Why do unfaithful men and women keep forgetting details of affairs?
If you’re going to cheat on your wife or husband, you’d think you’d remember important details – like how often, where you went, what you did, what you said? However, time after time, unfaithful partners say ‘I don’t know’ or come up with such general answers that their partner gets exasperated, angry and fear for the future of their relationship.
“If you can’t tell me that, what hope is there for our marriage?” That’s the cry that I hear time and time again in my counselling office. So in the first of my new style blogs, I’m going to look at why people keep forgetting details of affairs and whether it matters or not. Here’s a typical case….
My wife keeps asking me questions , she wants to see the whole picture so that she can understand what really happened. To me however, if feels as if someone took a scissor and cut parts of my memory away. Often there is only a “black hole” in my memory. I did things that are in total contrast to what I would have done normally, I lied to nearly everybody I love and value, acted completely against my own nature and values. Now more and more often , I just don’t remember doing these things I did. And it is getting worse.
Four reasons for forgetting
To be able to have an affair, unless you’re a complete bastard, you have to tell yourself that what happens over there (in affair land) has no impact on my life over here (with my partner and kids). In this way, it almost feels like you’re another person doing this things which normally you would condemn. (Sometimes people tell me of almost out of body experiences as they type how much they ‘love’ their affair partner and ‘I’ve never felt this way before’ because they knew at the time that they didn’t mean them but it was what was expected in an affair and went along – like someone in a play performing their role.) You can further dissociate and minimise your behaviour by downplaying details. You certainly don’t want to remember all the lies that you’ve had to tell or how much you’ve betrayed your partner.
What your partner thinks: In order to have risked so much, it must have been really important – i.e. you were in love! And if you’re in love, you remember and cherish every look gesture and memory.
This is most toxic of all feelings and we will do anything to avoid it – because shame is the opposite of love. It also makes us feel a bad person and from a very early age we’re told explicitly (or it is implied) by our parents: bad things happen to bad children. It is further reinforced by movies and popular culture where bad people are punished and good people live happily ever after. (I know real life is more complex and your partner is not a kid but we are dealing with early primitive feelings and the patterns are set young). So to avoid having to face our shameful behaviour, we simply block out all those terrible details of how much we paid for that candlelight dinner, what we ate and what we talked about.
What your partner thinks: I’m glad you feel shame perhaps you won’t do it again. Sometimes they use shame to punish their partner and make him or her feel as bad as they do. However, it can easily backfire because we’ll do anything to avoid shame and feel better again – and in many cases, this will include your partner contacting the affair partner again (as he or she is someone who will understand, confirm he or she is ‘not a bad person’ and give a feel good boost of more cheap sex)
People have affairs because they can’t communicate their unhappiness or a feeling of unfairness about their lot. They think there are only two options: put up and shut up or leave the relationship. So they opt for first and everything gets worse and worse until it comes to a head and they metaphorically leave the relationship by having an affair. Other self-medicating behaviours – which block out pain – include drinking too much, street drugs, immersing yourself in porn etc. These people literally go into a trance where nothing can touch them (at the time). Cheap sex and fantasy ‘love’ is just as powerful and like drinking too much, you certainly can’t remember all the details the next morning.
What your partner thinks: Our marriage can’t have been so bad that you needed to escape and if it is why are we still together?
4. Once bitten, twice shy
In other words, you can remember (at least at the beginning) but every detail gets such an explosion of anger, bitterness and betrayal, so you don’t want to go there again. So you tell yourself ‘more details will set us back’ and deliberately shut up – to ‘protect’ yourself and you tell yourself your marriage too. Alternatively, you will get confused about details – because like the police your partner goes over the story time after time and point up inconsistencies ‘but you said you met in the bar’.
After a while, you’re not sure what happened and what didn’t. Sometimes, out of desperation, you will agree to a detail suggested by their partner – ‘you must have fancied her for months before hand’ – because it sounds likely or may have happened and mostly to get your partner off your back. Not surprisingly, you become even more and more uncertain about the truth.
What your partner thinks: You are holding back details because the affair meant more than you’re letting on. And how can I know you’re telling the truth because you’ve lied so much already.
Does it matter?
Ultimately, I would say few people who’ve been unfaithful can bring back the level of detail to appease their partner or many keep forgetting details of affairs.
Four reasons why you shouldn’t be allowed to forget
- It builds up trust. The more open and honest you can be, the easier the recovery
- Penance. Facing up to the full enormity of your betrayal is the least that you can do.
- You can learn important lessons. For example, how to deal with unpleasant feelings – like happiness – rather than suppressing them or self-medicating. (I always stress the importance of assertiveness and good communication in rebuilding relationships after infidelity. If everything is too easy, you won’t have the impetus to change and learn these new skills)
- Danger of moving on too quickly. When we’re in pain, we want to feel better quickly but can include pushing everything under the carpet. I think it takes at least a year to recover from a serious case of infidelity (and I’m only concerned if people are still struggling two years after discovery). Otherwise, you risk getting stuck in attempted normality – where on the surface your relationship is OK but the pain and resentment remains under the surface.
Four reasons why you should be allowed to forget
- If it really was cheap sex and fantasy, you are probably not going to remember everything – rather like waking up after a dream or a nightmare!
- It’s been set as a secret test by your partner. Inside his or her head, he or she is thinking ‘if you loved me you would remember’. No wonder, he or she is plugging away for details and giving you chance after chance to pass (or fail). In counselling, I stress ‘accept the feelings and challenge the thoughts’. In other words, it’s fine to be angry, upset and betrayed but does the thought really stack up. Is this test fair? Does it ignore all the other things the discovered partner is doing to show his or her love? Is it possible to love your partner and still want to draw a line under the truth and reconciliation phase of recovery?
- The meanings put the details could easily be wrong. In the mind of the discoverer of infidelity, for example, their partner going to a favourite restaurant that they shared together is proof of ‘not caring about me’ or ‘you must have loved her to take her there!’ However, in the mind of the discovered it was convenient and he didn’t know other restaurants in the area. Who is right? Who is wrong? How much does it matter?
- Understanding why doesn’t take the pain away. Sometimes even when I have spent several sessions on why an affair happened, couples are no further forward. The discoverer says ‘yes but I wouldn’t have done that under these circumstances’ and they still can’t get their head round it. Perhaps it is that women can’t know what it is like to be a man and men can’t really understand the pressures on women. However, I think ‘why’ is NOT the key question. A much better one is ‘how can we make certain it doesn’t happen again?’ or ‘how do we move forward?’ or ‘what do we need to change?’
For more help see: How Can I Ever Trust You Again? and My Husband Doesn’t Love Me and He’s Texting Someone Else.
Please add your experiences to the debate by leaving a comment below.
- How important was doing the details to your recovery?
- Why do you think they matter?
- Are there better questions than ‘why did you cheat’? and if so what are they?
All comments will be moderated.
I honestly believe that knowing details (I’m a discoverer) help the betrayed partner realise that, yes, this really happened and, yes again, my husband really did have an affair with someone who replaced me as the special person in his life for the duration of the affair. This realisation helped me to “normalize” the affair i.e. it wasn’t the absolute worst thing that ever happened to me, even though for a long time it seemed to be just that. I was also helped by the fact that my husband verbalised his attitude to this period of his life. Not a case of “I don’t know what came over me”, but “I think I was feeling a bout of middle-aged depression. I needed to feel I could attract someone, she flattered me by saying that she didn’t care that I was overweight but she did say I was a great lover etc.” The churning up of memories was important for me, but it’s true that my husband has forgotten more and more details as time goes by. I too, am less interested as I think I know almost everything. I agree with what you said. The “why” is not the most important aspect of an affair when a couple have decided to rebuild their marriage.
Andrew G Marshall says
You’re right that you still need to understand WHY someone had an affair without getting obsessed with particular details of what happened. I’m glad you’ve found the balance. What are other people’s experiences?
“partner going to a favourite restaurant that they shared together is proof of ‘not caring about me’ or ‘you must have loved her to take her there!’”
This is a major sticking pin for me. He took her to places, restaurants, hotels that we frequented as a couple and a family. And while in some ways I see it as an insult to her – he didn’t make the effort to find a nice, original place to take her and it shows how NOT special she was – it hurts that these places apparently meant nothing to him. – MYR
Isnt it astonishing how predictable spouses can be, especially after 25 yrs of marriage!?
Andrew G Marshall says
It is fascinating how different people can view the same events in different ways. Think about why it is a major sticking pin for you? What does it say about you? I know it is horrible to think our partner sees the past in different ways and puts different meanings onto something but do you have to be two peas in a pod?
I think I needed to hear the details. These two months (of my husband having an affair) were kept secret from me. In order to start rebuilding trust, I needed to know what had been going on.
You describe exactly what has happened to us. My husband has forgotten most of the details (I remember more from what he told me whilst being in the ‘affair fog’ than he does now and he’s utterly ashamed of what he had told me (about how he felt about me)). And I think you’re right about the reasons. Thanks for sharing!
I find that without details recovery is difficult but in some perverse way it is also easier at the same time because it gives me a chance to focus on us rather than the other guy. I don’t want to sweep this under the carpet at all but I also don’t want to be the person to give her a daily reminder of her mistake. I take things day by day and I look for 1-2 ways I can improve myself and our marriage…fingers crossed
It’s not so much the “why” that I’m stuck on, but the “how”. Maybe it’s just semantics but I can see why my husband started down the road that eventually led him to have an affair, our marriage was fractured. I just don’t know how he could have gone through with it?! How he managed to compartmentalise. How he was able to have text conversations with me about our children while he was with her. How he then lied to me about the details for months. Aren’t affairs just about massive immaturity?! And if they are then how can you ever move forward with a partner who is less emotionally mature than yourself?
Andrew G Marshall says
You’re right, it does seem very teenage to imagine that you can do something in one corner of your life and for it not to ripple out and effect every part (and those of everybody else around you).
However, it might be useful to look at Transactional Analysis – it’s in my book ‘How can I ever trust you again’ – because while he is adapted child, you’re coming across as critical parent. In many ways, always being in parent mode is equally unattractive. It’s something I discuss a lot in ‘I love you but you always put me last’ parents need to be lovers too and have fun together (rather just with the kids).
When I look at WHY with lots of parents about an affair, it’s often because they’ve exhausted themselves with being perfect parents and left little time to partners.
I totally agree, we do have a parent/child relationship. I’m not sure if my personality brings out the child in him or whether his “adapted child” brings out the “critical parent” in me?! I’m not even sure whether the reasons are important, but I see my own parents in myself and I don’t like it. They were both very critical especially my father. I really don’t know how to change this part of my character.
My situation is complicated in that my husband has many AS traits. He’s never been diagnosed but scored very high on the AQ test. Coincidentally our marriage counsellor also works with many AS clients and has been a great help for us both in helping to understanding him. He is high achieving academically, especially in maths. He was poor at English especially early on and didn’t start to talk until he was around 3 years old. I suspected from quite early on in our relationship that he might be AS but never said anything to him. I told him my feelings during a counselling session and only because our counsellor made a comment about my father in law possibly having AS after my husband described his personality to her. She’s also alluded to the fact that my husband’s mother seems to have some AS traits also. His parents relationship could be described as parent/child also. It’s difficult to know if this is AS or just learned behaviour.
I read “How Can I Ever Trust You Again” very soon after I discovered his affair. The part about TA did strike a chord with me. What I find really hard to understand is that those with AS seem to avoid intimacy rather than seek it out so this doesn’t fit with him having an affair. I just wondered what your thoughts on this are?
We’ve been in crisis for 18 months now and we’re desperate to find some way through but nothing seems to work for us. I’m tired of counselling and want to stop, but my husband feels like it’s giving up. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Andrew G Marshall says
You can find out more about TA in Help your partner say yes. My hope is that he would respond well if you are in adult and shift into adult too.
As for affairs and Aspergers, I wonder if you’re making a fundamental mistake if you think affairs are always about intimacy. In many ways, they can also be an escape too. With two, or more people in your life, you are spreading the load of intimacy. If things get too close at home, you can step into affair world and escape. Meanwhile, an affair can never develop into a rounded relationship because the wife / husband is a break.
If you haven’t read the books of Maxine Ashton, I would recommend Aspergers in Love
I was devastated when I discovered in September 2012 my husbands affair with a colleague at work, my world fell apart as I really really had had no idea it had been going on. He admits that he compartmentalised the affair and truely belived that it would have no impact on our relationship and marriage. For me the details of times and places were vital because I soon discovered that the affair had started in 2009 and I almost had to build a time line to see where their affair fitted into what had been going in our lives. I needed to see the overall picture, to put it into perspective. Although he said that they had ‘re drawn boundaries’ at the end of 2010 I sensed that this was not the end of the affair. Eventually he admitted that they had carried on seeing each other throughout 2011 but had not had sex again, just meeting for coffee or a drink before or after meetings or at the end of the day. He truely believed that that was not having an affair because they were not having sex. What I think you call a ‘dry affair’ Andrew in your book HCIETYA. I asked him when he thought the affair had ended. He truely thought that it had once they had stopped having sex. I gently pointed out to him that from my perspective their affair ended when I found the photo in 2012. He admts that they both knew that at any time in that period boundaries could have been easily crossed again and that his involvement with her meant that he did not see my needs or invest time in our relationship. The reason I found discovered the affair was that an intimate photo he took of her while having sex and had kept hidden on his iphone had in some technological way transferred itself to our ipad while he had been using it for his own sexual gratification. I found it amongst family photographs. He had not seen the need to delete it, he wanted to keep it and anyway I was never going to know about it.
As for Why? I have asked so many times in the last 18 months and he cannot say. There were so many opportunities where he could have finished the affair, two months after having sex for the first time with her we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with friends and family but he still continued the affair and had sex again. With much help from our Relate counsellor, I realise now where the problems lay in our marraige and how we put it right. I understand now that he reason he had the affair and let it go on until I discovered the photo was purely and simply because he wanted to. He did not want to let go completely and commit to our marriage, he did not realise the impact it was having on our relationship. There is no reason to ask Why again.
With alot of help we are trying to rebuild our marriage, he is devastated now he can see the hurt and pain his affair has caused. It is taking along time and we both are having to make changes but we are both working really hard to be together for another 25 years
Andrew G Marshall says
I think your conclusions about WHY are really interesting. ‘He wanted to’ and ‘he didn’t realise the impact on our marriage’. It really points up some of the ways that women and men are socialised differently. While girls are encouraged to form alliances, be social and think of the impacts on their behaviour on others, boys are encouraged to achieve and come out on top (so there is less emphasis on being social except around particular sports). So many men truly believe what happens in their affair has no impact on their marriage until someone gently and slowly shows the truth. So congratulations on being so patient and for sharing your thoughts.
What other WHY have other people found helpful?
Kate B says
Its been a LONG 18 months since the discovery And i am desperate for help. The why is PTSD After almost dying of HINI virus in 2009/10. Buti i dont care why because their is no excuse for the pain he has caused us and destroying a wonderful marriage of 35 yrs. This july, is unforgivable. I now have obcessive thoughts that spin in my head all the time. I have aged looks wise 10 yrs and have depression and horrible emotional stomach, anxiety and terrible mood swings.
So no, why doesnt matter to me. There is no why that can fix this.
We are and have always been in love. It was like a car wreck…unexpected. To the point i am still in shock and cant believe it happened. Serial hook ups over a 2 yr period of time. No emotion ties at all but complications in the circumstances. Complicated!!!!!
Are you still around. Our stories are so alike I was interested in contacting you.
Your article was very helpful for me. I asked my husband a lot about details and now I can understand better why he cannot remember all the details that seem to be so important for me.
Andrew G Marshall says
I am struck by how you are simultaneously interested in why your husband was unfaithful but also dismissive (because no reason is good enough to wreck your wonderful marriage). I think you’ve cleverly summed up the problems of WHY. The answers a partner can give, sort of make sense, but although they can help you understand, up to a point, they don’t take the pain away. You also illustrate another point, while it is partly the job of the discovered to help heal the discoverer (by explaining motivations, filling in missing information and making amends), it also your job to sort out your head. Obsessive thoughts, depression, anxiety, mood swings, it sounds like a horrible cocktail and way beyond his pay scale to sort out. By all means, be angry with him for being unfaithful but not for being unable to make it better. Read ‘My Husband Doesn’t Love Me and He’s Texting Someone Else’ to understand him better and look at my new post ‘Stuck over partner’s affair’
Kate B says
Cant find new post..stuck over partners affairs. Is it not available yet?
Andrew, the serial affairs were with men. 3 different ones. One he met at the gym on the 1 yr anniversary of almost dying. He saw him 3 times and then 5 months later, he signed up on craigs list. Each encounter was 4 months apart. But he took pics(which was how i discovered it) and honored request from men he thought sounded interesting, they were married also. He WAS abused as a child….he definitely is not gay judging by our sex life before and after the 2 yrs. But it really bothers me. Plus, we are 15 yrs apart in age. That has never mattered to either of us. But i am at an age right now that it makes it alllll a problem for me. He is 53 and i am 68. Thus has turned my workd upside down.
Andrew G. Marshall says
‘I can’t get over my partner’s affair’ is a new book and comes out in October (2015). Why not sign up for my newsletter so i can let you know when it’s out? In the meantime, please look at ‘My husband doesn’t love me and he’s texting someone else’ because I have a special appendix for women who find their husband has been cheating with another man. I hope you find it helpful.
I have not told anyone this before. Besides my journal and God. But I saw you respond to the comments and I am utterly desperate for advice. My husband and I have been married less than a year. We have been together for over 5. A few months before our wedding I found a name tag to a restaurant on the floor in the backseat of our car. At first he tried to lie about it but then he “came clean.” It still wasn’t the entire truth. He told me he got a text from a random phone number and they ended up meeting at her work place. He said she got in the car and then he said she needed to get out and that was it. Apparently she put her apron on the floor and the name tag must have fallen off. This specific incident was just over a year ago. He said sorry and showed it in his actions. Obviously I continued to marry him. 4 months later, about 2 after our wedding..I finally figured out his phone. He’d been secretive and protective of it for forever it seemed. I have great intuition and my gut is nearly always right. The night before I outright asked him if there is anything I should know and he told me no that he’d never hurt me that way. When I went through his phone I found multiple sexts and photos exchanged. It broke me. He had a different name, different life story. He signed up for some site called meet me and was on this kik thing. He had also been having phone sex with these people. Some acted like they were going to meet up but then in the text, it seemed they didn’t meet. When I went in and woke him up and confronted him, he cried. He was very upset. He has some issues. Definitely severe depression. Not sure what else. I let us make it about him. About why he could be acting this way, what void. That was about 8 months ago. I’m in the same spot I was then. Everything I know I found out on my own. He says he literally cannot remember a thing and is super frustrated because he doesn’t know. I call BS. I believe something more happened. Physically. I hate this. I hate that he changed my opinion of him. When we first started dating I had very bad insecurities due to a past relationship and he really helped me work through it. I became such a strong person. And the fact that HE cheated on me. The one person I believed would never hurt me that way. I try to ask why, what need I didn’t meet…but nothing. He gets angry so I feel like he is still doing it but sneakier. I never thought he was a super sexual person. We agreed in the beginning of our relationship we’d wait for marriage. Now he barely wants to be with me and I’m afraid perhaps I wasn’t really his first. Did I mention he got off the phone with me to continue having phone sex with another person a WEEK before our wedding?! Do you think he is really telling the truth, that there’s zero memory or is he still lying?
Andrew G Marshall says
What a horrible shock and it must be terrible not being able to share it and process everything. In my infidelity support group, I get people to do this exercise – as it really helps to concentrate the mind rather than letting everything spin out of control. Imagine three boxes. In the first is his stuff. Depression. Poor coping strategies – like distracting himself with phone sex rather than addressing any issues with you. Stuff from his childhood. The second box is your relationship. What needs to be changed here? The third box is your box. For example, your insecurities from the past. You can work on your box but you can’t empty his box. He needs to do that. You’ll probably need some help to unpack your relationship box so think about seeking some counselling. Look at my books, so you understand more about infidelity, why it happens and how to rebuild your relationship. Finally, it’s perfectly possible that he has blocked out his phone sex because it’s not at the centre of his life (just a stupid coping strategy for when he’s down, overwhelmed or stressed out)
If he has blocked it out is there ever hope I will get to know? How can I have closure if he so far has told me nothing. I found it all out on my own. Therefore no trust has been rebuilt. I have not been able to process what I do not yet know. We are hopefully going to start counseling soon. Not marital. He doesn’t want to do that. He thinks we both need individual counseling, which yes we do but I think we need marital just as much.
I have been with my husband for 21 years and have recently discovered, while he was overseas for 6 weeks, that he has been having an affair with a woman that he used to work with and from what I can gather the affair has been going on for the passed three years possibly more. Like many of these women when I confronted him he cried and apologised and proclaimed his love for me. He also plays the ‘I don’t’ remember card when I ask him and most of our conversations have been over the phone as he is still overseas and is not back for another week. I find I am on this emotional roller coaster where one minute I love him to bits and the next minute I don’t believe anything he says to me and question everything. He promises me that they only had sex once through this 3 year period and it has only been phone sex. However, a few of the messages I have found have indicated emotional connection. I struggle with this as I think if it had been pure sex it would be easier to deal with but with the fact that he sent her messages like I wish you were here with me indicate that it was more than sex. This is not the first time I have caught him cheating and I am scared it will happen again. When I ask him if he was unhappy with our marriage his response was ‘no, it was just a selfish act and I was just being selfish.’ I guess I want to know whether this could be the truth could it have simply been a case of him being selfish or is he in denial and is scared to hurt me by telling me the real reason for his affair. Hope you can help clear some things up for me I am in such a distressed state as this has happened before.
