Marital Infidelity: Are You the Constant Object?

One of my coaching clients is playing the role I call the “Constant Object.”

He is a rock. His mission is to hold the family together. He’s focused on parenting – giving what she is not. He vows to hang in there although his family and friends tell him to “move on.” He uses a skill he learned from me – charging neutral – and refuses to react to her.

She is having a rather open, blatant affair with a neighbor. She is “in love” and fits almost to a “t” the characteristics I describe in affair #4: “I Fell out of Love…and just love being in love.”

He receives mixed messages from her daily: “You are important to me. I love you, but am not in love with you. You are a wonderful person. She may touch him. She will call him almost daily and unexpectedly at his workplace, often without any significant reason.

At other times she talks of moving out to live with her boyfriend. She says the marriage is over, but has not filed for divorce. She frequently and angrily “throws a fit” if he hints at repairing their relationship. She lies where she is going and what she is doing. She says it is time for her to follow her feelings.

She is like a leaf blowing in the wind. She claims that her feelings are vital to her, yet interestingly shuts down and withdraws when it comes to expressing appropriate feelings such as sadness or fear. She is adrift and running from her internal emptiness – running naively toward that which she thinks will fill her emptiness – another man. She is lost.

Such a lost soul needs a rock, someone constant, predictable and safe to attach to. She has that. She needs that.

He now knows that. He can with more compassion view her struggle. He waits for the day when consequences will open her to her pain and emptiness and propel her to another level of growth and healing and self understanding.

When will that happen? We don’t know. How will that happen? We don’t know for sure.

His work is entertaining answers to the questions:

For how long will I tolerate this?
How will I draw the line, if I must?
What are intermediary steps I can safely take with her to guide her to the consequences of her behavior and possible healing?


  1. I was there…and I’m happy to say almost two years later, my hard work paid off. He’s stopped the affair (on his own).

    It was extremely hard, I cried a lot, felt used and lied too constantely…I kept all those feelings to myself and turned the negative energy into positive transformation within myself.

    I gave my all…and knew if it didn’t work, I would have no regrets.

    I, at times, held him accountable for his behavior…but never threatened to leave him until about a month ago.

    I told him that he was a wonderful man…and that he was too good of a person to lie…to me, her and to himself. If he couldn’t stop the lying himself, I would help him…and that help would come in the form of removing myself from the situation – hence – he wouldn’t have to lie any more to me or to his affair partner. I would step aside, not for me…not for her…but for him. I would do that so he could become the man he really is.

    I was ready to do that…I felt at peace with everything.

    I left for a business trip out of the country for a couple of weeks, and when I returned…he told me he ended the relationship, and wanted to move forward with me.

    We are currently working on restoring our relationship.

  2. I am the rock… After 16 months of the lies and cheating and deception, I finally suggested that he might want to move out…. go live with her…. or his mom or whoever…. but at least he would not have to continue to lie…. He is too good of a man to live like this…. He knows that I am not rushing into a divorce or seperation…. but that I will not continue to put up with his crap…. We have a daughter that is getting hurt by his actions… OP has kids and she knows that he spends more time there then with us… He wanted to leave after the holidays and was going to on his own… I said he might as well go now… He needs to find himself and decide what he really wants… I have been using my new skills from the Doctor’s e-book…. and he has noticed… He said he is proud of me for standing up for myself, but mad that it is against him…. He is still calling me, comes home every night and can’t let go of me…. even though he says he is not in love with me…. he still says he loves me… He says maybe we will get back together like some other people that we know…. I said maybe…. but who knows… that he should not be concerned with that and instead needs to go do the things that he thinks he is being deprived of… and if that means living with OP, then so be it… In the meantime, we have the papers in a package ready to sign… and I am getting our house ready to sell…. and moving on…. I think he will cling to me as long as possible…. he may or may not realize what he has and is letting go of… I only want the best for him…. but at this point it is not about me…. It was about him, but not not anymore… when my daughter put away all of her teenage stuff and brought out her childhood stuffed animals…. it all became about her… Whether or not he gets it together is not my proirty any longer…. She is now my main focus…. I do love him with all of my heart and want out relationship to grow and change… but, like I told him, even if we do not stay together, it will change…. he has to learn to relate to me in a whole new way because the old way does not work…. and even if it is only as parents that we relate, then it must be on a mature level. So we shall see… he may move in a few weeks, this is currently on going…..
    It will be interesting to see how it all comes out…

