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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Welcome newbies. I am so sorry that you are here with us now. If you're here, then it's a good chance that your marriage is in big trouble.

If you are a betrayed spouse or think you might be a betrayed spouse let me first say that I know how much it sucks to be where you are right now. Please know first and foremost that the reason that you are here is not your fault. You can't control your spouse as with many things in life but what you can do is control yourself and how you handle yourself when bad things happen.

If you are a disloyal spouse then please know that while you will not get the sympathy that you so crave, what you will get here is good and solid advice to making yourself a better person. I hope you have thick enough skin to stick around and take the comments directed at you and do what's not only right for your spouse and family but for you as well. I commend you for taking what must be a difficult first step by coming here.

Now as to why I am posting this thread-

Recently another forum regular commented to me in a PM how there have been a lot of "returnees" as of late. They came here either initially in other subforums on TAM or directly to this forum and asked for advice regarding either suspicious behavior or because their spouse was likely cheating on them (and some who had cheated themselves).
Some of these posters stayed just a short time worried about suspicions and then returned stating how their spouse was indeed cheating and they didn't believe it at first and wished they listened. Some knew their spouse was cheating but were too scared to take the correct action out of fear of losing their spouse. Some just took a few bits of advice and didn't stay long enough to really understand what to do and how to utilize that advice correctly.

So this thread is not dedicated to giving you advice about your particular situation but rather how to handle the advice you are about to be given on the forum.

The advice you will likely hear will be scary. It will sound counter-intuitive to what you want at times. You will hear words that you never thought you would in context to your marriage like "divorce" or "cheating". The advice given will often be hard to implement and you will also make mistakes doing as such.

The truth is your marriage is already in very big trouble. Drastic times will often call for drastic measures. Also know that often your marriage is often set on a course that you cannot change.
My goal is shared by many of the regular posters here. I am not the one to judge whether or not you should reconcile (R) or divorce (D). I am more interested in getting you to where you are headed faster.

Limbo is hell. It sucks your soul dry. I believe it to be ten times more stressful than getting to an actual resolution, even if that resolution is not what you want.

I am not saying that everyone's advice is perfect. I am not implying we have all the answers. But I can say with confidence, that many of us have experience in similar situations as yours and many of us also have experience generated by becoming regulars to this forum. We have seen quite a lot. We know by experience that there are patterns and scripts in infidelity. We can help you if you take the time carefully consider what we are saying to you and then take that appropriate action.

So I implore you-

don't look to sweep your problem under the rug
don't bury your head in the sand because your problem is not going to go away
listen to what we have to say and take your time implementing it- often we simply react in stressful situations instead of considering options that may be better- and perhaps we can help you find those answers.

Welcome to TAM's coping with infidelity forum- I'm not happy you're here but I will help you as best as I can.


other posters may feel free to link this thread


I am not an owner or operator of TAM
I am not a moderator
This is just my opinion

EDIT: adding some things that should be stickies by Lord Mayhem and Eli Zor to put on the first page:

List of Acronyms of Infidelity so the newbies can follow the infidelity lingo here.

WW = Wayward Wife
WH = Wayward Husband
WS = Wayward Spouse
BH = Betrayed Husband
BW = Betrayed Wife
BS = Betrayed Spouse
LS = Loyal Spouse
DW = Disloyal Wife
DH = Disloyal Husband
DS = Disloyal Spouse
fWW = Former Wayward Wife
fWH = Former Wayward Husband
fWS = Former Wayward Spouse
OM = Other Man
OW = Other Woman
OMW = Other Man’s Wife
OWH = Other Woman’s Husband
AP = Affair Partner
R = Reconciliation
D = Divorce
DDay = Discovery Day
STBXH = Soon To Be Ex Husband
STBXW = Soon To Be Ex Wife
ILYBINILWY = I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You
EA = Emotional Affair
PA = Physical Affair
A = Affair
KISA = Knight In Shining Armor
VAR = Voice Activated Recorder
TT = Trickle Truth
SAHM = Stay At Home Mom
SAHD = Stay At Home Dad
Common Terms/Phrases About Infidelity

Bunny Boiler - taken from the Glenn Close character in 'Fatal Attraction', boiling her Ex'es pet rabbit. After a relationship break up, the person who wants some kind of revenge, like stalking, or harassment

Cake Eater – taken from the common phrase: Having their cake and eating it too. When the WS wants to have the security of marriage while at the same time, enjoy the affair. When the spouses are separated, the WS is described as cake eating when they try to keep in contact with the WS and give them the idea that the marriage can be salvaged, yet they are still carrying on the affair, in essence, keeping the BS on the line as their back up plan. Another term is “on the fence”.

DDay – Otherwise known as Discovery Day. This is the initial period when the BS actually learns of the affair, either through investigation, being informed of the A, or if the WS confesses to the A. The initial pain that occurs on DDay can be indescribable.

Emotional Roller Coaster – a normal result of being betrayed after D-Day. The BS will experience wide swings of emotion after being betrayed. These feelings can change from moment to moment or day to day, or as the result of having a trigger. One moment, the BS will feel extreme anger towards their WS, then the emotion swings the other way and they will feel love toward their WS and feel they cannot live without them.

False R – False Reconciliation is when the WS has kept in contact with the Other Person (OP) and taken the affair underground and the BS discovers the communication, or when the WS breaks No Contact (NC) and it is discovered. This False R is another DDay.

Fishing – due to the extremely strong addiction that an affair brings, one of the affair partners will break NC and attempt to send out a feeler or “fish” for renewed contact. This can be as simple as a “How are you?”, “Are you okay?”, “Miss You”, etc, which can be sent thru email, text, or a brief phone call.

Fog - The term “affair fog” is often used by experts and affair victims to describe the euphoria that someone involved in an affair feels. Think of how good you felt when you first fell in love. During this period, the cheater will often rationalize their actions in order to minimize their feelings of guilt — often to the extent that they “invent” reasons for having the affair in the first place. Healing from infidelity is impossible while one is in this fog.

The wayward spouse may convince themselves that they are in a bad marriage or that their spouse doesn’t really love or understand them, when that really isn’t necessarily the case. Soon the cheating spouse begins to actually believe these lies that they have been telling themselves and therefore act accordingly by treating their spouse badly yet treating their affair partner in a loving and affectionate way. This is how the affair addiction begins to take momentum.

An affair fog is nothing more than a fantasy created by the affair partners. All the wonderful qualities each partner possess are without flaws, weaknesses or selfishness. The affair partners are under the influence of an addictive drug similar to a teenager in love, and unfortunately it is very difficult to remove them from this fog.

The Affair Fog

Hypervigilance – after the emotional devastation of D-Day, the BS often becomes hypervigilant because of the extreme emotional trauma as the result of all trust being broken by the WS. The BS will be watching the WS intensely, looking for any and all threats.

Hysterical Bonding – from the SI website: Upon being confronted with the undeniable reality that their most trusted spouse has betrayed them with another, some BS's experience an overwhelming sexual desire for their wayward spouse. Many couples claim to have had the best, most intense and loving sex of their relationship during the period following the discovery of an affair, (generally a few weeks to several months), often trying new things and experimenting in ways they had never considered before. This phenomenon is termed "Hysterical Bonding.

There is very little information on this phenomenon, but it appears to be a primal, instinctual way for the partners to reconnect and reclaim each other. While it may feel counter-intuitive to the BS; as if they are "rewarding" the WS for the affair, hysterical bonding can be a stepping stone to reconciliation. The intimacy encourages communication and a closeness that may otherwise take some time to re-build.

