Cheating Too Close To Home

I find cheating to be a weak characteristic in anyone, and something that I have never done. I also always said that if a man ever cheated on me, he was out. Just like that. Then it happened, my man decided to cheat. He didn't just cheat with some stranger or co worker, he did so with his best friend's wife's, sister. Yep, not only was I betrayed by my man, but also by 2 people that I trusted and know very well.
This betrayal was too close to home because I still have to see her at all the big holidays & birthdays! So about 6 times/year, I put on my best "I don't give a "f" about you" face and walk around a party as if I don't care.
Because she is so close to all parties involved, and yes, I knew her well too. In fact, I thought that we were friends! Ha ha. Anyway, if I made a public scene at one of these functions, I would have been in the wrong. "psycho" & " off the hook" So, I wrote her on facebook. I wrote her a long letter about how much I wanted to fight her, but couldn't. I let her know that she probably saw my man as her sloppy drunken hook up, when in actuality he completed our family. I also let her know that by writing this letter, I was going to be done harbouring resentment towards her. And as long as it never happened again, I wanted to be done thinking about it. Because in all honesty, the only one that was really hurt by all of it was me. I was the only one beating myself up over it, not my man. I was the only one festering about it, no one else but me. Thinking about it took valuable time away from my life and my children, and I was sick of thinking about it.
So, it's not easy to go to these functions. It's not easy to have a good time and not be looking where the two of them are at all times. But its getting easier. I think its getting easier because I just don't care as much as I once did. Maybe I'm realising that if he does this to me, what good is he? I don't want to be so negatively affected by the callous and disrespectful actions of others.
Who knows if I will be able to get over this. Since I feel so strongly against the action itself, I kind of doubt it.
rottenrobi rottenrobi
46-50, F
29 Responses Apr 24, 2012

I have first and foremost been against cheating. But for the last 3 years of marriage, I have been doing just that, cheating on my wife. And I suppose to make matters worse, I have been cheating with men and young males (Legal age).
When my wife and I were going to get married, the one thing that concerned me was sex wasn't as frequent as I wanted, so we discussed it, and worked out time to have more sex. I told her, that to me, one of the most important aspects of being married was going to be the intimacy of sex and love making.
Then after a fabulous Honeymoon with loads of sex I might add, sex actually started to drop off. As the years went higher, the sex got lower. In fact the last time my wife and I had sex was Aug of 2014.
3 yrs ago we had a big argument about the lack of sex in our marriage and she said she just had no interest in sex anymore, no desire. So what about me? Am I supposed to become a Priest because she lost all sexual desire? Hell no. And I told her that if she wanted to be married then that was fine but she better get used to the idea that I am going to get it from someone. At the time, I wasn't thinking of it being a male, but somehow, life likes to throw a curveball and I ended up trying it and liking it, a lot. I still love women and desire women, but I also checkout guys and find many attractive as well.

I respect your honesty with your wife, and as for the men? well, I understand that too. This was never an issue with us. I am also a very sexual person and desire the intimacy it brings. so, my man at the time was just being sloppy, drinking and not even considering me. We got along, there was no big fight, just him in a situation where he made a selfish choice.

Yea that sucks bad! I understand how you feel "I just don't care as much as I once did". When something like that happens to you a person looses something that cant be replaced or repaired. It hits you at a moral level and changes you. How I think about it now is that people are there own entity. Love is a bond of souls and sex is just merely a physical act. The hardest thing about it is not only the violation of trust but also the realization of there personal independence. You realize that the person you would give your life for and you hold moral standards you consider is a sacrifice of your devotion to them may not feel or hold the same moral upholding in return. That is a hard pill to swallow. A trust in humanity to uphold your moral values and devotion is broken. People are independent at heart and you cant change them. The only thing you can do is accept the fact that the people in this world are selfish ********. Welcome to the club!

So perfectly stated. It does change a person, and not just within the relationship, it has changed me for life. A piece of me is gone forever, and while my skin is thicker and my trust in general is less, I do feel more prepared to take on the ******** you speak of.

i was im similar situation and my wife caught me
outside of the big fight an not talking sex was ended it was not great an it was getting less less before this but anyway one night i came home box on table note wife if you want to live in this house with me put it on or dont sta yfor dinner
open up the box it was a chastity device i put it on and put the metal lock on and had dinner an no talk about it at all

sh ehas the keys an this was 15 yars ago

Interesting story. Are you talking about a **** cage or whatever it's called? What about if you have to go to the Doctors? or you are going out o the gym or with the guys? I'm curious to how their reactions have been if they saw it.

