Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

20 Most Common Mistakes of the Unfaithful Spouse

mistakes of the unfaithfulAfter the revelation of an affair or other sexually inappropriate behavior it unfortunately, is very easy for the unfaithful spouse to make a series of well-meaning mistakes which only complicates the situation. Listed below are some of the most common ones we see in our practice.

We hope that this information will help guide your actions. Navigating your relationship in the wake of infidelity, regardless of whether or not your spouse is aware of the affair, is overwhelmingly complicated.  But, you're not the first to be in this tumultuous situation. We've seen these actions in couples time and again. If you can avoid them, your road to recovery may be smoother, but if you've already committed them, it doesn't mean you should give up hope. Do what you can do to avoid these actions in the future.

1. Naively believing that if you and your affair partner decide to do the right thing and return to your marriages, that the affair is indeed over.

In reality, this relationship probably meant more to one party than the other. For that reason, just because you decide to end the affair doesn't mean the other party will honor your decision, or even that you will. The "Break-up, Make-up" cycle is a natural part of an affair. But you cannot begin to heal your marriage until you take a stand and absolutely refuse contact. However, don't be naive; the next attempt or temptation to contact is bound to come. Denial of an impending reality will only leave you vulnerable to relapse. So, prepare yourself for having to firmly and definitively refuse contact.

For more information on making a unilateral decision to end an affair, read "Ending an Affair" - a 6 part series.

2. Leaking out information over time.

The revelation of an affair or sexual addiction is a frightening process, but one of the worst mistakes is trying to hold back the whole truth. Similarly, spinning the truth so your mate won't be so upset is just as damaging.

The problem with leaking information is that it delays your mate's ability to learn to trust you again. If your mate believes that you've laid out the whole truth and nothing but the truth, that there are no more surprises or painful revelations yet to come and then your mate encounters multiple "oh by the ways" or other discoveries as time goes on, then it will eventually destroy your mate's ability to believe a single word you say.

For that reason, it is best to lay it all out on the front end. It’s never a good idea to try to control your mate by the flow of information. Either your mate will be able to handle the truth or not. Getting the truth out, all of it and unvarnished to your mate is a great opportunity to display real integrity and safety: something you may feel you've been lacking if you've had to hide your actions or lie. Don't miss your chance. Tell the whole truth as soon as you can.

For more information regarding full disclosure watch the video: "Reaching Ground Zero - the Importance of Full Disclosure"

Also, you can read our 4 part series: "A Crucial Step to Surviving Infidelity: Discovery."

3. Being defensive.

The antidote to defensiveness is taking personal responsibility. Defensiveness is the number one thing to avoid when talking with your hurt spouse. If you become defensive, then your mate will only assume you don't understand and he or she will begin to turn up the volume. During this period in our lives, one of my wife's favorite questions was, "How loud am I going to have to get before you hear me?" I always knew when I heard that line that it was time to listen. It is extremely painful for the unfaithful spouse to examine what has happened, but minimizing, blaming one's mate, or even blaming another party, is not a solution.

Since the revelation of a betrayal is so traumatic, there is no room for defensiveness. You're better off using two phrases: 1) "You're right" (when they are right) and 2) "I deserve that" (when they are wrong). Answering the "why" questions is tricky at best. Any explanation you give will be perceived as an excuse. The best answer for the why questions is to tell your mate you will do everything possible to search for the answer, but admit you don't want to sound defensive while trying to answer a question you don't necessarily know the answer to. Whatever you do, don't be defensive.

At this point, you might be saying, "I don't want to take all the blame; my wife (or husband) made her (or his) own contributions to what has happened. We had issues in this relationship long before I had an affair." And while that may be true, your first order of business needs to be the stabilization of the marriage. Give your mate time to recover, and then begin to address the other issues in the marriage. One of your first steps will be avoiding defensiveness when talking with your mate.

4. Believing everything your mate says.

When people are emotional and hurt they may say things they don't mean. If your mate says "I want a divorce," don't assume that you are going to be divorced. If your mate resorts to name calling or trying to hurt you by threatening to take your kids, don't overreact. After all is said and done, there will always be a lot more said than done. If your mate asks you to get out, then accommodate, but don't assume it's for the long run. A new day will most likely bring different feelings. If anything, you can be assured that feelings will shift over time.

