ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Gender and Relationships»
  • Marriage


Updated on October 23, 2010


I have read many a hub lately and many an article on other sites about cheating and infidelity in marriage. In some hubs and articles, there seems to be an urgency to convince the party cheated on, I guess, the cheatee, often the woman, that it is not his or her fault. And as long as we stay stuck on whose fault it is, we miss the many pieces that, when put together, can result in life-altering events for both parties. These life-altering events can serve as a catalyst for yet even more profound life-altering events, that can move a relationship to a plane never before imagined. But as long as we stay bogged down in hanging on to whose fault it is, these new discoveries will elude us.

Now, it is a given in my book, that some folks who cheat, really have far more "interesting" issues than simply cheating. They walk around with such a complete void of emotional connectivity, that they could be considered, on some level, dangerous. And they will continue to cheat almost addictively and with little awareness of the pain that either they are suffering or the pain they are causing for others. Healing for this person is like trying to repair a shattered limb or a shattered body. Not impossible, but extremely painstaking. And I think for the person cheated on in these cases, there is a responsibility to ask themselves, "Why am I drawn to this person?" The point here is not blame, but simply self discovery and healing.

But I think that many times cheating occurs because all of us come to a relationship with holes in our soul. The ecstasy that accompanies the initial closeness in a relationship at first does an incredible job of covering up those holes, but as distance takes over again, the holes are exposed. Sometimes the pain that pours out of those holes is so intense, a person is driven to do every and anything to find relief. There is no emotional disconnection here. Unfortunately, no one ever brings our awareness to those holes and the resultant pain because we are so focused on whose fault it is. And as we will find out in the story's conclusion, sex is not the driver.

In my work with couples, I always invite both people to confront how each has been unfaithful to the relationship. Obviously, this can be very difficult for the "cheatee." But often the person cheated on has become blind to how they have not been in the relationship, perhaps for years. In fact, sometimes there has never been a relationship from the beginning. Two people went through the motions of getting married, but were never married in any psychological or spiritual sense. Perhaps both people were incapable of marriage. As in the story that follows, the person cheated on possessed his partner and never held himself accountable for his own behavior.

None of my commentary here is meant to excuse infidelity or to try to erase or minimize the pain for the one cheated on. But it is meant to open up some windows to look at a more complex and definitely bigger picture of what infidelity actually is..

Now a hubber you want to definitely read on this topic is Justsilvie. Sylvia really tells a story of the depth of love and the complexity of love and how affairs, as painful as they are, do not have to sound the end nor are the couple codependent or crazy for staying in the relationship. In one of her most recent hubs, she also talks about the holes, although perhaps from a slightly difference perspective. But I think she brings us new insights into betrayal.

WHAT FOLLOWS HERE IS A SHORT STORY, one that therapists hear over and over, if they are able to hear it. Many therapists are in too much of their own pain to allow these stories to unfold, so they too get on the whose-fault-it-is bandwagon. The story is made up mainly of dialogue between a couple, between a therapist and the one cheated on, in this case a man, and between the man and his own internal voices. Please leave comments if you have any or share your own personal experience.


She was calm, but loud. He worried that the neighbors could hear.

"How many F words do you know, Jack? Obviously forgiveness isn’t one of them. Come on, Babe, think about it. What’s going to happen if you just let go of this...this, what should we call it? An obsession? I think that’s exactly what it is, an obsession with me coming clean, as you put it, wanting me to tell you the dirty details of a momentary fling some eighteen yeas ago. You don’t seem to worry about it when I’m on top of you."

She took a cup of tea out of the microwave and picked up where she left off.

"You don’t get it do you? You treat me like some little kid with a dirty diaper, and worse you want to rub my nose in it. Won’t work for me anymore, Jack. Won’t work for US.

She slowly and loudly sipped her tea. The sound was annoying to him and she knew it. She continued.

"So when was the last time you saw ME? Can you even remember? Do you ever see anything about me other than my moment of failure? Try, just for a split second, seeing all of who I am. Try loving all of who I am. What the hell are you afraid will happen if you do that? You know you have a few dirty diapers yourself."

