About Affairs

02 Feb

Why Do I Keep Obsessing Over the Affair?

Obsessing over the affair is an absolutely natural and normal response to the trauma you have experienced.

If you find yourself unable to, at times, stop turning over the lies, snippets of conversation, unanswered questions, things that don’t add up, or visualizing the same devastating images over and over, know that although this can be agonizing, it is actually part of your healing process that will probably go on for some time.

You might wonder how it can be part of healing if it feels like going over the same thing over and over again. There are many reasons why almost everyone obsesses after being traumatized. Here are a few common ones:

You are in shock. Replaying everything over and over is an attempt to integrate the fact that this has really happened to you.

You are trying to reconstruct the history of your relationship. You are searching among the ruins, sifting through debris, trying to find the pieces you need to rebuild a more accurate story. Many of your assumptions about who you and your partner have been have been shattered. You are struggling to make sense of what has happened. You need this to eventually be able to move forward.

You are trying to regulate the emotional roller coaster that has you feeling like you are going to careen out of control. In this way obsessing, or thinking, especially when you already know the answer to the things you are thinking about, serves to keep you in your head and out of your gut feelings. This is important and useful at times, for example when you need to function and keep your life from falling apart on the outside (even if it feels like it has on the inside).

You are trying to achieve emotional mastery over the trauma. From the outside this can appear to others like you are needlessly torturing yourself. It’s as if you are saying, “If I retraumatize myself, I am in control of it, rather than it being something that happened to me.”

But obsessing about the affair also has it’s costs. In my next post I will discuss different ways to deal with these disturbing experiences.

75 Responses to “Why Do I Keep Obsessing Over the Affair?”

  1. 1
    Anonymous Says:

    That’s what I keep telling my husband, he complains that I keep going over everything and says we should move on. But I’m just not there… everything is in pieces and I need time to put it all together, myself, what happened, who this man is…

  2. 2
    Anonymous Says:

    That is what I feel, we separated through this and I keep telling myself I have forgiven him but I keep going over things in my head. images about her and what happened and I feel like it consumes me at times and I start crying for I was blind to what happened and he blamed me for the affair. I love him and want out marriage to work and he says he feels as though he failed me and my son and that he will make it up to me. But how do I know if he only wants to come back because it didn’t work with her since it took him almost 3 1/2 months after I discovered the affair for him to cut off all communication with her.

  3. 3
    Anonymous Says:

    It comes in waves with me. One minute I am fine and the next I cannot get the images out of my head. Then I cry. The hardest for me was that he was not only sleeping with her but that they were intimate in other ways, like shopping and he even met her kids. I also looked at his phone records and discovered all of the late night calls and txts and some where right in the other room. My husband works out of town 2 weeks a month, which is where he had the affair, so this has made my situation worse. I feel secure while he is home but scared, paranoid & insecure when he is gone. I don’t know how to stop obsessing and the pain is killing me

  4. 4
    Anonymous Says:

    I’m here now. It’s tearing me apart.

  5. 5
    Anonymous Says:

    I feel exactly like you all. I saw my part and why my marriage went bad and I am doing my best to improve myself wether I stay or go, BUT I want to stay and I choose to stay. I just want these thoughts to be gone. I don’t want to feel bad and out of control. I want to trust agin, but how can I? How can I move on and stop thinking about this awful thing? The other woman, or I should say child, she is 22… She works so close by his job that there is always a chance to run into her and that in itself is devastating. He had an emotional affair that turned into a sexual one and even though I know it’s not about the sex and more about the feelings, it rips me apart. Every fiber of my being. I want to be the one he goes to when he has needs. I have been reading two books and they are helping, but I can’t stop thinking and thinking and it doesn’t help with FB. I can see her page and looking at her pics, I want to rip her face to shreds. I can’t help it. I just want this all to go away and never to think of it again. I want her to find her own man and move on. I want out of the hell I’m in. Period.

  6. 6
    Anonymous Says:

    My thoughts are with all of you suffering through this trauma. I think it psychologically changes who we are. It is not fair and no it doesn’t go away. Here I am almost 2 years post and at times it feels like yesterday. Will the suspicion ever go away, will the intrusive thoughts ever stop. It goes on and on. It almost seems the better choice to walk away no matter the cost. Staying is equally as hard as leaving. They made a choice and we have to live with that choice every day after. I truly think the will never know the hurt this causes. Just how devastating it is. It is the most horrific experience of my life so far.

  7. 7
    Anonymous Says:

    I moved out of the house when I found out about my husbands affair. We received a little counseling, he was diagnosed as bi-polar and is on medication. I have moved back in. I know he is sorry, I don’t doubt that. I just dont think he knows how hard this has been on me. I feel like I am the one in pain all the time. We have been back together about a month now, and I can not stop going over the text messages between them. While it was a short lived affair, just a couple of months, the messages were very hurtful for me to read.
    I can not stop obsessing over her. He came clean, answered every question I asked about her, and them. I can not stop imagining them together. Sometimes I Look at my husband while he is sleeping and wonder if he is thinking of her. Then I start crying and get out of bed. I feel like he gets to move on with his life, I am back with him, he is happy. But I am the one in pain, I am the one going crazy. I am not suggesting that I do not want to be with him anymore but When will I truly forgive him? When will I be normal again.

  8. 8
    Anonymous Says:

    I thought I was going crazy but I see from everyone elses reactions that I am just normal. I feel for everyone of you. I am the same. My husbands affair was very short but just as devastating to me. He doesn’t want to think about what he has done, how he has hurt me but he lives with it all the time. I am trying to be happy and realize that I won the war here, but the battle scars run deep. I can’t seem to let this go right now, its only been about six months since I found out. He is doing everything he can to make things right but the betrayal is overwhelming. Trust is a big issue, who is this man now? I thought I knew him 100% after 18 years but now? Not at all. I am hoping time will fade this memory but when? I so desperately want to put this into the past but it haunts me all the time. Images of them together, of him with her kids, sleeping together, etc. It is maddening. They don’t understand, or don’t want to, the devastation this causes us. They never will. We are alone out here to deal with it. Even if they are trying to make it right. Our feelings are ours, they can’t relate. And they get frustrated because they can just move on once they make the decision to work on things with you, they just get themselves into that place and cant understand why we take so much longer. I pray for all of you, and myself. I don’t want to live like this. I just want to be happy again.

  9. 9
    Anonymous Says:

    My husband and I have been together 15 years, married 13 years. We have three boys who stays involved in sports and other activities. I also work full time. I was so consumed in my work and keeping up with the kids that I didn’t make time for my marriage. I keep blaming myself for the affair and wish I can go back in time to prevent it. Although my husband acknowledge that there was no excuse for his actions, I can’t stop thinking about it. He is doing everything he can to show me that he is sorry and that the affair is over. However, the details of the affair replays in my head constantly. I’m afraid to trust because of the lies he told me as he looked me right in the eyes. I keep seeing images of them together. Imagining all the fun they had on their weekend trip while my kids and I were left behind thinking he was with his friends on one of his all guys trips. Remembering the feeling I had every time the kids asked for him. I felt abandoned and worthless because for a period, his priority was another family. He treated her as his wife and was concerned about the her well being and her daughters. I am totally devastated. The affair lasted about 3-4 months. It’s been about two months now since he declared the affair is over. He is a better man than he was before the affair. I want to be able to believe everything I see and be happy, but the pain lingers and there are reminders everywhere. I hate living like this, but I cannot control my feelings regardless of how hard I try.

  10. 10
    Anonymous Says:

    My husband has had a affair for about 4 months. I found out. He says it’s over. I’m having a hard time believing it. It has been 4 months since i found out. Is this normal? This is why I’m having such a hard time moving forward. I want him to prove it’s over but he says he has. I don’t know how. I hate feeling this way every day. There hasn’t been a day that I haven’t thought about it. He knows how bad he has hurt me, it’s just hard to trust him after all the lies and not knowing. Has anyone felt that the hard part is not knowing for sure if it’s over?

  11. 11
    Anonymous Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I am so relieved to know I am not alone when it comes to all the emotions as a result of my husbands affair. You all have stated EXACTLY what I have been experiencing. It has been 2 months since I found out my husbands affair. Like many of you, my husband refuses to talk about it and wants to just get passed it. He begged for my forgiveness and apologizes every day. We have been married for 28 years and this is our first experience with infidelity so I tell myself I have to give him a second chance. My problem is all the unanswered questions I have. I don’t know for sure how long it was going on (he claims 4 months), I don’t know how often they met, where they met for their rendezvous. It also upsets me to think it would still be going on if I hadn’t caught him. I also find myself crying uncontrollably and wonder if I will ever be able to move on. I agree with you that the hard part is not knowing for sure that its over. I would like to keep up with all of you because it is very comforting knowing I have “sisters” that are going through the same things. Please keep posting.

  12. 12
    Anonymous Says:

    WOW!!! It looks like I wrote every one of these posts. I too, was cheated on. 2 years ago this month. Only mine decided to go the CRAIGSLIST/BACKPAGE route for an affair (sex). GROSS HUH?!?! I feel for each and every one of you. I too want to stop obsessing over this. Some days fine, the next, panic attacks all day. Its terrible how much we blame ourselves when its wasn’t our idea to tear our family to shreds. He’s, of course, very sorry. “Ill do anything!”
    We are working on it everyday. HARDEST PAIN IVE EVER HAD TO DEAL WITH. Good luck to all of you!!!

