The Beginning – Our Marriage Before The Affair

This is a long story but I will try to make it as short as I possibly can. You can always scroll down and skip ahead if I start to bore you. Prior to an event which happened a couple of years ago, I was a happily married woman with two happy kids that both my husband and I adore and place as our highest propriety.

My husband and I met in college and were inseparable from that moment on. We had an intense chemistry, open communication, respected one another immensely and were deeply committed to creating a strong, stable marriage conducive to raising a happy family. I was never unhappy and I never thought that he was either.

We married a few months after college graduation. I worked while he went to school and in turn, once he was practicing, he worked and supported me while I was raising our children. I honestly believe that were incredibly happy for over 15 years.

We both worked hard, but we were very conscious about making time for one another. We traveled a lot, made weekly date nights, had a very nice sex life (or so I thought), and laughed a lot. I constantly thanked my lucky stars for this man and our family.

To read why we were vulnerable, scroll down or click here.

What Left Us Vulnerable – An Affair Is Brewing

After about 15 years into our marriage, my husband was very successful and I was very proud of him.

The partners at his firm noticed his hard work and offered to let him head a new office in a neighboring county.

Of course, I encouraged and supported him full force. I was very proud of him and knew that this was a great opportunity. Now, it meant that he would be away from home more and would sometimes have to stay overnight in a hotel that the company provided. I didn’t like this, but I understood it. We were eventually have to move to the new county anyway and it was just way to far to commute to daily.

Initially, he was very happy with this new opportunity, but as the days turned to weeks and then months, things were not going as smoothly as he had hoped. He became distant, sullen, stressed, and tired.

I chalked this up to the fact that he was in a high pressure situation that would soon end. Our sex life remained fine and he was still his usual, loving self. I just wanted to get this move over with and move on. But, little did I know life wasn’t going to happen quite that way.

No, instead, life as I knew it was going to be pulled right out from under me. Instead, I found out about an affair. You can read about that by clicking here.

How I Found Out About The Affair

One day, I decided to surprise my husband at his hotel. I talked friends of my children to allow them to sleep over and I picked up a bottle of wine and some take out and was on my way.

I hoped that my visit would cheer him up, allow him to relax and take his focus off of work. When I arrived, no one answered the door when I knocked. I didn’t see his car in the parking lot. I figured that he had gone out to get something to eat, so I used to key card he had given me (he had gotten two at check in) and opened the door. What I saw inside took my breath away.

There, right on his couch, sort of crouching so I couldn’t see her from through the window, was a young, fake, bleached blonde woman sitting on the couch in a negligee.

I felt like someone had punched me right in the gut and had pulled the legs out from under me. I waited and starred, figuring she would blurt out all kinds of excuses or apologies, but she didn’t. Instead, she just shrugged and said, “You should talk to your husband,” got up, closed the bathroom door and never came out.

I didn’t go after her. I didn’t care who she was and I didn’t want to talk to her. I kept trying to come up with a reason that this woman was sitting in my husband’s hotel room with candles burning and music playing. There had to be some logical explanation? But, I couldn’t come up with any. I knew exactly what I had walked in on. I just cried, raged, and waited. Next up, confronting my very frantic husband.

Confronting My Cheating Husband

My husband cautiously opened the door when he returned, gave me a pained look and said, “Oh sweetheart, I want to die right now. What have I done? What have I done?”

I wanted to scream, ask why, or strike out at him, but all I could do (much to my embarrassment now) was bury my hands in my lap and cry. He asked that he follow me home, promised he would take off several days off of work, and we would work this out.

He kept repeating that he was sorry, he would explain, and he kept trying to pull me to him. I would not speak with him when we returned home. This went on for days where we were just avoiding each other totally. The kids had to know something was up. I slept in the guest room and would not speak to him at all. He immediately called a marriage counselor and got us several sessions. I really hoped that she would help, but it turned out she didn’t. I actually think she made matter worse. (This doesn’t mean there aren’t GREAT counselors out there. There are.) To read about that, click here.

Our Work With A Marriage Counselor

The marriage counselor’s office was the only place I allowed myself to dwell on the affair. She (the counselor) made my husband come completely clean and she made me respond and express my feelings and it was hurtful. I still cringe when I think about it.

