Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday blessings to you all

Every year it is the same. Occasionally I review reports of how many visitors I have to the blog. The number is generally steady. I do not update frequently -- hardly at all, in fact -- because the meat of this blog is about what happens in the 2-3 years after a person finds out that his or her spouse had an affair.  Although the story is never "over" for a betrayed spouse, if you have made it that far, you pretty much know whether the affair is going to end the marriage and whether it is going to make you a paranoid bitter person (that is not a judgment, by the way -- "there but for the grace of God," and all.)

So, because this blog is essentially static, the number of visitors and comments remain steady, generally consisting of the new people who, every day, learn that their world has been turned upside down, that reality itself has shifted, and that the things they firmly believed to be true simply aren't.

Except at Christmas. Every single year, there is a huge spike of visitors around the holidays. I don't think more people cheat around Christmas, but it does seem that more people find out around Christmas.

I don't know why. Maybe that's when we can tell that something is off, that someone isn't fully with us at a family gathering. Maybe that's when we notice excessive texting, or unexplained absences, or a look off into the distance during sex. I just don't know.

Whatever the reason, for all of you who are new to the blog, let me say that I am so sorry. I was in your shoes, and lots and lots of other people were too. We know how much it hurts, and we're sorry that it's your turn. Please know that it will get better. You may not be perfect, but it wasn't your fault.

You can know love again. Maybe it will be with the person who is hurting you now, or maybe not, but the day can come when you can love, and trust, and be loved again.

My personal belief is that this comes from God. Eventually you can forgive -- which is something you do for you, not for him or her -- and then there is a new day.

For now, though, I know that seems like a fairy tale. It did to me too. We understand. Please, please, just know that when it feels like life is over, it isn't, and thousands of us stand by you as witnesses of the fact that morning will come.


At 9:40 AM , Anonymous Nikki said...

Crazy about the stats saying most find out about an affair around Christmas, because that was the news I recieved 2 days before this Christmas. We are working on it though. It is so hard. SO much hurt and negative thoughts swirling in my head. Sometimes the angry part of me just wants to say to him, "Thanks I now have someone to compare myself to, incessantly". I am working through it though, it is just a long road yet....

At 10:15 AM , Blogger Author said...

Hi Nikki,

It's really fresh for you then. It does get better, I promise. God bless you.

At 2:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow this one rings true for me. I see the date on the post dec 28, 2012. I found out about my husbands affair the 29th. I didn't follow my inner voice when I had a suspicion months ago. Here's another difficult thing: The other woman is a girl of 20 years old. My husband I s 57. Merry Christmas. The images are enormously difficult to deal with.

At 1:30 PM , Blogger Author said...

20 years old? Ick. I don't get that at all. Maybe I'm not the typical guy, but when I was in college at the beach, naturally all the teenage girls in their bikinis was, um, invigorating. Now, as a parent in my 40's, when I see those girls dressed like that, I want to give them a blanket to cover up with.

At 3:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


i posted prior but got no answer. Maybe you are no longer writing on the blog.

I have an important question. My husband cheated once, and then briefly continued non-sexual contact with the OW even though he promised he wouldn't.

He also said a lot of very hurtful things post dday. Things he now denies.

He rewrote marital history, trickle truthed, told me he was no longer attracted to me, even though many men tell me I am attractive on a regular basis and I have been hit on many times without ever succumbing to cheating.

He denies all these things now and whats things to work. I don't trust him.

It's been almost two years and I just don't feel good about myself.

I am finally at a cross roads, where I feel strong enough to leave him.

I was too much in shock at first, because he always seemed so trustworthy. I can't believe I missed all the cues of cheating and visiting strip clubs. All things he said he despised in other men and thought were foolish.

So many lies.

So, what I need to know is if you had it to do all over again, would you stay, with the benefit of hindsight.

My husband is doing everything right, but the OW wrote me to tell me he said it was just because it's cheaper to keep me, and I am a practical wife.

He said she is lying. I am so confused.

I only found out because of an anonymous letter. He ended it, but did continue to run into her and take her calls, even after promising absolutely no contact.

I love my husband and want to stay but I am afraid I will regret it in ten years.

Conversely, I am also fear that if I leave him and he has truly changed, then I will regret leaving him in ten years.

He said he want's to make us work, and he loves me and does not know who he was while cheating.

That is why I ask, if you have any serous regrets about staying, and wish you had left.

Please answer.

Sorry for being anonymous. This whole thing has been so humiliating and ego damaging for me.

It seems that so many people in town knew, but me.

At 11:44 AM , Blogger Author said...

I'm sorry, anon. Two years in is a tough time, from what I gather from other people's stories. For some reason there is a dip for some people and things feel like they are going backwards.

Only you can say if you should stay or go. I'm sorry if your husband is not giving you the assurances you need. None of the stuff you describe is unusual: Re-writing history, stuffing things under the rug, etc., is all stuff that lots of cheating spouses do, including ones that want to recover.

