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

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.

    466 Comments

    nad

    I am the cheater. I have been for the past 10 years and once before that for a shorter period. The current one was with a massage parlor girl. Transactional, yes. Cheating…most definitely. Lie to myself …nobody is getting hurt … until discovery. Now there is nothing but hurt. I am reading all that I can to understand how to be healed and be understanding and available to respond to my wife. Yes, there were circumstances that could be used to justify my bad choices, but none were compelling enough. I was not attentive to things that were being said and instead was only focused on my entitlement. Now I am desperately hoping and being present to show my true intention is to grow old with her. We are only 70 days in from discovery. It is painful everyday and the outlook is still full of haze. I am with true remorse and desire to stay with my wife and to have the chance to listen this time using both ears, my brain and my heart. Please pray for us.

    Reply
    Just curious

    Your comment was very heart felt and I wish you and your wife the best I hope you guys can find your way through this! Did your wife find out on her own or was your guilt over whelming and you admitted to what happened? If you did why? If ur not comfortable answering that’s OK I was just genuinely curious about that from someone else in that situation

    Reply
    Desiree

    I recently found out my partner (as he says) is/was having an emotional affair with a co-worker. At first he tried to play the victim and say i drove him to. We aren’t together right now but we have been spending time together and rebuilding our relantionship. I just want to know how I can rebuild trust and not think about what he did all the time?

    Reply
    Shelley

    After 27 years of marriage I had become suspicious that my husband may have been having an affair or perhaps a mid life crisis because bc he became very distant and when I asked if he was okay or tried to talk to him he would become very defensive and just plane mean. I went to the doctor for a check up and they called to let me know I had an STD. ALWAYS TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! My husband still denied any infidelity. To make a long painful story shorter after some detective work it all came out. He said it was nothing not a relationship, not a girlfriend and she meant nothing to him and that he stopped seeing her. He then proceeded to take her to Vegas for the week on a work trip with him. I have since found out they have been on other trips together as well, after noon hotels and much more. He has been seeing someone 18 years younger than me for at least 6 months. She is married with 3 small children but right before I found out she had filed for divorce from her husband. My husband begged me not to file for divorce that he wants us to spend the rest of our lives together and that he ended it with her. We have been separated for a couple weeks to just put some space between us to try to heal. I recently found out that he never stopped seeing her. I also over heard him on the phone with her talking about me how pathetic I was and don’t get him like she does and I’m not right in the head bc I never thought he would actually leave me for another women. He also stated that we were in an open marriage but he has always been discreet about it in the past for my benefit. This man has betrayed, disrespected, devalued and hurt me like no one or nothing else has ever compared. He still refuses to discuss the affair with me saying it will only make things worst so my imagination runs wild and I continue to play detective which really only ends up hurting me worst in long run. He continues to deny he is seeing her which is a lie. Why do I even care… the two of them deserve each other and I deserve much more/better!! But I just can’t stop thinking about it please pray for me to find some peace and move forward with my life!

    Reply
    Raymond B

    Well mine are different, my wife with my nephew. I never want to be with her ever again after 14 years of marriage, well 12 the last two she was having an affair with him. I still love her but it’s over, done, finished. I knew how to give her that 80% but didn’t know how to give her something I didn’t have for myself – LOVE that other 20%. I’m just now at the age of 67, soon to be 68, March 5th and she’s 55. OMGod does it hurt woo wee.

    Reply
    Rhoda

    Hi I feel yor pain. I am in a simular situation. I feel lost, hurt, useless. My hubby has been telling people that I have a mental disorder just so that I don’t go around letting people know about his truth. He has being lying to me and cheating on me. With all the evidence against him, he still denies everything and plays the blame game. I played him for a fool to let him know that I’m also dating sum1 just to make him feel the pain. I’m not sure if I have done the right thing.

    Reply
    FREDDY

    Caught my wife, a devout Christian making out in my kitchen with my buddy who claims to be a Christian. They were playing footsy under the table in the yard in front of me and attacked each other seconds after they walked away from me. Literally the hardest thing I’ve ever witnessed. I’m beyond crushed

    Reply
    Lisa

    1) Never let children make you stay with an unfaithful spouse. That will definitely cause them more harm than good. Children are resilient, especially younger children. They will be bothered at first but they will get used to the situation and be ok. You however, will never be ok if the reason you stay is the children.

    2) You will never completely forget the hurt and devastation that you went through from a cheating spouse, and the only way there can be hope for the relationship is if he comes clean on everything, begs your forgiveness, and does absolutely everything possible to prove to you that it will never happen again. He will need to be patient, understanding, have no secrets, leave his phone accessible to you, be accountable for the time he isn’t with you, and show you in both actions and words how much he loves you and is devoted to you. If he can’t do all that, then you aren’t worth it to him. Be strong and be done with him.

    3) You deserve happiness. Do not waste anymore time in your life making excuses for him, or second-guessing his intentions. If your gut is telling you it’s over, then you must be strong and move on. God gave us all an inner sense of joy. It is a gift from Him and belongs to only you. Don’t let anyone, any situation, or anything, steal your joy. You’re a child of the Lord Almighty. Claim your happiness! ❤️🙏✝️

    Reply
    Nobody

    Almost 5 years later. Can’t stand weddings. Hate the time around it all. When will I get over this? Have to pretend I am ok. He does not want counseling. He had an affair with a coworker. Would text right after having sex with me with her. They blamed me. Not at all what you see in the movies. The lies kept coming had to find out from social media she was from his job. He told me he met her at a bar. I cry still. I want so badly to be over it. The whore got away with it. Her husband never knew. I had to chose between my marriage or letting her husband know. That is where I feel cheated the most.

