Interview After the Affair: Mike’s Affair Story

ImageI hope to create a series of these — sort of an “In their own words” kind of blog entries– for former cheaters, current cheaters, the Other Woman/Other Man, maybe betrayed spouses (although they never seem to be without venues for their stories and opinions, so maybe not).  this is the first one.  Through it, I hope to put real faces, real emotions and thoughts to a complex issue.  For my readers to gain insight into the minds of people involved in infidelity.  

If any of you out there would like to be anonymously interviewed for this blog, please write me on the link on my front page (aftertheaffairadvice@gmail.com).  Also, comments are allowed, but I will not allow judgmental criticism of Mike.  He’s done this voluntarily to help others (and probably himself).  He’s being honest, and really put himself out there, therefore, deserves courtesy and respect, no matter what you think of him and his actions.

With that, meet “Mike,” former cheater.  PLEASE NOTE:  His and all other names used in this story are fictional in order to protect the identities of those involved.

Basic info:  Mike, 50, married 20 years, 4 kids, lives in North America.

Affair Info:  Began August 2009, D-day/termination July 2013

1.  Tell us a little bit about you.

Basically I have been blessed with everything you could possibly ask for in life.  Four healthy children, a nice job, great house in a well standing community.  I am very involved with my kids running them here and there as needed to sports and activities.  I am very well-known figure in our town as I coach and I am in charge of several of the sporting programs in our town and very well respected.

2.  Tell  us about your marriage.  At the time of the affair, how long had you been married?  Did you feel happy, content, other, or something in the middle? Explain your honest feelings about your marriage before you embarked on your affair.

My wife and I met at College but were not close at that time.  We actually got together about 6 years after graduation and were engaged in 6 months. After 2 years of marriage we bought a house and started a family. Our marriage was good very consuming with small children very rewarding and happy for both of us with the usual stress. We expanded the house with an addition as our family grew and were really settled in for long term of getting the kids through school in a stable environment. About year 14 of our marriage, I was beginning to feel that our sex life was becoming somewhat mundane and infrequent.  I was willing to live with mundane but I needed the frequency.  I enjoyed being intimate with my wife.  I told my wife that it was important to me and for us for 2 years I expressed my desire.  She seemed disinterested and tired and was busy with the kids she had stopped going to the gym (no time) and didn’t feel good about herself sexually I guess and although we had sex it was infrequent to the point I stopped asking and initiating.

3.  Tell us the story of the affair.  Had you ever cheated before at any level (including a drunken kiss, flirting, etc.)?  How did the affair begin?  How did it unfold?  Was it both emotional and physical, or just one?  How often did you meet?  What did you normally do?

I had never cheated before and never made sexual comments to women either I was not a player by any means.  I began to start noticing other women.  As a head coach I was around maybe 80 -100 different mothers and had always resisted any temptation.  One of the mothers that assisted me with the teams was named Jill and we started to be become very close.  She was going through a divorce.  She was exciting, fun and attractive and we became good friends. We trusted each other and began to text first it was all business but the texts became increasingly more daring.  The whole texting thing is very seductive in its own right and if we didn’t have texts I am sure we would have less affairs today.

After about 4 months of being close friends and never speaking about crossing the line we were alone at the field and I reached out and kissed her and the kiss was mutual.  We kissed for the next 10 minutes or so and my head was completely spinning. This was the first day of the “fog” that was to take over my life and not sure if it ever goes away completely. We left and texted and met up again that night. We parked our cars next to each other in a restaurant and she took me back to her house I can remember how nervous we were.  She knew I was married she knew my wife she knew my kids I knew her soon to be ex and all her kids as well and the entire town knew us as well… Sounds exciting? It was.  Back at her place we ripped each other’s clothes off and it was amazing and passionate but I refused to consummate although I wanted to.

The next day I felt awful and great at the same time.  I texted Jill and said “can we go back to being just coach and mom” and she agreed and said Yes.  I saw her about 2 days later at the field and as soon as I saw her I yelled over to her and said, “Hey, can I change my mind” and she yelled back “yes”.  That was the start of a 4 year emotional and extremely physical affair.   It started off very physical she was going through a divorce and had nobody so we would meet to satisfy each other. Anywhere we could a few times a week.  I did however refuse to consummate the relationship for 3 months (although I wanted to) and I don’t know why.  I guess it was guilt in some form and I remember saying to Jill and myself after we did it, “now I am like everyone else” .  I guess I thought I could resist temptation and didn’t want to really start this whole thing form the start but once the “fog’ rolls in you have no control and nothing else matters.

4.  How did you keep your affair a secret?

So for the next 4 years I lived a double life.  Hiding, lying and cheating.  Most of the sex took place in her house.  I would leave for work early about 4:30am and go sleep and have sex with Jill, shower and then leave while Jill got her kids up for school.  I would also leave work early pick up lunch and spend the afternoon at her house have sex  2-3 times before her kids got home from school. Drinking played a major role in everything we did and it didn’t matter the time of the day.  Jill became “my drinking buddy” and ultimate friend.  Trips, overnights in the city big shows, casinos, and dinners more drinking lots of it.  We did it all.  Oh yes I was on business out with clients etc.  As a professional liar/cheater I would find the best and most fun out of the way places so we would not get caught or be seen as everybody knew us.

I shared stories and personal things with her that I would with no other and we shared our bodies in a way I was never able to before.  It was amazing.  Affair sex is like no other and we fell in love.  At least I think it was love.  I did and still do love Jill, but not like I love my wife.  I was an addict.  Like any other addict.  Nothing mattered, not my job, not my kids, not my reputation nothing but my next fix of Jill.

