So I'm out and about and I stop at a fast food place for something to eat and decide to eat it in my car as it's a nice day. Being a people watcher and someone who's extremely aware of his surroundings, I notice two people stood next a car having a chat and I couldn't help but hear what they were talking about, they were having an affair there was no doubt.
Now I'm not naive to think this doesn't go on and I even understand the thrill and excitement what having an affair brings, but I can't help but feel sorry for their respective partners who obviously don't know and believe that their husband/wife is at work and therefore nothing to worry about.
I've seen a lot of clients who have had affairs or been the victim of an affair or even both and I know just how much devastation it brings, not just to the partners who are being cheated on but also to the kids that end up mixed up in it all.
Two selfish people can cause so much pain just for that cheap thrill and bit of excitement and clearly don't think of the consequences because they believe that they will never get caught, but I wonder why people have "meet ups" during dinner hours or after work in places like a public car park, are they actually wanting to be caught?
To even think about having an affair suggests that each person is not happy in their relationship but if they actually put the same effort into their relationship that they do in having an affair and trying not to get caught then the chances are they would have a successful marriage. Relationships and marriage aren't easy and can need work from time to time but well worth the effort, after all you married for a reason right, so why throw it away and reduce yourself to those lows?
Have more respect for your partner and yourself and work on your relationship BEFORE looking elsewhere, and the amount of times I've heard "it just happened" is unreal and utter bollocks, nothing "just happens" without your permission or you allow it to happen.
I also hear "they did it to me first and I wanted to make them pay, and experience how I felt". Firstly, grow the fuck up you're not in kindergarten and secondly, two wrongs don't make a right.
Why would you lower yourself to their level? Why would you sell out your own morals, values and beliefs? All your doing is giving them an even playing field when you were on the high ground.
The best way to hurt the cheater is to move on with your life, without them and they soon regret their choices. Some people have managed to put it behind them and eventually put their marriage first and work in rebuilding it, but do they ever manage to fully rebuild the trust? Do they ever allow for their barriers to fully come down again, will their marriage ever grow to the same potential it had before the cheating?
And what about the innocent bystanders, the kids and the ones who end up involved, the mothers and fathers, close friends and even work colleagues, do these selfish two individuals give them a second thought?
I'd like to share this short story, it's a true event and I have permission to share it however I haven't included any identifiables out of respect, not to the cheaters in the story but to the victims.
A married man understood and accepted that his new wife had issues, issues that were deep rooted, the wife when struggling would use alcohol as a coping strategy (a bad one) and due to past trauma, she had fell back into her bad drinking habits which was causing big arguments and issues within the home, kids being witness to this destructive behaviour and even beginning to accept it as "normal". As many of you I'm sure can relate the wife did not see what was happening and was just drinking more and more, attacking the husband and pushing him further and further away. The husband kept trying to get through to his wife, kept asking her to talk and kept trying to save her and save their marriage.
No man is an island and there is only so much one man can take, and when he received positive attention from another woman he took it and left his wife, but he couldn't bring himself to end things as it was her he wanted deep down, so he left and went away for a couple weeks, listening to the other woman who wanted him for her own. Two weeks past and the man went back to his wife, knowing he had made a mistake and wanted to give things one last try. He chose not to tell his wife where he had been and thought it would be for the best just to crack on, hoping that the time apart had given her the shock she needed to listen.
Life continued and everything was ok for a little while, the husband was trying hard and the wife seemed pleased he was back. However that didn't last for long as the other woman had decided to contact the wife and confess. The wife straight away in a fit of rage and anger, feeling betrayed and that she had her heart ripped out confronted the husband with the allegations and the husband did not lie and told her, begging for her forgiveness and a chance to put things right.
The husband shared with me that he had never felt so shit and regretted what he had done, understanding how she must of felt and he wanted to do everything he possibly could to make up for it. What the wife didn't realise is how much power she actually had within the relationship now as he really would've done anything to keep her happy and their marriage alive. A little time had passed and they would go out and do "couples" things like going out for drinks and all the time reinforcing her drinking issue, but this time she would win every argument as he would just give in, knowing that he had done wrong and she still wouldn't accept his reasons for what he did, he knew what he had done was the wrong way to deal with the situation and wished he had dealt with things much differently.
