Reconciling after an affair- three mistakes the cheater makes

Affairs are difficult, to say the least.  Like marriage, we have no “manual” that tells you how to handle an affair or what the “right” things are to do.  There are many books out there, but how do you know which is the one?  You don’t, but you do your best.

an affair is fantasy

Here are three mistakes I see cheaters make again and again when couples are trying to reconcile after an affair.

#1.  Keep in touch with their affair partner.  This is the “we’re just friends now” excuse or “I still care and want to make sure they are okay.”  The cheater is trying to justify to themselves and their spouse that somehow it is okay to keep in touch with the person they cheated with.

It doesn’t work.  You have to make a choice and stick to it.

If you choose to work things out with your spouse, then no personal contact at all with your former lover.  None.  Why?  Because it is too easy to slip back into the unhealthy behaviors.  Even things you may try to explain as “just talking to a friend.”  Remember an affair is an affair.  You are still taking something away from your spouse.

This is when I’m asked about work affairs.  Does this mean you have to quit your job?  If feasible, it is probably a good idea one of you leave the job.  However, I know it isn’t always practical, so here are a few suggestions:

  • Make it clear you are not available at all and that is your choice.  In other words, don’t blame the breakup on your spouse, kids, etc.  Take responsibility for your choice to work on your marriage.
  • Keep everything strictly work (emails, discussions, etc.) and short, to the point.
  • Keep everything at work.  No after hours “work” together, no off hour calls, no connecting outside of work.
  • Do not talk about personal information, feelings, memories, regrets to your ex-lover.  Period.
  • No lunches, dinners, private discussions with your ex-lover.
  • No texting, checking if they are “okay,” or encouraging notes.

Easy rule: if your spouse would question it, be hurt by it, or be angered by it, don’t do it.

#2. Sometimes the cheater falls into idealizing the affair partner/relationship.  Emotionally an affair feels really good: it has intensity, a hint of “danger” which adds spice, and “everything is perfect.”  However, an affair is fantasy.

The unfortunate part of fantasy is no real relationship can live up to that “perfect fantasy” you have created with your lover.  Truthfully, your affair and lover wouldn’t stand up to the harsh light of reality either.  You have to realize reality isn’t fantasy (but it can be better.)  The more you focus on how “perfect” things were with your lover, the more you put at jeopardy the chance of working things out with your spouse.  You can’t see the real love you have (or can create) through the drunken haze of “affair goggles.”

What you have to do is stop comparing and work with your spouse on your very real relationship.  Help heal it, do your own work, and ask for what you would like from them.

#3 is the mistake I see most often; the cheater tries to move on too quickly.  This often is indicated in a variety of ways:

  • “I’ve said I’m sorry, how many different ways do you need to hear it?”
  • “I said I made a mistake, let’s just move on.”
  • “I just want to leave this behind and take care of my marriage.”
  • “How long are you going to make me pay?”

Do you realize the message you are giving when you say things like this to your hurt spouse?  You are telling him or her how they feel is unimportant, your discomfort is more important, and what you did was no big thing.  Not a good starting point if you are trying to heal your marriage.

Here’s the tough truth: healing and rebuilding trust will take a looooooong time.  If your spouse needs to talk about it “again” then talk about it.  If they need to hear you say “I’m sorry” again, say it.  If you need to swallow your impatience and show your remorse stronger, do it.  If they need to keep tabs on you, then let them know where you are.  If they want to check your texts, then let them feel more comfortable with you by doing that.  If you are working with a therapist, and they think it has gone on long enough, they’ll let you both know.

Keep in mind anniversaries will be the toughest.  I don’t mean your wedding anniversary, I mean anniversaries of thing that happened: when they found out, the first Holidays after they found out, the day you decided to end the affair, the day they confronted you, the day you moved out or back in, etc.  So, this means a year at least of times when your spouse will be triggered and feel unsure.

Your courageous work if you are trying to recover your marriage after and affair is to keep these three mistakes in mind.  Don’t keep in touch with your ex-lover, focus on your healing workDon’t idealize what was a fantasy; enjoy what you have in realityDon’t try to hurry your hurt spouse to “get over it” and recognize they will be hurt for a long time.

Click the comment button below and tell what you think
the main mistakes a cheater makes when reconciling!
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Messed up Husband

Hello.. I have recently had posted an online ad to craigslist. I was angry and was just looking for someone to talk too…. I hadnt done this in the past however have had 3 other physical affairs all of which I got caught. I truly feel horrible and I felt horrible after each time. The problem was my wife and I never talked about them I never wanted to be the one to bring them up because I knew it would just hurt her. However, I never got to express what I felt was missing in our marriage and how we could work on things I wanted to make us better and stronger but it just kept getting swept under the rug… Now it happened again and now she wants a divorce… She says she loves me and can’t do it anymore… I asked her if we can do marriage counseling to work throught this because I still love her and want to try to make our marriage work. We have two boys together and they are being ripped apart because I messed things up. How do I fix this with her? PLEASE HELP!


Interesting reading the comments as someone who has been married for 30+ years and having a deep and intimate affair with a co-worker. The destruction and hurt caused by this affair is horrendous and I’d give anything to be able to turn back the clock, unfortunately there are no time machines. I can’t believe I’ve done this thing to someone I love.

This has driven me to depression and a determined failed suicide attempt, was revived by an unexpected visitor. I’ve been in therapy for a month now to try and see my way through the hurt I’ve caused but it’s not really helping that much.

My wife is determined to reconcile and work through it but doesn’t know the depth of the affair and I’m certain if she did, she would not want to reconcile and rightly so in my opinion. In my mind we can’t reconcile unless I’m completely honest and that would be too painful for her so it’s a real quandary.

I’m not after sympathy here just looking for answers. I do agree with the comments re the three mistakes and there must be total separation and exclusion with the other party for any reconciliation to work but I’m interested in the comments re the affair being only fantasy and not real love?

The pain caused by an attempted reconciliation and any subsequent failure would double the hurt, this could make the attempt seem not worthwhile and walking away a feasible option if only to protect the innocent party?


    If your wife wishes to reconcile with you after your affair then you are a lucky man to have been given a second chance. The way forward will not be easy; I can speak from my own experience. My husband cheated on me, even leaving home to live with the other woman for a few weeks. But the fantasy of the affair didn’t stand up to real life and as soon as he left me he missed me, missed our love, missed his home and the life that we had built together. When he wanted to come home I was so relieved that this whole episode was over, but I was also naïve, and didn’t know that reconciliation is a long and painful process. It takes time to realise that the life you once had together is no more – you have to rebuild and it’s not so easy. But the reason that I am writing this is that I implore you to be honest with your wife – she will either handle it the truth or not – but she will need it non-the less for her healing, weather she choses to take you back or not. It is just about the worst thing ever to lay your heart open and be willing to try again and to reconcile and then only get a partial truth. Believe me that it all comes out in the end because we will ask the same questions over and over to piece it all together – there is not rest until we know the full story. Men usually just want to forget about it and move on as fast as possible and can’t understand why the woman needs to go over this all so often. One other thing I will tell you is that even when your wife does not bring the affair up anymore that it will not mean that she no longer thinks about it anymore – the hurt and the pain that you have caused her, well it’s still there and she will relive the horror of it all over and over.
    I’m wishing you both all the very best and hope that you will treat her with kindness. She will need so much love and reassurance and maybe one day then you’ll get her forgiveness and regain her trust.
    btw my husband had also felt suicidal and i was so upset that he’d not felt that he could talk to me about it. i do hope that you don’t feel this way anymore – there is always hope and there is always better days to come. Take care


found out 2 months ago my wife was having an affair with a co worker, 20 years younger than her, she has said she is going through the mid life change and it meant nothing, they met 3 times over 3 months in a hotel room for sex, she done things with him and he done things to her that we have never done in 14 years together, we are in therapy, I can maybe understand the sex part if she said she was someone else and it meant nothing, but she kept in constant contact with him through texts, that is what hurts the most, she is remorseful said she hates her self for what she has done and can not forgive herself, she is trying to do everything she can to prove her love for me, but I can not seem to move past it, I have good days and bad days, she said the texts were just chit chat and meant nothing, but I found the secret phone in her bag and that is how I discovered what she was doing, she said she was going to end it but the texts read different, how can I believe her and trust what she is saying , she has been totally open and told me everything I have asked, can I believe it was nothing and she was truly feeling low about herself and he made her feel wanted and good about herself, she said she didn’t even like him and that she just needed an escape from everyday life

I don’t know what to believe?


I think that 2 really good signs that we as men might see early on in the relationship are a woman’s sexual abilities and skills, and if she is a woman that has no problem lying if a man asks her questions about her past that she does not want to tell him. Added to this when we meet and date a woman we are just hooked on 100%, is our not thinking with our big head and missing what may later be something we should have considered when we started having sex with her.

My example of what i am saying is my wife. I met her and married her in China 12 years ago when i was working there. She is 14 years younger than me, very attractive for her age now of 46 ,prim and proper acting in public, and like me, everyone that knows her that she has met since we moved to my home country of Canada would never ever ever beleive she was or could be capable of cheating. But as i said, her sexual abilities and the lies when i asked her stuff back when we started having sex should have got me to consider what i was getting into.

This woman has a pretty good sex drive, i would say a high one, was married to a chinese man, married him when she was 22 and divorced him when she was 27, in China, and then she was single again for the next 7 years when i met her. I thought when we met and began dating that this woman would not let me fuck her easily, would take a long time, cause of how she acted and carried herself. But on our 3rd date at my place i had her totally nude and just sexually wild as easy as could be. When i put my cock in her she orgasmed immediately, as soon as i entered her! And my God, the most incredible fuck i ever have had! The next night at my place again we got nude and she gave me to start the most incredible blow job i ever had, better even that i thought possible, she let me orgasm in her mouth, swallowed with absolutely no discomfort or problem at all. So later when we finished that night i asked her, how did you learn to suck cock so absolutely beyond belief, and she said by watching a video, and also said that was the first tme she ever had a man orgasm in her mouth and swallowed. And regarding how fantastic a fuck she was, like just went wild always, loud, everything a man dreams of, she said before me she only had sex with 2 men, her first husband and then after they divorced a guy her parents wanted her to meet, but he had trouble always she said getting hard, so only once did they fuck. And stupid me then, i guess from having now a hot attractive sexy Chinese woman with a huge sex drive and the body of a 25 yr old, i just never used my brains and intelligence when she told me this stuff.

I also believe, in my wife’s case anyhow, that a woman capable one day of cheating, that maybe her body parts could maybe be a sign also that she could cheat easily. As an example, my wife has very firm and hard tits, even now at her age of 46, they are 32C, no big dea, but her nipples are like i have never seen before – long long like her baby finger from the tip to the first joint, same thickness as that, are always rock hard and stand straight out from her tits all the tme, and are a very very dark color. Now that does not mean she is more capable of cheating, but what does give me concern she was capable of cheating is that she often when we went to house parties or barbecues with friends, and there was always people there we never met before, and also some single guys and women, often she would wear a tight thin white muscle shirt with no bra, and with her nipples, well u can know what that looked like.

Anyhow 5 yrs ago i found out by accident she was hanging out with a guy that she said was just a friend. She had gone with a gf supposedly to have lunch and go to the library, but i tried calling her all afternoon, and before this day she would always call me back real quick, but this day no call back for like 5 hours – then at 6pm she called and said she was on her way home, and i asked where u been and why u did not answer your cell of call me, and i just knew, ok? so i said what, are u with some guy and she said yes, the guy i told u i met at work, i met him on the bus today and took him with me to meet the gf i was meeting, she is single and so is he, i wanted to introduce then t each other, but she got called into work so he asked me to go to an afternoon movie at the cinema so i did. and turned my cell of in the theatre. I was pissed and she called him in front of me when she got home and told him in front of me she cannot see or talk to him again cause i am not pleased. Well caught her a month later still hanging with him, same thing, she called him in front of me and ended ith, then believe it or not, month later i found out again she still seeing him. Then when i went nuts she did end it. And since then right up to this day she says he was only a friend, they did nothing at all sexually, just friends and only friends.

Then recently i was away on a business trip and she stayed out all night, which she never did before, went out on the friday night around 7pm and returned home next day at 11am. When i asked where she was all night, she said she stayed at a gf of hers, Vanessa, at her house, Then just a while ago when we had an argument i asked her again, where did u really stay that night, and she said i told you already, i stayed over at Tiffany’s house.

Well, she a month ago told me she wants a divorce, we separated, she still tells me now, even being separeted, that she has not dated any guy or been fucked at all since we separated a month ago.

So everyone, sure would love your thoughts, views, and comments.


I’m in an odd quandary. I was in a 10 year relationship that ended with an ex cheating on me as an way to exit a stalemate relationship. I hadn’t had a relationship for over 3-4 years and felt I was well over the baggage and hurt and in a good place ready for a new relationship. Then I met a girl and we fell in love and had a relationship for a year and getting really serious for a long term relationship, every aspect of her I like until it comes to her past relationships. The first 2 relationships she had were on/off with married men who were apparently separated but then went back to their wives after it ended each after some years. She still kept in touch very rarely and considers them ex besties. I though this was a bit alarming but as it was 5 years in the past so I let it go. One day she left her phone at my place accidentally and I was curious and regrettably and shamefully breached her privacy and looked through it to see what she was saying about me. I found intimate messaging stuff about me going back and forth to close girlfriends which was ok but then a lot more about me going to a married male friend she had known a long time since college days. I was curious why there was so much detail and intimacy about her life going to a married man and read messages further. Maybe they were just friends. But just the nature of messages got me really concerned, repeated sexual innuendos from the husband only apparently just joking, her laughing it off jokingly and telling him he’ll be in trouble with his wife, she jokes that shes no longer single but still available for them to meet next for “his lovely company she craves” “bff …and my love for you is there always” and he jokes that she’s her secret admirer, references as her jokingly as his gf and bff, invitation to her to stay at a hotel while he was in a city traveling by himself without family visiting her and other friends, divulging really personal and intimate details of their family life, marital problems, close family divorce problems and emotional kind of support on a bf/gf level by my perception, contact almost every day for several months then overlapping my relationship of a year still in contact but gradually waning and phasing him out with open discussion about me and a serious relationship developing. I discussed with her about this intimacy with her married male friend and she says he is just a friend and there’s nothing going on as he lives in another country. Am I looking overreacting or is this just blatantly obvious denial as I am really in love with her. I thought I was over this kind of trust thing, I don’t think I am or it’s just that this situation triggered it all again, I shouldn’t be looking through phones or thinking about following her, it’s heinously disrespectful to privacy, I don’t want to waste time and energy doing this as if there’s no trust there’s no point. I want to trust her and let her see who she wants but feel secure that we have established relationship boundaries to guard a committed relationship. Is it unfair that I feel insecure about this, am I projecting fears from my last relationship on her past mistakes or are these valid concerns? I feel we both want the same thing, a committed relationship, family. I am really in love with her and as she is also, I don’t believe she would cheat intentionally on me. Is this situation just loaded with red flags on both our sides? Is it possible to overlook this and continue onwards?


