The Affair That Ended It All

Why it was the last straw for our relationship.

couple going through affair Halfpoint / Shutterstock

An extramarital affair isn’t a big thing for some.

Many couples fully participate and embrace other partners in their marriage. Others turn a blind eye, while some simply accept it as part of life.

We all have our own reasons and tolerance levels — it’s a personal choice based on values, beliefs and morals.

But when one partner is unknowingly played the fool, it’s a betrayal that runs deep.


When I found out about my former spouse’s affair, it ended it all. It was the last straw in our relationship.

Till death do us part meant something to me; I took my vows to heart. He even more — or so he said. But toward the end, his actions didn’t meet his words. I saw the hunger in his eyes.

Perhaps I’m too old-fashioned.

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Trust and betrayal

It wasn’t necessarily the act that ended the deal — it went much deeper. For me, it was the fact that his word no longer meant anything.


I value trust in a relationship more than most things — without trust, there’s not a whole lot left. To me, it’s the foundation of all relationships, especially marriage.

So when I found out my former spouse had been lying to me for at least a year, it was over for me.

Our ending could’ve been handled in a much more respectful way. Isn’t it better to be upfront and say you’re no longer interested in honoring the commitment?

Don’t prowl around with other women, spend our money on them, and label me jealous and insecure for asking if there’s someone else.

If we’re no longer a good fit, then let's figure out options and the next steps. If that means ending our marriage, so be it. We’re both adults; let’s be genuine and act with integrity.


Nobody’s perfect; we all make mistakes.

But when we choose something over and over, it’s no longer a mistake; it becomes a decision.

I can’t say if my marriage ever was what I thought. Perhaps this was happening all along.

Hook, line, and sinker, I believed in us

That tormenting year in limbo — when he was having a full-blown affair with a younger woman felt neverending. His steady grin had taken its toll on me — for him, it was a year of renewed thrills, freedom, and bliss.

Yet he swore there was nobody else.

Everything about him had changed: his clothes, music, appetite, habits, the little red sports car — even the telltale underwear upgrade.


How could I not see what was right in front of me?

"Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept something that your mind already knows." — Paulo Coelho

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Promises, promises

I knew something was wrong.

I suspected he was having an affair, but I couldn’t fathom him crossing that line. Breaking his promise.

Years back, we had watched a marriage — an entire family — get ripped apart by an affair. We made a pact — if either of us ever felt the need to cheat, we’d have an honest conversation before causing that kind of devastation to our family.

As much as it might hurt, we both felt it was the best way to handle it.


Neither of us would tolerate an affair. We were both on the same page — we were the best of friends. We believed in the marital bond and all it stood for.

There wasn’t anyone I trusted more with my heart; he was my anchor.

We were a team against all odds and understood each other from beginning to end.

But over the years, making money became his priority; it replaced us — the family. I felt our friendship slipping away.

Yet I couldn’t see it for what it was. I couldn’t make us whole again; he no longer valued what we’d built. I felt the disdain and disrespect in his eyes.

I saw everything but the obvious.

His year on the sly — when he was secretly yet shamelessly having his affair, made me question every truth I knew. It disrupted our family, our children — everything in our life.


I wasn’t okay because we weren’t okay.

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Murky waters

My mind keeps returning to the ongoing difference of opinion we had over the years.

He insisted his mother’s love was the only pure love that existed.

He said his mom would always love him no matter what he did. And the love between a husband and wife is not the same; it’s conditional.

I couldn’t comprehend that as my truth; I loved him with all my heart. What could he ever do that might destroy our love? His integrity, strength, and character were honorable; he’d never step outside his well-defined lines.


But people and circumstances change. Time changes our outlook, and life alters our perceptions.

So, maybe he was right; perhaps love is subject to terms? Or not. It’s a grey area meant for another story.

The murky waters of affairs aren’t easy to navigate. It’s personal, and we all have different outlooks.

A while back, I came across an article about Ashley Madison.

"Ashley Madison is the global leader for married dating with more than 75 million members worldwide since 2002. Available in 52 countries and 15 languages, the company’s mission to offer adults a platform to discreetly connect has made it the premier destination for affairs."



Maybe I am just too idealistic.

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Staying true to ourselves

Regardless of what many seem to dip into, it’s not a good fit for me.

But we’re all on our own journey. And ultimately, we need to align our lives with our beliefs and values.

I knew I couldn’t be with someone I no longer trusted. For twenty-some years I believed in him. My loyalty was fierce.

Perhaps if he’d been honest and upfront, I could’ve made sense of his affair. Communication is powerful — as is forgiveness. But we all have our lines in the sand, and it’s important to respect them.


The ongoing deception — not the act itself — ended it all for me.

There were many reasons for our marriage ending, but the affair was the last straw. In my heart, it was over; I’d reached my breaking point of enough.

Perhaps in the future, I’ll love again with fewer expectations. But at the end of the day, if someone doesn’t have a strong character, there’s just not much appeal.

We all deserve respect and honesty.

At the end of the line

When it comes to extramarital affairs, to each their own. It’s a personal choice, we all have different beliefs, values, and morals.

But both parties should be in on that decision. When one partner is unknowingly played the fool — left in the dark, it’s a dishonorable and deceptive betrayal.


I took my vows to heart.

And the foundation of that vow was trust. It was the entire platform we built our marriage on — or so I thought.

Without trust, what was left?

Perhaps, I’m too old-fashioned, but I still believe in love. When and if I ever remarry, I’ll love purely — but not blindly.

I learned many lessons from our marriage, and I’ve found forgiveness. Our memories will always have a special place in my heart.

But he will never have my heart again — I’ve found peace in our ending.

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Julie Gaeta is a holistic health coach, yoga instructor, and wellness enthusiast. She writes on food, enhancing nutrition, relationships, and pursuing growth.