  13. 13
    Anonymous Says:

    I feel exactly the same as all of you. It’s by far the most devastating thing I have ever gone through. I was seriously ill at the time of my husbands affair (4months and across Christmas) he was even messaging with her on his phone over our Christmas dinner table. 2 years ago now. The pain, hurt anger and all the other feelings are not as strong now but they are still there. Every single day. She made sure I found out a couple of days before my birthday. My husband tried to downplay it all but I found everything (I think) out eventually. I’m glad the way I feel is normal but I am so sorry that so many of us have experienced this torturous event in our lives. And be assured it is never our fault, no matter what we did or didn’t do in our marriage. It is always the choice they made!

  14. 14
    Anonymous Says:

    Wow so crazy! I am amazed at how many of us are feeling the same. It has been 7 months since affair for me after 23 years of marriage! 4 grown boys and 2 grandkids. He chose someone else over me for several months. Lived with her for a month. I am so hurt. He has never been easy to live with. Lost his parents as a child and has a lot of anger but I never ever thought that after I stood by him all these years he would be with someone so disgusting. She is totaly opposite of me! I work for the courts she is a criminal and has on going cases. Not only do I live with the pain and images but I have to see her at my job. It is so humiliating and disgusting. Yes obviously I love him but the pain is HORRIBLE! Like all of you have said…. he wants it to be done. It might be over for the 2 of them but I see no signs of it me being over for me anytime soon.

  15. 15
    Anonymous Says:

    I am going through the same thing,it has been 14 months since I found out about my husbands affair.
    I don’t think I will ever forget the pain he has out me through but with his help we are slowly repairing our marriage and the intrusive thoughts are getting less and less painful when they do come

  16. 16
    Anonymous Says:

    My husband had a mostly emotional affair. There was a great deal of sexting and talking on the phone and emails and FB messages. She even sent him photos of her unclothed body and even gave him a thumb drive with nude images of herself.

    I found all this and I felt as though a knife had cut me through and twisted.

    He says he is sorry. That he loves me. He was out of his mind, that it never went beyond kissing and minor petting. He says the mere thought of her now makes him sick and he can’t believe he got himself into this situation. She says (as I actually contacted her) that it went all the way.

    We are going to counseling. He is going to a counselor of his own. Me too.

    Its been over 4 months and some days I feel really strong and positive and other days I feel awful. I need to stop looking at her social media because she is carrying a torch for my husband and is creating a narrative of their “love”.

    My husband says he has always loved me. Never loved her. Liked her, but wasn’t even attracted to her. He says he was using a medication that caused him to act out. I don’t buy it. People do what they do for reasons. Unless they are out of their mind. Which he says he was.

  17. 17
    Anonymous Says:

    Wow. I thought I was the only woman who can’t seem to stop thinking about how I found out about my husband’s affair. This is so much help to my mind. Just like all of you strong woman posting their hurtful betrayal, it’s all the same. My husband started to come home late. Of course, saying he’s working late, some nights didn’t come home till 6 am. Then would get upset with me. But just about a month ago, I finally found out by looking at his phone while he was sleeping. And the gross texts that I saw. I might as well watch them sleep together. That’s how detailed the texts were to each other. And of course he says he never wanted a divorce, that he’s been abusing alcohol and drugs and he wasn’t in his right mind. Which I call bullshit! But just like these other cheating husbands, he’s sorry, will prove to me, and he’s in treatment. But everyday he wants to overwhelm me with hugs and kisses and is always trying to have sex with me. And I land up just thinking about all the nasty shit he did with her, then if I let him kiss me, he tells me how better I make him feel. I’m like, that must be great for him. For when he kisses me, all I think of is her mouth on his. And how can he be so low to sleep with his coworker’s wife. And how gross of a woman she is. My husband has always been very jealous of other men around me. And I think he can’t handle the thought of me being with someone else. He’s said after his affair that I would have every right not to be faithful to him, but if I was to ever be, he said he wouldn’t want to live any longer. IDK. I’m tired of the thoughts, of the pain. After 12 years married. Like all of you, this is the worst thing I’ve ever been thru. I just keep telling myself, God is good. And there will be a day that my husband will pay for his betrayal. And that in time I hope this will only make me stronger, I wish all of you the best. Thank you for all your posts. So helpful to my pain..

  18. 18
    Anonymous Says:

    I found out 3 months ago my husband of 13 years was having a affair with is ex girlfriend. A couple of days after finding out I learn of 4-5 more women. 2 weeks after that there are even more women. The last affair happened at the exact time as the first affair I found out about…. In all there were around 10 women within 5 years. And I discovered all of these affairs at one time. I feel like I’m going insane!!!! I’m trying to process all the things we are going through, the thoughts, images, lies, why her, what all they did, how much time they took from me and my daughter BUT I’m thinking of this of 10 different people/situations. It’s all I think about. I’m constantly upset, crying, vomiting and just so mad I could throw stuff. I want him to feel half the pain I’m feeling. He’s been better than he has ever been and wants to put it behind us but how can I with all this resentment, disrespect and horrid thoughts??? Half of the women I know and been in several social setting with them and the last one we had a family vacation together!!!!!! I have no idea whatsoever who the man I’m married to is.

  19. 19
    Anonymous Says:

    Hi …I’m a 42 year old male and can relate to all comments as my wife had an affair with one of my best friends (not so anymore), now almost 14 yes ago. I cannot, up to today, stop my thought process about their affair. It has completely broken me ….I cannot handle the self loathing anymore. I think I’m going crazy. She was very sorry after she confessed ….went on for almost a year while we were separated.
    I forgave her as I know that he was seeing other women while he was seeing her, so she meant nothing to him.
    It’s the thoughts of the acts of sex they performed, where they did it and the total humiliation I I felt after finding out. We have four kids together and would never think of getting a divorce. I thought that time heals but never thought I would still after all of this time be obsessing over the affair. It’s really tiring and I just want it to stop.

  20. 20
    Anonymous Says:

    Also a 42 year old male. My wife’s affairs were revealed to me 22 years ago. It happened 24 years ago, three men over the course of 10 or so months. The reveal was in February around Valentine’s Day. I still obsess from time to time, but the thought of it intrudes almost every single day. it has really made me question whether I have forgiven or I have healed much at all. The kicker is that when I spoke to her about it, she said she almost never thinks about it at all. How could I feel this every day and she doesn’t even think about it? I have ordered a book that came recommended called Not Just Friends that I hope will offer some tools that will help me finally process and move on.

  21. 21
    Anonymous Says:

    I never thought I’d ever be the wife whose husband had an affair.
    We’ve been together for 25 yrs. I found out 6 months ago and he thinks
    I should be done and ready to move on. It sucks so bad as I still think
    of it everyday.
    He had two open heart surgeries over the past holidays and I
    was his caretaker. I went across town sometimes twice in one
    day. Then when he came home he had to have medicine
    that was administered through a shunt twice a day. I made every healthy meal
    for him. I had to give him a shower, comb his hair, get him dressed,
    and this went on for 4 months. And to think he was with her before,
    during and after his surgery just makes me so angry.
    Even though we had a crappy marriage there was one thing I totally
    just knew and that was he would never have an affair
    I don’t know who this man is anymore. And it was his best friend’s
    wife and she isn’t even younger or better looking than me. I
    just want to leave him. I hate him so much. And counseling isn’t working.
    Help, I can’t do this anymore

  22. 22
    Anonymous Says:

    I am so glad to have found this page. I am devastated over my husband’s affair. This summer we will be celebrating 30 years of marriage and I never thought that I would be experiencing anything like this. I am trying so hard to move on and as many of you have stated, my husband too does not want to discuss it. I have so many questions but because I do want to move forward, I usually keep them to myself. I cannot get the images of his relationship with this woman out of my head. I see them intimate, out to dinner, holding hands and her pretty much taking my place. For right now, I am not sure if I will stay or file for divorce; the pain is overwhelming and I don’t want to live the rest of my life this way. I am back and forth emotionally. I wish all of you the best!

  23. 23
    Anonymous Says:

    Very true. It happened to me. We have been married for ten years with a daughter who is 5 years old and are born-again Christians. We have been okay until she got a job. For three months we met and walked home together since we lived near our work places, but in opposite directions. After the fourth month things started changing. She became reluctant to pray, and was avoiding people, etc. God showed me in a dream the exact person’s name and I discovered the whatsapp texts. She said it was a joke. We agreed that she would end the relationship and stop playing with fire. Two days later their conversation started again and it has been like that for six months. The traumatic part is the discovery that they are still flirting and meeting even after she quit her job where they used to meet. She always confesses after I get evidence. My question has been does she know what I go through because unless I have evidence she will never admit it. The images kill me. I can put one and one together from their texts. So killing. But one thing I have learned never ignore any word, sign or action from your spouse. Again, it can happen to anyone even those who are satisfied in their marriages. Never blame yourself for her affair. I believe people can’t have an affair without having an emotional connection for the lady and sex for the men. So I am always with bad images. Have sent her away twice and now praying that God speaks to me. But has the affair ended? That’s the problem it’s better for those who end it, and then work on their marriage. But marriage sucks.

