizes that. My husband experienced deep shame around how he treated the people he was with. Their humanity didn't matter to him.I suggest you do some reading about sex addiction, which might help you better understand your husband's mindset and put to rest any belief that these women were somehow more desirable to you. Their appeal was in the lack of emotional connection. It was a transaction. And if you're not in therapy, please find someone, preferably someone familiar with sex addiction.A spouse's sex addiction can mess with our attitudes around sex. I still struggle with how I now view sex. I'm working on it (I ignored it for many years) -- trying to get back to a place where sex is fun and exciting, rather than dirty and meaningless. There's a great book for partners of sex addicts -- Mending a Shattered Heart by Stefanie Carnes (daughter of sex addiction pioneer Patrick Carnes). It might also help you with your view of yourself as a "victim". I hope that helps. Elle
Thank you so much for your very kind and compassionate response. I've talked to so few people about this that it feels good to have someone be so kind about it. I lost a longtime friend after telling her about my husband's cheating because I was too eager to connect with someone who was going through the same thing. She wasn't ready to accept what her husband was doing though and I was selfish in laying my problems on top of hers. I know I should see a therapist but the logistics of that are difficult right now. Or maybe that's just an excuse. I have had two more pregnancies since my husband confessed and this third one is due in December. I guess I keep feeling like I'm ready to move on with our life together and then out of the blue, it hurts like never before. Again and again. Dealing with these emotions while pregnant is insane. During my last pregnancy I had panic attacks over it. The medical doctor that diagnosed it was the first person I ever told and he opened up about his wife's infidelity to me. It felt so good to say it out loud to someone sympathetic. It feels like my life has been stolen from me. Even after he stopped, I feel like the cheating is taking my precious time with my babies. Like I'm short changing them and myself having these good days and bad days. Wrestling with depression while they grow and our time is being stolen by these terrible feelings inside me. All my happy memories of us are tainted with lies and even now, all the memories I make with my family are colored with the knowledge that I may or may not have been "totally there" that day. I know what you mean about triggers. I drive by an area of town with strip clubs for all my many doctor visits and I feel myself start to tense up as my car gets closer to passing one. I may be having a wonderful day and suddenly I can't stop feeling hurt and angry. If I even see billboards on the road for them it starts. I have to work hard to push it away, to not search the parking lot for his car as I pass by. And of course sex is a huge trigger. Unfortunately, I know quite specifically what positions and acts were performed and it makes my skin crawl when we even come close to doing them. If he wants me to do something I know he did with them I always wonder if he's picturing "old times" or if he misses it or thinks of me the way he thought of them. Just a means to an end. I struggle to feel loved by my husband. He tries so hard, too hard, but it all feels fake to me. Obviously, anger is my best friend right now. I try to let go if it, but it clings to me wherever I go. I still love my husband and I know he loves me too, I just need to quiet the angry voices in my head that love to wallow in the sadness.
That feeling of relief when you share your story is exactly what you will get from a good therapist. You need to lay some of this down. If you can't do it for you, please do it for your children. They need a mother who's whole, who's able to be there for them in all those crucial ways.I would also explore the possibility that you're experiencing post-traumatic stress. I've written often on this site about how so many of us experience PTSD in the wake of betrayal. Our world feels unsafe, we question our judgement about everything, we want to be ready for the next time this happens, and triggers send us right back to that horrible moment when we found out. The fact that you're experiencing triggers this far out indicates that the memory of finding out is still right there, that it hasn't been processed and filed in a healthy way. Please consider finding someone who can help you with this. I honestly don't know how people heal from this without help.Your refusal to see your husband's attempts to help you as "fake" makes me wonder, again, if you're resisting putting this down, out of a fear that by doing so you're letting him off the hook and that you can be blindsided by this again.All of this is "normal" under the circumstances. It's not the least surprising that you'd feel unsafe after discovering this. And, of course, you have pregnancy and post-partum hormones (not to mention sleep deprivation) to complicate things further. In other words, you're dealing with far too much right now.Take a look at that book for a start. And please consider finding a way to get help. I hope you'll keep us posted how you're doing. You're always welcome to share here with those of us who've been where you are and can assure you that you can come out of this to find joy again.Elle
I know you're right, Elle. About all of it. I've felt these things in my heart just as you've said them, for a long time. It is extremely comforting, though, to hear it from someone recovering and finding happiness in recovery like yourself. I will take your advice. I know it's what's best for me and my family. Thank you for the good works you do here on your blog. From the bottom of my heart I believe what you've done here is changing people's lives for the better. Thank you again!
I've just found out that my husband has been cheating on me for the last year and a half, we have been married for 10 years and have 2 girls (9yrs old and 6yrs old) I caught him out, has suspected for a while and set his phone up so if he text "her" it would go to me instead. That way I had hard proof and he couldn't deny anything. So the message he sent her was "all good, she didn't say anything, but I feel as though I'm being tested, can we cool it for a bit and wait for it all to blow over xxx" So I replied "just leave, you don't love her anyway" but it showed up as my name so he knew I knew. Anyway he says now it was just sex, he never loved her, never told her he loved her, never went out for dinner with her, only ever did it at her place when she didnt' have her kids every other weekend (if I wasn't around) Their only communication was via text message because he thought if he deleted them every day there was no way I would find out. Only thing is, that means there's hundreds of text messages. I don't understand how he can say he had no feelings for her when they were doing it for so long and was talking via text so much? That just doesn't make any sense to me. He's very very remorseful and is doing anything and everything to try and prove to me that he loves me and that he wants to be with me. Trouble is, I'm now repulsed by him and don't want to touch him. I don't trust him and I think his words mean nothing. We both knew cheating was a deal breaker. But now I'm asking myself, why haven't I run a mile? What am I saying if I stay, am I saying this is ok? What sort of example am I setting if my kids ever find out, that it's ok to be with a man that is not faithful? I'm so torn as to whether I should stay or go. How do I trust my own judgement?
At this point you don't trust your judgement. Post-discovery is crazy time. It's post-trauma. It's a roller coaster. If you're unsure what's next, give yourself some time to sort it out. Get clear on whether this is something you can get through together or whether it's something you can't or won't forgive.The whole "it was just sex" thing isn't good enough. Why was he willing to risk his marriage for just sex. I'm not saying it wasn't "just sex" -- it probably was. In many, many cases the Other Woman is simply convenient and available. But there's deeper reasons around what he was getting from it. And without probing those deeper reasons, there's little reason for you to trust that it won't happen again. As for what you're teaching your girls? I've thought long and hard about that myself, given that I have three kids (none of whom know at this point). What I think I'm teaching them is that even the people we love and trust the most can hurt us deeply. That we make mistakes. That we're capable of going against our moral code if we don't make commitments to ourself to resist temptation. That, when we do make mistakes, we do everything we can to make amends but that, in the end, we have to face the consequences, whatever they are. And that it's possible to overcome the worst kind of pain. To grow from it and learn from it and, in a way, be grateful for it.Most experts recommend not making any big decisions for six months to a year. In the meantime, don't push yourself to feel anything you don't. If you can't be intimate with him, don't be. If you need space from him, give it to yourself. In that time, he can also be doing some soul-searching (ideally with a therapist) about why he engaged in a "deal-breaker". This might help you open up to trust him a bit more. But trusting again takes a long time. It takes consistent proof that he's being transparent and honest.Elle
Thank you for your reply, I'm still confused as to how he can say it was a mistake when it goes on for so long. To me a year and a half is a relationship, not some stupid mistake, every time he went back to her he new what he was risking, and he obviously thought she was so fantastic she was worth it - which means I'm not worth his time. He did say it was easy, convenient, and she pretty much threw herself at him and when he said he was married, she said she didn't care and gave him her ph number. But.... he still had to then take the next step to call her to go meet her. It was still his choice to go, no one made him. Then he made the choice to just keep going back!! If it was such a mistake you would think the guilt would stop them at once? He says it's not my fault and he's not blaming me...but....He didn't feel loved by me, and he love the attention she gave him and how she made him feel. Our sex life wasn't great, so basically I should've seen it coming and what did I expect? I feel like he's passively blaming me, not outright saying it, but the way I translate it is the harsh version. Probably because I feel like a worthless piece of s**t now. The other woman puts all this crap on fb about how much she loves him and how she'll never forget all the things he said to her, she'll never stop loving him, how smart girls should choose to be single than to be lied to, cheated on and disrespected. It annoys the hell out of me, but part of me knows she's hoping that she still has a chance to be with him. I just wish she's bugger off and leave us alone, she still tries to ring him on a private number late at night (only when she's been out on the booze though) and hubby has been telling me when she does try to contact him. I don't know, I'm just so lost, I don't understand how he can justify doing it for so long if there was supposedly no feelings towards her. I do feel better though that he certainly didn't "trade up" I do feel like I'm sort of in competition with her though.
You may never understand why he did it...and how it could go on for so long. You're trying to apply logic to an illogical situation. For many of these guys, once they've crossed the line it's less of big deal to keep crossing it. Sad to say but it becomes easier to cheat once you're a cheater. They learn to compartmentalize the guilt, sometimes even justifying it to themselves (ie. I deserve this, I work hard, my wife has been difficult, blah blah blah).Yes, it was certainly his choice. And he needs to take total responsibility for that. But, and this can be tough to hear, the problems in the marriage (if they're legitimate and not just him trying to find an excuse for what he did) are the responsiblity of BOTH of you. It doesn't for a second make it okay that he did what he did. But if you're going to get through this and rebuild a better marriage, it's crucial that each of you accept your role in what was going wrong. In the meantime, do NOT read anything the OW posts on FB or anywhere else. That's called "pain shopping" and it serves no purpose but to keep you in a state of agony. You do not need to know what she's saying. You DO need to know when she contacts your husband. Both of you need to send her a "no contact" letter, making it clear that there is to be absolutely no contact going forward and letting her know that you have access to his phone, computer, whatever and will be reading anything she sends to him.You are not competing with her. She was simply a convenient ego-boost to him.Put the focus back on you. Elle
Ok thank you. We have been discussing all the things that we both felt were going wrong before this started and we can see where we can both improve. My problem now is, ok I realise that he needed to be shown more love and affection and what I thought was enough before, wasn't enough for him. However, now that he's cheated, how do I get my head around showing him more love after sn affair? A bit hard at the moment anyway since I cringe at the thought of being close to him anyway. I just get images of him with her whenever we're close and wonder, did he do this with her? I've also got in the back of my mind that it's all on me in the fact that if I don't "perform" up to his standards and give him enough attention then he'll just run off and do it again.
And that, of course, is the big problem with affairs. It's like detonating a nuclear bomb to deal with a mosquito. There's not much you can do to rebuild a marriage until all the fallout from the affair has been processed. In the short term, focus on keeping your head above water (sorry to mix all my metaphors). Take care of yourself and concentrate on being civil to each other. Once your marriage feels less fragile, you can begin to focus on rebuilding the foundation. In the meantime, he needs to show you, day in - day out, that he's being honest and transparent and is committed to rebuilding. The time will come when you can go over the issues within your marriage and replace bad habits with better ones. For now it's enough to both commit to wanting that.Elle
I still feel like I'm looking for answers, but is it pain shopping? He's still trying really hard but I just feel empty, like his words mean nothing anyway because for a year and a half he was saying one thing to me but going off whenever he could to be with the OW. So why is it different now? I found out it first all started when he went out with his mates for his birthday, now I hate his birthday and it's coming up. I'm dreading it. He's away with mates this week (he has an annual trip with them) and normally he would just let me know he made it there ok, then I'd only talk to him again when he's leaving so I know when to expect him home. This time he's ringing me every night, messaging me during the day, saying he loves me and misses me etc which is nice, but I feel nothing, I'm empty. I feel like I don't know him because I can't understand how someone can cheat for a year and a half then turn around and say but I love you and don't want to lose you. It makes no sense! I really want to get all the deleted text messages out of his phone so I can see if he ever did say he loved her or did say he ever wanted to leave me, it's like I want to catch him out lying to me again - why do we pain shop? Every time I'm happy or catch myself feeling good, having a "happy" family moment, I'm instantly checking myself, saying this isn't right, remember what happened. I think because the affair went on for so long and the fact that he never stopped it, it only stopped because I caught him out, I feel like my life was a lie. What I thought was ok, wasn't, so now I just question everything. Argh, what a mess my head is.
What you're experiencing is post-trauma. It's a logical response to a situation in which your safety felt completely jeopardized. We become terrified to go through that again so feel as if we always have to be on guard to ensure it doesn't happen again. But, of course, we can't control another person. As well, you're trying to make sense of a situation that likely will never make sense to you. I will never get how my husband could live a double life like he did. And I've given up trying to understand. It has become enough that he doesn't ever want to live like that again. That it was hell. That he feels ashamed of himself and what he did.Give in to those moments of brief joy and happiness. Slowly let them build. Let them thaw your frozen heart which is determined to prevent itself from being broken again. Feeling joy now doesn't negate what happened. It doesn't make what he did okay. It simply shows that the heart has the capacity to heal. That we can feel extreme pain but we can also experience joy in the wake of it. Numb can protect us in the short term...but we don't want to spend our lives feeling numb.Your head isn't a mess at all. It is responding quite "normally" to an incredibly traumatic experience.Elle
To the lady who posted on September 23rd.Try and stay still and calm for a few weeks/months. I'm now 16 months post D Day and I firstly thought my husband would never ever be unfaithful but secondly if he was It was a deal breaker. I'm still here. It won't be easy; be prepared for anger, tears, frustration and shock.From my husbands point of view, he felt flattered by her attention and once he crossed the line he knew he had no way back. It really didn't matter whether they did it once or a million times after that. He said that the day they had sex his life changed forever, all the joy had been taken out of his life. He told her the usual, my wife doesn't sleep with me, we don't talk much, you're so lovely, the best sex ever when in fact he was falling into a very deep depression. No excuses but don't think that its always a breeze with the other woman.My husband is left with self loathing about what he did and he cannot understand how he got to that point. We are re-building our lives and I hope you can find a way, whatever your decision, to weather the storm a little more to see how you feel. This site has saved me on many an occasion. The first few months after finding out I cannot really bring back to the forefront of my memory as it is lost in a feeling of sinking disaster and catching my breathe. I did turn up for work, look after the kids and perform daily routines. God knows how though.Keep strong and do the best you can. Transparency and honesty between the two of you is essential.
I am almost 7 months past the Dday and I still feel like it was yesterday. However I have been able to get better I still have triggers thatswill take me to day 1. I am under anxiety medication which has helped me control my anger, I used to wish the worst on the OW but now when I think of her it makes MD feel nothing but sorry for her. My husband wants me to get over it he said I used to be strong and now weak because I cry, I don't eat or sleep I call out of work at least once a week. Truth is he never seen me hit bottom and he doesn't know how to handle it....but one day I told myself that was enough of burying myself and I needed to be OK with myself for my 6 year old son. I am taking it day by day I'm at the point where I feel bad for my husband I know hr is in pain too....we recently had a small argument because j didn't know how to tell him that I have noticed he is more aggressive during sex I am confused....is it normal?? I mean when I suggest sex he pushes back but then he wakes me up on the middle of the night for hot sex?? Can this have an explanation? Or am I reading too much into it??...I told him I will give him all the time he needs I will wait till time is right...but can't stop wondering why he is acting like this.
I'm so sorry for what you're going through. It takes a long time to get through this. Your husband's comment about now you're "weak" is not only incredibly hurtful it's untrue. You're incredibly strong. He clearly has no idea how devastating this is or he'd recognize your strength. Crying, etc. is an expression of pain, not weakness. I'm glad though that you're focusing on being present for your son. Whether he knows what's happened or not, he'll certainly be tuned into your own sadness which can be frightening for a kid.It sounds as if you and your husband are still struggling with intimacy. What does he say? Why does he push you away when you initiate it, only to initiate it himself later? What does he say about being more "aggressive"? One of the good things that can come out of an affair is increased ability for each partner to express their sexual preferences but it does make it sometimes hard for the betrayed partner to wonder if he wants her to be more like the affair partner. It's crucial that you talk about this.I also wonder whether your husband sought any counselling after his affair. Is he clear on why he cheated? What did he get out of the affair that he thinks he needs? Unless he's figured out what stories he was telling himself to allow him to cheat, it's quite possible that he'll cheat again. Particularly when he's telling himself that you're "weak".I think it's time for your to stand up for yourself, make it clear that experts say it's three to five years to get past a spouse's betrayal and that you're doing your best, and come clean about his own issues around this stuff. You didn't bring this on, he did. He needs to man up and support you in your healing.Elle
This was been definetly an eye opener!!....we both have to change and trust each other again...I don't have a hard time trusting him at all when is out the door...something tells me inside that I should trust him I don't get anxious or nervous when he leaves home..I think I'm almost there....I am learning to live with this and put it in the past...
I just want to thank Elle and others for commenting on this site. It has been so helpful to see there are others that have the same feelings I do. It has been almost 15 months since my D Day and my husband and I are still trying to re-build our marriage, but I do keep feeling as though I should be better emotionally after this much time. He is trying to be patient and help me move forward, but it is so hard to look at him the same way/have the same love for him/confidence in him/support him, etc., every little thing that is annoying to me - which wouldn't have been before - make everything we went through pop up in my head and then the feelings of resentment cause me to be angry, cranky at home, etc.. He had an an emotional, and somewhat physical relationship with a co-worker, he admitted it to me that it had been going on emotionally for months, moved out for a few weeks, and then tried to "figure out his feelings" for several months while I was sort of hanging on trying to convince him of our strong marriage, finally after a final threat from me that I could not wait for him to "figure it out" any longer and keep my sanity, he cut off all communications with her and committed to trying to heal with me. About that time, I also learned he had kissed our babysitter in the meantime while he was being honest about "figuring all of this out" with the OW. Needless to say, she is out of our lives now too, but I have more memories of her because I knew her so well. He never can answer any questions about that other than he was "lost" and felt like he had already messed everything up. We have been trying to re-build for over a year now, and he is being patient, but doesn't have answers to all of my "pain shopping". I kept wanting it to work and to get past it for our kids' sake - they are very young, and don't know any of what went on (were 3 and a newborn during the really bad months), but part of me feels terrible for giving him another chance, when I still have so many hard feelings...then doubts that it will happen again....anger about our friends that may know what happened...then low self confidence in general....then feel like i deserve so much better. I keep trying to find ways I can be a stronger and better person and have a better marriage as a result of all of this - trying to find a reason it all happened - but scared deep down it was happening so that we would divorce. Anyway, I appreciate your comments that other people don't just move on quickly and that it will take time. Also nice to have somewhere to vent - there are only a few people I talk to about this, as I don't want our friends to feel uncomfortable, my family to hate him, etc. Hard to keep it all bottled up...
I'm glad you found us...but so sorry you needed to.You still sound quite conflicted, which I suspect is at least partly a consequence of your husband's waffling. I can imagine how frightening it must be to trust him again. Not only did he betray that trust initially but he took his time determining whether he wanted to be in a marriage with you. That's incredibly painful and would likely bring up all sorts of issues around abandonment, worthiness and your role in his life.Factor in the betrayal by your babysitter -- someone you trusted with your kids -- and you've been through hell. (Oh yeah...and the fact that you're dealing with a toddler and a newborn = EXHAUSTING...)So...what to do about it: if you're not in therapy, I think you should be. You need someone who can help you get clear on how much of your confusion is based on a legitimate concern that this guy isn't the best one for you and how much is baggage from everything you've gone through. It can really help to have someone in whom you can regularly confide everything -- all that rage, fear, disappointment -- who can help you parse through it. If that's not an option, I hope you'll continue to share here...and if you have perhaps one close friend in real life, who will simply let you share and not judge you or him, then that can go a long way too.Bottling it up is the worst thing you can do. As you're discovering, these feelings are going to make themselves known one way or the other. Either as simmering resentment or depression or anger. It's very hard to see your husband clearly through the lens of all these unresolved feelings.Maybe he's a great guy who truly had lost his way, or maybe he's someone who can be a great dad but not husband. Either way, you deserve to figure out your own feelings around this...with no pressure to get over it. We betrayed wives tend to experience our own pain long after the crisis is over...around the time everyone else thinks we should be "over it". Ain't gonna happen. Elle
Three years ago, my husband had his first and only affair. I think what is particularly devastating is that neither of us ever had a date prior to meeting each other. I think this was what the OW found attractive because it made her feel powerful - to give him an experience he never had and never thought he would. (She's the type that never would have looked at him twice had he been single.)When he told me he was in love with her and wanted to move out, I went literally crazy. I had never worked since we married, and he was not only talking about ending our marriage, but that I had to find a job since our kids were grown and he didn't want to support me forever. I utilized all the resources I had to get him to end the affair and move back home. I even wrote a letter to the OW asking her to leave him alone and stop interfering with my marriage. He waivered, but still stayed with her. Finally, a couple of things happened: the OW told him to get off the fence about whether he was leaving me or not; and a good friend who had been having many late talks with him finally got through. He ended the affair with a scathing note to the OW (refused to tell her in person) and cut off all contact with her - changed his email and forbade her to try to talk to him. From what I heard, she was upset but let him go.All good, right? Wrong. I initially told him he shouldn't move back in with me until we had been through counseling. I was really having a hard time with him having sex outside the marriage because we had only ever been with each other. For three months, he seemed like he was trying to do everything he could to get us back where he could move home. Then he found out the OW had started dating someone else. My husband dropped all attempts to heal our marriage and tried to get her to come back to him. She refused, and he started to stalk her until the same friend made him stop.That was over two years ago - and we are still living separately. We thought he would come home last fall, but he changed his mind again. He continues to pursue other women but has not been successful in generating any interest. He says he married me because no one else would have him, and he doesn't want to hurt me, but feels like he got a taste of "true love" from his affair and is not ready to go back to what he "settled" for with me. Yet he won't begin divorce proceedings because our church is so strongly against it, and he thinks he might get it out of his system eventually.I basically feel stuck - I am middle aged, have not worked in 25 years, have a husband who I desperately want back the way we used to be but can't or won't come home. Friends outside the church tell me to get a job and begin divorce proceedings, but my church and husband just tell me to be patient with him and hang in there.
