Understanding Your Loyal Spouse

The stormy sea of infidelity

The Sea of Stress is Difficult to Understand.  YOU BETRAYED YOUR PARTNER.  NOW COMES THE FALLOUT.

They discovered your adultery. You ended the affair and promised you’ll never cheat again. But the stress from their emotional devastation lingers. And you don’t see much change – at least, not as much positive change as you expected. Many times, any visible changes are for the worse. You observe them bouncing back and forth like a ping-pong ball, moment to moment, from one emotion to the next. They’re unpredictable. There’s no discernable pattern. Their nerves are frayed. They can’t sleep. They can’t eat. Their thoughts are obsessive. Intrusive visions and flashbacks assault them without warning. They cry at the drop of a hat. They feel empty, used up, exhausted. The stress consumes their energy and their life until they feel like there’s nothing left. It’s terrible.

It’s an ordeal for you to witness their tortured, depressed and angry states, and what’s worse; you don’t know what to do. You’re not alone. Unfaithful spouses never dream they’ll get busted, so when confronted with their adultery they’re always caught by surprise; first by their partners’ knowledge, then by their intense agony. Indeed, unfaithful partners never think about what they’ll face “after” until after. The fact is: Though they inflict it, adulterers are unprepared for the onslaught of their spouses’ overwhelming emotional distress. Is this real? Is this permanent?

As you watch them sink lower and lower, wallowing in an emotional abyss, you wonder where the bottom is, when they will hit it, and if they will ever ascend from it and return to “normal.” You ask yourself, “Is this real?” Then you ask, “Will this ever end?”

The simple answers are: Yes, it is real. And, yes, it will end. But recovery takes a long time, often years, and much depends on you. Can you be remorseful, apologetic, loving, patient, empathetic and soothing over an extended period of time? Can you commit to openness and honesty at all times – and forevermore being faithful to your spouse?

Be honest with yourself: If you can’t or don’t want to get over your affair, if you don’t feel shame and remorse, and if you can’t generously provide appropriate support to your spouse, then now is the time to consider ending your marriage and spare your marital partner further pain. (If this is the case, you need not read any further.)

But if you have put the affair permanently behind you, if you feel and can freely express your remorse and shame for your unfaithfulness, and if you can commit to supporting your spouse through their excruciating anguish, then you have an excellent chance of rebuilding from this disaster you’ve wrought to a happy, satisfying, caring and loving marriage. The following is intended to help you help your partner, and in turn yourself, through this horrible time and jumpstart your journey to recovery.

So, take a couple of deep breaths… and let’s start with three foundational facts:

  • What you’re seeing in your spouse is a normal reaction to a life-changing event.
  • Your spouse needs to grieve for as long as it takes in order to recover and heal.
  • You can be a positive influence on their recovery.

Now, go back and reread them several times. Let them really sink in. When you can repeat them without looking, continue.

Your first mission is to learn.

Learning about your partner’s myriad reactions to your betrayal allows you to recognize, understand and properly respond to them as they occur. Doing so will help you get through this horrible initial stage, which can last a long time.
Below you’ll find a little of what your spouse is probably experiencing. They may shift from one reaction to another, or they could experience multiple reactions concurrently. And don’t be surprised if they return to previous states many times. Where applicable, we’ve added some tips to help you to assist your partner through this. In some cases, however, there may be little for you to do except to simply “be there.”

Most importantly, remember at all times: Your infidelity has traumatized your spouse. Act accordingly.

SECTION 1 – THE WILD PATCHWORK OF EMOTIONS

DISBELIEF: They expect to wake up any minute from this nightmare. It can’t be true. They don’t believe it. This is natural. They trusted you and don’t want to believe you did what you did. It is common for this to occur in the very first moments of discovery. (Note: If some time elapsed between the discovery of your affair and the confrontation, you may have missed this when it happened, but it is also possible for your spouse to return to disbelief.)

SHOCK: They are numb and often seem dazed. Their emotions are frozen. Their senses are dulled. They go through the motions mechanically, robotically, but can’t seem to apply sufficient concentration to their day-to-day lives.

REALITY: “Oh my God. It really happened.” They feel they’re getting worse. Actually, reality has just set in. It’s as if a ton of bricks just fell on them and they’re buried beneath them. They don’t know where to turn, or can’t. Don’t discount the likelihood that they feel shamed by your infidelity. So, they may be reluctant to seek support from friends and family. Be available to them for emotional support and encourage them to talk freely with anyone they choose. Suggest therapy as a means to help them through their trauma, but never accuse them of “being irrational” or “acting crazy.” Be supportive and encouraging. Commend them for seeking help.

CONFUSION: They’re disoriented. They can’t think straight. They become impatient, disorganized and forgetful. More frequently than usual they go to a room to retrieve something, but once they get there they can’t remember what it was. This is very upsetting to them. Bear with them. Be gentle and be helpful. Help them find their misplaced purse or locate their lost keys. Know that they will eventually come out of the fog. Also be aware that their confusion, as with other states listed here, may be set off or magnified by certain “triggers.” (Note: Read more about “triggers” below.)

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS: They may sleep or eat too little – or too much. They may suffer physical aches and pains, numbness or weakness. They may feel unusually tense and develop headaches, abnormal tics, twitching or shaking. They may feel sick to their stomach and vomit, or their digestive system may react with constipation or diarrhea. Weight loss is common. Usually the symptoms fade gradually. If these symptoms persist, make sure they check with a doctor to rule out other causes. Encourage them to eat well and to exercise – but don’t nag. You might instead take control of their diet by preparing healthy, well balanced meals. If you don’t cook, take them to restaurants where you know they serve nourishing food and, if necessary, order for them. If they’re not exercising, initiate taking long walks together. It’s a good way to ease them into a healthy exercise regimen, which is always a good stress reliever, and will provide opportunity for you to begin constructively re-establishing your “couplehood.”

CRYING: Deep emotions suddenly well up, seeking release as crying, uncontrollable sobbing and even screaming out loud. Allow them their time for tears. They can help. So can you. When they cry, give them your shoulder. Hug them. Help them through it by gently encouraging them, to “get it all out.” Be certain to verbalize your remorse for causing their pain. They need to hear this from you. (Note: Right now, genuine, complete and repeated apologies are the best “general use” tool you have in your repair kit. That is why you’ll see many more references below. Read “Apologize” in Section 2.)

SELF-CONTROL: They control their emotions to fulfill their responsibilities, or to simply rest from the pain. Self-control can shape and give rhythm to their grieving, but be on the lookout for constant and rigid self-control. It can block healing. They need to reduce their emotional pressure to regain equilibrium. Allow them to vent when it happens. Be aware: Too much self-control means they are storing up much anger and will release it powerfully, like floodwaters breaking through a dam. So don’t be alarmed if they suddenly lash out at you, your affair partner, or even themselves. Understand that the release of anger is necessary to heal. Though it may not feel this way to you when it happens, it’s beneficial.

NEED TO KNOW: They will ask lots of questions. Their curiosity may be insatiable or it may be limited. Different people have different needs and tolerances for information, but they need information to process their trauma, move through it, and move past it.

Let them set the agenda. Whenever they ask a question, whatever they ask, answer honestly and sufficiently. Refusing to answer gives the appearance that you’re still keeping them in the dark, that you still have something to hide. Do not hold anything back. If they discover later that you omitted or hid details, or if the facts they discover don’t match the story you tell, they’ll feel betrayed once again. Follow the delivery of each new piece of hurtful information with an apology, and soothe them with another promise that you’ll never again be unfaithful.

WHY: They ask, “Why did you do this?” They may or may not expect an answer, but they ask repeatedly. If they do want an answer, provide it – and answer honestly. Even if the question is rhetorical, be aware that the question itself, rhetorical or not, is a cry of pain. And each time they feel pain, it should be answered with another apology. (I can’t stress enough how important this is.) Be aware: Even if they are not verbalizing this to you, they are still silently asking the question “Why?” over and over and over again.

INJUSTICE: They feel it’s all so unfair. You invited danger, you took the risk, but they suffered injury. They want justice and begin to think like a vigilante. They may harbour a secret desire to do harm to you or your affair partner. They may want to get even by having a “revenge affair.”
Understand that the aftermath of your unfaithfulness is an agony you have thrust upon them. Meanwhile, despite your betrayal and deceit, and the shame you feel, you and your affair partner may retain fond or even loving memories of your affair. One of my patients described her feelings of injustice this way: “I feel like a rape victim watching helplessly as the jury returns a ‘not guilty’ verdict. Then, the assailant looks at me, points his finger at me and laughs all the way out of the courtroom. How can this possibly happen?”

A sad truth of infidelity is: It is unfair. Of course, there is no “justice” that can come from this. Betrayed spouses generally settle into this realization on their own, but they need to know that you understand how this plagues them. (Note: Read “Share your feelings of guilt and shame” in Section 2. It explains the best way to help them through their sense of injustice.)

INADEQUACY: Their self esteem is shattered. They feel belittled, insignificant, and often even unlovable. Just as you would crumple a piece of scrap paper and toss it in the garbage without a second thought, they feel you crushed them, discarded them, and didn’t give them a second thought, either. So, they question their own value. They wonder if you truly love them – or if anyone could. They need to know why you now choose them over your affair partner, even if they don’t ask. Make your case convincingly. Be generous, but be genuine. They’ll know if you aren’t, and false flattery for the purpose of mere appeasement will only hurt them more.

REPEATING: Over and over again, they review the story, thinking the same thoughts. Do not attempt to stop them. Repeating helps them to absorb and process the painful reality. You can help them get through it by answering all their questions truthfully and filling in all the gaps for them. The more they know – the more they can repeat the complete story – the faster they process it, accept it and begin to heal. If the story remains incomplete or significant gaps are filled in later, they may have to start the process all over again.

IDEALIZING: Sometimes they remember only good memories, as if their time with you was perfect. They long to live in the past, before the affair came along and “messed it up.” Assure them that you, too, remember the good times, and want things to be good again. Remind them that you want an even better future, that you are willing to work at it, and, most importantly, that you want your future with them – and not your affair partner.

FRUSTRATION: Their past fulfillments are gone. They haven’t found new ones yet and don’t seem interested in finding any. They feel they’re not coping with grief “right” or they feel they should be healing faster. They don’t understand why the pain returns again and again. They wonder if they will ever recover and feel better. You can help them by verbalizing what they need to hear even if you don’t or can’t fully understand it yourself. Be empathetic and assure them that under the circumstances they’re doing okay. Remember that despite how much you have hurt them, you are still the one they chose as their life partner, for better or for worse. You may still be their closest confidante. As incongruous as it may seem, don’t be surprised if they choose to confide in you over others.

BITTERNESS: Feelings of resentment and hatred toward you and your paramour are to be expected. Don’t be surprised if they redirect much of the anger that’s really meant for you toward your paramour. This is natural. It’s actually a way of protecting their love for you during the early stages. By restricting their anger toward you, they allow it to be time-released, and only in smaller, more manageable amounts. Expect their anger to surface periodically, and give them plenty of time to work through it so they can eventually let go of it. Understand that until they’ve worked through and exhausted their anger, they cannot heal.

WAITING: The initial struggle is waning, but their zest for life has not returned. They are in limbo, they are exhausted and uncertain. Indeed, life seems flat and uninteresting. They are unenthused about socializing, perhaps reluctant, and they are unable to plan activities for themselves. Help them by finding ways to stimulate them. Plan activities for them around things that hold their interest and bring joy back into their life.

EMOTIONS IN CONFLICT: This is one of the most difficult manifestations because there is so much going on at the same time and their feelings do not always synchronize with reality. The most succinct description was provided by the late Shirley Glass, PhD: “One of the ironies of healing from infidelity is that the perpetrator must become the healer. This means that betrayed partners are vulnerable because the person they are most likely to turn to in times of trouble is precisely the source of their danger.” The inherent conflict for a betrayed spouse is obvious, but Dr. Glass also recognized how difficult this balancing act can be for a repentant adulterer: “On the other hand, [unfaithful] partners sometimes find it hard to stay engaged with their spouses when they know they are the source of such intense pain.” The key, of course, is to stay engaged nonetheless. Be supportive and remorseful, and above all… keep talking.

TRIGGERS: Particular dates, places, items and activities can bring back their pain as intensely as ever. It feels like they’re caught in a loop as they relive the trauma. It is emotionally debilitating.

Triggers can cause days and nights of depression, renew anger, and can spark and reignite nightmares, which may make them fear sleeping. Triggers can cause them to question if they will ever again experience life without the anguish. Get rid of all the reminders immediately: Gifts, letters, pictures, cards, emails, clothing… whatever your spouse associates with your affair. Do this with your spouse so they are not left wondering when those triggers may recur. Never cling to anything that bothers your partner. It leaves the impression that your keepsakes and mementos, or any reminders of your affair, are more important to you than they are.

Attend to your partner. Learn what dates, songs, places, etc., are triggers for your partner. Pay attention to your environment: If you hear or see something that you think might be a trigger, assume it is. Each occasion a trigger arises is an appropriate moment for you to communicate a clear and heartfelt message that you’re sorry you acted so selfishly and caused this recurring pain. So again, apologize and let them know how much you love them. The occurrence of a trigger is also a good opportunity to express that you choose them and not your affair partner, which is important for them to hear. If a trigger occurs in public, you can still wrap your arm around your spouse’s waist or shoulder, or simply squeeze their hand, but verbalize your apology as soon as you are alone again.

It is very important for you to understand and remember this… Triggers can remain active for their entire life. Don’t ever think or insist that enough time has passed that they should be “over it” because another sad truth of infidelity is: Your affair will remain a permanent memory for them, subject to involuntary recall at any time – even decades later. They will NEVER be “over it.” They simply learn to deal with it better as they heal, as you earn back their trust, and as you rebuild your relationship – over time.

SECTION 2 – WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO EASE THEIR PAIN & RELIEVE THEIR STRESS?

Make certain you’ve killed the beast: Your affair must be over, in all respects, completely and forever. You cannot put your marriage in jeopardy ever again. Your spouse has given you a second chance that you probably don’t deserve. That may sound harsh, but think about it this way: Despite any marital problems the two of you experienced, you would certainly understand if they divorced you solely because of your adultery. So assume there will not be a third chance and behave accordingly.

This opportunity you have been bestowed is a monumental gift, particularly considering the anguish you caused them. Treat this gift, and your spouse, with care and due respect: No contact means NO CONTACT OF ANY KIND – EVER.

GET INTO THERAPY: Most attempts to heal and rebuild after infidelity will fail without the assistance of a qualified therapist. Make certain you both feel comfortable with the therapist. You must trust them and have faith in their methodology. Talk about it: If of you are uncomfortable with your therapist at any time, don’t delay – find another. And if need be, yet another. Then stick with it. Save particularly volatile topics for counselling sessions. Your therapist will provide a neutral place and safe means to discuss these subjects constructively. Every so often, think back to where you were two or three months earlier. Compare that to where you are now and determine if you’re making progress. Progress will be made slowly, not daily or even weekly, so do not perform daily or weekly evaluations. Make the comparative periods long enough to allow a “moderate-term” review rather than “short-term.” Expect setbacks or even restarts, and again… stick with it.

APOLOGIZE: Actually, that should read: “Apologize, apologize, apologize.” You cannot apologize too often, but you can apologize improperly. Apologize genuinely and fully. Betrayed spouses develop a finely calibrated “insincerity radar.” A partial or disingenuous apology will feel meaningless, condescending or even insulting, particularly during the months following discovery. Your spouse will feel better if you don’t merely say, “I’m sorry.” To a betrayed spouse that sounds and feels empty. Try to continue and complete the apology by saying everything that’s now salient to your partner: “I’m ashamed I cheated on you and I’m so very sorry. I know that my lying and deceiving you has hurt you enormously. I deeply want to earn back your trust – and I want so much for you to be able, some day, to forgive me.” As noted earlier, right now genuine, complete and repeated apologies are the best “general use” tool you have in your repair kit.

REALIZE YOUR PARTNER WANTS TO FEEL BETTER: There is so much they have to deal with – pain, anger, disappointment, confusion and despair. Their being, their world, is swirling in a black hole of negative feelings. It’s agonizing. They wish it would stop, but they feel powerless to make it go away, which worries them even more. Remember that they can’t help it: Just as they didn’t choose for this to happen, they don’t choose to feel this way. Beyond all the possible feelings described in the section above (and that list may be incomplete in your spouse’s case), even if they don’t understand them, they do recognize that changes are occurring in themselves – and they are frightened by them. As terrible as it is for you to see their ongoing nightmare, it is far worse to live in it. Periodically assure them that you know they will get better, that you are willing to do everything necessary for them to heal and to make your marriage work. Reassure them that you are with them for the duration – no matter how long it takes – and that you intend to spend the rest of your life with them.

HIDE NOTHING, OPEN EVERYTHING: While they’re greatly angered and hurt that you were emotionally and/or sexually involved with another person, they are even more devastated by your secret life, your lies and deception. They feel no trust in you right now – and they’re 100% justified. If ever there was someone in the world they felt they could trust, it was you – until now. Now, they have difficulty believing anything you say. They are driven to check up on everything. Let them. Better still, help them. Overload them with access. The era of “covering your tracks” must end and be supplanted by total and voluntary transparency.

You must dismantle and remove every vestige of secrecy. Offer your spouse the passwords to your email accounts – yes, even the secret one they still don’t know about. Let them bring in the mail. If you receive a letter, card or email from your paramour, let your spouse open it. If you receive a voice or text message on your cell phone, let them retrieve it and delete it. If your friends provided alibis for you, end those friendships. Do not change your phone bill to a less detailed version or delete your browser history. Provide your spouse with your credit card bills, bank account statements, cell phone bills and anything else you think they might wish to check. Immediately tell them if you hear from or accidentally run into your affair partner. Tell them where you are going, when you’ll be home, and be on time. If your plans change, notify them immediately.

The more willing you are to be transparent, the more honesty and openness they see and feel, the more “trust chits” you’ll earn. Replacing your previously secret life with complete openness is the fastest and most effective way to promote trust, even if it feels unfair or uncomfortable. Think of this as the “reverse image” of your affair: Your affair was about you selfishly making yourself feel good. Now, rebuilding trust is about selflessly making your partner feel safe with you – and you were certainly unfair to them. Keep in mind that eventually they will trust you again, but you must earn it and it will take time.

SPEND LOTS TIME WITH THEM: Assume that they want your company at all times. The more time you spend in their sight, the more they will feel a sense of safety, if only for that time. There may be times when you feel they’re a constant, perhaps even an annoying presence. Just remember that they need to be around you – more than ever. If they need time alone, they’ll let you know and you must respect that, too. Knowing where you are and who you are with reduces worry, but expect them to check up on you. Don’t take offence when this happens. Instead, welcome the opportunity: Think of each time – and each success – as receiving a check mark in the “Passed the Test” column. The more check marks you earn, the closer you are to being trusted again.

PHYSICAL CONTACT: They may or may not want to be sexual with you. If not, allow sufficient time for them to get comfortable with the idea of renewed intimacy and let them set the pace. But if so, don’t be discouraged if the sex is not optimum. They’re likely to be low on confidence and may feel self-conscious or inept. They may even act clumsily. This can be offset by lots of simple, soothing physical gestures such as hugging them, stroking them softly and providing kisses. You might try surprising them sexually. Try something new. Choose moments when they don’t expect it – it can feel fresh again. On the other hand, don’t be surprised if their sexual appetite and arousal is unusually heightened as some partners experience what’s called ‘Hysterical Bonding.’ Also be aware that during lovemaking they may suffer intrusive thoughts or mental images of you and your affair partner, so they may suddenly shut down or even burst into tears. Again, apologize for making them feel this way. Express that you choose them – and not your affair partner. Reassure them by emphasizing that they are the only one you truly want.

SHARE YOUR FEELINGS OF GUILT AND SHAME: If you exhibit no shame or guilt for hurting them, they’ll wonder if you’re truly capable of being sensitive, caring or even feeling. They may see you as callous and self-absorbed, and question if it’s really worth another try with you. But if you’re like most people who have badly hurt someone you truly love, then you certainly feel shame and guilt, though verbalizing it may be hard for you. Of course, some people do find it difficult to express these feelings, but try. You’ll find it provides a great sense of relief to share this with your partner. Moreover, do not fail to realize is how vitally important it is for your partner to hear it, to feel it, to see it in your eyes. It’s a building block in the reconstruction of trust and the repair of your marriage. Do not underestimate the power of satisfying their need to know that you are disappointed in yourself. Your opening up about this will help them feel secure again, help them to heal, and help you heal, too.

LET THEM KNOW YOU ARE HAPPY WITH YOUR CHOICE TO RECOMMIT: You probably think this is obvious, but to your betrayed partner, precious little is obvious anymore. They will wonder about this. Do not make them guess, and do not make them ask. Just tell them. If it doesn’t seem to come naturally at first, it may help if every now and then, you ask yourself, “If they had betrayed me this way, would I still be here?” (Most of us would answer, “No,” even if we can’t imagine being in that position.) When people give second chances to others, they really want to know that it’s meaningful to, and appreciated by, the recipient. So, express your thanks. Tell them how grateful you are for the opportunity to repair the damage you’ve done and rebuild your marriage. You’ll be surprised how much this simple, heartfelt act of gratitude will mean to them, and how it helps to re-establish the bond between you.

HERE’S A GREAT TIP: You will find it’s particularly meaningful to them when they’re obviously feeling low, but they’re locked in silence and aren’t expressing it to you. Just imagine… In their moments of unspoken loneliness or despair, you walk up to them, hug them and say, “I just want you to know how grateful I am that you’re giving me a second chance. Thank you so much. I love you more than ever for this. I’ve been feeling so ashamed of what I did and how much pain I caused you. I want you to know that I’ll never do anything to hurt you like this – ever again. I know I broke your heart and it torments me. I want you to know your heart is safe with me again.”

These are beautifully comforting words, particularly when they’re delivered at such a perfect moment. You can memorize the quote, modify it, or use your own words, whatever is most comfortable for you. The key is to include, in no particular order, all six of these components:

  • A statement of gratitude.
  • An expression of your love.
  • An acknowledgment of your spouse’s pain.
  • An admission that you caused their pain.
  • An expression of your sense of shame.
  • A promise that it will never happen again

Unfaithful spouses I’ve counselled often report that this most welcome surprise is the best thing they did to lift their partner’s spirits – as well as their own.

SECTION 3 – SO WHAT ARE THE NEXT STAGES, AFTER THEY WORK THROUGH ALL THEIR GRIEF, PAIN AND STRESS?

HOPE: They believe they will get better. They still have good days and bad days, but the good days out balance the bad. Sometimes they can work effectively, enjoy activities and really care
for others.

COMMITMENT: They know they have a choice. Life won’t be the same, but they decide to actively begin building a new life.

SEEKING: They take initiative, renewing their involvement with former friends and activities. They
begin exploring new involvements.

PEACE: They feel able to accept the affair and its repercussions, and face their own future.

LIFE OPENS UP: Life has value and meaning again. They can enjoy, appreciate, and anticipate events. They are willing to let the rest of their life be all it can be. They can more easily seek and find joy.

FORGIVENESS: While the memory will never leave them, the burden they’ve been carrying from your betrayal is lifted. Given what you have done, the pain it caused them and the anguish they lived through, this is the ultimate gift they can bestow. They give it not only to you, but to themselves. Be grateful for this gift – and cherish it always.

Rejoice in your renewed commitment to spend your lives together in happiness. Celebrate it together regularly!

_________________

Thank you chapparal!  Understanding Your Betrayed Spouse – A quick reference manual for unfaithful partners.

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355 thoughts on “Understanding Your Loyal Spouse

    1. I too am looking for light at the end of the tunnel, my family has been destroyed, 2 young children caught in the middle and a wife that claims after 4 emotional affairs and 1 physical affair that she still loves me and her family and wants to remain in the marriage! I’m truly feeling lost! This article is exactly what I need from her, yet she won’t go out and find information liker this on her own. I am trying for the kids but am at my wits end here.

      Thx,

      Lost in the Heartland

      1. I wish my husband would seek this information too. I am the betrayed spouse and I really question whether he understands the pain I am going through. I also have 2 young kids and this isn’t the first time he’s cheated. He first cheated when I was pregnant with our first child. The second affair came to light a few months ago. I found out on our anniversary, thanks to his girlfriends perfectly timed text. Sorry if it’s TMI, but it’s still so fresh in my mind. I have read more books and articles in the last 3 months than I think I’ve ever read in my life. I just wish I would see the same effort on his part. Hoping the pain will end soon!

      2. Karen,
        I’m the betrayed spouse as well. I sent this article to my husband. I sent it after I wondered and hope for the same; I saw someone comnent that said send it to them. I did just that. It helped us, somewhat, what it mostly did was help me by knowing that my feelings were not only valid but they were normal. I’m 10 months out on finding out the whole truth (I have to choose to either believe or accept those statements as I’ve chosen to forgive, yet I still feel disappointment and sadness). I should also say that I found out about the woman 7 years earlier, and was led to believe that it was just an emotional affair. It was 4 years of casual conversations/ emotional and 2 years of a sexual affair – 5 times over 16 months. I will say this, while in disgusted with this married woman. I’m just as disgusted by my husband, he’s just as guilty. Just because someone offered (which I do believe that’s how it was done), I believe he was thinking about it and fantasizing about it, he just needed a green light. And as it usually goes, she truly can’t hold a candle to me visually, let alone morally – his morals were in the gutter too! I believe when he says, I never wanted to be seen public ally with her. It’s iften not about an attractive or more attractive person- it’s something that they like and need and are too cowardly to share with their spouse- he liked the constant admiration, compliments, ego boosting, no complaints an someone eager to listen to his self absorbed ramblings. It’s a fantasy relationship without real life daily ups and downs. Let them really live with those people I real life, it’s just another version of real life. Escapism. We stayed and lived through it and they tried to escape. It’s all bs and it’s never really about us, at first I blamed myself and now I know that all of this belongs to them. Btw, he read the after, it helped and then we feel into pain again (not another affair just reality of the situation). I’m going to have him read it again. I too need to read it again. Best of luck to all of us.

      3. I feel for you Lost in the Heartland. My wife is really trying her best. She admitted everything (even though I had the “gut” feeling to know ahead of time). Sometimes I break because the triggers get me. A song comes on the radio and I wonder if they shared intimate moments or conversations about leaving their respective spouses to be together. To leave me and the kids behind and never look back. I cannot seem to stop the “mind movies”. what did he give you emotionally that I couldn’t? If things get rough in the future are you going to bail again? I want to believe she is sincere that I am truly the only “love” of her life and that she messed up because of some issues we were having, but I never betrayed my vows and I am so resentful that she did. I can’t seem to shake the dispair and anger I am experiencing. Doubt, self loathing and loneliness fill my head. I hope that your wife will come around. Perhaps you should bookmark this article and maybe she will catch a glimpse into the gut wretching pain and dispair that you are feeling due to their lapse in moral judgement and the repercussions that it caused..that’s what I intend to do.

      4. I am the betrayed spouse and this is exactly how my husband feels, what is ironic is that his nickname is “JAHwarrior” and your initials are JAH. We too have two young children caught in the middle of what I have done. We are trying to rebuild trust, make a new marriage, and make it through this knowing the other side is beautiful and how much potential our family has. I enjoyed reading this article very much. It reaffirmed to me that what I have done so far is good and on the right track and also reaffirmed just how important I was to his healing. I love that man with all that I am and today as I write this am overjoyed because God spoke to me of good news to come. I love that man and will not stop or give up in this healing process.

  1. I am the betrayed spouse, I’d appreciate it if my wife would take the time to find sites like these and realize just how much she has hurt me and our family. Perhaps she could see it from another perspective however, I believe my wife has borderline personality disorder and as such will never seek or act on such information in a positive altruistic manner. I have two boys in High School and I care not to hurt them by breaking up the family. Thanks for the information, it’s been 10 years, I haven’t fully forgiven, I certainly haven’t forgotten. I’ll never be the same and this probably to decades off of my life. The person I blame the most is the other Man. This happened to him once and he knows how awful it truly is. He manipulated her into dozens of motel hook ups all the time claiming that he loved her. Once the affair was over he lost his job then his wife moved for divorce. He then had the poor taste to call my wife and to ask her to call his wife and claim nothing happened the whole time telling my wife how much he loved his wife. Sorry for the long post.

    1. I wish my wife would find this also. It’s only been a couple months for me and the feelings that are talked about are exactly how I feel.

      1. Do like I did – I emailed it to my husband who cheated on me so he could possibly get some insight on some of my feelings.

    2. I betrayed my husband. He wants to try to reconcile but i say if he can’t forgive me.. why.. He says he can’t forgive or forget… so I’m confused why shld we try.. to b miserable.. ? I want to try so bad but if he makes me feel guilty everyday.. I deserve it i know… but if I wasn’t good enough before … now am i less than good enough?
      I’m just so afraid n feel there is no forgiveness for me. No redemption. N what if we try and it doesn’t work out n he leaves me later… I guess a part of me wld rather stay separate now than him leave me later??? Does that make sense…

      1. “…I betrayed my husband. He wants to try to reconcile but i say if he can’t forgive me.. why.. He says he can’t forgive or forget…”

        Keep in mind that this is the way your husband feels at the moment. Things change over time. At this point, it feels to him like he cannot forgive. As to forgetting – that is unlikely to ever happen. Major moments in life (an affair is a major moment!) tend to stick with you. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

        “…so I’m confused why shld we try.. to b miserable.. ?…”

        You shouldn’t try to be miserable! My guess is that you don’t even have to work very hard to feel that way!

        “…I want to try so bad but if he makes me feel guilty everyday…”

        No, your husband does not make you feel guilty. He says things and then you CHOOSE to feel guilty. He could also say the same things and you could choose not to feel guilty. It is your ‘inner dialog’ that determines which emotion you experience, based upon your interpretation of the events around you and the actions and words of others.

        “…I deserve it i know… but if I wasn’t good enough before … now am i less than good enough?…”

        Good enough for what?

        “…I’m just so afraid n feel there is no forgiveness for me. No redemption…”

        Do not operate on your fears. Do not let things that MAY or MAY NOT happen run your life! Instead, concentrate on becoming the best person you can be. That way – regardless of the outcome of your marriage – you will have improved.

        “…N what if we try and it doesn’t work out n he leaves me later…”

        What is the WORST that can happen? What if he does? If, as I wrote above, you spend the time now and in the future improving yourself, it is always to your gain – and possibly to his loss.

        “…I guess a part of me wld rather stay separate now than him leave me later??? Does that make sense…”

        Do you wish to work on your marriage, or are you calling it quits? Whatever you do, do NOT lead your husband on. If you intend to end it, do it now. If you want to work it out, commit to that, and in spite of your doubts and fears, press on. No one can see the future: you only have today, and it is your responsibility to do your best with what you have.

        Work on yourself.

      2. I too betrayed my spouse 4 years ago this week. My wife has not forgiven me & she may never forgive me. Yes, it would make life so much easier for both of us but after talking with her almost daily about the pain & hurt I inflicted on her, I have learned there are no gaurentee’s she will leave me in the future. I was actually saddened when I read your post because it reminded me so much of my own selfish thoughts over the last 4 years. “If she/he can’t or won’t forgive me then why should I try to work things out?” For me, my answer is because I love her & I want to do everything I can to prove to her that I love her. As Betrayers, we have already performed the most selfish act to our spouses. It is totally not fair to ask for any gaurentee’s. If our spouses ever forgive us, it needs to be own their own timeline not ours. Personally, I’m already blessed that she hasn’t kicked my butt to the curb already.

      3. You’re completely missing the point. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about your husband and his feelings. You should put your feelings on the back burner at this point and be thankful that you are even getting a chance to let him forgive you.

      4. You caused this – no matter what the issues were before the relationship what you did was a CHOICE. You owe it to your husband to help him through this – so he can regain his self respect/confidence/esteem/love. You owe it to yourself to help him through this – so you can regain some of your own self respect.

        You know, it isn’t all about you.

      5. It sounds like you are still being selfish. Maybe it’s time time to drop that completely, or let him go. Think about how afraid you are, now multiply that by 10 or more to begin to get a picture of how afraid he is. I think if you stop being afraid now, and let him know that no matter the outcome, you will work as hard as you can to try and fix this, he will no longer try to make you feel guilty. I think you have to be the leader now while at the same time, not ever try to control him again. I am a betrayed husband 1 year out from discovery. I still have not forgiven nor have I made up my mind to stay. That being said, seeing my wife stand up and fight for us against overwhelming odds has left a positive impression on me. While I will never forget how she hurt me, I think I will also never forget the fearless courage she has shown fighting so hard for what has often felt like a lost cause. I realize I don’t know your situation but I do believe your marriage has no chance if you are unwilling to dig in and face whatever hell comes your way without fear. I think you can get rid of some of your fear by understanding your marriage has already failed. What have you got left to lose?

      6. It’s your fault why this all happened. He would never feel this way if you didn’t betray him. He didn’t do it, you did. So you are saying you shouldn’t suffer consequences for your actions? You are selfish and it’s sickening.

      7. Go back to a man you just slept with if he does not want you find a new man and the next.
        Never getting married again. Spend your whole life with sex you most disire. Hope that help you not hungry…and do not eat or drink…you only need sex remember!

      8. Bella, leave this good man let him has a chance to marry a good girl and happy in his life. And you find sex partners and do not marry again because you will only hurt more good men.

      9. Sorry bella but it seems like you learned nothing from your infidelity. Your cheating/infidelity is a sign of your selfishness. You do not get to dictate the terms of his healing. You dont want him to leave you?! You left him to get into someone else’s bed! Can you even comprehend your selfishness… me, me, me. He makes you feel guilty? No… you make yourself feel guilty. Those are the consequences of YOUR actions. You would do well to think about HIM and stop thinking about yourself. Use this as a tool to grow & be a better wife!

      10. This is where counseling comes in. You want to fix things and feel good now… (probably the same attitude that led to the affair in the first place).

      11. You’re an incredibly immature, selfish person. You think this is all about you; it isn’t. Do your husband a favor and divorce him so he can find a mature responsible woman to spend the rest of his life with. You can then spend the rest of your life chasing at that next big one…

    3. Hello. I too have been cheated on by my spouse 5 years ago. It was one of the most painful things to ever happen to me. We stayed together but I was the one fighting for our relationship. Last week I showed her this article because any time I brought up her cheating on me her response was “get over it “. Now she sees how I feel and have felt. It’s not a good feeling.
      In your situation I would not blame the guy, it was your wife’s choice to go to the hotel, it was her choice to continue talking to the guy while he was talking sexually to her.
      Keep your head up and don’t stick around because you have kids. What’s going to happen when you are 60 years old and she leaves or you leave, it is much harder to find love at that age.
      Good luck with your relationship.

    4. I’m going through this now.
      Thank you for posting this. I have two young daughters, and have a big decision to make. Your experience is meaningful to me, as I feel as heartbroken and lost as I imagine if you did. Over the last nine years of our relationship, I’ve been alienated from some of my closest friends.
      I feel shame for her actions. It’s been almost two weeks since I found out. I haven’t told any of my family members, and only spoken to two of my friends, one of ours (she told her) and the therapist.

    5. I showed my wife this site and begged her to read it. She says she did but “didn’t get much out of it”. The only reason for that, is that she truly has no idea what she has done to our family, to me and to herself. I believe my wife thinks of having sex with someone as little more than an inappropriate lunch date. She doesn’t understand the hell and torment I go through every day because she has never had to experience it and is too shallow to think deeply enough to put herself in my position. I am tired of being told that I need to “let it go” by her, counselors and “friends”. In my opinion, she needs to at least imagine what it would be like to be betrayed so viciously and then realize she needs to beg for my forgiveness. I have explained this to her several times and she says “I will” but has since failed to do so. I am at the end of the line here. She treats our marriage as if it were an inconvenience and I am tired of it. If someone is to be forgiven, they should be deserving of it. I cannot and will not give grace to someone who is frivolous with my very life. She shows me she wants grace, I’ll give it. She proves to me she deserves forgiveness, I’ll give it. I have already given her the second chance and she is flushing it down the toilet by continuing to NOT do what I have requested that she do.What you say and what you “do” are VERY different things. She claims she intends the right things but her actions and lack of actions speak volumes about her actual intent.

      1. My cheating Husband to a tee! Actions speak much louder than the continued ’empty’ words, and ’empty’ promises. When you have gone above and beyond for someone who continually hurts and betrays you over and over again – and he can still – come up with every excuse/lie he can think of to not follow through, or not to even give you a Valentine Card, or gift. Pretty disgusting, and pathetic, for sure. Why am ‘I’ the one who is embarrassed? Selfish and self-centered have had such realistic meanings in my life – FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS! and still going!

  2. I understand the hurt and anger among other emotions felt by the betrayed spouse and the actions the emotional cheating spouse must do to reassure and comfort the betrayed spouse if being allowed to reconcile. Is it okay for the betrayed spouse to cuss out and name call the emotional cheating spouse on a regular basis, hide their phone/passwords to social media accounts and almost portray themselves as single while the former emotional cheating spouse is being transparent in all of their actions? It has been at least seven months of this behavior and about nine to ten months since the “discovery”. We’ve been to two counselors and now to a third. We’ve been married almost 15 years with several children. Someone please shed some light on this post. Thank you.

    1. I cheated on my husband. The single biggest mistake of my life because I love him so much. I never stopped loving him. We are going through the same thing. Everything I do is transparent, but he keeps all of his things locked up; phone, email acct., etc. He is also living the single life and telling some that he is divorced. I dont know if this is all a reaction to my betrayal or if maybe he is just done. I do know that it is breaking my heart.

      1. He no longer trusts you enough to allow himself to be vulnerable with you. Since discovery, I have used my notes app to journal in. While I was off one day, running errands, my wife got into my ipad and into my notes, knowing that they were off limits as I clearly communicated to her. That just broke some of the trust that had been rebuilt so now, I lock my device as well. I’m sure it seems like I am living a single life to her at times but that is one of the many costs of cheating. I can tell you that revenge cheating has crossed my mind more than once, although I have not done that. Maybe it’s been crossing his mind as well. For me, I don’t really see a good reason to be faithful now that the innocents has been stolen from our relationship by selfishness. I now question everything about myself like why I work, why I ditched my friends for her so long ago, why I did’nt have more fun, why I did’nt take time to build relationships over the years and the list goes on and on. I want to be the opposite of who I was all those years. I feel like I wasted my life providing for her when I could have been out trying new things. That’s what she was doing. She always had her circle of friends and now I am so envious of that. I think alot of this may be rooted in self blame for me.

      2. I completely understand your Husbands point of view. I just found out my wife has been cheating on me for the past 8 months. I tell my friends that we are separated, I even took her wedding ring away because she left in on while she was with her lover. I hate her for that. You knew what you were doing and you choose to have sex with someone other than your husband. You should feel lucky he even want to give you a second chance. I hope my wife understands how lucky she is. Currently I don’t feel she knows this. It times I just want to walk away. She was my best friend, we did everything together, we hardly ever argued. She told me that she was not looking to cheat on me, she was just surprised that a younger man would find her attractive to want to have sex with her, so she went along with the flirting and she said it just got out of hand.

    2. Unfortunately there are no words that shed light on the complete and utter deviation your spouse is going through. If she’s agreed to give you a second chance, know that it still feels twisted – think “horror movie”! Imagine a scene where a spouse plunges a knife deep into the gut of the other spouse. While he’s slashing, stabbing and twisting the knife into the body of his spouse, he’s professing his love. Sound twisted and sick right? All the spouse wants is for the agonizing pain to stop. As the knife is withdrawn you offer to nurse the wounds, but only if your spouse pretends the wounds don’t hurt? . The primitive and natural reaction of your spouse is horror, followed by fight or flight, disgust, anger etc. Do you think you would react the same if your spouse ripped through your gut with no warning? If I combined every disturbing image I’ve ever seen, it still does not compare to how twisted it feels to give a cheating spouse a second chance. It goes against every natural reflex of the primitive brain. It’s like choosing to walk in front of a speeding train with only “hope” that it can stop as your protection. Anyone in their right mind (without a death wish) would never do such a thing. It sounds insane, stupid, risky and just plane twisted! Yet your spouse really is just playing chicken with a locomotive at this point. It doesn’t matter what you say that speeding train will do, because you let it hit her before. Listening to your words will only get her run over again. I’ve thought of a million words to try and describe the devastation, but even a million words can’t describe it.

    3. Get yourself out of a slut. Get a good woman to be with for the rest of your life and to be a good father for your children. Good luck!

  3. I am the cheating spouse. I feel that nouthing I do will ever make up for the pain i have put on my spouse. It is hard to see his pain and know that i am the reason for it. The discovery was a year and 8 months ago so all so new yet. The affair was as bad as it can get. this website has helped with understanding what I have done to him. I am so trully sorry for it and if i could go back in time i would. i love my husband with all my heart he has given me a 2nd chance to make it right, and as much as i think to myself am i doing the right things, am i making him feel worse, am i hurting him more i have to beleave that he knows what he can and can not handle. I have to be his rock now. For so long he was mine. i have to put on my big girl pants and deal with the fall out that i made. No matter how bad your marrage is dont step out of it. You can try to fix your problems. If u feel that you cant end your marrage. We all have are falts and problems in our marrage but nouthing is worth betraying your spouse.

    1. This is exactly what my wife said to me after I found out about her cheating on me. I just wonder why you cheated on your husband? When I ask my wife she says she does not know. This is not an answer to me. Can you give me a little insight of why she cheated by telling me why you cheated on your husband? Thanks for the help.

      1. I believe sometimes they dont know WHY! But it Really boils down to being SELFISH, i believe the unfaithf spouse can love their mate but ultimately just love themselves more and have a difficult time denying any sinful/selfish impulses. From experiencing years of this with my unfaithful spouse they have expressed this same respose to exactly the same question of… WHY? So to you..”Lost and Confused” only you truly know yourates heart and if they are within GODS reach for hope in your marriage. Prayers for you all my fellow broken of heart!

      2. I haven’t read any posts yet from anyone who accepts that this problem was caused by two people. Granted, some people are born cheaters, but if you have been with your partner for ten or fifteen years, and they have finally cheated, I think we all need to admit that in this case, it should not all be on the cheater. Cheating hurts both people, sometimes the same amount. I know laying blame can feel good, and the betrayer will always carry the blame, but the hurt that led to it in the first place, and the inability to set it aside, ever, and the shame… Just maybe before strangers throw blame around to other strangers, did you ignore or disregard your partner’s feelings and leave them with nowhere to turn? This is to noone in particular, and is just another point of view. Anger, deperation, and loneliness can turn a long time spouse into someone that they never thought they would become. And it breaks them just as sure as it does the other. Listen to eachother. Tell anyone who will listen.

      3. No, it is the cheater 100%. If one feels neglected etc, it doen’t cost anyone anything to talk to the partener or just freaking leave the trelationship Cheating is a direct slap

      4. You didn’t ask me directly, but I will share. Why I *think* I went down this road.

        First – it is selfish and it took some time for me to recognize the appropriate priorities to faults within my marriage, starting with lack of intimacy.

