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

Surviving Infidelity Part 1: What Do You Need to Know?

Surviving Infidelity Research: A Two Part Series

Part 1: What Do You Need to Know?
Part 2: Poor Recovery Decisions of Unfaithful Spouses

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We've seen, time and time again, the important role that discovery plays in recovering from infidelity. Without full disclosure, the betrayed spouse is constantly replaying the story, trying to make sense of everything.

The most common reason for the unfaithful spouse to withhold information is that they fear it will be "too much," that the last detail will be the final straw, or that revealing the whole truth will be too painful. So the unfaithful spouse will deliver "trickle truths," just trickling out information slowly over time.

Unfaithful spouses, hear me when I say that this is absolute torture for your betrayed spouse. Each time they get new information—even a little piece of information—it takes them right back to square one, and it's as if they are hearing it all over again for the very first time. More than re-living the information, your spouse is re-living all the confusion, trauma, and turmoil associated with recovery after infidelity.

I thought it would be really helpful to hear what you had to say about discovery.

Affair Recovery conducted a survey of hundreds of our readers to determine what you wish you had known at the time of discovery. For this article, we'll focus on what the betrayed spouse wishes they had known at the time of discovery.

In response to the question "What did you not know that you needed to know after the infidelity came to light?" the answers from betrayed spouses fell into one of five categories:

  1. I needed to know that I was not responsible for the betrayal.
  2. I needed to know the truth about what happened.
  3. I needed to know why it happened and my mate's motivations for recovery.
  4. I needed to know what to expect on the journey to recovery and that there was hope.
  5. I needed to know the necessary steps to take in order to move forward in the most productive way possible.


I needed to know that I was not responsible for the betrayal. (27%)

Twenty-seven percent of women reported taking personal responsibility for their mate's infidelity. They reported difficulty in recovery because they were trying to fix something that, ultimately, they had little or no control over. This isn't to say that they were perfect in the marriage, but bad marriages are not the root of infidelity. Surviving infidelity, and ultimately thriving in the relationship, means each person has to take responsibility for how they are treating their mate. There are two people in every bad marriage and generally only one of them has an affair. Therefore, it's not the bad marriage causing the infidelity (even if the unfaithful mate is blaming the marriage or their spouse for their infidelity). In retrospect, these women felt their time would have been far better spent allowing their mate to take responsibility for their actions. In this category were comments such as:

  • "There was nothing I could do to stop the insanity--no way to reason with my husband--so I would have spent less energy in finding a solution that wasn't mine to find and more energy in finding the right guidance."
  • "I felt like I had failed, that it was all my fault, that if I was 'ENOUGH' it wouldn't have happened. I was so ashamed even though he was the one that did it, yet, I was too embarrassed to admit to others that he was having an affair."

I needed to know the truth about what happened. (21%)

Twenty-one percent of betrayed women felt their recovery would have been improved if their mate had answered their questions. This is supported by the statistic that couples who can talk about what occurred over a period of time have a far greater chance of surviving the affair. (You can read more about that research in our article, "Why Couples Fail After an Affair.") In order to restore trust in a relationship, the unfaithful spouse must first trust their mate with the information. Here are examples of these comments:

  • "My husband told me little bits & pieces about how he was unfaithful. I wish he would have told me the whole truth all at once so the healing could have begun."
  • "I want the whole story, the whole truth no matter how painful at the time."
  • "Surviving infidelity means ultimately being honest and open and vulnerable."

I needed to know why it happened and my mate's motivations for recovery. (17%)

Seventeen percent of women respondents said not understanding why it happened as well as their mate's motivations for recovery, made it difficult to determine whether it was safe to continue in the relationship. "Why" is a big question, and unfortunately it's the question for which the unfaithful spouse is least likely to have the answer. In the early stages of recovery, all you're likely to get are justifications. It will take some infidelity-specific work to help them uncover why they were unfaithful and to correctly align their motivation for recovery. The fears of our respondents were summed up with statements like these:

  • "We can only change ourselves - people change when they want to, but sometimes don't know how. If an individual doesn't answer the question why they are cheating, the behavior will repeat."
  • "I needed to know how he could lie over and over to me and not feel any guilt. Why he would have jeopardized everything for her. Why he would say that he loved me during the 5 year affair."

I needed to know what to expect on the journey to recovery and that there was hope. (16%)

The fourth most common response by 16% of betrayed women was that they wished they had realistic expectations going into recovery and knew that there was actually hope to be found. The intensity of the pain and the disorientation created by infidelity left them out of touch with reality. Simply knowing that what they were going through was normal would've been helpful. Understanding what to expect would have minimized some of the collateral damage they experienced. They also reported that knowing there was hope for recovery would've prevented them from saying and doing things that were so destructive. In relation to surviving infidelity, for example, one person wrote, "I wish I had known that recovery was possible and that we would try to work things out down the road. Knowing that would have helped me avoid some of the terrible things I said to him and wrote to him. Also, that the more I wrote to him, the more I pushed him away. I so wanted him to hurt like I did, and I let him have it! I wish I had been softer, less 'out there' with my feelings."

