Littlebylittle
I found out that my husband was having an affair one month ago after confronting him about my suspicions. He admits to having a long term, mentally and physically intimate affair. I am absolutely devastated. 
I don't think he has ended it yet,  mentally. He is probably still texting her and I can see her interacting with his social media profile. 
I have not been able to have honest and open conversations because he says he is confused,  he needs space and time to get his mind straight. 
I cry most nights,  I am losing weight and I have trouble sleeping and concentrating. I am so hurt but I know that I want my family to be intact,  we have 2 kids. 
I am so broken. So very sad.
I am reaching out for stories of survival, of healing and courage. 
Thank you. 
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anthro
Sorry to hear this. From my experience it might be a few months before he begins to normalise and see things clearly, and that clock only starts ticking when he has cut all contact with her. 

The journey ahead is very long and if you do stay together the reward at the end is not necessarily all that great.

You can't make any big decisions at the best of times and this is not the best of times, as you are understandably a mental wreck right now. So the important thing for you to do is actually to focus on your wellbeing and that of your children, for now. Keep eating, keep exercising, find support from others. Work out what your boundaries are. Can you really have him in the same house as you when he is still in contact with her? Etc. 

The general view based on experience here is that unless he goes no-contact, nothing good can happen. He will remain screwed up. My personal experience is that no contact can't be forced too easily and from what you are saying I would guess that all you can do is make it clear that you absolutely require him to go no-contact before you'll even consider exploring staying together. He will still take some time, probably. 

Sorry you've had to come here. Good luck. It's a hard time, but lots of us here have been there so you are not alone and you are not crazy to feel as broken as you do.
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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HML
Honestly the brutal truth is that the pain will never go away ....... the triggers are a plenty in the daily lives ......it’s all about how strong you have grown to be in handling them .... one month on you would be in total wreckage one year on the rage is still peaking and 2 years on the magical moment most people say that the forgiveness finally sets in and you are on the road to recovery ...... hmmm didn’t happen for me. In fact 2 years is when u are at the most analytical and with very trigger you ponder and put a lot of thought into the matter only realising that the main trigger is your Husband .... the man you married you loved trusted and took the vow with betrayed you and desecrated your marriage both mentally emotionally and physically and yet here you are now trying so hard to make amends as if you were at fault and all fingers point that u have to forgive to get over and then be on your way to total healing for your own well being .
Leave the Past and live for the present and look forward to the future ?????
The past determines your present and the present forges into the future .
Some even seek counselling outside help which does nothing for you to heal within the actual help comes from the behaviour of your main trigger your husband he is the only one that can dissolve that abandonment feeling that is killing you and the betrayal of trust you had for him.
He holds the KeY to your healing and as time moves on some days u watch in horror that he will find it a bother to keep up and old habits will set in again .....triggering continuously all over again.
Year 3 comes along and there has not been a single day I am clear free of affair and I think it will forever be within me just that now the outbursts are less not as volatile and you can remain calm and composed during a trigger .
I can even conduct a conversation calmly with a trigger in mind yessss that’s as good as it gets!!

For how long more this will continue just depends on your own strength and ability to accept that what has taken place can never ever repair the vow and that you will just have to live with the circumstances throughout the rest of your life.
No way in hell it will ever be forgotten I dun see how that is going to happen and daily triggers Flood our daily lives as you start to rebuild your marriage  .......some days worst than others but there every day never going away !!

People say time heals .... no it does not it does not take the pain away but it does teach you to be more resilient to cope with the pain .... my heart will never beat in the same way ever again but it is still beating in line with the man I still love for which without I would have left on Dday!!
The road to recovery is Long and difficult  build up your strength and stay focused and love unconditionally this being is the only way to lessen all the Pain ..... let’s hope it will get better years on ahead I am really hoping it will.
All the Best !!

