Moving past the Betrayal of my Beliefs after the Affair

I finished writing a post last night but decided this morning not to publish it. I was reminded this morning on the fragility of life and that healing is not a journey that has a definitive end point. For many of us, the healing process has become easier with time but it’s never easy. Our pain becomes more tolerable, we learn to manage the pain, and we cope. I think the trick is to move past the “coping” and into the realm of living again.

There are no promises or guarantees in life or marriage. Throughout my lifetime there have been reminders of life’s fragility but for some reason marriage appeared to be the antidote to life’s unpredictability. Perhaps marriage is veiled as the antidote because it all begins so perfectly – we fall in love, we feel so vibrantly the love we receive from our partner, and we start a life together. When I reflect back on my view of my marriage from my wedding day to D-day, marriage felt like a protective barrier around my life. Marriage was my superhero power. It made me better, stronger, happier, and meant I had an ally for life.


One of the hardest battles for me to overcome is the betrayal. Not necessarily the sexual betrayal, but the betrayal of my belief in who I thought my husband was. I mistakenly put my husband on a pedestal. I believed he loved me more than himself. Often my struggle goes back to the thought that an affair was so far out of my realm of possibility and I was completely blindsided. After all, my marriage security blanket was wrapped around my life – my husband and I were supposed to face the good and the bad together. Our marriage was supposed to be rock-solid and the affair proves it wasn’t. The affair proves that my beliefs about marriage were wrong.

Marriage is a vulnerable, evolving relationship. It takes two people to make a marriage work and only one to end it. Saying “I do” is the beginning, the actual marriage is everything that happens after the ceremony ends.  You have to keep earning the love of your spouse every single day. I’ve learned that saying I do is an everyday vow that needs to be renewed each and every day of my marriage. Keeping the spark alive isn’t always easy or fun. Loving my husband is sometimes difficult. It’s a choice I have to make every day, even when he’s annoying me.

One of the biggest lesson I’ve learned since D-day is that marriage is not always happy or fun. I wish on my wedding day someone had told me even in the best marriages experience bumps and pains. Everyone is flawed and sometimes the marriage will reflect those flaws. Love and marriage will not always be a safe harbor in life but facing a crisis together will strengthen the relationship and the individuals. I need to remember that pain in a relationship can produce greater people and enrich the marriage.

On my journey I’ve rediscovered my inner self and realized I am my own soulmate. No one can break my soul, my spirit, and my being. Life is ambiguous and accepting my imperfections will release me from those uncertainties.



33 thoughts on “Moving past the Betrayal of my Beliefs after the Affair

      • I haven’t posted for so long. This post is how I feel too. I will write my past d- days someday. For now, I’m just beginning to see and understand what happened to me. Post Traumatic Sydrome is real and those triggers are so hard to handle. Thank you for all your wise insights.

  1. You always seem to hit the nail on the head. Like you, I was completely blindsided and felt this could NEVER happen to me because my husband would NEVER consider this. WRONG ! While his was an emotional affair, it was a daily event for 2 years and the betrayal is one thing I have such a hard time accepting.

    • My husband says his was just an emotional affair. It keeps popping up that he kept in touch with her and helped her out. I do not trust at all. I try to keep it in Check but sometimes it gets too big.

      • If you are struggling talk to your husband. Make sure he understands what you are feeling – your fears, anger, etc. Keep talking and tell him what you need to move forward. I was so scared to tell my husband how I felt and what was bothering me before I discovered the affair. But after I found out – I felt like I had nothing to lose. How could it get worse, right? It’s better to be honest than life a life without trust and feeling stressed.

  2. Today I had to face my very successful unmaried, with son, cousin. She chose not to marry; I was the old fashioned stay at home mother. She is very sympathetic towards my trauma over this affair. I was just about to feel a miserable failure when I realised, no. My marriage was a success. It is evolving past this horrendous tragedy. We are bigger than this, we have something to be continued.