Are you interested in telling your story on camera for a new documentary about infidelity? A lot of people would love to hear your point of view! I'd love to discuss the opportunity further. Please email me at

You can try and be strong and guess that we all as humans slip up ... but in reality you will never really abandon your trust to him again. I am sad for what cheating partners do to the ones who love and depend on them.

ouch. hugs.

Yea, he sucked, but we're not together anymore. Life is much more peaceful and simple now.

Life is too short to be sad. So it's better forget and forgive. If not possible separation is a better solution. You know that it's easy to forgive ours parents or children but difficult to forgive ours husband. If you try, you'll win.

I am sorry that you are going through this...I think that I can help you. Want to do a Lie Detector Test? I will fly you to Los Angeles for FREE please call 323-451-2446

He's a pig- and you can choose not to go to functions- it might be the higher road

Well 5 years on from my husband cheating with a colleague/friend I still have major issues. They still work together and her new man is under the impression that she and my husband just went running together! This enrages me more for some reason! She has told him that I am lying and just have marriage problems. My husband just won't discuss it but I feel that if they both caused such upset then to deny it now is making nonsense of the years of upset I have had to deal with! I naively thought that a marriage is always worth saving but do ask yourself 'at what cost'

I'm so sorry to hear that. It would make me furious to hear that she doesn't acknowledge it with her new man. Because again, it just makes you look like the crazy one. I know that well. My man wouldn't discuss it with me for a long time either, but I had a way of not letting it just get pushed under the carpet. I would bring it up when we would hear about a friend doing something similar, or if we were watching a movie with the same situation. I would say something like, "*******", or "only an idiot would do something like that", etc. It got to the point that he had to laugh. It helped somehow.
Having said all of that, it does cause an enormous amount of pain to the person who was cheated on and only you know if you can stay in the marriage. I wish you all the best.

if you still have feelings an some love why not do what my wife did to me when caught me cheating lock m ein chastity device 24/7
i still do my work i come home do yard work go to gym things likethat my wife has the key an i cant take it off an from the day it went on has not been off an no sexual desires out side of home still no sex in the house

Heh. Just a stray thought: how would either of them have responded if you had dropped the hint that you might have an STD?

Lol! Most likely it would've saved me a lot of time and heartache if they'd both have taken off with that bit of info!

You are a strong woman and it is great that you can forgive and move on.
It does set you free, otherwise as you pointed out earlier, you are the one that suffers most if you continue to hold that unforgiveness.
Unfortunately some guys don't how good they have it until they screw up and are on the brink of losing everything that is good and wholesome in their life. Sometimes they need that wake up call, to make them appreciate that special woman in their life and your husband is lucky to have you. You went through a dark period but you came out the other side a wiser and stronger woman. Keep going and I wish you all the best!

Thank you very much for your kind words. I have forgiven, even the other woman and that does take a huge weight off my life. I can definitely say that I am stronger and wiser. I wish you the best as well.

How did you manage to forgive and move on? I forget for a time then because they still work together something's triggers it all and I am right back to where I was when He told me about it!

It took a LONG time, and during that long time I was angry. I simply realized how much time I had lost with myself, my kids and my life being miserable. I didn't want them to get to me like that anymore. I told my man that as long as it never happened again, I would stop festering over it. I didn't want to think about her for one more second either. She's a hot mess, went into rehab and broke up with her boyfriend. I don't know what goes on in her life, but I can say with all honesty that she is no longer a threat to me. I don't have to worry about her coming around anymore. I wrote her a long letter to let her know that I wasn't going to think about it anymore and that was that.
I would be lying if I said that I never think about it, but it's rare. I made a choice to live for me and my kids and whatever happened from this point on I would deal with.
He never did it again.

I know exactly how you feel my ex just cheated on my me with our neighbor. I almost see the B* everyday. I'll get better.

