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

Bedside Forgiveness: When Death Coincides With Infidelity

Katherine, an inspiring woman and betrayed spouse, shares a life changing moment from her healing journey:

January 28, 2013 marked the third anniversary of my mother's death. It also would have been her 80th birthday.

My mother loved her children and her grandchildren well. Her love flowed from a deep well of love for Jesus. She was a woman of prayer. When I was a teenager, young women from our church would come over to share a glass of ice tea with her as she shared her love and faith with them.

It would be tempting to wax nostalgic, but I will resist. My mother faced many tough choices and I'm not sure all of the choices she made were wise ones. She was very close to her family, but she left them to follow my father as he served in the Marine Corps. Abandonment, abuse, and the trauma of two tours in Vietnam had left their mark on my father, and he in turn left marks of anger and betrayal on our family. On more than one occasion, as a child and as an adult, I begged my mother to leave him, but she always refused. My disapproval of that decision represented the only serious breach in our relationship over the years. While her determination kept her going, I couldn't see through the haze of bitterness.

It was late and the hospice center was quiet as I stood by my mother's bed three years ago. My husband had stepped out of the room for a minute and I was alone with her. She was oblivious to my presence, but I sat beside her bed holding her shriveled hand. As I sat there with her that night, my heart was heavy from more than the impending loss of my mother.

Just three weeks before the injury that put my mom in that hospice bed, my husband told me about his infidelity. Years of our history together seemed forever altered. How do you stay with someone after years of infidelity?

Now, as I faced losing my mother, I was already immersed in the grief of losing the marriage I thought I had. I was trying to decide if I dared risking what seemed like everything trying to rebuild this marriage. Facing infidelity, along with the loss of my mom, was overwhelming.

A few nights before visiting my mom in the hospice room, I shared the pain from my husband's infidelity with two of my best friends. I also shared my hope with them - signs that maybe my husband and I were going to be able to work things out, and the possibility that marriage could even be better on the other side of this. My friends quickly dismissed that hope and warned me that it was too risky, that I should give it up and move on as quickly as possible. Their certainty in the midst of my struggle left me feeling exhausted and alone. There was so much about my marriage that they did not understand. How could they know what I needed to do when they knew so little about the life my husband and I shared?

Somehow in that hospice room, two griefs collided. What was it that I did not know about my mother and her decisions, just as my closest friends did not know about me? How could I have been so certain about the path that my mother should have taken? I was overwhelmed with regret. I had not given my mother any space for forgiveness or compassion for my father. I even judged her decisions and pleaded for reason. I had done to my mother what my friends had done to me.

Faced with the threat of loss without some sort of resolution, I leaned over and whispered to her, "I'm sorry and I just want you to know, it was enough. Whatever pain and disappointment we faced in our home, your love was enough, Mom. . . you loved us all enough."

As I declared her love to be enough, my comatose mother opened her eyes and looked right into mine and we saw one another. . . maybe for the first time. It only lasted a moment, but that moment re-oriented the relationship between my mother and me for all eternity. I saw my mother through a new lens and she saw me.

In a way only God could, He took all these points of pain and, in a single moment of cognition – both my mother's and mine, He reorganized it all and freed me from emotional baggage that I'd carried for years. In an unforeseen instant, I realized He saw my grief, He anticipated my needs and He provided for my care. It was at this point that I realized, He loved me enough.

Although forgiveness for infidelity isn't usually instantaneous, a new perspective can enter in a very unexpected instant.

I'm grateful to say this moment paved the way for the developing breakthroughs that would follow. My experience was not only life changing, but began to open the floodgates for new perspective and insight into what could be possible in my marriage and in my life.

For me, working through the pain of infidelity proved to be not only possible, but also transformative. It took courage to heal from my husband's infidelity in light of my friends' disapproval. I now realize it took similar courage for my mom to walk the path she chose in light of my disapproval.

If you're wondering how to survive infidelity, I suggest finding others who have done so and have found a new and meaningful life in the process. I personally found the support I needed through Harboring Hope and EMS Weekend. At the very least, talk with others who have not only survived, but thrived, and ask them what helped them along their journey.

Do you need a community to offer support as you begin your healing journey? Harboring Hope, our course for betrayed spouses, offers a safe place to begin true healing. Registration opens today at 12:00 PM CENTRAL time. Click here to learn more: https://www.affairrecovery.com/product/harboring-hope



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Beautiful! Thanks so much

Beautiful! Thanks so much

Exactly what I needed.

