INFIDELITY: Affairs of the Heart

Corazn Roto“It was devastating,” were the first words she replied when I asked Julie about her divorce. “Of course the divorce was difficult to handle, but it was actually the deception of the affair that really tore me apart.”

After only three years of marriage, Julie learned that her husband John had begun having an affair that had been going on “right under her nose” for at least 6 months.

“I was so angry,” she explained. “I felt violated, humiliated, and really, really, really stupid for ignoring all the signs. I experienced a full range of emotions when I learned about the affair, but the feeling that was totally foreign to me was the desire to hurt someone, or something.”

“I’m not a violent or angry person by nature,” Julie assured me. “But suddenly I was so angry that I lashed out at anyone that came anywhere near me.” “Since John wasn’t around,” Julie admits “I took my anger out on my friends, my children and my co-workers —then, when the people who were left behind wouldn’t tolerate my anger any longer, I began taking it out on myself.”

Julie isn’t alone. In a country where almost half of all marriages end in divorce, and [a huge number of them] involve an extramarital affair, it wasn’t difficult to find people like Julie to talk with.

Cheryl, a manager of a local retail store simply stated, “Honestly, I just wanted to kill him.”

Gerard, whom everyone believed to have ‘the perfect marriage’ for almost 20 years adamantly stated, “The affair was the ultimate betrayal, I’ll never trust anyone again.”

Of the people interviewed for this article, the comments maintained a common thread of betrayal, loneliness and distrust. Julie admitted, “In a time when I needed people the most, I pushed them away. As things progressed I started to realize that if I was wrong about trusting my spouse, then who else was I wrong about? I got to the point where every relationship I had was severely affected because of my inability to put my trust in anybody else.”

Julie never dreamed that the list of people she could not trust would ultimately include herself. “Let me tell you,” Julie stressed, “This world is impossible to operate in with a total inability to trust your own judgment. When you go through this type of betrayal,you lose your direction and the results have some pretty severe consequences.”

The Children of Affairs Unfortunately, another common thread within the people interviewed for this article, was the ability to tell themselves: “Hey, kids are just kids — right? They’re young, they bounce back, and they don’t really understand everything that’s going on anyway.”

Amazingly, nearly every individual I spoke with admitted that while they were going through the ‘hell’ of the extramarital affair (either discovering, or being discovered ) they found it easier to tell themselves the above statement about their children, despite the fact that they knew it to be completely untrue at the time.

“If I could go back,” Gerard explains, “I would have tried more to help my children cope with the pain that my wife’s affair had all of us —but, I was so focused on my own pain during the divorce, that it was hard to focus on anyone else.”

Gerard’s son Jason, now a 21 year old victim of his own parents bitter divorce state, “Marriage is stupid, you just wind up choosing someone else down the road anyway.”

Not surprisingly, many children are affected just as dramatically as the parents when a divorce ends due to an extramarital affair. The lessons these children learn from their parents’ actions are scary: how to lie, how to deny problems, how to be selfish, and ultimately, how to never trust.

The feeling of betrayal extends to all participants of a divorce due to a cheating spouse. Is there any wonder why children of affairs and divorce have a hard time with future relationships?

Why do Spouses Cheat? According to local family counselor Jeff Parziale, Ph.D., “Most people don’t actually want to have an affair. Spouses cheat for a variety of reasons, with a big reason being boredom in their marriage.”

What seems amazingly contradictory to Dr. Parziale’s statement is a series of well-known surveys conducted between 1990 and 2002 by the University of Chicago, which revealed:

• 30% of all adults who say that their marriage is not too happy report having an extramarital affair.

• 17% of all adults who say their marriage is pretty happy report an extramarital affair.

• And a surprising 10% of all adults who say their marriage is really happy , also admitted to having an affair.

With over 50% of the participants of this survey admitting to extramarital affairs, it’s hard to believe that having an affair isn’t a conscious decision making process. So, if people don’t actually want to have an affair, why do these affairs actually happen?

“Today’s marriage take work”, Dr. Parziale explains. “There are many factors in today’s society that influence the success of a marital relationship. Many people cheat because they did not ‘intend’ not to. To avoid affairs, we must have strong boundaries in place to avoid sharing too many intimate details with friends or coworkers. In other words, cheating for many is more about ‘not’ having a plan on how ‘not to’ cheat.”

Shirley Glass, a well-known psychologist who strove to redefine the nature of infidelity prior to her death in October 2003, wrote articles, books and appeared on television programs to examine how the emotional intimacy of the workplace and the Internet had led even people in successful marriages to slip into emotionally intense relationships that could easily lead to affairs.

Dr Glass said that even if these intense relationships did not lead to sex they were a threat to marriages and part of what she termed “The new crisis of infidelity.” The reason, she said, is that the emotional intimacy with the friend gradually, almost invisibly, supplants that with the spouse.

Avoiding the Betrayal As many of us already know life is not a fairy tale — for Cinderella, the first kiss was all it took and the relationship then lasted for hundreds of decades —but, for those of us in today’s complicated world we’re still looking for the magic answer to keeping our marriages alive.

Upon researching this article, it became glaringly obvious that the answer to a successful marriage really isn’t as complicated as one might expect, and the answers may just be in looking at what made your marriage happen in the first place —the dating period!

Can you honestly say to yourself, “My list of priorities during the dating period with my spouse is exactly the same today, as it was then?”

Once deemed courting (idiom: pay court to: To flatter with solicitous overtures in an attempt to obtain something), today’s dating has become similar to a “cat and mouse” chase where once caught, it is soon determined by many that the chase is over.

To maintain a successful and happy marriage, it’s important to realize that “dating etiquette” isn’t just for dating anymore —it’s also for keeping marriages in bloom. Keeping a marriage positive, having needs met, making your spouse your best friend, having fun together, and keeping an even balance between “talking vs. listening” with your spouse, are all important deterrents to extramarital affairs.

In today’s hectic and advanced world it is more important than ever to keep your marriage fresh and alive. Your spouse should be your best friend, your confidant and the one person that you know you can trust.

When Suspect An Affair While you have your own responsibilities in keeping your marriage alive, you cannot control the actions of your spouse. It’s important to realize that if you have knowledge that your spouse is cheating, it is not your fault.

