5 Years Later

Life keeps moving. Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Five years ago, the life I thought I had was shattered by the discovery of my husband’s affair. His affair flattened me, it buried me, and it changed me.

I am not the same person I was five years ago, nor can I return to the person I was before my D-Day. I’ve accepted that last part even though I am still nostalgic for the old me that trusted, believed, and loved without fear. I’ve learned more about myself and grown into a stronger woman in the past five years. Here are some truths I’ve learned along this journey.

d99c7cd528f128497ec8993a540e77dd--ocean-quotes-beach-quotesFive years later so much has changed in my life. We sent our oldest child off to college this fall and our younger two boys are in high school. We live busy lives and our children are becoming increasingly independent.  It’s bittersweet to see your children become adults. In the same moment I am feeling love and pride, I am also feeling sad and alone. Love is not always brilliant. Sometimes love means letting go. Sometimes love means change. Relationships exist as waves. We need to learn how to ride them if we want them to grow, expand, and succeed. Sometimes we must simply ride the waves with the people we love, regardless of where they go. Because ultimately, none of these waves last.

There have been many days over the past five years where I felt lost and alone. It’s normal to have these days but I’ve learned it’s important not to fall down into rabbit holes. Being the victim of an affair can make you obsessive compulsive — or at least that has been my experience. I can find myself hyper-focused on an idea, a moment in history, or words that once meant nothing but now have meaning. I’ve learned to push away pain that serves no purpose but I still have moments that creep up on me and doubts that surface. There are days I question every decision I’ve made. I still have days where I crave to touch what is lost. Every so often I have a day that I’ve lost my capacity to trust. Those days are hard because I feel most alone and I am afraid that I’ll never get past it. I wish I could stop myself from feeling or thinking this way.

Five years later I can’t remember what life was like before D-Day. I think I know how it was but I question my memories all the time. Was I really as happy as I say I was? Or did I have plenty of lost and alone days then too? I don’t know. I’ve adjusted to life post-D-Day and all the permanent self-doubt that his affair introduced into my life. Sometimes I held my story so close it became airtight and began to suffocate. I have learned to take a step back and let the air in. I must learn to live with my past before I can live in the present.

Being vulnerable is tough. After my D-Day I built a wall around my heart. It felt like my heart retracted and a steel wall was erected around it. I’ve opened my heart again and it’s scary. I have found that I am more accepting of my own flaws, weaknesses, and to ask for what I need. I have found that when I am genuinely vulnerable that is when I feel most connected. I am gaining strength, love, and courage as I am learning to embrace and expose my vulnerabilities.

Resiliency and acceptance is key to moving forward. Affairs break marriages. Regardless of whether the couple decides to work it out and stay together, the marriage is forever changed. Five years ago, it felt as though my marriage had become a broken promised land. Letting go of what I believed defined my marriage was hard. And I don’t know that I am always moving forward but I must keep going.

Knowing that you can heal allows you to be open to the power of resiliency. I’ve faced my failures, setbacks, and pain with confidence and courage (and sometimes fear and tears too). This journey is hard but it’s not impossible. Affairs don’t have to be a dead end for marriages. It is okay to decide to stay or go. Love is not perfect. It is not always kind, but love can heal.

Raymond Carver




64 thoughts on “5 Years Later

  1. You have helped me so much, for that I thank you. It is 16 months since I discovered my husbands affair, we are working at it, but still everyday, at some point it breaks me. I stop and read your posts and realise there is hope, what I feel is not just me, many have stepped here before me with the same pain and self doubt but they have survived, and still work there way forward. Without reading your posts, I would not of come as far as I have. Thank you x

    • When I read comments from you and others it lets me know that I am not alone. It’s so important to know that how we feel is okay.
      I hope that you continue to get better every day. I hope that those moments that break you become more distant and you find your way.

      • I am exactly in the same position as you for exactly the same time. You have helped me more than you can imagine and I’m so grateful.

  2. It’s been 7 1/2 months since dday. I still break down and fall apart. And when I do it’s 1-2 days of just sadness. Honestly I am scared of still feeling like this years from now. I hate the sadness that is over me. I decided to give my husband another chance and work on our marriage but my expectations are too high for him or so he says. I want him to do what I feel I would do if i were in his situation but he doesn’t. I would make him fall in love with me all over again, love him, send him cute texts, make his favorite food, talk to him, rub his feet, and whatever else was necessary. On the days that I break down and cry all I ask if for him to hug me, say sorry and say we’re going to get through with this but he doesn’t. He just ignores me. I feel as though I’ve been shot in the heart, and he wants me to get up and get running. I cannot, I am very wounded and need to be healed before I can love him again. But I don’t think he understands or cares to understand. Ladies, have your husbands been the same or different with the process of you forgiving and forgetting?

    • If my husband could not comfort me or feel contrite over something HE did, then that would be a deal breaker for me. A broken heart is very difficult. My husband was more than willing to do whatever I needed as per what our counselor told him to do and he has. He’s read books and articles I’ve asked him to read, he’s been loving and he calls me several times each day to check on me. He’s gone above and beyond to let me know he loves me. Does it still hurt? Darn right it does!

    • My husband was like yours. He did not understand the gravity of the betrayal. For me it became too.much, I felt like I was the only person fighting for our marriage. I think the saying” he wasn’t sorry about the affair, just sorry he got caught” was true for my experience and after feeling alone for so long I asked him to leave. Unfortunately I’d stuck it out too long and we resented each other so much at that point we hated each other and have never spoken since, except through the courts.

