I am in the Stage 3 of dealing with the cheating and this is definitely a rough one. I have to say that reading that page is actually what convinced me to buy your book. You really nailed it. Stage 2 was so much easier than this one is. I am a person that does not dwell on my issues if I can possibly avoid it but this one invades even my dreams or nightmares would be more accurate. This makes it so much harder to deal with, in fact I did go ahead and get medication to deal with the anxiety. I already had an anxiety disorder due to medical problems and till this refused to take meds for it since I firmly believe we all have anxiety. I felt I needed to learn to deal with it, but this one hit me so physically (I was having 24 hour a day panic attacks) that I felt it was just crazy to not get any help.
By far the hardest issue for me is to believe in him again. He says he loves me and I know he means this. He says he is sorry and I also know he means that as well. His attraction to the other woman was more of an ego stroke of being pursued. He is turning 50 this year and I think that played a part. He snapped out of it but only after he slept with her the one time (believe me I have confirmed this with the other woman). He told her after avoiding her calls and not answering her texts a few days later that it was over, wrong, should have never happened and he couldn’t have any further contact with her.
She retaliated by telling him when she told me I would then throw him out and he would come running to her then (all of this in her text message to him which he did show me when he finally was disclosing everything). She did in fact call me 2 days after and told me they slept together in very vulgar terms and without any regard whatsoever to how much it would hurt. Because of course she wanted to have it hurt as bad as possible. He at first denied it but then she is on the phone with me telling me the details. He did after I hung up on her, tell me the truth and then a few days later after I had stopped reeling from it gave me the whole story. I did text her and confirm what he told me because at that point I could believe nothing he said.
I have since been trying hard to deal with this. We both want to get through this. I am more of a reader than he is by far. He in fact hates to read so getting him to help me on that end is impossible. He was also laid off work right after so we are not able to go to marriage counseling either. We were doing ok at first. Both very committed, then as you say we started back in our routine. He has been doing all he can do as far as transparency. I also do not have the added worry of him continuing the affair.
For one he broke it off with her before I found out with the full knowledge that she would be telling me and he wasn’t even sure he would have his family after yet still ended it. Then there is the added knowledge that he is well aware that if he were to contact her again and resume she would make sure I found this out again in the hope I would throw him out. She is a very lonely woman and said it was his fault since he should have known what would happen if he got behind closed doors with a woman that hadn’t been with a man in over a year!
This is our oldest son’s girlfriends mother and has wreaked unbelievable hurt and havoc on our life. My emotions with her are sparkling clear! Lol… Him, more clouded. I love him very much and am dedicated to making our marriage work and get through this. However, it is lurking there always. I have only had 5 weeks to process all of it so still pretty early on in the recovery process, though he doesn’t realize how far I have come in a very short time. He thinks that I should just believe him that he loves me and will never do this again. While there is a huge part of me that does, I still have those doubts because I believe he loved me before too. How do you reconcile that?
I hope your book helps. I have lived with chronic pain for the last several years and have to use my mind a lot to deal with the pain. I use a lot of positive thinking in that area too. You know, on your worst day you take extra care with your make up, hair and clothes. You make a lot of jokes and try to be in the best mood possible. Laughter truly is the best medicine! This though has really done a number on my head. I already have abandonment issues as well as others so it really hit home. Plus I have tried to make him understand that I am certainly NOT choosing to feel this way.
There isn't a part of me that wouldn’t turn these feelings off if I could. I go along and then BAM it will hit me like a ton of bricks. Hurt, anger and all the dark emotions that come with it. So at this point any help I can find to be able to get this out of my head as soon as I can is what I am searching for. I know I cant fix our marriage by just turning off the emotions. But I can at least approach things with a calm manner and open mind.
The goal of this website is to give support to people who are facing problems in their relationship related to cheating, abuse and narcissism. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.
Thank you for sending your story and for your positive comments regarding my book, I am very glad to hear that it has been helpful for you to in your situation (for more information about the book, see page Healing after Cheating and Narcissism). I know what you are going through. It is very hard to recover after experiencing cheating in a relationship, especially when you have to deal with chronic physical pain on top of emotional pain. It is good that you decided to seek medical help in your situation. I am sure it helps you to deal with the sharpest edge of the pain.
You said you found out about cheating only 5 weeks ago. You are still in the beginning of the recovery process. It is good to know what one should expect from next following weeks and months. To understand why you feel the way you do right now and what one needs to do in order learn to trust again, please read this article of mental tools that help to overcome emotional pain. Visitors who wish to read about psychological tools that one can use to positively influence the overall quality of one's relationship to prevent infidelity from occurring in a first place, please see page Using Psychological Tools to Improve Your Relationship - Tips and Information.
I wish to say something about the way the Other Woman approached you. This woman seems to be a cruel person who does not care about other people's emotions. With her behavior she has shown her true personality, which seems to be quite unpleasant, bitter, angry and self-centered. That woman was not thinking of you or your family when she decided to get involved with a married man, she was only thinking of herself and her own pleasure. When she did not get what she wanted (your husband), she started to act like an angry child, who does not get her way. She threatened to tell you about the affair, without giving a single thought to how much that would hurt you.
As amazing as it is, that woman truly seemed to feel she was entitled to have your husband. She simply did not see herself as the villain of this story, even though that clearly is her role. Instead she felt angry and hurt because she got rejected, and she became blind to everything else. The only thought in her mind was to get her revenge: Someone had to suffer, because she had suffered. Sad thing is that by now she has already realized that revenging has not brought her satisfaction. Getting a revenge is only a momentary relief. Afterward one feels lonely, empty and sad, in other words same as one would have felt anyhow, even without revenge. On top of these feelings one often regrets what one has done, especially if innocent people (like you) have gotten hurt in the process.