If you aren't already, I hope you will see a counselor before you make a decision. Talk to a pro who can help you dig into what you are feeling and going through. He or she can't decide for you, but can help you weigh the pros and cons and make a decision from a position of strength.

Good luck!

At 9:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for responding.

I am trying to get my husband to counseling. He went a few times, but does not want to go any longer.

I need him to understand triggers and why I can really never trust him fully again.

He seems to think I can control my triggers. I can't. I wish I could.

Also, he just seems to think I should be past this betrayal by now and just move on and leave it behind me as it it never happened.

I love him, but I am afraid to fully love him. He proved himself to not be the person I thought he was.

Everyone has the opportunity to cheat, but to my mind, when you love someone, you just say "no".

Thinking of my husband sharing our personal life with a stranger and having sexual relations with her, and taking her on vacations, while I was at home, with the kids and the pets, just drives me wild.

I could never do that to him, or anyone, really. It just seems so disrespectful and thoughtless.

Thank you for your blog. It keeps me sane knowing that other people are suffering through the same situation and have recovered.

At 1:25 PM , Blogger Author said...

I understand. You can't control what he does or how he responds. You can control YOU, though. If he won't go to counseling, go by yourself. Get the help you need to be strong, then you are in a better place to make good decisions.

Good luck!

At 9:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found out my wife had had an affair on Feb 13th 2012 .I made her tell me everything . It had started in Nov 2011and lasted 2 months. We had some problems mainly with my family and my wifes brother fell ill with leukaemia . My wife found out she was a perfect match for him and became the donor. Also she was drinking very heavily and suffers with bulimia which she has had for 15 years . I am trying to paint you the picturw of how stressed she was and how we all were really . We nearly lost her brother last year . He was given 12 hours to live but pulled through and is doing ok . Fingers crossed . Anyway when my wife realised what she was doing she called it off but him (Darren ) being single tried to blackmail her into keep seeing him saying he would tell our kids what they had been up to via facebook . Eventually she broke down and told me . I was absolutely devastated as I had had no idea whatsoever . Funny how when you find out all those little things fall into place . She mainly saw him when I was working nights (12 hours) but all those "I am just going shopping and going to the gym " suddenly all fell into place . I never thought any1 could cry as much as Idid those first few weeks . We are trying to work through it all as I can genuinely see the remorse in her . I still have my dips but it is getting better .one painful memory is my son was 21 the week before Christmas and she was still in the affair then and I can't look back and mention his 21st without it all coming back .

At 11:06 AM , Blogger Author said...

I'm so sorry, Anon - This is still so new to you, unless you are way stronger than I am, you haven't had your last "dip." Under the very best of circumstances, this is a hard road to travel.

On your son's 21st: As we try to process what we've learned about a spouse's affair, we associate certain things with pain. They become "symbols" of the affair. For you it may be that birthday. For me, it was (and is) a ring, the place where she worked (and still works), and certain places I knew they went together. All normal. All painful.

Get ye to a counselor. You cannot handle this on your own!

Good luck.

At 1:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I commented a couple of years ago, on your "Ten Years Out" post. I am am post D-Day 4 1/2 years now. Affair happened in 1985 and resulted in the pregnancy/birth of my first daughter. I am still leveled to nothing daily.

We have two other children, which I presume are mine, and my wife promises on all things holy, they are. Still, absent DNA testing, which I won't resort to, I'll never know with certainty and peace.

Anyway, I appreciate your continued posts, albeit infrequent. It is good to know others are surviving this on the side of staying together.

About a year ago, I spent maybe $1,000 on 4 or 5 visits to a therapist. Overall, it helped because I was able to validate my sanity, or at least some semblance thereof. It was helpful to have someone listen to me that was objective. It was also a relief to vent constructively and not burden my wife with recounting my struggles. I know that may sound strange, but trust me, my wife was, is and continues to be remorseful for her affair and the lengthy deceipt to which I was subjected.

Since then, I have been pretty calm and have been able to cope with daily triggers with great success. In other words, I am getting pretty good at squashing bad thoughts and negative images and no longer "zone out" for hours/days. Most the time, I am back on task within seconds.

Until this week. My daughter and I spent some time away with my side of the family and the subject of medical history came up. First of all, many friends/family comment that she "gets her looks" from her mother, because she just doesn't look anything like me. Well, it so happens that my daughter has a medical condition that is genetic, and while in conversation with distant family, she off-handedly commented that while she got her looks from her mother, she got her unfortunate health issues from my genes. I just swallowed hard and smiled. Of course, she doesn't know anything and she LOVES to be with extended family. Still, sh*t like that stings deep.

My comment here is an attempt to save $1K this time because my experience of just sharing with people who've eaten from this same unfortunate "bowl-of-crap" life experience, seems to be therapeutic.

I still love my wife, just not the naive 'crazy-in-love' feelings I had the first 24 years of our marriage. I do pray those feelings return. Whether they do or not, I am committed to her and all three of our children.

Thanks for listening!

