Questions I Asked After Discovering My Husband’s Affair

A few weeks ago I wrote a post and mentioned some questions I found right after discovering my husband’s affair. I was searching for answers. I was completely unprepared for what happened to me and I wanted someone to just tell me what to do next. The truth is no one could ever tell me how to navigate my life or make decisions about my marriage but I just wanted to hand my life over to someone else. I wanted to escape my life.

I’ve mentioned this before but the first question I asked my husband when I discovered his affair was:

Did you cheat on me because you wanted our relationship to end?

Truth Healing After My Husband's AffairThe reason I asked that question was because I needed to understand if he had already decided that our marriage was over. The media, Hollywood and everything we are ever taught teaches us that people have affairs to escape their marriages and begin new relationships. I find it interesting that now I’ve lived through an affair I see that affairs are generally not about the betraying spouse wanting out of the marriage. My husband never considered leaving our marriage while he was cheating. When I discovered the affair he had the opportunity to leave. I didn’t beg him to stay. I didn’t ask him to take care of me. He chose me and he chose to work on our marriage and himself. 

Some of my readers asked me to post the questions. I don’t know if I can find them all but while I was cleaning my bedroom today I found a notebook that I used after D-Day. It’s a little funny that I took notes on articles and books that I read since there wasn’t going to be an exam or a test on this crap. I guess I wanted to make sure I was paying attention. Here is what I wrote:

Gain Control

What are my emotions really telling me? 

What needs to change and what can I do to take those necessary steps? You cannot change what has happened to you but you do need to take responsibility for how you are handling the situation. 

Should I trust my feelings?

How can I tell if my partner is right for me?

Free yourself from the betrayal, the blame game, live in the present and move forward with positive thoughts. 

Trust-> Rebuild

Actions speak louder than words. Feeling safe becomes paramount. 
“I’m committed to you. You are safe.” You need to feel valued. 

Forgiveness

You are not pardoning the betrayers actions, forgiveness is an emotional release. You are not condoning. You do not need to accept the behavior.

Forgiveness is not a reconciliation. Forgiveness is about lessening our emotional burdens and healing the pain of your heart.

People harm us from weaknesses that compel them to act. 

Forgiveness is inner healing not behavioral change.

We are responsible for what we do with our hurt. 

Courage Healing After My Husband's AffairBetrayer -> Solely responsible for their deception. Holding onto guilt is a choice. Self-forgiveness doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility for words or actions, but it releases you from self-contempt. With self-forgiveness brings compassion and understanding of who you are and why you acted the way you did. Reclaim what you must value in yourself. 

What is required for us to stay the course?

That’s all I wrote. I can tell you that after I asked my husband the first question about his affair we spent two hours sitting on a grassy hill near our house. I cried, I yelled, I felt hatred, anger and pain. I don’t really remember the questions I asked on that grassy hill but I do remember my husband kept saying Bat Shit was his friend and things spiraled out of control. I remember questioning if I would ever be able to forgive him. I wasn’t sure if an affair was something I could get over. He was terrified that I was going to leave him. I didn’t make any immediate decisions because I didn’t want to disrupt our children’s lives. I felt strongly this was our issue as a couple and we would only involve the kids if there was no other choice.

The questions I asked my husband continued from these notes for months. Almost the entire first year was spent asking everything and anything I could about my husband’s affair. He answered everything. I asked some pretty crazy questions too. I found that if something was bothering me or stuck in my head it was always best to just ask my husband. Usually, whatever was paralyzing my thoughts was much worse than the truth. I found that in asking questions that were so intimate and difficult my husband and I became closer. We started talking about topics that couples don’t generally discuss openly. Sex, emotional insecurities… everything. Looking back now I realize I wasn’t just asking my husband the tough questions, I was asking myself too, 

Strength Healing After My Husband's Affair

 

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25 thoughts on “Questions I Asked After Discovering My Husband’s Affair

  1. Great post. The “actions speak louder than words” part is so essential for rebuilding trust. Because when couples set out to rebuild trust, they are stuck in a catch-22. The primary way that we tend to resolve issues is through dialogue. However, if your words no longer carry in weight, then how can you possibly provide your mate with the much-needed reassurance they are craving? The key, is to DEMONSTRATE your commitment and your love through daily sacrifice.

  2. I discovered in his affair in September of 2012 and I’m still living repercussions. he denied it and said I was crazy and I did the worst I could do.. I spied after a year and a half off his telling me I was crazy.
    I cried and I yelled for very long time.
    and now in September of 2014 is asking me for a divorce because he can’t trust me because of what I did to him. am I crazy to think that there’s a possibility that we could still be together.

    • I would not call it spying on him after an affair. I told my husband there needed to be 100% transparency in his actions/life/everything for me to trust him at all. You are not crazy. You needed reassurance and your husband’s reactions do not feel right to me either.