  3. This is my life. I found out about my husbands affair almost nine months ago. At the same time I found out I was pregnant with our second child. She has since been born and a few weeks ago my husband told me that he was ready to work on our relationship and he would end it with the other woman. Well, he couldn’t do it and last weekend he went to see her. She lives out of state. I told him that was it and he needed to move out. It was easy for him to live with me. He could see our girls and still have me has his rock. I believe in his heart that he knows the relationship with her isn’t a good one and that he should give our marriage a chance but he is the type of person who just sits back and lets the other person end it. She on the other hand is bound and determined to make their relationship work. The two of them met on the internet and he lied to her about his whole life so I know that their relationship is based on lies. My relationship with him is not. I’m still holding on to the fact that he can’t let go of me and that someday he’ll realize that our marriage is worth saving. My girls deserve the best and I’m fighting for them as well as myself. Deep down he is a great guy and I know that getting a divorce isn’t the answer. We have both seen attorney’s and I believe that the papers are ready to be served to me. He just needs to tell them to do it but he hasn’t so that tells me that he is a very confused man that needs help. Both of us are seeing counselors and I hope and pray that this all turns out well.

  4. I don’t really see myself as an object. I ahve been dealing with for almost a year now. The affair is not so much physical as it is emotional. But I’ve heard the spill That she loves me but is not in love with me . I feel like love changes over time. At first it’s infatuation and then changes to real love. I’ve tried to leave and couldn’t stand the crying. Now I feel like we have made it through the worst part of all this and are trying to put our lives back togather. But the third party won’t leave her alone and she has asked him to on more than occasion. If we ever get past that part I feel we will be ok. All of this has probobly made our relationship stronger. At least I hope.

  5. After five weeks of weeping I am the now the rock. I wish I could have gotten here sooner, but I am living a new reality and she is opening up to me, I have heard what a wonderful man and father I am. I have heard I love you, but I am not in love with you. She has met someone new and wonderful. It easy to be wonderful and full of energy when you aren’t responsible for five year old triplets. The third party has backed off and the ball is in my wife’s court. Our communication has imporved over the last two weeks.

  6. I have been dealing with this very similar affair for almost 4 months now – since I have known anyway. Absolutely unbelievable how many similarities between her and affair #4. Her deal is complicated as the affair is with her step brother of which she spent most of her teenage years growing up with. The affair started with the death and grieving process of his father, her step father (but always considered her father too). We have both identified the serious “daddy” and “abandonment” issues she has relating back to the loss of her real father in adolescence, but she still is not willing to end the affair with him, even if it is purely a phone call and text messaging thing (he lives half way accross the country). My marriage counselor has advised me of her confusion and how this particular affair was potentially more about her “daddy” issues and not about our marriage – I still struggle with this. I kicked her out of the house when I first heard of the affair, and we currently see each other at least once a week. On some occations she is very receptive and affectionate toward me, and on others she acts like I am the enemy and can’t wait to leave. It is this roller coaster ride that drives me through the roof, although I keep finding myself wanting to help and understand her internal demons. She has never said she doesn’t love me, she has only said she doesn’t think I love her. How she came about this conslusion is beyond be as I truly do love her and always have. I know time is the factor, and I know my strengh and stability are the potential cure for this mess – if in reality there ever will be? Do I hold on to allow her the opportunity to understand herself and the fact she really has no real future with her step brother? Her abandonment and daddy issues have surfaced prior, but only through characteristics of live – nothing as devastating as this. I am still trying to hang in there but wondering if and when it may ever come around.

