The Emails

The Old Woman (my coach’s name for OW) lives across the country from us.  The time difference between us and her often made it difficult for them to talk as much as they wanted.  Their conversations were often cut short by work or family interruptions.  She enjoys writing, so there is a chronicle of their affair in their emails, all of which my husband kept.  All six years worth… He deletes emails from me  as soon as he reads them, but emails from her – he kept every one.

I’ve gone into detail about how I found them in an early post, so I won’t go into it here.  If you want the sordid details, here is a link to it:

I spent all night reading them – hundreds of them –  on October 16-17, 2010 and went into physical and emotional shock.

The emails were regularly filled with songs of love and longing, quotes from their favorite songs, and frequent mentions of their special song.  One email detailed how he had practiced that song for the first time they met and he sang it to her.  He said he meant every word.  It was From This Moment On by Shania Twain.  For a long time, that song would send me into a flashback, with full mental shutdown and the inability to function in reality.  Thankfully, I have moved beyond the flashbacks now, but those songs will still send me into a tailspin.

They also developed an email game.  They would write out an acronym and the other person would have to figure out what it stood for.  SYIMD – see you in my dreams.  IWLYF – I will love you forever.  Stuff like that.  Silly, really – junior high school level of maturity.  But it gave them a little thrill.  After a while, they used these acronyms in all their emails as their little gestures of love.  I spent quite some time figuring them all out, back when I was shell-shocked and looking for details.  It made me sick to find phrases that I thought meant something special between him and me.  There were many of them.  You see, I copied the whole file.  I had three hard copies and four computer copies.

And of course, there was the talk of passion and desire and all that rubbish, too.

I wrote a while back about how I know too much and yet not enough.  I know too many details because of those emails.  But what I really want to know is what is hidden in his heart.  If I knew without a doubt that he is here because he wants me above all others, that he really and truly loves me and not just our family life, and that I am the love he does not want to live without – I could sprint through this road to recovery.  But as I posted recently, I doubt.  I have doubts about it all.

Oh, and by the way, I have destroyed – very ceremoniously – all but one copy of the emails.  I am not ready to say it’s dead and gone.  It’s stashed away in a place that I never go to, but it’s there, in case I need proof of their affair at some point.


29 thoughts on “The Emails

  1. The fact that he kept everything from her is very alarming. And he just deleted anything from you? I completely understand your doubts. Have you ever addressed them directly with him?

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Beautiful – I like calling you Beautiful. 😉

      They thought they were soulmates. A lot of the emails were in his “deleted” file, but he never purged the deleted file, not for six years. Shortly after D-day, he reached the limit of his email account and had to purge stuff. That stuff is now all gone.

      He says he was confused, that he loved both of us. He said he never intended to leave me. That’s not what I read.

      He said that he saw me every day, so he saw no point in keeping all my emails. He did keep the cards I made and the slide shows I created for him, and the gifts I gave him. I guess I can buy that, but it still bugs me.

      At the four-year mark, her husband had his second D-day and she was ready to leave and marry my husband. My husband backpedaled and wormed his way out of it.

      I wrote in “The Unveiling” that Daniel and I had fought a lot for several years, and then in the last year before my D-day, things got a lot better. It seemed that he had gotten past what I thought was clinical depression and he bought me all kinds of gifts. We moved from the condo that I didn’t particularly like, and bought a new house. He bought me a new car, diamond earrings, and that fabulous third honeymoon trip. And then I found out.

      The reason that things had gotten better in the year before D-day was because he had decided to break it off with her and stay with me. He was moving in that direction and on D-daay he had just recently told her that they could be friends but not lovers anymore. That’s why the emails I saw during our trip were chummy but not passionate. They were still using their pet names for each other and writing those love acronyms, though.

      I think that if I had not found out, they would have fallen back into their affair. Six years is a long time, and their feelings ran pretty deep.

      My coach and our marriage counselor both feel he is geniunely in love with me, but in his guilt is unable to show it. His feelings of inadequacy and shame cloud his mind and he rebels and tries to manipulate me. I don’t know… I am not convinced yet.

