Confused About How I'm Reacting

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2010
Confused About How I'm Reacting
Sat, 05-01-2010 - 2:22pm

I'm looking for anyone like me -

Found out almost 3 weeks ago that my husband had an A.
I knew for several hours thinking about when and how to confront him. Decided to do it respectfully (taking the highroad). Simple told him what I knew and he admitted everything. He ended it 2 months before I found out. He never wanted me to know (duh)and is sorry it happened and for the pain it is causing me, and him.

Of course I'm HURT and SAD and PISSED and I shouldn't even want him to touch me, but I do. It's like I need to be validated that he is choosing me over her. That he wants to be with ME.

Things in general have been better with us in the past 3 weeks than they have been in a VERY long time. It's like there is nothing that we can't be talked about - I ask, he answers (even though he is right, that I don't want to know details, but I do). Before knowing we were fighting about anything and everything. I could ask a simple answer and get my head bit off. His guilt was making him pick fights with me, rather than treat me better because of what he did. I'm mad about that too - like he was pushing me to leave him so he wouldn't be the bad guy - but that's another 'branch' of this crazy tree I'm up!

We have been to one session of marriage counseling - I had actually made the appointment before I knew about the A and we wanted to work on other issues (which all come back to the A that I didn't know about!) It went fine, but the first session is the 'here is why we are here' more than 'here is how I can help you'.

Each night we are reading out loud together "His Needs, Her Needs: How to Affair Proof Your Marriage" It's helping open up some dialog between us and helping us realize that we both were not meeting the other persons needs. Read it, I highly recommend it.

So, that leaves me to feeling this - Have I let him off too easy? I'm not a raging bitch 24/7 that won't let him touch me - in fact we are touching more than ever (but no intercourse yet - my rule). I've told a few close friends, but no family. He told one person that knew about the A, that I now know, and they are surprised how well I'm taking it.

I'm mad! and I'm REALLY REALLY hurt and so sad, but I have to put that aside to be a mother, an employee and a normal person to the rest of the world. It's like having a tragic event happen,like a death, but you can't tell everyone and get the support you need or at least have a real reason when you aren't your jolly happy self. I'm not the kind of person that hold back emotion, but I don't want people to know - I want to protect what we are trying to work on.

I mention to my husband 'do you feel I let you off easy?' and he said 'no, because I will always have to live with what I did to you'. He seems like a victim some of the time - like him dealing with loosing her - or the 'high' of the 'A' is worse than the pain I am going through.

I feel like I should have made him 'suffer' more - kicked him out, made him beg to get me back - but if we are going to work on, and rebuild this marriage that doesn't seem like a healthy start.

I used to love alone time - in the car especially, but that is now the worst time for me. I think about the reality and see 'them' in my head (I know the other woman). I want to wake up from this nightmare like it didn't really happen, but I know that this is now my new 'normal'

Anyone else not 'kick him to the curb' and closer than before? What I've read here is all the hurt and anger and abanishment of the spouse and wonder if I'm just insane for the way I'm dealing with this.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2010
Sat, 05-01-2010 - 11:08pm

I don't think you're doing anything wrong.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2004
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 12:25am
every situation is different. You are doing just fine for the both of you. Dont worry about what others are doing... If this is working for you then keep going. Your doing just fine.

Edited 5/3/2010 10:25 am ET by cl-missybee837
Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 10:17am

What is the reason behind your "rule" of no intercourse?

As a male, I question your controling attitude, and will tell you that men look at sex as a emotional part of being close. As we age, and sex becomes less frequent, closeness is hard enough to maintain.

He may very well think you are closing him off, and what is the use of trying if there is always going to be a wall to climb over.

If he can't be emotionally and sexually attached to you, he may very well go looking again.

I think you are making a mistake.

We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2010
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 2:13pm

The 'rule' about having intercourse is just because I'm hurting from finding out he has betrayed me, and our marriage for the past 2 years. I had to go to the doctor to be tested because he was having unprotected sex and it was discovered that I had an infection - so I needed that to heal and It's a need to protect myself and figure out how I feel about moving forward. He understands and actually can't believe I want him to touch me at all after what he did! We have a get-a-way this coming weekend and that is when we both know that we will start having intercourse again. It's been nice to be able to touch, cuddle, connect, and talk.