  7. About 2 months ago my wife of 2 years informed me that I was not the biological father of our 1 yr old baby & that she was in love with the sperm donor (SD). I was crushed. My world unraveled and I was my own worst enemy uncovering facts of the affair that had begun even before our wedding day. So many lies. I began to wonder if I’d ever even known my bride. Dr. Huizenga’s website and profiling of extramarital affairs provided remarkable insights into the anatomy of affairs and how to address my spouse’s issues directly. I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve utilized Dr. H’s insights to take control of my life with my spouse and child (whom I am madly in love with & plan on raising as my own).

    The SD is history. My spouse and I are back on track with renewed mutual interest in our relationship & my daughter is thriving. I am back on the road to happiness.

  8. Jeff is right. The cheating spouse always has the best of both worlds -freshly ‘in love’with the OP, AND no need to be responsible for children, home, etc. If doesn’t work out with the OP, then can always come back to the long-suffering spouse. My husband’s first affair was type #1 (I think), now it’s a little like #4.
    Can Dr Bob advise – how are we to ‘take care of ourselves’ and also take care of the children at the same time ? Should we continue to be the ‘constant object’ if at all ? The cheating spouse will have almost invariably made ‘plans’ for herself / himself – which of course only involves her/him and the OP! She/He may even talk to you about her/his plan : oh, they will stay together, don’t worry he/she will still come back and visit the children, etc. etc. So where does this leave the poor ‘constant object’? Any advice ?

  9. almost 9 months ago I found out that he is cheating on me, terrible shock especially to hear from him that she is the love of his life and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. We have two beautiful children, our boy was only few months old when they started to see each other. I found out in a horrible way, on my cell phone hearing them making love with each other, then having him back home telling the scary truth. I still live in fear and pain, he sees me as his enemy, lying and probably still cheating although he claims that is all over with OP. He wants to move away from us, saying that he feels captured at home and he can’t look at me anymore. Why do I still want him to stay? Crazy, especially when I remember him saying that I have to understand taht everything broke inside him when our son was born two years ago and he was not there to witness the birth. At that very moment he satrted to feel nothing for me. What can be more painful for a mother who adores her husband and gives him suh a gift?

  10. To your client. Don’t give up – but take care of yourself too. The Bible says you can’t fight love, and it is true, especially for a lost soul like your wife. I have just gone through my husband having an affair… and we are finally on the road to healing. But… this is not his first and I have realized that I need to recognize that he may never change. The article that Dr. H sent yesterday is what I am dealing with… his father led a double life and had 2 families – a mistress with 3 illigitimate children and a wife with 2 kids …. and from the time my husband was 8 years old, until his father left right after his 18th birthday (somehow he thought he was doing him a favor to stay until then….), HE was his father’s alibi and he took him with him to see his mistress and the other family! Tragically, his Mom died in a car accident 10 years later… and my husband stayed with her to get her through the trauma all that time… and two months after she died we were married. I thought… what a good guy to stand beside his Mom… but unfortunately I found out that the influence of his father had a stronger hold on him… as much as he hated it.
    At the first sign of conflict or troubles in our marriage… he has to run to another woman, usually an old girlfriend. His need to “be in love” is strong… and we had fallen out of love, mostly due to his neglect and my workaholic behavior … I too ran, but in a different way.

    Now I have changed my life and put my priorities straight… something I will never change whether we’re together or not… so my comfort is that it has made me a better person. Isn’t that what our trials do? And for that, I am thankful. I have learned, the hard way, THAT I CAN’T CHANGE ANOTHER PERSON…. ONLY MYSELF AND MY REACTION TO THEM! And in that way, I take care of myself.

    That is why God’s principles work… and the Bible also tells us that we do not have to stay in adulterous, abusive relationships… and that’s what yours is. However, if you are going to “hang in there”… it will be hard for her to fight your love. And, if you can preserve yourself while loving her…. God will give you strength… just talk to him. That’s the only thing that kept me going. Dr. H’s advice seems solid… so you are working with a great counselor. ANd if you decide you’ve tolerated all you can… you can leave knowing you have done way more than most would… and with peace. And peace is worth alot. Then you can “wipe the sand off your feet” and move on. You are obviously a better person for doing what you have done, so take comfort in that.

