True Story: My Husband Cheated. I Stayed + We Worked Through It

What would you do if your husband cheated? Would you stay? Go? Click through for one woman's story // yesandyes.org
This is one of many True Story Interviews in which we talk to people who have experienced interesting/challenging/amazing things. This is the story of ‘Elle,’ her husband, his affair, and how they repaired their marriage.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m 49 years old, mom to three children. I’m an author and journalist. Seven years ago, when I was 42, I became a member of the club none of us wants to join – the betrayed wives club.

How did you meet your husband?

I met my husband through a mutual friend. We’ve been married for 18 years. We met when I was 30 and working as a magazine editor. He was in finance (still is). He’s smart and social. I generally prefer books to people. Our yin/yang thing works.

Prior to this experience with your husband, how did you feel about infidelity?

Like most women, my friends and I had played the “what would you do if you found out your husband was cheating” game. I insisted I’d kick him to the curb. I’d had boyfriends cheat on me in the past. Part of what I first loved about my husband was that he felt so safe. He adored me. He didn’t play games. It was all so easy. We were really good friends who fell in love.

Do you know what lead your husband to cheat?

My husband started seeking out sex as a way to numb uncomfortable feelings even before he met me. His father, who he worshiped, had died young. Then a girlfriend he was in love with said she had cancer, which turned out be a lie. He couldn’t cope with the loss, the confusion, the sadness. Sex without emotion became an escape.

I knew nothing of his sex addiction until twelve years into our marriage.

How did you find out? And how did you react?

We had married, moved cities, and altered our career paths. There had been some lean years, but we were finally doing well financially. We had three gorgeous, healthy children. Life was good.

And then…he switched jobs and took his toxic assistant with him. I was surprised. This woman drove him crazy. Nagged. Criticized. Made unreasonable demands. I figured switching firms was the perfect chance to get rid of her. He claimed that he needed her to help him get settled in his new job. That she was crazy but also good at her job.

Getting “settled” at his new job seemed to involved late nights at the office. Dinners with his assistant as they organized files. I was trying hard to be understanding because I knew he was under a lot of pressure to succeed. His company had a lot invested in him.

I was busy working on a book so I pushed my nagging thoughts aside. Besides, she was truly nasty. He wouldn’t cheat on me. Especially with her.

One night, he was out of town at a conference. I discovered she’d gone with him.

And suddenly, I just knew. It was like a light went off. I called him and he didn’t answer.

I called again. And again. And again. Thirty-one times I called and it went to voicemail every single time.

The next morning he called me back and I said, calmly: “Tell me everything.”

He, crying, admitted to an affair with her but said it was me he loved.

My world went dark.

I felt hatred toward her unlike anything I’d ever felt toward another person. She knew me. She had sat at my dinner table. How could anyone knowingly cheat with a married man? A father of three? What did she expect to get from it besides a bigger office? I was baffled. I called my husband horrible, unpublishable names. I told him he’d broken me forever. Why? I kept asking him. Why?

All he could say was that it had nothing to do with me. How was that possible? It took me a year to understand how true that was. Affairs rarely have anything to do with the wife. They’re fantasy. Escape. Which is why so few affairs last once they’re pulled from the shadows.

My husband found a therapist to help him figure out why he risked everything that mattered to him for a woman who didn’t. We fought. I cried. There were days I could barely function. I tried to take care of my kids. I finished my book though, to this day, I don’t know how. I was a mess. I couldn’t leave because I could barely get out of bed.

Six months later, the whole story emerged. He had cheated not just with this nasty assistant but with many women. Our entire relationship. He was, he told me, a sex addict. He was in treatment with a therapist who specialized in sex addiction.

To those who tell me that sex addiction is a convenient excuse that cads use when they’re caught, I say you’ve never seen sex addiction. Anyone with sex addiction, like any other addiction, is emotionally crippled by shame and self-loathing. It’s the farthest thing from sexy or convenient. Admitting it means 12-step meetings, full disclosure of everything you’ve ever done. Every lie you’ve told. It’s finally looking at yourself in the mirror and hating what you see.

What made you decide to stay with your husband and work through the issues?

My husband fully expected me to leave when he confessed but had agreed with his therapist that I deserved to know.

But when I looked at him curled in the fetal position, sobbing, unable to look at me, I saw only the father of my children – my closest friend – at the lowest point of his life.

I told him I could promise nothing but that I would be his friend. I figured that I would leave, eventually. That I would ensure he continued to get help, that once he was “healthy”, I would move on without regret.

In the meantime, however, I also was at the lowest point of my life. His betrayal triggered all sorts of my own issues – abandonment, trust, safety.

But by facing those, and watching my husband address deeply buried issues of his own, we grew together.

How have you two made it through this?

We had the benefit of a fabulous counselor who helped us work through the fallout of infidelity. Who taught my husband how to just be with me in my pain and accept responsibility without flinching. She showed us how to rebuild a marriage based on honesty and transparency. She made it clear that no marriage is immune to infidelity. And that marriage is more than sexual fidelity. That’s a part of it, of course. But it’s much more.

So here we are, seven years since my world imploded. And though I’ll never say my husband’s affair was good for us, I will say that we’ve grown in ways we couldn’t have imagined. I have found a joy I thought impossible. He is happier and more whole than he’s ever been.

In that seven years, I’ve lost my beloved mom. I’ve helped far too many friends deal with their spouse’s affairs. I’ve created a website to offer a safe, non-judgmental place for women experiencing the pain of betrayal to share their stories, seek advice, and receive compassion and support – pretty much the site I wished existed when I felt so lonely.

Surely it must be hard to rebuild trust. If you had to put a number on it, where are you guys at now?

It’s impossible to put a number on it. We’re not the same people we were. Our relationship is, in many ways, a second marriage to our first spouse.

I don’t believe I would still be in my marriage if my husband hadn’t told me he wanted to become the man I thought he was…and then took the necessary steps to battle his demons. I’m grateful that I gave him the chance. I’m grateful my children have the benefit of a dad who’s also taken steps to become a better father.

