Why Would My Husband Willingly Admit To Cheating Right Away?

By: Katie Lersch: Often, when you suspect your spouse of cheating, you feel a horrible sense of dread. You worry about how awful the confrontation is going to be. And you fear that your spouse is going to deny it, leaving you unsure as to how to get him to confess. There are times, however, when the whole thing doesn’t go as planned. And when this happens, you can be left wondering what it all means. One example is when your spouse confesses, on his own, almost immediately.

Someone might say: “I actually strongly suspected that my husband was going to cheat on me before it even happened. I knew that he had friended an old girlfriend on facebook. I knew that she had almost been pursuing him online – sending emails and photos. I told my husband I did not want him talking to her anymore. I also knew that he was going to see her on his class reunion. To be fair, he invited me to go and I was going to accompany him. However, I had a family emergency that kept me from going. Very stupidly, I told him that it would be OK if he went anyway, as long as he kept to his male friends and did not interact with the old girlfriend. He assured me that he would and told me that he would call and text several times to check in. Well, he never called or checked in. And he ignored me when I texted and tried to call him. The reunion was out of town. So I tried to call his hotel pretty much all night long. He never picked up. So I had a pretty good suspicion about what happened. And I dreaded having to confront him about this and have him deny it. But as soon as he got home, he walked in the door, dropped his bag, and started to cry. He told me that he had been with the other woman and he begged me to forgive him. He didn’t even try to deny it. He admitted it immediately. Is there any significance to this? Why would a man admit it so readily? Is this common?”

I would not call it common, at least in my perception. But it is not as if it never happens. Here are things which I believe may contribute to a man confessing immediately.

Guilt: Many people who I hear from that are having an affair are consumed by guilt and are looking for relief from it. He may have told you to try to release some of that guilt.

Prior Knowledge: Quite frankly, he likely knew that you already had your suspicions. It was almost obvious what might have happened. So, he may have known that he was going to need to come up with a great story in order to explain away what happened. And perhaps he knew that it just wasn’t worth the effort to lie.  Because you were going to doubt him anyway.

Wanting To Do The Right Thing: It’s quite possible that your husband respects you too much to actually look you in the eye and lie to you. It’s also quite possible that he feels a great deal of regret and now wants to do the right thing. The start of that is telling the truth.

Hoping That Being Honest Matters: Once the mistake has been made and the person who cheated comes back to reality,  they’re often overwhelmed with the knowledge that they have put their marriage at risk. Some people who have cheated will literally run toward home and quickly utter all sorts of apologies. The hope behind this is that they want to get on the road to reconciliation right away. So if confessing is a way to jump start this process, so be it. Also, many are hoping that confessing and being honest even when they could have lied before will at least matter a little bit to you. They may well hope that it is better for them to confess than for them to lie and then to be caught in that same lie later.

I don’t have any idea how you feel about any of this reasoning or if it matters to you. But in terms of saving your marriage (assuming that you want this,) I do feel that a spouse confessing immediately is a positive sign. It shows that he isn’t trying to justify his behavior and that he knows he is wrong. It shows an immediate willingness to be truthful, even if it causes pain.

Many couples struggle greatly because the cheating spouse never truly comes clean. He may give his spouse tiny bits of the truth, but he always holds a little back and this makes it very hard to heal. The fact that your spouse is willing to tell everything so quickly is a good sign, but of course there would be rehabilitation and lots of work ahead if you chose to save your marriage. And you may not know the answer to that immediately, which is OK. If he knows that he is wrong, then he will likely also know that he has to be patient while you decide what you want to do.

I didn’t know right away that I wanted to save my marriage.  In fact, I was leaning toward letting it go.  But after a while, I started to see things a little differently.  I took my sweet time deciding and, to his credit, my husband was very patient.  There’s more at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How And Why Do Affairs Usually End?

by: katie lersch: I often have two different sets of people asking me this question.  Sometimes, people whose spouses are having an affair want to know why and how affairs end so that they can attempt to make the affair end sooner.  Other times, I hear from the people involved in the affair.  They don’t want it to end so they are looking for common pitfalls in the hopes that they can avoid them.  Much of the time, one party is hoping that the affair ends (and is looking for a way to help this process happen more quickly)  while the other is hoping that it never ends.  In the following article, I’ll tell you some of the most common reasons that I see affairs end.

The Affair Will Commonly Fizzle Out As The “Newness” And Excitement Wears Off: There’s no question that, to many,  part of the appeal of the affair is the fact that it’s taboo and forbidden.  There can be an excitement that comes with a new and secret relationship.  But as the early days give way to old ones, this sense of newness quickly wears off and gives way to the familiar.  And when this happens, a lot of that excitement goes with it.  When this happens, the affair / relationship will often just die a natural death or fizzle out.  Because it’s often not real or genuine feelings and emotions that are holding these two together. It’s a facade that fades.

Sometimes, The Guilt Becomes So Overwhelming That One Party Chooses To End The Affair: It’s also not uncommon for one person to end the affair out of guilt.  There’s a stereotype that people who have affairs are unfeeling and don’t care about their spouse anymore.  This isn’t always the case.  Many do feel guilt and some even end the affair because of those same guilt feelings.  Although the person on the other side of the affair will often hope or think that the person who they are cheating with has distanced himself from his family or is no longer as invested as he once was, this sometimes proves to be not the case.

