How Can I Get Past The Tremendous Sadness?

Adobe stock Sad and upset woman deep in thoughtHow can I get past the tremendous sadness that my spouse’s extramarital affair has caused me?

“Impact! Dead on impact. Maybe I have confused separateness with the feeling of being dead. The tears fall like rain drops.”

“The pain is physically exhausting but I am still here.”

“Lord I give up. I am not even going to pretend to be brave because I am actually totally broken. I give up. Please, I don’t want this anymore. I can’t take this anymore. Really… I can’t Lord; I can’t. My heart is completely shattered.”

Will I Ever Be Happy Again?

These are the feelings of sadness expressed by those who have been betrayed. It is the feeling of death, except one is still alive and must continue to live. But how? When will it ever go away? Will I ever feel happy again? It seems impossible. And my family tells me to just ‘get over it!’ That hurts me even more. My friends don’t understand.

When I discovered my husband’s affair, I felt as if I had gained a new companion, a companion whom I didn’t want, who wasn’t welcome, who had not been invited and who would not go away.

That companion was pain. For me it was 2 ½ years until I felt happiness again, and I distinctly remember feeling it again, and I remember why.

Feeling Unloved

The feeling of sadness for me was caused by thinking that I was unloved, perhaps even unlovable. Surely if I was a lovable person, the one I loved the most would not have hurt me so deeply with betrayal, abandonment, deceit and lies. The problem was that what I believed about myself, about my life and about the people around me was untrue. The truth is that I am lovable and therefore I will always have lots of love in my life.

I wanted a guarantee. I wanted to be guaranteed that I would never be betrayed by my husband again. He gave me his guarantee, yet I still didn’t feel guaranteed. After all, had I not been given a guarantee the day we exchanged our wedding vows? I thought what I needed was to throw away the old and start over with the new.

Start Anew?

“Yes, that’s what I needed,” I thought to myself, “a new relationship with my very own husband of 18 years.” Yes, we should redo our wedding vows. Yet others have redone their wedding vows and been betrayed again! Wedding vows are no guarantee.

Then I realized that I can never be guaranteed what all of the future choices of another individual will be. Neither can anyone else on the planet be guaranteed that their spouse will never have an affair. There are no such guarantees in life. I wish it were different, but that is reality. One thing no person can take away from another is their own right to choose. And really…would we want to?

But How Can I Get Past the Tremendous Sadness?

How loved would I feel if another was forced to love me?

Prior to our meeting this week, I put out an email to the Beyond Affairs Network asking other coordinators, how they got past the sadness. Here are their responses which I shared at our meeting:

“It was the hardest of emotions for me to overcome, but I finally accepted the fact that it happened and that I had no control over the actions of my spouse. I continually reminded myself that unless I controlled my own actions, I would be bound by my own stubbornness to remain in the anger and resentment stage. The constant dwelling on what happened is what keeps people stuck there. Again I had to control my own thoughts and move ahead. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it can be done especially if you choose to stay focused.”

Another wrote:

“I think, hard as it is to accept, that ‘tincture of time’ is the best way to get past both the hurt and the anger. I also know that it is possible to get stuck in either place. So what I did, instead of trying to rush the process, was to really LET myself be sad and then to LET myself be angry for a while. I had spent so much time and energy trying to move on, that I found I was denying myself the right to feel what I NEEDED to feel in order to heal.

Once I acknowledged my feelings and that I wasn’t crazy for feeling them, it was much easier to let them go. Now when negative feelings come, I can acknowledge them and put them away much faster. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It has been nearly 3 years for me and I’m finally getting there.”

Another affair survivor wrote:

“For me, the greatest skill for dealing with sadness is gratitude. Define it. Practice it. It seems trite to say count your blessings when you’re in the midst of such pain, but there is no denying the practical benefits of just doing. It’s scriptural and I think it’s psychologically sound. This is NOT denial. It’s perspective and coping until time has had the chance to work its magic.”

Then I read Peggy Vaughan’s article “Moving from Pain to Recovery”, where she talks about the importance of controlling your thoughts. What we feed grows. If we allow ourselves to replay the pain over and over again in our minds, we don’t move forward, in fact, it can get worse with time, if time is spent nursing and rehearsing the wound over and over again. This is where it becomes so important in the healing process to educate ourselves and to share with others who understand, which is the purpose of, constructive ideas and efforts to get beyond the painful emotions.

Managing Pain

One woman shared how taking anti depressants (only for 6 months) had helped her to cope with life at somewhat of a normal level during the initial discovery period. Others managed their pain, and often depression that accompanies discovering marital infidelity, through cognitive therapy (which is learning to understand, recognize and control your thoughts).

During our meeting, one individual brought to our attention the value of a good comedy!!! What a great, but often overlooked point! Sometimes you’ve just been dealing with the darn stuff too long.

Need to Laugh

You need to go out and have a good laugh. Give all those serious, deep thinking, tragedy moments a rest. Search for things that make you laugh. A good laugh is medicine for the soul.

Getting past the sadness, it’s a choice. We choose whether we will read books, educate ourselves, increase our understanding, learn from others and most of all whether or not WE will control our thoughts. Can you get past the sadness? Absolutely! But it takes time and it is YOUR choice.

This article was written by Anne Bercht and is featured on the web site for PassionateLife Seminars, which is a dedicated to helping others survive marriage affairs, infidelity, adultery and betrayal. Anne’s book, My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me is an inspiring true story of one family’s courage and recovery after a devastating affair.

This particular article is one of many they have posted on the subject of surviving infidelity and healthy recovery from extra marital affairs. You may want to visit their web site to see what else they offer which might further help you in some way with this issue. You can visit their web site by going to

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160 responses to “How Can I Get Past The Tremendous Sadness?