  24. 24
    Anonymous Says:

    Hi, I am so so glad I have read these posts.
    I found out in November that my husband had cheated, he had joined a swingers website and was talking to around 4 different women, he met one of these women twice for coffee then on the third meeting slept with her.
    I found out by a message on FB from the lovely lady herself, she messaged me after their second meeting as she had discovered he was married. Unfortunately I never saw the message until they had met the third time and had already slept together. We have been together since we were 19. We are 45 now, and have been married for almost 24 years.
    He says the reason he did this was a distraction from the real him. He has been under a lot of stress over the last couple of years. We both have, as we have a son in his early 20’s who has Asperger’s and can be very difficult to live with. There is violence and name-calling quite often. Even though I can thoroughly understand the stress we have endured I still can’t accept this as an excuse for what he did.
    It’s the type of site he was on I find difficult to deal with. It’s making me question if I really know the man I married.
    He also has been going out of his way to make things up to me by reassuring me that I am in no way to blame and he takes full responsibility for his actions.
    Even though he has been the model husband since, I find it so difficult to make sense of it all.
    I too, can’t get the images out of my head of them seeping together. They sent each other photos of themselves. In one of his messages he fantasizes sneaking out of a hotel room we share to sneak into her room for a bit of sex, then getting back to me before I would wake up.
    He says that it was just words and he doesn’t mean any of it, but I am so so confused as to what to do now. One day I want to work on our marriage, the next I want to go and get a divorce.
    My husband also cheated on me 15 years ago with someone he met in a pub. This brief encounter only lasted 2 weeks but he still slept with her.
    I am hoping someone has been in a similar position as me as this not knowing what to do is driving me crazy.
    I wish everyone on here all the best for your future and I hope we all can heal ourselves one day x

  25. 25
    Anonymous Says:

    I woke up today — on Easter, of all days — crying because I don’t know if I will ever be freed of these obsessive thoughts. It’s been a year since I found out my husband of 30 years had a physical affair 3 years ago (for 5 months), followed by an emotional affair until the ‘reveal.’ He volunteered the reveal but then lied about so much for months. Felt like death by a 1000 cuts. Lie then more reveal, then still lying. To this day, not sure if he has told me all. Because he lied so much, I pressed for more details and asked same questions over again, which led t more details than I ever wanted. Now I can’t get through a day — half a day — without something triggering a thought. I feel crazy. It is tortuous. He is now being so contrite, going to recovery program, trying to be a good man. He is attentive, sweet, trying — but I am afraid my obsessing and sadness will sabotage recovery. Has anyone come out n the other side feeling good? Or am I naive in trying to work through this?

  26. 26
    Anonymous Says:

    Has anyone had a good outcome? For staying? I feel I am going through the worst pain of my life. Have been put on anti anxiety pills. I was one of the most confident people ever, now I feel so vulnerable and weak.

  27. 27
    Anonymous Says:

    My emotional affair has been ending for a little less than a month. My husband doesn’t know. I am having a very hard time disconnecting from the AP, and reconnecting with my husband. The AP wants me to recommit, doesn’t want to break up my family (he is very religious, but had a lapse in judgement). Still my heart is with him and not my husband (where it should be at this time). We’ve been together 26 years, 4 kids, and like everyone else, never thought I’d do this. So cliche…thought I could be just friends with the ex. Not possible, too many emotions. I know I have to work through this and let go of him, but it is so hard. The fantasy of it was so strong. I’ve tried blocking his FB page, so I don’t look at his picture, but I end up unblocking it. Please don’t bash me, I do that enough.

  28. 28
    Anonymous Says:

    It’s been a little more than a year and I’m still there. A while after my husband cheated I told him we could work it out. However, he hasn’t given me what I needed to know. Whatever he’s told me about it has come out in bits and pieces over the course of the year. I would like for him to just be honest and get it all out at once, but he won’t. We’ve never actually had a conversation about it. Anything I’ve gotten out of him is like pulling teeth. I just don’t think I have it in me anymore to try and stay. I’ve tried and I’m done.

  29. 29
    Anonymous Says:

    I’m 3 months out from learning of my husband’s affair. 9 years married with a little girl. I’m here with all of you (the betrayed, not the cheaters) and have very little respite from these thoughts and emotions. I’m so hurt and angry. The unfairness of decisions, lies, manipulation, etc, haunts me every day. He took risks with my emotional and physical health, used our property and money as if it were solely his to use, and damaged something that I once thought was the best thing in my life. It’s utterly depressing. Trying to find ways to focus on myself because I’m the only one I can count on.

  30. 30
    Anonymous Says:

    It’s been 1 month since I confronted my wife about her infidelity. She initially got angry and denied it but quickly realised that I’d done more investigation than the FBI. Thankfully she immediately cut off all contact with him, is attending counselling with me and is very supportive to me. I just can’t stop reviewing the evidence that I gathered. Hundreds of text messages, hotel room invoices, the lies the lies the lies. I want to move on but I’m stuck. Should I destroy the evidence and move on? I understand why she had an affair but I’d like to know how it came to happen so I can stop imagining painful scenarios in my head.She’s not keen to share. Is she right? Maybe it’ll be too much for me.

  31. 31
    Anonymous Says:

    My wife and I were married in April 2013. I found out about my wife’s affair in March of 2016. I knew she was friends with her male co-worker and that they texted. I also knew that she was helping him through his relationship problems. I had warned her that this could result in him having feelings for her, but I wasn’t worried, because I had never imagined that my wife would ever cheat on me. Not her. Never. I found out by looking at phone records, and seeing that in a very short time, thousands of texts were exchanged between them. I asked her what was going on, and eventually got out of her that she had feelings for him. Later that evening, she confessed that they had kissed. I decided to call him and he confessed (almost) everything (I lied to him and told him that my wife already told me everything). He revealed that they had kissed on one occasion and had sex on two. About a week later, I discovered an old e-mail my wife had sent an ex-boyfriend back in 2014. She was several months pregnant with my daughter, and mentioned in the e-mail that she wanted to leave me and raise their respective children with him. Again, she told me that they met several times in 2014 and had an affair. Later on, I discovered that it actually started in 2013, a few months after we were married.

    We have had successful counseling, and my wife has come to terms with her reasons for the affairs (she was addicted to the “new” and “exciting” feelings of new relationships) and recognizes that her love for me is more meaningful and is what she truly wants. I believe her. I also believe (or want to believe) that she has given me all of the information I’ve asked her for. I still find myself checking phone records, fighting off images of her with her affair partners, and wondering if she’s told me the whole truth. Granted, it’s only been a month, but she’s definitely in moving-on mode, and I’m just not. At least when it comes to thinking about the affairs. Marriage counseling has been phenomenal, and my relationship with my wife (communication, affection, honesty, intimacy) is better than it has ever been. But I still relapse and have not found a successful way to cope besides Xanax, which I can’t take forever.

    I’m happy I stayed in the marriage. I’m madly in love with my wife. And I don’t believe she’ll cheat again. That doesn’t take away the memory and the very present pain that the affairs have caused (or the way in which I had to find out about them). I hope that it lessens over time, but I don’t believe it’s something I’ll ever truly get over emotionally.

  32. 32
    Anonymous Says:

    i found out two months ago that my wife of 20 years has been seeing a man for the past two and half years. When i discovered by chance on her computer some real time text messages that said “I love you, xxx” at first i was confused but then felt like someone kicked me in the stomach and realized that someone was amiss. I immediately went through her email and drawers and found romantic cards and receipts for hotels. To be truthful, our marriage was barley hanging on when this started. Around that time she asked for a divorce. I wanted to see counseling and see what we could do to reconcile. she did not want to take any action but she started staying over at her parents house for about the next six months. The two boys shuttled back and forth until we all realized this wasn’t healthy. So we have all been back together in the house for the last year. We have not slept together during this time. When I confronted her about Ted (not real name) she calmly said that I must have known about him and that she did not consider it an affair. She has continued to see him says she is considering reconciling but is very confused. Well I am in a world of pain. I have been faithful and provided as best I could for all these years. Not sure where it is going but my imagination and my now obsessive behavior is causing serous physical aliments. I am seeing a counselor and priest to maintain my sanity. I truly want this to work out. Thanks for listening. I know I am not crazy

  33. 33
    Anonymous Says:

    My husband had an affair 29 years ago and it still causes problems for me. He lied for about 8 years and every now and then I would get a “nugget” of truth. The affair lasted for 13 months and he tried to blame me. I was in the hospital for 10 days when this got started. He said he couldn’t talk to me and she was someone who listened to what he had to say. When I told him all she wanted was our nice life style because her own husband had dumped her, he didn’t agree with that. He claims there was never any sex involved but admitted he cared for her. I would rather there had been sex and no feelings. You can learn new ways to satisfy him sexually but there is nothing you can do when he is emotionally involved with another woman. I stay because I am well taken care of and at this stage in my life, I don’t want to have to start all over again. My purpose in this marriage is to make his life a living hell because of what he did to me and our daughters. Better still he has erectile dysfunction and even Viagra can’t help him. Maybe that’s part of payback. He also suffers from emphysema. Some times they get paid back for not keeping their vows. I told him if he didn’t love me, he should have left and let me and the kids move on, but the selfish sob wanted his cake and wanted to eat it, too. So my goal is to goad him into leaving because every thing is in my name. I had it all changed when I discovered the affair. He was too happy to do whatever I wanted when I caught him. The pain, hurt, and humiliation will never leave me but pay back can be a bitch.