Oh snap! I hated seeing my ***** because it continuously reminded me of what happened and i was concerned i wouldnt be able to keep my cool in front of family. Im so sorry to hear about your situation, but youre right, you will get better. Considering youre calling him your ex tells me youre more than half way there! Keep calm and carry on. :)

Thanks! xoxo

add me please

what do his actions show you? is he remorseful? you've handled this well. anger can sneak up on you and make you do things you would never think were possible.
take care

You're so right. I'm not a violent person, but this man has brought out emotions and actions that I didn't know I had in me. I'm not proud of them, but they're hard to shake once they're brought to the surface. I won't shoot, I promise! :)

I give you a lot of credit for writing a letter and being the adult in the situation. She'll get hers. Karma has a real good memory.

So sorry for this, I know the feeling honey... believe me it nearly killed me, but I survived and learned and learned a lot in fact..... Some days are easier but I hardly believe we get over it, we just learn to live with our scars. The people who cheat should be ashamed of themselves, it's so easy to cheat but a few good men and women stay loyal. What kind of person will cheat the person they say they love ??? I can't even cheat my enemy...

I couldn't do it either and you're right, it's so easy. I know people make mistakes, and all of that, but my man did some stupid, selfish stuff. I was so naive and gullible before I met him, so in this respect, I am much wiser and intuitive now. Too bad this sort of weathering doesn't look as good on women as it does for men! :) I am happy to say that I'm okay now. Thanks for writing.

It takes a long time to, not get over it, but not let it ruin every minute of every day. It was an ongoing thing for 5 years, and some days the pain is as heavy and as fresh as the first time I learned the truth. Get some help. Talking helps. You are not alone.

Thanks. I often feel like it doesn't affect me anymore, honestly. Then out of no where, something triggers it. Just like you said, it opens up that wound like the very first day I found out. Now I realize how common of an occurance this is, which is weird to me. I didn't think it could happen to so many people. Thanks for writing. Talking does help.

You're never alone, you may be lonely, but never alone. Do you understand the difference? I'm not trying to sound like I'm talking to you as a child. Adult to adult. Go back and read the first part again. Out loud. So you can hear the words.
Ive been at work the last 12 hours, so I have only read this one. I think you may feel like no one cares about you. This moment, right now, I care about you. My heart aches for you. If I could take your pain and make it small, I would.
Figure out what you want, what the kids NEED, then make the tough decisions.
Feel free to write, I'll get back as soon as I can.

There are a few people that care, so I don't feel alone all the time. I do feel alone in the confines of my relationship, you're absolutely right. I'm not afraid of feeling lonely, in fact, I think once I'm out of this relationship I'll feel less alone then I have in 12 years.
I don't take what you've said lightly and I appreciate it very much. It's hard for me to talk about the kids because I know what I've done to them by staying. For this my heart aches. I'm repeating mistakes that my mother made, the same mistakes I swore I would never repeat. I want so much more for them and me. Honestly, I want more for my guy too, but that is out of my control. What I can control is how much more my kids and I are subjected to.
You're the best. I will write if I need to. Thank you so much and get a good rest.

I guess I was lucky. My father was an alcoholic, but he would just come home sit and watch TV and drink till he passed out. Never yelled or hit anyone, did a lot of yelling at the TV. But, before he died, I think he may have only talked to me a total of an hour in 22 years. He only touched me once. I had almost broken my ankle and he bent over an picked me up. I was amazed. The pain in my foot seemed far away. He carried me to his truck and off to the ER. Since I've had a little counciling, I think I understand him a little better, but that's another story.
While in the Marines, I know my drinking was out of control, I choose to spend my last 6 months in, sober. I did, and spent next 2 years alcohol free. I do occasional drink now, but few and far between. I interact with my wife and children so much better than he did. I don't know where I found the strength to do that. I want so much more for my kids than I had. I know in some ways I'm letting them down, but they know I love them. I try to tell them all the time. My dad said it to me once. 4 months before he died. He had been sober for 3 years.
I'm rambling now and have forgotten the point I started out to make. Love your kids and tell them. Right now, honestly, they may not believe you, but don't give up. Find some inner strength.

Sorry, I think I've mixed up two of your stories with this response.

