How Long Will the Pain Last?

Unhappy couple sitting on sofa at therapy session in therapists

This is the first video in a 20 video series on “Surviving Infidelity.”

I’m presenting answers to the top 10 questions people ask and the Top 10 Questions people SHOULD ask once they discover infidelity in their marriage and begin the process of surviving an affair.

Please leave any comments or questions you might have  below. Others appreciate your comments and learn from you.

This entry was posted in Emotional Distance, Emotional Infidelity, Infidelity Coaching, Infidelity Marriage, Infidelity Pain, Surviving Infidelity, Surviving Infidelity Videos and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to How Long Will the Pain Last?

  1. Anne Kurdek says:

    Dr. Bob,

    Is there one definitive answer to what stops them from cheating again? This questions rattles around in my mind as I’m sure it does in the minds of others. Perhaps there is no answer but that’s why I’m suggesting this particular question. Thank you.

  2. Dr. Robert Huizenga - The Infidelity Coach says:

    Hi Anne,

    I identify 7 different types of affairs and to influence the progression of the affair (hoping it will stop) requires different strategies for each type. Affairs are complicated… but there are ways to respond with power and a degree of certainty.

  3. cindy davis says:

    I think some people never get over the pain of an affair because it hurt them too deeply.If they didn’t care,they wouldn’t hurt.I get worse rather than better with time partially because I don’t have answers to my questions.Truth shall set you free,words to live by.

    • Ed B. says:

      30 years. I hurt every morning and every night. I stayed and raised my kids. I loved her, but without the kids there’d have been no question. I suppose it’s the same for her. She went with a guy she met at work for a year. Lots of lies and brazen deceit. It was so outside my imagination that I couldn’t see it. We had little babies, and I was working my butt off to buy the big house and new cars. There have been many good times. 3 college grads and grandbabies now, but the pain came back awfully hard about two years ago. She says she loves me with all her heart, but it has never been what it should have been for me, and I mourn what was lost. As a guy, I can see now, in retrospect, that my male ego was crushed. I do believe what the good Dr. says: that the affairs are about her or him and not about you, but that really doesn’t lessen the pain or regret. In some ways I find it very odd that i still have these feelings at this late date. I even still imagine doing terrible things to him although he’s now 70! We make our choices and we live with them. I grew up without a dad, and I just didn’t want to see my kids go through that. But one cannot see the road not taken. I can only urge people to not cheat, and if they do, keep it a secret. yeah, I know that’s wrong, but since it is unlikely to work out with the OP, why torture your spouse? First time I fell for a girl, I told my Grandma and she said “love is a terrible thing.” Now, I know what she meant.

      • Lee says:

        Dear Ed B, I hear you LOUD AND CLEAR! Perhaps the following remark will help a teeny bit: FREE ME OF BONDAGE OF SELF

      • C.D. says:

        Hi Ed B. I totally agree with you. My Dad left when I was 11 years old & I didn’t want the same for me children. My husband had an affair 5&half years ago. It’s never been the same we were married for 15 years at the time. Yes I also agree that they shouldn’t tell their spouse because it brings about so much trauma. I have always told my husband I would have preferred if he said nothing. Fully understand how you feel. I also live with so much sadness & regret.

        • Ed says:

          I’m sorry for your pain. It’s so hard to know what’s right. At the time, everyone who knew told me to put the kids first. I was so in love with the oldest boy and the twins were only two. Although we had been fighting like cats and dogs and were suffering financial issues, I was quite proud of having her as my wife. I loved her and thought she was beautiful. I was admiring of how hard she worked in the home and at her job. I had transferred to a new job in the West because she hated NYC and my career there was so consuming. During that year, intimacy grew difficult, she told me she didn’t love me as she should love her husband, there were ‘drinks out with the girls” late nights when I was on business trips- all the cliches. I even went to counseling where I was told to give her “space.” I was crushed in a way that I never expected. For men, divorce often creates that fantasy opportunity for the younger wife and new family, but how do you abandon your children to what would likely be trauma and dislocation? Intellectually, I know that the statistics are quite stark, the outcomes in every regard for children of divorce and family breakup are worse than for those raised by their biological parents. Before reading some of Dr. H’s work, I made many of the classic errors. I allowed it to be my fault that she betrayed our family. I was too “hot” in pursuit of retaining the family. I allowed myself to be made powerless. I accepted stories that turned out to be lies. She had a life I knew nothing about. He knew she was married with young children. She says it never would have worked out with him, but he tried to take her away. I know very little of what transpired between them. Each scrap of information is like a pearl of anguish that’s been polished by constant rumination. Now, I can see that she carried these patterns out of her own childhood and the difficulties her father brought to their family with his boozing, brutality, and cheating. (He himself suffered a dark childhood and the trauma of heavy combat in Korea) But, now that the autumn of life has arrived, it is an ache that the love and intimacy we all crave has been denied me. We are, in many ways, a happy couple. She says she loves me. We celebrate all the holidays, and our children and grandchildren are very close, but the trauma continues to echo down the decades. There is always that third party between us. I wish I knew a solution.

