Marriage Missions International

When the Wife Has the Affair

(Please note: The wife is mentioned in this article as having the affair, but yes, we do realize that there are many times when the husband is the unfaithful one. If this is true for you, please change the pronouns.)

Photo by David Castillo Dominici, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo by David Castillo Dominici, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A husband and wife sit in our office beside each other on the sofa. She is pregnant with the other man’s child. “I don’t love my husband,” she tells us and part of me cringes.

How much does this betrayed husband have to endure? I wonder. He loves his wife, but is devastated because she’s been unfaithful. Not only that, but she’s pregnant with another man’s child, and now he must hear the words, “I don’t love you.” Yet, there he sits, man of honor, willing to take responsibility for ways he may have failed her in the marriage, willing to work on himself, willing to work towards reconciliation.

I understand the wife FEELS she doesn’t love her husband, and I know pushing her to stay in her marriage is not the answer. She cannot be forced to love. Love must always be a choice.

In another situation, I am working with a betrayed husband. It has taken him months to reach out for help and support. He’s a 6’6” handsome bodybuilder with a successful career. He tells me he’s not normally one to talk much, nor to show emotion, and really not too aware of his emotions.

Yet he explains to me how the pain of his wife’s affair has overwhelmed him and caused him to feel emotions so intense he didn’t know he was capable of feeling these things. At times he tells me he’s found himself huddled on the floor in the fetal position, feeling nearly unable to bear the emotional pain.

It’s hard. Normally high-functioning, moral, good people finding themselves feeling, doing, and considering things they once never thought they would or could.

When the wife has had the affair it is often more difficult to get her to give up her affair and to be willing to put effort into the marriage. She has already checked out.

A husband may have the ability to have feelings for more than one woman, whereas a woman tends to give her devotion to only one man, so when she has come to the point of engaging in an affair, she has generally withdrawn her affection from her husband and given it to the other man. When a husband cheats, generally his love has remained steadfast for his wife, even while he’s given part of himself to another. When the wife cheats she is more likely to have entertained thoughts of leaving her marriage for her affair partner.

The cheating wife has often gone to her husband, pre-affair, time and again wanting to “talk” about their relationship, to tell him how she’s hurting, to ask for what she needs, but for whatever reasons she has not been able to get through to him, so she has given up trying and shut down.

She feels she’s given him chance after chance and now “that’s it!” After the affair, she’s more reluctant to give him a chance to win her heart back. Wives in general tend to be more “relationally tuned in,” and aware of a disconnect within the marriage, so more likely to make effort to read books, go to counseling or marriage retreats, or even engage their spouse in a “let’s fix our marriage” conversation prior to the time she’s gotten sucked into an affair.

If a man has been unhappy in the relationship, he is less likely to be direct in asking for help. He is not likely to say, “Honey, we need to talk about our relationship.” He is fearful of being vulnerable in this way.

Some of the factors we find common when the wife has been unfaithful include:

•   She didn’t feel heard in the marriage.


•   She didn’t feel understood.


•   She felt the heart connection was missing.


•   She lost herself in the marriage giving too much, and losing a sense of her own identity.

•   Her husband was an absentee father.

•   She felt a disparity in fairness in roles in the relationship.

And if she’s a woman of faith, she may have felt frustrated that her husband wasn’t taking on the role of spiritual leader in the home. She’s tired of trying to be the “good” person in the relationship, and she’s been carrying the responsibility for too many things for too long.

Today’s wives are under more stress than ever, because they generally work full-time outside the home and still carry the responsibility for most of the work in maintaining home and children. Plus women do not carry stress in the same way men do. Studies have shown that they feel twice as much stress at work given the same job/stressors as a man.

When a man comes home he generally has the ability to relax. This is how he de-stresses from the day. A woman on the other hand comes home to a second job and her stress now multiplies four times. Her Cortisol level (the stress hormone) shoots through the roof. Even if her husband says “here relax, I’ll take care of the kids, make dinner and do those extra loads of laundry,” she’ll only relax for a couple of minutes, then think of more things that need to get done and get up and start doing. The wife cannot relax until the work is done. Today’s women are generally experiencing far too much stress.

Wives are more likely to struggle with “greener grass syndrome.” “If only my husband would learn 
how to ___________ like so and so’s husband.”

The unfaithful wife often is not honest because she wants to hide the fact that she doesn’t want to get rid of the other relationship.

When a spouse cheats our society tends to assume there were problems in the marriage, which led to the affair. While marriages with problems are certainly more susceptible to affairs, problems in marriages are not the only reasons for affairs. AFFAIRS HAPPEN IN GOOD, STRONG MARRIAGES TOO.

When a wife cheats it is more likely that the husband has failed her in the marriage in some way, than when the husband cheats. When the husband cheats it is more likely nothing to do with his wife, or satisfaction in his marriage.

When a man is the betrayed spouse he is more likely to be concerned with counting the number of times the wife had sex in the affair. He wonders, “How good was the other man in bed?”

When the woman is the betrayed spouse she is likely to be more concerned with thoughts of “you must have loved her if …”

When the wife cheats she is more likely to have had a strong emotional connection to the other man. It’s less likely that her affair was only for sex.

When a husband cheats, while many times there is a strong emotional connection, there are also many times when the unfaithfulness was only about sex.

When a wife cheats she often gives sex to gain the emotional connection that is satisfying her.

When a husband cheats he is more likely to give the emotional connection to gain the sex he wants with this person.

When the wife cheats she suffers a greater social stigma and rejection. Her girlfriends are not likely to admire or support her in anyway (unless they’re desperate housewives protégés.)

When the husband cheats some of the men in his circle of influence may look up to him and envy him a bit, even if it’s never said, and he knows this. In some circles the man’s unfaithfulness is basically accepted. This is not likely for the woman, so she suffers with a greater sense of quiet desperation.

There is tremendous hope for couples where the wife has been unfaithful, because the betrayed husband is serious about becoming the man he needs to be for his wife, and the changes he makes stick, so now more than ever the wife can have the husband she always wanted with the man she married. The illusion that things will be better with the affair partner is exactly that, an illusion. In real life the other man comes with his own set of character flaws, and the loving courtship behaviors that are present in the secret relationship, don’t continue if the affair becomes a marriage.

What can a betrayed husband do who wants to win his wife’s heart?

1. Really love your wife. Read The Heart of the 5 Love Languages written by Dr Gary Chapman. Speak all of these languages for your wife, and find out what her primary languages are and do more of those. A woman longs to be pursued and cherished.

2. Refrain from being vindictive. Don’t throw stones. She’ll just continue to see you as a “jerk,” something she’s likely been struggling with while caught up in the affair (and possibly before.)

3. Be consistent. Learn how to fight fair.

But it’s not fair you say. Yes, I know. There is nothing fair in affair.

Suggestions for the wife who has had an affair:

1. Recognize that generally your affair partner is not better than the one you’re with.

2. Create reassurance for your husband, and give him lots of encouragement.

3. Reach out for support for yourself from sound, safe sources. This journey is way too hard. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do it alone.

Conclusion: What became of the couples referred to in the opening?

The wife in the first scenario committed to putting her whole heart into the work we would guide her through for a 3-month period of time. If she felt like leaving after this we agreed she could, but she was not to entertain the thought of divorce during that time. By 3 months they had moved significantly forward, her feelings of love for her husband were returning, and they decided to continue the work. They purchased a coaching package for one year, and attended 3 of our seminars. By the time her baby was born, they had fallen in love again, and were well on their way to healing. The husband adopted the child as his own and they have a wonderful family and life together today.

The husband in the second scenario moved forward quickly once he reached out for help. His wife had already ended her affair and was fully committed to doing whatever it took to heal the marriage. They attended a Healing From Affairs Intensive after 4 months of coaching.

When they came to the Healing Intensive seminar it was a last ditch effort for them. The husband just didn’t see how he could continue to live with the pain he’d been feeling. The weekend became their turn around point. They set aside weekly time after that to work through all the materials we provided them with. Then they took their marriage to a whole new level at the Love & Passion weekend five months later. Today, they are stronger than ever, and helping others in their marriages.

These are just two brief examples of many, many couples we’ve helped. If they can do it so can you. Don’t delay reaching out for help. Don’t go through this pain any longer than you absolutely have to. Nothing can do more for your wealth, health, children, career success and overall happiness than not only healing your marriage, but also making it a passionate one. We know the way. We’ll show you how. We guarantee it. What is getting from miserable to happy worth to you?

Anne and Brian Bercht, who are both affair recovery specialists, wrote this article. Together they have appeared on television programs throughout North America. They are authors of the book, “My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” a Canadian Bestseller. Anne is the Director of the International Beyond Affairs Network. They have both a Canadian and a U.S. office. You can visit their web site at www.beyondaffairs.comFor information about confidential coaching with Brian or Anne click here.

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Comments

79 Responses to “When the Wife Has the Affair”
  1. Tony says:

    (USA)  I simply disagree with the notion that women are more relationally tuned in. After all, you wouldn’t have so many women unable to speak to their husbands in a way that he understands, I.E. action. You wouldn’t have women who fail to understand that while their husbands emotional needs are different, they are no less valid and no more base or Neanderthal compared to hers, and so on. Women are simply tuned into DIFFERENT parts of the relationship. They are not tuned in better.

    I just came up with a new metaphor here. Women are radios, men are TVs. Women can pick up on the verbal, men on the visual. One is not better than the other, they are simply different. If a man doesn’t see it, it’s no different than the woman not hearing it. Both radios and TVs have their place, neither better than the other.

    I do agree that when women cheat, it’s harder to get them back. What I find lacking in this article are steps that will help the betrayed husband convince his wayward wife to even go to a counselor. It’s fine to say they can help, but how can they help if he is unable to break through the fog of the affair to convince her there is another way.

    Speaking as one who was a betrayed husband, I learned everything presented here. But it was useless as I had no effective means of delivering a convincing case to the fogged out now ex-wife.

    So there is a step missing here. What I needed was a sure-fire way to get her into the counselors office. Some action or line of reasoning that was compelling enough to cause her to ignore the “feelings” of the affair long enough to consider other possible outcomes. Until that’s provided, I don’t really see how this information is helpful to the typical betrayed husband.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      (USA) Hi Tony, We would greatly welcome it if you or another man would write a constructive, helpful article on this subject, which addresses and helps the “typical betrayed husband.” We’re continually looking for articles, which address this issue but just as continually come up empty-handed. We know there are many, many men who are out there who have been betrayed and are looking for help, but we’re having a tough time making resources available, because we can’t find them. We’re greatly frustrated.

      Concerning the article posted here, you’re right in that this is not an all-inclusive article. There are steps missing. But it at least broaches the subject and gives men a platform, which is so needed. Even if they disagree on some aspects, it at least is a start.

      As far as a “sure-fire way” to get a wife to a counselor, I can’t imagine that you’ll find it ANYWHERE, just as you won’t find a sure-fire way to get a husband to one. If you did, you’d find a very rich author behind it, because people would pay GREAT amounts of money for a “sure-fire” way. There is not a “one-size fits all” solution to this. People are too individual for that type of thing. It’s a matter of gleaning what will work for your situation and leaving behind that which won’t work for your situation. What I’ve seen is that something that one person or one couple thinks won’t work in a million years, happens to be that which will work for others… go figure! It happens. But then there are other situations where nothing will work because the unfaithful partner doesn’t want to change directions, which will save the marriage. That is most grievous and totally unfair.

      I need to say, though, that I like your metaphor about the women being radios and men being TV’s, where women pick up on the verbal and men on the visual. There is a lot of truth to it (of course, there are always exceptions). And you’re right, one is not better than the other. Please pray about it and see how God expands this illustration in your understanding and see if you can send us something in an expanded version (in the “Contact Us” part of the web site). I can promise you we will prayerfully consider posting it. We’re very open to that which encourages and helps those who need help. And that is especially true as it pertains to men who need help on this painful issue.

