Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

After the Affair – How to Forgive, and Heal a Relationship From Infidelity

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After the Affair - How to Forgive and Heal From Infidelity

Infidelity happens for plenty of reasons. None of them good ones. It happens because of ego or stupidity or breakage. Or because of smugness or ignorance or a widening ache or an emptiness or the need to know ‘what else is there’. It happens because of arrogance or a lack of self-control or because of that thing in all of us that wants to feel adored or heroic or important or powerful or as though we matter. It happens because there’s a moment when the opportunity for this to happen is wide open and full of aliveness and temptation and it’s exciting and it’s there and it acts like it can keep a secret and as though it won’t’ do any damage at all.

It happens because of lies, the big ones, the ones we tell ourselves – ‘it won’t mean anything’, ‘nobody will know’, ‘it won’t do any harm’. It happens because there is a moment that starts it all. One small, stupid, opportunistic moment that changes everything, but acts as though it will change nothing. A moment where there’s an almighty collision between the real world with its real love and real people and real problems that all of us go through, and the world that is forbidden and exciting and hypnotic with promises. And all the while these worlds, they feel so separate, but they become tangled and woven, one into the other, and then that real world with its real love and its real people are never the same again.

Whatever the reason for an affair, the emotional toll on the people and the relationship is brutal. Infidelity steals the foundations on which at least one person in the relationship found their solid, safe place to be. It call everything into question – who we believe we are, what we believe we had, or were working towards, our capacity to love, to trust, and our faith in our judgement. It beats down self-esteem and a sense of place and belonging in the relationship for both people, but it doesn’t have to mean an end to the relationship.

Does infidelity mean a falling out of love?

Anything we humans are involved in is never black and white. The versions of grey can make good humans look like bad ones it can make love that is real feel dead for a while. Most people who have affairs are in love with their original partners. And most people who cheat aren’t cheaters. They aren’t liars and they aren’t betrayers and they aren’t bad. What they are is human, and even the good ones will make catastrophic mistakes sometimes. We all will.

Affairs often aren’t about people wanting to be in a different relationship, but about wanting the relationship they are in to be different. Relationships change shape over time and with that, sometimes the very human needs that we all have will get left behind. These needs include validation, love, connection, affection, intimacy and nurturing – but there are plenty more. This is no excuse for an affair, but understanding what drove the affair is key to being able to move forward. It’s a critical part of healing the relationship and any repairing any breaks in the armour around you both that made it possible for someone else to walk through.

Does an affair mean the end of the relationship?

Affairs will mean the end of some relationships. Others will tolerate the betrayal and although they might never thrive, they’ll stay intact. For some people this will be enough. For others, an affair can be a turning point, an opportunity to grow separately and together, and reconnect in a way that is richer, stronger, closer and more sustainable. For this to happen, it will take time, reflection, brutal honesty and an almighty push from both people. 

There are plenty of ways to hurt a relationship. Infidelity is just one of them.

Affairs cause devastating breakage in relationships, but they aren’t the only thing that can hurt a relationship. Sometimes an affair is a symptom of breakage, as much as a cause. There are plenty of other ways to hurt a relationship – withholding love, affection or approval, a lack of physical or emotional intimacy, and negativity, judgement, or criticism. All of us, even the most loving, committed devoted of us will do these things from time to time.

How does an affair happen?

There is no doubt that infidelity is a devastating act of betrayal, but it can also be an expression of loss or loneliness, or the need for novelty, autonomy, power, intimacy, affection, or the need to feel loved, wanted and desired. These are all valid, important needs and in no way represent a neediness or lack of self-reliance. They are the reasons we come together, fall in love and fight to stay in love. They are also the reason relationships fall apart.

We humans exist at our very best when we are connected with other humans, especially ones that we love and adore and feel connected to. The needs for human connection, intimacy, love, and validation are primal. They can be ignored, pushed down, or denied, but they will never disappear. These needs are so important, that if they remain unmet for too long, they will create a tear in the relationship wide enough for someone else to walk through and claim the opportunity to meet those needs that, when met, can fuel intimacy, desire, alchemy, and attraction.