    Reply
    Billy

    You should tell her husband. He deserves to know. No one should be allowed to be a cake eater

    Reply
    Devon

    So I’m the cheater in my relationship with my girlfriend. She just found out last night that I have been sexting girls over dating apps in order to get off. No photos, but I admitted that I had a moment when I considered going to hook up with another woman. In the end I didn’t end up going because I found my line I didn’t want to cross. Regardless she is so hurt and disgusted by my betrayal/my lack of commitment to her. There are reasons I could use as an excuse as to why I felt the need to do it. We aren’t intimate in our relationship and I felt the need to separate my sexual desires from her. But to be honest it’s probably more because I feel inadequate in my own sexual ability and history, and matching with girls on dating apps who were actually into me was exciting and boosted my ego. Despite all this I always just considered it porn and an exciting way to get off, I had no attachment to anyone I chatted with. I love my girlfriend. I did before and I do now. I don’t want to lose her so I’m trying to do what this article suggests and hope we can work things out over time. I don’t know what I’d do without her. She has demanded i go to therapy for other flaws in my character, and that I need to be a better person. I’m going to do it. Anything she asks or demands. I never wanted to hurt her so bad and it kills me to see her broken and despondent. For now our relationship is in limbo as I try and prove myself to her. It’s only been 24 hours and I know the road ahead is long but I desperately want to make things right. If any of you have suggestions or comments on my situation feel free to say, take me over the coals anything I deserve it. But advice and encouragement would go a long way too.

    Reply
    Some gal

    Oh man.. I’m in the same boat. Was sexting with this one guy. It was safe validation because we lived on opposite sides of the country.

    I sent him a picture in a bikini then freaked out and deleted it. He responded to it weeks later when my boyfriend happened to be holding my phone.

    I hate myself. Our relationship was perfect and he is (understandably) pushing me away. It breaks my heart that the one healthy relationship I’ve ever had, I fckd it up and I hurt such a wonderful man – my unicorn as I used to call him. I fkn hate myself.

    Reply
    Fooled Fiance

    Wow. Your story hits hard to home for me.

    My fiance just proposed Nov 11. Our baby was just born Dec 11. We were supposed to get married in Jan and move to Germany in March. Life was GREAT, not perfect or ideal, but great just for us.
    Five days after our son was born, I caught my new fiance sexting someone he met online three weeks before (right after he proposed).
    I was in the living room, exhausted, still in pain from labor, with our new son, while he was in my bedroom sending action videos to his “pen pal”.
    It’s still fresh, happened two weeks ago. I feel like someone died. My world is crushed. We were supposed to get married and move to Germany in March.
    He had the same kind of explanation that you had. Feelings of inadequacy, sexual experience, etc.
    Words can’t express the devastation he’s done to our world, our brand new family, and the “broken home” life he’s possibly created for his son just five days after he was born.
    I can’t understand for the life of me how could anyone be so stupid by ruining something we had that was so good.
    Of course there’s no more engagement, no thoughts of a wedding. I can’t marry someone I don’t trust, respect, or love at this point, so he’s gonna be moving to Germany by himself.

    At some point I have to make the decision to work things out, basically for the kid now, no longer for me.

    Reply
    Isabella

    Found out my fiancé of 14 years has been cheating on me since the beginning.
    I feel like a fool I saw some red flags but I was so young and in love I didn’t take them as being real or idk I believed that wasn’t him.
    2017 I found messages that he sent that were supposed to be deleted but ended up on a iPad that didn’t really get used. He sent this person pics and it gave me chills and I felt horrible.
    I confronted him and he told me it was a one time thing but I felt horrible even more because he was supposed to be taking care of our daughter while I was working to keep our selfs with a roof over our heads and food on the table.
    He did get oral from this person and that’s all he said and he thought of me… really??? Was I supposed to be like ok it’s ok you thought of me while getting head?!!!
    Sigh I forgave him but felt bothered because I kept trying and even did things to get his attention and to cover up the pain I was feeling.

    Then in November 2022 he came clean about EVERYTHING!!!!
    He told me so much and it completely broke
    Me
    I don’t love him the same
    I feel like hurting him
    I feel like running away
    I forgave him but I can’t forget I can’t eat right I can’t sleep right.
    I feel like Iv been woken to my worst nightmare.

    I’m always crying
    I’m always down I feel depressed but what can I do!
    We have children and I can’t leave them without their father.
    I’m so damaged my house isn’t cleaned and it depresses me even more because I let myself my life get so dirty.
    Sometimes I want to end it but my children keep me going.

    My mother warned me not to love a man more then God and this is my punishment.

    Reply
    Renee w

    Give yourself grace! You are not alone and you have to consider saving yourself. Your children will be okay, they need a strong mother that shows them it will be okay. Good luck and God is with you! He will send helpers so let people help you.