I needed to know the necessary steps to move forward in the most productive way possible. (15%)

The final significant challenge for the women was not knowing at the time of discovery what steps to take in order to move forward in the most productive way possible. Not knowing what to do kept them stuck longer than was necessary. There comes a point in recovery, after making a few mistakes and feeling the sting of moving backwards, where fear begins to immobilize you. You are miserable where you are but terrified to move in any direction. What if that's the cliff's edge? These women needed trustworthy guidance from others who have recovered themselves and know what productive recovery looks like. Here were some of the comments:

  • "I wish I knew not all counselors are the same."
  • "How to put one foot in front of the other - in other words I was in shock mode and did not know what to do. I needed a guide but didn't even know how to find one."
  • "I really should have sought expert help sooner."


We found it interesting that the needs were the same for betrayed men, although the importance of each category changed a bit. The ranking of the top five categories for men are:

24% I needed to know the truth about what happened.

21% I needed to know why it happened and my mate's motivations for recovery.

19% I needed to know that I was not responsible for the betrayal.

16% I needed to know the necessary steps to move forward in the most productive way possible.

14% I needed to know what to expect on the journey to recovery and that there was hope.

Below, you'll see Samuel interview two betrayed men who share their own experiences, what they needed desperately from their spouse, and their own individual outcomes. It's vital for survivors of infidelity to feel heard and validated in their pain. While not always easy for men to express their needs and pain, we're confident you'll hear their raw courage shine through the interviews.

Surviving infidelity is a tough road but one that is definitely possible. It is a tragedy for people to remain in the pit of despair created by infidelity when rehabilitation is possible. If you are new to recovery, I hope you'll learn from the experiences of those who've gone before and found healing. There's no doubt that we can learn from their lessons today and get on the path to healing much sooner. Now that you have this list of the top five things our readers wish they had known as a starting point, seek help that addresses these concerns.

If you're not sure how to begin, try our First Steps Bootcamp. It will walk you step by step through the early stages of recovery. If you want more direct help or if you have been in recovery for a while and are just feeling stuck, please don't stay there. Join an EMS Online class and get on the path to healing.

If you're ready to start the journey of finding freedom and forgiveness, I hope you'll consider registering for EMS Weekend. This 3 day intensive is a safe place for you both to learn, grow and heal.
Our 3-day weekend intensive for couples to heal after infidelity now offering $1,000 discount for virtual months during the pandemic. Limited availability.

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The easiest–and cheapest–way to start on this journey is to take our free First Steps Bootcamp. It's an online guide with 100+ pages of content and a full-length video of a mentor couple who was in as big of a mess as it can get. You'll take a big sigh of relief when you have a clear plan and learn that you're neither crazy nor alone in this journey, whichever side of the infidelity you find yourself on.



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I personally have struggled

I personally have struggled really bad when he told me tiny bit 9months ago. Then has slowly told me the rest in the last 3 weeks. It has taken the full 3 weeks to find everything out. I feel it is so unfair as I had started to heal then he has taken me back to d day all over again.Now I'm lost and don't no what to do. He knows now that I'm all he wants. It just ain't fair and I wish I knew 9 months ago that there was help out there as I struggled with no where to turn till I found this site on the internet

Set backs

I understand your struggle. When he was caught by his lovers spouse he was forced to tell me. I specifically asked if he had been inappropriate with his boss several times. 18 months later I discovered he had an affair with his boss previously. For about a 2 year period. For me it felt like he just had another affair and set me way back. Now lying and distrust are even a bigger obstacle for me. If he would have come clean in the beginning it would have helped a lot. Also it was like pulling teeth to get information.


I just finally put everything together 5 days ago. My husband would not admit to anything unless I came to him with proof. To make our situation worse, he is on an expat assignment, so we are regularly apart. I have not seen him since I found out. Everything is all about him right now. He is angry that I told my family and thinks I should deal with everything internally. I have never felt such hurt and devastation in my life. I don't want a divorce, but I am so lost right now.

I feel the same way. I found

I feel the same way. I found out my wife was having an affair for a year with a co worker. I suspected it for awhile. And questioned it. And was told she was in love with me and would not do anything to jeopardize us! Telling me the whole time how lucky she was to have me. I picked up her phone one day and found a year long sexting conversation between the two of them. Even specifics after each physical encounter. So I kept her phone and asked questions. Was told it was nothing just some texting that got out of hand. So I started telling her what I read. Then over the course of a week. I kept her phone and kept reading. She finally told me after I forced her into it. So after 11 months of pain I still wonder if she's really told me everything. And they still work together. It's killing me.

the lies are almost worse

I found out about my husband's affair about 6 weeks ago. The first story was that there was a slip up once the week before and then once three years ago (with my sister in law) and I started to work my way through it and believed all of his story even though I felt like it was not true. Having your gut tell you one thing and your husband tell you another prevents the process from moving forward. Week by week, I would get a little more information and each time something new was revealed, it was like starting over each time. For the betrayers, I would recommend you tell the whole truth right away and rip that Band-Aid off. I think what bothered me the most was that this "other woman" had more information about my husband than I did and I didn't know how to move forward with him (even though he was begging me to) without knowing the full story. As painful as it was, I need to know the whole truth. My husband thought he was protecting me and he admitted that he thought he was protecting himself by keeping details from me (like how they really felt about each other) but all it did is make me feel like it wasn't possible for me to move on with a liar.


