Can anyone help me find a way to stop this pain.......

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2013
Can anyone help me find a way to stop this pain.......
Wed, 02-27-2013 - 9:48am

28 years.  Together since we were 16.  Married since 18.  3 kids, 2 grandkids and one more on the way.  Seemingly idyllic life from all views.  No sense that anything was wrong.  No suspicions and no warnings.  At least not that I can see just yet.  After I am into this for awhile, things may occur to me now that should have back then.  So husband gets text message on early Friday morning.  Saying if he (this person) only knew his wife's number he would clue her in and he can have this woman (his girlfriend?) because he is done with her and three strikes you are out.....blah....blah....blah.  Husband passes it off as prank or wrong number and I almost believe him.  Accept when I call the number from my own phone, I get a message pops up that says Can't talk now....text me.  Without going into details too much, curiousity got the better of me and I asked my daughter to see if she could find out more about the phone number.  Where it was from, etc.  Well, that was a horrible mistake, because she ended up finding out more than she ever should have and our worlds will never be the same.  Turns out this is a woman who used to be married to an old friend/co-worker of husband and he has known her for 16 years.  Apparently, after she broke things off with her guy 9 or 10 years ago she began texting and emailing my husband.  And according to him it was completely platonic until the past year when text messages were all sex related.  He swears there was no pictures and he swears no email.  He also says there was no actual phone calls.   I am supposed to believe this whole relationship was via text.  Now this woman lives two states away.  He also says she never came here and he never went there and there was never any face to face.  He says he has not laid eyes on her for years.  Now......what do I do with that information?  Because I am supposed to believe that you are holding a secret relationship in which there is no physical and no visual or even verbal contact for eight or nine of the first years of this and then only texts for the past year?  And yet, it was so important that you had to hide it from me and it turned sexual for what reason then?? He says he felt ignored and I didn't want sex as much, etc. etc. and she was someone to talk to.  Well, I am just dumbfounded and hurt beyond any belief.  I cannot believe anything he says, I cannot even believe this happened at all in the first place.  Honestly of all people in the whole world to cheat, he is the last one I would have thought ever would have done this.  I feel like I cannot stop this pain.  I shake constantly and have a permanent lead balloon in my stomach.  I have not thrown up, but feel that I could at any given moment.  And the worst thing of all is my constant need to get answers and his constant need to tell me he is so sorry and he will try to make it up but he doesn't remember how it started and he doesn't remember details of their conversations.  Etc. etc. etc.  I constantly wonder if he is still doing it, where he is, who is he emailing at work, or texting while running to the store, etc.  And I have had the weirdest reaction to the whole thing.  I always thought I would never tolerate cheating, but I am almost desperate to keep him to the point that I am becoming a whole different person.  I have basically thrown myself at him like a cat in heat.  I basically want to erase everything that happened and I am willing to do every dirty thing to make that happen  and then afterwards, I feel like such a piece of garbage.  I am so mad that this is happening.  I am so upset that I can't function and I am on this computer every waking minute trying to figure things out.  I am drowning and there is absolutely nothing to hold on to.  Insurance won't pay for counseling.  I can't afford it any other way.  I have no friends, because he was my whole life.  My kids are traumatized enough and I cannot go to them.  I could never ever kill myself because I would never put my kids through that hell.  Even though my husband was fine to go ahead with it putting us all in this pit.  But, I pray every single day for this pain to stop.  I cannot make it stop.  Can someone please tell me how to make this go away so I can move on?


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2010

If he felt ignored, then he needs to talk to you instead of turning towards someone else.  It's a cop out if he's trying to blame you for his emotional affair.

If you don't like your behavior since finding out, then change it.  Don't change yourself to accommodate him.  He needs to work on himself, that's not your job.  First, I would suggest you start going out and finding some friends of your own.  I don't think it's at all healthy for your husband to be your only friend, and I don't think he should be your whole life.  He should be a huge part of it, but not the center.  Especially when he's proven that he can't be trusted.  Go out of the house.  Take some classes (fitness, hobby, etc.).  Join a club.  Do something where you force yourself to get out there and be social with other ladies.

Other than that, I think you and your husband should go to counseling.  I know that probably sounds like a generic reply, but it's true.  Couples counseling and individual counseling.