I have been married to my wife for 7 years 1 month and 26 days. We have been separated for a year and 4 months now. She moved out and moved with her brother for 8 months then moved in with her brothers ex. Her brother ex is a very successful for her age and very self sufficient. My wife was previously married with 3 kids (9,5,3) when we met and during the beginning of our relationship I father a child. The kids are now 21,18,15 and she is now seeing someone else and has asked for a divorce. I however signed the papers a month a ago but forgot to my signature on one of the spots. When she told me this I told her to send me the papers and I will sign them but I never received the papers and we kept on seeing one another, talking on the phone, texting ect. She just told me she wants a divorce because we have nothing in common and the guys she is dating is her perfect match. I find this hard to believe because when we first got together I was her perfect match. Although young I have an old Soul. I worked took care of the house, made sure everyone was taken care of but I didn’t go on the trips as often as she would have wanted me to. The mother of my child is constantly causing us issues and I ended up messing around on my wife when I thought she was seeing someone else. There has been some things said to one another out of frustration so feeling have been hurt and I think more damage has been done then good in regards to our relationship as of now. The problem is I think it is salvageable while she is over it and now wants out since she is dating this guy whom has been trying to be with her since we first met but due to her divorce and meeting me it did not happen until we separated. I am now face with the decision n of a divorce or trying to figure out a way to reconcile my marriage.


    My heart hurts for you. my story is some what similar. However, Due to my husbands insistance and beed to fill his day helping everyone in the community he never faught for us, our marriage or me. He was a goood provider and the less and less attention he paid me the more I acted like a three year old. To the point of having an affair with an old boyfriend. then my husband was an ass on a family vacation and took it all out on the kids. I told him I was done. I then , within 24 hours contacted the old boyfriend and told him I was leaving. he thought I was all talk. 2 months later I had my own place. Since he lived out of state it was getting expensive to see each other and we made plans for him to move near me while he went to school to get his needed certifications in my state. school fell through due to extreme costs and he moved in 6 months after I moved out of the marital home- my dream house!

    After a series of bad and worse events the boyfriend is in the midst of moving back to our home state. in the in between my husband has taken up with the only person on the planet that struck a nerve with me. She is a billionaire, a well educated engineer and to some not horribly unattractive. ( at least to those who aren’t self serving and needing a team of nannies to raise your children while you go to parities and hit on my husband right in front of me. – YES! RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME). – It was really no wonder ; her currently estranged husband would corner me and try and grope me every chance he got. I was sickened by these events and stopped going.

    Fast forward to today: after 17 years and four children, I am not sure I want him back. But I do know I do love and care for him and if everything he stands for is everything shes not but she makes him happy, I have to bite my toung bc I brought on all of this sick twisted karma myself.

    Do I believe they will last past The next full moon, who knows? What I do know is its high time I start making amends with all of the people I hurt including my children and family.

    Yeah, hes and asstard, but hes my asstard getting laid by what looks good in paper. He is loving that a woman of her status is paying him attention. yet, what he can’t see is that she is using him bc he he intentionally rebuffed her advances- even after she came up with phony business meetings she created to get his extra attention when I wasn’t around.

    I finally understood the hurt and pain I put him though and will do anything to make him see how sorry I am.

    I want to undo it a but can’t. Hopelessly waiting for fate to turn in the direction of my marriage, and my family. I have owned everything I have done and more. But he is busy getting some from a billionaire and I am broke speacil ed teacher on summer break. I can barley pay the air conditioning bill, let alone buy $!5, 000 purses as she does. Mind you, my husband is has three jobs- as a public attorney, as an NFL agent and also holds 3 different teaching positions, as well as sits on every board of ethics this side of the Mississippi. We were never without but no where in the billion dollar circle.
    I want this woman to go away more than I want cancer sure or a cure for HIV. – I know selfish. BUt I cant breathe when I think about him being intimate, even in conversation let alone sex. actually, the sex thing doesn’t bother me as much as he spends talking with her. he spent 166 minutes in the phone with her on fathers day bc she didn’t have her kids but impeded on the time my kids got with their father bc of her self absorbed nature.
    I just want her to walk off into a foggy mist never to return to our lives. Not that would save our marriage but with her gone we could start to mend fences.
    We were a force to be reckoned with. His strengthens were my weakness and visa versa. We were a power house of strength for our family and in the community.

    I loved my life I just did not appreciate it. I want it back and my 7 000 sq foot dream home filled with love and laughter and pouting and yelling and loving. I want it all back but better bc I know better! SIGH!

My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker – Page 265 – Talk About Marriage

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Hi All, Can anyone offer some advice? Whilst enjoying an overseas holiday to Europe I discovered thru our combined mobile account my husband had been having affair, the young lady which I suspect to be In her early to mid 30’a was sending texts & naked photos. Upon the discovery & devastation our holiday was cut short & we flew home to Australia, on arrival he moved out stayed with a friend & assured he ended the affair, unfortunately this woman worked in an office where my husband had to go to everyday at least 3 or 4 times a day as part of his truck driving position. Weeks went by we attended counselling however the whole time my instincts told me he was still communications with her, he never wanted to discuss the affair, his response being I needed to make a decision if I wanted to sort it out & if so stop rehashing it & move forward, he appeared to have no remorse understanding empathy compassion it was as though it was uncomfortable for him. We have been married for nine years together 12 years I am 51 & he 47, long story short after several weeks he gave me no reason to trust him & I told him no to working things out. Eventually with a bit of PI work I found out where this woman lived & sure enough he was making excuses to stay out overnight so he could go be with her, when I confronted him & outed his lies, within days he moved out & is now living with her. Now call me a fool but I now believe he made a pathetic attempt to reconcile so he could clear his own guilt & go be with her, his heart & soul wasn’t into committing to the marriage
Had he been serious he would have quit his job changed his phone number & committed to working it out.
The sad thing is he appears to be happy to discard the woman he has loved him through so many challenges been loyal & committed, shared & created so many memories for let’s face it someone he barely knows. I guess my question is will this relationship last or is it all about fantasy & infatuation, I don’t suspect he has cheated before this woman she seems to have some type of attraction he can’t refuse. Will he come back, my husband is very needy & is used to be being cared for & no doubt this girl is boosting his ego & being his mother, will the infatuation wear off or will his pride get in the way of admitting he has made a mistake.
Help Help Help. Linda


    Hi Linda,
    I think pride gets in a lot of people way when it comes to wanting to go home. I am sorry you are going through this as I am going through my own separation. I hope everything works out for you in the long run and he finds that you to were meant to be together through the memories you had shared. People sometime try to hard to forget about those memories but they never go away so just stay busy and keep faith.


    Hello, Linda. I was married to my husband for almost 17years. We made it through drugs, physical, and emotional abuse and the last 7 years had been getting much better and we were putting the hurt of the past behind us. I found out 2 weeks before Valentine’s day this year that he was cheating. He just denied it, but started behaving in his normal routine. We went away together on Valentine’s Day, but something didn’t feel right. Long story short, I found out that he told his mistress he was not married, I was his bitter ex, and because she believed him he was taking her to a hotel the Monday after he was with me. I was so furious I texted her and SHE cut him loose. I filed for a divorce on Tuesday. I received one apology text message that basically blamed everything on me, but she has been receiving numerous calls trying to get her to take him back. The way he denied me helped me to realize that he could not love me and I deserve better. So do you, Linda.


      Linda, You should be proud of yourself for having the strength to do what you needed to do. I was divorcing, fell head over heels for someone else who had caught his wife several times in the act with someone else. My spouse ended up taking his life after he was served, in fear that his other life would come out. My last conversation with the other man was that he needed to file, we could not have sex until the divorce was final and he wanted to be the one with me. After it came out about my spouse, he panicked when it also came out about our feelings for each other and the early stages of an affair. He lied about it with 1/2 truths and denials, was “kind of” working things out but suggested we stay in touch. I ended that, our FB friendship, etc, but on and off we were still in touch. Harmless things, but him putting himself where I would be, looks of love, sweet smiles, etc continued even though he was “trying” with her. I walked away from it all at the most difficult time in my life and it has been horribly hard. But, I told him that his boys see him as their hero and I will never be the cause of anything else. I think they will explode, who knows when, but I am so thankful that I did the right thing. I’m so tired of people who are “staying together for the kids”. If they really cared about their kids, they would go be a person of honor and integrity, love their spouse the way that they are called to and show them what love truly is. There is NOTHING about you that caused him to dishonor you and cheat. And you absolutely deserve better.


My partner had an affair for 3 months when I found out (from the girl not him) he told me it was over and he wouldn’t contact her again. there had been no sex they met in a bar and whilst I was at home putting our son to bed he was goin to her house to watch films have a little kiss and then come home and get into bed with me. It made me very sick for a long time. Reason I’ve looked this site up was I found out he’s still contacting her. I’ve kicked him u
Out I feel so betrayed and humiliated by his actions. I don’t no if this time I can forgive him.. it’s only been 3 months since I found out about his disloyalty to me and already he’s back in contact with her. Yet I have told him I’m not bothered if he wants a relationship with this girl. Just don’t tell me he wants me and then wants her aswell


Hello, I ended up becoming weak after a fight with my girlfriend of 4 years. We started dating when I was 17 and her 16. Now 20 and 21. Through the years we’ve always been happy together. We would have little problems through the years though of me being stupid and excepting a girls number or giving her mine (no emotional or physical connection.) I raced motocross/supercross professionally and am well known so girls came from many angles. I’ve never cheated and never thought I would. I tended to be selfish and Juvenal though through the years (being young) that I’d always want to be with my friends doing things with them and ditching her and being in bad situations (my friends were always out partying trying to do girls etc) I never participated in that or drank or ever did drugs with them. But I’d put myself in risky situations that would stress her out but she would never tell me not to do something or ever stop me from anything. In April of this year, my girlfriend and I got into a fight. The next day I was telling this girl (who has been a good friend for over a year and was well involved with my entire friend group) about what happened. She basically came onto me and I was to weak to stop her and let it happen. I felt horrible but didn’t want to shed light on it being I didn’t want to lose the relationship I have. I loved her more than anything in the world but was to selfish and immature to show and express to her how much she meant over the years. The girl ended up messaging my girlfriend on Facebook two months later and told her about the 3 incidents that it happened. I was looking through a tube the entire relationship and now my entire world has opened up to how I really want to treat her and act and spend more time with. Since the girl told my girlfriend, she has not spoken a word to me. It’s been 5 weeks. I don’t know what to do. I love this girl more than anything in the world. I have since changed my phone number, got a job, changed my perceptions and morals of life (which were terrible) and deleted all girls (long time friends or not) off social media and gave no other girl my new number. She still hasn’t spoken a word to me. I caught wind that I’d never get another chance with her and lost all control and went into a horrible pannick attack, I had to be hospitalized. I was recommended therapy and counciling which I start this week. All I want to do is give her the world and show her who I truely am and can be, not for her, but for me. I want to grow up. But it doesn’t seem like there’s any hope. Is there anything I can do to try and get another chance?


    Hopefully she gave you another chance. Sometimes we mistakes we are Human and you guys are young.


    I have a son your age, so I feel for you. I am very very curious if she took you back. You sound like a nice young man who made a bad choice but deserve a second chance. What you don’t understand coming from myself… a girl, woman, wife, Mom is that TRUST is so important to your ex. She was looking to you as a prospective husband and father to her children, this could mean that you didn’t “pass the test”. None the less, I really hope you are okay now. It may have been a small mistake to most but a life choice to her, which meant she took you very seriously in Love. I hope you are better. But do tell… did she take you back?


Greetings! Married 13 & 1/2 years together seventeen . My husband & I have always had good conversation & pretty good sex. A year & 4months ago we decided to live in aanother country. At the time he had been clean & sober of druga & alcohol almost six years. But since day three of arriving he started drinking again (&he premeditated doing so, unbennounced to me )
And it has gone down hill since. Not to mention that my husband was still dealing with trying to heal from a fling that I had a yr before.
I let my husband know a few days into his premeditated relapse that I played the supportive wife to the alcoholic, evemtually drug addicted husband for over a decade, mind you we lost everything behind it,& how I was not willing to do it for another decade, or five or even one year and how he needed to chose what he wanted.
Fsst foward to today . I have left him to go stay with an elder woman who we knew from the states after he hit me in the throat while he was drunk do to his insecurity that was extremely obvious since my fling. He came & begged me to return & I did , but he wasn’t allowed to have 1 drink. Now seeings how we run a bar & it’s our main source of income, I knew that it would be hard, bur he did it for almost threemonths. I have told him that I love, but no longer in love with him. Our move has brought out some other issues that we never got to the bottom of. The main two being a “friendship” with his Ex girlfriend that he has maintained even after he knew was an issue & even after I told him years ago & tried to get through to him why it was wrong. & then
There is an issue of my now eighteen yr old daughter who he has been helping to raise & been a father to since 1, said @ 13 he came into her room & touched inappropiately. My daughter & I have decided to get some counseling once we return, but she is saying that she is sticking by her story & he is sticking by his innocence & says he’s willing to go to therapy, take a lie detector test or whatever to make our family back whole. The problem that I am having.
I have been sooo unhappy & upset all the time & I have seen somethings in him that I hadn’t seen. Not to mention that I don’t feel good about being with him after my daughter’s accusation. I’ve said I’m done so many times in the last six or seven months, that I no longer want to be in my marriage anymore. I have told him that I was done several times & he did not hear me until the one time I told him that if someone who I am interest in came along that I would not wait for him. That’s because someone had gotten my attention & I told him, because for me it was over & I knew that telling him it would be over for him. & who does he call??? His good ole faithful! Ex
We ggo back & forth about ending it or working it out & then we both decide that it’s over. And I truly feel that way, but he can’t let go & has finally said that he was wrong about the ex & he’s sorry & how he wants to work it out , but I don’t. On the one hand I feel obligated to my small children & my marriage, but on the other hand I I feel obligated to myself & my health & happiness . I just feel like I’ll ever feel the type of husband wife type of head-over-heels in love with him type of feelings again & quite frankly don’t want to try @ this point.


    Believe your child and walk on! Kids don’t lie about stuff like that! Let your daughter know that you will protect her at all cost. Do not send a message to that young lady that you don’t care and that some drunk, child abuser is worth having for a spouse. Maybe, that why he is drinking…


      Um yes they absolutely do. Children lie about this kind of thing all the time. I know because it happened in my family and another child who was originally in on the accusation came clean.


    You’re child is more important he’s a pedophile!!!! Cheating is one thing missing up your child you shouldn’t even think of talking to him


Hi Kim.
I have married my husband for 20 years and have two wonderful kids with like any marriage , we have ups and downs. However, he is truly the one that I love the must. Sex wasn’t always that great because of his short comings and is just like a routine stuff. I have been working two jobs just to meet the ends need since he was laid off a year ago. Most of the time I miss him troubly and the kids too. Past couple of day ago, i had a one night thing with a co-worker and felt tremendous guilt and shame. Sex wasn’t even that great with this guy; however,I still fantasize to continue the relationship. Probably due to the excitement and feeling of wanted again. But last nite I had texted him to end this madness. I want my family and my sanity back. It has caused me tremendous sadness and anxiety. But why do I still lingering on this fantasy! I already told my husband about the affair but not the sex part. I am afraid of losing him forever. Should he and I seek a counselor? Thanks!