    • Carolyn,

      Some me deal with this in the way you are describing your husband as a defense mechanism, They/he is in denial of causing so much pain and hurt that they shut down or put up a wall. I can empathize with you as my husband initially behaved this way, I really feel for you. I will tell you to try to be patient, he will come around with time, my husband did and he is truly remorseful, disgusted with his actions/poor decisions and is much more sympathetic and comforting towards me. Communication and therapy is a must, I hope this helps you. Hang in there xo.

      • Thank you for your words. I just hope that with time, my feelings don’t grow to resentment or hatred towards him for acting this way during my most vulnerable time. I need him, his love, his hugs, his assurance of working this out. He’s the one that disrespected me, yet he wants me go show him all the love. I just can’t with my broken heart like this.

    • It saddens me to hear your story. But, I know you will not always feel this way–the completely broken feeling. (I thought I would never feel un-dead again. I told my husband over the phone, while he was staying at his mother’s–thrown out of our home–a day or two after my D-Day, that I was speaking from my grave. Less than a hour later I had to call a suicide hotline. I literally could not bare to be in my body another minute. I called while lying on the floor. I had never felt such unimaginable emotional and physical pain.) Although you may never completely feel healed, you will realize some day soon that you have a strengthen, a kind of freedom, that will start to replace some of the sorrow. You will know that your compassion for others is greater–your humaneness is now a spring. This will lift you. You will notice joy again–slowly but surely. One day you will know that, yes, you can feel real joy. (I feel grateful that I did not take my life about a year ago now.)

      My husband has worked very hard to mend our relationship. He sent the love-note texts, wrote me little sweet cards and messages, baked and cleaned for me, remodeled my bathroom, padded my back while I cried in bed, held me while I sobbed, let me punch him over and over gain–yelling, sobbing, screaming. He has held me while I have huddled in my closet (I have full blown PTSD because of his infidelity, and horrible lying, that had gone on for years.)…..

      I am very sad that your husband has not done these things. Even though my husband has. I still struggle with trust. I still think he is seeing someone. I every day expect a call or some true evidence to appear. I think the nicey, nicey is a cover up. Not a day goes by that I think that he is probably being so nice to cover up for still being in the relationship. He still is away from home under suspicious circumstances. (Last month he was “mountain biking” and “working on the trail” for 9 hours???? He will drive to his mother’s 90 minutes away and arrive 4 hours after leaving our house?????)

      There’s a catch. I have our insurance. If I divorce him, he will not have coverage and would have a hard time paying for it. I could also get half the equity in our house and half of his pension. I wonder everyday, if he is only trying to stay married so that he will not feel the sting of financial burden. Or, is it that he is protecting someone. I haven’t found out who she is.

      This is hard for me to even type…but, he doesn’t seem to really “desire” me. I think our love-making is not really “right” for him. I get the feeling when we are together that he is missing something or someone–his body shows this…… It can be hard for him to even be with me. This is horrible for me…..

      He also thinks I should be completely healed by now and should not be bringing up my pain. But, his psychologists assures him that my behavior is reasonable.

      I ask myself–Does he just want me as a sister wife?

      Books have helped me greatly. Read as many as you can. Three good ones: Should I Stay or Should I Go?; After the Affair, and Surviving Infidelity.

      Try to go to a counselor, too. My husband and I went together. But, he ended up having to go alone. Our mutual counselor could not keep himself from pummeling my husband for his behavior. His new counselor is taking a more indirect approach. But, I can tell he is helping my husband to realize his selfishness.

      I am not an expert. But, I think your husband needs to do much more to show his love and devotion to you. I hope my story has helped you. The pain you are feeling is the way you are suppose to feel–three professionals have assured me of this and all the books say it is so. It is horrible. But, it will not last forever. You will mend, but it may be without him if he can’t prove his love.

    • Im so sorry to hear that. My husband has not, hes opposite. He wants to do everything he can to make mr feel better and wants me to fall back in love with him. For the first time I actually truely DESIRE my husband now which I find weird but its a different emotion. Our relationship is changing through this affair as difficult as it still is for me. You should really talk to your husband and be sure he really wants this. You dont want anothrr heartbreak & if he is not willing to do everything he can to show he loves and wants only you, then YOU are the one who gets to decide what the next move is. Not him sweetie. Good luck hun stay strong.

    • If your husband is open to it, I encourage him (and you) to read How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair by Linda J. MacDonald. It’s been 1 month and 9 days since our D-Day, and it was eclipsed by the fact that his affair partner was my (now former) best friend. My husband was apologetic at first but I couldn’t see a difference in his actions aside from cutting off all contact with the affaire. It seemed like he thought that since he apologized and we were going to counseling that he could just act like everything was normal. After several weeks of crying, loneliness and fleeting thoughts of leaving him I asked our counselor what to do and he recommended this book. It’s a quick read. But it’s an important read. And after my husband read it from front to back he has changed SO MUCH. I read it because I didn’t know what I expected from him and I was and still am processing the devastation of our D-Day. But we are getting better. Moving forward. Now I just need to get past my anger at his affairee for betraying me in such a profound way, especially after getting to witness the birth of our first child just a month and a half before they spent a weekend together. I hope and pray your husband is open to reading it. If he’s not much of a reader I think it comes in audiobook format. Best of luck to you two; I am praying that you are healed soon. ❤️

    • I am not married, but my boyfriend of 9 years had an affair (sexual and emotional for about 4 months) and I totally understand how you feel Carolyn. There are some days that he is loving and caring towards me, which gives me hope that he understands that I need to be “wooed” back in some way, much like I’m sure he wooed her in my absence. I need to feel loved and cared for and wanted.

      The problem for me is that those things only happen with him IF I don’t bring up the affair.