Andrew G Marshall says
If you brush everything under the carpet – like he’s trying to do – you risk doing only the first stages of recovery (shock, intense questioning, decision making ie: stay or go, hope) and getting stuck in attempted normality – where everything is going along OK on the surface but underneath everything is murky. Put my name into YOU TUBE and watch my video to learn more. I think a better question than ‘are you unhappy?’ would be ‘what’s stopping you from telling me about your unhappiness?’ and a follow up ‘how do you think I’ll react?’ It might seem safer to be in attempted normality – because you’re frightened what you’ll find – but as you’ve found out already, that’s raises the chances of it all happening again.
I am dealing with a little bit of this myself. I always tell my wife how terrible of a memory I have, and I don’t remember certain details or months or even years of when things happened. These things I can’t remember weren’t even a part of our relationship. They are a part of my past, and I must admit, I was untruthful about my past with her, because I was ashamed of it, and I didn’t want her to not talk to me or like me less (past gf’s and partners, etc). And some details deliberately kept from her, but as these things came out, I decided to be more truthful with her and just be honest, because I know that’s the best way to handle things. But of course, it’s very hard for her to trust me now, and she doesn’t even believe me when I tell her the truth more than half of the time now. And if I say “I don’t remember…” or if I remember something one way, and it turns out it was actually another way, then I’m just a liar and I was trying to hide it, when in reality I just have a Sh*t memory sometimes and can’t remember things. I always tell her that if I knew the exact dates (cause she wants to know) then I would just tell her. And she says I wouldn’t because I know it might upset her. I know that hiding things from her (unfortunately from experience, I’ve really made an effort to clean up my act here) will upset her even more. I feel constantly like the Boy Who Cried Wolf…she insists she can tell when I’m lying, even when I’m telling the truth…it’s so frustrating, maybe when she insists that I’m lying, my frustration turns into “signs” of untruth…I don’t know, I’m not an expert. She refuses to believe that people can change. and I know it’s hard to believe sometimes, but I really have come a long way in a short time. I’ve quit smoking cold turkey, it’s been 70 days today (she doesn’t believe) and other things as well…I don’t know what to do, because I know I’ve brought this upon myself. I absolutely refuse to give up on her. She is my one and only and my soulmate, the love of my life, and I love her more than anything…any input/insight/help would be appreciated, thank you. I know I have forgotten to touch on some things, but my mind is just all over the place right now, so any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you again.
Also, I have been somewhat unfaithful in the past, with others, and with my wife, before our marriage, a couple slip ups (no physical contact, but just having an online dating profile and seeking to contact other women, disgusting, I know) but I have realized my wrongful ways, and have truly worked on myself as a person. Please, help me.
Andrew G Marshall says
Owning up to it is the first step. Congratulations. Next you need to understand why? My guess is it’s tied up with some of the myths about love – which tells us relationships should be straight forward (as long as we love someone) and if we have “feelings” for someone else than it must be love (and therefore it’s sort of OK to be unfaithful). I would read my new book ‘What is Love?’ which comes out in November 2014
Marc, Canada, Qc says
I am currently still suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder linked to the emotional affair of my wife.
Affair that happened in 2005.
Affair she has denied on every occasion I asked her for some explanation (about 5 times in 9 years).
I was waiting for remorse, waiting for empathy
I received none, Unfortunately
I still love her
I have of course trust issue and have learnt to monitor from time to time, test, check and verify… but I came to the conclusion she is faithful now.
My PTSD started about 6 years ago, but I did not realise what it was until last june… I have a very good memory, exceptional… probably the result of a sufficient brain… so for me, remembering details of her affair, having mind movies was the price to pay… a curse actually….
i just discovered that this mind movie, long period od several days of anxiety, panic attack, void feeling, and lasting irritability are also symptoms of the PTSD…
So, with that mind movie running on frequent period (because of all the grey zone she left by ‘forgetting’ and lying, and downsizing the facts) I kept asking for her to come cleaner… about 5 times over 9 years…
Only last May, she oppened up a bit at last… and it was a peace of art of compartimentalisation… the biggest one being : she mentionned that it was unsignificant (I wont go into détails with all the bla bla… it still disgusts me)
lets focus on this single word : unsignificant
She wrote him in 2005 that she cared a lot about their discussion and moments.
He answered the same.
I have that proof still in my hand in 2014.
unsignificant ? hmm…
LIE, secrecy and lies… still 9 years after…
why ? she may have opened her legs for him as they say, and will the infatuation, she has kept the memory of a too perfect man… and she fights me when I ask questions that can damage that memory…
or she is now full of guilt (very possible) and is not able to cope with the negative emotions when I open the subject…
OR…. I must admit that she is potentialy a narcicist, due to very controling parents, with little consideration for her feelings, and with little space to be a kids… restraining spontaneity…
and now, she has been my wife for 9 years… she had that affair before and slightly after the wedding…
Now I am playing the game of the secret narcisist that has found her comfort forgetting or transforming facts about her emotional affair, minimise and compartimentalise…. I listen a lot, take note, compare with FACTS of this period…. and then I will point all that unconsistency…
Even being a ‘light’ narcisist, she has been a joyful girlfriend during the last 2 years before the wedding… very spontanous…
this man was a player…. he left and came back with his girlfriend several times, and he had planned to come back with her again… because she was pregnant….
5 months pregnant when he started to ‘chase’ my gf… and unfortunately, as a good narcissist, she responded and found (fake) admiration..
Dont get me wrong, I love my wife… and I have supported her through 3 artifical insemination, a laparoscopy, 4 in vitro, 2 children-little miracle…. 2 part time studies to prepare her next move in her career…
I am supportive, cause I still hope her armour will crack one day thanks to my love, energy, inspiration, and tenacity….
It is an act of faith. It must be faith
the very root of love at the bottom of my open heart
cause I have only mostly that left since trust in her is gone
I just hope that our fate will be bigger than life
Andrew G Marshall says
I’m really sorry to hear about your wife’s affair and how she cannot face my to the impact on you and your family. It is probably because she overwhelmed with shame – which is the most toxic of feelings and we’ll do almost anything to avoid because it makes us feel totally unlovable (and therefore we close down to avoid it). Have a look at my post on ‘how to stop shame feelings’. I would also question whether it is helpful to brand your wife as a narcissist. Has she had a proper diagnosis from a qualified professional or have you just answered a questionnaire on the internet on her behalf? A label puts someone in a box and stops you asking why she might be behaving in a certain way. Finally, you’re doing really well but it sounds like you need support to deal with your PTSD. So please consult a professional yourself.
I hope you can shed some light on my situation – my husband and I have been married for 13 yrs – I found 7 weeks ago he’s been cheating on me for the last 18 months with numerous women from a different ethnic group. When I confronted him he denied it and then admitted but said it was nothing and they meant nothing to him. Yet all the text messages he sent them he’s told them how much he loves them, misses them, crazy about them. Tells them they are sexy, beautiful etc etc. One he went as far as saying they would be married in a few years. When I ask him about the messages he says it was just rubbish talk. He has admitted to having sex with them. He tells me now he hasn’t spoken to them or messaged them since I have found out – I find it hard to believe that it can all suddenly stop when it had been going on for so long. Lying to my face for so long – seeing them over weekends, working hours, before work etc. He tells me he loves me but I can’t believe anything he says right now. My big concern too is that he says he doesn’t know why he did it – so how can we move forward. I also don’t know if perhaps he has a “thing” for women of another ethnic group in which case this will always be a problem. He says he doesn’t but then again I don’t believe what he says. I want to but it’s too hard right now. Please tell me your thoughts on this.
Andrew G Marshall says
Your husband wants to make this problem go away and so he’s minimising what he did, partly to make you feel better but also because he is deeply ashamed on his behaviour. Unfortunately, in his rush, he’s not looked at why he spent so much time and energy pursuing other women, lying and being unfaithful. I have some sympathy with his claim not to know ‘why’ because men are not trained to look and understand their feelings but your husband doesn’t even seem to have started to ask himself. So you’re right not to trust him but that comes right at the end of the recovery process – not the beginning. If he truly can’t think of anything about his upbringing (and the messages about sex that he received), problems at the moment in his life (that’s he’s medicating away with the buzz from these other women) or issues with your marriage (that he’s not owning up to right now), then perhaps he should get some professional help and the two of you should see a marital therapist
recovery girl says
look up sex addiction
recovery girl says
my last comment was for marie No 19
recovery girl says
same for lynn.
I found out 3 weeks ago my husband had an affair for 4 months (right before thanksgiving). We have 2 small kids. He said he only was with her about 8 times in that 4 month period less than an hour each time . He invited her to get away for a couple of days and slept with her even though he told me he knew he was breaking it off. He stated he slept with her one last time because she was going to tell me and he wanted to tell me face to face so he thought that would buy him some time. (she is the last person he has slept with). Yet when he got home he didn’t tell me anything and she sent me a message of their conversations and text. I do not believe anything he tells me. He answers all my questions but how do I know if its the truth. He tells me he can’t remember certain things because she didn’t mean anything to him and it was just sex. He said he had low self esteem and was depressed and she desired him and was attracted to him. He was weak. He pursued her and asked for her number. And she has a boyfriend (now fiance) who could care less she cheated on him. My husband says he is sorry and ashamed and remorseful. He says he wants to fight for his marriage.I kicked him out the day I found out. I can not even look at him and I do not want him to even touch me. Now I don’t know where to go from here.
Andrew G Marshall says
You don’t need to believe him! You’re really still in the first stage – shock and disbelief. Have a look at my book ‘How can I ever trust you again?’ as it will explain the next one which is Intense Questioning. It has lots of tips on how to get the most productive answers but here’s one to be going on with. Keep calm! I know this is tough but if you get emotional, he will feel even guiltier (and therefore try to minimise to himself and therefore you what he did) or try and make you feel better (again by saying ‘it meant nothing etc’ and pacifying you) or just get overloaded and close down. So deep breaths, more deep breaths and afterwards thank him for what he’s told you (as this encourages more information next time round).
I found out in 2013 that my husband was having an affair. I also found emails to several women. He didn’t come clean at first. I had asked him to leave as I couldn’t live with his moods and had found a text message to a work colleague that was the limit for me. After he left we agreed to go into counselling and he finally confessed to one affair. I knew deep down this was not the truth and through my own research and contacting some of these women found out that he had chased all of them, had asked them al out or to go away with him, had actually intended to bring my daughter away on a holiday when she was three to let me study, and planned to bring one of these women. I also found out about a fb account he used my email as his user id on a porn site? and actually brought me to a party of a mutual friend knowing the last one would be there. He also asked me twice to go to his last affair partners birthday party with him, he was still seeing her and I would have been introduced to her ? He is extremely passive aggressive and adversarial with me-psychologist said so and as the 16 months passed I found out more and more and eventually he admitted that his cheating had gone with many women for 16 years of our 18 year relationship. He says he only actually slept with one woman? the last one he saw for 2 years. As a result of all this drip feeding for such a long period of time and his consistent lying in marriage counselling about the details and how long and the extent, as well as lying to his psychologist, I no longer believe a word he says or that I actually will ever know what went on. Yes it could be argues that I know enough however my feeling is that he doesn’t want to admit to the extent of this and have a label attached to him or his behaviour. I also don’t believe anymore that he has stopped seeing the last woman, she disappeared off the scene very quickly with little fuss etc and I can no longer live like this. He offered to give me email passwords but I found out recently that he has a private folder where he can store emails that I cant access so not transparent. He has looked recently into reactivating the phone he was using during the affairs, it had been disconnected, saying he needs a second phone to be contacted as he is looking for a new contract and his work phone which belongs to the company he works for wouldn’t be appropriate? he got a second phone with a new phone number but failed to tell me he had activated the phone and can use it. He has lied about details of the affair and more recently changed his story to say that someone he said he was with he actually wasn’t? There is no grounding here,, little remorse and a lot of defensiveness and blaming me. I am tired of being a scapegoat and while I accept that there may be problems in any marriage, I have come to realise that his way of dealing with everything was passive aggressive, adversarial, and when he wasn’t happy he got his own back one way or another. His problems stem from childhood and his mother, amd I find that he has taken his stuff and dumped it on me and my family. I am not perfect, there are things I would change there is never and no excuse for affairs. He attended marriage counselling with me while he was having the last affair and made a mockery of it. This has led me not to trust it now and I believe he would as he has said he wants, go back to counselling and lie and cheat his way through it. He has brought this cheating into every aspect of our lives, friends, workplace, therapy and area where we live. He actually went so far as to go to the UK to buy me a car for my birthday and asked her to go along with him to choose it? He is a notorious liar and while he says he accepts responsibility for his actions in words, his behaviour then and now does not mirror that. I have decided not to go back into counselling as much as I have debated this with myself and for the sake of our child as I see a lot of work with someone who would have no problem building a life, or let me think this again, on the basis of a rotten foundation. I think the details here and for others are important if it means someone is trying to cover up a pattern of behaviour, resist a diagnosis, give up a lifestyle or minimise to get a spouse back and lacks the decency and respect to allow that spouse to make an informed decision about their future and what they can handle or not. Being transparent is a sign of being trustworthy and while denial and shame etc may soothe the betrayer, it offers little respect or reality or honesty a cornerstone of any relationship to the betrayed.
So I am one of the people who 18 months on is no further in trusting and heading towards legal separation now. Sometimes the details and how they are given do matter.
My husband of 24 years had an affair 9 years ago fathering a child out of it. I have wondered and pondered over knowing the truth about why, when , how long he knew her,
and just the unknown. 8 years later i found out they were
former co-workers in which my husband said he didin’t think that was important. My husband have no contact with thechild because the woman still wanted to be with him and
said in court me and our 4 kids at that time didn’t have nothing to do with she my husband and the baby. During our court hearings she constantly rolled her eyes at me and
refused to have me court even thought the judge invited me in. Through years of the unknown has caused a wedge between me and my husband. Considering I have been through hell accepting back after a divorced he wanted and
couldn’t tell me why other than he said he wanted a divorce out of anger.????? Upon his return by his request, he got dna
papers in the mail. This affair cost me an our kids alot of
pain to all of the decption. It has emotionally, financially,
spiritually and physically damaging. The child has his Mom’s first name as her middle name. ??? I recently found out his Mom has had contact with the child secretively and cursed me out saying she didn’t have to tell us because that is grandchild. rightfully so, i just don’t understand why the disrespect toward me. I have been very supportive to my husband and chose to forgive him even though he has mistreated at times. I desereve respect, honor and to be loved the right way. This was not the only affair. there were others prior to this one. I have prayed to get beyond all of the hurt, pain and verbal along with mistreatment. choosing to stay and get mariatal counsel for 17 years out of our marriage. we have become silent alot and the silence is bothersome. I believe it’s because of the unresolved issues concerning the affair with the child. I have been deceived.
Andrew G Marshall says
I think you’re right Joy. There are details of an affair that are ultimately unimportant (like which hotel they used) but others that still need to be discussed even nine years later (like the child that was born out of the affair)
Hi Andrew, I have been viewing your wonderful advice to all types of problems and I am lost and have no one to talk to I think I have a good one for you..
Recently I caught my wife in an affair that had been going from long distance for 8 months with a past lover not boyfriend.
Rather than give you the full story I will just stick to the major mind bogglers.
So it started on Facebook just before I was leaving on a 3 week vacation. She says the communication started out of curiosity because of how he hurt her in the past.
But I recovered all the deleted messages and could not see how it started but I know initial contact was 14 th of April with him apolgising and swamping her with compliments. Within 2 weeks they had met for a innocent coffee and 4 days later texts became sexual this is entirely out of character for my wife when she and I read them it is like it is a different person writing this filth.
This continued until I returned and she started to fight with me and blame me for things that were wither acient or we had already covered ” justification” she then made threats on taking her life and I was worried and with my bad luck advised her to go to a cousins to relax 1000kms away thus was were this person lived. th This is now 2 months in they planned thus sexual meeting and even though I was talking and texting her all day to think of the kids and what she was doing they had a 2 hour love making session. she says she had no thought of us and did not feel bad the next day. Then 2 days later they went for drinks and had sex again after this morning she felt terrible moved her flight to come home early and when she returned she reconnected with me. Throughout this affair her frustration with the kids was unbearable and sort of crazy to witness. When questioned this is her biggest blank spot she says she is confused on how it escalated so quickly her had a bad personality and very unattractive.
2 months later with hesitation they meet again and she says before every meeting she hated the feeling had anxiety and wanted to keep driving but she didn’t she does not know what drew her there and how she put herself in poor positions she was and is ashamed of 2 sexual acts that is short felatio and getting on top of him.
After this event she says she was distraught and more confused but the texts continued so it is contradictory.
You can see in the texts the relationship was fizzling and our sex life was intense passionate and often she just says she never felt I adored her or cared for her which I understand to a certain point.
She says the sex was not on the same scale as ours and it was a means to an end like a trade off with him she says sex had no value to her. Especially with this person. After numerous arguments with this person this where it gets weird rather than forcing the affair to close it ignited it she says because she saw how jealous and upset he was getting it made her feel valid.
Through this time this is when she considered “what if ” with him but she says it was a flash and gone, the other weird thing is you can see our love grow and she was doing everything to keep me happy and spending a great deal of romantic time with me. This is a trait of a narcisist because maybe she was getting off on both our love.
So 6 weeks later it’s gets weirder they meet again they arrange for him to stay the night in a hotel and she takes personal item from our bedroom, she says to show off this night sex escalated to far and anal penetration occurred which they both claimed separately by accident due to the position. She says she immediately felt vialated but did not feel bad that night but the next day was furious with herself on not understanding why she didn’t stop it . She admits that because of this incident thus started the decline of the affair she was seeing through his bullshit and he was starting to make her sick. But of course the texts do not confirm this , but you do see her start fights that seem she wanted him to leave her alone. She is 100 % that these were her feelings and 6 weeks later when they meet on a work day she was going to end it, she said she wanted to do it in that location a hotel room because he was head over heels at this time and was afraid he would do something stupid and dob her in And out of courtesy. anyway my intuition was spot on and I was texting her this was the only time out of all the other times she felt really uncomfortable she says this threw her off he jumped in at a weak moment and they had very simple quick missionary sex again separately they both confirm this. For him it was that bad he viewed it was near to the end of the affair.
Now this is where it gets real complicated well maybe not for you . When I uploaded they phone messages my wife reads them and is totally shocked she first says that’s not me for me to read them I swear if is like reading from a close friend of hers actually anyway stranger than fiction… She then breaks down has no explanation and then releases a deep dark secret which I had already questioned and assumed she may have been holding her whole life.
She advises me she had been molested by her step father for around 3 years from the age of five she has blocked most memories but the ones she remebers along with control factors are very saddening.
What happened was we were involved in a boat accident and when she swallowed the sea water it brought her childhood back from this day our sex life escalted to a point of no control. Then she was having a scary reoccurring nightmare which we are pointeing at this molestation issue.
My questions are
1.how doze she meet someone and within 10 days be talking sexually with him?
2. His does she block me out and in the first encounter maliciously plan a sex meeting where it starts extreme straight away and just after minutes with talking with me?
3. When she gets her validation and reward and feels terrible why didn’t she stop?
4. Why is she escalating the sex but then denying that she did?
5. Why are the messages fantasy and have little relAtion to the real time events.
6. Why is she being so self destructive when she never planned to be with this person or had real love for it seems he was some type of tool she was using but infortunatly it worked both ways.
7. LAstly how does she not think of us and consequences it really seems she is in autopilot in the messages and in real life?
Please help I would be grateful forever
Regards troubled one.
Andrew G Marshall says
There is enough material here for a team of therapists working round the clock but my first thought when reading the email is this sounds really abusive. Therefore, I was not surprised that she kept going even though the man concerned was manipulative, controlling and frankly abusive – and of course, you explain that there was abuse from her step father in her childhood. So what’s the impact of being abused as a child – but not having had support to recover – people are either extremely cautious (as most people would imagine) or completely reckless with their safety. The next thing, I can’t say strongly enough. It’s not ALL about you. I know that’s hard because she cheated on you, spoke to you one minute and had sex with him the next However, this is just as much about her (her problems from the past) as something about your marriage.
Let’s look at the positives, this has come to the surface where it can be deal with. I would recommend your wife talking to someone about the past abuse plus at some point having joint work to look at the fall out from all of this on you and your relationship.
If you want to understand more about affairs and why people have them look at my book ‘How can I ever trust you again’ and ‘My wife doesn’t love me any more’ explains why women doubt their partner’s love, switch off and look for connection elsewhere
So are you saying Andrew that she maybe in some way reenacting her mistreatment. This lover was extremely nice to her but in the past he used her and dumped her.
So I am thinking she has a big problem with intimacy and that is why she and picked this person from her past it was just a case of bad timing.
But have you ever seen cases where people act out in an alter ego and compartmentalize. Hence justify there actions so they can do what they need to or is this a simple case of hyper sexuality and she felt more comfortable with someone she knew didn’t want to get close to her? I forgot to mention this persons mannerisms, speech and attitude are frightfully exactly the same as her stepfather that abused her.
So I am thinking she felt trapped and scarred as past memories came flowing back I couldn’t medicate get with my love so she chose someone distant to escape and reenact trauma. What do you think?
Andrew G Marshall says
First of all, don’t beat yourself up. It’s easty to think ‘I haven’t done, enough’ or ‘I’m not good enough’. It’s more complicated than reenacting her mistreatement but the past is coming up to surface – which is scary but at least can be dealt with now. You need to be supportive, understanding and suggest that she seeks professional help.
i was the betrayed. My wife had an affair. With a homeless guy of all things. In my home while I was at work. Found out from him. Near as I can figure it went on 3 to 6 months. She says she is not sure. I ask why and I get “I don’t know “. What the heck is that? I don’t want to know the “gory details”. Though she seems to remember enough of those to hurt me when I never asked for those. How do I work on anything then. The “I don’t know” or other lame excuses like the typical “we weren’t communicating” or “I needed attention ” are an insult. It’s like saying “I’ll have sex with anyone, you aren’t special so leave me alone and get over it”. We were having problems and I’m sure anyone who is trying to get through the devastating experience was also. I hope cheaters will understand that your faithful spouse had as many reasons as you cheaters did. They chose to honor their vows knowing that all marriages go through tough times. Cheaters chose to self district and made the decision that those who love them didn’t matter and didn’t care about the horrific pain they caused them. Bottom line is this. If you truly want to feel loved again deal with it and tell your spouse what they ask you. If not then have the courage to leave so they can find someone who is secure enough to be honest. You sure didn’t seem to mind crushing them, but now feel to much shame on your part to help them? Please! Whatever shame you feel is 100 times less than what you caused by all your lying.
