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Dear Chump Lady, Reconciling from his emotional affair is not working

Hi Chump Lady,

We’ve been married for 8 years and we were both working parents to 2 kids. I’ve always been the breadwinner and he has no problem with that until recently. Last year my husband lost his job and became SAHD ever since. He admitted that he was unhappy and bored so I tried to find a job for him but I got scolded and he said that he’s insulted because he thought that I thought he couldn’t find a job on his own. I tried countlessly to communicate with him and trying not to offend him at the same time, I suggested marriage and individual counseling but he said that it’s just a waste of money. I found a hobby club of activity that we liked but he denied in a very rude manner to me. If I tried to make small talk about our kids he seemed nonchalant, God forbid if I say something about my job he’d make sarcastic comments or told me to zip it.

Since he lost his job everytime we argued, he always brought up about me being breadwinner and that he doesn’t want to be bossed around. I never bossed him around so I got confused and asked him to give example of when I bossed him around, he got angry but gave me no straight answer. I genuinely felt like walking on thin ice every single second when I’m home, I had to watched every single of my words and action so he wouldn’t explode, my marriage was a freaking minefield! I could never relax when he was around. He put me aside and blocked me out of his life and we started to disconnect

Two months ago he admitted that he had been meeting a stay at home mom (SAHM) of 4 kids for the last 3 months (at the time) about twice a week to talk, they met at local coffeehouse for lunch or dinner (if me or her husband working late). She said that she’s also in bad marriage so they had “genuine connection” (she cheated before so she got fired and her husband has to work longer hours and has no time for her, she told my husband about this but somehow managed to turned herself into saint and since he’s drinking the cheating koolaid he bought this). For sure he lied when I asked him about his day, he also told my 6 years old daughter to lie to me that he’s always home when the truth is he went on a date with her and he hired a sitter. He said he asked this SAHM to stop contacting him because she kissed him and he realized that it went too far. I didn’t buy that it’s just an EA at first so he gave me full records and access to his text and emails, surprise surprise it’s genuinely full of them whining and bitching about their spouses and life. I also hired a PI and looks like he told me the truth, the timeline he gave matched and there’s a security video from inside the coffeehouse that showed that she kissed him then he pushed her and walked away. The parking lot videos also showed that they always went separately. I was still suspicious that maybe they’re still in contact so I put keyloggers in his phone and laptop also GPS tracker in his car, she contacted him a lot but he didn’t reply and never went to that coffeehouse again.

It’s stopped at EA but I lost my ability to trust and respect him again, he lied to my face a lot of times and I feel so stupid and deceived, usually I can always tell when someone is lying but not with him because I trusted him 100%. He is the person who is suppose to have my back, but instead he maneuvered behind it and stabbed me. This EA also changed my POV of him

  • he had no problem to lie to me
  • he gave his support and kindness to her over his emotionally and physically neglected wife
  • my full effort to engage him meant nothing compared to her emoji text
  • he directed his anger and disappointment to me when I didn’t deserve it
  • he took my trust and love for granted
  • he prefer another woman’s companionship over mine
  • he painted himself as a victim and me as a wicked villain
  • he prefer ego strokes from other woman over my support with genuine actions
  • my words of encouragement meant nothing and hers meant everything
  • he left his sick 3 year old toddler son so he could go on a date

Now he tries to talk to me but I’m not interested or excited by him anymore. Hell I doubt that anything that comes out of his mouth is the truth. I buried my anger and sadness because I don’t think he can handle it. How could he when he can’t handle his own feelings? I don’t believe that a person can change in short time. I asked him if he misses her, he denied this and said everytime he remembered her he feels ashamed that he got so low that he preferred to whine about his problems to a stranger instead of fixing it. But who knows, he lied to me before so why should I buy what he said? My friend said that maybe he stays because I’m the comfort and the dough maker and I think that’s possible. He’s a model husband now, we are at marriage counseling, but it doesn’t get better like many reconciliation experts say.

Now I see him as a lying ingrate weak fragile little flower. If I forgive him it will feels like I settle for less. I used to trust and respect him 100% and I know it won’t go back as high as that, this is my new reality. Yes it’s EA not PA but I still can’t move on from it. I honestly don’t know what to do. Do I have to tell her husband? Did I expect too much from him? Am I overreacting? Am I being a hard ass?



Are you overreacting to an emotional affair? No. You were betrayed. He lied to you to get his fix of ego kibbles, and asked his children to lie for him. He talked smack about you to a women he knew was sexually interested in him. On the Richter scale of marital discord — your house is shaking and the earth is cracking open. It’s not a trifling thing.

Do you have to tell the OW’s husband? Yes, I would, absolutely. She already lost a job due to her infidelity, and then she tried to start another affair with your husband. She’s got a poor chump husband who is trying to reconcile with her and he’s missing a vital piece of information about his life — information that YOU have on video tape, thanks to a PI. Hell YES you should tell him. Let him judge the “just a kiss” for himself. It will show that guy just how grateful this woman is for another shot at her “unhappy” marriage. Fuck her. TELL.

Do you expect too much? Are you a hard ass?

Where did you get THAT idea? Let me guess — your husband?

No, you’re not expecting too much to expect your husband to demonstrate remorse. And I don’t mean showing you the text messages. I’m sorry, transparency is the LAMEST “I’m sorry” cheaters have — because transparency is so easily manipulated. Do you have all the passwords? All the texts? Every email account? Oh, maybe so — and then they can spend the next 15 minutes creating a whole new set of accounts you’ve never seen. Chumps should take absolutely ZERO comfort from “transparency” and never interpret remorse from it.

At the minimum your husband can convey his apologies by getting a JOB. IMO, he blew off your offers of help because he prefers not working, and not being reminded of the fact he’s not working. Also explains why you are not allowed to talk about your job, because it underscores that hey, you support his ass. He’d prefer to think magic monkeys fly from castles and deposit gold coins into his bank account each month. Magic monkeys from the Land of NeverGrowUp, where every day is a new day of possibility and unlimited options! Every citizen in NeverGrowUp Land tells your husband exactly how special and full of potential he is. The special people of NeverGrowUp Land are mortal enemies of the common folk who live in the Kingdom of Reality.

The Kingdom of Reality is a drag. People work and keep promises and expect things of you there. Affair partners, like Miss Genuine Connection, live in NeverGrowUp Land too. He likes living there better. All the monkeys understand him, and pat his head and look at him with genuine sorrow when he fuck ups his life in Reality. The monkeys live on a steady diet of kibbles and bitch cookies. “Did you watch your children today? That must’ve been so hard. Here, have a bitch cookie.” Pat, pat, pat.

And Irene, you there in Reality? Telling him to get a job? And talking about YOUR pain, like that matters? You can’t compete with the monkeys. You just can’t. Marriage counseling isn’t working because he sits there and dreams of a land of kibbles.

Yeah, I wouldn’t respect this guy either. He’s shown you his character and it’s not pretty. I don’t know what “model husband” looks like now, but somehow you’ve gotten the idea that you’re “overreacting” and if that notion came from him? He’s not one bit sorry!

You don’t respect the guy. You don’t trust him. He doesn’t have to sleep with the OW to make “no respect” and “no trust” deal breakers. Either start imagining your life without this guy and see a lawyer pronto. Or figure out exactly what tangible steps you need from him to feel safe in this relationship (assuming that’s even possible). Steps like, find a job. Don’t blame shift or minimize. Don’t freak out when I tell the OW’s husband. Get a post-nup and a credit report if you reconcile. Start finding ways to make your world feel safer.

If it were me, I’d begin by throwing the bum out. Let him demonstrate his sorry from the position of supporting himself. Should tell you exactly how deep his remorse goes. Then you don’t have to feel like he only wants you because of the money and family security. Take those off the table and sees what’s left.

Good luck, Irene.

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  • Irene, TCB. How I wished I’d cut all off financially sooner. The loss of stuff has been mitigated by gaining a life but it could have been easier to not file bankruptcy and all.
    Take care of you and your daughter. Good luck.

  • In the future I will take a very hard line with potential relationships and any current relationship I am in.

    I want to be with an adult. I didn’t have children and I don’t want any relationship partner to be a child in an adult body. I want a partner, not someone who thinks my main job is to take care of them.

    I think it is extremely important for people with children to show their children that they deserve respect. Don’t put up with emotional, intellectual or physical abuse, don’t put up with affairs (and I would bet a large amount of money that the majority of “emotional” affairs are actual physical infidelity), don’t allow your relationship partner to not pull their own weight or act like a petulant adolescent.

    Children need to see their parents acting responsibly in every aspect of their lives. If you allow yourself to be a doormat then your kids will learn that it is ok to be a doormat or become a door mat.

    Your children need to see you act with self respect and healthy boundaries and see you being self sufficient in all aspects of your life.

    It really is better to be alone than to be in a bad relationship. Women are socialized to forgive and be caregivers. Don’t let that socialization overshadow your self worth, your intelligence, your boundaries, your self sufficiency, your self esteem and self respect.

    In the future I will have a zero tolerance policy for any bad or immature behavior. I’m not going to waste any more time on people who think that manipulation, deceit, infidelity and disrespect are “normal” relationship behaviors.

    Take your power back.

    Sorry for the novel. This struck a cord with me.

    • “In the future I will have a zero tolerance policy for any bad or immature behavior. I’m not going to waste any more time on people who think that manipulation, deceit, infidelity and disrespect are “normal” relationship behaviors.”

      Well said, samiam, well said! In addition to manipulation, deceit, infidelity and disrespect, we can all come up with our own additions to the list (such as excessive alcohol use, pornography, withholding important information from your partner, gaslighting, etc.)

      • Amen, amen.

        Zero tolerance for lies. Omissions. Misrepresentations.

        Those things are really red flag number one. Someone who “fudges” essential things about themselves, like “do you have kids?” or “how many times have you been married?”, is someone you should get your running shoes out and run from.

        • Like!! and abandoment, living a single life while having a family at home… will never tolerate this ever again!!