    God bless you… JS

  11. I feel exactly like the “rock” you describe. I am the one holding our life together. I have had many, many converstations with my husband about leaving, staying, divorce, separation, etc. and we both have consulted lawyers in the 8 months since I found out. He has left on more than one occasion to “think” and “find himself”. He always returns and I take him back. Through all of this, when he wanted to leave, I would beg him to stay and when I wanted him to leave, he would beg to stay. We haven’t gotten to a point where we both agree it’s time to end it. I told him that I should have made him leave and see what life without me was really like. I told him she was smart, waiting patiently while he stayed with me, then swooping down when we were weak. She stayed silent when he told her it was over and waited. I on the otherhand urged him to come home and work things out. BIG mistake. Now I sit silent. I wait. I go on with my life and take my kids and act like I don’t care what he does and that I’m fine. He doesn’t like it. He wants to know where I am, what I’m doing etc.

    He says it’s over now with the OP. Though, he has said that several times before throughout all of this. I still don’t trust him and the last time I found out he was still talking to her, I told him to leave and let me be in peace. I wanted more from life, more for me. I deserved more. I want someone who loves me and wants me. I want a chance at happiness. I told him I needed to leave this marriage with some shred of dignity and self respect or I won’t be good for anyone. I have drawn the line. I won’t take anymore. I know I can live on my own and raise my kids and yes be happy eventually.

    After 11 yrs of marriage and 5 more of dating, I have done all I can to repair and recapture the love we had at first. I know that if I leave this marriage I will have done all I could. The other person (OP) works with him and that kills me. I can’t stand him working there everyday. He has finished his resume and is looking for another job, he says he has cut off all ties to her. He says he loves me and is making me his number one priority. She is single, young and in love with him. Who wouldn’t be. He is handsome, successful, intelligent and fun. He gave her the support and stability she didn’t get from the other men in her life. She says she has noone to turn to. She lays the guilt on him, about him being her best friend. Her mother died when she was young and her father and brothers haven’t given her a very good support system. My husband filled that role for her. She has been to my home, seen my kids and met me, before all this happened. She wants my kids, she wants my husband and she wants my life. I have told my husband she will never have any of that. I will make sure of it.

    He says he loves me for how strong I am. I’m not sure I am as strong as he thinks I am but I will never let him see me weak again. I will be the “rock” for my kids, for my family, for myself, and yes for him too. I love him and I will continue to be strong, with him or without him.

  12. Although I don’t believe that my husband’s affair which started about 2 yrs. ago and which I discovered about 9 months ago was a #4 (I feel it was more like a #7 “I want to be close to someone but I can’t stand intimacy,” there were many similarities. My dilemma was: that he claimed he always loved me and told her that, he never said he had fallen out of love with me, but she had had breast cancer and an allegedly abusive husband and he became her knight in shining armor and when I discovered the affair,he immediately stopped his physical contact with her (and I had proof of that) but wanted to continus seeing her as a friend. Over the next 6 months, I agonized about giving him an ultimatum – cut off all contact with her or I was leaving (or asking him to do so). It has only been 2 months since he wrote to her and told her not to call him. The turning point? I am not sure but I think it was when I really started to stand up for myself – and to show that either way, whatever he really wanted and did, I was willing to accept because I was not going to tolerate an emotional triangle, period forever – but I always left that “forever” hanging. Fortunately, at about the same time that things were changing with him, she must have felt him slipping away and became more demanding, even getting angry with him when he went away with me for a vacation that was planned with friends long before the discovery. It took a lot of grit and patience on my part because he was desperately trying to get out of this with everyone happy and tried to let her down easy because of all the trauma in her life (she has now filed for divorce). What kept me going? the belief that this woman was not his late-found love of his life – he really didn’t want to leave me for her and I think part of him was almost afraid I would set him free because he would then have to face her and tell her that they would not necessarily end up together. During those months, however, it was like living with an alcoholic parent – gettng stroked one minute and raged at the next. He was finally able to say that he realized how badly he had been treating me and that his initial decision to “stay and see if things could work out” was not really a sincere effort. Hope this helps – I am always astounded at the number of similarities in scenarios thatI hear but how the involved spouse and other woman/man totally believe that their relationship is truly unique!