Sometimes The Faithful Spouse Finds Out About The Affair And A Choice Must Be Made: It’s not at all uncommon for the faithful spouse to learn about the affair (and sometimes the unfaithful spouse will confess to this themselves.)  When this happens, the faithful spouse will often issue an ultimatum and demand that a choice be made.  And it’s not at all uncommon for the cheating spouse to end the affair in a response to that ultimatum because they decide that their spouse is more important to them than the other person.

An Affair Can End Because One Or Both People Involved In It Realize That The Relationship Just Isn’t Working Anymore Or Was Built Upon Misconceptions: It’s also not uncommon for one or both people in the relationship to evaluate it and decide that it isn’t working anymore or just isn’t what they thought or hoped it would be.  Often in the beginning, they can build the other person up to be something who he or she is not.  After all, if you’re going to risk your marriage and your family to participate in infidelity, that other person must be awful special.  But, after a while, it becomes easier to see them for who they really are or aren’t.  And when this happens, you can realize that the other person (or the relationship) just isn’t worth the risk or the personal costs.

When Reality Sets In, The Rose Colored Glasses Can Come Off: In the beginning of an affair, both people are usually on their best behavior and are working very hard to make each encounter exciting and memorable.  Usually at least one person is investing a lot into the relationship.  But this can only last or be maintained for so long.  Eventually, she might see or have to pick up his dirty socks.   Her lack of character might start to annoy him and the list goes on and on.  The point is, eventually, the relationship behind the affair becomes like any other relationship – warts and all.  And it can become fairly obvious that if the affair is going to have all of the usual problems of a marriage or other long term relationship, then what’s the point?

The End To An Affair Can Come Very Abruptly Or Quite Gradually: Sometimes when people think of an affair ending, they picture a very dramatic breakdown.  I’ve had people tell me that they sat on the phone while their spouse called the other person and instantly ended the affair.  I’ve heard of nasty face to face confrontations and threats to never ever have any contact again.  But an affair doesn’t always end with a bang.  It can also end with a gradual whimper where one person quietly breaks it off or the interactions or meetings just become less and less frequent until they eventually end altogether.

No matter how and why affairs end, most do end eventually.  Statistics show that very few relationships that start as an affair end up in marriage – much less a marriage that actually lasts.  There’s an exception to every rule, of course.  But for the most part, an affair does not have a high chance of working out or ending well.  That’s why it can be advisable to never start one in the first place.

Surviving The Affair is a blog I put together to share my story in the hopes that it helps someone else. I know that this is a very difficult time, and that forgiveness can be elusive, but working through it can truly be worth the effort. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, better times were ahead. My marriage eventually recovered and is stronger than ever. Our bond and intimacy is much stronger and because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem remained in tact. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read that very personal story at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

My Husband Is Angry At My Reaction To His Emotional Affair. How Do We Get Past This?

By: Katie Lersch: Sometimes, when one spouse discovers that the other has acted inappropriately, all hell breaks loose. Fury reigns. The faithful spouse is so mad that she can barely function. And the cheating spouse is sometimes shocked and taken aback by this anger. The anger can be so strong that both people are kind of overwhelmed by it.

The cheating spouse often doesn’t know how to respond, gets flustered, and responds with defensiveness which turns to anger. So now you are in a situation where both people are indignant, lashing out, and furious. It can get to a point where the affair has somehow ended up on the bottom of the heap. All each party knows is that things have gotten really bad, that they are living in an angry household, and that they don’t know what to do next.

Someone might describe it that way: “I was using our computer last week and I wanted to look up a new computer that I was considering buying. Unfortunately, I had already closed out the window so I had to look in my internet history, when I did, I noticed a messaging app that my husband had clearly been using excessively. With a little patience, I was able to log into this app. And what I found devastated me. My husband was chatting away with a coworker about things that had nothing to do with work. There were inside jokes. There were complaints about their spouses. There seemed to be intimacy. Admittedly, there was no talk of anything physically inappropriate. And as soon as I confronted my husband about an emotional affair, he was very quick to say that nothing physical had happened. He keeps harping on this fact over and over. I’m glad that no physical line has been crossed. But the emotional line that has been crossed is more than enough. I am furious and I honestly considered asking my husband to leave. At first, he was patient as I lashed out at him, but he soon lost his patience and started lashing out at me. He said that he is not going to sit there and let me be abusive to him. He says that I’m using this relationship as an excuse to be nasty to him, when in fact they never crossed the line. He says I’m just trying to get the upper hand using something that isn’t a huge deal. We are both so angry that we are no longer speaking and the tension in our house is so thick you could cut it with a knife. I don’t know for how long this can go on. But I don’t know where we go from here when we’re both so mad that no one is going to make the first move.”

I have been in this situation and in my experience, there are basically two choices here. You can try to break the stalemate on your own. Or you can get outside help. I don’t think it hurts to try on your own first. I know that it’s hard because you very rightly feel that he is in the wrong. And you feel resentful that you might have to be the one to start the conversation.

