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Any Mad Hatters here? [Revenge affairs]


Infidelity In an affair or suspect your significant other? Share your experiences and concerns here.

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Old 5th November 2017, 1:59 PM   #1
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A letter to my therapist

Hi [female former therapist of mine],

I hope everything is going well for you.* I am taking a chance sending this to you because I'm not sure if you work here anymore.* How is your PhD program going?* Hopefully you are fulltime employed now?* It's been a little less than a year since I was seeing you for therapy because of my husband DH's suspected infidelity and my insane rage concerning the strong possibility that I was being wronged.* I was living in limbo last year, while balancing a thankless low-pay job that I totally hated, because I wanted to make a decision about how to move forward in the marriage (do my own thing and have affairs of my own? divorce? find proof that he never did anything physical with anyone else, and therefore reconcile and move on together?).* Well, I wanted to give you an update since I know my situation with no longer attending therapy might have left you wondering what happened.

As it turns out, DH WAS in fact physically cheating on me, multiple times, over a prolonged period of time.* A few months after we last talked, I learned a way to sleuth through his phone (which our other therapist, who we saw for couples therapy, had made DH make open and available to me to go through at any given time--since he realized DH was still lying and hiding stuff, even during therapy sessions together), and find all of his locations from the past few years through Google Maps GPS.* He had been going to strip clubs on his own very frequently, spending a lot of money, during times he'd lied and said he was going to work early or picking up an extra shift.* I had gotten him to admit to 1 or 2 strip club visits when I was still seeing you last year, but it was more like 48, and this continued long after I last saw you.* Still he denied doing anything other than lapdances, and everyone who knew him (his mom, our mutual friends, etc) all denied it too.* They kept claiming "DH would never do anything like that to any girl, especially you, because he loves you so much" and his mom even said, "DH is too stupid to know how to cheat".* Right.* I think even you and [the other therapist, a male, who strung us along with the promise of couples therapy but ended up claiming DH "wasn't ready" to discuss his suspected infidelities with me] had suggested that too about DH possibly, perhaps giving DH the benefit of a doubt.

Everyone was wrong.* Either they were that oblivious to his ways, or they were rugsweeping at my dignity's expense in an effort to avoid us divorcing And/or avoiding hurting my feelings (I find the latter very condesending and insulting, by the way).* Eventually I decided to stop acting like an American court--i.e., going by "innocent until proven guilty" and looking for proof--and instead just go with my gut instinct and what I selfishly wanted to do for myself.* The many strip club visits and money spent on other women alone had me steaming and fuming.* So I went with my gut and what my selfish libido wanted: I started going to strip clubs myself, including male strip clubs, where I had several different revenge affairs/flings with a few of the strippers.* It wasn't until after DH realized I'd done stuff too (I never outright told him, since the "revenge" was more about me--boosting my own confidence and helping me feel "even" so I could finally move on from this--but at the same time, I dropped hints and didn't go to great extents to cover up either), that he admitted he'd gotten blowjobs during multiple strip club visits when he'd paid strippers for lapdances or champagne rooms/VIPs.* He also admitted that if I hadn't done anything myself cheating-wise, he wouldn't have felt ready or comfortable telling me what he did, for fear of hurting me or angering me to the point that I might go and do something spiteful that I wouldn't have yet done (in that scenario).* So yes, me getting "even" was the best thing for myself. I'm thankful I stopped being loyal to an unfaithful spouse.

I know people will preach that "two wrongs don't make a right" and all that other stuff that parents and teachers raise us to believe, but in this case I do think it was best that I handled things the way I did.* I cannot afford to divorce, especially since it turns out that we are now expecting a surprise new baby.* I literally found out the news from the doctor's office lab about this pregnancy less than 24 hours after I hooked up with a stripper (I'd gone to the doctors the week prior and they'd run some tests on me, prior to the hookup).* If I'd waited any longer to "selfishly" do what I wanted to do, then I would have felt obligated to stay chaste to DH at least for the sake of this unborn baby's safety.* That would have left me feeling bitter, resentful, and uneven.* I would have been in the same "spinning wheels in place" situation I found myself in last year.

