What Should I Do When My Spouse Is Having An Affair?

Distant Couple

When your spouse is having an affair, your world becomes a confusing, scary place full of hurt, shame, and anger. You will wonder why this has happened and what action(s) to take.

“Love is understood, in a historical way, as one of the great human vocations – but its counterspell has always been infidelity. This terrible, terrible betrayal that can tear apart not only another person, not only oneself, but whole families.” – Junot Diaz

What Should I Do When My Spouse Is Having An Affair?

I concluded my previous article with the question, “What Should I Do When My Spouse Is Having An Affair?” This might be the question most often asked on the forums at Marriage Advocates, and I fear that it says something more about the world we live in than most couples consider when tying the knot.

I believe it says that the biggest reason people are online looking for marriage advice might very well be that they just discovered that their spouse has been having an affair. That it is the question people ask more than any other might make one wonder if there are any faithful marriage partners left in this world. I can assure that there are, but not many spouses of a faithful wife or husband search online in the middle of the night for help solving a crisis that threatens all they once believed was real.

What is your goal?

The question of what to do when you learn your spouse is having an affair will have a different answer at different times and under different circumstances. What you should do in your specific situation might be a lot different from what someone else should consider doing, but in most cases, it starts by deciding what you really want to take place, and why you want the answer. If you have decided to divorce quietly, move to another country (or planet) and just forget the whole ordeal, what you should probably do to make that happen smoothly will be a lot different than if you really want to know if you’re likely to still be married to the same partner 10, 20 or more years from now. As a guess, you aren’t online looking for advice that supports that choice, since that path seems pretty clear for most people, once chosen.

Assuming that what you are really looking for is advice to help your marriage survive, let me make a few suggestions about what you can actually do. Some of those suggestions aren’t as much a matter of what you should do as things you should probably avoid doing. I’ll give you some things to think about doing in a minute, but I’d like you to think about the decision to try to save your marriage first. You don’t have to decide right now; that is really my first bit of advice to you.

Marital unfaithfulness might be one of the most emotionally demanding and hurtful things anyone will ever experience. In places like this one we have had debates about what sort of emotional pain ranks above and below other sorts of pain and whether infidelity causes more pain than the death of a loved one or is somehow less painful. I’ve never been sure that those kinds of comparisons mean all that much, any more than losing a leg in an explosion or getting run over by a locomotive limits your options for significant pain and trauma. Whether you ever experience anything more painful than discovering that your spouse is cheating or if this is the most painful event you’ll ever have doesn’t really matter much. I would not pray that my enemies experience that sort of pain. Pain is painful, whatever the cause and the suddenness or severity of an injury, how long it might take to heal, or other ratings of horrible experiences in an effort to make the experience somehow less horrible can never make it hurt any less.

Whenever we experience something so traumatic, our response is greatly influenced by our emotions. That can lead to trouble for our life’s outcomes because our emotions are fickle, and not much of a standard to make judgments by. Most therapists and others who help people get through traumatic times and events agree that while in the middle of emotional turmoil you should avoid making choices and decisions that will change the course of your life significantly, at least for a period of time. This helps you make sure you weigh factors more stable than emotional reactions alone.

You don’t have to make a decision about your marriage in the next 5 minutes!

Unless you got married last weekend (or this morning), your marriage didn’t get to this place in a day or a week. Except for a one-night stand, or a sexual liaison with someone your spouse met and had sex with after getting drunk while out of town on business (and is less likely to see again than they are to see a living dinosaur), most affairs don’t happen so suddenly. They build up gradually, like any relationship between two people. It is because you found out so suddenly that it seems to be a single catastrophic event. Once you have gotten your emotions under control and had some time to analyze what happened, you will end up questioning many events and things that happened weeks or months before you found out about the affair. In the end, that might be the biggest challenge you will face in trying to salvage a marriage with a spouse who has cheated. Because you have no frame of reference for the affair as it relates to the actual timeline of your life, you will find connection and meaning in the most mundane and unusual events over the course of your life. If you are like most people, you will at times even question if what you have memory of is real.

Which brings me to the next question:

Has our whole marriage been a lie?

If this is one of your questions, your spouse probably told you that your marriage has been long dead and all that remains is the disposal of something no longer of value to anyone.

I’d like to share a few of the things those who have been through this before you were told by their spouses when confronted about an affair.

  • I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you. (This is so common that it warrants its own abbreviation – ILYBINILWY.)
  • I haven’t been happy in months/for years/ever.
  • I haven’t loved you in a long time.
  • I never really loved you.
  • We got married too young/too soon/too late/too early/for the wrong reasons/without knowing each other/almost by accident.

The list could go on and on…

Let me ask you a question about all of this. You just found that the person you trusted more than anyone else in life has been lying to you about where he has been, who she has been with, why you came home to an empty house after work tonight and why the kids have had to find their own source of help with their homework for the last month or more. Are you suggesting that suddenly, when confronted, he or she is instantly telling you only the whole truth? Maybe he or she told you when first confronted that this other person was “just a friend.” Do you believe that to be true? If you did, you probably wouldn’t be reading this now.

I am not telling you that your spouse doesn’t actually believe all those things. I just want you to realize that those are some of those emotional-reaction kinds of things that affect the way we see ourselves and those around us, and convince us of what the truth must be. Why this might happen is something I will perhaps post about in the future.

For now, you just need to know that you can at least discount many of those comments without having them weigh heavily on your decision to try to save your marriage.

