Pulling Away from the Wayward Spouse to Draw Their Hearts Back Towards You

Crazy Train Bypass

Pulling away from the Wayward Spouse is counter-intuitive. Typically, this approach feels like the last thing you would want to do. For this reason, convincing a betrayed or left-behind spouse to pull away from his/her wayward or walk-away spouse is often very difficult to do. The panic a Betrayed Spouse feels usually leads to doing the opposite – trying to win the Wayward Spouse over in various ways. The following post is a way to hopefully get the Betrayed Spouse to understand why pulling away is in the best interest of not only personal recovery, but possible marital recovery as well.

Pulling Away from the Wayward Spouse

I hope to explain and emphasize why pulling away from the wayward spouse does have a way of pulling them toward you, since most left-behind spouses have a hard time reasoning that stance. It doesn’t feel natural. This article is meant as a scientific/psychological overview. Plan B/Protection Phase/Going Dark/Letting Go are all different ways of moving the left-behind spouse from Dependence towards Independence. Each one of those methods have variances in which different people see different merits and reasonings. Having said that, they are all similar in nature. In determining the right course of action for a specific situation, it is important to view each aspect of the marriage and what has gone on before. Then, it is up to the individual to decide the specifics for themselves based on advice given, etc… (That choice should never be made based on fear, but that’s another story.) I hope this is written in a way that makes sense and helps. The info is a combination of what I learned from reading Dobson, and the model from what I learned at the New Beginnings marriage seminar weekend (which included Dr. Harley’s works). This information formed the foundation that allowed me to pull away from my husband during the times I wanted to hang on more tightly.

A Model of Romantic Relationships

First you have to think of a relationship – how one falls in love and out of love, in the following sense: On the far left side you have Independence. On the far right side, you have Dependence. In the middle is Inter-dependence all balanced on a fulcrum because our state of being is never static, it’s always changing. When two people in a couple are both in “Inter-Dependence” mode, the fulcrum (like a teeter totter) is evenly balanced. This balance is affected by various things (to be discussed momentarily.) It looks something like this:

Model of Relationship




In terms of the above relationship model, Dependence means you need a specific person in your life for you to continue your existence. You feel you would die without them. Conversely, Independence is having no need for the other person under consideration.

Dependence and Inter-Dependence

In our lives, we consider a person who lives in a state of dependence as being immature – like babies or toddlers. In adults we do not find that attractive at all! We pity people who are too needy or desperate. An independent person can exist without any one source or person. Ideally, we should all experience Independence as a single adult with the capacity to take care of ourselves. Then, we should go on to find someone to share our lives with. When we find a partner, we find that we move towards Interdependence (in a mutually exclusive relationship) because of Attraction, Acceptance, and Fulfillment. We are attracted to others based on physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual traits. We then seek acceptance, as we want the other person to “love us for who we are,” as we drop the masks we all tend to wear. Then, as the relationship grows, we fulfill each other’s most important emotional needs. (And live happily ever after, right?!) Inter-dependence is choosing to be dependent on the other person, not that you will die without him or her. In inter-dependence, if the other person ceases to exist or goes away, the other will grieve and mourn, but does not fear that s/he too will cease to exist. Inter-dependence requires emotional maturity, while dependence represents emotional immaturity. Sometimes, however, an unhealthy balance begins to set in. If one party becomes too dependent, several things happen: ISO: Isolation (focusing on that one person to exclusion of others; sole source of fulfillment – this person becomes your life); and Obsession (You believe you cannot exist without the other person). Once this dependence sets in, the fear of being unable to survive without the loved person causes the dependent person to do anything they can to keep the loved person. This usually happens with the left-behind spouse. The panic sets in and reactions to pulling away are based on fear.


Another unhealthy balance emerges when one spouse moves from Inter-dependence back towards Independence, such as the wayward spouse has done. Just as falling in love is a process, falling out of love is also a process. When a person moves backward through the stages from Inter-dependence to Independence (from Fulfillment, Acceptance, and then Attraction) love starts to diminish. Companion love may still exist, or may die out as well, but passionate love goes away as we lose AAF. This is the result of Love Busters committed and not meeting each other’s needs. The fulfillment wanes. The wayward spouse begins to feel unaccepted and then loses attraction. Sometimes this manifests in increased fighting, other times through distancing – living separate lives.

