The key to my heart: A tale of forgiveness

It is a New Year, a new beginning, a fresh start. How will you write this chapter of your life? You have 365 pages, and today is day 1. What have you done to move your story forward, to propel yourself toward happiness? Are you stuck? Do you feel lost? Or are you in a place of contentment? Do you feel you are settling for what you have, and if so, do you have the courage to reach out and grab that thing that eludes you? Is this your year? Is this the year it finally comes together? Are you ready for the wonderful things that are coming your way? I hope so 🙂

As 2012 drew to a close, and with the golden rays of 2013 on the horizon, I offered my husband a gift. Not only was it a gift I had never given him, it was a gift I have never given anyone. I forgave him. I’d made the choice to forgive him some time ago, but wanted to tell him in a way that was meaningful to me. At first I thought I wanted fanfare and streamers, fireworks and hoopla. But as it drew closer, I just wanted something quiet, something personal, something warm.

I sat down to write my husband a letter this week. I wanted the letter to represent the emotional journey that I have been on over these past 2 years and 9 months (and let’s not forget the extra 15 days tacked on there either, it has been a long road). I wanted to take him on the journey with me, or at least the Coles Notes version, transport him briefly through the experiences that I have had in healing, and the ways in which he has helped me to heal. I wanted to thank him for all that he has done, for being a good man and for always putting my need for support above his need for shelter, for listening, for answering, for sitting in the shit with me (and this blog documents that there has been a lot of shit). I wanted to share my appreciation for all that he has done in this journey, and to convey to him that he has been my hero. I sat down, and slowly started to write, and when I was done, I had the following letter, which I am publishing for you all to read, which was presented to him last night.

One thousand and twenty days ago, you held my heart in your hands and crushed it, slowly suffocating the life out of me. As I sat there across from you on the sofa, trying to comfort you because you were crying, you pushed me away, and told me that you needed to tell me something. You told me that I deserve to live my life with full knowledge and awareness, and that I hadn’t been doing that. You then proceeded to tell me that my deepest fears were true, and that you were in a relationship with another woman, and had been for some time. As my stomach hit the floor and the room started to spin, you told me that she was pregnant with your baby. The floor fell from beneath my feet, and I stood paralyzed on what was left of the small bit of earth that I was perched upon.

The man I thought I knew stood before me, but he was gone. His familiar gaze now gave way to empty eyes that stood emotionless in front of me. I allowed the words to penetrate, but I could not respond. I felt completely paralyzed. I just sat there and listened to you, and for the first time in my life, I wasn’t sure whether I was real or not, whether I was in a dream, or whether I had just died. The truth is, a huge part of me died that day, and that part was the part I call “us”. “We” were no more. We were just “you” and “me”, because the safety and sanctuary that was “us” had just been violated and torn apart. It lay there, broken, hardly recognizable, and the only thing I wanted was to put it back together again. The only thing I wanted was for you to tell me that you were kidding, that it was some prank, to shake me awake. I wasn’t asleep, and you weren’t kidding, and this was to become my new reality.

When I awoke the next morning, for a fraction of a moment, I was certain I had dreamt it, and felt a lightness I can’t explain. It was like nirvana, but then I remembered that you were not with me in bed, and it had not been a dream, and that moment of serenity imploded. I woke up to the broken reality that would become my new “normal”. “My husband cheated on me with another woman, and she is having his baby”. The words tasted bitter in my mouth, but they would become my new mantra, repeated daily in my head for months and months and months, and years. I heard it in songs, I saw it on TV, reminders were everywhere. It was a new reality I had not invited, but which I was now forced to contend with. The phrase “life isn’t fair” suddenly had a personal meaning. I wasn’t sure what I had done in my life to deserve it. Was it karma paying me back for some horrible misdeed? Was I simply a cosmic collateral damage in the universe? Was I a bad wife? Had I gained to much weight? Was I no longer attractive? Had I “lost it”, and by “it”, I mean everything you used to find of value in me? Why was she chosen? Why was she better than me? Why did you pick her? Why had you done this to me? Why was I now having to pay the price for your bad decisions? Was I unlovable? Was I unworthy of being loved the way I needed to be?