I think you know what you should do. It's just that people in your life who you've given power are telling you not to do it.How long do they want you to be patient? Isn't two years of masochism enough? And what about when he returns home -- IF he returns home?I think you've already been more than patient with someone who is treating you like door number two.You need to treat yourself with respect, particularly when he isn't showing you any. He's been unnecessarily cruel and I think it's time you cut his loose and moved forward with your life. Let him chase other women, let him chase "true love". In the meantime, you can create a life of dignity and self-respect. Anyone who thinks it's okay to chase other women while married but not file for divorce because his church is against it has a really warped view of right and wrong.I hope you'll take steps to move forward with your life. You deserve so much better than this.Elle
To October 9th anonymous.....isn't your church against adultery? Your husband is being a hypocrite. He's only following the church teachings that he wants to follow. There is nothing wrong with getting a job and being physically and financially separate from him until he starts behaving like a man worthy of his marital vows.
Hello everyone. I am writing from home where I have spent most of the past 2 weeks. I've not gone to work, showered a couple times, and only move to care for my 3 month old. My husband, the man of my dreams, cheated on me for months and I only found out the true extent of it 2 weeks ago. For months, he convinced me that their relationship bordered on an emotional affair, but he stopped it. I found hotel charges to his personal credit card to disconfirm his lies. I've always told myself I'd leave when presented with a situation like this. I figured I'd be angry and be able to act. Instead, I am deeply depressed, terrified, and paralyzed. No anger here. I wonder where it went. I want to divorce because I do not want him to think he can treat me and our marriage in such a way and things will return to normal over time. THe problem is that I never considered divorcing him before. I love him. This horrible situation has been placed in my lap and I must deal with it in a way that I am not prepared to. We have a 3 month old which makes this all the more difficult.
Having a three-month-old is exhausting enough...let alone dealing with a spouse's betrayal at the same time. I'm so so sorry.Give yourself time to figure out your next step. Your hormones are probably still wacky postpartum. And with the trauma of betrayal, you're not going to make the best decision. If possible, get yourself a therapist to help you process your emotions. The anger will likely surface. You're probably in survival mode. I too remember feeling utterly terrified and so deeply wounded. The paralysis kept me put because I simply couldn't muster the energy required to leave. Slowly as my energy (and anger) returned, I realized I didn't want to leave. However, I did insist on certain conditions, number one being that my husband get counselling for his own issues.But for now...try and eat healthy. Get sleep when you can. Find a trusted person to confide in who can check in with you and help you through. And please know that you'll get through this. Try, as best you can, to focus on your baby and enjoy that as much as you can. Your problems can wait. Your baby will never be this age again...Elle
I found out about my husband's affair when my son was 8 months old. The affair recovery robbed me of enjoying his infancy. Do all that you can to enjoy your baby. Nothing...not even a happy ending for your marriage will be worth losing that time with your child.
Whoops -- accidentally deleted this comment when I tried to hit publish. Copying it here...I just wanted to thank you for your posts and I wanted to tell all the ladies on here that their comments and questions have been unbelievably helpful to me. I have been struggling this year after my partner had an affair. After seeking counselling we decided that we both love each other very much and want to work on our relationship. My biggest concern right now is that, after the first two months, I started to feel totally sexually indifferent toward my partner. Before I knew about his affair I was very sexually comfortable, I had a fab sex drive and now I feel that although my drive is still alive and well, I just have no interest in him sexually anymore. I love him deeply, and maybe I'm putting a statute of limitations on my hurt, but I WANT to want my partner. He is being very patient and loving, and seems to understand how I feel better than I do. I find it frustrating and it just makes me feel so depressed. Is there any hope for our relationship? Has anyone else had this problem? Any advice?
Yep. Intimacy is like the last frontier, in terms of letting our guard down. After we've been betrayed, it can be really hard to trust again. And intimacy also opens the door to painful memories, mind movies...and all that stuff we might have successfully relegated to the past. I wonder if you're putting too much pressure on yourself to become intimate too soon. Would you consider just trying to be intimate without sex? Hugging, hand-holding. Affection with to expectation of sex. Betrayal messes with our sense of worthiness, our feelings of attractiveness. For me, the thought of being naked with my husband left me feeling too vulnerable. But going slowly, introducing affection...got things rolling.Elle
Its been 11 years since my husband did the worst thing in the history of affairs. One night after being out drinking (as was the norm for him, usually every night) he came home with some girl - yes girl, she was 19 & she was drunk as well - we were in our mid 20's. He woke me up asking if she could stay because she was nearly assulted by a man we knew & she was scared to be alone. Mind you, at this time we were already having severe issues in our relationship. I don't know what I was thinking but I got up, got her blankets & a pillow & set up on our couch. My husband & her watched a movie while I was in the bedroom with our 1year old. I don't know what possesed me but I got up & went out there. It was dark, no movie playing, but there was plenty of noise. I knew exactly what was going on. I flipped on the light to find them having sex on our couch - with me & our son in the very next room! I kicked her out of our house naked & turned my anger, betrayal, heart break, & devistation on him. I moved out of state a few months later. After 6 months he moved to where we were & tried again. Being 11 years later I still CANNOT get passed it. It still haunts me to this day. I think about it probably 8 times a month... even after all these years. I don't know how to let it go. Just writing this is bringing back the flood of horrifying memories. Maybe its partly because I don't feel like I've ever been truly apologized too even tho we went to counseling & he broke down about it. I just don't know how to let go of this hurt, anger, lack of trust, maddening memory/feeling. Its been a long time & I just want to move on. Even if just for my sake. For my own peace of mind. I don't know what I'll do if I have to live with this every day for the rest of my life. Its not only the memory but I actually re-live that day over & over & over again.
My OH has lied to me through our whole relationship. An emotional affair with an ex. A secret daughter that I only found out about because I was snooping on his Facebook. Stupid lies and secrets for the first 3 years. I thought we were past it all. I thought we had turned a corner. I thought I was safe. Two weeks ago I looked at his computer history and he has created a profile on a hook up / sex site. I confronted him and of course at 1st he denied it but finally admitted it was a banner on a porn site saying "there may be singles in your area" and he got curious. Curious about WHAT??? His user name? Playbuddy and his password is "anytime". I feel sick. That says it all really eh?I am straight down the line - I dont feel that you have to stick your bits in someone for it to be cheating. I am so hurt. Cant eat, sleep, cant stop crying. I cant trust this man but then I love him. Why would he do that? I am usually the one to initiate sex so it isnt that he is deprived. If anything, he is more "vanilla" than I am in the bedroom so I dont understand. I am just so hurt .... I need answers but honestly, how can I ever trust anything this man ever tells me again?
Betrayal is behaving in a way that violates your partner's trust. That's what he's done.As for why he would do that, that's a question for him. And you're completely within your rights to demand he figure it out (preferably via a therapist) to help you understand and be able to trust that he won't do it again. Porn/sex rarely has anything to do with the quantity/quality of the sex at home. It's generally about avoiding uncomfortable feelings -- fear, loss, insecurity... It's a distraction, albeit an unhealthy one.You will only be able to trust him again when he understands why he went down this path...and has something in place to ensure it doesn't happen again. In the meantime, you can focus on processing your own feelings around this. Betrayal impacts us deeply so please allow yourself to feel what you're feeling. Your husband needs to recognize just how deeply he's hurt you and not minimize it.Elle
My husband said he was "done" with me in 2010 and that the affair he started with the "hot" neighbor wasn"t the reason he was leaving me. It turns out he never really loved me. He was a widower and just wanted a mother for his son. I was single, 30 and never been married. I fit the job description. He claims he was miserable all along. He has a laundry list of the ways I was not a good wife. So, in his eyes I was not a good mother to his son either, yet he stayed with me and had 4 other children with me. I found out about their "innocent" flirting and sharing of life's hardships thru secret email accounts affair in March 2012 from her husband who busted her receiving a text from my husband that began with "hey babe". In April 2012 we lost our home of 17 years and we separated. The 5 children (including his son now MY son) came with me. He bounced around between his cousins and sisters house. I found out in July 2012 they had been having a full blown affair all along. He only told me because her husband found out from an anonymous letter. Long story short, her husband kicked her out, she crawled back, then left on her own. My husband ended up spending more and more time with her because they were "in love" and there was just something "natural" about them together. What about the family we created? "I left you, not my children" was his reply. He proceeded to openly see her even though we were still married. Even went so far as to tell his children, 20, 16, 14, 12 that his was in love with this two-bit floozy and they should be happy for him. They basically told him they loved him but wanted NOTHING to do with her. He let them know if that's how they wanted to be he wanted nothing to do with them. Flash forward, she broke up with my husband in March of 2013 and went back home to her family. Her husband had begun seeing someone new and I think she hit panic mode and fund shortage. I stupidly let my husband come sleep on the couch at my house. He lived off of us for four months finally got his own place and guess what???? SHE"S BACK!!! Her husband didn't buy into her return and was giving her a hard time, so now she's back with my husband. And he wants her!!! I wish I was at the point of not giving a damn, but my heart won't listen to me.
I'm so so sorry for what you've had to go through...but now it's time for you to start treating yourself with the respect that he's refusing to treat you with. He has done nothing but demean you, devalue you and disrespect you. I think years of his emotional abuse has likely made you wonder if you have any value at all...but I'm telling you that you are worth TEN of him. You are a loyal wife and devoted mother and you need to tell him to get out of your home. You are NOT going to settle for his scraps.Please get yourself to a counsellor who can help build back up what he has spent years tearing down. You do not deserve to be treated like this. You deserve dignity and kindness and compassion. He clearly won't give it to you so you absolutely must start giving it to yourself. Ask yourself how you would treat your daughter (if you have one) going through this heartbreak. My guess is you would be gentle with her, hold her when she cries and remind her constantly that she is going to be just fine without him. Now do that for yourself. Find a good friend who can do that for you.But whatever you do, get this guy out of your life (except for his duties as father). He and this nutty Other Woman deserve each other. Elle
I found out that my husband cheated January 18, 2011. I am still struggling, although according to him, I should be past it all. Maybe some of you can shed some light as to how to stop being so angry, to trust again, to not worry so much about looking like the smuck who stayed with a man who cheated on her. There are only a handful of people who know. This was, to his relief, my decision. (I have my proof, if should ever need it.) I did not want to explain myself to everyone as to why I was giving this a try, and I certainly did not want to looks of sympathy from anyone, most especially his family. There are a few girlfriends who know, my therapist, a cousin on my side, and his sister whom I am very close too. I am fortunate that this support system is respectfully keeping this quiet. So to begin, some background on our relationship. It was wonderful while dating and the first few years of marriage. I am a very social person, he is not. I knew this and accepted this, he was more than accommodating when it came to me “going out” without him. Sounds like a recipe for disaster right, but it wasn’t. I did not go out with men alone ever. I went out with girlfriends, sometimes, husbands would join, but not mine. It had to be a big occasion to warrant his presence. I honestly never considered cheating, just need to be out, social, a break from housewifedom. It worked, until our first child. (we have a few kiddies) My occasional nights out turned into him having to “babysit” and he never ceased to tell me that me going out showed him I didn’t care about our family if I needed to get away. I promptly told him FATHER’S don’t babysit their kids, they raise them. When I am away it does not turn into babysitting because your raising your child, every day till they are an adult themselves. (Nice Try Dummy)I would ignore the comment of I don’t love my family enough if I feel the need to go out. He felt that because I was not completely fulfilled with him and the kids, I did not love them. I would simply say, I love you all, I just need to get out. The guilt trips would last for a week sometimes longer. I learned to live with this, but I did not stop going out (once a month, or once every 2 months).He was choosing to not join me, he was invited every time. How I would have loved to have blown off some steam with him, laugh with others, get a little tipsy, have a DATE with him with others. I could tell my friends and their husbands loved out nights out, it brought them closer as a couple to let off steam together. Dinner, bowling, whatever…but he could not be swayed to join us. (this back history has point later)
In 2005 my mom passed away, I fell into to a depression. I at the time did not realize that I was depressed. This lasted for awhile, I believe the not recognizing my depression and getting help for it contributed to my husband looking for support elsewhere. (NO Excuse) In 2007 he happend to meet up with and ex (who is married with a couple kids) while scouting a HS football game. Her son was playing on the team he was scouting. They visited for awhile, and somehow she was able to escape her family and my husband (who has no friends or ever goes out, except with his family or mine) didn’t get home that night until 4am. Ummm, yes, I confronted him, and I believed his lies. He was out with the other coaches, they closed the bars and went to breakfast. I thought ok, maybe if he makes some guy friends it might help him bow off some steam, maybe even get him to go out with me and my friends, this small taste of social activity. So lets jump to fall 2010. Unbeknownst to me there was an email, lunch and dinner affair going on during this time, he states is was never physical past some kissing. (hence feeling like a smuck) He also states it was sporadic, they would not see or speak for months at at time. So back up, fall 2010. I still don’t know of his philandering, but he was more than ever distant. A bigger smartass than usual, and sometimes, just mean. And OH the guilt when I would go out with my girlfriends, my monthly or bi-monthy Night out, was out of control. An old female friend of his was reaching out to him. I’ve known her throughout our entire history together. (She was married with kids as well)She begin calling and asking to meet talk again. At first I thought nothing of it, he met her for dinner, then a lunch. She then wanted to go see a local band she liked and he asked me if he could go with her. Had he extend an invite to me, his wife, more than likely I would have said Yes, LET”S GO OUT!!! But he did not. I ever so calmly said to my husband, I’m sorry, this is where I draw the line. Your telling me, you, Mr. Antisocal will go out, to a loud crowded bar for this woman (old friend), but in all these years you won’t go to a place like that with me, or even for me?My answer to you is NO. And I reminded him that on the nights I do, did go out, don’t I always extend an invitation to you? And once have I ever asked to go out alone with an old guy friend? (All my guy friends were invited to dinner, so that I could catch up with them with my husband around)At this he became extremely agitated. So I started digging. On a lonely night in January 2011 I cracked into his email and read four years worth of email. NOT from his old friend whom I told he could not go to the bar with, but his ex whom he rekindled with at the football back in 2007. Remember that night he came home at 4am. So here I am, approaching 3 years later, and I’m asking how do I get rid of the anger? I have moments when I feel I am moving past all of this, and I think, if I just let go and trust, will I be the smuck again?
Slim,It's easy to see how each of you was feeling unvalued, distant within the marriage. I'm not saying it made sense to feel that way...but much of our responses to our spouses is rooted in deeper stuff than just what's happening within the marriage.So...he was feeling like the "babysitter", you were feeling abandoned socially. He find someone who makes him feel appreciated blah blah blah (oldest story in the book) and now you're being told that you should be "over it" by now.Doesn't work that way.I'm glad to read that you have a therapist. I'm curious what he/she is saying about your anger and grief. It's not uncommon for this to take years to get past. You're 2.5 years out...at which point I was still feeling pretty angry and sad. I guess the question is, do you feel as if it's getting better? A lot of us wind up in a state of numbness around 2 years. We're past the wild ups and downs of the first year or so...but haven't quite reconciled ourselves to our new world. Your concern about feeling like a shmuck says to me that you still feel unsafe in your relationship...and that you're worried to let your guard down again.What has your husband done about his behaviour? Is he in therapy? How does he reassure you? Do you have access to his computer/phone/etc.? What more could he be doing to help you feel safe again in the marriage?Many, many of these guys just don't get how devastating betrayal is. They figure that if they're no longer involved in an affair that we should be "over it". But a "trust violation" as the experts call it, goes to the very core of our sense of safety in the world. It shatters our expectations about who we can trust, who has our backs. It makes us feel very, very alone.This is what needs addressing in therapy...and with your husband.Elle
Elle,Thanks for your reply. I am most definitely numb. To my husband, and even the kids at times. This scares me. Therapy says that, that is normal, the numbness. My fear is that it does not pass, then what? Do I continue to live a numb life, for the kids? I am so afraid of being hurt like that again, it’s almost like a comfort to hold onto the anger. Again, I am told this is normal. But I almost feel like at times my therapist is humoring me. I am out of the depression, many thanks to her and my hard work. I almost get a sense that she thinks I should be further down my path to forgiveness, although she has never said that. I have asked if its time to move on (stop therapy or find someone new) and although she has told me she wants to see this through, she is supportive either way. Could be my paranoia carrying over. So not even a year out another therapist told me I need to let my husband have the privacy of his email. But i have access to phone. I crave wanting to read the email, but I don’t ask. When I go down that path, I breathe deeply and try to let it go. Do you still have access to your husbands? Should I ask? Could this little thing be preventing me from moving on? Having peace of mind? How does one bring that back up? Needless to say we no longer see that marriage councilor. We no longer go together to counseling. I became tired of setting up appointments and doing all the legwork. I one day told him, that I would like to continue counseling, but I needed him to schedule and do the leg work. He scheduled one session, we have not been back since. He has many excuses. He essentially is a better dad, I am not letting him be a better husband, but he is trying. He is HERE more, not running away. He s playing taxi cab driver more than ever without complaint. Cooking, laundry, this seems to be his way of showing me I am here….I’m appreciative, and recognize his better behavior. (It was all me in the past, and he complained if asked to contribute in the ways stated above before D day) I know because of his upbringing, he will not leave me or the kids, at the very least until our youngest is done with high school, if not ever. He is remorseful, sorry, etc….but strongly believes I should be “done” with my healing. He does not push, bring it up, but i feel it. I will continue therapy and plugging along. I want that epiphany to hit me that I am past this. I am afraid I may not be able to deal at some point and have no other option but to part ways. We shall see. Thanks for responding.Slim
Hi, Elle - First, thank you for this site. I found out about my husband's nine month betrayal in June. After 17 years of marriage and 22 years exclusively together, it was like being hit by lightening, run over by a car, attacked by a lion, dropped from the Empire State Building, and drowned by a raging river, all at once. I come here to try to help make sense of my feelings and receive some small measure of comfort so I can take the next breath when the waves of despair crash over my head again.The OW could have written the letter you posted on the blog (and hilariously commented upon) last week. She did tell my husband to file from divorce from me, even hired a lawyer for him, and she gave it her very best shot to convince him that I didn't love him. She knew he was married from the start. She has destroyed two other marriages before by being the OW (and she isn't even 40 years old yet!) My husband is (as far as I can tell and I do check), leading an open, honest life with me. He finally came out of his affair fog in late August/early September and it is a relief to me that he sees her, her motives, and what he did from a place of truth and reality now. Besides wanting to thank you for this site, the reason for my post is to ask if you know of any books that I could give DH to read to explain to him my mindset and my steps towards healing. He is usually patient with me, and always loving. I do get held when I cry. I do get space when I want to go for a run to feel better. I do get words of affirmation. However, I can tell he is sometimes frustrated, because we are together, the OW is totally out of our lives, and we are putting our marriage first and our family a close second now. He is a typical guy and he wants to "do something" to help put me back together. I want to give him something to read that will give him guidance, and, in turn, help me. Ideas, suggestions?
You're welcome. I'm glad the site is helping you.I don't know of any books to recommend…but wondered if you might want to print out some of the more pertinent posts on this site to help him understand what you (and, as he'll see, so many others) experience in the wake of betrayal. I know of at least one other reader who asked her husband to read this site…and his response was a greater insight into how wounded we are post-betrayal. If I do come across any books that I think would suit, I'll certainly let you know. Perhaps others might come along and offer up recommendations that have worked for them.Elle
Please help. I feel crazy. It’s been 10 months since D-day. I discovered it before he confessed to a 2 year affair with one of my closest friends. That hurt something extra. I'm 27. They are both 30. He chose on his own to stay. He refuses to let me take any blame for his unfaithfulness. He & OW are very alike in personality. OW was also married @ start of affair. She divorced after 6 months, has never apologized, and actually moved CLOSER to where we live since D-day. Which really unnerves me and pisses me off, tho I do feel I have moved past my anger at her (sent her 1 email with all I had to say back in mo. 2 after D-day and haven't spoken to her since). My husband has practically nothing negative to say about me. He says I'm a wonderful wife, an amazing person, anyone would be lucky to have me, & what a huge mistake leaving me for OW would be. But he STILL battles feelings for OW. Sometimes this makes him distant. Sex drive plummets. I start picking myself apart. He knows this hurts me. He doesn’t know how to change so he won’t hurt me. He loved her, thought they were "soul mates"... but I believe wholeheartedly he's mistaken the fantasy/lust/excitement for love, (ignoring all the OWs lies and fights they had during affair). I try to help him, offer advice, books/articles to read, listen to him without judgment. I've been unbelievably empathetic & patient almost since day 1. I know I must continue to be-- I've read it can take just as long for him to get past OW as for me to feel healed. But I’m stuck. I can’t do or say anything to help him, no matter what I try to do or say. He still lets himself wonder what his life would be like with her. Like he’s afraid he’s missing greener grass on the other side of the fence so he just stares at the neighbor’s yard all day wondering what it would be like to have it instead of the grass dying slowly under his inattentive feet. All that, PLUS I just found out that my parents BOTH had affairs when I was very young and that my mom was the betrayer AND the OW, tho at least she never met his wife. BUT STILL. It's too close to my pain for me to feel okay about it. But she’s my mom and it was 27 years ago. And she stayed and she came clean within a month. I don’t know how to feel! I have been coping gracefully up to this point, but this news has had me feeling unable to cope. A first since D-day. Now I feel there is absolutely no one who is as they seem (given that the first new person I forced myself out of my shell of pain to try and trust again/befriend after D-day turned out to be an OW also, which I didn’t learn until AFTER she’d heard my story, yet she still lied to my face). My H said just yesterday that he does want to keep trying and stay. So there’s that. But I still feel... overwhelmed. Unable to deal. Rudderless. I need someone to rely on. My husband isn’t fitting that bill right now. And after mom's news, I can't think of a single person. Even my friendships I still trust. So I search books and the web for stories of a similar situation. But I haven’t found ANY. My H didn't stay “for the kids” because we don’t have kids. He stayed without that obligation. He stayed because it was the right thing to do and he couldn’t/wouldn’t leave me. He stayed for as many reasons as I stayed. Some romantic/loving, some practical. We are 10 mo. into healing, my emotions aren’t as rollercoastery as before, & my H should be well into letting the OW go. I refuse to give up, so it has to be him that chooses to quit. But any stories that first sound like they would be like mine turn out to have Hs staying for the kids or a struggling sex life (ours was/is incredible) or they've been married for like 15yrs (we are in yr 4) & other things that lend to making sense that the H still has love for the OW but feels obligated to stay. So... is ANYONE else in a similar situation? Or has gone through one like me? I can't be the ONLY person whose situation is/was like this! Right??
