Newest Member: Elise1

cedarwoods

Staying is the new shame?

I just listened to Esther Perel’s Ted talk. Interesting stuff but she says staying is the new shame. Oh man this hit me hard.
As some of you know, I’ve lost friends when I decided to reconcile. My best friend of over 35 years dropped me after supporting me in many months following Dday. And other friends have been keeping distance as well.
So is this all because there really is shame in staying? Have they lost respect for me?
It just makes the whole situation so much worse. I don’t need their support but I don’t need their judgment either.

23 comments posted: Friday, April 12th, 2024

Why do some waywards cheat again?

There’s been many SI members who return after many years to report that their wayward cheated again. And those stories are just heartbreaking.
So I am trying to understand why some cheat again. What are some reasons they might cheat again?

18 comments posted: Sunday, April 7th, 2024

WH broke no contact. Please help.

I have reasons to believe WH broke no contact with AP. I believe they texted and possibly talked on the phone. Most likely they did not meet up but I can’t be sure. It’s been about 18 months of R (I guess false R!). He swears he had no contact whatsoever. I am going to ask to see phone records. If there is evidence of ongoing contact, what then? What do i do? For the record, I have to say WH did appear to have changed…. More attentive, kinder, calling and checking in whenever he’s out, sharing locations on phone, giving me access to his devices (which I now see as being useless) and other things that made me think he was changing for the better. I can’t believe this…. Please help. I do want to keep my marriage because I do think we can have a good future. I know this sounds absurd. We are good with each other and whatever, But I need the first steps to get through this relapse.

94 comments posted: Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

Feel good hormones during infidelity leading to more cheating?

My counselor mentioned something I would like to delve deeper with the SI community.

He said when men orgasm during sex, they produce the feel good hormones (oxytocin) that they can get addicted to. And this is what makes it difficult for them to end the affair and possibly have more affairs in the future because they are chasing after the feeling. He said men who watch porn have this issue more than others because real life sex with the spouse does not satisfy. They don’t necessarily have sex addiction per se but they have a chemical addiction and require lengthy rehabilitation style intervention. Which means, ending the affair, having no contact with the AP, getting counseling to work on the whys, etc won’t be effective in preventing future cheating. I am not sure if i am making myself very clear here but i would love your thoughts.

25 comments posted: Saturday, March 23rd, 2024

Thank you to all who survived infidelity

I’ve spent the last couple of days reading almost every single post on SI. Many of your stories are gut wrenching and heart breaking beyond words. I cried so much while reading your painful words and wondered how people can be so cruel to those whom they profess to love.
What you (both BS and WS) have endured and survived through is truly truly remarkable. Your strength, resolve, perseverance, and commitment to yourself are awe inspiring. It sheds light and hope in this dark world of betrayals. Thank you for sharing your stories and touching the lives of those on SI, especially the new members. I wish I can meet you all in person and thank you personally. I feel like I’ve developed a bond with all of you in ways I can’t explain.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

5 comments posted: Sunday, March 17th, 2024

Why reconcile?

I am a BS in about 18 months of R. I’ e been wondering lately why anyone should reconcile after a devastating betrayal. What’s the point? What’s the end game? What’s the purpose and benefit ? Is there really such a thing as happily reconciled marriage after so much damage has been done?
For those of you who decided to reconcile, why did you do it? And are you happy with the decision?
For me, I decided to R because I did love my WH and wanted to keep my family intact. And I got carried away with the idea that our marriage 2.0 can be even better. But as I journey on reconciliation I am tormented by the memories of them together. The intimate times they shared. The emotional connection they had. And how my WH could not let the AP go. I also started wondering if he’s cheated before and I just didn’t know! I mean he hid this affair fairly well so who is to say this was his first time? And what if he’s still holding onto the memories and love for the AP. And so on and so forth. So many questions that refuse to leave me alone.

35 comments posted: Sunday, March 17th, 2024

Addictive nature of affairs

I know this topic has been addressed multiple times but I need to read about it again. And i can’t seem to search the topic in SI. I would be grateful if you would share your insights and experiences. Thank you.

What makes affairs so addictive? How are they different than other romantic relationships? Why are there so many relapses with affairs? Why do waywards continue to go back to the AP even after Dday? My WH is my one and only so i don’t have any past relationships to compare to. Do people break off and go back with their lovers in normal romantic relationship like they do in affairs? Do waywards take longer to get over their AP’s than they would have in normal romantic relationships?

9 comments posted: Tuesday, March 5th, 2024

Lies WS tells AP

What are some lies waywards tell their APs?

19 comments posted: Friday, March 1st, 2024

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?

30 comments posted: Thursday, February 29th, 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

Feeling devalued

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

Wayward mentality

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

What if’s

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?
What if?
What if?
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

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

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

Hello
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

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