Trusting Myself Again

Everything happensDon’t you hate that quote? I hate it because I think people intend to mean everything in life happens for a good reason. While I can accept that my marriage has become stronger as a result of discovering my husband’s affair; that strength is more a result of the discovery and how we dealt with it, not the affair. We chose to fight for our marriage, rebuild our relationship and let go of the marriage we believed was perfect in order to survive our new reality.

What could be the reason for his affair? I have spent the last year trying to make sense of how a moral, family-focused and loving husband has an affair. If you evaluate the consequences of my husband’s affair on him, me and our marriage there is no reasonable justification for his behavior. With time, my anger and pain has dissipated and the rollercoaster ride has ended. In the past three months I’ve had two moments where I gave in to the triggers and pain. Meaning: I cried and curled up in the fetal position for an hour. Other than those two nights, my triggers can still fire at me during the day but I have the power to stop them before they hurt me.

His affair has permanently damaged my trust in him. I don’t think I will ever give him 100% of my trust again. I recently told him that the most I trust he can earn is 99.9%, like birth control there will always be that .1% that I keep for myself. My trust has to be in myself now. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that I should have trusted my instincts from the beginning. I was aware there was something wrong or off with my husband from the beginning of his affair but I suppressed my gut feeling because I trusted him. I trusted him more than I trusted my own instincts. As I type those words I feel my stomach cringe at the thought of my naivety. I had no reason not to trust my husband but I had every reason to trust myself. Somewhere along the way, I began to justify questionable behavior from my husband because I believed in us more than myself. I don’t believe that the damage in my trust in him is a bad thing because I have more faith in myself than ever before.

1Throughout the past year I’ve had the opportunity to really look at myself—my actions, words, the love I put into the world and the love I take back into my soul. I haven’t evaluated myself this deeply in a long time. My adult life has been focused around my husband and my children. My dreams and aspirations were pushed aside in order to provide everyone else with what they needed. I gave and gave until there was nothing left for me. The assumption from the outside world is that a man cheats because his wife does not tend to his needs and desires but this couldn’t be further from the truth. I gave up so much for my husband, always keeping his happiness first and pushing my own needs to the bottom. I never told him what I needed. By the time my husband’s relationship began with Bat Shit began, my desires were undecipherable even to myself-how could I ever communicate them with him or anyone else? I continued to give up myself to take care of my family and no one ever asked me what I needed, they continued to take from me. I think that’s when you see mother’s become so focused on the success and lives of their husband and children. They became the measure of me. The discovery of the affair pushed me out of the shadows and made me evaluate what I need and want. I realized in less than a minute that everyone in my life is capable of disappointing, deceiving and/or leaving me. At the end of the day I am responsible for my own happiness and love.

Trust in marriage is not about will he cheat or keep his promises. Trust is about having faith that we can communicate our vulnerabilities, emotional and physical needs with each other. The moment I stopped taking care of myself was the moment I stopped being a partner in my marriage. I take no responsibility for his choice to cheat. I take responsibility for not having a voice when I needed one most.

How do I make sense of his affair? What is the reason it happened? I’ve decided I need to just let that question go. There is no reason. Sometimes shit happens. I’ve decided not to change the direction of my life based on shit. I cannot focus my life on something that was destructive to my spirit. I’m about to hit that one year anniversary and I’ve decided this is not a day to reflect on the misery but the fact that the cloud lifting on that day. The measure of my marriage since that day is incredible. The measure of me from that point forward is infinite.

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76 thoughts on “Trusting Myself Again

    • I, too, cannot ever trust anyone, again. This is such a loss to me and I am learning to accept it as one of life’s truths. Those that I thought would never hurt me have done just that. I was totally betrayed and thought it would never happen to me. I trusted him, too. I saw the signs and red flags, I just never thought he would do this to me, We still are not back together. My children cannot allow him back totally in their lives “they are adults now” and we are all working together to just live life. I am a better person now, but at what cost? You guys keep me grounded, thanks.

      • Hi Christine,
        The struggle to rebuild is undervalued to most. Those of us who have the strength it takes to move forward after betrayal know how deeply it penetrates directly to our souls. Throughout the past year I found myself withdrawing from friendships and relationships. I’ve had to push myself out of the depths of hell and remember to engage with people. It’s amazing how much being betrayed by your husband affects all the other relationships in your life.

  1. You have helped me so much. Every time you post it’s as if this was written by me for me. I appreciate you helping me through the torture that my husband has put me through but it’s getting better. No self help or marriage book has helped but you have with your honesty. Thank you so much for writing this just for me…

  2. Hi there,

    First I have to say “hats off to you for being such a strong person”.
    As I’ve been reading your blog I 100% see myself & my husband.
    July 22 I discovered my husband of 7 years was having an affair for almost 2 years. I was left feeling heart broken, vulnerable, disappointed, ashamed, angry & sad about the future of our marriage & our family unit along with the last year and a bit all being a lie.
    I’ve asked myself over & over again why? how? what didn’t I do for him?…
    I’ve cried enough tears that no more will shed. I’ve asked the questions I felt I needed answers too, as hard as the answers were.
    I always said that if my husband was ever unfaithful I’d leave. I wouldn’t tolerate it, ever.
    But here I am today, less than 2 months of discovering what took place and we are in a better place now than we have ever been in our marriage.
    Mixed emotions are amongst our family and unfortunately I may have lost my parents respect for staying in my marriage but at the end of the day until you are in someone’s shoes you have no right to judge.

    I don’t accept what has taken place. I don’t take blame for what took place. Nor have I forgiven my husband.
    What I do accept & realize is that my husband and I somewhere along the line as a couple broke down our line of communication with one another.
    But most importantly we love each other. I can’t explain what that love feels like but can only hope that any other couple that hits bumps or tragedies along the way find that love for on another.