DDay 15 May 2016
Married 33years
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AnywhereButHere
My prayers go out to you and your husband, Littlebylittle. A lot of people have gone through this hell and it can be beneficial to know the patterns and trends of what will likely happen as you traverse this awful road - hopefully with your husband at your side.
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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ThrivenotSurvive
Littlebylittle,

First I am so sorry that you have reason to be here.  This is an unbelievably difficult road and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  But you will find a lot of support and help here.  In the early days after DD I just read a lot of threads and didn't interact a lot... I was still in shock.  But this place was very healing for me and I hope it will be for you as well.

Keep in mind as you read and hear our stories, that while there are tons of commonalities, there are also TONS of differences.  Whether you marriage will (or even should) survive this experience, whether it becomes a shadow of its former self or even stronger in the aftermath will be effected by many, many things - only some of which are in your control.  There are so many factors that come into play - your husband's actions and intentions, your emotional resiliency, the strength of your marriage before the affair and a million other things.  

There are marriages that not only survive, but actually rebuild on an even stronger footing.  I feel that mine has (for reference, tomorrow will be three years after DD)  But that was largely due to one thing I had control over (me and my own healing) and one thing I did not (a husband who was committed to growing, changing and become the man he thought he was, but discovered he wasn't when the moment of truth arrived.)

Rebuilding a marriage to one that is highly satisfying and fulfilling after a betrayal is difficult to say the least.  And is a TWO person job.  I don't think you will find one person that has been through it that will tell you differently.  You can be 100% committed and do everything in your power, but if you partner is unwilling to make changes you will never feel safe - and there is no healthy relationship that can survive that long term. 

I agree with Anthro - it is completely inadvisable to even attempt to begin any form of reconciliation until your WH has ended ALL contact.  If he is having trouble sorting out his feelings, he (and you) may want to consider discernment counseling.  Discernment counseling is specifically meant for couples who are are trying to figure out if they want to try to save their marriage (or if they aren't on the same page with one wanting to and the other uncertain).

In my opinion (and that is all it is, an opinion) - the best thing to do in this stage is to do the following:

1.  WAIT TO MAKE BIG DECISIONS - Make no firm decisions about your marriage one way or the other (you are likely still in shock and definitely experiencing trauma.)  No one asks someone that was run over a by a bus a month ago to figure out the direction of the rest of their life.  So don't do that to yourself.  You need to be on firmer ground and let the dust settle before you decide anything.

2. PRACTICE SELF-CARE - You are going to have to practice self-care even though everything in you will want to do the opposite.   If you can't eat (few of us can), try to get veggie juices or healthy smoothies so you are at least getting nutrition in your body - it DESPERATELY needs it right now.  Try to use any healthy means of getting to sleep you can find (Valerian Root, Passion Flower etc.)  If they don't work, don't think twice about getting short term help from your Doctor.  Sleep may be hard to come by right now - and you/your body need it.  You will likely not feel like exercising at all.  Try to find some way to talk yourself into it - it will help your body burn off some of the adrenaline and stress hormones that are pumping through your system .  It will help take the edge off (though nothing will make you feel better right now, unfortunately.)  This is more about saving your health long term, giving you the strength to get through this and most importantly - making you feel "less bad".

3.  CREATE BOUNDARIES.  This will look differently for every person and don't feel bad about adjusting yours to something different than you see posted here.  There is no way to do this "right" - only the way that helps you. 

For me, once I decided to give my husband a chance (initially I went straight to wanting a divorce), I told him that I would not attempt to reconcile unless he went no contact because I would in no way "compete" for his love.  It was demeaning to me and the 25 years we'd been together.  If he wanted to continue to see his AP it was certainly his prerogative - but I would take that as my cue to get on with my life.  I would begin planning a future without him and accept invitations to begin my own explorations outside the relationship.  As I had already begun to do so during the 10 days of separation before I considered reconciliation, he knew I meant it. 