2 More Responses

I am going through my pain right now and honestly am not sure i will ever be able to forgive and forget the fact that he is cheating on me. i really hate him right now and just want to do something that will hurt him just as much. what hurts most is that his family know abt the affair and they keep denying it and he is still lying about it even with all the facts I got...gosh i wish i could strangle them all

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. It is the worst type of pain and when the betrayal spreads to others that you trusted it makes it so much worse. I started to question who I could trust in every area of my life. I don't know what else to say. . . the situation can go many ways. Stay true to yourself and don't second guess what you already know is true. I wish you all the strength you can muster to keep your head up high. It has nothing to do with you, or what you didn't do. It has everything to do with his lack of control. If you ever need to talk please write me. I will answer.

Yes the worst pain of all !! I never dreamed anyone or anything could hurt me so deeply and it is so true when you say it affects your trust level in every area of your life. The Gas lighting is the worst (Google it) my husband had me really believing I was going crazy.

oooh, thank you nohome! I will absolutely google that. It's always good to be one step ahead of them with their weird mind control tactics. Thank you for writing. I hope your life is going better.

Thanks something else that I've found to be quite common among cheaters is something called 'cognitive dissonance' or a form of it...its a psychological expression to describe when a person comes to hold one set of values (morals/belief system) and yet their actions and or desires play out in opposition in an effort to reduce the gap between the two, the mind allows them to 'justify' as the 'dissonance' is too uncomfortable to live with.

I know it sound complex but I needed to understand how and why my husband became a stranger to me. It was like living in scenes from the 'Face Off' movie with John T. and Nick Cage ! It was my husbands body, voice but he even made love to me differently. But the changes that took place, even in his previously most deeply held beliefs were the most scary.

For six months after his affair ended he was going through definite withdrawal symptoms from missing the buzz of his new life plans.

Then it was like he waked out of the fog, and now is so very desperate to have me stay. It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I can't be with him now. I love him but don't trust him, and the things he said and did to me during his affair and for the six months after have just cut too deep.

He is so full of regret and we are having our long goodbye, at which point I fly to another country and cut off all contact. I know that sounds cruel perhaps, but I have to pretend he is dead, rather than the flashbacks of knowing that he is alive but I can't be with him.

Without telling me, with no warning he began dating another woman, asked if she would marry him, told all his family that we were divorcing and introduced her to them all. I was nursing my sick daughter 3000 miles away while all this was happening, and he continued to call me every night professing his love and missing me so much. Then one night out of the blue asked for a divorce. I got on the next flight to find out WTF ? When I got here his family stone walled me they were confused by all his lies, and not knowing what to believe. his mistress was sacked and had to move states the same week I arrived back. It took months before finally his sister told me everything but only after she realised that I was in the dark but fumbling around for the truth as to why my husband had changed so much and was being so very cruel to me. They thought I knew but had decioded to beg him for a chance to save our marriage, that is the explanation he gave them for me being around. Told them his new woman had said she would wait for him while he let me down slowly. He had told her I was unstable and he didn't want the guilt of a suicide or something!? So he has lied to everyone about everything. Now None of his family will have anything to do with him. I am leaving and his affair partner ..well apparently he now views her as the devil incarnate ! sent into his life to destroy it when he was alone an vulnerable. He begs again last night for a chance. 'I looked him in the eye and said 'would you trust you?'

1 More Response

Cheating is horrible, it should be the reward of a good relationship, not just something you do.

Wow you were really put in a bad spot. I've been there too so I understand. Did you ever consider leaving this man? If he cheated on you once he will most likely do it again. I am sorry that you are in such pain but glad to hear it's getting easier.

You know, it's been years now and I'm over it. I don't ever excuse his actions, and I don't hide the fact that such a huge betrayal happened. I just don't choose to dwell on it any more. It really did suck all the good out of me for quite some time. Which hurt our kids the very most. I would've left him, but quite honestly, it would've been way to difficult for me both physically and emotionally. And Again, another huge blow to the kids. So, we worked through it.
I don't believe that he will do it again. He's older now, and not out catting around like he once was. Our relationship is more fun now, I'm not just his baby's mama. Truthfully, I do believe that people can see the error in their ways and change. I have a hard time boxing people in by saying things like "once a cheater always a cheater". I know they're out there, but so far so good. Believe me, my eyes are wide open, but I don't feel compelled to watch him all the time.
Thanks for writing. :)

i hate when something like this happen because then you began to fumble all over the place thinking dang well where did i go wrong or what in the hell i could have done different

Exactly. What's wrong with me? That was my big question, and what makes her so great? But I already knew the answer to that: she's hot, she's single, she's sans children and an alcoholic.
Things are much better now. I can see her and almost converse with her and I don't trip on him straying any more. People can change and it's not worth harbouring resentment. Life's too short.
Thanks for writing.