The occurrence or absence of hysterical bonding does not appear to be an indicator of successful reconciliation. Many other factors, such as the WS's remorse and openness are far more reliable indicators. Hysterical bonding is, however, normal, and nothing for the BS to be alarmed about or ashamed about experiencing. In fact, it has been said it is the one positive in an otherwise long and miserable experience, so enjoy it while it lasts!

Limbo – This is the stage every BS is in on and after DDay. The A can still be ongoing, or it may have already stopped. It’s called limbo because the BS has not moved toward D, and he/she not moved toward R. Only decisive action towards R or D will get the BS out of limbo. Many BSs are in False R because they tried to R too quickly before conditions and requirements for True R are met, and are therefore still in limbo. Being in limbo can be the most agonizing part of discovering an A.

Mind Movies – This is when a BS has flashbacks or imagines what the BS was doing with their AP, such as imagining them texting or talking on the phone, chatting on the computer, and/or imagining their WS having sex with their AP. Some mind movies are actually worse than what happened in reality, while others are tame in comparison to what their WS did with their AP (think porno style sex). Many BSs constantly have mind movies during the intial period right after DDay, or even before DDay when they suspect their WS is having an A. Mind movies can occur at any stage of the healing process, although it seems to occur less and less frequently as time goes by and the R process is going fairly well.

Rug Sweeping – the act of forgiving a wayward spouse for the affair too quickly and trying to reconcile with the WS and move on and put the affair behind them. This is the most common mistake that newly betrayed spouses make. No issues are resolved, and usually results in another D-Day. BS’s and WS’s rug sweep for different reasons. BS’s rug sweep because they are in shock and denial, want to avoid any further emotional pain and desperately want to save their marriages. WSs rug sweep because they don’t want to be held accountable for the affair and suffer any further guilt (if they have any guilt at all), or they want to take the affair further underground.

Going Underground – Upon being discovered on D-Day, because of the addictive nature of the affair and the WS still being in the fog, the WS will often continue the affair using more secretive means

Trickle Truth (TT) - the act of minimizing actions during an affair. The WS will often only admit after many denials, that information that he/she thinks their BS knows about. The truth only slowly trickles out after each new discovery that the BS makes. Each time TT happens, it is considered another D-Day, sending the BS into yet another agonizing incident of pain. For example: A WS will often say their AP is just a friend, then the BS will discover more. Only when confronted with more evidence or further questioning, the WS may only admit to hugging and/or kissing, then when confronted with more evidence or questioning, admit to having oral sex, or a single sexual encounter, when in reality, it was more than a single sexual encounter. WSs will often say the sex was bad.

Triggers - These are events or circumstances that will “trigger” a BSs memory of the A, or even trigger a mind movie. These can range from a holiday, a picture, the way a BS acts, etc. Basically anything that triggers a memory of the A or mind movies. Triggers can be devastating, and reminds the BS of the pain they experienced from the A. A remorseful WS should be helping the BS when he/she triggers. Triggers seem to come less and less often as time goes by. Some will always have some kind of trigger that reminds them of the A. It is completely normal to have triggers.

True R – True Reconciliation is when the WS has kept NC with their AP and it has been verified. This is when the WS is truly remorseful in their actions. They are willingly transparent, and their behavior has changed and they have recommitted to their BS, the marriage, and/or any children. A truly remorseful WS will not rug sweep and is willing to discuss the A without getting defensive. They are willing to be transparent without getting defensive. They are willing to do anything to help the BS regain their trust in them. Both spouses are working on themselves and the marriage.

Gaslighting - Named after a play and 1944 film with Ingrid Bergman. Gaslighting is when the WS will make their BS doubt their own memory and make them feel crazy for believing what would be obvious to most. The BS will want to believe their spouse so much that the WS will be able lie and twist things around so much that the BS will question themselves and feel guilty for making accusations or spying, even when the proof is next to undeniable. This is why most will recommend that the BS obtain irrefutable proof of the affair.

Blameshifting - The WS will justify their decision to engage in the affair by blaming the faults and perceived problems caused by the BS in the marriage. It is important to note that these problems of the marriage will often be exaggerated, made up or the BS will be vilified. Blameshifting is usually the first reaction of a WS when caught and confronted with the proof of their affair. (ie. "If you paid more attention to me I wouldn't have had the affair") Most here believe that marital problems are shared 50/50 but the affair is 100% the fault of the WS as the WS had more honorable actions to choose from regarding marital strife.
remorse vs guilt:

All credit for this goes to a poster named Fighting2Survive at the SurvivingInfidelity forum. It's a great guide to see if your WS is truly remorseful or just trying to sweep it under the rug.

* Actions match words.
* Accepts full responsibility for the affair without blaming the BS, a bad marriage, or other outside factors.
* Expresses sorrow for hurting the BS and the M.
* Shows compassion and actively assists the BS with handling triggers.
* Does not become defensive or shut down when BS brings up affair-related emotions, issues, or questions.
* Answers questions honestly and completely.
* Does not avoid the BS or become frustrated that the BS is not “healing fast enough.”
* Contributes at least 60% of the joint effort at rebuilding the marriage.
* Actively works to understand why he or she made the choice to have an affair and shares insights with BS.
* Does not think solely about himself or herself. Considers how actions impact the BS.

Remorse is so important to R. It's the conerstone that everything else is built on. Without it, the M can not heal.

Remorse involves far more than just saying "I'm sorry." It's conveyed through consistent actions. The above list is not comprehensive, but it is meant to be an example that the FWS's behavior should be clear sign that he or she understands the pain the A caused and is committed to healing the M. Simply hanging around the house is not remorse. And it is not R.
nice quote about who would've expected to be cheated on-

Nobody. And not me, that's for sure. Here I thought after a long military career of shift work, many deployments, constant moving around and 21 years, that I thought we were home free and safe and could cruise into our mid life and golden years. Now that its happened to me, I've learned:

  • It does not matter how long you've been married. It could be less than a year to a 40 year marriage. Your spouse can cheat at ANY point in the marriage. There is no safe period.
  • It does not matter how many children you have or how old they are. Your spouse can cheat on you during pregnancy, or when the children are young, or in their teens, or grown up. It doesn't matter if you have disabled children or not either. It doesn't matter if you have no kids or 8 kids. They can and will cheat.
  • It doesn't matter their level of education
  • It doesn't matter at what age you marry.
  • It doesn't matter if you were their first, or if they had many partners before you
  • It doesn't matter if they have enabling, toxic friends or not. But it is more likely if the do.
  • It doesn't matter if they come from a dysfunctional family or normal family
  • It doesn't matter if they're skinny or fat
  • It doesn't matter if you have a good marriage or a bad marriage
  • It doesn't matter if you had good communication or poor communication with each other.
  • It doesn't matter if you've been a good husband/wife

I've learned that ANY marriage is vulnerable if the other spouse compromises their boundaries or is looking to cheat. It's a MYTH that cheating only occurs in bad marriages or if someone's needs are not being fulfilled.
No Contact Letter

No Contact Letter - information below extracted from another forum

Once the affair has come to light there must be proper closure to the affair. An agreement must be made between that all contact must end between the Wayward Spouse and the Affair Partner and it must be permanent. There are no if’s, and’s or but’s on this one. This MUST be done for there to be any healing in the marriage. The Wayward Spouse must commit to the No Contact Agreement. Every time the Agreement has been broken the Wayward Spouse must tell the Betrayed Spouse about it as soon as possible. Even if it wasn’t them that broke it, any contact whatsoever should be told immediately. This will build some trust back up in your marriage if this is done every time.

Writing a No Contact Letter to the Affair Partner is the best way to end the affair. This way everything that needs to be said can be with no interruptions and without adding or saying anything you don’t want said. Doing it over the phone or by email allows things to open back up for the OP to respond...and that's what you are clearly trying to avoid.

