How do some affairs last so long?
How is it that some affairs can last many years? If affairs are fueled by newness, excitement, sneaking around, and both parties putting their best selves forward, how is it that those things can last? Some WS have said during an affair, they were just acting and pretending to be someone they are not so how were they able to keep that up for years? I am under the belief that APs are usually not very nice people and have issues (emotional, mental, self-esteem) so how could WS stay with people like that for so long? And vice versa. What is the driving force behind the long term affairs? If WS were just looking for excitement, a new shiny toy, escape, etc. wouldn’t they get sick of their AP and move on?
14 comments posted: Tuesday, February 27th, 2024
What’s in WH’s heart
It’s been appx 1.5 years since we started R and it is going well for the most part. He is "different" than he was prior to A. He is more attentive to me and to our relationship. I can definitely sense that he’s trying and wanting our M to work. There have been many solid and positive changes since we started R. HOWEVER, i can’t get over what if he is keeping his AP in a special place in his heart? What if he’s secretly thinking of his time with her fondly? What if he’s secretly wishing he could still be with her but knows that’s not the best option so he’s staying with me? I don’t have any reasons to believe this. But it’s also hard to believe that one can have a 2 year highly sexual and emotional relationship with someone and just cut them out of their hearts. Wouldn’t there be some residual feelings, pining, yearning, etc?
I did address this issue with WH and he says he doesn’t think about AP except when I bring her up. He says what he did was wrong and AP was not a good person. He knew he should have ended it with her early but he was infatuated with her. He saw her through rose colored glasses and he no longer has any feelings for her, either good or bad. He wants to just forget about her and move on.
I don’t know what I am looking to hear from WH. I don’t 100% believe what he says and whatever he says won’t ever be good enough to ease my mind.
17 comments posted: Saturday, February 24th, 2024
I am in my 2nd year of R. I’ve been thinking about all the damage done as a result of WH’s affair and the worst one is my feeling devalued. I feel like I don’t have value as a human being. I know the affair had nothing to do with me. However, I realized that the affair took away my sense of value. I live in a constantly depressed state with belief that I am worthless and unworthy, most certainly of WH’s love and attention. And this takes me to a place where I am anxious that WH will leave me because he finds me not impressive, not worthy, not enough. I find myself being very careful in what and how I say. I am always trying to impress this man who destroyed my life. This sucks so bad.
14 comments posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2023
Affairs are nothing more than a fantasy but…
I’ve read that affairs are based on fantasy and therefore waywards see only the good in the AP. The wayward believes the AP is the most incredible & amazing thing while the spouse is viewed as miserable, ugly, nasty, boring, etc.
BUT what happens when the affair ends? Do cheaters still see their AP in the same positive light? Do they still feel and believe AP is this amazing lover, partner, human being? Does that fantasy ever lift? If so, how does that even happen? How does one go from believing something so firmly that he was willing to risk everything to now thinking AP was not special after all?
16 comments posted: Wednesday, December 6th, 2023
WS doubting/questioning Reconciliation?
As a BS in second year of R, there have been times when I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue R. Not because of what WH was doing or not doing but purely from my own pain, grief, anger, fear, and resentment. I am not sure if I can accept what he did. I am not sure if I can stop thinking about the affair. I am not sure if he will be faithful. I am not sure if I am just wasting my time.
What about the WS? Do they have doubts as they go through R? If so, what would their reasons be?
3 comments posted: Monday, November 27th, 2023
I am jealous of the AP
I finally figured out why I hate the AP so much.
I am jealous of her.
I am jealous of what she got from my WH. Love, affection, intimacy, gifts, vacations, attention, ILYs, time.
She got what WH had not given me in a long time.
WH was way more into her than she into him. She was somewhat detached and "used" him for her pleasures.
Her ego was boosted to the high heavens knowing WH risked everything for her. She must have gotten off on WH professing his love for her, taking time away from the family to be with her, and making her feel special.
She got all the "good" stuff while I got stuck with grief, sadness, rejection, betrayal, lies, and hurtful words.
She’s the one who dumped him so it’s not like she’s heartbroken over the end of the relationship.
How the hell do I get over this jealousy and move on?
14 comments posted: Tuesday, November 14th, 2023
How to accept the whole package of A
I’m order for me to move forward and reclaim my life, I need to accept that the affair happened. And I do. It sucks and I wish it had not happened but it did. However I get ticked off, stuck on, and triggered by things he did during the affair. Example: him buying gifts for her, sending her flowers, and other romantic gestures.
I know I probably need to accept ALL of that as a package of the affair but how do I do that?
How do I see and lump the whole thing as ONE bad thing so I can move on? Btw we are in year 2 of R and going well. His actions have been solid. But my mind goes to those things he did with and for her that really really bothers me.