      • yolanda says:

        I can just imagine, what you are going thru, I was with my husband 37 yrs, 4 children, 5 grandchildren and he walked out on us 5 months now, to a woman he met in pub, he’s totally change no care in the world about the pain he’s cause to me and the children, the humiliation, looking at it now my counsellor have advised me to change my outlook and my way of thinking, my children are very supportive my friends are the same i can only say the pain is gradually going,
        and when I see my husband i just pity him now, I got my home, my children and grandchildren all our family and friends and what has he got? He now keep appearing in my place an announce, which I disapprove very much, I have mentioned it to him and remind him that he left his home and his family, I don’t mind him coming to visit but make an appointment or ring before , the pain is still there but not as much as is used to be, the love is still there, but has been replaced by pity, 37 years he never given me an ounce of respect and consideration so why should I give him the same .

        • Mik says:

          Yolanda, I have a very similar situation … My husband 28 years has not idea the hurt he is causing me or my 17 year old daughter its all about him. I was blind sided. He had a secret life I didn’t know about. He has been “friends” with a 41 year old woman from work who is know for being a home breaker. He didn’t even like her a year ago but since his father died, he has been off very selfish and with no remorse.

      • Doug says:

        Hi, Ed B … Eighteen years ago my wife had a year-long affair with someone she met at work. She signed the house over to me and had to start working full-time. Our kids were aged 2 and 9 at the time. My circumstances seem very similar to yours. I reconciled with my wife only because I didn’t want to be a part-time father and didn’t want anyone else raising my kids. I realized a few years ago that I will never be able to just forget what happened and, like you, there will be times every day when it will haunt me and have a difficult time being close with her. I guess what I’m trying to say is … Do you regret staying with your wife once your kids were grown? I truly believe she no longer loves me and have a hard time imagining what it would be like to start over at 55.

        • ED says:

          That’s the rub. I can’t regret the father-daughter dances, camping with the boys, sports, birthdays, graduations, the closeness I have with my children, but now that “it’s over” in the sense that we’re in our 60’s and the family raising years are behind us, there is a lingering sadness and regret.
          If I had never known, it would be so easy to love her and feel an unalloyed warmth toward her. But, there he is. There are the lies. There is the mystification of the good Doctor’s question: “how could she?” It’s not hard to imagine a woman being done with me, but, in a sense, I feel that she gambled with my children’s health and safety and risked their futures on nothing.
          I guess I’m morning the love that never was, and I am talking about true physical intimacy and joy.
          I feel like I was robbed by a stranger who took advantage of a damaged soul at a moment of weakness. I was fortunate in my youth to know many lovely girls and women, but I would never have broken a family. I would never have engaged in sneaking around just to get laid. There are enough single and divorced women in the world that you don’t need to destroy a family.
          Plus there’s the “male” stuff. Even after all this, there were always women. I rejected the opportunities. I knew I could never practice deceit successfully, and, frankly, my self-confidence was so low that I didn’t feel like I was the lover I once imagined myself to be.
          Now, it’s over and can’t be undone. That makes me very, very sad.

          • Doug Perkett says:

            Hi, Ed … I can relate completely. I feel like I missed out on being married to someone who truly loves me. Looking back, do you wish you had decided to end the marriage and start fresh once your children had grown and on their own?

  4. Beth says:

    I agree, Cindy. As I approach the 2 year mark, I am also feeling more sad as time goes by. I am among those that “just can’t get over it”, I guess. That is a question each person should ask of themselves early on – even after forgiveness, will it be enough to move on? My best to you.

  5. Nancy says:

    Acceptance of your own needs and limitations, presention of the pain and sorrow along with determination to move forward all determine the pain level. Everyone is different and the reaction is as individual as each of us! We need to allow the feelings and share the expectations as we discover ourselves. The worst event of your life can promote the change of direction that you desire!
    Sending you light! Seek the rainbows!

  6. Bill says:

    One moment I feel free from the liar she became, the next moment I miss the women who started our family we once had. One moment I hate her, the next I wish I could tell her I love her. One moment I feel strong, the next I feel lonely and affraid. As time goes I will feel more secure and not be afraid. If I meet someone I won’t feel lonely. I probobly will wind up hating her, and ask my self why I loved her when she did what she did. I will be free from the liar. I will die missing the family we started, the trips we took, the partnership we had. That pain can’t ever go away.

  7. Sue says:

    I don’t think the pain will ever completely disappear. Betrayal by the one person you have chosen to live your life with cuts you to your core. However, I do think that if your spouse can show you how much they regret the affair with actions, and not just words, then there is hope. The only way the pain will lessen is by knowing that my marriage has not just survived the affair, it has actually become stronger. I would like to be able to look back at all this suffering and think ‘we managed to survive that and things are so much better than they would have been if it hadn’t have happened’. Of course I could never say that I was glad it happened but I want to be able to say that we used that terrible experience to learn more about ourselves and what WE want from our marriage and each other.

