To anonymous

I can hear the pain and struggling in every word of your comments two posts down. I know how that feels-- to not even know what you are getting out of something, but still need it and crave it so much. I hear you saying a lot of negative things about yourself. You hate who you have become. You don't know how to fix your marriage because it is great already. Um, hello? If you are hating yourself so much, then obviously not all is OK with you.
Sure, your DH and you have a good sex life, but that is not everything. Look inside yourself and ask why you were open to those MSN messages when they started. They made you feel good about yourself, right? So obviously you need some help feeling good about yourself. We all do. For me, what pushed me over the line between flirting with someone and really getting physical with him was that I still hated myself deep down, and I was looking for outside validation that I was OK. My DH contributed to my feelings of not being OK with myself, and having low self confidence. But they were around long before I met DH.

Through therapy, I found out just how upset about my own self I really was. I found out I had deep shame about the person I was... something I was attributing to the way I was raised, or having a mom who was manic depressive, or not growing up in the right kind of town, and being too blue collar. There was this real strong soundtrack in my head telling me all the reasons I was flawed, less than, not important, stupid, ugly, worthless. When I met DH and we knew each other long enough to start being honest with one another, his reservations about me became clear. He didn't like the dark circles under my eyes. He was worried I would get fat. Charming, right? But I can't blame him. I could have walked away at that point or just told him, eff you! I'm not fat and I was born with these eyes! Take them or leave them! Instead I silently let those opinions confirm my own inner hatred for myself, and took it as another piece of proof that I was a wretched little thing.

When AP came along, I perceived that he accepted me more, "got" me more, would make me whole in some way. He didn't. I too think he was just in it for the sex. So for me therapy helped me realize that AP was not going to do all the things I was subconsciously hoping he would do. I had to start repairing my insides, not look to someone else to do it.

I strongly recommend you get into therapy again, and your one friend that knows? Can he/she help you give up AP? It is seriously like drug addiction-- you need people to help you or you won't stop. Best of luck, I have to go... I'll try to check in as I can.


  1. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Thank you again for your comments. I will be as totally honest with you as I have tried to be with myself. I grew up with two wonderful loving parents and two siblings. My Dad was an alcoholic, but in terms of major effects on me, they were not huge. We had a wonderful relationship and always did things together as a family. I was always told how smart, intelligent, athletic, caring, beautiful I was...there was never lacking in that way. As I grew up, I worked all my life with children and teens and have a real connection with them. I have saved a lot of lives over the years and continue to do so. I love my job, love what I do, love my family and children. I have lots of amazing friends and am truly blessed in that sense. My dh is truly my biggest fan. He has never put me down as far as my physical appearance, even after gaining weight, having children, losing a lot of weight...through it all, he always made me feel beautiful. He loves the person I am...however says I have lost the sparkle in my eye, and seem angry all the time. I criticize too much and he thinks I don't like him and feel he is an annoyance. I have little patience and a lot seems to get under my skin....
    This has been worse in say the last 6 years??????? NO KIDDING????? Hard to handle the stress of my secret life and not "change" behaviour like that. I do like him and although I find his ADHD hard to handle at times and we see things different a lot, I love him and he is such a good person.
    SO...having said that, I know there are things in our relationship that need work, we don't spend a lot of quality time together and I am a very social person. He is more apt to relax when he comes home from work. He works weird hours as he has his own business but this has only been for the past two years...there have been normal financial stressors, etc, but nothing to warrant this beginning that many years ago.

    So, I ask again, WHY then??? Why would I go against my morals and values and all that I believe and risk all that I have for what???? Not much of anything...because AP never made me feel good about myself anyway. Obviously I have esteem issues, no one would think that if they met me...I am confident in so many areas of my life, but having started this A and becoming so addicted just added to this hatred inside of me. How disgusting could I be to be doing this to someone I love and someone who loves me. How could I continue and let someone use me like they have??? I have risked ruining my life, my reputation, my children's lives, my H would be beyond devastated...and I cannot answer with one good reason. This is where I struggle so much. I don't want to analyse anymore, I just need support and help to get through this without totally losing myself...I am hanging by a thread and want to work on turning that into a strong rope and then want to feel strong enough to let it go and not fall to far....
    Just needed to hear there were others feeling this pain...that helps. Yes my friend helps and is supportive...she is my outlet and is wise...BUT, she has been in this same situation for 12 years...never ever physical, but quite emotional and probably that is even harder....
    Look forward to hearinf from you. THANKS

    1. Anonymous9:12 PM

      Dear Anonymous, A few detail changes and this is the situation I and my wife are in. I've have just discovered my wife has been in at least one affair but she doesn't know that I know. I am sure there was at least another affair, maybe more. I am sure they are over now. I hope to give you (and others reading this blog) some insight into what it is like to be the faithful partner. I have also gained a lot more understanding of women in this and similar blogs so hopefully I can also help wives in this situation understand their husbands and Ap.