I could have written this today. For me it was three days ago, and husband is expat. Wishing I went with him. Please tell me how far you've come since you posted.

I completely understand how

I completely understand how you feel cos I'm in the same position right now. My husband wouldn't tell me anything other than he wants us to start afresh.
It makes it really difficult for me. How do I know he will not continue.

Same here

I've been dealing with lies for 3 years now. It is starting to effect my physical health now , more than it did 3 years ago. I need to know the truth in order for me to move on and heal but he doesn't want to talk about it - I think it's because he's ashamed of what he was doing. I have more than enough proof and he still refuses to tell the truth. I am emotionally and physically drained from dealing with all this on my own. We are going to couples counseling now but still refuses to tell the truth.

wife had emotional affair

One month short of my 40th wedding anniversary, I found out my wife had a week-long online hookup with an old boyfriend from 45 years ago. One that one week the exchanged over 500 messages, including bathing suit pictures of my wife and a half-naked picture of him. On the last day they had sent each other fake text saying how great it was to reunite and exchange pictures of grandkids. It was written so poorly that I knew it was a lie. I asked my wife if she had called him and she lied. On the first recovered message I saw she asks him if it’s alright to call. Every question I asked her, she lied. It has crushed my will to live. We are in the process of trying to work through everything, but it is a 2 steps forward, one step back situation.


My husband told me he cheated on me while I was out of town caring for my sick brother who was fighting cancer and died while I was with him. I got home on a Wednesday and my husband told me on Thursday that a women approach him for gas money in exchange for sex. He told me he had you come to our home and he had sick with he in our bed. I am having a hard time, because along with this, I had a funeral to attend. Now that the funeral is behind me, I am now focusing on what I should do. I am feeling so much pain. My house and our bedroom is a constant reminder of the betrayed.

Wanting the trust back!!

I found out a year ago and yes the actually affair hurt me but all the lies to keep it cover and all the times I felt like I was going crazy cause I knew deep down something was going on. He finally confessed, then told me some here and there. We went to counciling and it did help me some. Now I find myself angry a lot. I can't trust him even though he says he will never do that to me again. I hate the person that this has turned me into.

YES THE ANGER!! The anger

YES THE ANGER!! The anger and resentment that I feel now... a year after I found out about his affair... it's overwhelming! After I found out about his affair and the details... I was more so hurt.. destroyed. Now a year later it's just plain anger/resentment/hatred. I am trying to work on it however all the triggers keep pulling me in.

Response to your anger...

I feel your pain. My husband had an affair from the begining of our relationship til anywhere from 6-8 years later...we have now been together 18 going on 19 years. He still wont tell me everything that happened. He was also with her through the birth of 2 children with me, the death of 2 children with me, and myself almost dying....top that off with my father dying from cancer. He even looked me in the eyes to tell me his "good friends" dad had cancer and was dying and he wanted me to know he was helping her out too...
I had to wait almost 15 years and have gotten very few answers to my questions. My rage and anger are now above what anyone should have it at. My spouse refuses to tell me how long and to what extent it went to. Yet the woman told me that I was nothing to him, along with some very disgusting details...and she says there was at least another woman also...
Point is, I have gotten what they call the "trickle effect". I got small truths here and there but never the answers I seek... I finally decided that it was better to forgive her, because let's be honest here...he lied to her too....as for him, I love him! It has been the hardest 15 years of my life, but I'm still trying for my kids. The anger and pain have made me a monster...I cant sleep, I cant eat right...I've lost over 30lbs in a 2 week span...and my eyes look like I died. All of it came about because of a "trigger moment". My neighbor is going through a similar situation. I wrote a Facebook message to apologize and let her know that I wasnt the person I was made out to be. I made a decision to stay and fight for all the lost memories and moments that "they" took from me and my children. I loved my husband and honestly punished and shamed him for 15 years for making a "choice" to change not his but my future. I did everything I could to embarrass and humiliate him....it made me feel better... here is the deal, I didn't push for an answer. I know I'm not perfect, but I do believe that people aren't perfect. I'm not sure I'm staying, but I'm taking care of me now!

The other side

I am the husband that cheated. It was a one time thing, not that that makes it any better. I lied for years to cover it up. I finally confessed about 2 years ago, once I did, she just kind of ignored it. I could see it building in her but I surly didn’t want to push, now it’s full on taken over everything. I want her to yell and scream at me, ask me anything, but let’s deal with it. I take full responsibility for what I did, what it caused, what the lies caused. I hate this

Thank you

Thank you for your words. They say exactly how I feel. I found out 2 1/2 years ago, and I'm still so angry, and I hate who I have become because of all this

I'm feeling the same way,

I'm feeling the same way, good to know that I'm not as crazy as I feel. My husband had a 7 month emotional affair with a friend from high school, I know her and know how good of friends they are I feel he needs to stop the relationship for a while so I can heal but not sure he will and he will think it's unfair of me to ask this, I just go crazy with the thought of him still talking to her......