As I spent my days dragging along the floor behind me a drawstring bag, carrying what was left of my self-esteem, I was inundated with hurtful emails from the woman who claimed to be so caring and understanding, so warm and personable. She took what remained of my self esteem, and held it tightly in a vice grip, dipping each piece of what remained into the acid that came through her words. Her words confirming my deepest fears: “I am ugly to him, I am fat to him, he laughs at me, he chose her, he is only staying for the kids, he never loved me…” She hand-plucked each one with deft precision. It’s as if she had lived inside my head, and knew exactly which buttons to push, and she pushed them with a satisfying and demonic enjoyment, her every move designed to wedge the knife deeper into the still bleeding wound. And when it would seem that she hadn’t done enough, she went in for the kill: She told me that due to words that I had spoken, due to action I had taken, that she had made the decision to keep the baby. She took the worst possible outcome (having the baby), and made it the result of something *I* had done, as if it was decided by me. No, instead it was to be my punishment for having fought for my marriage. I either lose my husband to her, or I keep my husband, whose love I don’t even trust anymore, he gains a daughter, and I gain a 22-year child support sentence. It was the ultimate lose-lose, and I felt like she held all the cards. I was broken, and death seemed more palatable.

Although I had my suspicions that something was wrong, I trusted you, and felt you would tell me if anything was really wrong. When you assured me everything was fine, I allowed your words to quench the fears I had, and the slate was wiped clean each time. The trust I had in you far overcame any fears, and I knew I could just trust, and I did just that.

I never snooped in your emails, and I never checked on your phone calls. I didn’t monitor your texts, and I didn’t have you followed. I had no reason to doubt what you were telling me. I didn’t have to investigate anything on my own, because you summoned the courage to tell me, and for that I am thankful. Although you do say that you were pressured to tell me, and had no intention of ever telling me, and were only doing so out of duress, I can tell you that I would have fared far worse had I learned it from her, so I thank you for telling me quietly, in the privacy of our own home, far away from her evil. Thank you for not letting me find out any other way. Thank you for being a man, and telling me to my face, despite the shame that such a moment brought to you. It is a shame that I can’t even imagine, and something that I would not have had the strength to do, had the situation been reversed. Thank you for being strong enough to do the right thing.

In the weeks that followed, you attended marital counseling with me. You attended regular weekly sessions, and faced head-on the shameful situation of having your mistakes placed on the table for open commentary and evaluation. You watched me cry and break down, witnessing firsthand the carnage that you created in the one you professed to love and protect. But you kept coming, and didn’t complain. You didn’t back down, you didn’t refuse, and you didn’t stop.

You took the time to look deep inside of yourself and your situation at the time, with the guidance of our counselor with a desire to learn what had led you there. Thank you for seeing the possibility of there having been a lack of something within you, something broken, something that needed mending. Although I do own my share of any marital breakdown that resulted in your inability to feel that you could come to me with your feelings, I also understand that your decision to have an affair was yours alone, and wasn’t something you did as a result of me, or our marriage. You had plenty of healthier alternatives to deal with your situation, but made a bad choice. I don’t think it makes you a bad person, and I don’t define you by it. Thank you for trying to find what it was within you that enabled this situation, no matter how painful, and for having the strength to examine it. Thank you for being strong enough.

You listened to me gripe and complain incessantly. You watched me hurt, and you listened to me ask the same questions over and over again. You answered them honestly, whenever there was an answer, and struggled to give me comfort, even in times when there wasn’t an answer to give. You placed all of your cards face up on the table, and gave me the truth at the speed at which I needed to hear it, not at the speed at which you were willing to face it. You followed my lead and proceeded at my pace, even when it was uncomfortable. Thank you.

You allowed me to start writing a blog to express my feelings, in the hopes that publically sharing it, that I might gain support from objective others, and also possibly help others in the process. You didn’t stop me from making public our struggle, and I agreed to protect our anonymity. Writing the blog has been a great triumph for me, is something that I enjoy, and which has brought me a great deal of support. It has also helped others. Thank you for giving it your support, and for being a faithful reader, and my first subscriber.

