Grief caused by cheating spouse

How Finding out About a Spouse’s Affair is Like a Death

We all deserve to be adored by the one we love. You do. And you will. But it will take time, fight and some hard decisions. Very well balanced and not as is normally the case taking one genders side over the others but simply outlining the facts, the driving factors and also not forgetting the potential mitigating factors. I can imagine a lot of people huffing and puffing at their monitor because someone dared to not take their or their genders side on the topic and had the audacity to suggest that biology, psychology and yes, even their partner could have been some if not all of the reason.

My personal experience has been that very few clients actually wanted to try and carry on with a relationship after infidelity, and many of the ones seeking counselling merely wanted somebody else to tell their partner that they were in the wrong, that it was all their fault and that they were scum rather than trying to fix anything. What I have also noticed is that the ones that could mtually approach a relationship with an open mind and genuinely put an infidelity behind them rather than constanly using it to get their own way, excuse their own poor behaviour or just repeatedly torture their partner over it tended to come out of the process with a much more open, communicative and strong relationship than they had ever had before.

Thank you. Although there will always be people who mistreat the people who love them, this is certainly not always the case with infidelity. Its difficult for people to have a big picture view when the core of their trust has been shattered. And where people feel completely the victim with no idea they could be anything less than the perfect partner theyre not usually open to hearing anything less than endless streams of apologies. I have found even with the people who claim to want to try again, theyre often just wanting either some time to get revenge by using the other persons guilt or are just wanting to buy time and prepare for when they ditch the person and move on.

Many people can feel their partner is completely out of their league in one or more areas, or can just grow to see the person as so perfect that someone as flawed as them doesnt deserve them etc etc yadda yadda blad blah or similar. So I believe they then self sabotage the relationship subconctiously and that sometimes cheating is just the vehicle and not the aim or destination some of the time.

Because for someone like that the more they care for, depend and love a person the more they know it will hurt when it ends. And it ending is to them a known certainty with only the date it will happen being unclear. Theres even instances where one person just has what they feel are odd sexual needs they couldnt share with a partner, or where they feel their partner would see them in a bad light if they knew about them too at the other less complicated but more deliberate end of the spectrum. Theres just endless scenarios aside from the obvious ones that can lead to an infidelity, but after the fact the person who feels they were the victim wont usually be interesting in any mitigating circumstances which they cant really be blamed for really on some levels I guess.

But yes, theres such a vast array of mindsets, reasons both conscious and subconcious and expected aims or reactions. Theres also the wrong assumption too which can be almost as bad, where one partner is complete sure that they are being cheated on but either cant or wont try to prove it or end the relationship. Getting a person to step back from that brink is extremely difficult and their mindset and actions can tend to kill a relationship as effectively as an actual infidelity willl.

I have also known someone say they did cheat just to try and move past the accusations too, but that just ended on the spot and they said even that felt like a relief. So yeah, complex topic, and one so many people remain too raw to ever be able to discuss it in a calm and adult manner. This was a good read! Having been cheated on in a long term marriage, and still loving my partner, and being afraid to leave the comfort of a home with 3 small children, the only option was to try and forgive and move on in the relationship. Good times, ups and downs, and no mention of the affair surfaced again.

I understand it was not all one sided, but there was no excuse for the infidelity. Fast forward 25 years, the children all educated and making their own way in life, I was once again betrayed. This was the end. A 40 year old was much more appealing then I, The wife and mother who was now Should I have invested those years, only to end up alone?? The one thing I do have is the Love and Respect of my children, which unfortunately the cheater does not.

I can hear that you feel alone now, but there is now room for new people can find their way to you when you are ready for that. I wanted to forgive and reconcile just as you wrote. I expected him to be kind. I expected him to want to help my hurting heart. He said I disgusted him and I am weak. I walked away. So confused. I wanted to communicate and understand why.

I took responsibility for my part, working a full time corporate job, splitting my time between two coasts for a year. It was unfair to him. It has been over a year. I was bombarded with love for 18mos. He sounds like a narcissist. Look up psychological abuse.

Infidelity: Understanding the Affair - And Rebuilding Your Relationship -

Husband cheated on and off for 2 years she moved away after about 16 months. He said it was just sex but I caught him because they were texting months after she moved. But, he was hiding text messages coming up on his phone until a few weeks ago. Her never told her to go away, said he deleted her contact info. He said he stopped and nothing happened. Married 28 years. Also cheated about 13 years ago. Any advice? Speak with your husband about the article and set some ground rules.

