Having An Affair? Take It to Your Grave.

I remember the first time I told a close friend about my affair. This was after my wife found out about it. My life was a living hell and his first question to me was, “How did you get caught?”

I didn’t, I explained. My lover told her husband.

Since then, I have written what seems like thousands of blog posts on why my ex had no right to confess. In her mind, I’m sure, she was “doing the right thing.” But that one action –that single action—destroyed the lives of people she had never met or will meet.

I bring this up more than a year and a half after my so-called D-Day, the day my wife learned of my affair, because I’ve stumbled onto an article that supports my belief that cheating spouses should never tell. At least, not if they hope to stay married and spare innocent people from a life of pain.


Why We Have Affairs – And Why Not to Tell

In her 30 years of counseling couples, Mira Kirshenbaum has discerned 17 reasons that people have extramarital affairs. In a near majority of couples, one partner will cheat on the other at some point. In her new book, When Good People Have Affairs: Inside the Hearts & Minds of People in Two Relationships (St. Martin’s), Kirshenbaum explains the reasons and offers some helpful — and sometimes surprising — advice on how to manage the consequences. TIME senior reporter Andrea Sachs reached Kirshenbaum at her office in Boston:

TIME: Is there a pattern in the way that affairs begin?

Mira Kirshenbaum: People say, “I never meant for this to happen.” They’re being honest when they say that. Typically, they’re in a committed relationship, but they aren’t perfectly happy. No one who was perfectly happy in their primary relationship gets into a second one. They’re a lot unhappy, or maybe just a little. Maybe they have no plans to cheat. And then the other person somehow floats onto their radar screen. The image that I have is like someone who has been wandering around with a couple of empty wine glasses who suddenly meets someone with a bottle of wine. And so they want a little taste. It starts very innocently. Very slowly they get to know each other. It’s often an emotional affair to begin with. Maybe they have long conversations, whatever. However it happens, eventually they realize that they’ve crossed some sort of line. But they realize it after they’ve crossed it. And it feels wonderful because it was a line they were hungry to cross. But it also feels terrible because they know it’s cheating, and they know they never wanted to be a cheater. But it keeps going. Think about it. If you don’t want to divorce, and there are many reasons people don’t — for the children, for financial reasons, they don’t want the stigma of a divorce — this is a way people cope. They have the illusion that no one will know. If I get a divorce, it’s a public act and everyone will know that my marriage failed, that I’m a failure. But if I have an affair, I’m able to pretend that everything’s O.K. and no one will get hurt. So they find themselves involved in the two relationships and it looks as though it could work. And the guilt seems manageable. And they’re not really thinking about the future. They feel like they’ve got this wonderful, wonderful present, and it seems to solve all their problems.

TIME: Can that last?

It never lasts. It can’t. Being in two relationships is inherently unsustainable. It’s like a house of cards. And the longer it keeps going, the more likely it is to come crashing down. And then the pressure mounts and the central structure is that three-way tug of war. The person who is cheating is just trying to keep everything stable, the same, not changing anything. The two other people, the lover and the spouse, are putting pressure on, if the spouse knows about it. If the spouse doesn’t, she still is wanting more time, more fun. She puts pressure on anyway.

TIME: Do most people get caught?

Yes. Inevitably there are slip-ups. In the stories I hear, they find a gift in a pocket of a coat and they think it’s for them and they’re so excited, and then they never get the gift. I mean, it’s just heartbreaking. So it all blows up eventually.

TIME: Should you confess if you feel guilty about it?

No. I’ve got to tell you that this is very, very important. I’m a person who is just an advocate of truth. I really will do anything to tell the truth, so it took me a long time to get to the point where I say, just don’t tell. Because how does it make a person less guilty to inflict terrible pain on someone? Which is exactly what the confession does. It puts the other person in a permanent state of hurt and grief and loss of trust and an inability to feel safe, and it doesn’t alleviate your guilt. Your relationship is dealt a potentially devastating blow. Honesty is great, but it’s an abstract moral principle…. The higher moral principle, I believe, is not hurting people. And when you confess to having an affair, you are hurting someone more than you can ever imagine. So I tell people, if you care that much about honesty, figure out who you want to be with, commit to that relationship and devote the rest of your life to making it the most honest relationship you can. But confessing your affair is the kind of honesty that is unnecessarily destructive. There are two huge exceptions to not telling: if you’re having an affair and you haven’t practiced safe sex, even if it’s only one time, you have to tell. Again, the moral principle is minimizing the hurt. But this time, the greatest risk of hurt comes from inflicting a sexually transmitted disease, and I’ve never seen a relationship recover from that. You also have to tell if discovery is imminent or likely. If you’re going to be found out, then it’s better for you to be the one to make the confession first.

Before I did this research, I really thought that affairs were fatal for relationships, but they’re not. It all depends on how you deal with it, and that’s why I have two sections in the book on how to repair and rebuild and heal the hurts. You need all of that. But if the person who has been cheated on has a talent for forgiveness and the cheater is truly sorry — this is one of the surprising findings — many, many people are able to use the affair as a wake-up call and end up so much happier with a relationship that gives them what they need, instead of just being on automatic and pretending that everything’s O.K.

TIME: Do people who decide, during an affair, to leave their marriage often end up staying with the person they cheated with, or is that just a way of getting out of the relationship?

There are 17 reasons people have affairs, and you’ve just talked about one of them. I call it the Ejector Seat affair. People use the relationship as a way to get out of the marriage. That is a real reason. They’re afraid to leave the marriage, and they’re hoping that an affair will end things. Either the spouse will kick them out or the lover will give them the courage to quit.

TIME: Let’s talk about some of the others. What is the See-If affair?

If your motive is to see if what you’ve been missing in your marriage can be gotten with someone else, and if so does it make as much of a difference as you thought, then you’re in a See-If affair.

TIME: What about the Heating Up Your Marriage affair?

This is subconscious for people. They don’t actively say, “I’m going to go and heat up my marriage.” But unconsciously they’re hoping that either the affair itself or their spouse finding out about it will make things more passionate in the relationship.

TIME: Is that a good strategy?

Well, none of these are great strategies, but you have to assume that there’s a hidden wisdom. People are coping. People are doing the best they can. There’s something they’re hungry for and they’re not getting it in life. And an affair is a way for people to try to get what they’re needing.

TIME: What about the I Just Needed to Indulge Myself affair?

Look, it may not be noble, but the fact is that some people work so hard and they really don’t know how to take care of themselves and give to themselves. And an affair occurs to them as the best way they know how to give themselves some pleasure. You don’t really think very highly of someone like that, but there are people like that.

TIME: I’m intrigued by the Let’s Kill this Relationship and See if It Comes Back to Life affair. What is that?

This happens unconsciously also. The idea is that once an affair is discovered, it will deliver a blow that will either kill your relationship or make it stronger. And it often does. The sex becomes much more passionate for some people.

TIME: The Having Experiences I Missed Out On affair?

This is true for a lot of women who weren’t in many relationships before they got married — men as well — [who] feel there are experiences that are important that they missed out on. And an affair is the best way they can think of to get those experiences.

TIME: Let’s take the last one. How about a mid-marriage crisis affair?

Without time and attention, marriages get stale or feel full of problems. They’re tired and frustrated with their marriages and not knowing what else to do. You have an affair. It’s about the stage the marriage is in. And the way we live today. Everyday life is terrible for love. Love needs time, and time is the air love breathes, and people have no time. On the weekends, they’re running around schlepping, doing all kinds of things. And where do you have the time you had when you were falling in love? It just doesn’t exist for people anymore.

TIME: What do you say to someone who comes to you and says, “I can’t choose; I don’t know who to stay with”?

If you want to work with me, O.K., first accept the fact that your view of your lover and your spouse are both skewed. Things always seem great with the lover, it’s always so romantic and sexy, special, sporadic and, most of all, new and exciting. But guess what? New gets old. I wish I had a nickel for everyone who married their lover and found they replicated what they had with their spouse, with the added poverty of a post-divorce lifestyle. And in the same way, spouses are usually not as bad as they seem. After all, the person who is cheating is withdrawing energy from their marriage and has alleviated their guilt by bad-mouthing or bad-thinking their spouse. But when people work on their marriage and put the lover by the wayside, they’re often very surprised at how much things can improve. Another piece of advice I’d say is, lovers are often little more than the crowbar you needed to get out of your marriage, but you don’t need to marry the crowbar. That’s a mistake a lot of people make. They feel so guilty, they then marry the person they had the affair with.

TIME: Are you still optimistic about marriage after hearing so many bad stories?

Oh, sure. Just because people have problems doesn’t mean they can’t solve their problems. It’s a terrible way to have to wake up, but I work with so many couples who’ve gone through all of the stages and come out the other end in a much better place than they ever were, especially if they don’t tell. And the problem with telling is that you’re then taking all of the time in therapy and in your life where you should be focusing on making the relationship the best it can be. You spend it just talking about the past. [But] no one can change the past.

Like Mira Kirshenbaum, I believe in honesty, which may sound funny coming from a confessed adulterer. I never wanted to lie. Lies are what I hated about having an affair. Yet one lie led to another and another. Before I knew it, I was an expert liar.

But I was prepared to take those lies to my grave because I knew my affair would destroy not only me, but my wife and two precious children. It did. Mere words cannot describe the pain and suffering that were inflicted on my family because someone thought it best to “come clean.”

It’s why it makes me sick to my stomach when I think of my former other woman’s last words to me.

“I don’t want to lie to my husband anymore.”

A little late for honesty, don’t you think?



Filed under adultery, affairs, cheating, infidelity

117 responses to “Having An Affair? Take It to Your Grave.

  1. i hear you on the little late for honesty thing… especially when Rs honesty wasnt even honesty.

    i read this article the other day because i noticed it was linked off of my blog… i have been working on a post called “debunking the debunked” based on all these “experts” who write about affairs. i think you and i can both agree that the “experts” who supposedly never had affairs, but research it, are not the best at articulating it.

    however, i do agree with the dont say anything stance. i know i dont write about this- but i do have a boyfriend who ive been with longer than R has been married. why? you ask. good question. and im trying to figure all that stuff out. but one of the first things my therapist said to me was “do not tell your boyfriend… if i was your age i would tell you to confess… but being the age i am now (she is about 55)… do not say anything.” so here i am not saying anything to someone i love despite the fact that i want to bite off the head of someone i thought i loved. its all a lot of head games… and a lot of struggling. i mean, if all goes as planned, i WILL take it to the grave… my boyfriend wont know… my parents wont know… some of my best friends wont know… and i often dont know how i feel about that.

    anyway, another great post!

  2. Yo Teev…

    Now this question of whether to tell or not is a conundrum isn’t it.

    Like you, I have been conditioned by “Christian” influcences that have probably suggested the importance of TOTAL disclosure and honesty. The value of which is total intimacy and transparency so that two can be completely one.

    I agree in the principle of this. The practice of it is completely another thing. I am left to wonder if Total Disclosure and Honesty should be applied on a subjective basis.

    I have a buddy who confessed a matter to his wife that she found very hurtful. It took forever for her to warm back up to him and some 10 years later, he is not sure that she has ever come to grips with the matter he confessed to her. So was there really any value to the marriage in this? Was his wife mature enough to accept that he fell temptation to a matter (relatively minor in the scheme of things) that many, if not most men fall prey to?

    In her immaturity and frankly, ignorance, she felt she was one of only few women who had to tolerarte and accept that her husband had done such a thing.

    Reminds me of the line in A Few Good Men,
    Tom Cruise, “I want the truth!”
    Jack Nicholson, “You can’t handle the truth!”.

    If we are going to be full-disclosure and full-truth, I would only agree to such a thing if there was at least some effort made to be able to handle the disclosure and truth in a wise and mature way.

    Otherwise, we are simply burdening someone with something they can’t handle and thereby hurthing them.

    Yet this could end up being license for some to carry on in ways that they should otherwise not be. So a bit of a catch 22 eh?

    I think the quote that is relevant here is, “To thine own self be true”, (Bill Shakespeare, I believe). I think if our own conscience and moral sense of right and wrong are our guideposts, then it is to those that we primarily owe our obedience. And I am sure that most of our consciences and senses of right/wrong would agree that marital infidelity is wrong.

    In your case, you got busted. It just happened to be by a direct disclosure of your ex-lover. But had that not happened, you may have been found out some other way eventually. Maybe sooner rather than later. Hey man, I watch CSI…. nobody can hide anything for too long.

    So ya…. it sounds like this remains a conundrum. I personally strive to do nothing that I would not want my wife to know. But were I miss the mark, I try to let my conscience be my guide.

    Brother… this is a fucked up world. Any notion that we are not tempted sexually at any moment of the day in ways that humanity has never had to face is complete naivity.

    We have sex paraded in front of us constantly. I hope that women can realize of men that while we know infidelity is wrong, we are still male animals whose sexuality is being preyed on constantly by entertainment, advertising, fashion, and our sex-driven culture constantly.

    For a man to have a moral failing sexually in this day should be understood in the context of the day. Does not make it right. Does not justify it. Just more likely to happen given the climate we are in.

    Case in point in something I just wrote was the TV Show CSI Miami. It is all about cleavage. It is a veritable smorgasborg of tits. And this is a mild show!

    They didnt face this in the 1920’s.

    Time for society to mature up and realize that we have built a culture that makes sexual temptation of any and all types far easier to fall into.



  3. robin

    Just a little something missing from your theory about don’t tell. What if the offended spouse ( or whatever the fuck you call the spouse who was not involved in an affair- that’s me) finds out down the road. Don’t you think he or she will be even more pissed if he or she has to find out instead of your confessing it. I think that very few affairs end as quickly on their own, that is, I think that if your ow had not told her husband, thus getting you caught, you would not have ended the affair and been given this oppurtunity by your wife to repair your marriage. If, in fact, it can really be repaired. (not sure after 8 months of trying to work it out).
    What I am asking you is are you slightly aggravated that you will never know if perhaps your other woman may have been better for you than your wife? Do you wish you could’ve discovered that? I would like to know more about your progress with your wife a year later. I am at 8 months and still want to scream my head off sometimes, although the strangling-in-the-sleep fantasy has dissipated. I laughed my ass off at the “Let’s kill the relationship and see if it comes back to life again affair” Laughed out loud all alone. Hilarious. I think this affair type may be the best description for the one my husband had. I’m gonna ask him when I get home. Sad part is, he won’t believe me when I tell him I think it is hilarious. He’ll just think I am fucking with him (I don’t) and won’t know how to respond. How about honestly? Give that a try, Cheaty Boy.

  4. tvexplorer

    You’re correct, of course. There is always the “what if they find out down the road” factor. I did leave that out of my equation, and it was noticeable. However, given the damage I have seen in my own house, I’d have been willing to take my chances on this. Am I aggravated that I never got a chance to find out if my other woman would have been a better match for me? I’d be lying if I said no. The real question is, would my affair have ended if it hadn’t been exposed? Probably not. Knowing how I felt at the time, I probably would have continued my affair until I did get caught. How sad. Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps I’m in a better place with my marriage because the affair was exposed when it was. Still, when I think how EASY it was for my ex to blab to her husband, it pisses me off. I had more to lose than her. How easy for this childless, bipolar woman to throw me and my family under the bus. I realize how twisted this sounds, but it’s how I feel.

    Let me ask you something: Wouldn’t your life be easier right now if your husband’s affair “never existed”? Even if it happened, isn’t ignorance more blissful? You may THINK it’s better to know the truth, but didn’t the truth ruin everything? I’m not advocating lies in married relationships. I’m just making the point that it’s easier for everyone if some dirty little secrets remain secret. If you knew you were going to die in a car crash 5 years from now, would you want to know? Could you make the most of those five years, or would you spend every moment in darkness pondering the inevitable? I’m just saying, given the hell I have witnessed in my home these past two years, I choose ignorance over painful disclosure.

  5. I dialogue between Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise comes to mind on this subject.

    Recall the classic courtroom questionning in “A Few Good Men”?

    Tom Cruise is the prosecuting attorney in a military court and questionning a veteran Colenel, Jack Nicholson, who clearly knows more about the unexplained death of one of his men on a training run.

    Tom: “I want the truth”!

    Jack: “You can’t handle the truth”!

    Ok… so what am I saying? I am simply saying that the truth of a betrayal is like a hand grinade. When it goes off, we have no idea how much impact it will have and how much everyone will get hurt.

    There is no simple answer to this question. And there is no painless way of finding out about an affair.

    I think it just needs to come out as it does.

    I know that when I finally got the truth that I thought I wanted to know, I ended up in the psych ward.

    Yet years before, I sought to know. Either way… sooner…. later…. whatever…. the pain is huge. For me, I would say the best time is now. Right freakin’ now. Then handle what happens next.



  6. Jill

    First, let me say that I am new to blogs. Second, I know there is a definite correlation between bipolar disorder and adultery. In addition to the reckless behavior during mania, there is something in the childhood of a person with bipolar disorder that leaves an empty space. As you probably know, bipolar disease is genetic. A child raised by a mother with bipolar disorder doesn’t have a chance to be normal and develop healthy relationships.

    I’ve been reading your blog and read the email from the OW’s husband, but I don’t understand how your D-Day was found out. Was it your love sickness, as a healthy, professional individual that you confessed to your wife? I am love sick, have a mental disability, and for the past month fight myself everyday from telling the truth. I’m losing my security. I’ve told him not to put me in a position where I feel that I have nothing to lose.

    I’m in a long term affair that feels like the “What about the I Just Needed to Indulge Myself affair” from Time.com “Look, it may not be noble, but the fact is that some people work so hard and they really don’t know how to take care of themselves and give to themselves. And an affair occurs to them as the best way they know how to give themselves some pleasure.” And he is a serial cheater and habitual liar.

    As a person with bipolar disorder I confused this with caring. We were friends and occasional lovers for decades before our long term affair. He knew of my diagnosis when we entered this long term affair. I adored him and relied on him for emotional and financial support. He has lied to me and deceived me one to many times. I am in pain and want to inflict this pain onto him and his family…possibly tomorrow. I don’t want to but he has put me in a position of powerlessness.