Warning: While you are taking your mate's words with a grain of salt do not minimize what your mate is telling you. Listen empathetically, and let your mate know you heard what was said. Just don't structure the remainder of your life on what a hurt spouse says, especially in the first three months after the revelation of the affair. Balance your thoughts about your mate's word between sincerely hearing and understanding that every word may not stick.

5. Living life as normal.

You can't go on living life as normal if you want to bring healing to your marriage after a betrayal. Normal is what got you into this. Changes need to be made to give your mate assurance that you're taking responsibility for your problem and being proactive to prevent it from happening again.

We have had clients who continue to go to the bar or stay out late without informing their spouses where they are or who they are with. To some, it may seem elementary to make sure and build safety in a concrete way, but it cannot be stressed enough. Taking responsibility for your betrayal by avoiding high risk situations and getting the necessary help to get your life (as well as that of your mate) back into safety is part of taking responsibility for your infidelity. If you want to rebuild your marriage, this is not optional. Make them aware of the ways that you have altered your life in order to create a culture of safety. These are the things that will assure her that it's not "life as normal."

6. Trying to defend your affair partner.

It may seem to go without saying, but don't defend the other woman (or man). Most likely your mate will trash the affair partner (or if you've been using porn she may just try to trash you). Don't try to defend your affair partner. It's easier for your spouse to be angry with the affair partner than it is for her (or him) to be angry with you, and if you defend the affair partner, your mate is likely to feel that you are more loyal to the affair partner than you are to your mate and your marriage.

7. Trying to avoid talking with your mate about their feelings.

The way the betrayed deal with trauma caused by infidelity is by talking about their feelings. In fact, they may need to restate the same thing, or ask the same question multiple times. We the unfaithful tend to feel that our betrayed mates are bringing it up just to make us feel bad or shame us. That's not the case; it's just how they heal. Answer your mate's questions, 20 times if need be. In the long run, they will appreciate your openness and you will have helped them heal while also working to create a ‘safe’ climate for you both to heal.

8. Pointing out your mate's faults and failures.

Deficiencies certainly exist in every marriage, but now is not the time to deal with them. First, you have to re-establish the fidelity and stability of the relationship. Then, after the breach in the relationship is repaired, you can address other issues. Early on, the unfaithful spouse must learn to embrace the spotlight being on their own life before any issues within the betrayed spouse can be discussed.

9. Taking your spouse to the same places you frequented with your affair partner.

One of the most difficult battles the hurt spouse fights is the one of reminders. On any given day your spouse might have as many as 50 to 60 reminders. Each time, your spouse has to calm themselves down and get back in control of the emotions. Taking your mate to a place where your mate knows you were with your affair partner will cause your mate serious pain. For your spouse's sake, be sensitive to places that will serve as a reminder and bring pain.

10. Telling a lie (of any sort).

Giving your mate good reason to feel safe is one of your goals. Telling a lie (even the smallest of lies) only reinforces the belief that your mate cannot trust you. As difficult as it may seem, tell the truth. In the long run, your mate will at least know that you're being real with them even if your mate doesn't like what you're telling them.

11. Not supporting your mate's recovery.

The pain of the revelation of a betrayal is disorienting to both partners. Both the husband and wife will struggle with how to cope with the pain resulting from the event. Sometimes it can be frustrating since frequently the hurt spouse takes longer to move past the initial trauma than the unfaithful spouse.

In these situations, the hurt spouse wants to continue to understand what has happened and wants to continue to talk about it; the unfaithful spouse will often interpret that as an attempt at punishment. This may cause the unfaithful spouse to quit trying to support the other's recovery. At some point, it may be very tempting to tell your mate to "just get over it."
In fact, it may seem like a good idea in terms so that you can move on, but if the initial period of recovery doesn't run its course, it can result in future problems. If your mate represses her/his feelings and doesn't finish processing what has happened, then the feelings will begin to surface again in about 5 years.

In reality, you are far better off to support your mate's recovery at the time of the betrayal rather than living five years with a mate who is hurting and who will eventually blow up.

12. Not being consistent in your recovery plan.

After a betrayal, there is an obvious problem with trust. To re-establish trust, an unfaithful spouse has to be consistent in what he or she says and does. It may seem easy for you to think even a minor inconsistency is no big deal because you know your heart's condition and your intent, but your mate does not.

