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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know everyone’s circumstances are different, and I don’t mean to generalize here. After spending a year on this site and seeing all of the heart-wrenching, soul-crushing scenarios that so many good people have endured, I feel pretty strongly that most of the stories told here will share the same sad ending.

For the blindsided, faithful spouse: There are many things you can come-back from in a marriage, but infidelity is not one of them. An EA will almost certainly become a PA. Once they cheat, it becomes easier the next time. Your spouse will begin to believe the lies he or she has told you, and become genuinely upset when you push-back or question them. They will back-into reasons why they did what they did (which are almost always your fault), they will revise history and tell you that they cheated because YOU left them no choice, YOU didn’t pay enough attention, etc... To be fair, there are most likely things you have done to add to their unhappiness. This does not give them the right to cheat on you. They are further empowered by the person they are cheating on you with, who will undoubtedly agree and support their warped view of things.

I caught my wife, she swore it was over and deleted him as a friend on Facebook. Of course, she just created a phony account to continue the affair underground. Facebook is evil! There are so many games and applications that allow texting, you can never really control or monitor it. Which begs the question, do you really want to spend the rest of your life checking her email/Facebook/phone? What kind of life is that?

Here is what worked for me. I hadn’t been happy for a long time, but never felt it was hopeless. I went to IC to see if my expectations were unreasonable. I specifically sought-out a female therapist. Once I began to vent, I realized that I had settled for a mediocre, mundane life. That is on-me. I also realized I could have done some things better or differently. Don’t expect your spouse to come to their senses. They wont. You have to become angry that someone could treat you so badly. Don’t blame yourself, just vow to make you a better you. Don’t let it the anger become venomous, but use it as fuel to push you through this. You have to become Spock-like. No emotion. Get in shape; go out with friends, laugh, and bond with your kids. This is where the 180 has tremendous value. For you only. It won’t bring them back.

I have two kids that are going to be affected. I know they will be ok, we’ll both be in their lives. I am so genuinely excited about the future. I feel more alive than ever. My wife, she has hitched her wagon to a divorced clown with three kids who lives at home with his mother. (I might have a different view if it was a doctor or lawyer! ) Never, ever settle. So many people get hung up on the vows, or the “but I love her/him”. I think a lot of times this translates to “I don’t know any other way and this is what I’m supposed to feel”. It’s not. Don’t stay because of kids, and don’t stay because you think you have to. Don’t allow yourself to become plan B. Once your spouse cheats, the rules change. In your favor….

I don’t mean to pontificate, and I realize some people can forgive an move on. Pain can be turned into new beginnings…
 

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Matt Matt, what are you doing up at this time!

And George, yes I agree, all things have to turn to a positive. All bad things are an education. I am so glad in so many ways that I am now an educated person in what is what with infidelity...but most importantly lying, manipulation, what I will and what I won't put up with. This last year has been a truly eye opening and educational experience.

And all turns out ok in the end!
 
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I have to agree with you it's always hard the first time. I just hope it's different in my case.
 

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Truer words were never spoken; you said it better than I ever could. Every BS here should read your posting, including those who are considering reconciliation or consider themselves reconciled. People here are dealing with such pain, trying to put back together marriages that have been pissed on by their spouses and destroying what's left of their self respect in the process.
 

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George, there are a lot of generalities in your post. Check out a thread called "Reconciliation." They are not all success stories, but there are many, and those who've not been successful are still working on it.

A marriage is not hopeless after an affair.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hope Springs, that is why I said everyone has different circumstances in my opening sentence. I don't believe anything is ever really hopeless. I took your advice and visited that thread, and it really just reaffirms how I feel. Lots of tortured souls hoping, wanting, and praying for a reconciliation that never seems to come. So very few actually achieving it. I do think it is important to try, so if it is the end, you know you have given it every opportunity to work. I'm glad that I did.

Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder what exactly these people hope to save? The time to try and save things is before someone gives up and cheats. Now add in an affair on top of the pre-existing problems that opened the door to the cheating. Not a very promising landscape IMHO. I think many feel it's easier to try and repair what has been most comfortable and familar to them for so many years. I totally understand that feeling. Who the heck wants start from scratch again?