You would be right about that, but sometimes you get stuck in a situation where you both feel right and indignant and therefore you can not move forward. Here is some phrasing that might be a conversation starter: “I don’t have to tell you that things are quite difficult for both of us right now. It’s obvious that we are both angry. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to keep going down this path. I’d like for both of us to be able to put aside our anger – just for a little while – to see if we can make any progress. I get that you did not appreciate my response. And I hope you understand why I was so upset. If you had seen those messages to a male coworker of mine, I am sure that you would be upset. But continuing to act only on our anger isn’t really getting us anyway. Do you think that we can set the fury aside momentarily just to discuss where we might go from here?”

Then, just listen to what he has to say. He may have been waiting for you to open the door all along, or he may continue to dig in his heels. You don’t want to be the one making all of the concessions. But if both people give just a little, you can usually begin to make slow progress.

If the anger still persists and you just can’t seem to break it, you can pause and try again a little later, or you can consider a third party or counselor to help you through this. Sometimes, they are invaluable for allowing both people to feel heard and to get the conversation started.

But make no mistake. You have every right to be upset and just because he’s angry, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have your concerns addressed. The key is to be able to address it so that no one feels diminished or disrespected to the point where they just shut down. Because that doesn’t do anyone any good.

It took quite a while to get the conversation rolling after my husband’s affair. Honestly, I just was not open for a while.  And once we were both ready to talk, it was awkward.  We just had to keep trying and push through it.  Sometimes, I think it was my own stubborn determination that got us over the hump. You can read more about this time period at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Friends Say My Husband Left Me After His Affair Because He Is Ashamed. Are They Right?

By: Katie Lersch:  It’s extremely hurtful and frustrating when you learn of your husband’s affair.  This is compounded when your husband leaves because of this.  Because even if you aren’t sure if you still want him at home, it still stings because it feels like a rejection.  And he is not always forthcoming about why he left and what his motivations might have been.  So you are left speculating.

Sometimes, a theory will surface which encourages you to think that he was ashamed and embarrassed over his actions.  Because of this, he could not face you and felt that it would be easier for every one involved if he would just leave.  Here’s an example.  A wife might say: “about six weeks ago, I discovered that my husband has been cheating on me with our neighborhood tramp.  Honestly, we all laugh at this woman behind her back.  She is a middle aged woman who will wash the car or mow the lawn in a bikini.  She is so obviously attention seeking and is sex obsessed.  She has had multiple affairs over the years.  It’s a neighborhood joke that you need to keep your husband on a leash when she’s outside.  My husband and I have both joked about her inappropriate behavior.  Well, I guess the joke is on me because my husband has obviously been sneaking around with her.  And the reason I know is that some neighbors of ours saw them out together.  Our neighbors gossip, so soon every one is going to know.  And our family is going to be a laughing stock.  If this is not bad enough, last weekend my husband packed his bags and left.  He’s been very good about calling and checking on the kids.  But he will not discuss why he left except to say that the affair is over and he doesn’t want to hurt us anymore.  He says he hopes that in time we will reconcile. But for now he feels it best not to live with me.  Some of my friends who live in the neighborhood say that his leaving is very cowardly.  And they believe that he left because he was so embarrassed and ashamed to be the neighborhood joke. So he left me to clean up the mess.  I do get why he would be embarrassed.  But I’m worried that this is not the only reason he left.  I worry that he doesn’t want me and this is an easy for way for him to leave.  I know that he isn’t seeing the other woman anymore because her car is always at her house and he is never there.  So it’s not as if I think the affair is continuing. But I’m hurt that he would just leave me here.  Could my friends potentially be right?  Could he be leaving because of embarrassment?  Or is it something else?”

I think that embarrassment and shame is definitely a possibility.  It’s very common in all affairs, but it seems to be especially possible in this case.  Your husband himself has laughed about the poor slobs who succumbed to the desperate neighbor and now he knows that people are going to laugh at him – just as he has laughed at others.  I doubt that he is very proud of that.

And I suspect that he feels very guilty in the knowledge that people are going to talk about his family because of something that he did.  So he might think that his leaving will allow the smoke to clear. He may figure if he is not present, it will give the gossips less to talk about.

Of course, your friends could be right and this may be part cowardice on his part. He could find it very difficult to look you in the eye and face you.  He knows that what he did was extremely destructive to your family and he knows that you deserve better.  So it is just less painful for him to remove himself from the situation.

You have to ask yourself what you really want.  Do you want him there because you feel that he needs to face this?  Do you want him there because you want a chance to save your marriage?  Or do you just want reassurance that he left because of himself and not because of you?

It’s always possible to try to directly ask him for more clarification.  The next time you speak, you might ask him when or if he intends to come home.  If he doesn’t give you a direct answer, you might say, “well it might help by starting with why you’re not here in the first place?  Do you not want to be here?  Were you motivation by your thoughts of yourself or thoughts of me when you left? Because quite frankly, I’m not sure how it benefits me to have you just run away when things get ugly.  Because now I am the one left here to handle the fall out.  You get to escape while I’m left standing to deal with it all.”