  • Whenever I felt unsure about my ex, I’d remind myself the worst things he’d done to me, the things that made my stomach hurt – having your 6-year old lie to you for an affair (of any kind) would definitely make that list. I wholeheartedly agree with CL, throw him out and see if he’s genuine.

    • Yeah, getting your kids to lie is a huge no no. That’s lowlife for you. If he had nothing to hide and if they were just having a chat over coffee – why the need to get your kid to lie. So abusive and confusing for any child!

  • I LOVE your imaginative descriptions CL! The segment about monkeys in NeverGrowUp Land made me laugh so hard today. Everything you say is true. These people are so immature to say the least, so entitled, just babies.
    An EA is a full betrayal of a partner’s trust. It can seem “not as bad” because it didn’t cross that line physically but it is the same mindset of someone who doesn’t give a fuck about their partner. Get rid of him Irene and start the long hard but ultimately so rewarding new road toward your new life. It will be worth it. Three years out and I couldn’t be happier to not be back where I was with someone I felt I had to keep tabs on even before the EA.

  • If he left what would you miss?

    I know a woman whose unemployed husband was cheating on her with a SAHW of a doctor. They both were conspiring to get together and live off the child support from the soon to be ex spouses who work! wheeeeee…..

  • “If it were me, I’d begin by throwing the bum out. Let him demonstrate his sorry from the position of supporting himself. Should tell you exactly how deep his remorse goes. Then you don’t have to feel like he only wants you because of the money and family security. Take those off the table and sees what’s left.”

    This, a thousand times yes. Let him put up, or shut up and stay away.

    • That passage also hit close to home for me! It’s been… I think 7 months since I left my ex-fiancee (whom I was supporting financially) after discovering his affair with a ho-worker. Since then he’s kind of crumbled, living in a run-down apartment and having to pay all the bills *gasp* ON TIME?! It really hits the point home that these cheaters are typically children in adult bodies. Though he now claims he’s in a “better place” in his life now and wants to reconcile… I’ll believe he’s in a “better place” when he isn’t living out of boxes and sleeping on an air mattress!

      Always look at their actions rather than their words, Irene!

  • Oh man there is so much wrong with this fucker. The entitlement is stong with this one what a narc.
    I’m sorry,, as a man I dont get how you can wake up in the morning look at yourself in the mirror and feel good about yourself by not supporting you family!! I mean WTF where is your heart ?? What kind of example are you setting for the kids yea daddy is a bum !! Yea I get it if your a SAHD but even if you are the house better be spotless wash done kids homework done not a dish in the sink and what you got a babysitter to cheat !!!!! ??? WHAT THE FUCK you scum bag man this pisses me off.

    • “as a man I dont get how you can wake up in the morning look at yourself in the mirror and feel good about yourself by not supporting you family!”

      Yep. Sometimes I think it’s a generational thing, that men of childbearing age now are more open to different roles than those of us who had our kids in the 80s and 90s. But after some thought I’ve concluded that “the generational thing” is overshadowed by “the character thing.” Entitlement and deceit, working hard to figure out how to take advantage of others, especially those who trust you most (which are the easiest marks, of course).

      • “Entitlement and deceit, working hard to figure out how to take advantage of others, especially those who trust you most (which are the easiest marks, of course).”

        This is spot on, nomar!

      • Where I come from its called being a bum. I dont care what generation he was born into. You gotta have a little pride in yourself .

        • I want to put it out there that in general, being a SAHD is just a beneficial as being a working dad (I have multiple friends where the mom works and their husband’s stay home). From what Irene wrote, her husband likely is coming from the “you’re not a man if you don’t work” mentality and was already viewing himself as a bum. Just sayin. Losing his job was a huge blow to his ego and his whole identity based on how he responded to it (read: issues). However, his response and attitude was definitely incredibly immature, inappropriate and losing his job in no-way justifies what he did.

          Irene, there is a chance that he’s staying b/c he’s comfortable and taking advantage, there’s also a chance he’s legit. Either way it’s on him to get to the bottom of his own issues, not you. If you’re still going to counseling then he needs to do his own work on addressing why losing his job was such a big blow and how he can better handle a loss like that (he has a lot to learn it sounds like). That’s not your job to address, it’s his, and the counselor better recognize that. He (your husband) needs to address those issues whether the marriage lasts or not, unless he gets to the root of his own issues the likelyhood of the same thing happening again is high. It doesn’t sound like you want back in and reconciliation is a hard thing to do that’ll take time. It’s not going to work unless both parties are checked-in and it sounds like you’re checked out (for good reason) so at least at present, reconciliation is out b/c you’ve been too hurt to make that step. Both roads (reconciliation or divorce) are going to be hard and long. As the party that was hurt it’s up to you to decide if/how much to open your heart up again towards him. You don’t owe him reconciliation, he threw a bomb and detonated it. You do owe yourself honesty though, if you can’t be honest with yourself then who can you be honest to?

          • Question for everyone: my cheater claims that it was my giving him a hard time over being unemployed that drove him to cheating. He says that the two times I’ve called him a loser is what broke the camel’s back for him. I wonder what response I should give him if I don’t feel that he’s correct about this justification. Looking for witty comeback.

            • He’s NOT correct in his justification! I don’t care what you called him, that doesn’t give him the excuse to cheat. So now he’s a free-loader, loser, and a cheater. How is any of that your fault?!

              He should have been spending his time trying to find work rather than cheat and lie to you.

            • Isabel, Ditto to Rumble on that he doesn’t have an excuse to cheat. BUT–I would argue that shaming someone over not having a job probably isn’t the best approach either. Beating them down isn’t helping them get up. It’s on BOTH of you to tell each other in a healthy way, “I feel _______ when you _____,” the old “I” statement approach. It all comes back to healthy communication in the first place.

            • You know what you call someone whose character is so weak that they crumble when you call them a name? A LOSER.

              Other fitting terms would include: pantywaist, cry baby, wimp, pansy, jellyfish, and Big Fucking Pussy.

              Not very witty, but damn factual.

              • “Other fitting terms would include: pantywaist, cry baby, wimp, pansy, jellyfish, and Big Fucking Pussy. ”

                Thanks Nomar I could not have said it better. Put on your big boys pants and get it done.

            • My fave is ‘if I had that much power and control over your behaviour, I certainly would have used it to get you to do the RIGHT things, not the wrong one!’

              But the most important thing is to STOP trying to correct his justifications, explain anything, or defend yourself. Because that is still giving him kibbles and giving his stupid bullshit some value. Instead, look at him dead-eyed and say ‘right’, and walk away. END OF DISCUSSION.

            • I have been out of work it never made me cheat ! ? In fact my company is going belly up as I type this,,,,,,,,,, am I going to cheat NO NO NO!! Look I understand about job loss or being fired etc etc, you pick yourself up off of the mat and get back into the fight, you dont lie down like a dog and quit, in his case lie cheat and use the fucking kids. I dont have a lot of fancy words like other posters I just call a spade a spade. I would love to be a SAHD but even if I were I would have to do something for some bucks anything to help my family.

            • So let’s get this straight.

              You called him a name, twice, and then he lied to you, endangered your health and welfare and spent money you couldn’t spare on his whore. Is that about the size of it?

              No, he is not correct. His reaction is so disproportionate to the crime it’s ridiculous.

              Basically, you were “not nice” with your words and because of that he punched you in the mouth and knocked out all your teeth.

            • Oh Isabel, you have a certified martyr man. Calling names is so not cool on your part but I’m wondering if you called him a loser because you were pushed to it? You know the martyr man is really good at pushing buttons and doing passive aggressive shit (like never actually looking for a job) in order to get their intimate partner to loose it. Ask me how I know? heh

              • He actually calls it “psychological abuse” on my part and guess what? I’ve spent months in therapy trying to figure out how I can be nicer to him during which time he kept gaslighting me, telling me my depression drove him to cheating. Telling me i am certifiably crazy, no man would ever put up with me, etc.
                Meanwhile, my depression was situational and as a result of his perpetual lack of employment. He was unemployed for a whole year. When his unemployment benefits ran out, he took on a bs job at his cousin lansdcaping business (because i kept “nagging him” to bring some $)So you see, it’s not as the loser label wasnt warranted, HE drove me to it!
                Anyway, he tells everyone that I abused him for the last 2 years of our relationship when he was unemployed. But interestingly doesn’t share the details of the so called abuse, just states that it was abuse. Wtf?

              • Tell him to grow a spine, I would expect my balls to be busted if I was out of work and doing nothing about it. Abuse are you kidding me ? What he did to you & the kids is straight up abuse . Maybe you just got so frustrated and pissed off to the point you called him a loser but thats not abuse he is a grown fucking man,,,,tell him to man up & take care of his family.

              • Any man who refuses to work, not looking/getting a job because he can’t find the right fit, or it is beneath him or he has to recover from his last traumatic job, is simply lazy. My CH has told me all of the above. I was very supportive emotionally and I paid the bills. I never called him any names either. But he cheated anyway. I worked full time plus 2 part time jobs and he sat at home talking on the phone to the light of his life. (Barf!). So don’t think it had anything to do with you. I bet it was all him.

    • True that.

      I do know a few SAHD. In all cases, the dad lost his job, but the mom had the higher-paying job in the first place and the kids were small. The parents noticed that they didn’t have to pay $$$ for child care, and the household ran in a less stressful manner. Those dads ended up being the Chief Cook and Bottlewasher for their families. They were deeply involved in caring for their children and ensuring their wives were able to be successful. No way were any of these men slackers.

      SAHMs also really work for their families. This is one reason why I think that faithful SAHMs and SAHDs are truly fucked over by cheaters. They remove themselves from the work force, keep the household running smoothly for both the kids and the cheater. The betrayal really hits them home. And as for SAHMs and SAHDs who cheat–well, they really are low lifes, since they force their faithful, working spouses to eat the shit sandwich of dividing assets.