An Intuitive Reaction

Unfortunately, often the left-behind spouse, seeing the wayward move towards Independence, wishes to save the marriage and does the exact wrong thing. S/he moves more towards dependence: clinging, focusing on the wayward spouse, displaying grief and pain to the wayward spouse. These actions propel the wayward spouse faster in his or her departure towards Independence. They feel trapped and just want to get away! (Like puppies feel when you try to make them sit still in your lap!)

A Counter-intuitive Response

The more effective approach for a left-behind spouse to save the marriage is to move quickly towards Independence as well. Often, the left-behind spouse doesn’t move to Independence in emotions but must in actions. Of course the left-behind spouse still feels grief and pain, but s/he recognizes the difference between experiencing grief and displaying grief. Let grief out when loss is final. Control it when loss can still be turned into gain.

Does It Work? Why?

Why does the left-behind spouse moving towards Independence work to draw a wayward back? It’s simple if you remember the process of falling in love. First, you must renounce the immature behaviors of Dependence. Remember: people only pity dependent adults – they do not respect them. Without respect, they cannot fall back in love with that person. Second, you have to employ the things that start the process towards falling back in love: AAF: You start showing yourself as Attractive. This entails not only making yourself the most physically attractive you can be, but emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually as well. When the betrayed spouse demonstrates that s/he can function independently of the wayward spouse, s/he is VERY attractive. It shows the betrayed spouse knows his/her own worth. Most importantly, this will help the betrayed spouse heal, with or without the wayward spouse. You provide Acceptance – not of their bad behavior (infidelity or whatever else) but of their right to decide their own lives and accepting that they have chosen to walk away at that point. Then there is Fulfillment: as the person moves back through Attraction and Acceptance, he or she starts looking toward Fulfillment of getting needs met. At this point – the point of reconciliation – is when the left-behind spouse would start meeting the needs of the wayward spouse again (AND the wayward spouse reciprocates for the needs of the left-behind spouse).

It all goes back to the balance. Since a wayward spouse is moving from Inter-dependence to Independence, the left-behind spouse must move from Dependence towards Independence to adjust for the fulcrum.

Most struggle with the Acceptance part. How do you show the wayward spouse you accept the decisions made and him/her as a person without accepting his/her bad behavior? Well: you give him/her what he/she asked for, which is to be free. Yet, you also provide the consequences of that. The consequences of freedom include that you also have a right to move on. You DON’T allow cake-eating, for instance. You accept what the wayward spouse says and don’t minimize it. You act respectfully towards him/her (no longer showing anger or hurt) in interactions. Because you accept his/her feelings and decisions, you are “moving on,” and you have little to say, other than being polite and to the point. Discuss this article on our forum.

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21 Responses to Pulling Away from the Wayward Spouse to Draw Their Hearts Back Towards You

  1. jossy says:

    I have been married to this girl for 2 years,recently she stated being distant and eventually started spending nights out.This broke my heart so much that I decided to leave home as I plan my next move,the house is her’s as it is catered for by her employer so its like I depended on her.
    Personally I am also capable of paying rent so am in the process securing a house to rent and move away from my cheating wife.
    I don’t know if I am right or wrong to approach my ex girlfriend who is still single so we can mend fences as I do not want to stay single and be tempted to lean back towards the cheater.We don’t have children together but she has a child she got earlier before we met. Your advice please.