"I never said I was perfect, Arlene, but...."

"There’s no ‘but’ here, Jack."

"But you don’t get it."

"You damned right, I don’t get it."

"Arlene, I watched what happened in my family, and I swore I’d never let any of that happen to me. You know..."

"Jack, get a f***ing grip. You repeated exactly what happened in your family. How do you not see that? Come on. How about we start with your drinking and then you’re affair with porn, and can you get it for even a moment that you’re righteous insistence that I replay every detail of my adultery is like a choke hold? I mean, come on, Jack. There’s only so many ways two people can do it in two minutes. Are you wanting to get off on the details? Is that it? Or are you wanting to get off by rubbing my nose in it?"

"I wasn’t having an affair with porn. Men look at porn."

"Oh, so you’ve done a study. Men look at porn. Well sometimes a woman screws another guy, but that doesn’t make it okay, does it? Like I said, this obsession with the nasty details is like a choke hold on me. Can you see that pretty picture, Jack? You gotta choke hold on me, and then you want me to make love to you. You think I’m into that kind of s**t? Do you think your strangling me with your insane need to know details makes me want to love you? You want to know what I get out of it? A mouthful of your sick need to get even, and you don’t even know who you’re trying to get even with. But I gotta tell ya, Jack. Look me in the eye, Babe. It’s over!

"What’s over?"

"You choking me with this s**t and then thinking that I can turn around and have sex with you....Where in your alleged mind does it make any sense that me telling you some blow by blow details is going to do anything for you or for us? It’s not going to come close to even touching that hole in your soul, Jack. And you don’t get it. That’s your hole in your soul and has absolutely nothing to do with my two minute fling. You were already out of the relationship, Jack. You weren’t there for me. And I don’t hold that against you....Eighteen years ago, Jack. Eighteen years ago....You’re killing me, Jack. No, on second thought, you’re killing us." She started for the staircase.

"Where are you going?"

"What do you mean, where am I going? I’m not going anywhere, just like I haven’t gone anywhere for the last eighteen years. I’m here every night, in bed with you, but apparently you somehow miss that."

They lay there together that night, looking up at the ceiling, saying nothing, being perfectly still. She kept hoping that he might say something, anything with even a hint of forgiveness or letting go. He kept hoping that she might say she understood and was sorry for being so hard on him earlier and maybe even relent and begin giving him what he desperately wanted. They somehow managed to fall asleep.

In a dream that night, he saw himself making love to one woman after another. At some point, in the dream, she entered the room, and just stood there, staring at him. He woke up feeling embarrassed, making a startled sound as he did. When he turned to get comfort from her, she was gone. He could hear her snoring in the other bedroom.

As he walked the aisles of the store the next day, he noticed woman after woman wearing shorts so short that he could almost not stop himself from looking. Some of them weren’t even attractive, but he still felt enticed to look.

With no awareness of his staring, he started thinking, "I wonder why I want to know the details?" But he could not find an answer. He just could not let it go. He had held on to the need to know for so long, that his body whispered to him that he would die if he let go.

In his session with his therapist, she suggested that perhaps it had something to do with the nightmare of events related to his work, But he couldn’t see it. He saw no connection whatsoever and began thinking of firing her. "What psychological bulls**t," he thought to himself.

"So you have a look on your face, Jack. What is it? What are you thinking about right now?"

He didn’t want to tell her that he was thinking about firing her. "Nothing, really. I...I was just trying to make sense how whatever I’ve been through has anything to do with my wife cheating on me."

"So how long ago was it?"

"How long ago was what?"

"Your wife cheating on you."

"Eighteen years, but I still can’t trust her. She falls in love with every and anybody at the drop of a hat."

"Everybody, but you."

"Yeah, everybody but me."

"So why can’t she fall in love with you at the drop of a hat? Is there something about you that prevents that? I mean you seem like a really good man to me, Jack. I can’t see why any woman wouldn’t fall in love with you at the drop of a hat."

"What are you getting at?"

"I don’t know, really. It’s just a question. Why can’t she fall in love with you at the drop of a hat?"

