Impact of Finding Out Your Partner Cheated – Part I

Today is the Part I of a three-part series on the topic of the impact cheating has on a marriage. Unless you have gone through the pain of finding out your husband committed adultery, it is difficult to understand and describe how you feel. Taking a deep dive into the impact of infidelity within a marriage is important, without self-reflection, adultery can lead to years of pain and depression.

The first impact of catching your husband cheating is your self-esteem. An affair often shatters your self-esteem. You can feel that your husband had an affair because you were not sexy enough or fun enough or pretty enough. Those thoughts are seriously enough to drive you crazy. Then, when/if you try to work on the relationship, your self-esteem is so damaged that you may start to wonder, “Am I so weak that I’d really stay and put up with his behavior; am I not strong enough to leave?” It’s like a little voice in your ear that won’t go away! It is so easy to feel like a failure.

Damaged self-esteem is an extremely common feeling after the affair. Unfortunately many of the books that I have read on affair recovery focus on healing of the marriage and do not address the self-esteem impact. This feels really counterproductive to me. I can’t give love to anyone or restore a relationship when my self-esteem is low. In fact, because of the lack of resources out there, I’ve decided my next e-book will focus on how YOU can build yourself up after the devastation from adultery within the marriage.

Try to make time to focus on restoring your confidence and getting that shine and energy you have as a beautiful woman back!

Part II of this series will discuss the next major impact of finding out your partner cheated.

30 thoughts on “Impact of Finding Out Your Partner Cheated – Part I”

  1. I appreciate your efforts in making this E-book free and so accessible. I was completely blindsided to discover that my husband (who is so well respected in his work and community) had been carrying on with MANY internet sluts, but had quite a few in person times. He travels w/o me at times. I “caught” him before Thanksgiving, 2009, like Tiger’s wife….a fishy # on the cell phone. I called the bitch and life has exploded here.

  2. Thanks Marilee for your comment. It is really tough when your husband is well respected, because you really are blindsided. My husband is well respected as well, and for some reason, I thought that since everyone else thought so highly of him, that he wouldn’t dare do something so low and disrespectful, and boy was I wrong. I just hate how their selfishness causes life as we know it to change forever. This event literally shattered my self esteem. And if I can see one good thing out of this situation, it is that I am learning how to rebuild my self esteem literally from the ground up. Every day I am getting stronger and stronger through my personal process. I am still on my journey, but once I fully regain my confidence, I hope to share a new chapter in my life filled with a full sense of self. I know it’s tough for you right now, but hang in there.

  3. I am in so much pain from my cheating spouse that my heart hurts and i feel like i can’t breathe. It is worse in public every couple i see makes me cry. I had a total hip replacement and when i came home from hospital, he had cleaned me out and left me with no help to live with this other woman.I am destroyed.

  4. Sue, you are in such a great deal of pain right. Your husband left at a time where you need him to be there for you, so you can focus on healing. You may feel like you’re destroyed, but you are not. Through this experience, you will have an opportunity to rebuild your life and your identity from the ground up. Your in too much pain to see it right now, but this can be a good thing. Right now your in a grieving stage, where the pain hurts like a knife. The key is to remember that you are not alone, you will recover from this situation, and the best of your life is yet to come. One chapter is closing, eventually another one will open. It’s ok to cry, this is one of the most traumatic experiences you will go through. BUT I believe in you and there are thousands of women who overcome this tragedy, you will be one of them, I just know it. Take care, get some rest, and get some fresh air as well (even though you probably don’t feel like it).

  5. Sue, you are in such a great deal of pain right. Your husband left at a time where you need him to be there for you, so you can focus on healing. You may feel like your destroyed, but you are not. Through this experience, you will have an opportunity to rebuild your life and your identity from the ground up. You are in too much pain to see it right now, but this can be a good thing. Right now you are in a grieving stage, where the pain hurts like a knife. The key is to keep telling yourself that you will recover from this situation, and the best of your life is yet to come. One chapter is closing, eventually another one will open. It’s ok to cry, this is one of the most traumatic experiences you will go through. BUT I believe in you and there are thousands of women who overcome this tragedy, you will be one of them, I just know it. Take care, get some rest, and get some fresh air as well (even though you probably don’t feel like it).

