The Emotional Affair in Ruins: Kaitlyn’s Affair Story

ImageAnother in a series of my interviews with cheaters, both current and former.  This is an “Other Woman”, and a married one.  Whose affair was discovered and is over. I think you’ll find her story compelling.   This was a fairly brief, non-physical, but very intense affair. You can see how quickly feelings can escalate even when no physical contact at all is involved. And you will see what a huge mental price she has paid for her emotional dalliance.  She now has to live with the guilt and because her Affair Partner’s wife knows, but has not (yet) ratted her out, she lives with the fear that at some point it will all be disclosed to her husband.  Every time the phone rings, she probably jumps. Or worries whenever her husband approaches her without a smile on his face.  This is the price she has paid.  The “Sword of Damacles” will hang over her head for years.

She writes in a very from the heart sort of way. Raw and real.  She pulls no punches. She does not justify her actions in any way. It’s worth a read.  Judge if you must, but if you must, please do it silently. She’s put herself out there hopefully to help others avoid affairs.

Basic info:  32 female. Married 7 years. 1 child. Lives in North America.

Affair Info: November 2013 to March 2014

1. Tell us a little bit about you.

I’m pretty average. I’m a private person, this is the most public thing I’ve ever done. I can be outgoing, but I have only a handful of close friends. I enjoy my work and, despite what you are about to read, love my family.

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.

I met my husband through his brothers. We knew each other a few years before we started dating and married a year later. Our marriage is pretty good, really. He’s a good man, which is what makes what I’ve done even worse. The affair is the first thing I’ve ever kept from him. At the time the affair officially started, we were not getting along well, sniping and arguing, but not the roughest patch in our relationship. I’m only 19 days post affair, and to be honest, still assessing what the hell I was thinking. This is part of my journey, a cautionary tale for anyone in an affair or thinking about. Heed my warning.

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?

The story of the affair. Yeah. Well. It’s pretty typical, really. To answer the question on if I’ve ever cheated before, well, no. Not really. I was a bit wild in my youth, but I’ve never cheated on anyone I loved. I don’t love often, but when I do, I love hard. I had two long term relationships prior to my husband and never cheated. I prefer the company of men to women, typically. Men are usually less complicated, less drama. So most of my friends are men, save the same three girl friends I’ve had since college. That said, I never entertained the thought of cheating. It’s not my style, contrary to why I’m writing this. Most would describe me as loyal, which again leads to some tough reflection on my character.

The affair began like any other. I realize reading other’s stories I’m not different or special. Our affair took place all on line. I managed to wreck havoc on my life and his without ever touching this man. We never pretended what we were doing wasn’t an affair because of location. We exchanged pictures and texts. Talked of magic land. Said we loved each other. The only thing keeping us out of bed was the miles. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I started talking to him, Arthur, at work about a year ago. He was on the business team for a company I worked for. Everything started above board and professional. Gradually we got to talking about our personal lives. Our spouses seemed very similar and we had kids the same age. We talked of daily annoyances (we both thought Caillou was the dumbest children’s show on the face of the planet), we talked of work, talked of goals. He was a mentor for me. He’s very smart, brilliant really, and he helped me excel at my job.

He friended me in Facebook about July or so of last year. We started talking of more personal things, his problems with a member of his family, the death of my brother. We talked at night a couple times a week. There was nothing flirty at the beginning. We just seemed to understand each other. Gradually the texts grew more playful. He went on vacation and warning bells went off in my head when I realized how much I missed him, but I ignored them. I’m married, he’s married, what could possibly happen?

Once the flirting started it advanced to crossing the line rapidly and with extreme intensity. We officially went there the week before Thanksgiving. It was fun and exciting. I’d never done anything like this before. We made rules. I was in if he was and family comes first. If this gets to be too much, we walk away. We were so smart. And do you know what the worst part of the story is? His wife got suspicious a week in. The same night he told me he loved me the first time, he “dumped” me. It was awful. I thought I’d ruined his life. Wrecked his pretty family. I had nightmares about it. But he came back the next day with a plan to be more careful, and we were right back at it. How fucking stupid is that? There was our out. Our chance to walk away from the fire. And we didn’t take it. So stupid.

The affair continued on. We talked every day and some on the weekends. There was nothing I didn’t tell him. Nothing I couldn’t tell them. We talked about everything. Even about our spouses. Good things. I wanted him to be happy at home, ironically. I told him a couple times that our relationship was not comparable to the ones with our spouses. We didn’t have the same pressures. This wasn’t a competition and it wasn’t fair (ha, fair. What a joke, right?) to compare. He said once that if he could wave a magic wand and have us be together without hurting anyone he would. So began magic land. These were stories he would tell me about what our lives would be like without the sneaking. Without the lies. He told some great stories. We talked of making magic land happen when our kids were grown.

He texted me nineteen days ago with the message I feared most. But I’ll talk more about that in another question.

4. How did you keep your affair a secret?

It was pretty easy, really. I talked to him exclusively on my phone. The thing is, I’m always on my phone. I’m constantly teased about it, so my routine didn’t change. I didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything different, which is the beauty of an online affair. We used Facebook, texts, and snapchat before moving on to making videos and sending them to secret email addresses. But, the risk is an online affair is the words are written down, and you must be ever vigilant. I had a couple close calls during our time together.

Arthur was about the only one who messaged me on Facebook, and I set the chime to something unique. There was a time zone difference, so I was usually waiting on him. The chime made me smile when I heard it.

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

This one is a little trickier to answer. I guess I didn’t think about it a lot. I would feel a hint of guilt when my husband would say he loved me. I was kissing my husband one day when I heard the Facebook chime and thought, “What the hell am I doing? Why am I doing this?” But I couldn’t stop.

I honestly don’t think I ever felt that comfortable in the affair. Not only did I know what I was doing was horribly wrong, but the lack of an end game bothered me. I knew I’d never be his wife, never meet his friends, never have kids with him. I knew I’d never build a life with him. I got out of previous relationships when they hit that point, and now I was starting one knowing it couldn’t progress. Sure, we talked of magic land, but I knew the odds were slim, and I never really believed we’d get there.