      • Tony says:

        (USA)  I don’t know how to write the article since the help doesn’t seem to be there. After all, recall my experience. I came to the church with my ex-wife’s affair. They blamed me for her having an affair. They wouldn’t address the Matthew 18 process.

        I called Joe Beam, I was on his radio show. He said he would put me in touch with a local resource. I called his office several times, but was never given a local resource.

        I called Focus on the Family. They said they would pray for me, but they couldn’t contact my ex-wife and confront her about the affair.

        I called Smalley. They went back and forth between having and not having Intensives for betrayed spouses when the unfaithful spouse would not attend, but never actually had one as far as I could tell in the two years it took for my divorce to be final.

        I worked with Marriage Builders. Steve Harley, Dr Willard Harley’s son was my coach, but that was over the phone, and at $175/hr, it wasn’t long until I was out of money and still no end to the affair, regardless what I did. She never joined in on the sessions.

        So I don’t know what helps because I’ve never personally seen it in action. But I do know that men asking for help doesn’t seem to work. I asked everyone I could think of, could find on line, etc, and no results. Not really any help. The closest being Marriage Builders, but eventually I ran out of money, so that came to an end.

        So you tell me, what works. Because I can tell you what doesn’t.

        Telling the betrayed husband you’ll pray for him.
        Blaming the betrayed husband.
        Telling him you can’t get involved.
        Trying to figure out what your program will be, but not actually implementing a program.

        I experienced all of these and none of them proved effective.

        So perhaps those who’ve had success might chime in. Perhaps those wives who had affairs, ended them and worked on their marriage would chime in and tell us what got them to end the affair, confess it to their spouse and work on building a Godly marriage.

        To ask those who experienced failure isn’t really going to be very helpful, is it?

        • Pavrone says:

          (USA) They always blame the victim, even other posters here. God says all sin has consequences but when I say that, my husband knows his consequences for 22 years of abuse and adultery are coming, I hear that I’m the bad one, sounds like a curse, and I should do this and that. I BEGGED him for 22 years to stop or leave. Cracked eye socket, deaf in my left ear from ear canal damage. Migraines and seizures from one of his beatings and the daily listening to him threaten with me with getting laid first chance he got.

          Then when he did as I sat making quilts for our 3 kids Christmas gifts while he carried on, it nearly killed all of us. To see my 8 year old sobbing in front of the tree, it’s all i can do to try and put one up. It all broke 5 days before then. A selfish disobedient child of wrath, God calls him.

          Please read Dr. David Clarke’s “I Don’t Want a Divorce” and go right to Chapter 17. It may save your life. He explains in Seminary they are taught to blame the victim and sweep it under thr rug. All better. Not so and he admits he did it for 20 years and it was so wrong. He treats it like Nathan did with David in 1 Samuel. Please do read this book. He’s on the victim’s side.

          I would love for my husband to address the one beating me up. He would tell her if he listened to more like her he would have never repented and end up in hell. Before the book, I did all Dr. Clarke said which is Biblical. For me, it was the natural reaction.

          There are 3 times more of God’s wrath than love in the Bible. To those that claim him, better get serious. There is coming a day. Peace and prayers for your marriage and healing.

        • I’m so sorry for the pain you endured.

        • Rudolph from United States says:

          My wife cheated on me and is pregnant with another man’s child. I was a good husband and did everything I could do to make her happy. I want to know why this happened. They say behind every good man there is a good woman. Where is my good wife? She threw away 9 years of marriage.

      • My husband and I got divorced and remarried the second time. He cheated on me, left me and dated another woman (both in the army) and got pregnant. I was begging him to not divorce me because I was completely relying on him and my newborn baby. I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved here in the US after we got married. So I didn’t have a job nor I didn’t know how to drive. I was very hurt & depressed.

        People feel sorry for me. I decided to stop feeling sorry about myself and trying to push myself up, got to learn how to drive, got a job & went back to school to better myself for my kids. I tried to move on by dating another guy. It started to go back normal on where I was feeling confident of myself. On the other hand my husband didn’t go well with his affair I guess, so he saw that I was moving on fine and started to be in the middle of my Bf.

        Story short, he won me over by my BF. we tried to agree that we don’t want our child to grow up like us (parents divorced). I was a realistic person so I thought I would give it a try even though the love was not the same. I have trust issue from a previous relationship. I pretty much told myself that guys are all the same. After the second marriage he did it again three times although he made me believe that it was all flirting. I’m not a stalker wife. So if I read messages like “why you gotta be married? I still remember when you put me in the locker” it keeps playing in my head dragging me back in the past. Despite this we are very incompatible but I already knew that. Before I decided to marry him the first time it just shocked me in surprise cuz I thought he wouldn’t hurt a fly.

        Every time I put more effort into being compatible of his needs without getting anything in return. I feel like I’ve been neglected and I was just hanging on. The only thing that makes me happy is when my son is happy around him. But recently I met a guy in a Halloween party and he was turned on by me. I told him I was married and I would go for only plain friends. We have the same likes but I tried myself so hard not to fall for this guy. He also have the same issue about cheating spouses. His ex wife also cheated on him.

        He was completely telling me that there are still good guys out there that don’t cheat. I started falling for this guy but I was fighting so hard with my feelings toward him until I found out that my husband did it again and this is the third time. I withdrew and told myself that our second marriage was a joke. My husband didn’t try so hard to “save the marriage” until he found out that I started having an affair, until he found out that I was falling in love with another man. I know that the step I made is not right but for almost 10 years of doing the same cycle. We did counseling together and still the same.

        Now I’m having a dilemma because I am on the other hand a realistic person and I have trust issues really bad ever since my childhood even though this guy hasn’t proven me wrong. But why is it that my husband didn’t start to make changes on how sorry he was when he found out about the affair? I feel like I’m a trophy and I’m falling out love. I am also trying to be spritual and forcing myself to have hope but don’t know where to start cuz I’m falling for the other man. But on the other hand looking for some answer on what God wanted me to be, if going back with my husband is the right thing I don’t know where to start not having anymore love to him I think I gave it all. Do you have any advice?

    • Ronald says:

      (UNITED STATES) There is no way to cut through the fog of someone ensnared in an affair. The only thing to do to save the marriage is endure the affair all the while showing the wife unconditional love and fixing your own personal issues that made your wife vulnerable to an affair in the first place. If this is done consistently throughout the affair, once the affair ends (as is statistically likely to happen), and the fog lifts, the wife will see the husbands efforts and changes in a completely different light. This new perspective will open the doors to reconciliation.

      • Mike from United States says:

        There is one way to cut through the fog while simultaneously stamping out the affair. It’s called “exposure”. Affairs thrive on secret, allegiances, alliances, and darkness. Shed the light and turn on the spotlight through mass exposure. Expose to the other persons significant other (wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend), expose to both parents – your parents, your wife/husbands parents, parents of the affair partner. Expose to all friends (your friends, his/her friends, affair partners friends). Expose to the church, school, all facebook contacts. If they work together expose it to the HR department and each of their supervisors. Leave no stone unturned, leave no room for darkness so the affair can thrive. Expose without forewarning -and do it swiftly.

        Exposure does one of two things. It will end the affair and provide an atmosphere for reconciliation, or it will not end the affair and will speed up the process to a divorce. Exposure will not result in months and years of agonizing pain of the wayward spouse going back and forth and sitting on the fence. Once you expose, there is no where for the nasty affair to hide. I liken affairs to mold. They thrive on dark, damp places. Remove the environment, and it can’t grow. Just like an affair.

        My wife had an affair -and I begged and pleaded with her to end it. She said she did -but it just went underground. Once I exposed to everyone -it stamped it out. What worked the best was a letter to HR department and copy sent to each of their bosses. Due to the strict policies in their workplace both were let go. Contact was ended immediately. The bubble had burst. The fog was lifted and my wife returned to her senses. Dr. Harley’s advice on MarriageBuilders.com is absolutely correct.

        • Tony from United States says:

          Except when it doesn’t end the affair. I called her parents, his wife our church. Nothing ended the affair. Her parents even had the other man in their home over to celebrate the holidays with them.

          I don’t disagree that exposure is key. But it’s not a sure-fire cure to end the affair. It may continue right on past the day your unfaithful wife gets the divorce she wants.

    • Jorge from United States says:

      I just got separated on 9/9/13. In 2009 I had an affair, left the house for about 4 months. I thank God that God touched me and reminded me of where my love really was and went back. During that same time, as payback, my wife spent the night with another man. Here we are 4 years later the evening of 9/9. My kids and I got confirmation that my wife was having an affair. The man’s wife called me to tell me. I left the house. Ever since then I have been praying for God to restore our marriage, our family. I am 40; my wife is 42. We have 5 wonderful children and a beautiful 8 month old granddaughter. We have been together for 11 years, married for 7.5.

      My children have seen her tranform from a wonderful wife and mother to an 18 year old girl. I have tried to stand firm, be paitent but it is as if she is in a race. She has already filed for divorce. We have our divorce court on 12/4, just 3 months after. I have heard excuses from I wasn’t good to our step kids, I was controlling with her, to I was mean to her sisters, to I looked at women. Now, she is saying that it happened because of what I did 4 years ago. My step kids and I get along great, I see my grandaughter as much as possible, take her to church with me (keep in mind she is not my blood grandauther). They are actually testifying for me on my behalf in a restraining order case she put on me. I didn’t like her sisters, she says, because I didn’t like lending them money. This is where the controlling part comes in. We were always in a financial strain, paying rent late, taking out pay day loans, advances from banks, hardship withdrawals from our 401k. So yes, I did control the money and I didn’t like lending any out because we didn’t have enough for us, much less to lend out. As fas a looking at women, I learned to control myself last November and even then, I didn’t do it to the point she said but I still had to walk with my head down just to avoid problems and accusations.

      It is wonderful to hear that your marriage was restored, that is a very miracle of God. As for myself, I have come to the conclusion that restoration is not for everyone. After the affair with the married man, she says it was only emotional. She told my daughter that she was now talking to someone new, someone younger. There has been no repentence, no looking back. She is moving into a smaller place, traded our minivan for an Altima and then decided to tint the windows and put a sound system in it. Because of the restraining order she put on me, I have had to get an attorney. I warned not to let it get that far because if the kids were called as witnesses it would not go well for her. She has anger issues, prone to verbal abuse, and physical abuse. I have never hit my wife. I have never even called her a name.

  2. Tony says:

    (USA)  The closest I’ve found is Joe Beam, but if you don’t have a group that will get involved with the intervention, then you can’t really pull it off.

    While the betrayed husband has to address his side of the street, it’s unlikely he’ll be the one to convince his wayward wife to go to the counselor if her parents and friends are all saying, “you go girl” or “whatever it takes to be happy” then the betrayed husband will have little chance.

    The typical wayward wife has already tuned out her husband. How else do you explain her ability to betray him? If she respected him, valued him, she wouldn’t even be having the affair. So to expect him to be able to talk her out of it seems like an impossible task. She’s already proven she doesn’t care about him, or what he thinks or feels. I simply see no hope for the betrayed husband in these situations.

    Since counselors, and in my case even pastors, won’t confront the wayward wife, then who is in his corner? Or perhaps a better way to put it, who is in the corner for a Godly marriage? Not just those who say, “I’ll pray for you.” Who will actually confront these wayward wives and present a compelling case that they can have both the relationship they want and avoid breaking up their family?

    Apparently no one. That was my experience, and I called them all. Not one would make contact with my wayward wife to offer another possibility. Not my pastor, not Beam, not Harley, not Nair, no one.

    So what I think we need is for those who say they are for family and marriage to actually get up and do something. Where are the Godly women who are supposed to be confronting these wayward wives? Aren’t they supposed to be teaching the younger women? What are they teaching them? Seems that they are teaching them that men are not as “tuned-in” relationally speaking. Or that men are more sinful, less spiritual, or whatever.

    It’s no wonder we have a large collection of entitled women and no help for men who really wanted to save their marriages.