        Second – General unhappiness with sex, we had no openness or interest in giving me pleasure it was sweet at times but never did I have the satisfaction I felt I needed, nor did he make the effort or try as I thought he could. As long as he got off seemed pretty fine with things.

        Third – general disinterest, never did he ask questions about my whereabouts if having after work event or about my job/life.

        These all bundled up into the perfect storm, I did openly speak about these issues and we did couples therapy (sex/intimacy experts even) but it didn’t work. I was hurt by the fact he never talked to me about his own concerns on our relationship. That being said I am in such a spiral of remorse right now and will be for a very long time. I have risked losing a person I love more than life itself and my actions were in no way shape or form worth it. It’s only been a day since we have discussed and I’m in the early phases of shock and horror. I own up to the idea he might never be able to give me a second chance. What pain i’ve created for us both for complete shit reasons.

        I am deeply saddened you know this pain, that all of you finding this article are burdened by it. love can be so strong and powerful but i’m not sure it would win a match with trust.

    2. Glad you are aware of how much hurt your husband is going through. Always remember that your affair would be in his heart and mind till the last day of his life. This can not be reversed or removed. He may forgive you, but he will certainly not forget. Be kind and compassionate to him for he is giving you another chance. All the best to you and your husband. Hope God gives him strength and wisdom to you. Good luck!!!

    3. I am in the same boat you describe my story almost perfectly.. Except 1 year since discovery…I never thought I would be the one…its not who I am….sounds as if a lot of these women could care less the pain they caused, whereas I am utterly destroyed at watching the man I love suffer…if this post doesn’t describe your feelings about your actions then move on for the sanity of your partner…the worse part of all of this is seeing the suffering you cause…I made the mistake no one else, how could you blame them for that….

  4. I was in a bad spot in my life and it put a lot of strain on my marriage so I stoped talking and shout down. I am trying to do right by him and step up to my responsibility. Bottom line is that there is no reason to cheat I should have steped up and fixed it instead I made it as bad as possible.

  5. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart my wife had an affair for 2 years I read all your info on infidelity and made my wife read it also to understand what I was going through I think this article opened her mind to what she did to me I still love her and I forgave her this has been the worst month but also the best month of 14 years married we are communicating making love again and we are both happy I still hurt but it is a little better each day thanks affaircare for all your help through the most difficult thing I have ever been through in my life

  6. I am the unfaithful spouse. I had multiple affairs which cover the 10 year span. My husband just found them 2 months ago.We are at the initial stage of recovery. He has not decided to forgive me yet. I really want my marriage back and want to help him to get over all the pain, anger, frustration, and disbelief. But I did not know what to do. My husband, although in his deepest pain,sent this article to me. I felt so thankful for the advice shown. It gives me hope and ways to rebuild my relationship.

    1. I was so thankful to find this site. It described exactly how I have been feeling. I discovered two weeks ago my husband of almost e 40 yrs was having a affair and this has been going on over years. In 2001 I went to visit my aunt in Florida. When I got back my daughter informed me that her brother had “heard” my husband talking on the phone. He called his sister and asked her to pick him up because he was going to beat his dad up because he had heard his father talking. I asked my son ONE time (he was 17 years old when this happened”) if he would tell me what upset him so much but he refused. He is now 32. I have never brought the subject up again. All I can say is that the ONLY thing worse to me is when my mother died. I was so impressed with how this article explained exactly how I was feeling that I asked my cheating husband to read it and if he had one ounce of compassion MAYBE he would understand how bad I hurt. He read it. He says he never realized how bad he had hurt me. I’m sure he didn’t plan on getting caught. He purchased something for her at Victoria Secrets. This is how I found out about the affair it was on a old joint acct that I hadn’t looked at in YEARS Hes not very bright! I just wish these feelings would stop!! The visions that pop up in my mind are SO PAINFUL. Did he compare me to her when they were screwing around. I don’t know how to make all this stop. I’m not sure whether I will be able to get thru this. I’m 62 I have an appt with a counsilor and I will talk with several attorneys and try to make the right decision I just think over and over again about this. Why did he do this?,.I just want to feel like me again. How can someone that you have trusted and loved all these do such a thing. In stead of being a coward it would be easier to just tell your spouse that u need to move on. . I hope for those on this site that have been cheated on -that they can find some kind of peace and try and get their lives back on track

  7. Can I ask why you cheated on your husband? My wife cheated on me. I found out 3 months ago from some emails. It was only going on for a week, but she bought the hotel for them. I can’t explain the hurt I feel. We are trying to make it work for the kids, but she still has to have contact with the other guy. That makes me worry.

    1. Mark, she slept with other men because she does not like to have sex with you. She wants more men to fulfill her sex desire. Let her go enjoy her life that way. Do not put your kids in the same house of a slut because that is a bad example for children…be strong to protect them.

    2. mark – as sad as her initial actions – I am so sorry my friend – but that is even worse that she keeps in touch with him,,,,,again my heart goes out to you – I have just found out that my girl has cheated on me – it is a feeling that I would never wish on my worst enemy…..but mark – you really have to think – why , why on earth does she still have ctc – just from what you write I agree with the last person – if you don’t divorce right now then if I would you – I would tell her to leave until leave until she can at least show the tiniest bit of remorse – I am so sorry my friend – for you and all of us that have experienced such hurtful feelings – steven

      1. We have decided to divorce. She has taken a job in Oakland, California and has called me to tell me she doesn’t love me anymore and there is no reason to move out there. She also told me that the kids love it where they are, so I should take care of them. What kind of mom does this?

  8. I too am the betrayed spouse and I cried just reading all of these descriptions of the emotions following my nightmare reality. My husband’s affair was emotional and he broke my heart and came close to destroying our family. He and I have come miles from where we were at the time of discovery. He is my best friend. He does well with transparency and being understanding when all is going well… Why I may just burst into tears over “nothing”. After reading this, I believe I have needed for him to tell me he is sorry more. We don’t talk about “that” and he hasn’t apologized for breaking my heart after the initial discovery. He does shower me with kind words and work at meeting my needs. I have had major self evaluation through marriage counseling and prayer and have improved in meeting his needs. He acknowledges and appreciates these changes. Note To the “betraying” spouses: I believe my husband is remorseful and is thankful I forgave and our marriage is restored. This does NOT keep me from crying more days of the week than not and having flashbacks to the day he told me he may care for someone else. We have been healing from this emotional affair longer than he was actually in it. I pray constantly and try to communicate as openly as I can but I still cannot trust my mind sometimes.

    1. My husband carried on an emotional affair with his ex girlfriend for thirteen years. I read this article and understand that I am not going crazy feeling all these emotions. We have four children, two of which have autism. Most people would think that having two kids with autism would bring someone to their knees…that it would emotionally crush you but they are my strength. I never allowed my childrens autism destroy my spirit. But my husbands betrayal has knocked me to the ground. Our whole marriage I made excuses for him not being emotional and distant but he allowed his ex into our marriage thirteen years ago. She was his emotional outlet and I was left having to figure out my own emotions alone especially during my children’s diagnosis. I am trying to work things out because of my children but I find it so hard to trust any word out of his mouth. Some days I feel like working it out and other days I am a mess. To top it off I am going through the hysterical bonding period. If it weren’t for this article I wouldn’t know why the heck I was feeling like this. The hardest thing is everyday despite how I feel I must wake up and still be a mom to four amazing children. I have to be strong for them and it is hard when you are emotionally broken.

      1. Karla, your are a strong woman. Get out of that hell live your life with your children.. You will be a lot more happier than ever. Let him free to go to his love.

  9. I too am the betrayed spouse and I cried just reading all of these descriptions of the emotions following my nightmare reality. My husband’s affair was emotional and he broke my heart and came close to destroying our family. He and I have come miles from where we were at the time of discovery. He is my best friend. He does well with transparency and being understanding when all is going well… Why I may just burst into tears over “nothing”. After reading this, I believe I have needed for him to tell me he is sorry more. We don’t talk about “that” and he hasn’t apologized for breaking my heart after the initial discovery. He does shower me with kind words and work at meeting my needs. I have had major self evaluation through marriage counseling and prayer and have improved in meeting his needs. He acknowledges and appreciates these changes. Note To the “betraying” spouses: I believe my husband is remorseful and is thankful I forgave and our marriage is restored. This does NOT keep me from crying more days of the week than not and having flashbacks to the day he told me he may care for someone else. We have been healing from this emotional affair longer than he was actually in it. I pray constantly and try to communicate as openly as I can but I still cannot trust my mind sometimes.

  10. I am the betrayed.. It has been 8 months since I found out. She ended the two year affair and confessed to me.. I had suspicions but no proof.. When she confessed she gave me a false name.. Which I found out the next day.. I’m really surprised that the night she told me, I felt fine and in good spirit.. Was willing to forgive.. But when I discovered that she lied about the idenity of the other guy… I was shattered… Her having sex with another man during our marriage pales in comparison to the feeling of being lied to in the very sentences that were being spoken to come clean. I have not gotten over that.. I understand how trickle truth works but, it does as much damage if not more than the affair itself! I found this article about a month ago.. I have not shown it to my wife..
    It seems that she is most worried about her name not being soiled.. Very few people know.. And that is how I want it as well.. Since the week that she confessed she has not expressed sorrow to me.. That coupled with her deleting texts to her GF keeps pulling me back to the day I found out that she lied. Things are a lot better now.. She is being a lot more flirty.. That’s why I have not shown her this article.. I don’t want to go back any farther…

    1. You hiding your pain at this point seems harmful to you! And healing for the both of you! I have been somewhere in the vicinity of where you are… It hurts, it’s awful. She has to have remorse and be completely transparent or the cycle of distrust and worry will continue!

    2. A similar thing happened to me. My wife confessed and we talked openly about it. 2 weeks went by and things were surprisingly good. Then she came to me one day and said she hadn’t told me everything. She left out many IMPORTANT details. Basically, her initial confession was still a lie. That set us into our current state. It’s been about 3 months since she told me the entire story, and we haven’t had a single week like we did for the first 2 weeks after the initial confession. The lying is one of the worst parts. Knowing that the entire time during the affair they are just lying without a 2nd thought. I don’t want to say that it’s nice to know that others have gone through the same thing I have because I wouldn’t wish this even on my enemies.

      1. My husband has had an on and off emotional affair with the same woman for 6 years. The first time I found out, we had just started dating and he left his computer up with his Myspace account running. I checked out his stuff because she was supposedly out of the picture. That time, I forgave him.

        Fast forward two years later, married and I’m pregnant. He created a NEW email account and would call her on our house phone while I was out. I was livid. I was 5 months pregnant. I figured we would go to counseling and things would be better. That lasted a very short time.

        A year and a half goes by, he has created another email address and is receiving blocked calls to which he said was Telemarketing calls. At first, I believed him. Then, I got suspicious. I checked our phone log… he had over 5 hours logged on his cell phone with her in a weeks time. The house phone I didn’t check. He told me it was just a friend and wouldn’t tell me who it was. I knew. Gosh, he thinks I’m a complete idiot. Maybe I am for believing that things are going to get better. We again go to counseling. It doesn’t seem to do any good. Least of all for me.

        A year passes by, I decide to email the woman and explain that even though a year has passed, I can’t get over it. She said she’s moved on and decided to work on things with her husband. She told me my husband called her three days after the last incident. She doesn’t tell me why he called.

        My husband lied to me throughout the discovery phase. Wouldn’t let me read the emails he sent… though I managed to read most of them because he left the account running in the Yahoo mail app on his phone.

        I have NO WAY of knowing if the had sex or not as he frequently took trips that took him minutes from her house.

        Yesterday, he lied to me about something I didn’t care about. I was lying in bed and received a text message from a friend. I asked him did he read it. I SAW him reading the message. I just wanted to see if he would lie about it. I don’t give two flips if he reads my messages. I haven’t been the one lying. So, him lying about something benign has caused me to feel betrayed once again.

        I have two kids that adore him (one from my previous marriage). He’s the fun parent. I have lupus (which I’m fighting all the way) and haven’t had a steady job in 8 years. I’ve been sick with bronchitis off and on for the past 6 months. My therapist wants me to move out and get on government assistance. I do not.

        My husband has spent pretty much my entire inheritance. I hate shopping and pinch pennies while he goes and blows his paycheck. Now we are living paycheck to paycheck.

        I will confess that I revenge cheated after the third time.. it didn’t make me feel better about the situation like I thought – so don’t go thinking it will.

        My husband wants to go to counseling. I say, I’ve been there twice with him. What’s the point. I just want to move out… right now I stay because of the kids.

    3. it sounds like you need to require her to show more sorry my friend – she needs to help you heal – if she doesn’t …..why doesn’t she?

    4. King of hearts,

      I am in the same boat that you described. I feel that my wife’s number one priority at the moment is making sure her good name stays a good name. I have a few good men I Confided in but even her closest friends only know about 10 percent of the story because shes afraid if they find out all 100% of what she did they will not want to be her friend anymore. Even her closest friends still think it was only 1 guy and it only happened 1 time when in fact it was 3 guys, pictures sent, and 4 times the sexual act itself. My question is to myself am I doing more longterm damage to my marriage by “protecting” my wife then the short fallout that would ensue if word got out? I think the biggest reason she doesn’t seem to fully understand me or fully understand the consequences of what she did is because she hasn’t faced any. She got a moody husband….big deal! Most woman lose their home, kids, family, good name, friends and their whole life…. my family doesn’t know, her family doesn’t know, her friends don’t know, and I chose to work it out so what consequences has she had? I logged into her instagram account and saw she’s still following the sister of the guy she slept with! And still has cleavage bearing pictures up that the guy she was sending naked ones too had liked! In my opinion if there was real remorse the first thing you do is clean out your account and clean out all the junk that you were doing and not leave it up there for everybody to see and definitely not be still following the sister of the guy you slept with (which she has plainly stated she sees nothing wrong with). and even when I still bring up Facebook (which she deactivated) she says i know u need it gone for now but i hope its not too long! If i want it gone for good it shouldnt even be a question after what she put our family through! I feel like she should be so thankful i didnt kick her out and divorce her that nothing else should matter especially facebook! so that’s my question am i doing more damage by keeping it quiet to my marriage then if I just let people know what happened?

      1. Brandon,

        Same here keeping it all quiet to save my wife embarrassment and loss of image in the community.

        My wife closed her fb for two years and only now started using it again, and I feel the hiding posts and messages could be starting again. Or my paranoia is getting the better of me.

        I’m not sure if keeping quiet is good or not. Sometimes it makes for anger and frustration when people see her as the perfect wife and mother to my kids, so I suppose in that way it’s not good for me. This is in some way why I personally turned to these forums to have some release. I think for a number of reasons I prefer to keep it quiet, not for me or her but my kids and extended families sake.

        Matthew

  11. My husband cheated on me too. I’ve herd about it a couple years ago but he would never admit to it, which caused years of confusion and no inner peace. Finally he has admitted to it and in a weird way I have some peace knowing he loves me enough to finally tell me. BUT I feel like it’s all new again and I am hurting so deeply. All these things listed is how I’ve been feeling every since the other women has thrown it in my face. I never have loved a man so deeply in my life! I never want to be without him. I am suffering inside and I hate the imagination part of his unfaithful behavior, insecurities of not feeling good enough, not having anything we share just between us, lack of truth through this whole time knowing I’m suffering, and most hurtful of all expectations for me to get over it and having to hold it in and deal with it alone. I am so very greatful the truth has came out and hopefully I will get to really heal now. I have been faithful through hearing about all his discretions and our brief separations. I guess what’s confusing is how my love was enough to stay strong and keep my body a secret for the one person I love but his love for me was not. Does he really love me even though he has cheated a couple times? Is there more he is hiding because it’s taking this long for admission. How do I get him to understand he has to help me feel better? How do I get him to not be pist and insensitive towards me when I’m struggling with thoughts no women wants to have about her husband? Please give me advice on how to get him to help me. I love him and don’t want this to eventually be what breaks us because I can’t heal, completely trust. And get my self esteem back.

    1. chrisse – yes the imagination in my mind of the unfaithful part is truly what cripples me as well……the first time I was cheated on – I was like 23 yrs old – of course it was what everyone above has expressed – worse then terrible. 35 years down the road I have never been cheated on since as I told myself to just be totally careful on who I pick as friends in order to never experience that excruciating pain again

      but just 4 days ago my girl has said she cheated with this guy – she was extremely drunk when telling me – and she says that this guy — the —- out of her and the it was totally f’in unbelievable!!!! I was like – wow – at first….(just reeling from what I just heard she tells me – and instantly flashing back to those feelings at 23) I tried being totally cool and pretending that this total shock did not phase me as I am thinking wow this guy must really be good and must have really made her feel great – even better than what i made her feel – as our sex life has been totally outstanding – in fact the best either she or I had ever had – – so I just said …Oh , wow -that’s cool.

      getting back to my point chrisse – the first time this happened to at 23 – my girl agreed to go into every detail of the sex acts that happened between her and her ex – and to tell you the truth – it really helped me – since I had created the most outrageous movie in my head of what went on when she cheated with him – after she told and explained what happened – the reality of what happened wasn’t even close to what went on in my mind. maybe this can help some others of you out there that have experienced this emotional hurtful emotion.

      I think if this guy cannot share these details for which he is totally responsible – with you now – then in my opinion no matter how difficult it will be – move on – he does not care enough about you to help you get whole again and to begin healing those thoughts in yr mind which can really hurt and cripple yr mind

      as for my latest situation – maybe someone can chime in…during that ugly conversation over the phone – when my girl was drunk – she also repeatably keep asking me – does this hurt you – does this bother you – are you angry with me – several times – and I just kept responding….no I am not angry at all at you – I am just terribly hurt.

      so in my mind I keep bringing up this part of continuing to ask me if I am hurt – as her way to determine how much that I really love her – which I do – I know I have never loved anyone more than I love her – in a heartbeat – I would give my life for her to protect her from any harm…… but in my opinion I don’t think that is a healthy way by her of trying to determine how much I love her!

  12. Thank you for this article. My wife cheated on me with a guy fifteen years younger than her. It has just about broken me. But I want to save our marriage and have forgiven her. Why? Because I love her and she is a wonderful mother to our five year old. I wish she would seek out articles like this because I identified myself in much of it.

  13. This is the one article I found which is a huge benefit to me and my wife. Its been only ten weeks..it seams like ten years. Hard to describe to her that sometimes I feel like hugging her and not letting her go, and the next minute I feel like throwing her off a cliff. It’s complex and for the first time in my life and don’t know how to deal with my emotions. We are both getting counseling and will soon be going to marriage counseling. Without God, not sure where I would be.

  14. I am the cheating spouse and I would like to say that I have been doing most of the things on this list and it pains me that she will never get fully over it. I cheated on her one time while out of town. She found out and I lied to her face about it. Worst decision I ever made. Both the lying and cheating. But ever since then she has random outbursts of anger. I do everything in my power to comfort her but nothing seems to work. She sent this link to me to tell me I should read it. But I don’t think she understands that I do most of the things that was written in this article. I will never forgive myself for what I did. It was a foolish move and it has and will never happen again. But she doesn’t think that. She makes these little jokes about how I have women over at my house and it’s kinda like a stab. She does it intentionally and I do not know how to handle it. We argue a lot and we both want our relationship back to normal. If anyone can give me advice on how to handle the stabs I would greatly appreciate it.

    1. R-
      She will never get over it. Cheating one time or twenty times, it doesn’t matter. She probably doesn’t know how to handle the anger and pain, that is why she jokes about it. She is confused, everything you do she studies to see if you are cheating again. You can’t blame her for that, she does this because of something you did. All you can do is listen. The pain and remorse you feel, times that by 100, that is how she feels. My spouse cheated on me. When I found out he denied it and lied to my face. I am still trying to cope with my best friend, man that I trusted 100%, chose sex over our relationship. What hurts the most, wasn’t the cheating, it was the fact that he could so easily throw our relationship away and lie to my face, he didn’t respect me or love me enough to be faithful. Every day different scenerios run through my head. Some days I am so mad at him that I don’t care anymore. She will never get over it. You will never know how much pain and turmoil you have caused. You must dismantle and remove every vestige of secrecy. Offer her the passwords to your email accounts – yes, even the secret one she still don’t know about. Let her bring in the mail. If you receive a voice or text message on your cell phone, let her retrieve it and delete it. If your friends provided alibis for you, end those friendships. Do not change your phone bill to a less detailed version or delete your browser history. Provide her with your credit card bills, bank account statements, cell phone bills and anything else you think she might wish to check. Tell her where you are going, when you’ll be home, and be on time. If your plans change, notify her immediately. I hope that you hearing the other side of the story helps you understand. Good luck.

    2. Stop telling her to get over it. Chances are she will never forget or forgive 100%. It’s a life long battle for the person it happens. Just pay attention to her when she has a out rest and look for the trigger that caused it. Believe it or not it could be a song that comforted her after it happened so now when she hears that song it brings her back to the day she found out. My spouse cheated on me 5 years ago and it still bugs me weekly. It hurts me and when I talk to her about it and she gets angry.

  15. I am the cheating spouse. The affair began four years ago and lasted close to a year. The affair may not have lasted long but the effects will last a lifetime. My wife was going to surprise me with a new phone and cracked the access code into my cell phone account seeing hundreds of text to a certain number. Although she never saw what the text messages said because I always deleted them, she knew something was fishy. I told her I did give her a peck once & it scared me to death. That did happen initially but it did lead to more. I lied about the sexual relations for 9 months because I was scared to death of losing everything! I ripped her apart on the initial discovery then ripped her even deeper with the continued lies. The truth was given over two years ago and it is still a struggle for my wife. My wife sent me this link today because I end up judging her for not letting go and moving past this. Our relationship is a continous rollercoaster. I absolutely hate arguing & fighting and find myself not finding the words to comfort her and often let her cry herself to sleep while I don’t say a word. Obviously, this is not the way to support her. Stupidly, I rarely bring up a topic or discuss why she is so emotional. This rips her to pieces over & over again. I am so thankful she shared this link with me. It is written very well & easy to understand. I do love her so much and tell her that often. Of course she doesn’t believe me and it wasn’t until this article that I could see why she couldn’t believe me. In my eyes, I made a horrible mistake that happened 3-4 years ago. In her eyes, I don’t have her back in putting her first. I pray she won’t give up on me to get my head out of my rear.

    1. It’s good to hear that this article was helpful for you even so long after everything has been revealed. I’m afraid that if I forward the article to my wife that she’ll feel like I’m trying to bring everything up all over again. I just want her to realize what I’m still going through and why it’s not easy to get over it.

  16. my husband was always cheating on me and even spends nights out. sometimes he even leave for the entire week end, pretending that he has work, but i know he just go meet women, my life was lame until
    i asked robinsonbuckler@yahoo. com to cast a spell for me. so that my husband can be a good man and after his spell, my husband changed automatically, he now spends much more time with me and the kids and we’re a family again

  17. There are many good ideas here to help the afflicted to recover from the devastation of infidelity. One question I have is if you’re believers in Christ; why no mention of God the Father or God the Son? Isn’t our ultimate hope and love in Him? Aren’t we to take refuge in Him? Isn’t the purpose of our marriages to glorify Him in the institution He created? Isn’t our marriages a picture of Christ Jesus(the Groom)and His love for His Church(the bridegroom)?

    1. I so AGREE..”MARRIAGE TAKES THREE” (look up the poem on google,its AWESOME! ) but it it crucial you understand which 3! (GOD/HUSBAND/WIFE) I have been through the ” Infidelity Storm” and back with my husband since we started dating 16 years ago, many times But on all different levels of infidelity. (Pornography,Massage parlors, old high school reconnect sexting & kiss and full sexual affair with co worker (but never an emotional love connection or falling in LOVE) The toughest part is trying to understanding why, if He says he loves me and 100% wants ME and is beyond grateful for the life we have built together? The only thing my heart and mind can reconsile is that he just loves loves himself more. Stating some facts as crazy as it will sound to you maybe someone else will be able to relate to my situation and dismay of heart (whether you are a husband or wife that was betrayed)So my spouse is a super nice guy to people and is such a lovey,cuddly mate to have. We have a great sexual intimacy in our marriage (we can even gross our 13 yr old out just joking about it) we parent our 3 kids perfectly together on the same page! I truly serve him,love him and have always tried to keep the faith for our family when he is off “Building part of his future testimony” (a friend at my church refers to …walking in sin away from God… with this phrase. It helps to try and remain positive,christ-like!) I know his weak spots, I see the grey clouds rolling in(temptations in their infant stages always before he does, his total denile when brought in love to him or in sad fear)God has given me the job to be his “help mate” and God has always delivered my husbands indescretions to me without me seeking them out . God is faithful even if it feels a lot like I get snipered and taken out at the knees as i was happily walking along our life together( having given all of myself back to my husband again) no matter what, never letting my husbands sin stay secret forever.Each time my husband has admitted his shame,repentance, guilt,at first always downplays all his sinful lusts/falls to sinful sitiations until eventually he knows that the WHOLE truth is no longer avoidable,truth is in Gods plan in that moment no matter how hard he struggles to resist it. (He always will admit to even a small portion of his sin once he is initially discovered but takes minutes-weeks for full disclosure, its like i have to ask the exact worded question in order to get the answer he already KNOWS i wanted right from the begining of the conversation. He has admitted his hesitation in full disclosure comes from fear. im sure it comes from our human natures response to protect ourselelves.Rightfully He feels total anguish when we go through the ” Any ?’s Allowed & 100% Honest answers session” part of the healing process.I would hate to be the one having to describe some of the things he has had to, to me.With all this being said can anyone else under stand why when he has what seems like an incurrable need to be selfish,I feel like all the hard work we put into repairing the “unfaithful” battle wounds sometimes even the best of healed over open wounds he personally inflicted are filleted open as if they never healed at all.
      Honestly it is scary how much over the years we have already been through the “helpful reccomendations” in this Article! (never having seen it until last night) My husband is whole heartedly good at all of the things reccomended for the cheating spouse to do…EXCEPT…he works so hard for a short time for nothing!! I have asked him why he bothers being all these helpful things and remorseful and usually is outright crawling back to God (His own seeking out pastoral & church elders help, him encouraging accountability software for his phone and computer to help build trust again,giving me access to everything…me resisting it no longer wanting it because it makes crazy holding hope that “this time” it will be the time to help him from falling into sin again! This article was almost 100% SPOT ON in how I feel being betrayed!! I literally sat hanging with my eyes wide, thinking “WHOA, it’s like someone was able to read my thoughts or has heard & compiled every conversation I have had with my husband each betrayal” I have tried at every turn to be as christ-like as humanly possible. I have asked God each time through my tears,sadness,brokenness & surrender (white flag waiving) “HOW LONG LORD, HOW MUCH MORE TILL HE GETS IT GOD?” I consider myself to be very close with my heavenly father and know his voice (promts) when being spoken. Sometimes Hearing nothing (the waiting) is incredibly hard. I kept hearing my father say “Forgiveness, 7×70!” I have held on for so long for many reasons ,Gods word to me ,trying to honor God, for my kids, fears of what now ( been with husband since 18 yrs old) & my career has been my family! I have held tightly to GODS word no matter what trial was upon me or our family and the poem”MARRIAGE TAKES THREE” is I believe GODS design for marriage to survive! I will pray for protection from my husbands selfish ways until God either completely Rocks him to His hands and knees with complete abadon of himself ( i feel that storm is brewing…batten down the hatches,YIKES!) or God releases me fully from the vow i promised on my wedding day.( I am totally versed on what it says in the book of Matthew and elsewhere and w/o shame i can be granted divorce)however marriage is not for the weak of heart or those w/o the love of Jesus Christ! I am giving it everything God gives me until he decides it is time to work “ONE on ONE” with my husband,moving me out of the “CONSTRUCTION ZONE” for my own safety! If that day comes then I guess my new job will be to pray for the man whom I was married to, who helped me create 3 Amazing kids, who we would then only be co-parenting together! Oh how I pray My husband gets it FINALLY!!!

  18. really a fantastic entry. one of the only articles ive read that actually demonstrates empathy and compassion for the betrayed. so much of what is out there today, including the rhetoric of so many counselors, seems entirely geared towards blame sharing and easing the guilt of.the wayward. reading this I finally feel like someone understands what this kind of betrayal does. I absolutely acknowledge and take ownership of my part in allowing the fires to burn low, but only one of us sought physical comfort outside. imo the wayward should feel a ton of guilt AND own more responsibility for the damage done to the marriage sincerely for any healing to be possible.

    we have moved passed it but only because my wife behaved exactly as above naturally and because once I got past the anger and pain I was able to also own my part in it and start working to fix it. the feelings of insecurity and inadequcy are the worst though and there are.days I.wonder if maybe that damage is permanent.

  19. My wife had an affair for several months with our neighbor who is also married. Both families have two kids about the same age. They didn’t realize just what the consequences would be. It’s a small neighborhood, so we had a big group of friends that were all tied together. Our home is now on the market. We’re also expecting our 3rd child (it’s mine). She’s doing a good job with most of the things listed above, but I don’t think she realizes that I don’t want to feel sad and depressed. I struggle not feeling that way most of the time. She’s upset that I’m not more excited about the baby, but there’s so much I’m dealing with. I wish she’d read all the info above, but I’ve already given her many other articles to read about what I’m going through. She’s also already read stuff on her own. How should I bring this up with her. I feel like it’s going to be a long and difficult road ahead of me. Please keep me in all your prayers!

    1. Pat,

      First, I assure you, you will be in our prayers. Going through infidelity in your marriage is one of the hardest, most painful things that can occur!

      It sounds like your wife really is trying to do the heavy-lifting of repairing the damage she did, and I’m very proud of her for that. It sounds like she’s willing to move, she’s having another child with you, and she’s reading articles on her own to learn more about what happened and why–so good for her. This gives me some hope for you two!

      However, like most Disloyal Spouses, she is not in your shoes and doesn’t understand your side (just as you don’t really understand her side) of the affair. To her, she knew all the facts already, she knew when it started and when it was over for her, and now she is trying to put it in the past and move forward. What she doesn’t realize that is YOU just recently got SOME of the facts (not all!)…and then two weeks after that you got the rest of the facts. She’s known all along but you haven’t and so for you, it is fresh and current. And whether she ended it or the OM ended it, either way it was OVER for her…but for you, it’s still pretty new! So just like she needed some time to get it started, realize it was wrong, end it, and process it enough to move forward–you also need some time to realize what happened, process it, and get ready do move forward.

      Rather than “giving her this article” and hoping she “gets it”–I would encourage you to be transparent with her same as you expect her to be transparent with you. Be “see through” and let her see your real thoughts and feelings and see the real YOU. If you are still hurting sometimes, tell her you are still hurting sometimes. If there’s something she could do that would reassure you or help, respectfully ask if she would be willing to do that for you (and that means she has the right to say “no” but you can then say “What would you be willing to do?”). If you loved the article because it expressed out loud what you have trouble putting into words, then say that to her and then ask if you could read it to her out loud.

      One thing I see often is Disloyal Spouses avoiding talking about the affair. On the one hand, it is just awful to remember how badly you behaved–it’s humiliating really and I’m sure she’d just as soon forget how awful she was! On the other hand, it feels like punishment to endure “a talk” that’s really just hours and hours of blame and rage that has no end in site. Who would want to sit for a whole night and be told horrible things about themselves? NO ONE! And that includes your wife. So I would encourage both of you to have an agreement: that YOU are allowed to ask her one question every day that she will answer 100% FULLY…and that talking about that question will last 30 minutes (or 45 minutes…whatever) and then be DONE and hugging will commence. The point is that YOU will have the chance to talk and ask the things you need to ask, and she will have the reassurance that it won’t be an all-night, degrading punishment.

      And then I suggest that the two of you agree to do something that is “fun” and looking to the future right after that talk. Here’s why: it will help YOU to not be stuck in the past and to realize that she is with you now and she is making plans for a future together with you, and it will encourage her that the two of you are moving forward one baby-step at a time.

    2. Update – We’ve moved out of the neighborhood. We were getting closer than we were in a long time. Now I feel like i’m distancing myself from the relationship. I don’t seem to find any joy in anything anymore. I’ve been quick to anger and my temper is worse. It’s been over 7 months and it crosses my mind daily, several times. I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s still on my mind daily which is causing me to distance myself. I thought by now we’d be well on the road to recovery, but it seems like i’m starting to drift the other way (not on purpose as i want it to work). Just feeling a bit lost.

      1. Pat,

        Of course what you’re feeling is normal. Your marriage was uprooted and then your life and home was uprooted as well. I’m guessing that had this affair not happened, you would still be there and would be friends with your neighbors. Not only did you lose trust in your wife, you lost friendships and took on a tremendous amount of embarrassment. You feel like you’ll never be able to walk in that community with your head help up and forward. I believe the weight of the move is settling in, your commute is different, where you shop is different (probably to avoid running into people that know), all things that you found comfortable, convenienent, and reliable have changed and some will never be the same.

        I fear shopping in the area where I know my husbands affair partner lives, because I don’t want to run into her. We’ve never met, but I know what she looks like. I also fear that I may either freeze up or lose it and let loose a triad that will be criminal or demeaning at best.

        My husband and I go to couples therapy and I go individually to someone else. My husband I believe thinks that forgiveness means that the subject shouldn’t really come up again and that we shouldn’t ever argue/ fight about it. I’ll share with you what my therapist shared with me; it’s long, but I hope this helps. Note: I read it often to stay focused.

        Beliefs about forgiveness, the following statements describe various beliefs about forgiveness that can interfere with moving forward, consider these statements and how they relate to your own beliefs:

        • If I forgive the affair, then it is unacceptable for me to feel any further negative emotions about what happened.
        • I cannot forgive my partner until my anger has completely gone away.
        • I should not feel angry at my partner if he or she has sincerely apologized.
        • To truly forgive, I have to forget what happened.
        • If I forgive, it means that I am letting my partner get away with doing something hurtful to me.
        • If I understand why my partner behaved in this way, then I have to excuse him or her from taking responsibility for the behavior.
        • Forgiving my partner is the same as saying that what happened does not matter.
        • If I forgive, I will appear weak.
        • If I forgive, I will open myself up to be hurt again.
        • Forgiving my partner means tolerating negative things that he or she has done or continues to do to me.
        • If I forgive my partner, I have to continue the relationship with him or her.
        • I should not forgive my partner until I feel that the score is even between us.
        • I should not forgive my partner if he or she does certain things such as hit, have a affair or betray a confidence.

        After reviewing these points and determining how they affected me, I was able to forgive my husband and realize that it was ok to still be hurt and get stuck in a fog. I’m learning how to step out of those fogs and find out what will work best for us now. What we did before didn’t work. Also, I’ve come to understand, that we needed to forgive each other for past hurts; in order to forgive my husband, I needed to forgive the past slights and steps that led to this. I’m a work in progress.

        I sincerely hope that you find peace for yourself, within your marriage and with God’s example of forgiveness as your guide. It’s very hard I know, I struggle often and I know that life really has to go on.

  20. My beautiful wife had an affair with a fireman he said he was not married but we all knew that was a lie.I was in a state of depression physical ailments depression and a son who was an addict. i can understand why my wife had an affair and i forgave her went to counseling and now i am mentally and physically stronger than i have ever been I had many many times to have a revenge affair but have not yet. We now have a great sex life we started communicating she finally put me number one our life together is almost perfect I think the guilt she feels is harder than me getting over the affair. It still hurts but I will never let anyone hurt me like that again mentally you have to get stronger I chose to forgive my wife and can understand why she did it .It is not right but we would not be in this beautiful life we share now if i did not forgive her.I wanted to beat the shit out of him I am a really tough man never lost a fight she was afraid i would of killed him but she told me i handled it like a man that she saw a different man she said that what was a big part of our recovery.Good luck and from a tough man who was broken to a weak crying shattered man the hurt was the worst thing i have ever dealt with so with time effort counseling and faith I am a better man friend husband so keep up the faith it is possible your marriage can get stronger with compromise communication and forgiveness good luck to all my hurt friends good luck and God bless

  21. Reading this as made me realise I am not mad as my husband keeps telling me. I have also realised that our martiage is finally over after two years post affair. He does not have the inclination to help me I’ll and although he as been very loving very caring at times and done some of the correct things he never understood how devastated I was and our scared I was, constant flashbacks and he causes things to take me back to day one so I will never heal whilst I stay with him. Love him dearly wish it could of been different but I believe he never loved me the way he should not as s husband ever and this is the outcome now thirty years martied my whole life seems a waste

  22. Thank you for this!   it has  been only 4 days since I found out about my husband’s trip to the dark side.  I have experienced EVERY emotion discussed in the article. I thought I was losing my sanity until now.  My husband actually read it first and couldn’t believe how accurately it described what he was witnessing regarding my behavior.  The amazing thing is that he was already doing most of the suggested repair work.   I feel fortunate that his affair was just for a few weeks and he already ended it and had started to rebuild our marriage before I even knew about it.  It doesn’t hurt less but it makes me think we can move forward as a team. We have chosen to rebuild our    marriage and believe that all of the words here and in the comments will help us.  Thank you ALL for sharing such personal and painful experiences. Maybe something positive can come from  your and our pain.

  23. I found out by accident that my husband has been cheating on me for close to 3 years, on and off, with the same woman. He says he has ended things, but the woman he had the affairs with goes out of her way to torment me, on an almost daily basis. My husband cheated on me when I was pregnant with our first child, broke it off, and on the day I gave birth, the woman started contacting him again, they had another affair, They broke it off, and then I found out he had another affair with her. He says he is sorry, he says he loves me and doesn’t want to lose our family. But when I tell him I am being tormented, he says he just wants to move on. He won’t talk about it. I am so frustrated, I am so depressed. I am living on an emotional roller coaster. And he wants me to get over it now. It’s been 3 months, I don’t know how to get over it.

    1. If he is unwilling to discuss it with you, to help you pick up, understand, and repair all of the broken pieces, you won’t be able to truly forgive him. And, he isn’t worth any further investment of your love and time. He did this and he has to be wiling to own it and do whatever it takes to fix it. My heart goes out to you and I hope you will have the strength to demand what you deserve.

  24. Married 30 years, children house etc.. One night ( first year we are married)out with friend drinking, wakes up following morning at friends apt. realizing she slept with her friend. Doesn’t tell me until 15 years later. 4 years ago she wants to separate. Surprised, I ask her to sit before leaving explain why. She brings up typical marital issues. I suggest counseling and inform her if she walks out the door , I will not chase her. She stays , we go to counseling. Something’s off and through technology, I find her and a friend where they met on an annual retreat( retreat has been going on for 5 years) The last time, my wife sleeps with one of them. I confront her with the information and she breaks down and admits and crys in the fetal position
    What do I do, I comfort her . She says, allshe wants now is it to go back to they way it was. My question is, what way…the life based on lies, fary tells…she works partime, never had to only by choice My passion is dead, our relationship is like an old trusty slipper. 3 days a week we do our own thing. She tells me she is at her moms or with her sister. I Trust her or should say don’t care as she has already cheated.
    Based on financials, I would work, pay her half my income and she could retire.

    1. I’m in the same position. I’ll lose everything and am being persecuted for not doing anything except being betrayed by my wife of eight and a half years. I’m a part time father now. Something I never wanted to be. My story was posted above – June 20 2014. It’s heartbreaking and soul destroying that people can think so little of someone and hurt them in such a way. My wife has no idea of the hurt she has caused me. She moved out to continue her affair. She took our daughter and shows no remorse.

  25. My husband of 25 years had an affair 5 years ago with my friend for 3 1/2 years. It had been over for 14 months when I found out. I trusted him 110% but always knew she had feelings for him and made many comments on it. She used her daughter to text me about the affair. When I confronted him he said it only happened 3-4 times. A lie. 3 1/2 years is a relationship. I was very calm but felt dead inside. I now realise the saying “a broken heart” because mine felt broken. I now know a lot of the details and feel she crossed the line. e had no thought of an affair until she went over when I was away. She got up from her seat and she did the unthinkable to my husband. Intercourse came 5 months later when she invited him over for his b’day gift. She was naked with a ribbon tied around her. I love my husband and he is my best friend. I don’t know if I am right or wrong but I feel none of this would have happened if my friend (a widower who we watched over for 3 years before the affair) had not planned that first night and continued to threaten him with “I am the best person to have an affair with as I will never tell your wife”. Well she didn’t she used her daughter for that. He wanted out after the first incident but then she would kiss him and it progressed. After his birthday i called it the honeymoon period. It was good until she went nuts at him. The light came on and he wanted out but still he called her and txt her and kept seeing her. He wanted the friend but every 2-3 months he would have sex with her to keep her quiet. She said she loved him but he never said this back. He told her she had find find someone else. This is not right. But again she threatened him with I will never tell. He is ashamed, depressed and now realises she used him. A person who loves you does not threaten or not let you go. I offered to let him go but he wants to stay. He didn’t realise at the time how she manipulated him, used him and how nuts she was. She was Glen Close in Fatal Attraction!! I cry, feel depressed, I would love to scold her but we will not have any contact with her again, I have lost 5kg, don’t sleep well and protect him even though he was the sinner. I hope time will be my friend.

    1. my partner of almost 8 years sent this link to me. I have never cheated on her physically or emotionally . i did however look at other woman when we were out in public . i learned as a teenager that this was ok , and developed a bad habit .i have awoke to this a few years ago when my partner called me on it. i denied it at first and then tried to say it was normal . its not normal its wrong and sexualizes woman. i also attacked her body image .i know the attack was a result of my own body image issues and my low self image . can i just say i am attracted to my partner in every way possible and love her with every fiber of my being. there is no thought of anyone but her as my life partner i have never wanted to or thought of cheating on her . i have always lusted after her in my mind , but had trouble showing that lust to her physically because of the seed that my mother planted in my head from a very little boy is that all men are pigs and only think of sex. so built in me was that showing the lust i have for her would bring guilt and shame to me. this has been the case in all my relationships . i have no problem showing the lust for her in the act of having sex with her . because of the denial of the way i treated her and the lies to save me pain she does not trust me . can someone tell me if i am a cheater . im a little confused . dont get me wrong. i know i was and am not a saint .
      thanks for any reply

      1. I’m going to answer you honestly, and I doubt you’re going to like my response. That is to say, I doubt your PARTNER is going to like my response.

        First, let me start with the definition we use for infidelity: “Not giving 100% of your affection and loyalty to your spouse.” This definition is specific to spouses because after marriage, there has been a public vow before family and God, and there are legal obligations between the two people. PRIOR to marriage, there may have been promises of exclusivity between the two but there is no public vow made that involves legal responsibility. Thus, two exclusively dating people may have reason to EXPECT exclusivity…but it doesn’t rise to the measure of “infidelity” because there isn’t a promise before God that has accompanying legal implications.

        So, looking at THAT definition, I would say first if you two are not married, then there hasn’t been “infidelity.” Is it yucky for a guy to say he’s exclusive with a girl and then oogle other women in public? Yes! But it’s not adultery, unfaithfulness or infidelity; it’s being an unfit potential partner due to showing a tendency to be unfaithful…maybe.