What do you need him to do? I would suggest things like being fully accountable with where he is, his texts, his messages, emails etc. There has to be no more secrets and in order to help you feel safe, he will need to surrender his privacy for a while. This is all explained in the article. You will probably be feeling disconnected, angry, and hurt for a long time and it is important that your husband understands that this is part of the fallout.

Over time, there will be more good days than bad days and the distance between the two will get longer. I wish you love and strength. Found out 7 months ago my husband of 13 yrs has been unfaithful 4 times with 3 short term flings lasting no longer then 2 weeks at a time with 4 different women we are associated with in outer circles, 1 woman he met at bar and had a one night stand with and does not know her name. Last time he had any interaction with another woman was 3 yrs ago, this came out over a dispute in someone elses marriage, one of Ows struck another marriage, go figure!

So it was let me know she did it to me too.

10 thoughts on “How Finding out About a Spouse’s Affair is Like a Death”

Thus, it is assumed that the death of a spouse, for example, is experienced Because the cause of SIDS is largely unknown, there is no way to predict with. It is natural to want to know why your partner cheated, but there is No matter the cause, you'll have a lot of complicated feelings to sort Your marriage has changed and it is natural to grieve the relationship you once had.

Also he frequented strip clubs that consisted of lap dances and offered paid sex, which he never did but considered and only didnt do due to being with someone else that intervened. What I did know about was he watched porn regularly, not to the extent though, found out after d-day, up to 3 times a day while pleasing himself and has promised many times to stop over the yrs and failed to do so, just got better at hiding it. I have been entirely devastated!

We have been to a couples retreat for this and attending church regularly. I am sad, angry, confused, and a million things almost daily still. He has been supportive of me as much as he knows how, accountable, searching, full of shame and pain too. I am struggling with my unrelenting love for him and my values battling nonstop. I feel like I lost all these yrs with him. I thought I had a happy husband, children, home.

I am a sahm. We spent alot of time together, close to eachother, we worked through his prior drug and alcohol addiction, built a wonderful life on the other side. He says I was always loving, supportive, available, our marriage had nothing to do with it, nor me.

He says it was entirely with in himself. That his self esteem was low. That his porn addiction started yrs before I met him, that he developed a fantasy of what sex should be like, it mostly consisted of being persued by a woman. He said it provoked that fantasy aspect for him that he developed. He says once he was to that point he was in a haze of sorts yet excited they wanted him until the day it was to take place. When I think about what I do know of him he is not scared of women in anyway, we at one time had a first, a lil nervous yes but scared no.

And I am aware of his previous experience as well, it is something we discussed openly many yrs ago, none of this fits what I know of him. They are not very good people in general. I recall these women advancing even on me at the time aggressively, speaking about lingerie they bought for this guy they were planning on seeing etc, now I know they were talking about my husband! And how o how lucky I am my husband gave me such a beautiful home, how nice it would be to have that!

Should I work harder to forgive and him harder to become stronger? I wonder what or how I should process this information in a healthy fashion. Is he an addict, low self esteem, a person who has problems that I should run from I have no clue? I need help to sort it out. Pieces on the floor are you taking about my husband? Your story seems similar to mine, except that he was only having sex once but watching porn and having repeatedly cybersex.

Found out about his sexual affair 2 years ago, and same time he came clean with all the cybersexing and the porn which I thought he left behind after our first-second-fifth argue years ago. I have chosen to give him and our marriage one more chance; if he fails this time, I am out. No more mercy, No more chances, No More hurt! Enough is enough. I am too good for this shifty behaviour. My husband feels guilty and he has apologized for the hell he has put out family thru and is ashamed.

He seems to have finally gotten free from his cheating way and desires , but I have the hang up now as to how he could do this to me, and for 30 yrs. My heart goes out to you. Sally, I can sure feel your pain. So much lying and deception I can not bear it. Very well written. The time line is so close to mine. But I think Duane has made it further in the two years than I have.

Agreed, Michael, my timeline is WAAAY more stretched out, a fact that I am not proud of, but have to keep trying not to beat myself up over. It is not only a male thing. I am a women and had a months revenged EA starting app. I never thought I could be capable of being emotionally enrolled w another person but my husband, but I did. The EA has widen my horizons and helped understanding some of the things and feelings my husband went through while he has been unfaithful. Even it sounds weird, this EA has helped me understand the world of secrecy, vulnerability, emotions, and has helped me heal faster.

It has been six months since Ive known. I have never experienced anything like this in my entire life. I am so….. They both have said it was just sex, bit have also said they love me. How can just sex be worth this ripping me apart over and over every day? I must have meant nothing. Every memory in that time hurts so much because it was a lie and makes me so angry and humiliated.