  3. I too asked that first question but in my case, my husband didn’t chose to stay. Even after he told me and I offered him and her forgiveness. He told me that he didn’t know how to comprehend my response. But I’ve learned that forgiveness was for my benefit not theirs and its what is helping me to move forward and gain control of a new life that is before me. Thank you for sharing your story with us. z

  4. Brilliant post, thank you. Husbands don’t leave happy relationships where they are loved and looked after, however sometimes they think they can ‘add’ a ‘bit on the side’ to their happy relationship. This has been the most difficult truth to come to terms with because I can’t understand why my husband would risk everything we had for some dirty sex on the periphery of his life. I asked him to leave before I knew the truth about his adultery because he had become a man I didn’t like anymore. In the short time that he left I had contacted a solicitor to start divorce proceedings, contacted an estate agent to put the house on the market, changed the locks and advised him that I would work hard at making sure our split was as amicable as it possibly could be. If ever there was a wide open door to freedom from our marriage – he had it. But, guess what – he begged to come home. Fuckwit!

  5. I am so glad I found your blog. It has helped me so much. I found out about my husband’s affair in April and am still struggling. I am committed to making it work and fixing our marriage, but some days it feels overwhelming. I have a question. The woman my husband cheated with is married. I know I need to focus on my marriage, and I am, but I have such an urge to contact her husband and tell him. I feel like she should be suffering as much as I am. I realize how immature that sounds, but I hate hat she intruded on my marriage and goes on living a normal life with no consequences. I know this is probably my a good idea but I almost feel like it would be closure. What are your thoughts on dealing with the other woman and her spouse? I know it is not my place to inflict this type of pain on someone I don’t know…but doesn’t he also have a right to know?

    • I told my husband’s AP’s husband within 24 hours of discovering the affair. I wrote to her via email and told I was going to tell her husband if she didn’t respond to me. I look back and I don’t regret what I did but those were my personal circumstances. My husband’s AP was separated from her husband. Her husband suspected the affair and was looking for an answer. But if you look at the situation–he told me later he suspected the affair for almost a year and he never told me or my husband. I think that’s interesting. I don’t like my husband’s AP. She’s a freaking piece of work. But I don’t know if it’s the right thing to tell the other spouse. Most men abide by some unspoken rule that you don’t tell the affair partner’s spouse but I don’t know why. I don’t know if their spouses deserve to know the truth. Probably but how would I have reacted if Bat Shit’s husband was the one to tell me? Idk.
      I don’t know if what I am writing even makes sense… But I can tell you that in time you will make peace with your hatred of his affair partner. It took me about 18 months but I did reach a place where I no longer care about Bat Shit. She doesn’t haunt my mind anymore and I don’t really care what happens to her.

      • I can totally understand your urge to give the person your husband had the affair with in trouble. The next day after I found out who my husband had a affair with in my case it was a escort/ prostitute I called the police on her and this gave me such closure as I had her phone number and so I reported her and it felt great.
        My husband does not know I did this as when I did I was not thinking straight. He was as guilty as she if not more guilty so to think he can be in trouble did not even cross my mind.
        She may have his record and if he would get arrested scares me. So far a month has past and no news regarding my report has occurred.
        revenge is sweet justice after a while you do not care about the person and just care about your husband behaviour

  6. My spouse’s affair of two years to one of his office building rentals ended a year and a half ago. Her back room was their “love shack”. Can I ask him to ask her to move out or evict her…they had no contract or lease agreement and they have talked only twice? Do I have the right to do this or an I really wanting revenge.i am the one who does the monthly rent posting so I see her name and I feel sick all over again at the first of every month.
    Conflicted.

    • I think it’s fair to speak with your husband about how you feel. My husband always told me that if something gave me peace of mind then he would do it or allow me. I think this falls into that category. I know it can be a huge process to evict someone though. So speak with your husband about what makes the most sense. Maybe she would leave the building if you/he/both of you asked her.

  7. I have been following your blog for a while now, however, this will be the first time that I have left a comment.

    It has been two years since my DOD, August 15, 2012. We have been married for 19 years and have four beautiful daughters. It is still a struggle for me after two years. I have only told a few people for the same reasons that you have remained silent. I see this other woman quite often because our children go to the same school. It is a constant reminder of the pain that has been inflicted on myself, my marriage and my family.

