How to Get Past an Affair

Today guest expert Susan Heitler, PhD, from Power of Two Marriage and Therapy Help is back. She’s agreed to answer a question I get A LOT from reader, but that I do not feel qualified to answer myself.


So, my husband cheated. We’ve been married almost 3 years, and recently he confessed to me that after 5 months of being married to me, he had cheated. It was a one time, drunken mistake thing. Everything they did, they did orally. Though it happened long ago, it’s still new to me. The first few days after hearing the news were very unsettling, confusing, and upsetting. I don’t want to leave him. I just don’t know how to put this upset to rest. He was sincere and honest and remorseful when he told me about it. We both love each other very much, but I don’t how to get over this. Please. PLEASE advise me how to bring that life back to fully happy again!

Dr. Heitler’s response:

A crisis is an opportunity.  So far you are doing a great job of handling this genuine marital crisis.

I will offer some advice, and I’m hoping many of this blog’s readers will have helpful suggestions as well.

I’d like to begin though by focusing on what you are doing so far that’s totally on the right path.

First, you are taking this incident seriously. A sexualized interaction with someone of the opposite sex does violate the marriage contract of monogamy and therefore merits very serious attention. The strong “unsettling, confusing, and upsetting” emotions are totally appropriate.

Second, this is not a time for silent suffering. You did a great job, it appears, of explaining to your husband your feelings (sad, horrified, injured, etc.) and discussing them quietly with him. That is, you said what you were feeling rather than acting your feelings out. You left the potential drama for the theater. Allowing yourself to explode in rage would have invited defensiveness, making it less likely that he would hear your feelings and concerns.

Third, it can be tempting after such a painful discovery, out of revenge or desperation, to want to spread the damage by telling others about your spouse’s misdeed. You refrained.  Bravo again.

Fourth, kudos to your husband for his full confession. The fastest way to make a sexual indiscretion into a disaster is to lie about it. Cover-ups create a secondary problem of secrecy. Ultimately, it’s the secrecy that shatters trust, far more than the original incident of mistaken sexual actions.

Fifth, it’s very helpful that you are clear that you do not want to leave your husband. People make mistakes. Mistakes are for learning. They are not for leaving. Leaving him would be a gross over-reaction that, like secrecy, would convert your husband’s mistake into a super-disaster for every one.

Ok, now for the advice.

One, keep trusting your inner guidance system. So far it has scored 100%. The best predictor of future success is past success.

Two, as I said above, mistakes are for learning. Encourage your husband to look back to learn all he can from this episode.

The mistakes your husband is likely to find most valuable for learning purposes are the moments when he turned left when he needed to turn right. E.g., he was drinking and started talking to a woman instead of staying with the guys. He needed to go to his hotel room, and instead he went to hers.

Three, looking together at what your husband has learned can inoculate both of you against future outbreaks of inadvertent infidelity. What learning would he—and you—like to take with you into the future as guidelines for protecting your monogamous relationship?

Common lessons learned from inadvertent infidelity include:

1)    No personal conversations with an individual of the opposite sex other than each other unless you are in professional situations such as doctor, lawyer, or therapist interactions.

2)    No time alone in private places with someone of the opposite sex.

3)    If you have to be alone with someone of the opposite sex, keep the door open.

4)    Be especially self-protective, avoiding one-on-ones, if there has been drinking.

5)    Exit risky situations early. Or earlier. Like headaches, sexual arousal is easier to stop the earlier you do something to end it.

6)    Once sexual feelings have been aroused, thinking about consequences tends to evaporate. Prevention is therefore the better part of valor. Naiveté about prevention is the single strongest predictor of infidelities.

There is a saying that “If he can remember, she can forget.” That is, if the responsible party can learn from the accident and remembers always the lessons learned, then the partner can forget the painful incident, or at least can cease to be overwhelmed with upsetting thoughts.

In sum, learning leads to healing. Turn that lemon to lemonade!

Readers: Have you ever gotten past an affair? Have you overcome a similar crisis? Are you involved in something like this right now? Share your advice, concerns and struggles.

103 comments… add one

  • Ravsean January 1, 2011, 10:26 am

    Happy 2011 everyone.

    Elle – yes, we will have to disagree. I just went and checked out your blog, and to some degree, I think I know why we have to disagree. It would appear that you have experienced this on way more personal a level than I am capable of understanding (thank God). On a professional level, I have counselled numerous people who have also experienced it. Approaching it as a type of emotional abuse helped them in understanding it.

    I want to point out that I initially wrote to “look at the nasty comments that adultery makes.” Said comments are not necessarily spoken. In terms of abuse, the adulterer/abuser may or may not even realize them. It may take the abused party a long time to understand the implications as such. Remember though that the initial stages of abuse rarely involve bumps and bruises. Realizing the psychological side to abuse is much more difficult. The victim of abuse may not realize psychological abuse as such until it is way too late.

    Elle – you wrote two entries ago “that adultery can be viewed as abusive, it’s not for the reasons that RavSean outlines above.” Under what circumstances can it be viewed as abusive? I missed that in your entry. Teach us. When is adultery abuse? When is it not?

  • Elle January 4, 2011, 2:12 pm

    H’mmm…you’ve got me thinking. I suppose I was thinking in rather abstract terms when I wrote that under some circumstances a spouse’s adultery could be viewed as emotional abuse. But now that you’re asking me to examine that statement and explain it, I suppose that I only really think adultery is emotional abuse if it’s overt – as a way of keeping a spouse off-balance or “in line” or as a method of control. Sort of like making it clear that the betrayed spouse is competing for the husband’s attention/love/sexual availability so they’d better not make any demands or be in any way troublesome or they’ll lose to the other woman. And I know of situations in which this is the case.
    But though I think the fallout of discovering a spouse’s affair can be similar to the fallout of emotional abuse – low self-esteem, post-trauma – that doesn’t mean they’re the same thing.
    And though I think adultery can occur simultaneously with emotional abuse, I don’t think adultery is necessarily emotional abuse. A really shitty thing to do, absolutely. But emotional abuse? Not necessarily.
    In fact, many betrayed wives often initially respond as victims, a stance that I think works against healing. It was only when I truly understood that the affair(s) really had nothing to do with me – that they were the product of my husband’s incredibly unhealthy responses to issues in his life – that I was able to detach myself from his choices. To recognize that he didn’t do this “to” me.
    Harriet Lerner, one of North America’s foremost experts on relationships and intimacy, notes that when someone is involved in an affair they enter a “state of altered consciousness.” Some respond to their feelings of guilt and shame (assuming they have a conscience) by directing anger and blame at their spouses – in a misguided attempt to create an excuse for the affair. And many who’ve been on the betrayed side of this can testify to the fact that their spouse frequently “rewrites” the marriage history, casting the betrayed wife as a nag or neglectful or whatever.
    However, I maintain that most betrayed wives are really just collateral damage. That their spouse had no real intention to hurt them and, in many cases, thought that no-one would get hurt. Indeed, most don’t think far enough ahead to the day when they might get caught.
    So…back to my point. Emotional abuse certainly can occur in a marriage marked by infidelity. But adultery itself is not emotional abuse.
    What do others think? Let the slings and arrows fly. ☺
    Elle´s last blog post ..Putting Down Your Pain