I feel the exact same way.

I am going through the same type of thing. My wife had an affair with one of MY coworkers three weeks after meeting him. This all started a year ago. I didn’t even think anything of it until she was out a lot later than usual and I tracked her phone and she was at his house. I believed their story but started getting suspicious again. She actually wanted a divorce at one point. Even after all of the evidence I found they still continued to lie to me even though I knew. It wasn’t until three month later she told me. It’s been 9 months since she told me and I still struggle with the anger. I feel it is having an affect on my kids and it is eating me up inside. We are trying to work on the relationship but I just can’t let go. It doesn’t help that I work with the guy.

Continued lies

I found out 15 months ago that my husband was having an affair with my best friend. It had been going on 2 years. They were tired of hiding and wanted to both leave their families and be together. I never got any details except for it had started 2 years before. 5 months later, they "ended things", and she and her family moved away. My husband started acting like he wanted to work things out, so we slowly started trying to make some progress. I found out 7 months after that that he had STILL had contact with her during that time. He lies about everything. Last week I found out that he had lied about some other things and gone behind my back with some financial decisions that we had agreed to not follow. I feel like I keep getting set back to day 1 all over again. Today, he came over and told me that there's a "rumor" going around that he's been sleeping with a girl in his apartment complex. It just never seems like it's going to end.

Continued Lies

I am right there with you. About six months ago my husband started acting like he did not ever want to be at home, resentfully toward me and began disappearing for hours at a time. He always said he was out with our mutual friends and his phone died. Two months ago he asked me to move out for a separation period because he was going through something and needed some time away from me. I did as he asked. Next day he asked me to come home. Three days later was Valentines Day. He disappeared at 9am and never answered my calls or messages. His friends saw the messages I sent to them but would also not respond. He did not come home till midnight. No his special dinner was ruined. He did not even say happy valentines day or get me anything. One of his friends hinted that I needed to check who he hangs out with, but she was one of them. He told me he had done nothing wrong was sorry about being and jerk, h is head was back straight and loved me. Two days later I find pictures of a girl in his computer. He said that while it was wrong, he was just talking to her and messaging , he had never touched her or anything inappropriate. Three days later Ihe finally admits to have a year long on going affairs with her, loves her and will not stop seeing her. She is a local prostitute. A few days later he apologized again and said it was over and he was devoted to getting our marriage back. Same night immediately after being intimate with me he starts texting her on the phone. Bold faced lied to me about what he was doing but there was a mirror behind him so I saw it all. How do I ever believe him when he can hurt me over and over while lying about it to my face?

More lies

I have started seeing my husband that he's having an affair four months ago when started not picking up my call, not sleeping at home and I confronted him he denied everything and he's loosing wait, what I have noticed is lies consuming him,now he's is spending days out of our home, he's at the lady's house,I have also noticed that the lady is giving him money, because he is always drunk and he doesn't want me to tell his family he wants me deal with this alone as wife,of which I can't


I have been divorced from my wife for about a year now. I am still dealing with the aspects of not knowing what was going on since my second child was a little girl (she is now 12). I have always suspected something was wrong but I could never prove it. It did not help that I was always depressed and changing into another person, but I always loved her and was faithful. I feel like this is just a line you do not cross. I still have difficulties with meeting women, I feel as if I am cheating and that God would not be happy about my decision. She was having online and phone affairs fro years and finally it graduated to a full blown affair. And to make it worse my so called friends new and said nothing. especially one male friend who was in constant communication with her (he was getting his jollies through her stories of infidelity). I have found out proof after the divorce of many things she has done and is still doing. I can not understand how someone who loves God and says they love you could do such a thing. To this day I find it very difficult to believe anything she says about anything. The crazy thing is, is that I still love her. But I know she is not good for me right now. I guess I will leave it to God (try to).

I know how you feel

Hey there buddy....I know exactly how you feel....especially the part when you said..."How can somebody who said that they love God and still did what they did?".....
We were on a path of recovery, this was before the affair happened (so she said), I was sending her Gospel songs that she requested while all of this thing happened....I am still confused on not knowing what happened and still questioning all of this...I dont know where her commitment right now....but the joy that I have is only coming from God'love for me is never ending.

I empathized with all the

I empathized with all the betrayed spouses, recalling the experience I had 3 years ago when my husband had an emotional affair with a coworker. My struggle was to know the truth everything about the affair which my infidel husband couldn't give to me at the time of discovery. I learned that lying comes naturally with affairs and we can only begin to trust when the infidel decided to come clean and be honest about everything. One and a half year after, the time when I thought I was on my way to healing, I discovered vital information about the affair. This brought devastation and I was back to zero again. He could not understand my stand that he should have told me everything initially and could have spared me from this overwhelming pain. Feels like he cheated me twice. Even our counselor did not validate my point and it was only now that he came to realize this mistake when we started studying marriage and family therapy in counseling. We are now in our journey towards recovery and restoration. It is now my desire to help betrayed spouses to heal after an affair. This site made me understand not only myself but my husband as well and I find it so informative and useful.

