Dealing With Anger And Grief After The Betrayal

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Marriage Missions Note: Please know that we recognize that sometimes men betray their wives and sometimes women betray their husbands. This particular article is written from the vantage point of the betrayed wife. If you are a husband who is betrayed, please change the pronouns and glean through the information so you can be ministered to, as well. Above all, we hope this article helps you in some way.)

After the discovery of the betrayal, the spouse’s emotions are usually intense. The anger, hurt, bewilderment, betrayal, and numbing shock are almost overwhelming. The betrayed spouse will be angry, and she needs the freedom to ventilate her rage. The language of anger is never pleasant; however, it is not only OK to say it with intensity and force, but it is absolutely necessary for true recovery to occur. People do not get better until they get mad.

If denied, that anger “goes underground” and eats away at the innermost spirit of the person. It is very important for the violated spouse to be free to express the rage that he or she feels.

After the first surge of anger comes the need for information —what happened? When did it happen? How often did it happen? And so on. This is the time for the violated spouse to ask the offender those all-important questions. Men seem to want to know the details of the sexual activity; women commonly report wanting to know if their husband loves the other person. Whatever the need, the information is important and shouldn’t be squelched.

There is no good reason to hide information from the injured spouse at this point. The precious marriage vow lies shattered on the floor —there is nothing left of the marriage to protect. Therefore, the infidel who has been discovered should share each and every bit of information that his partner wants to know.

Often the infidel thinks that as the questions come, he should tell only what he thinks is appropriate, so he withholds details, covering up certain aspects of the trail. Nothing will anger the wounded spouse more than being subtly deceived at this point by double talk or half-truths. Eventually, all truth will be known anyway.

This is the time to tell it all, or at least tell it at the level that the spouse wants to hear it. There’s a difference between the two. Many of my counselees who have gone through recovery from affairs say that getting into too much detail can create tortuous mental images for the injured spouse that can haunt her for years. But you need to walk this fine line of disclosure and honesty carefully, and be sure to err on the side of too much disclosure rather than too little.

The ideal, of course, would be to satisfy the spouse’s need to know without ignoring any major revelations. The main point is to own up to what you have done and to admit humbly the full range of injury and transgression. Don’t try to alter the facts subtly to protect yourself. Just as deceit is no way to build a relationship, it’s no way to rebuild a broken one.

Withheld information becomes “unfinished business” that will have to be dragged along through the balance of the marriage. The more time that passes without the unfinished business being revealed, the more difficult it will be to bring it up. Should the marriage stay together, this secret will become an albatross around the neck of the infidel, who will have wished that he or she had completely “come clean” at the anger stage, when it was the most appropriate and helpful.

The Spouse Now Holds the Reins
The power to continue the marriage has now passed into the hands of the wounded spouse. Her reaction —whether to process the affair is that if she expresses as much rage as she feels, she will drive her spouse into the arms of his partner. That could happen; but, remember, he has already been in his partner’s arms. You couldn’t keep him out of her arms before you knew about it; now simply being angry is not going to drive him to her-more is involved here than that!

Besides, there is nothing of the marriage left to protect by “walking on eggshells” at this point. If you are going to live together in harmony in the future, you need to live together differently. It’s time to start over. The most sacred aspects of this marriage have already been violated. Now you both have to begin to rebuild.

Grieving the Loss
During the anguish phase, some recovery can begin. But it won’t be steady progress —rather it will probably be two steps forward and one step back. It’s a rocky time emotionally, but that’s part of the normal process of grieving the losses: loss of trust, of the one-pure marital relationship, and so on.

Just about the time that the violated spouse thinks he/she is getting over the pain, it will suddenly resurface. But be encouraged; gradually the pain will become less intense and less frequent, and the good times between the down times will lengthen.

This grief process is similar to grieving the death of a spouse. Violated spouses do indeed report many responses that parallel those of widows:

• They feel abandoned by their mate.
• They feel alone in their grief.
• They feel as if they could have done something to prevent this.
• They feel like a marked person. They don’t fit in with normal couples anymore.
• They have a lot of unfinished business with their spouse that is now off-limits or has been overshadowed by what has occurred.
• They feel terrified of the future.
• They feel they should be doing better than they are.
• They will pretend nothing has happened (such as the widow who sets a plate for the lost partner at the table).

Grieving is important, but it is even more important to know what you are grieving for. Some find it helpful to list the losses on paper. I recommend that you try that, being as transparent and honest as you can.

Crying in front of other people as you process your grief is perfectly permissible. Grief isn’t always predictable, not always controllable. It is certainly all right to cry in front of the infidel. In fact, he needs to see and feel the damage his actions have wrought. Be totally honest about your sadness.

Guarantees
One of the first things an angry and grieving spouse wants is the guarantee that this will never happen again. Often Christian spouses think that if they can just get their infidel partner to walk the aisle to the altar, confess his/her sin in front of the congregation, read his Bible daily, or be convicted by the Holy Spirit or disciplined by the church, all will be well. But nothing could be further from the truth. Any or all of those practices might be appropriate, but none of them will provide the guarantee that the wounded spouse is looking for.

The closest thing to a guarantee that the infidel won’t stray again is for him to feel fully the pain that he has caused the wounded spouse. Let me underline this point: promises to “behave” won’t endure; neither will artificial boundaries such as a curfew each night after work.

The only lasting remedy is for the infidel to feel the agony he has caused his spouse. If he truly loves his mate (and he usually does down deep; that’s why they got married and why he came back), that will hurt him so much that he won’t want to inflict more on his loved one. But getting the infidel to experience the hurt of the spouse won’t happen immediately —it could take many months. Remember it will take as long to recover from the affair as it did for the infidelity partner to get involved in it. So allow some time for him to feel her pain.

The above article comes from the book, Torn Asunder: Recovering From an Extramarital Affair -By Dave Carder, Moody Publishers. This book is very comprehensive and is a great practical guide for dealing with extramarital affairs. It’s very comprehensive because it carefully sorts out the different kinds of affairs and deals with each kind —giving very practical and insightful information. It doesn’t lump all infidelity together “giving over-simplistic spiritual answers.” It’s practical because “it deals with daily, gut-level issues both partners face.”