I am going through the same kind of conflict. My mother has been gone for 25 years, but 7 years before her untimely death from a heart attack, my father confessed his affair. I was just 16 years old and was very hurt and angry. I thought she was weak for staying with him. Yet I saw her spirituality grow in leaps and bounds. My immature anger and pride kept me from seeing her use the Atonement of Jesus Christ to heal her and my dad and their marriage. Now, when I am faced with my husband's infidelity, and the desire to save our marriage and repair the damage, I am understanding more deeply the pain, forgiveness, love, and growth my mother experienced. Thank you for sharing your post. I only wish that I could look into my mother's eyes and tell her that I understand, that her love was enough, and that I wish she were here to help me through my own trial.


I'm recovering since Sept 2011. My husband and I are doing good a lot of ways better. I'm still working on my own memories of the affair. Some days are worse then others but some day it will be all behind me. This is the most difficult thing that I ever had to deal with but I believe it takes a strong person to forgive an move on. I love my husband very much he has done everything to make things better for us good luck to all in our recovery

I only now understand my mum's pain

On discovering my husband infidelity, I have been experiencing continuously doubts of his love for me more so as he is not doing enough to assure me of his remorse and cultivation of healthy life style. He bluntly refuses to leave his phones unlocked as well as his lap tops. I also snooped and found that he is into porn and has never affirmed that he will stop. My mum always snorted at my dad when he expressed his concern for her. He was a cheater for the greater part of their marriage. He only stopped when he got prostrate cancer. She was never secure with any female around him as my dad truly pursued anything in skirts no matter how young or old or blood related to my mum. She till her death was obsessed with relating his infidelity to anyone who would listen and we all got impatient with her. They both passed on and I shortly uncovered my husbands lifestyle. I have been unable to forgive myself for not being there for her enough to help her sieve through her pain. I deeply grieve her death, her unhappy and unfulfilled life, and my 20 years of relationship that was not enough and has not yet been considered so for true commitment. I have had to live with not forgiving myself over my mum and trying to forgive my husband everyday as he continues to hurt me everyday as my heart breaks over and over when I consider that he would rather live his own way rather than be faithful. This story shows that I am not the only one who is having to heal from the loss of parents which came on the heels of infidelity/betrayal. I no longer feel that mine is peculiarly bad. thanks, this helps too.

Today is the year mark for

Today is the year mark for me, I,all day have been struggling because I was feeling that I should be over this by now. My husband too has been doing his best to piece our marriage back together. Seeing the "2011" in your post made me feel so much better about not being over the pain. My mom passed a year before I found out about his "friend" I was grieving and his excuse was that I wasn't giving him any attention so he leaned on her while I was grieving over my mom. Thank you so much for making me feel so much less crazy after this horrible day.

To the Year Mark

Don't keep time. One year, two years, or more. It has been 4 years since I found out about my husband. I celebrate the days that I can listen to him say I love you and not cry. I celebrate the evenings I want to be close to him again. I am thankful for the ability to let him hug me. He did know it was a mistake, he is trying. We both are. Recently he traveled again for work. It was the hardest week for me. I handled it by not wanting to talk to him, but I soon found that was the wrong way to handle it. I tried calling one evening and he didn't return my call. All the feelings rushed back as soon as I heard the voice mail. We talked about it and he fell asleep early and didn't hear his phone. Do I trust him, yes. Do I still feel and cry, yes. It will take time... but don't measure your progress with days, measure with experiences. I too lose my mom. It was two years before I found out about my husband. You have been trough so much in such a short time. Don't let yourself feel bad for "not getting over it". Take each day as a celebration. I remember celebrating the first time I could watch my kids do something and not cry because Grandma would not see them. I remember the first time I made it through a holiday dinner with out tears. I remember the first time I made it through a holiday with laughter. Small steps will come. Celebrate those, don't look back, look forward. God Bless you!

Thank You for this comment!

Thank You for this comment! It really touched me.

What a powerful experience

What a powerful experience you shared. Thank you for taking the time to write this. God bless you.

Recovery on the otherside

The last two tales of recovery have been of the husbands infidelity, while I get that there is enough to go around, I see very few recovery stories of wives who have been unfaithful and have put it back together with their spouses. This seems to be an issue in the counseling area. So while I get the clarity of life and commitment in the face of life altering experiences, and the forgiveness and breakthroughs that can come from that, I don't find that on the other side of the fence. The underlying script that I've found in discussing this with a number of men that have been in the trenches only to discover that their wives have betrayed them and in a number of cases have left them with the kids and have gone out to pursue life, because they are not happy. While I find these stories and experience full of emotion, they are leaving a large part of this group out. Unfortunately, the research also seems to be proving this point out, that a husbands infedlity to his wife seems to be easier to over come than when the wife is unfaithful. This can be as simple as core needs and values differences in security verus respect. I get these cathartic moments and have experienced them over time, I have felt God's peace in the stranges of times and places, and his grace. But the movement doesn't seem to go the other way.

