She doesn’t trust him anymore

So Fulfilled Entrepreneur said in a comment yesterday that his wife doesn’t believe he is not still in contact with the OW.  She also doesn’t believe he loves her.  Both of these are instances of the loss of trust.  She is right smack in the middle of the worst part of the pain that comes with the grief of losing that trust and that belief in your spouse.  It will probably be a long time before she stops suspecting that FE is still in touch with his OW, especially since there were multiple Ddays.  I said it on his blog, too, but geez, my heart cries for her.  That’s a pain like no one can imagine unless they’ve been there.

After more than two years, my stomach still lurches when I see my husband texting or emailing.  I tell myself to get a grip and that I don’t need to look at who he’s contacting, but it’s hard.  Last night, I went and checked his phone and then the phone company’s records against each other because I had seen him completely engrossed in texting someone.  It was his brother.  So I snuggled up just a little closer with him in bed… but I had to go and check first.  Oh, and this was all after we kissed and made up and I stopped thinking about my detailed plans for leaving.

I just wrote on Huperecho’s blog that to this day, I do not believe my husband loves me the way he loves her.  His last email to her said that he would love her forever but that he had to fulfill his obligations to his family.  Every time I start to relax and accept his love, he does something stupid to set off all my red flags again.  Ex-cheaters will need to learn what their spouse’s triggers are and AVOID THEM as much as possible.  The betrayed spouse will learn to deal with them in their own time.  Ex-cheaters just need to stay clear of those triggers until the betrayed spouse learns to handle them.

To FE, right now, your own face may be a trigger.  Saying “I love you” might be a trigger.  They were for me.  Not much you can do about those… my husband did find a love quote that did quite well in avoiding those words.  It said, “Grow old with me.  The best is yet to come.”  I was so touched I cried that he spent the time to look for a love quote that didn’t say the word “love.”

Of course, I had to get past those pretty quickly if I wanted to work on my marriage.  And yet, sometimes when he tells me he loves me, I still see those words as they appeared in his emails.  I hear them in my head – all the voicemails I was able to extract from his files filled with love and longing.  At those times I close my eyes and remind myself that he chose to be here with me.  LFBA, Looking for Buddha Again, helped me to pound that into my stubborn head.  Most of the time it works but once in a while it doesn’t.  But I never tell him that because it is at those very times that I know he is trying so hard…


71 thoughts on “She doesn’t trust him anymore

  1. hiddinsight says:

    Thank you for writing this. I have tried to become aware of what my husband’s triggers are, but I think sometimes he doesn’t even know what they are. Some of his core hurts were things I said just before D-day…things like, “I don’t think I ever loved you.” It breaks my heart that I believed things like this at the time, but the fog DOES clear and then the truth becomes more apparent. I told the OM I would “always” love him too, but now 9 months past d-day I roll my eyes at how stupid I was. I regret that these statements can’t be taken back because the sting lasts way longer than the “truth” does. Real Truth is what stands the test of time…

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Hiddin – how ya doing? My husband Daniel recently scolded his brother, who was fighting with his wife. I don’t know what his brother said, but Daniel shouted into the phone, “You cannot take back words once you say them!” He glanced at me as he finished the sentence and I saw the look of recognition on his face. He never said anything to me about it, as is typical of him, but he was extra loving when we cuddled that night.

      I do understand. I don’t think there is anyone who has not experienced some sort of desire to take back words they have spoken at some point. It does me good to hear it from you – it makes me think that there is hope…

      Love & prayers,

      • hiddinsight says:

        Hi DJ 🙂 I’m doing well. Struggling a bit, but trying to blog about it so that I don’t fall into any traps. I love my husband so much, and it’s not his fault that I am so insecure. That’s probably what it comes down to. I have a book about that (just remembered) that I should read.

        I have to admit that nothing warms my heart more now-a-days than to hear encouragement from a betrayed spouse. It is as though I am reminded that I’m valuable as a human being.

        Having just said that, I am staring at your comments in silence.

        There is hope. Huge hug.

  2. kali4ever says:

    DJ, you put my feelings into words – thank you! I want so much to be able to relax into his love like I used to. I hope that is not gone forever! Hiddinsight, I wish my H was as clear on things as you are. I love your last sentence so much though…what a great perspective: “Real truth is what stands the test of time…”

  3. tentativelyhopeful says:

    You’re right about a BS not even knowing what all the triggers are. I was at the mall with my husband a couple of weeks ago and we passed by a bench that my daughter and I had sat at over 3 months ago during the weekend my husband had gone away with his AP (though at the time I didn’t know he was away with someone else). Backstory: I had called him earlier that day and left a message since we missed him. He happened to call me back while my daughter and I were at the mall and I chalked his delay in calling me back to “bad cell reception” where he was. I only found out later that he called me back when he had a moment alone – he didn’t want to call me back in her presence so she wouldn’t feel bad. Anyway, flash forward to a couple of weeks ago and when he and I passed the bench where my daughter and I paused to talk to him while he was away, I was triggered. It was almost like seeing myself in a movie – unsuspecting wife talking with cheating husband while he was away with his AP. It turned an otherwise beautiful outing a little sour. It took awhile for me to return to a happy mental place.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi TH – so true, so true. I’m sorry to hear about your experience with the bench. At the beginning, sometimes it seems like there are triggers lurking around every corner that you never thought about before. There’s no avoiding those.

      But there are some that are known triggers that ex-cheaters *can* be careful about… like my husband texting without telling me who he is texting, or coming home late without calling, or turning his back to me in bed like he used to during his affair. You know, most people need to turn over in bed sometimes, but it triggered me pretty badly because he did it as a way of putting up a wall between us during his affair. I didn’t know about the affair then, but I knew he didn’t want to be with me. In this instance, my husband was open to suggestion and we came up with a way around it. When he needs to turn away from me to get comfortable for a while, he pulls me to him and holds my arm under his. Then I am ok, snuggled up against his back. It works for both of us. He likes to snuggle up all night long and I don’t look at his back.

      Triggers are a very personal thing, and in these instances it helped for my husband and me to talk it out. He no longer wants to hear about them, though, having made up his mind that I shouldn’t have any anymore. And I generally don’t talk about it anyway, though he knows me well enough to sense it when something triggers me. And he turns away, trying not to face the problem. The lack of communication is not helping.

      Love & prayers,

      • userdand says:

        HI DJ,

        It has been a long time since I was cheated on by my first wife, probably 35 years. It didn’t really affect me that much at the time since I was not all that thrilled at being married to her at the time either and had cheated on her at about the same time. It was a surprise, but not a shock. As such, I can’t say that I am an expert on triggers for either side in the relationship, but I do know something about the healing process afterward as one who cheated.

        IMO, it isn’t that he believes in his heart that you SHOULD BE past triggering. He WANTS you to be past triggering is the problem. He knows until you get past triggering, you will not be able to put this behind you. Yes, I know it can never really be behind the two of you and completely forgotten. As a male though, he can compartmentalize his life in a way that weomen supposedly can’t. He can make it history, file it away under “stupid things I have done” and move on. Would he be able to do that if it had happened the other way around? I can’t say, but I do doubt it. I cant’ use my own experience because I really didn’t care at the time.

        He doesn’t want to talk about your triggers. He doesn’t want to acknowlege openly to you that he is aware when they happen. What he wants to do, and is ready to do, is move on. Please understand, I am not saying he is right or that it is the healty thing to do for healing the relationship. I am just trying to give you what may be his perspective. Assuming he is truly repentant (I hate qualifiers and disclaimers), he just wants things to go back to normal. When the triggers happen he is made aware that things are far from normal. Among other things. he is reminded:

        A) You aren’t over it.
        B) Every trigger episode reminds him of his actions and your pain. HE HURT YOU, and you are still wounded and in the pain of reliving it.
        C) Every tirgger episode tells him what he is doing isn’t enough and this is going to take more time than he thought or wants. This frustrates him because he is at a loss for what else to do to fix things. He is forced to consider that this may never heal and that he sabotaged his marriage. Just like you, he wants it back the way it was, NOW.
        D) Because he wants to fix things and can’t, he doesn’t want to discuss your triggers because he can’t fix them and it makes him feel inadequate that he can’t help you get over them. Just because he was selfish enough to create cause for them doesn’t mean he feels you should just live with them and get over it. He just does’nt kow what else to do. You may only want him to listen and understand, even secretly want him to feel some guilt in the process, but listening without fixing only adds to his frustration that he is not being effective in the healing process.
        E) No one wants to feel pain or be reminded of failure. When you trigger, he is forced to share in the pain and acknowlege his failure as a husband. All this may be right, just, fair, and a necessary part of the process, but he doesn’t want to experience it anymore than you do. Since he can compartmentalize, his hope is “Can’t you just stop beating yourself up so we can move on and let it be like it was.” Of course, that’s not going to happen. It will never be like it was.

        Since it will never be like it was, I would ask you to consider this for a moment: You were in a seemingly good marriage and relationship at that time. Apparently, something about it wasn’t all that good though. He cheated. I would suggest that is NOT the marriage and relationship you want back. You want something better than what you had and this is a chance to have it, whether with him or with someone else. If you repair things and stay with him, it can only be a better and stronger realtionship than what you had. It may take a while to appreciate that fact, but it will be why your new relationship survives and thrives. Try to look at this as an unwelcome but undeniable opportunity to have a better marriage.

        I say none of the above to defend him, or try to enlist sympathy for him. This is the unfortunate result of his selfish, unilateral actions. I am only trying to help you understand what possibly may be why he seems unwilling to deal with your triggers and seems in denial about them.

        I apologize for the bad behavior of all your husband ladies. We can be very sort-sighted when it comes to matters of the heart.

  4. My heart cries for her too. When I think about what I did to her, I’m amazed she still wears her rings. It’s now been 15 weeks since the final D-Day and she’s not gone to a divorce lawyer and is going to counselling on Thursday. I’m not sure I would have the same strength that she has. I love her so much, I do want to grow old with her and I absolutely know that if she can find a way to forgive me, the best truly is yet to come. Let’s see.

  5. Teresa says:

    It’s hard to trust a spouse who says clearly and loudly that they love you and want to grow old with you, that they’re sorry they have hurt you, yet they don’t do what they promise they’ll do to help heal the marriage.