    Thank you so much for starting your blog. It’s feels good to know that I’m no the only person that has found that strength & love in their soulmate.

    • I completely agree that no one can judge a person’s decision to stay and rebuild their marriage after infidelity unless they have been through this. I never thought I would stay-never. But here I am and just like you, my relationship is better and stronger than before. It doesn’t eliminate the pain but we are in this together.

  3. Thank you for that post. It is something I am going to share with my husband and hope that he reads it. He has thus far not read anything i have asked him to read in order to help me with the healing process. This he has to read. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    • I hope he reads it. I send my husband blog postings all the time too. Sometimes reading another person’s words or thoughts is easier to digest than hearing your wife and seeing her in pain. I know through this process my husband said the hardest thing for him to see and process is the pain he caused me.
      I’ve learned through blogging that listening to other people tell similar stories gives me enough distance to have a better perspective on my own life. When I hear another person tell their story I can give them better advice than I would give myself.

      • It is with great sadness and heart break that i say that i gave your post to husband to read along with a very heart felt letter telling him that i was so excited at the though of starting”starting our marriage over” and that i loved him and so much more. i was so positive? He has not taken anything on board has not responded to my letter and has shown no emotion at all. I have been to therapy I have done reading, i have asked him for his help ,his love , help me heal. He how’s no emotion at all. I think this is the end of the road for us and it is devastating! i am heart broken.

      • Hi Moira,
        Can I ask if he had any reaction to your letter or is he just living in silence? Since I don’t know him and I was struggling to understand what to say, I asked my husband. My husband said that talking about his affair is horrible and he has to feel like a failure. But he said that only through talking about it with has he been able to see me heal, watch me get better and feel our bond strengthen. My husband wonders if your husband feels like his affair has destroyed him and everything and he has given up. My husband said that the first thing he realized was that he had to fight for me and do anything to fix our marriage and earn my love and trust back. I don’t know if any of this helps… I just wish your husband would tell you what he is feeling and what he wants for you both. I am sorry…. I wish I could help you more.

      • I am so sorry, Moira. I ache for you. You walk with your head up and you live. I know it’s easier said than done, but I wish only the best. Peace be with you.

  4. I would caution on saying too much about the future based on D-day plus one year. In some ways, it’s still early. I don’t know where you are headed for sure, but I would not say that you will never fully trust him again. You don’t know that. And that would be a hard thing for any wayward to hear. If my wife said THAT, I would not only be discouraged, but I would assume that we could not build a better future on that. I would probably somewhat begin to withdraw at that point, perhaps even consider how long my marriage would stumble along until it collapsed anyway. So again, I would not be so definitive with him. Tell him how you feel. how FAR you’ve come and how you believe you WILL reach the point where the affair is a horrible, but a forgotten chapter in your lives and how it was the launching point for a better, more resilient, more open and satisfying marriage.

    Also on the question of “why” he did it? I don’t think there’ll will ever be answer that will satisfy you. In HIS mind, I doubt he even knows for sure. As I’ve written sometimes these things happen and develop so slowly, you don’t even realize that you’re on the road to a full-blown affair until you are knee-deep in one. The reasons will point to deficits within the marriage or within the cheater, or both. But it’s not to say that this is justification. But only serial cheaters — the Tiger Woods/Bill Clinton types — are beyond redemption. If he’s not that, then there is hope.
    But I doubt he will ever given you his rationale that you will ever fully embrace. Especailly only a year after. When you are in one it’s all very grey. Clear thinking and logic go out the window. Whatever you were missing in your marriage or your life that you pursued becomes the underpinning and justification, but it’s only with time that you realize fully what the rationale was. And logic rarely applies to things that are largely about emotion and need.

    Give yourself and him a break. The one year anniversary is usually brutal on both parties. It was on me! I know it was on my wife’s mind too.

    Focus on the progress and change the thinking a bit. Never say “never.” He may end up believing it and that could be not a good thing.

    • This response could only be written by a betrayer. I also think I’ll never trust him 100% and I’ll certainly never ever forget. Not that I will throw this in his face as I love him, but as my marriage counsellor says, the key to healing is to take care of yourself, be more selfish and rebuild the you that was lost to marriage and kids. I can totally relate to the post and understand I too have given up everything for everyone’s else’s happiness, and neglected me.

      • Seeking justice and being “selfish” is the opposite of compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation. While I realize there is power and allure in being the “victim”, is divorce what you really wish? Because only a fool or someone without options would stay with someone who refuses to forgive and is being purposely selfish in response to someone else’s “selfishness” embodied in an affair. You do what you wish, but I think your advice is awful and following it will lead to divorce. If reconciliation is not the agenda, then of course it’s inevitable anyway.

      • I completely agree Betrayed that the key to healing is to take care of yourself. But that’s not being selfish. That’s simply recovery and self protection. And you most certainly must do whatever you need to in order to recover your obliterated self-esteem. And if your husband is truly remorseful he needs to understand this. RW can’t seem to grasp that the betrayed must heal (in whatever way or form they need) before they can even contemplate forgiveness and it is the betrayer that needs to first show compassion and acknowledgment for the awful devastation they have inflicted on the person they swore to care for. Only through your healing can you then hope to heal the relationship-or even decide if you want to. Too many people and betrayers assume that healing the relationship is primary, and neglect the betrayed’s healing. I’ve read too many blogs where years later the betrayed is still struggling precisely because they were prematurely burdened with healing the relationship not understanding that if you’re not healthy the relationship cannot possibly be.