      • I know if my brain that most SAHD’s are good, hard-working, loving, productive, helpful people, and that the man staying home may make good economic sense. It is my own personal (and perhaps generational) bias that I don’t find it an appropriate role for men over the long term (periods of involuntary unemployment aside). If any of my sons goes that route, I will have a hard time understanding. But that’s an issue for another self-help website. This site is about cheating. And a SAHD who cheats isn’t much different from a workaholic professional who cheats.

        FWIW, I also cringe when I see women boxers. They have a right to do it, and many are damn good at it. But it’s painful for me to watch.

        “My name is nomar, and I am a geezer.”

        • I would add that the “SAHD”s that I have known tend to half-ass the job. In-laws and Montessori schools care for the kids, maids do the laundry and clean the house, and contractors fix things around the house. I have seen “SAHD” used to describe husbands who call themselves artists but don’t know how to draw, part-time ministers in tiny churches, and guys who play a lot of video games. All the emphasis seems to be on “staying at home,” as opposed to “making the home run.”

          Those guys have NOTHING in common with my mom, who single-handedly raised 5 kids born over a 7-year span while my dad worked. My stay-at-home Mom worked circles around my go-to-work Dad.

          • Mm. I know a lot of SAHM’s who have a lot of domestic help, too. Don’t get me started.
            All I know is, I work my ass off. I could work harder, true, but I also have my paid job full time.

    • Taking care of small children is a way to support your family. It’s not being a bum.

      Nobody whose taking care of a small child ends up with a spotless house, etc.

      The only problem is the cheating.

      • I’m with you on this Diana. The cheating and the lying, and the dragging the children into it and the refusal to take responsibility. I know more than one SAHD who is doing an excellent job.

    • “The entitlement is stong with this one…”

      This part made me laugh. Which is good because today is not an easy day. So thank you for the laugh, MichaelD.

  • “I buried my anger and sadness because I don’t think he can handle it. How could he when he can’t handle his own feelings?”

    Irene, you’ve stated in your email that you don’t trust him, you don’t feel safe etc and then you write the sentence above basically saying that you’re protecting him from your emotions because he can’t handle it? Since when is him handling his own feelings your responsibility? Wtf? Anger is an appropriate emotional response to being betrayed, lied to, deceived etc. You have every right to be angry and of all people, the cheater is the one who needs to see your anger. This isn’t about you protecting him from your emotions. (It doesn’t sound like he gave a fuck about yours). As CL said in another post, this isn’t the place to “nice” your way along.

    I’m going to be blunt, burying anger is an immature and unhealthy response. I’ve read/heard so many stories of cheaters burying things up and then using that toxic box of buried shit as reasons they cheated and it’s then on the chump to fix it. Not once will the cheater ever think that they were actually responsible for speaking up and taking action b/c they don’t realize their own happiness is 100% on them, it’s not a 50/50 thing. Being a chump doesn’t make burying anger ok. Burying you anger will hurt YOU Irene. It’s like having a rotten egg salad under the car seat during the summer and all you do is keep throwing clothes on top of it. You need to throw that rotten egg salad OUT or the smell will never go away. Your children are also going to be taking their cue on how to handle this from you and now is the time to show how them how to handle emotions appropriately and in a healthy way. You don’t have to yell in front of your kids or get into major fights in front of them. But they do need to know that dialogue is happening, that it’s OK to feel angry (but it’s not okay to wreck someone’s car etc).

    Whether you leave him or you decide to stay, neither option will go anywhere unless you get the courage to be REAL. You can’t be real when you’re burying things. Does taking out your anger mean you rob a bank or go to some other horrible extreme (ie: major property vandalism etc)? Hell no. I’m definitely not advocating any extreme behaviors. Un-burying your anger means you need to express it. Go ahead and yell, throw your wedding china at the fence and watch it smash into a zillion pieces, cry, beat your pillow, be real with your emotions. You’ve been hurt and the cut goes deep. Expression means you talk about it and you get it out there. It’s not up to you to control his honesty but honesty on your end (how you feel, what the damage report is etc) is entirely on you and is entirely necessary for you to move forward.

    • Fiesty, great words of wisdom – ones that I will try to follow in my near future. Thank you!!

    • Great advice, Fiesty. Burying anger is definitely a problem I had and am still working on. I grew up in a family where no one was supposed to feel anger except my mom. It’s still very difficult for me to express my honest angry feelings because I never saw conflict handled in a healthy way in my household.

      • Same here, Lyn. It’s a real struggle not to default to smiles and sucking it up.

      • This is something that I think we Chumps need to remember. We need to be able to express our anger.

        In my own case, I’m getting ready to file. I have a lawyer. I have a storage locker. I am collecting financial records (the “homework” my attorney gave me to complete before I do anything else). Now, it’s a terrible time to sit down with STBX to say, “Oh, Dick, I know about the affair, I won’t stand in the way of Twu Wuv, and I’m filing for divorce.”

        However, there really isn’t a good time, and I’ve had to tell myself daily that this is NOT on me. It was HIS decision to have an affair. It is MY decision as to whether I stay or go. Since I don’t trust him, and since I don’t want to be Marriage Police for the rest of my life, I have only one option. If I’m worried about how he’ll react, then I need to have a place to go, even if only for a couple of days, while he calms down and thinks things through.

        • kb, if you’re worried how he might react, I suggest not only having a place to stay for a bit, but also telling him this either in a public place, or with another adult in the house. Narcissistic rage (at having his cake taken away) can get violent.

    • Well said, Fiesty. We’re not responsible for people fucking us over, but we are responsible for how we respond to it. And stuffing down our feelings isn’t dealing with it, or helping the situation.

      • CL, speaking of “how we respond to it,” last night on the Behind the Scenes with True Tori, she sums up at the end that even though Dean can’t seem to say the right thing to her to show how remorseful he is, the very fact that he allowed their therapy to be filmed for her reality show is “proof” that he is sincere.


  • Irene, you should read what CL wrote to you three or four times a day because every word is on target, especially at the end; ” I’d begin by throwing the bum out. Let him demonstrate his sorry from the position of supporting himself. Should tell you exactly how deep his remorse goes. Then you don’t have to feel like he only wants you because of the money and family security. Take those off the table and sees what’s left.” Let him move out, find a job, support himself and pay toward the kids, and court you again once he has been self-sustaining and paying support for 6 months or so–if you are in any way interested in him once he’s out of the house. You are already doing your jobs, at work and at home, and most of his jobs, like looking for employment for him. He’s pretty much just live-in child care, with a bad attitude. And he uses what you earn–the money you earn– to hire a sitter so he can go on a date? Total fucking loser.

    Once you are hiring a PI and playing marriage police by keylogging, checking accounts, using GPS, you don’t have a marriage any more. And he is essentially a dead weight you are dragging behind you as you support yourself and two kids. And the dead weight you are towing is yelling, “You aren’t the boss of me.”

    The Jackass says he “didn’t step out on me,” which, if I am being most generous, probably means they didn’t have actual intercourse in a bed. For some of them, there’s no betrayal unless the penis gets its kibbles, too. But believe me, he and his semi-literate married OW were on the road to a full-blown affair when I found out, and that probably ended it because he knew exposure of this particular affair would make him look very bad to people he likes feeling superior to. And of course, it’s less fun to stab your partner in the back if she knows it you’re doing it. My guess is that the EA partner freaked him out by kissing him in public and he feared exposure. She isn’t the boss of him, either. But PI or no, I wouldn’t assume there isn’t more that you don’t know about.

    You sound like someone who has her head together. Kick him to the curb for now. File for divorce and child support, even if he isn’t working. Let the child support system kick him in the ass, too. He can’t avoid a job if you aren’t supporting him and the state will award you enough to pay for day care while the kids are not in school. You are already carrying the financial load and raising the kids. You might as well have your life back so you can find a real partner. I ended it with the Jackass as soon as I found the FB page. I was still heartbroken, betrayed, and physically sick but I am 7 months into recovery now and feeling better every day. It will be tougher for you because you have kids but I guarantee you will feel better when you are taking care of two children instead of 2 and a “man-child.”

    • “And he uses what you earn–the money you earn– to hire a sitter so he can go on a date? Total fucking loser.”

      Seriously. Would you have married this guy if he had let you know this about himself and his values ahead of the wedding?

    • He might be able to get spousal support from her, depending on the state and other factors – I’d definitely get to a lawyer before saying a word to him, whichever route she’s taking.

      • I agree –see a lawyer. There are plenty of states in which the working spouse pays the non- working spouse. Getting a divorce could result in several years of alimony and lots of years of child support. Irene needs legal advice to structure her decisions. A guy who feels entitled to cheat in a marriage will have no qualms about continuing his parasitic behavior post- marriage.

        I should know. I speak from experience. It isn’t fair that I have full custody, a full-time job, and I pay my unwilling-to-be-employed EX a small amount of monthly support because he prefers not to work. He has the gall to tell the kids I am the bad example for being so materialistic (I am a teacher, not an investment banker, for heaven’s sake), but it was the price I agreed to in order to get out of a horrific situation. My lawyer helped me see my choices, though– so I knew what the consequences of leaving my leech would be. My peace of mind and well-adjusted kids were worth the price ( 4 years of payments left, but who’s counting).

        • Ugh so sorry to hear that. You are right though, peace of mind and kids’ well-being is totally worth it. 4 years to go!

    • I don’t think that would work legally. If he’s been home with the kids, he ought to be able to file for support for himself, not to mention custody and child support.

      In fact, he might be able to get enough support to sit tight and not get a job until after the divorce.

      There’s nothing about being the breadwinner that means you have the right to kick your spouse out of a jointly owned home. Her husband may even own some of their things from when he had a paid job.

      Also, Irene doesn’t say that she’s raising the kids on her own. Her husband hired a sitter at least once, but he may be doing lots of work the rest of the time.