        Also, looking at that definition and assuming you two were exclusive (maybe living together) and had some reasonable expectation of exclusivity–if you are with your woman and oogling others, I guess it may be considered giving some portion of your affection or loyalty to the woman you’re oogling, I just don’t see it that way. For example, if you turn your head when a rebuilt muscle car drives by, you’re not giving affection or loyalty from your current car–you are admiring the art of the restored car. If you turn your head when you hear a FANTASTIC classic rock song, you’re not giving affection or loyalty from some current music–you are admiring the musicianship of the old rockers. So if you turn your head when a well-dressed, beautiful woman walks by, you’re not giving affection or loyalty from your partner–you are admiring the beauty of something pleasing to the eye.

        In real life what I see are two things:

        1) Your partner has low self-esteem and a poor body image and rather than admitting it’s her issue and her responsibility to improve them, she blames you and blames your mother telling you that men are pigs for wanting sex! Well what your mom said or did is in the past, and you are in the present. You are 100% able to make choices now, as an adult, that have nothing to do with what your mom said! So just because you want and think about sex doesn’t mean you’re a pig! Instead, I’d say your partner needs to put in the work toward seeing herself as the priceless treasure she is and start seeing herself as the well-loved Daughter of the King…AND I’d say your partner needs to start looking at her body, as it is right now, and accepting the physical form that God gave her. Hey guess what? Her legs are long or short; she’s too thin or too fluffy; she has a tummy or can’t gain an ounce no matter what she does. BIG WHOOP. That is HER. And if SHE does the work to feel and believe she is valuable, then she will see that her thunder thighs, curvy legs and round butt are valuable too!!

        2) You are accepting responsibility for things that are not your issue, and you’re accepting pop psychology and justification rather than thinking clearly on these things. So let me go over your whole post and one-by-one point them out to you:

        “…i learned as a teenager that this was ok , and developed a bad habit.” This is pop psychology because you’re a man and an adult NOW, and you don’t have to do what you did as a teen. If you don’t want to have the “habit” of looking as other women, then be personally responsible now and don’t do it. Learn a new habit.

        “…i have awoke to this a few years ago when my partner called me on it. i denied it at first and then tried to say it was normal. its not normal its wrong and sexualizes woman.” This is also pop psychology unless you were looking at other women, falling all over yourself drooling, and wolf-whistling them with thoughts in your mind of having sex with them. If that’s how you were acting…then yeah it’s over-done and you have an issue.

        Want a great, easy way to tell if you are sexualizing someone or not? Here’s a way: how does a male on TV look? Does he have hair on his chest, legs and arms and a beard that’s more than 5 o’clock shadow after a week of “growth” …. or is he all shaved and hairless? If he’s shaved and hairless, that is sexualizing the guy because a natural male human being has hair on his body and has a freaking beard! And it’s sexualizing because there is no reason whatsoever for a man to look other than the natural way a male human should look EXCEPT to make him a sex object for females! Now translate that into females. If a natural female has pretty hair and a curvy size 12 figure, it’s not “sexualizing” for her to look that way or be seen that way–it IS sexualizing to try to make females tall, thin wisps with no curves and a boyish figure! Make sense? See the difference?

        “…i also attacked her body image. i know the attack was a result of my own body image issues and my low self image.” Sigh–more pop psychology. You can’t attack a person’s body image. “Body image” means the image I hold of my own body. Even if you said something about my body, you may be expressing your opinion or being mean, but that doesn’t mean I believe you and think of my own body that way. If you said something like “You just don’t want me to look at other women because of your body image” then that’s just true! Look, my Dear Hubby can look at any woman he wants any time, any day, because I look at my own self and my own body and I know it’s not the Hollywood definition of sexy, but I’m a little hottie. What’s sad is that somehow you have accepted responsibility for “the blame” of “attacking her body image” but if she has the issue…then she’s the one with the issue, not you. Let’s assume you DO have low self-esteem and your own low body image. It’s sounds like you’ve been convinced you’re a pig because you think of sex and like you’ve let your mom and your partner convince you that you should be ashamed for ever showing lust–even for your own partner!

        “…i have always lusted after her in my mind , but had trouble showing that lust to her physically because of the seed that my mother planted in my head from a very little boy is that all men are pigs and only think of sex.” More pop psychology. Look Frank–if you have lust for your partner in your mind, the one moral place for a person to express their sexuality is in their marriage! See that? It is MORAL and it is God-sanctioned. Now, as usual we humans have it backward and we always think of sex as ‘what’s in it for me?’ and think of our own orgasm or our own horniness, rather than realizing that as married people our promise is to think of our partner and THEIR orgasm and THEIR pleasure. But it sounds to me as if somehow your mom and your partner have convinced you that “thinking of sex” is immoral and “dirty”. In real life, the moral outlet for your sexuality and lust is your wife! Lust for your wife = god-created intimacy!! M-kay?

        “…so built in me was that showing the lust i have for her would bring guilt and shame to me. this has been the case in all my relationships . i have no problem showing the lust for her in the act of having sex with her.” All I think I’ll say here is “see above.” You are an adult now. You are responsible not only for how you act but also how you think and how you feel. Your mom is done and she’s not in your head. If you want to have guilt-free, shameless sex with your spouse, then it’s up to YOU to do the work to replace the “guilt” and whatnot in your head with the truth. And part of that starts with not taking responsibility for someone else’s issues. If your partner has a poor body image and is insecure and tells you you’re sexualizing her because you want sex…well that’s HER problem and she needs to do the work to strengthen her ow body image, not you. SHE does that. Her body image is INSIDE HER and you don’t provide that for her.

        “… because of the denial of the way i treated her and the lies to save me pain she does not trust me. can someone tell me if i am a cheater?” Frank, here’s the thing. It may be that when you look at other women, she chooses to feel insecure. It doesn’t MAKE her insecure–she chooses it. (I know this for a fact, because one human does not MAKE another human feel anything. We are all in charge of choosing our own emotions.) It would be reasonable for her to own her stuff and ask you if you’d be willing to stop. It would be reasonable for her to share with you that when you look at other women, some of the feelings on this page (Understanding Your Loyal Spouse) are present to a smallish degree. But if she is saying “Hey when you turn your head and look at another human being while we are out together, I feel all this stuff on this page” then I will say to you now that there is a problem, and it’s a big one. That is an ENORMOUS over-reaction. And usually people over-react to that degree when they have an issue that they are trying to avoid. I know you’re not a saint, and I’m not even saying you don’t have some things to address here! But what I am saying is that you should address the issues that are yours (boost your own body image and self-esteem, and stop accepting pop-psychology to justify blaming you for other people’s issues) and you should NOT address the issues are are NOT YOURS.

        Okay? Think clearly. Be personally responsible for yourself and your choices in the present (your mom isn’t responsible for what you do now), but do not shoulder responsibility when twists and turns are used to justify why you are to blame and not the person who’s actually responsible!

    2. Dawn, so your husband is your angel. Whatever he does he is always right and only your friend is a bad person to you??? Hey…wake up!! I don’t think she comes to your house with a gun point to your husband’s head then force him to have sex with her….Rethink!!!

    3. When I read this it makes my husbands story more digestible. I couldn’t understand how his 6 year emotional affair, turned sexual in the last 16 months and they only had sex 5 times. I had imagined that a sexual affair would be “sexual” meaning lots of sex. So, I found it hard to believe just the 5 times! But, he said that he always felt guilty and panic/ anxiety afterwards. She would ask why he would leave so quickly and if he was ok. Always being the trampy understanding lover. She would ask to meet a lot and then he would finally give in. It sounded like a big lie, but I guess after reading your post, it’s possible. I really detest women like her and she was married as well.

  26. I have been the disloyal spouse. I had an emotional affair, I didn’t know that was even a thing until my spouse showed me what I was doing. since then I have cut off all contact, given complete transparency – even installed parental software on my phone, which never worked right, so that didn’t help my case – she doesn’t believe a word I say. When I do the things you mention, like apologizing and taking responsibility, she tells me to shove it up my a$$ and that I don’t mean it. She is very angry, tells me I’m a horrible person, a horrible father, despicable, and to shut the f up, f off. Every horrible name I can imagine. I sit there and try to ‘be there’ and listen, but someone can only take so much of that at a time.
    All I want is to make things better. We are, I think, planning on moving for a fresh start, but she goes back and forth on this too.
    How can I help her to help us?

    P.S.
    Your website is a treasure-trove of information, so thank you. And this is from an atheist! what you are doing here is so very good.

    1. Something I failed to mention. She wants to know all of the details regarding the affair. She has seen the texts and emails but wants to know more. She is asking specifics on face to face conversations. I answered honestly to the best of my ability and the answer was ‘it was all more of the same as what you saw already, the same subject matter but I don’t remember specifically what was said.’ This has enraged her saying that is B.S. How can I answer a question to which I don’t have the information? These were conversations that happened months ago and I simply don’t remember. What can I say/do in this situation?

      1. Red,

        One of the reasons that she asks over and over again for specifics is because of “the puzzle”–have you heard of that? When you were in the midst of your affair, it was like you had all the pieces of the puzzle and you could see what picture the puzzle made…and you didn’t like the picture so the affair ended. But on HER side, she does not have all the pieces of the puzzle. She has “a piece here” and “a piece there”…only the pieces you’ve chosen to give her. And to her it seems like you know what the image will look like and you don’t want her to see that image, so you don’t give her all the pieces–just what you want her to see.

        Now, some people do not need ALL of the pieces. Some people get enough pieces to see that the image is unfaithfulness, and they say ‘I see enough.’ But other people want ALL of the pieces no matter what the image may be…they want to see it for themselves good or bad. And when you do not remember on your side…to her it seems like you are keeping a piece to yourself so she doesn’t see it.

        Thus, when she asks what was said on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, and you have no idea because who remembers the exact words they said on a specific day like that–I would suggest that no matter how scary it is, you tell her exactly what you DO remember. And what you don’t remember, tell her that you do not remember the exact words or the exact conversation but that you DO remember that you often spoke of X or said Y and that you didn’t memorize each talk because right now you are trying to keep your mind on the present and the future with her.

      2. Thank you. I have disclosed everything no matter how bad or painful. I have admitted there was an attraction although nothing remotely close to physical contact ever happened. I thought we were making progress with this because she is the type who wants to know everything. What she did with this information was to start texting the other woman and use everything I told her against me. This has led to another heated argument. What does one do with that? I’m lost. I feel like I’m doing what I should do but it just sends us backwards.

  27. I wish my husband of 15 years would read this and truly understand the pain he’s caused me. I’ve always done my best to be a good wife and mother and often times have put my husband’s needs and desires well before mine. He’s destroyed my trust, faith and shattered any feelings of confidence safety and security. I don’t know if I’ll ever heal, the gut wrenching pain, sobbing and feeling of being utterly alone and depressed feels never ending. The other woman knows us as well and pretended friendship to gain access to destroy my family.

    1. Hi. I think that you should send the article. I’m going to send it to my husband today as well. I hate that we all belong to a terrible club where we are too ashamed to show our faces or give our names. All the while our cheating spouses can walk around with their heads held us. No doubt some feel the agony, but none can feel it as we do. Please forward it to your husband.

      1. I really got a blessing hearing your videos last night and found a wonderful message from God in the process. I would love to call you personally sometime but I know you have to be so busy. I’m sure my insurance wouldn’t cover our session. I really need to talk to someone that can help me and answer some questions for me. I can’t get on to comment on any of the posts. You might not even get this message. Hurting in peace, Debbie

  28. I am the betrayed spouse. I actually have two D-Days! I originally discovered my husbands “emotional” affairs in June 2007. He was talking to two different women. The relationships started in 2001 and 2002. The first was an employee at his company and talked on the phone off and on for two years, they would see each other in passing; although professionally they had little to no reason to be in contact. The second relationship started in 2002, again cell phone chatting. My husband left his company and went back in 2005. The calls had continued with both women over the years. I discovered in 2007, or I should say I had been suspicious for years that his time was questionable. But in the summer of 2007, I looked at the itemized cell bill and saw multiple calls between him and two different numbers. Then I went back three years, sprint cellular used to let you view years of activity. I printed all of it and pulled out my highlighter. The proof was staggering! Almost everyday, several times a day, Monday through Friday and a few times after our family times or vacations. This was on a late Saturday night. I confronted him about it over the phone on the following Monday. I dud t want to say anything on Sunday with the kids at home and I needed to calm down. I tried to deny everything, so I said that I was coming to his job. He warned me not to and that he wouldn’t see me if I came. I told him that I was calling the women. This pissed him off. I called one several times and she wouldn’t answer, ever! I called the second and she had the audacity to tell me about me and my lonely husband , yada yada yada ……

    My husband didn’t come home that night, he his like a coward at a hotel and refused to answer my calls.

    Eventually, he admitted to these emotional affair sans assured me that that was all it was. We struggled that summer but, still did our tropical family vacation and I suggested an online Marriage Counseling program since he was against traditional counseling. Everything confused me. I didn’t understand where he found the time. He’s a highly regarded professional, he traveled often, including long stretches of international travel. There were constant off site meetings for work, business events, lunches, dinners and then our family. The calls mostly took place driving in to and from work and sometimes midday.
    The online thing didn’t work, however, I sort of found some type of rhythm. Eventually we did family/ couples therapy in 2010. The lady was useless and wouldn’t use our insurance be causing our some coding issues and was concerned that we wouldn’t make it and she didn’t want to be calledi to court to testify! I eventually woke up and found someone new and better in 2011.

    I always knew there was still something between us, something, maybe a secret. We’ve been in couples therapy since. On Saturday, October 11, 2014. My husband confessed to me that wehen he went back to his company in 2005, the relationship became sexual after a few months. I was devastated. I had believed him, even when it didn’t make sense. I wanted and needed to believe him! Btw, both women were married as well.

    My heart didnt just break, it shattered that day. I find it hard to eat, sleep, do daily things, I lose my place in time and planning. He said that he couldn’t take the guilt anymore or seeing me spinning my wheels anymore. He’s apologized and cried. The affair ended in 2007, a few months before he left again. He says she always invited him to the hotel and paid, it was 5 or 6 times over 18 months and I’m obsessed with the exact number. I’ve scoured our old packet bills and so far it doesn’t appear that he paid for anything by credit card. He said she would rent the room (a fairly decent place), buy beer for him and have a condom. E claims tgsy he never spoke about his life (our life) but she talked about hers and feeling under appreciated. He said he willingly went and that she mostly pursued him. I missed all of this! I’ve looked over our years ago emails to each other and now it makes so much sense. He would tell me about making wrong decisions and so on. He write about us recommitting to each other in early 2007, just after it ended. I hate both of them for what the did, especially considering she’s a wife and mother of children slightly younger than ours. I love him beyond belief but I’m so incredibly hurt. Since finding out, we’ve had amazing sex every day. But, we were always highly sexual, it just doesn’t make sense. I know it’s called hysterical sex; I’m so angry that I still need him in that capacity. He reminds me fairly constantly about being sorry and wanting to repair and being patient. I try to keep in mind that he’s been in therapy with me all this did. But, this has been a never ending confession, it’s been 13 of deceit. I think we can make it and then I’m sure this will fall apart. How could he keep lying to me?

    I’m a bundle of nerves. He said that he now understands the extent of my loyalty and some other stuff ……

    I feel like a fool. Another woman knows my husband as I know him. They were both low, but how low she was to be married and renting rooms. After all these years I want to confront her and slap the crap out of her, I want to inform her husband and take her peace away. I’ve researched as much about her as I can. I know her address and phone number, those if her husband and teen age son (whom I would never contact), I got her to accept a friend request on FB to a phone name. God, I’m obsessed and this is sick. We’re getting help and mostly it’s better, but there are moments when I’m back at the beginning. We still do so much together and share so much. I just can’t believe this betrayal!

    1. Tell your husband you need to tell hers (or he needs to) tell him it’s not fair to him, that you wouldn’t have been as devastated as you are if you would have gotten honesty earlier. Tell him this man deserves to know who he is married to and to decide if he wants to stay or not. It isn’t fair that he & this woman have made the decision that he will stay in that marriage for him.
      Sorry if this is blunt.. It is just my thoughts as my husband publically humiliated me cheating with the team mom of our son’s for nearly a year and I had no clue. I would see all those families weekly at the game (they would leave practice together and hang all over eachother in front of the kids and families if they stayed). What I would have given to have any one of them come forward instead of my 7 year old son after he’d lost all hope that it would end. Telling me, “mom your dad’s wife, not Cheyrl” I hope you find a way to tell her husband. For his own sanity.

  29. This article is 100% accurate. It’s been a year now since it started to happen behind my back but only 5 months since all ties were cut between my husband and this girl, you see I got him a job at the company I work for and he cheated on me with a coworker here… I still work for the company. I don’t see her but coming to work is a daily reminder even though I try not to let it overpower me bc I’m too strong to let this get me down. But it always beats me up no matter how tough I am. My husband is remorseful and it was only a 3 month thing but he worked with her everyday and she wouldn’t stop contacting him for months after… And he had to change his number. He is really changed after this experience for the better but I’m so sad inside and lonely. I feel worthless. I gained 40lbs and I hate myself now… I used to dream everyday of having a baby with my husband and now I don’t think I’ll ever be a mother. My whole existence is a blurr and I’m just here but empty. Just going through the motions and paying my bills but I’m not a person anymore.

    1. Kathryn, Please take care of yourself… See counseling or even just take up a hobby that you can do with others. Don’t lose yourself. You sound like a wonderful, hardworking person…

    2. Kathryn, please do not feel bad for yourself. And please love yourself more than ever. You are perfectly capable to have your better life on your own…get rid of a cheater.

  30. I discovered he has been having a 5 year affair with the “friend ” he is constantly talking about. My spouse has no remorse. Just keeps telling me to get over it. He insists that she is fun and smart and he likes being around her, and wants to continue to see her. He tells me that its normal, and that everyone does it and lies to their spouse. The only difference is that he is being honest. He becomes angry and indignant whenever the subject comes up. He called me paranoid and crazy.
    so depressed. cant eat. cant sleep.

    1. Jen,
      You should never accept this type of behavior. However, I can imagine that it’s not so easy to leave or ask him to go. But, please get some therapy for yourself. It’s not normal or acceptable for what he is doing.

  31. Hi,
    Just looking for a bit of advice and help. I cheated on my husband a year ago. It was an unforgivable thing to do and to make it worse was with a neighbour. The physical betrayal happened once but there was a lot of phone/text contact leading up to it. When my husband found out, on his own, I lied and tried to cover it up as I knew it had been. Mistake and thought if I could convince him nothing had happened it would all go away. Obviously this was a completely stupid idea and my husband says as I didn’t come clean straight away it has made it harder for him. We have been together for 12 years and have 3 amazing children together. We have since moved house. I had a group of friends that he didn’t like, rightly so, and I have now severed all contact with. He works away and is only home on a weekend which is making it harder to build our relationship back. He wanted me to start a training course as I havent worked since having children, I have done this. He’s finding it increasingly hard, we are having discussions every week now where he starts off the weekend saying he’s leaving and finishes the weekend saying we’ll work it out. He then goes to work and his changed his mind back again by Tuesday. He has been drinking a lot and has started taking drugs all of which he is blaming on me. I have not argued about this with him and have agreed it’s because of what I did and just asked him to stop for his own health. I don’t know what else to do. I love him completely but I don’t know if we are getting anywhere. I want to keep trying for as long as it takes but is this the right thing to do? He has tried javk g a revenge one night stand to get his own back and has also been flirting with girls in his office but says this doesn’t make him feel any better. He won’t see a councillor as he doesn’t think it will help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Ruby, Please see a councilor on your own if he won’t go. … Do this for you, your husband and your kids. Work on your self first. Hubby is bound to see this and this may encourage him to go and or at least give him another reason to trust you are on the up and up, truly committed, and not just saying things that sound “nice”.
      Congrats on giving up the friends. That is a big step. I hope you 2 can work it out 🙂

  32. Ruby – I agree that the lying to cover things up makes it harder. I found my wife’s emails to they guy she had an affair, so I knew some of the truths about her lies. If you have told him everything, and I mean everything, I think there is hope. I would suggest for him to get rid of the drugs and alcohol…that is not helping. It has been 1 1/2 years for me, She has never been honest and doesn’t want to talk about it, so I don’t think I will ever be over it. I always wonder what she is hiding. If you want to save the marriage, tell him everything.

  33. My financé had an emotional affair with an old mutual friend of ours. She actually introduced he and I. I haven’t spoken to her for a few years, and was under the impression that he hadn’t either. It lasted for roughly a few months. He’s been very loving and patient with me and my highs and lows. But I just really hope that I have the “tools” to forgive him eventually. I love him dearly and want to heal. But I feel like I’ll probably never be able to move past it and end up leaving him, even though I really don’t want to leave. I obsess over this and it makes me feel horrible.
    Is it my ego that’s not allowing me to just accept that people are imperfect? I just can’t comprehend why a person that loves you would compromise you this way.

  34. Incredibly in line with what we are going through. It has been over a year and though the daily grind of life, I have lost focus on the triggers that cause my fiance pain. Thank you for laying out in detail what it take to be a true partner, a true friend and a true believer in it’s not what I say, rather what I do that will make the emotions and pain go away. I have never been faithful in any relationship that I have ever been in. So why now? Quite simply she is the most amazing woman to ever walk into my life and my best friend. Because she made a decision to give us a chance. For that, I will always remain faithful and live in our love.
    Thank you K. You are my light, my inspiration and best friend.

  35. My sincere graditude for this website and article… I sent this article to my husband to help him understand the anguish and turmoil I’m going through as a result of his involvement with another woman. Perhaps me sharing my story is a way for me to start the healing process. It’s only been 5 days since my husband of 16 years admitted to “inappropriately interacting” with a woman he was initially giving work-related advice to. About 4 weeks ago while using his tablet, I accidentally saw playful yet intimate texts betw my husband and this woman. I began sneaking his tablet at night to search his emails/texts – 1) this is totally not like me to do this, and 2) yes, found more dialogs. I started journaling and eventually printing each email/text conversation. Confronted my husband 2 different times but got “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and “its a friend acting silly.” He started to delete his texts/emails. 3rd confrontation he admitted relationship was only texting, realizes woman was going too far and to stop contact. I don’t find anyone emails/texts (none sent or still deleting or other methods?) tho promised to stop sneaking. Every hour of every day I re-play the seen messages, re-live the controntations, and invision my huband being with this woman. He says he only texts but he’s lied to my face before. He lessens his interactions to foolish texts, never an affair. He gets angry when I mention the topic or ask questions. Me, I have frequent bouts of intense crying, too depressed to work (only handful of hrs in past 2 weeks) and my heart drops every time my husband’s phone rings or he receives an email/text notice believing it could be this woman. He has told me he is very sorry, loves me dearly, doesn’t want to lose me, and has stopped all contact with this person. I love him dearly, he is both my husband and best friend and I don’t want to lose him. I sincerely hope the article I forwarded to him will help him realize I need much more to re-gain my trust in him. Additionally, I am starting Christian counseling this week to help sort things out and help me heal. God’s blessing to all who are truly hurting from infidelity.

    1. Zoe B. Update: It’s been a month since discovering that my husband of 16 yrs had an emotional affair. He initially denied any ongoing relationship, later confessed to only texting/emailing but says has stopped when he realized it was inappropriate. My roller coaster emotions are similar to those described in this article, tho bouts of intense crying and constant distrust are my primary plagues. I’ve met with a licensed Christian counselor 2 times within 2 wks, plan to continue for some time. My sessions have been very therapeutic – this was the 1st time I shared my turmoil with someone other than my husband (a release of bottled up emotions), able to openly shed tears without pity, sympathized that what I was going thru was emotional and hard but a natural reaction. He supported my need to know details of affair, stressed importance of a mutually-planned, calm, even-sided discussion. My husband is open to answering any questions I have, has committed to being transparent with phone/text/email and his where-abouts… tho found 2 undisclosed msgs with orig woman, there’s some brief after work stops he forgets to share. To get details I jotted down list of questions (4 pgs) to keep my thoughts organized and make sure I wouldn’t forget pieces – requiring addtl meetings or gaps in story. I initiated and reminded a few times, we went to local park weekend afternoon… wanted a location outside of special places, especially home. We set some ground rules (no more than 1 hr, right for either partner to step away if needed, no raised voice, to set addtl appts if didnt get to all question, etc.), talk went smoothly, tho of course as loyal spouse I cringed waiting for response, suspecting the worse. Painfully discovered a brief kiss on lips occurred, tho prev defense was “only foolish texts.” Of course I do have a few follow up questions after repalying meeting in my mind. IMPORTANT: these mtgs are also opportunities to see what us loyal spouses may have done or not done to possibly make spouse distant, unhappy, seeking outside support… For me, we fought big and small for so long that husband didnt feel loved, didnt believe I cared about our marriage. He admits he is the one who made the wrong choice to stray. But my heart broke hearing that… I didnt think my behavior was so horrific that the man I love and cherish didnt know how much I love and cherish him. The talk was good. My husband expressed he feels much more loved since this whole ordwal started… tho definitely knows the affair route is not the way to get this type of result. We are closer, talking through things, me seeing a counselor who will invite my husband in for a rew sessions. My husband also attends personal counseling. We are no way close to moving beyond this; trust for me is still a big issue… but we’re taking it day by day. May my story give some encouragement…

  36. To Zoe B.

    If there is hope for me, there is hope for your husband. First I want to say how sorry I am that this happened to you.

    I to did this same thing to my wife. Seemingly innocent conversations can spiral into outright adultery and sexual immorality with co-workers of the opposite sex. What your husband and I didn’t realize or should have realized is that the wife’s place is more special and reverent in a man’s heart than anything other than God himself. A man and a wife are to lay bare naked everything spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
    And a man is to guard the heart of his wife. This means that a man does not do anything to compromise his wife’s tender heart. Which for me means not being alone with other women, if I have to work with a woman, I keep it to the task at hand and that’s it. This means being accountable at all times. My wife is now hyper vigilant and has unwanted thoughts that persecute her while we are intimate with one another. The devastation I’ve caused is unimaginable, but there is hope with God working on our behalf and through me. The transformed heart is by the Grace of God. It is sometimes very difficult to humble one’s heart. This is why your husband and I get angry at times. Both of us have to realize that it’s not about us and never has been. It’s about dying to self and loving our wives and humbling ourselves before a holy God. Your husband and I need to put to death the sin that so easily entangles us. The only way I know how is through Christ. Hopefully, some of this is helpful.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I will admit that initially I became a bit more anxious after reading your take on how co-worker (work-related) interactions can easily spiral into sexual infidelity. My husband claims nothing physical happened with this woman, though now I’ve returned to questioing this. Thankfully my husband doesn’t work with this woman. I can honestly say this situation has not plagued us before, and I pray that with God’s grace and guidance my husband and I can refocus on sanctifying our marriage. The transformation of your heart and mind by turning to God is encouraging, and it is with open hearts and minds that my husband and I too seek God’s glory. God’s blessings to you and your wife for continued healing and transformation.

  37. I am the betrayed spouse, after 30 years of marriage, and four lovely children. Finding this site, wow, no other come so close to describing the world of emotions and pain. My wife had an online emotional affair that turned into meeting him and doing whatever. They met over some dating site, with initial contact saying things like this would devastate my husband if he found out, and i’m happily married but need some excitement, etc. She confessed to me two years ago when his wife had found out and threatened to tell me. Then she went through a total breakdown – shut herself off from the world for 2 months, leaving me dealing with looking after the kids, the fact that she betrayed me, and a load of financial headaches. I eventually broke down, and have been on anti-depressants and having counselling for over a year. But to me it feels she has never taken responsibility for her actions, she feels guilt and says sorry but it feels as if she would rather pretend it never happened. The first reason given for it happening, was because I was not in love with her (totally untrue) and she was looking for someone to show her she mattered, then it was she doesn’t understand why she did it but always loved me. So many conflicting feelings from feeling protection and wanting to look after her, to anger and total despair, and now numbness with bursts of anger and depression. I try to hold all my emotions tightly in check (possibly helped by the anti-depressants) because I’m scared she or I ,will breakdown again, but yep every few months I lose it and threaten to leave, but I can’t. I don’t know if this is because I still love her, or because of the kids, or a fear of losing everything. When I get to this stage, she tells me that I will have to explain to t the kids why I have broken up our family, that then becomes perhaps you would be better off if I was dead, and lots of tears until I’m again supporting her and saying it will be all ok. We are no longer close – mainly because I can’t bring myself to be that exposed emotionally, and also I still feel she hides her texts, FB messages, etc from me, though I feel she is not in touch with this guy, and worry its my paranoia . Only last week she was saying “When will it end” after another outburst by me, making me feel guilty for still feeling this way. I would love for the pain and the betrayal and lack of trust to just disappear. This site given me some relief that its not me thats losing it, but I still don’t know what the solutions are, and what the future may bring.

    1. To Matthew: I’m saddened to hear of your continued emotional turmoil lasting 3 years. Being a loyal spouse myself (Nov 17, 2014 entry), I am glad you have discovered this valuable website as it gives insight into the world of emotional and physical infidelity – though we wish we never needed to know about it – and accurately explains how a loyal spouse’s reaction is not crazy, irrational or overexaggerating the other spouse’s actions/betrayal.

      I sincerely hope you are benefiting from counseling, and the anti-depressents will be temporary… I applaud you for seeking care for yourself instead of repeatedly suffering and suffering in silence. Continue doing what you’re doing if it helps, make a change if necessary… though seek professional guidance before making any changes. I attended my 1st Christian counseling session last week (basically wept non-stop for 2 hrs as I explained what it seemed to be the horrible story of another person’s life). I plan to go for however long it takes for me to manage my emotions and hostility, and to regain trust in my huband – God willing he remains trustworthy.

      Have you tried couples counseling? Have you shared this article, better yet the entire site, with your wife? I took the advice of an above loyal spouse and sent a link of this article to my husband. Included a sincere, thoughtful note, “maybe this will help you understand how I feel, why I react the way I do.” I know my husband has read it as I see him implementing some of the suggestions. I do plan to send him addtl links that I believe will help both him and me.

      I’ve been living my personal hell for about 5 wks, though have had several meltdowns – both by myself and during repeat confrontations with my husband. Confrontations erupt from me needing details and my husband’s anger believing he has “told me everything.” As with your wife, I don’t understand how non-loyal spouses believe loyal spouses should be able to just get over it. It’s heart-crushing that they don’t realize how horrific and devastingly painful their actions are/were, how they committed the ultimate betrayal in a marriage, and purposely crushed the hearts and souls of those with an intimate bond to love and cherish them. I will never get over my husband’s choice to have an emotional affair with another woman, I will forever live with the deep stab to my heart. Though I pray God will grant me the wisdom, courage and patience to heal and I pray God also grants my husband the same, along with a true, committed, loving heart.

      Not claiming to know all the dynamics of your situation…my humble opinion is it appears your spouse may not have any understanding about the complex nature of being the loyal spouse who will forever be scared, nor does she seem to proactively seek to understand. In your comments you said she has meltdowns too. Has your wife gone to any counseling on her own? A combination of this website and counseling may provide the knowledge to better understand all that impacts her and you now and down the road, and learn ways to alleviate pain and distrust now and forever. If help and knowledge + joint support and commitment don’t exist, seems likely that the non-loyal spouse may remain one-sided and selfish while you continue tending to your own wounds. I sincerely hope you do not find my comments disrespectful.

      To you and your wife – God’s blessings for strength, courage, wisdom and patience to help and heal one another.

      1. To Zoe B.

        I did not find your comments at all disrespectful. To answer some of the questions, we had marriage counselling for a number of months but though some things were good, in the main I felt upset by the sessions, it almost felt I was to blame for being too nice and not taking control of the marriage, almost too supportive and boring. My feelings were that I was trying to be a good husband, dad, provider and live a true partnership, and it was thrown in my face.

        As for my wife having counselling she doesn’t want it. She wants to move on, she says she tries to not think or remember it all happened. Something I finding I’m not capable of.

    2. To Matthew: sorry your marriage counselor judged instead of counseled. Some time has passed since your initial counseling though I strongly suggest you try another marriage counselor, one that’s a better fit with what you need – guidance and tools to live through infidelity. Maybe this site has a resource section, or Internet or community research using client feedback will help you find counseling options. It seems your wife doesn’t want counseling, wants you both to just forget about her infidelity. But for your health and sanity it seems best to calmly but seriously explain to her that this is what must be done if she expects the marriage to continue. This is an adult situation; it will not be forgotten, rants or tantrums placing guilt on the loyal spouse (“Why can’t you let this go?” or “Why can’t we move on?”) will not be tolerated. Perhaps an ultimatum is necessary to show the seriousness, though be ready to act if needs are not met. Infidelity is a painful situation, though the loyal spouse reaps most of the turmoil. BOTH parties must be committed to working on the marriage, especially if a broken loyal spouse is ever to have a chance to heal. God’s blessings for wisdom, courage and peace.

      1. After everything that has gone on, today I find she is still keeping things from me. Ok this time its not another man, now its financial. And maybe I shouldn’t look but she is still lying to me..

        Don’t know what to do … 😦

        Mat

  38. My wife was caught cheating. She was caught starting some inappropriate discussions about sex in 2009. I told her at that point I was ready to leave her. The lasted was at the end of October. We had gone to Florida for our 25 th anniversary. Her brother lives there and this is also where we met 30 years ago. On our anniversary night we went to dinner with my brother in law and his friend. His friend made some sexual remarks about my wife that I didn’t approve of and I let him know it. Wouldn’t you know it that after we returned home after our vacation my wife acted different. I knew something was different. I finally checked her phone when she wasn’t looking. To my surprise she was texting non stop and sending partially nude photos to my brother in laws friend. She was supposed to delete photos and texts per their conversation as they went along. Well she forgot to and that’s when I found out. They also had plans to meet up in Florida to engage in sex. She used the excuse she was going to visit her mom for a week. The first week after discovery she was apologizing and seemed like a changed person. At the beginning of the second week after I told her I would forgive her she said she blames me for mistreating her verbally over the years. Now 4 weeks after she got caught I’m wanting to work on rebuilding our relationship. She on the other hand explains to me that she’s not sure she wants to be with me. She wants us to act if everything is normal while she decides if she wants to stay in the marriage. I struggle daily wanting to end the marriage because she can’t even decide if she wants to be married to me. I feel hopeless that I can even put the time and effort into reconciliation until she commits to us working out the issues and wanting to be here. She even stated that she can’t rule out it may happen again. We went to therapy together and all it seemed to do is solidify that she needs time to decide if she wants to be here. I felt the only reason to go to therapy was preparing me for her telling me she has no feelings and she’s done. Not sure what to think at this point. Do I keep waiting? Or do I end it now? I told her I feel like she’s just buying time. Oh did I mention that her best friend did the cheating thing twice to her husband and has moved out into her own home. She has been spending a lot of time with her. I told her I wasn’t comfortable with her having a friend which may be causing divide between us. Her response was I will give you up before my friend.

    1. Leave her!!! Especially if you can afford to do so. If you want to save your marriage she needs to know you are capable of living a life without her. If she contacts you after you leave by all means talk to her, but, you need to be living your own separate life with friends and outings, etc… You will be of more value to her if she realizes you will be just fine on your own. I would make all the arrangements and then tell her “here is my new address, call me or come by if you want to talk” You may be surprised how happy you are without her.

  39. I read this article today and literally feel as if I wrote it word for word on how I am feeling and what I am needing. My wife of 10 years just told me recently that she had a one night stand with a friend of mine years ago. She only offered to tell me this when I stumbled upon her deleted calls and hidden contacts on her phone. At first she lied straight to my face. She was basically caught talking to this person again secretly 10 years later. I have struggled because to me this woman was perfect. She is an amazing wife, lover, mother and person. I have adored her from the first moment I met her and people that know me literally get sick of me singing her praises. On the outside she seems to have it all together but on the inside I worry that she truly doesn’t. I have and always will be loyal and faithful because I love her and do don’t even have thoughts of others.. I could never have imagined she would even be capable of such a thing and hiding it form me and lying to me all these years. I am already a person that struggles with OCD so I was thinking that maybe this was just me obsessing over this. I am realizing now that I am not alone with my pain nor unique. I do realize now though that this is a pattern for her. She did cheat on me 3 months after we were together with her ex boyfriend when she was 19 but then we reconciled shortly after and I got over that because she was young and confused. Even back then and over the years she has gotten emotionally involved with other men using her phone either by calling or texting and then she denies and lies to me about all of it until I catch it. She has a habit of making and deleting inappropriate texts and writes it off as no big deal that she’s with me It has been a pattern in our marriage but I usually just wrote it off. This time there was a lot more hidden. I feel like my entire relationship/marriage with her has been filled with so many lies now and so much betrayal and deceit. I am scared to death that it is just that “a pattern” that will come up again regardless of her convincing me that it won’t. I can’t imagine working through this and trusting her again just to be crushed again someday, but at the same time I love her. As I read this article I have never cried so much or gotten so emotional in all my life. The pain is real and its so hard because you live it everyday and its an emotional roller coaster. I feel like my wife isn’t all that remorseful like what it says in your article. I feel like she just wants me to stop talking about it and bringing it up. When I do 99% of the time I get the simple “I’m sorry” response. She has yet to really emotionally break down herself in a truly remorseful way for her action. I truly don’t feel like she is all that sorry, she just wants to hurry up and move past it. More times than not there is excuses and justifications for her actions. She blames her age as being young, or she will say she was immature or confused. She even says she has made up for her actions through her many years of being a good wife during our marriage. How can you make up for such a cold hearted, cruel , selfish behavior? And continue to have emotional affairs again and again and lie again and again, I feel as if she feels justified more times than sorry its really awkward. I even start to blame myself for her selfish actions. I feel like she isn’t truly all that sorry and at times feel like she would rather part with me than live with the consequences of her actions. I really believe if she read this article she would rather divorce than actually have to do what it recommends. What do I do? I love this woman so much and we have two kids together and a good life.

    1. Confused Dad, I read your post and had to comment. I am a dedicated wife as you are a husband. I have been married 20 years, put my husband through college, took care of our family while he deployed and found out at 22 years he was having a public affair and using our 7 year old as a cover story. I don’t think he planned it that way, just got involved with his team mom and then used practice as a cover to see her, forbidding me from coming as “let me be a dad and do this with my son”. It was my 7 year old that let me in on the fact the team mom and him were hanging all over eachother even in a locker room full of 7 year old kids. My husband was “perfect” as your wife was. He was our high school football hero, a war hero, etc… There were times when he had “odd” explanations of things. A period of time when he didn’t come home from seeing friends Friday nights, he would say he drank too much and slept in his car, he disappeared with his close friends fiance from a military party for the entire night and said, “she was looking for her fiance (His friend) and was worried, he didn’t want her wondering the streets alone so went with her” they found him at the same bar they left to “go look for him”. I always told myself everyone loves him, respects him, tells me I am lucky to be married to him. So, I went against my instincts and believed him until it all came crashing down with the hockey mom. Hearing from my 7 year old, “I want to quit hockey because your dad’s wife, not Cheryl” was the slap in the face I needed to finally see what the truth had been all along
      That being said, he NEVER admitted to anything and I am still with him. At the time (3 years ago) we our 2 youngest still at home, a 1 year old and a 7 year old. I could not financially support them. We sought counceling (I recommend going to focus on the family and finding a therapist on their site, very thorough screening). I finally saw one for myself after having an epic fail at church with church counselors. The married couple believed because he was so sweet with me and kept his arm around me, focused on me when I spoke, etc. that he must genuinely love me and if he was saying it was all this woman being “huggy” and he was just an innocent bistander it must be so. The Focus on the Family Counselor correctly diagnosed him as a sex addict and we worked through 20 years of unexplained (or very poorly explained) absences.
      So what am I telling you? My husband treats me much better than he has in years (he always treated me well) and I have my eyes open to what he is capable of. Sometimes I get triggered by his being a bit late (he works on call) or a discrete phone call. But, he proves what he is doing without much, if any, anger and so far (the last 3 years) seems to be on the up and up. Meanwhile, our kids are getting older, enjoying the fact there is less distractions with dad being gone & the money missing from our budget he was sneaking away for his mistresses. I don’t have to worry about what he may expose our boys to if we were to be divorced and splitting custody. I stay with my eyes open. IF anything pops up on the radar that doesn’t have a very good explanation, I will leave and take the boys with. I have set up a place for us and have a separate savings account in case such an emergency befalls us. It is difficult after 3 years to stay diligent on following up on him (I want to buy our kids things with my savings, I want to have vacations to see our older 2 children that have left the nest). But I remind myself what it was like to have all the hockey families knowing my husband was cheating on me in front of all of our children while he was pretending to be the perfect husband at home & church.
      The choice is yours…

  40. I ask myself the same question. what should I do? My wife tells me that we should work on ourselves and she’s undecided on wether she wants to stay wife me. she wants me to give her time and her space to figure out what she wants. she also is afraid is she stays in the marriage it will happen again. in the mean time she wants us to go about our daily rountine as if she wasn’t caught cheating. the difference now is she doesbt want any emotional or physical relationship. She tells her friends that I verbally abused her as a means of gaining support and justifying her betrayal. I struggle daily with wanting to end our marriage. When I tell her this she tells me I’m trying to rush her and state’s “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to be”. I feel like she continues to buy time with me until after the holidays and then she will tell me she wants out. I see myself becoming more distant and emotionally detached as each day goes by when maybe I should be trying to prove how much I love her?

    1. It was about this time last year when I decided to ask my husband for a divorce and I also engaged in the affair then. I did decide to wait until after the holiday before telling him, and he did not find out about the affair until after I talked divorce. We ended up staying together, and are working things out (including the post affair feelings). What I can say is that giving things time won’t hurt, but as long as you wait for the right reason. To be patient, for instance, or to give her time to think or heal. I won’t act in anticipation of a bad scenario, because you don;t know what’s going to happen. Just be patient and approach her as much as you can. I agree with the article that being close and loving only helps.

  41. Everything in this article makes sense to me, and I find it really helpful in regaining focus and patience. My only question is about dumping the friends that you used as alibi. My girlfriends tried to discourage me from having the affair. They were being good friends in a very hard time in my marriage and life. My marriage was on the rocks when I had the affair, and my friends were there for me. Now my husband hurts when I mention them, let alone when I see them, and I cannot come to terms with this, as much as I understand his pain. I understand these friends are triggers, but they are also human beings that did nothing wrong and don’t deserve me dumping them. This is possibly the worst challenge I am facing after 10 months of working with my husband to rebuild our marriage.

    1. I totally understand the friend, and it’s not fair. You also have to understand that in your husband’s mind and heart he probably thought you were his best friend, and you turned away from him. There’s going to have to be some give and take for a while, especially if you really want your marriage to work . Eventually he may become comfortable with these friends again, especially if they were trying to guide you in the right way. Either way when we choose to act foolish, there are always innocent people hurt. It’s a casualty of the war that we bring on ourselfs. Take responsibility for it, and make the necessary sacrifices.