  1. (CANADA) Its been 6 yrs and I am still in great inner pain, feeling incomprehensible grief, shock, disbelief and confusion. I cried so much I honestly thought my eyeballs would be damaged. These past two months the constant pain diminished somewhat and I am trying to figure out what brought this relief. I found that whiskey helped for a while and bedding other men and knowing they desired me but of course this is temporary. I don’t want to become a hopeless alcoholic skank so I changed my destructive reaction.

    It hurts bitterly that he lives close by and they have a child. I think I went crazy for a while and heard him crying and calling out to me but no one was there with me in the house. I live alone. I talk to God every day and it helps but I wish I understood.

    1. (CANADA) Try to find a local church (evanglical/pentecostal/baptist/etc.) and get involved. Go out with the singles group and truly seek God with all your heart. How? At night time when it is dark turn on Christian music (wow worship or other CD is fine) and just pour your heart out to God through singing and praising Him. You will find in time that God will replace the hurt in your life. He will give you new hope and comfort you. Bring your desires to Him and He will bring someone into your life that He has selected (the half that makes you whole). If you are in the Toronto region, you could try Agincourt Pentecostal Church… it’s a big group of loving Christians. Take care, Daniel.

  2. (USA) Last week I had been married for 14 yrs. 18 yrs ago I met the person who treated me like gold. He was my best friend. We did everything together. We laughed, enjoyed each other. Had the same values & morals. We had goods friends. We had the same goals in life. We went thru college, supported each other, worked hard to build & enjoy our life. We liked to go on vacations. It turned out that this person would be the single person that I’VE EVER trusted my entire life with.

    This wasn’t my 1st long term boyfriend. I knew what I wanted & needed. I was definitely picky. I’ve been with cheaters before, abuser (verbal & physical) I knew the signs, if they were there. We dated almost 3 yrs then were engaged for about 2 more before we were married. We were really happy. People would comment on how great we got along. This was the 1st person I’ve ever trusted as he never gave me a reason, never even turned his head. It was a good feeling to not worry or wonder.

    While engaged we lived in an apartment in his home state of NJ. He started getting established in an excellent occupation & things were moving in the right direction. We were building our life TOGETHER. We wound up relocating to FL. Here I had owned some property & we had better opportunities to advance in life as we decided to open our own business. We built a duplex, lived in half to save money while our business grew & then would plan on buying or building our dream home. Our business was doing very well after the first 2 years & we purchased our forever home.

    Things started to get a little tight, tension was rising & certain things just weren’t making sense. All of a sudden we were having problems paying bills, the business started failing. I couldn’t get straight answers as nothing was making sense. Money was missing from accounts & collection notices were piling up. My husband was always in charge of the banking, did a very good job at logging everything & I trusted him with everything. I watched my best friend, my lover & my soulmate spiral into a completely unattentive, blaming, selfish person that I’ve never seen before. I questioned him everyday, “what’s going on?” He couldn’t account for not being where he should have been, work not getting done, money not being where it should have been …this was only the begining.

    After months of questioning, probing, prying, he admitted to being addicted to prescription pain medication, as in an over a thousand dollar a week habit. I was devastated. I had ideas but not like that. We had no health insurance (since starting self business) & no one would accept him into a program. I was mortified but knew I had to help my husband. I knew he had to get away to straighten out. To my knowledge he wasn’t a “drug addict”. I asked him if he wanted to go back up to NJ for a while, stay with his parents, get treatment & we could fix this mess & get our lives back. He agreed. He left me alone, for what was supposed to be a month, maybe 2.

    He was still gone 2 years later. During this time he stopped answering my calls, and sent zero money, We lost our duplex. His family didn’t believe he had a problem & he continued on drugs & obviously now leading a new life. He did come to visit a few times saying I’m not coming back without a transfer from my “new” job. I’ve NEVER NEARD OF A HUSBAND REFUSING TO come home & wanting to be with his wife. I knew it was time to make a trip up. He acted like he couldn’t wait to get back & told me normal things. When I got on his computer it was all there… nothing hidden. He had a FB acct he never told me about (knowing that I was on FB). Under his relationship status it read “IT’S COMPLICATED.” There were messages, email, interactions from not only some girl that he was cheating on me with at that time, it turns out that had been cheating on me even BEFORE WE WERE MARRIED. He had this girl IN MY APARTMENT IN NJ. He had been with more than this one… but this one has been consistant for 18 years.

    I want you to know that I feel as though my ENTIRE LIFE HAS BEEN RIPPED OUT FROM UNDERNEATH ME. I trust no one and the person whom I’ve given my life to had been stabbing my in the heart, looking me straight in the eyes lying all this time. I left & all of a sudden he mysteriously gets new job & can come home in the next 2 months. I’ve NEVER felt the way I have felt now for 2 1/2 yrs. Its been that long since he has been back.

    I don’t trust him. I’m in massive depression. I’ve been on antidepressents & anti anxiety for 5 yrs now. We went to marraige counseling. The counselor told me he is a liar, has always been a liar and will always be a liar. He can’t understand why I can’t let it go and move forward, says I’m the one who keeps it all fresh & bad. I am miserable, sick to my stomach. I don’t know this person whom I thought not only I knew, but was positive we would spend our lives together. I can’t look at him. I sleep on the other end of the bed. I’m disgusted, turned off. I have such a deep level of sadness& betrayal inside of me that I can’t even explain.

    Every aspect of my life has become miserable. All of my hopes and dreams mean nothing anymore. I can’t sleep, breathe, relax. I can’t imagine for the life of me how someone who was your person, your best friend, took vows for forever, has looked me dead in the eye SINCE BEFORE DAY ONE and lied. Why not just have broken up?