    Kim L

    At the very least get into counseling for yourself. Talk with a professional about revealing this information and make a choice that will heal the relationship, not just you. Then also ask your husband to go to couples’ counseling with you; say you understand the affair is a big thing and that you want to use counseling to help you folks heal and make a stronger marriage.
    On a good note, marriages where the affair is admitted by the unfaithful partner before being discovered, and where truth is the style of reveal, have a much better recovery rate than those that are discovered and denied repeatedly.
    I wish the best for you and your husband,


I’ve been with my husband for about 6 years now. I moved out of state for school in July and he stayed instate because of his job. The plan was to move with me in December once he was done with his job. About two months ago I had a break down where I basically told him I wasnt sure I wanted to be in a relationship any longer and I didn’t know what I wanted. So, basically I didn’t know what I wanted. Anyhow we continued to talk and We decided that we would continue with our plan with him to move with me and work on our relationship. He asked me on numerous occasions over the phone and via text if I felt the same about him when I first met him. I said no. The only reason I said no wasn’t because I didn’t love him or that there was anyone else in my life it was just something I said. We continued to have normal conversations/texts as usual so I assumed everything was fine. Until thanksgiving day where he decides to tell me that he is unsure if he wants to move with me because he is. Ow questioning being in a relationship. Then he proceeds yo tell me that be kissed someone and that person made him feel wanted. I got home last Saturday and we talked about everything so I assumed we were okay. Then on Sundayeverything blew up in my face. I probed about this so called kiss and come to find out it was more than just a kiss. He slept with her. He says it only happen once but that he has been talking to her for a couple weeks. He says he cuttoff communication but that she was still texting him and that he really wanted to reply to her. He said that she understood him because she had gone through somethi g similar. At this point I asked him to delete her number and he said fine. Apparently this person is still texting him and I have no ideas whether to believe him when he says he is not responding. He drove me down to parents this weekend since that was the plan so I could spend the holidays with him. He had to go back to finish some stuff for work and should join us on Christmas Eve. However, last night he tells me that if he can’t get something signed tomorrow that he won’t be able to come down till Friday. WTF it’s already hard enough to know he’s back in the same town as the other person and I am no longer there… He says he’s ready to leave that awful place and that he wants to forget about everything and move forward. But he is very distant and not the same caring person towards me. I don’t know if I’m making the right decision. I Never thought I would stay with someone who cheated on me.


So glad I stumbled upon this site. I found out in Aug of this year that my husband of 18 years was having an emotional affair with a woman where he works. I accidentally found a txt, my phone was dead so I was going to use his to txt our son ( who just got his drivers license ) and make sure he was ok, when I picked up the phone the first thing I saw was a txt to “Dillion” it was just back and forth, what are u doing, hope your being good, etc. And then the last one he said he would be thinking about her and couldn’t wait to see her Monday and she texted the same thing back. I comfronted him about it and he said all they did is txt and talk, that was it there was no sex. He said it was over and in front of me he txted her and told her it was over. He told me that she worked at aconvenience store that he would stop at on his way to work. Well with a little help from a friend and some investigating on my own I found out later that “Dillion” isn’t her name and found out that she works where my husband does and has for 20 yrs. She and I spoke and she said the same thing that all they did was talked and txt, but to me that is still an affair and I am having a very difficult time getting over this. I was going to tell her husband but haven’t yet, I did post on a blog site about the affair and today my husband found out about it and is so mad at me, I did not put his name just hers and he said that he got called into the office and they wanted to know what was going on, I feel like that isn’t true, because I never said anything about where he worked so I figured that she has went and said something to him. He swore to me again on the phone that he never had sex with her and had ended things, and he’s upset with me because I won’t let it go, but he doesn’t understand how hard it is for me to get over this. I love him and our life together and I am just devastated that he would do this to me. I want to work this out but I need time and he thinks I should just be over it and never bring it up again


    Hey Mary, I just noticed your post here, and want to tell you if he doesn’t want to talk about it and is getting (rage) and anger at you, its because he hasn’t told you everything. Just from what you posted i have (personally) no doubt he had sex with that woman. Second he lied about her being at work because the affair is not over and he wants to keep his job and the girl….. Hun. I know you want your marriage, I do too, but i have learned at lot at Survivinginfidelity forums. Please take a stop by there and tell them your troubles. You will get a lot of help for your emotional turmoil. Hugs and good luck.


I agree with the person who made the first comment. To state that “all affairs are fantasy” in a blanket statement is patronizing. While it is ludicrous to compare the excitement of a new relationship with one where there are mortgages to pay and noses to wipe, it is also not correct to say that the affair relationship is always based on some trivial premise completely devoid of reality and integrity.

The first question that needs to be dealt with is is ‘do we *want* to save the marriage’? Far too many resources – both online and otherwise – seem to assume the answer is “well, yes!! Duh!!”. The reality however is different. If the betraying spouse feels coerced, or “guilted” into proceeding with a reconciliation, then it will be doomed to fail.

Deciding whether or not to attempt to rebuild a relationship must surely be nearly as painful as the rebuild itself. But this process deserves respect from those with a counselling role. I missed out on this when I had an affair in 2008, and the unresolved issues and continuing dishonesty about how I *really* felt led to the process being repeated 5 years later


    “Led to the process being repeated.” Nice use of the passive voice there. So you had another affair because your counselor didn’t treat you with enough respect? Have you considered that your dishonesty about how you really felt is your responsibility, and showed disrespect for both the counselor and your spouse?


I really liked your article. As the idiot that had an affair, albeit, emotional, not sexual, that makes no difference to the spouse that haas been hurt. That probably hurts even more. We had grown so far apart that we were two ships passing in the night. But what you said about the affair not measuring up to reality-that’s on point. Because the man I had married was there w me through thick & thin, and I for him. For nearly 10 years. And after 4 or 5 months of having my ego boosted and being flattered, the harsh reality was, I was using him to give me what I wanted from my husband. And I still loved him. And I appreciate him more now than ever and I’m blessed and fortunate to have a second chance at all.


Hello, I found this page and could really use some perspective to my wife’s recent affair. My wife and I have been together for 9 years, married for 4. We are both 31 years old and have previous children and 2 beautiful children together. I have always known that we could work on our marriage, because like most marriages it was not perfect, but I have always felt that we were happy. I just found out a week ago on Easter morning that my wife has been having an affair with a co-worker for about 3 months. I was and am devastated. I never thought my wife would cheat. She was married before and her ex cheated on her. She has told me that it hurt her so bad and that she could never cheat. She has also always been extremely jealous with me and making sure I would never cheat on her. We have been through so much together, so many ups and downs and we always make it through. I had noticed that her behavior has been different the past few months and I even suspected her cheating, but never really felt it was possible. I even asked her a few times and she would always say she loved me so much and could never cheat on me. One night we even had a heart to heart conversation and we were both crying and she said she could never cheat on me because she loved me so much. Well this was all a lie. At first when I caught her and she couldn’t lie anymore she told me that she had slept with him 3 times and that the affair had been over for about a month, but she just still talks to him. It crushed me, but I decided to try to save our marriage. She told me that she would never talk to him again and we even made an appt. to see a marriage counselor. Well two days later I came home from work, which I would like to add that I work night shift and that could have played a part in her affair. Anyway, I came home from work that morning and decided to check her phone records. What I saw was sickening. She had not stopped talking to him, and even talked to him all day on Easter from my family’s house after I found out about it. I confronted her and told her I was finished. I deserve much better. She begged for me to not leave and said she would tell me the whole truth and would not talk to him anymore. Well it has been like pulling teeth, but I believe I have gotten the whole truth out of her. The sexual affair had not been finished for a month, in actuality she had slept with her lover just 2 days before Easter and told me that they had been sexually intimate about 7 to 10 times. Beyond the sexual part, the phone records are sickening. She has basically been calling and texting him non-stop for the past 3 months. So this was an all out emotional and physical affair. She has finally been honest with me and tells me she wants our marriage to work so badly. We have been to a counselor 2 times so far and it has helped immensely as I have found out that our marriage was not nearly as happy as I thought it was. She said she felt alone and like I did not love her and this other man told her how beautiful she is and made her feel so good. She seems like she is truly sorry and is doing all the right things to move forward. The problem is she works with this man and she has admitted that she does have feelings for him, even though she does not want to anymore. She has requested that he be moved to the other side of the building and things like this, but I am just worried that sometime down the road they will speak again and it will spark another affair. I love her so much and feel that I can’t live with her or without her. I don’t know what to do. Any advice?

jessica figueroa guajardo

A fantasy that some act out with there spouse cause that would be the thing a true husband would do take your wife to the gas station bathroom have freaky sex in the garage when you get control is key for a husband loseing all one has gained over a fantasy is RETARDED AND SELFISH

Wrote The Book | heroes amongst monsters

[…] relationship counsellor after the emotional affair. That’s where we learned about emotional affairs. The counsellor put 3 options on the table. One was him quitting his job, and I said ‘No, […]


    What are you actually saying? Love with your wife or the ow? Why so cryptic.


As a man who got lost for awhile in an affair I’d like to pass on the best advice I paid for to the husbands/fathers like me who find this page on google and are looking for a spark of reason in the madness: Breathe, stop acting. Don’t make decisions when you are caught up in the moment. If the Love is as strong as you think it’ll be there in time, and you might be surprised what it looks like.


I am in a unique situations and could really use some help. My husband and I have been married for 19 years. For 15 years off and on he has had a substance abuse problem. About one year ago he finally stopped all substances without therapy. For the last three years are marriage had taken a huge hit because of the substances. Which as you know cause a lot of lying and hiding of the use. Well about two and a half years ago I started to stand up to my husband about his substance problems and told him he needed to stop and get help. We have three boys now age 19,17( who is high functioning autistic), and,12. I know know at that time he became friends with a women and started an emotional affair about two years ago that eventually turned physical. Back in January my husband and I had a huge fight and he left again. Throughout the two years he left many times because we fought a lot about the substance abuse and he would stay with a friend for a few days and then come home. After he left in Jan. we talked everyday, he came over every other day to talk and visit with the boys. When he left he moved in with a guy he worked with and his family in their in law apartment in another city . So I asked my husband to stay at our house 4 days a week while we tried to work through our marriage and while he worked through the emotions he had been masking with his substance abuse. He had a really abusive childhood. Anyway we started to get extremely close at one point he said to me that I have been a terrible husband and I am so sorry. For the first time I felt he got it. Then in August he came to me and said we need to talk and told me about the affair. He started staying at her house the other three days a week in May when he friend sold his house and moved. At that time he said I cant end this relationship with this other women yet but I want to go to therapy and find out why. He doesnt want to end our marriage either. He still stays us 4 days a week and our relationship has continued to improve. He tells me he is in love with me and he cares about her. She was there for him at some really low points in his life and he feels guilty. Yes we are having sex all the time and I know they are very rarely if at all having sex now. He has said so many times I never expected this to happen and I am so sorry. I am so confused on how to move forward he has said. He also has told her and me he will never leave me fully. That I would have to ask him to leave me. I am not there yet. He started individual counseling first and know one would see us for marriage counseling at all because he is still in the affair. I started individual counseling myself but I am stopping because my counselor keeps questioning why I am staying and has stated she just doesnt understand anyone who would stay in this situation. Its not easy but in my heart I truly believe with therapy my husband will come home full time and this will never happen again. On the nights hes not here I do enjoy being alone. The boys think he is living with his male friend still and no one in or families even know he moved out back in Jan. They all think he is still here all the time because they are extremely judgemental and would drive me crazy asking me if I was ok. I do believe this is also a midlife crisis type of thing along with the substance abuse. Anyway my problem is I am extremely controlling. I have become somewhat obsessed with putting boundaries on things. When I first found out I told my husband you can not call her you havent for two years its not starting now. He calls me multiple times a day and at night before he goes to bed and that has not changed. My issue is he has started to call her on his way home from work on the days he isnt going to her house. Part of me just wants to ignore it because i am trying to give up controlling him because that doesnt work and is to much energy. But another part of me thinks I need to hold him accountable for the fact that he promised not to call her except maybe once a week. But on the days he doesnt call her she will message him on facebook constantly and drive us crazy. So I dont know which is worse. Also my husband is comfortable with his counselor but she cant seem to see him every week. She cant see him for two weeks now but then he made appointments for two weeks straight which is good. i had hoped that by the end of the month we could both meet with his counselor and start some marriage counseling as she had stated we could do that eventually. But he has only had three session as of now and not sure what to do. In my mind I have set a goal for the end of the year to make a decision of whether things are moving in a direction I can live with or whether its time to get out. He makes so many future plans with me. I have read so many things on line and they all contradict each other. If its a midlife crisis pushing him wont work so be patient. Leave him if he wont leave his mistress. He is a good man who I believe with the right help will be a wonderful husband after this. He has always been a proud man and for him to ask for help is huge so thats what gives me hope I guess. I took my vows seriously and just because this is a bad time I dont want to give up just yet. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your blog it is very interesting to read.


I really enjoyed this article and have been living in the aftermath of my husbands affair now for 2 1/2 years. The OW was married too with 3 children, just like us. Once I found out about the affair we separated and he asked to come home a month later with all kinds of promises of getting help, fully ending the affair, etc…. I had to tell him to leave 6 months later as I caught him again in the affair, found the second secret phone and he refused to attend counseling with me. I was devastated, felt on the verge of a nervous breakdown and got to work on me. At this point we had been married almost 25 years, together 28 years. This was in Jan. 2012… I made the decision to talk with the OW at our gym, well that did not go well. I should have known and listened to others who said she was very self absorbed, loved flirting and truly saw my husband as her savior, save her from her “horrible husband”. I actually texted her pretending to be him and according to her words and texts I was a manipulator, I was a BSer who only said things to get my way, that I could never make him happy, etc.. Then I spoke up in a parking lot to her only saying, I know everything and now everyone else will too (we have many mutual friends), she then proceeded to hit me with her car as I walked away. Thank God I was not hurt and the Police were called. At that time my husband defended her, blamed me for his affair, etc.. We tried 3 different therapists and each time he refused to go back.. I then met another man and to this day we still see each other. He taught me a lot and now I have a big decision to make.

Fast forward to today, all of a sudden the affair is over and it ended badly and he wants me back. I never filed the divorce papers but we have not had any sort of relationship since Jan 2012 except for our children. We have always come together for them even doing holidays, birthdays etc.. Now we do for our grandchildren.

So how will I know and how best to even give this some thought? We are with a new counselor, first session last night. We are exploring and the counselor said this to us and we will each see her individually next week then she brings us together. She said we should date to explore if we even want to be with each other.

Me, I am still seeing my other man. My husband knows this and snooped and found my journal and read about how I am struggling trying to sort my feelings for this man. I wonder if that is why now he wants me completely back? This was not his first affair, he had one early in our marriage too but I choose to stay and we worked hard for years. We hit the 22 year mark of our marriage and things were crumbling a bit and I would beg him to talk to me, tell me what was going on, please stop shutting me out. Instead he went outside the marriage….