Sadly, when details are not given, more trust is lost. I had to know the details and it was not given. Why the secrecy? What that does is bring the trust level down past the feelings of; “I’m not good enough?” The pain in discovering the affair can’t not even be described! I’ve read article after article with people describing what they’re feeling but still is a left with an empty space as they can’t even pinpoint that particular feeling as well. You’re specialness is gone, the life you felt with this person is nothing but sand under your feet. The words of endearment are gone forever because if he/she really felt this way, then how can someone let this happen? Affairs are the most selfish and cowardly thing a person can do. Call it self medicating but we know that’s bullshit! The person who is having the affair has character problems, almost narcissistic behavior. It’s about them about not about us. The lack of communication and the assumptions that happen while the affair is happening (or fling) is all about them and their point of view. Did it ever occur what their spouse or significant other might have been feeling in their relationship? Are their needs being met as well? Did the person having the affair step back and say what am I contributing to help our relationship? Or if the person partner is having a hard time and seems distant was there support on the cheaters side?
Unfortunately, I was being punished for something that was happening in my past. My significant other is the jealous type. It became all about him when he wasn’t getting the attention. Or when when he was reminded that I had a relationship with someone who moved to the part of the country where my sig other had taken us for a vacation. He was reminded I had a past before him and so that was too much to take so he cheated. But that is not where it started. He cheated because he didn’t like the way I spoke up. He cheated because I hated his ex-wife. He cheated because my ex contacted me. He kept screwing a woman and who now knows how many others there were, because his ego wasn’t being stroked. He also pursued a woman half his age. I can’t even tell you what this did to me. I just recently found out he and another woman have been in contact the past few months and had a “thing” going on when he was getting a divorce. This is after I had found out about his long time on and off “f***fest!
Asking for details is like getting the clues out so you know what to look for so you are not blind sided anymore. I just wanted to know how god damn special I wasn’t. That’s right, wasn’t! It’s putting that piece of the puzzle together when you were blindside with trust. Blindsided with feelings of togetherness. No one makes you cheat. Cheating is not a mistake! It’s a premeditated choice. A mistake is screwing up your bank account, forgetting the time you are supposed to pick him up at the train station. Cheating? A damn, evil selfish, all about me…CHOICE!
Three days ago I found out that my husband that of two years have been lying to me,my husband leave ni Rwanda n I leave ni kenya,I dnt normally touch his phone but that morning I picked up to c the photos,to my shock there was aladys photos sitted ni our bed ni rwanda,so I was calm I asked him about it he told me that she worked with his friend n he came to visit,asked him what time it was taken he said at 3 even then I asked again n he said 6 evening,then I search for the photo details n I saw it was on 10 in morning,I just want to knw the details n 4 him nt to lie to me to heal,I am feeling so much pain ni my heart am not sure I can 4give him if he doest tll me the truth
Andrew G Marshall says
You have my utmost sympathy. Keep calm, be brave and be persistent. If you manage all these three things, I think your husband will start to be honest.
It has been almost 2 years now since my husband of 25 years had a 5 week affair with the wife of our best friend, He passed away of ALS and he was trying to help her. We both know was a huge mistake now that was. We have renewed our vows and are learning and healing from this. My problem is trying not to form an anniversary when all this started and took place. My husband has been wonderful, I still think in the back of my mind that what they had was more than he says..partly because as you say, he says he doesn’t remember. And of course even though we have no contact with her, in her mind…she was the one betrayed and it was far more in her mind than it possibly could have been in 5 weeks. She told me herself… We were all friends for years, but the actual sexual talk and contact, was short. She lives out of state, he actually had 2 visits from her…I betrayed because my husband let her come to our home, hang out with our family, we catered to her the whole weekend, they met later at her hotel. He could not even get a full erection…which helped my thoughts on it, she even said I cursed them…and told me he couldn’t. He says it doesn’t matter because they did have sex..I am just not wanting it to be as bad as I know it is..I don’t want anymore details, My thing was the feelings they had, things he must have told her, etc. We are more in love today for it even though it has been hard, it woke us up. My question is, was it more or how do I let it go completely..with so many pieces missing. This article did help some, talk you for that. I guess it seems double heartbreaking because I was betrayed by my husband and a friend. She talked to me the whole time and actually…tried to get me to just drop it when I found out there was an affair, and didn’t know who it was yet. Thanks
Andrew G Marshall says
My first partner died almost eighteen years ago but I can still remember the madness of grief. So although I find your friends behaviour wrong, I sort of understand because I did many stupid things to feel better. Your husband has been sucked into this madness by the intimacy of helping someone deal with raw emotions. So what do you make of this affair? I think you should take it as a warning sign that your marriage had cracks, the affair has broken them open and they need to be fixed. So get reading about affairs and understand more about bereavement and the crazy things people do (and don’t forget you’re both grieving the loss of a friend too). Finally, I’d ask you to be gentle on yourself because you’ve been through a big shock.
It was crazy, you’re correct…when he told me I could understand, it being her because of all of our lose. We had cracks, or as we call it holes in our fence. He was looking for someone to listen to him, he said the sex didn’t matter to him it was her actually caring for him, needing him if you will. We have worked on us so long, we have healed for the most part. I guess my only hang up is the memory thing, He says he only wanted me to be kind and loving….and get what he needed, the building him up from me instead. We have learned to love and respect again.. I was love starved and he felt disrespected..he says what I have in my head of the affair is nothing like it was..he only gave in to the sex after he had gotten the kindness and she kept chasing him. She did start chasing him, texted first, kissed, called, sent pictures..etc, how much can a man who is needy to begin with take? I say to him if you did all those thing, texting, being together, etc there had to be more to it…but he says she talked about the future and he never said there would be one, he loved me and would never leave me. He is the most honest, moral man I have ever met…that’s why it came as such a shock. He says he never even touched or acting sexual when at our house or around me, it was two different worlds, or he tried to convince himself it was. I guess I know in my heart, he never loved her or even wanted her, it was just the needs emotionally she met. We are more in love today and it was truly a wake up call for us. It will never happen again, I just need more time….Thank you so much for you thoughts on this.
I also would like to add, We are still grieving a friend, but as a defense thing on my part..I won’t let myself even think of my good friend, it brings up even harder memories of all this pain caused by her.
Hi andrew, your journal had answered some of my questions but still want to share my unresolved thoughts.
My husband of 7 years is a loving, responsible and committed one..during his worked abroad he had a girl co worker 12 years junior of his age..she is the only girl in the work field and almost every guy trying to win her, even some guys are married..my hubby had set foot to be the good one and he did give advices to the girl on how to deal with the situation..then right on the girl see him as her confidante..i did told him not to be too close with thr girl coz this might lead to something and could damage our family but he kept assuring me that she is just a friend and that she also sees him as her older brother..but my instinstinct told me so there is something fishy..they finished contract together with the other colleague and came home together..when i fetched my hubby i observed he is a bit sensitive so i let it pass..then one time he received a text message and i happened to read it, came from a named buddy..purely work text..as i scanned his wallet i found a piece of paper with some notes and i saw the girls phone num and i compared it to his text messages and the buddy guy is the girl..i cried a lot coz of the hurt of being fooled..he told me he changed the name coz it might make me angry and could start a fight..i let it pass..the next day i fetched my daughter from school and he left his phone in the car..i saw a call log but i didnt mind that.i scanned the inbox nothing but the sent messages were still there.my heart xploded with so much disappointment, nurt and rage becoz there he had replied “wait babe, i love you too.i thought u forget me already..i stormed from school to house and i smashed it to his face..he told me it was nothing and that it was only text for 4 days..nothing happened more than texting but he admitted he lied a lot of times and he regret what he did..i did confront the girl through phone and she said iv been accusing her bad things and that she is not the girl who would get involve with a married man but my husband confessed that she been flirting with him like asking him if she is pretty and my hubby is her ideal man.soqndrew im torn between qho shouldi believe my husband or the girl?i cant get it out of my mind not to think that if he did fall in love with the girl?he also uses the reason, i dont remember what happened or it was very sudden..and im now being paranoid at times after what happend..i even stalk the girls social page..please enlighten me..
Andrew G Marshall says
There is a definitely a problem. So take a deep breath and another and discuss this calmly.
Hello, 5 months ago I thought I felt an extra phone in my husbands pocket and confronted him about it. He denied it, lied, swore he would never do anything like that. Five months later I find the phone and he has been having an affair for about six months. He says that they only had sex about four times. He also claims very little memory of significant detail because he said “it meant nothing” and it “wasn’t like that” when I ask him things. He says he did not care for her and never thought of leaving. She was young, cute, he felt flattered that she found him attractive. He seems very remorseful now that he’s been caught! That is my Hangup. 1. He did not stop when I first felt the phone, he continued 2. I had to catch him or it would still be going on probably and 3. He cannot or won’t give me details. He tells me it’s a huge relief and he is glad it’s done and that he was going to stop because he was getting tired of all of it. That is so convenient. Since I found the phone he just hasn’t talked to her again because she has been full of drama. He never called to say it’s over, leave my wife alone, nothing. He wanted to leave it alone and said didn’t I think she knew since I found the phone and he stopped talking to her. This also makes me feel like he has never stood up for me or our marriage and that me finding the phone is the only reason it’s over. I’m so confused but feel if I had more complete details I could make a more informed decision.
Andrew G Marshall says
You’re right knowing more might help your make a decision but it is not the ONLY way. I would be focusing more on WHY rather than what happened. For example, how does he feel about your sex life together? What would he like to change? What has he been unhappy about? What has he learned about himself. Good luck
I’m the cheater. I have now told my partner the full truth – however, it seems more like she wants to constantly punish me. Whilst I understand the anger, the hurt, the feeling of being a fool, the disbelief etc – it appears as though my partner is fixated on small things that are not really relevant. Things like – I said one thing a while ago (due to my own anger etc for our failing relationship) – but since telling her about the affair and agreeing to reconciliation etc – she says I’m now being inconsistent. What I don’t understand is – why would I want to reconcile only to start being inconsistent now – or continue lying? Everything I’ve been doing and saying now should show I’m committed to reconciliation. Me having an affair was extremely uncharacteristic, me becoming a lying and deceiver is also totally uncharacteristic. I understand I am 100% to blame for the damage I’ve done to her and our relationship. However, whenever I answer something that is asked – I constantly get told it can’t possibly be what I’m saying – that I must be lying because we all know now that I’m very capable of lying etc. My problem is – why would I want to lie now – why would I want to carry on deceiving her – why would I want to reconcile if I didn’t actually WANT to reconcile? How do I get these things across to her? She says I must have been in love with the other woman because the affair lasted a while – I know that I was never in love with the other woman – but I can’t answer why I had an affair. All I know is what the reality was for me and that is all I can answer with. Just because the affair I had doesn’t match the general text book type affair – then I’m not believed.
Is there any advice anyone can offer on what I can do. I feel I’m still failing my partner now because it seems she wants me to answer in a certain way that would make sense (on a general text book affair level) – and I can’t answer like that – therefore I can’t give her what she needs. How are we to move forward?
Andrew G Marshall says
First you’ve got to understand that your wife is very hurt, she thought she knew you but you’ve turned into a stranger. It sounds like you’re suprprised by your own behaviour too – which I have to say is quite common. Infidelity makes many men realise that they’re more complicated than the regular straight forward guy they always pictured themselves being. So what do you do? Firstly don’t debate with her (like you do in this letter about the logic of lying after being found out because she will always trump with you with the affair). Instead listen to her. I know that’s hard but nod and say tell me more. I know you’ve probably been trained to ‘fix’ women’s problems and ‘make everything better’ but just listening calmly and repeating back the main points again. (It will make her feel heard). Finally, I would resolve to understand yourself better. This will make her feel a whole lot better because it makes her feel that you’re doing something to stop a repeat (rather than pushing everything under the carpet). Have a look at my book ‘Wake Up and Chnage Your Life’ or read ‘How can I ever trust you again’ together as you will find lots of different types of affairs outlined. Good luck and be patient with her and yourself!
Twelve years ago my wife had an affair with a coworker. I had a gut feeling something was awry (sudden interest in fitness, new hairdo etc), and when I subsequently put a recorder on our phone line I heard her setting up a rendezvous that night with a man, even though she told me she had to work. I confronted her and she admitted to an emotional affair and a couple kisses at work. I did not believe that and after months and months of interrogations she admitted they had had sex. Trickle truth ensued, with her only admitting just enough to end the questioning. Finally, she said it only happened twice–but the two times were occasions on which she knew I had reason to suspect she was with him (i.e. twice her car was not at work when she said she was working). In other words she limited the “truth” to what she thought I would suspect or know anyway. She has never told the whole truth about how often it happened and how long it lasted. On various occasions early on she would get her lies confused and tell me a different version: it was 3 times, no wait 2 times, never at work, once at work etc. Bottom line: after 12 years my trust has never returned. I realize I cannot dwell on detail, but how am I supposed to rebuild total trust on a foundation of lies? She desperately wants to move on with full trust after minimizing and lying. It came up the other day and she now claims to remember NOTHING about it. It’s completely erased from her memory she says. Obviously not true. She knows she is still lying and I know she is still lying and she wants me to move forward full of trust. Should I move on alone? (Oh yeah, she also fed me a line of obvious nonsense like he was no good in bed, she never had orgasms, etc., so transparent in its purpose of making me feel better its almost insulting.) It seems hopeless.
Andrew G Marshall says
I can feel that the pain is still fresh you for (and I would guess still building a wall between you and your wife).You need somewhere to off load and discuss whether you can, as you put it, move on alone. So why don’t you consider some personal counselling as it seems she is either unwilling on unable to talk about what happened?
I found out that my wife has been having an affair for 18 months. I discovered a pay as you go phone in her handbag with explicit pictures on it at 10pm on 13th July.
When I found the phone I asked her, “Is this a problem for us” she looked terrified and started making excuses that it was a phone for our daughter, she started to panic and said she couldn’t unlock it. I was calm (although I had suspected her for 12 months)and said I could plug it into the computer and unlock it as we knew the phone no. and account holder. She again panicked and told me she would tell me everything as long as I didn’t open the phone. I listened to a load of old tosh blurting out about some guy who now lives in Germany and things had only happened a couple of times.
The lies got worse with every question I asked her, after 8 hours (6am) of interigation she finally admitted to 18 months of an affair with a guy she worked with. He was a family friend and his wife became a close friend as well. But the admission was only after I had seen the photos and videos. The phone is now destroyed, she destroyed it in a fit of anger and guilt.
We talked for an hour with tears and emotions going into overdrive with her apologising and me accusing. I went into work for 8am but broke down quickly and was sent home on compasionate grounds. They know nothing about what I had been through and put it down to work stress.
When I arrived home I apologised for my part in the affair, we talked and talked and went over where things broke down, she was extremely emotional and wanted to hold me, touch me, kiss me. We went to bed and made serious love, tearful, erotic, romantic. The rest of the day, actually there wasn’t much left it, we stayed in bed holding each other tightly.
My mother took care of our 2 girls, as she understands it I am going through depression work related.
The girls arrived home on Wednesday, we were pleased to see them and I honestly thought we could move on. Wednesday and Thursday were terrific, kids at school and the wife and I showing more love and affection to each other than we had in the last 10 years.
On the Friday we went out and bought a new bed and started to make changes (the bed wasn’t to rid her lover but we have needed one for years as ours is well past its best). Talked about decorating and what plans we had for the future to move on. She gave me so much attention and love, telling me how ashamed she was and how totally devoted she was. The kids went off to mothers for the weekend and then for some crazy reason I hit her with both barrels. Going through what had happened, ranting and raving, cursing…… She completely broke down and told me she wanted to die, she was in a complete mess and there was absolutely no consoling her. I carried her to bed and tucked her in. I sat and held her hand, I remember I was just staring at her for hours with no emotions, questions, reasons, just staring at my beautiful wife while she sobbed herself to sleep.
At about 9pm I left her in her deep sleep, I went down to the supermarket and bought 4 bouquets of the finest and most expensive flowers money could buy. When i got home she awoke and came into the kitchen sobbing, once again begging my forgiveness. We put the flowers up and went to bed for what turned out to be our first nights sleep in 4 days.
We spent a fantastic weekend together, wondering and scittering around the house. We locked the world out. We shared a bath (I have one of those double baths)we came down we ate, sat, layed down, got up. It was one of those weekends that you don’t realise how good they are until you do it, where there are no plans or timescales.
I now have a problem of trust, I need her with me constantly. I have had emotional anxiety attacks over the past 9 days but I am controlling them. Today has been very difficult. The girls stayed at mothers last night and my wife went to collect them, she then went to her mothers for a coffee and visited her sister. I am in a state of panic and feel so insecure. I know she dare not go with her lover with the kids (they would tell me). She popped home briefly and then went off again with my youngest back to her mother’s. She takes my youngest and my niece swimming, but I am tearing my hair out. I am concerned I will loose the plot when she gets back.
On Monday just gone when I questioned her for about the hundredth time she said she was getting tired and running out of energy, she has said she will stay strong but if I keep bringing up the past she will leave.
I understand why she had the affair, I was too engrossed in me, football, cricket, darts, mates, computer games, I really took her for granted. She tried to talk to me but I wasn’t listening to what was being said. So WHY isn’t my question. My question is can we rebuild, we love each other dearly and I believe her affair is over, we certainly don’t want to feel like this again. The pain I feel is unbearable and at this moment I just want to walk away, maybe the pain will go away quicker if we split or will it remain forever. I am broken, I am a mess,
I just want to be me again.
Andrew G. Marshall says
You can rebuild your marriage and get over this pain but there are no short cuts. You will have a lot of low moments where you think I can’t go on. However, you will learn a lot about yourself, your wife and your marriage. Of course you could split and pretend you’re over it (and find someone else to paper over the cracks) but the pain will fester inside and possibly ruin that relationship. You could pretend everything is OK with you and your wife (and even convince yourself). Alternatively, which is what I hope, you could read about affairs, do the learning and change. During the difficult months ahead, I hope you’ll both be patient and forgiving off each other.
Hi Andrew, your post and subsequent responses have been helpful. I caught my husband of 15 years having an affair about 9 months ago with a woman in his office 15 years his junior. I was very focused on the details initially, but found they were making me feel worse instead of better. We have been together since we were teenagers and this has been devastating and shocking for me. My challenge now is that he can’t seem to decide if he wants to work on our marriage or not. I feel like a crazy person and it seems like I should just walk at this point, but we have 3 young kids so I want to be 100% sure it is over before I leave. There are times when he seems like my old husband and I can feel that he loves me, and other times when he can’t even look at me. I know this might be because he is carrying on the relationship with the other person and just lying to me about it. Do you sometimes see people that deep down want out of their marriages but just can’t make the move? I feel like that is what is happening to us but I cannot figure out what to do.
Andrew G. Marshall says
It will seem like you’re going crazy if your partner is saying one thing to your face and another behind your back. Especially as you now know the signs! If you haven’t read my book ‘My husband doesn’t love me and he’s texting someone else’, please do so as this will provide lots of strategies for better communication (which is essential to move forward one way or the other). From what you’re saying is my suspicion would be that he’s not still having an affair (in the technical sense of sex, hours of conversation etc) but the other woman is still contacting him (and making him feel guilty or begging for another chance or being angry) or he slips from time -to-time (especially after a row) and throws himself backwards. So read the books and think how you could have an honest conversation together
My boyfriend of 6 years cannot seem to get over his divorce. He was married over 25 years, and searched for me 8 years ago, as we were high school sweethearts.
He and his wife separated within a few weeks of him deciding he wanted to start seeing me. They stayed separated through the divorce process, which she filed for. It took 3 years to complete the divorce, there are 2 grown sons, now nearly 30 and 28.
After all of this, he is struggling with criticism from former church friends, saying he is still married in God’s eyes, so therefore we can’t get married unless she died.
She is handsomely monetarily compensated for, so much so that he is financially limited.
He goes from telling me that I am the one woman he has loved his whole life, and he never wants to be without me; to saying he should go back with her out of obligation.
One of his sons gives him grief about the divorce, and refuses to come to any functions I attend.
We get along really well, except for this issue. Any advice about how we can move toward a future together?
Andrew G. Marshall says
I think you’re under-estimating the power of being married for 25 years, having two children together and the pain of divorce (even for grown-up children). Your boyfriend feels immense guilt for breaking up his family and that’s the reason why the comments from his church friends hit home. When someone spends so long searching for their first love, it tells two things. One you will like and one you won’t like so much (but it’s better to hear it). Firstly, you made such a strong mark that he never forgot you. Secondly, his life had stopped making sense and he was looking for a solution. (Sure there were problems in his marriage but he was also probably fed up with his job and his life lacked meaning). So he decided that finding you would be the MAGIC solution. Sure it did solve some things but it created a whole lot more. After all, he loves you but you are only human and your love alone can’t solve all his problems. I know this is not a very romantic view of the world but it is a realistic one. My guess is that you’re also over 50 too and you’re old enough to have a less ‘innocent’ view of love – which needs connection (which it sounds like you’ve got in spades) but also skills. Your boyfriend also needs to face his demons – rather than expecting you to solve them (because sorting our own is tough enough). So I would start by reading my book ‘What is love’ and then having a long chat about it to your boyfriend. In an ideal world, you would go to therapy together and listen to each other and work through this impasse – but it can’t happen until you can both look at your guilt about what happened, face it and not just hide behind love (ie: we had no choice because love made us do it). However, the great advantage of being your age is you’re old enough to know the truth about love and deal with it a grown up way.