  42. This article describes everything that I am feeling. I am a betrayed husband. I have been with my wife for 28 years, and married for 17. 20 years ago she was in a major car crash and had to learn how to walk again. I gave up college to take care of her. 15 years ago we lost our first born son after 19 days. I never new such pain until then. I told her that I would work 2 or 3 jobs so she could stay home and raise our next two children who are now 14 and 9.

    I recently discovered her affair on 1 1/2 months after having a gut feeling and looking at her phone. It was with a fireman who is one of the dads in my sons classroom. I am at a total loss. I thought our marriage was fine and that she was happy with me. I work my butt off so she doesn’t have to and this is the thanks I get. Worst of all, she can’t tell me why she did it. I have always showered her with love and attention, but I was not getting in return. I can’t decide whether I am going to stay or not. I have always loved her more than words can say, and put her up on a pedestal. She was always the most beautiful woman to me, and I never looked at others.

    I am now noticing other women and I hate myself for it. Even worse is that I now notice them looking at me. Life is short and I can’t help but wonder if I am selling my self short. I don’t want to break up my family and tear my kids hearts out, but I need to be with somebody that loves me as much as I love her.

    My wife is trying to make it right, and we are going to counseling. I sent her this article and she read it thoroughly. I really hope she can do whatever it takes to earn my trust back. The pain is just awful.

  43. Chris :

    Understand where you coming from on everything you say. Pretty much the same feelings I have for my marriage, wife and the feelings I’m left with after her betrayal.

    Matthew.

  44. Hello. 5 years ago I was cheated on by my spouse. Her and I had been together for 10 years off and on and a solid two years before she cheated. We were suppose to go to a wedding that was 5 hours away which was for her friend. While she was up there she cheated with a friend of the bride. I had a suspicion she was up to no good because I didn’t hear from her for 24 hrs. When she got home I was at work but got off early while she was on the balcony having a smoke I saw a email on my PC about how much fun she had and how much she missed him (busted)
    It was horrible. She said she still wanted to be with me and would never lie to me again. I was the one who put 100% effort to make it better while I had to self heal ( no remorse). Now 5 years later she was out back having a smoke while on her phone I walked up to make a funny face on the window and scare her I noticed she was typing a message to the bride of that wedding that encouraged her to cheat. I didn’t care and I opened the door and said “what are you doing”. She stumbled and closed the window. I thought to my self just let it slide you are worrying too much. Later that day I was bidding on a item on ebay when my phone died so I asked to use hers. She pulls it out and goes to the messages and deletes them. I got angry and let her know how I feel. Once again she doesn’t care and says it was 5 years ago get over it.
    So me being very suspicious I go to her email and facebook but passwords are all changed now. So I look in the PC history and there it shows that she was creeping the guys profile she cheated on me with. I asked her when was the last time she thought of the guy or talked about him and she replied not since 5 years. That’s when I brought up the history and she said she was just curious to see. So while I’m out busting my ass at work 24/7 so her and my 17 month old daughter can be home together she is looking at this guys life with my daughter on her lap multiple times.
    She now says she wants to work on things to make it better. I need advice badly.

  45. How do you get rid of the feelings of being a useless pile of crap, the insecurities and fear after the spouses betrayal?

    3 years on and I still can’t get rid of that feeling in my stomach of dread, that feeling of uselessness and just not being good enough. Even impacts on my job some days. Somedays I crave attention and its so destructive an emotion. I just don’t want to be like this anymore.

    Matthew.

    1. Mattthew, its been 3 yrs for me too. My husband of 20 yrs chested on me with a woman 10 yrs my senior (who had divorced her husband -2 weeks later he committed suicide, she then married a WOMAN and was still married to her at the time of the affair. In addition , she was Hep C positive from IV drug abuse, and he NEVER used a condom.)
      In the midst of me finding out about everything, i caught him at her house, and he called the police on ME!
      We have 5 children, the youngest who was only 7 at that time.
      He now swears he was in a deep funk, was trying to ‘kill’ himself at that time (it went on for 6 months.). He knew what he was doing, there is no doubt in my mind.
      So many details that I probably eventually will post , but suffice it to say, i really don’t love him anymore, physically I find him repulsive.. We do not sleep together and its been over a year since I have allowed him to touch me.
      I really want a divorce but am very scared of what it will do to the kids. I am a child specialist, and have seen so many children devestated by divorce – amicable or not.
      I feel just like you, Matthew. I’m in limbo and life is going on. And i’m wasting part of it.

      1. Luci:

        Thank you for the reply. I think its my children that keep me going and trying to be honest.

        Matthew

    2. Matthew, some random thoughts…..

      I wish I knew the answer to that question. I’m saddened that you still feel that way. The stomach pains, the panic attacks, the uncertainty. But, you must be very strong because you’re hanging in there through all of it. So, I ask you, who is stronger, you or your spouse? Consider the pain you have experienced and are working to overcome. Did you run off and cheat because you just couldn’t handle it? Did you use your pain as an excuse to act inappropriately? Doesn’t sound like it.

      I’m a little over three months out of dday. My amazing husband of 26 years fell apart for a few weeks and started a relationship with a COMPLETE stranger. He tried to end it before I found out but vindictive OW told me as punishment. He is remorseful, sad, disappointed in himself, doing everything to make me feel safe again. He answers every question, listens to me cry, holds me, cries with me, but still, I feel like garbage. Some days I can laugh and smile and see a future, other days find me picking myself up off the ground, yet again. I have no confidence, my self esteem is non-existent.

      He tells me I’m beautiful, amazing, loving, big-hearted. My response is….” I am the same person I was when you cheated.” He says that I have always been amazing, it was him that changed during that time. He tells me that I did nothing wrong, that he was in a dark place, questioning his value, his worth, looking for validation that he was desirable. His pain during these discussions is so obvious, so raw that it hurts me to see it.

      Maybe he has provided the answer. Cheaters cheat because they are broken, they don’t have the strength to deal with particular emotional crises so they turn to others for validation. They are the ones who fell down~~~ not you, not me. We were enough, they weren’t, they failed us.

      But, I love this man, this wonderful father, with all my heart and I’m a believer in second chances. I am willing to do my part to explore what went wrong and help pick up the pieces. I won’t do it indefinitely though, and if this ever happens again, or if I feel that I am not valued or loved enough, I’m out of here.

      I think it’s time for all of us, the loyal spouses, to pick ourselves up and congratulate ourselves for being strong enough to try to forgive.

  46. I have been the one to cheat. It was a horrible and degrading act of selfishness. I am so ashamed of myself and not only to what I’ve done to him but also my family. I really don’t talk to anybody because I feel like an embarrassment. I love my husband with everything in me I just lost that path we were headed down. Wick btw was wonderful. Now I just worry that we won’t ever get there again.

    1. You have to be the one willing to take the necessary steps towards that path again. When you start life’s journey with someone it’s normal to face obstacles, but when you create that obstacle, you have to be the one to take charge and show your husband that you want to reclaim this path and walk the entire way. His vision of this path I’m sure is clouded, but if you love him like you say…you will hold his hand till those clouds move and come through together.

  47. In August, 1 day after my 22nd wedding anniversary I found out my wife had a 4-5 month affair that was very sporadic in nature and they saw each other maybe once monthly.
    I had a gnawing feeling back in the Spring time that things weren’t right because she was looking great, lost weight, going out more with friends but they were divorced friends from work.
    Our sexual activity picked up so didn’t know what to make up it. (actually one of signs she may be cheating).
    Because I thought we had a good marriage I trusted her and never thought she would act on her impulses. Our marriage was like most after 22 years, a bit stale and everything we did was for our 2 teenage boys! –I neglected to stay aware of her emotional needs and never really paid her compliments etc…
    She had tremendous stress with inside her new job and we had parenting arguments where she was a buffer between me and the kids. It was also a mid-life crisis and what our therapist calls the “perfect storm”.
    This guy prayed on her after he met her at the bar and sent text that were all about her
    ( compliments) and little by little these texts led into sexting and somehow she became weak and actually went to his house in the middle of day.
    Get this, her friend she met at bar that night actually gave this guy her phone number so he could start his predator ways ( some friend -huh!)
    4 months later I am still in disbelief but my wife has done everything by the book to save our marriage. ( complete cutoff, very remorseful, full transparency, and complete openness to all records)
    We have actually had the best sex of our lives in the last 3 months and our communication is stronger than ever!
    My issue is me know because I cannot get over the fact she allowed it to happen and my thoughts run rampant at times about her having sex with someone else.

    Additional issue need help with:
    I left voice mails, emails and Facebook messages for the guy the first month, no real threats but scared enough for him to put a Cease & Desist Order on me through an attorney.
    I completely stopped harassing him and it’s been 2 months or more but he has now gone too far.
    As of last week he had the nerve to text my wife again. I told her I suspected he would try to reach out and both my wife and therapist thought otherwise. Once a predator always a predator!
    Now what can I do he puts a Cease & Desist on me and then decides he’s going to try his luck again? What recourse do I have against this bastard?

    Thank God my wife is totally on board with making our marriage has strong as possible. She is utterly ashamed and totally regretful! That is why as soon as the text came into her she called me within 2 minutes.

  48. I am very proud of u and Ur wife. I have cheated and I hold great remorse and regret and fry everything to b transparent to my husband. Thank God I got that second change to a perfect relationship. I just hope the “old” Us. I understand I don’t deserve a second chance but he gave me one and I will always and forever be grateful.

  49. Wish my husband would act like he cared how I feel. He thinks I’m crazy even compared me to his ex. He thinks I shouldn’t freak out. He says it’s the same thing every day. I just found out the just of the affair a week ago. I wish it would go away. I feel like he is sorry but irritated I know if that makes sense. I don’t know what to do anymore.

  50. amy :

    Sorry he made the situation, so he has to be the one to put up with the fallout, if that is for 6 months, 6 years or forever. 1 week is just finding out, 3 years and I still hurt from my wifes affair. You should not have to feel concerned about him being irritated or anything else, he owes you big time, and its his job to regain your trust, etc. If he has any remorse and wants a future with you then he has to realise that the healing of your relationship will be to your timetable not his.

    Hope you all the best and strength.

    Matthew

  51. Thanx! He just told me he can’t do this. He can’t handle my crying or what he calls over analizing him. (I asked why he refuses to touch me or initiate anything) if he can’t stand me then why say he wants to work it out.

  52. amy :

    I really feel for you, thats very hard to deal with. For the over analyzing , thats totally natural as far as I know. You need to know the why and the what and come to terms with things (if you ever can). I still do it daily analyze every conversation, with my wife, all the details of what went on, its not something that is easy to control (if its even possible), its the way we work as people.

    As for the wanting to work it out etc, have you considered marriage counselling. I found it hard, but it is a way of being open with each other.

    Honestly hope it works out for you, and be kind to yourself, you are not at fault.

    Matthew.

  53. It’s only been 2 months since my wife came out and told me she had spent almost her whole summer (april-august) involved in affairs with two separate men. The initial shock was devastating because I never thought in a million years that my wife was even capable of things like that…and we also have 2 small children so I was a little upset that she so carelessly was able to put our family out of her mind. I guess my struggles now deal with the constant bombardment of thoughts and images that flood my mind all day every day and my wife doesn’t seem to understand how much it weighs on me. I know she wants to move forward and leave it in the past but for me I’m desperately trying to do that but I find myself unable to. I feel almost like I’m the one doing all the work sometimes…I will hug her and hold her alot and tell her I love you…I always get I love you too back but it would be nice if I was the one being held for no reason or hugged for no reason other than assurance sometimes. I wish she would understand how I feel…she thinks she does…even says she does but she doesn’t. And honestly sometimes I scare myself the way my moods swing so radically so quickly. I can go from loving mood to ready to kill someone in seconds…and I know it’s not rational but I don’t know how else to feel. The comment made in the article about feeling like I’m watching my rapist walk out laughing is how I feel….these 2 guys get to live life and I can’t even touch them without dealing with jail time or legal charges and because I have 2 kids that’s something I’m not willing to deal with (though sometimes I think it would be well worth it). I just want my wife to put the time, energy and effort into the things she did with these other men into me. I want the wife that used to love me more than anything back…..and I feel like I have a wife that cares for me and is grateful to not be on the street but I don’t feel like I’m loved and cherished above anything and everything else….

    Like I said only been two months but I’m scared all these feelings won’t change much over time I read alot of posts that say you never forget only learn to cope and I just want to move forward….

  54. How about this! I was told by my husband he had “just a little fling” 55 years ago…he told me this 3 weeks after our 60th wedding anniversary! I am still in total shock…printed out the article, gave it to him to read, but he still doesn’t understand how I feel and what I am going thru…he says I should get over it. He keeps saying it was 55 years ago…like that makes it okay…nd that it was only once. He trivializes the whole thing and when I ask for details, he says he can’t remember,but in later conversations seems he conveniently then remembers. I have and still am going thru all the emotions and grief like in your article. I feel totally helpless as I have stage 4 cancer and need his help to do things. I feel trapped now at my age in life and it is unfair. At the time of his “little fling” we had 3 children and I was 3-4 months pregnant then also found out he did not use protection….he could have transmitted diseases to me….very wrong and very selfish. If I was younger and not ill I would get a divorce so fast his head would spin. I have trusted him for 61 years and for what!!!

    We have 6 adult children. Should they be told or not? I want them to know the reason I am so sad and Angry. All you cheaters should not only be ashamed of yourself, but should never be given any forgiveness for your actions or feel loved by your spouse….then maybe you will understand how your FAITHFUL spouse feels and why it is hard to cope with your adultery.

    I will live with this deceitfulness by my husband for the rest of the time I have left. I cannot forgive him…only GOD forgives!

  55. JoAnn, I am so sorry that you are dealing with this! I wonder why, after all these years, did he even bother to tell you. As if you aren’t dealing with enough stress in your life right now.

    I can tell you that in my case my husband (see Under Construction above) made a huge mistake by cheating during a very low period in his life. He walked away from it quickly and had hoped to never tell me, to protect me from that knowledge for the rest of our lives. Knowing my husband as I do, I believe that he intended to do the wrong thing (keep this secret) for what he believed to be the right reasons. Unfortunately, the other woman, who was also married, decided he wasn’t getting away that easy. She found me and told me out of spite. It was devastating.

    There have been moments when I wished that he had been able to keep his secret forever. I could have gone my whole life without knowing, without this devastation. But, for his sake, I’m glad the truth came out because I think that a secret such as this, kept for many years, would have eaten away at him, the guilt would have destroyed him. I can see the toll his actions have taken on him and we are trying to understand it together. I can’t imagine how a man would deal with this in silence for so many years.

    Do you think your husband felt the same way? That he was not proud of his actions and vowed to spend his life making it up to you? Before you knew about the affair how would you have described your marriage? Was he doing the wrong thing for the right reasons…..? Do you think he told you to finally lay his guilt to rest??? Or, does he truly believe that it’s not a big deal because he has had 55 years to become comfortable with failing you? Regardless of his motivations and methods, he has wounded you badly and you have every right to the details. He owes you that and so much more. Demand what you need from him. Let him do everything he possibly can to help you.

    Oh, why couldn’t he just keep quiet if he can’t remember??

    Regarding your adult children, I struggled with telling my 21 and 18 year old but subsequent talks with them made me believe it was the right thing to do. They now understand my frequent emotional changes, they see a couple who love each other and who are willing to fight to save a marriage, and they now understand that the actions of one person can cause so much unintended damage.

    You need to talk to someone. Who knows, maybe one of them already has experience in matters such as these. I hope not, but now that I know how common this is…Ugh, there are many walking wounded out there who suffer silently.

    I probably sound like a fool to some of you…. but I’m always trying to understand these things from both perspectives……constantly trying to make sense of it all.

    I wish you the best JoAnn, hugs, positive thoughts and prayers to you!

  56. When I look at my first comment from November 4, 2014, I see a response full of typos that screamed of blinding pain. I couldn’t see clear while I was typing because tears were streaming down my face, faster than I could wipe them. I read it now and realize that it barely made sense, I was so full of pain and rage and I was lost! I still feel lost at times. I still occassionally play out scenarios of how I could have caught him early enough before this started or before his second hotel visit or maybe before the last one – 5 visits later. I think, if only I had looked at those damn cell phone bills. If only ….. I now know that there was probably nothing I could have done to stop that train wreck. I asked several times if he was involved or having an affair or if something was wrong between the two of us. Every time, the answer was no! He could have stopped after those questions, but he didn’t. I’m almost three months out from my D Day. And, I’m not in as much mental pain as I was in the beginning.

    I discovered his emotional affair (at least that is what I was led to believe) in 2007. We tried online therapy – that didn’t work – in 2007, we tried family/ couples therapy in 2010. And finally in 2011, we found a really good couples therapist; only he held on to this secret of his sexual affair. So, there was always this wall between us, an invisible elephant. In early fall 2013, an old high school boyfriend reached out to me on FB, we quickly started chatting almost instantly. It last for about 3 weeks and I quickly realized that this could be a slippery slope (he was married), my husband became suspicious of me (I wasn’t as clever and sneaky as he was) and I stopped all communication, however, it blew up in my face. We argued terribly. His extreme reaction to 3 weeks of chatting only, put me on high alert. I couldn’t understand his being so irate, considering he had a 6 year “emotional affair”! His response was beyond belief. It opened up a can of worms, which changed the course of our couples therapy. Eventually, we starting exploring the “emotional affair”, something that we never really dealt with. October 11th, he finally admitted that the affair turned sexual during the last 16 months of it.

    Their conversations changed, she became more complementary and flirtatious (She was married as well), she complained about her home life and constantly fed his ego and selfish desires to feel admired, boost his low self esteem and narcissistic tendencies, she made him feel what He couldn’t see for himself or from me. Our relationship was growing distant, most likely because “you can’t maintain 2 relationships effectively” and he didn’t communicate his needs to me or concerns. Nor did I, I stopped because I felt things changed.

    She booked/ rented the hotel room, provided the condom and brought beer. He couldn’t see that she wanted more than he was seeking, mindless, unencumbered real life relationships. They had sex 5 times over 16 months; due to guilt, proximity, work schedules, family, work travel,practicality – that’s how often it happened- 1 time too many! She asked more often and asked him to stay longer, but he declined. She sold him a bunch of lies about herself. I’ve researched her as thorough as Spokeo and several other search/ background sites allow. She lied about her education and life, probably to seem more than she really was. To impress someone who’s own background was rather impressive.

    I’ve cried so many tears, read countless articles, blogs and books, I’ve looked at a ton of videos and I started to see an individual therapist for myself. I’ve finally stopped blaming myself and I stopped looking at my self naked in the mirror weeks ago, wondering what was wrong with me, I no longer go through pictures of myself during that time period in order to scrutinize myself. I’m really not an eye sore. Some research says, men affair down and wonen affair up; in their case it’s true. She wasn’t/ isn’t a hot babe, she’s just a not very attractive, but not ugly (his original description of her was true) miserable cheater that made herself available and was easy going/ phony. She never outwardly pressured him, so he thought that she was awesome and understanding and there only to uplift his selfish and wreck less desires for fan club like admiration. What he didn’t see was a woman that kept asking to meet and not complain when he turned her down for more visits and turned her down for public outings (she asked to go out to dinner or to the show, and he said no – he didn’t want to risk being seen) … she was the ultimate friend with benefits / no pressure. Only, it was pressure without obvious strings.

    We are working through this. I still cry and I still get made as hell at times. He’s finally come to understand that he needs to check in with me and see if I need to talk, getting in front of my vigilance for information and understanding. I know that he suffers from this, I can see it in his eyes and body language, I can hear it in his voice and smell the pain on him. We’ve almost always had a great sex life, so this has made the healing somewhat easier, as we’re more sexual than or as much as we were in our beginning. We just celebrated our 21st anniversary, and it was sad leading up to it as I know that not only didn’t he respect our marriage, he didn’t respect hers and apparently marriage in general.

    I haven’t said the words “I forgive you” yet, I’m not ready. I love him and I know that he loves me, in fact I know that he never stopped loving me, but he didn’t love me enough during that time to not stray. I need for him, to get to the root cause of why he did this for himself, in order to understand why he wouldn’t do it again and what he needs to do to soothe himself when faced with challenges that leave him vulnerable. I do not believe that he would do this again, however, my own individual therapy has helped me tremendously in healing myself of missteps that I have taken (not cheating) but, allowing disrescpectful behavior towards me and not setting proper boundaries for myself and so on. He is getting that help.

    There’s a part of me that still wants her husband to know what she participated in. I still want to ruin her phony ass, and crack her peace. These aren’t the right reasons to do do this I know. But, one day I just might send him a friendly email or note and disclose this secret and close this chapter permanetly. My husband knows that I think about it and has accepted that I might do it.

    This betrayal has changed me, not for the worse and certainly not for the better. It has taught me to listen to myself and learn to take care of myself first. Like the flight attendants tell you regarding oxygen masks “secure yours before you secure your child’s”. I gave up a lot, trying to subconsciously martyr myself into the dutiful wife/ mother; it only left me bitter and he still strayed. Perhaps if I took notice of myself, my vision would have been better. I presented a broken and ignorant is bliss woman to him, instead of an empowered woman that could love herself.

    I think that we can make it, only if he really puts the work in and there’s work for me too.

    Make no mistake, I know that his selfish decision was his alone, he could have made a different one. This is not my fault- no disagreement that we had led him to that destructive life. He risked so much and almost risked everything for immaturity and lust. There is still a risk of losing, our journey to reconciliation is still in progress.

    I no feel like having a revenge affair, I gave it great consideration. But, I do not want the title of cheater attached to me. I would never disrespect another married woman and I would not offer myself to any man as a married woman other than my husband. I respect myself and innocent people far more than those two ever did or would considering the circumstances.

  57. My husband sent this article to me and it has provided alot of insight as to how he might be feeling. We separated for 8 months after my infidelity. He began seeing someone else and I accepted that our marriage was over and then one day, he called to “talk”. I was ecstatic. I still love my husband. For me, I cheated because I wasn’t getting the emotional support I needed from my husband. It seemed we rarely communicated and I didn’t feel valued, appreciated or loved by him. I know it must seem like I’m making excuses but I’m only trying to provide some insight. The man I cheated on my husband with was an old college boyfriend and we reconnected on facebook. I made the mistake of confiding in him my feelings of insecurity and lack of feeling desired by my husband. He said all the right things and made me feel things I hadn’t in a long time. I realized afterwards, that my confiding in him was my first act of betrayal.
    My husband and I have been back together for 3 years January 1, 2015 …. it has been a long 3 years. We have been to counseling and while I feel it was helping, we stopped going though I don’t know why. I have been transparent with all of my activity including when I arrive at work, when I leave work, if I’m stopping at the store on the way home, etc. I was beginning to feel hopeless until I read this article. Hopeless because I didn’t understand why he was still lashing out at me. Everytime he lashed out or experienced a “trigger” (which I understand better now) it took me back to “that girl” and I don’t like her at all … she disgusts me. But now I realize that I am being selfish. I DO want our marriage to work more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.
    The article stated, however, that the betrayed spouse should be allowed to confide in whomever they choose and I’m wondering if that would include the woman he developed a relationship with while we were separated? Should I be okay with him maintaining a relationship with her?

    1. Glad to hear things are getting there….very short answer to your question P. No. He should not be confiding in this other woman. When the two of you got back together that was a decision he made on his own and involving another woman insight into his deepest feelings is only setting himself up for failure. AS I said earlier my wife sexually cheated on me over a 5 month period with 2 separate men and emotionally with a 3rd and her reason was exactly what you said. She said she didn’t feel valued….i still don’t understand it all how not being valued leads to that but I’m trying to. In my mind it would have been easier to ask for a divorce than cause the pain of betrayal to me and our small children. But to answer your question no. As a man and husband who’s been cheated on i would never confide in another female because it’s only setting the stage to fail. He should in my opinion only be confiding in men….any man he chooses but only men. I would be surprised if anyone (even cheated on spouses like myself) feel differently.

  58. I feel exactly like you do! My husband also had an affair and I found out 2 months ago. Reading your post was like reading what I feel. Not sure how we get over this, but know im praying for you as well!

  59. King of hearts,

    I am in the same boat that you described. I feel that my wife’s number one priority at the moment is making sure her good name stays a good name. I have a few good men I Confided in but even her closest friends only know about 10 percent of the story because shes afraid if they find out all 100% of what she did they will not want to be her friend anymore. Even her closest friends still think it was only 1 guy and it only happened 1 time when in fact it was 3 guys, pictures sent, and 4 times the sexual act itself. My question is to myself am I doing more longterm damage to my marriage by “protecting” my wife then the short fallout that would ensue if word got out? I think the biggest reason she doesn’t seem to fully understand me or fully understand the consequences of what she did is because she hasn’t faced any. She got a moody husband….big deal! Most woman lose their home, kids, family, good name, friends and their whole life…. my family doesn’t know, her family doesn’t know, her friends don’t know, and I chose to work it out so what consequences has she had? I logged into her instagram account and saw she’s still following the sister of the guy she slept with! And still has cleavage bearing pictures up that the guy she was sending naked ones too had liked! In my opinion if there was real remorse the first thing you do is clean out your account and clean out all the junk that you were doing and not leave it up there for everybody to see and definitely not be still following the sister of the guy you slept with (which she has plainly stated she sees nothing wrong with). and even when I still bring up Facebook (which she deactivated) she says i know u need it gone for now but i hope its not too long! If i want it gone for good it shouldnt even be a question after what she put our family through! I feel like she should be so thankful i didnt kick her out and divorce her that nothing else should matter especially facebook! so that’s my question am i doing more damage by keeping it quiet to my marriage then if I just let people know what happened?

    1. Brandon and King of Hearts, I can tell you this; the embarrassment that you think you’re saving your wife from is really about you. Yes, I wanted to save my husband from embarrassment by not standing on the mountain top and yelling out what he had done, but to embarrass him was to embarrass ME! I didn’t/ don’t want to look like a fool. I didn’t/ don’t want to be the person who couldn’t hold her spouses attention in a public forum. I didn’t want to be the one acknowledged that wasn’t enough. I never confided in friends and family of our problems or my suspicions because it would lay bare who I really was: a gullible, non observant, easily fooled, poor me idiot wife/spouse. I still struggle with telling the husband of the woman, because somehow I want to protect the one person who thought little of protecting me and my trust, feelings, emotions, love and devotion. I tell myself it’s to protect our teenage kids, but I recently found out that they knew we had marital problems and our discussions/ arguments weren’t so quiet as we thought. I agree, I detest knowing that my husband looks like the hardworking, pleasure denying, faithful, misunderstood and under appreciated spouse. Mean while I looked like the crazy/ obnoxious/ neurotic mom to my children and indifferent or not attentive enough wife to family and friends possibly.

      As far as FB goes, in cases of past infidelities, passwords should be shared. My husband deleted his (he barely used it and it wasn’t his form of communication anyway – his affair partner was a co-worker, so proximity wasn’t an issue); because I raised the issue of the unfairness of his secret and my occasional irrational need to have a revenge affair idea, I gave him my FB password. Transparency is key in trusting again and staying in a trusting marriage.

  60. I’m not too concerned about myself personally I know I was a good husband I have always supported by like the best liability and my family and I know both our families with same way because they’re both always telling me that they appreciate the hard work they do for the family. as far as the other guys I called them both out spoke with both of them probably not the nicest words I could have used but they both know where I stand and they both know that I know and that if they ever come near me or my family again I will literally put them in the hospital. my main concern is for my wife I feel like she doesn’t want to talk about it because she wants it to go away and I feel like the more she tries to dumb down what happened to her friends and other people the more she will start to believe herself that it wasn’t that big of a deal. she knows what a bad husband is her sister has one he beats her doesn’t help with the child support doesn’t help pay for the kids and doesn’t help pay any bills and her own best friend had a guy who got her pregnant and walked out on her so she knows what a horrible guy is and she knows I’m not that because I’ve always giving my best for my family. I love my wife more than anything I’m just worried about this continuing on years down the road and it possibly happen again if she happens to convince herself that it really wasn’t that big of a deal or if she convinces her self that things could have been different if she would have Done this instead or that instead. I really worried that my wife is not taking things as seriously as She should be.

  61. Matthew,

    Yes. My wife lime I said deactivated her facebook. I don’t have any social memberships at all because I hate them I always felt they led to things like this and here we are. I guess I will have to wait and gauge how keeping quiet does. Right now I’m feeling frustrated but maybe in time it will help. Hardest thing for me is all 3 guys that my wife was involved with I know personally. One is a member of our church, the other her (and no used to be mine) tattoo artist who works literally right down the road…and an an ex bf of her friend whom I knew because they hung out on occasion and I thibk even attended our wedding together. So for me it’s personal I know these people I know where they are I know where they work and in instance of the church guy I see him every week. Tattoo guy I pass the shop frequently so that just adds to it. It’s really hard not to just lose it and go seek vengeful justice. And I’m even mad at her best friend cause my wife told her 2 weeks before she slept with tattoo guy that she was going to do it and no one stopped her! What kind of friend does that? Especially when you know two young kids are in the mix and your best friend is wrecking her future for a cheap fling! I don’t get it.
    Hoping things will get easier but right now my mood swings and temperament is quite irrational and I’m trying to get it under control but the smallest thing will set it off and start the images and thoughts flying. Our counselor said that she shouldn’t tell me the details of what happened because it’s not important and would only torture me but the images that play in my head are 10x worse cause I don’t know what exactly happened except she slept with em in a bedroom and backseat of her car. I know oral was involved cause ive picked up on hints but don’t dare ask about it cause I feel like it would tare me apart. But not knowing sometimes seems worse…

  62. Brandon,

    Oh man I feel for you, the close proximity and knowing these guys must be torture. With my wife the guys were total strangers so I have no idea where two of them are but the one she met up with I have a good idea where he is from, and have no idea if I could contain my anger if we met. So dude stay strong, you have much respect from me.

    As for the counsellor, I didn’t have much luck with mine, but it’s good you seeking help as a couple. That’s a positive thing. Not sure how much detail is good or bad, think it’s a personal thing. In my case I feel I know too much, which is why I’m probably not able to forgive yet, or ever.

    Matthew

  63. Matthew,

    Just remember that forgiving and forgetting are two different things. I can’t forget what my wife did and the hard and sad truth is I never will. But I do forgive her for what she did. I don’t see the same wife I used to when I look at her. I used to see an a wife that was beautiful and put up with me not understanding her completely and a wife that swore up and down she was and forever would be faithful. Now I see a woman that’s still beautiful but instead of being proud that I have a beautiful wife like I used to I’m now scared to death that I have a beautiful wife that other men find attractive. My pride in my wife has been replaced with fear. I still love her but sometimes I look at her and think “wow she’s beautiful” followed immediately by feelings of anger that other men have gotten to experience my wife’s beauty in all its fullness.
    I’m still battling images and such and expect from what I read I will for quite awhile. Even when we are intimate as much as I enjoy it I have constant images flooding my mind with her involved with the other men and it’s hard to fully engage the way I want to so badly.
    All that said I forgive my wife. I think in small part I made that choice when I said I’d work it out with her though that’s only the first step in forgivness. I have since looked at things and made the choice that even though I’m in more pain than she’ll ever comprehend that I still love my wife and will still stand by her. I told her that I made a promise at the alter to love her better or worse and intend to keep that promise however if things happen again that grace will not extend as I have not only my own pain and life to worry about but 2 young children’s lives as well.
    You’ll never forget. You’ll probably never trust like you used to. I used to trust my wife with anything and now I don’t trust her as far as I could throw her and expect I never will trust her as completely as I once did. I used to be proud of her and now I’m almost scared of her and what she could do to me. But I do forgive her. Don’t let other emotions and fears take away your forgiveness. You can still forgive and make steps forward and have all those feelings because it’s only natural consequences and feelings that come with betrayal. Hope you continue strong as well bud.

  64. Brandon – Thank you for your response, I appreciate your insight. I have been reading your responses to others and you are helping me to understand more of what my husband might be feeling. Unfortunately, he’s never been a big communicator (which has always been a source of contention for me) and that has gotten worse but that’s to be expected I guess. I will be praying for you and your wife.

  65. I feel exactly the same way about my husband. I have always been proud of him, proud for others to know him and I always loved when others saw what an amazing man he was. I looked up to him, felt safe with him, relied on his values and strength of character. He was everything I thought a strong man was supposed to be. Honorable.

    …until he tripped and fell. At times I honestly still can’t believe he did it. Granted it didn’t take long for him to realize the horror of it but what’s the difference if it’s a few weeks or a few months? The damage is done.

    I know he’s still a good man in many ways but when I look at him, when he holds me, tells me he loves me, I don’t know what to do. I believe he loves me, I can feel it. In fact he expresses his love better now and we talk about everything. His remorse is obvious but while I love this man, I am afraid of him. Everything is good now but what if he changes into that man again, that horrible selfish stranger who entered our lives long enough to ruin everything?

    It’s sad that the person I trusted most in my whole life is the person who has hurt me the most. He says he’s going to protect me….. from what? I honestly don’t think anyone presents more of a danger to me. My heart and my sanity are shattered. Who could hurt me more than that?

    Though I have forgiven him, I will never forget what he did. I now know that no man is worthy of the trust I placed in him for close to 30 years. Everyone, anyone can fall down, anyone can screw up. Now, in my mind, every man I see is suspect. I know it’s wrong because some of you don’t cheat but the majority apparently do.

    Can I just say that this whole situation really sucks? I want a do-over! I want our life back….but, here’s to second chances.

  66. Thanks P,

    Surprisingly I was never a great communicator either it’s something I’ve been learning to do better. In fact it’s one of the major things that drove my wife to do what she did. She said that she felt I had given up and didn’t care anymore because I didn’t communicate things the way I should have been. For me I was busy with work and the stress of providing for a family with a lousy job. Also growing up what was impressed to me was that a husband’s most important job is being loyal, faithful and providing for the family. No one ever told me how important women view communication so I guess I thought in my mind I was doing what I should have been doing but in reality I wasnt. I’m not saying that gave my wife the right to cheat, no one deserves what she did done to them but in her mind it made her feel justified I guess. But maybe your husband may feel the same way I do. I know now i could have communicated better but at the time i honestly thought i was doing everything i could have been doing because thats what i was taught was important. And that is wherr alot of anger came from…i felt i gave everything i knew how to give and it wasnt enough….i wasnt enough. So it creates the fear in me that what happens if I have a bad week and forget to communicate with my wife? What happens if I give all I can now and it’s still not enough to keep my wife happy? What happens if some guy says all the right things to her on a week when I lost my temper and said the wrong things?….it’s a constant fear now that things will repeat and happen again.
    So now I’m learning to talk more and communicate how I feel or at least try. Hopefully your husband can do the same and I wish you the best. It’s not easy. Sometimes I’d rather just shut down and sleep it off cause its so much easier (and sometimes I do) but I look at where that got me in the past and I guess the worst that can happen is I give my wife everything she wants and still wind up hurt….at least I’ll know I did absolutely everything I could. I’m not hoping for that…God willing we make it through and it gets easier but it definitely is a hard road and one that sucks

  67. Jen,

    I much agree with everyone else. As the cheated on spouse I can say that what your husband is doing is beyond any rational way of thinking. True repentance puts distance as far as possible, cuts all ties and works to restore what was lost. It seems your husband was sorry he got caught but never went through true remorse or repentance. If my wife was still insisting on being able to talk to the guys she was with she and all her belongings would be at the curb in an instant. It’s not tolerable by any means whataoever

  68. well yesterday I did something I thought I would never do again and I’m proud of myself for doing it… I cleaned out my wife’s car for her. She doesn’t like doing it and with 2 kids it gets messy pretty fast. Cleaning out the car doesn’t seem like a big deal but when my wife told me that one of her affairs happened in the backseat of her car I swore I’d never do it again. I cleaned her car for her many times over the summer and felt like basically I was cleaning her car to just give her and her affair partner more room to play which sucked so I swore I’d never do it again. Now she’s pregnant (with my kid thank goodness) and not feeling well so I did it…it sucked. Constant flashes while I was cleaning backseat of what happened back there especially when I was vacuuming and the car started rocking a little bit….but I did it. Sometimes I guess we just gotta face our fears or well never get past them. Here’s to a new year and hopefully new healing I desperately need….

  69. I read this and I want to throw myself out a window. Let me tell you what following this article does forever and ever amen. It turns you into a shell of yourself, a weak insecure and guilt ridden fool. Affairs are not good. But the fact that you or the other had one means something is a miss. A miss that both parties need to accept and take responsibility for. True… there should be apologies… there should more work on the cheating party then the other… but if you live life on broken glass… so becomes your life. Shattered, frail, broken, and for all to see for ever and ever.

    Wake up. Pick yourself up. Take responsibility. Clean up your act. Look your partner in the eye and tell them you were wrong. When they come too… and they will if they also truly mean what they say. Tell them you love them and explain that there is a break. A break in you that you both must see and realize if this is going to move forward.

    The cheater broke trust among other things. I get it. I am one. But my spouse is also responsible for breaks in this relationship. Emotional abuse, financial affairs, and lack of effort. I fell in love with a person that I expected to see and believe each day. That person did not show up as much as they wanted to preach they were there. Belittling your every move or thought… spending like a tornado of financial ruin… and lacking simple efforts that after years of having opportunities watching them float by. I loved my spouse. But I did not like her. I cared for my family. But giving every second with no sign of return is just as painful.

    Some may read this and say “selfish asshole”. Okay. Fine. Other may read this and say “preach on”. Okay. Fine. The fact is. Marriage is a two way street… not a one way alley way. It requires 50/50 efforts. Life is not always simple. Life is complicated and the things you need in life can sometimes be found elsewhere. Not that it’s right. But it’s the truth.

    Spouses… women and men alike. Don’t ignore your partners. Listen first… talk second. Respond… don’t react. Take time to understand your partners words and intentions. Don’t point fingers because in a marriage that person you are pointing and blaming is a reflection of the choice you may to say “I do”.

    Don’t get lazy after your married for a year or two. And think nothing can get in your way. Find a new happy place each year. Recenter your relationship. Find new things to interest you. Don’t belittle friends and family members. Those people are important to your spouse. But most importantly. If someone cheats. If you chose to work through it. Remember… pain is real… for all people involved. If you can’t bring yourself to forgive. Dont…. jump out and let it be. If you are a forgiving person and you can stI’ll find light. Seek help to get through this. Take time to self reflect and don’t hold your partner in contempt. That will fail.

    Marriages can be broken and repaired. It takes work. I still wonder what I am doing four years post affair. I am still slayed daily about it. Reminded about it. Accused about it. I have guilt. That I have to look at and face each day… but never… ever…. will it be forever and ever amen. No freaking way. Life is to short.

    1. Dear Anger,

      Let me begin by acknowledging your sad name! Perhaps the two of you need therapy and individual therapy. You listed a litany of your spouses transgressions, but only said I cheated. You cheated because you wanted to, your spouse didn’t make you. You need to take the responsibility of it. Why you cheated needs to get explored on a personal level. Her spending carelessly needs to be explored as well.

      Marriage is never 50/50; sometimes one gives more than the other. Sometimes it’s 20/80, 35/65 and so on. Business partnerships are never so even. 4 years out and you’re still suffering, so is your spouse. If I may be so forward and assume that you have not expressed to your spouse exactly why you selfishly chose the easy way out and had mindless sex/ temporarily pleasure with a fantasy life? Have you explored your self control and commitment phobic issues, perhaps even self esteem challenges (even exceptionally accomplished people can lack self esteem). Were you aware of the financial intrusions during the affair and looked the other way while you were having your affair, and now that it’s over, you’re focused on just those and not your short comings. Affairs: emotional/ sexual are one of the biggest and most devastating betrays that a marriage can experience. The lies and deceit and tearing up of the trust can be impossible to repair sometimes. No doubt, financial irregularities can be devastating, but were you not watching/ looking over your financial affairs because you were too engrossed in your secret relationship?

      Yes, personal responsibility! Get some by seeking out help to understand yourself and your spouse instead of trashing others who use this forum/ blog as a way to share/ discuss/ heal and learn. Brandon taught me the importance of forgiveness. Since I’ve given it recently, my anger has diminished and I can talk more rationally about healing/ understanding and reasons why. It takes two people to make a marriage work (two willing people – regardless of the percentages of involvement at the moment) and two people to ruin it; often one person can seek out a second person and break down an already fragile relationship. Fragile doesn’t mean it’s over, it means that it needs delicate nurturing.

      Good luck to you and your wife. Clearly you’re angry and sadly you still need hard work to repair the relationship,however, it sounds like you prefer to stay bitter and not find healing/ forgiveness/ understanding and renewal.

      Peace, blessing and good luck to you both!

    2. You may feel this way and this explanation may apply to you and your relationship, but that does not mean everyone else’s situations are deserved or because they were lazy in the relationship.

  70. Anger,

    I read your post and wanted to comment on it. All I would ask is that you have the same respect to read what I have to say in full as I had to read yours.
    From your post I gathered that you were the spouse who wandered. My wife was also the one who wandered. 4 sexual affairs and 1 emotional affair with 3 separate men later and here I am dealing with the aftermath. I’m not sure if kids were involved in your situation but they were in mine and now my wife’s pregnant again which makes it even harder.
    You mentioned that your idea of marriage is a 50/50 give on both parts to make a relationship work. Many people hold this belief but I do not. Marriage is a 100% give on your part that has nothing to do with your wife. That’s the decision we make (and sometimes seems an unfair one) when we choose to get married. Christ commanded men to love their wives as he loved the church and the truth is…the church has been everything but faithful, respectful and giving to Christ but he still gave his all for it. It was not a 50/50 relationship. Wives are also commanded to respect their husbands so don’t think they get off free either. Respecting your husband means staying faithful, being there to defend him when he needs you and loving through all and everything.
    If my wife disrespect me am I absolved from my commitment to love her? The answer is no. I made a commitment to love and cherish her through better or worse. The ONLY exception from this rule given by God is infidelity. If one spouse cheats the other spouse is absolved of their vow and has the right to say they can’t provide a 100% commitment any longer and seek a divorce. Short of infidelity a 100% commitment on your part (even mine though I’m the one who was cheated on) is required and commanded. Anything short of that is convincing yourself the vows you made at the alter were conditional…and they werent.
    I know how you feel. I’ve experienced the nagging, the fighting, the disrespect and sometimes full hatred. When my wife was cheating on me she would literally burn a hole in my head if she stared at me too long…her disdain for me was that noticeable. But that didn’t give me the right to have an affair or seek love somewhere else and in all honesty I thought she felt the same way but obviously not. We had a rough period and instead of giving 100% my wife checked out. I’m not saying I was giving 100% either because I wasnt. I was angry that my wife hated me. Confused why she was always yelling and flipping out at me. Confused why I was working all day then picking up kids and making dinner and putting them to bed while waiting until 11 or 12 am for her to get home. So you can imagine my attitude and loving lacked a little bit…having said that it in no way is an excuse.for my wife to do what she did. Plainly put she wrecked my life and now I’m trying to piece it together. But I wasn’t giving her 100% and I accept that. She obviously was giving me next to nothing.
    If you gave 100% most of your issues would work themselves out it seems. Try it and see. Give your wife 100% regardless for a month and see if things improve. If they don’t then at least you walk knowing you did all you could. But you need to understand how your wife feels….she probably feels alot like me. She was hurting at the same time you were hurting. Hurting because she wasn’t getting 100% of you and you were hurting cause you weren’t getting 100% of her. But she didn’t use that to convince herself to cheat she stayed faithful. Even if her attitude wasn’t the best she was at least faithful. That’s how I feel. I was angry and confused and hurt just like my wife but I didn’t even think of cheating because I loved her to death….but she used that to allow herself to think it was ok to cheat and find what she wanted somewhere else. She was wrong. She messed up. And it still hurts me to this minute of this day that she could be so selfish when I made in my mind to try to love her despite what I felt when she looked at me….your wife prolly feels like that a little bit.
    Hope you read all that. Hope you can open your eyes to see the other perspective. I’m not saying your an asshole like you mentioned in your post. I’m just simply saying that there’s room to improve your way of thinking and I hope you allow it to happen. I hope moving forward you and your wife can both give 100% to each other and satisfy what the other is craving so badly….