How can I ever trust him again? Can this really work? I feel pretty flat towards my husband. I know meeting this other man and seeing him as really complicated things. But I think of how much he helped me grow…. I feel now I can be completely honest with him and let him decide if we should end things or just take breathing space so I can explore what I truly want??? I am confused, scared but also feel that finally I could just be alone and will be just fine.


I have a different opinion and approach.
For the betrayed wife:
I’m curious what she is holding on for. The only logical and acceptable reason is for the kids. Of course the rest are merely selfish reasons – his financial stability for her, pride of “giving” him to the other woman etc. If it is truly love, there is no need for #3. Moving on = starting afresh. Harping on his mistakes only reinforces his view that his wife is difficult and makes him regret his decision cos now, he is barely happy having to deal with a perpetually emo wife. Men has pride. How many times u expect him to deal with his “mistake”? Let me guess, she probably brings the affair up everytime she is insecure, unhappy, or have an argument. My point is simple, if u can’t forgive and forget, it’s time to dump him and move on. Surviving and repairing a marriage requires both to work on it. #3 is lopsided. Victim gets protected, betrayer better bear the consequences. Fact is, he betrayed u and admited. What more details is there to know? The more she knows, the more paranoia there is where she links every possible circumstance to possibility he is still cheating. Any therapy should be to resolve marriage issues that results in an affair, not focusing on the affair again n again. The betrayed will eventually stop attending the therapy sessions.
For the cheating husband:
i do not think he “has the cake and get to eat it”. Leading double lives, he lives in constant fear of getting caught. For an emotional affair, worse. It bothers him trying to find opportunity to contact his other partner, especially during family time. If the worst happens, he is faced with a scorned wife and other woman. He has the most to lose at the end of it. One lie after another. Of course i’m relating only to those cheaters with emotional affairs. Ppl say if he really loves the other woman, he wld leave his wife and be with her exclusively. Similarly, if he genuinely loves his wife, he wld end the affair and return for the “stability” and “true love” in his marriage. But why do these cheaters hold on to their affairs for years despite their wife’s constant suspicions? Why are they willing to go through the constant fights arising from wife’s suspicions? This “fantasy” with the other woman that many speak of, perhaps is more real than their marriage. In emotional affairs, it is not just sex. These pair shares all thoughts with each other, including problems, issues and it is the emotional support for each other that creates a bond and emotional relationship. This bond is missing between the cheater and their wife. Many times, the cheater helps out with the other woman’s general issues, financial issues, even just a light bulb change. It’s no fantasy.
My approach is very simple for those “trying”. Ur cheating husband constantly compares their wife, life with wife to their other woman. Even now, it is a fact. It is important to prove that u as the wife, is the better and correct choice. Otherwise, its always in his little head that he regrets going back to the wife. Men are attracted to spontaneous, strong and independent woman. Showing him u have forgiven him, and let’s move on creates a great impression of a different, magnanimous woman u r. He will appreciate and view you the “better” woman. Subconsciously u r also making him feel more guilty of what he has done. This, versus constantly hounding him on ur broken heart and asking neverending qns (why is she better than me) has that same effect of creating guilt in him, except the second makes him dread coming hm to u. Dread everytime u mention abt being distant, he’s different etc.
These views are but my own. But food for thoughts.

    Kim L

    What your food for thought misses out on is the trauma an affair causes to the relationship and the one betrayed. Trauma is not healed by just “moving on- starting afresh.” It is healed by putting a meaning and place to the trauma. Your view of “make yourself the better woman” negates the betrayed person’s experience and feelings; not a healthy way to build a good relationship.

    However, what you did correctly describe is the different places people are in after the discovery of an affair. The unfaithful spouse often feels relief from the stresses you described. He/she has the opinions “now it is out in the open we don’t have to think about it and can move on.” That’s not at all where their spouse is; the spouse needs to understand what happened and come to grips with it. That is part of healing the trauma.

    Understand this, the unfaithful one has been thinking about the affair and living it for a long time; the betrayed spouse hasn’t. That’s part of the reason the betrayer is ready to move on; they have known about this since the beginning. When new information comes in a healthy person takes time to understand it and put it into perspective; the hurt spouse needs to do this healthy thing. The betrayed partner needs to come to grips with what happened and decide if they do want to make it work with the person who hurt them so much. That doesn’t just happen from a single “I’m sorry, can we put this behind us?” statement. It comes from real remorse and real work over time. Remember, trust isn’t just a given, it is earned… it is earned through trustworthy behaviors. The unfaithful spouse really didn’t consider their partner’s feelings when they were cheating, now they have to take the time to show consistently that they can truly do so now.

    As I said in the original post, a good therapist will move a couple through the stages of grief and healing to a point where the affair is no longer the focal point of the work. A good therapist will know when the hurt partner needs to start moving on and will support the unfaithful one in making appropriate moves too. A good therapist will help determine how much and what type of information needs to be shared to heal the relationship. A good therapist helps the couple move past victim/betrayer mentality to “we are a couple” focus. But none of this happens by ignoring the needs of the hurt spouse.


Different situation here. One month after we got married my husband began an affair relationship with my maid of honor, my cousin my bestfriend.yes one person. They made a baby together on purpose. Plan to just be friends and not tell me. My cousin moved away. Now a yr later the baby has been put up for adoption. My husband are still together. Waiting for the dna results. My cousin not only was sleeping with my husband she had a few other partners. So luckily i had tests done. Im disease free. Just lost
Not sure what to do.

    Kim L

    Get a counselor for your health and wellness; someone you see yourself so you can get clear. If you are serious about staying with your husband, there is a huge amount of work on trust and the relationship that needs to be done; insist on seeing a good couples’ counselor together. Make sure it is someone who works primarily with couples (75% or more of their practice) not someone who “will see” couples. A good resource for great couples’ counselors is Terry Real’s page.


      Thankyou . The company i work for offers 5 free sessions for just me to start with. I tried counselng a few months ago. But it was just expensive.

        Kim L

        Take advantage of the 5 EAP sessions you have, and see if you can find a counselor through a local community mental health agency; they are often less expensive. Ask the counselors in your area if they will do a sliding scale and work with you on the cost. Lastly, get and read either of Janis Springs’ books How Can I Forgive You? or After the Affair to start the process of healing things. Ask your husband to go through the book with you and help.


Hi I’ve been reading through some of these stories and you have some great advice to give to people. How long does it generally take for someone to get over the cheating? I caught my fiancé cheating on me 4 years ago, now I don’t know if I’m overly emotional but it felt like someone I loved had just died. Since then we’ve been through couples counselling and I’ve been to one on one with a psychologist I thought it helped, at the time I left I was 2 mths pregnant with twins and I no longer knew what to talk about, I felt like We would be alright. But life since is so sad, I cry almost everyday we barely talk because its mostly attacking each other then I end up in tears. My life feels sad, empty, loveless and insecure everything is insecure I always fear we’ve created a sad home for our kids. The twins being 3 don’t understand what’s happened but kids feel when their parents are unhappy, our 14 year old knows everything and has witnessed our tiffs and yelling. My sad moods are ruining my family and I don’t know what to do anymore. I just want the happiness our little family had before the affair, I want our twins to experience the love we use to have in our home. I want the love of my life back I feel like the man I’m living with is a total stranger. Plz help.

    Kim L


    Thank you for the compliment! It is appreciated.

    To answer your basic question, time varies from person to person. Generally it is considered usual to be 3-5 years before people feel more normal, like after the death of a loved one. As you pointed out, affairs cause loss like death does. Affairs are both a loss and a violation. You did well to seek counseling.

    However, it may or may not be the affair that is the cause of where you are right now. There may be major relationship issues separate from the affair. Often relationships have issues (either from before the affair or caused during/after the affair) that need addressed. It may be time to get back into couples’ counseling to work on the relationship itself, not just deal with the after effects of the affair. If you and your spouse are such strangers, it’s not good – reconnect before another affair happens.

    You mentioned “life since is so sad”, and that makes me wonder if you are struggling with any depression symptoms. Please talk to a doctor or psychiatrist about this possibility. It is especially important as you said “since” and it was also after your twins’ birth which could mean you had some post-partum depression that triggered into something longer.

    Please don’t think I’m brushing things off and “blaming” you for depression – I just want you to leave no stone unturned and to make sure you are supported to be healthy. Usually relationship issues are a whole combination of things, not a single answer.

    Lastly, you are right, even infants are influenced by fighting in the house. Studies have shown infants actually suffer sleep problems after hearing a single fight between their parents. Get help for you and your husband, and you’ll help your kids.

Reconciling after an affair- three mistakes the cheater makes

[…] after an affair- three mistakes the cheater makes Reconciling after an affair- three mistakes the cheater makes From the article: Your courageous work if you are trying to recover your marriage after and […]


I got married at the age of 20, 5 days before our daughter was born in 2007. Things were great when we were dating, but as soon as we got married and our child was born, he became increasingly paranoid, suddenly deciding that friends I was close to were no longer ok to talk to and the like. I ended up cutting off contact with all of my old friends to make him happy, and he still constantly accused me of flirting with people when I was going out of my way to make sure I wasn’t. Once I had recovered from having our child, I got a really good job and since he was severely unhappy with his, I suggested that he quit and take care of her during the day while I got settled into my job and could afford childcare, then go and look for a better one. The problem occurred when a year and a half later, he still had no job (and hadn’t been searching for one) and to top it off, I still did everything around the house. His reasoning was that I worked from home, so I had all the time in world to take care of cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. Sometimes I was working 10-12 hour shifts and then still being expected to cook dinner, clean the house, and take care of the baby. If I didn’t want to cook, he complained. When I suggested he cook, he scoffed.

I finally got up the nerve to tell him that I wanted to leave him in April of 2009. He cried, he begged, he pleaded, and he tried to convince me to stay, but I had already made plans and had no choice financially but to follow through. (I guess I considered it a failsafe at the time) My mother helped me secure a new apartment and helped me and the kiddo get moved in, sans husband. The night before my new life was supposed to begin, he showed up at the door to my new apartment, once again in tears. After talking for hours, he convinced me somehow to let him move in.

For a few months afterward, everything was great. He had seemed to completely change himself for the better, and I was overjoyed. About 6 months later, though, he started to backslide, with everything wrong rearing its ugly head again. The accusations and insecurity got worse as well, (he even went behind my back and set up my Instant Messaging client to log all of my conversations so he could read them later. They were normal, civil conversations with friends, but still) and any time I brought up that I was unhappy with our situation, he became dismissive and told me, and I quote, “How can you not be happy? I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.” I have heard this phrase too many times to keep track of.

About two months ago, I told him that his constant dismissal of my feelings and lack of concern for my happiness had caused me to call into question whether or not I still love him. We’ve been trying to work on it since then, but a few weeks ago, a mutual friend of ours noticed that I was incredibly stressed and, concerned, asked me if I was all right and if there was anything he could do to help. We’d known him for years and trusted him as a good friend to both of us, so the dam just kind of broke open. I poured out my feelings and concerns about my marriage to him, and I was so ecstatic to have someone that would actually listen and respond to me voicing my feelings.

I am a very emotional individual, and I have a bad habit of letting my emotions run higher and have more weight behind them than they should. I didn’t fall in love with this mutual friend, but I became very attracted to him, and in expressing my own concerns about me being overweight and having trouble with fixing that, he expressed that he’s been attracted to me the entire time we’ve known each other but chosen to say nothing. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of allowing the two to mix together, and one night when my husband was at work and my daughter was at her grandmother’s house, he came over and we had sex.

Despite regretting betraying my husband and my daughter, we met up a couple more times over the past couple of weeks and did it again. I felt an emotional connection with him, and for the first time in a while, in my over-stressed life, I was having fun. The whole time, in the back of my mind, I knew it was wrong and that I should end it, but I was also enjoying myself and couldn’t convince myself to stop. I’m not making excuses for myself, but I cannot deny that there was something there that I was not getting in my marriage. This friend isn’t the type of person I’d want a relationship with, but I did enjoy the times we were together.

Fast forward to yesterday, when he uncovered the text conversations this friend and I had been having. He was of course angry and devastated, as he had every right to be, and he spent hours screaming at me, insulting me in every way possible, telling me this makes me a bad mother, etc. I sat back and let him vent and yell, as I have no right to complain. I deserve everything that comes my way from all of this. He says he wants to reconcile, but with me already having questioned my feelings toward him, I’m not sure it would be worth it. I’ve already severed all contact from this friend, but he cannot do that as they also work together.

I can admit that I was very selfish and foolish in doing what I did and I make no excuses. I think in the back of my mind, I wanted him to leave me, but now I’m not sure. I need to figure this out for myself, but I have no idea where to even begin.


Kim: Thanks for this blog post, I find you insight useful and it helped settle me down a little bit today.

I had a 6 month emotional affair and I know that I have hurt my wife terribly. I chose to reveal to my wife what was going on as I know she was suspicious and my behavior was erratic at best. This was back on June 13. That same weekend I cut all ties and stopped seeing the other woman. I signed up for counseling the following Monday and have been attending weekly sessions ever since. Initially my wife wanted to kick me out of the house right away, but I am still at home, thorough her grace, though things are very tense and she is very bitter. I have been an emotional wreck ever since, dealing with my guilt, anxiety and the hurt I have caused my wife and our children. I also struggle with my patience with my wife, the not knowing where she is at creates a lot of mental turmoil for me at times to the point of it affecting my productivity, sleep and eating habits. I know, I know, I am moving too quickly for her timeline and that she needs time and space, but I am having difficulty keeping all my emotions in check. I am trying to reign myself in, learn to keep quiet, and slow down. Any suggestions for that?

My wife says she is seeing a counselor too. In spite of us seeing individual counselors, I would like us to also be seeing someone jointly so that when we do decide to have discussions about the underlying issues in our marriage that made me vulnerable, they are productive discussions.

This weekend I suggested, again, that we go see someone jointly as it seems our two individual counselors advice to us are contradictory…i.e mine says to talk about things with her, hers not so much. She somewhat, SOMEWHAT, agreed to attend a joint session with me and told me to set it up with my guy. Now I am not so sure I should schedule something because I think she may have agreed just to placate me. I told her as much, that I was sorry for pressing the point with her. She said, something to the effect of “set it up, it may be your only chance, …” Because of that statement, I am considering changing my next counseling session to an afternoon appointment, to fit her schedule, and then just telling her when my next session is and that if she feels led to attend, she is welcome to, thus giving her the choice. Good idea or not? Some books say that “if you’re having too many discussions about what happened in your own head, then you’re not have those discussions with the right person, your spouse,…” In your opinion are joint sessions more beneficial to productive communication and healing than individual sessions?


    Kim L

    Nothing is more detrimental to a marriage in trouble than seeing only individual therapists (unless they work closely with each other.) Therapists work in different ways and have different understandings. Additionally, an individual therapists may not be versed in couples work. I’d suggest you folks go to a third person who is totally neutral and who specializes in couples work (meaning 90%+ of the practice is couples.) One place to find such a therapist is on Terry Real’s site.