    I’ve forgiven my H for his affair….but I haven’t forgiven him for how he acted afterwards!!
    The lies, the promises to do more when he had no intention of doing that! He told me a few weeks ago that the first 18 mos he figured it would all “go away” so he wasn’t really interested in helping me to heal! So basically, when I was thinking he’d finally “gotten it”, he was faking it! He’s done more damage in the last 2yrs then the actual affair itself…

    I understand the dynamics of what lead to the EA, the family history that led to him be an Avoider, the insecurities, lack of self esteem…what I don’t understand is after seeing AND experiencing the emotional fallout, the gut wrenching, horrible PAIN that his affair caused our family…HOW can he STILL be dragging his feet??
    He STILL has not read this blog….I know this because the email account I set up for the two of us to communicate about his affair…to send articles about healing….hasn’t been looked at for over a week now! So that tells me he just doesn’t care!
    I really hope going back to counseling is going to help him….I really do, because at this point, I can say with certainty, he’s never going to change…I’m just not worth it to him.

  6. exercisegrace says:

    Trust is not shattered overnight. It is usually a slow, painful destruction as suspicions build, excuses are made, nagging thoughts won’t go away, unexplained behaviors occur, and things just generally don’t add up. After three years of being told I was paranoid, crazy, etc. It was almost, almost!! a relief to hear the truth. That it was an EA/PA. My worst suspicions were not only confirmed, but exceeded!!

    Trust is not rebuilt overnight. We learn to trust people we love because they have proven themselves to BE trustworthy, typically over a long period of time. Years, usually! When that trust is broken, it is almost like the clock is rewound. Trust has to be regained. It takes time and proven behavior. When you are betrayed, it makes you question everything about the relationship. Does he love me? Did he ever? Did I love him more than he loved me? Was i wrong about the things I believed in our relationship? All normal.
    At the same time, trust can also be a decision. Albeit a more “guarded” decision, perhaps! At some point in our healing, we DECIDE to BEGIN trusting again. We all know that if someone wants to cheat, it is ridiculously easy to hide it. It is hard to put your heart and soul on the line again and TRUST.

  7. Teresa says:

    Userdand, great post! I wish my H would read it and then TALK about it!! I’d really like to know what he’s thinking….but I’ve accepted that that won’t happen!

  8. userdand says:

    Thanks. I am so sorry you feel you are not worth it to him. It must be a lonely place to be? He may be carrying a lot of baggage in his sexual history, but he can make other choices on how to deal with it. If you aren’t seeing a therapist or counselor, I would suggest you do. It looks like you have so me very tough decisions to make and a clear head will be helpful. I sense you are a fighter for your marriage, and you feel like you are alone in the battle. Something to think about: are you fighting to save a marriage that could be, or the dream of a marriage as you wish it were? If he isn’t in the fight with you, it is only a dream with no basis in reality. You may need to move on and leave the mental abuse behind while trying to take as little pain as possible with you. I only know one side of this story tough, and not that much of it. Just hate to see you out there alone and in pain. You deserve better and, in the end, you may be the only one who can deliver better into your life.

    • nmwf1 says:

      Userdand, I have to ask if you have now cheated on you current wife, (if you have one) or when you said as one who cheated, were you referring to cheating 35 years ago? Just wondering, maybe I missed something

      • userdand says:

        Yes, I am married. No, I have not cheated on her. Yes, it was 35 yeares ago. We have been married over 25 years now. I am sorry if the previous comment confused you.

        My first wife and I had no business getting married in the first place. We had dated and been engaged for so long I guess neither of us had the courage and common sense to not do it. Almost everyone, including both sets of parents tried to discourage us. We didn’t cheat on one another out of revenge for the other’s cheating. We were both looking for something we didn’t find in our marriage. It must have been very traumatic for her to cheat. I feel it takes a lot for a wife to cheat, especially since women are not inclined to comparmentalizing their lives.

      • Not Over It says:

        Hi Userdand – I find your comments thought-provoking, but haven’t much time for deep thought. I’ll be back into this week and hope to engage in some good conversation with you. Thank you for commenting here and engaging my friends. -DJ

    • nmwf1 says:

      I find it ironic that you make a comment (i am sorry you feel you are not worth it to him,) Because really, a cheater makes you feel that you are not worth anything to anyone, not just them, when you love someone so deep and you put your whole heart and soul into that person and you love and trust them with everything that you have and are as a partner in life, than Ya any sort of resistance (no matter out of pride or despair of their mistake) in its smallest measurement, makes a person feel like they are not worth it to that person anymore. My husband is very, very remorseful and we are on our road to recovery, and he goes to great lengths to make up, but I am far from over his betrayal and I have many triggers, if he shows any anger or irritation to me when I am having trouble coping, (and he has a few times), my frame of mind takes a raging turn, maybe out of fear of hurting, I don’t know, but it tanks my self esteem immediately, something I may add that never happened prior the his EA with an OW, and it does make you feel not worth it to (not just him) but to anyone. And also I might add Teresa and I have both been married for many years, although your intentions were good on your advise, indicating a point of leaving the marriage, regardless of what stage of the healing you are in, only adds fuel for misery, (its like pouring salt in a persons already wounded pride) and is not very helpful. We would not be fighting so hard to repair our relationships if we thought it was all in vane. Cheaters do not stay if the love is gone, (unless they are a glutton for punishment) and you don’t just throw away a lifetime with a person, its not about leaving or bailing when the healing process doesn’t go smoothly, there is no one plan of recovery for everyone, because like a death everyone deals with it in the way that they can, Betrayal is agony, but its only because the love is still there but the process of fixing the damage to the relationship is long and painful. We either stay the course or we don’t. Some of your prospective is very interesting and sheds a little light, thank you for that, but the reality is, is that . infidelity is indescribably painful, You do not control your feelings they control you. And I understand the cheaters thought pattern as you explained parts really well, but a cheater could have avoided all of it, had they just been faithful and true and loyal and honest to the one they have. So heartfelt as you made the cheater seem of his/her feelings of failure when the betrayed spouse doesn’t quite respond to their efforts they put forth in the aftermath of the affair the way they want. (damn if they do damn if they don’t ) attitude that they sometimes have, My comment to that is, the pain is much different for the betrayed than the cheater, The betrayed spouse is loyal,and wants to share their life with that one special person (there spouse), the cheater wanted to share with another cheater on the side, that is torturous. So if they want their life to be back to normal in lightning speed. They should have thought of that before they did what they did. I don’t feel sorry for cheaters at all. As far as I am concerned, its my husbands job to keep me, not the other way around. My heart will not mend until it is ready to mend, and I don’t know how long that might be, I don’t control my heart, it controls me. However if the effort on my husbands part gets to be more than he can handle, he knows where the door is, Its up to him to fix what he destroyed. I do my part by (STILL LOVING HIM AND STANDING BY HIM IN THIS MOMENT OF CRISIS) despite my resentment , if it is not enough, than I don’t know what to tell him, he made his bed and now he has to lye in it. He needs to feel helpless sometimes, maybe not always( I give him credit where credit is due,) But why shouldn’t he, I feel helpless all the time because I can’t change what has already been done. (That my friend cuts deep in my soul) .

      • userdand says:

        There is so much here, it will take me a while to wade through it, but I will get back to you. I really do try to be very deliberative and careful with my comments so responding to something this complex will take be a bit.

  9. nmwf1 says:

    userdand, I wasn’t slamming your efforts, a lot of what you say makes since, even though it sounds a little like text book analysis , but it seems you have a happy marriage now, your previous marriage failed over was 35 years ago and it seems that the unhappiness in your marriage back then was mutual. I don’t see that your problem back then brought either of you much pain, You were both young and sounds like both of you wanted out. Not much to say about mending a shattered relationship of the two of you. In saying this, I feel like you are practicing to be a therapist, its not an insult, but rather a observation so to speak. I say this because you are hear to guide others with no basis or real experience of your own to refer to. Am i right? Just curious that’s all!

    • userdand says:

      hool of Well, yes…..and no. I am an avid reader and very tenacious when I start reading/studying about something I am deeply interested in. My interest in relationship issues arose from a comment I made to my wife a while back that something was missing in my relationship with her and it was my issue to reslove, nothing of her doing. That started me down a long path of studying both secular and Christian based resources on the sexuality, intimacy, desire and other assorted relationship topics. I have always had an interest in sociolgy and phsychology too.

      After studying throught the literature and blogs I came to the conclusion that most of the tension in marriage, or any couples relationship of course, revolves aroung sex and imtimacy in one way or another. With men it’s sex, with women it’s imtimacy. Those are two very broad brush statements I don’t apologize for making. They may be very generalized and seem like they should be followed with a “DUH?!”, but you have to start somewhere. The thing about the DUH moment is that is not that well realized to that many people. The great majority of us on these blogs have either come to that realization experientially, or have read it, heard it, or seen it and are wondering why that should be such a revelation. Everyone else out there is wondering why there is so much stress and tension in their relationship and don’t have the knowledge base or tools to fix things. The men think they want more sex, more erotic thrills, for their wives to initiate more, to see their wives naked (I really enjoy that word more than “nude” for some reason) more often and to have the lights on when it happens, but they don’t know why all of that is so important to them and neither do their wives for the most part. It all seems so very important and a must-have.

      Sometimes though, when we get what we want, it looses it’s bubbly fizz and falls flat after leaving the dark, contained environment of the bottle (our hot little imagination) and is poured out into our glass (that long-awaited sexual encounter) and exposed to the light of day and the real-world environment. We missed the mark with our erotic imaginings because we were not willing or equipped well enough to disceren what was needed as opposed to wanted. We almost always opt of the pill and not the prolonged regime of a “therapeutic” solution. Therapeutic doesn’t always mean professional therapy in a formal environment. It could be as simple as you and your mate doing the heavy lifting of reading, studying, and talking, and then talking some more. Most people don’t want to do any of that. They hate reading, don’t have time, s/he won’t talk to me, they aren’t telling it all or the truth, and on and on it goes.

      The mass of people out there know way less than what they should to make their marriages work well for them. Love is not the cure-all answer but where do you go for the truth, reasonable advice, or perspective from the “other” side. No, sex is not a cure-all either, but if the two of you are having a fulfilled sex-life, a lot more is likely to be going right too. If the rest of your life is filled with selfish, inconsiderate, insensitive behavior, the sex is lousy too. It’s a circular situation: one can enrich or destroy the other. It just works out that sex is a very strong indicator of how well the realtionship is meeting intimate needs in other area. Yes, men have intimate needs also. I study a lot, so I may sound like a textbook. I would love to be able to give help on a professonal basis, you are right there. Probably too old now to go back and get a degree and start practicing.

      I have been in marriage therapy the first time around. I have some sad marital experiences to draw from then and now, but if you are referring to experience in a clinical or other counseling environment, you are correct about my having no experience. All self-taught at the school of hard knocks.

