Does a Disloyal Spouse Hurt as much as a Loyal Spouse?


Have you ever heard a Disloyal Spouse say that their affair was just as hard on them as it was on their Loyal Spouse?   Usually, when such a statement is made other Loyal Spouses will join the chorus, saying “Of course it wasn’t as hard on you…We were blind-sided!” or something similar.  But for this article I want to share with you a very open, honest reply from one Loyal Spouse (names have been changed for anonymity):


I will post this, not really wanting to but just to get a point across and to maybe help others to see how a Disloyal Spouse could possibly hurt as bad as a Loyal Spouse. Not saying in every case, not saying every time, not even saying in my case, but this will hopefully give some insight into <a Disloyal Spouse’s> frame of mind the moments leading up to the affair. And it will also show the state of our sorry marriage pre-affair.

I will post here and now what I did … over roughly 10 years. It’s not pretty, I am deeply ashamed and regretful but I was depressed, had <some hormonal imbalance> and was completely shut down emotionally. I had my own issues also.

Here we go..and remember this is ONLY touching the surface.

No I was never physical, I never ever or verbally abused but I did humiliate , and I rejected physically and emotionally. In 10 years I would guess we had sex maybe 3-4 times a year at most. We went for about a year before without sex, I could have gone the whole time without it. I had zero desire, none. And that meant I didn’t desire at all and knew it.

In the last 3 years, <my Disloyal Spouse> got counseling, lost weight, got incredibly hot, beat depression, had a new attitude, bought sexy clothes, bought candles, perfumes, turned down the lights on more than one occasion and pranced around in front of me in <sexy outfits> and you know what I did? I told <my DS they> didn’t look very good.., or I ignored <my Disloyal> completely; it NEVER led to sex ever.  It actually pi$$ed me off when <my spouse>did it. <My spouse> tried this over roughly 3 years. <My disloyal> tried to have an affair with me.

Eventually my spouse stopped sleeping in our bed after a while because <my DS> couldn’t handle the loneliness and hurt.  You see if <my spouse> even touched me I would pull away or say stop it. I did NOT want my DS touching me. So, <my DS> started sleeping on the couch and that was about the beginning of the end.

My Disloyal Spouse got me into counseling and even the counselor knew it wasn’t good but he couldn’t get through to me either. I didn’t stick with it of course.

I said things in front of friends that were degrading about and it brings tears to my eyes as I type this. When wanted to make love I made comments like..”It’s just sex what’s the big deal?”   begged me once towards the end to make love, was in tears and I snapped back, “Make love to you…look at you your crying”

NO ONE but <my spouse> will ever truly understand the depth of my coldness and rejection that I put <my DS> through. I KNOW <my DS> suffered horribly and for a long long time. Now does it equal my pain? Who is to say it does or doesn’t.  I know <my disloyal> cried a lot over the years and would cry at night in bed. I know <my spouse> begged to be loved… touched…held, but I wouldn’t.

God, I was cruel at times and <my Disloyal Spouse>  hurt and hurt bad.

<My DS> posted once about this and there is even more things I said and did, so if you want to see more it’s out there.

So, you all know the rest of the story.  My Disloyal reached out to an old flame, and sought passion elsewhere. Not an excuse at all, but had I been a loving, caring, hands on spouse, my DS would NEVER have reached out for another person.  <My Disloyal> didn’t cheat on a happy marriage or caring spouse, <my DS> cheated on a $hity marriage and a cold shutdown spouse. Again, <my Disloyal> should have divorced me true..but there were reasons <my DS> felt that wouldn’t be wise–primarily the security and well being of our children.

Am I defending the affair?  NO!!!  I am giving you some insight as to how my  Disloyal Spouse felt. I am 10 weeks past Discover Day, and I am not a foolish person.  I have read a lot and learned a lot and my Disloyal Spouse IS different! <My DS’s? reason for the affair is not the norm. This new me could never put up with that much rejection for a month let alone for years. So when I say we had no marriage pre-affair I am not kidding.

Who is to say who hurts more?

What we are learning is that it doesn’t matter now–we are HAPPILY married now!  Sure there are some challenges but this new marriage is FAR from the old one.  I love my spouse, I hold, cuddle, talk, laugh and joke with my spouse, and  loves me and is doing everything to make up for this horrible choice. knows s/he messed up, and owns it, but I own my part too and perhaps that’s were we are a tad different?