What has your husband done to try to prove this emotional affair is over?  Has he blocked her number?  Cut off all contact?  Told her to leave him alone?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-18-2013

So sorry you are going through this. I am only 5 weeks into this so I may not be much help.  I can say, this is the hardest thing I have ever experienced, but it does get better each day.  We have talked more and been more intimate than we have in years. We have decidedto work it out. In some odd way, going through a horrible trauma like this and deciding we still choose eachother is kind of powerful.  I went nuts the first three weeks or so....endless questions,crying, feeli g worthless, the whole thing.  But I found bei g with him and allowing him to hold me and love me did help, so if you feel like being intimate, go ahead, if you feel like being alone, go ahead.  There is no right or wrong reaction, its your pain and its so sudden it's impossible to say you are grieving the right or wrong way. Hang tough,keep us updafed and take care of are stronger than

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-18-2013
Sorry for all the typos, I am on my iPad at the airport!
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2013

Thanks for your kind words.  I enrolled in school yesterday to begin taking classes this summer.  I was heading that direction anyway, before this ever happened.  I was debating the direction my life was taking and so I think on some level I knew something had to change, obviously.  I almost had decided not to keep the appointment to meet with the advisor, why, I do not know.  But, I know that my life needs to change.  I know that my husband shouldn't be my whole world.  But, I also didn't think he would ever do this to me.  I think starting school is going to give me confidence and possibly connections with people that I need.  I don't know what's going to happen with this marriage.  It's just really hard to deal when it's this new.   But thank you for offering your thoughts and words of experience. 

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

  time to get yourself out of the "poor me wallowing".  It is not productive.  Look at the unrealistic reaction.  You must realize that a pen pal is mvery different from a full blown sexual affair.  I read many posts of where one or the other is going thru life and has no clue as to how the other is feeling.  Many people feel devalued by their supposed partner.  Modern relationships put a great deal of pressure on the individuals involved.  Many forget in the day to day that they have another person in the relationship. 

PS:    h did nothing to you.  It is important to comprehend that fact.  It is good that you are attending school.  What are you styding?

   By the way look up romance fraud.  Many people get "catfished".  The mind will construct emotional ties when none really exist.  In your case you imagination may be running wild.  Since they have not met what are you thinking? 

 "  Because I am supposed to believe that you are holding a secret relationship in which there is no physical and no visual or even verbal contact for eight or nine of the first years of this and then only texts for the past year?  And yet, it was so important that you had to hide it from me and it turned sexual for what reason then??"

  Yes.  This is very common.  people many time are not working on the primary relationship because they allow it to be at the bottom of the to do list.     Even if he had the verbal ability to tell you how he felt would you have been receptive?  Now even a phony rival has you in a tizzy! 

  Look at the reality, he found someone to talk to. 

  What the upshot is your world got a wake up call.  Time to start the home fires again. 

      What it appears happened that his friend overstepped the boundaries.  Perhaps she needed to feel cared for,sexy etc.  A long friendship gets more leeway than a short one.  But this is really about you.  You need to step up to the plate.  But if you think you can brow beat your husband then perhaps you need to think twice.  Most men are not as verbal as women.  Continuing this course is not functional.  Want to figure it out?

  h has a friend

 h's friend is female

  In the last year she has constructed in her mind a image that is not real

   H does not know how to handle it

  The "friend" up the stakes

   You snoop and get upset

   you wallow in the emotional upsetment

    You get to emote negatively toward h

    yet you write:

       " I have basically thrown myself at him like a cat in heat.  I basically want to erase everything that happened and I am willing to do every dirty thing to make that happen  and then afterwards, I feel like such a piece of garbage."

   What do you mean by dirty thing?




Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

  I tried to edit but it did not work.

     " But, I know that my life needs to change.  I know that my husband shouldn't be my whole world.  But, I also didn't think he would ever do this to me."   He did nothing TO you.  If anything his friend stepped over the line.  For many people that would be very difficult to handle.  If the roles were reversed what would you do? 

My grandmother had a saying: " the gitee,giftee geasa to see our selves as others see us"