—ALSO —

Here’s another related article —this one written by Anne Bercht, who understands about anger “after the betrayal” because she dealt with it after her husband cheated on her. Whether you are a man or woman, the following advice could be helpful if you apply the principles that will work for your marriage after reading:

DEALING WITH ANGER AFTER AN AFFAIR

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555 responses to “Dealing With Anger And Grief After The Betrayal

  1. I just found out my wife of 11 years was having an online affair for the last 2 months. It’s a guy we both know from this circle of online friends we had met in the last 6 months. I’ve just been having this horrible feeling the past week that something was going on. We would all talk on this group fb chat and I just was getting uncomfortable with the way I would see him talking to her. Well, a couple of days ago I went on her computer and went to her fb messages to look at their private chats on fb messenger and it didn’t take but 5 seconds to see what I had been fearing. It was one of the worst moments of my life. Immediately I saw a naked picture he had just sent her and then I saw some topless pictures she had sent to him. Then I saw a message where he told her he loves her.

    I immediately confronted my wife about it. She was away for the afternoon so it was by phone but I just couldn’t wait –I had to ask her about it. When I asked her about the “I love you comment” from him she said she didn’t respond back to him and tell him she loves him. I’m so hurt and feel so betrayed. She says a couple of months ago he told her she was beautiful and she was loving the attention. The thing is I tell her she’s beautiful and gorgeous every single day. And I mean it. But for some reason she says she just thinks I’m being nice when I say those things.

    Sorry this is getting so long. It’s a long story LOL. Anyways… My wife and I are both overweight and she actually had weight loss surgery a year ago and has lost a lot of weight. I’m actually going to be having weight loss surgery later this year and am very excited about losing weight and being a very healthy person again. A week ago before I found out any of this she told me that she doesn’t feel attracted to me anymore. A lot of it is because of how I look with my weight. I was completely devastated when she told me this. I’ve always found her attractive –even when she was at her highest weight. She’s just changed so much since she had her surgery.

    Back to the online affair I was getting really freaked out my suspicions of the two of them because in a few weeks this big group of friends is all meeting up in another part of the country for one of the person’s wedding. I’m not going because I’m staying home to take care of our 3 year old son. And the two of them were going to be there staying at the same hotel. My wife and I have been struggling a lot lately with intimacy issues and apparently the guy doesn’t get any sex from his wife and I just put two and two together in my head. Two people who are both feeling unsatisfied. I know if I hadn’t found out about this they would have gone physical when they had met up. It makes me sick. My wife is still going on this trip but I sent a message to the guy telling him he better cancel his trip or she isn’t going. He has blocked us and deleted us from social media. I’m just so hurt.

    We’re going to be going to counseling in about a week so I’m glad about that. I just hate that I can’t satisfy my wife right now. I feel so depressed, sad, lonely, and rejected. :-( I love my wife with all my heart. It’s so weird I’ll feel like I’m ok and try to think about other things and then all of a sudden I get this wave of sadness and I start thinking about it. I forgive my wife, but I feel so hurt and don’t know how to get past this. Hopefully counseling will help.

    1. Hi David, I just read your post and I’m so sorry you have been put in this position! I am a husband of 36 years, we have 2 adult children. I must say the article above is very good. Also the one posted in “Getting Unhooked from an Emotional Affair” has very helpful information. That section you should read. I had online affairs on Facebook I’m sorry to say. They ended 11 months ago. The point made about the infidel fully appreciating the pain caused by having an affair is very good. Your wife needs to really feel what you’re going through. When I really “got it” and realized the destruction, which would happen if I didn’t stop what I was doing, it was a help for me to make the break needed. All along I felt very bad about our online contact… But I liked the attention even though I love my wife very much. My texts are in the section “Getting Unhooked from an Emotional Affair”.

      I hope and pray you both come through this restored and whole. It takes time. Your wife is in a strange place right now, she’s not thinking straight. I know I wasn’t thinking straight at all! The overwhelming majority of these affairs never last, these relationships are born in deception and they do die. There are many internet articles about the statistics of affairs… They are all pretty clear. One good thing you can do is share your feelings… As you have done here. If you have friends you can talk to, these contacts will be a great support. I hope these comments help. I can feel your pain, David. Take care… WP (Work in progress)

  2. Has anyone dealt with their husband going back to his ex-wife? She & the grown kids have been undermining out marriage for two years & finally he decide to just kick me to the curb & do it. I was blindsided. He made me look like the paranoid one when in fact more was going on that I obviously knew.

    1. Yes, I’ve seen it both ways where the ex gets involved… the spouse goes back and leaves the present spouse, but in one case, the spouse left the ex-spouse soon after and reconciled with present spouse (never going back to the ex again). In the other case, both exes stayed together and the present spouse was pushed out. Divorce eventually happened.

      It’s difficult to know how to advise you here. Your heart has to be breaking. I’m so sorry for this. All I can say is to pray that God will help to heal your heart one way or another. You really need wisdom. I pray that for you. There is no one size fits all type of advice that can be given. Just ask for wisdom, ask for God’s help, and ask for God to heal your broken heart. How I wish I could say all will be well. I know that eventually it will be as you lean into Him. It will never be the same, but God will help you to find the best “normal” that can be had, under the circumstances of your husband’s free will. I pray God helps you in the ways you need it. God bless.

    2. I am trying to deal with my husband wanting to be with his ex-wife. We have been married for 7yrs, together for 10yrs. When I met him he had been separated for 5yrs. She didn’t love him anymore and treated him so badly, cheated on him, beat him up and drained him of everything. But he was still doing everything for her. Then he met me and it all changed. The last 2 years have been a real struggle for me, loosing my mum and having a lot of complications after having surgery. Then to find out she told him she wants him back and loves him again. That was 3 months ago. We split but she now says she is not ready for him to move in with her. Because that is not what she wanted, she just wanted to split us up and have him doing everything for her again. This is all torn my world apart and I am finding it very hard to cope with. Never thought he would be capable of all this. She is evil and very selfish. I hope one day he realizes what she has done and regrets it. I can see him being a very lonely old man because she doesn’t love him or want him properly. His whole family hates her and will never have her back in there lives for what she’s done and he knows all this.

