Infidelity: Understanding the Affair – And Rebuilding Your Relationship

Infidelity: Understanding the Affair and Rebuilding Your Relationship

Love and intimacy are at the core of humanity. The need for each is hardwired in all of us – dreamers, doers, madmen and the perfectly sane. But love and intimacy can also bring us to our knees, leading us into breathtaking emptiness, sadness and despair. Who hasn’t been there?

Without a doubt, one of the worst parts of love, perhaps one of the worst parts of being human, is finding that the person we love might be falling in love (or in-like-a-lot) with somebody else.

Infidelity occurs worldwide and across many different cultures. It’s been happening throughout the ages, so in terms of human behaviour, it seems to be a classic, despite that we all condemn it.

Infidelity: How Does it Happen?

The are many reasons people stray from the arms of a long-term intimate partner and into the arms of another. Sometimes an affair is the externally visible break of something that has been fractured on the inside for a while. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the marriage at all. According to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, 56% of men and 34% of women who strayed from their long-term relationship rated those relationships as ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’.

So why then?

There are a host of reasons that people turn their attention from a long-term relationship to one with somebody new – and they are reasons, not excuses. Regardless of whether an explanation can be offered by biology, personality, genetics or evolution, infidelity is always a choice.

The more we can understand about what drives a behaviour, the more we can draw a bold heavy underline between it and the rest of forever and move forwards. If you’re the one who was hurt, know that this may have had nothing to do with you, or your partner’s satisfaction with the relationship.

Having said that, it’s important to look at your relationship with an open heart and an open mind. Is there any way you may have contributed to the breaks? Not that you anyone deserves to be on the end of the pain that comes with infidelity, but if your partner has been lonely, felt pushed aside by you or had his or her needs in the relationship ignored or overlooked, then he or she didn’t deserve that either.

If you’ve been attentive, loving and open – and it’s important to be honest – then none of this will make sense. It probably never will, but at some point, if you want to stay in the relationship you will have to forgive. That doesn’t mean accepting what happened. What it means is understanding it enough to stop the anger and hurt from having power over you. People make mistakes. Sometimes they are bad ones. So bad that you might be in pieces for a while because of them. But know that your relationship can survive – if you both want it to.

If you are the one who has turned your affection to someone outside your relationship, it’s important to decide whether or not you want to fight for the relationship you began with. If you do, it’s important to own the mess. Take responsibility, be patient, be accountable, be honest and above all else, be loving – so loving. Be loving through the anger, the hurt, the fear and the raw jealousy that will come your way, until you both find your way through.

Now for the reasons. Here’s what we know:

  1. Brain Architecture

    We have three brain systems that are designed to drive us to seek out and maintain intimate connections.

    The first is the sex drive and it’s designed to get us out there looking for a potential other. From an evolutionary perspective, this is important for survival of the species.

    The second is attraction, or romantic love, and it’s the longing we feel to be with one particular person. Powerful neurochemicals – dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin – surge through the body, igniting the euphoric feelings that come with falling in love and focussing energy on that on that one special person. Serotonin is involved in mood regulation, social behavior, appetite, digestion, sleep, memory and sexual desire and function, so there is likely to be sleeplessness, loss of appetite and increased passion. The area of the brain involved here is the same area that lights up when a cocaine addict is injected with cocaine. It’s by no beautiful accident then, that falling in love brings with it a giddying, addictive high. 

    The third brain system is attachment. At this point, the body starts to develop a tolerance to the euphoria of the attraction phase. Endorphins (the feel-good hormones) and the hormones vasopressin and oxytocin wash through the body, bringing about the feelings of security, calmness and well-being that come with an enduring relationship.

    Okay. So how does this relate to an affair?

    Over time in a relationship, dopamine – the neurochemical that drives feelings of pleasure and motivation – will diminish significantly if things aren’t kept interesting and fresh. When dopamine stays too low for too long, the instinctive push to connect and feel pleasure will gain momentum and the pull of sexual desire, attraction and attachment will strengthen.

    Dopamine will surge in response to something novel, so when there is someone the person is drawn to outside the marriage, continued exposure to that new, novel person will cause dopamine, the pleasure hormone, to constantly rush the body. This will bring about the euphoria of falling in love. When that person isn’t close, serotonin will drop, bringing sadness, emptiness and the push to seek that person out and be with them. Serotonin is also involved in impulse control, so when it’s at a low, people are more likely to act on impulse and do things they might not otherwise do.

    Adrenaline and norepinephrine also rush the body, amping up the feelings of euphoria and excitement that come with the possibility of connecting intimately with another. These neurochemicals are behind the lines we’ve all heard, and possibly said – ‘He makes my heart race,’ or ‘She takes my breath away’. They are clichés for a reason. Quite literally, because of the neurochemicals that are surging through the body, this is exactly how it feels to fall for someone. 

  2. The Relationship

    Not all affairs are a reflection of relationship dissatisfaction, but some are. The relationship reasons that drive people to have affairs are:

    •  general unhappiness and dissatisfaction within the long-term relationship;

    • personal needs going unfulfilled;

    •  significantly diminished or absent feelings of love for partner;

    •  frequency and quality of sex;

    •  lack of emotional support;

    •  lack of appreciation;

    •  lack of connection between the couple;

    •  the couple share more negative interactions and fewer positive interactions;

    •  less personal need for the relationship, so more ready to let it go;

    •  fewer shared resources between the couple that will be lost and missed if the relationship ends (friendships, possessions, connections);

    •  husbands who strayed were less satisfied with the relationship before marriage. Wives not so much.

  3. Personality

    People who have affairs tend to be more open to new experiences and extroverted than their partners and more easily bored. Remember though – this is a tendency, not a given.

  4. Biological


Depression is a risk factor for having an affair. Of course, that doesn’t mean that just because someone has depression, he or she will have an affair – not at all.

Interestingly, the decreased serotonin that is characteristic of the attraction phase also happens during depression. It’s perhaps not surprising then, that depression is one of the risk factors of an affair. In this context, infidelity can be understood as an unwitting attempt to self-medicate and overcome the effects of low serotonin. When the potential for an intimate connection becomes realised, the constant surges of neurochemicals counter the effects of low serotonin by nurturing feelings of euphoria, happiness and pleasure.

Helen Fisher has suggested that the long-term use of anti-depressants that raise serotonin can potentially affect other brain systems associated with love and intimacy. Antidepressants increase serotonin, which depresses the dopamine circuit. Dopamine is associated with the feelings that come with romantic love. Compounding this is the potential of antidepressants to smother the sex drive and deprive the body (and the relationship) of the neurochemicals associated with attachment that surge the body during orgasm.

The 334 Allele

The research on biology and infidelity is compelling. (But even in light of this, infidelity cannot be blamed on biology).  Research has found that men carrying the 334 allele in the region of the vasopressin systems scored significantly lower on a questionnaire that measured how attached they felt to their partner. Those who carried two of the alleles showed less feelings of attachment than those who carried only one. They were also about twice as likely to have had a crisis in their marriage during the past year. 

Before you kiss me, do we have genes in common?

In another classic (and pretty gross) experiment, women smelled the sweaty t-shirts of men and chose the ones they thought were the sexiest. Results showed that they selected the shirts of men with different genes in a specific part of the immune system. In a subsequent study, women who were married to men with similar genes in this part of the immune system were more likely to stray outside their relationship. The more genes a woman had in common with her spouse, the more affairs she’d had. From an evolutionary perspective, this can be understood as a way to minimise complications in pregnancy and fertility.

After the Affair: Dealing with Infidelity

Relationships can certainly heal from infidelity but this will depend on the love that remains, the honesty with which the breakages are explored, understood and owned, and the capacity of each to reconnect in light of the betrayal. 

  1. End the affair properly. 

    Given what we know about the role of neurochemicals in reinforcing attraction and desire, it’s critical that the person involved in the affair cuts communication with the outside person if the relationship is going to be given a fighting chance.

  2. Put the affair in context. 

    The most important step to coming back from the brink of betrayal is to understand the affair within the context of the relationship, rather than as one person’s personal failure. It would be easy, and understandably very tempting, to pile shame and blame on to the person who had the affair, but this will squander any opportunity to address any deeper problems that contributed to the fracturing of the relationship. A couple can let each other down in plenty of ways. An affair is just one of them. Other ways include neglect, indifference, withholding of sex, failure to emotionally connect, and constantly overlooking the needs and wants of the other. It’s important to look at intimacy, communication, expectations, need fulfilment and the way conflict or competing needs are handled in the relationship.

  3. Understand how each other is feeling.

    It’s important for both people to understand and accept what the other may be feeling in response to the revelation of the affair:

    •  At different times, the person who has been betrayed is likely to feel insecure, jealous, angry, deeply sad, unable to trust and anxious. It’s likely there will be a tendency to obsess over details of the affair and hypervigilance around anything that might signal continued contact with the person the affair was with or clues the affair isn’t over. And then there’s the mental images.

    •  The person who had the affair is likely to feel shame, regret, fear of continued ‘punishment’ over the affair, anger, grief for the person they’ve had to let go of, resentment, emptiness.

  4. Be accountable. Every second, every minute, every hour – and don’t argue about this one.

    If you’re the person who has had the affair it’s critical that you remain completely accountable, sometimes perhaps ridiculously so, until the trust is rebuilt. This might take a while but it’s important if you want to rebuild your relationship. Be where you say you’re going to be, when you say you’re going to be, and if your partner rings, answer. If he or she texts, text back – always, no matter what. Rebuilding trust is key and that’s not going to happen without a massive display of commitment to the task.

  5. At some point, you’ll have to forgive.

    If you’re the one who has been hurt, at first there’ll be two types of days – bad ones and really bad ones. You’ll feel hurt, angry, sad beyond words and some days you’ll feel like you just can’t breathe. No doubt your partner will wear this for a while, and everything else that’s in you that has to come out. Eventually though, if you’ve decided to stay in the relationship you will have to make the decision to stop punishing your partner. He or she will already be feeling enormous shame. Go your hardest for a while, but then stop. Your relationship will depend on it. One way to do this is to be willing to honestly explore and own any way you may have contributed to the fall of the relationship.

  6. You’ve made a mistake. Don’t fight the response.

    If you’re the one who has had the affair, understand that your partner will be hurt, angry, in love with you, in hate with you, miss you, never want to see you again, won’t want to be without you – and sometimes this will turn so quickly you won’t see it coming. Stand still and let his or her emotion wash over you. There will come a point where this will stop but in the meantime the high emotion has to come out, otherwise it will fester and rot your relationship from the inside you. You don’t want that. And be loving. Always.

  7. Do something novel together.

    When the time is right, do something novel and exciting together. Go away for a weekend somewhere you haven’t been before, do something together you haven’t tried before, if your relationship has been without sex for a while bring it back. This can increase dopamine in the brain and help to reinvigorate romantic love.