      As soon as I discuss the affair at all he turns cold, and says that he feels like I’m punishing him by making him relive it, and that he “thinks” he can get past my negative reactions and unhappy feelings. I believe in his case GoldenGirl is correct – it’s a defense mechanism. He has told me numerous times that he understands and agrees that I have a right to feel hurt, betrayed, angry, lost, sad, disgusted, embarrassed, etc…and that he is so disgusted and angry with himself for failing (not only me but his friendship – his affair was with his friend’s wife), and had difficulty talking about it because that means he has to look at his own actions and own them and “see the hurt in my eyes all over again.” I think that being loving and caring towards me is difficult for him when we have talked about the affair because he feels like I have the “upper hand” or the “moral high-ground” at that time and that his actions are just affirming that he did something wrong – what he’s missing I think is that the focus isn’t on him when he does those things – that it should be on ME right now – at least for awhile, to let me know he’s committed to trying to make this work.

      I read somewhere that a wrongful spouse said that the light-bulb went off in his head regarding how much damage his affair had had done to his wife’s self-esteem when they realized that their betrayed spouse didn’t understand that he loved her. In his mind the affair wasn’t about his spouse at all – it was just a selfish act – so he hadn’t recognized that his wife didn’t see that too. He took for granted that she knew he loved her because his affair, to him, had “nothing to do” with her. It’s a total mind______ I know, and it seems so stupid, but I think that part of the issues with failing to try to win your heart lies in the concept that your wrongful spouse doesn’t grasp how this has hurt you AND doesn’t want to face that all of this hurt is their doing.

      It doesn’t make it easier to deal with (I struggle every day – this is month 3 after confession day and month 6 since I’ve known), but I think there is a reason out there that again, he is failing to see because in his mind this is still largely about him. Until he turns the corner and realizes that so much of this is about YOU now, it’s difficult…

    • It’s been 6 months since I’ve discovered husbands affair. For the last 2 weeks I’ve had a lot of sadness and grieving the loss of my Dad who passed 10days after the discovery. I’m scared this sadness won’t pass. He goes on with his life and doesn’t know what to say to me, he lacks empathy.

  3. Thanks as always for your words of experience hope and strength. It’s been almost five years for me and I still have those same feelings. My husband doesn’t get my triggers and he still doesn’t seem understand that going out to lunch with a female co-worker even if you’re not attracted to her is a freakin no-no!!! Because of that, I feel trust has been broken again whether anything did or didn’t happen. I go back and forth from being done. I guess my healing is up to me not him. Thanks again.

  4. Your sentiment rings true with me. My husband chose to kill himself because his multiple infidelities didn’t mean anything to him but destroyed my love for him. He decided I was overreacting when I asked for a divorce and acted out and I think accidentally shot himself. His lack of maturity stunning.

    It does change you even though all the other women didn’t care or thought he was sincere none of it meant anything to him.

    I have since had many married men ask to be intimate with me. I am so confused

    Over and over I have asked them to respect their wife if they have no respect for themselves.

    Once I wish 1 woman had done the same for me. Sadly in 30 yrs I know of none that did.

    Best of luck on your journey.

    • I am sorry you went through this horror. I often wonder and think the same. Are there really that many women that lack the self respect and integrity it takes to say, “No thanks!” To a married man. Why is any woman okay with being second fiddle from the get go?! It’s baffling.

      • I also have been approached my married men (some which are quite attractive and appealing), but there is no way in hell I’d settle for that!

  5. I have followed you through these last 5 years and our experiences have been incredibly similar. It shocks me how your words describe so precisely how I feel and also gives me enormous courage to be brave and continue to not be defined
    by the ugliness of adultery!

  6. 5 years… For me the same in 2 months and a bit.

    I saw your initial post about the research, or better, lack thereof. It is true, we do not know. We don’t know how many marriages survive and if they do, we don’t know if the survivors are doing well.
    In all the Blog posts I read about the intense sadness, the anger and the hope.
    It seems that each year after D-day is characterized by a shared theme, regardless of who we are and where we live.
    Is that your experience as well?

    • I’m not sure who you’re asking but from the blogs I’ve read it’s the same theme at each year. I always feel someone’s telling my story. It’s helps because then I know I’m not crazy.

  7. I started reading about your journey just after I started mine, May 2012. Over the last 5 years I read your posts and felt like you were writing about me. You have helped me so much that I have to say Thank You. At times it was like you knew exactly what stage I was going through. There are times I can remember exactly the words spoken when I found out about my husbands affair and I can’t remember what I discussed last week. This kind of betrayal is very hard to get over, espescially when you feel blindsided. I have to say my marriage is solid today but I will never trust whole heartily like I did before and that is probably a good thing.
    I don’t know if you will write anymore and I may not read anymore posts, but I would like you to know that the posts have helped me and were just what I needed.
    Forever greatfull for a sisterhood these past years cheers to you.

  8. Thank you for your beautiful words and introspection, it really does help. I just came to the 2 year mark of D Day for me and it has been very difficult. This has been such an up and down journey and a rollercoaster of emotions. I think about contacting the OW and struggle with that often. The only contact I had with her was once, initially when I discovered the affair telling her in a dignified manner to back off. Of course she did not respond. What I have discovered is that this seems to go on more than we all think and in some weird way that is comforting to me. I guess it goes back to not feeling so alone in this club and it gives me hope.