Hi Kim
I would like to add he did blame me for his affair at first claming that we drifted apart. However, while we go through counceling, there was no major issue in our relationship. It was just exegerated cause she portraybto him she is similar to me in many ways but better cause she is younger. He even did a pros and cons list prior to discovery and realised he knew nothing about her and the only thing in her favour is age. During the initial first 2 months of discovery, my boyfriend knows he wants to save the relationship but had difficulties getting over her as he sees her at work every day. He did alot of stupid things which almost ended our relationship during those 2 months. He even contact her for a few days over Skype to ensure she is not pregnant, he claim it was his way to protect our relationship. But a small part was to ‘touch’ his sex toy for one last time. He confessed this contact when she called him middle of the night after they ‘ended’ it over Skype when he was sure she had her period during chat. During those times he even sent Valentine’s flowers to me which i found out was initially pre-ordered for her towards the last 2 days prior discovery. He refused to accept what kind of woman she is even tough he heard stuff from his senior whom she dumped, insisting she is a nice girl. Yet he doesn’t want me to leave. He later put all the blame on her when his mind gotten clearer. Then finally he took full responsibility upon himself after he woke up from the fantasy and realize it was his choice no matter how she manipulated him. I guess all these happenings put me in a continuous dilemma. I realized i don’t know him. It is very scary.

    Kim L

    He probably feels like he doesn’t even know himself. Many cheaters say “I never thought I’d do something like this,” and they mean it. Sounds like he went through a normal progression of trying to find the why (“my relationship was bad”), to blame (“it’s all the other woman’s fault”) to shame (“It’s all my fault.”) Hopefully he’ll reach true remorse which takes responsibility for what is his and helps him see any red flags in the future.
    Trust can be rebuilt, but it takes a long time and lots of trustworthy actions and attitudes.


    They ALL blame the faithful spouse. They cannot handle the guilt. My wife tried to convince me that my step daughter hated me, was afraid of me, and my food made her sick. She insulated me from my in laws, who I loved dearly, and was DESPARATE for our friends to accept him as the new Mr. She even tried to paint me as abusive to her attorney, who knows me as well and told her she was ridiculous. She couldn’t handle the obligations of her guilt.


Hi Kim
It’s been 6 months since I found out my boyfriend of 7 yrs cheated one with his co-worker. He begged for forgiveness, claiming i m the love of his life and initiated couple counceling. He claimed it was a mistake, the woman whom he later found out after the affair was exposed is a gold digger did the same thing t 2 of his other colleagues and one left his fiancée only to be dumped by her. He cut off all contact with her, left the job and answered all my questions. From what i gathered, she initiated to be his chat friend though their work are not related and work on him for 3 months when he finally caved in and started a 3 weeks affair with her. He claimed he knew it was a mistake and they had nothing in common. Her conversations are very immature, she is 16 years younger than me, and suspicious when she would talk about how her bf has no more overtime wages and Chanel handbags. He knew i was checking his phone so he left text for me to find as he didn’t knowhow to tell me. I m angry that he let such a person ruin our loving relationship. All trust we built for 7 yrs is now gone. He was suppose to protect me not hurt me. I use to trust he would save my life if anything happens. Although he is very transparent n patient, i just could not get over it. We are not married, I could just leave. But he is my partner and i love him deeply. We have been seeing a councelor for 3 months since i was suffering from mild PTSD but i m still constantly indecisive about whether to stay or leave


Dear Kim,
I am very glad I stumbled upon this. I will admit, begrudgingly.. and sadly; I was the one in my marriage who had an affair. It started innocently. (Or as innocently as it could have) I had a long time friend move near to where I am. He had just gotten divorced and I was on a fast track to the same outcome. My husband was very emotionally abusive and had used sex as a tool against me. He quite often took what he wanted and left me emotionally scarred, in pain and alone. I am not saying what I did was right, in any way shape or form. I am not saying he deserved it or anything of the sort. I am just saying that not everyone who has an affair is a genuinley bad person. My husband had basically cut me off from all friendships and was so wrapped up in all of his problems he felt it was all ok and he was justified in mistreating me. I honestly was looking for a way out and a reprieve of sorts. I just wanted to feel alive again. And I did. I felt loved and wanted for the first time in a long time. I tried to cut all ties with this person and end it , time after time. I knew what I was doing was wrong. I felt intense guilt each time. But each time my husband would touch me it made me feel so dirty sexually, so used.. I felt that I could not give up that little bit of sunshine I had in my life. I knew it wasn’t fair to keep my husband in a marriage where I was an unfaithful spouse.. So I tried to end it. I even moved out for a bit to give him space. But he begged me to stay. I loved him, and even through what I had done; he loved me. I came clean about the cheating later on, a couple days after I moved back in. My husband personally did not want to know the details of my affair and left it at that. We are in marriage counseling and are genuinley doing better overall. He is in therapy for his temper and I am in therapy as well to work out the reasons I felt the need to look out side my marriage for the things I should have sought my husband out for. I have given him the space he needed and provided him with plenty of chances to ask about it. I understand it’s a healing process. I personally have cut ties with the guy I cheated with. Even though he was a long time friend and still wishes to stay friends, I know it isn’t what’s best. After all this, my ‘friend’ wants to talk to my husband. He says that he needs to come clean as well. I don’t feel it’s going to help anything as I personally believe this is between my husband and I. Yes, he was involved and is at fault as well, But if it is my husbands personal wish to move on with our lives and address our issues between us, should I let him talk to my husband? I feel like if I do, it’s just going to pour salt in the wound so to speak. My husband always suspected something was going on and often talked about being jealous of the relationship I had with my friend. I honestly want to cut ties with this person and pick up what pieces I have left of my marriage. ( My husband was unfaithful to me once before and we were still recovering and moving on from that, I allowed him to personally end it and honestly didnt want to talk to that person, and he feels the same way now.) I know we aren’t the best couple, and I know alot of people on here might say that we “deserve each other’. But before you point and judge, it is very easy to be weak and the need for kindness and compassion can fast turn into a slippery slope when honestly you have no where else to turn. I just don’t know what to do..

    Kim L

    If your friend was not a friend of your husband, then there is no reason for him to “come clean.” It’s only a way for your friend to try to make himself feel better, but is a way to hurt your husband more. I’m glad you both are in therapy individually and for your marriage. Abuse is not acceptable, at all. And as you pointed out, an affair is not the way to respond to it. Both of you have done bad things, now it is time to start to heal that. If your friend wants to talk about the affair, suggest he seek his own counselor.


My husband and I met when i was 16 and he was 18. We didn’t really have previous relationships so we lacked experience. we got married 5 years after most of it being a long distance relationship as i had to move back to my home country with my family after being a couple for 7 months.
He seemed trustworthy and i never showed jealousy when he visited his female friends with some of his male friends. we had daily calls or messaging.
2 years after being a couple, i was on a school trip, got drunk and made out with a guy who took the first chance he could get. my, at that time bf forgave me in a split second and never mentioned it again as he knew how remorseful i was. and i truly was!

after we got married i had to go back to my home country to sort out some paper work which failed so i sorta moved to his parents place for 8 months though it was only planned to be a vacation.
in that period, only a few weeks before i had to take my flight back home i found a lot of chat logs on his pc, which were all with girls from all around the world. he was having cybersex with them. it had started 3 months after getting married!
he denied it all and said it was just friendship and nthg more, even though the chats were obvious that it lead to getting undressed etc. i had to leave and told him i needed a break but he looked devastated. a few months later he convinced me into moving to his country for good and finally living our married life. he had promised he didnt have secret online accounts and everything had stopped.
i believed him but with help of a spying software i found out he was lying. he made up excuses and i felt stuck in the situation as i had moved to his country while my mom had actually advised me against it, so with the pride i had i didnt wanna show my mother she was right so i thought my husband would care for my feelings as he had done in the past. 10 months after confronting him with the cybersex thing, he finally admitted it while we were having other issues like his addiction to porno. at some point i was too depressed and found no point in life that i finally told him i needed a break which would probably lead to a divorce. he took me for granted and i was weak, so only a couple of weeks after separation i was talking to him again. he told me he stopped watching porn movies and so i moved back to him, this time he had also left his country so both of us had no family around.
2 months later i found some files on his pc that proved he was watching porn movies and lied about it and i had also caught him watch one, once. it hurt me that he kept lying, coz at that time we were apart so i wouldnt have cared whether he was watching any or not but he fooled me again and continued to do so when i was there.
i packed to leave but once again he cried and begged so i stayed. this went on several times and each time i got more depressed until 3 years into our marriage i thought of nothing else but suicide.

and then there was this male friend that was close to both of us but he lives in my husband’s home country. i started an affair with him which was mainly emotional but developed into cyber sex and when we went on vacation it got physical, too.
it stopped a few months later, for around a year. husband never found out.
things started getting a bit better between husband and me. slowly but it was going uphill.

then one day when we were on vacation at my family’s place, i found a secret facebook account online that must have belonged to my husband. he had only 1 woman on his friend list and i remembered seeing her name during the time he was having cybersex almost 5 years ago. he denied it, when i went to my room he contacted our male friend to go online and act he is a stranger that used his picture to talk to that woman. husband called me to see that he was chatting with the person of that account, to prove it cant be his account. i didnt believe him but didnt do anything as i had no evidence, but things changed again from that day.

2 months later that male friend came to visit us and his family in the country we lived in. he told me he was the one chatting with us that day when i found the secret account. i hadnt told this friend anything about it, so he couldnt have lied about it. then told me my husband was having happy ending massages for quite a while.

my affair with this man started again and one day within those 2 weeks my affair partner was there, i caught my husband on the phone. he wasnt at home as he told me he was and after a lot of denying and lying he admitted it, but i had packed and booked a ticket back home already. he also admitted he was talking to that woman again, but nothing more than friendship. he said during the cybersex period he fooled her and she had feelings towards him but they never had cybersex. he contacted her out of guilt for treating her bad to apologize for being out of her life all of a sudden while she was being a good friend that showed signs of feelings but never acted upon it.
i took my affair to the next level and had sex once. then left.

2 months later, after being in contact with my husband through mails in which he was begging me to give him another chance and i wasnt doing anything but blame him and make him feel miserable, i remembered that i cheated too.
he already had sex with 2 other women and said he had enough of that dating life and wanted to be with me and finally he matured and knows he wants us to be serious. but he also strengthened the bond with this other woman. they were looking forward to meet when they both could, to make sure they life each other else than only on the phone. one day his denial phase was over and he sent her a message that he still loves me and needs to be true to himself so he needs a break and wont talk to her.

i couldnt take myself anymore and the monster i became, so i confessed my affair.
he says he is trying to move past it but he isnt sharing his thoughts. we r in 2 different countries so i tell him that talking is all we have but he sees only a 1% chance to be with me again. i visited him for 10 days. we had both changed, as he had told me before. we had very good moments and some bad ones as well.

the past 2 weeks he became very distant. i told him i would keep everything he has done in the past and never mention anything again if he gives me one promise, to be faithful and honest with me. during the past few weeks i always told him he needs time to heal and he can take as much as he needs.
last week he didnt speak to me for more than 2 days. i flipped out and told him i’m done with his games, he called me to only explain it’s been hard for him. he thought it was over, but i didnt.
2 days later we spoke and i asked him for the REAL reasons why he isnt giving our marriage some times so he can heal. after a long conversation and sorta being back together because he accepted to give us more time, he told me the day he stopped speaking to me (before i “dumped” him) he contacted that woman again. i got angry because 3 months ago i gave him a free pass to call her and not let things unfinished as he once did in the past. i told him do it now, coz i dont wanna deal with this any time in the future again. he said he didnt need to anymore.

i got mad why he spoke to her again and we shouted at each other. he justifies it to be normal, as he wants nothing more than friendship from her coz he cant speak to anyone about my affair with his best friend so she is the only one he can talk to. besides he cant hurt her and tell her once again that he will break the contact just because he wants to try to work things out with his wife.

i thought he changed. but now i feel if i fight for our marriage he will abuse my trust again and continue to do even worse maybe. i dont know what to do as the situation is much harder because of the long distance between us. and of course i am too afraid of moving to him again as i feel i became a clown to my family with this on and off marriage thing. i am ashamed to have to pack my things one more time and come back to my mother.
at the same time i know there is no way to fix things over the distance. i was ready to move but now that he contacted this woman again, i got really scared. is it a sign that he will always betray me? see me as a weak person that takes him back no matter what he does?
he doesnt have money for counseling as i used his credit cards on a revenge trip so he is still paying those off.

any suggestion would be much appreciated.
by the way, i have called a doc to get me into therapy for all the depressions i’ve been having but in my country, this takes a bit of a process time.

    Kim L

    If, as you clearly describe, he has addiction issues, he can’t be healthy in your marriage. Until he gets serious help (specific treatment for sexual/porn addiction) at somewhere like the Meadows in AZ, USA, he won’t be able to be faithful. Some places offer scholarships, and if he’s really dedicated he’ll find a way.
    Secondly, don’t move to him until you feel comfortable and you both have been acting trustworthy. If you are somewhere without support you can’t make healthy decisions.


Hello. December 27, 2011 found out about affair husband was having for 6 months. Lied about continuing to talk to her until her mother called me in middle January. I think they communicated for a while, instinct tells me so. Then I believe it did stop. I was desperate to save the marriage, we did not go to counseling, he refused. I struggled and he never wanted to talk about it.
We did grow close again, but it would be in waves. we took a trip in January of 2013 to the beach. The day we returned I received an email from an ex husband of a woman my husband worked with up until she left in 2010. He told me that his ex wife called him and confessed she had slept with “my husband” 100’s of times and was telling him because she just found out her fiancé cheated on her and she felt bad. We have found out that the affair “relationship” went on for over 4 years. Ok. I was livid. I calmed down and agreed to begin counseling with him, now he is begging, he knows this is not looking so good. In the first month of counseling we were doing all the homework, love languages work and I felt I was honeymooning from all the attention. As counseling continued I felt safe in their to bring up things that were bothering me, his drinking and history of issues with it late nights and noticed he was now justifying the beers in a nice but scared way. It is now about April going into May and counseling has pretty much stopped…we were progressing and doing good enough, but I was finding my lashing out at him after a good evening was continuing. Then I was realizing I hated who I had become. I loved that I have dropped a size or 2 but hated that I was not trusting him. I began to realize my life wasn’t changing. Routine of weekends and beers then dinner and fighting was getting old. I tried to tell him I want to do the homework we used to do. I communicated my hard times. we are now end of May and June 2013 and we are really fighting. He is unable to control that he is seeing my unhappiness and I am not meeting him anymore for drinks. I am pulling away and I am mad and sad and I don’t trust him to change. He once told me when he was a bit buzzed that he isn’t going to kiss my ass for the rest of his life.
Here is the other facts. He has 3 children I have one child. all teens and above. My son is the youngest and is a sophomore and his son is a junior…his 2 daughters are out of the house, college and married. So now I have told him that I am done, we should separate, I am not happy I can’t take it and I am moving forward. I have an apt with lawyer this week. He continues to harass me for the last 3 weeks that I am ruining the kids lives. That he is going to quit his job and move because he can’t stay here in this town and run into me. He has professed his undying love for me and says that I am messing up the whole family and all the kids lives. He is being very hurtful and he is still in my house. He admits that he knows this is all his fault but he says I could fix it by trying and that I am ruining the family. “his Kids” are struggling of course because he has told the college one that he cant afford her college now because he is going to quit his job and the teen boy is in trouble with pot and he just sent him to live with his oldest. Now he is telling me he lost everything and its my fault. He is a VP for a large company, makes 6 figures. I am a social worker for a non profit agency and I license foster homes. if he quits his job I will have to move in with my parents with my teenage son, which I will do, but he has taken every angle to make me feel like I am giving up and abandoning him and the family. His oldest daughter doesn’t think I am treating him good. Also, I have raised these kids for 10 years. The other parents are substance abusers and alcoholics, and I have been there for everyone and I have put my heart and life into this marriage and everything I look back on in our past he was with another woman…am I wrong for wanting out and needing my life back. My son showed me boxes in his closet he said he kept from the first affair we found out about in 2011. He is ready to get out. I love my family and all the kids and am so hurt he is making me feel responsible and that only one of his kids will even talk to me and I am not exaggerating when I tell you I raised these girls. arghhhhh.