You never made it my fault. You didn’t blame me, or equate any of my inadequacies with your choice. You didn’t deprive me of support, and never denied me the opportunity to talk about it when I needed to. The door was always open, and you always made room for me, and you didn’t shut the door on me, or tell me I was raising “the affair” too often, was asking too many questions, or was being “unreasonable”. You tolerated my teasing and rubbing your nose in it, when I felt I needed some “payback”, and you took it without anger or disdain. Thank you for not retaliating and allowing me this momentary feeling of satisfaction. I sometimes needed it.

You allowed me to tell certain friends about the affair, and gain support from them, even though them knowing was embarrassing to you, and shone a light on your shame. You put my need for support above your need for secrecy, and I thank you.

You willingly attended the “Healing from Affairs” weekend with Anne and Brian, and never once questioned the purpose or need, nor the cost. You made the arrangements, attended, were a full and willing participant, and enjoyed a weekend that brought us closer together and for which I will be forever grateful.

You allowed me to attend the “Take your life back” seminar with Anne and Brian last month in November, taking charge of the kids to allow me to experience a weekend with other betrayed spouses, and the healing that comes from that. You didn’t stop me, you didn’t suggest against it, and you made it easy for me to attend without guilt. Thank you for that support, and for that gift. It, combined with the previous seminar, the learning and the introspection has helped to bring me to the place I am today in my healing, coupled with your support and care. Thank you.

Thank you for helping me to heal, and for acting as my healer in this journey, taking on the weight of my load when I didn’t think I could do it anymore, despite also having your own load to carry. Thank your for your patience, and for never asking me to “move on”, or “get over it already”. You accepted the repercussions of your actions as a burden you were willing to bear as a result of your actions, and you allowed me to do, say, or feel whatever was necessary, as a result, without making me feel stifled, or stupid, or judged. Thank you.

Throughout this journey, you have proven to be my hero. You have tackled situations that I don’t feel that I would have had the opportunity to tackle if I had been the one who had the affair. You have graciously stepped into the shameful places you needed to go. I know that I would not have had the ability to tolerate the constant nose-rubbing, the shame, the embarrassment and the constant exposure of my errors. You did, and for that, I recognize you as the pivotal reason for my healing, and the biggest force, outside of myself, that allowed me to heal in the way that I have.

I now have greater insight into how your affair came to be, and I no longer wish to hold it over your head, or to make you feel remorseful, or guilty. I know that you are remorseful, and I know that this has been your life’s biggest tragedy. It has been mine as well. Instead, I want to help heal you also, and move forward from this tragedy together.

When we first sat with our marital therapist, at our first marital therapy appointment, he told me that the end goal of affair recovery was to seek and grant forgiveness, and that forgiveness could only ever be considered once I felt as though you had stood in my shoes. I remember feeling such torment at the idea that I was to be expected to forgive you. “Forgiveness” was not the F-word that I had in mind, and wasn’t something I was prepared to consider. Last spring, at the end of the seminar with Anne and Brian, you were asked to write a letter, asking for forgiveness. I appreciated the letter, its heartfelt contents, and your genuine request for forgiveness, but I simply couldn’t grant it. I felt badly, like I was expected to. I wanted to, but simply couldn’t. I loved that weekend, and the feeling of togetherness that it helped to reinforce, and I did not want to forgive you simply because you had asked me to, or to comply with the programming of a seminar.

In the weeks that followed, I didn’t want to forgive you simply because I was running on a “post-seminar high” or trapped within the memories of that weekend. Instead, I hoped that the moment that I offered you forgiveness would be more genuine, and coming more from inside of me, not because you were asking, and not because you were programmed to request it. It needed to be real, and it needed to be heartfelt and pure, and it needed to come from me.

I was never ready to forgive you because of what I thought “forgiveness” meant. I always thought that forgiveness was the act of ‘excusing’ someone for what they had done. I thought that it meant ‘condoning’ someone’s actions, and finding something ‘acceptable’ in those actions. I thought that it meant ‘pardoning’ them from their responsibility, and telling them that what they had done was “alright”. I could never come to a place where I believed any of that to be true, and I felt that to ask me to forgive was to deny me my right to be angry, to feel betrayed and to claim that someone had wronged me. I thought that forgiving meant that I could no longer claim to have been betrayed, or own that, and that it took the value of what I was feeling away. I owned those feelings and I didn’t want to lose them. They were the expression of my broken heart, and they weren’t ‘wrong”, they weren’t ‘pardonable’, and they certainly weren’t ‘acceptable’. In speaking with other betrayed spouses, and those who have been hurt in other ways, I learned to define my own meaning of forgiveness, and this one felt better. It was to be the definition that I would then strive towards.