5.  How did you feel during the affair, both when you were with the OW and when you were at home?  What were your thought processes?

Once the affair started it was a 4 year battle of trying to stop it and I failed every time that I tried.  We would go 3 days a week maybe 10 days of trying to stop seeing each other then we would start all over again.  I felt great when I was with Jill young alive, wanted and the sex was amazing.  Life was fun but not real.  It was like being in Disney World on a 4 year pass. I was connected to Jill in every way and she began to push me to leave my wife and family.  We told each other we loved each other.  I must admit there was a period when I thought this was possible to leave my family “the extreme fog” but I knew it was not really what I wanted.  The circumstances of where we lived and our kids would just not permit.  I wanted my family and my new sex.  I was used to making bad decisions.

There was a reality back at home.  My home time became neglectful. Neglectful of my house duties. I took less of an interest in the house and shrugged my duties.  Missing kids games and away at nights and when I was at home my every waking thought was about Jill and how to concoct my next lie to be with her.  How to steal any second, minute, hour day/night to be with her. It was all consuming. I was an addict.  I knew there was only one way out and that day did come as they said it would the day the affair was discovered.

6.  What was D-day like?

About 3 years in my wife discovered some texts between Jill and me, I told her it was just playful/kidding and it was nothing really and I was sorry and I would never do it again.  This was my wife’s first thought of something was up.  The professional liar had done his job and the affair continued ever stronger for another year.   I think many in town may have suspected more than my wife did.  Whenever I was with Jill we were both beaming and people took notice. I saw more of Jill than ever before and I became sloppy with my lies I think they became repetitive about work and just how much can you lie?  I was looking more and more at my phone for texts from Jill and probably my demeanor as well gave me away as I left my house at 4am (to go to work early) and went to Jill’s slept had sex showered drank and walked outside to see my wife’s car parked behind mine down the road where I usually tucked it.  Welcome to D-day.  My wife said you better follow me home which I did.  Alone in my car unknowing what my wife would say/do.  Would I be out of the house in a few mins looking for a lawyer an apartment?  Would I be back at Jill’s house and let the cards fall where they may with the people we knew in town.  Worst of all would I lose my kids.  Either way I knew there would be a conclusion but I was not in control any longer.

My wife cried. We both cried.  She told me she didn’t deserve this and she was right so right.  I had made so many bad decisions without thought to anyone but myself.  There was and is no explanation.  I said I was sorry over and over and I was.  How could I do what I did?  I never wanted to be like everyone else.  I was different.  I had morals I knew better.  I was a good father/husband. This would never be me.  She would never understand that I was an addict.  I know I wouldn’t understand that if the circumstances were switched.  It’s NO EXCUSE to be an addict by the way you just can’t understand unless you are one.  After an hour of holding my wife she said she would try to forgive me and put this behind us as long as I went to a therapist to “fix” myself as she put it…and I took this bargain and I did.  My wife had just given me a second chance on life.  My life and my family. She is a forgiving person not like how I would have been for sure but she opened my eyes.  I am told that one day I must forgive myself I don’t know if that is possible.  It will be 7 months past D-day on Jan 1 2014.

7.  Did you formally end the affair with the OW? If so, how?  And how did she take it? Has she left you alone?

What to do with someone who I called my best friend? She was my lover /confidant from my other life.  A person in another time and another place I could possibly have been with forever maybe I don’t know.  The life that wasn’t real.  My addiction, my fix, the love/lust of my life.  My addiction.  She was a person with feelings she loved me and now I had to hurt her as well.  And I did.  No contact. Total shut down. No replies from me. No answer to her texts. No answer to her email. No answer to her phone calls. She was devastated totally. I was totally devastated.  She was an addict to the affair as well so I know how hard and what she was going through. I was like any other addict in total withdrawal.  I missed her more than anything. I wanted her more than anything.  I went no contact with no conclusion for her.  I totally hurt her which I never wanted to do.  But she knew I was married she took the chance…Still doesn’t make it right to hurt someone.  Just totally sucks.  I suck. Just trying to rebuild myself I guess so this never happens again.

8.   What have the biggest challenges been — both in terms of fixing your marriage and inside yourself — now that it’s over?

Fixing my marriage was the biggest challenge and all about reconnecting with my wife and rebuilding myself along with our relationship.  I wasn’t sure that I could do it. It is a slow process and she has been patient and she sees progress.  My kids see the progress as well as they say “you’re going out again with mom?”  You truly reap what you sow.  You just have to sow the right things.

9.   How do you feel about the OW now?

I miss Jill and still often think of her but less often.  I know she is dating which is good.  I want her to move on and be happy.  I need her to move on so I can continue to recover.

10.  How long since you’ve had any contact with the OW?

Jill is local ( something I will have to continue to deal with)  I  saw her at a local sports function just 2 weeks ago and I did not speak with her and she was shocked dashing any hopes she had left.  My wife was also there and I made sure I was close to her which also killed Jill.  Jill made a few attempts to enter my space and my wife started to get annoyed and I calmed my wife by saying we cannot make her relevant.  She was seeking relevancy and walked away with none.

I saw several emails go into my “blocked” box which I know they were from her.  I had to block Jill’s emails about 3 months into no contact as I couldn’t handle seeing them and it was hurting my recovery.  She of course does not know that she is blocked.  I have not blocked her phone # and she sent me a few texts which I did not read and deleted.  I did not block the texts because she would know that I did and I thought she may do something rash if she knew I blocked her and she thought she wasn’t getting through to me.  The texts and emails have all but gone away.