Dear Anonymous, I am the

Dear Anonymous, I am the betraying wife and my husband and I are working through it. The road is not easy, but it has been 10 months since I told him about my AP. I hope in the future to tell you we have succeeded. We attended a marriage intensive retreat for four days that made a huge impact in our future together.

Betraying wives get less help with healing

Hello I am the betraying spouse my story is very long so I won’t go into a lot of detail. I betrayed my husband with a friend of his during his time in prison of 9 years. He and I have been together since we were 14 years old and we are both 55 now. I suffered from his alcoholism and physical abuse. Along with mental abuse and many other issues. Mind you I certainly wasn’t a bowl of cherries myself. But I definitely didn’t act as awful as he did then. Anyway now we are in our fourth year after discovery. He is very broken and he says his soul is destroyed. I have been 100 percent transparent in my disclosure of my affairs. He and I are living together in the home we built together and we ( well I ) are trying to work it out. However he feels that since he is not the one who has betrayed our life… he needs to do absolutely nothing to help our relationship. I love him and I want to stay with him until God take’s one of us. I just don’t know how to deal with his attitude towards recovery ❤️‍🩹 …. I believe it is definitely harder for a betrayed husband… but I’m not sure why??? And I agree completely that a wife who has strayed is definitely treated differently than a straying husband!!! Thank you

few recoveries when the wife is the betrayer

I agree with the fact that there are few recovery stories when the woman is the betrayer. Here is my story and analogy of how a man's betrayal affects the marriage versus a woman's betrayal. My husband was the betrayer 14 years before I betrayed him. He denied my accusations of his betrayal and left me in the wake of thinking I was crazy and questioning my own intuition. After he discovered my affair, he had no sympathy or understanding. In fact, he finally admitted his affair several weeks after his discovery just to hurt me all over again (he admitted this fact months later). I compare trying to heal from each betrayal as breaking each of my arms. When I "knew" of his affair it felt like the left arm or our marital body was pulverized, but only I acknowledged it. He ignored and denied there was a fracture (in our relationship) so that horribly mess-up left arm got no attention but slowly began to mend itself. It (the arm part of our relationship) repaired but was contorted and poorly functioning. When my affair was discovered it was as if the marital right arm was crushed. The difference this time was that he gave all his attention to the wrongness of my affair and how it traumatized him and the marriage. That "right arm" got all the attention and focus. This arm healed much more quickly and correctly because of all the attention it received. We are still married 6 years after his discovery, and we are in a better place than we were, but our relationship is still more fragile than either of us prefer. Today, our marriage's right arm healed correctly while the left arm is still neglected but functioning. I ask Affair Recovery to address this issue of women's betrayal effects on the relationship and the success in recovery.