Relationships that have been broken by the intrusion of another can heal, provided that both people are able to feel safe from blame and shame enough to own their part in the breakage. The responsibility might not be shared evenly, and that’s okay. If you’re both still there after the affair, and both still fighting, the relationship is clearly still important. Be patient and be open to each other. A bad decision doesn’t have to mean a bad relationship. It might, of course, but it doesn’t have to. That’s what you need to both decide.

We all deserve to be adored by the one we love. When that adoration turns to another – however short-lived – the pain can quite literally be breathtaking. Some days you’ll wonder if you still have the capacity to exhale. You do. And you will. But it will take time, fight and some hard decisions. You loved each other once and if you’re both still fighting to stay together the chances are that the love is still there, but buried under too many years of neglect, obligation, and the day to day pressures that come with life. If you’ve both decided the fight will be worth it, be patient and keep fighting for it, because it will be. 


Celia F

That was so well written ❤️ I know that maybe I am the bad person here I was a cheater myself,met my husband I was 16years and I was 34 when I met the guy I emotionally cheated on my husband I told him everything 😔I just wished I could go back in time but I think I learned the hard way it’s been 20momths and he did the same to me, its so difficult when you are ponished all the time our you forgive and move on, or what will whapen is that the resentment will destroy the remained love and its will be the end.


Me and my husband cheated we both found out around the same time. He had a hook up fling with another woman he met online. I had a 2 week fling and had sex one time. I found out about his fling first because he caught chlamydia. Anyways we told eachother what happend but we are constantly blaming fighting it got to the point where it go physical at times. But he said he wants to try but these past few days hes been telling me nasty mean things saying how he hates me and that hes glad he cheated because i cheated. Like hes acting like hes the only one hurt when im hurt about what he did too. So i dont know if its worth saving if he compares my cheating to his saying he cheated in a motel and I cheated at home so im worse…am i over thinking when its clear its over?


My partner of nearly 4 years has been struggling with loneliness and depression for as long as I’ve know him. He is beautiful and caring and I believe that he loves me deeply. For a long time I’ve tried to encourage him to talk out his feelings or seek professional help and been so clear that I would support him. He has never been able to bring himself to seek the help he needs because that would mean confronting lot of things he has buried quite deeply and he knows he would have to accept making some life changes that he’s not prepared to do because it’s comfortable and easy, and when he gets down he will find quick fixes, not healthy. Last year I went through a really tough time emotionally, and he was there supporting me all the way through it as best he could. I very recently found out that he was cheating on me through virtual platforms with random women. I’ve been heartbroken ever since. We had big emotional talks about it, and he finally admitted that he would go and seek that physical intimacy when he felt I was emotionally unavailable for him because I was going through a difficult emotional situation. He knew it was wrong and said he has so much hate and loathing towards himself that he did it, which breaks my heart to hear. I believe him, might sound naive idk. I didn’t feel like he could communicate to me that he was lost and lonely because he felt like he wasn’t allowed to be. I am so confused because he is the person I care about most in this world, if he had told me he was is a dark place I would’ve helped him, but he didn’t tell me, just went to look for a quick fix so that he could come back and support me through the hard time. I was ready to work through it because I love him, and even though the choice he made was horrible, I understood. He made a lot of promises to work on himself so that this wouldn’t happen again, but since had not actually made any real changes to make progress. I was in so much pain so I asked that we take a break, give him space to work on himself and me to heal. But I am in even more pain than before because I feel like I’ve abandoned him in a time where he really needs me, because he’s really lost. I think right now he needs a friend to help him get the support he needs, do I separate the cheating from his mental issues and be there for him as his friend, and hope that in doing that I will also heal and we can start again to rebuild our relationship? Or does that scream toxic


I found out recently that my husband of 28 years has been messaging his ex and that they had arranged to meet up in a hotel to spend the night together. I found out when I woke one night to see him on his phone sending heart emojis to her. It has taken several weeks for the full story to emerge and I don’t know if I have all the facts yet as it seems that at every turn I find out something else. He deleted all the messages that night, so I haven’t been able to see them.

He seems genuinely sorry. He immediately cut all contact with her and says that he doesn’t think that he’d have gone through with it in the end anyway (I don’t believe him on that). He has been very living since it all came out, but he’s laid much of the blame on me, saying that I was cold towards him and that he felt pushed out in favour of our children. He also told me that I’m unapproachable, stubborn and difficult to fathom, but he genuinely loves me and wants to put this behind us.

I’m finding it very difficult to move past this. I was very shocked as in my head we had a solid and loving relationship. I recognise that there may have been some communication difficulties, but can’t take that they were just on my side. Sex had become a bit of an issue and he said he was frustrated with me, which is why he was looking elsewhere, but it hurts that he spoke to her about it rather than to me. I want to make my marriage work, but I’m struggling to see the way through (although ironically the sex has been great in recent weeks)

Healing Husband

My wife cheated at work with a married man in a position of authority. She was new in her job, he was influential. His attentions made her feel special.

He picked up on her giddiness and groomed her until she was getting the rush of validation and lovely feelings she wanted, and in exchange she gave him the chance to play with her body in secluded hospital rooms. They never had intercourse or oral sex but there was plenty of manual fun had by both.

I noticed something was off after a month or so, and questioned her. She confessed the affair, asked me to let her handle ending it, which was a mistake. She went to lunch with him and told him his “friends with benefits” needed to end. He called her a “good girl.” Then he kept up his grooming and pressured her back into it for five more weeks. Continuing the pressure after she says no is illegal sexual harassment. She eventually quit her job to get away from him and confessed the further involvement to me and said she wanted to work with me to repair our marriage.

I told her if our marriage was to continue I needed to be involved. I confronted this doctor, who was shocked that his little pact of silence with his toy nurse had been trumped by our commitment to each other. He asked me not to tell his wife, I said I wouldn’t, but that my wife and I had quite some healing to do and there was no space for him in that process.

We explored as a couple why she cheated, we discovered he was a sex addict, and she had self esteem issues. She has done everything possible correctly… Listened, loved, worked to rebuild trust. I’ve forgiven her. We’ve worked in therapy and I’m realizing she’s been very happy with me, I’ve been very loving, physically and otherwise; she’s been happy with my attention and care, this guy just pushed some self esteem buttons in her and things got out of hand.

It’s been a year and a half and I still am obsessed with exposing this man. Somehow I feel like once his wife knows the full truth, and not some twisted version from the straying husband, that then the universe will be in balance. The he will feel the full impact of his stupidity. Confronting him and embarrassing him and hearing his pathetic shaky voice wasn’t enough. I told him I forgave him, but that wasn’t true then. It was too soon.

I just want to get over the desire to completely burn this guy for what he did to my family and for the mess that was caused. Who knows how many other nurses he’s going to fool with since he basically got away with this one? I must confess my desire is less about protecting women in the workplace and more about making sure this man hurts as much as I did. I’m ashamed of that, but it’s what I’m carrying around. I love my wife and I so deeply hate how this affair rocked our world.


I think you are seeing your wife as the victim, and it’s easier to hate him than hate her. This is a mistake. He didn’t groom her. She was a willing participant and knew exactly what she was doing. Put your anger where it belongs. On the woman who played you and broke your vows. She was the one who threw you away like garbage.


My husband of almost 2 years cheated online with someone only a few weeks before we were to be married. I was so happily in love and married, we got along so well, there was no clue it even happened. I didn’t know anything about it, but could tell something was up as he was taking the phone to the washroom and spending along time in there. And not showing me what he was looking at, hiding the screen, laughing and smiling when something came through. Just shady. I felt something was wrong.

Over the course of a few months, it was like this. He was home a lot after we married, as he was unable to work at the time. So he watched a lot of porn, which was not something l truly let bother me. But the phone stuff was increasing. He would take it everywhere in the house, same usual behaviours, lengthy time in the washroom, locking me out of our bedroom etc.

Our sex life was really good. There was any issues or complaints on my part. And he complained that I even wanted it too much sometimes. We got along so well and were really really happy.

But one day, I was on the family tablet, and he was signed into Facebook, and there were all these chatheads from another woman. For the first time ever, I decided to open it. And I saw everything. Their conversations were in his language, so I had to translate it all. But the photos and everything were there. And what I found puzzling was, she even asked him, if you’re so happy with your wife, why are you messaging me? And he never had a reply. Or at least one that I could see.

I was devastated. Literally heartbroken. Most people would’ve said “f*ck it” and broke up. But we were just married which made it worse for me. I confronted him. Made him dump her in front of me. I called her every name I could think of. I hated him. He was remorseful, or so it seemed. He cried and said he loved me so much, but I didn’t know why he would do that, to ME. The so called love of his life. I chose to stay. For the first time in my life, as I had others before him, I chose to stay. I don’t know why. I couldn’t bring myself to dump him. But I told him if he ever did it again, I would be done. There is would not be anymore chances.

So here I am, fast forward a year later. He some inconsistencies in his behaviour at first, but then it was full transparency. I know he probably deletes everything now. I used to check everything before. I now find I no longer check. And seem like I no longer care. I don’t know if this means I’m healing or healed, or maybe I just don’t love him anymore? The feelings are definitely blocked. Still major trust issues. I don’t know if I can fully trust him again. I don’t know how long I’m willing to wait. But I’ve loved him enough to keep trying.

Healing Husband

It’s been a year and a half for me. I stayed after my wife cheated. It’s still a struggle for me, but I simply have to choose to believe her. I see evidence of a changed heart, but I still struggle almost daily with fear and questions. I’m told this is a normal part of healing. It keeps getting better but we both have to work at it really hard.

Evan H

My husband had an affair with my mom FOR 5 YEARS and they both watched me deliver 2 children

Lost and confused

I really enjoyed reading most of this because I saw hope at the end of a long tunnel. My wife and I have been together for 5 and a half years and married for almost 4. I cheated on her very early in our relationship. I worked very hard and jumped thru many hoops to gain her trust back. I am the first to admit I was wrong. It was just a 3 week convo that ended in me hanging out with her but no sex just foreplay. Which is not by any means ok. I very recently discovered my wife is having an affair with someone she met online. It’s been about 7 weeks and she also drove 14 hours to see him. I managed to get her phone . They have daily long convos thru text, phone, and video. They send pictures and their convos were very explicit at times. They even began saying hey love each other. I also read many lies in which she told him about me about her and our family dynamic which leads me to believe it’s a fling but still unsure. There were many red flags but I was in school and focused and with the lockdown was not as attentive as I should have been. She came home from a 4 day trip to see her sick friend. I found out she was else where. When she came home she said she had fallen out of love with me and that it’s because of my relationship with the our kids and how I treat them. That may be part of the reason but I know it’s not 100% of it. She said she didn’t want me to touch her and no kissing no hugging no intimacy that she needed to think if a divorce was best option. She said the only reason why she didn’t want to leave and start over was because of the life we built and the kids.

The next 3 days were a roller coaster. I brought up a convo I had with my step dad and mom about their affair hoping she would come clean. I also said is an affair a forgivable offense in a marriage and she said obviously. I forgave you for cheating on me. I said if the shoe was on the other foot would you expect me to forgive you and she got very defensive and said Idk I don’t wanna talk about it. So I left it alone. Over the course of the three days bits and pieces of us and our good parts sept into the days with her actually coming to lay in our bed with me. Her snuggling with me and me rubbing her head and back. There was even a point when I went in to kiss her forehead and she kissed me on the lips instead multiple times.