  9. I think when you go through something like this knowing that you aren’t alone can bring a lot of sadness. Atleast for me it does. Perhaps it’s my ego. I mean this terrible thing has happened, no one can possibly understand what I’m going through. But people do. Your blog has helped me through this journey. It’s easy to say I’m done, get out but staying…that has been the most difficult thing. I feel a lot of shame. I am a strong person but staying makes me feel weak. I know that’s not true, that staying actually shows amazing strength. I suffered a devastating house fire in February of this year and I remember thinking, I’ve lost everything…what do I do now. Life became before the fire and after the fire. Then 3 months later the affair partner decides now was a good time to tell me about their affair that ended over a year and a half ago. It was malicious but it could not be undone. And then my life became before the affair and after the affair. I know I’m only a few months into the healing. My partner has done everything right. Supportive, change, remorseful but I often find myself thinking…to little too late. The hardest part was thinking we had a wonderful relationship. I feel stupid. It’s not healthy but sometimes you just can’t help what you feel. So I ride the waves. I try very hard to work on me, to heal me because that’s all the energy I have for right now. I “understand” what happened but I will never truly understand it. How do you rip someone’s heart out like that? Someone you vow to cherish. You kill a little piece of them. Their heart, body and the worse part is you kill their soul. I’m not trying to be depressing. Life is good. Love my job, love my children, I rescue animals, I have so many new friends but inside I feel lost. I grieve the loss of our relationship every day. I grieve having “my person” the most. That safety…it’s hard to get over that loss. So all this to say that this is the only blog I follow. I feel what you write. I like your honesty and positivity. I like to think that maybe I can feel the same in 5 years. I’m sorry that this has happened to you. I’m sorry this happens to anyone. I wish you continued happiness. And I thank you.

    • Oops accidentally hit return- 2 years 2 months 24 days ago. I had no idea what I was doing, or what I would do. In some ways I still don’t. Your blog has helped me to know I’m not crazy.

      There was another D-Day six months later, where I learned the whole marriage had been a sham. Only one of us had meant the vows we took, from day one. But – he asked for help, and after two years of therapy, I believe he’s a better man. He’s figuring out where his ideas and morals about sex and “love” came from, and why they aren’t suitable for a marriage. Not sure what that means for me, though.

      I’m very much in limbo. I can’t remember much about Before, and not sure any of my memories have any truth to them anyway. My emotions are locked up tight – I’m not unhappy, but nothing really makes me feel joy – I remember that I used to feel it, but right now I’m just going through the motions.
      But I keep moving forward, hoping something in me will soften and change over time.
      Thank you again for sharing your story.

  10. Thankful to have come across this blog. D-Day was 3 days ago so I’m a newbie to this club that no one wants to be a part of.

    My husband met a girl while he was drunk and they kissed. She lives really far away, he was on a stag weekend. I caught him 3 weeks later he had been texting her and arranged to talk on the phone “date” while I was out for dinner with friends that night. He did this while I was at home with a 5 week old baby.

    I try to tell myself that they didn’t have sex, so was it an affair? Maybe it was just silly and I shouldn’t over react. And another part of me feels so betrayed and filled with sadness I don’t know how I’ll get over this. The 5-week-old-baby part is what’s killing me the most.

  11. I wish I could tell you in person how much peace you give me when I read your posts. I am 2 years past D-day and like you, am not the same person that I was before. I feel like you are my best friend even though you are not close by. I chose to stay with my husband and work through this because I did not want to throw away 33 years of marriage. Again, than you so much just for being there, you don’t know how much I appreciate it.

  12. I am 2 years and 3 months post D day. My husband is trying his best to make things ” right “. Of course, they can never be ” right” and as has been said here and elsewhere, we who have been betrayed can never be the people we were- how I resent that- and the marriage as we knew it has gone. I worry that I will not be able truly to put it behind me and so…..is it the best thing for either of us to stay in the marriage? How Authentic can it be when I know now it hasn’t been authentic? I’m tired of it all. You do need to have such resilience to go on. It is a lonely and exhausting place to be. It is very hard for me to know that the architect of all of this is a man i have loved fiercely and would have walked in front of a bullet for. How remarkable it is.
    It helps me greatly to read your posts and realise I am sadly not alone in this horrible place.

    • Hi Kate- I felt I had to respond because not only are our d days similar but your words are my thoughts. I have questioned lately why keep staying. I do not love him the same. I would have died for him and now that commitment and deep feeling of love is gone.
      The fact is he chose it. Lied about it. Totally had me fooled. I question his character. He has been remorseful and like many write about has done everything to try and rectify his past actions. But still…..there is a part of me that hates him for it. That’s a big mountain of ugliness to get over. Like you said exhausted and loneliness. Couple that with anger, sadness, fear… well I suppose that is what this betrayal is all about. Until you live it you cannot even begin to imagine how bad this really is.

      • I’m 3 months post D-Day and I’m finding that I was much better off days after D-Day than I am now. Of course, it doesn’t help that I ended up pregnant within days of discovery … damn hysterical bonding! I, sadly, find comfort in knowing that I’m not the only one who feels like you do. I keep asking … will this ever go away? If I left him – would it go away then? Or would it just be a different type of pain/issue?

      • Hi Taking my life back.

        I think I too now hate my husband in some ways. I want to believe that it’s his actions I hate and not him but I am questioning this more and more; it was his choice to betray me when all is said and done. I still dwell on the details- sex with her, then sex with me. Yuk! It completely devastates me when I realise again the depth of the deception : and the lies, the lies haunt me.
        Anger seems to come in waves and huge hurt that I meant so little to him. All of this still after over 2 years. It is indeed a life sentence. I still don’t know what the future holds for me/us. Is it right for either of us to live in this atmosphere? Should we now separate and deal with the horror of a divorce? Is that what I need or would I still be consumed by this? Betrayal is total devastation whatever you do. Kate

      • I just signed up and reading the comments have helped me so much, especially yours..its been 3 yrs last month and more recently I have been so angry and fight or flight feeling in my chest! I have a knot in my stomach all the time. I actually feel that I hate him and resent him..it didnt help that a recent argument he blamed me for his infidelity, again!