Forgiveness, as I now see it, is the act of letting go of the “better than” attitude that I was able to hold over your head because you had had the affair, and I had not. It was the decision to not see myself as a “better spouse” and to let go of the comparison. Being a spouse isn’t a contest to be won, and we aren’t on opposing teams. Forgiveness is the conscious choice to no longer hold your actions over your head, and to no longer engage in behavior that accentuates your shame, or which holds your actions under a microscope with the intention of helping me to feel better at your expense. Forgiveness is the choice to let go of the victim mentality, and to no longer be defined by it. Forgiveness is making the choice to see that you were a man who made a series of bad decisions, but not to see you as a “bad man”.

1020 days ago you broke my heart when you disclosed that you’d been having an affair. 2 years and 9 months, and 14 days ago, my life changed completely, and my reality was irreparably altered. These 145 weeks, these 24,480 hours, these 1,468,000 minutes, these 88,128,000 seconds have been the most painful, but also the most transformative of my life.

I do not condone what you did. I do not accept what you did. I do not pardon what you did. We both know that if you should find yourself on this path in the future, that the outcome will look very different from this. But, I trust with every fiber in my being that we won’t find ourselves in this place again. I trust that you will talk with me about issues which render us vulnerable, and that we will work towards fortifying our relationship and making the necessary steps towards keeping our union safe from any outside threats. I trust that we will actively work at strengthening our marriage, and no longer fall to the path of least resistance, the easy-way, the “comfortable way”, and I agree to work outside of my comfort zone and work at the ways that I can be a better spouse to you, going forward.

And so this New Years, 1020 days after you broke my heart, I find it mended. It will always hold the scars, but you have helped me heal in a way I didn’t think would be possible 1020 days ago. I thank you for being my hero in this, and I would like to offer you my forgiveness.

To honour this step, I wanted to offer you something as a symbol of forgiveness, so that you could carry something with you as a reminder of our story, and where we are. I tried for weeks to determine what that would be, but then realized that it was too personal a choice, and you needed to be the one to make it. I will let you decide what you would like that to be, if anything at all. For me, I purchased a Pandora charm for my bracelet: a heart shaped lock with a small golden key. This is highly personal for me, and symbolic of where we stand because 1020 days after our tragedy began, you once again hold the key to my heart. I love you.

Welcome to my new beginning.

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  1. I’m in tears reading this. I envy you and your path to forgiveness. I know it hasn’t been easy but it sounds like your husband was wonderful in helping you to heal. It will be 2 years for me on January 29th. That day I discovered my husbands affair (he didn’t tell me) and I found out about the OC. The OC was already 3 months old. For the first few months he was supportive and helpful but as time passed he would just get more impatient with me and just started leaving the room when I would break down. It’s gotten worse, he’s resenting me for not healing faster and shows me little to no affection anymore. No reassurance of his love, nothing. My heart is breaking like it did on DDay. He says he loves me but I’ve been trying to save this marriage by myself. He can’t face the humilation and hurt he’s caused so many people. He shuts down and retreats. Anyways, enough of my sob story! I wish you both the best for the New Year. You both are truely an inspiration to so many hurting couples.

  2. I gave my husband a similar letter on Christmas day. I personally have found it difficult to stick to the words in my letter. When I get angry even for a moment it’s like all the bad stuff comes rushing back in. Infidelity in a marriage is so hard to live with.

  3. You forgive him by rehashing the whole thing????
    You think you are lauding him for his efforts.Reading between the lines its all about the pain he has caused.

    This letter looks more like something addressed to the other woman.


    • Wow. Thank you for reading something so personal and then tearing it apart. Much appreciated. I’m not going to even bother replying or justifying the why. It was a personal choice and maybe should have remained that way. Don’t bother replying. Don’t bother reading.

    • Should she have just pretended that she didn’t experience all the things she has experienced over the past two plus years and how it all impacted her???