    • Cindy says:

      No the pain really never goes away, especially when my husband of 30 years is living with trash he cheated with. He went prison for 7 years. I chose to stay and wait for him (he was having an affair before going to prison.) Honestly, i thought prison would change him, but infact, he used me for money and sympathy bcuz where he was at. 6 months after he was finally home, he told me he found someone new, that ended after 3 months, he was home for a week and then the next affair started with the trash he is LIVING WITH NOW, after a year. He says he still loves me. Thank goodness our 2 kids are of age. They are not happy with him doing this. He acts like i never existed. Sometimes he acts that way about our kids. I was told he is Narsisstic, by my counselor. Im beyond devastated but im trying to still move on without him. He lives in the same town as me and our kids with that piece of trash. God had helped me alot. Ive got a strong faith now.

    • Dennis says:

      Wow, this happened to me. My wife was extremely remorseful about her 6 week affair and told me way more details that I really wanted to hear, but our marriage strenghened and we have been married 49 years now and the affair happened 40 years ago. And you do never totally get over it.

    • Mark says:

      Thank you for putting to words what I’ve wanted, wished and felt. I stayed, and things have greatly improved, but they never would’ve if I hadn’t witnessed the change in her. I think there was a lot of denial on her part that she hurt me as badly as she did. When she could no longer deny how much hurt her actions wrought she changed. Her apologies were no longer hollow. And that was terribly hard for me, revealing how wounded, vulnerable, I actually am. I’m never going to say I’m glad it happened cause I’m not. But I acknowledge that changes on my part were more important having lived through the bad, and thinking about how much worse things could have been. I’m glad I stayed. I’m glad she changed.

  8. Pam Howerton says:

    Hi Bob,
    I have to agree with the others that I don’t beleive that you ever get past the hurt,degraded andfor me the rage builds daily. I don’t think that the infidel ever gives a throught to how this will effect the whole family. Until we all start respecting each others marriages this will keep on. I personally want to have the law changed that the other party must be held for their action, and put up billboards that state “Affairs destroy everyone”…
    My spouse had an affair with a co-worker and lost his career for what? It is all about being selfish. Now he stands to loose his family that he was ready to pt nder the bus and now wants to save the marriage but for me the pain is to much for me. I am 75% that I want out, but I am making sure that I cannot get pass the nasty affair that he had.I now have my own terrorist attack that attacked my family.

  9. Susan Finlay says:

    I tend to agree with sue. The pain will never go away. I am also just over the two year mark, and still think about it everyday. I still have thoughts that if he can do it once then whats stops him again – especially since they still work together – and in my mind he still has he best of both worlds. Her at work and me at home. My hubby does show me with actions that he does regret it and our marraige is also better going back to how we were in the beginning, but after 23 yrs of marraige it still worries me all the time, even after the forgiveness I think I am also one of these people that will never get over it, and keep saying I should be better, but also feel worse.

  10. Sterling says:

    Bill, I’m right there with you, but still holding on to the marriage to TRY to see if somehow, some way I can get past this enough to make it work. Our kids are just 7 and 11, and the thought of the pain they will have to go through if I end this marraige makes me sad, then mad at her for not taking them into consideration when she did this horrific thing. Not taking me into consideration I can eventually deal with, but them? I can’t see myself being able to ever forgive that.

  11. paige says:

    i agree, time lessens the pain, but it never goes away because the cheating spouse just moves on while you struggle with questioning everything in life about your spouse…as you should. your life has changed so have you. the victim has to change to never go backwards, while the cheater just acts like it never happened..their way of moving on. that is not working on the marriage, sweeping old under the rug is just that. so one can never deal with it all because its still there, just under the rug.and what about even if the op is gone and not cheating anymore,yet old unhealthy habbits are there in everyday life? those actions and habbits just remind the victim of the bad behavior that led to the affair in the first place. how do you get the cheater to stop the ‘character flaw’behavior that led to the affair?the same patterns exist even if he stopped cheating.just living and watching the bad habits reminds you of it all over dont want to be apart of the insanity,you set your boundaries, then they blame you because you cant stand to be around them with the same patterns that always hurt you. mke sense??/

  12. Bonnie says:

    I am just past the one year mark. I am still deeply in love, but many of my questions went unanswered. The sweep it under the rug like it never happened seems like the way to go for many it seems. We have mostly fabulous days, and then some bad ones. I saw her last week, and it made me ill. It was the first time I had ever seen her, and she makes me look like Miss America. She was so unattractive and overweight. I wonder what the heck was going through his mind all that time? I guess I will never know the truth, so I try to move past it. I have seen a lot of remorse on his part, so I do believe he is truly sorry, but…the pain is still there to bite me. I never know what the trigger is going to be, but the pain can still be as fresh as Dday sometimes.

  13. Geraldine Horgan says:

    Gosh Bill i feel just the same as you… one moment feeling ok and the next just awful.