A popular, but inaccurate, notion is that the non-involved spouse should have to change, in order to recapture the involved partner. A common belief is, “if only the wife paid more attention to the husband, or looked more sexy, or had sex more often, then the affair would have happened.”

If you suspect an affair, but do not have confirmation that an actual affair is taking place, there are several things that must occur. Most importantly, avoid accusations. Inaccurate accusations can destroy a marriage just as quickly as an actual affair can. Instead, talk to your spouse. Try to determine why you suspect him/her of having an affair, and without throwing out accusations, seek to solve some of the “symptoms’ that may have you feeling that there might be something more going on.

If your concerns are with working late—address the issue, not your assumptions. If your concerns are with a change in your sex life—talk about it. If you and your spouse are unable to solve the issues together, then seek help from a qualified professional.

“Too many people try to manage this situation by themselves,” explains Sharon, a recent survivor of a marriage on the rocks. “The only place you’ll see a list of ‘The top ten signs that your spouse is cheating on you’, is in Cosmo [Magazine] —and the list isn’t meant to help you, it’s meant to appeal to our emotions and sell more magazines.”

Sharon suspected her husband of 18 years of infidelity. “All the Cosmo signs were there,” she confides, “he was distant, always working late, our friendship seemed non-existent and our sex life was completely dead.”

For months, Sharon and her husband Jim struggled through accusations and arguments that distanced their relationship even further. Finally, they both sought professional help. “Short of a lie detector test, there was no way I could prove my loyalty to Sharon,” Jim explains “but that didn’t mean that I hadn’t thought about it.”

“It was so tempting to find another friend,” Jim states. “While Sharon was constantly nagging at me about something I was thinking about, I started justifying that if I was going to be accused of doing it, then maybe I should.”

“It wasn’t until I started thinking about why I was considering an affair, that I realized how bad it would be for all of us if I actually had one,” Jim commented. “If you seek out someone else because things are going bad at home, then it’s only going to make matters worse.”

Jim and Sharon were one of the fortunate couples that sought professional help before things got out of control.

Obviously, the best way to rebuild your marriage is to talk to your spouse. Talk to him or her about your needs, wants, feelings, and thoughts. Notably, the best way to prevent extramarital affairs in the first place is precisely the same. The best thing to do when the threat of an affair is to add more positive emotional contributions to your marriage. When all efforts toward communication and positive contributions fail, seek professional advice.

After an affair An extramarital affair is the most difficult situation that can affect a marital relationship. It eliminates the emotional bond between spouses, violates the basic trust each partner has for himself or herself (as well as the other) and it jeopardizes the health and well being of both parties.

Dr Glass made an impact among marriage therapists in 2003 by saying that “betrayed partners in adulterous affairs often suffered from post-traumatic stress similar to that experienced by combat veterans”.

According to Dr Parziale, an affair is not only a sexual event—it is an emotional event. It is usually a consequence of the emotional distance between the married couple. In a rather paradoxical manner, the extramarital affair may also temporarily create more closeness between the couple but will ultimately send the relationship into a terrifying tailspin.

Usually, poor relationships result in people seeking extramarital affairs. Sometimes, the involved partner will justify that the affair is an attempt at “disrupting the status quo” in his or her marriage. If the relationship has drifted into stagnation, lack of emotional contact, habitual criticism and argument, constant conflict, or just plain emotional distance and coolness, then the affair will eventually put the final nail into the coffin.

Probably the most important factor in aiding a marriage to recover from the extramarital affair is to rebuild trust. In most cases, it’s a rare even —and statistics are low (less than 2%) for marriages to survive the affair. Rebuilding trust usually takes a long time and a lot of patience. It sometimes helps to know that the non-involved spouse will almost always have “relapses” into distrust. There are many exercises for trust rebuilding. Letting down defensive behavior, despite the fear, is only one.

Affairs Lead to Divorce “Most people don’t realize that infidelity is even biblical grounds for divorce,” stated one victim of infidelity. “Many people at my church just didn’t understand – they hadn’t been through it.”

It doesn’t matter what walk of life you’re from; extramarital affairs are an equal-opportunity disaster. “Finding support, and understanding the grieving process can be challenging”, Dr Parziale explains, “for both parties, it is like grieving the death of a loved one.”

“For the initiator of the divorce, there are distinct stages such as alienation, breakup, the love entitlement quest, looking back, mourning, and disentanglement. The letting go process starts early, in the disappointments and disillusion of the working marriage, teaching crisis proportions at breakup, and then still requires attention long after parting of the ways has been accomplished.”

For the non-initiator the stages are: shock, grief/rage, courting the rejecter, distancing, and indifference. The crucial phase is distancing, where the non-initiator begins to restructure his or new life without the partner.”

Both parties involved in a divorce go through a grieving process, although it feels and looks much different. Understanding the process for yourself and for your ex- or soon to be ex-partner is important in the process of healing.

A Note From the Author:

When I began this article on infidelity I wanted to portray the anger and frustration that both spouses admittedly felt when experiencing the cause and effects of an extramarital affair. Amazingly, it was in talking with the victims of infidelity that occurred years ago, that the true nature of this indiscretion came into light. The wounds inflicted ten or twenty years ago are spoken with so much vehemence, that it appears to the non-informed as if the pain occurred just yesterday. Numerous times I was shocked to learn that the emotional tale. I was being told was from a prior marriage, and that the interviewee had actually been happily remarried years ago. Clearly infidelity and divorce shatters lives. Some of the wounds and losses take years to heal —some never do.

The scope of this topic exceeds the boundaries of the word count that my publisher allows, but understandably so. Children, parents, families, siblings, friends, co-workers, neighbors and pastors are all affected by an extramarital affair. Bonds of trust are broken, in many directions, and in many cases never re-built.

If you’re considering a “fling” outside your primary relationship, carefully consider the difficult consequences it will bring. Ask yourself, “is this sexual encounter really worth all the complications and hassles it will bring into my life?”

The above article was featured in the February 2005 issue of a great newspaper called, “Good News Tucson”  that’s available in Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

The title of the original article is: “Affair Proofing” Your Marriage written by Jennifer Boughton (All the names in this article have been changed to protect their identities).