Affairs are devastating. And isolating. There’s much blame placed on the wife. Our culture supports a narrative that is blatantly untrue. That the wife must have been frigid. That she probably “let herself go.” That she must be a nag. That anyone who stays with a cheater is a doormat.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all response to betrayal. For some, leaving the marriage is wisest. For others, reconciliation takes them where they want to go. Every day I hear from women whose hearts are broken by the people who promised not to break them. They need compassion and someone to guide them toward healing, whatever that looks like for them.

Now, I’m even able to extend that compassion toward the Other Women. I’m convinced that no-one with any self-respect or decency knowingly participates in the pain of another person. These women are damaged. They settle for the ego strokes of an affair, the titillation of deceit because it makes them feel powerful. I wish they wanted more for themselves…at the very least, there would be a lot fewer women visiting my site seeking solace if other women (and, yes, men) refused to participate in their deception.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Elle. Do you guys have any (respectful) questions for Elle? Have any of you stayed in a relationship after you were cheated on?

P.S. How to get over a breakup + Love your ex enough to leave them alone

photo by Pavel Badrtdinov // cc

67 Comments

littleapartmentbigcity

I really admire you coming out and talking about this. For years, I've wondered why my mother stayed with my father after he left out family to go be with his mistress. I thought that maybe she didn't have any self-respect, but this article has made me see that it wasn't about that. Thank you so much for talking about this. I know people can be so judge-y when it comes to this type of situation.

Reply
Elle

Thank-you for your thoughtful response. That "judgey-ness" is, sadly, what keeps so many of us quiet about dealing with betrayal. It's what contributes to the isolation when you're going through it. And yet, statistically, a huge number of married people will experience it. I'm convinced that if we were better able to talk about it, fewer would be able to minimize the pain of the betrayed person.
Some women who stay, without demanding any significant change from their betraying partner, do so because they lack self-respect or any belief that they deserve better. But that's a consequence of their life experience, not a character flaw. A huge number of women who stay are among the strongest women I know. It takes courage to give a second chance to someone who's broken your heart.
I would urge you to talk to your mom with an open mind. She might be grateful for the compassion you're able to extend to her.

Reply
Jane

I was cheated on when I was 21. It hurt me so badly that I cheated out of retaliation. I then cheated again…with 4 different men, over the course of 3 years. I liked the attention but I didn’t enjoy the sex. I never orgasmed
With any of them, not once. But I knew that my boyfriend who cheated had orgasmed so I felt like I had to keep trying. I’ve been physically faithful now for 2 years but I still text other men. They give me compliments and make me feel wanted. It’s amazing the hurt that comes from cheating and how long it can last.

Reply
Jessica

I meant a friend who directed me to Papa Ork on the internet who help people to solve their problem and then i wrote to him and he said i should not worry about anything, that i should give him 2 days for him to cast a spell for me and after that 2 days my ex boyfriend called me on my office line and started begging. That is how my ex boy friend came back to me contact orkstarspell@gmail. com his help is guaranteed.

Reply
renee

Thanks for being so raw and transparent, Elle. And also thanks for clarifying what a sexual addiction is. I have a brother and a good guy friend who both struggle with it.
Best way it has been explained to me is that it's like an addition to booze, shopping, gambling. It's a numbing agent and helps keep the person from feeling pain and all the other darkness inside.
Congrats on a successful marriage and I wish you much happiness.

Reply
Elle

Renee, I think a lot more people struggle with sex/porn addiction than we might realize. We live in a hyper-sexualized society so it's relatively easy to hide behind what seems like "normal" behaviour. Who doesn't watch porn? Who doesn't joke about sex? But there's this weird line for sex addicts where it completely colours their view of the world. Sex represents something other than intimacy. It is escape. And while some escape is fine (who doesn't binge watch Downton Abby, for instance, even when there's work to be done), escape for addicts becomes the whole point.
Thanks for your kind words. I hope your brother and friend get help before they go down that dark path that holds little more than misery, no matter how "sexy" our culture makes it appear.

Reply
Kathy

It is so great to hear thing have workout for you 2. It is very hard to deal with all mixed emotions, trying to figure out what went wrong, what we did wrong!!!!
I have been married for 26 years with the love of my life( for sure) we have 2 amazing girls
Indeed. He is always been very supportive of my work , I am an artist and travel some weekends.
This year He became very introvertive not talking to much… I had to see a friend out of the country and was gone 2 weeks… He decided to invite a coworker to hang out with him ( she is only 22 half his age)
I found out from a text She sent him one morning!
Just saying I made it to Fl it is so nice here!!!!
I ask him about that text, at first he said is no one!!!
Then I said if you don’t tell me I am leaving right now!
He had to tell me… But only told me she was just a friend from work, that was all!!! I cried all day that day Cauz I knew something was not right!! This all end of March … Every day I will find out more and more.. I opened the computer files a picture of her wearing a towel just after showered.. I guess waiting at a hotel room for my husband.. I showed him that picture when he came home that night .. He said he asked her for a picture.. ( yeah right!) It was like this was not my amazing husband,, I was dealing with someone diferent than the Greg I married 26 years ago..
I was so tired of trying to make him understand that friendship was wrong, he kept on saying they were just friends.. I cried so much , I lost weight and the texting continue until April 14 I think…
We went to Dallas to celebrate my nieces birthday and I noticed He was not himself at all!!
I knew He was feeling guilty about the affair even do I believed they were just friends.. He went back to St Louis and I stayed at my parents house Cauz I was participating at an art show in the area.
On April the 22nd we were talking on the phone and I asked for him to be honest about what went on with this girl.. Finally he said they liked talking to each other at work and he said that felt good then one thing lead to another and the started kissing and touching leaking to oral sex only Cauz my husband was going through very low testosterone and He could not get hard.. I felt When he told me that was the end of my world.. I loved him so much and if you saw the 2 of us you would agreed we are Avery good looking couple . Greg is so handsome from day one and I am very good looking as well .
He is very sorry , he tells me all the time . I talked to him end of April about all of these and we agreed he would send the girl a message about letting her know
Things got out of hand and he should of never had stepped out of his marriage !!! She got his message

I am so hurt Cauz I did nothing wrong we had a good relationship.. I guess He did not want me to travel at all.. I would only be gone only some sat and Sundays and be home all week..