The husband went on to say that he was amazed how well his wife had taken things and felt quite undeserving of her love and the second chance she was giving him, he truly valued her and felt he was now beneath her. They continued to argue regularly and his disappearing act would get thrown in his face each time, the trump card every time played when she was drunk, she would tell him how she didnt know if she could ever forgive him even though she believed he had made a mistake and that he wouldn't do it again, the husband would literally beg her and they would make it to the next day, but she wanted him to feel the pain she had felt and was feeling and when she got attention from another male "friend" she took it.
The man tells me his wife was in a vulnerable state still from her past trauma and this had just added to it and her male "friend" knew about her past trauma and used it to manipulate her.
She was getting attention and the opportunity for revenge.
The husband was unaware for a short period of time but the red flags were flying high, he had suspected something but couldn't quite work it out, this was turning him into a paranoid insecure wreck of a man, not attractive qualities in any relationship and certainly added to the problems of what could be described as a toxic relationship by this point.
Another weekend came and the wife again went out with the girls, leaving the husband with her kids at home. Before she had gone out, whilst she was getting ready, her husband witnessed a facetime call that she quickly blanked, he asked her who it was and she had played it down to just one of her mates and she would call her back in a minute.
Not convinced the husband chose to leave it for now so not to just seem even more like a paranoid mad man.
Later on that night the husband told me he just had a gut feeling that made him feel sick and he chose to look at her messenger to see if it really was her mate that had facetimed. He came across messages between her and a male and tells me he felt like he had been shot in the chest and didn't know what to do or think. A few minutes later he learnt that this male was gay and the biggest relief came over him, he felt so happy and yet foolish for suspecting her of cheating but then seconds later while he was still on her messenger another message popped up from a different male, this one having sexual content and in no doubt unacceptable, he explained the feeling like he had been shot a second time but this time the bullet reached his heart and shattered it.
So he went on to tell me that he was in somewhat of a dilemma, he wanted to go and try and find her and "be that guy" but she had told him before she went out that he better not turn up again or it would be over, as he had turned up several times previously due to becoming a paranoid mess. He decided in the end that he had to go and see for himself, there was just something telling him that he had to take that risk, he said that if he seen her and it was innocent and he loses her due to his paranoid behaviour then so be it as if he didnt go and she was with another man then it would be over anyway, either way he felt he was going to lose.
He drove around looking in all the usual places that she drinks and stumbled across her sat on a bench with a guy. Obviously there is two sides to a story (3 in this case) and this is his version of events but he tells me that he jumped out the car and the other guy ran up the street, straight away suggesting wrongful behaviour, the husband confronted his wife and they screamed at each other in the street before the husband ran after the other guy with the intention of causing him harm. He caught up with him in a matter of seconds and still full of rage, but in the last second he chose not to act and simply asked this guy what the truth was, the coward manipulating guy who was also married with kids cried and claimed that they were just friends from old and were talking about the past and someone that they had lost to suicide. The husband accepted his pathetic plea as the truth and walked back to his wife however the wife was still full of hell and wouldn't go with her husband, it seemed to the husband that it was the other guy she wanted as she kept walking in the direction the coward had ran off to.
Eventually the husband and wife went home together and did what they were so used to doing, that being arguing however the husband tells me that he was still apologetic and backed down from his wife, she was angry that he had destroyed a "friendship" and that the other guy wouldn't ever speak to her again. Begging to save his marriage the husband messaged the other guy, apologising to him and asking him to remain friends with his wife, he declined (for an obvious reason).
The husband was losing his mind, he has mental health issues himself and shared with me that he has had several mental breakdowns in the past, he went on to say that he really felt he was losing his mind and was scared of what might happen, what he might do, he cried himself to sleep for several nights feeling like a coward himself and no longer feeling like a man, he felt had lost his wife and he knew it was his fault and deserved all the pain he was feeling as he should of dealt with things better in the first place (his words).
About a week had passed and things had not improved much, the husband told me that things just didn't seem right and his gut was screaming out at him, he went on to say that he questioned literally everything he was doing, feeling and thinking because he wasn't eating or sleeping much so thought it could of been his head playing tricks on him due to fatigue, he was making efforts to make his wife happy but he could tell she wasn't, he could just tell something was still wrong.