    I will give prayerful consideration to working on the Radio/TV metaphor. I think there are aspects that really apply. Plus I believe it can be easily understood by those who live in the modern western world.

    • HDW says:

      (USA) I am a betrayed husband and as a result, I got a “street education” in affairs. Shining the light of exposure on an affair is the single most effective way to kill an affairs. Adultery thrives in secrecy and darkness.

  3. Leslie says:

    (SINGAPORE)  The fact that there are only 4 comment on this thread is telling. There are just not enough of us guys out there who want to give rebuilding the marriage a go. It is just too hard for the men, the majority for whom were not very touched in their feelings in the first place.

    I would like to think that I am one of those guys in touch with his feelings, practiced as much of the 5 languages of love as he could at home. But yet I had a wife who strayed for close to 2 years in our 18 year marriage. I have asked her for a real assessment of where our marriage could have gone wrong to make her betray me, but her only explanation is that she was selfish, greedy and lacking God in her life.

    What chance do we have in this modern secular world where having an affair is worth the risk of losing one’s family?

    The affair is over, she is repentant, remorseful and really wants to make it up to me for the rest of her life. It has been 3 months and the healing which I thought had begun in my first month, looks very much to be fading away. I toggle between forgiving, banging my head against the wall, fighting, feeling sorry for myself, then feeling sorry for the hurt that I have caused her. And then sometimes there’s a night spent in the other room whilst my teenage son looks at all this and wonders aloud what is going on.

    Remember that I am one of the hopeful guys who desires to restore the marriage but right now, I feel like the odds are stacked against us. I hope to visit this website again a year from now to write a success story of healing and restoration. May God help us all and the life that He has planned for me.

    • Tony says:

      (USA)  Leslie, I see it the other way around. There are a lot of guys who want to do this. The problem is, and Dr Willard Harley will back me up here, when the wife has an affair, seldom does she think she’s doing anything wrong. How do you reconcile with someone who doesn’t think what they are doing is wrong?

      I found it here, and it’s in other places too: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5033b_qa.html “Even though you have been very hurt by her affair, don’t blame her for it. Don’t expect her to apologize and don’t ask her to explain the gory details.”

      Or this: “It’s very common for the spouse having the affair to feel unremorseful. And it’s common for the victimized spouse to feel that it wasn’t his or her fault, either. So when an affair has ended, and a couple is ready to rebuild their relationship, neither wants to take responsibility. They both look at each other as having been very selfish, and they look at themselves as having gone the extra mile, with nothing to show for it. Why apologize for something that was the other person’s fault?’ http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5061_qa.html

      Since most wayward wives don’t even acknowledge that what they are doing is wrong, how can their betrayed husbands possibly restore the marriage?

    • James says:

      (USA) You need to work on yourself first, you should be the priority. Otherwise, it will lead to the failure of your marriage. Your wife is in a very delicate position right now and it is in your power to decide which way she will turn…being totally committed to your marriage, or hating you.

      Let go of the past, forgive her if you truly love her. Forgiveness will settle your mind and soul because you are the one who hangs on. If you can’t forgive her, then your marriage is over.

      Again, you have the power in your relationship right now because your wife has humbled herself before you. You should also humble yourself. Remember, “Husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church…” Christ humbled himself and forgave those who spitefully used him.

      • Ron says:

        (USA) My 29 year old wife of almost 7 years is currently in the fog of an affair. She hooked up with a 22 year old community college classmate of her’s while I was at alcohol rehab in April, 2012. That’s when the emotional affair began. They graduated at the same time and he transferred to a college out of state. She tells me lies, then some time later will tell the truth, so I can’t believe what she tells me anymore. Therefore I don’t know for sure when the physical part of the affair began.

        I’m trying to wait out the “fog” while working on bettering my relationship with God and myself. I haven’t had a drink since rehab and I’m glad for this test in that area because if anything was going to drive me back to drink, this would have been it. I have a strong supporting family and her family too condemns what she is doing and is supporting me as best they can. I have distanced myself from her side of the family, even though I love them dearly, so that she will not feel that sides are being taken.

        I see a Christian counselor on a weekly basis and meet with my pastor for discipleship on a weekly basis also. I am filling my time with positive things and work. A strong Christian woman at the church, whom my wife respects very much continues to try and reach out to her. My wife was the person who started our church’s mission trips to Mexico, she was a youth group leader for 4 years and attended weekly Beth Moore Bible studies for 4 years at the home of the aforementioned Christian woman she respects.

        I never saw this coming. I know that what is taking place is the result of my years of prioritizing alcohol over her and so I can accept what is happening without bitterness. I understand why she is doing what she is doing (or at least I think I do), and I don’t hold it against her. She was loyal to me while I was “cheating” on her with booze, and now I feel I need to be loyal to her while she is in this fog and cheating on me. She moved out almost 2months ago and is becoming more distant all the time. I hope and pray and wait.

  4. Todd says:

    (USA)  I have been trying to find a way to get through to my wife, as well. She is in the fog and no matter what I do or say it doesn’t seem to help much. I realized my shortcomings as a husband. I went to a therapist and worked through my issues as I was not going to let my issues cause any more damage to my marriage or my life. I talked to several ministers. I got on my knees and I begged God to forgive me, to help me, to come into my heart and fill it with his love, so that I would be capable of giving my wife the love that she needs. He has done that for me, and he has filled me with so much love that I can’t even make it stop.

    I went to counselors. I read all I could find on relationships, took a lot of good advice from Mort Fertel. I have read the amazing book called “Love Dare” going on 5 times now, and I had already been doing all of the things it says to do for 6 months, from the advice I got from Mort.

    I can say that I tried too hard. I have been completely selfless through this, to the point of being at risk to become homeless, to help her financially just to make her more at ease with things. She sees that as me trying to buy her love. If anything, I have tried too hard and that may be my biggest mistake. She says it is just pushing her away by pressuring her too much.

    I find it very hard to not pressure when you are reeling in pain for months on end, and watching her slowly disconnect from you and destroy all that is left, bit by bit. No matter how cruel her actions have been, I have not been deterred from continuing to love her unconditionally. It looks like I have lost, but at least I can walk away with little regret of not trying hard enough.

    It is a shame and I know that I will have this pain in my heart for the rest of my life. She watched what her choices did to me physically. I could not eat or sleep for 2 months, and lost over 50 pounds, was fired from a good job, etc. etc. I have now been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. I hope she realizes what a mistake she is making, but I am afraid by the time she does it will be too late. I have to move away from this pain somehow. I pray for more light to come on this very subject, as well.

  5. Martin says:

    (SINGAPORE)  I had an affair with a married woman and I separated from my wife and kids for her. She left me a few months ago. Despite 3 years of being told she loved me and would be with me forever I got a quick phone call to say she was heading home. I am devastated and feel so used as I loved her deeply. I now feel she may have lied to me and never intended to stay.

    I am not proud of what I have done and I take full responsibility for separating from my marriage as I did have issues. Why would a woman do this and destroy everything around her but save herself? I now know her husband has no idea. I feel like telling him.

    • Oh Dear says:

      (S.AFRICA) Dear Martin, I have read your story and just cannot believe you are asking that question of your affair partner “Why would a woman do this and destroy everything around her but save herself?” This is exactly what you did when you left your wife and children to engage in this affair. God forgives and loves you -but this is just one of the consequences of the wrong choices you made.

    • Pavrone says:

      (USA) As the saying goes “If she will do it with you, she will do it to you”. An affair is authored by Satan and he has no friends. He seeks to destroy everyway he can and people only have to let him in to start it all. Does anyone ever really think that was the devil has to offer is real love? Clean, right, safe or pleasing to God?

      You do not mention how your wife and kids are now. An affair is seeking tp please “self” over all else even what we know is right. I pray that you have repented and can get that adulteress off your mind. If she loved you she would have never asked you to damage your testimony/standing with God or your wife and kids. As with the devil, she set out to please herself and when she was bored she moved on and will most likely do that to this next guy.

      I’m sorry you are hurting but I am the faithful wife of a man that cheated and it is so hard to feel for anyone over the true victims in this. I will promise to pray for you and do so. My husband would have been more merciful to kill me and my kids. He’s here, sorry, and trying but the damage is so horriffic. He knows his consequences are coming too. Please do seek God, through repenetance and sincerely desire to walk with Him. Love and prayers.

      • Leyla says:

        (TURKEY) “An affair is authored by Satan” OMG can’t believe in 2012 a person could think this let alone write it without feeling like a goose. My best friend, who is the LEAST satanic person I know had an affair, after being faithful to her alcoholic and abusive husband for 25 years. She tried everything under the sun to save the marriage and the husband from himself. No joy. The problem was large with his inability to extricate himself from alcohol and various other demons. Her problem was she didn’t recognise she could never change a person who doesn’t want to change.

        Her affair partner was the best thing that ever happened to her. They’ve been together happily for 8 years. If God, yes God had not sent her affair partner she’d be sliding into the depression we were witnessing her enter. God works in mysterious ways and sometimes unorthodox ways and is the ULTIMTE judge. So try to extend humility and understanding instead of thundering biblical rage.

        • Robin says:

          (USA) All people have good and bad within them. It is our choices and actions that make us who we are. We are all victims AND the cause of someone else’s pain at some point in our life. None of us are perfect. I have seen that most people who choose to do the wrong thing do it because they are suffering from something themselves and they think this thing is going to help end the suffering. It is very sad because the suffering continues as a never-ending cycle, passed on to the person(s) they hurt in the process. Now that person feels justified to be bitter and hurtful because they were hurt. It takes strength, courage, compassion and humility (letting go of your ego) to stop that suffering (or if you want to call it the devil) in it’s tracks. The problem is, some of us have too much pride and ego to do that. If you really want to heal your marriage you need to see the good in your spouse and forgive. Taking them back is not the same as forgiving them. Saying “he knows his consequences are coming too” sounds like a curse to me. Be very careful and mindful of what you are thinking. Most of the time we do that unconsciously. Making your spouse feel fear, guilt and shame is only going to hurt your marriage more in the long run. Remember— a marriage is a unit. If you hurt one the other is hurt too.

          To Martin— I hope you learned your lesson (I know I did). But you need to focus on your wife and stop thinking about the why’s of what that woman did to you. That is over. Revenge by telling her husband will only cause pain to her poor husband. Put that energy into seeking forgiveness and saving your marriage.

          To Pavrone— You sound very bitter to me which is very understandable. But if you want to work toward a healthy and happy marriage, I think you should put more focus on healing your husband instead of yourself as a victim. That will remind him why he loved you in the first place and his heart will come back to you (faithfully). If YOU are the more faithful, loving, forgiving person of the two of you — then show him what that is. Be the example for him to learn from.

          To Leyla— I totally agree. God does work in mysterious ways. Sometimes when something “bad” happens it sets things in motion for something much better in our life and gives us the opportunity to make a better person of ourselves. Just because someone makes a mistake doesn’t mean they run with the devil.

        • Pavrone says:

          (USA) I was abused in every way; I never cheated. You need to read your Bible rather that rail on me. God says that. NOT ME. We are born enemies to Christ and only by receiving Christ do we become His children, we may be His Creation but not His children.

          You could not imagine what I endured 21.5 years out of 23 and with 3 kids. God will not hear one excuse- He makes that plain. NO EXCUSE for that! I know so many that commited suicide and I nearly did as well as my kids. The epitomy of immature selfishness. One can always leave rather than destroy a family. But that is exactly what Satan does. Destroy all God loves. Kids and Marriage.

          Satan catches us in our weakest moments persuades us to take that first step, people do the rest by themselves and it’s dirty. Read what God calls it, His very graphic labels. Out of respect for Cindy I won’t recite the Bible on this but read it. He calls it filthy animals and I’ll leave it at that. Maybe you’ll pray tonight and seek God’s counsel. The more the adulterer does it, the easier it gets.

          Take it up with God, I didn’t write it-He did. He is the final authority and there are no excuses for adultery. It is a violation of every Commandment. Please do study 2 Timothy 2:15.