      • The idea of healing oneself 1st is a hard concept to understand because the “relationship” is part of who I am. I mean, if we are “one” which I thought we were, then don’t both the relationship and ourselves be addressed at the se time. Hence this is the problem that creates the roller coaster ride, it’s such a difficult dynamic situation, at least for me. Perhaps I’m missing a critical piece if “healing myself”, I don’t understand.

    • You are right about I should never say never. I actually almost edited that word out of my post but thought better of it. My point was not that I won’t ever regain full trust but that the trust I have in myself is much more vital than what I place in others. My husband and I have discussed this and what we’ve communicated is that it will take time to rebuild trust. We are doing well but it’s a process (as you know).
      I also agree that there is no rational reason that will ever justify his affair to me or him. I feel like we’ve been able to gain a great perspective on what happened to him and why he stayed involved with her when he there was awareness that he didn’t want to be involved. Some of it was a mid-life crisis and some of it was that she was a predator willing to tell any lie to manipulate him. No excuses though.
      I have no idea what will happen emotionally on the one year anniversary. I have no expectations.

  5. WOW! I follow your blog as it closely relates to mine. I am also coming up to my one year anniversary and wish I felt like you. You must be a strong woman. Even though I know to look to me I still struggle with the thought that the man I worship, adore and love so much has done this. I will forward your post to him. I really wish I could feel like this. I know it but I still break down every couple of weeks as I still look at him in a different light, and that hurts. The adoration instilled from the beginning of our love has gone and that saddens me.

    • I don’t know your entire story but if it’s anything like mine then I understand your struggle and pain. Do you think your view of your husband changed because of the betrayal or because he actually changed? You are not the only person who says they feel this way. In some ways my view had to change of my husband–he became human and he failed at something I never thought he would fail at.
      Try to get off that roller coaster of triggers. It’s a horrible ride and there is nothing worse in life. Try to distract yourself with your kids or a hobby when you feel a trigger setting in. My therapist told me a few months ago that reliving the emotions of the discovery and the pain is as real as it was on that day. You can’t recover if the pain is still so vivid and this might be blocking you from that adoration that you want to feel again for your husband. Regardless of whether you get that feeling back the most important thing is that you are okay and regain your happiness and confidence.

    • Hi, so much like my case as well…gosh so many of us! I can really relatewith the adorationn I had for him…but perhaps as I think about it now, it can be replaced with the respect I am gaining of him seeing him change into a different man…though these changes are so good I have to say it is all very unsettling and I ironically struggle with trying to relate to this new, upgraded version…does this make sense?

  6. Great post. And As I’m still working through some of the same reservations in the trust realm, here’s what I’ve worked out regarding trust. As betrayeds- we learn in one of the most painful ways possible the razor sharp distinction between blind faith and trust. For me the final lesson became reserve faith for the divine and practice trust balanced with a very healthy skepticism in my interactions with people, any people…even- or maybe especially romantic partners or husbands. Which really boils down to saying, I think that .01 percentage factor you’re holding in reserve is probably a healthy thing and not really a hindrance to your relationship. All that really requires of anyone you trust, is that their actions stay consistent with their words. I wish for your continued happiness and growth. Kudos to you both for gutting it out and trying to grow together.

  7. Thank you, again. I have thought of you often as I near the 6th week since discovery. This is an important number, because my husband’s affair lasted 6 years. I trusted him more than myself. Never again. We are working on rebuilding, the triggers are powerful in their attempts to derail any progress. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts. You give me hope.

    • The triggers will get easier with time. So much of the pain in the beginning is because there is so many unknown factors. I began sorting out the details trying to figure out how this happened–how I was unaware but yet felt something had changed. Right after my discovery I knew that we would never be the same as we were before the affair. But that’s not entirely true. My perspective and understanding of my husband has expanded and grown. Our relationship has been pushed to another level. I see him as human now. I see that he is capable of extreme failure to both me and himself. Take your time–feel the pain but don’t let it pull you down into it. You have to wade through the muck (someone once said this to me) to get to the other side.

      • yes, seeing them as “human” is hard when you looked up to them soooo much…ah, we are all human and sometimes that stinks.

  8. I love this post, thank you for writing it. Although we share very different stories of betrayal, I relate to you in a way that makes me feel warm.

    This post has opened my eyes to my own guilt. I also felt like something was off with my husband around the time his affair started. I ignored it, or excused it. I had a major red flag two days before he told me… But, I ignored it.

    I have triggers weekly, thank the Lord its not a daily struggle anymore. I am letting go of certain questions that I once thought were important. That is helping me a little bit.

    You are doing great and wish you and your husband all the best.

  9. thanks so much, for yet another amazing and thoughtful post 🙂

    my reason? honestly… i couldnt be there, i physically, mentally and emotionally just could not be there… i told him the other week. most days, when i was ‘out of it’… it was like being in a bubble… or behind a glass wall… and i just couldnt seem to break the barrrier… some days it does feel like im taking too much of it on myself… but other days it helps… i think i would be angrier (if thats possible heh) if i had thought everything was ok… at least theres something, on my side, that i can own… because yeah, although i think i know a fair bit… ill never truly know his motivation…

    its SPRING TIME! now yayyyyy! you know, that feeling, where you see the trees blossoming and see the freesias popping up (i cant wait to smell them! lol) and i dunno.. just fresh. its a good time, for something…

    what is that something though?

    like the line about believing in us more than ourselves… i was like that too.