  • Elle January 4, 2011, 2:15 pm


    Are you a therapist? Do you deal with betrayed wives? If you’d be interested in posting on my site about how some women deal with betrayal by viewing it as emotional abuse, I’d love to know. I’m certainly open to others’ viewpoints. Whatever helps women move past the pain (and that’s legal, ethical and moral!!). :)
    Elle´s last blog post ..Putting Down Your Pain

  • Lisa January 4, 2011, 5:58 pm

    Ravsean, I would also be curious to hear how some deal with the betrayal. I mean really it is all different. How one perceives betrayal may be different to different women. I for one believe that I was emotionally abused for an emotional affair. It was his only justification for it. I remember so vividly those words burning through me like a hot knife. I still suffer from those words occasionally. he is apologetic and has worked hard for the last year trying to make up for it. So really any help dealing with the emotional abuse would be helpful.

  • RavSean January 4, 2011, 8:02 pm

    Good morning all.

    I am not a therapist. I am a rabbi, with a congregation in Toronto, Ontario. I am married for 17.5 years to Rabbi Jennifer. We have three children and two cats, all for sale. As well, I am a US Navy Reserve chaplain, currently on duty in Okinawa (which is why this entry starts out with ‘good morning,’ even though most of you will see it at night).

    Some background: the equating of adultery and emotional abuse came from the divorce of a friend. Her ex-husband had numerous, simultaneous partners. His ‘efforts’ to hide them were the equivalent of placing a hatchback in front of a skyscraper. As we attempt to come to some harmony on terms in this conversation, it is safe to assume that initially equating the two (adultery = emotional abuse) is correct in cases where efforts to conceal are minimal. There may be some room to debate in the case that started this discussion (one time while drunk), although in the case of physical abuse, I imagine that none of us would allow that debate and excuse. A person willing to strike once is willing to strike twice.

    Elle – I am going to hold off on answering your flattering invitation (thank you – really) until I get a better look at your blog. I will not risk embarrassing you by not measuring up to the yardstick you have set. The military computer I am currently using will not allow access. Please allow me a day or two.

    A quick glance up the list of names shows that there is only one other male contributor in this discussion. For the record: men are interested in the topics on this site and on similar sites. We seek ways to make our marriages better (although Jennifer and I are quite happy with each other).

    Folks – please give me a couple of hours to digest the other questions and comments.

  • RavSean January 5, 2011, 1:21 am

    The challenge to pastoral counseling is that we often do not see some of the issues until late in the process. Couples having problems are usually together and putting on the public facade when I see them. As such, to answer Lisa’s questions, by the time I am dealing with it, the relationship has hemorrhaged enough that dealing with it means ending it. For many, that means that they are already dealing with it in a clinical environment. I always ask the victim/survivor to clarify what he or she wants to do. That part is crucial. A desire to fix the relationship yields a different approach than a desire to end it. In any event, once the victim/survivor has gone the clinical route, my role is more limited, usually in helping find the vocabulary, affirming feelings, and definitely reminding them that they are victims/survivors of an emotional mugging, and that they are not at fault. That vocabulary of abuse is important. Most victims of emotional abuse do not just wake up and realize that they have joined a club they never wanted to join, a club with frightfully high dues. To see it as abuse negates all of those statements that I initially stated in my first entry last week. It also helps them to put the pieces together in a coherent picture, realizing that they were not crazy for having all of these feelings that suggested hte existence of an alternate reality for their lives.

    My conclusion that adultery is abuse was so glaringly obvious to me that I have not taken the time to develop the vocabulary to make it clear to others. Abuse is usually defined as “a patter of coercive behaviours designed to gain control over an intimate partner” (paraphrased from AMA). It rarely starts with a bruise. Rather, it starts with all of the other psychological games that wear down a person’s defenses. Adultery certainly does that , leaving one asking questions about the most intimate part of one’s psyche. Going further, emotional abuse usually involves elements of humiliation and loneliness. Those two feelings are all over this page. Of note are the feelings of loneliness, not just within the marriage, but also in the difficulty of talking to others. Last, Elle, in your blog entry about getting a plan, you note your own reactions to loud noises, seeing the same type of vehicle, women with certain names, etc. Without any diagnosis, as I am not remotely qualified, these are classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

    To engage deliberately in behaviour that causes feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, humiliation, and post-traumatic stress is abusive. The question then becomes whether not engaging in such behaviour without the deliberate intent of causing such stress is abuse. It is clearly abusive, at least in result if not in intent. My feeling is yes: it is abuse. Behaviours can be abuse even if the victim/survivor does not realize or react to them as such.

    I apologize for the length of this entry.

  • Elle January 6, 2011, 1:43 pm


    The invitation still holds. I think you’ve got an interesting perspective and I certainly don’t think healing from betrayal is a one-size-fits-all situation. I know anecdotally that many military marriages experience infidelity (though I don’t know if it’s more than the general population) so I would imagine you’ve got a lot of experience helping partners cope with this.
    In any case, if you would like to post on my site, I’d be delighted to share your perspective with readers. We are, after all, a “club.” :) Please let me know here and I’ll forward a link to my private e-mail.
    Elle´s last blog post ..Putting Down Your Pain

  • Drummer Guy January 6, 2011, 2:26 pm

    Ravsean, I didn’t cath the first time that you were a military chaplin. I spent 6 years in the U.S. Air Force as an SP. I would wonder how many times you have seen this issue ruin a military career. I knew at least 2 active duty members who were kicked out for it. As you know adultery is against the UCMJ. Both were the case of one military member having sex with another military members wife.