  6. My story.
    Five weeks agi at Marriage Guidance my husband of 11 years who is 10 years younger than me- 41 and 51- told me he no longer wished to be married- that he hadn’t been happy for years. I was devsatated. We have had our problems but I thought worked through them. He had wanted to go to cousnelling I find now because he hadn’t got the guts to tell me on his own.
    I took on all the responsibility of the marriage failing ie I was too selfish/ he was lonely/ I was useless in bed/ had pushed him to adopt (we didn’t) but then by accident one evening I found a naked pic of a friend of mine on his pc which he thought he had left in sleep mode! He had already gone to bed.
    This ‘lady’ was one of my frineds in the USA, has been married twice, has five children and is a fundametlaist christian.
    I shook him awake and he began to cry and say they had ;only’ had an affair on line as he was lonely. She was due to come to London this week and he had had me buy her birthday presents, organise evenings out (I have a lot of generous clients who were giving us free evenings in lovely places) and he had had her choose my birthday and Christmas gifts!! He said she was my biggest advocate and kept saying’ You must work it out with Debbie’ even while having online sex with him and both saying they loved each other!
    He ended the affair that night- I thought- I stood over him while he rang her and said it was over. She emailed begging me not to tell her husband or children. I should add previously to my finidng out she said I was like a sister to her and she prayed for me every night…..
    I feel sick- sick to the guts. He says he wants to stay with me as we had a very open talk in which I confided my Dad had abused me as a child: at first he was supportive but now he is angry about that and says I should have told him before we got married! That I lied to him by not being who I was! My father is dying of dementia and I have to cope with the fact that my mother knew he was beating me a lot but did nothing.
    I now find he was planning to see this woman in Chicago next weeek where he will be on business for two weeks to ‘say goodbye one last time’ (she lives there) We live in the UK and he has been angling for ages to get promotion to the USA- now I know why.
    I just dont’ know what to do. He won’t sleep with me or kiss me- saying he is ‘not ready’ yet on the other hand when I took my rings off and got the house valued, he was distraught. He wants to see if ‘his love for me comes back’. We live n the middle of nowwhere and I have not confided in anyone apart from the psychotherpaist I am now seeing about the abuse. He won’t say he loves me, he hopes we can learn to fall in love again but I can’t trust him. Any advice at all is welcome as I feel I am dying of pain. [ain and rejection. When we first met I was one of only a few women in the FTSE 100, then came the recession so I now earn a lot less, while his career has boomed. I feel I have lost me. Is it worth holding on and hoping or should I just file for divorce? I am too mixed up to know whether I love him or not!

    1. Hello Kits,

      It seems like your husband is confused. In reading your story, it seems like he is not ‘in’ the marriage anymore. If he is planning to see this woman in Chicago, that is not a good sign. Saying goodbye over email is enough, there is no reason he needs to say goodbye in person. No reason he needs to see her in person, in my opinion he should not call and just attend the conference. I know it hurts that this was your friend who was sending naked pics of herself and praying for you, and she is married with 5 kids, oh boy.

      I feel that you are really looking and reaching for something that will tell you it’s ok and that you should save the marriage. But honestly Kit, it takes you and your husband committed and it does not appear he is committed at this point in time. I am concerned about you, he does not want to touch you or hold you, he is seeing this woman in Chicago and tells you he wants to wait and see if he catches feelings for you? If I were in your shoes, I would give him a strict timeline (a week, a month) on when he has to make a decision, either he is in or out. If he is in, it has to be all the way focused on rebuilding the marriage, if he is out, then you file. And not pushing you in either direction, but if he is out, that should give you more time to get ‘you’ back, and that will be a wonderful feeling for you.

      **Lastly, concerning the abuse, I commend you for telling someone about the abuse, many people go to their grave with that information and it takes a ton of courage to open up to anyone about it. When you finally do tell, only to have that person get angry at you, it hurts. So I just want you to know you are courageous for opening up about it.