Cheaters should feel shame. The hurt and repercussions it causes is so indescribable that it’s weird. It’s like, how could you ever physically cut someone’s chest open, rip their heart out, and enjoy eating it too? And not feel shame? My husband doesn’t feel Any shame. Now, THATS messed up!!!!!
Andrew G. Marshall says
I yes he does. Otherwise he wouldn’t be trying so hard to persuade you that he doesn’t!
I discovered 7 months ago that my H of 45 years had a 3 yr affair with my then best friend it continued thro 2 pregnancies. Towards the end of the affair I became suspicious (she worked for him) but it was suggested by both that I was paranoid and maybe had post natal depression. My Husband’s business failed and we lost everything and moved away I know he didn’t see her again because he was very bitter and would not go back up north. I was absolutely devastated when I found out I feel my life from that point has been a lie. Husband says it was just sex (for 3 yrs)and he can’t remember any details I am having counselling but he sees no reason to. I am lost.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Sadly lots of people who have affairs trying to downplay the seriousness of what happened. If I am being generous I would say that it is because they hope it will lessen the pain for their partner. However, it is probably much more about easing their guilt and shame. In their mind: ‘it didn’t mean anything, so the transgression was smaller and therefore I’m not such a terrible person and perhaps I can look myself in the mirror. Throw in his business going bankrupt – which destroys a man – and he is barely capable of getting up in the morning. He fears that going into counselling would destroy him. Enough about him, what about you? No wonder you feel lost, your safety in the marriage has been destroyed, a friendship has been betrayed and when you shared your fears, they were rubbished. No wonder you feel lost. It’s a normal feeling at this time. However, you’re getting counselling and I hope that will help you reach a stronger place where you can decide if your marriage has been too profoundly hurt or whether the two of you can find a way back to each other.
I’m a married man of 25 years and I have been in a two year relationship with a married woman who is 6 years younger, we had known each other many years ago and actually went out on some occasions… But nothing happened… We never stayed in touch until we met at a party.. She was with her husband and I was with my wife… We casually spoke but we could actually feel the electricity between us … She is married for 18 years and has two girls quite young… We chatted on phone and met for lunch and after that first date we became more attracted to each other after the third date we ended up in bed.. The sex was fantastic and from there it became more that just that… We did anything and everything possible and gave in to our fantasies! We fell in love and talked about being together she became jealous of my wife and would become very possessive I had to answer all of her questions to calm her down but I was happy she was so in love with me… I asked about her past and this is where it got bad.. She had two affairs before she met me which lasted about a year each .. And we held out for two and lots of memories good and bad.. We eventually started fighting about how I always judge her and what she had done in the past… I asked her if she wanted out and she said no… She was just going through a bad patch in our relationship she said…
However unknown to me she started seeing another man who she said she casually met and one thing led to another and she had sex with him not once but more than three times!! All this time she was lying to me saying that she wanted space and that she was having second thoughts about our relationship and that she felt that she should be a better wife!! ( yeah right)! So she just crossed the line here because this is someone she never knew , a stranger who she jumped into bed with after 3 weeks!! All her other past relationships she knew us there was some form of history… So she was now having sex with three men … Her husband.. The new guy.. And me… Things came to an immediate crash when someone saw her With me and told her husband who then confronted her with it and she spilled the beans!! She told me that he also got a package in the mail with our sms conversations and naked pics of her!! She told him that she loved me and that the last man who btw he knows because they went to school together was a “distraction ” he asked her who should he be concerned about and she said “me” because she had feelings for me,, he went through the crying and the vomiting and the questioning and now they are going counseling , we have been meeting without his knowledge but that has stopped because I cannot trust her she’s a compulsive liar, and I clearly don’t know what the husband is still doing there … He told her not to stay for the kids but she loves her kids… He has resumed sex with her my hats off to him !! And he checks her phone sometimes but she deletes our calls before he checks it.. I don’t know if he’s just naive or stupid and crazy in love over her… I don’t think that he has come to terms as yet with what she has really done… I.e. 4 different men in the last 8 years of their 18 years of marriage …
Right now I clearly can’t forgive her for what she did to me .. Unfortunately I’m not her husband… And I think that eventually she would go back to sleeping around because she is in her late 40’s and she told me that she vain and all of her friends tell her that she’s vain to and she works out at the gym like crazy and indulges in crazy diets just to look good!! We are now strangers… And I can now say this ” nothing lasts forever ” especially affairs!! It’s all physical at first then there’s the fake ” love” part and then it just fizzles out eventually…
Andrew G. Marshall says
You’re right affairs are a lot of fake sizzle and trying to fill a void inside us. However, I’m fascinated that you spend a lot of time judging HER behaviour but no time thinking about your OWN. How would you wife feel if she knew about this relationship? What would happen if you put some of the energy devoted to the affair in fixing your own marriage?
To me I want to know the details so I can understand better what went wrong in our marriage ? Yes it matters to me because if he can lie about what really happened then how can I trust him again? I can’t think of better questions than ” Why did you cheat”?
Two years ago in April of this year, my husband admitted cheating with a former coworker who we both know . The affair according to him happened in 2007-2008. He just told me about it almost 2 years ago this April. To him it’s ancient but to me, it’ just happened. My whole world collapsed in front of me and I’m deeply crushed and saddened about this. At the time of the affair, we were on our 21 yrs with 3 beautiful children ages 18,16 and 12 whom he adores and love dearly. He was my hero, my soulmate, my best friend and never could I have imagine that he will do something so horrible that would hurt me so much. He is very remorseful and have asked for forgiveness hundreds of times, crying, begging on his knees for forgiveness, and to the point of having severe depression now but I still can’t move on. I’m so confused, sometimes I feel I have forgiven him but a lot of times my anger and pain overshadows my love and the hatred I feel for him takes over. I had counselling and my husband and I also have weekly counselling but the pain I feel in my heart still there.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I agree that ‘Why did you cheat?’ is a great question but it assumes that
a) Someone knows themselves well
b) They check in regularly and understand their motives
Sadly, I meet a lot of men who were programmed by school, family and society to be a success – which normally means focusing on external goals rather than understanding themselves. So the question ‘why did you do something?’ can be really hard to answer? Even emotionally aware people do things for the top level conscious reasons, the semi-conscious hidden under the surface and the unconscious reasons.
Some of the unconscious material, might be to do with being soul mates and it could be the reason why you’re finding the recovery so hard. Soul mates are supposed to ‘get’ each other – without really having to talk about it. (So not knowing that he cheated can be really crushing) They are not supposed to argue (so when he didn’t agree with something, he would have buried his resentment and anger – which could have been a semi-conscious reason for cheating.)
So what do you do? Let yourself be angry, it’s part of recovery and much better than swallowing it and letting it turn into a cold hard lump in your heart. I think it would also be interesting to challenge the whole ‘soul mates’ idea. Have a look at my book ‘What is Love?’ where I have an essay on this very topic. I hope that if you can let go of the idea of him being your hero – which is really hard for ANYONE to live up to – he could be your partner again.
How do you know when you have met or married your soulmate? Yes I am gradually letting go of my feelings towards her but it’s hard… 2 years of sharing intimate details and feelings takes a long time to let go of… Can you give me some advice as to how to do this? Yes I’m throwing my energies into my marriage I have to start somewhere… But it feels like it’s not going anywhere? Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed
Andrew G. Marshall says
It’s really difficult for me to answer this question because I don’t believe in soul mates! I think love is far more complicated that finding the right person and clicking with them on a profound level that all problems melt away. If you want a proper explanation, look at my book ‘What is Love?’. As for letting go of the love for your affair partner, I have a post that I think you will find helpful, it’s called ‘How to Fall out of Love’ and you will find it in section called ‘falling out of love’. Finally, I have a thought about why it is taking time to begin to connect with your wife again. My guess is that you’re angry with her – perhaps you felt ignored or she put the children first. It might be a rational grievance or it might be entirely in your head but until you’ve began to look at the issues in your marriage, all the nice thoughts and nice days out will only go so far to restoring connection. However, rest assured, you’ve made the biggest step and I am impressed by your determination to work on your marriage
I’m the discovered partner (or better say, the confessant). Under several circumstances where I was feeling like I did not deserve his love, I told my bf (of 9 years) I had cheated on him around 3 and a half years ago. I cheated with a friend of mine. Flirting with my friend may had gone up for some months while the cheating itself happened in 3 days i spent with him while my bf was out of the country. After that we continued being friends, me acting like it never happened, and there was no more contact until after 2 years we ceased contacting each other completely (because we were class mates and university finished). Analysing myself, I cheated because (chronologically):
1. my actual bf has been my first and only bf and relationship I’ve had while he’s had several before me. We have an age difference of 9 years and we got together when I was 18 and him being 27. He was always the flirty type of guy and very talkative and shared most of his stories with me (past as well as present flirts). This made me feel jealous and also brought to a feeling of inferiority of me not having any prior stories so I could also share with him and tell him (or even make him feel jealous about them as I was feeling about his).
2. his constant present fliritings.
3. the last months before the cheating happened we had ceased to be intimate for several months. (we don’t live together). I was constantly asking him to travel or go somewhere and spend some or a night together, he was telling me he was uncomfortable with hotels, he was shy etc. At the time I found this hard to believe how someone like him could be shy about something like this. I was thinking maybe he had another story and that is why he did not want to get intimate together.
If it was for any of these reasons taken separately, I wouldn’t have cheated. Taking them all together, I did what I did. As I see it now, I did it out of my immaturity and lack of experience on how to handle and maintain a relationship. I’ve told all these to my bf, but any of these reasons does not satisfy him. Because I was so critical of him and his flirtings (even after I cheated) he always thought I could never do something like this and now he says he does not know me any more. He asks how I could have been so critical of him knowing what I had done myself. I say: because it felt like I never did (and because at that time it felt like something right to do). He is confused by my lack of remorse. I’m a bit confused too, to be honest. After I cheated, I concluded it was not the solution to my problems and that I would not do it again. That’s pretty much all I thought about it. Why I felt so cold about my action was also caused by my bf always telling me that he wouldn’t mind me cheating on him and he would not leave me if I did so (well, I guess I failed to see behind the simple words and consider it a statement of love). When he was telling me that, I always thought it was because he was not jealous, did not care and it hurt (while, as he says now, it’s because he loved me so much he already knew he would endure it).
I’ve told all details that I remember of my infidelity to my bf. He sticks to the parts that I don’t remember. In all the years after the cheating, I never recalled what I had done and felt like it never happened. I have lost the feeling of things and only remember moments mechanically or end up saying I did something because it logically fits. My bf says he needs to ask me again and again about the details. I feel like every time he does, I loose touch with what really happened and remember every time less.
He says that when he’s not with me, he starts to hate me and feels less pain and much better. When he’s with me, he loves me but the pain is much much worse. I am a constant reminder of his pain and what happened. It’s been 3 months since the revelation. I feel like we’re in a loop and I don’t know how to help him. He has feelings of revenge towards the other guy. He says that someone has to pay for his pain. There’s many mood swings. I feel like our story is very complicated. I could write about it for days, explaining my past and his past, my personality and his personality. At the end I think the only reason we’re in this situation, it’s failing to know each other (even after 9 years). I thank you, Andrew, if you take time to read this.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Thank you for sharing your experiences. Give yourself and your boyfriend time to recover, three months since your confession is not very long.
Married 46 years, found out this past November that my spouse had a short affair with my very best friend who was also married., and this happened 40 years ago.
They decided it was wrong and stopped it, but because we were couple friends they decided we did not need to know, and let our friendship continue. Our marriage has been good, and people often comment on how great we are together. Now I wonder if he was just trying to make up for what he did. I am questioning so many things from our past.
The fact that he kept her in his life for all of these years makes me sick to my stomach. It is a double betrayal from both people that I trusted and loved. They both swear that they went back to being “friends”. But how could he be in a room with me, and her and hide his guilt from me, and still say he loves me.
When I ask him how the affair started, he says that he has no recollection. He cannot even remember the first kiss, or how it progressed. He only remembers the shame and guilt that he felt.
How do I ever have a female friend again when I do not have a clear picture of what made it change from friend to “lover”. Something significant had to have happened, for them to act on their feelings,
I have always prided myself on being a strong confident women, now I feel sick to my stomach when I see my spouse talking to someone else.
I am not going to throw away 46 years of marriage over this, but the pain and roller coaster ride I have been on is so painful. It may have happened 40 years ago to them, but it does not take away any of my trauma. My husbands remorse, shame, tears and how he is handling my pain is helping my healing progress. He realizes, in hindsight, what a disrespectful thing to me it was by keeping his lover in our lives.
I hate that he cannot remember how things progressed. I feel I deserve and need at least that from them.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Thank you for sharing, it shows how powerful betrayal can be (even if it happened a long time ago). I’m glad that your husband is taking your feelings seriously but concerned that you feel unable to have close women friends going forward. If you still feel this way, for example in six months time, I would seriously suggest talking to counsellor. Life is hard enough as it is – without being able to confide and trust friends.
How can I trust this, when he has no memory of how things progressed with our best friend, how they went from friends to lovers, how can we prevent that from happening again? And then there is the fact that he lied to me for over 40 years. I had picked up on some guilt when ever fidelity was talked about, and I asked and gave him many opportunities over the years to talk to me, yet he did not. I never would have guessed it was with our good friend. I feel so betrayed by two people that I loved dearly.
I so want an explanation as to the steps that led to this betrayal. I feel that this would help my healing process. The not knowing the steps is so hard to accept. He cannot even recall the first time he kissed her. SO FRUSTRATING!
Andrew G. Marshall says
I understand your frustration but the secret to stopping it happening again is understanding why your relationship was vulnerable rather than the particular steps along the way from friendship to inappropriate friendship to affair. If you want to understand why men detach themselves and become tempted, I would read the first half of ‘My husband doesn’t love me and he’s texting someone else’ where I go into in depth. I think it will help you understand more but I would add a note of caution. Knowing the steps will probably not take away the hurt – because it is such a huge betrayal – but I hope it will be a step forward in your recovery.
I have been married for 17 years. I was unfaithful to my husband 4 and a half years ago. The affair was brief, only a few weeks, but it happened at a time when our relationship wasn’t great. I’m not making excuses, it shouldn’t have happened at all. At the time when my husband found out we sat down and had a very frank and open conversation about why things went wrong and how we would improve. For a long time things were better.
However, over the last 9 months he’s been distant and cold with me. We have 2 children and he doesn’t even seem interested in family life any more. He works alot and that seems to take over his life. Two weeks ago he told me he loves me but he’s not in love with me. He’s “not feeling it”. He said it stems back to the affair I had. He just can’t get over it. That surprised me as for a long time we’ve been fine.
He said he needs space, but he won’t move out. I think he’s scared of telling the children, although they can see things aren’t great. I keep crying, although I try not to cry in front of them. So we are in the same house, in the same bed and just being pleasant to each other. We are more like friends than husband and wife, while he has his space and gathers his thoughts. He is emotionally cold and only gives me the odd hug when I am upset. He won’t discuss the situation and says I am pressuring him. I have suggested counselling but he won’t do that. He hasn’t even spoken to any of his friends.
I just don’t know what to do. I am trying to be nice and I really want this to work. I don’t want us to throw away 17 years of marriage. But he just won’t engage with me. This situation is making me ill. I love him dearly and we’ve had a good marriage. But then a very small part of me thinks I can’t continue like this. It is breaking my heart.
How much space do I give him? How do we start to repair this mess? Can it be repaired?
Andrew G. Marshall says
The good news is that it can be repaired. Unfortunately, you only did half the job after your affair. What normally happens is that it takes far longer for the discoverer of the affair to recover than the discovered. Unfortunately lots of men whose wives had an affair try and recover by shutting down their pain (and telling themselves to move on). But it doesn’t go, it just festers. Worse still, they don’t turn off just their pain but all their feelings – because we can’t pick and chose just the nasty ones. Ultimately, he has turned off all his feelings -including his love.
So how do you save the marriage? Your husband needs to be allowed to be angry (that’s always the first feeling out of the box). You need to learn to communicate properly and get to the bottom of why your marriage wasn’t working. (If you hadn’t both clamped down on your feelings and pretended everything was ago – and got stuck in attempted normality – that’s what you would have sorted out).
What happens next depends on you? Talk to your husband about the affair again, answer his unasked questions, go to that horrible place again because avoiding it is avoiding healing too. If your husband won’t go for counselling, go for it yourself and learn how you can be different· Admitting your share of the problem might just spark his curiosity to change too.
I liked this article as I do many of your perspectives regarding infidelity. I’m 6 months from discovery and have asked/obtained many of the details. My husband and I come to very different conclusions of WHY and/or HOW this occurred. We also seem to interpret many of the details differently. I, like others, can’t wrap my mind around how he could claim to love me, celebrate anniversary, celebrate birthdays and holidays while engaging in sexual relationship and confessing love for her. He claims that he never loved her, but that she was not a pet of his old life (affair started after he was suddenly and unfairly let go from a 15 year career that was more of a lifestyle) and he didn’t feel like “the failure.” However, I’ve read messages from him, to her and some seem so genuine. He used many of the phrases that had once been special to us and they met at locations that we once met and I held special. He says that he was convinced that I was leaving him and would tell him to leave any day. He seemed very delusional during this time period and in reachable. He twisted and misconstrued conversations. He became someone I couldn’t recognize. He talked about marrying her, moving in together, etc. the affair later for 18 mon. The first 8 mon moving from friendship to emotional affair (of coarse I never knew about the friendship but this wasn’t really odd because I didn’t pry into his friendships; 100% irrational trust in him) then turned physical the next 8 mon. He claims that he realized he was making a mistake 5 min after it became physical but that she became threatening (making false reports/claims to legal authorities, coming to tell me). She would drive by our home and honk the horn, park in the drive next door and send pics to him. He says that he was acting the whole time but really began a class act when she became threatening. He never self and became so distressed during this time period. I could never figure out why. I realize that a lot of this was made easier for him because he essentially lived a double lifestyle as a law enforcement officer. Never talking about that part of his world with me. He says that he always feared that I would leave him if I ever knew some of the things he had to do at work. I’m very much a hippy in many ways-peace, love and happiness. Or, I was before discovery. I’m very jaded now.
One big problem is that I believe that he needed to believe I was leaving to carry on with her but he says that in his mind he had lost everything and because he didn’t want to be alone, when I left, was able to justify being with her. He says he felt guilty and I say if he was able to feel guilt, then part of him knew it was wrong and that I wasn’t gone. He dropped her immediately once I discovered the affair. Every time he looks at me or we are intimate together I’m plagued with thoughts of him doing the same with her. He says he wants to be with me and I say, “for how long.” He have his word before God and everyone but that didn’t stop him from changing his mind. I’m so confused. I feel like what he’s doing now is the same thinking he used before, but in reverse I.e. Seeing me negatively and saying unfair things about me to affair partner, now, he sees me positively and the affair partner negatively. Compounding things is the amount of information he doesn’t seem to have. I do feel that it should have been pretty important for him to have risked the destruction of his family. Is it that she wasn’t that important, we, his family, weren’t that important, or that nothing was as important as he was to himself? While logically I know that it will take time for him to fully understand how and why everything happened, I’m in immense pain and want to gain an understanding and acceptance of the story so that I can move past it. So I press for details and understanding and anytime new information is obtained, “because he forget” or “didn’t think about it” it feels like a slap in the face. If he was the one who felt the pain of his betrayal he may take more time to consider and understand the circumstances.
In all honesty, I’m a therapist by profession and believe that my tendency to analyze may be in overdrive. I don’t seem to have the ability to be objective here, which is rare for me. I don’t know who isn’t seeing clearly. I wish you were in the states, I would love to have scheduled with you. Sigh.
Andrew G. Marshall says
You are in a classic post-affair divide – which is made wider by your respective careers. You are BOTH feeling terrible but you’ve come to opposite ways forward. He wants to shut down his feelings and move on as quickly as possible (which goes along with law enforcement which is all about closing down cases). You want to talk, reveal feelings and understand (which goes along with being a therapist). When the gap is the biggest remind yourself that you chose him for a reason…. he had something you needed (an ability to keep a sense of proportion and stop you from over analysing?) and you had something he needed (an ability to cope and face feelings which is absent from his family? and definitely his job). I would like to go one step further. You are BOTH seeing things clearly (just from different perspectives). I’m afraid people (and men in particular) do risk everything – just to feel better for a short time. It does not mean the affair meant everything. However, you’re also right. There are fundamental problems which should not be swept under the carpet – about communication, unresolved long-term issues that are festering etc. So what do you do next? If you’ve gone from ‘peace and love’ to jaded, it probably means you need my book ‘What is love?’ which tries to get a rounder definition than something magical and hippy-like (which promotes blind trust) and not so cynical as jaded. I hope it helps. Finally, as one therapist to another, you have my 100% sympathy. People expect us to find this relationship stuff easy but all the knowledge in the world doesn’t take away the hurt. Be patient with yourself (and him too).
Two years on my wife and i are working on our 17 year marriage but i think only for our kids sake as well as our history together. I still feel exactly the way i did 2 years ago and the anger i have to physically assult the arsehole who took advantage of my heavily intoxicated wife has not diminished one single bit , if anything it has grown and sometimes knowing to myself the one day i will get even with him by returning the misery he has caused is the only way to calm me down. As for her most of the time we are good however she is not who i ever imagined i would want to be with for the rest of my life . She has told all types of lies about it and what she cant lie about she simply forgets so as far as respect i have very little for her. If it wasnt for my children i wish somedays that i would never have met her in the first place little alone marry her. I suffer with PTSD from my active service overseas however this pain far outweighs anything i experienced as a soldier in the middle east.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I wonder if there is a link between the PTSD and the trauma of discoverying your wife has been unfaithful? If you’re getting help for the PTSD, I would talk to your therapist or doctor or whoever. If you’re not getting help, look at the book called ‘the body keeps the score’ by Bessel van de Kolk. It will open your eyes.