Filed under: Emotional & Physical Affair

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43 responses to “INFIDELITY: Affairs of the Heart

  1. (TEXAS – USA) As women, we naturally tend to give it all when we love, and when we are let down, it really get us down. I have also been a victim of infidelity. It been 2 years since it happened and I am trying to move on with the marriage. Forgiving is an easy part, but moving on is hard, because anything can set it off, any small thing he does can set it off and I feel the pain again. The only thing I have learned is to put my trust in God and look up to him for answers because I can not fight the battle alone.

  2. (AUSTRALIA) Can anyone help me, I just found out that my husband has been having an affair. He started it 3 months after we were married, with 2 woman. We are both Christian people. I have no idea what I am meant to do?

  3. (USA) My wife of 15 years and 3 children, had 2 affairs and a few one night stands. I am still devastated to this day.
    I have been going to S-anon, which is for people who have been affected by another’s sexual activities. It has been a life saver. I am also going to Cosa which is the same kind of meeting.

    My wife, as the psychologist had figured out, is a sex addict. She used sex as a child through masturbation to ease her pain and bury her feelings, at least once a day, and many times a lot more. One cannot tell if the other is doing this in private. When they get married they can last a couple of years usually 2 for men, and 7 for women. But then the frequent masturbation must be ramped up into affairs. It is only through this ramping up that they can reach some sort of their sanity. For the spouse it is too big of a problem to deal with alone. So S-anon was formed.

    It is sanity; there are books, and there are people with extremely similar stories. I believe most infidelity can be found here and soon the lid will blow off this and be like alcohol was to a.a.. If it doesn’t make sense, this is where you can make sense of it. Hope this helps. There is no cure for the pain it has caused, but there is help.

    I am still married with 3 kids and we are making a go of it together.

  4. (KENYA)  I want to join the discussion and state my situation and get positive answers/views from Christians and real life perspective without harsh judgment.

  5. (USA)  My comment will probably shock a lot of women and men on the mental state of some people. I am a mother and wife of 8yrs. I was blessed with a good and faithful husband. Throughout this marriage I lived mine like I wasn’t marriage. I know where God wants me to be and I try to do right. Between my mental health issue and off again on again pot use, life is never stable.

    I always dreamed of having a good Christian man to raise our children right and that is what I got. I don’t receive the sexual attention needed and many other minor details. I don’t want to continue to look for a relationship that will just fulfill me physically, I want the whole package. I’ve tried to develop outside relationships to see where it could lead but it’s never pretty and I go back to my husband because he would never treat me bad.

    My biggest concern is that I know I want to be with my husband because God has placed him in my life. But because I do wrong I don’t want to continue in my marriage some days because I know you reap what you sow and I figure I’ll never have someone to be faithful to me cuz I always cheated on him.

    Being alone, bipolar and working on recovery are a few things that has hindered me in my marriage. Someone help me because I know where God wants me to be but I’m having a hard time standing still and waiting on God without trying to put my hand in it. PLEASE HELP …PINK

  6. (USA)  This message is for Pink who posted on Jan 4, 2009. First, let me start off by sharing with that I know what you are going through because I have been there. I am a Christian having accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior many years ago. My ex-wife was also a Christian, but decided to have an affair, which lasted over six months. We were married for 17 years and finding out about the affair was very traumatic for me, which caused me to go into a severe depression, and forced me to quit my job.

    My only regret is that I did not file for divorce first. I was trying to be way to be nice and amicable, which ended up costing me a lifelong payment of alimony to her; that is, until she dies or remarries, or I die.

    Second, we all do wrong, however, God continues to love us and bless us through His Grace and Mercy. Therefore, allow yourself to do the same. Meaning, try not to be too hard on yourself.

    I have ADHD (recently diagnosed) and major depression and I have a tendency to beat up on myself quite a lot. That said, share with your husband your fears and concerns. If he is like you say he is, then he too will continue to love you. Getting back or going into counseling is paramount for anyone struggling with the imbalance caused by bipolar, ADHD, or recovery.

    My lovely wife of two years is very supportive and has also been through quite of lot as a child and adult. I am finally able to share with her some of my concerns and problems. Together, we help each other get through the tough times as they come about. Until God calls us home, we will probable continue to try and take matters into our own hand, but God has His way and timing in showing us what it is we need to do, even though it can take many years for us to learn. I hope this helps…

  7. (SOUTH AFRICA)  I am really glad a friend of mine referred me to this site. I’ve been dating a guy for two years who, although has never cheated on me physically, he seems to be having a hard time letting go of certain female friends that have been in his life prior to me.

    He said he was ready to commit and would let go but ended up at one of the girl’s houses. When I asked him about it, he said there was nothing that had changed and he was still letting go. How come he ended up at her house then? He has since become very distant, and seems to be mad at me for taking him to task about it. I really don’t know how to trust what he says or can someone shed light on his insatiable need to have these people in his life?

    I searched myself and don’t think I can handle it. Please help.

  8. (USA)  This comment is to Lucille. I think maybe the reason he gets mad at you is because of his guilt. I know my husband used to get mad at me when he was guilty and did not want me to know. This is one on my list of spousal cheatin behavior. I hope he can sit down and talk with you. And when he is willing, he will tell you what he is thinking or doing. This is an eye opener for you. He may not be marring material. Maybe the Lord want you to know. God Bless

  9. (USA) I have been married for 12 years… three years ago I found out that my husband was having what I thought was an emotional affair with his friend’s wife. Just the other day he finally confessed that he had been having a sexual affair with her for 9 years. He swears that it ended 3 years ago and was afraid to tell me the “whole” story because he was afraid of divorce. I don’t know what to think. He had an affair for 9 out of our 12 years of marriage… what do I do?

    I prayed so deeply to God and keep hearing the same answer “make it work”. HOW DO I DO THAT? How can I get past his betrayal for so long? The last 3 years have been spectacular. We have moved 3 hours from where we used to live and our marriage seemed to change. But hearing this now… I don’t know what to do. There were no major signs of infidelity while it was going on. How do I think that he has changed? He has begged for forgiveness and I feel in my heart that he means it, BUT I am not sure.

  10. (ZIMBABWE) I found out my husband of five years was cheating on me in September last year. The affair had been going on for 3 months. I felt betrayed and let down by my husband, friends and relatives of his. What hurt me most was the way he would jump to defend the mistress instead of being remorseful. To me, it was like five wasted years.