    Then again I imagine as a chaplin if somebody talks about it in session you have to keep that confidential. I also studied for the Ministry & got my MDiv (Masters in Divinity) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Man is that a long school name or what..LOL I do not practice now for several reasons. One being my own divorce (first marriage). I really don’t have much experience in this area as I never pastored a church. Must be very difficult to deal with. Would be interested to read more on your thoughts.

    Ron :-)

  • Ravsean January 7, 2011, 1:37 am

    Hi all.

    Drummer Guy – I did notice the USAF reference in your writings. I am avoiding making all of the jokes that naturally go back and forth between members of different services. My one example of adultery on Active Duty was strange. I ended up leaving that command before it worked its way through. He was the senior enlisted man on one of my submarines. She was his wife, and one of the members of the Jewish community. It was awkward, in that I really had to deal with them both in very different ways. I was also a decade younger (and much more clueless), and had not made the jump from infidelity to abuse.

    Elle – I remain honoured. I would be delighted. Let’s talk further outside this forum to figure out goals, procedures, etc. Please note that I will copy my spouse on all e-mails. It is part of my general goal of avoiding even the appearance of inappropriate behaviour. A letter that my spouse does not see to a woman whom my wife does not know violates that goal.

  • Melanie January 25, 2011, 1:14 pm

    Elle – While I may not think adultery is “abuse” – I 100% think that emotional abuse is the result of adultery. While I am closing in on 2 years of finding out of my husbands infidelity, I daily feel the aftermath of what he did. Because it was with a personal friend of mine, I am constantly reminded of things or events that we did together that were fun…maybe a song comes on that reminds me of a time w/her, or when I drive down the road I see a car just like she has, my young daughter brings her name up ALL the time and talks about her BFF (my friends daughter and mine were BFF’s). When I drive home from work I pass by the park where he and she parked and had sex. Our families and friends ask why we don’t hang out with them anymore. I still see the words he typed her in an email (yes, I read them!), and when I close my eyes I see him with her. Still, even after almost 2 years. There are daily triggers and it sucks. DAILY I am reminded of what he did. DAILY I am punished and broken on the inside for something HE did, but keeping a strong front. All the while, he has another lease on his marriage and moves on like it never happened. We will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year, but I feel like it will never be the same as it was prior to the affair. I will never be the same. I will constantly be questioning his whereabouts, or why is he late from work. I do love him and don’t want to end our relationship, I just wish I could erase all the horrible thoughts in my head.

  • Elle January 25, 2011, 2:24 pm

    Everything you describe is soooo — sadly — common. The songs, the make of car, the name…anything that triggers. Suddenly you’re right back in that awful place.
    Have you sought therapy? It sounds dramatic, but many betrayed spouses experience what is, essentially, post-traumatic stress. Coming to terms with that really helped me move past it. Like you, I stayed with my husband. And like you, it took a lot longer than I expected to get clear of all those triggers. But by treating it as a case of PTSD, I was able to recognize the triggers and get myself back to a “safe” place (“now”, rather than “then”) and remind myself that it wasn’t happening right now and that I was strong and capable and able to face toward a future.
    I’m four years out and only in the past few months could honestly say that the infidelity was no longer affecting — in large or small ways — every aspect of my marriage.
    Hang in there. Betrayal with a friend is a double betrayal. You’re dealing with more than most of us have to deal with. You never will be the same…but that’s not to say you aren’t truly incredible. But I’m so sorry you have to deal with this…
    Elle´s last blog post ..Vulnerability is a Doorway to Happiness

  • Ravsean January 25, 2011, 10:31 pm

    Hi all….

    Melanie – Elle is right. All of those triggers do create symptoms of post-traumatic stress. To see a counsellor is not a bad idea.

    There is another piece in your writing that will hinder your progress in getting past this torrid nightmare. You wrote that “he has another lease on his marriage and moves on like it never happened.” A similar sentiment is in your post of November 12, 2010. Even without the post traumatic stress symptoms, that is a problem on its own. Something happened. Even with the marriage counselling, his response as if “it never happened” lends the same emotional significance on an affair as a trip to the grocery store. That only perpetuates your hurt, and will fail to create the security you need to feel in order for any sense of healing to commence.

  • Melanie January 26, 2011, 8:18 am

    Thanks Elle and Ravsean for your response. We went through counseling together for a bit and then I went alone for some time. But it got to be too expensive so I had to stop. I felt like I was rehashing everything when I went so it was kind of depressing too.

    I’m not sure what to think about my husbands feelings on it or how he is reacting now. He is a very closed off person when it comes to his emotions. He does not tell me how he “feels” – he is not the kind of person to wear it on his sleeve like I do. I guess I just wish I knew that it was eating him up inside like it is me. It very well may be and I just don’t know because I’m always the one having a break down, not him. He is very supportive and understanding of my reactions and reassures me “we will get through this.” One of the things I was working on in my therapy sessions was the fact that I feel like I’m the one being punished for something HE did. Where is his punishment? There is none.

    Can you tell I’m going through a hard time now? Sorry for all the ranting. Off to get some work done and maybe even pick up Alisa’s book. ;-) Have a great day!

  • Lisa January 26, 2011, 8:57 am

    I feel your pain. I also feel like I am the only one punished here for my husbands mistakes. He just goes on about life as if nothing has happened. It is not easy. I feel for you I really do. While he did not have a physical affair, he had an emotional affair with an old and I mean old girlfriend. her words haunt my mind, He told her nearly every detail of our lives well only the bad details obviously. we have been married for 12 years, but together for 23 yrs. So needless to say I was blindsighted by this whole ordeal. She will call him randomly to find out if he is happy. She is married with kids herself, but believes he is her soul mate and believes they were meant to be together so she is persistent. He is really trying hard to make sure I know that he loves me, while I appreciate that I still have my breakdowns. Currently he is working in the same vicinity as her and it really drives me crazy. I am absolutely head over heels in love with my husband and have been since I laid eyes on him some 23 years ago. I hold onto that. I remember our first kiss as if it were yesterday. and when I kiss him I close my eyes and remember that feeling. it is what keeps me going. I am his soul mate. I am his wife. I will never give up and will do what I have to do to make sure he knows that I am in love with him. Although I suffer with some trust issues. I know that time will heal those wounds. I also found a website you may find interesting. It may also help you understand this mess. It is Anne Bertch I think it is called BAN. google it.
    well enough ranting from me. Honestly you are lucky to have found this blog I have personally found alot of support here. Good luck to you!

  • Melanie January 27, 2011, 9:27 am

    Wow Lisa – I can’t imagine the other woman calling my hubby still. That is crazy. Why won’t he tell that crazy woman to stop or has he? That is one selfish lady…how cruel to do that to you. You sound like he really makes you happy and that is all that matters. I understand the trust thing all to well.