      I have always loved my wife, I thought her to be my soul mate. The person I looked forward to growing old with. I thought we had this amazing connection and I bared every part of my soul and life to her. I was clearly wrong. This person I thought she was, the person I married is someone that never existed. The grief I feel is similar to when someone close passes away. I feel utterly betrayed and alone.

      The man I definitely know she had an affair with was significantly older, fat and ugly. It was only two years after we married. We were both regularly traveling for our separate careers and I never even questioned her faithfulness at the time. See, I grew up within a family that was torn apart from my father's inability to be faithful. I've always had a high libido and spent so much of my focus on remaining faithful that I didn't even consider my wife would start an affair. The desire to cheat has been very high in me (thanks Dad) I would love to, in fact I have a desire to screw almost every woman I meet but I also understand that it would have a terrible effect on those closest to me so have never once cheated. In fact, I've never been intimate with anyone other than my wife, ever.

    2. Anonymous9:13 PM

      My parents (ok, my father) screwed up my family as a child. I remember making the conscious choice as a teenager that I could be angry and bitter at the world or, I could learn from his mistake and be the best husband and father I could be. Also, to never treat my future wife as appallingly as my Mother was treated. I chose the latter. I'm by no means perfect and can see how I could have been a better husband over the years but I've always tried to be better in some way every day.

      I adored my wife, thought she was the best thing in the world. Intelligent, independent, sweet, kind sexy and hot. Looking back I think the problem was that I tried to please her too much. She was my everything. I was so proud of her and her success. We always supported each other and she gave me confidence in my own career when those times come to step up a rung or two but you doubt yourself.

      I have often heard women complaining that their husbands didn't notice a new hairstyle or new shoes etc. Well, I am guilty of that but the flip side is I never noticed that my wife went from an athletic size 12 to a fat size 18 in the two years after we married. She was still my beautiful bride. Thought she was hot as hell and was so happy just to be living our dreams together. Everything we had dreamed and worked towards was falling into place. We have always been a great team, even now.

      See, we husbands aren't as shallow as you might think. What you may perceive as us taking you for granted is more we don't notice those physical things as much anymore because we love you just the way you are. I have always looked forward to watching my wife grow older. I figure I've had my young woman, my 20's woman and my 30's woman and will get to enjoy my sexy mature woman all in one person. Up until I found out about the affair, to me, my wife seemed to get hotter and hotter.

    3. Anonymous9:14 PM

      We now have two beautiful daughters who I adore. I am incredibly fortunate to be self employed and in a position where I can do most of the childcare. I love it and them. This family has been my chance to exorcise the demons of my own up bringing. What makes me so mad is that my wife grew up in a loving, stable family and that she could force this upon me and our kids. How could she?? I look at the facebook page of her AP and he has older kids and the family looks so happy. How does he get to have his happy family when he's such a dishonest, lying sleaze ball yet mine is being torn apart when I've done everything to nurture and protect it? What frustrates me is that I know how these guys think. I'm a man, I have also seen it happen so many times and had conversations with men who do this. Do you realise that your AP are interested in sex? That's it. They don't respect you. They are using you. If only you were privy the conversations I've heard and the boasting about the stupid women they are fucking that keep coming back for more.

      I am so disappointed in my wife because I always admired her intelligence and rationality yet she let this AP seduce her and she fell for it. She took her attention, time and affection away from me and her family. I am hurt so much that she would choose and be attracted to someone who doesn't care for her, who is using her, over me, her husband who has only ever treated her with devotion, love and respect. I was after all the one who went without sleep for a week while I looked after her and our newborn when our daughter was in IC after been born premature. Who would drop everything and do anything to be there when needed. I now know that those times I spent cuddling her, rubbing her head and back in the middle of the night while she was in inconsolable was because of her stupid affairs. Yes, good old dependable husbands always there to pick up the pieces and deal with the shit that life deals up but it's the guy who treats you with no respect and uses you that gets the attention and devotion.

      How do I know your AP doesn't respect or care for you? Anyone who cares for you wouldn't put you in this position. If my wife's AP really cared for her he'd have left his own family to take her and care for her and not string her along while getting as much sex out of her as he could. Clearly his love for her isn't so great after all.

      During this affair (while I was unaware) I fell for a woman I work with big time. My wife was constantly critical of me, dismissive and often just plain cruel with put downs. I was hurt and baffled. I started falling for this woman before I realised. She made me feel like a man. She'd laugh at my jokes while grabbing my arm. She'd always touch my arm when talking to me. She'd sometimes get flustered around me. I knew she was into me and she's stunning. I realised that I could pursue this but there were several things that stopped me. First was that I loved my wife, I thought of all the things we'd been through and our family. Second is that I really care for this other woman and would not put her in any situation that would hurt her. I respect her enough not to string her along or use her as my own personal ego builder. Certainly wouldn't want to put her in a position of being in the middle of a family break up.

    4. Anonymous9:16 PM

      I then decided I needed to work hard to steer our marriage back on track. I worked hard with little success at first then requested we seek counselling. I think my wife knew something was serious and had to change. She had a break down at this time. We went to counselling and I supported her through her break down oblivious to the fact that I now think I was helping her grieve her affair.