My joy is gone. Why am I the one that this has to destroy? I feel myself sinking deeper into this dark place. I think its because it was THEM that it has trapped me. I got through and forgave him having a child with a woman and then hiding child support payments for years rather quickly. No one can fix it or cause it to make sense… for a good while. You have to just live through the pain, fighting to be a better you rather than a bitter you. Its a process. NEVER blame yourself nor get down on yourself for neg feeling or reactions.

Do not trust his words ever… learn to read his actions. He will not change without help… counseling, 12 step program, and serious life changes. Im not a counselor— just seen, heard, and been through so much. If you even choose to try to stay w him …insist he goes to EMB conference. He may never change. Take care of yourself! Get into a support group and counseling to help your broken heart. It took a while… but when you start to see it and feel it, you know your on a good road. Cool stuff…. Alexandra, Just my thoughts; I think that a spouse who shows remorse is very important to the healing process for several reasons.

It gives one hope that the spouse may not want to return to that place of moral failure ever again because of their regrets. However, an addict will return again and again until they learn how to break the cycle and stay clean. If they own their actions, as remorse seems to indicate, they may be willing to engage in conversations about what you need to ask or talk about. And, finally.

I relate to these stages. The recovery time is quicker. Not marriage counseling, I am talking individual counseling. This will help focus on you. I know that as the truth continues to be unearthed its supposed to be healthy…but oh God it hurts. But knowing that it is God that will serve punishment…I will not do so. He to his Judaism just recently, me to my Catholic faith soon after Dday, I hope his is the lifesaver to him, as mine has been to me. Perhaps he will comment. What you say is true about the importance of holding onto your faith — no matter what it is. Changed forever — and you are.

Our 27th anniversary was less than a month away from my first D day. I say first, because, while his was not an EA, I was told that there were multiple affairs that started with illicit massages 20 years before. I just knew that our 27th meant nothing to me and I told him so. Then as a sign, the diamond of my ring fell out of my wedding ring. I also had a terrible time sleeping and shutting down my thoughts, so would go out to the office in back and pour over the internet trying to figure out what happened, what I should do, whether I should stay, why would my H stay, and was mostly terrified.

How does that sound? I know…. Now, there were many other D days after that, but not of new Affairs, but of me finding out new aspects of his past infidelity that I am sure he NEVER meant for me to know. It took him several months to close everything down, but I believe him when he says there was no sex or enjoyment, just desperately trying to make sure there would be no repercussions for him or us in the future.

That was hard for me to buy, but after reading about the withdrawls of a WS today, suddenly, his demeanor during that time makes sense — hot and cold. He had built an entire other life that I found out in the ensuing months that had become a place to go and forget about how angry and hurt he felt from a desperate childhood and with a persona that had been carefully constructed for the world since he was probably 8 years old.

He had to build new routines and healthier ways to cope. He pretty much had to change his whole reality. The detachment was the only thing that might have given him away, and because I was so happy to have met him and married him — and thought of him as my best friend — I never saw it.

Well, his secret world began to unravel, and I believe God helped to put the evidence in my lap and gave me the clarity to see it for what it was. Each time I came upon something new he would come clean. It took about 9 months for me to get the whole picture. I gave them a little advice about dating a man twice their age who always met at Starbucks or a hotel room and never shared any personal information, gave them money when they said they needed it, took them on business trips, even new breasts for one blah, blah, blah — which made ME feel better.

In return I heard their whiney voices say that they did as told and stopped calling. I verified that with the phone records and other sources. My H also had put us into deep debt with his infidelities and trappings, which was another form of D day! I reveal all this to tell you that my life was pretty hellish for that first year. Triggers were intense for another, at least. But, there was lots of movement on his part to change. We both attribute most of our marital success because of what we learned and committed to after watching that program for months we taped it and watched it together.

He found a faith and place to go when he needed solace, and learned to forgive. He also took the lead in our relationship to put God first, and we both rely on the Holy Spirit to work within us, despite our failings. What a difference that has made in both of our lives and in our marriage. It took me a bit longer to get there and it will be a life long journey for both of us, but we have a beacon that guides us every day that we had ignored too often prior to D day.

We do find joy these days and have really started laughing together again. Did he like to spend money… Now we work the finances together and he is even more watchful and prudent than I — a 30 year banker! This year we are two weeks away from completing a whole house remodel that we had said we would do 15 years ago when we purchased this old house — as Owner Builders.

We were down to studs and have been living in the office in the backyard with two cats since January. We are still married and happily in love. I honestly now look upon the whole experience as if we found out that he was diagnosed with Cancer, went through the battle for his life, went into debt and both came out healed. I have the chance to live out the rest of my life with a husband whom I love and feel loved by. I have certainly learned from many here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart; You gave me an important place to heal!