  13. Like Marlene, I too am astounded (and even amused) at the capacity of the involved spouse to believe his situation is unique. I guess we should remember that they are rarely doing the kind of desperate research and painful introspection that the “left-behind” spouse is thrown into. The ironic thing is that now, seven months after discovering his year-long and on-going affair, in some important ways my wayward spouse is the one “left-behind”. It hasn’t been fun, but I’ve learned a lot and improved myself in many ways, and have lots of plans for more learning and more improvement. He seems to be a confused wreck. He is living with his girlfriend but, like Bob’s client, calls me nearly every day and makes a “date” to see me once or twice a week. (He has been especially attentive since I let him know that divorce is starting to seem like a good idea to me.) I feel that he is troubled, and perhaps trying to evaluate his situation, his priorities, and his tolerance for the consequences, or is he? He may just want to chat, enjoy both his “worlds” and still believe that there won’t be any serious consequences (because I, his”rock” will protect him from them). Since he is closed up like a clamshell on the subject of himself, It’s like trying to read tea-leaves; I find I’m not very good at it, and tried of trying.
    I think Dr. Huizinga’s 3d question is the crux–are there safe and effective ways to lead the wayward spouse to see the consequences to his or her actions before those consequences become irreversible fact?
    Another question would be, when does the “constant object” become the ” ennabling crutch”?

  14. My husband’s affair sounds very similar to these. While I suspected, I did not believe. At one point, he admitted that he thought about her and wondered what life wiht her might be like. After a weekend he told me that he really wanted me. But about a month later I discovered that there were still text messages. He still did not admit that it was an “affair”. He need to find himself. So he left. He was gone for about two weeks. Could not stay away during that time. Told me he loved me and to hang in there that it would all be over soon. He told me that he needed to be sure he would never do this to me again. Gradually he spent more and more time at home. He ended the affair and officially moved home shortly after. When it was over is when I was finally told the truth that it was really an affair. Not that I didn’t know I just couldn’t believe it. I was devestated but determined to keep a family together. Then I discovered that there were drugs involved. Which started first, the drugs or the affair, I still don’t know. I’m not sure that it really matters. After 6 months of back and forth on the issue of the drugs, i finally told him that I would leave. That neither one of us deserved to live a life full of lies and suspicions. For three days we discussed details of my leaving and about when and how to tell our 16 and 18 year olds. He broke down one night and told me that he understood why I was leaving, but that I was everything to him. That he would not make it wihtout me. That I was the only thing that ever held him together. We began a gain with renewed hope and commitment. However, I still find myself wondering, afraid of being hurt again. Afraid of being decieved. Afraid of never recieving the love that we all deserve in a marriage. I don’t doubt that he loves me, I just wonder if I can ever regain my trust in him. I want to. It’s been 8 months since he ended the affair and I keep reminding myself to be patient with me.

  15. Nothing is more worse than hanging on to a dead relationship. Its better to let go. Never for one undersetimate your worth.This is one mistake the person feels that because there was soemthing lacking in her/him that his spouse left him /her for OP. It could be the other way round. God has way of turning things right taking you to the path which will eventually give you happiness even if you have to suffer for some time. There are things one should think and they are certainly not wondering on ‘what if’s’.True it takes immense willpower but if one wants one can do it.All the best.

  16. There are times when things can really look negative but even in that negativity there is a possibility of the positive things.HOPes and faith that time heals all wounds are the most wonderful thoughts one can think of. Think it this way. When your spouse leaves you ” say to yourself “next year this time I will be very happy” Believe it will happen and it will.If a cheating spouse calls that he/she is confused that he needs time then decide whether you want to do justice to yourself or to the OP. The decision has to be a firm one.NO half measures about it. IT is better to cut it completely then let things linger on. Loneliness can be a cold partner but it is better than the acid burning jealousy you feel everytime your partner talk to the OP.With time lonileness will give way to solitude and will find that you enjoy doing things that you never did or didnt want to when you were with your partner like for eg.. if your partner did not like dancing so you cut yourself from dancing .now you can do that.Go out with friends. Plan a party at home .go picnicking with your childern.Probably buy a pet.Tell your childern to bring friends home more often. Make the full use of the freedom. Live every moment.YOu will find that things are not as bad as imagined.