Suddenly the ramifications of his actions had become a LOT clearer.  This wasn't just about what he was going to gain (feelings of being wanted by someone new, a chance to start fresh, etc) - it was also about what he was going to lose - his wife and his family.  He had to think about what it was going to feel like watching me move on without him - seeing me with another man, etc.  Once I had decided that I wanted to see if we could make it work, I made it clear that I still loved him (it was true), that I would do everything in my power to try and find our "good place" again but that I could give him no guarantees (also true) and that if I saw him cross any boundaries I was leaving. 

I suggest being as honest as you can be about what you want and what you hope for (there's little to be gained by trying to "hold back" at times like these) - but make it clear that you also have enough self-worth, self-love and self-confidence to move on if that is what you need to do.  That YOU know you deserve to be someone's #1 - and while you want that someone to be him, if it can't be, than you love yourself enough not to settle.  Some have had good success with in-house separations, out-of-home separations and some have had no separation at all.  You will have to figure out what can work for you. 

About four days after DD, my husband had a business trip that he had to go on for his job back to the city he'd had the affair in (he'd be working side-by-side with the AP).  I was still in the divorce mindset and told him to go - he could consider himself single and that I would as well (I'd taken my wedding ring off at this point).  He was gone 10 days.  This time is still a painful memory for me - and yet I believe it was a critical turning point for us.  Without the source of my pain and anger in front of me, I was able to reflect on my marriage - it's strengths and weaknesses - and what I really wanted going forward.  During this time was when I realized that I might not be ready to walk away.  And he had to face the reality of what he'd done and what it was about to lead to.  He'd never really allowed himself to believe that I would find out.  Suddenly everything looked different.  He realized that he was on a road he didn't want to travel.  There is a lot more to the story, but suffice to say, we both went on a journey of self-discovery in those 10 days.  We both came back from it committed to TRYING. 

I don't think either of us was sure that it could ever be good again, but we knew we had to give it a shot before walking away.  And in our case, I am so glad we did.  We are in a really, really good place  But please understand, it was a LONG, HARD road to get there.  It has been suggested that it might be easier to just get a divorce and start over with someone new that you have no history with BECAUSE this road is so difficult.  And frankly, it may well be in MANY cases.  You will need to carefully consider this for yourself.  We all know people who were devastated by divorce and think they will never love again - who later meet someone they feel was destined for them. 

So, give yourself the space mentally to really, really look at all your options and do not settle for less than you deserve.  That might be saving your marriage and it might not. Give yourself time to see what you really want - and what your husband is prepared to do to save this marriage.  Because he will need to do the bulk of the work in the beginning to rebuild and if he can't or won't - you will be wasting your time.

4. WORK ON YOU - There is only one thing in your control right now.  YOU.  You can't control your WH, or his AP.  So stop even trying (this will be soooooo hard, but try as best you can.)  Instead, focus on you (and your kids).  Possibly the most unfair thing about the aftermath of an affair is that your healing will be 100% your responsibility.  Yes, your WH can make it easier or harder by his actions as can that of all of those in your inner circle.  But they can't make you heal (even if they want to) and they can't stop you from healing (even if they want to).  So while it is entirely unfair that you have to help yourself recover from a wound you didn't ask for or deserve - you are not as powerless as you feel.  Because YOU can heal whether or not your marriage does.  And if it does, great.  And if it doesn't, that's okay to - because YOU will be fine.  So focus on that during this time of of uncertainty.  I found that counseling, EMDR, reading books focused on rebuilding yourself after major trauma, etc.  REALLY helped me.  Check out some of Tim's resources and a personal favorite of mine (Living and Loving after Intimate Betrayal by Steven Stronsky.) 

5.  THINK LONG AND HARD ABOUT WHO YOU WANT TO TELL.  Make sure you don't isolate yourself, but don't give in the the urge to immediately tell every person you see.  You will find that everyone has an opinion.  But they don't have to live your life, or face the consequences of the decisions.  So tread slowly here.  You can always share more later - but once said, it can never be unsaid.  