  34. 34
    Anonymous Says:

    Reading these posts gives me some comfort in knowing that what I am feeling is normal, but there is one thing that is different about my situation than everyone elses….we are not married! We had been dating for just over a year when my boyfriend started an 8 month affair. I just discovered it a month ago and the intrusive, obsessive thoughts consume my days and nights. Initially, he wasn’t too forthcoming with the details of the affair, which continued to spiral me downward and force me to continue to snoop for information. Ultimately, I found out exactly when it started which was before my birthday and while we were still living together. After confronting him with that information he started to speak more truthfully and freely. It was a good conversation, but I know there was a lo left unspoken. Now, like I said, we are not even married and it has been extremely difficult to completely cut the ties with him. The reason lies in the fact that he has a son with whom he and I have such a strong bond that he even refers to me as his mother. He’s the sweetest boy ever. My heart breaks at the thought of not having him in my life. Therefore, I’m putting in my best effort to try and make it work with his father. I do look at my boyfriend and I feel a special connection with him, but right now the hurt, pain, betrayal and humiliation is what consumes me. And it doesn’t help knowing that their lines of communication are still open….he tells me he is done with her, but I have expressed to him how he has lost my trust and right now it is hard to believe things he tells me. For these last 8 months he was lying to me on a daily basis, he says he was angry at me, he says he was confused and he now admits he should have broken up with me, but he says he just couldn’t let me go and he just thought that things would get better. That’s the problem with men, they think with the wrong head.

  35. 35
    Anonymous Says:

    I was with my husband for 23 years and married for 20 years. I found out two and a half years ago that he had slept with a friend of ours about 6 times throughout out 20 year marriage. I also found out he had another affair with one of his friend’s ex girlfriends. I was totally shocked to find all of this out and everyone we knew, his friends and family were shocked and devastated. It was so out of character for him, said some people. I truly felt like my heart was ripped from my chest. I felt like I didn’t know this man really. I tried couples therapy and individual therapy and it did help some but I just couldn’t get the thoughts out of my head. They would just pop into my head didn’t matter what I was doing I would think about him with either of these women. I would get angry, disgusted, hurt, too many emotions. I just wanted the pain to stop and the thoughts to go away. After about 6 months I moved out. I ended up bumping into my high school boyfriend that I dated for 3 years in high school and who I hadn’t seen in 26 years and he had gotten a divorce after 19 years and we’ve been together now over a year and things are great. I filed for divorce which was finalized 8 months ago. My life is great now but I still have the pain and the thoughts still almost 3 years later keep popping into my head. I think once you have had the ultimate betrayal, the trauma of it all never fully goes away. I am afraid I will have these thoughts and all forever and I just want to forget

  36. 36
    Anonymous Says:

    My husband waited till we moved half way across the world to have an affair. So here I am, with no family, few friends, basically on my own. We have been married for 17 years. The move was a dream we have had forever and finally came to fruition after some difficult years financially and emotionally. We were enjoying exploring this new country together, all our days off were spent exploring or going out for dinners. We held hands, kissed, I felt like our dreams had truly come true. Unfortunately he was having a hard time in his new job, he really hated it and began to look for another job elsewhere, and I supported him fully in this, even helping him with his cv and applying for new roles. I had dinner ready when he came home, worried about him when he had to work through lunch and waited patiently every night for him to come home (he works in the hospitality industry so works 12 – 14 hours a day, meaning he comes home late). One evening whilst sat together watching tv, after having returned from dinner together, I saw him messaging someone on his phone With no pre-thought or real basis for it, I asked who he was messaging. He quickly turned the phone away from me. I just knew something was wrong, I asked him again who he was texting. He was silent, and then the bombshell, “I’ve met someone”. My world literally fell around me with those words and anger I’ve never known hit me. I slapped him across the face, threw some clothes into a bag and threw him out. After literally falling to pieces on the floor, I decided I needed to speak to him more that night, to know more. But he had gone to his mistress’s apartment, where he apparently spent the night on the couch. He did come home the next morning, remorseful and full of apology. He had been having an affair with a 23 yr old girl for over two months. He’s 38. To be fair, he told me everything. How many times they slept together, the sexting, nude photos, how she made him laugh, the lunches he took with her whilst I thought he was working, making out with her in these restaurants, going for drinks with her after work, having sex in a store cupboard. And the sex was unprotected! He believed she was on the pill! And guess what, a day after he finished it with her, she told him she was pregnant, then that she had cancer, then she emailed me telling me my marriage was over, emailed him, posted her “love” for him all over the internet. Luckily she was lying about the pregnancy, but the fact was that it could have been true. Maybe he has an std, who knows? He told her he loved her. It’s all so painful. More so because we seemed so happy. I have a lump that may be cancerous and he came to the doctors with me and everything. The main thing I struggle with is grieving the loss of the relationship I know is over. Yes, there may be a better, different one ahead. But the old one has died. I trusted this man not to do something like this to me, trusted him with my entire being, my heart. I just want the old us back. He said he did it because of the job, that he was so unhappy there and she took away some of that, but why not use me to alleviate some of that unhappiness, why did he need a 23 yr old girl to do that? I already have an over active imagination, but now I just can’t get the images out of my head. It’s like a constant porno playing on repeat, all the little details. I constantly feel sick, and however much I try, I just can’t turn them off. The betrayal is absolute. I hope that we have a future together, but everyday I just look blankly at a man I thought I once knew, a man who caused me the most pain in my life. I won’t give up on us, I just pray I can one day not see the images of the man I loved with this woman, in my head…

  37. 37
    Anonymous Says:

    I can relate to so many of the thoughts and feelings that have been shared on here. In 2011, I rekindled with my childhood sweetheart after 11 years of being apart. We had dated as teenagers and he had cheated on me with another girl and obviously my family hated him for doing it. When I was 27, he randomly added me on Facebook, we began chatting and I fell in love with him all over again. I had 2 daughters at this point and he was amazing with them. I thought that this was and he was the person I was going to spend my life with. I was nervous about telling my family but didn’t expect that my sister would end up completely disowning me for my decision because ‘he was no good for me.’ I told her she was wrong, he was not a teenager anymore and I was the happiest I’d ever been. Everything was great, my daughters and I moved into his house 6 months later and life seemed wonderful. In 2013, his behaviour changed and suddenly he was doing a lot of ‘over-time’ or ‘going to the gym’ after work. Gut instinct kicked in and I checked his phone sneakily. The messages I read will haunt me forever. He had been visiting his ex for sex and she wanted a relationship with him. I felt sick to stomach, angry, foolish. He admitted everything and was ashamed at what he’d done to me and my daughters. We spent a year apart (in which he constantly made contact with me) but I was repulsed by him and just wanted him to feel a fraction of the pain that I felt. I missed him and still loved him so a year later I decided to let him back into my life gradually. That was 3 years ago and we have recently had a son together. I can honestly say that it was the most traumatic experience for me psychologically and I still struggle with it every day. I’ve become a different person and don’t like myself a lot of the time because I feel so frightened that it will happen again. He’s very open and allows me to check his phone for emails and texts etc. I don’t want to be the kind of woman I’ve become- constantly paranoid that he’s looking at other women, terrified when he goes to the pub with friends that he’ll meet someone, stalking ‘her’ on Facebook. It’s just not healthy at all but I just can’t stop and I make myself Unwell with anxiety. We have a lovely family, good jobs, a lovely home together and I do love him but it will always be the elephant in the room as far as I’m concerned.

  38. 38
    Anonymous Says:

    Out of the blue I recently began obsessing about a 5 month affair my wife had 31 years ago. It was triggered by a conversation we recently had about being sexually faithful to each other for our 39 years of marriage.

    The affair occurred while we were in marriage counseling and the betrayal was compounded by that coincidence. Prior our councilor had gone so far as to tell us that if we kept on our path of openness we could have a world class marriage. Of course this event changed our marriage forever. We have a good marriage with normal glitches and we remain in love, but I still resent the loss of what could have been “world-class” love. Still, I am grateful for what we do have.

    I appreciate your comments especially the idea that obsession is prompted by “…trying to find the pieces you need to rebuild a more accurate story.” My wife maintained that she was not sexually intimate with her “emotional” lover. After all these years I find it nearly impossible to believe this is true. She had less than a handful of lovers prior to our marriage and I had many, so I know I am projecting my own issues since I would most certainly would have been sexually involved if I had had a 5 month affair. The axioms that a women’s needs differ from a man’ do not mitigate my lingering disbelief that their affair didn’t include sexual intimacy.

    I am thinking of revisiting this issue and know it is fraught with risk. If she were sexually involved it would not change that fact that the last 31 years have been good ones. It would rekindle my hurt but the distance we’ve traveled since then would not make that fatal. I feel the core issue, not believing I have ever had the accurate story, needs to be resolved and I will take her at her word but feel compelled to ask again.

    I suspect these comments offer little value to others but it is helpful to me to write them. Thanks all for indulging me.

  39. 39
    Anonymous Says:

    I’m so sorry for all your pain and loss, stay strong!

  40. 40
    Anonymous Says:

    When your husband cheated on you, like mine did for 7 months until he got caught, then dumped her that day, but lied for another 5 months about the sex involved, how do you figure out this question? Do I subtract the 7 months he was with her out of our years of marriage or a whole year because of the lying. We were married 13 years this past May but in my head 7 months of that we weren’t married cause he had his girlfriend he was putting before me and all the other stuff he did with her, and 5 months off lying. So this past May was I only married 12 years and 5 months or just 12 years?