  2. TIFFANY says:

    Hello, it’s weird that I found this website, b/c just last night I told my husband of 4 years i’m moving on. He left 4 months ago to go live with his mom, said he wanted a divorce, we have 3 children together, my youngest was only 3 months. Of course I panicked, texted him to no end, asking him to come talk, when I should have just left it alone. He texted back hateful things. I was forced to move in with my parents, all our world is in storage. Then found out he left for another woman, who when she found out he was still married with children, still proceeded to be with him, knowing the feelings I have for MY HUSBAND. well a month passes as I am starting to get over him, he returns back into my life, crying, begging me to take him back. of course I did.. That was the best 3 weeks of my life. My children were so happy to have daddy back in their lives full time. He promised our marriage was going to be stronger than ever!! Told me everything about this “girl” and how the grass is not always greener on the other side. Well, we get into a small argument and the next day he tells me he doesn’t know what he wants.. he still loves me, but isn’t in love with me. oh and while he was still with that “girl” I was served divorce papers. I love this man with all my heart and soul. We both needed to work on things within ourselves, I have began that a long time ago and I know I am a changed person, for the better. But last night I just had a break down. How can my husband play with my heart and mind the way he did. I will see him today b/c of the children and tomorrow.. I don’t know how to act, I guess just be happy. I let him know via text last night how he really messed up a good thing. the other “girl” was a cheater and abusive to her children. He left his faithful wife and 3 babies to be with that. I know I deserve happiness and I definitely deserve the world, just wish it was him that would give it back to me. I will no longer be texting nor calling him, maybe then he will realize what he left behind. and who knows, maybe when he does I might be way to happy to let him back…

  3. Mary Smith says:

    i have been married for 6 years with 3 kids, my husband has been cheating on me since we got married, i always forgive him he once left home and leaved with another woman recently i was feeling so angry feeling that he started again with his cheating then i told him that i am leaving the house to go stay with my mother, so when i was there i had to go for a seminar organised by Prophet Victor title Marriage in America… it was so interesting and it seem it was all about my marriage… i was able to get in contact with him then i explained everything to him to my greatest surprise he told somethings to do to get my husband back begging me which i did, it was just 2 days i begging to get some strange call from my wayward husband asking me to forgive me for all the heartbreaks he have caused me… I dont know hat Victor really did but i appreciate it sir… Contact him at www solverking com or ajamugashrine at gmail com

  4. Jon says:


    This article was helpful however I was looking for some help. I am a wayward spouse trying to understand my wife better after my indiscretion. It has been nine months and she has not once kissed me, hugged me affectionately or said something nice. I tell her all the time and I am attentive to her needs. I let her know what needs are not being meet but she accuses me of rushing her to get over it, setting me back to the stone age with her.
    I love her deeply and dont even know if she cares, she tells me that “well I am still here aren’t I” which feels very bland to me.
    I have remorse and sympathy but my frustration with her is grown and grown making it harder from me care.
    I am already independant and she knows it. She know that I need her because of the life we share and that I don’t want to lose that. She has on occassion black mailed me in ways saying “or what you can’t do anything I will make you suffer if I suffer, you put us here not me”.
    I feel there is no winning with her, I need help, I have asked her to go to counselling and she tells me to go, I did and she didn’t care which is fine but she refused to go herself. What can I do?

    • SunnyD says:

      It is very possible, Jon, that your wife is wayward herself at this point – not wanting to be involved in the marriage, refusing counseling, etc… (Not that she is unfaithful – just has that wayward mindset).

      When my husband and I reconciled, I knew it would never work if I beat him over the head with what he had done. I also knew that we needed more than just counseling – we needed to learn what it actually takes to make a good marriage. For us, a program of recovery was a true Godsend! We did the Marriage Builders program which allowed us to both open up about what we wanted and needed, what we liked and disliked, and how we truly felt. It also taught us very important negotiation strategies for dealing with differences.

      Here’s the thing though: if you can’t get your wife to commit to counseling, I doubt you are going to get her to commit to doing a program. (Although, I must say – sometimes selling it with the point of it being so that she can get what she wants can work.)

      I’m sure your affair bankrupted your wife’s love bank quite substantially. It may not seem fair, but you are going to have to motivate her to wanting to do the work required to have the great relationship that is needed to sustain love for a lifetime. That is going to require a bit of strategy. It means that you are going to have to meet her needs in the best ways possible while not getting yours met for awhile. You are also going to have to find out what her lovebusters are – the things that annoy her and make you less desirable – and avoid doing those things like the plague!

      I would recommend that you drop all relationship talk for awhile since she does not seem to be the least bit receptive. Right now, when you bring up the status of the relationship, it’s a turn off. From a psychological standpoint, you have to lure her back into wanting the marriage, and then, at that point – you can do marriage recover properly.