I feel like she’s very conflicted. She says she wants to do couples counseling and she says she needs to see action from me on going to therapy and my relationship with the kids. I feel though the counseling won’t be very beneficial if the affair is still happening.

Yesterday we had a very open and honest conversation and connected but then she gave me a gut punch and said she was going back to see her sick friend and how emotional that experience was. I really wanted to say something but didn’t. It took every ounce of self control on my part to not say anything. In the end I asked her if our life and our marriage were still worth saving and she said yes because of the life we built and for our kids. The she also said and last ditch effort we seperate to see if we can work things out ( which I won’t do) but I didn’t say anything. She said if there’s irrihensible damage which I’m assuming came from the definition of a divorce. So she’s obviously been looking at it. She also said if there was no change on my part that we would be done that she couldn’t live like this indefinitely. She said I don’t want to start over. I don’t want to sell everything and start from scratch. She said I have and I can but I don’t want to.

Is there any advice out there from a female who has had an affair if she will come back to me and stop talking to him and seeing him. If we can work through this. If it’s worth working through this. I don’t want to ruin our marriage over this but I can’t live in this fantasy world she has created for herself with him and the real life with me and our kids.

Thank you!

Anonymous love

I have been married to my husband for 12 years and always had a happy marriage. I would thank him for our wonderful life, thank him for our relationship being solid, no trust issues, no fighting over money or our kids. He works out of town a lot and has hobbies that take hours and I trusted him so much that I never doubted where he was or why he carried his phone everywhere with him. I have been blissfully ignorant to his affair which apparently has been going on with his ex girlfriend since the first day we met, he has been having sex with her every few months. We have a 5 yr old and I am currently 8 months pregnant and I just found that he has had a continuous 12 year affair. I confronted him and he seems remorseful that he took us for granted and doesn’t want to lose his family and has already messaged the girl that he was done. He deleted social media and he says he’s willing to do everything he has no excuse for the affair other than he was stupid and it was just habit. The last time being a month ago. I have been hurt and pissed that I never knew and that I still love him so much. With our 2 kids I feel that I need to try for their sake. Am I stupid for believing his remorse and regret and wanting to give him another chance. I see it that I had been so happy these past 12 years and never knew a thing which makes me believe that our love was real because I had no doubts about it. I’ve never been a cheater but I know that it can be so easy. What do I do? I want to give him the opportunity to be better for my kids and me, to at least know that I tried for my kids sake because he is a wonderful father, but im feeling every emotion right now and with the hormones I also just wann jump his bones and say I love you. My trust is gone but in my heart I feel like I have forgiven him for the sex but not the betrayal. He has already deleted social media and phone numbers, and let me search his phone, and any of my requests and seems supportive in my anger and mistrust and knows that he messed up, its gonna be a long process and doesn’t expect me to make it easy but he wants nothing more than to be given the chance to win me back and raise our kids. What do I do, what are my next steps, can people really change, can we survive this, will he be able to change. How do I also keep myself from going crazy wanting to check everything and know where he is every minute of everyday. Please help.


I’ve been the betrayed and the other woman. It’s not as black and white as I thought to be. And I promise you, I am most certainly not a whore, not a home wrecker. I wanted to talk about this side of the triangle as it’s often left out or misconstrued. Please don’t think for 1 second I am saying infidelity is ok. It’s not. It’s just not so stereotypical always.
We were both married when it started. I was on the way out and he not. He just wanted a physical need met. I hadn’t been wanted or touched in years. I was so lonely even though I was married. I look back now and see he was grooming me before I even realised. I always thought he was the happiest married man so very loyal. He was so charming. Anyway it started… it’s been 2.5 years. One close dday Where I told him no contact, go fix his marriage. I can’t be in his life. He lasted a few days. I’ve tried to end it many times. Tried to Encourage him To be with his wife and work on the marriage. Even given advice! I’ve pulled back. I’ve tried different angles but he always comes back. He won’t leave her and he won’t leave me. I am deeply deeply in love with him. I’d do anything for him. It hurts. I get angry at him that he has two women that love him so so much. I have never asked him to leave and never would. I’ve felt for his wife so many times.. thought about her. I’ve cried for her, cried for me. I do t need anything from him as I’m very secure and independent and in a high position and wealth. He invests himself into my children and cares about us all. He spends so much time.. and I encourage and give him almost push him to spend that time at home with his family, but at the end of the day these are his choices too. I do t want o break up there home. I do everything I can to protect that unit. I am selling myself short… so so much. I’d give anything to be with him but not at the loss of all else. We fall in love too… we care too… we get manipulated and lied to as well. We get pulled back in. Yes I could shut my phone down but he would just turn up at my door again. Have you ever ignored the knock on the door of the person you love so deeply? It’s not so easy. I don’t recognise myself.. therapy doesn’t help. I’m slowly building my strength to end it again… I just wanted to say it’s not easy for any party. Well. The ones who care.


I’ve just read your love triangle situation and wondered if you managed to end the affair or not.

What happened at the end. I could relate to this soo couldn’t help but message you.
Hope your well.


Together with my husband for 10 years, married for 5 with one child, I found out my husband was having an affair with a co-worker that started when I was pregnant. He blames the state of our marriage for it and says he was unhappy. What is bewildering to me is that – he never spoke up about his unhappiness to me. Not even once. We would talk about our marriage, talk about how we both felt etc. but he never once expressed that he had deep doubts or reservations. So the affair came as a total blindside and so did the “unhappiness” that he speaks of. I am now left with having to retrospectively understand what went wrong, how I contributed and what led to all of this. I find this enraging. That someone can lie, deceive, show no compassion, spend time away from their newborn son, and then turn around and blame all of this on me. I accept that our relationship was not perfect. It was something I was conscious of and this is why I always led our emotional intimacy. But to be told something was my fault when I was not even informed of it, not even given the oppurtunity to address it – it just feels so VILE. So I was lied to, violated, betrayed and I am told I was the problem? The fact that my husband chose to stay silent and confide in someone else is my fault? Its one thing if we were having problems (that we were both aware of) still not justification for cheating but at least I would have understood there were issues. But to go from being in a happy marriage (from my point of view) to him blindsiding me and leaving me and then 6 weeks later finding out he was having an affair for years seems so cruel. I feel worthless. Defeated. Depressed. The way I see it: our maritial issues were normal and solvable if it were handled correctly. He CHOSE to stray because he fell in love with a whore (who was fully aware he is married with a newborn child). He thought with the wrong head and then only when caught blamed me for it all instead of just owning that he betrayed the integrity of marriage and our vows.

He is sick. I am far from perfect and I own that, but he is sick. I will not accept this is my fault. I accept our relationship was not perfect but I could not work on what he wasn’t telling me. Someone please tell me I am not crazy.


You are not crazy. I am currently going through the same exact thing and it does suck. It makes it worse when kids are involved and they’re choosing to be with their wh*** over family.


You are not crazy. I’m sorry you are going through this. My husband cheated on me after 22 years of marriage and two children. I can empathize. He cheated. It was a conscious decision. That hurts and keeps hurting. It’s my experience that it mostly comes down to communication problems. He didn’t tell you what needs weren’t being met. How can you fix something wrong if you don’t know about it. I felt blindsided too. I grieved for the loss of what I thought we had. We have since reconciled but it’s still hard knowing that he cheated. It’s been 10 months and I still cry about it sometimes (no longer in front of him though). Now, I can look at him and feel happy. For a while, all I could think about was the affair. It’s ok to be mad, sad, devastated, anything at all. You will be ok. Take care of yourself. Find things and people that make you happy. Best wishes to you moving forward.


What did you do to gain the happiness back and even look at your husband with happy eyes again after being hurt? All my husband says is “How long are you going to be hurt or in pain”? No care at all for the pain he has caused for many many years. When I have said I am trying to get through the pain, his response is “Don’t push through it, get over it”! This is a man who I seriously love m, how do I get past his awful harshness and lack of care and respect and even begin to be happy with him? I’ve read so many articles online and even tried to do a husband challenge. Compliment him and encourage him daily with different things. He shoots me down and says they aren’t coming from a genuine place and that I didn’t do those things before. My thing is I try. I’ve been trying to do whatever it takes to keep my marriage but feel like nothing I do is reciprocated. Which brings me to my next point, when I said to him about reciprocation of being caring or loving in the marriage he says “You are doing these things like you expect me to do something for you in return”…. all of these things and more is what is causing me to feel like trash. Defeated. Depressed. Even the worse of the worse. All I’ve asked is that he meet me 1/2 way or even show compromise in different areas of our marriage. And to cease the cruel pinned up mean behavior. He sees how it makes me feel when he yells and curses at me then ridicules me and say I’m moping around the house in a funk. Like I’m made of steel to keep being a dump site for his wrath and cheating.I love begged him for us to be partners to one another, be united. He said “I married you didn’t I”? Then when I am completely fed all the way up in sadness and defeat I try to refrain from saying absolutely anything to him at all. Instead of him checking on me or even apologizing for making me feel like 0, he leaves the house for hours at a time or watch tv with no words to me at all. It’s hurtful, and seems very immature. I asked him today what did he even marry me for he said he thought it would make me happy!!! Then turned around and had the audacity to say what do I think marriage is and about??? I’ve tried serving him, complimenting him, doing things buying things. He now says I need to just do things to make myself happy! What am I to do?

so sad

Men can’t be vulnerable and “ask” for what they need. it makes them feel weak. He just expects you to read his mind, even though they say we can’t read their mind, they expect us to in those circumstances. He also can’t deal with the fact that “he” of all people could do something like that. so in their mind , they didn’t do it. that’s why he blames you, his ego can’t handle the shame. He’s supposed to be strong and not give in to temptation, but he did and now he has to face up to the fact that he is a cheater and he just can’t do that. Above all else he has to protect his ego.


You can look at him and be happy? It’s been five months since I found out amd feel like I will never be able to smile at him the way I once did. My trust in his faithfulness was over the top amd I fear I’ll never be able to see the man I once saw.