  41. 41
    Anonymous Says:

    My man cheated on me 2 years ago this month with someone 35 years younger than him while he was working out of town. (college age housekeeper in the motel he was staying at). I found out by reading a skype conversation between them after he came home to me, as they kept up the affair. I found this conversation three months AFTER I sold my home and my son and I had moved in with him. He’s been trying very hard to mend our relationship but I can’t seem to stop stepping backwards. The thoughts and supposes consume me at times. The fear of it happening again tears me apart almost daily. I’m getting frustrated at the thoughts that invade me even still. I can’t get over the fact he was just about old enough to be her grandfather! It’s comforting to know I’m not alone with this and not abnormal to be still dealing with the hurt. The feeling of being older and not what he wants, even though he tells me that I’m what he wants is killing me. I can’t get the fact out of my head that I’m not 19 anymore and nor do I look like it. Makes me want to rip my brain out and stomp on it. 🙁

  42. 42
    Anonymous Says:

    My husband had an affair for a year with the wrong kind of woman. She told on him. She left a message on our answering machine on the morning of our 21st wedding anniversary. We were on vacation when she called. What a shocker for me when we returned home from our vacation and listened to phone messages left while we were gone ..She said numerous hurtful things about their affair and that he had been dating her for the last year but it was now over. I’m sure she told on him because she is mad that he ended it. There are many more things I am too tired to write about now, but I can tell you that I can’t stop obsessing about what I imagine they did in bed and everything leading up to it. I am comforted so much that I am not the only one that has done this. I hate my husband, but love him too. I have had this ambivalent feeling about him for almost all of our marriage. I am certain I pushed him away by things I said to him, but when it really happens (an affair) it is devastating.

  43. 43
    Anonymous Says:

    I just want to say how helpful these posts are. I don’t feel alone. I can’t stop obsessing and replaying everything in my mind. I ask the same questions over and over. It is awful. I don’t wish this hell on anyone. It has changed me, my life, forever. Even though my husband cut off everything immediately and has done just about everything he can to recommit to our marriage, I feel like I am sabotaging our chances by obsessing and bringing it up over and over again. I am going to therapy and it helps, but not enough. I want this nightmare to end.

  44. 44
    Anonymous Says:

    Here I am, eight years later, in bed, crying over the affair he had, while he watches television downstairs, clueless as to the depth of pain he has put me through. I’m thinking of her and how beautiful she was/is because I still find myself searching her on social media to torture myself with the perfectness. Everyday she crosses my mind; I wonder how could I take him away from her after he was chasing her just to not go insane. I should’ve let him go. Even if it felt like I was going to die knowing he ran off with someone else. Eight years later I’m loosing hope my pain will ever fade.

  45. 45
    Anonymous Says:

    Married to a beater, liar, cheater, thief, child abuser rolled into one man. I have been faithful and loving 28 years. This time, I will trust MYSELF as I know I am trustworthy. I love him so much but I know I will pay for his misdeeds the rest of my life . I also know it will hurt way less if I LEAVE. I know this from experience with a prior relationship. It’s my time to have peace and sleep. I also want to be able to focus on my children. Thank you all for your comments. I am so sorry anyone has to experience this kind of pain.

  46. 46
    Anonymous Says:

    OK guys, I feel the same as most of you, however I don’t think that the other woman is better than me. He has always been a cheater, but I only had suspicions, never the real actual proof that I needed. Every single time I wanted answers I would manipulate them out of him, or do things like put a spy in our pc or his cellphone. Once I even signed him up for Verizon’s text message web chat that basically put his texts from his phone on to their website, so if he deleted stuff, I would find the hard copy on my pc with an account I made in his name with my email as he slept from his over-night shift. I got my proof. But the most hurtful was the “affair” that he had where he became cruel and very into her and acted like he hated me. He continued to do this until I found out. I ended up showing up at their jobs. He works for the city and she does as well, different departments, but somehow he met her during lunch breaks at 4 am overnight shifts. I was immediately suspicious and very insecure about her even though she was older, and not as sexy or attractive as me, but that doesn’t mean anything. He quickly chatted her up, and started to tell me that I had to accept her as his friend and to stop being jealous and insecure. Well, he manipulated me. To top it off she lived and still lives two blocks from his work quarters. Even though she was elsewhere, she lived two blocks away and still does. I tried to be nice to her since i had nothing to worry about until i found out he was screwing her.
    THEN once I found out, he dropped her, told her he loved his wife etc…etc. I spent the next two years trying to get myself together and trying to ‘win him back’ but was honestly and truly devastated, angry, jealous and I hated her. I still do. She was nothing that I was. Well, it was over, our relationship was mending, that was in June, 2013, around Father’s Day, and on March of 2016 (this year) I learned he somehow managed to go back and saddle up with her, having sex and staying over her house and he concealed it so well until he came home too tired one day after work. I checked his phone and found that he had an app that allows you to make a fake number to text and chat or call one another on without showing up on the bill. He was back with her, this time when I found out, he lost it. He started to cry and say he was sorry. He called her and put her on speaker and told her I found out and that he wanted me and not her, she was crying and upset and told him he didn’t know how she felt and he told her that he was sorry. That was in March……………Here we are in August and I sometimes hate him, he is in the process of buying us a house and wanting to get legally married. We’ve been together 16 yrs, we have a 12 yr old daughter and I cannot believe that he went there with her again. This time I texted her after they spoke. She cursed me out but my mouth is evil when I am upset, I have NO filter, I lied and told her that he had herpes. I swear, that drove her crazy. I just wanted her to be scared and upset and now she was finally feeling that horrible feeling of him choosing ME over HER for the 2nd time.
    But why was I happy? He wasn’t a winner, what did I win? A cheater, A liar? A manipulater? Someone that I live with that I cannot trust. Is that what I’m entitled too? And yet I still really hurt. I still think of them together and how they had sex, how many times they had sex, wondering if he said he loved her, and he is sick of me bringing it up. But dammit, he played me for two years. Therapy = lies. You would never talk to her again because she’s very upset=lies, that she did not want him because he chose to stay with his “wife” (me)=Lies. I feel she laughs at me, she has told me to enjoy my cheater and that he will always cheat on me, that he loves her. He says he doesn’t. At this point I really don’t care.
    He killed my love for him. It will never be the same. I am considering whether I should let him move into that house alone with our daughters for now and take time for myself to heal. Not once has he not come home, not once has he ever stayed over her house after we fought. Instead now I have grown very resentful. I find myself feeling shame, but why? Because I let this bastard stay with me after he basically killed me emotionally. My friends are disappointed that I stayed after he went back to her. Now I feel they aren’t messing around cause he chose me over her even for the second time. I’m not in the mood to chance a 3rd and he says either we move on or we don’t.
    How can he say that!? This was just in March. To top it off, last month on July 13th my brother died and I felt he wasn’t there as much as he should have been. I felt resentful towards him, he has never felt me abandon him as he has me. He is very comfortable that I will stick around forever but he is dead wrong cause I’m the type of person that I may let you walk all over me because I love you but in the end, it’s me who gets so hateful. I drop them like NOTHING and he will unfortunately learn that feeling one day.

  47. 47
    Anonymous Says:

    I’m hurting now…. Can’t get it out of my head. I’m trying but it makes me feel so sick.

  48. 48
    Anonymous Says:

    I’m sitting here at work looking at pages on the internet of people being betrayed by their husbands. I’m a 46 yr old male, married for 20 years with 3 wonderful kids. I have my own business, we employ 30 people, take great holidays and live comfortably. The only issue is I found out in April my wife was having an affair with a guy she met on a girl’s night out. She started texting, talking, then meeting behind my back. This led to an intimate relationship and sex which she says was only twice. That’s when I found out. So it would have carried on. We’ve been through torture since, having to play normal happy families in front of the kids and family, purely because the pain we are going through is something that we don’t want to inflict on others. My wife has said it was just a silly mistake… a mid-life crisis; she got carried away. But I’ve since found out that while I was on business she got back in touch, sent him a letter, and he then got back in touch with her! I want to kill this guy; he knew she was married with 3 kids, but carried on chasing and showering her with compliments until she eventually fell into his arms. Where was I all of this time? Taking my sons to football, my daughter to dancing and basically running a business to fund the lifestyle we have. Yes I can be a pain and get stressed, but I’ve never been nasty to her, laid a finger on her or treated her badly. She has wanted for nothing and has gone and done this.
    I’ve been obsessing about it all for months, checking phone records, bills, even trying to find out where the guy lives, where he works. I just feel so angry! We’ve been away on holiday to Mauritius and had a great time with the kids, and I guess we were like we used to be, but when we are intimate or alone, I clam up and things don’t feel right. Will this pain and the visions I have of her with somebody else ever leave me?
    I also have found out that 1 yr ago, she went on a hen night and got intimate with a guy on a stag do, she sent 50 texts upon return, and says nothing happened. I am struggling to ever trust her again, I can’t sleep, eat, don’t feel well… will this torture ever end??