Listen and see what he has to say in response.  You may get an honest answer about his motivations.  Or he may have been waiting for you to indicate that you wanted him home all along.  It helps to be clear on what you want.  Because you want to make sure that you really want him home when you have this conversation.

The point is, once you have the conversation, the topic of him coming home might surface.  So you want to be clear about your wishes beforehand.

I understand how difficult this is.  It’s normal and easy to over analyze everything that he says and does.  But always remember that what you feel, what you want, and what motivates you is equally as important.  You can read more about how I coped with a situation very similar to this one on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Why Would My Cheating Husband Want To Stay With Me?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who doubt the sincerity of what their husband is saying after he cheated or had an affair. This can especially be true when the husband is insisting that he wants to stay in or save the marriage when his previous actions have completely contradicted his claims. The wife can wonder if he is really sincere or has an ulterior motive.

I recently heard from a wife who said: “my husband accidentally left his email open a couple of weeks ago and I read some emails that made it obvious that he had been cheating on me. When I confronted him, he immediately admitted it and then said that he was going to break it off on his own. But, a couple of weeks later, I logged on again and there were more emails showing that he had lied and was continuing on with his cheating. Of course, I confronted him again and he was overcome with emotion and begged me to go to counseling with him because he said he could not stand to lose me. At this point I do not know how to respond. What is the point? Why would my cheating husband even want to stay with me and stay married? I mean, if he’s so unhappy that he is going behind my back and cheating, then what kind of marriage do we have anyway? He obviously doesn’t love me or he would not have cheated. He clearly doesn’t value our marriage or have the personality to be truthful and faithful, so why even bother with all of this pretense. Part of me wants to try the counseling but the other part of me wonders why a man would even want to stay with a wife that he needs to cheat on anyway.”

I can certainly understand this wife’s reservations. She had caught him cheating twice now so his actions and his words were definitely contradictory. But this wife was operating under the assumptions that many wives embrace. They think that a husband who loves his wife and values his marriage does not cheat. And along these same lines, they think that a man who cheats no longer wants his wife or his marriage. I can tell you from all of the emails that I get on my blog from married men who regret cheating that this is not always the case. I will explain this more below.

Many Husbands Who Cheat Can Still Love Their Wives And Want To Stay Married: I understand why many people think that cheating husbands have already drawn a line in the sand and have chosen to leave their marriage. The men that I hear from contradict this assumption on almost every level though.  Many of them still love their wives very much. In fact, many will put all of the blame on themselves and will tell you that the problem lies with them and not with their marriage or with their wife.  And because of this, they reason, there is no need to abandon the marriage because of their poor judgment.

Countless marriage survive cheating and affairs. And frankly if those same couples were not completely committed to their marriage, they probably would not make it. The process of healing after an affair is often not at all pleasant. In fact it can be downright painful. People who don’t truly love their spouses are not as likely to stick it out. The fact that your husband is willing to stick it out may well say something about him and about his feelings for you.

Some Reasons That Cheating Husbands Want To Stay With Their Wives And Remain In Their Marriages: The biggest reason is that they realize that they have made a mistake and they are hoping that they can find a way to ensure that the mistake is not a permanent one. Once they are faced with the risk of loosing their wife and their family, they realize how awful this would be. They become more protective of and appreciative toward their marriage and their wife. I completely understand the wife having doubts. You would worry about her if she didn’t.

And, I always advocate that wives watch their husbands very carefully while he is trying to prove his love for and his commitment to them and the marriage after he cheated. But to just assume that the cheating means he doesn’t love or want his wife can be the wrong call too.

Many Wives Think Their Cheating Husband Wants To Stay With Them For These Reasons: Many wives who doubt that their husband really wants to stay married will tell you that he’s probably staying out of loyalty or because he doesn’t want to lose money or financial possessions thorough a divorce. And many wives will tell you that he is afraid of losing his children or of what society will think of him. These are all valid concerns. But I have to tell you that I rarely hear men admit to these reasons. That might be because my articles are focused on rehabilitation and saving your marriage, but I rarely have a cheating husband tell me “I don’t really want to stay married and I’m only staying out of a sense of obligation.”

The bottom line to me is that your husband may well give you every reason under the sun as to why he wants to save your marriage. You may be very tempted to discount each and every one of them as lies. But before you do, consider watching his actions for a while before you make a decision. He can say whatever he wants and make all types of claims. But it is his actions that will tell you the truth. In this case, the wife should look for follow through and transparency. The husband should offer open access to his email and he should follow through on counseling and show with his behaviors that his wife is his top priority. If he did these things for long enough, then perhaps the wife would be justified in believing that he was sincere in wanting to stay with her and in the marriage after his cheating.

It took me a long time to believe that my husband really wanted to stay with me after his cheating.  But not only did our marriage survive, it eventually thrived.  But it took a lot of work.  If it helps, you can read that very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

I Cheated And My Spouse Is Moving On. I’m Filled With Regret

By: Katie Lersch: Most of the people that I hear from who have cheated on their spouse express remorse. They know that what they have done is wrong. And they feel quite uneasy at the thought that their mistake could cost them so dearly. Frankly, sometimes it takes them being faced with losing their spouse that the full impact of what they have truly done hits them. So when their spouse tells them that they have decided that they do not want to save the marriage and that they are moving on, the feelings of regret can be at an all-time high.