      Our marriage has been so much better since then. It's been 3 years since counselling. However, with the evidence of her affair has sent me crashing down. She seems over it I feel like I want to die.

      I understand the desire to escape the crap that is being married with kids. The responsibilities, bills and just the general crappiness of dealing with young kids and no time for yourself. Yes, I'd love to have an escape. The young woman at the gym who flirted with me, the married mum who constantly leered at me every saturday morning workout. There's also the widower in administration that had made it quite obvious that she wanted me. But I know that this phase of our lives will pass before we know it and we'll both miss our kids when they're grown up and gone. Then, all we'll have is each other. That's why I will tough it out and take as much joy as I can from those precious little moments that are priceless. The ones we'll look back on and miss so much.

      This blog has been a source of great hurt but also new found confidence for me. What I have discovered after reading this blog and similar blogs is that it doesn't matter how attractive, good, attentive, supportive a husband is or how much we earn that causes the affair and our wives loss of attraction for us. It seems that wives with all sorts of husbands have affairs. I guess I am realising now that It wasn't me that was the cause of the affair it is her and a seemingly common thing among wives who don't understand relationships, themselves or the men they are cheating with. It wouldn't matter who I was, she would have still had an affair. If I was being too attentive it was because I was smothering her. If I paid her no attention it would be because I ignored her.

      I can understand the thrill of affair sex. When the woman I fell for would smile at me I would go weak at the knees. When she touched me or brushed past me it was electric. My wife could be masturbating me and it wouldn't compare. Seeing my wife naked doesn't rate anywhere near seeing this other woman with tight pants on. But I get that this is part of being in a long term relationship where the initial novelty wears off. Doesn't mean you can't still work at turning each other on. I know I certainly tried....and tried and tried. To be met with rejection and revulsion. It's unfair, as a husband I can't compare with affair sex. I get that it's exiting in a way that a long term partner can't provide but I actually love you.

    5. Anonymous9:16 PM

      So how do I feel about my wife now that I know. I have lost most of the respect I held for her. The confidence that I used to find so appealing I see as arrogance and a total turn off. I can't believe that this person I loved for their kindness could risk her own family. Be so arrogant and uncaring as to risk ruining the family of her AP potentially destroying the lives of his wife and kids who are totally innocent. I looked at a picture of my wife on her business trip that the affair started. I used to think she was so cute and sexy in that picture. Now, I see fat and ugly. Yes, she trimmed right down again after affair started and looked fantastic but I'm so hurt it wasn't for me. I no longer find her appealing, no attraction just ugliness. I hate what she has done to us. She's a liar, manipulator and a cheat, just like her AP/s.

      I've started counselling to work out the best way to deal with this. I just want to leave but don't want to put my kids through a divorce, I've been there and it's not nice. But I feel I deserve to meet someone who will love me and treat me with respect. I hate that I feel I have to choose between my kids happiness and my own because of my wife's blatant stupidity. She has made a tremendous effort to reconnect with me. Sex is much better and she is very affectionate again. But can that be enough? I can't trust her till she's honest with me. I had a suspicion early on and brought it up. I just wanted a few unusual details explained. She totally blew up at me. Until she's honest I can't go on.

      Sorry this post is so long, there's so much I've left out. Hope it can give some perspective on how we husbands feel.

  2. I totally understand. I love the heck out of my DH too and always have. I felt the EXACT same things, often while I was doing things for AP or with AP. "Why am I endangering my wonderful life?" I too felt very confident growing up, and both of my parents were incredibly loving. I guess what I am saying is, I never realized how much I hated myself UNTIL the affair. Mostly I thought I hated myself because of the affair, and like you I couldn't figure out why I was doing it and yet I could also not stop. After everything blew up and I started to REALLY have to work in therapy, by myself and with DH... it was only then that I realized I had self-hatred issues to work through that existed long before I met the AP or my DH. Of course I can't assume it is the same for you, or for anyone. But all I can say is, when you are in the midst of the affair it is really hard to see these things. Emotion and physicality cloud everything. That voice in your head that is telling you this is ridiculous, there is no reason to do it, etc..... that one is the sane one. Of course you are hurt and wounded and want him to not have cast you aside and gotten married and all of that. But you have to almost act like it is a relationship that has ended in severity. I used to get through hard days by telling myself "pretend AP died." It allowed me to grieve, to be hurt he went and got married, but to know he was firmly in the past. You need to forgive yourself for making the mistake of getting involved with him, but then you need to move on and STOP being involved. It is the only way. I know it's hard.

    Have you also posted at the IVillage pages I link in my profile? There are more perspectives there, and I think you can benefit from the largest support network you can find.

    Good luck, try to stay strong. Tell yourself you are giving him up because you don't want to be that person anymore. Allow yourself to be hurt, mad, whatever... but be done with him and move on. It is the only way to heal.

  3. Anonymous5:21 PM

    Thank you...
    I haven't posted in your link. I will continue to read and heal and be strong. I appreciate your words, I know I can do this...