    Reply
    BrokenHearted

    Dear Isabella

    When I read your comment above, my heart aches and bleeds for you. Because the story and circumstances is very similar. It’s been 10 months since I found out. And I have had good days, truly. But lately I am falling back into deep depression. I can see that you are a woman of faith and I also am trying to hold onto Hope of a better marriage and future with mercy, grace and forgiveness. It’s just so much. The years of lies. They all hurt so much. I would like to say, stay faithful to God who makes all things for good and stay strong for yourself mainly and for your kids. But listen to your gut and heart. I pray that your husband is a repentant man and will change his ways for the better for his sake and for the sake of your marriage. I tell myself the same but it’s been getting harder for me. It’s a long and lonely process going through betrayal. My heart goes out to you. Hope you’re doing better since the post.

    Reply
    Denise

    You need to get rid of this person that obviously does not love God or you. Go get help. Don’t stay for the children. They don’t need a martyr they need a mother that is healthy.
    You are miserable and your spouse has caused all that misery. Get divorced. Heal yourself. He needs to
    get help too. He is damaged goods and he’s damaging you plus your children. Would you really stay if he was beating you physically???? It’s the same thing but worse. The damage he is doing is on the inside.
    I got rid of a toxic, adulterous, narcissistic spouse???? Why??? Because I learned that if I stayed and suffered my children would marry someone just like him to recreate the awful scenario. Or God forbid, they would become like him.
    Best decision and hardest decision I ever made. Now I have 3 grown happily married adult girls that chose good men. Why??? Because I told the truth. I chose a bad person. They must chooose a good spouse. And they listened. Thank U Jesus!!!

    Reply
    Alma N

    Stay strong! I’ve been with my fiancé for 14 years and he was having an affair with a girl from high school for 7 months and she knew about me and didn’t care about us living together and sharing three kids. She came to me when he ended things with her in April. He laid everything out and he cheated for 14 years on and off. I’m so broken, cry all the time and have no desire for anything. I look at my kids and I cry. How could he.?!

    Reply
    Laura

    You are not being punished by God. He is right there with you. Although this was a major shock to you, He knew. It was no surprise to Him. I forgave mine the first time, but he did it again and looking back, I think he had many affairs. You can and will get past this. Together or separate. But it takes awhile and continued forgiveness on your part. I know that sounds wrong. But you don’t want to carry the weight of this around and forgiveness is the way to drop it. It takes time and God’s help to practice forgiveness. Prayers for you and many hugs.

    Reply
    breanna p

    Someone else’s actions are never your punishment – he took advantage of the love you gave him and that is not on you at all. You were generous and loving and he was not. Your children can still have their father, but you don’t need to stay with him for that. As a child of parents who had affairs – it’s less traumatizing if you split than if you stay together incredibly unhappy. For me, that only taught me that an unhappy and dysfunctional relationship was normal, so my standards were incredibly low in response to that. If you want your children to be able to love and feel loved, show them to keep searching, and not to settle. You deserve pure and genuine love, regardless of his actions.

    Reply
    Tanya P

    Sounds like me and you are going through the exact same thing. Found out about my fiancé cheating March 2022- and I believe it was at least 2 different women. I feel so stupid and alone. We have two girls…9 and 10. I just have no idea what to do with myself most days. I thought I had cried all I could…I was so freaking wrong. Hell…about EVERYTHING obviously!!!

    Reply
    The Cheater's Wife

    He was your fiance for “14 years”, that in itself was an insult. You should’ve been moved on. Sorry to learn of your heartbreak nonetheless.

    Reply
    Charlene V

    Just recently found out my husband of 30 yrs has been cheating on me for the last 15 yrs with prostitutes and massage parlours in 3 diff provinces … 2 of which were while working away from home and more heartbreakingly one was while living with me in our province … He started either when I was pregnant with our last child or shortly after when he left for work in the military in Ottawa. It is devastating to say the least and has changed my life forever. I’ve been with him for over 1/2 my life. It hurts to know he’s cheated for all of my daughters life. He has finished his work away from home and has been diagnosed with depression and is on a short term disability right now. Sometimes I feel like I’m his 2nd choice. He’s home bec he has to be …. his work term away is finished. Not sure where this will go … but I know that this is his issue – I am just an injured party … His bad decisions are his … I need to rise above this and move forward … I have kids to care for and I’m worth more than this …

    Reply
    chel

    Thank you for this article. Everything it states reassures me that the way I have felt ever since discovering my partners infidelity is normal and despite my partner being impatient that I should just move forward. This article shows it isn’t that straight forward in reality.

    The only part of the article that failed to resonate with me are the reasons why a partner cheats. In fact intimacy, love, attention and affection was withheld from me for such a long time yet I was not the one to search for this from somewhere else. Like the article correctly identified when such things have been missing for such a long time the relationship survival after revealing an affair is sadly harder. This is where I am now at, I gave multiple opportunities before and during the affair to fix our relationship but truth is he obviously didn’t want to as nothing changed for years… yes years! I wonder this was be cause he was hoping up until I found out that he could be with her.

    His reason he gave for cheating is that he felt flattered since she was like18 years younger than him and it was at a time he was insecure with his weight, career and financial situation and basically couldn’t believe his luck. Instead of thinking well my wife is not exactly old (9 years younger), deemed myself attractive albeit the gaining of baby weight from having a baby the year before the affair, have a good career, don’t depend on him financially, always been supportive of his career, helped financially and never withheld sex, yet he felt more flattered by this other person showing interest then having me.