But, I loved to talk to him. I loved his laugh. He has a great laugh. He was really the first person who I could say what I thought. No filter. My mind goes to weird places sometimes. I call it the crazy, and I never hid it from him.

And, it’s not like I hide things from my husband (well, didn’t till now), but you fall into a routine of biting your tongue. Not wanting to rehash the same fight or argument. Writing this, I think my husband and I have trouble communicating. He’s not listening. You are talking and then stop mid sentence just to see if he noticed, but he didn’t. Not that what I did is his fault. Instead of turning to someone else, I should have put on my big girl pants and stayed true, dealt with the problems at hand. No one deserved what I did. Fix it or get out.

6. What was D-day like?

I, as of yet, have not had a D-Day, he did. I received a text 19 days ago. We spent weekend mornings together a lot, but I had been busy that morning and missed the chime. I checked my phone 48 minutes later and saw the message that shattered my world. He told me we were through, that his wife had found out what we were “up to.” Like we were teenagers who got caught drinking under the bleachers. They had stayed up the night before and talked it through and decided to try to work it out. My heart stopped at that phrase. I thought, “Holy shit. She almost left him because of me. What the fuck have I done.”

He said for me to not respond and if I did, he would not answer. He said he needed a clean break to try to fight for his family. He said he was sorry for the hurt, but we always said family came first.

She has not, yet, told my husband. In this day and age, he’d be easy enough to find. I was sure she would, waited on it, but I think I know why she hasn’t. I think the reason is two fold.

First, I hope she’s realized that while Arthur and I did a horrible, awful, unforgivable thing, he is not alone to blame for the state of the marriage. I hope she’s concentrating on her family.

Second, I think it’s a clever, unspoken ultimatum to not come back. Her ace in the hole. I’ve never met her, but she’s not a stupid or foolish woman.

Still, I am waiting for my husband to get an email full of Facebook messages and videos. For him to say, “Do you know a [insert name]? She’s been trying to call me.” I’m tense when I walk in the door and I see his face and I know I’m blessed with another day of an intact marriage I don’t deserve.

7. Have you left him alone?

Mostly. I sent him a message at work on day nine simply saying, “I won’t do this again, you have my word, but I had to tell you I’m sorry and good bye. I’m so sorry for the damage.”

He had made the decision to take a better job prior to D-Day which helps. Under it all, I want him to be happy, and I can no longer help him. His last day was last Friday. He is forever beyond my reach.

I’ve deleted everything he sent me. Every video, every text. In the event if a D-Day, I don’t want my husband to see them. I hope Arthur has done the same for me, but I’ll never know. I constantly check YouTube for my name, though.

I think the lack of a D-Day makes it harder to move on. He thinks of my name and sees his wife’s face when she found out. He’s not a bad man, and he loves her. It, I think, will be easier for him to move on.

That said, I have no plans to tell my husband. I went back and forth on it for a while but landed on not. If I’m not telling him, I’m telling no one. It’s not fair to burden my friends. I’ve been unfair enough. Mostly, it’s because I don’t see the point. Devastate him so I can unburden myself? No. Second, I don’t think I could make myself be honest. I’d lie and down play to get out of it, and if Arthur’s wife decided to tell? Well, then I’m even more fucked. I will keep this secret, but tell no more lies.

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

Forgiving myself and trying to figure out what to do now. I’m in my own personal hell of shame, guilt, pain, and fear. Caught between the man I promised to (and still do) love and the man I’m not supposed to love (and still do).

I’m angry. It’s barely controlled sometimes. I hate this. I hate everything about it. I want to scream and run. I want to break things. I want him out of my head. I want to go back to the days where all I thought of was my husband. I want to wake up and not have Arthur be the first thing I think of. We used to say that. You are my first thing in the morning and my last thing at night. He still is for me, and I hate that.

I feel lost.

9. How do you feel about the OM now?

I still love him. Still. I’m still cheating on my husband, but I’m no longer in an affair. I understand the “affair love.” I think the “in love” part of us was the affair love/addiction spoken about. But he was my friend first. The love I feel for him in that regard is the same as I feel for my close friends. That is real.

I think a lot of what he felt for me was affair love, as hard as that is to admit. I came to that realization with the wording of his goodbye text. “Up to” and “hurt” doesn’t begin to cover it. I know he wrote it terrified and in a hurry, but it was telling. I was exciting and passionate. I wanted him 100%. I think he regrets me with all his heart, and that kills me. Destroys me.

I wish, with everything I have, I had never done this. That we had never crossed the line. That I had never become a dirty home wrecker. I’ve been told not to apply that term to myself, but it’s true. I’ve wrecking my home because of my internal conflict. I can’t seem to move on. And, while he is responsible for his actions, I was still a party to his devastation. I still bear some responsibility for the state of his family.

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

19 days.

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)?

This is my first step. I found this blog on day 14 and it was the first place I’d found where I got help. An explanation. No one here condones this horrible act I’ve committed. No one thinks it’s okay, but there is an empathy and understand that despite the terrible thing we’ve done, we are not terrible people.

It might sound trite to some, but I pray. I pray for forgiveness, I pray for recovery. I pray for guidance. I thank God every day I am blessed with a marriage I no longer deserve and do not have a right to. I pray for him and his wife. That she can forgive him and he opens his heart to be forgiven. That their marriage not only recovers, but comes out stronger on the other side. It’s all I can do for him now.

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

I’ve learned I’m clearly not the person I thought I was. I learned to listen to that whisper in my head. If you are in an affair, I’m begging you, listen to that whisper before it becomes a scream.

I’ve learned I need to communicate better. I’ve learned that I am capable if terrible things. My family and friends would be stunned.

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

Yes. I think it would be difficult if he reached back out to me. I don’t think about it much, however, because I know in my heart of hearts he won’t, so it’s kind of a moot point. And I won’t reach out to him. I want him to be happy, and happy is her and his kids.

I don’t miss the affair. The very first feeling I felt reading the text was relief with a bone chilling fear hot on it’s heels. But I miss him terribly. I was in bed for two days when he left me. I haven’t spoken his name. As melodramatic as it sounds, it’s like he died, the cut off was so swift and sudden. I would trade every text that crossed the line for my friend back.