    I tried going out of my way to be a better wife, correcting things that I thought drove him into the affair in the first place. When I didn’t get positive feedback from him I became angry and aggressive as he continued with the affair – even holidaying with the mistress. He had no care over his child and was completely distant and never there for me.

    He finally moved out in May and this is what hurt most. How can he just leave as if I never meant anything to him? He accuses me of listening to rumors and still denies he had an affair. It’s hurting my child and I am devastated. I am not sure I will ever forget what he made me go through. It will be a long while before I learn to trust again. I have no desire in relationships. I think they are just a waste of time and a bunch of lies.

  11. (DBN,RSA)  I had three affairs to date…I am married to a wonderful Christian God fearing man. I want to know if I can continue this marriage without confession to him. I will stop my affairs. I love him and my kids very much. Please help.

    1. (SOUTH AFRICA)  I had one affair (sexual) that lasted for nearly two years, have since stopped… (2002) not informed my spouse yet… probably never wiil… take it to my grave…. Thorn in my flesh… still struggling with “checking-out” other women… in GOD I trust to completely deliver me… you have to be the one that has to want to stop…. lest it BURNS you… READ the book of proverbs… Chapter 7… or 8… I think speaks about infidelity, etc…

  12. (USA)  Wow! I was married 25 years and I had several one nite stands and lots of just sex meetings with prostitutes. I am a sex addict, saved by the blood of Jesus, but have been in sin bondage for over 30 yrs. I recently met someone that I have not seen in 12 yrs and she was so more beautiful since I last saw her and I had a crush on her then. Now she was attentive to me and her marrriage was in trouble. My marriage is ok but my wife put on massive amounts of weight and has refused to stick to her diet that was working. Her mother is sick and she always needs to talk about this.

    I love her mother and her moher has done a lot for us as a family she has always been there. I am in my late 40s and have decided that I don’t want to be here any more. I don’t know what to do and don’t want to disobey God anymore and it is so hard to resist the temptation of holding this other woman. I need her in my life but also realize it may ruin my marriage and I don’t want to risk that. I must tell you that this other woman and I have not made love or had any sex but we do kiss passiontely like fire and it does feel good when she kisses me. She is confused as I am and neither of us are ready to leave our marriage.
    Has anyone been in thi situation and should I walk away from our friendship, not answer her texts anymore I am tryng to be strong?

    1. (SOUTH AFRICA)  If you want to save your marriage and not act out on the temptation…. run as far away as possible. I have had an affair that my wife does not yet know about. I love her too much to cause her the pain of the revelation of my infidelity… to date this affair is still a thorn in my flesh. So if you say that you love your wife… speak to her before your affair goes any further. As the Bible states… how can a man keep HOT coals in his bosom and not be burnt. I am Reading The book of Proverbs nearly everyday now to get wisdom and understanding… maybe you should too. I have not touched another woman since… but still “struggling” with admiring others… (women…) You can see my testimony of someone that committed adultery…

  13. (IRELAND)  Hello. I’m a 48 year old man. I’ve had one sexual affair outside my marriage a few years ago which I have kept alive albeit without the sex due to my distance from this other person. I have lived with the guilt due to this affair- though it didn’t stop me ever. The flesh is surprisingly weak. I really love my wife. My wife has had her suspicions for a while and has raked it up rather emotionally a few times.

    I never realized just how much pain and anguish I have caused my wife over the years. Recently however my wife has started getting closer to an old male friend of hers. They meet often though I’m sure they haven’t gone too far. Honestly, it could be nothing even. But it just burns my insides thinking about this new friendship of hers. I feel cheated and betrayed! I spend sleepless nights and troubled days thinking about all kinds of possibilities. I go through my wife’s mail and am always looking for signs of infidelity.

    Most readers would scoff at me. Just desserts? I never realized just how betrayal can burn you up and am truly repentant for the anguish I have caused my wife. It won’t happen again.
    In that is the lesson for those who contemplate adultery: The punishment you get for cheating is the burden of a suspicious nature.
    It’s killing me.
    Please Help.

    1. (SA)  My husband had a 1 time “fling” with an ex of his; I found out about it just before Christmas. I guess I’m sort of “lucky”, from all the stories I read so far – since he didn’t/isn’t having a full blown affair: but it hurts just the same!
      The fact that he shared something so intimate with someone else makes me sick.

      He keeps saying that he never intended for it to happen but at some point he made a choice to sleep with her.
      Maybe you can help with this. Bill: how can you “forget” about your wife & the consequences in that moment? How can you jeopardize what you say now is most important to you??? He says he got so caught up in the past that it seemed like he was living in the past again.

      I also believe that he has been telling me the absolute truth in what has happened (I even confirmed some things with the ex). He has a past which involves divorce, infidelity by his dad, physical abuse & all of that. So he has had a difficult life.

      Now, I’ve decided to forgive him & move on in our marriage, but I still find it difficult to understand how this could have happened – this happened in the time close to our 1 year anniversary; he had to go out of town & I could not go with due to work; we decided that he would go on his own.

      I believe that the devil was involved in setting up the whole thing, timing & circumstances & unfortunately, my husband was not strong enough to pass the test. I think the devil used the fact that my husband had a past with this woman; the fact that he was without his wife for a few days & the fact that he was alone with her for a couple of minutes to great advantage for his evil work.

      I love my husband very much and have no idea what he is feeling since he doesn’t talk about his feelings much, he just wants to move on. I’m struggling to believe that it’s not possible for it to happen with just any woman – if he should find himself alone with 1 for a certain time.

      This is such a devastating thing to live through, & I’m only still here because God is helping me! Is there someone out there also who has lived through the effects?

  14. (CANADA)  Hi, my name is Delaney and I want to shed some light on these situations. I dated a girl for three years and I loved her so much it hurt when I found out she only was with me because how I looked. Women aren’t the only ones broken and cold after an affair. I’ve had girls have affairs on me and it wasn’t that great. I didnt really lose trust in them but I could never look at them the same. Only if they could feel the pain I felt maybe things would have changed.