The only thing a hurt spouse can rebuild on are your behaviors. If you are consistent and do what you say, then over time your mate can begin to trust again. But if you fail to follow through with what you say, it will only serve to reinforce your mate's distrust. It is imperative that you say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't make the mistake of telling your mate what you think she/he wants to hear only to fail to follow through. You will be far better off if you're realistic, and then do what you say even if what you say (and then do) is not as grand as you or your mate had hoped.

13. Not keeping commitments you make with your mate.

This is much the same as the above item. If you tell your mate you will not eat lunch with another woman, then don't go out to eat with another woman (or man if that's where your temptations lie). If you tell your spouse that you'll go to counseling together, then go to counseling together. If you agree to be home at 6:00, then make sure you're home by 6:00. If you agree to go to an accountability group, then go to the group. Failure to keep these types of agreements, though small in perceived impact, will cast doubt on any and all of your integrity and make it difficult for your mate to trust.

14. Telling your mate to forgive you.

As a general rule, never tell someone to forgive you. You can ask, but don't tell. Forgiveness is a process your mate will have to work through. In many ways, it has little to do with you; it's a gift your mate has to give herself/himself. Failure to forgive would result in your mate remaining a victim. It's far better to tell your mate that you want her/him to be able to forgive you and ask if there is anything you can do to help your mate heal and forgive or to make the process easier for them.

Also, don't beat your mate over the head with religious terminology, telling your mate that now that you've asked forgiveness, forgiveness must in fact, be granted. If you tell your mate to forgive, it will only lead to resentment and make it more difficult to forgive you. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

15. Not answering all of your mate's questions.

This is a tricky one. How much information a person needs to heal is best determined by personality type. Some individuals need little information before they come to the point where they have enough to understand what has happened and can move on. Others need massive amounts of data before they feel they understand what has happened. For these individuals, what they don't know truly does hurt them. Usually, what they can imagine is far worse than the reality.

One of the greatest gifts you can give is the gift of answered questions. Tell your mate you'll answer all of the questions, but if you feel your mate is asking questions out of anger and in an attempt to hurt you, then call a time out. Use the 24-hour rule. Tell your mate that you'll give whatever information is needed, but you'd first like for your mate to take 24 hours and pray or think critically about whether she/he really wants that information. Then at the end of 24 hours, if your mate still wants the answer then give it, truthfully and completely with no spinning. Giving your mate the information she or he feels is needed is important because your mate must rewrite the history of your relationship. Moving on will be difficult if not impossible until this task is complete. Don't withhold the information that your spouse will need to move on.

16. Not talking to your mate.

There is more than one way to hurt your mate and being passive aggressive is certainly one of them. It's not uncommon for the unfaithful spouse to be angry about what has happened and how the hurt spouse has responded as a result of the pain. Since it may feel inappropriate for the unfaithful spouse to be upset, and clearly they have no right to be verbally aggressive, some unfaithful spouses choose to hurt their mate by not talking. Both aggression and passive aggression are intended to hurt your mate. Both reveal an absence of love. Give your mate the gift of communication in order to help your mate to heal.

17. Trying to get all of your mate's friends and family on your side.

You might be hoping they will help your mate to "wake up and see reality." Some of your friends may come on board. But that does not mean that your mate will listen. In fact, it’s very common for this strategy to backfire and only increase hostility and resentment towards you. Other friends may believe and reinforce the fact that your spouse is correct in leaving someone so controlling if you try this approach.

18. Believing there is a simple formula or a set course to fix the problem.

It would be nice if there were, but each type of affair has its own set of challenges with a different set of solutions that are not linear or stepwise, and are unique to each situation and couple.

19. Threatening your mate.

In the moment, it may seem that your threats will make your spouse "see the light" and that will convince her/him to "fly right." But it's important to avoid making threats because it generates the false motivations for complying with your wishes.

Threats result in fear, guilt, and shame. While these motivators may serve in the short term to get your mate to follow your desired course of action, they will only be effective as long as these feelings continue to produce pain. Once the fear, guilt and shame wear off, then your mate will lose motivation.

You are far better off being supportive and telling your mate "I hope you choose to stay with me, but I want you to do what God is telling you to do." Coercion from a mate can actually drive your spouse away.

20. Using your children or grandchildren as pawns.

Frequently, this happens in an attempt to manipulate one's mate into staying. But this will only hurt your children. If your mate is determined to leave, forcing or manipulating your mate into staying is neither good nor healthy for your relationship or family.