  7. tvexplorer

    Jill, thanks for your comment. FIRST let me address the most disturbing thing you’ve said. Your decision to possibly tell your lover’s wife about the affair. To “inflict pain onto him,” as you put it. DO NOT DO THIS!!! At least wait until you’ve had ample time to consider what will happen if you do. This is no small matter. It’s not a decision to be made while wanting to settle a score. It’s permanent. You can’t take it back. Once those events have been set into motion, they will spin out of control beyond anyone’s expectations, including yours. Please know I am not trying to protect or defend the guy you want to hurt. It’s just that I know what happens when affairs or exposed, and it’s not pretty. It’s total destruction. It’s the button on the President’s desk that sends nuclear missiles to…wherever. I’d like to hear more specifics about your affair. Are you married? Is your affair over? Did he tell you it’s over? Did he cheat on you? All I’m saying is, I believe what the expert said in the article said about the importance of keeping affairs a secret. I’m still in amazement today, almost two years after D-Day, how destructive my affair was to not just me, but everyone around me. My children will never be the same. My wife will never be the same. Her wounds may heal, but she will always know I betrayed her. Her life will always carry that scar. You see, no matter how you feel about your lover’s wife, she is an innocent victim in all this. She doesn’t deserve to pay the emotional price for her husband’s affair with another woman. And it’s a huge price to pay. I’ve seen it with my wife, and I never want to see another human being go through it. Affairs ruin lives. There’s no other way to put it.

    So please, Jill, send me a few details on what’s going on, and we’ll go over it. I’m not an expert on all-things-adultery, but I’m a guy whose put a lot of thought into the subject. For the record, I did NOT confess my affair to my wife. My ex-lover took care of that for me. During a bipolar meltdown (before she was diagnosed with Bipolar 1), she told her husband about the affair. When I asked why, she used the excuse that she was so hopped up on drugs in the psych ward of hospital, she “thought she was going to die,” and therefore wanted to “come clean” with him about what she had done. The funny thing is, I do understand why she did it. Affairs are a heavy burden to bear. The lies and deception necessary to conceal an affair start to eat away at you. You feel like a bad person. Every time you look your spouse in the eye, you know you are fucking them over BIG TIME! I understand why my ex spilled the beans. But it was cruel for her to make a decision that would destroy so many lives, including my children. Don’t get me wrong. I take full responsibility for my role in the affair. Ultimately, I’m the one to blame for all this damage. But I resent her. I can’t not resent her. And I guarantee she wishes in retrospect she had kept her mouth shut. No one –I repeat– NO ONE benefits from the destructive force of exposing an affair.

    Please….delay any action!!!

  8. as an OW, i agree with you here TV. as much as you know i want R to rot… i just cant bring myself to expose the entire story of the affair that im sure Rs wife pretended didnt happen. i am positive she believed his bs that he was just “emotionally” connected to me… even though i think admitting you love someone is pretty bad as it is. any way… my point is- i feel even better knowing i know things that he has not exposed to his wife… mainly because im holding a deck of very high value cards. in other words, R must know there is someone out there that hasnt said anything but KNOWS everything… even stuff that he did before me. will i ever expose this? probably not as i dont want the drama that follows and im a strict believer in the world taking care of things naturally… but is it great ammo for the future? like if R tries to come back to my summer job next year or in upcoming years? you bet. and that does make me feel powerful.

    just think about it- if you had parted ways like you did where she exposed that she was not the great person you had experienced…but your wife didnt find out…and you were sitting here 2 years since your d-day knowing that your ex (who is not totally balanced) was out there with info that could bury you… how would you handle it? is it maybe better that your wife found out in the present that in the future… years down the road after you already dealt with it on your own?

  9. tvexplorer

    MM, you have raised an interesting question. As much as I hated for my affair to become known, is it better for it to come out now than, say, two years down the road when things have settled? I have thought about this many times. What if OW had kept her mouth shut? Would I always worry she would blab when I least expected it? I think the answer to that question is yes. I would always be ‘looking over my back.’ I lived with that feeling for two weeks when my ex had her ‘meltdown’ and wound up in the psych ward of a hospital. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Oh shit, I hope she doesn’t tell.’ I didn’t necessarily think she would tell, but it was in the back of my mind. (Cheating husbands are like worried cockroaches.) Then, two weeks later, her husband called me and asked, “Did you have an affair with my wife?” The world, as I knew it, was about to end. It was another week or so before my wife found out. I can only assume OWs husband took that time to decide whether or not he should tell. That was the worst part. Knowing that he knew, and that the shoe could drop at any moment. It did on October 4, 2007.

    Gawd what a day that was!

    Is it better to have it over with? For my ex NOT to have that control over me? Perhaps. I’m not sure how my wife would’ve reacted to my affair two years after the fact. It may’ve been worse in some ways, but then, it may’ve been better. It’s hard to say. At least, as you say, I would have been over my other woman and more ready to deal with my marriage. The problem with my affair being exposed when it was is that I was “drunk in love” with my ex when I was caught. I was in no state-of-mind to be dealing with the fallout. All I wanted was to get my lover back. And my wife could see it. It was written all over my face. How I’m still married is beyond me.

  10. What ever is done in the dark will eventually come to light.

    Yes, it will hurt the other person, but it’s best to get the healing process started and over with as soon as possible. That is assuming that the offended spouse is willing to heal on move on.

    Even if the offended spouse isn’t willing to patch things back up, wouldn’t you want to know now? It’s just best to get things out in the open so that you will know how to move on.

  11. tvexplorer

    True that. Thanks for the comment.

  12. OverNow

    I came to your blog by searching for how to get over an affair. Mine started very textbook, your analogy of tasting the wine hit the mark. I am married. The OM is married. It had been going on for 6 months and he ended it abruptly. Unfortunately I have the added pressure of his wife being my friend and we have the same social set of friends that I see and talk to weekly. We had the understanding that it could not ever be more although we had talked about it in the past. Money, kids involved. No one was found out, maybe the pressure got to him. I don’t know. I am just tryingnot to have a nervous breakdown in front of my husband, children and just trying to figure out how Iam going to get through the next cookout/dinner party when I see him. I refuse to ask for answers because what is the point? If he wanted to end it I wont give him the satisfaction of knowing how much pain he has and is causing me. How would you handle the next lovely suburban cookout this weekend and the next? There is absolutely no way I can cancel. And I also will say I agree with you and I would never confess and cause my wonderful husband pain. I feel more vulnerable being caught now than when we saw each other. And if I would have known how impossibly wonderful and painful and horrible this was going to be I would have tried so much harder to resist….never again…

  13. tvexplorer

    Welcome to hell, OverNow! It stings like a mutha when you can’t have him, am I right? I applaud you for sparing your husband from this. I promise you, you DON’T ever want to see that look of devastation on his face. It’s a horrible, horrible thing. So your OM ended it? Smart man. Nothing against you, but I’m sure the guilt started eating away at him. Too many of us cheaters fail to take an inventory of all that would be lost if the affair came to light. At the same time, I know you’re hurting inside. Lemme guess, your mind is filled with visions of that sweet, tender love you shared. That’s the chemical cocktail in your brain talking. It’s like a drug addiction that’s hard to shake. In fact (brace yourself), it may take a year or two for those feelings to subside. It did for me. His wife is your friend? Oh dear God! That has to be a rotten feeling. I understand what you’re saying about feeling more exposed and vulnerable now that the affair is over. Tell me, do you have any communication with him at all? Just wondering if he could give your assurance that your “secret is safe.” I will say this, not to scare you, but it takes serious balls for a person to carry this secret to their grave. Let’s hope he is strong. Let’s hope you are strong! You do NOT want the secret to get out….ever! All those people who say the truth always comes out, or that it’s better to tell to the truth for the sake of honesty, fuck them! They have no idea what they’re talking about. Unfortunately, I do. The flames of hell are hot, let me tell ya.

    Tell me more about the affair. I’m nosy that way.

  14. OverNow

    Hell is right, the flames are hot. It is like a drug addiction, I’m shaky, short tempered, even clsier than usual! Got to get some xanax or something. I feel like I am in the ocean, treading water while each wave comes in crashing over my head. I get one deep breath and go under again. The air around me even feels like a weight on my body. How
    could I have known? The ending happened only a few days ago, he cut off our source of contact. Which only goes to show he was a heartless cruel asshole
    who didnt deserve what he had anyways. I felt the pressure too and I know he probably did me a favor, blah blah blah. But it’s not over yet is it? Simce I have to see him. I am in deep panic over this dinner party. I would say hopefully he will pretend being sick but whose to say that wont raise more red flags. Good God, dont know if I can go two years like this. I do have those sweet gooey feelings but also hate for him. I think that is the only way I am going to make it through. It is a fine line I am walking and feel like that shit is getting thinner by the day….
    No contact with him right now so I dont see any assurances of silence forthcoming..guess I won’t be asking him at the party. How in the hell
    did I get here? Great husband, great life, great kids all going fucked up if I cant get a handle on how to deal with this!

  15. Jill

    tveplorer- WOW. I told you that I was new to blogs. I posted a stream of consciousness of my innermost feelings that I knew were wrong. I didn’t know it posted! I didn’t read your response. What happened just happened. He is pathological. It’s no wonder I didn’t understand D-Day. Duah! You are a journalist with sophisticated skills. I’m a nymph at blogs. Lot’s of hits on your blog proves lots of people have affairs. Are we all immoral?

    OverNow –. My crowd is small. Xanax really helped for now. I’m just afraid I’ll have 2 addictions; one to him, and one to Xana to deal with in the end of this situation. OMG, the anxiety.

    MM – I know I’m holding a deck of very high value cards. Please remember, I adore him. I’m hurt but don’t want to be thrown under the bus. Plan B, but I worry about Karma. Surviving this life is hard enough. I think you’re really smart.

    Chaz – This is a conundrum. I wish I were Catholic, confess sin, and be absolved.

  16. jill- you are totally right… surviving this life is hard. but as someone who has survived for months now… i feel pretty good about my survival and accomplishments. unlike you, i dont adore my ex- so it would be even easier for me to just toss him under that speeding bus… but i dont- karma will get him. if it hasnt already. i may have to contact him to tell him to stay away from my place of summer employment… if i do, im sure ill blog about it.

    as for your comment to chaz… perhaps im just biased… but i teach all sorts of world religions… and my take on the whole things is, regardless of religion, if you start to live your life where you confess your sin to yourself… help yourself be a better person on a daily basis… all sins will be absolved eventually. most religions preach forgiveness. and forgiving yourself is the first step to getting it… in my opinion.

  17. tvexplorer

    OverNow, you must hang in there. If I were you, I’d find a way to get out of that dinner party. Innocent spouses have special radars. If there are awkward feelings between you and OM, your hubby or his wife (your friend) may pick up on it. As far as your having a “great husband,” something must’ve been lacking for you to enter into an affair. I, too, have a “great wife.” But I now realize something in our relationship was lacking. It’s up to each of us to figure out what drove us to cheat. The hate you are feeling for OM right now is natural. It will serve you well in the short-term. But eventually, it will begin to eat away at you. You’ll have to let it go. But let’s not worry about that now. Have you thought about starting a blog? It’s the equivalent of sticking your head out the window and screaming. And we all need to scream every now and then.

  18. tvexplorer

    Jill, are we all immoral? That’s the question, isn’t it. I think immorality is truly in our nature. Some of us act on it. Others don’t. Those of us who do find out quickly it’s a sweet little piece of candy…that we eventually choke on.

  19. Jill

    TV – I never took a vow to be faithful, forsaking all others. Does that make me immoral? In Sept. it will be 12 years in this long term affair plus the flings we had for 25 years pre-stabilization. He’s been sucking on that sweet piece of candy for 37 years that I know about. His candy gets sweeter while my life becomes bitter. His fun new life in semi-retirement reminds me of my manic highs, and I’m jealous. He remains attentive for now. He can compartmentalize his busy, convoluted life so well. I think he’ll croak before he chokes. (Poor physical health from his lifestyle) Talk about taking an affair to the grave.

    Speaking of choking, as you can tell, I spent much of the day reading your old postings including “Hide Your Ass”. OMG I knew it. Thanks for the info. You are a professional journalist. You’re a great writer and a sensitive guy who can express emotions very well. This is a rare quality. I hope I find you writing about why some eat that little piece of candy.

    You haven’t posted anything since July 30, 2009. I hope not but I feel that you may be winding this blog down because of your suggestion to OverNow to start a blog.

    If this is true, I have a request for at least one more post. You mentioned that you would post how you assumed the name TV Explorer. I’d love to know.

    Now, what I think I need to get out of my funk is a long cruise on the Indian Ocean; U.A.E., India, the Maldives. See what I mean? I need higher highs!

    MM – Thanks for your insight. I’m not a religious person but I want to be a better person; to take the high ground. I know I need to work on some spirituality if I’m going to survive. I met a reflexologist I may try to work with for some relief from this anxiety and pain.

    His life is changing which changes my life that until recently was at least regular complimented with occasional interesting vacations. That’s the thing about being stabilized. I take vacations instead of moving. I want to move; to run away again but I can’t. I’m old and I bought a condo that I can afford. I own appliances. I can’t load up my car and move anymore.

    I’m happy that you’ve been able to survive, thrive, and accomplish.

  20. tvexplorer

    Jill, I agree that you are not an immoral person. In life, often times, things just happen. And I’m sure they happen for a reason, as trite as it sounds. As for this blog, I can assure you it is winding down. I just don’t have the desire to post like I used to. I have reached my conclusions about the affair, and in the course of reaching those conclusions, I have learned that countless other people are dealing with similar messes. The bottom line is this: We all have our reasons for entering into affairs. They’re sweet while they last, and hurt when they’re over. And when affairs end, they are INDEED over. We can dream about the good times all we want, but no amount of complaining, blaming or blogging will take us back to that moment in time. Even if we could go back, we wouldn’t. The dynamics have changed. Too much has happened since the affair came to an end. I would never hurt my wife like this again. And I would NEVER trust my ex-lover to keep a secret. She does what she thinks is best for her, everyone else be damned. That‘s the conclusion of my story.

    Will I blog again? Yes. I’m too much of a loudmouth not to. 😉

  21. OverNow

    Tv explorer – I have mixed feelings about your blog ending. I just found your blog. You are able to articulate your thoughts and emotions so well. They truly have given me some clarity and insight. It has helped me being able to read some of the other posts too. So my mixed feelings are – good for you that you are in a better place, not so good for my next (did you say one or two!) year of struggle. Hopefully you can still keep up with posting, if not daily, then sometimes! What is going on with me: still haven’t heard from him and refuse to contact him even though I am dying inside. I think he may find a way out of the dinner party so hopefully I have some time to get my shit together (like that is possible) before I see him. I swear I think I am going crazy. Got a scrip for Buspar. It is some type of anti anxiety med. Hopefully it won’t screw me up more. I just cannot understand how everything was fine, we were hiding the affair, he loves me then he can just shut the door with no warning. But I following what you said because it made so much sense. The truth is if one person breaks it off they just don’t care about you as much as you them. There really is nothing I can say or do to change that…

  22. tvexplorer

    OverNow, I don’t know that I will ever end my blog. I’m sure I’ll post from time to time. Lately, I’ve been busy with a special project at work, and it’s consuming most of my time. Plus, I am a very busy man on the home-front. My marriage is still very delicate, and I’m working overtime to hold things together.

    I understand your need to know if he cared about you. You’re thinking he cared less because he’s the one who broke it off. I highly doubt that’s the case. As you said, he became nervous about the affair. I’m sure he was also guilt-ridden. Affairs are nothing to be taken lightly. All it takes is one slip-up for the truth to come out. People having affairs tend to lose sight of that. They become “too comfortable.” I’m sure your guy had this in the back of his mind. He didn’t want to face Armageddon, and you can’t blame him for that. He made a hard choice, and one that he felt had to be made. What you have to ask yourself is this: How long did you think the affair would continue? And did you truly believe it could continue indefinitely without either of you getting caught? Consider yourself lucky you haven’t been caught. Try to hold things together. I promise, this will get easier.

  23. OverNow

    Thank you tv. It would be nice to think he actually does care. You are absolutely correct that at some point we would have beeen caught and I do consider myself lucky in that respect. Now here is the question of the day: how can I get those feelings back for my husband whom I love and respect, but am still caught up and reeling from the affair? I do not want to go to counselling for the fear the affair will come to light. How were you able to focus back on your wife when you loved Ow so much? I wish I could fast forward life 2 years from now.

  24. tvexplorer

    OverNow, it was difficult to focus back on my wife, because my wife became the bitch from the hell when she learned about my affair. It was the ultimate Catch 22: Fall back in love with someone who was going out of their way to make my life miserable. Here again, you have an advantage, in that your affair remains a secret. You mentioned that I “loved OW so much.” At the time, I thought I did, but I realize now that it was “artificial” love. It was love my mind created when I could no longer have her. The longer she was out of my reach, the stronger that love felt. Looking back, I realize that I only “loved her” when I couldn’t have her. When I was with her, it was a “strong like,” not love. See where I’m heading with this? When a lover is taken away from us, we miss them so much, our minds call it love. We remember our affairs as the “great love of the century,” when in truth, it was merely us getting together with someone we like and fucking. A good hot fuck (not to mention a forbidden fuck) creates the illusion of love. But how can it be love when it’s based on a lie? I think we give these affairs more credit than they deserve.

    What you need to do is answer this question: Why did you cheat on your husband? And don’t say it’s because you found the other man irresistible. He may’ve been irresistible, but you had a choice, and you chose to cheat. Why? What was lacking in your marriage that took you down this road? You may have a wonderful, dedicated husband, but something was missing. You must figure this out. It’s the key to “falling back in love with him.” And if you hope to do this, you must abandon any thought of reuniting with your lover.

    I know this sounds harsh. It probably would have pissed me off if someone had said this to me early on. But if you’ve read my earliest posts, you know I was in the same place you are. I thought I would die without my lover, but lo and behold, I didn’t! I, too, wish you could fast-forward 2 years. Who knows? It may take you less time to recover.

  25. tvexplorer

    OverNow, I want to add to my last reply. I hope I wasn’t sounding judgmental, and I don’t mean to imply that affairs are meaningless. We both know that’s not the case. For me, reducing my affair to “false love” has been a coping mechanism. It’s helped me put things in a perspective that allows me to move on. Otherwise, we would all spend years trying to get over it. At some point, you have to say to yourself, this has to end! I thought I would die when I lost my “other.” But there is life after the affair. I promise you. Someday, you will sound like me when you describe what happened, why it happened and why you will never choose that path again. You will be forced to reduce your affair to cold, non-loving terms. That’s just the way it is.

  26. Neo

    I’m considering having an affair. I’m not sure if it is technically an affair in the strictest sense but I am thinking of going outside the marriage.

    I don’t think I want another ‘relationship’ but I do want to be intimate with another woman ongoing and not necessarily many women. While I’m not necessarily averse to possibly many women, I do fear STDs and ever getting one, and the risk of giving one to my wife and/or others. That is probably why I am thinking of just one ongoing ‘affair’. Especially since I am not one that believes condoms will protect you from STDs.