    The woman my husband had a two year affair with was his high school girlfriend. They ran into each other at a gas station one day and exchanged phone numbers. What started off as “just friends” talking on the phone, progressed to secret lunch dates to meeting each other in various places out of town for dinner and sex. I too was devastated. I had no idea. My husband would never in a million years have an affair. That was just not who he was. We were building a house in the middle of the affair and so I was extremely busy managing that project and taking care of our children, etc. I felt like my life as I knew it had changed in a blink. I lost almost 30 pounds from not being able to eat. My stomach was in knots. About 3 months after the weight loss, my hair began to fall out. It got so thin that I looked like I was a cancer patient going through chemo therapy. I went from long hair (which I had for several years) to short hair. Thus resulting in a complete physical appearance makeover. My husband is a doctor. A very good doctor with an incredible bedside manner. He is an amazing father. Our oldest daughter is from a previous marriage of mine. When she was five years old we started dating and when she was seven, we got married. He took her in and loved her just the same as our three daughters we have together. If I told my closest friends what he did, they would look at me like I was from another planet. There is no way that anyone would ever suspect that he cheated on me. And for two years at that! But, in the husband department, he has fallen short. It does feel like your marriage is no longer pure and sacred. It’s not. The value that I put on our marriage and our vows were clearly not the same. I have said many times before that it will never be same again.

    I have experienced all of the same emotions and reactions to the actions that you have blogged about. I have read books, articles, blogs, etc. and they all seem to go through the same motions. I tell my husband that “I am normal”. This is what happens to people in the same shoes as myself. It is so incredibly hard to talk to my husband, a therapist, a friend, anyone for that matter who has no idea of the pain that you are going through unless they too have been cheated on. Therefore I keep a lot of my thoughts and feelings bottled up now. I have berated my husband so many times. He has seen my ride that proverbial “roller coaster of emotions” enough that he says he is now numb to my feelings, my outbursts, etc. I have tried to explain to him that this is not the real me. That the affair has turned me into this person that sometimes I don’t even recognize.

    I’m not sure I know why I have chosen to reply this time other than just the mere fact that I too would like someone to tell me what to do next. That it will be over soon. That there will be one day that I wake up and don’t think about the affair, the other woman and the pain that it has caused. I know that won’t happen, but wouldn’t it be nice if it did?

    I love my husband very much. I have invested 21 of my best years with this man. I was not and I’m still not ready to give up. He tells me the same. Would I have married this man 19 years ago knowing what I know now? No. The pain is too great. I really feel for the who knows how many women/or men who are suffering in silence like you and I have been.

    I appreciate your blog. It is a comfort as well as vindicating to know that I am not alone in this scenario. I am still normal.

    • Thank you for writing and telling me your story. It’s hard to move forward when the emotional pain is still so raw. It’s hard to move forward when you become numb to your emotions and feelings. The only thing I would say to you is I wish you would not keep your emotions bottled up inside you. It’s like shaken can of soda–eventually it’s going to explode and make a mess. Finding a therapist that I felt would understand and support me appropriately was important. Beyond my therapist I’ve only told one other friend the entire story. This friend has been helpful and supportive for me. And sometimes, it’s nice to have a place to talk about what I am feeling with someone who is a neutral party.
      If you need to talk… I understand what you have been through. Take care.

  8. I’m not quite sure how I found you on the Internet but I would like to be added to your list of friends. My Dday was June 9th. Just recently have I stopped reeling off the walls. Like you I’m blessed to still be with my husband. Even after my DDay I never considered divorcing my husband but once he threaten to divorce me. Like you I wanted to know all the details how, where and why??? On the 3rd day all non stop talking he came clean with every detail but I couldn’t take the blame anymore he actually blamed the man who told him about the prostitutes 3 years earlier, he blamed the law and in your wildest imagetion can anyone believe that he blamed those poor girls. It made me sick. He did say that I had nothing to with none of it.

  9. This is so true but impossible to accomplish on our own. This kind of pain isn’t something we can crawl in a hole and pull the dirt over us and forget about. Even tho this is what our cheating husband’s expects us to do. We all learn, love, share and pray together. After 3 months and two weeks ago it’s much better but without The Lord’s help, good friends and websites like this one and other good ones like: shawn thewife, Life after betrayed. No way could I have came this far this soon. I love my husband dearly but he’s over coming his own guilt and pain from what’s he carried in here on the both of us.

    • It’s ALWAYS easier to leave. But “sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.” (All at Once – The Fray)

      When I returned to my family as a prodigal husband it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. The easy path is the one where you don’t change your trajectory. The difficult is where you swallow your pride, roll up your sleeves, and engage in the hard work of restoration and renewal.