    • My husband read this poorly-intended reply, and had the following comments to me today by email. All that matters is that *he* got, and appreciated the moment.

      “I would think there may be many people reading this post that aren’t ever thinking about forgiving, nor would ever consider it as an option. There are many hurt souls who have spouses or partners never interested in supporting them. Your post is well worded and is excellent, but no one will ever understand your pain, your grief, and the support that you received in the way that you have experienced it.

      I think about your letter every day. I have saved it to a file on my iPhone so that I can read it frequently.

      I think about our situation and about what I have done three years ago at least every hour (unless my mind is immersed in work). I am happy that you are finding growth, peace, and new perspectives on the situation. I am glad that your heart is mending. I love you very much and you are very special to me in many many ways. I consider myself lucky to have you as a wife and a friend.

      I find that as we move away in time from the situation, I reflect on it in new ways. I am increasingly disappointed with my actions. As I gain insight, maturity, and emotional intelligence, which I think I was severely lacking, I am increasingly shocked at the impact of my actions on you. These past three years have allowed tremendous growth for me in order to cope with the situation.

      I am beginning to believe that as I am seeing you come to a better emotional place than you were in the past, I am starting to look at myself more critically. I think that I was so worried about you that I did not take the time to look at me. I want you to know that I am very disappointed in myself. As per your letter, I may have done a lot to support you, I feel that I should still do more. I’m not sure what it is yet. But I will do more for you and for us.

      I love you, and thank you for your wonderful letter as it gives me strength”

  4. Thank you so much for putting your experience out there. I know it is hard to tell anyone if something is wrong in your marriage. It has been 8 months for me since I have found out about my husband’s infidelity. So far he has been there for me. He is the one that has initiated us going to therapy. I do love him with everything I have. Little by little, I am learning how to forgive him.

  5. Wow. I felt all of that. It was like I was writing it, except the end.
    I am nowhere near an ending for this heartache. I am not able to say that I am healed because I haven’t forgiven him and he hasn’t done the work that I need to see done the most. It has been 1 year 1 month and 6 days for me, but we are still having ups and downs. Well, I am. He’d rather move on already.
    Thank you for sharing this with us. It’s compelling.

    • Thank you. For what it’s worth, I was still having ups and downs every day when I was one year into my healing as well. In fact, I only started this blog on the one-year anniversary of my D-Day.

  6. I don’t even know you or your husband but I can respect both of you for how you’ve both handled this horrible situation. I think that you needed to detail what you have gone through so that your husband understands that your forgiveness covers all of it – all of the horrible things that you’ve experienced and then also how he’s helped you to heal from them.

    My husband has also done some very hard work but I have to say that he still cringes if the affairs ever come up. I feel that I’m healed but not sure he’s there yet. I, too, have been to Anne and Brian’s Take Back Your Life Seminar which was wonderful and still hope that we can go to the Healing from Affair weekend as a couple. At this point, it is almost more for my husband than for me. It’s crazy that I feel more healed than I think he is. BTW – we are 5 years out from my last D-day after 7 months of trickle truth and discovering A after A. No OC but multiple affairs – thankfully, no psycho OW involved.

    Thank you for this blog – I frequently refer your posts to the other BS’s I know.

  7. Rescuing… are an amazing writer…..Your words on this post have touched a very deep place inside of me…..I want to share with my husband what you wrote…I pray he is n a place to receive it…..Please keep writing

  8. Thank you so much for this post, and your blog, which I have only recently discovered. I am 14 months past d day, and at times I really struggle. I really don’t know how you found the strength to forgive when a child was born, tying you both to the OW for the next couple of decades. You are a remarkable woman, and it gives me hope for my own situation, which is far less complicated than yours.

    But I am a long way from forgiveness. I feel I can’t begin to forgive until my husband understands exactly what it is that he has done to us. He has apologised a number of times, but sorry just doesn’t cut it. I need him to really ‘get’ it, and I don’t know how to make that happen.

    All the best to you, and once again, thank you for sharing your journey. It has been so helpful to me.