11.  What have you done to either fix your marriage or yourself?  Counseling (couples or solo)? Read books (if so, which and did they help)? 

My marriage fix has been to reconnect with my wife.  We go out more especially with couples and try to have fun.  We are intimate more often than not something she has worked on to try to make me happy and it is working.  I go to therapy as part of the deal once a week for the last 6 months and it has helped.  I got rid of my first therapist after the first visit and sought out a woman therapist for her point of view and that was a great decision.  I am not a therapist person but this has helped with my marriage and some of the other broken things she is trying to help with as well as it all ties in together anyway. My wife talks about couples counseling but I am in no way ready for that.  I need to move ahead right now and not think of the past at least for now.  I don’t need triggers right now remember I am an addict.

12.  What have you learned about yourself, your marriage and life, because of the affair?

I have learned that I am human and vulnerable like everybody else.  I make mistakes and I can be forgiven for even the worst of mistakes.  I now try to be more forgiving of people as well, or at least try to look at things differently.  I realized that I do love my wife and have a new appreciation for my life as my bad decisions could have ruined my life forever and those around me.

13.  Do you feel vulnerable to another affair, with the same woman or someone else?  Do you miss “it” even if you don’t miss “her”? 

I am an addict and always vulnerable and need to stay away from my ex affair partner and any situation where I can make a bad decision.  Without question I miss “it”.  “It” is the ultimate rush.

14.  Looking back, what was your reason/excuse/rationale for having the affair?  What did you tell yourself in your head that allowed you to do something you knew was dangerous and wrong? 

There was no rationale for me starting my affair it just happened.  I thought it would be short lived and I would not be caught.   I don’t think it was a mid life crisis either but rather the ultimate escape destination from reality.  Once it starts and you share your mind body and soul with someone it is very hard to stop esp for me as I have said I became addicted to the “it”.  Everything about “it”.  I craved the excitement,  the newness, the exploration, the hidden dimensions, the secrecy.

15.  Do you feel remorse for the affair? Or just because you were caught?

I do feel remorse but I am spending most of my time trying to put this behind me. The breakup from my affair partner was harder than anything I have ever experienced. So I am fixing myself and reconnecting at home.  I think I am learning how to live with myself that is where remorse has landed me. The future however is bright but for me day by day.   ADVICE-Avoid temptation and NEVER start an affair.   For those in an affair STOP at all cost you will be caught and the fog will lift. The fallout and people you will hurt will contain a lifetime of regret, shame and disappointment and too many other things to mention. For those in recovery,you are not alone there is hope it is all up to you.

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A big thanks to “Mike” for agreeing to do this in order to help others. It takes great courage.

 

 

 

 

© COPYRIGHT 2006, 2007, 2013 Recovering Wayward Enterprises, LLC

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26 thoughts on “Interview After the Affair: Mike’s Affair Story

  1. Mike, Thank you for sharing this. I couldn’t help but feel for the OW just because she didn’t get any information – I am one who believes getting information helps to heal or mend or simply understand enough to move on and 4 years is a long relationship to not offer her the closure. I’m not judgeing just wondering what her side must be. I have a queston though about why you started it. I do think sex is so imprtant and in the beginning of the questions, you stated how your sex life had basically died. Reading different blogs about people and their sex lives has opened my eyes to the fact that everyone has this need and if it isn’t met, problems will arise. I think that we have a societal bias in place that chokes our sensual side, making it taboo or dirty or just too restricting. It seems that a lack of sex was the problem that started you on the path to find sex somewhere. It is that important is my point. Thanks for being so open and I wish you all the best for a great home and sex life.

  2. That is so like my 2 year affair, i had been teaching in bible school and college for 20 odd years and my conscience moved in and out like the waves of the sea.
    Sometimes I would have no issue with my behavior and other times I would feel myself sliding into guilt and shame.
    What she found attractive about me is how funny I was and mostly light hearted, but over the two years I started to get more and more dark and moody.
    I was drinking a bottle of wine a night, funny when your ”so happy” you have to drink so heavily.
    I became quite fatigued during the last couple of months of the affair and one day I went around and seemed to be in a mist or fog, I didnt feel connected.
    She said that nothing I was saying was making any sense and I left in a very anxious state. I didnt go around again and I was in an anxious state for a long time, I think its your body running on pure adrenaline I think.
    She asked me never to go around again and I didnt and I still dont know quite what happened to me, its like I separated from myself, sounds like fun huh?
    My marriage has so far survived, I hope to return to my normal self soon.

    • You might have been going through something called derealization or depersonalization. Google it to see if what happened to you matches others experiences if you’re curious. There’s a bunch of You Tube videos about it.

  3. I don’t know if Mike will reply here using his WordPress account in order to preserve his anonymity. if you have direct questions, please email them to me and I will forward to him and if he wishes I will post his reply under my name here.

    • Mike, that fog you talked about is ever present with me. It is an addiction. I too have tried to end things with my OM but cannot. I am coming up on a year with him. I have been married for 23 years and my husband and I didn’t even acknowledge it. I too begged him to go to counseling with me for years but he always said “I can fix it” I always knew he couldn’t. We needed more. I needed more. We have a sexless marriage and my husband is not affectionate at all. I am the opposite. I could go on but I won’t right now because I wanted to let you know you are so brave and strong. I admire your decision. Especially being in the same town as the OW. Wow. Good Luck Mike and I know you will be fine!