It should be written in the Wayward Spouse’s own handwriting. It really should be sent certified. Remember, this isn’t a “goodbye forever love letter” but it’s really stating that the affair is over, it was wrong, you were selfish, you love your spouse and family very much and you want to make your marriage work and that you’ll be fighting and working on saving your marriage. You should also state how much you have hurt your spouse and how you are going to spend the rest of your life making it up to them.

You also state how you no longer EVER want the affair partner to contact you in ANY way, shape or form. If the Wayward Spouse does this just for his/her spouse and continues contact with the Affair Partner, then the Affair Partner won’t take the No Contact Letter seriously. It also might not be taken seriously by the Affair Partner if the Wayward Spouse has tried numerous times to break it off with the Affair Partner only to come back time and time again. So, the Wayward Spouse must stand firm and continually tell the Affair Partner how much he loves his wife and wants to work on their marriage.

If you get continued contact the best defense is to IGNORE ALL CONTACT!! The Affair Partner thinks that if they can’t just get the Wayward Spouse to talk to them then the affair will continue on.

After the Wayward Spouse has finished the No Contact Letter, the Betrayed Spouse should read it, if it wasn’t written together. There should be nothing in the letter hinting about missing the Affair Partner, and that the letter doesn’t mean anything, etc.

Here is an example of a No Contact Letter:

Dear [put name here],

The relationship I had with you was thoughtless and cruel. It hurt many people, particularly my spouse, who did not deserve to be treated that way. I am committed to my marriage and determined to make up for all the hurt I've caused my family. I am going to work hard to be the best husband/wife that he/she deserves.

Because of the terrible offense to my spouse and the damage I have done to our marriage, I am permanently ending all contact with you. Please respect my wish to regain my integrity, and to heal my family. Please also respect my wish that you not attempt to contact me in any way at any time.

My spouse has all the details of our relationship and he/she will also be told of any attempts at contact.


[name here]

Exposure advice:

Exposure targets
Parents of all concerned, family, close friends, children of the BS, workplace [if a workplace affair], spouse of the OP, pastor. Facebook friends of OP.

Exposure Timing
Exposure should be done immediately. The longer you wait, the more entrenched the affair becomes. There is never any “perfect” time to expose, so don’t delay while looking for an imaginary perfect time.

Expose on the SAME DAY – or as close as possible – in order to achieve a tsunami effect. The affairees should be completely taken by surprise. Doing this creates a powerful hit on the affair and prevents the affairees from pre-empting you

Exposure Tactics

Spouse of affair partner- Give your full name, phone # and email address. Tell the other BS all about the affair, offer to share all evidence with him/her. Offer to follow up to ensure that contact is truly ended and ask the other BS to do the same. The other BS will be shocked when you tell him, so be sure and give your email address and phone # for follow up questions. ALWAYS GIVE THE OTHER BS YOUR WS'S PHONE # IN CASE HE/SHE WANTS TO CALL.

Parents, close family, friends – Tell them about the affair, giving them names, general timelines, etc. Explain you are attempting to save your marriage and would be willing to forgive your WS if he/she ended the affair. Ask them to use their influence to persuade the WS to end her affair. A way to save time is to call both sets of parents and send an email to the other close family and friends. Template letter posted below

Parents of OP. Give your full name and explain why you are calling. Ask them to use their influence with their son/daughter to persuade them to leave your spouse alone. It might also help if the PARENT of the WS calls them too.

Workplace exposure: Expose to Director of Human Resources, a key VP and both of the affairee’s supervisors using the template letter posted below.

Facebook exposure: Should be done to the OP’s facebook friends via private message. This is a very, very effective exposure because it is a collection of the OP’s closest friends and family. SPACE THE PM’S OUT 60 SECONDS APART SO FB DOES NOT SHUT YOU DOWN FOR FLOODING. Before you begin, copy and paste all the contacts into a WORD doc. Change your fb picture to a picture of you and your spouse and children. Template letters posted below.

The Fallout
Expect your spouse to be FURIOUS and to make all manner of threats, “I was going to work on the marriage, now I am not!!” “I cannot trust you” “You have to pack and leave!!” “You have ruined any chance you had!!” Do not let this bother you!! Just imagine that you have taken the crackpipe away from the crack head. Of course they are angry. But it will blow over. Don’t laugh, don’t fight, don't attempt to reason with them, and most of all, don’t be SCARED! Your marriage can survive some temporary anger, it cannot survive an ongoing affair! The madder your WS, the harder you hit the target!

The goal is to save your marriage, NOT to avoid your wayward spouse's anger at all costs.

Just say, "I am so sorry you are upset.

Common Exposure Mistakes

Telling the WS that you got the idea to expose on the internet rather than taking ownership of your actions. Then the discussion becomes “who???” When the WS is told it was Marriage Builders, the WS is forever jaundiced against Marriage Builders, which harms future recovery chances. You need to OWN IT. Saying somebody told you to do it does not work for 5 year olds and it won’t work for you!

Keeping exposure a secret. Yes, you read right. But we have had exposure targets say “ok, I will keep this a secret!!” And they never tell the WS they know. That defeats the entire purpose. If that person won’t help you by speaking to your WS, at least TELL the WS that person knows.

Doing trickle exposures. Meaning exposing to just a few people but not to everyone that could have an influence. Trickle exposures are a disaster because they are not enough to kill the affair but just enough to infuriate the WS enough to come after the BS. So the exposure essentially only served to beat down the already beaten BS for no benefit.

Eliminating exposure targets because that person “has no influence over my WS” even though this is a person with long history over the WS. Such as a mother or father. Such targets cannot be dismissed on such a subjective basis because the BS CANNOT PREDICT WHO WILL OR WON’T HAVE AN INFLUENCE OVER THE WS. Sorry, but unless you are psychic and your name is Madame Cleo, you don’t know. Many WS are estranged from a parent, sibling, pastor but that is not a knock out factor.

Threatening to expose. Using exposure as a threat only serves to forewarn the affairees and cause them to go further underground. All you have achieved is to give the enemy your battle plan so they can come back and kick your rear tomorrow. It also gives them an opportunity to pre-empt you and tell others you are “crazy” “jealous”. Then then when you do expose no one will take you seriously. Threatening to expose is the equivalent of giving your battle plan to the enemy. Don't do that!

1,316 Posts
Great thread, almost. I would add that each post will reflect the experience of the poster, and so you will sometimes get contradictory advice. Read everyone's opinion, and select that which applies to your situation.

Some stories will resonate with you, and some with not help your situation at all. See if you can read between the lines for the viewpoint of the poster.

Premium Member
8,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Great thread, almost. I would add that each post will reflect the experience of the poster, and so you will sometimes get contradictory advice. Read everyone's opinion, and select that which applies to your situation.

Some stories will resonate with you, and some with not help your situation at all. See if you can read between the lines for the viewpoint of the poster.
I agree but I don't want posters to only heed advice that they simply wish to hear either.

EDIT First post is long to add some stuff so I'll add it here so it's on the 1st page

other helpful links:
The 180 rules

For waywards wishing to help their betrayed spouses to read:

Re: Trying to work marriage out, but seems one-sided. Need perspective please.


Understanding Your Betrayed Spouse - A quick reference manual for unfaithful partners.

The Sea of Stress is Difficult to Understand.


They discovered your adultery. You ended the affair and promised you’ll never cheat again. But the stress from their emotional devastation lingers. And you don’t see much change – at least, not as much positive change as you expected. Many times, any visible changes are for the worse. You observe them bouncing back and forth like a ping-pong ball, moment to moment, from one emotion to the next. They’re unpredictable. There’s no discernable pattern. Their nerves are frayed. They can’t sleep. They can’t eat. Their thoughts are obsessive. Intrusive visions and flashbacks assault them without warning. They cry at the drop of a hat. They feel empty, used up, exhausted. The stress consumes their energy and their life until they feel like there’s nothing left. It’s terrible.