  14. Nancy says:

    I have read the literature but still can’t determine the “kind of affair”. SOme days are still hard but most days I appreciate the opportunity to make changes. Better than ever is the goal!

    I do wish that I could actually label the type of affair and be better at addressing the ongoing questions.

  15. penne says:

    It is the ultimate betrayal. You learn to cope and do OK day by day, but for me things can never ever be the same. Even if I firmly believe he will not have an affair again, that confidence and belief that we were only for each other is gone forever. I thought his relationships with other women that went on while we were supposedly dating exclusively were over once we got married. Now I know I was just a better deal for him and it was all lies; but it’s too many years and too much baggage to start over. Just have to make the best of it I can and know how much of what I believed was just an illusion by a really good con artist

  16. darcis says:

    I am with you penne,I believed that our relationship was jus an ilusion by a very good actor. I am also just over the two year mark, and still think about it every day. I still can’t determine the “kind of affair”. I have lots of questions with no answers. The confidence and belief that we were only for each other is gone forever. The innocence, and the magic in the relationship was also gone forever!

    • Jason says:

      Well, it looks like I’m in the same boat with both of you. I have no idea what the type of affair is and zero confidence in my marriage or wife. My pain and anger are just as fresh as ever at the 1 year mark. I would have divorced her, but she made it clear that she would not allow me joint custody of our 7 year old and that she would take a huge chunk out of my pension. Talk about adding insult to injury.

  17. Mabel says:

    Some may get over the affair. Yet the triggers will always be no matter where u are. The pain is gone but the back and forth feelings are hate and love. I have not forgiven him as yet. I have only known for sure close to a year. Only for this website am I allowed to see clearly I am not alone. Thanks Dr Bob

  18. mimi says:

    yeah i agree, as time passes by, i become more resentful and my frustration has gotten me to plan for a future minus him, just waiting for a sign to finally execute it…sadly, i think i have mastered to create a facade of a happy wife who has moved on, though deep inside there is a nagging feeling that doesn’t want to leave. it wakes me up at night, and it is becoming harder to convince myself that time will heal and eventually i’ll forget…definitely the magic is gone, no matter how hard he tries to convince me that he loves me.

  19. lm says:

    This is my first day reading these video comments and it was saddening to hear so much negativity, but reality I guess…… It was finally comforting to read this comment. thank you. I learned about my husbands affair a year ago and desperately researched how to survive and save our marriage. It turns out I was the only one trying whole heartedly. I learned 4 days ago that he not only continued communication with the first OW, but had another woman in a different country (I still don’t know if this 2nd OW was a one time thing or not) I am back at square one today with a deep broken heart and feeling major heaviness on my chest. I am sad beyond words. The only difference is that this time he’s begging me to forgive him and insisting that he would do anything it takes to get me back. I can’t even think right now. I just breathe a heavy sigh when I think of what he’s done for the second time. I gave him another year of my life, my love and he lied to me. I’m not a stupid person, I’m educated and a mother of 3, but if I could only know for sure that we could learn from this and have an even better life together I could move forward. I’m scared, hurt, sad, confused right now. I need more time. Thanks for listening.

    • Sherry says:

      I had the same same thing happen to me. I found out almost 4 years ago that my husband had affairs. I chose to work on our marriage. A year and a half later, I found out he was talking to someone else. His reaction after I found out about this one was different than the last time. He seemed more regretful, cried, asked for my forgiveness, said he will do anything to make this work. I chose to stay again, but have been having a very difficult time recovering than when I found out 4 years ago. I am 2 1/2 years past that last one. I think he is being honest with me now and I see positive changes, but at the same time, it’s hard to know for sure because of all the lies. It is hard, but we’ve been working on it. We were in counseling for 3 years as well. We read a lot of books and websites. I think it is possible to recover, but we will never forget and unfortunately, life will never be the same for betrayed spouses. I feel angry at him that he did this, that it changed me forever and caused such havoc and destruction to our family. I also angry with those he cheated with because they all knew he was married and had kids.

  20. Kimberly says:

    It’s my one year anniversary sense my world changed. I have three children that are young adults. I chose to stay in the marriage, however this is becoming a challenge. My spouse had an affair with a co-worker that he still admits is his best match. He tells me he loves me and never planned on leaving me. The other woman is also married and was only looking for fun. She dropped my husband like a hot potato and wants no part of him. I just don’t get the point. Why would you hurt someone so bad for your own personel fun and pleasure? I will never get over the pain and I’m starting to feel that my man is no damn good for me. He says he’s sorry, but he doesn’t act like it. His world has gotten better I try even more to be the perfect wife. We had a good marriage and I thought we were happy. He even states we were happy he just wanted to have sex with a different person. My spouse gets very annoyed with me because I don’t forgive and forget. He doesn’t want to hear about it anymore and I need to get over it. I just wish I could. I find his attitude harsh and insensitive. I was always a confident and trusting person, now I feel ugly and scared. I trusted him 110%, I never thought he would lie, cheat, and expose me to a STD(cause she didn’t like condoms). My parents told my to grow up and get over it, these things happen in life. This is what I get for keeping my promise to him and for truely loving him with my every breathe. I will never give anyone so much of me again!