      • nmwf1 says:

        Well userdand, you seem to do a lot of research about a lot of areas, about the subject of sex being one of the problems in a marriage, Some couples have sexual problems I know, I hardly think it had anything to do with my situation, there’s not much more we could have done sexually, aside from hanging upside down from the ceiling I guess. My husband really can’t come up with a reason why, except he made a mistake. I can’t except that, I want answers, communication has never been a problem, I know in my heart I was always there for him emotionally we have always talked about everything in our lives, including wants and needs and our love for each other. But he cannot, or will not give me answers as to why, except he can’t remember or it wasn’t me I must have been out of my mind, I don’t know who I was, I must have been insane. (REALLY !!!) I don’t believe he can’t remember, more like selective memory. I don’t buy that he was so delusional at the time that he couldn’t stop himself. No its more like he didn’t want to stop because he was enjoying himself with his new old girlfriend, at my expense. I never would have done that to him. I never would have gone there with someone knowing it would hurt the one I love. Why couldn’t he do the same. I am 53 we have been married since I was 19 he was 25, I didn’t just love him all these years, I have always been in love with him all these years and I have always been one who does not live life stagnate by any stretch. I love life, I love making happiness happen . I am no slouch, I never let myself go. (for him and myself) And frankly there were never any signs of a problem before this happened. He had an emotional affair with an ex girlfriend that he hasn’t even seen since 1975 what the hell is up with that? Who the hell is even the same after that many years ?. He looked her up one day, found her, she lives in another state, and it went from there. He said he was only looking up all his old friends and came across her (really?) , I never seen any phone calls to any other friend .Just her. The relationship was not physical that I know of, she came to our state once during this time, At least I don’t have evidence of them meeting up.( still investigating but he adamantly denies ever meeting up with her in person ) ( they did have physical sex back before I came along) However their E.A. involved phone sex. hundreds and hundreds of calls and thousands of text messages and sexual picture mail of each other. It makes me sick, I cannot come to terms with it, I had a suspicion on the 3rd of July 2011 I discovered the truth a few days later and confronted him. He cut it off with her that day. my posts about it are further back here on Dj’s blog site. My world was shattered into a million pieces, He say’s I’m the love of his life, he is the love of mine. I am a very faithful,loyal,devoted wife and I expected nothing but the same from him, now our lives are turned upside down. I don’t care what his reason was, cheating was not an option for a solution to his problem,(well i guess for him, he maid it an option) he should have came to me if he needed something out our relationship that he felt wasn’t there. I would have understood and worked on what ever it was. Instead he made a fool out of me. He has a lot of regret, he is remorseful, he is in pain because of my pain. i know he is sincere, but hind site is 20/20, there is no reason good enough to condone cheating. You want someone else in your life, bail out of the marriage, don’t take down the one who loves you while your at it. All it did was compound what ever problem he was having within himself to a monumental catastrophe . If he had thoughts of leaving me, he never showed it, so it is apparent he didn’t ever want to give me up, no just skirt around behind my back, it is classless and pathetic, and you can’t have your cake and eat it to. You can’t have an affair and then think everything will work itself out later. It destroys lives, it destroys marriages, it is gut wrenching and painful for the betrayed spouse. He had to have know when the can of worms was opened, all hell would break loose. I think most cheaters just think they will never get caught. But they never stop to think WHAT IF? do they?

        P.S I know you are going to say I am very bitter. Yes I sure as hell am, after 34 years of marriage and love and devotion to this man, and seeing other marriages crumble around us, and being proud of the fact that ours was so strong ( so I thought ) and this is the Thanks I get? really! REALLY? I resent what he did, and I have a broken heart. His EA partner is pathetic she new he was married and she is in a long term relationship that she shit on as well. People just don’t give a shit about the ones they hurt in there little quest for a cheap thrill.

  10. Paula says:

    nmwf1, and userdand, this really has mined a seam, hasn’t it! I am intrigued about a “happily” married man, of some time (granted, who has cheated, and was cheated on in a past marriage) being here now. I hear what you say, userdand, but it seems a little hard to comprehend. I understand that in long term relationships, “keeping it fresh” can be hard work, near impossible at times, and that is partly due to that longed for INTIMACY! You know each other and each others’ bodies, likes and dislikes, so well. It is hard to “get a thrill” sometimes, to mix it up a little. However, in our case, sex and intimacy was not any issue whatsoever. We have had counselling and talks ’til it comes out my ears. No sexual problems were at the root of my partner’s 15 month sexual affair with his ex-GF. He has been completely and transparently honest with me, about EVERYTHING I have asked him. I have also been with him since we were young, we’ve lived together since I was just 20 and he was 24. We only met five weeks before I took the He had many sexual relationships previously, including with said woman. I had none. He tells me that our sex life was fantastic, that he has never been with anyone like me, I was the most adventerous lover he has ever had – including one night stands, lovers he was in love with for several years, etc. I also ask, why cheat? I know the answers, cheating is not necessarily (or often!) about sex. He was feeling abandoned at the time (I had recently started fulltime employment away from our joint business that I had worked alongside him in for 17 years) and he now knows he had some issues that he had never dealt with – mostly regarding how he was actually NOT the centre of the universe, lol. He has come a VERY long way! That does not really help my grief and lowered self esteem. I am very glad he has done the work, I am very glad he feels more at ease with who he is. But that does not lessen the effect his selfishness has had on me.

    The amusing thing is that we had this TRULY FABULOUS sex life, for 22 years, and in the two years following discovery, it was even better! In the last 18 months or so , it has become almost non-existent, with my NOW newfound sexual issues!!! How mad and crazy is that??? We have seen a sex therapist for several months – and the MC that had the greatest impact on us was also a sex therapist. I am no better. This woman was having sex with my partner for 15 months, in my home, on our farm, in our bed at our holiday home, and she never did ANYTHING special for him – not even so much as a very basic, and simple sexy lingerie greeting at the door when he drove the three hours to her place!! WTF is up with that??? He has never suffered any problems with me, he had ED up to half the time with her, AND SHE JUST LAY THERE, hoping he woud get hard! I don’t get it! (Well, I do, the woman is a narcissist, and I have discovered, a sociopath, so there is no one else on her radar, just her own fabulousness, how could you NOT want to ^$&* that?) Your theory about seeking sex for men, and intimacy for women, userdand, seems right, on the surface, but in my partner’s case, he was actually enjoying the texting, phonecalls and the general attention he got from her, MORE than the honestly pretty-damn-shit sex. I should feel great about myself, I am apparently a sizzling hot chick in bed! Sadly, I don’t. Sadly, I have lost the once-taken-for-granted ability to feel sexual AT ALL. The grief of losing this part of my being is almost as bad as the grief over what he did. I WAS so sexual, and so comfortable and at ease with my body and my sexuality. Not any more. I hate my body, and I hate sex. Great result.

  11. Paula says:

    Sorry, at work, the editing was a bit average! I meant we only met five weeks before I took the very bold step of moving in with him! I knew about his sexual past – no issues there!

  12. DJ says:

    I do not agree that everything boils down to sex. Maybe it does for some people, but not for everyone. My coach says that while there are some generalities, every case is individual and every person is unique. It’s not always about sex. My husband and I have always called each other sex maniacs and we are very good together. If he lacked for anything sexually, it was in his own head because of his insecurities and mental issues and had nothing to do with our sex life. And what does that make it? Not about sex, but about personality issues.

    For him, it was all about the vindication and pride in taking the woman away from the guy who took her from him all those years ago. Of course, he must have wanted her sexually, but his primary motivation was to assauge his hurt pride and his insecurities. But then he got caught in the web and fell in love with her all over again, or so he thought at the time. He now says it was never real, and he came to realize that at some point. I’m not sure I buy all that, but that’s what he says. -DJ

    • userdand says:

      ” But then he got caught in the web and fell in love with her all over again, or so he thought at the time. He now says it was never real, and he came to realize that at some point. I’m not sure I buy all that, but that’s what he says. -DJ”

      From my personal experience, there you go nmwf1, he could be telling the truth, albeit for a postion of hindsight. Having cheated in the past on my first wife (Again, no, I have not cheated on this wife) I can tell you this statement is very possibly true. I do not say “likely” because I do not know your husband or his side of the story. Certain facts are not in evidence as they say in law. I do know when I cheated I thought I was in love with the OW. Sex was a motivating factor, but it was what was behind the sex that was the real motivating factor. There was a need or desire she was meeting that wasn’t being met in the marriage. All of you may want to hear about it, but that is for another time to keep this comment on track.

      I would ask all of you participating in or vijsiting this blog, how did you learn about love? How were you taught what love “is” and how it “behaves” when it is “properly” executed or experienced?. Yes, I now the language is very dry and clinical sounding. It needs to be here. He thought he was “in love.” What was and is love to your husbands or mates. How do they define and experience it? Do they, you, or any of us really understand what love and being in love is supposed to look like? I don’t mean that in a romantic sense either. What I am try to propose here is that I think we misuse and abuse the word and concept of “love” out of ignorance as to its true nature and purpose. We use it so freely and injudijciously that we have lost sight of what love is. “I love that wine, food, movie, joke, car, blouse, mall,” or whatever. Perhaps we should “appreciate, like, enjoy, get-a-kick-out-off, dig, get-off-on,” a lot more and “love” a little less. “Loving” all those things can demean, dilute, and confuse the true feeling and meaning behind the word “love.”

      Admittedly not the short explanation, but the expositions set up this one point: Love is not “taught” as it should be. It is not defined as it shoud be. It has become so ill-defined and maligned that we need to temper our use and regard for it when used by others. Often when a mate who cheats get caught, they will admit they thought they were in love, but found they really weren’t. The cheated on can’t accept that remark. Perhaps what happend was the cheater thought he was either “in love” or “loved” by this other person. When caught, the definition of “love” was tested and redefined for the cheater. They came to realize they were ignorant about how love manifests itself, and are now going to pay some stupid tax for their ignorance.

      If we, meaning all of us, are not really aware and educated about what love is and how it works, we will continue to make foolish decisions in the name of “love.” Did you husband really love her, probably not? Did he learn something about the true nature of love, probably so? Do I think he loves you? Yes.Would I give him the benefit of the doubt about loving her? Yes. What do I base these assumptions on? I base them on this: When the relationship with her/him ended, did the cheater grieve anywhere near as much over that as they grieved the potential loss of you and the marriage? That is where they learned something about love that they were ignorant of before. Love is not a greeting card experience explained in a few lines of poetry or defined by a love scene in a movie. It is way more comlex than that and we are woefully undereducated and sadly unwilling to do much to change our way of sharing and living love.