They were going out drinking after the wife had finished work, the husband raced about through the day buying new clothes for him and expensive perfume for her, he said he really wanted to make an effort and show her just how much she means to him. He's not a social butterfly and isn't comfortable in public places, especially meeting new people but he pushed himself and made the best effort he could. The night was going well he thought but noticed a few weird things, putting it down to his paranoia and state of mind again he chose to ignore it and wanted to make the best of the night.
It wasn't too long before his wife had too much to drink and was absolutely wasted, so much so that there was no way of getting home in a taxi, so the husband called her son to pick them up. Often as drunk people do she spoke about things, things he tells me that was hurtful towards him, things about her past and how she felt about an ex for example. Again the husband felt like he wasn't enough and wasn't wanted, she went straight to bed and collapsed in a drunken mess and he chose to take this chance to check her phone, he told me that there were things leading up to this night that made him want to check her phone but didn't want to get caught, and didn't really "want" to check it but knew he had to, if only for his own piece of mind.
The husband looked at his wife's messages and found hidden away what he was dreading to find, he said for every app he opened, every message he read and every picture he seen his heart just sank some more, he just wished it was all a dream, he went on to say that it was like another bullet entering his body and another and another and another until he could take no more and went and confronted his wife, who was still in a paralytic state, but he figures he would have more chance of obtaining truth while she wasn't really with it so to speak.
They argued and the husband even rang and messaged the other guy from his wife's phone in hope to obtain proof of who he was, but the coward wouldn't answer his phone but how could he when he was lying in bed next to his wife and the mother of his two younger children of which the client found out a few days later.
My client left the house not knowing what to do with himself, he took his wife's phone with him so he could search for longer and find out all he could, how long had it been going on for, what "exactly" had happened between them, who this other guy was and all the time wondering why his wife had done this to him.
Well the why was soon established as client and wife were still texting one another, the wife using one of her children's phones.
My client had previously made his wife feel unwanted, unloved, undervalued and he had done this by leaving her for another woman, he maintained throughout the sessions that he had intended to leave his wife because of her drinking issues and seen a way out and took it.
What he didn't realise was how it made his wife feel, him leaving her to face her own demons alone, she was drinking heavily for a reason, using alcohol as a coping strategy (a bad one) trying to cope with her traumatic past and the more recent loss of her ex husband, the father to her kids. Although they had separated 5 years previous to his passing he was still the father of her kids and she had had a long marriage with him and shared most of her adult life with him, so to lose him suddenly was extremely traumatic for her although she claimed that she was only grieving for her kids and how they were feeling and not for her ex as there was a lot of hatred and anger still between them.
She was using alcohol to cope, not on a daily basis but every weekend she would go out and get absolutely smashed with her friends putting herself in danger and not fully appreciated how it was affecting the rest of the household, she would have a hangover from hell for days afterwards resulting in her not really being there for the family but instead just existing on the sofa, sleeping it off, and fighting the very demons she had given energy to.
My client tells me he had had enough as he had tried talking to her for months but she wasn't listening and all they were doing was arguing most days and certainly every weekend, he went on to say that it just became too painful to watch as he knew she was struggling but was in denial and he knew that alcohol did not agree with his wife and didn't just give her a hangover but often made her mental health suffer resulting in suicidal thoughts, he shared with me that he did all that he could to try and reach her but he couldn't and hoped that by leaving her that would shock her out of her state of mind and he could then help her, however it was fair to say that he was also struggling but for different reasons.
I couldn't help but realise how sad and unnecessary the situation this married couple had got themselves into was, when they could of faced the demons together and grew stronger and deeper as husband and wife by doing so, but maybe it was due to who the the deceased was in this situation, none the less it's fair to say that both parties, husband and wife had not dealt with there situation in a positive way but in fact made it much more toxic than it actually needed to be.
My client was away for a week or so with another woman so to speak however both client and clients wife still disagree about the truth of the facts around this part, however as the client tells it, he tried to clear his head and needed distance to do that, he had also had received female attention that he said he wasn't looking for but it was well received at the time, given that client and wife were constantly arguing and life for them both appeared toxic and unhappy. However after a week or so my client shared that he felt like he was having a panic attack and knew that he had to get back to his wife and make it work. He didn't so much as say goodbye to this other woman but was just focused on getting back "home".