  3. I thank you for this post. I struggle with the beliefs I had before my husbands affair and now what I have after his affair. I never thought he would do this to me, to us, to our family! I now struggle with how to move on and have not only the same trust and security but also pride in us? Does that ever really come back or is that the missing piece I have to accept? You really hit this for me in a blog around thanksgiving … Sometimes I am so embarrassed by all if this that other people pride and comments about their relationships really make me sad and question everything I have built my life around. It is such a struggle because we were happy and we always seemed to be in on everything together… On the same page. Now I question everything even when we are rebuilding to be stronger
    And happier. Will I ever get over the embarrassment and insecurities and have pride again in my life? Can I be truly happy with all this disappointment and questioning?

    • Hi. How you are feeling is exactly how I’m feeling. My husband had a 10 month sexual/emotional affair and it ended in Aug last yr however i still feel like this. I used to be so proud of our relationship but now feel like people will laugh if I say how happy we are now or what a good husband he is. After all how can he be a good husband after doing what he did? I hope I can get over this feeling and I wish you all the luck In the world too…my god if we knew all this crap before marriage would we still have done it lol….makes me wonder!

    • I struggle with this same issue. I feel like I am a liar sometimes. My husband and I act “normal” in front of other couples but we are anything but now. I wish I knew the answer but I think what we are feeling is pretty common.

    • I have the same feeling as you. I am no longer proud of my marriage. My marriage now is a pathetic cliche. I am only 8 weeks out and can only hope that this feeling of loss and embarrassment will decrease enough where I no longer cringe in the company of ” normal” couples. I feel like I am lying to the world or am I just lying to myself?

  4. Like you, my husband is the type you’d NEVER think of cheating. He’s a Midwest farmer, high ethics, would do anything to help the neighbors. I’m jealous of those who have the “wonderful” marriage. I was cheated out of the rest of my life of trusting again. I can’t just get over this no matter what I try to do. I am always going to wonder if he still calls her or if she calls him. I’ve never met her but I hope her life is mean and her soul rots. I cling to every little clue that deep down inside him that he still loves me like I thought he did. I look for every little clue that he still loves her. I will always wonder if maybe he should have left me for her instead of staying. It has created something in me I despise. If people only knew the real him and the real me they would be shocked. I live with secrets that chase me.

    • I feel exactly the same way. Our friends idolized our marriage and were completely shocked. It’s hardest to get over that betrayal.

  5. This is a very strengthening post.
    I would also be interested in what you didn’t post and why.
    The after affair recovery seems to have many universal parts and timeframes.
    Some days, with clarity and strength, I feel I am getting to a point of understanding our misalignment, where I leave this marriage as most people do on the spur of the moment with the shock and anger of D-Day.
    Other days I fully believe that the evolution of the marriage includes major mistakes being reconciled.

  6. Great post! As many betrayeds, I too (and everyone we know) was floored by my partner’s actions. Though the betrayal didn’t necessarily happen “under roof”, it still was a form of betrayal, though she tried her hardest to make it everything but. My therapist said the same thing you did, I held her on a pedestal – she was perfect in my mind and that was MY fault. I agree though her actions for 11 years only solidified that so I truly didn’t believe she could do wrong let alone hurt me, how wrong I was. It’s still a disbelief some days but just gotta keep moving forward. I knew there was so much wrong in the world but never saw it would be in my relationship. I learned a lot though all this, wish things could have been learned a different way but wishing doesn’t get me anywhere! 🙂 Keep posting, love your positive outlooks (though know we all fall off the glory train sometimes) 😉

    • How interesting. Same here. But I thought we had had a discussion enumerating my faults and heartfelt wish to make it work. I now think that was taken as permission to have a “sex only affair”. I doubt there is such a thing. Fantasy relationship, really.
      When he became distant and depressed after two years we had another talk. I thought I was hallucinating and accused him of having an affair. He denied it. More and deeper depression. Another seven years he was sick of it and wanted to come (mentally) home. That is when I found “ending it” emails. ( and I will always feel my finding them may or may not have ended it; not him.) My point is, the betrayer has issues they need to sort. The fact they take their spouse for granted my play into it and exponentially both support an affair and underline an inability to relate.
      I also write this for those who preach discussing your marriage will avert an affair and those that ask why didn’t you confront when suspicious. I did both.
      We assume so much when we love. best of luck.