It’s an ordeal for you to witness their tortured, depressed and angry states, and what’s worse; you don’t know what to do. You’re not alone. Unfaithful spouses never dream they’ll get busted, so when confronted with their adultery they’re always caught by surprise; first by their partners’ knowledge, then by their intense agony. Indeed, unfaithful partners never think about what they’ll face “after” until after. The fact is: Though they inflict it, adulterers are unprepared for the onslaught of their spouses’ overwhelming emotional distress. Is this real? Is this permanent?

As you watch them sink lower and lower, wallowing in an emotional abyss, you wonder where the bottom is, when they will hit it, and if they will ever ascend from it and return to “normal.” You ask yourself, “Is this real?” Then you ask, “Will this ever end?”

The simple answers are: Yes, it is real. And, yes, it will end. But recovery takes a long time, often years, and much depends on you. Can you be remorseful, apologetic, loving, patient, empathetic and soothing over an extended period of time? Can you commit to openness and honesty at all times – and forevermore being faithful to your spouse?

Be honest with yourself: If you can’t or don’t want to get over your affair, if you don’t feel shame and remorse, and if you can’t generously provide appropriate support to your spouse, then now is the time to consider ending your marriage and spare your marital partner further pain. (If this is the case, you need not read any further.)

But if you have put the affair permanently behind you, if you feel and can freely express your remorse and shame for your unfaithfulness, and if you can commit to supporting your spouse through their excruciating anguish, then you have an excellent chance of rebuilding from this disaster you’ve wrought to a happy, satisfying, caring and loving marriage. The following is intended to help you help your partner, and in turn yourself, through this horrible time and jumpstart your journey to recovery.

So, take a couple of deep breaths… and let’s start with three foundational facts:

What you’re seeing in your spouse is a normal reaction to a life-changing event.

Your spouse needs to grieve for as long as it takes in order to recover and heal.

You can be a positive influence on their recovery.

Now, go back and reread them several times. Let them really sink in. When you can repeat them without looking, continue.

Your first mission is to learn.

Learning about your partner’s myriad reactions to your betrayal allows you to recognize, understand and properly respond to them as they occur. Doing so will help you get through
this horrible initial stage, which can last a long time.
Below you’ll find a little of what your spouse is probably experiencing. They may shift from one reaction to another, or they could experience multiple reactions concurrently. And don’t be surprised if they return to previous states many times. Where applicable, we’ve added some tips to help you to assist your partner through this. In some cases, however, there may be little for you to do except to simply “be there.”

Most importantly, remember at all times: Your infidelity has traumatized your spouse. Act accordingly.


DISBELIEF: They expect to wake up any minute from this nightmare. It can’t be true. They don’t believe it. This is natural. They trusted you and don’t want to believe you did what you did. It is common for this to occur in the very first moments of discovery. (Note: If some time elapsed between the discovery of your affair and the confrontation, you may have missed this when it happened, but it is also possible for your spouse to return to disbelief.)

SHOCK: They are numb and often seem dazed. Their emotions are frozen. Their senses are dulled. They go through the motions mechanically, robotically, but can’t seem to apply sufficient concentration to their day-to-day lives.

REALITY: “Oh my God. It really happened.” They feel they’re getting worse. Actually, reality has just set in. It’s as if a ton of bricks just fell on them and they’re buried beneath them. They don’t know where to turn, or can’t. Don’t discount the likelihood that they feel shamed by your infidelity. So, they may be reluctant to seek support from friends and family. Be available to them for emotional support and encourage them to talk freely with anyone they choose. Suggest therapy as a means to help them through their trauma, but never accuse them of “being irrational” or “acting crazy.” Be supportive and encouraging. Commend them for seeking help.

CONFUSION: They’re disoriented. They can’t think straight. They become impatient, disorganized and forgetful. More frequently than usual they go to a room to retrieve something, but once they get there they can’t remember what it was. This is very upsetting to them. Bear with them. Be gentle and be helpful. Help them find their misplaced purse or locate their lost keys. Know that they will eventually come out of the fog. Also be aware that their confusion, as with other states listed here, may be set off or magnified by certain “triggers.” (Note: Read more about “triggers” below.)

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS: They may sleep or eat too little – or too much. They may suffer physical aches and pains, numbness or weakness. They may feel unusually tense and develop headaches, abnormal tics, twitching or shaking. They may feel sick to their stomach and vomit, or their digestive system may react with constipation or diarrhea. Weight loss is common. Usually the symptoms fade gradually. If these symptoms persist, make sure they check with a doctor to rule out other causes. Encourage them to eat well and to exercise – but don’t nag. You might instead take control of their diet by preparing healthy, well balanced meals. If you don’t cook, take them to restaurants where you know they serve nourishing food and, if necessary, order for them. If they’re not exercising, initiate taking long walks together. It’s a good way to ease them into a healthy exercise regimen, which is always a good stress reliever, and will provide opportunity for you to begin constructively re-establishing your “couplehood.”

CRYING: Deep emotions suddenly well up, seeking release as crying, uncontrollable sobbing and even screaming out loud. Allow them their time for tears. They can help. So can you. When they cry, give them your shoulder. Hug them. Help them through it by gently encouraging them, to “get it all out.” Be certain to verbalize your remorse for causing their pain. They need to hear this from you. (Note: Right now, genuine, complete and repeated apologies are the best “general use” tool you have in your repair kit. That is why you’ll see many more references below. Read “Apologize” in Section 2.)

SELF-CONTROL: They control their emotions to fulfill their responsibilities, or to simply rest from the pain. Self-control can shape and give rhythm to their grieving, but be on the lookout for constant and rigid self-control. It can block healing. They need to reduce their emotional pressure to regain equilibrium. Allow them to vent when it happens. Be aware: Too much self-control means they are storing up much anger and will release it powerfully, like floodwaters breaking through a dam. So don’t be alarmed if they suddenly lash out at you, your affair partner, or even themselves. Understand that the release of anger is necessary to heal. Though it may not feel this way to you when it happens, it’s beneficial.

NEED TO KNOW: They will ask lots of questions. Their curiosity may be insatiable or it may be limited. Different people have different needs and tolerances for information, but they need information to process their trauma, move through it, and move past it.

Let them set the agenda. Whenever they ask a question, whatever they ask, answer honestly and sufficiently. Refusing to answer gives the appearance that you’re still keeping them in the dark, that you still have something to hide. Do not hold anything back. If they discover later that you omitted or hid details, or if the facts they discover don’t match the story you tell, they’ll feel betrayed once again. Follow the delivery of each new piece of hurtful information with an apology, and soothe them with another promise that you’ll never again be unfaithful.

WHY: They ask, “Why did you do this?” They may or may not expect an answer, but they ask repeatedly. If they do want an answer, provide it – and answer honestly. Even if the question is rhetorical, be aware that the question itself, rhetorical or not, is a cry of pain. And each time they feel pain, it should be answered with another apology. (I can’t stress enough how important this is.) Be aware: Even if they are not verbalizing this to you, they are still silently asking the question “Why?” over and over and over again.

INJUSTICE: They feel it’s all so unfair. You invited danger, you took the risk, but they suffered injury. They want justice and begin to think like a vigilante. They may harbour a secret desire to do harm to you or your affair partner. They may want to get even by having a “revenge affair.”
Understand that the aftermath of your unfaithfulness is an agony you have thrust upon them. Meanwhile, despite your betrayal and deceit, and the shame you feel, you and your affair partner may retain fond or even loving memories of your affair. One of my patients described her feelings of injustice this way: “I feel like a rape victim watching helplessly as the jury returns a ‘not guilty’ verdict. Then, the assailant looks at me, points his finger at me and laughs all the way out of the courtroom. How can this possibly happen?”

