Affairs Destroy Relationships

You Can Never Take It Back

That's the most haunting thing about a partners infidelity- you can never take it back! It can never be undone, erased or forgotten. It is forever sealed in the relationship history! Cheating on your loved one is a mistake that will haunt you for the rest of your life. I tried so hard to forgive my spouse for cheating and I think I managed to find forgiveness, unfortunately I couldn't forget. Every time I reached a good place, something would trigger a memory of the affair and the rage would build inside me all over again. I knew I wasn't going to be able to stick it out for the long term, the betrayal was to much. By cheating on me, he managed to make every wonderful memory of our years spent together become a huge lie, I was not prepared to live with a liar for the rest of my life.


I did stay for 4 years, because I wanted to be able to look at my son one day and honestly be able to say that "mommy tried everything to keep our family together". Dr. Phil's words haunted me daily, he said you had to earn your way out of a relationship when children were involved, that no stone was to be left unturned. I felt I owed my son and marriage an honest effort. The first year was wonderful, probably the best year of our relationship. We learned to communicate better, there were no secrets, everything was left open- no passwords or secret calls. He was determined to win back my trust. I was all hyped up on the notion of "hysterical bonding" and had myself convinced that if we could get through something this big, that surely we were meant to be together forever and our love was stronger then most. As badly as he betrayed me and hurt me, I wanted to prove what a good wife I was and that when things went to hell, he still had me.


You can never take it back! Every little thing he did wrong was magnified. I didn't think that a man who had cheated on his wife and was fortunate enough to get a second chance deserved any room to act inappropriately. So as the comfort level went up, and he became a little more secure that I was in it for the long haul; he started doing just that: little flirtations, borderline inappropriate messages on facebook, going out with buddies again. Old behaviours crept back in and although I believed he wasn't "cheating" he certainly wasn't behaving like a man who appreciated the gift of forgiveness he recently received. I had to go! My son deserved a happy home, a happy parent and a life with a man who wanted to be a dad and a part of a family. It was the best decision I ever made. We have an amazing life now. I am happy, my son is happy and no one is walking on eggshells anticipating the next big crisis.


Some people are able to stay, some cheating spouses really work hard to make amends and do better. I support that. I don't think you have to leave just because someone was unfaithful. I do believe that it's best to leave if behaviours don't change or if cheating partners get forgiveness and then become lazy again. We need to make decisions for ourselves and only we know what we can and can not tolerate. For me, it was always there, the nagging, the emptiness, the thought that "this shouldn't be so difficult". Things only changed for a little while and I knew deep down that had to give my son and I a chance at a normal, peaceful life. The light bulb came on for me when I heard another line from Dr. Phil " Children would rather be from a broken home than live in one". Our home was broken and we both deserved more. Comparing my life right now to my ex-husbands I am sure he would do anything to change the past. I believe he knows how much he messed up. He is sad and broken and my son and I are so happy now. I feel sorry for him actually, but it was his choice to do the things he did. I imagine he wishes that he could take it all back but once the damage is done it is forever etched in stone.



Hysterical bonding: (quote)


There is very little information on this phenomenon, but it appears to be a primal, instinctual way for the partners to reconnect and reclaim each other. While it may feel counter-intuitive to the betrayed spouse; as if they are "rewarding" the wayward spouse for the affair, hysterical bonding can be a stepping stone to reconciliation. The intimacy encourages communication and a closeness that may otherwise take some time to re-build.

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Comments 9 comments

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

I have never heard of this term: hysterical bonding. It screams, "absurdity" to me and feels like a catchhold for someone's therapy game.

Betrayal is a difficult thing to go through. My ex husband was a cheater and now that we are older tells me we were 'too young and immature' when we got married. No, YOU were too immature...I was ready. Monogomy is not about maturity, LOL

He has since asked, really asked, for forgiveness and I've given it to him...easier after 10 yrs of being divorced. I suppose he was feeling lonely and tired of feeling lonely...missing me and hearing from our daughters how wonderful I was doing.

So, that is the ultimate pay back: to get on with one's life in a manner that so completely excludes him in any possible way.

Interesting hub.


cheatlierepeat profile image

cheatlierepeat 5 years ago from Canada Author

I agree that getting on with ones life is the ultimate payback, as is being truly happy. It seems common that the betrayed spouses are the ones who end up happy in the long run while the cheaters just go on repeating their miserable patterns and mistakes.