  3. I found out my husband of 4 years was texting a girl from work and planned to meet up with her to “buy her a cup of coffee” after she expressed interest in him. He called me to tell me he had to work late, but unbeknown to him, another person from his office called to tell me his plans (she also had copies of the texts and sent them to me). He lied and lied about it all until I showed him I had proof.

    I have not yelled or raised my voice and have been very controlled with my tone and words. I don’t want to disrespect him. However, when I expressed today that I am angry and this hurts beyond belief, he accused me of “crucifying” him because he already apologized. I’m new to our area and I don’t have many friends. We have a counselor and went to see her yesterday evening. Today, I’m not feeling better, but now I feel like I have no outlet for my pain and I don’t know how to handle it all. I’m a Christian, but I feel like God is not even hearing me. There’s no comfort here. I don’t know what to do.

    1. Anne, I’m so sad for you, but am so glad that you found out your husband’s plan. Temptation is very sinister as it pulls us into situations we may never have thought of doing any other time, during a time of weakness. Your husband fell into temptation and started to walk in a horrible direction, but God, through His providence rescued him and you and your marriage. It doesn’t always happen like that. Many times spouses falls in completely immersed. Mercy, is the word that comes to mind, as far as God’s role in this. It may not seem like it now, but it is. The Bible says, “be sure your sin will find you out.” Sometimes the sin has raged on for a time, and other times, it is found out at the beginning.

      First off, I want to encourage you to say that you are headed in the right direction. You can’t expect something as horrible as this to be worked through over night. These are tough, tough issues. Your husband got caught and that brings out a lot of feelings he doesn’t want to deal with… much like Adam had to face his sin, after getting caught doing wrong in the Garden. He even tried to shift blame onto Eve for the wrong he did saying, “it’s the woman you gave me.” So, it’s not unusual for your husband to try to squirm out of facing his sin. But you have legitimate gripes here. Going to a “marriage friendly” counselor is a great step to work through something of this depth. But again, you won’t feel better over night. You both have issues that need to come out into the light and work on so this type of thing doesn’t happen again in the future.

      Secondly, I’m proud of you for how you handled this. What you did was approach this in a “meek” manner. Meek isn’t weak; it’s strength under control. You showed amazing restraint –especially because of the seriousness of this, and the fact that you’re feeling very alone.

      I don’t have a lot of answers for you except to encourage you to keep going in the direction you have, and keep pursuing healthiness in marriage. Perhaps this will help to wake your husband (and maybe even you) up to better connect with each other so temptation isn’t as easy to fall into. What he did was absolutely wrong… you did’t MAKE him do what he shouldn’t have done. But we can all learn from sinful times. Also, I’ll be praying for your marriage and also for you to feel God’s “very present help in a time of need.” From what I see, God VERY visibly showed Himself known in helping to bring this whole situation out into the light before it progressed further. That doesn’t negate the seriousness of this just because it didn’t go further, but it could have descended down even further, for which I’m thankful for on your behalf.

      But also, please know that this is a faith walk we are on, on this side of Heaven. I believe God is growing you on many, many levels. I don’t know what He has planned for you in the future, but I’m thinking that He’s trusting you to trust Him, even when you don’t FEEL He is hearing you. We are assured in the Bible that God DOES hear us and that He never leaves us, but I’ve seen that there are times when He appears to withdraw His presence –almost as if He’s saying, “will you trust me through this –that I’m here and that I love you?” He knows that you trust Him through the times when you sense His presence, but what about the times when He’s growing us for some reason we may never know on this side of Heaven? Can you stand up your F.A.I.T.H. –Forsaking All I Trust Him? Again, this is a Faith Walk we’re in the middle of on this Earth. God knows when it’s best to stretch our faith, and it’s in times like these that we just have to trust Him.

      During these types of stretching experiences I’ve been learning to just keep quiet, get into the Word, and wait it out, trying to keep the faith as best as possible. What I’ve seen is that if I do that, I eventually stand amazed at looking back to see that God was there at the time. I just didn’t see it –I was too close to the situation or I was wanting more coddling at that time than our Heavenly Father deemed necessary. I sense that God is saying to you right now, “Can you trust Me Anne, in this –that I am working behind the scenes? I’ll make myself more visible to you eventually, but can you trust me right now… praying, looking for wisdom, and trusting that I’ll help you along the way during this painful way?” I hope you will and pray God mercifully opens your eyes to this when it is the right time.

      “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ –to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11) “Even in the darkness light dawns for the upright…” (Psalm 112:4)

  4. I found my husband of 26 years cheated me with multiple women in 2005. He asked for forgiveness and promised me that he would not do it again. Our 3 boys were still small at that time and because of my faith I forgave him. But He did it again on our 17th year Anniversary in 2008. And since I am a Christian and considering everything after he asked for forgiveness and promised not to do it again, we tried to move on even though I’m very hurt and devastated because of what he did to me and my family. With mixed emotions I am trying to cope. But after 2 years I found out that my husband has been cheating on me through different dating sites and even discovered that he paid membership of 2 different dating sites and registered for free with the others.

    I confronted him and he told me a lame excuse that he wants to discover what’s behind that business and many more excuses. From then on Divorce was always mentioned in our home. My husband never stopped cheating me and instead he went to the extent of picking prostitutes. It’s not until last October 2015 that he received a letter from my Lawyer that I am filling an Amicable Divorce that he calmed down and seldom sat down in his office at home.

    We tried counselling but it never worked out. It’s clear that he doesn’t want to divorce but I know that he is just buying time. I feel that I’m ready to divorce even if he told me that it would cost a lot of money and other threats and tries to manipulate me just to drop the divorce.