      Ooh, this has turned into a book. Sorry –

      Love & prayers,

  2. DJ,
    As you know, I also have an email chronicle of my husband’s affair. Mine are filled with the passion BS, song lyrics, and acronyms also! I guess both our husbands reverted to Junior High during their affairs. I must admit some of their songs still send me into a tailspin or just make me plain nauseous! On a funny note, one acronym was JGPW. It stood for Jennifer Garner Pretty Woman. (Yep, that’s her actual name and I can’t watch a JG movie without wanting to barf.) Anyway, I had to find it funny that he called her Pretty Woman like the PROSTITUTE in the movie. Bahahaha! How appropriate!

    • Not Over It says:

      OMG, Jules, that is priceless!

      Things have not been going well between my husband and me and I have been depressed, but all my friends here have me smiling again today. And you, my dear Jules, always find a perspective that makes me laugh. Thank you!

      Love & prayers,

    • wallybear12 says:

      What are his feelings now for her?
      How do they go from passionate soul mates to nothing?
      I ask my husband do you think of her? He says only when I bring it up.

      • Not Over It says:

        Hey Wallybear – I wonder the same thing, and that’s why I have doubts. My husband says the same thing – that he thinks of her only when I bring it up. But then last week he took me out to dinner. The restaurant was playing soft instrumental music. A song came on that I taught him to sing in my mother’s language many years ago. He remarked that it was amazing how music can take you back to days gone by, and he started singing it softly. I just looked at him. After a few moments, he realized the implication of what he had just said, and he stopped. I decided I wasn’t going to let it ruin the evening and I changed the subject. He was visibly relieved.

        So I doubt… if I find an answer, I’ll be sure to tell you. And you tell me if you have any epiphanies, too.

        Love & prayers,

  3. nmwf1 says:

    Hi Dj, This thing about the E-mails is really bothering you to this day even though you try to dismiss some of your feelings about them. It is very plain to see that his betrayal is going to be a rough one to overcome, he really was living a double life. As I read some of the things you are trying to overcome, i find it very hard to swallow, My heart cannot bear my own situation to the degree of near divorce and yet it pales in comparison to yours. You are a strong woman and a fighter, but your obstacle seems monumental, sometimes you have to wonder how much you are willing to lose of yourself to keep him. I’m not trying to be negative or undermine your progress, but it sometimes seems you are beating a dead horse. Danial will be a lucky, lucky, lucky, man if you ever get past the pain. Somehow I don’t see that happening anytime soon, if ever. I mean really could he have been anymore cruel than that? An Frankly I do not see that; that man deserves you at all. NOT AT ALL….. he is cruel, insensitive, self centered to a unbelievable degree. It sounds like he loves himself only. He has taken a wrecking ball to your life and now he wants you to get over it. Honestly I would pack his Sh**t for him and ship his ass back to her this instant. I’m not kidding. I can’t help myself I am in an angry mood again, one of many on my little roller coaster ride. How much can one person take, I cannot believe that you have not cracked yet. you are a stronger woman than I, my dear friend. Much stronger woman than I. Tell me I’m wrong….

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey NM – I do understand the angry phase. I am just coming out of one of them myself. It can pull you down into some dark, dark places.

      I appreciate your concern and caring for me, NM. It makes me smile to think of the wonderful friend I have in you. I am so grateful to have people like you who can understand my story and why I suffer. But I actually never thought that my story was all that bad, in the big scheme of things. I was completely and totally devastated, to the point of having real and frightful flashbacks, but I read far worse stories here in our community.

      My husband definitely has issues – mostly control issues – but he is not a bad man. Selfish and narcissistic – yes, I think all cheaters are, at least at the time they cheat – but guilt and remorse and embarrassment are helping to change that. I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

      Thank you, though, for your words of strength and conviction. I need them to keep me moving forward.

      Love & prayers,

  4. Susie says:

    I have never written here before or any blog, but I have been reading for three years.
    I too have all the e mails of my husbands affair. Also filled with passion, acronyms and pictures! They both stated they were soulmates, it was their faith, their destiny and he proposed to her and she said yes.
    Yes, I am still hanging in there. He has done all the right things this last year ( not the first two years). I too am not sold on the fact that he wants me for the rest of his life. Still feeling second best!

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Susie,

      Well, it’s nice to meet you – I wish you didn’t need to be here, but I welcome you. It’s good to share our stories.

      It’s so hard to see it all in black and white, and color, too. Feeling like second fiddle is not the way we should live out our marriages. But here we are. I think it’s extra hard to get that out of our heads. For me, at this point, I can forgive most of it. But I’m stuck on being the one he settled for when he couldn’t have what he wanted. And that’s how it feels.