My husband betrayed me 10

My husband betrayed me 10 years ago. It completely blindsided me as I believed our marriage was pretty good but not great. We were good friends and practical and honest with each other and I always thought he was the kind of guy who would never betray me. We had young kids and our life was a little crazy but we had a good relationship and a good sex life. Then one day he came home and out of nowhere, he confessed that he had slept with a women who came on to him in a bar several months prior. The only reason he told me was because he had a lesion on his penis and he was worried about his health. I was gutted but something in me allowed myself to forgive him almost instantaneously and I decided right away that we would get through it. My decision then was that I was going to be strong. I had hope that he was sorry and believed that he was committed to working on our relationship and working through it. I believed he understood how deeply hurt me. I believed him that he would do everything in his power that he could to make our relationship a priority. I wanted a lasting marriage and transformed love more than anything that I was willing to drink the kool-aid. I have never been more wrong about someone in my life. Over the next 6 years after his confession, he became darker and more withdrawn, less confident, less social, and emotionally unavailable except for anger. He was either angry and threatening me or the kids or he was brooding and depressed. He was completely unavailable to help me with processing my feelings and disappointment over the fact that I had forgiven him instantly and chose marriage rather than divorce that instead of our relationship getting better, it was only getting worse. I began to suspect that there were other women, not just one. If I brought anything up to try to process it and talk through it, he would turn it back on me and make me feel like I was crazy. Little by little my suspicion grew and he just kept creating distance, often creating fights, yelling at me and the kids, leaving the house in anger and disappearing for hours. I got to the point that I was glad for the peace when he went off on his episodes. My "left arm" as you say was shattered completely and I was completely ineffective no matter what I did in trying to fix our marriage. I was driving myself crazy trying to figure out what was wrong with him and he was so far gone and we were so broken that I was ready for a divorce. I would ask him over and over if he was having an affair and he would go to great lengths to make sure that he belittled and shamed me for asking such a question and then get so defensive that I would end up apologizing. This hell went on for a very long time. In 2012, he developed some issues with his prostate and would not talk to anyone or go to a doctor. I ended up talking to a male friend of ours to try to get him some help. The discussion with this friend turned into us both sharing our pain that we were both experiencing in our marriages. Regrettably, misery loves company and that friendship turned into my betrayal of my husband and an affair with that man. Over the next year, I fell deeply in love with that man and he with me. However, over time the idea of divorcing became impossible in both of our minds. Neither of us wanted the pain and guilt of our marriages ending over our affair- there were too many other reasons our marriages were in trouble. We both agreed that we would return to our marriages and try again. Within a very short time of ending my relationship with that man, my husband discovered our affair through a text. I came completely clean immediately and was ready for him to leave me. Surprisingly, he did not. Instead, he spent an entire year torturing me with angry outbursts and threats of leaving. He was violent and abusive. We went to counseling and we focused entirely on my affair and the pain I had caused him. Every bit of my energy was all about that "right arm" and how traumatized he was. I allowed him his room to scream and cry and heal. We worked on that "right" arm night and day and we healed that right arm to some degree. But the left arm was still mangled and broken and then- and then- are you sitting down? One year later, I found out through a misplaced email that my husband was having a long term affair with a woman during the entire time that he was trying to make me think I was crazy. He lied to me then, he broke me, he gas lighted me, and the whole time he was having an affair with a woman for three years. THEN- when my affair is made known to him, he keeps all of secret so he can further humiliate me for an entire year. Once I found about this second affair, it was clear to me that he must have had others along the way. He did not come clean- it was 4 months of trickle truth. Honestly, water-boarding would have been more tolerable. We separated for a month and we should have stayed apart but I had worked so hard on myself that I once again thought we could be transformed and we could work on the left arm- finally. Again, I was wrong. There is NO working on the left arm without anger and defensiveness. We are 18 months out from my discovery of this last one and we are so fragile. I am fragile. He uses the right arm to further beat up the left arm. We are broken. Is there any one out there who can relate to this and offer help?

Discovered my husbands betrayal after his death

My sympathy to you on your grieving process. I am a very devoted Christian. I suspeded my husband was cheating with another married woman. He drifted from the marriage. After he retired we planned our retirement on visiting the Far East. He was a Christian who was an alcoholic. He lied to me about helping our pastor in our church. I believed him. He was having an intimate affair in our beachfront flat. In our marriage bed committing adultery with another mans wife. My caretaker saw them for over two years. She told me about it when I went to pick up my spare set of keys from her after he died. My pastor confimed he never went to church to help him with the admin. He destroyed our marriage It very painful when you are in denial. The worse pain that hit me the most he planned to retire with another woman after we were married for over forty years. I am a Christian Counselor and I had to recover from this betrayal trauma. Its a challing journey remember Christ is with you in your heart. Feel him embrace and love him. He never fails in loving you.

I'm with you man

I'm with you man, I dont see a lot of success stories from when the women have affairs either. In my case my wife went from "I love you so much, you're all I ever dreamed of" to having an affair the next weekend and now she swears she was never happy, she left me with our two kids, blaimed me for every bad thing that has ever happened to her and made me feel like dirt. Still the love of Christ has allowed me to forgive her. She has no intention of saving our marriage, i agree it seems like when women do it, they can justify it and are too far gone to forgive themselves. I'm so happy for all of you that have saved your marriages and I do believe it will be worth it in the end for you, but I would be encouraged to hear from a women who has strayed and returned to work it out.

I was the unfaithful female and my marriage survived.