He knows he did wrong, he is very sorry…
We are going through Theraphy to get help to help him understand what made him take that road…
We love eachother very much but I can’t help to get very upset just thinking about them together..
It has been very hard for me!! and I hope I can have a normal life again and not have to worry about him doing that again!!
Kathy

Reply
Elle

I'm kinda amazed myself that I got to this point in my life. When I first found out, I couldn't imagine that I would ever feel joy again. Life surprises us.

Reply
Erianna33 Moric

how i got my husband back and got pregnant after 5 years!!!my husband has been patient with me and has been encouraging me that it will be best if we had hopes that we will have a child one day.last year,we had a little fight and he demanded for a divorce and i was so down because without him,i am nothing.he left me and the next day i met him with another woman in a shopping mall.i even tried talking to him but he pretended he didn't know me.i told my sister about it and she introduced me to the Famous Dr Akim,who helps in so many ways.i contacted him and he did his thing,before i knew it,the next day Moric called me and apologized that he was sorry for everything and that i should take him back and that he will cancel the divorce,i had no choice than to accept him,and we have been living happily until i felt sick and went for check up and the doctor confirmed me pregnant.i am so happy and all thanks to Dr Akim for all his help.contact him now for any kind of problem and he will surely try his best to make you happy. His email is (uniquelovespellcenter@yahoo.com) or also call his mobile +2348159645271.thanks once again Dr Akim for everything 🙂

Reply
Anonymous

This is beautiful. Thanks for being an example of what true love is- not just a selfish, he's meeting my needs kind of love but on that's willing to stick with it in the good times and bad.

Reply
Anonymous

Thank you so much for this. This was published literally 4 days after I found out my husband is cheating.

Is. Not was. We are still in the middle of it and have our first marriage therapy appointment in a couple days.

I needed so much to hear this — that I'm not alone in wanting to work through this. That cheating is not just black and white.

Thank you.

Reply
Anonymous

I am happy to shear my testimony to everyone , sometimes things you don’t believe can just happen. My name is Kate smith I am 34 years old i got married at the age of 27 i have only one child and i was living happily after some years i married my husband behavior became so strange acting weld little wile he packed out to another lady. I love my husband so much that i never dream of losing him, i try my possible best to make sure my husband come back to me but all i could do was nothing, going to different churches day and night i cried seeking for help on till i met a friend (Monica) who told me about Dr anu, who also help her when man in her life left her she told me, Dr anu is a great spiritual man that can be trusted I contacted his email address (anuspiritualhome@gmail.com) and i told him everything that happen all he said to me i should not worry that all my problems will be solved, that my husband is under a spell. He told me what to do to get my husband back and i did he said after some hours my husband will come back to me and start begging, everything Dr anu said happen i was surprised when my husband came back home and beg for forgiveness we are now together as husband and wife smoothly the way it is when we got married and we both live happily one's again thank you Dr anu i so much appreciate.

Reply
Anonymous

My life is back!! After 10 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our two kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. I contacted you and after I explained you my problem, you sent me a Save My Marriage Spell. In just weeks, my husband came back to us. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before. Thank you dodogods you also met need him help you can contact him in his email address dodogodssolution@yahoo.com

Reply
Dee

Finding out your significant other cheated is heart breaking, world turning situation. Its a hard subject because people have so many opinions on it, but unless it has happened to you there is no way you can judge someone else for staying or leaving. I was married for 5 years and it got to a point around the 4th year that i knew i would eventually leave, i was so unhappy i would rather being doing anything than be with him. i eventually found a part-time job and met a guy who knew my situation…. we started seeing eachother …… he got into some trouble (not jail or anything) and i then found out he has cheated on me with 3 women… (yes i know not alot compared to some stories) and it shattered me i didnt work for a week i just cried… i felt so hopeless…. none the less i decided to work things out with him becuase after being unhappy and married i finally knew he was the one and decided to give him a chance…… (theres is alot more backround story to this) and we are still together and i am now pregnant with our first child. I believe if you really love someone and if change happens it can be worked out.
xoxoxo

Reply
kekoalanie

I have same situation, my husband work as a pharmaceutical consultant and his contract was in Baltimore . He meet this girl out if a party and started hanging out started In Feb.till he left Baltimore but they still contact each other through social media. The girl is married to old guy and had a daughter .when I caught him in June 30 he admitted about it and he said it’s nothing .he didn’t love her at all. He stop communicating with her thru social media. Etc. We stayed marrieand

Reply
claire

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cheating on me and all he asked for was his email and phone number, that
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is the best and
assured person to run to for anything you need to fish out and any bone you
wanna pick.i guaranty you.god bless you sir

Reply
Ava

Hey, is exactly 1year my lover came back to me, I’m letting you know how i got my ex back because this Christmas holiday everyone need there love ones around them not just your love ones but your lover, a year ago i was heartbroken and i knew i could not spend the holiday alone that is when i was looking for how i can make my lover come back to me so that we can make things right, to cut the long story short on a faithful day i came across the details i will be dropping on the internet, someone talking about how she got her ex back so i took this details I’m dropping via email: (((ekpentemple at gmail. com)) and i contact him and i told him that i want my lover to come back to me, today I’m with my lover. Thanks you Dr. EKPEN TEMPLE for the help.

Reply
Anon

I know this is an older post, but I just stumbled across it. Your story mirrors my own very closely and I can’t tell you how comforting it is to see someone else who has made similar choices and come through the other side in a better place.

9 months ago I found out my husband of 4 years (and father of our two young children) had been cheating on me since we started dating 7 years ago (continuing a behavior pattern that dated back a few years before we met). When he revealed the details of his behavior it became clear to me that this was way beyond basic cheating and he did end up getting diagnosed with a sexual addiction. I went through the same feelings of betrayal, abandonment, and powerlessness and I’m just now coming to a better place of acceptance. We’re still together, seeing a therapist together and individually, and things are improving. So far I’m glad I stayed, although I still question that choice at times. Reading your story definitely gives me renewed hope and seeing the supportive comments is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing!