  7. am so tired of dealing with what if men how cheat on there wife are not men at all my did and he expects me to forgive him like nothing ever happend am sure if it was me he would not even want to hear it for along time i have been scared of him leaveing know am not at all it hard put life goes on specially if you have kids am just tired off beeing mad all the time and angry what can i do i whant to be happy for my kids

  8. i feel broken inside off me i just want to be happy since then he bougth a house stays home am with all the time put even wen goes to the store i go nut if hes not back fast i been with his man for 14 years life is hard on it own i never had a man in my life that i trust my father abuse me and my sister mother never believed us always on his side wen i got married i said that the man i will love for ever and respect put he dint do the same i dont have any one to talk to dont trust anyone what can i do please help

    1. Hello Lady Bee,

      It literally feels like your spirit is worn down from being with this man. I know you mentioned you do not have anyone to talk to and I would like that to change. I think part of the problem is that your life is centered around your husband. And while your husband is suppose to be a big part of your life, but not the center. I want you to take a look at what lady bee wants to do with her life, and take steps towards that goal. Once you do that and seriously start taking action, the support will come, the friends will come, and you will feel more empowered. Wishing you the best.

  9. I just found out 2 days ago that my husband cheated on me. He is in the military and I had never thought that he was the kind of guy that would cheat. I was uploading some photos from a memory card onto my computer and happened to find some pictures that he had taken while having sex with a woman. I confronted him about it and he tried to tell me those pictures were from before we were together. I know that isn’t true so I called him out on it and he finally admitted it. At this point, I want the truth, how am I supposed to believe anything that he says when he lied to me for so long. We have a 3 year old child and he wants to work it out, he tells me that he loves me but I don’t know how I could ever trust him again. He is deployed right now and I honestly don’t even want to see him. I feel like he ripped out my soul.

    1. Hello Aimee,

      You are in the devastation period, where the pain at times seems unbearable. Its a shock to find out the person that you dedicated your life to is not the person you thought. And if you literally saw him in the act via pictures, it will take some work to deal with that. It’s ok that you don’t want to see him now, while he is away it will give you a chance (after the devastation period) to really think about what you want out of the marriage, and if you think that he can fulfill those needs. Make sure you eat and get some rest, it’s easy to forget in this stage.

  10. Thanks so much for your insights.
    You are right. He is not ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the marriage
    He says he did not see or talk to her while he was in Chicago (we live in the UK) but it broke his heart to be walking around familiar places they used to go together- on his own- he started crying about it. Oh PLEASE. He says he promised me he would not see her or speak to her and he won’t. But that he has lost a ‘beautiful friend’ and she is ‘pissed at him they can’t even stay friends’. I have taken his feedback about not making much effort and now cook every evening, dress up a little, remember to ask q’s about his work and deal with all the family things. I feel like he should be lavishing me with love and attention if he wants us to work out- but no. He sleeps in the spare room as he says I snore and he needs a good nights sleep as he starts so early (5am) but there is no sex- he says he thinks ‘that part of him’ is burned out and when I caught him coming out of the bathroom with porn, he said he was just ‘making certain he could still feel sexual’. He doesn’t want to touch me, be sexual with me-asked me not to push him into anything as his ego is too frail to try it and fail and anyway I rejected him too often (I had bad endo) I feel like a cross between a housekeeper and a geisha and I used to be a Board Director. It’s like he has forgotten who I am. What do I do? Try and seduce him? When he kisses me, its on the top of my head like an Auntie. Yet he is adamant that he wants to try again and see if we can make it work. He is passive/aggressive and I feel he feels he is trapped and ‘ought’ to give it another go. What do others think? I am reasonably attractive and look after myself- surely I’m not such a hog he can’t bear to look at me?

    1. Hello Kits,

      Your husband seems confused. The fact that he was crying about what “they” use to do in Chicago would of really hurt my feelings, and not cool at all. It seems like he is still caught up in the fantasy (not the woman) and it seems like he caught feelings. The fantasy of them just being together for trips and fun, when you are cheating, you sneak away for a short period of time, and it seems like your husband got attracted to that. Unfortunately, you can not make him realize it’s just a fantasy, he has to realize on his own.