Brief history, changedforever. I really was clueless during the whole thing. I was one of those who felt amazed at how perfect our relationship was and discovering she was having an affair was as devastating a feeling as I ever want to experience. I was pretty much out of commission for three or four months. I think I might have dealt with it better if it were only a PA. But her giving her heart to someone — even within an addictive state — is heart-wrenching.

It was how she reacted after the affair that really hit me. The withdrawal, the turning away from me, blaming me, that was worse. But it helped me be a stronger person. A friend of mine just found out his wife has been having an affair. It breaks my heart. Part of the impetus to write this piece was to show that we as individuals can and will recover, but also I wanted to point out that as much as we might value or have valued our marriages, it is not what defines us.

I had to let my wife stand on her own merits without any help from me and see if there was something new between us to sustain our future together. It has definitely helped. Is this common after an EA? Withdrawal from the addiction of the affair. Your husband created a habit for himself with the OW. Depending on how honest he wants to be with himself, this withdrawal could take some time. She turned on me in a big way this was that dreaded Third month. This happened to me too. I find I could deal with the affair although it was painful.

It was the withdrawal, lack of empathy, mind games, emotionally cruelty and sarcastic comments that cut deep. I could not understand it. Really all the post has allowed me to deal with this behaviour much better.

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Otherwise I would be still living in an emotional and confusing fog. Thank you so much. We have been married for 18 years and she came forward after she got pregnant with his baby after 6 months of the PA. I have been kind, forgiving, and graceful, but that has not done a bit of good, though it may pay off later if she gets her head and heart right. She treats me the same just as you described…withdrawn, lack of empathy, emotionally cruel and treating me as if she is the betrayed spouse. Just got past the 3rd month of agony and fighting depression, but just kept running to Jesus every time I felt it well up inside of me.

I also would call counselors to get affirmation and support. I am feeling much better in this 4th month though I am now dealing with anger more. It is sick and perverted. What I hate the most is how she acts like he is some kind of hero…HA…he is a scoundrel and categorized as one of the worst kind of men one could be grouped with.

I have cut off communication with her except in relation to the kids. I am finding myself and becoming intra-dependant and I will be the winner in all of this. Though she is getting counseling and I think she is considering reconciliation for the kids sake. But that is not enough for me at this point. As one person said, I will only consider reconciliation when I see remorse, deep repentance, and empathy for the damage she has caused the kids and to me and to Christ. She has to accept me as the father of the baby and I will happily raise the baby as my own child.

The OM gets the minimal legal access to the child if any and she will never be part of the interchange for visitation etc. I really feel deep sympathy for you and your children! U had two big hits your best friend? And a child was conceived during this horrible event!

Reading all the posts on this wonderful site makes it much easier to come to terms with how she is treating me. How are you two doing now? What did it take from your wife to realize that you wanted to rebuild the marriage? Thank you Duane…for sharing even more.

When you mentioned letting things go, such as anniversaries, does that mean you no longer acknowledge them I. After discovering they had 11 months of inappropriate contact up until June of this year, no date is unsoiled. I am 14 months past DDay 1. Not remembering dates is a curse now.

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How did you let go all that you did…pls help me with this, any advice even a starting point would be so helpful. My H has not given me any special attention since that anniversary date in October which was 4 days prior to DDay 1. You seem to be where I need to be and I am nowhere near where you are. Stuck in a bad place…and here come the emotional holidays…again. We will renew our vows when I feel I have forgiven him completely…. I too have found inner strength from yoga, friends who have been through the same and this site in particular where I can read up on useful advise and how other people feel and cope and yes we all feel pretty much the same when this happens to your marriage.

He is now finally really trying and doing a lot of what he needs to be doing to show me he wants to recover and is committed but why do I feel so ambivalent? Is this normal? I am changed and will never be that same person … I am stronger now but know I still have a great deal of pain trapped despite endless days and nights of tears and more tears… My H has not shed a single tear and that I really struggle with? We bought a puppy 6 months into our recovery to help us heal and she has been wonderful. Thank you for sharing your story. I know those feelings of ambivalence very well.

I just had to trust each day as it came. I wanted a good, loving and trusting future together, but wondered if that was really even possible. But, I continued to take each day as it came and as life went on we did too. I wrote a lot about what I found out and how it might relate to us. I began to understand a little more about what happened through talking and asking questions.