So I'm glad I did what I did, because now I have closure and can move on.* Now that I've done the same thing for the most part, I don't feel any guilt or anger.* I never felt guilt beyond the first few hours perhaps after what i Did, because I'd already suspected and outright assumed by this point That he'd done the same thing.* So no, I never felt "really bad" about it, or any remorse at all, to be honest, especially after hearing what he did.* I know you meant well by saying that but you were wrong.* The only thing i feel bad about is that I waited so long, waited for proof when I knew in my heart he'd wronged me, and listened against my better judgment to everyone who told me that DH would never do that to me.* DH knows about the cheating I did without too many details, and he isn't thrilled by it, more humbled and realizes he deserved it but he also sees our marriage as a new clean start.* I'll play it by ear, at least during this pregnancy.* Afterwards I'm looking at DH getting sterilized and perhaps we should open up our marriage so that way we can do what we want guilt-free and without feeling like we have to hide stuff.* At this point I've grown ambivalent to the idea of a committed monogamous faithful marriage, and I don't really care anymore as long as I can get with all the types of guys I want to go for.* I see our marriage more as a partnership for raising a family than one based on monogamy.* I'm sure part of this is because we have kids and an unstable financial situation.

I also want to say that I feel glad someone else was willing to see us as a couple when [the male other therapist] wouldn't do it.* Because of the other therapist (who saw us as a couple, at a different therapy place), he got DH to hand over his phone to me so I could keep tabs and build more evidence, finding out about how extensive DH's apparent strip club habit was.* He helped me to be less in the dark.* I honestly worried that [the male other therapist] was more concerned about DH potentially breaking AA sobriety if he got upset at my Reaction to the truth, than he did about me learning the truth and getting closure and peace of mind.* The other therapist agreed with me that DH was playing up a phony sudden "alcohol addiction" as an excuse or scapegoat to escape having to tell me the truth (e.g., "I'm so stressed I want to start drinking again!" was a line DH used on [the male other therapist] when he didn't want to be honest with me, as that got [the male other therapist]'s attention diverted away from my need for the truth)

BTW, in case you're wondering about my job...I QUIT!* I totally hated my life last year, between the infidelity from both DH and my job.* Yes, my job was playing me and going behind my back the same time DH was...so it was double whammy.* Know that awful 5-year salary freeze they put on all of us loyal long-time employees?* Yeah, they continued that but were also hiring new teachers for way more money than us.* Talk about the ultimate betrayal, right?* This, even at a union job where we were paying union fees to supposdly have our seniority actually mean something! Meanwhile, my principal turned really mean and started gaslighting me midyear, giving me unfairly harsh evaluations in ways that made no sense to anyone. Then when I tried to be more strict with kids and kids balked at that, she tried to write me up when kids complained about me trying to be more strict.* The job situation was even more miserable, gaslighting, and deceptive than DH's worst side.* Between all of the work, misery, and feeling like I was being cheated on at both work and home, in March I snapped and gave my June notice.* I have since returned to college and am interning with intent to take the board certification exam soon.* Money is tighter than ever but at least the onus is no longer all on my shoulders with everything.* DH is kinda forced to step up more.* Right after I quit, they finally passed new raises for teachers (but apparently they're not very much at all, a mere pittance), but the few teachers I still talk to tell me that the job is worse than ever because the workload keeps increasing to impossible work volumes.* I am glad I got out when I did.* The job was literally driving me crazy, in conjunction with what I was dealing with at home. So thank you for being one of the people who encouraged me to get out of the job I hated so much.

I hope everything is going well for you.* Sorry about the long email, but I wanted to update you since I'm sure this response will be different than you OR [the male other therapist] may have expected.* Best of luck with your new career in therapy.