I found out my future husband cheated on me at the beginning of our relationship, or that what he claims, with his ex wife. I was and am devastated specially that he cannot remember when he did it and why. His ex-wife was cheated on him several time during their marriage, she was lazy, not-educated and the kids were at the brink of being expelled while in school because she could not give up her sleep to get them to school. He never cheated on his wife. I am attractive, educated, hard worker, smart, funny and yet he cheated on his wife although they were separated and divorced for almost 2 years when we met. Why? Why did he do it. He is giving me answers as I am not as clear cut as you…. I do not remember when I did it. Why is important for me to know why and when it did it? If I know when, I can put the “mistake” in the pot of beginning of the relationship when you are not fully committed. Why? it helps me to understand his emotional and mental state and if I was just a help to get over his ex. This way I can decide if our relationship has a good base in spite of the cheating and it is worth going forward. Becasue I care about him…. We are both in our 50thees
Andrew G. Marshall says
You would be surprised as how many people sleep with their partner in the process of splitting up – and sometimes even after they are divorced. It is sometimes habit, sometimes too much to drink and sometimes one partner hopes to remind the other of what they are losing (possibly to get them back, to bolster their own ego or simply as part of the mourning process). The fact that he can’t remember when or why suggests that it was part of a longer goodbye than you would wish. So where do you go from here? I would judge the relationship on issues like: how well to do we get on, how do we deal with conflict, how good is our communication, how good is our sex life. If you’re still having doubts, or can’t talk about this without it spiralling into the same old argument, I would consider getting counselling.
I still feel pain after 20 years because I can’t forget. He said there was no love just sex but he told her he loved her so he is lying to one of us. Why can’t I just let it go ? He said it was his age. Mid life?
We moved away but I didn’t leave it behind.
When I ask he gets angry and walks away.
I know I need let lt go, but how?
Andrew G. Marshall says
You need some space to talk about your pain – rather than just bury it. My guess is that he’s too full of shame to be able to listen, so it could need to be a professional. With some help you can grieve for what has happened and see if there are any lessons to learn for today – so for example, you could change the way the way that you argue (because it doesn’t sound like the two of you are resolving important issues – and that will probably extend to non-affair related material too). Look at my books about infidelity – in particular ‘I can’t get over my partner’s affair. It will help you feel less alone.
Linda by says
My husband had affairs in 1977 we are still together but as I am writing tears are coming he said he does not remember but that is crap he has been very good to me but I need to known about it I mean it’s done and over but I need to know why I need help how can make him talk about it
Andrew G. Marshall says
I wonder if there is a different way of tackling this problem. Instead of talking about what happened forty years ago, talk about your problems TODAY. How are we going to make our relationship better? What can each of us do to change? (Rather than telling each other how YOU need to change)
Hi, I am in a relationship for 12 years. 2 years ago, I cheated on my girlfriend for a period of about 2 months. I wanted to keep it a secret, and I thought I had full control over it. During this period, our relationship deteriorated, and we broke up. At that, moment my girlfriend didn’t know about me cheating. I didn’t give her a reason for the break-up, and that left her with a huge gap, and left her with a lot of questions.
However, my girlfriend knows me very well, after being together for so many years, and at some moment, after we broke up, she found out. At first, I was trying to deny it, and when I could not see how to hide it any longer, I confessed. This was a very devastating time for my girlfriend. And weirdly enough, not for me, as I was completely emotionless, as I was towards anything in life… except towards the girl I was cheating with.
About a year after I cheated, we tried to work things out again. I do really love her, and I have tried to come completely clean, but looking back at me coming clean, I have never fully done this. Looking back, it looks like I was still in some protective mode, where I was trying to make things look better than they really were, as far as that is possible. This means I have willingly been lying to myself, and, even worse, also to my girlfriend. Now, after 2 years of my infidelity, we have been working hard to make things work again, but we fell back into a crisis a couple of weeks ago.
My girlfriend says that she cannot see how she can move on with me, and now has serious doubts on our future together. One way on how to make things work again potentially, is for me to come clean, and for real this time. For her I have to come clean, and disclosing the WHY question. Although I do have some good ideas I believe are true (I was unhappy in life, I felt like there was a strong connection with the other girl etc. etc.): These are all EXCUSES to the “why”, but none of them are real REASONS. I could for example have brought these thigs up to my girlfriend, and could have talked about my problems, but I didn’t. I am really struggling to find the real reasons behind my actions, and I’m stuck. I know my girlfriend wants to hear the truth, and I want to tell her the truth… I just can’t seem to find the truth in myself, while I think I can say I have opened up to myself, and stopped lying to myself.
I have big black holes in my memory when it comes to the “why”. In addition, after these two years, my girlfriend sometimes still wants details to questions she has. I just do not have the details. No matter how honest I am to my girlfriend and myself, there seem to be crucial parts missing, which prevent me from coming clean for a 100%, not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t.
When I look at the situation I am in right now, I can’t understand why I forgot so many moments from during the period I was cheating. Obviously, me cheating was a decision, and in my opinion, every decision is based on something, otherwise it can’t be a decision. I know I didn’t “just” cheat, but I also can’t figure out what is the real reason that I cheated.
The “gaps” in my memory are really taking its toll now, and if won’t be able to come clean, I leave my girlfriend with a very, very tough decision: Accepting the fact that she will not get an answer, and continue with the relationship like nothing happened, and for the rest of our lives together have this hanging above our heads with every decision we make, OR, break up with me, and still not knowing what exactly happened, and thus making that decision without having all the facts straightened out, and thus making a decision based on her filling in the gaps by herself.
None of the options are fair, and even though I want to spend the rest of my life together with her, I want her to be able to make a decision, whichever it is, based on the real truth and a complete honest disclosure from my side.
What do I do?
Andrew G. Marshall says
Thanks for this post. I am currently planning a book on just this topic: how to help your partner and yourself heal from your relationship. The topic of WHY did I cheat is a really difficult one to answer because there is no reason that will be good enough for your girlfriend (especially after all the pain she has been through). However, if you don’t understand WHY, there is no reason that it won’t happen again. In my experience, there are several layers to the answer WHY.
In the first layer, we have the items that you probably know: unhappiness, lust etc. For your girlfriend, these reasons on their own will be terrifying. You will be unhappy again. You will find other women attractive again and all the promises in the world that you’ve learnt your lessons will not be enough.
In the second layer, there are habits and character flaws that facilitated the affair.. for example, you do not confront problems (but buried them), you tried to be in control and manipulate, you have not been particularly self aware, you bury your feelings and pretend they don’t exist (until there is a crisis and you’re left trying to play catch up). There are often a lot of unhelpful beliefs – for example: what she doesn’t know, doesn’t hurt her. I often find people who cheat are people pleasers (who say what people want to hear and then become resentful) and often end up trying to please two people at the same time! These sorts of answers are better. You can learn to communicate better, understand yourself better and faced with your flaws you can begin to change them.
Thirdly, we have the deeper stuff which goes back to your childhood. For example, your relationship to your mother. Did she expect you to be a good child and anything beyond the perfect little boy would be unacceptable or trigger a crisis for her etc, so you told her what she wanted to hear (people pleasing) or did what you wanted and hid what she wouldn’t like (and learnt to live a double life). What was your relationship with your father? Did either one of them have an affair when you were young? Did you need to put up barriers because you thought if anyone saw the real you, they would not have loved you? These sorts of answers will probably gain her sympathy and help her understand you better. To get to this level, you’ll have to dig deeper. Look at the sections on affairs and the great other in my book ‘It’s not a midllife crisis, it’s an opportunity’. This kind of reading will show her that you’re taking this seriously – getting counselling would help too – and start to build a new kind of relationship.
Linda by says
My husband had a affair in 1977 he won’t admit it he says he doesn’t remember – that is crap. All I want him to do is say he did he broke my heart. I want to known why I shouldn’t have had one too. I bet he would not like it he left me and our little girl for three days. I thought I was pregnant so I went to plan parent to take care of the matter but I was not pregnant. He broke our marriage vows. I just don’t understand it. I know it was long ago but he needs to admit it. When he hears about someone he knowns has a affair he puts them down. He needs to admit it and be a man. Please respond so maybe I can understand and be able to sleep at night.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I am shocked that you are still having trouble with this affair from 40 years ago. It shows how deep the pain can go. So why does he run down other people who have affairs? It helps him distance himself from his actions – all those years ago. It shows, in a round-about way, that he does regret his actions. Why won’t he admit it? He is probably asking: why won’t she let his go? His fear is that by admitting it, he will be in the wrong and you will be right (but most marriages are far more complex than this and he will not want to be the bad guy while you are the good one). I would rather you stepped away from this comparative world – where he is either a man or a mouse – and into a comparative one. He made mistakes and I have my failings too. At this point, you might be able to discuss your marriage and decide if you want to be together or not.
Husband and I married 30 plus years, raised 4 wonderful sons. Tragic unexpected loss of our son 20 mo ago. Six months following a co-worker contacted husband via linked in and thus began his escape from grief. 4 mo texting, email, lunches. I discovered it and asked him to leave for 6 weeks. He immediately ended the contact. Was not totally honest, withheld information, mislead me. Nothing physical, no feelings for woman states it was a “diversion” and he was depressed and angry and he used thevwoman to “act out”. Her husband found out he didn’t care. Said that was their problem and he was not interested in a commitment to her. It was someone to talk to not about sadness of grief.
For me, To deal with the loss of our son and now betrayal of spouse-I can’t move forward. I don’t understand why or how. He said he wasn’t totally honest as he was a coward didn’t want to make it worse.
Very confusing and I feel the betrayal and poor decision, following losing our son is unforgivable. How could he invite more pain into our lives?
Andrew G. Marshall says
Firstly, I want to express my condolences for the loss of your son. Bereavement is really tough and it makes us do stupid things. I chronicle all my mistakes – and what helped after my partner died – in my new memoir: My Mourning Year.
What I’m going to say next could sound like excusing your husband but my goal is to give you some insight into why he’s made a terrible situation even worse…
He is in such a pit of despair that he will do anything to feel something else. While to everyone else, he is the bereaved parent for his ‘love’ interest he is just himself and that’s like a holiday from his pain. I know you’re going to say, I would like some of that too! And you’re right but you don’t understand the added problems of being a man
1. We are supposed to sort problems out and he has no idea how to fix this one (because there is no fix and, as he’s discovering, fixing just makes things worse).
2. Men are trained to ignore their feelings and distract themselves – so he has no tools for dealing with this loss, no training either!
3. Men are supposed to solve their problems on their own! So he can’t ask his friends – who are more likely to be drinking buddies – and they have no idea what to suggest even if he did. (Can you imagine how you would have coped without your female friends? No! You have some idea how he’s been feeling).
Sadly, many couples who lose a child end up splitting up – which sounds strange because you’d think they would need each other more but it’s hard to help someone else when you’re dying inside. And when you feel strong enough, you’re frightened of tipping your partner back into the abyss.
So what should you do? If my post has helped you, share it with your husband and start a conversation about ‘why he has been unfaithful’ – but without getting angry – and see if you find enough common ground to talk about the impact of your loss on your relationship, the infidelity and where you go from here. My guess is that you will need a neutral third party to help with this difficult task.
With my best wishes.
Sherry Nicol says
Everything my husband could have done wrong after his affair, he did. He wanted to pretend like it never happen. We are 13 years after the affair and live like roommates. He doesn’t want to do any work to fix our marriage and I’m so resentful and bitter towards him. Death can’t come soon enough.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Your reply shows how sweeping everything under the carpet solves nothing. Even though it is 13 years later, I hope you lift up the carpet and do something about this mess. Even though your husband refuses help that doesn’t stop you from getting some.
Linda by says
This happened 40 years ago my husband had a affair. I had in mind and it just came out I guess I had it hidden in my mind. I told him and he said he does not remember. I don’t believe him but I can’t sleep at night because of it. We can’t afford to see someone about it we are retired live on a fix income. I want to known why he did it but said he does not remember. Any advice I can’t get it out of my mind. We have been married for 47 years, he also said he loves me.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I have two suggestions. There are lots of good books which will explain why people have affairs. I have written a couple myself. Why did he do it? It will have been because of a problem (it might have been something personal to him or something about your relationship) plus there was poor communication (he could not talk about his problems or felt you would not listen) plus he was tempted. You can work on the communication with him – once again lots of books on this one too. If you would like to speak to someone contact your local college, there will probably have a course that trains counsellors or therapists and they will offer low cost or free services for their trainees to learn their craft. Don’t worry, they will be a good way into their course before they see someone and they will be supervised. You’re getting free or almost free help and helping them hone their skills. Good luck and don’t give up.
Linda by says
This is good advice but sadly my husband would go he has had two heart attact maybe he does not remember we get along great and we do love each other but it is the question why he even call me the day he was going to do it and said he love me I ask him to read some of these letters and he won’t he does not get mad because I ask he just won’t do it I just wish he would admit it but that will never happen
Andrew G. Marshall says
If he will never admit it, where does that leave you? What do you want to do next?
Linda by says
I will stay with him but the big question is why that will always be there I can’t ever forget or forgive but I will go on and I will stay with him I still say he knows what he did
What if the do remember the details and spit them all out only when you prod and push? Does that mean the affair was special and meant a lot ?
Andrew G. Marshall says
I think that is the least likely answer, in my experience people who only divulge when their partner prod and push are frightened and don’t like confrontation (which is what got them into this mess in the first place). Your husband could fear that you will get upset (which will make him guilty) and in his mind ‘wouldn’t be better to try and forget it’. Obviously this is not the answer but he’s probably had a lifetime of trying to keep things nice (probably all the way back to his mother). Your reaction can make a big difference to encouraging him to open. If you thank him and explain how it has helped – even if it makes you angry for a short while – he will have an incentive to tell you more rather than just reinforcing his fear. The other reason why he is no forthcoming is probably because he’s not good at communicating fullstop. My advice would be to get some couple counselling so he can learn to listen and open and you can try out different ways to communicate which will break this unfortunate deadlock (which it sounds like you’re in).
I understand about how little details can trip someone up. But how do you tell the difference between someone who says they have told you everything they know, but you still see avoidance reactions? The story that they told you truly just doesn’t make sense to you, even after 16 months of reconciliation?
My husband did the defense mechanism of lying in the beginning. Every time I found out something he had told me wasn’t true, I would have to prove it before he told me the truth. Well, there are a lot of details that I don’t have proof for, and so he stands by the reasoning, like he did in the beginning, that he is telling me the whole story. He has never voluntarily offered information. For example, in one of the texts he wrote to her, he had said, “things have changed, but at one time they were exciting, daring and romantically sad”. When I question him about this, he says that he doesn’t know why he wrote that, but nothing happened before that. That everything happened after, because I have texts between them from after, so there’s no denying the after part. But because I have no texts from before (he had deleted them during the affair), he swears that he doesn’t know what he meant by that. Can he actually not remember the whole situation from before? So here we are, 16 months later, and he swears there was never anything more, and I know deep in my heart there was. A few times over the last year, I have asked him to think about it, and to get back to me when he felt comfortable about it. He agrees that he will. Then we don’t talk about it for a month or two, and if I question has he thought about it, he falls right back to there wasn’t anything before. Then he gets defensive, and says I’ll never trust him. Right now, we are actually at the point where I feel I don’t want to continue in this marriage. We talk calmly together, but we are both stuck on opposite sides of this. I can’t mistrust myself and my heart by accepting it. So my heart has made the decision for me.
Andrew G. Marshall says
It sounds like you need couple counselling so you break this deadlock and find a way to discuss what happened without getting into this loop of question (which he hears at criticism and attack) and defense.
This could’ve been written about us. I am 17 months post discovery, and still have so much anger & bitterness. I lash out at my husband every chance I get. I’m not even sure I love him anymore. How could I love someone who was so thoughtless and who hurt me in the worst way? Mind you, we were in counseling for over a year.
Andrew G. Marshall says
It is normal to be angry and bitter but if you’ve become stuck in the healing process, it sounds like you need some help in your recovery. Think about returning to your couple counsellor or finding someone new to help.
After being scrutinized for everything normal people do…(20yrs.) I found out she had been having multiple affairs. She knew my work schedule and would meet once a month to not draw attention. It wasn’t until his wife threatened to expose her publicly that she confessed. I asked who and why. I told her I’d forgive her if she told me everything. I found the other man’s wife’s number and asked to meet. She gave me more details. From 5 meetings ( wife told me) it went to about 20. I went back and demanded the truth. She told me the places and yes it was way more. I know she is holding back. She lied about the details on the others. I feel so ashamed, humiliated, defeated…I was so in love with her. She was my LOVE. I was faithful for 20 yrs. And it took 20 year old millenials 10 minutes what I did for her in years of dedication. You have a right to know everything!!! You put in your time, soul & energy…the least you can do is tell us why it was worth it!!!
Linda by says
I thank you for your answer I should had explain myself better it only was a few months ago that I remember his affair it was two different women over a weekend that was the only time and that happened back in 1977 we are still married I love my husband for some reason it got trigger and I remember I ask him he said he doesn’t remember he has had two heart artacks and he said he forgot alot of things I think he knows that it happened and he is not sure what I would do if he admits to it I known he loveiii i is me I just would like to know why that the question because iI am hurt over it
Andrew G. Marshall says
When someone is triggered for no particular reason and the response is as strong as yours, it makes me think there could be some unresolved trauma from the past. Have a look at a book called ‘The body keeps the score’ which is written by one of the world’s leading experts on the subject. If it speaks to you, you might like to look into getting some help from a trauma specialist.
Kim V. says
The details do matter. Not the intimate (sexual) details, but things like gifts given, if they met each others children, number of times they were together. All of these things give an idea of how invested the person was in the affair. If there were months or years of interaction, i.e. dates, trips, lengthy periods of time together it is pretty safe to say they were invested in the affair relationship and it was not “just sex”.
Nobody buys flowers and gifts and meets the children of a “just sex” partner.
Of course we all ask why? Or how? Right? 1st let me own what’s mine..I found myself in a emotional affair that would have turned physical.. If my wouldn’t have exploded like it did. My low self esteem let me think my husband wanted other women over me. (He’s always been flirty) We fought over one certain woman for 1l0yrs. He would deny “she” wasn’t after him, & if “she” was.. He WASN’T! It would end up him getting mad at me. Especially if he was drinking, he was never abusive but he stonewalled me. He was hard & cold to me emotionally. Treated me like dirt to convince me otherwise about her. Which then made me feel like he was putting her over me by taking her side. June 2008 it turned out I was right, but this “right” was no where in my favor. She ended up secretly going my husband & said ” you need to watch Susan and Mark (husband’s friend & coworker) there is something between them” Which there wasn’t. My husband got really cold & mean to when she went home. He never told me why! We all went from having a good time (packing for camping reunion with family the next day). He was so hateful to me, his cousin wanted to give him a good dose of ACT RIGHT. Not knowing what she told him I felt like was willing to ruin this time with family, be the meanest he’s ever been to me all because she didn’t want to hang out with us & went home. Once again HER before me. This time he hurt me deep emotionally. His friend showed me compassion and empathy. At first he was just honestly being a friend. Soon it was flirty, Then I found myself deleting texts. I felt horrible but if he could still flirt with her why shouldn’t I find some happiness too. It wasn’t before he was confronting me. He still never told me what “she” find him. I just thought I wasn’t as slick as I thought I was. Of course I lied & denied. Till faced with what proof he had. But to his to proof he also added that I went further then texts, phone calls & pictures. He was convinced I had sex with him. I spent another 9 years seeking his trust. Oh he loved me. We had many many moments together. It was those moments when he drank that felt like Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. In 2014 it became more often & more severe. He was never going to accept my truth. I even tried saying Ok fine I did it now what? But it was never good. In 2016 our simmering pot came to a rolling boil. For the first time it got physical. (Ironically again the night before our big annual family camping trip June) he chest bumped me & poking me in the forhead. After a long night of his intimidating I’m the man attitude.. You worthless woman. After begging him to stop and he poked me I punched him 3 times. Oh it felt soooooooo good. Till I realized this time our kids (19&16) was living the life I did growing up with my dad & mom being physical. I was at my end. I was ready to be done. With everything in my soul I told him it stops I will not have my kids see that. Things snowed balled from there. He grew colder & emotionless towards me. Reminding me he still feels in his heart I had sex 9 yrs ago he couldn’t let go. So I did.. Yes I should have left. But I didn’t know what to do where to go .. After 19yrs I didn’t know who I was other then his wife and their mom. Once again found companionship this time with a guy I met at my 1st job in years. And history repeats itself.. He confronted me I lied cause it wouldn’t matter if I told the truth. It hasn’t for 9yrs 6 weeks into my emotional affair it crossed the line one night at my friends house after work in my truck. To our surprise my husband walks up just in time. (Now I’m thankful) needless to say that night was hell all night. The next day he went to work & i tried to commit suicide. It was then I told him I was leaving I had to go to my brother where I knew I was loved and who understood the demons I’ve fought my whole life. Before he went to work he says he thinks I need to stay so we can figure this out..I didn’t need my brother blah blah! 12hrs later he returns home informs me he had something to say then he thinks I should go visit my brother. The words he spoke knocked my breath out of me..I literally puked right there. When he said he had been unfaithful as well. With a my now best friend my ex sister in law and the woman who started this all. However it was a couple years back and not since 2015. (It’s now Oct 2016) I was blindsided. Although I felt he put others emotions before mine I never thought he had or world cheat. He said after yrs of living mine. He figured if I wasn’t being a true faithful wife why should he be a good faithful Husband. So he sought revenge. Only difference I seen was he WAS WAY BETTER at hiding it. I had no clue. I left disgusted, anger hurt confused and went to my b brother. Days later he comes to me.. After 19yrs we owe it to ourselves to talk so we go to Motel. I talk to him about why I did it how I felt and he was the same. We both hated the person we had become. We felt like trash. He then for the 1st time told what “she” had told him years ago. I was anger and asked questions because I was mad. For so many years I got b treated like shit over her then it got even worse after he did it to. However be felt so bad he can’t seem remember much about it. He hated what he was doing so bad he blocked most of it from his memory. So really it’s not the WHY I can see how we slipped off the edge. I do wonder how. How could I have not seen some kind of sign since warning cause I didn’t. But my biggest deal is when? Like what month or hell I’ll settle for what year besides sometime between 2013 & 2015 especially when those were the years I felt we done best. Till we started to crumble in 2015 after his layoff in the oilfield. I just want to know when??