        • Pavrone says:

          (USA) To Robin. Not sure how you can help anyone to seek a Godly marriage when it’s clears you do not know what God feels of all of this.

          He’s free to go and I only tried because I don’t want the devil to take anymore. I’ve been beaten, betrayed, slandered, robbed and one of my 3 kids turned so far against me. The others would not but if something doesn’t change he’s facing God’s judgement for violating Honor thy mother and father”. His mother was the same way and took a bullet in the chest for her covetousness, greedy hatred and what she did to my now 15 year old. God does ordain such things. Again, please study.

          You better believe I’m bitter, a permanatly diseased hooker that sought to kill me and my kids. Kid you not.

          You be careful what you say, you are saying it to God and against His very words, you may be the one dealing with the agony one day. I’ve been nothing but compassionate and my husband will tell you that. He says he doesn’t deserve me for all he’s done and in the name of God. I did everything to make this a healthy family and forbid my kids to disrepect him, guess what he could have hated me more and he know admits the devil was in him as he taught Sunday School and all the other Pharisee activities they do.

          Doctors still aren’t sure I’m going to live. Total organ shut down. 45 pounds in 5 weeks. Liver and kidney failure and there’s so much more. Diseases that she spread around half the town looking for money. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Selfish and proud is there not here. Beyond belief but there will always be those to pat them on the back at 46 and say “there there” that’s how they can continue for those that do. I’m not right. God is. Wow, talk about judgement, only the devil further bashes the victims.

        • Pavrone says:

          (USA) In our local newspaper he puts a shot of us holding each other and writes “My name. You have been the most wonderful wife and mother in spite of all I did. Thank you for showing me what REAL LOVE Is. His name”

          Again, you do not know me, what we’ve been through or what God says. You’re very emotional over your friend but I pray you stop insulting and victimizing those that cannot get out of the bed in the morning from the grief. Grief is a bullet, fired by a million different guns. It never goes away because it’s a piece of the soul missing for those that love the LORD.

          She and her bunch are getting ready to go to Federal prison btw. Child pornography and she has a 3 year old and crawled on her knees to my then 13 year old while my husband went to get the pizza… We’ll leave it at that. Real gem huh? and he spent 12 days in demonic sin with her. IT IS THE DEVIL and he says that. “Filthy, mangy, stinking and ackward” were his exact words. Prayers for you. Good night.

        • Pavrone says:

          (USA) From last night: Joyce Meyer just said “People are getting to cozy with God. No reverence, he’s their buddy. God is the same as always and will do what he says he will do. It’s not my order that there are consequences for sin, God does that. MY husband called as it was going off and we talked some more about the postings here last night and he said, Meyer is right. The world wants the fluffy lamb and no consequence religion” and that is why Jesus says to so many as he says it in scripture “Depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.”

          Any marriage from an affair is not blessed by God and I know this because He says so and will never do anything contrary to His Word. Jesus is the Word. It may be great but He says the sun shines on the just and the unjust. Broken rules do not bring His blessings. That is a marriage that came from sin, deception and lies and all the other things God calls adultery. He says this life is but a vapor and says we can expect 70 -we know some more, some less, so 8 years is nothing to him.

          The devil has SO many fooled, it’s scary! Do not think he has ever missed a thing. I may seem archaic, but I’m certain whose side I’m on -Selah.

        • Mike from United States says:

          An affair is not the answer or solution to your friend being abused. That makes absolutely no sense. That’s like saying an answer to a car wreck is creating a train wreck. The marriage is the car wreck -having an affair is creating a train wreck.
          Your friend is misguided and needs to leave that marriage -not only for her sanity but her safety.

          And btw -it’s now 2013 and the Devil/Satan/Evil – whatever word you want to describe evil forces authors affairs. Affairs are neither good, just, positive, or desired. Nothing good fruit can be borne from an affair -hence it’s root is based in evil.

    • Sarah says:

      (USA) Didn’t you abandon your marriage to save yourself? Why didn’t you chose you to work it out with your wife? It seems that people have this concept of greener grass and truthfully, the problem doesn’t get fixed based on who you are with, because ulitmately you are part of the problem. Marriage is work and if it weren’t no one would get divorced and more people would get married.

      I have been married for 7 years and have two small children. My husband and I love each other very much, but some days that just doesn’t seems to cut it, but at the end of the day in the quietness of the darkness, there is peace in knowing that we still have each other and that we get each other, good or bad. I don’t have to explain to my husband why I am having a bad day, he can tell before I have told and vice versa. Next to being my spouse, he is my best friend. There isn’t anything that I can keep a secret and there isn’t anything that I wouldn’t want to tell him, even when I know he will be upset.

      We watched our wedding video every year and re-listened to our vows, the vows “we” wrote and promised. Hearing yourself say them is powerful, because it’s not very often we get to go back and listen to our promise to another person. There is nothing distorted or misconstrued, it’s raw and real and takes us back to that moment we said “I do” and reminds us why.

      I challenge those of you stuck in the midst of an affair or for those of you considering it, to go back to your spouse and start back at square one. What brought you together in the first place. You are the foundation of your family, if the family dynamic was built on a weak foundation, then you have much work before you, but if built on solid structure, there is much hope to resolve the long built frustration and resentment that can and does occur in marriage. No one can fix your problems in marriage or alone, the only person who can do that is yourself and if you’re searching outside of your marriage for happiness, find out why you are not happy, than pursue it, don’t pursue happiness and then decide what kind you are looking for.

  6. Joy says:

    (USA)  Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I am a wife that has been married for about 18 1/2 years. We all have a scar, don’t we, that we carry around for our entire lives. I was born in 1966 to a single mother and was given up for adoption. This is my scar. I did not deal with my scar until three years ago when I was 42 years old when my PTSD exploded from another trauma I suffered. I was not encouraged to deal with my scar at all while I was living at home with my adoptive parents. My adoptive dad lived his entire life and never told me once that he loved me. My adoptive mom never told me she loved me until my adoptive dad about 12 years ago. She was not a physically affective person and I lived without hugs.

    I looked to my dear spouse to love me physically the way I had never been loved by my own birth mother or my adoptive mother. I looked to my dear spouse to love me like the birth father I never had or my adoptive father that never told me he loved me or hugged me. I stayed at home for 12 years to raise our three children and found comfort in their unconditional love. As our children grew older, I asked for more verbal I love yous, I need yous, I wants you from my spouse. I asked for more physical affection. I was emotionally naked with him and expected more thought provoking questions and insight from him. No, the affair didn’t happen overnight. I didn’t wake up one morning and proclaim I think I will call the man I left to go steady with my current husband.

    I am about to come clean with my husband and take responsbility for my actions. I am a Christian and I know what I did was wrong. However, I am not the only one at fault. It takes two to grow in a marriage, and with all of the self exploration I was forced to do by being ripped from the arms of my birth mother at one hour old, I have grown a ton–more than my spouse. He is so wrapped up in himself and his work, having an affair has been quite simple. My therapist states I should be happy with the little he gives me. Really? I am continually trying to improve myself and give more more more. Perhaps I have been giving to the wrong person.

    Being adopted has caused a ton of relational problems in my life. I will never, ever support it. Had I been forced to confront my PTSD as a child, I believe I would not be having the issues that I am now. Thanks for listening.

    Joy

  7. Prinkle says:

    (PHILIPPINES) I’m a married woman and I cheated on my husband last year. I really felt sorry for him. I was in a long distance affair. I have a 5 yr old daughter. I know I really hurt his feelings. He hated me so much, but he is still saying that he loves me. I really hate myself for what I have done. God knows that I’m willing to do anything to win him back. Please advise me what to do. He’s working in Taiwan for almost 2 years.

    • James says:

      (USA) As a man, when I tell my wife that I love her, I mean it. You need to trust that your husband means it. However, understand that he is also in pain and processing it. Give him time and treat him well. Communicate where you are so he can gain your trust again. Answer his questions truthfully and completely. Don’t push him to say he has forgiven you, he will tell you when he has. Also, forgive yourself. Work on yourself to become a better person for you and your daughter. Set a good example of how to be a strong woman that can overcome past mistakes and temptations.

    • Mike from United States says:

      I’m sorry for you having an affair and hurting your husband but I am happy you are prepared to do what is necessary to win him back. Boundaries need to be set. Google “just compensation”. Read about implementing “extraordinary precautions”. (extraordinary precautions = EP’s) Marriagebuilders.com offers pathways to reclaiming a loving marriage. I have pasted it below for you. I want to share some thoughts about Just Compensation first, remembering that EP’s ARE a part of this idea of Just Compensation. I believe “just compensation” was created by Dr. Harley to help us waywards understand that our offense is not a “forgive and forget” type of offense. Actions are required! Quoting Dr. Harley:

      “In the case of infidelity, compensation not only helps the offended spouse overcome the resentment he or she harbors, but the right kind of compensation helps restore the relationship and prevents the painful act from being repeated.” Entire article —> Here

      When an insurance company pays you for a home that was lost from a devastating fire, this would be compensation. It is all they can offer you. They cannot restore your memories, photos, collectibles, treasures, or the security you always felt prior to the fire. You would also feel no obligation to drop on your knees and say thank you to your insurance company for the compensation either. It may even feel cold that they are paying you for something you can never get back again. But, it is what they must do regardless.

      I can never offer Just (as in justice) Compensation for my affair, because it can never really be more than just (merely) compensation. But, I must offer it just the same if I am going to be part of the marriage recovery of today and tomorrow.

      Now about….. Extraordinary Precautions (EP’s) This is a critical dimension to the just compensation that you (WS) are going to offer. The first just compensation that you offered your spouse was No Contact (NC) with the AP.

      The next thing you offer is a list of EP’s that you can give to your spouse. This list of EP’s will “demonstrate” your willingness to protect them. You cannot expect enthusiasm from your BS for this list of EP’s. You cannot expect a pat on the back from them, but I think you already know that. You do this step anyways!

      When discussing EPs, Dr. Harley addresses that the following areas need to change:

      A) Blocking all communication with Affair Partners (AP’s)
      B) Accounting for all of your time
      C) Accounting for all money
      D) Spending your leisure time with your wife.

      EP’s are put into place to protect your spouse. Protection = Care. EP’s are also designed to ELIMINATE the opportunity to have a secret second life.

      Ok, so let’s talk about two different categories you need to create in your list of EP’s. The first category is a list of one-time EPs that you will need to make sure you complete quickly. The second category is a list of EPs that you will follow for a lifetime. So let’s start with the first category items. (What follows are SUGGESTIONS, remember this is going to be YOUR list.)

      A) Change cell phone number and give password & account access to your spouse.
      B) Change email account.
      C) Eliminate all social networking accounts (i.e., Face book, Classmates, My Space, etc.)
      D) Take a polygraph
      E) Make a copy of my vehicle keys and any other keys my spouse does not have and give to them (i.e., safe deposit boxes, business keys, storage cabinets/lockers, etc.)
      F) List out passwords for all business and personal computer logins, and any other passwords my spouse does not have access to.
      G) Give my spouse access to any banking/financial accounts, business and personal.
      H) Install software that tracks all internet use, giving my spouse administrative access.
      I) Install a webcam/security cameras for while at work that my spouse can access.
      J) I will contact an attorney that will work on my spouse’s behalf and write a post-nuptial agreement.
      K) Sell the house/purchase a new one.
      L) Sell any vehicle AP was in and replace them.

      Some of these things you may have already done. But these are one time things that you set up and they stay this way with little or no maintenance. Include completed items on this list as well as items still in process on your list. Category #2 is a little more along the lines of EPs that you need to maintain on a continuous, consistent basis.