    On many adult ‘friend’ sites and similar ‘dating’ type sites there if the often used term NSA or ‘no strings atttached’. That’s what I feel I’m looking for…basically a ‘fuck buddy’. Somebody who just wants that and that’s it and that would be okay if that is all it is or ever becomes. On sites like Ashley Madison there are many women who are basically looking for the same thing or something in between.

    I don’t think I would be looking if I was was getting it at home so to speak. It has basically become stale and infrequent to the point that in some years you could count the times on one hand. I have communicated, and in the end she just comes off as indifferent. She says things will change, but they don’t, not even in the short term.

    When it does happen, she is lazy in bed and admits to it. We don’t do half the things we did before marriage and we’re not talking cutting edge sexuality or anything, we’re talking just some of the basics. Again, she is indifferent. Maybe there is a reason, but she is a bad communicator at least with me. Don’t get me wrong, I am far from perfect, but the end result is the same, we’re not intimate, and I am feeling this way. I just want to f some other women.

    The kicker is she is hot. So not only am I not getting it, I have to constantly look at her. And I’m no slouch either in the looks department. I think she’s hot but she has some body issues since compounded by having children, but the lack of intimacy has always been there since getting married.

    While I say I am not getting it, I mean it as both a show of love and as a basic human need. Either way, it’s not happening. I’m almost just sick and tired of her having control over this and I have to wait like some f’ing dog just waiting around until she throws me a f’n bone, and a lazy one at that.

    While part of me just wants to just part ways and bypass any type of affair, there are young children involved and I am torn. Either way either someone loses or someone is just miserable. I’m not the type and never considered myself a cheater or at least possible cheater and was never a player…but if I go this route I feel it will become open season.

    If she never knows I guess all is fine. But as much as I try to believe that, I figure sooner or later she will know, one way or another. And like some of the reasons for cheating, I’m sure subconsciously that may be a reason of mine, maybe it will be a deserved wake up call for her.

    Without making this a novel, I guess I’m looking for some feedback here. Commentary. Advice. Anything. Good or bad.

    When some here have had affairs, did you use protection etc.? Did you fear STDs?

    Should I just part ways?

    Why did and others here cheat?

    Should we seek counseling? This I mentioned to her but she did not really see the need. Maybe her not willing to think we had a problem and maybe not her wanting to admit maybe she has a hand in the problem or at least how I feel. On my end, while I proposed this at one time, I almost don’t care to waste any more of my time as the lack of intimacy has pretty much been since getting married and/or pushing 7 years.

    Are there women out there who think a guy is not going to feel the way I am if they are in the same situation? Maybe I’m suffering from her crazy syndrome, you know, when you get to the point that crazy is the norm because you’ve been around it so long?

    Something has to give, because I am just getting obsessed with the thought of cheating that I’m spending quite a bit of time on it, even typing this while leaving work.

  27. tvexplorer

    Neo, I hear what you’re saying. I work with a guy whose wife uses sex likes it’s some kind of reward for good behavior. I don’t know why some women and men are this way. I suspect many of them are too confident in their marriages, thinking their spouse will never leave them. Who knows really?

    Should you go outside the marital bed to get laid? That’s a tough one. While I’ve always respected prostitution for what it represents, or like-minded couples having consensual sex, I think it takes a special (perhaps cold-hearted) person to have sex for the sake of sex. It sounds like what you’re looking for more than anything else is intimacy from another woman. That’s dangerous ground. That’s the thing that sucks guys like you and I in. They quickly turn into emotional affairs, and let me tell ya, those things are like smoking crack cocaine. Here’s another question you need to ask yourself. Even if you found a hot woman to “take care of business,” would that settle the frustration you have with your wife? Be careful with this one. These are dangerous grounds. But I do understand what you’re saying.

  28. Neo

    Tv, thanks for the reply. I think you hit the nail on the head.

    While part of me just wants to get laid, after all “I am man…let me have sex”, my outlook on matters sexual has not been one for casual or NSA encounters. I was a virgin before the wife. So yeah, you could say I waited for her! While I was a virgin, I was still a horny bastard, sure, I felt like getting in on with every second hot chick if I thought it was possible. There were at least a few times when she was away at graduate school when a few women, unsolicited (but I was out partying), were literally throwing themselves at me…we ended up being alone together and they were good to go, one was just smokin hot ha ha ha. I thought at the time that she probably would never know…but I would and that would eat at me. Plus, I thought we had a great connection and attraction and did not want to in any way tarnish that. I also put the shoe on the other foot, because I’m sure if she wanted to, she’s hot and she’s a woman, she could have easily gotten most any guy to do whatever. For instance, I’m sure if your wife wanted to, she could pay you back 10x over if it was simply a matter of tit for tat in you having an affair.

    So, I’m sure this is going to sound all f’d up but it is what is going through my head…experiencing the lack of sex and intimacy now…makes me feel regret for not playing the field when I was younger. All I really want is to f my wife’s brains out. Why should I feel regret? Because I have a wife that thinks everything must be A-OK with not having any intimacy for sometimes months on end? Once every 3 weeks and we might as well be burning the house down…ha ha ha. I’m sure she senses the way I feel about the lack of intimacy, but then again, shouldn’t she? Sometimes I figure, we just have different sex drives and I should just suck it up. We didn’t have sex on our wedding night! Honeymoon? You think we’d be madly in love. I ended up feeling like us having sex was like me asking for her to prostitute herself. So not much happened during the honeymoon. What a downer. In romantic European settings, for which some people may never get to at all, she did not take the opportunity to be intimate. Yes…officially shot down with her being ‘too tired’. We’re having a great time, no pressure, come night time, drier than the Sahara. I’m thinking, hello, we’re in Venice!!! No time like the present!

    And you’re right, if I was just looking to get laid, maybe a prostitute is the way to go. While I am averse to this route for more than a couple of reasons, I don’t think that is what I am really looking for. Having thought about it some more, I think you’re absolutely right…I’m looking for a connection, some reciprocation, because I feel it’s not there currently with my wife. My beef with my wife is that up until marriage she made me believe one thing but then after marriage things changed quite abruptly. As soon as I proposed to her, the intimacy department might as well have gotten carpet bombed. She told me the stress of getting married and us looking for a home and ‘dealing’ with my mother were affecting her ‘desire’, ‘libido’, sex-drive…whatever, call it what you will.

    Even in some of my online ‘dating’ profiles I have written to the effect that I’m really looking for just one woman.

    But how would you explain the many single young people today (late teens and 20 somethings) who play the field? Or any age for that matter. Certainly a few dates does not equate to knowing someone but the sex still happens pretty quickly. I’ve always thought quite lowly about this type of behaviour in that people are sharing a most intimate act without really knowing one another. Would you consider them somewhat cold-hearted? Just horny? A bit of both?

    I’ve never understood the thought that before marriage some people go around having had who knows how many sexual partners, and yet get married and then they expect themselves to stay truthful to just one woman from there on in. Clearly, it ain’t happening en masse.

    But who am I to judge millions of years of evolution or anybody else? I’ve never had a one night stand, but my wife has had at least two. Maybe that explains something about her and how she can be indifferent? And maybe how I feel about her. She said at the time she had self-image issues and had these one night stands thinking it would make her feel better, feel attractive. I’m sure she was either attracted to the guy(s) and/or piss-drunk.

    In a way, I think this is what I want. Because I’ve been feeling the way I have for quite a while now, I start to think she doesn’t deserve someone like me. I don’t think she deserves to be cheated on either as I just don’t think that it is right but I definitely can understand how affairs happen. That’s why the hardest decision would be to just break it off, no matter how hard it would be, and at least give me a fresh start to look forward to something better…or at least different. Or at least just be free of her. I mean, if there’s no intimacy in a relationship then is there really a relationship?

    Right now we act like a family, yeah, we have beautiful children, from the outside things look pretty good. But on the inside, I feel empty, passionless, lost in her crazy world. Who would want to go through life this way?

    When I hear on some radio talk show how some people have literally just left EVERYTHING behind of the their current life and just picked up in some other far away place or country, I’m thinking, wow, I can maybe actually understand why some people do that…aside from having mental problems…ha ha ha.

    Sometime I think, hey everything is still pretty good and if she would just love me and show it, things would be great. I think, we can work on this with some outside help.

    But, do I want piss more years away with what may or may not come to be or just be on my way? What if she just doesn’t love me and has been going through the motions for appearances sake for literally half her life? Maybe she met me and thought this is a good guy, forced herself to love me, but just ain’t happening anymore?

    These are the crazy f’d up things I start to think about and that’s when I feel this has just gotten too f’d up that I just need to be on my way, for my own sanity and well-being.

    So I’m a good candidate for being another divorce statistic. Of those not divorced, how many of those relationships are actually working?

    All this stuff aside, objectively trying to look at things and step outside the craziness…I think it comes down to her having some sexual hangups and body self-image issues she developed before my involvement with her. The irony is that she is hot. But as we know, such problems don’t discriminate based on looks as even supermodels have like problems.

  29. Neo

    My apologies for the length of that post.

  30. tvexplorer

    Neo, no need to apologize for the length of comments. This is a place to ramble and explore. Tell me, have you told your wife exactly how you feel? Even if you have, maybe it’s time to toughen up the conversation. Imagine how she’d feel if she knew you were contemplating an affair because of your frustration at home. I’m not suggesting to tell her this, but I’d say it’s time to take the conversation to the next level.

    Buy some liquor. Get her high on pot. Tell her you want to spank her ass. And if she’s not cool with this, tell her her frigidity is not how you want to spend your life. Contrary to what many believe, sex at home is a big damned deal! Married men shouldn’t have to beg. Nor should they have to spend their lives dreaming about nympho chicks. (And women wonder why so many ‘upstanding’ men view porn on their computers?)

    I wish you luck. I really do.

  31. Neo

    Tv, I love your style. I’ve spanked her ass fairly gently as she doesn’t want us to be waking up the kids, and recently, the Nanny…lol. Being alone is a bit hard these days.

    I agree, if we were all having too much sex there would be no time for porn…ha ha ha.

    We have talked before in this regard, and some times it has just has landed on deaf ears. I brought it up again recently and she has had some time off (so she is not as stressed out) and things have improved somewhat, then again, that’s relative to the literally nothing that was going on. It doesn’t help that she/we literally got pregnant in just one shot…just my luck…for each of our 2 children. I almost wish we had some trouble conceiving, maybe at least there would have been some higher demands in that department…lol.

    At one time we agreed to more of a scheduled time for sex, after all, that’s what the pros often recommend. That was better but lasted for about a week and half…lol. I have to laugh at this stuff, the alternative otherwise is bleak.

    I’m going to take your advice to toughen up the conversation. I know women want to feel wanted, and I’m going to try to be more demanding, more romantic, more thoughtful. There’s definitely room for improvement on my part, but yes, it would be nice if she was just a nympho. I mean I have at least one buddy where we talk about this kind stuff, and if I had even half of his sex life I’m sure I’d be feeling a helluva lot better about things. You know, where she actually demands having sex with him? Like WTF? Yet here I am living like roomates with my wife.

    My only concern when I do communicate my ‘feelings’ (look what I have been reduced, f’n ball-less, I think woman say they like it when men talk about their ‘feelings’ but probably when they do in back of there head they’re probably thinking grow some balls will ya), and I think I made mention of it previously, is that she says I make her feel guilty about not being more sexual/intimate. That’s my fear, that me communicating about this just alienates her more (if that’s possible) as she may feel not good enough. When I back off and let her come to me, same old pretty much in that weeks go bye and bye and bye. All I see is my sexual life or any remant of it just pass before my eyes.

    Oh yeah, and while I have said alot, what I haven’t mentioned is that she can be a real bitch…at times. But that’s a whole other topic.

    Thanks for the good wishes, I’m sure it’s clear from what I’ve written that I’m going to be needing it.

  32. 'honest'cheater

    I have not read all your replies or peoples statements, I will though.

    I read the article and can perhaps agree on one level and not another.

    For you to blame your lover for telling and ‘throwing you and your family under the bus’ is not accepting your responsbility.

    I think we all know the consequences of getting caught, the reality of the consequence is however incomprehendable until it happens.

    How easy it is for you, to use your lover as a scapegoat.
    Not only have you ‘thrown your family under the bus’ you have done so to your lover, do you have loyalty to anyone?

    The truth hurts, however at least you have the truth.

    My husband cheated on me a few years back, when he finally confessed. I believed that I had finally gotten the truth, he confessed details to me and as much as it hurt me, I appreciated the truth.

    From that we moved on, I forgave him over time and the hurt from it has not caused a bleep on my radar for a couple of years (I did not want to continue my life with him bitter or resentful, I know that some people will continue a life like that).

    We were in a good place (my husband and I), when I met someone else and we formed a friendship, that eventually crossed an emotional boundry, I still believed I would not physically cheat and was confused by my emotional affair.
    I could not control what was happening and against all my own morals, I had an affair. It was a four month emotional affair and a 2 month physical affair.

    During this time I started smoking, drinking more then usual and had an anxiety attack, the toll of living a lie was eating away at me.

    My husband constantly questioned me on what was wrong and about my relationship with my lover. His constant questioning wore on me and my lover knew it was wearing on me, we had spoken about it.

    One night after constant questioning, I broke and the truth came out. I answered his questions honestly and never pointed a finger at anyone else.

    The pain that the affair has caused (not the fact that I told the truth) has been destroying for his family and him.

    He too is angry at me for ‘telling’.
    It is easier to be angrier at someone else rather then yourself.

    As much as I wished I hadn’t told, it is more that I wished I never got involved, but on the other hand I did enjoy the relationship with my lover…….so it is a conflicted thought process.

    Just when you think it’s all over and my husband and I are slowly rebuilding 2 almost 3 months after the my affair/truth comes out.

    My husband accidentally lets slip that it was not once but twice (who actually knows how many times), that he slept with his lover.

    My issue is, it presents a problem. We rebuilt our relationship on what I believed to be the ‘truth’ and now I find out otherwise.

    I think fundamentally the truth is the best policy, if you don’t want to affect the lives of other people by your wrong choices, then choose wisely.

    On a personal level, I think the way you have spoken about your ex lover, is shameful and below the belt. It takes a bigger person to self reflect, then to pass the buck (finger point).

  33. tvexplorer

    Honest Cheater, I appreciate your comments. I truly do. I am guilty on all counts that you’ve described. It is hard –scratch that– impossible to argue with the notion of telling the truth and doing the right thing. Perhaps you are right. Perhaps I have unfairly blamed my ex-lover for telling the truth. After all, it takes two to tango, and when it come to having sex with a person other than my spouse, I was guilty, guilty, guilty.

    But let me pose this question: Why do people who have affairs incorrectly assume it will remain a secret? Why do we think our lover has just as much to lose as we do, and therefore, they will protect the secret at all costs? I honestly believed my ex-lover would keep her mouth shut. I don’t know why I assumed that, but I did. Maybe I thought that even though we were “breaking the rules,” she cared enough about me as a human being to carry the secret to her grave. But of course, I was incorrect in my assumption, and now, thanks to her, I am paying the price. Yet YOU make the argument that lovers who blab to their spouse should be praised for telling the truth. And you believe that people in my position have no right to be angry about it. Tell me, Honest Lover, do you think the man you were emotionally involved with would’ve had anything to do with you if he had known you were going to tell? Do you think any person on this entire planet would have an affair if they knew their lover would expose them in the end? It’s highly doubtful. Yet over and over, people keep making the same mistake. They assume their lover is of equal mind and resolve and will keep their mouths shut. What a trap!

    I take FULL responsibility for what I did, which was fucking a woman other than my wife. And if my memory is correct, she enjoyed every minute of it. That is, until something in her mind snapped, and she told her husband.

    What is it with you people who kiss and tell, and then expect a medal for it? You ride the high horse of truth and honesty, only AFTER you’ve gotten what you wanted from another person. Of course your ex-lover is angry with you. You had no right to expose him just to clear your own conscience. Talk about hitting below the belt. You too should have chosen wisely and not had the affair in the first place, if you couldn’t keep it a secret.

    In my case, the most UN-wise thing I did was have an affair with a bipolar blabbermouth. I accept full responsibility for my stupidity.

  34. 'honest'cheater

    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    I ‘see’ that my posts trigger your emotion, as much as your posts trigger mine. It is somewhat insightful to me, to see it from your/his view.

    For the record I do not feel self-righteous/riding a high horse about being honest/blabbing. It has caused so much destruction in my life and that of my familys (including my children).

    I did not enter into an affair because I thought it would be kept a secret. I was not thinking of the logistics to an affair.

    I got involved with someone on an emotional level, that became a runaway train……the only details I was concerned about was that I couldn’t get him out of my mind, I was consumed with him.

    The brain chemical that you have spoken about in previous posts, takes away your logical thinking.
    I think we all know how the ‘in love’ feeling we get from meeting someone new, takes control of our senses.

    I do not speak on a high moral conscience when I say that I came clean to my husband.
    My situation I assume is totally different to yours. -a little insight to paint a better picture-

    We were all family friends, our children played together, we spent many weekends as familys.
    My husband and him, played golf and tennis together.
    We were very social before and while this was all happening.

    I did not just go and meet someone my husband didn’t know, he was apart of our everyday lives. In fact they live across the road from us.

    The pressure of living a lie, so closely under a microscope (my husband/his wife). Was hard because my husband ‘knew’ and would constantly question both of us.

    The night it all came out, it was not a conscious decsion. However over the following days, I answered his questions honestly, because I felt that there was no point in lying about the details and I believed that when my husband has cheated his ‘honesty’ lead to my healing.

    When I talk of unwise decsions, I am by no means judging, I am speaking from experience.

    I am the ‘what not to do, when having an affair’.

    Let me pose a question back to you..

    “In my case, the most UN-wise thing I did was have an affair with a bipolar blabbermouth. I accept full responsibility for my stupidity”.

    It was not your affair that was stupid, it was the person you did it with?

  35. tvexplorer

    Honest Cheater, I hear your questions. I’m just not sure how to address them. After hearing more about your affair, I can see how the truth was forced to come out. Your husband was obviously suspicious and kept pressing the issue. But tell me, if your husband had NOT been suspicious, would you have told him anyway? Would you have told him simply for the sake of truth? That’s what my ex-lover did. Her husband was oblivious to our affair, because he was oblivious to her. She could’ve ended the affair without confessing to her husband. That would have spared a lot of innocent people.