I'm so so sorry for what you've been going through. It must seem as if no-one has any scruples. And it's true that infidelity is rampant. That said…there are many who are honest and decent. You note that your husband is taking total "blame" for his affair, which is admirable. But at the same time, he's clearly made you aware that he's not over the OW. That he thought they were "soul-mates". Her moving closer to you likely doesn't help AT ALL. But it seems like some sort of weird emotional abuse. To keep you hanging in there while he tries to get over someone else. I get that it can take time for spouses to get over the OW…but for you to be so aware of it seems perverse to me. I can't help but wonder what he's getting out of this -- some ego boost that two women want him? I think he's either in or he's out. He's a fence-sitter…and though he says he's staying, his actions seem to indicate that he's got a toe out the door. Are you in counselling, individually and as a couple? I think you've been plenty patient enough. And I'm sure he's right that this has nothing to do with you -- you're no doubt an amazing person. So what the hell is his problem?But…that's my thinking. I don't think I could put up with that much ambivalence after someone had betrayed me like that (and with a close friend! That's unbearably cruel!). And to find out your mother was also capable of deception. Well…it's no wonder your head is spinning.You might find this story interesting (http://www.salon.com/2011/04/22/boyfriend_choosing_between_us/). I'm honestly not sure how it played out. I think they split up…but that's conjecture on my part.In the meantime, I hope you'll at least get counselling to help you get clear on what exactly you want out of this.Elle
Thank you. Yeah, I worry sometimes about that, too. But one reason I am so aware of it is because of the kind of person I am. I'm very self aware& my awareness extends to my H cuz I've spent so much time focused on him/his moods, what they mean for me. BUT he doesn't admit to it lightly. Its usually only after I notice his growing distant for about 2 weeks, finally cracking & forcing him to acknowledge that he's been fighting an inner battle & isn’t handling it as well as he thought. That's when he begrudgingly & remorsefully tells me there are still feelings. It never comes from a place of ego, thankfully. I imagine it's a lot like the battles I have every day with my pain/the past. I'm just better at it than him cuz I’m not afraid to dive into my pain & look inside myself. But yes, he is very much a fence-sitter. It’s frustrating. Over the years he has unwittingly nurtured his inability to make decisions & stick to a commitment. This is, I think, where he is a broken person. He is constantly changing cars/phones/etc (always gets great deals tho) reading reviews before he buys & even still, taking days, even weeks, to make a decision & then 90% of the time he isn't happy with the change he made & ends up back with his original choice within a couple days... (Our families joked about this habit of his before we got married. But it has gotten much more prevalent than it was then.) I asked him last night to try therapy again & fix whatever brokenness is inside him that made him cheat -cuz he will never be happy with whomever he's sharing his life with if he can't be happy with himself. He agreed it was time to give it another go. 1 week after D-day I had us in therapy. The mc was ok, but said there wasn't much she could do for both of us until my H had sorted out his issues & he agreed to individual counseling. But it was quickly clear to us both that she was not helping. She didn't give him any guidance, didn't give him a safe place to work through what he'd done & his feelings, etc. She made him feel judged & basically gave only this advice: "looks like you have a choice to make." After that, we dealt with it ourselves & things got better. But 4 mo ago I noticed a shift. It was like he was actually allowing himself to be happy and involved with me till then and then checked himself & started to doubt again. It hasn’t been all ambivalence since then, but it does tend to come up more often now. There have been so many good times of really pronounced healing & forward moving-ness tho... but if he never fixes what’s broken inside him he can never truly hope to fix the damage he’s done to us. But I feel like... I wouldn't feel right if I gave up on him - not being patient or loving enough to stick with him while he fixed what was wrong in himself. I mean, I would hope if the roles were reversed he wouldn't give up on me.I definitely agree with what you’ve said tho. I worry about all this at times, but I feel- and hope- that I’m a strong and smart enough person to know when enough truly is enough and when I just need to keep plowing forward. Thank you for responding so quickly and so insightfully. I have considered going back to therapy as well, just to find a way to cope with news of my mom. Until that happens, I'm so grateful to have found sites like this. It really helps me to read something in moments of worry. Helps me even myself out and proceed with a certain peace through the rest of my day. (also thanks for the link! I'm about to go read it now)
I just found out about my husband having an affair with his co-worker . The only reason it stopped is because i found out. I called her and she sounded so confident, she said they were both in love with each other and that they had a plan. that the only reason he was still with me is because of our kids. I love my husband and i want to work on our marriage . But i'm concerned that he might leave me after my kids turn 18yrs old ..My son is 15yrs and my daughter is 12. I really want to tell her husband but afraid about my husband loosing his job. I feel im going crazy. I was able to check the statements from his checking account, found out they spent a wknd together when i was away visiting my family. Since they work in the same place i will never know whats going on at work. I cant express all the emotions im going thru but i can relate to most of the stories. Should i talk to her husband?
Yes, I think you should talk to her husband. He deserves to know what his wife is doing and determine whether he wants to stay married to her. Just give him the facts of what you know…and then completely let go of it. Don't get pulled into their drama, you've got your own.What is your husband saying? Why was he involved with her? What is he telling you about his future? If you two aren't in counselling, please get there. You can't live life wondering if your husband has one foot out the door.You need access to all his communication devices to determine whether he's in contact with anyone he shouldn't be. If he won't provide that, it's a huge red flag.You can only rebuild your marriage if that's what he wants to. Finally, you're not going crazy. Those involved in affairs are the crazy ones…and they pull us into their craziness. Determine what you want, and then determine if he wants the same thing…and if so, how you're going to achieve it.Elle
It's been almost 3 1/2 years since I saw the Fat Whore (OW). My husband & I have done counseling & restored our lives together. However, the longest I have gone without having a thought about the Fat Whore, is about 36 hours. Will it ever go away? Or will I have to spend the rest of my life expecting to think about her at least once a day. Usually more. When does it get better?
Read my response to EB, below. Try some of the tricks to stop thinking about her. It's likely become like a bad habit…Elle
I found out that my husband cheating n me, i am lost. It all started last month when my mother inlaw visited me for asking me to translate a txt message she received, it was n english ans she asked me to translate it in french. i was shocked when i started readin the sms saying that she is the girlfriend of my husband for 7 yrs and thet she is 2 months pregnant by my husband, and that they lived together in Dubai for 6 yrs. She is seeking for advice to my mother inlaw. i felt like dying. On that day too my son in belgium gave me a call to tell me that he received a message from a woman saying that" tell your mother to call me and its very important, with the number i need to call. It is a nightmare. I called up my husband, i told him who that woman is.. he just replied and told me that he is sorry, and i should not listen to the woman as she is just a b**** blackmailing him and we will discuss about everything once he is back home. My husband is working for an oil company, he comes home in every 6weeks for 2 weeks. I am in so much pain, i cant believe that he cheated n me for 7 yrs. he is an ideal father and husband. i feel disgusted that he is making love to me and he is doin it too with someone. i love my husband but how am i going to accept and trust him again. i dont know what to do, i feel like calling the OW.What should i do.
I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I was out of town and just getting back to my desk.I hope you're simply getting yourself through: eat something, sleep when you can, be gentle with yourself.Whatever your husband says, expect it to be only part of the story. These guys often offer up "trickle truth" -- bits and pieces that make it all seem "not so bad". Anticipate that it will be so bad.And then hunker down and know that you're going through hell. It won't last forever but it will feel like it is. He needs to tell you everything that you want to know about. And then, if he's remotely interested in saving his marriage, he needs to figure out how to find some time to be with you as you rage, vent, cry, fall apart. Finally, you both need to get yourself to a counsellor who can help you sort through this mess and at least do triage.There's little point in calling the OW. She'll likely tell you things you don't need to hear (and that might be total lies). You know enough.Hang in there. You will survive this. Elle
This is a combination background and feeling stuck post. Today is D-day plus 6 months. I found out my husband was cheating on me when I looked at his phone and found text messages from a co-worker that were clearly not work related. This was about 2 weeks before our wedding. Things had been off for a while leading up to the wedding, we were both bottling up things that were bothering us and we had become more like roommates. We both told ourselves that it would be better after the wedding. After I found the messages I didn’t say anything at first. I needed to process. I spent that whole day at work basically staring into space trying to figure out what the hell to do. I do love my husband and I wanted to be with him so I decided to try to make it work. Some days I wonder if I made the right decision. The next morning I told him what I had seen and that he needed to make a decision. He didn’t hesitate in saying he wanted to be with me and wanted to marry me. We went through with the wedding. He has apologized, acknowledged how much he hurt me, said it was all a huge mistake that he would erase if he could. As everyone here I’m sure knows there have been a lot of tears, a lot of emotional discussions and a lot of ups and downs. The good news is that she lives in a different state that is about a 4 hour flight away. Based on what he told me it doesn’t even make any sense. As I said she lives far away, she is also divorced with 2 kids and they have completely different lifestyles. The affair was more emotional than anything (lots of phone calls and text messages) because they only saw each other once or twice in the 3 months it was going on, believe me I’ve checked his location during that time. He claims that it only went as far as a kiss, I’m not sure I believe that but I’m not sure it matters. I know he cheated; the extent of it doesn’t really change things. And I think the emotional cheating is actually the most painful part. The bad news is they still work for the same company so there is always the chance he will have to talk to her or someday see her again. For the most part I’m doing a lot better. He makes a point of telling me he loves me every day. We have both made a strong effort to stay more connected, to not bottle things up. We talk about the future and what we want. But some days, like today, I can’t get it out of my head. I think about HER and can’t help comparing myself to her. I know no one is perfect but in my head she is and he misses her. Some days I wonder if I’ll ever get past it. I find myself just expecting something bad to happen and trying to analyze everything he says or does looking for clues that he is hiding something. Even though he recently told me he’s very happy and has no regrets about our decision to stay together. A friend of mine has a PhD in psychology and likened it to PTSD with the intrusive thoughts, anxiety, etc.. I know that I’m just going to make myself crazy if I keep dwelling on it, but there are days it’s really hard to let it go.
PTSD is exactly what it is. I experienced it, as did a lot of women on this site. We often feel a little silly calling it that because, after all we think, we didn't fight in a war. But make no mistake, our bodies responded as if we were. Thinking about the OW is a choice. It might not feel like one…but it is. And because it's a choice, you get to determine if you're going to do it. You need to retrain yourself to stop. We've talked a lot on this site about picturing a big stop sign when you think of her, or snapping an elastic on your wrist when you think of her, or picturing her in the most embarrassing situation possible (can your husband tell you the most embarrassing thing about her? Like she farts really loud or has bad breath or has horrible grammar or thinks Katy Perry is her spirit animal?). I chose to run. I would allow myself the time of my run (about 30 minutes) to think about her. And that was all I would allow myself. Knowing I had "scheduled" time to think about her freed me up the rest of the day to get on with things. Not a perfect solution but I nonetheless got into really good shape…and eventually stopped thinking about her at all.Ultimately it takes time…but you can move things forward by trying some of these strategies or coming up with your own.She was a convenient distraction when your husband was looking for one. That's all. She's just skin covering bones with a heart of stone. Not worth your time or energy.Elle
Thanks Elle! I love this line “She's just skin covering bones with a heart of stone.” I do try to picture the stop sign. I also picture Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street because he was just in Big Bird’s head (or at least for most of the time the show ran). What amazes me about this whole thing is the highs and lows. 2 days ago I felt terrible. Today my attitude is more defiant. One of the things I’ve realized is that post D-day I lost myself. I stopped being me. I was always worrying about what my husband thought because I was afraid of losing him. The me that I became was a scared, people pleaser. And that’s not who I want to be (or who he fell in love with). Some of this has to do with bad habits I’ve had my whole life which have probably ruined past relationships and I’m looking into therapy to help change some of those habits. But I’ve started remembering a few things lately. The only thing I can control is me. I can’t control anyone else’s actions or choices. I haven’t been treating myself very well lately and I need to change that. I’ve recently started running again. It’s something that I used to love but I took time off due to injury and then never started again once the stuff hit the fan because I was more worried about being around for my husband so that he would still love me. So I’m working on changing my inner monologue, the one that worries more about what other people think and is always critical. I found this quote today that I think sums it up (wish I knew where it came from); “At the end of the day all you need is hope and strength. Hope that it will get better and strength to hold on until it does. “
Sounds like you've hit on the perfect blueprint for how to live the rest of your life. As my mother used to say, "just show up." I never really got what she meant until that was all I was capable of doing…and I realized it was enough. I didn't have to please, impress, dazzle, convince. I just had to show up and be me. It's that easy.Elle
2 years ago my husband sat me down and told me he had had two affairs, but it took forever for it to actually come out, he told me over 4 days, at first it was just a kiss, with the first OW and then he admitted that he had slept with her whilst out drinking. Then a few days later he then tells me there was another one. This is the one that I am still having prolems getting my head around, We had only been married 11 months when the first affair happened, (we had been together for 7 years, since we were 16) this was a one night stand with a much older woman, old enough to be his mum. The second affair happened 5 months later, it was with a work colleague. Myself and my husband had been talking about having another baby (We had a 2 nearly 3 year old) he was going to this woman taking her for lunch and saying how he really didn't want a baby etc etc and private things about our marriage. They went away with work for a christmas do, they all go every year, he got drunk and he stayed in her hotel room for the night where they had sex, which i found they also used no protection! From then, decemeber until february, when he told me, he kept seeing her for coffee etc, is what he told me, although to this day i don't believe that it was just coffee. She was telling him to leave me and how i couldn't make him happy. On the day that he told me he rung her to say that he had told me and her words are still in my head, 'ah no, why did you tell her, that poor girl'!! WHY! say poor girl when you slept with my husband!! I hate that she has the audacity to feel sorry for me. She spoke with me on the phone and told me all about her abusive ex, my response wasm why does an abusive ex make it ok for you to sleep with my husband.He still works with her, i wanted to go in so she would have to see me face to face, not to say anything just so i could look at her and she would know who i was. but he's only invited me in when she wasn't there, this annoys me. I went out for a meal, sunday just gone and there she was, with her new boyfriend who happens to be one of my sisters close friends! I can't get rid of her! I wasn't well and had just thrown on some clothes and done my make up so i felt completely ambushed when i saw her! Why can't i get over this!! We have had another baby since i found out about his affairs and i do love him, forgiven him........ not 100% but why was it easier to try and forgive him and i can't stop thinking about her with him, makes me angry with her. I don't want her to be happy!FYI we did go to couselling, maybe i need some more sessions. Just don't want to bring up with hubby again as he gets annoyed.Anyway this probably makes no sense as its so complicated in my head still!
This makes complete sense…and we've all been there. You're giving this woman a whole lot of real estate in your head…and telling yourself stories that are completely untrue. This woman, with her abusive ex, got involved with a married man. That's not the actions of a woman who feels good about herself, or feels like she's got a lot to offer someone. Those are the actions of someone grateful for scraps. Her "oh-poor-me-I'm-a-victim" are the words of someone with so little insight into her own behaviour. You're the victim here…but she made it all about her. So you can add narcissist to her list of attributes, not to mention totally lacking in compassion. The fact that she can recognize that you would be hurt by this (ie. "that poor girl") but going ahead and sleeping with your husband anyway makes her something of a sociopath. So please…don't for a second think she's superior to you in any way.What can you do? Fake it til you make it. Stop giving her any more brain time. Snap an elastic on your wrist anytime you think of her. Imagine her in the worst possible way (one woman on this site started imagining the other woman as a raw chicken in the supermarket with the OW's head on it) when you think of her at all. And slowly you'll stop giving her so much power over you.Elle
I wrote to you once before and I need to ask another question: my husband and I both had affairs, him 10 years ago, me 9 years ago, each for a few months. We found out in August, when he told me and I told him. We have a daughter and I am pregnant, in my 2nd trimester. I forgave my husband very quickly for his affair and I feel I'm over it. But other times I wonder if I am over it, because I am still in complete shock and disbelief. He asked me, back in August, about the details of my affair (which was with a single man) because he really needed to know. I have not asked him to tell me anything about his affair because I know it will make it real and I'm afraid of feeling pain and realizing it actually happened. But sometimes I think it's better for both of us if I don't ask. I take care of our daughter, I have been taking care of him and listening to him every and all times he has needed to talk, which is often, on top of it feeling the nausea, extreme low energy, and having no one of my own to confide in except a therapist. He is very resistent to seeing a therapist. Yes, he saw one three times and that was it. I have been seeing my therapist weekly for a long time. I feel that I can't talk about how I feel hurt, both from his affair and from the fact that he can't forgive me. I forgave him! We have so much to lose-- the children. And it was so long ago. I feel sick to my stomach all the time, my stress is off the roof because he is not sure he can forgive me and is not sure he's going to stay with me. Maybe I'm going to get crucified on this site since I had an affair too, but I am a different person than I was 9 years ago (I was very young then, and stupid to boot, and unhappy) and I feel physically and emotionally unable to keep supporting him when I get very little support from him. He does listen to me when I need to talk, but I don't talk very often because I always find that it makes things worse for him. The hardest thing with all of this is that he thinks my affair was worse than his affair (because I'm a woman). That kills me. He isn't the person I thought he was. I thought we were equals. I feel just sick about this all the time, and it kills me how this is affecting my baby. It worries me when he says he thinks he'd be happier with someone else, when I put myself out there again and again and again, I give and give and give to him and I'm getting very little in return. Thanks.
I will venture that you are not over his affair. It sounds as if you've decided to simply sweep it under the rug rather than feel the pain that goes with it. He, on the other hand, is dealing with his pain by somehow convincing you that what you did was worse than what he did.Your pregnancy means that another little being is depending on you to create a healthy place for him/her to develop. So you need to get your stress under control. Easier said than done, I know. But please consider what you can do -- exercise,meditation, eating well. I'm wondering why your therapist doesn't seem to be helping you more. Perhaps you've outgrown him/her? Sometimes we stay with what's comfortable rather than seek out a therapist who challenges our way of thinking.What does he/she say about your "forgiveness" of your husband?As for your husband, why in the world does he think a woman's infidelity is worst than a man's? What the hell is that about?Rather than play the who-hurt-the-other-more game, why not acknowledge that your marriage was clearly in crisis and neither of you dealt with it in a mature/healthy way? And then take a good look at your marriage now and determine whether you both managed to change enough in yourselves and your marriage in the intervening nine years to feel "safe" in your marriage now. If not, why not? And what do you need to know to create that.I completely get that each of you feels deeply wounded by what the other did. And it makes complete sense that you examine your marriage to figure out why you both went outside your marriage…and what you can do to ensure that neither sees that as a viable option again. You're right -- you have two kids (or 1 1/2 kids) depending on you to create a stable home. And depending on you to show them how to navigate life's ups and downs. This is a huge "down" for sure. And it would certainly help your husband if he got therapy for his own pain around this. He seems instead to be lashing out at you in a way that is neither helpful nor healthy for a still-in-the-womb baby. And perhaps, together with your therapist, figure out why you're giving and giving and giving and getting nothing in return. Is this new? Or has this pretty much summed up your marriage. Affairs are excruciating. But if you choose to, you can use the crisis to take a hard look at what got you there…and how you're going to rebuild.Elle
Hi Elle,Thanks for your reply. It's very helpful. It's interesting that you suggest I may have outgrown my therapist-- he seems to think I'm "over it" too. The more I think about it though, the more I think I've barely begun to process it. I've been working so hard on just keeping our lives together for the sake of the kids that I've completely put my own feelings aside. And yes, that does sum up our marriage-- that I give and give and give, and he gives little back when I need it. He can only give to me when he's feeling good himself. I was deeply hurt and extremely bothered by his thinking my affair was worse because I'm a woman; if there is any truth to that, he is not saying so now or has changed his mind, or maybe it came out wrong? Sometimes I question how I hear things from him. Now he says it's just because of the circumstances of our lives at the time that makes him feel mine was worse, but he was reluctant to answer the question at all since he thinks it's a moot point and doesn't really matter "whose is worse". I agree with you on that, but it matters to me if I'm with someone who thinks mine is worse and is making me feel bad for mine being worse. I think I need to ask him about the details of his affair, both so (primarily) I can begin to process the affair and come to grips with it, and, honestly, also so that it will maybe stop this environment of where it seems like he's the only one who's hurting from an affair. I'm suffering, but more quietly and internally. I had been afraid of how I would feel when I realize he's really not the person I thought he was then. The other thing is, and I haven't come to grips with this either, is that even though that was his only affair, he told me there was one time in the last few years when he was "snuggling" with a girl at a bar after softball practice. He says he was drunk and is pretty sure they didn't kiss. And then there was another time, soon before we started trying to get pregnant with my daughter (both of these instances are three years ago) when he stayed late at a party (also softball-related) and people ended up with their clothes off at the end. He said nothing happened, and I believe him. But one of the girls there, who was on his softball team, has in the years since, every once in awhile, sent him an email. Like, emails wanting to hook up. She sent him a picture recently too (she was wearing clothes). I appreciate his honesty, but it leaves me feeling even worse because I know he really has the hots for her and he has admitted to being obsessed. So on top of everything else, I feel even worse about myself. And I'm pregnant and getting big, and I can't keep up looks-wise with a 20-some year old girl who's not pregnant. I always hear this voice in the back of my head that he doesn't really want to be with me, he wants to be with her. It's excruciating and heartbreaking.