"Yeah, I heard the question. Don’t you think I’d like to know?"

"So, what is the one thing, Jack?"

"You’re so f***ing slick! Has anyone ever cheated on you?"


Now there was silence.

"And so what did you do?"

"In the first case, I left. The second time, we worked it out."

"The second time?"

"Yes, the second time. That was 12 years ago. And we’ve been good ever since. My first husband was one of those people who cheat because they are completely empty on the inside. They have no remorse about anything. They use people. But then there are people, perhaps like you and me, who cheat because there is some need the relationship isn’t filling, and perhaps the relationship can’t....You know, Jack, at rock bottom, we are all pretty simple people, but then again we are also complicated people, and sometimes we have issues that we have to take care of for ourselves. And instead of stepping up to the plate and taking care of them, we act out. And sometimes cheating occurs when both partners are being unfaithful in some way or another, and then both partners have to take responsibility for healing to occur."

"I heard you try to slip that in, people like you and me cheat. I didn’t cheat. And what would I have to take responsibility for?"

"I guess the question is how did you cheat or how do you still cheat? So you didn’t have a one night stand, but there are a thousand ways partners can be unfaithful to each other."

"I have not been unfaithful, no way no how."

"You’re being unfaithful now!"


"You’re being her judge, her father, her probation officer, her jailer, you name it. Everything but her lover."

"She won’t let me be her lover?"

"I think you have to face the painful truth, Jack. She will never be able to love you while you hold this over her head. It’s not like it happened yesterday or continues to happen. You gotta give it up, Jack. And if you don’t, it probably won’t kill her, but it may kill you, and it definitely is going to kill your relationship for good if it hasn’t already."

He left her office still holding on. He wondered if he could ever let it go. He wondered if a male therapist would understand.

He woke up sweating. At first he could not make his eyes open, and the darkness from the nightmare spilled over into his awakened state. Finally, he was able to get the message from his brain to his eyelids. His eyes opened. The nightlight from the hallway brought relief. He reached for her, but there was no one there. He could hear her sleeping in the other bedroom.

He was angry with the therapist. She planted that seed so that one more time he had to relive a nightmare he just wished would go away. He felt so completely powerless over those events so many years ago. He felt so betrayed by the way everyone turned on him. He was just doing his job. He had done nothing wrong, but management seemed hell bent on protecting the bad guys. And for a moment, he got it, what the therapist was saying, but it quickly faded, and he did not remember his awareness when the sun finally rose on a new day.

When he went to give her a kiss, he saw a beautiful woman and he felt lucky, but it quickly dissolved, and again he saw someone who betrayed him, and she wasn’t supposed to do such a thing. Whatever he had done in the relationship was small in comparison, he thought to himself. He had to get out of the room quickly as a rush of sadness and anger began to overtake him.

When the therapist asked him if he knew what tunnel vision was, he wanted to be a smart ass and say no. What was she up to now? She continued relentlessly.

"So how do you imagine you can even get to first base here when you see yourself as the good guy and she, the bad guy? It’s not like that, Jack, with the two of you. But as long as you insist that it is, you’re stuck, and I feel sorry for you. Because you are the kind of guy that I or any other woman could fall in love with at the drop of a hat. But you’re going to make damn sure it doesn’t happen with your wife."

He was stunned. Is she trying to tell me that she is attracted to me or what is she trying to tell me? "What the hell do I care," he thought. But he couldn’t get it out of his head, that she was saying that she could fall in love with him at the drop of a hat. What the hell was that about?

"Jack, you’re a good man, a good catch. How many times does anyone have to tell you that before you believe it? And if you ever get to believing it, then you got to ask yourself if you want your wife to be the one who catches you. Or are you going to try to lock her up with a life sentence, or worse, strangle her until she finally runs away from you?"

He hated these moments. He didn’t know if she was waiting for him to say something or not. And worse, he had nothing to say. They both sat and stared at each other for what seemed like the time it takes for the light to change when you’re in a hurry. .

"You try to keep good track of her, don’t you, Jack? Well, the problem with that is, it probably wasn’t the sex that drove her eighteen years ago."