Ten things to do (and not do) if your spouse is having an affair:

  1. Don’t make major decisions about your marriage (or moving to another country or another planet) until you get your own emotional responses under control.
  2. Do take things one day at a time. You never really knew what the future held anyway, so don’t expect to know what next year will bring during the turmoil you are experiencing today.
  3. Do take care of yourself intentionally. This event or series of events can affect your sleep (too much or too little) and might make you eat too much, or lead you to forget to eat at all. If you fall apart during this time, doing much of anything is going to get a lot harder, whether you choose a divorce or to work on your marriage to resurrect it.
  4. Do take care of the parts of your life that you still have! If you forget about your kids, you might lose them as well as your spouse in a divorce. If you lose your home because you forgot to make the payment, your life will get a lot more difficult.
  5. Do educate yourself. Read a book about infidelity and surviving an affair or recovering from one. Find resources online that will benefit you in coping with the affair. Marriage Advocates can help you find many such opportunities to learn what will help you in the long run. Just be sure you avoid trying to educate your spouse by badgering and teaching them all you learn.
  6. Do find ways to deal with the emotional roller coaster you find yourself riding. Start working out, running or just taking walks. Take a class at the community college or clean out the garage. Plant a garden or finish that project you have been putting off for so long. Join our forum or one like it and vent your anger to folks who understand what you are going through. Avoid letting your anger make your spouse’s life so miserable that he or she will want only to get way from you.
  7. Don’t be afraid to seek help in coping if you begin to feel hopeless! The rate of suicide and spousal homicide goes up radically during an affair. Find someone to talk to who can help you cope, and see your physician to see if medication can help you get through this.
  8. Do realize that feelings are not right or wrong, they just are! What you are feeling is perfectly normal. If you feel like you want to walk away and never see your spouse again, that is a normal reaction. If five minutes from now you feel like you are willing to sacrifice anything for another chance to be together, that too is normal. Your feelings will change more rapidly than the weather in Minnesota in March.
  9. Do know your rights! Talk to a lawyer, even if you hope to save your marriage. Knowing what to expect should this end in divorce can help you decide what you are willing to invest. Preventing your life’s savings from being spent on a trip to Cancun for your spouse and the interloper might be far from your worries right now, but might matter a great deal ten years from now, whatever happens to your marriage.
  10. Do make a plan. For some that means writing down your goals and steps you can take to reach them. It could be as simple as following the advice of someone who deals with this kind of thing all the time. It might involve taking a look at what you need to do in order to make yourself someone your spouse will want to spend his or her life with. The forums on Marriage Advocates can assist you in finding a plan or developing your own.

I might add one more thing to consider:

We’re here to help!

Whether you decide to start over with someone else, or want to try to save your marriage, Marriage Advocates wants to help you reach your goals. We offer no guarantees and won’t tell you that 75% of couples who follow some plan that costs thousands of dollars live happily ever after, or that reading a bunch of books and learning to sacrifice your own happiness will get you back a spouse who seems destined to run off with someone else.

Many of the people at Marriage Advocates have had the same experience you find yourself involved in right this minute. Some were able to restore their marriages while others survived the pain of infidelity and have gained new insights that can help them in a new relationship.

Everything we do here is free of charge. We don’t sell books and don’t have a paid staff of counselors or coaches who will send you a bill or take your credit card number before offering advice. We won’t sign you up for a weekend seminar in Costa Del Mar or a six-week course in learning to accept the reality of your life. Some of our members might know about such programs. We don’t have any of those things here. What we have is the combined experience of a group of people who have dealt with marital problems that range from minute to monumental and can offer advice on what worked and what did not work for them.

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49 Responses to What Should I Do When My Spouse Is Having An Affair?

  1. unknown says:

    I want to die…dont know what to do…where to go, where to share all this… i discovered my wife’s affairs last night…i really dont know how to react, if someone see this comments after a long time, may be few year…just remember never trust your partner 100% nobody is trusted, never expect anything from anyone. may be i will commit suicide because i dont have anybody else my wife was my everything…. good bye world.

    • Maria says:

      Hello, I am going through similar thing. Please don’t do anything to hurt yourself. Talk to somebody. Get help. That is never the answer.

    • Mhplaban, please don’t do anything rash…believe it or not, you will NOT feel like this forever! Please look for help–your family, your church, a counselor. And join our forum community at http://www.marriageadvocates.com. The men and women there have been through what you’re facing now, and have much advice and support to offer. Check it out to see what steps you can take to save your marriage. There is hope for you, no matter how this goes. We can help. Don’t suffer alone.

  2. Graydon says:

    My wife of almost 2 years has thoughts of ending things. She’s admitted to putting my needs ahead of her own for the almost 4-5 years we’ve been together. I”ve admitted this and have vowed to work on myself and be the person she was attracted to in the first place. I’m seeking professional help for myself and want to work on me. She said she is open to it but isn’t promising anything. That alone is giving me anxiety that is keeping me up at night and not allowing me to eat much. I don’t want to push her away and to top all this off i know she is attracted to an other single man, they have gotten together for coffee and I was mad aware prior to this, they are in communication past that i’m not (where i’m suspecting the emotional affair-i did see an email where she said to a friend that she has this intense attraction that she’s never had before to him even me.) sure how much but with our marriage in a vulnerable state this is not helping cope with her giving me an honest chance to be better. I am seeking all the help i can get and do not want to lose my wife and home because of my stupidity and immaturity throughout our relationship.

    • Trsvis says:

      You just summed up everything that’s happening in my marriage wow!!! I just keep being positive and set the negative aside . The anxiety sucks and not eating doesn’t help I started reading my bible getting therapy and talking with people from my church. There’s nothing you can do but be positive be the best you can be and if it doesn’t work it’s not your fault and you did your best . Guys like us that truly want to save our marriage end up being really good second husbands. When I first heard d that it really didn’t mean much but now it does because whatever happens from here on out I know I tried my best and the fail was not me . Hope that helps a little.