When an important need remains unmet, there are two options – and only two. We can either let go of the need, or change the environment in which we’re attempting to meet the need. It will be this way for all of us. When the need is an important one, letting go won’t be an option. This will create a splintering in the relationship, and the very real temptation to change the environment, as in, find someone else to meet the need/s that we actually want met by our partners.

Affairs often aren’t about wanting the person who is the target of the affair, but about wanting the way that person meets a need. If the person having the affair could have anything, it would most likely be to have the person they love – the one they are hurting – to be the one to meet the need. But things don’t always happen the way we want. And needs get hungry and people get tempted.

When affairs happen, it’s likely that at least one of three things has happened for the person having the affair:

  1. an awareness that ‘something’ is missing, without awareness of what that something is; 
  2. an awareness of exactly what is missing – an important need that has been hungry for too long – but a catastrophic lack of honesty and openness within the relationship about this; 
  3. repeated unsuccessful attempts to be honest and open about the existence of the unmet need, and repeated unsuccessful attempts to have it met within the relationship.

How to heal from an affair, together or apart.

For a relationship to heal from betrayal, there is a need for brutal honesty from both people. If a relationship has been devastated by an affair, healing will take a lot of reflection on what went wrong, and what is needed to make it better, but if both people believe the relationship is worth fighting for, it can find its way back. 

First of all, where do things stand.

Is the affair over? Or has it been scared into submission, just for now.

If the affair is still going, and you’re pretending to work on your relationship, just take your partner’s heart in your hand and squeeze it hard. It will hurt a lot less and it will do less damage to your relationship. If the affair is genuinely finished, the one who has been hurt will need ongoing confirmation of this for a while. Probably for a long while. This is why, for the person who had the affair, the privacy that was there before the affair (texts, phone calls, messages, emails, info about where you are, what you’re doing, and who you’re doing it with), will be gone for a while. Some questions to explore together:

  • When did it end?
  • How did it end?
  • How do you know you won’t go back?
  • How do I believe that it’s over?
  • What if he or she gets in touch? What will you do?
  • What moves have you made to stop them contacting you?
  • You risked a lot for the affair to continue. What stopped the affair being worth the risk? What might make it worth the risk again? 
  • I’m suspicious. I’m paranoid. I’m insecure. I’m scared. I don’t trust you. I never used to feel like this, but now I do. I want to trust you again and I want to stop feeling like this. I want to stop checking and wondering and panicking when I can’t reach you, but I’m scared that if I stop, I’ll miss something. What can you do to help me feel safe again.

Is there genuine regret and remorse? 

Healing can only begin when the person who has had the affair owns what has happened, and shows regret and remorse, not just for the damage and pain the affair has caused, but for starting the affair in the first place. What’s important is that there is a commitment to protecting the relationship above all else, and letting go of the affair.

  • Would you still regret having the affair it if it wasn’t discovered? 
  • What do you regret about the affair?
  • How do you feel about it ending?
  • How do you feel about what it’s done to us and to me?
  • What was the story you told yourself to let the affair keep going?
  • Where does that story sit with you now?

Do you both genuinely want the relationship? And be honest.

Is there anything in this relationship that’s worth fighting for? Is there a chance of love and connection? Or will it only ever be one of convenience and a way to meet mutually shared goals, such as raising children. There are no right or wrong answers, but if one person is satisfied with a relationship of convenience and the other wants love and connection, the healing isn’t going to happen. What’s more likely to happen is that the relationship will be fertile ground for loneliness, resentment and bitterness, and it will stay vulnerable. For a relationship to work, the needs of each person have to be compatible. They don’t have to be the same, but they have to be compatible. 

Do you genuinely want each other?

The truth is that sometimes, people outgrow relationships. We can’t meet everyone’s needs and sometimes, the relationship might no longer be able to meet the important needs of one or both of you. Sometimes letting go with love and strength is better than letting the relationship dies a slow, bitter death.