  13. It has been 5 years since my D-Day too. Both my daughters have gone off to college and I am still struggling with trust for my husband. I feel depressed and have become hard and critical of everyone and everything. I do not like the person I turned into since finding out about my husband’s 9 year “emotional” affair. He still professes it was not sexual and I do believe him (sort of.) The OW is a disgusting pig and I can’t imagine he had sex with her, but guess I will never truly know. There are so many things I’ll never truly know the truth about, and whenever my husband does something out of the ordinary in daily life, I suspect he’s up to something. I don’t know if I can ever change back to the person I was as long as I’m with him. Sometimes I wish I’d divorced 5 years ago.

  14. As someone who has been through it more times than I can even admit, I can tell you that if you stay (As I did) you will find the limit of what you will take and what you won’t.
    I stay because of children, and more important now, grandchildren. I will never have the trust that I had at one time. I will never have the love that I once had. I will never be the same as I once was. I know where my limits are, and to be honest, I have pushed that line to my advantage.
    Some people can make it work, others can’t.
    It takes strength to do it.

  15. Thanks to all of you for sharing. It’s really helping me get through my struggle & I can relate to a lot of the stories & feelings. It’s been almost 3 months since d-day. I’m trying to stay (14 years of marriage & 2 school aged kids), but I often question why do I stay–I should run away from him, especially when he seems/acts distant. I’ve suffered enough & don’t want to suffer anymore! I stay because he says he made a mistake, that he is sorry for hurting me; he tells me he doesn’t want a divorce nor to separate from me, that he loves me, only me, but I don’t really feel loved by him. I question his efforts. There’s so much doubt. My feelings are so messed up. Divorce would be hard, but living with him is hard too! How long do I continue to be unsure?

  16. I am also 5 years out of D-Day, but I took a different route. Him cheating on me was such an obvious disrespect towards me. The person I loved most betrayed me! I couldn’t be so forgiving as you are. Yes, I forgave him, but I moved on and let go. I wanted someone who would never cheat on me, I didn’t want someone to risk losing me like he did. As hard as it was, I let go. I had 2 very awful lonely years after my divorce. But then, the sun began shining again. And you won’t believe it. I found love again. BETTER love. It exists. And this man will never do anything to risk losing me, he loves me, he adores me. A difference of night and day. I would never have found this greater love had I stayed stuck with a cheater.

  17. Five years past dday for me as well. We chose to reconcile, did the hard work of therapy, and I am thankful. When I look at our four children (two at university and two in middle school) I am thankful I don’t have to miss one moment with them, and they have had experiences and opportunities we couldn’t have afforded had we divorced. I have reached a place where I am able to push the bad memories away for the most part, and visualize triggers and the emotions that follow as a wave to be ridden back to calmer waters. It hasn’t been easy. I mourn our old relationship. I mourn the person I used to be before his affair. We have rebuilt our relationship but it certainly isn’t better than the old one. I miss not worrying at every gyn visit because his ho-worker exposed me to HPV. I miss the sanctity and purity of us as two high school sweethearts who had never been with anyone else, and had celebrated almost twenty five married years before he lost his way. I grieve the most for our kids, who were just as scarred by their father’s choices. His neglect during his affair cost him the close relationship he had with our oldest two. He has not fully regained that, and with them out of the nest he likely never will. His whore went full bunny boiler and the fallout has been lethal in so many directions. We have a new normal, however. We love each other, he has shown true remorse. We are committed to each other and our family. I have far more content days than I do sad days, and that is a welcome relief from the early years of recovery.

  18. Thank you so much for this. I just found out that my husband has been seeking attention from many other women over the course of our 5 year relationship. He has never physically cheated, but technology today makes it very easy to cheat without having to be physical about it.
    I am choosing to stay and work on things. I know my husband’s heart when he isn’t self-loathing. Today and yesterday have been the hardest.

    I will continue to read your blog for encouragement.

    • I am in the exact same boat as you. It was all over social media and one got really intense with exchanging photos & videos I found in a vault. Still heart wrenching not to mention the day to day talk they enjoyed for 3 months over the Hokudays. He swears there was no connection it was all sexual fantasy but the emotional day to day chatter was even worse for me.

  19. Your D-Day is 5 years and 1 day past ours, except it was me that strayed. It hurts so bad to see the pain I’ve caused my husband. I feel like I have no right to ask anything of him but I am so broken that I feel like I have nothing left to offer. I feel I’ve lost myself like a building that’s been completely demolished and I’m nothing but a big pile of crumbled cinder blocks and I’m trying to figure out how to put it all back together. We’ve decided to fight for our marriage and we’ve set up counseling for tomorrow. Music is the only thing that’s helped me survive this and that’s how I found your blog was trying to find music to help me heal after this too. I feel selfish if I admit that I’m hurting too because I’m the one that caused it. Thank you for sharing your pain and growth and recovery. I’m glad to know there is hope. Also, your analogy you used in your post on 6-mos post D-day about the illusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow really spoke to me. Before the affair ended, I wrote a poem about my struggles called “The Magestic Storm” I may share it one day but I’m not ready yet.

    • I wrote this 2 months before I ended the affair. It was complicated and messy but I was involved with a married couple. Both the man and the woman. It had me so twisted up and confused. Everything I thought I knew was flipped upside down. White was black, up was down, and wrong was right. Nothing made sense anymore. I reflect on those times and I don’t even know who that person was. My husband and I are going to counseling and it has helped us tremendously. Before the affair, I had had a miscarriage in December then another one in March. My mom’s best friend, who was like a second mother to me growing up, died suddenly in March as well. Then in May a good friend of mine died unexpectedly at age 36 and I guess that’s when I hit my breaking point. I hate who I was. It’s still so painful to remember what I did. I don’t know how to love myself again but I’m trying and knowing that my husband is sticking with me through this really makes me cherish him more than I ever have.

