For those who have been deceived, the discovery of an affair is cataclysmic.
Even when you suspect someone else is out there and search for evidence, finding the evidence you feared you would find is just as painful as when it appears unexpectedly.
But the most awful feeling of all is meeting the affair partner or coming across some secret texts and finding out that the one you loved and trusted completely messed you up on someone else, even if you have given this person everything in the relationship.
Is there a worse betrayal than this?
And you start to wonder: how does your cheating partner really feel about you? Most of the time, this happens after the main relationship broke up, reinforcing in your mind that the breakup was definitely the right thing to do.
Here are 3 cheating stories that illustrate how cheating spouses really feel about their partner.
1. Getting cheated on when you were the other woman.
Shannon Ashley discovered she was pregnant and her boyfriend, who had divorced his wife for her, slipped a ring on her finger. The following week, he left.
A heartbroken Shannon later discovered that everything he described to her about their relationship was untrue.
He took every disagreement far worse than he had ever told Shannon. He was very upset and never said a word about it. Oh, and he saw a third woman all the time!
On the surface, there is no benefit to some of these scenarios. Shannon found herself homeless and facing a pregnancy crisis.
A religious couple took her into their home, but treated her like a second-class citizen, finally revealing their true intention all along: trying to adopt her baby.
Years of struggle ensued, with Shannon going through both bipolar disorder and an autism diagnosis while working a miserable job and raising a small child.
The blessing in all of this turned out to be her daughter, a fantastic little girl who keeps Shannon grounded as she establishes a full-time writing career and fights a horribly disfiguring disease called lipedema.
Together they created a happy family life that Shannon would never have had otherwise.
2. Being confronted with the other woman.
Eshal Rose was also gutted when she found out her boyfriend was cheating on her. Like many women, she assumed she was the problem.
They broke up, but Eshal’s self-esteem took a hit that seemed permanent.
She writes, “I didn’t feel good enough, unlovable and unattractive.” So many women, when a guy finds someone else, think it’s them – their looks and personality.
Then the other woman came along, with all the lies her boyfriend had told her about Eshal. Absolutely ridiculous lies!
But the other woman was so kind and so protective of Eshal. She thought they were seeing each other again and had contacted her to warn her of this loser. It turned out that the guy had treated the other girl exactly the same.
Eshal’s friends had spent three months consoling her, telling her how pretty she was and how much she deserved better than someone.
But when the same news came from the other woman, that’s what it took for Eshal to finally let her in. She has been moving these days and with a much higher self-esteem.
It’s much harder to salvage a relationship when this kind of double betrayal has gone on.
The person who discovers it feels such a lack of trust that the relationship often cannot be restored.
3. Being hated by someone you thought loved you.
Holly Bradshaw, a popular writer on Medium, addressed this when she came across texts her husband had sent another woman, texts filled with such vitriol that she found herself beyond dazed, beyond pain.
Her husband had even written to this other woman that he hated Holly.
The experience opened a whole new window on Holly’s marriage – anger flowed like lava under their house, bitterness about things her husband had never discussed with Holly. And then… the problems even spread online.
What can you do in a situation like this?
It’s so easy to walk away in despair and disgust, believing that you and the relationship will never recover. For most people, behavior like this is unforgivable and something they can’t get over.
Related stories from YourTango:
These emotions are certainly understandable, yet before you leave, especially if you’re married, it’s crucial to explore the issues of counseling.
On the one hand, if you relax about how these terrible misunderstandings happened, you will be so much wiser in any relationship you enter in the future. There may be red flags that you missed.
If you have contributed to the situation in any way, it is important to see and understand it.
But sometimes even this terrible situation in a marriage can be saved, in the most surprising and unconventional way.
Holly and her husband ended up opening up their marriage and experimenting with polyamory…and they are still together.
If you’ve just experienced the freefall of finding out not only that your partner cheated, but completely messed you up on someone else, take a deep breath, find support, and work on it.
There could be a silver lining that adds to your life in ways you could never imagine.