    I’m sorry this was long but it doesn’t even say all I NEED TO SAY. I have such a sadness built up inside of me, it’s literally eating away at me. I can’t feel happiness. How can I try to make an effort when I gave 110% for 14 years,I gave everything to be happy in such a great relationship with who I tnought was my perfect person & that’s what I got in return..I have nothing left to give. How could someone live a double life & I never knew a thing. Now I have no life. I feel constant pain & emptiness. Nothing helps. I don’t know how to move on from what I thought I had, but really I never even had that. How does a person grasp that every minute of their relationship was NEVER what I tnought and was led to belive it was.

    I know I need help because I can no longer function. I don’t want to go out. I’m extremely bitter & I just can’t forgive or forget, yet this man tnat married me is still here…I pray for strength& help everyday, all day. THANK GOD NO KIDS. Please God guide me to some happiness, I can’t live like this anymore.:(

    1. (S.AFRICA) Dear Empty Everyday, I feel your pain as I felt just as you do. I was married for 38 yrs, put my husband through college, help raise our 2 children, and my whole life revolved around making my husband and our family happy. We were happy and I trusted him totally.

      Well, just like you I picked up on a secret FB acct. This was with a ex-schoolgirl friend. His statements were such that he had ALWAYS loved her and should have married her. They had finally got together and have been on a holiday together. I was devastated “had he lived a lie for all these years?” It’s a long story but sadly we are divorced now. What I have learnt is that “no human” is completely trustworthly. Only in God can we fully trust. Please turn your heart in trust to God. He sees your hurt and pain – give it all to Him. Remember your husband married YOU. He married you in love you have to believe that. Keep strong and fight for your marriage. Dont give up.

    2. (US) I understand your sadness and bitterness, the empty feeling that you are living with. I know what it feels like to face each day where nothing feels right. It’s been 2 years for me and every once in a while I can have an OK day, not great, but OK.

      Look for ways to give your mind a short break from thinking about anything about him. Be selfish for a moment and think only of YOU. Go for a walk and (depending where you live) feel the warmth of the sun or look at the snow on the trees. Enjoy the beauty of that moment. Do something kind for someone you don’t know. To receive a thank you from a stranger will give your heart a feeling of warmth and a sense of feeling appreciated again. If you’re able to do something like this everyday, these brief feelings of happiness become extended. For every minute you are doing something for yourself or someone else, you give your mind a minute not filled with him or the sadness he has inflicted upon you. His ability to betray you is a character flaw within him, it is NOT a reflection of who you are.

      1. I can relate to most of these stories. I married a girl on June 12th 2010; she seemed to be my soul mate. We had a long distance relationship and then got married very quickly. I was living in the word and she was trying too. We had a very intimate relationship. She had a problem with the loss of her parents at such a young age and it caused her to drink certain times of the year real bad. She battles with depression or something similar to bi-polar.

        Her drinking was always bad around the time of her cycle. She abandoned our marriage when she went on a recent trip. I tell you she feels I was controlling; I was not. I was worried after paying for a public intox and three DUI’s. And having a daughter 50 per cent of the time from a previous marriage, I did not want her to drink and drive. The only time we caught her drinking I wanted her to respect her promise to not drink alone. However she has gone and says she does not love me. I really feel and hope that it is not true and she is dealing with mid-life crisis or a cold heart.

        I feel that her perception is not reality and things will slow down but she has claimed to be a victim and seems to be wanting a check and has rented a place and has an ad for room mate. I seem so misunderstood that love and marriage are worth fighting for. Out of three years two of them have been dealing with fines, rehab, community service and drug testing. It seems I am co-dependent and I am the reason for her drinking.

        My little girl thought she and I hung the moon. I have not acted in the best based on rejection and her abandoning marriage with no prior discussion or effort to reconcile. I hope her heart softens to allow for us to have the chance we never got started. Not sure that God is hearing me. I know He does not like divorce but gives us each a choice. Please, pray my wife returns to reconcile the marriage; it has been two months and she calls when drinking or when fighting. Says she would come back or says she needs me when drinking. But then next day discounts her discussion and runs from it. I have surrendered it but it is tough based on I did not realize I had to lose her to know how to love her.

        1. You are dealing with two entirely different people here –the one you fell in love with and hope she will return to, and the one who is running in many ways, mostly influenced by alcohol and the “similar to Bipolar” tendencies. Please read the article we have posted, “My Spouse Drinks Too Much.” I think you will see a lot of what you have going on with your wife. With her depressive episodes and such, and with her personal tragic history, plus her history of DUI’s and destructive drinking episodes, she should not even start to touch alcohol. It is only masking the pain she needs to deal with and could ever deal with, and is sabotaging her physically and emotionally so she can’t even begin get to a better place emotionally and share her life with you (or anyone) as her marriage partner.

          I don’t know you personally… I don’t know if you are truly “controlling” or not, but I suspect that this is more about her and the alcohol taking control of her thinking and reasoning process, and her wanting to escape reality because it is biting at her heels for her to properly deal with it. I hope you will go to God, ask Him if there is anything you need to work on (and then do so accordingly) and try in the meantime not to personalize this to the degree that it ruins your life with your little girl. Yes, your wife needs a lot of prayer and we are praying for her. I truly believe your wife is lost in her wanting to self-medicate and no matter what you do or don’t do, you will be pushed away. It is the alcohol talking to you and her wanting to escape from herself that is more involved, than her wanting to escape from you and your marriage. Please prayerfully get that. And please know that my heart goes out to you and your wife and your little girl. I am praying for you.

  3. (CANADA) The beginning of all healing is forgiveness. Without forgiveness you can’t even begin the journey.