  • How to you feel about [the person you had the affair with]?
  • What do you miss?
  • How do you feel about me?
  • What did you miss?
  • What do you miss about me now?
  • What made the risk of losing me worth it?
  • What’s changed?
  • What is it about me that’s keeping you here?
  • What is it about us that’s worth fighting for?
  • How do you each about the relationship? 
  • How do you feel about each other? Can either of you see that changing?
  • What is it about the relationship that’s worth fighting for?
  • What is it about each other that’s worth fighting for?
If the decision is to stay, how to forgive and move forward.

How did the affair become possible?

For the relationship to heal, and for there to be any chance of forgiveness, there has to be an understanding of how both people may have contributed to the problem. What was missing in the relationship and how can that change? This is not to excuse the person who had the affair. Not at all. What it’s doing is finding the space in which the relationship can grow. If both people are claiming to have done everything they could and the affair happened, then there’s no room for growth and the relationship will stay vulnerable. 

Let your energy turn to an honest and open exploration of the motive behind the affair. This will probably hurt to hear, but it’s not about blame. It is about responsibility, as in response-ability – the ability to respond. There can’t be an empowered, effective response if there is no awareness around what drove the affair and what needs to change in the relationship.

The person who had the affair delivered the final blow, but it’s likely that there were things that lead up to the relationship becoming vulnerable. Healing will happen if both people can own their part in this. This doesn’t excuse the affair, but it will help it to make some sort of sense. Many hard conversations will need to happen.

If you were the one who was betrayed, you’ll be hurt and angry and scared, and you’ll have every right to feel that way. As much as you are able to, try to be open to hearing the information and make it safe to explore. This is the information that will grow your relationship and repair the holes that have made it vulnerable. 

Somewhere along the way, the person who had the affair and the person he or she had the affair with, had information about your relationship that you didn’t have. This was vital information that fuelled the affair, sustained it, and drained your relationship. They knew what the affair had that the relationship didn’t. This is the information you need to know for the relationship to get its power back.

If you were the one who had the affair, it’s critical to look with honesty, courage and an open heart, at what you were getting from the affair that you weren’t getting from your relationship. It’s not enough to fall back on insecurities or deficiencies or your own personal flaws as excuses. This doesn’t answer anything and it lacks the courage and commitment needed to start putting your relationship and the one you love, back together. 

Explore together:

  • What did the affair give you that our relationship didn’t?
  • How did the affair make you feel that was different to the way you felt with me? More powerful? More noticed? Wanted? Loved? Desired? Nurtured? What was it?
  • Have you ever felt that way with me?
  • When did you stop feeling that way?
  • What changed?
  • What was the biggest difference between [the other person] and me?
  • What would you like me to do more of? Less of?
  • I know you want this relationship to work, but at the moment it’s not. What’s the biggest thing you need to be different. And then I’ll tell you mine.

Be honest. Can you meet the need? And do you want to?

    When you can understand what drove the affair, you can look at whether that need/s can be met within your relationship. Sometimes it becomes a case of either not being able to meet the need, or resentment and hurt wiping out the desire to even try. Both people need to honestly look at what they want from the relationship and what they are able to give to the relationship moving forward.

    Sometimes the distance between two people becomes so vast that it can’t be put back together. If that’s the case, acknowledge it and decide openly and with love and strength, whether or not the relationship is worth saving. Nothing is more painful than fighting to hold on to something that isn’t fighting to hold back. If this is the case, be honest. Relationships in which somebody has important needs that can’t be relinquished and that aren’t being met, will be unsustainable. 

    Moving forward, staying forgiven and getting close. 

    To the one who has had the affair: Now is your time to stand guard over the boundaries of your relationship.

    As with any trauma, finding out about an affair will create massive potential for the trauma to be re-experienced over and over. Let me explain. Every time there is a gap in knowledge in your relationship – an unanswered text, a phone that is off or that goes through to voicemail, something that doesn’t make sense, not knowing where you are, being late home, not being where you said you would be – anything that can be associated with the affair or with the possibility that the affair is still continuing, can recreate the feelings associated with the betrayal. These feelings might include panic, sadness, fear, anger, suspicion, loneliness, loss. This will keep happening until the trust has been restored. This will take time and it won’t be hurried.