I wanted to add my story to new people reading this, like me. I made the worst mistake of my life and had an affair 12 years ago. I confessed to my husband of 19 years and thought that would give me the strength to stop. I was wrong. It went on back and forth 9 more months. My husband really loved me but was growing weary and thinking of divorce. I hated myself and grew to not even like my AP and wanted my marriage to work more than ever. Affair fog lifted and I was determined to do whatever he needed me to so he could heal and trust me again. It was hard and tedious at times but we made it through after specific steps we took and an attitude shift for both of us. We just celebrated 31 years of marriage and now have 2 grandkids that we get to grandparent together married! Life is good again and we are happier. So yes we are out there. Not every betrayed husband is a jerk. It’s just so incredibly painful for them obviously. My husband did wonder if he was weak because he stayed. Concerned of what others thought of him. I always thought it made him stronger to stay with me and work it out.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cents. I will say I still struggle with some shame and guilt at times. But I’m determined to help other women now who were unfaithful to help them see through the deception.

to the 'unfaithful female'

Thanks for sharing your story. The one klinker in it for me as a betrayed husband is your comment: 'Not very betrayed husband is a jerk.' Where did that come from, for it seems quite a non sequitur? You seem to imply that most betrayed husbands are jerks and that somehow justifies wives' adultery. My guess is that this is far from what you meant, so maybe you could clarify what you meant.

Women vs men

In addition to counselling bias, I wonder if women have learned to be more forgiving than men because of societal issues? For instance, a wife who needs to stay with her husband because he's the primary income in the family may feel like she has no choice but to forgive him and stay. That breadwinner of a husband would not feel that he needs to stay with his wife if the affair was hers. Maybe men have a hard time with their wife's infidelity because they believe their wives are their "property" and belong to them. Maybe the husband who discovers his wife's affair more readily becomes angry and harms her - physically, sexually and emotionally - which makes her own path toward forgiving herself and repairing the marriage more challenging, even if their goal is to remain a couple. I don't know - these are just my observations and ideas for consideration. I do not believe that infidelity is ever right, for either spouse.

thank you

this post really brought me to tears as my own mother & I have a very difficult relationship, in part because of the way my father's infidelity changed her & our very different ways of handling the infidelity of our spouses. I have certainly judged her in the decisions she's made & ironically, it is your article rather than my own experience of infidelity that has opened my eyes to that. Thank you again.

thanks for sharing

Your letter made me cry with real tears as I come to grips with my husband's own confession of infidelity that lasted for many years. It brought my pain on the surface, hopefully helping me to heal in the process. I may not know you personally but thanks for sharing!

You are giving me hope

Thank you for the beautiful story and for the people that commented. It really helps me not feel so alone. My husband had an emotional affair (he swears it wasn't physical) with his coworker 7 months ago and I thought it was over, but just last week I discovered he started talking to her and seeing her again. He said he was just drunk and it was just a mistake, but he doesn't seem to feel any remorse for what he's done. He's admitted he has romantic feelings for her which kills me because he doesn't feel the same way about me. He once was a godly man and that was one of the things I loved about him, but now he says he doesn't know if he believes in God anymore. I don't want to leave this marriage, but I hate being the only one trying. I am praying for my miracle in this marriage and will be praying for you all as well. Thanks for sharing your stories.

I am so sorry that you are

I am so sorry that you are going through this. Today marks 3 weeks from me finding out that my husband was having an affair (mostly friendship, some physical). It was a complete God thing that he accidently called my cell when he was talking to her. I KNOW because God brought it to light and that He is in this! I have to believe that it's over. I have to believe it will never happen again. The very next day after I figured it out the very first verse that was given to me was Psalms 71:19-21. Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens, you who have done great things. O God who is like you? You who have made me see many troubles and calamities WILL revive the depth of the earth. You WILL bring me up again. You WILL increase my greatness and comfort again. I'm clinging to this with all I have. I'm trying not to be mad a God for letting it happen. It's not easy. But I definitely feel better today than I did three weeks ago. God is good. I'm heartbroken that you found out they are talking again. I can't imagine that today. It would kill me.


If your husband would agree to the weekend or even the phone program he would learn that those feelings are typical in affairs. He is experiencing the typical deceptions that drive an affair. Of you could get him to recall his feelings for you when he was in love with you... Prayers for your wisdom in this - and the release of the deceptions in him...

to giving me hope

This story is an eye opener and from the replies-gained much attention and rightly so. My husband's affair (s) have created so much pain and have changed my thought and emotional processes forever. We chose to rebuild our marriage and make it work. Work-that is what it takes and I believe it does take both spouses. But it takes time and much effort to keep the faith and for both to eventually get on the same page (or nearly). I am praying for you and for you to stay strong and tough and hopefully to get through and see progress. It has been tough and hard for us-I still have issues with trust and quite frankly probably will for a very long time- If you truly want and feel your marriage is salvageable then keep working!! That is what we have done and it isn't easy-but is does get better-with prayer and faith and tons of "toughness"-you will survive and actually have happy, fulfilling days ahead. Thanks also to Hope Now for and the stories and guidance through this site.