  4. I had somehow missed this particular story until now; I just read it, and I have to say I’m a little shocked that Mike ended his affair without actually communicating *anything* to his AP. I guess everyone is different, and he probably knew what would be most effective with his situation & AP, but I guess it never would have occurred to me to ask my husband to break it off in such a way. I was there with him, and we held hands while he called her to break it off. I’m pretty certain she realized this, and it probably hurt, but it didn’t leave a lot of room for any misunderstandings about what was happening either. And I’m not sure I would have trusted that he had really ended it if I hadn’t heard it for myself. And I can’t imagine just breaking something like that off without a word, even an apology, to the AP. As much as I detest this person, it would have seemed cruel to me, and I would have expected her to have a harder time letting go if he just broke off contact without an official “it’s over”. One thing I would say about doing it that way, is that Mike’s AP is probably never going to be over wanting some sort of closure/explanation from him – not that every AP is ever going to be satisfied with walking away, even WITH an explanation & final goodbye. And finally, I think it’s better for all 3 parties to understand & acknowledge the ending. Whether they accept it or not, closure was at least offered.

    • I can’t disagree there. It would be better to at least explain why one is leaving. Unfortunately, not just in affairs but in real life, people do the slow fade-out or just disappear entirely. It’s easier, but yes, it’s not respectful or courageous. However, being who I am, I have some insight into the mind of the cheater. When you are in an affair — whether you are a married person or not, you kinda know that affairs don’t last. You know the risks. And generally you KNOW why your Affair Partner withdraws, whether they spell it out for you specifically or not at the end. You’ve probably already discussed it along the way — the stress, guilt, fears. It’s not like a regular relationship in that way. His OW, I’m certain, knows why he ended things and disappear — because he couldn’t deal with it. Because you can’t save your marriage if you have any continued contact with the Affair Partner. Because if you even tell engage them in a discussion as to why you’re terminating things, you might back-slide and change your mind because the pull to your Affair Partner is that strong. I think she knows why he left.

      That being said, it’s better to break it off directly. Specifically. In writing. Its more respectful. It also makes sure your Affair Partner knows you are serious. That it’s over. If you leave with no words, it tends to leave the door open a tad. Yes, it takes courage to do it. Not everybody has it. And its the modern world, right? People now dump each other by text. Or on Facebook. Or by just doing the “slow fade-out” — slowly withdrawing electronic attention until the other person figures it out. It’s not right, but it’s how things tend to be done.

    • also, Mike saw your note and is having me post his reply for him:

      “This is Mike you are right about closure and its not the way I do things . However I needed to show my wife that I was dead on serious and quite frankly I could not trust myself being near my affair partner as we always roped ourselves back together. In the long run it was the best thing for both of us. Iam much stronger now and would have handled things differently today but at the time it was the only way out for me and she did know all the details of my life and family and the writing was on the wall for a long time. We were both addicts and when D day comes you have to handle it in the best way possible and that for me was showing my wife that I was serious. Sure my affair partner hurt but my wife hurt more and with the line drawn in the sand the choice was made. I make no excuses for bad decisions I made alot of them. “

      • I completely agree with what you wrote here.
        The OP knew all the details of his life and took a conscious action of cheating for 4 LONG YEARS, after knowing everything. This may seem harsh, but her hurt was very much less than the other people in the scenario.
        The abrupt withdrawal shouldn’t come as a shock inspite of the 4 year long affair, because after all the person is cheating on someone else and in this case, on a marriage more than 20 years old, so what makes a 4 year old fantasy so special? For this, I do not feel any sympathy towards jill because she got what she consciously, deliberately sow.

        and I was happy when Mike wrote
        “Sure my affair partner hurt but my wife hurt more and with the line drawn in the sand the choice was made. I make no excuses for bad decisions I made alot of them. “

        Because this is the truth. I have seen the plight of many BS who are devastated because their Husbands are concerned about how they will break the affair and not hurt the AP. Why didn’t they put so much thought BEFORE starting the affair? and what about the wife’s hurt?

        But Mike here handled the situition well. I appreciate the no contact rules he followed.

    • I was the other woman and I can assure you that she is never going to get over wanting closure. Unfortunately, the same happened to me. We were together for 2 years, wife finally admitted knowing and filed. Long story short, the fairy ending did not happen. I never saw myself ending up with MM, but I did still fall in love with him and he with me. I still ache and cry. I do wish the best for them. He told someone he just couldn’t bear to see me and tell me in person. What a man! LOL I miss my friend more than my lover. I do wish we would have ended it differently before everyone had to find out and so much pain was caused. It has been 7 months since contact with MM. He sent a letter explaining how sorry for the pain, blah, blah, blah. I still hurt every damn day. A big lesson learned. I will never ever get close or think about becoming too good of friends with a married man. That is what led to this in the first place.

      • Thanks for the comment. So sorry for your continued pain. It’s good for people to read stories like yours. There is almost always pain, bitterness and frustration at the end of an affair for the OW. Their hopes are almost always dashed and they are bumped to the curb. Sad, but true. I’m sure your MM feels bad, but yes, when an affair is revealed, few MM wish anything but to save their marriages and unfortunately the AP gets cut off. This happens to men in affairs with married women too. It’s a sad fact. At least he wrote you to try and give closure. Most of the time, they just disappear without a word.