Having read about these common mistakes, don't feel doomed if you've already committed half or even all of them. That's the point – these are common mistakes. But if you can avoid them in the future, you'll begin to stabilize your relationship and find that you can move forward. Don't give up hope at healing your relationship. You may even consider taking time to apologize to your mate for any or all of these mistakes you’ve committed in the healing process. It will speak volumes to your mate that you’ve come to see how wrong you were and how your choices affected them. To begin the healing process, a great first step would be to complete our Free First Steps Bootcamp for Surviving Infidelity. This 7 Day bootcamp goes through many of these mistakes in detail as you learn to navigate this process. If you've completed the Bootcamp, a next step is signing up for EMS Online or the in-person, weekend intensive, EMS Weekend or Hope for Healing our course for the unfaithful spouse. If you’d like more information please call 888-527-2367 or email Info@hope-now.com.




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Betrayed will not speak to me

I have waited to long to begin to do the right thing for the process of recovery. My spouse will not speak with me know. We are enrolled in EMSO starting the 27th of Feb. I want her to know I am committed to this process. I have been committed to the process just not keeping the focus on the recovery at all times. My biggest mistakes are not following through on my commitments and getting defensive (biggest problem). How do i get my spouse to know that I am her for her and want to fix our marriage, and get her to speak to me again.

Early stages following six week Physical affair. Video and sexti

My husband has been very guilty of dripping me information. Just when I think I’m healing from that I find that he sugarcoated it and lied. None of the information was true. Now I have to start all over every time it’s been a month I’m finding it difficult to hang on why should I be hanging onto a liar

Wife's affair - scared about the future.

Found out almost two weeks ago that my wife, the ONLY person I thought would never lie to me, has been in an affair for years and with the one guy she knew I can not stand. She has always been a flirt, as I am too, but I made it clear I can not stand this guy. I never thought she had time because we work together, are almost always together. I found out while we were away from home by accident and yet when I confronted her she denied it, said it was just talk, nothing real. She has spent most of our vacation time sending him messages and videos/photos. After hours of pushing from me she admitted they had been together once, but that was years ago, but days later after more pushing found out it was still going on with their last time together being last summer, although the messages were still going on until two weeks ago. She says even though the messages said they would get together when she got home, that she missed him more than he missed her, that it really was not going to happen. She claims she has no real feelings for him, yet in the messages she told him that certain outfits were for him only. I am sure she has feelings for him, yet she says she does not. I feel if she is lying about caring for him, she must be lying about caring for me too. She has cut off contact with him, not hiding her phone from me, but I wonder does she have another name for him that is allowing them to stay in contact. One minute I want to save our marriage, another not sure I can, that I will ever be able to trust her. We are still away from home, so scared as what happens once we get home. I do love her, but not able to forgive her, not able to trust her and without that what is the point of trying to save our marriage. Just the idea that to get to one of our customers I must drive by his business or home, no other way to that business makes me sick. Good customer, but feel I need to drop it to avoid his home area, where apparently most of the time together happened. For those that pray, really need prayers now.

20 Most Common Mistakes of the Unfaithful Spouse

Wow, such wisdom. Thank you

there is a child

how can an unfaithful spouse cut off contact when there is a child? Also the constant communication keeps her in his mind so there is no room for us. it is a constant reminder and although I am hopeful, I cannot see him letting her go while the child is young. he pretty much has us both in his life.

The unfaithful is not always and eternally wrong

What about an instance where the unfaithful is not only remorseful for what they have done, and has bent over backward to do work on self, make things right, be transparent, yet has spent many years in a marriage where the betrayed has been emotionally unavailable and distanced, and most efforts to make a healthy relationship, reach out to the distant spouse, and nights spent crying to sleep because the distant spouse won't reciprocate have been highlights of the marriage? I am definitely sorry for what I've done, but I can't pay for my transgressions forever. I am loving, kind, gentle, patient, putting of my own healing topics with my spouse, and have done everything in my power to own up to what I've done, but we are 19 months out and my spouse still wants to divorce. I won't give up. With all my being I am spending all my efforts showing my spouse that I've changed, am not the same emotional, depressed, and anguished person I was. I am seeking God, we are attending congregation together for the first time in our lives, and my spouse still wants to be "roommates" (we haven't shared a bedroom in over 15 years except very sporadically, have had sexual intimacy 3-5 times per year for most of that time, and since D-Day - April 2018 - there has been absolutely no intimacy or physical contact other than I begrudgingly get hugs if I initiate and I get a pat on the back occasionally). I don't know how to proceed with a mate who hasn't wanted to get help nor therapy since all of our problems started nearly 2 decades ago, and I've been at the end of my emotional rope for so many years. I won't leave my marriage for any reason whatsoever, and I think it's important to know that in some instances, the unfaithful is not always the stereotypical bad guy that he or she is typically made out to be. I've done everything I can to save my marriage, and now it's just a waiting game. Can anyone shed light on this? I have owned my part of this, and our situation has gone on long enough that it's time for the betrayed to do some work and taking responsibility for their part. Emotional neglect for decades is not okay, and refusing to work on the relationship to the point where the desperate-for-attention mate spirals downward and becomes desperate for some kind of reciprocation. I understand that the betrayed doesn't want therapy because it will damage them further since there is a probability that the counselor will make them uncomfortable (I watched the video from this site on this topic from Samuel), but at what point does the betrayed need to admit they've done things to contribute to the demise of the relationship and participate, and get help? I'm still waiting.