"Oh, so now I get to hear what it is that drives a cheater to cheat."

"I don’t think she cheated on you Jack. It’s something bigger than that, and you might want to try to catch this. What drives many people, and maybe women in particular, is a longing and a yearning to be free."

He wasn’t sure why he put up with her annoying questions and commentary. What the hell is a longing and a yearning to be free? He wondered why he paid for such bulls**t. But for a split second, he faced the question like never before. What will happen if I do just give it up, if I freed myself of what Arlene calls my obsession? His body kept whispering, "you will die." But he knew that wasn’t the case. If he was going to die, he would have died that night so many years ago, now only a lingering nightmare. Somewhere in there, he knew. He knew there truly was nothing as awful as that night, when perhaps the only one who had any control over his life was God. Somewhere he knew that Arlene's two minute fling was really nothing. Except that perhaps it was the one thing in his life he thought he should have control over.

He held that truth for all of thirty seconds. And then once again, locked Arlene up in what he thought was his heart.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Thank you for sharing your experience. God works wonders in so many different ways. God is taking care of all of us and sometimes we just need to listen even tho it seems we are listening to silence. But in that silence, God often speaks to us and moves us in different directions, some directions we are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable going.

      I don't know who the prophetofgoddess is, but I do know we can pray each day for God to send into our lives the people who will walk us through our next chapter and God always does.

      Thanks for sharing, and I am happy that the two of you found your way home which in your case was to be together.



    • profile image

      Sonia 5 years ago

      My name is Sonia, I have been in a frustrating marriage for over 7 years.I found out that my husband was cheating on me and I confronted him and we both got into a fight. After that he became very cold to me,we even stopped sleeping on the same bed,through those years I never ever cheated on him and I wanted him back desperately,I searched for several solutions but none worked for me,I had given up on him because he had filed for divorce saying he has found a woman that made him feel happier than I ever did. 3 months before the divorce date I was surfing through this site when i saw many miracles done by a great spell caster named PROPHET OF GODDESS,I e mailed him at telling him of my problems,he instructed me on what to do and i did it i can remember he told me he was to do some prayers and consultations on my behalf which he did and got back to me after 2 days telling me that my husband was MINE AGAIN, I was surprised and doubtful cause I and my husband had not talked for long so I wondered how we would get back together, With faith I went home that night,to my greatest surprise my husband was at my house,he welcomed me with a kiss and fell to his knees asking for forgiveness....I could never forget that night cause it was the best night of my life.That was how we got back together till now. The next day I e mailed the PROPHET OF GODDESS thanking him and asking him what more I could do to thank him,he just told me to tell the whole world my testimony.I urge you all with problems or difficulties to e mail him at and you would be so happy as I am right now.

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      What an interesting question, what is the worst that can happen? I have asked clients to ask themselves that question a zillion times, but in recent months, I have not "used" that question for myself, interestingly enuf. And when I think back on my life, I think, for me, too, the worst has already happened. My next youngest sister recently told me I could live in the back bedroon and all I would have to do for rent is to keep up her gorgeous yard!! I tell ya, it looks peaceful and attractive!!

      Thanks again for commenting. I have to tell ya, I believe you when you say "my last day of sanity...." There are obviously ironies and paradoxes all over the place. I even wrote a short story about a WWII veteran, called "The Gifts Of War." But I cringe with sadness when I read that line, and I think most of us who have not gone to war or who are not policemen or firemen or contemporary warriors of one sort or another don't appreciate what we ask the soldier to sacrifice. Sanity is pretty tenuous as it is, even for the sanest of people, and then to outright ask one to give it up. Wow. Anywho, thanks again for commenting and sharing so much of yourself. Chheers!

      Jack & Arlene!