  5. My husband said something similar to me about the way he broke things off – that he felt bad about hurting her like that, but he thought the hurt he’d dealt me was much more severe, and was more important. Which actually helped me a lot. I know she was shocked by it, and expected a much different outcome, thinking he was going to leave & they’d eventually be together. Your situation is different, as all affairs are. There are always similarities, but I think everyone has to use their best judgment based on their own situation. The good thing about your bad decisions is that they’re in the past, and you seem to have learned from them. And I wanted to say – I really appreciated your response to question #10 of your interview. Things like that go a long way toward strengthening a relationship & helping a betrayed partner feel more secure, so you did good.

  6. Thank you so much for this entry. It has really helped me. I am ashamed to say that I am a cheater. I never meant for it to happen; I always judged those who had affairs very harshly. I NEVER thought it would happen to me. But what started out as simply friendship quickly turned into more and before I even realized it, it had gotten out of hand and turned into a full-blown affair.
    The person that I had the affair with was a man that I had known since I was 16. We had been around one another a few times a week for many, many years. I was friends with his wife and my oldest daughter and one of his daughters were best friends. And honestly, when it first started, it was harmless. The spouses knew we were talking. We both had similar interests and were discussing writing books and such. But our conversations – which started out as texts – became deeper and shifted to other topics and before I knew it, we were sharing our most intimate and personal secrets with each other. And we began hiding our “friendship”. He began calling me and asking if he could spend time with me in person. At first, I told him I didn’t think it would be a good idea, but eventually I gave in and the rest is history.
    Over the course of 11 months, a very intense relationship developed between him and myself. I knew it was wrong; I knew it was selfish; I knew I needed to end it and in fact, I did a few times but it would only last a few weeks, he would contact me again, tell me how he couldn’t live without talking to me; how we were “meant” to be together and how we needed each other and I would give in. It wasn’t his fault; I’m not trying to shift the blame onto him. I was flattered by his persistency and by the fact that he claimed to have loved me from a distance for many, many years.
    I lived a double life and the whole time I was doing it, I felt severe shame and guilt but as the author of this blog said about his AP, this man was an addiction for me. We would drink together. He was always bringing loads of alcohol to me. Before he and I became friends, I’d really never been much of a drinker, just wine here and there. But I developed a strong addiction to alcohol as well during this time. He was providing me with an alternate reality that I just couldn’t let go of. I knew I needed to but I just couldn’t.
    It then got to the point that he was begging me to leave with him. He said he loved me, he couldn’t be without me and that he didn’t want to be with his wife anymore and that we should leave our spouses and move away and live together until our divorces were finalized and then re-marry one another. I can honestly say at this point that I knew things (and of course they had gotten out of hand way before that) but this is when it hit me that things had gone so far out of control that I didn’t have any choice but to end it. I couldn’t leave everything behind for this man. I know I would’ve gotten custody of my children but I’d have lost EVERYTHING to be with him and I knew I couldn’t pay that price. And as sorry and rotten as it sounds, I still loved my husband. He was the better man. I couldn’t choose this AP over him; not as a permanent life partner. So I determined to end things with him. I foolishly believed that I could end it and pay my penance to God and get my life straightened out and never do that again and no one would be the wiser for it. Sounds perfect, right? Well let me tell you how that turned out…..
    This man began coming to my house. He’d come after my husband went to work. The last time he came – which was only a week ago – I had decided I was going to end it once and for all. But as these things go, I was having a very hard time and didn’t know how to bring it up. We were sitting there, sipping coffee, when I heard my front door open. And I KNEW – it was my husband. D Day had arrived and the details of what transpired after that point are just too awful and fresh in my mind to talk about right now. Let’s just say they got into a very intense physical altercation and I was injured trying to break them up and I had to face my betrayed husband, who had no idea that my relationship with this man had gotten this serious. It was then – at that very moment – looking into his disbelieving and hurt eyes, that my fog lifted and I realized just how serious and damaging my actions had been. I had become what I always hated in other people. I, the person who was righteous and looked down on others who committed adultery, was now an adulteress and I was caught.
    Sadly, because this man and I know so many of the same people, our affair has become public knowledge. And I know that I deserve to face the shame and the recrimination and judgment of my family and friends. They are all furious with me and rightfully so. Many of them have given me a piece of their mind. I have lost friends and I have family members who will not speak to me. It’s the hardest and most embarrassing thing I’ve ever faced. But what is worse is knowing that I had a good husband and I destroyed what was, at one time, a great marriage. He has mercifully agreed to work on the marriage but right now he’s still very angry and I don’t blame him. He’s behaved in a much more gracious manner then I ever would have if the roles were reversed. He told me he loves me still and wants to make this work and wants to move past it as long as this is the only affair I ever have. He said he wont’ give me another chance and I want more then anything in this world to make thing right with him. I am willing to do anything to regain his trust and I know that it’s not gonna come over night. Our world has been rocked and shaken to the core and much has changed because of my betrayal and this is not going to be an easy road back.
    And in the midst of all this, I miss my AP. I have cut him off completely. He told me after the altercation between my husband and himself to let me know where I was and he’d come get me and we’d finally get to be together. He was happy that we got caught because he thought I’d have no choice but to finally be with him. But my husband gave me an ultimatum – come back to him and have absolutely NO contact with the man after that point – not even to say good-bye. And I have followed his wishes. I have even changed my phone number so this man cannot try to contact me. I know, it’s only been one week. It’s absurd and still so fresh but I have a feeling it’s going to take me a long time to get over my addiction to him. I’m having withdrawals. Every single day – every hour – for the last 11 months, we talked. He was always there for me. My best friend. It felt so good to have someone always there and someone so interested and now he’s gone. It’s as if he died and I’m just having a hard time not missing him. I won’t contact him again and I will remain true to my husband from this point on, but I’m sure he’ll always be in the back of my mind.
    I know this is terribly long and I know I’m not a good person anymore and I’m not trying to make excuses for my bad behavior and selfish actions, but it feels a bit better to be able to share this experience. I have no one at all to talk to now and just feel so alone. I know that this too shall pass and this is just part of what you have to deal with when you have broken the marriage vows and betrayed your spouse.