Thank You

Hello, Thank you for sharing your story; its beautiful. I read your story with a very heavy heart. My wife has had three affairs and left in 2012, on fathers day. The kids are with their mom. Honestly, infidelity is like the darkest, blackest storm. And our marriages are like sail boats... I feel like my wife jumped into a life raft, sailed off to another ship and I was left to try and survive through the storm. Sails are gone, charts are gone...some days are pure survival. And through it all, I don't know what I did wrong. Certainly nothing to deserve all this. And now, I'm forced to somehow start over. Forgive, yes...but thats only part of the process. Thanks for sharing. God bless. Mike

I'm really sorry

I don't have much more to say...other than I read your post and just hung my head. Listen, it may never get back to great.....but it does get better. I hope you can eventually see her leaving as a blessing and lifting of the burden you were bearing. This is really hard to believe, but you did not cause her to have an affair or leave Both of you contributed to the situation it created, but only she made the decision to cheat and eventually leave. I hope you can eventually let most of this pain go and step into a whole new world. It will be your chance to start over in a good way. You will always have those wonderful kids. You must be the best father you can be. But realize it is a good time to do some things for yourself and breath freely for the first time....I'm guessing in a long time. Good luck and I know many people here are with you in spirit.

Your Experience is Encouraging

I discovered my husband's infidelity in 2009. While the last 6 years have been hard in many ways, they have also been the best of my 26 year marriage. We have been able to have the transparency and intimacy that was missing in the previous years. The one area in which I feel our family still has some healing to do is with one of our daughters. Our daughters were 13 and 17 when my husband told them he was having an affair and was moving out of the house. The following 18 months was spent with us dealing with his indecisiveness between the marriage and the affair. He moved back in and back out 3 times, each time telling me the affair was over. I struggled greatly, but with the support and prayers of a friend who had been through the same thing, felt that God was telling me to wait, to not do anything permanent to end our marriage. During that 18 months, our oldest daughter graduated from high school and left for college. By the time her father had the heart change we had been praying for and truly ended the affair, both girls had lost all respect for him. The oldest had also lost respect for me because she thought I should have divorced him. He moved back in almost 4 years ago and with the help of God, Rick, Leslie, EMS, and praying friends and family, our marriage has become stronger and better than it ever was before. Our youngest daughter was home and watched the process of change with her father and the transformation of our marriage. The older one has been away at school most of the time and even with long talks with her father and with me, she still harbors bitterness and lack of respect. Your story gives me hope that she will one day see the good that came from all the pain. I sincerely hope I will not be on my death bed when she realizes that it takes much more strength to forgive and stay if that is what God is asking. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Grief and anger from adultery clouds the grief for my daughter

I found out in July that my husband of 27 years had been having an affair for two years. He then "finished" the affair, but I then found out in November that she was still in touch with him. This was days before my daughter died. Trying to work through the grief and loss, that no mother should ever feel, plus his infidelity is more than I can handle.
At least I know my daughters death is a "clean" pain, while the hurt from infidelity it dirty, torturous and "plotted". My heart is torn apart so much that I can't even grieve for my daughter. They took that away from me! My anger towards this immoral woman is huge! While my daughter was dying the AP showed nothing but her own selfish needs! I'll never forgive her for that.

I've lost so much this year!

Things I've lost this year:
My husband
My marriage
My oldest daughter moved out
My stepbrother died
My relationship with my sister & mother couldn't with stand my neediness after the affair
My little girl is now a teenager and doesn't need me the same
My security
Both my uncle & stepfather are battling cancer and have less than 6 months to live

And yet my husband's guilt& shame keeps blocking my healing from his infidelity which is what started my year of loss off!!

Thank you for sharing

Your story was much like mine. Thank you for saying it all for me. God is faithful; and forgiveness is real. My husband's affair was 2002, my mother died in 2004. The healing between my husband and I took several wonderful and yet, painful years. A moment in time can change you forever.

No healing and terminally ill unfaithful spouse.....

Really wish you would address unfaithful spouse death whle trying to make it through recovery.

I can't be the only person that has faced or is facing this.

Sadly, this is the only information available that discusses death & infidelity in the library.

I'm sitting in a hospital facing the very real probability that I will never get any healing from all his destructive behavior, yet, I'm still expected to be the caring wife.....

My heart is grieving for you

My heart is grieving for you rwr and wish I could wrap my arms around you right now and cry with you.