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?

I don’t think our friendship was wrong. I never felt the need to hide his messages or the fact that I was talking to him till we crossed the line. In fact, my husband knew his name. I would show him his texts. I never hid my phone or changed a password till the line was crossed.

I guess I just didn’t think about it. I’d push the guilt and warnings out of my head.

15. Do you feel remorse for the affair?

Everyday. This is far and away the worst thing I’ve ever done.

 

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35 thoughts on “The Emotional Affair in Ruins: Kaitlyn’s Affair Story

    • I deleted your comment because apparently you have an inability to read, and you are a nasty, gutless, and rude person, hiding behind an anonymous blog and log-in. As I stated above, I asked that if you must judge, then please do silently. This woman has come out of the shadows to tell her story. Not to brag, but in the hopes that others will learn from what she did and hopefully avoid infidelity altogether. She is very remorseful. And hurting.

      but people like you have to come along and throw nasty words and invectives at people like her. Why? She isn’t the one that cheated with your husband, I presume. So why would you be such a jerk?

      Answer? because it’s easier than looking in the mirror. As long as you can write off a total stranger as “an awful whore”, then you don’t have to actually determine what YOUR part was in your husband’s affair. You can avoid looking in the mirror. Because frankly, one way or another, you do share blame for your husband’s infidelity:

      Either you neglected him and or your marriage (or outright abused him emotionally or otherwise), or you married a person of very low character, and yes, you chose him, so you are partly to blame either way.

      So before you start throwing stones, take a long look in the mirror. The fact that you would come here and act like this NOT to the woman that apparently ruined your “perfect marriage” (cough, cough, sputter), but would say things like this to a total stranger speaks volumes about you as a person. Your character. Your maturity. Your ability to deal with disappointment and hurt. And none of it is good. If this is any indication how you talk to your husband, I assure you that unless he has no other options, he will ultimately leave you. Your attitude is the opposite of understanding, compassion, maturity and forgiveness. I wish you luck. Clearly my blog is not the place for you. I suggest you avoid it. But please don’t bother commenting. Your types of comments are not wanted here. I demand civility if nothing else.

      I rarely call people like you out on the carpet here. I merely just “spam” your comments. But frankly you deserve to be shown up. Your comments are completely uncivil and uncalled for.

      I hope to God YOU never make a big mistake in life, because karma is a bitch when it hits you.

      PS: Yes of course I read your post from yesterday about this. Vile. Immature. Profane. Completely inaccurate. But that’s who you are, apparently. Mentally unbalanced. A jerk. I can’t say I’m surprised your husband stepped out on you. I’m quite sure you will be divorced within 2 years, given the way you express yourself.

      Venting on strangers will not get you any peace. You are a sad, sad person.

      For those of you who want to see how NOT to react to infidelity, I suggest you read this. It’s pathetic that this actually comes from an adult.

      http://shatteredbyaffair.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/dear-other-women-boo-fucking-hoo-with-love-betrayed-spouses-everywhere/

      but thanks for the free publicity from your site — you’re generating hits for me.

  1. I am married to a serial cheater and to tell the truth as long as you stop short of full admission ( not lying by omission ) you are lying to yourself and worse yet you are lying to the person YOU are most important to. Your level of emotional immaturity has put not just any stranger at risk but the man who loves and TRUSTS you yet you chose this risk for him ( your immature selfish choice) can cause this innocent man agonizing heartbreaking life changing pain all so you can hide like a little child who knows they did wrong but hides from the consequences yet you claim to love this man you will hide from? Cheaters and their fantasy /escape from reality causes totally innocent trusting spouses to face the enormously overwhelming life of living with a cruel heartless lying raping thief unless we choose to not love you any more. LOVE IS A CHOICE . you know cheating is abuse in its lowest form . What is love when you have dehumanized yourself and your spouse ? How do you become a real caring loving honest human hiding from your self? You may not like my words but I am not judging you this is my life and my reality since discovering my husband has BPD and no I had no part in his issues or his decision to be irresponsible he is totally responsible for his manipulation and his desire for ego stroking and his inability to make healthy relationship or life choices yes I am married to an addict ( drugs alcohol sex with strangers to lying) no I had no knowledge that any one could be so deceitful . Sad to say but your selfish self entered choices have the ability to explode as shit bombs in your spouses future the one you are living with him as a lie and the longer you live as a liar the less you will feel period.

  2. In Point 6 where you address the two reasons she did not “out” you to your husband, you give her little credit. There is NO acceptable reason for what the two of you did. The two of you made a choice; a terrible one with potentially devastating consequences.
    Your two answers hint at a self-centered mindset. The last, I checked, a marriage involves a commitment between two individuals, not three. Your “involvement” contributed to the state of their relationship. You own that. Your “ace in the hole” mindset reflects your self-centered viewpoint. That is the mindset of one who has done the wrong thing: guilt . May I suggest that there is another possibility: that she is a much bigger person than you and has chosen not to grace your bad behavior with her emotional efforts or time. Possibly she, unlike yourself, is aware of the devastating effects of what you pursued and does not want to be the instrument of pain for another innocent(s)…… your husband and child.

    • there is a way to criticize, and there is a way not to. Smitten shows how to do it without being obnoxious.

      Smitten: I think Kaitlyn is reading. if she chooses to respond, either directly or through me as a third party, I’ll post it.

    • This was received by me from “Kaitlyn”:

      You are 100% right in what you say. I’ve been blasted on that part a couple times, and I don’t think I got my point across very well. She is clearly the bigger person. I never meant to imply any disrespect to her in what I wrote. I think every cheater is self centered to some degree, or we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in.

      The kids are the worst of it, I think. The true innocents. While no spouse deserves this, the kids really don’t. Watching my daughter breaks my heart thinking what could have been done.

      Anyway, I wrote this so maybe I can keep someone from making my mistake as well as to try to assess how to move on with my life. Sometimes others can see what you can’t.