    He states I never listened to him (evidently something she probably did) though I openly tried to communicate about the areas in our relationship that needed fixing. I was open about my needs not being met and how I wanted our relationship to go back to how it was….no chance of that happening now as like the article states it now ‘different’. I am soo mad with him for taking away the opportunity to get the old relationship back he has truly buried it. Now he wants me to move forward in this new relationship that it has become but that’s not what I feel in love with or chose from the start. I am now grieving the person I thought I was with and the relationship I thought I was in both of which do not resemble the reality.
    I don’t really think I knew him well, since discovering the affair I learnt he extensively cheated on his ex wife, I was aware of infidelity but not to the extent I now know. I thought from our previous relationships where infidelity was a deal breaker that he, like me wanted to get it ‘right’ this time, and had learnt from previous mistakes knowing what damage it does. However I don’t think he learnt or came into this relationship with the same outlook I did.

    I’m not sure what or where to go from here. A huge part of me knows this is not the relationship I want. I don’t want the relationship this is now or the person I am with as neither are what I thought I had. The partner I thought I had would never have done this to me or at least I thought. The relationship I thought I had felt safe from infidelity. I don’t want to be paranoid, question the person or distrust the person I love. I want a relationship where that person builds me up to be the best version of myself, makes me feel confident, desired and loved something I have not had in a long time.
    My partner only now since I discovered the affair wants us to move forward and make effort. But why has it taken the discovery of an affair for him to want this now?

    I have suffered 2 miscarriages since his affair before I found out and all the time he was flirting and trying to get with this person. Haven’t just had a baby via IVF (he made many excuses as to why he couldn’t have sex) I now don’t feel safe in this relationship to show any vulnerability which comes from having a baby. I don’t feel safe in this relationship at all. I don’t know if I will ever feel safe again I don’t even know if I even want him anymore. Yet he was the only person I truly, truly loved and a big part of me still does which is crazy since all he has done is shown me how much he doesn’t love me. I think I will always love him but I hope one day my feelings for him will dwindle just like his had for me. I don’t think I could ever let myself fall again for someone else so hard.

    Can relationships survive after cheating… I don’t believe so and that is why it is a clear battle of heart and mind. Not to mention I wouldn’t want my two girls to grow up without their dad but on the flip side I wouldn’t want them to think this is what a relationship should look like.

    Reply
    valid

    I really want to forgive but it’s hard to forget..I asked my spouse in our 1st year about a guy I was suspicious of..and she denied it all for it to come out 9 years later.. she had me in the same room as this guy hanging out even been to my house we are 15 years in and she never really reassured me .. I try to think of other things but my heart is broken 💔 because I thought we was something greater..and what’s more crazy is she pressure me into marriage.what type of wife would she would have been to be married to me and still bring me around this guy and friends..I’m the only one in the dark 🌑 it’s hard for me to trust..any one she be around because of this I really need to heal..I pray 🙏..pray..pray & pray for peace and to be able to love her like I did before ..I don’t want to meet no one she knows cause I don’t want to look stupid..her Cousin told on her..it makes me think about how many others I been around and I’m being laughed at 🤔 She only sorry cause she got caught up.. other than that she would of went to the grave with her lies .. makes me feel like she’s more loyal to everyone else who knows..why keep me around???? for the convenience of what we look like on FB or to everyone else.. I wish we was genuinely happy… some days I remember the good then other days I feel haunted by her betral.. life is too short..and the stress is now paining my chess ..I just want to truly be happy again…

    Reply
    Guff

    Your article lays out something of a road map for moving forward. It makes the web of feelings seem normal while also not allowing one to avoid what’s needed most: Action! Thank you for all of this. I so need it at this time of my life.

    Reply
    Denjse

    I found out my husband took his ex with him for the weekend for a work thing, first he said they slept in separate beds in the same motel then he says he tried to have sex but could not get an erection…….he kissed me five times goodby Friday, went and picked her up and they drove 8 hours to LA together, I only found out because I se her on social media at his work thing, this is the same woman he date before we did and I am humiliated and devastated 😭😭😭😭😭

    Reply
    cadira

    My husband having affair with a co- worker. He is her boss and refuses to get rid of her because he says they can keep it strictly business now. I don’t feel we can truly heal without the affair person out of our lives. My husbands work is right behind our home so I see her each day, and she moved her kids to my kids school. She is in every area of my life- it was too much for me to handle wanted her of our lives to have peace with my family luckily for me

    Reply
    Ann Marie

    I found out in January 2022 my husband had a 6 month affair with a Co-worker,we have been married for 23 years .we decided to stay together and he shows how sorry he is , I want to be with him as I truly love him but I can’t let go of the affair its constantly on my mind.

    Reply
    Hersyam

    I caught & forgive my wife after she cheated on me for a year & want to keep the marriage & fix our relationship. Things is she doesn’t want me anymore & only love me just like a family member, a good father of our son, sort of like that. I am willing to give her time, for her, to enjoy whatever the ride she started & still is, because I love her so much & so do the family (our son). & I do admit I am bit cold person & not up to standard as romantic husband & she was put up with this since the beginning of our relationship (that’s one of the the reason why I feel very guilty against her & make me easily forgive her). But after the affair come into surface I am not only plead but naturally I don’t hold back my coldness anymore & purely become very affectionate toward her.Nevertheless, up until now, I don’t foresee she will stop & even their relationship seems close & more closer everyday in each passing day. (The sex both physical & sexting include photos still resume too)
    Being a co-worker make it more easier for them to have more chemistry. I guess I am fighting a losing battle since day one but here I am still with her & our son. & the pain & sorrow now more deeper than deepest.