Sounds like my BS

It sounds like I could've written what you said about my BS. It's only been 6 months and we've had some good moments, but he acts the way your spouse does when he is mad.

What if she is not talking to me at this point.

I had sent a picture to someone an got some as well, my girlfriend found out an broke up an blocked my number. We are still friends on Facebook an other social media. I’ve told her I will keep fighting to be with her again an show her that I made a big mistake by doing what I did. She did txt me back saying she was happy with me an that she was an still is very much in love with me but we aren’t meant to be. Do I keep trying to show her that we are meant to be?

My betrayed spouse keeps haveing images

My spouse has images when we make love of the guy I cheated on him with, how do I help him overcome this trauma

Eye opener

We both read these today and since the first day i found out about his betrayal, this is honestly the first day i haven't been built up with hate and resentment towards him. Glad we got the chance to read. Thank you

I wish my husband cared enough.

When my husband finally confessed to cheating on me for our entire 12 year marriage, I'm the one who suggested meeting with the pastor. I also found the marriage counselor. I bought the books. He repented to God and to me. He read the books. Now he feels he's done his part. I have no one to talk to because I've kept his dirty little secret. He's not interested in hearing my pain. I suppose he feels it's my responsibility to heal, and I must heal alone. He did the crime and I get to do the time...... totally alone. Tonight I told him that I had a lot on my mind. He never even asked what was bothering me or if I wanted to talk about it. I'm in the bedroom crying and looking for things like this to help me heal while he's in the living room reading a horror book. Tonight is the night I'm taking my life back. I'm calling a lawyer Monday morning. All I needed was for him to show some sort of care or empathy, but he just doesn't care enough.

Not having the courage to talk

For me. The reason I have avoided asking how my wife is, spending time with her is shame. Fear of the reaction. Inability to take the pain anger and rage I have created.

It may be your husband, he (we) never learned how to sit down and talk, share and express empathy.

Instead the approach is to avoid. As a child will run away and hide if they know they have done wrong. He (I) is acting childishly. He hasn't got the skills. Or maybe he doesn't care.

But fear and shame and the lack of emotional maturity has meant I have made most of these mistakes. Now my wife (ex) does not see a future. With or without me.

Charitably, if your husband is like me he cares but does not know how to show it safely.

# 1 rule is so true. I could

# 1 rule is so true. I could not understand why my ex-wife was staying in touch with a married man she worked with 20+ years ago, she said they were 'good friends" but when the truth came out, when she was single, she had been in an affair with him, he was her boss and they worked side by side with his wife. They kept in touch and she even had as she described "lunch only" a few times, she had been lying about him our entire marriage.

This is my life right now

My husband had an affair recently that lasted about 6mths before I found out about it and he has devastated every aspect of our lives. Almost everything that was mentioned here has already happened, my husband thinks that we don't need to talk about it because the affair has been found out and that it is over. That only makes me feel that he has so much more to hide and he is actually hindering our rebuild of trust. What do I do with this?

Dealing with mistrust, lies and uncertainty.

Wow, this article has some in depth stuff in it. A really good read and something that can help a lot of people in all sorts of situations when trust has become an issue, I am currently dealing with issues of trust and this has shed some light on the mindset of both parties and why and where the reconciliation fails (when/if it does). Thank you for such insight.

20 mistakes of an unfatithful spouse

Thank you so much, this is very helpful.