A sad truth of infidelity is: It is unfair. Of course, there is no “justice” that can come from this. Betrayed spouses generally settle into this realization on their own, but they need to know that you understand how this plagues them. (Note: Read “Share your feelings of guilt and shame” in Section 2. It explains the best way to help them through their sense of injustice.)

INADEQUACY: Their self esteem is shattered. They feel belittled, insignificant, and often even unlovable. Just as you would crumple a piece of scrap paper and toss it in the garbage without a second thought, they feel you crushed them, discarded them, and didn’t give them a second thought, either. So, they question their own value. They wonder if you truly love them – or if anyone could. They need to know why you now choose them over your affair partner, even if they don’t ask. Make your case convincingly. Be generous, but be genuine. They’ll know if you aren’t, and false flattery for the purpose of mere appeasement will only hurt them more.

REPEATING: Over and over again, they review the story, thinking the same thoughts. Do not attempt to stop them. Repeating helps them to absorb and process the painful reality. You can help them get through it by answering all their questions truthfully and filling in all the gaps for them. The more they know – the more they can repeat the complete story – the faster they process it, accept it and begin to heal. If the story remains incomplete or significant gaps are filled in later, they may have to start the process all over again.

IDEALIZING: Sometimes they remember only good memories, as if their time with you was perfect. They long to live in the past, before the affair came along and “messed it up.” Assure them that you, too, remember the good times, and want things to be good again. Remind them that you want an even better future, that you are willing to work at it, and, most importantly, that you want your future with them – and not your affair partner.

FRUSTRATION: Their past fulfillments are gone. They haven’t found new ones yet and don’t seem interested in finding any. They feel they’re not coping with grief “right” or they feel they should be healing faster. They don’t understand why the pain returns again and again. They wonder if they will ever recover and feel better. You can help them by verbalizing what they need to hear even if you don’t or can’t fully understand it yourself. Be empathetic and assure them that under the circumstances they’re doing okay. Remember that despite how much you have hurt them, you are still the one they chose as their life partner, for better or for worse. You may still be their closest confidante. As incongruous as it may seem, don’t be surprised if they choose to confide in you over others.

BITTERNESS: Feelings of resentment and hatred toward you and your paramour are to be expected. Don’t be surprised if they redirect much of the anger that’s really meant for you toward your paramour. This is natural. It’s actually a way of protecting their love for you during the early stages. By restricting their anger toward you, they allow it to be time-released, and only in smaller, more manageable amounts. Expect their anger to surface periodically, and give them plenty of time to work through it so they can eventually let go of it. Understand that until they’ve worked through and exhausted their anger, they cannot heal.

WAITING: The initial struggle is waning, but their zest for life has not returned. They are in limbo, they are exhausted and uncertain. Indeed, life seems flat and uninteresting. They are unenthused about socializing, perhaps reluctant, and they are unable to plan activities for themselves. Help them by finding ways to stimulate them. Plan activities for them around things that hold their interest and bring joy back into their life.

EMOTIONS IN CONFLICT: This is one of the most difficult manifestations because there is so much going on at the same time and their feelings do not always synchronize with reality. The most succinct description was provided by the late Shirley Glass, PhD: “One of the ironies of healing from infidelity is that the perpetrator must become the healer. This means that betrayed partners are vulnerable because the person they are most likely to turn to in times of trouble is precisely the source of their danger.” The inherent conflict for a betrayed spouse is obvious, but Dr. Glass also recognized how difficult this balancing act can be for a repentant adulterer: “On the other hand, [unfaithful] partners sometimes find it hard to stay engaged with their spouses when they know they are the source of such intense pain.” The key, of course, is to stay engaged nonetheless. Be supportive and remorseful, and above all… keep talking.

TRIGGERS: Particular dates, places, items and activities can bring back their pain as intensely as ever. It feels like they’re caught in a loop as they relive the trauma. It is emotionally debilitating.

Triggers can cause days and nights of depression, renew anger, and can spark and reignite nightmares, which may make them fear sleeping. Triggers can cause them to question if they will ever again experience life without the anguish. Get rid of all the reminders immediately: Gifts, letters, pictures, cards, emails, clothing… whatever your spouse associates with your affair. Do this with your spouse so they are not left wondering when those triggers may recur. Never cling to anything that bothers your partner. It leaves the impression that your keepsakes and mementos, or any reminders of your affair, are more important to you than they are.

Attend to your partner. Learn what dates, songs, places, etc., are triggers for your partner. Pay attention to your environment: If you hear or see something that you think might be a trigger, assume it is. Each occasion a trigger arises is an appropriate moment for you to communicate a clear and heartfelt message that you’re sorry you acted so selfishly and caused this recurring pain. So again, apologize and let them know how much you love them. The occurrence of a trigger is also a good opportunity to express that you choose them and not your affair partner, which is important for them to hear. If a trigger occurs in public, you can still wrap your arm around your spouse’s waist or shoulder, or simply squeeze their hand, but verbalize your apology as soon as you are alone again.

It is very important for you to understand and remember this… Triggers can remain active for their entire life. Don’t ever think or insist that enough time has passed that they should be “over it” because another sad truth of infidelity is: Your affair will remain a permanent memory for them, subject to involuntary recall at any time – even decades later. They will NEVER be “over it.” They simply learn to deal with it better as they heal, as you earn back their trust, and as you rebuild your relationship – over time.


Make certain you’ve killed the beast: Your affair must be over, in all respects, completely and forever. You cannot put your marriage in jeopardy ever again. Your spouse has given you a second chance that you probably don’t deserve. That may sound harsh, but think about it this way: Despite any marital problems the two of you experienced, you would certainly understand if they divorced you solely because of your adultery. So assume there will not be a third chance and behave accordingly.

This opportunity you have been bestowed is a monumental gift, particularly considering the anguish you caused them. Treat this gift, and your spouse, with care and due respect: No contact means NO CONTACT OF ANY KIND – EVER.

GET INTO THERAPY: Most attempts to heal and rebuild after infidelity will fail without the assistance of a qualified therapist. Make certain you both feel comfortable with the therapist. You must trust them and have faith in their methodology. Talk about it: If of you are uncomfortable with your therapist at any time, don’t delay – find another. And if need be, yet another. Then stick with it. Save particularly volatile topics for counselling sessions. Your therapist will provide a neutral place and safe means to discuss these subjects constructively. Every so often, think back to where you were two or three months earlier. Compare that to where you are now and determine if you’re making progress. Progress will be made slowly, not daily or even weekly, so do not perform daily or weekly evaluations. Make the comparative periods long enough to allow a “moderate-term” review rather than “short-term.” Expect setbacks or even restarts, and again… stick with it.

APOLOGIZE: Actually, that should read: “Apologize, apologize, apologize.” You cannot apologize too often, but you can apologize improperly. Apologize genuinely and fully. Betrayed spouses develop a finely calibrated “insincerity radar.” A partial or disingenuous apology will feel meaningless, condescending or even insulting, particularly during the months following discovery. Your spouse will feel better if you don’t merely say, “I’m sorry.” To a betrayed spouse that sounds and feels empty. Try to continue and complete the apology by saying everything that’s now salient to your partner: “I’m ashamed I cheated on you and I’m so very sorry. I know that my lying and deceiving you has hurt you enormously. I deeply want to earn back your trust – and I want so much for you to be able, some day, to forgive me.” As noted earlier, right now genuine, complete and repeated apologies are the best “general use” tool you have in your repair kit.