    I will check out Anne’s site and yes, I agree with you. This blog is great!

  • Lisa January 27, 2011, 11:40 am

    @ Melanie, Yes he did tell that crazy woman to stop calling and my husband let her know that he was telling me that she called. She calls anonymously. Anyway she hasn’t called in a while (knock on wood). I know from experience that she is a stalker. I did talk to her husband and if she calls I will have no problem calling him. We used to have a problem with her a long time ago. She moved away out of the state, but sadly she moved back here. So the stuff starts all over again. Sometimes I think the whole soul mate thing is for crazy women who need to justify their bad behavior.
    @ Drummer Guy Yes I will do what I have to do to stop her well legally anyway. You know I am not giving up on me and my husband. We have been together too long for me to let some crazy stalker come between us. It is funny because her and her friend told my husband some lies saying I said this or that. I can see how she wants to cause a rift between us. fortunately he believes me. I let him know that the game is for him and I to fight and for me to say that I cant do this anymore. Well fat chance of that happening. LOL!

  • Drummer Guy January 27, 2011, 12:16 pm

    Glad to hear Lisa. Yea the stalker types can be NUTS!!! The one I had to deal with some years ago was a real gem. I hadn’t done anything other that what I said earlier. Now how she got out of a hug & signing her CD that we were soul mates is beyond me. Although this one obviously had some mental issues, I think your right. They use that phrase to justify their BAD behavior. Who I REALLY feel for was her husband. I doubt I am the first or last person she has done this to. I don’t know how that story ended as she finally left us alone. People are just nuts these Know that you are both in my prayers.

    Best Wishes
    Ron :-)

  • Michelle February 7, 2011, 10:15 pm

    I have refrained from posting on this thread simply because I haven’t had the emotional stamina to do so…this post was made the day after what I had suspected for months was confirmed.

    On Nov. 10 the woman that I suspected my husband was having an affair with contacted me on yahoo chat. We chatted all that night, all the next day, and most of the day after that. She told me absolutely everything…what they did, where they went, even sent me some of the texts and chat logs and pictures she had saved. They went to high school together in TX (where we are all from and where she still lives), reconnected on fb/myspace in Jan 2010. She came to visit in Feb(introduced as a “friend”)…he went there in March(against my initial NO)…they met up in May(unbeknownst to me..he lied about who he was with)…and she came to visit in July(I agreed to this so I could get proof of my suspicions which I did not). This entire time, she was a friend, his best friend, but always denied anything more. During the spring, we fought…alot. But by the end of April, we had started getting better (or so he led me to believe). We went to Tunica overnight…he took her there in May a week later, but told me he was with friends from his former employment. I suspected not, but had no way to prove otherwise. From April forward…we were going on dates, he had come back to the bedroom (he was sleeping in the other room due to health reasons, he told me), and I thought we were both working on improving our marriage. Every time I would read something on her facebook or her blog..he would deny it, and her blog would be gone the very next day. Their relationship was primarily text and chat. He stopped talking to her on the house phone when he found out I was checking the call logs. He called her on our anniversary last year. When this all came out in Nov…he at first tried to deny it, denied sleeping with her, then finally “apologized”. But his apology was coupled with blaming me. I found out in December (Christmas Eve no less) that he had started talking to her again…we stayed up all night Christmas Eve…it was horrible. In Jan, he went to TX to visit his dad…we have been fighting again since November, because he refused to make any efforts to resolve our issues, my lack of trust being the primary issue. Anything I suggested was met with out and out refusal, and turned everything around to be my fault, my responsibility and all about him. The day he left, he asked me if I wanted him to come back…I told him no, not if our marriage was going to continue down the course we were going. He met her at a bus stop on the way to his dad’s; and by that weekend, they were back together. He had a surgery scheduled that he was going to come back for and then leave for good…but that weekend, I told him not to come back. There is much more to the issues in our marriage that I have only just begun to recognize…I have since become convinced, through the insight of a very dear friend, that he has a personality disorder. The affair is more a symptom than an action; whether he has it or not probably won’t ever be known, nor does it matter now. He refuses to change (and he can…personality disorder or not, he knows right from wrong and has the ability to choose his actions), and I refuse to subject myself or my children to his continued emotional and verbal abuse (which had been there all along, I just didn’t see it for what it was). I will be filing for divorce as soon as I get my tax return (did I mention he doesn’t yes, MY tax return that he thinks he is entitled to 1/2 of because we’re ‘married’). We’re married when it suits him…otherwise it’s a ‘technicality’.

    Sorry…this got to be longer than I intended. And, btw, I am seeing a therapist. I have just started…but I am hopeful I will be able to work through my own issues so I can be happy, find some peace and gain some emotional health back. I know I have a long road ahead of me…but one foot in front of the other, one day, one moment at a time, and I will be out of his shadow and figure out who I am and how to get there.

  • Ravsean February 7, 2011, 11:23 pm


    It sounds as though you have a good handle on what to do next. I am glad that you are seeing a therapist. Please remember that you are working on your issues. That he betrayed you is his issue, and not yours. That he has a personality is his issue, and not yours. That he has abused you emotionally and verbally is his issue, and not yours. You have been the recipient of such a nightmare, but please remember to keep your issues as yours. You do not need to solve his problems.


  • Elle February 8, 2011, 10:20 am


    I’m so sorry for what you’ve been going through. You sound quite clear-headed, which is good. And much of what he’s been doing to you (blame-shifting, gaslighting, fence-sitting..) is straight from the cheater’s handbook. And Ravsean is right – this is all his stuff, not yours. Though it sounds as if you’ve got a clear sense of boundaries.
    Hang in there. I think you’re going to be just fine. Just keep putting that foot in front, even if it means stopping to rest now and again. Your kids will likely need your strength, too.
    I wish you much peace.
    Elle´s last blog post ..Moment-by-Moment Survival Guide for the Heartbroken