Recovery from the unfaithful view

I work 2 jobs. I constantly keep my wife updated on my movements and actions due to the nature of my jobs. There have been 2 times where 2-4 hours have gone by where I did not text her. I did not change location/company/tasks etc, but I did not text. To her this is a huge “inconsistency” and does not understand why I can’t just text. Yes the actual action is simple but she wants to k ow that I am thinking about her all of the time. Am I wrong at being frustrated with her anger over my “not texting her” while I am working. Side note, yes all of my infidelities came from work situations. Please advise on my course of action so that I am not being defensive or giving off the “cold heart” feeling.


I have really done most of this things, while trying to fix my mess, when ever we try to talk about it we end up in arguments, some times I feel I have told him the whole truth I know but he keeps on demanding that I open up fully and I feel I have nothing else to tell him yet I don't want to loose him.

Giving it a Go

Well tonight I have offered to my wife full disclousure. I'm anxious to see how this goes. She is in Vengence and justice mode so I feel like I am placing myself and livlihood in harms way, I'm going to trust in the process and do what I have NEVER done before...Answer her questions. She's not going to like the answers (I've been very bad), but I owe it to her, so she can make a decision as well. ...One, Two, Three.. here we go..

What is she won’t respond

So, I’m happy that we should keep communicating it what if they don’t respond back?

Cheating Spouse/Father of My Son

My youngest father and I got together while he was 9married. (I was under the impression he was single). Come to find out, he was living a double life. I was young and naive. He was 46, and I was 28. He was so GOOD at hiding stuff. But make a long story short, I made the mistake of trying to make it work with him after they divorced-for my son. I thought he would change- nope. This last time he got his best friend pregnant even though he says they never had intercourse. Anywho. He begged me to give him one more chance, to prove he wanted to change(he did for like 3 weeks). We had a relationship repair book by Dr. Phil that he only worked with me on for a week. I had given him boundaries about me allowing him one last chance(he agreed to give me his phone passcode, etc. He was ok with it for 2 days, then logged out of everything and changed all the passwords so he could hide shit. I had even offered to do the same for him, and let him go thru my phone-which he did. But I was the ONE at fault because I had to factory reset my phone(cheap government phone) cos it just sucked, and I didn't regain all my messages, and the ones he was upset about were ones from a guy that I chatted with for literally two weeks, after I had broken up with him, and had informed him I was talking to someone. But that's me cheating. Like the hell?? Some cheaters will always be cheaters. And come to find out, I'm more tech savvy than he is(and I accessed his secret vault file and come to find out, he had been cheating on his wife YEARS before me even. Sick. They had been married for 18 years. She just looked the other way to keep the family together. I didnt. His presence just makes me naseaus. I threw in the towel and learned to respect myself and my son. I still let him be apart of my sons life, but no way will I let him back in.

Caught my husband looking at his affair partner on Facebook

I caught my husband having his affair in April 2022. He then claimed that he was fully committed to making our marriage work. It seemed like we were making progress but then 3 days ago I caught him looking at his affair partner on Facebook while he was closing tabs on his phone. He apparently unblocked her to look at her page and had to wait 48hrs before he could block her again. I’m in such a state. He insists he has had an epiphany and is determined to make it work now. How in the world must I believe him? He confessed during marriage counseling but honestly the chances of him doing this again are surely higher? How do I trust again? Please give me some guidance. I feel hopeless.

I definitely agree with

I definitely agree with number 6 and number 16 of the advice. My husband became defensive of one woman that I now suspect was an affair partner.
I made an innocent comment about her hair color (she is a bleach blonde) and he acted like I said something terrible. In hindsight, that was another red flag among several that I've noticed.

As to number 16...when I confronted him about the lies and possible cheating, the silent treatment started. This is why I am feeling bitter towards him now.
It's one thing to cheat, but to act like I'M the problem and not talk to me? Or acknowledge my presence in a room? When a cheater does this, you can bet that they don't feel guilty.
It's more that they want to justify their actions (that we deserved to be cheated on somehow) and their silence is our "punishment". Because we dared to confront them, to say that lying/cheating is not OK.
That is narcissistic behavior.

I have been with him since my early 20's. I am now almost 40. He lied about wanting children from the start. Turns out, he never really wanted a family.
He pretended to be this devoted husband the whole time. And you know what? It has all been an act. A sham. A twisted game where he can outwardly do and say the "right" things...but behind my back, it was Internet porn and online chats and telling coworkers things that aren't true and (worst of all) I now believe that during our marriage he has visited escorts.