  3. anonymous says:

    I have read some of the issues that are going on in marriages. I pray that everyone, instead of posting you pain and stories in a forum. Please take it to God in prayer and the closer you get to God, the more the pain will cease. He will show you the way to walk through this diffilcut storm in your marriage. God Bless

  4. Sunita says:

    I’m hurt, married for 8 year and found him msg with OW. He sent nute picture of himself to this OW…I am really down heart broken. He Cheated on me…I’ve got a 2years old girl..he has broke my trust! I feel cheated pls advise what I should do.

  5. Balkoulani says:

    My marriage is 8years , no kids..
    I discovered that my husband having an affair, but he denied
    As I see him going to the same apartment every day
    And switching off his phone… we was small employers
    When we first married, but now we have our own business
    Since starting our own business, my husband cheated
    Many times and I was going crazy to know WHY
    but now am so confused and I don’t know what to do
    In the situation.., I know no body is perfect , this’s hurt like
    Hell., we r connect it with business field, and after angry
    Days , now am just keeping silent, playing he’s own
    Game against him.,, but until when.. I need advice

  6. Texas says:

    I see why divorce rate is so high. People are selfish individuals. No respect for one another, it’s microwave love, I pray for everyone who is married and their spouses are out there in the world engaging in adultery affairs. Pray for them and the person they are engaged with in this sin. God will have the final say…

  7. CUCKOLDED ONE says:

    Been married 12 years. My wife reunited last year with guy she used to date before I married her. His wife found out and left him. He can only see his kids 20%.
    The reason his wife found out is because he was caught with my wife at work and was asked to resign. I stuck it out but now she is telling me she is willing to lose it all for him. She says she’s addicted to him. So now I am just avoiding her and waiting for the divorce papers. What a joke. When I was dating her, I had so many women after me and I can’t believe I chose her. Oh well! To hell with her. I have two boys and we are best buddies so I’ve been the primary caretaker anyways. The way I see it, if she wants to give it all up for him, let her. I’m not going to fight the divorce because frankly, I’ve lost all respect for her. In my eyes, she’s an impulsive fool.

  8. Naive Wife says:

    I caught my husband having an on-line affair with an old high school girlfriend with whom he had reconnected with at his 25 year reunion. I was looking for a copy of an old resume on his home office computer while he was out of town, and I had to close several pop-up boxes stating “New email from: “, Subject: I Love You!; “A New email from: , Subject: I sure miss my boyfriend!… And on, and on (several more pop-up boxes). I closed them all, and forgot about the resume, and launched his email application. I started opening the emails, one by one, and it was like I was in the worst nightmare of my lift, but for sure, it was the real deal… It certainly wasn’t a nightmare. How could he be doing this to me. I responded back to her after reading a couple of the messages, stating “This is . Who are you? What are you doing with my husband? Why are you writing messages of a sexual nature to him???” I never, ever got a response back from her, but I found my husband’s 25 year reunion directory and saw hers and her husband’s contact information in it. So, I sent an email to her husband, regretfully introducing myself and informing her that I had reason to believe that my husband and his wife might be carrying on an affair. I began to forward him copies of each of the emails I came across between my husband and the OW so that he could begin to question her and maybe one of them would break under pressure and come clean. By the time my husband finally came home, I found proof that he had met up at hotel(s) with her, he sent her roses (no telling how many times), and he even paid for her to have a cell phone on our family plan. It was all so clear to me at that point why I was never authorized to speak to any of the customer service reps at the cell phone service ctr/co whenever I had a question – he always jumped on it, and said, “I’ll take care of it – don’t worry about it”…. That jerk was afraid he would have the rug pulled out from under him – if he didn’t have a “guilty conscience” or was not doing something totally dishonest – CHEATING ON HIS WIFE – then, why wouldn’t he let me know he was adding someone else to the plan? Because, when you are married and try to set up an arrangement for your girlfriend on the side, that’s “trying to have your cake and eat it too”. NO WIFE WOULD AGREE TO THOSE TERMS!. We tried going to a counselor for a while, but she overcharged us, which was terribly dishonest. She did say that trust is tricky – it takes as long as it takes to earn someone’s trust back, once you have deceived and hurt them as badly as he hurt me. He said he would be patient, but over the past year, he has turned into a complete, insensitive jerk. He has completely forgotten that to rebuild trust, I have my good days, and I have the days where I don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth. I grew up in a very poor neighborhood, and my family rolled coins and turned them in at the bank in order to have enough money to pay for groceries for the month. I had a militaristic father who believed in spankings and beatings for misbehavior – corporal punishment was the way of life. It was not called “child abuse” when I was growing up; rather, it was called “discipline”. My spouse was born with a platinum plated spoon in his mouth. He has always had to have the best of the best and never admits fault for anything. In his eyes, he is perfect; everyone else around him causes problems. This clashing of backgrounds is frustrating. He was caught – COMPLETELY RED-HANDED, CHEATING ON ME! He blamed it on the OW being “delusional”, which was very infuriating, as the OW did not force him to address her as “Sweetie” in emails or sign emails as “Love, xxxx” or say “I love you, too!” in the body of emails to her. He also VOLUNTARILY added her to our family cell phone plan, bought her a phone and paid for her monthly service. AND, he, VOLUNTARILY sent her RED ROSES (the color signifying romantic love) on Valentine’s Day. No one FORCED him to do any of these things, which were only the thinks I found out about. Once I was given access to the Verizon account – to be able to speak with and ask questions to reps about anything regarding the account, I have no idea what took place (content-wise) in terms of the 22,000 text (words and pictures) between their two telephone numbers from 2010-2014 (the period of time during which she was named the owner of the phone number assigned to her, still on our family plan)… Even more sickening – the cell number that was hers for that 4 years belonged to my son for the previous 6 months before being reassigned to her – DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know where to go from here. I am married to someone who just doesn’t care about what he did to me and how it actually affected me. Frankly, I don’t know if I will ever recover. The person I thought I could confide in and trust, 2-timed me, never apologized and doesn’t care about what it’s done to me. And his mother has the nerve to defend him and say, “he didn’t do anything wrong because he is a good man.” I have a son and a daughter, and I will love them both, no matter what they ever do, but if they ever commit an act of infidelity like this, I will tell them that they need to own up to being WRONG for what they did. They also need to accept the fact that their spouse may or may not ever forgive them. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love them, but I certainly will not “defend such action(s)” because such behavior is not consistent with behavior of a “good man” or a “good woman”. I will stand by them because I will always love them, but I will NEVER CONDONE INFIDELITY – IT’S PROOF OF POOR JUDGEMENT AND POOR CHARACTER, AND, IT DEFINITELY DOESN’T PORTRAY SIGNS OF A GOOD MAN A GOOD WOMAN. It shows signs of a truly shameful and disgraceful man or woman!!!!!!!