This site let me know that this is normal. I, too, had a couple of friends who were wonderful to talk with as each level of discovery brought new and hurtful information. They taught me the art of listening unconditionally and kept me honest with myself by asking me questions, but never beat my H up, even when things seemed so bizarre to me. They really helped me to explore my feelings and options. In turn, I committed to be a better listener to my H. Both my friends — and this site — gave me the courage to press on. When things got emotional, or my H was just too defensive and sometimes shut down often I still gently and quietly pressed on — one more question or clarification… I also let him know how I was feeling.

In the beginning the triggers prompted some angry talks, which really went nowhere — except he began to see my intense hurt. I think it scared him sometimes. Not so easy after 27 years, and most of them were pretty happy. Because of his childhood, which he told me about early on before marriage, I knew that he had felt smothered among many other things, and so I always gave him space and lots of trust. So, when things got incredulous, I was able to remain calm and listen.

It has taken a long time, but I have been able to put the pieces together to understand his need for distraction from his ever-present despair, and hateful feelings toward his life and who he thought he must be. But I will really never understand his decision to DO what he did in acting on those disappointments and insecurities. As time went on, it got easier and easier to talk to one another and I tried not to make any discussion unbearable, because I always hoped that he would be more forthcoming in the next one.

Those discussions often turned into talking about our future and making plans or sharing dreams; but certainly not in the beginning, or even in the first couple of years. And — again — in watching Marriage Today together, we heard that you marry the person who can heal you — as you heal each other. My H found TM and taught me. Your YOGA sounds like a great idea. I swim. I have always been more outgoing and trusting and I believe, that that is one reason he was drawn to me in the first place. I could open doors. He knew how to DO good things, and was a first responder for 22 years; but real interest and concern… I rarely saw it.

Would you believe? Neither have I. My H, on the other hand, has been very emotional; and, I appreciated that, as it was congruent to the moment and authentic. We all show emotions differently, and your H may just be trying to hold it all together. We poured our love into that boy each day and shared our adoration of his antics and fun behavior.

After 4 years, he walked away a little over a year ago, and we were heartbroken. Do you think in every other way your H is some one you can respect? I can so understand. Take it a day at a time, take your time on this site and know you can make it — with or without your H. That is a very freeing notion. The rest will come with time and patience. Is there any hurry? Make everyday count. Blessings to you, Heather. Duane…I have to say that is one of the best posts I have ever read.

It is absolutely true…all of it. I have to learn to let it all go…its no longer healthy for either one of us. Affairs are awful blood sucking parasites. I think for the most part I am stronger and he actually looks like he has aged…alot. I like your analogy…dumb for a moment spouse. I am 1 year out of D day. I have gone through it all and still going through it! I can relate to all stages. I am back to the Anger : … The OW is still writing to my H and reminding of what they had and shared.

He is not hiding the emails and has been showing me, I have his email set up on phone so I can read his any times of the day. All part of trying to gain the trust back. Now I find myself wondering is it even worth it! Seems now we are fighting more now then ever. My H has stopped talking to all people that know her, yet she keeps getting the email address.

Its getting to the point of I want to confront her at her job. He told me yesterday that he would do that with me tow. I feel like he protecting her and what they had once again. I feel my feelings mean nothing to him. They are both to blame for what happened, but he at least stopped all contact. At this point, if he does see her and wants her back GO, I am not going to sit hone anymore.

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My question to everyone, he has emailed her a few months ago, and now in an email she wrote I know its your wife writing it. Do we confront her???? My advice would be to ignore her completely. Your husband seems to be showing signs that he wants to be in your marriage. Donna, Jan.

S I understand completely! It was only Urggg. Even the 10 min drive to go see his dad. Even on our Vac, we stayed local at a Hotel, he left so he could go see her for 5 mins. This was the day I found out. I needed some me time. To talk about how I felt. I wanted him to go at first and he did to a couple and lied his way through it lol.

I look back at me then and feel sorry for how much pain I was in. Now I am angry…stay angry. I went to counseling for me because at the end of the day if our relationship ends I still have to know how to heal. I have to learn how to deal.

Marital Infidelity: Recovery for Both Wounded Spouses

So counseling for yourself is a great idea. Ignore her! There is absolutely nothing good that will come from confrontation. If you do engage with her at all, you and your H are keeping the ping pong match going! Next volley, please! I see this as focusing on the wrong thing, person etc. Your H should have kept his attention at home and HE is responsible for turning to someone else…..

As to how she keeps getting your email address, there are a million ways to search email addresses on the internet. These are not as hidden as one might think.

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You can change it again, but she will most likely find it. My H just emailed her back to tell her what he thinks, The first email from him to her. She is now becoming a crazed person. I am not sure if they will let it through but here is her letter to him today.. BTW he never made plans with her for anything lol. She is reaching far. Her letter.. Do you remember last year, how you made plans to wake up in my arms Christmas morning? How you send to me, I was the only gifted you needed. Think to nov when you held me and said you love more then anything in the world.