  13. userdand says:

    You are absolutely right, DJ. It doesn’t all boil down to sex. The sex part of the relationship, by its nature, just happens to be a reliable indicator of the dynamic within the relationship. In no way do I look at good or great sex as a cure or an indicator that all is well. Paula’s case is illustrative of that point. She speaks of how great their sex life was, even when he was cheating with the OW. It is what’s behind the sex that tells the story. Your coach certainly doesn’t need me to validate them or their opinions, but I am very much in agreement as to the uniqueness of us all. I also stand by certain generalizations as being true in a very broad way. If that were not so we wouldn’t have the sciences of psychology and sociology which exist because of those common generalities. Those generalities, for me anyway, provides a place to start from and get the dialogue going. In the dialogue is where the unique aspects show themselves. The devil is truly in the details there.

    For reference, a lot of what I agree with and espouse comes from the concepts of David Schnarch. I had a hard time getting my head around his theories initially but find increasing validity in them as opportunity to apply them presents itself. HIs is just one more voice of course and may lose favor as the next best thing presents itself, but for now, it works for me in many instances. Moving on.

    “For him, it was all about the vindication and pride in taking the woman away from the guy who took her from him all those years ago. Of course, he must have wanted her sexually, but his primary motivation was to assauge his hurt pride and his insecurities.”

    That is very illustrative of what I mean when I talk about what is BEHIND the sex, whether within the marriage or within the affair. It sounds as if your husbands sense of self and self-esteem (Schnarch would say “reflected sense of self”) was vailidated and nourished primarily through his sexuality and skilfull use of it (Only he has to believe it is skillful for this to work. As long as he believes he’s a great lay, a basic need for him is being met.) We men, in particular though not exclusively, are very selfish when it comes to getting our needs met. We get tunnel vision and quickly loose sight of the bigger picture. Not to sound demeaning or to over-simplify, but feed us and pet us and we’ll follow you anywhere. Stroke me and I’m yours, no pun intended but true all the same. Some would argue that perhaps we are looking for the respect we aren’t getting within the marriage. While this may be true and the real driving force behind much infidelity, WE STILL HAD A CHOICE. There was that moment between stimulus and response when we were compelled to make a choice. Too often husbands make the selfish, short-sighted, hurtful choice to cheat. I can’t posit how much of that poor choice may be an innate part of our nature, if that is true at all, or how much is just a poor decision making process. I am in no way trying to defend or justify our actions in using the term innate, it’s just when it seems to happen with such frequency and with otherwise seemingly sensible people who have meaningfully promised to love, honor and obey, you have to wonder about something beyond socialization. Is there a basic flaw we men share? Why is it we so easily loose sight of that bigger picture and become insensitive or oblivious to the enormous pain we are about to cause for so many we should hold so dear to us. Not looking for a free ride, just throwing it out there. Like Forrest’s momma said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

    • Teresa says:

      “We men, in particular though not exclusively, are very selfish when it comes to getting our needs met. We get tunnel vision and quickly loose sight of the bigger picture”. HA!! I totally agree!!!
      Women are taught from a young age to be givers….we give of ourselves to our families, our children, our neighbors, etc…and men are selfish, thinking only of themselves…and when they perceive that their partners are not giving them the attention they want, or they are too busy with the kids, work, etc…they then start feeling sorry for themselves, and this makes them susceptible to the OW!
      I don’t think sex figures into it at all….it’s selfishness, plain and simple!
      Oh sure, if sex is missing in the marriage, it’s a problem, a big problem, but I think thats very rare….but the man STILL starts feeling sorry for himself, telling himself that his partner doesn’t care about him, so instead of looking at himself and asking if HE might be the problem, and working to solve the problems, he starts thinking he deserves better…and then…BAM! The OW comes on the scene and an affair is born!
      How sad that he never thinks about his partner and how she might be feeling….is she feeling loved and cared for, is she so stressed with running kids to activities, changing diapers, work deadlines, dealing with elderly parents, his AND hers, that she doesn’t even know what day of the week it is??
      No, he doesn’t. He feels bad for HIM! And that’s when the poisonous spider weaves her web around him and he falls right in…ruining lives and marriages for months and years to come!

  14. Paula says:

    userdand, thank you, plenty to think about, you sure have done your research! We also had counselling with a counsellor who is a proponent of the Schnarch method, and, like you, took a minute or two to warm to it, and yes, someone new will come along to overtake his methodology 🙂 however, we found it useful, especially my CS. He has used his ideas to look at his own life, and what he was trying to achieve, the reactive behaviours, the sense of reflected self, all that jazz. It was the most useful thing he has heard on this journey we are making together (my partner is pretty old school – therapy was for wimps, etc – but he made himself open to this, to help us heal, and I do love him for it!) Same therapist also pointed us towards the work of Brene Brown, especially her research and work regarding vulnerability – a quality many women are willing to expose in themselves for “love” – but many men are more reluctant about, at least that has been my experience. My partner would agree with that, I was fully vulnerable to him, and he had to protect a part of himself (be a big, strong, invincible man.) He is more vulnerable, that is not to say he wasn’t already pretty vulnerable to me, previous to his long term affair with my friend. I always knew about his soft, tender underbelly, it was the quality I saw immediately when we started going out, probably the quality that tipped the balance, towards me loving him so very deeply, so very quickly, and I always treated it with the utmost care and respect. Your ruminations regarding love are interesting, and mostly true. I learnt about love from observation, I had parents who had a lot of love, particularly my mother, she was both loving, and forgiving. I also read, and observed many other couples, parent/offspring, sibling, love relationships, both good and bad. I think I knew what love was. I had only been properly in love once before I met my partner, I know it was true love. My partner, on the other hand, had several relationships before he met me, where he felt he was in love, but has told me (both before and after the affair) that he did not ever learn about what love was until he met me. HIs parents had a very different dynamic to mine, he felt there was no love between them while he was growing up, but it was probably just not the romantic love we know, but I think, over time, there is a kind of love, more a strong companionship-type of bond that was probably not so great while he was growing up. I know they care about each other, and the love is there, it is just not what he was after from his life. He knew almost immediately that there was something very different about his feelings about me, he put these down, in part, to realising that I was the caring type of person who would literally lay down my life for the people I love. He was right!

    I also believe you are right when you talk about “innateness” – my partner has often said, knowing full well that it is no excus -, that there is millions of years of evolution going against the way we set ourselves up in society to give yourself one only ever life partner, ironic when that it the very reason I refused to marry him all those years ago (he asked me possibly about six or seven times in the first two or three years we lived together, I explained my position, and that I hoped that was okay with him, as it seemed that marriage may have been important to him, he SAID he was fine with the way things were, in fact when his OW started making marriage plans – he didn’t know it, but I now know she had bought a wedding dress, and had told her aunt she was getting married (!) and she was dropping hints about rings, he thought she was joking! – he told her that he didn’t want marriage, why did she think WE weren’t married, he liked it the way it was, no marriage was not on his agenda, ie he had come to agree with my philosophy (pretty darn funny, huh?) I don’t believe, and never have, that many people are matched for life. All I asked of him was honesty. I stated in those early years that we should only be together as long as we loved each other, and if either one of us was having a problem with that, then TALK, we would try to work it out, and if not possible, THEN we should separate. Mutual respect was key, kindness to each other, was imperative, even in the awful possiblity of separation. (Naive, much???) It was also discussed over and over (as many friends and acquantaince’s marriages failed, due to infidelity) how we would NEVER do that to each other, should either one of us have feelings for someone else, or lack of feelings for each other, we would TALK! I get so angry when I think about that now, because it was obviously all such a waste of time and energy even discussing it – bloody lip service! Yes, many men are more motivated by sex, but some women are too. Sex is a way many people believe they will achieve the intimacy they crave, not knowing, or learning about true intimacy along their life journey.

  15. nmwf1 says:

    Well I want to know what the hell it really does boil down to.? Frankly I don’t give a shit what reason he comes up with, What I want to know is why I wasn’t enough? Why i wasn’t enough in his mind and heart to stop his actions. I want him to give me that answer. Not about her not about the bull shit, a simple reason why I was not enough? And as far as the the cheater trying to convince the betrayed spouse how bad the sex was,in my opinion , its a front and a bunch of crap. My husband had phone sex with his AP numerous times, and in a fit of rage I couldn’t help but paint a picture to him about him (as vulgar as i could get) Her moaning with her fingers in it and him for ( lack of a better word) jacking off to her voice, (and what ever else nasty remarks i could come up with) , Of course they were enjoying it, they did it over and over, For anyone to believe a cheater when he claims the sex was just so bad with their AP that he was miserable, you are a better person than I, I was not born yesterday and I for one will never buy that bull shit lie for a minute, they wouldn’t have a multimillion dollar phone sex industry if it weren’t effective, and he knew her its not like it was a stranger , really? Really??REALLY??????? . He tried to lesson my anger by saying he never got off when he had phone sex with her, he just pretended. Spare me, he not only got off, he enjoyed every minute of it, I told him ya and That cheating MF’er Bill Clinton didn’t inhale when he smoked pot either, Come on who believes their lies? He would have been better off not trying to say anything in his defense at that point. All it did is make me feel like he takes me for a bigger fool than I already am.

    • userdand says:

      Don’t have a lot of time now, but will address one remark.

      “Well I want to know what the hell it really does boil down to.? Frankly I don’t give a shit what reason he comes up with, What I want to know is why I wasn’t enough? Why i wasn’t enough in his mind and heart to stop his actions. I want him to give me that answer. Not about her not about the bull shit, a simple reason why I was not enough?”

      Tough love time. You don’t give a shit what he comes up with on the one hand, but you want to know why you weren’t enough. That’s sounds like a pretty conflicted statement. You can’t not care what he has to say, but want to hear why, If what he has to say is all self-serving lies as far as you are concerned, then where is the value in his answer as to why you were not enough? Try and not let your bitterness cloud your thinking about my question. If there is no truth from him you will find acceptable, why are you seeking an answer to this question? What you reject on the one hand and then request on the other is in conflict. If you want an answer to your questions, you have to be willing to listen even if you feel he may/will lie.

      More importantly though, the question “why i wasn’t enough?’ is telling as to your state of mind here. Who says you weren’t enough: his actions? You are making the very natural mistake of taking ownership of his behavior. When his actions seem so to make no sense, you cast about for any reason to explain them. With women, wives in particular, the first palce to go seems to be, “Was it me; what did I do wrong or not do right; how could I have prevented this; how am I not good enough?”
      This was HIS choice, HIS action, HIS behavior. Don’t OWN HIS BEHAVIOR. Indeed, there may well be unmet intimate needs in the marriage in many areas for both parties, or he just may be a selfish insensitive, unfaithful cad. Either way, HIS action was HIS choice and HIS responsibility. He could just as easily have suggested discussing his issues with you or going to counseling and involed you in a solution but he made another choice that excluded your involvement. You were affected by his choice, but not the cause of it. Don’t own what isn’t yours.

