Infidelity Turning Points

Facing infidelity sets you on a journey with many turning points. The road is difficult, the most intense human experience, I believe, but can lead to a new life, a new relationship with new perspectives on who one is and what one desires the most.

Here’s a question I presented to a reader and the response:

1. What was the turning point(s) in your recovery? What part, if any, did my material (e-book, articles, site) play?

When I realized that there was nothing I could do to get him back. I tried most of your suggestions but apparently he was to far gone. The words “if you love something that much sometimes you have to let it go” and I did and from that day forward I was able to move on in my life. I did however come to realize that I’m a very nice person who is often taken advantage of and in that vein I tried to help someone who took advantage of me and was abusive towards me in the end. Without hesitation when I got to the end of my rope I cut him free, quickly and cut my losses. In do so and spending a few months alone and even toying with the idea of getting back together with my ex I realized that ex was never going to change and I didn’t want a lifetime of lies and cheating. When my head cleared I was blessed with meeting the most wonderful man on earth. We have been together a short period of time but the lessons I’ve learned from you will certainly help me with communication, openness, forgiveness and trust. Thank you for those invaluable insights. My future looks bright.


  1. I found your material very helpful in letting me understand what had happened, what kind of affair he was having and what role I had played in the marriage. Like the respondant above, the best thing I ever did was determine that he was not willing to work on the marriage, would not be able to make the changes required, could not face his alcoholism and the role that that played in his infidelity (she was his barmate and now she is his live-in girlfriend). I had thrown him out before finding your website and had immediately pushed for divorce. Then I had back pedalled. The turning point came for me when I realized that even though he had promised to be truthful after I caught him (the usual cell phone stuff)he was incapable of telling me the truth. There is nowhere to go with a chronic liar who will not own his own stuff. Two years later (15 months post divorce) I am dating a wonderful man who treats me with respect, integrity, honesty, and who is a true companion. I realized — as another of your respondants said — that my ex had left the marriage long before he left the home. Thank you for helping me to grow through the worst experience of my life.

  2. Shelly Sprunk says

    Fully five years after discovering my husband’s affair, (not so “accidentally”), He announced that we were going to get a divorce, and there was nothing I could do about it. We have been married for 23 years, have 5 grown children, and I am still reeling. Our family is splintered. I feel that I and my children have paid a heavy price for trying to live with this man who is a compulive liar, manipulator, and SO incredibly selfish that I thought he was a narcisist. His affair was the My Marriage made me do it type. Had I known the amount of cruelty, blame, abuse I would have to go through after I allowed him to come back, (he made so many promises)I would have never done it. At this time he has moved out and “moved on”, claiming that he doubts he ever loved me….and wonders to himself if he even ever loved our children. He has just dumped everything and run. This is his pattern. Why do I feel surprised? Everyone is telling me that I need to move forward, and I feel that I am making progress, but this is difficult at 53 years old…trying to make a whole new life, find a job or career, learn how to live alone…out of nowhere.

  3. i hate when i read that someone moves on after an affair and states that now they met the most wonderful person ever…..
    they probably thought that way at one time with the ex.
    i have learned after my husbands affair, that he is human, he did, what i often thought about. he is horribly sorry and the girl tried hard to seperate us…. she almost did. she tormented me it was hard. very very hard. it has been almost 2 years. when i thought it was over it was not….. he kept lying. that is hard to deal with also. we are still together have been for 20years. we dont know what the outcome will be but we are working towards being honest with each other about our feeling wheather they are good or bad. we share kids, a home, family and memories. its hard to give that up. the newness of a affair, is exciting its hurtful though for the spouse who is the one being cheated on.
    i think, there is no perfect, man or woman or marriage or relationship…. even the most wonderful loving women or men, have their faults… its all about love and forgivness