16 comments posted: Saturday, November 4th, 2023
I am heading into year 2 of R. I find myself constantly evaluating to make sure WH is a good candidate for R. What trips me up is the wayward mentality he had in the beginning of R. For the first six months of so of R he did and say things that make me wonder if R is possible. Examples: He didn’t want to delete her contact or photos from his phone. He didn’t want to block her bc he was sure she was not going to contact him (she dumped him in a nasty way) . He kept momentous from their A. He said to a friend that it’s ok to have a crush on a married woman. He has since deleted photos, blocked, threw away everything in front of me. I’ve checked his phone and they are all blocked and gone. He is doing things right and I can feel and tell a huge difference now. HOWEVER, when I think about the way he was in the beginning of R, I can’t help wonder if that’s who he really is. And he’s just pretending now? Or did he finally "get it?" How much weight do I put on his behavior in the first few months of R? Can someone really change that fast?
9 comments posted: Tuesday, October 31st, 2023
Deep sadness for those affected by infidelity
My heart is heavy and deeply grieved for everyone affected by infidelity. Reading the stories on SI has shed light on the catastrophic & destructive nature of sexual betrayals. I feel the pain of every betrayed who post their fears, doubts, anxiety, sadness, and all the terrible emotions that take them down to a dark place. I feel for the remorseful wayward who are still living with shame over what they’ve done. And there’s the irreparable damage done to the children.
It makes me so angry that many people would engage in this kind of behavior. What’s worse is our culture does not condemn it. Look at celebrities and public figures who cheated or were APs. They continue to go on with their stardom and careers. Our society continues to "support" them by watching their films, shows, or re-electing them to office. We minimize the dirty, evil, and toxic nature of cheating. Not to be political but how many of our presidents cheated on their wives? What message are we sending to the younger generation? It makes me very very sad.
Thank you for letting me vent.
1 comment posted: Saturday, October 21st, 2023
I am not sure why I am struggling so much lately. I thought i was doing better. We are entering 2nd year of R. WH is doing many right things BUT I struggle. Every. Single. Day. There are days when I don’t know if I can continue. I don’t know it this is worth it. I want to quit and walk away but I am not sure if the alternative is much better. I feel stuck. I feel like I am in a lose-lose situation.
I am tormented by What if?
What if WH is obsessing, reminiscing, wanting the sex with the AP? Their PA was highly sexually charged. I think it filled some of WH’s sexual fantasies.
What if WH cheats again? I covered this in another post. Replies were very helpful. Thank you all
What if WH ends up with escorts/prostitutes because maybe he secretly has a sex addiction or fetish? I have no evidence to think this but my mind is going here after having read other SI’s posts
What if WH never gets over the AP and keeps her in his heart forever?
I am truly driving myself nuts.
What has happened to me?
12 comments posted: Sunday, October 8th, 2023
I won’t cheat again
I am at the 1 year Reconciliation mark.
The first few months were riddled with TT, lies, and some incredibly outrageous wayward mentality. I think I was too numb to even react to them. But he seems to have gotten his head of his reared and found clarity.
Anyway, WH says he will "never cheat again". Yeah, we’ve heard this before from many waywards. He also says he doesn’t expect me to trust his words since he’s broken his marriage vows already. He wants to earn my trust back with his actions and they have been pretty solid so far.
HOWEVER, i have terrible anxiety lately. I am petrified of him cheating again in the future. He felt how exciting it was to "fall in love" and have sex with a new lover. He felt the thrill of sneaking around. He knows how that dopamine high felt. So who is to say he won’t seek them out again? I think reading SI members’ posts about their WS cheating again after years of "successful" R has got me rattled.
I know that I have to focus on me and my healing and be prepared for whatever happens. And that I ought to be OK even if he cheats again.
But I would like to have some peace of mind (?) during the R process so that I am not a complete mess.
20 comments posted: Sunday, October 8th, 2023
Things BS can do to help or jeopardize reconciliation
I am in the process of R which is going well. It is my hope that our reconciliation will be successful. I know a lot of the work and weight fall on WS but I believe BS also play a significant role in the outcome of R. Therefore, what can the betrayed do to help or jeopardize the success of R?
17 comments posted: Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
Remembering sex from the affair
If WS felt sex with AP "the best" WS has ever had, do they reminisce about it even though they are remorseful? I just can’t help wonder if AP will live forever in my WH’s head. I don’t want to be the wife that he’s staying with but he’s dreaming of sex with AP. Sort of like the movie bridges of Madison county.