      The other side of this, you may go into counseling and if there were unmet needs the two of you may have to own what is repectively yours and take responsibility for not meeting them. This is where you are going to have to deal with being bitter and feeling he only speaks lies to you. Don’t ask for what you don’t want to hear until you are ready to listen. I am not saying you have to agree with what you hear or believe it on first hearing, but whenl you are ready to work on fixing things, if that is what you want, you will have to listen with an open mind and heart. I am not talking about him here intentionally. I am not ignoring his responsibility of poor judgement, I am more interested in helping you to come to terms and move forward. Where you are emotionally and mentally right now is an unhealthy place to stay for long. You need to make up your mind just how long you will let your reaction to his selfish stupidity control you life in an unhealty and unsatisfying manner. That’s tough love, but it’s the truth. It IS the very next step in this process for you and the sooner you can take it, the sooner healing will begin for you, whether it involves staying with him or not. Sometime soon, you need to begin to listen; whether to him, a therapist, this blog or others. Continuing to listening to your own hurtful mental noise and chatter is going to stall the process and prevent needed healing. There are voices of reason all around you that want to help and heal. Listen outside of your self. The self is too wounded to help right now.

      • Not Over It says:

        Amen. Hard to put into your heart sometimes when your spouse has gone looking for someone else, but very true. I still waver sometimes but it’s starting to sink in.

      • nmwf1 says:

        No, I think you are wrong in the aspect of excuses. The reason why I want him to answer the question of why wasn’t I enough is simple. Infidelity is the most painful thing that can happen to a person, and for the spouse to push you out of their mind, like you simply are not important enough to be a factor in their decision that they are about to make, It isn’t about what he was missing in our marriage or any relationship issues with me. We had a wonderful marriage and life together. That is a cop out! He contacted someone out of the blue, (for what ever his reasoning was,) that he had no business contacting, and she responded. I want to know why he couldn’t have just stopped before he crossed that line and said to himself, I am a married man, I love my wife, this will destroy her if she finds out, why would I want to risk hurting her? This will break her heart. Why couldn’t he have done that? He may have his reasons in his mind, . but I want to know why I wasn’t enough to be that (one reason ) for him to simply turn away.

  16. Paula says:

    nmwf1, believe me, I know about lies, and liars. He was one of the best. I didn’t suspect anything for over a year, hell, she was one of our best friends. always hanging out with us, with ME, when I started getting weird feelings about the amount of information he always had about her (eg where she was – she works abroad a lot) I asked the questions, plenty of times, and was told the look-straight-into-your-soul-and-lie lies, bare-faced, outright, effing lies! I can’t tell you how many times he got a text late at night, in those final months “when he was trying to end it – yeah right?” (he did before I found out, she outted him to me six weeks later) all very innocent texts (they never sexted, he was VERY careful about that) and I would say, “my God, I hope you don’t think I am the stupidest woman in the world here.” Without blinking, without EVER giving himself away. I swallowed them all and blamed myself for being a bad, and paranoid person, how could I ever think ANY of those terrible things about this LOVELY man??? I also know that although the sex “apparently” wasn’t mind bending, it was sex, he got his end away, even average sex is “good” sex. He LOVES sex, good, bad, indifferent, it was good enough to keep going back for more! It wasn’t always average, there was OBVIOUSLY more to it than “oh, it was all so awful!” I am, believe it or not, contrary to his opinion at the time (and yours now) NOT stupid. He kept going back – for 15 effin’ months! Of course a cheater, if they want to stay with the betrayed, is going to water it all down!!!!! I have told him this countless times. He admits, of course it wasn’t “bad” – but it wasn’t ever as “good” as we had it. He SAYS that although the actual sex did satisfy him (yes, I take it all with a VERY large grain of salt) that he always felt miserable afterwards, driving home, wondering if he should just drive under the next truck, the low after the high of indulging in the addictive behaviour. What I am saying is that, after the mess and fog – or whatever stupid label you want to put on the madness of being embroiled in a selfish and frankly bloody stupid affair – clears, there is some clarity, for both parties. Believe me, I want to know why as much as the next person, I have had many attempts at answers from him. I think I know “why” – all the justification answers – but the real and only reason why is because he was a selfish prick! Simple, he didn’t have enough self-awareness to NOT do it – and I lived with him for 22 years before believing that he did! Makes one feel EXTREMELY foolish to have thought this for so long. To have had such faith that another human being would not treat you badly, because “you love them, and are bloody good to them.” Sadly, it has nothing to do with us NOT BEING ENOUGH. We know that, but it doesn’t stop us feeling like that, at all. I still feel that way, that I can’t have been enough (go back to the Schnarch work on reactive behaviours due to the “childhood” issues, I have discovered that for some reason, in various forms, I have always felt like I was never ENOUGH, great to know :-(.) It is all so damn academic. You can know, and know, and know, and NONE of it takes any of the pain away. Knowledge is supposed to be power, huh? The awfully sad thing for me is, this man has completely changed his life around, he lives, to give it the psycho-babble jargon, “authentically” now, he is a better person (and maybe I am an idiot for thinking that, I don’t trust my gut anymore) but it is NOT enough for me. I don’t think anyone will ever be ever again. All I can do is try to be enough for myself. There just is no other way of continuing to get out of bed every morning.

    • nmwf1 says:

      Paula, nobody thinks you are stupid, least of all me. Believe me we are in this together, I just took that some of the things he said you bought into it like (She just laid there) maybe she did who the hell knows, but quality sex or not, his ass shouldn’t have been having sex with anyone but you. Then in the aftermath they try to lighten it a bit by telling the betrayed how bad or pitiful it was, who gives a F. he shouldn’t have gone there in the first place. It isn’t you that irritates me about the comment, It is cheaters and there arrogance to think you would believe it. My remarks are more of sarcasm , meaning more like, pull your head out of your ass if you are believing him. ( Hope your not taking this wrong.) It really isn’t dogging you. A cheaters plight is fruitless.

      • Paula says:

        Nmwf1, no offense taken. I guess because I already knew she was a slack &*% due to him telling me decades ago – ex gf – and I also know at least three guys who have been with her, same opinions, it was easy for me to believe they weren’t doing it. I mean why would you go back there? Affairs

      • Paula says:

        Oh dear me! Note to self, don’t try to reply to blog posts on phone whilst son is sitting learner driver’s license! Sorry all

        What I was trying to say, nmwf1, is that it is pointless to ponder whether the sex was good or bad, or whether I believe the story or not, I know this girl, I know her history, she is a piece of work, and I know him, and I tend to believe him on this point, but it doesn’t matter. It should make you feel just a tiny bit better if the sex is crap, but it makes not one iota of difference, as you say, he shouldn’t have ever been there, no matter the satisfaction, or not, of the thing! I’ve been travelling this path for a long. long time now, and I have mostly managed to sort the oats from the chaff, but yeah, telling lies about quality, irrelevant!

  17. userdand says:

    Don’t have time to write much now, but I wanted a question answered for later when I do have time.

    “He LOVES sex, good, bad, indifferent, it was good enough to keep going back for more! It wasn’t always average, there was OBVIOUSLY more to it than “oh, it was all so awful!” I am, believe it or not, contrary to his opinion at the time (and yours now) NOT stupid.”

    Are you saying MY opinion of you is that you are stupid? That is how I read that. I hope my read is wrong. I don’t hold that opinion at all. I think you all have valid viewpoints and opinions. That is why I am on this blog: to learn how women feel about things so I can be a better husband and encourage others to do the same. I write what I write to try to give a perspective that is not tainted by emotion or clouded by lies. I have no reason to lie to anyone here. What I say may not be applauded and willingly accepted, but it should be considered since I have no dog in these fights. None of that was meant to sound argumentative.

    Everyone of you has every right to feel hurt, mad, betrayed, pissed, wounded, deceived, bitter, hateful, etc. I don’t judge any of you for that. They’re your feelings and, until you are ready to move on in another direction, you will keep them. If I see a way I think I can help you move forward, I’ll suggest it perhaps. If I feel you want to continue in your present state, I won’t offer anything. I sense a very strong resistance to listening to the enemy sometimes. If I am regarded as such by one or all, speak up and I will either not comment on your specific comments, or on DJ’s posts on this blog if that is DJ’s wish. You didn’t ask me to join this club, and even though blogs don’t work that way, I will butt out. I have a blog I no longer comment on because there were opinions that offended my moral character. It was more aggravating to keep “arguing” with the annoying poster than to just move on, so I no longer comment there. I have almost stopped reading. You ladies were here first. Feel free to uninvite be to the party if my input is not welcome. No hard feelings. Not mad at anyone. I just felt it was fair to put the option out there.

    • Paula says:

      Userdand, no, certainly not derected at you! Probably more towards Nmwf1 as she made a comment regarding my apparent belief that the sex was so awful between my partner and his affair partner. I have no problem with your viewpoint answer welcome different perspectives. I also agree about being stuck if you do nothing. Bitterness is one of the emotions I have fought to avoid at all costs

      • Paula says:

        Ugh. Jacking this thread! Sorry. Predictive text on phone making nonsense of my previous post.

  18. DJ says:

    Sorry – I’m just starting a new semester in addition to performances etc. etc. so I haven’t had much time to write. I have been reading, however, with much interest. You are all strong, smart people and I am glad you are all walking this journey with me. We are a great bunch!

    Userdand – if I wanted you to stop commenting, I would tell you. I am pretty straightforward and have done so with a couple of other people in the past. You and I don’t have the same opinions on everything, but it’s good to hear other’s perspectives, up to a certain degree. Unremorseful cheaters will get blasted, however.

    You do need to be prepared, however, for some strong reactions here, for as you know, even people of the same heart will have disagreements sometimes. My blog is designed to support and encourage people as they work through the pain and devastation of infidelity – on both sides of the fence. I take my blogging friends’ emotional well-being very seriously.

    I welcome you, Userdand. If you cross any lines with me, I’ll let you know. -DJ

  19. userdand says:

    I only hope mnwf1 was open to reading my Sunday post in the spirit I submitted it. She seems to still be immobilized by the pain of betrayl and I think we all want to help her move on to the next step. The betrayed naturally suffers from wanting to in some way exact equivalent punishment and revenge on the cheater and their accomplice, but it is never equal to what they hope for and always less than they desire. It never gives true release from the hurt no matter how much they persist with it. That doesn’t make it less understandable that they still wish it so though. Like capital punishment, they can only die once and in only so much pain for too short a time for the living. Then, we MUST move on for our own well-being.