  9. jpk says:

    My wife of 14yrs, together for 18yrs a few months ago told me she wanted a divorce. She went back to work for the first time in 11 years. Lived in a huge house, and had a rather great life. We have had our shares of rough patches. But after two kids ages 6 & 11 yrs old and a women who was always dedicated to her husband & family, I found out she had an affair with her boss who is married( but getting a divorce, she is using his lawyer as well). She has been lying to me about it for a long time. I had my suspicions for a while and just got them 1000% confirmed. She is not the same person as she used to be. I know she felt hurt, disrespected, I did lack some empathy ( all can be said for her as well. I worked to much but to afford the life style and our bills I had to, but that has back down a long time ago). But after months of therapy, tons of money spent and trying, offering her everything I can and a promise to give her what ever was missing in our life. She has been playing me, hurting me and our kids who have picked up on our stuff. Last nite we got into a verbal argument, she used the system against me and called 911. It was such an abuse of the system. She is being coached by her boss/ boyfriend. She has changed, I been calling her out on this for months and she has become a very good liar. She gets mad when I call her out and acts all crazy.
    I am willing to try to forgive this all & work on our family. But she has to wake up and right now she can not as long as he is in her head and body. This is horrible.

  10. 9400ernie says:

    I got the whole I love you but I’m not in love with you speech about 3 weeks ago from my wife of 6 years together for 16. We have a beautiful little girl together. She had been ignoring me for months staring at her phone talking to a “friend” she even created a new Facebook acct and didn’t exactly invite me to be part of it and I guess the sex stopped completely but we never really had that much sex so I guess I just didn’t see all the red flags. In hindsight I feel pretty stupid. I guess I never thought things were as bad as she said. Now its were just friends and I never really loved you etc. Were still living in the same home to raise our daughter for financial purposes but its very difficult. I did all the usual things a husband would say at first like lets get counseling, she’s not interested just said I’m not in love with you. Then I found out about the text affair she has been having for months. It all made sense after that I of course still love her for some reason and I want to save my family but she has no interest in that at this point. Now I just go home every night and retreat to a different room and listen to her text her boyfriend. It kills me inside but I say nothing because what can I say. She has totally checked out of our marriage and doesn’t even help around the house. She still goes to her job but at home its just staring into her phone. She really doesn’t even pay attention to our little girl anymore who is mostly by my side while mommy continues to destroy our family. I desperately want my wife back but this person isn’t my wife. Not sure who she is. I’m right now just staying clear of her. Its hard to do nc under the same roof but we haven’t spoken in days. I guess I’m just hoping she comes out of this. Any advice?

    • 9400ernie, I’m sorry for the bad place you find yourself in. There is help available, though. I notice you’ve registered for Marriage Advocates’ discussion forums but have not posted. You can copy and paste what you wrote here and post it there in the Infidelity & Abandonment Forum so other members can respond and give you helpful advice and support. (Comments on articles posted here do not show up on the discussion boards.)

      Hope to see you over there.

  11. Liza says:

    Are you kidding me! Don’t give up??? People don’t change. Once a cheater always a cheater. I have been married for 18 years and my husband has had multiple affairs and each time I have been heart broken and thought would change . He is now on his 4th affair and I now truly believe that I did not do anything this time for this to happen. So my advice would be if you have nothing to lose move on! I wish I would had the first time. It only gets harder.

    • Yep…Exactly. My wife just ended number two a year ago. She went from being on a different planet to now back to being loving, affectionate, attentive and acting normal and working strongly at making it work. But I’ve been here before! And so as she! But I do agree with a lot of what was mentioned above. And you have to remember it has more to do with them than you. Better yourself and most importantly be happy with yourself and your life with or without them in it. Its hard but it can be done. But you must create a whole new relationship and not just try to get back to the “way things were before”

  12. Christine O'Connor says:

    I am convinced that my husband is having an affair with a woman at work, they are close at work, but I have no proof of the affair just a gut feeling, until today, I found a womans hair brush on the back seat of the car, he denied all knowledge of where it had come from, which was stupid as he is the only one that uses the car and the brush was not mine I want to confront him about my thoughts but he will denie it all unless I can get more proof, he knows that I would leave him if this is all true as all trust wouldd be gone.

    • Anna says:

      Just found out my husband was/is having an affair with a coworker. I has also suspected it and confronted him. Of course he lied for months but he is such a wreck that he finally came clean and told me yesterday. He has put me thru such hell over the past few months saying he wants a divorce and he doesn’t love me. I didn’t understand. Now it all makes sense. I have 3 kids. Not sure what to do. You aren’t alone.