My husband of 22 years also cheated with a long time friend of our family that I hired and supplied her and her son a home with so that she could work with my husband. I she had nowhere to live or work . I had confided in her that he was struggling with depression and was under a great amount of stress for a multitude of reasons. I was very worried for him. He wouldn’t get the help he needed no matter what I did or said. He knew he wasn’t well but wouldn’t help himself. This story has so many layers it would take forever to explain. I thought We had a good marriage , we were best friends. Long story short , our 21 year old daughter caught him basically red handed with this woman while I was out of town one night. It imploded our world, our family! That was 6 months ago. They had an emotional affair for a year and a sexual affair for 6 months. I was devastated, the betrayal from both of them was overwhelming, I was numb for 2 months. My husband was suicidal so I had to care for the man who had broke my heart before taking care of myself. We finally got him the medication he needed for so long. We are so fortunate to find an amazing therapist who we see individually and together. We have committed to work at this. It’s very hard, I’m still sad most days. I ruminate hours a day, but slowly it’s getting better. My husband is better than the man I married, he’s working so hard to make me feel safe. “She” was his rock bottom,,, I still struggle to understand, but he doesn’t understand,,so I think we will never know exactly what drove him to her. he doesn’t get a pass for being depressed and turning to an affair to medicate but I know it wasn’t him,, he wasn’t thinking clearly at all. We are working towards normalizing our family again. It’s been 2 steps forward 1 step backwards. Sometimes 3-4 steps back. It’s a process. We have corrected a number of things in our marriage we hadn’t realized were out of whack. We renewed our vows in our therapist office. It was a recommitment to each other. I’m Not going to lie, I still have days where I feel I will never be able to forgive. I never expected in a million years this is where my life would be at this point of my life, I’m 59 with grand babies,, another reason to work on keeping our family together.


Its been 10 years after he cheated on me and it still hurts. I have forgiven him straight after it happened and we decided to move on. Recently he ignored my calls and texts only after the 40th attempt!! I feel very insecure and he blames me for not trusting him. Our relationship lack communication and when i told him i am still struggling with his betrayal, he says he is a loser and I can continue to step on him! I told him I don’t want to step on him at all and be reminded of his betrayal. i am suffering from depression and PTSD and need more security. Our communication need to improve. All he say is that we are still talking with each other and he still love me and our children and nothing else. i mention we need to see marriage counselor but he say we r ok. i keep telling him to google about my feeling and our situation so he can understand my sense of in security, hurt and flash back. he refused. what should i do?


YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. There is some good info in this article but I completely disagree with the implication that something about the state of our marriage drove my husband to have an almost two year affair with a friend of mine. NO. NEVER. No one has a perfect marriage. No one. Everyone has struggles. But not everyone commits adultery. It’s maddening how many articles about infidelity try to pin one person’s choices on a relationship. If you have “unmet needs” or are struggling to connect with your spouse, you turn to your spouse and say “we need to talk”, “let’s go to therapy”, or “I’m considering divorce”. Geez.
Anon, you wrote “What is bewildering to me is that – he never spoke up about his unhappiness to me. Not even once. We would talk about our marriage, talk about how we both felt etc. but he never once expressed that he had deep doubts or reservations.” Same here. I am two years out from d-day and I have yet to really hear any specific complaints about what was “wrong” in our marriage. That’s just it. We HAD a good marriage. He would tell you that too! It was his inner discontent with self, with his lonely childhood, with his absentee father, with his emotionally detached mother, and with the everyday grind of real life (welcome to planet earth, selfish moron) that drove him to initially try and medicate with porn (also done on the sly). Then an in-the-flesh opportunity walked by and she happened to take the form of a woman I once called friend. Take Jennifer’s advice: CARE for yourself. Find people and things that make you happy. Hang in there. You are not alone.


Wow Jana, you took words right out of my mouth. I too feel so maddened by articles that speak about why men cheat and say it’s because of the relationship. NO. I too had unmet needs, ALOT OF THEM, but I stayed, grinded, worked my ass off on myself, on us, on my baby and on running my household. I did the hard work that life calls on especially mothers and I had grit and determination. If he had issues, he should have spoken up. But it is easier for them not to. It is easier for them to be a coward and go get their “needs” met on the side like a true monster. He cheated because he is a deeply disturbed human being. Period. End of story. I believe the garbage out there about why men cheat is just another form of misogyny.

I also connected to every word you spoke of in your second paragraph. For a second, i thought you knew my ex and was talking about him! This is exactly him. Since writing this in December I have done alot of research and realized my ex is a narcissist/sociopath. I know that sounds outlandish however he is at least somewhere on the spectrum and he (along with SO MANY) other men (and some women too) follow a very predictable pathology. The fact that your ex and my ex are so similar I believe is no coincidence. Since learning about narcissism and narcissistic abuse, I have been able to finally put to words what has happened to me and its allowed me to be more peaceful with it. I still have a ways to go but maybe this insight will help you too.

Thanks for your response.

– Ria


I’m seeing everyone’s story & opinion and I can relate to all of it. My husband also had an affair within the past year & has messed up several times since the affair. Talking to other women when mad at me, flirting & exchanges pictures. I have since moved out & he says he wants more than anything to make our marriage work. I continuously let him have a place in my life. Has anyone ever actually said “no more chances” & left??


He is not unhappy in the marriage. He has made himself believe that he is unhappy in the marriage so he feels okay about the affair and it’s justified in his head.


Hi ladies. It’s like you have been writing about my husband it’s so identical. Think really carefully. I had my husband back as we have 3 kids and 2 years on it’s still ruining my life. He had a 6 month affair with a woman at work. She knew we had 3 kids. He never said once he was unhappy. He was the love of my life and everything seemed okay until he started saying he was depressed with his life. I had a 11, 7 and 2 year old at that time. The trust never really comes back. The hurt is still there. Had I known how I would feel now 2 years later I would never have agreed to trying. I feel like I’m not good enough even 2 years on. He could fly to the moon for me and it wouldn’t be a good enough. I still have PTSD and Feel like he will hurt me again so terrified about the future. 18 years marriage and 3 kids. I’m so trapped. I will never ever love him the same you just can’t. He’s given me a life sentence on this and he wants to never talk about it again now we are 2 years on. So sad.


I am in the same boat I’ve already cried my eyes out today I feel like I can barely even type this message. I gave my time and body to the same man for 17 years. I found out early on since he was 19, I was 17, that he had a horrible cheating spirit inside of himself but I felt compelled to stick it out with him in spite of my discoveries. This behavior of lying and cyber cheating and otherwise, happened for many many years. Each time, he would cry and apologize and say he wanted me. I became so exhausted from checking his devices and going through crap with him that eventually it seemed like he finally stopped! One day he got caught cheating again and got kicked out of our apt. He came back to apologize and gave me a janky proposal to marry him. I feel literally like a complete fool now because I agreed to marry him. I was engaged to him for so many years while dealing with all of the pain that mounted up all the way until the day he asked me to marry him. I came across photos of some raggedy naked skank in his phone that he blamed that his guy friend sent to him. I knew 100% that was not true but that’s the story he wanted to roll with. Fast forwarding, past finding out about those photos, he repeatedly lied about everything else I found out about and eventually I discovered he had several women’s addresses and even a hotel visit that was over 2 hours long that he tried to keep hidden. That’s when he completely cast all blame on me- I was doing this or that for him, they gave him the attention he wanted, I wasn’t doing my job, everything you could think of he was saying to me! This man threw my engagement ring in the trash then repurchased a ring and surprised me with it and 2 days later cheated on me with some whore who lived at Newburgh Square Apts! I’m not sure what to do exactly. I’m not sure if I should just divorce him and move on. It feels like something isn’t allowing me to just close my eyes against whatever this stronghold is and leave him. I know I love him so much but to keep enduring this pain and then the pain of being blindsided by blame and deceit is seriously beyond painful. He takes NO ACCOUNTABILITY at all for what he has done and caused in my life. Let alone time I can’t get back! Now being married to him all he does is my pain is self inflicted and that it’s my fault because I think whatever thoughts I think. All that hiding his phone and spending unnecessary time in the basement randomly is bothering me. I tell him I want us to be aligned with one another, work on our marriage. Even going to therapy both separately and together. Attend church and pray together. Try to get some goodness into our overall relationship. He feels he plays no part in me being sad, defeated, or feeling depressed. All he says is “I can’t deal with your emotional rollercoaster”! “You make me not want to be around you”! I tell him let’s me loving toward one another, I beg him of that. He just stands wherever he is, folds his arms, and looks at me very cruel like. He doesn’t want to go to therapy. Says he doesn’t need another human giving their opinions to him. He also says his brother, cousin, and sister’s husband cheated on their spouses and they aren’t going through what we are (as though he is PROUD he is apart of a family of cheating men)!!! It’s like he seriously doesn’t value me and sees nothing to correct on his behalf and shows no desire to correct or even modify his current behaviors. Though I do forgive him, the needs I express to him and even the willingness on his behalf to rebuild trust is not here. He says marriage should not require work. He acts like cheating on me should just repair itself. I asked him what is he contributing to our marriage…this man boldly said “Time”! I feel completely overlooked and don’t know what to truly do to make things work any further. I’ve given him 17 years of my life and body. It is difficult when the person you really love and are purely dedicated to refuses to see the trauma and damage that they are causing.


The same thing happened to me. You are not crazy. I had a wonderful marriage. We had been married 16 years had one child and I was 2 weeks pregnant with my second. He had 7 week affair and communication with this person likely went on for several years after. I didn’t find out until another 14 years later – that’s right I have been married for 30 years now – when I caught him in what he tells me is his second affair of 4 months. I wanted him to leave but he hasn’t. I have scream at the top of my lungs to try to get him to leave but he never has. It has been 2 years now and he is still holding on. I know I am the love of his life – but I also know I was never enough ( though he never told me he wasn’t happy 1 to the opposite he did everything to tell me he was). I don’t believe we ever had any problems. That led him to this. The only problem was him and how is seriously simply liked to be with whores that didn’t care that I was 2 weeks pregnant, or that we had 2 kids to raise – no that made it even better for the other women. It made him more appetizing that they could stuck their bitt out and my husband would choose them over anything he ever felt for me. So sad. My husband regrets what he did but in terms of where we are now – but I know that he can’t really have remorse that he wanted these women more than any integrity of our marriage. More than the past we shared or more than our future. It is hard to understand it but unfortunately it is true. Sometimes I think people like the idea of love more than actually being in love.


the same thing happened to me when I was pregnant and all the blame puts on me ….we are not crazy


I am not a professional in any way nor can I offer any type of advice. These things we come to in life are things that are ultimately ours to understand. Only the one living the life holds all of the data of the experience. They may not see and they may not choose to see all of the data presented before them, but all of it is there in real time and past biased fragments are available in memories.

The pandemic has brought about many changes. Life has changed for us all but it does not have to be fully negative. Though I don’t agree with my states approach and restrictions the future exists and I don’t have to stay. There have been many positive elements that have come from SIP. We are connecting more with those around us and the numbers of contacts shrink ten fold. Truths surface. Hearts break. Such is the human process and it sure as shit doesn’t feel great.

Please stop being concerned about your weight for your husband. Is this something that he enforces as a need or an expectation you are placing on yourself? Unhealthy and underweight is not very attractive, what is sexy is someone that is healthy and working on becoming super human with realistic expectations.

Hair? Your hair is a minimum element of who you are. 30 years had nothing to do with hair. This sounds like some nice gesture or some victimization extra. It is not appropriate to sleep with another person and develop an emotional attachment while in a committed relationship. Really quite uncool.

It happens all of the time. That doesn’t make it right but it does make it fairly normal.