    • nmwf1 says:

      Hey userdand, I want to continue our conversation but don’t have time now. I will write later tonite. This is a conversation not a war. Just haven’t had time.

    • nmwf1 says:

      userdand, I hope you haven’t left the conversation, I am interested in your opinions, no matter if I like them or not. Some I do, Some I don’t, we all have unpopular opinions here and there, So what, its part of survival, some comments are positive to. Besides sometimes heated discussions help let off steam. (I realize some times it builds steam up to. LOL)

  20. Teresa says:

    I find all of this very interesting! Userdand, I agree that we need to stop owning our spouses behavior, that yes, they made the decision to cheat, that this is their issue but the question is just how do we do that?
    I’ve done the research, educated myself on EAs, even figured out that my H’s past childhood is still playing HUGE role in our lives today…and also learned that the cow never had a father in her life…her mom got pregnant with the cow, and would never discuss who her father was. So she has her own childhood issues….two damaged individuals who connected….my problem is, what if my H meets another “damaged” individual and there is a “connection”?
    My H says that he now knows better, knows how destructive a EA truly is…and yet, my thought was, “What? Seriously? You’re a married man, and you didn’t realize BEFORE the affair how I would feel about it and how it would hurt me so badly to know my husband lied and cheated for over four months? Really??
    Even my H’s cousin warned him that if I found out, it would ” be a train wreck” so he knew….he just chose to have his fun, figuring I’d never find out….arrogance anyone??
    About 4 days after they began talking and texting, the cow put pictures of MY H on her FB page…pics from when they dated yrs. before…I will admit, I went ballistic!!
    Ranted and raved about how dare she, they were both married now….trust me, my H KNEW how displeased I was! Even now, when I think about it, my reaction was a bit over the top….but also, I think I “knew” that this woman was a threat….why I thought that, I have no idea….woman’s intuition, I suppose??
    And yet, just 4 days in, he didn’t stop his behavior, he HAD to know at that time just how this would make me feel, trust me, the whole house knew how I felt about her after she posted those pictures….so like nmwf1 said “Why wasn’t that enough….why wasn’t my reaction about the pictures enough for him to see just how hurt I would be”?
    Instead, he called her the next day and asked her why she posted those pics….and he chose to believe her when she said she didn’t mean to cause any trouble….and he totally disregarded how I felt and continued on with his “big fun”!!!
    So it does hurt to think that within 7 days of meeting her again, he was so wrapped up in all her “glory” he threw me and our children, right under the bus…and then proceeded to drive back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, right over us, without another thought.
    THAT is why I need answers….answers that only he can give. Why after just talking for 20 mins on the day he met her, why did she make such an impression, that he lied to me within 4 hrs of that meeting, why did he admit looking her up and friending her on FB as soon as he got access to a laptop, why did he totally disregard ME and our 25 yrs together when she put those pics on FB, exactly 4 days after they started talking…..these are questions I have and he has no answer for.

    How do I let down the guard around my heart, when he can’t explain to me OR himself, just how we got here? We start counseling Monday…FINALLY, so I’m hoping that we will find the answers then….I really don’t think I can have complete healing until then.
    Btw, nwmf1, I get ya, I understand what you’re saying 😉

  21. nmwf1 says:

    Hi Teresa, Honestly, This is not my life. I don’t know where the whole thing went wrong. i cannot understand how people do this to the ones they love. I can’t imagine betraying the one I love by having an affair. , The only man I have ever wanted is my husband, and I was not delusional that my husband had always loved me the same.. So how is it possible that he could want someone else? Which is why I am adamant that the reason must be that I wasn’t enough. And I want him to tell me why, what he was missing in me. ( he can’t give me an answer except he made a mistake ) Mistakes are accidental, it was not accidental that he contacted her, and it was not accidental that he continued his EA behind my back for months. A few weeks ago I had a meltdown with him, and i guess he wanted out of his torment, and he said to me ( I don’t know, maybe I was having some kind of mental breakdown,) OMG! The furry got worse for me that he would try to cop out by saying he was going though some kind of mental breakdown, He acted just fine around me, he seemed to carry on his little affair with her for months without no problem, A breakdown, I am still pissed that he brought it up. He knew exactly what he was doing, he wasn’t having a mental breakdown, he was having the time of his life. At my expense.

    sorry I am going down hill on my roller coaster ride lately.

  22. Paula says:

    nmwf1, there is a saying I believe in, that in order for a marriage to work well, the man has to love the woman more than the woman loves the man. Isn’t that terribly sad? But after all of this, I believe it is probably true. I think I must have loved my partner more than he loved me, however, in the very long aftermath of all of this, he says he loves me far more now, and far more than I love him. That is also so tragic, almost too late, mate! That is my very sad answer to your question about why weren’t we enough. Unfortunately, we loved too much, and they just didn’t. I thought he did, he does say he thought he did, I believed he did, but he know admits, after much reflection that maybe he was a very selfish man, living his own life, and the kids and I just fit in nicely – I was SO easy-going reviously, he has changed, it took a long time, and he is the perfect guy now – maybe that will be to someone else’s advantage eventually, who knows? Sorry you are on a downhill slide, I have little advice but to remind you that there is always a bottom, and a way back up again 🙂 xxx

    Most of all, try hard to realise that although you are incredibly agonised (I KNOW!) that he didn’t do it because YOU weren’t enough, he did it because he was selfish and uncaring AT THAT TIME. It doesn’t really help a lot in the first couple of years, but it kind of does further down the track, doesn’t dull the pain, but makes you realise you need to look after yourself more and not rely on your reflected sense of self through another, which is hard for women, as carers and martyrs!!! Keep in touch, nm.

  23. Not Over It says:

    You are all so good at this that I could just read along – no comment from me needed! But I want to say to Paula – this is so very well said. It is exactly what I feel and would have said. It’s not the fairy tale happy ending that so many of us dreamed of. It is what it is, but it doesn’t have to be unending agony. We can slowly come out of the agony if, as Paula says, we work on ourselves. We must realize we are unique and wondrous creatures all on our own. No one gives that to us and no one can take it away. If our spouses did not respect that, it is because they were selfish – only looking to indulge selfish whims.

    NM – why weren’t you enough? Paula is right – it wasn’t that you weren’t enough. But the hard fact is that, because he was selfish, he probably didn’t think you were enough at the time. It was not based in fact or logic. It had nothing to do with you as a person. I don’t know what his thinking was, but he thought he needed something else.

    My husband thought he had the chance to prove that he was a better man than her husband, who took her away from him all those years ago. He did not have the self-esteem to know that he didn’t need to compare himself to that man. Daniel is a very successful man, but inside he has a perpetual need to prove himself. He thought that taking her from him would repair his damaged ego. He thought wrong.

    The thing is, NM, your husband came to realize that he didn’t need something else. He did it the wrong way. He screwed up big time. But he did realize that he only needs you. Otherwise, he wouldn’t put up with your anger and hurt. He loves you, NM. He always did.

    Most likely, he never thought through what he was doing. He thought he could do these selfish things and never hurt you. Then he got sucked in and couldn’t stop. Big mistake. Now he knows.

    I don’t know if that helps you at all, NM, but that’s my take on the whole mess at this point in time.

    Love you both,

    • nmwf1 says:

      Hi Ladies, You are both right, and Paula.That may be a very true statement. I guess I am just tired after months of feeling this heavy feeling that stays with me every waking moment of the day. That a third wheel intruded in our marriage and I was the odd man out. When does it stop? Do all of you still carry that heavy feeling with you no matter what you are doing? Maybe it never goes away. I don’t know. But I sure as hell need to get over this pitty party. I know that strong person still exists inside somewhere.
      thx ladies hugs,hugs.

    • nmwf1 says:

      Hi DJ, can you make the screen white instead of the blue background, i cant seem to change it from this end. Thx.

  24. Paula says:

    hugs back, we all need them! Yeah, heavy feeling is right. I have this waking and sleeping, I still have nightmares, every night. Violent sometimes, emotional others, mostly directly about the affair, or rape, but last night I dreamt that my best friend (since we were 11, who has lost both parents young, but has seven siblings who I am mostly still close to, our mothers were like they wished each of us were the other’s child!) had three of her siblings, recently lost at sea – and I was on each separate voyage, and when the third one died, I was blamed. I woke up knowing I had lost the family’s trust. Weird, and still distressing. I feel like I will ever be “normal” – whatever normal is – and this from the girl who never embraced “normal!” My life is stil turned upside down. But I am still strong underneath the screw-up! I had such an incredibly loving and “normal” life before this. That is the only thing I wish I could communicate somehow to the OW – my previous friend.

    • nmwf1 says:

      Hi Paula, I am glad this is not an abnormal thing, this heavy feeling, Do you find yourself feeling it, even when you are with your husband enjoying the moment. Even on a day when we are just out and about together, that heavy feeling is there and even though I try my hardest to ignore it, I can’t. It even feels heavier when I get ready to answer the phone when he is calling me, after I hear his voice and he is usually very upbeat, It starts to subside but never ever goes away. I am always conscious of it. I think the resentment that I harbor has something to do with it. Resentment is something i can’t seem to let go of, I wish I could, because it really takes its toll. I feel like resentment is robbing me of healing. It is a very hard thing to overcome. I was reading the definition of resentment, even though I knew what it meant, and I fit the description 100% to a Tee. How do you let it go? hugs your it.

  25. nmwf1 says:

    Paula, By the way, Those losses are tragic, I hope I am reading right that it was only a dream. (nightmare sorry!)