      The Majestic Storm

      He appeared to me as strong clouds of intense shades of gray. His rain showered me with the attention that my heart so craved. Every drop that touched me felt like healing water to my dry and thirsty soul. I imagined how the electricity of His lightning would feel coursing through my veins; like a defibrillating shock to this dying heart. The idea of this power was thrilling yet frightening so I tried to make an unscathed escape but the sound of His thunder was too tempting to resist. Upon my return, He parted his dark facade of clouds to reveal the most beautiful Rainbow. The arc of her bow so lovely and her colors absolutely mesmerizing. As I stared at her, I became surrounded by her–intoxicated by her presence. She swept me away and captured me completely; heart, mind, body, and spirit. As the graceful Rainbow carried me, She became the air that filled my lungs and the life blood to my soul, forever imprinting Herself on every aspect of me. But I still see His dark stormy clouds in the distance, as they start rolling in again, they bring fear and sorrow instead of excitement. His raindrops, that once brought healing, taste like a bitter poison and I’ve come to the sickening realization that there is no Rainbow without Rain. Now, this beautiful chaos collides into a hideous brown sky swirling with tornadic clouds that make me terrified for the road ahead. This may possibly be the most painful and treacherous path I’ve ever encountered, yet I know I have to persevere and remain vigilant because I know one day I’ll find my way back Home to the peaceful meadow by the stream where my Sunbeams shine and fill me with the True Love I once knew.

      They say Love is blind but, as the clouds are fading, I feel like now I’m finally starting to see things clearly again.

  20. It’s been 2 years and 3 months since my d-day, after our 26th Anniversary, I told him I wanted to separate. I refuse to live with this pain from his betrayal. I told him I wanted to be happy and not live with bitterness. He said he knew it was coming, and told me he just wants me to be happy. We are still living under the same roof, until our kids are old enough or one of us is able to move out, we will continue to just remain friends. I don’t hate him, I hate what he did. I made it clear to him that I will go out and socialize just like he told me to do while he was having his affair. For me, it’s a great feeling meeting new people and living life without thinking about the pain that I was feeling everyday since d-day!! I also told him that I loved him, but I wasn’t in love with him anymore. I am no longer the same woman I was 2 years ago, I made it clear to him I was stronger and was ready to let go.

    • Hi Cynthia,

      I too am 2 years and just over 3 months past DDay. Would you say you have both tried to make it work since DDay? How long did his affair last? The pain is enormous and keeps coming it seems. Do you think the pain will go now you are not together? I feel that the knowledge of his betrayal will be with me whether I stay or go. Thanks,

      • It’s only been 15 weeks since d-day for me. Each day I cry, uncontrollably at times. As I read your posts and comments, I can’t imagine this depth of suffering for the next flew years. I recently moved out of my home as my husbands other woman was my next door neighbor. I could not stay but my sadness around loosing my home in addition to my husbands infidelity is overwhelming. I feel as if my husband emotionally murdered me, nothing much left but the shell I live in. My passion for most of the things I loved is gone. Counseling keeps me sane but I truly don’t know how I can ever forgive ….

      • im curious too. It’s been 18 months since I found out that my husband of nearly ten years had been having an affair for the past four and a half years! I didn’t find out because he admitted it to, I found out because his OW contacted me. He wanted to make it work and pretended that it was over with the OW but six months later I heard from her again telling me that he was still in contact with her. I’m trying to make it work and he seems to be as well. To be honest, we mostly pretend that everything is fine. I think about the OW and wonder if they are still in contact or if she is happy. I’ve seen FB posts and she seems happy. She’s doing all sorts of fun things and looks gorgeous, she’s thinner and more attractive than me. I feel like a dark cloud travels with me always but I pretend like everything is good. I always wonder what he thinks about her, he claims to feel indifferent but he also lied to me for nearly five years. Why didn’t he tell me about the affair? It seems so unfair that she was the one who told me. And how could he tell her he loved her, wanted to marry her, was going to leave me etc. He was paying for her to work in his industry, thousands of dollars for her courses. Years with her! But I continue to pretend and move forward with him. Take business trips and pretend like they are special. It’s sad. I feel pathetic. He seems oblivious and gives me attention as expected or when he wants something. For him, work is first. Except when work was first before, it was actually his OW who was first. I don’t know if I can pretend forever.

      • Hello cax60,

        We did try to make it work, but unfortunately the pain was too much for me. I would not live the rest of my life unhappy in the inside. His affair was going on 3 years when I found out. He knows I am moving on now.
        Since we’re still living together, it hasn’t been so bad, I go out every other weekend and I don’t come home until the next day. I can tell it bothers him, but I don’t do it to get back at him, now I’m just living life. Our kids are old enough to understand now. He still doesn’t want to tell them. I did tell my oldest son, he said he understood.

    • Please tell me how you manage to live under the same roof but not feel constant resentment. how do you see him and not think about how you look and size up to the women he must hang out with now? How do you manage to have such self esteem with him under your roof?

      • Hello Sis,

        It’s been a year since we’ve been living like this. I don’t compare myself to the other women he’s been seeing. It’s called confidence and living “The Fuck It” life. I know who I am and I know I’m a good woman. Three weeks ago he moved to New Mexico for his job. He comes home every other weekend, mainly to see the kids. We go on with our lives each day being civil with each other. He also knows I am seeing someone. We don’t hate each other, we are just not in love with each other. I’m not attractive to him, but he will always be the father of my children, so yes I do love him and care about him, just not in love with him. My heart & soul are in a better place today.