    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 7 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      V.My last day of sanity,before I went to Nam,I remember my DI saying"Honor,Integrity,Dignity...If your willing to die for these you are Truly Free.I understand that now more than I ever have.When I'm faced with a situation,weather it be critical to my businesses ore introducing my self to a New Lady,I ask my self"Whats the worst that can happen"?That question always puts things in perspective.I've already experienced the worst that can happen so I.m always calm and clear about my decisions.Just cause I need to say this,I play up my love affair with Heineken's for the amusement of my readers.I pride my self on letting Nothing control me.After all,whats the worst that can happen?Love Ya Jack and Arlene:)


    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Yes, Dean, you keep reminding me, "in a MANLY sort of way!! When you say that, you have to change your voice, like the ol' "manly manly skit" on the ol Saturday Night Live show.

      Anywho, I think relationships are so..what? "Interesting" doesn't cut it, but I am thinking that when we get bogged down in seeing relationships from whatever traditional perspective we have, we loose the richness of ANY relationship, even the one we are so-called committed to. So you have had wonder filled experiences in relationships and someone could say what is missing for you is long-term intimacy, but then someone who supposedly has long term intimacy may never experience what you experience in the so-called casual relationship. That recent movie with... why cant I recall his name, I can see his face. Up in the Air? Is that it? Maybe you know which one I am talking about, but what a powerful movie about so much and I guess everyone can draw their own conclusions, but the movie presents, I think, all the various issues involved in relationships.

      I have always enjoyed when either of my wives have obviously fallen in love with another man because it says she is still alive and has passion and maybe there is hope for us. I tell men all the time, you don't want to be jealous, because the day your wife has no more feelings for another man, that is the day she is probably dead, and you're out of luck. Most people do not get the subtleties of what I am saying or suggesting and are just blown away by what feels like me erasing all sacredness, and I'm not a morally carefree person, altho, today, there are some who would say I have lost all of my moral sensibility. But the passion of the soul does not live by morals, believe it or not. Doesn't mean we cannot think about the passion of our soul and make decisions that are moral or lifegiving, but sometimes many of us, for the sake of living the right life, kill off our soul.

      In recent months, relationships have saved my life and rekindled my own desire to be alive and live, not just by the skin of my teeth, but really live. And I figure at age 65, I am "qualified," so to speak, to take some risks and live (or die) with the consequences, but be alive as I die!! And I haven't had any Heinekin and I still talk like this!!

      As men, we are way too possessive of our women or wives or lovers, and in some way, ironically, it is supposed to be like that for both men and women. There are wonderful verses in Jeremiah where God says (I'm assuming to Jeremiah or to the people, "You are mine." There is something very life giving when two lovers say to each other "You are mine and I am yours." But it's about love and not possessiveness. I may have said this in another comment between us, but I have never believed in soul mates till now. In his book, "Soul Mates," Thomas Moore defines soul mate: "A soul mate is someone to whom we feel profoundly connected,as though the communicating and communing that take place between us were not the product of intentional efforts, but rather a diving grace." I know that must sound hokey as hell to some, and like I said, I have always thought it was a little over the top, but it's the only description of what I have experienced recently with one person in particular. When I am with this person, I feel as if I am HOME. Not a physical home, but Home Home, some almost metaphysical place from which I have been separated perhaps all of my life, and I can trace back to my early months, a very profound trauma which at another time I will share and maybe I already did either in a blog or somewhere along the way. I cannot remember anymore what I have shared and not!!! I guess I will know when the CIA shows up at my door!!! I was a member of the Peace and Freedom Party when it started in San Diego at the height of the Viet Nam War!!!! That's the only thing I know they might have on me!!! I don't think they are interested in the gold from Fort Corn Starch!

      But the physical pain of that trauma (remember I was an infant) I think literally separated me from my soul, and I have lived 65 years separated and in recent years drinking, not enuf for anyone to call me on it, but my current wife (we are now separated) did and I think, in part,that is why we are not together. but I drank enuf to cover up that pain of being separated from my soul, and interestingly enuf, she without realizing it, wanted me separated from my soul, so she could have ALL of me. She did not like my creative endeavors, the writing, etc., and saw it as a threat. Interesting. Hope she does not read this!! But eventho I thot I was drinking NOT too much, my liver said otherwise!

      Well, darn near another blog. I'm sipping on coffee, a blue berry bagel and cream cheese. Yes sipping on all of it!