    • A very compelling story and, I’m afraid, a typical one. You got caught up in something and got in over your head and before you could extricate yourself, D-day hit ,and then everyone knew and now you are both paying the price. It’s a story that everyone who’s in an affair or contemplating one should read as a warning!

      You have a lot of guts printing it here. Good for you. thanks for the input

    • This is from “Mike”

      Thanks for your story Iam glad my experience was helpful in some way maybe just knowing you are not alone provides some solace. Its amazing how affairs take on their own energy and how helpless you become and you become someone that you are not. And the alcohol you mention was also a big part of my affair and I think it may deserve a post along the way as I think the “cloud” of alcohol plays a big part in affairs as it keeps reality at a distance and keeps us numb and at the same time perpetuates the affair. I have to tell you that after D-day and the lifting of the fog I continued drinking and just recently really stopped drinking for a month and a half and re- went through withdrawal of missing my affair partner. I couldn’t believe it but that’s what happened to me. So the struggle continues. The best advice I have gotten is to constantly invest in yourself and family. Even the little things Iam doing to improve myself and my relationship with my wife and family seem like great achievements and accomplishments to me. Literally it was an hour by hour process then day by day now its a few days at a time. All shocking but true then I think about my poor wife and her plight while I try to heal myself and that is very hard. She is amazing and I try to keep that in the forefront. It can be done.

  7. Mike you write about the frequency of sex being important. What happens when it is no longer important to you. Will it then be alright for your wife to find someone else to fill in for the lack of frequency?

    What about if you develop erectile dysfunction. Will it be alright for your wife to seek an affair partner.

    Also, you should have written a formal no contact letter to your AP. It would have provided closure for your wife and for your AP.

    With that said, really, she was a divorcee who knew she was pushing the boundaries with a married man. So I have no sympathy for her and neither should anyone else.

  8. I texted briefly with my husband’s AP on D-day, later in the evening, after he had called her and broken it off. I was actually going through his phone & looking at their text messages, and accidentally fat fingered something or other and called her. She called me a bitch at first & told me to stop calling her. I texted back & told her it was accidental, that she had no worries from me as long as she didn’t try to contact him again. She apologized for the pain her actions had caused me, and said she was equally devastated. I said I doubted it, and pointed out to her that at least she knew what she was getting into and what the risks were. That I wasn’t sorry it had blown up in her face and was causing her pain. That she should remember the pain, should she ever consider getting involved with another married man (my husband was her second – according to her). I actually obtained some closure from the conversation that my husband couldn’t really give me, and I’m grateful for it – not to her, just grateful in general. Most betrayed’s never get that; the ability to tell this other person: you have harmed me, you are nothing, you are behind me now. It’s empowering.

    I don’t know that I think Mike and his wife will necessarily have any problems with the frequency or quality of their sex life from now on – as long as their recovery stays on track. Sex went to a level for my husband & me that we haven’t been before, even when we were young. Not that it’s wild & crazy or anything – just that it’s more intimate & satisfying than it ever was before, and the emotional aspects of it returned, and are so much stronger now. It’s kind of a crazy thing, really. I hate what he did, but I love the changes in our relationship & wouldn’t go back to the way we were before for the world. My hope for Mike is that as he continues to grow stronger, he keeps drawing closer to his wife, and pulling her closer to him. There’s a whole world of possibilities out there for the two of them and their marriage now, that just weren’t on the table before.

    And one other thing I wanted to comment on:
    I find the recurrent theme of drinking interesting. My husband was drinking more than I’ve ever known him to during his affair as well. Maybe this is something about lowering inhibitions, numbing the guilt reflex, perhaps enhancing the “escape from reality”? He barely drinks at all now. Usually just wine, and even then, usually just with “special occasion” dinners, etc.

  9. Being from the other perspective. I felt that Mike’s NC with AP was only fair. What was she thinking anyway? that her fun filled fantasy will end in a castle happily? The hurt the wife went through was hundred times more and when AP get involved they know the risks and chances so why do they ever complain about closure or anything? After destroying a marriage consciously they actually have the audacity to expect people to notice their pain.
    I was hurting when I read that mike was still thinking about jill or misses her even though its less now. I hurt when he said that breaking up from her was the hardest thing I though he would say the hardest thing would be seeing his wife in this state but I thought it over and appreciate mike for being honest. After all it would be an unreal expectation that he would forget someone he had spent so much time with so easily.
    but the no contact thing was perfectly right. Keep on going Mike. I hope you do your best in reconcilation.

  10. You mentioned people talking to you via email. I have some questions whose answers I need according to a WS perspective. where can I send the email?

  11. @affairadvice

    I don’t know why I have felt a certain connection with this story maybe because It is an long term affairand I want to know more. Is mike still in contact with you? Because I had some questions as I am from BS perspective. The answers he gave above was when the affair was still fresh and from what I have read these answers change as time passes by and clarity increases.