  17. I don’t quite know what to type. My husband left me and three children way back in April of 2006. And, two weeks ago, I discovered love letters. Now, I have not confronted him on it, but I will. I am going to try something different. He left when I confronted him about the cell phone bill, who he was text messaging, and he thinks he is in love with this OP. She however dumped him way back in Aug., and I thought he would have came back, but I think he has found somebody else and everytime i try to tell him nomore oh I would never do anything like that. The thing is he does not know what he wants. He needs space, he is very confused, torn apart. And, when you look at him you see a broken man. I on the other hand have started to see things I need to work on. Does he see the change? I have decided to remove myself from the situation, meaning I will not call him at all unless it is an emergency. he does not know if he still loves me or not, I am scared of what the future holds. He says that he does not like change, but he has completely changed. Any suggestions?

  18. I can’t believe that I am still in so much pain. A year ago, I found out that my husband was having an affair with a beautiful, flamboyant, exciting woman who adored him. He said that I was a fat cow and he just wanted to be with a really hot chick. In the last year, I have lost 70 pounds (not in a healthy way, I lost the weight because I was so depressed that I could not eat or sleep). Now I have a great body, I look like a model and my husband of ten years has decided that he wants to date his girlfriend and me at the same time. In the meantime, I moved out of our house nine months ago with our two children and I bought a dog (that I had always wanted and he always forbid me to have). He has spent so much money on his girlfriend buying her jewelry and big screen tv’s and vacations to Chicago and Cancun that our personal finances are completely devastated. We will have to declare bankruptcy. I tried to file for divorce during the summer but I could not because of the mess with our personal finances. He calls me everyday. He wants to see me all of the time. He still wants to sleep with me. He tells me that he loves me, he just fell out of love with me for awhile but he is falling back in love with me. He tells me that he will break up with the girlfriend and make things right with me but just last night, his car and his girlfriend’s car were parked in a hotel parking lot. (I had slept with him the night before because he had promised me that it was going to be over with her and he and I would be a family again) I feel so used and lied to and manipulated. I read his e-mails yesterday. While he has been telling me that he wants to be with me and he loves me again, he has been e-mailing her that He loves only her. I have no support system whatsoever, no one that I can turn to. I am in so much pain at this point, I just want to die. And the crazy thing is that I have always loved this man. I still do. Why? I don’t know how to just walk away. I don’t know how to start a new life. I want to move to Denver and go to law school. I am taking the LSAT in December and I have told him that the girls and I are moving to Denver, but then he begs me to not go because he wants to be close to his daughters and he wants to be a good husband and he wants to be a good father and he begs me not to leave him.

  19. I found out that my husband was having an affair, just a few days after my 35th birthday. In fact, as the lies spilled out over the next week (as many different variations of the “truth” were told), I read an e-mail that he had sent to her on my birthday… saying how all he wanted to do is kiss and touch her. Needless to say, I was totally and completely devistated. I can’t even begin to explain the pain and betrayal that I feel. I have been the rock for 9 years now, and we have two young children. He has failed to commit to our relationship from the moment we got married. Our marriage had been in real trouble for many years, but, despite all of my urging… he couldn’t find any value in me or the kids. I have asked him to agree to work on “us” or let me go, so many times that I can’t even count. I told him that there are people out there that can complete both of us, if we can’t complete eachother… no matter what I said, he would cry and “cling” to our marriage without changing a thing about himself; and without commiting emotionally.