    Reply
    Anonymous

    I caught my husband having an affair 3 1/2 years ago and he ended it immediately and begged for my forgiveness and has done everything I have asked of him – access to all of his online accounts, phone and text records, as well as a mirror app for his text messages. He reassures me all of the time that he loves me and I am the only one he wants but my mind is my worse enemy and I still have my guard up waiting for him to leave me or catch him doing something behind my back even though we work so hard to communicate with each other. I feel like he does everything he is suppose to do since I found out but it is me that holds on to the hurt and isn’t fully moving forward. I have forgiven him obviously but I am stuck and I replay everything in my mind over and over again! When will I feel ok again I ask myself that multiple times a day? Our marriage is the strongest it has ever been but yet I still feel stuck with the pain and the hurt! I am in love with him and I always will be so moving on from him is not an option for me and I know I am the one that is hurting myself at this point! 😢

    I already have a traumatic past both of my parents were alcoholics and me and my brother experienced a lot of trauma throughout our childhood as well as most of our adulthood. My husband is the only person in this world I have ever gave my trust to completely and he broke it. I lost my dad to an accidental death, my brother to suicide 7 months after my father passed, my stepdad passed 11 months after my brother, and my mother 2 years later. So my boys and my husband are the only family I have and I am holding on for dear life to keep my family together! I know I neglected my husbands needs after all of the deaths as I was completely emotionally drained and had nothing to give and as a result from that I am now dealing with his affair that I can’t let go of!

    Reply
    Debbie Waidner

    After 20 years of what I thought was a good marriage, my husband cheated on me through a romance scammer. The attention he was getting sucked him right in. Many inappropriate pictures were exchanged, and they had him. Started asking for money. Threatened if he didn’t pay, they would contact me and send his pictures. It was a nightmare. He came clean but I still have not forgiven him. How could he be so stupid and not know he was being scammed? Because he isn’t stupid, the scammers are just that good. But he was very naive. The infidelity lasted 3 months. It has been 7 months since I found out. Although we are still in counseling and we work hard every day to heal and rebuild our marriage, i still cannot forgive him. As bad as it sounds, sometimes it takes bad things for good things to happen. He was missing the love, attention and excitement that we once had. The problem was we both forgot to communicate and date each other. My struggle still to this day is that I can NOT forgive him. The trust is returning but I will never forget that he was capable of such an act. I would have never imagined he was even capable to reply to one text let along almost 10,000 texts in 3 months. His morals and values were not of one that could ever do this. Rocked my world.

    Reply
    Betty

    IS THIS THE END! My husband is a serial cheater I believe
    he has a sex addiction. We’ve known each other 8 years been married 2 years I found out the first time he cheated a month after our wedding. We talked I was really angry.. He was good for about a year and then it happened again and I found out again .This time I was ready for divorce I talked to him I tried to understand what the problem was and how we can fix it as a couple. I have no trust in him. He was so apologetic Generally seemed he was sorry. 5 month later. I found out he did it again. He does not want a divorce but I told him I love him but our marriage can’t continue. He wants to go to counseling for sex addiction. I want a divorce.

    Reply
    Mark

    Thank you for this article. I m going through this just now. It is 4am and I am reading this after discovering my wife’s affair about 3 week ago. We have been married for 34 years. My life has been turned upside down, but I do realise my part in this. This article has really helped me feel I can find a way to fix my marriage. We both want this! (well I think she does too). If you asked any of our friends, they would say we are the perfect couple and the perfect family. The commitment to that starts now. Thanks again. I could give you a big hug for this article! Thanks!

    Reply
    Pam G

    My husband of 40 years dued suddenly a little over a year ago. He had two emotional affairs during or marriage. One on the internet and one he kept hidden for a few years in person with a woman at the gym. The furst emotional affair he gave up right away after i saw the texts. We healed. I came back from it. Thr second one he refused to give up when i saw emsils. He lied and said he wasnt working out with her or seeing her. We fought for 8 long months after i duscovered the emotional affair. He krot saying they were just friends and i wasnt going to bully him into giving her up. After 8 months one day i wentvto the gym and caught them walking iut together after i watched them work out together. I was stunned and stated yelling “liar” i guess to both if them. Anyway, that ended his emotional affair with her. He would never admit he did anything wrong and that he had nothing to be sorry for. Anyway, i wanted him to say he w as sorry. Eventually he said he was sorry that he had hurt me. Thats all. We stayed together and seemed to heal but my self esteem really took a hit. He refused to go fir counseling. Anyway, i found him dead a little over a year ago. I have started seeing a man but my self esteem is so low i dont even want him to look me straight in the face.

    Reply
    Michelle

    I know I have commented on this forum before. I just can’t get over my husbands infidelity. Only thing I can think of lately is when he was cheating. The day after Christmas, I was off work. He lied and said he was going to work only to spend the day with her. That was in 2017. It has been 5 years and the pain is still so fresh. He dated her for about 6 months after 28 years of marriage. We are still together, only because I am to weak and scared to be on my own after all this time. I don’t love him anymore. I hope over time the pain will subside, but I don’t see it happening any time soon. If you are considering cheating, stop. Think about the pain you cause before it’s too late to stop.

    Reply
    Jim

    I can completely understand. For me, it’s been since 2015 when I found out & my fear is that I work two jobs & still don’t make as much as she does & I don’t want to live in a dump. I feel pathetic for my reasoning, but I’m at the point where I do what I want & I don’t care if she likes it or not. I haven’t cheated on her, because that’s not who I am. You aren’t alone in your pain & totally agree that you should never cheat, because nothing good will come of it & only cause pain & destroy families.