-- Cilantro
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Old 5th November 2017, 2:56 PM   #2
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I also had a “revenge” affair. Mine was a desperate attempt to even the scales so I wouldn’t be so angry at my wife anymore. I was also admittedly jealous about an extra-marital dalliance.

As far as I’m concerned, my attempt failed since I was still angry at my wife for what she had done to me and our marriage. My affair didn’t solve the marital problems; it dropped a nuke on an already decimated marriage.

Having read your post, I don’t gather that your RA helped your marriage either.
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Old 5th November 2017, 3:16 PM   #3
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I also had a “revenge” affair. Mine was a desperate attempt to even the scales so I wouldn’t be so angry at my wife anymore. I was also admittedly jealous about an extra-marital dalliance.

As far as I’m concerned, my attempt failed since I was still angry at my wife for what she had done to me and our marriage. My affair didn’t solve the marital problems; it dropped a nuke on an already decimated marriage.

Having read your post, I don’t gather that your RA helped your marriage either.

Really? THAT'S what you "gathered" after (hopefully)reading my entire long letter??

On the contrary. The revenge affair has given me a large degree of closure. I am able to let go of most of the anger, resentment, and the obsessive martyr complex I had through all of last year due to the unfairness of the situation. I took a crap situation and made do with it by giving myself a few free passes and evening the playing field. My husband is not condemning me or divorcing me over my affairs. If anything, my affairs helped him to finally open up and be honest when I questioned him about it the other day. Instead of using my usual pre-revenge affair approach--acting accusatory, vile, and super confrontational and bitter--I was more calm and level headed when I asked him point blank. My approach was, "come on, it's silly to hide anything, we've BOTH done each other dirty at this point so it's not like we've done anything the other hasn't done." If anything, my post-revenge affair demeanor has been more nonchalant, same, and effective. When he admitted, I then admitted what I did, just enough without getting into TMI detail unless he asked (which he didn't probe). Not sure why you think I landed in disaster doing what I did, unless you're assuming or predicting bad in my future.
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Old 5th November 2017, 3:22 PM   #4
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Any Mad Hatters here? [Revenge affairs]

People say revenge affairs will decimate an alreasy troubled marriage, but so far I have not had that experience at all. In fact, my only regret in having my revenge flings was not doing it sooner. My initial gut instinct had been right the entire time, so I wish I hadn't forced myself to give obligatory benefits of a doubt to my husband until I landed on proof or full confession. One of the best things it did for me was restore my confidence and help me to find closure and peace so I could move on and not dwell obsessively anymore about how uneven and shortchanged I felt. It also was the only thing that made me willing to try reconciling, since now I was even.