      Now as far as you personally, living with a husband that is rejecting your or treating you like a roommate is not sustainable. Are you in a position to get counseling? If not, I would see if he is open for both of you to read a book together about recovery from an affair. If he is committed to working on the marriage he has to back it up with action. If he is not willing to do that, do you feel comfortable giving him a time period to get himself together and work on the marriage? Something like, I am not sure what you are going through, but for me as the wife, it’s worse, you had two women to talk to, I only have you, and now you are cold, distant, and treat me like an Aunt. I do not deserve to be treated like this, if you are upset that I rejected you in the past, then you need to make a decision if you want to stay in this marriage. I will give you a couple of days to think about this. If you are committed, that means you set up counseling, etc. I need to know you are committed and you show that by action. If you are not committed and don’t want to be here, do not drag me along, just tell me. Make him decide and if he says he wants to work it out, give him some action to take so that you know he is serious. Tell him if he doesn’t follow up with the action, you know he is just trying to be nice, and you will prepare to leave. Again, just a suggestion, you know your situation well enough to know what might work/what might not. The key in this is that if he does not want to work it out, are you mentally prepared to leave the marriage? Before talking to him, it is good to be prepared for either response so that you can handle mentally either way. Keep in touch!

  11. I think this is useful advice though it scares me.
    I am due a very big compensation payout in the New Year for the damage for the car accident- there is a bit of me saying he is only staying til then so he can claim a share under UK law. He is still sleeping in the spare room, saying I snore too much and cats disturb him and this never bothered him before. He says if I want affection- grab his hand- hug him- kiss him- why should I leave it all to him? I kinda agree but after what has happened don’t you think it should be up to him to show me affection first?
    We live so far out in Wales that there are no near neighbours and when he is away I am quite literally- alone except for the animals. I have managed to get and start a new job next week teaching art to dementia care patients but it is very low paid and he points out he is still the one paying all the bills.
    I find I can reheqarse all I like what I want to say but when he is here it just goes right out of my head. He says he is aware he is in the grip of some sort of crisis- love/work/money all gone wrong and I don’t know how to deal with him. He cries then I hug him then he pulls away then I am mad as I recall he had an affair, he broke his vows and yes, maybe I am not the easiest person to live with. Hearing him say he has been unhappy for years and that fact that he was dosnloading porn since the year we were MARRIED and supposedly at our happiest- is just awful. Yet he persists in saying he is committed to making this marriage work and that I should ‘deal with what has happened- the affair is over so look to the future’. Am I going mad? Is this unreasonable. I didn’t know I could FEEL anger like this. Mind you, I never knew one could dry this much either.

    1. Hello Kits,

      I hope your first week at your new job went well. I really thing that your husband should be taking more action towards the recovery of the marriage. After the affair we already feel unwanted and unloved, so I do thing that he should be taking some major steps to show that he is committed to you, not the other way around because you did not cheat, he did. He has got to step up and fight for the marriage, you can not fight for him, I know you want to so bad, but he has to put forth the effort.

  12. carring his burden

    My husband who makes over 6 figures a year has a God complex. Want to talk about impacting my self-esteem, his affair partner is a stripper 15 years younger than me. After the trip where he met and slept with her, he flew her across the country to hang out with him and his friend st a cubs game. That friend happened to be a groomsmen at our wedding 12 years ago. I am completely humiliated.
    I went and had plastic surgery because I feel so bad about myself – it didn’t help. I enrolled to obtain my masters – it doesn’t help. Im the same size now I was before I had 3 kids – doesn’t help.
    I hate both of them for making me feel less than! Whoever said no one can make you feel bad without your consent obviously has never been cheated on.

  13. I got married to a man that was married to another woman in the USA, for 13 years. In finding this out, during maternity leave, I was shocked and devastated. I am now single again – annuled the marriage.
    During the divorce/annulment time, I moved out of my house with my baby, as I could not stand being around him. A week before moving back, I found out that he has been entertaining a woman (smoking weed, sex, pornography, etc.) in my house. I lost it.
    Ex husband is jobless and doesnt contribute or care about his daugther. However, he still in leadership position in church.
    It is six months later, and yesterday it just dawned on me who the person is whom he was with. A woman that is in ministry with him……… I saw her in the shop, and she was reluctant to greet – I greeted and she had to greet back. Before she would have hugged and we would talk – as we used to get well along. I looked back at her – and the handbag and clothing the same as that which was at my place.
    Today, I am reminding myself to set free, forgive, shake off and move on… but it is a bit difficult to do. I have not told anyone, but I need to get this out of my head. I was always fine not knowing who this woman was, as I cant change anything… I am not keen to get back with ex, not even for the child’s sake.