  21. Kellie says:

    I’m really relating to Bill & Cindy’s experiences and am thankful to everyone for openly putting their thoughts on line here- thanks also to Dr Bob.
    I too have given my marriage my all we’ve been together 17years since I was 17 we’ve three teenage sons it’s taken the best of me and I’ve had that thrown back in my face when I was unable to keep my calm after 6 months post the discovery that he’s been with her for 4 years and I thought we’d both been working on our marriage but he couldn’t leave her behind. He recently moved in with her and thought nothing of the impact that would have on me or our kids. I feel terrible insisting that the kids spend time with their dad when they don’t want to but at the same time don’t want to make life to easy for her because I’m unbelieveably still hoping he’ll want to come back to me!!!!! CRAZY I KNOW -I am educated, attractive, have many loyal friends (many staying with me over him post discovery) & work as a full time therapist- YET I’m shocked at my own inability to get on top of my emotional turmoil (up’s & down’s) resulting from this affair despite doing all the right things. How do others suggest we protect our children from the fall out without denial and secrecy???

  22. sue says:

    I am thankful that i am not alone with my feelings of tremendous betrayal from a spouse.I’ve been married for 18 yrs with three teenage children and yet this guy repeatedly cheated on me. I’ve forgiven him many times and gave him several chances of keeping our family intact.Now it seems it’s useless to accept his love.Truly the pain never ends.

  23. Joe says:

    I am just past the one-year mark. My gorgeous wife of 25 years had a multi-year affair with a co-worker. I found out about it shortly after it started, but could do nothing but witness it and be publicly humiliated, because of our kids’ situation. Blowing up their world was not something I could do.

    I finally confronted her when I got suicidal. She showed no remorse, still tried to deny it. I produced evidence, I’m still convinced she only admitted it to save him.

    The pain is still 24×7. We decided to try again for the sake of the previous 33 years. I go back and forth between intense hatred and wanting to hold her and get the past back.

    I still can’t make love to her without pain. I don’t know if we will ever be carefree again.

  24. penne says:

    after reading all the comments about how people healed and had such great new beginnings I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with me. It is comforting to know that others,too, feel that sense of betrayal that cannot be remedied. He still gets nasty and emotionally abusive and then is nice for awhile and each time I go back in my mind to the days of the affair when he shut me out so totally and I couldn’t understand what was going on. Of course, now he is becoming more infirm and needs me to take care of him –physically and financially. I finally have to understand that all along I was used for what I could provide in status and financial comfort. He always admitted to using people (employees, secretaries) until they were used up and then discarded. I was supposed to be different. I wasn’t.
    I can decide to live with it, but truly the pain, the betrayal never goes away. The past(illusion that it was) will never be regained. You just make the best of the situation.

    • D says:

      Your correct …you make the best of your situation.the pain of what happens never goes away…….its always hurling around every corner !…. and some times daily

  25. dian says:

    Dr. Bob
    My husband has never said he was sorry. He has told me in different conversations that “it will never happen again”,”I love you, only you”. He is very attentive, and we have become more relaxed with each other. The affair ended about a year ago. Thanks to apppying the things I read in your book,our relationship has become close and we spend a lot of time together. He seems happy to be with me. The pain has lessened, but I find myself wondering if he is sorry. Or does he still feel, he did nothing wrong, as he said the day I found out? If I knew he was sorry, and how to recognize that, I feel that a lot of that recurring pain would lessen.

  26. Joanne says:

    you know I feel the same way. One minute I love him to death and the other minute, I remember the facts that he lied to me. I get so upset that he could just look me straight in the face and lie and he could also be with someone else and come home to me like nothing happened. It makes me wonder if anything he told me in the past is real and true or is it all a lie. Other times, I think that I am a bit crazy and that he is a man and that this really did not mean anything to him but was just a fling!! I am so confused. It has been a year since finding out and our relationship has gotten so much better and I am so much stronger but I continue to have these moments and sometimes they carry through until the evening and I cannot sleep. God forbid I tell him how I feel, he will get really upset and then not talk to me for days–so I keep all of this to myself–I will get past this–but I fear resenting him so much for causing me so much pain and anguish and for not letting me trust him. How long will this take?????

  27. Corrie says:

    Its so helpful to read others who have gone through this but the pain just wont go away. My husband didnt sleep with the girl but he touched her and wrote very sexual things to this girl. I am so scared it will happen again. He has to work with this girl and swears that it will never happen again and it was a huge mistake but how can I be sure? I question everything he does and worry constantly. He keeps telling me i need to just move on but how? Its only been 3 months and I feel so much pain. I thought my marriage was perfect. I thought I was going to be one of those people who had a long wounderful marriage and my husband would never do that to me. How do I get over this when I’m faced with fear everyday of them working together?