    • It’s almost fall where I live and there is something about the change in season that brings new hope out of me too. Hope that new growth and flowers blossoming will signify something within my own soul? Or, since it’s fall here, the leaves changing color and the cool night’s breeze will awaken me to a new life.
      None of us can live our lives in a bubble. Either we are drowning out lilfe or we are fearful of what will happen if it bursts.
      Something good is on the verge…. for all of us. 🙂

  10. I am still there. My husband’s affair with psycho-bitch really put me in a distrusting position. It has been a little over 18 months now, and while things are improving, there is still a tender place inside me. From time to time, it shows up. I am scared to death to let my guard down and do not trust friends or people for that matter.
    My husband knows how I feel and does understand where I am coming from, but with that being said, who else is going to try and rob me of my place in my home?
    Psycho bitch robbed me of that easy free feeling of trusting people. If there was anything she successfully took, it was that. I know that there are those who exists only to take from others and that they are purely evil. I suppose this is where I am struggling to recover. I am unable to trust anybody.
    Although it may seem strange, that here, I am afraid to trust people, but yet, when I am at my home, I can careless about other people too. I simply choose not to involve myself with anyone outside of family. I don’t know if that is because I don’t trust anyone, or if it is my way of protecting what life I am trying to live (or both). It doesn’t really bother me anymore in that area, but when it’s a Friday night and desire a friend to come over and join us, I tend to get sad because I don’t want them taking what is mine. Unfortunately, those who come into my life are automatically deemed untrustworthy because of the actions of psycho bitch.
    I just recently learned that her son is no longer at my son’s school and I can now breathe easier and walk confidently when getting him (she actually plucked her son out of his school and enrolled him in my son’s school during the affair, hoping that I would leave my life for her to move into my home–psycho bitch…I’m not kidding when I say this!).
    We are moving forward and I am working on that trust with my spouse. I am not there yet, and may not be for years to come.

    • Progress takes time. I think it’s like watching your children grow–you don’t see it everyday but when you look back at pictures from a year ago you can’t believe how much has changed.
      Since I can relate to your experience with Psycho Bitch because of my experience with Bat Shit (Crazy), It’s impossible to understand the behavior of crazy. I often ask my husband if she really hated him–because she lied and deceived him too for a year to get him to cheat on me. Had she not lied to him about her marriage being over and being an abused woman–he wouldn’t have engaged in private conversations with her or felt sorry for her. But alas, I can’t change the past.
      Take time to rebuild what you have right now with your husband. With time you can start to invest in friendships again. I admit that I too have taken a step back from the friendships in my life to focus on my marriage and myself. We’ve just begun hanging out with couple friends again and most of them don’t know about the infidelity. A choice we made together with our therapist. I am finding more time for phone calls and girls night out and I am trying to remember the carefree person I used to be… Although I doubt I will ever be that way again–there’s a flicker every so often.

      • I know that I am not ready for that yet. Maybe it is because I am trying to take care of business, now that I have reflected on what you said. I want my family to be so close, and I definitely desire things to go back that way.
        But regardless, this affair put me in a unique position. Family is everything to me, now more than ever. As always, Thiswillnotdefineus, you deliver a good topic.

      • I remember saying to my husband last year before I knew about the affair but when I knew something was wrong–“If you are investing time into something that will not matter in 5, 10 or 20 years then it needs to be evaluated. Our kids need us right now. Their time in our home is limited–let’s make sure it counts.”
        I don’t know if he heard me on that day… but I remember it.

  11. I could relate to alot of what you wrote had to check and make sure I didn’t write it hahahaha. Seriously regarding trust, Hubby and I had that talk the other day. i told him I don’t know if I could ever fully trust him. He was a bit thrown back when I said that but i explained that I never acted on my intuitions when I thought things weren’t right in my gut so now when my gut wants to check it’s hard not to. But I try and I hope that I will one day. I think 99.9% are great odds!!!!! After sharing these thoughts with my husband his response was awesome, He said,” I understand and I get it.” He tells others that it is what it is and I have every right to check even if it does hurt his feelings. He also says that if he has nothing to hide, it shouldn’t bug him. His hurt feelings stem from his feeling that he has changed but I have dealt wit h his “changes” our whole marriage. He was totally loving about it and THAT RESPONSE is what makes me get closer and closer to trusting him. I still check off and on his email but hardly ever his phone. He has shown great humility and has taken total responsibility for what he did. He has never threatened to leave me or thrown his hands up and wanted to quit since prolly July or August 2012 one or two months after discovery. I know that no matter how many triggers I have or how many times i check he is in this til the day we die. I appreciate that so much and we have grown so much closer because I don’t have to live walking on eggs shells fearing he will leave me someday if I never get to that place of full trust. I have forgiven him and love him very much. It’s his response to my weaknesses, fears and insecurity that have helped us to heal rather quickly. In three weeks we will be sharing our testimony with our church. It’s been 15 months since full discovery, 18 since things started unraveling. I still hurt every now and then but it’s nothing like what I used to go through. Bless you as you continue on your journey!!!

    • A few weeks ago I checked my husband’s email for the first time in months. I saw an email to a female sales rep where his greeting to her contained 3 exclamation points and I told him it was clearly not professional and also could read wrong from her end. I know he was just being friendly but she could think–hey, he really likes when I email him so I will start sending him flirtatous notes. And that, is exactly how his relationship began with Bat Shit. Innocent emails gone completely out of control and read the wrong way. So I told him and I started by saying: I am sorry but I checked your email. I explained my position and why it bothered me. His response began: “Don’t ever apologize for checking my stuff.” And I realized that this is part of the deal and it may very well be for the rest of our lives. But he knows he has to be accountable if he wants me as his wife.
      I agree with everything you wrote… I hope I can get to a place of complete forgiveness too.

      • wow, how do you feel about checking it…I don’t do it because it makes ME feel worse when we are trying to rebuild trust I feel I have to throw him a bit of rope…I do believe I can trust him on that now but yes little doubts do creep in…maybe I should just tell him I may check from time to time but even to say that really somehow re-traumatizes me…does this make any sense? None of it ever does! He told me he would tell me of any contact….I decided to believe him….he is doing everything right and good to recover…but still the doubt does linger….