Things were ok for a little while, until the other woman decided to confess everything to the wife of the client via social media and no doubt the wife felt she had been shot in the heart upon receiving that news, she shared that she straight away confronted her husband face to face and he admitted it and begged for her forgiveness, something of which she said she gave him at the time but with certain boundaries and conditions placed (fair enough). My client couldn't believe he had been given a second chance and thought his wife had been completely amazing with how she didn't make him suffer by throwing in his face every second or even making him sleep on the sofa etc, they stood together and stepped forwards together and my client felt so blessed but at the same time he felt ashamed of his actions and so grateful of his second chance, but he also felt powerless as now she had one up on him and it was a big one.
None the less getting back to the fact that the wife had cheated on her husband, although she said she had tried moving on in life and forgetting about it all and although she accepted it was a mistake that her husband had made she still just couldn't get through how she was made to feel by his actions regardless of the reasons he claimed to have taken those actions, she felt because of what her husband had done and how she was made to feel especially in her time of need that her husband had failed her in more than one way and she needed revenge and by fuck did she get it, as my client shared that he had never been so broken and had never felt such pain then he did through this time on his life.
But even in his first initial pain and anger he knew deep down that he did not want to lose his wife, he had came back for her for a reason and that reason was because he loved her and didn't want to imagine a life without her, this was still the case even when he caught her red handed. He told me that he was making excuses for her, searching for meaning and understanding, she and the other man had played him for a fool but wasn't that what he had done to her?
My client had noticed a few behaviours that had become red flags and although he had confronted his wife with his paranoia she just dismissed them, telling him that because he had cheated that he thinks she is and that sort of made sense to him so he kept dropping the conversation however he was no fool and continued to watch and learn.
We communicate all the time and only a very small amount of communication is actually verbal, behaviours making up a large percentage and it was the change in behaviours of his wife that gave her away and the patience of the husband albeit in constant torture and torment that prevailed.
My client needed answers and yet still wanted to see a way through it all, he continued to make excuses for his wife and gave her as much understanding and forgiveness that he possibly could at that time however the trust was lost for them both and that would take a considerable amount of time to rebuild if it could even be rebuilt at all.
Husband and wife talked one to one for while, going over and over what had happened, each time ending in frustration and then arguing subsequently taking one step forwards and two steps back, those steps each time being taken outside of the marital home as my client would leave in anger. This is an action I come across many times during relationship counselling, the male leaving the home, especially if there are kids in that home. I believe it is learnt behaviour from childhood, the male must leave in order to calm down, go punch a fence so to speak, he often feels that this is the correct action to take as he doesn't want to punch his wife so distances himself from the confrontation, however on the other hand the woman feels like the husband is leaving her, rejecting her, abandoning her and this impacts on the trust issues, how can she drop her barriers completely allowing herself to be vulnerable to her partner when he could leave at any moment, the moment the going gets rough, how can she trust him to stay in her life if he keeps fleeing from it, it's a classic example of how male and females can see the world differently and how something that was supposed to be "the right thing to do" results in being the worst thing to do. Solution being to not leave the house but instead give each other time and space to calm down, a "huffy bed" can be a simple solution and talks (not shouts) can resume the next day.
Back to my client; he said he needed to regain his masculinity as he felt he had become a coward by not "dealing" with this other guy in a manner he would normally, however knowing that to deal with him in that way would result in nothing but bad things for him, he would lose his job and his wife for sure and so for the first time in his life he changed his own learnt behaviour and cause the other guy any physical harm even though he was certainly more than capable.
He didn't feel that he could do nothing about it but just didn't know what so he calmly thought about it and plotted. He managed to call the other guy with a view to listening to "his side" after all there is always two sides to a story and my client said that he had told the other guy that as long as he was 100% honest with him and it has stopped then he would be willing to overlook it.
The other guy was not aware of just how much evidence my client holds, evidence that cannot be misconstrued and is very black and white and it is this reason that he was confident that the other guy was an absolute coward and not only lied but blamed it all on my clients wife, like cowards do.
My client done some digging about not able to "let it go" and soon after he had worked out where the other guy worked, lived who he was married to how many kids he has, who his mates are and pretty much everything down to his show size, this information empowered my client, he shared that he felt like he was starting to regain some sort of control of the situation as knowledge is power.
My client contacted the other guys place of work and after providing evidence via emails the other guy was sat in front of his bosses and lost his bonus as a punishment for bringing the company's' name into it, as he was meeting up with my clients wife during dinner times in a company vehicle with the company's logo all over it.