  3. btw the main reason i say you should come clean, is for you… the aftermath will be hell, seeing your husband break will be hell… but that will get better… real hell will be carrying this secret around with you for the rest of your life… it will invade everything, most importantly, how you see and feel about yourself in more areas than just your marriage. you can do it 🙂

    • From “Kaitlyn” via me:

      When I wrote this story, I did it mostly as a warning and example for others not to commit my mistake and to see the devastation if they do. However, I also did it to get help and guidance in what the hell I’m supposed to do now. The guilt is overwhelming at times.

      That said, I had made the conscious decision not to speak to or reply to anything regarding telling my husband. I was steadfast in the decision and would not entertain any suggestions otherwise.

      However, you were so kind, more than I deserve, and what you said is true. I just wanted you to know that, no, I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I do know I’m going to go see a therapist this week in preparation for my decision.

      I wanted to thank you, and I wanted you to know I took your words to heart.

  4. Dear Kaitlyn,

    I am a betrayed spouse and so I identify more with Arthur’s wife than with anybody else here. I only want to say two things:-

    1. Please, please, please maintain and honour the no contact. I know it is killing you but Arthur and his wife have made a choice to reconcile and this should be respected. My husband and his other woman appear to have no such respect and the continuing pain and damage it is causing is only making the situation worse than it already is.

    2. I have said this to my husband and I would like to say this to you as you appear to be genuinely remorseful. Guilt is a useless emotion. Got that. Useless. It cannot turn the clock back, change decisions made or undo actions. Remorse however is good because it is in the spirit of “what now”. ie, I can’t turn the clock back, undo the affair and wipe out all the misery caused, but I can damn well make sure I don’t do this again to anyone, including myself. What has happened does matter, don’t ever tell a betrayed spouse that it doesn’t. But what matters more is what you do and where you go from here and now.

    I really hope that Arthur and his wife are so focused on reconciliation that you are not “ratted out”. And I hope that you and your husband work it out and that everybody’s peace of mind returns. There is far too much damage, pain and anger in this world already. Believe me I know.

    Good luck,
    from a betrayed wife (see we aren’t all bitter harpies, so cut yourself some slack maybe Mrs Arthur isn’t either).

    • Good to see that there are more than a few honest, mature and reasonable betrayeds — the nasty, bitter ones are fewer, but they tend to be louder in order to drown out the more balanced and honest ones. Thanks for the input. Kaitlyn I’m sure will read and respond through me.

    • This is from “Kaitlyn:”

      I saw your comment right away, but I waited to respond. I wanted to think about it since I knew I’d only get one shot at saying what I wanted to say right.

      First off, thank you for your words. I will never be able to adequately express what they mean. You are brave and considerate and that has not gone unnoticed.

      Also, no, I will never contact him again. I want him and his marriage to heal. I meant what I said about that. And, if your husband is still talking to his OW, he is a fool. As outrageously hypocritical as it is for me to say, I’d punch them both in the mouth for you.

      And no, guilt is not a healthy emotion, but it will be a long time, if ever, that I don’t feel it. I know wayward spouse blogs are littered with, “I’m not like this” and “I regret it” to the point is sounds like cheater rhetoric, but I mean it when I say I regret this with my whole being. I am not a cruel person, and to know I’ve been directly involved in someone else’s pain eats me alive. But, maybe I should have thought about that in November. Been an adult. I will never make this horrid mistake again.

      It took guts to write what you wrote. I hope Mrs Arthur is of your caliber. Not only for the obvious selfish reasons, but because, if she is, they will get through this, and I will be nothing but a bad dream.

      Thank you again.

  5. Dear sir:

    I found your blog because of the shattered person you refer above. I expected to find a bunch of cackling cheaters, boasting about their conquests and laughing at their spouses. Instead I found a thoughtful and helpful blog. I’ve just started reading it, and I’m very impressed with your helpful commentary, even if it is at times hard to read some hard truths you present. I think you present a fantastic resource for anyone who has experienced infidelity.

    But I have to wonder why Shatteredlife presented such an over the top and mean portrait of you and “kaitlyn”, the former cheater whose story you presented. You must be furious to be portrayed like this and so thoroughly insulted.

    What you do takes guts and I’m sure you are helping more people than you could possibly fathom. You must have a thick skin to deal with people like her and her followers. But I’m afraid they are typical in blog-world — bitter, mean and self-righteous betrayed spouses who refuse to put their big girl panties on and deal with reality. They are just horrid people and are unhelpful to everyone around them.

    Anyway, I wish you luck and keep writing.

    • I appreciate the kind words. I get emails like this frequently from Betrayed Spouses like you. It’s not an easy subject to deal with, and I’m glad that there are people out there like you who find it helpful. It’s why I’ve kept the blog going long after my marriage recovered from my foolish choices.

      As far as this woman and her blog, well, it’s so far beyond any reality or resemblance to my blog or Kaitlyn’s story in particular that it’s easy to dismiss. She isn’t accurate at all. Anybody that’s actually read Kaitlyn’s story, and her followup comments, and even the pinned blog entries of mine would realize that this woman is simply making things up. That she’s just lashing out at anyone available out of her own anger and misery.

      Honestly, I feel sorry for her. She seems seriously mentally unbalanced. A psycho. I’m quite sure she will be divorced within 2 years and of course will play the eternal victim and blame her husband. Rage is an easy way of avoiding responsibility for your life, your actions and choices, and avoid looking in the mirror to acknowledge your own role in a crappy marriage. The best defense is a good offense to people like her.

      They think I’m bothered by the blog entry? not in the least. Her and her bitchy circle of sycophants can say all they wish. It doesn’t deter me in the least. Her entry was in fact SO inaccurate that it made me laugh. I feel sorry for someone who needs to lash out at complete strangers in this way.

      But more than that, I feel sorry for her husband, and especially her children. To have to live with someone like that? It must simply be awful.

      For every “hater” I see, I get 50-75 email thank you notes, mostly from Betrayed Spouses. I tend to think I’m on the right track with the message I have here: Of mutual understanding, forgiveness, reconciliation and moving forward to a better marriage. For anyone to think that I’m a “cheater apologist” is simply absurd. They should view my email answers to most people, which often side with the betrayed in one situation or another.

      Again, people like her don’t bother me in the least. Kaitlyn laughed about it too. If someone is completely mischaracterizing you, and doesn’t know you in the least, it’s hard to be hurt. Really it is.