      I’m glad your husband is doing the right things. Maybe he has gone through what he needed to, and now realizes that you are the one he does not want to live without. And maybe there’s hope for me, too. My husband and I are 22 months out from D-day.

      I pray for your continued healing and happiness.


  5. Susie says:

    PS. And music to vent by, I have quite a few if we want to make a CD.

  6. aaroncrj says:

    My Dear Friend DJ:

    As you well know, I also have nearly six years of emails and facebook chats that were exchanged between my wife and her EA partner. They tore at my soul and it is only in recent weeks that I have been able to resist the urge to read them over and over again. I kept looking at them for some new meaning; a nuance or context that might help me to understand definitively what was going on.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that what she felt for the OM was real, but that their relationship wasn’t grounded in reality. Quite the opposite.

    I am 100% certain that your husband knows you are the superior person and the one he loves above all others. Yet, I understand your doubt. It is a doubt born out of not only what transpired between your husband and his AP, but also out of the realization that the reality you had faith in was a false reality–much like the affair itself. The difference is that you and Daniel share a true and honest reality. One developed over many years of a real love and shaped by real life. She will never be able to compete with that.

    Your friend,


    • wallybear12 says:

      The question I keep asking him is Why?

      Why did you allow yourself to become emotionally involved with this person?

      Without a doubt he cared for her, he purposely got involved, why didn’t he just leave me?

      • Not Over It says:

        I understand, Wallybear. I often think the same things. If your husband is like most cheaters, it was a selfish and narcissistic act to gain something he thought he wanted. For my husband, he wanted vindication. His first girlfriend dumped him for the man who is now her husband. Daniel wanted to prove to her that he was the better man, that she had made a terrible mistake in dumping him. So he pursued her. But then he got too deep and fell for her.

        I get that part. I still struggle with the rest. When you have time, share more of your story with us. I’d like to know more about you.

        Love & prayers,

    • Not Over It says:

      Oh, Aaron – I cried and cried when I read your comment. Your words spoke to me in a way that I needed to hear. I don’t even know what to say, except thank you. A million times thank you for being my friend.

      I see on your blog that you have started your new job. I know you will be a blessing to those around you – they are lucky to have you on their staff. It’s exciting! Such an adventure – I’m praying for you and sending all my best –

      Love & prayers,

      • exercisegrace says:

        DJ, I second what Aaron said. I am wrestling with some of the same emotions. Asking my husband why he did some of the things he did. I am completely hung up on the fact that he let her spend the night with him on several occasions while they were on business trips. I have never read any of their texts or emails. They are buried somewhere in his work computers or old hard drives, and I think I probably should never try to retrieve them. We have had to keep them because of the legal ugliness she tried when she left the business partnership.

        Having said all that, I agree that our men create a little bubble with these women. A little world without financial obligations and bills to pay. A world without toddlers throwing up in your bed in the middle of the night and dogs taking a poop in the middle of the just-cleaned carpet. A world without laundry stacked to the ceiling, dishes piled in the sink, and three of the four kids with strep throat. A world without math homework, garbage that needs taking out (oops, forgot…now it needs picked up…the dog strung it all over the kitchen!!) A world without EXPECTATIONS!!! Sorry I forgot to mail that stuff for you, oops no I didn’t wash any of your socks/underwear last night.
        No expectations!! Just be funny, fun, flattering and available. Easy peasy when that is your ONLY expectation. If you think about the marital relationship, it is LOADED with expectations. And potentially irritations and resentment when they are not met. It isn’t CUTE like it was way back in the days of dating. Like you and Daniel, we have been together a long time. five years dating, 25 years married. While we should try never to take each other for granted, we SHOULD be able to feel like we can lean on the other once in awhile. Coast here and there, ie: let the dishes go a couple days, tend to the sick children and yourself. But suddenly when they enter the affair fog, nothing we do is good enough. The AP partner seems so much better. The only thing my husbands affair partner had over me is that she was better rested. He can admit now that it was a long slippery slope to disaster. One he didn’t recognize until way too late. He can recognize that she set out to sow the seeds of discontent, and make herself appear so so much better. What a contrast their conversations must have been between his and mine. when are you getting paid? The electric bill is past due! I need you to drive one kid to baseball while I am at soccer with another. Why did you leave the garbage out last night? It took me an hour to clean it up. And your shoes?j YOu mowed in your brand new shoes!! Do you know how long its going to take to scrub the grass stains out??? Could you not have just changed them?