He kept saying that this woman meant nothing to him, that he had met her at work, and that he cared nothing at all about her and still loved me. He said it was a huge mistake and he would give his right arm to take it back, but he couldn’t. He never thought I would find at and he didn’t plan or expect it to be a lasting thing. He said he was under a lot of stress and wasn’t thinking clearly (yeah, an understatement). I could not keep myself from spewing nasty comments to my husband and assaulting his character and deception.

I wanted him to feel every bit of the pain that I was. I wanted to hurt him immensely both emotionally and physically. I could not believe that he had done this. I knew this was not the constructive communication the counselor was looking for, but I could not help it. This was tearing me apart. I kept thinking I was obviously not young enough, not pretty enough, or not smart enough for my husband and this was killing me.

The counselor kept reassuring me that our marriage had all of the things needed to save it. We had genuine love and empathy between us, my husband did not typically engage in this type of behavior, he was sorry, and he was willing to do whatever it took to repair the damage.

He wanted to move past it, but I could not. The feeling were eating me up. Warning, reading on is subject you to a spew of my bitter feelings, but I did eventualy get over them. You can read about that here.

Wanting To Move On, But Not Being Able To

In the coming weeks, my husband did everything in his power to make it up to me. He told his firm he no longer wanted the promotion, so we were again staying put. He was at my beck and call and made his whereabouts available to me at all times. I had no doubt in my heart that he was truly sorry.

Despite my rage, I also knew I did not want to end this marriage. We had so many wonderful years and memories behind us. I did not want some stupid, blonde low life to cause me to lose what I had worked so hard to build or deprive my children of their father.

Still even though I was determined to put this behind me, I just could not. I kept thinking about her, what he did with her, and if he would rather be with her. This whole thing absolutely killed my self esteem and I began to obsess over whether I was smart enough, pretty enough, or alluring enough to keep my husband.

I shared this with the counselor, but she really didn’t help too much. She kept telling me that these things took time and why didn’t we take the opportunity to work on my own issues? I agreed that I needed to work on myself, but I swear she sided with my husband every chance she got. I thought having a female counselor would benefit me, but this one really didn’t. Maybe it was a personality conflict, I don’t know. In retrospect, things may have moved more quickly had I allowed myself to discard the things that weren’t working for me then.

And, because I was having these negative feelings, I lashed out at my husband every chance I got. It was tragic because here we were both trying to work it out and he was doing everything he could, but it was me, not him, that couldn’t get past it.

Later, I swung from one extreme to another. One morning I would wake up and think that I was going to try to be receptive to him and work on our relationship, and then by afternoon I would have visions of that woman sitting on the couch with a bottle of wine and it would ruin my mood. It was either one extreme or another.

Either I would be the accommodating wife who wanted to work it out (this would never last long though) or I would be the furious, impulsive person who would lash out and say and do things that would harm our attempts to save the marriage. And, in the back of my mind, I was thinking “no wonder he cheated on you, you’re being awful,” but I just could not stop myself.

Eventually, though, I learned what I needed to move past it. You can find out what, by clicking here.

What Finally Moved Me Forward

I thought about it for a long time and I kept coming to the conclusion that I very much wanted to not only repair my marriage, but I just could not push these thoughts and doubts out of my head. I wanted to be happy again in the worst way, but I was absolutely stuck.

Some days I would start to be receptive to my husband, but the nasty, negative thoughts would return to my head again and I’d take two steps back. Before I tell you what helped me, I have to really stress here that I am not an expert and I can’t make you any guarantees about your success or results. Please don’t substitute my advice for your own or for someone who is an expert. These are only what helped for me. If you have any questions about this you can read the terms of service and affiliate disclosures.

One day, while surfing the net, I came across a book or ecourse called “Break Free From The Affair” by Dr. Bob Huizenga. His website blew my mind because he was talking and describing in vivid detail the exact swings I was having. He explains why neither tactic (being overly accommodating or being overly angry) will help you and helps to guide you to a happy medium between the two. This book is very big on reassuring you that the affair is not your fault and shows you exactly how to restore your power in the relationship. I really needed this. Although this book explores the seven types of affairs, helps you identify what type you are dealing with and takes you by the hand to fix it, what really made it invaluable to me is that Dr. Huizenga is amazing at helping you restore your self esteem and realize that this is in no way your fault.