REALIZE YOUR PARTNER WANTS TO FEEL BETTER: There is so much they have to deal with – pain, anger, disappointment, confusion and despair. Their being, their world, is swirling in a black hole of negative feelings. It’s agonizing. They wish it would stop, but they feel powerless to make it go away, which worries them even more. Remember that they can’t help it: Just as they didn’t choose for this to happen, they don’t choose to feel this way. Beyond all the possible feelings described in the section above (and that list may be incomplete in your spouse’s case), even if they don’t understand them, they do recognize that changes are occurring in themselves – and they are frightened by them. As terrible as it is for you to see their ongoing nightmare, it is far worse to live in it. Periodically assure them that you know they will get better, that you are willing to do everything necessary for them to heal and to make your marriage work. Reassure them that you are with them for the duration – no matter how long it takes – and that you intend to spend the rest of your life with them.

HIDE NOTHING, OPEN EVERYTHING: While they’re greatly angered and hurt that you were emotionally and/or sexually involved with another person, they are even more devastated by your secret life, your lies and deception. They feel no trust in you right now – and they’re 100% justified. If ever there was someone in the world they felt they could trust, it was you – until now. Now, they have difficulty believing anything you say. They are driven to check up on everything. Let them. Better still, help them. Overload them with access. The era of “covering your tracks” must end and be supplanted by total and voluntary transparency.

You must dismantle and remove every vestige of secrecy. Offer your spouse the passwords to your email accounts – yes, even the secret one they still don’t know about. Let them bring in the mail. If you receive a letter, card or email from your paramour, let your spouse open it. If you receive a voice or text message on your cell phone, let them retrieve it and delete it. If your friends provided alibis for you, end those friendships. Do not change your phone bill to a less detailed version or delete your browser history. Provide your spouse with your credit card bills, bank account statements, cell phone bills and anything else you think they might wish to check. Immediately tell them if you hear from or accidentally run into your affair partner. Tell them where you are going, when you’ll be home, and be on time. If your plans change, notify them immediately.

The more willing you are to be transparent, the more honesty and openness they see and feel, the more “trust chits” you’ll earn. Replacing your previously secret life with complete openness is the fastest and most effective way to promote trust, even if it feels unfair or uncomfortable. Think of this as the “reverse image” of your affair: Your affair was about you selfishly making yourself feel good. Now, rebuilding trust is about selflessly making your partner feel safe with you – and you were certainly unfair to them. Keep in mind that eventually they will trust you again, but you must earn it and it will take time.

SPEND LOTS TIME WITH THEM: Assume that they want your company at all times. The more time you spend in their sight, the more they will feel a sense of safety, if only for that time. There may be times when you feel they’re a constant, perhaps even an annoying presence. Just remember that they need to be around you – more than ever. If they need time alone, they’ll let you know and you must respect that, too. Knowing where you are and who you are with reduces worry, but expect them to check up on you. Don’t take offence when this happens. Instead, welcome the opportunity: Think of each time – and each success – as receiving a check mark in the “Passed the Test” column. The more check marks you earn, the closer you are to being trusted again.

PHYSICAL CONTACT: They may or may not want to be sexual with you. If not, allow sufficient time for them to get comfortable with the idea of renewed intimacy and let them set the pace. But if so, don’t be discouraged if the sex is not optimum. They’re likely to be low on confidence and may feel self-conscious or inept. They may even act clumsily. This can be offset by lots of simple, soothing physical gestures such as hugging them, stroking them softly and providing kisses. You might try surprising them sexually. Try something new. Choose moments when they don’t expect it – it can feel fresh again. On the other hand, don’t be surprised if their sexual appetite and arousal is unusually heightened as some partners experience what’s called ‘Hysterical Bonding.’ Also be aware that during lovemaking they may suffer intrusive thoughts or mental images of you and your affair partner, so they may suddenly shut down or even burst into tears. Again, apologize for making them feel this way. Express that you choose them – and not your affair partner. Reassure them by emphasizing that they are the only one you truly want.

SHARE YOUR FEELINGS OF GUILT AND SHAME: If you exhibit no shame or guilt for hurting them, they’ll wonder if you’re truly capable of being sensitive, caring or even feeling. They may see you as callous and self-absorbed, and question if it’s really worth another try with you. But if you’re like most people who have badly hurt someone you truly love, then you certainly feel shame and guilt, though verbalizing it may be hard for you. Of course, some people do find it difficult to express these feelings, but try. You’ll find it provides a great sense of relief to share this with your partner. Moreover, do not fail to realize is how vitally important it is for your partner to hear it, to feel it, to see it in your eyes. It’s a building block in the reconstruction of trust and the repair of your marriage. Do not underestimate the power of satisfying their need to know that you are disappointed in yourself. Your opening up about this will help them feel secure again, help them to heal, and help you heal, too.

LET THEM KNOW YOU ARE HAPPY WITH YOUR CHOICE TO RECOMMIT: You probably think this is obvious, but to your betrayed partner, precious little is obvious anymore. They will wonder about this. Do not make them guess, and do not make them ask. Just tell them. If it doesn’t seem to come naturally at first, it may help if every now and then, you ask yourself, “If they had betrayed me this way, would I still be here?” (Most of us would answer, “No,” even if we can’t imagine being in that position.) When people give second chances to others, they really want to know that it’s meaningful to, and appreciated by, the recipient. So, express your thanks. Tell them how grateful you are for the opportunity to repair the damage you’ve done and rebuild your marriage. You’ll be surprised how much this simple, heartfelt act of gratitude will mean to them, and how it helps to re-establish the bond between you.

HERE’S A GREAT TIP: You will find it’s particularly meaningful to them when they’re obviously feeling low, but they’re locked in silence and aren’t expressing it to you. Just imagine… In their moments of unspoken loneliness or despair, you walk up to them, hug them and say, “I just want you to know how grateful I am that you’re giving me a second chance. Thank you so much. I love you more than ever for this. I’ve been feeling so ashamed of what I did and how much pain I caused you. I want you to know that I’ll never do anything to hurt you like this – ever again. I know I broke your heart and it torments me. I want you to know your heart is safe with me again.”

These are beautifully comforting words, particularly when they’re delivered at such a perfect
moment. You can memorize the quote, modify it, or use your own words, whatever is most
comfortable for you. The key is to include, in no particular order, all six of these components:

A statement of gratitude.

An expression of your love.

An acknowledgment of your spouse’s pain.

An admission that you caused their pain.

An expression of your sense of shame.

A promise that it will never happen again

Unfaithful spouses I’ve counselled often report that this most welcome surprise is the best thing they did to lift their partner’s spirits – as well as their own.


HOPE: They believe they will get better. They still have good days and bad days, but the good days out balance the bad. Sometimes they can work effectively, enjoy activities and really care
for others.

COMMITMENT: They know they have a choice. Life won’t be the same, but they decide to actively begin building a new life.

SEEKING: They take initiative, renewing their involvement with former friends and activities. They
begin exploring new involvements.

PEACE: They feel able to accept the affair and its repercussions, and face their own future.

LIFE OPENS UP: Life has value and meaning again. They can enjoy, appreciate, and anticipate events. They are willing to let the rest of their life be all it can be. They can more easily seek and find joy.

FORGIVENESS: While the memory will never leave them, the burden they’ve been carrying from your betrayal is lifted. Given what you have done, the pain it caused them and the anguish they lived through, this is the ultimate gift they can bestow. They give it not only to you, but to themselves. Be grateful for this gift – and cherish it always.

Rejoice in your renewed commitment to spend your lives together in happiness. Celebrate it together regularly!
More on remorse

FWIW... regarding indications of genuine remorse I once put together a short list on the subject of determining if your WS was being genuine and remorseful which some found useful... It's also along the lines of what lordmayhem shared...



There is no infallable way to know if what you are seeing is genuine remorse or not.