A spouse might say: “I have never regretted anything more than cheating on my husband. I honestly can’t believe I did that. I did not intend for anyone to ever find out. And in my own mind, it was my way to say goodbye to my first love, who had reenlisted in the military. I knew that we might never see one another again. And I knew that he could very well have been in harm’s way. So I went out with him and I kissed him goodbye at the evening and one thing to another. But I knew he was leaving soon and that this would not be a threat to my marriage. Well, the other guy told his busybody sister about it and she told my husband. When my husband confronted me, I considered lying because honestly, there wasn’t any proof and it was my word against the sister’s. But looking at my husband’s face, I just could not bring myself to lie to him. I almost wish that I could have. Because telling the truth has cost me everything. For a while, my husband said that he didn’t know what he was going to do. He stayed at our house for about a week and then said he needed time away from me. I believe he stayed with his mother, but I do not know that for sure because he would not take my calls. In the meantime, I was texting him and begging him to go to counseling. He kept just answering with very fast replies that said: ‘I need more time.’ So this whole time when I couldn’t reach out to my husband, I became fully aware of just how badly I had messed things up. I knew I was wrong, but the loneliness on top of this knowledge made things so much worse. As time went by, I knew that the longer that my husband was gone, the worse the chances would be that I would ever get him back. I started to text and ask him if he was dating other people. He responded that he wasn’t dating other people yet, but that he wasn’t ruling it out because he didn’t think that he could ever forgive me. So I just left him alone and gave him his time. And then last week he called me and said that he wanted to tell me himself that he has decided to ‘move on.’ He said that he was probably going to file for divorce because he had met someone with whom he wanted to pursue a relationship. And this is my worst fear – him finally moving on – him finally saying the words. I am so filled with remorse. I know that this is my fault. I can’t blame my husband. And the worst part of this is knowing that it is all outside of my control. I am not sure that there is anything that I can do to make this any better.”

I think that there is always something that you can do. You can work on yourself. You can let your spouse know that you will be there should he change his mind. Believe it or not, this does sometimes happen. Sometimes, people separate or even divorce, and the spouses date other people. But as time allows for things to calm down and allows for more perspective, things do change.

Only you can decide if you are willing to wait or if you want to move on also. If you want to wait, then I believe that the most effective way to do that is to reach out to your spouse as someone who will always care about their well being and not as someone who is focused on having them change their mind.

It might work something like this. The next time you speak, you could say: “I have been thinking about your moving on and although I understand your motivations and I do not blame you, I will always value our relationship and I will always take responsibility for changing everything. I will forever be sorry that I hurt you and that I put what we had in jeopardy. I do not blame you for how you feel or for what you are doing. I would do anything to change it or to be given a second chance, but I understand how you feel. I have a lot of work to do on myself and I am going to be continuing on that path. I want you to know that I am always here for you if you want for me to be. I know that you say that you are moving on, but you will always be very important to me. And if there is anything that I can ever do to help you, then I hope that you will reach out to me.”

Sometimes, you just have to leave it at that and then you have to wait. Your spouse might be watching to see if you are truly working on yourself, so make sure that you are. Continue to do the self work and continue to be open and available should your spouse want to reach out. You never know what might happen, but it typically takes time. And if and when the time comes, you want to make sure that you’re as rehabilitated as you can possibly be. Until then, work on becoming your best.  You don’t know what will happen, but you can not go wrong improving yourself.

I am sure that there was a time when my own husband thought that I would move on because of his affair.  I considered it.  But I did respect that he was willing to wait and respect whatever I wanted to do.  This told me that he cared more about me than his own goals and it showed that he had enough respect to not try to manipulate me. You can read more at http://surviving-the-affair.com

I Want To Send A Letter To The Other Woman One Year After I Caught Her With My Husband. I Want Her To Know We’re Doing Great.

By: Katie Lersch: Often times, wives are well aware when they are approaching the anniversary of catching their husband cheating or having an affair. Many can tell you the exact date and time of day that this occurred. And many have definite opinions on their progress between that day and the present time.

Some wives who very happy with their progress and others are disappointed and discouraged. But those who can look back with pride because their marriage has made it sometimes want to share this little tidbit of information with the other woman. Some people will call this gloating and others will call it redemption or fair play, considering the circumstances.

A wife who has saved her marriage might decide to write a letter to let the other woman know all about it. She might explain: “this Saturday is the one year anniversary that I caught my husband having an affair. I vaguely knew the other woman. And I sought her out. She was very spiteful and she told me that she was going to do whatever was necessary to take my husband away from me. She promised that in a year’s time, she would be married to my husband. This was very painful and hurtful. But I fought for my marriage. And I won. My husband and I are very happy and are getting ready to renew our vows. I want her to know this. I want to tell her that I am having a ball picking out my dress and flowers. I want her to know how special it will be for my children. But my best friend says that I am cheapening the whole event by involving the other woman in this. She says that I should just enjoy my special day and live in the moment without giving the other woman another thought. I understand her thought process, but I just can’t seem to let it go. After the nasty things she said to me, I want her to feel the pain of knowing I won. I have stopped short of wanting a face to face meeting and I will settle for a letter.”