The truth is, if you crumble and are beaten by this, you are in a compromised, damaged state that will effect not only your self worth, but your ability to be an equal partner and have an equal voice in this marriage (and in fixing it). This inequality contributes to behavior that is not going to help things.

Another thing that really helped me was “Surviving An Affair,” by Dr. Frank Gunzburg. Again, I was seeking out a men’s perspective on why a man would do this. Dr. Frank has been counseling couples struck by affairs for almost 30 years. He’s seen it all. The thing I loved about this process was that it gives you a step by step plan (three steps) to save the marriage.

Step One is helping the innocent party (in my case the wife) get over the rage filled feelings about the affair.

Step Two is helping the person who was cheating understand why they did and explain this to the other partner in a loving way.

The Third Step is working through it as a couple to address these issues, fix them, and ensure that it never happens again.

I needed both resources, but when asked to describe how they are different, I would say that “Break Free From The Affair” really concentrates on building you up, reassuring you that it is not your fault, helping you to understand why it happened, and guiding you in taking your power back.

“Surviving An Affair” gives you a concrete plan, exercises and check lists to help you identify what you are dealing with and how to best handle it so that you are both fulfilled in the end. It focuses on using the affair as a wake up call to make your marriage stronger in the end.

I also used a resource to regain my self worth as a woman and sexual confidence. But more on that later. I’m not sure if I would have been ready for that unless I had already begun to heal. I do believe that a healthy sex life is vital and it makes this process easier. But it’s very difficult to have that if you don’t also have the emotional connection. To read how it ended for me, click here.

Affiliate Disclosure

Our Marriage Today, After The Affair

I never thought I was say this, but my husband and I are stronger than ever. The affair was a while ago, but it seems like decades ago. Unbelievably to me, I can now look back on it as a difficult situation we got through together like when my son was first diagnosed with epilepsy or when my grandfather died.Yes, it was difficult and awful and I would never want to repeat it, but we are stronger as the result and the equality in our marriage is much more present.

I was really able to incorporate what I learned and went back to college and earned my degree. I am now a successful business owner, earn my own money, and feel that I am a complete equal in this marriage. My husband respects me and is proud of me.

I no longer fear I am not good enough. I know I am. There was one website that really helped me regain my self esteem as a woman. It was recommended to me by a woman on a forum who used it to help lure her husband back from his mistress. It is called “Her Secrets.net – Seduction Secrets For Irresistible Women.” I know it sounds silly, but what I learned has really put the passion and spark back in my marriage. Maybe I’m just fooling myself, I am no longer worried my husband will go elsewhere, I will put it that way. I am able to have fufilling sex with my husband and look him right in the eyes and know he both desires and loves me. This is something I cherish and no longer take for granted.

I was not open to any of this until I was able to heal, but once I did, I really wanted to regain my self esteem as a woman. This book helped me to uncover the confident woman inside me and it teaches you how to develop that intangible “it” that draws men in (I believe many husbands believe the mistress has this “it,” and I wanted to ensure that I had it, so my husband didn’t need to look elsewhere. I was lucky. Once I found out, my husband had no problems with dropping her, but this book also really helps women lure back husbands, for whatever reason, have problems letting the mistress go.

I now understand why the affair happened and work every day to ensure that it doesn’t again. I now understand that to affair proof your marriage, you understand and take care of emotional, psychological, and physical needs of BOTH parties (you too – if your needs aren’t met, you won’t have anything genuine to give your husband. You must be fulfilled and happy to be able to give this to someone else.

Again, by no means am I an expert. I’m just someone who can make no guarantees. (Please read the disclosures and terms if you have questions about this. But, if I’m looking back on what helped me, the best advice that I can give is don’t allow this to eat you alive. Don’t sit there and doubt or stew or question yourself. Don’t allow it to make you doubt yourself or take what is very dear to you. I know that some days you will feel like crawling in a hole. But, you have to turn on the lights and face it. Doing so is the only way to make it go away and ensure that your marriage is stronger as a result.

If a counselor doesn’t work well for you, find a new one try something else until something helps you.
Be proactive, don’t be afraid to take an honest look at what is going on and be willing to do the work needed to fix it.
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