    And Cat, if I were you I would get a mental check because if your husband hasn’t cheated in eleven years then he’s trying. I mean you have to pick how could you love two people at once. I think you’re selfish and wrong about your decision just to sit your husband down and tell him what is going on or you’re gonna cause a lot more pain than you ever thought. Most guys cheat because of lust or they’e jealous that the girl they are having an affair with is more than what their wives or girlfriends can bring. Trust me, I’ve been loved for the wrong reason but I stepped up to the plate and will never make that mistake again. Thanks for listening.

  15. (SOUTH AFRICA)  I struggle to keep my eyes off other women. I am a happily married Christian man but Oh Lord the devil is toying around with my head. My wife is beautiful, our sex life is great, my problem is I have a roving eye. I cheated on her twice (sexually), I need help, seriously seeking help. It seems like the devil is enjoying what he is doing to me, I still go to church but feel guilty. I am a two faced person, commiting adultery while on Sunday I praise the Lord. Please help, right now I do not feel like I am strong, I just need help… Thanks

    1. (USA)  Geoff, You can look and notice other attractive ladies. However, your wife is your better half and she fulfills all your needs; she is giving of herself to you. Spend more time with your wife, and also comment to her if you notice an attractive lady; don’t keep the secret because it will grow in time and you will be doing things you never thought possible.

  16. (UK)  I take my hat off to you. You must be a strong and lovely person. I know the pain you feel, which just aches and aches. I feel it for someone else, but as I love my wife so much I will try and protect her whatever. Perhaps it is lust rather than love, or just the release of addictive chemicals by the brain? Who knows. But well done for being able to control those feelings.

  17. (USA)  My wife is in the midst of her 2nd Romantic Affair in our 26 year marriage. The first time was many years ago early in our marriage, and was nearly identical to what is going on right now. I never thought you could share everything good that life has to offer as a married couple and end up suffering a betrayal that is beyond words.

    She was incredibly selfish and shallow to never communicate what she perceived as concerns in our marriage… not a word. Her response? She was looking for “true love”, which she obvioulsy felt was missing in our relationship. This is an individual that is so careless and disrespectful, I have to believe there is a character or personality flaw at the root of her infidelity. She blew-up 26 years without giving a second thought to me or her daughter.

    I don’t believe the stories that women (or men) having these crazy romantic affairs will not leave a marriage. Not once has she shown true remorse, or even suggested ending the affair. I will be happy to leave her in the dust and see her miserable life crumble when her married man doesn’t leave his family.

  18. (USA)  I am a 31 year old mother of 4 who has been married for over 7 yrs… who also has been confused for over 6 months but actually more like 1.5 yrs. The problem is that my marriage is fine. My husband is a great guy, we are best friends, we communicate well, we have a great sex life, and we spend a lot of time together. Not much has changed since we have been together.

    What the article states to keep a marriage going… we do have, we do it. We work to keep our marriage going. So I don’t know why I am having an affair with a man I met out of the blue over a year ago. Our affair didn’t start from the moment we first met, it actually started a year later and has been going on since then.

    Although deep down I know what I am doing is wrong and I want it to end… it hasn’t. If I had to choose, in the end, I would never pick him over my husband. However, I am still continuing a relationship with a man who too has a family. Our affair is not just physical, there actually is more of a friendship.

    The only reason I can think to why I am doing what I’m doing is Pure Attraction as well as having something different once in a while. For example I always have McDonald’s fries, but sometimes I go for Wendy’s. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to keep on living like this, but I don’t stop. I know if I really wanted it to stop I would do it. I almost feel like, “I like having my cake and eating it too.”

    1. (USA)  OK here is the deal. Sure sometimes you like McD’s fries and sometimes you like Wendy’s fries. You wouldn’t be ashamed to share that information with your husband now would you?

      The problem is, now you have to share with your husband that not only do you like his “fries” but you occasionally have “fries” from another man.

      I’m thinking the temptation to have the other fries will diminish once you share the truth with your husband. The OM knows you are married. Why not give your husband the same level of information with respect to the OM? Also, it would be a good idea to let his wife know that he too likes “fries” from another place.

      He has a family; you have a family. It’s time to let your respective spouses know what’s going on so it can be resolved.

      1. (USA)  I’m sorry, but how is being honest going to fix the situation…Telling the truth would definitely end my doubt about it. My husband would never forgive me for such betrayal…As for the other man, well I don’t know what he wants out of this relationship…I just know that we both enjoy each others company..Telling the truth to our significant others, almost sounds like asking permission to be “swingers!” We both know its wrong, but we still continue our affair.

        And honestly, I really don’t know what I’m doing…what I’ve gotten myself into!!! We are both very selfish!!! I’ve tried to stop, by stopping communication…however he comes back and I end up letting him in again. He’s told me its up to me to end it, and he’d be OK…but he would prefer that I didn’t…He’s willing to take whatever I can give/offer him.

        The other major problem is that he knows my husband because he’s my husband’s martial arts teacher, and our children are friends from the same school…I keep thinking that the only way for it to really end is to completely cut ties in every way, but I think that would implicate something..I love my husband to death, but I like someone else as well…I do know what needs to be done and its to END IT..its just finding the strength to do it!!!

  19. (USA)  It’s not the telling may or may not end the marriage, it was the affair. So please, don’t hide behind these suddenly found fears.

    It’s the affair that may or may not end the marriage. On the other hand, it’s the 100% openness and honesty that may or may not repair your marriage.

    As a man who was betrayed by his now ex-wife, I would have rather her come to me being 100% honest, than falling deeper into her affair and ultimately choosing the divorce herself.

    My children take karate and I’m sure character is part of any martial arts program. Your husband and the other man’s wife both deserve to know the truth about what is going on in their marriages. They deserve to know that their teacher (sensei) or spouse is not what they claim to be.

    Telling will be difficult. But don’t blame the possible end of your marriage on telling. It won’t be the truth that destroys the marriage. It is deceit that destroys marriages. If you don’t tell, you are still sowing that deceit into your marriage, preventing it from ever healing.

    You’ve already performed the destructive act. Telling is the surgery that could potentially heal your marriage.