        Oh heeeeeey! How are YOU today? Awwwwww you sound a little down. Really? well she IS a stay at home mom, isn’t that her job? I would looooove to do be able to do that. I would be happpy to take care of MY man. ***fill in your own BS here.

        So after an excruciatingly long post, I will get to the point. I believe Daniel loves YOU. You have done real life with him. You have seen him at his very best and very worst and loved him just the same. Its not just about sharing history, like spending so many years together means something all by itself. Its about living, loving, laughing,crying, caring, fighting, falling and getting back up out in the sunshine of the real world. As in yours, in our situation it would be soooo much easier to walk away. And years ago if you had told me the scenario I am in I would have told you I would leave him. Love is a funny thing. Sometimes it is even stronger than we know. Sometimes WE are even stronger than we know. The Love is real, and it is true. Why else would we be right here TODAY? Why else would they?

      • Not Over It says:

        Thank you EG – I needed to be reminded of these things. My struggle has long been with why he is here. Maintaining his lifestyle and position in the community and his family come to mind. He stands to lose a lot by leaving me. But I am starting to look at it differently. I really appreciate my friends here helping me to see it from a different perspective.

        Love & prayers,

  7. Foolish Woman says:

    I wanted to comment on one particular aspect of your post, DJ.

    >>My coach and our marriage counselor both feel he is geniunely in love with me, but in his guilt is unable to show it. His feelings of inadequacy and shame cloud his mind and he rebels and tries to manipulate me.<<

    Guilt played a huge part in how my husband treated me in the months following D-day.
    He behaved distantly, carried on lying for months, wouldn't initiate sex – and frequently had episodes of ED when I did. It's only now, years later, than he can explain what he was feeling at the time – which was that he felt he didn't deserve me and was terrified that I would tell him to go.
    He was also feeling deeply ashamed that he had broken my trust and completely trashed his own personal code of ethics.
    From my side – all I could see was a husband whose mind seemed to be on someone else and whose body was rejecting me in favour of the younger, firmer, lovelier etc, etc.
    Dealing with those feelings of repeated rejection drove me to the depths of despair.

    As betrayed spouses we know how much infidelity has damaged us but sometimes, in our pain and anguish, we don't realise quite how much it has also damaged the betrayer.

    So what helped us get past this?
    Time. (That old chestnut.)
    And reassurance, on both sides. And communication. And a good counsellor.
    As the months went past and I didn't throw him out he realised that I really had forgiven him. I repeatedly told him that he was not a bad person – just someone who'd found himself making bad decisions.
    On his side, he was able to show me that he deeply regretted those poor decisions – and was devastated by the fact that he'd hurt me so much.
    I have to say that my husband is not someone who easily identifies or articulates his own feelings. I often felt that I was having to do most of the hard work – which seemed rather unfair given that he'd caused the problem!

    Like most of us in this situation, I read everything I could get my hands on about infidelity and relationships. Some publications were more useful than others.
    The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman is well worth a read.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi FW – it’s so good to hear from someone who has already passed through this part of the journey. You have been open and kind since my beginnings here and I look forward to comments from the NOT-so-Foolish-Woman.

      I actually read the Five Love Languages almost 20 years while I was teaching a parenting class. I was so impressed I asked everyone to read it, and we had many spirited discussions on it. Too bad my husband wasn’t in the class… he has read excerpts that I picked out after D-day. He is not very good at putting any of it to use. But he does reach out to me using his own love language. I just have to recognize it and accept it as a gesture of love. A good example of how it plays out with us: he told me that I should just adopt his love language. He said we would then have no problems with the whole thing. So like him… half joking but really poking some of his opinions at me.

      I love that you both learned to reassure each other. I have pleaded with Daniel to give me reassurance when I need it. He just gets mad.

      Thank you for sharing some of the things that worked for you. That is a big help. I hope we can come to seeing things the way you two do, and commit to doing the things that will move us forward. I’m tired of being stuck.

      Love & prayers,

      • Foolish Woman says:

        I wish I’d found 5 Love Languages thirty years ago! I think it would be an excellent engagement or wedding present.

      • Not Over It says:

        Absolutely! My husband and I went to see the author, Gary Chapman, last year when he came to speak in our city. I thought it was wonderful.