    Our boys are now 21 and 20 and I decided to look after myself now without taking any considerations even if he ask again for forgiveness. But this time I don’t believe or trust him that he will deliver what he promises, and believe that he will do it again if the situation gets better! I am sharing my story so I can hear different opinions from men and women who have had experience betrayal(s) from their Spouses! -Confused from Europe

  5. Hi, thank you for your article. I have been married for 18 years. I have two children. I am going through the most difficult time in my life. I am surviving and take each day as it comes. For many years, I felt unloved and neglected by my husband. He was going out far too many nights and regularly returning home early hours in the morning. Every weekend, I would ask him, sometimes with anger, sometimes with tears, why we couldn’t go out together, where he was going so often, who he was with, etc. He would every time reassure me, he was with friends, drinking perhaps a bit much, but not doing anything wrong. Despite my feelings, I carried on, working, looking after my home, my family, supporting him at his work, enjoying our family life together.

    Then I found a photo, then a name, then I decided to ring this woman. She told me she has been with my husband for 3 1/2 years. She sent me photos of them in hotels, shows and even selfies inside my car. She said he told her, he was separated. She also had suspicions but he always reassured her, the divorce would happen in the summer, than autumn, than winter, etc. We spoke for two hours. As I put the phone down, I couldn’t stand up. I felt sick and vomited. I felt I was going to die with the pain.

    I confronted him. He admitted. He said sorry, he cried, he begged for forgiveness. It has been two months since we physically separated. I am going through the most painful situation in my life. Knowing so many details of it, kills me. I have been diagnosed with depression and I didn’t eat for two weeks. Feeling better now, but the pain, the anger, are there. I have spoken to him many times, asked questions that he can’t answer. He says, he was stupid. He made a big mistake. But for three and an half years? How many more before that? The trust, the pure marital love is shattered. I feel the decision of what to do next weighs on my shoulder and with two children asking me to “forgive dad” is an unfair situation. Thank you for your article. I have been through so much pain that I feel this will never end. How someone can lie so much for so long is being my understanding.

  6. I was deeply hurt because my husband wouldn’t talk to me. I had to pull it out of him and I didn’t feel like that was right. He did tell me that he had feelings for this girl, as well as another one. I don’t know what to think anymore because I still feel like he’s holding something back. I don’t know if he’s trying to spare my feelings or if he’s ashamed. I do want him to tell me the whole, honest truth. He claims he did but I don’t feel like he did. I just have to go with that for now.

    I feel so hurt that I am numb. It don’t hurt as bad anymore like how I used to, but I don’t trust him anymore and I want out of this marriage because I’m afraid down the line he will do this to me again even though he said he wouldn’t. That’s not a chance I’m willing to take cause he always gets so upset every time I want to talk about it. So I’m not going to try anymore to talk to him about it and bow out gracefully and move on. I need to get on with my life. I’m tired of having outbursts out in public on trains and at clients houses when I go to work.

    I’ve tried to explain this to him but he doesn’t seem to understand where I’m coming from when I tell him this, plus I’m tried of this whole betrayal thing. I just want to get on with my life. I’m still hurt but not as bad as I was when I was told. Please give me some advice on what I should do because, I’m not seeing us together in the future like how I wanted us to be. Please help. Thank You, Sharon

    1. I feel you Hun and I know the exact pain your feeling. The outburst anytime, anywhere; the thoughts are constant. I’m in a similar position and it feels like if you don’t leave you will literally die from the pain it causes on ur emotional state. I honestly beleive it’s something we shouldn’t have to get over, my partner does the same. He doesn’t talk or want to talk about it telling me we have to move on; it’s in the past. I wish it was that bloody easy, aye…I know we will both one day feel normal again and I do beleive it will be the day we both move on an show our partners we are worth more and deserve more of a life than a life in constant turmoil with the heavy throat, heavy head and turned stomach.

      I myself know that my relationship will come to an end too, more so because I need my head space back to be an even better mother than I already am. Like I said in my post when I found out about my partner I felt like a piece of glass that shattered into a million pieces and I know a broken glass can be fixed but there’s always going to be a crack in it. So today I just try to stay calm knowing eventually I will leave even though I got kids…I read this to myself everyday something I found of the net it’s stuck on my mirror and as the days go on the message gets clearer and clearer. So when your feeling down read this out loud:

      “I forgive you for reminding me that I sometimes feel devalued, inadequate, and unlovable. I know that I am valuable and worthy of love, because I value and love others. Whenever I think of how you hurt me, I will value someone or something and show love to a significant person in my life, and that will remind me of how valuable and lovable, I truly am.”

      Power too you, Hun .I feel you will be fine and hope you get your head space back cause no man deserves it and I’m realising that now too. Take care and may the years ahead be happy fun and loving for you no matter who you’re with.
      🤘

      1. Sara your reply made me cry. I, like all of you, am working through this devastating and emotional mess. The only thing that has been keeping my head above water through it all is the pure love I feel for my children and how I know they love me. Your quote is very powerful! I often wonder how I would have survived this pain had I not had my children, because when I find myself the saddest or at my lowest points. My 1 year old will give me the biggest toothless smile and little kissy lips and my low moment passes. I’m still trying to sort through my own situation, but wanted to let you know your words have given me great encouragement. Thank you.

  7. Hi, Can anyone offer any advice on this situation? My best friend’s husband cheated over 3x on her. He has now since ruined her credit, her businesses, has umpteen loans out in her name, convinced her to take out a home equity line of credit for another one of his business ventures. He dupes countless younger women and then drops them like hot potatoes. He even had one contemplating suicide because he was telling her he loved her and would leave his wife for her. The only the thing that was holding him back were the kids & finances. He pretends to be a Christian “family man” and is very much involved in a lot of church functions and/or volunteer work. He also lies to a lot of clients. Do you think God sees through this narcissistic façade? Will he have to answer for his actions someday? Why does she choose to tolerate this abuse? Thanks!

  8. I just stumbled on this post and need some fresh perspective. I’ve been married for 8 years and have three children. For many years, there have been so many rumours all over the town I live, of my husband having affairs with different women. Many of these stories were told to me by him. He always tried to tell me how people concoct stories about him, making his life a living hell… Many times he gets really jittery you if I were to pick his phone to make a call or browse the Internet, or just play with it. So one night I decided to go through his messages and discovered a whole truckload of messages to various people, and discussion about his girlfriend. Some messages were even asking various people to lie that he spent the night in their house, should I call. I confronted him about it and he begged and said he didn’t have anything sexual with the girl, just emotional stuff and it was over. I decided to believe him and trust him again.