    1. carring his burden – sorry I must of missed your comment that you wrote a while back. That is interesting that you tried all of those things to make you feel better, and the pain is still there. It’s just my opinion, but I think the reason is because that acceptance that you seek can only be obtained inside of you, not outside of you. And unfortunately, your self-esteem is sometimes hidden from yourself. It took over a year of self-work, reflection, therapy and alone time to finally realize what I was searching for, that self-worth was inside of me, I had to build it myself, and nobody or nothing could give it to me. I hope you find yours as well, it’s there.

      Sunshine – I commend you for taking action right away, so he had a wife in the USA and a women on the side, and it part of the church – great. You and your daughter will be just find and will have a wonderful life. Moving on is a slow process, don’t beat yourself up if you are not moving as fast as you like. The main thing is that you are taking steps and making progress, and your daughter one day when she grows older is going to understand how strong and courageous mommy was during this time. Hugs to you!

  14. My husband is amazing and sweet and kind and smart. He’s a great dad and I know he loves me so much.

    But just over 2 year ago, I started to notice a distance. Maybe from his work. But when I tried to talk about it or work on it, he pushed it aside and didn’t seem to notice what I was talking about. This went on for almost a year. Things were fine and I thought this was just what people meant when they said marriage takes work. But he didn’t seem to get it.

    And I started to feel like I wasn’t a priority. And maybe I’m needy. But for me, I wasn’t feeling good. And in the mean time I began to be friends with another man. He and I became good friends and when things started to feel weird, we backed away. I never lied to my husband or did anything like cheat.

    Then my husband switched careers. He now had to work even more and on the weekends. I work as well and am very career-driven so this was going to be hard. With a 3 year old in day care, I was the one to compromise a lot of my schedule.

    After months and months of his new venture and our lives being tipped upside down, financial commitments due to the new business, and no family time (he worked all weekend and late at night), things were hard. And I remember thinking how I had to be stronger and more forgiving and understanding. Then one week, I noticed something felt weird. He had gone away for a few days with my daughter to visit his parents and he told me I had nothing to worry about. Over and over he lied. The next day I went to the doctor and was told I had herpes.

    And then he confessed that a week earlier he had gone out after work and gotten drunk and kissed a girl. He says that’s all that happened. And I do believe him.

    But after all that struggle with everything. . . you do this?!? It was like a slap in the face.

    And now it’s almost a year later and we are together and things are ok, but I just can’t bring myself to be physical with him. I tried to have sex with him recently and it’s so hard for me. I don’t know how to get past it or what to do.

    Even before he gave me herpes I would wonder if he was sleeping with other women, but I think I was just crazy and that was when I felt like we weren’t connecting.

    And honestly, he tries so hard. And I feel like any woman would want a husband like him. He cooks, cleans, listens to me. But all of that hard stuff that went on for 2 years really changed me. And I feel like there is something wrong with me that I just can’t get over it all. Like if I could just get over what happened, we would be good again. Why can’t I? All these women on here have men that had full affairs and they can do it. But I can’t. I’m sad and frustrated and lonely. I don’t know what else to do.

  15. Sally,

    I read your story and if you believe deep down inside your heart that he is telling you the truth then you need to go on with your life and try to trust your husband. However, I think that you have some doubt in your mind and this is causing you to have problems with sex. Something is affecting you and I think it is trust. 99% of the time, if a woman thinks her husband is having an affair, most likely he is. You probably want so much to believe what he is telling you, but your instincts are questioning whether or not he is telling you the truth. I don’t know what your age is but when you are young and in love you believe whatever your husband tells you. You want to believe it because sometimes the alternative is devastating.

    Sally, this is my advice to you. Try to mend your marriage and open up your heart to your husband. But please, keep your senses about you and question when something doesn’t feel right. I look back on my marriage now and there were many times that I overlooked incidences that I really should have questioned.

    Good luck to you!

  16. Life was so simple bfr i discovered his emotional affairbut now so painful he carried it fr 2 yrs and iwas so stupid ours was kind of perfect relationship we shared almost everything honestly were an integral part of each other fr last 13 yrs but it happened why idont know he has no answers only that he liked talking to her he otherwise is very reserved doesnt indulge in emotional talks except fr me so what was he talking to her abt eveyday 1hr ifeel there is more to it than i know he keeps denying he says it troubles him 2 see me in so much of pain n shattered but ifeel with me he doesnt want to move out of comfort zone ive given him but all along he is still lying im so cnfused pl help

  17. Two beautiful daughters together, 13th anniversary in two weeks, and on the 6th affair to my knowledge. 5 affairs from husband. After reaching the 3rd affair I decided to seek revenge. Not The best decision. We’ve spoke of counseling throughout the years but never pursued due to schedule conflicts and simply giving up on the idea.