      • I have a feeling the doubts will be here for awhile until we feel the trust is there. My husband doesn’t mind me checking his stuff. I feel like my email and life is an open book to him and so should his be to mine. I don’t like to check his email because it can be a trigger (just the thought or fear that something could upset the harmony). But I only check every so often… Honestly, if I had checked his email or cell phone records from the beginning I would have caught this much sooner. So who knows.

      • I have a feeling the doubts will be here for awhile until we feel the trust is there. My husband doesn’t mind me checking his stuff. I feel like my email and life is an open book to him and so should his be to mine. I don’t like to check his email because it can be a trigger (just the thought or fear that something could upset the harmony). But I only check every so often… Honestly, if I had checked his email or cell phone records from the beginning I would have caught this much sooner. So who knows.

      • I have a feeling the doubts will be here for awhile until we feel the trust is there. My husband doesn’t mind me checking his stuff. I feel like my email and life is an open book to him and so should his be to mine. I don’t like to check his email because it can be a trigger (just the thought or fear that something could upset the harmony). But I only check every so often… Honestly, if I had checked his email or cell phone records from the beginning I would have caught this much sooner. So who knows.

      • I have a feeling the doubts will be here for awhile until we feel the trust is there. My husband doesn’t mind me checking his stuff. I feel like my email and life is an open book to him and so should his be to mine. I don’t like to check his email because it can be a trigger (just the thought or fear that something could upset the harmony). But I only check every so often… Honestly, if I had checked his email or cell phone records from the beginning I would have caught this much sooner. So who knows.

      • I have a feeling the doubts will be here for awhile until we feel the trust is there. My husband doesn’t mind me checking his stuff. I feel like my email and life is an open book to him and so should his be to mine. I don’t like to check his email because it can be a trigger (just the thought or fear that something could upset the harmony). But I only check every so often… Honestly, if I had checked his email or cell phone records from the beginning I would have caught this much sooner. So who knows.

      • I have a feeling the doubts will be here for awhile until we feel the trust is there. My husband doesn’t mind me checking his stuff. I feel like my email and life is an open book to him and so should his be to mine. I don’t like to check his email because it can be a trigger (just the thought or fear that something could upset the harmony). But I only check every so often… Honestly, if I had checked his email or cell phone records from the beginning I would have caught this much sooner. So who knows.

      • I have a feeling the doubts will be here for awhile until we feel the trust is there. My husband doesn’t mind me checking his stuff. I feel like my email and life is an open book to him and so should his be to mine. I don’t like to check his email because it can be a trigger (just the thought or fear that something could upset the harmony). But I only check every so often… Honestly, if I had checked his email or cell phone records from the beginning I would have caught this much sooner. So who knows.

      • IDK. While I understand the need to check up on a betrayer initially, due to the hypervigilant response to betrayal, I wonder what the need to do so at this point means? Frankly, I haven’t felt the need to check on my husband for many months now. I know how remorseful he is so there is no imminent danger. Yet on the other hand the e-mail that you are rightly concerned about points to the need for your spouse to establish firm boundaries. And perhaps we betrayers should ensure periodically that these boundaries remain shored that THEY remain vigilant. This is the new normal for us. They can’t forget. We know too well the results when they did..,..food for thought…

  12. Lovely post.
    I think you will be fine on the day you reach the one year mark. You have had the support and help of your husband who has been truly remorseful, humbled and atoning. Moreover, you continue to have open and honest discussions. And your relationship continues to improve and evolve. But more importantly, you continue to evolve as an individual. The change in trust is a natural even lawful consequence of betrayal. Clearly your husband gets that. Any truly understanding, remorseful and selfless man would understand and accept that and know they would need to work hard to restore it. I felt that way once but I can say that I unequivocally trust my husband now with my heart and know he has my best interests at heart. And I’ve felt that way for the last 5 months. I think my rather speedy recovery may to do with who we fundamentally are as a couple of over 27 years, and with my husbands unconditional investment in healing the wounds he inflicted.
    I believe those of us who have husbands that are not just remorseful and atoning, but also humbled and who embrace their role as our healers help us recover that much quicker. I passed the one year mark in July (I refuse to call it any kind of antiversary and give the day meaning). For me it was just another lovely day. I believe my husband was more aware of the day and anxious than I was. But the reason I was so unconcerned is because our relationship is so much better than it ever was. We have used this experience to transform our relationship. We went through hell but our relationship is a 1000% better because of how we dealt with it.
    When I discovered the affair, I immediately let him know how much I loved him despite what he did. But I also told him that I didn’t know if I could ever forgive or trust him again or even stay with him. I did not shield him from my struggles, he was a part of them. He witnessed & understood the devastation he inflicted and didn’t attempt to burden me with excuses or blame me with “not getting needs met”. He understood that the issues within the marriage were not the cause of the affair. He accepted that it was 100% his fault, his inability to cope constructively. Further, he realized, almost before I did, that the priority was my healing, and that only through my recovery could we hope to save the marriage. He made it his mission to help me heal, initially understanding that I needed to get strong again–even if it meant strong enough to leave him. He accepted that as a natural consequence of what he did. He endured my inglorious rages and consoled me during my incessant weeping. He worked hard in therapy and we both clearly understand /know why and how he did it. His selflessness and courageous vulnerability humbled me, showed he was willing to do anything for me and made me want to reciprocate. I came to realize that we were both affected by his actions. I feel for him because I know he has to live with the fact that at a critical time in his life when I was there for him, he chose to run away and failed me, his family and himself. His actions (betrayal in general) displayed a profound self absorption, a lack of character and integrity and appalling cowardice. For a man of high ideals this realization is devastating. So he will spend the rest of his life ensuring it will never happen again, redeeming himself, living up to his values. Now when thoughts of the affair arise, they no longer haunt me. Although, at times they may sadden me the impact is lessening as I realize what I have now. I know that he struggles to be the man I need him to be. I know our struggles are far from over but I know that he once again guards my heart and I in turn guard his. In this marriage, we are each other’s keepers. I don’t know what the future holds, but that is our renewed covenant and I could not, would not settle for less from him.