  49. 49
    Anonymous Says:

    I found out my husband of 10 years was cheating on me with someone he worked with… 13 years younger than him and someone I had met and been introduced as his wife. It didn’t take me long to figure out something was very off in our marriage. He started working with her in September and by November I was hearing, “Maybe we should separate. We have a terrible marriage.” All news to me. I started some investigating and found his mistress’s name and number. We separated for nearly 6 months. I wanted to forgive him. I loved our marriage and believe a marriage is 2 imperfect people willing to forgive. I sincerely believed he was “lost” or going through a mid life crisis. After we decided to make our marriage work, we talked about the affair in pieces and brief conversations. My therapist lead to me to believe what I had made up in my own mind was far better than the truth/details he could tell me. Today, 22 months since he had the affair, it consumes my thoughts. I think about it nearly every day. I have read books, seen therapists and consider myself a very forgiving person. I wish I could erase all of it.

  50. 50
    Anonymous Says:

    My husband of 21 years had an affair. I found out 5 weeks ago by accidentally seeing an email between the two of them. We have 4 daughters and a life that I thought was pretty close to perfect. We work together in our family business, and he had an affair with a 23 year old that he came in contact with via work. I am happy to have found this site because this obsessing over the details phase is what i am currently struggling with. He is not wanting to talk about the affair any more and says that i should just be able to move forward with him because she meant nothing to him and he loves me. The affair lasted 10 weeks. I don’t even feel remotely close to being able to move on, but i do love him and am in love with him and want to forgive him.

  51. 51
    Anonymous Says:

    The 16th of this month will be one year since DD. I found out a few days before our 20th wedding anniversary. Like all of you it seems like yesterday and I still picture them in my mind and can see every message and email they sent to each other. He lied about sleeping with her for 2 months after DD but I found an email talking about their lovemaking the weekend before, then he broke up with her, but started talking again with her after 6 weeks. This happened a couple of times then this past September he was going to a football game with her the weekend of our anniversary and that’s when he got caught. He has given me the facts via the trickle affect and only when I drag it out of him. He told her he fell in love with her but told me it was all lies; he also told her if he wasn’t married and lived closer he would be with her everyday as she lives 1 1/2 hrs away. They went to high school together 40 years ago! He told her he had a crush on her for the past 40 years. Who is this man I have loved and thought I knew the past 20 years only to find out I don’t. He had another affair 25 years prior on his first wife so knew what the consequences would be and I find that extremely hurtful. He claims to love me and is trying to show me he wants only me but I can’t be intimate with him now because of the betrayal so I feel my marriage is over and I am full of anger and resentment and have lost respect for him. The 23rd will be 21 years and another anniversary ripped away from me. The pain never goes away.
    My therapist said the trauma is a close second to the pain of losing a child.
    I believe that, plus I’m 65 now and should be enjoying my life not grieving a marriage.

  52. 52
    Anonymous Says:

    I am a 46 year old guy happily married (mostly) for 20 years. We are born again Christians and I love my wife with all my heart and soul. She recently has been impressed upon that she needed to confess that she had had an “inappropriate relationship” with a coworker about 10 years ago while pregnant with our second baby. Our marriage has suffered for 10 years because of her shame and self-loathing. She projected the truth about her suitor onto me. At the final act of the relationship she understood that what he wanted her for was sex. Because she felt used sex made her feel used and it made our relationship very difficult. I was basically in a sexless marriage for many of those years. Her affair was mostly emotional (they had oral sex once and at a later meeting tried to have intercourse). He was unable to perform basically so she realized what she was doing and stopped it there. However, I am so crushed because I know she was falling in love with this lowlife. I cannot seem to get past even the short physical affair to begin dealing with the effects of her emotional desire. I am obsessing and even though she is trying to be the wife I deserve I cannot seem to let it go. I feel an overwhelming torment in my heart. I love this woman and our two children. I just wish I could forget. God bless you all.

  53. 53
    Anonymous Says:

    I want to reply to each person on here.
    You ARE enough. You deserve better. You’re NOT crazy. Everything you’re feeling is okay. You’re allowed.
    I’ve been married 5 years together 7. Just found out my husband had invited his ex wife and mother of his 2 kids into our home a month before he proposed. We already bought a house, started building our lives together wtc. They were together 15 and ended with her having an affair (still to this day) with his married friend. They were divorced 4 years when he did this. Supposedly she turned him down. I can’t stop obsessing and remembering how happy and perfect we were. Still are. We were lifers (what our friends call us)
    Puke. I feel like our whole foundation has crumbled. I thought maybe a random person I could get past? But the fact that it was her tells me he still loves her. He didn’t pick a sure thing. They were in a sexless marriage before. I have been reading these posts for a couple days. So much pain. I know he felt the same when she did it to him, that’s why I believed him when said would never do it to me. I know they didn’t, but only because she said no, and in my mind that’s close enough.

    I have been analyzing and obsessing. Every day is a new emotion. I started to think the ONLY way to get past it is to leave. Then I could move on. However, today I have a clear head. I still feel betrayed but I feel myself getting caught up in normal life and not allowing my mind to go there. He loves me and is doing and showing and telling me every way he can. I am staying. (For today at least lol.)
    However, some of your stories just break my heart. You have to ask yourselves. Is the pain you are suffering and will suffer forever if you can’t get past the betrayal worse than the pain of leaving and trying to heal yourself? Only YOU can know. My ex cheated on me a lot and it killed me inside. I didn’t think I would ever get past it. But I grew stronger. And I left. After months it got better. I was myself and I was happy.
    I’m not encouraging anyone one way or the other. I just want you all to know that sometimes we think the only person who can heal our pain is the one who caused it, so we stay. But. You have this one life to live. If you forgive, forgive with your entire heart and be happy! Love and smile. No regrets.
    If you decide to go. Stand strong! Cry. Let it out. Then, be happy! Love again and smile! No regrets.

    Love and light to you all

  54. 54
    Anonymous Says:

    My 57 yr old husband had an affair with a 30 yr old single mother after 33 yrs of marriage. Over 48,000 text messages sent to her emails describing their sex acts. Photos of his blow job with her dressed as a nurse, photos of her in a schoolgirl uniform legs apart with everything on display. All for his wife and daughter 2 yrs younger than his lover and son to see.
    Emails saying will video sex acts next time, talking about peeing on him, wow, the list goes on. Signing up to swinging sites looking for shaven girls for fun. And his response at my pain was to hit me for going on about it.
    I feel ashamed, disgusted and total disbelief that he used to be a good husband, one of the best and to think this is now what he has become words cannot describe the hurt I feel.

  55. 55
    Anonymous Says:

    This has been hard for me to read as I all of your comments, I feel that crushing pain and emptiness in my chest where my heart used to be. My husband of 21 years had sex with a co-worker and confessed to me. It was devastating to hear. It crushed me completely and I took it out on him by not being as responsive sexually. We still had sex all the time, just not crazy passionate sex like before. Then my dad got cancer. Taking care of him and my mom was exhausting and my husband says he felt neglected. Then my dad died a year ago. And…I just found out this past weekend…my husband cheated on me again six months ago. Somehow trying to blame me as the reason that he felt like he cheated. It was with a woman he met while traveling for business, at a hotel where he stays often. I want to know the details but he is resistant. I knew the first woman he cheated with. And I feel the crazy need to know if this new one is prettier, younger, hotter, better in bed than me. My self esteem is struggling. I am completely broken and don’t know if I can muster the strength to do battle with my thoughts all over again. We have three older children. The youngest is 16. I was living in a fairy tale thinking we would be empty nesters and spend all our time together. This man used to be my best friend. But I really hate him today. Working through the feelings is real hard physical work. And the grief comes over me in waves. I want to be enough for him. I want to know that if the going gets even slightly difficult he isn’t going to need to go have sex with someone else. Trust is completely vanished which is hard because he travels every week for work. I feel for each and every one of you who have shared your similar grief and pain. What a sad fellowship we share.

  56. 56
    Anonymous Says:

    I am with my husband for 22 years now, married for 12. We had been through a lot of IVF rounds, because he had low sperm count. To me and anyone looking in we were the perfect couple; holidays, weekends away, and just waiting on a baby. My husband then started to work for the firm I work with and he was always very friendly; I used to accuse him of flirting with his work colleagues. He used to tell me I was mad and imagining it and he couldn’t talk to any woman without me being suspicious.
    So as time went on I took no notice and then got pregnant, and five years later got pregnant again. And I came across his phone records to see thousands and thousands of text messages with two women we work with. One he seemed to text every second of the day; she left the firm so he was texting her all the time. In the middle of the five years I had a miscarriage and saw from his call log that he spent all of his time texting her. There was no texts or calls made to me, all to her. He swore that they only had a kiss and there was nothing between them. But I saw a couple of texts, emails that were smutty and had sexual terms in them; five years of texting her from the minute he got up to going to bed. He can’t see how this hurts so much. I found out when I was 20 weeks pregnant. I had to drag any information I got out of him because he kept saying he was afraid to lose me. We have tried to make a go of it after having a new baby now, but every day I’m obsessing about how did I not see, when his was on the phone who he was talking to, when he went somewhere alone, where was he going. I want a marriage. I didn’t enter into one to be divorced, but my god its so hard when he says things to me and I wonder did you say that to her. I told her husband and he told me he knew about them ages ago and thought it stopped. I confronted him and said even her husband didn’t scare you off this woman. Some days I want to keep going, the others I think I am better off without him ….no one thinks when they are flirting with someone where it stops…and the hurt and the pain you cause your “loved one”. Its not just a marriage they destroy, it is the whole family. In laws and outlaws.