Anyone else?
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Old 5th November 2017, 4:15 PM   #5
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If you're into the "eye for an eye" sort of thing, and hurting those that hurt you, then I guess it may be satisfying. If it were me, I would just end the relationship. Just because you had an affair doesn't change the person he is, or who he'll be in the future. In fact, I think he'd be more likely to cheat on you. I'm not sure what you're really doing, honestly.
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Old 5th November 2017, 4:35 PM   #6
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True but I am pregnant with a 3rd child and even before that neither of us could afford divorce and still support our kids. At this point it wouldn't be cheating if he did anything (although he claims this pregnancy gave him a reality check... we'll see) because i no longer see our marriage as one with traditional monogamy. In fact, it took having my first revenge affair for me to realize I wanted an open marriage and swinging. Before that, I was very possessive (probably rightfully so though, in the traditional context of a monogamous marriage). I admit, now that I see how easy it is to get hot strippers, I'm not sure I have it all out of me. The anger towards my house out of me, but not quite my curiosity for variety...
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Old 5th November 2017, 4:43 PM   #7
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I would usually prefer to just move on immediately, but that would depend on the circumstances of the relationship, and of the WS's affair. I can be very vindictive if treated badly with intention, or for an extended period of time. Of course, if a revenge affair wouldn't bother them, I wouldn't bother - I'd just leave.
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Old 5th November 2017, 4:47 PM   #8
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) In fact, it took having my first revenge affair for me to realize I wanted an open marriage and swinging. I admit, now that I see how easy it is to get hot strippers, I'm not sure I have it all out of me. The anger towards my house out of me, but not quite my curiosity for variety...
You husband really screwed up. An average looking woman can have guys lined up at her door if she's giving it away for free. Average looking men have to work for it.
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Old 5th November 2017, 5:11 PM   #9
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You husband really screwed up. An average looking woman can have guys lined up at her door if she's giving it away for free. Average looking men have to work for it.
Really? Then my close girl friends and I must be really ugly and/or socially awkward then. Because I know I tried for months with no success trying to initiate a revenge affair with "normal" average guys from bars and non-pervy hangout spots. My best friend (childless, never married, mid 30s) also tends to strike out a lot, hasn't had a real boyfriend in over 13 years now, and a few years back even went through a nearly 2-year sex drought not by choice. She has normal standards, but she's definitely not picky. My other friend is never married, childless, in her 50s and struggles to meet men too. She's been off and on with this one shifty guy for a while now, and when he would dump her for full seasons at a time, she'd spend the entire season going clubbing hoping to meet new men but often to no avail. Well, it doesn't surprise me too much if I just suck at getting men, and can only get the men I pay money to. I've also failed at trying to become a stripper(which I tried only to make my husband jealous and to finally feel like I was at the level, beauty and charisma wise, with the type of strippers he'd go for), and I failed at my last career, my house is practically falling apart with no many in-need repairs, and I'm currently struggling with almost everything I try to do. SIGH.
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Old 5th November 2017, 5:17 PM   #10
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Also. You're right about my husband, he's a cute guy but he's still within the relative realm of average looking. In fact, he struggled to get girls and fit in at school when he was much younger. This is actually something we've related on, as it seems that I've continued to struggle with this longer than he has. When I would be down in the dumps about myself, my husband would tell me to stop knocking myself down but also that I remind him of the defeatist way that he used to talk about himself. These days he still thinks (or at least tells me) he can't get girls very easily, that it's a struggle for girls to take a liking to him. Yet he still had an easier time getting head from strippers than it took me, even though female strippers tend to be a lot less lenient and easy than male strippers, and female strip clubs in general tend to be a lot stricter than the rowdy hullabaloo girls-night-out parties known as male strip clubs. What does that say about me?

Also, when I posted a pic of myself trying to be sexy on one of the local picture post strip club related boards recently, someone called me out for having an ugly face, flabby boobs, and "hiding a gut" under my bustier. This was before I was pregnant. I guess I'm sub-female.
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Old 5th November 2017, 5:29 PM   #11
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closure?

How does a revenge affair give you 'closure' (though may make you feel 'even')? Feeling even / revenge is NOT the same with closure.

Is your husband still unfaithful? Do you no longer care?

Are you?

I'm sorry, but I don't see any closure here. Just lots of ongoing and deepening limbo.
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Old 5th November 2017, 5:30 PM   #12
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Just because you had an affair doesn't change the person he is, or who he'll be in the future. In fact, I think he'd be more likely to cheat on you. I'm not sure what you're really doing, honestly.
I know a few examples contrary to this statement. Adulterers tend to be exceptionally self-involved, immature and lack empathy. The inability of some to truly comprehend or at the very least understand the pain and turmoil their actions have inflicted on their spouse can hinder and stagnate a successful reconciliation, lead to frustration over the betrayed spouse's inability to 'get over it' and may lead to repeat (mis)behaviour.

A ''revenge'' affair, in my opinion, may provide that lack in perspective and experience, as well as a good old kick in the rear. It might be the wake up call that there's a real chance that they could lose their spouse and marriage. Sometimes experience is the best and only teacher. There's a reason support groups for those with shared trauma and experience exist, they understand, and understanding is a path to empathy.