6.  The single best advice I ever received was DO NOT LET THIS MAKE YOU INTO SOMEONE YOU ARE NOT.  If you have never been a vengeful person, don't become one now.  There will be times where it may take everything you have not to sink beneath your own standards.  But if at all possible, DON'T.  And if you do, pick yourself up, forgive yourself and try harder next time. 

This has nothing to do with what anyone else deserves.  Right now, you probably feel like your WS and AP deserve to have the world crash down on them.  And you are right.  But this is about YOU.  And no one - NO ONE gets to make you something you are not.  So make a list of all the attributes that you like about yourself and you want to keep intact (I am kind, I am a good mother, etc.) and post them on your mirror.  Every time you think about doing something - look at that list and ask yourself if it fits who you are.  If not - don't do it. 

I did this and it was soooooo hard (I am a redhead and Irish - I have a temper and mouth that can go for miles.) But if I had done something that made me feel ashamed of myself - I would have betrayed my own self.  I'd already been betrayed by my husband and his AP, why would I let them take the one thing I had left - my self-respect and dignity?  Three years later I can tell you that I do not regret not taking all the actions I dreamed up in my head.  They felt good to think about - but I love more that I was strong enough not to act on them.  

There's so much more I could say, but these are good starts.  And come here - to vent, to ask questions, to get perspectives, to feel less alone.  None of us have the all the answers - but in sharing and interacting, you may find some of your own.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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ssix6pack
I found out that my husband was having an affair one month ago after confronting him about my suspicions. He admits to having a long term, mentally and physically intimate affair. I am absolutely devastated. 
I don't think he has ended it yet,  mentally. He is probably still texting her and I can see her interacting with his social media profile. 
I have not been able to have honest and open conversations because he says he is confused,  he needs space and time to get his mind straight. 
I cry most nights,  I am losing weight and I have trouble sleeping and concentrating. I am so hurt but I know that I want my family to be intact,  we have 2 kids. 
I am so broken. So very sad.
I am reaching out for stories of survival, of healing and courage. 
Thank you. 


I'm so sorry. I understanding this devastation you speak of. Please know you are not alone. I had just had our fourth child when I discovered my husband’s hidden life. I lost weight as such a rapid speed I had people I barely knew asking me if I had fallen ill. My fingernails were peeling off. My hair falling out, much more than anything “post partum”. I was in a state of fight or flight for 6-8 weeks. I remember when that feeling finally went away and I sobbed with joy. I took his betrayal very hard. 

I also demanded a great deal of him. If he wanted to save our marriage, I demanded a new marriage. A complete change in behaviors, and status quo. I was very firm. 

I worked hard on healing myself. I found some Dr Kevin skinner videos on YouTube which I worked through, Patrick Doyle was Also a great help. I listened to pod casts, and infidelity experts. I prayed endlessly. 

It has been over over a year since the first d day, and my marriage is beautiful. Yes, I’m still healing. But, I really love what we’re building. And, not just that. I love who I am. I love how hard I fought to use this as a catalyst to being a kinder, gentler, but firmer “me“. I know my self worth, and am dedicated to my own health (mental and physical). I’m not afraid to ask hard questions, or to forgive hard situations. 

You got some great advice here - don’t tolerate him staying in these behavioral patterns. Heal yourself. He has to heal his own self. And then, you can heal your marriage. Protect yourself. It isn’t unkind or wrong. 

But, you CAN heal. I’m a firm believer in that. This doesn’t have to define your life from here on out. There is hope! Hugs. 
Betrayed female
2/11/18, d day #1. 
1/2019, d day #2.
Over a decade of unfaithfulness. 
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Edge8150
this is a good start...prepare for a long hard road; there is no short or easy path here.