  28. Bob says:

    My wife had an affair for a year, the other person lived in another state, he was her boyfriend in high school, he traveled here 2 times to be with her, however the phone conversations were weekly for a year.

    One of the encounters was in my house while I was away, she said he was only here one day but I have my suspicions. The pain I feel and the constant reminders I see everyday since it happened in my house is unbearable, I am almost positive she isnt talking to him anymore, she said the last encounter (6 mo ago) made her realize she loved me and what she was looking for wasnt with him, she is very attentive and she really acts like she loves me, but the reminders and the pain is so hard to get past, I have only known about this for 3 weeks, is there any advice anyone can give to stop the images in my head, I see them everywhere I go in my house, I just cant stand it, and sometimes I feel she may leave me, part of me says it may be best but I just love her so much.

  29. Barry says:

    I understand and feel exactly the way you do. I struggle to stay even when I fear deep down she is insincere about wanting to fix things because I do not to loose my family and break my childrens hearts. Mine is all ready broken. its a terrible place to be.

  30. Marty says:

    The years of not knowing, frustration and constant lies from her finally came to a head. I determined “No More” and calmly issued an ultimatum to her. Admit it, confront it, answer my questions in detail about it…no other options or “I’m outta here.” I figured it was 50/50 whether or not she cared enough to take things seriously this time. So far she has & I now feel a 70/30 chance we’ll make it. For me I must ask and get answers to very detailed questions about what, when, who, etc. I let all that sink in and find I have additional questions. She must (and so far has) answer all those in detail as well. This back and forth is continuing and I’m finding myself slowly letting loose of some of the rage and hurt I’ve felt. As one other commenter wrote, for me at least, the Truth does seem to be setting me free. Not that it doesn’t hurt to hear these things, though. I still struggle with the “images” in my mind. I’m hoping this video series as well as some of the other resources I’m finding will give me some clues as to how to deal with that. Trust is the next major hurdle I’m facing as well. I believe that at some point I’ll require her to make full admissions and amends to all of those who’ve been affected by her lies and deceit including our children and close friends. That is going to make this all very “real” for both of us. It’ll serve as a sort of penance for her. She’ll no longer be able to continue her lies & deceitful ways without all those around her realizing that she’s not the “angel” she’s always made herself out to be. If she makes that level of commitment and humbles herself and subjects herself to that scrutiny, I may be able to finally start the process of trusting her once more. Some of this may be a bit harsh, but my attitude is “too bad”. In this particular relationship, it’s fair to say that I did absolutely nothing to bring this on. In this case, the onus is completely upon her to make things right. If and when she does, then I suppose the responsibility will be on me to be honest in my forgiveness and not spend the rest of our lives making her pay further for what she’s done.

  31. Melissa says:

    The affair was almost 4 years ago..It was with his ex wife..Alot of people just scuff it off and laugh like it wasn’t a real affair because they already had a history..Any affair is an affair no matter who it is. She has been in my life ever since as they have children together..sad to say that we are now just resently separated. It has taken along time to get my self esteem back, I now see him for who he is and know that the affair is not my fault. I went through the hurt and the hate, I have decided that I don’t want to live like that anymore it is not healthy I have replaced my hate with feeling sorry for them. I still love him very much and I always will but sometimes love is not enough…..

  32. Vera says:

    Thank you everyone for your posts. They keep me going now – just knowing I am not the only one devastated by my husband’s infidelity.

    I thought him to be my soul mate, best friend, and the love of my life. For him, I left my country, my career, my family and friends behind. And now 5 years and 3 kids later, he turns out to be a sex- and porn-addict who has been sleeping with everything that moves and doing it all the time.

    I will never be able to bear my husband to even touch me again, but I did reconsider filing for divorce 6 month ago because he promised not to make any sexual advances to me and just stay together for our 2 toddlers and a baby.

    However, he has been harassing me sexually ever since which resulted in daily fights with police involved. After a most recent fight he filed a false police report for domestic violence claiming me to be insane, abusive, and dangerous for him and the kids. And he had the police come to take me in. This time I was able to prove he lied and I did not go to jail. But the police told me I should get a Restraining Order immediately and file for divorce. And that was the second time they told me that. I did go a lawyer for consultation and she told me exact same thing that the police.

    It breaks my heart that my 3 young kids will have to go through this. As for me, I feel like the world crashed on my shoulders. I have not slept a single night without a sleeping pill for the last year and a half.

    That’s when I got pregnant with the 3rd baby, was diagnosed with an STD, and my husband became too sloppy to cover his almost daily going out to see prostitutes. He still would deny cheating and say I should see a psychiatrist for I imagine things. He would also stop giving me any money (I’m a stay- at-home Mom, and so dependent on him financially) and he was getting mad at me for not having sex with him, and would lock me out of the bedroom.

    When the new baby was 3 weeks old I told my husband I’m divorcing him, and he confessed being a sex-addict and begged me to forgive him. He said he can be over it now, and he loves so much.