  71. The very first time I found this page, I had woke up in the middle of the night, with thoughts that haunt me daily…me and my wife had been together for what I thought had been a pretty good while for our ages and I thought we were in the cruise mode in our lives together. We had been together 7 going on 8 years, in what seemed to be a good loving relationship. Then I find out that she is having sexual affairs on me, with a guy I thought was a really good friend of mine. And if it wasn’t bad enough, it was at our work place(we worked together) even on the days that we worked together, and then she faced me after these episodes like nothing ever happened. I dont understand how anyone could be that cold hearted…. Then when I do find out, she tells me she felt bad after every time that it happened, but she done it again anyways…how does that work? Anyways we are still together(I found out may 2013), and I do love her still, I’m just really struggling with forgiveness, confusion, and a deeply broken heart.

  72. Alright. I’ve posted a few times and I guess I’m looking for insight on an issue I’m dealing with because of my wife’s infidelity. I’ll try not to make it too long but I’m looking for insight as to why my wife can feel this way because I’m not understanding it and it’s frustrating us both. So here’s the facts:

    Before we were married I struggled with pornography. I got involved at a young age and continued to use it to “pick myself up” on a bad day or whatever other reason and eventually it became an addiction.
    We got married and I never discussed the issue with my wife. Tried to stop on many occasions even going weeks or months without anything and then sadly failing again. Finally my wife caught on and there were two or three times that it happened after her knowledge of my addiction buy eventually through counseling and wanting to be a better husband to her I was able to break free and have been free since.

    Enter my world. I did everything I could to get free myself and I didn’t want to be like that but I didn’t know how to stop. Eventually I worked through things and thought wow I’m free our marriage can get better….but it only continued going downhill. My wife resented me and could tell how she looked at me and talked to me she didn’t feel love for me any longer. Then she told me about her sexual and emotional affairs with 3 seperate men all summer long.

    Here’s the issue I have. She keeps telling me she knows how I feel because looking at porn was just as damaging to her. While I acknowledge that it was damaging (it would have made me feel like crap if my wife was looking at other guys) I think that the act of actually going out and sleeping with someone else is more damaging….I keep saying you don’t know how I feel it’s different and we both end up yelling at each other because she thinks I’m diminishing the pain I caused her and I think she trying to compare looking at someone with desire to actually physically sleeping with them. To me they are completely and utterly seperate. To her they are the same.
    In my mind if my wife walked in on me with another physical naked woman in our bed shed be a little more upset than she would if she walked in on me on a computer watching a video. To me that makes sense but to her she says it’s the same. How can the pain i feel from het physically sleeping with 2 people (multiple times) and sending naked images to a 3rd after 4 years of marriage and two children later, especially knowing all I did to change into the man she needed me to be be compared to the pain i cause her from watching porn? Like I said I’m not trying to get off free. I know I damaged my wife. I know I wasn’t right. I know I did damage to our marriage. But even at my worst I never would have physically been with another woman…I just wouldn’t have been able to do it thinking about my two kids and my wife whom I loved enough to continue trying to break free.
    I don’t understand how my wife can still keep saying she knows how I feel…how can she? I wasn’t out sleeping with women while she was home taking care of the kids. I wasnt out sleeping with other women while she was paying all the bills I was totalling up from clothes and lingerie. Or made her clean out my car and then turned around and had sex in the back of it right after she cleaned it out for me…how can the two be compared? I feel mine more of a saw something let it get to far and couldn’t say no to something I had become addicted to and hers rather more planned out and thought out and took time and work to pull off and accomplish. I mean she had to make sure the kids were being watched, had to make sure she didn’t smell funny when she came home, had to make sure she cleaned out her car, had to make sure she made an alibi as to who she was with and where she was going…basically alot of work. It wasn’t a caught up in the moment decision.

    So….can somone please help me see my wife’s point of view? I’m so tired of fighting over this but I feel so degraded and cheapened when she compares the two issues….

    1. I think I understand your wife she feels betrayed I have the same issue my husband has Aspergers so is prone to obsessive behaviour but sadly it’s sex and I’ve caught him out so many times we’ve actuflly emigrated with promises of change but who knows??
      When a woman sees that her man has been looking and talking to another woman sexually it’s betrayal there’s no way it isn’t… My husbands been on again sites I thought I was gonna end up with some Chinese girl on my doorstep saying he’d promised to marry her lol unreal … Thank god they didn’t but I’ve ended up stalking him he’s had an affair at work for a year I knew but tried to live through it he’s had Facebook affair and I contacted her to add she was vile but then what decent person would send pictures etc I don’t know what’s the matter with people today sadly men get off on visual sexual images and woman don’t so if she Cheated it’s because in her mind she feels you betrayed her … Sad but true relationships are difficult and we all get bored and need excitement but it only ever leads to heartbreak doesn’t it …. Good luck

    2. Brandon,
      I’m sorry…maybe biased because I am a guy, but there is no way watching something on a computer is equal to a spouse actually sleeping with another person. There are no triggers or flashbacks for her to deal with while cleaning out a vehicle. This is her attempting to minimize the fault.

  73. Brandon:

    Last April my husband announced he wasn’t happy and was moving out. Just like that, after 26 years. He seemed lost, confused, depressed. After several discussions he decided to stay though he never explained what was going on. I chalked it up to midlife…..

    One month later I found charges for pornography sites on our credit card statement. I explained that it was very hurtful to me. I explained that it made me feel that I’m not young enough, not pretty enough, not sexy enough. Honestly, it stripped away my self confidence and made me shy about wanting to have sex with him because I’m almost 50 and just average. Keep in mind that I had just (over the post several months) lost 15 pounds and looked pretty good. But all of that confidence was lost in an instant. It’s confusing that your husband needs porn when you are right there ready and willing to be loved by him. Anyway, he apologized and said it would stop.

    Fast forward to August. He cheated on me with an internet stranger. When all the details came out, he said it was a freefall into hell from when he started watching porn to when he ultimately cheated. So, maybe your wife believes that porn is the precursor to cheating……It was for my husband.

    Having said that, porn is nowhere near as bad as cheating on your spouse, it is destructive and damaging. It hurts. But, if he had stopped at porn we would be ok. And, I wouldn’t be stuck trying to make sense of this nightmare. Porn doesn’t require an STD check, and porn doesn’t result in a pregnant other woman.

    I believe your wife just wants to make you feel that they are the same to make all things equal and absolve her guilt.

  74. If only it was this easy …I’ve been both sides and this time my husband was the adulterer he’s never admitted it too much to loose but I can’t move on we’ve even moved to another country but I know it’s over just a matter of time till I’m strong enough to walk away from a man I thought really loved me.
    There’s no help no cure just reality that you were thought so little of and not respected so the only outcome for me is to plan my escape to find my self esteem again and to rebuild my life

  75. Brandon, my husband used pirn before we were married and he started at a young age. His father often bought magazines for him. Actually his porn use increased after we were married. I think because while we were dating he lived with his parents and after we married he had more freedom to view it in his own private dwellings. I found out about the porn about a year after we married. I never confronted him about it and consequently, he used it over the last 20 years off and on. It took over ten years for me to say done thing about it. I never was ok with it, bit I tried to passively aggressive accept it. Just before our 12th anniversary he started a sexual affair with a co-worker, it lasted 16 months and they had sec 5 times. He was involved in an emotional affair with her for a total of 6 years.

    All they being said. Viewing porn is not the same as having a physical sexual affair. Your wife us trying to excuse her behavior. She needs to explore with a therapist why she engaged in such behavior and you both would be helped by couples therapy. My husband and I are trying to heal, I’ve firgiven him, however, I still struggle with the details and wake up often thinking how could this have happened?

    You’re a good man, please don’t let her guilt you into feeling that your viewing porn, drove her into those affairs and behaviors. Affairs happen for far more complicated reasons than that!

  76. Thanks for the responses. To ella thanks for your perspective. I never really held an emotional affair or any affair of any sort. My issues with pornography were strictly visual and free (videos, etc) and never progressed towards chat rooms or paid websites or anything of that nature. I do acknowledge that my wife seems to have the same feelings to some degree in that I know what I was watching hurt her and damaged her self image and for that I’ll forever be sorry. But I never moved towards being with another physical woman. I never “satisfied” myself with someone else or anything like that. I feel tthat on some degree the issues differ because I feel that having an affair is taking those sinful thoughts and things that you have in your mind to the extreme and instead of keeping them in your mind (which is still a sin) you choose to act on it physically. I think my wife could much easier recover from walking in the living room and seeing me watching an inapropriate movie then she could walking in the living room and seeing me on the couch having sex with another woman. The one scenario just seems logically more damaging to me. But I’m a guy and I don’t claim to know how women feel about things I suppose. As the other poster said pornography as sinful as it is does not ruin spousal lives with diseases or break a family apart because of a pregnancy from another man/woman and does not bring the same things to the table as actually having sex with someone does. 3 of my wife’s sexual affairs were without any protection at all. Over the summer I found pregnancy tests in our bathroom and asked her about them recently and she admitted that she had thought her affair partner may have gotten her pregnant (he didnt). Do you know how much that hurt? To know my wife was having unprotected sex with other other men and thought one of them had gotten her pregnant after we have been raising two beautiful kids together for 4 years? The pain i felt from that was almost unbearable. She has since been tested for std (she says) and it came back clean but I still have to go and get myself tested just for assurance….those things don’t come from pornography and I think that’s where my wife’s opinion and my opinion vary.
    To cmb, I don’t think my wife is using my past as an excuse for what she did, but I do think she’s trying to diminish or cheapen what she did to something less horrific. Plainly put she offered her body to another man…and even considered having a child with him by not using protection (even if it wasn’t her full intent). How does that compare to watching a video? I don’t see it but I will keep trying to be there for my wife and just hope some day she sees it from my perspective…..

  77. I just discovered that my husband is still occassionally viewing explicit images/ videos and looking into sites got help about loving your wife but finfing yourself sexually attracted to others and having urges. I found out in 2007, that my husband had an emotional affair with a co-worker for 6 years; it wax off and in as he worked at the company left and came back and left again it was literally 2 years there, 2 years not there and 2 years back. At the beginning and when he didn’t work there it was sporadic conversations – mostly phone calls. The woman was married. In October of 2014, he confessed that that last 16 months of the relationship, it turned sexual – 5 times.

    My questions is: I’m starting not to believe him again. I’m thinking there was more. It is possible that it wasn’t often, as he traveled a lot for work (he was an executive there and she was a receptionist) and logistically getting together was difficult – she had small children. I’m thinking about contacting her and asking her about the details of the affair and letting her know that I intend to inform her husband. Should I? I realize that the sexual component of the affsir end and started 8-10 years ago, but I’m pissed, because he concealed this for so long and when I asked several times while I suspected and when I discovered there was some sort of relationship and after I discovered, he was adamant that nothing happened to, yes and it was 5 times. Has this ship sailed? Am I being a fool? Am I letting her know she’s in my head? Am I being to sensitive? Am I nuts!

  78. Cmb,

    I am sorry that it seems your very distressed. It was hard for me to make out the full concept of what you were saying happened. Your husband had a 2 year long affair that was sexual 5 times it seemed?and you just now found out that he is still involved in pornography? Or still with the woman? I wasn’t sure exactly so I’m sorry. If you could clarify it would definitely help in answering your questions from another perspective…

  79. Brandon Thanks.

    I just re read what I wrote and yes I was very emotional, as evidenced by the typo’s.

    I just discovered that my husband is still viewing explicit websites, he’s also looking at websites that give advice about loving your wife but still feeling sexually attracted to other women; it’s a self help advice site , meant to help.

    It’s making me believe that he hasn’t been completely truthful about his affair. Last October 2014, he disclosed that his “emotional ” affair, was actually sexual. They spent 6 years talking and occassionally working at the same company, however, the last 18 months or so, it turned sexual. They had sex 5 times, the married woman supposedly rented and paid for the hotel rooms. I’m so pissed because , pieces to this puzzle keep coming up. I discovered the affair in 2007 and he swore that it was never sexual and foolishly I believed him and never spoke to the woman. In 2012, she contacted him and I found out. We’ve quarreled about it off and on and finally he told the truth 3 months ago.

    I really want to speak to her and tell her husband; I’m sure he doesn’t have a clue. Should I call her to verify my husbands details and let her husband know.

    Also, simultaneously while he carried on the emotional/ sexual affair with this woman, he was also keeping another relationship secret with another married woman. That one remained non sexual, as she was having a sexual affair with someone else. I did speak to her because I knew her in passing.

    Btw, what the heck is wrong with people. Why are so many people unfaithful????

  80. Cmb,

    Sorry to hear about your ordeal sounds like it sucks. Like you, I found out in pieces. It started with my wife telling me she had slept with an ex boyfriend twice over the summer and swore that was all that happened. We were already seeing a counselor because “I had issues communicating” (go figure) but on our next session 3 days later she told me in the office that she had also slept with her tattoo artist once and again swore that was the end. About 4 days later she admitted to sleeping with the ex boyfriend a third time and had innocently flirted with another guy in our church. Two months later she finally came out and admitted the innocent flirting had been sending explicit pictures back and forth…so ya. Over a period of 2 months I kept getting hammered one blow after the other. I know that in my wife’s mind she was trying to protect me from the hurt by unloading at different times but it hurt more to keep hitting ground zero every single week instead of just knowing the whole story from the beginning. It seems maybe that was the situation with your husband. Maybe in his mind he was trying to lighten the blow for you but in reality wound up making it worse. For me not only did it suck to keep finding out more…it made my trust in my wife all that more fragile because she kept swearing that she had said everything only to find out there was more a week later….

    As for contacting the woman’s husband….here’s my suggestion because I did what your thinking and lost it. The tattoo artist that my wife slept with had a girlfriend for the past 6 years so I decided I was going to let her know what happened and I did. Problem was…I lost control of my emotions and wound up going after the guy. I thought I could handle talking about it calmly but once I started it swung so emotions wide open I lost control. So here’s my advice.
    Yes the husband of that woman deserves to know. You are not creating a problem your husband created it not you. You are simply letting out the truth to those who deserve to know. BUT…and I can’t stress this enough…you need to pray and make sure you are in a place where you can handle it. I was not. Letting her husband know does not mean “proving to him what happened” or “making him believe what happened” if he doesnt…that’s his choice. Your job stops at letting him know so he can make his own decisions. When I told the artists girlfriend she didn’t believe me and asked for proof…I didn’t have any except my wife’s word and I told her flat out ” I’m not here to make you believe me. I’m here to tell you the truth about what your boyfriend and my wife were doing and you can decide what you want to do with it”…then a 2 hours later because she didn’t believe me I lost it…and that was my mistake. ONLY contact the husband if you know in yourself you can handle the conversation and not be pushy…and no be prepared to let it go if he doesn’t believe you. That’s his right and eventually the truth will come out but it’s not your job. Trying to convince people only makes it worse trust me. In my case…and deter I told the girlfriend, one of the guys friends text my wife and get this…she told him nothing ever happened! She said she was only trying go make it go away but that pretty much sealed it because everyone now thought I was lying to make him look bad and he really was the honest faithful boyfriend he was claiming to be! But that’s when I decided…I can keep dragging this out and eventually prove it…or I can just let it go and move on…so I let it go. It was only hurting me, my wife and my family more by trying to get more involved.
    So yes let him know. It’s his right to know. I wish my wife’s girlfriends who knew about it would have told me so I could have stopped it but they didnt. I would want to know and he deserves to know. But don’t go any further. Don’t give her the satisfaction of talking to you. Don’t ask for details because they will only bring it back fresh like it just happened. Stick with letting the truth free and leave the rest up to God.

    As for the websites…if your husband is still visiting sex sites and pornography then he hasn’t fully repented. Honest. It’s hard to hear but it’s the truth. He may be sorry. He may be remorseful. But his heart is not changed…if it was he would know the damage it has done and leave it in the past. Pornography is not the same as cheating…but it opens the gates full wide for other things like adultery to happen. And in God’s eyes it’s all the same…maybe not ours but you know the drill there. He may benefit from counseling or therapy (with a christian) to find the root cause of his issue with pornography. The fact that he’s looking at self help sites does show hope though because at least it’s showing he wants to change…maybe he just doesn’t know how to do it? That’s how I was for a long time. I wanted to stop pornography I just didn’t know how but I finally did. I had to realize some things as to what was leading me down that road and what the core issue was at heart and deal with it…and since then it’s been so much easier to stay away. Sounds like your husband maybe wants to change but he’s having trouble finding the core issue and needs help.

    Wishing you the best…stay strong and don’t lose control. It’s so easy to i would definitely know….

    1. Brandon,

      It’s taken me a while to respond to your comment/ advice because you’re right, I needed to know exactly why I wanted to inform her husband and if I could handle it – doing it calmly. The fact is, I wanted justice for myself. Because I’ve been in this hell of betrayal and disbelief. No matter how often I fantasize a different reality or potential of catching this sooner, it will never happen of course. The reality is that her husband might know already (I seriously doubt it) or he won’t believe me and I’ll be furious and look/ sound foolish trying to convince someone that doesn’t want to know and believe the truth. So, who gets punished more? Me! I know that I’ll have to deal with the fact that this is something that happened and I can’t let it define me or become the full description of my marriage. We go to couples therapy (for 3 years now- he lied throughout it saying sex never happened until he finally threw the truth at me),I see a therapist individually and he just started seeing one individually. What I have come to understand is that he really is a good person but seriously flawed (I have issues as well – we all do!), his reasons for the affair are way more complicated that he can articulate now; they always are, it’s never so cut and dry. I’m trying to honestly get past the reality that we will never be even in our intimate experiences within our marriage, even if I had a revenge tryst, it won’t fix it or even it or make it better. So again, thank you for pointing out the truth, while the husband deserves to know, I deserve better and peace. Her life isn’t better or calmer than mine, especially if she’s still living within her lies. Time will tell what I will do, but I believe that this will eventually come out in the open for her and will be potentially more devastating than what I’ve experienced.

  81. My significant other had an affair because of the way I was treating her at the time. I’ve now been diagnosed with depression which we both feel was the main cause of the problems between us. I’m now getting treatment for it and feel better than I have in years. We are doing better as a couple than we have in years too. She had been trying to tell me how I was for years and I wouldn’t listen and she felt she had given me enough chances to listen.

    But because of the depression I can’t blame my partner for seeking the emotional and physical support that I wasn’t giving her, partly because of the way I was but also it’s part of my depression that I blame myself for everything.

    When I found out I went though the numbness and bouncing emotions. I barely slept or ate for 3 weeks and lost 20lbs in weight in that time. I tried my best to get angry with her to stop myself hurting but I couldn’t do it. Instead I promised myself I would get help to pull myself out of the pit I was in.

    We both still have trust issues. Me because of her affair, her because she is scared I’ll go back to who I was. I don’t want to be that person again.

    1. When I read this I can’t see this as being healthy as far as blaming yourself for the affair. I understand that she may have been struggling emotionally and potentially physically. But there is no reason to cheat, reguardless. I understand the reaching out to you that she done in the past, but there other ways to get your spouses attention, rather than run to someone else in that manner. It’s awesome that you are seeking help, but this could absolutely come back to haunt you later, and instead of the blame you are taking on yourself, it could possibly come back as anger and resentment towards her.

  82. Matt,

    I’ll be the first to say that I feel you being a little down on yourself bud. There’s no excuse for adultery. Period. My wife’s excuse was pretty much the same. I wasnt there emotionally, I was too busy with life, I didn’t pay enough attention…..

    Look. Shoot me for saying this but I’m kinda getting tired of hearing the double standard were getting dished out as husbands. I know my wife has emotional needs and I acknowledge that I was not the best at meeting them….but how is that a reason to cheat. There are some good woman dealing with things properly in here from comments but it seems the overwhelming majority view from people I talk to or hear from is if the husband cheats he has a sexual addiction or a sexual problem. He’s looked at in disgust because he had no regard for his own family but only his selfish lust. Meanwhile the wife cheats it’s still somehow connected to the husband because he didn’t meet her needs emotionally….

    So what am I supposed to do? Be afraid that if I get busy taking care of my family my wife will cheat? Meanwhile be expected to be the best husband in the world? How’s that fair? Even a pastor told me that I have to acknowledge my part and my fault in what led my wife to have her affairs…! Really? I understand his point but come on…can you imagine someone telling a woman she needs to accept her part and her own fault in pushing her husband into bed with another woman….? No way….only us men seem to get both sides of the sword.

    Sorry if that was harsher than normal just been going through alot and it sucks that I seem to be the bad guy no matter what I do or how hard I try. And my wife gets to do what she wants with whomever she wants and somehow it’s still my responsibility and my fault….

    1. Well said Brandon, there is no reason for cheating regardless weather it’s the husband or the wife cheating. The spouse that is unfaithful is the one solely responsible period. When I first found out I of course asked the usual questions “Why” and I have been asking that question ever since but I have finally come to the realization there is no good answer to that question. The only answer I can find is that they are selfish and seem to care only about their own wants/needs and will look to put the blame on the loyal spouse to justify their actions.

    2. It’s always a personal and selfish reason to cheat! I never forced my husband to have sex with another woman and he could never force me to cheat. Cheating is complicated and it typically has nothing to do directly with the marriage but with the personality of the cheater. Yes, marriages get complacent and stale, we forget to communicate properly and be thoughtful. But, usually it’s only one that cheats and I’d say that the issues in the marriage gave them the excuse they needed, but the decision and desire was there all along. For better or worse doesn’t mean that you have to forgive when they cheat, it means for better or worse to bind and stay true, to talk and work it out or be respectful and move on. I believe in marriage and divorce is not something I find easy to go toward or seek, but, if you can’t abide then go, don’t cheat – it never ends well. Trust and faith will be broken, yes I do believe that things can be better and stronger after forgiveness but why??? Why go through that pain and turmoil?

      We’ve decided to repeat our vows to each other on every anniversary from now on and do a real checkin – remember and acknowledge what we’ve committed to and discuss if things have changed.

  83. I feel I have done my duty for family and species, I just want life to end now, i have served my purpose, why does it need to go on. The bit of me that was strong, trusting, died that day two years ago, I dont want to carry on with the sht thats my life, I have no energy just want to sleep all the time, its so much effort to just do things with my own kids, when all I want is to be sleeping so I dont have to think. I sustain myself with dreams of possible futures or scenarios, but they dont exist and never will. I cant fix what is broken and i dont want a patched up marriage, when I had something so right. I dont want anything other than oblivion. But even that is denied me as my body still functions day in day out.

    1. Matthew,

      The truth is, your marriage wasn’t right. You’re were led to and participated in a bit of a fantasy. If it were right, the cheating wouldn’t have happened. Meaning: her commitment level would have matched what you believed. My marriage wasn’t right! I will no longer repeat that lie to mtseld anymore. And I ignored signs that were there, signs if what he was doing and signs if me checking out emotionally and mentally. Matthew, please get into some counseling for yourself and your children. You deserve more than you’re giving to yourself. It’s 4 months in for more on the final D Day and yes, I still struggle to get up and go but I’m not going to let anyone ever take more joy and drive again. I didn’t live myself enough to demand more for me and our marriage.

  84. Matt,

    Hey bud. Seems like your having a rough time and I don’t blame you. Sometimes it feels like life sucks and the good guys always lose. Trust me I’ve been there, I’m still there and I’m dealing with it myself. I wonder how a guy like myself, who provides for his family, plays with his kids, does dishes and housework to help my wife out, usually cooks dinner, buys my wife whatever she needs, schedule dates and spend time with her, snuggle her and massage her….deserves to have the things done to him that my wife did to me. Plainly put some women don’t realize what they have and they lose sight of all the good things they once loved about their husbands and use emotionally disconnected as an excuse to be just as selfish and lustful and sexually sinful as any man ever was….
    Having said that, life worth it man. I don’t know if you have kids but I have 2 and right there is a great reason for me to keep trying and not give up. There’s other women out there who actually value a decent man. And they’re not looking for prince charming or the perfect guy like so many women falsely fantasize exist, they just want a good and decent guy like you and me.
    I went through what your going through many times and in fact recently. When I was 22 I checked myself into the local hospital. I told them if they let me leave I was going to kill myself because I couldn’t take the life I had lived and the people I had hurt anymore. I couldn’t take the hurt I felt inside and the pain and torment in me anymore. They kept me overnight and through some guidance and help I was able to move forward, meet a beautiful girl, get married and have a family and thought that ya life was tough at times, but I finally had something that mattered. I had something that I cherished.
    Fast forward 6 years. Here we are. I’m broken, hurt, devastated, tormented, and lost. I feel used, abused, lost, unwanted and unloved. When my wife told me what she had done it killed me. It sank me back to where I used to be. I got out of the car one night about 3 weeks after she told me on our way home after getting into a fight…I walked for over 3 miles heading home in the rain. I passed a Walmart…I bought razor blades and cigarettes because smoking tends to be my stress reliever. I left Walmart and I’ll be honest with you Matt, I wanted so desperately to feel something other than the emotional pain i had inside me that I cut myself up pretty nicely with the razors. I started at my hand and sliced myself a few times an I watched as the blood started running down my hand and my fingers and I’ll be honest…it felt good. It felt relieved to feel pain i could control…so I moved along. Soon I blood coming down my face past my eyes, my mouth and dripping off my nose. Ok I know that sounds morbid but I was back to where I was 6 years ago where I felt like killing myself because I couldn’t take the emotional pain anymore. I looked at my wrists a few times, felt my neck, felt my pulse and honestly thought about just ending it once and for all….and then I can honestly say God hit me and spoke to me and gave me a peace I didn’t even understand. I just felt peace again. I still hurt and the pain was still there but it was bearable and it has been since. I went home, my wife freaked out, I told her I got tangled in a thorn bush and lost my temper and she believed it so I never brought it up again….
    All that to say….there is hope man. Even when your done and ready to check out there’s still hope and peace available through God. I still to this day almost 24/7 have movies playing in my head of my wife having sex with those other guys. I see things in my head that make me wanna throw up….but I get through it. Even yesterday (my wife’s pregnant again) on our way to the doctor the whole trip all I saw in my head was the guy I know Pat plowing my wife from behind…but instead of freaking out I just sat silent and prayed inwardly for help to get through it. My wife doesn’t get it. Shell never know the images I deal with everyday all day. Shell never know what it’s like to have to have images in her head of disgusting, vial things being done to her husband by another woman. Shell never know what it’s like to have to sit there and deal with the fact (and I know this cause it’s been mentioned) that other men ejaculated on her and disrespected my wife and my family and more important how she disrespected me. Shell never know what it’s like to have me post pictures on instagram of me and an affair partner pushing my kids on swings at the park! It’s enough to make anyone want to check out…but I can honestly say from my own experience that God can still heal you. I’m not healed completely…I doubt I ever will be…but I am healed enough to be able to look at my wife and still honestly deeply love her. Healed enough I can get through the days….it’s hard but it’s there.
    Please think about your life Matt. Just like your wife’s actions didn’t effect just you and it effected tens if not hundreds of other people…yours won’t effect just you either. All our actions effect everyone in our lives. Our kids, our parents, our siblings, our spouses, our families, our friends….there’s so many people to think about. Be the better man, Matt. Think about your actions and the impact it will have on others before you do anything! I know we both wish our wives would have had the same courtesy but they didnt. So be the better man.
    And honestly pray for forgiveness. I was honest with God I told him I couldn’t forgive on my own. I told him I wanted to but I couldn’t and I didn’t know how to…and I asked him to help me forgive my wife. And he has been doing that…slowly at times but he has been helping me forgive. And also pray for peace…there’s hope buddy.

    I’ll be praying for you!

  85. Help!
    Girlfriend is intoxicated and sleeping! girlfriend wakes up and briefly acknowledges she is having sex, she’s thinking it’s me for about a minute and passes out.Wakes up again and notices it isn’t me and does not stop or scream or anything.She goes in and out of conciousness and they change positions.She becomes more sober and coherent to what is happening and she performs fellatio.The rapist tells her to sleep on another couch because he didn’t want his girlfriend who’s sleeping on another couch to see them cuddle.My girlfriend wanted to cuddle with him??? To top it off she see’s him nearly 2 weeks after at a Christams party and they are flirting and she admits to kissing him.The following day i find out she was flirting with this guy and she doesn’t tell me about the rape for another 2 weeks.She tells me because i am a wreck, crying and in agony because i had this gut feeling there was more to it.She tells me she had sex with this guy but doesn’t remember how it started.My relatives say she was put to bed on a couch and she tells me there was no interaction with him besides some group dancing and just good fun, acording to my sister.This man was blocked by my girlfriend on my Facebook account, slipped up when he was added to her list of sexual partners one night as we layed in bed and she admits she had an attachment.Anyone? he has since been arrested and charged with sexual assault.We are working on our love for one another but i’m confused beyond belief.Or just lost at her decision making but i’m not victim blaming! I believe she was raped but i also believed she cheated? i love her too! i have researched the affects of Oxytocin and Stockholm Syndrome but i still don’t know why? usually woman cheat and then get raped and not the other way around!

  86. R. Lawrie,

    Ok let me start by saying this is only my opinion as I read your post. I’m not claiming to know what people feel or remember or anything more than just stating my opinion.
    When I was a single guy I had a few nights where I drank so much I literally blacked out. By blacked out I mean to this day, 7-8 years later I still have no recollection of those nights or anything I did or how I acted. It’s a complete blank. I always thought until those nights that people who said they “didn’t remember” only used it as an excuse for their behavior and honestly most of them do. But it is possible to completely black out and not remember a thing. Having said that….

    My first question would be why your wife was drinking enough to pass out with friends and family (or even at all) without you being present. A drink or two is fine but when your an adult, you grow up and stop acting childish and one of those things is not drinking so much you pass out and knowing when to say enough.
    My second thought is that if your wife can remember the events that took place and even remembers giving oral sex, I would question if the term rape is proper. If she could remember what happened and all those things then I can speak from experience and say that she was probably not in her right mind, but she knew on some level what she was doing and made a choice to continue with it. That’s cheating not rape. Yes, the guy took advantage of a vulnerable girl in a vulnerable state, but it doesn’t sound like he forced her to have sex or that he raped her while she was passed out or anything like that. I could be wrong but that’s what your post sound like.
    Second, why would your wife, if she could remember what happened, still flirt with this guy and kiss him two weeks later? To me it just sounds fishy. To me it sounds like maybe there was something happening before that night between your wife and this guy and that maybe that night was just the final step towards acting out on what they both felt like doing…again this is just my opinion please don’t be offended if you feel differently.
    The whole thing just sounds weird if she can remember the events and that she can remember it “not being you” and other things like that. It sounds like two people making bad, selfish, lustful choices that put them in vulnerable situations and well…as the Bible says in Proverbs: “can a man heap burning coals into his lap and not be burned?”.
    I hope you guys can work it out and reconcile but there’s definitely issues that need to be dealt with beyond the ones in the surface. There’s alot of way deeper issues it sounds like your wife is dealing with.

    1. I am not offended with your thoughts and i actually don’t blame you either.Since the incident at the Christmas party she has not drink any alcohol and she admits that she had a drinking problem.With respect to your question regarding her flirting and kissing the same guy 2 weeks after she was assaulted i can tell you what she told me.She said the reason she flirted was because she was attached to him, she had some sort of bond or she was drawn to him? This was painful to hear but it was truth and i researched the effects of Oxytocin and compared it to her story.She said whenever she had sex with someone she was always attached and this was no different and Oxytocin is just like that when a girl has orgasms with a partner.
      She said when she woke up she thought it was me and she passed out.She kept waking up and passing out but there was a point where she was coherent and knew very well it was not me having sex with her.She even said after she performed on him she wanted to cuddle and he said no because his girlfriend was on another couch and he did not want her waking up to see them together.This scumbag didn’t care moments before when he was having intercourse! she also said it felt good and that was another reason she didn’t stop so i can’t say she is lying but rather telling me the painful truth.I don’t know how rape victims are suppose to react to the crime of rape? society expects victims to scream, fight and flee! but if you look at the stories of rape they are all unique in their own way.She didn’t tell me she was raped when i first heard about this, i was told she had sex but couldn’t remember and with confirmation from my sister she said my girlfriend was sleeping for 45 minutes prior her departure that night.My sister also said she was worried about the perpatrator but still left my girl with him and his girlfriend who were both sleeping.He was the only one awake!
      he has been charged with sexual assault and we have a long way to go before trial! My girl didn’t flirt and or show and desire for him the night of the assault.Although, there are pictures of them and others dancing and he is leaning against my girl and she is leaning against a huge speaker.It really looks innocent though!

  87. It has been almost 2 months since I found out my husband had an emotional affair. This article describes my feelings 100%. I have also ready all of the comments and my heart goes out to all of you as well, as I know exactly how each of you feel. I sent him this article yesterday and he said he read it but he gets hung up on parts of the article which do not pertain to our situation. I told him he needs to read the parts that describe how I am feeling so he can understand. He has been great since I found out and done everything to try to make it up to me but he doesn’t understand that you can’t just make up for something like this. That just because he has broken off all contact with her and that he did not sleep with her that he is not as bad as other people who cheat. I agree with the previous posts that the lying even after being caught was almost as bad as the affair itself. When I confronted him of course at first he tried to deny it and said they were just friends but the look on his face said it all, he finally confessed (a little) and said that they had been talking for a while but it never went anywhere. A day later he sent her an email telling her never to contact her again, she replied with “no problem” and asked that he delete her pics and video’s that she sent him. He had no choice then but to confess to that. He swore that there was no physical contact and that he was so glad that he never kissed her and that he could never do that. A week later I found out he had kissed her on several occasions. She was visiting him at work, talking on the phone and using bbm. He now tells me that there was no sexual contact and I am supposed to just believe that. I find it hard to believe anything he tells me now and I am afraid that there is more that he has not told me so I am constantly digging for more information and asking him questions about the affair. He gets frustrated with me and says that he has told me everything and that we need to move on. I know that he is ashamed and embarrassed by his actions and he is worried that I will leave him, so I think maybe he is still hiding things because he is afraid of what my reaction will be but he doesn’t understand that if I was to find out anything more later that it will be worse the longer it is hidden.
    As I was writing this post he messaged me and said that he has reread the article and said that it has helped him understand my feelings.

    1. Missy, I sincerely hope for your sake that he is telling the truth. My husband held to his lie for over 7 years and then I discovered the truth! They had sex 5 times. I hope that that’s the truth. I’ll never really know. Whey makes his affair worse for me is that it was emotional as well. He shared do much with her. It tests he apart. We are in counseling and I would suggest that you get counseling for yourself and as a couple. It had helped me cope with this terrible reality.

      1. cmb,
        I just read your initial post and it seems we have a similar story (unfortunately for both of us). I feel exactly the same way you do, I have asked him so many times in so many different ways for the complete story. He says he has told me everything, but often times he says that he doesn’t remember conversations. I think that is bs, I got his phone records and saw how often they would talk on the phone, she visited him at work, emails and messenger/texts. I want to know everything that happened, I feel like a fool for trusting him for over a year while he was betraying me and our marriage vows and I feel like a fool for staying with him. The day I found out he deleted everything so there isn’t much left to find, I have scoured his email accounts, I have dissected his cell phone and his work laptop. He claims that there wasn’t much of a relationship, she was just someone to talk to. I am obsessed with finding out what happened, I need to know how he felt about her, what he said to her etc but he just downplays the whole thing. He says he found her annoying a lot of the time because she talks non stop and that he didn’t find her attractive. I know he is saying these things to spare my feelings but it makes things worse not better. I know the truth will hurt but I want it all out in the open now so there will be no surprises down the road and I begin to heal and have this wound open up again. I don’t understand how he can continue to hide things from me when I have explained my feelings to him. The way that I see it is if he is truly remorseful and really wants to save our marriage he will honest and forthright about everything, it would show that he is willing to leave that life on sneaking and hiding behind him. I can’t see counseling helping when he still can’t even be honest about it.

        How am I supposed to believe a word he says when the small amount of information I did find is conflicting with his story. It doesn’t make sense and I feel like he is still making a fool out of me. He has given me access to everything he has now but it’s too little too late I think, he says he just wants to move on with me and forget it ever happened it was a mistake that he is very sorry for. I can’t just move on, I don’t know why but I will never be able to get over this until I get all of the answers. I did contact her a few times, she is married so I pretty much have her scared to death that I will tell her husband. I feel that my husband is hiding things still because he says he is scared that I am going to leave him but what he doesn’t understand is that by not being honest now and getting everything out in the open will drive us apart. By not being honest I consider that to be his way of continuing on his betrayal of me even though he is not with her anymore. I just wonder if there will come a day when I can trust him again, everyone says time will help but I can’t see that happening from where I am right now. I know it has only been 2 months but I trusted him whole heartedly and I am so hurt and angry at him yet I love him so much I am so conflicted. Does this ever get easier or will it be with me always? I can’t imagine going through this twice, you are a strong woman.

    2. Missy,

      This seems like a nightmare sometimes. In 11 days it will be four months since I found out about the sexual part of his affair! He always downplayed the whole thing and said that it was just like conversation. Like you, I’ve felt like such a fool over and over again. I had this terrible reality imposed on me in 2007 and then I had to hit rock bottom again in 2014. This is all so incredibly unfair. I would never do this to someone that I loved. I don’t doubt that he still loved me when he was participating in this, however, his love could not have been as strong and committed as it should have been.

      When I think about how the two of them disrespected me and her husband, it’s sickening! I’ve loved him to a fault and along the way, I stopped loving myself. He took advantage of me being distracted by our kids, our life, and home. I’m not perfect, I didn’t always do things right- but this treachery is so horrible. Is it forgive able? Yes, but it is taking all of me to give again.

      Counseling will help, it’s just that my husband was good at keeping secrets, this delayed our process. So often I feel and know that I’m doing most of the work to heal us. He’s embarrassed and that makes it hard for him to face this journey and delays our movement somewhat.

      He told me that she complained a lot about her life and felt unappreciated and overwhelmed with her home/ mother responsibilities. Imagine that! All the while he forgot about what I must have been going through. This part makes me furious. He also said that she wasn’t very attractive, yet he had sex with her. I guess that old cliche about men not caring as long as a woman is willing ….. But, the truth is he was attracted to her. Did she look like me? no, but she wasn’t ugly.

      I’ve felt so lost so often. What scares me the most is that, there might be more and I’ve so far tried to believe that this time it’s the truth. He’s made me question my judgement and what I consider reality.

      Things are getting better and I do still have bad days/ moments! There’s a lesson in his affair for me; it’s taught/ highlighted that I stopped taking care of myself and made everthing and everyone else more important. I really feel like if I had kept doing that, I wouldn’t have been so blindsided. I wouldn’t have been so easily taken advantage of. I accepted missteps and inconsistencies as normalcy and progress towards our goals/ dreams. When in reality it was him seeking selfish pleasure and self esteem from an admiring and doting cheater, who went out of her way to boost him with continuous compliments and eagerness to please. She was like a new puppy!

      I hate this club we find ourselves in. I have no one that I really care to talk to this about that’s currently in my life. His shameful behavior, makes me ashamed to share it. All while he was cultivating friendships, making plans, deceiving me, socializing, self pleasuring and getting pleasure, I was losing myself, cutting off friendships, deferring my dreams, denying myself and waiting for us/ him to come back to how we were suppose to be. You know, after we had arrived at success!

      I love my husband, am in love with him and I suspect will always be. I am actively trying to trust him again,however, I am keeping my eyes wide open this time. Things are better, but I want and deserve more.

      Best of luck to you.

  88. 3 weeks ago I found out my husband of 40 years has been having an affair with a woman 20 years younger than me. You could have knocked me down with a feather he only go out once a month to his club.
    Everything you say is me to a tee, my emotions are every where.
    My H has never been much of a talker, but I thought our marriage was sound. I could go on forever about him great father, great husband or so I thought.
    He has started to answer my questions, he reckons he was flattered by the attention and having sex with a younger woman. We had a healthy sex life. 8 months ago she stopped having sexual with him until he left me…. He refused to leave me, but still kept going to her house ” just in case she changed her mind about sex.) he said it was not the sex itself, it was how he felt, excitement etc.
    Anyway whilst we were away he decided that it should end, he went to her house to finish it, but didn’t,t. Then a week later he phoned her and told her it was over………she went mad and told him he would be sorry. A week after he finished he bought her flower for her 40 th birthday, and then he bought her a valentine card.
    She put a note through my doing telling him to stop lying to me….he then told me about the affair. But also told me that if she hadn’t, forced his hand he would never have told me.
    Last we she dumped underwear that he had bought her inside my gate along with sex toys which he swears, he has not seen ( I believe him as he has answered my questions brutally honestly )
    My life is a roller coaster of emotions, really don’t know what to do, I still love him, but I also hate him. I have called him some bad names. I emailed this over to him at work and he is reading it…
    So sorry for going on……
    From one very sad lady

  89. It has now been over a year since my wife had the affairs. We were together for about 7 years and had been married for a little over 2 years. She always assured me that I was THE ONE and, despite her promiscuous past, I had “changed her” and made her want to be a good person and loving wife. I am a good man. I am a good father and always tried to do the right thing. Throughout our relationship, There were frequently times were I would face things I should never have had to face. I was constantly questioning her moral character, but she always convinced me that it was my silly stupidity, jealousy and me trying to be over controlling. Sometimes, she would come home at 1 or 2 in the morning drunk and swear she was just with “the girls”. Once, I found a video of her online at a “spoken word” poetry event as the volunteer on stage. This “poet” claimed he could make any woman orgasm with just his words. Imagine seeing a video of your wife caressing herself through her clothes in front of 200 people while a man read VERY descriptive poetry to her. “It’s not cheating!” she would say. I found video tapes of her having sex with an old boyfriend from years before that she decided to keep for some reason. She claimed she didn’t know they were there and she thought it was video of holidays and stuff. Despite the fact that she had them hidden at her mothers house for quite sometime, before. One night, when she didn’t come home, I went out to find her. I found her grinding on the dancefloor with some random guy, she was drunk but I was able to convince her to come home. Eventually, It got so obvious with a coworker of hers, I could no longer write it off as her being “her”.
    She continued to lie to me about everything for a couple months and I gave up after finding her in a bar with another man and she refused to come home and told me to leave. So I did. I didn’t call her or see her for 3 days until she came to my studio, where I was staying, and she begged for me to take her back. She was very sincere and on her knees. She swore she hadn’t had sex with anyone. I agreed we could try. It took a week of stuff not making sense before I convinced her to tell the truth and it began to trickle out, slowly. It was bigger and worse than anything I could ever have imagined. It was the worst point in my existence as a human being and I felt like I was going to die. I vomited several times after it all sank in. Yet, I am desperately in love with this woman and I have NO IDEA why.
    Turns out, She had multiple sexual encounters with 4 different men within about a 6 month time frame. One of them, She had sex with in her car and a few days later, she actually told him she loved him and they rented a hotel room and spent some time together with toys. This man is also married with a child and is still lying to his wife. Another one involved a different man she was “just friends” with that she admitted to me she gave oral in a parking lot of a bar, AFTER I showed up and begged her to come home and failed. She told me “there is no me and you” and left me on my knees on the sidewalk.