  9. It is so wonderful to see your husband surrender to the grace and chance for redemption you have given him. He has earned it. Humility, honesty , remorse and transparancy are the keys to forgiveness. Frankly RMM the more I become aware of sexually deviant psychopathy behaviors the more I realize that my husband was targeted by a full blown psychopath. She preyed on his damaged ego and weakness when he was vulnerable. He was played and compromised. I dont think he’ll ever really understand what happened to him or accept how stupid he actually was to think he could control the situation. But I do understand what happened, what the agenda was of the wicked witch…which is why I have chosen to love my husband and accept his failings as a man. I will always detest his actions but I can’t hate him anymore. So I guess that equates to forgiving. Accepting what I can’t change and moving forward to make the best of things despite the pain. 12 years past DDay.

  10. phoenixrisingk says:

    Just lovely.

  11. (I have a question at the bottom)


    I am 20, and I’m not here because I am a wife who has been sadly been cheated upon. My mother has just found out yesterday that my father has been having an affair for THREE years with this woman and she just gave birth to his child last December 25, christmas day. I am away at college and my mother broke this news to me over the phone, asking that I not worry. I feel curiously numb. I have an exam tomorrow and I’ve been trying to prioritize studying instead. But every few minutes, this latest news would creep into my mind. I’ve read about it for years, I’ve watched it in countless dramas, but I never thought that this would be my and my family’s reality.

    I am worried about my younger siblings. I’ve been talking to my mother on and off over the phone and her voice is hoarse, I guess from all the crying and shouting. I’ve been surfing the internet, curious about the experiences of people–their reactons, their coping, and their acceptance or rejection of–their half sibling. Instead I found yours. I know this has happened, but ebvery time my train of thought ventures into this happening, y mind would immediately reject it and pull away.

    I don’t know the legalities or how they’re working it out there. My father says he would want to connect with his child. My mother first thought about filing a case in court against him and his concubine (because in my country concubinage can be criminally prosecuted, as I’ve just researched). But now she says she won’t because it would likely cost him his job, and now that would affect the whole family.

    I don’t feel anything for the child by the way. I don’t feel hate, I don’t feel gladness. Of course the concubine doesn’t want to cease her relationshio with him. Apparently, he has been supporting her already for the last three years that they’ve, I guesss including her two other children who I’ve been told have been fathered by different men. I don’t feel any anger right now even. It’s as if I’m freely floating in the middle, unable to feel extreme emotions. All I feel maybe is a mild irritation at the inconvenience of all this, irritation for my mother’s hurt and pain, irritation at the destruction of this family, worry for my mother and siblings. I’m not emotional enough to think that he’s never loved us. I think he loves his children (us), but I cant say the same of his feelings fr my mother. Since I’m away for most of the year, I would just be informed that he’s frequently so quick-tempered, so quick to mock and goad, seemingly always worried about something, and acts such a bully (to both my mother and younger brother who’s near to finishing high school). And to top it off, I’ve just been told that prior to this affair, he’s actually had a 9 YEAR LONG ONE. I could only think, what?

    You see, there doesn’t seem any regret on his part, for having done this. I don’t know, I don’t think he is sorry. I guess all this has come into the open now now that the woman has actually gotten pregnant and given birth. I don’t know what to do. I just wanted an outlet to all my thoughts (I would not call them emotions. As I told you I feel numb to feeling). I can’t believe I’ve become part of the statistics (sorry). It’s great that your painful story seems to have ended, and that you and your family are on the way to healing. But I don’t know if that possibility is even for us, so I don’t hope even for that, What’s as worse about this whole thing is the feeling of security this event has forever taken away from us. I don’t think I’ll ever look at my family at the same way, I don’t know if I’d see our home (when I get back on break) the same way. Like every other family, we had problems butit sems the ties that held it together were more precarious than ever. e I just really am frustrated. I pray that my mother recover from this, and that somehow soon happiness would eclipse this terrible, grave happening.

    By the way, I’m just curious. You say you have three children. Would it be okay to asked if they knew, how they coped? What are their feelings about all this, their father’s infidelity, about their half sibling in particular? And what are their ages if it’s okay to ask.


  12. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    RMM, your letter is SUPERB and I am heartened by your husband’s genuine response to it – and to YOU! 🙂

  13. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    My heart just breaks for Rances (above). I wish I could wrap my arms around her & her mother & her siblings! 😦

  14. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    *Or maybe Rances is a “he” (I shouldn’t have assumed).