      Just an aside, my blog was not so much from my perspective as a therapist, but from my experience of all of this "stuff." Sometimes we call it betrayal, but sometimes what is labeled betrayal maybe the catalyst to each person literally becoming alive and facing what all is killing them. In the story, Arlene has allowed herself to be held hostage all these years for the sake of security, and as a way to cover up the multitude of pain in her life before Jack. And Jack has used the relationship to cover up the agonizing pains from an on the job trauma which only topped the ice berg of all the awful experiences of growing up in an alcoholic family and never having anyone there to tangibly love him.

      In my recent journey, the pain literally growls out of the caverns of my soul, the sound you hear with an on-coming earthquake. I am blown away every single day. I weep like I have never wept before, every day, at the most inopportune times. My clients continue to show up. but I feel so betrayed all over the place, it is not funny. but I am all grown up now and I no longer have to be a victim to the betrayal, and I can start cleaning house and look at how I have betrayed so many of the people I love, as well. So thanks for letting me share all of this. I am a little bit of both Arlene and Jack! So next time you say, Love Ya, let me know if it's Arlene or Jack!!!!

      THANKS FOR READING, COMMENTING, AND THEN LISTENING TO ME AGAIN. Writing this comment has been very healing for me, especially today.

      Love ya too


    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 7 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      Hi V.Been a while since I visited[those damn Heinekens:)]and added to my education.This is the first time I've heard another person refer to the Hole in the soul,loved that description.I grew up believing sex with your wife is like going to church,a church you don't want anyone else to attend.If a woman cheats she is desecrating that church.On the other side of the coin,a man should Never go to Church Dirty.Strange analogy but it works for me.I think that tactful honesty is important when men and women Meet and should continue through out their contact.I use the word Contact,because as a single guy,contact may involve nothing more than a night of fun.If honesty is there,no one gets hurt.I asked a couple of my buddy's which they considered worse...their partner having a meaningless one night stand...or having their partner become emotionally intimate with another man.These dudes didn't even hesitate.All said a physical one night-er was Worse than an emotional attachment!I was Stunned!If I don't have her heart there's no connection...even in a fling!I'm sure my point of view is valid cause I've never had an angry parting of ways and remained friends with the women I've cherished...even the one nighters.Whew!I just blabbed my heart out...You have a way of bringing that out in people.That is the Hallmark of a great therapist.Rated Up Up Up on this hub bro.Love Ya...[in a Manly sort a way:)]


    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      How awesome, Karanda! Yes, it is yesterday. It is 10:09 pm, Sunday evening!! And five hours aga, it was 5:09 pm, obviously, and it was 10:30 am on Monday there. That is so cool!! You folks, down under think you're so smart, cause you're always ahead of us!!! Thanks. I don't know if I told you bfore, but when I was active in ham radio, still have license, but not on air, I was always so intrigued talking to folks in Australia and New Zealand because of the time difference. So anywho. Take care tomorrow and the next day. Let me know if there is anything you can warn me about, so I can take whatever precautions are necessary!!!


    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Vern you make me laugh every time. Your post says 20 hours ago for me it is 10:30 am, Monday, Nov 08 and I do believe it is still 2010 so you will get to read this yesterday.

      Another thought provoking hub and comments. Good stuff.

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Larry, Thanks for reading and commenting. Good to hear from you again. I am glad that it all worked out for the two of you. I am beginning to believe more and more that life is just plain imperfect and complicated and we all have buggers on our fingers!! So we keep working at healing and if we are not being victimized, then forgiving as well. That is an entire nother blog!!

      Thanks for stopping by. Good to hear from you, Larry


      Thanks for reading, Karanda and commenting. I shared with someone else on hub pages, that trust is a difficult thing because at some point it is no longer about a person's behavior, but about the feeling inside the stomach of the person who does not trust, and that feeling may be more about a history of experiences and not what the spouse did. And a lot of folks do not agree with me, but I think betrayal in a relationship is never one sided. It is humbling for the person so called cheated on to acknowledge all the ways they too have been unfaithful. Anywho, fifteen hours ago, it was morning there but probably on the following day!! Good evening from Southern Cal (9:09 pm, Saturday, Nov 06, and just in case, 2010!! What year is it there? If you respond to this comment, tell me what time it was there NOW!!