  10. I can’t believe how hard this has been. Worst than losing my own mother when she was only 54 to cancer. Maybe because I never saw this coming. I am mourning the life I thought I had, the future I thought I would have. I feel as if it’s one big scar I’m going to carry with me for the rest of my life. Friends say just like a scar, the pain will go away but it will always be there and you learn to live with your scars.
    I have known about his affair for five months. Some days I feel strong, confident that I know who I am, I can be happy at work and with my friends and blessed to have a terrific daughter. Then there are days where I am sad for my husband that he is a lost pathetic soul, he lost who he was, his integrity and respect and other days I’m crying constantly. I swing back and forth with emotions. I still feel like someone took a dull spoon and carved my heart out. I found this blog looking for stories of women who forgave their husbands, decided to stay and lived happily ever after? Yes I know, ridiculous but I just wanted to hear someone say it does get better, you can trust and love again and most of all be happy. That the pain and sadness give way to happiness. What I’m hearing is there is still a sadness, a hole even two years later. I just need to hope right now.
    Can anyone give me that?

    • Hi, two years later and things make sense to me, only in this month. I’m pretty happy, no holes (!) but embarrassed to be. (!) no one knows him like I do, so they can’t see why I don’t kick him out.
      I’m naturally pretty strong, cheerful and independant, probably main reason he had an affair. But basically he has real self esteem issues, sex issues (madonna vs. whore) super stress, and I see the excuses he made up on slivers of truth. New article in NY Times about that, actually. ” Why Our Memory Fails Us”
      He says he did a Knight in Shinning Armour” and she made him feel passionately wanted, for a change. ( setting her up in business was also a passionate goal) He didn’t actually like her, but it felt good. But “as if I had petted a wounded snake and it bit me then wrapped taround me. ” played him like a fiddle. Then shades of “Fatal Attraction.”
      Trust isn’t a big deal for me. No holes there. I can live without it for a little bit. ( I fly a lot without worry too….) I wouldn’t trust him to know himself, or speak up for himself, so that needs to change. . Not so much lost trust in him as I now know he can’t speak up. I have lost the very respect and admiration, which we all had in abundance, that he was seeking for himself from her. Irony. That can be won back, so still no holes there either. I hope. Lots of work. He’s very selfish and resentful, liked his secret toy till caught.
      I have even let go of my hatred for her. She is so damaged and wants to be. I think she bothered me because I was afraid that I might feel sorry for her. Really bothered me he wouldn’t see how they both used each other, not just him guilty about faking to her., and enjoying how much he meant to her. Finally the wise words “nice people do not have affairs with married men” full stop, sank in and I am fine with that. I have turned down several delicious married men in my time. It’s easy.
      Unfortunately, “nice people don’t have affairs if they are married also works.”
      Everyone’s circumstances may be different, but the “Knight in shining Armour” is all about him, no excuses; he has to find that with his family, like an unselfish grownup. He needs to complain and not be resentful, connect.
      Anyway, this positive feeling, non the less, vanishes occasionallly and another impossible thought hurts again. Each time I return to the positive more quickly and strongly.
      Summing up, no feeling of loss or disallusion because truth, understanding, reconstruction are so much more fun.
      Umm, shock, yes! But what are the alternatives, it happened. And if it doesn’t work out wonderfully? Then I haven’t lost anything worthwhile.
      Onward and upward, best of luck and courage. X

    • There is always hope in the very worst of tragedies. I discovered in May but knew he was cheating for several months. What helps me is separating myself from the shame that was born from the affair. Remember … They chose this, not you. Try to imagine yourself as if you’re watching a film. How would you feel about your character? What would you tell her to do or not to do? Have compassion for her and understand that life is much bigger than this affair. Have compassion for him. He is human and made a mistake. Do not run from the pain, sit with it. Get to know your pain to the deepest roots. You will find that a lot of the suffering is coming from you. Do not get me wrong, it’s absolutely devastating!!!!But once you realize you have no control over anything except your thoughts and perceptions…. You will not be a victim. Victims never win in any case no matter what the circumstances are. Find your inner warrior and you will fly!!! There is hope but you must change your perception on how you are looking at it.

  11. I am 17 months past dday. My husband has cut off all contact with his OW. He helps out more than he ever has. He still goes to counseling regularly and he takes his medication for his bipolar. However he still works with the OW. They do not work closely any more. She gives him pissy looks when they have to be in a meeting together, he tries to ignore her. We were at a work function several weeks ago, that she was not to be at, but she came anyway. 17months past dday and she still turns my stomach! She is a woman who tried to convince my husband that if he left his children and me for her, that our children would turn out fine. That children are resilient. Then she would drop hints about wanting to start a family with him! She is so cruel! When my husband confronted her when he ended the affair, and let her know that our daughter had to enter therapy b/c she found out about the affair, the mistress replied that she ‘only felt negligible ‘ in regards to his daughters distress. How do I stop allowing this woman’s presence to unnerve me while she still works with my husband? She’s been so heartless that her very presence disgusts me and then I let it ruin my day. It is hard having someone so mean so close to my family still. Does anyone have any advice?

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