    Is having an affair an unwise decision? Yes, there’s no doubt about it. Do I regret the day I brought this hell into my life? Absolutely. I wish I would’ve made better choices. But with that said, I still miss my ex. Sex aside, I believed she was my friend. At the very LEAST, she could have looked at me and said, “Our affair must end. I can longer do this.” I would have obliged her. I would’ve respected her decision. At the time, I too was living with a tremendous amount of guilt and realized that the affair had to end. We could have just gone our separate ways. But for reasons that were selfish, she decided to take things a step further and confess everything. Ouch! The thing that REALLY pisses me off is that she adopted a “holier than thou” attitude after the affair. Suddenly, in her mind, she was the honest do-gooder. The person who chose right over wrong. In one of her last emails to me, she wrote, “We are both to blame. We did this to ourselves.” Perhaps that is true. But then again, I’m not the one who ran to our spouses and blabbed. I didn’t do that to me, she did.

    The hardest thing for me to grasp has been this: How does a person go from being one thing to completely another? Why do you behave as someone’s friend and lover for many months, then turn around and stab them in the back without warning? It makes no goddamn sense to me. Not if you’re a true and decent person. At the very least, you tell your lover you want out and give them the chance to meet your wishes. I’m not trying to justify adultery. I’m just saying it was a nasty thing to do. To this day, she insists that it wasn’t her intention to hurt me. But what did she think telling her husband, who in turn told my wife, would do to me? I never –I repeat– NEVER would have done that to her.

    You want to know the truth? I was in love with her. I adored everything about her, even her quirkiness stemming from her bipolar disorder. But perhaps it was her “dual mind” that caused her to have an affair in the first place, and it’s logical to assume it was also the reason she threw me to the wolves.

    So tell me, honest cheater, why did YOU cheat? What did you find so attractive about your neighbor? More specifically, why did you stray from your husband?

  36. 'honest'cheater

    Ahhh, TV your contradictions errk me at times, but it shows your raw emotion which I appreciate and the ‘honesty’ in which you write.

    You sway like a pendulum from how I see it, but so do I at times.

    Firstly I will address your questions, would I have been honest upfront had the pressure not been there. I have thought about this many times, during my affair and after.

    During the affair I had thought eventually I would tell my husband, perhaps several years down the track…..at this time in our lives the outcome of the truth would have fundamentally effected too many.

    I knew my daughter would have to change schools if this revelation came to light and living within the community (while not small, but small enough), would be a challenge and of course living across the road from them, very confronting for all parties.

    Did I want this to come to light, no of course not.
    Did I want my reputation as a loyal friend, wife and moral person, to come crashing down, NO!!!

    My reasoning behind eventually telling my husband (years down the track), was I could see how the affair was already destroying our relationship, my husband and myself. I don’t think our relationship would have survived, if I took this secret to my grave.

    You talk about the affair as an un-wise decision, as do I, you say that you regret bringing this hell into your life and so do I.

    However this affair brought me joy and satisfaction, it did something to me that I can’t regret. Wrong, wrong, wrong…..I know.

    It saddens me that you will talk her down and belittle her. You use this bi-polar as an excuse, reason and an attack.

    She obviously cared for you, as you did for her she did not do this to you, it was a snowball reaction.

    Can’t you see it for what is?
    Or is living with the consequences of your actions everyday through the eyes of your wife, the pendulum that sways you?

    God, these are HUGE posts…..quite ridiculous, I do apologize.

    However back to me….

    I did try to end it with him on several occasions in fact, it wasn’t bitter it was sad.

    But he was right back there at our house either that day or the next.
    The flirting, comments and sexual tension were there as apparent as ever and increasing, the fact that he couldn’t stay away made him more desirable, the fact that he desired me that much, made him increasingly irresistible.

    I think to him I may have come across as the ‘do-gooder’ you speak of, because I one of my text msgs after this had all happened resembled one of your last emails from her.

    He had once said to me, “If this ever comes out just say it was one time, one time doesn’t sound as bad”. Perhaps this is true, but at that time I felt total truth was all I could offer, after being such a liar for so long.

    I didn’t stick to my part of the ‘bargain’ with him, my husband in our commitment to marriage, with my friendship with his wife and with myself. I sold out!

    A quote from you….”The hardest thing for me to grasp has been this: How does a person go from being one thing to completely another? Why do you behave as someone’s friend and lover for many months, then turn around and stab them in the back without warning? It makes no goddamn sense to me. Not if you’re a true and decent person.”

    Perhaps ask yourself this same question from your wife’s perspective.
    I’m sure that she has asked herself the same question over and over about you.

    For me, I have betrayed everyone!!!
    This is a big burden to carry.

  37. tvexplorer

    Honest Cheater, you make many good points. And you’re right, I am very much a swinging pendulum. (Did I mention I am a Gemini?) I hear your argument about the “snowball effect” causing my ex-lover to expose our affair. While there is some validity to this argument, I still think it was selfish for her to make a decision that would impact so many innocent people, including my children. (The decision of telling, not the decision to have an affair.) My ex-lover is childless. It’s just her and her lackadaisical husband. Even now, I suspect, their relationship is as dull and meaningless as it used to be. So it was easy for her to spill her guts, then go on record as being “the honest one.” Me? I’m the guy who had EVERYTHING to lose. I had even explained this to my ex, months before she told.

    But I’ve made this point already. I suspect you will never agree with my position.

    Here’s a quote from you: “This affair brought me joy and satisfaction, it did something to me that I can’t regret.” I’d love for you to elaborate on this. Are you saying that despite the wrongness of your affair, and the hurt you have brought to your family, you don’t regret doing it? That’s how I feel. It’s how everyone who has an emotional affair feels. We screw over everyone we love, yet somehow, we DON’T regret having done it. Why is that? My wife, who I do love, has told me many times, “You don’t regret having an affair. You regret that you were caught.” True. So tell me…is this how you feel deep down inside?

    Also, why do you believe you marriage would have been destroyed if you hadn’t come clean with your husband? Is it the fact you would have been living a lie? I’m just curious what your thinking is on this. Additionally, do you think your marriage will be stronger now that you and your husband have told each other the truth? Or is it possible he will never truly feel the same way about you, or you about him, now that you’ve both had affairs. Do you see where I’m going with this? Why do people think that truth is better than a lie when it comes to revealing an affair? I believe that once the innocence of a marriage has been lost, it is gone forever. You can never go back to that warm and fuzzy state. As much as my wife and I enjoy each other sexually, I know that deep down inside, she will always see me as a dirty, filthy cheating bastard who shared his flesh with another woman. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that married couples can overcome the devastating effects of an affair. But is it ever the same? I don’t believe so. I think people who say their marriage is better after an affair (because it forced them to address pre-existing problems) are deceiving themselves. Humans are largely emotionally driven. Our minds think one thing, but our hearts think another. To put it another way, years from now when I’m laying on my death bed, my wife may be sad and shed tears for me, but she will also know I am adulterer. The stamp never goes away. This is one tattoo you can never wash off.

    So truth is better? Personally, I don’t think so. Noble, yes, but impractical. A pipe dream.

    Please know I am not an advocate of lying. Truth is a powerful thing. It’s what makes us civilized. But given the choice, I much rather would have taken my affair to my grave than to have witnessed the nuclear meltdown of having my affair exposed. When you’ve seen what I’ve seen, the truth is HIGHLY overrated.

    I ask again, did you or did you not sleep with your ex? The only reason I ask is because it matters where this discussion is concerned.

  38. 'honest'cheater

    My XL too, told me he had everything to lose.
    His marriage was not a happy one, he lied over many things to his wife, she would not be very forgiving if this came out, taking in the holistic view of their relationship.

    My relationship was at least steady, solid (I thought) before the affair began, so it would seem more likely that my relationship may survive.

    He once asked me if I would leave my husband for him, I said that I could not. He said he would not leave his wife, at the risk of losing his family and not having me either.

    So I suppose he did have everything to lose and he has.
    I see how my actions seem selfish (not my intention though), but I think my actions during the affair were actually selfish, I had my cake and ate it to.

    In regards to my no regrets, I regret that the affair ever started and for hurting so many, yes.
    But I loved my time with him, I loved the way he made me feel, I loved how he made me laugh and he too had many quirks, he was my friend. I can’t regret that!

    I regret the destruction of my friendship with him, I feel consumed at times that he is so angry at me and blames me. I miss him and wish that he could look beyond the confession and forgive me.

    Because my husbands affair was not emotional, I think it was easier for us to re-connect far more quickly.
    It bothers my husband that I could feel so strongely for another, as I am sure that this is what eats away at your wife.

    I think it is hard to watch your partner mourning the loss of their lover, that for me would be almost unbearable.

    On one hand you want to make this work with your family and on the other your emotion which is so caught up with your lover, makes it almost impossible to give of yourself.
    I want to give more, but I can’t at this time, it is becoming somewhat easier.

    So I don’t talk from personal experience when I say that you can have a relationship that is more fulfilling and happier after having an emotional affair, I don’t know….I guess I can only hope.

    Has your wife not forgiven you?

  39. tvexplorer

    Yes, my wife has forgiven me. Things are really going well at home. She talks about it less and less. In fact, we haven’t talked about “it” for 3 or 4 weeks. Believe me, that’s a good thing. My wife made my life pure hell for more than a year. Yes, I deserved it, but I am also human. At times, I didn’t think I could take much more.

    For the record, I did not lie to my wife about “many things,” like your ex did. Except for the affair, I have always been a truthful person. But when my affair was revealed, I worried that my wife wouldn’t be able to handle the truth. She was threatening divorce every other sentence, and I felt that the truth would drive her even closer. In hindsight, I wish I would have come clean with her, because now, nearly two years later, it’s my lies that she remembers. I thought I could minimize the damage by downplaying everything. What I was really doing was reinforcing her feeling that I can never be trusted.

    If you’ve read deep into my blog, you also know that I couldn’t let go of my former other woman. Like your ex-lover, I persisted. I put my family and future at further risk because I could not take no for an answer. What a horrible mistake! I loved my wife, but I also loved OW. How crazy is that? As you might imagine, I hurt my wife deeply. In retrospect, I see that my ex was doing what needed to be done to save her own marriage…and perhaps mine. But for some reason (I can’t put my finger on it), I can’t bring myself to forgive my ex. Don’t ask me why. Perhaps I feel that compared to me, she didn’t suffer enough. She had it too easy. I wanted her to pay. I wanted her life to crumble. At the height of my anger, I would have destroyed her if I could. That’s wrong, I know. I’ve thought about the wrongness of these feelings many times. Perhaps the biggest reason for my anger is that she chose her husband over me. I mean, how could she sleep with me, be my friend and speak to me often about the emptiness of her marriage, only to turn around and tell her husband…the SAME husband whose neglect caused her to have an affair with me? I just don’t get it, and I’ve thought about it a million times.

    So tell me….truthfully…..do you love your husband? Or have you done the math and decided that staying with him is the wiser choice, if for no other reason, to keep your family together?

  40. 'honest'cheater

    Because it is late and I have had a few wines over a late lunch today…..I won’t address your questions til tomorrow, as I’m not sure I can articulate my thoughts as accurately as I would want.

    However I have a few questions for you….

    Does your wife know of your blog?

    How does she feel about it, if indeed she does know?

    What is your need to keep discussing ‘it’ (not that I disapprove)?

    And have you forgiven yourself?

  41. tvexplorer

    I’m glad to provide answers to each of your questions:

    1) No, my wife does know about this blog. This is for me. My private place to bitch and moan when I feel like it. I don’t see how any of the content of this blog would be beneficial to our recovery. Does this secret blog constitute a lie in my relationship? Yes, it does, but I’m comfortable with this lie. It allows me to connect with people just like me, who have the same struggles and are looking for answers.

    2) I don’t feel I have a need to keep discussing “it.” Well, sometimes I do, but this blog is also about me, my nightmare, and my continuing search for meaning in relationships. These are things I simply cannot discuss with my wife. Every attempt I’ve made to do so backfires. That’s because my wife doesn’t acknowledge her role in my affair. As far as she’s concerned, she was the perfect wife. One more thing about “it.” “It” is the reason we are ALL here. “It” is that powerfully addictive drug that we can longer have…a drug that’s been taken away from us. We’ve determined that life without “it” feels empty. Without “it,” we’re just counting the minutes until we die.

    3) Have I forgiven myself? Absolutely, and the reason for that is, I’ve never felt a need for forgiveness. Have you ever read a single blog post of mine where I’m beating myself over the affair? No. That’s because there isn’t one. Except for the harm I brought to my family, I don’t feel guilty for what I did. A lot of people may take exception to that, and I understand if they do. But I’m not one to sit around, “I betrayed everyone! God in heaven, forgive me!” My affair happened. That’s all I know to say. We laughed together, drank coffee together and fucked each other’s brains out. Now it’s over. That chapter in my life is closed forever. Except for my ramblings on this blog.

    What about you? Why are you here? Does your husband know you’re leaving comments on this blog? I’m going to guess he doesn’t because he “wouldn’t understand.” Am I right? The only people who truly understand this stuff are those of us who have lived it.

  42. 'honest'cheater

    I think you summed it up when you said your wife still remembers your lies.
    Why is it, that men don’t think us women are capable of hearing the truth?

    Obviously this is what my husband has done, this is what my XL did to his wife and ofcourse by your own admission you “lied your arse off to the end”.

    I think I could deal with the truth far better, then with the lies.

    Do you think that if your ex was willing to take you back, you would consider it?

    I ask this question for several reasons…

    1. Your inability to forgive her.

    2. Your upkeep of this blog-hence keeping her an intrical part of your life.

    3. Because ultimately for whatever reasons, it was a ‘good’ experience and you don’t regret it.

    4. Your disbelief, that she could leave you to be with her husband (despite everything).

    So you asked me do I love my husband?

    Ofcourse I love him, there is very little not to love about him. Am I ‘in love’ with him at the moment, no not really.
    I think all marriages have lull’s, where one or both partners at sometime or another don’t feel ‘in love’ with the other, this is what makes marriage a constant work in progress.

    Obviously my feelings at the moment have been more then a lull in our marriage, so I’m doing my best to overcome this hurdle.

    I wonder if as you said “We’ve determined that life without “it” feels empty. Without “it,” we’re just counting the minutes until we die.”
    Perhaps if we had left our partners or they had left us, would this feeling be any different?

    For me I think forgiveness will be a key to me moving on, not as in ‘God in heaven’, but as in forgiving myself for betraying myself i.e. my beliefs, morals, what I built as a wife and as a mother and in turn what I destroyed.

    Why am I here?
    I just found this blog, while googling for ‘advice’ on my husbands recent admission.

    Does my husband know?
    My husband is obviously insecure at the moment and he sneaks looks on my Facebook, emails, phone messages etc. So he does know and no he doesn’t understand.

    While I probably would never have chosen to disclose this blog to him, I have nothing to hide.

  43. tvexplorer

    Must be a guy-thing, about the lies. Again, if I had it to do over again, I would be completely honest with my wife. The lies, as we’ve discussed, caused more long-term damage than the affair itself. But then, I can’t imagine looking my wife in the eye and saying, “I was crazy about her. I may’ve even fallen in love.” Somehow, I don’t think I’d be married today if I had said all that. Who knows? The irony is, I didn’t have to say it. It was written all over my face, and my wife knew it.

    When I asked you if you love your husband, I meant to ask if you are “in love” with him. My error. Of course, you love your husband, just as I love my wife. I’ve been married for 22 years. You can’t not love someone when you’ve been with them that long. I could sit here and name all the wonderful things we’ve shared in two-plus decades, but you get the picture. My wife is much more to me than a lover. But am I “in love” with her? Not at the moment. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with my ex-lover. I think it has more to do with the realization that we are two different people. Always have been, always will be. If I can find a way to reconcile these differences in my mind, perhaps I will fall “in love” with her again. It sucks that marriages are a constant work in progress, as you say. That’s so true. And it’s terribly exhausting. Since my affair, I have read many books on marriage, and you get the feeling everyone is fighting this battle.

    I find it interesting that you think my ‘keeping up this blog’ is a way to keep my ex-lover a part of my life. I see it differently. I believe my life was so profoundly affected by the affair, this blog is my way of sorting out issues pertaining to me. Not her. She is gone. She is past-tense. I will never see or hear from her again. I know this to be true. To me, this blog is my self-exploration. Hence the name, tvexplorer.

    My inability to forgive her? That makes it sound like I’m incapable of forgiveness, which I am not. It’s just that I choose not to forgive her. There are too many things she could’ve done differently at the end that would warrant forgiveness. But she NEVER threw me a lifeline! Not once did she do anything that didn’t cause more trouble. In every sense, she was a one-person wrecking crew. While I don’t believe she wanted me to suffer, a more humane person would’ve said or done certain things to ease my suffering, and minimize the damage she caused. But not her. Picture a man laying on the sidewalk bleeding to death. She’s the person who steps over that man and keeps going so she’s not late for a hair appointment. Mostly, she has never asked for my forgiveness. She believes we are equally to blame…for the fact that she ran her damned mouth to her husband. Yes, I could forgive her. Yes, I would like to forgive her. But it’s going to take action on her part.

    Would I take her back? Not at this point. The person I believed she was is fiction. I see that now. It’s why her admission to her husband hurt me so much. I felt I had been conned by someone I trusted. And loved.

    Who knows? Maybe I will forgive her someday. After all, it was just an affair, right? I’m still alive. I’m still married. And I still have children who love me, despite the torture they were put through. Perhaps more time will heal this.

    So tell me, why all the questions? What is it you are hoping to learn from someone like me? Are you hoping to teach me that women who tell on their lovers should be forgiven? Or are you searching for answers of your own? I’d like to know.

  44. 'honest'cheater

    For me, I don’t see forgiveness as a need to get something, before forgivness can be given/granted.
    I think forgiveness releases you, not the other person.

    When I came across your blog, your comments struck a cord within me.
    The whole honesty vs taking the secret to your grave.
    I guess I’m also struggling to understand what my XL could and does feel about me.
    I’m trying to make my point that it was not an intentional plan to ‘sell him out’, I guess I’m using you as my sounding board (I think?).

    As you say it is your own self exploration (this blog), not about her.
    For me at this time it is abit of both, primarily about me though.

    I’ve always been somewhat good with my intrapersonal skills (that is intra, not inter), this affair blew that out of the water.
    Not only is my marriage a work in progress, but so am I.

    And no, I’m not on a crusade to teach you that women who “tell on their lovers, should be forgiven”, I would like to think that in my case I have made some good points :o)

  45. tvexplorer

    You have definitely made good points. Great points to be exact. You’ve got me thinking about the forgiveness-thing. I know I’ve been very bull-headed on this issue, and perhaps it’s time to change.

    I believe you when you say you weren’t trying to ‘sell him out,’ just like I don’t believe my OW was trying to sell me out. I suspect your ex-lover and I have one thing in common: We didn’t want the affair to end, so now, we’re angry. I will say this: My anger isn’t as intense as it used to be. I’ve accepted what happened. There’s nothing anyone can do to change it. I’m sure my ex had her reasons for telling, and common sense tells me those reasons weren’t as sinister as I’ve made them out to be. The truth is, my ex-lover is a good person. She is sweet-natured, and doesn’t do things just to hurt people. Her conscience probably got the best of her. For all I know, her husband may’ve gotten suspicious and confronted her about the affair. I will never know the full truth of what happened. All I know is, I didn’t want to lose her.