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008

If you just found out about this on Friday and since then have enrolled in classes for this summer, then I think you are doing much better than you might believe.  So many of us are either so freakin' angry or hurt or scared we can't move.  He's doing many of the "usual" crap heard on these boards, trying to blame you for him having an emotional affair - so common to say he wanted more sex, blah blah blah.  If there are problems, you get HELP for the problems.  What you do not do is have an affair like this.  It's not about you, you must realize that, so stop the humiliating behavior where you are pretty much on your knees trying to get him to stay.  It doesn't matter what his media has been, e-mail, texting, calls, it's all the same - he cheated.  You need to take a scary but necessary step here, telling him he can either have her or he can have you, but you aren't putting up with any contact with her ever again.  And then he does his part and does exactly that, including being totally transparent with all of his e-mail, phones, everything, you get access to everything 24/7 for as long as it takes.  The trick is knowing if he's really doing it or not, sometimes they merely go underground to continue contact, it's a common dilemma.  You NEED counseling - lots of clinics work on a sliding scale and in the state I live in, almost all of the insurance groups cover it - in fact many don't even require a referral for counseling - you just set up an appointment and go.  I think you are esp. in need of counseling, for one good reason - the fact you even MENTIONED killing yourself is a red flag, it's a sign no good therapist would ever ignore.  No relationship is worth that.  Of course you're drowning - those of us who made pretty much the same mistake and made the guy the planet we orbit learn later on that's no way to live.  Pretty much every word you wrote points directly to counseling, you need help, more than you're going to find here, no one here is a pro. 


Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004


So you're both in your 40s, if I do the math based on your age when you started dating your husband. Dangerous time for both men and women, the 40s. The kids are grown and launched or nearly so, all the time, energy, and money you spent on them you now can channel elsewhere. I agree with the others here that your husband's "reasons" for turning to this other woman are the usual hogwash: don't believe them. Rotten excuse for seeking gratification elsewhere. He knows better, he just doesn't want to admit he likes the attention.

You're doing the smart thing by getting busy to reinvent yourself. You'll always be a mom and a grandmother, and you're also a human being with individual needs as well. Now you can focus on them.

I predict, if you return to school and get busy reinventing yourself, your husband will notice and it may bring him up short. Because here's the other truth about the "wandering spouse:" The figure you'll always be there to come home to and take them back after they screw up. I'm not suggesting you separate or divorce. I'm saying he's figuring you're going to be the same person even when he's changed. He's in a for a surprise.

You can use this transition to your advantage. He's either going to beg you to "stay the same" and not develop yourself, or he's going to leave the marriage. Thing is, if the girlfriend is married herself and is promising to leave her husband for him (which wouldn' surprise me) he's a bigger fool than she is. She's not going to leave her husband and if he leaves you? Well, he might find himself standing alone, in the rain, on the sidewalk with nowhere to go. 

I do encourage you to find some counseling. If you have a Community Mental Health Service in your area, they usually offer low cost counseling. Or, if you have a religious affiliation, seek counsel there. 

Good luck. It's no fun to be betrayed. The best thing you can do is pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get busy being the person you want to be. If that doesn't get his attention, then he deserves what he gets.

Oh, and if he's serious about "nothing happened" he should NEVER TALK TO HER AGAIN. EVER. For any reason! If that contact doesn't stop then the relationship doesn't stop.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012

The first thing you need to come to grips with is that the pain is there for a reason. It has been summoned to do a job and until that job is done, it is there to focus your attention.  It will diminish over time and the rate of that diminishment is predicated upon the amount of work you both do to repair your marriage.  Right now, you're going to have to just submit yourself to the process. There is no going around or getting out of it. You must go through it in order to get to the other side.

The last thing a cheated partner wants to hear about is that they've got some work to do on their relationship--I know I didn't--they feel that they'd done nothing to bring about the breech and to some extent, that is true.  Cheating is always a selfish move; it starts and ends with the one who did the cheating. He has opened up a place in his intimacy that is supposed to be exclusive only to you as his spouse and this event has cheapened what it is you're supposed to have to yourself.  What's the point of it if he's an emotional doorknob? (everyone gets a turn at it)

The "dirty sex" you are now doing, IMO, that's a move of desperation and needs to stop. It's destructive to you and the marriage.  Any "sex out of spite" is destructive to your psyche.  Maintain your dignity and grace.  If you were predisoposed to that kind of sex with him before this even happened, tha'ts one thing. But to bring it out now is rendering the exact feelings you are wrestling with after the deed is done.

The hardest thing you're going to have to deal with is forgiving him. I did not say "forget what he did and act like nothing is wrong". Let's be clear on that.  But the person who is flailing around the most right now is you.  Forgiving releases you from a prison and being at the emotional mercy of this event.  It takes away the power that this has over you and your life.  As long as you choose not to, it will rule you.  It is not easy to do; the easy thing to do is to remain right where you are but you know what? Eventually, the only one who will be there will be you, as everyone else will have moved on.

 He needs to hear you out without kneecapping what you're saying, and you do, too.   I understand that you don't have the funds for therapy, but unless you really just don't want your marriage, you cannot afford not to find someone who can accomodate what you can pay on a sliding scale.

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008

I wrote this up some time ago, I hope it can be of some use.

Click here.

my best



We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.