    Now that I see my story written down, I do not understand how could have all this happen to me and lasted so long. When I met my husband, I was a happy young and beautiful woman who owned a very successful small business. I was always considered smart, was always on the top of all my classes, and had 2 Master’s degrees from a prestigious school.

    Now I know that I can see the reality clearer, and I will go through this and one day be free from this nightmare. But I am a long long way away from that day yet.

  33. Lynette says:

    I have just passed two years after I disovered my husbands affair with a married colleaugue. We were 2 months short of our 25 (Silver) wedding anniversary when ths appened. I have been with him since I was 17, in total 29 years together. We have three young adult children. I always put him first. He always worked, were sometimes 3 and more months overseas while i was happy to stay at home with the chldren and keep everything going. I accepted him for what he was, a cold person who couldnt show emotions and never showed me affection. That makes it harder for me as now he so easily shows affection toward another. My dreams, needs never mattered and were put on hold as I loved him so much and wanted him to achieve all his dreams. In between running the household, the kids etc, luckily I managed to build a career, play sport and have other hobbies. This is helping me to cope although the betrayal he inflicted on me was a a deep, raw wound and a is now a scar that will never fade. To make things worse he never even admitted or showed any remorse. He walked out when I confronted him, without any explanation. The only communcation I have with him is over email and most of the times the hatred, anger and vengeance comes through in my mails which I always regret afterwards. I dont like the angry person, engulfed by hatred, pain, hurt, vengeance his has turned me into. I waited 18 months after he left before I filed for dvicorce, he never contacted me and left me with the children without any financial support. We are still negotiaing the settlement for the dicorce via email and its so painful when any emails with new negotiations comes through. The thing that gets me the most is his arrogance, denial (I had text messages and caught them together). I never expected that he would do this to me, he was never a social person and I was the outgoing, attractive one with lots of friends and I had opportunities to cheat but never did as he was my everythng,yet he was the one who cheated. To move on after his infidelity and betrayal, not having closure, Is the biggest challenge I have faced in my life and I know the pain will always be there

    • Guy says:

      No Lynette the pain will not always be will diminish over time, albeit a very long time, but eventually you will feel better again.

  34. Carol Kauffman says:

    As the above comments attest, there is no definitive timetable for healing from such a massive emotional insult. I am 6 years out from D-day #1 but several years followed where a 40 year history was disclosed of my husband’s multiple affairs and casual flings. He has made tremendous strides- says awareness and gratitude for me and our life together has saved him. Still, whenever he displays some of the behaviors associated with his previou life ( e.g thumbing through my swimwear catalogues; getting annoyed with me if I bring up a touchy subject, etc.) I get triggered all over again. I am with a therapist now who says trauma of infidelity is in our very cells and needs to be brought up and out – I am looking forward to working with her. I heartily agree with the person who said a major campaign should be implemented to help prevent infidelities in the first place, and penalties should be part of our laws. After all, if my H had physically hurt me, he would immediately be arrested and charged. But with invisible psychic wounds- far more painful- he gets off Scott free. Something terribly wrong is going on here.

  35. Leo says:

    My pain will dim but always remain. I tangled with a narcissistic sociopath. Is that redundant? This person flipped their thinking about me and became an enemy within. Within our home. Within my heart. And damn sure in my head. I can closely relate to the man way above in comments. Like him, I hate her one minute and next minute I wish I could check in, say hi, tell her I miss her. She lain her a financial attack against me. Also against reason it seems to me bcuz it’s illegal in so many ways and there was nothing subtle about it. More like Sherman’s March to the Sea.
    I’m left wondering with nothing but questions, confusion, pain, anger. Why? Was I so bad? Were we bad together? Was our relationship ever real or was I merely someone (or worse-an object) to be used up then discarded? Will the fallout from societies sanctions be worth all of this?
    I just don’t understand what is happening.

  36. Bill says:

    First affair was with Brother-in-law, after 30 years of marriage, 2 kids, and 5 grandkids. This destroyed the in-laws marriage, and changed ours forever. Counseling, forgiveness and 4 years later, it happened again, this time with her high school boyfriend. I filed and divorced immediately !
    The old saying, ” A leopard doesn’t change it’s spots”, is right on !
    I believe that if they are willing to cheat once, they have NO reluctance to do so again, and have revealed their “TRUE” character of who they really are.
    Why would anyone want to stay in this situation ? You will never get back what you thought you had before, because what you thought you had, was a lie and a fairy tale…neither party will ever be happy.
    Life is too short, to try and live with that pain….. MOVE on… Don’t struggle….
    I guarantee you, it WILL be better !