Please fucus on yourself in a healthy way. One not attached to superficial relics. One that is independent in a healthy, realistic, and comforting way. Eat healthier foods, look deep within you mind and spirit, do things you love that work within your states restrictions, and just enjoy life to whatever degree you can right now for what amazing things it can still and will offer.

– written in response & for myself & for those scrolling through like I did –

I have been cheated on and I have been called a cheater. I have an abnormal perspective on this topic from most. This article based in monogamy has been insightful. Thank you to the author/s

Debbie M

My husband told me he didn’t really like sex and was t interested in me or anyone else. I was devastated but accepted it because i love him. I always told him, I told him how sexy he was. Cooked his fave meals. Did everything I could to look after it. And then I find out during lockdown he’s been cheating for around a year with a much younger woman. I’ve lost at weight but she’s as big as I was. She went through a marriage whilst bedding my husband. He’s devastated but won’t discuss it. Says he’s no idea why he did it. He was lost. He was sad. He was lonely. I begged him for years to see the dr and get counselling. I even asked about sex but he said he didn’t think about it.
He wants to stay with me. He’s remorseful but only so when I am trying to see from his point of view. Unless I’m recognising and supporting his distress, he says I’m a vile abuser who has made his life misery (which is a lie. I had a psychotic illness which was treated.)
I just want to know why. I did everything. Lost weight. Wore make up and nice clothes. Made sure his very need was met. Now four months on I can’t sleep. I cry all the time. It richocets between agony and rage. I attempted suicide afterwards and he was and still is remorseful. He cries a lot basically he feels super sorry for his self. If we had t been on lockdown I wouldn’t have know. But I waked into his office and he threw down and I knew. What did I do wrong. I even am growing my hair for him. I colour it for him. I’m bending over backwards for him. We’ve been married 30 years and my life is over. I have nothing. To look forward to but death. I can’t take the constant agony. Drs havent been able to help and mental health services won’t touch me as it’s not a mental health issue. Please. Help me. I can’t cope


Debbie . hi I’m Krystal , 32 year old woman. Mother of 2 and have been with my husband since we were 13 years young. yes highschool sweethearts, that’s about 19 going on 20 years together. So trust me when I say, I understand how you feel, what your going through and how much of an everyday struggle this is. I have been diagnosed with PTSD because of this and even after 6 years have passed and he’s only strayed once for a short amount of time…that’s all it took to break me, I cry everyday . I’m depressed , I’m just so through with this physical pain in my chest that’s been sitting in my chest for about 6 years. nothing can mend it , I feel ruined . but I do have hope to one-day not feel this way . I’m here for you ,if you want to talk.


Im so sorry. Six years later and it still hurts that bad? It’s only been 5 months and I fear the pain will never go away. Why do you stay?

Shoreen M

Wow!! I just decided to read through this blog and I really resonate with your story. An affair is the worst kind of betrayal anyone can go through. I would know! I have been through it myself. The only advice I can offer is to really take care of yourself.

You have been taking care of him. But what about you? What about your needs? Sometimes, we have to learn to be selfish especially when it comes to ourselves.

Please understand that you will heal. It will take time but it’s possible.


Debbie, I’m sorry to hear what happened between you two. All is not lost, quite often you won’t see the light at the end of the tunnel but it is there, it’s just a very fresh wound for you right now.
I am sure your strong bond will pull through, quite often stronger than ever. You will eventually both realise how much you love each other and how regaining trust will also rebound and strengthen a new relationship between each other.
It’s important you don’t withhold your feelings and hide away from him, you need to spend time talking and arguing and crying it out, as your own multitude of made up scenarios will evade the real truths which will only worsen your pain, especially when your laying in bed wide awake. You need to be around him to share your thoughts, share the pain with him. Wake up next to him at 3am and be able to ask him something. Share the pain with him. It will help you move forward. Hiding away at a friend or family’s house will only make this harder for you and him.

I want to say a few things which I hope will help you in your darkest times.
Firstly you would have by now spent a long time on forums and watching videos for answers and reasons, to be hammered with a barrage of various non-helpful responses such as “he’s a cheating scumbag and doesn’t deserve you” “cheaters are bad people and evil you should leave him”…
Most of the time friends and family despite there initial reaction being the same, they will also not help the situation by saying various remarks like that.

It leaves you torn between your own heart and there brash remarks. You don’t want to look like a fool and are embarrassed I understand that, and your relationship has been great apart from this dip in the vast ocean of great things it’s been.
Quite frankly remarks like this will not only deepen the pain but stretch a small thought into a much bigger darker thought.
(So being around him will benefit you both more than being apart and around unhelpful thoughts of other people).

Like with many walks of life, this is a very common situation to happen to many long term relationships. Many relationships have had this, and will remain to be a problem going forward and unfortunately yours is more painful to you as you have ‘found out’, whereas other tightly bonded relationships may still be hiding a buried secret, even the happiest of couples hide big truths.

Monogamy may seem central to marriage now, but in fact, polygamy was common throughout history, it’s only recently thanks to the Catholic Church, it’s now seen as having one partner is the only way.
The cultural guilt and representation still carries on to this day, no different to equal rights and the ever new “open relationships” of today’s world, which 50 years ago would have been seen as disgusting and shameful.
Having a child before marriage for example…

Now I’m not trying to diminish the marriage and bond of marriages, but I am trying to make you aware it was the norm up until recent culture settings, for other partners and so forth.
Maybe a relationship that isn’t constrained by monogamy serves a purpose to stop cheating and affairs while still loving your partner… Maybe history right all along?
Ones to never know.

But what we do know is that a biological need of sex and lust which is ingrained into our DNA, would play on any long term relationship such as yours as it does any other living animal that reproduces.
I seriously believe that “you don’t know what you had until it’s gone” is the saying which I’m sure your husband is repeating in his head right now.
I feel the sheer fact he is upset and depressed is a good sign that your relationship isn’t yet over, I’m sure he will become ever more guilty and loving as the years go by. Which you can then start fresh again and learn to love each other and build back that trust and do new things.

I want you to not just fall into the trap that I see time and time again of reading the wrong things and watching the wrong videos. Where affairs are Black and White. There are underlying grey areas in all walks of life and the disapproval of friends and family ALWAYS blackens the fire.

Your own problems you will solve behind closed doors yourselves. Talk, go for walks and talk. Take a break away and talk. TALKING HEALS….

People DO deserve 2nd and 3rd chances. People DO change and people DO make right and wrong decisions. Life isn’t simple. Love, lust, Deaths, and Affairs are all big parts of it, often these face you when you are at your most settled. Which completely knocks you down.

I hope Today’s a new day. To pick your thoughts up and work things out with your partner. Move forward. Enjoy this precious life.

Sophie xx



I just want to say that this is a lovely reply to Debbie, you are quite correct in saying that everyone deserves a 2nd and 3rd chance if necessary, we are all human and make mistakes, some more serious than others, I am currently at the start of resurrecting my marriage of 23 years after my wife had an affair, (I was too involved in work and planning for the future re college etc for our children, and hence neglected my wife), I fully intend to try my best to move on and be a better person, and leave the past where it belongs, in the past.


Beth R

It has been interesting to reading everyones experiences and views on here. My husband and l had as was referred to as an open relationship. Many believe that this title means it is a free for all attitude this not the case. Open relationships vary vastly but most have rules set by partners in part for health and safety and most importantly to protect the integrity of each others personal needs which include TRUST and RESPECT. What lm am getting at is even in a open relationship you can cheat and be cheated on if boundries are broken. One of our agreements was we vetted each others sexual partner choices if one of us was not happy then that person was not to be seen. My husband broke this rule and in doing so BROKE my TRUST it was not the sex but like everyone on here it is the betrayal of the agreement you have in what ever vows you have made. It’s the destruction of respect and self esteem that is soul destroying. The affair lasted 3 years. Some parts are harder to cope with than others our son was born during this time l had started a grueling medical degree in my 40s to. His father died and l was asked to break the news to him one of the hardest most painful things l have ever had to do. I later found out rather than seeking comfort with me he went and spent the night with this women that will hurt forever l think. He has cut all ties and we are still together but l do not trust him like l once did and am am intolerant of any nonsense from him. I make time to look after myself and my son and am feeling better about me l also managed to achieve my Bachelors degree through all the pain and being diagnosed with PTSD. Not the first time a husband has cheated on me my PTSD diagnoses is a combination of past and current trauma. Things are tough and lm not sure things will ever be the same or if we will stay together he is not making the emotional effort to enable me to fully re commit right now. Remember to focus on your own self preservation and happiness and l feel if they are willing to work on the relationship it will get better if not it wont. Big hugs to all


Please don’t get down on yourself. You shouldn’t ever say you don’t have anything to live for. You have EVERYTHING to live for and to let a man who betrayed you make you feel this, your only letting him win. Just because he chose to do the things he did, that’s because he’s the one with the problem, not you! You deserve to be treated with respect and to have someone who genuinely loves you and that you can trust, so please don’t give up on yourself, keep your head up, tell yourself you deserve better and stay around positive people who you love and who love you back and you will find that love and happiness again!!! I promise, and don’t forget to smile😁


Omfg! Lady, you and I should tao and be friends. Because this is my story too. Nearly everything is exactly my story, except if you can even believe it, mine is much much worse than even
your story…. Huge hugs


I / the most beautiful love of my life did something 2 years ago … she told me she was going to the Melbourne Cup with girlfriends but went with a man that had been hanging around her for a few years before I came along. We had been together 12 months by that time. I stumbled on to text messages (without prying) walking past her iphone declaring undying love for her going to the kitchen etc. and I didn’t even know he was ‘around’. On my darling’s description (many times) he is ‘rich and powerful’ and she sent me pictures of herself at the track in the Birdcage and generally having a great time. I could never phone her – she would not answer and said that she was with girlfriends. The thing is the last race ladies day she asked me to be ‘life partners’ yet that night she called me from her (his) motel room while he was having a shower and did the small talk thing. We have (and have had) and amazing sole mate relationship of extraordinary and unusual synergies and commonalities. The thing is … the week that she came home from the Melbourne Cup she has only showed me the most devotion and love … despite ‘him’ texting and hanging around for the next 2 years … making it extremely difficult. I contacted her hotel in Melbourne (per chance) and the staff there basically told me who the room was booked in etc etc … that in itself was also very unusual. But today over 2 years after I still have intruding thoughts and crazy thoughts … my darling loves me unreservedly … yet I cant get over those 7 nights see spent with a rich and powerful man over 2 years ago. I realize I am pushing her away … and I dont understand it. I have the lowest self esteem following and have tried to get therapy since to no avail … tell me how that made you feel didn’t cut it for me. But this article (and I have read many) resounded with me … there were many days that I thought I wouldn’t get through, I put on over 20 kg and somehow put on a smiling face most of the time while dying inside. I dont know why I cant let it be and just get over it. She has told me if i ask her what happened in the motel room that it will break our connection and be the end of us as she doesn’t want me to force he to talk about it. I feel I am ruining the best thing in my life … we have been together nearly over 3 years now … I would have asked her to marry me by now other than being scarred that she might always get a better offer … even though she has proved that she doesnt want him and never really did … I think . I loved the article … the most ‘on the money’ and thoughtful article I have read in 2 years and there has been 100’s of them. Could someone help me put the pain behind me and just accept my beautiful partners love without the ruminating thoughts of thinking about the dress that she chose to wear to the cup with him … that she still wears at times … and sent me a picture on cup day to see her beautiful smiling face while he was no doubt buying drinks.