    Perhaps I should be thankful I did, because my wife NEVER would have forgiven me if the affair had lasted for a year or two.

    When did your affair end? I’m guessing it was more recent than my two years. Here’s another question: Do you think your ex will ever forgive you for telling? Is it important in any way that he does? And why?

  46. 'honest'cheater

    Try almost 3 months, 5th July 2009. So yes, very recent.

    No, I don’t think he will ever forgive me for telling and he definately won’t forgive me for telling details, which inturn have been relayed back to his wife (ex wife) by my husband.

    In the first couple of days after it all came out, he said to me “I can’t believe you told, now we will never be able to see each other again”, for both of us the loss of the friendship is what mattered the most.

    However after my husband and his wife spoke (they have had many private conversations about the affair) and the more my husband told her the facts, the more I think XL started to resent me, he couldn’t escape from the truth and his lies/downplay to his wife were being exposed (I suspect).

    About a month of D-day (as you call it), he rang me and was very agitated, he jumped from topic to topic.
    I could tell that he was angry and he said “I’m trying not to be angry with you”, his wife was listening to the conversation.

    A couple of days later he came up the back path behind our house, I was outside with my child.
    He said that he needed to ask me something, but proceeded to be agitated and jump irrationally from topic to topic again.

    He then told me that he never did love me, he only thought that he had.
    I said that he shouldn’t play people like that.

    While I have remained emotionally neutral everytime we have spoken since then, he left angry.
    I felt that I couldn’t say what needed to be said, because someone who is angry is not thinking with the logical side of their brain, there was no point.

    I guess it is important to me that he doesn’t hate or resent me, because I shared something special with him, I cared for him very deeply.
    I’d hate to think it was all in vein!

  47. James

    I’ve been reading this blog ever since my friend recommended it to me and i feel for everyone that’s going through the pain and devastation on both sides of an affair. Although i’m still fairly young 24 and not married the lies and manipulation that was put on me before i discovered my gf was having an affair with a married man is just unexplainable. Right now it seems to me like there is no way for reconciliation as she the one who cheated is still in love with this man and has given up on me. I hope all goes well for everyone going through this.

  48. Wrongy McWrongerson

    The notable aspect missing from your considerations is empathy. While your logic is infallible, it’s what’s known as a sophistry. You say, if I may paraphrase, that given that the affair has happened, lying about it is the best damage control.

    From your perspective, it is impossible that the rebuttal should make sense. You need to step into the shoes of someone who hasn’t cheated for a moment, and ask yourself, “Do I want to know?” For most of us, the answer is, “Yes.” It’s too convenient that the answer you come up with is the one the cheater would want, and not the one the s/o would want.

    That is my strongest reaction to your line of thought, but I have one more to add. Don’t confuse the pain caused by the truth with damage. To draw an analogy, when you sprain an ankle, you do damage to the tendon. The pain you feel over the next few weeks as you walk on it is not necessarily a sign of continuing damage. Similarly, the pain you are going through is the pain you’d been avoiding while having your affair. If you can weather it, things will get better. The pain your wife is going through is a valuable lesson about the reality of her marriage, and it will enable her to make more informed decisions, whether she stays or goes. The pain your kids are experiencing is a gift you’ve given them, as long as you can remain loving and protective towards them. They’ll learn a little bit about the complexity of love, and in the end, they’ll still have you in their lives, and their mother as well.

    Finally, I’d like to say, shame on you for blaming the o/w, especially considering her illness. She didn’t tell your family, she told her husband. If you must blame someone for allowing the truth to escape, blame whoever DID tell your family.

  49. tvexplorer

    Dear Wrongy, excellent comment! I can now add “sophistry” to my vocabulary. Good stuff. Many others before you have attacked the logic of keeping affairs a secret, and I don’t expect to change their minds. OF COURSE most people would want to know if their spouse cheated on them. If I were the injured party, I’d want to know too. But the point I was trying to make (with backing from at least one expert) is that the truth simply does more damage than good. For my part, I would’ve been happy to take this “mistake” of mine to the grave. Furthermore, after seeing the long-term. widespread damage that was caused, I am convinced that keeping it a secret is the more humane route. Sure, that’s convenient for me and every other cheater. I never claimed to be an unselfish person. For what it’s worth, my marriage is improving day by day. I am living proof that spouses CAN hear the truth and survive. But damn…it takes a lot of work! I still wish the truth had never come out.

    As far as blaming my bipolar ex-lover, I guess the easiest way to explain it is….you have to know her. This is typical of the shit she would pull….and she did. I’ve since come to believe that it wasn’t her bipolar condition that made her tell….it’s just her. She looked out for herself, everyone else be damned.

  50. robin

    YOU also “looked out for yourself, everyone else be damned”. Sorry, I don’t know why I feel the need to point this out, it is what it is. I was just re-reading this post after responding to Hurting Too on another thread. I feel like I have run the gamut of opinions on every subject you have posed. Looking back at some of my conflicting posts makes me feel somewhat looney. I agree, I disagree. You have also posted many varying points of view over time. In September, you sounded hopeful for your marriage, now you are sounding slightly more resigned and doubting the outcome. I understand this.Now that you are feeling that you have nothing else to say on this blog about your affair, I am hearing differently. You have nothing NEW to say. Maybe you are starting to feel like I do. I am feeling like it is all old news. There is not alot I can do to change or improve my marriage. I am waiting for my husband to make it right, you are waiting for your wife to make it right by moving on and starting to forgive. DO you live with a pit in your stomach? Do you try to picture your life 5 years from now and come up blank? Do you fantasize about a brand new life with someone else? Do you wish you could erase your recent memory and start over? We may be 2 peas in a pod. Crazy, huh?

  51. OverNow

    Robin, I know your questions were for TV but I most most people reading this blog would answer yes to all 5 of your questions, including me.

  52. tiger lily

    YES…. YES….YES….YES…..YES…… If there was any way that I could do it over I would. I wish that I had figured out my marriage without this variable because I know that my judgement is now clouded!!

  53. tvexplorer

    Robin, I’m just now getting around to reading this comment. You’re right about the subject matter of this blog. It is all OLD news. And yes, I believe we are two peas in a pod. Ultimately, people on all sides of the affair-issue arrive the same conclusion: Affairs suck. Do I wish I could erase my recent memory? Yes, as long as I could erase my wife’s too. I dream of traveling back in a time-machine and doing things over. Making different decisions. But those are foolish thoughts. I’ve made my mess, and now I have no choice but to deal with them. Do I live with a pit in my stomach? No. I’m too selfish for that. I look back and say, “What I did was stupid, but human.” Do I fantasize about a new life with someone else? Actually, I fantasize about having sex with three hot babes at once. But that’s just me. The fact is, I love my wife, and will do everything in my power to make up for my affair.

  54. wakingpersephone

    I understand your need to know if he cared about you. You’re thinking he cared less because he’s the one who broke it off. I highly doubt that’s the case.

    @Over Now
    consider the possibility that his feelings began to become more serious and that’s why he felt he had to break things off. You could always ask. If this is the case it’s much better to end things now before it becomes more complicated. Once it gets emotional it gets messy and confusing and harder to get out of. At least this way you can make a clean break and perhaps even remain friends with no resentment 🙂

  55. tvexplorer

    wakingpersephone, thanks for the comment. Actually, the “he” you’re referring to was a “she.” I’m a guy. My OW was a gal. But same point. It’s funny how in every affair break-up, one person is hurt and feels rejected, while the other comes across as cold and uncaring. I’ve seen this pattern play out in the hundreds of comments I’ve received on this blog. Fortunately, I no longer worry about whether my former other woman cared less. It’s been two years since the break-up. Like you, I know she cared. But unlike me, she had the balls to end an inappropriate sexual relationship.

  56. wakingpersephone

    No I know…I was replying to Over Now from a ways up the thread… that quote is something you said to her and I was just commenting further my thoughts on what you’d said to her about her fear 🙂

  57. wakingpersephone

    @Wrongy McWrongerson
    “From your perspective, it is impossible that the rebuttal should make sense. You need to step into the shoes of someone who hasn’t cheated for a moment, and ask yourself, “Do I want to know?” For most of us, the answer is, “Yes.” It’s too convenient that the answer you come up with is the one the cheater would want, and not the one the s/o would want”

    I disagree.
    Simply discussing the reasons you decided you wanted to have the affair in the first place would suffice instead of also destroying your spouse’s ability to trust other people in relationships in the future on top of it. There’s no need to add that damage unless you need to implode the marriage for good or something.

    Having a grown up discussion about your problems after you sit and figure out why you’re so messed up is the answer. Not dumping your self-inflicted baggage on your loved one.

    I’ve been cheated on. I’d have preferred to have never known and to just have had him leave cause that’s what he chose to do anyway; give up and leave. I didn’t need to know on top of it. There was no point aside from easing HIS conscience.

  58. Morgan

    Out of all of you who have had affairs…I’d like to know if anyone ever thought about the future with their OW or OM? Ever talk about being together? Or was the affair and all it’s passionate sex the only thing there was to it?

  59. tvexplorer

    Morgan, thanks for your comment. As you might imagine, affairs are extremely complex, especially when they’re over and you start thinking of all the reasons you got caught up in one. To answer your question: Yes, I fantasized about a future with my lover, but I always knew it was just that….a fantasy. Dreaming about something is one thing. But severing all ties with your spouse –especially when you have children– is a nightmare. I’m not saying that’s why I stayed. My problem was, I love my wife too much to leave her. I’m glad I stayed, too. She’s a keeper.

  60. TV- did you really ALWAYS know it was a fantasy. i think that the deeper people get in affairs the more reality is skewed… thats why we stay in affairs. im not saying that you didnt understand that a future with your ex would mean consequences for your wife and kids… im just saying that the reality of the situation is much easier to recognize in retrospect. i always knew R was a liar and if he could lie to his life, he could lie to me… but i never fully recognized it until after the shit hit the fan.

    and to push some more buttons- is your wife a keeper because your ex exposed you and made your life miserable? in other words… if your ex and you had just “simply” been discovered… as opposed to totally, inhumanely exposed by your ex… would you view your ex differently? perhaps in a way where she was the one who got away?

    i know im pushing it a bit… but if i dont, who will? with that being said- hope you, your wives, and your kids are having a great week!

  61. lol- your “wives”- should be “wife”… talk about a freudian slip!

  62. Tiger Lily


    I wish that my affair was just passionate sex with no strings attached & no emotional involvement. It would have made for an easier break!
    Yes, we talked about being together, all the time!! We talked about where we would live and how we would go about letting people know we were together- trying to avoid the stigma of the “affair”. We talked about anything and everything from which way the toilet paper roll goes on (rolls goes out), seeing my family, meeting my kids, how many blankets on the bed (only a sheet and comforter) to mowing the lawn (I love to mow). I had little doubt that we would not end up together… in my heart. In my mind, I knew that the affair was fantasy, but I continually tried to talk myself out of it, telling myself that this was meant to be and there was no use in trying to make sense of it. I had never been a “follow your heart” type of girl, so it was new territory for me. (I was also emotionally and physically starving due to my bad marriage. My OM filled that void. That’s how/why it made sense to me.)
    I agree with TV, that when the affair is over and you can look at it from a new perspective. It is easier to see all the reasons you got caught up and the fact that it was a fantasy becomes clearer. As they say hind sight is 20/20….. Or is it? I wonder if that is just the way we make sense of it and to get over it?
    Robin you are exactly right when you say that reality is skewed…. the new reality is not real. I think of it as “Disney World”- I mean who couldn’t be happy in Disney World where Zippidy-Do-Dah is piped through the streets? The emotions of the affair grab you from your toes and take you to a place that you never knew- it’s like a drug- who wouldn’t want that happiness forever? Who wouldn’t plan to feel like that always? But, it ends. (This is why we are all here) That reality ends… the vacation is over and it then that you realize that your reality wasn’t real! It is then we all start to question our actions and make sense of it all…. it’s a pretty fucked up place.
    For me, I still feel if we had reconnected at a different point in our lives we would have worked…. which makes me sad. If I (we) had just had the strength to push him away and not gotten caught up in the feelings, then maybe we would have had a future…… but then again, that is me once again hanging onto my fantasy or perhaps trying to make sense of it all. Who knows? As TV says in one of his posts…. society looks down upon adultery. The likelihood of the affair surviving one or both of you leaving your spouse and then continuing your relationship is very very very low. So we all just need to slap ourselves across the face to snap out of it and move on with our lives….. Easier said than done. :o) Cheers!

  63. Tiger Lily

    Sorry- I meant say Misfitmistress not Robin in my post…..

  64. michelle

    I think to some degree we are all victims of Pysco-Babble (all that ‘affair’ expertise/advice from those with agendas).
    I don’t know about you all – but my relationship was VERY real. All the introspection is good, but at the end of the day we all fell in love. It happens.
    It’s painful, and it’s wrong – if for no other reason that it jeopardizes our other cultural relationships. I’m not saying I’d go back (I won’t)…I’m just saying why not just accept that we’re human and for a variety of stupid reasons we REALLY fell in love. Now we have to figure out what our stupid reasons were for allowing that to happen (yes, at some point it was a choice).
    I await TV’s answers to MM’s intriguing questions….

  65. Tiger Lily

    I don’t deny for one second that I fell in love. I actually don’t even deny that I am still in love with him. But what I have come to terms with is that it wasn’t the “right” kind of love. The circumstances (yes, cultural) did not allow the right type of love to blossom. We had to hide…. well, I had to hide, he was unattached. I know the reasons that I had the affair. In many ways, I do not consider it an affair because I was/am not in a real “relationship”. My marriage is on paper and out of obligation. I know my marriage will not last. I just need to be sensible about leaving him- for my children’s’ sake. In the meantime, I am attempting to “work” on it but it is very forced, very unnatural. You never know, maybe we will find our way back to each other, but I wouldn’t bet on it!! My OM and I talked about that too. He did not consider it an affair either, but in the end, he needed someone he could bring out and not be worried someone would see us. Someone he could be normal with. He hated that I had to hide him. Anyway (sorry for the ramble), I doubt (most of the time…some of the time) that our love would have lasted because of the way that it started. Maybe when I figure out my life I will contact him and see. Maybe I won’t. Maybe we were meant to be. Maybe we weren’t. Who knows? But I do know that what we did have was a fantasy. It couldn’t continue the way that it was. It wasn’t right for anyone involved. It wasn’t a good foundation to start a relationship. There were too many hoops to jump through. I needed to be present for my family as it fell apart. I needed to be a support for my kids…. I couldn’t be on a fantasy weekend away with my lover.

  66. robin

    I’m approaching the 1 year mark for when my husband started trickling the truth to me. It took nearly 2 months to get it all and decide to try to reconcile. I have reached the point where I don’t think I can make it. I have been living a life of hell for a couple of years and no amount of “doing his best” seems to be doin’ it for me. I think I need to blow this thing up and start over. For those of you who are trying to reconcile with your spouse, good luck. I don’t think it is possible. You may be able to create some kind of arrangement or pretend that you can both live with this injury, but I don’t think it is possible. Today my brother pointed something out to me: My husband has not suffered any real life-changing consequences. I have allowed him to do what he considers a “good job” of helping me recover. I am lying to myself and him that I can get over the fact that he pushed me aside, fell in love with another woman, told her his marriage sucked, had unprotected sex with her, planned a life with her, risked the happiness of his family, sent me into a deep funk, broke my heart.
    My brother is right. I am not happy and will never get over this. Maybe my husband will never cheat again. I would bet the house that if I tell him to get out, he will go back to his fuck-buddy, even though he has been telling me for over 10 months that she was poison and he wishes he never met her. I’ll let you all know. Hope I’m wrong, but doubt that I am.

  67. tvexplorer

    Robin, I’m sorry to hear this. While I don’t claim to know what it’s like to walk in a betrayed spouse’s shoes, I’ve heard plenty of this from my own wife. She has just passed the two year mark, although that’s a little deceiving. I continued contact (not physical) with my OW after D-Day. So for all intents and purposes, she’s had one year of knowing there’s been no contact. So let me ask you this: What exactly continues to nag you over your husband’s affair? Why do you say you will never get over it? Is it all the things you mentioned in your comment, that he was willing to leave you and your child for his fuck-buddy? Surely you realize that his mind was temporarily “corrupted” by the chemical-reaction from his affair. I don’t want to always shrug everything off on that, but I’m telling ya, it’s some powerful shit. When I look back, I can’t BELIEVE I was so….how can I put it…intoxicated. And therefore, reckless. But that is not my state-of-mind now, and I suspect it’s not your husband’s. So why can’t YOU move past this? Give me a bottom-line statement.

  68. robin

    I’d like to give you a bottom-line statement, TV, but it’s a bit more complicated than that for me. I feel that there should be consequences for fucking around on your wife. Yeah, he has to live with the guilt. Yeah, he feels terrible about putting me through this. Yeah, he wishes it never happened. Yeah, he is trying to do all the right things. But he is doing the things that he wants to/can do. Bottom line is, I guess, that I can’t stop thinking about the fact that he fell in love with and had sex with another woman. I know all about the fact that his mind was poisoned by the affair- much like a drug. I believe this. Sometimes I wish I could do drugs and escape from my life. But, I have a family and a child. I have never gone there. I would never hurt someone like that. I will never hurt someone like that and I thought he was that kind of person, too. I was wrong. I doubt that he would ever have an affair again. I doubt that if we were married for the rest of our lives that he would ever go there again. I just can’t reconcile the fact that he DID. Sometimes the question of, “How could anyone ever do that to someone they loved?” can only be answered with, “Nobody would ever do that to someone they loved.” I have said before that I believe my husband to be a good man who made a big mistake. I still believe that. That does not mean that I can get over it or reconcile it. Many of the women that I see on the blogs who have been cheated on stay with their husbands, but very few of them ever get over it. I don’t want to live like that. I have tried for a year (even longer if you count the year-long affair when he treated me like shit) to get past it and I just can’t. I just can’t believe he did that. I deserve better and I think I have been lying to myself all this time. I love my husband, but I guess I love myself more. Everything I have tried to do recently was to give HIM the chance to get to where he needs to be. I also wanted to prtect my daughter from a broken home and from having to know what her father did. I didn’t want to fuck her up. Turns out that I am the one who has ended up fucked-up. That is not the kind of mother she needs. I am terrified to tell her. That is also a big part of why I stayed. I know- not too clear. There is even more- but I have to go.