Unfaithful & Betrayaled in Oklahoma
Andrew G. Marshall says
You’ve started to deal with your demons from the past – well done. You and your husband are beginning to open up and really talk to each other. That’s good. Keep building on this foundation.
My husband had an affair for nearly eight Years, they have a son together. She spent the last four of those years tormenting me, one example being the phone calls late at night. I’d answer and she’d put the phone down so I could hear them talking, I stopped listening after the third call. I left him for three years, but he never moved her in they eventually ended when she realized he wouldn’t commit to her ever. She blamed me of course and my life was miserable for a while. He never walked away because of the children, so eventually we started to forgive and forget. We rekindled our relationship a year after they split, it was hard at first I struggled with my emotions. I’d panic and back out for days while he tip toed around me. Eventually we moved on and we’ve been together 10 yrs since the affair ended. I still have bad days when resentment and imagination take over, on those days I can’t look at him without wanting to ask a million questions. I realise it’s unfair and he’s proven himself to me endlessly and the answers will still be the same and still hurt. So I get on with my day and eventually the feelings pass. If I was younger when the affair happened it would of been about sex and betrayal, and I doubt I would of tried to save the relationship. When your older its the intimacy and the secrets, the knowing your world is being discussed negatively by the person you love with another. The sex is secondary. Forgiving is hard, forgetting is impossible. Finding a balance and coping with resentment are the most important lessons, your world was ripped from under you and everything you thought you had was a lie. You have to rebuild from the bottom up, all the while convincing yourself it’s worth while. 10 yrs later we’re together and we love one another without a doubt, but everyday will always be that bit much harder than it was supposed to be before he chose to cheat.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Thanks for a very considered addition to this debate. If you’re stuck with these questions after ten years, it might be worth seeing a therapist to talk these matters over. Alternatively, you could write a letter to him – which you won’t send – putting everything from your point of view and asking those questions. Put it away in a drawer for a few weeks and imagine that you’re him and you’ve found the letter. Knowing what you know about him, his personality and his upbringing, try and answer the letter as if you were him. I think you will find writing the first letter cathartic and that you will get a better perspective on his side of the problem by stepping into his shoes…
Can I just ask as I am new.. my wife stood in front if me as some guy we barely know asked if he could lift her.. she said sure. He put his hands on her bum and picked her up close to him.. I am fuming as I see it as some form of cheating.. because she didn’t stop it.. she thinks I am making too much of it!! Can you tell me if you think this was a firm of cheating and should I be worried?? Really annoyed by it.
Sorry meant to say.. she says it meant nothing. Also told me in 3 different ways how it happened.. none correct until I pushed her on it. Now 2 days later says she first know why she let him.
Andrew G. Marshall says
In answer to both of your posts, it sounds like this man was flirting with your wife and either your wife didn’t spot it or decided it go along with it (and thought to herself that it was ‘harmless’ fun). What I think is a better question than asking me ‘Is this cheating and should I be worried?’ would be ‘why am I so frightened of losing my wife that even a relatively small incident has left me fuming?’ If you don’t know… what happened in your childhood that would make you believe that women are so easily tempted. Was your mother a flirt or did she leave your father? What is the state of your marriage? Are there problems and you’re terrified that something is going to wrong?
I’m going through this very thing now. I cheated on my partner of 4 years, for 3 years with someone I was messing around with before I met my partner. When my partner and I started dating I ended the hook ups and talking and texting with the other guy. Now that the affair is out, we’re trying to rebuild. While I allow him to feel everything he feels when he asks for details of what the other guy and I talked about, I can’t remember. I’m not trying to hide anything from him, I’m not trying to save face, I realize that the details will hurt him but it’s better than hurting him with more lies. I want to be completely honest with him but I just cannot remember a lot of the details. In my partners view, me not being able to remember looks like I’m lying or hiding the truth from him when the truth is, I CAN’T REMEMBER! I’m trying my hardest to remember because the details need to come from me and not from the other guys saved text messages. Any advice??
Andrew G. Marshall says
Instead of getting into the old groove where he asks and you can’t remember, ask him to tell you about his feelings and listen patiently to his upset. Ask him what triggered this unhappiness – in particular. It might be a random thought or something on the TV. Sympathise and tell him again: you’re sorry for all the upset that you’re causing him. Tell him about your feelings of shame, guilt and sorrow. So he realises that his feelings do matter to you. Offer him a hug or a cuddle to feel better. Finally tell him about a moment that you loved him over the last few days – as something concrete rather than blanket ‘I love you’ is more powerful. You’ll find this will help because what he really wants is reassurance that you love him and you’ll stay with him – not the contents of an old conversation
I feel trapped and denied the right to know or understand what happened in my wife’s emotional affair. She started a secret friendship with a coworker where we both work. She distanced herself from me saying she needed time and space to see if she wanted to continue in our marriage. This was not possible due to the level of dedication she was investing in her “friend”. She started losing weight and buying new clothes and wearing make-up. She would text him right before bed and first thing in the morning. I could sleep in the same room in the same bed, but it was not possible to see my wife so invested in another man. I would sleep in my son’s room, but before bed would go in our room to brush her hair and try to reconnect with her to restore our relationship. During my massaging and hair brushing she would steadily text this guy. I stopped visiting at night. At one point she felt bad and came in to the room I was sleeping in and talked to me. She apologized for the way she had been acting and wanted to focus on our marriage. We were going out of town the next day to get away and reconnect. Two hours in to our drive she pulls out her phone and starts texting this guy again. I lost it at that point. She contacted her dad saying she didn’t understand what I was doing and she was scared. He threatened to kill me. I told him I’d save him a trip and do it myself. Her father was unaware of the other man. Two days later she meets him at a coffee shop and they spend 4 hours together. In his vehicle she says she slapped him two different times. Once because he tried to put her hand in his pants, and she slapped him. The second time was when they hugged and he groped her. A couple days later at bedtime we get into an argument. She says she wants a divorce- I was unaware of the coffee shop incident at this time. Announcing her desire to divorce I grab my hunting rifle (by the barrel) and threaten suicide. I don’t feel I had any intention of following through. I needed to shake my wife awake from her out of character behavior. At this point we were 28 days and 4500 texts into her emotional affair. In her fear she texted both her parents and sisters and her “friend”. I went to jail and her mother came to our house. I got out of jail the next day, and went home. I found a long apologetic loving letter. Four days later she returned home and we’ve been struggling to heal and work on our marriage ever since. My wife says she never had an affair, and that nothing ever happened. She’s gotten terribly depressed and refuses to share any details of what went on between them. I’m not even allowed to discuss my feelings with her. We are to act as though nothing ever happened. I’ve got her in therapy, but that seems to be making things worse. I took her to the doctor and now she’s on prozac for depression. It’s now been 2 months and things are improving between us. I’m losing my mind and don’t know what to do. We’ve been together 10 years. We just bought a house less than a year ago and we’ve purchased a lot of new furniture. Then she got infatuated with a guy at work. She is coming back to her senses, but I’m a train wreck. Please help me understand.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I’m glad that your wife is getting help but I think you need help too – and more than I can provide on this blog. You need someone to hear all the anger and the overwhelming pain so you can begin to process it. (My guess is that it builds up inside and comes out in extreme ways which frightens your wife – hence her call to her father and his threats and you ending up in jail on another occasion). My hope is when you can talk about this calmly and without your wife fearing you’ll go off the deep end then she’s open up and explain how depression lead to despair and onto thinking this man (who sounds abusive and horrible) was the answer. Whatever you do, don’t act as if nothing has happened. Use this post as an impetus to start looking after yourself and when you’re both stronger to rebuild your marriage. If you’d like help to understand, look at my book ‘My wife doesn’t love me any more’ which explains why women switch off their feelings for their husbands and become vulnerable to smooth talking hucksters. In the meantime, I send you all the best.
My husband had an emotional affair. Like many other CS, he gave me little information – and lied about the length and depth of it. It was beyond painful that I discovered so many things on my own. Only after he was confronted with details, I found on my own (through emails he thought he had deleted) did he admit to the depth of his betrayal. There is one detail I discovered, (a video he sent her masturbating, while fantasizing about her) that I have been unable to overcome. The reason I can’t overcome it is that he has consistently and forcefully claimed he does not remember doing it. I showed him the video – so there is no denying it happened – and while he agrees it is horrible, he still said he has no recollection of it. Him claiming to not remember makes me doubt I can trust him with my future. I know he wants to reconcile. I know he feels remorse for the way he devastated me, but how can he forget such a huge “detail?” It makes me wonder what else he’s forgotten that might blindside me at some point in the future. I do believe I can forgive the fact that he did this disgusting thing…but it infuriates me (and has become a huge roadblock in our healing) that he insists he can’t remember it. It makes me feel he is still protecting himself – and is still not being completely honest. Am I being unreasonable? Is it really possible to not remember something so graphic? In my mind and heart, the moment he did this act, is the moment the affair went from an emotional affair to a physical affair (whether they were actually together physically, or not.) I feel this way because he so fully imagined himself having sex with her – telling/showing her what, “just thinking about her ‘did’ to him.” It was more horrifying for me than if I had found out they shared a hotel room. When I saw the fantasy take him to a place where he would do something so graphic, it absolutely destroyed my life. When he insists he can’t remember, it makes me feel like he still isn’t being honest. He gets so upset when I bring this up again and again. I just want him to remember doing this. I guess I feel it is difficult to true remorse if one can’t remember what they did. Regret, yes…but remorse? I’m just not sure.
Andrew G. Marshall says
What a horrible thing to discover and I can understand why it is so firmly lodged in your mind. (It will take me a while to get the image out of my head and I’ve just heard about it!) However, I wonder if you are giving it too much importance – for example, considering it the moment it went from an emotional to a physical affair. If they reached this level of intimacy, I think that Rubicon had been passed a long way back. It has also become a test of whether he is showing remorse or not. If you were seeing me – and you were as stuck as the two of you seem – I would want to take the focus wider. Talk about the feelings invoked by this act, your intimacy, what you both need from your relationship and others things he could do which help build trust… in that way you would not be looking at WHAT happened and WHY and changed the focus onto what can be done to make the situation better. When things are better and you’re both feeling closer, it might then be possible to discuss the video (but perhaps with a professional to help you both feel safe). Good luck.
My wife admitted to me before our 30th anniversary of sleeping with someone. First she said it was a one-off thing and she regretted it immediately. That it happened 5years before. I forgave her as she said that she still loved me and realised that we had a good marriage . The next morning as I was leaving for work and she was flying out to Malaysia for a conference, she said they had met up in NY a few times. She said we would discuss it all when she got back. She then told me to contact him as he was harassing her . He lived in another city. I called him and he promised not to contact her again.Well after going to Budapest for makeup weekend where the sex was great, she refused to discuss the affair . She said we must live in the NOW and forget it happened.
However I wanted to know what, where and when, so for the first time in our marriage, I accessed her email and searched her drawers. Found lubricant and garter and stockings which she denied having and said she had the garters years before her affair . I then found she met him in Toulouse, Paris and London although she said it was only NY. She refused to discuss it further and then blamed me as being difficult and forcing her into the affair and then accused me of having one . It’s two years now and although I have taken her away for weekends, make her breakfast in bed, text her, send her notes, but her jewellery, I see no remorse or any attempt on her behalf to be more intimate. She refuses for us to get therapy, and when I want to discuss it with her she clams up . Difficult to see how our relationship can get stronger
Andrew G. Marshall says
If she won’t go into therapy, I think you should. You could learn why you’ll put up with being treated so badly. You could learn how to communicate differently – because something isn’t working at the moment. It seems like you’re suppressing your anger and that’s not good for your health (or your marriage). You’ll start to change and that will either frighten her (and she might consider couples therapy) or intrigue her (and that might encourage her to consider it). Alternatively, you’ll decide you’ve had enough and end your marriage. My fear is that you’ll carry on in this miserable half marriage until you have an affair (because you’re so unhappy) and she will end up blaming you. So take action now.
My emotions are all over the place as if I was on s Merry go round, long story short while camping with friends my girlfriends daughter was flirting with my husband, I didn’t think anything of it as she’s like a daughter to me, she had a few drinks dancing around the campfire just having a good time, her mother and I left for about an hour and went to the beach talking about old times as we haven’t seen each other for 5 years, when we returned she was sleeping beside her brother my husband wasn’t there, her mother and I moved them to the bedroom so they could sleep, I sat down where my girlfriends daughter was sleeping on a wet sheet, I had a sick sense tight their, I said to my girlfriend my dog was probably licking herself lol, I didn’t say anything to my husband until everyone left for home, I find out that in wasn’t my dog’s wet doing but my husbands wet doing, he admitted to ejaculating laying beside her while she was sleeping, as time goes by the story changes from one minute she was sleeping the next she was very much awake, that she was creasing him while outside, my husband told her to stop enough is enough, both of them went inside my trailer and my friend’s daughter was coming on to him really strong not backing down, well my husband admitted that he ejaculated laying beside her but she was sleeping and nothing else happened, I find out more of the story each time the topic comes up, I asked if he was intimate with her, he says no but all sign’s point to yes, only because he remembers ejaculating but doesn’t remember being intimate, regardless ether or he got his sexual gratification, I’m sickened by this my emotions are overwhelming, I’m not sure what hurts more, hearing half the truth from him or hearing the whole truth from her, what do I do ? Let alone feel.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I am missing one really important piece of information. The age of the daughter. It makes a big difference if she is under age from whether she is in her twenties. But either way, I feel sickened too. There is a lot at stake too. Your marriage. Your friendship. The girl’s mental health. So I think you need to think and talk through your options with a trusted friend or maybe even better a therapist. I have some questions? Can you trust your husband with young women? (Because drink and her flirting is no excuse… whatever version of the story consensual sex or masturbating over her is disgusting). What impact is this going to have on your feelings for your husband? Should you talk to your friend about your fears? Ultimately, I think the answer to what you do will depend on your husband. If you ask him to leave – and you have to truly mean it – he could come clean about what truly happened. He might then look at his behaviour and feel the shock and revulsion that everybody else feels. He might get help with his drinking and with his morals (sorry but that’s the only way I can put it nicely). You MIGHT feel differently about him and be prepared to let him stay. I don’t know. But if you’re feeling anything like I am – you’ll be pretty angry that he’s out you in this terrible dilemma. I hope that sharing it with me has legitimized your horror and make it easier for you to take the first step towards resolving it.
Rebecca Everhardt says
My husband Cheated on me in 2010. We are still together but even after all this time my wounds caused by his affair are still painful and frankly I am worried afraid they’ll never heal. Up until now it was hard finding anyone to talk to who I felt could understand and sympathize with the hurt and pain ; then I happened upon the above article by Dr.Marshall and I had to set down while I read his words. It was like he had a special gift of being able to look straight into my very heart and soul. I would feel unbelievably blessed to be a patient of his and to finally once again he able to feel hope in my heart and soul again.
Ruth B. says
I am 2 months since finding out about the affair. My husband had been answering my questions about the affair,but I could tell he was only giving me half truths. Last night, we sat down and he finally came clean about the timeline and events of the affair. I’m trying to deal with what he has said but am struggling with how he did what he did. Now that I know the timeline, what do you suggest would be our next steps in navigating this. I feel like I needed to know the details, but now that I know them what do I do with them?
Andrew G. Marshall says
Please thank your husband for telling you the truth. It will encourage him to be equally frank about other questions you will have. I call this stage in recovery: Intense Questioning – for good reasons. You are trying to make sense of what you’ve heard and it’s not unusual to be struggling with the hows, the whys and the what nexts. Give yourself time to draw breath and digest everything. You might also find that keeping a journal will help and from the millions of questions on paper, you will slowly begin to decide which ones you do want answering (for your peace of mind) and what are just painful details that will hurt more than heal (and you don’t need to hear about).
Why does cheating husband tell me that he doesn’t want to remember or tell me when emotional affair started or ended so far i know it was 2 years but it could be longer. He claims it was a nightmare but he still kept wanting to be with her. I found out 2 years ago. It happened 30 years ago while I was in the hospital and going thru chemo and he used no protection and gave me stds at the same time and we had 2 little ones at home that I worried about while working out of town to help support family. He claims he tried to break it off for a year but couldn’t find a way, claim the mistress only wanted to have sext with him once a month for that one year he claims to finding a way out of affair after he claims hevgotvtied of her wild ways. But I dont believe him he was so cold and distant with meanwhile I was struggling with all the issues I was going thru and all alone. And hevwas not there for me.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I am wondering why you have waited thirty years to have this conversation? It sounds like you’re in a lot of pain over what happened. So my guess is that either: a) something has brought this back up to the surface b) it’s been going on like this forever with just a few breaks for an armed truce.
It’s not surprising that he is vague about what happened. I would have trouble remembering myself. I suggest that if he did remember anything, he wouldn’t say because it would just revive the argument yet again.
So what should you do? If it’s a) I think you need to explain how you buried the pain, what brought it back to the surface and ask for his help to put it behind you. Perhaps couple counselling will help. If it’s b) you have probably been waiting for your children to be old enough and getting strong enough to leave. Whatever the reason, please do something about it – rather than waiting for him to act, because it sounds like he will keep on denying, minimising and distracting. Thirty years is long enough.
The details helps me to understand a little bit why my housband had a affair and i think that we waren`t together anymore if he hasn`t told me many details and ofcause our 30 years lasting relationship together. The first two months after recovering the affair was like a hell for me, because my housband seem to be like on drugs and not really him self. Nearly evrything he told me was a lie or illusion or he said he cannot remember. My housband talk me like for someone outsider who dont care if he has an affair with an other woman. He told me also that he didn `t have a quilty conscience at that time because he didnt realize that he is cheating me. He answer me always so that the affair was untoucheable: she was wise like mother Theresa (only thinking the best for our relationsship and giving helping advices for our marriage) but also very best famele lover. Nothing at all from that was true. He said me also after that time he cannot understand himself why he did it. Thats whats bothering me now. Because i think when he doesent know why, why should it not happen again. Everything what he said before about her was for him scary and the positive details of affair are now vice versa: the affair is a person who he dont really know who she really is , ordinary looking and the sex was poor. The only answer for why is the illusion. Not very helpfull .Because why the illusion, whats hidden the illusion? Why he need the illusion? I don`t get for that also no answer from him. Thats why i dont know how to move forwards. Now after 3 years we are having good time together and have matured in relationship, but we are also standing still because of so many open whys. I know now his shadow side but i don`t like to know it .
Andrew G. Marshall says
The problem with infidelity is that you don’t just lie to your partner and the other man or woman but YOU LIE TO YOURSELF TOO. As you have discovered, he told himself a lot of lies… Why? He knew what he was doing was wrong and without the lies he would have been engulfed and destroyed with shame. If I was working with the two of you, I would be interested to talk to both of you about shame. Did you feel shamed as kids? What impact it had in the past and do either of you ever feel shamed today?
How do you moved forward? It sounds like in some ways that you have…. you write we ‘have matured in our relationship’. Look at what has changed and why? How can you build on these changes? How good are you both at asking for what you need, saying no (if you disagree) and negotiating (rather demanding, manipulating, etc). I call this being assertive and it is at the heart of a good marriage. What I find is that most people who cheat are people pleasers and keep everybody happy until they become exhausted and then flip (and become selfish and go off and have an affair). You can find a lot more about this in my book ‘Wake Up and Change Your Life’. I think it will stop you from being so stuck…
Shawna Adkins says
My stuck point is that he texted her all the time while neglecting me the other women gave me all the texts I can see him saying good morning, how’s your day love, good night dear, miss you thinking about you, talking about places they were gonna go together. He tells me all of that was a lie but why did he do it then?
Andrew G. Marshall says
Affairs are based on lying – not just to the partner but to affair partner too. Sure I love you. I want to be with you. Sometimes they are true for the moment said but only that moment. It is all part of the fantasy that they escape into. Worse of all, they lie to themselves too. A better question that why did you lie would be…. what was wrong with your life that you needed to escape into fantasy?
Michael Garrett says
I been with my wife for 27 years we been marry for 18 years i found out this year in April 2018 my wife cheat on me .before we got marry we was goinging together for 7 years when it happen I was in prison for 7 months when it happen and it is hard for me to let this go
Andrew G. Marshall says
Of course it’s hard to let go… but it’s also a sign that you need to keep talking, ask her questions and understand why she cheated. It will be painful but not as bad as trying to put it behind you before you’ve had a chance to heal.
My wife lied over and over. Whatever popped in her head she would say it. It got to the point she now doesn’t remember much of anything. But I have a memory full of stories that if I ask about them I get “well that never happened”. Four years from d-day and I never healed. She seems happy to stuff it away and forget it. Four years and I still have nightmares and wake up crying. I know next to nothing about their two year affair and what I think I know I can’t be sure it’s the truth. Cause now she can’t remember anything. How convenient it is for cheaters to forget.
husband said after 6 months the excitement wore off. but he continued the affair for 18 more months. some months they had sex another month they talked talked mostly about her problems. most of the three his lover just wanted to be with her friends partying and getting high. so why would he continue the affair if he tells me months he was bored. even claims sex sucked. she was a co-worker and he did her job since she came to work all doped up. buy he claims he didnt know at the time. husband claims he didnt spend a dime on her and only met her on a weed field to have sex. but did show her the inside of out house once. since she wanted to see it while I was away working and battling breast cancer and chemo he didnt even wait till I was out of hospital to to start his affair with the infested STDs person
I ended up with STDs and he still made excuses that it was in my head that I was making it all up. I’m still confused after all them years I do t know what to think. one minute he tell me it was kiss a piece of ass, it was only sex the. next he tells me he was a fool to to think he thought they were both in love. then he tells me his body was with her and his heart with me even though he was cold and distant with me.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Affairs leave lots of questions – good questions. But they often assume that the person who cheated understands themselves and makes considered decisions. In reality most people who cheat are running away from themselves, bury their head in the sands and don’t think through their actions. So I am not surprised that your husband can’t come up with a coherent answer. Instead of focusing on the details, I would look at the bigger question: Why did you cheat? What skills do you need to develop so that you don’t cheat again? You might also like to consider joining my Infidelity Survival Training and Support Group – where people are dealing with just these problems. It launches in October 2018. So come back around then and read all about it.