    Before sharing with you, please realize that an affair in an otherwise seemingly healthy relationship is likely because not everything is as it seems. As a husband, I can tell you that what a man values and what a woman values in a marriage are quite opposite. A man desires a woman that can be responsible and accountable, someone that is selfless, caring towards others, secure, honest and truthful. If you have spending problems, eating problems, drug or alchohol dependencies, insecurity issues, etc. these will all wreak havoc on the relationship.

    As a husband I am extremely confident in who Jesus has made me. I take very good care of myself, both physically and spiritually (I do have my ups and downs). I love all people. I care for all people. I’m not perfect though. I can be extremely critical at times (I don’t mean it in a bad way because I’m the type of person who thrives on criticism… I bring it to God and ask Him if the criticism is warranted and then go from there…). I live a very simple life, I’m content with food, shelter and giving (though financially God has blessed me with more than I have need for). From a marriage standpoint though, I do fail in some regards. I look at sex as something I only want to share with someone I am in love with… not just love. This means respect towards me as the Husband in the marriage (respect by being considerate, loving, responsible, honest, etc as I mentioned above). I cannot have sex for the simple fact of sex… and so maybe this is my downfall. If my wife lies or deceives me, I feel hurt and distant from her. If I know she’s lying this is extremely hurtful. I believe in telling the truth regardless of the consequences. I realize, that lengthy periods of not being intimate with your wife can wreak havoc on their self esteem and hormones. I just can’t force myself anymore to do that. As much as I have a natural desire, I can’t.

    So what does this have to do with this discussion? Well I had an extra-marrital affair with a married woman 3 years ago. Why? …good question. I think as we all have some need or desire to be fullfilled, so it was for myself. To make a long story short, I felt very distant from my wife and my relationship with God was non existent. After years of lies, known and some unknown to this day and years of irresponsibility (putting us in serious credit card debt, spending all her savings on her own needs) and lack of accountability (not paying bills, going to drinking parties with old boyfriends… my wife was very sexually permiscous before coming to Jesus… she slept with over 100 guys, sneaking out to parties at night… and then finally in the last stages getting drunk on numerous occassions… for no other apparent reason other than because “she could do whatever she likes”…well I made the mistake of sleeping with a co-worker (I was with her 4 times over a 2 week period).

    I found myself trying to share Jesus with this person (like seriously… I have no idea what I was thinking… very confused to say the least). I really just enjoyed not having to be responsible for someone (so I thought… and obviously that thinking was very wrong!). But I felt extremely guilty, every lie I told my wife I felt sick to my stomach and so I told my wife everything. Right after the affair the biggest void in my life was God. Coming back to Him and being able to forgive myself (believe it or not… it’s not that easy). I spent nights praising Him… my heart was broken and I was truly born again (I never realized the power of the Holy Spirit in my life until this point). I fell so in love with God and He filled an empty void in my life. I still remember those nights, praising Him and Him pouring His love into my life. It took sometime but I became a better, more loving husband than I could ever imagine. I took over all the responsibilities of our entire household, I became a deeply loving husband… but… unfortunately my wife was having none of it.

    Unfortunately since that time I have underwent countless years of abuse, physical, sexual, verbal and mental… it was as if Satan was trying to break me. Physical abuse that would have put any other person in jail for many years… biting, scratching, kicking, punching everything. All I could do was defend myself… after a year of this, the drinking started. As of today, I can state my wife is an alcoholic (she can’t break the addiction, this is a fact, which makes her an alcoholic). She lies, has serious spending problems, has taken a leave from work (so gets drunk everyday now) and is hanging around friends who are having extra-marrital affairs.

    I realize that I love my wife but I know I can’t trust her. There have been many nights that I wish she died of alcohol poisoning (may sound bad… but it’s better than watching her life waste away). Each day is full of challenges and here I am today typing this. I guess my point is, not every cheater will continue to cheat. Some of us have made a mistake and deserve forgiveness just like any other person. I truly desire my wife to be a loving and caring woman. I really think she does not love God… so how could she love anyone else? I’m waiting patiently… but my heart is broken. Without Jesus I would have left long ago. All I can say is that there are men in this world that truly love Jesus, who truly love others. Thanks for reading. In Christ, Daniel

    1. (UK) Hello Daniel, I really feel for you. It’s strange but for just one moment my pain went away when reading about yours. My husband had been seeing prostitutes for over 10 years. I found out when he actually fell in love with one that was totally hooking him. He saw her for over 14 months and then I found a text Goodnight Godless of Beautiful one etc. I am so angry that he used the word God in that text.

      Anyway, we tried to make it work over the past 3 years with him promising etc etc, turning to God and the church but he failed many times over this time -with just looking at magazines, phoning them just for contact not going there -or so he said. Then a week ago I found that money was missing. I confronted him again and true enough he has seen 6 in the last 5 months.

      I just turned 60 have been married for 30 years, never even looked at anyone else. I am a very young 60 and also look a lot younger but I feel this will age me terrifically. I do not even know where to start my life. I have never known any other life. But I do trust in God. The signs that he has given me over the past years are a confirmation of his love for me. God Bless you and help you. X

  4. (USA) I am going thru the same stuff right now. Last week I had found out my husband was having an affair thru Facebook. Him and his little girlfriend blocked me on Facebook. After that I called him on his phone while he was working in Long Island of course, he denied it and all. After 2 weeks he claimed he dumped her… but I can’t help feeling like he’s still a liar after all he says no divorce and no separation and he came home to ME. But I still don’t trust Him.

    Last night he had a dream and talked out loud about how he wanted her and her mother to come and live with him out. I laughed out loud as I know it couldn’t be about my mother as they don’t get along. Something tells me it isn’t over with them. I’m not sure what to think. Any advice?