      A) I will protect my spouse and their feelings above all else.
      B) I will not participate in any one-on-one meetings with anyone of the opposite sex.
      C) I will not discuss my personal marriage issues with anyone of the opposite sex.
      D) I will not attend clubs, strip joints, or any such establishment
      E) I agree to use POJA as a basis for all decisions.
      F) I will be open and honest with my spouse at all times about the past and present.
      G) I will provide my spouse a daily schedule of all appointments and contact information.
      H) If I need to make an adjustment to my schedule, I will notify my spouse of the change immediately.
      I) I will make my spouse’s phone calls my highest priority by answering them or returning them immediately.
      J) I will avoid all chat rooms, porn, member sites, etc.
      K) I will trade phones with my spouse at any time they request, NO questions asked.
      L) I will leave my phone accessible to my spouse at night/or anytime I‘m home.
      M) I will commit to at least 15 hours of undivided attention with my spouse to meet each other’s ENs every week (time working together does not count toward those 15 hours).
      N) If AP finds a way to make contact, I will immediately end the contact and notify my spouse about it immediately after.
      O) I will install a keylogger, GPS, or any other tracking system my spouse may request.
      P) Anytime I have the thought, “I don’t want my spouse to know about…”, I will call my spouse immediately and tell them my thoughts.
      Q) Anything else my spouse wants as a boundary.

      Use this as a starting point for working further on your EPs. Add and change items that suit your situation. Whatever you do, put your list together and post it on your own thread and then allow for some feedback from those that have been through this exercise. We want you to perfect your list before offering it to your spouse. There is so very little that a wayward can truly offer as compensation for the huge amount of damage caused by such a selfish act as adultery that we want to make sure this is done well. The continuation of your marriage is riding on these actions!

  8. Prinkle says:

    (PHILIPPINES) If only I can turn back time I will not let it happen. I really love him and my daugther…I learned from my mistakes and I am really sorry for what I’ve done to my husband.

  9. James says:

    (USA) I have recently become one of these men. The wound is fresh, open, and the hurtful thoughts are the salt. Technology has not allowed us the luxury of time travel so we can rewind before the betrayal, but our memories can. I have learned through yoga practice, the past is a dangerous place. During difficult asanas (poses), our instructor told us to keep our eyes open, to be actively engaged in the present. When we close them, we escape to avoid the pain.

    Pain is the most valuable part of growing, of understanding ourselves. Part of being present is to keep eyes open and to set boundaries, not going into the past or the future. Those boundaries are to keep me from falling, for awareness of my thoughts, so that I don’t destroy myself from the inside.

    We discussed boundaries for our relationship of what is acceptable and the consequences if they are crossed.
    One such boundary is this: We attend marriage counseling for 3 months or we start the divorce proceedings. I am deeply in love with my wife, but I have to take care of myself and our child. I refuse to allow her to abuse our family, which is another boundary.

    I disengage from arguments when it starts to go into the past, the finger pointing, the “you did or didn’t…” That is unproductive, the past is the past, it can only be changed in our minds and is completely subjective to our filtering. That is the job of the counselor should he or she choose to go there.

    Another boundary; I choose to love my wife completely, the person she is, but I am not obligated to love what she does. So I forgive her actions within the boundary of our marriage because love will cover them. However, those actions outside of the marriage boundary must be discussed and resolved, otherwise, the marriage is over (again, I must take care of myself and our child.)

    Remember, these boundaries are agreed boundaries between us. Neither of us define the boundaries alone, we are in agreement. If there is a boundary that we can’t agree on, then we have to compromise and understand that it applies to both of us equally.

    An example: time spent alone with friends of the opposite sex. She wants to have the freedom to, so she must be willing to extend the same to me. However, I place the condition that we communicate who, where, when, duration, why, and the context. She didn’t like that, but agreed because that is the only way to make it work. If we go outside the boundary, the consequence is broken trust. Depending on the severity of the broken trust, we either work it out together, go to counseling, or see the lawyer.

    This may sound harsh, but boundaries give freedom and expectations that help build trust in our relationship. Again, we agree on our boundaries. In summary, remain actively engaged in the present, set boundaries for yourself and the relationship. These can help you move forward with her in counseling or in court. Either way, it is a very painful process, but you will have peace of mind. Namaste’

    • HDW says:

      (USA) James, Spending “time alone with the opposite sex” is a destructive, dangerous game you and your wife are playing. To affair proof your marriage you should have NO time alone with the opposite sex.

      I suggest that you stop visiting a counselor and follow an Affair Recovery Plan developed by Dr Willard Harley, an expert on affairs. The book Surviving an Affair by Willard Harley is available in bookstores and on amazon. You can also visit marriagebuilders.com.

      • Cindy Wright says:

        FYI: We want you to know that if you purchase this book (or any other …or anything else you want) through the links on this web site (we also provide an Amazon.com window on the Home Page for everyone’s shopping convenience) you will receive all of the discounts available and yet Amazon sends a percentage of their profit to Marriage Missions. We use 100% of it to support the expenses of this web site ministry.

  10. Dejay says:

    (USA) I completely get what Tony’s saying; just because women see things in a relationship differently than a man, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they see them better. One of the reasons why this is not brought up in many churches is simple; follow the $$$. Many American churches are more regularly funded and attended by women. Topics, such as admonishing single moms who fornicate with jerks who have no desire to be a dad and/or husband, only to be ‘shocked’ when he runs away after getting knocked up, and wives that sleep around on their spouses aren’t likely to be the morning message you’ll find coming from many pulpits nowadays. The guys on the other hand, well, we get to sit through the ‘you no good men aren’t doing enough for your women and children’ speeches every Father’s Day.

    Contrary to what is said on daytime talk shows, there are a ton of men out there who have had their wives step out on them for little/no rhyme or reason. Also, men are not given ANY margin of error when it comes to being unfaithful as opposed to women. The ‘you go, girl’ rationale when a woman admits cheating on her spouse to her girlfriends and/or female relatives at the local bistro is VERY real. Even in the few cases when the issue of wayward wives are discussed in a lot of mediums, the first thing that’s usually brought up is what the husband did or didn’t do enough of to ‘make’ them fall into the arms of another man. In other words, they’re given a free pass for their affair(s) because it wasn’t ‘their fault’.

    I’ve had this happen to me in our counseling sessions after my wife was caught up in a year-long affair with some HS sweetheart. We left those sessions with her feeling justified for her actions. If the shoe was on the other foot, we wouldn’t be in counseling; we’d be in divorce court.

    And when it comes to having to forgive someone for such an act for yourself, I’m finding it harder to do that by the day. To me, forgiving her for the hundreds of e-mails, texts, sent rated-X pictures, and the secret trips to see one another, without any repercussions is basically saying that it was perfectly fine to do all of those things and a license to them again when she’s in the mood, only this time under more secrecy than before. And if I don’t like it, I can leave, right? Yep, and give up custody of my kids (90% of custody battles are won by women) along with subsidizing her mortgage with alimony and child support payments, living on 60% of my income, and losing half of my retirement earnings. Some reward for being a faithful husband, huh?

    My personal opinion is this; there is absolutely, positively NO EXCUSE FOR CHEATING ON YOUR SPOUSE. If you don’t like the fact that your spouse isn’t as affectionate, loving, or caring for you, find a counselor to help you bridge the gap. If that doesn’t work, find an attorney. It’s as simple as that.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Dejay, I agree that too many women are given a “pass” on this type of behavior. Cheating is wrong no matter who does it and for whatever the reason. Just because one spouse feels hurt by the other spouse’s actions, it doesn’t give them the right to cheat. This is taking one wrong behavior and adding another wrong behavior on top of it.

      And you and Tony are both right in saying that just because the wife perceives things one way, it doesn’t mean that her way of looking at it is right and his is wrong (or visa versa). In many cases, it’s just a different way of looking at the same situation. Instead of polarizing the situation, relationship bridges need to looked at and built so both spouses feel heard and validated, so they can come together to figure out how to bring peace and reconciliation.

      I also sympathize with you as far as child custody. I’ve seen over and over and over again where the father is shut out and the wife, even if she is cheating and abusive to her husband, is allowed to have the children and bring men in and out of their lives. I know that there are opposite situations, where the wife is abandoned and I’m totally sympathetic, but I also feel bad for husbands and fathers who are put in this place, as well. And you’re right, there needs to be more said about this in the pulpit. Lord have mercy on us –we are sinners for neglecting such an important mission!

      Please know that this is one woman who has heard you, cares, agrees, and is doing all I can, along with my husband, to give voice, bring peace, and reconciliation into marriages and families… as God leads.

      • HDW says:

        (USA) I want to address the custody issue. I sought full custody of my children and the court granted it to me. My wife basically walked away with her affair partner. But she did want custody initially (for child support and alimony). Her affair partner was a convicted felon and child abuser. I fought the good fight and won.

        Men, don’t leave your children. When your marriage is over, your priority must be your children. If your wife is having an affair with a dangerous man, then you need to focus on protecting your children legally, even if that means filing for divorce and seeking custody.

  11. Kathy says:

    (USA) I was the unfaithful wife. After reading this article I was surprised and relieved too at the explanation of the “why” part. I related to the part of continually telling my husband how I felt about his drinking and driving, his over drinking, his depression and constant not putting me or our kids first. I even told him that one day he wouldn’t be worth it anymore. The feeling of rejection was how I felt. The countless times the “I am sorry” would come out of his mouth. I felt I didn’t matter.

    I am very vocal, however, he tuned me out. I gave up on us but more importantly, I gave up on me. I had affairs, men to talk to, to listen to me. I crossed the line and engaged in sex. I used the Internet to meet these men. My husband found out. Since January we have been to 2 therapists and a pastor who specializes in troubled marriages. He walked out on all 3. He himself, has gone to 2 other therapists, with a new one tomorrow.

    I own what I did. I own my part of not being able to have my voice heard by my husband of 26 years. I own the horrible destructive choice I made. He however, owns nothing. He tells everyone what a perfect husband he had always been. When therapists try to discuss the deep rooted issues in our marriage, out he walks. He was diagnosed bipolar in Feburary and blames me for that along with all that happens in the universe. He is just as angry and hurt today as when he found out. He now is very verbally abusive, controlling, hateful, spiteful.

    I have done all that he asks for transparency is have been patient, loving all the things I had always been but he took me for granted, no question in my mind. So you see there are those of us who do take responsibility but when the other person in the relationship is so closed minded and is just looking at this point to find someone anyone to justify his behavior it just doesn’t work. I walk with God and the more I am with God as we walk, I feel my husband and I are further apart.

    • John K says:

      (US) Interesting commentary and experiences by all. I have been married for almost 38 years. I was the hard working type (still am). Several jobs to get ahead. Home everynite…none of that, “he’s away all the time stuff”. My wife and I have always had money issues… not having it, but through the years determined that she is a “money hoarder”. So at the 10 year mark I go to gymnastics practice with my 2 year old son to watch my 4 year old daughter. I drive up to the gym and walk in to speak with my wife… She’s not there. 5 minutes later, the gut-wrenching witness of her kissing good bye to a guy I know after they drive up to gym. So sad… I was an emotional wreck. Never would’ve imagined… We went home.

      After lots of tears and discussion she felt it was important to go see her boyfriend to see how he was doing and cut off the relationship. She told me that she thought I was having an affair. For years I didn’t trust her. Searching through her pockets for notes, reviewing out/in phone records. What a nightmare. We transferred with the jobs and 6 years to the mark while rifling through her dresser one day I found cards and letters from another guy she was having a long distance affair with. She purchased a post office box to receive his mail. Second time around. Kids are in their teens now… I love them very much. I can’t leave… no way.

      Today -38 years later and after her several boughts with breast cancer, we fight over money and decisions to spend anything; vacations, cars how to deal with aging parents. We have no sex, I want to shoot the lock off the wallet and go on adventures, she wants to play with her cat and see the grandchildren. She hoards her high school clothes (everything she ever wore). She can’t spend money -we have no debt. My emotional angst of the last two years is that I’ve discovered I don’t want to live this way anymore and I really don’t like her… now what? Love? I don’t know that I can articulate that… Sometimes I feel sort of codependent. I’m actually pretty smart and aware. I can’t believe I’m still here…what’s up with that?!