Reply
Tiffany Reed

Hello, good people my name is Tiffany Reed,
I was going from site to site looking for answers till i read a post by Debbie Miller and Ian wash at first i did not give it much thought, but my mind was still bothered. So i decided to contact the blackwind@programmer.net to help catch my cheating spouse, he delivered as was promised he is really a genius, he also does P.I jobs clears your record, passwords, changes your school results(did that for myself son). I love him and his work. you should try it.

Reply
SS

Thank you for sharing. I have been through this and we are about 3 month into marital counseling. I have lost friends over this. They look at me as being weak, and a doormat (as you stated.) They told me working things out with my cheating husband — is UNHEALTHY. My husband and I have been through a lot, and he hasn’t always been perfect, but neither have I, but we have both decided we are worth this second chance. We have learned a lot, and grown, and as bad as this sounds, we wouldn’t have had this opportunity had we not gone through the storm. Sadly, in this day and age, as a woman, you are still ridiculed for ‘staying with cheater.”

Reply
Elle

SS,
I’m glad you’re able to tune out our culture’s prescription for infidelity (“throw him out”) and walk your own path through this. Many, many of us share that path with you but you’re right that we often remain silent. When we’re reeling from a partner’s betrayal, we often just don’t have the strength to weather the judgement and lack of understanding from others.
My husband and I are almost 10 years out from his affair and we’ve come a long way. We remain best friends and have a really great marriage. We’re proud of how hard we’ve worked to rebuild. There are, of course, no guarantees. No guarantees that someone who cheated won’t cheat again…and no guarantees that someone who hasn’t cheated in the past won’t cheat in the future. Sadly, statistics don’t bode well for an infidelity-free marriage. But we can learn from this. We can resolve to turn to each other rather than turn outside our marriage. And those of us who’ve gone through this can resolve to extend ourselves in compassion to those also experiencing the pain of betrayal.

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"Catherine"

Elle,

I know this is a long shot by far given that it is an old post and all but I was wondering if it is at all possible to communicate with you on a personal level?

Just over a week ago…I caught my husband having an affair, I set up a nanny cam of all things because my intuition was going off the charts but he was so damn convincing and making me feel like I was crazy. I caught him, changed the locks, threw him out and now am dealing with a whirlwind of emotions. In the past week I have gone from hating him and speaking with an attorney about filing for divorce to loving him and wanting him to get help.

We are currently separated. I honestly believe he has a Sex Addiction. Prior to the actual affair, he had wanted me to do some things sexually that were a bit beyond kinky. He had asked me to have sex with another man in front of him because it would turn him on and then broke down crying after the request saying “what is wrong with me, what kind of a man wants to see his wife have sex with another man?” He also stated after I gave him more of his belongings that all of this was his fault and had nothing to do with me, but he couldn’t fight the impulse. He wished so badly he could turn it off but he couldn’t…in the moment he wasn’t able to logically think about it he had to act on it, he was incapable of thinking of consequences at the moment and had to satisfy the craving. He knows he has a problem but he has said he doesn’t know if he can actually “face his problem” when I mentioned recently about him getting treatment. I started looking online at Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (there aren’t as many as you would think) and literally my husband fit every criteria imaginable, for once I don’t feel so alone.

I still don’t know what to do. I love him desperately but I am so hurt and betrayed and have no clue which direction to take. I know mine is very recent…but I guess I am upset that he didn’t immediately agree to do whatever it would take to salvage our marriage and go to treatment. I know as with any addiction he needs to make that choice and be ready but I feel so lost.

May I ask Elle, how long did the process take with your husband..did he immediately want help, did you separate, what events happened after the fact that led you to where you are now?

Thank you so much for your response…I don’t feel as alone. I used to think that I was the type of woman that would never stand for cheating, but I really do believe he is sick and I took my vows very seriously. This is so much harder than I could have ever imagined.

Reply
Elle

Catherine,
I’m so so sorry for what you’re going through. I know how hard it is…and I know it’s so much harder than any of us ever imagined. I was “lucky” in that my husband had already realized his problem and sought help for it before telling me. But I want you to mosey on over to my Web site, where you’ll find a whole army of women who know exactly what you’re going through and will support you and offer you advice (if you want it). I’ll be there too (though I’m currently on vacation and not at my computer — Sarah very kindly alerted me to your message so I logged in to let you know that a) you’re so not alone and b) you’re going to get through this…but it helps to have women who know your pain to help you through. http://www.betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com If you post on the most recent blog post, you’ll likely get the most response. Hang in there, Catherine. You’re stronger than you know.

Reply
Anonymous

Leave him…. Oh wait!!! That would require you to work???? Huh… Lifestyle change.,,,

Anonymous

I hope all women who stay with husbands that cheat…. Confess a reality that you do no want to change your lifestyle. You want to stay at home raining kids. You want the image. Get a job, make an info be and globally be true to your feelings of betrayal. You Roman that stay…. Just admit the truth… You have kids and you do not want to be a single mom with a job. Craziness

Reply
Elle

I’m baffled by those who attack women who stay after being betrayed and presume to understand our motives. It seems narrow-minded and cruel. You have no idea why I might stay or not stay. But it’s safe to say that my reasons are far more complex than you give any of us credit for, and certainly include my belief in people’s ability to change and my ability to forgive. I choose to extend compassion to anyone who has been betrayed, regardless of the path toward healing she chooses. Extending compassion instead of judgement could be your choice too. I hope you’ll consider it.

Reply
Jen

In 2013 I received a phone call at work, yes at work. A woman says “your husband and I have been having an affair for the past 4 years.” She proceeded to share all the gory details. She also sent me graphic photos of one of their meetings. Apparently she wanted him to tell me so I would leave him and she could take over. I didn’t leave. about 2 months later I received pictures of them meeting in a different location. I also caught them together and… I took him back. Another 3 months later i caught them again at yet another location. I told him I was done. I went home, changed the locks on the doors, bagged up all his belongings and put them on the porch. He came home to a locked house and I would not open the door. He slept in his truck in the driveway. The next day he called me from work and said he wanted to talk. We sat down in a park and discussed what had been going on. I said we had to go to counseling, that was the deal breaker. I agreed to stay and he agreed to end the relationship and go to counseling. Now this whole time I had been tracking his truck and that’s how I knew their meeting locations.