Do you know every time I see a car like yours my heart stops, I drive up to see if its you or her. When I see someone with green eyes I think of you and if you thinking of me. Do you remember when I said you have green eyes, you said no they brown, I said no they are green. You said well the she always say brown. Steve can we pleae meet? Christmas night maybe at your dads? Is there no way to block her? I know you can set up numerous email accounts so that may not work.

If she continues and you are in the U. They prosecute for this. Just a thought. Maybe you should tell her that it is a federal crime punishable by jail time. He made it very clear that we would prosecute. Not a peep out of her now. I have experience both as the OW and the hurt spouse and it has caused me and many others irreparable damage. This woman obviously has never experienced this type of infidelity herself, or she would understand the awful pain she is causing you and your husband. The best revenge? Completely ignore her.

It will drive her nuts. Certainly do not respond anymore. Your marriage is none of her business. I hope you can find the strength and grace to rebuild your marriage. After 3 years of this business I am still trying, one day at a time. I am a little over 2 months after d-day, the holidays are here and it is even more painful, just thinking about all the things we could be doing for the holidays to be together as a family and spend this time with friends as well.

Who would tell us we would be like this for the holidays. Sometimes I feel like its just a bad dream, but reality hits and it hits hard. He tells me living with me was a living hell for 12 years up until 2 weeks before d-day he was always loving, caring , even talking about having a second child, not a behavior of a husband who is in a living hell. He thinks his problems,sentimental, emotional,finanancial, cheap excuses problems are going to go away by having an affair, he is so wrong!

Hes just added even more and aggravated problems for himself. He is still in the fog, and has not seen one bit of the tremendous damage, he has caused our family including himself. Now he blames me for the affair, I am hurting so bad, I wish time would fly yeah right because I know time is a healer, but for now I have to go through the emotional process, I have a lot of anger inside me and I hate feeling this way , but thats part of the process.

You are not at all to blame for his affair. Your husband volunteered. Have you read Eckhart Tolle? He writes a lot about acceptance, surrender, resistance and taking responsibility for your life. Many of your posts seem to come from a different perspective than most others. Have you always been so inclined or is this something you have discovered since the affair? I love your moniker, Bluesky. So hopeful. People make dumb mistakes. Whatever they did is done. One can either dwell in that or move forward. I sort of feel lucky, too.

My wife could have turned to alcohol or drugs, she could have spiraled into depression, she could have been suicidal. D, Do you mean 18 months was how long the affair lasted? How did she deal with her demons? What did you notice different about her? My W confessed and left me a week from her birthday, 2 weeks from our 18th anniversary, and I was in month 2 and 3 during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Every spouse is responsible to seek resolution to problems, not stepping out.

It is a cop out, selfish, and deflecting and you will have a better chance of getting through this and reconciling with your H by being forgiving, but not accept blame for his lustful and selfish decision. This will keep you from being manipulated and probably victimized again. Not to be too horribly unsentimental but an anniversary is really just another day on the calendar. It has made a difference for both of us. I used to keep track of the significant dates of their affair. My wife hardly remembers anything she wrote in those emails.

She adamantly refuses to believe she ever mentioned love in relation to him. Unfortunately we attach ourselves to dates or memories I think as a mode of control. My sister died when I was The truth is we make new memories every second of every day. Duane, this is such a great post, and it comes at a good time for me. I, too, have read the Kubler-Ross stages of grief and found many similarities. I have struggled with depression, panic attacks, loss of sleep and general emotional upheaval. Reading your post gives me a renewed sense of hope and is a reminder that all these feelings are a normal part of the process.

Thanks for sharing your experience and for being so eloquent in your description of the healing process. Best of luck to you. Can you elaborate on that point? Is this a fear of being hurt again? How did you ultimately set your ego aside? Again, can you tell me more about that? Eternal kudos to Linda and Doug for sticking around. Like so many of us, I wanted things to be the way they used to be and I wanted that to happen right now. But there is simply a process we all must pass through in order to heal. There are no short-cuts in affair recovery and the more we try to find them the longer the process of recovery is going to take.

They have to grieve, we have to vent — preferably to a therapist who can offer constructive outlets. It simply has to happen organically. There will be pain and suffering and discomfort, but this is a serious wound, much more so than a heart-attack or loss of limb. This strikes at the very soul. We can only endure it. Second question: Likewise with the first question. Early on when I was angry or frightened or paranoid I would lash out or demand we talk or storm out of the house.