Excruciating and heartbreaking pretty much sums things up. But you don't have to stay with excruciating and heartbreaking.There seems to be an awful lot of cheating on his side. And he seems a master of minimizing it. He should not be getting e-mails from women wanting to hook up. He needs to make it absolutely clear to these women that he is a married man and father and that their e-mails are unwanted and unwelcome. That he isn't doing that sends off alarm bells. And photos? C'mon…that's absolutely NOT okay. If he wouldn't engage in this behaviour with you right beside him, then he shouldn't be engaging in it at all. And he seriously needs to find something other than softball. Since when did softball become about drinking, getting naked and making out with team-mates?As for being obsessed with a woman sending him pictures? WTF is up with that??You need to develop a backbone and make it abundantly clear that what he's doing is unacceptable. You cheated…okay. But that doesn't give him a free pass to pull this kind of bullshit and pretend that it's nothing. He's playing with fire. Of course you're hurting and his inability to recognize that speaks both to his own self-absorption and to your fear of making demands about your own needs. You deserve to be heard. You deserve to be married to someone who doesn't welcome photos of naked women (you're pregnant with his child, for gawdsake!! Where's the respect??). Please…stop putting up with this. It's emotional abuse.Elle
New here hoping this will help me.(my name is Kim) Been married for a year and half one month after we we'd I found out my husband cheated on me with a prostitue off of Craigslist list( yes disgusting I hate even typing it) he was in the military and I had the investigators tell me about it he was completely drunk when it happened still no excuse for what he did.. I couldn't seem to let him go and the. I found out the day after we married he was texting another woman trying to sleep with her basically while we were out with friends... And so after I found all this out I was just cold hearted and a bitch and finally I wanted a divorce butt found out I was pregnant one week later so I decided to stay... And it didn't get any better I didn't want to be around him or him to touch me I was just a constant bitch... Meanwhile he has been nothing but nice trying to make amends for what he has done to me but I wanted nothing of it I kicked him out he had a drinking problem for a little while worked at strip clubs as a bouncer bc he got kicked out of the military basically they wouldn't renew him and he needed to support us he is a hard working man just at the wrong places so we finally got back together in April I had kicked him out in December and all was well going to counseling but things just started to get worse he didn't understand what it is like to be around a pregnant woman with all these hormones ect he would work pretty much 24/7 and I was over it ESP bc I didn't trust him...finally in June out son was born and everything was great in the hospital and we got him he returned to work as usual at the strip club at nights (mind you his cc debt and money has been an issue I'm money smart he isn't and he already totaled his car bc he was DD and lucky didn't kill anyone or himself or get a ticket!! This was back in December before I kicked him out) so we were workin with one car mine and two days after we brought our son home he went out to eat at his strip club with one of his friends and was out till 4 am he swears on his kids n life he didn't do anything but hang out with friends I was and still am furious bc he should have been helping me with the baby... I treated him cold for like 3 weeks or so and I used my car to hold over his head cuz that's all I had against him so he went behind my back saved up 1000$ that should have been for cc bills or counseling and bought a car without even telling me... So I kicked him out and to raise our son and my 5yr old alone (from previous relationship) and he basically dated some girl he worked with at the strip club a cocktail waitress and slept with her n she I think screwed him over he didn't say why but I don't really want to know as my mind and thoughts already go racing as it is about all the crap he has done and this was back in August or so and despite what u may think I still wanted to be with him for what freking reason I wish I knew part of me was like I'm so better off without him n then my other half is like I miss his so much I want my family ect bc despite what he did to me by cheating he was good to me and showed me affection n attention... And now he realized I was the best he ever had he's so sorry for screwing everything up he admits he was wrong for the car the going to eat a steak for everything that he wasn't the father n husband I deserved... And now he wants to make amends for everything and make it better he said that he only dated the girl bc he wanted to get over me n the hurt I caused him.. But it's still hard to think that he could move on so quick and neglect his new born son to be with her n work and to just stay away from me bc he didn't want to be around me so that's why he didn't ever come see his son... Let's just say karma is a bitch the car he bought behind my back he totaled it.. With no insurance on it either.. He roommate just screwed him over n now he has to pay his full rent. He can't
afford he still has all his cc bills he got fired from the strip club and is down to one job he can hardly pay his bills so karma got him pretty good... But I just don't know what to do I feel like she was better than me I think about there sexual relations and just how he could do such a thing I'm hurt and angry I know I deserve better n I know I can do better... But I love him I just don't know how to get past this and move on I want my brain to stop going million miles an hr thinking about the crap he's done I don't know how to trust him anymore.. Help anyone any suggestions would be amazing I hope I got everything written down I tend to jump from one thing to another thank you ladies so much!
Kim,You can't trust him. It's that simple. He has shown you he can't be trusted. Not with money, not with your heart, not with a child, not with a car. He's a mess and you're better off without him.I think you know that…and I know it's not easy. I know we choose the wrong people all the time for reasons that we don't always understand. But maybe his role was to teach you that you deserve better. To make it so clear to you that you deserve better. I'm not sure how men have treated you in life thus far…but imagine what you would want for your child. A partner that would treat him/her with respect and love and kindness and honesty. That's what YOU deserve too.Show your son a mother who knows how to treat herself with respect and refuse to put up with anyone who can't treat you with respect. Feel the heartbreak…but move on. This guy has problems that, unless he's willing to do the incredibly hard work of figuring out why he keeps screwing up, are way beyond your ability to deal with. He doesn't know how to be in a mature, healthy relationship. And I suspect you need to learn that too. Give yourself time to heal and figure out what a healthy relationship looks like. Seek professional help to guide you through. And then find better for yourself.Elle
It's been two months and two days after D-day. My wounds are still open and oozing. My other half has been really supportive and remorseful. He wants us to put this behind us and move forward. Sad to say, this is not easy as he thinks it is. He took out my heart and ground it up in the meat grinder and wants me to move on. I get that he's remorseful but deep inside, there's that inkling that he feels that he had evened up the score. So I question his sincerity. No, I did not cheat. As I mentioned in the the other blog he carried a grudge. What I hate the most is that he undermines things. He tells me it didn't happen a certain way then within that sentence it all comes out. For instance, he was away on business, he got pissed at me, so he called her up just to talk. He said that's all it was. Really? Then I had asked why did you send a picture of your "unit" to her and she sent some sleazy pic of herself to you? You didn't have phone sex? Then he admits it. How can I move on when he is not at all transparent and acts if it's nothing. He said they have been friends. Well, I have a lot of guy friends and I don't screw them. I fantasize about having a few nighters with my ex as he is a real threat to my other half. This is what started this whole mess to begin with. That is the only way to make him feel as much pain as I am in. If it were some other guy, he'd laugh. But of course I wouldn't do such a thing because I'm way above that and oddly enough, I still have some respect for him and our relationship.I don't know how to deal with those sucker punch triggers. We were in therapy last night and my volcano of emotions just exploded after keeping them inside of me for the last two weeks. I want to move forward but this is so still fresh and it's hard. I get that feeling and let me tell you, I just want him to be in my shoes and HURT! I was looking back at a few of our emails and he had spoke to her just like he had talked to me. Boy, I sure feel special. I know hate the word "Absolutely." In the email she had asked right after their fuck fest, if he wants to do it again sometime soon. And he responded. "Absolutely."Elle, what were the things that you had told yourself to help you get over this part? Or when a trigger came out of no where and sucker punched you? I don't believe time heals. I hear people grieving for years about a loss. It how you handle the grief, I suppose. How are surviving your marriage?
Your question, "How are you surviving your marriage", is one with very different answers, depending on when you might have asked it. Today, I'm surviving my marriage with a knowledge of what we went through…but with very little pain around those events. They happened. We learned. We're better now.That question asked to me when I, like you, was two months out would have prompted me to answer, "I'm not." I was hanging on by my fingernails and would have told you that I didn't have a marriage. So yes, it definitely comes down to how you process the grief. Too many don't process it…and they are still bitter or resentful or unhappy years and years later.Two months is a tiny blip of time in terms of healing from betrayal. It really does take a long time. First, to absorb what this means to your marriage, to yourself, to your spouse. And then to sift through the emotions -- the anger, the grief, the sadness. And finally, to figure out what this means going forward. The triggers, the loss of "innocence".The triggers will minimize in their impact, assuming you're able to acknowledge them and recognize what's really happening now and what's about the past. Your husband's attempts to minimize what he did or deny/resist simply make his less trustworthy and sabotage your ability to trust that he really gets what he did…and won't do it again. But, even though you're tempted, don't try and "get even". It's childish and, frankly, likely won't give you nearly the satisfaction you think it will. It will probably feel empty and sordid. And will cost you your self-respect.Hang in there. Talk with your therapist and your spouse about how his minimizing what happened makes you feel. How crucial it is for you to feel like he's got your back after all this. That his desire to protect himself isn't greater than his desire to help you heal.I've gone way beyond "surviving" my marriage. It's something I cherish and something I'm very proud of rebuilding.Elle
Married 9 years. In March I left my husband after being suspicious abt a text from an old "friend" who lives 2.5 hrs away. He tried talking in the beginning but never really offered any explanations. After leaving I stayed the night at our home a few times and we had sex a couple times but never resolved anything. He didn't seem very open to resolving our issues.After 2 months he said he was going out of town for a few days and asked if I'd like to stay in our home. Said yes and found a Victoria's Secret receipt on our dresser. I knew he was out of town seeing the tramp (who knows that he's a married man w/a young child). I moved back home that wknd feeling that he was simply using me being away to travel on the wknds since I had our child every wknd. I wanted to be back home.For weeks he traveled every other wknd to see the tramp lying and saying he was going somewhere else with a buddy. I told him I knew where he was going and with whom but he denied everything. During the summer he went to see her for his bday (still lied) and he was planning to leave for another trip w/family when he returned. Stupidly, when he got back from being w/her I had sex with him. He left for his family trip the next day and texted me the entire time. When he returned we continued to talk and have sex. He had weird days when I wondered if he was still talking to the tramp. He finally admitted to the affair, said he had feelings for her and wasn't sure if he'd see her again.After 3 mos of no wknd trips he said he was going out of town again. I yelled, screamed, cussed. I was so disappointed because I thought we were rebuilding our relationship. THEN he posted pics of himself on an island online. They had gone on a sunny vacay together!!! DAYS before our 9th anniversary!!!I packed all of my shit and left while he was gone. Two days later on our anniversary he said he was feeling emotional and wanted to talk. He told me that he loved me but never said anything about working on our marriage. He just said he didn't think things would ever be the same. I honestly felt/feel that he doesn't know where to begin to pick up the pieces. The day after our anni. I saw him and he apologized for hurting me and our family, said he'd always love me, he would try to make it up to me.His behavior towards me now is a lot different than it was before his trip with her. He tells me that he loves me, we talk from time to time, we (stupidly) have had sex a couple times. But I've had many angry days when I just go off on him.A few weeks ago I saw an email that he wrote to her on his way back from their trip where he talked about wanting to spend the rest of his life with her. He didn't say I love you but he didn't have to. Clearly, he wrote this before coming home and seeing I was gone. He has said that I think I know what's going on between the two of them but I'm way off. ??? At this point I don't know if he's still seeing/talking to her or not because I'm not there. He has had our child most wknds so I know he isn't going out of town. I just don't know if I should be hopeful about our marriage. He is much different now than he's been in months. He's much more open w/me abt his feelings towards me, says he's not in love with anyone else, that he'll never love anyone more than me. But still no talk abt resolving the marriage. Oh, and I emailed her before their trip, told her she was a tramp. Her response was basically that she has options, can go back to her ex-husband whenever she wants and that she'd send my husband back to me when she was done with him. Nothing abt love. I saw her response to his love email too. It said nothing about wanting to be with him. She said aww, that made my heart smile and then went on to say she knows he'll do well in his career. She doesn't even love him and he's thrown our marriage away over her.
You simply cannot have a marriage in which he's still carrying on with another woman. It doesn't matter what he says, whether he loves you, how sorry he is. Until he shuts the door on his affair and opens the door to rebuild your marriage, you can't move forward with him.While it sounds as if he's made strides (more open, etc.), it's not enough. You need to get stronger in your own boundaries. He's basically got two of you vying for his attention. Give it some serious thought about whether you want to rebuild your marriage…and if you do, make it clear that's only an option available to him if he ends his affair. If he won't do that, then it's time to move forward without him. He's a total cake-eater -- keeping you in the wings while he screws another woman. Time to treat yourself self-respect and refuse the play the game.Elle
why do i pain shop?
You can read more about it here: http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2010/04/pain-shopping-how-to-stop-seeking-out.html
Part One:(Apparently, you're only allowed a certain amount of characters on here.)What to do about those nasty sucker punch triggers???It's almost as if I hear a Banshee crying without any warning and BAM! My stomach feels as if it exploded. Damn it! Again? It's a hard battle to fight and sometime's I just have to give in to them. Friday, I was having such a hard time after they had hit. Nothing I could say to myself could console them. I just had to go through the emotion. But Damn it! Because with that emotion came the questions. There are questions that I had asked that weren't not answered completely truthful. I'm not stupid and the evidence definitely doesn't add up to what he had told me. I'm trying to convince him that I need to reconcile this in my mind so it will help me on my journey to healing. He asks why is it so important that I know. Really? Do you really want to answer that questions again? But no matter how I say it or what I say will convince him to tell me. He's slightly vague. One incident that is driving me absolutely crazy is that when I started having red flags my intuition was screaming at me, I mean this time it began to hurt me physically and I couldn't really place my finger on it. Bright red flags have been happening for a while, but I there was no evidence except strange and weird excuses. Our trip out west brought him reminder of my past with my ex who now lives out there. That is the reason why we are in this mess. As I've said before, he held a grudge for 4.5 years. When we got back 2 days after, he told me that he's concerned about our future and he has no faith and but has hope. He really knocked me down. That Monday, he went over to F'uglys house.
Part Two:The next week, he had a conference out of town. He had also had given me this beautiful card about us before we had left. He then too apologized for saying those cruel things. Though my intuition was still screaming at me and I just couldn't trust him. Something still wasn't right. So when he arrived at the hotel, he had called me. I had waited for him to get done telling me how his trip was and what was on his agenda at the conference. I was riding that day, and I told him about it too. Then I stopped the small talk and asked him right out that I have a concern. I asked: "Do you really believe in us like that beautiful card said that you had given me?" I begged him if this was true please tell me straight up" I said, I don't want another broken heart again and if this is gonna string me a long please tell me. He started to get a little annoyed rather than console me and reassure me. You'd think he'd feel guilty for what he had just done, right? No, he got so pissed at me and decided not to talk to me the entire time he was away. Now on the day this had happened, F'ugly had written him an email explaining in detail that she had a vivid image of his lips on hers waking up in a long warm body hug. That next day he had responded to her that maybe they can chat after 10 or so. Now the very mean thing is he was acting as if I was the crazy one and he knew what he had just done and he blamed me for something completely stupid. Putting me in the adult time out chair because he was "pissed." I had asked, if you knew you'd never want to go back to her and speak with her again, why the hell did you respond to her email? He said he wanted a friend to talk to. Then he proceeded to tell me that is all that it was, just talking. Really I said? Then why did you send a picture of your "unit'? He evaded that for a while and said that she started talking and it got me going? "So you had phone sex?" He said. "No" Then what was it? "That is how she just talks!." Ok and how did you respond? "I didn't" Really? Then why were you two on the phone for an hour and a picture of her and her girls showed up in your email and a picture of you ended up in your text? Evades again. This had happened in mid August when this was all going on. Oddly enough, the weekend following he put me in the adult time out chair, we had gone out one night on the town and had a blast. He had told me that he's never been so in love and so happy in his life. That weekend we had amazing sex and just really enjoyed each others company. That night she had written to him in this smutty crap and he wrote back a few days later; I wish I was there to touch you?" REALLY??? Now, if I had never found out, the next time he was angry with me, he probably had run to her since those boundaries were crossed and there no consequences to it! He's also not being honest with me about how many times he had seen her. I caught him in another lie too! So now, my mind won't rest as I said, a trigger will sucker punch me. Maybe this is my subconscious's way of keeping me safe? By allowing these triggers to happen, it will remind me of how selfish his behavior was and protect me. It was all about him and his damn insecurities. The thing is, my ex wasn't even a threat. This was 4.5 years ago. Does he now feel better that he'd even'd up the score when there was really nothing to even up but he's ego! As I've mentioned he's remorseful, but God Damn! He knew he screwed up, yeah it's obvious the man who walks on water screwed up and is he kissing my ass because he knows he F'up? Or is it because he's truly remorseful. It's a hard one and a legit question because how do you figure it out when you don't trust him????
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Your husband's behaviour (getting "angry" at you and then screwing around) is not at all uncommon. It's a crazy way that some of these guys justify what they're doing to themselves. It feels terrible to hurt someone innocent so they make you "guilty" by pretending to themselves that you're being hard on them, don't appreciate them, blah blah blah. For a start, steer clear of any of these women. They're not your friends. They have been complicit in your pain. As for reconciliation, that's only going to work if he's completely remorseful (ie. understands just how he's hurt you) and is willing to listen to you and support you and offer up the information you need to complete the puzzle in your head and move forward. Until he's willing to do that, you'll be beating your head against a wall.As for the triggers, that's our body remembering just how horrible it felt when we found out. They'll diminish with time (and healing) but as long as you're in a relationship in which you don't feel emotionally safe, they'll stick around, almost as a defence mechanism.Your husband sounds too immature to recognize how his cheating has devastated you. And I suspect he feels pretty awful about what he did…so blames you for somehow "making" him. He needs to get some therapy and grow up.Elle
Last March, I discovered that my husband was visiting a strip club (alone) and receiving lap dances in a private, VIP booth. Things between us had not been right for awhile; he has a special-needs son who became violent in 2011 and nearly tore our family apart at the time. At Christmas 2012, all of the gifts he gave me bore tags that read 'To Jxxxt - from your husband'. I remember feeling hurt at the time and asking him why he wrote that - only to receive a blank stare in reply.When I found out about the strip club, my husband immediately told me he wanted us to go to therapy. So, I set it up. We'd go once a week, he'd say all the right things, then he'd come home and remain silent, ignore me, not touch me or speak to me for six days until the next appointment. Then the process would begin all over again.He left us in June, and is still living elsewhere. He refuses to take off his wedding ring, has moved on to another therapist, yet he has not made any progress in deciding whether or not he wants to return to us. We have one child together, a twelve-year-old boy who is grieving the loss of his father. My husband visits, sometimes every evening. He gets dinner, does his laundry here, but that's about it. He refuses to talk to me, will not 'come clean' about what he is up to, what he is doing, where he is or how he feels. I am stuck, stuck, stuck - trying to hold space for him while he does his inner work (alot of his issues stem from being adopted and then rejected by his biological mother) but unable to move in any direction. Sometimes I feel sorry for him, sometimes I feel absolutely enraged about what he did, and that he didn't come entirely clean with me when I discovered it (too long to go into detail here). He also admitted that he had cheated on the mother of his two other children, right after his eldest was born. I think that's the kicker; if he did it to her and then wandered off on me after 16 years of marriage (only emotionally, he says - but still....), how can I EVER trust him again? I am broken.
You sound like a compassionate person who, on some level, recognizes the trauma your husband has experienced via his mother and his son. That, however, doesn't give him license to cheat on you. It sounds as if he wants things to get better but simply lacks the roadmap. What does your therapist say? Does he/she give you tasks in between sessions? Or has the session simply become a dumping ground for grievances?Your husband sounds as if he's emotionally checked out, including on your son, which is incredibly hurtful to a child. He's, in many ways, repeating the rejection he experienced from his mother. Your son doesn't understand on an emotional level that his father has issues that have nothing to do with him. He undoubtedly perceives it as rejection.Is your husband still in therapy? Sounds as if he's got a lot of stuff to process.I would generally advise you to shut him out of your life (ie. no dinners, no laundry…) until he shaped up but something makes me think your husband is really traumatized. And there is the matter of your son, who of course needs a relationship with his dad. What if you left when your husband came home and treated it as visitation with your son? What if you moved forward as if you were done with the marriage? Perhaps you can shake him out of his paralysis. Do you have a therapist? If not, I think you might find it helpful to sort through everything you're dealing with -- the betrayal, the loss, the grief, the anger. In the meantime, you've also got to be two parents to your son, who's going through a hard time.I hope you can find a way through this. At the very least, I hope you're reminding your son daily that this is NOT about him. That sometimes adults just lose their way. And that he can trust that he always has you. He, like you, needs to feel safe.I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Hang in there. You're not broken…just bent. :)Elle
Well... about the therapist. We went as a couple, beginning in March, and then in June I asked him to leave because he was not processing anything or taking any of the therapist's suggestions and putting them into action (like talking to our son about his hostile behaviour towards his dad etc...). Since then, he had been going to this therapist on his own, because I thought that he needed it. When I finally 'lost it' in August and requested an appointment with the therapist, his reply to me was that I could no longer consult with him because it was now a conflict of interest (!!!!). Talk about rejection... well, that's how I felt at the time. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Because I could no longer consult with this psychologist, I began to talk to my sister about some inner journey work she has been doing since 2000. I joined an inner journey workshop at the end of October, which was extremely enlightening for me. Since then, I have addressed the whole situation with more of a spiritual (and body-centered) approach. It does work for me, and I am continuing my pilgrimage with various counsellors, but I do still lose it. I am trying, trying, trying to reach out to this man who says he does not love me but that he things he 'might' one day. As a matter of fact, I lost it last night when he told me that he didn't want anyone to know that we were separated, that it was nobody's business but ours. How in the heck do I deal with that? When people talk to me and ask questions as if we were still together? Lie?I read a post a little higher up - one that spoke about us all deserving better, and that maybe we entered into these relationships so that we could finally identify what was NOT working. This is now my second relationship with someone who cheats; I spent twelve years with somebody who cheated on me way more than my husband has, and way more frequently. My father also cheated on my mom; I have been processing that for a few months now. Perhaps my journey is to finally understand WHY I choose emotionally-unavailable men. And you are right, my husband is not there (for anybody) on an emotional level, and he uses work (and perhaps another relationship... I don't know...) to 'numb out' whenever he encounters conflict. Meh........
And you are right, traditional psychology (his current therapist) is really not doing it for him. It IS a dumping ground for grievances, worries and, generally, all the crap that went wrong during the week (I strongly suspect anyway; I'm not actually there anymore to hear him talk). I have told him that I think that he has plateaued with this particular psychologist, and he is in agreement (THAT one took me about a month). Anyway, I found a psychologist for our son who works (sometimes) with alternative methods, is more body-centered and has been doing this work for some time. I mentioned it to my husband, and (to answer your suggestion about giving the impression that I am moving on) I told him that I would not seek mediation for our marriage if he agreed to come back into the family counselling circle and try, finally, to address his issues and talk to me about them. So, we will see what happens with that. Our first family session is this coming Wednesday evening.