When <my DS> prances around now…well I can tell you <my spouse> isn’t rejected anymore, and when <my spouse> comes to me in tears because of sorrow, we hold each other when we hurt!

This marriage is different than before, it is far better and far more fulfilling. I guess the biggest question and the biggest unknown is, will it endure. will it stand the test of time….will this Reconciliation work? ….I think so, I hope so!
I am so incredibly sorry for what I said and what I did, and for what I didn’t do. I know this is hard to read, it drums up a horrible past and a lot of hurt. Believe me, I didn’t like writing it, I wiped away tears more then once to write this.  Know that I am sorry and I love you with every ounce of my being.


I made this very frank and honest post into an article because it is one of the biggest obstacles a couple has to overcome in order to reconcile: namely that there are TWO in the marriage, and both partners need to look at what they did and how they hurt their spouse, and work to change.

Some Loyal Spouses may say that I’m trying to blame the affair on the one who remained faithful,  but this is not about “blaming” anyone. I believe that each individual is responsible for what they did.  Each spouse needs to look at their own actions and choices, and if they were wrong, they were wrong!  Each spouse is responsible to change themselves–whether the other one does or not!   Your spouse’s bad choice does not justify your own bad behavior…and it also doesn’t mean that now your bad choice is good!

You did what you did.  Own it.  Work on changing it.

**Thanks are due to two very special friends at Talk About Marriage>Coping With Infidelity who are fighting the good fight.  You know who you are.

15 thoughts on “Does a Disloyal Spouse Hurt as much as a Loyal Spouse?

  1. I am a loyal spouse. For many years I endured physical beatings, emotional abuse and verbal abuse plus my husband making me think I was crazy.

    I never once cheated. i cooked his favorite meals, had so much stress preparing his birthday celebrations, painted his special costumes for parties, let him sleep in while i work 16 hour days. All along he kept telling me I was worthless, not good enough, stupid and disgusting. If he deemed I was a failure in a petty task such as parking, he would punish me by prohibiting me from taking my rightful place beside him at the dinner table. If I did something right, he would reward me with intimacy.

    I do something wrong or not up to expectation, he would curtail intimacy, refuse to hug and kiss and would tell me that I only deserved such when I FINALLY learn to differentiate between a command, order and request.

    When i recently found out after years of turning the other cheek and forgiving the many abuses, that he was also cheating on me many times over with many women, he wanted me to beg on my knees for him not to kick me out of the house for having the balls to question him.

    AM I LIKE THIS LOYAL SPOUSE IN YOUR BLOG THEN, THAN IT WAS MY FAULT THAT HE DID EVERYTHING TO ME? He would tell me I was a good wife, never nagging, not suspicious but I needed to be toughened up thus the STRICT treatment.

    When asked, he said to me, I MADE HIM THIS WAY.


    1. This woman is married to a Narcarsisst, with full blown personality disorder. May God have mercy on him for this cruelty.

  2. Sorry if this sounds unGodly, but to be honest i wouldn’t care if the disloyal spouse feels bad and hurt, so they should, they had a choice to commit the sin or not, they chose to do it. The loyal spouse had no choice in the matter.

    1. True that! I felt rejected and hurt in my former marriage too. (I was loyal). My love language is physical touch. As the marriage went on, I began to have a tougher time getting the hugs and affection I craved. Towards the end, I was the one propositioning my husband for sex. He was somewhat apathetic and would be like maybe later. So, I’d ask again later. I honestly believe the only reason I got sex was because he wanted to prevent me from suspecting something. Before his first affair, I never went more than 3 days without sleeping with him. Later on, he wouldn’t even sleep with me that often. Plus, he was very rude to me and said some very cruel things during his second known affair. (I suspect there were more). Despite the pain and neglect, I turned down other guys. I could have had plenty of excuses to sleep with another man, but I choose not to.

  3. I wish that is what happened, then at least I knew there was something I could do to change my marriage! My story is the exact opposite, which makes it that much more hurtful and confusing. We had our ups and downs but when things were good like two incomes first family vacation, learniimg how to truly love my husband. That is when he had an affair with a coworker. Now our marriage is as bad as this posts before marriage, with all of this happening over a year ago. At least I can say that I learned what it was like to fully love and trust just the wrong person!