Emotional affair with coworker

My husband had an emotional affair with a coworker. We are both successful professionals loaded and envy of our circle. But what I was most proud was my family. My husband's love for me. And my kids. He was an honest well respected guy doting on me. Or at least that's what I thought. Then when he was away on town I found out a month worth of text on the iPad. About 20% work related issues. The rest is personal concerning conversation that should go between two adoring spouses. I was so shocked when I found out. There was no sex involved. But it didn't matter. The happy smiling wife ( that's me) gone into clinical depression. Can't eat or sleep. Constantly thinking about this. I confronted her she said we were just friends. My husband admitted and apologized. Says I'm the only women in his life and this is just a fantasy to relieve his work stress. Stopped texting her altogether. When asked how long he said one year. She has given some gifts. But talked about only one in that 1 month worth of texts. What ever he tells me about the affair is what is that texts and I already know. He is not willing to divulge anything else. When I asked him to show the gift he refused. But I found out and asked he said he didn't want to open up another can of worms. Now 6 weeks later found out it was going On for 2years not one. All these lies and not knowing made me feel like I am going through all this all over again. I feel like there no hope or future. I can never have what I had before. How can you text some one 20-70 texts a day and suddenly cut it off just because I found out? Is it even possible? I think he still has feelings for her. That's why he didn't want to show the gift.She was off work for the last few weeks. Now she is going to come back and that's increasing my depression and anxiety even more. It was therapeutic reading all these responses I can relate to them and I feel for them. Those who are suffering after husbands one night stands or brief sexual encounters you are much better off that 2 yrs of heavy emotional involvement. If I only know the whole truth I can think of ways to heal.

17 yr Emotional affair with coworker

I understand fully. Seems like my husband was living 2 separate lives. After 20 years of being together (15 married), I found out 4 years ago he'd had an affair 2 years prior with someone he'd been in touch with the entire duration of our marriage, unbeknownst to me. I knew of her slightly as a former coworker that had kept in touch in between jobs, etc. but it was always in casual conversation. At the time of discovery I too asked for all details and asked him to stop. He stated they were just friends and there was nothing to end. It was not until I threatened to tell her clients and make it public who and what she is, that he supposedly realized the magnitude and promised to end it. For the next 2 years bits and pieces of information kept surfacing and then the real bomb: he had cheated on his previous wife with her too. All in all it's been 4 years since the discovery and although we moved cross country to alienate from the triggers and habits, I'm still discovering "gifts", music, etc that were a part of their memories which he's not gotten rid of. In addition, he has stated that the 100% loyalty that I require is unrealistic and will be loyal 9 out of 10 times; he also gets dangerously upset when I need reassurance and ask him if I'm the only one, etc. Had I known that I will never really know the truth, that he had fallen in love (even if only in a fantasy), or had I known what the difference is between being guilt ridden and being narcissistic, I wouldn't have wasted 4 years. But at least I now know and I can take the next steps without feeling guilty, without feeling like a failure and with confidence knowing I did everything I could to help our marriage and help him. They both are damaged individuals that are beyond repair. Good luck and I hope your pain is short-lived.


The texts and phone calls are the worst. My husband had a 2 1/2 year affair. My story is yours. Perfect family- perfect spouses, lots of love and intimacy. It's hard to understand the why. I saw my husband's phone bill. 3-5 hours a day of texting and phone calls. It is heart breaking. How do they just stop? Mine did- and then he started again. He used whatsap on his iPhone so I didn't find it on the phone bill. But I caught him when he finally met up with her again. Caught him in the lie because my gut told me something was going on. We are moving forward again, but it is so very hard. I wish us both success- I wish up both to heal and feel whole again. It is the hardest experience of my life. Tough times never last forever---we must keep believing that.


My second wife confessed that she had an affair 5 months ago. The only reason she confessed was because she was pregnant with his child and decided to raise a family with her much-younger lover. There was no way the child is mine because she all but cut me off of sex for the previous year and a half . She said they'd had sex only a few times and she didn't know which of us she loved more.

After she moved in with him into his mother's basement that morning, i found over a thousand "private" videos, photos and messages saved on our laptop. The truth was that she'd had three to five affairs in the previous 18 months, two of which briefly overlapped, meaning that she'd been having unprotected sex with three men simultaneously. The final affair lasted five months but they'd had sex almost every day, not the "few times" she'd told me. The worst part was that her lover was a casual friend of my son, her stepson. Four weeks after moving out she told me she wanted to come home, that i was the best thing that'd ever happened to her and she didn't know why she'd been unfaithful. She said that after living with her lover for two weeks, she'd realized what a great man i was. In addition to being a physician, I cooked all the meals, did 90% of the housework and was faithful. She thinks that she'd been addicted to the romance and excitement of courtship and new lovers. Folks, I forgave her. When she came home, she was like a skeleton. Now four months after she moved back, almost every day i experience flashbacks of the nude photos, raunchy videos, and loving and raunchy conversations I'd seen on the laptop and I can't seem to stop them.