I sat on the issue for a while to see if it really bothered me or if perhaps I was just having a bad day. Talking about the affair less and less I found we had more room to communicate about our future, not our past. I have a lot more now than I ever did. I would like to know if you and your wife are still together? How is life now, years later and post D-Day?

I had to build a bridge and get over it! Or am I expecting to much? Am I wanting to much from him? If I ignore the EA, and act like it never happened, put a smile on my face…he is happy! This is like reading a novel, and i like to skip to the end to see if it has a happy ending. Im in the year June.

How does your story end? Are you happy together now? Did he stay faithful? Did your heart heal? What helped you most? This is a wonderful summary of things! My H and I have been together over 32 years. We almost divorced about 25 years ago because he was an alcoholic 4th generation alcoholic by the way! He stopped for 13 years. He began drinking socially but it has escalated to at least 3 drinks every day again.

I warned him that I would not tolerate being verbally abused again, and since the EA I have taken responsibility for voicing my issues and concerns regarding the marriage used to keep quiet to avoid fights. His EA was with an old girlfriend. Help please!!!! I use to worry alot about that too…ifr my husband really could change or how soon he would return to his old behavior. It still rears its ugly head on occasion and I see what he use to be. The bottom line is you cant control what he does.

You will never know if he will want to do it again and the attitude of no one tells me what to do has to go. When we are in a relationship there is no room for that selfish behavior. They have to want to put your feelings and your relationship first. Alcohol only adds to the fire. My H also gets very flirty when he drinks…. I hate it. Duane, thanks for your reply. This makes a lot of sense. The marathon talks, the vitriol, the snide remarks I make about the OW, the storming and venting—it takes a toll and feels like a setback.

Sometimes I find that we just need to change gears. Sit down and watch one of our favorite shows together, work on a puzzle with our daughter, ANYTHING to get away from the heavy conversations about the affair. At this point, between marriage counseling and our individual counseling, we have explored the affair and why it happened. I really like what you said about the inner child. This really resonates. But there are no shortcuts. I can already see that I will emerge from this process with a different set of emotional tools, as will H.

In those moments, I can see how the marriage could actually be stronger because we have both used the opportunity to grow and learn both individually and as a couple. Thanks again for a great post. I know I will return to this many times as a reminder that this is all part of the journey.

I can tell you that I really was hoping my wife and I had turned a corner after one year only to find that she still felt she had work to do before really committing to us. As recently as August 20 months post DDay my frustration was so overwhelming that I thought for sure we had reached the end.

But we kept talking, kept being honest. The sad truth is that we, the betrayed, are the ones who have to force the issue, to fight for the marriage, to make the sacrifices and swallow our pride. If our spouses were strong enough to do that they might not have strayed in the first place. Either you join me in this fight or you move on. I tried ultimatums with my wife, pleading with her, reasoning, but in the end I feel it was when I kind of gave up that she began coming around.

They will do what they will do and the only control we have is in how we choose our response to that.

I will tell you that 3 months is a short time for both of you to expect serious changes in behavior. Patience is key here and he hopefully will come around. Everyone will tell you that this is the time to work on you. I will add that I hope you never again stand for abuse of any kind. This is a really great post, D. I really like the insights shared and the advice given in the comments. It is great to hear from some farther out, as it gives me a lot of hope that we can be in a better place.

Thanks for all the comments, and Anne, I really liked all your questions, because those are things I am dealing with as well. I just had a marathon discussion…which started off horribly, but ended good. I am hopeful which was better than the past few days of despair, grief, and anger. D- thanks so much for your response, this group is so wonderful and gives me comfort that I am not alone, or hiding in the shadows, trying to blend in and act like everything is fine!!

I wanted you to know that something in your response really got to me….. Thanks again!! I suddenly have developed total apathy! I am basically walking around like a puppet, void of any emotion, good or bad. We are working on rebuilding and have made a committment to each other to try, but all we have is very basic, general conversation and performing necessary tasks together. Has anyone else gone through this, what does it mean?

I feel guilty, because I do think I want it to work and maybe this behavior is damaging to the rebuilding process. Be patient. Pace yourself. Marathon…Great analogy! What if your husband is not willing to talk about the affair? What if he is stonewalling, and then gets angry and defensive if you try to break through? How do you deal with the ongoing lies — about just about everything. I have been assured its over but she is studying and its the 3 month summer break now, so I guess its only over because she is has physically gone away.

I get different answers — or no answers- every time I ask the same questions? He is constantly lying and then lies again to cover himself. I have found stashes of cash — hidden from me- stashes of porn, stashes of packets of viagra — we never ever needed to use that! He lies about the frequency of seeing her,even the length of the affair. How do you turn off the mind movies in your head and how do you hold it together for kids, family and friends over Christmas.