    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Good morning Vern, that's quite a story you've given us. Does one indiscretion ruin a relationship? I think it probably does. Once the trust is broken there will always be that wondering, will he, will she do it again. Perhaps there are some couples out there prepared to work through it but even after many years of 'being good' as in your story there may always be the doubt.

      It's a tough one. Glad I don't have to live with it. Goodnight from me, gee that's weird stuff isn't it, the time difference?

    • palmerlarryray profile image

      Larry Ray Palmer 7 years ago from Macon, Missouri

      Good stuff there Vern. I've been on both sides of this issue myself. The affair I had was probably the best thing I could of done for my marriage because it made both of us realize what we had but I was one of the lucky ones because we worked it out. It doesn't make it right but it did let her know how it felt and we have been stronger for it.

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California


      Thanks for the comment. It may be very helpful to others who struggle just to read your comment. But it is a heck of a journey to let go of the obsession and then also for the other person to be open to your "renewed" heart so to speak. I so appreciate your struggle with all of this.


    • profile image

      Justsilvie 7 years ago

      From your story:

      What will happen if I do just give it up, if I freed myself of what Arlene calls my obsession? His body kept whispering, "you will die." But he knew that wasn’t the case. If he was going to die, he would have died that night so many years ago, now only a lingering nightmare.

      This really struck a cord. The whole after an affair situation becomes an obsession and when you finally let it go and look at the person you love and realize it happened and forgive yourself and them, you know it really is over and you can work on finding your way back to each other.

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Thanks for the feedback, Erin. No need to apologize! Remember it is just a story! Not a how to do therapy. And it shows how even we as therapist bring our own stuff to the table, and yes, perhaps say too much sometimes!! Thanks for reading and commenting. Lots of good "information" in your comment.


    • profile image

      Erin 7 years ago

      Any therapist I've been too has helped me figure out my problems and led me in the right direction, not been so bold as to inject their opinions and tell me how to think or judge me. I wouldn't go to talk with anyone who was so into my face and business. I'm sorry, that was my reaction to reading this hub. I've been reading your hubs Vern and usually I do find them helpful and find some insight I can take away. Thanks for writing. Erin

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Hey, you deserve all the kinds of words! I am glad it struck a note. So often I write from a combination of personal experience and the shared experience of others, and as I write, sometimes, these insights popup, like it's about wanting to be free. thanks again.


    • profile image

      Justsilvie 7 years ago

      Wow, Excellent Hub! I need to read this again. You struck a note, Vern.

      And thanks for the kind words about my hubs... still hanging in there by the skin of my teeth.

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Terri. Jack and Arlene are real but also fictional and they represent probably all of us in relationships in one way or another. We all, myself included, are unfaithful in our relationships, perhaps not having an affair with another person, but having affairs with every and anything but each other as a way to escape the pain we bring to the relationship in the first place. It's not a perfect world, so it is unavoidable to bring pain. And we think the marriage or the relationship is going to make the pain dissolve, but it doesn't and so then we go through the disillusionment.

      For any relationship to heal, both have to truly DESIRE to heal and be willing to be extremely vulnerable, perhaps to the point of going for it even if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. They also have to know that maybe they can heal the relationship but not necessarily the marriage, but perhaps both. But Jack and Arlene, as well as any of us, obviously have a lot of growing up to do so they can bring "renewed" people to the table and then healing of the relationship can happen and maybe even healing of the marriage.

      Listen to me, Terri, like I really know what I am talking about!!


      I mentioned another hubber at the very beginning of the hub. Justsilvie. She has bravely shared with the entire world her recent journey of healing her relationship after an affair. She is very brave to share with all of us and quite enlightening.

      Thanks again, Terri, for supporting my hubs.


    • profile image

      Terri huerta 7 years ago

      Dear Vern....What a powerful story...I felt that I knew them ,it was so well written..i want the next story to be on what Jack and Arlenes healing look like. Thank you for sharing your talent! love terri