  7. Thankyou this really touched and helped – especially when you say it’s not necessarily the sexual betrayal – I find the want and desire for someone the hardest.
    I am my own soul mate too – we have to be right? XXXX Thankyou for sharing x wishing your journey happiness and strength x

  8. I’ve never posted or commented on any sites about what happened, but it’s been a year and eight months and I’m still struggling every day. When I found out he had cheated, he said it was only once. Then I found out from the girlfriend that it was constantly and she was pregnant. She told me all the horrible things he said about me, that we were basically over, I was crazy, we weren’t having sex, he couldn’t leave me because he was afraid of me etc. I feel like I died that night. I had been unable to get pregnant the entire 9 years we were married and I had surgery to correct the problem, and we talked about how it was finally going to happen. He had been cheating for months before the surgery, and for months after. He left me home alone the next day after I was released so that he could be with her. All this and so much more I found out later. So many lies every day, every single day, telling me he loved me, texting throughout the day, leaving little notes for me around the house. Talking about our future, and at the same time telling her he wanted to marry her. Talking about their soon to be family. Making me feel guilty for suspecting that he wasn’t being honest, saying I was causing problems in our marriage by not trusting him. Long story short, we got divorced 3 months later, I had already moved out the day I found out about the affair, and their baby was born three months later. His family completely accepted and sided with her because of the child, and she spread lies about me on facebook which apparently his family believed. It was public, so I got to read comments like “We’re so proud of you for standing up for yourself” and “you deserve to be happy” and “you guys are perfect together.” She later sent me a message apologizing to me and insulting me at the same time, and telling me how happy they both were and she had forgiven him and I should move on and not live in the past. Two months later they were engaged. I’ve since cut off contact with everyone we knew mutually, and I deletedy Facebook and changed my phone number. This was last October. I don’t know if they are married now or not, but their daughter just turned one three weeks after what would have been our 11th anniversary. I thought it would be easier by now. I still relive it every day, and I feel like half my life was wasted. We were together 14 years, my only love, my first in everything. I read these blogs and I see that others still struggle, and I wonder when I will get to just be happy again. Will I ever be able to forget? I just thought it would be better by now.

    • They say time heals all wounds but it seems completely irritating when you are in pain. It’s extremely difficult to move forward when you didn’t receive closure – it’s paralyzing. If you can, find a therapist you can talk to, write down how you feel. You aren’t alone – even when you feel you are. Force yourself to go out and have experiences you enjoy. Make a list of things you want to do – a bucket list. And start checking things off. Start living again.

    • You poor thing. How I wish I could give you a hug right now. I am new to this blog, and wish I did not need to be here, but found out the worst news of my life almost 2 months ago. I wish that these kinds of things did not happen, but it is some of the worst, most heart breaking pain in this fallen world. When our soul mate and the one we were most open and vulnerable with looks us in the eyes and lies to us over and over…how do we go on? I ask myself, can God really make even this beautiful some how? How can I ever heal and forgive? I know that I am clinging to Jesus and His love more than ever. He is the only one who never forsakes me. My husband broke his marriage vows to me and hurt me in the deepest way possible. Can I say that we have been closer than ever after this happened? It is interesting….he is being a spiritual leader in our home more than ever now. We have been closer and more intimate even than when we were newlyweds!! (married 11 years) That is amazing to me. I am still angry and struggling, but there is a silver lining. I have no idea how I can trust him, but I am taking it one day at a time. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. It is nice to know I am not alone on this kind of journey.