  • Riverside February 11, 2011, 1:15 am

    Married for 11 years, 3 kids. I thought my husband was an honest guy, I loved him madly, I’ve been there for him in every way a woman can, I supported him when times were bad, and even more when they were Really bad…, and he cheats on me. For more than two years he cheated, I found out by the messages his sluts left on his cell.
    I feel SO betrayed, I can’t even put it into words. To make the story short, I found out (this was last august), I confronted him without making a big scene (always keeping the kids in mind) so there was no big fight, we talked, he admitted to everything, and he left home for a week per my request.
    He begged for forgiveness, the kids never found out exactly what was going on, the oldest knew there was “something” because she frequently asked for her dad and said to me that she was glad we weren’t divorced like her friend’s parents, and my boy simply idolises him. My parents never found out because I didn’t want to worry them, my best friend was going through a rough time with her own issues, so I didn’t tell her, no one else knew, just me and him and his sluts…
    I thought about divorcing him, but I just couldn’t do that to my kids, and I was really confused and hurt, even felt like I loved him still, I didn’t really know what I wanted.
    So I allowed him to come back, we talked and whatever…, slowly things got back to “normal”. Now, I’m depressed, I feel I betrayed my self, how the hell did I got back with him??, once a cheater…, right??. I used to be this strong, smart woman, and now, I am just the stupid wife.
    I want this marriage or “what ever this is” to work, but you see, I had trust issues all my life, and now it just got worst: I don’t believe Anything that comes out of his mouth, I don’t believe he loves me, I don’t believe he’s at work, I feel really jealous and angry, but I act like everything is fine (don’t ask me why, I really don’t know). Any advice is welcome.

    Anyways I wish all of you luck, and maybe I’ll learn a thing or two on this site.

  • Lisa February 11, 2011, 8:19 am

    @Riverside, while I feel your pain. You are not the stupid wife, you are strong and brave. You need counseling because you need to vent your frustrations to someone who won’t judge you or worry. I believe if you sorted out your feelings you will be able to see clearer. Your marriage may become stronger. I obviously don’t know all the details, but if it is worth giving it shot you should do what you can. Ultimately he will be the one who looks stupid for betraying his family. Good luck!

  • Elle February 11, 2011, 10:25 am


    I could have written your exact post a few years ago. Married for ten years, three kids — thought my husband was the most honest, principled person I’d ever met. Turns out…not so much.
    And I, too, felt STUPID. Told very few people in part because I felt there was a certain shame in working it out. Real women — STRONG women — I thought, kicked the bum out.
    Thing is, like you, I had three kids. Who adored their father. And, truth me told, I still loved my husband and saw his cheating not as a moral flaw but a bad choice (in my husband’s case it was sexual addiction, for which he sought treatment).
    You have only to answer to yourself. But in order to get clear on what you truly want, it sounds as if you need a couple of things: for starters, he needs to earn back your trust, slowly and deliberately. That means total transparency on his part. It means never EVER lying about who he’s with, what he’s doing, where he is, what’s on his cell phone, etc. etc. It means being available for you to checkup, should you feel the need, and reassuring you over and over that he will never lie to you again, either deliberately or by omission.
    Are you comfortable with how he’s been dealing with his cheating? Do you believe he’s truly remorseful and recognizes just how much pain he’s caused? That he recognizes why he sought to have needs met outside the marriage and can put things in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again? All that can go a long way toward helping you restore trust (your “trust issues” from before this are yours to deal with — and I hope you will) in him and see him as someone who made a tragically hurtful choice, rather than just a bastard.
    What your feeling is, sadly, normal under the circumstances. But you don’t have to stay there.
    So sorry you’re dealing with this. I truly hope you can find support and healing.
    Elle´s last blog post ..Moment-by-Moment Survival Guide for the Heartbroken

  • Sabrina February 11, 2011, 10:51 am

    As much as I thought I was over my husband after what he did, i find that I still love him and want to give it another shot. And I am terrified, but that is what is in my heart. I know people will look at me like i am dumb for even considering this, but they dont have to live with that decision, I do. I am taking things pretty slow right now as things still need to be worked out (baby due in about 2 wks) but I am trying to get some counseling and I am hoping for the best. Life is short, and this is where my heart is leading me, i dont know why, i thought i was over it, but fact is, I love him regardless of all the crap he put me through, now we have to work on rebuilding everything and pray we can do it. Good luck

  • Elle February 11, 2011, 11:20 am


    I don’t think we get “over” betrayal, so much as “through” it. We emerge on the other side a different person. Wiser, we hope. More compassionate. But less “innocent”. No longer will we ever blindly trust. And that can be tough to come to terms with. We have to mourn the loss of who we were as much as the loss of the marriage we thought we had. And with a baby due — you’re also coping with all that means.
    I hope you can rebuild and create a marriage built on honesty and truth. But it inevitably takes longer than any of us think it will…
    Good luck with the new baby. I’m sure that blessing will create much needed joy.
    Elle´s last blog post ..Moment-by-Moment Survival Guide for the Heartbroken

  • Sabrina February 11, 2011, 11:25 am

    the baby isnt mine. Its the lady he had the affair with. So thats another bag of tricks to tackle. And we got divorced on Wednesday, but still want to work on things.

  • Riverside February 12, 2011, 2:42 am

    Lisa, Elle, Sabrina, thanks A Lot for your advice and kind words. At the same time I am so sorry we have gone through these horrible situations.
    I do have to sort out a lot of things, I have a lot of flaws, not the easiest person to live with, and don’t consider myself totally innocent from this entire mess but one thing’s for sure, I would have Never do to him what he did, I would never do that to another woman or family.
    Like Elle said, I was also sure that real strong women would have kicked him out! And I felt so let down by my self for not doing just that! Why couldn’t I just act on impulse and throw his things out into the street? I asked this to myself so many times…, on the trust issue, I honestly think he is trying to earn back my trust, he tells me were he is going and how his day went (without me even asking), no more “late meetings”, no more weird phone calls, no more weird excuses, he even refuses to take back his old cell phone, the problem now, I believe, is that I am becoming this insecure person, for example, he tells me in detail about his schedule and I, while acting “normal”, have the memory of what happen in the back of my mind and question to my self “why is he giving all these details??”. I can’t shake the creepy feeling that something is still wrong, or that he doesn’t feel sorry for what he did, as much as he feels sorry he got caught.
    I guess I am not comfortable on how he’s dealing with his cheating, he hasn’t offered a real explanation, just “I was a fool, I was an idiot, how could I’ve done this?, it wasn’t your fault, it was all on me” so he’s just saying what he thinks I want to hear.
    There’s something else bothering me: the fact that he was with one of these women for about two years, and he was able to leave her just like that, how does someone do that?, did he really leave her??
    Like I said before, it has been almost half a year and my emotions are still all screwed.
    I am pushing my self to get counseling, I want to get through this, I don’t want to get worse.
    Thanks guys.