    If you’re the one who has had the affair, your job now is to help your partner to feel safe again. To do this, make sure there is 100% accountability for as long as it takes for your partner to know that there is nothing else more to find out. The privacy that was there before the affair is gone, and it will be gone for a while.

    Know that for your partner, he or she he or she doesn’t want to be that person who doesn’t trust, and who is suspicious and paranoid – but that’s what affairs do. They turn trusting, loving, open hearts into suspicious, resentful, broken ones. It would be that way for anyone. How long it stays that way will depend a lot on how you handle things moving forward. Be accountable every minute of every day. Be an open book. Let there be no secrets. Knowing that there is nothing going on is critical to healing the anxiety and trauma that has come with discovering the affair. Looking for information isn’t about wanting to catch you out, but about wanting to know that there is nothing to catch out. 

    For healing to happen, it will be your turn to take responsibility for standing guard over the boundaries of your relationship for a while. Be the one who makes sure there are no gaps, no absences, no missing pieces in the day. And no secrets. If the person you had the affair with contacts you, let your partner know. Be the one who makes things safe again. For the one who has been hurt, there will be a period, sometimes for a year or more, where there will be a constant need to find evidence that the affair isn’t happening. It may become an obsession for a while. Finding out about an affair is traumatic, and the way to find relief from this is by searching for proof that the relationship is safe, that the affair is finished, and that it’s okay to trust again. 

    To the one who has been betrayed …

    Forgive yourself for feeling angry or sad or hateful or for not knowing what you want. Forgive yourself for everything you’re doing to feel okay. Forgive yourself for not knowing and for not asking the questions that were pressing against you when something didn’t feel right. And let go of any shame – for leaving, for staying, for any of the feelings you felt before the affair or during it or afterwards. None of the shame is yours to hold on to.

    Every relationship has a make it or break it point. Some relationships will have many. Forgive yourself if you missed something. This relationship involved two people. If you weren’t giving your partner something he or she needed, it was up to them to tell you so you could put it right. There will have been times that your needs went hungry too. It happens in all relationships from time to time. It’s the intensity and the duration of the unmet need that does the damage. You deserved the chance to know that something wasn’t right. And you deserved the chance to put back whatever was missing. You have that now. If you aren’t able to give your partner what he or she needs moving forward, forgive yourself for that too. Sometimes two great people don’t mean a great relationship. Sometimes it’s not the people who are broken, but the combination of you.

    You will always be someone’s very idea of beautifully and imperfectly perfect. Most likely you have always been that to your partner, but somewhere along the way, life got in the way and things fell apart for a while.

    Right now though, you are going through a trauma. Give yourself plenty of time to forgive, and to start to feel okay again, whether that it is in the relationship or out of it. Be kind to yourself and be patient. You deserve that. You always have.

    And finally …

    Every affair will redefine a relationship. It can’t be any other way. There will be hurt and anger and both of you will feel lonely and lost for a while, but if your relationship is worth fighting for, there will be room for growth and discovery. The heartbreak won’t always feel bigger than you. Some days you’ll hold steady and some days you’ll be okay and some days you’ll wonder how you’ll ever get back up. This is so normal and it’s all okay. You’re grieving for what you thought you had and what you thought you were working towards. You’re grieving for the person you thought you were with and or the relationship you thought you had. Those things are still there, but they’re different to what you thought. That doesn’t mean better or worse, just different. 

    Good people make bad decisions. We do it all the time. We hurt the ones we love the most. We become, for a while, people we never imagined we could be. But the mistakes we make – and we all make them – impress in our core new wisdoms and truths that weren’t there before. An affair is a traumatic time in a relationship, but it doesn’t have to define the relationship. Rather than collecting the broken pieces and scraping them from dustpan to bin, they can be used put the relationship back together in a way that is stronger, more informed, wiser, and with an honesty and a love that is more sustainable.

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    245 Comments

    Ella

    Thank you for this article. I recently found out my husband slept with another woman while he was on a 4 weeks business trip. I can’t help but to blame myself at what I did wrong and what I didn’t do.