I'm so glad you've found support and healing. Of course, you'll still get angry. You're not a machine. But the fact that you're better able to see the situation clearly shows that you're moving in the right direction.Like you, I had frequently chosen relationships in which I was silenced and shut out. Like you, I took this experience as the chance to sift through all that childhood and young adult stuff and figure out what the lesson was. I had never really valued myself…so it ultimately wasn't surprising that others didn't really value me either. What you're now able to teach your son, especially as he deals with this pain, is invaluable. Hopefully this will break the cycle and he'll grow up to be someone in touch with his emotions and able to express them in a healthy way. In the meantime, I think you're going to be fine. You get to set the guidelines for yourself around what you tell people and when you tell them. If he chooses to keep your separation to himself, that's his choice. You get to make the choices that sit right with you. Elle
Well, here we are one month later and... NO change, except that I am starting to lose my temper over the smallest things. I've told him that I am done, that this is affecting my physical health (which it is) and that he can't have it both ways. Both ways means never talking to me about our relationship, his feelings, not living in the house, but showing up every evening 7/7 for a hot meal and to do his laundry. I'm sick of it. It's really too bad that things have to end this way. Your blog on Seven Lies really galvanized me to make some personal decisions, so thank you for that. The problem though is that he continues to tell me that he's 'not ready' to divorce, and he keeps showing up at the door, every evening, despite what I say to him. I seriously can't turn him away with our twelve year old son standing behind me at the door! Why won't he go away!?!
KitKat,Take that outrage and channel it into a plan. You're absolutely right. He can't keep doing this…but you're the one letting him. Explain to your husband that the next time he arrives at your door for dinner he will be turned away. Can your son be at a friend's house the first few times (because your husband will test you to see if you stick to your guns) so that he doesn't hear/see you turn him away? Tell him that he is welcome to have a relationship with his son. He can take your son to a restaurant for dinner. They can go bowling. But he is not welcome to stay for dinner unless it's as a husband. Make an appointment with a lawyer and get clear on what you're entitled to. Figure out how you would proceed should you choose to. Information is power. Find out what to do if your husband refuses a divorce. What are your rights re. changing the locks on the door?And then stand firm. Don't back down. Don't change your mind. Don't allow him to manipulate you into a position you don't want to be in. It will be hard, perhaps the hardest thing you've done. But you can do it. You do not deserve to be treated this way. Your son does not deserve this. You are standing up for both of you and teaching your son what it looks like when his mother refuses to be disrespected. Prepare for pushback from your son who might blame you for this. And that will hurt. But tell him over and over that you love him and want him to have a relationship with his father but that his father's behaviour is simply unacceptable within a marriage. That it's his father who has made this choice. You're simply responding to it. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. I know none of this is easy. But I know that ultimately it will be easier to make it clear NOW that you're done with his nonsense than to put up with it for another week/month/year/lifetime.Elle
I'm not sure it is outrage - rather complete frustration at the situation. He has pushed me to a point where I don't think I'd ever take him back, even if he asked me to, which he has not. My brain keeps telling me that he has - either consciously or sub-consciously - pushed me to the point where I will be the one to take all of the tough decisions about our relationship, so that he doesn't have to. No matter what he went through in childhood, can he be that emotionally frozen that he still cannot figure out whether or not he wants to be my husband? I guess it's possible, just not probable.I read another post here where someone said that asking to discuss the situation and being made to feel like a nuisance by the cheater was a big part of the problem. That is what I went through as well, and I just don't ask anymore. I am resigned to it. So, I think that you are correct; I need to go and see a lawyer and get my affairs, sorry as they are, in order. He managed to worm his way out of counseling again - simply didn't show up for one appointment and then told me 'well, you said you didn't want me to be there' which of course is untrue. He has told me that he will show for our next appointment tomorrow - I will leave my son with a babysitter and make an attempt to tell him, in front of the psychologist, that his nightly visits are no longer acceptable. Perhaps she can add something to that conversation. Wish me luck! :)
Good luck! Elle
Where does the hate go?It has been about 2-1/2 years since my husband and I have been back together and over with the very bad times. We are OK. We are actually better than OK. Our family is better and stronger than we have really ever been. With a lot of hard work, a lot of working through some painful stuff, and a lot of not giving up, we really are OK. Dare I say, we are happy.So where do I put all my hate for that woman? I want to put it somewhere, elsewhere, anywhere than in my heart.I know all I need to know. It's not like my husband and I fight about it anymore. I actually don't need to bring it up anymore. I don't want to know more about her. I just want to forget about it and to mostly forget about her. I have never talked with her. She's not big into online and neither are we, so at least I don’t have to obsess about her that way.I wish it would just go away, but I can't figure out what do with my hate and anger toward her. It sort of eats me up from the inside, as I've never really hated anyone in my life until her. I realize that the way I was able to go on and function, especially in the beginning, was to take every bad, sad, scared, depressed thought and turn it into pure hate for her. It was too painful for me to process some of the fear and hurt, but I had to do something. To save myself emotionally, I know I turned everything about it into a huge ball of disgust and hatred for her. I know it's wrong, but I also know it's what allowed me to move on and survive.She was a stranger to me. From the beginning she knew that I and the kids existed. She knew we were there. Even though we knew nothing of her, she knew who we were. The way I see it, each call, each text, each day was a conscious decision she made to harm me and my kids, and to this day, I don’t understand it. We had never harmed her in any way, yet she continued, day after day after day, for nearly two years, to want only the worst for us. Even if she totally hated me for some unknown reason, how could she do that to my kids? To any kids? I truly, truly don’t understand. So where does the hate go?I've sort of trained myself to not think as much about her, and my life certainly isn't all about her anymore as it was for the first while. But I sure wish it would just go away completely. I wish everything about her could just be forgotten. Gone from my thoughts forever – “poof”. That would be best.But yet, even 2-1/2 years later, I simply don't know how to process the strong, stomach churning, absolute disgust I have for this woman. It's one of the worst things about this whole thing. I guess I hate hating someone, but I'm not sure how to stop.
Amy M,You've written such a beautiful post…and it's such an important question. I don't have an easy answer. I'm as surprised as anyone to discover that I don't hate the OW any more. Like yours, the OW in our case knew me, knew my kids, had dinner at our home, etc. It was a conscious decision on her part to try and ruin our family. However, at a certain point I recognized that being her was the worst punishment of all. Worse than anything I could have conceived of (and I came up with some doozies!). To live in that hate-filled body must have been hell. To want what others had so desperately that she sacrificed her self-respect must have been hell. And it was a counsellor saying to me that whatever she had, I didn't want it, that made me really "get" it.However, I get the impression that "hate" is a really uncomfortable feeling for you. But remind yourself, it's just a feeling. It doesn't make you a monster to loathe the person who tried to destroy your happiness. It makes you human. Perhaps if you can forgive yourself for being human, you'll be able to let it go. It served you. That hate kept you afloat during a time when you might have sank under the weight of the pain. But it's not serving you anymore. It's reminding you of a time that's past.Extend compassion to yourself…and you just might find you're able to extend some to her as well. She lost. She sacrificed self-respect and human kindness…and came away empty. That's got to sting. Even if she continues to delude herself about what happened, you know the truth. And so does she, deep down.Hang in there. I think I'll explore this further in a post. You've got me thinking… :)Elle
Thank you for the response, Elle.I am taking one of your ideas and trying to remember it specifically for me:“The hate kept me afloat during a time when I might have sank under the weight of the pain. But it’s not serving me anymore. It’s reminding me of a time that’s past.”And it is past. Everything really is OK now. I just need to find a way to let this emotion go. It is not who I am, and it is just too heavy for me to carry around anymore.
Dear Anon, Where indeed does the hate go.I too struggle after 16 months. She knew everything about me and my children,and we knew nothing about her until D Day.The only help I can share with you are little things that I do to try and cope. My husband was ( in the end) very open to sharing things. I now hear with total astonishment how stupid she was, how needy and how many times she made a fool of herself -I wouldn't even share it here. However, when hate fills my stomach with bile I think of those things and feel incredibly sad for her, almost feeling that she has special needs and that I should show some compassion.. That doesn't always work so I write down on a piece of paper how much I loathe, detest, wish her unhappiness and hate her, I then go outside and burn the piece of paper.Our marriage is a different one but it's good and I thank my lucky stars that I had the strength to see it through.Sometimes it can be trauma that we still haven't dealt with and perhaps its worth seeing a counsellor, I did and there was one thing she said that struck a chord. " Why are you making this person important, she is not worth your time" Well, at the time I wanted to scream, because this bitch needs locking up and she has ruined my life. But, those words sometimes help.Perhaps putting these tips in use may help once/twice or occasionally and if anyone else can add to the post, collectively,we may have some really good tools to get us over a crazy hate day. And yes, it is one of the worst things about the whole torture of dealing with a betraying spouse. Voodoo dolls anyone!
Yes! Yes! Voodoo dolls. You make them and we'll sell them on this site. We can retire, rich and happy!Elle
The OW actually left a voodoo doll hanging in our house, directed at me, and with the symbol for death attached to it. Does this earn some kind of award for the most f*%#ed up OW ever?
It has been 3 months and 14 days since DDay for me, and for me it feels like yesterday. My husband and I had lived in different cities because of our jobs so it was easy for him to lie and get away with it. He carried on a relationship with her for nearly 7 months and when she contacted me she wanted me to know EVERY detail of their relationship. Since confronting him our 2 children and I have moved to live with him, we have began counseling together he has attended one session but he said he is excited to go back. I feel so alone sometimes because who wants to tell their friends and family they have been a fool and been lied to and cheated on. He is open to talking about it when I need to but I often wonder is he finally being completely honest with me or is he telling me just what he thinks will get me to drop the subject? Every time he looks at his phone I wonder who is calling who is texting and so forth. When does this lost feeling go away? When will I be able to trust him again? He tells me I have to stop dwelling on it or we will never get past it, but I don't feel as if I'm dwelling on it. I feel like everything is a trigger and while I don't cry like I used to it has created a great deal of anxiety for me so much that I am now taking medication for anxiety and depression. Last night he left for work earlier then normal and stopped at a bar to get something to eat and I couldn't help but wonder if he was meeting someone there. How do I get to the point that him leaving the house is ok? I have to be able to trust him right?
I will start by assuring you that you are NOT the fool in this scenario. You have nothing to feel embarrassed about or ashamed about. You trusted someone who promised you that he was trustworthy. So please…if there's someone in your life who you think you could share this with and know that they would support you without judgement, then please do share. It's important that we have people to remind us that we're loved and lovable.As for the other questions, three months is really not so long. You're likely still in a bit of shock. And he has got to stop telling you that you shouldn't be "dwelling" on this or you need to drop the subject. That's incredibly typical of these guys…but incredibly unhelpful. In fact, it's harmful. You need to feel heard. You need to have the pain you're feeling acknowledged by him and he needs to be able to reassure you that he is NOT that person anymore and that will not hurt you like that again. This is his chance to show you that he deserves a second chance. It's his chance to help you rebuild your marriage -- the marriage that he damaged.As for trust, you shouldn't trust him right now. He needs to earn back your trust. He's shown you that he can lie, deceive and cheat. He now needs to show you, by example, that he is not lying, deceiving and cheating now. That means he checks in with you and is always available for you to check in with him. It means giving you access to his phone and his computer. It means confirming things with him, if necessary (i.e. if he says he's with a certain friend, that you can check with that friend or his boss or whatever). He squandered your trust. And he needs to build it back up.Your anxiety and depression will go away as you learn to trust yourself and as you begin to feel safe in your marriage again. We've all been there.Elle
Thank you for you response. I am glad there is hope for me. I feel as if lately I have been having more bad days then good I have found myself drinking more sometimes to just help me sleep. I feel that everything is a trigger for me and I find myself reliving the days events over and over again. When we go out I wonder did he do this kind of stuff with her. I know that I have not completely processed everything but I feel when I think about it I become sad and cry. I worry about everything my life has been turned upside down. I feel I developed these new insecurities that I don't know how to deal with. I recently found out that he used to email her from work so now of course I wonder if when he is not emailing me is emailing her? He calls me from time to time and will ask if I called so I now question if she is calling him at work. I question whether he is staying because of my depression and anxiety he says he is not but I struggle with believing this, and this upsets him. He continues to ask me to be myself and I am trying but sometimes I don't know who that is anymore. I have tried to explain to him that when I was 100 percent myself and comfortable with who I was you cheated. Ugh why do I feel almost as if I was the OW or that I am getting someone's sloppy seconds.
Hi...This is Ali, the one with the grudge holder for 4.5 years with a smile on his face. What I truly find amazing from these posts is that the majority of us has, is our feelings are almost identical! Two months and a week since d-day and I'm supposed to start moving forward because he promised he'd never do it again!? He can only stand so much talking. He'll then bring up; "Why are you bringing us backwards? I told you so many times she was just a friend & it didn't mean anything. I don't care if I ever see her again!"Please tell me the reassurance there? He texted me yesterday; "I love you, I love you, I love you. If you have any of those sucker punch triggers, please call me. I want to help you heal." But he wants me talk about us moving forward and not processing the pain that is still throbbing. It wasn't my choice to be put in this position. He doesn't understand that he literally took ny heart and stepped all over it. I need coping skills. I can't workout, ride, my main pc has a nasty virus and I can't do any of my photography. I'm having surgery next month because of an injury I had and now have severe arthritis in my hip at my age! I'm a complete mess! He thinks when I talk about "it" it goes no where. I can't get him to understand.
Ali,He's nuts if he thinks you're ready to "move on". Though I think his text indicates that he THINKS he wants to help you…but on his terms. There's a post on this site about how crucial it is for us to tell our stories. And to tell them over and over again. Betrayal is trauma, and we respond similarly. With a need to go over our stories until they seem less terrifying. Guys who cheated HATE this stuff. They think we're punishing them. They just don't want to acknowledge how devastating this is. But that doesn't change the fact that it is devastating. It is trauma. Check out this post: http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2013/09/healing-from-betrayal-why-we-must-tell.html
WOW! How true is that? No matter what the trauma is, you have to process it. I wish to God he would've processed what he was going through 4 years ago. He speculated, never asked questions, became jealous. The few times that he did, I never yelled at him or told him he was acting like an insecure child. I sat and listened to him with great compassion, reassurance and lots of love. But apparently in his mind there was more. What gets me angry is that heck, 4.5 years vs. 2 months? I'm supposed to look forward?? Move on? If I print that off to him and show him, he'd say well, you have a choice and you know I will never do that to you again... let's move forward. I love you!!!! YEAH! Cheaters hate that stuff. Right now, I would love to go to her place and ask her how long has this been going on. Get it right out of the horses mouth. I'm not afraid of the answers I will get. I'm pretty smart and I can put two and two together. But I will give her a lot of satisfaction if I do as she's been trying to get him to leave me. I had written her a nasty email when I had found out telling her flat out that she was being used. and she should feel embarrassed luring him in with sex. I stated meanly as it's true; "I guess with a face like that, I guess that's all you have." So I guess she'd be on high guard. I had also gone to the place where she works so I can see her with my eyes to make this some sort of reality. She has never seen me in person but I guarantee she was thinking but couldn't place my face. I even had a brief conversation with her. I was so disgusted looking at her and in disbelief that he could actually doe the act with that?!. But then, there are guys who get prostitutes too. The feelings of being duped are killing me. When he went over there a few days after the surprise party I threw him, I'm sure he got a BJ from her! I was sitting by the fireplace when he walked in and the look on his face was more than pitiful. I thought it was because his friend who he had taken back to the tv station to say hi was sick, Only if knew the real reason. How could I've been so trusting? Believe me, we have an extremely active sex life that is not at all boring. So I don't get it!!!!!! But yet, asked him why he decided to drop by her house, "We were just friends and nothing happened!" Rigght! This is what I hate, i know he's lying and he won't give it up! And no matter what I say, it won't matter. He says no matter what I say, you're not gonna believe me unless it's something you want to hear. The mere fact he plays that card with me, get's me so infuriated. My blinders and trusting him back that makes me so so sooo sooooooo ANGRY!!!!! Sighhhh!
It is trauma. My husband is a military psychologist and my experience is exactly like his PTSD patients. Triggers, nightmares, wanting to avoid certain topics/places/activities, not feeling safe, needing to process the same information repeatedly, questioning everything about my marriage, the essential nature of love, my religion....everything! We aren't ruminating....we are instinctually doing a form of prolonged exposure. It is a highly effective PTSD treatment. You just keep going over it until your physical and emotional responses diminish. I'm 17 months from the 3rd D day of him still texting her after two months of supposed no contact.
Becca,I discourage you from getting answers from you, simply because you're inviting her into your life, which is dangerous. You want to shut the door on her. Why is he still seeing her, even as a "friend"? He needs to have absolutely no contact with her. And Ice Queen…thank-you so much for weighing in with your experience and your husband's understanding of trauma. It's hard for a lot of us to call it trauma because that feels dramatic and like it's reserved for war veterans and rape victims. But whether we feel comfortable calling it trauma, that's what it is.So thank-you.Elle
Yesterday we found out that the OW has breast cancer. I don't know how to handle all of the feelings this brings up.They work in the same place, but not together; they can and do avoid each other. In the course of discussing other work related things with my husband, a coworker mentioned that the OW had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.(My husband doesn't seek out conversations about the OW. He never asks about her and says he will continue to avoid such discussion, even after this latest news.)My feelings are all over the place:-------------To begin, it just stirs things up. It makes me think about her more than I would like.It brings up a relatively minor cancer scare she had during the affair. I even talked to her about it shortly after that diagnosis, trying to reassure her and help bring her down from a panic state.It reminds me that she has a history of exaggerating and clinging to her and her family's illnesses, using them to get attention and manipulate people into caring about her and helping her. Yes, she did this with my husband. Yes, he fully acknowledges that she did this with him and does it with everyone.I hate that this will make my husband think about her. He says his first reaction was concern, quickly followed by the knowledge that it's not his job to worry about her. She has other people for that. But I know he can't help but think about it, and this will bring her into his mind more than I'd like.I'm sure this is making her even more bitter and angry about her life. In her mind, everything bad happens to her.It makes me feel guilty for thinking these things about her, when she's the one with a frightening illness, while I'm healthy.---------------So I know I need to let this go, too. But it's so frustrating to have thoughts of her so fresh and top of mind. I've been struggling with getting her out of my head as it is. This isn't helping, and the guilty feelings make it all even worse.
I think your reaction is quite normal given the dramatic news. It will prompt all sorts of strong reactions in you. I think, with a bit of time, you'll go back to your new "normal". Her news will recede. But this also gives you a chance to talk through this with your husband. Tell him of your fears that this will pull him back in, even just in his mind. It's challenges like this that have the chance to bring you two closer together (on the same team, if you will) or increase a chasm between you. Being fearful about what this means for your relationship isn't being selfish or self-centred. It's about your fears, which are very real, being triggered by an event you have no control over. You didn't give her cancer. So no guilt required.Elle
Thank you, Elle. Yeah, my husband and I talked. Well, really, I broke down and cried when he told me this latest news. And then we talked.We do have an attitude of being on the same team. I sometimes tell him we're "on the same side," and he agrees. :)You're right, this will fade. It already is beginning to, believe it or not! I just hope it doesn't keep coming up at his work. The way things are there, it very well might.
Yes, it might keep coming up…but if you have a strategy that keeps you both focussed on what matters -- each other -- you'll get through.Hang in there.Elle
Two songs to help...idie label but good stuff!Dido; "End of Night"Amos Lee; "Chill in the Air" A definite victim of A cheater. Faith Hill "Cry" Ali ~
Found out a little over 2 months ago that my husband was having an affair. It started before our first anniversary! We have been together for over 8 years and married now 1 1/2 years. I am trying to heal and work on the marriage. The problem I have is that I have to see the mistress almost daily as our children are in the same class together at school. How can I begin to heal when I have to see her all the time?
Ugh! I often think that those of us who have to deal regularly with the OW bear a special kind of chutzpah. I had to deal with the OW in my case for about a month after I found out…but then she conveniently vanished from our lives. Poof! We should all be so lucky.It might help to replace her in your mind with another image. I know one woman on this site used to imagine the OW as a bald, white grocery-store chicken.Sounds crazy but that stuff works. Did your husband ever tell you anything embarrassing about her that you can leverage to come up with a replacement image? If not, does she remind you of anything (a pug? a beetle? a frightened bird?). The key is to see her as something sad and pitiful until you can eliminate that knot in your stomach. No matter how you handle this, please know that you did nothing wrong. You can hold your head high, something she has no right to do. Elle
After I went and faced my OW I told my husband that she looked like a Giraffe. She has really longs legs and BIG feet. she is really tall and I guess she don't wear heels much (which my husband loves) I have long legs but a nice height that I can wear heels and not be taller than my husband.I hang onto the Giraffe thing, it really helps
Dear Mountainsailing,You sound like a very compassionate woman to me, and so sad that you even have to think of her.She is of no importance to you. She has her cross and you certainly had yours when she was having an affair with your husband. Quid pro quo.
Thank you so much for that. It truly helps. This is difficult, but I'm beginning to realize this will fade soon.
Pleasantly Surprised!Wow, other people do exist and they do talk about their troubles and triumphs. I have been extremely frustrated that I haven't been able to find someone that "understands" my feelings and the hell I am going through. Everyone that I know who has been through an affair is divorced. I don't hear about the stories of real people who actually are trying to work through this horrible life event and still be married at the end of the day. It is just a breath of fresh air to be able to relate to these "real people" - not the stories you hear in a book that are being analyzed by the "professionals". Anyway, My husband cheated on me with a co-worker/mutual friend May of 2013. We have two kids (4 year old and almost 1 year old) - so they were 3 and 5mo during the actual affair. We were in the process of adjusting to life with a new baby, selling our house, moving because we sold it "quicker" than we had planned, and getting ready to move forward into the next chapter of our lives - Medical School. Yes my husband has decided in his mid-30's to become a doctor...so we were uprooting our whole life to help him follow his dreams. And what do I get for a Mother's Day/6 Year Anniversary gift....yes you guessed it, finding out my husband ACTUALLY cheated on me. And of course I found out the worst possible way...he lied, I unraveled the truth, and he only admitted to what I had proof of. I do not do LYING....it is worse than telling me the painful truth. Lying to me made it 100x's worse....insult to injury. I still don't know if I have the whole story. I have tried blaming the OW, blaming my Husband, accepting fault in myself, and also blaming the World. I have tried to fix my husband, fix our past marriage, set expectations for a new marriage, fix myself, etc. I am worn out with all the paths I have traveled down in trying to get through this. I am to the point to where I am just living for the day and trying to control my "outburst". I can go on for days about all the details of my story...but I don't want to take over the blog. My husband is a very smart person...and yet a very dumb person at the same time.My marriage now is good...and I would have been happy with "good" before the affair but now I want "great". I have recently told my husband that I don't know if we actually married for love...I don't feel the "spark". We get along great, he is happy, the kids are happy, but I feel that I am in this world alone and if I could just escape my husband then I would feel relief. I feel like there is more to marriage than just "getting along" - and my husband has fed me full of his "philosophy of marriage" for so long that I believed it....and look at where it got me.