  57. 57
    Anonymous Says:

    I hate you, I hate everything about you. I hate that nothing belongs to me because of you. I hate what I’ve lost because of you. I hate that everything I do is you. Everything I see is you. I am powerless in this struggle and I loathe you for it. I absolutely hate every bit of your being. I am not jealous of you, I am infuriated that I don’t know what you shared with him. All I know is that I don’t want any part in what you shared. I don’t want to hear or see anything that reminds him of you. I hope someday you experience the excruciating pain I have felt and I hope it breaks you as it did me. You own my thoughts, you own my judgement, you own my world. Everything revolves around you. And I hate you for it. As though it was me who cared for you you’re in my head and you’re stuck. I’ve lost myself with the thought of you and the worry that anything I do is like you. You will forever own a part of me and I hate you for it. I hate you for being the reason my world was torn apart. I hate that he thought you were better than me, I hate that at times it makes me think you are. What I think I realize is that you are only better than me for him. I wish you would have taken him. Or I wish he would have chosen you over me in the end. Maybe it would hurt less. I hope the image of my unborn son haunts you. That much the two of you deserve. I’m tired, I’m exhausted of having you run through my head like you own me. As independent as I’ve always been you’ve taken a piece of me that I will never have back. It now belongs to you and you will never know that you own it. I hope someday, someone takes a piece of you with them and then, only then will you understand what you have taken, what you own. My pieces…

  58. 58
    Anonymous Says:

    I haven’t found anything about skype/online affairs and what to do when she keeps contacting him. She lives in Africa so its not likely they will ever meet in person, is she REALLY in Africa? He promises he blocked her, but I keep obsessing about her – googling, searching facebook & skype contacts (her picture and contact info is visible on skype again after a couple of weeks of not finding her when this blew up with my spouse). I even created a semi-fake skype profile with his picture in it to lure her into contacting this account so I would know what she is up to. Why? What in the world would this even accomplish? He can’t tell me why he let things go so far or block her when she took it to sex, he says he said no but couldn’t look away or stop – it went on a couple of months. I imagine how pathetic she is for engaging in online sexual encounters – what if he posted a video of her doing herself online? He swears she doesn’t have anything to compromise him, I just don’t believe it yet. She could wreck his/our life – post pics to his job website, his kids facebook sites. No one seems to address the huge potential fallout from something like this, or how to protect yourself & family – its mostly physical contact affairs. We are in therapy and I just called and told him what I was doing today and we talked it through. Part of me wants to leave the skype profile up & see what happens – why am I trying to invite so much pain back into our lives?

  59. 59
    Anonymous Says:

    Anonymous

    I get everyone of you. I’m gutted, but after 2 years I can see through it, but don’t get it. I’m still hurting, but it gets easier. I can trigger at any time! I think I’m over it, then I go into a mode that is not me and I get so upset cos I thought we were good. I didn’t see it coming; how silly was I! I hurt so much when I think about it. I’m gutted cos I thought we were good after 20+ years. He thinks I’m fit so why did he do it?

  60. 60
    Anonymous Says:

    Ok, this is private so will tell. A coworker, 23 years old; him 45, for a start. How wrong is that!?? We had sex, it was ok but I saw flirting and questioned, but thought he was just testing me . Still, I never thought he would cheat. I went on holidays, as normal, for 4 weeks to see family; I’ve done it for years, but something flagged up. He always had sex with me to make sure I wouldn’t with someone else, but this year he didn’t. I felt unloved and questioned it. On holidays I got a message back that we were going through a bad patch but we would be OK; his words not mine! Ok, I thought, strange but still never thought he would cheat. It didn’t enter my mind! Little did I know until October (this was July) that he had already booked a hotel! So when he admitted it and I found out it wasn’t a one night stand. Eventually he went white and admitted it. My world fell apart and I threw up I just couldn’t believe he did that to me. He said it was a mistake, but I think only cos I found out. Or maybe not, I don’t know, I question myself. I’m not the prettiest but keep myself fit and get compliments but don’t want it from anyone else as I always loved and adored him. I only saw him even when he got fatter, but I guess he needed to make himself feel good after being ill for a few years so I pushed him to go out with a work mate and when he said can I go out again 2/3 days in a row I thought, bless him let him, as he is feeling better. Silly me I was so wrong, now I know, but I wanted him to feel happy again, so really I pushed him towards this girl from work!? I feel ugly, unattractive and maybe after 2 years still maybe trying to prove to myself that I’m worthy. He has answered lots of questions and says he still loves me and but I still can’t believe or get it as I still don’t trust him. I look through his phone which I never did. Maybe I should have, but I trusted him, so I didn’t need to. How do I get through the images and the feelings? Will I ever forgive or forget? I thought we were solid and I remember saying on our wedding if we ever fall out of love and fancy someone else we would move our separate ways. We both said yes but he failed me and I’m gutted cos we both promised. I get it after 20 years. We want different things but it wasn’t like that. He still wants to grow old with me, but I can’t see it right now as he has hurt me badly. He didn’t even use a condom, how disrespectful is that? He withdrew; that makes me sick but I know my husband; he doesn’t like them, that’s what goes through my head sometimes. I did contact the girl and she answered everything and he said she was a good girl! Really? She knew we were married and had kids. Replies are much appreciated. Am I silly still staying after 2 years? X

  61. 61
    Anonymous Says:

    I’m finding it impossible to move past what my partner has done. For him the affair is long past but for me… well lets just say the past year has been the worst of my life and I feel as if I am being drip fed information and each piece is a little more shocking than the last.
    I found out about my partner’s affair(s) when he accidentally sent a text meant for an escort agency to me.
    I was devastated and moved his things out. Over the next two months he repeatedly vowed he never went through with it and cancelled it. I stupidly believed him; his remorse was so evident.We were closer than ever.
    But three months later I felt uneasy and asked about some texts he was receiving. They were from another woman. he refused to show me but after an hour of harassment finally admitted to sleeping with one woman twice over a year ago. He said he picked her up in a bar while he was overseas for an extended period. He said it was horrible and he broke it off.
    We were to therapy. We were really progressing. Then I found naked photos of her on his iPad. They were from that month. He begged forgiveness and vowed it was a terrible mistake.
    But it still keeps coming. Today I discovered that she has contacted him repeatedly via Facebook. He seems to be trying so hard – closing his Facebook, deleting WhatsApp. Really being present in the family.
    For him the physical stuff was 2 years ago, the online cheating ended six months ago. For me its like it happened yesterday.
    Yesterday is when I learned another snippet of what happened two years ago. He is moving on and I am trying to but I am dragging the massive weight of his indiscretions behind me. It feels like towing a dead weight.
    Leave?
    Yes, I’d like to. But I love him and I see how hard he is trying now. I also love my home. And even at his most disgusting he was still my best friend. I wish they had been a way to end the relationship while leaning on my best friend for support but when they are one and the same that is impossible.
    But I feel defiled. I feel like he brought these very very unclassy women (trying to be polite) into my world, into our children’s lives, into our home. I feel like he made us dirty with his decisions and I can’t wash clean.
    I keep looking and looking for more because I feel like he’s never told the truth because he is so ashamed. But I need the facts to move forward.
    I am so lost. I am adrift and I am so angry that this happened to me. I am so so so devastated and hurt and I feel like I’m dying inside.
    I feel like it happened this morning but he feels like its a huge mistake in his past.
    I want to reach out and hold each and every one of you that it is feeling this pain…. I understand it and you and I know its worse than a death.

  62. 62
    Anonymous Says:

    I FEEL THE SAME AS ALL YOU LADIES. I WAS MARRIED TO THIS MAN FOR 32 YEARS AND HAVE M.S. I FEEL EVERYTHING HE DID WAS MY FAULT BECAUSE OF HAVING M.S. I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO HAVE REGULAR SEX WITH HIM LIKE A NORMAL WOMAN CAN. AND I DID ASK HIM TO DIVORCE ME SO HE COULD FIND A REAL WOMAN THAT COULD GIVE HIM WHAT HE NEEDED. HE TOLD ME ”NO,” HE DID NOT WANT THAT; HE LOVED ME NO MATTER WHAT. I TOLD HIM I DID NOT WANT HIM TO GET WITH SOMEONE ELSE WHILE WE WERE MARRIED CAUSE THAT WOULD CRUSH ME. HE SAID HE WOULD NOT DO THAT, BUT GUESS WHAT HE DID. I WAS AND STILL AM HURT AND CRUSHED. IT HAS BEEN 4 1/2 YEARS NOW AND MY HUSBAND PASSED AWAY IN MARCH OF THIS YEAR AND I STILL CAN’T LET GO OF WHAT HE HAS DONE. I FEEL THAT THERE ARE SO MANY QUESTIONS THAT CAN’T BE ANSWERED AND ITS DRIVING ME CRAZY. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO GO ON. EVEN NOW THAT HE IS GONE I FEEL LIKE I’M LOOSING MYSELF AND IF THAT HAPPENS I WILL NEVER COME BACK. I NEED HELP BUT DON’T KNOW WHERE TO GET IT……

  63. 63
    Anonymous Says:

    I’m 31 and my husband 32, we’ve been married for 8 years but living together a total of 11. He always loved me more that I loved him. He said I was the love of his life; his biggest accomplishment. We have 2 boys a 10 y/o and a 4 month old, I found out he had been cheating on me with an 18 y/o coworker of his when her dad came to my house to show me the sex toys he had bought her. He said the physical contact was only once, oral sex… but she told me they did it multiple times and he took her to hotels and bought her the toys. I don’t know if I should believe her. Her story doesn’t add up either. Apparently, they were texting the whole time I was pregnant. He says she looked for him, and sent him nude pictures. I only found 2 texts because he deleted everything else; a poem from her to him. I asked and he said he only showed her what he wrote, so I guess he sent her poems as well, and one asking her if she still wanted to be more than friends. I thought we were happy. Apparently he was not. I’m devastated and feel like I’m going crazy. I can’t stop thinking about her, going thru her Facebook, waiting in the parking lot at her school. I wish he would’ve just left so I wouldn’t have to make the decision of staying and show my kids it’s ok to be humiliated and disrespected or leave and then have my sons blame me for not giving him a second chance. He says he loves me but I don’t want that kind of love, I rather have someone hate me than loving me that way. I just want this pain to go away, I’m still young and beautiful, know I can do better but that’s not what I want. I want a happy family. That’s all. I want what I thought we had.