No help from cheater

I wish you well, my wife refuses to fess up, nor apologize , I am on my own, probably taking to death by my self. She knows I know, she says without pictures it didn’t happen, my eyes are wet for days in a row.
I hope you find peace


Try looking on the affairrecovery.com forums. I came across at least one story of someone whose wayeard spouse died before healing took place. Ayne it will be of some comfort. I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

going thru it now also

I m going thru that now. Twenty months ago my husband confessed that he had been having an affair for years. So many years he couldn't remember when it started. Somewhere around 7-9 years. We d been married 22 years so almost half our marriage. We tried reconciling but after 3 months I filed for divorce; just couldn't get past the adultery. He wouldn't take responsibility for anything. About 7 months after he found out he is dying; in the last stages of colon cancer. We have 3 children in college and youngest in high school. He may not see him graduate high school.
I decided to stand by him and offered to stop the divorce. Ironically instead he started pushing full force to finalize the divorce so that I wouldn't get "his" money. Kids were furious with him. They feel he s being very disrespectful of me. He missed a lot of their life because he was always gone. Now here we are 20 months later and he has dropped his counter divorce and wants me to drop mine.
It s just a confusing time for all of us. Very few people get what we are going thru.

Death during the storm

My husband had multiple affairs during our relationship and marriage and we stayed together through them all. The last one, however, was the final straw as it was someone with whom we'd been acquainted for years, and she cozied up to me in order to get closer to him. When she told me about their 18-month relationship in a text, I moved his things out of our bedroom, ceased all cooking for him, ceased pretending we had a marriage.

He continued the affair and I continued my life - grad school, taking care of aging parents, seeing my friends. In the house, if we were forced to be there at the same time, I ignored him most of the time. My plan was to stay in the house while I finished school and save money for a move.

After a lot of verbal abuse from him and his AP over my refusal to leave the house, I shouted their affair from the rooftops, explaining that this was a public service announcement to the community about who they were really dealing with, and that I was absolutely doing it to hurt him and her in revenge for hurting and humiliating me - he was furious but he didn't have a moral leg to stand on, so too bad, so sad. Her kids found out in this way and she came unglued in the street while I laughed in her face. Turning the tables on them in this way while I went about my life was pretty entertaining for awhile, and then I graduated, took my shiny new masters degree (paid for by me) and left them to their sorry lives.

If all this sounds cruel and angry on my part, I felt I was at war and circumstances necessitated a scorched earth approach, as the psychological torture those two inflicted on me to get me out of my own home was inhumane. In order for me to play the long game financially, I felt it was my only move to counter their arrogance. For the record, they did back off after I publicly shamed them.

Well, he died, and that absolutely broke my heart. I didn't realized how much I still loved the guy - we never did get a divorce and actually became friends again after a few years, despite her badgering him endlessly. On the bright side, I now have financial freedom, my health and a future without further betrayal. Wishing you well in your recovery. You can heal from trauma and you don't have to be a doormat.

Beautiful story

Thank you for this...such a moving story about perception, experience, and reality. Very well-written.

Forgiveness vs forgetting

It is comforting knowing I am not alone in all of this, but I'have reached my limit - my spirit has gone as has my will to go on. My husband announced his affair over 5 years ago, and expected to come home to a loving devoted wife, ready for sex on demand for 2 years while he continued his affair with a girl half his age. My Mum died just after I found out about the affair, and my subconscious response was to shut down as the hurt was too much to bear. I had left my country, lost all my money in the divorce and now my self esteem. But somehow I was able to keep loving him. He eventually said it was over, after saying this countless times just for me to get a note from her with pictures saying it wasn't.
Forgiving a blaming myself was easy, forgetting and figuring how to continue in this relationship that is now based on lies, deception and facades, alternated with compliments and sending me to visit friends to get the love I need, is not.
All the posts talk about healing, but is it just about forgiveness of the betrayed? Isn't the partner who betrayed responsible for making some kind of attempt to re-establish trust , to make some changes in life, to make me feel safe again? He is even more calculating and deceptive now than before, staying out late at night, and occasionally not coming home at all, with multiple and changing reasons where and why. Yet, when with me, is kind and attentive, almost too attentive. I'm lost, confused, and broken and have no idea what to do next as I feel no love , but fear and a sense of being trapped. Love some help here.

Forgiveness vs Forgetting

My husband left me for another woman s little over six years ago. However, he gaslighted and kept a foot on the door throug

Forgiveness vs forgetting

Your experience of doing most or all the work of healing or getting over it or whatever seems to fall on the betrayed spouse, while the betrayer often just sails along thinking she/he is fine because she/he owned up to what happened and has been forgiven by God. No. The betrayer needs to pick up the major burden of making the relationship right again, stepping out and taking initiative instead of just waiting for the betrayed to share hurt, grief, resentment, whatever. That's what will reestablish trust. Your situation makes me wonder whether your spouse is at all committed to healing for he doesn't seem yet to even realize that he needs to tell you the truth and behave in a way that will encourage trust.