  37. Jim says:

    I am just past 3 years of discovery which happened just short of 25 years of marriage.
    My wife slept with a contractor who worked on our house, and carried on the affair for 7-1/2 years, all the while teaching at a Christian school. Then that affair ended, and she started up a 2nd affair. i didn’t catch her until the 2nd affair, because I really thought she was not that kind of person. Well, that was sure mis-guided. In fact, I blamed myself for our marriage problems because I could never make her happy. Boy was I wrong.
    We have 3 kids, now almost grown. I ended up staying for the kids, not for her. But I didn’t want to believe that 25 years of marriage was for nothing.
    I still don’t trust her, she acts as if nothing happened. She does what she has to do to maintain the status quo and do the minimum to maintain the relationship. She was going to leave with the first guy after our kids were grown, but then he cheated on her (how ironic).
    If I get the opportunity, I will probably do the same…leave that is. It’s not that I want a relationship with someone else, it’s more that I don’t like who she is anymore. I used to really like who she was, now I don’t like who she is at all. She claims to be a changed person, but she only changed because she got caught. Not convincing at all.
    She stole my innocence, I never wanted to be a part of something like this. I just wanted a good marriage and a good family. I thought she came from a good family and understood the importance of family. What a lie. She is a self-absorbed narcissist. The magic, the innocence, the loyalty, its all gone. She used me and took advantage of me. I used to be a confident and content person, now I am insecure and cynical. I really can’t let it go, because she is not remorseful. I think she would do it again given the right opportunity. It’s all an act, just like her faith was an act, just like our marriage was an act. I am hoping for better, but its been a very rough road. The pain has gotten better, but I will never be the same again. This experience has ruined me.

  38. Doug says:

    Hi, Ed B … Eighteen years ago my wife had a year-long affair with someone she met at work. She signed the house over to me and had to start working full-time. Our kids were aged 2 and 9 at the time. My circumstances seem very similar to yours. I reconciled with my wife only because I didn’t want to be a part-time father and didn’t want anyone else raising my kids. I realized a few years ago that I will never be able to just forget what happened and, like you, there will be times every day when it will haunt me and have a difficult time being close with her. I guess what I’m trying to say is … Do you regret staying with your wife once your kids were grown? I truly believe she no longer loves me and have a hard time imagining what it would be like to start over at 55.

  39. L V says:

    I’m just over 2 years of discovering, and got “The Talk” of “I love you, but I’m not in love with you, anymore.” And “You’re a good man,…. but…”
    She has wanted to sweep it under the carpet since our reconciliation and (of course) doesn’t want to talk about it. I get triggers…. still have questions…. and, like a detective, found out things on my own! My intuition and gut have NEVER been wrong, but I’m just supposed to believe the stories she tells me? I’m not stupid! See,… here’s the deal; and I pleaded with her from the beginning of reconciliation. Just tell me everything! Like a book, or story, I want to know everything! Even though painful, I could at least process it and confirm I had never been crazy, or just imagined things, or, as one if her favorites, “over-think things!” But, she’s only admitted to partial things happening in this douche canoe’s truck! I know other things happened, and even recovered photos and texts, but she refuses to talk and accused me of just picking at the scab; saying we moved to get away from the bad memories and to just make new ones together. I like that idea, but still need to know. I’m just wired that way! Images of things I’m pretty sure happened haunt me! She’s said she has no explanation for it (lasted about 6 months) and was just vulnerable and badly influenced by a new female friend who ENCOURAGED IT! She says she just felt possessed! Now tell me,…who, being possessed, as it were, has the will power to never go all the way!? I don’t think so! She’s very good at deflecting and tries to quickly change topics, shoot me down, or go into the whole… how many times do I have to swear. See, I notice everything and have always been right. My kids hated that. I always knew when something was wrong. I saw her change before my eyes…. after 15 years. She said the douche bag who knew she was married, just wooed her when she needed to be wooed! I also envision doing terrible things to him!! It’s normal and I won’t apologize. But he’s such a coward and douche, that his ass could get kicked daily and he’d never have an epiphany! But it would make me feel better! It was soooo uncharacteristic for her and she’s been the love of my life. I’ve never experienced pain to this degree in my life and I’m sure I have PTSD from it! I’m plagued with nightmares still. I try to get her to talk but she clams up. I love her and try to tell her no matter what she says, I’m not going anywhere….I forgive her….I love her…. but I NEED AFFIRMATION and confirmation. Am I only making it worse to keep demanding to “talk it out?” We are fine and seem very much in love, but am I doing more harm than good!? 😔😢

    • Dan says:

      I’m in the exact same boat as you LV, been 11 months since the your a good man blah blah blah. It lasted for 4 months. I’m supposed to believe in that time they never went all the way! Like you I wanted to know all details and specifics, but only tell you what they want to. How quickly they forget about it and expect us to move on. Not to reassuring to read some of these comments that 30 to 50 years later the pain is still there.

  40. Cindy Dixon says:

    I’ve never really gotten over my husband’s cheating and sadly he died last March, with me on one side and his mistress on the other side of him. He left me hanging by a thread, so-to-speak. I’m still hanging there today. Starting over,at 55 has been hard, but, I’m going to do it. I have to bcuz I’ve been given a chance to start over. Even tho I miss him, I’ve gotta try for me.

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