What I would start with would be your gut... that's where it all begins. No one knows your spouse quite the way that you do. Do you sense genuine remorse?

As with all people that mislead, lie or decieve there are always subtle non-verbal cues (facial expressions) which can give you some indication whether the person is being genuine...

People who fake remorse tend to show a greater range of emotional expressions and swing from one emotion to another very quickly - if the base emotional responses are grouped into three categories; Good (happy) /Neutral (neutral, surprise). /Bad (sadness, fear, anger, contempt, disgust) a person intentionally decieving you will tend to swing from category to category very quickly. Particularly from good to bad or bad to good (skipping nuetral). The phenomenon is referred to as emotional turbulence - They will also speak with more hesitation.

It might also bear mentioning that the saying about people lying not looking you in the eyes, is actually completely false in the case of WS's. You will find that they go out of the way to look you dead in the eyes while lying to you.


There are also some qualities/behaviors to look for when someone is genuinely remorseful...

They are signs/actions that someone will commonly exhibit (coping mechinisms) when internally healing from an action or decision that they have made which they feel was wrong... These are obviously not hard cold "musts" for a spouse to qualify as genuinely remorseful... But, I hope this gives you a "roadmap" of some indicators....

1. A remorseful spouse is willing if not eager to confess everything about the behaviors and mistakes they made. They commonly show a genuine desire to "come clean".

2. A remorseful spouse is openly accountable for their actions and seeks to identify and make changes to insure that this behavior does not reoccur. (They feel genuine pain, therefore they seek to prevent this pain from reoccuring. (normal human response to pain - AVOID IT) (No genuine pain = No reason to seek a solution to avoid repeating that pain).

3. A remorseful spouse will seek to "work", not only on themselves but on general life responsibilities. A remorseful spouse faces the responsibilities of thier day-to-day life and will often show increased motivation to meet those tasks. The work is often approached in a more "humble" way by the remorseful spouse.

4. A remorseful spouse will not object to limitations (i.e. transperency) set by the faithful spouse as a result their actions and in an effort to promote the healing of the violated trust.

5. A remorseful spouse faces the pain they have caused. A remorseful spouse will allow you to express the intesity of the feelings and hurt their actions have caused without justifying, minimizing or blame-shifting.

6. A remorseful spouse seeks forgiveness and respects the process of forgiveness often takes time. They will not be impatient or pressure the injured spouse to say "I forgive you" and will never exhibit a "get over it!" attitude.

Sorry you are all here, but hope this proves useful to you on your journey.
an excellent post on how EA's get started

Thanks for referencing my thread. I originally wrote it in response to one poster whose W had reconnected to an ex-BF on Facebook, and it outlined how it can go from "Hey, how's it going?" to "I hate my H's guts and I'm leaving him for you!"

Here's the unabridged version:

Right now, the texts/conversations may very well be just two old friends catching up but soon, if left unchecked, may very well morph into:

Their lives since they parted
Their relationships since they parted
Their families
Their spouses
How you're an excellent father
How you're a great husband
How you're a wonderful guy
Your job
How your job keeps you busy
How your job keeps you away
How she sometimes feels a little lonely when you're away
How she sometimes feels a little overburdened at home
How she sometimes feels a little taken for granted
How she feels that you don't ALWAYS listen to her
How she feels that you don't ALWAYS understand her
How she feels that sometimes you're just "not there" for her
How, okay... you're not ALWAYS such a wonderful guy
How she loved hearing from him again
How she looks forward to his texts/calls/e-mails now
How she feels young again
How she feels appreciated again
How she feels attractive again
How it's so nice to have someone who just LISTENS to her again
How it's been so, so long since you made her feel that way
How her eyes have now been opened
How she now realizes what she truly wants and needs
How she now realizes that you could NEVER give her that
How insensitive you can be some times
How you can be a real jerk sometimes
How she wonders if they would have stayed together
How she now realizes that she never really loved you
How she now realizes that she really loved him all along
How she ever could have fallen for a jerk like you
How you're the biggest a++hole she's ever known
How you're standing in the way of her true happiness
How you ruined her life
How she made a big mistake marrying you
How she made an even bigger mistake letting him go
How now she sees that they were really meant to be together
How she desperately has to get away from you
How she's definitely going to leave you
How she's talking to divorce lawyers
How they're going to live happily ever after...

...get the picture?

Premium Member
8,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Edited to add weightlifter's evidence gathering advice

Standard evidence post pasted below. Just do it. Its step by step.

Your wife is acting funny. Her phone and email suddenly have passwords you don't know. She shuts down phone apps or changes windows on the computer whenever you enter the room. She is suddenly staying out until 2 to 5 in the morning. She has new single friends. She has lost weight and is dressing hotter to boot. Her ex contacted her 3 weeks ago and she wants “to meet to catch up at some public place” “I love you but not in love with you.” or version thereof. Any of this sound familiar? If your wife comes home from an alone time does she immediately change liners, change panties possibly even immediately laundering them?, shower? This can be an after the fact clean up.

If you are reading this your gut is going crazy. “Relax”, in that there is a high liklihood that you are not crazy at least. “Your gut” is your basic instinct from the caveman period. There is something up with your mate. It is part of your mind built into you and in your DNA. You probably cant sleep. You are losing weight like crazy and are not hungry. Well if you are reading this and that is 90% of you reading this if its your first time... You are embarking on what is probably going to be the worst time of your life.

Chin up, yes I know it is damn near impossible to believe now, but I and the people at TAM here have taken dozens of men through this process. Some reconcile, most dont in the long run so be aware. Most of us hang around this grim grim place for a sense of “pay it forward” and “getting at the truth” Even in divorce, the long run the majority find love again... yes really. Often selecting a far far better future companion. Read poster BFF for a thread of disaster, divorce, recovery, and a new wonderful woman in his life. Younger and hotter, yes, but also one with better boundaries, often a far far better personality match. Oh and they get to go through that first time with her after the first I love you's have been exchanged. Just know, that for the majority, even if the marriage crashes, in six months, a year, maybe two you will wonder how you got so far so fast and how great your new life is. You will also be MUCH MUCH stronger as a person.

So. Here are your instructions. Do this now. I dont mean next week. I mean make something up within the next day and GET IT DONE! Not looking will only prolong your agony.
Rule 1 for this.
SHUT UP. Eyes open. YOUR mouth closed. confronting only makes them better at hiding.
Rule 2 for this.
SHUT UP. Eyes open. YOUR mouth closed. confronting only makes them better at hiding.
Rule 3 for this.
SHUT UP. Eyes open. YOUR mouth closed. confronting only makes them better at hiding.

NO MORE CONFRONTS!! Play dumb husband for a bit. Dont drive her further underground! Soft confronts with little evidence RARELY WORK AND ONLY MAKE GETTING AT THE TRUTH HARDER!!! THIS PROLONGS YOUR AGONY!

Buy 2 sony ICDPX312 or ICDPX333 voice activated recorders. Best Buy sells them for like 50 bucks. DO NOT BUY a cheap VAR. SONY SONY SONY. USE LITHIUM batteries. We have examples of 25 hour recordings using them on these sony recorders. My icon here IS a Sony ICDPX312. No I do not have stock in nor work for Sony.

Setup instructions are on page 19. Also good stuff on page 31.
Use 44K bit rate for balancing file size vs quality DO NOT USE 8K!!!!! Simply put. The higher the quality the better the sound and 8K sucks. ALSO. The higher the quality the more you can manipulate the mp3 in Audacity.
Set VOR "on" see page 38
See page 40 for adding memory if necessary
Play with it yourself to get familiar. TEST IT OUT
Turn off the beep feature. Its on one of the menus. You can even play prevent defense by going to a dollar store, buying uber-cheapie earbuds, cut off the buds but put in the jack which will actually disable the speaker for additional protection.