  26. Paula says:

    nm, yes, just a nightmare! Thankfully. My friend and I are still friends, but we are no longer as close as we used to be, she doesn’t have a clue how this has affected me, and can’t understand, although she does know about the affair, and was supportive (although initially incredulous that I was staying, she adores my partner, we were the “it” couple, but cannot understand why or how he got to the place he did, to take the actions he did, and she has no contact with our previous friend, the OW – yes we all went to school together, they were 11 and I was 10 when we all met in middle school.) Yes, I do feel it 24/7, even when enjoying time with my love. I feel that feeling, sometimes I recognise it as resentment, but usually it just feels like a lack of joy. My biggest fear is a life of bitterness, and I do all in my power to try not to get that way – which is really another word for overly, and long-term resentfulness. I am not sure I can help you with what I do, I guess I just live my life consciously, which is really tiring! I choose to stay (for now) and I live with that choice as best I can, with as much love as I can muster. I enjoy my partner’s company, and we do laugh together still, but it is a heavy load for me. You’re it now 🙂

  27. userdand says:

    DJ, nm, Paula, Theresa et al,

    I am having a bit of a problem at the moment and it is affecting both my desire and ability to comment on the blogs I follow. My wife feels they are consuming a little too much of my time and that she is not part of the process; also, when I am tending to them I am not tending to her. There may well be some truth to that if for no other reason than the finite nature of time. I can’t be doing both at once so while doing one I would necessarily be neglecting the other, as witnessed by my absence here. Some of you seemed concerned as to my absence and perhaps I was even missed by some of you. My wife has felt even more so. I will have to find a solution to this problem as I definitely don’t want my marriage to suffer, but I also get a lot of satisfaction from helping resolve conflicts within marriages. I hear all of you saying at this very moment, “It sounds like you are creating a conflict within your own marriage and your blog slogging/commenting my be a little problematic selfish-satisfaction on your part.” Can’t argue against that possibility. AND “Your wife may be wondering why you aren’t dealing with the problems you seem to be creating in your own marriage instead trying to solve everyone else’s problems.” I get that too. Like a typical human being of course, I want both things so I have to come to terms with how to keep both of us satisfied, or even all of us if I include my blogosphere relationships.
    I realize from a long marriage and failed past one, as well as from all my recent studying, I need to A) better meet my wife’s needs so she continues to feel wanted, needed and included in my life and B) to somehow get her to understand why this process is so important to me without making it sound like it is a current or potential future threat to her and our relationship. Lot of heavy lifting there, DRAT! Just like most people in relationships issues, I too want us to take the pill and make it all well and not have to go through the time and mental effort to effect the proper cure, as well as the periodic maintenance regime to keep things in balance. Of course, that’s what it’s all about and there is not short cut. Just because I know better doesn’t mean I too can’t wish it were a more simple and streamlined process. How male of me, huh? What’s your problem, Hon?……Okay, got it. I’ve listened enough, now. What you want to do is this.” Just because I talk a good game doesn’t mean I enjoy walking it anymore than the rest of us. I just have the unsettling advantage of knowing better.
    I have time to write now because she is busy elsewhere. I don’t mean I am hiding the writing from her, I just mean I am not misusing my time if she were here and I was ignoring her presence. Although I do have to admit, sometimes I will read what I write if she shows an interest, there are other times I feel sharing could be problematic. In anonymity there can be truth, but it may not be something you are comfortable sharing or owning at the moment or a may be point of inevitable contention. I don’t mind if she reads any of it, I just want her to not misjudge my intent of feelings if I mention an experience common to the two of us as an example or object lesson. Sometimes you choose to just live with hot-button issues as opposed to continually try to come to a common understanding. There are some things that cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all. I will expand on this in another comment. I will also respond to my feelings of inadequacy in commenting to some of your questions.

    • Not Over It says:

      I understand, Userdand. I go through the same issues with my husband, for reasons of time and also reasons of guilt. He absolutely hates my blogging, and even my writing to my marriage coach. It is partly because it takes precious time away from our time together. It is partly because he is reminded of his guilt when he sees me online. He *says* it is because it’s not good for me. He feels blogging and writing to my coach keeps it front of mind. I have given up arguing. I just don’t blog much when he is at home. That, however, makes it difficult to keep up sometimes. But I care about my friends here and I feel it helps me to continue. I am much stronger with the help of all you friends than I would have been by myself.

      Write when you can. No pressure.

      Love & prayers,

  28. userdand says:

    Today I am not working and she is so I will take this opportunity to elaborate a little more. About a year ago I had a talk with my wife and told her something seemed to be missing from my relationship with her. I’ll bet that has a familiar ring to it for some of you. But there was no EA or anything going on, I just knew I felt she loved me more than I did her. Again a familiar ring I’ll bet. Anyway, the result of the talk was not counseling, but my beginning a series of studies into married relationships and the sexuality therein. At the outset, I would read to her as I went through the book “Sexy Christians”, and we would do the exercises at the end of the chapters. She felt involved in the process and it built connection and intimacy since we were doing it as a couple. Since we seemed to have no chronic issues, she didn’t feel a sense of worry about our relationship, she just took all of this as positive step toward improving it on my part.

    As I continued reading other books for a deeper understanding where relationships go wrong and how to improve them I began reading about intimacy and desire issues. One of the things I wanted to change was I wanted her to initiate more often. I wanted to know she wanted sex, not just her going along for the ride because I wanted it. I don’t mean to imply that she is passive or lazy in bed, which is far from the truth. Plenty of effort is usually involve, I was looking for something more though. Like almost all males I was looking for heated passion ── I thought. So, in truth, what was I looking for?

    In the most basic sense, I was looking for a feeling of connection and intimacy. It is very true that men feel that sense of connection through sex. Sex makes us feel connected to our mate. The physical act of sex, resulting in orgasm, releases endorphins and oxytocin into the man’s blood stream and brain. It is like being hit with an opiate drug. Your entire body releases any feeling of pain and mental stress and totally relaxes. Who wouldn’t want that and more of it? It is my understanding and observation that much the same happens for the female but I want to keep this about the male perspective so I don’t dilute the message. The end result is it creates a bond between the “junkie” and the “pusher” to put it on a very accurate though perhaps base level. Just like with any drug, it creates a strong desire for a continuing relationship between the two. This physical reaction is a good thing and also a very necessary thing for the male. He now feels connected and, whether he realizes it or not, has bound himself to the source of pleasure. I don’t mean to make sex sound so clinical, but it is important to understand the clinical side of sex that can’t be ignored for a healthy, ongoing marital relationship, especially of the man.

    We weren’t having sex all that often because of a thing going on that involved both of us emotionally and was a truly draining experience on a daily basis. It had nothing to do with our relationship other than our shard experience as parents, but it was both an ongoing stressor and depressor. We are dealing with it much better now and the outside influence is moderating too.

    So, I realized I wanted to feel more connected, that meant more sex. I wanted to feel greater intimacy, which meant more quality time and sharing of feelings of all types. That was all doable and I found ways to make it happen. The sex part was easy, since we had to long-term issues between us for that weren’t being dealt with. (That’s the part that always come around and bites you in the butt when you least expect it though, isn’t it? Someone finally fesses up to a problem they have been denying, hiding, or tolerating for years.) The intimacy part came down to, among other things, little love notes on cards with envelopes, occasional e-mails of a provocative nature or just plain romantic, and some nice Blue Mountain Arts cards. We did spend more time talking during which I tried to listen only and not solve any problems mentioned unless specifically asked for advice. Pretty girly, huh? It all worked for a while, and then she had a surgical procedure that brought the sex part to a halt of about a month; not complaining, just presenting the facts. I had started getting into the blogs a little before that. She was usually at work or in bed. I wasn’t trying to hide doing it; I just didn’t want to steal time from us with my blog slogging. Whether the blogging was a direct cause or not, I began to backslide on the romance and intimacy part and that’s where we are now and why she is so sensitive to the blogging. No notes, cards or mails for at least two months. Mea culpa. More in another comment. This one is long enough. In another one, I will talk about what I really wanted that masqueraded as hot sex. (Girly side coming out. I really liked the Masquerade scenes and song in “Phantom of the Opera.”)

  29. userdand says:

    DJ, nm, Paula, Teresa et al,

    Enough about me for a while; like that’s ever true for any of us unless we’re talking to the IRS or a divorce attorney.

    In an earlier comment I mentioned feeling inadequate to respond to some of your questions. That’s a very guy thing as I was looking to help you resolve them. I noticed in the other comments from the ladies, you were empathizing and “bashing” (meant in a more moderate and less argumentative and understanding way than it sounds) the cads of your lives. It seemed to be working quite well for you so I felt I would just butt out for a while. We sometimes want what we want for a season, not what we may need. That’s okay too, because it is all part of the healing process. I felt like I should keep my nose and advice out of the Girls’ Club for a while since your wants seemed better met by one another. No offense taking or hurt feelings, it just seemed right at the time. I will now try to get back up to speed. Again, I don’t know how many answers I can offer that will satisfy any or all of you, I am just trying to offer up what my experience is as a guy who has cheated in a marriage in the past. These answeresy will all come from a male paradigm and as such possibly be totally unsatisfactory, seemingly illogical, foolish, disrespectful, and inconsiderate of you and the relationship you thought you had. All I can do is what I know so I will likely step on some toes. The important thing is though, since I have no dog in your personal fight, I have no reason to lie or sugarcoat what I say. It may not be the answer you want, but if you hear it from here, it may have some validity in your situation, no matter how incredulous it seems. Just like you women, all of us men are not alike emotionally and as such, what I offer up may not apply in your specific instance. I just want to help you heal if I can or at least have a better understanding of the situation. Like any other guy though, I sometimes feel like, “I don’t know; what else can I say?” It may not be the right thing, but for now it is my only thing. I’m still educating myself. This blog and others like it are part of my learning process. Most of us say things here we would not say in person to anyone other than a therapist, and perhaps not even then. It may be true that we should tell them to our mates, but sometimes we won’t, can’t, or shouldn’t for any number of reasons. We have to have a certain level of maturity and trust for that to take place and it isn’t always there when it needs to be, if ever. That’s what I am learning here. To experience the unvarnished truth and pain created by a situation you all find totally incomprehensible: “Why did he cheat and why wasn’t I enough?”

  30. userdand says:

    Correctly staying out of the empathy business for a moment (though not ignoring the old axiom “People don’t care how much you know utile they know how much you care.”), Let me offer this thought for you ladies to ponder since it is based on the two common questions: “Why did he cheat,” and “Why wasn’t I enough?”

    I keep hearing the theme that until you hear your husband’s “truthful” answer to those two questions, you cannot heal and move forward. I.E,, until these questions are answered, I cannot trust him again.

    Damned qualifier time: I am not saying you aren’t right in wanting this or that you are expecting too much making this a part of the process. There! Moving on.

    You need to hear the truth A) as you are willing to believe it, B) to the extent you feel he is capable of the truth, and C) in a fashion that does not further wound you, and D) in a manner that helps heal you. That’s a pretty tall order all the way around, even in a good marriage where you are trying to discuss a realtionship issue of far less devastating consequences.

    Let’s beging with A: the truth as you are willing to beleve it. When are you satisfied you have heard the truth? What is it you need to hear that brings you preace and begins restoring trust? What do you need to hear that is evidence that he not only realizes and understands the consequences of his actions, but shows true contrition and remorse on his part? What do you need to hear that tells you he will never do this again? What do you need to hear that tells you he loves only you and wants and needs only you in his life? What do you need to hear and experience his doing that tells you he seriously wants to repair, strenghten and stay in this relationship? I’ll stop with that, but you can see how easy it is to keep adding more question even more specific to your particular circumstance.