    • I a married 31 years and I am recovering a bit faster too I think….I can relate to your post…recovering is such a messy business…sometimes I need him and ask for help and then when he does I feel guilty….what’s up with that? I want to cherish him again…takes time..he just emailed smily faces as texting during the day is important to me..got a bit of a warm fuzzy at the same time feeling anxious that he is away….two dueling emotions — hard to believe they can co-exist. !

  13. trust me, i know and i can feel every bits of your struggles. i’ve passed my “storm” about 2 years ago (i discovered it in may 2010, and he fully ended that affair in march 2012, i think….), but here i am, as im writting this to you, im sure the “storm” is still within me! to make things worse, i was pregnant with my second daughter when i knew about it and i can see some emotional effects on her now.
    Flicking it off, like u mentioned in your previous post works, but yes, it’s tiring. And it never fails to triggers u again. Another things that i found out working for me is…..to imagine myself to be in his shoes…yes, he has done something that is terribly wrong and unacceptable. he feels sorry and already choose me over the bitch. the bitch has no meanings to him anymore (according to him). now he wants to change, and he has changed a lot. i can see it although it would never gain my 100% faith ever again. So let’s step into his shoes, and think what else he can do better after all the improvement that he made. if he already did his best at everything, perhaps, it’s not worth for us to spend more time mourning. Afraid of UNKNOWN like worrying things might happen again, this time with better tricks bla bla bla, is totally wasting of time. Look at him, can he does anything better that what he already did to save this relationship? if it is yes, the put a full stop there. Now it’s our turn to do the same.

    After all these years, i see my husband and me are not more than two broken pieces who always tried to make things works. i fall in love with him again, many times evertime something “works”. when he successfully made me laugh (it’s hard after what happened), everytime i see him playing, giggling, bathing etc with kids, everytime he kisses my hand out of no where and sp on… these times, falling in love feels different compared to the one before the “storm”. it carry more meanings and value. new sweeter memory created after one another.

    i can never erase the bad memories. the pain and trauma that i’ve gone thru. but now, those new sweeter memories at lease make the bad one seems fuzzy.

    i hope it works for you too..

    • Thank you. I think it is very wise to put ourselves in our waywards spouse’s shoes. I know I realized about two months after D-Day that it could have been me that walked the line. It’s hard to say what I would do if I was in his shoes and pursued and fed lies that stroked my ego right where it needed to be. Further to your point, there is more happiness when we enjoy the moments now and stop living in the past.

      Thank you.

  14. Wow, this is beautifully written. It is good to hear your pain and anger has subsided. I look forward to the day mine goes away. Congratulations, for lack of a better word. I am impressed with your strength and ability to write about things most want to keep silent. Your blog is helpful to me.

  15. For lack of a better place to ask this…I need advice. I am at 8 months. I still give into my triggers. Seems like before I realize I am angry and hurting. My husband…I believe has realized the depth of what he has done to us. But, he is ready to put it behind us…not hear about it. He says the guilt and shame are too much. He says it is hard for him to move foward with us still talking about it. I feel his expectations are too high for me at this time.

    • Hi Crystal,
      Around 8 months I felt like I was doing well but then a trigger would take me by surprise and I would find myself feeling worse. Sometimes my husband would say it felt like we were taking steps backward instead of moving forward and that hurt even more. I felt like here I am putting all this effort into our marriage and I have a bad moment or day and he’s dismissing all the work we’ve done. I decided to go back to therapy with my husband around 8 months or so because I needed to figure out how to deal with the whole thing. That’s when my therapist told me that I needed to not focus on the affair and things that would trigger me (easier said than done) and my husband admitted on that day that he thinks about what he’s done more than he tells me. He said that he still hated himself and that watching me in pain hurt him more than he could ever imagine.
      But I just asked my husband for another reader why a man might be unwilling or unable to discuss the affair. He said that the shame and guilt is horrible and it makes him feel like a complete failure. BUT he said that he can now see that only through answering my questions and allowing me to talk about it can he see how much it’s helped me heal. Around 8 months I told my husband if I needed to talk about the affair in 5 years or 20 years to ease my mind then I wanted to be able to without him ever saying that I needed to let it go. He agreed. I don’t know if he’s happy he made that agreement (lol) but it helped me. Sometimes we spend too much of our time focused on the hurt and pain and not enough time on all the good that remains in our relationship.
      Honestly, I am of the opinion that to make the marriage stronger the wayward needs to fight for the marriage and help the betrayed spouse heal. There is so much healing I’ve helped my husband with too because he’s been able to be vulnerable and let me in. It’s hard for men to be that vulnerable and expose themselves so rawly. You both must heal from what has happened.