    I demanded she quit her job and reluctantly, she did. Unfortunately, I stopped going to mine. I ran out of leave and we ran out of money. I was a shell of a person and in some ways, I still am. We lost the house and her brand new car got repossessed. She wouldn’t take “GET OUT!” as an answer. She refused to leave and she used the fact that I love her unconditionally to her benefit. She claimed that it was the worst thing she had ever done and she swore she would never repeat it. She kept reiterating that we can make it through this. The problem is that she doesn’t seem to DO anything. Sure, she says she is sorry when I bring it up, but she makes no actual effort to make amends for what she has done. She doesn’t seem to care If I heal or not.

    I showed her this site and begged her to read it and she claims she did, though she hasn’t really taken any of it to actual practice. She says all the right things when I ask, she admitted to the affairs and quit her job, but she just doesn’t ACT genuinely regretful or sorry for what she has done. I spent time in a mental health facility after she came clean. I had bouts of blacking out and amnesia. I lost 40 lbs and entered a SEVERE depression and recurrence of an old PTSD diagnosis I had previously been able to manage. This has destroyed me and ruined my life. She started a new job today and I am not dealing well with it, but we need the income to survive. I honestly do not know what to do.

      1. Hi – I’m sorry you got no replies for your honest and painful story! Being the disloyal one, I suppose I cannot relate, but I will say that you must have such a profound capacity for love. What a horrendous ordeal you have been through. I have no advice unfortunately, but admire your love and devotion. Being the disloyal spouse myself, I have thought about what I would do if I were in my husband shoes. I like to think I would stick with him through anything. What I think about when I get worried about him divorcing me is that I would remain faithful to him even after divorce as a means of proving my loyalty. I would put up with any shame and humiliation he wants me to endure. What a big heart you have. I hope things turn around for the best for you. It sounds like you really are deserving of a good and faithful woman. I hope that ends up being the woman you have already chosen to be your wife. Sorry if there are other updates below that I didn’t read before posting this as I am new to the site and just catching up with the more recent posts.

    1. I read your post and my heart breaks for you. This blog isn’t the best for reply support. I’ve posted here under three different names and never received any support or replies. There are a few who talk back and forth but the replies are only to specific people. See betrayed wives club.com, men post there as well and you will get help there. Wishing you the best!

  90. Pingback: Finding peace
  91. So being understanding of how he may feel after I cheated… Why did I feel like I needed to run to someone else was he doing his JOB as a husband… NO. I do love him and I do want to work this out but I do not want to listen to how horrible I am every day. Two people can not move forward when one is always telling you that you are a bad person. You have to decide to be together. Then you have to move forward together. Figure out what went wrong in the first place and don’t repeat any of that again! Affair needs to be done and over and never done again, now what are you both going to do to keep each other. It should never be one person “trying” harder than the other because they made a mistake. BOTH people should be fighting for each other not with each other. DO NOT SHAME THE PERSON WHO CHEATED! (at least not for a long time) If you want it to work it will just make them feel low and unloved and what do people who feel low, ugly and unloved… do?

    1. Oh so, you act like a whore and don’t want to have to hear about it. I’m sure he doesn’t want to have the nightmares he’s having either. I’m sure he doesn’t like the fact that he can never trust you ever again. Especially with that attitude. Be fucking remorseful and deal with what he has to do as long as he doesn’t beat you. You need to earn the respect you think you deserve but obviously do not. And what exactly was his” job” as a husband? Keeping you on a leash? You need to respect the fact the he is even looking at your nasty ass now.

    2. Stef,

      I just wanted to give you my perspective as a husband who’s wife cheated on him. If you read my most recent post to alien you can see a basic idea of what happened.
      I’m not judging you. Let me first say that before anything else. But I did feel like by reading your post it felt like you were pushing some of the responsibility of the affair and why it happened onto your husband. Again, not saying that was your intent but that’s how it seemed.
      I think from my perspective and something my wife missed at first but is now starting g to understand was that when she was hurting I was hurting as well. So the end of your post says what do hurting people do who feel unloved? I think that’s the wrong attitude. I didn’t feel loved when my wife was cheating on me. How could I? She didn’t at that time have enough love to give me because she was putting her energy and emotions into other men. But did I cheat? No. I stayed faithful.
      Was I the perfect husband? Nope not by a long shot. I was reserved and shut down but alot stemmed from the way I could tell my wife hated me and disrespected me at the time. There’s never a reason to cheat and it sounds like maybe your still holding onto the possibility that there is one.
      Please don’t take what I’m saying personally I’m not saying that is how you are or how you feel just saying g that’s what your post came across as. I hope that you can move forward with your husband together again.
      I’ll tell you personally that as a man it crushes you. You feel like your physical looks aren’t good enough, you feel sexually inadaquate, you feel like every time you get into a fight that your marriage is at stake. You feel used, abused, lied to, stupid, niave, gullible, weak, ridiculed, laughed at, not good enough physically, emotionally, or sexually. Not to mention you feel that your wife enjoyed it all….even if now she is sorry at the time it was thrilling and new and exciting for her.
      Those are just some of the millions of feelings we have going through us, so please give your husband some time to heal. It’s been 7 months since I found out and I still replay images in my head every time we have sex. Heck I have them everyday for no reason…it sucks the life out of you sometimes. Your husband should not be disrespecting you (name calling, abuse etc) but he should be allowed to heal at his own rate and pace.
      For you you’ve determined that it’s done and over and that’s great. But for your husband hell never be sure because he never thought it was possible to begin with. I can tell you that personally. I’ll never trust my wife the way I did before. Not ever. Will I heal in time. Yes. Will I forgive. Yes. Will I trust. Yes. But never like before. Some things can be built back up but they leave deep scars. Please give your husband time to come to his own realizations and solve his own insecurities.

    3. Stef, I apologize for stating things so harshly and aggressively. I do believe you are missing the point and as long as you continue to blame him for what you did, you are setting yourself up for a long lonely life without him or anyone else that will truly care about you. No one can MAKE you feel any particular way. There needs to be shame for what you did. What you did was shameful. You are the one who needs to forgive yourself, then his shaming will not have the effect it is currently having. You can even agree with him and then tell him how happy you are now that you have figured it out and you are no longer that person. Then thank him for the second chance and DON’T DO IT EVER AGAIN. There is NO chance that he will wake up one day and just be “okay” with all this. Think about the wound that you created as if it you very purposefully and maliciously broke his spine with a baseball bat. Is being withdrawn, selfish or taking you for granted justification for almost killing him? paralyzing him? You promised and vowed to love him forever and be the one person in this world that he shares his whole life with. How long would that take to heal? Will he ever be “normal” again? will you help him or abandon him? I can guarantee that he is hurting from all angles. Not only did you create such a life debilitating wound, you show little remorse for it. What you describe with “deciding to be together and fighting for each other” is what happens every day in a successful marriage. Your’s is not successful. You failed it. Now, you have to choose to fight to keep what you really want. If you don’t really want to save your marriage, then I suggest that you stop prolonging his anguish and think about someone other than yourself for a change. If you do actually want to save your marriage, Show him. Be visible in your own self pity. He doesn’t need to think you are strong right now. He will mistake that as callousness and uncaring. He WANTS to see that you know you made a huge mistake and that of all the things to ever happen in this world full of evil and death, you consider what you did to be atop the list of the world’s worst deeds. He doesn’t understand how the girl that told him she loved him so many times and held him so close, could so effortlessly throw their marriage in the trash. Many men might not say this, but the truth is, we are all chauvinists at heart. What I mean by that is, we think it is harder for us to stay faithful than for you. We cite silly things like genetic history and the instinct of man to “spread his seed as many places as we can” to insure or genes carry on. Where as, throughout time, a woman has found a single male. Instinct drives her to pick the male that will give her healthy offspring and provide for them. Some even say that marriage and monogamy go against the basic male instinct, but not the woman’s. Is this all crap? Probably. But its how we think. Not to mention the act itself is less intrusive to a man. It is nothing BUT intrusive to a woman and thinking about the gross physiological details of your wife being with another man, I can tell you, is nothing short of tortuous. The idea of these things mixed with worthlessness, hopelessness and inadequacy and then the thought that WE were strong enough to NOT do it but YOU weren’t, amount to the perfect storm of black hole depression that no light can ever again escape from. Which is where I am and he is too, most likely.

  92. Nov 2014 I discovered my husband of 15 yrs was having an affair. I’ve also come to terms that he has an alcohol addiction problem, probably spanning back a few years. My husband has always been a kind, caring and compassionate person. He is by best friend. I was totally blindsided by the affair, it is quite out of character. I see that he personally struggles with both demons. I personally struggle with how to address both concerns at one time.

    While my husband recognizes and is remorseful of both circumstances he seems to deny the severity or extent. We both seeked counseling, me for affair, him for both. He went for a short while. The affair he realized he strayed from having God first in his life, he is now back on right path, I am the love of his life. Drinking he is working with a specialist and has limited his daily intake, though he stays out several hrs after work every day. My husband believes all is on the mend.

    For me I feel like I am in a constant state of anxiety and uncertainty. There are so many unknowns, and my mind tends to weary on the negative side. The alcohol issue has plagued us much longer. A long way back he started stopping for a drink (changing to drinks) after work. He catches up on emails, vms and enjoys the socializing. He claims he loses track of time. Though he has lied to me about times and errands (receipts) – believe this is to hide the drinking, though probably applied to the affair as well. I never know what time he’ll be home. My mind of late immediately thinks he’s meeting that woman. When he gets home I really can’t confront him about his drinking, out late, fears of continued affair as we typically end up in an argument. So another day goes by without resolution.

    Regarding the affair I am completely devastated! I initially found a text, my suspicions led me to this site. Further investigation revealed addtl emails and phone number listings. When confronted he initially explained it was just a friend joking around, with more evidence he admitted to text/email contact only. Guess it’s termed an “emotional affair”. Questioning soon after revealed a kiss, swears to nothing else. I dont know if I believe that, knowing he would withhold info so not to hurt me further. I do strongly believe my husband is remorseful. I can see, as well as he has repeatedly told me, he is heartbroken over what he has done, he will never forgive himself. We’ve sat down and talked, he answered questions I had. But I still have gaps and questions, with his busy and long work days its hard to find time (appropriate) to bring up my addtl questions. Because of the gaps I find myself obsessing about the affair, constantly going over details I know, contemplating what might have happened, and most heartwrenching thinking how could my husband emotionally (perhaps physically) interact with another woman.

    I know I’ve unloaded a lot here! Looking for an outsider’s view, maybe someone who has gone through a similar situation can offer some advice. I do intend to return to counseling for my own sanity.

  93. Alien,

    First, I just read your first post and I can tell that you are going through alot from what you’ve said and I know it must feel overwhelming. I think however that lashing out and hurting other people is not something that is going to help anyone least of all yourself. You said you came here for support yet you just tore another woman into pieces with your post…so how can you ask for support when your tearing everyone else down? I very much urge you to apologize for your rash and uncalled for comments towards that woman Stef. I’m a guy like you and let’s face it woman just don’t understand how we think or how were affected (and neither do we understand them). A better approach would have been trying to explain from a man’s perspective what she did to her husband so she can better relate to his feelings and emotions…not demeaning and disrespecting her. Balls in your court on that one but I would ask you to apologize.

    2nd. If you’ve read my posts we share some similarities. Seems like yours a bit more in depth and has a few more layers but like you my wife had multiple affairs with 3 different men over a six month period. Once in her car just like your wife. She told the other guy she wanted to be with him and considered leaving the family just like your wife. And I have children just like you. So alot is in common. It’s been a little over 6 months since my wife came clean and about 7 months since the affairs stopped. It’s been a rough road and it still is. I have a grasp on some of the emotions your feeling although I would never say I understand how your feeling because I dont.

    When my wife came clean I never thought in a million years she could do what she did. She hated cheaters, was disgusted by pornography, and was always the first to accuse me of looking at a woman or struggling with sexual sin. We were actually in counseling because she was convinced I needed help with my sexual addictions….all the while she was the one out having sex with people…it tears apart your identity and worth.
    You don’t feel good enough, you feel like your wife looks at every guy except you and thinks how hot they are and how fun it would be to be with them. You feel like your wife doesn’t think you provide enough for her or for the family. You feel like she doesn’t value you at all. You feel like she doesn’t have eyes for you like when you first met but she looks at other guys and thinks they’re hot. You feel like in her mind sex with you is almost a chore but it’s a thrill and exciting with anyone else. It sucks.
    Have you been in counseling and do you have a plastic or a friend to talk to and discuss your emotions? Someone once said that “hating someone is like drinking poison and expecting the person you hate to die” and it’s true. Hating someone only destroys you. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be heartbroken or hurt, devastated, and maybe even angry but it seems like you have a very strong bitterness towards your wife and towards others because your hurting. I feel for you. I will be praying for you.
    I hope that God can help you and heal you, and I also hope he can help and heal your wife because it sounds like you both need it. Some of the attitudes and activities you described your wife doing (being drunk on a dance floor, grinding with a man, etc) are not things a christian should be doing. Not saying g dancing is wrong lol. But modesty is in Christ and some of those behaviors I would question and look in yourself (and your wife her) and see where the root problem is. The problem is not the affairs, that I can tell you. The affairs and the sex is just the product of a bunch of sinful behavior. And that sinful behavior started long before the affairs did. And they started for reasons that aren’t so black and white.
    I don’t know your wife so I’m not gonna diagnose her. And same with you. But I can tell you that you need to look past the surface and start looking at where this all began and why. Look past the affairs because that’s just the product that the other issues bore. You need to find the deeper root of the problem.

    Again, praying for you man. Hope to hear better things from you. And if you want to respond I’ll be more than happy to be a support the best I can.

    1. Brandon, You are absolutely correct in everything you have written. A couple days ago, I read your post and was planning to do exactly as you suggested and apologize. Unfortunately, my wife has this problem believing I am going to “revenge cheat” and so she never allows me time alone with out looking over my shoulder. This led to a bit of an argument and needless to say, I never got around to posting anything. At 7 months, I was still blacking out. Wish I knew what your secret was. It has been a year and a half for us and I am still in a relatively dark place most days. I don’t think my wife fully understands the gravity of what she has done to our family. Worrying about me “revenge cheating” seems shallow and insulting to me. I think it shows just how shallow my wife’s emotions truly run, which explains her ability to go through with the horrendous acts in the first place. Its like I was living in an ocean of ultimate devotion, promises, sanctity and vows before God that I was happy to shackle my very life to; and she was wading in the kiddie pool of “check yes or no”. and in some ways, she still is. My life fundamentally changed when all this happened and it will never be the same. I will never be the same. She has made me question my faith in God, whether or not Love actually exists, and why I have to bother breathing, much less going to work and doing anything other than getting out of bed. I don’t want to eat and NOTHING she says or does is good enough or sincere enough. There is a part of me that remembers the guy who cared. The one that went to the gym, enjoyed laughter and had dreams for the future. But that guy is LONG gone and I can think of no reason why my wife would want to stay with me now. I am angry. I am hopeless and I hate myself, too.

      1. I understand everything you say- so completely. Its been 3 yrs since I discovered how deceitful and hurtful the one person I had given everything to could be and I still feel EXACTLY as you describe above. Was I ever really as carefree and happy as I remember?
        The stress spills over to every aspect of my life – work no longer has the pleasure , parenting is so difficult. And I’ve tried it all – anti-depressants, counseling etc.
        I am now going through a mediated divorce – but I have 5 children – how can I hurt them in this way? My husband of now 24 yrs does not want a divorce. I feel so alone , alienated from everyone. No more social life etc.
        Life is a struggle through thick sludge.

      2. motherof5, I wish I knew what to tell you. If he doesn’t want a divorce, I am assuming you do? It sounds to me like you really don’t want a divorce, you just want him to understand what he did and then feel secure in your life and marriage again. I don’t want a divorce and my wife says she doesn’t either, I just wish she would put forth more sincerity and effort towards making us heal…me heal. This encompassess my entire existance. To her, it seems that she is only concerned about it when I appear to be. Just once I wish she would sit me down, get down on her knees and beg for my forgiveness. I feel that she put forth so much effort to do these horrible deeds, if she could put forth half that effort to fix it, we would be okay. I don’t want her to hurt like I do, but I do wish she could feel the seriousness of it all. Just enough to have her look in the mirror and ask herself, “Dear God, What have I done?”

  94. Im sorry Levi, I truely am. I love you more then life its self and now I have some insight on how I hurt you.

  95. I just can’t reconcile/ make peace with what he has done to me and our 5 children. Her’s the irony – I thought he was so great – at the time he was having hte affair I was telling my co-workers what a great husband he was !! I remember sAying I should submit him for a magazine contest for husband of the year!!! Two weeks after that, he told me he wanted to leave. When asked if he was having an affair ( by me multiple times and even by his daughter!!) he said No. The rest that follows is pure hell. Just a few of the details – 2 months later when I found out he WAS having an affair – He wouldn’t tell me anything, kept protecting HER! She was someone he worked with 9 yrs older than me, divorced ( her husband then committed suicide) , she then maried a WOMAN!!. She was married to this woman at the time of her affair with my husband. She is Hep C positive for IV drug abuse ( putting me at risk for this extremely serious disease!!!) .
    Anyway, after I found out and he begged me to take him back, because we have 5 children , I told him I was willing to work on it with the condition he break off all contact with her, get counseling and stop lying.
    One week later, I found him at her house, and he called the police on me!! I was not being violent or disruptive, I was just demanding to know why he was there!!!
    He was incredibly incrediby cruel to me psychologically. Now he is claiming he was depressed, he wanted to kill himself, she was a whor ewho took advantage of his weakened state …

    In the midst of this, my oldest son was applying to colleges and I was taking him on college tours. Before I found out about the affair, I took all the children on a college tour; he said he needed time alone and needed to go to Ca to clear his head. I was trying to help him – I thought he was having amid-life crisis and wanted to help him through it ,,, so I said please go if that is what you need right now. Well, 2 min after I drove out he was on his way to pick her up to bring her back to my bed!! They had sex there befroe they went to Californisa together for 10 days – didn’t bother to change the sheets so I got to sleep in those same gross sheet when I returned!!!
    On the way out to California, he took off his wedding ring and LOST it!!! So the night after he brought his girlfriend into the sanctity of my home and bed – he removed his wedding ring andtook her on an all expense paid trip (by him – plane ticket $900) to California
    This is after 20 yrs of marriage and five children. And I am still a very attractive woman,,, its not like I ever let myself go…
    How does one ever say after this ( and there is plenty more) ,,,lets stay married and work it out?

    1. I know that feeling of “how are we supposed to work this out?!” Especially with someone who’s actions don’t match up with their words. My wife admits to leaving her ring on the entire time. To me, this shows an absolute callousness and lack of even the idea of respect for me and our marriage. I know this sounds horrible, but it seems like if everyone experienced what we have, no one would ever do this to another person they claim to “love”, so, eventually it will make us better people??? I loved my wife, incredibly. She is gorgeous and WAY out of my league. lol. Honestly, the fact that she wasn’t always “stuck up my ass” (pardon the expression) and clingy, like some people can be, contributed to how much I became infatuated with her and how deeply I fell in love with her. The problem now is that she continues to show a lack of compassion and understanding for what she has done and I may be confusing her “trying to be strong” with “not caring”. A large part of me believes that the only reason she wants to work on our marriage is because if I leave her, she has to face rejection from me and she is immature and can’t handle rejection on any level. I often try to put myself into her mindset and create an imaginary reality where I am the offender, not the offended. I can remember being a guy that would do such a thing before being married to my wife. Before I experienced love, Sex was just sex and if I got busted I could probably silver tongue my way back into good graces with whomever I hurt. After this though, I have a much greater respect for fidelity and a respect for the feelings of the person I would hurt by being ignorant and selfish. I can not imagine hurting someone I really love like this. Its just impossible for me to wrap my mind around. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I wish I had the words to make it better, but I do not. Just know that you are not alone, no matter how lonely you may feel.

      1. I never believed in a million years that I could hurt the woman I love like this – but I did.
        I have totally destroyed her – not once – but twice. I cheated once – but destroyed her twice. When I told her about the affair – that devastated her – but she wanted me back – at that point I promised to be open, honest and transparent – but I didn’t give full disclosure – I continued the deceit. Why? Selfish reasons. I was selfish in that I was terrified of losing her completely – so I didn’t give other details which I knew would totally break her. I didn’t want to lose her – so I didn’t tell her. Selfish! I was also trying to protect myself still… my shame, guilt and embarrassment – my total horror at what I have done to her. I just cannot – now – find a way to reconcile in a manner in which she will believe. I was deathly serious in the chance she gave me for reconciliation – but it doesn’t matter what my intentions were – I still lied during that time – and now it’s all totally totally broken. How can she believe another word I say – how could she ever trust me again. She showed remarkable strength of character to even want me back to begin with – she allowed herself to once again be vulnerable and trust me – and what did I do with that…. I destroyed it. I so didn’t want to hurt her any more – I really really didn’t. There is nothing I can do to change anything that I have done… absolutely nothing I can do…. I have now told her everything – however, she thinks I’m still withholding information. I understand why she thinks this – but I’m not withholding anything now.
        It’s horrendous – absolutely horrendous what I have done. I will never be able to get to a place to “get over” what I have done or forgive myself – how the hell can I expect my partner to even try?
        I’m so very sorry I have destroyed her and changed the person she was – and hurt her beyond measure.
        I just don’t know now how to help her through her grief. I am trying to do what is advised – trying to give her what she needs – however, she can’t trust anything I do – so how will I now show her that I am sincere – that I won’t be careless with her heart any more. These are some of the things I promised to not do – only to then destroy them because I was scared of losing her through my actions!

  96. I feel like this article sums up all my feelings, except for how to cope when there are children that come from these affairs and are constant reminders of the infidelity. All the physical, emotional and financial support the children need is like a constant death sentence…

  97. This article is painfully accurate to what I have felt after my husband told me of his emotional affair. I have read responses where people like me have decided to forgive, move forward and rebuild to hopefully an even stronger relationship.
    It’s hard to see the way through the pain, my husband has been so supportive, apologetic, and remorseful. He wants so much for us to repair our 15 year relationship, as do I.
    We have started councilling, and I have begun to forgive. I want to fix it.
    He is respectful not to be to physical but has held and kissed me very passionately to show his love. I felt nothing. It was shocking and surprising. I felt like I needed to pull away as it was strange to feel nothing at all.
    Has anyone else worked through this? Is this part of the healing, trusting process? Can the feeling and attraction return?

  98. I am devastated by my husbands affair, we have been married for 21 years and I found out 2years ago he had been having an affair for,he says17 months tho I’m sure it was longer.
    Everything you have said in the article is true and I long for the day I don’t run through something in my head. He is fully committed to working things out,hugs,kisses and says he loves me but the thing he doesn’t do is tell me he is glad I gave him a second chance …he does tell me he’s sorry if I ask him but never out of the blue.Trouble is unless you have experienced this hurt you will never truly understand what the pain is..and as I used to say ‘if ever you cheat on me I’m gone’!! He knew this but cheated anyway and I’m still here!!
    Would love him to read this article to know what I’m going through is clearly a normal reaction!
    I worry myself that my feelings have gone on way to long but sounds like sadly I will always have to deal with it…anyway great article.

    1. My wife destroyed me and our family. I mean absolute devastation, wIth numerous men. I, finally, gave up when she left me on my knees on a public sidewalk begging her to stop doing this and come home. She told me, “There is no Me and You.” and walked off. I found out later that she then went and orally satisfied another man in a parking lot less than 30 minutes after telling me that.
      Honestly, It felt free and wonderful to know that I had tried all I could and this was no fault of my own. It gave me a sense of dignity that got me through the next few days. Then 3 days later, she came home. She said she had “misspoken” and wanted to repair our marriage. She lied to me for a few more weeks and then finally came clean about the myriad of guys and the sexual encounters she had had with them. It has been a year and a half and the wounds show little signs of healing. Now she says she loves me and claims to be remorseful but, like you, I feel like the effort she is making to apologize, earn my trust and fix us, doesn’t fit the crime. She answers my questions and says she is regretful and remorseful and does whatever I ask of her, but nothing more. She does what I ask to the exacting specifications and honestly, it makes it feel fake and not from the heart, so that removes a lot of the meaning that these acts or words would have had if they came about from her own heart and mind. She says she doesn’t ever bring it up because she doesn’t want me to hurt anymore and bringing it up would do that. I try to explain that not a second goes by that I am not hurting and thinking about what she has done, so that argument is invalid, but I kinda see her point on that one. Maybe there is a similar reason behind your husband not wanting to ask for your forgiveness. I just feel like, If I did this horrible stuff, I would go above and beyond in an attempt to expedite her healing and show her how truly remorseful I really was, but I really don’t think she understands the extent of what she has done. He may not either.

      1. Yes I think it’s impossible for them to get it properly because you have to have had someone you love with all your heart do this to you- I have been completely faithful and have considered doing the dirty back(with a single man!) but I know deep down,even knowing what he has done! that I would feel so guilty and it would make my pain worse so I never will,but I guess it’s just because I want him to understand my pain …aswell as the lying to do it, the lies are a killer to your soul!!
        He is doing everything he knows how and we in some ways have so improved our lives,a wake up call if you want, but I would never recommend it!!
        But I would as the article says so like him to say I’m glad u stayed or dont know what I would have done if you left or a simple thank you that you gave me a second chance without me saying a word- he can say I love you so why not the I’m so lucky as it would make me feel he wants so much to be here for him and not just out of guilt or being with his kids.
        I chose not to tell any friends or family with the exception of 1 friend who lives away and doesn’t know people where I live so the only person I can talk to is him and so I would just love to think ‘he got me’…I know he does his best and for me as far as I know he cut her out as soon as I found out, well almost as he had to have some contact as he was her kids football coach( he should have quit I realise now or her as no contact would have been easier for me) but her son has gone now. Anyway I’m ranting but it’s good to know I’m not mad and there is a pattern to behaviour so far down the line.

  99. I am guilty of emotional betrayal. 8 years into marriage someone at work was coming on to me and I stupidly told him that although I was happily married we could be friends. My husband is Loyal to the core so he had lots of attractive female friends who he goes out with at lunch and after work, his ex-girl friend included. Knowing he would not approve of me having a male friend, I stupidly did not tell him about my new friend at work. I am ashamed to admit that I did not discourage his flirting with me as strongly as I should have and engaged in some flirting as well. I was a virgin when I married and have only Ever been with my husband. I knew I could resist this guys verbal suggestions that we hook up; however I continued to talk to him at work and at times get lunch with him. I rationalized that nothing physical was happening and that I did not love this other man although I did like him a lot, that it wasn’t cheating. My father was a serial adulterer and my worse memory as a child was him telling my mother about his affairs. I could not believe that I was capable of putting myself in a situation where I would have to inflict so much pain on the person Iove most. I’m scared because my husband forgave me so quickly and has been nothing but loving and supportive to me. He does not want any details and I’ve forced some upon him because I want him to really understand the depth of what he is forgiving me for. I wrote a very cold “do not contact me” letter to the other man after he confessed to being in love with me. I’m afraid that he’ll speak ill about me at work or try contacting my husband as a means of retaliation for my cold reaction to him. I am wrecked with guilt as I should be, but my husband just wants me to get over it and move on as he miraculously has. Is it really possible for a betrayed spouse to recover so quick or will a bomb drop on me later. We seem to be stronger and more in love than ever and I’m afraid one day he will just change his mind and decide to hate me as much as I hate myself right now.

    1. I have seen this term used several times on here, but I have to admit that I am confused as to what it really means. “Emotional Affair”? You didn’t ACTUALLY have an affair? From your man’s perspective, he’s probably just glad you are decent and intelligent enough to have stopped it before it went too far.
      Why, exactly, is he allowed to go to lunch with all these women, including an ex, yet you can’t have a single male friend? If you told the guy he was being inappropriate and you did not feel the same way about him, that is NOT an affair of any sort. If your husband is so controlling that he forbids you to have male friends, and you chose to try and have one anyway, then that is a whole different issue. I wish My wife had had one ounce of the dignity and respect that you have.
      Stop beating yourself up. You don’t appear to be near the villain you think you have been. P.S. Surprise your husband at the office and show up to go to lunch with him unannounced a few times…just saying.

      1. Thank you for your kind response. I used to think it was a double standard that my husband had female friends (attractive ones at that too and his ex is certainly someone he was at one time physically and emotionally intimate with prior to our dating life); however, I can now see that there is a difference. He is very social and likes going out and being around other people. I am not very social. I usually just spend my free time with him, our kids and my parents…maybe 1-2 friends from grade school. There was a very inappropriate vibe with my “friendship” with this man at work. He would frequently talk about “if I were his wife…..this or that”. I know my husband’s female friends don’t talk to him like that. I wish I could say now that I was just fixing a double standard in our relationship, but I now see that is not true. My husband tells me of any texts or plans with his ex and her husband and myself as well as our children are normally included in those plans. Part of me thinks I was just being stupid and naïve as my husband is the only person I have ever loved or been physically intimate with, but on the other hand. I’m a 34 year old woman and should have known better.

  100. Thank you for the kind comments. I cannot believe though that I was capable of keeping my “friendship” with this man a secret though. Also he sent me very suggestive emails and said very suggestive things to me and I would usually just ignore or laugh them off, because I continued to talk on the phone with him at work, talk to him via email and go to lunch with him I feel like I was condoning his words and actions toward me. I just didn’t know how or was too afraid to stop it. I admitted to him that I liked him and at first found him attractive. There definitely was a mutual attraction at first. I know there were times that I engaged in flirting although I tried to be careful not to, but it’s easy to cross the line of joking around into flirtatious territory….especially when someone is trying to act seductive towards you. It’s also hard not to pay someone a comment when they are complimenting you frequently. Also in the very beginning I stupidly opened up to this man about some of my marriage dissatisfaction. I was kind of thinking out loud as to why I would purposely be doing something my husband wouldn’t approve of. My husband is always the life of the party and we always are surrounded by lots of friends. I’m more of a one on one person and got into this situation because I was craving one on one time with someone. I don’t go out without my husband often because I work full time and want to just be with my kids and husband on the weekends. My husband knows how to set boundaries and is very open and honest with me. I am a people pleaser by nature, don’t set limits with other people well and rarely stick up for myself. I’m afraid I was overly friendly with this guy because I was afraid of hurting his feelings and felt bad for him and on a level cared for him. He reminded me a lot of my husband in ways and I did really like him. Sometimes I’d bring him left over cookies and baked goods From home that I made and that surely led him on as well. Although I would maintain my stance that I was happily married and my husband is my best friend, by being involved with this other man knowing I wasn’t telling my husband about him certainly gave him another impression. Maybe I am fooling myself and there were some more than friendly feelings on my part that I’m having trouble owning up to. I really just wanted to have a work buddy like my husband has work friends and got in over my head. Now I’ve hurt two people who care about me…not to mention my two children that my actions could have hurt. This all started a year and a half ago. About a year ago I lost a baby in the second trimester and it stands out in my mind as a constant reminder of how my actions were hurting my family. I told my husband about the guy at work after our loss and I’m afraid he rushed to forgive me because of my grief. honestly if my husband or anyone else read the our email exchanges, they would assume an affair was taking place because his emails were very suggestive and mine were overly friendly. I have this fear that somehow my husband will see these emails (although I have deleted them because they would make me physically sick to read now) and that he would suffer great pain knowing I secretly maintained a friendship with someone who was constantly coming on to me. I think in some sick way, i was trying to prove I am not the adulterer my father was, but inadvertanly ended up being disloyal and unfaithful in another way. Maybe my husband isn’t as mad at me as he should be because I’m already feeling so much guilt and shame? To be totally honest part of me hated some of the forward things this man would write or say to me, but there was a very vain part that liked all the compliments and attention. Do you think forgiveness can be true and sincere when it is rushed and coupled with a traumatic life event like a miscarriage?

    1. Hi I’m glad you have recognised that this was an emotional affair- when I first found out about My husbands affair by reading his txt(because i had been told in a round about way to find out) I was devastated by what i read ,tho most had Been deleted-but he told me that they were just flirting and he knew he had crossed the line and was wrong! literally these emotional txts and emails for me were just as bad because it meant he had talked and laughed,flirted and regularly saw her Instead Of spending precious time with me…and fixing what We needed to fix!! I was completely shocked and cannot put Into words the depth of my upset …I was lied to for another 7 months when the ow finally sent an e.mail out which clearly stated they had an affair(bless her!!) and Floored me again but no more than the first time. He said he hadn’t wanted To hurt Me further and indeed we had been building our love back up but what he couldn’t get was I would have took it Better all in one go and From him instead of her!!
      However for me emotional is as bad and his had been emotional for well over A Year Before the sex finally kicked in for 6/7 months and i found out!! That was a year Of excitement and laughs with another woman??
      In your Case tho there is No sexual affair and you have tried to tell him so maybe he is just shut in not wanting to know ,I can only say tell the truth as n when he asks it and work on being the best wife that you can be if you love him. As you say you know you have crossed the line-try sending flirty txts and e mails To him instead! In a sense you are lucky- my husband has n still is working everyday to fix the fallout from it all!

      1. Thank you Anita for your advice. My husband and I text back and forth all day long in a fun, loving and flirtatious way that I would not ever nor have I ever texted/written any man but my husband like. I try to do lots of little things with great love for him, like buying his favorite foods at the grocery store, giving him massages, planning fun dates, buying him small gifts and participating in his hobbies. It’s been 10 months since I came as clean with him as he has allowed me to, but the guilt and shame have lifted any. I am trying to hid my depression and not bring up the issue anymore as he wishes. When I wake in the middle of the night with him sleeping next to me, I say to him, “I love you. You are the most amazing man I know.” Because he doesn’t want details, I have to him that I feel like I’ve ruined our wonderful marriage and what I did would justify him divorcing me. He really is my best friend and I cannot believe I could betray him

  101. Part of my rationalization was that because I only saw and spoke to this guy at work that it wasn’t taking away from my family, but it has hurt them. I used to be so fun living and happy and now I am so depressed, wallowing in my guilt and shame. I know I would be devastated if my husband did this to me. I cannot even believe I was capable of it. I worry that this guy at work will forward all our email exchanges to my husband one day and open up this wound again. The emails would be more embarrassing to him, but would be devastating to my family. I just pray that with time, I will be able to forgive myself. It’s ironic because I think part of the reason I made this awful decision was because I was feeling unappreciated- not that this in anyway justifies my actions. We have an old fashion marriage. Despite working full time, I’m the one who takes care of most of the house work, I make all the meals, wait on my husband…like if we are eating dinner and he needs a refill of his drink, I get up to get it for him. I rub his feet when we watch tv at night. I love him with all my heart and this experience has really shown me that he is the only person for me. I live in fear that my actions are unforgivable and if he wants to someday divorce me, it will be 100% my fault! I’m a very low maintenance woman. I want nothing more than my family and I am in shock that I was even capable of this. Sometimes I think my husband really understands and sometimes I’m afraid he’s in denial. I’ve been seeing a marriage therapist and my husband is supportive, but doesn’t want to and does not feel the need to go to. Everything I read says to give your spouse full disclosure, but he does not want that!

    1. I think you have done all the right things in going forward in your marriage and no one knows wether your husband will one day want more details or not but if he ever does then he will also have the effort and love you are now putting in and will know you made a mistake in putting too much effort into making another guy happy by txt and telling him about your marriage and have Acted since to put things right with your husband!The one thing I would have asked for is once I knew about the txt that he told me the full truth which you seem to have been prepared to do…just keep that open for always with him if he ever asks.

  102. I meant to say it’s ironic because now my husband acts so appreciative of me and I feel completely worthless and undeserving!

    1. Maybe he legitimately feels like this is not as big of a deal as you feel it is. The fact remains that you did not allow the inappropriateness to continue to a point of a physically cheating (If you have been completely honest here). From the perspective of someone who’s wife had so little consideration and respect for our marriage that she never even took the wedding ring off while having sex with multiple other men over a 6 month period, you’re kind of a hero. The “inappropriate relationship” you are describing, currently describes relationships my wife has TO THIS DAY with guys at her new job. If I tell her it bothers me, I am guilted into believing I am some sort of over-controlling jackass. This guilt may come from her or even from myself. The grey areas of what’s appropriate have been blurred for me because the contrast was turned all the way up in our marriage. Personally, I feel like she should lock herself in a secluded room and never come out again. Do I think this is reasonable, of course not. BUT she has proven she cannot be trusted and she defaults to dishonesty and lies any time things get a little stressful or stagnant in our marriage. If I had faith in her; Going to the gym with some “people” from work on her lunch break, would not be a problem. In her position though, I believe it is. Yet, to think that she is telling her co-workers, “My husband doesn’t want me going to the gym with you all because men from work will be going, too.” makes ME feel like I am a controlling jerk. If YOU feel like what you did was inappropriate, then don’t do it anymore, forgive yourself and move on. I suspect your husband is appreciative that you have such high moral standards and still trusts you. Maybe even more so now, because you are so “ate up” over this. Respect the fact the he loves you and don’t let this turn into a reason to get mad at him or think he doesn’t care about you. He does. He trusts you. I feel like you may mistake his trust, forgiveness and respect for you, for not caring. That is not a reason to stretch the envelope further. Forgive me if I sound harsh, but my wife made all my worst nightmares a reality and blamed ME for it. She said she thought I didn’t care. I tried to allow her the freedom to do what she wanted and she mistook that as not giving a damn if she came home or not. I tried to believe the obvious lies she told me and she mistook that for gullibility. I tried to not “over-react” to her behavior to save her feelings and she mistook that for not caring. I was trying to be a good partner and forgiving and show understanding. Eventually, it spiralled out of control and she became a monster. Don’t become a monster.

      1. Thank you again. The flirting ended a year and a half ago and I’m still having trouble moving on. I do not miss the other guy at all and am just relieved to be done with it. I know I was just addicted to all the compliments as well as the companionship as there were conversations and emails that were more like the way real friends would communicate. I wish he could have been friends with me for real in the appropriate way where my husband knows about them and no boundaries get crossed. I desperately want to find a new job so there is zero risk of running into him. If I could live the rest of my life secluded in our home, only leaving with my husband and children in tow, I would. I have been depressed and anxious for over a year now. I wake up with panic attacks. I used to be such a calm, happy, easy going woman and now I live in the shadow of my sin, fearful that more severe consequences are on the horizon.

  103. Thank you again for your reply. I told my husband that there were several hugs which I deemed inappropriate….lasted too long, felt to intimate. Once this man moved his hands down to my butt during a hug and after that I was careful to make hugs quick and to the side. I am beating myself up because in hindsight I can so clearly see how I should have responded. I should have sent him a “do not contact letter/e-mail” right away, but I choose to continue to hang out with him. I tried to end our friendship many times, but would get suckered back in when he would say, “we are not doing anything wrong.” ” It just makes me feel good to be around you.”
    My husband does trust me. I offered him to read all my current e-mails, but he doesn’t seem to want to. I’m trying my best to respect his wishes and “just move on”. This website and your comments have been very helpful, because in his mind this traumatic experience is a thing of the past and we are to just move forward, but I still feel the need to talk to someone about it. I have trouble staying asleep at night. I wake up to panic/guilt attacks and flashbacks to inappropriate moments/conversations. I have trouble imagining a positive future and feeling like I am worthy of the wonderful family and husband I have. I wrote him and initial apology e-mail after first disclosing “my inappropriate friendship”. I wrote him another, but he said, “Honey, delete it. This is over with. We are in love and no danger of divorce.” I’m really trying, but most of the time the guilt and shame feels unbearable. I will respect his wishes and not bring the topic up with him anymore.

    I don’t think you are being “a controlling jerk” in regard to where your wife goes or doesn’t. She lost your trust for a reason and should respect that you have legitimate concerns about who she spends her time with.

  104. Alright, I’ve been reading comments for the past 2 days and feel I need to step in and say my peace. Everyone who’s read my posts knows my story so I’m not gonna go into it here but suffice to say have a wife that was multiple times unfaithful with multiple men in both physical and emotional affairs.

    To Daphne,
    Plainly put an emotional affair carries the same emotions if not sometimes deeper ones for the one involved in it. For us as men it’s a little easier to deal with knowing that some other guy wasn’t sticking himself inside you and making out with you and touching you so maybe that’s why your husband is dealing with it in that fashion. I wish my wifes affairs had stopped at being emotional. They dont. They never do. If you play with fire you get burned. An emotional affair, and I don’t care what the reasoning behind it is (my wife just wanted a friend) if not dealt with will end with you destroying your life and your marriage and your children’s lives. Sad truth but it’s plain and simple. Your connecting yourself to someone else besides your husband. And also when you say it’s was just a friendship to you I think your fooling yourself. There’s a big difference between a work friend and an emotional affair. Work friends talk about “hey how was your week?”, or “how’s the family, do anything fun this weekend?”. If your paying each other compliments on physical appearance and talking about things you’d like to do to each other etc than you might as well rip your pants off and jump in bed cause that’s where your headed. How would you feel if some woman was saying to your husband the things that man said to you, Daphne? Would it hurt? Would you be offended? To be honest I’m kind of shocked the amount of denial and justification I’ve been reading. It’s not acceptable, period. Not for a Christian.