    1) He mentions that breaking up from his affair partner was hardest thing to do. I could not understand that part
    2(What was the reason they both started having the affair and what kind of future or aim did they have in mind. Jill after certain time wanted mike to divorce but What was mike expecting to come out of the whole situation?what was his thinking?
    3)In the hindsight, does he still think he loves Jill or it was just how he felt with her?
    4) He mentioned that affair sex is best, does he still think that way? Does he think of her when he is in bed with his wife?
    5) He mentions that he was devastated. was he more devastated at his wife’s pain or having to break off the affair?

    • (this is from Mike in response to Daphne) — RW
      —————–
      1) He mentions that breaking up from his affair partner was hardest thing to do. I could not understand that part

      Hi Daphne all great questions that Iam dealing with daily I will try to answer..

      Yes breaking the affair was very Hard and continues to be a struggle even after 10 months. Iam becoming more ashamed/aware however to your point of just how my wife must of felt and still feels. What you would normally think would be the “right” reaction to the BS is still just sinking in for me. Why? I can only the say that the emotional part of the affair (the high) was the strongest thing I have EVER experienced. Iam certainly not proud of this fact and I know it is totally wrong but it is true and yes it hurts me that I feel that way. I think I feel this way in part because I think I may NEVER be able to make this up to my wife. I don’t take betrayal lightly why should she?

      2(What was the reason they both started having the affair and what kind of future or aim did they have in mind. Jill after certain time wanted mike to divorce but What was mike expecting to come out of the whole situation?what was his thinking?

      The reason for the affair for me looking back was the excitement and the sex. There was never a future in it for me. It was how I could get my next “fix” of Jill. Lying to her or whatever it took to keep it going and lying to my family about everything else. Pretty sick when you totally lose your moral compass. I mentioned that drinking played a huge part in our relationship. It was a major part of the fun along with the sex and great conversation. It really perpetuated the affair and added to the “fog”. I am today 113 days without a drop of alcohol and getting rid of the hold alcohol had on me was a pales in every way compared to the hold (the addiction) of the affair. The power of the affair is/was overwhelming for me that it makes quitting drinking seem like no feat at ALL and I had been drinking everyday in someway for over 30 years.

      3)In the hindsight, does he still think he loves Jill or it was just how he felt with her?

      Four years and its hard to say that I don’t care for Jill because I do. I just cant love her it was wrong for both of us and I stopped all contact so we could both move on. I did see her yesterday at a local function and our eyes never met although we both knew the dynamic.

      4) He mentioned that affair sex is best, does he still think that way? Does he think of her when he is in bed with his wife?

      Yes affair sex is amazing. It is the ultimate high that almost had me give up everything that was ever important to me and yes I have thought of Jill when in bed with my wife but not as often as you would think as I try to reconnect.

      5) He mentions that he was devastated. was he more devastated at his wife’s pain or having to break off the affair?

      Unfortunately I was more devastated and my wife’s pain was secondary and so not deserving to her. Selfish and something I will have to live with forever. My wife has given me the opportunity to have my life back why I don’t know. Hardest thing for me is dealing with the fog affair addiction and its hold. Unless you have experienced it you will never understand. I too used to bewilder at people with great families/jobs and lives and how they could get caught up in such a mess. Not anymore. No excuses made. Its still day by day for me and I try look forward and not back but I hurt alot of people along the way and that’s not easy to forget. The future however is extremely bright as I try to keep my family in the forefront of everything I do now.

      • I too wish you a bright future. Thanks for replying. I can’t say that some hard truth did not hurt but I am grateful you were honest. As it would be very unnatural of me to expect feelings like this would evaporate in mere days. Thanks again

  12. I’m posting this on behalf of a reader who did not want to post the comment directly. I thought it was profound:

    “Hi Recovering Wayward!

    I hope you are doing well and enjoying your weekend. I first wanted to say how grateful I am for your blog and for your courage and strength in discussing such a hard topic. As a recovered wayward myself, your blog has been a huge source of comfort for not only me but also my wife. We are three years out from DDAY and have worked our hardest to build a stronger marriage based on transparency, friendship, love, and trust. I truly feel so lucky that my wife gave me the opportunity and chance to prove to her how deep and true my love for her is.

    I periodically like to look at your posts and see what the new topic of discussion is. I have never emailed or commented becasue I have never been one to share my feelings – I guess it’s that man’s mentality that we never fully shake. A story that really moved me and I understood was Mike’s affair story. I have seen some people’s comments and have read his posts about his continued struggles, and I wanted to write him a message that I hope you would be willing to pass on to him if you feel comfortable – if not know worries.

    Hello Mike-

    We don’t know each other, but I feel that I know exactly what you are going through as I have lived it myself. I am a husband, a father, a businessman, a friend, and unfortunately, an adulterer. I read your story on the Recovery Wayward blog, and I wanted to write you that you are not the only one struggling with the strength and pull of the affair fog. It truly is something that no one can understand if they have never been through it. Know that you are not alone in what you are feeling as I was once there myself and didn’t know if it would ever leave. I know you probably get frustrated with why you can’t get over the things you received from the affair. But reading your story and your follow-up posts, I want you to know that I see a strong man who is doing everything he can to put his wife and family first. You may feel weak at times because you feel a sense of loss and miss your AP but the fact that you have gone no contact and have remained true to that means you are strong. I wish so badly that I could have had your strength during the initial stages after my own DDAY and I thought by giving you my perspective would make you feel better and show you just how good you are doing.