      I pity her and her circle. Really I do. But she’s right. My blog isn’t for her or people like her. They have no interest in saving their marriages or being honest about themselves. That’s fine. I don’t require anyone to read my blog. It’s a voluntary activity.

      I wish you good luck. You should start your blog and write your story. You may find it therapeutic.

      Don’t worry, I don’t judge all Betrayeds because of people like ShatteredLife. They are the minority. Loud, yes, but the minority, thank God. But I’m certainly not going to stoop to her level and respond to her. To what end? She is the architect of her own misery, not me. She won’t listen to anything I would have to say anyways. So be it. You can’t always save people from themselves and their own mistakes.

      • This was well said. I made the mistake of trying to engage her on her blog and was called a whore and criticized for “spreading my legs” (which I find to be a vile phrase AND is inaccurate since I was in an emotional affair.) Stupid of me to try to start a conversation with her. She is as bad as Nephila

        Thank you for providing a space where all parties in an affair are welcome, not everyone does

      • You don’t have to convince me how much of a jerk she is. It’s pretty apparent. I put no stock, therefore, in anything she has to say. Neither should you.

      • This is from “Kaitlyn”:

        Hello,

        I’m glad you found help here. I know I did. I think it would be difficult to walk the line between two sides of a very emotional issue, but I think Recovering WS does it with grace, understanding, and dignity.

        I was not going to comment on shattered. But, I read her whole blog and feel that I must. I am sick and sorry for what she is going through, as much as that would piss her off. But it’s true.

        And you know what? She and her friends are right, to a certain extent. I am a whore, a cheat, a skank (I can hear RWS sigh from here, but a spade is a spade). I knowingly had an inappropriate relationship with a married man not my husband. It was a horrid, childish, terrible mistake, but it was not an accident. I didn’t trip. I made a conscious decision, being aware of but not fully understanding the consequences. They couldn’t possibly think worse about me than I already do, though they are giving it the good old college try.

        But she is off about several things. I do *not* think Arthur’s wife is at fault for our affair any more than I think my husband is. We are at fault for our affair. I never thought their marriage was “complete shit.” I think we both felt ignored and not appreciated. This is not to excuse what we did. We should have been adults and worked with the people we promised to love.

        I also am not upset that he went back to her, in fact, I’m glad he did. We both needed to. I’m not angry or bitter that he left or ended the relationship. I wish we had done it on our own.

        What I miss, quite simply, is him. His friendship. We were friends before this turned wrong and then ugly. I said it in the post. I don’t miss the affair. I miss my friend.

        Also, they missed the mark when they think I wrote this so that people would feel sorry for me. That is also wrong. I don’t think anyone should feel sorry for me, I don’t deserve the sympathy. I wrote this to try to help. I could have stayed silent, and there are times I wish I would have, but if one WS reads this and gets out of an affair, I’ve done what I’ve set out to do. If one person who is contemplating an affair reads this and goes home to their spouse and says, “Hey, we have a problem, what can we do?” Then I’ve done what I wanted to do.

        I can never take back what I’ve done or right the wrongs committed to people who didn’t deserve it, but I can share my story, my pain, my guilt, in the hopes that it is read and my warning is heeded.

        I’m sorry for what someone like me did to someone like you. I hope you and your husband work it out. I wish you the best of luck.
        —————————-

        MY NOTE: No, I don’t agree you’re a skank or a whore. I think you’re human. Someone who made a tragic mistake and is very remorseful for it. In my book, you’re a far, far more mature and better person than “Shatteredlife”.

        I don’t have an issue with someone having scorn for people like you. What you (and I) did was a bad, bad thing.

        My problem with shattered and her bitchy circle of sycophants is the nastiness. The name-calling. Using an entire blog to slander a COMPLETE STRANGER, complete with profanity and koo-koo psycho-type language. And yeah to be completely inaccurate while doing it. On purpose. It shows a gutless person. A rude person. An immature person. A sad person.

        As you told me by email, I’d also like to send a sympathy card to her husband and children. I can’t imagine having to live with someone like her (I wouldn’t). If he doesn’t leave, it’s only because he is a loser and has no other options. Because life is way too short to live with someone like her, that’s for sure.

        I assure you, you are the superior person, Kaitlyn. At least you are honest about yourself. You have the ability to at least look in the mirror. It speaks to your character, just as Shattered’s speaks to hers.

  6. For Kaitlin –
    [quoting you] “I knowingly had an inappropriate relationship with a married man not my husband. It was a horrid, childish, terrible mistake, but it was not an accident. I didn’t trip. I made a conscious decision, being aware of but not fully understanding the consequences.”

    And that’s it in a nutshell. Being aware of but not fully understanding – maybe it comes down to not fully appreciating – the consequences. Most humans do this in a multitude of situations, affairs just being one that includes betrayal and lies. I’m a big advocate of coming clean & being honest with your spouse & don’t often have a lot of patience with those who are unable or unwilling to do that. As are most betrayed spouses. But I think it’s important to make the distinction that I take that stand because dishonesty is not a friend to marriage, OR happiness. Any kind of dishonesty. It’s not just keeping secrets about things you’ve done that I believe can wreck your marriage. But that you can’t communicate your needs, how important they are to you, and how they aren’t being met without being totally honest. And as much I appreciate the unmet needs aspect of cheating, I also appreciate the fact that most betrayed spouses who weren’t meeting critical needs weren’t having theirs met either. One common thread I’ve found through therapy and research is that you have to put in what you want to take out. To quote Dr. Harley: your “love bank” needs consistent deposits on both sides, or your marriage will suffer.

    And for what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re that nasty word OW are generally referred to as on that and other assorted BS blogs. I think of my husband’s OW in those terms, simply because it makes me feel better to do that. That’s how I “vent” to myself – not to her, and not others in similar situations. Mostly you are all just people who have shown poor judgment and are now suffering the consequences. How you proceed after a poor decision is SO much more important than where you were and how you thought when you made it. Isn’t that what we teach our kids? Isn’t that what we all know to be the true and unvarnished “right thing to do”? It’s hard. It’s risky. I would never downplay or understate the risks. I just say that things can never change, you can never have the things you want until you’re willing to take the risk.

