Why are affairs more addictive than other romantic relationships?
WS here on the forum are honest to admit that their A was like an addiction. They tried to break free but could not. And when they did, they often go back to the AP.
What makes affairs more addictive than other romantic relationships? Why the "fog/limerance" in an A and not in other dating relationships?
I would love to hear the opinions of both BS and WS
17 comments posted: Saturday, August 13th, 2022
How does healing happen?
It’s been almost a year since dday and I am reflecting on my healing so far. I think time and distance from ex wh have helped reduce the frequency of triggers and emotional breakdowns. Will time and distance continue to help healing or is there something more I need to do? I am in IC and have returned to my normal daily routine now but can’t help wonder if there’s something more I should be doing.
6 comments posted: Sunday, July 24th, 2022
It’s not cheating if there is no sex?
Something 1st wife wrote about EA and cheater’s views on it got me thinking because my story is similar
Many years ago my ex had a year plus EA that involved few pecks on the lips, hugging, gift exchanging, movies, theaters, fancy meals, and thousands of hours spent together but no sex. He wanted to have sex with her but she wasn’t interested She just liked the fun and the gifts.
Therefore he claimed and still claims to this day that what he did was not cheating. He believes it is not cheating/affair if there is no sex. Let’s just say for the sake of the argument that there was indeed no sex between my ex and the woman.
So What are your thoughts on EA without sex? Are the betrayed overreacting?
And why do many cheaters believe so firmly that EA isn’t a big deal?
I ask these questions for many reasons but one of them is this. Because my ex didn’t think his EA was a big deal, he had zero remorse after DDay. He didn’t do anything I asked him to do to help me heal. In fact he continued to travel with her saying nothings going to happen. Therefore I built a wall and our marriage suffered. So I blame myself for his most recent affair and departure. I feel like if I had understood where he was coming from (EA= not a big deal) then maybe I could have dealt with it better. Maybe I was making a big deal out of nothing. Maybe I should have been forgiving and put the effort into the marriage.
Then maybe he wouldn’t have cheated and left and I wouldn’t have to go through this immense pain.
19 comments posted: Wednesday, June 15th, 2022
Marriage guru John Gottman’s views on infidelity
I found John Gottman’s book "seven principles for making marriages work" while cleaning out my closets.
I had not looked at this book in many years but was curious to see what he says about infidelity. He writes "problems in the marriage that send the couple on a trajectory to divorce also send one or both of them looking for intimate connection outside the marriage (extramarital affairs)" He also refers to a study done on divorce by Lynn Gigy and Joan Madera in which they found 80% of marriages broke up because they gradually grew apart while only 20-27% said infidelity was even partially to blame.
Here on SI many BS blame themselves for their WS’s cheating. We go through a slew of only if we did this, that. Only if we were this and that. You know the drill. It’s a never ending torment of regret and self blame.
Most people who have not been affected by infidelity believe it happened because there was something wrong in the marriage. Maybe the BS was a nag, not good in bed, was a bitch, was a jerk, didn’t make enough money, etc. So much shame gets put on the betrayed
But here is this supposed guru who says problems in a marriage cause someone to cheat. So it isn’t about the defect in the cheater? Am I reading this wrong?
What are your thoughts?
14 comments posted: Friday, June 10th, 2022
My imagination is driving me crazy
I am nuts. Just nuts.
I used to be a rational, logical, and stable person but being betrayed and left has made me become completely unhinged.
My imaginations about the other woman are driving me crazy. My ex is so infatuated (his exact word) with her and has spends double his monthly paycheck (!!!) to keep her/please her. For the last 9 months he has been saying he needs to cut ties with her because "she’s not right for him" "relationship is not healthy" but he can’t seem to get away from her. So I can’t help wonder if she’s some type of goddess. Maybe she’s incredible in bed. Maybe she’s so sexually hot that my ex can’t resist. Why does she have such power over my ex???
My ex did not have many sexual partners prior to marriage and I ain’t no goddess in bed.
You may ask why the hell do I care but I do because I feel like she replaced me. Because he chose her over me. I know this is not 100% true but I can’t help my thoughts.