  5. (USA) My heart & soul was literally shredded into pieces when I first discovered my husband of 10 years & lover of 4 years has been cheating behind me. He was everything to me and I trusted him completely. We have two beautiful children together ages 6 & 2. We had many dreams and I being a home maker was busy taking care of my kids & husband completely sacrificing my whole career. This was all because I trusted my husband.

    My husband, on the other hand used that “trust” to cheat on me. Only when I confronted him, did I know who he really was. This revelation has paralyzed me completely and I am struggling to move on. He has clearly told me he doesn’t need any forgiveness and that his needs have changed after 10 years. I am just not able to digest this truth. Can anyone do this to their spouse who was literally chased to marry him? God, give me the strength to raise my children as a sole parent. Guide me. But the best part is my parents & siblings are so supportive of me. Please pray for us.

  6. (USA) I am going thru the same thing. I was married for 20 yrs with 2 kids. We separated in 10 because I knew something was wrong. We got back together in July. It lasted 6 mths before I found out he was having an affair with his best friend’s girlfriend. He was 40; she was 29. He told me he had been in love with her for over a year, and he didn’t love me like a husband should.

    He kicked me out of our home of 15 years (although he is now tellng people I walked out, wrong!). 5 weeks later he moved her into our home and her children into our children’s bedrooms. It was the worse year of my life. I loved this man and begged him not to do this to our family, but she won! I have hard times where the anger and bitterness and all that happened floods my mind.

    Our kids are 20 and 17 and he basically has no contact with our 20 yr old because he wants her to just get over it and accept it. He has told them both I didn’t make him happy. Any who, he married her 2 months after our divorce and they’re going to have a baby. She has a 4 and 10 year old, by 2 different men. I hope he is happy since he claims I made him miserable for 20 and he started drinking because of me.

    I refuse to stay in a state of anger and bitterness. I have to trust that God has a bigger and better plan for me. I think for me no contact with him, and time is the only way to get over such a devastating loss!

    1. May God help you Robbie, to shake and to peel off the bitterness –you and your “kids.” The devastation is horrible. My heart cries for you.

  7. (IRELAND) I got married in 1994 but I couldn’t have children because one of my ovaries had a cyst. In 1996 my husband got together with a woman with 2 kids by different fathers and had a son and named him after himself. In 1998 I fell pregnant and had a son, I still didn’t know about the other woman and child. In 2000 I found out about the other woman and confronted my husband; he denied it at first until I had to go to births registration to get a copy birth certificate…that’s when he came clean. We got our 2 families together (I am Zimbabwean living in Ireland) and discussed the issue. They asked him what he wanted and he said he wanted to be with me and our child and he didn’t want anything to do with the other woman. He even said he suspects the child isn’t his. I was working in a bank so I got a mortgage to buy a house and had his name on the title deeds out of respect although he hadn’t contributed anything.

    In 2005 he got a job in Ireland and went to live there leaving me and our 3 kids. In 2008 I left my job to join him in Ireland. I noticed that there was a certain number he kept calling in Zimbabwe when I confronted him about it he said it was one of his relatives I didn’t know. I didn’t think much of it and forgot about it. In 2011 after his trip from Zimbabwe I found unused condoms in his luggage. I asked him what he was doing with condoms he didn’t give me a satisfactory answer. I checked his call records on the computer and found the number he was calling everyday it was the same number as the one I had seen in 2008. I confronted him and at first he denied but I persisted until he told me that it was Junior’s mother. I said to him are you still together and he said no he calls her to talk about the child and I said everyday and he said I’m with your kids everyday but I don’t see that child so there is nothing wrong with calling everyday.

    I then called the mother to find out from her and she told me that she has been with my husband since 1996 and they have never broken up she’s actually waiting for her visa to be processed so that she can join her husband in Ireland. After that she started sending messages like ‘I’m sex starved when are you coming, when you come you are going to be up all night because I’m ready for you.’ My husband then said she’s silly how can she send such messages. I’m getting rid of her for good, but I knew that he was lying. That was in April 2011 and then on 24 December 2011. I found a secret phone in his car he was using to call the same woman. This time I said I’m leaving you for good and I started looking for accommodation but I’m not working that means I have to go to court in order to get him to pay maintenance. All the while my husband was sending a lot of money to this woman and she would go on shopping trips to Dubai with money he sent her. She doesn’t have a job and my husband was sending her other 2 kids to private boarding schools. I’m still leaving with my husband and trying to sort out what to do. His family says its my fault, he strayed because I couldn’t give him children when he wanted them. He has apologized but i can’t get over 16 years of infidelity, lies and deceit. to think that I have been living a lie all these years hurts. To say I’m hurting is an understatement, I feel that I will never get over what he did. I cry everyday since 21 March 2011.

  8. (USA) Hey, It is heart wrenching to hear about all the pain people are going through. Some of you guys are still in the throes of it after several years. I can relate to the shock and pain, but not the length of time; I found out about my wife’s secret boyfriend just two weeks ago. (It wasn’t completely out of the blue like a lot of you; she had been unhappy with our 20 year marriage and began detaching from me last year, crushing my heart completely.) I still love her and am willing to forgive, but she is filing for divorce now (we still have a son at home, age 9).

    One thing that is helping me not stay curled up in a ball in my room has been listening to Joyce Meyer’s sermons on Youtube. She speaks often on how to get unstuck and to move on, despite the pain. How to deliberately have right thoughts that overrule our negative emotions, and eventually seeing them replaced with joy and peace. How to push ourselves to imagine a great future planned for us by God, and to even be enthusiastic about it!

    In my favorite one, the one where I felt God clearly speaking to me, Joyce Meyer was talking about how often our greatest pain is grieving over the poor choices that others make. In the book of Samuel it says that Samuel mourned Saul after Saul sinned and disqualified himself from ruling the Kingdom. After a period of time, God came to Samuel and asked, “How long are you going to grieve over Saul?” Then God told him the time for grieving for Saul was over, and that God had Plan B that was going to be a lot better than the first plan, and that Samuel was to be a part of it.