Leave that relationship. She has not acknowledged the depth of what has happened
There can be no way to be sure she won’t return to him or someone else outside of your relationship when things get difficult.
You can’t be sure that you are not just a safety net for her until this “rich and powerful” man comes around. You deserve better.


I made the mistake of cheating on my wife of 8 years. We had three kids together, and I didn’t know it at the time but she really struggled with post partum. She was not emotionally available, for years… wouldn’t hug, or kiss me. When I brought up the issues she just said she was exhausted and I could never understand. I suggested counseling but she could never find time. I started a sexual relationship that lasted for 2 years until her husband found out and shared it with the world. I was in some kind of mind fuzz the entire time. I thought my wife didn’t really care, and didn’t have any interest in a better marriage. I was so wrong… we are 4 months in and we have both read almost every book we can find. Podcasts every single day as well as the bible every morning. She can not escape the pain I have caused her. She is dedicated to staying married, but can’t find joy anywhere. The trauma caused PTSD, sometimes she can’t remember what happened the previous day. I destroyed her, and the truth is I always loved her, and always considered her my dream girl. I will never want to be married to anyone else. I can’t stand to see her in so much pain. We are doing everything everyone suggests and the days just seem to be getting worse. I would do anything to take her pain away. I am filled with guilt, and shame, and can’t believe I did what I did.


Mathew. I’m sorry that your marriage relationship has experienced such betrayal. I understand from reading your post how you fell pray to an affair. 2 years is a very long time. I would say your affair turned into a full blown relationship. My husband and I were married for 32 years and he cheated on me with a co worker for 3 years. I figured it out and caught him. We were experiencing some difficulties in our marriage. Mostly me acting out because he was ignoring my needs . we own a few businesses and he wasn’t finding urgency in what I needed. We are five years since discovering the affair and still married. Having been through it and were I’m at now I would like to explain somethings to you. 4 months is till very raw. It took me 3 years + to start feeling somewhat normal. I had lost all feelings for him I felt nothing for him for about a year with hope that maybe it will return. And it has but not 100%. Betrayal is very difficult to overcome. I still have doubts about staying married to him. But I have to forgive but I will never forget. The marriage that you had with your wife was basically died through you having an affair. The only way to the future together is to start a new marriage better marriage and she has to look at her part in the death of your marriage and work on herself. We have been moving forward in our marriage and yes it feels new and fresh but I don’t trust him and that has to come back. I for the life of me cannot understand how a man can have an affair for 2 years then wants to save his marriage when caught. Why not stay with the affair partner. My husbands states he doesn’t want her she was married also. I can’t wrap my mind around that. Nor do I believe it. It’s been a difficult journey for us. I wish it never happened. But I’m glad it did because it forced me to grow as a person. I’m stronger more outgoing.iv taken up golf. I’m not the same person. I love me now. I hope you find this helpful. And much luck to you and your wife. It was a verybad choice to cheat on her. I hope she to will grow from the experience. Hugs.


I have a hard time understanding why the cheater doesn’t want the affair partner. I’m the love of his life but he cheated. I just don’t get it.
I found out a year ago but it didn’t end for another 4 months and the pain is still palpable. I have some very bad days. Will it ever go away?


That’s not always the case. I thought my marriage was perfect. He was the first and last man in my life. We were married for 5 years. I gave him my trust and 2 years after our marriage he started his affair. When i confronted him he told me “I love you but I have feelings for her”. The next day he told me he was leaving for the weekend. That day I left him. I understood that his love for her was stronger that his feelings towards me. When I married him I promise God that I was going to do everything just to make him happy. If he was happy with her then I had to step out. 10 years later and Im still alive full of pain and emptiness.
Think twice before acting.


Dear Nikki, i’ve seen myself getting on the verge of cheating already twice. I am extremely happy I managed to avoid it, but now I know the path that got me there. Maybe my story can help you understand why cheaters cheat, and dont break up.
The reason most relationships go bad is because of unmet expectations. So I was with that girl, and I was very happy for more than 3 years. But at some point, sex got less frequent. I tried as hard as possible to be understanding and supporting. But then her father’s second wife asked for divorce. Her father was broken and she feared for his life and his sanity. So sex was still not in sight for more months. And I still loved her deeply and tenderly. But the lack of tenderness, of sex and of affection drive me mad. I began to question wether she really found me still attractive, or interesting, to the point I doubted she even still loved me.
I *needed* to get physical with my woman to feel better, but my woman was not available because of all her troubles. So I began to play with the idea of getting what my woman was unaible to give me from somebody else, so that my needs got met, and that I could return to her side relieved – relieved from my needs, and relieved from asking her something she couldnt offert.

If I had “only” been unhappy in my relation, I would have simply ended it, and searched for a better partner.
But I loved her, and I did not want to leave her. Nor did I want to impose my needs on her shoulders at a time where I knew she could not meet them. But I was feeling less and less loved, so I thought “why not get a shot of love from elsewhere, so that I can get back to my woman happier and more caring again”.

The time and place for my affaire was set. Everything was planned. But the night before I got struck by “my woman trusts me, and I am going to break that trust the hardes way possible. I am not allowed to do that”. So I called and canceled everything.

It was the hardes battle against myself of my life, and I won it. Unfortunately, my GF found out eventually that I had planned to cheat her, and she told very clearly that the fact that I canceled it played no role, because I had the intent of cheating, and that it was the worst thing.
We stayed together for 2-3 more months going to therapy, before she left me for another man. So all in all, I can by no mean figure out how every element played a role, but it surely did not help.

Of course, I can only speak for myself, and this is my story. I hope this helps you understand that more often than not, someone has an affaire because not because he doesn’t love her anymore, but because he loves her and is somehow unhappy in his relation in a way that he doesn’t understand how to solve.

(male pronouns used for simplicity of reading only)


Mathew, I’m so sorry for the pain you are going through. I see the same pain on my husband. He feels so bad that I am so sad. I want to get passed this and see him with love the way I once did but all I see right now is his betrayal. It has been five months for us. We just started counseling a couple months ago. Maybe that would help you? Do you have and good book recommendations? I so badly want to feel love for my husband again. Thank you.

Rose P

I had a six month relationship with a man I met online. I confessed to my husband 2-1/2 months after it ended. My husband has Stage 4 Prostate Cancer in remission. Due to the treatment, he is not able to function normally nor does he have any emotional attachment to any form of sex. I had the affair to prove to myself “I still had it”. The other man ended it but we had discussed that it would happen at some time as he was seeking a full time relationship. I hurt my husband more than I ever anticipated. He is filled with anger, hurt and rage. We are starting counseling but I don’t know how to help him. I love my husband and he loves me. Also, his rage and jealousy actually made him make love to me orally for the first time in 3 years and he also achieved a dry orgasm. But that satisfaction is short lived. I don’t know what man will wake up in the morning.


This is honestly the best article I’ve read from an information prospective and non one sided.

I cheated on my partner, I was out of control for over 3 years. The sad thing is I went into the relationship on medication (anti-depressents) and i didn’t realise how I was treating her until I was off everything.

The worst part is when I was prescribed dexamphetamine and was on a high dosage and the depression, stress and emotional roller coster was insane, every afternoon I was in tears.

I soon realised I had extreme highs and extreme lows caused by this (which I never had before) and headaches the most painful in my life and that my sex drive was insatiable, my partner would do her best I could not get enough, it’s all that was on my mind all the time.

I then discovered massage as a form of stress relief and relaxation, however unfortunately I was touched inappropriately (I reported this to the police) however something drove me back even though I was in pieces over the event.

Fast forward 3.5 years and it got out of control, massages happy endings to sex to perving on friends which I look back after therapy for the past 12 months and feel disgusting (I did every time afterwards too but could not stop)

The problem is I broke down (I think I had an anxiety attack along with a nervous breakdown) and told her everything, every single detail even though she was begging me not to, I couldn’t stop myself and now we are trying to make it work yet she gets images on a daily basis and triggers (sex scenes on tv etc, someone says something etc)

We’ve been together 12 years and get along so so well I believe she is truly my sole mate yet she said she doesn’t love me anymore, but is hoping it will come back, she just doesn’t know how since she isn’t interested in sex at all with me and isn’t attracted to me in that way anymore as it’s all she can think about.

No one seems to be able to help, we have visited a few therapists but they often don’t give any solid advice and we both feel lost and don’t know how to heal from this even though we want to more than anything.

If you have any advice please please help.


Oh man I’m so sorry. I’m like your wife but I’m not intimate with my partner due to him drinking and cheating on me. If i talk to him about it, it just starts argument. I sure hope she is able to heal from all this pain. Pray for both of you

Lisa M

Hello. I just want to let her know that her previous feelings of desire for intimacy with you may not return. I am only speaking from personal experience of being in her situation. I have been waiting 15 years to have the desire to be intimate with someone who I made the MISTAKE of marrying after infidelity in my last two months of pregnancy with our first, and only after that, daughter. The situation was ugly with me having to confront them in bed together. I can’t get the image out of my head. Of course I don’t want him! Yuck! It’s not just about betrayal and sloppy seconds. I just don’t want your nasty ass anymore and literally nothing will ever change that. Save yourself 13 years of trying to be attracted again. If you don’t want them the day after the affair you weren’t gonna want them again no matter how long you wait.


I cheated on my long term partner with a guy I fell in love with. My partner and I were an amazing couple, he was the love of my life and I was sure we will grow old together. After 13 years of relationship, we went into a marital drift. I was alarming him and asking for a date, new activity, maybe fitness together, dancing, I complained that I felt I was taken for granted. He ignored my birthday, where I was always making a big celebration of his. Suddenly a feeling for another person sneaked up on me. I was lying to myself that he is just a friend. One day we kissed and I felt reborn. I felt something I didn’t feel for so long that I don’t remember. That day I was dancing, singing, laughing… now the affair ended and I am living in hell. Confused, still in love and grieving, not able to rebuild the current relationship. I feel incredibly guilty and not worthy of any kindness from my partner. I feel extremely bad for hurting him, can’t forgive myself. I love my partner and he loves me more than anything. We support each other and cry together. But I can’t get sexy with him any more. I am panicking that this is really the end of us. I can’t force myself to have sex, I feel I don’t deserve to feel good at the same time I look at my partner and I see his sad eyes. He is hurt and this is also turning me off. Is there any hope we can make it work? how? We went to couples therapy, we stopped that, didn’t work. I felt prosecuted during meetings and I became even sadder. Not only sadness for the damage I caused, but also loss of the amazing relationship I had. And I also was madly in love with the lover, I still struggle to get over that, sometimes I fantasize if maybe I should chase him. ( I cut the contact with the lover, blocked him and not meeting which was incredibly difficult )


The thing with many people who stray from their relationships, is the sense of “uniqueness” they feel.
Cheaters often feel they are “special” and that the straying is “legitimate” within their interpretation of events. Many cheaters even feel that its OK to “feel a loss” for the partner they cheated with. Some cheaters even feel that the person they cheated on should be hanging around for their convenience while they GRIEVE THE LOSS of the affair partner!!! Nobody should have to bear that. Nobody should have to be around while the “love of their life” is “grieving losing another person”.
Remember, we CAN leave a relationship BEFORE cheating. THAT IS AN OPTION. It is certainly a more noble option than cheating on the one we claim to “love”. I am a firm believer that the “specialness” should be evenly distributed.