35 comments posted: Wednesday, June 8th, 2022
Solo journey after infidelity
Friends and family whom I have confided in about ex’s affair and abandonment have not experienced it so they don’t really know what I am going through. And as a result I feel very alone in my struggles. They are supportive but they just don’t know…. Being on SI helps a lot but I wish I had real person interactions with those who have been affected by A.
Infidelity is one of those things people don’t disclose and openly talk about so this journey feels awfully lonely. I feel like I am living a lie by putting on a happy face when I am slowly dying inside.
15 comments posted: Thursday, June 2nd, 2022
Being betrayed sucks so much
It’s been 9 months and I am still in so much pain
My life has been turned upside down while xwh is out having fun with his AP. His life hasn’t changed much. If anything, it got more exciting with more frequent sex. All the while, I am tormented day and night. I have friends and IC who have been supporting me. I’ve been reading a lot and listening to audiobooks on the topic of betrayal and healing, etc. I work out regularly. Got a new hairstyle. I take care of myself. But I can’t get through the day without thinking about him and his new life and the woman. I am obsessed about it. He’s giving his AP everything I’ve ever wanted but didn’t get in our marriage. Love affection respect time attention sex. I guess I am jealous. I think he’s now paying her credit card bills because she’s out of a job. She’s a big spender and buys designer bags and clothes. He takes her to luxury resorts and buys her very expensive gifts. The last time he gave me a gift was 23 years ago. And I blame myself. I feel like he didn’t treat me well because I wasn’t enough while the AP is. That i didn’t deserve his respect and love, etc because I wasn’t what he needed in a wife. I am in an unhealthy place. I am freaking out because I am afraid I am going to like this forever. That this is as much healing as I can get. I am so so afraid I will ruminate and obsess about him and the affair until I die. I feel helpless. I don’t know what will make it better.
Getting cheated on and left really sucks.
14 comments posted: Monday, May 30th, 2022
Saw my ex over the weekend at my child’s graduation
It was supposed to be a joyous event. instead we sat at opposite ends of the arena and took our daughter out separately afterwards
Seeing other families made me very sad
This is how things are going to be from now on for us
It is not what I had ever imagined
I drove home with my daughter’s belongings while ex went back to AP.
I hate him and the AP for turning our children’s world upside down.
I hate them for robbing us of a future
My heart hurts so much
I haven’t been able to get out of bed all week
I thought I was making progress but now I am so fearful I will never get over this
He detached from me and has moved on but I feel like I am still attached to him- longing for things to go back to the way they were.
I feel like I will be ok if he would just come back and love me again
I know this is stupid and irrational
My heart just hurts. A lot.
9 comments posted: Friday, May 20th, 2022
Please tell me I will get better
I am 9 months from dday and D
My xwh left for AP
I believe I’ve made progress but can’t help feeling like I will be stuck forever
I ruminate and talk about the affair to anyone that will listen
I am tormented when I sleep
I journal and have weekly Ic sessions but I can’t get over the grief, sadness, anger, and trauma of my new reality
I need to hear from those who walked this path and have survived
I need to hear success stories please
I need to know things will get better and I will get my life back
I don’t want to grow old and live in agony
7 comments posted: Thursday, May 12th, 2022
What helped you to accept your new reality?
It’s been 9 months since Dday and D. My xwh left for the AP.
I am better in many ways but I am still struggling with so much.
I ruminate over what I lost and am dealing with the uncertainty of my future. Grief is overwhelming. I feel like I am on a hamster wheel.
I need to accept my new reality
How did you come to a place of radical acceptance?
What has worked for you?
17 comments posted: Sunday, May 8th, 2022
I blame myself for xWH’s A
Ok. This is insane. I should be further along in my healing by now… but I am stuck.
I need to hear from rational SI friends the truth of the situation.
20 years ago XWH had a 1.5 year EA with co-worker. Travelled around the world for work. Bought her gifts, fancy dinners, kissed her a couple of times, but denied any other physical interactions. I believe him because I read his journals (how I found out about EA) But he wanted sex from her but she wasn’t interested.