    Kim L

    What would you, as a social worker, tell a client? One big thing I see running through your narrative is alcohol- that needs to be addressed (in you, in your spouse, and in your relationship). Consider what is/isn’t happening that makes it hard to reconcile. Weekends of fighting after beers isn’t a good way to create a healthy relationship.
    I’d also wonder at his level of controlling and vindictive behavior- as in threatening to quit his job, telling children he can’t pay for their college (as in punishing them for something that isn’t their fault), blaming you for his own choices.
    You folks do need to get back into therapy and you need to get the addictions/alcohol out of the middle.



I met my wife in our early twenties (22 years). I was an international student at the time. We got married in the process with good intentions of living together forever. I had seen my wife in a dream before I met her on the bus and we clicked straight away. In a nut shell, early days she denied me on the phone when we were in the park to a guy that she was alone whilst I was there with her. Secondly, she talks every time at night time with this guy from her country, they speak in their language which of course I didn’t understand. When I approached her she said that, nothing wrong in talking to a friend at night when we were both in bed. I told her that my female friends would be calling me as well from now on, she replied ” ok now I know that it was wrong so I won’t do it again. I encouraged her to continue to talk at night time which she said no I won’t because it was wrong. My wife never smoke but I found cigarette hidden in her jacket and when confronted, she said her job was so stressful and she needs it to calm down. Another time was when she went out without telling me but came back drunk and smelly of alcohol , also I found pictures of her ex took from the park on the computer. Apparently she met with her ex at the time. My was ex was married when she was sleeping with her at the time. The ex came back in to the picture again after 7 years. Anyway, I lost it and I started seeing other people outside. She caught me with texts on my phone that I was seeing someone. We break up and make up whilst living in the same house. I didn’t care so much but I really loved her. She became obsessive with my phone and she rang some many people on my phone asking them if they were seeing me. I will be honest I was and most of the time she was wrong. My wife was dirty and she does not take shower for a day or two. She told me one day that I can either have a dirty sex or leave it when I asked her to shower for sex. Our room is dirty and filthy. I cooked the food we eat as she has no love for cooking. I gave up and I get more joy from been irresponsible husband.

We have two children now both above 4 years old. 1.5 years ago, things got out of hands to start with. She doesn’t respect me and I feel useless. My big older brother became close to my wife and he tells my wife how irresponsible I have been in the past. He told my wife when I travelled home that I was sleeping in the hotel not at our parent house, he said I was going out party with my friend which caused my wife throwing a plastic chair and hit me when I came back. She tells my brother everything that happens and my brothers tells my mum, for instance , I started smoking and drinking or the way I spend money on my friends.

To cut the story short, I caught my wife talking and flirting with her ex again! When I asked her she went defensive and deleted on the messages on he fb straight away. I also found out that she was on dating site and met a guy the have been planning to meet. I saw email exchanged with her friends about this guy. She also sent email out to some of her friends that she is in love with a guy she met from Internet . She said we broke up three months ago but I was living there. Although things were tense between us at the time. I advised her that we should separate to see how we work things out. I moved out of the house but my wife had slept with alot of people- I found out when I moved back in. She went out using cocaine and a doctor from her work put drips on her at home? She decide to file in for divorce but I ignored it at first. I told her that we should start a fresh and forget about things that had happened. My children was doing bad at school and I have no experience at all. My children was badly affected with three month separation. I love them to bits. She said she has no feelings for me but we can seek counselling to restore the marriage if we can. After we sat down and tell each other that no male friends will come in the house again until I move back in. My wife invited her friend with benefit to visit her. I called her several times on the phone on the same day but she didn’t pick up untill 6 hours later. I told her to put my child on the phone- my child said” daddy mummy male friend came again” , my wife snatched the phone and switched the phone off. I asked her but she denied and my daughter said ” mummy said I should tell you anything again” so I backed off. After series of questions my wife admitted but said that the guy only came to collect a CD and he didn’t come inside. Then ex bofriend niece called her, I saw a text saying that” koolio (ex) said, he spoke to you today about me and ask me to call you about the placement you are arranging for me. I have moved back in at this point . When I approached her said it was a friend from work niece. I was stunned again. I told her what I saw but she told me that” I had told you the truth you will be like this and why don’t I have any privacy” some many lies along when we were reconciling and now I’m deeply unsettled and I just don’t know what I want from this marriage. Now she’s showing me more love and telling me she loves. I know nothing is happening with her at the moment but I don’t trust her anymore. Am I here because of my children?

Before you start you comment please don’t judge me or my wife. Just you opinion. I’m the one in this state of mind not you… Be fair in you opinion.


My partner of 7 years has just left me and gone back with is ex who cheated and left him 8 years ago she done many bad things in that 8 years sleeping with some of his friends and even there daughters boyfriend but yet he still took her back left me devastated don’t want to wish him bad but at the same time hope it fails between them wouldn’t have hurt that much if he had died just the thought of him playing happy family’s with her and now I am just left with a great big hole

    Kim L

    You are enough and you matter even if he chose to return to someone else. I’m sorry it hurts so much and I hope you find some strength and peace about the whole situation. This is a grieving process, so it will take some time. Find some small things to bring you joy – do something to enjoy nature, read a good book, take a warm scented bath, play with a pet. I wish you well.


My husband cheated on me two years ago, I found out & he continued to lie & talk to her for many months after (even while going through marital therapy), emotional affair turned sexual then continued emotionally because he couldn’t go anywhere as part of conditions to stay. He finally stated he ended it & wants to have his wife & family back totally. At the time we had one child & I was pregnant with second. I gave him the chance, despite the constant lies for our family sake. 6 months later they have a night of constant texting (I found out from phone bill). Confronted him said will never happen again, her dog died, wanted to send his condolences! BS! Made him leave for a week and my heart let him back in! Now a year later we are having some tough times with a lot of things & miraculously she calls at 11:30 at night & he lies about who it is calling! He denies having any contact w her – just a freak call! So confused!! A heart can only take so much, but he gets me all the time because he is a great father!! Anyone have any advise please?????

    Kim L

    Trust is only built on trustworthy behaviors and he’s not been consistently trustworthy according to your comment. Especially if he continued through therapy. One unbreakable rule after and affair is zero contact with the ex-lover. Another is no lying, period. Secrets are the start of a slippery slope back to affair behaviors.
    Get help, get back in therapy with him and a strong therapist, and insist on a cherishing rewarding relationship. You deserve it.


I have been married for 10 years .I found out my husband was texting and calling another women that a friend told him she had liked for a while. (She lives in another country) . He spoke with her for two weeks before I discovered the calls and text. When I confronted him at first he denied that it . As I pushed on, and told him that he had to go… He confessed !.. He apologized and said he was just curious .. I was incomplete shock.
He said he doesn’t want anything to do with her and didn’t feel anything for her, and loved me, he didn’t want to loose me.. But I still feel hurt and can’t trust him.. Ever since that happen everything has changed . He seems a bit distant and I feel suspicious with everything he does.. He wants me to not bring up the subject – ( his excuse) not to remember it. He has apologized for everything we do communicate more and he says he feels that our love has gotten stronger , but I don’t feel the same. His distance makes everything worst . I have told him how I feel and he says he feels the same .. And he gets mad when I tell him he’s distant,. Like ” here we go again” .. I don’t know if its worth staying together ! .

    Kim L

    It is difficult when an affair/in appropriate behavior is discovered because you and he are in totally different spots. You need to process it, feel the feelings, and work through it because you have been traumatized. He feels relief because he’s no longer hiding a secret and can “move on.” This means you want to talk about it and he wants nothing to do with discussions. However, there are consequences to acting the way he did, and one consequence is he’ll have to feel uncomfortable and talk about it so you both can learn from what happened and truly build something strong.
    Find a good couples’ therapist to work with and he/she can set the pace on talking versus moving forward.


Dear hurt and betrayed partner
the husband described could easily be me as I have betrayed my wife over 25 years and we are only now learning why. I understand that she has been profoundly hurt by my actions and we are at the very beginning of a long journey of reconnecting, it seems impossibly hard but where there is life…. Affairs really are a false reality as described they are full of childhood magic which can make them addictive. Once you make the first mistake, take that first step of inappropriate connection the next time it becomes easier. in the end if we are really honest with ourselves then we have to. take Responsibility and admit that what we have done is wrong, no excuses. I am lucky that my wife has stood by despite the tremendous pain she has endured, I truly hope that all you can find a way forward, the advice given in this site is excellent and I completely endorse it.
with love – a repentant spouse

    Kim L

    Thank you for your comment; it is good to hear from both sides and to hear you and your wife a taking steps to reconnect truthfully. You are right, once you lower the bar on your behavior it is easier the next time and you lower it further and further. It can be very addictive, but even in addiction there is responsibility.


      Thank you all for posting your differing viewpoints. Last week I confirmed that my husband of 19 years has been having an affair with his ex girlfriend. They previously dated for four years, then after a break- up, one more year.
      Their affair has been going on for the past three years. I have been suspicious for awhile and actually confronted my husband on numerous occasions telling him that I knew he had a girlfriend. Each time he ademently denied it. He told me I was crazy. That he only wanted me, he had no time and did not want a complicated life.
      So after a long time with no real sex and finding him with Viagra , I knew. Last week I finally found the proof. He has been seeing her every couple of weeks where he works or at a motel.
      He says he is sorry and can’t live without me. He is begging for forgiveness. Even went for counseling. I am so confused. I really love him buy am scared. He lied for three years up until the bitter end. He probably would still be seeing her had I not caught him. How can he love me when he lied for so long. Should I believe him now that he wants to save our marriage. Will he be able to get over her? He says there was never love.

        Kim L

        Go see a counselor with him. The only way you will know if he’ll be able to do it is if you give him the chance. Look for trustworthy behaviors and real commitment to you and your relationship.
        The best to you both.

Jenn C

I am 56, and my husband is a year older. Our kids are grown and finishing college soon.
He had an affair with a woman a few years older than my eldest son. She is 27.
The affair lasted for 2+years.
He said he has said sorry, it is a mistake, why cant we move one.
I have yet to recover or heal from the process. though I want the marriage to work. But I am not sure anymore.
There were a few so called ‘just friends’ before her, which he claimed they would throw themselves at any men who would buy them drinks at the bar. He has never entertained them. He entertained this one as he was angry with me, so he said. Is that reason good enough for an affair?
I think he just want to say it is my fault.
10 years ago, he met up with his old flame, who was married. She confided in him about her unpahhy marriage, and he would sneaked out to meet her, and those late night calls and texts. Her husband and her family told me about it. When I confronted him,he said he was providing a listening ears. I find that hard to believe.
From then till now, I would find texts with messages like I miss you or your touch and kisses… which he brushed aside saying these girls are crazy.

The latest tryst, is an emotional affair or midlife crisis, which has no cure?
I am dealing with it on my own, as I cannot deal with the shame and embarassment as we are people of status in our community and church.
I feel immensely inadequate for it has happened to me, I have caused it, and I cannot get out now. The affir is constantly on my mind during my waking moments.

    Kim L


    Get yourself professional support. Therapists are required to follow confidentiality- your story will not travel, but you need to talk to someone.

    By the way, you didn’t “cause” any affair, it (or the multiple affairs you describe) are all the choice of your husband. Saying you caused it is like the alcoholic who says “My wife makes me drink”… I always simply ask “Oh, does she hold you down and shove the bottle down your throat?” How someone responds to being unhappy in a marriage or mad at a spouse is their choice. Other people have been mad and constructively deal with it or ask for outside help for the marriage rather than cheating. Cheating was his choice, not your fault.

    Go get some support; you deserve it.

C Wiford

This page is very interesting and the advise you give is priceless. I have spent the last 20 years of my marraige with a verbally, emotionally abusive serial cheater. However, I do think that men or women who have cheated once and take your advise to work through it, seek counseling, and try to build an emotional and respectable bond, the devistating effects from an affair can be overcome. If you can not trust your spouse to do this, then it’s probably best to stop wasting time and move forward without them. I seperated from my husband 3 years ago, when I left, I was prepared to leave him behind and accepted he would more than likely be happy with the other woman. The relationship with the other woman lasted 6 weeks. She was married too, and begged her husband to take her back. He took her back. My husband was devistated. She left her husband again and went back to my husband, this has been going on for the past two years. Unbelievably this has happened before in our marriage . My husband has had many woman friends, one night stands, and if I didn’t leave when I did, I would be living in his hell right now. I’ve found that people that cheat, are not happy with themselves, and until that is repaired, the cycle does not stop. There is a saying, to love others, you must learn to love yourself. It is very true. If you love and respect yourself, you will find you will no longer allow anyone to abuse you. Lying and cheating is abuse. I tried to help my marraige by therepy, to insure this would never happen again, but it is sad when people do not want to change the bad behaviors and are happy having more than one lover.
If you are involved with a cheater, that’s exactly what you have is a cheater. I just wanted to share my experience with a serial cheater, you can probably imagine how many lives he and his lovers has affected with selfish behavior. If someone has the maturity to resolve issues they have with cheating, the marrage has a better chance. I can tell you from experience if they wish to shove it al under a rug and go forward leaving you with all the broken pieces, they just are not that into you, now are they

    Kim L

    C Wifford,
    Thank you for sharing your story. You are right; it is many times more difficult to reconcile with a serial cheater. Only if your spouse is seriously committed to making it work, changing their behaviors and being trustworthy 24/7 can things work out. If your spouse is more interested in boosting poor self image/ego or seeking something outside of your marriage that should be inside then there isn’t a chance to be had.