Your husband should also have the right to experience the “specialness” you experienced in your affair. I can assure you that he ALSO felt and KNEW that things were “amiss” in your relationship, but HE opted to not stray, and probably believed the best about you and your “love”.

Now, he deserves a chance to feel that “love” that you gave to someone else.
He needs to experience the “reborn” feeling too.


A very interesting article – unfortunately it was too generalized and had a ‘ factory ‘ feel to it and therefore I can’t really associate it to my situation – my wife’s affair to a so called ‘friend’ ‘ of mine and co-worker while in the military. I sensed it was going on but was constantly thrown off by endless lies and mis- directions. It was so bad we would be at cookouts and they would both sit there and not show even a hint of the deception going on – his wife would be there too! He would sit there and drink with me and eat food I had cooked just like we were real friends! After a week or so ago having a hot sexscpades in a hotel. And this went on for over a year! I look back and think how completely diabolical and sinister this all was.
We have not yet reconciled – you cannot forgive someone who does not feel they did anything wrong – what would be the point? When questioned my wife actually feels lying is ok if you have a good enough reason! I now feel there is something wrong with my wife – there’s two different people here – she’s delusional lives in an alternate reality – we’ve been to 3 therapist – we have not gotten anywhere. I’ve tried getting a lawyer and moving out but she starts this ‘ suicide ‘ or I can’t live without you BS ( he dumped her – and she can’t accept that). Now so much time has passed we’re just roommates – she’s so delusional she thinks our marriage is ‘pretty normal’! I’m also suffering from combat PTSD and feel I’m ‘taking fire from two sides’. Thank God for medical marijuana or I’d be cracking up. It’s the lies and deception not the sex that has ruined our marriage ( although I finally realized that after the affair she was just providing ‘ courtesy ‘ sex – and damn little of that)! I’ve pretty much given up on this.


It’s been more than a year, Jax, did your roommate situation change? In one direction or the other?


God in Heaven!!! I sincerely hope you’ve left that nightmare situation…
This is not about your wife anymore… This is about YOU.
Why are your standing for this???
YOU deserve better.
You deserve love and to get that you HAVE TO LOVE YOURSELF.
Your wife already knows that she can do this to you and you will react exactly in the way you did.
She KNOWS that.
YOU have to look out for YOU.
YOU need to stand up for YOU.

Finley W

Cheating blinds the participants to the harm that can come to themselves and those they love. Their judgement is clouded by a veil of hormones.


My husband was in a long term affair with someone 14 yrs younger than he. She was a waitress at a diner that he frequented for breakfast and lunch during the week. She keep telling him her husband was abusive and she needed help. I guess he felt like the white knight and played her rescuer. There was never any signs of abuse! He says they were friends and he lived in a fantasy world when with her free from a wife, mortgage, children, and responsibilities. They spent many afternoons engaging in sex and nights which he was able to pull off due to picking up a second job at night that never seemed to bring in the extra money. “Hello!” He claims he never meant to sleep with her just to talk, escape from reality, and be friends. He claims that because she initiated the sex, it wasn’t his fault. But, he didn’t say no! During all of this time we had a 6 yr old daughter, and a 1 yr old son. I had become pregnant by accident, due to the over active sex drive he had with me during that time, and we’re bldg. and moving into our first home. Before finding out about the affair, myself along with everyone else thought it was the happiest times ever! On our wedding anniversary he stood up and announced he had to leave due to him not being sure that he live me or the kids anymore. He left! I was devastated. Two weeks later, I had a miscarriage at 18 weeks pregnant, due to a severe pelvic inflammatory disease and an STD that had been given to me by him. He denied ever having sexual contact with her, and the kids and I were lost without him. Thirty yrs. later, he has confessed his infidelity. I knew but pretended it didn’t happen to survive. We are both in counseling. He can’t understand why I’m so upset, about his lying to me and why I want to know the whole story of what happened. Thirty years ago everything he told me that had happened was a lie. I feel like such a fool. Yes, he’s been here since then, but there have been many downs and not so many ups. Btw the reason it all came up again is because the woman he had the affair with is now in jail for murdering her elderly mother and trying to kill her sister. We saw the article in the news.


I’m currently experiencing in difficult time in my life. My hAn old friend and I reconnected and after a long night of TALKING, mostly me, he shared he loved me. We had always felt an intense connection so it was great to know he did. I had no intention of leaving my spouse to run away with him, I considered discussing full polyamory (I’m currently open to date other women but not men) but even then I wasn’t sure it would’ve happened.

I had every intention to have the conversation with my husband after we returned from our trip and I had a chance to explain myself properly since I hate keeping secrets and suck at it.

My friend and I continued to text over the next few days but we’ve never really had “full convos” rather random comments that rarely require a response. My husband read through the messages and misunderstood so much of it. He saw some PG images I sent which seemed “lovey” and that infuriated him. He’s upset that I didn’t shut it down and instead fueled it. I understand. I know I did wrong but it was nice to actually hear someone tell me they loved me (my husband isn’t verbally or physically expressive of emotions). I should also mention that my friend has no interest in a relationship and was merely sharing his feelings as I think they may have been there for some time. My spouse is ill and often times can’t even stand being touched.

Everything I read in this article makes logical sense, I hope that my spouse can see that as well and I hope that we can use this as an opportunity to make things better. I love my spouse more than anyone in the world and losing him will destroy me, but I would also understand him if he chose to walk away from me. Relationships need to be nurtured by both parties, not just one.


If someone has an affair, they do not “love” the person who they chose to betray.


I cheated on a person I loved and still love a lot. He is the love of my life I always thought


I truly believe you can’t love someone and cheat on them. It’s not possible…..if you full loved someone…you would put your selfish needs below the pain that you cause your SO.
Ask yourself this question….
If someone presented you with an ideal fantasy affair partner…..literally dropped them off at your doorstep….but the catch was that you WILL get caught after the fact and your wife/husband will find out and be hurt.
You would say yes to this?
If you say yes….you don’t love them
If you say no…’s because you know beforehand you will get caught or you truly love your partner and wouldnt want to hurt them over your selfish needs.


Exactly. Everyone has difficulties in marriage, which should be worked out. Talk to each other and express yourselves. There is absolutely NO excuse for cheating. None whatsoever. Relationships are to build each other, not tear one another apart.


Not all affairs are superficial. My husband and I got married very young, 20, had kids right away , didn’t date anyone before that. We are great friends but I realized in my marriage over the years that he had a temper. I dealt with it, but told him at least three times over the years that I wasn’t happy. I met someone at 45 years old who I felt finally understood me. I told my husband about him. I told my husband I was going to cheat on him. I told him the truth before anything happened. I never imagined I would do it. But I needed to feel loved. I had been so lonely for so long. I don’t mean sex, I mean support. It took me and this man a year to have physical sex , but before that, it was love without judgment which my husband wasn’t giving me. Just saying that something drives the cheater to do this, and so often it’s neglect. And that’s not to say I didn’t beg for it for years. I was honest in my feeling for neglect for a long time.


You sound just like my husband. My low libido is what ultimately pushed him away and into another woman’s arms. I have several health issues that kill my sex drive, and he has a higher than normal sex drive. He came to me and admitted to me that he had feelings for someone else. They just started out as friends, but the more and more they saw each other and talked with each other they found a connection. He says he has never slept with her, but I do believe that he has fallen in love with her. He cut contact with her, and everything was getting better for a while, and then they started talking again. He finally admitted it to me in December. It really has taken a toll on me and my health. He says he hasn’t talked to her, but I feel he needs to tell her that we are trying to work it out and not to contact him. She contacted him about 3 weeks ago because she ran out of gas. He told me last night that he wants me to hurry up and be over it. I told him that I cannot change how I feel and it takes time to regain the trust.


Been married 15 years we have 3 kids and a happy marriage , my husband had an affair it lasted one month with someone from work , she doesn’t work there anymore . It’s been one month since I found out and I cry daily I can’t function , I have visions of them together in bed and it makes me ill . I’m so shocked my husband did this . My husband feels guilty and he has apologized for the hell he has put out family thru and is ashamed . We are currently sleeping separate and going to therapy once a week . Last night he told me I’m pushing him away and he can’t breath I’ve been talking about the affair from the minute I wake up until we go to bed and when he’s at work I text him all day long about this . Some advice pls .

Pieces on the floor

Found out 7 months ago my husband of 13 yrs has been unfaithful 4 times with 3 short term flings lasting no longer then 2 weeks at a time with 4 different women we are associated with in outer circles, 1 woman he met at bar and had a one night stand with and does not know her name. Last time he had any interaction with another woman was 3 yrs ago, this came out over a dispute in someone elses marriage, one of Ows struck another marriage, go figure! So it was let me know she did it to me too. Also he frequented strip clubs that consisted of lap dances and offered paid sex, which he never did but considered and only didnt do due to being with someone else that intervened. What I did know about was he watched porn regularly, not to the extent though, found out after d-day, up to 3 times a day while pleasing himself and has promised many times to stop over the yrs and failed to do so, just got better at hiding it. I have been entirely devastated! We have been to a couples retreat for this and attending church regularly. I am sad, angry, confused, and a million things almost daily still. He has been supportive of me as much as he knows how, accountable, searching, full of shame and pain too. I am struggling with my unrelenting love for him and my values battling nonstop. I feel like I lost all these yrs with him. I thought I had a happy husband, children, home. I am a sahm. We spent alot of time together, close to eachother, we worked through his prior drug and alcohol addiction, built a wonderful life on the other side. I had no idea he had this secret side, I didn’t know he even had time since he was home when he should etc. He is a sweet, gentle, hard working, shy, caring, loving father, talented at what he does, not always sure of himself, lil hard on himself at times, once he loves you he stop at nothing for you hes treated me very well ( he can’t say that about many). He says I was always loving, supportive, available, our marriage had nothing to do with it, nor me. He says it was entirely with in himself. He says a few things and I’m not sure what to think or do anymore, need guidance, I am stuck. 1. that he felt unworthy of me and the life we had, that one day I’d wake up and see I was better then him and leave him, that he couldn’t handle that and needed to self soothe the fear. That his self esteem was low. Said coming from an alcoholic family he didn’t know what to do with a truly loving life and thought it was impossible for him. 2. That his porn addiction started yrs before I met him, that he developed a fantasy of what sex should be like, it mostly consisted of being persued by a woman. That he was persued by these women he was unfaithful with, when he recounts the events he can pinpoint when he rebutted them and they persued aggressively with nonstop contact, then when he ignore them they’d seek him out one on one and physically advance, and he would submit and the Ow would plan a hotel etc. He said it provoked that fantasy aspect for him that he developed. He says once he was to that point he was in a haze of sorts yet excited they wanted him until the day it was to take place. Then when there he’d become terrified and not want to. He even stated that once he told the one he was scared and was trembling in fear and she aggressively took over and he couldn’t perform at all (same happened with the one night stand). When I think about what I do know of him he is not scared of women in anyway, we at one time had a first, a lil nervous yes but scared no. And I am aware of his previous experience as well, it is something we discussed openly many yrs ago, none of this fits what I know of him.
It’s puzzling feels like he was bullied, and I do know these women as well. They are not very good people in general. I recall these women advancing even on me at the time aggressively, speaking about lingerie they bought for this guy they were planning on seeing etc, now I know they were talking about my husband! And how o how lucky I am my husband gave me such a beautiful home, how nice it would be to have that! Ugh! Were they poaching a weak person, that is insecure to feel more then better then, what’s it about exactly? Should I work harder to forgive and him harder to become stronger?
Despite all of this he holds himself responsible, says that he should’ve never done any of this, fact. I wonder what or how I should process this information in a healthy fashion. Is he an addict, low self esteem, a person who has problems that I should run from I have no clue? I’m so confused and hurt I don’t know what way to turn at all. I need help to sort it out. When I bring it up he cries because he’s sick from hurting me so badly, he did so much all these yrs to make a happy life to destroy it like this makes no sense and he doesn’t understand why he’d allow it.