      It is hard when the person you love rejects you, even in the smallest of ways. You just have to work on you – be the best Jon you can be. When you are around her, smile and laugh – even if you don’t feel like it. Be helpful. Do things for her without her asking. Be the best husband you can be – no matter how hard it is – without expecting much in return. At the same time, you have to do this in a way that is not smothering or self-disrespecting. Basically, you would do what is called “plan A” for awhile. The more you try to force your wife into being vested in the relationship, the more she will run. You have to try to draw her towards you. It may take awhile.

      Read up – get help – there’s lots to be had on the forums!

  5. Chaya says:

    My former husband left me for his assistant who was also a friend. I found them in our house. They both lied why they were there. He left about an hour after I came home from work the next day. Before he left, he told me that he had been involved with women during our entire marriage. It was all my fault. I hadn’t kept up, I was going to be too successful, I was too fat (120 lbs. at 5’5″), I didn’t make him laugh anymore, etc. the usual. It all happened so fast. After he left, I found books about divorce hidden under the bed. He had been preparing while I was blindsided. I was still very much in love. Unfortunately, he was already in love with this other woman. He told me to go back to my maiden name, to work on the east coast (we lived in San Francisco), and claimed that our marriage was a sham. He said he didn’t want two women attached (Mrs) to his name. He also called my friends for dates, including a childhood friend. He was delighted to be free.

    I did everything wrong. Of course I lost so much weight that friends told me to cut it out, I sat outside his new apt. trying to get a grip on the entire picture, asked him to go to counseling with me, went to bed for days in a total funk. The sense of betrayal from a lived one and a friend was overwhelming and more impact full than the sense of rejection. Even in my funk I realized that he wasn’t taking any responsibility for the break-up. He couldn’t heal. All he could do was reject.

    I think everything that is said here is correct. I should have kicked him out when he walked his secretary out of the house. I completely let him control the situation. I should have let him know that his behavior was unacceptable and not let him go to his world of denying any responsibility and then blaming me. I should have changed the locks immediately ( he came in and took things when I wasn’t home). I guess I was hoping that he would find the same problems in his new relationship and come back. He didn’t. He did have them ( heard from friends) but wanted to start fresh. In fact, he married her. They have two children together, live in a beautiful house, etc. who knows if it’s happy?

    It took me a long time to fall out of love with him.
    It’s taken a longer time to discover why I didn’t see the signs, address them immediately, and deal with the possibility of divorce. Why did I continually trust him? It took me a long time to trust my intuition again. Due to this experience, I urge the wronged spouse to get angry. If one is going to leave, one will. Often the dumping spouse has thought about it for a long time. Recalling the past isn’t productive. They’ve considered it. It’s now about self-preservation for the remaining spouse in many situations. The advise in this site is good.

    • SunnyD says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation, Chaya. Hindsight really is 20/20, isn’t it? A betrayed spouse really has to wise up quickly!

      Hopefully you will read a lot on how a marriage SHOULD work – and your next relationship will flourish because of your self education.

      I know all may seem great with your ex and his new wife; most of the time those situations disintegrate with time though; they simply don’t have the tools necessary to make a great relationship.

  6. SunnyD says:

    I had no idea people were commenting on this article so I apologize for not responding to others in the past.

    To those that are currently going through this, I can tell you first hand: BE STRONG! Follow the advice, even when you are panicked. ESPECIALLY when panicked! It’s all about showing self respect. You will be tested and you MUST pass the test.

    My husband and I are almost 4 years into recovery and our marriage is BETTER THAN EVER! When I was going through this, I would’ve never imagined we could recover and things could be so good. We now have the tools to have an exceptional marriage – forever.

    For the record, I was one of those that exposed the A – and my husband left the house and we separated – before finally reconciling.

    Bailey – to your point: it’s important to not just make it to the point of reconciliation, but to have a PLAN of recovery; knowing how you ended up where you did and to avoid that in the future is key!

    Angela: if you’re still around… I hope you had passed the tests and stood strong – against your own intuitive feelings.

    Best wishes to you all!