  4. Dr.
    I really do need someones help, I’ts been almost 3 years since the BOMB was dropped on me,married at that time 34 yrs.My once loyal wonderful husband, I thought, had an affair with a tramp at work,20 years younger…and till this day I cannot get over the shock of why he would do such EVIL to me and our family?????I’ve been to everyone in the medical field,counciling,you name it….I feel I’m stuck in a hell hole…tormented nite & day by the images of him with her, I will surely go to my grave with this….He now after all this time says he’s (SORRY)and he doesn’t know why he did it….Am I suppose to just press reset and go back to what we once had,? I will never be the same,He live blocks away, I let him come here for all the wrong reasons, Sometimes I really feel I should of divorced him,It’s such a difficult situation…We were suppose to be together till death do us part….I have no disire to even be with him,because all I think of nite and day is him betraying me and can’t let it go….so therefore there is no turning point for me,I wish there were… HELP!

  5. elizabeth shepard says

    I continue to feel very sad for anyone that first is bombed with the news of infidelity and then feels there’s no repair and everything ends and divorce is the only solution.
    I think there will be many turning points on the toad from the aftermath of being told that the love of your life has had an affair.
    My first turning point was the day I caught him on the computer to her after 8 months of his being totally involved and probably in reality the affair even though the beginning was even I believe just friends. I NEVER believed after 8 years of marriage and 19 years of being together this would result.Day to day wasn’t great..tolerable.I Believed that we were on the same page and were in it til death do usa part. Before I met him I had a long term relationshi[p that I left and rebounded into a marriage that I pushed because I was pregnant and the guy wssn’t tooo-bad..I’d do the right thing.That didn’t last much past cutting the cake at the wedding…but I hung on..end result we divorced.
    Then I met mr wonderful and he got me through a nasty divorce and I lost my shirt.Seeing all that, my husband and I had many talks regarding that fidelity for me is tantamount in a relationship,not physically or mentally abusing each other was important, for me after that almost anything is workable…imagine that after loosing a long term relationship that I adored but was too young for, and a defunct marriage, that I could still say fidelity was important and divorce is one of the saddest last resort solutions.So I felt that I could give my husband longevity, fidelity, honesty, trust so after 8 years together we were engaged and after 11 years together we married.
    So I lightly suspected something was going on and did not bury my head in the sand but couldn’t see it as it was so out of character for this man so I chalked it up to believing what he said..I’m not happy and I said what do you need…well I don’t have anytime for doing what I like to do anymore because there’s soo many farm obligations after a day working outside the home and the farm is my outlet that he enjoyed but not to my extent.So I worked to make him see alone the farm was o.k. and that things being done he could go camping, ride a bike etc…YUP I freed him up took care of our daughter and off he went.She went to the movies , out to dinner, camping,got walks cuddling etc.I took care of the home front.He was really good only like once a week would he go out to happy hour with work friends and other than his paid days off to camp or bike ride or shop for business suits or outdoor wear he’d be home at all family functions..only a bit irritable which I again rationalized that he should do more of those things he enjoyed.Only night he didn’t come home was the 2 day camping trip..other than that home for supper or immediately after happy hour in time for me to go to my 11-7 job.So I wasn’t too concerned and if I were unhappy and wanted to do some of my hobbies and see my friends and had too many obligations I’d be unhappy too.HOWEVER I feel ok with myself overall and I believed we were married untl death do us part. He’s a smart man, he’s articulate ..he loves me..if it gets too bad he’ll find me…BECAUSE that’s what I’d do.HELLO I transferred my level of committment and thoughts on marriage problem solving from my own head/character and “thought ” we were on the same page…we were married so we must think alike…BIG MISTAKE.