I know that this is likely not what you were hoping that I would say, but I agree with your friend. I firmly believe that the best thing that you can do for yourself (and honestly the most hurtful thing that you can do to the other woman) is to really and truly move on. When you do things like send letters or seek her out, then she knows that you haven’t truly moved on. Because obviously, you are still thinking about her enough to want to make contact with her.

Now, I know what you may be thinking: “I want to make contact with her only because I want her to know that I have moved on wonderfully.” This may be true, but she is often smart enough to read between the lines and to know that if you had really and truly moved on, you wouldn’t need to let her know it. I am going to be honest here. Every time I see someone on Facebook or social media repeatedly driving home the point of how happy they are, my immediate reaction is to think that if they were really this blissful, they would be enjoying every moment of it rather than taking the time to announce it to someone who doesn’t effect their bottom line.

I am not insinuating that you are not truly happy. I am sure that you are. But I am just sharing with you that it’s often a perception that people who feel the need to announce their happiness often have motives other than just sharing that same happiness.

Here is an alternative which might work for you. How about putting an announcement about your vow renewal in your local newspaper?  This is common, customary, and not in bad taste.  Plus, there’s a pretty good chance that the other woman will see or hear about it and you haven’t sought her out in any way. She will be able to read between the lines and know that if you are renewing your vows and that you were obviously able to save your marriage and are happy. Frankly, this will likely impact her more than your writing a letter – where she is free to wonder about your motivations. However, if she just happens to learn about your vow renewal from a friend who saw it in the paper, it will likely be more impactful and you haven’t done anything wrong.

Putting an announcement in the paper is not out of the ordinary and is appropriate. I’d also like to stress that I really want you to enjoy your second wedding day. You deserve it. Truly take it in and don’t spend one second thinking about her. Looking back in any way just isn’t worth it. And that is exactly why it is not worth writing the letter. It allows her back into your thought process, where she should not be.

I honestly believe that the best revenge for anything is true and complete happiness and living your best life.  You can’t do that if your thoughts come back to her.   There’s more at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Does An Affair Really Make Life Happier?

By: Katie Lersch:  Some people realize that something is suspicious with their cheating spouse when that same spouse is suddenly acting overly happy or gleeful.  This isn’t surprising because many cheating spouses will tell you that the affair changed their happiness level dramatically – which is why they can believe that it is so hard to end the relationship.

Needless to say, many faithful spouses have a hard time buying this reasoning.  They believe that this newfound happiness isn’t real or that it is all in their cheating spouses’ head.  They might say something like: “my husband is reluctant to give up the other woman because he says that, like it or not, she makes him happy.  He admits that their relationship really should not work.  They are complete opposites.  He has a very extensive education and she has none.  He is very introverted and she craves attention.  But, he says that he loves the carefree way that she looks at life and that some of that just can not help but rub off on him.  He says that his relationship with her has made him much happier.  He says it is like Dorothy in “The Wizard Of Oz” when at first her life was in black and white but then it turned to color once she left Kansas.  He says that his life has now turned colorful.  It kind of makes me sick to hear him talk this way.  Of course she has a carefree way of looking at life – she is too young to have any real worries or obligations and their relationship is just about having fun – which isn’t real or sustainable.  In real life, grown up relationships, people have real struggles and problems and that sort of gets in the way of having fun all of the time.  I believe that all of this “happiness” is only a temporary reprieve.  True happiness comes from within.  Someone can’t ‘make’ you happy.  A relationship can’t ‘make’ you happy.  You have to be happy within your self.  Am I wrong about this?  How can I make him see that I am right?”

I believe that you are absolutely right.  In fact, I see a lot of men who are repeat cheaters who will finally admit that, all along, they were chasing happiness and the thrill of something new.  But you are right.  None of this is sustainable.  The newness eventually wears off.  And that’s why people seeking happiness from their relationships often go from one to the other – always searching and always thinking that they have found that magical thing, only to find that it eventually slips right through their fingers.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to “convince” your husband of this or “make” him understand it.  It’s usually something that he has to realize on his own.  Sometimes, the other person will break the relationship off, and, once some time passes and he can be more objective, he will start to see that what he thought he experienced was not reality.  But it is harder to do this while you are caught up in the relationship.

What I see help with this most often is counseling.  And the person might not be going for counseling for the infidelity at all.  But often, a counselor is the one who helps them realize that they are seeking happiness from external things, which is almost impossible to obtain in the long term.

Once that realization happens, the next step is to learn how to search within for happiness and how to learn how to cultivate happiness from things that are going to build your life up rather than tear your life down.

Because of all of the correspondence that I get from people who have had or are having affairs, the vast majority look back on it and see that it created huge amounts of hurt and damage and that while it may have felt good for a very short period of time, that small amount of euphoria was not worth all of the trouble that it caused in the end.