  21. Hi Cynthia,

    3 years is a long time. You are right to now live your own life, on your terms. I think in my heart I feel that infidelity is the end of the line and I am now betraying myself in staying. Not everyone feels like that and it very definitely is each to their own in this; each person has to come to terms with what they can live with.
    I do so hope you find real happiness in your life moving forward.
    Kate xx

  22. It looks like year 5 is the turning point… and many women decide to end it. I am giving it the four years on top of the first year down – to make my decision. For now, I’m here for our youngest who adores both of us in different ways. I have known about his affair since the summer 2016. We are 15 months post D-day and one year from him officially ending it. It was long distance emotional affair held over phone and emails w/sexting and sexual content and then became physical when she traveled to New England from TX. She knew one of our children has a disability and one has cancer and yes, they both continued with the affair. I also had a cancer scare during it – go figure – nothing, and I mean nothing, stopped him or her except being caught by accident. I never saw it coming – I trusted him implicitly even thru our worst times. And even being caught didn’t stop them at first. Since I have a disabled child who is a teen and a young adult one who is ill as well, I think of them both first now. But once my second born is launched into his young adult life, I know it’s going to probably be over. It’s just not the same: the marriage, we are not the same, I’m not the same and he isn’t and I want to be free to start over. I’ll be almost 60 but my mom was amazing and gorgeous at 60, so- so be it. I won’t get to be young and “hot” and sexy again and re-do it but I won’t have the angst of youth and not knowing myself of youth either which is the upside of parting later in life – the kids will be grown and I can take care of me. It seems a fairer trade off to growing old w/someone that I know, in my heart, I will worry for the rest of my life he will do it again or had other affairs I never knew about – as he was also reaching out to other women along his primary AP. It has been, besides losing my brother to AIDS in the 1980s, the single most painful thing I have been through in my adult years. It’s indescribable. But it’s shown me my capacity to grow and recover – slowly and horribly painfully but I have. It triggered the worst and most painful PTSD from my very traumatic youth, but I’m slogging through that as well. I feel we are no getting closer from the recovery time; instead it’s showing me how different our values and paths are. I’m taking this as a spiritual journey and his is one that is a bit more of that of a narcissistic personality which is what led to the affair in first place: “poor me.. I have such a beautiful family and devoted wife and great career but I’m so unhappy because there’s not enough sex for me in this. Wah wah, wah” – Cue the violins. Hope you are laughing, I am! He’s a good person and good man, good father with huge heart but I’ve paid the price of his repressed anger all our marriage. He acted out decades and decades of repressed anger at his mean mom, aunts and other female relatives and at me – thru having the affair and such a sordid one – with a woman w/a criminal record and nothing to write home about looks or career wise. They are cruel people in his family and this is how they act it out – thru attacking their own. I don’t feel like his anymore. I don’t feel he was loyal to me and he doesn’t have the capacity to be loyal. I didn’t want to face this years ago in our marriage: his lack of loyalty and protect for me. I knew it in my heart – his lack of protection and loyalty but never thought it would lead to an affair. But the signs were there I guess all along. I wasn’t perfect by a long shot but I know the only way I will truly put this behind me is go on alone. And sadly, I was terrified about this last year when I first found out and now I’m less and less scared day by day. Isn’t that the worst and saddest part of their affair? Now, unlike them possibly dying before us, we know we can live w/o them because they provided that lesson before death. So sad. Peace to all of us in mind, body and spirt.

  23. Hi everyone
    It is sad, but reassuring to hear that people are struggling further down the line. I thought after16 months I would feel some security and be ready to forgive, especially as my husband has been so remorseful and we have had some of the most loving months of our marriage of late. However, now that the dust has settled and I can tolerate seeing beyond the weeks and not just the weekend ahead, I feel desperately lonely. My husband had an affair with a close female friend of ours, we hung out with her husband and family, and others, in our small community since our teenage children were small. I wrote a slightly embittered account in an earlier thread ‘The Cycle of Anger, Hate, and Forgiveness.’ Where are my friends? The social circle we shared has encompassed her and moved away from us. It is more devastating than anything else. I feel friend-lite. Our friends were there for all four of us (the 2 husbands and 2 wives) at the beginning. I can’t see what has changed, but they are absent from our lives and very much part of hers. I wear sadness like a shroud, and cannot bear to be in the same room as my husband at present. The injustice of having our lives turned upside down without our consent, not recognising the world around us anymore…does it get better?

  24. I’m 4 years out from d-day from an affair that I came accross 7 years ago. My husband managed to manipulate me into believing I was crazy for thinking he was even capable of having an affair. I’ve had to heal for the most part on my own because talking about it is simply punishing him. He tries in all the wrong ways to “make it up to me” – as what I’ve yearned for all this time was honesty about what this person meant to him and how involved he was. I’m to the point where it doesn’t matter, which is awesome for him, but it’s made me numb and joyless. My love for him isn’t the same and lessens every time I am reminded that he not only had this affair, lied for 3 years about it, but that he still chooses his comfort over mine. I wonder how much can he really love me when he tells me I’m just unforgiving and bitter to get out of talking about it. More days than not now I just want to leave but then wonder if I’ll just get cheated on by the next guy too…

  25. I recently found this blog and have read through everything. I know everyone’s story is a little different but I find it so weird and fascinating that so many of the stories have the such a similar story line. The women all feel the same and then if you read it from the men’s stand point the men all seem to have just happened into this situation almost blindly sometimes. I just don’t understand how this happens so many times to so many people that are so completely different but the story seems to stay true. It’s odd to read the words of a total stranger and think YES! she finally has put into words what I have been struggling to say or explain. I have read countless comments alluding to the same thing from all the other readers. I don’t know what the point of my comment is it’s just weird to me that we are so separate but all are part of a very unfortunate club.