I have to say ur situation and feelings are so similar to mine, and i agree the lying part only makes things worse, and even thu they shud be smarter, somehow, with the affair googles the smartness is all washed away, or like my husband tried to explain "there is only enuf blood to keep one head going", haha! I have to say i personally had suffered the same idea that may be this affar is my que to end this marriage, and may be i am not getting the happiness and understanding i need. I have to say these thoughts didnt go anywhere, especially that i am looking for a great relationship and great man now, after what he put me through, i have earned it. But in my moments of sanity, when i am not possesed by anger or doubt, i tell myself the following:- no relationship is perfect, all relationships need alot of work- i can use what happened to my advantage, he appreciates me and will do anything to keep me happy, so why dont i take this opportunity and try to make this relationship into something amazing. I decided to stay, i shud give it a full shot, my best and shudnt hold back. I dont want to walk away with regrets.I honestly have my down days when i just feel its not getting any better, or i am haunted by a thought. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, so major extereme moments. But the good moments are more now. And i really work hard on me, and trying to be positive.Good luck,Julie
Just to give a little more background - my husband, I say was an alcoholic - he says he admits he had a "drinking problem", is no longer drinking. He was prescribed anti-depressant medication and is a happier person now. We are attending church - and he actually seems to enjoy it and looks forward to going...rather than it being an obligation. He has made several changes and it has made a world of difference. I have been nicer, we don't really fight other than the heated conversations we seem to circle back to about the affair. Not the details of the affairs anymore....but the questions that come out because of it. I am just thinking if all this pain is worth it? This is how I described my situation....in our marriage (right before the affair started) I was at a cliff and looking to jump (divorce). Well when I found out about the affair I actually did jump...but I didn't let go. I am dangling on the side of the cliff while my husband isn't stepping on my fingers trying to get me to let go but he also isn't giving me a helping hand to pull me up....he just sits there and watches. My husband says he doesn't feel like he can help me because he is the one that put me in the position...my councilor has told me I need to find things to grab a hold of myself and find the strength the pull myself back up. So I did...I am back on top....but now that I have dug deep down and found a way to help myself....I feel like since I did all the work myself...what is the point of having my husband around? I am trying to make my husband pay for his affair....but at the same time he doesn't seem to be in pain and the only time he has difficulty getting through the day is when I am having a bad day.Doesn't it just make since for us to just let go of one another? His emotional well being is based on my emotions...he doesn't really have the time that I need from him between his school and father duties. I just feel that I am no longer MAD about the affair - disappointed. The affair is not going to control my existence. But it is a part of my life now...and I can't change that. I don't hate my husband, we have great sex, but it just feels like there should be more. And I can't wait until he gets through medical school, because then it will be an internship, and then a job, and then a move...life is happening now. How long is a good time to say "you gave it a valid and honest effort"? Can a spark be brought back after it has been lost? Thanks for listening to my ramblings! Sincerely - Michele
Before you decide to stay or go, here's my thoughts on being ready to make that decision. And I believe in order to stay...you must get a fantastic marriage...not an OK one. If you're going to forgive the unforgivable...you better get something great in return, right? I first needed to know WHY. And the WHY has many layers. Undiagnosed and untreated ADD that effected our entire marriage and caused us to develop a very dysfunctional lifestyle and relationship layered with his childhood neglect and feelings of unworthiness and my unemotional personality stemming from dealing with alcoholic parents and a borderline personality mom. Add in a decade of stress from moving with the military, 4 kids (a new baby during the affair), and his depression from years of stress from getting his doctorate, being in internship, and not having his dissertation done....perfect storm. He felt like a loser, I added to that with my own behavior, and she just had to step in and be nice. The second step was addressing all of those issues. The third step was to recognize that it was going to take lots of time and bad days to make things good again but it only worked because he is working even harder than I am to be a man of integrity and to be the husband he should have been. Learning about love languages helps us communicate our needs and we work hard to spend as much time together as possible to reignite that flame. I did the Love Dare and that worked wonders for my state of mind. At some point, you have to put energy into your healing on the one hand (transitioning from victim to survivor) and on the other, becoming a great wife. To be in a happy marriage again...you are going to have to do both of those things anyway. And why not try with the father of your babies. A least give it a shot. Love can happen but is going to take work on both sides. Elle and her blog have been the best help I've received and I've read complete blogs and articles from over 5 experts these past 2 years. Nothing has been as healing as this space and the advice that Elle gives. Keep coming here...that will help the most. An affair makes you question everything about yourself, your husband, your marriage, and the very nature of love. I still have weak days but I'll tell you that I am stronger now than I have ever been. I demand a wonderful relationship with my husband and I really am getting it.
Ice Queen - Thanks for the response. You hit this right on the nose. The affair has made me question everything between myself, husband, marriage, and the nature of love. The bad days are getting further between....and when they do come, they don't last for weeks. So it is getting better - I was just concerned that since it is getting easier maybe it is because I am just not caring as much and ready to call it quits. So thank you for getting me! What is the Love Dare, I looked it up, is it a book that you are referring to? And I agree, I don't want to be the victim anymore - I want to transition into the survivor - but a part of me says that in order to be considered the survivor I should be able two walk away on my own two feet from the scene of the accident. And I guess I just need to come up with my own definition of what it means to survive this and strive for that.I am being the good wife - it is so much easier when he is actually contributing to our marriage. I have a very hard time with the "time" factor. And that is just because life is short and I don't want to waste anymore time....I wish I had a magic ball that would tell me if I did this then that would lead to this! But we don't....so it's a leap of faith, and that is something I have to overcome as well. Thank you again, I appreciate the support and understanding!
It is a book but also a movie. Kirk Cameron stars in it and it does talk about God/Jesus so if that doesn't work for you then you might not like it. The overall themes are helpful and it gave me something to focus on each day. It is a 40 day program. Both spouses could do it or just one. I did it alone (I was unaware of the ongoing affair at the time...he had told me the "I love you but not in love with you" so I was trying to fix our relationship.) After he ended the affair, he did some of the book but stopped. Later I found out that she had threatened suicide so he resumed contact until the final Dday when I told him that I wanted him to stop playing games and to just be with her and that I was ok with it. (Wouldn't make life difficult, would be nice to her, and not keep the kids from him.) That was a wake-up call to him and he began counseling that week. It amazes me that the details may change but the overall experience is the same for all of us. I still have days that I want to quit and days that I regret staying but that's because I am angry about the past and fearful about the future. The one person I will never give up on again is myself. I had given up over a decade ago. I stop trying to have a social life, stopped taking care of myself (no makeup, hair in a ponytail EVERY DAY, jeans and a t-shirt), I went from a size 0 in high school to a size 18 in just 10 years. I was miserable. I hated myself and him. But I gave myself a new life and now I'm a size 6/8 even after having another baby...and I get hit on now...BIG boost to the confidence! I had to heal myself and get myself to a better place on my own and that included demanding better behavior from my husband. I have told him that I still reserve the right to leave. I think we all get to determine what happens after the affair since we had no say before and during. It's our turn to have the power!
OH! Here's a link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Dare-Alex-Kendrick/dp/1433679590/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=I don't get money from Amazon! Just too lazy to drive the 50 miles to the nearest bookstore!
Ice Queen - that is awesome...way to take care of you! You sound just like me! I was the no makeup, jeans, hair in a ponytail girl too...I still kind of am but I do "get ready" more often than not! I think there is a happy-medium! I will check out the Love Dare. On the days you want to quit and regret staying....do you just keep this to yourself or do you share these thoughts with your husband? And I do need to get a social life...I have been wrapping myself up in my healing, my marriage, and our family. I have several reasons...1. We just moved and with me being pretty much a "single mom" with my husbands schedule, it is hard. 2. I work from home. 3. I am afraid that the grass is greener on the other side and I can be easily persuaded to jump the fence with the latest events of our past. So I felt it was safer to get a grip on life and when I am comfortable again I will start pursuing this portion of my life. But I am sure those are all just excuses and I just need to join the world again and go out there. It's amazing how this completely changes your life, feelings, friendships, etc. I also HATE hearing "If you make past this, then your marriage will be stronger" - no I completely disagree with this statement. I think it is completely destroyed our marriage...and we are basically starting over with a little bit more knowledge of what "not" to do. I think as individuals we may be stronger because of it....but it did not make my marriage better, stronger, or save it. It has tested it to it's limits....And the God thing is for me...I have found he is the only one I can 100% lean on.
my d day was June 19, 2012. I, like all of you, was devistated. I've known my husband since we were children. He was around way back when, when my then longtime boyfriend cheated on me forever..I was so the young fool in those days. Over the years in my now relationship my husband would say things like he would never cheat because of the pain he saw me go thru when we were young. This man that I thought was so much different then anyone was just like everyone else. As soon as I found out he stopped everything. He didn't leave the house unless I was with him, the password on the phone was turned off and he was 100 % in to being transparent so that we could get thru this and be better than before. Other than the 2 "I didn't want to hurt your feelings" lies he has been amazing at working things out and is a better man the the man I married. So why isn't it getting any better for me? I have secrets, I made fake social pages so I could find out more about the OW. it makes me so angry that she is so confident and beautifu, her words not mine. She got fired from her job last month for having another interoffice afair...I was happy because I could finally stop worrying about my husband running into her but mad as he'll because this showed me that she didn't give a cap about what she did to my life. I stay busy to try and not think about it in the presence of my husband I act like I'm fine but I'm not. I have never felt this pain and for what...I didn't do anything. This chuck lives close her kids go to school with my kids. I saw her in a store a few weeks back and would go in. I rearrange my life so that I won't run into her. I'm scared all the time..I guess because I'm grading myself for when this good marriage blows up my face as well as because I'm afraid that my husband is putting on a pretty face for me since I'm doing that. Why can't I find peace. why am I so afraid. I was the good girl that truly loved life and people. I wished everyone well in life...now I can't find that person. I loved who I was but I was so easy to fool that he found a strong attention driven woman to satisfy him instead of me. I just want to feel better on the inside. I just want to find that old me again. The one that I liked because I don't like who I am anymore.
Of course, you don't like who you are anymore. You're NOT that person. You're a loyal, loving wife whose life was hijacked. And now you're behaving like someone who's been traumatized. Which you have been.But you need to stop acting like this person you don't want to be. You need to let go of this woman…stop stalking her, work on stopping the thoughts about her. Your husband chose you. He wants to rebuild a life with you, not her. You can either take that opportunity to create something good out of something awful…or stay focussed on her at a cost to your own self-respect and any possibility of building a better marriage.You weren't a fool. You were someone operating on what you believed -- that your husband wouldn't do that. We were all that person. Every woman here was that person. But we were lied to. That doesn't make us fools, it makes our husbands the fools. Sounds like your husband knows he was a fool and doesn't want to be that guy anymore. Elle
Strong Woman - Not that I would have taken this message well from anyone but myself. But I was you...I was stalking the OW for a long time. Until one day I realized that I "hated" who I had become. I was not going to let the affair decide if my marriage would end or not...I would make that choice. So why would I let the affair have this affect on me individually, to the point of controlling my life. I hated me...so I gave myself a kick in the pants and said pull it together. I will define me, who I am, and what I want to be....not some other woman who could care less about me or my family. I would not let my husbands actions define who I am...I will. I am a loving mother, wife, and in general a happy person. This is still a work in progress. But I have started a photography class, I will be joining the gym here after the Christmas Break, and I will do the things that will make me a better and happier person. If i am happy individually then that makes me a better mom and wife. We all deserve that after the events we have been through. One thing I realized about myself is that I lost me a long time prior to the affair. I was a wife or the girl's mom....but I wasn't just Michele anymore. And one of the issues in my marriage was I had devoted 100% of me to the marriage and the family, my husband chose himself first and then our family and marriage. We were at two ends of the spectrum and that caused a huge rift in our relationship. Now, he is more family and marriage and I am including myself as an individual back into the equation. We are making adjustments in our lives that we both needed. As Elle said - you have to learn to control your thoughts, I am still trying to figure this out. But the more I am self-aware of it the easier it gets. DO NOT waste anymore time of your life on this OW, she doesn't deserve a second thought. Good luck to you. Michele
StrongWoman,Thanks for adding in your thoughts. That's what I mean when I suggest that certain gifts can be gained post-infidelity. Like you (and many others here), I had adopted the role of martyr in my family -- I would sigh with resignation (and resentment) and then do all the things asked of me. I hadn't learned to treat myself with the same regard. Post-infidelity, I felt entitled to actually do things I wanted to do. Not just what everyone else wanted me to do. As a result, I became happier, more interesting to myself, more content, and, paradoxically, "safer" in my marriage because I trust that I can survive without it.But you're right that it's a choice. Letting ourselves be led by our deepest fears (and trying to keep tabs on the OW and then beating ourselves up is fear-based control) doesn't make us better. It makes us bitter. Elle
I too was playing the martyr role, with kids first husband second and me last. Since his affair, I say to myself he was selfish and now I'm going to be taking care of me. I have started taking piano lessons at 42. When I want to do something or go somewhere I tell him, not keep it in hoping he'll read my mind and guess and suggest it himself. And I see a change in him. He has become a much more involved father; before he never went to parent teacher conferences, wouldn't stay home with the kids while I had plans. One of the books I read (maybe after the affair) said very often the spouse with the least stake in the marriage/family (the least involved one) is the one who has the affair, because they feel less involved in the marriage and family. And I also agree with one of the above bloggers who also wrote to use your spouse's remorse as an opportunity; not exactly that I am using him and making him go through hoops, but a little. For example, we were never big on Valentines day but I told him this year I was expecting something. He saw me eyeing some chocolate covered fruit from godiva when we were at a mall with the kids and he of course bought it for me. Boy did that make me feel special! He would have never done that before. So his feeling guilt got me some godiva chocolate. YAY!-Sam
Hi Elle, I am just over a month from confirmation of my husband's affair. He confirmed that it had been happening and that it was over. He has asked me to stay and try and repair our marriage / relationship (we have been together for 30 years). He says he is truly committed to us BUT he has also said that he has 'feelings' for the OW. How can I believe that he is truly committed when he has feelings for somebody else? How can I make that commitment?
M, Please also read the letter below, which is directed at you because it offers up wise advice. You don't need to make any firm decisions right now other than, perhaps, to not do anything drastic. He can't be completely committed if he still has feelings for her. But that's okay (well…as okay as things get right now). As long as he's willing to really examine what drove him to the affair and as along as he's willing to have NO CONTACT with her as you two are working on your relationship, I suspect the affair goggles will come off. These guys need to believe that the OW is something special; otherwise they have to admit to themselves that they risked everything and hurt someone they loved for nothing much. So they convince themselves that the wife doesn't appreciate them blah blah blah and that the OW understands them, is nuts about them, blah blah blah. Get yourself counselling to help you through and I would insist he get individual counselling as well to sort through his own feelings without you having to listen to it. And just give yourself some time to determine whether you want him.Elle
M - I don't know if this is the right thing to say or not...but don't make a commitment one way or the other. I am 7 months out from my D-Day and I am making a commitment to "try very hard" to work through this with my husband. In return he has to show me how our marriage can and will be to persuade me to stay. It is VERY hard at times...but (I hate that I am even repeating this because I hated hearing it from my councilor) - time will heal your wounds. If he still has feelings for the OW then go see a therapist apart and together to figure out what it is that keeps his feelings alive for her. My husband, I believe had "affair goggles" on. At first when I was unrevealing the truth about the affair he was defending her like no tomorrow. Eventually, as the stories were unraveled and he has realized that she had no problem throwing him under the bus and "supposedly telling lies" to make her look like an innocent bi-standard, he came to realize exactly who she was. As affairs are discussed amongst people some interesting bits are always revealed from one's past. Basically, my husband was stupid and fell for the OW's act - I always had a hard time trusting her. But she played her "poor innocent victim" cards just right for the H to follow her into a bedroom. So I am not in your situation - my husband says he is disgusted with himself for allowing himself to get wrapped up in her world. He told me in a way he was glad she had no regards where he was concerned - it was very easy for him to feel "resentment" towards her vs. sympathy. She is also married and her husband knows about the affair as well...so I am glad he doesn't care about what she is going through and how she is handling it. Best of luck to you.Michele
To all that replied to my message, Thank you. I deleted all of the fake pages took a deep breath, said a long prayer and decided to let her go. I also sat my husband down and told him what I had been doing with the social pages. I can't say that he was happy to hear that I wasn't completely over it but he dealt with it without packing up and running so I guess that's a plus. I went to work the very next day and ran into the lady that cleans our office, I've always been super nice to her because that's who I am...she wanted to introduce me to the new girl that would be helping out and guess who it was??? It's like God heard me cry out for closer and there she was, in my face having to listen to this woman tell her who I was, what I did and how completely amazing and important to the company that I work for. I looked at this sad little person and instead of calling HE to get her out I just smiled and walked away. I guess when you move the roadblocks out of the way you can get the blessings and closer that you need to move on. God is good and I wish I had found you awesome women sooner to help me realize how much damage I was doing to myself..Please pray for me and the next chapter in my life. Thank you all..I don't know any of you but I love you all.
That's a really amazing story. He moves in mysterious ways, to quote Bono.Elle
Good job Strong Woman! I have leaned a lot on God through this....a lot of people move away from God. But I had to move closer...he is the one thing in my life that truly does love me, will never leave me, and will listen to me. This is one way I am defining my "survival" - I can do without my marriage because I know I will never be alone, I have God with me. I am a music freak and run a lot. I have found a song by Chris August that helps me get through some of my hard times "Restore". I also like "Heal This Home" by Luminate! They aren't too far off in my views of what I thought marriage was and what my life had become. Stay Strong!
Michele, you wouldn't know by the way I've been acting that I kept God on my side but he was there every moment. He was all I had even through my craziest days. My only ally on this planet, my mom passed away suddenly from a rare and very fast cancer right before my husband started seeing the OW. That was the first blow and about time I started feeling like I could breath again this affair blew up in my face.im not one to lean on my kids so I had to walk this path alone with God. This week every time I feel the crazies coming on I go find a place to pray. I do have a question for you. If you were me, would you go talk to your HR manager to request she not work in my building. We have a big campus so it wouldn't be like asking them to fire her...just get her out of my office.
Strong Woman - I would if that would make you feel better. Just be ready for a denial of your request and having to share your reason for the request. Understand how you feel about sharing your story and not getting the reactions you may expect. I don't tell some people because I am trying to transition from victim to survivor...and telling people my sad story brings out the victim side of me. I am trying to make the final move to the survival side! Now that probably sounds like I am telling everyone in the world...I am not, we have told close friends and family. I actually love this blog because even if I do tell my friends things I am going through...they listen and try to understand, but I never really get comfort from them. Where as on here I can talk to a complete stranger and feel like I just resolved the worlds issues because someone actually "got me and my feelings"We have told our "close friends" and it has been disappointing in some of their reactions. But that is okay because it is their right and it shows me who the real friendships are and who is worth keeping.Telling our families has opened a window to how my husband has been raised to deal with the "hard issues in life" - it is to hope it goes away. I will be brining this up in therapy so he can learn to address the hard conversations with me...and not just lock them away and hope they will resolve on their own.