But people who seek happiness from their relationships or from their significant others are looking to fill something that is missing inside of themselves.  Since no one can do this for you (and it must come from within) these people sometimes go from broken to relationship to broken relationship searching for something that only lasts for a fleeting amount of time.  Or until they realize that their method is just temporary and is exhausting.

So no, my answer to the question is that affairs do not cause happiness.  It may feel that way in the short term.  But in the long term, they cause misery and pain.  They hurt those you love the most and they may end your most important relationship.  Plus, they send a message to yourself and those around you that you can’t be happy on your own, which just isn’t true.

I think that both my husband and I agree that his affair caused nothing but misery.  I am glad he never gave me the happiness excuse.  It did take him some time for him to have the objectivity and distance to clearly see his motivations for cheating and that helped also.  There’s more at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Husband Says That He Feels Pressured About The Affair. He says That Me And The Other Woman Are Pulling Him In Opposite Directions

By: Katie Lersch:  When people are actively involved in an affair, very few of them ever stop to consider what is going to happen when the affair is found out.  Most of them like to think that discovery is never going to happen.  Because they fantasize that this is all going to work itself out without anyone being hurt.

However, that often is not the case. Much of the time, the infidelity is found out.  And when it is, both women involved want the man to make a decision. The wife usually wants for him to end the affair at once, despite any promises that he has made to the other woman.  And the other woman will often expect that he will continue on with the relationship, and perhaps begin the process of separating from his wife.

This puts the husband in a situation where he is expected to make a quick and drastic decision between two women who he probably believes he cares about and does not want to hurt. He might explain it this way: “I know that this is going to sound very stupid, but when I started having an affair, I truly believed that it would only last for a few weeks at the most.  I did not intend to become involved with anyone. And I never intended to end my marriage.  However, over time, the other woman came to rely on me more and more.  She is going through a rough time and I have helped her both emotionally and financially.  She depends on me, and so the relationship has lasted much longer than I anticipated.  Meanwhile, my wife found out about the affair because the other woman told her.  I believe the other woman figured that my wife would kick me out.  She hasn’t.  She wants me to end things so we can work on our marriage.  So now I have two women who are pushing me to reject the other one.  And I am pulled in two opposite directions.”

The wife may feel differently about this.  She may say something like: “I can not believe that my husband has any hesitation whatsoever about how to proceed.  He is worried about the other woman.  But this woman knew that he was married.  She had to know that this was not going to end well for her.  She probably thought that by telling me, she would be able to take my husband away, but she thought wrong. I honestly don’t care that my husband is being pulled in two directions.  He just needs to stand up to her and end it. We’ve been going to counseling, but now he wants to pause this because the counselor is pushing him to end it and he says no one appreciates the pressure that is being put on him. How can I make him see that he can stop the pressure by just ending it?”

He most likely already knows this, at least deep down.  And right now, he is facing a harsh reality because he knows that he is going to have to hurt someone.  And he knows that this is all his fault.  So, he might be trying to stall.  And he might be frantically searching his consciousness for the plan that is going to hurt the least amount of people.

The thing is, there is no way to spare all of the hurt.  Three people with feelings are involved here.  But, of course, despite this, we often care about our own feelings above the person who knew she was getting involved with a married man.  Quite honestly, sometimes the pressure hurts the other woman’s cause more than yours.  Because quite frankly, often what draws a man into an affair is the ease of it.  He will often see it as a short term fix, with no strings attached.  And this is part of the attraction.  But when the other woman starts to apply pressure and to make demands, suddenly the whole thing is not nearly as alluring.

I know that it might be tempting to keep on with the pressure because you feel it is your right.  But sometimes, it is more effective to do the opposite and let her be the one who makes that mistake. People often react negatively to the person applying the pressure.  So why not allow that to be her?  It’s just a suggestion.  You know your husband and I do not. So you would have a better sense of which strategy he would most favorably react to.

If you decide to let her proceed with the pressure in the hopes that he responds negatively to her, you might try a conversation like: “well, I am disappointed that you don’t want to go to counseling anymore, but I am going to continue to go. I think that it is helping me. You have an open invitation to join me any time that you feel ready, but I have to make myself the priority. I trust that in time you will figure out what you want and let me know.  In the meantime, I am making myself my priority.”

You didn’t spell out that you weren’t going to pressure him anymore, but you made it obvious that you were still going to pursue the counseling.  Now, the other woman might continue on with her pressure and he may read this very negatively.  As a result, he may decide that he wants to put an end to all of the stress associated with her and join you in counseling.

I can not promise you that this is what will happen.  But I do know that people will often pull away from situations that make them feel stress.  And continuing to pressure him may mean that he might momentarily “give in” but he may resent it greatly.  And you may know that the only reason he chose you was because you forced him to do so.

But if you back away a little bit and he chooses you anyway, this will give you much  more confidence and peace of mind and he will feel much better about his choice.