-still stunned

At 12:54 PM , Blogger Author said...

Still Stunned -

I know exactly what you mean about sharing the story being like therapy. I think that's why I started the blog -- I just had to get some stuff off my chest, even if nobody ever read it.

To me, the fact that you still get broadsided some times doesn't mean you haven't grown, or that you aren't healing, or that you haven't forgiven. I don't think that will ever stop happening to me until I die or go senile. Healing is shown, I believe, by recovery time. Initially, it is perfectly understandable for something like that to get you down for days, to do real damage to the relationship. Now, you say you can shake it off most of the time, and get back to the business at hand. THAT is progress. Over time, those episodes become less frequent, and of shorter duration, with less lasting impact.

Good luck, and share any time. We may not be real therapists here -- and there is no substitute for that -- but we're happy to listen.

At 7:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for you encouragement AND your blog. -ss

At 10:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tomorrow will be one week since D Day for me. Everything is so fresh in my mind, it's like I relive the discovery in slow motion a thousand times a day. I am a complete mess still but I have found so much comfort in your words. Thank you! I discovered this blog almost immediately and have read it in its entirety through my tears (comments too). I plan on re-reading it in the coming days and weeks. It helps for when I'm feeling too unhinged to function.
My husband and I are working it out. I made an appointment for counseling. At first I didn't think that was necessary but seeing it reinforced so many times here, I know it's the right thing to do.
The affair was with his coworker - one of only three people in his office - and I considered her a friend. She looked for a new job in another state over the weekend. He is a little crushed that she has to go because she was a model employee and the business was just about to take off. Maybe I am being naive in believing that is the reason he is crushed. Anyway, they should have foreseen this consequence before they did what they did.
I know I have a hard road ahead but I am 100% committed to healing our marriage and I am very encouraged to read what you have been through and how you have survived. Thanks again.

At 3:43 PM , Blogger Author said...

Good luck, Burn. The holidays can be tough. Expect set backs. Some days there are more steps back than forward, but they will come. Remember how early you are in the process. Good luck, and God bless.

At 4:13 PM , Blogger Suzy Thompson said...

My heart is still breaking. I just started blogging my own story. I found out two days before Thanksgiving. I'd love for you to check out my blog.

At 6:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found out about my wife's affair around Dec. 2013. In fact, I first suspected it a year earlier around the same time. My wife had a long term affair with a married co-worker who lives over seas. They don't see each other much but when they do it is all fun and games and they fell in love. In fact they fell in love in the city my wife and I met in, NYC!

My wife and I are now separated for a 3 month period b/c she needs space and said this after she said she didn't love me any more(this hurt as much as the affair b/c it was a signal of a lack of commitment to our marriage)!

I am now 1 month into the separation, 2 months after discovery, and it is a daily struggle but one I am coping with better. My situation is made all the worse by the fact my wife still won't admit the affair, she says it is over, but I don't believe her. I also struggle to get the physical side of things out of my head but I can honestly say that the emotional attachment, their shared love for each other, hurts me far worse. On the flip side, we are going to marriage counseling together and we see each other often, though we don't talk about this stuff, b/c we have a beautiful 4yr old daughter at home.

So I am 1 month in and I have made a decision. A decision to forgive my wife even though she has not said whether or not she wants to stay married or even loves me. If I am honest, this hasn't been as hard a decision as I thought simply b/c I love my wife, even though I am extremely angry at her. I too am at fault for the challenges in our marriage and although I am not the cause of the infidelity, I certainly contributed to it.

I am writing this for anyone else who stumbles across this blog who like myself has been searching for support for men (everything is for women!)

I know I am not out of the woods and I know that I will never fully recover. In fact, I have no idea if I will stay married but I know I have to forgive. Let's be clear, I am forgiving as much for me as for her. My beautiful strong wife made a mistake a mistake that both of us will have to live with the rest of our lives whether she runs off with this guy or not. Forgiving does not mean that I will forget, I will never forget I know that, nor does it mean that I trust her right now or will do in the future.

Forgiveness, rather is a commitment that I will not use this to punish my (ex)wife for the rest of her life and I will not punish myself for something I did not control. I am also forgiving my wife so she can forgive herself and we can have a shot at saving our marriage and starting a new open and honest relationship built on trust.

What ever happens, I know logically that I will be ok. That I will be a good dad and that I can find someone new if that were to be the case. But I also know that if I can not learn to forgive then I will never learn and grow from this experience in my new relationship, be that with my wife or another.

As hard as it is to come to this decision it is one that we all have to face. I wish everyone luck in their recovery.

At 11:38 AM , Blogger Author said...

Wow. Merry Christmas, huh? You're right -- there aren't a lot of support networks for men who have been betrayed. Everyone expects the guy to be the guilty party, but here is one area where women are catching up with men quickly.

You are so new in this process. It sounds like you really have your head together, though. I hope this separation your wife wanted turns into a good thing for her and wakes her up. Either way, you are correct: You will be OK.


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