  20. (US)  I have read much about why women have affairs and the reasons tend toward loneliness, emotional starvation, rejection, husband’s lack of family involvement, and on and on. I am my wife’s third husband. Divorce from her first and a passing of her second. She told me she had 3 affairs during her first marriage when she was in her 30’s beginning in about 1971 and ending about 1982. Each affair was with men quite a lot older, all were married with families and were safe. She gave in to the first affair because “he was helping me emotionally”. The second was even more helpful as he would talk to her. The affairs took place in back seats of cars, night or day, or in her own bed and they could not call except on certain days. There were no restaurant times, no Christmas cards and no gifts she demanded.

    If they met in church there could be only a slight hello. She went to a doctor, not her own, for a diaphragm. She was always careful to protect her children. She would change the bed sheets and make sure nothing telling was in the house. She said she was always excited to expect a phone call. She stopped the second affair when the third, a long time friend from church, started “helping” her.
    After several years, she divorced and he divorced and they married in a church ceremony. She said she and her first husband had a good sexual relationship. She said she did not divorce him to marry the third, but she did marry him.
    She never got caught, never got a disease and never had to pay anything for those affairs. God has forgiven her, she says.

    I asked her if she had an affair after she remarried. She said no after a very long pause.Tell me, when do “needs” stop and “wants” start? I am now in this somewhere. Is she likely to do the same to me?

    1. (USA) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked and all we sow, we also reap. Saved or Lost, she will have to answer and there will be consequences.

      We all have boundaries and I have seen more “unchurched” honoring them than the “churched” So sad. I have had countless offers over the years many of my husband’s friends but I will not defile God, myself, my word, kids or husband.

      In early Rome or Sodom and Gomorrah, I feel certain I would flee or lock myself away. Not my husband. Out on the street and it wouldn’t matter with who. He has shown that over the years and admits it. It’s always so dirty though and he regrets it but the devil is good at the Pulpit Theology that tells us we are all sinners. There there. They’re just self-righteous!

      He simply refused to turn down a piece, no matter how disgusting, and it’s always been for money. In this small town he works at the same place. 23 years and well known. Of course they all think he makes much more than he does but that’s because we are faithful in tithes and God says he will meet our every need.

      God says there is no tempation we all haven’t been faced with and he that endureth to the end, they same shall be saved. There are going to be some very suprised folks on that day.

      Reading and posting here has been my only way of functioning many times. Please let it out, if you need too. Prayers for you friend. I wish I had magic words but I do not. My guess is that she will, again. Past behavior is a good indication of future without some huge change. Hanging by a thread here myself.

  21. (USA)  This is for all the Christian marriages. Christians have affairs for various reasons to list, but the truth is this, we didn’t relay on God when we felt the temptation growing. We didn’t put on our full coat of armor to fight the desire of another person, we didn’t remove ourselves from the temptation even though the word teaches us to turn away from temptation (not talk to it every day.) The desire to fill that longing became stronger then the desire to obey God. We shut down all (if any) communications of hearing God saying no.

    It happens to the best of Christians, for we are not perfect and are in consist need of God’s guidance especially when we are at our most weakness point. This is where Grace and Mercy steps in. We can blame the situation of our marriages (loneliness, abuse, neglect, etc.) but we have to ask ourselves this.

    What does the Bible teaches us to do when we are going through horrendous times in our lives? What did Job do? We have to cry out to God for help, surround yourself with Christians who will give Godly advice and not worldly advice. If the advice don’t line up with the scriptures then it’s worldly advice. Stop watching the TV shows that encourage affairs by showing the glamor in it, don’t be ashame to fall to your knees and ask God to help you with the thoughts of an affair. He will hear your cry.

  22. (USA)  Hi everyone, I have a sad story but a true one; i’ve been dealing with my husbands infidelity and he outright denies it; it’s been a devastating 3 years of my life! I put so much time and effort into this marriage over two decades. We have a grown daughter who got pregnant while I was trying to defend myself in court that the mistress had filed an Order against me for calling her one time at work and told her ‘do you know he’s married’? i have evidences of him talking to her they both work together. I groomed him from a blue colar worker to an office worker. I am peeved at this betrayal.

    It’s been so sickening and i take medz so i can sleep, and try to function. I have been suffering depression as well. I go to professional counseling.

    I don’t trust him anymore and recently he started looking at porn and killed the computer with a virus and blamed me for looking at penises. He was so pissed that he actually took the computer and I had no computer.

    I can’t seem to heal if he doesn’t admit it. He said ‘go heal yourself’–he had been abusing me emotionally and just realized it after therapy. He’s very mean now to me and keeps finances paperless and when I asked to see them he says no. He withholds intimacy and money from me. I feel so helpless at times.

    I pray to God everyday to give me strength to make it to the next day. I don’t even recognize this man he can’t even look me in the eye alot of the times.

    Any information would be a beneift to me. Thank you and God bless!

  23. (SOUTH AFRICA) I found out that my husband has been “chatting” with another women for the past 8 months… and according to both of them, they have only been chatting and nothing has ever happened beyond that…they have also never met in person. The women says she has feelings for my husband…my husband is undecided because he is unsure of what he wants. Should I be worried??? What am I to do now???

    We have been having some problems in our marriage for a while… but he has now said that he just wants to be friends with this woman… and he wants me to meet her with the hope that the 3 of us can be friends… and that him and I will do the necessary to salvage our marriage. Where do I go from here?

    1. (USA) Sorry to say this but BE VERY WORRIED! It starts as friends, then confiding very personal information, all then the slander of each other’s spouses and making up stuff you would never imagine all trying to justfiy what they are doing.

      The devil makes sure that it “goes there” because he is out to destroy marriages and kids. All that God adores and that is all Satan can do. A man is to love his wife has Christ loved the church. If he does that right, there is no need or desire for a female friend. You are all each other needs!

  24. (USA)  I have been married for 35 years and have been having an affair of the heart with my ex-husband for the past 10 months. We have seen each other one day during that time and embraced and kissed but did not have sex. We chat, email and talk on the phone about every other day and I am in love with him.

    It’s confusing because I still care for my husband, the father of our 3 grown children but he had moved out of the bedroom and we lost all intimacy and caring for about 18 years before I reconnected with my ex. I lost over 100 pounds almost 2 years ago and have felt young again and desirable but got nothing from my husband. I have told him how I feel and have tried to reignite our passions to mostly no avail. I continually try to work on our relationship but it is all coming from one side. I distance myself from him purposely much of the time now and tell myself that I really don’t care anymore, but I do because I’m angry about it.