    The rest of your life is a gift; don’t waste it being stuck in your shock, betrayal, and grief. These emotions are normal but you don’t want to live in them for a prolonged period. I’m chosing to move on NOW, because my son needs me and because I have to get my business going and sitting around reading internet message boards might assauage the pain for a little while, but at some point it’s wasting precious time!

  9. (SOUTH AFRICA) I have been married for 25 yrs. have 3 children, the oldest being 23 & youngest 7. He allowed his family to interfere in our marital affairs. They abused me emotionally and he could not see that. They even went to the extend of using witchcraft to destroy us. He has asked for a divorce too many times that I even lost count. I have taken such good care during his illnesses over the past 5 years and he repays me with ungratefulness. He chooses to be with his family rather than me and our children. There is so much sadness in my children’ and my life. I have no control of this situation but have been praying and asking God to intervene.

  10. (SOUTH AFRICA) I am married for 18 years. 3 years ago, my husband met his school days sweetheart. It so happens, her husband passed away 4 years ago. He left us for 3 months to live near her. But I used my two girls ages 15 and 9 at that time, for bringing him back.

    But he still kept in contact with her. He lied to her that he was getting a divorce. When I answered his call and told her the truth, she cut all ties with him. Now, he is bitter and angry with me for ruining his affair. He behaves like a young boy and comes home very late drunk, not what a normal 47 year old father would do. We never talk. We never sleep in the same room. But he lives in my house. He never pays or does anything with his wages. He works for pleasure. Sometimes, I ask myself, why do I need to keep him in my house? I support my family like a man is supposed to… but then I ask myself, should I divorce him, or not? Miracles DO happen, but when???

    1. 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?

  11. I grew up with my husband we met when I was 18 got married after 9 and spent a total of 14 years together. He was my love, my soul mate, and my best friend. I would have done anything for him, even died for him. He loved me, was proud of me, and treated me like a princess and protected me.

    Because I was so young I was very naive and childlike, I allowed and enjoyed the flirtations of another man. However, I never slept with him or even considered doing so; I just liked the attention I guess.

    My husband found some messages that had been sent to me and within days he was having an affair with a girl practically half his age at work. This was 3 months after our wedding. I didn’t know until he told me 3 years later but in the last 2 years I realised something was wrong. I felt isolated and unloved and even went to get a puppy. My husband verged between 2 days of being nice and adoring and 5 days of picking on me verbally hurting me and spending time away from me. I thought he didn’t love me but never suspected anything. I was in such a state of sadness and didn’t know why I wished I had the courage to chest on him but I loved him so much.

    Anyway, finally he told me because he had fallen in love with this girl and was thinking of leaving me. When he told me I felt relief as there was an excuse for his indifference to me and I thought he wanted to start afresh. Alas, at that point, he was so confused he couldn’t decide what he wanted. Over the next 6 months I tried my hardest putting aside my pain to help his psychological state of mind and I took him back 4 times. However, the last time we had gone away together and when we came back he told me be still wasn’t happy and he had to work on it. That was the last straw and I had to end it and start looking after my mental health as I had reached the brink of a terrible depression.

    I spent the next 6 months alone at home not working and then I decided I had to start a new life new friends (ours were all starting families), new job, new everything. I was scared and afraid like a mouse but I fought the urge to stay in bed. I started feeling better and made new friends.

    During this time I had a lot of men calling and messaging but I ignored all. After some time I decided to give a shot at dating a guy who had become a friend who was very caring and understanding of me. When my ex found out he came back begging to make up sending gifts, letters, messages, photos etc of our life together (note I always kept seeing my ex twice a week as we had agreed to share the dog… I will never give up my dog; it was he who saved me). This sent me into a mental state of confusion and a year down the line I’m still the same notwithstanding, I’m still with the same guy who is very dear to me. But I can’t forget my ex, or my past, and the happy family we once were.

    I’ve been to therapy but it didn’t help my state of mind and I still cry and have become anti-social again. I really don’t know what to do, or what I need or want. All I know is I want to be happy and carefree again but I seem to drown my pain in the long hours at work, which are very stressful. I don’t think anyone can help me except myself but I’m scared and I’m not getting younger and would love to have a family with the right person. Being separated is also something which weighs me down. I feel alone and insecure. I really need some enlightenment but it never comes.

  12. I’m a 27 year old mother of 3 expecting our 4th baby. Me and my husband have been married for 6 years, together for 11. I love my husband a lot but have found his cheating to be killing me emotionally. I’ve tried talking to him and even had our Pastor and family try talking to him but he still doesn’t see any wrong doing. He beats me up, takes away my cell phone, comes home between 3 am and 6 am from Friday til Sunday.

    I do everything in the house like taking care of the kids, cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry, run his bath and take out the garbage every Thursday morning, yet he doesn’t value me. I feel alone and worthless although I do get support from family and friends. I feel like I never achieved anything in life. I feel like I’m the ugliest person alive. At one point I found out that he fathered a child who is the same age as our second child. That made me die emotionally and when I suggest counseling he says I’m the nutcase and need help.

    I’ve gone as far as try to commit suicide but because of my kids God keeps sustaining my life. I feel drained and have lost hope in life and love. I don’t know what to do anymore… I know God doesn’t want a divorce but what do I do to change my life and gain it back? I need help.