    I recently found my husband texting a women by instant message on his iPad. Many sexual comments. I don’t understand why the anger and hurt, as if this has never happened before. I know that I do not want to experience this pain again. My husband wants me to give him one more try and promise it will be different this time. He claims that he has sought counseling as an individual and recommends we seek marriage counseling.

    I’m afraid of the outcome. My confidence has gone to hell. I struggle with seeing a commitment from him. My daughters want their Dad home yet they are just emotionally destroyed when he decides to step out the marriage. Ive struggled with this for many years. I deserve better. I feel I keep giving in to a fantasy/dream. I want my marriage but not if I must continue to deal with the infidelity. Hurt deeply.

    1. Hurt Deeply,

      I understand your husband is a repeat offender of affairs. I think after someone has cheated 3 or 4 times, and you stay, there is really no reason/incentive for him to stop. I think your expectation of him potentially not cheating is where the pain is coming from. He has shown you a pattern throughout the years, and if it not on you to change that pattern, he has to do that, and you have nothing to do with it. You are hurt because of his actions, he should be the one hurt, he should be the one down and out because of what he is doing to his family. Focus back on you, focus on what makes you happy, thinking about him and his actions are not good for you, you deserve to smile.

      shreya I know affairs make like much more complicated. I know you are in pain, you have to get to the point where you fight for you, fight for your right to be happy. It is hard at first, but it starts with you. Each time you make YOU a priortiy, you start to feel better little by little, to you get to the point where you can really assess the situation you are in and make the best decision for you. Take care.

      Sally – Joan’s response is perfect!

  18. My partner of 16 years, who raised my kids; left me and went to another country (his country) to get away from me; (we had a real family here in the US) I just knew that a year ago, when he told me he did it to forget me, to stop loving me, but he could not forget about me. It has been 3 years since he left, and I had cried everyday ever since. Developed Depression, and now even being on medication, because I could not stop crying. In the mean time I had gone to see him many times in his country, he regrets to leave the US immediately (His immigration status does not allow him to come back), and he wanted me to move there with him when he got settle with his business. We were planning our lives there, once the business will pick up, because we would have to live out of that business for our expenses there and here (We have a house, and my kids are in college). His business took a year to settle, and now I could move there with him; but now he is cheating with one of his employees, and he has changed completely. when I confront him , and told him to be honest, he said he did not have anything with anyone; but that he is lonely and missing affection, and care. I am 100% sure he is cheating, and he knows I know; I told him to be honest with me, and that if he was interested in someone, I can get out of his way, and move on with my life; but he said he can’t imagine his life without me. That woman wants him because she think he has money. She is 20 years old. We are in our 40’s.He is very into her; I saw him many times flirting with her when I went there last time. He turns his phone off when he is with her (many times). I think he is back to that thought of leaving me and he finally found a motivation to do that. I know he cares for me, and loves me but, he told me he can not make me happy (We had many problems in the past because of the way he wanted to lead our relationship). He is middle eastern and my culture is different from his; I adapted to his ways to the point I could not have friends. He had a previous wife, never divorced her with kids in Palestine; and we never were to talk much about all that. He never wanted to marry me; I don’t know why…This man was good to me, good provider, was very sweet and was very caring when he wanted, but very selfish…He abandoned me (went on a business trip) once for 1 month and never called, another time he did it for 3 months, and never called; then he expected me to be fine with it. I cant understand how he loves me and he does all this? ..what should I do?. He has told me many times that I was the love of his life, and that he never loved anybody like me. I believed this, because even been apart, he was loving, and we were connected, until the women that worked for him started giving so much attention, and been provocative to him , until he finally got into one of them…how can he love me?. I can’t trust him, and I know he is probably tired of been alone; but he should have thought before he cheated. I am trying to move on; but it has been 16 years, he is my kids father basically, and we have been very attached to each other; but the cheating with this girl had brought me to a dead end. I am devastated. He never cheated on me before. Please advice me…Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Betty,