  69. tvexplorer

    Robin, I hear you. I really do. While my wife is in one of her better moods (subject to change without notice), I sometimes wonder if I’ve ruined it for her permanently. Time will tell, I suppose. Just remember this. People make mistakes. Human beings (present company included) tend to be weak and selfish. Plus, guys have an added problem. It’s called their dick. Those damn things keep getting in the way! 🙂

  70. tvexplorer

    Aaah MM, just the questions I would expect from my original partner in crime! 😉 Now to your questions. Would I still be enamored with my ex if we had simply been caught? Probably. As my wife has often alleged, the affair would have continued indefinitely. I was that hooked. BUT – does this mean I would have divorced my wife for her? (Not that you asked that question.) I think the answer is no. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was perfectly content having my cake and eating it too. Such a guy thing. Each woman fulfilled a need. But I will also say this: My OW never rose to the level that I held my wife. My wife was SO much more than a lover. SO much more! Is my wife a keeper because OW “got away”? Nah. She was always a keeper. I knew that the day I met her….twenty-plus years ago. I just enjoyed having that extra piece of candy on the side. But that candy caused some serious indigestion!

  71. wakingpersephone

    wow I totally missed “Jill”s post from August up there.

    You’re blanket statements about bipolar disorder are incredibly offensive.

    Firstly bipolar disorder is entire spectrum, not just bipolar type I disorder which is clearly what you are talking about since you mention mania. For instance bipolar type II disorder is characterized mainly by episodes of depression but there are episodes of hypomania–never mania. Terms are important. Stigma is irritating.

    “I know there is a definite correlation between bipolar disorder and adultery. In addition to the reckless behavior during mania, there is something in the childhood of a person with bipolar disorder that leaves an empty space. As you probably know, bipolar disease is genetic. A child raised by a mother with bipolar disorder doesn’t have a chance to be normal and develop healthy relationships.”

    Bipolar disorder IS genetic. But that doesn’t mean one has to have a mother who has bipolar disorder or even a parent with the illness! One may have an aunt who has it, a grandparent, a cousin–you get the picture. Some people are adopted and raised in a family where nobody has any histories of mental illness whatsoever. Some people even acquire bipolar disorder from medication side-effects!

    What you described may be your personal experience Jill, and it may be your reason for engaging in affairs with married men but don’t paint all people with bipolar disorder with the same brush. It’s not only inaccurate, it’s what causes the prejudice and stigma surrounding bipolar disorder in the first place.

    “I am in pain and want to inflict this pain onto him and his family…possibly tomorrow. I don’t want to but he has put me in a position of powerlessness.”

    Second, why don’t you just break it off?
    You don’t have control over your illness (and therefore skewed perceptions when you are ill) but you have control over what you do about it.

    @tv explorer

    I’m curious about something
    I have never seen you place any responsibility on (and therefore direct any anger at) your OW’s husband for feeling the need to reveal the affair to your wife in the first place. There was no need for him to do that. Why aren’t you angry at him?

  72. tvexplorer

    wakingpersephone, regarding OW’s husband: The truth is, I’m not 100% sure how the affair was revealed to my wife. I can only assume OW’s husband filled her in (I probably would have done the same thing if I were in his shoes), but to this day, I don’t have any real knowledge of who said what, and when. Even if he did tell my wife, how can I be mad at him? He had just found out that I boned his wife. Not one time, but many times. He felt incredibly betrayed, and rightfully so. His wife, my OW, had been his first real girlfriend. He was innocent in every way, except for the fact that he paid her little attention, and she was the type who needed that attention. Why on earth should he worry what would happen to me? I get it. Hell, I honestly deserved it. I was a serious pussy-monger when it came to his hot wife. For the record, in past blog posts, I’ve taken a few shots at OW’s husband. But other than tell my wife (which again, I can only assume he did), he was incredibly gentleman-like every time I spoke to him on the phone in the weeks and months following D-Day. He never raised his voice, and never threatened to kick my ass (which I most assuredly would have done to a man who fucked my wife). In other words, no matter how much I’ve wanted to be angry with him, I could never make myself feel that way.

    Regarding Jill’s statements about bipolar disorder, you’re correct that blanket statements can be offensive. However, Jill is bipolar and speaks from first-hand experience. Plus, every bit of research I’ve done (and I’ve done a bunch) shows a direct link between bipolar and sexual promiscuity. (i.e. a high incidence of adultery.) Does that mean all bipolar sufferers break their vows? Of course not. But any Google search you do on the subject shows there is a link. For what it’s worth, I used to think my OW would “blame” her affair with me on her bipolar condition. I no longer think this, based on things she’s written on blogs, etc. Like me, it’s something she wanted to do. At the time.

  73. wakingpersephone

    “Regarding Jill’s statements about bipolar disorder, you’re correct that blanket statements can be offensive. However, Jill is bipolar and speaks from first-hand experience.”

    You aren’t listening. Bipolar disorder runs an entire *spectrum*. I have bipolar type II disorder so I know whereof I speak.
    This gives only the DSM-IV classifications. There are many many more subtleties.
    If you really want to understand the full scope of this illness read this book:

    Why am I still depressed? Recognizing and Managing the Ups and Downs of Bipolar 11 and Soft Bipolar Disorder By Jim Phelps M.D. (hopefully that formatting works…)

    “Plus, every bit of research I’ve done (and I’ve done a bunch) shows a direct link between bipolar and sexual promiscuity. (i.e. a high incidence of adultery.)”

    Mania and hypomania that hasn’t progressed to psyshosis (once mania reaches psychosis choice gets removed; hypomania does not reach the stage of psychosis–these distinctions are extremely important) CAN cause hypersexuality; really high sex drive. (it doesn’t for everyone) It also lessens your inhibitions. (This state does not go on ad infinitum unless the person chooses not to treat it or is physically treatment resistent.) That does not mean that every person with bipolar will act on their high sex drive by going out and getting laid or finding a married man/woman to start an affair with. Some of us masturbate (a lot :p) when our sex drives kick into overdrive because we’ve gotten past the need to act out sexually. I got over that crap when I was 19.
    (and btw, promiscuity means having sex with multiple partners, not adultery per se. If the bipolar person in the equation is the single OW and is only sleeping with the married man? not promiscuous.)

    My reckless behaviour that’s directly related to my illness? Spending money I can’t afford to that causes serious problems. But ultimately that’s a CHOICE I make. I can choose to act out those impulses in a healthier way, I just haven’t gotten past it yet. That’s all on me not bipolar disorder. That’s psychological not psychiatric. Big difference.

    Some of us actually have some insight into our conditions.

    “For what it’s worth, I used to think my OW would “blame” her affair with me on her bipolar condition.”

    a lot of people get trapped in being a victim of their diagnosis and don’t take responsibility for their behaviour. Maybe she’s getting past it finally.

  74. Jill

    tv – Thanks for understanding that I spoke from first hand experience to help in your quest for answers about your affair with a woman who is bi-polar. You helped me understand that my mm is a narcissist in addition to being a serial cheater and pathological liar. .

    wakingpersphone – Whoa. Sorry I offended. I was new to blogs when I found tv. I didn’t mean my post to be a blanket statement and create any more stigma, but we are hyper-sexual when manic. When I posted in Aug., I was having a bad day as we all do when involved in affairs. Blanket statement again – sorry.

    I’ve browsed your blog. HOT! I’ll get back to you. I have to get ready to see my mm. Sounds like my past sex life. I miss it. It creeps into my memory when I watch porn with my mm.

    I can’t just break it off. Any OW or OM will tell you, it’s not that easy.

  75. tvexplorer

    Wakingpersephone, the last thing I’m going to do is debate bipolar disorder with a bipolar person. You’re the expert. Not me. But for someone who claims there isn’t a link between bipolar disorder and hypersexuality, you sure write a lot about sex and masturbation on your blog. Just sayin.’

    I will read the articles you passed along to further my knowledge of what really happened. So you’ll know, my ex-lover is Bipolar 1. It’s possible she was borderline psychotic when she had her affair with me, although she didn’t seem like she was acting beyond her control. Who knows? I don’t really care anymore.

    If you don’t mind me asking, what’s up with all the masturbation? I beat my meat as much as the next guy, but I much prefer a tight little snatch.

  76. wakingpersephone

    “But for someone who claims there isn’t a link between bipolar disorder and hypersexuality, you sure write a lot about sex and masturbation on your blog. Just sayin.’ ”

    I never said there wasn’t a link between bipolar disorder and the symptom it causes–>hypersexuality. That’s very real and it happens in mania and hypomania for many people (not everyone and not in every manic or hypomanic episode) Hypersexuality is not a *behaviour*, it’s a state brought on by imbalances in your brain chemistry. Having bipolar however does not make you hypersexual in and of itself. The manic/hypomanic state does. It’s a symptom of the manic/hypomanic state. That state ends, you may go into a mixed state where you become very irritable and agitated or you may go the other way and become depressed or you may stabilize. The course of bipolar is unpredictable in many people and in others it’s pretty regular pattern of ups and downs. Some people are very lucky and find a medication that removes most of the mood swings (and therefore symptoms).

    Not everyone acts on the symptoms of mania and hypomania the same way, that’s my point. It sucks BIG TIME to have to tell someone new that you have any form of bipolar disorder and have them think these stereotypical things about you and think all people with bipolar disorder are unable to ever choose different *behaviours* in response to the symptoms of their illness–it’s a serious barrier for us out there with friends, lovers, employers etc.

    I have a pretty high sex drive normally. Always have. It gets really high when I start feeling hypersexual from a hypomanic state. The hypomanic state resolves and my sex drives goes back to my regular baseline. That’s how it works.

    “you sure write a lot about sex and masturbation on your blog. Just sayin.’ ”

    Yes, I do. It’s a blog about sex, not other aspects of my life. I’ve only just started it but I intend for it to be a blog about sex and sexuality in general, as well as my sexuality and sex life in particular. I enjoy sex. I enjoy exploring it and exploring my fantasies and learning about it and learning about myself. It’s only one aspect of my life though.

    “If you don’t mind me asking, what’s up with all the masturbation? I beat my meat as much as the next guy, but I much prefer a tight little snatch.”

    I’m single right now and even when I was seeing my last partner he lived thousands of miles away. Gotta do what you gotta do :p I could go out and have sex with strangers very easily but that’s dangerous (health risks, physical safety risks) and it’s just friction in the end. I’m not interested in that. I want connection. It doesn’t have to be love but it must be some kind of connection. I have a couple of casual no-strings lovers I can call on but we can’t always connect when the mood strikes. I’ve been in the market for a female lover. Haven’t found her yet 😉

    When I become hypersexual from hypomania I usually just um, deal with it myself 😉 I don’t enjoy seeking new sexual partners when I’m not confident that my judgement isn’t impaired by my illness. When I do other things while in that state I often regret them and/or feel guilty about having done them. I do not want to feel that way about sex. Sex should be a joyous thing. If I’m in a relationship when that symptom hits there isn’t as much self-loving going on 😉

    One other benefit to masturbation for me personally is that orgasm almost always gets rid of my migraines for at least a couple of hours and occassionally for much longer.

  77. tvexplorer

    Sorry for the late reply to this. Thanks for the good info on bipolar. I wonder if my ex masturbates this much? I’d pay good money to know. But then, that’s just me. 😉

  78. wakingpersephone

    Just out of curiosity tv..what is it that you consider to be “a lot” of masturbation? once a week, several times a week, once a day…? (a lot of people see it differently so just wondering)

  79. tvexplorer

    wakingpersephone, that’s a tough question. I guess when I read your comment, I had this image of you masturbating several times a day, in several different and creative ways. But then, I’m a typical male with a dirty, dirty mind. So if you don’t mind telling me, how many times a day do you…..well….you know. You’ve got me curious now. 🙂

  80. wakingpersephone

    Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you on this…the whole thing got to me to thinking the other day and I actually wrote an entry about it cause it varies. 🙂 Check it out if you’re still interested…

  81. tvexplorer

    I just read it and left a comment on your blog. Excellent write-up!

  82. Would I have rather not known? No. I have never thought that for a second. In fact, most of what impedes my healing now is that which I still don’t know. He treated me differently when he was with her, and not in a good way. I have always valued honesty above and beyond all else. I believe that I can handle anything that is handed to me, with God’s help and although that belief has been tested to its limits, I would still take this pain over ignorance. Our lives are really good with the possibility of being great… if I can ever get over this. He wouldn’t have ended the relationship if I hadn’t made him. I would’ve always been second best. He is now learning how to treat me well and actually dealing with life long issues that have affected him.

    But there are some that would just rather not know.

    TV- you also mentioned here “How can it be love when it’s based on a lie?” Doesn’t that also apply to your wife? If you withhold an affair, you are living a lie with your spouse. But that, too, is my opinion. There are many a day when I am so near the loony bin, I can hear the sirens coming. I wouldn’t blanketly say to reveal or not to. I realize that your experience with a counselor hasn’t been that great, but I would say that this decision should be made with the guidance of a professional- counselor, preacher, priest, whatever- and the knowledge of your spouse. I would take complete insanity over secrecy, but that is my choice.

    Neo- If you still check on this, I would say to you – NO! PLEASE, NO! DON’T DO IT! FIND ANOTHER ANSWER, ANY OTHER ANSWER, BUT PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T DO IT!!! That being said, if you still decide that you should, your chances of being discovered somehow are pretty high. You might get away with it, but most don’t. Imagine your wife when you’re at work, curled up in the fetal position weeping uncontrollably for hours with everything she ever believed in completely torn to pieces. You will never see that. She won’t do it in front of you. It won’t be just once. Can you be the cause of that?

    Robin- I am so glad to hear you say the things you’ve posted hear, not because I am happy for you, but because I know exactly how you feel. You relayed my feelings exactly. It makes me feel a little less crazy to know that others are reacting in the same way that I am. I hope that wherever you land, you are finally able to find peace. I don’t think that it exists in either direction, staying or going.

  83. How do you all not realize that the innocent spouse already knows? Always. Even if we are too scared or too incredulous to acknowledge it to ourselves. Even if we spend years trying to make excuses.We know and we don’t trust you. Of all the things that make me sick and angry and hurt like hell that my serial cheating husband has done the one that is far and away hardest to forgive is all the lies. It’s not protecting anyone to keep it from your spouse. If they are even half as smart as I am they will figure it out on their own eventually (by figure it out I mean figure out how to PROVE what we already know) but even if we can never prove or articulate it, we know. And it hurts. And we are being robbed of the opportunity to process and grieve by being kept in a state of uncertainty and denial.

  84. tvexplorer

    Your point is well-taken, although I don’t agree that every spouse who’s being cheated on knows. Please know, I do not condone cheating. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that everyone loses in an affair. If I didn’t feel remorse for my actions early on, I do now.

    Curiously, if your husband is a serial cheater and you know it, why don’t you say something?

  85. Maybe you are right and I overestimate people’s intelligence. But I always knew. Even when I told myself it couldn’t be true. And I am much more hurt by the lies than anything else.

    I do say something. i have said lots and lots and lots of somethings.I say them loudly. I say them eloquently. We are separated currently (not my choice) I imagine the next question is why i don’t leave.

    To be quite honest it is torture reading this blog but also fascinating in a morbid way. It’s kind of taking all my self control not to freak out at some of the other commenters and some of the things they have to say about “the wife” which is silly because all the posts are so old! It’s rare I get to see a slice of what adulterers are really thinking since they usually lie so much. It’s brutal and it’s scaring the shit out of me!

  86. Island Girl

    Dear summer2081, please know that most of us who have gotten involved in an affair would truly rather NOT have started down that path. Yes, we lied and knew what we were doing, but I believe that none of us start with malice, just an unmet need. As with TV explorer, I also feel that everyone loses in the affair. I no longer look at my husband the same way, and figure my marriage is irreparably damaged. Whether I stay in this relationship I cannot say at present, but guarantee that there will NEVER be another affair with a married/committed man.

  87. Island girl, I am choosing my words with great care. I appreciate that most (trust me, not all) do not commit adultery out of malice. I am sorry to say the motivations of the OP don’t really matter to me that much. The devastation is what it is regardless of the intentions. I do not hate my husband. I love him. I have worked very very hard to not hate his mistresses (I am getting there.) I want to be very clear that whatever your unmet need was (I believe it was there) and whatever you told yourself and whatever he told you, it was not a failing on the part of the spouse. No person in the world can be all things to any other person. Your affair partner would have become just as “boring” or whatever your complaint is, or would have not met your needs in OTHER ways had they become a “legitimate” partner. I am not jealous of the OW’s. I might as well be jealous of the bar on the nearest corner if he was an alcoholic. I do not hate adulterers. Everyone has their demons. I was just recognizing that people who have affairs generally lie during and after. it is hard to get the truth of what it was really all about. I am glad to hear you won’t violate anyone else’s marriage. Do you feel any remorse about his wife? Did you tell yourself she deserved it? Do you still believe that now that it’s over? This is almost always an excuse people make to help themselves not feel guilty. Even when it is partly true there is usually much more to the story. Anyone can become demonized in your own mind (and that of your partner) if you are trying to justify your actions. I wish you the best and hope you have success restoring your marriage. I respectfully disagree (from the other side of the fence as it were) that it is best to keep it a secret from your spouse. I would be very surprised if he didn’t find out someday or if he didn’t already know on some level. Marriages are worth fighting for. I hope you can make yours work. I sincerely hope you have never and will never have to experience the pain and fear and helplessness and rage of being on my side of the aisle. I know there is pain for all involved. Reading this has made it easier for me to understand your side of it. But it’s of a different nature for those of us who were not willing participants but still have to experience the destruction.