My client didn't stop there, he realised that it was unfair for the other guys wife not to know of his betrayal and started to search for information about her, this I'm told was very simple by the use of the internet, company houses website and of course social media.
He had put a letter through a door, addressed to the other guys wife, simply informing her that she needed to ring my client to discuss her husband, however my client waited a week or so, driving past the house twice a day, once on his way to work even though it was in the opposite direction and then again before returning home, hoping to see some sort of life in the house, waiting for "the call" but it never came. It didn't come because it turned out to be the wrong house, something the other guy laughed at when speaking on the phone to my client, so my client messaged the other guys wife on Instagram and waited again, but again to no avail, he wouldn't disclose how he knew this part however he shared that he had learnt that the other guy had managed to get into his wife's Instagram account and deleted the message and blocked my client.
Game on, he thought so he contacted the other guys wife's mother via a mutual friend that he worked out he had on facebook (it's a small world), being a responsible friend he took it upon himself to act as a go between which was probably a good call giving the context of the conversation that needed to be had and the pain my client was still in.
The mother -n -law was mortified and was going to check facts with the other man before saying anything to her daughter which resulted in my client having to wait some more which he tells me was exciting but equally frustrating as he was more than prepared for what potentially was to come.
During his wait my client continued to search for where the other guy lived as he had got it wrong before, social media helped him with this too, a simple picture not only gave my client the other guys place of work but also a picture of the martial family home and more, but it wasn't quite that easy as the picture didn't give an address. So obsessed by this point he took to google earth and literally searched the areas he suspected and long behold he found the exact address he was looking for, where there's a will there's a way and never underestimate people with an axe to grind, especially when it's threatened their happiness, especially when they have made it personal.
Excited about eventually finding what he had been searching for, and the very thing he couldn't get out his mind, not even for a minute since he had found out about this betrayal he had exactly what he was looking for and now had retook his power and control of the situation. To prove to the other man that he was not bluffing he childishly sent a Halloween card with a picture of a family of ghosts and the word "boo" on the front, and inside a simple message that indicated to the other man that my client not only knew now where he lived but he knew everything he needed to know to absolutely destroy his life, if and when he wanted, my client said that now he had regained his power and control, that he will teach the little spineless weasel that he's not someone to be messed with, whenever he feels like it, he can destroy the other guys entire life.
This was said with such anger, passion and gratification that he had a somewhat demonic look in his eye and a grin on his face, when asked what was going on for him at that time my client explained that it wasn't just about how he personally was made to feel when he was betrayed by his wife but the fact that he felt like a coward and a fool by this other guy, and that it was also about how this other guy had took advantage of my clients wife in her time of need, when she was in a vulnerable state and that he used the only common ground they had to manipulate her, that common ground was that the deceased ex husband was also the other guys "best" mate, he even stooped so low to use the wife's children as a way into her heart, my client in a very dominating manner simply said "so you see, it's not just about me, it's about my wife and the kids, and also the wife and kids of this other guy too".
My client felt that now he had regained his dignity, his power and the control of the situation that he could now focus on fixing his marriage which of course meant a very long journey ahead but at least this time this journey was not on his own, this journey was with his wife, hand in hand hell bent on fixing the damage they had both caused.
It was going to take time and a lot of talking things through (hence the counselling sessions) if they were ever going to build trust and respect for one another again but they were determined.
One of Dr Jordan Peterson's rules for life is "do not lie" and if this marriage was to stand any chance of getting through this trauma then there had to be nothing but the truth, no matter how much pain it may cause.
The truth behind these sessions is that through bad handling of trauma, and lack of communication between a married couple, it affected at least 6 adults and multiple children, all because of a dinner date, several lives were put through hell.
So next time you get the urge to have a "bit of fun" and think "no one needs to know" and "no one needs to get hurt" just remember the truth will always out, and then when you witness the pain that you selfishness caused to your loved ones just remind yourself that it affects more than just you and the pain and suffering could of been avoided, if you had only talked to your partner and listened, maybe even got some counselling.
The end result I'm pleased to be able to say is that my clients marriage is now stronger than it has ever been and the children are also fine.
Same (I'm told) can't be said for the other guys marriage, children or life in general as once the truth comes out (and it always does) then, well who knows that outcome?