He was not remorseful or repentant. He claimed what he did was not bad because he didn’t have sex with her. Even to this day he says what he did was not "cheating". I asked him to stop meeting women alone for drinks and meals but he continued and justified it as "work reasons"
Over time I built a wall and stopped loving him. I was cold at times but I never rejected him sexually. I resented/hated/despised him often. I was mentally checked out. And so our marriage suffered. There was no love between us.
Then he had a full blown PA last year and left for the AP.
So this is my issue-i feel like if I had forgiven him for what he did 20 years ago, if i had been loving toward him, if I had been kind, if, if, if, then he wouldn’t have cheated. If I had shown more affection, attention, appreciation, etc.
I feel somehow responsible for the affair.
I wake up sometimes with immense remorse
Please help me see clearly.
14 comments posted: Friday, April 29th, 2022
Time gap between affairs
From many of SI posts, i am finding some patterns of waywards curious and puzzling.
Some waywards seem to remain faithful for many years but cheat again.
Why the time gap? Why/how do they remain "dormant" all those years?
Are they intentionally trying to be faithful during those non-acting out years or are they just not given opportunities to cheat? What are your guesses?
5 comments posted: Wednesday, April 27th, 2022
What makes affair sex so addictive?
Sorry I made a mistake with my previous post that asked this question.
Why do some wayward get addicted to their affairs and the sex? What is it about affair sex that makes it so addictive? Is it because it’s just better? Are people who sleep with married men/women better in bed?
17 comments posted: Thursday, April 21st, 2022
Why do some WS get addicted to the affair sex but normal” relationship sex?
I am reading a lot about wayward getting addicted to the sex with their AP. I know mine definitely is.
What makes affair sex so addictive? Why aren’t sex in a healthy dating relationship addictive?
2 comments posted: Wednesday, April 20th, 2022
Why do APs get away with everything?
I post this with much hatred toward the AP
My xWH left me for the AP but is very depressed and is drinking heavily. He's addicted to her and spends crazy sums of money to keep her. She knows how to play men. She dictates when he can see her, does the push and pull, etc. She keeps him on a leash. She had a successful career where she climbed the cooperate ladder probably by sleeping with men along the way. She D her husband 15 years ago because he wasn't "making enough money". I think she cheated on him.
So my question is this;
The affair caused my xWH to develop depression, sex addiction, and alcoholism and caused me and my children tremendous amount of pain. Our family was destroyed. I may never recover from this trauma.
But the AP gets the expensive jewelry, fancy vacations, affection, attention, and sex (my xWH tries very hard to please in bed) How is this fair?
Will she ever get what she deserves? Does she get away with all this?
13 comments posted: Wednesday, April 20th, 2022
I hate the OW
I’ve made a lot of progress in my personal healing since Dday / D 8 months ago. My xwh asked for D so he can be with the AP.
But I can’t get over my deep anger and hatred toward AP. I look at her photos online a couple of times a week. What the hell is wrong with me?
I hate my xWH but I hate AP as well. XWh has been loveboming her like crazy. He spends thousands of dollars on gifts every week. My therapist said that’s prostitution. She’s pushing 60 so she ain’t young. And she lost her job recently.
I’ve listened to their phone convo on VAR. i heard her laughing as they planned their next get together, talking about their sexual positions, etc. SICK!
I hate her with all my might.
How can a woman do this to another woman? How can I get over this??? It’s eating me alive.
23 comments posted: Wednesday, April 13th, 2022
Examples of gaslighting
I am reading a lot about gaslighting and would like to know more. Would you mind sharing some specific examples of how you were gaslighted?
34 comments posted: Sunday, April 10th, 2022
Why Do I feel defective and less than?
I've been isolating myself since Dday 8 months ago because I haven't been interested in seeing people outside of my closest circle. My xWH had an A and left for the AP. They are having a great time traveling to fancy resorts all over the world.
Today I was invited to lunch with some ladies I had not seen in a few years. They do not know my story. They are all married. Seeing their wedding rings on their fingers and hearing them talk about their spouses made me incredibly sad.
I feel like I am defective. less than. not wanted. not desirable. what is wrong with me that my husband of 25 years ran off with another woman? I know it's not me. But I still can't get this out of my head. The ladies went home to their husbands and I came back to an empty house. sigh
13 comments posted: Thursday, April 7th, 2022
Have you lost friends due to your spouse’s infidelity?