Woman need affection - men need sex. I get that he NEEDS sex. He's hurt me more than I could ever know I could be hurt by him and excuse me if that doesn't make me want to jump right into bed with him. We are building this relationship back up.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2010
Mon, 05-03-2010 - 1:06pm

Dear Q54321,

I am going through the same thing, Except my H was with the OW for 4 years, that first year he was having this A was the worst for me. I knew there was an OW involved but never in my wildest dreams did I think it was an A. I thought I was over reacting to his friendship to a co-worker. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel so stupid, betrayed and wonder why I even want to try and make it work, yet I do. Not just for the kids either. Yes, I use to enjoy solitude and now it just makes me think too much so I keep busy. I don't like to listen to the radio, I am afraid to listen to love songs, which use to be my favorite kind of songs. I hate my new reality. I too am reading His Needs, Her Needs. I'm a little compulsive because I bought 3 books and 1 on CD. We both are reading them and will begin 5 Steps to Romantic Love when we understand the questionnaires better. You are not alone. Your post could have been written by me. Except I knew about it for a week before I confronted him and I by no means took the high road. I woke him up in the middle of the night and told him if he wanted to f**k this woman he could pack up and get the f**k out. Yet of course he said it wasn't physical and even if that's true it's worse than a PA because that means he couldn't get emotional support from me which I thought I was giving in abundance. Yet when I asked what I wasn't doing or giving him he said I was doing everything right, he just didn't see it until now. Somehow he conveniently missed all I was doing for him and sometimes it would irritate him when I was doing things for him. Probably a guilty conscience. I don't know, but things are better than ever, he is trying beyond measure and I am loving the attention. It freaks me out sometimes, because I'm not use to it. I also hate the reason why he is acting so well. I'm up, I'm down, some days great, others in the crapper. I do hate Dr. Harley's theory of treating the WS with kid gloves to keep him from leaving but, I do hate treating him badly in any case yet it stinks to hear a professional say some of the things he does about cheating spouses. All I can say is good luck!! We have close ddays and similar reactions. Best of Luck to both of us.


"Do unto others as you would have done to you"


Hurts have taught me never to give up loving Be willing to take another risk and chance, otherwise tomorrow may be empty.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2010
Thu, 05-06-2010 - 11:01am

Confused - it is really nice to read your post as I have been searching these boards for anyone in a similar situation as me! It's been almost 5 months since D-day and I found out from a "revenge" email from the OW after he cut off communication with her for good. It's been a wild ride of emotions but I too feel like things have slowly gotten better between us. And that includes physically also! I was feeling the same way - wondering if I am reacting the "right" way but keep reminding myself that everyone's situation is unique and I have to do what feels right to me and me alone. Now don't get me wrong, I still struggle everyday with the stupid questions like "what if it happens again" or "is he thinking about her right now" especially during that alone time. We still have a lot to talk about but I can generally keep myself from obsessing over the details because I know that doesn't change anything that happened in the past or the future. We are not in MC, we tried a couple sessions and both felt it was not useful and I am not a big book-advice believer. But I do still struggle with how to bring the A back up and talk about it in the context of moving forward when things are so good between us. He gets VERY depressed and remorseful thinking about it so I am trying to figure out how to have what I feel are the last couple "real talks" about it in order for me to keep moving forward.

I agree that people like me and you seem few and far between on these boards but just because we may handle the situation differently, we still hurt the same! And hopefully it's nice to know that you are not alone (it is for me anyway, so thanks!).

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2010
Thu, 05-06-2010 - 3:20pm


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2007
Thu, 05-06-2010 - 4:34pm

Hi my case is similar to yours. I am now 1yr almost 2 mos since Dday. I was happily married for 20yrs. We had a good relationship, good sex life, did most things together. On Dday I just decided to look at my husbands email that was minimized on our laptop right after he stepped out of the room. There was a brand new email from OW. This is

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Thu, 05-06-2010 - 6:51pm

"even though he is right, that I don't want to know details, but I do"

This is a sticky issue. Every time I found out about what she and one of the men actually did, it really crushed me and is still the hardest thing to get over. I think you should really consider having that conversation in front of the shrink.

There is two ways to find out about this sort of information. One is when she said it flippantly like, “When I got to his place we would just go right at it ..." or when I pieced it together like, "last time you told me about this you said you just kissed him outside of your cars while waiting for them to warm up after work. I just heard you say that you kissed him IN the car.”

The less painful way to find out is when it’s said with regret. “I know I told you that nothing happened with Seth, but we did kiss and he did reach up my shirt and I felt disrespected by him when he did that. I’m sorry I brought this into our lives. I wished I had never done this.”

The first way is brutal because it emphasizes and perpetrates the hurt behind the lies and created new issues for me to obsess over. It reinforced the idea that I don’t really know what’s going on and leaves open in my mind that the madness may not actually be over.