    1. Dear Mosa, As I read what you wrote, it brought me to tears. You ARE lovely, dear. I sense it in my spirit. God let me know that’s true. I’m so sorry that you don’t have a husband that will affirm that… but that doesn’t make it any less real. God doesn’t make junk. And if He didn’t see any value in you, you wouldn’t be here. You are needed… especially by those precious children of yours. If you weren’t there for them, where would they be with their father acting the way he is? Please put suicidal thoughts out of your mind as a scheme from the enemy of our faith to take you down AND your children down. Please know that you aren’t a nutcase… not even close to it. That is a lie straight from the pit of Hell. You CAN do this Mosa, as far as doing what is best for you and your children… just keep looking to the Lord for the guidance you need.

      Because of your husband’s violent ways, I’m not sure that you can get away from him. How I wish you could. I’m especially concerned sexually, as well as physically, because he is playing around with other women and one day, it’s very possible that he could bring home AIDS or another disease. Please go into our “Abuse in Marriage” topic and read all you can to see if you can pick up things here and there that you can use to better protect yourself. Obviously, you are going to have to look to Christ as your Bridegroom, all the more, because your husband certainly isn’t seeing you or treating you that way.

      Do what you can to protect yourself and your children, looking to the Lord to help you. You’re right in saying that God doesn’t like divorce. He hates it. But He also hates a man being violent with his wife and treating her in harsh ways. You see that throughout the Bible and even next to the scripture reference you refer to about divorce. If he is unfaithful and he is violent against you, he is breaking the covenant of marriage, which frees you to decide if you should or shouldn’t stay with him. You aren’t breaking the covenant of marriage by divorcing him, he has already done that. It is up to you to pray now, as to what you should do about this.

      I pray for you Mosa, and for your children –that the Lord helps you, guides you, comforts you, speaks to you, and works in and through you in this situation –for your sake, and the sake of your children. I also pray God infuses hope into your heart that you will eventually experience better days –ones that will bring a smile to your heart. Please know that you are loved infinitely. God cares, and so do we.

      1. Hello, I have been struggling deeply. While I was away my husband stopped paying on our mortgage. As it turned out we lost our home. He didn’t tell me the truth; he lied when he had all this extra money. I asked where it came from and he said he was saving it. So now there is no retirement for either of us. I don’t think we will ever be able to buy a house again.

        I feel so betrayed. It’s not the fact that we don’t own anymore, it’s the lying and the deception. It’s like a stab in the back. He lies a lot, although I know for sure there isn’t any unfaithfulness there’s a lot of lying about money. I don’t trust him at all, we aren’t going to get a divorce, even though I thought about it a lot, we can’t afford it.

        So I live a life of unforgiveness and mistrust. We have no money now, and nothing to fall back on. I was counting on that for retirement, but now that’s gone. He sleeps fine at night, while I’m the one who can’t sleep. I give money to the church, I give money to different ministries but I am not seeing any blessings in my life. I don’t know what to do.
        I feel very broken inside. I love the Lord, but I just can’t shake the unforgiveness. He’s fine, he goes on his merry way. As far as he’s concerned every thing is fine. I just turned 64 and I have no money for retirement. Please God help.

  13. I’m very sad but I’m glad that I found this blog, which made me feel that I’m not the only one in this world facing this trial. My husband and I met when we worked abroad. We’re still working abroad and we’re not the same nationalities. Things happened coz I didn’t start out in the good way. I mean when we are in long distance relationship. 3 years back, I had affair with a married man and when my husband (that time he was my fiancé) heard about it from all his friends. He was very sad but I denied it by saying that we were just friends and he really put his trust in me. He never talk about it and I kept hiding this affair until we married so I carried out the sin when we started our new life (I even promised God if one day my husband cheated on me I will accept and forgive him). It’s karma for me somehow, which I have to pay back hardly now!

    We are turning to second years of our married life this upcoming November (5 years of knowing each other and 4 years together now). Two and half months ago I discover my husband had an affair with one of his staff, which I finally discovered (two and half months ago) that she is his long time friend since before I knew him (they are on/off chatting friends and last year she asked for help to find her a job and my husband brought her to work with us (3 of us work in the resort –an isolated island). Before she arrived, he didn’t tell her that he already married me (his first mistake). This girl came in February. On her first day as his secretary he introduce me as his wife, but still things happened.

    Things happened for the past months since she came to this island (there are so many secrets, many things hidden, lie after lie, all they did behind my back that I discovered time to time from his staff and colleagues for the past two and half months). I feel I’m so stupid, ashamed and blind; everyone on this island knows but me. I’m the last one who knows about this. I trusted him so much. It seems that the last thing and most impossible thing he would ever do to me. I guess I took his love for granted in the past.

    Mid of June my Husband went to “P” country (this lady come from that country) with this lady to abort. I discovered the affair, the pregnancy, abortion, etc after his back from P. (When he left, he told me he need to go to his country to settle the court issue with his past financial problem) It broke my heart to know all of this. I’m the one who really wants to have a baby so badly, trying to buy multivitamins, go to visit the doctor, etc. But I couldn’t get pregnant, yet but he made the other lady pregnant.

    After I knew about the affair, we had a heart to heart conversation. I asked him why he had an affair with her? He said he feels that I’m controlling him, didn’t respect him as a husband and as a man/ He feels that I’m selfish and he feels that I want to win in everything, which he said all must go according to my plan (if he’s happy or not he just keeps quiet and follows me cos he’s too scared of me and doesn’t want to fight. But from my point –yes, I feel guilty as I realize I’m ‘dominant’ in this relationship, but I never had bad intentions and really didn’t mean it coz all I want is just that we organize our future, all planning well and perfectly done). At the same time we have a financial situation from his past, which I accepted. We are still holding hands to settle it together. But in this financial crisis, I don’t know how he still has the guts to have an affair with her, even to stay in an expensive hotel a few times, bought her a ring on her birthday, and paid her party dinner bills (he didn’t even give me any gift this year on my birthday).