  • RavSean February 12, 2011, 10:10 pm

    Sabrina – I am not entirely certain what there is to work on. If you got a divorce, you are allowed to end the relationship. You may find that trying to ‘work on things’ only exacerbates the pain of what happened, particularly given that there will be a constant, living, breathing reminder of his now indelible connection to the home wrecker.

    Riverside – Lots of decisions are black and white in theory. It is easy until the gray of real situations makes everything foggy. Staying together is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you are aware of your priorities, and at least want to pursue them. I wish you the best. Bear in mind though that the inability to fix a problem immediately is also not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that extensive damage to a relationship does not does not heal with kissing and making up. Also, please stop worrying about not being “the easiest person to live with.” It smacks of blaming yourself for the egregious sins of others. This is not your fault. It has never been your fault.

    To all: a wise pastor once told me that we err when we equate forgiveness and reconciliation. Reconciliation necessarily involves forgiveness. The opposite does not hold. Forgiveness and reconciliation are two separate steps. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean that the trust is back. It does not necessarily mean that the relationships reverts to the exact state prior to such emotional trauma.

    RavSean, with thanks to RavJen (my wife, who read and suggested), as I am now back from Okinawa.

  • Riverside February 15, 2011, 1:49 am

    Thanks a lot RavSean, I worry about not being the easiest person to live with because he ‘kinda told me that was a problem some time ago. I’m not a monster though, I don’t yell at him or abuse him in any way, is just that I am not the tender sweet type, never have been. I know that he cheating wasn’t 100% my fault, but I can’t help to feel like I put my self in that position, like I could have done things differently.

  • Riverside February 15, 2011, 1:53 am

    I have to say, the comments here have really thrown some light over my problem. The initial article, however…, not so much. I know is just an article, not a guide book, but I’ve read it very carefully, but one, my inner guidance system is all screwed to hell, I don’t trust him, me or anyone else. Two, I don’t think my husband is going to learn any valuable lessons (at least for me), why? Like most cheaters, he is sorry he got caught, what is he gonna learn? That he should have cover his tracks better??. Three, it talks about cheating like is some kind of “danger” that is “out there”, if this was the case, well most cheaters would be innocent victims, this may be true for people suffering from sex addiction, but not for the rest of them.

    A few days ago, I found the old letters he used to send me, I couldn’t help to cry, because that man is gone, that girl is gone, I miss them both so much.

  • Elle February 15, 2011, 9:35 am


    NONE of us is the easiest person to live with. But grown-ups with healthy boundaries talk to each other about our issues — we don’t get our needs met outside the marriage, then blame (either explicitly or implicitly) our partner for pushing us into cheating. It just doesn’t work that way.
    He needs to take responsibility for his choices. If there are issues within the marriage (and I think there almost inevitably is), then it’s up to the two of you to address them. But the cheating is HIS to own. There’s no harm in taking a long hard look at the marriage and figuring out where it might have gone off the rails — in fact, that can be quite healthy. But please don’t fall into the “if I’d done things differently” black hole of despair. We all would have done many things differently…but we don’t get a do-over. We can only look forward, learn from our missteps and behave differently in the future.
    If your husband hopes to move forward from cheating — and you, too — though it seems counterintuitive, he needs to fully acknowledge the pain he’s caused and trust he’s broken. So many men just want to put it behind them and insist that going over it will simply cause more hurt. Not true! The only way out of this mess is straight through it.
    Hang in there. And for what it’s worth, I bet you’re a whole lot more amazing than you give yourself credit for. Look what you’re overcoming right now!
    Elle´s last blog post ..The Politics of Public Shame

  • Ravsean February 15, 2011, 10:47 am

    Hi all….

    Elle and I have had some friendly discussion on the degree to which adultery is spousal abuse. See the postings around the beginning of the month of January. One of the things that often happens in abusive relationships is what Elle just pointed out as the “”if i’d done things differently” black hole of despair.” Patricia Evans points out the futility of that black hole in “The Verbally Abusive Relationship.” She comments that when the abused partner falls into this pit of despair, the abused partner attempts to correct the behaviour. The thing is that the abuser has no notion of the list of transgressions that must be corrected. The abuser is gaining control. It is entirely about control. It is not about supposed sins.

    Elle is entirely correct in her last posting to Riverside. Riverside, your husband must acknowledge his own responsibility. Failure to do so will allow him to point the finger at you (or anyone else) every time this type of abuse repeats itself.


    P.S. Elle – does the invitation still stand as far as your blog?

  • Lisa February 18, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I also posted this in a different section. I only got one response. I really need some advice. So here it is:
    Lately one of my struggles is that my husband has a best friend for years and this friend has a new girlfriend. While sometimes I tend to judge too quickly. I am usually right about people. I didn’t like her from the start. I have tried to set aside my feelings and give her a chance. She is only proving me right. On Valentines day she texted my Husband, it said Happy love day, Love (then her name). I am furious. My husband thinks I am jealous well maybe so, but I feel her behavior is inappropriate. I really cant say anything to her right now because I am so angry it wont be pretty. My anger will probably sever the relationship my husband has with his friend. I guess i also am angry that my husband doesn’t get it. He seems to think its no big deal. He is driving me crazy. He dismisses it by saying I only love you. It has nothing to do with whether or not he loves me, it has to do with respect. I told him that I will let him ask his friend why his g-friend is texting him and for her to stop. But it ends one way or another. I will not bite my tongue on this. Oh I forgot a couple of weeks ago she called my hubby at work and asked him for a ride. He said no. I am beside myself. I also think that my hubby’s friend was also inappropriate when he first met this girl because he was so smitten I guess with the sex, he would tell us about it and make comments to my hubby like do you want to join. I feel like I am in high school again. My husband is some kind of chick magnet and I am fighting off these chicks. Why cant my life be normal. what is normal. Why is there no respect for marriages. I didn’t text her boyfriend for Valentines day and I have known him for more than 20 years, I have respect. I don’t get it. ANY advice would be helpful and I need it desperately before I do something I will regret! thanks

  • Joanne February 18, 2011, 2:14 pm


    I did read this post but have stopped responding to alot because I find I am very unbending in some things. This would be one of them so please take my thoughts as just one persons way of looking at it but I would simply tell my husband the situation, while it may be innocent on his side is unacceptable to me, that I was not comfortable about it and that he needed to tell the woman in no uncertain terms to back off. He should ask his friend to reiterate it to her as well.
    Committed couples tend to forget that it sometimes doesn’t matter what the facts in a situation are as long as the person you are committed to is uncomfortable with something you need to take their feelings into consideration and act accordingly. And his friendship should never be more important to him than living up to your needs.

