I caught my husband cheating.  Those words still shock me. Details are not important, however the confirmation of this affair was one of the most devastating moments of my life.

And despite the unravelling of my marriage that his affair created — the loss of trust, the pain and the tears (oh so many) — we also unravelled how much we loved each other and didn’t want our marriage to end.

Let me be honest, the process of recovery has been a long and extremely hard one..

The sadness, anger and mistrust can be too much to bear at times. Being left alone with your mind to imagine and envision what went on is torturous. At first, my husband had a hard time dealing with my rollercoaster of emotions. He just wanted to speed up the process – his affair was over and just wanted to get back to a happy place.

Time and therapy helps. I still have good and bad days. But the one positive thing is that my husband has learned how to talk about feelings –both good and bad – something he couldn’t do before.

My husband has taken ownership and is extremely regretful and remorseful. He looks back at this affair and can’t even understand why it happened. This was not someone he loved and wanted to spend his life with. That person was always ME.

The truth is that I will never forget the affair.
However as time passes, I am beginning to learn to live with it.

I am moving past the sadness, anger and resentment and have started to let go of negative feelings. What is evolving is a more honest, and transparent relationship where we can talk about anything and everything.

Today, we are still healing – we laugh, we cry and we love – and that feels great right now.

Gayle, 44

11 Responses to “Recovering after an affair”

  1. Anonymous

    It’s sad that you would not see that you deserve better than this man.Adultery is not just the final sex act,there is always time before it happens to change your mind,and do the right thing.Adultry is so disrespectful not only to the partner,but shows a total disregard for the well being of the entire family.Hope some day,you can see this.

    • Anonymous

      I strongly agree with you, I am 39 my I thought we married based on love , after 5years of marriage when we had a 3 year old son my husband cheated on me,I went through same process , again after 5 years he did the same thing and I stayed only because I was scared to face the reality, now after 14 years I have no love for him and eventually I’m cheating on him !

  2. Anne

    It’s easy to judge a situation that we have not lived. Not every affair is created equal, and quite often it is a symptom of a marriage in distress – not the cause of the distress. It takes a lot of courage to admit one has done wrong and work to do better, and it takes a lot of courage to reopen your heart after a betrayal. I wish both of you all the best of luck in your journey.

  3. Anonymous

    You describe “forgiveness”. That takes strength. It is good to hear growth has taken place in both of you. Marriage is not selfish and only self interested. It is a covenant. I pray your marriage continues to be strengthen.

  4. It Takes Two To Tango

    There is this common misperception that the responsibility for an extramarital affair lies exclusively with the person who did the cheating. In order for a couple to fully recover, both must look at their contribution to one’s departure outside of a sacred bond.

    • Anonymous

      No, the responsibility for an affair is the person who had the affair. You CANNOT force someone to cheat and this myth causes so much damage. You have a choice in a relationship to discuss what is troubling you and what you would like to be different. If it’s in you to cheat you have some very difficult self-reflection ahead of you and you will be very lucky if your marriage survives it. You are an adult with choices; have a difficult conversation, marital therapy or divorce. Cheaters make a choice to betray and to deceive the very person you took vows with – that is NEVER the betrayed person’s fault. All relationships have issues and to blame the betrayed in any way is blame-shifting. Do not fall for this kind of advice.

      • AAA

        I disagree. The vows are many times made to a person and a dream for a life together. Many years after the vows are said that person changes and the dreams may never realize. The cheating is not done to shame the partner. It is a hope for a second chance to one’s dreams and life soon to realize that a big mistake has occurred. That is when you realize the hurt and pain that is caused. And we don’t all come from families where communication is easy and open. It is not always easy to identify problems especially if life is busy with kids and work and finances to balance. The affair is many times a result of a problem that is not even identified until many months of therapy. So don’t be so fast to judge!

  5. Mary

    Marriage is hard work. No one should be ashamed for sticking it out not should anyone feel guilty for leaving if they can’t stay. Why are we so quick to judge instead of trying to understand and empathize.

  6. Julia

    My parents dealt with infidelity in their marriage and I watched it destroy them. I also watched them make the hard decision to put the love they felt for each other first and to work very hard to keep our family intact. I have never been cheated on (that I know of) and I am not sure I would have the courage, strength and forgiveness that you have shown. What I do know is that my parents have been married for 51 years now. They talk openly about how happy they are that they stayed together and got past their issues. I wish you the best of luck in this journey.

  7. marigold

    Why does no one say that affairs can be good? Why does everyone seem to assume that monogamy is essential to every loving marriage? Some people who are secure in their love for each other and the strength of their marriage may be able to have outside sexual relationships. Or what about a marriage that is a happy one overall, but one partner has little or no interest in sex while the other has strong sexual urges?
    What I DO agree with is that we can’t pass judgment on others’ choices or the emotions they feel.
    By the way, I experienced the intense pain of discovering my husband had cheated on me, multiple times, when I thought we had an exclusive and wonderful sexual relationship. We did get divorced; yet I have forgiven him and understand the psychological problems that led him to cheat on me. I am now in two good sexual relationships and both men know about the other. I am not married to either.


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