      • Jennifer says:

        (AUSTRALIA) Wow John -that’s kind of sad, to feel like that after all those years and all that you have been through. Sounds like you’re between and rock and a hard place, and any way out is going to hurt bad. What do you do? Well adultery (unfaithfulness?) is grounds for divorce. I don’t recall it saying how long after the event you still have those ‘grounds’ for. You don’t love her? Maybe not, but you have got a lot invested and love can be revived sometimes. Does she want to continue to ‘invest’ in the marriage? Does she know how unhappy you are?

        I was ‘unfaithful’ at the ten year mark. Two years later I think things are good in the marriage. At the end of the day, I see my mistakes. How vulnerable I am, and hope that I have changed for good. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Mary says:

    (US) I can’t believe you are stating that if a woman cheats, it’s her husband’s fault. But that if a husband cheats, it’s his fault too because he is obviously in the wrong? Some women cheat because they can, just like some men do. It’s very offensive to say that no matter which partner cheats, the wife is always blameless and it’s always the husband’s fault.

  13. Angela says:

    (USA) So I am the spouse who strayed on my husband. I was in prayer for awhile and felt that I needed/wanted to confess to my husband. I would have rather it come from me then someone else and have it be much worse.

    To make a long story short I believe God is bringing me/brought me through brokenness and I realized what I have risked. To say “Once a cheater always a cheater” depends on the person. I will NEVER do that again after seeing the hurt I caused. I have gone through true repentance, cut off ALL communication even before I told him, I told the other persons wife (who is in denial by the way) and I think keeps trying to call me, joined a support group for Christians via the Y, and have multiple accountability partners.

    I am committed to the restoration/reconciliation of my marriage and my husband sees it. He is for the reconciliation as well but I have a tough road ahead of me to prove my love, trust and faithfulness forever and I am going to do it because I’m committed. He has full access to my IPad and my phones….I deleted Twitter and Instagram and have no desire to rejoin. My Facebook only consists of people we both know, which is family and close friends.

  14. Dave says:

    (USA) I think it’s great your coming to your husband with a vulnerability but honest. And that your husband does not run you over in that vulnerability is huge in a relationship. I wish I could come to my wife and confess things to her in that same vulnerability but she would be crushed, hurt, and untrusting due to her history of insecurities. I feel like I have to guard her from being hurt where she doesn’t know I’ve been unfaithful, do you think I’m seeing this correctly?

  15. Nicole says:

    (UNITED STATES) We are a little over one year past “D-Day”. In no particular order, here are some of my general thoughts in response to what was posted here:

    1. Adultery is evil, devastating, and a form of spousal abuse. There is never any excuse for it, and it doesn’t “just happen”.

    2. Unfortunately, even the most loving, incredible spouse cannot “make” a cheater willing to work on the marriage. The cheater isn’t just in a fog, but in a place of spiritual darkness, and I think sometimes only God can break through that.

    3. There is no real hope for the marriage until the cheating spouse completely repents. That goes beyond even the most dramatic weepy fits of apology and promises of future faithfulness. For me, it meant breaking things off immediately with my affair partner and being willing to do whatever it takes to heal my marriage, no matter what the consequences.

    4. A truly repentant, remorseful spouse will NEVER blame anyone else for the affair. Sure, I could try to complain that our marriage was not meeting some of my needs, but why then didn’t I work on the marriage instead of breaking my vows and betraying my husband? My choice to cheat was mine alone, and I bear full responsibility for it. I’ve already devastated my husband enough; now I need to “woman up” and take responsibility for my own sins and bad choices.

    5. At the same time, it’s important to seek good marriage counseling to help navigate through the healing process, which includes examining the marriage and rebuilding it. Trying to return to the status quo is impossible and unwise. This has been difficult and painful at times. In addition, I need to constantly remind my husband that he is not to blame for my infidelity in any way. There is nothing he could ever do that would excuse or justify my cheating.

    6. Once you cheat, you give up the right to a lot of things, like privacy, etc. I need to prove myself trustworthy to my husband. I also don’t want him to worry for a moment that I’m texting some guy, trying to reconnect with my affair partner, etc., so my life has to be an open book and I have no right to complain. Secrets have no place in a healthy marriage.

    7. My husband does not owe me forgiveness and I’d be a cruel person if I dared suggest it was time for him to “get over it”. I DESTROYED MY MARRIAGE. The fact that my husband did not throw me out on my ear, the fact that he forgave me, the fact that he still loves me — I deserve none of that. He is truly being “Jesus with skin on” in my life.

    8. The healing process is hard. But we are both committed to starting over and building the best marriage possible. We don’t just want to “affair-proof” our marriage; we want to live the sort of marriage that God intended for us. So…all of our hard work, all the painful honesty, all the soul-searching,…it will be worth it.

    9. The rebuilding time shouldn’t be all one grim marriage therapy project. We are also making new history together, learning what makes the other happy, and enjoying each other’s company.

    10. As the cheating spouse, I have had to face some painful truths about myself. I thought myself incapable of something so horrible. I look back and think, “Was I insane?” Cheating is such an utterly selfish, dishonest, despicable, and hateful thing. There is no prettying it up or romanticizing something so evil. I broke my husband’s heart. I betrayed him in the most terrible way possible. It took being caught before I was willing to repent. Obviously, I proved I’m capable of being that awful of a person. Thank God that He has forgiven me, and that He has given my husband the ability to forgive me too.

    11. There is no way to “make up” for adultery. All I can do is love my husband today. And that’s all he’s asking of me. As I learn to love him better, I’m discovering that truly giving your heart, mind and body to your spouse — and to your spouse alone — is the most wonderful, frightening, awesome, and rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Nicole, You gave some excellent insights here. You might think of writing an article to expand your points and testimony a bit. It might be a GREAT help for other spouses who have had affairs. Thanks for sharing.

    • Phil says:

      (USA) lol… for a woman who strayed (and repented) this is very sound advice for women (or men as far as that goes). You’re very lucky or blessed woman to have a spouse such as he.

      To the woman (or men) who believe they are causing no problems by their infidelities you should view the problem with the other shoe (role reversal). Something many do not think about until its too late and the damage is done.

      Forgiveness is a key (however some do take advantage of their partners forgiveness) to any reconciliation of a relationship.

    • Eddie says:

      (USA) It’s great that he forgave you. Some people can and others can’t. I look forward to the day when I’ve healed enough to do that, but I won’t give it unless she honestly asks for it. Then I’ll do so for myself… but after the divorce. It’s also nice to hear a cheater recognize that THEY are the monster, not the spouse. All that said, he still should have divorced you. Why? Because now that you know you got away with it, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years down the road, you’ll find another reason, another moment, another friend who says the right things, and you’ll do it again and you won’t care who you hurt or devastate. Once you’ve crossed that boundary, everyone knows what you are and who you are, and will be for life, and you’ll embrace it. And you’ll get sick of blaming yourself and “living” with your sin. You’ll take it out on him again.

      I know it sounds like I’m trashing you here, but that’s the hard truth. Cheaters like the thrill, just like drug addicts. They always relive that thrill and never get over the high. Find a drug addict who’s been clean and sober for 10 years and I’ll show you someone who’s one day, one fix, one snort, or one drink away from a lifetime of addiction. Cheaters are the same way. It’s a high, they like the high, and they would rather ruin a million lives than give up that high. I feel for your husband. He sounds like a nice guy and I know he didn’t deserve it. You should feel shame for what you did and it’s great you recognize it. But I have no doubt you’ll do it again.

    • Tony from United States says:

      If there were more unfaithful spouses who looked at their infidelities this way, there would be far less divorce and family destruction.

  16. Donald says:

    (USA) Thanks Nicole, for your insight. Its been six months since D-day for us. We’ve been married for 24 years. I blame myself most times for my wife’s affair (but then again, I think no one deserves that). The reason why, I had a neck injury around 12 years ago so I began taking pain med, which lead to a substance abuse problem. I neglected my responsibilities as a husband and father and provider. I prayed and tried to stop taking the med. I even went to rehab but I would stop for a while only to start up again.

    My wife stood by me the whole way. She has always served God and feared him. To me she was like an angel, perfect in ever way. I am the only man she has ever been with (don’t know any more). We married at the age of 18, dated for a year but only after we were married so that I know. I have so much respect for her for that. Anyway, she finally had enough and left me for 3 months and stayed with her mommy and daddy. After 2 weeks she began to talk to a childhood friend on Facebook then they started talking on the phone hours at a time.

    Well, she spent 3 Sat. nights with him. She tells my nothing happened but a hug and a kiss, no more, then a peck, that she slept on the couch and that he was just a friend, just someone to talk to and a place to get away from every thing (he lives 35 miles away). The problem is when we talked about her coming home she told me she didn’t want me any more and didn’t love like she use to. It went from I want to see other people, to I want to date other people, to if it happens it happens. She was just very hurtfull and hateful the whole time.

    She finally came home and would have never told me if I had not found his number and called him and left her with no other choice. She refuses to tell anything about what they did or talked about, not even what type car he drives (other than they just watched T.V. and he cooked her dinner).

    I am so sorry for the things I have done and the neglect of my family that I want to keep nothing hidden. Every call I make, every thing I do, she knows about, drug test whatever it takes. She still doesn’t have the open book policy like me (just tells me I need to trust her). When I get upset and try to talk to her about this she just gets angry and tells me that I need to move on; she did, and that nothing’s wrong because we were not togther at the time, any way.

    This has hurt me so bad that I can’t sleep. I have dreams when I do. I lost 80 pounds and can’t eat. I just don’t seem to be able to get over this. I need details from her but it’s like she punishes me when I try to talk to her about it. What do I do? From a woman’s point of view is she telling me the truth? (I know you can’t answer that; I just want to know what you think.) Please someone, give me some advice.

    • Nicole says:

      (UNITED STATES) Donald, I wish I had advice for you. Your situation breaks my heart.

      One of the things that hurt me deeply after my husband found out is when he told me how he could no longer trust me and I had to agree that I had so irrevocably broken his trust that I wouldn’t blame him if he never trusted me again. All I can do now is become trustworthy.

      I hate to say this, but your wife does not sound remorseful and repentant, and she has given you plenty of reasons not to trust her. As hard as it was, I forced myself to answer every question my husband asked me. There were a couple of graphic ones where I first asked him to reconsider whether he really wanted to know the answer, but I was willing to tell him everything.

      There is no way we could have navigated through this past year on our own. We are both seeing counselors individually and we meet weekly with a Christian couple who have a ministry focused on restoring marriages. We went to an indepth marriage weekend and six weeks of follow-up meetings. We have read books. All of that has required us to face a lot of our own issues and work through them. I can honestly say that today I am convinced we are on our way to having the most awesome marriage I could ever imagine. We aren’t there yet, but we are already experiencing an intimacy and unity I didn’t think either of us were capable of. But we couldn’t have gotten here on our own.

      All I can suggest is that you pray, pray, pray. Find a godly and wise man with a good marriage — someone who wants to see your marriage healed — and pray with him, vent to him, and seek his counsel. I pray that God would melt you wife’s heart and lead her to repentance…and that He would comfort you. The heartbreak you are experiencing is probably the worst anyone can suffer. Cling to Jesus. I am so deeply sorry for what has happened in your marriage, but I hold fast to the hope that our God specializes in redemption and reconciliation.

  17. Donald says:

    (USA) Thanks for your advice. I’m tring to pray but some times I even feel angry at God. I will press on. I have to; there is no other to turn to! I love my wife so deeply. I guess that’s why it hurts so bad. She is a wonderfull person, mother, to me the best wife a man can have and she still is. She doesn’t drink, cuss, smoke. Like I said she has allways been a God fearing person.