  • Irene:
    If you already feel as tho you do not look at him the same way, you likely will never get over that. I tried. I really did. For five years I tried to reconcile with my now exH. Mostly I was trying and he was sticking around and still communicating with the OW. He just got more creative and secretive on how he did that. He didn’t want his life change. I represented the ‘normal’ and ‘respectable’ life he needed and wanted. As long as I was willing to forgive him but not require any real changes with our marriage, he was in for the long haul. I just had to put up and shut up!

    What I realized is that I never got over the initial shock and disappointment of his betrayal. NEVER! It slowly ate away at the person I was. I didn’t respect myself anymore. I hated my own reflection in the mirror. I saw myself as weak. I knew I deserved more but I didn’t have the guts to tell him I wanted out of the marriage. I caught him with OW one last time and I knew I had to be free from the pain and disrespect. I had not been happy since the initial blow. Even if he tried to be the best partner ever and promised me the world it was not going to change how I felt about him.

    Save yourself the agony and move on from this life with him. It will be hard but you will be far better off!!!! I have done it and I am finally happy again!

    • Kimmy, I know what you mean about never feeling the same about him again after the first betrayal. I also really tried, but never fully trusted him again. I’m working on learning to trust myself now.

    • “As long as I was willing to forgive him but not require any real changes with our marriage, he was in for the long haul. I just had to put up and shut up! ”
      This exactly what I did on the first D day and it was horrible. I felt broken and weak. And respecting myself was almost non existent when D day 2 came. I would still be there in the shit if he had not left. When he left it was the worst day of my life, but I’ve begun to realize that it was also the beginning of real healing. I still have bad days like the last two where I would cry at the drop of a hat, and I’ve been living this for the last 9 months. Betrayal causes so much pain. But I will work through this. I will be stronger day by day and I will forgive myself for those days that I am feeling such pain that I think maybe, just maybe I could go back. But I know, I know that he is still the same damn asshole that he was on D day one and on D day 2. Hang tough Chumps because those fucktards are not worth it ever.

  • My Ex husband freely came clean on an emotional affair several years ago. It hit me out of the blue. It hurt like hell. I tried to move on from it. Then a year after that, he found someone else and it was more than an emotional affair. It led to the end of our marriage. I told her husband. He was happy that I told him because he suspected something but didn’t have any evidence.

    I would prepare yourself for the worst. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. If he loves you and wants to keep YOU, then he needs to clean up his act, big time! Good luck!!!

    • You’re not being a downer. You’re telling it like it is. This guy may well progress from the emotional affair stage to the full-blown affair. He’s looking for something that smells like more kibbles.

  • Oh yea, you DEFINITELY tell the OW’s husband about the affair. There’s NO question there. There’s no “image control” police and if you hear it then call it as the pathetic, bull shit excuse that it is.

  • Irene, it sounds like your H actually did you a favor by giving you a good reason to leave him. Looks like you would be much better without him, but before you kick him out or file for divorce or perhaps even tell OW’s H, may I suggest you get your ducks in a row?

    First, because he’s an “SAHD,” he may have a stronger case for having primary physical custody of the kids. If he is using his time home to engage in his affair instead of actually taking care of the kids, you may want to get evidence of this. I also suggest, if you’re not so already, to get more involved with the kids’ day-to-day lives to show that YOU are the primary caregiver, e.g., taking them to doctor’s appointments, going to teacher conferences, helping with homework, etc., and to document your day-to-day activities with the kids. When this blows up, I’m sure you wouldn’t want your H to have primary physical custody and to have to pay him child support.

    Second, because you are the breadwinner, you may end up having to pay him alimony, too! So, if you could somehow encourage him to get that job and earn some $, that would be a win-win for you, too.

      • I had no kids and my ex tried to get alimony cos he lost his job due to alcohol, he *really* thought he could get that from me. What a blow when I filed for adultery, abuse and desertion. I would be VERY worried that this SAHD could indeed get alimony.

        • Even in some no-fault states, spouses are required to get jobs. If he has an employment record and has only been unemployed for a year, in my state the first words he would hear would be “get a job.” I do think the “get your ducks in a row” advice is good, but Irene, don’t panic when the lawyer gives you the worst case “he gets alimony and your pension” scenario. I had a lawyer like that when I divorced my X (not a cheater) who is retired. The lawyer has to tell you the worst that can happen. But you have time on your side. Maybe set an exit date and start by insisting that he get a job, pronto. And he gets not a dime to spend from you from this day forward. You pay household expenses but hold the cash for food, etc. yourself. Cut off the money and work will look more attractive. And he might leave on his own, saving you the trouble of asking him to. Once he has a job, then you are essentially on a fairly even playing field in regard to custody and alimony.

          • Telling a spouse who has been at home with a small kid that they have to get a job and you are now in control of the money sounds really bad to me. I wonder if it would look bad in court, too?

            It’s difficult when there has been cheating, but from what I’ve heard, the court may not care about that when it comes to property or custody. If you have no proof of a physical affair, he may not look so bad.

            I guess the best advice is to talk to a lawyer.

            • See a lawyer, but do not be afraid to require your husband to look for a job immediately. The norm these days is the two income family and no partner gets to unilaterally decide not to work. Not all judges get it right, but it is the rare judge who is going to let an able-bodied man, capable of obtaining employment, sit at home eating bon-bons all day. Does it sometimes happen? Yes. Is it the norm? Absolutely not. Should that fear keep anyone in a shitty marriage? Hell to the no!

  • I could have written this letter. Irene your words echo my feelings exactly and your H’s reactions before and after the affair are so similiar to mine. I am almost sorry the EA ended ( she dumped him although in his words “He chose me”) My problem at this point is everytime I have even bought up our current relationship (like in this isn’t working for either of us) he goes off on a drinking binge that is truely awful and scary. I know that if I leave he will spiral down and I would feel quilty. I would sit in my new apt. and worry. Yes Chumpy even my therapist has said this nicely. Am struggling at this point

      • And if in person Al-Anon meetings feel like a bridge too far at this point, get yourself the smart phone app for “The Language of Letting Go” and see the postings on the friends and family of alcoholics forum on soberrecovery dot com.

        But go to Al-Anon – you be welcomed and inspired by the experience, strength, and hope shared by others.

          • Janet, you can’t save him if he uses alcohol to manage his life. My X (not the cheater) is retired and alone and I often feel guilty about having ended the marriage. But it was killing ME. And he was getting worse, taking pills with the alcohol. Once he had to manage on his own, he actually became more stable. You can’t save an addict.My therapist told me that the addict either quits, goes to jail or dies from the disease. And none if it has to do with the spouse, the kids, the parents, the employer or the mail man. You can’t cure it.

            • This.

              I’ve known some alcoholics who are now sober, but every one of them talks about how they had to hit rock bottom before they saw the need to change. What constitutes rock bottom differs from individual to individual, but it’s a constant. We can’t save people from themselves. They have to save themselves.

              I agree, Janet, that Al-Anon would be really helpful for you. Also therapy not just for the infidelity, but also to help you understand why you feel so obligated to a husband who has no respect for you and to help you learn to detach with kindness.

            • I needed to hear that! You can’t save an addict, you can’t save an addict, you can’t save an addict. If I repeat it enough do you reckon it will sink in?

              • I hope so! You can also read everything you can get your hands on about it. Learn about codependency, the parallel condition that affects the addict’s loved ones and keeps them all trapped in the cycle. See a therapist. You’ll learn that when you try to “fix it,” you–YOU–make it worse. For all the criticism of it, I found the TV show Celebrity Rehab to be very enlightening, as it shows how hard it is for people to get sober and stay that way. A number of people who did that show died from the addiction and people were outraged! But that failure rate is just as common among those who quit on their own or try AA and relapse. Addiction is a very very tough thing to recover from, as it is as much about the brain and body chemistry as “will power.” But the best thing we can do is let the people we love experience the consequences of their behavior, whether it be abusing alcohol and drugs, abusing other people, or cheating.

          • So very frustrated! My STBX is (undiagnosed) bi-polar, pathological liar, alcoholic who also gets fun drugs for his panic (xanax or better) disorder. Had a meeting w/ his family & it appeared that we were all on the same page to do an intervention. I found a facility that would address his (I believe) core problem – “unstable central nervous system” – per his therapist, & a recommended intervention counsellor. Not a cheap solution, but in my mind, if he’s well, he can get back to earning a living. So his dad, who several weeks ago just bragged how much he was worth – over $2M-said that “there’s no way in hell I’m throwing $40K at this…sell the house & get a job”. Nice. So, I’m done. I’m divorcing the a-hole, they can deal w/ his crazy, I’ll use the legal system to separate myself from him, they’re related to it. So. Done.

            • You’re doing the right thing, but I’m sure it’s hard. You orobably also gotma glimpse into how your STBX got into that situationin the first place, given a parent who cares more about money than a legitimate attempt to save his son’s life. It’s ignorance and denial on display. You did your best and it’s time to save yourself. In the end, that might help the family come around if theynhave the resources to help.

  • Irene you say …

    “I had to watched every single of my words and action so he wouldn’t explode, my marriage was a freaking minefield! I could never relax when he was around. He put me aside and blocked me out of his life and we started to disconnect”

    It sounds like the disconnect started long before you realise. Why would you want to continue to be around someone like this regardless of cheating? That’s no way to live – having to pander to his bratty moods and censor what you say.

    It will dawn on you eventually, as it does with most of us chumps that you deserve way way better than this walking on egg shells business.

    • Aside from everything else, he sounds clinically depressed to boot. I’ve felt how irene describes his behavior, and it was debilitating depression. I didn’t cheat as a result, but I’m a sahm who unfortunately lives with bouts of this. That was my first thought when I read this.

      • nic, empathy for you and sorry to hear that you have suffered debilitating depression – but no, you did not cheat as a result of this because you’re a proper grown up.

        Possibly he is depressed but I think it’s more than that. Irene tried to help him find work and tried to engage with him but he just mocked her. Also getting his kid to lie so he can cheat does not sound like debilitating depression to me.