Let me go back to the beginning, we were married in 2002. Both our seconds marriages. My boys were very young and he adopted them. We both worked full time and in most evenings I was out teaching an exercise class. He was at home watching the boys. as time went on tension arose between us and all we did was fight. That seems to be when he seemed to seek out some to talk to.

The past three years seemed to be uneventful. We went on vacations, always work together on home projects. We are always together on the weekends, we always hold hands and I actually started to gain trust again. I was laid off from my job last year after 18 years and my husband said he loved my being home so I became permanently unemployed. We both loved it. I was still tracking his truck and he never knew I had been for so long. Two days ago he was supposed to go to his monthly meeting. I had a feeling that maybe I should check. Sure enough he wasn’t at his meeting and I caught them in his truck. Boy were they shocked. She started spouting off terrible, hurtful thing to me and he said nothing. He said he was going to get his stuff and leave. He got home before I did. We had a 2 hour honest conversation for the first time in 10 years. Long story short, I have always been in love with my husband. I am unemployed and have no medical coverage. My kitchen is bare to the studs due to the remodeling. We have been together 20 years. We have history. If he really wanted to be with her he not come home to me every night. Yes, I’m broken hearted again but in a different way. My husband told her yesterday it was over and he could not hurt me any longer. She was irate and she even called me at home to tell me how pathetic I was a woman along with 10 minutes more of hurtful , mean, nasty, comments. I stayed very calm and didn’t respond the way she was expecting. He came home and the evening was normal.
BTW, she’s 11 years younger than he, 7 years younger than I and not attractive at all. Has a dirty mouth, real trailer trash.

So today I’m wondering if I’m the sick person to keep taking him back? Although I do feel drastically different this time. Its just doesn’t seem to matter to me anymore. I keep remembering what my priest said to me when I went seeking a shoulder. He said “man is not perfect, we all make mistakes”. I know I’ve made plenty of poor choices, none to this extent. And I will certainly never trust him like I did 20 years ago, but that too will heal with time. It’s my decision and it doesn’t matter if no one understands.

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Kylie

I have a very successful career. That has absolutely nothing to do with my choice to stay. I was a single mother who worked full time and had a really great life before I was remarried to my husband now. I can take care of myself and don’t “need” anyone. Even though that does not make any difference in the decision these women have made to stay. It’s about something bigger than just yourself. It’s about staying when it’s storming outside so you enjoy the days in the sun. It’s about a true commitment to yourself and your husband. I’m not perfect… But no one is, that’s why we say for better or worse. Right now it’s his turn to be worse, maybe tomorrow will be mine.

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Kylie

I am so thankful for this interview you did. I have not been with my husband as many years as most woman on here but the feelings are all the same. I am 30 years old and I have felt the judgment from my peers. My husband and I are in the beginning of this struggle. The few friends I have confided in are quick to say “leave”. What I am trying to make them understand is my husband is not a bad man. He’s a very amazing man that messed up. We have all made mistakes in our lives. Anyways, it just really nice to know that I’m not alone. Of course I could go on and on about my story but I just wanted to tell you thank you for speaking up. For the first time since this has happened I don’t feel so alone.

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Elle

That sense of isolation, on the heels of such devastation, is a big part of the pain, I think. It’s bad enough to be going through hell…but to be going through it alone is worse. It’s crucial that we support each other, no matter what choice we make, with compassion. There is no “right” response. There’s only what’s “right” for each of us. I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling less alone, simply knowing that there are many many women out there who’ve decided to rebuild their marriages.

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Sammyjo

It’s been a month since I’ve found out my husband of 10 years had an affair with a 28 year old fat short ugly girl. He is 43. I am still in shock. My husband adored me, he loved me to the core and everyone and anyone we knew saw and knew how much we meant to each other. It was for a few months , many many lies anda great loss of money . He was caught by a slip up and right after begged for my forgiveness. He swears he will do what ever it takes to get me and his family back. I had him move out. The problem besides my broken devastated heart is that I’m still so in love with him. my family who loved and adored him now despise him. They tell me to leave and never look back. I deserve better. I am beautiful and smart. He is very handsome and we always had the physical attraction as well as intimate. I’m torn , I want him back in need him ,our sons need him. How do I get past the visuals I have of him with her? How can I begin to forgive him? How do I stop lusting after him still? should I give him another chance and how can I deal with my family if I do? Any advise will be greatly appreciated.

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Elle

Sammyjo,
I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. Betrayal is devastating. A month likely feels like forever but you’re likely still in shock and disbelief at what your husband did. Give yourself some time to absorb this new reality. Give yourself time to really see how he responds to what he’s done, to test his commitment, to witness his remorse. Rebuilding a marriage after betrayal is a long, fraught journey and not everyone is up to it. It takes a genuinely remorseful partner who takes full accountability for the pain he’s caused and is willing to support you in the (literally) years of healing to follow. To be totally transparent and to do everything he gain to show you that he does NOT want to be THAT guy.
Our culture often prescribes the “kick him to the curb” response to any infidelity. Those of us who chose to stay are far quieter but there are millions of us. And we’ve managed to rebuild wonderful marriages, all the stronger for the storms we’ve weathered. No marriage is perfect. Each will be tested in its own way. You get to choose whether you stay or leave — there is no “right” response to this. But choosing to stay is a perfectly valid choice. Whatever you choose, YOU have to live with it so make sure it’s what you want to do, not what others think you should do. Their impulse to encourage you to walk away is a common one, but one that ignores that, no matter what you choose, there will be pain. Eliminating the cheater doesn’t eliminate the healing necessary. And you’ll still need to have a relationship with him as co-parents. Sammyjo, this is YOUR life, not theirs.
Join us over at http://www.betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com. You’ll find many of us with whom you can share your story and find wisdom and support as you heal.