    Never knew her to tell a lie until this. At first she was remorseful and cried and said she don’t know why she did it why she kissed him or went there; said it was a dumb mistake and cried about how she has destroyed our marriage . I found myself comforting her. Then when I downloaded all the massages off her facebook (never got to see them) and a list of phone records and called him. She went foolish like in a panic. So I have let it go. Now when I talk to her she only ends up angry. (her story never changes). She tells me when I bring it up it only brings up the things I done (I was open with the problem I had from the start) and that it hurts her because of the way she acted, talked to me, and treated me. She tells me if I don’t stop thinking about it then we will never work and just divorce her if we can’t move forward.

    I don’t want that and she says she don’t but it has to go away. I don’t know what to do; it torments me. The worst is not knowing if she is telling me the truth or if there was more to it. I wonder if I’m just “love blind.” if they did or they didn’t I just want to know the truth so I can work thru this. Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder. I have nowhere else to go.

  18. Joe says:

    (USA) My wife went to New York in June, August and November and I recently found out she has been seeing some guy and my suspicions were right. I pulled phone records and seen all the phone calls to this guy several times a day for hours every day and went as far as recording a conversation she had with him and she tells him how much she misses his voice and how much she loves him and after confronting her she still tried to deny it.

    Finally she came clean and swears to me that it’s someone she really cares about a lot but told him that until she gets divorced she is not going to have a relationship with him she went to meet freinds and comes back with a relationship. I don’t understand. I want to believe her and I love her with all my heart. We have two wonderfull and beutifull kids, a real nice home, and a buisness together. The only good thing that makes me feel good is that he lives in New York and we live in Kansas. I don’t want to get a divorce; I just want my wife to fall in love with me again and I know that is possible with help.

  19. Dee says:

    (USA) I’ve read mostly all of the comments and stories on here and my heart is grieved for some and happy for others. I too experienced my ex -wife have an affair for several years before our divorce last year. My story is similar to others as we were members of our local church and accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

    Over the years the more I got involved in the church, the more she withdrew from it and our marriage. She began to hang out with friends who weren’t Christians or married. She knew the word of God. We were from the outside the perfect looking couple (House, 2 wonderful sons, car, good jobs) and we were in our twenties, but spiritually I’d began to see a shift. A shift that would eventually cause me to question God and backslide. For a while my mom and siblings would warn me of their dreams about her which I would ignore but deep inside knew something was going on.

    To make a long story short, our communication had broke down and she would not even want to hear the name Jesus when I would try and ask her what was going on and what’s happening to our marriage. She began going out late and not coming home some nights and would lie and say she dranked to much to drive home. Eventually she packed up and moved out. I prayed consistently and God revealed to me what was going on and with who (amazing), but she denied it all until she was caught (after she moved out). It was an old high school teamate and friend who was also in a relationship with 3 kids. I was so hurt when I had the visible facts in front of me and I got away from church and my Bible for a while (not good). I knew the only way for me to get past this was to reconcile back with Christ, so I repented.

    Eventually this guy’s fiancé also found out and found me, so we met and talked how he would lie for years about seeing someone. I learned she was also a Christian so we prayed for them both. She eventually let him go and I divorced her after many attempts to try and convince her to give it up and work on our marriage to no avail. She believed she did nothing wrong (spiritual blindness). So they both continued to be with each other, destroyed 2 families and 5 kids. Last month at the age of 37 he unexpectedly died of a heart attack. I continue to pray for his ex fiancé, her children and my ex wife. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life!

    • Eddie says:

      (USA) Deuteronomy 22:22 Read it. God is a just God. Jesus forgives those who truly ask, but this is always what cheaters and their paramours face. Believe it. Holds true in 90% of the cases I’ve seen and talked with people about. The cheater ALWAYS loses, and the lost souls who invade another man or woman’s marriage pay dearly themselves.

      God WILL make these cheaters pay. Hold your head up high. Trust me, God will gladly give it out.

      • Dee says:

        (USA) You’re right Eddie! God is the same yesterday, today and forevermore and His word never returns to him void. Pure repentance is key to escape the wages of the sinful decisions we make. God loves us so much and Jesus already paid for all our sins. It’s sad that most people don’t believe it or want nothing to do with Jesus. I pray for them and for all the cheaters out there, and also the victims of an adulteress spouse!

  20. Sheltee says:

    (CANADA) My wife’s affair with a married man concluded when the circumstance that brought them together ended after a year, and it dawned on her that she was a mistress once she found out her partner & his wife were having a child.

    Nothing worked before that, and it was hell.

  21. Les says:

    (USA) Get her back! Seriously? Brothers, you guys are operating on a different plane than me…to say the least. I’ve been in that situation and 8 years later I couldn’t be more proud to say I ended the relationship the same day I found out and never looked back…even when she called me pleading for a second chance. Let them know that you will be faithful to them till the day you die and that you expect the same. 1 strike and you’re out — for either partner. I think if this rule is understood by both parties from the start the odds of cheating will decrease dramatically.

  22. Sid says:

    (USA) My wife cheated three years ago. There was no deep remorse from her. Just, yes I did a one-night thing with a guy I ministered to that shrugged me off. He went to a bar, and she went home with him. Three children we have and 24 years of marriage and balanced ministry together.

    She also had an emotional affair with a coworker. Early on I tried to just suck it up, be a man, forgive and pursue her. She doesn’t want my affection, and since she screwed up, it is her turn to pursue me a bit. We haven’t had intimacy but maybe 4 times in three years now. We basically just work, sleep, eat, and try to do right for our children. Since then, I’ve been tempted to just cheat myself, but stayed strong and didn’t. I feel like a picture on the wall, just a thing or structure that’s at the house. I’m tired and disgusted and hate to dump my thoughts on others. Your thoughts on me pursuing is welcomed, but it became a worthless cause, I’m tired.

    • Mike from United States says:

      Sid, You are unable to heal because you wife has not provided a safe and secure environment, no given any reassurances that she will not cheat again in the future. It’s a hard existence to live. I suggest following Dr. Harley’s suggestions for healing/recovering after an affair on marriage builders.com. It’s a great website with tons of information to get you started on the road to real recovery.

  23. Man says:

    (USA) I empathize with those who have struggled with marriage. I understand it is very hard work. I witnessed a lot of heartbreak among friends and family with issues such as divorce, infidelity, single parenthood, financial strain from failed marriages, etc. I also saw the emotional trauma in the aftermath of the marital breakdown, which can get really bad. Therefore, I never did get married. I am now middle-aged in my 40s.

    Marriage just plain frightens me. I see a lot of hard work and risk. I am a sports fan and love running. To me, the concept of a successful marriage is like trying to go undefeated in a football season within the SEC conference. For most SEC teams, the concept of an undefeated season is unrealistic. Even Alabama, the national champion of 2013, lost a game in the SEC schedule to Texas A&M. To me, that is a good analogy for marriage -the “perfectly happy” marriage in a state of total bliss is rare and generally unrealistic.

    More realistically, I see many high points and low points with euphoric courtship, honeymoon, or other marital events. But interspersed I also anticipate low points with arguments, disagreements, patterns of incompatibility, loss of freedom, never-ending work, and a huge ton of bills to pay (to say the least).

    I’m glad I never rushed into marriage. As a Catholic I eventually want to do it, but I have the view of realism and don’t anticipate an easy road. If my wife had an affair I think that would crush it though. I can’t conceptualize going along with it after that. But I know it’s common -hence the risk is high. I miss being an early teen adolescent who just played middle school football and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after a great practice with friends. Now in middle-age I’m expected to get married. I take it that marriage is coming and am braced for it to the extreme like an SEC coach who boasts of a great upcoming season but knows defeat will come at some point.

    • Megan says:

      (US) Man, Marriage is based on two imperfect people uniting as “one”. Of course there are going to be rough seasons in your marriage. Marriage was designed by God to be an example of Christ’s love for the church. But being born with sinful nature none of us can fully live up to love as Christ does. However, we can live every day hoping to glorify God with our marriage. A lot of marriages fail because of selfishness. Affairs, addictions, abuse or just plain “I don’t love you anymore”… we need to love and respect each other and extend grace and forgivness to our spouses.

      Marriage is only scary because to be fully devoted means to be fully vulnerable and that’s a very scary thing. But it is so worth it when you can look down the road one day and say you never gave up and you are more in love now than you were 30 years ago. I look forward to that day very much and I am so thankful I made the decision to marry my best friend instead of allowing Satan to fill my mind with fear and anxiety. God Bless!

  24. Alan says:

    (UK) I have experienced my wife having an affair and I have spoken to other men in the same situation. These men were hard working, non drinking men who were devoted to their wives, but possibly did not get this across until it was obvious in the devastation they suffer. A devoted husband has one purpose, to his wife and children, this is all he exists for, yet we are betrayed.

    This love and devotion becomes a shock to the straying wife, who was plainly not aware that she had this man who loved the ground she walked on. These men without exception step back when confronted with the affair. They think, if their wife is happier with another man then it is best for her and he should allow time for her to determine.

    This may be seen as weakness by the wife, but in reality it is the opposite. Time goes on as the wife overlooks the faults of the OM, trying to make this false relationship work. The husband self examines and makes adjustments to his health, fitness, mood etc. The affair continues as at the point a wife has an affair, to quote an earlier posting, she has already checked out.

    During this time the husband assesses himself and realises that his wife lost all respect for him, but now as the affair continued he believes he should abandon the past. A long time usually goes by as the affair couple try to justify the damage done. The wife takes a long time to realise that the grass was in fact only painted green and rain has washed away the bright green that was seen before. She took a long time to decide to check out.

    Now she looks at the husband and looks at the OM and wonders which way to turn. She may approach the husband tentatively, but still keeping OM as banker. The husband will not entertain potential reconciliation whilst the OM is even remotely in contact. Consequently the emotional attachment of the wife to the OM to any degree will prevent the return of trust sufficient for the husband to contemplate taking her back.

    People underestimate the hurt felt by a betrayed husband where his wife was so precious, yet although he always told her she was appreciated and loved, she stopped listening. There is no negotiating with a betrayed husband unless he is weak or the OM is completely out of communication with the wife. What kind of man conducts an affair with a married woman? The wife will most often end up alone and/or unhappy.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      My heart goes out to you –truly. I pray for you, as I pray for other husbands who suffer betrayal, and other wives whose husbands betray them. It’s so horribly sad that we can’t love each other with the everlasting, faithful love and heart of Christ. I cry with you and pray for you. May God comfort your heart and give you direction and wisdom in knowing how to best go on, despite this tear in your marriage. And may you eventually come to a place of peace and forgiveness –not bitterness, because in embracing bitterness, you are hurt all the more. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone –especially you.

  25. Gulliver from United States says:

    Maybe you can give me some advice. I married very young at 18 to my 17 year old pregnant girlfriend, whom I loved very much. We had three children and were very happy. While the youthful beginning may suggest otherwise, God was very important to me and my wife and he has always been strong in my life. I was never unfaithful, didn’t drink or smoke and my wife never once hinted that she was unhappy with our marriage in anyway.

    What I knew but didn’t fully understand during our marriage is that while she was my first love, my wife had been with over 40 men/boys by then. She came from a broken home and she had told me that she’d been abused as a young child on more than one occasion and had become sexually active very early on. One day I discovered she had been cheating on me and after confronting her about this she left me and our children for the man she was having an affair with, giving me no reason but saying she stilled loved me but she loved him too.

    For the first couple of years after she left she’d return home sporadically to sleep with me, swear she still loved me and get emotional support as she told me about the emotional abuse she was suffering with this man. Then off she’d go back the next day to the abuser. Eventually she admitted that she no longer loved me but still offered me sex. I couldn’t deal with the pain from that arrangement and declined and eventually we divorced and became friends as we worked to raise our kids. I kept God close in my life and devoted myself solely to my kids from then on.

    Sadly her personal life degraded. It seemed the worse her new boyfriend treated her the more she wanted him and eventually she married the new man and has had several children with him. She has had more issues in that marriage but I don’t feel it’s my place to discuss things she’s told me in private but I can say that she is still battling the demons from her past. I have never been able to hate my ex, actually I guess I’ll always love her and just wish I had understood her situation when I was young. Maybe I could have helped her and our marriage then. I just thought love and utter devotion would solve all her pain and sadness. She said it did back then but I know now that it couldn’t and I wish I’d done more. She’s been getting help now and I’ve seen improvement but she still never seems happy.