    Fast forward a few years later. I had to move to a different country with the kids to further my studies (I know people would say I brought this on myself for that), and he used to come visit when he was chanced. Recently, he had to do something in a different city and asked if he could stay in my elder sisters house (they had relocated and the house was manned but empty). He also asked that his cousin be allowed to stay with him during her time of training, which they agreed to. This happened over three months ago. My sister started hearing rumours that the so called cousin was his girlfriend, and decided to pay them a surprised visit early one morning. She found the both of them asleep together in his room and it all let loose. She threw the girl out of the house and started speaking to him. He was calling her bluff until she said she would let me know, then he started begging like a child, that he would tell me himself if she insisted.

    Anyway, after three weeks my sister told me what happened and I confronted him with the story. He has been begging me but he says the girl is not a sexual partner anymore. That they had sex once in 2014 and after that he made a vow of celibacy to God… That’s why they could sleep in the same bed for three months and nothing happened. I asked him to tell me of all his indiscretions since we got married and he denies that this (the one he was caught red handed) was the only one and the sex happened only once. That the girl helped him to stay focused and not look to other women, since I was not around.

    The truth is, I knew there was a possibility of infidelity when I decided to pursue my education, so I’m not too worried about that right now. What bothers me is the fact that he continues to stick to this his story. He has begged that I should just believe him and let us try to forge ahead. When I speak to him, it sounds like he’s telling me the truth. But when I examine the facts, I feel that I am being made a fool of. I don’t want to lose my marriage over this, but I don’t want to believe him again blindly lie all the rumours that have been going on are actually true. I’m sorry for the long post… FC Feeling confused

    1. Dear FC… I can well understand why you are confused because the man you love and are married to is a cheater and a liar. THAT is the truth. I’m not saying that you can’t reconstruct a good marriage, but you have to face facts first. You can’t believe one thing he says because he is a chronic liar. Do I think he could still love you and cheat on you? Yes. I’ve seen it before… I don’t know with your husband if that is true, but I HAVE seen it before. If he has a lot to gain by staying with you, then I’d even doubt that. I’m thinking he has something to gain by staying with you, but I don’t know for sure.

      IF you can rebuild your marriage, some things need to be established. First off, your heart is not a doormat to be stepped on. The lies stop (but even so, I wouldn’t believe one thing he says… if he says the sky is blue, I’d check it first because he has shown himself to be a chronic liar and cheater… DON’T put ANYTHING past him in this area of living together). He also is not allowed to sleep with anyone else or go out to lunch or dinner or spend any time alone with another woman. And quit being naive. DON’T buy the lie that they weren’t having sex. That’s boloney. He was sleeping with her and he deceived you and your sister. DON’Y be a fool in thinking otherwise. If you are going to try to get past this you have to face the truth. He won’t TELL you the truth, but please read behind the lines… he was fooling around and the town knows it and so should you. I wouldn’t even listen to the lies anymore that he’s trying to tell about sleeping together but not having sex. If you believe that, then you are covering up that, which you should KNOW to be true.

      DON’T live in different locations. He is not trustworthy. If you want to stay married to him then make sure you sleep in the same house. The old saying, “when the cat is away, the mouse will play” is absolutely true in his case. You have been “made a fool of” but you don’t have to stay the fool. Don’t believe him, don’t sleep in different locations (even for one night), let him know that you will be regularly checking his phone. He HAS to be done with secrecy if you are to stay with him. And DON’T sleep with him until he is tested for AIDS and STD’s. No matter what he says about “not” sleeping with this gal or anyone else, don’t be naive and put yourself into jeopardy. Do this for your kids sake, if not for your own.

      You have 3 children to consider. DON’T let your home be a war zone, or a revolving door to his whims about who he will spend time with –you and/or other women. He needs to be clear about your expectations. If he violates them, then he is out, for sure. Think about all of this, pray about it, and decide with God’s help what to do about it all. Do you reconcile, or not? If you do, then you need to put up some boundaries about his “spare” time and put things into place to protect your marriage in the future. We have a lot of articles you can read in the infidelity topics on boundaries that are reasonable. I hope this will help.

  9. Married to pastor who did this. I lost my husband and pastor. I no longer trust him. He will never know how hard it is to go to church after what he did. He feels he can do what he wants. I threatened to go to the deacons myself.

    1. Deb, my heart goes out to you. Your husband will never know how much damage he has done to your heart and trust and beyond. I encourage you to go to the following web site and contact them: http://www.thrivingpastor.com. They minister to the pastor’s wife, as well as pastors. They will be able to give you good advice on what to do (or direct you to someone else who can). They’re really well connected and they have experience in helping in pastoral marriages. I hope it will help and pray for God to minister to your heart, and within your husband’s.

  10. So angry angry angry…6 weeks ago discovered my partner has been chatting with an old girlfriend for the entire 7 years of our relationship. And been to massage parlors. Who is this man who appeared to adore me?!?! I can’t get my head round this.

  11. I am heartbroken. A few months back, my husband told his ex-girlfriend that he still loves her. Nothing more happened, and they just spent some time with each other (no sex, just sharing emotions), but it hurt me very badly. I told him so, and he promised not to pursue this further. The ex-gf was my friend too, but I stopped talking to her because I felt betrayed.

    Four months later, she visited our town, and my husband went thrice in two days to meet her – not alone, there were others present. Still, I felt a little hurt that he did that despite knowing my discomfort about it. This morning, while looking at his computer for something else, I landed on messages they have sent each other recently. Most of them were harmless, but I did perceive an undercurrent of flirting.

    I am so heartbroken. Don’t know how to deal with this. There is no overt signs of an affair that I can point out, but I can’t get over the discomfort. I am not a Christian, but is the heart no matter the religion, and I feel such pain inside. I don’t know what to do now. I love him way too much to leave him, and truth be told, there was nothing untoward in his conversation with the ex, except the fact that he continues to converse with her despite my objection. I don’t even know why I am writing here. Just to vent perhaps?