    • From “Kaitlyn:

      It’s worth quite a lot, actually, that you don’t think that. Worth even more that you said it.

      I decided when I started writing this that I’m going to be totally honest in all things I post here. If I can’t be honest on the faceless internet, then I have bigger problems at hand. Plus, if I’m lying here, I’m not helping anyone. Additionally, I am unable to get help.

      That said, I don’t know if I’m going to tell him or not, which is more, I suppose, than the flat no I was thinking the day I wrote the original blog. I do know I’m not going to until I can tell him why. I still don’t have an answer to that. Maybe there will never be a clear answer. If I have the undeserved opportunity to tell him on my own terms, I am going to tell him this devastating news with a reason and a plan. I need help to get both of those things.

      And, I also hesitate at this point, not only for my own selfish reasons, but I see little to be gained in breaking him when the reason I would be doing it now is to alleviate my own guilt. Maybe that isn’t the best approach, but it’s mine. What I am doing is trying to make corrections in myself to assure this never happens again. Ever.

      Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you think. It helps. It was listened to. I’m sorry, for what it’s worth, for what you went through. I wish you lots of luck, and I hope you are working it out. And, you are also right that appreciated is the better word.

      • Thank you for the kind words. We are indeed working it out, and it’s going well. I have my bad days still – D-day was June 2nd – but they are much fewer and farther between, and my husband is pretty supportive. Professional help was a big part of it too. The guy we see is sharp & we both respect him a lot – which is huge. I still have unresolved anger issues with him. There are times when I fantasize about bouncing one of his clunky man shoes off his forehead. Sometimes just the fantasy keeps me sane. I didn’t deserve what I got, but I have to remind myself it wasn’t about me. Just like you probably weren’t doing what you did to teach your husband some kind of lesson, but more likely were grabbing onto something that made you feel good about you for a while. Even though in “big picture” terms, it has ended up making you feel so much worse.

        One thing I would like for you to take with you from me – someone who has been walking a mile in those shoes – Rick Reynolds at affair recovery.com talks a lot about honesty being counterproductive to short term stability in a marriage, but essential to long term stability. In other words, you open up & conflict ensues. But it’s working through those conflicts that draws you closer together & builds intimacy – strengthens your bond. It’s coming together and working through a crisis. I don’t think anyone should do it without professional help, just because the fact that one of you had an affair is a good indication that you aren’t communicating well. But the important thing is that the reason for doing it is not so much about getting a guilty secret off your chest. It’s a step toward your partner, even though it’s going to initially cause them to step back.

        There’s an authenticity to our marriage now that was never really there before. I can see how we weren’t really talking & listening to each other before, how selfish we both were, how unwilling to give up even an inch to the other out of fear that we’d lose a mile. And it took the crisis of me almost losing him for me to see it, and for him, it was seeing the trauma he had caused, and realizing what he had almost thrown away. It’s hard to recover from what he did, but when I think of the lessons we have learned, and how much we value what we have and how grateful we are to have each other, a future together is exciting to contemplate, and that’s something I couldn’t have said a year ago.

  7. Kaitlyn,
    First let me say that you are very brave to post this. It’s a great first step in your recovery. I know how you feel; I was in your shoes about 9 months ago, although my details are a little different. I’m also a married “other woman.” I encourage you to sit with your sadness, guilt, and frustration, and figure out what it is trying to show you. This is a huge wake up call that you have been ignoring emotions, behavioral patterns, or you have unexpressed deep seeded needs. See it as an opportunity to grow – faster and moreso – than ever before. You DEFINITELY need help with this. Please, please get therapy. Try several therapists on until you find one who “gets” you. Then, tell that person your story, holding nothing back. Expose your shame and it will dissolve, eventually. Letting yourself feel the pain is actually the fastest way to get rid of it. It does get better, but if you truly want to become a better person, you will actually become a different person, which takes tons and tons of emotional work. But you can do it. This happened to you because you are actually a very strong person, and subtle signs that you were unhappy and needed to make changes in your life were not coming through to you. It took something hugely painful to wake you up, so you can survive this. You are strong. I’m cheering for you from afar.

    • From “Kaitlyn”:

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes I am in therapy. It’s the same therapist that saw me after my brother died. I have a lot of work to do, but this is a great start. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude by the responses here, even the critical ones. Thanks for the cheers. 🙂

  8. I am 3 months out from finding out about my husband’s emotional possibly physical affair. I am gutted. She’s a subordinate of his with whom he continues to work, he says it ended 6 months ago. So I endured 12+ months of extreme lying. He lied to me, gaslighted me, booked marriage counseling and lied there, around the time of the break up, he claimed to have a new outlook on our marriage and swore that everything he told me was true and transparent and clear. Except about the affair. She (married with a bunch of kids) sent a drunken text one saturday night that really blew the lid off their secret. While I had suspected this about them since it started, now I really dug into emails and had everything confirmed. This was not her first rodeo by any stretch. She cheated on her first husband to marry the current one, and has now cheated on him. Not a catch by any definition. Her work emails to him continued to contain unprofessional undertones. H said he would take of it. He didn’t, claimed he was afraid of a lawsuit. Oddly not worried about divorce lawyers. Stupidly she had emailed my h using her husband’s acct once, so I sent him a brief note stating that he should be aware of the behavior. Surprise it stopped. I’ve met her once – she said hello but there was hate in that face, and I do not know her spouse. I’m pretty sure she intercepted the email I sent him, she responded to me. Id love nothing more than to save my marriage, but as long as they work together, it’s impossible. My teenagers found out through snooping and they are disgusted with him. The happiness he found through an affair? None. I have no idea what my future holds, I’m pessimistic today. He has brought down a 27 year relationship with me, he had to fess up to his mother and sister, his friends are grossed out, and his son calls him a f-g p-y to his face. Had I shown him the outcome with a crystal ball 12 months ago, would it have made a difference? Probably not. Find happiness within yourself, then through your spouse if possible, not through cheating. Has anyone ever had a happily ever after with an affair, complete with no aftermath and collateral damage? No. Kaitlyn, Im sure none of this is news to you. Your husband will know, he may already sense it and is ignoring his gut and instincts. I certainly did, and when I did the timeline, my suspicions started right when the affair started. Look deep and live an honest marriage – the pain and discomfort you’re feeling are nothing compared to what you’ve caused. Thanks for sharing your side, it’s very raw, honest and insightful.