  4. I /my marriage sounds pretty much like the first comment from Kayla. All I ever did was try to make him happy and our family a good thing, and when he wasn’t happy I tried even harder. But truthfully I knew pretty much from the start that the way he treated me was not right, NOT AT ALL. But when you look at him, he was the total package. He was everything I was looking for in a life partner. I just knew that we would be a great couple. Where he was weak I was strong, and where I was weak he was strong. It’s so sad be cause we could of had it all, had he ever let me into his world. Let me be his partner not just to be his arm candy in public and his slave at home. Slave as I did it was never good enough. I learned to love and hate at the same time. And I did plenty of putting him down because I could see how he treated everyone else and I just kept wondering why? what did I do to deserve this? I did finally realize – I DID NOTHING WRONG, NOTHING TO DESERVE THIS EXCEPT MARRY A MAN WITH DEEP CHILDHOOD WOUNDS THAT AFFECTED EVERY PART OF HIM. I know that most of this nightmare is HIS FAULT. It’s his fault because he refuses to see his treatment of me as abuse. He refuses to look within himself and see where he might be lacking. Or I’ve come to understand that maybe he is looking inside and he doesn’t like what he sees (who does?) but won’t/cant acknowledge that he has issues so he just continues to beat himself (silently) in his own mind, while still blaming me. I worry that hjis internal struggle may be too much for him to handle and could just end it all (suicide) because he cant own any of it. I wish he could reach for help-NOT THE KIND HE REACHED FOR BEFORE- but true help from a professional. Heaven help us , him PLEASE

  5. I have no idea why we call the letter writer the “Loyal Spouse.” This man is so awful that he deserves all the pain both of them felt. I hurt for the “disloyal” one and whatever she endured in her life that would kill her self esteem so much that she went back after the affair.

  6. Divorce is an option you know-the “disloyal” did not make the “loyal” fall i to another’s arms. It was a choice- actually many along the way. Nothing warrants cheating as a solution and this article is victim blaming at its highest. If you’re not happy, get a divorce! Don’t make choices for the other that they are not even aware of and that put their health in danger!

    1. CT,

      I don’t believe you read the entire article, because I know the person who wrote those words and I know their Disloyal Spouse, and their marriage is reconciled and strong today because of what this Loyal Spouse wrote.

      The paragraphs at the end even say this: “Some Loyal Spouses may say that I’m trying to blame the affair on the one who remained faithful, but this is not about “blaming” anyone. I believe that each individual is responsible for what they did. Each spouse needs to look at their own actions and choices, and if they were wrong, they were wrong! Each spouse is responsible to change themselves–whether the other one does or not! Your spouse’s bad choice does not justify your own bad behavior…and it also doesn’t mean that now your bad choice is good!”

      A Disloyal Spouse’s adultery is 100% their choice and they are personally responsible for and have to endure the natural consequences of their choice. But if the Loyal Spouse was making bad choice prior to the infidelity, that doesn’t “excuse” their continued bad choices. Each spouse is personally responsible for WHATEVER they did and said, and each spouse has to stop pointing fingers at others. Both spouses share responsibility for the condition of the marriage prior to the affair; the Disloyal holds sole responsibility for the decision to cheat.

      This is the hardest thing to overcome when talking to couples.

    2. Agreed. I have the cancer causing strain of hpv. I know because I had so many problems that I had to have a hysterectomy to prevent cancer. I’ll never know if my ex picked it up from a girlfriend before marriage or from a mistress during marriage. Sometimes, I do wonder if I could have prevented all this by divorcing him after the first known affair instead of several years later. Plus, I was not exactly dancing on the rooftops in my marriage, but I remained faithful.

  7. i have been with my spouse for 23 years, married 16 and have 4 beautifull children.About 12 years ago i suffered a severe trauma, the loss of my mother,next year my father, and within the year my younger only sibling. They all died from cancer and I and my spouse took care of them whole they died in front of us both.After this I began to treat my wife poorly, belittling her calling her names and constantly arguing getting mad atevery little thing. 12 years later after talking to a friend I realized that I was suffering from severe clinical depression. I went on line and immediately began to self help. I started to care about things again,lost 60 lbs and got back into shape, and began to get ready to explain my situation to my spouse. Before i got a chance to come clean and repair the damage my behavior had caused I found out she had a brief cyber phone sex affair with a local person. It almost got to the meeting stage but she called it off before and decided to make ammends with me. I found out from the op through a mailed letter. I was devastated, all of my feeling of depression had returned with a vengance, along with the betrayal I am an emotional mess.I do blame her for not coming to me first but I blame myself for not sitting down with her and explaining my situation. It seems to be a no win situation.My spouse seems truly sorry and remorsefull but says she thought it was over and I didnt love her any more thats why it happened , now she wants to work things out but all I want to do is discuss it and get as much info ,she wants to forget it and move on.I feel completely lost and to blame , I know she also hurts.