  12. At what point does the anger go away? I have been married for 10 years this August. Last year I found out my husband cheated on me and slept with a co-worker that was 20 years old. This tall, skinny, young, fun girl. I was in my last year of law school a month away from graduation when I started to notice a large amount of money being spent on food. A husband that always left the house at a moments notice, and never wanted to be home. I was working full time, going to school full time, and the mother of two kids. I am tired, boring, and out of shape.

    The way I found out and everything that happened since has made me extremely angry. I found out because he hung out with her and my kids, and my oldest son came home and told me he had met dads gf. I was mortified. After that she ended up coming to my house while I was at work to hang out at my house. They had set up a movie, and dinner in our basement. I asked her to leave and she told me that it was all under his name and she wouldn’t budge. Then he left with her and spent the night in a park and got cited for public nudity. She came back and confronted me and told me how awful I was and how everyone in his family hated me. When I cried he told me to stop crying that it was over, and that he would never stop talking to her, that he cared about her deeply. Then he asked me to forgive him because of our family and all the time we had invested and the love I had for him, i agreed.

    But I cant shake it. The anger I feel is deep and it does not go away. Not only that but since everything happened my life spiraled out of control. After we decided to work it out we found out I was a few months pregnant. So, there I went…my emotions and body were out of whack again. I had a full time job lined up at a pretty good law firm, but I failed the bar, and lost the opportunity. I couldn’t concentrate enough to study and pass the test because I just wanted to give up and I am angry at him, for everything; for all the pain he has made me feel. For the deceit, the humiliation, and embarrassment, and above all else because he found someone else so attractive that he could not keep his promise to be faithful to me. And I can’t help but want to learn more about her. Why her? What made her so special that he had to do with her? Whatever vibrance and attractiveness I had has gone out the window. I feel old, tired, ashamed, beaten down. Every time he wants to be intimate I think about him with her and wonder if he liked her better and if he wishes it was her instead of me. If he did the same things he does with me to her. The worse thing is he had unprotected sex with her. He treated her exactly how he treated his wife of ten years. The same amount of intimacy. And you know what? I can’t shake it. I can’t help it. How can he take what I thought was so special between us and do that with someone else? I dont know if I will ever get over it.

    He didnt just have sex with her, he was emotionally invested in her. They had made plans that he would leave me so that he could be with her. He says he loves me and never really wanted to leave me, but I think its a lie. I just want to bring myself back. I want to feel beautiful and sexy again; I want to pass the bar and move on to the next stage in my life. And most of all I want someone that respects me that I trust and love. Whatever connection I had with my husband is gone. He tried at first to tell me how beautiful I was and I thought I could get over it. But it’s been a year and I am right back where I started.

  13. 4 months ago I got a Facebook message from my partner’s cousin telling me that my partner had slept with his girlfriend. My throat went numb, my stomach went sick an I totally lost it. I rung his cousin in an instant to figure out what went on. So after telling me he just found out his girlfriend had slept with my partner I told him he had to be 100% sure because I already had three kids with this guy. I could tell by his tone it wasn’t a joke..

    I didn’t know how to feel; I felt like a piece of glass that just shattered into a million pieces because I asked him often if he had ever been unfairhful to me from day one so we could start fresh and try move on if he had…The answer was always “no, never babe I promise.” So when I found out after being together for 9 1/2 years that he not only slept with someone but someone I saw on a regular basis; someone I knew. My stomach was hurting my head was hurting with so many thoughts, when I confronted him (not nicely mind you) he told me it did happen I wanted to crawl in a hole an die. He told me it happened at the beginning of our relationship and what gets me the most is not the fact he slept with someone else it was the fact that they both sat in the same room as myself and her partner like nothing. She held my kids in her arms all the while knowing she slept with there father…The turmoil I was feeling was unbearable the constant thoughts of trying to think back when we were all together where I was what we were doing blah blah blah…

    It was all starting to hurt my head, the hardest thing was not knowing how long it went for if they ever did it in my house was it when I was pregnant when was it? I asked him he told me it wasn’t when we had our kids it happened before that, he then went on to tell me it happend once an once only. But wants me to beleive that even though he’s lied the last 9 1/2 years.

    Now that’s not even the worst of it, when we first got together things were good for not too long before he started with physical violence. I literally put my whole life in danger by staying with him…After a few years of being so controlled I stood up for myself and did something about it – best thing I did in my life as the abuse stopped. I then fell pregnant with my daughter. Over the next few years I had my other two kids and life was great. We worked great together as a team raising our kids then I got the news of his deceit… He promised me it meant nothing; she didn’t mean anything to him like they all say. I try to tell him it’s not the fact you slept with someone else; yeah, of course I’m hurt, but I’m absolutely devastated who it was with and how long it had been a secret. I told him who was he to choose my path in life who was he to choose the path of my children’s life… Did he not once think that if it ever came out it would seperate a family our family we now have together?

    From the day I fell pregnant I told him I wanted us to really work as I lived in a broken family and didn’t want that for my kids yet he still never said a word. I felt like he had more respect for her for keeping their secret than he ever had for me as a mother to his children.

    So at this point in time we are trying to work through this but I can honestly say my head feels like it’s going to explode. I have my good days then I just start thinking about what they did and how disgusting they were to act normal in front of not only us but the entire family as my partner and the other guy are cousins. I think it’s so much harder coping when you can put a face to the other woman. I know it’s only been a few months since I found out and I seriously am not coping with it at all, but then I look at my kids and cry because there such happy kids and there father is great with them I feel like I would be breaking up this happiness of there’s if I leave him.

    So my question is, do I just try push through this for my kids sake and except what’s happend and live in quiet depression or do I just move on an let go of the relationship of 9 1/2 years and try raise my kids on my own…knowing my head is cleared of it all. Anyone going through what I just went through would love some advice.

  14. Please help me. I am depressed after my husband cheated. I can’t forget it. I imagine him with the other woman very time we are together and I hate him more every day.