One of my female friends started to ghost me after I told her about my xWH’s A. She was supportive at first but went off the grid. And there are just a few more who have been more distant since I told them about the A. They all know my WH but they are more my friends than they are his.
Have you had similar experiences?
How should I feel about this? I feel judged in some ways. As if I did something wrong.
16 comments posted: Wednesday, April 6th, 2022
My friend wants to cheat on her husband
I am BW. My xWH had a PA and left the marriage to be with the AP so I have a strong feeling about cheating.
My good girlfriend confided that she wants to cheat on her husband because she’s not happy with her marriage. She hasn’t been happy for a while and she’s voiced her discontent with her husband but he doesn’t seem to get it.
She has a man she’s thinking of cheating with. They’ve been friends for the last 30 years (meeting for lunch, exchanging birthday gifts, ) He is unhappily married with kids. She says there was attraction between them the moment they met but they didn’t do anything because she was engaged to be married. She regrets having married her husband.
I told her how my xWH’s affair devastated me and recommended MC or D her husband first before getting involved with another man.
But i get a feeling she’s either already started an affair or is very close to starting one.
I am conflicted because I don’t know if I can continue to be her friend if she cheats on her spouse.
I’ve already lost my husband and I am going to lose a friend too? How could I condone her behavior while not condoning my xWH’s? I am very conflicted.
25 comments posted: Monday, March 28th, 2022
Panicking… please help
It’s been about 7 months since divorce and about 8 months since Dday so things are still raw and painful on my end.
The last time I saw xWH was in January. Since then I went NC because he would call me whenever things weren’t going so well with AP and he would talk about wanting to R. It kept me stuck.
Anyway I have to see him tomorrow at my kid’s school event. I am panicking. Anxious. I don’t want to see his disgusting face. He just came back from a two week luxury vacation with AP. The Kind of vacation he has never ever taken me to. I hate them him and the AP. I thought I had made progress in my healing.
I thought I could be strong and put on he happy confident face but now I want to bail and not go. I feel sick to my stomach.
15 comments posted: Monday, March 28th, 2022
Obtaining and paying for health insurance has been hugely stressful for me.
It will be at least another 14 years before i am eligible for Medicare. And I am not physically able to work full time. I’ve been a SAHM for 20 plus years and just went back part time.
4 comments posted: Thursday, March 24th, 2022
Time = Clarity
Sharing my experience
I hope this helps someone who recently had DDay.
Time doesn’t heal unless you do the work but time does indeed give you clarity
I am about 8 months out from Dday. My xWH left to be with the AP and we D at his request shortly after Dday. But he kept the carrot hanging for a possible reconciliation.
The first few months were emotional and mental chaos. I did the pick me dance. I hung unto the hope that we can make our marriage better and stronger. I wanted my marriage back even though my head knew he was not good for me. He had cheated twice! My heart’s desires didn’t make sense to me. I did a lot of stupid things like talk to him whenever he called me, meet him for lunch, etc.
NO more of that now.
My brain is starting to settle down from the shock. I see things more clearly.
During the last 8 months I did a lot of crying, pity party, and self inflicted guilt trips.
I also did a lot of reading books on infidelity, betrayal bonds, abandonment, addictions, and narcissism. I came to SI and read through thousands of posts and threw myself into intensive IC. I read every book SI members recommended.
My xWH exhibits many narcissistic traits. I didn’t really know what narcissism was until recently and it really opened my eyes.
He would have cheated no matter what I did. So I took myself off the hook.
Narcissists don’t change. So I stopped hoping for a possible R. I am free to go without ever having to look back.
So if you are in the first few months since DDay, hang in there. Do the hard work of researching, getting healthy, and allowing your brain to settle down. Everything you feel now is normal and fleeting. Your emotions are not facts.
Time will give you clarity as your body recovers from the initial shock of Dday. Be good to yourself and don’t judge if you do something stupid or if your heart doesn’t align with what your brain says.