16 comments posted: Sunday, October 1st, 2023
How to rebuild self esteem
I am a BW in R which is going well. However, I am struggling with my self esteem. I was raised in a family and culture that was very critical and judgmental. I was criticized for everything… texture of my hair, the way I walk, laugh, sleep, you name it. I didn’t realize I had so much deeply buried issues with low self esteem until my husband’s affair. Holy cow..
I compare myself to the AP a lot. She’s taller, more confident, social, articulate, successful, and attractive (in my WH’s eyes anyway). I cringe when I see photos of myself and think "no wonder wh cheated". How insane is this??
I need to find my own footing. I need to see my own value but I don’t know where to begin. Self talk and hearing my friends tell me positive things do not work. Any suggestions?
18 comments posted: Thursday, September 28th, 2023
If you’ve reconciled, what do you do with the memories?
For those of you who have reconciled or are reconciling, what do you (both WS and BS) do with the memories/facts of the affair? I am a BS currently in R. I feel stuck because I don’t know what to do with the memories of the affair-
My WH loving someone else, having sex with another woman, having intimate conversations with AP, the lies he told me, the stupid shit and hurtful things he’s said to me, etc
My WH is remorseful and has apologized thousand times. But still… I find myself in a place where I am holding onto these memories not knowing what to do with them. It’s like a Xmas gift you received that you really don’t want.
Do I just accept that it happened and move on?
Do I bury it deep in my head and hope it never resurfaces?
What do I do with what happened?
Hope this question makes sense…
4 comments posted: Thursday, August 3rd, 2023
Help me to understand APs
This may be a stupid and futile effort but I feel the need to understand WHY and HOW some become APs. I read on SI of situations where affair ends, wayward returns to spouse/partner and works on reconciliation. Then some time later the AP is back in the picture ad brings even more devastation to the betrayed.
I just don’t understand how someone can do such a thing. Can someone shed some light?
35 comments posted: Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023
Help me to change the narrative
I’m a bs. We are about 11 months into R. Journey to the start of R was very difficult but it is going well albeit with ups and downs.
I am seeing changes in WH that are positive and real.
But I am stuck in my healing and in R because I am having a hard time accepting, letting go, or processing, getting past, stopping the mind movies what happened.
I am torn and crushed by:
what wh and AP had together, special moments they shared, laughing behind my back, planning a future together, time spent together, holding each other, saying I love you, thinking they were in love, the emotional connection, the excitement, passion, longing, etc etc.
I am holding onto THEIR memories. And they are memories I’ve concocted in my mind based on what I know and what WH has told me.
I want to find a narrative that is helpful for my healing. How do I do that? My brain believes my narrative to be true based on the evidence I’ve collected.
3 comments posted: Friday, July 28th, 2023
What actions do I look for?
I know that i should be looking at WH’s actions, not words. And from my vantage point, he seems to be doing the right things.
HOWEVER, I get anxious because there are many stories of BS coming back to tell us they’ve been cheated on again. They thought their reconciliation was going well, WH had changed, marriage was strong, etc. And yet, they find themselves back to more devastation and heartache. Completely blindsided again.
That puts me on an emotional tightrope. Am I being conned by my WH as well? Is he just putting on an act like other WS who ends up cheating again? What actions are more real than others? I want to feel safe in this marriage. At this time, I do feel much safer than I did at the start of R. but when I look at other BS who were betrayed again and i can’t help wonder, didn’t they also feel safe? Didn’t they think their marriage was going well? And bam the rug was pulled under from them again! Am i letting their stories cloud my emotions?
7 comments posted: Tuesday, June 27th, 2023
Sex and desire
embarrassed to even ask this question…. Would like some feedback from male perspective.
My WH (60. Years old) doesn’t seem very interested in sex with me. He initially used the common line "we weren’t having sex" as one of the excuses for his affair. He experimented with ED drugs with AP and had a LOT of sex with her.
Anyway, he has since developed ED for real. He says his lack of interest in sex is due to him being tired and stressed. This is not true. Then he mentioned something about being embarrassed about ED.
Could this be the reason he doesn’t want to have sex? Do men correlate sex with intercourse? Meaning, do men feel like intercourse is a requirement? Or if we just kissed and had OS, he somehow failed as a man?
Or could it be that he’s just not attracted to me or desire me?
13 comments posted: Sunday, June 4th, 2023
Question for WS and BS who have successfully reconciled
WH and I are about 7 months into R. We are working hard and making progress. I believe trust, commitment, and communication will continue to improve between us. HOWEVER, I don’t know if and how my triggers re: AP could ever get better. Whenever I see women who remind me of AP, I get very triggered. And I wonder if my WH also has an emotional reaction to women who look like her.
My question for BS: if you’ve successfully reconciled, do you still get triggered by people who remind you of the AP? If so, how do you deal with it? If you longer get triggered, how did you get to that point? Did it just happen over time?