  15. The sun will come up tomorrow says:

    It is three and a half months since my husband revealed his affair to me.
    A person who has not been through an experience like this could not possibly know the depths of despair and anguish I found myself in. Each day since the revelation I find more of myself than I knew existed – and I am grateful.

    He was pursued by a female at his work who said she had fancied him for years. He rebuked her but she was relentless. She flattered him, stroked his ego, flirted via email and popped in constantly to his office. He caved. The affair lasted about 8 weeks and during that time he tried several times (obviously not very well) to call the whole thing off – he said it filled him with dread just how quickly it spiraled out of control.

    We had a happy marriage prior and I felt there was too much goodness and history between us to throw it all away. So did he. Why would I judge him for a few weeks of madness when, for all the time before that, he was the perfect guy?

    He has resigned from his job and we are moving towns. Life is looking brighter and he is learning to forgive himself and process the guilt he has – he has met and apologised to the OWs husband.

    I forgave him because to me, forgiveness is about letting go. Letting go of all the corrosive feelings and the anxiety and the pain – and moving toward something positive, something better. I did not want to get bitter and resentful and weighed down by the burden of negative thoughts. I actually don’t even hate HER – because she gave me back the gift of myself. For that I am thankful.

  16. 75 weeks… I want to have a “symbol” of forgiveness but know that our time isn’t yet… your letter pins so many of the same feelings and I am praising God this AM for my husband’s help in our recovery … knowing it’s still in process. THANK YOU for your HONESTY and INCREDIBLE WRITING!

  17. Four weeks ago I found out about my common-law husband’s affair and his mistress’ baby. I was devastated. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t know what to think and I desperately needed answers. I felt so alone. An affair was one thing, but a baby too?! How could the man I loved and respected be so incredibly stupid?!

    Somehow in my pain one of the first things I came across was this blog post. It gave me such immense hope in that moment of unbearable pain. To see that you could forgive in this kind of circumstance gave me strength to trust my heart and stay, rather than follow conventional wisdom and just pack my bags and leave.

    These last four weeks have not been easy, but the entire time you have been by my side as I’ve read your archives from the beginning to the present. In comparison, my situation seems almost simple. I am so thankful that the mistress I am dealing with isn’t as crazy as the one you have had to put up with. I am also thankful that my partner has been loving, supportive, patient and kind just like your husband has been to you.

    It’s still far too early to say what my future holds, but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me and giving me hope. Right now I’ve chosen to stay but I feel that no matter my ultimate decision, you have given me a tremendous boost towards a successful personal recovery.

    I’ve started my own blog as a healing journey. It hardly seems worth sharing because it’s just full of my daily thoughts and emotions, but anyone who has been touched by your journey and who is interested in mine is welcome to take a look. The website is and the current blog password is forgive&learn.

  18. daphne3631 says:

    You are doing a great job. Mark my words all the blessings which you receive from people will definitely make your life better.
    I had always been the one to think that how can one commit such a mistake and since it was for such a long period, it couldn’t have been a mistake but a choice but your husband has proved really worthy of your fight.
    I think you should write something about why he did this so that others who are dealing with such crisis like his can make better choices and do not make any mistake.
    One question I personally wanted to ask you is that how do you manage the things financially? a crazy OW bent on extraction money(I guess she did this for money) spoiling her own child’s life . well you have three children, how do you manage it? How do the children deal with this?

    • I manage it the only way I know how…just keep going. We lose a considerable amount to her monthly so we have a new “normal” from a financial perspective and my husband has to work more and harder to make up the difference.

  19. I found it very encouraging to read your story.My husband cheated and just found out he has a 1.5 year old daughter from the affair. We have 2 children together, 1 and 5 years old. I’m willing to work on my marriage and accept my husband’s daughter into our family. But he insists on being fairly good friends with his daughters mother strictly in the best interest of co-parenting. I believe him, I just can’t bear the thought of him interacting with her on any level other than parenting.
    After reading your story i can count my blessings that the other woman isn’t a crazy bitch. But I still don’t think it’s unfair for me to not want her and my husband to have a friendship… Thoughts?

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