        I understand that being a stay at home parent can be extremely isolating and thankless and frustrating at the best of times. I have been there so I know but I never thought of hiring a sitter and getting my kids to lie about it. I found other ways to deal with it and help me cope.

        Also if he was depressed he could have spoken to someone about it, a counsellor, even his wife but he refused to engage with her. That is what grown ups do rather than throwing their toys from the pram and getting defensive and embarking on an affair.

    • Irene, you are not responsible for his baggage. He’s an adult. I was also very understanding of my ex losing his job. I stepped up and filled in the gaps financially. Whenever I’d try to talk to him about stuff he’d go all white noise on me. You know what our MC said to me when she got me alone? To leave him because of his baggage. Wish I had listened because after that he started fucking around. Tonya is right, you deserve better. You’ve been understanding enough. He needs to grow up or you need to get out. I’m sorry for that because eight years and kids together is hard to let go of. The problem is thar he’s a ticking time bomb.

  • Let me guess: his admission was something like “Nothing really happened”?

    Which would beg the questions “Then why all the sneaking around, hiring stealth babysitters” and “Who asks their 6 year old to lie for them when they go out for afternoon rendezvous with members of the opposite sex”?

    • I agree. It is possible that they had a physical relationship all the while saying “we don’t want to ruin our marriages” and then she wanted more and kissed him in public and he ran away not wanting to get too hooked into her life. That is exactly what happened with my revolting cheater ex.

      After over a year of “emotional affairing” in two states she told assex that she loved him and he did not return the favor. She wanted to leave her husband for my stupid ex, then ex stopped talking to her and she de friended me on Facebook (a very sick mother of two president if the board of a birth education organization whose mission it is “to support new families” my child was one when she went on her campaign to catch a married husband of a client)

      I left his sorry ass, only sorry he got caught.

      My gut tells me that if you don’t leave him you are at great risk for him leaving you when he finds someone he actually does “love”. Don’t accept this shit and crazy surveillance life.

      I wished I left my abusive ex when he treated me like shit. That is the point. He treated you like shit and will do so again.

  • What is hurtful about an affair is not just the physical betrayal, it’s the lying that comes with it, at least it was for me. Every day your husband played pretend boyfriend, he lied to your face and taught your 6 year-old to lie, too. How awful for your daughter, to be taught that lying to her mother is okay; how damaging to her.

    The other thing that I could not understand or overcome was the sharing of personal, private, and intimate details about my marriage and family to the OW. Think about it, a complete stranger, who has clearly demonstrated her lack of character, now knows all about you. Would you ever share those details with a stranger on the street? Well, your husband did and did so in such a way as to portray you as the bitch, the shrew, the one who is the cause of his misery. There are three people in your relationship and two of them get their jollies trashing you to one another. What a completely unfair and reprehensible thing to do to you.

    Ultimately, I do not think you can stay married to someone you don’t trust or respect. Love without those other two ingredients is like a two legged stool, incapable of standing on its own.

    • “There are three people in your relationship and two of them get their jollies trashing you to one another. What a completely unfair and reprehensible thing to do to you.”

      Thank you Louise. I didn’t know there was an OW (just a lot of random hookups) until after I left my ex. Thank you for defining the exact feeling I had for years without knowing what it was. It Always felt like there was another person in our bedroom with us. Ok, I’m going to go throw up and cry and then get really angry. But thankyou for clearing up the last bit so I can move on.

  • Irene, but he IS a ‘model’ husband now.
    (If you look up ‘model’ in the dictionary, you will see that it is ‘a cheap imitation of the real thing’.)

  • Welcome to Chump Nation, Irene. Sorry you have to be here.

    Your hubby is treating you as a bank, a concierge and a spare pussy. If you saw a friend in the same situation, you would 2×4 them with reality, wouldn’t you?

    There is no going back from that kind of duplicity-anyone who can decieve on that level will always resort to it again, and that they did so in the first place is a sign of a terminal character disorder against which you can do nothing. This guy will never put your kids first,, and he will never give you even parity of esteem-it is all about him, and always will be. I have never known a cheater who came good in the end.

    CL is spot on, as usual.

    It sucks to hear and realize this kind of thing-various Chumps have various angles and experiences, but, ironically, it helps to know just how similarly all these cheating ftards operate.

    Hugs, and welcome to the Land of Reality. Apparently there is this huge party happening in the Land of ‘Meh’. It will take a while to get there, but lots of Chumps know the way, and you don’t need to walk alone.


    • “Apparently there is this huge party happening in the Land of ‘Meh’.”
      I love this, because it is so true. It is very hard to get to but it’s there for sure.

  • I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that he hired a baby sitter so he could date someone and lied about it. I do not believe it was only an EA. Hell, if that’s all it was they could have had that intimacy with the kids present, no need to get a sitter.

    you said: “I didn’t buy that it’s just an EA at first so he gave me full records and access to his text and emails, surprise surprise it’s genuinely full of them whining and bitching about their spouses and life. I also hired a PI and looks like he told me the truth, the timeline he gave matched and there’s a security video from inside the coffeehouse that showed that she kissed him then he pushed her and walked away.”

    A liar lies, even AFTER I read a long email string between my ex and his AP, he lied about it. He went into the account and deleted everything except the “friendly” stuff. Tried to gaslight me into believing I “imagined” it. Thing is, your SAHD could have cleaned up his email before he gave you access. He may have pushed her away in public because he suddenly realized he could loose his meal ticket (that would be you).

    BUT, even if your husband didn’t fuck the woman. Does that make it any better? He broke your trust AND you busted him. He did not come to you and say “I fucked up and I am so sorry but I have to come clean”. NOPE.

    I have a golden rule about unicorns, if a real one showed up? The first thing it would do is TELL YOU THE TRUTH, getting caught does not meet the standard.

  • EA / PA fk that! The hurt is exactly the same. Same blameshifting, cake and kibbles, pickme dancing, and plenty of shit sandwich for you etc etc totally the same pain. I’ve experienced both EA and PA. You “may” have a reconcilaion unicorn on your hands but doesnt sound like it at all. You will continue to do all the heavy lifting all the while he bides his time to totally fk you over later. He just doesnt have his options in place is the only thing stopping him. A one-sided attempt at reconciliation while the other one fakes it for his own benefit, that is a most humiliating experience, trust me on that, I know. The opportunity cost of putting effort, time and money into a person that doesnt even care, or worse is actively using that time against you, you are merely of use to him, well I tell ya that it is hard to swallow later when he eventually does this again.

  • Does anyone else wish they’d self-represented and used the money to get a PI instead? Now that I’ve lived through months of court stuff, I know the judges are pretty reasonable. I don’t think Xs loud, scary and crazy lawyer helps him. She scares me but that’s about it. I don’t think the judge is impressed at all. I wish Id spent money on a PI to gather hard evidence like this. Then I could say, yesss, he drinks himself cross-eyed every night and here’s the evidence. My lawyer is just like, well, its just he said she said. We can’t prove he’s an alcoholic…

    • Oh I wish I had just hired a pi and filed. It was all right there, the spending money pictures the stupidness of them so out in the open.


      What judge would not see the saneness of a spouse filing against an affair, there is no way to make it right anywhere. A marriage is wow a legal binding type thing as in CA everything is 50/50 and you sort of need to file to get out of it and out of or boot out a cheating so and so whoreheyassfucknitwit…

      You know?

      • *but* sometimes a sane person sounds crazy when talking about something so emotional. There were things I would have rambled on about that my lawyer was able to veer me around, and things he lied about that I would have lost my temper over but wouldn’t have helped my case against him. Also if you find a good lawyer, they know the judges and how best to present your case. I would pay mine 10X what I did for how much she helped me – and financially too, they know more about hidden assets and other laws that I wouldn’t have even thought of.

    • Gosh, I hired a mediator because as my Chumpy self wanted to have a “non-contentious” divorce. I could have had sole custody of my kid, I think, or at lease a chance of that because my ex is an alcoholic, porn addict liar who engaged in institutional corruption. But my kid loves him so much. I am just not sure what to do. Ditch the mediator and hire a lawyer and get custody?

      I have these sane questions. A PI would have gotten me hard evidence.

      On the flip side, I would have been mired in the shit for longer and not be able to get my life together for longer (I am still struggling) however, perhaps it would have been a different struggle because I had a goal and was going at it from a position of power.

      The answers will come as they always do.

  • He asked your six-year-old child to lie for him while he went on a date with another woman.

    It doesn’t matter if he has or has not had sex with her. THAT is reason enough to kick him to the curb. That’s a completely despicable thing to do. Not only was he going out with another woman, he was abdicating his parental responsibility to betray you. And he unfairly put that burden on your CHILD. Who probably doesn’t even fully understand what is going on. And he KNOWS she doesn’t. He took advantage of a six-year-old so he could stab you in the back. There’s no frikkin’ excuse for that. He does not deserve a second-chance from you after that stunt. It’s ridiculous that he would even ask.

    ESPECIALLY after the treatment he gave you before that particular incident. He essentially bullies you into mollycoddling his emotions, steps on yours, and then has the nerve to shit talk you to someone else. Complaining how you’re a cold bitch, and he has no one to talk to, yet you’re sitting here, offering him various forms of counseling and other perfectly reasonable solutions to his boredom and emotional frustration. It’s not like you didn’t give him AMPLE opportunity to communicate with you.

    If I were you, I would be done with this. Giving you text messages and e-mails does not count as sorry. As CL pointed out (this is a classic, CLASSIC cheater tactic) it doesn’t mean there aren’t still things you don’t know, it doesn’t mean that he hasn’t gone and created multiple other accounts that you don’t see, and it doesn’t make you feel safe in the marriage, it’s just turned you into the marriage police where you live with the pain and stress of the loss of trust.

    It may be harsh for me to say it, but once the trust is gone in a marriage, the marriage itself is dead. You don’t have a marriage. You have a negotiation. A weekly, daily, hourly negotiation. Intimacy doesn’t matter, physical contact doesn’t matter, frequency of seeing each other doesn’t matter, because all those things are GONE once your trust is broken. Real, honest trust is the foundation of every one of those things.