  9. Hi Kaitlyn,

    I first want to thank you for openly and honestly sharing your story here. I’m in the position of your husband in that my wife had an EA with a coworker nearly a year ago. I found out about it when I discovered inappropriate texts between them and monitored it for several weeks to find out the extent before confronting her about it. In searching the internet I have found that it’s extremely rare to see the person that had the affair express his/her feelings and experiences in the way you have. In fact, in working through this with my wife, much of what you have said matches what my wife told me about her affair.

    In a prior post you mentioned that you didn’t want to tell your husband about the affair until you can at least tell him why. After nearly a year, MC, and endless hours of talking about it, my wife still can’t really pinpoint why she did it. “Curiosity” was the best explanation she’s had so far. Hopefully you’ll have better luck at getting to the bottom of it in therapy, but I wouldn’t let that be your deciding factor on if you tell him.

    As the betrayed husband, I can honestly say that if my wife would have walked away from the affair, that it was truly emotional only, that she had reinvested that energy into improving our marriage, and I had never found out about it, I would have rather never known. We both felt that we had a very good marriage before all this and always were amazed when other friends would have issues or get divorced. We’re still working through things and I have my ups and downs, but there really is some truth to ignorance being bliss. I’m still haunted by the thoughts of it and will never know for sure that I have the whole truth. Trust is still very difficult with her.

    That said, if you think there is a good chance that he’ll find out or if you can’t trust yourself to completely stay away from the OM, I recommend that you tell your husband. And when you do tell him, tell him everything the first time. Don’t think that downplaying it or omitting details will make it any better. You’ve already hurt him as much as you can, so each time a new detail comes out he’ll be right back to that maximum level of hurt, so it’s best to get that out of the way right up front. And trust me, he’ll be looking for as many details as he can and even though you deleted the evidence, nothing is ever fully deleted from the internet. Also, he could always contact the OM’s wife and get her side of the story. So be honest and complete in your story if you do decide to tell him.

    Lastly, you had some thoughts about why his wife didn’t tell your husband. I didn’t tell the OM’s wife either. My reasoning was twofold. The first reason was that I personally wished I never knew (assuming it would have ended before becoming physical) and I didn’t want to put this stranger through the same pain. Also he has two kids and the thought of the affect it might have on their young lives weighed in on it too. While I don’t think highly of this OM, I don’t hate him either. It was my wife that betrayed me. He’s a stranger to me and owes me nothing. But I will say that like yourself, he knows that I know and I think it’s better that he has to live with the guilt and the fear that one day he may walk in the door and have to face up to what he’s done to his wife and family. And if I ever find out that anything more is going on between them, even a single text message, I will leave my wife and let everyone including his wife know what’s happened. So in that way, I guess it is an “ace in the hole” as you said. Although I’ll really get nothing out of it and still lose in the end.

    Again, I do appreciate you posting your story here as it helps me understanding how these things happen, which is something I’ve struggled with since finding out. The fact that you feel remorse and guilt is a good sign and if you can let go of your feelings for this other man and focus on your marriage, I wish you the best in moving on with a happy and fulfilling marriage.

  10. I just wanted to say thank you so much for this site. I am a WS and I am in a tailspin of guilt, remorse and hopelessness. I related to so much of this story – obviously many of the details are different. The main one being that my husband found out and in fact did tell the man’s wife. I deeply regret what I have done but I am not sure my husband can forgive me.
    I feel so alone – I have cut off contact with the man and in fact all my friends and to a lesser extent my family. I am trying to show my husband that I am focused on him. I don’t think he can see past the betrayal and certainly he cannot forgive me.

    The hardest part is I can’t forgive myself or indeed I can’t see how I can stop being all consumed by guilt and sadness. I cry every day – I cry for what I had and what I have thrown away.

    I know so many betrayed spouses feel incredible hurt and anger for what they have been put through. Rightly so. But it’s very hard to find anyone who understands what the WS is going through. It’s a level of guilt I had never thought possible – and I wish to God I had heard Kaitlyn’s story before I had stepped outside of my marriage because I tell you if I had really really stopped to think about the pain, devastation and impact of what I was doing I would not have done it.
    I wish I had been a better person – I wish I had made better choices in my life. It just seemed unreal while it was happening and I managed to block out the feelings of guilt.
    I think there are “good people” who have affairs (as well as bad people – who are deliberately deceiving and hurting and seeking thrills). Kaitlyn is one, RWS is one – and I am one. We all made a bad mistake and no punishment that anyone can mete out will compare to the punishment we give ourselves every day.

    • Well-said. Some would like to treat affairs, and people like us, as if they are all the same. But they aren’t and we aren’t. Ignore the irrational, childish rants on some blogs. These are sad, frustrated people who will use you as a convenient target. And in fact, the roots of their spouses’ affairs to me are apparent given how they talk to their spouses, let alone strangers. This is a safe place. I’m not here to be a cheater apologist. Far from it. But I try and keep it civil and fair, if nothing else.

    • I always think there are little windows of opportunity for healing & recovery after D-day, and you have to recognize and make the most of them. My WS and I kind of got lucky in a lot of ways; things just seemed to happen in the right sequence to give us the best possible chance of saving our marriage. We got into marriage counseling with a brilliant, no-nonsense therapist we both liked & respected within a week of D-day, and he clued us in to a lot of common early mistakes/pitfalls we should avoid before the shock on both sides had worn off. We were both a wreck at first. Him with the kind of guilt & shame you’re describing, and me, feeling gutted, and like I’d just survived a bombing – all panic & pain. Our therapist was able to explain what each of us was going through to the other, and I can’t tell you how much that helped with building empathy and opening up the lines of communication between us. And he gave us tools and techniques to help keep them open. You need to get that kind of help asap. Don’t try to do this without it. You are both struggling through a tremendous amount of emotional stress – this is PTSD on both sides – and you need to help each other through it, but it’s extremely hard to help someone else through an emotional crisis when you are in one yourself.