Its hard to dispute your logic Raez, but in fairness to myself i have never hid from the responsibility of my actions. In fact it haunts me every day from when i wake up until the moment i go to sleep. But with respect, you do me a slight injustice, let me draw your attention to the last line of the following quote..<br />
<br />
. Its not only made it worse for me, but more importantly has made our separation harder on the kids.<br />
<br />
I've been completely honest in my response to Robi's story and i will be honest with you.Whilst i have tried to understand my wife's pain, try and imagine my guilt every time i say goodbye to two heartbroken children. Now ( more importantly) consider their pain, 50% of their whole world has been ripped from them, everything they have grown to know, depend on and cherish has been turned upside down..why?, because a drunken night of sex 6 years ago. Not last month,6 years ago !. <br />
<br />
Thats 6 years of Christmas's, birthday's,holidays, sports-days ( need i go on?)...the decision not to split was not mine alone, it was also my wifes. I was totally committed to standing by that decision, sadly she was not. Would their ( the kids) pain be less if we had broken up 6 years ago?, maybe not ?, but now they (particularly the eldest one) question every happy memory they have. So you tell me, Is that any better?<br />
<br />
Now whilst i accept sole responsibility for my one night stand, i refuse to accept sole responsibility for the hurt my children have suffered, and i'm sorry but holding up my infidelity as the total cause of their pain,( to me at least) seems like an easy option for my wife to take.

Hello Who, I am not implying that you are hiding from your responsibilities. After six years of trying to repair the damage your affair caused, and your replies to rotten, I can see you are honest about the pain you brought to your wife. It is definitely refreshing to hear a man stand up and take responsibility for his actions. I commend you for that.
I was talking about your comment of not forgiving your wife for wanting to split after six years. For some partners, the trauma of betrayal can have long lasting affects. Sometimes, just because you want to repair the marriage, it doesn't mean that you can. Yes, even years later. I have chatted with women who thought they were over the affair when after four years became angry and confused about it again. Rotten herself writes in her post: " who knows if I will be able to get over this. Since I feel against the action so strongly myself, I kind of doubt it".
I was shocked at the fact that you said you could not forgive her, when you are in fact expecting that from her via the passage of time. I am still in marriage and I hope that I will be six years from now for the sake of my family but I've been honest with my husband and myself, there are no gaurantees.
And I agree with the fact that you are not solely responsible for your childrens hurt. It takes two However, your affair was the onset of an unstoppable chain reaction where not just you, not just you and your wife, but ultimately your entire family would have to pay the price for your one night stand.
Although it may feel that way to you, it is never an easy option for a spouse to decide to leave a marriage, even years later. Especially when there are children you love involved. I think the pain your kids will go through will be the same at any age. I can tell you that from experience. My parents waited until I was 18 to drop the bomb that they were divorcing and it hurt me just as much as it hurt my sister who was 14. I do not know you or your wife (ex-wife) but I too have suffered betrayal and as someone who has been in her shoes, I wanted to stand up for her.
Still, I do commend you for your honesty and I wish all men and women getting married could talk with someone like you and your family and see the awful consequences infidelity has on the entire family unit.
If more husbands and wives could forsee the sometimes irreversible damage their breach of trust will leave behind, they may think twice.
I truly wish you and your family the best. You are obviously a dedicated father and its great to see you are there for them, unlike my own father during my time of pain. It is futile to play the blame game, especially now that all is said and done. What you did cannot be undone and what she did cannot be undone. Ultimately, I was happiest with my parents and my life when they both stopped blaming eachother and we all moved on with our lives. Cheers, Rae

I bow to your wisdom Rae..btw great website :)