      I wish I could reach out and give you a big hug. You seem very attached and dedicated to this man that says you are the love of his life. But at the same time Betty, in order for someone to love you in that way, you have to love yourself first. And that include not putting anyone in a position to cause you pain for an extended amount of time. Betty, your feeling are absolutley important and if you are sad and depressed over him for years, time to let that out of your life. He caused you pain when he abandoned you, he is now causing you pain by cheating, time to move on to a better life. A better life is waiting Betty, but if you are so focused on him, you will not have the ability to see with your eyes the better life. You are only in your 40’s, you have plenty of time to rebuild a life outside of him. I would love for Betty to take the next couple of months, and promise yourself to only to things that make Betty smile. If you feel thoughts that make you cry – STOP, you deserve to smile. If you watch a movie that makes you think about your husband – STOP. I can’t stress this enough, you deserve to feel good, you deserve to smile, you deserve to be with someone that treats you well. BUT the first step is treating YOURSELF exactly how you want a mate to treat you. If you don’t treat yourself well then others will not either, that is the way life goes. If you always thought about taking up a hobby do it. Do things that serve you, and eventually your life will slowly start to turn for the better. If talking to your husband brings you pain because you know he is cheating – STOP talking to him – remember, focus on things that bring a smile to your face, everything else is not worth it, because YOU feelings are of utmost importance. Take care!

  19. Jewels, thanks so much for your response. I read it this morning at work and made me feel better; however it is still too soon for me to be totally ok with the idea that he did not care about 16 years of our lives when he made a decision of cheating on me; he did it with all the intention of forgetting about me, or us, or whatever; and that is worse than doing it out of an impulse or drunk or a prostitute or simple a one night stand like any other cheaters; I think he just did not have the guts to finish the relationship like an adult; he planned all this in the coldest way; even after I told him that I knew he will do it; and that I will find out about it sooner or later. The respect is over; this hurts like a knife in my heart. I know he is happy with her now; and everyone at his business (Were they both work) knows that they are a couple now, and that is humiliating because everyone knows me and my boys as his family. He was the “family man” with the full crew! and now he is cheating with an employee of his!!! this is driving me insane!…I think I am going crazy thinking of it; I know I have to love myself, and I will; but I don’t know how to stop thinking about this humiliation, and how bad intention and lack of care for my feelings he had when he did all this. I guess I never wanted to leave him, thinking that he will be the one I once knew; but now I know is impossible, his true self came out in the worse way…I am going to schedule more sessions with my therapist next week. I will survive, I will take care of my self, and I will share my progress. I am so grateful for this site and for you… I am sending you a big hug! thanks

  20. Dear Jewels,
    I am in so bad shape today!… I have not been able to sleep, I forget to eat, and I woke up this morning crying. The cheating happened just 4 days ago (At least that’s when I knew of it for sure), and I know is too fresh. We have planned long ago, to meet last night in a hotel at an Island in the Caribbean, where my son is studying medicine. We were going to stay 8 days there together with my son, and celebrate my birthday which is next week. Last night when he got to the hotel and did not find me (I did not go to the Island at all); he called my son and asked him where I was, and when my son told him that “I did not go”; he just asked if I was upset; which my son replied “Yes”. Today he will be seeing my son and staying with him; my son said he will talk to him, my son already knows everything; he is a wise man and he told me he will try to understand him and forgive him; on the other side I am thinking…that in 4 days ever since he cheated, he have not called me to explain or anything; is this normal? is he sick or Am I expecting to much? of course he thought I was going to be there last night at the hotel. Was he thinking that he could fix everything with lies? or was he trying to be there to break up with me, and walk away after 16 years together? I cant work, I have not ability to concentrate, I have sudden crying episodes and I am embarrassed to be seeing like this at work. WHAT DO I SUPPOSE TO DO? Can someone tell me? Am I loosing my sanity? how do I control the crying? the obsessive thoughts? the anger, the pain? I can only think of this site in this moment…everyone tells me the same…take care of yourself, eat and sleep, and get busy….It is very hard to do all that…my depression medication (Not a high dose) was doing great. I was doing great! until I need to be more medicated….what has other people do? thanks!