https://realisticrecovery.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/so-you%E2%80%99ve-been-betrayed-%E2%80%93-7-steps-on-how-to-survive-betrayal/
male BS, 10 months post dday
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Damaged
I’m about 2 years 8 months out from D day 1. It took about 2.5 years for me to really start to feel good. My life is really good. My family is intact. My husband has done absolutely everything possible to reconcile since D day 2. We rarely fight. I won’t say our marriage is better because it was great ( for me) before D day. But it is good.                                         Now for some advice for you. Gently. If they are in contact, he is still in the affair. There is no recovery if he is still in the affair. Don’t do the ‘ pick me’ dance. No one ever wins that one. Of course he doesn’t know what he wants to do. He is a cake eater. He has a wife to cook, clean , iron his shirts and take care of his kids. He has a girlfriend to have wild sex with. He doesn’t want that to change. You don’t realize it, but you are the one with all the power. You are the one who decides how this will go. You need to be strong and insist on complete NC. If he won’t do that, kick his but out. Do a hard 180( look that up). He will likely come running back to you. If he doesn’t, do you really want to be with him anyway.                                                         My H also had a long term EA/PA. On D day 2 ( after a huge blow up) he said he wanted to remain friends with her. It would be really hard to end it. I said fine, you can be friends with her, but I’m leaving.He knew I was serious.  He quickly changed his tune.                             Of all the stories that I’ve read, the BS that come from a point of strength always fair better. That’s my take. So sorry you are here.
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ThrivenotSurvive
Damaged wrote:
Don’t do the ‘ pick me’ dance. No one ever wins that one.

You don’t realize it, but you are the one with all the power. You are the one who decides how this will go. You need to be strong and insist on complete NC. If he won’t do that, kick his but out. Do a hard 180( look that up). He will likely come running back to you. If he doesn’t, do you really want to be with him anyway.                                                          

Of all the stories that I’ve read, the BS that come from a point of strength always fair better. That’s my take. So sorry you are here.


Yes.  Perfectly stated. 
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Keepabuzz
If he is still in contact with his AP. Put his but on the street. To betray you, behind your back is awful, but to openly betray to your face in your house. You shouldn’t stand for that. He can go be confused somewhere else. If my wife had been “confused” I would have cleared it right up for her. I will never “compete”. I will go along my way and find a new person. Just my opinion.....
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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grappling
It breaks my heart that you are going through this. It's a long road to feeling not constantly sad, mad, crazy, etc.... but you can get through it. (Lord, please strengthen her, comfort her, and give her wisdom.) There is a lot of good material on this website and referrals to books that can help you wrap your head around what's happening to you and how to get through it. I did a lot wrong, but I'm still alive and married. All people have major pain somewhere along the way in this life. This is ours, and I hate it, but think of all the people with other afflictions who have learned to suffer well and go on to help others. You will get there if you don't turn bitter. Not easy, but possible with God's help and many helpful resources people have out there...and close friends to pick you up off the floor and don't mind being around you when you break down.

Tim Tedder has some good teaching on this website for the betrayer going through a fog, trying to decide "which woman to choose." (gag)
Of course all those who stated above that no contact with the AP is must to even begin healing. I love the way Tim put it to the betrayers...the decision to make is what kind of person do you want to be? A decent human being who messed up and wants to put the mess back together again for his family OR a promise breaker who selfishly ditched his wife and kids and deeply damaged them for his own selfish gain (which, by the way, is a not a real gain.) Point your husband to Tim (counseling) and his resources. He understands betrayers and their delusions but is not condemning. 
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Skelling
I am so sorry that you find yourself here and have to walk this journey. As said above there is a lot of helpful advice here and always an ear to listen to your pain. Most of all know that all those feelings inside are normal. Try and accept them as such but try also to remember that these are feelings and therefore won't be there forever. They get replaced by different feelings, try to remember that, when you feel stuck. Its a rollercoaster and not a fun one.
I agree with the post above. Tim has some very helpful resources for the WS. My husband did his why course and found it hugely helpful and eyeopening. 