    I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with our second. And intimacy has been lacking for this pregnancy. Before the trip, I wanted to spend more time with my husband, but he prefers to game with his buddies and which I let him because his job is stressful and long hours.

    I feel miserable and defeated. I failed as a woman and as a wife. Now, I feel like I am failing as a mother because I cannot give my 100% to our child.

    My husband is asking for forgiveness and asking to start over. He said he doesn’t want to loose what we have and what we’ve built. I am having such a hard time moving on because I am starting to develop paranoia and the once easy going me has become sneaking behind to check on my husband’s phone trying to uncover more lies.

    I cannot tell this to anyone because I still want to protect my husband and his reputation. My emotions are ups and downs. Sometimes I feel like I can get through this. Sometimes I feel like I want revenge. Sometimes I feel depressed, thinking how can any man do this to his wife especially I’m giving birth next month to our second son.

    Reply
    Theresa

    Hi Ella. I wish I had seen your post earlier. Wondering how you’re doing? I’m so sorry this has happened to you….
    Sometimes I wonder if the writer of this article knows how much of a blessing this article and these comments are. Just to be able to reach out!
    First, please know your are NOT alone. A lot of us have been through this, with different results, and each are on our own journey forward. I, for one, am more than happy to share and talk about my situation and be a sounding board for you. I’m no therapist though:) First suggestion: get one. Get a good one. Keep searching until you find one. You deserve it.
    Second, be kind to yourself. Seriously. I reminded myself of this daily for awhile. At first there was a lot of asking myself how I could be so stupid? Why was I a failure? What did I do wrong? What should I have done differently? So, my second suggestion: breath. These questions are excellent questions to ask, but not now. Not when you hurt. They can be answered later on when you have a more clear mind and are ready.
    Third, time takes away this horrible sting you’re feeling right now. Know this and lean on this fact. It hurts. It hurts so bad!!!! …. please KNOW this initial overwhelming feeling is temporary.
    Fourth: are you a religious person at all? If you do have leanings, this is where they grow and can tremendously help. I couldn’t be where I am today without fully trusting the ONLY one who could be trusted-EVER. God and I talked….A LOT. and still do daily 🙂
    Fifth and final: I have no doubt you are a fantastic mom and soon to be again!!!! Yay!!!! My suggestion is to let this outshine everything! Feeling depressed? Grab your kid and go for a walk.
    Feeling overwhelmed? Go to the dollar store and buy a toy or craft. And do it!!! Doing things – getting out of negative, repetitive feelings and thoughts will help too.
    Know that you are now on my personal prayer list.
    Take care.

    Reply
    Teemah

    This is really what I need right now. Thank you so much. I’m hurt, Deeply, and he won’t answer some questions. Its exactly a week today I caught him. I’m really sad. It’s one of my worse moments in life. I would never have imagined it.

    Reply
    Vmom

    Is it possible to get over and move on from an emotional affair? Dating for few months, both of us were all in so I thought. Only to find out he had been texting his ex GF a few times and she even stopped by when I was out of town. (swears no sex) not sure if I believe that honestly. BUT – I don’t know if I can get past this, I am really struggling and I love him so much.

    Reply
    Greg

    My wife cheated on me fifteen years ago. At that time I moved out. After a year she asked me to come home. My daughter was messing up in school so I moved home. I was different and was just going thru the motions. Two years ago she got sick. During that time I fell in love again. Then I found out she was spending money using my name and credit to keep borrowing money. She kept a separate account that I didn’t know about. Again she denied that just like the affair. Two months went by and finally admitted the money and the affair. So I had a nervous breakdown learning all of the lies for so long. So she is still hiding stuff and has not made things transparent. When I ask about something she yells and threatens to leave. Also now she says I’m on drugs because I ask a check on things. My emotional being is gone. I’m a mess. She just denies even when I show her proof. All the time we were back together we were barely intimat. Even on vacations and so on. I’m over feeling like a sad sack. That’s not me and I can’t get it out of my head. HELP I’m dead inside.