Valerie Hutchings says
I read this with great interest. My situation is slightly weird, in that my husband had a short affair some 30 years ago. At the time he to!d me that he couldn’t manage to have sex because he felt so guilty, put he was alone with her for 3 nights and 3 days. People me I was a fool to believe him but I did – more fool me. Some weeks ago a letter turned up from this woman wanting to get in touch with my husband. To his credit he destroyed it and it’s not his fault she has written this letter. He has now chosen to tell me that the relationship was very much sexual and to say this has devastated me is putting it very mildly . Every time we have sex I’m thinking “did he do this to or thar”. How do I get these images out of my head? I feel like I am going mad and I know I am pushing him away by the way I am, but don’t seem able to control my head. It seems to be go i my to places I don’t want to go. My husband has been good husband and father for the past 30 odd years and doesn’t deserve to be stuck with a woman who is quite frankly slightly of her head. How do I come with this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Everything I read is so my husband and myself. I found out a year ago that my husband of 48 years had an affair about 30 years ago. He came down with cancer that was caused from the affair and it really blew my world apart. We met very young and all these years I thought it was him and I forever! We have seen therapist and doctors, and have been working hard to save our marriage. I stood by him through all the treatments and he is now cancer free. He says he can not remember alot of the details. Said after the three month affair he knew it was wrong and wanted to just forget it. So he made the choose and kept it to himself. We have been happy all those years and now I ask myself, Can I stay with a man that did what he did to me, our marriage and our family. I have loved only this man all my life and can hardly think of life without him, but he HURT me like I never thought I could hurt. I still cry alot and do not want too any more. I want to move on and just enjoy life, Like I did with him before I learned of this terrible action/chose he made. I pray each night for comfort and forgiveness. And details do not really matter, its the action and how he reacts now that is important!
Andrew G. Marshall says
It is difficult to get over the fact that he kept a secret for so long. It makes you wonder: who is this man? Perhaps you need to cry. Perhaps you need support from people going through the same thing. Have a look at my support group If he can’t remember the details, focus on what he can do – how could he change his reactions (so you feel connected rather than pushed away) and how could be make reparation?
My husband and I have been together since we were teenagers, with the exception of a year two years into our relationship. During that time he met a girl he shared majors with at college and they began a sexual relationship (though he never considered her his girlfriend.) after we got back together he broke it off with her, which enraged her. It took him a long time to finish college and they continued to have classes together. I thought nothing of it until a few years later when it became evident something was going on. He kept assuring me it was just a friendship. Eventually I found a secret email account with a few messages about shared classes. Still he swore it was just a friendship and that he only hid it because he’s very non confrontational and I am not. When I found the secret account I burned all of his belongings and told him I wanted a divorce. We had been married 3 years at this point. Recently it has come to light they had sex 4 times during the course of our relationship. It ended when I found the secret account and he saw the damage he had done but he still couldn’t bring himself to tell me what he had done. He says he felt too ashamed and lied even to himself about it. He still maintains he had no feelings for her but he also didn’t know where he stood with me and when she offered, he didn’t say no. He used it as a means of escape from that very stressful portion of our lives. A part of me understands. He had very low self esteem and I often threatened to leave him because we had a lot of problems. We were college students with terrible communication issues. It’s been two years since he graduated college and since the last time they had sex. With the end of his college days and the beginning of his career, living in our own home, and our family (we have a 6 month old) life was great. But now, i feel it has all been shattered and my mind is wildly swinging back and forth between a need to let it go and just move on like we had been, and being so traumatized and feeling like our entire relationship has been a lie. I feel insane and really don’t know if knowing the details has helped or hurt us.
Andrew G. Marshall says
What I think would be a far better line of enquiry would be why is your husband so afraid of confrontation, why are you so confrontational (burning his possessions is quite extreme!) and how could the two of you do things differently? Much better questions than how many times, what were his feelings and what happened? I answer more questions like this and you can get on-going support in my group
My problem I have with the “forgetting” is that my wife can tell me everything leading up to going home with guy from a bar and and everything after leaving his house. What she says she cannot remember is what happened while she was there, she remembers the kissed and that’s all I get. Is it possible for her to forget what happened during this one time event? That’s my problem.
Andrew G. Marshall says
It is possible that she is so ashamed that she has wiped all the small details. But instead of getting caught on answering this question, i would suggest answering a question yourself? Why is it so important to get every fact for you? Is it that you hope to make a diagnosis of how serious her infidelity was? (If so, can you deduct the whole picture from the facts – like you were Sherlock Holmes). Could there be more important questions to ask? Why was she unfaithful? What changes do you need to make to your marriage to prevent it happening again? If the reason, you are so keen for the answer is that it is some sort of ‘test’ that she needs to pass to prove her commitment to the marriage, could there be another way of discovering this beyond this event?
So my wife told me she made out with a fellow right before a concert while we were with friends . That person happened to be on the periphery of the front which she said was the reason She told me.
she said that was all that happened, however after 4 1/2 months of crying and calling and investigating I have learned that she ultimately ended up at an apartment with this fellow along with her friend a girl and another guy and presumptively based on what she said a few other people .
She has continually said she remembers nothing, however after I find a new fact she confirms it. I am more than confident there’s more to the story than her just kissing this fellow, yet she adamantly says they did not have sex.
I love her deeply, but I do not know how to get over this… I feel as though she still not telling me the whole truth.
I cannot tell if she is more afraid of losing me or more afraid of being alone… I have continually sure that I forgive her if I could be told all of the facts… My gut tells me this hasn’t happened yet .
I honestly do not know what to do, I live in a fog sometimes of this orientation of not knowing what I should do… Which tells me I probably should just end this relationshi I honestly do not know what to do, I live in a fog sometimes of this orientation of not knowing what I should do Or what’s the next best step…
Or what’s the next best step…
I think I to have some hesitation to get divorced or in the marriage and go through the transition back to a single line after 20 some odd years ..
I realize and have excepted and have conveyed the right to have failures that are probably contributed to the situation, however I don’t believe in cheating on me was a warrantable action.
Thoughts are appreciated, paid and anger comments can be reserved from being posted… I’m only looking for constructive words derived from experience
Andrew G. Marshall says
I would suggest talking about it with a marriage counsellor. We could help your conversation falling into the same old groove, allow each of you to hear the other person and if she still ‘can not remember’ see if there is something else that would make you feel she is truly committed to being with you (rather than fearing being alone) and break the deadlock. If there are other important issues that need to be addressed alongside this one, he or she could bring those up too.
The last four years of my thirteen year marriage has been strained. My husband, a pharmacist, was robbed twice in 6 weeks at work. The latter with a gun to his head and demands to unlock the safe. After those incidents, his life changed dramatically. His personality changed from a loving man to a man who criticized me constantly. He would demean me in front of people. He would blame our parenting styles for causing problems in our marriage. He would also say that we were too different. He rejected all types of affection and we would go sometimes months (once a year and a half) with no sex. I would cry myself to sleep feeling so unloved. We began to fight. Loud, angry and nasty. I was so insecure. I became overweight which heightened my insecurity. He left the marriage finally for a week saying he didn’t love me and didn’t find me attractive any longer. He came back saying he would try. He did. Then it stopped. Sex was still not good. He either couldn’t perform which I blamed myself for being overweight. Or he would be callous and unloving while having sex. He even would hide my face with a pillow sometimes. I was miserable. Fast forward the next few years. We stopped arguing. We lived together for the kids. I started to stand up for myself, but I felt unloved. There was no intimacy. He was still very critical. I would, every few months, explode and cry and say that I did not want to be in a loveless marriage and that he should leave if he didn’t love me. He would go and then come back. He said that he did not need sex. He said that it was too expensive to divorce and that I really didn’t bother him. Then he began going to the gym after work. He began mentioning a girl from work. I confronted him and he said that I was crazy and demanded too much from him. He hid his life from me, ie. phone, job. He even planned a trip to Vegas without me knowing. I was miserable. Then I fell into the trap of infidelity. I confided to a male friend about my misery. He also said that he was not happy. He began to flatter me and I ate it up. He listened to me. It became sexual. He said he was in love with me. It was funny. I was addicted to the high and companionship of the affair, but I really never fell in love. I always was waiting for my husband to come back to me. My affair partner was separating from his spouse. I felt that I needed to keep him interested just in case my husband left me.
Then I discovered a hidden envelope addressed to me with a date of 12 months prior telling me of my husband’s affair, unsigned. I confronted him and he told me that he was having an affair for the last year with someone from work, 15 years younger. I was relieved to discover this because it caused us to finally talk. He did not disclose much that day nor did I want him to. I also did not disclose my affair thinking he would just take that as a way out of the marriage. He said upon discovery that he wanted out of the marriage anyway because he knew I would never forgive/trust him again. We decided to live together until the shock wore off for the sake of the kids. But then, I discovered the emails and photos and how entrenched he was. I also discovered another woman from years earlier. I was shocked and in pain. I wanted him to break it off but he said he did not want to lose her friendship in case the marriage did not work out. Meanwhile, my AP and I stopped the sexual and emotional aspect of our relationship and he became the support I needed through this. I was crying to him over the pain I was in and how much I loved my husband.
I finally demanded he end the relationship with AP or leave. And I needed full disclosure. He did. We both disclosed our affairs. We both decided to give our marriage another try.
It is hard. But he is going to counseling and it has made him see how awful he was to me. Our relationship has been through hell but it is now in recovery. Would I go through these last few years again? Our present day marriage filled with a renewed respect, honesty and love, then yes I believe I would.
He was hurting and turned away from me. I took it personally and turned away from him. We got into a nasty cycle of nastiness. We both turned away from our marriage even though we loved each other completely. It has only been 4 months since discovery. I have triggers and bad days. I don’t completely trust him. But we talk constantly about our feelings. He is completely transparent. I am too. We are intimate almost every day. I have read numerous books (many of yours) and I am also going to counseling.
Ironically, I feel that we are blessed and God has given us both another chance. In fact, I feel sad for some of my friend’s marriages who I feel were just as stagnant as my own.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I am thrilled to hear that you have both come clean and let each other see how much you are hurting. It is amazing how much better everything gets when the truth comes out. Stagnant is really dying but facing problems is growing. How wonderful. And my books helped too. That’s a cherry on the top!
Most of what I have read has been about men cheating on there wife
Well this is what happened to me and my wife
My wife has always told me that she was a virgin when we got married that no boyfriend or anybody ever came on to her sexualy and she has always been eye candy
We had been married for about 3 years she is now an auditor She met a man and got his phone number and gave him our #
I found the number and all she would say is it was nothing she didn’t know his last name or anything I had a bad feeling about it I tried to get over it but it would be brought up every once in a while and she would stick to her story and tell me how stupid I was for thinking something wrong
Move forward about 9 years later she started spying on me and making all kinds of false accusations, Now don’t get me wrong I did things wrong I had phone sex trying to get an erection after going through 45 radiation treatments for prostate cancer then I got on the Viagra
I should have never done that and any questions that I have been asked I have laid it on the line
But the false accusations were becoming more and more senseless and I would bring up the phone # and first name and ask her about it and she would get mad at accusations about what happened
And I thought,there is something underlying in all of this and then it was constantly something that made no sense then the fight started I started asking questions and she couldn’t answer we have now been together for 37 years 33 years ago is when it happened
She finally after I started reading her surnames out of a book to help her remember and she said that’s it when I said his last name and that’s all she remembered and I can read her pretty well I was going to leave and she started to confess and she has confessed 5 different times because thing didn’t add up each time she is now saying she went out to eat with him went to his house only had 1 drink with her meal and they started French kissing he took her hand and put on the outside of his pants and she started rubbing his penis then she stopped and he got up and went to the bathroom
Then she said she was scared and got up went to the door and when he came out of the bathroom she left
Most of all of our fights about false accusations I feel like have arose from a guilt that she has
Still trying to work things out
We have 4 kids and 5 grandkids
Andrew G. Marshall says
Thanks for reminding everybody that it’s not just men who cheat. Good luck with sorting things out and with the recovery from your prostate cancer
My wife cheated on me almost 40 years ago so of course now it’s oh that was 40 years ago you should just let it go! But the problem is she never told me what happened and why it happened. We went to a counselor all right I only want to one session because she beat me up so much and all I could do was sob oh, I was a wimp back then. So anyway she continue to go and she got her sins forgiven and Sanctified I guess and I just started drinking. And so I just forgot all about it without ever really finding out and how and why it happened. So now about 18 months ago it came back to me sort of an epiphany I guess and it was just as real as if it happened yesterday and I cried and I talk to her and told her and she only said I’m sorry again. then I began to write letters to her of which she only answered the first one and it was Defensive. So I wrote probably 10 or 12 more which she never answered so she is effectively done with it and I am still left with no answers but a lot of questions. Like number one why why did it happen why did you do this to me how could you hurt me like this we didn’t really have a bad marriage she just took a new job which I am encouraged her to do and I trusted her completely and never imagined that she would have an affair. so I have been to a counselor again you said I had trauma then he didn’t help me he dozed off a few times while we talking. So basically I’m back where I was 40 years ago with no answers and we can’t talk about it without getting into a big fight so I don’t know what to do getting a divorce would mean hurting our children and splitting my already meager income she has no income I am 65 she is 57 when I retired she retired. Even though she had no retirement I had set her up with 3 hair salons over the years but they were all basically failures as we didn’t get any money out of them then she did not put away anything for retirement. so we are stuck not talking to each other if we do it’s likely a flight so I don’t know what to do.Please help!
Andrew G. Marshall says
The affair is still a problem because it is emblematic of what happens a lot in your life – you have a problem, when you finally speak up about it (and that takes time), you get attacked (your wife) or ignored (the therapist who fell asleep) and you back down, burst into tears or go into a corner and lick your wounds alone. So what do you do? You need to know it is OK to own your power (and to accept that your feelings are valid and desire to be heard and taken seriously). I would suggest reading Iron John by Robert Bly – who is a metaphysical poet. In other words, he is not a regular therapist but works with symbols, fariytales and images to get to a deeper truth. In the words of his book, you need to discover your inner hairy man. (It will make sense when you read it.) If you want to put this into a therapeutic framework, I do it my book It’s not a midllife crisis, it’s an opportunity. Finally, you do need to talk about the affair and feel confident that it is OK to raise something even if it was 40 years ago. I suggest you join my infidelity support group as it will help you also to find your power.Andrew G. Marshall’s Infidelity Survival Training and Support Group
This article was almost completely useless – let’s say you catch a bank robber and they can’t remember planning any details like writing the robbery note, drawing the getaway map, disabling the alarms – these things take a lot of thought – but since they ‘can’t remember’ them we have to let them go – right ?- The whole ‘can’t remember’ ploy is actually just more deception and should warrant a divorce (I’m betting they’re going to remember what a divorce costs) – just that simple!
The cheaters can’t remember anything
The person they cheated on remembers EVERYTHING.
If they ‘can’t remember’ things about the affair then they are still decieving their spouses. It’s that simple!
Please DO NOT post my email!
This article is giving me hope. I am stuck on the cards he sent her saying he loves her so soo much & the nude photos of each other. The part where you say the betrayer doesn’t mean the ‘I love you’s, he goes along with it, as expected in an affair’ is an absolutely god send to me. My husband had a 4 year affair after a couple of months of moving us all to another country! I could see him changing before my eyes but couldn’t put my finger on it. He was nasty then seemed to get depressed.. I asked him at the very beginning if there was another woman & he said no. I trusted him. After all, been married 17 years, together 25…you trust each other. Well, I did! For years his state of mind deteriorated. I hated seeing him unhappy, negative, full of self hate & worth. It wasn’t him at all. Usually the positive one, happy & nothings a problem kind of man. The changes hurt our kids too. He moved out for ‘a couple months’ which turned into just short of 2 years! Restricting all communication with me. I could only talk if he text or emailed or called or came home to see the kids. He was in total control of that. I hated it. I could just see us drifting further apart. It broke my heart. Then to hear from ‘her’ about him going to file for a divorce was a complete shock! How did she get my number? Who the heck is she? Why would she know that? This obviously made me question. He took two weeks to admit sex was involved & not just a kiss. Even then he lead me to believe the ‘affair’ was only that year. For about 4 months! It wasn’t until 3 months later she got in contact with me again saying it had been going on for 4 YEARS! Everything started adding up. I am angry at myself for not seeing all the signs. Even my best friend asked if it was another woman & I said No, he wouldn’t do that. It’s just severe depression. He’s on meds & see’s a therapist. How wrong was I! But thank you for this information. It’s helping me understand he really wasn’t in love with her. That he really was a different person. It’s true, he did everything he never believed in. Lies, secrets, deceit & infidelity! That’s what’s hard too. We had the same values. He broke every vow he made. But I stuck with him to get him better. Not realising the true reason for the depression. They said he was borderline bipolar too. We are working on things. Have been doing really well. Until last week she kept trying to get hold of him & ask why he wasn’t with her & moving out to her ‘State’ with her. She was still living in the past & waiting for him. He finally called her to reinforce it has been over for 9 months..she was a mistake & wrong. But she twists his words & believes he still wants her. That he’s not happy with me. She sent me an email with photos he’s sent her through most of the affair. But some HE clearly didn’t take & send. She’s evil, sick. Hopefully hurting now too. But she’ll never hurt like I have these past 5 years & especially these past 9 months. Losing my mum too in between & having no support from him. I feel I did want to know every detail & did feel like you say. That he can remember, that he loved her more than me, liked her body & sex with her more than me. But he didn’t. It was his fantasy escape from the upset he’d caused from moving us state side & not changing his working hours. Then traveling more. He felt guilt & disappointment in himself. Yet didn’t talk to me about it. A co worker see this vulnerability & stalked & pursued until she got what she wanted. I can’t believe a woman with two kids of her own, would do this to another woman & kids. She knew he was married but that didn’t stop the wh***! Why? Where’s her morals, respect? She got in contact out of the blue as I think she is stalking my social media. She’s blocked but can see profile pics. I changed them a couple weeks ago to my husband & I together. This obviously upset her. But why’s she stalking me? I have never hated a person. I think hate is a strong word. But I have never felt hate for a person like I do for her! Is that normal? Sometimes I almost feel sorry for her to get caught up in his breakdown.. but then the texts, photos, emails all come to mind from her & I just turn to hate. On a happy note, her photos email May of put me behind in my healing a little bit it certainly made my husband move forward & do the actions I need. He has seen the pain what his actions have caused & her actions. He has seen what a manipulative, unstable person he got mixed up with. She’s done us a favour. . I am so pleased I found your article. I can not stress that enough. Thank you. I believe him now when he says he doesn’t know why he wrote & said he loved her, because he didn’t feel that he did. I can move forward again. So grateful.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I am glad it helped and my best wishes for your recovery.
Alexander Pena says
OMG!!! This was my exact situation. I didn’t physically cheat. As I was informed….I micro cheated. I thought it was a silly term, but after some time and other instances, I came to understand how harmful it still can be. I would message other friends and flirt for attention when I was feeling controlled or mistreated. My girlfriend tried to fit me in a box of her ex-husband and if course that didn’t work out. She tried putting me in a leash cuz I played in a rock band compared to her military ex-husband. Needless to say, we clashed and I gave in to her curfews and rules but ended up becoming restless and bored caring for her 3 children. I was good to them but she didn’t allow me and my free time away with my friends or even brother. I was at home all the time . Anyway….this was so helpful and I’m glad someone outlined all those issues cuz that’s the way it happens. Thanks again. We both read this and are in a better place if understanding.
M Jordan says
Hello. So I am the betrayer. I have hurt my wife so badly many times and I feel so terrible for doing this! I have a sexual addiction and because of this I have made many many extremely poor decisions. I led a second life of infidelity while on the other side loved and cared and wanted nothing but to be with my wife. I knew that multiple disclosures is extremely destructive to my wife’s heart and mind and yet that’s what I did. I believe it’s approximately 10-12 disclosure times. I lied an made up lies to cover my actions. Slowly bit by bit the truths where revealed. Now I have damaged her so terribly that I no longer have ANY credibility. And I understand this is absolutely my own doing. But now I truly am at the end and I can’t recall any more details. My wife has contacted one of the affair partners and she says there is more than what I have remembered and disclosed. I honestly don’t remember these details, or any other details from other infidelities. How can I recall more as this is all I want. I want to give her the closure that she deserves. I want to start rebuilding our marriage with everything I have. I’m seeing a therapist, and am going to start in a addictions group therapy. Please help
Andrew G. Marshall says
Congratulations on owning up to being a sex addict. It is a big step and I’m pleased that you’re getting help. The best practice with sex addiction is for your wife to be getting some support too. She has been through a lot and it is important that she has someone to listen to her pain and help her start to process it (or a group for partner’s of sex addicts). I would also suggest working with your therapist to put together a full confession so that everything that you remember can be gone through in one go (rather than bits and pieces). You will need to take notes and come with a time line to the best of your ability. You will need to be clear what you are certain about and what is best guess. It is important for two reasons. Firstly, so you face the full enormity of what you have done. Secondly, it will help your wife understand why you did everything (and how it is more about your addiction than her). It will be tough but it could be very productive if you both have support. Finally, you might like to consider couple counselling to talk together about everything in a constructive manner. Sorry if that sounds like a lot of work but you have done the biggest and hardest part by owning up to the problem.