    Over the years she’s been an active and loving mom to our kids and we’ve built a strong friendship (she is the closest person in my life still) which has solidified since we removed the sexual component 20 years ago. Yes it’s been 20 years and I haven’t loved again since. That is what I need help with; I devoted myself to my kids for all these years. Taking care of them as a single father, never bringing another woman into there life as I felt it was tough enough on them to deal with their mom’s issues and new husband and our divorce (and it was a good excuse too for me to avoid getting hurt again I guess) but my kids have grown and time has passed.

    I’m 44, reasonably good looking and healthy but I still can’t move on or trust again. I have very strong sexual urges but mostly I really miss holding hands, kissing and just being in love but I can’t find the courage to even attempt a relationship again. I’ve hesitantly stepped forward a few times reaching for help from my clergy but each time I’ve retreated immediately. I isolated myself for so many years and now I spend most of my time alone, only seeing my kids and volunteering to coach sports. I find I’m happy around kids and really uncomfortable around adults. Working out of my house doesn’t help the matter much. I don’t even know if God would want me to look for love again. No one forced me to get married to my ex. As a matter of fact I received a lot of advice against it. But I made my choices and I’ve tried to live up to my responsibilities since then but I do feel so lonely and wonder if I’ll ever feel whole again or if this is my penance for having sex and getting my ex-wife pregnant before we were married. Is there anything you can think of that may help me?

    • Thaddeus from United States says:

      It sounds like you’re almost done with your self pity. Does God want you to try to love again? Does God want you to be happy? Why wouldn’t he? Do you believe because you were young and dumb and thought your love would be enough to save her that God wants you to stay unhappy? When you fell, who picked you up? Many times we don’t realize when we put people in front of God or put ourselves between them and God (meaning we want to save them so they will love us instead of building their faith in him) often times it’s good intentions but if it is really looked at, it’s selfishness that we are doing. We want the glory.

      Just accept we are not perfect and do not put people or yourself before God. If you do, admit and ask for forgiveness and observe and accept the consequences it will not be more than you can bare. Smile God loves you!

  26. Ak from India says:

    Hi.
    I am married man with two kids, got seriously involved 4yrs with another women who is already married. We both love each other and decided to have kids. Now she is blessed with twins of mine. I had declared my affair to my wife and confess and my first wife is ready to accept her and my kids. Now my new mother of my kids is not willing to disclose this matter to her husband. I can’t stay away from my new born babies. How can I take the custody of my kids. Please advice me.

    • Thaddeus from United States says:

      Did you not think there would be no consequences when you were being selfish? You slept with her in secret. Why not see your twins in secret? It’s because you revealed your Sin to your wife. It does not mean you are honest about this situation. You are hurting a lot of people. Haven’t you done enough? I’m not saying the new mother is right by not confessing, but you agreed in secret to have children and now you want her to confess, not because it is right but because of your own selfish reason. Do what you will, but do it with a humble heart and with truth. Smile God loves you.

  27. Danielle from United States says:

    Pshhh… The title “My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” seems so trite in the face of the devastation that infidelity causes. It gives a false sense of hope to the perspective reader who may still have very fresh wounds and will read and do anything to make the agonizing pain stop. The fact of the matter is the pain doesn’t stop EVER, ESPECIALLY if you choose to stay in the marriage. It just starts to become part of you.

    You’ve been drop kicked into a world where you feel shared, violated, and degraded and God himself can’t make that NOT have happened. You will never unknow, or unsee, or unfeel in your brave new world. The thick layer of detachment is your new security blanket. Without that you are naked. I’m SEVEN YEARS into the “healing process” and I feel that if one is able to just wrap it up and call it a day they should. If you choose to stay prepare yourself for the joy of constantly bracing yourself for when the shoe is going to drop, managing new insecurities you’ve never had in the past, unrelenting anxiety attacks in crowds and a basic overall disdain for the male gender.

    Another fun little leftover from your man’s field trip will probably be insomnia. You’ll have years of sleepless nights wondering how in the world this became your life experience. You stayed. You took the high road. You made a sincere attempt at forgiveness, your even bought the “Power of a Praying Wife”. Well; I hate to say it but there is no going back and what is ahead is shifty and shady at best.

    If I were allowed into the Throne Room of God the LAST thing I would say was “My Husbands Affair Was The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me”. I would ask God why he allowed some of the specifics of my experience, and I would ask Him what He thought when He witnessed my introduction to this new point in time that will exist for the rest of my life titled: “After The Affair”. I would ask God if it would be okay if I could screw other men as a form of revenge since He seems to be rather cavalier about my man’s behavior. Apparently this “just happens”. “Men cheat”; it’s just the way it is.

    I guess everyone does what they gotta do. I still don’t see any benefit in staying.

  28. Thaddeus from United States says:

    I’ve been cheated on there is no excuse, but there are reasons. The short version, people lean on there own understanding, they put desires there feeling there wants before God. If he isn’t first then who or what is? If God is not where your self worth is coming from then where? Is who you are what you do? Can the mind comprehend who you really are? If you can’t look and believe your true self is good and that the mind can become twisted on one little lie and that lie leads to another before long your mind is so confused you don’t even realize how lost you are. The biggest lie is that we believe our mind can tell us who we are.

    Here’s the point, if you don’t see that no matter what you do your soul (true self) is good but the mind (flesh) is weak, meaning it is easily twisted if we let it run wild (wonder) and believe lies about yourself (and by the way the mind won’t only put you down but also build you up on things that are not true).

    How are we going to forgive and have understanding? Not make excuses, but see the truth that your wife is not a bad person, what she did was. And the pain and suffering she’s in is from what she’s doing and is only because her self worth is coming from man, and not God. The mind was not intended to be able to comprehend the soul, only God can do that. So you have to have faith. If you do wrong, it’s because you know not what you are doing. I’m not saying you don’t know what is right from wrong, just why your doing it. If that was clear you would do right every time and the only way that is going to happen is to search for truth.

    But anyways, that is the first thing your wife needs from you is to point her to the one who can tell her soul it’s worth not reasoning with her mind; that’s twisted. When the soul knows its worth the mind will be at ease. Do not lean on your own understanding. Treat others how want to be treated. It’s easy to love those who love you. Lean on God only. Have faith. God is good. Smile God loves you.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      You are giving a lot of “food for thought” to many who will read your comment, I’m sure. There are some wives, just as there are some husbands who are just bent on sinning –they want what they want when they want it. But I believe the majority fall in line with what you are saying. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. You are a man of thought and of grace –God’s grace, which is a great combination. May the Lord help you to stay true to His values and extend grace as He would have you.

  29. SadderButWiser from United States says:

    My friends, 2.5 years after disclosure and the best help I could find (Joe Beam), my life feels hopeless but for the occasional table scrap of a promise hinting vaguely at some relative form of future marital happiness, which borders on unendurable cruelty.

    At this point I only wish for clarity in God’s will for my life and situation. Please pray that I – and that all of us – would seek and confidently hear God’s voice. There is no other solution, at least for me. And there’s surely no power short of Satan himself that explains the devastation this has wrought upon my marriage, health, family, and even my faith, as I’d be a liar if I said that this hasn’t caused doubt, even while faith is all that I have to hold onto.

    Dear God, please help. This is more than I can take. Please just bring me home to your mansion of many rooms. I’m tired and I want to go home.

  30. Mike from United States says:

    My wife of 19 years told me a few weeks ago that she was having an affair. We had been rocky almost from day one — after a brief honeymoon phase, I felt she was distant, uninterested, willing to take but not to give. She never wanted to put much effort into our marriage. I tried everything I could think of to improve our marriage — read so many books, asked the advice of so many couples in our congregation. I even got her to go to counseling a few times — nothing seemed to improve matters. I blamed myself. I would get angry. I would get hurt. I would pull back. I told myself that I was making her act that way because of my sin. We had a daughter — she’s now eight. That stabilized things a bit, though we still had a crummy, basically loveless marriage.

    This past year, my best friend died, and there were other losses. I got low. I crawled into a hole and snarled at everyone. I gained sixty pounds. I looked at my sham of a marriage and decided to blame her. I told her that either we go to counseling or I move out and start divorce proceedings. She said, basically, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

    I moved out. I started praying. God answered my prayers. I didn’t much care for that! What God showed me was my own sin. He showed me that I was to love my wife. I was not to withhold my love until and unless she loved me back in the way that I thought I deserved. I was to love her no matter what she did. That did not excuse her behavior at all. But God did show me that my thinking was all backwards. I never understood 1 Cor 13 until then (the “love is…” verses). I discovered that underneath the anger, underneath the hurt, and underneath the fear, I still loved my wife with all my heart, and that I had been a horrible husband to her for 19 years.

    I called her. I met with her. I told her that I was sorry, and that I loved her. She said that she had moved on, and that there was someone else now. This was five weeks ago. We had been separated only eight weeks at that point. I pieced together the evidence — she had been in an emotional affair (at least emotional; she claims the sex didn’t start until I moved out) for at least eight years. I moved back into the house (boy, was she mad at that). She won’t talk. She’s still seeing the other guy. Today she dropped that bomb that she wants to abandon me and our daughter and spend Thanksgiving with him.

    My counselor, my preacher, and the friends I’ve confided in all tell me to move slow, give her space, give her time. I’m doing that. But it’s so hard. It hurts so much. I’ve lost thirty pounds just from stress.

    The worst is what it’s doing to our daughter. She knows something’s wrong. She wakes up screaming on the nights when my wife is “out.” She knows we’re keeping something from her.

  31. Craig from United States says:

    My wife and I will have been married 3 years at the end of February. We’ve been together however for 12 years. We moved in together in the very beginning of our relationship 12 years ago. After 10 years of this we decided to get married. We had some hardships along the way. Months before we were going to get married, our apartment complex became infested with bed bugs, forcing us to move and destroy and throw away most of our belongings. This caused us to lose all of our budget on a wedding we wanted, so we decided on a cheap route and got married in a little place in Pigeon Forge TN. That became a mockery as well.

    Next came my job loss. My company had been bought out, and the only way for me to keep my position was to move out of state, so that’s what we did. After we had moved, my wife had found out that her Grandmother, the woman who basically raised her had in operable brain cancer. At the same time her other grandmother had a number of ailments she was going through due to old age. A few months into our new move, she had lost both grandparents within weeks of each other.

    A few months go by and I start to see my wife hang out with friends more and see less of her. One day out of the blue we were sitting down just talking, and I said I love you, which I would do at least once a day, and she hit me with it. She asked me if I really did love her, or if it was just a feeling of having a companion. I was shocked she would ask me that. She then proceeded to tell me she no longer loved me. That feeling of shock turned to devastation. I didn’t know what to say or do. I didn’t know how I had failed her. A few days go by and I start to get suspicious of her whereabouts and I look in her phone and find some raunchy texts to a friend of hers. When I confronted her about it she lied to me and told me it was just girl talk between to girls.

    A few more days go by and I get random texts from someone I’ve never met giving me anonymous tips about my wife having an affair. I confronted her about this and found out the truth. She had been having an affair and the friend she was texting was actually the other guy. It has now been 7 months into the affair and she won’t end it. I’m becoming increasingly emotional and feelings of hurt, rejection, and despair flood me. I cry on a daily basis, when I never have before. I still want to work on us, but I’m not sure about her. We’re supposed to go to counseling in a couple of days. I don’t know what the outcome will be.

    As I write this she’s currently away with him. She told me that she’d like to start over from scratch, but she continues to see the other guy. This doesn’t help things in my point of view. I can’t pull myself to say it’s over because I want to make it work. I can’t get myself to get a lawyer and get a divorce, because I really don’t want to get divorced. Don’t know what to do.

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