  9. What a wonderful, heartfelt post. Looking in and working on accepting my self with all my faults and insecurities is the greatest lesson i’ve learned from this “insanity”. as you said pain has made me (and my husband) stronger individuals. Thank you so much for posting

  10. After reading all the responses, I no longer feel alone. My husband has been having an affair with an older woman from work for 10 years. Everyday he looks me dead in the face and tells me that I am crazy or something is wrong with me. His family and friends look at me like I am talking about someone else. The pain is numbing and I feel lost. My children give me strength and my faith.

  11. Thank you for this. I am four weeks into the “death” of our special childhood sweetheart marriage.
    If he was to die tomorrow I would not feel the pain I felt when he stood there and told me about his 2 year affair with the partner of a couple we met on holiday and started going out with!! Stood there and cried telling me he loved her. He finished with her and now says he didn’t it was fantasy dirty sex he was pulled towards. I too thought we were solid as we have been through many ups and downs in our 37 yrs. Oh no never ever think you are safe from devious woman who want what you had. All his fault too he had a choice.
    I will never be the same again. I have lost the loyay that was in my heart never to stray and I had many chances in the past and would NEVER have done this. He has broken everything and destroyed many lives….
    The OW is a cheap tart who has no class as their deed was done in the back of his van!!!! 😦

  12. ‘The affair proves that my beliefs about marriage were wrong’. This is exactly where I am at – exactly 6 months to the day after DDay! The thing is, this thought has made me stronger today! It’s time to put on my big girl panties and realize that I have been so naive these past 23 years!!! There is no such thing as a perfect marriage – why have I been aspiring for that? The realization came as I was lying in bed crying silent tears because I couldn’t get him to understand the profound loss I was feeling – why didn’t he mourn the loss of our marriage like I did? But then I was struck by this – if he wasn’t mourning that loss, why should I? Clearly I was holding our marriage up to an impossible perfect standard. And what does it mean anyways to have a ‘perfect marriage’. I realize at this moment that the fact that we are choosing to stay together actually is ironically redefining our marriage and making us stronger. We both know what’s on the line. We have spent 6 months in weekly marriage counseling, and know that it’s now or never (or should I say over). We choose to stay and work on our marriage because of our children and our faith in God. I have the power to choose to love and accept my husband for who he is every single day. It’s not easy but this choice is worth it.

  13. I stumbled upon your blog last night and haven’t stopped reading since then. You can’t imagine the heaps of support I’m getting from your blog. I look back at my journal and sometimes we use the exact same words it’s scary! My ego is a bit shattered since I have always thought that the relationship I have with my husband is rare, and I see you have that same perspective too 😊
    It’s been 166 days since D day. Your blog helped me make leaps forward. Thank you with all my heart ❤

  14. I found out about my husband’s affair 5 weeks ago. I too was blindsided. After 42 years and three grown children I felt we were in a comfortable zone…he felt we were too comfortable …and when a woman at work, young enough to be his daughter, started getting very friendly with him he ran with it. He feels it wasn’t an affair…no sex just kissing….and lots of texting and phone calls… the time I found out. I feel differently. Reading the blogs and comments here makes me feel less alone in this as I don’t want to talk to our friends or family about what has happened since we are trying to move forward. So thank you all! It is a hard road!

    • I know exactly what you mean about being blindsided, for me it is still a mystery how it happened, it’s been 5 years. You are not alone. My husband connected with an old college girlfriend from 30+ years ago. It was just calls and emails..I think! But I think too much and get myself all balled up obsessing about what I did wrong or what really happened. I will never know. I wish I’d have done things for myself, if I was boring and he needed a little excitement, I should have given it by leaving for awhile but my one friend talked me into staying. Just wish I’d gotten involved in other things and been gone more now that I look back. I’m still heart broken, but today is a brand new day and I’m going to make the most of it and what I have.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s