    My communications with my ex is the only thing that keeps me sane and makes me feel good about myself it seems anymore. He is also married for about the same number of years and we are both deceiving our spouses. He is not going to leave his wife and I know this, but cannot stop! I’ve been dying to meet again, but the miles between us have stopped that. He is my closest friend so I don’t want to lose him. Can I have some feedback here please?

    1. (USA) We’ve all been there even abused and ashamed out of town over out spouses’s cheating but there are boundaries to honor. Especially for those that are truly “saved.” “There is no temptation taken you that is common to man but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able but will with the temptation also make a way to escape so that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10-13

      Some choose to do right and other choose to feed their flesh. We all have a choice. Two powers at work in this world= The Holy Spirit and the spirit of anti Christ. You have free will as we all do. When “self” rules, Satan is on control. Prayers for you.

  25. (IL)  My husband was hiding his phone. I found erotic sex messages on it. I woke up in the middle of the night and called back the number. She answered, oh, are you up late? I said, who are you?

    My husband told me he had feelings for her and continues to call her and text her. I check his cell phone records and now he is using our home phone. I received records of the outbound calls and he is still talking to her. He states nothing is going on anymore. We have been through marriage counseling and personal counselors for well over a year. He has ruined every holiday for the past 2 years.

    He said it is over but how can that be if he is still calling her? He said he calls her because he is depressed and needs someone to talk to. He talks to her about our marriage. He has never given me a chance to heal. Every time I leave the house it is proven that he calls her but said he wants our marriage and loves me. He said he thought way back that he loved her, but does not.

    I am so sad. He is ruining my health. I started smoking after quitting for 11 years. I cannot go anywhere without crying. My friends disrespect me for putting up with this abuse. My elderly parents are upset, my co-workers are disappointed in me.

    This woman is a 5-time DUI offender and was in prison for 2 years. She is also very unattractive and sexually promiscuous. I am scared to death that if I have relations with my husband I am doomed. I am ver attractive and eat and take very good care of myself, except now, I am smoking. It is hard to do my workouts. I am so stressed it’s starting to show. When I try to end my marriage he fights me tooth and nail. He says, I love you. But it seems he waits a while and he is back to speaking or whatever with her.

    I am asking him to do a lie detector test to prove to me he has not been unfaithful since I asked him to do a complete STD workup. He passed; thank God.

    Today I tried to sell my wedding rings and he said if I do not calm down he is calling an ambulance. Because of my rage he refuses to give me a divorce. The problem is that I love him. Why is he calling? Doesn’t that mean his affair with this woman is still going on? She sleeps around and because I told her how ugly she is I believe she continues after him, just to hurt me. I cannot heal. I do not feel safe or loved, only betrayed. Please pray for me, please, please.

  26. (USA)  My husband had an affair 4 years ago. I was devastated, depressed and withdrew myself from everything and everyone due to his betrayal. This man was my best friend! I cried everyday for nearly two months, then I decided I wanted a divorce. He was in disbelief that I would not give him a chance.

    He gave the typical excuse of not knowing why he did it because he adores and loves me but he felt alone at times. Mind you, I was working a full time job and attending college, but I always made time to prepare his meals and put his wants first and I felt we had a good sex life.

    I found out about the affair through a social website I was a member of. This loser he had an affair with emailed me all the details of their sexual encounters. Can you believe it!?!

    When I confronted him he denied it but I knew he was lying and to prove it I threw a printed copy of the emails to his face. He started crying and confessed while on his knees. I never hated someone so much at that moment. He could not believe this loser wrote all the things she did to me and was visibly angry. So angry that he called her in front of me and spoke to her like the garbage she was. Mind you I took the phone and lashed out as well after all she provoked me. I have to admit it felt good for a minute.

    After that encounter, we finally came to an agreement that he would move out in two months as I could not forgive him. Unfortunately our plans diminished as the following month I was diagnosed with cancer. Go figure, like I needed more stress. He then refused to leave and begged me again to let him help me through this. I finally gave in since I was emotionally drained. His affair left me feeling ugly and undesirable. I kept thinking this is why he did this to me. I put myself down all the time.

    Two years after this ordeal we were still living together and I was fully recovered, however, our marriage was still damaged and not looking any better.

    I then started working for an international company and met someone who had just moved to America from Paris two years earlier. He was also married and just as unhappy as I was. The more time we spend together the more I wanted to be around him. I started to feel wanted and desirable again. We started confiding in each other of the betrayals of our respective others and found we had a lot in common.

    My husband noticed that I was not so angry any longer and looked peaceful. He knew now that there was no chance of us getting back to what it use to be before the affair.

    It has now been 4 years since the affair and 2 years since I have been in an emotional affair with my co-worker. Although my co-worker and I have kissed and act as a couple at work we have never slept together and refuse to do so until we are completely single. My co-worker has now moved out and my husband is moving out in a couple of months and I could not be happier.

    My point is that some couples can survive infidelity and some can’t. Personally I could not do it and to be honest I did not want to. I deserve better and I deserve a man that is committed and takes vowels as serious as I had. Even though I am moving on I feel sad that our marriage ended because he is truly a good person, but I can’t forget the pain he put me through.

    Just yesterday my husband told me the affair is his biggest regret because he took for granted that I would always be there. I see him crying all the time now but that is not enough to heal the wounds. Good luck to all of you that have experienced this.

    1. (USA) Our situation is kind of similar and I need to talk to someone who has been through it. I have been married for almost 3 years and with him for almost six. I have been communicated what I did from him for 6 years and he just didn’t seem to get it! I started talking to another man as friends and didn’t know I would develop feelings for him. I believe I did now because I was so vulnerable. I talked to this man for two years off and on but never saw him in person but I felt an emotional connection because he paid me attention and told me how pretty I am and took the time to see how I was doing and feeling something my husband never did.

      I began to not want to be involved with my husband sexually because I felt that’s all I was good for and we both became more and more frustrated with one another. I finally told my husband it was over and I wanted a divorce (not because of the other guy because I did not want to be with this guy but because I was tired of being ignored as a human being and just used for sex). My husband then tried to be there for me a little more but I felt it was too late so I started to ignore him. I would not have sex with him at all because in my heart at that time I felt it was over.