    Personally, I wouldn’t trust that this will be the only, or first, EA or PA he’s had. Given his immaturity in the past and now, I wouldn’t count on this not happening again. Hell, I’d put money on it. This man is okay with lying to a six-year-old and then making that child lie FOR him. He cannot be trusted and he is not deserving of trust.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when you have marital problems, you talk first. If all else fails, you divorce and see other people. You do NOT skip to the “see other people” stage first and THEN try to backtrack to the talking stage when you get caught. He had his chance to talk at the beginning. He skipped to seeing someone else and he’s now trying to backtrack. Don’t let him.

    • “It may be harsh for me to say it, but once the trust is gone in a marriage, the marriage itself is dead. You don’t have a marriage. You have a negotiation. A weekly, daily, hourly negotiation. Intimacy doesn’t matter, physical contact doesn’t matter, frequency of seeing each other doesn’t matter, because all those things are GONE once your trust is broken. Real, honest trust is the foundation of every one of those things.”

      You are so dead on with this paragraph. I wish that when I first started seeing inklings of bullshit in my marriage, that I would have promptly begun a fact finding mission, started putting money away, and secured a lawyer. I should have did it five years before it finally happened. I hadn’t truly trusted my X for years, I just kept hoping he would be the man I wanted him to be.

      Reconciliation if a ridiculous premise when the one person you trust to have your back no matter what, fucks you over. Sometimes we’re willing to except this from our spouses, but if our friends treated us the same way we’d separate ourselves from them immediately. I am amazed at the idea of trying to reconcile with a person who cared so fucking little for me. How is it even possible, when they have shown you what they are and you’re just expected to “work” on the marriage and “regain” trust? It’s like you’re expected to snuggle up with a shark. This is just how it I always felt about it.

      I’ll tell you what though, hiring a babysitter so I can spend the day with my OP, and then telling my kid to lie to me is a solid deal-breaker. I couldn’t forget that. Not ever.

      • “You are so dead on with this paragraph. I wish that when I first started seeing inklings of bullshit in my marriage, that I would have promptly begun a fact finding mission, started putting money away, and secured a lawyer. I should have did it five years before it finally happened. I hadn’t truly trusted my X for years, I just kept hoping he would be the man I wanted him to be.”

        That’s why I clung to my ex for as long as I did. I didn’t want to admit to myself that I had absolutely no trust for him. I was convinced that there was just something “wrong” with him and if I tried hard enough, I could help him and fix whatever problem that was. I was sure that the “real” him was the man I fell in love with and he just needed help to get back to that.

        I stuffed my emotions down so much. Every time I tried to confront him about his weird behaviors, he would accuse me of not trusting him, and I found myself speechless. Because part of me wanted to scream “NO! NO I DON’T BECAUSE YOU DON’T DESERVE MY TRUST!!! You’re cheating on me and I damn well know it!” But I had so little self-worth left that I just silenced my own instincts.

        “I’ll tell you what though, hiring a babysitter so I can spend the day with my OP, and then telling my kid to lie to me is a solid deal-breaker. I couldn’t forget that. Not ever.”

        I agree. Even if he hadn’t been treating her like shit before then, that alone would be enough to see a lawyer and draw up the papers. Flat. Out. Dealbreaker.

        • When somebody shows you who they are, believe them. Actions speak volumes.

  • My therapist (because I love to quote everything he says, he’s been my voice of reason and sanity) says that EA always revolve around negative evaluations about the non-cheating spouses. It is their foundation and a starting point. In other words, the cheater would rather find a buddy to talk to about his/hers marital problems than take the adult approach of marital counseling or self-analysis. Why don’t they take the mature approach? Can anyone guess? That’s right, ladies and gentleman, we’re back to the same conclusion we come to with every question, every post on this blog: NARCISSISM. And this personality deficiency is most certainly not curable. No amount of therapy or literature will change a narcissist. They may modify their behaviors, the more intelligent ones will find a way to manipulate people around them by “acting” like they care, but the mask always comes off at some point. Would I give the fucktard referenced in this post another chance? Hell no. He showed me who he is already.

  • Irene as far as I am concerned your husband was very close to being in a PA, I heard ‘it started with a kiss’ but I strongly disagree with that, as to get to the kiss there is

    sharing really personal details about the spouse you decided is the reason you are a pig
    the started with a kiss kiss…it has to be in their romantic history
    and the deed

    Sure he pushed her away (glad she didn’t fall or there would maybe be a lawsuit). But the fact remains, your husbands was capable of the list above, and next time it will be easier to do. You know how you learn to balance on your bicycle or learn it isn’t scary to hold your breath go under at the pool and open your eyes? It is like that I think, not sure as I was true.

    Please don’t tell him you are telling her husband, you will get anger eyes, another reason you are the evil one, and hey, this guy deserves to know out of the blue his wife is having coffee and kissing men while he is working longer hours since she lost her job.

    Which lost her job, she worked at a place where it must have what been a co ho worker, so wonder if they lost their job too? So that is some wife somewhere dealing with this also as her husband sits on his ass not working.

    The ow husband I am sure would love this information so he can make a true decision about his life.

    One reason I can think your husband is wanting it like this, the more you work the more raises you get so when you do file and HE ISN’T WORKING, you will be giving him a lot of your money.

    So he isn’t working? Maybe he should move, cut his money off and he can eat rocks.

    I hope you slam dunk this puppy before he turns into a raging wild dog, he is on his way. Slam dunk as in not reconciliation, he has shown you what he thinks of you, you have it already.

    He will just hone is sneaky skills, maybe be true ha ha for a year, maybe 5, and then you will have this again.

    A big waste of your time and room in your head where you could trust someone else, start with you, trust you, you already know I think he is a dried up lemon.

    So you found a site too that told you that you could save your marriage, and the transperancy? I found those too, wasted years, years doing the pick me look at me don’t love bust dance.

    Remember, he already love busted your ass or his ass, or himself, that’s who he is, do you want this guy?

    yes? no?

    Hope it is no, tell the husband, today, no warning, tell him. It is your good deed for your lifetime.


    • I would not put any faith in the “he pushed her away” documentation.

      A married woman has just kissed a married man–not her husband–in a public place. So yes, OW crossed a boundary that your husband didn’t like. But that boundary wasn’t the boundary between the EA and the PA. No, the boundary was between the Secret and the Public.

      Once she kissed him for all to see, then he had to face the risk that you’d find out from someone else. Good-bye meal ticket!

      If he found out from you, there’d be the potential for reconciliation. Oh, and sure, he might dump that OW, but there will be someone else to take her place.

      CL is right. If he’s really remorseful, then by God he’s going to walk that walk. Email passwords are worth the time it takes to create new accounts. Go keylog his computer and see what he’s really up to.

      Or don’t. Just see a lawyer and find out your options.

      • Yes, kb. “The boundary was between the Secret and the Public.” Exactly. She pushed for a more public relationship in that non-verbal way. And he wan’t ready. As I say above, the OW isn’t the boss of him either. This guy wanted a secret affair. There may well have been other more discreet physical contact because given the way these things develop, kissing in public would be a big escalation.

  • Oh, AND him having your oldest lie about where he is and leaving your little one also with a sitter while he is having his emotional affair?

    Isn’t that sort of a thing you can document so you can get custody?

    He thinks this sahm of 4 is more important than his own kids!!!

    I am so mad.

    No, do not reconcile with a pig, and he is a pig. O.O Why isn’t there an angry little face I can put here? !-! that isn’t angry looking

  • I just thought of something, maybe the “kiss” brought him into realty. The prospect of 6 kids every other weekend in a dump with the lying bitch was too much.

    • I agree – my h (he wants reconciliation, I need a break) discovered that his ow w 4 kids was not forever material – we have 3. But once he was far in, afraid of employment lawyers, he was a chicken shit and couldn’t end it with a hammer, only a feather. Apparently divorce lawyers didn’t occur to him. First thing I did was contact her husband.

  • CL, I think you’re not being fair to at-home parents here. They have a three year-old. It’s perfectly legitimate to have one parent taking care of the kid instead of earning money.

    There is nothing lazy or immature about being an at-home parent.

    A partner who demands that their spouse get a paying job instead of working as a child care person is not being fair. It’s reasonable to discuss the issue if you don’t like the partner being home, but it’s something both parties have to agree on.

    Cheating makes you a bad spouse – working as a parent of a small child instead of earning money does not.

    • I never said that. And for the record I stayed home with my son for the preschool years, but worked from home part-time. So not 100% SAHM, but I get it.

      They were both working when the kids were born. They’re 6 and 3. He’s lost his job over a year ago. I know the economy sucks, but that’s a long time to be out of work — and from what she writes, he’s not knocking himself out to find a job. She bring it UP with him — and he gets defensive. So it doesn’t sound like him being a SAHM is something she was on board with.

      And now that he’s cheated, she’d like reassurance that he’s not saying because she’s a meal ticket. The BEST WAY he can prove he’s for real is to get a JOB and support himself and work for R from that self-supporting distance. Right now she’s got 3 kids and a full-time job. No one’s got time for his shit.

      And he should get a job so if she does want to divorce him, she doesn’t have to pay him alimony. Sorry is as sorry does.

      IMO the job situation is very relevant — and I’m not going down the rabbit hole of whether or not staying home with kids is The Right Thing, or okay for men, or WTFever.

      Dude needs to demonstrate remorse. She wanted him to look for a job — that’s a good way for him to start.

      • CL, I think when you lead off with he needs to get a job, you’re suggesting that taking care of a preschooler doesn’t count. Saying that he prefers not working when he is home with a kid suggests that taking care of a kid isn’t work. You may not have meant to suggest that people shouldn’t stay home with a kid, but the tone is very negative towards begin an at-home dad/parent.

        My reading of what Irene said is that she tried to help him find a job because she thought he would be happier.