  11. This is Kaitlyn’s Update — April 2004:

    I am 42 days post D-Day, and not even my own D-day, but his. I still have not had one. I still have not spoken a word of this to my husband, family, or friends. The only people currently in my life that know of the atrocity I’ve committed are my therapist and RWS.

    I am working, still, for finding an answer for why. Why did I betray the one person I promised before God not to, and it’s not an easy answer. I don’t think there is one reason that stands out. I think it’s a mix of character flaws, timing, and a person that wanted me. That listened. A perfect storm if you will.

    If you had asked me in September, hell, if you had asked me November 15th if I was capable if this, if I could do this, I would have looked you in the eye and said no. And I wouldn’t have been lying. I honestly thought I never would. But, clearly, I was wrong.

    A very wise betrayed spouse said in a comment on my story that guilt is a useless emotion. And she’s right. Similar to grief, I think affairs have stages. I had a situation last week that snapped me out of the guilt phase. For a month, I was so consumed by guilt and pain, I couldn’t focus on any of the whys. I couldn’t see past myself or the devastation of his family to see to the root cause, but that had changed.

    I still feel guilty. I still feel pain. As I should. I deserve it, if not more. I know this wasn’t a physical affair. Distance and time kept that from occurring. But I don’t think it matters simply because I would have if I could have. So, it makes no difference to me. It is the same.

    The predominant feeling is determination with anger a close second. I’m determined to figure out what happened and how to prevent it again. And I’m angry. Mostly with myself for being so stupid and selfish, but I’m also angry with Arthur and my husband. I couldn’t tell you why. Well I can, but they are not sane, rational reasons. Knowing that, however, isn’t alleviating my feelings. Maybe it’s my inner self trying to deflect, I don’t know.

    What I do know is I come home to my husband and daughter and know I can never do this to them again. Ever. I’m not afraid of doing this again soon, but if I don’t fix what the problem is, what will happen in 10 years, 15?

    So, my update is really a non update. But I’m actively working on it, rather than spinning my wheels in guilt. I still miss him, sometimes so badly I can’t breathe, but it’s getting better day by day. I have not reached out to him, except for the once I mentioned in my original post, and I never will. Even if I didn’t have a D-day on the line. Even if I was single. Simply because he asked me not to. And I want him to be happy. I want to be happy again.

    So, back to the shrink I go on Wednesday. I think I’ve been unhappy for a long time, but I didn’t realize it. Or realize the extent. I have a lot riding on my next move, and I can’t screw it up again.

    I’m thankful for having a place here to tell my story. I’m thankful I can give insight to those that need it. I thought, writing my first interview, that I’d be helping the waywards, but I’m glad I can help the Betrayeds as well. I hope I can help more along the way.

  12. Is there a way to communicate with this woman directly? I am in the midst of a very similar situation and thought we might be helpful to one another.

  13. Dear Kaitlyn:

    I did not read all the responses so I apologize if I may be repeating advice from others.

    You sound as if you love your husband and want things to work.

    But have you asked yourself why?

    You appear to contradict yourself when you say you loved the other man and the first thing you thought of in the morning and night was him.

    I am writing because you sound very similar to the OW in my spouses affair.

    He broke it off immediately on day in a similar way to your OM.

    She however did as you did and contacted him again, to say she was sorry.

    Three years later she was still contacting him. He never replied. He immediately showed me the emails.

    In them, she admitted that she contacted him a week after dday because she was hoping he would rekindle. He was not interested, but she was.

    Your words sound similar to her words in the emails she wrote him as much as three years after dday.

    I never contacted her spouse. I did not want him to hurt the way I did.

    Sadly, other people had seen them together and eventually one of her husband’s friends ran into one of my friends, who knew of the affair, and with the affair now confirmed and no longer just a suspicion the friend told the OW’s husband.

    Sadly her husband contacted me, and I felt obliged to tell him the truth. I had read in an affair book that it is in part the “conspiracy of silence” that enable affairs to flourish. I also disliked the fact that my husband had become a liar to me and honesty is a thing with me now.

    Also I was hoping him knowing would end her attempt to contact my husband.

    His wife was continuing to deny the affair to him, even after he was given very solid evidence, and tried to make excuses to minimize the affair and and I knew how painful that was when I knew and my husband briefly tried to deny it.

    In the end they broke up. When I talked to the OW’s husband later, he said it was the denials that hurt him more than the affair.

    The affair was very painful but knowing that she covered up and lied for three years, all the while thinking of her affair partner, and occasionally contacting him was the real deal breaker for her husband, according to what he told me.

    As a betrayed spouse I can understand that logic. I know had my husband continued to look me in the eye and lie to me after the affair was discovered, that would have been a deal breaker.

    Worse, if I found out he was continuing to contact the OW, it would have been as if he had another affair after swearing the OW meant nothing to him, and promising to never have another affair.

    If that had happened I would have filed for divorce ASAP.

    So, my advice to you is to tell your husband, before someone else does.

    His wife has likely told supportive friends. That is how gossip gets around. After learning of my husbands affair, I did not tell my family, but I was so devastated that I needed the support of good friends, and I told many of them of the affair and with whom.

    That is how it got back to the OW’s husband.

    Please tell your husband the truth before someone else tells him. It will still hurt him, but it will hurt a lot more if it comes from a stranger.

    Lastly, it makes me sad to see people here commenting that they can understand why a wife or husband cheated, based on angry comments made by the betrayed spouse.

    Bs’s have PTSD and those comments are so unfair. Of course the BS are being triggered by reading this blog.

    Also, it seems to show that perhaps the betrayer wants to demonize the OPs spouse and perhaps their own, rather than accepting responsibility for cheating on their own 100 percent.

    My marriage is now better than ever. My husband admits, it was just sex for him, and the women pushed for the sexual aspect of the relationship, and he wanted to get some on the side like so many other men.

    He said it was a sense of entitlement. He now regrets it, and really is a much better husband now than the one I had prior.

    So, the reality is that it’s not fair to blame the BS, and to use as a springboard for the logic of the blame to be the angry words they spout in response to triggers.

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