Wow, I am shocked at this conversation between rottenrobi and whosorrynow! We have someone who is cheated on by her husband with a near family member and a man who cheated on his wife and cannot forgive her for wasting six years of his life? Rottenrobi: Please allow me to give you a little advice. You need to absolutely demand that there be ZERO CONTACT between your husband and his affair partner! How intensely horrid that you would allow these "get togethers" and "act" as if you don't care. Not only is your husband being cruel to you, you are being cruel to yourself! Do not try to deny the pain he has caused you! It sounds like you are still caught up in being a victim instead of taking charge. Stand up for yourself and your children and say TOO BAD THERE IS A GET TOGETHER! WE ARE NOT ATTENDING IF SHE IS! PERIOD! This was your husband's CHOICE! Every choice has consequences! The cheating spouse has absolutely no right to decide when YOU get over the damage they have caused. It could be 1 year or 6 years like whosorrynow's wife. What about the 12 years of their lives he threw in the garbage for a one night stand? Really? He can't forgive her for not being able to get over his infidelity but expected forgiveness from her for his actions? There is a price to pay for his "night of great sex" and sadly, not only does he have to pay for it but he caused his wife and kids to pay for it also. If your husband is truly sorry, he will do whatever it takes to regain your trust, love and forgiveness. Unfortunately, if you keep living life as if his betrayal is just a thing of the past, you will experience betrayal again.

Wow, I appreciate you taking the time to comment, and while I see your point, i don't feel it's necessarily right for me.
The thing is, the affair is in the past and he has been remorseful, and has worked diligently on repairing the betrayal and trust.

Why would I keep my kids from visiting the only family they know because "she's" there? Miss out on their cousin's birthdays and such, because of her? There is no way in hell that I would allow my family to be affected like that.

And honestly, I really don't care about her. I've voiced my feelings to her and in that conversation, I told her I was over it. I wasn't going to let their screw up affect me anymore, or take valuable time from my children and my life. I don't deny any pain that he they caused me, I just choose not to let it run my life so many years later. Yes, it could take 1-100 years to get over something like this, but I'm over it in 3. Yea me! Trust me, I do appreciate your time, but your advice is not needed. I'm not a victim and have already taken charge &amp; I've dealt with it.

When my husband and I can joke about it? and not get all weird every time something even close to "an affair" comes up. . . WE'RE OVER IT! and my family is better off because we've dealt with it and put it in the past.

After re reading your comment and the polite responses that Who and I created, I feel the need to say a few more things. I also just realized that you're the woman that I so respected after reading your blog. I'm surprised at the righteous attitude you have in your comment. I wouldn't have expected that. You seemed so much more logical and grounded in your blog. I have learned a few things within my journey after the affair. One is that not every affair is the same, not ever "other woman" is the same, "cheating spouse", relationship. . . When Who and I had this conversation, I respected Who for his honesty and forthrightness. I appreciated being able to ask him a question and feel he gave me a true answer. Regardless of what you think, I came away from our talk feeling somehow better. You seem to have a more militant stance and a black and white way of looking at an affair. If that works for you, that's great, but please don't come after Who and I like we don't somehow "get it" or have it right. People are entitled to feel however they want, good, bad, right or wrong. Just as people can deal with situations in whatever manner they deem correct for them. Because it's not the same as yours, it doesn't make us wrong. It doesn't mean I'm a victim, or that Who is selfish and a cruel person and it also doesn't mean that our lives with deal with betrayal of this kind again. Yea, really. All of your capitalization almost makes me laugh. You might try my approach to your husband's infidelity, because like I said, I'm over it and clearly you are not. All that does to a woman is make them bitter, and that's not attractive on anyone.

Yes, good for you rottenrobi. I'm glad you are over it and have managed to put it in the past. I am happy for you.

Hello Rottenrobi, It looks like I've really hit a nerve with you. I think its ironic how defensive you are at my comments, yet you feel free to judge who's wife and me. You call her unfair and cruel and you accuse her of using his mistake as a "cop out". You call me militant, bitter and unattractive. Entitlement has nothing to do with how a spouse feels after betrayal. You have the right to do and feel in whatever manner you want, we both agree on that. And no, I am not over my husbands affair but most importantly, is that I am not afraid nor do I feel bad about admitting that. No matter how long it takes for me to recover, one thing is for sure, I will not forget the lessons betrayal has taught me.

Your original post and your reply to my comments completely contradict eachother. In your post you are not over it, in your reply you are. In one reply you say my advice is not wanted and yet in another reply you tell me to deal with my recovery the way you do. It feels like the typical " I can judge, but don't you dare judge me."

I am not your enemy. I've been in your shoes.

My reaction was to what you wrote in your posts and comments.