I feel like a wild animal in a tiny cage. I just want him to be honest, talk to me, soothe my anxiety and help me make sense of it and help me feel safer and better. I so want to trust him but he says I am doing the opposite and always trying to catch him out. I tried stepping back, putting on a normal face and being loving. I reach out to him, I initiate all our emotional and physical connections but he takes sleeping pills to ensure he can avoid me.

I am desperate. I just want him to put his arms around me and say its going to be ok. I want him to understand the stages of healing and to be patient and kind to me but instead I feel like I am doing the penance for his crime. The nights are the worse because I cant sleep, I just obsess about every details and read non stop about healing from affairs. I dont know but I think apathy which I feel even now after 16 months is a form of protecting ourselves from further pain. It is completely normal…go easy on yourself. It truely is a marathon and you either end up saying enough or you move on with it.

I am convinced however that this underlying pain is here to stay forever. Its always just below the surface and I am questioning if I want more then this for myself. I wonder how these phases play into my situation. However, I discovered that the affair had continued.

Almost monthly I would discover the affair had continued foll. I think I hit all these everday for the last two weeks. I know it will get better and it has, it is just a matter of time and her earning my trust back! She knows this is going to be an uphill battle but I am grateful that she recognizes this, we both do. First I want to start by saying thank you, you guys have been such a great blessing and help for me. Please help. I read this article because it was about grief, which I feel like I am going through right now, a mere 8 days beyond D-Day.

However unlike the grief I went through when my mom died, this is one I cannot share with my friends and coworkers. I can not take a week off work, or even a day to deal with it. And of course, the person who otherwise would be my comfort during a time of mourning is the one who caused it. It is killing me. Luckily I was able to start therapy this week- for me- to help me learn how to cope and what I want to do next. Oh Cal, I remember how truly hard the first days are after discovery.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Thanks so much for writing this. I really needed the validation. Had a tiny hint of suspicion in the past, but always thought it was due to my truly suspicious nature after my first marriage of 20 disastrous yrs. I had to have photos to prove it to myself with the 1st husb. That would actually make it easier this time. Cheaters lie so well. But I know… I know. Blessings to all…….

I just found out about a series of affairs my wife of 23 years has been having over the past 12 months. She has admitted to me that she has slept with 5 different men. It has shaken me so hard that I have fallen down and then the tsunami swept me away, but I am somehow still alive amidst the devastation of what once was a storybook marriage.

Five different men? And you are sure she has taken every precaution? Or, are you willing to risk your health? So sorry for your terrible revelation. If you somehow find the ability to forgive your W and eventually find yourself in a healty and happy marriage, by all means document the process and offer for a modest fee to share it with others. You may find yourself wealthier than you ever imagined. She has taken no precaution. I was stil making love to her during her affairs, not knowing she was seeing other men. What else can go wrong. To top it all off, last Monday I got laid off from my job after almost 3 years.

This has been some hell on earth for me. I have been rocked to my core.

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  • Affair Recovery and the 7 Stages of Grief After an Affair.

It would be a blessing right about now, but I know I cannot give up. Those were just thoughts. Reality is I have a Son and a family to live for should it all fall apart any further. If there is any solice within this, that has to be it. I feel like I have a ton of bricks on my chest sometimes. I got ativan from my Dr.

I will not get hooked. He only gave me like 20 tabs. I am exercising and looking for work again. Just keep me in your prayers because although I was doing great spiritually prior to this, I am now kind of waivering in my spiritual walk. Sorry God. Dear Brokenhearted: You got it.. I do understand that wanting to die thing. Been in your shoes.

The exercise is a good step. Thank you for caring. Broken hearted…I am so sorry you find yourself in the club of betrayed spouses. We all know how much you are hurting but you do have alot to live for. Number one is your son who never asked to be mixed up in all of this selfishness caused by your wife. Hating God is a normal response sometimes when we question why a loving God would let us hurt so much.

I am sure he understands. I am so sorry about your job as well…just seems like alot all at once. The good news is that if you want to save your marriage it seems your wife has woke up from her cheating. Just take one day at a time right now and I am glad to hear you are taking care of your health…thats a hard thing to do when we just want to give up. I know money is probably tight right now but you can read alot on the internet and this forum that will help you in your journey ahead to healing.

You and your wife have alot of work to do. As much as I have no respect for cheaters that would include my husband I have to say it took guts for your wife to expose her cheating to the family. Most dont. Remember it wasnt your fault…you did the right thing and remained faithful and true to your marriage vows.

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