Help as requested

It's time to listen to your feelings. You say you feel trapped and fearful. What are your dreams and aspirations? Who are you? How can you get the life that you want? Forget about him for awhile and find yourself. Then look at him and ask yourself: is he worth keeping around while he continues to behave in the same manner? Listen to yourself. You are trying to tell yourself something but it's just so hard to hear with all the pain and confusion. The truth is that if the Betrayer makes no effort to to fix things, you have lost the marriage. They have to care and feel sorry and regret for their actions. Otherwise, you are giving and giving and giving. That's why you feel the way that you do. You have done your part. Help yourself, put your arms around yourself; love yourself and tell yourself what has to happen. You cannot do a thing to make him change. You must look after yourself.

Infidelity & Death

Thanks for sharing this moving story. Thinking about if I were on my deathbed or if my wife were on her deathbed was part of what prompted me to insist to her that we talk about the damage her adultery caused years ago and was continuing to cause me. I realized that if we did not excavate what had been unjustifiably buried I would continue to be totally unresolved if she were to die. She resisted, of course, but eventually came around and we've had a number of very vulnerable, helpful and healing conversations.

Another aspect of your story that I appreciate is how you highlight that when you went through your experience with your mother and your husband you, God was with you – experiencing it with you. I'm a very believing Christian, so I find your reminder helpful – I'm not alone and abandoned and unloved, as I often feel in this, but rather Jesus is there with me through every moment of it all, even the sordid details. Jesus was there, grieving, and Jesus is here with me now, compassionate and holding me up.

affair spouse is dying

My husband had always traveled for work. 2 1/2 years ago I found out he had been in an affair with an old girlfriend for 7 years. Did I suspect an affair ? - No. Did I know something wasn't right in our marriage ? - Yes. But he always made me seem like I was expecting too much or I was crazy.
I decide not to continue the marriage and filed for divorce. I deserve to be treated better. I deserve a partner who thinks more of me.
Then 1 year after I filed for divorce and we were almost done, we find out he is dying. Stage 4 colon cancer with little chance past 2 1/2 years.
So , divorce is not happening. Financial matters are not resolved because he has decided that the 20 plus years of marriage don't count and he wants the will rewritten his way. Kids are furious at him for the affair and how he is treating me. Last week he asked if he could stay with me until "the end". I relented because I think the kids need to see compassion even for someone who has hurt you. I m not sure how long I can have him with me. I was very happy without him.

Double D-Day. Death and Discloser

On the day of my cousin's husbands funeral, she gets a call from a 10 year old boy advising that the man who died was his father. This was two years ago. I can't begin to imagine her pain. Today she says she still can't forgive him. I on the other hand found out a months ago that my partner of 26 years was living with another woman as I was required to live at work and only spent time with him and the weekends on and once or twice during the week. I am still in shock.

What a powerful story... It

What a powerful story... It touched me deeply. Thank you so much for sharing.

Death and infidelity

I have had 2 discovery days. One last sept and the other in January. We are in counseling, we are trying to heal. He has been sober from SA for six months then the unimaginable happened. My best friend dies at the age of 33 of sudden onset of liver cancer. She was the one person who knew every gory detail and never judged either of us. Our children are best friends. She was my rock. I am still being triggered by my husband and dealing with grief at the same time. How can I get through this pain?

I wish he understood my pain!

Thank you for your words, this does sort of give me something to look towards positively. My husband of 10 years had what I’m calling a weekend-stand when the kids and I were away visiting my father in hospital (husband did tell me to stay longer to spend time with my dad, mmm ok) in December 3.5mo the ago. Whilst away I found some messages on his Facebook from her and what they had been up to and organizing to see each other before we got back again. Well I interrupted that!
He pretty much since then has not answered any of my questions, gets defensive when I ask anything, is cranky at me all the time for everything and pretty much a down right a.. hole.
To top it off my father ended up passing away a month after d-day. Don’t get me wrong husband was a rock when dealing with this at my parents house but as soon as we get home it’s back to the same rude inconsiderate behavior.
He says he doesn’t want to spilt up and that he loves me but he won’t change as this is him and he has not changed since I met him 18 years ago (he was not like this 18 years ago). He won’t put in any effort at all expecting me to just get over it.
But I feel as if I haven’t been able to mourn the loss of my dad as all I think about is my husbands infidelity.
God it’s good to vent that!!!

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