    Like I said, pretty black and white for me.

  • Lisa February 18, 2011, 3:09 pm

    @ Joanne thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. While I dont think my hubby thinks his friendship is more important, it is more me. I feel bad for what this outcome mightl be. My hubby tends to take things in stride I guess he doesnt think it is a big deal and that I am just jealous. I dont feel jealous of this girl she is a complete loser and honestly I thought that from the beginning I was just trying to be nice for the sake of my hubby and his friend. my hubbys solution for everything is to just sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away. I am not that way. Sometimes I make mountains out of mole hills and maybe over exaggerate my feelings, but i stand firm that this is inappropriate, I told him his friend didnt text me a happy love day on valentines day. I am sure everything would be different if the shoe were on the other foot. I will probably see her this weekend and I seriously need to contain myself. I dont know if I can.

  • Ravsean February 18, 2011, 4:31 pm

    Lisa – Joanne is right. There are plenty of things on which I disagree with my wife. Issues do not trump feelings though. My wife’s feelings do not have to be rational. Neither do yours. In this case, your feelings are rational though. The lady in question violated a boundary. Put aside the question of whether or not the other guy sent you a love note. Ask her this: did she send a note of that nature to anyone besides your husband? If no, then this is a big deal. If yes, you are still within your rights to ask her not to do it.

    And friendship is not worth allowing ‘minor’ violations of boundaries. Your friends should never leave you asking questions.


  • Elle February 18, 2011, 11:17 pm


    I agree with the others. Your boundaries feel violated (and rightly so). It’s not your responsibility what the fallout is. You’re simply stating that her texting of your husband is inappropriate and he needs to tell her to stop. If she/your hubby’s friend take offence, that is their responsibility, not yours. Would she be texting him such messages if she knew he was copying you on everything?? If it’s no big deal, then it shouldn’t be done behind your back. Stick to you boundaries and insist that your husband respect them. You would do the same for him.
    Elle´s last blog post ..The Politics of Public Shame

  • Elle July 8, 2011, 6:10 pm

    Just noticed your post RavSean…and yes, the invitation still holds. I’d love you to post something on my blog. You’ve got a lot of wisdom and a different perspective that we could all benefit from hearing more of.

    Lemme know!!

  • Patrick Hartz November 14, 2011, 1:02 pm

    Hello everyone,
    My name is Patrick Hartz and I’m a producer for True Entertainment in New York. We are currently producing a series for OWN that explores infidelity among couples.
    I’m very interested in hearing from any couples who have experienced infidelity and have been able to stay married and work past it. I’m also looking to speak with couples who have divorced as a result, but have been able to remain on decent terms.
    Please feel free to email me at for more details and a link to a full episode of the show.
    Thank you,
    Patrick Hartz

  • sonia @ Marriage Counselling Toronto March 2, 2012, 5:57 pm

    Forgiving your husband is an essential step to putting your upset to rest.
    Before you get there you first need to allow yourself time. Know that it’s nothing that you did…for him it was a moment of weakness, there is never a excuse for cheating however I’m sure he felt really bad and didn’t tell you earlier because he was afraid of losing you.

    Even those it happened a long time ago I can see how this would affect you, the trust was violated when he shared infamy with someone else even those he was drunk it still hurts.

    I don’t like using the word advice but my advice would be first to give yourself time to take it all in and time to heal. Next would be to find it in your heart to forgive him. If your love for each other means as much as you say it does then love will help you re-build the trust that you once shared together.

  • RavSean March 3, 2012, 8:08 pm

    Hi Sonia, et al…

    Sonia is correct. I would add that it is crucial to remember that forgiveness and reconciliation are not one in the same. One can forgive, but still need time to reconcile the terms of the relationship and to rebuild the trust. Cheating spouses who truly wish to reform must remember that forgiving and being willing to move on does not automatically grant a clean slate.


    Sonia – it is nice to see a fellow Torontonian on the website.

  • Happy July 23, 2012, 11:18 am

    Melanie, I feel like your story could be my story, I had tears reading your post as it could have been me typing. How are you doing now?

    • Melanie July 26, 2012, 1:04 pm

      Hi Happy – Well…I’m just past the three year mark and I’m pretty much a train wreck. I have become a raging alcoholic for starters which turns into severe self-loathing. It started out that I was a weekend drinker and occasionally during the week. Well once all this crap happened I went full-force weeknight drinking to simply dull the pain. 3 years later I still self medicate nightly. Then each morning I wake up hating myself and the cycle begins again when I get home from work. I DON’T drink at work or during the day, only in the evenings.I DON’T drive and I DON’T fall down drunk and slur my words. It’s like I’m a functioning alcoholic. It makes me happy at night – more relaxed and can handle things better. Until I wake up. Anyhow…I feel pretty dead on the inside right now as far as my relationship w/my husband goes. I don’t feel the “in-love” feeling anymore. Sure, I love him, but not in-love. I can’t imagine being without him though so I struggle daily (yes, daily) on my decision to stay in the relationship and wonder if maybe I should have kicked him out 3 years ago. When I see how wonderful he is with our kids, I just adore him. But there is no spark left between us. Sex is just sex. No passion, nothing. I would prefer to not have sex to speak frankly, but then all I would be doing is pushing him away. I think a lot of my “deadness” is due to the alcohol and the self-loathing. I also don’t feel like I have really forgiven “her” or even my husband. I have said that I have but don’t think I’d still be this bitter if I had. I am not the same person I was before I found out about the infidelity. That person and our original relationship is gone and it hurts still a lot. It is like a death and I would have thought 3 years later I’d be better. I’m not crying daily anymore…but I’m just not a happy person and it really sucks. Sorry to be such a downer, but I wanted to be honest. How are you doing and how far into your situation are you? By the looks of your name “Happy” I hope you are much better than me!!

      • Elle July 26, 2012, 8:00 pm

        My mother, after discovering my father’s affair (emotional but nonetheless excruciating for my mother), started drinking and continued to for more than a decade. She began as a “functioning alcoholic” but alcohol is a depressant and pretty soon she wasn’t so functional. Not as a wife. Not as a mother.
        I lost my mom to those bottles. She was barely present for my grade eight graduation, barely present for my high school years… She finally got sober and remained so for 25 years before she died. She regretted those days more than anything. She would have given anything to turn back the clock and do those years over.
        Please don’t create a life in which you have those same regrets. Your kids will grow and they will know exactly what you’re doing. They’ll start watering down your vodka or wine or whatever. They’ll be embarrassed when their friends come over and you’re acting “silly”.
        I know the pain of betrayal. But what you’re doing now is betraying yourself. You can’t heal a marriage when there’s something else vying for each partner’s attention, whether another person or another substance.
        Please stop being self-destructive (not to mention destructive to your family) and start figuring out what you can do to create a life that satisfies. It’s impossible to be happy when you’re routinely using a depressant. Whether with your husband or without, just get clear on what you want from your life. It’s possible to find great joy after going through hell. In fact, sometimes it’s sweeter for having done so.
        I wish you all the best.