  64. 64
    Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for sharing ladies. I’m glad I’m not alone. I feel so alone. I have four kids. Married since 1996. He had a gf for 8 years before I found out. Old friend. We are now back together. He says he loves me more than anything – but in my world love is not a word. He has done it all to change. But how can I ever trust him again. Every day I think about the affair. I think about the ow and how she just loves to feed off my pain. When I emailed her to call her out she told me I deserved everything I got. I know I’m supposed to forgive and forget – but how????? I was basically thrown to to wolves on purpose. I’m so broken. Am I even breathing?

  65. 65
    Anonymous Says:

    I have 2 D Day’s; 2009/2016. First D Day, I moved on quite fast. Second, my emotions would go from one extreme to another. One day I love him, next, I feel like I want to leave him. Both affairs were emotional but who knows if I was being lied to. Confronted both women, both denied any physical contact. H hasn’t been open about his role in the affairs. He didn’t tell me. I was the one who found out. He is very remorseful and is really trying to make things right. But I am broken to pieces and as much as he wants things to go back to normal, it will never go back to that. Once you broke something you can’t piece it back together. You can mend it with glue yes,there will be pieces missing even, but you can never restore it to it’s original form. That is what I am feeling right now. I forgive him. I’m staying because I love him, but I will never be the same. My only refuge is that I’m not alone.

  66. 66
    Anonymous Says:

    My D Day happened 4 years ago. We were married 45 years, yes a long time! When I found out it sucked the life out of me. It was worse that being crushed by a truck and devastated me to the core. It started 2 months after our marriage. She was someone I knew as well. Also with a couple of others although no sex act happened (someone I didn’t know). He took her to a drive-in and nothing happened, not even a kiss. Then he was out, parked, kissing my best friend . He flirted with others. That’s who he was; loved attention. But the one he chose to have sex with in our car was an acquaintance of mine. He was with her from Sept through June and the act happened once and only once. He dropped her after that. He remembers nothing of his time with her but everything with me. I spent all of those years thinking we had a perfect marriage. She still contacts him through social media after I wrote something to the effect she was a mistake (no names were mentioned) but I wanted her to know I knew about what they did. She still continues like I don’t know or it couldn’t have possibly been her that was the mistake. I asked my husband to hate her as I do and he said he couldn’t hate her as it was his fault. We have spent 11/2 years in therapy which helped some, but even after all these years, even though I found out just 4 years ago, it just is so hard to accept. It seems like yesterday. I have contemplated writing and sharing some thoughts with her but my husband insists she may lie and say their relationship was more and that would end us as he couldn’t take the stress of dealing with it anymore. I really am lost in this whole story of his. So I just want to say you all have my heart breaking for you, I’ve been there and still mending but without help from him as he has said he is done talking about it! He said none of them meant anything and that’s why he doesn’t remember. I wish everyone well in their struggle. As the prior reader stated you can try to glue the pieces back together but it is still broken.

  67. 67
    Anonymous Says:

    So sad that people do not value or display loyality, trust and integrity. Relationships and marriages are disposable anymore…..Us….the betrayed….suffer the pain for the rest of our lives, while the cheater goes on without a care in the world.

  68. 68
    Anonymous Says:

    I just found out on February 10th my husband had an emotional and sexual affair with a coworker. We’ve been married for 8 years and have two children. I knew we were going through a rough patch but I never thought he could do this to us. I’m devastated and the affair and details keep playing in my head. I’m crying or just rage filled every day. He seems content and happy since he made the decision to work on us. He says it’s over but they still work together. I contacted her husband and told him all about the affair. Supposedly they are working on things as well. I check his phone daily and now he’s getting tired of my questions and inability to let go of the past and move forward. He totally doesn’t get the devastation he’s caused me. Any suggestions?

  69. 69
    Anonymous Says:

    I am shocked that this happens so much, I am in the same boat with you all. After 26 years together I found out he had an affair for nearly 2 years. I am still with him but I do not trust him and I am turning into a weird stalker, I look at her FB page a few times a day. I hate her. She sent pics of my husband and her to my adult children and close friends when he broke it off. I feel weak as everyone around me thinks I should leave. Why can’t I just leave, I don’t know. The last few years feel like a lie and I just cannot seem to move on or out.

  70. 70
    Anonymous Says:

    My husband I are separated since he was diagnosed as bipolar a few months ago, but we are still married. We have 2 beautiful kids.
    I just found out he had an affair with a young woman at our vacation house during the separation.
    I was devastated. What makes things worse is that he took the woman to places where we go as a family.
    I was angry at both my husband and her when I found out, then the anger eased a little bit, but not completely.
    I cry everyday thinking about him and her. I just cannot stop thinking. I will never go to the house nor the places they went.
    He doesn’t know I know about the affair. He wants to come back, and we are going to couple therapy. I am going to confront about the affair at therapy, but I am very nervous.

  71. 71
    Anonymous Says:

    I feel you all. I still obsess over it. Especially since not only do they still work together but he is failing miserably to show me I’m the one he wants and he just made a stupid mistake. I need him to show honest remorse and guilt but I feel like I’m getting nothing. I’m meeting with a divorce lawyer later this week. Not sure which way this will go but I need to be prepared.

  72. 72
    Anonymous Says:

    Thank you ladies for sharing your stories. I can’t believe how many of you out there are going through the same emotions. You think you are the only one and no one can hurt more than you. Part of me died on the 21st of Dec 2016 when I found out that my loving husband of 23 years was having an affair for over a year. An old flame contacted him after about 30 years and they started emailing each other at first occasionally and then on the daily basis, no texts or phone calls; and ‘only’ two physical encounters, as she lives in another country. I caught them out on their second date. I had no idea all that was going on. I had ultimate trust in him. We did have some financial difficulties and he was very down. He is now saying that he was feeling useless and she offered him an emotional release, made him feel young again and carefree. That night I came across a very childish and naive sonnet declaring his love that he sent to her. He was away ‘on business’ for the night which is very rare so I called him and confronted him. After a few difficult conversations he admitted he was with her and that it was their first meeting. He was senselessly scarred and rushed home, however he didn’t mention the first meeting. Eventually the truth came out. He is now saying that is was all a mistake and he feels stupid and embarrassed and sorry. She is a couple of year older than me and I am 50 but at the time he said it didn’t matter if she was 10 years older, so I am not sure what is worse emotional or physical infidelity? Four months on and we are trying to rebuild our relationship but I am unable to move on just now. All the lies and the betrayal hurt so deeply!

  73. 73
    Anonymous Says:

    Wow….. So much pain… I just looked up… How to stop the torment!!!

  74. 74
    Anonymous Says:

    I feel all the pain that every one is going through..it’s been 9 month’s since I heard him texting her laying in bed right next to me. He says he never touched her but I cant help but feeling that is not true. 32 years and this is what I get, never questioning his faithfulness? I keep wondering was it something I did or didn’t do? I took pictures of his texts, why I don’t know. I just don’t see me getting over this. Prayers to everyone, may god heal us all!

  75. 75
    Anonymous Says:

    I am struggling everyday to keep from going crazy, My husband and I are in a 4 year struggle for our marriage. Like many of you have said, I’m okay one day and the next I’m obsessively searching for more information, going back 18 months into call and texts records. My husband is a serial emotional cheater. This is the third time I’ve caught him in four years. Each time he is caught he has been doing this with multiple women at the same time. Each time his is getting more brazen. He went from messaging on Facebook etc. to meeting for lunch, all very innocent, so he says. What will it be the next time??? I love him so much, but I hate him at the same time. I am so mad at these women also, who know that he is married, and they still pursue a “friendship”. Why do women do this to each other?????? I just can’t let go of how I feel that he’s fucked me over. We have been together 21 years, built a family. I was one of those women who sacrificed their career goals to allow him to achieve his, staying home with the kids and working part-time as a waitress. Meanwhile he was building his career. If we divorce I am scared of my future. Sure, I’ll get half, but in the end I am the one who is financially screwed. After the alimony is done, where does that leave me? He’s finally getting counseling, and now has a flip phone to ease my tensions. I feel like a controlling bitch, I monitor everything that I can. He already resents me for that. But I will never ever trust him again. That has been completely destroyed. Thank you for all of your stories. So sad that we are not alone in this. I share my pain with all of you that have been betrayed by the one that you love most.

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Susan Berger is a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA and Walnut Creek, CA (lic. # MFC21193) | 121 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118 | 1415 Oakland Blvd, Ste. 100, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
photography by Bethanie Hines