    After I found out, he asked for my forgiveness and a second chance BUT they’re still in touch through viber, emails with sweet conversations. When I ask him why they’re still in touch, he still asks me sometimes to fix things. Finally he told me that after 2 months back from the “P” country (after the abortion –they never had sex after her abortion), the lady checked, and she still didn’t get her period yet (that’s the reason he still needs to be in touch with her to fix this thing. I try to understand, accept and close my eyes to see them still communicating daily).

    Till 2 weeks ago, this lady decided to resign (due to fighting with other colleagues) whilst my husband was on his business trip. I picked up my husband at the airport on his arrival coz I expected they both planned to spend the ‘last moment’ to meet (check on the pregnancy things and others) before she’s back to her country (guess what I found from my husband luggage?? condom that he bought, which means they really planned to meet for the last time before she flew if I didn’t pick up my husband at the airport). – Its broken my heart. How could he ask for forgiveness, and a second chance when there is a possibility this girl is still pregnant even after abortion, and they both still plan to do it again??? When I ask again why, he said “just for fun”).

    I asked him directly, if he’s much more happy and has future with her, go ahead… at least both of them are happy and I can start my new life (since I’m still 27 and he’s 40 – we don’t have a kid yet). I told him, all I want is for him to tell me directly what and who he wants, so it won’t keep hurting me by finding things again and again behind my back and none of us live happily. He still insists that he loves me and he wants to be with me (that lady got mad at us and went back to her country). Its been 2 weeks now since she left, but too many things still cross and mess my mind, upset me. Every day things still haunt me with all the imagination of what they did (especially we are still living in the same place, the same island, everything here remind me about this scandal), worry about the present if they are still in touch and future if she really pregnant and keep the baby.

    We are now 1:1. I got my karma, I open up with him about my hidden secret affair that I hid from him. It’s hard for him to believe that I hid my affair from him these years (till I told him the truth last month, for the past 2 years he still trusted me with all his heart that I never had an affair and it just friend).

    We’re both now trying to live our second chance, trying to be in peace, in love and be happy again (even I don’t really feel it yet). We are ok (but no ml yet for the past 2 months till today – not sure why seems he’s not ‘attracted’ to me and I couldn’t turn him on anymore, or if it’s just my feeling or if it’s coz his guilty feeling??). I try to ask him to open up to me in everything but he’s not ready yet to open his password emails, social media, etc (he never shared this before and I never asked coz I trusted him 100%). He also doesn’t feel comfortable talking about sex with me yet. When I ask what’s wrong or what needs to be fixed, etc. He said we just need to move slowly but surely (he still feels I want to move forward in a rush).

    I’m struggling to forget “my husband’s affair”, to stop all my question marks, which still fly around my head and to get my trust back. I discovered it two and half months ago. Even after the affair lady went back to her country, myself and my husband decided to give our marriage life a second chance but it’s not that easy to forget and start again after all.

    We are ok; we are trying to be happy, we still sleep together (hugging, kissing but no sex for the past 2 months and seems I couldn’t turn him on or he’s not interested in me -kind of trying to avoiding me when I try to ‘start’. I’m wondering what’s wrong?? why?? Is she better than me in bed? Is that why he’s not interested in me? I try to open this topic and ask him to be honest, to be open on what he likes, how he likes it, etc. But he said he’s not comfortable to talk to me about it. He said he needs some time, it takes time and just take it slowly but surely. He said I’m in a rush. I’m totally confused now, he asked for forgiveness, a second chance and chooses to be with me in saving our marriage but why does he need some time?? Even to make love with me, he couldn’t?? I end up feeling sad and feeling that he refuses me, reject me coz of that). Anyone has the same experience as me, which can help and share?

    We are also trying to talk like a normal day, like nothing even happened (sometimes I feel strange/weird -I feel I couldn’t have any topic/conversation to talk with him, we both remain in silent.) I’m not sure if that’s because I just don’t want when I talk to end up fighting coz I will open up the ‘affair’ topic or we start losing our connection.

    I forgive him but it’s so hard and seems impossible to forget! Sometimes I wish just to have amnesia so I stop hurting myself with all my doubt, worries, thoughts, negative imagination and all. It drives me crazy. Sometimes I feel I just want to live in the moment, but when I remember back all my positive spirits and thoughts, they are gone in a second. Somehow, I still keep praying. We are still holding on in this marriage and I do really hope things will works out well for us on this second chance after sometime.

  14. After 12 years together, I had gone through an accident that has left me with a permanent disability, then Cancer and then open heart surgery. I discovered she had been running up debt on my credit card for approx 4 years without my knowledge.

    About the time I had cancer, I uncovered other debts she ran up in my name, then text messages from another man. She totally denied this. I have many disabilities I said, but blindness was not one.

    She led me a merry dance for many months, never giving me an answer as to whether the relationship was over. She still has not. A year on she has dated several men. She told me she would clear the debt in a year. What a fool again, I was to believe her. Many lies have now been exposed over the course of the last year. She has blamed me for things I have never done, My conscious is clear.

    Still, I find myself alone and at times still devastated someone could do this. I keep myself busy, have good friends but when alone it still hurts. How do you get over this deceit?

    1. You need God and Therapy and love and support from family and friends. How awful her leaving you after your accident and cancer. This similar thing happened to a cousin of mine. Her husband of 30+ years left her when she got lung cancer for a high school girlfriend. So heart breaking. I feel for you. How dare she leave you when you need her most. It makes me wonder if she loves you any more. Or just decided once you were sick she would leave.

      So sorry for this. You must be devastated. My prayers are with you. God will help if you have faith. I have learned prayers are not always answered in the time or way we want. But I know God loves you, you are his son . He knows you. He wants the best for you.