Holding my husband accountable isn't the same as being bitter. No, bitterness is not attractive and neither is complacency.

I've always said, if you want to forgive and forget - good for you! So glad you can do it. Forgiving and forgetting is just like infidelity - A CHOICE. And either choice is okay.

Thanks for writing me too Rae, I was kind of jealous of Who for getting a response and not me :)
All kidding aside, I know that my response to your comment was defensive, I was pissed off. Please, if you have a minute, this is what I heard you saying to me: I'm being intensely horrid because I still go to see my family even though she is there, and acting as if I don't care. That I'm denying the pain of the affair and acting like a victim, and not taking charge. Because of all of the personal work that has been done by the two of us, your last sentence stating " if you keep living life as if his betrayal is just a thing of the past, you will experience betrayal again" totally pissed me off. Not one person on this planet could say that with certainty. Especially one that doesn't even know me. The final kicker was your comment that I'm not standing up for me or my children. Do you see where that could put a person on the defense? I have no problem with you wanting to share some advice, in fact, I would appreciate it. It just felt like you were shaking your finger at me, like I was an idiot.
This post that I wrote was written over a year ago, but I just posted it in April. I joined the group about cheating husbands and thought, I have that story, and I cut and pasted it. There are plenty of contradictions between the way I felt then and how I feel now. My husband has put me through the ringer, but over the past few years, I have found my back bone and the ability to tell him that "he owes". It would be impossible for me to forget about the betrayal, but for me, it is also not healthy for me to hold onto in either. It will always be there, but he has worked his butt off to make things right. Plus, together we have worked our butts off to get through it. Which has allowed me the space to get over the affair that much quicker and not dwell on it either.
I never called you militant, I said your stance was somewhat militant. I certainly never called you unattractive, I said that bitterness makes women unattractive. And please don't think that I'm a complacent woman. . . oooh, that sucked to read. That's a horrible adjective to have attached a person.
I felt like you took this thoughtful conversation between Who and I, and somehow made it ridiculous and that bothered me.
Okay, that's enough about all of that. In closing I want to say that I don't judge people, I am kind of opinionated, but I understand that everyone can live their lives as they deem appropriate for them. I appreciate any advice and I certainly know that you are not my enemy and I want you to be certain that I am not your enemy either.

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I'm sorry...I haven't dealt with cheating personally, so I have no idea how that feels. But, one of my brothers in law did cheat on my sister, and I did see how it effected her and their marriage. hugs.

It sucks, big time!

Thank you for your honesty, Who. <br />
I have to sit with all this for a minute or longer. . . <br />
I don't know when I stopped believing in myself. I think it happened somewhere around the age of 33? Maybe. But, you're right. I really did nothing wrong. I really try to own my mistakes, I really loathe when people blame others for their issues, or make a ton of excuses for bad behaviour. However, I still try to make this affair about me & what I didn't do. I need to stop that, right now. <br />
This site has provided me a place to be totally honest & get some things off my chest. It has also given me more insight, thanks to people like yourself, than I ever imagined. Thank you again for your honesty, for answering such a personal question & for your thoughts. You're making a difference in the life of someone in California. My life.

And thank you for your kind words...The funny thing is the resentment i feel towards my wife for not throwing me out ( for want of a better word) at the time. As i said, things changed after i was unfaithful but nevertheless we carried on for 6 years after the event. And as time went by i was convinced we would be able to accommodate each other and what had happened, foolishly i really thought we would eventually put it behind us completely. Clearly i was wrong, and whilst i take full responsibility for my actions ( i prefer to think of it as my mistake..but then again i would do i suppose) i struggle with wasting 6 years of my life in a mortally wounded marriage. Its not only made it worse for me, but more importantly has made our separation harder on the kids ( girls 8 / 15). I would have understood if at the time she had wanted to call it a day, but to cite it as a reason to split up 6 years later is quite cruel in my opinion. I stubbornly refused to accept this and hung on for 12 long months before i left. It leaves me cold when i think of how the kids saw our fights etc, its no good for them Robi. In the end i grew sick of it all and moved out..I'll let her have the house etc but she can never give me back my 6 years, and whilst i understand her reasons for trying to carry on I'm not sure i can ever forgive her for that.