  7. Bailey says:

    I was sadly the pathetic opposite of the advice given here when my husband left. I begged and pleaded, continued having sex with him knowing he was with “her”. I spied on him, I spied on her. I felt hopeless, desperate. The pain felt physical it hurt so bad. He did come back. 9 months later. That was in 2008. I tortured him for years accusing him of still being with her, loving her, etc. in other words the desperation I felt when he was gone transformed into a different type of desperation when he came back. The anxiety and pain didn’t go away. In 2010 I found out he cheated again with someone else and yet again I accepted it. Note that he will never admit that he has cheated despite all the factual proof. Even now he reminds me of how I begged him back. If I would have been strong back in 2008 I would have had a whole new life by now – probably….I under estimated myself and never allowed myself to truly find out how strong I could have been. Don’t sell yourself short.

  8. angela says:

    my husband left first time 2 years ago,came back twice,only with a foot in the door,never fully back.i have also driven circles around his needs,moods,texts,i call.with little or no response.he will text me he loves me,and when i drive there,or call im looking for reassurence,i will ask when,when,when.are you really coming home,he will always reply that he is coming,and he loves me.he wont come visit me,im the wife yet i feel like a secret,ive tried everything,knowing in my mind there is someone else,keeping things positive ,even when he is so mean.oneday i went out,and i asked him,whats going on,you are sayying you love me,want our marriage,im your world what gives,the only thing he will say is i am.i am ,im coming home.once he became so angry because i was asking him his feeling on us,he cursed me threw tools,stomped off.this has been the routine for over a year,me not sleeping,trying everything i can to get his attention,ive even said this to him,his response you never had to beg,you have my attention.its like he has given me enough hope to trickle me along but makes no effort with our marriage at all.so last week i tested it,i pushed the mark he was working thursday and simply said if i didnt hear from him or see him i would swing out tomm,knowing he would be off,well the next day came i didnt call or text ,i just waited to see what he would do,he finally text me 530 saying he was going out,just for a sec i tried to push the mark saying,thats ok,i will wait come out later for a hug,my husband said it will be late call you when im done.its now tuesday:(i havnt heard the first word from him,nothing….i have not called or texted him,im having a really hard time with this,its like i dont exsist?i simply dont know what to do?i know he is involved with someone,but ive put that aside and just tried loving harder,what in the world can i do?im in no contact now,,,its so hard,its only been a few days,but everyday i have such panic attacks of the thought he is actually gone,at least when i was recieving a text i thought he was thinking of me,will no contact work????please i need some good advice.

  9. Marie says:

    I have been doing what’s in this article, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I can’t go completely no contact because we have business together. We have to bankrupt it eventually.

  10. Ray says:

    I haven’t had the experience of an unfaithful wife as some of you have, but I can feel your pain as well as that of people a bit closer to me because I teach a Bible study group that has some ladies whose husbands have been having affairs. I read this website trying to find more information about how to help them.
    In case you are not aware of it, you can use a principle given in the Bible in the book of Hosea to pray for your WS.
    First, a bit of background: God had told Hosea to marry a prostitute as a sign to Israel. Hosea (representing God) was married to Gomer, a prostitute and WS (representing Israel). Then in chapter 2 verse 6, God says what He’s going to do to Israel: block her way with thorns and build a wall so she can’t find her lovers. Read chapter 2 verses 5-7.
    So you can pray that God blocks your WS’s way with His thorns, and you can cut off those illicit relationships. This is not a magic spell or anything; and the WS still has his/her free will, because God doesn’t violate people’s free will. However God is a “Powerful Persuader”, and you and I have a lot of power to influence people through prayer, if what you are praying for is in line with what God wants, and if you are in the habit of doing what He wants. One thing He definitely wants, as you can learn from reading the Bible, is for people to be faithful to their spouse and their family.
    May God help you in your pain to find His answer! Blessings,

    • Frazier says:

      Praise the Lord, I have to give God the glory for sending you go write this post and for me seeing it. I am a stander who has the faith of God, and i know the promises he has given me concerning my marriage Thank you Lord! God is such an awesome Father and covenant keeping Savior The passage you spoke about is an active prayer of mine. Amen my brother thanks for the post and keep on trusting in the Lord because he’ll never abandon us.