I know that it it can feel as if backing off means that you are allowing the other woman to take the lead.  But, really, you are allowing her to do something that you already know is causing him stress.  And you know that he hasn’t reacted positively to this.  You can’t control what either of them do.  But you can control yourself.  And continuing on with the counseling is only going to strengthen you.  You can read more about how I handled similar situations during my recovery from infidelity at http://surviving-the-affair.com

A Letter To The Husband Who Cheated And Had An Affair: What Should It Say?

by: katie lersch: I often hear from women who are struggling to work through their husband’s cheating or affair.  Many ask me about writing a letter to put their struggles into words.  Some have even asked me for a sample letter or requested for me to write one for them.  I honestly think it’s advisable to be careful and deliberate about any letter that you are going to give your husband.   Because this can often set the tone for recovery. And often, such a letter leads to a lot of hurt feelings or misunderstandings.  Plus, it’s also important to remember that your feelings are likely to change a great deal in the coming days, months, or even years.

But I do understand the allure of a letter.  It’s often very challenging to put the difficult things that we feel into verbal words. And so often, we choke up, get emotional, or break down when we try.  So we feel like written communication or a letter is going to be easier and more effective.  Although I certainly can’t write such a letter for you, I can give you some guidelines on what it might say which I’ll do below.

A Letter Can Be Used To Release Your Feelings About The Affair. (In Fact, Sometimes A Letter That You Never Give Your Husband Can Be Beneficial:)  Many women are looking to write such a letter because they feel that doing so is going to allow them to release some very painful and closed off feelings.  I highly encourage writing such a letter.  In fact, even if you do want to craft a letter for your husband, I suggest writing one just for yourself that no one else will see.

Because this is where you can really let your feelings out without having to edit yourself or worry how your words are going to be perceived.  Many women chose to burn the letter (or at least hide it) once it’s written because these words are for no one else but you.  Since you are the only one who is going to read this letter, there’s no need to  hold back.  Just let it all out and then either dispose of it or put it somewhere where only you can find it.  Because it’s just meant to release your feelings, there really is no need to keep it around or to share it.  Now, let’s move on to the letter that you might be considering writing for your husband’s benefit or view.

Carefully Consider What You Want Your Husband To Take Away From The Letter Before You Write It Or Give It To Him: I strongly suggest that before you write any letter, you examine what you hope to accomplish with it.  I have to be honest. Many women admit to me that they write the letter because they want their husband to feel guilty or remorseful about the affair.  They want to show him how badly he’s hurt them.  They want to give him a glimpse into their battered soul so he can see just how deep the damage that he caused goes.

I completely understand this as I had the same intentions.  And that’s why it’s advisable to examine why you’re really writing the letter.  Although many don’t admit this even to themselves, many of us want to write the letter because we want to improve our situations.  We’re hoping that if our husband sees how we really feel and how deeply he’s really hurt us, he’ll be so remorseful that he will not cheat again and will move heaven and earth to make this up to us.

And yet, often the letter has the reverse affect.  Yes, it makes the husband feel very bad and guilty.  But many husbands tell me that they just see the letter as just more of the same.  I’ve actually had men tell me things like “she’s not saying anything in the letter that I don’t already know or she hasn’t already said.  I already get that I’m a bad husband who did a very bad thing so why do we need to keep repeating the same thing over and over?  I’ve already told her that I was sorry and want to save the marriage.  So how is this going to change because the words are written rather than spoken?  To me, this is just one more way for her to express how disappointed she is in me and how much I’ve let her down.  But, I already know this.  I don’t need for her to keep repeating it.”

This is why it’s so important to clearly define your objections for the letter before and while you’re writing it and to ask yourself how your husband might receive or interpret it before you give it to him.

What I Think A Letter To A Husband Who Cheated Or Had An Affair Should Include: I actually think that a well crafted letter can help a marriage after an affair.  But, you have to be very careful. Because some letters actually harm the marriage or set it back for months.  The real power that I think the right letter holds is that it can clear up any misconceptions or understandings and it can underscore your intentions and your plans moving forward.  It truly can set the tone for the days and months ahead.

For example, rather than just continuing to stress how much the affair has hurt you, you might also mention what you’d like to happen moving forward, what you need for these things to happen, and what your intentions truly are.  In my mind, such a letter could include three parts – current feelings, current needs, and future intentions.  I realize that it’s not realistic to think that you aren’t going to include how the affair or cheating has hurt you or made you feel, but I’d suggest not making this the sole content of the letter because your husband likely already knows this and if you go on and on, he’s likely not going to take away what you were hoping for.

After you briefly touch on your feelings, you then may consider focusing or explaining what you need from him in the days and weeks ahead.  If you want him to give you more reassurance, affection, and accountability, then use the letter to your advantage and ask for it.  Many of us find it easier to put these difficult requests into writing.  And the additional advantage is, for future reference, you’ve spelled out what you need to move forward.

Finally, it’s helpful to include your intentions moving forward.  I can’t tell you how many couples aren’t sure what their spouse really wants in the aftermath of the affair.  If you truly want to save your marriage even though this affair shook you to your core, now is the time to write that and to tell your husband what you need and how you intend to get there.

My initial attempt at writing a letter after my husband’s affair turned out quite badly because I gave him a letter that should have been meant only for my own eyes.  Later, I changed course with my tone and intention and this made a huge difference.  Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, I did eventually truly get over the affair. My marriage is stronger than ever. It took a lot of work beyond the letter, but it was worth it.  If it helps, you can read more of that very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/