  13. Anne says:

    I found out my husband was having affair with other woman..he even busy MSG in front of me dint wanna let me saw it. when i confronted him and he still won’t admit it but still can say even he have other woman, i shouldn’t care too much. i feel anger , pain.. sometimes i cry for releasing my sadness.. but i still carry on..i still loves him until now.. i keep on waiting “hopes” ..

  14. Julie says:

    I have been married for 25 years, battled with cancer, been through emotional traumas, operations, but 3 days before Xmas 2914 my husband left his phone at home accidentally. As he had been awful to live with for about 6 months my daughters and I decided to look at it when he went to work.
    We found that he was having a sext affair and had been for 6 months… He even met up with the woman at weekends, as he’s a long distance lorry driver she could meet up when he drove to near where she lived.
    He text her all the time , declaring his feelings for her, degrading me and telling her he loved her in every message.
    I confronted him when he got home. He was ashamed to have been found out but says that it’s over..
    It has made me Ill. I’m now on anti depressants, I don’t trust him, I’m trying to move on, forgive him but I can’t. I get the shakes when he’s in the room and feel physically ill. He said the affair is over and to move on but I can’t. What do you think? What should I do. I’m 59 years old and too old to start again.

    • Dondee Mc Donald says:

      Two days ago, I was gong to charge my husband’s phone for him. He’s in the hospital recovering from a serious operation. I found texts from a woman that I learned he was having an affair with two years ago. He had sworn it was over. This is Christmas Eve. He gets out of the hospital tomorrow and we have plans for family to come tomorrow night for Christmas. I’ve always been there for him through thick and thin. Now, I’m devastated again and don’t know what to do out how to act. We’re both 66 years old and should be past all this. I’m so unhappy. It seems every time, I pull up, he knocks me down with his infidelity. We have lovely children, grand children, and a home. He always gets the things he wants. He’s promising it’s over again. I just want our life together to be good.

  15. Football18 says:

    I found out about a month ago my wife was having an emotional affair with a co worker. They have been talking a lot for a longer period but expressed feelings a little over a month ago. She still comes home every night. Still does family stuff(we have 2 young kids) . Our house just sold and we are going to rent and she still wants to live together. She admitted that she is more there than here right now. Which I think is typical in most affairs. I tried the things I should not have right away begging etc. The last couple of weeks I have pulled away. Not asked questions and acted happy. She seems to initiate things and wonder now. It seems to be helping. The 180 approach. Just wonder what I should be doing and if what I am doing if is right. She said she does really care about him and they both acknowledged what they have can end tomorrow. Is this something I should be riding out. I have tried to make it seem to her that I am ok and could possibly move on.

  16. Delores Lyon says:

    Thanks for sharing this advice on making sure that both you and your spouse get through an affair. It is really important to seek counseling as soon as you find out about the affair. You need to make sure that you sort out your feelings, and see what you want to do once all the cards are on the table. I would also make sure to have a good counselor to make repairing the relationship easier.

  17. Emma says:

    Hi, i found last week that my husband was having an affair. We had been having problems for a while but agreed to start some marriage councelling in November 2014. We finished the councelling in January and were ‘starting again’. Just to add, he moved to his parents in December for some ‘space’, all of his things were still here though. I had suspicions that something was going on in January but once i confronted him about it, he turned it completely around on me and made me feel so guilty for even suggesting it. I went home that night and smashed up the living room and cut my hands on glass ‘purposefully’. He told me that I have ruined our fresh start and are back to square one. I grovelled to him and apologised for suggesting he was up to no good but still had a gut feeling something wasnt right. We started getting friendly again, going out for meals etc, only had sex a couple of times.
    After a bit of this though, i questioned him if he wanted to be with me or not, he said he wasnt sure. I kept waiting and waiting but about 2 weeks go, i’d had enough. I felt like he was taking the mick out of me and keeping me dangling so told him to collect his things and go have his freedom, if thats what he wanted. He was blubbering at the door and i said it doesnt have to be like this. He went anyway.
    The next day, something made me search his name on Facebook, and there i found his new ‘secret’ account. There were only 3 friends on there, 2 i recognised but one female i did not. I sent her a message asking how she knew him, then sent him a message saying ‘ive found your secret page’. When i checked again, she had changed her picture to one of her and him together. So i rang him and went ballistic, ordered him round straight away to get the rest of his things and called him all names under the sun. She has just blocked me completely. He couldnt even look at me, no apology or anything.
    A few days later, i thought about checking his phone bills online and bang- he hadnt changed his password, so now i have his phone bills since last year. Saved the unknown numbers to my phone and sent them messages. She wasnt the only one, as soon as he was staying at his mums for ‘space’ he was online searching for girls and went on dates with them. I sent these messages to his now girlfriend but she’s having non of it. I now think they have booked a holiday and he is in a complete dreamworld, and at the same time, pushing me to get the house sold.
    I am so angry and feel sick from the lies and the way he made me feel. I also think he is having a mid life crisis. Even though he is only 34 but the symptoms were there, drinking – was tee total. Depression, anxiety etc.
    I told him i thought he was a disgusting coward. The thing is now, I want to help him, i want to make him see sense because after everything he has done, i dont want to loose him permanently. My emotions are a mess. I cant sleep and certainly cant eat. I feel like they are both taking the mick out of me and i’m going to loose my home. I bough this house on my own when we were not together. He does not seem to care. How can i make him see sense? please help.
    Thank you

  18. roonie says:

    We are not married still now, we had a plan after 1 year or so we have been in relationship for about 7 years till now, she works in a private sector and i was still completing my higher studies to get bettr job as it was our plan…it had been few months when i found her behavior was different than normal…. she used to text till very long at night when i asked about that she told that she talks with her boss normal office gossips and she had a elder brotherly feeling on him i opossed at times that didnt stop… it was during my exams i found situation more difficult and out of anger i confronted her and she started crying and said that she is havivg a affair with her boss… and she is confused she loves me and also him( no physical attachments) but before worst happened she told me that irs a more mental than anything physical arrachment…..I asked her opinion she replies she wants to stay with me ( boss is married and hav a child). she told me that she used to relate me with him and also her boss was caring and protective thats the reason of her slip… I consoled her went for a trip we decided to end thing and continue but aftter coming back again the influence of the boss caused disturbance. she dont want to end things…she dnt want to quit the job..the problem is that mental attachment could have gone further at times but she some how stepped back…now current scenario she dnt want to end things and want me to marry her she says she loves me but she insists me to stop hating him and thats not possible for me to trust a man who plays with woman mentally… I tried to prove that man as a bad character but she doesnt want to listen…( the man actually is of bad character cheated on many girls)…. she doesnt want me to confront him as she cant make any of us down…… its really painful situation i dont no what to do??? some times i feel i want to leave again i feel that its a wrong decision as i love her very much she might make thing in order…plz suggest me how can recover things. As per I know she gives a lot of importance to someone with whom she spends time that her boss spends atleast 8 hrs a day sitting by her and its difficult for her to avoid him that I agree but I felt at points she want to avoid and also found her mental attachment towards her…..we are having daily rough words exchanged and some atitude angers me when she doesnt supprt me and takes his for…… i dont know i am screwed right nw that boss making situation worser by his influence with his shrude words thats causing discomfort…..my girl frnds behaviour adament , stubborn, she is soft from inside, she loves to show off, she is a pampered child…. she doesnt want to be possessed ..she wants ro rule… i love her and want to get out of this bullshit troublr plz suggest thanks in advance

  19. Sam says:

    hello can i share my experiences?

  20. Jane says:

    “I haven’t loved you in a long time.”

    This is what my exH said to me when I caught him out in his affair. He was given a chance to save the marriage but told me straight that he wasn’t going to end it with her.
    I fail to see what other option there was left to me except to push the divorce through and let him be with the woman he said he loved.
    My husband not only cheated on me, he then stabbed me through the heart with the above statement.
    I had more self-respect than to stay with someone who was so cruel.

  21. Robin says:

    My husband travels a lot for business to Europe. He’s traveled for several years, but this year I noticed things changing. Since August he’s changed his wardrobe, bought clothes for himself (which he never ever did), new shoes, etc. When he came home in late October he seemed detached so I figured it was to do with work. When he totally forgot my birthday then I got upset (I had to remind him and his response was “Oh, yeah, happy birthday) – no card….Anyway, when he returned to Europe in early November I noticed a purchase on his credit card for $85 from a store at the airport. When I asked him what that was for he made up some excuse that he bought a bunch of stuff and a book on American History—that’s when the red flag went up. He recently came home for short time and left his receipts so of course I looked through them. The $85 charge receipt was there but not the detailed one from the store. I called the store and they were able to verify it was a purchase for perfume (now keep in mind he’s traveling back to Europe, not home to the US). I also noticed when he arrived at the airport in Europe, there was a purchase from a florist in the airport. Now I know neither of these items were/are for me. It’s not only finding out he’s been having an affair – probably a lot longer than this – but the lies really get to me. When he purchased cologne for himself in September he was upset that it cost $69. But he has no problem whatsoever of spending $85 on perfume for some other woman. I want to add here that I haven’t received a gift, card or flowers from my husband in several years (and we’ve only been married since 2005). I was also sending him cards to his European address for this whole year with nothing in return. But he tells me he loves me and misses me. What a crock. I want to bad to confront him but I want to do it in a way that he can’t explain it away. Anyone have any suggestions?

  22. brent says:

    Long story and complicated!! My now wife lost her son about 6-7 years ago. Obviously when we started dating she was a complete mess. I was there for her completely, consoling her when she needed a shoulder to cry on. We started a serious relationship but found out she was cheating on her man. Not her sons dad, but a boyfriend. We got married and had a daughter 2 years later. Things started to get rocky. I have been belittled and talken down to almost since we got together. It has been a very hard time being with someone like this but i never wanted her to hurt bc she as hurt too muchShe said I was never there for her enough and didnt care for her or try to make her feel wanted, which is completely false. My daughter is now three and my wife and i still havent stopped fighting. She took a new job working with teenagers. And for the last month i have felt like something was off with us. As i did a little research, i saw numerous phone calls/text messages with a number i didnt recognize. Phone calls and texts for 3 months. Not just a couple, but numerous throughout the day.Well come to find out these phone calls/texts are with a 16 year old boy!!! Very odd i know. She admitted that she was starting to have feelings for this boy but it wasnt sexual, just a “friend” to talk to. I am so shocked i dont know how to react, or what to do. She is a great mother and if i was to take custody, im affraid she would hurt herself, but i dont want my daughter around this disgusting behavior. Do i contact the boys parents, or the police? I have never felt so betrayed/disgusted/depressed/shocked in my life!!! Someone please help me

  23. Jas says:

    My wife of 17 years had an affair with her personal trainer over a year ago. We have four children then 8, 5, 5, 2. It was very hard discovering the relationship (I happened to find a lot of text messages to the same number). I confronted my wife that night and she said they were friends and didn’t see anything wrong with having a friendship with a man (same woman didn’t want me to accept Facebook friends from girls I knew in college, etc. – Don’t worry I am not a facebooker. It was for a high school graduation reunion). Anyway it was very hard and has been very hard. I allowed my wife to work out at the gym still until we realized that we had no chance if he still saw him (she had ended the texting thing by then). Three months after she last saw them and she started seeing a counselor to “rebuild her self-esteem” after I had pretty much given up on having a “normal” relationship with her again she revealed that their relationship had been physical. I pressed and she revealed. I just stood there dumbfounded and sad and depleted.