      • Thank you for taking time to respond. It amazes me that you are able to read all of our stories and it does not get the best of you. Your words are a comfort.
        I know you are right that we both need to heal, but it has been hard for me to accept at times. I feel like he did this to me without my knowledge for years so I am the one that needs to heal. But, the truth is that he had to be very sick emotionally to have done this to begin with. My husband was a serial cheater and I believe a sex addict. This all new to me. He purposely went online and looked for sex on swinger sites and others. He committed many adulteries. The one that hurts the worst is one he started after I was pregnant and continued through my second pregnancy. It lasted for 4 years. Our twins are 4 years old. It cuts to the bone to know that the last 4 years are now tainted with this. He betrayed my on many levels. I now see his pain. Tonight was hard. He did not text me today at a certain time which bothered me. He was working and with his dad so I know he was not cheating, but still… I need to hear from him throughout the day to cope or I think I do. I said something to him and it sent him into a rage which ended in him breaking down sobbing about all his mistakes and how he feels worthless. He also admitted when he gets angry at me he still wants to cheat. What do u say to that? He was in such pain at the time all I could do was hold him. God, this is hard.

      • You do need to heal and I felt very strongly for a long time that my husband needed to be whatever I needed him to be to get through this. I understood he felt guilt, shame, pain and whatever else–but he chose his path. He chose everything and he took that away from me. I also know what you mean by not getting a text or a phone call when you expect one or you are waiting for a response. Silence to me is a trigger. I have no proof of this but my husband always seemed to not answer my texts when he was having his affair so now I feel like I need an answer within a reasonable amount of time. Even if it’s just “K”. It’s a trigger… it makes us vulnerable and we doubt them when they can’t fulfill these seemingly simple requests.
        I try not to think of the time he was cheating as time tainted or lost… In many ways I am just trying to forget that year of my life because it wasn’t what I believed it was at all. It takes a long time to really absorb that fact that our husbands have something seriously wrong with them to make these decisions over and over. It’s not so much about us as we tend to think.
        I feel like it’s not fair for your husband to say that when he’s angry at you he wants to cheat… But then it’s also honest so there’s a fine line. He needs to understand his own triggers and have coping mechanisms for them. You need to find out what angers him and makes him want to slip back into his addictive behavior–things you say? Do? Something he feels? It doesn’t justify what he feels but you can begin to understand the addictive side of his personality and maybe how he ended up with this condition.
        I find it therapeutic in a way to read everyone’s stories. It removes me from my own world for a moment and makes me see things on more neutral territory. I don’t know if it makes it any easier…

    • I am 8 months too! How can I help? I have mixed emotions all day long…it is exhausting. Pick a time to “talk about it” for us it is Saturday mornings and then pick a time limit. Get your thoughts together what you want to discuss and limit it to one or two topics and will bullet points…men’s minds work best with this organization…or you can write it out (succinctly – bullet points) and give that to him beforehand and then go over it together…when you speak to him tell him “I FEEL” using those words and why and ask him exactly what you want…men like to know as they haven’t a clue…these worked for me…does it help a bit?

  16. 129 days ago I discovered my husbands affair. I just your blog.
    All I can say is….thank you.
    Believe it or not you are helping me feel normal and you are letting me realize that staying with him is okay.
    So, Thank you.

    • Thank you… There are so many of us on here and we aren’t alone. I wish I had known what I know now years ago. Why doesn’t anyone teach us this before we get married? Maybe we are too foolish and in love to listen.

  17. It’s been only 5 very long months since my Dday. Just writing this response after reading this blog has that awful pain in my chest. My husband was living away from home in a foreign 3rd world country for the past 4yrs, work related. He returned home once a month for 5 days but this was the rotation for 4yrs. Only 5 days before completing his assignment, I received a call from my doctor, she said I had contracted a STD. A very common one but one I hadn’t had before and one I never wanted. I called him immediately, he confessed an “one night” stand and flew home 2 days later. To make a long painful sickening story short, that was only the beginning of my “new normal”. You see, it wasn’t a one night stand, it was 2 1/2 years with a paid third world 18yr old. My husband was 38yrs. her senior. Ok, you can vomit now. Yes, it’s vulgar, it’s perverse and its painful. Yes, I wanted to know everything. Why, because it helped me in a way to understand myself. My husband told me everything, the ugliest of things were now stuck in my head but again I needed to know, it was my way to discovery if who he was in that time. This way I knew if I could deal with it or not.
    I can totally relate to the roller coaster. It’s very hard, one day ok the next day it rolls on my head for hours. It’s like a dark cloud following me on those bad days. My husband has actually become suicidal, in therapy weekly and medicated. I’ve not left his side because believe it or not, this man I still love very much as a person. That is what hurts the most. Being stuck in this “new normal” and “caring so much about him”. It’s not easy. It’s actually very difficult. We are talking a lot, we are sharing more, we also realize that our careers need to be less important than our friendship and love. I still am very confused about it all. I’m working through it and I still have days that I feel like saying “I love you but I can’t do this because this “new normal” is making me miss out on the completeness I once had. This situation is renting too much space in my head/heart that I sometimes feel like walking away.
    Just found this site, so hoping that reading and possibly sharing will help to ease the pain and confusion. I didn’t ask for this situation but I do see that I could have or we could have prevented it by not losing focus on us. I do hope we make it but I also know I don’t like the “new normal”.
    God bless all if you who are dealing with infidelity. If you truly love, I know how much it hurts and want you all to know your not alone.

    • I understand that pain or lump in your throat as you wrote. I recall the first time I posted on another blog and told part of my story… I felt like I was exposing the truth. It was anonymous but I wrote it and someone else read the words. What I realized is that I wasn’t alone. You aren’t alone either.
      This phase will pass… It may take time for your husband to push through his guilt and pain. My husband says it hurts like hell everytime we talk and he can see the pain in my eyes. He feels like he failed me–the one person he never wanted to fail or disappoint and he did it.
      The first support group I went to I sat next to a man who was institutionalized because his wife cheated and left him for the other man. As much as it seems unthinkable–I got it. I understood that pain and how it cut him to the core. I feared my husband might become suicidal in the beginning. I feared he wouldn’t be able to deal with his failure. I get it… but I hope he is doing better with each day. This is a lot for you–be his caretaker and keep your head above water. Take care of yourself….