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Kym

I just found out three days ago that my husband had been setting a friend of his back home that I had always told him I never liked. Apparently they only talked/flirted for a week before it built up to setting and him sending her a picture of his penis. I was hysterical when I found out. These last three days have seen a lot of anger, tears, and pain (some on his behalf too). I have a lot of emotional issues stemming from traumatic events in my past. When I met my husband I was broken, but he helped me put back the pieces, slowly but surely. Now it feels like he has ripped them apart again. I told him I would give him a second chance with the conditions that we seek marriage counseling, become more open and honest with each other, and if he so much as looks at another girl wrong I will leave and ruin his life as I go. I just could really use some advice as to how we can make it through this intact…. I don’t think I have ever felt so lonely with someone lying next to me. He was the most familiar thing in my life less than a week ago and now I don’t even recognize him

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Elle

Kym,
Everything you’re feeling is normal, under the circumstances. Betrayal is hell. It breaks our hearts in a way we could barely imagine. But there are many of us finding our way out of it. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll join us at betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com where you’ll find a compassionate community of wise, strong, incredible women who know exactly what you’re going through.

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Stephan

Last year I broke up with my girlfriend due to many misunderstandings and I remember very well how hard I had been fighting to get her back. She changed her number, changed her job so that I don’t visit her office and none of her friends would give me any information about her. The only thing I could do was to go find help from anywhere, so i looked for a way to get her back then a friend recommended me to contact robinson.buckler @ yahoo . com that he will help me and as my friend said, Robinson buckler helped me to bring back my girlfriend just in 3 days, I now have her back and this is the biggest joy of my life.

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Brittany

Reading his helped me so much I’ve been with my husband for four years and he has attempted with many woman and last time I was pregnant he had a long affair with a co worker who I had become friends with it happen almost two years ago and I found out a couple months ago. He has a major sex addiction and I fully support to help him but in hurting so bad. I can’t sleep I barely eat. And I keep attempting sex with him but emotionally I just can’t handle it. And I want to how do I get to the point i can make love to him again. I really want to make this work for us and our children but in having a really rough time.

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Elle

Brittany,
I’m so sorry for the pain you’re in. I know it well and it’s hell. Two months is not a very long time to process such a deep betrayal. Right now, focus on taking care of you and taking care of your babies. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind with yourself. Trust that you will get through this but that it takes time.
I’m assuming your husband is in treatment? If not, he should be. And he’ll be focussing on himself, which he needs to do right now in order to stay “clean”.
C’mon over to betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com for the compassion and the wisdom of some really incredible women who know exactly what you’re going through.

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KJ

I’m in limbo with my cheater husband. Dont know whether to leave or give him the second chance he is begging for. What it all boils down to is the one simple fact that I just cannot get over: he did this because he wanted to. Entitlement. He made the unilateral decision that his happiness was more important than mine/our family. You can talk about sex addiction, unmet needs, searching for something, a brokenness inside of themselves, remorse, regaining trust, never meant to hurt us, affair is not a reflection of us, poor impulse control, no boundaries, ego stroking, all the ‘reasons’ and ‘excuses’ you can ever think of in association with why people cheat/have affairs, but at the end of the day it all comes down to that one inescapable truth: they did it because THEY WANTED TO. And that, for me, is too bitter a pill to swallow. I can’t agree with the ‘they weren’t thinking of us or how much this would hurt us’. Yes they fucking did, thats why they try to keep it a secret. I’ve been in this limbo for two years. Going no further forwards. I’ve spoken to counsellors, both individual and marital. I’ve spent many long sleepless nights endlessly reading affair/betrayed spouse blogs. My husband is the personfication of ‘remorse’. In the two torturous years since D-Day he has never once faltered in his promise to make this up to me, even though I have moved into a flat with the kids and kept him at arms length. Other BS’s have told me how ‘lucky’ I am to have such a remorseful and willing husband. I dont feel lucky. I feel like he has stolen my joy. And we tiptoe around the inevitable bottom line: there is not and never will be anything he can do to make things right, or make them better. Because once you strip away all the affair jargon, mindfulness exercises, feelings and remorse and triggers and counsellor speak and all the rest of it, all you are left with is the heartbreaking fact that although your husband might love you, might have loved you even throughout the affair, but that he simply just did not love you enough to not destroy you. That’s it, and nobody can or will tell me otherwise. He just did not love me enough. And I dont want that kind of love, especially from someone that I have loved limitlessly. This is the proverbial stake through my heart. Even when I read lovely, hopeful, inspiring posts like this, where I remember how in love I was with my husband and suddenly miss him terribly, or crave his touch, if I even let myself just imagine for a moment that maybe, just maybe, we could take it slow and I could let myself bask in his adoration and affection, and enjoy it, and with the smallest of baby steps maybe just maybe we could romance one another again like we always had, and if I could allow myself to see his remorse and let him prove it to me and piece by piece maybe perhaps we could mend…and then like a gigantic fuck-off bucket of ice water to the face, that bottom line sticks in my throat like a ball of razorblades, the pain is so intense that it takes my breath away. All those lovely, warm thoughts of just a moment ago are blown to shreds and I am right back in that cold, dark place of anger, humiliation, devastation and shame. And the pain and anger are intensified as I chastise myself for even letting myself get caught up in the dream and forgetting that unavoidable truth: HE JUST DID NOT LOVE ME ENOUGH. HE JUST DID NOT LOVE ME ENOUGH. He can’t make that untrue. Nothing can.
I’m sorry for dumping this on your lovely post. But people should know the truth of infidelity. This is what it does to you. I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy. Although sometimes I wish my husband could feel what I feel, just for a minute even, so he can imagine feeling that way all day every day and even in dreams to be haunted by it. Counsellors and such will tell you that the cheater is in pain too, maybe so, but my husband will never know the utter life-changing horror of ‘she just didn’t love me enough not to destroy me’. Nobody should ever be made to feel this way. It is truly the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life, and it hasn’t lessened or let up in two fucking years. I can’t bear the thought of feeling this way for the rest of my life.

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Elle

KJ,
Your letter is so full of pain and I’m sorry that you’re going through this. Nobody deserves such betrayal.
It sounds as if you have made your choice and it’s a perfectly legitimate one. There is no “right” response to this, regardless of whether your husband is a model repentant cheater. You don’t owe him a second chance and if you’ve decided that you simply can’t move past this, then that’s absolutely your prerogative.
I felt much like you do for a while after D-Day. It was only when I was able to feel compassion for my husband’s regret and shame and his sincere desire to be a better person that I could let go of those other feelings — the “he didn’t love me enough” feelings. Truth is, he didn’t. Nothing was going to change that. But I made the choice to give him the chance to love me better. And I don’t regret it. My choice though is mine alone. Nobody has to agree with me. We each get to walk our own path through this.
I would urge you, though, given that your pain has held firm for two years, to explore the possibility that part of your pain around this is about old wounds — previous pain that held the same message, that someone didn’t love you enough to not hurt you. I suspect that if you could heal those old wounds, whether or not you stay with your husband, you’ll nonetheless be on more solid ground emotionally as you move past this betrayal.