      Well, about a month and a half after no sex hardly any communication… I decided I wanted to make it work and try hard and my husband agreed. To my disbelief I found out that during this time I said it was over he had slept with another woman twice. I was so devastated. My needs hadn’t been met for years but as soon as yours are not met you sleep with another woman. He had ended it with the woman when I said I wanted to be back with him and she was so bitter she decided to Facebook me and tell me about the affair. He admitted to it and said he was going to tell me. I cried and he cried. He was very remorseful and begged for forgiveness and asked me not to leave. I went into a deep depression. We lost our business and I’m just a mess.

      I, at first, agreed to work it out but I couldn’t get over the fact that he had slept with someone else so we separated. Its been about 5 months since all the drama and I’m still hurt. I emotionally cheated and he physically cheated but it’s hard for me to forgive him. I told him I wanted a divorce but I’m still not sure what I want. We have lost everything. He lost his job and I just don’t know what to do! Any suggestions?! We have a 4 year old son and he misses his dad a lot!

      1. (USA) Cheating, whether it is physical or emotional, is still cheating. You both made a mistake and we are human, we make mistakes. The better person learns from their mistakes and becomes stronger from them. It sounds to me that you both want to work out it so I say go for it. Get to a marriage counselor and learn to communicate again, love again and be married again. Would you tell your son to give up on something if it was hard to do?

        The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that that situation is over, you cannot move forward.

  27. (US)  My husband has been having serial physical and emotional affairs for 20 years. He would always lie and I couldn’t get him to honestly discuss what was going on. Women who emailed “had the wrong Dave.” Women he chatted with were “just friends and he knew I would like them, too.” The angry husband who called “had the wrong Dave.” On and on.

    Every time he was infatuated with someone else, he would treat me like dirt. He struck me full in the face for not hiding my unhappiness when a pair of my jeans was ruined in the laundry. Two years after he struck me, I had an affair. He hacked my email and really became upset. He didn’t want to let me go, so we reconciled and I ended it.

    His affairs go on endlessly and he constantly checks my doings and whereabouts. He even has several women simultaneously on a string. The one he’s most serious about just now–for two years and ongoing–I could tell about the other women.

    My children will be out of school in another two years. I don’t think I need tell him that’s his time frame. And yet –in spite of it all –I love him. I can’t change him. Just make a deal based on mutually assured destruction, evidence and contacts in a safe deposit box. We are at defcon2 and holding for two years, or thereabouts.

    How sad. I could have been someone. He could have let me go by. He need never have married.

  28. (US)  My wife had an affair 25 years ago with a black man she worked with. She told me of the affair one and a half months into her pregnancy. This was to be my second child. I was needless to say, devastated. I stayed in the marriage to see if the child might be mine, which would be obvious because I am white. The decision to stay and work on the marriage was terribly hard but the pain of having to visit my children I felt would have been more devastating on me than trying to work through this crisis. So for 7 months I had to wonder whether the child was mine or not. If not mine, the relationship would end.

    Till this day I cannot put into words the emotions I went through and still go through at times this very day, 25 years later. Now what you all are wondering… Yes, the newborn was mine. I was not there for the delivery. An aunt attended. I am still married to the same lady and have 3 boys. To this day I feel the pain and suffering I went through is nothing compared to the pain of having to visit my children and not be in their lives daily.

    One word of advice. If an affair happens in your life, limit who you tell. Either tell no one or very very few because it’s your decision not theirs and you may make your decisions on not what is best for you. I only told 2 individuals.

  29. (UNITED STATES) Can someone help me and help me understand this please? I just found out that my husband has been calling and texting his ex girlfriend for the past 3 weeks behind my back. When I confront him, he says they are just friends and says he didn’t do anything wrong.

    About a month later I read all the text he sent. She lives in another state so they didn’t see each other. But he was having sex through texts and sending naked pictures. Also he told her he doesn’t live his wife (me) and should have never married me. Also says he will leave me in a heart beat for her. He told her all of this in texts. He also told her he always loved her and still does. He planned on going to see her in a few months and to propose to her and have sex.

    Now that I know about all this he came clean with me and is telling me he has no feelings for this girl and everything was a lie. He tells me he does love me and only me and it’s always been like that. What should I believe? He told this girl all our martial problems and everything. How could he tell me he doesn’t have feelings for her and everything was a lie? What do you think is the truth?

  30. I have been with my husband for 8 years. Married for six. I just found out he has been having an affair for the last few months with a coworker. He has always been sort of an emotional wall with me as well as everyone around him. He doesn’t often talk about feelings or open up. He said the affair started because he had a friendship with her and they were going through similar things in their marriages (mind you I thought our marriage was fine, and she married her high school sweetheart and they have a child) and he shared feelings with her he never talks about with me.

    They had sex twice, once a month or so ago, and once a week ago after he told me about the first time and I left to stay with my sister for a while. Not only can I not believe he did it, I can’t believe he did it again after he told me! I am so mad and hurt. I feel like I’m in shock and numb. He told her he loved her, and admitted to me that it will be hard on him to let her go. He said he decided to end it with her and begged me to work it out with him. I don’t know what to do. He works with her.

    We are not in a financial position for him to quit his job before finding a new one, and although he swears he will have no need to speak to her at work, I don’t know how I can handle knowing they are in the same place. I’m still at my sister’s house in another state. I don’t even trust him to be alone right now but I can’t bare to go home to the house he slept with her in. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I want to save us but the fact that he admitted to me he told her he loved her makes it hard for me to believe their relationship will just stop. How do I cope with the fact that he has to get over his girlfriend? It’s all so confusing.

    Before this we had a wonderful relationship, we truly are best friends, we have so much fun together. He said he’s never felt like he could open up to anyone ever, but he opened up to her. He said he wants to go to counseling and learn how to have that relationship with me. That makes me feel like I have to live up to her! I love him and hate him all at the same time. Any advice? Just as an FYI we have no kids and I am fairly financially reliant on him. I wouldn’t even know how to go about leaving because I lack the training, experience, and skills to survive on my own. He makes enough money for us to live but not enough for us to live separately. And who knows if he finds a new job if that pay will stay the same or not? I know I can’t stay with him because of that, and I’d have to figure it out on my own, but it does make the decision more scary. I am so torn.