Now then, not saying you are doing this as revenge...but just a short entry about my revenge. I had a hard time trying to be more "God Like" through this process and let things lie. I researched the topic of revenge...and there is a "healthy revenge cycle." My husband worked with the OW and the biggest issue for the OW and her husband was their reputation. I asked that we all four sit down and have a face-to-face conversation so I could get the whole story with both of the affair people there. They wouldn't agree to the sit down. So their approach was to keep everything secretive...and act like it didn't happen. So after a lot of thought and scenarios in my head...I went through and "de-friended" the people I met because of this other couple...there were four. So not a huge circle...but as I de-friended them I explained the reason. I actually thought they all new...they work in a hospital so I just assumed the rumor mill had already run it's course...this was 6 months post affair. Apparently, the affair had been kept under wraps until my message to these 4 particular people...people that were supposedly the other couples friends. It made me feel the power back in my life. I am sure God was frowning down on me but I do not regret it, if they didn't want their reputations damaged then I guess they should have agreed not to step outside the marriage. The OW's husband called me up and chewed me up one side and down another....and asked that I stop spreading the rumors. I told him they were the facts, not rumors. Even though I got chewed out and it was a reaction from them....it made me feel better for getting a taste of their own medicine. They had no problem discussing my husband and his flaws with our friends because they new...so I just figured the tables would turn. However, I didn't go into long conversations about the OW - I simply stated that due to her affair with my husband I can no longer have "mutual friends" in common with the other couple. Now you are probably saying I should have more sympathy for the OW's husband....but he was apart of the lies to help cover up the secret meetings between my husband and the OW, he was just stupid enough to believe that nothing was going on until I pointed the facts out and we both started digging. I do feel bad for him...but this is not the first time she has cheated on him....so maybe I am doing him a favor and actually making her have consequences to her actions. Maybe I made their situation worse...but they should have thought about all of this before they allowed us to be in one another's lives. I should have trusted my gut feelings about allowing her to be apart of our lives...I never trusted her from the beginning...but I didn't want to seem like the "jealous wife" - so I stated my concern to my husband when I first met her and then I just trusted that my husband would never be "that guy". Was I wrong! My husband has now agreed that he will not question anyone I choose not to have be apart of our lives...a little late for this lesson, but I guess better than never.Now that you got my babbles...yes I would have her transfer. Work is probably a place that you are kept busy and can sometimes get a breath of fresh air outside of the affair. So I would try to keep that environment as "affair free" as possible....her being in your face isn't helping your case. But I am the person that will tackle a problem or discomfort head on....not try to make everyone feel comfortable or happy. Sorry for the long response! Good luck and let me know what you decide! Hope this helped!Michele
Just wondering if anyone here has started taking antidepressants 1.5 years after D-day? I got Alprazolam prescribed, but only took it in the beginning for a few weeks. I know I'm on my way up, but my sadness and mood swings are affecting my oldest as well. He is very sensitive and other than the affair, we've also gone through some other life changing events (moved country twice, changed school twice, lost contact with best friends and my parents because we left 'their' church.....I don't know what to do. Shall I just hang in there, or ask for medication (something I've never wanted). My husband is working really hard, but my emotions are sometimes really hard to handle. I switch from pushing him away to claiming him, being angry and being sad. Some days are really good, some really bad. I'm so fed up with it myself too!!!! Or anyone with other techniques I could use?Mara xps: writing already helps :-D
Hi Mara,yes, I did start taking ADs a year or so after the affair. The way my doctor explained it was that the chronic stress had literally changed the chemistry in my brain. I was on them for 18 months (the minimum recommended). I hated thinking that I needed them (residual childhood stuff about thinking I should be strong enough to not need them…) but they got me back on my feet. And I think it's important that our kids see us helping ourselves get healthy again. Not being dependent on pills but using them as part of an overall plan to heal. You want to know that you're experiencing life as it is…not through the lens of pain and fear and trauma.Of course, ensure that you're exercising and eating well. Meditation is also a really effective way of letting yourself sit with your pain (or fear, or joy…) and learning that it will just wash over you. It won't drown you. Too often we begin to fear our feelings because they've been so overwhelming.And yes…writing out your feelings. Acknowledging how far you've come and what you've come through.Hang in there, Mara. And I'm so glad you're offering up your wisdom here for others too.Elle
Hi Mara,I am no expert, i am still trying to pull throu myself, but. I am having more good days than bad days lately, even thou its been 10 months for me since D day.But i can give you some of them tips that work for me, at least sometimes.I have been reading a book called "the power of now", its helping me stop over obsessing about the past and future. Its mainly telling you to take one moment at the time, and this relaxes me. It may not work at times, but it helps get me out of the "mad/depressed" mood, that sometimes i feel i lure myself into! And gets me to appreciate what i have now, and how i can enjoy now.The other 2 things mainly revolve around using this negativity and turning it into something useful. First, I workout almost everyday as much time as i can, i try to direct this negative energy into a healthy positive way, that i hope will pay off, and one day i will have the dream body i want. May be then I cud thank the OW and my husband. Haha...The second thing is learning new stuff, i have recently relocated, and i happen to love interiors, so i am ceasing this opportunity to practice and may be even find a class i can take.Finally, reading other BW stories here and being able to identify and relate to them, helped me understand myself and emptions better and find comfort that its going to be fine. Thanks Elle =)I have to tell you that my counceller had asked me to take anti-depressant since she believes i have PTSD, and i am personally reluctant, so i decided to work on myself and attempt to really be better. Giving myself a time range that if i don't i will have to take the anti-depressants. However, thank God, i feel i am getting better, and that i have so much more in me and my life to let this wreck me. Especially if you have a sincere remorseful husband who is willing to stick around for your mad, beyond reason moments.Writing helps me too, i think you should really give that a chance.Feel better, be positive and goodluck.Julie
Hi Anon ( after 5 years)I feel that Elle is right, you're on your own unless he will change, and absolutely the example of showing your children that you respect yourself as a wife, woman and mother.Before you make any decisions and when the moment is appropriate, try asking your husband " how did he expect you to act/deal with the details of his betrayal, and ask him to put himself in your shoes honestly for an hour or so and see if it sheds any light on the situation for him" I guess it won't change a thing, but its one last question I would need to ask.Good luck with it all. x
my dday was August and October of 2010. In august I found him on a porn site, in october I found videos that haunt me to this day. He had been looking for someone on Adult Friend Finder since 2005. That is when I consider that marriage to be over. I just didn't know it for 5 years. He is sick with parkinsons and used that as his excuse for not sleeping with me. I felt so sorry for him and loved him so much and wanted to help him. He stole 5 years of our life together and gave it way to other women. I subtract off those 5 years when anyone asks how long we have been married. He does not.Is it odd for me to still feel stuck? To still anguish over the lost time and the lost trust? Now as his illness progresses and he is at the stage he claimed to be at so many years ago, I feel resentful and bitter. I wonder if he is lying to me or exaggerating his symptoms. I feel guilty for not being more compassionate yet I am afraid to be vulnerable again. I have put up walls to protect myself since the person I trusted most in the world was not there to do it. That is the only way i have kept sane, That and my fits where I just start throwing things away. I throw away everything I can get my hands on. Somehow getting rid of things that he may have touched during that time makes me feel better.
I'm so sorry for what you've gone through and for the pain you're still in. I often talk on this site about trauma, and the post-trauma many of us experience for years afterward. When we feel "stuck", I think it's important to consider that you're feeling that way because you haven't treated the trauma. Unless you can work through that, you'll continue to feel, on some level, as if you're still experiencing the betrayal. It will feel immediate and sharp, rather than fade with time. It sounds, too, as if you still struggle with trust. Discovering that someone we trusted completely betrayed that trust is terrifying. Our world feels very unsafe. Which is why part of healing from betrayal is learning to trust ourselves. Many of us didn't have that piece. But slowly getting in touch with who we are, what we need and honouring that can move our healing forward considerably. Can you talk to anyone about your anguish? Did you seek counselling? Could you now get into counselling? I suspect you've got a lot of residual hurt and fear that's holding you back from being able to feel peace and joy. And Monica, I don't know of any peer counselling program for betrayers, though it's a great idea.Elle
Hi Anon,No of course its not odd to still feel stuck. I too anguished over the lost time and trust along with a million other things. Chucking things was something I was doing systematically for a good 10 months after and still do if we come across something. It started with underwear, socks, suits and ties, photos of us during his affair, cards he sent me, the perfume I wore at that stage I can no longer wear. I too chucked out my lingerie that I can remember him admiring.I feel that some of your difficulty is the anguish over your husbands illness. Although he did have the illness, its terrible when someone makes things worse to attempt sympathy or hide other actions.Have you sought counselling and has your husband addressed his problems with looking at porn and what lead him there?If it keeps you safe at the moment to keep those walls around you then you must do what you need to do, but in the meantime try and find if there's a way you can make a hole in the wall to have a peek at the other side.You are not alone and I'm sure Elle will respond, it makes us all feel better when she does!
I was wondering if someone could explain this to me, my good days are more common than my bad days. I dont think i will ever forget, however, i find myself uncontrollably talking bad about my husband to my friends. Even those who dont know, and i have to say that after i utter those words i find myself filled with regret, i still love my husband and anyone who knows him believes he is the most ethical and decent person in the world. And he is, and i am really trying not to make this mistake define who he is, but rather a huge mistake that hopefully we both learn from. However, i cant get myself to stop, its like a compulsive urge. Am i lying to myself that i am getting better? Am i clouded by the thought of the infidelity that its the first reponse i have, even thu its like i find any excuse to say something aweful about him? Its been 10 months since d day, and while i am dreading the coming 3 months, thats the duration of the affair, i am trying not to let this fear control me, and allow myself to be positive.Julie
Julie,I suspect that by talking bad, you're mentally protecting yourself. I confess I've done that too. It seems a way to put some distance between me and him. Try and catch yourself doing it. With time and attention, you'll get to a point where you'll catch yourself about to do it (rather than noticing when you've already done it). Notice it again. What are you feeling in that moment? Do you feel powerful when you diss him? Recognize that this power is an illusion. Making him look bad doesn't make you powerful. Loving yourself makes you powerful.This is still quite new to you…but I think if you really take notice that you're doing this, you can get to a point where you can stop yourself before the words come out of your mouth. Try radical kindness instead. :)Elle
Was feeling really dark and stuck when this essay appeared on FB. Even if it is about death, it describes grief so well.http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/i-found-myself-in-a-dark-wood/?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=OP_IFM_20131219&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1385874000000&bicmet=1388638800000&fblinkge0&_r=1&
Can someone tell me what to expect from my husband, i think he forgave himself so fast. He is trying to make our marriage work, snd putting up with my madness. But when we talk, i get the sense that this is a chapter he closed. And he only tells me what i want to hear. It seems as though he hate how he hurt me, but he doesnt hate the relationship he was emersed into!!!
It's completely warranted for you to expect him to dig deep to figure out why he did what he did. It's a way for you to feel safe again and trust that he's taking steps to ensure he doesn't go down that same path. As for him hating the relationship, that might come with time…or it might not. He might recognize that the relationship gave him a deeper understanding of himself. And perhaps led him back to you. Elle
I am so glad I found this place. My relationship with my partner of almost 17 years was in a bad place for months. We neglected each other while we were busy with kids, careers and activities. I was so tired all of the time and would usually opt out of any suggestions he had for spending time together. We worked really well together in getting through our teenage daughters really rough period and maintaining our home and bills etc. we fought sometimes but not that badly and had sex around twice a week. At that time neither of us were happy but seemed to be on autopilot in our lives so we didn't do anything about it, other than the odd time I would question him and he would say he's fine. He wasn't a "sharer" of his feelings anyway. Mid August of this year I noticed he was getting more distant than usual and suspected something was up but had nothing to back up that instinct. Second week of September we had a really bad week of fighting and I approached him asking him what the problem was and telling him how unhappy I was. As the conversation progressed he ended up telling me he wanted to end our relationship. I was floored. It was a really rough week after that Saturday night conversation. I went to work and when I was at home I was so sad The next Saturday I was heading out dancing for a birthday and he was dropping me off. I was getting ready in my room and dropped something on his Rugby bag and when I bent down to pick it up I looked in his bag and then decided to look a little deeper and I found condoms. I called him in and he stated that he had them in case he met someone now that we were separating. I called bullshit and insisted that he tell me the truth He admitted that he had been seeing someone from work since the middle of August. She was also married and was not happy in her relationship. He claimed they had only slept together once that week after we had broken up. He stated it was in her SUV on the Thursday night. I was so upset. We drove in silence to my location(I choose to go because I didn't want to stay with him that night). The next day we talked and he told me minimal details but the basics. He stated he was trying to break things off with her because he couldn't live with this. I left the next day, for two days, telling my kids I had to go away for work and stayed with a friend.
One of my daughters birthday was week so I met him and the kids and other family members at a restaurant for her birthday. I pretended all was well but sat far away from him. That night I went home and we talked a bit. He cried and stated he was so sorry I had to leave my house because of what he did. He stated he broke it off with her but that he was still wanting to continue with our breakup. That night we held each other while we slept as we always had but nothing sexual happened. As the weeks went on we continued to live together eventually sleeping together again. We spent more time together and other than the talks about the affair we were having fun. He answered my questions but I knew there was something missing. The ow called one Saturday when we were cooking for a family dinner. He immediately dismissed her and tried to lie to me about who it was. He finally admitted it was her but had no idea why she called. He stated he hadn't spoken to her. I made him text her in front of me and it was a lame excuse that her husband found him and said he found info on him. Basically an excuse for contact. That night he told me he thought he may have made a mistake in ending our relationship but was very confused. I felt that he was still talking to her even though he claimed to have ended it. She works at his office but not in his department so they never spoke while in the office but used the company IM to chat so I never felt that stopped. He was home every night and was picking our daughter up so I knew he wasn't getting together with her afterwork. This was the situation pretty much until I went to my hometown for a 5 day visit at the end of October He was distant before I left and we had not made a decision about our relationship. I too was confused. I hated him and loved him at the same time. I went and had a great time with old friends and my family. I felt supported even though I told no one of the affair only the separation. The only people that know about the affair are 4 of my friends,1of his friends and his mom. I am embarrassed but needed some support. Two weeks ago he came fully clean with me and I was rocked. The time frame is the same but that Thursday they had sex in her car was actually at my house and they had sex when I went home in her SUV. Also he said he told her he loves her and they spent lunches together on some abandoned road "making out" and talking like teenagers. He said he didn't love her and was infatuated by how she made him feel.
He said he had only been with me and one other one night stand when we broke up once. We had been together from age 18. He stated he had been talking to her but had not spent anytime with her since I returned from my trip and he had ended it again but she kept messaging him at work. I was so distraught. My home??? That was the worst part. I anticipated sex, it was an affair after all but in my house??? That was Saturday and I struggled to sleep in my bed that night. It was horrible. We had a huge blowout and he slept on the couch. The next day he wrote her a goodbye letter that followed a format he found on a marriage building site and emailed it to her Monday morning. He begged me to take him back and sent me his email and her response. He began working on a letter to me that he also found on the site. Since then he has been completely transparent and extremely open and attentive. Much more than I ever have seen from him. I fear some of this is guilt induced. He lets me vent, ask questions(I too am asking too many and am not prepared for what I hear). He has asked to build a new better relationship and has stated that he had no idea how much he had hurt me and has promised to never hurt me again. His only fear is that I will never move past this so we can be happy. I actually don't feel like I can right now. The ow has contacted him once since the goodbye letter and he sent it to me immediately and followed my advice on how to respond, and sent me his response as well. My issue is I'm terrified that he will hurt me again and I can't help asking questions and fixating on details now that he is answering me honestly(at least I think he is). I need some advice from those of you who have walked this brutal road. If I love him and I have since I was a young girl, and he appears to be trying to make amends, then why am I sitting on the fence and obsessing over this troll rather than engaging in my relationship? Sorry it was so long but it felt good to write it out bad spelling and bad grammar warning. Lol. Please share your thoughts. Thanks
I'm sorry I missed this. This section is full so even published comments aren't visible. In any case, what you're feeling -- obsessing over the OW, worrying about letting yourself be vulnerable -- is quite normal. You've experienced what therapists call a "trust violation" and it's traumatizing. You question not only your spouse but your own ability to recognize deceit and protect yourself.I think the only way to move forward is with total transparency and a commitment to rebuilding your marriage. I haven't seen too many people able to do this without the help of a counsellor. I would also urge you to seek counselling for yourself. Healing from betrayal is healing from trauma and it's made far easier with the help of a compassionate counsellor who can point out when you're responding to present circumstances and when you're being triggered by past trauma.Elle
Thank you so much for your reply. It does feel like trauma at times so I think you are right. You are such an inspiration for us here. If you have come as far as you have it gives hope to me that I can be strong and get through this. Thank you.
Where I'm stuck is with the feelings of still wanting some kind of revenge against the OW. I've accepted (finally) that after 5 years, my husband is not coming back. I had kicked him to the curb when I found out he was cheating on my for a 3rd time with the SAME woman. So, I don't want him back BUT I do want to ruin her life in some way like I feel she ruined mine! There has been no amount of counseling that has helped me get rid of this feeling :(
At this point, you've become your own enemy. Look into some mindfulness techniques to help you recognize that you control your thoughts, not vice versa. This woman is clearly toxic…but five years is too long to let her live rent-free in your brain. Elle
I chose not to forgive him. Why? I'm fearful he'll do it again. Forgiving someone is letting go of fear, hate, anger etc. I'm petrified of being vulnerable! I'm scared that when things settle down, things will resume between them. It wasn't an emotional affair. He cheated because he was angry at me. So when he's pissed at me will he run back to her? He promised me he'd never go in that direction ever again but I don't trust him when it comes to that! I feel as if I'm in an emotional prison paying the price for a crime I didnt commit! Is he showing love and remorse? Yes. But he was holding that grudge while telling me he's never been so in love with a woman before in his life. So I'm scared. If I forgive, I take that chance on being hurt again. I love him deeply but the unforgiveness is just like the little black spot on the sun! I also resent that he wants to sweep it under the rug. He recently changed his password on one of his emails that he didn't know I had. That's the email where I discovered his cheating. I'm now more paranoid and fearful than ever. How do I ask for his passwords when his cheating hadn't been brought up in weeks?
I think you have a right to ask. If he really wants your marriage then be needs to be transparent. His reaction may also be a good indication of where he is at. Do you think you will never forgive or is it that you just can't right now?
Part of the conditions of reconciliation must be that he give you access to his e-mail/phone/computer and offer you total transparency. It's impossible to build up trust otherwise. Over time (weeks and months, if not years), you'll begin to trust that he's changed. In the meantime, him cheating on you because he was angry is nuts. We all get pissed off at our spouses without jumping into bed with someone else. He needs counselling to learn how to express his anger or frustration in a healthy mature way. He's offering up excuses that I wouldn't accept from a child. He should be telling you that there is NO excuse for what he did and that he's doing everything he can to ensure he doesn't make that choice again. Anything less than that does not bode well for a healthy marriage. He doesn't get to sweep it under the rug. He detonated the bomb…now you get to dictate the terms of clean up.Elle
I loved reading all this it kinda helped me cope with mine a little. I have been with my husband for 15 years married for 13 of them we have 3 kids together I thought we were the perfect family never in my mind ever thought he'd cheat on me cause of the way his first wife done him I was so wrong back in may he told me he was having an affair with the biggest whore in our area and had to tell me cause he was feeling guilty and it was wearing at him but he couldn't get away from her I was shocked at first told him he was lying then I kicked him out told him I needed a few days to think he come back that night said he wasn't going anywhere but few days later he tells me he was staying at his best friends house and was drinking and would be home next day I go there that night and he has her there I walk in to them kissing and all over each other I was thrower out of the house :( next morning my husband shows up apologizing using excuse he was drunk and hates that I seen that told him I wanted a divorce he asked why we couldn't do the open affair marriage I cussed him out told him to sign the papers he refused told me we were gonna try again!!!! Turns out he still seen her for months after that they were taking trips out of state for the weekend she was making him late for work he would want more money and more money come to find out she was a druggie real bad I got lawyer paid him and started to do proceedings cause my husband agreed said he loved me cause I was the mother of his children but he was not in love with me anymore so why bother with marriage then he started giving all holidays to her instead of his family then one day he calls me drunk says he loves me always will love me and wants to come home I made him beg first was good for two weeks then started seeing her again by then I'd had enough told him to f off called him a pu**y told him not to contact me I took everything he owned to his job and dumped it in front of him and the buddies he works with had my music playing full blast so I couldn't hear him if he talked he called after I left I answered told him I didn't give a rats ass what he done or who he done it was over and I didn't care to enjoy his life with his drugged whore told him I looked in bank accounts and seen in 3 months time he had spent $11,000 on that whore money that could of been used for our kids college told him she didn't love him she loved what he was giving her and I laughed and said I don't need u I can find a real man and hung up on him :) I don't know what happened to him after that he started begging me to come back saying that he loved me that he would would make it up to me and he was sorry after two weeks told him I was putting him on a trial and first word I heard from anyone that he was straying it was done deal so far its been going good its been 5 months and he has been trying to make it up to me but I can't trust him still or get pass the hurt he caused or the money he spent on the OW and all I wanna do is run but I'm scared I do love him but I don't ever wanna feel like that again a lot tell me it will take time but I'm 36 my husband is 48 everyone saying it was just a MLC for him and will go away but in my mind am thinking he cheated on me with an ugly drugged white whose 45 looks like shes 60 and ask myself what's wrong with me or how to I get pass what he dome to me or get over it I was tempted to leave so many times and didn't I want marriage to work but all the hurt is there how do I know he won't see her one day and pick it back up I'm confused
No such thing as "just a mid-life crisis". I think the only way for you to trust that he won't do this again is to see that he understands why he did it in the first place. Has he sought any counselling? Have either of you? What about marital counselling? A safe place to talk this over with someone who knows which questions to ask can go a long toward helping you rebuild a marriage rather than simply pretend everything is back to "normal". There is a reason he did this. There are clearly things he's telling himself that made it okay for him to do this. You both need to understand what they are so that you can change the story. So that he understands why he might be tempted…and what to do about it.In the meantime, it might also help to read some books on affairs. Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass is a good place to start.Elle
Thank u for replying and no we haven't sought any counseling at all I tried but all he kept saying was we didn't need one that he was done he only loved me and that god would be our councilor I believe in God and went with it in my mind and my gut instinct I know he's not seeing anyone at the moment and hasn't for a while but his drinking gets on my nerves he is a pest and all over me then if I tell him to stop he gets pissed off says I don't love him anymore and starts throwing up words and things I done wrong and sometimes he'll shove me cause I rejected him its not him its cause I can't stand the smell of beer it makes me sick!!! Now I feel guilty cause when he was doing all of this to me and cheating I went in chat lines to take my mind off it and started talking to this one guy who listened to my problems , helped me understand things , and was just there for me when I needed someone to talk to and now I feel stuck for simple reason that I love my husband more then life and want to work it out and I feel he's trying to amend things but what if keeps popping in my head I forgave him but I can't forget the things he done to me or how he treated me and then I feel sick and now this other guy the chat ones my friends keep saying I should meet him that we might click and that it might be meant to be and that if i don't I'll end up regretting it to follow my heart but in my mind meeting him is a sin and adultery even though I wouldn't do anything cause that's how I am but nor can I get him out of my head I actually picture myself with him and it takes my worries away for a while but idk cause then I see my husband, everything he ever done for this family, how he worked hard to make sure we had things but then his only reason for what he did to destroy this family is he cheated cause he felt he wasn't getting any respect but all I think bout is how close we came to divorce and how many times he said he didn't love me anymore all cause of a whore my life was turned upside down
Your husband has a drinking problem. He needs to seek treatment for that. Alcoholics Anonymous is the place to start. If he's fooling around with another woman in front of you and blaming it on drinking, then he's either an alcoholic or an asshole (or both).And you need to stay off chat lines. There are no "soul mates", there is no "meant to be." You have made a commitment to your husband. If you can't or won't honour that commitment, then you need to file for divorce. I understand how tempting it is to seek attention or comfort with another person but I guarantee you it's also the quickest way to divorce court and misery.Your relationship sounds incredibly unhealthy. I would urge each of you to seek counselling as a couple and individually. He needs to stop drinking. It clearly impacts his relationship with you, not to mention his impulse control. And you each need to decide if you're in the marriage or out. Elle
Thank u Elle for answering !! Since I wrote last time I have talked to my husband about his drinking problem he has since slowed down and either drinks a few after work or a few every other day that tells me he is still trying as for the counseling he still says we don't need it and he couldn't get out of work for it!! I still have all these images going through my mind of everything he ever done to me and they won't go away I feel he is trying to make up for it but it still haunts me I have recently booked a trip to Scotland with my two oldest sons and niece and was gonna go a week and relax, chill, clear my head, and look at scenery I been always wanting to see thought maybe it would do me some good plus I could see if I would miss him to know if I really still loved him as crazy as that sounds but now he's telling me I ain't going anywhere that if I go its a one way trip i got pissed off at him told him I needed this he got on his knees said baby I'm sorry I hurt u please forgive me but in my mind I don't know if he's sincere or not and then when he was cheating he took the OW on several out of state trips but yet I can't plan a trip to somewhere I been wanting to go since I was 16 so am stuck on rather to go or not and take time to myself or stay and let these images haunt me I spent so much time and money planning a trip I can't get refunded on but he says he don't care bout the money I ain't going :( but I feel he needs to let me go off and have time to myself like I let him do with this OW Please help what would u do ?