Hello. I was just wondering if you had been able to move forward with the healing process any, and if y’all were still together since you’re posted

Several D-Days and still no hope for healing

I am one of the ones that had several D-days, and nothing but lies. At the current time, hubby's excuse is that he was 'lying to himself.' The first D-day led me to ask why, and the answer I got, I just realized about a week ago, was to blame me. He said I 'put too much on him.' So, I started taking care to help with more of the things he felt were me putting everything on him. One of my biggest takeaways from all of this is that both of us were guilty of not giving this the attention it truly needed. I think we both though of it as just a minor hiccup in the relationship. Nothing got physical, he said he was just being greedy... and we didn't ever do the work to find out why it really happened, so that underlying issue remained, and she kept working at that wedge.

The next D-day I got was more denial that anything was going on. They were just friends. "It's ok to talk to friends." I was also told they were 'work related messages',... yea, if you work in a brothel maybe. Then there was the suspicion for months... and the "I love you but I'm not in love with you" "Get out of Hell Free" card for adultery... and the going out and staying out all night, and the 'indignation' that I would accuse him of screwing around with her... then there was another D-Day when I found him at her house after he told me he was sleeping in a car, and then told me he was renting a room from some friend of a friend, and then that friend suddenly became a fake girlfriend, who at first, OW didn't even know, and who 4 hours later was OW's non-existent cousin...

The gaslighting, the stonewalling. Yes, my recovery would have been so much ... something, faster, better, easier... insert any adjective here, had he just been honest. Did I threaten to have them both fired? Yea, I did. But I didn't do it. At least not for a long time. And that could have been avoided had he just did what was needed for us to heal, and not have just gone to some crappy so-called marriage counselor for 3 sessions while still denying the affair.

To this day he insists he didn't leave me for her. He's been vacationing on Delusional Island for a year now and I, his ship, have been docked awaiting his need to escape it, but engines need to run or they seize up. His time is running out. I've got one last ditch rescue mission planned, an intervention. After that, this ship is sailing, with or without him.

Then later,

It's horrible

My spouse has no idea how much he has hurt me at all and will do nothing to help. I have ended up leaving but he keeps trying to involve me in his life still while he still pursues the AP.
I have to keep reminding myself that he is unsafe and keep chasing him away. Sent him the affait analyzer hoping he gets it but I am not holding my.breathe.
In the meantime I have had to accept that the truth will not come from him and I somehow just have to let go of needing or wanting to know.

I think he feels guilty for breaking up our family but it's not enough because he was having a long distance emotional affair and has convinced himself he needs to see her and try to pursue her.

My wife trying to break the affair but still addicted to emotion

My wife has had an ongoing affair over a year I just found out about.

The important thing in the affair for her is the emotional addiction, the sex is the secondary part.

This week we started the very painful and difficult task of sorting things out and I am grateful to report as of tooday, she has put thinghs on hold with the other man and will spend a week or more to conclude all the evaluation of her reality vs fantasy world and possibility of a real relationship with him which does not look good at all.

We are both responsible for killing our relationship and were emotionally dead when this happened.

I am willing to live with the betrayal and give my all to start a new relationship with my wife.

Please pray for us and let me know if you have any comments on similar cases and outcome, please remember the addiction and in our case, the odds are stacked against her at an incredibly high level despite her feelings.

God bless,


Hi Ed,

Hi Ed,
I hope hope your relationship with your wife is working out.

What to do now the pain is so bad

Back in April my husband and I separated we had not been communicating and I finally had enough and I moved out a week after I had begged him to work things out with me I do not want to lose him and we talked and agreed that my daughter and I would stay at the apartment down the street separate from him and we would work on us communicating so we could figure out our differences and then we could move all back in together . It has not been easy he shuts down towards me and doesn’t talk to me for sometimes upnto a week and then acts like nothing. I went snooping last week and I ended up finding emails with 2 woman talking about sex. I flipped cried and stormed out then the next day I went and looked again this time a text messages was open when I unlocked his phone and it was an exchange in regards to a girl meeting him at a hotel and price. I was beyond devastated. The next day we were scheduled to go away the whole family me, him and our 2 kids. I went I drank and cried all weekend I didn’t sleep at all sat on the beach all night till my family got up and joined me both nights we were there. I confronted him I had what I think was a break down I was beyond hysterical I was in a very bad place. I decided if he could give me answers I could process it and put it behind us. I figured out what I needed and told him he has given one thing that was it will not admit he did anything said what did I expect to happen I left him and ran away with our child, he is making me junp threw hoops to get attention from him and says he has to feel good about me to be with me. He did after years say on Friday lets go see a counselor so I am hoping that will help us. I did not give up my apartment but have for this mast week been staying full time at his house per his statement that we all belong together in one roof and him refusing to come to my and our daughters apartment. I don’t know if I am being a fool my mond is everywhere and I haven’t even had a second to process anything. I feel very out of control.


About 3 months ago, I discovered my wife sending sexual texts and pictures to her boss. She swears nothing physical happened, and he had even at one point texted her it was inappropriate. For all intents and purposes, our marriage was a happy one. We had recently bought our first house together, and are raising a beautiful, happy 7 year old. The problems started at this new job of hers; All of a sudden she was going out every Friday for "work" meetings with her boss or a female co-worker. My wife has admitted that her female co-worker kept pushing her to follow through with an affair (her co-worker is in an unhappy relationship, and was living vicariously through my wife). I can't get the pictures or texts out of my head. I love my wife, and she HAS completely stopped going to lunch with her co-worker and boss. She still works at the same job, but has begun looking for new employment. I just don't know how to regain the trust and make our marriage a happy space again.