  8. I am the loyal spouse. My spouse mistreated me, emotionally and sexually starved me of any affection and inflicted cruel and painful comments to me for 39 years. He stonewalled and shut me out. I begged and pleaded for us to get help, suffered bulimia, anxiety and various ailments due to stress. I continued to respect, to love and involve him in my life as if we were a “normal” couple while getting help for myself. Finally, I began to heal and told him he must get help for himself and for us as a couple or I knew our marriage would be over. Waited 1.5 years while he became even more abusive and silent. Finally, he became very vicious towards me, with hatred and disdain towards me. He was having an affair. He said it was because he felt so alone and unloved by me. Instead of seeking help he chose to cheat. He took 1.5 years of what he calls me “abandoning him” (I was still there but no longer reacted or gave of myself in spite of his actions and words) and then decided to get his emotional and sexual needs met elsewhere. Pain and loss is unbearable because I knew the danger and vulnerability we were in and he refused to look at his and our issues. Now we are separated while he is healing, while I am healing and his pain is unbearable because he is finally out of the fog and he knows what he has done and is finally looking at why. My pain is beyond unbearable because in the end he made the choice to not work on our marriage and now I bear further pain and anguish due to his betrayal.

  9. I am a DS, and I have suffered from severe depression my whole life. Been on and off meds. when my meds stopped working a few years ago, I tried some others to no avail before I stopped cold. I was absolutely miserable to my spouse, shut down emotionally and physically, belittled them, and didn’t show any appreciation for them even though they cared for me like a knight in shining armor during my darkest hours. I was loved, but couldn’t feel the love.

    when i went on a business trip i had a one night affair with a person in my industry who was staying at the same hotel. I was extremely exhausted, depressed, and very very drunk, although those are only factors and not reasons. Can’t remember much of the nite, but I know something sexual happened and I did not stop it. i am having a hard time identifying what led me to have that affair, which made me feel terrible and led me to a much deeper depression afterwards because I felt awful for acting against my marriage vows and hated myself even more for doing it.

    i revealed the affair to my spouse a year after it happened, as I was afraid to reveal it for fear of hurting him, and also disbelief that i had cheated as it was completely against my values, and not remembering much of it made it harder for me to accept. I got on the right combination of meds to help relieve my deep depression, and am much more loving, appreciative and communicative to my spouse, which I believe to be my true feelings. We are trying to work on reconciliation, and are seeing a counselor. I seek out websites like these, online programs, articles, books and other resources that can possibly help us to heal. We discuss our feelings about the affair and its aftermath at length every day, and I do my best to reveal what happened and the reasons for it as best as I can, but i am still unclear about both. i show my spouse that i love and cherish and desire him, but he always said that was not enough or I would not have cheated on him in the first place, and he is correct and there is nothing i can say to that so it is a circular argument where logic wins out, even though my feelings for him are true and my remorse sincere. My spouse believes I had the affair because my affair partner was such a perfect person, better than my spouse in every way, and i must have felt a powerful love for them right away or I would not have had the affair. I do not feel that that was the case at all.

    i believe that i would never have cheated if i was not deliriously drunk [stupid of me to get drunk like that, [I realized I have a binge drinking problem and no longer drink], had not been so depressed with such low self-confidence, self-destruction and focus on only the negative in myself and my marriage, and perhaps a history of sexual abuse from a very young age, and being suduced that night. I’d like to know what you think about that as a reason, or just factors in my affair. i welcome any and all comments and critiques, and any advise of anything else I can or should be doing to help my spouse heal from my affair, whether they ultimately stay with me or not. I only want to help them feel better, and hopefully then they can accept my love if I am very lucky.

  10. whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your posts. Keep up the good work! You know, lots of people are searching around for this information, you can help them greatly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.