  88. I just realized that I made the assumption that your OM was also married. If that was false I apologize. I am not commenting here with any hostility. I am fascinated to see how this works from the other perspective. So many times I have wondered “what is she thinking? Does she have no soul? No shred of human kindness? No thought for my children?” Now I get a little peek. Can’t say that I necessarily like what I see, but the insight is helpful nonetheless. The honesty is refreshing. I can honestly say that if my husband would tell me these things, these dark secret thoughts, it would be better for me than pretending pretending pretending and saying what I want to hear. I think THAT’S the kiss of death more than the affairs. It hurts me more than any sexual betrayal the knowledge of all the years in between the affairs that he was thinking all of this and pretending something else on the surface. Just my perspective

  89. Island Girl

    Summer, thanks for showing restraint in your response. You have every reason to be angry with people who have affairs. I never had anger about this before, was just perplexed at how someone could get so twisted up in one of these things. Have to say I have far more compassion for people who make mistakes now. Still not thinking it is OK though.
    Many years ago I thought my husband was having an affair. A coworker so obviously was making a play for him, and he didn’t seem to be doing much to discourage it other than “ignoring” it. He said she was one of his favorite coworkers, so I don’t know if he were cutting her slack or I was seeing things as they truly were. Why didn’t I confront him? Years earlier when I was a far more jealous woman, I used to ask him more about his late hours and essentially accuse him of running around. His response was that he wasn’t but if I was going to accuse him of that “I might as well be doing it.” That just shut me down emotionally, so no, didn’t call him out on the one time I’m pretty sure something was going on.
    With time, children, and careers we drifted apart. An additional family and work stress made me vulnerable to a serial adulterer, but he was very good at it, summer. It began as an email friendship, migrated to emotional affair and then went full blown physical. Yes, I knew it was wrong, but had been reeled in (willingly!), so very hard to stop it. Sure, at this point, I could have told my husband he wasn’t meeting my needs, but we had drifted quite far apart.
    Oh yes, the very worst is true of me: my affair partner was married. You have to know that did weigh on my mind, but my AP had really reeled me in with stories that his wife was ignoring him, that they hadn’t had sex in years– I know, what was I thinking???? But by then, I was hooked. Summer, this stuff is just like a drug. One has to keep tending the relationship and withdrawal is torture. I did feel like a monkey was on my back and had considered ending it when “D Day” allegedly occurred.
    I now believe that he created a scenario, dumped me, and went on to the next woman. Unbelievably from YOUR standpoint I’m sure, I felt betrayed.
    I now understand in only a small way how his wife must feel.
    I know the bonds of marriage are not to be played with. I also stood up in front of 200 people and made those sacred vows. I know I made a terrible mistake. That is why when “D Day” occurred, I backed off entirely and have made NO effort to contact him, and have just figured this is life’s lesson that I never thought I needed to learn.
    I don’t expect sympathy/empathy from you. Your life is hell with a serial adulterer, and my AP’s wife has a similar journey. I have chosen not to contact her to apologize as my AP portrayed her as emotionally fragile (oh yea, then WTF was he doing with all these women????). If she were to contact me, I would definitely buy her coffee or lunch and let her flail away at me. That I do owe her and a huge apology.
    I hope that you find peace at some point. You are right in that this is very much like drugs or alcohol. A twelve step program would be nice for this, but think you would just have to tuck into an AlAnon program to get that.
    As TV has said, we are not evil people, just people who made a terrible mistake. Good people who meant no harm and most of us would absolutely say we would never have started down this path if we had truly known….
    Island girl

  90. Shell

    Summer2081, I feel like you are talking to me. Makes me ashamed at what I have done being an OW. It was not intentional. I am married with children also. I am not an evil person and did not pursue my MM to have an affair. It started innocently enough and I guess I let me guard down. Now I’m afraid of men even talking to me! I don’t want any man to get the wrong ideas ever again! I truly love my husband. I’m trying to break off the affair with my MM but he’s so dependent on me for emotional and supportive needs. Everything is not as it always seems. His wife found out over a month ago and he still feels like he needs to talk to me. He wont come clean to his wife with details of our affair either. She asks him questions and he doesn’t answer her. He’s told her he has no contact with me.. but he does. I know she is not a bad person and she’s a good mother. And as far as my husband, he’s a good man also. But is still hard to break the affair off.. we are trying. Families and marriages are worth fighting for. I truly want to save my marriage. Whenever I pull away from my MM to focus on my marriage he senses it and tries to suck me back into it. I guess in the beginning we both let our guards down and went to far.
    Like islandgirl, I wish I could have seen the future. Had I known I would be in the mess I’m in now by having coffee with a man, I’d of never went.


  91. island Girl

    Summer: I do want to circle back and add one comment…you had asked if I felt his wife “deserved it”….My goodness no. The affair was entirely selfish, based upon the needs of myself and my OM. there was no revenge, no malice no thinking that his wife deserved to be hurt. Having said that, the _disease_ of the affair did become so strong that I wanted to have him only for myself, and I began to compete with her on her own turf so I could steal him. I cooked for him, etc,. and that was the beginning of unraveling for the relationship. He didn’t want to replace his wife. He was “happy” or at least content with that relationship; he wanted a girlfriend on the side–and that was not what I wanted ultimately. In retrospect, he was narcissistic, lying, cheating all around, and no catch. I learned my lesson, but at great cost.

  92. prayingforpeace

    This blog post has been somewhat enlightening. I am the OW and the cheater. I have been involved with a MM. He has left his wife and they have split off everything and its just a wait til the ink is dry now. As for me, I’m married too. I have two sons, 19 & 15. He has two kids, girl age 27 boy age 21. I do not love my husband but he sure as hell didn’t deserve my affair. I came clean. I felt I had to and like the owner of this blog….really wish I hadn’t. It caused piles of pain on top of the pain of my not loving him anymore. I got married 21 years ago because I wanted children…well…i got them and they are fantastic. My AP is not like the one’s I’m seeing protrayed here. I know..I know…before the posters go crazy here that I sound like a cliche. But here is the difference. When my H started realizing something was wrong…I told him I wanted out…it eventually led to full disclosure and my AP…well…he and my H have spoken. MY AP has stuck by me…supported me….told me that I need to make the decisions on my end. I am amazed that this man would have the strength and courage to talk to my H. My AP has done everything I’ve asked him to. The only reason to “stay” is for my younger son. I am in a circle of pain that I created. I’ve known my AP for over 6 years. And again, its a cliche…but it really wasn’t something I planned or thought I’d ever do. Ever. Yet, good people sometimes make bad choices. I’m not sure the choice is bad, just the method. My AP…tells me I’m the love of his life and his best friend. That he can’t bear to lose me and I do believe him. We have talked about what WE have done wrong with our marriages and what needs to be done so that history doesn’t repeat itself. I am staring at a lease for a condo. My hand is shaking so bad I feel like its going to break off. Every thought I am having is about my sons’….I do feel a bit like “god help me”….

  93. prayingforpeace, You are being extremely selfish and naive, you are hurting innocent people including your children and his for an illusion. You don’t even know what love is or you would realize you can’t just fall in and out of it. It’s not an emotion, it’s a choice. What you mean is that you do not currently feel infatuated with your husband (and how could you when you have taken the easy way of giving those feelings to someone “fresh”) Your new relationship is doomed from the get go. Additionally marriages aren’t made of ink and aren’t dissolved with ink so no matter how dry the ink is on some meaningless paper you and your OP will always be sleeping with someone else’s rightful spouse. I feel sorry for your husband and children but even sorrier for you since you are such a shallow person who is willing to cause so much pain to innocent victims and intentionally delude yourself at others expense for some temporary pleasure. Your op is not brave and courageous. There is nothing noble about sleeping with another man’s wife, breaking vows and abandoning your own family based on feelings of infatuation. Talking to your husband only shows that he is incredibly arrogant. Every time he tells you that you are the love of his life he is giving you something he stole from his wife.It will never really be yours and you will always know that on some level. One day you will wake up with the thrill and infatuation having warn off like it does in all relationships and you will realize what a fool you have been and if you are very very fortunate you will be blessed enough to feel real remorse for the needless harm you inflicted on others and have a chance at redemption. I hope for your sake that it happens while your children are still speaking to you. My home, my life, my heart, the hearts and security of my children have been devastated by the selfish, reckless and shortsighted choices of people like you however you have my pity. i pray that you come to your senses before it is too late.

    To the others who responded, thank you for your openness and sharing your story. I appreciate it but I do not think I can continue to respond to this conversation. it is too painful.

    To TV, I would like to add that while I do still violently disagree with your original post that you should keep secrets from a spouse you hope to stay married to, i also own that those of us who are considered the “innocent” party do have a responsibility to ACTUALLY forgive when we say we will. I have made many of the mistakes in the past that I recognize in your descriptions of your wife’s reactions. While I can relate to the hurt and betrayal and most of all feelings of EXTREME insecurity that come from knowing your spouse chose someone else, even temporarily, it is impossible to restore a relationship if one spouse continues to hold the other spouse’s failure over their head forever and plays detective by checking computers and cell phones etc. I can tell you from my side of the fence how incredibly difficult it is to let go of this behavior once you have been hurt but I finally realize that it is impossible to have any kind of relationship or partnership if I carry on this way. I have chosen to love my husband unconditionally and forgive him without reservation. I do not know if we will ever reconcile but if we do I am committed to forgiving without monitoring his behavior at every turn and using his mistakes as a weapon against him forever. Both marriage partners have a responsibility in the reconciliation process. Thanks for letting me add my two cents from the other side of the issue. I wish you all the best.

  94. Anna

    I have read all the comments. I have lived through the damage that affairs can cost with my sister’s marriages both ending due to their husband’s affairs. Yet, I went looking for an affair. I could no longer deny myself and I have been having an affair since December. We have some basic ground rules, we see each other twice a month, we email and text during the week. But, all emails and texts are pretty harmless and clean. I know that he will not leave his wife, nor will I break up my family. However, I do care about him and enjoy the twice a month I see him. I will go to my grave happy that I had him in my life. If and when we end this tryst, I will be sad and will miss him every day.

  95. landlord

    was just dumped by married lover after 8 fabulous months–and i am angry. i’m in a terrible marriage (have no remorse) but ex lover claimed he was feeling too guilty to continue! i want to tell his wife because of my pain. i KNOW it’s the wrong thing to do, it’s just that i feel so empty, with no one to talk to. i cant stand being w/o him.

  96. Reblogged this on bRaving Bipolar and commented:
    Very interesting. I don’t prescribe to this method of thinking. But one if my APs (affair partners) did. He told me to never tell.
    And I was like the original blogger’s other woman, saying that I won’t lie to my his and anymore.
    Either way you see it, it was an interesting article.

  97. Recovering Wayward

    These things are complicated, that’s for sure. I certainly never wanted my wife to find out, but in a way, I’m glad she did. D-Day and the aftermath was horrific, but it was the jolt our marriage needed. We are better off now than we ever have been. I’m not suggesting that an affair is the cure for a bad marriage — it’s not. But after D-Day, for me, there was almost a relief that I no longer had to live a double-life and carry this burden around inside me. Of guilt and shame. It was ugly, but it allowed us to really open up and remake our marriage.

  98. tvexplorer

    Recovering Wayward,

    Thanks for your comments. Glad to know your marriage is in tact. Yes, affairs certainly give marriages a jolt. They either survive the aftermath or they don’t. Clearly, mine didn’t. I don’t blame my wife for this. She tried her best to forgive me and move on. But over time she realized we are two different people and that our differences led to my affair in the first place. But as you say, “These things are complicated.” There are so many nuances, it’s hard to sum them up in words. Finally, sorry to hear your ex was a crazy stalker! I can only imagine what that was like. Take care.


  99. tvexplorer


    Thanks for your comment. The pain you’re feeling will subside in time. I know it doesn’t seem that way now, but trust me, people move on…and you will, too. Should you tell his wife? My thought is “no.” Telling innocent spouses for ANY reason is just not cool. You knew he wasn’t your husband going in. Now it’s time to let him go. If you tell, he will hate you till the day he dies and you will hurt an innocent person (his wife) in the process. These, of course, are my opinions. I wish you the best.


  100. Recovering Wayward

    not ‘was a crazy stalker’….still is!! Yes, it’s been a very unpleasant overlay to this whole thing. but in a way, it helped. It helped bring me and my wife closer together – we had to to meet the twin crises of our marriage and “the bunny boiler”. It also helped me to snap out of my addiction to the OW a lot faster than had she been loving, understanding and exited gracefully.

    and yes, it’s the one thing I’ve learned from blogging, reading, etc ….people want to make affairs all fit into one category..and all cheaters are bad, bad, bad and should be reviled. But I too see the nuances…the gray…the other side of the story. And hope that through my blog (and ones like yours) that perhaps people won’t be so fast to judge.

  101. Alexander

    I have just been told by my husband that he has been having an affair. He decided to tell me because she threatened to tell me and he thought it was best to come from him. I am absolutely devastated as this is the second time he has done this to me. The last time was 14years ago andwe managed to get thtough that. This time and it only went on for 7 months he said it just happened,he was in a bad place and she was a distraction (his words). I know the other woman and I do not know what he saw in her. I am not being big headed but she is not feminine, rather butch never wears make up talks like she smokes 40 aday what ever did he see in her! It has really knocked my confidence. Of course he says it was not about the sex and he actually told me that at one point in the relationship he actually thought he loved her snd wanted to be with her real kick in the guts! Now alot of things fall into place the talk we had how he thought we were not getting on and he was thinking of moving out but cost was against him so he moved into the spare room. And me agreeing to this hoping we could work things out but saying to him to be honedt with me if he was seeing someone else so at least I knew where I stood and making the big gesture by giving him my wedding ring back saying if he decided he wanted to stay married to me he could give it me back. What a fool I now feel when he was already then having an affair and I gave him every chance to tell me . But if I am honest I never suspected more fool me. She has now told him she would never have told me and he wishes he had never told me as he had decided it was not what he wanted and had already started to cool things with her and was hoping by Christmas to have made things better with us. But having said that only the week before he told me about the affair he has admitted that he was still having sex with her. He has apologised profusely saying he never wanted to hurt me and that leaving me was never really an option and that he has always loved me he just isnt in love with me. (We have been married 36 years) I think he wants to make it work between us but he said recently you canniot jump straight out of one relationship onto another as he would feel hypocritical. Dont get it why isnt he trying his hardest to make it up to me. Her husband does not know and I really want him to not to hurt him but to get at her. She actually moved out because she did not like the way her husband treated her or so I’ve been told , more like she expected my husband to mive in with her, but still does not want her husband to know about the affair as they are in business together. We are still together for now its only 6 weeks since he told me and for the moment we are still in separate rooms his choice not mine although we have passed the sex hurdle which was tough. I do love him not sure I can forgive him and I am finding it hard to get passed, have real bouts of depression. I feel i want to lash out at her aswell by letting her husband know. I have not told anyone about the affair as I am so embarrassed that he could choose such a skanky woman over me, although he says he has chosen me over her. I’m hoping that talking to a counsellor might help me. Would I have chosen not to know sure I would but having said that would he ever have truely been able to finish it with the sword of damaclees hanging over his head her always threatening to tell me as a way of pulling him back in. The galling thing is I knew he was talkng to her on facebook ( he told me) i just never suspected anything because of the way she looked etc and having done it to me once I never thought he would do it again. Will we survive who knows! I am still waiting for him to say he loves me (not i have always loved you) and make me believe this is really where he wants to be ie giving me my wedding ring back . I feel lost and alone at times and just want to cry all he says is get over it . Harsh i think when i have done nothing wrong. Is this where i think get rid!

  102. I guess I’m about 4 years late to this thread, but I’m glad I’ve found it now. I’m going to tell my story anyway because I don’t have anyone else to talk to, I can remain anonymous here and hopefully someone can help me get out of my head and stop me from being stupid.

    As of now, I have remained physically faithful to my husband who I’ve been with for the past 10 years. I will admit to having some risque conversations with other men over the course of our relationship, coming dangerously close to entering into the web of adultery, but somehow always managed to stop myself before things went too far. I’m not proud of this behavior, but I’m just trying to be honest here. I would term my husband as a good guy, for the most part. He’s had his moments of stupidity, but I do not doubt his commitment to me, although his preference for teen porn gets under my skin and hurts my pride a little since I’m about to turn 32 yo and can’t compete with those girls. But all in all, he’s good to me and we make for a good team. However, one big thing we have always lacked is sexual chemistry. We have fleeting moments of passion, usually due to the fact that I’ve thrown enough alcohol down my throat to make a frat boy proud and horny enough to actually enjoy the mediocre sex that happens soon after. Just a side note: he has far less experience than what I did when we got together. Bless his heart, he tries… and I try… but, we just can’t seem to get on the same page when it comes to sex. And this is where the problem lies. It’s almost like I’m dealing with a teenage boy everytime we have sex that has no idea what he’s doing. I’ve tried different methods of teaching him what I like, but it doesn’t seem to stick. I’ll just put it bluntly, in case you haven’t figured it out yet… the man is just bad in bed. I love him very much, but I’ve had mind blowing, earth shattering, leaving you high for days kinda sex with someone before. I know what I’m missing out on — and it sucks. No pun intended.

    So, a few days ago, I befriended a guy that lives a couple of houses down from me. He’s kind of attractive with a nice build, but dumb as a box of rocks. He has made it pretty clear to me that he’s interested in starting something with me. But the good news is, I’m not interested in him in anything other than a fun little fantasy where he doesn’t speak, not to mention how complicated infidelity with a neighbor can get and risking everything I’ve built with my husband over this loser is not in my game plan. However, this little flirtation has peaked my desire to have an affair with the guy that gave me the mind blowing, earth shattering, high for days sexual relationship that I crave so much. And of course, that guy is my ex bf from 11 years ago that I still talk to on occasion. Those old flames are always the hardest to put out, eh?

    The ex bf has no idea how much I think and fantasize about him. I have always maintained willpower to keep from throwing myself at him, but now I’m starting to reach a scary place where I don’t know how much longer I can remain quiet about all the dirty things I wish to do to him. A part of me just wants to lay it all out for him with the hope he would reject me, causing me to be too embarassed to ever contact him again. But, there’s the other part of me that’s scared he would say yes to having an affair. I don’t want my marriage to end, but what are you supposed to do when you’re sexually incompatible with your partner? Just deal with it? Get it out of your system? I don’t know. And the worst part is, I know this is a horrible idea since I harbor some lovey-dovey feelings for my ex. I know for a fact this would not end well, but he’s the only person I want. I’m trying to work all this out rationally before acting on anything and I’ve done pretty good so far. I guess the part I need someone to
    tell me is, how the hell do you turn off the feelings for someone other than your spouse? I’m so sick of wondering what if… I want it all to stop. I want to be completely fulfilled by my husband. But, the sad truth is that’s not going to happen. And that’s the hardest truth to live with.

  103. Jenna

    ” But that one action –that single action—destroyed the lives of people she had never met or will meet.”