For WS: when did you eventually stop thinking about AP, if at all? When you see people who remind you of AP, does it elicit any emotions or memories?
13 comments posted: Sunday, May 21st, 2023
Affair leads to murder in New Jersey
Just read in the news….
A prominent attorney and ex-cop in Montclair N.J shot his girlfriend to death and tried to flee to Cuba. The victim got involved with the attorney 14 years ago while he was married and they’ve had a tumultuous relationship since. Apparently she started another affair with a married man in florida and was planning on leaving the attorney to be with her AP.
If convicted, the attorney can get life in prison.
My heart breaks for their 10 year old daughter. Her mom is dead and her dad may end up in prison for life.
Infidelity is devastating and destructive on all levels.
3 comments posted: Saturday, May 13th, 2023
ED after affair?
my WH never had issues with ED in our 31 years of marriage.
However, during his one year affair, he experimented with different ED drugs. He was addicted to AP and the sex he had with her.
And now he seems to have ED for real. He can’t seem to get it up except when i give him os. Is this because he’s not attracted to me or because he’s thinking of AP? Is this because he wants to have sex with AP instead?
16 comments posted: Thursday, May 11th, 2023
Why do waywards go back to their spouses and reconcile?
During and soon after A is discovered, waywards say things like:
I am not in love with BS
I thought our marriage was over
I am not attracted to BS
I was not happy in this marriage
I didn’t see a happy future with my BS
My AP is my soulmate
I am in love with my AP
My AP gets me and makes me feel loved
MY AP is everything I ever dreamt of
I love sex with AP
I can have XYZ sex with AP but not with BS
So, why do most WS go back to their spouses and try to R?
Why not leave BS for either AP or other prospects?
Why go back to the "unhappy" marriage?
25 comments posted: Thursday, May 4th, 2023
breaking up with AP vs other relationships
Would love to hear from both BS and especially from WS
How is break up with AP different than from other relationships? I am curious because affairs tend to have a limerant aspect to them.
Some WS on SI have said their feelings toward AP during affair were "infatuation, addiction, dopamine hit, self adulation, fantasy"
If so, is getting over AP more difficult? Is there more pining? Wanting to get high again?
5 comments posted: Monday, April 24th, 2023
What makes R difficult for the WS?
I’ve heard and read that R is very difficult for both parties. And I believe it.
As a BS in R for about 6 months, I I have an idea as to what makes it difficult for BS. Triggers about the affair, anger toward the WS and AP, grief over loss of what we once had, not feeling special, crushed self-esteem, doubt about ourselves and WH, fear that WS will cheat again, etc.
What about the WS?
What struggles, challenges, difficulties, and hurdles do WS have in R?
6 comments posted: Friday, April 21st, 2023
Anger toward AP
My anger toward the AP has subsided a lot since dday. However I have days when it comes back. I just can’t get over the fact that she "got away with it."
She’s divorced single woman. Has a high paying job and gets public accolades for her professional achievements. She knew WH was married. I am angry because I feel like she got off without any consequences for her actions. She had fun, five star vacations, gifts, She resumes living her life like nothing ever happened.
21 comments posted: Friday, April 14th, 2023
Shame in staying
When my friends found out I am reconciling with my WH, most had a judgmental look. Some even went onto say "why would you do that, I would never do that, I would let the cheating bastard go, only the weak women stay, etc". None of them have been betrayed or have had family members go through infidelity.
Very hurtful stuff. And i can’t help wonder what WH’s friends think of me for staying. Are they saying the same thing? Am i being viewed as pathetic loser who can’t do better?
If you were met with similar reactions from your friends and family, how did you deal with that? Are BS indeed weak for staying? Is there something wrong with us?
32 comments posted: Sunday, April 9th, 2023
Does it matter how the affair ended?
In terms of having a successful reconciliation, does it matter how the affair ended? Meaning if the WS ended it vs being dumped by the AP?
12 comments posted: Tuesday, March 7th, 2023
Helping WS with shame
My first time posting.
Married 30 years with grown children.
WH and I are reconciling after he had a 1 year physical affair with a business colleague. It’s been six months since the affair ended. He appears to be remorseful. I can see it in his face when he apologizes. He may still miss her but I don’t believe there has been any contact.
The hurdle we keep encountering is his shame. I don’t bring up the affair often because I don’t need to know the details. I know enough. But when I do, he shuts down. He says it’s because he’s ashamed and embarrassed. He doesn’t want to talk about the past and "move on". He’s not open to therapy nor is he reading books on infidelity recovery. He seems to just want to forget it ever happened. What am I dealing with here? Is there anything I can do? I will post this in "questions for waywards" as well.
15 comments posted: Saturday, January 21st, 2023