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Em

Hi KJ,
I really appreciate your honesty. Everything you have said is exactly how I feel. It has been 15 months for me and I am dying inside. I am still with him but I am in so much pain I don’t know if I can stay…

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Me

In my story I’m the wife and the cheater. My husband and I got married at a very young age. Everything was perfect till I became unfaithful. Sadly I told him the truth and promised to never do it again but I continued to. Finally after having a break down I told him I was still doing it and that I wanted him and only him. He somehow forgave me and we moved on. However I can not forgive myself. I dwell on how I dont deserve him and how I deserve to be alone. I relive those awful moments of when I was the person I no longer am. I feel like I can’t move on the way he has. When I try to talk to him he tells me its in the past and I should let it go. How do I do this??

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Elle

Me, I think you “do” this by getting to the root of why you were unfaithful. As you discovered, it rarely solves any problem; it just creates a whole lot of pain for people we love. But there’s a reason you sought distraction rather than deal with your feelings. And that’s what you need to figure out. Find a good therapist who can help you with this. Yes, you betrayed your husband and I suspect his pain goes much deeper than he’s owning up to. But you also recognize that you don’t want to be that person. But until you both learn to communicate about what’s really going on and deal with it in a respectful, honest way, each of you is vulnerable to either cheating again or to letting this simmer below the surface creating other issues in your marriage. It sounds as if your marriage has been married by avoidance of issues. It’s time to change that.

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Petite

Hi Elle,
I’m kinda living this same story, I just discovered after 14 years of marriage that my husband has been cheating on me for 13 years. I really don’t know the reason he cheated. When I ask him he says it was a mistake. I’ve given our marriage another chance and tried to be more involved in what he does, but even by doing this, we went to a party together and we were dancing and kissing and having a really great time. I went to the restroom for a few minutes and when I came out he was making out with another woman!
Did you face any unfaithful behavior after your husband confessed to you?
I’m now still living with him because it’s almost Christmas and I don’t want to ruin it for my kids. But I think he will never stop cheating.

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Elle

Petite,
I’m sorry for your pain. You’ll no doubt notice the focus I made in my story on my husband’s efforts to deal with his own behaviour. It’s not enough to simply apologize and think your marriage will magically be okay. It requires really hard work by the cheating partner to understand why he cheated and to be fully accountable for the damage he caused. until he’s willing to do that, I can’t imagine how you rebuild a healthy marriage. I hope you’ll seek help for yourself to help with the pain of betrayal and get clear on why you’re staying with someone who seems incapable of honesty and decency.

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Diane Ethridge

I was also almost in the same situation as you. My husband cheated on me for about a year. Most nights, he came back home with lipsticks stains on his white shirts and the scents of women’s perfume with one that readily comes to mind which is Shalimar by Guerlain Perfume. I confronted him several times and his replies most of the times were, “I am always nagging the **** out of him and that I don’t have any proof whatsoever”. I had sleepless nights because of this issue, but because of my 2 beautiful kids I could not leave and also, I needed proof to show his family about his unfaithfulness. I was also in debt because of him. I told someone who disclosed to me that she had also passed through something similar to what I was passing through. Then, she referred me to kalihackings, a U.S based spy hacking professional, they looked into my matter and they helped me with proofs I thought it was impossible to get. I got these proofs and showed it to my husband and his family. He confessed and got reprimanded by his family and friends and he felt ashamed of himself and he changed his lifestyle. It’s been almost two years now and we have been happy since then.Thanks to kalihackings, we have returned to become the family people knew us as. Send me an email so that I can reach out to them for you.

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binta rolly

Hi everyone,
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This team of certified grayhat hackers helped me when I desperately needed to get evidence of my cheating husband’s extra-marital affairs. I was tired of being lied to and wanted a divorce, all thanks to them for their reliable services else I would never have been able to confront him with proof of his escapades

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Elizabeth

Reading this made me cry this is my husbands story 100% to top it off I am one of the many of women he cheated on his wife with. He left her and now it’s all a repeat of what he did to his ex he’s doing to me just worse.. I am 28 he is 48 and I have the worst self esteem though you wouldn’t think so by first glance and I have a list of my own problems mainly brought out by this toxic relationship I’m just saying I’m no princess though I am faithful. Anyway this story touched me it is so nice to see that something positive came out of something so ill that love truly can conquer and women can tell there story and not be ashamed but learn and grow from it.

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Elle

Elizabeth, I’m so sorry for the pain you’re in. Betrayal is excruciating. I would urge you to seek help with your admitted “problems” so that you can move forward into relationships that are healthy and honest and respectful. It’s often women with low self-esteem that get involved with married men because they’re willing to settle for someone who’s not entirely available. Admitting your role in this and wanting better for yourself is really awesome and takes courage. I hope you’ll treat yourself with the respect you deserve and find a therapist who can help you find a way to do that.

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Vina

Two years ago in August, my bf was taking college courses. We moved into a nice apartment. We had our first child together that was 6 months old. I thought everything was going great. Then I noticed he would take longer at school then usual or leave earlier to work or school. I soon found out that he was messaging another girl that he met at school. We ended up splitting for about a month. I was heart broken, knowing that he was low enough to do that to us so soon after the birth of his daughter. Then he came crying to me and telling me to take him back. I was a mess and i really missed him. I took him back. But after I left him, during that month he went in a downward spiral and lost his job. Dropped school and picked up drinking. I helped him out of it. I was so mad at him still for awhile.. After awhile I thought everything would be ok. We would stop arguing like crazy after a couple of months. He told me that nothing ever happened. Just talking and texting. Would that be considered cheating? He would send her kissing emoji’s and pictures of his face. Two years went by…. Ironically the same month of August in 2016. I found out he was talking to another girl he met at the salvage yard. We are married now as of dec 2015. Im really depressed now to this day.. I wonder if he did something with this new girl he met. He did say, it was just talking. But what would of happened if i didnt catch it at the beginning. Im wondering if my marriage is worth it anymore. All of the pain and heartache. The forgiving and forgetting of betrayel. Im extremely unhappy right now but I dont want to give up on my marriage. Im so scared of being hurt again. I keep putting myself and him in denial. I ask myself in 2 years will this happen again to me. Idk if age plays a role in all this. But im 25 now and he is 35.