The second way is really interesting. My spouse told me some really awful stuff, but it was said in a way that we were friends and she was confiding in a friend about how she really messed up. It left me feelings that she wasn’t lying anymore. It left me with the feeling that when she told me she was not with, flirting, pursuing another man, and that she now knew that it was a mistake, that this really was the truth. And I didn’t find myself obsessing about what she told me.

I think people are capable of forgiving a great deal. But they have to help form the environment for that forgiveness to be possible. And that’s on him, not you. It sounds like he’s trying. I hope that continues for you.


I have 5 kids ages 16-10. Our D Day was August, 2008.


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

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Tue, 05-11-2010 - 3:45pm

I am like you... My Dday was a week ago today. The OW is the one that made sure to tell me. My husband had told her that day that the one time they were together a week before was a mistake and would never happen again. He told her he would not talk to her again or see her again. We had some things stored in her garage and he told her they would be out within the next 2 days. She told him that she would tell me about what they did and that he would come running to her after I threw him out. All of this on text messages. That night she started texting him again and me as well. He denied it all at first but then finally did admit it when he knew I was not going to back off at all and he had no choice. I then started going through his phone and saw the whole thing. I was never the jealous type so he didnt bother to even try to hide it! She told me that she owed no apology since she was honest and that he should have known what would happen if he was alone with a woman that hadnt been with a man for a while. She had actually come on to him several times in the prior months but he told her no. He said that it was flattering though for her to pursue him. He is about to turn 50 and he said it just felt good even if it made him feel guilty. She is the mother of our 17 yo son's gf for about a year now. She would ask my H to come and fix things. We did feel obligated since she stored some things for us in her garage and she charged us nothing. But I had a bad feeling about her. I should have listened more to my gut!

He is a recovering alcoholic and lapsed for 2 weeks. He was hiding it from me and drinking over at her house when replacing the bathroom plumbing in her house. In the two weeks the A happened he said they kissed a couple of times. Then the final day he was over there he drank alot. He said that he slept with her that day. He knew immediately he really had gone off the deep end. He went to a meeting that night and every day after. He avoided her calls for the next week. She actually told our son then that they were "seeing each other. Because and she was no liar she was going to let me know about it. My son was devastated! He confronted his father and my H told him there was NOT going to be any relationship with her. He had no intention of leaving me or anything like that and would be doing everything in his power to keep us together!

My son now hates her..the relationship with his gf is strained to say the least. My H and I are trying to put the pieces together the best we can. I hate being alone as well. That is why I searched for this board. No one knows but me, my H and unfortunately our son. My daughters and our youngest have no idea and that is how I want to keep it. It is not as hard since they are grown and live on their own. Our youngest is 10 but he is unaware.

I am struggling so hard with this. I feel like I will boil over at any moment. I know it was very short lived and I even get why it happened, but it makes things no easier. I know he is sorry. I do... I know he loves me..I also believe him when he tells me he hates her for hurting his family. He also knows that he is responsible for giving her the power to do that. He was the one that did this.

He now calls me on every break at work. Calls me as soon as he starts home and comes straight home. It is hard for him since he feels like he is "checking in" but he does understand why it is so important. He just keeps telling me that we will get through this and he loves me with all his heart. I have to admit that I am just now getting to the point where I am listening to him at all.

When we got married it was for better or worse. I just hope we can get back to the better. I love this man. I know he isnt perfect. Im not either. We just have to make sure we are strong enough so that this can never happen again.

I am glad I found this board. I really needed to get this out. Like I said, no one else knows about it and I would be so humiliated if they did. People are so quick to judge and tell you to leave. They hold grudges as well. As angry as I am at my H, I am not in the mood for my family or friends to bash him. He is human and he has made a horrible mistake. Until a person walks in the shoes of another, it is hard to understand. I can actually understand why it was so flattering to him. I have put myself in his shoes and I can see how he would feel that way. Especially when I know he has been struggling with his age. Falling off the wagon didnt help either. She was aware he was an alcoholic too.

I think she is a lonely pathetic excuse of a woman that wants a man to take care of her. She is losing her house and has been unemployed for a while. My husband does make pretty good money and she knows that. He is also a very handsome man. I know that and believe me my friends have commented on this so it isnt just in the eye of the beholder. I still cant come to grips with her behavior since it was so manipulative. I am thankful atleast that she can no longer have children or I believe she would claim pregancy next.

He recognizes that he was manipulated but he also sees that he gave her that power and he made the wrong choices. That he was the one that cheated. I just pray each day and night that I can get past it somehow and we can come out better and stronger in the end. So atleast SOMETHING positive can come from it!