    • exercisegrace says:

      Very, very good post. Great description. My husband too has acted in ways that I have completely misinterpreted and through painstaking discussion and counseling, I can now see that much of it was/is shame. Example, I need him to talk about the affair more. I need to talk some things out. He tries, gets frustrated or angry. I get madder, thinking he is deliberately ignoring my needs. He finally broke down in tears and told me he hates himself for what he has done to me, our family and himself. he said that “going back there” is something that is almost impossible to do emotionally. He does, though and it is hard. I agree that it takes time and more time.

      • nmwf1 says:

        EG, the post you wrote above made my day, Sorry to say, under the circumstances, but I couldn’t help but laugh, its the first time I laughed out loud in a long time. It struck me as being so funny because it almost parallels my life, ,It sounded like you live at my house. LoL. I live in a very rural area, lots of animals (destructive ones), My kids are older but my son and friends are always around the house at one time or another because they deal with cattle and horses and stuff. anyway I Just had to tell you that….. Thanks I needed that. By the way I dated my husband for 6 months before we got married, we have been married for 33 yrs.

      • Not Over It says:

        Yes, there was a time in my life when life was crazy like that, too. Not so anymore – my kids are all grown. Just got word tonight though that my oldest daughter, who is married, is separating from her husband. I suspect that he is having an affair. So I will have a baby granddaughter and daughter moving back in the house with me.

        I wish that there had been some way I could have shared with them all that I have learned in the past 22 months. But who would listen to someone whose husband had a long-term affair and whose marriage is hanging by a thread? They sure didn’t. They made every mistake in the book.

  8. Susie says:

    One of my problems is that WORDS HURT and they hurt very deeply. I sometimes feel I can forgive those words but I can,t forget or accept.
    I’m also very tired of being stuck.

  9. Not Over It says:

    Hi Susie – Oh, I know what you mean. My love language is Words of Affirmation. The first email I read shot a hole through my heart. The rest of them riddled me with holes until it seemed there was little left. With the help of my coach and everyone here, I have put myself back together, but it didn’t come out the same. You know the joke about taking something apart and not being able to put it back together, and even finding left over pieces that you have no idea what to do with? That’s what it feels like for me. I am forever changed. Some things just don’t fit anymore.

    We will never forget. I sometimes think I have forgiven him and sometimes I think I can never get to that point. I sometimes think I can accept my new reality, and sometimes I am so resentful that I want to run away. But there’s no getting away, not even if we did leave.

    Exercise and getting into nature help me. Do you have any outlets?

    Hope you have some time for fun and relaxation this weekend…

    Love & prayers,

  10. I still have the emails and sexual pictures she sent him. I haven’t read them in a couple of weeks and have been putting a time line together for our district superintendent so had to read them all again today. I actually did ok but still not totally free from the pain of the words he said to her but no flash backs, triggers or panic attacks. I don’t want to get rid of them just in case something happens in the future with her and I need to use them for proof cause I hear things she is saying to some of the people in our church. I’m glad I had them to give to our super tho so what I had to say would not be heresay and he could see her real state of mind and not the perceptions of the wife although he did say he appreciated my perceptions. I wish I could just get rid of them once and for all. I am praying for you to get the desires of your heart with clarification of his heart towards you. I have been fortunate in that my hubby has made me feel like he does love me and has not desire to even think of her but will answer my questions no matter how hard they are. Blessings!!

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi HE – Oh, that had to have been so difficult to have to read them like that. I’m glad you got through it ok.

      I did the same with my husband’s emails, but in my case, I created the timeline for myself. I had to regain some sense of order in my life – I had to make the pieces all fit. Something that directly impacted my life had been kept from me and I had to fit it into the scheme of things. Six years is a long time. The entirety of my children’s college days were during his affair. I have friends who didn’t know me before my husband turned into the emotionally abusive, rotten husband he became. I just had to put the history of my life into perspective with what was really happening through 20 percent of my marriage, and perhaps all of it from the very beginning. I obsessed over them for quite some time.

      I no longer look at them except for significant days. Today makes 22 months. I considered looking at them, but I didn’t. I want to enjoy my weekend.

      How wonderful it is that you and your husband are confident in your love for each other, and that he is willing to help you work through it. You will likely get through this quickly. Those are the two key things that keep me stuck.

      Love & prayers,

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