I'm sure some people much better than myself can truly forgive. Do they sleep as peacefully as they did before the affair? I'll bet they don't. How could they? Can you ever really look at the cheating spouse the same way again?

I swore I wouldn't become "bitter divorced guy". I believe in miracles, love and marriage. I root for the underdog. I just think I see a pattern in all of these sad, sad stories... This is a very humbling road to travel.
 

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..... I wonder what exactly these people hope to save? The time to try and save things is before someone gives up and cheats. Now add in an affair on top of the pre-existing problems that opened the door to the cheating. Not a very promising landscape IMHO. I think many feel it's easier to try and repair what has been most comfortable and familar to them for so many years. I totally understand that feeling. Who the heck wants start from scratch again?

I'm sure some people much better than myself can truly forgive. Do they sleep as peacefully as they did before the affair? I'll bet they don't. How could they? Can you ever really look at the cheating spouse the same way again? .....
Astute observations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
An emotional affair is a physical affair waiting to happen. It starts as what the future cheater considers harmless flirting, then sharing problems and intimate secrets, inside jokes, etc.. The natural progression is for it to become physical. In some ways, the EA seems almost more intimate/offensive, as weird as that sounds... What do I know? If I was so smart, I wouldn't be here... Just venting, I guess...
 

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Truer words were never spoken; you said it better than I ever could. Every BS here should read your posting, including those who are considering reconciliation or consider themselves reconciled. People here are dealing with such pain, trying to put back together marriages that have been pissed on by their spouses and destroying what's left of their self respect in the process.
Gee, thanks. Now excuse me while I go back to destroying my self respect.

:D

I came back, my marriage is the best it has been, and I feel pretty good about myself and my wife. Doesn't work for everyone, but why do you need to tear down those of us who successfully reconcile?
 

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I think it's funny when people who choose not to reconcile think it's impossible to do so. There are quite a few people on here that have done it.

However, I completely respect those that don't want to try and decide infidelity is too much to overcome.

For example, BS's that continue to reconcile with serial cheaters (defined as cheating 2x or more) are people I do not understand. However one ONS, or an EA that never got physical. That, to me, is a salvagable situation in many cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't want to make assumptions without knowing the details of your situation. I also don't want to speak for Middleman, but I think you may have misinterpreted his message. There are so many possible scenarios regarding infidelity experiences, there will always be exceptions to the rule. If it is working for you, great. I would encourage you to share what worked if you are comfortable with that. However, I think the successes are few and far between, just based on the threads on TAM. I would be curious to know where your trust level is now. Do you share passwords, check her email, etc..?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Gabriel, I don't think it is impossible. I just think people confuse living with or accepting the infidelity with actually truly forgiving that it happened. I really believe you can say all the right things (i forgive, lets get by this), but it is ALWAYS going to be there. It can be ignored, but it will always be lurking somewhere in your mind or heart. It's just human nature...
 

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I don't want to make assumptions without knowing the details of your situation. I also don't want to speak for Middleman, but I think you may have misinterpreted his message. There are so many possible scenarios regarding infidelity experiences, there will always be exceptions to the rule. If it is working for you, great. I would encourage you to share what worked if you are comfortable with that. However, I think the successes are few and far between, just based on the threads on TAM. I would be curious to know where your trust level is now. Do you share passwords, check her email, etc..?
My story is too long and too old to rehash fully. We are working through things. So far, I'm glad we are. Starting over doesn't appeal to me at this stage. But who knows what will happen. My eyes are more wide open, I'm more mature as a partner. That also means that if we end up not making it, I'll be fine. But I'd rather work it out. I've laid down the law and respect myself just fine. But I'm also prepared to leave the marriage if need be.
 

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Gabriel, I don't think it is impossible. I just think people confuse living with or accepting the infidelity with actually truly forgiving that it happened. I really believe you can say all the right things (i forgive, lets get by this), but it is ALWAYS going to be there. It can be ignored, but it will always be lurking somewhere in your mind or heart. It's just human nature...
FG, of course it's always there somewhere. Bottom line is you make a choice, a bet with yourself. I decided to put the rest of my chips in one more time with my marriage, given I am pot-committed to it. I've invested lots of love, money, time, energy into my wife and she with me. We've decided to let it ride rather than get new cards, because we both know we like what we have. Pain is there (and decreasing all the time), but it would be there anyway if we divorced, plus more, new pains would be added.