    1. Hi Mishy – I wish I knew what to tell you. I’ve recently had this happen and we were approaching our 29th anniversary. Sadly this happened around 12 years ago too and we worked it out or so I thought. Apparently he still wasn’t happy. Best of luck to you in dealing with the pain and betrayal… I know your pain; it’s intense, don’t deny yourself those feelings. It will get better.

  15. Sounds like a good article. I just found out recently that my husband of almost 29 years is seeing one of our daughter’s friends (who is about 10 years older than her), someone who I trusted enough to allow in our home, around my husband. The hurt is unbearable most days. He not only cheated; he did it right under my nose and in a sense used our daughter to help.

    1. Oh Deborah, how very sorry I am for you that you are going through this. Sadly, one of my uncle’s did this to my aunt, as well. It was my cousin’s best friend. SO, so, so much pain! My heart grieves with you. I pray for you and your family, that God ministers to your hearts and helps you as you try to pick up the broken pieces of your lives.

  16. My husband has always hated my sister. He has always thought that she was a bad person. He prohibited her from coming to our home. One day he was going to be out I invited her to go to the movies and when I got home my husband was there. His plans had changed so mine had to also. We ate dinner with some mutual friends and my sister tagged along. Went home and everything was fine but before going to bed my husband grew angry that I invited her over.

    He said he was going to confront her about what kind of person she is. When he came back he was crying and very apologetic. He then confessed to me that he had asked her for sex. She denied and said she would never do that to me and they promised to keep it a secret. I was heart broken. I felt so betrayed by him. And I was stunned that he acted as thought he hated her but secretly had lustful thoughts of her. I feel as though I am torn apart and I can’t make myself forget about what happened. I love my husband and want to make this work but I can’t forget what happened.

  17. He won’t let me get angry with him. He gets sharp with me if I bring it up a (it happened within the month) and he guilts me that he might need deliverance from it. But that I need deliverance from the anger I have. He won’t discuss it with me because I get depressed. He’s made me so bitter. I’m so alone! I just want to die sometimes. He doesn’t understand why I’m so hurt.

  18. I feel so alone!! Last week I found out my husband messed around with another woman. Is there anyone out there that can relate? We’ve been married 10 years! Yesterday I was sad, today very angry!

    1. I don’t have any advice. I just wanted to say how much I can completely relate to the rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve been with my husband for 10 years. We’re both 32. We have 3 kids. I just found out a month ago he’s been having an affair with a 22 year old co-worker. I gave up my whole life when we decided to grow our family. We agreed I’d be a stay at home mom. He’s our only source of income so when he’d say he was picking up extra shifts to pay the bills I didn’t question him. When things continuously didn’t add up I started to do my own investigating. Honestly I never thought he was cheating, I figured he was bored with his routine and made a few guy friends.

      Now that I know, all I can think of is what does she have that I don’t, is he thinking of her when he’s with me, is he here b/c he loves me or did I make it easy for him to stay b/c of the kids. We had our third child and shortly after he was born is when the affair started, so my anger and pain is so deep to think while I was taking care of a newborn around the clock and 2 other small children he was going to bars taking this young girl out to expensive dinners and doing things with her that doesn’t do with me and saying things to her he’s never said to me.

      I feel broken and devastated and one minute I’m thinking I love him we can get through this, the next minute I think of them together or of the nights I’d cry begging him to come home early that if we need money that bad I can go to work, or when I flat out asked him if he was cheating, never thinking he really was b/c I didn’t think he had it in him. I thought our relationship and our family was strong. I feel so blindsided and confused and hurt and angry.

      1. I feel the same pain you do. I am 7 years older than my husband. I never liked younger guys but my husband was into older women. So we have been married for 5 years. He has always had his phone secured with a password. I didn’t think it was a big deal. I trusted him.

        Well he left his phone unblocked 10 months ago. I went through it and found out he had pics of different women. Also pics of him and his first gf together. These were recent pictures not old ones. He also had text messages of him telling his friends he was busy with her. He denied it, saying he made evetything up to his friends to look cool. Well I let it go. 1 month later, I went through his phone again. I now had proof and messages. He had been seeing her. I kicked him out.

        He said he was sorry, crying. He said he didn’t sleep with her. I forgave him again. He came back home. 2 weeks later. I didnt trust him. I went through his phone because my heart was telling me something was wrong. I almost had a heart attack. He had been sleeping with a ex coworker for 4 years. Started seeing his ex. Started flirting and sexting other girls. Plus he had slept with a current coworker.

        I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to die. I didn’t know who my husband was anymore. I’m so heartbroken. We are currently separated. He wants to come back home to the kids and I, but I can’t forgive so many lies and betrayals. I still love my husband. I just don’t know what to do? He says he did it because he was on drugs and drinking. He says he is in therapy and he has learned from his mistakes. I feel he is trying to take me for a fool. Can someone really change their behavior??

  19. My wife and I have been married for 30 years at the end of this month. We have been separated since October, 2014. I found out that month that she had been cheating with another man for 6 months or so. She moved out but we continued to see each other fairly regularly since she swore that it was over with him. Over the past two years I have been kicked in the gut multiple times with the realization that she is still seeing him AND seeing me. She can’t seem to let go of either of us.

    Each time I discover her betrayal yet again, she attempts to make me feel bad for being so distrusting. I am done. I can’t take it anymore. She is a pathological liar and obviously doesn’t care that she is ripping my guts out. Why do I still love her? Why can’t I just cut her out of my life? Why does she not cut me out of her life since she is clearly in love with this other guy? All I know is that I need to fix myself but I have no idea how. I’m 53 years old, loyal, and broken.

  20. Well, its not my spouse, it’s my mom. She always hides to call someone. I hate what she is doing. I already know the phone number of the other man and some information. She always denies it and gets very mad. I need more proof, that will be impossible to deny. It quite hurts, the way your own mother is acting. It’s also disgusting. Well, I guess I got off the topic. I wanted to know if the information of a cell phone can be transferred to some other device, to be viewed. Thank you, the information was helpful, contact him in email with this address, he will surely help out like he did for me.