I had a affair for 10 months. I never had any feelings for this guy all. I love my husband he has done some very hurtful things to me. I was suffering from depression from a previous relationship where I was beaten to death. My husband ignored me for along long time – not even a conversation except when he wanted to have sex. He went and told everyone in the world what I did to make me look bad but yet he left me and our kids on sat night with no power to hang out at a bar with his friend and his aunt. He has not tried to put a 100 percent in working on this marriage; he even still puts his self on fb as he is separated. please help what should I do
Andrew G. Marshall says
It sounds like you are in a dark place. Your husband ignores you – except for sex – but you love him. You have had other partner’s who have abused you in the path. So I would look back over your life and ask yourself: have I escaped from one man, only to fall for another man who did the same. Finally, ask yourself, how can I break this cycle.
I don’t understand why my husband would want to stay with me after having an affair. He tells me the second I heard him in the phone with her , she didn’t matter anymore ,and I became the most important thing in his life because he was going to lose me. He had an affair for 18 months. They talked and texted in the phone every day. They met cycling. They rode together 3-4 times a week. My house is on the road that cyclists regularly use. She sees no need to stop cycling on my doorstep. The group also uses the visitors center at the hydro dam where my husband is manager for a rest stop.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Recovering from an affair is really hard and it takes time. Sadly, most affair partners – like the woman that your husband cheated with – don’t give the recovery of the wife or husband a second’s thought. So why did your husband drop her so quickly… either the bubble of the affair burst (and he realised it was all hot air) or he realised that he was forced to make a choice and decided to stay. What happens next is really important? What help are you getting? Are you reading helpful books? Has your husband learned WHY he was tempted and WHY it went on for so long or does he just want to forget and move on? You might like to consider joining my recovery groupAndrew G. Marshall’s Infidelity Survival Training and Support Group
I’m not 100% sure my spouse was unfaithful, but I have a sick feeling that she was. I don’t want our marriage to end, but I am somewhat tormented by the idea and am having trouble getting past it. Is it ok just not to know if I am fairly positive it is in the past and won’t happen again?
Andrew G. Marshall says
If you have a sick feeling in your stomach, I think you should listen to it. I wonder how you can know it won’t happen again? If your husband hasn’t learnt anything from his mistake and the situation at home hasn’t changed (and might get worse because you are tormented) why shouldn’t it happen again. I would be calm – no threats of ending the relationship – but explaining to him bow you feel and being persistent.
my now wife of 46 years still hates my saying anything about her affair. she had her moments in the 6 months up to our wedding day maybe a bit more but she does not say it. I was in hospital at the start of her affair and a guy 15 years her senior, married with kids, sort of groomed her at work. I twigged something when i went to her work to meet her and seen hem hand in hand coming down the stairs of the building they worked in. suddenly she was ushered upstairs by her work colleague a female who had seen me waiting outside. Later she came down and we got the bus home. i was kind of immature and naive i guess and thought little of it at that time. now often i would go to meet her coming out of work and find she had been given a lift home by the warehouse guy the groomer, still i thought oh well if I had a car it would be easier i guess. on some occasions she would say she was getting the bus home i would wait at the bus stop and it arrived she did not but then she would come round the corner although she did not admit it then she was getting lifts with the warehouse guy. i did catch on one night and caught them in an embrace and she was shocked at seeing me and as soon as she got out of the car he sped off. i cannot believe how gullible i was but she said it was nothing she had been reaching into the back for her bag.
anyway it got to the point were i out and out said look i think something is going on she arranged for this guy to talk to me to pt her in the clear “we are just having lifts home to help her ; you got one in a million there boy” “she’s a good girl” you know i must have been in cloud cuckoo land but then i did love her to bits.
but it did get a little worse i did some sneaking and did catch them kissing and in flustered state when i knocked on the car window, nothing was said on the walk home to her sister in laws were she lived.
everyone would say at this point “show her the door” of course i didn’t
she admitted only to kissing and this was the first time – well first time caught maybe
she said she would not accept lifts again and would stay distant from the guy, which was going to be difficult they worked together and i know she still got lifts now and again.
but we got married she moved jobs we had five children and they all grew up and left and then we were alone she went off to uni and got a degree and not has a great job i have my own little business.
3 years ago i was just teasing her about how stupid i was to let her get away with what she did – i was dumbstruck when she agreed and told me more about what she and this other guy really got up to. she admitted to having a first orgasm with him while he petted her; she said she did not touch him until he had touched her [as if that made it alright] she said he pressed all the right buttons that i never had at that time.
you know this was devastating for me – we have not been intimate since – she says there is nothing else to tell me, blimey i thought this is enough.
of course what she did not know was that she had told her sister in law all about this other guy and her sis in law had warned her about continuing the relationship with me and with the other guy. I got the story from the sister in law and she felt that they had been sleeping together and had much more intimacy than my wife even now admits too.
why would she deliver this blow to me now? and is she withholding more? and frankly am i bothered ? would knowing more make me feel better or worse? right now i just want to ignore her but we live together and is this a message to say “please go”?
Andrew G. Marshall says
Let’s go through your questions:
Why would she deliver this blow to me now? You gave her the opportunity to come clean and get it off her chest.
Is she withholding more? I doubt it.
Frankly am i bothered ? Yes. You are! Hence taking the trouble to write to me! A better question is should I be bothered?
Would knowing more make me feel better or worse? Doubt there is more to know.
Right now i just want to ignore her but we live together That’s fine in the short term but you need to sort this out – not just let it fester and ruin your relationship.
Is this a message to say “please go”? NO! You invited her to be more truthful. Use the opportunity to truly talk about your relationship, about your sex life and renew it. Every couple should do that every ten years or so to avoid getting stuck in a rut. I doubt you will be able to do it alone, get a good therapist, roll up your sleeves and do the work. It is the future that counts not some mistake in the past…
My wife cheated on me and we have agreed to move on but I can’t get it out of my head that sex with the other guy was amazing and I feel weak and insecure in bed. When I ask her she says “Stop torturing yourself” which only makes me think even more that he was better than me in bed. She admitted to orgasaming with this guy which whilst I make her orgasm it’s not every time. Help
Andrew G. Marshall says
It is natural to compare yourself. It is what ever man or woman does when their partner has an affair. Our whole society is based on comparison… what is better coke or pepsi etc. However, it misses the point entirely about affairs. Firstly, affairs are NOT just about sex. For women, it is SELDOM about sex. It is often what they do to get other stuff they THINK they want from the other guy. For example, attention, an ego boost, to feel heard, to feel wanted. I could go on. It is seldom about SEX….I am afraid that is much more a GUY thing. I think you would be far better off understanding all the myths about sex and the crap, we men put ourselves through than ‘torturing yourself’ about the amazing sex with this other guy. I suggest reading New Male Sexuality by Bernie Zilbergeld. Re
Michelle Ryker says
My self esteem is in the toilet.. My Husband and I sold our home after 10 yrs of marriage and moved to a different city to help our son (single dad) with his twin boys. It was a big move for me because I had never lived there before but my husband grew up around that area and I assumed I would be fine because I’m with the love of my life. However I had no idea that he after purchasing our land and buying our double wide mobile home to be moved there that during that time he was having an affair. We hadn’t had sex very much over the last three years before that maybe five times a year if that but most of it was because his testosterone was nearly 0 and he was going to a men’s clinic to help that so I was being patient with that and I didn’t think there was anything wrong with our relationship at the time and I guess I was too naïve and a I trusted him so I went to work for a little pre-K and he was working selling real estate so he could send his own hours. It rained really bad that summer and it was almost nearly impossible to get our home moved had to move 18 miles to the place where it was going to sit and it rain all year long and it was muddy and it was just a really bad summer so we weren’t able to move it quickly and so we began working on the land I assumed he had all this together because he is a realtor and he knew what he was doing I didn’t know much about it we would go there together and try to clear some of the land and had a lot of fun and I didn’t know there was anything wrong. It rained really bad that summer and it was almost nearly impossible to get our home moved they had to move 18 miles to the place where it was going to sit and it rained all year long and it was muddy and it was just a really bad summer so we were able to move it quickly and so we began working on the land I assumed he had all this together because he is a broker/realtor and he knew what the process would be he and I didn’t know much about it but we would go there together and try to clear some of the land and had a lot of fun and I didn’t know there was anything wrong with our marriage. But slowly I begin to notice he was coming home later and later every night I also noticed that we had purchased a new vehicle and he began driving that new vehicle to show properties because he didn’t wanna show up in our clunker vehicle and embarrass himself or the corporate business he worked for and I understood that so I drove the clunker and was happy to do that for him, however when winter came I had no heat in the car and the windshield was iced over and I’d have to go out and scrape the windshield so I could see to drive. I began seeing a different side of him I’d never seen before. He as always looking out for me and making sure the vehicle I drove was safe but now I would have to take care of everything with the car and I’m not a little girl so I did but I just noticed more and more he became so selfish and grumpy and I figured it was due to the rain holding us back from moving our home and would try to encourage him but it would always backfire and we’d have a big fight. Long story, I’ll try and make it shorter.. I found out that the money that we had in our account was depleted and was shocked because 2 week prior we had over $10,000 in there…. so I asked him if he had took the money out for our move to keep it separate so as to not spend it and he said “Why is it not in the Bank?” And I said no we have a negative balance so what happened and he him hawed back and forth and later that evening I found out through printed out bank statements that the money was gambled away. That blew me away!! I told him it was stupid but we will get through this and then one morning I heard his phone go off and went to check it so he didn’t miss any important messages and found a text telling him that their sister “Squirts” wanted Them to get in touch with him and let him know that her phone is off and she needs money for an Uber and I thought well that’s odd maybe that’s one of those one 800 I’m going to trick you text but then I scroll down and noticed that he had answered the text and what I saw was the person responding to his answer so I took a picture of it and when he got out of the shower I asked him who squirts was.. He looked shocked and said what? And I said I asked you who is squirt she sent you a text or her sister dead and told her to ask you for money for an Uber who is squirts and he said I don’t know any scores I don’t know what you’re talking about I said really and he said no I don’t as I grab his phone turned around like he was going to delete it and that’s why took a picture of it and you answered it and you tell her thank you for reminding you so evidently you do and he said I’m late I’m late for work and in this it is I might be late can we just talk about the damn thing later and I knew then that something was going on and it tore me apart.He looked shocked and said what? And I said I asked you who is squirt she sent you a text or her sister dead and told her to ask you for money for an Uber who is squirts and he said I don’t know any scores I don’t know what you’re talking about I said really and he said no I don’t as I grab his phone turned around like he was going to delete it and that’s why took a picture of it and you answered it and you tell her thank you for reminding you so evidently you do and he said I’m late I’m late for work and in this it is I might be late can we just talk about the damn thing later and I knew then that something was going on and it tore me apart. I had already forgiven him for the money and now this.. but you have to understand I love my husband so much That I was willing to hear what he had to say and if he made another mistake I love him I’m willing to listen and I’m willing to try to work through it but I can’t do anything if he’s hiding stuff so he told me this young girl went stop texting him he’s shown her how to Uber and she seem like a young girl like our daughter and so you want to help her out and taught her how to Uber and he said I’ll tell her not to text me anymore and nothings going on and I believed him naively. However now that I know that two things have taken place that were very very unwise decisions to try to help somebody pay for an Uber when you just gambled our money away I knew I better start keeping a watch so I began to watch him pretty close and he would take his cell phone in the bathroom with him and wouldn’t let me see it and he stay up late at night when you come home and sit out there on the couch in the living room and when I come in the living room he’d move his his phone down so I knew something was going on I just didn’t know what. I confronted him about his phone and told him that he’s being too secretive and it’s making me feel uneasy and it’s making me feel like that he’s having an affair and he blew up and we had a big fight he was angry then wanna talk to me anymore and I wanted to talk to him it was night time he got home late but I still wanted to talk I wanted to know all about it and know why this happened why are you doing this because you have to understand we used to pastor a church we were signed the church to move to the city to help our son so a pastor and the way our money and is helping a young girl whose name is squirts which doesn’t sound too good. I confronted him about his phone and told him that he’s being too secretive and it’s making me feel uneasy and it’s making me feel like that he’s having an affair and he blew up and we had a big fight he was angry then wanna talk to me anymore and I wanted to talk to him it was night time he got home late but I still wanted to talk I wanted to know all about it and know why this happened why are you doing this because you have to understand we used to pastor a church we resigned the church to move to the city to help our son so a pastor and the way our money and is helping a young girl whose name is squirts which doesn’t sound too good. well I ended up leaving in the middle the night and going to stay with my friend back in the city where we used to live just to get away because I just couldn’t handle the fact that he didn’t want to talk to me and was yelling at me telling me “I need to get some sleep and I don’t wanna talk about it anymore” so in the middle of the night I left . Later That morning before he went to work of course noticed I was gone with my bags and said can we talk about this and I told him I don’t know you were yelling at me I was wanting to talk and he said he would call me that night and so he did and we spoke for a long time and he did bring out the fact that he had made some stupid mistakes decisions and had been around this young girl and she wouldn’t leave him alone and he would meet with her at restaurants to buy her lunch because she’s down on her luck and then before you do it they were meeting almost every Friday and he said it was just a friendship thing though and I said well that doesn’t sound like a friendship but OK and he said but I have broke it off remember and I said OK as long as you’re being honest with them OK with that so we did it praying together and said good night and I was going to leave and c that morning before he went to work of course noticed I was gone with my bags and said can we talk about this and I told him I don’t know you were yelling at me I was wanting to talk and he said he would call me that night and so he did and we spoke for a long time and he did bring out the fact that he had made some stupid miss decisions and had been around this young girl and she wouldn’t leave him alone and he would meet with her at restaurants to buy her lunch because she’s down on her luck and then before you do it they were meeting almost every Friday and he said it was just a friendship thing though and I said well that doesn’t sound like a friendship but OK and he said but I have broke it off remember and I said OK as long as you’re being honest with them OK with that so we did up praying together and him said good night and I was going to leave and come back to go back where we were staying and work all of it out… Well the next day I had my hair done and we had some bad weather and I wasn’t able to drive home that day so I was gonna drive home the very next morning so I let him know and he was OK with that he was concerned about me driving. That weekend was my birthday weekend and he was planning to take me to a restaurant that Sunday morning that I drove home and so we met at a restaurant and he was talking to me about what is taken place and we were trying to fix it and everything and he said I got her a hotel room but she’s down or I can said she didn’t have any place to stay and that was all there was and I said OK so we ate and everything seemed fine but he had never ever in 10 years of marriage forgot to get me a card for my birthday not a match I had to have a gift but I am his wife had gone out shopping that whole day that I was going to buy some new slacks and shirts for his job But he told me that night before we went to bed honey I’m sorry but I just didn’t have time to get you a card but I’ll make sure I get it and I was shocked and kind of hurt .. So if we went out for my birthday that night the next night on my birthday and we had a good dinner and everything and he gave me a beautiful necklace and I am like one on and couple days went by and he was in the shower and I decided to check his emails and check his text to make sure everything was OK and I found a receipt for a hotel that he had put in her name for the night that I couldn’t drive home and it was a hotel it was expensive and he invited her to come over to the hotel to talk to her because of all of these issues of gambling and said that he was stressed and his marriage and he just need somebody to get drunk with Anton so he called her to his hotel so if we went out for my birthday that night the next night on my birthday and we had a good dinner and everything and he gave me a beautiful necklace and I am like went on and couple days went by and he was in the shower and I decided to check his emails and check his text to make sure everything was OK and I found a receipt for a hotel that he had put in her name for the night that I couldn’t drive home and it was a hotel it was expensive and he invited her to come over to the hotel to talk to her because of all of these issues of gambling and said that he was stressed in his marriage and he just need somebody to get drunk with Anton so he called her to his hotel room Room but when I confronted him about it he said no no no Priceline made a mistake I didn’t have a hotel room I don’t know what you’re talking about and he just begin to lie and I said look I’m tired of the lying and he said OK OK I got a hotel room but I didn’t put it in my name I just didn’t want you thinking I was with somebody else so I just put a different name and I said but the receipt is on your credit card and he said I know I know but it was just me there nobody else well it turns out yes he was with her and yes she came there and he was drinking and I asked him if he was naked when she got there and he said no I wasn’t naked I had my underwear on I was just ready to go to bed and I said but you asked the woman to come to your hotel room and you’re in your room but when I confronted him about it he said Priceline made a mistake I didn’t have a hotel room I don’t know what you’re talking about and he just begin to lie and I said look I’m tired of the lying and he said OK OK I got a hotel room and it in a different name I just didn’t want you thinking I was with somebody else so I just put a different name and it was just me there nobody else… well it turns out yes he was lying he was with her and he was drinking and I asked if he was naked when she got there and he said no I had my underwear on ready to go to bed. I asked you have sex with her. He said she took a shower and when she came out she dropped your towel I turn my head and told her that I love my wife.. she was only there for me to talk to and that’s all … I said yeah you love your wife enough that you got a hotel room with a 24 yr old girl named squirts that you had supposedly broke up with twice now but are still seeing her. He said ok, I messed up bad and I’m so sorry can you ever forgive me ? I don’t deserve to have you in my life I can’t believe I’ve done this to us and of course me being the naïve loving wife I try to work it out with him again.. so what do I do? I go to her house later that week to confront her and tell her to back off that there are more fish in the sea and this was mine but she wasn’t there so I talk to her mother which did not know she was having an affair with my husband.. well she ended up calling me because I left my number and she told me that they had had sex all night long and they both enjoyed it and that he wasn’t drunk she was and that her relationship with him was in my business and that he had planned on leaving me and moving in with her and her kids so it all blew up I packed the car up I was ready to go he begged me not to go and said she’s lying to you to get back at me . I stupidly believed him
And found out later he was still seeing her and betrayed me again
Andrew G. Marshall says
I am afraid that people who are having affairs lie and keep lying. So don’t buy his minimisations. Whether he is in his underwear or not, he is in a hotel room (kept secret) with a 24 year old woman. That’s all you need to know. If it doesn’t make sense, it’s because it is a lie or a minimisation. If he’s not ready to be truthful, step away. If he thinks having sex with what sounds like a damaged and unhappy woman child is going to make him happy, he has big problems. Don’t forget, he is a gambler too. Until he has a plan to sort himself out with this problem, step away. Speak to a sensible friend. Speak to your pastor. But your husband sounds too lost to be helped just yet. Trying to save him – at the moment – could just pull you under.
Las year, my wife finally admitted to having an affair 10 years ago. Now when I ask for details, she always claims she doesn’t remember. Many times she only admits after i ask multiple times and i show her it is not possible she forgets things that easily. It’s been almost a year of trickling information, it’s been very frustrating and makes it very difficult for me to trust her after I find there is still dishonesty in her. My question is: Is it possible for a woman to really forget details of her affair? If it is possible, what would be the reason why she’d forget. It seems contrary to the notion I have that women remember everything that happened to them. Her affair lasted 2 months and during that time she has admitted to having sex 6 times with the other guy.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I detect some black and white thinking here. Women are supposed to remember everything! So is it possible to forget elements of an affair? Sorry but the answer is YES and NO. From something important that happened 10 years ago, I can go back to my diary and find things I have completely forgotten. Some things I partially remember and others 100%. Let me put a couple of questions to you… why is it so important she remembers everything?
The details matter – something I will never get because my partner became very ill shortly after her affair and lost all memory.
A partner always knows something is not quite right in the relationship, perhaps not even at the conscious level. At this point self protection steps in and the betrayed becomes vigilant to every anomaly. Most often these changes are catastrophized in our minds – not to think the worst of our partners but to prepare ourselves for the hardest destabilizing time of our lives…and hope reality falls short of the emotional Armageddon we have envisioned. For me, the details I will never get wouldn’t make things worse; they would give me the chance to know that my partner is still a little bit of the person I thought they were and she is who I fell in love with – they give you the chance to prove the mental catastrophe you have created from the anomalies, wrong.
My girlfriend of 2.5yrs and I had moved in together about 6 months ago. Our relationship was the best it’s ever been, we’ve both confirmed it felt that way. Then she told me she was spending the night at a friends after going out and it felt suspicious. The next morning she called and told me she cheated, with a guy that I’d talked to her about and warned her about him flirting.
Unfortunately, the first story was bad, but as the weeks after went on I found out more. She tells me they didn’t have sex and I’m sure it would hurt more if they did, but the damage on trust has been done. We are trying to work through things, but she says she can’t remember how it was initiated at the guys house(friend from work). She has told me everything from when the flirty texts started, all the details of going out that night, riding on the guys moped back to his house, me calling her that night and most of what happened (some parts I didn’t want to know) and when she stopped it. So basically everything and I’m grateful that it’s all out in the open, but she says she still can’t remember how the “situation” started that night at the guys house.. It’s really bugging me not knowing, mainly because she’s trickled out info because she felt ashamed and didn’t want to tell me some other info. I guess I’m insecure that she might be suppressing something because she fears the shame, but I just want to know so we can start moving on. I spoke to her the night it happened and she was already at the guys house(I thought it was someone else’s) and she didn’t really sound tipsy or definitely not enough to not remember things, I mean she literally remembers everything else.
Is this bad of me to want to know? Could she be suppressing the memory and actually not know?
Thanks for the future feedback. I just bought 2 of your books!
Andrew G. Marshall says
I am not certain what ‘missing’ piece of information that you are looking for? Do you mean how she went from visiting to something more than flirty? Are you looking for the moment that she crossed the line? Why is this piece of information so important for you? Do you hope it will provide a click where you understand everything? I wonder if that’s possible. No more amount of information will make this feel better! Are you hoping that you will uncover something so horrible that you have a cast iron reason to split up with her? Are you looking for a way of for you to forgive her? I think it would be really helpful if you knew WHY this piece of information is so vital. As for your question… can she be suppressing it? I don’t think it has been wiped from her memory. It is probably shame that it is holding it back or equally likely the decision happened subconsciously and she is not able to track the internal argument to the level that you’re asking for.