I do not know how that woman is now feeling, I can only wish she has realized that the fault was in her. Hopefully she has learned something in life and does not try to steal other people's husbands in the future. But whatever that woman is feeling, it is not your concern. Your concern is your own happiness. You have been deeply wounded by this woman. Of course your husband also played role, that woman did not start things on her own, however this woman acted in a cruel and heartless way when she called you and told you in a very brutal way all painful details regarding their short encounter. She did not have to do that. There was no reason to hurt you. You were innocent, you did nothing wrong to her or to your husband. Yet you are the one who has suffered the most. I wish one day that woman understands what she has done and feels sorry about it. Unfortunately there are many people out there like that woman, who only think about themselves and do not care about the happiness or well-being of others.
Dear Friend, you said you love your husband and you want to continue the marriage. You said you want to learn to trust your husband again and get over this together. The most important thing for you to remember when you are having a weak moment is this: Your husband chose you, not the other woman. It is clear that your husband wants to stay with you. He is in love with you, not with someone else. Actions speak. Your husband has not left you for another woman and has not indicated in any way he wishes to do so. This makes situation easier for you to handle. If you have read other stories on this website, you have seen that many people have to deal with a spouse who does not show signs of regret after cheating. In that situation healing is so much harder. In your case your husband is not hiding his feelings towards you. That will help you to heal faster.
You wrote: "By far the hardest issue for me is to believe in him again". Dear Friend, I understand so well your feeling. Please trust me in this one: Trust will return in time. It has only been 5 weeks since you found out about cheating. It would be a miracle if you felt 100% comfortable in your marriage so soon after experiencing a trauma like this. You must be patient. You must think of yourself as a person who is now wounded. You must give your wounds time to heal. When a negative thought enters your mind, do not try to fight it, do not try to suppress it, simply let the thought come and say to yourself "ok, I have a wound in my mind and this piercing thought is pain caused by my wound, nothing more", and simply wait for the thought to pass (it always will eventually).
When you reach stage 4 of the recovery process, you have become strong enough to forgive your husband his betrayal. Only when you are able to forgive your husband, you can again feel unconditional love and trust towards him. You might never forget the cheating, but in time you will be able to forgive. Dear Friend, you must be patient. After only 5 weeks you are not yet ready to forgive your husband from all your heart. You need to give yourself more time. But you will get there, trust me.
It will help you to reach the stage 4 when you keep reminding yourself that we can all make mistakes. It is as you said, your husband is getting older and he gave in to temptation. Many factors played role in his failure to resist temptation. That can happen to many people. None of us is perfect. The nature of the mistakes we make can vary, but one thing is certain: We all make mistakes in our life.
You also wrote: "He thinks that I should just believe him that he loves me and will never do this again. While there is a huge part of me that does, I still have those doubts because I believe he loved me before too". It is important to understand that the fact that your husband had sex with that other woman does not mean he loved you less at that moment. It is often hard for women to understand that men are more capable of separating sex and love. For many women it is difficult to have sex with a person one does not love. Many men feel the same way, but we must be aware that there are also many men who have no emotional difficulty to have sex with a woman they do not love. If man belongs to latter category that does not make man any "worse" as a human being than those men who cannot enjoy sex with woman they do not love. We are all different in this aspect. We do not choose our genes. What matters are the actual actions of a person. Nothing justifies cheating.
When cheating occurs in a relationship, the most hurtful part for a woman is often the thought of one's husband being intimate with another woman. Intimacy to a woman means that there is also certain kind of emotional connection. But for men it can be a very different situation. There often does not have to be emotional connection with a person one has sex with.
Dear Friend, I am saying these things so that you understand that your husband has most likely always loved you the most, even when he had sex with that other woman. His feelings towards you had nothing to do with what happened. He realized he had made a mistake and because he loved you, he understood how badly his mistake would hurt you, so he ended the affair before it even started. He did that because he loves you. If your husband did not love you, he would most likely have allowed the affair to continue and go to see that woman whenever he wanted to have sex, since she offered herself to him. But because your husband loves you and does not want you to feel hurt, he is not doing such things (he made one mistake but regrets it and has learned from it). You are priority to your husband. Do not doubt his feelings. Allow yourself to believe in him. That will help you to heal faster.
In my book I talk about the difference between narcissistic cheater and a cheater who has no narcissistic tendencies. It seems to me that your husbands belongs to latter category. He did wrong but realized he made a mistake soon after and ended things with that other woman. He has seen the pain this has caused you. It is very likely that he will not do anything to cause you further pain.
Dear Friend, I know how hard it is to get over cheating. Remember the example of conditioning in the article of mental tools that help to overcome emotional pain. If you force yourself to do the things I described in my book in section "Survival package after cheating", you will help yourself to get over the negative memories sooner. The most important thing is to break the negative cycle.
Dear Friend, stay strong. My thoughts are with you. Trust me: You WILL get through this. You will reach state 4 of the recovery process and you will feel again happy and comfortable in your marriage (to read more about different stages of recovery process, see page How to get over cheating). If there is strong love between your husband and you, you will get through this. It seems clear to me based on your email that there is such love between the two of you. That is the most important thing. That love helps you to get through this hard time.
Dear Visitor, to read more about how to get over cheating and narcissism in a relationship, please visit page Recovery After Cheating and Narcissism.
If you wish to submit your own story and get feedback and support for your situation or if you wish to contact me for any other reason, send me email to