Hello. I have been in an emotional affair for about 7 months with a man I haven’t seen since HS, 23 years ago. We reconnected on FB. We are not old flames. Both married with kids. I thought my marriage of nearly 10 years was pretty good. We have overcome so much, but it’s always been a “me & him against the world” kind of thing. My affair partner has NOT been happy for quite some time. Also, we are 1200 miles apart. Neither if us could ever think to uproot our kids or leave them behind. So at best, if we ended up “together”, we’re looking at a long distance relationship. A weekend together here & there. But that’s really just background. My issue is after my husband suspected, asked, & I confessed, I have committed to working on my marriage then went back to contacting my affair partner about 6 times. I understand how I ended up in the affair. What I don’t understand is why I keep contacting him…crushing my husband who I love dearly & who lives me to put up with so much. I do want my marriage to work. I want to be happy. I don’t want to be a sneaky liar. A person with no integrity. Someone’s “other woman”. In the thick if it I thought my AP & I thought we were in love. He still does. I know it’s not the same as my husbands love, but I still tell him I love him. I still string him along. For some reason I need to know he’s not going anywhere. It’s craziness. And now I may have finally, with this last betrayal, put the final nail in the coffin for my marriage. My husband…my poor battered beaten husband…he has nothing left. I’ve betrayed him almost on a weekly basis. I’m so sorry & ashamed. But at this point it may not matter. I emailed my AP to end it. Showed my H the email. He wasn’t impressed. Anyway, I need to understand my behavior. I’m starting with a therapist Wednesday. But I came across this site & thought I’d get your input. It’s been about 7 weeks since disclosure. We’ve been to 2 therapists together. The 1st one I was still lying for 1st two appts, but he wasn’t interactive anyway. The 2nd one my H went alone the 1st time after a repeat betrayal. We went together the next time. Very heavy into biblical stuff. Not exactly my thing. He went alone last night because of last betrayal. I’ve created a huge mess. I want my life back!!!
Thank you!

    Kim L

    Find a good therapist for the two of you that you both can work well with. And find a therapist for yourself to dig into what it is you are searching for and why you keep going back to your emotional affair.

    Don’t be fooled, folks, an emotional affair is just as serious as a sexual one.


    No way is she serious about reconciliation.


    Here’s an idea. Stop acting as if you can’t stop these things from happening, and make the decision this MOMENT to put this trash behind you. OR. Get lost. I am the faithful husband who found out on the phone standing in front of a classroom full of high school kids. What you are doing to your husband is reprehensible, and in no way morally ambiguous. Shit or GET OFF THE POT.


I married when at the age of 22, my husband is 5yrs older. After we got married I realised that he was a good liar, and easily got away with endless excuses. We were always arguing over something he lied about. 3yrs after marriage I got pregnant and had a beautiful baby boy. My husband became distant, he was always wanting to go out with his friends. Making excuses to get out of the house. I am adamant he was having an affair, I just never got the chance to catch him red handed. He was just too good at hiding this stuff from me.

We’ve been seperated for over 2 years and I’ve asked for a divorce (where I live you have to be legally seperated for 2yrs prior to divorce). Now my ex wants to reconcile. I’m receiving a lot of pressure from my parents to reconcile for the sake of my child. My son sees his father once a week and loves spending time with his Dad.

My ex hasnt admitted to anything other than he’s lied in the past and now he has changed. How can I trust that? Deep down I wish that I lived in a perfect world and I could reconcile for the sake of my son. But in reality I don’t think that I can trust my ex. My elder sister also believes he cannot be trusted. Too much Sh*t happened in the past just to forget and move on, it will always come back in the future one way or the other.

What do you think I should do? I need 3rd party advise.

I want to find someone who will make happy, but am I being selfish? Should I look out for my sons happiness or mine?!

    Kim L

    Dear Sammy,
    A healthy relationship is made up of two free-standing individuals who choose to be together and to share. That choice means you aren’t forced by family or what you think society wants you to do. A healthy relationship is based on trust, and you still don’t trust your ex. That is sad, but it means he hasn’t been acting trustworthy. Trust isn’t a light switch to be turned on; it is build slowly by consistently trustworthy behaviors.
    If your ex is serious about reconciling, ask him to see an individual therapist about his past behaviors and future goals, and also ask him to go to marriage counseling with you. You can talk about the relationship history and your need for him to come fully clean about what he did- not just that he’s now “changed.” Those who can’t learn from the past together as a couple are doomed to repeat the patterns.
    This isn’t about choosing yourself over your son; he’ll be happy if you are a happy mother. He won’t be if you are miserable. Maybe you can be happy with your ex or maybe you want to move on, but only you can determine that (and I believe only after some counseling.)
    May you find a truly cherishing relationship,


Hello Dear, I meet my wife in December of 2000, in July of 2003 we decide to leave together, every thing about it was wonderful we had so many plans and dreams, we had so much to built.
At this time we were best friends, we talk about everything, was amazing, we used to talk about our previous relationship, etc… And during one those conversations she confessed being affair to one of those boyfriend she had, she sadly and full of remorse talked about it. I think the normal thing will be scared to hear something like that, but I was in deep in love and filing like that too, at same time more trust was built, she didn’t have to tell me nothing like that, and just play safe, but she choose the hard way.
We got married November of 2006, everything was nice, and all this time we had one single fight. The last quarter of 2008 we start to have communications problems, I know me I always going to talk, always. She stop to talk something was blocking her will to talk, I was always insisted to have conversations, just silence from her part, one day out no where she asked what was my thoughts about marriage counsel, without thinking in a stupid way a said. Marriage counsel it is for people that don’t know what kind of problems they have, or how to fix them, our problem is, we don’t talk you stop to talk to me, we don’t have conversations any more. How could I be so stupid and blind, that was her way to say, I want to talk again, I just need help to do so. I was poisoned with anger already, I never heard from her about marriage counsel again.
Our marriage went down hill so fast that I didn’t see coming, I got careless whit marriage, I was depress and eating like crazy, I got lot weight, when things was nice I had a nice body, I didn’t have interesting to do noting with her anymore. I moved out in October of 2009, after one week she came and we try to talk, but was lot of anger from both sides and we not fix nothing, just got worst. Time goes bye little by little, we start date again, and sex came back, and good filings, talking was not the same but we improved a lot, my anger was gone, we were talking again. We date for a long time waiting for the other one do the move, both of us didn’t have the courage to do. I step up and decide me going to do, in November of 2012 a got control of the situation, to determine what to do, to fix us, and bring us together under the same roof again.
Everything on front of me was working, but that wasn’t the truth, March 18, 2013, were at her place and I asked to use her pc, we were ready to go get some dinner, I said can I check on my order from your pc I bought something at, and never look after, she said ok, I got on front of the pc, her email account was open, I was reading the head titles of the emails really fast because we were about to go. A female friend was asking her about the new men in her life, I opened, it was every thing there, and she was having emotions affairs with this guy, for a year and a half.
My world stop, my heart was broken, was so unreal on front of me she was working to fix things, and on my back having affairs with this guy. I got the pc went back to the living room and confront her she was scare and very angry that I left her in 2009, she was alone, and sad. She said the guy made her fill loved, horny and live again, etc….
After lie a lot she quit, and told me every thing, she said had sex with this guy in 2009 three months before I leave and after I left, two times total. In August of 2011 the guy contact her again, she said never had sex with guy after 2009, just exchange of dirt emails and phone calls. She was asking for forgiveness all the time and tell me she love me very much.

After one day I went back to talk to her, is amazing I m not angry at her, I was for a day, but all the other bad fillings are around me, haunting me, I asked to tell me all the thrust, fully open transparent no lies, I said, you hurt me already, every thing you tell me, not going to do any more damage, I want to hear all. And she confessed, this only guy, twice having sex in 2009, phone calls, e-mails and stupid gifts over this year and half. I asked why you don’t ever left me to be with him. She said she loves me, after the first time she was in pain an remorse, the second time the guy push on her she didn’t want to have physic sex contact anymore, she stop the contact, and the guy came back in 2011, and she start again.
I asked her why not stop if you loved me; why not fix our marriage again? She said she is attached to the guy, and she like to talk dirt on phone with him and exchange txt messages, e-mail. She likes the fantasy.

I love her, but I don’t trust her any more, my head is spinning full of bad fillings, I m disoriented, but angry, maybe because I fill a bit o guilty, I don’t know I cant think strait. She have called the guy and told him what she’s being thru, and her desire to not have any more communication with him anymore, and they end up fighting over the phone. She said she wants to be happy again, I nave asked her, with how? With me, the guy, somebody else. I guest I was scare to ask. I don’t know what to do, What we should do right now, I don’t know if want to save this or move on, I don’t know if we have to be together or away, All a know is that I still love her and I m a lot pain.

Please I need help, please. Thank you.


    Kim L

    Dear Sniper,
    Take her to a marriage counselor and get that help you are asking for. No, marriage counseling isn’t only for people who don’t know what their problems are, it is for people who want to have a truly rewarding relationship! At the very least, go speak to someone so you can get your head out of the whirl you are in. Yes, you are in pain because when we are in a relationship we a vulnerable- that’s part of relating. However, this is not a problem you can or should be handling alone, go see someone, and if you want to see if it can work with her, ask your wife to go, too.
    The best to you.


Dear Kim.

I have read your blog and your response to the comments. I appreciate and believe in what you have written. I had what i thought was a healthy and beautiful relationship, although not married we were engaged. I had felt (and the way she spoke to me and what she told me gave that feeling) that my partner was completely commited to the relationship for the longterm . It came undone quite suddenly and unexpectedly from her side. I read some emails between her and a man that were a little more than friendly and confronted her and some of the truth has come out. But not all, although i don’t believe she physically cheated on me she most certainly did emotionally, i believe that is a level of cheating and is equally not acceptable, she still insisits she wanted nothing more than friendship but he wanted more. I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt but much later i read Some more emails ( which i hate doing but wanted to uncover the truth and was not getting it from her) i read were implicitly saying how she had wanted to be with him etc etc. We decided to work through it, after i said there could be no more contact of any kind between them ever if she wanted this to work. She agreed.

At the time i was quite emotional,, angry, hurt. I wasn’t thinking rationaly , i wasn’t in the space to work though it then, ask questions and uncover the total truth with out judgment and flying off the handle so to say, and come to understand what happened and why in the spirit of healing and learning. I tried a few times later but she would get impatient and want to ‘ sweep it under the carpet” and move on. When i initially confronted her she felt she had done nothing wrong and was upset that i read her mail this left me with a feeling of being understood or listened to or that what has happened is serious as you say, she also mentioned how it ” just happened” , floods happen, tornados happen but cheating is a choice. It has been just over two months now and she is always commenting about how she is glad that it is in the past . I have been quiet, trying to resolve the pain and hurt within myself. But it keeps coming back and upsetting the relationship by my passive agressiveness. I feel now that i truly need to and am in a better position to sit down with her talk through everything. She will be impatient and will be upset that i keep bringing the past back, but after reading your blog it has given me the reality check i needed as i felt i may be just feeling insecure and not letting myself be able to move on. I feel if i can discuss things with her and tell her how important it is to me that she aknowledges the hurt she caused i will be able to let it go and move on.

I am from South africa, and i remember when aparthied ended there was i fear that all the hurt and injustice that the goverment had caused would bring about civil war as people would want revenge . But i believe one reason that did not happen was because of a Truth and Reconcilliation commitee that allowed the agreeved people to be heard and if they chose to forgive the perpetrators they could do so face to face.

I feel we need to have our own truth and reconiliation commitees in our damaged relationships in order to move on.

Thank you.

    Kim L

    What a beautiful concept- a truth and reconciliation committee for our damaged relationships. Maybe that is what I should call my counseling work. Thank you so much for sharing your story.


      thanks for the message , truly the message you gave above is the only thing that explains exactly what I feel. my husband who I love to death had an emotional affair with a sister to his friend. I found out once and he lied about it ,I felt bad because I thought I had judged him falsely a week later I found the what’s up messages between the two of them and they were sexual in every word of it , he was calling her babie , hanie and sweetheart. he says they were just words and that he had not feelings for her. then he said he had thought about sleeping with her but he had not because he loved me and thinks that what could not allow him to go through with it. he told me so many things that night that today he says are not true. he say she does to love him and no does he, and that they could never have that kind of relation ship. but he insist he wants to keep her as a friend and that I should allow him to control as he see fit the outcome of the firmed ship because he knows its not what I think and yes he has done and said all the things you mentioned in the article above. so I have continued to spy in his phone and she still calls him and send him messages and when I asked him when would lie about it and when I would show proof he would admit. I think am going mad from this situation and I so this morning I asked to break up since there was no way I was going to coexist with this so called friend in his life.

        Kim L

        I’m sorry to hear you had to break up; however, a healthy relationship can’t exist without trust and he didn’t sound like he was acting trustworthy.
        Keeping in touch with the person you were unfaithful with is not trustworthy and it is detrimental to any other relationship.
        If you and he decide to try and make it work, find a good counselor or coach who specializes in couples and work with them.
        Be well,


Also, do you offer counseling over the Internet? Maybe through Skype?

    Kim L

    Yes, I do. There is a wealth of information on my FAQs page about video counseling. Feel free to check it out and contact me if you have questions.


My husband and I have had a tough marriage… We had both been unfaithful, at different times are are struggling to move on. We are separated and have two children under 3. His infidelity was first, and it was never dealt with because he was one to rush the healing process, and then in the midst of healing, I had a short affair. He feels like what he did doesnt compare to what I did… And tells me that I have so much to prove to him. I agree completely! But I also feel like he needs to take responsibility for his affairs as well. It’s like once I did something, his infidelity was OK. He wants to do counseling, but every time I try, he says he will be busy. Trying to build the marriage back up feels so one sided. He doesn’t live with me and the kids, fights about giving child support, and only comes around once or twice a week. I am at a loss! I want to make our marriage work… But not at the expense of my sanity! Please, help!

    Kim L

    It is admirable you want to do counseling and that your husband says he wishes to. If he is unavailable to start with you, maybe you can start work on yourself (which is great for you, your relationships, and your kids). He may choose to join you as he sees your movement. As you said, you deserve too keep your sanity, and counseling or coaching can help you do just that and help you move forward.

the “evil other woman”

Yes, I am that awful , evil “other woman”.
I had a fabulous love affair with a man that I still respect, love & adore !
His homely hag of a wife was always so immature & insecure, always suspecting him…. so she finally got what she sought.
She found a text I sent…. and all hell broke loose !
I met this man on a website offering “an affair guaranteed ”
We were together for 2.5 the best , happiest time of my life.
I beg to differ with most saying the affair wouldn’t hold up.
Being in an affair relationship , maintaining it under such secret circumstances is hard.Yet we maintained a successful,very close emotional, sexual, intellectual , passionate love affiair.
I often think how much better it would have been if we had the freedom of openness.
Maybe it is because we are older( I’m 58… he will turn 67 end of March) our kids are grown , we relished in each other.
This man was on this cheating website, for 10 of their 12 years. She knows that… she still stays.
My “guy” was hoping she would leave. I promised him she never would. He has given her a very nice life. i.e.” middle-aged gold digger”
. How screwed up do you have to be to know this & to keep hanging on ?
When you berate me, “whore , tramp, etc…. think about that message to your man.
After all we judged by the company we keep. If you think I am so low-brow… what does that make him?