    • EPR, a very wise woman said to me it’s because men are so easily and foolishly manipulated when the bottom line is SEX, period. And the manipulators are sad, desperate and miserable vampires. I often think of the OW as a tornado who has touched down, caused so much destruction and leaves nothing but vacancy. That is what OW/AP are, vacant, predators.

  26. I have been following this blog since my D-Day just over 3 years ago, I am thankful for all that you have written and for the responses on each blog- it has helped me to know that I am not alone in my journey, I have not been able to regain the trust I once had held in our marriage. We have worked hard on trying to rebuild our marriage but it seems that there is a cycle of rebuilding which leads to comfort then a trigger, perhaps a lie- sometimes little- sometimes big, sets us back to the beginning. We have recently separated and it has again torn my world a part. I am broken-hearted while trying to remain strong to support my children through this hard time- it is very difficult getting through each day. I write this to let everyone following this blog know that whatever decision you make- please do not think it will be easier. I mourned the loss of my marriage after the affair and am now doing it again now…along with all my dreams for the future. Please know that ending your marriage also ends so many other things…extended family relationships, friendships, financial comfort, companionship and so much more, I am not saying that you should stay or leave….only you can decide. I still love my husband very much and the pain can be unbearable some days. I pray for strength, peace and a happy future.

  27. It has been only about 5 months for me. Yes our marriage is not the same. It must change. I decided last month to start writing about my journey because when I looked online for other success stories of those who had been through it, I couldn’t find much. I just found yours. We are both writing on wordpress. 🙂 I have found there is healing in telling the story and letting it out. Especially because when we open up we find that we aren’t alone. Thank you being brave enough to tell your story.


  28. It’s been 1 year and 6 months since I found out about everything. I was 3 weeks post partum. I feel in my heart, I am to make this work – but days like today I have no stamina – not even to leave (if that makes sense). I feel trapped, and stuck… if leaving were easy, I’d be gone. But I’m entangled in this marriage and I can’t bear the thought of my child having to see his parents in shifts. If I had to say one thing about my husband is that he is an incredible father (minus the pain he inflicted onto his child’s mother aka me)

    My husband is trying SO hard. From day 1, his remorse is so deep. He has from the beginning always blamed himself and never made it seem there was something wrong with me. He has taken total responsibility. I have yelled, cussed, spit, hit, and thrown thing out of my rage – and he takes… he goes to counseling, groups, involved in church, and the list goes on. there is not one thing I could ask of him to be doing better. He’s literally doing everything he can.

    And here I am- I just can not look at him the same. I am blinded by anger still. I don’t like him, everything he does irritates me, nothing he does is good enough. I talk to him so hatefully. I don’t love him and sure the heck don’t want to be intimate with him. I can’t even hold the mans hand. I cringe when he comes home and leans in for a kiss (all this he takes with patience as well). I feel so guilty that I’m treating my husband like this – but I don’t know how to stop it. And please believe I have done SO MUCH – counseling, groups, church, prayer, books, yoga, even medication.

    I feel in my heart I should not divorce. But I am so unhappy staying. I try to convince myself it will get better, but when I feel this way it’s hard to snap out of it. I just imagine and fantasize about myself being free once I finally say I’m divorced. But I WANT to love him. I WANT to overcome this so bad! It’s so frustrating and confusing. I hate it.

    I feel like I’ve lost myself. I’ve said from day one, “I’ve lost that pep in my step.” There’s always been this spirit about me… and I have been thru some terrible things – but this was finally was cracked me… he stole something deep within me. He stole that perky spirit I always had. And I don’t know if I can find it again staying with him. And I REALLY want my spirit back.

    I guess I’m my rambling what I am asking is… a.) 5 years later – is it worth it? b.) did you find that pep in your step again?

    • I am 10 post since dday, a year ago was when he was in the middle of his affair, a year ago today was when he was a happy little camper having sex with 2 women. I see him and that’s all that’s on my mind. How could he come home to me after living such a double life? And just to think that I was in complete lala land, not even imagining this was happening. I feel the same as you do!!! Exactly. I don’t think I will ever feel true happiness again. That will always be a cloud on top of us. When you say that your husband is trying so hard, that gives him so much credit at least from my point of view because my husband isn’t like that. He has taken responsibility but isn’t remorseful. When I have my meltdown days, all I need is a huge and him to say, he’s sorry and we are going to get through this but he doesn’t, that’s when he backs away the most. I too, don’t know if it’s worth it to stay like this forever.

    • skf, I feel exactly the same as you. D Day was 17 months ago and we have been trying since then to get “back on track”. Husband is remorseful and says and does the right things NOW – although he has had a couple of lapses which have upset me (not betrayals but actions that he appreciated he needed to stop in order to help me heal) – but there is still so much missing. I still feel empty and numb and although I really want to love him again and feel for him again, even if it will never be anywhere near as much as before – I am finding this impossible.

      • I am sorry I am just now seeing this. But I hope you are feeling a little better. I still have my good and bad days. Today is a descent day. We just “celebrated” 2 years post D-Day. We call it “R-day.” Redemption day. Because are trying to redeem the day and not let the past be attached to such negativity.

        I am at least being nice to him – today anyways. It’s still hard to Be affectionate or receive it. I still have days when I’m like – I’m crazy to think I’ll ever love him the same or look past.

        Blessings and healing to you ♥️

  29. So many of these comments express exactly how I feel. This blog has helped so much! It’s been just over a year since my 2nd d-day (because he was still talking to her after the first) and everytime I try to move past it something happens. The side chick has stalked me on social media since day one. She still is, even after over a year. I just wonder if she… the feeling… anything will ever fade away? Is it worth it? My husband is bending over backwards to make it work but that hurt, that lost feeling, depression of what was, is always looming.

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