At the same time, if she got too close with some other guy after all of this, it would be very easy for me to let her go. But I really don't think she would do that again, given the rough road we've survived thus far.
 

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Hope Springs, that is why I said everyone has different circumstances in my opening sentence. I don't believe anything is ever really hopeless. I took your advice and visited that thread, and it really just reaffirms how I feel. Lots of tortured souls hoping, wanting, and praying for a reconciliation that never seems to come. So very few actually achieving it. I do think it is important to try, so if it is the end, you know you have given it every opportunity to work. I'm glad that I did.

Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder what exactly these people hope to save? The time to try and save things is before someone gives up and cheats. Now add in an affair on top of the pre-existing problems that opened the door to the cheating. Not a very promising landscape IMHO. I think many feel it's easier to try and repair what has been most comfortable and familar to them for so many years. I totally understand that feeling. Who the heck wants start from scratch again?

I'm sure some people much better than myself can truly forgive. Do they sleep as peacefully as they did before the affair? I'll bet they don't. How could they? Can you ever really look at the cheating spouse the same way again?

I swore I wouldn't become "bitter divorced guy". I believe in miracles, love and marriage. I root for the underdog. I just think I see a pattern in all of these sad, sad stories... This is a very humbling road to travel.
My bottom line.

The affair still hurts, but she is worth the pain. The joy outweighs it.

I judge the risk of her cheating again to be less than the risk of someone new cheating or otherwise not working out.

This is all incredibly personal to my situation, and would certainly not apply to everyone who gets cheated on.
 

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I judge the risk of her cheating again to be less than the risk of someone new cheating or otherwise not working out.
How does that work? Logically speaking.


Is it that you either refuse to believe that there are better women out there or do you believe yourself incapable of attracting such women?

Btw, i'm very pro marriage.... just so long as someone doesn't defecate all over it by having an affair.
 

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George, there are a lot of generalities in your post. Check out a thread called "Reconciliation." They are not all success stories, but there are many, and those who've not been successful are still working on it.

A marriage is not hopeless after an affair.
The people posting in that thread are still only months out from DDay. So far I've seen only a handful of people who are years out of the affair and seem to be doing fineon this site. Want to ask me how many aren't successfully reconciled?

Truth is there are many who are willing to reconcile, sadly, willingness does not lead to a favorable outcome.

"A marriage is not hopeless after an affair"

Greatest lie ever sold by marital therapists. A marriage is absolutely sh!tty after an affair, its not even a marriage anymore. That statement is said time and time again so counselors can milk money out of their clients whilst giving them crappy advice.
 

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How does that work? Logically speaking.


Is it that you either refuse to believe that there are better women out there or do you believe yourself incapable of attracting such women?

Btw, i'm very pro marriage.... just so long as someone doesn't defecate all over it by having an affair.
The way you pose the question implies that I am being illogical, that I am deliberately not accepting the many better choices that are out there, or that I think I am the ugliest man since Quasimodo. I don't accept your premise.

I have never met a better woman, by my tastes. They may be out there, but I haven't met one. I have met other women I could have a relationship with, but none I would prefer to my wife. This is personal taste. She is a human being who happens to be deeply compatible with me. The relationship works. I also think she is stunningly beautiful and amazing, though you might not. Were I to divorce, my desire would be for the next relationship to just be close to as good as what I have.

Not particularly worried about attracting other women. I have had my share of interested females over the years.

I believe some people have a conscience, but fall into affairs because they get caught up in circumstances and don't know how to handle them, while others really think cheating is perfectly acceptable. My wife is definitely in the first group, and I believe she has learned from her mistake and is unlikely to repeat it. Therefore she is a better risk than someone who is yet to make the mistake, or find that the next partner believes in cheating and manages to hide that from me.

Nothing excuses her affair. She knows that. But I will give her credit for the hard yards she has done in rebuilding over many years.

As a side comment, I am older. I have children and grandchildren with my wife and a lifetime of shared experiences and memories. I wouldn't stay in a bad marriage just for that, but even if I met another equally good partner I can never have those same shared experiences.
 
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