Also, so many say the “save the marriage”….. let me break it to you.
If your man is plotting, lying, deceiving, cheating for most of your marriage,
You never have !
Nothing to save !
So my advise is to “dump the chump ” move on !
B.T.W. we had a great sex life…. we are older, not old.
I would put this older man against any 30 yr old any day.
No Viagra… just hot, horny ,passionate, sexual chemisty.
I will give her a year of hand -ringing, whining, crying….
I bet he is back with me within the next 6 months.
AND worth the wait ! xoxo

    Kim L

    Dear “Other Woman,”
    Actually, I feel sad for you even though you probably don’t want me to. You have settled for a half life and your lover has too. If he’s that unhappy he has the choice to get out or fix it, but why should he? He has the vision of stability in a marriage and also has a hot lover on the side. A big win for him on the surface; no reason to change unless one of the women in his life stands up. Unfortunately, you have expressed the “great sex” and riskiness of an affair are more to your liking than a real, solid, open, loving relationship based on trustworthy behaviors. By the way, riskiness is what fuels the intensity and makes an affair seem so much more than it really is. Yes, you folks conspired together to lie to others and yourselves while living a lie, and that is another reason I’m sad for you.
    I wish you a real, open, trusting, fun and connected relationship without lies, without censure, without false intensity.


    Did he come back?


    Well he’s not leaving her for you is he? If he is attracted to such a hag you must be one too. I bet he’s was lying to you about going home and sleeping with her. I’m sure you and him would have had a wonderfull relationship until he cheated on you. Remember if they’ll do it with you they’ll do it to you. If he was so “in love” with you, he would have left her for you. But he’s not with you is he?? Just remember karma is a bitch. You reap what you sow and it sounds like you’ve got it coming. You are just a pathetic whore that is unable to find her own man. Good luck with your future of being used and then discarded like the piece of trash that you really are. :~)

      Kim L

      Dear :~)

      You could make your point in a less “one up” way and show you can be relationally healthy.
      You make a few good points in bad ways. Yes, the man cheated so there is a good likelihood it will happen again unless he gets relationship help. And we do have to live with the results of our choices (often called karma) which makes it important to be cognizant of our decisions and actions. Cheating or being part of an affair is never a healthy thing to do and it leads to an unhealthy life. It is sad that someone made those choices and has no real healthy and rewarding relationship.


    other woman
    You know what he has told you, and he, like yourself has demonstrated that he is a liar and a cheat. Why the hell do you think that you are not being played too? If you were important to him other than as a sex toy he would be with you. Less than 3% of affairs become successful lasting relationships. I am sure that someone as clever as you seem to think yourself to be is sure they they will beat those odds. Nearly all such women as yourself believe that the marriage they are damaging was never a good one. That belief helps so much when it comes to rationalizing any guilt that one might feel from destroying a viable family. assuming that a selfish self-centered person could feel guilt even for a fleeting moment?


    Of COURSE your gem of a man is going to tell you how awful his wife is. Do you think a man that will use you as a piece on the side is going to say, “My wife is good to me, but I’m seeking variety, and you’re willing, so let go for it ” ??? You have no right to judge her, as YOU (and he) are the wrong doers here. Your “guy” was hoping that she’d leave ? So in addition to being a cheater, he has no balls either. You say (and you are right) that if you man is plotting etc. than you have no marriage. Hate to break it to you sister, but if your man is MARRIED, he ain’t your man.


    You are a horrible person. Clearly if his wife was such a “hag” then he wouldn’t have married her, or stayed with her when he could have been with someone as ‘wonderful’ as you! Clearly your ‘relationship’ was SOOO fulfilling to him that he lied and kept you a secret because he was terrified that anyone would find out – especially his wife! Why would he care if she found out if he was “hoping she would leave”? And for someone who is supposedly a grown up, HE could have left HER! Wow, you are a deluded, selfish, disgusting person who has issues if you are willing to accept that clearly HE is cheating on YOU with his own wife! If he really loved YOU he would dump HER, but he hasn’t… and he won’t, so CLEARLY your “love” isn’t as great to HIM as YOU think it is! Idiot!!

    Kim Vincent

    To the “other woman”,
    You can make all the “excuses” you want for what the two of you are doing, but bottom line is this, until his wife is informed of what has been going on between you and HER husband, neither he nor you have any right to speak ill of her in any way, shape or form. You and her husband are “sneaking” around like immature children who know they should not be doing what you are doing but can’t control your behavior so you do it anyway. It is obvious from your post that the guilt is eating at you and you feel you need to explain your actions and convince yourself (no one else is buying it!) that you and a married man are in love and in a justified , love relationship. If he was ” in love with you” he would leave his wife and be open with you. I hope you don’t believe that bullshit he is feeding you about his horrible wife and how badly he is treated at home. Most likely he said that to the last sucker as well and after you are history he will say it again to the next dumbass, gullible slut. His wife, most likely, believes, she is in a marriage with a man, who probably loved her at some point but is incapable of loving anyone because he is so self centered that only his needs matter. Remember, she is operating ethically and morally in the relationship, you on the other hand are lying, sneaking and operating as lowlife, morally corrupt, spoiled brats! Grow up, get wise and most importantly, shut your fucking mouth in regards to bashing his wife because she does not deserve any of that you whore!

After Affairs- relationship advice for healing loss and violationKim Leatherdale Coaching

[…] other day someone commented on the relationship advice in one of my posts and disagreed with a suggestion on how a couple can heal after an affair.  The commenter felt […]


I take exception to #3. Why isn’t it possible for one partner to merely accept the mistake and move on? Do you really think it’s productive for either partner to live inside that “pain bubble” or that it serves some good? If one partner is willing to take responsibility, shows they are remorseful and committed and the other one has no interest in anything but their own anger, their own entitlement and their own victim mentality then that can only delay practical healing and a full reconciliation. What you’re asking in #3 is for the couple to remain stranded in the pain and suffering of the mistake rather than attempting to learn from it and move on. In my opinion that’s irresponsible and bad advice as they may be missing out on some wonderful opportunities to heal together and even grow closer.

    Kim L

    Dear AJ,
    The idea that a partner should “simply” get over the breach of trust is at the heart of why #3 matters. If there truly is remorse and commitment over time by the person who cheated, and the hurt partner is unable to let go of the pain, a few things could be happening.
    Here are four possibilities: 1. The unfaithful partner is doing something that is re-injuring their partner. Minimizing the feelings of hurt are injurious. 2. In admitting “I did it” the unfaithful partner brushed off culpability by saying “it was just a mistake” without exploring what could be learned from it and showing real progress. Although he/she might be remorseful, the hurt partner is asking “if it was ‘just’ a mistake, what will keep it from happening again?” 3. There is something else in the relationships that is causing a disconnect, but the affair is the “symbol” of relationship problems. It keeps coming up as a way to show there are problems. 4. For some reason the hurt partner is struggling to let go even with a partner dedicated to taking time to heal the hurt they caused. If you are in #4 boat and haven’t seen a therapist, now is the time. As I said, a professional will have a good idea how long is “long enough.”
    Healing after an affair is like grieving- it takes time. Life can appear to go back to “normal” in some ways, but the loss will come up again and again over time. Patience on the part of both partners for this process is mandatory.
    Thanks for the comment, AJ; it is appreciated. Healing is a beautiful thing, and I hope to help people be realistic and good at it.


      Very well stated. Thank you for your insight.


      what if the unfaithful spouse is doing everything in their power to make it work including
      giveing space, time, and all efforts for healing
      while the betrayed spouse is using the other spouses mistakes as a free ticket to justifly sexting and online affairs with “atleast im not actually cheating like you did” ?

        Kim L

        Please read my post “An Affair is an Affair is an Affair” ( and this one about blame ( Have your spouse read them too.


          Hi Kim,
          Hi Kim, I’ve read the various posts and wanted to share my story in hopes that you can provide some guidance.

          I’ve been living with my Fiancée and her two daughters for about two years. The year before that that we were dating. Over this time I have been like a father to the girls and they do refer to me as their Dad, well until the betrayal.

          About three weeks ago, my fiancée found my cell phone ON, (it was in the place where we both charge the phones; no Idea why I left it on, I never do that, not hiding, just habit, turn off when you begin to charge). Any ways, she read a response I had sent a full body massage woman, yes sensual massage which I paid for. The woman emailed to ask if I would review her service and I said I would and I would like to repeat the session. My Fiancée confronted me with it and I was speechless. All I could say was that “it was a massage thing”. Just to be clear, it was a one-way sexual release without any exchange of bodily fluids, so no chance of any STD stuff, just clarifying., (sorry for the graphic nature description). Still inexcusable and still very hurtful to her, I do not want to diminish my betrayal.

          She asked me to go. Since then I have rented a room very close to our home. We have communicated and I have seen her a couple of times and she asked me to come over for dinner and spend time with the girls, which I am so thankful for.

          After the discovery, I asked her to attend counseling, actually for all of us. The girls attended and I am still attending, my Fiancée went only once and I don’t believe that she will go back. We communicate mostly through texts and I can see when she is feeling OK then suddenly is angry or sad. I do respect her need for space when she tells me or warns me that I better not text her for the day etc. She did have this very angry outburst, via text where she demanded that I stop apologizing and saying sorry, that she was sick of hearing that. I have since stopped.

          As in the various posts, this has been devastating to her. Though this was a onetime thing and not an affair, I am treating the hurt I have caused as if it was an affair. I know that my fiancée feels betrayed, hurt, etc. I have been sincere in my regret and have expressed how sorry I am that I have caused so much pain. I did have a chance to meet with our oldest girl with the counselor and was able to provide some assurance that this will not happen again, I apologized, she cried, I cried. She is still very angry with me for hurting her mom, and I appreciate that it will take time. I have not had a similar exchange with our youngest girl nor with my fiancée, though I welcome both.

          I think my fiancée is progressing through the various stages of mourning our relationship and we have talked about rebuilding the relationship etc. A statement / rhetorical question which she has asked is “Had I not seen the email, you would still be seeing her and lying to us”. Clearly she does not trust me, I broke that and accept that it will take some time to rebuild that lost trust. That said, I am at a loss on how to respond or if to respond at all to these sorts of statements. I hope with all my being that had she not found the email that I would have not continued down that road. Intellectually I don’t have an answer and it would be very easy to conclude that since I went down that path once, that I would still be on that road. Again, based on all that I have seen, I would just as soon end my life than to create so much hurt by continuing down that path. I love my fiancée with all of my heart and want and need to repair our relationship.

          I would appreciate any guidance on what to do with such statements as they are “what if” items. Thanks


      you know we should sometimes listen and learn from those with views we may not share – for me there was an equilibrium effect from what she said. I was a sort of chump; my wife was cheating just before we wed [yes i know but we had been engaged for two years all the plans made] In fact i found out some 3 months after the affair started it was with her co worker 20 years her senior a married man with children and a good wife by all accounts. he was a serial player of young women at work. My now wife fell for his charms at a time when she maybe had doubts about marrying me naive mike the virgin, but that was important for me then; I later found out my wife was a million miles from the virtuous babe i dated. Anyway she had her affair which i stopped because i accidentally found out when i went to meet her from work one evening [no mobiles then]. I watched her run to the guys car who she worked with and then they drove off so i went back to were she lived and two hours later she arrived. She had to work late – smartly i said nothing and kept council. then a few weeks later i again made the bus trip to meet her but was spied by a female co worker coming out who ran back in and i seen her say something to my then girlfriend who was standing with said guy ready to leave – she then bounded out in my direction. We went home;
      I think she realized something was amiss by my demeanor and it blew up. The upshot was i was made to call the guy [yep she had his home number] i think i had been set up but his parting words stay with me “man you got a good one there look after her” ; 42 years later and five children i have continued to look after her BUT and there always will be a but in all those years my wife has done everything to avoid intimacy maybe i am potent but i reckon we produced five children from 200 [yes only 200 in forty years] intimate moments; Is it stubbornness, religious beliefs, the children [oh they never suffered all grown up and uni educated], was it fear of failure in public i do not know. Would i do it again well honestly no i would not neither of us is really happy we are comfortable, i have my room she has hers and i live my life through grandchildren and she through her arduous work schedule. The moral of this “marriage” ; if you know its not right and its broken have the balls to switch off the starter and part on good terms; she did not want to go through with the wedding she even thought i did not love her anyway thats a poor way to start – sorry just a rant – but getting back to the OP she makes a good point the wayward husband should have been given short shrift by his wife but she maybe did not love him enough to let him go so which of the three wanted their cake and eat it – i would not like to choose.


    There can be no “healing together” if the betrayer try’s to control the betrayed’s course and length of healing. The feeling of entitlement is what brought the disloyal spouse to believe that they had a right to disregard their marriage vows. The betrayer owes their spouse a hell of a lot of explaining, patience and compassion. If you truly want to save your marriage I strongly recommend the you listen and take to hart # 3. It sounds to me like you are the betrayer and you want the whole issue to evaporate so you can get on with your life. It won’t; it’s there to stay unless you are willing to talk, talk. talk. Betrayal is a terrible trauma, much like PTSD. It is not something you can just snap out of for the convenience of another person. Keep in mind that the person who chose betrayal instead of honesty was not in the least concerned about the faithful spouses convenience, dignity, health or anything else, they only thought of themselves and what they wanted. The betrayed spouse doesn’t have a “victim mentality” they are in fact a victim of someone who was supposed to love them above all others, and didn’t. A person who deceived them and lied over and over again so they could go on betraying them. If you were mugged and car jacked you would be a victim, and you would have to deal with the trauma for some time, but this would be easier for you to deal with than the intimate betrayal by someone you trusted and loved; someone you knew would never hurt you.


    You sound like you are the person who cheated. All of your arguments are justifications for not having to deal with the pain you caused. it is cheater mentality. So tell me, are you still together or did your arrogance and self entitlement destroy your chances?


      That’s pretty much what I was thinking about AJ too, Anna. Either AJ has cheated, or he has never been cheated on. It’s like saying “Quit mourning your dead child already so you can enjoy life.”

Kim Leatherdale, LPC, ATR-BC, NCC

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your comment.

As you so adroitly pointed out, every person is different as is every situation. The post is directed at people who have decided to make their marriage work after infidelity. People do make that choice.

Affairs as fantasy aren't about the emotions; the concept recognizes the fact that every relationship when it gets to the real world is not perfect. In the case of a couple who is reconciling, the romanticizing and fantasizing about the lover needs to end.


why do all therapists seem to assume that the affair is fantasy and not what they wanted? isn't that kind of insulting to tell the person, "you don't know what you're feeling, but i do!" they aren't an idiot, they have just moved on. once the martial vows are broken why would you want them back? especially w/ a long term, emotional investment affair. its degrading.

i took my husband for the person he was, not who he said he was, not who he said he was going to be; who he was. he was a liar, a cheat and he had found someone else he wanted to be with *they had planned their future). so i wished him well and left.

i don't get people who hang on to the past. an affair changes everything. it disrespects the marriage and exposes the other partner to std's and public embarassment. why in the world do people hang on to that? where is their self respect? im pretty sure that most of the people sticking around these cheaters would have a fit if their child did the same thing.


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