  21. Ive been reading all of these posts because I still feel the scars 2 years after finding out my husband was carrying on a 2 year affair with a woman he met at a golf tournament. She was “working a hole”….and no, that isn’t a joke. She was a manager at the bank. My husband owns a business and was invited to the bank’s golf tournament. She was also married. She later got divorced for the 2nd time. She has 2 children from her first marriage and 1 child from her second marriage. At the golf tournament my husband started “teasing” her about her texting and she then asked for his # and said she’d start texting him if he gave it to her. And that’s how EASY it was. They started texting all day every day. Met for drinks right away and hit the hotel next door to have sex.
    I found out 1 week before my 20th anniversary. 2 months later my Dad was paralyzed from the neck down and while going through all that with him and him finally making the decision to turn off his life support (my dad’s decision) he drug me through catching him contacting her after ge would PROMISE me it was over. I literally fainted seeing pictures of them on a trip together. Arm in arm. Cheek to cheek.
    I finally gave up on him completely. I was sad. 20 years and this was over. My son and I had cried and cried together. (we had an 8 year old beautiful, smart, happy, wonderful son together). It was only when I gave up on him that he changed! I’m not joking. Changed his phone #. Gave access to his phone and email, started going to church and stopped putting himself first.
    I want everyone to know that the self esteem issue hasn’t faded though. I feel ugly. Old. Fat. You name it. Stupid…..because I don’t have a college degree. But, I KNOW I was a good wife. It was hard actually to hear him say he was just evil and that I didn’t do anything wrong. I have sat by his bed side and nursed him back to health when he was on life support and in a coma from swine flu. He doesn’t do laundry, dishes, doesn’t cook, doesn’t do homework, grocery shop, write out bills, or run errands. I have raised a beautiful son. He was distracted. He has ADHD and owns a couple of businesses. He had nothing but debt when we married. In fact, he had just filed for bankruptcy when we met. I organized his back taxes and bills and made a plan for us to pay things off. It took me 51/2 years. Since success came, it went straight to his head. He actually thought because he “gave” me a good life…..he could do whatever he wanted.
    Anyway, it’s been 2 years and I love my son to no end. I never wanted to be divorced because my parents had an awful one. I love my husband…..I always did. And I DID show him and tell him how great he was. I paid attention to him. Im not in any way saying I am “perfect”……I think I’m hideous now, but I tried really really hard to be “a good wife”. He would even go on “guy trips”. Ladies…..that’s just code for men not wanting their wives around…..but other women are there.
    Sometimes I worry now that no matter how wonderful he is to me, that I’ll never be able to feel loved again and this nervousness and low self esteem will push him away.
    So, I’m saying……I’m not sure it EVER goes away.

    1. Hi Lori,

      Yes you are an amazing women. The first thing that comes to mind for me to tell you is that his cheating is not a reflection on you. Sometime I hear women stay but to stay and be miserable is no good, at all. You owe it to yourself to really dig deep into why your self esteem is low. Here are a couple of theories. Sometimes women feel ashamed for staying. Here is what I say. Did you decide to stay? That was your decision and you should feel empowered that YOU made the decision to give him another change. Now if you stay because you felt stuck – that is another story. The emotion around why you stayed is extremely important, make sure you look at that within yourself. The next part you should look at is where are you deriving your self esteem from? Is it from your husband and your family? Or is it within? My self-esteem was totally dependent on me being a wife and mom, without it, I had no identity, no purpose. I worked really hard to learn how to get self-esteem from within – so that my future partner will compliment what I already have. I decided that I will never let anyone be in charge of my self –esteem again. I make my happiness a priority so it wouldn’t put too much pressure on my partner (again, your partner should compliment what you already have). It was uncomfortable at first, because I was always use to me last (sound familiar), but you owe it to yourself to fill your cup up as well. If you like riding bikes, tell your husband, on Tuesday’s, it’s my time to ride bikes, leftover’s are in the frig. I know that might sound selfish – but you deserve it, you work hard for your husband and family. And guess what will happen? When you start making your happiness a priority, you will start to feel better, which will impact in a positive way all other aspects of your life. Now if you do this and still feel down, think about seeing a therapist, there may be some deeper emotions blocking you from feeling good, which might include the cheating. Hang in there, and do not give up on feeling good, you deserve it.

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