    Surprisingly enough, he finally had agreed to work on our relationship (though he made no progress in a months time), and I scheduled our first couples counseling session.. and only a few days after scheduling the appt, I found out about the affair (which had been going on for over two months). Shock set in when I found out who she was, and that she is in our close circle of family and friends. This intimate relationship has dramatically altered our normal routine because of who it is. To make matters worse, I was expecting someone younger and more attractive (I guess the mid-life crisis type of hollywood “other person”). But, in fact, she is over 300 pounds and not very attractive at all from my point of view, and she is a very self-centered person (as I have observed over many years). This was devistating to me in two different ways, number 1, he might have an affair with just about anyone; number 2, nothing I could have done would have stopped it. He was on his own agenda, he picked who showed interest and was easily accessible, and he didn’t think about anyone but himself. And he didn’t have enough respect for me to get divorced first.

    Our counselor has told him that he is trapped at age 15… and everything is about him. She said he has forced me to play the role of his mother, and that his inablilty to think about anyone but himself has crippled his family. She asked me if I was willing to stay and try… all I could tell her was the truth, that everthing is so fresh, especially the hurt, that I can’t make that decision at this time. I keep telling myself that I deserve better. My kids deserve a father that can remember their birthdays after I have reminded him many times before hand. In fact, he has forgotten every birthday and anniversary but one, since we’ve been married. His mother started calling him a couple of days before hand, up until the day of, to remind him of special events… and even then, he has done nothing for anyone but himself. Which, have to accept a lot of the blame, because I let him get away with treating us this way.
    I don’t know where the road leads from here. The day before I found out about the affair, my husband told me that he loved me, was in love with me, and wanted to make the needed changes to become the husband and father and person he should be. I have waited so long to hear all of that from him… but, it just seems like it is a little too late. He had so many chances to divorce me and move on with his life at my urgings… instead, he just clung to me while killing me. I’m told that this whole affair isn’t about me, that it’s about him… but, it sure feels like it is about our whole life (including me).
    At this point I am doing the only things I can… I get up everyday… I clean house and work from dawn to dusk… I eat right, work-out, and play with my kids. I am readying my house to sell if it comes down to it. I am empowering myself to be able to stand free of my husband. I am taking the time to make a sound decision that is not bourn out of anguish and despair. I am slowly picking up the pieces of my life one piece at a time, and rebuilding an independent one… so that if I leave or if I stay, both paths are open to me and within view. I have finally come to realize that the only person that can change my husband is himself.

  20. I found out one week ago that my husband of over 22 years was having an affair with one of our employees. I had suspected for some time and had confronted him over and over, with NO admission from him. I am dying here. I have a teenage son and a 3 year old toddler. There is a part of me that wants him back and a part of me that hates him for what he has done to this family. I do not think he is seeing the woman anymore, but who knows, he has lied for months. I found all these beautiful emails to her and it hurts so bad to know that he felt that way for her, while basically ignoring me. How do I decide what to do with him? How do I get past the pain when I have to see him the rest of my life because of the kids. I can not stand this agony. I wish I could end this pain and be a stronger person.

  21. I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading on this site. Some information is very helpful, other info does not apply to my situation, and some things are eye opening. It grieves me that anyone has to experience the pain of infidelity, but realize more than ever the need for non-judgemental thinking. We all have faults, shortcoming, and weaknesses, and after reading so many posts, understand that everyone has a different background and situation. Sharing has helped open my eyes to so many things. I wish I could make everything better for anyone who’s ever been involved or touched by an affair(regardless of what kind it is)

    ANYWAY… I wanted to comment and agree with the last statement DR. H made. After seeing and hearing of so many who have been touched by infidelity… and experiencing some heartbreak myself, I too believe that sex of any kind can never be as good in an extramarital affair as it can be in a committed relationship based on respect, truth and integrity. There’s something solid about those charactaristics which eliminate guilt, shame, and lack of trust. Respect builds relationships, truth brings trust, and integrity holds everything together. The insights here are life changing and I’m once again thankful this site is available. My hope is that if I have ever made an error in hurting someonelse, it can be understood, cleared up, and healed, or restored. My heart breaks after reading these replys and I wish I could mend every single one of them. Thank you for giving those of us in pain the opportunity to vent and recieve support from other people who are going through the same type of situations.


  22. Really would like to convey this to any men out there who are truly interested in keeping the attention of your wives or girlfriends.