5 comments posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022
Getting to a point of indifference
I would like to get to a place where I don’t give a damn about what my XWH is doing. I am tired of living a life consumed with what he’s doing with his AP- staying in luxury resorts, spending $$$ on her, eating out at fancy restaurants, etc. And I want to get over the injustice that was done to me and my children. As you can tell, I am still ruminating about his new life.
What are some ways I can get to a point of being indifferent? Telling myself to stop caring, stop thinking about him does not work for me. I feel so hopeless.
4 comments posted: Wednesday, March 9th, 2022
I’ve been coming to SI on and off since DDay about 6 months ago
The folks here are amazing with their support and wise advice
I am grateful
I write today to say how deeply sad i am that so many people are affected by infidelity
I didn’t realize how prevalent affairs were
Your stories break my heart
I hurt for the BS and their children
I hurt for the remorseful WS
Affairs cannot be undone-everyone suffers the consequences
And some of these consequences are life long
Pain never fades
Some betrayed spouses never recover from the betrayal
It is just so wrong
How did we get here? What are we (as a society) doing wrong?
Why are we breaking apart so many families and causing such devastation?
What can we do as a society to prevent so many infidelities from taking place?
I know there’s no real answer but I just wanted to unload the burden I feel for all of us who are hurting
My heart is so heavy
3 comments posted: Monday, March 7th, 2022
Please help me to detach
I have a problem detaching from xWH. He had an EA 15 years ago and a PA about 10 months ago (still ongoing) He divorced me six months ago because he wants to explore and date women. I know he’s no good. The damage he has caused me is immense. I am hurt beyond words. I feel rejected, unwanted, and abandoned. He still calls me once or twice a week to tell me how messed up he is, he doesn’t know what he wants, how great I am, how I am so much better than his AP, that he would like to R with me but is not ready to because he’s "figuring things out" all the while carrying on with AP. He has seen his IC a total of 3 times in the last two months.
And YET even with all of his bullshit, I feel bonded to him and can’t break free. I am ashamed to admit this so please do not judge me… and please be kind in your responses: I am holding onto hope that he will change and come back and we can have a good marriage. That I can redeem myself for the "wrong" I’ve done in the marriage. That we can be happy together (but we have not been happy since his EA 15 years ago so go figure) That I would like to keep the family together (my kids are grown but I still value family unit)
WHAT THE F???
What is wrong with me?
I am in IC but I keep coming back to this place of being stuck.
I am reading about betrayal bond, trauma bond, etc. But are there any practical things that has worked for you? Things tangible things I can do? What do I tell myself? What do i do???
I need to detach from this man and move on but I just don’t know how to. I think if I hated him to the core it would be easier but I feel sorry for how pathetic and broken he is. After all, he is the father of my children. And he has had a difficult childhood. I know these are not excuses. Please help.
10 comments posted: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022
Why do I think WH will be an amazing man in his new relationship?
About 15 years ago my WH had an EA that lasted 2 years and in 2021 started a PA. We are now divorced as per his request. He asked to leave the marriage because he wanted to be explore and be with other women. He said he was very unhappy in our marriage and wants to find happiness. I agree that our marriage wasn’t great. His EA caused a lot of damage. We rug swept and moved on with our lives.
Anyway, he is currently on and off with his AP. They are more like friends with benefits. He says he wants a long term, more stable relationship and hopes to meet a woman he can be happy with. He seems rather hopeful that he can have an amazing new life with someone else. His friends who do not know he cheated have offered to set him up and he’s very excited about dating.
But I can’t get over this stupid thought…. Could he become a great partner in the future?
Could he have learned from his mistakes and be a faithful and loving partner to a new woman? I can’t stand the fact that another woman will benefit from WH who has been reformed, matured, and overall better. Like she’s getting the improved version of him. I got stuck with the shitty part of him and am left to pick up the pieces while someone else gets to live a good life with him. His career is going better than ever before and he is completely free from family responsibilities. So now he can focus on his new woman. When i think about the times he was not nice to me during our marriage, i can’t help think it was because of me. It was because i wasn’t loving, wasn’t caring, wasn’t meeting his needs. Etc
Please help sort out some of these thoughts. How reasonable are my "fears" that he will somehow become an amazing man in his next relationship? This is keeping me stuck in a bad place. Thank you
19 comments posted: Monday, February 21st, 2022
Narcissists, affairs & discarding
I am just starting to learn about narcissists and it has rocked my world. I would like to hear from folks here who had experiences with narcs. I read narcs discard their "victim" once they find a replacement. Was this true in your case? Do narcs deliberately look for replacements? What are some things your narc UH said to you during and after discarding you?