    My affair with a family friend lasted three and half years. Like you, it was a constant battle to end it but once I got in too deep, I was always pulled back to it. The connection, friendship, conversation, laughter, trips, sex, and strong feelings was something I didn’t think I could give up. At the time, life took over and my marriage took a backseat. I came to the conclusion that my wife didn’t love me anymore because we were no longer connecting (she was trying to but I was too blind to see). Once the AP showed interest in me, I was too weak and fell into the worst mistake of my life. At the time, however, I thought I was experiencing the strongest love ever and it was something I felt that I deserved.

    When DDAY came, it was the worst day I have ever had in my life. That day I destroyed the woman that is my lover, best friend, and confidante. But even as I saw her cry and have a complete meltdown, I was devastated because she told me I had to end it. I was selfish for three and half years and that selfishness did not stop on that day. I was devastated because I needed and wanted my AP at the expense of my wife’s feelings and pain. Again, I was blind in seeing the love that my wife was showing me by forgiving me. During my affair, I thought that true love was the euporic feelings I had when with my AP. Here I committed the worst thing a person could do to their spouse and she forgave me and said she loved me and always did. My selfish self took this as she will never leave me. I continued to contact the other woman and 10 months after DDAY my wife kicked me out of my house. I even moved in with my AP and thought that my life was starting. I needed her so much for those ten months and thought everything was going to be great. I soon realized that what we had was nothing but superficial. The “love” we had each otehr was conditional on what we could give each other and did not even compare to the love that existed between me and my wife.

    I realized that I didn’t know this women at all (even though we had been in an affair for three years) and she didn’t know me. THe person who knows me in and out is my wife. She is the strongest, most giving, most sincere, honest person I know and I don’t deserve her. The strength she showed in forgiving me is truly amazing. She is better than me in everyway and I was so close to losing her and her love due to my behavior during the fog. The fog is sometimes the hardest part for the betrayed spouse to forgive. But she has and the love and connection we share three years later is something that is so much deeper and real and true than I ever had with the other woman. I understand that you feel pain but the pain that our wives feel is 1,000,000 times more than that. Every day, I understand that my wife could have left me and found someone else who didn’t treat her the way I did but she chose to take me back. This is the type of person I want in my life because our wives are the ones who know us best and will help us be the people we want to be.

    I am sorry if I rambled but I just wanted to let you know that you are strong and have avoided the mistakes I made in my affair recovery. The fog is tough but keep pushing through because once out of it, you will understand how amazing and strong your wife is for loving you at your lowest of lows. That is true love. Take it from someone who was in the fog so badly that he was kicked out of his house and moved in with the other woman. When that happened, I experienced a pain much worse than the fog – for a time I lost the only woman I ever truly loved. That experience, once I realized how much my wife meant to me, was so much worse than any fog. I know the fog is tough but what you would feel if your wife didn’t forgive and chose to move on without you is so much worse. Believe me! It was awful and it still makes me sick that I could have lost her.

    I wish you all the best in your recovery and know that people are here for you as you continue to build and reconnect with your wife. Once you do and get out of the fog, you will truly understand how the power of affair love does not even compare to that of a marriage with true, deep love.”

    • You said that the fog is the hardest thing to forgive, and that’s true, but it’s mostly about the foolish things you do, the absurd, devastating decisions you make from that irrational place, that are so hard to forgive. Not being in that fog, the BS is left trying to make sense of senseless things, and coming up with nothing much aside from the fact that you must not be the person they thought you were. It takes time and a LOT of effort from the WS to get them to the realization that yes, they are the same person, but they weren’t making rational decisions, and that is mostly about affair fog. I think if a WS can understand what that is & how it effects judgement, even fewer of them would leave without putting in an honest 100% effort to save their marriages than currently do. Sadly, I think that many who leave home to begin a “new life” with their AP fail to understand that a big part of what has made that relationship so special & exciting to them is due to it being an affair, and it will not be the same in a traditional relationship/marriage.

    • and here is Mike’s response:

      Dear Friend,

      I wanted to give you my sincere appreciation for telling me your story and the strong words of encouragement. It is great to hear from someone who had a similar experience and is further down the recovery road. Your insight and knowledge is very helpful and inspiring from someone that just “knows”. Knows all to well to reach out and say hey this is not easy and mistakes can still be made and if you just stay strong long enough all things will become apparent because you just “know”. The big takeaway here is our wonderful wives. Yours must be from the same mold as mine and that reminder was much appreciated and something we MUST never ever forget. Sometimes my head just spins when I think of all the things I did it is amazing just how selfish one can be as you point out. Every story is a little different and how we each handle our recovery is also different. What I found is that as Iam in control of what I say and my actions and I need to be true to those 2 things and never ever forget my wife’s true love. Amazing because as you point out about your “love” what I say was just “lust” and I quote “The “love” we had each other was conditional on what we could give each other and did not even compare to the love that existed between me and my wife” is so true and profound and I think what all affairs really are just what you say.

      Iam not one to blog either but if we can help just one person along the way of this whole mess then we did something good as we continue to try to help ourselves. You like me must realize that WS blog “Affair Resources and Advice” is without a doubt the most compelling and valuable piece of information that I have ever seen. I find myself coming back to it for help/advice and inspiration all the time. To find your words and story there is just another tribute to WS and this site. I want to personally thank you again as we all need to continue to look forward and not back. Also a great reminder of just how sorry Iam for ever doing what I did. Thanks Again

      Mike

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