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Elle

Vina, I’ll hope you’ll find your way over to betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com where we talk about everything you’re dealing with. The short version is, yes, it’s cheating, whether they “just” talked or not. Quick rule: If it’s something he wouldn’t be doing with you standing beside him, he shouldn’t be doing it at all.
So of course, you’re feeling betrayed. It sounds as if he’s got a few issues — not only the flirtations but drinking, losing his job, etc. How is he dealing with all of this? Is he willing to seek help for himself to find out why he’s sorta sabotaging his own life? I would also encourage you to find a therapist to help you get clear on your own feelings around this. It sounds as if you feel somewhat voiceless and powerless in this relationship. You need to be able to set clear boundaries around behaviour that you won’t tolerate. I worry that your fear of being hurt again is keeping you somewhat paralyzed and in a relationship that isn’t healthy for either of you. You need to be able to talk about what’s happened and figure out how to build a healthy marriage, or get out.

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Lilian ndhlovu

I was married to my husband for 13 years and we were both bless with three children, living together as one love, until last 2 months when things was no longer the way it use to be, My Husband stated sleeping outside our matrimonial home. Only for me to find out that he was having an affair with the lady at his work place. i confronted him about it and he denied. Yet my husbands keep on seeing the lady. I met a very good friend of my who was also having a similar problem, who introduced me to a very good love spell caster. But I told her that if it evil that I am not interested, but she said that it has no bad side effect. she gave me the spell caster e-mail address, When I contacted him, I was so surprise when he said I will get my husband back in the next three [3] day, and off which it was really so. I was so shock that my husband was on his kneels begging me and the children for forgiveness. Dr Mack is good and he is the author of my happiness. His e-mail address:dr.mac@yahoo. com
State: Limburg
Country: Belgium

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dessy

I found my husband cheat on ne. My whole life changed. It’s hard to trust again. And hard to stay with him

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new dawn

i really dont think we all have the strength to withstand cheating partners,i was a victim that suffered in the hands of my spouse until i found a spy that was introduced to me by a friend,his address is hacknspytech at gmaildotcom, he got me so much evidence to divorce rightfully.i am back to being myself now and happy.

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Tish

I am in tears because at this very moment, I am going through this EXACT same thing. I want to stay if ge is willing to get help, but I feel like I’d be stupid if I did. I am so confused. This helped me to put things in perspective! That you for being so open and transparent. Women, such as myself, need to hear things like this rather than the cliche’ “You’re an idiot if you decide to stay” speeches!

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Elle

Tish, Statistically more women stay in marriages after infidelity than leave. So there’s a silent army of us who are marching through the pain.
It takes incredible strength to rebuild a marriage and there’s absolutely no shame in giving someone who is willing to do the hard work of change a second chance. We have this culture that, on the one hand, treats infidelity like it’s no big deal and, on the other, vilifies anyone who offers second chances. There’s a huge difference between giving someone who’s cheated on you a pass and insisting that they do everything they can to figure out why they risked their marriage and how to become a better partner.
Hang in there, Tish. Make sure you have clear rules about what he needs to do in order for you to give him a second chance and then stick with it. You deserve someone who is willing to fight like hell for you and the privilege of being your partner.

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Anonymous

This post touched my heart and brought me to tears. My husband recently cheated on me. We have 3 children and he’s a sex addict. For the last year he’s been attending therapy and classes. He’s made amazing changes and has been working so hard on himself. I want to still be with him but I cannot move past the pain and hurt he caused.
2 days ago, I asked him for a divorce as he was getting ready for work and in the shower. I saw him fall to his knees and in a fetal position begging me for forgiveness. I saw how vulnerable he was and how much he’s hurting. But im so afraid he will continue to hurt me.
This woman is evil to her core. Telling him that I’m crazy, a bad wife, and so on. They worked together and on occasions I helped her with food. And she slept with my husband.
I love him so much, I just don’t know how to move past the pain.

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Lucy

Hi everyone, I was worried about my husband’s activities lately, he hasn’t been himself lately. I spoke to my best friend about it and she gave me femalehackerz1at gmail. to my surprise it was a lady that was in charge. She gave me access to his phone and I figured out what was going on. I can’t spill lol. I certify her.

Reply
Jessy Heinlein

Thanks for all of your hard work on my case and bringing John back in my life. I have never seen the results from a spell like the ones that I have seen from yours. You truly are the one person that I can count on in my life to be a friend. Mentioning friend, let me tell everyone reading my testimonial.. Mike is more than a friend, he is a person that takes person care of your case. I have been to many different sites (Egyptian Witch sites, and several others) and I have been put off to counselors and several other different people have handled my case, to no avail. When I approached (dr_mack@ yahoo. com) with my situation I was stunned at the personal service and attention to detail that he gave to my case. I will be back for more spells soon is what i told him,,,

“Love doesn’t subtract—it multiplies!”
—Jessy Heinlein

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Gloria

What’s going on is so sad, I have been in similar situation when I was with my ex. He cheated and lied through out our relationship about it. I know I might be criticized but I decided to contact a hacker who got into his devices for the proof I needed for his infidelity. She gave me access within an hour, her information is femalehackerz1 google her to get her contact

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Elle Grant

For anyone who finds themselves here after Googling “how do I heal from betrayal” or something like that, I’m Elle, the woman who wrote my story and I’ve just published a book for anyone dealing with the agony of betrayal. It’s the book I wish existed when I was first dealing with discovering my husband’s cheating. It’s called Encyclopedia for the Betrayed, and it’s available here: https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Betrayed-Elle-Grant-ebook/dp/B07GGNHTB4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540214455&sr=8-1&keywords=Encyclopedia+for+the+Betrayed

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