    Reply
    hazel

    hello Greg i know this is sooo difficult for you and i cant even find the right words to express how i feel about this situation. Just seek for Gods divine intervention and he will lead you to the right path. God bless..

    Reply
    Jen

    Hi Greg
    I can relate, my husband of 33 years just betrayed me. Never would I expect this. We had accomplished so much and were ready for early retirement next year. He had devastated me and our girls too. Never mentioned anything to me what he was feeling for us to work it out. We had been inseparable, never argued or fought. We were unique. But it’s now six months and I too am devastated and lost. Feel so hurt and lonely.im a sociable person but now sad sad They keep saying it will get better so let’s hope time will heal. But I truly feel your pain. Wish you the best

    Reply
    Kate

    I’m not sure if your daughter is incredibly sick, but if the situation isn’t to aggravating, the appropriate course of action is to leave. She is gaslighting you in the most stereotypical fashion, by diverting the topic from you searching for evidence into a slipping of your sanity. Leave as soon as possible. Make sure your daughter is safe and understands the situation. I don’t know if your wife would become the Brandi Worley type, but please leave.

    If it helps, there is a difference in cheaters. In one group, those who are predetermined to cheat based on a certain trait such as narcissism, psychopathy, etc. These people often feel little to no remorse for their actions and will continue to manipulate and deplete you like a leech. In the second scenario are those who were unfaithful for certain reasons that remain dynamic, by not having a need fulfilled by the other partner. These people will not always be repeat offenders. I distinguish the “not always” just as one would distinguish between not all possessors of traits that might make cheating more likely such as narcissism: it isn’t black and white. Some people will fall in these guidelines, other will be a mix.

    From what you’re saying, it sounds like she’s manipulating not only to prevent a confrontation that will undermine her power over you, but also because she feels little to no remorse. She’s stealing your money. She’s a pathological liar. Please get you and your daughter out of there before it’s too late. Before she steals too much and cause your daughter to act similarly because she is her female role model at the moment.

    If it helps, consider making an adumbrated list of all the characteristics your wife is exhibiting that are worrisome:
    1. She cheated on me (may have just been a one-time thing from having a need go unsatisfied)
    2. She was spending money in your name
    3. She was using your credit to borrow money
    4. She lied about that and the affair
    5. She responds defensively by yelling and threatening to leave whenever you question her actions
    6. She making you question your own sanity now more than hers, better described as gaslighting
    7. She denies everything in the face of evidence

    I understand that being subjectively submerged into a situation may alter your view of right and wrong. However, it helps taking a step back. No matter how many times you’ve heard that phrase, do it right now. Before she takes anything else from you.

    Reply
    Sherrie

    I recently caught my husband talking to multiple women on hangout. We been married 20 years. He says he was ending things that he made a stupid mistake. The thing is I believe him. I can see now looking back where he was lonely. He tried a couple of times to explain but I just blowed him off. It doesn’t make what he did right but i can understand stand how this happened. Even thou I believe him and since that day Aug. 15 we are closer than we’ve been in a long time. I cant help but feel what if I’m wrong. It hurts so much. I want are relationship to be as wonderful as it is now, without all of this pain. I’m constantly checking his activity and I hate doing that but I need to know that we are okay. That no one is trying to contact him. Even thou it was emotional cheating this article really helps a lot.

    Reply
    JB

    All of you on here who are trying to forgive, you are all better people than I am. I might have been able to try & forgive if she showed any true regret & made any attempt to change her behavior & fix our marriage. Guess I should have known when she lied to my face about the affairs when I had the proof in my hands.

    Anyway, good luck, I sincerely hope all of you get what you’re looking for & a ton of happiness, because you all deserve it. Reading these posts have helped me & I’m grateful to know that I’m not alone in my struggles.