    Reply
    Lynn

    I just caught my husband cheating on me. Together 12 years married for 6. The worse part is that it was with his ex best friend ex wife, who use to live next door. I told my husband of my concern when I caught her messaging him. Now I feel like she went after my husband cause he has a big heart and wants to help people and felt bad for her and her kids and with her marriage falling apart wanted to hurt others who has a healthy relationship. I still love my husband and reading this helped out a lot. It will take time to heal, but my mind is my worst enemy. Sometimes I can’t get the thoughts out of my head. I scared him the night I found out, I broke down crying so hard that I started to hyperventilate and he got so scared and got more scared not knowing what to do. I know we can get through this in due time.

    Reply
    Akinwunmi

    My girlfriend cheated on me with multiple guys, five of them. When I found out I almost loose myself because I love her so much, after all the begging and begging I decided to forgive her. It’s been like 9 months after, the problem now is I started cheating too😭, something I would never do before. One day I want to stop it the next I’ll be like she did it too. I don’t know if this can be helped, I still love my girlfriend but I don’t really trust her and that thought so come to my head when ever she is far away that she’s probably cheating again. I think that’s what made me start cheating also but I want to stop.
    I need help

    Reply
    Staci

    I feel the same as you. Been married 20 years and my husband has been texting his co-worker who is also his ex girlfriend. She is recently divorced and took advantage of our relationship. I found out by looking at his texts that he left work early to go to her house. He hasn’t said anything to me. We have a son who is graduating this year. I feel stuck. Don’t know if I still love him or if we can fix anything. I feel nothing.

    Reply
    Ally

    My husband of 15 years (together 24) cheated with my cleaning lady; a very attractive younger woman, who cleans with sexy but appropriate clothes. Never seen anyone clean with such clothes before.

    I went out of town & it happened. We had been together at the time but struggling with conflicts & not being really connected. He said it was a mistake & it only happened once & he told her it was wrong & it would never happen again. He said she accepted it. 99% believe it. They both hid it from me until I found out because he got gonorrhea from her & had to tell me.

    I also found out from him that he had been having sex thoughts about her even before it happened (makes sense). This is the part I think hurts so badly as we are both retired, knowing he’s thinking of her that way while I’m in the house with him (while she’s cleaning). I’m still so hurt & unhappy after 1 year. I’m also so disappointed in myself that I can’t get over it. He tells me he loves me but becomes hostile if I ask questions about the affair.

    Reply
    Kim

    It’s crazy how our story is so similar, my husband of 10 years cheated on me 5 years ago(2018). He had an affair for 6mo. Idk if I will ever heal from the pain..

    Reply
    Shane

    Funny. My wife’s name is Kim. Our “marriage” is about the same age. She accused me of cheating for 6 months in 2018. I didn’t, but I did catch her, practically red handed, banging multiple dudes in Miami while I was home with our kids, trusting that she was working to support our family. Instead, she abandoned us so she could be a nasty tramp, thinking inwas 1500 miles away and wouldn’t find out. I did. I tried to forgive for our family’s sake. Instead of being honest, she hid that she had dirty, nasty sex with another dude on a cheap motel 8bdays prior to the one I found on my own. And I found that one on my own as well, after she called him to protect him from me. In fact, she was never honest on her own until I was too far over the target. Turns out she’d been cheating on some level since at least 2017. I only know that…because I found it. I’m sure there’s more. I don’t trust her. I probably never will again. I had one request from her, in efforts to rebuild trust. She refused. I believe it is because I’ll find out that her apology over the 2nd (actually 1st) affair (that I know of in 2021…my God I’m getting sick just realizing I have to specify so many affairs) is actually a crock of crap. I’m not convinced she doesn’t still care for him. I am thoroughly convinced she’s only sorry she was caught, not that she did it.

    Reply
    Anonymous

    My husband had affair 3 years ago for 4 months Oct-January and those months are the hardest time of the year for me! I relive it all over again!

    Reply
    Tanya P

    I am so sorry that you are hurting. Your post helps & validates my feelings. I know that I’m not acting irrational. This crap still hurts. Cheating is the most selfish thing a person in a relationship can do. You can stick ur stuff in whoever u like…just let me know!!! Why can’t people have a honest conversation??? Wtf? I think men should only be able to have sex with themselves after they cheated…as punishment!!! Dumbass!!!

    Reply
    Chidinma

    I cheated on my husband of 4years with a blind date……Its so heart breaking for me as this is something I have always avoided even before getting married. Am not being defensive but I only tried the online blind date to ease myself off alot of pain ( no intimacy, no recognition, no quality communication between us no matter how hard I tried, no sweet words, not even an outing). Most importantly was that I lost my job of which I have been 100% supportive to my husband but YET he mocked me and thank God I lost my job. I have always forgiven him for the small and biggest sins he ever committed against, it this man is so so heartless that for every single quarrel we had will make attempt of leaving I and the children, refuse giving me money for upkeep and also refuses to eat my food. I have caught him many times helping other single ladies out with cash while he refuses to recharge my phone. I really didn’t mean to venture into this online blind date and I just hope he understands my point of view.

    Reply
    George

    This is the most selfish response I’ve read here. There are no excuses, seems like you were unhappy, fair and valid reasons. So you part ways and go around.