    Alien,
    Dude I feel so bad for you with the way you describe your wife’s behavior still towards other men. But just cause an affair don’t end in sex doesn’t make someone a “hero”. It makes them an adulterer and at the very least an unfaithful spouse. Man, you deserve so much better as a person and I feel like because of the things you’ve dealt with your shortchanging yourself and what you think you deserve. Don’t do it. I’m never an advocate for divorce if I was I would have dropped my wife on the curb with all the things she did to me and our family…but I’m also not a man who believes in living in denial. Some people are meant to make it work. Others arent. That why God gave divorce as an option for unfaithfulness. Did he recommend it? No. But he offered it because he knew that every case isn’t just a whoops made a mistake now I want to make it right case. Some people just don’t get it and some people don’t care about who they hurt all they care about is getting what they want and I think you need to evaluate the situation your living in. THE ONLY REASON I’M STILL MARRIED IS BECAUSE I SEE MY WIFE TRYING! Do I believe it’s a permanent change? No, not yet. But I at least see her trying for the moment and that’s enough to say I’ll give you a second chance. If I didn’t see her trying…as much as I love her it would be goodbye and don’t come back till your ready to change.

    To everyone,
    Adultery is a serious thing it’s not a joke. My wife wrecked my life. I’m not confident in myself anymore. I’m not confident in my family anymore. I’m not confident in my wife anymore. It’s a battle to piece things back together. Even if your just “flirting” the STOP IT! It may be innocent now and make you feel good but your gonna take it to the next level and eventually destroy not only your family but everyone around you. You think kids deserve that type of selfish behavior for a role model? When I talked to the guy who was nailing my wife I told him I had two kids who didn’t deserve to grow up with a split family cause someone couldn’t deny their own selfishness. It’s not a game your playing with people’s lives and alot of the times once the damage is done it’s done it can’t be fixed. It can be repaired but you’ll never get back what you stole and what you took away….

    Sorry if I came off strong I just see myself hurting, I see other people like alien hurting and I see people trying to rationalize actions and it makes me mad. There’s nothing rational or heroic about breaking vows you made to your spouse and to God. And definitely nothing Heroic about hurting other people you claim to love….

    1. Brandon,

      My real name is Allen by the way.
      I admire you, sir. Thank you for being here and helping me and so many other people. I have read ALL your posts several times and they are all a huge help. There are a lot of parallels in our stories, except you are obviously stronger and wiser than I am and have a better personal relationship with God. It is very near the 2 year anniversary of when my wife began ruining our lives and, in November, it will be the 2 year anniversary of when she began to come clean about it all. Honestly, it still feels just as painful as when it had been a day or a week ago.
      My perspective changes drastically from day to day. I can tell you, my wife IS trying. If she wasn’t, I would have moved on completely by now. BUT she tries to live life as if none of this ever happened sometimes and I get butt hurt that she doesn’t think before she acts.
      I believe she is not having any contact with any of the men she had the affairs with. I believe she is honestly trying to be a better wife and mother. I believe she has a desire to make our marriage happy and successful. I believe she wants to view me as a friend AND husband again and form a better personal relationship with God.
      That being said, I have a few issues that I think your wisdom can help me with. First, We have been reading Proverbs and Psalms over the last couple weeks and the first 10 chapters of each speak almost exclusively about WIsdom being greater than riches and asking, seeking, praying for and where to find Wisdom. Know that you have already been used by God in this fashion and I hope he continues to inspire your words for myself and others who need it….. but no pressure.lol.
      Let me start by saying I am ANGRY nearly all the time. I have constant thoughts that conflict with healing and forgiving, other than the obvious graphic images. Here’s a few:

      “There is nothing she can do that will ever be greater than what she has undone. and that is unforgivable”

      “If I forgive her, it feels like I am telling her it’s okay and it’s NOT okay.”

      “Wait, did I just laugh at that? How could I laugh at anything? She ruined my life.”

      “Why doesn’t she try harder to earn my forgiveness?”

      “She didn’t care enough about our marriage to protect it and keep it sacred, why should I by forgiving her?”

      “If I tell her I forgive her, then I can’t tell her how much it still hurts. I can’t do that.”

      “She WILL wait a few years and do this again, it’s inevitable.”

      “I could easily find someone that has not done this to me.”

      “She doesn’t have the moral fiber or ethical character needed to BE an honest or faithful person/wife. She has proven that in the most grotesque way possible. I’m wasting my time.”

      “What did these schmucks ever do to earn the right to help destroy what I worked so hard to build?”

      “I gave her everything I had and she repaid me with …(insert horrible thing here) ”

      “Why am I not beating the ever loving snot out of someone right now?”

      Additionally, One particular guy was married and has a young kid. I know he has not and will not ever tell his wife. I want to send her flowers with cryptic messages so she has to ask HIM what it means. I want to be a nightmare to this creep. I want him to look over his shoulder, constantly fearing me.

      But I don’t. Thankfully for him and my desire to NOT go to jail. I sit like a useless pile of garbage with so much rage inside me, it eats me up like cancer.
      I also remind myself that he did not act alone, nor was he the ONLY other guy. Sure, he is a piece of crap, but SHE was worse; and I have to forgive her?

      Why does she not take every available opportunity to crawl on her knees and beg for my forgiveness?
      In a “discussion” recently, I very adamantly asked her this question. “Why do you not beg for my forgiveness? I feel like the apology should fit the crime and your apologies suck! You should wake me up in the morning asking me to forgive you and it should be the last thing you say at night! and it damned well better FEEL real!” Now this is EXACTLY what she does.
      For over a year I have avoided an entire interstate, because the hotel she screwed a guy in sits right off the highway and I didn’t want to see it. I would literally drive 10 miles out of the way to avoid it. She had NO IDEA why I was going so far out of the way and one day she INSISTED I use this interstate.” I don’t want to go that way..” I would say. “Well, going this way is dumb!” she would answer. Back and forth like this for a few minutes until I angrily explained WHY I didn’t want to drive the most efficient route. “OH…Okay.” then silence, is all I got after that.
      It occurred to me then, that we no longer live in the same world. What she has done affects my every choice and decision in life. It is constantly in my mind and stabbing me in the heart and shows NO signs of leaving anytime soon. She was not injured. She was not humiliated. She was not abandoned and left to rot by the very person who claimed and vowed before GOD to never do what she had done. She was not fundamentally changed by what she did. It does not haunt her dreams. It does not feed the persistent sense of impending doom in her soul as it does mine. She does not live in a state of constant regret and remorse as I feel she should and THAT is unforgivable AND I’M PISSED that she can’t feel like I feel. Not for long. Just a few minutes to let it sink in. “I’m really very sorry” just doesn’t freakin’ cut it! and it never will!
      I hate having a conscience. I hate being a moral creature in such a screwed up immoral cess pool of a world. I hate, even more, that MY WIFE isn’t like me. She is part of the cess pool and instead of me helping her get out (which I thought I was doing), she’s pulling me in. She has lied so much and so convincingly that I cannot determine what is real and what is not. Is she lying now? Is every “apology” a lie? Every kiss, every “I love you” (including when she said it to someone else) was a lie. Our wedding was a lie. My LIFE was HER lie.
      Now, Brandon, How on God’s Earth do you seem so kept together and sensible? I honestly desire to possess whatever wisdom or skill it is that allows you to maintain such a civil and admirable outlook on life and your marriage. I need it desperately.

      1. Wow Allen! You’ve said so much a and I can truly physically feel your pain and anguish. There are times when I feel exactly the same way. 8 months ago today, what I once suspected was disclosed to me in the coldest way possible. Some days and a couple of weeks I feel empowered and then I slide into sadness. The only difference is that my full tilt rage is gone and countless days of crying have ended. My husband slept with a married woman that pursued him and he willing complied. There were times in the beginning that I wanted to call her or send a barrage of noted to her husband, just in case she got to the mail first. I never want to speak or view her in person, however, I would still speak to her husband if the opportunity presented itself. I have two D days. The first occurred close to 8 years ago and I was lied to and told that it was just a friendship – inappropriate in secrecy but nothing physical and then 8 months ago I found out the truth. It felt like t was new. I too avoid looking at any Holiday Inn hotels, as this is where the tramp would book rooms. He says just 5 times, but it was 5 times too many – if I can truly believe that. Time doesn’t really heal this, it’s a decision that you’ll have to make and it’s a truly hard one. I’m on the fence sometimes and I feel like leaving. Your marriage/ wedding day wasn’t a lie, nor was mine. At some point their commitment level changed when ours didn’t! Even though many cheaters claim to have always loved us while they were doing this dispicable act – at the moment that they were together, they weren’t choosing to love us in that moment. It pisses me off, when my husband told me that he always felt panic and guilt right after he was with her ….. then why in God’s name would he go back again and again. Making a decision to forgive doesn’t make what they did ok, ever and I will tell you, I too want my husband to grovel at times. But, going to sleep and waking up hearing his apology every day would be too much and would seem just as insincere at some point as it feels when they don’t do it enough. Please try counseling. We do couples and we both are doing individual. It’s a lot, yes. I wish that there was a group therapy place that we could all go to, sort of like AA. Keep praying, I’m trying to do that again and more. I lost some of my faith in prayer and going to church when this all happened, I was unset because through his affair we were fixtures in our church, before, during and after. I just didn’t want to go again after I had stopped going because I felt embarrassed about not going. Isn’t that something, it seems like the betrayed always feel more shame than the betrayers.

  105. Brandon,
    I agree with you 100% that what I did was unfaithful, thoughtless, selfish and cruel. It is certainly not in line with my Christian values. I may have not gone around telling this guy that I wanted to do this or that to him, but I let him say stuff like that to me. I’m not trying to excuse my behavior, but I am trying to understand it. I feel like I wasn’t myself and looking back on it, it seems to be one big horrible nightmare. I feel desperate and hopeless and think about death a lot. I am truly remorseful. The whole time I was caught up in this, I prayed to God to put a stop to it….silly me…I should have been praying for the strength to put an end to it once and for all and not for God to magically make it disappear. I am in no way trying to excuse my behavior. I feel like I just crashed a plane with my family all on board and am in shock (even though God gives us free will and my actions were my own). I am still shocked and scared and just want to do the right thing.

    You say not dealing with this will destroy my life. I agree, but I’ve tried to deal with it the best way I can. I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on, but my husband doesn’t want to talk about it anymore and is content in our marriage. Do you think I need to keep giving him details that he told me he doesn’t want to hear? I figure this is now the cross I have to bear, whatever comes my way. You’re words were harsh, but honest and I appreciate that. I acknowledge it was an emotional affair. I admitted to my husband that I felt my behavior is indeed grounds for divorce. He does not want divorce and wants to move past the issue. Is there something else you think I should be doing. Obviously, if I could go back in time, I would.

    As for now, I am just trying to be selfless and loving and have faith in God’s mercy and grace as well as my husband’s.

  106. Honestly – I was sharing my rationalizations not as “justifications” but as a means of trying to understand how I came to get caught up in a bunch of bad decision making. I’m not blaming anyone other than myself for what happened. Black and white – it was wrong! I know this and have acknowledged it to my husband and to God. Also if this inappropriate relationship were still ongoing or if it lasted years, I know I would have never engaged in sex or making out with him. I have no desire to be with someone else. I have never been with someone else. It was the sin of pride thinking I could play with fire and remain innocent. It was the sin of vanity that had me hooked on compliments and attention. Even if my husband was abusive to me and not the kind loving man he is, I would consider my behavior deplorable and inexcusable. I am not excusing my behavior, I am trying to understand it the best I can. If I had engaged in sex or making out, I’m fairly certain I would have committed suicide by now. I know that is also sinful and selfish, but I’m really struggling to do the best I can.

  107. Brandon,
    I acknowledge that I am accountable for my actions. I have confessed to God and my husband and pray daily for their Grace and mercy. I know my rationalizations do not excuse my behavior, but rather I’m just trying to explain and understand myself how I was capable of such a poor decision. I am not blaming my husband for my actions or saying what I did was not wrong. I would rather die than sleep with someone other than my husband. I have never even kissed another man in my adult life. I feel lower than low so much that I think about dying (no plans for it, but it’s hard not to feel so helpless and hopeless when you are so disgusted with yourself). I never said anything to this man like I want to do this with you or that with you. I did let him talk like this to me at times. I tried to change subject, but did not firmly discourage the behavior. I appreciate your honesty with me, but came here for hope, support and advice. I am already judging myself harshly and speaking regularly with my priest. I would appreciate advice vs further judgement. I never said what I did was okay because of this reason or that. I’m just explaining some of the illogical rationalizations that went through my head at the time my poor decision making happened. It sounds to me like you are doing your best to be a good Christian husband under terrible circumstances. I’m sure you could give me some wisdom on how to redeem myself and be a good Christian wife. Also if you have any advice for helping my husband deepen his faith? I believe if we both have God and faith strongly in our marriage, he will bless us and help us overcome this horrible mess I created.

  108. Hey Allen,
    First I’m far from all put together. There are days where I would love nothing more than to as you said “beat the living snot out of someone”. The one guy my wife slept with literally works at the tattoo parlor that is less than 10 minutes from my house. He’s there every day and every day it sucks so much to b pass it and not do anything stupid. I think with the gratitude/apology area though that your stuggling with there are some things.
    1st. I know it feels like getting an I’m sorry every day would help but it wouldn’t in the long run. It would keep you both in the past. What your trying to do is move forward. If your wife has honestly expressed repentance than its your place to either accept it and forgive or deny it and not forgive. If you truly want to forgive your wife, as hard as it is (because I know it’s hard…sometimes in a fight I let some things slip out that I shouldnt) you need to leave it in the past. If she’s honestly expressed repentance than that’s something she should not need to do any longer. Does God make us grovel and repent everyday for our past lives and sins? No. But he does expect a one time heart change and confession…once that is passed than we are forgiven…and as husband’s were called to love our wives like Christ loves the church. So you know better than me if your wife has had a heart change, but if she has than groveling and begging for forgiveness will only keep you both in the past and what you want is to move forward. God willing she is ready to move forward with you.
    It sucks man. I see pictures of myself now and I’m feel less of a man and less of myself than I ever thought I would. I don’t think they really grasp the full concept of the hell that will now forever be a part of our lives now just for the fact of how we relate our emotions as men.
    As for doing it again….anyone in their right mind would be skeptical. It’s ok to have questions but you can’t live in fear. Living in fear will destroy you. Trust me. Living in fear makes you become the person and the character you despise so much. It makes you rationalize and do things to feel secure and more often than not those things involve another companion or person. You need to watch your wife carefully…anyone if you have questions like where she was etc than ask her and she needs to be ok with answering you. But you can’t be afraid every day that she’s going to do it again cause that will wreck you and probably wreck her too.
    Says in Matthew “whom among you can add one cubit to your height by worrying about it?” No one. Worrying does no good.

    Also hears some advice. Read some of the psalms where David was angry and scared. He really let’s loose and he even asks god to enact revenge on his enemies…but yet he was called a man after gods own heart….he was honest and open about his feelings with god. Sometimes I think we feel as people that to come to God we can’t be honest but he already knows what we’re dealing with. Tell him exactly what your struggles are. I told him in the beginning that I wanted to forgive my wife but I couldn’t. In myself I wasn’t ready and I didn’t want to. So my prayer was look this is what I want to do but I’m not ready….please help me get to a place where I am ready….just be honest. I think God appreciates that more than when we try to suck it up and term things the way we think he needs to hear it. I mean trust me…you’ll see what I mean as you read through psalms…some of them are pretty brutal lol. But David was honest about his feelings and his fears and God called him a man after his own heart

  109. Daphne,
    I don’t think that telling your husband details that he has said he doesn’t want to hear would help much. As you said sometimes there’s just things we have to bear as a consequence for our actions. I would however like to suggest to you something that our marriage counselor suggested to us…

    Make a list of all the things you have realized hurt your husband. It can be 20 things…or it can be 200 things. Be honest and be descriptive. But list them all in a list like this…
    “I am sorry that (blank) made you feel (blank), can you forgive me for that?”

    An example would be “I’m sorry that allowing myself to flirt with another man may have affected the way you feel I love you, can you forgive me for that?”
    Next, list th3m all in order of importance, starting with the ones you think would be easiest to forgive and ending with the ones you think would be hardest. Then sit down with your husband and go through your list, and if a break is needed cause it gets to hard take a break, but do it.
    Here’s the point. You’ll get to see where your husband needs to see more effort from you because you’ll see what is easiest for him to forgive. It will also give you talking points because he may say “well that didn’t make me feel like that” to which you can say “well how did it make you feel”. And number 1 rule….don’t be offended if he says he can’t forgive something! But use that, check it away and know that that’s an area you need to prioritize. I think it would really help the two of you understand each other a little better. Your husband will also get to see that you understand the severity of what you did and the consequences of those actions which will help him let go of any fear and anger.

    Aside from that, I hope that you can find it to forgive yourself. Sounds like your husband forgave you mostly although as a man I can tell you he definitely still struggles with some insecurities. But forgiving yourself is also a big step forward.

    1. Brandon, thank you so very, very much for replying. Your initial reply to me really shook me up. I truly know there is no excuse for how I’ve acted, but I’m looking for direction as to where to go from here. Thank you for providing some direction. I wish I could blame my childhood or on how pushy and seductive this guy at work was with me, but in the end my actions are my own. I used to have such a deep faith and feel it is being tested greatly because despite my efforts to pray and listen for God. I made mistake after mistake when in hindsight it is so easy and clear to see that I should have run from temptation rather than purposely putting myself in a situation where there was such an occasion to sin and to sin so greatly against the person I love most. I traded all my self respect, dignity and happiness just to feel wanted and appreciated, it is sad and pathetic. The conversations may not have been as crass or as frequent as implied. I did manage to tell my husband about some of the emails before he stopped me from going on. However what scares me is how I was able to think of myself as “just bring a friend to this lonely misfit of a guy at work”, that I “was showing him that just because there was an attraction and he tried promising me all sorts of things that I would not give into temptation”( I realize now that I did). I also erroneously thought, ” that he was a lonely person and I was just trying to see the good I him”. I misconstrued Christian teachings to make myself feel like I was doing something good for someone when in fact I was doing evil, I’ve always had a close relationship with God and cannot believe how I twisted things is my head to meet some stupid need to feel wanted and appreciated.

      1. Daphne,

        Hi. Are you doing any personal counseling/ psychotherapy for yourself? Your struggle with this guilt is concerning. I’m the one that’s been betrayed (sexually). However, I can tell you that you’re really beating yourself up and I think that you have done unresolved issues with your husband. Perhaps that’s why you want to talk to him about your guilt, because I think you want more from your husband and your marriage than your getting. His not wanting to talk about it, sounds like it translates I to his not wanting to talk about your fractured marriage as well. Because the truth is, no matter what anyone says, there’s always a fracture preceding a betrayal of any type. It’s not normal to want to only spend sm your free tine with only your husband and kids, you need time to yourself, don’t forget yourself. And your husbands platonic female friendships are slippery slopes …….. don’t be fooled by them, even if they’re out in the open, it’s dangerous. I understand tgat what you participated in was embarrassing and painful for you to admit, it sounds like there’s probably more to it than what you’re saying. You mentioned intimate hugs several post in. Get some counseling and don’t let your husbands “friendships” go too far. Show up at his work with lunch or just for a simple kiss and hug. Take care.

  110. Can I ask has anyone got to the Point where They do not think about the affair In some form everyday or is just that we cope because we still love the adulterer? I love my husband dearly but Still find myself in bits regularly even though he is trying his best.

    1. Anita,

      I’m 8 months into this and it crosses my mind almost daily. I’m not sure if it hasn’t crossed my mind; the only thing that is different is that, quite often it’s simply a fleeting thought. Still there are times when it brings me to tears. Sometimes, in very tender or benign moments with my husband, I look at him and silently say in my head “you turned out to be such a liar”! I then simply continue with what we were doing. I love him dearly and I know he feels the same, but, he/ this has changed me and us forever. I’m not better off knowing but, in some ways we getting better than we were before. I just wished the we had communicated better before this and that we had checked in with each other more. Still not an excuse for the betrayal, but things would have probably been different. Maybe?!

      1. Cmb
        Thank you for your reply, you Sound Exactly Like me except I’m nearly 2 years down the line from when I found Out the emotional affair and 17 months since I got The full truth of the sex!and still I feel like this daily:( trouble is I knew this woman and I occasionally see her and she drives past my house,I know she loved him n assume she still does even tho I’m sure as Can be he dumped her as soon as I found the txts. Like you though it’s the lies that kill you,you can’t believe that they could lie so Easily and I just Want to wake up and not think when he says something, is that The truth or a lie, whereas I would have never questioned it before the affair!

      2. Anita. We are more alike than you realize. If you scroll through the comments, I started in October 2014. I have 2 discovery dates. I originally found out in 2007, I thought that it was only emotional and that was devastating enough. I found out in October 2014, that it was actually sexual. My heart was broken twice and this final truth, truly broke me. I went into my garage and broke every souvenir glass fro every vacation spot we went to, during the yesrs of his affair and the years after his half truth. Unfortunately, one of the broken pieces bounces back and cut open my leg. Apparently I was in shock. I never felt the actual pain, but my leg was bleeding profusely. I had to go to the ER and get staples in my leg. I requested no anestia, I never once felt a trickle of pain. I threw every glass against the overhead garage door as I tell and screamed and cried. I’m surprised that no one rang our bell or call the police, as our neighborhood is rather quiet. I thought that I would die that day. I couldn’t believe the betrayal. Honestly, I’m still in shock and often think to myself, how did this happen, I never saw it coming. I need to forgive myself for not recognizing his treatchery. I can’t believe hiw selfish he was and how he fell prey to silly compliments and the decision to sacrifice his word, character and integrity for sex! I mean how could 10 to 15 minutes of sex turn your head for a lifetime of memories, commitment and love. He told me that he always felt anxiety and guilt immediately afterward and would leave as quickly as possible. What was the point!!!!

  111. Cmb….I’m so sorry, I know exactly the thoughts You have mentioned and too struggle that he could choose to throw everything away on the odd few hours of a woman who could tell him sweet Nothing’s, she left her Husband I believe thinking mine Was already in Deep chat mode with her and would eventually be hers- she even took on another Boyfriend,presumably to make my hubby Jealous and want her more??! . I hope your external wounds have healed better Than The internal ones! How will we ever heal? It will always be there for our lives..I just wish my Hubby would read stuff like this and Understand the extent of the pain he causes me daily but if I don’t mention it he doesn’t as I know he just wants To wish it Never happened and now says he really does not understand What he was thinking..but really so many years just to throw away on lies and a tart? what Happened to vows and indeed his morals, I knew we had problems and would have dearly sorted them but Would have never Expected him to sort them out in this selfish fashion,and now I suffer the ‘ does he love me really,does he enjoy making Love to me’ etc whilst He has The knowledge that I stayed so I clearly love him,how I wished at The time that I didn’t so I could have walked!!

  112. I found out in December 2013 that my husband (marriage of 11 years, dating many more) had an affair with a married couple that he found on the internet in a chat group. He had been being a jerk to me and our daughter for so long and in that moment I saw the text I knew why. I was so floored, we were on a family cruise during the thanksgiving holiday. I went to the cabin because our daughter needed to go to bed and of course he made some jab of you want to go out (what were we supposed to do leave an 8 year old in room alone on a cruise ship) so he went to get a drink and was gone many hours. I decided to look at his cell phone and saw the texts. I think what hurt most was as we were in the airport flying on thanksgiving day, he was texting the couple saying how thankful he was for having met them and their time together. He has apologized and is trying to make things up but I can’t get over it. Especially since about 6 months later, I discovered that he was texting a photographer about taking nude photographs, they apparently made contact on a fetish website. He ended up not going, which he thinks absolves him from all wrong. The reason he didn’t go because he realized it was father’s day. I am so completely disgusted by his actions that the thought of being intimate with him disgusts me. He has been really working at our relationships but is continually pressing me for sex which totally turns me off. I can’t get over this it pops in my mind all the time from small things. I haven’t been able to talk to people about it, which makes me feel isolated. Multiple times I have been in conversations with friends and they mention an affair that happened to someone else, and say oh, you don’t need to worry about that ____ is so great. I feel that the trust of our relationship is completely destroyed.

    1. Cheryl,

      The trust is the first to go. It’s the first thing that they give away and the hardest to get back. I feel that I can stop falling apart offer the sex, it’s his lies and deceit and betrayal aka trust that gets to me. I’m praying for you and all of us. I’m ten months in to learning about a years ago affair and the pain still feels like it just happened.

  113. First, I would like to thank he author of this article. One of the best I’ve read and I too wish my wife found this on her own…but she didn’t. I shared it with her and asked her to read it but don’t think she has fully which is painful for me. So the story…

    My wife came “clean” about a second affair she ended late last year…actually came out 5 days before Xmas. We’ve been together for 15 years and have two kids. Her first affair was 10 years ago which lasted for a month and this one for 3 years with another married man. Both with work partners. They only ever screwed around during lunch and work hours and never brought any of it home which is how it was kept hidden for so long. She hasn’t worked with this guy in a couple years now but they still went for “lunch” every week or so and spoke on the phone at work almost everyday for that period. She swears she only had sex 3 times over that period and all 3 times in his car. I catch a train downtown everyday for work and our house was empty daily. I have suspicions they may have possibly come here but no way of ever proving it.

    Fast forward 6 months. I agreed to try and work things out but this is still constantly on my mind. She’s opened up for the most part and I check up on her periodically but the one thing I can’t check is her work email and calls. Although she doesn’t work with this d bag I find myself questing everything still…even after checking up on her. There are times I love her more than anything and times I despise and resent her for what she did. I ask myself how could anyone go to work and have a relationship and then come home and tell their partner how much they loved them? What kind of person is capable of this kind of deception? I should also point out that after 15 years we were still having sex 2 or 3 times average a week so I had no reason to be suspicious of the affair. She claims it was emotional and that is why she didn’t have sex with this guy more than 3 times…hmmm. Anyway, has anyone in my position been through what I’m going through, stayed to make it work and found success? I still struggle to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

    1. Mike,

      I’m trying so hard and I am truly sympathizing with you. My husband started an emotional affair almost 8 years into our marriage, when I started working back at the company she worked at, it turned sexual 4 years later and lasted 16 months. He says that it was only 5 times, I want to believe that but, a cheater is a liar so ….. You understand my reservation on that. I’m so sorry that your wife did this to you twice. I had no idea either and like you we’ve always been exceptionally intimate, even after almost 22 years we often have sex 4 or 5 times a week and sometimes daily. I hate that I still desire him that way sometimes and I wonder if I keep it up just to convince myself that we are ok. He makes me so sick sometimes and often I hate him and yet love him. The deliberate act to betray me is sickening. Now he is trying to imply that I have some type of behavior disorder. Because surely being occasionally consumed with grief and sadness can’t just be about the betrayal, there has to be something wrong with me! What these people do and have done to us while we have to forgive to move on and heal really at its core isn’t forgive able. I try to tell myself that God forgives me for all sorts of things and why can’t I just forgive and carry on. Why, because I’m not God, it’s not so easy for us mortals. His secret that he held on to for so long is eating me at my core. And then at times I feel so hopeful and believe that we can be better what I do know is that this is not a quick and easy process. God bless all of us.

  114. You know I read these stories everyday and yet I don’t know anyone that is going through this in my town and I presume that’s because we all keep it quiet? We protect the very spouses that betrayed us!! Why? They didn’t care who their lovers told and I am really struggling with not having someone to sit and talk too that understands where I’m coming from and the pain! I can’t comment really on those of you who have had this happen more than once because as far as I’m aware although his emmotional/sex affair lasted 17 months or so?!! I think it was his only one, but I have said I will never go through this again, I know I couldn’t -love him or not!..for me one more time and I’m gone.so sorry for those of you who seem to be working through multiple affairs as for me I can only forgive once as he really doesn’t love me if he puts me through this again- I sadly know I will never forget:(

    1. I thank you for this comprehensive and very insightful article. I can’t tell you how many times it has “hit the nail on the head”. This is the BEST thing that I have found online to help me deal with what I am going through.

      It has been five weeks since I “found out” about an infidelity that happened years and years ago. (There is another betrayal that I knew about—-pretty much “caught in the act” — that happened after this one, that I/we worked through at that time.) In his defense, I will say that I do believe that my husband has not cheated on me since that time.

      I asked my husband to read this article tonight. He spent over three hours going over the article and the responses. He said that it gave him a lot of insight in what I am going through. He previously thought that by now I should be “over it” and moving on. But this information and constructive help showed him that it may be a long time before I am OK again.

      I am NOT ok.

      I don’t care how long ago it happened, the pain and anguish that I am experiencing is so real and hurtful and devastating. I feel that I am not myself. I find that I want so badly to tell our friends and our children. I want to expose what an absolute SHIT that he was to me!!

      He is remorseful. ( But is it just because it finally came out…….?? The doubts plague me….) He had a shitty childhood and brothers who were WORSE than he ever dreamed of being. No role models until he came into Foster Care in my town——- And what did I do? Fell hopelessly in love with him!!! I came from the best family ever and wanted him to have that in OUR family, the family that we made together. We have great kids, kids that are now in their 30s and still love to hang around with us. We have the best, fun times when we can be together. I cherish every moment we get with them. It would totally devastate them to know that the father that they have looked up to and admired all their lives, actually treated their mother like a piece of shit. And so, I will never divulge it. I could never inflict THIS PAIN on my children.

      Of course, the big question is “WHY???” His response is: “It just happened.” Like he had no control whatsoever over his actions. (Which is complete and total bullshit.) This infidelity happened right before our marriage, a one night stand about 6 weeks before our wedding. So now……I look at our wedding pictures, at the absolute love and commitment that I vowed on that day—–and I want to PUKE! What a farce!!! How many times during that day did he think of her and the “wild oats he sowed before he got tied down” ?? In the years (and years) since, how many times has he thought of her while WE made love?? How many times has this wild and exciting “fling” been in his thoughts? All of these questions TORTURE me.

      I am a good person. I am not beautiful, but I am not a slob. I have always held a good job and worked hard. I am ambitious and smart and energetic. I have many friends and family members who love me and cherish me and think that I am a funny, easy going, intelligent woman that they want to spend time with. I am a kind and caring person. I feel compassion and empathy for other people’s pain. I was a good daughter, who tried to emulate the love and compassion that MY PARENTS AND FAMILY gave me, as an example of the home life that I wanted for my husband and my children.

      I DID NOT deserve this treatment. I DO NOT deserve the pain and the heartache that I am going through now. I believe that my husband’s early childhood, his trust issues and the way his birth family interacts to this day—-play a huge issue in what happened. And my heart bleeds for him!! Bleeds for the child that didn’t get what he needed. Bleeds for the fucking worthless parents that he had. Bleeds for the fact that he had totally worthless pieces of shit brothers that he mistakenly looked up to. Bleeds for the abandonment and confusion and abuse that he endured.

      But yet, I have to SCREAM—-I LOVED YOU!! I WAS NOT THE ONE WHO DID THESE THINGS TO YOU!! I WAS NOT THE ONE WHO ABANDONED YOU AND MADE YOU DOUBT. IT WASN’T MY FAULT! HOW COULD YOU TAKE THE TOTAL LOVE AND COMMITMENT THAT I PLEDGED TO YOU—-AND GIVE IT SO LITTLE CONSIDERATION AND REGARD? HOW COULD YOU HAVE HAD SO LITTLE LOVE AND RESPECT AND REGARD FOR MY FEELINGS??

      Why am I the one being punished? Sometimes I am consumed with thoughts that I want HIM to hurt as much as I hurt. And even though I have cried a million tears over this–he has yet to shed even one. Am I wrong to want that? So many questions and very few answers…. :/

      Again, I thank you for this article. I hope that it is the catalyst that I —-we—-need to help heal and forgive and go on.

      1. I apologize for my use of crude words in the post above. I do not normally speak those vulgar words—-and I am vey sorry for using them in this forum.

      2. don’t apologise, its how every one of us has felt. its awful and i would not wish it on anyone (except my partner, but i then feel bad for thinking that way)

      3. Dear Betrayed,

        I too found out recently about a years ago affair and it has felt like it just happened. I’m almost ten months into my D day. Actually, I found out about an “emotional affair” in 2007 and 7 years later, I found out that it was actually sexual. I still look at him and think how could you or that I can’t believe that he did this. I don’t cry as much, but not one day has gone past when I don’t think of it. Recently, I’ve thought again about a revenge affair, I know it’s so wrong and it’s not what I really want, it’s just that the way he acts sometimes gets under my skin. It’s like he feels that somehow in keeping or hanging onto misery intentionally. He and only he brought this to us to our family. When I look at pictures of us, during that time I feel emotionally and physically sick. I hate what he has done. Ironically, my husband was adopted and had a interesting childhood. There was emotional detachment, jealousy and done abuse by his much older biological brother from his adopted mom, he only received praise when he achieved so consequently he was unbeknownst to me in need of constant admiration and attention, something this dispicable married woman gave him. I’m on s constant roller coaster, just when in up he says or does something that is insensitive and I’m down again. I simply do not understand how two married people could betray their spouses. They know more than anyone what the vows meant or perhaps not, because clearly he didn’t value them like I did!

  115. I am so thankful for this post. i am the betrayed partner, we are not married, but have a beautiful baby boy together. after reading this and your posts, i feel normal again, at times i have felt like i’m crazy,especially with the searching for things, it does not help that my partner tells me this.

    in short, our relationship , we met in 2013, i saw him for 12 months , we went away with the kids, he said i was the only person he was seeing. i found pic on a camera of him having a threesome, i bought the camera for our holiday. i left he begged me back and i believed that he was remosreful. we got back together, i fell pregnant in may 2014, at 17 weeks i found out about another 5 women. he said he would stop, he didnt , he has sex messaged, emailed, and had encounters with other women. i found his phone last week, containing sex messages.

    he blames me.

    the things he has said are vile, he says sorry and that he loves me, but if i say anything its “get over it” , he has said sexually im inadequate, my breasts need implans, my lady bits are too lose. the list goes on.

    i have been so low at times, i have tried my best and lived in hope. hope that he would change. i have been very weak, its tough after having a baby , you feel pretty unattractive as your body changes so much. now i have my little boy , ive become stronger, as a last ditch attempt i am going to show him this , see what his reaction is.

    as for revenge cheating as i have read in a few posts, yes ive been tempted, very tempted. its been hard when someone is telling you that you are great just the way you are. but two wrongs don’t make a right, and i could never make another human being feel the was that he has me. it would destroy me.

    i apologise for the capitals , ( my laptop sometimes works, and sometimes it doesn’t)

    i wish you all well, i can relate to a lot of your posts , and i feel for you. just remember that there are people out there that wont treat you this way . stay strong and heres a big hug to you all. xx

    1. Vik,

      Don’t lose yourself and accept his terrible behavior. Stay strong and don’t beat yourself up. There’s something wrong with his character and not yours. Yes, I’ve read about revenge affairs and have thought about them and yet I know it’s not something that I could ever do. I try my best to hold on to my moral compass it’s what gives me some peace. Knowing that he discarded it and simply thought that no one would get hurt if it was kept a secret is simply insane. I read an article that said, you’re already hurt when they cheat, you just don’t know it yet. The moments when I think of a revenge night or relationship is lately when he’s indifferent to me or cold and intolerant. Can you imagine, my cheating husband is intolerant of my grief and mourning of our old marriage. I say old because in order to heal you have to realize that that marriage that you had is dead and you have to rebuild a new one. The extra hard part is that you’ve got these memories that just won’t go away.

      1. Cbm

        Thank you. Your husband sounds like my partner . He has no idea , one moment he is sensitive , the next he takes it all away with ,” it was nothing , it meant nothing , it was just sex, get over it ”

        He has no idea that , it tortures me daily , I hold it in , try and keep a lid on my emotions , it’s so very hard . I also see a picture of us at happy times and think you were betraying me then .

        It’s when he is cruel and hurtful and blames me that I think , if it was the other way round he would hate it . He hates guys just looking at me for too long in the street!.
        I’ve asked my partner to read this article , as of yet he hasn’t , he has seen it on his email , but says he hasn’t looked at it yet .

        I’m Close to giving up , but this time when I do it will be for the last time . No one deserves to feel this way, and cbm, and everyone else , I know exactly wat you are going through, each feeling / emotion I’ve felt , with each betrayal . It’s nice to have somewhere to vent , whatever you do do not hold it all in like I have , it does not help x

      2. Dear cmb,

        Have you asked your husband to read this article? I am so glad that mine was willing to read it and I think it has really helped him to understand the things I am feeling. Especially how I can seem to be feeling better one day and then BANG!—-it hits me again and I seem to be back to square one.

        It makes me vey sad to see HOW MANY people are going through this. But in a strange way it is comforting to read these comments and to see that I am not alone and to know that there are people who know EXACTLY how I feel.

        I am sorry for the loss and betrayal that each one of you are feeling.

  116. Wow. I found out 4 months ago that my husband of 9 years and high school sweatheart had a one night stand with a coworker that he barely knew 6 years ago. He went over to her house for coffee and she came onto him and he was unable to resist the temptation. In the one time they had sex, the unthinkable happened and she got pregnant. He has been paying child support for SIX YEARS without me knowing. Never met the child or had anything to do with it as H
    he broke things off with her immediately after that night because he knew how wrong it was and felt disgusting afterward but the damage was done. I found a text in his iPad saying he could stop paying child support bc she is getting married….. I found this out and I was 8 months pregnant with out first at the time. We now have a child together and it’s been 4 months since I found out. He is incredibly apologetic, never ever talks with this woman (in fact they havent seen eachother since ‘that night’ and the only time they’ve talked is through text and has to due with payments etc). He said he had no desire for her and just considered her a friend and that he’s always been so happy in our marriage and fell into an impulsive moment/sin….. Men that have cheated, can I ask you something? Can you really risk your marriage with a woman you love ( and who is way better looking then the ‘other’ woman) for a one night stand with someone your not initially attracted to without considering the consequences at the time? I just feel so incredibly nauseated and heart broken that he wouldn’t think of me and leaver her house the secound she started kissing him. I’m tormented daily with thoughts of them together. I feel 0 respect for him now and don’t desire him sexually like I used too bc I feel so deeply violated. I also feel frusterated with myself for not being able to forgive him as it was a one time thing and I know one horrible mistake shouldn’t define someone. Help!
    Ps- reading through all of these comments is heart wrenching. I didn’t realize how many spouses don’t take their wedding vows seriously.
    I’m so sorry for you all as this is the worst pain I’ve ever experienced.

    1. Drea
      I’m so sorry that you have had to learn of this through the ow…you already had so many hormones to deal with a new Baby on the way and then got thrown the worst pain possible! For me I would also want to know the answer to that question as I struggle with it myself and also why they have to wait for the inevitable of the ow/m telling the loyal spouse, it all stinks!! Am so sorry for your pain and the worst that he has another child because the one thing in his favour would have been that it was a one off mistake rather than an affair where you have to know they were emotionally involved…my heart still breaks, I pray you can take each day as another step forward

      1. Thanks Anita. According to him it was a one off. They talked through work for about a month prior to the one night stand but mostly about work things and just shallow stuff like movies and hobbies nothing personal. When he was down into her city for meetings with work invited him over for coffee and he excepted thinking it was an innocent coffee with a coworker friend one thing led to another shake him onto him and they had sex. They never spoke again after that because he wanted nothing to do with it he was disgusted with himself for going that far. She phoned him about a month later telling him she was pregnant he told her he wanted nothing to do with her or the baby and what she chose to do if it was up to her. She kept it and then he payed child support so he hasn’t had anything to do with her emotionally that I know of. Although I can’t picture that is hurting any worse than it does. He truly was an incredible man and I loved him since I was in high school. We were married at 19 and I’m still in shock he would do something like this to me as I always told him if he ever cheated I would leave. So in that sense it feels like the biggest slap in the face because he knew how strongly I felt about cheating and somehow his conscience didn’t kick in at the time and he didn’t even think of me. As a faithful spouse I don’t even know how this is possible. Right now things feel hopeless even though he’s willing to try because my heart feels so shattered.

      2. Hi Drea.

        Stuck in there. It’s never easy and no matter the sequence of events it always hurts! I discovered my husbands sexual affair in 2014; it was 5 times between 2005 and 2007 – if I really choose to believe it. I originally thought they it was just an emotional affair. So, I’ve discovered just how much my husband lied and lies. I never thought of him as a big liar, but ta da! We had been in couples therapy for a few years before I found out in the emotional infidelity and his porn addiction and yet he never came clean until we had an argument. Such a louse! We are working through it and it’s a struggle off and on. I’m feel so betrayed and duped! Because I haven’t fully recovered he’s decided they I have a personality disorder – borderline. Our din was in personal therapy because of our arguments and somehow my husbands stays stoic and reserved and I came off as emotional because when my son started his therapy we (my husband and I) were in crisis, as I had just found out the horrible truth 6 weeks before. So my husband had a private meeting with that therapist who told my husband that I was borderline. In addition to the inappropriateness of the meeting and the therapist not getting my written consent to even discuss that with him or even approach me, I feel betrayed again. It was at that moment when I calmly confronted both of them in a session that I requested that I felt a resolve not have a revenge affair but to simply have mindless pleasure that he once had, understanding that yes I love him and would never want to hurt him. Imagine that!

  117. I am the cheating spouse. I had an emotional affair. It’s been three months with little but some improvement. Ive lied so much and held so much from my husband that now that I have come clean about everything he won’t believe and I know I have given him reason not to. We have two children and want to make things work for them. I know he still cares about me and has his good and bad days. I take the anger and hate from him without pushing back. Sometimes I feel I might break but I know I have broken him. This article has really shown me insight on his feelings and thoughts. I really hope I can out this article into action with its tips and save my marriage. And the comments helped as well hearing from other people really gave me more insight.

  118. I would also like to add that I didn’t find this article my husband did and shared it with me. Id like to thank the author of this article since the one that my husband did complete the reading he seemed like something helped. Though we aren’t in a good place I am glad he had somewhere to turn and got some information. And to the people going through what I put my husband through thanking for posting so he can see he isn’t alone.

  119. Drea
    Sadly I think we all probably thought if they cheat we would leave and yet here we all are!! I have had chats with mates over the years and have said…Well if my husband ever cheated I will be out that door!! Trouble is love doesn’t just disappear because they have cheated and we have to decide if we can accept that one mistake or not, wether it b a one night stand or a one off Affair or indeed some of us decide that we can forgive multiple times- for me love him or not I cannot forgive another affair.
    However it is a hard path to tread and both parties have to be willing to walk the long road, I am just over 2 years down the line and triggers still bring me to tears and I wonder wether I can do it,but I look at the plus side and we have a better relationship because we talk and share and spend time together..he is open and I would Say honest but that is something I still don’t trust yet! How can you when you have been lied to for 2 years!?
    Sometimes I hate Him too and I think for a short while that’s it you git I can’t stand this anymore you’ve ruined everything,I’m leaving,but It does seem to be short Lived and I handle it.
    Could it be possible that this child isn’t his and she was sleeping with someone else and. Just. Wanted someone else to pay for the child or Is it definitely his?

    Marie
    My husband for the most part is patient and apologises every time it comes up again ..I appreciate this as he really cannot change what he has done and I will never Be able to forget unfortunately.. Keep being patient and open and have absolutely nothing todo with the other guy again, men usually disagree but as a woman I found that the emotional connection he had with this woman as bad if not worse than the sex.