    Hmmmm – You poor poor thing! That mean little infidel was being sooooo selfish! How could she do such a thing to you? There you were, minding your own business when, wham – someone else’s selfishness destroyed so many people. It’s not like you deserved to be the victim of such cruelty right? How dare someone whom you thought you could trust make a decision that so profoundly effected your life? Oh, wait… that’s what YOU did to your wife and children! How is it possible that you can’t see your own hypocrisy! It wasn’t your affair partners fault this happened, it was your fault! She never made a commitment to your wife to forsake all others, you did! She doesn’t hold the obligation here, you do! I can smell your victim-hood through the computer screen! The only victims here are the ones who had no choice in the affair! Your selfishness even now, is overwhelming evident. You’re not upset that this has hurt your family, your upset it affected YOU!
    Let’s say your walking down the street with your family when you see a guy with a baseball bat. You decide you’re having a bad day because you and your wife haven’t been getting along. You see a good opportunity to release some anger by yelling at the guy with the bat. You know he may walk away or defend himself, yet you dont care because damn it, you deserve to let loose! You proceed to insult him, belittle him and let your anger loose. The result, he chooses to beat you, your wife and your children with the bat. Who is responsible for the beating? The guy with the bat is responsible for the beating, but your responsible for provoking it. It was your choice to deal with your feelings in such an immature way. This is what I’ve discovered about cheaters, they are emotionally immature and think they deserve to walk all over others. But when it comes to suffering the consiquences of their actions they always want to blame the circumstances and/or consiquences on someone else. Their thinking is- It was the wife’s fault he was angry. The guys with the bats fault he didn’t understand you were having a bad day. He had a choice to walk away. Why were the kids along for the walk anyway? Didnt they have homework to be done? Whala- You’re the victim and you just don’t understand how this happened. The common theme here is “it’s all about YOUR feelings and how you think other people should respond to things that affect you and your life”
    Heres a tip: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!

  104. tvexplorer

    Jenna, thanks for your comment. I really mean that. There was a day when I would have argued your point. But if you check the date on that particular post, you’ll see that a lot of time has passed since I wrote it. I am now living with the consequences of my actions. These days, I am the first to tell people, affairs are a huge mistake.


  105. tvexplorer


    If you can possibly salvage your marriage, do it. Do it before it’s too late. I understand how you feel. Trust me, I do. But I’m telling you, divorce presents a lot of trouble. Affairs are “fun and exciting” because they’re based on a lie. They give us a sense of romance without having to inflict pain on our spouses and children. But that only works until we get caught. Then, we’re like rats on a sinking ship. For your sake and for the sake of your family, forget the “box of rocks” and move on.


  106. Thank you for the response. I honestly thought the night I wrote all that, this thread was so dead, my words were going out into the depths of the internet, never to be seen or heard again. I know this horse has been beaten to a pulp and I’m sure it makes you sick to see the things people write to you to help them justify their thoughts and actions. When I wrote what I did, I was at a very, very low and weak point and didn’t know what else to do. I also had yet to explore your entire blog.

    At times, I feel like an addict. I have been living the fantasy of having an affair with my ex for so long and so vividly, the line between fantasy and trying to make it a reality has become blurry. It has become a drug to escape the life I live… a weird, imaginative drug.

    Since I’m treading dangerous waters here, I’ve learned to use your blog as a safety line to help me to keep from sinking. When the thoughts to contact my ex start to creep back in, I jump onto your blog to look into the crystal ball and visit my future self and see how much destruction of turning my thoughts into action has done. I certainly don’t like what I see and the pain I’ve endured and inflicted on everyone else around me. While I’m incredibly sorry that you’ve had to endure it for real, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your experience and helping someone like me who is tip toeing at the start line and watching you from a distance all the way down the path at the other end, yelling and signaling at me to just walk away. It’s really been a slap to the face and one I’ve so desperately needed. Thank you.

    Like an addict, I’m very much dealing with myself and my urges one day at a time. Who knows where I’ll be a year, two years, five years from now… but, I’m choosing to only worry about today because today is the only one that matters. Today, I have control of myself and my actions. I hope you’ll continue to keep this blog up to help me through my today’s.

    I wish you nothing but good things from here on out, Mr. tv explorer. You’ve done a lot of good here and I hope this blog continues to help others like me.

  107. All & TVexplorer — I am fascinated with this blog, as I genuinely think it’s all very good and healthy commentary. Having been cheated on after a 7 yr marriage, back in Oct, 2009, I wish I had found this as a resource. I have really two comments I’m curious about; 1) nearly 4 years later, I found the OM’s wife and for retribution sake, want to contact her (as when the affair happened they were not married, and I could not find out anything about her to alert and expose). I am conflicted bc of hurting an innocent person as well as the pure re-exposure to the event, yet so much of me wants to get the lies out. Thoughts?
    2) having been the OM knowing full well the woman was married (I know, hypocrite), as well as being cheated on myself, I ask: what keeps anyone who has cheated, or is pulling away from their marriage, or is bored to instead go to their spouse and have a true heart to heart? I can’t imagine the conversation to alert the other “I’m bored, our rela has turned more complacent than exciting, the sex is average, and I realize it takes two, but I want “us”, and want to put forth some real effort to save it as I’ve been tempted by others”. Now, fill in the words as you see fit, yet why is it most dive in without realizing the work needed to sustain a long term marriage?
    We all justify why NOT intellectually, and love the newness and excitement of the other person, secrecy, and fantasy. Yet what keeps those on here from stopping to realize in another 2-whatever years, the same selfish reasons will takeover once again? I am not one to judge. I understand, yet infidelity being so common and easy to find (thank you Internet/social media/smart phones), I shutter to think of who isn’t in some sort of space to wander and then post some sort of “missing” part of their primary rela.

  108. tvexplorer


    These are great questions. To be honest, at this point, I don’t know how to answer them. My mindset has changed quite a bit since I started this blog. In fact, I’m surprised I haven’t deleted it, because it no longer reflects who I am or how I feel. At this stage, I’m in the midst of a nasty divorce and, believe me, divorce is a terrible thing. Nevertheless, here is my oversimplified attempt to answer your questions.

    To state the obvious, I believe people cheat because there is something lacking in their marriage. Many cheaters won’t acknowledge this. Instead, they insist their affair partner is the person they should have married in the first place. Their true “soul mate,” if you will. It’s a bullshit rationalization I’ve heard a thousand times. I used to make the same claim. The truth is, cheaters are running from their problems. They create a fantasy world for themselves, free of the responsibilities and hardships that all married people face. And they get swept away in this false reality, convincing themselves that their spouse is the problem. Cheaters are just like drug addicts. They literally become hooked on the affair. I remember the first time I slept with my OW. I could feel my brain changing. There was a chemical reaction that I’m sure is similar to people who smoke crack for the first time. But through it all, my gut told me the woman I was sleeping with lacked the substance and character of my wife. That’s the truth.

    So to answer your question, why don’t people realize intellectually than in another 2 years or so, the newness of their affair partner will wear off, it’s because they are drug addicts. Intellect doesn’t come into play. Rational thought flies out the window.

    I think infidelity which, as you point out, is so common, boils down to a person’s character and integrity. I now admit I had neither of those. My selfishness and carnal desires consumed me. What I should have done is put my energy into rekindling my marriage. But that required too much work…and I was lazy. Yes, I miss my spouse, who is now my enemy. I’m forced to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars to destroy her and she’s paying her lawyer to destroy me. All for what? The chance to sleep with a dumbass woman who was 11 years younger than me? Talk about bad choices.

    Now to your question, should you tell the innocent woman that her fiance was cheating on her before they got married? I’m sure that would give you some satisfaction. Why should he get off so easily? But keep in mind, just like you, she is an innocent victim. She can either live in blissful ignorance or she can join the ranks of suffering people. The choice is yours. The fact is, she may not need you to tell her the truth about her husband. He may cheat on her. Time will tell. The question you should ask is not whether she deserves to know the truth, but rather, do YOU want to be the person who tells her? What do you stand to gain from this? And is it something you’ll be glad you did 10 years from now?

    Life is full of regrets. Take it from a man who has many.


  109. jeff

    TVe – Thank you for your thoughtful and honest reply, especially given you being in a different place then when you initially started this – and my empathy to you in your divorce. No matter which side you are on, it is not pleasant, having been there 4 years ago myself, it hurt, it was truly the hardest event I had to endure in my 36 years on this planet.
    I can only imagine through this, regardless of regret, you have learned from the choices, and will make different ones going forward. There are so many hot stoves in life tempting us to touch them, and being human, we have to touch each one once to figure out we shouldn’t have. Whether you choose to delete this blog or not, know that in all I have ever read, or therapy I put myself through to understand / figure out / make sense / find answers to infidelity and the “whys” someone does this.
    Most sites and books just give jargon from a 3rd party based on psychological reference and minimal detailed examples.

    As for the other woman? I have no desire to reopen that wound on myself, which I fear will happen b/c I doubt it will be as easy / simple as my mind may tell me it would.

  110. curio

    So after everything… do you or do you not recommend confessing?
    During an 8-month split with my gf I had a fling for 3 months and slept with a woman 3 times. I feel awful about it all of the time and told my gf when we got back together I’d met somebody but we only kissed. That enough was a blow for her! I decided to withhold the rest of the information. I pray every day I do not run into this other woman. We’re not married but she has expressed desire. You say SAVE YOURSELF at the end of one of your other posts but don’t say quite what you mean by that. My gf… is my other half. I was an idiot. Now I’m trying to decide whether to split up or go all the way. Either way I don’t think I will ever reveal the true extent of what occurred. And never again will I take such an action.

  111. Martia

    Hi, i get what you are saying, I have had an affair for the past 11 years, this man and i are both married with children, but we dont get the attention we are both looking for at home. We do see each other about twice a week and yes there are times when we need more that two days. We have both been in the situation where we leave hints of cheeting, but its been 11 years that we are just so use to each other. we do pay cash, we did each have 2 cell phones, one for the family and one for each other. But he makes me happy. And he tells me that I make himhappy too. i thought that i was in this just because he wanted to hace someone else, but this man really looks for me and has shown emotions that i have not seen on m husband, my lover tells me he loves me more that my own husband, he just takes care of me more.
    I have read over and over the does and the donts and there is no way that i can leave him, i tried. he finds me.

  112. Meg

    TV, I am just reading this and know it is likely that the blog is so old that there will be no reply. Your early entries incensed me as a betrayed wife because you had the audacity to be angry at the OW for telling her spouse. This is all about POWER. You thought you had a right to all of the power and were furious that someone else had some. You had more power than your wife, more power than the OW, more power than her husband. How dare you think you have the right to determine the fate of other people with your lies and nefarious choices? And now you have “no choice” but to destroy your wife with your lawyer? You have had choices to be a better person at each juncture in this mess and you still dodge responsibility. You regret that you lacked character and integrity? Man up and have some now. You have caused an incredible amount of pain and been given a lot of passes in this. The very least you can do now is step aside gracefully. Your wife deserves whatever compensation her lawyer thinks is justified. Give her SOME power over her own life and try to atone in some way for the selfish life you have led. Just let her write the agreement and sign it. Then crawl under your rock and contemplate how to be a better person. A person who really regrets actions takes responsibility.

  113. Meg

    Well, I realize that I replied initially while angry, and that my statements will seem harsh. I just want to give a perspective from the “innocent, blissfully ignorant” wife. My husband and my the OW (my now former best friend) had an intense affair for nearly three years. I saw all of the signs in my husband, but since he is a man of integrity, is kind and and caring, etc, I told myself that he was going through a lot of changes at work, losing his father, etc (these of course were factors) and that I was imagining things. I saw her coming on to him and told myself that while she is attracted to him, a best friend would not betray me in a million years. Long story short, my husband ended the affair and he and I have spent two hard years in therapy repairing our marriage. I am dead, shattered, murdered by the double betrayal.
    To this day, both of them think I do not know. Our therapy has focused on problems we had in our marriage and on building a positive future together. We have improved communication and are very mindful of taking care of one another and being good to one another.
    BUT, I cannot live with the cognitive dissonance of what I know and what I will never be told. My “friend” unfriended after 17 years with no explanation (as soon as my husband and I began to repair our marriage) and will not speak to me. I was nauseated for months and lost 28 pounds due to panic attacks and vomiting. I have PTSD, nightmares about Nazis hiding in my house, hyperventilating if I see a car like hers, etc. I have never been a weak person, but internalizing what I know and knowing that they will both “take it to their graves” is killing me as much as having one of them confess.
    For two years I have had no closure, and the closer my husband and I become the harder it is for me to know that he is still lying to me. I know the affair is over, I know he loves me and wants to be together, I know he is sorry. But, I will never be able to tell her how hurt I am, to ask her why she did it, to forgive her fully because I have no apology. I want an apology.
    As I said in the previous response, this is about POWER. If you engage in activity that has a profound negative effect on someone else’s life they have a right to know and to make an informed decision about their own destiny. You have no right to have that power over another person. I have already forgiven my husband, but I truly feel like I was raped, molested and murdered by them. That’s how deep the double betrayal cuts. Since I already know, I just want to have an open discussion where I can express my pain and receive real apologies. I deserve that.

  114. I have a question, i once cheated on my husband just that day and never again..text messages, calls and one thing lead to another and it stopped right away within a week or so….i will never never but never tell but i’m afraid the guy i did it with will tell but its 4 years down the line now. do you think he will tell some day?

  115. DeeDee

    Hi TV
    Came across your blog recently and I have to tell you its got to be the most honest I’ve read and believe me I have spent hours and hours reading on affairs.
    My OM recently ended our 5 year affair (6weeks ago) and I am an absolute mess. We were both married when we started the affair. I knew that my marriage was over and that a divorce was on the cards.I told him that up front. He told me he hadn’t been happy for years. And so it started, he was my best friend and like you we planned a life together. I never asked him to leave his wife for me even though we had all these discussions. I have two teenage Kids and he has one. My divorce was finalised 2 years ago. During the years he separated from his wife and reconciled 4 times, it never lasted longer then a few days. He always came back to me and told me that he couldn’t live without me.
    6 months ago his divorce was finalised and we were both so happy. Anyway to cut a very long story short about 3 months ago my intuition was screaming that something was wrong here. Eventually I found out that he had been sleeping with his now ex=-wife and that he was going back to her! He confessed his affair to her and she apparently forgave him immediately and wanted him back. He said he had to do this for his kid, who is 18 by the way.
    He left me absolutely devastated and unable to function normally for a few weeks, I had severe anxiety attacks and could hardly eat, sleep and I cried constantly. We work together so I had to face him everyday. Things have started to ease a bit for me, thanks to some pills 🙂 where I could get through a work day with out crying but as soon as I was in my car it would start all over and still does.
    He then started sending me messages again on how much he loves me and misses me, and has taken to kissing me in the morning and at home time. He has even been over to my house twice now on the pretense of fetching his stuff but only takes one item. Its as if he wants a reason to keep coming back. So this is all about how he told the truth, but I don’t think he told it all. He didn’t tell me that he was going to confess, I received a very threatening message from his wife afterwards. My feeling is that this is never going to work out for them, I do believe that she is bipolar and is extremely manipulative as well. I know her by the way but we are not friends.
    Affairs are very hurtful and in hindsight I should never have got involved but it again boils down to him getting away scott free. His whole family is behind him, our co-workers are telling him how wonderful he is, he is having honeymoon sex at home, and I am tossed aside like it doesn’t matter
    and I still love him. I am just rambling here and I don’t think you will ever read this anyway. Just want some honest options here and like I say this is one of the very few. I see that your marriage didn’t last either. Do you feel that you wasted 5 years and if your OW hadn’t confessed would you have married her. I hate affairs but they happen to the best people all the time. I just want to be able to move on but it seems like all I do these days is wish my life away.

  116. Penny

    I just read this entire blog in one sitting. It’s been very interesting. I have been caregiving my husband of 20 years for several years. He was bedridden and not expected to survive. I spent years, day after day, night after night, researching and doing for him long after doctors gave up and said to get his affairs in order. He survived! My prayers and efforts were rewarded. He is back to living and ever so grateful. We are good friends. But… long before he became ill, our sex life left a lot to be desired. Long ago I quit crying over feeling rejected and ashamed for wanting to make love, have sex, etc. I was so in love with him and I loved him and stood by him during his darkest days. Now that he is better, he is not putting his restored energy into touching me or making love. He says he can’t get it up but to me that is no excuse. I stopped talking to him about it because it only added stress to our relationship. I want to love him and not bring stress into his life. To me, loving him means accepting him and being the best supportive friend I can be. But where does that leave me? He does take great care of me. If I need some chore done, he is on it before I can finish my sentence. He is amazing and hard working. But still, I have this powerful desire for an emotional / sexual connection. I have been walking around feeling dead inside, like I have so many details to tend to and things that used to make me happy no longer do anything for me. Like waiting for my life to be over and not having any purpose. I’ve tried many things… helping others, donating my services, being selfless, gardening, creative pursuits, etc. I find myself overeating to kill the feelings. Then, I began having contact with a man from my youth. We had once loved each other a lot as much as teenagers can but it went unrequited. We were both in a place in life where it meant a lot to reconnect. Three years of superficial chatting went by and he made a flirting comment to me. I responded in kind and within days we were talking more hot and heavy. We have not had sex yet but we have talked about making it happen and we both want to very much. I have spent recent weeks rationalizing in my mind why it would be okay. My husband has everything he wants in life… gets up in the morning, gets busy and is very happy and fulfilled. I am happy for him and want him to have that. I do not plan to ever leave him or tell him about my soon to be secret affair. I know him well enough to know that it would break his heart. Never mind that my heart has been broken for years. I just wish he could say, “Darling, I love you enough to let you go be fulfilled by this other man in ways that I am not able or willing to do for you.” Then we all could be out in the open and appreciate what we are doing for each other. Or, I could go without. Or I could divorce my husband and destroy the modest assets we built up over the years, most of which was paid for by myself. I am far too drawn by this OM to say no. I can’t wait to melt into his arms and feel him inside me and all the tender touching and passion that awaits me. I am taking better care of myself as a result of his affection and attention. I have told myself I deserve this. I have never even looked at another man before this. I have been utterly faithful and devoted. I did not go looking for it nor wish it into being. It appeared at a time when I was in great need so I’ve got myself half convinced it is a gift from God to save my life. I used to be a young jealous wife. I used to always look at affairs as evil horrible things and felt shame for those who engaged in them. i now believe if you truly love someone you do not put a ball and chain on them and make them feel like crap for deceiving your self-righteous ass. If my husband wanted to have an affair with someone else, I would tell him to go for it, that he only lives once and that I’d rather be his true best friend and not just a woman who says, “So long as you only cater to me I will be good to you.” Married people are selfish. I know it’s for good reason… to grow together, keep the family intact and protect the assets. I guess I’ve just seen so many judgmental people in this situations who ignored the needs for their spouses, pretended to be victims while they drove their spouse away, and to me, they deserve to not know about the secret love they helped to create. I won’t tell my husband because I want to see him continue to be happy. My affair does not increase or lesson the love and care I have for him. It only gives me the love and care that I need and have gone without for more years than I can remember. I’m under no illusion that the OM will replace my husband or be a better person for me to live with. I do not want to live with him but I do love him, too, and want to feel his love for me inside and out. That’s where I stand with this and what I plan to do.

  117. tvexplorer

    He may.

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