    Reply
    Esther

    My husband (8 years marriage, 10 together) had several affairs during business travels. I founded out through a letter in his work journal, and pictures in a SD card. I was chocked and didn’t confront him, shortly after that he wanted to separate. Claimed he was feeling awful and was not worth loving, bla bla. I asked him right out but he denied any affairs. After a few months working through things that had been missing in our relationship we moved back together. I know he was unfaithful but he has denied this a couple of times and I feel there is no point in asking again. He tries his best for the relationship, sometimes he fails but so do I.
    I’m still hurting but I don’t know if I should call him out. Some men seem to deny and deny no matter what.

    Reply
    ecca

    feel a little silly posting to this because my relationship was not a marriage of 15+ years and I’m pretty young, but my boyfriend who I’ve adored for 6 yrs and have been dating for 2.5 yrs cheated on me a couple days ago. His coworker gave him a ride home from a long night of drinking with other workers and she gave him a blow job. Her relationship was going south with her boyfriend which is literally the opposite of ours. He told me after he sat on the curb in front of his house crying for the rest of the night. He ended up telling me two days after it happened, which is better than waiting after this semester which he was thinking would be better because he didn’t want me to lose focus on school. Why don’t I hate him? I’m so mad because we’ve been so happy but I don’t know what happened to him these past weeks leading up to the incident. It sucks because now he tells me he’s been insecure about himself and surrounded with negativity lately but why wouldn’t he tell me sooner I have always been so supportive.. He also told me a member of his family is having serious health problems too. He feels so shitty because we have always talked about how shitty his friends were who cheated on their girlfriends. Now he hates himself and is sick to his stomach every day and can’t keep food down because he knows he’s no better than those guys. But I know for a fact he is. He’s disappointed everyone in his family and lost me. I told him time will heal all but why don’t I have a lot of animosity towards him? I honestly just feel like he’s broken and lost right now; still no reason to cheat. A line that really stood out to me in this article is “And most people who cheat aren’t cheaters” because that’s exactly how I feel about him. It was not really an affair but it happened and both of them have regret. I told him I need time and he needs to focus on growing and being more vulnerable with his feelings. I also told him he needs to find self love again because I think that’s what drove him to do this. He told me he feels invincible with me but when he’s alone he feels shitty. We are only 21 so we both have some learning and growth to do and if its meant to be it’ll be right?
    Am I being a naïve little girl?? Some of my friends say dump his ass which I did kinda and some are saying hear him out. I’m so lost. any advice or insight would help!

    Reply
    Becca

    Also would like to add we do long distance during school which never affected us, this happened now when we were both headed off to school!

    Reply
    Theresa

    Becca. You’re not naive. Don’t ever let anyone tell you HOW you should be feeling!
    You sounds like a string young woman with a great head on your shoulders. Keep it!
    Go with and trust your gut.
    You got this 🙂
    Good luck!

    Reply
    Jen

    I just found out my husband cheated on me. He called me fro his work to tell me to go get tested for a std. I was shocked!! He works as a taxi driver and is gone all hours of the night. He does have serious anger issues and will bring up things from over 15 yrs ago. I know our marriage is not the best, but he was working on not being so angry. After he told me and we talked he started to blame me! I just don’t know if it worth it to stay married. I am so confused and just don’t know how to proceed. He always refused to go to counseling for his angry I know he won’t go for this.

    Reply
    Becky

    Thank you for this article. My husband had an 2 year affair with a woman who worked for him. I still don’t know why, he says because he was stupid and self serving. I find myself emerged in it again, because we ran into to someone who worked with them and all the memories bubbled to the top like it was yesterday.
    Needless to say I am struggling again and thought I had it under control.
    Thank you again…. I am happy to know I am over reacting and that what I am feeling, although absolutely horrible and unnecessary, is not uncommon.

    Reply
    Lerato

    I cheated on my boyfriend and he found out,I ddnt want to tell the truth at first because I was protecting him from getting hurt,but I guess his instinct kept on telling him that I did something, so I finally told him the truth it was not easy at all I felt like dying but I owed it to him n our relationship he also made mistakes but thts not the reason why I cheated, he told me that he forgives me but I feel like his still hurting once his fine he will want to revenge me,I couldn’t sleep so is he ,I need help I really dont know what to do ,I want this relationship to work

    Reply

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