    So in those monthe I was available and tried to fix /make him happy by setting it up so he could do things he said he didn’t have much time to do.Also I gave him alone time so he could clear his head…ugh…Thankfully I took care of myself..had a hobby that makes me happy, loved my husband,kept him in my heart and Never for one minute compromised my integrity.So when the bomb dropped I was so devastated AND almost immediately I felt so much hurt for his emptiness..and hers!I knew the woman from work, from teaching her riding lessons,eating dinner at her house, going out with work friends etc.
    So he was lonely and got involved in a bad situation and then made a series of repeated mistakes becaus he was hurt , angry, resentful and really can’t trust.However ther are beter ways to get what you want..he needs to explore that.
    He immediately stopped the affair…is home every night everything tangible is wide open..checking, charge cards,savings,e-mail, facebook, my space etc.I really cna only relate that this IS NO WAKE UP CALL,it’s a barbaric, cruel, selfish ego-centric self serving attempt at a solution…and it hurts/aches. I still struggle with where to put this it’s been 5 months and a lot/ton of talk writing e-mailing…sobbing..only me though so I’m still worried.Also he has trouble with telling me the truth in a timely fashion if he thinks what is going to be may hurt he avoids..he doesn’t like or isn’t comfortable with confrontation and wants to please..endresult he’s not TOTALLY open and has come up with solutions to keep him from immediately experiencing discomfort or seeing me more hurt and it makes what would hurt me still hurt and loose ground in trying to trust him again.He says he understands..but has no solutions to stop. He on his own is looking for a marriage counselor for us.I have been working on me , things that make him temper,I’ve drastically cut my work hours, spending, clip coupons,read anything that makes sense to help me channel my anger productively so I don’t become resentful and I don’t hurt him.I have gone along fixing me and sometimes tried to fix him ..questioning who else but me has he talked to about the affair,how has he coped with not having her and some of that hurt and “he’s doing it in his own way” I reply that his own way when he was “unhappy” led him to the worst solution possible for ANY marriage so why not try something different.He chides me a bit that I’ve looked to self help books and internet things.Itell him I also have my own carefully picked therapists.One’s who I am certain willgive me as much support as possible to help me and support my desire to make this work ..they a re both female .1 my older sister, the other my friend of 30 years.I tell him I explored what my goal is..on my own and because this thing is too big to tackle on my own I built a ceering squad to support my endeavors.Mostly I turn to my husband.So he’s looking into marriage counselling and when I said all that I’ve done in last 5 months improves ME which is a direct response to improve us the meaning of that fell like a lead balloon.My point I/we have to really be O.K. individually first, sensitive to our partners needs and listen to what they need from us, work to fix ourselves and bring the repaired or repairing partner to the marriage. To look to repair the “marriage” isn’t the issue. It’s our individual issues/baggage life experiences that cause us to react-behave sometimes in a knee jerk fashion because that’s what we know -our only school we have attended /our personal school and it may not work for our learned /practice reactions-behaviors can negatively effect our partner the point that they want out.So its the caring partner who’s in it for better or worse that saysI can do this another way..maybe I don’t have the tools in my own bag but someonr=e must. Talk to people, go in the know yourself,hold to your values and morals and someone out ther has a solution that’ll work for the individual,and the partner..It must first start with the individual.
    So your book enlightened me to how dumb/blind I was even naieve and I’m 46, to the warning signs..oh I missed them. However I think we are a # 2-4 in fixability and that gives me hope.Like other recounts I hope little by littl he’lwant to work on him and what got us here..I’m not comfortable starting in the middle with marriage counselling ,however he’s intelligent and I am hopeful that a counselor will not just work on “our” communication skills but also be able to identify our personal holes that need to be explored.He’ says he sees I’ve been working extremely hard..I only hope in the end he’ doesn’t divulge that he blames our marriage for his affair.
    Good luck to all.,perhaps in school in addition to driver ed , child birth/anatomy classes,introspection and morals , tips on developing a good marriage and even signs of infidelity can be taught.
    My chest crushing, almost suffocating feeling occurs less frequently,now,this is no wake up call it is a for worse in the better or for worse vows and as long as on some level he’s willing to work I’m in it as I’ve always been. I ache to have the moments in time when our relationshipwas only bad and what we had to overcome was our personal bad responses from baggage before we knew each other. Its hard to love and trust the partner who did something so cruel..I can only hope it was a bad behavior in the terrible moment of our marriage and not the real underlying character trait of the man I married.

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