A kind note to betrayed spouses from one who has been there

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2002
A kind note to betrayed spouses from one who has been there
Sat, 03-16-2013 - 3:51am

I found out my husband had been cheating on me, from what I believe to be an act of God.  One day I simply got an idea in my head for no apparent reason, to check our phone bill.  My husband traveled a lot for his business, but I never ever suspected anything until that seed of questioning was, out of the blue, placed in my head.

I checked the phone bill in front of me and sure enough there were many many calls to a single number.  My heart raced and I became so nauseated.  Something inside of me told me there was something very wrong, despite the fact I had NEVER suspected a thing. I called the number and immediately recognized the voice.  His secretary.

I immediately drove the two and one-half hours away to confront him. (But first, of course, I dressed up in a sexy dress and high heels).  I went flying into his office screaming mad.  He took me by the elbow and led me outside where he admitted he had been having a year long intimate relationship with his 19 year old secretary,  (I was 25 and he was 31).  I wanted to run back inside and assualt that secretary, but restrained myself and drove the two and one half hours home.

I was absolutely devasted.  I could not work, eat, bathe, anything.  I thought to myself: why would he choose this young, skinny, ignorant, ugly, poor girl over me?  I was everything she was not: pretty, social, smart, well-educated, etc.

I spent hours, days going thru his credit card statements in which i found receipts for Victoria's Secret, flowers, and water, electric and heating payments for her apartment.  I drank day and night, and splipped into near maddness trying to figure out what she had that I didn't.

Finally, I decided to see a psychiatrist.  He put me on Paxil and recommended group counseling as well as individual counseling.  I stuck with it and within three to four weeks, I began to see things much clearer.  I was again reasonable and could analyze the situation with clarity.

What I realized first of all was that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me.  I was a great person and a good  'catch'.  I also concluded that this young,unattractive, rather ignorant girl was providing the intangable things to my husband that I was not.

This girl spent time listening to my husband's problems.  She made him feel like he was special because her focus was entirely on him.  She gazed at him in awe for his intelligence and position.  And of course she liked the cash flow.

As much as I hated this little whore, I realized that it had been a long time since I gave my husband a chance to 'tell me about your day".  I was a professioonal myself and had my own agenda.  I also realized that he was not my focus, he was just my accessory.  By the time he got home in the evenings, I was tired and uninterested in his day, his problems, his accomplishments.  And I was way too tired for sex.

Turns out, I finally realized what he needed.  But not at the expense of my self-respect.  I simply began to think about how if I were him, what I would want in a partner to make me happy and complete.

In the end, he really didn't need all that much.  He liked a hug when he came in the door and a chance at some point to tell me about his day. He enjoyed snuggling with me and began staying home more and more for business,  He needed me to throw him a compliment now and then and plan a nice night out for the two of us once a week. He enjoyed the little things I would suggest like a walk in the park, building a snowman, taking a bubble bath. In return, I evenually got a fired secretary.  Not only that but I got a man who to this day treats me like a princess.  He and I make it a priority to spend time together alone once or twice a week, despite having four beautiful  busy children.

So I guess my point here is several-fold: Firstly: trust your instincts.  Oddly enough they (your instincts) can guide you, but you must have some sort of proof as well.  Secondly, if you suspect cheating, confront your spouse, but not with knife in hand.  Try to be as calm as possible, but also have solid evidence in hand.  If you don't have evidence, don't confront. 

Then decide. Do you want this man back or not?  In my case, I was desperate to have my man back initially.  BUt after my meds and counseling kicked in I was in a much stronger position to determin the situation on my own terms.

Bottom line: My husband and I have worked thru the affair and have now been married 20 years.  BUT I do not ever take him for granted, and he in turn does not take me for granted either.  This meaning we appreciate each others presence everyday of our lives.  We give what it is we want to receive.  

Hope this helps.  Big warm hugs and much love.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-20-2013

Thank you for this post. Just what I needed to hear today. I found out 2 weeks ago only.  semi similar situation I have my good and bad moments bad one at the moment lol