I understand

I recommend you first start with her co-workers. They are an enemy to your marriage and a bad influence. Encourage her to break all ties. She is still accountable for her own actions. I was in a similar situation where her friend help set up an affair. If your instincts still tell you something is amiss it most likely is. I feel your pain and the images I have are horrific. Get some help for yourself first immediately. You don’t want it end up on my road of full blown depression for the last three months.

Asking too much

My husband is having an affair with a much younger and prettier girl than me. I tried to fulfil what he wants while he is seeing a counsellor. But he is still seeing the girl. He said the counsellor asked him to do so. He can't tell me for what reason he is still seeing her because is not the time yet. I feel so unfair that an unfaithful spouse can ask for this and that and I as a betrayed spouse will just have to do what he asks just because I want to save the marriage. I feel suffocating.

I’m so sorry Fennie, I know how you feel

I found out two months ago that my husband struck up an emotional affair with someone that doesn’t work with him (thankfully) but who he had met through his work. They were sexting, sharing pics, and telling each other they were “in love”. She is 15 years younger than me- but has two small kids, no real job, and is quite a train wreck emotionally.
When I found out, I asked him two questions:
1. Do you still love me?
2. Do you want to continue to stay married?
He said yes to both of those questions. I then said:
If you say yes to both of those things, I need you to do the following:
- Write a goodbye letter, and let me read it entirely before sending. Also let me read her letter of goodbye.
-break off all communication with her. They had burner email accounts, text messaging aliases, Facebook and messenger, etc. Together, we closed the burner account, blocked her on the phone, and FB blocked her. I hit the “delete” buttons myself.
- Complete access to his phone, email accounts, etc, and I could check them anytime.
- I frequently called him and even came to work with him on a couple weekends (this is where he would meet up with her.)
He has been completely compliant with everything, but in the early days he cried over her, and I actually found myself comforting him over it! (It was gross and made me feel sick, but I did it.) We are doing pretty well right now, but I know I have to keep on being vigilant and they have to maintain zero communication, or it could easily restart.

Best of luck to you:)

I’m the cheater

I’m the husband that cheated. It’s been a year and I’m doing my best and trying hard to get my wife to trust me again and love me again. I cheated on my wife several times in the past. 2 of them was sexual the others was just texting. But after this last one I realize that all that wasn’t worth losing my marriage and family over me being stupid. At first she found out I lied about a lot. It’s been a year and things have popped up that I forgot about. When she asks me I tell her the truth but it starts all back over to the beginning. Yes I had a little feeling the woman but I was not in love with her. My wife said I was in love with her because I forgot all about my wife and was with the other woman. Yes it’s been ten years ago that I fell a little out of love with my wife it wasn’t nothing she did it was all me. I’m still trying to find out why I cheated. I still can’t find the answer. I wish I knew because I think it make us work things out. I really do love my wife. I fell back in love with her all over again. But for what I did to her in the past it doesn’t seem like it matters that I love her. I know it take time and a long healing process. I have told her everything she wanted to know. I told her there is a lot I have forgotten but she keeps telling me that I haven’t forgot anything. I have hurt my wife to no end and I want to make things right again so we can be happy again. Is there any one that can help me?

I am the cheater too!

I had a total of four affair partners. 3 were sexual and one was physical and emotional. I always felt bad and I never stopped loving and wanting my wife. She was trying to work with me and I withdrew. She has now filed for divorce. I hate so much that I betrayed her and that I wasn't there for her in the aftermath. I didn't know how to handle it. I was/am riddled with guilt and self loathing for hurting her the way I have. I would give anything to change what I have done. To make amends. It seems I may have came to the knowledge and understanding too late.
We both still love each other. and I want to be with her and deep down I know she wants to be with me. She has tried so hard to get me to open up and come clean. I finally came clean but then I withdrew again from all my negative feelings. I wish I would have had this information a long time ago. it may have saved my marriage.


The divorce isn't final and God can make miracles happen.

Not just an affair

I need help dealing with all the pictures they took not just at dinner but hotels Skyping in our home a lot of disgusting pictures the images are killing me. I can’t seem to get past the pain we’ve been together for 30 years

Devastated and not knowing what to do

I recently found out that my husband of 38 years was a serial cheater. I had suspicions in 2002 when he explained the incident away with a bogus excuse. I accepted that at the time and moved on. I don't think I wanted to know the truth at the time and couldn't deal with it. Another incident happened in 2011 and he was so sorry and broken up about it. Again we moved on. The first incident came back to haunt me out of the blue a couple of months ago. I confronted him then, like I should have years ago. He finally confessed, but in drips and drabs over several weeks. I think it would have hurt less if it was one "affair". He says he's so distraught and ashamed and sick over what he has done. If it bothered him that much, why didn't he come clean after the 2011 incident. This is just so much to deal with. I feel that my whole marriage was a lie.