Pieces on the floor are you taking about my husband? Your story seems similar to mine, except that he was only having sex once but watching porn and having repeatedly cybersex. His bad behaviour (wouldn’t call it addiction) was there before we met 17 years ago and I didn’t know about it before 5-6 years into our marriage. Found out about his sexual affair 2 years ago, and same time he came clean with all the cybersexing and the porn (which I thought he left behind after our first-second-fifth argue years ago). I am devastated, but I don’t pit myself. I have chosen to give him and our marriage one more chance; if he fails this time, I am out. No more mercy, No more chances, No More hurt! Time will heal and time will show if he’s worthy of my love and trust. Enough is enough. I am too good for this shifty behaviour. Hope you’ll get through it?????


Husband cheated on and off for 2 years (she moved away after about 16 months). He said it was just sex but I caught him because they were texting months after she moved. It’s been 4 months and he’s really sorry and trying very hard. But, he was hiding text messages coming up on his phone until a few weeks ago. He said he didn’t want me to be upset if I saw a text from her. Her never told her to go away, said he deleted her contact info. A few weeks ago I saw some text to an escort (also from a year ago that he didn’t delete) while he was on business. He said he stopped and nothing happened. He loved me too much and didn’t want anything else bad to happen. This has sent me back in my healing and I don’t think he gets that. Married 28 years. Also cheated about 13 years ago. I’m really having a hard time with this. Any advice?

Karen - Hey Sigmund

Speak with your husband about the article and set some ground rules. What do you need him to do? I would suggest things like being fully accountable with where he is, his texts, his messages, emails etc. There has to be no more secrets and in order to help you feel safe, he will need to surrender his privacy for a while. This is all explained in the article.

I think a lot of people who betray the people they love don’t understand the depth of pain that comes with that betrayal. Healing does take time, especially when it isn’t the first time because the trust will take longer to rebuild. This doesn’t mean that you can’t heal, just that it will take longer. It’s important that you are both realistic about the process. It won’t be easy. You will probably be feeling disconnected, angry, and hurt for a long time and it is important that your husband understands that this is part of the fallout. Over time, there will be more good days than bad days and the distance between the two will get longer. At some point, it will be important to let go of the anger or suspicions and start trusting him again – but it’s okay if this takes a while. I understand how much you are hurting and I know this isn’t easy. I wish you love and strength.


I wanted to forgive and reconcile just as you wrote.
As the betrayer, he didn’t do any of the things you wrote of; instead, screamed at me and made me always feel like there was something wrong with me for reacting the way I did, and not “…moving forward” more quickly. His time frame for me to get over it was “a day or two.”

I expected him to be kind. I expected him to want to help my hurting heart. He added insult to injury, and then I wasn’t allowed to bring it up ever. He said I disgusted him and I am weak.

I walked away. So confused. I didn’t want to “punish” him. I wanted to communicate and understand why. I wanted an apology that I didn’t have to coach. Not a screaming, resentful “I am sorry!!!”

I took responsibility for my part, working a full time corporate job, splitting my time between two coasts for a year. It was unfair to him.

It has been over a year. I was bombarded with love for 18mos., then it was all gone. As if he wasn’t the same man.

I still have not so good days.

Thank you for validating that I did indeed respond normally to being betrayed.


He sounds like a narcissist. Look up psychological abuse. I think you’ll find some answers there.


This is exactly what I went through after discovering my husbands affair with his boss. Everything I read told
me that my reactions were in fact normal, but I felt judged and criticized for not handling his betrayal better.
We went through 3 different therapists, and all of them seemed to be more focused on my anxieties over the triggers, and the fact that we needed to set up healthy boundaries because I wanted to check his where-abouts and text messages when he would travel (sometimes with his affair partner).

My husband would get so amazingly defensive and angry when I would need to cry and scream over the pain I felt. He would resort to raging at me, demean me, or criticize me. He made me out to be an enemy, as opposed to someone he cared enough for to love and support.

After two years, I have stopped bringing up the affair. I feel I have been manipulated into silence because he is too full of shame and guilt to help me heal. I don’t trust him to never betray me again, because even through what should have been our healing, he has shown that he doesn’t hold my needs over his own…

Why do I stay? I am asking myself this all the time….


This was a good read! Having been cheated on in a long term marriage, and still loving my partner, and being afraid to leave the comfort of a home with 3 small children, the only option was to try and forgive and move on in the relationship. Good times, ups and downs, and no mention of the affair surfaced again. I understand it was not all one sided, but there was no excuse for the infidelity. Fast forward 25 years, the children all educated and making their own way in life, I was once again betrayed. This was the end. A 40 year old was much more appealing then I, The wife and mother who was now 60. Should I have invested those years, only to end up alone?? The one thing I do have is the Love and Respect of my children, which unfortunately the cheater does not.

Hey Sigmund

I’m pleased the article found its way to you and I’m sorry your marriage ended the way it did. If this man wasn’t able to be fully with you, for whatever reason, then it is best that he move along and make way for the things or people that will be good for you. I know it probably doesn’t feel like that now, but it will eventually. I can hear that you feel alone now, but there is now room for new people can find their way to you when you are ready for that.

Mike Mckay

As is usually the case on here a thoroughly interesting, eye opening and thought provoking read

Very well balanced and not (as is normally the case) taking one genders side over the others but simply outlining the facts, the driving factors and also not forgetting the potential mitigating factors

I can imagine a lot of people huffing and puffing at their monitor because someone dared to not take their or their genders side on the topic and had the audacity to suggest that biology, psychology and yes, even their partner could have been some if not all of the reason

My personal experience has been that very few clients actually wanted to try and carry on with a relationship after infidelity, and many of the ones seeking counselling merely wanted somebody else to tell their partner that they were in the wrong, that it was all their fault and that they were scum rather than trying to fix anything

What I have also noticed is that the ones that could mtually approach a relationship with an open mind and genuinely put an infidelity behind them rather than constanly using it to get their own way, excuse their own poor behaviour or just repeatedly torture their partner over it tended to come out of the process with a much more open, communicative and strong relationship than they had ever had before

But its sad that

a) people couldnt build relationships like that in the first place and

b) that so few people are capable of doing that after the event

Hey Sigmund

Thank you. It’s such a polarising issue isn’t it. Although there will always be people who mistreat the people who love them, this is certainly not always the case with infidelity. Affairs are more often than not the symptom of bad relationships, not bad people – but that doesn’t have to mean the relationship is broken beyond repair. It also doesn’t mean there isn’t love still from both sides.

Mike Mckay

Its difficult for people to have a big picture view when the core of their trust has been shattered

And where people feel completely the victim with no idea they could be anything less than the perfect partner theyre not usually open to hearing anything less than endless streams of apologies

I have found even with the people who claim to want to try again, theyre often just wanting either some time to get revenge by using the other persons guilt or are just wanting to buy time and prepare for when they ditch the person and move on

Another frequent cause that often goes unnoticed is fear

Many people can feel their partner is completely out of their league in one or more areas, or can just grow to see the person as so perfect that someone as flawed as them doesnt deserve them etc etc yadda yadda blad blah or similar

So I believe they then self sabotage the relationship subconctiously and that sometimes cheating is just the vehicle and not the aim or destination some of the time

Because for someone like that the more they care for, depend and love a person the more they know it will hurt when it ends. And it ending is to them a known certainty with only the date it will happen being unclear

Theres even instances where one person just has what they feel are odd sexual needs they couldnt share with a partner, or where they feel their partner would see them in a bad light if they knew about them too at the other less complicated but more deliberate end of the spectrum

Theres just endless scenarios aside from the obvious ones that can lead to an infidelity, but after the fact the person who feels they were the victim wont usually be interesting in any mitigating circumstances which they cant really be blamed for really on some levels I guess

But yes, theres such a vast array of mindsets, reasons both conscious and subconcious and expected aims or reactions

Theres also the wrong assumption too which can be almost as bad, where one partner is complete sure that they are being cheated on but either cant or wont try to prove it or end the relationship

Often this is actually the self sabotaging mechanism instead of cheating, but by accusing the other partner of doing it and expecting them to “prove” they didnt, which of course is impossible

Getting a person to step back from that brink is extremely difficult and their mindset and actions can tend to kill a relationship as effectively as an actual infidelity willl

I have known people who have gone out and cheated because of that constant stream of accusations, and once it had “happened” they did even try to rebuild the relationship which was impossible before they did go and cheat

I have also known someone say they did cheat just to try and move past the accusations too, but that just ended on the spot and they said even that felt like a relief

So yeah, complex topic, and one so many people remain too raw to ever be able to discuss it in a calm and adult manner

Theresa H

I am the one betrayed. Strange that I never got mad at him. I don’t hate him. I’m in a deep depression but nobody knows it. I keep it hidden. I don’t ask him questions because he tells me lies so I keep my thoughts in a journal. I’m one of those that thought we had something special. If I were younger I would leave, We’ve been together 42 years. It’s been like a death. My life is in limbo. I hope this sadness will go away at some point and my creative side will emerge again.


40’years married and the same happened to me. I feel lost most of the time and hope that goes away. She says this is not her, she led a double life for 3 years and can not understand why. She’s deeply and long term depressed. What a horrible nightmare for both of us.
I do hope you find peace.


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