    Words of advice… If your spouse gives up the relationship for the kids, family or you no matter what they did… don’t give up. There is still hope. You may not understand this or think they will never change or come back to you but they might. And leaving that door open for you to heal and them to wise up (if you deserve it) is worth the pain.

    I must have given my wife 4000 chances to end our marriage. To go and be with the other guy, etc. I just didn’t want to be with her if she didn’t want to be with me. Try to resist doing that.

    What finally helped me was 1 month ago (14 months after finding out about this thing) I made a decision that divorce was not an option and I stopped entertaining the idea of her seeing her lover again (she had occasionally asked for this and I had occasionally wanted to give her this but for some reason we never went thru with it). I really think my decision was the actual decision to stay married, not to give up, and love my wife for what she could give me and what she had given me all the years we were together without giving the affair any thought.

    And when he texted her on her birthday three weeks ago (the first time he sent her anything for one year) I was actually upset about it. She was actually happy and thought I had asked him to. Is that freaking weird? Anyway I told her that he was selfish and put her relationship with me in jeopardy and put our kid’s future in jeopardy. I truly felt in my heart that I was finally starting to heal and that even if my wife still loved her lover I didn’t care about him or them anymore and any contact they would have would threaten my families future.

    So, three nights ago, at 3:30 am in the morning I sent him a text telling him the he had not respect for the sanctity of marriage to either his wife or mine and that he was putting my wife’s future relationship with me and her children in jeopardy by reaching to her. I told him I was completely disappointed in his behavior and that I wanted him to never text my wife again. I understood that they had their good times together but it didn’t matter anymore because what he did and they did wasn’t right and he knew it as well.

    Anyway I felt a little bad about sending the message but little by little the last three days I felt better about standing up for my wife, children and myself. And I hope he is respectful of my request and never tries to reach out again no matter how he feels about my wife.

    So here I am today 15 months later actually feeling like there is hope. Knowing my wife still loves him and he loves her but, also, knowing that I have a chance to once again have a marriage with some future and as long as my wife wants that (She has said she has never wanted a divorce) my future is looking brighter.

    I hope and pray for all of you to heal and move forward!

    • Trevor Tucker says:

      Jas, I just read what you wrote and somehow it gives me hope.

      I just found out for sure today that my wife loves someone else, met him 7 weeks ago, and has been unfaithful to me. I confronted her and she has confirmed it.

      Now she doesn’t know what she wants BUT I desperately want to stay married.

      I don’t know what i can do to make her decide to stay and work at this marriage. I do not know she needs to stop seeing this man but she said she would 2 weeks back but has not.

      It would be very helpful and appreciated if we could talk as your situation sounds so similar to mine.

      I am in such deep pain right now, my world has turned upside down and I cannot bear to be without my wife and 4 kids whatever has happened in the past.



    • Mark1952 says:


      A strong personal support network is crucial during such trying times.Consider signing up for our free forums. Just follow this link https://www.marriageadvocates.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/ubb/newuser. You will find many others with eerily similar situations and many more that lived through such an ordeal and can offer advice to help you get through this time of crisis.

  24. LovingTaurus says:

    This is all so new to me. I have been been to any kind of forum but found this site and began reading the posts and information provided by Marriage Advocates.
    My husband is having an affair, I know he is but he doesn’t know I know what I know to the extent I know it, it’s pretty obvious though. His behavior has changed towards me, he is rejecting me sexually and emotionally. He and the other person are both in the Honeymoon phase of their secret affair. Telling each other how much they love each other, how they are partners in this and will get through this together, and sneaking around all the time. He asked for a Divorce on Aug 16 of this year, and is very motivated because he is having his full on affair. He and I have been married for 13 years, we have 2 children, and our marriage has been unhealthy for at least the last 5 years. We have had lots of issues/problems in those five years, death of his mother, loss of his business, almost lost our house because of financial problems, lack of intimacy, lack of respect and the list goes on. We have been completley detatched from one another for a long time, and doing nothing to work on or change that unfortunatley. The divorce doesn’t come as a surprise based on our relationship situation, but the AFFAIR does. He has never been a cheater before now, and because of his sudden change in behavior and attitude and the demand for a divorce, I did some looking around and started to connect the dots and found out he is cheating. I was served with Dissolution fo marriage papers last week, so he is obviously taking steps towards not working on our marriage. His other person is also going through with a divorce from her other person. They are seeing each other all the time, sneaking around, telling each other they are in this together, and how much they LOVE one another. It makes me sick to my stomach, and I can’t believe it is the driving force behind him wanting a divorce. He tells me he is unhappy, and is not in love with me anymore, and wants to be happy and deserves to be happy, plan and simple he wants a divorce. He finds it insulting that I want to try and work on our marriage after so many years of being disconnected and unhappy. My head is spinning, I’m a complete wreck, he has shut down completly towards me. I haven’t come right out and told him I know he is having an affair, but have told him I know he is lying and being dishonest to both the children and me. He has excuses for everything, working early, working late, going over to his friend “john’s” house because he can’t stand to be home. John is code for other person. He just recently did not come home till the next morning for the first time telling me he spent the night at friend “john’s” house, because he drank and was drunk and fell asleep. I know from proof he is lying. I have have asked him on many other occassions if he is seeing anyone he replys NO and lies about it. He has been seeing said other person since August so not super long but completley full on with her. I’m angry, confussed, scared, up all hours of the night trying to figure out what to do. One minute I hate him, the next trying to figure out if it can still work it out. I want to be strong and be good role model for our children but find myself crying all the time and on the emotional roller coaster that follows both affair and divorce. I feel like a complete crazy person for the noise inside my head in trying to come to terms with all this. Will the affair last, can we really make the marriage work now, do I want to take him back, do I really love him, what about our family, what about holidays, birthdays etc. I was just recently hospitalized for 3 days due to a asthma attack and stress, I had to drive myself to the ER, because he wasn’t interested in taking me said he would stay home with the the children, that was just before Labor Day weakend and he was angry that he had to bring our children to come and see me there. He is being very unkind and difficult, he blames me saying i’m an unhappy person all the time, and he wants and deserves to be happy. Anyway that’s my story and I’m looking for comfort and advise on how to move forward and what my options are and how will i survive. I have no family here they are in other states, my friends say to move forward why would you want to be with someone who treats you like this. I don’t want to be a divorce statistic, I would prefer to work things out, but doesn’t seem possible considering I was served with divorce papers. I am now having to look for a Lawyer to help me through the next phase. Please help me someone!!!!!