20 years and still stick

I recently had a 3 months breakdown full depression 20+ weight loss and still coming out of it, after my spouse triggered me. I am and have been back at “D” day one. I do not trust her or believe she had given a full disclosure to this day. I was lied to so many times when I was met back then with denials that anything had happened. It took 5 months to reveal only parts of it. It took another 5 months from counseling at which time the counselor forced her to tell me there was more again after I was just believing and processing the most cruel news you could ever get. To this day I am still stuck and feel the nagging instinct waiting for what’s next. I do agree with the last comment it is so unfair to begin with and the pain suffering heartbreak and tormented mind that comes with it, The feeling of injustice and being punished for something you had nothing to do this is sometimes overwhelming.. I’m just so frustrated because when I hear I’ve told you everything even now I have such doubt. And now it appears there could be more that I consider to be lies never ever offered to me. Here we go again. You cannot process what you don’t know. You can’t forgive with out knowing everything. One thing I learned from Her friend who has been in my shoes said. When she did what she did, she did not respect herself and she did not respect you. You didn’t cheat on her and you stayed with her because you had enough respect for yourself and for her. Powerful statement. Betrayal changes the betrayed and how they feel about themselves forever . I don’t believe you ever truly heal from betrayal. I feel for all the others who have suffered at the hands of the actions of those we loove

Feeling sick

Healing is a painful long process, regarding what others have put on the table for us which makes it worse.
But don't lose hope friend. I am 16 months on the road and several D-days, and it doesn't seem that this time and my requests for therapy have helped much but at least with my individual work the pain is getting lighter day by day and self empowerement is taking place bit by bit.

So stay strong, pray and do your personal work. Relief and peace will come eventually. Even though it's true, infidelity change you for good, but it doesn't have to be a bad change
It could be filled with self awareness, self respect and selfcare much more than before.

Wife’s cheating

I didn’t find out about her cheating until after her death from cancer. We were married 48 years. After her death I found emails to her lover from 2011 to 2019 Including his name address and phone number. I called him and he admitted to everything he answered a lot of my questions but it wasn’t enough because I couldn’t confront her for why.

I have been the gaslighter

Over the course of 13 years, I have lied, had affairs, gaslit. I have told my husband over and over there is nothing left, I have told him everything. That wasn't ever true until a few nights ago. My therapist said to get rid of shame, you have to confront it. So I did that. He said he forgave me after that. Then he started to question something I lied about a couple of days before that, and tried to keep my lie going about not having lied. I admitted I did lie, after a full day of fighting, but now he thinks it means I'm still lying. The thing is, I know I'm not lying anymore. I know I am not keeping any more secrets. And I understand him being suspicious, I want him to know I get it. But that this time I'm not lying, I have put it all out there,as shameful as it is. But if I say anything else aside from saying 'i lied, and here's the actual truth', he'll see as gaslighting and it will make him angry. I understand being gaslit, especially for so long, would make anyone rightfully angry. But this time I know I have told him everything. And now I'm stuck because I don't know how to fix this. He's always asked me have I done all I can to save our family. I never had before, not until a few days ago. I know I gave him what he's needed, which is the full truth. I know I've done all I can to save our family. And now I have no idea what to say to show him this time I am for real being honest.

What would help for any of you in his situation? Would there be any way your partner could say they're truly being honest and can understand why you're still questioning that would help you see they are actually being truthful this time? Any insight would be appreciated. I don't know what to do. And I don't want to lose him or our family.

Lying and finally being truthful has ruined my husband’s trust i

I understand what you’re saying. I am the unfaithful spouse and I have done the very same thing as far as not being 100 percent truthful and then telling a little more truth. This has done nothing but keep taking him back to the beginning and I am sure he doesn’t believe much I say anymore. I hate that I was struggling with the truth. But I too have told him the absolute truth and now because of my previous behavior and dishonesty he doesn’t believe me.( rightfully so) I wish I knew why the truth is so hard??!!??

I am the unfaithful spouse

I have a job that keeps me away from home and my wife year round.
Over the past 1.5 years I have cheated on her numerous times with numerous people. All of the interactions except 2 were only sexual. 2 were emotional and physical, and lasted about 2 months each.
I recently had a life altering experience that brought me to the Lord. This triggered a complete change of heart regarding my marriage, and I told my wife everything. I gave her access to everything, let her read everything, and terminated all communication with the last individual I had been seeing (she read the goodbye message before I sent it). I am now fighting with everything I have and every resource I can find to try and save my marriage. I realize I have hurt her beyond forgiveness, and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to make it up to her.
But I’m lost in how to comfort her grief. All I want is to take her pain away and show her how much I care. In contrast, all she wants is to never speak to me again, and probably would enjoy it if I died a slow death.
I realize this is just the initial pain, and that with time she will begin to heal, but what do I do in the meantime?


Just too disappointed and sad... totally burne dout

I understand that it is a search to aim high, but honestly that puts me in a position where I need to know that I am THE high option... rather THE ONE, PERIOD. It is so frustrating not being able to move away from the pain, frustration and anger... I don't understand if I will ever recover. I try, really do, but I just get home, fall asleep, try to be with my daughter and wife, concentrate at work... I can't, but I hope it is temporary.

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-D, Texas