After 6 years she still used "the mistake" as her reason? In my humble opinion, that was not very fair. That's a long time to think that things might work out, only to find out they won't. I get that there are no guarantees, but, I think that was a cop out &amp; yes, cruel.
I too recognise the value of time, especially the older I get.
The children are magically resilient, but we certainly don't set out to mess with their minds, and yet somehow we do. I get very upset with myself sometimes when I think about my children and what they have witnessed. I can't take any of it back, so I go forward with pure honesty. People are far from perfect and I think that's an important lesson, plus it will ease the blow later in life. I grew up on Disney &amp; princess theories and expectations of men rescuing women. No one ever told me to get an education, or a good credit score. Advice that I share with them daily, and of course, to be a good human being. :)
I guess my point is, as long as you are honest with your girls, they will love you, respect you for respecting them, and they will learn something. They are so much smarter than we give them credit for sometimes.
Who, I really want to share one more thing. I really do understand your frustration with your ex, but put on your best face when you see her. It will only make the situation better for all of you. You cared about her once, you've just drifted apart. Most importantly, be there for your girls. Girls need their dads, trust me on this point. Girls need their dads more than dads know sometimes. Walk and talk with them.
That's all. You're going to fine. You're a sensible man with a good heart. That's all we women really want. . . and maybe monogamy. :) (sorry, i couldn't resist)

Now thats a question I've asked myself a few times. At the time, life really couldn't have been much was going well, we had just moved house, both our children were flourishing and after 12 years together both me and my wife continued to enjoy our time together both emotionally and outwardly i had no real reason to stray. It happened after a office Christmas do ( party), me and the woman in question had always got on well and often shared a laugh..did i find her attractive?, yes i did. Anyway i went to the party ( leaving the wife at home), actually i met a few of the other lads in the pub before hand for a pre-office Christamas party of our own. By time i got to the the actual event i was well on the way. She was there and naturally enough had, had a few herself. As the evening wore on our mutual attraction increased ( as did our drinking) until the inevitable happened and we ended up back at her house ( she was divorced..not that it matters) where i must say we enjoyed an incredible night of passion, it shames me to say it but probably the best i have ever known. I didn't get home until the morning, and needless to say the wife was not a happy woman. Now call it woman's intuition but she knew i had played away, and to cut a very long boring story short she brow beat a confession from me. The subsequent weeks were terrible , her world ( perhaps like yours?) lay in tatters and it was my fault. I should have done the decent thing and gone ( at least for a while) but instead i stayed and eventually our marriage reached a strange impasse, where we took each other for granted and neither of us had the courage to call it a day. Until six months ago when she did and we separated , blah , blah, blah.<br />
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Thing is Robi, she never recovered from what i done, she lost her respect, trust , desire and ultimately her need for me. That's perhaps what you need to bear in mind <br />
can you put it behind you for good?, because thats what it takes ..anything less and it will resurface, and then what do you do?. Try not to question yourself about what you didn't do and focus on what he did do, drink is no excuse and nor is blaming the other woman...don't make the mistake of letting him of the hook to easily ..IF YOU DECIDE TO FORGIVE HIM ( and i'm not saying you should !! ) make certain he knows how close he came to loosing you.

You are right about that. <br />
You know what's strange? I feel bad about the outcome of your situation. This is not the stance that I normally take. :)<br />
Maybe I can ask you, what was it that made you do it? Was your marriage lacking something? I ask because nothing makes me more pissed than when I hear, "you must have not been doing it for him in the bedroom", or "if you would have satisfied your man. . ." . Because, I bent over like a pretzel to please him, and he was happy. But this woman was overtly flirtatious, and touchy. My guy friends all say that he couldn't help it. When a woman is so over the top like that, a guy can't help it. And if he's been drinking? Forget about it. <br />
I don't know. In some ways I am over it. I'm laughing as I'm writing this because I really don't know. <br />
Thank you for writing. I appreciate you sharing your story.

Sounds like you won't ( get over it) wife didn't. She tried for 6 years but ultimately my my one night stand with a colleague cost me 18 years of marriage, 2 kids , house etc etc. Whilst i fully take the blame for the way things turned out, my one regret is that either i didn't walk away when it happened, or that my wife hadn't kicked me out when she found out. We wasted 6 years of our life and the pair of of us have struggled ever since, sounds to me Robi my dear, you have a decision to make.