Hysterical Bonding - I sort of agree with you, I dislike the actual term but do grasp a little of what is represents. I do remember in the months following the discovery of my ex's affair that we did have about a 6 month-ish time period where we were all crazy in love, crazy committed to having the best marriage etc, etc, blah, blah... almost a newly wed phase. Looking back it was probably based more on his fear of losing me and my fear of losing him to the affair partner (I really wanted to "win" at that time). That sounds foolish but our egos make us do strange things. Yeah, I see your point, hysterical bonding sounds more like a "therapy catch phrase" suggesting a mental issue (which I have no problem pleading temp. insanity because I gave the jerk another chance).

Thanks so much for your kind comments and taking the time to read and respond. I appreciate the feedback.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

LOL No, you weren't insane for giving him another chance...esp when there are kids involved. I gave my jerk a second and third, whatever...but, he was in a pattern play as well.

I think the hysterical bonding is like a 'honeymoon' phase, but then, you don't really get to the issue? I meant there is a HUGE breach in trust and what about the betrayal, etc. If you are honeymooning the next phase is -taking each other for granted again...oops, and sliding back into the pattern.

Interesting subject for sure!


wonderful1 profile image

wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California

Wow, reading your words is like hearing myself. Especially your profile. My ex denied an affair until we were officially "divorced," and then he admitted it. He texts me how "sorry" he is and "still loves me," but I see a pathetic liar who is still unhappy, looking to find anyone who will love him. Part of my "healing" is to recognize when someone doesn't return the love/respect/caring that I offer. He never did, and therefore doesn't deserve another chance. I agree with the comment about how monogamy has nothing to do with maturity, but of character. Great Hub, and I'll look forward to reading more of your work. Like you, my purpose is to help others who have or might go through the type of Hell that I went through from betrayal. It's totally true that the "victims" of infidelity usually become stronger, wiser, and better for the experience while the cheater spirals down further into the pit of despair caused by his or her own choices. Thank you for the good read. It fuels my soul to know that I walk the same path with other amazing people. Cheers!


cheatlierepeat profile image

cheatlierepeat 5 years ago from Canada Author

I'm so glad that you see him for what he is. My ex is the same, well now he has reached the "he hates me" phase because I have moved on. He is only nice when he thinks it will benefit him. Knowing I have moved on and there is no chance for him to suck me back in makes him bitter and hateful. I still get the occasional "poor him, I left him and ruined his life" message but it's fuuny how it's all my fault for leaving and his affairs are never acknowledged as cause for leaving, cheaters are so self absorbded, it's too predictable sometimes.

Keep in touch and so glad you came out on the good side of it as well.


wonderful1 profile image

wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California

Wow, good for you, and keep shining like a star. I laugh at my ex, cause HE goofed! He was so sure his mistress was "all that," and they've broken up (less than 2 years into our separation). I begged to go see a counselor, and even changed everything about myself that he said bothered him for years. But it didn't matter-- my ex said he "fell out of love" and there's no point to seeing a therapist. Now our kids resent him, and I would never take him back. Talk about having the rest of your life to kick yourself. I, however, have my dignity, self-respect knowing I tried everything (like you). Am I more mature? I'm pretty sure, but I have a different set of moral rules than he. I never would have quite and walked away like he did. I tried. Funny, I even forgave him with the thought of him having an affair, and he was the one who needed his ego stroked. Sick. I like communicating with you-- too bad we can't have some coffee and chat. My best to you, and I'll be around.


cheatlierepeat profile image

cheatlierepeat 5 years ago from Canada Author

I begged, I pleaded, I changed who I was. I did it all! Then one day I woke up and thought "you know what, eff you" I'm a beautiful person on the inside and out and if you want to run around with dirt, fill your boots. However, my son and I deserve more..I deserve a faithful husband and he deserves a father who honors his child and his mother. Turns out the affair partners weren't that special in the light of day and certainly not worth losing his family over. If you're ever in Vancouver, look me up :)


cheatlierepeat profile image

cheatlierepeat 5 years ago from Canada Author

Oh and can't wait to read some of your hubs, but just off to an appt.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

I feel for what you went through...I understand and I agree with your decisions. So true....it IS etched in stone. If only the mind could be erased.....the pain could be removed and the betrayal deleted.....but this is silly...for it cannot be like a fantasy. What's real is oh-so-dreadful for a spell.

Thank you for sharing such personal and private emotions with us. UP+++

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