  11. evans says:

    yip when i showed that i needed him, he felt in control. I have moved on, treats him with love and respect, and even though he fetched the signed divorce papers, he wa
    nts 2 come visit on our daughters birthday on the 6th

  12. Kassie says:

    That story is so intense.
    I’m sorry for all of your pain.
    I really think that the only people who truly understand this type of pain are the people who’ve been through this.
    I’m sure your husband will be back as it sounds to me like ultimately that relationship will totally destroy itself.
    I keep hoping the same with my husbAnd and the other woman
    He’s been gone for 6 months and although I still love him very much I am getting on with my own life a little more.
    I’m always wondering if the reality of who the OW is will finally break the fog on e the fantasy and newness wears off
    I feel that any woman who would pursue a man who is married with a you g child can’t be a very good person at all.
    I know it’s easy to blame the other woman instead of husband but there truly should be honor among woman …
    I have so many questions but very few answers , yet anyway
    I continue to hope

    Best of luck to you and I truly wish for you that everything works out he way you want it

  13. Flowers says:

    Finally a present day forum. My H 17 and I was 20 when we started dating. We were together 10 years before we married 18 years ago…this past Aug was our 28th anniversary. We have 3 adult children of which 2 still live at home go to collage and work full time..our son lives an hour away. We had many ups and downs in all our years but we were very much in love and very committed. He always wanted me to be a stay at home mom. I was a homemaker for all the years and home-schooled our kids and helped with our business for 16 years. He always told me that I was his everything and I always said he was my last stop…this is where I belong. In July 2008 our home went into fourcloser and we were so stressed by it all the time. In 2009 H asked to be separated from me cause he believed I deserved better that he failed me. I suggested MC and all he would say is we need to move on. After 14 months of separation (he in a spare room and no physical anything) under the same roof H decided to moved out Nov. 2010. A week prior to him moving out he told me he had a change of heart but the day before I was kissed by a man I knew for 3 years and so I was reluctant to jump on my H epiphany and let him go no matter how sad I was…I felt ready to let go. Our son worked with him at the time and every time they went to work I’d tell my son to ask dad if this is really what he wants and H would send word “tell your mom to forget about me and to move on”…my heart was wrenched. I continued to see this OM but never once went out on dates with him. We’d meet at his home talk and neck til the cows came home…I could not go past that til the very last day and I was so not happy that it happened. I did not like how it felt to be with another man at all! I cried and became so depressed. I knew there was nothing meaningful in this for me so I stayed away for good. I would text my H often and tell him how much I missed him. He called me one nite and asked me if there was someone else and when I told him about the OM he was very upset but asked me to promise that would never feel like I cheated on him and I agreed. I went to his apt and told him that there were things I needed to let go of and that if this meant it was over for good then so be it. I confessed a time I cheated on him when we were together for a lil’ over a year and twice when we were split up and then he confessed two of his own also while we were split up (this was before we got married) =/ Within a couple of days my husband took charge and moved back in…he was so forceful and possessive in a desperate sort of way. Like he wasn’t letting another man take his wife from him. I wasn’t very happy with it but I knew it was cause I had feelings for the OM. I knew I did not want to lose my family so I went with it. We started going to MC and things began to look up. H loved taking us fishing or to the beach…we’d cookout and during the winter months H would make beautiful pit fires and I would make homemade soup and hot chocolate. On hot days we’d enjoy the pool, we took a couple of family getaways together…we even made love daily. Dec 2011 our son moved out to find a better job. I started menopause and was bleeding very heavy for 7 months almost to the point of a blood transfusion! Every once in awhile H would freak out in jealousy and make me crazy with all the questions. H started to drink excessively…the business started to sink…every modification we tried for our home was denied. Day by day H started isolating himself from everything and everyone even from me and our children. The jealous rages became sever. My father past away in Feb and my mom had a stroke in April then my uncle past away. The end of May 2012 H told me that an old friend from Jr. High found him on classmates.com and I told him to be careful cause she might be looking for a man and he said to me she was in a relationship. I didn’t really give it much thought…my mind was on mom. My sister invited me to go with her on a one month trip up north and H wanted me to go cause he had been very worried about me with all that’s been going on..I felt we had a break through cause he trusted me enough to let me go. For Fathers Day our girls surprised him with an airline ticket (he requested) to see his father who was ill. Later our daughters told me that as soon as I walked out the door he sat around waiting for work but nothing for three weeks…so everyday H would drink and