If divorce were a possibility, especially before it reached this point years later, I would have divorced him in my late 20's or early 30's. I still love him despite this...but my eyes are open now.
If you can't trust your spouse to be loyal, it's over.


I discovered my husband’s infidelity 7 weeks ago. He did most of the common mistakes when confronted even when he admitted to what he has done initially. I feel so stupid that I ignored little sign’s I saw these past 5 years because I trusted him unconditionally for over 16 years of our marriage. I’m stuck, feeling anxiety, fear, pain and anger.

I don’t know how to accept or if I can accept the fact that he had sex with over 20 women - a different prostitute each time he went - over the course of close to 2 years if you combine the time he continuously went nonstop. He started pre-pandemic and only stopped in the middle because he was forced to stop for 1.5 years due to Covid.

Every marriage has some issues - no one is perfect even myself but that doesn’t justify looking for prostitutes. What’s worse is he’s a doctor so he’s confident of not getting STDs because he ‘knows the signs’. Can a professional be this stupid thinking he’s not going to get STDs?

He says he’s stopped and is committed to fixing the marriage. Can someone like this be trusted again? Has anyone experienced their husband going to so many prostitutes? How do you move on from this?

How can it get any worse

I found out on our 9 year anniversary my husband cheated on me, twice. I had some suspicions 7 1/2 years ago, caught him in lies and being sneaky. I never knew he actually slept with her. Then again 2 1/2 years ago, I found a naked picture from a girl he worked with. I was devastated, he said nothing ever happened. It haunted me and I would cry in the middle of the night begging him to tell me if he slept with her. I said I just wanted the truth and to start healing. He always denied it. Well two months ago, I found an inappropriate text from the first girl. She made a comment about breast milk and my husband “joked” about getting it directly from the tap. I was angry and crying. I began texting her from his phone, she was suspicious and called. I made my husband say hello then hung up. I texted her, I can’t talk but I can text. With my husband next to me, I was texting her. Saying I have to come clean to my wife. At first she was denying it but then said don’t tell her, we promised. It will ruin both our marriages. I found out he slept with the first girl 4 times. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. He said they mutually agreed to stop because it was wrong. But they stayed in touch via text. I feel like if he truly regretted it, he wouldn’t have stayed in contact. And out of everyone to text, why her.
I made him come clean about the second girl. He said they were drinking as a group at a bar and they were the last ones left. They got in the backseat of her car and tried to have sex, but he couldn’t get it up. He went back to work that night, he said he felt too ashamed to come home to me. She moved to a different state. A couple weeks after she left I found messages like thinking of h, I miss u, and a naked picture. So now, two months ago, I found out the man I loved so much, cheated on me…. twice. I feel so stupid. I suspected things but was naive and too trusting. I believed him when he said there was nothing. He said he was too ashamed to tell me and didn’t want me to leave him. Which he obviously didn’t care while he was cheating on me. I think he just didn’t think he would ever get caught. We had normal little marital issues. But for the most part I thought we were so happy. We had an amazing marriage, two beautiful little girls. We are so much alike, we do so much together. Our sex life was great. I truly thought we had a great marriage and were so happy. He never seemed distant. He was always so loving. He has apologized. Said he doesn’t care if he never talks or sees either of them again. He loves me, he always has. He regrets it, he doesn’t understand how he can do that to me. He says he loves me so much, I am the only one he wants and he will do whatever it takes. I am the type who needs to know a lot of information to process and forgive him. He has been good about answering my questions. But I obviously don’t trust him. He says there isn’t more. I definitely think it’s a possibility. On top of that devastation. We found out 4 months ago that he has terminal cancer. They gave him 6-12 months to live. I was already struggling with his cancer diagnosis, then had to find this out on top of it. It’s too much. We are trying to work through it. And I do love him so very much. I take such great care of him but constantly think. Why would he risk all this. He knew it would ruin our marriage and did it anyways. I am not a 10, but I am pretty, thin, smart, athletic. I know I am not perfect but did strive to be a great wife. And breaks my heart because that wasn’t enough for him. It wasnt enough for him to say no. He says I am enough, I am all he wants. But it’s hard to understand because he is enough for me, he is enough for me to say no. I feel like I don’t get the proper amount of time to grieve, because I don’t have time. I don’t want to feel guilty about how we spent the last of his time. But I am so incredibly hurt. I know I have to stay strong, not only for him, but also our two beautiful little girls


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