I was thrown on this journey 9month ago tomorrow. After 18 years of building a life together, raising 4 children together and working on our dreams, my husband started an affair while being away on business and then continuing to lie about it for over a year. It still hurts. I wasn't ask and neither was you. Two people made selfish decision and poor choices and we are left to deal with the consequenses. It is a hard path to be on probably the hardest. But it is doable. Know that you are not alone. This site here has been my hope and shining beacon on some very dark days. There were ugly times and then there were really ugly times but slowely the good days become more. I am becoming a stronger person, I am learning to set boundaries and to stick by them. I am learning that my worth isn't continguent to any men's love for me. I am sure there will be many rough days ahead, but my husband and I are both working hard on the marriage we both deserve. I have to admit, that if my husband had not been committed to work on himself, to figure out what made him vulnerable to an affair and to work on whatever was broken inside him, that allowed him to make those choices, I don't know, if I would have had the strength to work on rebuilding. So yes no contact is a must for me as well. But there is hope there always is, if both are willing to work hard and the WS is willing to make sure to do everything in their power to make the BS feel safe, and rebuild what they chose to break, which in my opinion means the heavy lifting should be on the WS especially so early on. The BS can only work on what they have control over and that is first and foremost their own health, mentally and physically. Which for me meant setting boundaries, writing a safety contract, forcing myself to eat and sleep and seek out help and support, when I felt like I couldn't do it on my own. I wish you strength and courage for the road ahead.
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hurting
You’ve gotten some really great advice on this thread. I’m sorry you’re here too... I remember how it felt to have your world disintegrate around you. The gut wrenching pain and loss. 

You can heal. It is possible, both with AND without him. But it is a long hard painful journey. 

Please look after yourself as best as you can. As someone said above... you might not feel it or realise it yet, but YOU have the power of choice here. Yet I too, agree that you should not make any major life changing decisions immediately. Do not commit to staying. Or file for divorce immediately. 

DO set your boundaries. What are YOU ok with? What do you need to make you feel safer? Are you ok with them being in contact and sitting there hurting? Will you want to stay despite the continuation of the affair? Or would that make you leave? 

Remember: you can only control YOUR actions and choices. As much as you may want to, you cannot control him or what he chooses to do. So focus on YOU. 

As much as you love your husband and want to save your family, HE must want the same things in order to try and reconcile. Remember- look and judge ONLY his actions. Forget about his words. It doesn’t matter if he says he wants to work on his family- if he is still in contact with the AP, his actions tell you otherwise. WS lie all the time. They’re experts at lying. They have made so much of their lives into a lie that they barely know where reality ends and lies begin. 

BE FIRM. I would not have stood for my WS having ongoing contact with the AP either, and I put it to him plainly. Feel free to continue contact. But know this- if you do, I will move on with my life without you. I will leave. Choose. In fact, one of my prerequisites to even agreeing to see my WS face to face was that he show me PROOF that he had told the AP that it’s over and that there would be no more contact. I then proceeded to destroy his SIM card and we deleted social media accounts. If she popped up through some other means, we got rid of that too. 

The WS often don’t hear you when you say what you need, as they are so caught up in themselves and their selfishness. So don’t be afraid to tell your husband, and tell him STRONGLY and repeatedly what you need and what your boundaries are. 

Given there are children at home, it would not be practical to leave yourself as I did. I walked out the moment I found out about the affair. Instead, do the 180. Show him you CAN and you will move on with your life if he can’t get his head out of his ass!

I am over 18 months into this mess and finally healing. I decided and told him that I ‘forgive’ him 3 months ago. That concept was completely foreign to me for the first year. I am getting better. I no longer cry every day as I did for most of the first year. I end up in tears (briefly) maybe once or twice a month now. Things that would have absolutely derailed me in the first year I can fight head on now, and not end up a sobbing mess. The rage has finally settled. 

We are still together. I will say that there is always more to be done, but we have definitely made progress. He needs to continue to change and improve, as do I. Our journey has been tough, with many set backs and lies revealed along the way. Each time that happens, I think about leaving. It has come up less and less though, and I too hope that one day, this will be nothing more than a few terrible and pain filled pages of my life.
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