Go to Walmart and buy heavy duty velcro.
This is one item: Velcro Heavy-Duty Hook and Loop Fastener VEK90117: Office :
Purchase VELCRO Hook and Loop Fasteners, Sticky-Back, for less at Save money. Live better.
The velcro is usually in the fabric section or less often in the aisle with the fasteners like screws. The velcro pack is mostly blue with a yellow top. Clear pack shows the vecro color which is black or white.

Use the velcro to attach the var under her seat UP INSIDE. SECURE IT WELL!!!!!! So well even a big bump wont knock it off. attach one side HD velcro from Walmart to back. USE BIG PIECE
attach other side HD velcro again UP INSIDE car seat. ATTACH THE CRAP out of it. It needs to stay put going over big potholes or railroad tracks.

Put the second VAR in whatever room she uses to talk in when you are not around. If you are a typical man, use your size advantage to put it someplace she cant reach, even on a chair. Beware spring cleaning season if she does it.

I recommend exporting the sound files to your comp. The recorder is very cumbersome for playback.

Amazon has a pen VAR that can be placed in a purse or other small place to get remote conversations. Yes the pen works.

IMPORTANT warning. If you hear another man and perhaps a little kissing or activity... STOP Listening and have a trusted friend listen and tell you what went on. Knowing she is a cheat will kill you. Hearing her moan while another man is inside her will murder you to your very soul!!!!!! You are not strong enough to hear that. Dont try it. I know what I am talking about in this.

If you need clean up the recordings get Audacity. Its free from the internet. I have used it on var work for others here to remove things like engine noise. If needed, I have done var work for four men here. RDMU is the only one who has released some of the confidentiality.

Lets be very clear about what the VAR is for and is not for. It will not be court admissible evidence. It is not for the confrontation. IT IS TO GET YOU AHEAD OF THE AFFAIR so you can gain other real evidence by knowing the who and when. NEVER MENTION YOUR VAR EVIDENCE. As far as the cheater is concerned, they were seen by a PI or something NOT your VAR!!

The ezoom GPS has been found to be easy to buy at Radio shack and useful. There is even a locator webpage you can track with. Amazon sells a semen detection kit called checkmate.

Look for a burner phone. This is a second phone from a prepay service just used for cheating communications. That is often why wives let the husband "see their phone" They don't use their main phone for cheating purposes.

There is an app out there called teensafe. Its for both Iphone and Android. It monitors texts, GPS and facebook. Needs no jailbreak. Not perfect and delayed but no jailbreak required.

Look for apps on her phone like words with friends. It has a non traceable texting feature.
Here is a list 25 Apps to Help You Cheat On Your Girlfriend | Complex

If he uses chrome or firefox, there is probably a list of saved passwords you can look at. Even if his email isn't saved there, people usually only use a couple of different passwords, so one from the list might work.

For firefox it's Tools -> Options -> Security -> Saved Passwords

For Chrome it's the little box with three bars in the top right -> Settings - Show advanced settings -> Managed saved passwords

If paternity is in doubt, (gredit graywolf2) SNP Microarray: Unlike amniocentesis, a non-invasive prenatal paternity test does not require a needle inserted into the mother’s womb. The SNP microarray procedure uses new technology that involves preserving and analyzing the baby’s DNA found naturally in the mother’s bloodstream. The test is accurate, 99.9%, using a tiny quantity of DNA — as little as found in a single cell.

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Is her internet browsers set up to use Google as the default search engine? And does she use a gmail account? If so, she can delete here browser history all she wants, that only deletes the history that is localbin the browser itself...

On ANY computer, navigate to Log in using her gmail credentials and you'll have all history right there. Cant be deleted unless your wife logs in this same way...she'd only be deleting Chrome, IE, or Firefox history, not the Google history when deleting within the browser itself.

There does not appear to be a function within the Android OS that allows the recall of deleted info as is found on IOS. However, even on Android, When a text is deleted, the OS simply "loses" the address to where it is on the memory chip, but it's still there.

Go to your computer and navigate to Dr. Fone for Android @ Dr.Fone for Android - Android Phone & Tablet Data Recovery SoftwareAndroid Phone Data Recovery.

You can download a trial version if you're operating system is XP/Vista/Win 7/Win 8 all on either 32 or 64 bit.

Download the program to your computer, open it, connect the Android phone to the computer via the micro USB cable and follow the instructions on the Dr. Fone program. You can recover deleted SMS, MMS, photos (yes, this includes SnapChats), vids, and documents.

Not everything is recoverable because the operating system continues to overwrite the data so if you don't recover this data on a regular basis, you may miss some pieces...

But there are also many Android apps that store deleted files and texts, even some that allow you to download and HID the app (ex. ).

They are also in her Spotlight Search...don't even need to connect to a computer. All deleted texts are still held onto. Type in the contact TELEPHONE number and every text, even the deleted ones, will show up in the search.

IOS 7 from any home screen put your finger in the middle of the screen and swipe downward. Enter the telephone number and start reading the hits.

IOS 6 from the first home screen, swipe left, enter the telephone number and start reading the hits.

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After researching the web for countless hours about software to find deleted messages on my wife's iphone I figured out this super easy method.

From the home screen swipe left to right until the spotlight page appears. Its a screen with the key board at bottom and a box at the top that says "search iphone" type your typical search words, anything sexual etc... All past messeges containing the search word will appear on a list, deleted or not. You'll only get the first line but that is usually enough. Just busted my wife again doing this a few days ago!

Rugs: swipe left on your first page of the main menu.

"spotlight search" under settings -> general -> spotlight search has to show "messages" as ticked.

Right here, right now: Taking screenshots on iOS devices -> hold down home button and press sleep button. The screenshot will be placed under your photo album.

Also there is an app to "stitch" messages like a panoramic photo, but only for iPad. go to app store and search "stitch". Damn it's 4 am. i need to go to bed.

Note that this applies only to Spotlight Search in IOS 6 and lower. For IOS 7 running on Iphone 4 and 5, put your finger in the middle of any of the home screens and swipe downward.

Type in the search string you want (telephone number, contact name, keyword, etc) and it will search every instance in the iPhone where that appears.

You may FIRST want to go into the Settings>General>Spotlight Search and then check or uncheck the areas that you want to search - make certain that "messages" and "mail" are CHECKED or else your search will not look into these areas. The same info is on the spot light on the ipad too ! If the settings isnt checked off, you can find all the same history!

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This Google search history page weightlifter mentioned here doesn't just record the search term it records everything spoken into Google Now by voice command. There is a text read out for everything spoken into the phone through Google Now and since Androids later versions have integrated Google Now right into the OS just about everything spoken into an Android phone is saved at

Commands to call me, entire voice texts, everything said into the phone is right here. I don't even know how it could be deleted if you wanted to. Considering almost everyone has an Android phone and voice command is becoming more popular this is a nice tool for a BS. It even has every Google Maps/Navigator GPS search saved.

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Great thread, almost. I would add that each post will reflect the experience of the poster, and so you will sometimes get contradictory advice. Read everyone's opinion, and select that which applies to your situation.

Some stories will resonate with you, and some with not help your situation at all. See if you can read between the lines for the viewpoint of the poster.
Totally agree and that’s the beauty about TAM. There are so many different people with different experiences and opinions. And it’s all based on first hand personal experience, so it’s “knowledge”, not information from books or hearsay. In that way the collective knowledge in TAM is often better than an individual counsellor.

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AR...a great post!! So many of us don't want to hear the truth but here on TAM you will hear it over and over. Read it and then wake up folks!! This post is definitely link worthy.

God, I love this place!!
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