        Honestly, up until he had an affair, I didn’t think he was behaving terribly. It’s not great to be defensive about losing your job, but it is normal. Irene’s account of their arguments sounds like one side of a conflict a couple could have and work through. It’s the kind of thing where there really might be another side to the story. It doesn’t sound narcissistic or immature or a reason to dump somebody.

        In a situation without an affair, if one person is staying home with a preschooler and the other is pressuring them to get a paid job, I tend to think the person putting on the pressure is being a jerk. I can imagine not being able to afford it or thinking the at-home person isn’t doing enough, but that seems to me to be something two people have to discuss and work out.

        I don’t see how having him get a job should have anything to do with staying together. If she’s divorcing him, he’ll need to get a job. If they’re staying together, they need to work out what to do about it. He may want to get a job.

        An affair, even an emotional one, is a fair reason to get a divorce. The rest of the story today isn’t about a no-good spouse who needs to be dumped, at least in my book.

        • I realized what I said might not be clear. I don’t think Irene was pressuring him to get a job. I think she was trying to deal with his feelings. He was being irrational and she couldn’t figure out what to do. That kind of conflict when someone loses their job or when one person becomes an at-home parent is relatively normal and something a couple can work through.

          The affair is the problem.

        • Irene says, “We’ve been married for 8 years and we were both working parents to 2 kids. I’ve always been the breadwinner and he has no problem with that until recently. Last year my husband lost his job and became SAHD ever since. He admitted that he was unhappy and bored…” So they were both working, he lost a job, and he is “unhappy and bored.” Next thing you know he’s asking his 6 year-old to lie for him and using the money she earns to pay a sitter for the younger one so he can date.

          Nothing at all wrong with one parent staying home with the kids. That’s hard work and noble work. I am not speaking for CL, but I read this as a guy who is “unhappy and bored,” resentful of a more successful wife who is supporting the family, and hard to get along with. Dating alone is a deal breaker. Getting a 6 year-old to lie–deal breaker. Using family resources to pay for dating–deal breaker. And if he is remorseful, he needs to do something himself about his unhappiness and boredom. Clearly he is not “fulfilled” as a SAHH or he wouldn’t be jacking his kid around to hide his emotional affair. You seem to be reading what we’re saying as a critique of SAHMs and dads. We are noticing instead behavior that is irresponsible and abusive: teaching a child to lie to the other parent to cover up an affair, lying, withholding love and support from his wife and handing that over to someone else’s wife, putting 2 families in the dumpster. Parenting doesn’t seem to be his priority if he has time for an affair. He’s supposed to be at home with a 3-year old. Most of the SAH parents I know are too busy for meeting Schmoopie in a coffee shop. Of course the affair is the problem, but he had the affair because he has a serious character issue.

          • Yes this is what I mean by calling him a scum bag fucking bum.You say it a whole lot nicer and with a lot less anger 😉 I have to work on using better adjectives 🙂

        • Why? In your scenario, one person is deciding not to work. Why does he get to decide? What is she, his ATM?

    • His stay-at-home status does not appear to be a mutually agreed upon decision, based on what is best for his family. And from what I’ve read, this guy IS a lazy, immature person. He’s hiring babysitters so he can meet his AP! He is teaching his daughter to lie to her mother! He is unilaterally deciding whether he will contribute to the economic well-being of his family! Why should he get to make those decisions, all the while playing The Dating Game with another woman?

      I think it is wonderful to stay at home to care for the kids ,if BOTH parties agree that it is the right thing for their family. At my age, I also sadly see alot of women who stayed home to raise the kids and who have been completely screwed financially after losing their spouses to death or divorce.

      Too many women sacrifice their financial well-being for the benefit of their families. It’s easy to justify when you’re 30, but takes on an entirely different dimension when you’re 60, broke and unemployable.

      The absolute best thing I ever did for myself and my kids was continue to work when they were young. It wasn’t always easy and I am sure my children sacrificed along the way, but they are great, well-adjusted young adults and every single one of them is grateful for the economic support I have been able to furnish them during their college years. (Early childhood is not necessarily the time when children need their parents the most). Most importantly, I do not lay awake at nights wondering how I’ll pay the bills like some of my friends do.

      • “Too many women sacrifice their financial well-being for the benefit of their families. It’s easy to justify when you’re 30, but takes on an entirely different dimension when you’re 60, broke and unemployable.”

        Preach! This is why I don’t plan on remarrying again, at least not without a pre-nup. I’m too old to risk having to lose everything I worked for again. After this last asshole in my life, I’m protecting myself financially. I’m not willing to put my house, car, dog, 401K, etc on the block again all because I married a fucktard.

        Dating . . . now that’s something I could do. 🙂 Safer that way too.

        • Preach! I’ve lost a lot too but at least I was smart enough to have majority of assets in my name (good credit, unmarried.)
          Come to think of it, and I tell this to my friends and family all the time, the best thing I’ve done was not to marry the fucktard, as right now I would be spending 20k on divorce attorneys. Who’s with me? 😉

  • Irene, I think that you have a choice about whether or not to stay with someone who cheated on you without having sex. You are not obligated to reconcile with him.

    For me, the deal breaker is he hired a babysitter so he could meet the OW. What??? This is not what at-home parents normally do. If your kid was sick at the time, it’s inexcusable.

    I don’t think it’s about whether or not you’re a hard ass. You have to figure out how much he broke your trust and if you can rebuild it, and if you want to try or not.

    Having said that, I have a lot of sympathy for your husband. It’s hard to lose your job and to adjust to being at home. It is completely normal to feel insecure about being dependent on someone financially and be defensive. All of that stuff seems to me to be normal marital conflict.

    The EA, is a different story. I have sympathy for someone who stopped at a kiss, and it sounds like that is what he did. I can imagine being stupid, but the devil is in the details – how long did it go on? How often did he lie to you? How sorry is he? Again – you don’t have to reconcile. Having an EA because you’re an at-home parent, well, that’s not normal marriage stuff.

    • Just a side note – I would understand and sympathize IF he had been actively trying to find other employment.
      From her letter it sounds like this was not the case and that he was playing “the victim” role for all it was worth!

      • I agree with you, Lisah. Lots of people lost jobs during the past few years and it really sucked. But it doesn’t sound like this fellow has even tried to get a job. And it doesn’t sound like he deserves the stay-at-home dad of the year award either! Instead, it seems like he is taking the easy way out while his wife shoulders the economic responsibilties of this family.

  • Irene,
    please reread those points you so efficiently wrote. Every single thing on that list is what those of us who have PA’s to deal with as well.

    Re-read them again. Is that what a marriage should look like to you?

    Re-read them again–does that look like a guy who plans to work on a marriage to you?

    Re-read your list again–is this the role model you want staying at home raising your kids?

    Re-read it again–is this the type of person you want to invest in financially and emotionally?

    Do you need to re-read your list again for a reality check, hon?

  • To me, this story fits right in to the adult solution, cheater solution strategy.

    PROBLEM: I lost my paying job and now I’m taking care of a small child at home. I’m having difficulty adjusting to being dependent on my spouse and I don’t quite know how to be an at-home parent. This causes stress in my marriage.

    ADULT SOLUTION: Talk to my spouse to work things out. Join groups for at-home parents. Find some activities for myself. See an individual counselor if I am depressed. Apply for paid jobs if being an at-home parent makes me unhappy. Make an effort to spend time with my spouse in positive ways. Recognize that there are difficult times in life and that things will get better.

    CHEATER SOLUTION: Spend all my time talking about my problems with an at-home parent I am attracted to. Hire a sitter so I can go on dates with them.

  • I feel kind of mixed about this one, probably because I would have preferred my husband push a kiss away and admit he was attracted to someone else rather than hump someone else.

    That said, the dishonesty is the central issue, that and the way he treated you when he lost his job. Oh, and complaining about you to another woman. Fail.

    If you are that bad, he doesn’t have to spread around the playgroup to feed his ego. He can see how well he does on his own.

    If you can’t trust him you can’t trust him. He hasn’t given any reason for you to trust him. He has some fundamental flaws. Do you want to wait around for him to be satisfied with his marriage and life?

    PS: Bitch cookies? Dear god. . .

  • “If it were me, I’d begin by throwing the bum out. Let him demonstrate his sorry from the position of supporting himself.”

    CL, I think Irene should see a lawyer before doing this. I don’t think being the wage-earner in a marriage gives you the legal right to throw the other person out of the family home. If she tells him to leave in order to prove he wants to stay married, he could easily turn around and say in that case, he wants to file for a divorce. He might then ask for child support and alimony and suggest that she leave the house.

    The only way I see this working is if she lies to him and gives him the impression she plans to reconcile once he puts her in a position to get the kids and the money. Frankly, I think that sucks. It’s not the same thing as lying to get away from someone who is threatening you and has all the money. He’s not a serial cheater and he seems to have stopped before it got physical. I get that she might not want to stay married anyhow, but there’s a difference between deserving to be divorced and deserving to be lied to.

    • DIANA:

      My take away from your posts is that Irene should proceed calmly, with caution, and in a fully informed manner. I tend to agree with you. This marriage may not be doomed. She doesn’t know enough yet because she is still emotionally reacting as opposed to intellectually responding.

      My take aways from Irene’s posts are:

      1. There is a verified EA which he has admitted and terminated.
      2. Irene has a lot of hurt pride and (understandable) distrust for him since this all
      went down.
      3. He has been hypersensitive, defensive, and unpleasant (& probably depressed)
      since he lost his job; and I get the impression that she has always earned more
      than him. So there are hurt pride issues with him, too.
      4. He has not taken the initiative to make constructive steps, i.e. job hunting,
      agreeing to counseling, etc; and has perceived her attempts to encourage or to
      help him as being controlling. (Sorry, common in men–even ones who don’t
      5. A divorce at this moment has the potential to be very financially disadvantageous
      to Irene.

      If I were counseling these two…and they both need good counseling.

      I’d recommend that Irene put the brakes on making any permanent, binding (and potentially future ass-biting) decisions in what is still obviously a “heat of the moment” situation. (It has been only two months since it all went down, and Irene is predictably raw, hurt, and mad as hell.)