  21. I have 2 questions if it’s ok.
    1) How possible is it to heal if your pain, anger and feelings haven’t been acknowledged and you have been told that there are no answers to your questions after 7 months after the betrayal?
    2) How do you stop hearing the most hurtful things said to you ever, in your thoughts and dreams?

    1. Anita, I’m so sad for you that this is your experience. Obviously, you will experience healing much better and faster if you have a spouse who will help you in this. He hurt you and then he won’t help you heal afterward. That makes it all the more grievous. I don’t know if you are a follower of Christ, but honestly, the only way I could imagine you would be able to heal is to process through all of this with the Lord. He understands betrayal all too well. Because He is the Great Physician, He knows how to best heal broken hearts.

      Truly, I’m not trying to give you a simplistic answer here. I’m just telling you what I see and have seen with those who do not have a spouse who will help them in the healing process. I’ll never understand why they wouldn’t, but it is what it is. Just keep taking your every question, your every hurt, your every feeling to the Lord, asking Him to help you work through this with His help.

      You might also look for a marriage-friendly counselor to help you work through these issues, since your spouse won’t. You HAVE to have some trust issues, and feelings of betrayal and such that are eating at you. Find a good Christian human advisor that can help you work through them, and most of all, ask the Lord to help you to see light, where there seems to be only darkness… help you to find joy, when it just doesn’t seem that you can find much to rejoice about, and help you find peace where tortured feelings are now abounding. And then open your eyes and heart. God will bring people, and circumstances your way that will help you to heal in healthy ways. I’ve seen this happen before. I wish your husband would help you, but since he won’t, look upon the Lord to be your husband in this. I pray the Lord will help you as you lean upon Him. May you find comfort in Him.

  22. About 2 months back, I found that my wife of 20 years had an emotional long distance affair with a guy she knew back in high school. The guy lives on another continent and they had the affair for only 3 months before I discovered. We are both in our late forties with a son in University.

    Both were communicating using social media, email and occasionally on the phone. I was able to retrieve a lot of communication between them and was able to confront my wife. She has agreed to be in a illicit relationship but in-spite of all written proof I have she still would twist words trying to play down the extent of the relationship. When I show her proof she would be silent. She deceived, lied and fooled me -perhaps because I never had ever doubted her. I had complete faith in her.

    As a reassurance that this does not happen again, I wanted to discuss this with her parents since they are the only people she is close to, and she respects them the most. She is vehemently against that and pleads not to. This in fact bothers me more.

    I do not know if she understands my pain although she says she is ashamed of what she did. It could only be meaningless words -who knows. I do not know if I should forgive her. I don’t know if I want to. I’m certain they never ever met. Even after 2 months I feel deeply hurt and deceived. What could she do to me in the future? Is forgive and forget my only choice?

    1. Hi EastIndian, Yes, it is a difficult road you are traveling, which was not your choice and not your idea! This is still fresh and raw, and the emotional upheaval gets better as you have already seen. Certainly your wife’s giving you full access to her phone and computer is a significant step forward, and it seems that your wife does “get” the pain you are going through right now. Counselling is a good thing- all in all- it looks like you are going in the right direction!

      Putting one foot in front of the other, as you say, and putting his situation into God’s Hands is certainly a good plan for right now! Here is a website which should interest you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQUMFYNe8sk

      The more transparent you can be with each other, the better… your surviveheraffair.com site looks very positive! Perhaps ask her why she is so against your discussing this with her parents? And then consider honoring her wishes?

      Keep going… don’t give up… forgiveness often takes place in little increments, rather than large steps forward… but the large steps forward are certainly possible… I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children… WP (Work in Progress)

      1. Hi EastIndian, Something more: after having seen similar situations in my own marriage and those of others, I can categorically say that forgiveness is the only option. Forgiveness does not mean burying your feelings, nor making light of the offense, nor trying to forget it ever happened. These are impossible.

        Forgiveness is an act of the will. It means giving up your justification for revenge. It means putting aside the desire for the offender’s hurt… and replacing that desire with a genuine wish for the offender’s well being. Forgiveness allows God to work in His way and in His time. God can and will help you to make this choice. “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near,” the Bible says in Isaiah 55:6.

        I have seen the effects of unforgiveness in my own family for the last 50 years, and I can tell you, the outcome is not nice. Anger, bitterness, depression, resultant health problems… all these are not far behind the decision to withhold forgiveness. I’ve also seen the effects of genuine forgiveness. I can tell you the results are well worth it! I’m NOT saying forgiveness is easy. I AM saying it’s the best choice to make for your own well being, and for the restoration of your marriage.

        Your wife may not understand your pain right away… at a right moment, when you feel she is open to dialogue, you can ask her to think of you having an affair with a friend of hers… how would she feel about that? Would she be OK with that? NOT in an accusing tone, but rather in a tone, which suggests your trying to impart your feelings to her… to explain to her why it is hard for you to trust- but that you are trying the best you can.

        Prefessional help, support from friends and church family if you have them… outside help is certainly a good thing. I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children… WP (Work in Progress)

  23. I am still in somewhat of the shock phase of find out my wife has been having an affair. To start off our marriage hasn’t been all that great. We’ve actually only been married 15 months, however the problems date back to a few years. We never really fixed them before going into marriage. I know that I have done my wrongs including texting other women and emotionally/sexually not meeting my wife’s needs and fully own up to those and what I need to work on. 10 days ago I found out through emails/Facebook (of course) that my wife, 27, has been having a full blown affair with a 50 year old married man with 6 kids. It’s a huge blow to my ego and I can’t stop thinking about them throughout the day. She has been very sympathetic and expressed how sorry she is, given me full access to everything, answered all questions I’ve asked (even when they hurt) and we are in counseling already which has been a tremendous help. I’m currently using a surviveheraffair.com site that has been very helpful. But regardless I still think about them and their acts all the time. This affair lasted 6 months, or almost half of our marriage. Even 10 days in, every day has gotten somewhat better, but I know that these emotions aren’t passing anytime soon. She actually has moved back in and strangely we are doing well given the circumstances. I think she sees my pain and hates it when I have difficulty finishing a movie that shows casual sex. I just don’t really know where to go from here except putting one foot in front of the other and putting this in God’s hands.