  • Ravsean July 26, 2012, 2:59 pm

    Melanie, et al…

    You did not cause your husband to violate the marital bed. That being said, if you want to fix it, being drunk will not help. For your health, for the health of your children, and for the health of your marriage if you so desire, you have to get that on track. You did not cause the problem. Your role will be vital though in finding the solution. Sobriety is a must.

    I am curious as to the soul-searching that your husband has done. An apology and a dozen roses will not lay this to rest. You should also not confuse forgiveness with reconciliation. The ability to forgive does not necessarily or immediately translate into an ability to move on. That is a different set of steps.

    In English, that means that your husband cannot just put the affair behind him and think that all is better. There must be more. He has to work through his sin AND your sadness/anger/grief.


  • Melanie July 27, 2012, 1:29 pm

    RavSean – you are correct…he does have to work through it. Other than going to confession for his sin, I have NO idea how he has put it behind him. He is a very unemotional person and our conversations are very few about this subject. I harped on it so long that I just don’t bring it up anymore. I know he hates being “that” person who did this despicable thing to his wife. Other than that, outwardly you’d never know it happened. I have read your comments earlier in this post about reconciliation and forgiveness. I do agree with you for sure.

    RavSean & Elle – I also agree I need to get my alcohol consumption back on track and just not do it. I’ve tried anti-craving pills even some extremely serious ones that are super controversial and I still drink through my head saying “NO!” and just grab a glass of wine. It’s like it’s out of habit now…horrible, yes, I know. I have a LOT of work ahead of me. I’ve joined a forum for help. My husband says NOTHING to me about it, he just lets me drink night after night. I’m sort of disappointed that he has not even mentioned that I should quit. Maybe he blames himself for my behavior, but I hate not having support at home for it. I’ve never asked, so I’m to blame too. I don’t want to be the Mom that misses my kids childhood. I really don’t. I hate myself w/a passion and the wine helps me cope. I will continue to get support through other forums. Thank you both for being so up front with me. It’s what I needed to hear. Elle – I’m so sorry you had a Mom like that. Like what I am like now…I really don’t want to embarrass my kids. Thanks again guys.

  • Elle July 27, 2012, 2:38 pm

    My mom was a really, really wonderful person. Kind, warm, funny…and yes, a drunk, for too many years. She was simply emotionally unequipped to handle the devastation of my father’s affair and so she self-medicated with alcohol. And she hated herself for it, just like you.
    You did not cause your husband’s infidelity. Typically of women, we blame ourselves or hate ourselves for not being…something that we think we should have been in order to keep our husbands faithful.
    The self-loathing is a vicious cycle. You hate yourself so you drink which makes you hate yourself…and round and round you go.
    Do your kids have to be anything other than who they are for you to love them? Even with their tantrums and their quirks, I’ve no doubt you think they’re perfect just as they are (even if they drive you nuts now and again). Now…what if you extend that unconditional love to yourself? To someone who’s been through hell but is still doing her best to get through each day carrying enormous pain. Give yourself a break, treat yourself with compassion…and then work on being that best self. Somedays your best will be better/worse than other days. But just keep on. You might be surprised to discover how easy it is to just be your best self when you’re not beating yourself up for your perceived failures. Old habits die hard, I know. But I think it’s time for some new habits…which include giving yourself the compassion that you deserve for what you’ve gone through. And which also include, perhaps, letting go of whatever stories you’re telling yourself about your husband’s infidelity. He did what he did because he’s broken. Not because there’s anything wrong with you.
    Good luck, Melanie. I truly wish you peace.


  • Melanie August 1, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Thank you ELLE!! You’re so right. I have always had self-esteem issues. And boy this situation didn’t help AT ALL! I do find it hard to love me since I’m so broken inside. But your way of wording how I love my kids with quirks and all is a great way to look at how I should love myself too. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply, I do have to focus on making ME feel better on my own (w/out alcohol). I know I can do it, it’s this conversation I have daily…I CAN do it, but do I WANT to? I mean, of course I don’t want to become an embarrassment to my kids or jeopardize our relationships but I do want to feel numb so I can cope. Rather be “happier” in front of them. I just hate feeling this way. But I am working on it. Just gotta take it day by day. Thanks again for such wonderful advice!

  • Mrs. V. January 31, 2013, 12:58 pm

    so what do you do in the situation of getting over or past cheating for a second time before you can heal from the 1st time? How do you get past the constant thoughts of what you found or seen with your own eyes? Its hard.

  • Ravsean January 31, 2013, 7:07 pm

    Mrs V…

    You first must ask yourself if you want to get past it.

    If you do, please remember that it is unwise to confuse or to combine forgiveness and reconciliation. These are two separate steps. The willingness to forgive is only the first step. Reconciliation requires making sure that the adulterous spouse demonstrates the proof of remorse day in and day out. That means that the adulterous spouse does not have secret e-maIl relationships. That means that the adulterous spouse does not have friends of the opposite gender without the spouse’s direct knowledge.


  • Mrs. V. February 1, 2013, 4:40 pm

    THANKS FOR THE IN-PUT RavSean , i do want to get past it but it’s too close to home because its with another child’s mother. And when things don’t go well at home(along with other factors) he is most vulnerable and he just lets it happen. i do pray about it.

  • Ravsean February 4, 2013, 7:53 pm

    Mrs. V –

    When things do not go well at work, I doubt that your husband goes out to work for another employer on the side. Do not justify his behaviour by saying that things might not be perfect at home. No one’s life is perfect at home. His decision to seek gratification elsewhere is precisely that – HIS DECISION. He can decide differently.

    Please do not let your desire to maintain the marriage allow you to remain a doormat for him to walk over when things are not perfect at home. It is abusive. You deserve better, and you should demand better.


    P.S. While I very much believe in prayer, that is not my last resort. It is my first resort, which drives me to action on other possibilities.
    Ravsean´s last blog post ..West End? Should’ve Bought Broadway…


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