drink and often get drunk. When ever H and I would text, talk or email he didn’t have much to say except “I’ve been doing alot of thinking”. I knew in my heart that something was not right. Before I returned home I stop by my moms home and brought her with me. H always wanted for mom to be with us so I knew he would be happy. When I get home I was so excited to see him but H seemed distant. I took a shower and when we made love it was so different but I thought it was cause I drove 10 hours that day but the next day it was the same…now I was concerned. Afterwards we talked for a bit then he explained what he was thinking about…he told me he was not happy and wanted a divorce. I almost died!!! His trip was for the end of July 2012 and before he left he took off his ring and told me “when I get back I’m moving out” He left crying hard. He got back 3 weeks later the first nite he was back even though he didn’t want to we made love H said it was the most amazing ever…I felt like I was saying good-bye. As time went on he was cold and drunk most of the time. He began to treat me like trash and when drunk only the worst spewed from his mouth…I just stayed away and took care of mom, my girls and the home. A month later after our 28th anniversary he cried to me and said “I know what I have but I don’t know what I want can I stay here” I told him that this was his home and I don’t want him to go but that he needed to cut back on the drinking cause it was getting ugly…8 days later he moved out and 3 days later he tells me he is seeing someone. Come to find out it was the classmate.com contact and when on his trip to see his father he hooked up with her and while in her bedroom with my H her 15 year old son was playing video games in the living room. While back in his new apt he sent for her to spend 10 days with him. I was devastated. Our son ended up in the ER with a cyst at the base of his spine I called H to come be with us he refused…he was with her. He slips and said her name and when I look on FB she had a bunch of pix of them public! Beginning of Sept the OW goes back home and then his father comes to visit after almost 15 years since I last saw him only to find out that nothing was what he thought and was not very happy when he had to stay in a tiny apt instead of our home. I needed a job and found one the end of Sept. H calls me a week later and tells me he broke off the long distant thing with the OW cause she cheated on him with her ex but her reason was cause when H came back home H slept with me..W. The next day the OW calls me to say that she is not a homewrecker and goes on to tell me all they had been doing and that she was gonna move on to do what God called her to do and be a missionary and how she hopes H and I can over come this. That afternoon H comes to my job drunk and apologizing and crying that he doesn’t know what is wrong with him that he is so confused and out of control…by that evening he calls to tell me that he has feelings for her and wants her back. By mid Oct he moves her and her son in with him in a big house they rented while me and our daughters pack up our home and move ourselves out to a rental house the beginning of Nov. He asked to help but we said no…he didn’t push at all. I offer him the moving truck on the second moving day cause he had alot to move only to have him come by with a hickey on his neck. He told me that he told her that was unnecessary. End of Oct H tells our oldest that he drinks daily in order to cope. She befriends me on FB and claims she was trying to block me. Thanksgiving he’s drunk when our kids go meet him by WalMart to say hello…none of them want anything to do with that OW. Mid Dec H calls our oldest nice and drunk and said it’s over that the OW left him and went back home cause he mentioned to her that she only gives 25% to the relationship. We were worried about him drinking and driving so we had him come over our place til sober…while he was here he couldn’t keep his hands off of me and told me how beautiful I am then when sober he was confused. H finally let the truth be known of how un-happy he has been with that OW and how there is nothing he likes about her…how they never had the honeymoon stage when they moved in together, the way she dresses trashy, her choice of music, her cooking, the sex, how she spoils her son and is always on the phone or FB with her family and 4 daughters, but he still doesn’t understand the connection he has towards her. She is very jealous of me and H is constantly telling her to stay off of my FB. Now that she left him he told her to stay home that he was not gonna allow her to hurt him again. He admitted that he had feelings for her but that I had nothing to worry about that he was done. We started talking about possibly getting back together in one home cause we were all struggling to pay the rents. He told me that he wanted us to survive this and that he wants to be my husband. I wanted to see his place to get an idea of whether to keep that house or the one me and the girls have. Since it’s a gated community the gates-man called to get approval and of all phone numbers he calls that OW so now she starts to harass my H and text him pix of herself in the hospital and of guys that she said were interested in dating her she manipulated him that entire nite after I left and by morning he called to say that he loves her and wants her back. He flew to her and spent Christmas and New Years with her. Then came back to the house to pack, liquidate our business assets and serve me the divorce petition and moves back to there home town. He’s been gone one week now. Funny thing is he love’s his children, loved his business and absolutely hates his hometown. OMG