    I would encourge you to take up pen or keyboard and begin to write down what you nedd to see and hear. What represents the truth as you are willing to believe it? Write your question, then write his answer as you want to hear it and are willing to believe it. What does the truth look and sound like to you? What is absolutely necessary for the process of healing and trust to begin anew? If the answer leads to another question, then I would suggest you haven’t asked the true quesion yet; the one that will satisfy your heart and begin that proceess. Until you know the true question, you will not know the truthful answer as you need to experience it. Without the truth as you need it and are willng to believe (accept) it, you will continue to feel deceived and mistrustful. So, what is it you need to hear and experiece for wilfull belief on your part? Write those words and experiences down. If you don’t recognize and acknowledge what you need, you will never have a satisfactory resolution and the marriage will ultimately fail.

    B) the truth to the extent that he is capable: This doesn’t mean that he is not capable of telling the truth. What I am pointing out here is that the truth will evolve as his understanding evolves. Some of you have mentioned family and realtionship issue in your husband’s past. These may play a part in his infidelity, but unless he is aware of hem and how they contribute to his choices, they wil not be part of the truth as he knows it. He is incapable of telling that part of he truth because he does not “know” it. If he/you enter into a therapeutice process as part of the recovery and healing this and other things my come out and then be recognized as more of the truth. He is then capable of sharing this truth with you since he now has access to it. Going back to A), you have to be willing to believe this truth and accept it. You may have to allow it at the cost of disallowing something else more palatable and agreeable and easier to deal with.

    C) truth delivered without creating further pain: Tell me the truth, but please spare me futher pain. Not likely, huh? Think about this one for a minute. You want the truth, but also want no more pain. I can sense this as the cheating spouse that is repentant, remorseful and desirous of saving the relationship. How do I reconcile telling you something painful when I just want your pain to stop. What can I continue to share with you and in what way can I share it that will be constructive and build the relationship, not continue to drag it down?. Are you ready for me to deliver one more potential emotional trigger that will only serve to be a constant reminder? What is it you want to hear that is edifying witout being destructive, that builds us up instead of tears us down.? What is the painless truth and what does it sound like? What do you want to hear?

    D) truth that helps heal you, me, us, the relationship. What doe that truth sound and look like? It goes back to A) also. What will you willingly believe.When I speak or do things to healto heal, what is it that you really need? Don’t let me keep doing and speaking ineffectively and deceive myself into believing things are getting better; that I am meeting your wants and needs, that I am showing consideration and respect, and THAT YOU ARE FEELING LOVED BY MY ACTIONS. Know what it will take to heal you or you will never know when the the healing begins,r we should go aout it or perhaps even if healing has taken place. It is not just enough to feel good or better. You likely felt good and that your marriage getting better before all of this happend. You need to decide what defines a “well” marriage for you and what needs to be done to achieve it.

    I hope some of this helps. We are talking about you here, and about your husbands to the extent that they are involved in this process of truth telling. I chose to address my comment specifically to you because you are the only one’s you can change and only you can know what change you desire and need. Until you seek out and acknowlegde how that change experience should manifest itself, you will neither find nor recognize it when it presentes itself to you.

    I wish for more and better answers as my understanding and learing matures.

  31. Paula says:

    userdand, yes to all of the above, however, including us all in the direction of your synapses may not be quite correct. Some of us are further down this path than you have estimated. I, for one have been walking this particular path for three years and eight months, we have had much guidance in the form of counsellors, psychologists/psychiatrists, sex therapists, hypnotists (!) I was desperate for relief. None of those points are new to myself. I never asked a question until I knew I was ready to take any pain that may come with the absolutely truthful answer given. I understand the processes and the psychology of this pretty well by now, however, there is still a lot of pain, even with all of the work and knowledge achieved. I know I am one of the lucky ones, I have a partner who is and has been willing to ask the hard questions of himself, and like yourself – and to my surprise to a degree – he has been open to looking at “what went wrong” and “how to find the authentic and true path.” He has fought for us as hard as I have, and I am very thankful for his efforts. This does not erase the pain of the pas, however. I know that to leave the past in the past, as of course it cannot be undone, I need to change the way I look at it – change the “meaning” of that past – thank you Mort Fertel – and that is what I am finding so difficult. Becoming vulnerable and open again is very, very hard for someone like me.

  32. userdand says:

    Sorry, but I am having a hard time keeping all the facts and feelings assigned, especially if I miss reading for an extended period. It sounds to me like you have more anecdotal experience to share than do I. A hypnotist no less. What we won’t consider to alleviate pain from our lives. Perhaps even cheat on a spouse. Is it possible that’s at least one “Why?” among many, or more rightly the primary cause. Do we then medicate the pain the easy way, with the pill of an affair. No months or years of counseling; no uncomfortable discussions, no vulnerabilities exposed as we unearth painful truths; no open wounds that never seem to heal, just no more pain…..or so we think and desperately need to believe. So we choose to move on rather than do all of that work, endure all of that pain, and to feel loved again. Not pleading a case here, just offering it up.

    I am so sorry you are still haunted by a past hurt for so many years.
    It must be very difficult to want total healing but have the past continue to hold your heart hostage and prevent your marriage from beint a place of trust and safety. I may not be able to empathize, but I can sympathize.

    Is it possible that the search for ALL the details about the affair is really a search for finding the one thing that tells the cheated upon that if that condition is met, this will never happen again and I can safely trust you and feel safe in my vulnerability? We both know the fallacy in that proposal, but it wouldn’t prevent a desire to want to believe it.

  33. Paula says:

    Thanks userdand, yes, the staying is hard, walking seems the easy way out, often! Run away from this pain! (I’ve tried on more than one occasion, in the past.) But it does tend to follow if not dealt with properly, huh.

    Speaking for myself, I needed all the details not at all to prevent it from happening again, although wouldn’t that be great, lol! I needed ALL the details because this was a supposed friend of mine, of over 32 years then, we ALL spent a bit of time together, even just her and I – with or without our children – she came on our family holidays, parties, social events, and I felt this overwhelming need to write the TRUTH of our history, that those fifteen months were a huge lie. What I truly believed about my relationship (fidelity, trust, deep, deep love and honesty) was all a lie, and I needed to replace the lies with the truth. I needed to know the wheres, whys, hows, so I could work out how the hell they actually physically did this, as we were FRANTICALLY busy, and I couldn’t conceive how he found six hours driving time during the day – let alone the time it took to romance and/or screw her! I needed to know how he worked out WHERE to shag her. I needed to know if he thought they had a future at any point along the way, how close my children were to having a new stepmum (close at one point.) I needed to try to understand why I had NO IDEA about any of this, why I didn’t suspect, why I was seemingly so stupid, lol. I needed to know if they practiced safe sex. They didn’t. So I needed to get tested for STIs, etc. I had one. I couldn’t imagine why they didn’t, I am the child of a gay man who came out in the mid-80s, closely followed by the initial AIDS epidemic, and I have always been pedantic about safe sex, in the aftermath of realizing my mother, as well as my father, were at risk as their marriage fell apart. I had reiterated it millions of times, to him (in case of disaster, eg, drunken one night stand, affair, please don’t have an affair, but if you do, DO NOT bring a disease home to me!!) to our teens, to anyone who would listen. He just explained that didn’t that explain how selfish and “nuts” having an affair is? No excuses, just honesty about his state of mind. (I believe it was a type of mental breakdown, ABSOLUTELY no excuse, but kind of a type of “explanation” of sorts, but I also know he consciously CHOSE this course of action rather than talking to me, or a health professional, or a trusted friend….) I needed to eliminate some of the imaginings – that they were “in love,” that she was his “soulmate,” (gag) not me, that she was a superior lover, all of the insecurities and frankly wild imaginings by me! I needed to know if she was physically dangerous, if I needed to protect my children (she was! I did!) Of course he could lie further, but I believe he was committed to the truth, by then, especially now with the advantage of hindsight and time, and it has helped. Yes, some of the truths hurt a lot, but I wouldn’t change the fact that I know them, not for anything. This is part of him showing renewed commitment to me.

    • userdand says:

      Thank you for sharing that. I had never considered all of those “reasonable” and responsible questions as part of wanting to “know everything.” I always thought it was about the sordid details and driven by insecurities that only created pain, not healing. Who would really want to know all of THAT! Now I get it, at least to some extent. I have learned something that I may have figured out if I had just empathized more and analyzed less. I thought the question was coming from another place and I wasn’t listening for the answer when it didn’t match the truth I was listening for.

      G’night all.

  34. nmwf1 says:

    Hi Dj, actually mine is on a white background until half way threw this blog roll then it is on a dark blue background and I have to hold the mouse and scroll across the sentences to be able to read them. maybe it is a glitch on my side. Oh well, no biggy hope you are having a good day.

  35. userdand says:

    I had to stop for a while and then I actually lost this blog and had to search my emails for a likely suspect. My bookmarks don’t always work out for some reason. I’ll have to catch up before I open my big mouth. LOL. I have been trying to balance my b’sphere interest with my married life and not doing real well at it yet. There are other issues I am sure, but blog reading and commenting is a real time eater. I have been encouraged to create my own blog but not sure how to budget the time to do it the way I would want. Glad to be back, although It looks like when I quit stirring the pot, things calmed down. Maybe I should just MYOB, in the words of the late Ann Landers.

    • Not Over It says:

      Running your own blog is definitely time consuming, and I have taken breaks here and there. I enjoy the discussions and sharing of information, but my basic reason for being here is the support we all give one another. Our blogging community helped me when I wanted to just lay down and die somewhere, and everyone helps me now when I feel that no one in my “real life” understands me. I hope that my blog brings some small comfort as part of this community as well. It can be never be enough for what I have gained.

      For you, Userdand, I would not recommend it until and unless something changes in your home life. It is a stress in my home life as well, but I feel a strong need to be here. You don’t seem to need it as much. Maybe being a commenter is time enough for you?

      As far as minding your own business, sometimes the pot needs to be stirred. Not brought to a strong boil that can hurt, but a gentle stir here and there can make people think…

      Love & prayers,

      • userdand says:

        Thanks for the sage advice on the care and feeding of a blog. I have a lot of things I would like to share and discuss with people, not all of it realtionship and sex stuff either, but I am the type that could become consumed if I couldn’t discipline myself. That’s what I love about blogs. Only those interested in the post bother to comment, so you have an like-minded discussion group. They may not all agree on all points, but they all find the topic to their liking and are usually versed in the subject matter.

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