  18. Hi, just want to let Crystal know that the cheating is not about you. It usually never is. In his case it appears to be how your husband learned to cope (rather destructively) when he feels less than or shameful. It’s his way of escaping. Therefore, it’s really important that he be in therapy to address this issue. Otherwise, his impulse to “escape” especially when he’s overcome with shame when discussing the affair or consequences thereof may get the better of him. While its good that he was honest about it, it should be of significant concern until he demonstrates that he has learned to deal with his emotions constructively. Wishing you healing on your journey.

    • Hi, I just wanted to say thank you. Although it makes me so sad it is also of a little comfort to see that how I am feeling right now is so similar to how others in my situation are feeling. Not feeling alone is particularly helpful to me, apart from two close friends no one knows what has happened and although that is allowing us to work through our problems without the judgement of others, I find it really tough not being able to talk openly and have a melt down when I need to. My d day was only 2 months ago so it’s all still very raw. I’m holding it together for my 2 small children but only just. We are a long way from building trust again but I know I still love my husband and we both want to make it work and re build our marriage.
      To those of you who were pregnant during your husbands affair, how are you coming to terms with the knowledge that you thought you were sharing an intimate happy time with him, yet he was leading a separate life seemingly giving you no thought? I really struggle knowing we announced our pregnancy then less than a month later my husband entered a physical relationship with someone else. The first time we held our beautiful daughter feels like a lie because I know 3 weeks later he was back in bed with her. I had real issues with closeness and intimacy so i understand he found that somewhere else, yet he says he never stopped loving me throughout. Im so confused.
      Reading your stories and knowing I’m not alone in choosing to stay is a great comfort, thank you x

    • Thanks Kay. I know your advice is correct, but I struggle with self control when I am overwhelmed with thoughts of his betrayal. It bothers me that my husband betrayed me for years with multiple women with no regard for my feelings and now I have to consider his feelings while I am healing. I know what you are saying is the best way though. Thanks.

  19. I have been able to relate completely to your experience and your blog is well written and insightful. My husband cheated on me after 5 years of marriage and has just recently done it again (although not as physical, kissing and texts only this time. I was floored. We have had a great marriage and he is, as he was the last time, completely repentant and swears that he treasures our marriage and that she was just young and made him feel good about himself…he claims he was stupid and doesn’t know what he was thinking. Reality is I have no idea if this is really only the second transgression or if there have been others as well. Our marriage has been solid and I truly don’t know where my head is at now. I thought, after the first affair, that we had grown sooo much and while I never forgot that pain, I had forgiven him and moved on (although I was angry for a long time). Now I don’t know what to do. My two choices seem to be to stay with him in deference to all the good in our lives and simply deal with the fact that my marriage will likely never have the absolute trust and joy I want it to…and risk that the next time might happen and maybe it will be with someone he winds up treasuring more than me… or to walk away from all the good things and start a new chapter without him. Honestly…both paths seem unacceptable at this point. I swore the last time that if it happened again I’d be gone and I believed it would be easy to do if it happened again…but now that I’m living it…it feels like walking I’d away from alot…and I’m completely torn/crushed/beside myself. Was just hoping to get your thoughts…

    • Hi Christine,

      I completely understand and hear where you are coming from. I’ve spoken those same words to my husband but thought–do I really mean them this time? I told him before we were married that I would never stay with him if he cheated. I would chop off his dick. Etc, etc, etc. Yet, here I am willing to swallow my pride and love him regardless of his faults. But I told him that if he ever did it again that it would be hard for me to stay–but then I considered that saying that would only make him not want to tell me if he was tempted or in a sticky situation. The reason my husband didn’t tell me that his AP kissed him was because he was afraid I would think he was cheating on me. Obviously, he was already on a slippery slope but he didn’t want to disappoint me.
      None of that probably helps you though. I guess if I were in your shoes I would ask myself why should I stay? And then I would ask why should I leave? Then I would ask my husband those same questions.
      When he had his first affair were you able to figure out why it really happened–what was he feeling about himself? Why did he go outside the marriage for attention? It seems like he may have been feeling those same insecurities again and that is not your fault-that’s him. He’s projecting his own insecurities onto you and accepting the attenion and adoration of another female in your place. What does he want?
      I view an affair and cheating like an addict’s behavior. Our husband’s cheated on us not because of our marriages or us (their wives) but because there is a weakness in them. Their OWs appeared and became their drug of choice. They involved themselves when they hated themselves the most–and these women were elixers that soothed that self-hate. They knew it wasn’t real and it wasn’t anything genuine–it was a quick fix, a quick high and then when they left their APs the fell lower than they were before they went to them. People say once a cheater always a cheater. It’s true. An alcoholic is always an alcoholic and you can’t just forget the problem and move on. I don’t know if that makes sense to you–but that’s how I look at it and I find it makes a lot of sense. It’s all about coping mechanisms and understanding that open communication between spouses means full disclosure without judgement. i don’t expect my husband to never notice another woman or feel special if a woman pays him attention. What I hope is that he can tell me if he feels vulnerable–despite the fear that I may be hurt.
      How did you discover he kissed another woman? Did he tell you or did you find out on your own? I think that may be huge. If he came to you and told you… that’s an important factor.
      I hope that helps… maybe there are women here that can comment too.

      • It is one year today that he left. I have said and done all I can. I have spent all of my money on fixing us and now retain a lawyer as he is draining what money is left. He called me after a long time. He still lies but I am not in contact with him.
        I also still love him and try to talk myself out of it. My counselor says it takes a long time and be patient. I sometimes forget that others don’t blame me. This is hard.

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