  14. Lilian Rodriguez says:

    This article is exactly what I needed to read. My spouse walked out on me three months ago because he had fallen out of love with me, but supposedly there is no other woman; he just wants to be “free”. I’ve done everything I shouldn’t do like calling, texting, going to his work, and even calling his friends and relatives. But all that has now come to a halt. Although I battle with the urge every second of the day to call or text him, I don’t do it. I experience panic attacks throughout the day when I think about how I’ve lost him and I’ll never see him again. When this happens I dial a friend. Needless to say, I’m having a hard time letting go but I’m determined more than ever to move towards complete independence. I want my husband back so badly that it hurts, yet now I must do what feels like the most unnatural thing to do and pull away. I pray this works.

  15. Kassie says:

    I just read this from you and I totally think you are right.
    An affair is an addiction.
    I wonder how long it takes for the wayward spouses to tire of the new partner after they can have them in real life?
    Or maybe they choose to stay with them indefinetly?
    Hope things have gotten better for you.
    Do you still have contact with your wife and is she still involved with the affair?

  16. Kassie says:

    I think what you said is exactly right.
    I myself have behaved in the same way when my husband began having an affair.. Trying to convince him that the woman was not a good Perron to get involved with a married man with a 5 year old etc.
    He continued to remain distant. Blaming me for everything .
    I reminded him how in love we once were and although that is very true : we had huge connection and chemistry .. He said he’s not sure he ever loved me.
    Now he’s moved out because he can’t handle the guilt etc.
    I am doing what this article suggests.
    I’m intuitively doing it all
    Some express that we should be exposing the affair to everyone but I fe that is so the wrong approach.
    If I could tell this woman’s husband ( although apparently they are getting divorced. ??) I might do it but I feel in many ways this exposing to everyone just looks crazy and desperate and not at all attractive.
    If my husband wakes up out of the fog and wants to put our relationship back together then it has to be because that’s what he really wants
    In the meantime I must get myself back and running around exposing him just would hold me back and make me look like a pathetic lunatic
    He has to lie in the bed he’s made and figure out if that’s what he wants?
    Yes he’s distorted our whole relationship but putting outside pressure or me telling ‘ my side’of the story is ridiculous in my opinion
    The best thing to to is go silent
    If and when he will choose to come back to me ( and if I’m still interested ) he will see that he did that and reframe things according to his. Es desire so I don’t put a lot of stock in any if that.
    It is truly the most painful experience to be in
    I deeply love my husband and I pray he will come back to us but I now have to have faith and love my self even more
    Best of luck to you

    • njadh1 says:

      All strength to you Kassie! I’m going through it too and had the same struggle whether or not to expose my stbx’s affair. But my conclusion was why hurt more people? Both she and the married man she’s involved with are either wracked by guilt, or doing the “lie, deny, and justify” self-exonerating thing. So what does it matter? An affair is an addiction anyway, a house built on sand, that will just go further underground if exposed. In the end, guilt and pain is what is left in most cases.

  17. Moe says:

    This article is just what I needed to hear. My wife cheated on me multiple times and as I look back I was pathetic in trying to save my marriage. Trying to convince her that what she was doing was wrong, that it wasn’t love and how I was the one. It only made things worse and finally I left and even then still remained in contact with her. So now that I have broken off all contact with her and regaining my independence she doesn’t talk to me, changed all of her numbers and treats me like I did something wrong by walking out. I still miss her and still lover her but I have to focus on me and getting my life back on track, even if she never comes back I know with each passing day I will be okay.

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