  120. Anita- yes I have considered the fact that the account may not be as has he. The woman that slept with him knew he was married so she was clearly morally bankrupt… Who knows how many others she slept with. Of course he didn’t want her spilling what happened so he quietly paid child support. Since the child will be adopted we won’t have anything else to do with her or the mother from now on at least.
    Yes your right, before you cheated on me only thing that you think about is just as if it were to happen to you. Then when it happens and you love the person that wronged you, another option enters- mercy. That’s the path I’ve chosen, to give mercy when justice is what’s deserved and to forgive even though it’s easier to leave and wipe my hands of him. He is a good man who messed up one time. For me personally, if he did it again I’d be gone bc a pattern is revealing itself and my heart couldn’t take it. Good luck to all of you dealing with this real life nightmare.

    1. I agree once is a mistake twice is a pattern…I wish you good luck and the strength to get through and that love,faith and trust will be restored for us all gradually x

    2. WHAT is wrong with these women??? They know he’s engaged/married/attached and yet they go after them. Does it stroke their ego to think that they are so sexy that even an “attached” man can’t resist them? I see it all the time. But yet never thought that MY man was that stupid. But guess what—-you all know the answer—he certainly was!! I hope there is a special place in HELL for the people who inflict this pain upon people who are genuinely trying to keep their vows sacred and be true. But of course the blame is just as much on the weak, insensitive spouses/fiance’s who do this horrible thing to people that they “supposedly” love. It’s unfathomable to me. 2.5 months out and sometime I think that I am no closer to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel than when I first found out.

      1. So so sorry I know exactly how you feel and I wish I could tell you when things get easier but I still hurt- I saw his tart the other day and she actually laughed and flirted around in front of me- it set Off my pain all over again probably because I try and ignore her to hold my head up high but I’m afraid one day I may not be able too- such an absolute bitch yet she thinks she something special …clearly my husband thought So too for months on end whilst I struggled With his lack of affection- they were both scum at the time but he is trying now but the head damage and heart is done!! I hope one day to trust him again but who knows and I’ve said so many times you can never forget!!

      2. It’s crazy, as I read your post, I understand what you’re going thru, I truly do! My wife of 12 years recently was caught by me engaging in an emotional/physical affair! Long story short many years ago during her childhood she was scarred by the unfortunate realities of her parents marriage/divorce. She claimed she never wanted to be what they were, she never wanted to be in a failed marriage and she would do anything to protect her own marriage. She is emotionally unstable and most certainly one for the dramatic flare. Over the years she has come to me with her issues of emotional unstability and lack of confidence in herself. To which I did my very best to console her and to be the best guy I knew how to be to her, I did my best to ensure her confidence was built back up and that she felt loved, desired and provided for. We have two beautiful children together that have had to witness this emotional rollercoaster of a process and I don’t know how to save them from these horrible circumstances! So over the years my wife has committed 4 emotional affairs and now the 5th and most severe a physical affair. I found pictures on her phone of the two together laying in bed with their arms wrapped around one another, I found pictures that she sent to him of her in a very precarious situation! I found out that she had only known him for a week and she met him on facebook thru a mutual friend of hers that she works with whom knew she was married but hooked them up anyways. I found out that after only knowing him for 4 days, she decided it would be a good idea to rent a cheap motel room with him so after he got off work they could rendezvous. So after finding all of this out you would think the threats of losing her husband and her kids would stop her from seeing/talking to him. However unfortunately after I found out in early August, she continued to contact him every single morning from her work phone. All the while she was telling me that she felt like she and I were more friends than husband and wife and she wished she could feel the same way about me that I did about her in regards to still being in love. I just couldn’t understand why she didn’t feel the same way about me considering all that I have done for her and all the support I have given her throughout the years. So after I caught her continuing to call him relentlessly for a couple of weeks after I busted her in the affair she now suddenly claims that she is completely head over heels in love with me and that she didn’t know what she was thinking and that she wants this marriage and I’m her best friend and that she loves making love to me etc. I’m so confused that I have absolutely no idea what to think in regards to her intentions. I’m so lost that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to completely get out of my head that she has done this to me and our children and I’m not sure that I can ever love her the same way I once did! Now for the guy she was involved with I contacted him and he has claimed that once he found out she was married he told her he wanted nothing to do with her until she was finally out of the relationship with me (which may explain her not thinking we were husband and wife and not being in love with me and now she all of a sudden is in love with me after he told her that). I don’t really know what to do or where to go or how to handle it. On one hand I want her out, I want to boot her butt to the curb, on the other hand I want to work things out for the sake of our children! I’m so confused! My purpose in responding to you is to agree that I don’t know what people are truly thinking when they commit the acts of unfaithfulness and the truth is we will probably never really understand or know what their thinking. But with that said I think we can identify that selfishness plays a big part here and also a certain level of maturity plays a big part as well. I keep telling myself that there is someone out there that will truly love me for me and there is someone out there that will treat me the way I deserve to be treated. I wish you luck on your journey for the truth and your quest for true love, dignity and inner peace!

        Yours Truly!!

        Still Completely Lost in the Heartland!!!

        😦

  121. Marie

    I’m not sure if anyone has responded . I wanted too. I just wanted to say I’m glad that you agree with this article and the fact it has given you some insight into how your husband is feeling . A lot of us on here , are struggling with our partners actually realising what they have done . So it’s refreshing to see someone actually realising the damage infidelity can cause .

    If my partner put the words in this article into action , we would be on our way to repairing us and I would be very happy . But he doesn’t . He tries for short periods of time and then has enough. This is why I have finally left , and the fact he has admitted he has a sex addiction . I have said I will support him through therapy, but in this time I need to repair myself too. I can’t do this worrying if he is going to betray me again or if he slips up again . It’s not just once but several times .

    I know people might Condem you for your actions , I won’t , I don’t fully know your circumstances . But I am pleased that you are trying , it’s obvious you regret your actions and want to make things work with your husband . I really hope it works out for you and your family . X

  122. I dated my wife for 6 years and I loved her in the most profound sense of the word. With all my heart and all my might, completely open and vulnerable. She was the most incredible woman I had ever known and none could compare to her beauty and charm. I never touched another woman nor did I ever want to. Her parents were divorced and she was having difficulties at home and trying to go to college. We were both going to school. All of a sudden she said she needed time and broke up with me. I was devastated and was not going to let the one true love of my life get away from me. I found out were she moved and found that she was with another man. I confronted her and tried to win her back all to no avail. I cried like a baby when I found out that she had slept with him. They where in a relationship and we did sleep together a few times. I wept and wept when she told me she had slept with him. I was numb. Tears are welling in my eyes because the memories I have of these times feel like they are happening to me today. This is the first time in 20 years that I have written anything about it.

    I finally gave up on that girl 20 years ago. I didnt love her anymore and I just wanted to move on. I left the country I was devastated. She called me to say she was pregnant and that she had made a mistake and that she wanted me back. I wish there was a way to describe the incredible devotion and feelings that a man could have for a woman. True devotion and respect. I remember every time we met My heart would flutter. Just a touch, a look, a glance. She was Helen of Troy to me and I would do battle with an entire army for her. That feeling is incredible and to know that I was her man made me part of who I was. To my friends, to my family. She risked the ultimate bond between a man and a woman. My mind and my heart were hers.

    I married her. I married her even though I didnt love her anymore. I married her because my sense of responsibility was so great there was no other option. It is how I was brought up. My two kids are almost grown and these 20 years I have never cheated or touched another woman.

    I have suffered 20 years of heartache. I know that she loves me. I can see it in her look. When she touches me and hugs me but most of all when she just looks at me. Its like a massive wave crashing against the rocks and it take my breath away.

    I need help…my mind has created two woman. The woman that I loved in the past and the woman that I married. And when she looks at me and touches me and whispers in my ear I begin to feel that that loss of breath and in a microsecond my mind collapses on itself and it brings back the memories of this incredible person that used to love me with all her being. My heart and emotion and vulnerability and all its trust was given to the person she used to be and not to one in front of me. It kills me inside and my triggers cause me to cry all the time but she doesn’t notice it.

    I dont like to talk about the past. I dont like to look at any pictures of the past. I dropped all contact with all my friends that we used to have together. Mainly because anything regarding the past is just so hurtfull. All the time we spent together. Every written love letter, Every exciting moment together, Everything beautifull we did together was not enough for her to want to stay with me. She didnt choose me she chose another.

    She only wanted me after she got pregnant with my child. To think that one of the most incredible moments in a mans life is to be there at the birth of his child. When I saw the baby I wept. I wept because it looked like it was mine and I knew that there was no turning back on the commitment that I knew I would have to make to be there for this child for the next 18 or so years.

    I have tears running down my face as I write this….I weep knowing that 20 years ago she could have had all of me. My mind and my heart and our happiness would have been so complete. Every woman and man should be loved that way.

    Like I said…Ive never written these feelings out before and Im just going to hit the enter button. I feel like some type of therapy has happened in a way. Ive shared my secret. Ive tried to share it with my wife. She doesnt understand. I think I hope to see a comment or to know of another like myself. I have known very few men who do not speak or look at woman in non honorable ways. But for those of us who are real men and treat woman they way they deserve to be treated the flashbacks of hurt and devastation and stress is at times so insurmountable I have to pull over sometimes and just sit there. I have flashbacks of heartache so real that it breaks me down.

    I cant speak for a womans feelings but definitely for a mans. If your a woman reading this know that all men are not pigs. And when you have that love of your life trust in your hands know that we are vulnerable. We want to be masculine but we hide an incredible vulnerability when we give over our hearts and minds to the woman of our dreams. You just have to see the signs.

    1. Jimmy, I am very sorry for your pain and loss. It is evident that you are an honorable man. Your son is lucky to have you, to show him how to be a good man. Perhaps that is the “positive” that you need to cling to in your pain and to build from that.

      It is easy to say that a person should forgive and forget but almost impossible to do. I know. I too feel so betrayed, I’m afraid that it will NEVER go back to what we had before. And that is so sad, because it was so good. Or perhaps that is just MY thinking—–I obviously wasn’t good enough then—so how can I trust that I will EVER be good enough?? It is heartbreaking.

      All I can say is: You are not alone. Hang in there.

  123. I wish I had read this sooner. I have let details of my infidelity out in small parts every other week or so. I wish I had just layed it all out there at once. It is like I had a separate affair each time I told my wife new information. I do love my wife. After reading this I also realize that my own self pity and grieving is of no comfort to my wife. I will take your advice and be as supportive as I can. And deal with the pain I have caused myself separately. Thank you

  124. i am at work so don’t have much time…however, I have been cheated on repeatedly for different reasons as if I deserved it. Yes, I was not and am not perfect. But I was and am committed to my spouse more then ever.
    I am so, so, so tired of hearing the cheating spouses excuses. Do you know what we felt? We felt the distance…the lack of companionship…the lack of just being friends…the lack of sex…the accusations (which were false; it was what they were doing but wanted to push it onto us) and we were completely alone. You cheaters decided you deserved more while we stayed faithful.
    I know there are exceptions to all situations, but omg…your spouse is giving you a second chance…you know what? If the situation were reversed…I am pretty sure you wouldn’t do that for them.

    As I said, some situations do not bear this and/or are not of this caliber (for lack of a better word). But in all honesty, relationships are hard…there is no manual.
    but those who went with someone else…do you really think they are the kind of person who will stand by you? If you think that…then go. Let the spouse who stayed faithful and is hurting from betrayal go… let them find a genuine love.
    And just do your thing.
    Sorry for the harshness, but when your incredible lover leaves you – you will know how it feels.
    Bottom line….why are you with a loving, decent, honorable spouse if you don’t want to live in reality?
    then go with your fantasy person.
    I guarantee you..one day you will be on our end.

  125. It’s been a long time since I written in here. And there so many heartbreaking comments and people unfairly, unjustly treated by the person they trusted most in this world. 😢 for me it’s now over 3 years since my wife, as she put it, made her mistake. To me she broke my heart. Initially when I found out I was too shocked to react, and then I found myself in a situation of my wife having a breakdown and me having to put my feelings away to look after my kids, nurse her through her depression and self hurt episodes, basically keep it all together. Eventually she came out of the depression, we had marriage counselling, we became for a short while much more physically intimate than we been for years. But all that time the hurt, anger was still in me. I have spent three years suppressing my emotions and I’m so tired but worse I now feel nothing of the love I used to I’m just numb living one day to the next. My oldest child just left home and the other two will follow eventually. I feel what then will I have left my life is slipping by and I am just losing myself. My wife tells me she feels lonely and that I don’t appreciate her, she is unable to get why I’m no longer intimate, but I just can’t be. I don’t really know why I’m writing this. Just need a place to express myself. I know people would say talk to your wife, tell her how you feel or don’t feel. But i can’t, I can’t deal with what will end up being me in the wrong, uncaring and unforgiving.

    Richard

    1. Bill,

      The VERY best thing you can do for your family is to have your wife read this article and tell her it is exactly how you feel. You have to grieve, and work through the grief or you will never heal. My husband had no idea how to help me work through his betrayal, but said THIS gave him great insight into my pain and what I needed. If your wife loves you, she will welcome the advice and help, and you will be doing BOTH of you a huge favor.

      You are not alone. As evidence of that, you only have to read the pain and anguish in these comments. But you CAN make it better, by letting her know HOW and WHAT to do for you. Please do it.

  126. It’s been over 3 years. This whole arctical is exactly what we went though.
    Except ….
    She’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1, “BPD”. With mixed mania and rapid cycling. Another words it’s a nightmarish roller coaster. I’ve had to lay so many ultimatums that I never would have thought were possible. Her judgement of people is grotesque to say the least. I have thought of every sinario to vengeance to leaving to insanity.
    There’s only one thing that stops me and that is my son. Who is also showing sings of BPD. 11 years old and that’s my boy.
    We’ve gone though therapy both together and separately. She has mostly stayed on her medications and it has absolutely helped not just her but myself also.
    3 years and I am triggered everyday. I mostly suppress them or work them out in physical activity but they are still everyday. My biggest trigger is my sons birthday. His fucking birthday.
    Friends of ours knew. Friends for decades. Those friends are not friends anymore. I grew up the youngest of 4 brothers. All three of my brothers are drug addicts. I do not condone drugs at all for myself. But this is America. You want to go smoke that hippie lettuce or fiend for your next fix, by all means, knock yourself out. Just Do Not Bring It To My House. Can you guess what happened? My wife had that shit in our home. I was so distraught, I smoked some with her. For 2 f ing weeks after that I craved doing it again. I didn’t. But I craved the shit out of it. It showed me that addiction runs deep in my family.
    Oh, everyone in our circle, friends, family, co workers
    EVERYONE .
    knows of my awesome, creative wife’s betrayal. Even my oldest son knows. He just started at ASU by the way.
    Do I trust my wife after 3 years?
    No.
    Not at all.
    Have I learned to live with this betrayal. ?
    No.
    I learned to cope with it.
    The love I have had for this beautiful intelligent talented charming and hot wife of mine is as deep as any ocean. As pure as any snowflake. In my time of immediate sorrow and at my weakest , she said she’s never seen me as strong.
    The only advise I can give is…
    The betrayer better be open and let them know 100%, 100% of the time they better not be lying about anything.
    To the betrayed…
    Have faith in yourself. Go damn deep inside and pull out all the faith inside you. Don’t go bang someone else to get that revenge fuck in.
    Do Not Let The Actions Of Others Define Who you Are!!!
    … and most of all, take awhile and write down all the pros and cons of staying with them and the pros and cons of leaving them. I know it hurts. To me, betrayal is worst than death. You cannot have life without death. But for your most loved one to betray you … It would have been easier if she was killed in a accident.
    I know to most of you that is extreme. But going though a betrayal and my wife’s diagnoses with BPD. It is exactly how I feel.
    Also be confidant in your sexuality. Don’t let the details of their encounter bring you down. You know how your spouses like to get down. So do yourself a favor and just stay away from those details.
    I hope I helped someone.
    I wish you all the best of luck in happiness and in love.
    Jason.

    1. Oh. The only thing I didn’t like in this arctical and that my wife actually used was.
      ” I chose you. ”
      That does not work. You didn’t chose me. You chose to cheat.
      Do not tell your hurt wife or husband you choose them. Because you f***ing didn’t.
      Jason

  127. I wish I could get the kind of remorse and frequent apologies and asking for forgiveness this article talks about, but none of the sort, we are in counseling and she is working on the marriage, by letting me know where she is, what she is doing but the last time we spoke in therapy about asking for forgiveness it blew my mind:
    She did not know she was supposed to ask for forgiveness.

    No remorse, no emotional breakdown, no guilt nothing, she says she feels numb, she wasn’t numb when she was with married asshole who pretended to be my friend and hugged our children in front of his own wife wife, when I confronted him about it she went from “sweetie” (in his text messages to her” to “that woman” in two seconds flat, what a coward, he was shaking and sweating like a little girl, all while in police uniform, what a joke, integrity and character my ass.

    My anger and resentment grow each day, I say nothing,… she thinks that everything is going to be OK and that time is going to take care of this, it will not.

    How can you trust someone who has no remorse, no empathy, no compassion for the hurt she caused? You can’t, and living with someone you can’t trust sucks in the worse possible way.
    I am doing things for myself now, back to my activities friends and sports, she can join or not her choice, I have stopped “working” on this, it was her fuck up, it’s her job to fix it, I am done trying to make things into something they are not.

    She needs to make me fall in love with her again or it is time to pack my bags and enjoy life, it is way too short to be miserable, my kids deserve a better example than that.

    1. I’m with you in that friend. Feel very much the same in my situation. Getting back to gym and sorting myself out is now my priority.

  128. What do I do now? 3 years since my wife cheated. I forgave but things have not been the same. I struggle with intimacy, even though I hate being like it. But in yhe main e seemed to have pulled through it. But today cleaning our bedroom I find a bag I didn’t recognise, and inside a load of sex toys plus sexy underwear that I never seen, blindfolds etc. I’m in a mess. I don’t know if to confront her or keep to myself until a less frantic period. We are just going through sorting some finances out, and my kids are in important years in school. Omg why 😩😩

  129. My wife of 25 years has had 2 affairs, the first a couple years after we were married, the second just within the past 6 months, I read all these posts and am amazed how many people go through this and fight to keep a marriage alive , I really wonder is it truly possible to have a great marriage after so much pain and without having trust and loyalty , she said she felt guilty , and knew it was wrong but went back to this guy for sex five times. I love her dearly , but even though she has confessed and we are going to counseling , I wonder if it is worth fighting for , without trust in a marriage what do you have ? I would be interested in hearing from people that have gone through this and actually have a GOOD marriage now despite all the pain and distrust.

  130. Found out over three weeks ago my wife was having an affair. I didn’t know how deep it went and she glossed over it. She even continued to talk to him and lie to me after the first day when she said she would stop. I am a train wreck. My wife wouldn’t open up to me or offer me any real explanation or truths. I dug into every aspect of both our lives to find all the answers she was hiding. I kept asking her just to come clean and tell the truth, but she would not be honest on only got angry and lashed out at me. Some of the cruelty she has put on me since finding out is just and disrespectful and hurtful as the affair. She is running me down to everyone and acting like this is a competition. I’m getting fed up.

    I know she still has feelings for the guy, and I think she is taking all her anger out on me. Over 3 weeks after I found out she was still hiding huge secrets and lying. I had proof of a few things she would not admit to. She finally fessed up to one big item, but I’m afraid she may not have some clean on everything. She is still hiding stuff, still treating me poorly, when I cry she mocks me, when I ask questions she blocks me and creates strife. She broke down a few days ago and screamed at me and took her anger out on me to shown she does feel guilty, but I see no remorse. She just tries to get away form me when I’m emotional and doesn’t offer any understanding or comfort for the pain I’m feeling. I’ve lost nearly 25lbs in three weeks and lucky to get 3 or 4 hours sleep a night. Nauseated, feel like a load on my chest.

    I’ve told her if she would come clean and bear her soul to me I’d work on forgiving her. With the weeks of continued lies and deception I’m second guessing that. She is being to selfish of her own image and how people will view her to open up. When she does she is loud, yelling and constantly throwing off on me like it is my fault. I can’t take much more. Yesterday was almost good, but she shut down on me again when I was asking her questions and left the room. She called someone and sought out her own sympathy, yet she ignores my feelings. I don’t know her anymore. I didn’t think she could be this cold. We celebrated our 25 anniversary several month ago and the shine wasn’t off the ring I gave her before she sought out this affair.

    It is the ultimate insult and disrespect for what I have done for her. I have provided a good life for her. She has never had to work and stayed home raising our children and tending our home. I’m disgusted at her lack of concern for my feelings. She says she isn’t an outward person and pushes me away. This article almost sums up everything I have been looking for. Considering how cold, insincere and how much she has lied, I’m wondering if it is a mistake to try to work it out with her. I don’t want our old marriage back, if it isn’t better I don’t want it. She has neglected me for years in certain areas of our marriage.

    How do you know if someone is sincere, her replies are sometimes curt, often disrespectful or displayed only as acts with no feeling behind them. When she hugs me is it as short as possible, no lingering kisses. If I ask her to hold me she remind me of the hug she gave me a few hours before. I CAN’T see any remorse or concern form her and it pains me deeply. I can never get over this if she doesn’t show me the respect, sympathy, comfort and affection I deserve and need. When should I draw the line and end it? I didn’t do this to our marriage, I didn’t force her to meet him in a hotel room, I don’t deserve it and my kids don’t deserve it. With her lack of remorse and sympathy towards me I can’t cope. I’ve tried to be patient, but she is only worried about getting her sleep, enjoying her day and activities, and what others think of her.

    When should I pull the plug and more towards betting my own life? If she can’t appreciate the effort I’m making to keep her, can’t show me respect and admiration for what I’ve done for her, why should I continue to suffer and try? It is coming up on 1 month and she is only getting more angry and short with me. She is trying to act like a victim and that she deserve sympathy. When she talks to people she talk bad about me and says all I want to do is argue and take a pound of flesh. This is an outright LIE, but she is turning people against me by making it out that my cries for truth, follow by her anger and resentment are me badgering her or taking a pound of flesh. She deleted all kind of information, cleared internet caches, histories deleted chats, still deletes all her text and phone logs she doesn’t want me to see. How can I ever trust her if she has no remorse? How can we move forward if she is hiding stuff? She claims she sat in a hotel room for about 5 hours and only ate Wendy’s and kissed and hugged, but give her lies to this point should I believe her?

    I’ve told her I won’t go forward without her complete openness and honesty. I told her if she ever contacted him again I wouldn’t have her. I told her if our marriage wasn’t better after this I didn’t want it. She DID this. I may not have been the perfect husband, but she also has never been the perfect wife. We both have our faults, but SHE did this willingly. She contact him and let it escalate to the deep feelings she has. I’m tired of her only being concerned for her own feelings and belittling, mocking or yelling at me for mine. SHE did this! I think she resents me because I stand between them, but SHE did this and seem to have no remorse for me. I’m tired of snide “I LOVE YOU’s” with sighs afterwards, because she had to say it again and take time away from her day.

    When to say when? I’m getting weary looking for signs she really cares. SHE did this, but acts as though only her feelings and reputation matter and I should suck it up and move on. Is the writing on the wall? We are seeing counselors, but I can’t keep her if she only makes me feel worse, and I told her once we separate we are through. I have to stop hurting. My whole live is destroyed and affected by it. SHE did this, but just wants comfort for herself with no regard for the kids and I! I offered her a chance, but I beginning to think she is dragging this out because no one else can support! SHE DID THIS, but she has no remorse for me!

    1. There are several things to keep in mind here. First and foremost, this is a very emotional and painful thing to face in any married life. We caution anyone who has just found out about an affair to take time and to avoid making any life changing decisions for quite a while. Until your mind has cleared, and the emotional rollercoaster has slowed down a bit, there is always an enormous ‘chance’ that you will make the wrong decision, cause more future pain, or generally make the situation worse.

      Second, a small quote:

      “…Found out over three weeks ago my wife was having an affair. I didn’t know how deep it went and she glossed over it…”

      This is still fresh – you just found out! There is no realistic way that a marriag can be fully recovered, repaired, and working smoothly in less than a month’s time after an affair has been discovered. Expecting things to be going the way you want, now, right now, is simply a fantasy. It takes time for ANY injury to repair – and it takes longer for more serious ones! So don’t expect everything to magically disappear overnight! It just won’t happen.

      Thus:

      When to say when? I’m getting weary looking for signs she really cares. SHE did this, but acts as though only her feelings and reputation matter and I should suck it up and move on. Is the writing on the wall? We are seeing counselors, but I can’t keep her if she only makes me feel worse, and I told her once we separate we are through. I have to stop hurting. My whole live is destroyed and affected by it. SHE did this, but just wants comfort for herself with no regard for the kids and I! I offered her a chance, but I beginning to think she is dragging this out because no one else can support! SHE DID THIS, but she has no remorse for me!

      You want this all fixed, all of your feel goods to return, and for there to be no pain……in three weeks? With unrealistic expectations like this, it is unlikely that there will be much recovery in your marriage. You want the moon and you want it now!

      Why? Why do you ‘have to stop hurting’? How has she destroyed your “WHOLE LIFE”? Really? Every single aspect of it, from the day you were born until the day you die? Isn’t this a bit of an exaggeration? It is this kind of thinking you must rid yourself of if you want any glimmer of a reconcilliation!

      Third – and this is always important: the desire for someone to ‘come clean’ and tell you all the truth is unrealistic. This is not to say that this isn’t exactly what everyone of us ‘should’ do – at all times! The issue is that it is very easy to determine what is the ‘truth’ ahead of time, and then expect your spouse to confess all the things that you will accept as ‘true’ – and you reject anythign that does not coincide with your pre-arranged script. Sometime is takes a long time for the truth to come out – and indeed – you have to accept a person’s word that what they tell you is true – even if you have some other set of statements you want them to deliver to you.

      Fourth: this is a Christian website, and as such, the advice we give is Biblically based. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to wait for those who injured us to admit it before we forgive them. Thus, a statement like:

      “…I’ve told her if she would come clean and bear her soul to me I’d work on forgiving her….”

      …is not a Christian statement. Your forgiveness may well be the catalyst that will build a stronger relationship between you two. In any case, you must forgive her – even if your marriage fails! Forgiveness is not something you ‘work on’. It is something you do. You are confusing your feelings with the action. You may still feel hurt, but you can forgive regardless. It’s an entirely different concept – and we have articles on this website that explain that in more detail.

      Finally, there is a great deal that you must work on – revealed in what you’ve said about you and your spouse. The way you two relate is not healthy, and it is not loving. Your part in this situation right now is to determine if your marriage is worth saving or not. You are within your moral right to divorce her – but you are not obligated. But we will caution you that it is harmful to your marriage to threaten divorce and not mean what you say. Make the decision either to end it or to work on it – and then do not look back: proceed in the way you have declared! (Matthew 5:37, Deuteronomy 23:23).

  131. I am so sorry. I know exactly how you feel. My husband of (at that time) 20 yrs told me 1 day before his 50th birthday he wanted to leave. I was utterly shocked, thought we had a great marriage etc. We have 5 children – the youngest was only 7 at that time.
    Turns out he was having an affair that went on for 3 – 4 months after he told me he wanted to leave. He had sex with her in my bed – didn’t bother to change the sheets either! He then “lost” his wedding ring on a plane when he flew her out to Santa Barbara with him.. He was caught as they returned from that little ” all expense paid – for her-” trip. He was immediately contrite and supposedly sorry . But it went on – he got a go phone. ETC ETC ETC. Its now been five years since it started – 4.5 since I found out. I wish he had left. I literally can’t stand him I filed for divorce twice, backed out both times because of the kids.
    All those vivid thoughts you have of them f***ing, b.j.s etc, – that never goes away .. And the feeling of “why” – why would they set out to intentionally destroy the life you had built , the children you raised – etc. Never goes away.

  132. My husband and i married for 18 years now and just found out 1 1/2 months ago he have an affair, 4 different persons in the last 15 years of our married life. First affair last for 6 months, second affair is (the worst and most painfull to me) lasted for 5 years , they get together for one year then broke up for two years then get together again for 4 years until they broke up again then the 3rd affair was last dec 2015 accrdg to him is finished) and 4th only for a couple of months and that was last jan/february 2016. Cant imagine What a pain i am in just right now, I CANNOT EXPLAIN HOW I FEEL, all I know is im always crying now.. i found it out last April 2016 because he is trying to meet up again with other women and accidentally i read his emails, he forgot hes cp and message pop out about the meeting arrangements. Confronted him and he didnt deny it and he break down to me and tells me evrything about his previous affairs. Yes it was so devastating, i wanted to die if nt only our daugther, shes 16 years old, my daughter doesnt know his fathers affairs, i dont want her to know it. Right now my husbands 4 email addresses and cp was given to me and i can check. He give me also his skype password-he also have 4 skypes with different names. Hes sorry, hes apologetic. Im still feeling lost , inspite of the cheating/ betrayal, i still wants to be with him, i still love him, am i normal, am i crazy not to leave him, im confused.

  133. I thank you for writing this article. I am the spouse who after almost 12 years of marriage had an affair that lasted five months. I also had been reaching out to men before that in hopes of forming a relationship and getting attention that I thought I wasn’t getting at home, or attention I thought I deserved. It has been a little over two months since I began confessing to my husband about the events that occurred. I didn’t tell him all at once, it instead leaked out over five days or so. With each new confession, he was destroyed all over again. If anyone is reading who has had an affair, the time is now to confess. Confess fully and sincerely with complete honesty. Its best to get it all out at once, no matter how hard it is for you to tell them everything. The truth is that they have it much harder than you as the one who was betrayed, so suck it up and tell them everything. I freed myself from lies and secrets that I was holding from him and really from everyone in my life. I look back and have a hard time believing what I did to such a wonderful man. I have to believe it because it WAS me. I did all of those things and must be honest with myself as much as my husband because in order to change I must FACE the person I was and the actions that resulted. My husband is experiencing everything that this article depicts. There are a lot of pieces that thankfully I have put into place already in the healing process, but this really helped affirm to me that I am the healing partner in this, and that he needs me to do all of these things over and over and that I should have patience, grace, and enough willpower to do this for him. After what I have done, its the least I can do. I love my husband so much that I feel it wash over me as I type the words. He is everything to me. God gave me that man as a beautiful gift to spend my life with. I thank God for such a blessing, and for blessing us with two beautiful boys. I know good things are to come for us, because God has spoken to me. God is helping me through this time, and is the ONLY way for my husband and I to heal our marriage and live according to HIS purpose. I love my God first, and He teaches me how to truly love my spouse the way He intended.

  134. We have 5 kids and married for 14 years. My wife provided none of this support, all she did was use mistakes in my past to justify her actions. She only works on logic, too bad love isnt logical or rational. If I show her this I will hear what the heck do they know. Thanks, this article helped me realize shes not really there for me, and a second chance wont help at all.

  135. Good article. I really feel for all of you on both sides of the cheating. The person who is betrayed…it’s living hell to go through. It happened to me almost 17 years ago. Worst day of my life. I don’t wish that on anyone, ever.
    We’d been married about 11 years, and have 3 great kids. found out through a letter from a relative. Letter said she had been with 2 guys and that a lot of people knew about it. I was mad, crushed…well, you all know. At first she denied it, but fessed up quickly. I asked questions, she mostly answered them. I didn’t react well, wish this article had been there at that time. She has to this day only admitted to one, says other one never happened. Doesn’t know why it said 2. Said the one was only one time, like a one night stand thing. Never spoke to him after that. She was sorry. Very much so.
    I took her back too quickly. Things were bad for months. She left for her mom’s.
    We got back together after a few weeks. It took almost 3 years before I got back to feeling somewhat normal. I turned to God and we both prayed a lot. It helped. But even though we have had a good marriage for the last 12 years, I STILL haven’t gotten over it. It never goes away. I love my wife and she loves me.
    But for some reason the last couple weeks it has really been bothering me, she quit her job is the only change we’ve had. After a few nights of not being able to sleep i told her it was bothering me. We talked, told her I was praying for help, she was surprised to hear about it, and thought it was all over. She didn’t know it still bothered me. Same old triggers, same old feelings without the anger. I still wonder about the other one she has denied. Maybe she saw how i was and just couldn’t tell me …afraid of the repercussions. I can’t do that again, if she did have another and lied to me…I’d leave and we would be done.
    Still, after all these years. I’m not over it.
    I can give advice, it is to pray and asked God to take it. He will, but it never fully goes away.
    At this point, I still need help. Any advice?

  136. I found out about my husband’s affair in June on our first day of our family vacation. For a whole week I struggled to hold it together in front of the kids. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. We were one month shy of our 10th wedding anniversary. Come to find out it had been going on for 4 years. FOUR YEARS!! Almost half of our marriage was a total lie. He used my love for him and trust in him against me to be able to hide it for so long. I had suspected for a while but could never find proof…until that day. It was like being punched in the gut…repeatedly. I’m two months into this nightmare and it still feels like I’m taking a beating. I’ve shared this article with my husband 3 times already to try to make him understand just exactly how I feel and what i need from him. He honestly thinks that I should be “over it” by now. He tells me that he is tired of me beating him up over it everyday and that he doesn’t know how much more he can take. I WISH it was something that I didn’t have to think about every day. I don’t WANT to think about it all but I don’t know how not to. Every time something happens to remind me of it, it’s like finding out for the first time all over again. I’ve never felt anything so devastating. It makes me question everything I thought I knew – about him, about me, about our marriage. There is so much pain and so much insecurity that hangs around my neck like a weight. I feel like I’m drowning and he’s standing there on the shore watching me struggle but not willing to wade into the water to save me. I do believe he’s sorry, I do believe he wants us to work…but I don’t think his pride will let him humble himself to this level to be able to give me the emotional support that I need. I’m not sure where I go from here. I love him more than anything but I need him to SHOW me he feels the same. I want to know that I mean more to him than his pride. He’s done everything I’ve asked. He’s ended it with her for good and cut off all contact. He’s being attentive and loving once again…like he used to be. He even surprised me for our 10th anniversary with a Vowel Renewal ceremony. That meant so much to hear him vow once again to love me and only ME. All of that is great and I appreciate it so very much but none of that makes it go away. It does’t negate the pain and devastation and sense of betrayal that I feel. I need patience, understanding, support and TIME TO HEAL! Am I being unreasonable? Is that too much to ask for? I’m so confused right now. I don’t want him to feel like I am “beating him up” about it – but it’s not something I’m doing on purpose. It just hurts so much and sometimes the grief is so unexpected and overwhelming.

  137. Being betrayed by my wife after 20 years with 3 kids has proven to be the most difficult and painful experience I can imagine. I truly feel that they can’t even begin to understand the emotional devastation they cause without ever feeling it themselves. We married young but were always the example used by our friends and families of a perfect relationship. “Not all couples can be like so and so” we would hear often. I literally thought until d-day that my wife was uncapable of telling a lie. Period. She was the most genuine, honest, and caring
    Person I’ve ever met( so I married her obviously). Now like all couples things weren’t always rainbows and sunshine yet the feeling of having her at my side was like I was invincible to common day to day struggles and was never worried about the mundane problems that I saw my friends dealing with in their relationships. What could possibly lead us to where we our now? It’s not just one simple thing I’m afraid. It was most certainly lack of communication that laid the foundation and 2 full time working adults with 3 children left us with little time for just us. The company she had been a registered nurse for for the last decade had made some drastic changes which led her to staying with same company yet switching to occupational health which meant for the first time in our history together she would be on midnights which i was very upset about. Perhaps it was my reluctance in the change that planted the seed? But my whole argument being we had already had a hard time finding time for us and now we would merely wave as we passed in evening while she was leaving I was coming home. The difference was devastating though didn’t show up all at once. The times I would have a chance to call she was sleeping or stressed out running late trying to get out the door. When she was done at 7 am and feeling happy and wanting to talk I was loading up my materials and preparing my crew for that day installations and this pattern continued to get worse. I’ll spare the bitter details of the finding out and the mistakes we have both made since then as that will differ in everyone’s situation. This happened almost 3 years ago and then again after I didn’t appear to be healing fast enough. The fact that I didn’t demand her quit the job that her affair partner worked is def something I’d change if I had the chance. After the 9 months she insists she had no contact she claimed I showed no signs of healing and easily picked up where she left off. So now it’s been another year her still at same job and me still struggling each night she works which has finally taken its toll on my feelings for her regardless if she knows the pain or not she can’t seem to feel empathy or remorse though she says she does. She also blames turning 40 and feeling undesired which is untrue. Yes she did turn 40 but the undesired was the lack of feeling connected due to the job thing. I no longer feel capable of fixing our marriage and until recently had been going g through the motions to avoid causing kids anymore stress not to mention the fear I had about being alone the rest of my life. Let’s face it our youngest was 13 the oldest was 21 and what was coming up was to be the reward for our hard work. I’m now feeling I’d rather be alone the rest of my life then waste another year feeling this need to check up on her and the fights now caused by the mere lack of transparency. It would have been useful to show her this 2 years ago but the longer pain and resentment live in the back burner the more permanent the damage it seems. I’d never have believed that I could be forced out of love with that woman and to add to it I would feel ashamed and as if I was the one who let down my children. Hopefully somebody can take something useful out of my rant and save a mistake or realize the damage they could cause the person they promised to devote their lives too.

  138. I am so glad I found this. It explains everything I am going through. I am not married yet to my significant other. We have been together almost 4 years and are actually expecting our first child together. We had been talking about for the past year on doing a destination wedding in the next year. So I assumed he would be asking me the question soon. During my first trimester I was having a hard time with anxiety, depression, and shut him out. I don’t know why I did it but my hormones was all over the place. This was in June. He was suppose to be in one of his close friends wedding in November. They had a bachelor party on the opposite side of the country for a long weekend. He cheated on me while there. The communication with the affair partner lasted 2 weeks before I found out. So not long at all but still long enough. I still have so many doubts, questions, and now being further along with being pregnant am suffering with being confident in myself. We have always had an amazing relationship. He was my best friend and I know he felt the same way. The only person I have ever been in love with. We had an amazing intimate relationship. So I guess I don’t get it. I don’t understand when everything is so great and you have everything you want in front of you why you would stray. He said he isn’t putting the blame on me at all, he made a horrible choice. He regrets it everyday and wishes he could take it back. He did say all the negative thoughts were clouding his judgement from back in June when I was being a certain way. With us not being married is it something I should get over quicker? Should I pursue in marrying someone who did this to me and our child. Risking everything?

    1. It sounds like you need more time. Don’t rush into anything. I can’t give you any advice on how to get over this, as I am dealing with the same thing and have not recovered, but I will say this, just because you are not married most definitely does not mean you should have to get over this quicker. If I were in your shoes, (not yet married but pregnant), I would take my time and not risk everything. I would talk to my fiancee and put off the marriage and if he loves you he will understand why. You need to be sure that you can forgive his infidelity and put it behind you. Otherwise, in my opinion, going into a marriage with feelings of pain, resentment, insecurity, betrayal and inadequacy cannot possibly lead to a good marriage. You have to solve your problems before you start making vows and thinking about forever.

  139. I have been with my boyfriend for going on three years and he works nights as opposed to my schedule which is days. He was consistently talking to other females and having online dating profiles behind my back which he blames on complete boredom. I’m at my whitts end now and he has made an effort to block those people and delete the profiles but after three years of the same nonsense I have no sense of trusting again and at this point I’m bitter to the point I feel like I purposely neglect his feelings because he never considered mine. I explain to him how I feel and it always comes back to me, I can’t comfort him, I don’t make him feel better, I don’t say the right words etc.. He takes full responsibility for his actions but always follows it up with a “but” which I know means I exactly what it is without the “but”. He mentions our future together and wanting a child soon but how can I even begin this without trust and honesty?
    Please help!
    😦

  140. Thank you very much for this. My wife was unfaithful only for a moment , but it may as well have been a lifetime if that makes sense. I Love her very much. This is what I needed to read and her to read. It may sound dramatic and I’m not a drama queen at all. But this is like a road map of what I’m going through. Again thank you for this.

  141. In some countries men having an affair is accepted .even revered . If my partner cheated on me physically I could accept it( although I would want to know why I was not physically satisfying them and find out how I could fulfill their needs even if it ment moving out of my comfort zone) however , if a my partner built up an emotional attachment with another person I would be devastated It would be the beginning of the end. Many. people have affairs for a variety of reasons , normally somthing is missing from their marriage, the partner is physically or emotionally needing somthing else. sometimes people need to escape from a relationship where they are abused, or put down, bottom line value your partner, complement them , treat them with respect if you do not want to lose your partner make the feel that they are special, exciting,adored, wanted, not that they are just a commodity.. Have date nights, surprise, tantalize and stimulate them physically and mentally this this iis as important for women to do for men as men to do for women.

  142. I first want to thank you for this article, it was very comforting reading through and seeing that I was not completely insane, and what I am going through is “normal”. My wife of 12 years cheated on me two months ago, I witnessed it on a home security system while I was on a plane heading out of town on business. It was complete torture to witness and not be able to do anything about at the time. It was with someone I considered one of my best friends. Alcohol was heavily involved at the time, which was obvious. She has claimed since that her memory of that night is incomplete, and when I ask details about the few parts that were not captured on video she claims she doesn’t remember. In the following weeks our drinking went off the rails, getting very drunk on a nightly basis and we were trying to work it out, but I have been a complete emotional roller coaster. A month ago we had a big blow-out, specifically about drinking too much and coming to the realization we both had drinking problems. We agreed we would not drink any more, and should seek treatment. I told her that I needed her to be sober for me to even start to trust her, at the time she agreed. Thanksgiving day she lied to me and drank throughout the day in secret. When she came to bed, obviously drunk I confronted her, she lied point plank to my face. She later admitted to some, then later admitted to more. I haven’t really spoken to her since, although still living together because of our daughter, but is very uncomfortable. I obviously felt very betrayed with the infidelity, now I feel even more betrayed with the lying and drinking. I am not sure what to do next, this woman up to this point was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love her with all of my heart, and just as Carl said a few posts above me, couldn’t possibly imagine her lying to me or betraying me, until it happened. I have convinced her to go to AA, but she doesn’t seem to be taking it seriously at all, going to a meeting here or there. I feel as though our marriage which to me was absolutely perfect right up to 8 weeks ago, is circling the drain… and there is nothing I can do to stop it.

  143. I read this whole article and boy is it spot on. My feelings have been super bipolar one day I love my husband deeply and the next I feel so I credibly angry on why he cheated on me? Was I misión but something? I’m I not good enough? I pray these feelings go away as I’m so fearful of just calling it quits .

  144. I’m just two weeks into discovering my wife’s infidelity after 12 years. I was never able to imagine the pain this brought upon me, and to be fair, she is not doing too well either. We are working to rebuild our marriage stronger than ever. We are sleeping in the same bed, even cuddling, but we are still taking our first steps towards recovery. I have to admit I feel embarrased over this and like many have said before, I feel like I’ve lost who I am and what the world around me is. First I thought this was a unique case, but soon found out their relationship followed well known and researched path.

    We will find a way, my optimism is growing.

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