    Reply
    Veronica M

    My husband of 10 years has been going thru a mental breakdown. Things started getting really bad with paranoia and he developed PTSD from a traumatic experience he said occurred after our first son was born. This past year was a struggle I kept trying to talk him into seeing a therapist for his anxiety and what ever was eating at him. Finally last week he got bad and I started calling therapist and his doctor for help. The next morning he broke and told me about this long affair he had on me. He thought she was trying to sabatoge his life. I had no time to fully react to the affair because my husband’s life was in serious trouble. He wanted to end it so calming him down was first part and then getting him to speak to someone was second. I couldn’t get him on the phone with anyone so we went to the hospital where they kept him overnight. He is on the road with a recovery plan but I am so broken waking up in cold sweats can’t breath feeling like I failed myself and family. I am so in love with this man now I don’t know who he is. All the questions in this article is exactly what I have been going thru. The hope we can build a stronger relationship I want but am so scared of the future.

    Reply
    Lindsay

    I just found out a little over a week ago that my husband cheated on me, with a prostitute. It was a one time thing and he received oral sex. During this time I was in a deep depression around the holidays and I know I was not attentive to him and often pushed away his advances for intimacy. I’m devastated. I don’t even know what to think most of the time and all that plays through my head is him in his truck with her in the town we live right next to in an area we frequented to shop. He confessed to it and explained his feelings and how very sorry he was. I just feel like I’m trapped in a fog and that I will never be myself again.

    Reply
    Stacey

    I totally understand. i caught my husband of almost 30 years cheating about 2 weeks ago. Some days I’m ok and some days I have to fight the urge to cry all day with a heaviness in my chest. We have had alot of stress for the last 2 years with parental deaths, moving etc. On the saturday before I found out he had asked to separate. I was really hurt and he asked if I had someone on the side. I said no and asked him. He said no right to my face. Four days later I had gone to the doctor and had forgotten my phone. I work in a different town and hour away so I ran by the house to get my phone. He was on the phone and I heard him telling her that he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. I’m devastated. We are going to try counseling, but how do I get over this? The lies and betrayal

    Reply
    Rachel

    How do I get over this? That is also the question I am asking myself. Married 15 years.
    Put everything I had to raising my kids and supporting my husband through medical training just for him to bang a 22 year old medical tech at the hospital. They would say they loved each other. He would tell her she’d be a good mother to his kids. And I was soooo blindsided. I could not have imagined he was capable of this deceit. Have you been able to get over it in some degree? Or will you just always feel broken?
    The affair came out because my 11 year old daughter found it on his phone.

    Reply
    Tanya P

    I am so sorry that you are hurting. Your post helps & validates my feelings. I know that I’m not acting irrational. This crap still hurts. Cheating is the most selfish thing a person in a relationship can do. You can stick ur stuff in whoever u like…just let me know!!! Why can’t people have a honest conversation??? Wtf? I think men should only be able to have sex with themselves after they cheated…as punishment!!! Dumbass!!!

    Reply
    Amanda

    Wow, our stories are so similar – a traumatic event 4 weeks before birth of second child. Him having to support his mum and me while I was recovering my from a traumatic birth and some Post natal depression.

    When I found out I also had to look after my husband due to his PTSD and worry that he was trying to kill himself.

    I reached out to my mother and brother in law, asking them to support him as I couldn’t be there for him during this to me I’d just caught him. Somehow the entire in law family has turned this around and is annoyed with me for asking them to help. Apparently I am driving family apart 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Anyway it’s meant I couldn’t grieve right away and now I can so I’m getting same symptoms as the ones you mentioned. My husband is in therapy and is working through a lot of things and is committed to working it out as his head tells him that I am the one he should be with. But he isn’t in love with me and that hurts. I still struggle daily with knowing if I want to stay or go.

    Hope your world is a little more settled these days.

    Reply
    Eli A

    I could never believe that I will be cheated on until it happened. It was my worst nightmare. Still I stood through. For my son. I listened I held myself together. I read positive articles and posts like this one. Learning to move on and yet staying to see if there’s a change. Because family is worth fighting for no matter how unworthy It would feel sometimes. At the same time ppl learn to appreciate you when you’re gone. So be gone for a while build yourself and they will see why they should w treated you better. Be the light in the darkness. It’s the only choice in this universe.

    Reply
    Desiree

    I discovered that my ex husband cheated in 2013 and it’s 2021 and it hurts so much.i can’t breathe when I think of all the what ifs,maybes and if only I could have….it hurts so much because shortly tour divorce he married the woman he cheated with ..life has been treating them good and they are enjoy it whilst I’m stuck in pain I can’t trust and at times when I woke up I wish I am caught in a very bad dream bz I never I. Million years expected my husband who was so good respectful and kind treating me like his queen to break my heart by cheating on me in our home on our bed. I’m so angry and I can’t get the pain out I have been crying and my tears are no more but my heart is aching.please help me. .I love my husband so much ..he never even talk to me or even sit me down to discuss divorce. We had so many third parties when things were messed up and I so wish I had only a brief moment to get closure ..I wish he could tell me what went wrong ..things are bad and I missed us so much.the pain just dnt want to go away.i drown myself in books with studies,my work,our kids, Charity work but at night or when I hear someone else calling a person with the name Patrick I missed him .I tried dating but I I could not cope.im hurting bad and I and so much angry and the pain does not want to go away.i wish I was ready for this disappointment or had seen the signs..