13 comments posted: Friday, February 4th, 2022
Fear of Missing Out
My UH’s PA ended few weeks ago. Now he says he wants to R but he’s afraid that if he comes back to the marriage, he might miss out on the dating life. He’s genuinely torn between two worlds: marriage/family and bachelor life of dating (with sex, of course) So he’s working through his issues with IC. I am not interested in R with him at this time or possibly ever because clearly he’s not ready and I can’t seem to understand his FOMO.
What is this all about? Immaturity? Stupidity? Lingering effects of limerance? Midlife crisis? Late bloomer? Was this an exit affair?
6 comments posted: Wednesday, January 26th, 2022
Do the unfaithful suffer?
How much do they suffer?
How do their lives change?
Are they suffering like the BS? Are they in emotional turmoil like the BS? They had fun during the A and now they either have their spouse back or are out of the marriage having fun as a single person.
All the while, the BS is left with the devastation of A.
I would love to know what happens to the unfaithful.
49 comments posted: Wednesday, January 19th, 2022
Any of had EMDR treatments to help with PTSD from your spouse’s affair?
If so, did it work for you?
11 comments posted: Tuesday, January 18th, 2022
Why did you stay?
Curious to know why some of you decided to stay and work on R
Was it the right decision? Or would you have done differently?
61 comments posted: Thursday, December 16th, 2021
Who here was promised by WS “I will never cheat on you again” and got cheated on again?
I know cheater lie a LOT. I know they are good at it.
When WS appear remorseful and want to R and say "I promise to NEVER cheat on you again" how much trust can BS put on those words provided that actions "seem" to substantiate their promise?
How many of BS here on SI heard those words from their WS only to be cheated on again?
27 comments posted: Monday, December 13th, 2021
How much should I say to WH?
DDay was about 8 weeks ago. WH has been having PA for 7 months. He says he would like to reconcile and come back to the marriage but he’s not sure. So in the meantime he’s still carrying on with his affair. I know, right??? Anyway, are now legally separated, split our assets, and I am receiving alimony & child support. My question is do i even bother to tell him how much he has hurt me? Does this dysfunctional person even have the capacity to hear what I am saying? Is he capable of understanding the damage he has caused me and the kids? I know it would make me feel better to get some things off my chest but I don’t want to waste my energy
12 comments posted: Saturday, October 30th, 2021
How to move on
I am not sure if this is the appropriate forum to post this. I am new on SI so i am finding my way around.
I need to move on from my WH but don’t know where to begin. I am financially separated from him now. We settled amicably. I know i should do self care, do things that bring me joy, spend time with friends, meditate, etc. but that’s just all head knowledge to me. I feel like my heart isn’t following my head. I became an empty nester two months ago when my youngest left for college. So this is a time of great transition for me. What has worked for you? What concrete things can I do to not think about the cheater and find courage to move forward? How do I stop thinking that WH could have a wonderful life? Maybe it was me that made him miserable? These intrusive thoughts are so toxic!
2 comments posted: Saturday, October 30th, 2021
Is affair fog real? How long did it last for you? (moved to General)
This Topic has been moved to General
0 comment posted: Saturday, October 30th, 2021
Possible serial cheater or just confused?
WH would like to reconcile but doesn’t know if he can be 100% faithful because he wants to date other women. Therefore, he asked that I give him 2 months to think things through all the while carrying on with the AP. He says he needs to end it with the AP because she’s not right for him but he’s going to need time. He wants to end it the ‘right way” so that our reconciliation is successful and is trying to figure out the best way to do that. Ummm none of this makes sense. If he wants to reconcile, why not just end it with AP NOW? What’s with this ending it the right way, figuring things out stuff?
28 comments posted: Monday, October 18th, 2021