      Next we’d work on what causes trust issues between partners and how to avoid creating them, clear and effective (but not brutally) honest communication, and conflict resolution skills.

      TO IRENE:

      His sneaking and lying have created major trust issues that the two of you are probably not going to be able to resolve effectively between yourselves. You need an objective third party and a controlled and “safe” environment in which to discuss these highly emotionally charged issues. Further, the issue of the “cheating” must be addressed before any of the other problems in the marriage can be effectively tackled.

      Insist that he go to and STAY IN marriage counseling long enough to get both your issues out on the table and addressed in an environment where the two of you can at least trust the counselor. And you need to find a good no-nonsense counselor who believes that cheating is never an option in a troubled marriage.

      In your shoes, I’d tell him straight out, “Either we get some serious and effective counseling or you will leave me no option but to consider divorce. I will not live this way for the rest of my life, and I wouldn’t be so cruel as to expect you to live this way either. If you are serious about wanting to reconcile with me, counseling is not an option here; it is a requirement.”

      If he throws a fit, disengage from his tantrum…let it roll off deaf ears. Don’t participate. Refuse to allow any angry outbursts to intimidate you unless he shows indication to be physically abusive. Tell him he can throw all the fits he likes; but the marriage is at an impasse, that you have offered the most potentially workable solution, that cooperation on his part will count toward persuading YOU that his reconciliation gestures may be sincere. That earning back trust is a slow process with no shortcuts. [A bigger problem than getting him to go, will probably getting him to stay in counseling because he (actually neither of you) is likely to enjoy a some of the things you find out about yourselves.]

      If he still won’t go to counseling, go for yourself; and get your feet under you emotionally before you make decisions that will affect not only you but the future of your children.

      You probably should see an attorney and find out just what kind of custody arrangements would likely be forthcoming and what kind of a financial beating you could be forced to take in the event of a divorce. One always needs to know both best and worst case scenarios when making this kind of life decision. Such information will have a direct impact on (if nothing else the timing of) your future decisions about whether or not you can feel safe to remain married to this man or that you must make the break.

      Two months out is not enough time for you to be able to be intellectually objective about all the ramifications yet. Put the fire out before entering the burned building in order to assess whether to demolish or remodel.

        • Not,, do you get paid to write this stuff ? Cause it’s always really good if you don’t you should 🙂

          And to let you know I used your line on my son and it worked like a charm until he finally told the truth. It’s like magic !!

          • Thanks, Michael, but I didn’t originate that little cue that works with your son. It comes from a program called Love and Logic created by a man named Jim Fay. They publish a CD called The Four Steps to Teaching Responsibility to Children, and it is an absolute gem. No, it is a masterpiece! Highly entertaining and even humorous listening that conveys very sound psychological principles for teaching people to own and solve their own problems (in a non-confrontational way) through a series of scenarios told in story form. It can be bought on disc or as an MP3 download. I have persuaded hundreds of parents to use it with their children, and almost all of them were astonished with the positive results. (Works with adults, too BTW). If you never use any other commercial resource to help with child rearing, this would be the one.


              • I have strong suspicions that you are already a pretty good Dad, Michael. But these little strategies will polish you up into a bona fide “pro” who will be the envy of your peers. 🙂

                And like I said, these strategies work with recalcitrant adults, too. Just make the language a tiny bit more adult…or maybe not….;-)

                If you get it and listen, please give me feedback. Most people just love it and ask, “How did you ever find that?”

        • I re-read Irene’s original letter and see that the couple is just now in counseling.

          STAYING in counseling when the going gets tough [which IT WILL if the counselor is worth a darn] is going to be the key to reaching a place where this couple can either (1) grow up and become fully participating and equal marriage partners, or (2) develop the maturity level to have a ‘parting of the ways’ that does not nuke everything around them most especially those children.

  • A man has an emotional affair, with all of the emotional disengagement and denigration of his wife that goes along with granting himself permission to betray her trust. His wife agrees to try reconciliation but what he did broke the relationship. She is perfectly within her rights to ask for a divorce. At that point, he may or may not try for alimony, custody, etc. That is his choice. That is not a reason for a woman to stay with a cheater. She can certainly ask for a trial separation, or a post-nup agreement, or just see a lawyer, make a plan and execute it. There are no solutions to infidelity that don’t involve risk and pain. There are solutions that offer a chance at a life that is authentic, based in wholeness and integrity, with a great chance of happiness. None of them involve indulging a boy-man who wants to date other people.

    • “There are solutions that offer a chance at a life that is authentic, based in wholeness and integrity, with a great chance of happiness. None of them involve indulging a boy-man who wants to date other people.”

      (Wild clapping, Eeeeee!)

    • And this is exactly the crux of the matter! Why should Irene carry the burden of this “boy man” any longer? Marriage counseling? I think Irene would be better off spending her money to hire a kick-ass divorce lawyer who will have twelve ways from Sunday to show the court why this slacker should get a job and support himself.

      • I agree. You can’t successfully counsel a entitled asshole. Besides, who want’s to reconcile with that?

  • Irene, didn’t you say you found a lot of emails between the two of them and your husband was talking about you? Sure, let him slide if you are fine with him running you down to an already caught cheating woman whos husband is now working extra hours to keep their family afloat. If that is no breach to you, stay with him.

    Are you planning on telling the ow husband? He deserves to know so he can decide if he wants to stay in his marriage, you have some evidence that I sure would be appreciated by him.

    I have nothing againsts parents who stay home to raise their kids, I stopped working to do so. I did not in any of that time confide in others negatively about my husband.

    Irene, take a look at your marriage and the evidence you have. All I know is I don’t know of one person who mended after an emotional or physical affair.

    Being out of work is no excuse, he used it as one, he used his anger at you helping him find ideas for jobs against you and lashed out by confiding in another sah parent.

    Which that alone is pretty bad to me, you being talked about to another woman, or man or anyone, you are his wife.

    I don’t see anything in his actions as good, I see it all as no fixable actually, he has no respect for you as his partner.

  • Transparency, is such a waste of time. I told my h I saw his phone calls he said he would have to be more careful, which he wasn’t it was pages and pages. The stupid ow started using 5 different phone lines to call h, so that wasn’t too bright. His email, he ended up getting 3 with high security. Our banking so I could see his spending? He opened a new account and moved money electronically.

    Easy as 123 to open new accounts, so it is useless to expect the truth don’t bother with passwords.

    You can either trust or not, and you probably can’t trust him again.

  • He doesn’t respect you. And that sucks because you can’t make someone respect you. I can look back and see the exact moment that my ex showed me that lack of respect for my time and being. I wish I had left then because anything they do after that has to do with what they can get out of you. I think you can have respect without love, but not love without respect. If there is no longer either of those what you have is an “arrangement”. And your husband is clearly getting a far better deal out of the situation than you are.

    • I have to agree with this statement.

      Who stays at home to care for the children is NOT the issue. Respect for each other, a relationship built on trust (mutual respect is a part of that!), and personal integrity are for me some of the key components of a committeted relationship.

      The fact is when the going got tough for him, he left you emotionally. If he really had respected you, he wouldn’t have let this aquaintence turn into his EA/PA.

      I’m dealing with this right now. The cheater can go all introspective and do all the things for the big R, but why have the affair(s), web profiles, porn, etc… in the first place? If they think they DESERVE their needs being met despite the conventions of a committed relationship, they have already devalued you. I don’t think the chump can get that loving feeling back towards such a person.

      • I post from an iPad. I swear my writing, spelling and punctuation are not this bad IRL.

  • Irene, your husband sounds like a certified Martyr Man (R). Any time you try to talk it becomes all about his pain or how you hurt him or insulted him, how you are angry all the time, he tries so hard (emphasis on tries, not does) he is so hurt by your actions, hell by everyone’s actions. He is A certified Martyr Man and it’s his job to tell you how wonderful he is and much he sacrifices, how you don’t appreciate it and blah. A certified Martyr Man can always turn the tables. A certified Martyr Man will isolate you by telling you your friends are not good friends in a variety of ways. A certified Martyr Man will become outraged when you assert a boundary because you are not supposed to have any. A certified Martyr Man won’t go to counseling because of course they cannot help the poor certified Martyr Man, his only problem is “everyone else”. A certified Martyr Man can cry on demand, and he will. A certified Martyr Man will _________fill in the blank…

  • Hello Irene
    Get rid of this guy. My X had an emotion affair (or so I thought it was) so I forgave him. After a few years he decided he wanted out of the marriage. I left and found out 2 weeks later he had been at it again. Only this time it was EA and PA. Just from experience you can’t win in the games they play. No you can’t trust him nor will you ever be able too. Once they get a taste for cheating there is no turning back. The first time he feels his life is out of sorts he won’t come to you as that would mean he would have to invest more into his marriage. Its too much work for him. Having an affair is much more fun and a very easy plus getting his ego stroked. I had 28 years invested into a marriage that lies were a big part of and I didn’t suspect as I trusted him. No matter how much I am hurt I will never want someone in my life that can’t be trusted. I wish you so much luck and Irene be strong, you can do this.

  • EA, PA, no difference really, betrayal is betrayal, is betrayal. What genitalia did or did not touch is irrelevant when it comes to the emotional wounds caused. In the end, no matter what any of us here in the Chump Nation think, say, no matter what the therapists think, say, WE, the betrayed, have to make the decisions. Stay, or go. And it sucks either way because we are forced to make a decision caused only by the selfish actions of others. But that is the reality. If you feel like shit because of him, if he made you the marriage police (and that is only the tip of the iceberg here with all the other ego bullshit going on with losing jobs and resenting the functional employed spouse, meh!) then you know what you need to do. Lots of people here are testament to CL’s tagline….. All the best Irene.

  • Divorce him..Set protections in place..It is up to him to court you, date you and let you know that he loves you for who you are, not for the protections that the marriage has to offer

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