    I don’t consider myself to be an expert on relationships, and am not totally sure what prompted this thought, but please allow me to say…if I’m not able to reply to this site again for whatever reason, PLEASE HEAR THIS!!! This is just a personal opinion….which I hesitate to give so as not to be offensive… but think most women would probably agree….. stay with me here for a second….Women ARE different than men APPRECIATE viva la difference MORE WORDS YES


    The way a women is treated, cared for, and respected, is far more important, and does more for her than anything a mans anatomy could ever do. Just an insight that if taken to heart would save more relationships and marriages than any of us could ever imagine.

  23. Hey everyone,

    To all those who have a third party involved in their lives who won’t leave their spouse alone … wake up! It takes two folks. I have been there and done that and came back to it again several times myself with my wife. I have heard the same old story and have sat with my wife while she called him on the phone to end the relationship. Only to discover the first chance she got they were talking about how “she had to do it” or that it was a pre-conceived plan they had already talked about happening before the call. Fact is if they want to end it they will and there will be no repeat communications between them and the other person. If there is you have more to be concerned with than you think and you are just not seeing what is slapping you in the face and screaming to be acknowledged. I wish you all the best, its tough and its cruel and until your spouse either grows up and stops for her own self respect or leaves, the pain and turmoil will only get worse and more constant.

    Peace out, Ron

  24. I am writing as the cheater not the victim. How did this every happen to me? I have always been the romantic, dedicated and committed to a fault. We have been married over 5 years and one day I woke up wondering how I got here. We are both extremely attractive people “the perfect couple,” but what does that mean anyway?

    It started slowly when the sparkle in her eyes slowly faded and we no longer kissed with passion. Somehow looking forward to her calling gave way to dread of routine and “honey do” lists. I started to feel like I had been tricked – why did it seem she was not trying anymore? What happened to passionate kisses and looking into my eyes it has been so long without either. I tried flowers, poems, etc.. but some things you cannot force. If she does not feel it then

    Then she came along. She knew I was married but I could see the sparkle in her eyes and it drem me in.. and I believed > that this was true love – that it was something special. As with anything built on a foundation of sand it was destined to fail. But I wanted the dream of what things could be I was willing to give up my life for it. I knew that in my heart it would likely lead to despair, but I longed that desperately for the feeling. Very similar characteristics to an addict, I know. To kiss each other and look into each others eyes and see yourself, to say with your eyes and touch that you understand each other…

    Ladies.. for my part please know that it is not about looks or sex that drives us away. We want to be validated, feel desired, and sought-after like you do. We want a woman who is confident in herself and her body no matter how she looks. We notice the little things that reflect to us that you aren’t interested in our lives, don’t hold us a few seconds longer, stop your routine when we come home.

    I make no excuses for what I have done. I decided to cut it off and work it out with my wife, but if I am totally honest it was because it seemed she did not truly love me anyway. I wonder what would have happened if she had “loved me” how much would I have given up? Unfortunatley the pull was strong enough that if I am honest – everything.

    The affarir was for a few months and my wife still does not know. Should I tell her? Wouldn’t that cause more pain than its worth since I am no longer with her? This experience has truly changed my life and the pain I feel now truly has taught me the grass is not greener on the other side. I realize that I have not been investing in my wife and our relationship and that neglect and routine have taken their course. I want to believe we can find passion again, but right now I can’t see it in the horizon. I am worried that if I keep trying to hold on without us connecting @ the deep level I desire that this will happen again and the OP keeps running through my mind and the thought of the uphill path is tiring.

    I know it is selfish, but I want more… I am trying to believe I can find it with my wife, but how long do I wait? Is the deep connection I seek within reach? Right now I am seraching myself to find out – but all this scares me to death. My son is my pride and joy… shouldn’t I stay if only for him? And if only for him is that fair? How can I rekindle the fire? I’m tired of sex seeming like a favor when I want it to be an expression of our hearts? How do I open the door to her heart?

    Pray for me.

    . I gave it up but partially because

  25. I wonder is there anyone around who can actually tell about how the affair of their spouse ended? I mean it seems to me that they just never end. I wish there was a discussion on it…

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