A ''revenge'' affair can also help the betrayed in restoring their damaged sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Many betrayed spouses blame themselves, or are blamed by the cheating spouse, for the infidelity, and lack confidence, in addition to the pain they feel.

With regard to reconciliation, if the adulterer isn't: remorseful putting forth the effort and taking the initiative to repair the marriage; dedicated to rebuilding and earning trust; being truthful, transparent and continues to lie; being patient or understanding; taking responsibility and blame-shifts, helping the betrayed spouse heal; being held accountable and accepting of consequences, etc. I would firstly and foremost just recommend ending the marriage and ghosting them.

But, if for whatever reason that isn't an option then I'd probably be like, 'There's someone you're interested in/attracted to? Yeah, whatever, go for it if you want. Just don't be shady and dishonest about it' depending on their situation and circumstances.
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Old 5th November 2017, 5:57 PM   #13
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How does a revenge affair give you 'closure' (though may make you feel 'even')? Feeling even / revenge is NOT the same with closure.

Is your husband still unfaithful? Do you no longer care?

Are you?

I'm sorry, but I don't see any closure here. Just lots of ongoing and deepening limbo.

Closure to my manic mental panic state that I was in for the entire last year, by feeling insecure about the "unevenness" that my husband had gotten other chicks but I had only him (which made me feel like a devoted fool). I no longer have the internal mental illness rage I had before. I finally feel like a somewhat normal person again. And more confident.

Currently I don't think he's unfaithful because he's been home a lot more and straight to work because of my extra needs as a pregnant wife with all-day morning sickness. His phone GPS checks out. But no, I do not really care anymore, honestly. Now that I've strayed myself, I feel rather "meh" and ambivalent about the whole idea of monogamy.

Right now I'm being faithful, physically at least, but mentally no I'm not. Again, I've kinda checked out on the whole idea of monogamy since last spring when I had my first (but scaled-back, not "all the way") revenge fling.
In fact, right after I had this semi-fling, I brought up to our couples therapist in my independent session with him that I wanted an open/swingers marriage, and that I also wanted his help in mediating such a discussion with my husband. He was staunchly against the idea, refused to help me with such a thing. Seems that he does not like marriages that stray from traditional monogamy. Even now while pregnant, my mind is wandering. I get thrills out of posting pictures of myself in stripper-ish outfits on online picture post groups (well, when the comments are nice, that is).

It's also closure because the flings showed me that I COULD actually get someone else (after months of rejections from "normal" guys I pursued for a revenge affair at regular bars or websites, and from feeling somewhat essentially rejected by my husband if he was seeking out other girls), and because it showed me that I do not really care for monogamy and that I'm okay with admitting I'm un-monogamous.

Look, I'm doing the best I can with what I have. If I leave...there's no way I can support my kids on my own, nor can he, and they will end up in foster care after I go homeless eventually from the piled-up bills I'd have to then pay all on my own. I don't know what else I'm supposed to do...suck it up AND stay loyal to a non-loyal person?? At least we can coparent decently? If me getting my rocks off and boosting my confidence is what it takes to act sane and non-angry enough around my husband to decently coparent?
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Old 5th November 2017, 6:49 PM   #14
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I am sorry to say it, and mean no offense to you, but your situation makes my head ache.

To me, it sounds like the two of you vacillate between trying to one up one another, while your husband is carrying on like a whipped puppy.

Why in hell do you want to live like that. You say you are pregnant with your third child? Why bring someone else into this mess?


Why are the two of you putting yourselves through all of this? If neither of you trusts the other person, why even bother being married in the first place? Go your separate ways, and find a guy who will not make you feel like you need to reset your self esteem.
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Old 5th November 2017, 6:52 PM   #15
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I had an affair

two years later my husband had an affair

Did it FIX us? no it simply complicated things

infidelity...regardless of the reason is WRONG
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