    • Mark1952 says:

      If you have the proof, I would suggest that you stop hinting and confront him about the affair directly. If you register for our forums and post a bit of your story there, you will find a lot of support for coming up with a plan to do that in a way that could help destabilize the affair.

      No matter what the eventual outcome might be, you can find support and encouragement from other members who have lived through quite similar situations.

  25. lindahill says:

    i found out my husband was having a affair in april but he said it was a fling still going on 6 months later out every nite with her . we have been married 40 yrs, we live in the same house although i live in a small bedroom. he is spending all the money but gives me 160 pounds a week he has hes bank statements sendt else where we both own the house mortgage is paid off . .he dosent want to sell the house where do i stand

    • Mark1952 says:


      I’m not sure I can tell you where you stand. Deciding how to respond to something that blindsides you in this way can be a daunting process. Your emotions will tell you to do one thing and hours, even minutes later will have you second guessing and leaning toward doing something else entirely. It is definitely a roller coaster of emotion.

      Unfortunately, we have many members on our forums who have experienced quite similar experiences in their lives. Why not take a look around? Maybe register for our forums and when you feel ready, share your story with our members, who can relate to exactly how you are feeling because so many have been through it themselves.

  26. Diana Lia says:

    It hurts so much! I’m trying to detach myself, to convince myself that is not the end of the world, but his betrayal, his lies, so many lies run over and over in my head and I feel pain, anger, fury, sadness, shame and I have non stop headaches and chest pain.
    Right now I just want to sit down in a corner and whimper.

    • Mark1952 says:


      I am so sorry you are going through such a hurtful and emotionally traumatic experience. Please be sure to take care of yourself and understand that you did not cause this to happen.

      If you would like some support from those who have been in similar situations, some still dealing with infidelity by their spouses and others living in restored marriages as well as some who recovered their self worth and made a better life without their betrayer, please join our forum and read a few threads. When you feel ready, or if you just need to vent or want to ask for advice, share your story with our members, many of whom have been there – done that and now try to help others going through it all cope and survive to come out the other side healthy and secure, regardless of what happens to the marriage.

    • Hardtotay says:


      I know how you feel, I am in the same situation as you. My H lied to me about his affair and it was going on for almost 2 years. He gave up all of his free time to be with OW, went for days without seeing our daughter because he would leave the house early and would not return until late from spending his time with her after work. At the moment, we are trying to clean the mess this has created, he has recently lost his job and now the person that he betrayed (the one and only true friend he has had in 16 years) is the one trying to get his life back on track. The pain does subside, but you must get the courage to fight for your life back especially if you have children.

      I will pray for you

  27. VMc says:

    You might also want to add one more thing to this list – the cheating spouse almost always continues a sexual relationship with their partner to allay suspicion. If a spouse is cheating, the other spouse needs to get themselves to a doctor for an STD check at the very least. You have no idea what your cheating spouse may be bringing home to you- especially if they have also been using drugs and/or having unprotected sex.

  28. Precious One says:

    I have proof that my spouse is cheating on me, I confronted him but he lied to me and told me that the marriage will not last if I continue to rummage through his things. He states that he loves me but continues to communicate with this woman. I have text messages to prove his infidelity but afraid to let him know that I read the exchanges between them. We have been married for 25 years and I’m still in love with him. How do I win back his attention and love?

  29. Lonelyone says:

    I have been searching for some kind of ‘hope’ mostly unsuccessfully. I recently found out that my husband has been having an affair. My world has turned upside down and I sometimes feel ‘crazy’. He never would have admitted the affair if I had not found a note from her. Now how can I trust anything he says?

    • Mark1952 says:


      Rebuilding trust is perhaps the most difficult part of trying to recover a marriage from infidelity. Before an affair is discovered, we tend to trust blindly, with little thought given to why someone might be a person we can trust. Suddenly, things we thought we knew to be absolutely true are called into question. Perhaps the biggest broken trust a person can experience as a result is that he or she can no longer trust themselves to know the reality of their lives and distinguish it from things that aren’t really true.

      Unfortunately, our forums are filled with stories of betrayal and broken trust. Though we aren’t trained experts, our forums can offer support and suggestions for what a person in your situation might do to recapture the trust and rebuild your marriage or endure the breakup of the marriage. That support and the suggestions offered come from those who have experienced the same betrayal first hand.

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