Anonymous,To be very honest, I wouldn't put up with someone who refuses to get counselling to deal with a problem HE created. I also wouldn't put up with someone who determines where I go and when. I think a week away from him, to get clear-headed on everything you've gone through sounds like a great idea. It's a way to take care of yourself. For some reason, you taking care of yourself is completely threatening to him. And rather than seek counselling to determine why he's so frightened of giving you freedom, he chooses to control you. A healthy relationship doesn't involve preventing people from doing something that they want/need to do. I'm so sorry for the situation you're in. I hope that, at the very least, you'll seek counselling for yourself to gain the backbone to stand up to him. To insist that he seek counselling/support for both his affair and his abuse of alcohol. And to learn why you have given him so much control over your actions.Jealousy and fear have no place in a healthy relationship.Elle
Thank u for replying since I last wrote something a few things have changed he kept saying I wasn't going to Scotland cause I'd go whore around and if I went it would be a one way trip that I wasn't coming back I tried to tell him its just to get away then he got drunk told me how much he loved me and how he worked for me so I could do what I wanted and then asked me if I was cheating and if I was gonna leave him for someone better :( sheesh I told him I wasn't leaving him just wanted time to myself with my best friend since then he kept asking to see my phone, calling to see where I'm at when I go out , timing me on how long I'm gone then next day its like he don't care , doesn't wanna cuddle, or talk its just weird then yesterday he is like do U need money for your Scotland trip I was like yes he said OK which this reaction shocked me cause he has argued with me so much on the subject and now he changed it around i don't know what to think :| so now am wondering is he afraid I will cheat on him cause he done it to me, or is he cheating again feeling guilty bout it and accusing me of doing it, or is he now trying to give me my way and let me do what I want on my own to show me he trust me I'm confused as hell and some mornings he will text me I love u then some mornings he don't his attitude just puzzles me sometimes thanks for your time Elle
Omg! He just flat out lied to me! While angry with me and messsing around with that f'ugly, he was pursuing another woman, 15 years younger and she was interested in him. Recently, she tried contacting him while we were visiting the Hamptons. I saw his email to her telling her please don't contact him again he had over stepped his boundraries. Kudos, right? Well, I just asked him if either of the two women tried contacting him and he said defensively, no. Then I told him ib saw a text and he had asked me to go on and explain what I had seen.(guilty right there). Like he's gonna cop any info. And I told him. He said no and that's not what it was. TOTAL LIE! Now how on earth am I going to trust him if he can't come clean with that? If he was smart, he'd give me the comfort in reassurance. So why would he lie? Ideas? I'm scared! This is why I can't forgive him. What if he's waiting fire b things to die down a bit and now becomes more sneaky & covering up his tracks?
He lies because he figures if you knew the truth, you'd leave. He lies because it's easier than facing the truth. He lies because he lies to himself. There are a lot of reasons…none of which are okay.He needs to learn that each time he lies to you -- big or small -- it chips away at your trust and at your marriage. And each time he's honest with you, even when it hurts, it slowly builds your ability to trust that he's honest with you. That he's done with the lying. Elle
Hi ElleI was wondering where on the blog your story is located You seem to have a lot if experience with this topic and I would like to read your story as I am finding comfort in the others. Thanks
My story is scattered through a zillion posts on this site. I don't know if it's in one place…The short version is D-Day #1, I find out that my husband is cheating with his work assistant, a nasty nagging witch who drove him crazy. I'm destroyed by this and incredibly confused by it. Really? Her?? Finally, six months later, he confesses that it wasn't just her. He tells me he's in treatment for sex addiction. That there have been dozens, over the years. Starting even before he met me.Since then, he's come a long way. And so have I. And we both lived happily ever after. Well…not quite. But we're working on it. :)
stuck, yes I feel stuck. I'm in a room with no windows or doors and can't find my way out and for the first time in my life I have no idea which direction to go. How to move forward, which direction with no feelings other than hurt. I look at this person that has been my husband, my sole mate! for over 30 years.I can't believe a word he says and can't read the truth in his feelings. He played such a fantastic game of poker how can I ever believe a word he says ever again.I still feel inside that he has not finished with her or her with him! Or whether that it just my insecurities.To make things worse, I have become violent through my anger. My anger is uncontrollable. He takes it and has never hit back and never would. I want it to stop I want him to look at me and love me, desire me, want me. For it to be true when he says its a mistake and that he loves me and will somehow make it up to me.I'm afraid that that will all go if I carry on. You can't love a mad person, a bitch which is what I feel I am becoming. I no longer want to be the victim, the crumbled mess that does everything except laugh and flirt with him and be a women again.Elle said 'its hell on earth' how trueHer husband has just posted a diary online for their friends and family to see what they done in 2013. She had so many holidays, while she was in the affair with my husband. Half the pictures are lies, her smiling away with her husband on a boat in the Mediterranean, sitting having tea in Marrakesh, skiing, holiday in Dubai the week after she paid for them to meet in the hotel. How greedy can 1 person be...she has so much. Even her husband has stood by her saying he didn't know until it came out that she had a problem turning 50 this year. She a 'good old bird' so middle England it makes me want to go to her private members club that she owns with her husband and scream and shout let them all know what a self human being she is.
Dear Elle,Part 1>I am so grateful to you for having put this blog together. Please forgive the length but having found your website I feel like the flood gates have been open and I can finally vent my frustrations and seek you advice. I am at my wits end having found out in October 2013 that my husband has been having sex with other women (many other women) before and during our marriage in 2009. I had suspected this for a while; I mean who has sex with their husband only 10 times in the course of a four-year marriage? I suspected this initially in 2010 when I came across text messages on his phone from a woman asking when they would next be meeting to have sex. He was off his guard at this point I guess as I worked abroad and had only come home at the weekend for a visit. To cut a long story short he denied it categorically and pleaded loneliness and stress with having to look after our two boys (then 11 and 9 years). He promised that he had not had sex with this woman but had only gone for a massage. (Yeah right!!) I let it go and we went on until, to cut a long story short, I discovered, in October, short video clips of him having sex with a woman while I was away on a business trip. On finding the “footage” I kept calm (albeit shaky) and decided there must be more. Looking through his laptop I came across more clips of him with other women in dingy hotel/motel rooms and even one around the time that I first confronted him about it in 2010, of a woman washing herself in our bathroom (in our house!!!) and him filming her getting dressed after their session, he also had footage of a session where he had anal sex with her on our bed. Like I said I had an inkling that something was up when he always gave excuses about not being “in the mood”. It’s an absolute miracle that on one of the very rare occasions that we were intimate I got pregnant with our son who is now 2years old. When I confronted him after collecting “all the evidence” he denied having done any of this and tried to explain it away as old footage of him and his ex. Unfortunately the camera does not lie and background news item on the TV in the clip gives the date and time of the session. He continued to deny it until I confronted him about the woman he had had sex with in our house. At that point, after I had beaten it out of him unfortunately, he admitted his shenanigans. Immediately after I found out I started seeing a counselor (he also had a session or two), took some time off and travelled. He joined me at the hotel (we had initially booked this holiday months before I found out) three days later to try to make amends. Needless to say it was an extremely emotional time. The “hysterical bonding” was out of this world. We discussed the issue and he came clean on a number of things although when I confronted him with the video clips he broke down but still would not reveal who some of the women were. (I truly believe that most of them are prostitutes- He swears that they are women who work at his local barber shop-does it really matter!!?). On returning to reality I realize that some of the discussions we had were held in some seriously wine induced hazes and I may not have asked the right questions or followed through on some of his explanations. We made a pact that (wine induced) that we would leave all of the anger etc. behind and try to work on the marriage when we got back home.
Part 2>We are in counseling and he has committed to making the change by deleting all his alias email and Facebook accounts (which he used to got to for porn) giving me his email account password, deleting the numbers of the women whom he slept with He has been tested for HIV. (The test came back negative) and that, to me, demonstrates that he is indeed willing to make a change. What I can’t get over though, is how all along I thought I had the perfect man and that I had found my true love after a really nasty first marriage, which I left, because my ex was also sleeping around with anything on two legs. (And I do mean anything). I find his actions so selfish. How could he deny me his body and give it out so indiscriminately when I was craving that part of him for all those years?I feel so violated and I am constantly pain shopping watching the videos which I saved for any future eventuality. Am I wrong to want to keep them for use if we are ever to get a divorce, does this show a sub conscious decision on my part not to move on as we’ve agreed? He’s insistent that I delete them and constantly brings this up when he senses that I am in a “low” mood. I have tried to be strong but succumbed and called the lady in the video clip made in our house to let her know that I knew exactly what sort of person she is. (Apparently she called him back two days later threatening him-she clearly wasn’t aware that he was filming their escapades). My self-esteem is at its lowest after “hysterical bonding” that lasted a month after my discovery. (Thanks for your article on that by the way, I thought I was truly and utterly insane for having sex with him so soon after). Now, two months later we’ve gone back to the same old routine. He’s not interested which makes me think he’s probably gone back to watching porn and sorting himself out.I feel like he’s manipulating me on this issue. I know there’s a lot more that he is still not disclosing. I hate the way he now tells me that we should no longer talk about it until he has dealt with the reasons for his infidelity with his counselor- he says that it’s a result of being sexually abused by his cousin (female) who “used him” to have orgies with her friends while he was in his late teens. We had a joint counseling session with both our therapist and he articulated himself so well and spoke about how he is now living in constant fear that I will leave him but two months down the line its like nothing ever happened. He is the “model” husband. He’s a great attentive father to his step-sons (my boys), he takes care of us but I just cannot understand why he would do something like this. We are building a house together which we will be moving in to soon. Sometimes I’d like for him to move out to give us space and for him to realize what he is in danger of losing but I am afraid that he will use that time to engage in more of the sordid stuff.EVERYDAY IS A STRUGGLE! We didn’t have much of a happy holiday and although we are “moving on” I feel so trapped; I cannot take my older boys through another broken marriage. I feel like I cannot share this with my family. Although I really want to, to humiliate him, to let him know how much he’s hurt me and so that they (his family) know what he’s truly all about. I need to light a fire under his behind to see how deeply he’s hurt me but I also want him to court me all over again so that I know he’s serious (is that weird?)And I guess that’s where I am at the moment and feeling rather stuck, confused, depressed-you name it. ☹
Roxy,Your story sounds sadly familiar to my own. Your husband is a sex addict. Typically, their addiction stems from their own sexual abuse as children/teens. It's more accurately an "intimacy" problem -- an inability to be truly intimate because their own trust was violated.He's right in that he should get clear on his own stuff…but that doesn't mean you're left hanging. Most if not all counsellors who deal with sex addiction insist on a "disclosure" session where he confesses everything to do (or at least everything you want to know about). It's crucial for his own healing (and yours) that he come clean about everything (within reason -- no reason to hurt you unnecessarily). Your response to all this is incredibly familiar too. I wanted to "out" my husband, I wanted him to beg me for forgiveness, I wanted to hurt him back. Do some reading on sex addiction (Patrick Carnes has a ton of books/info). Read Stefanie Carnes' book for spouses of sex addicts called "Mending a Shattered Heart". It will answer a lot of your questions. You're trying to understand something that doesn't make sense to you…but that many many other sex addicts understand completely. They use sex to self-medicate, the same way an alcoholic uses a drink. Sex with someone they genuinely love is terrifying because they feel vulnerable. And vulnerability is simply too uncomfortable a feeling. Read…and you'll come to understand. Whether or not you choose to stay with him is another choice. But at least you'll be doing so with a deeper understanding of what you're dealing with.Elle
Dear Elle,You are absolutely right about the sex addiction. It's a bit of a tough pill to swallow and I just can't get my head around the fact that I did not see the signs before we got married even though we lived together for about a year before that. I've started on Stefanie Carnes' book and it's extremely informative so far. Thanks for the tip. I'll keep you posted on how it's going.Cheers,
I didn't see the signs either…though frankly I'm not sure I would have recognized them even if I did. It's totally beyond anything I knew/understood. I certainly recognize them now. :/
From “Numb and Befuddled” Part 1: Hi Elle. This site has really helped me. Thank you! Next week is 1 year since “D Day.” I’ve read it can take 3-5 years to “get past” infidelity. That was daunting but, I felt I could hang in. Now, a year into this nightmare, I feel a kind of fatigue. I’m wondering if it is normal. My sad tale –married 27 years; together since high school; 2 kids at home. Our marriage was pretty good before –me against the world. His company closed and he lost his job January 2013. He’d had several interviews but no offers. His last week, he received an offer but the company rescinded it a few days later. He just turned 50 which was hard and making him more irritable. I suggested he spend a week back in the mid-west to care for his ailing mother (and yes, to get him away from us for a while.) While there, he started taking his mom’s Valium & Vicodin to numb the deep depression. He posted his trip to Facebook, and a woman he dated briefly in high school before me suggest they meet for lunch while he was there. They did. (You can guess where this is heading.) A few days later, she suggested they meet for drinks. He agreed. (never mentioning to me since it was all still perfectly innocent & he knew I’d “argue” with him about going. You think?!?) While there, she rubbed his leg and asked if she could finish the “blow j**” she’d started when they were dating. He didn’t reject the idea altogether but laughed it off by saying they had nowhere to go. He texted her the day, though, to see if she wanted to “get together” on his way out of town. They met, had sex, and he left. He said he knew it was a mistake even while it was happening, and he just wanted to get out of there. He ended up totaling his car that night on his drive back home. He felt terrible those first weeks back, but I thought it was the job loss. He cried when I hugged him and told him I loved him. (VERY unlike him to cry) and he lost a great deal of weight. He even tried the “hysterical bonding” with me, but I didn’t yet know that there was anything to be “hysterical” about. : ) His first month back, she kept texting him even when he asked her to stop. She continually wanted him to call her, and he could see she was unstable. She said she wanted to tell her husband she had a business trip and fly here for them to meet again. That really scared him. He told her it had been a terrible mistake and he wouldn’t see her again. He told her he was blocking her phone number and shutting down his Facebook. She told him she didn’t feel guilty & was very angry that he wouldn’t continue with her. The next week, she texted my phone to tell me.
From: “Numb and Befuddled Part 2”I can understand the factors causing him to act so out of character. As the counselor said, he encountered someone who made him feel wanted while he felt rejected & was having a major depressive episode. So typical. I just can’t understand him going through with it. His disgust with himself caused him to finally get help for a lifelong struggle with depression & sleep apnea, and, in many ways, our relationship has gotten much better. We snuggle more, enjoy better/more frequent sex, and he’s been talking to me more. So what’s the problem? I think I’m just tired of the continual struggle to put this behind me. I’ve read enough to know that what he’s always said is true: 1) He had no attraction to her, 2) He did not want a relationship with her – ever, and 3) It really did not have anything to do with me…or oddly, even her. In some ways I feel lucky (can I use that word here?) that it wasn’t an “affair” where he had feelings for her. There was no “fog” for him to get over. Yet, I see him differently now…lesser than he was before. OK, so does this just make him human…a man? Whatever…I just don’t think I feel the same about him anymore. Can I learn to love & respect him again? Does this lack of feeling, this apathy, come as a natural result of this body blow to my psyche, OR do I really not love him anymore? If I leave him now, will I learn that I really did love him a few years down the road and that my feeling was simply because I was still in the PISD cycle? Do I really not love him anymore, and would it be a waste of time to stick this out for two more years to be sure? This doesn’t really feel so much like the roller coaster highs (ah … the fond memories of hysterical bonding) and lows (feeling like I can’t make it through the day) anymore. This is, somehow, much more scary. This is a neutral, take it or leave it, life could be fine with him out of the picture numbness. Maybe this has something to do with the first anniversary coming up. Will this pass?This behavior on my part is scaring my husband and making him pull away from me a bit. He’s probably trying to protect himself if I decide to end things, but it may be making it worse.I’d love the thoughts of those who are much further along this path to help me!Thanks, Numb-and-Befuddled
Numb,Welcome to the plain of lethal flatness or the "dead zone". It happened to me. It has happened to all of us (hence the code names for it). We're generally emotionally exhausted and drained. You can read more about it here: http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2010/03/dead-zone-nice-place-to-visitbut-you.htmlUse it as a time to catch your breath. Trust that it's simply part of your healing trajectory, a chance to ready yourself for the next stage. It's understandable that your husband might pull back but, as you say, that simply triggers your fears, too. You're two scared people afraid of being hurt. Are you in counselling? This is something that can be addressed there -- a way of each of you learning to be vulnerable, which is really tough post-betrayal (it's tough even before...).Elle
Elle -- Many, many thanks. You've made me fee much better (...and it's nice to just feel SOMETHING)! We did see a few counselors in the beginning, but the first one just wanted to focus on our relationship "problems" as a cause even though my husband kept telling her that he hadn't had any "problems" with me. That one set me back about 6 months in the healing since it made it harder for me to truly accept that what he'd done was because of his own issues. The next one simply wanted to talk about how to make myself feel happy. (Sheesh! I want to BE happy again not have to work to make myself feel like I am.) You're right, though, we should go back to counseling again. Any tips for how to find a really good couples therapist that can help us get past infidelity would be great.
Great idea for a blog post. Stay tuned!Elle
Hi I'm so glad I found this sight , I now feel like I'm not alone.I've been with my fiance for 8 years we have 3 children. When my 2nd son was about 4 months old I found naked photo's on my F computer, which made me very angry as I knew the girl and had played action cricket with her. After I calmed down to panic and he convinced me it was just curiosity that got the better of him I forgave him. Then one evening we were discussing stuff and he admitted to having an affair with another women ,who I also knew and had been friends with before we had our children, I was again so angry i could have killed him and her. I attacked her on Facebook and it made me feel a bit better. Yet only for a day or two and I found myself thinking about it no stop. Were they did it, how they did it etc. Eventually I managed to get pass the anger and forgive him but didn't forget. Then I got another smack in the face. It was in June 2012 sunday night and his work Blackberry kept beeping, so I thought I'd open it as I was sure he wouldn't mind ,to see what was going on and if a customer or employee needed something urgently. But to my surprise it was his PA and all she sent were a few pings to his BBM. So as I found that very strange I answered her with a HI, and she must have assumed it was him and it was safe to talk to him , and she proceeded to msg how she was missing him & how she felt when he touched her etc etc. I almost blew my lib, but as we have kids I kept calm and handed him his phone, loaded my kids in the car and went to my sister to calm down. When I arrived back after a few hours , he apologised and beg for for giveness and told me all they ever did was kiss and nothing else and that it was because I had been to preoccupied with my eldest son's learning disorder & he was lonely. And in my anger I contacted her and her story was the same all they did was flirt and kiss at the office and nothing else yet I should have realised it was too similar, as if it were rehearsed. And yes ladies I forgave him not only for my children's sake's but because I loved this man with all my heart. Then I fell pregnant with our third child and one afternoon after we had both come back from work he went out for his afternoon cycle and his private phone was buzzing and when I picked it up it was a whatsapp msg from some young girl he knew from the bike shop and there to my disgust he was flirting and had told her how beautiful she was and he wanted a photo of her and there it was another naked photo, so I became this angry, P*&SED of maniac and i started to go through everything of his, his personnel computer his work computer and there it was , the skype messages between him and his PA at work, and the sexual favours and flirting that had been going on since June 2012 to Feb 2013 . I felt dirty and betrayed, angry and blamed myself cause maybe I wasn't thin enough, pretty enough, young enough etc etc and then I felt so sad that he could do this to our two boys and to his unborn child....... And yes I sent her nasty msgs and threatened to tell the whole world and yes I stayed. Yet I can't get over the anger and it been almost 2 1/2 years now. And I wonder every time his late or when they go to meetings together are they up to it again, I asked him to find a new job and he said he won't as he loves his job and also it's not easy finding a good paying job these days. So i'm not sure what to do , but I need to do something as my anger is affecting my life & my families life. Even though he promises it's over and it looks that way , I find myself waiting for the next msg or flirty sms, I go through his stuff at any chance i get. I was a very happy , very self confident and social person , I've always looked after myself yet I feel so angry and sad, I hate the way I look cause i'm not a 23 year old like the OW, I hate going out yet I hate been at home & I scream at everyone for no reason. I just wish I knew how to get this anger out.
Anonymous,That horrible feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop is enough to make anyone lose it. Your anger is telling you that this isn't over for you. There's deep pain that has not been acknowledged. Two-and-a-half years is a long time to simmer. For a start, he has repeatedly disrespected you and hurt you and his children and, I suspect in your mind, has paid virtually no price for what he's done. He still has his job. He still works with his PA. You're the one doing all the heavy lifting.That needs to change. He needs to fully acknowledge just how deeply wounded you've been. I suspect your haste to "forgive" has allowed him to feel that's it's over. It's not over. You're still carrying that pain with you; it's affecting your relationships, it's affecting your children, it's altered your life while his goes merrily along.You need to have full access to all his electronics -- all the passwords, etc. You need to be able to monitor what he's doing in order to ensure that he's being honest and, hopefully, reduce that "uh-oh" feeling. I also suspect you're dealing with some post-trauma and I strongly urge you to get counselling. I think it would be a good idea for your husband to seek marital counselling with you (as well as your individual counselling). There's some reason why he sought out this attention from other women. He doesn't get to blame you for not giving him enough attention. That's bullshit. He had many, many other options if he felt ignored than reaching out to other women. He needs to understand what's missing in him that he felt it was okay to do that...and then blame you for it. No wonder you're angry. I'm angry just thinking about it. You were taking care of child with a learning disorder, for heaven's sake. Perhaps your husband struggles with impulse control himself!So...here's your list:access to all electronicsindividual counselling for each of you (even if he won't go, I hope you will)marital counselling to help you communicate your needs to each other in a healthy wayself-care (this includes doing things for yourself that make you feel good and remind you how wonderful you are: visiting friends; massage/manicure/whatever; exercise; taking a class or picking up a hobby; time with your children having fun; and reminding yourself every single time you look in a mirror that you don't need to be 23 years old to be worthy of love.)Pay attention to your anger as it's pointing your way out of this.Elle
I guess I a kinda feeling stuck. It has been over a year for me and I think we are doing better, but I still have questions I want answered. Do I ask these questions or just let them go? Like...Has he heard from her? When was the last time? Does he still love her?.....He also got tatoos during the affair and they are zodiacs of our children, however there is this 11:11 thing and he said it has something to do with angels watching the kids, but the OW claimed it was because she would say make a wish. I have to stare at it everyday. Should I bring this up? UGH I don't know how to handle this.