    Reply
    Nicole

    sighthis is so true..does commitment to wedding vows mean nothing to people anymore? my husband of 6 years cheated on me with a 21 year old and it’s so hard to move forward from this as a family. He promised me this was the only time but I just found out he’s still having an affair.. I want to leave but I don’t want my daughter to grow up without a father..

    Reply
    Betsy B

    I grew up in the home you are describing….. I learned from my parents disconnection how to remain disconnected. As hard as it is to imagine, if you cant move forward in a loving connected marriage then you are doing your daughter a true dis service. so many hugs

    Reply
    Mikky

    I caught my wife cheating on me with a police officer, having said to me and the kids that she’s going for special duty I was standing outside with a friend when I heard her car horn thinking she was coming home because I told her I will be attending a meeting so she may not want the kids to stay alone but little do I know that she was dating a police which was a neighbor in the street so it was there she came. Eventually I saw her car through an opening from the gate I called her she insisted she was at work unknown to her that I have seen her car, the man friend as an area commander in police force he order for my arrest inorder to move out the car and even attempted to shoot me.
    It happened last year august 20th 2022 up till now my life has never be same and more so when I discovered she had other two men to make her men three

    Am confused and depressed am opting for a divorce because my heart refuse to heal

    Reply
    Wendy

    I have read so many of these stories and my heart breaks for all of you. I will not get into my own sad situation, but I have done a lot of soul searching and looked into many kinds of books, resources, articles, etc. in trying to find a solution/answer, and I keep coming back to one common theme – marriage/lifelong partnership is a social construct and monogamy is not likely in our DNA. Think about this – from a biological standpoint, thousands of years ago, before farming, and even the industrial revolution, life expectancy was maybe 30-40 years, if you were lucky. Females needed a strong male with whom to reproduce, and needed him to stick around and protect the family until the child could fend for themselves. This is no longer relevant – people don’t need to marry to have a child and a home together. The fact that there are so many people who feel restless, unhappy, trapped, miserable, and ultimately either end up cheating or withdrawing from their partners is just more evidence of this phenomenon. And we absolutely lay it on thick when someone has the courage to say “I want out of this relationship” for whatever reason, calling those people irresponsible, childish, selfish, narcissistic, etc., hiring marriage counselors to try and “fix” things and/or ultimately divorce lawyers to fight for us after things have become so toxic all we want to do is hurt one another. Why is that? Maybe, just maybe, monogamy is unnatural for most of us, but we insist on “love and marriage is hard work” and then shame one another when we “fail”. I sincerely doubt our kids “need” us to stay together if we are unhappy doing so, and treat each other poorly and drink too much or get on medication to cope. To think that a “successful” marriage is measured in time spent together seems unrealistic and contrived. Just another perspective.

    Reply

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    The point of any ‘discipline’ is to teach, not to punish. (‘Disciple’ means student, follower, learner.)

Children don’t learn through punishment. They comply through punishment, but the mechanism is control and fear. 

The problem with this, is that the goal becomes avoiding us when things go wrong, rather than seeking us out. We can’t influence them if we’ve taught them to keep their messes hidden from us. 

We can’t guide our kiddos if they aren’t open to us, and they won’t be open to us if they are scared of what we will do. 

We all have an instinctive need to stay relationally safe. This means feeling free from rejection, shame, humiliation. The problem with traditional discipline is that it rejects and judges the child, rather than the behaviour. 

Hold them close, reject their behaviour. 

This makes it more likely that they will turn toward us instead of away from us. It opens the way for us to guide, lead, teach. It makes it safe for them to turn and face what’s happened so they can learn what they might do differently in the future.

Rather than, ‘How do I scare them out of bad behaviour?’ try, ‘How do I help them to do better next time?’ 

Is the way you respond to their messy decisions or behaviour more likely to drive them away from you in critical times or towards you? Let it be towards you.

This doesn’t mean giving a free pass on big behaviour. It means rather than leading through fear and shame, we lead through connection, conversation and education. 

The ‘consequence’ for big behaviour shouldn’t be punishment to make them feel bad, but the repairing of any damage so they can feel the good in who they are. It’s the conversation with you where they turn and face their behaviour. This will always be easier when they feel you loving them, and embracing who they are, even when you reject what they do.♥️
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#parent #parents #mindfulparenting #gentleparenting
    Kununurra I’m so excited to be with you tonight. I’ll be giving you super practical ways to strengthen your kiddos and teens against all sorts and all levels of anxiety - big anxiety, little anxiety, anxiety about school, separation, trying new things - all of it. You’ll walk away with things you can do tonight - and I can’t wait! Afterwards we’ll have time for a chat where we can dive into your questions (my favourite part). This is a free event organised by the Parenting Connection WA (I love this organisation so much!). The link for tickets is in my story♥️
    Hello Broome! Can’t wait to see you tonight. Tickets still available. The link is in my story. 

Thank you Parenting Connection WA for bringing me here and for the incredible work you do to support and strengthen families.♥️
    What a weekend! Thank you Sydney for your open hearts, minds and arms this weekend at @resilientkidsconference. Your energy and warmth were everything.♥️
    I LOVE being able to work with early childhood centres and schools. The most meaningful, enduring moments of growth and healing happen on those everyday moments kids have with their everyday adults - parents, carers, teachers. It takes a village doesn’t it.♥️

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