In 1984, my marriage was devastated when I betrayed my wife. We had no idea where to turn. The few friends who knew tried to be helpful, but none of them had been in our situation. We received sound advice from church leaders, but that only took us so far. Eventually my wife ended up at the Christian bookstore seeking helpful resources, shamefully believing that everyone there knew exactly why she was looking through the books about infidelity. She was led to a book called The Myth of the Greener Grass by Allen Peterson. In our pain and desperation we consumed the book looking for answers. One chapter titled "An Anatomy of an Affair" brought me immediate relief. The individual described seemed identical to me. I felt for the first time that maybe I wasn't alone in my struggle. If there had been hope for him, then maybe there could be hope for me.
Not too long after, we traveled to a spiritual renewal conference half way across the country. Upon arriving, our host, who was aware of our situation, suggested that I speak to the conference speaker. He believed that we'd had similar problems with infidelity. The last thing I wanted to do was approach a complete stranger and say, "Hi, I understand you were unfaithful to your wife! Me too!" I asked the host again, "Are you sure this was his situation?" He thought so.
My wife was anxious to visit with the speaker, but I was adamant about not being in anymore awkward situations. I finally agreed to talk with him if an opportunity presented itself - only if we could speak with him in private. I figured I was safe at a conference of over a thousand people and we'd never run into each other.
The next day my wife and I skipped one of the sessions and went for a walk. Much to my dismay, we happened upon the conference speaker and his wife sitting alone in a gazebo with an empty bench across from them. I dismissed the strange coincidence and tried to walk away, only to be dragged to the open seat by my wife.
I started the conversation by suggesting that I had heard that we might have something in common, took a deep breath, and said that I had been unfaithful to my wife. He smiled and said that he'd done the same and began to question how we were doing as well as what we were doing to recover. I told him about the book we'd read, and when he mentioned that he had read the same book, I said how much I related to the chapter on the anatomy of an affair. "It could have been my story," I said incredulously. He said, "It's my story." I said, "Yeah, me too." He stopped me and said, "Rick, that's really my story. Allen Peterson interviewed me to write that chapter."
I was speechless. What were the probabilities of meeting the individual that I had most related to? I knew it had to be God.
The healing from that conversion as well as subsequent conversations proved to be invaluable for us. His wife provided a much needed reality check for my wife and was a tremendous source of hope and encouragement in my own journey.
As a result of that God-ordained encounter, our approach to affair recovery is fresh and unique. We believe in the benefit of connecting couples with others who have gone before, just as we did in 1984. When you are trapped in the chaos of a betrayal and there is continual emotional upheaval, it is difficult if not impossible to be rational. How do you determine where you are in the process or what course of action to take? If you've never been there, then there is no way of knowing how you're doing, what direction your headed or if there is any hope of your marriage making it.
At Affair Recovery, we provide a unique solution that connects you with couples whose story is like your own, couples who have successfully navigated the process of healing. I want to provide you the same opportunity, in a safe and anonymous environment, that my wife and I had, to feel like someone truly understands and experience the encouragement that comes from hearing the story of how they were delivered. I want you to be able to experience that same relief I felt as I finally began to experience hope for our marriage.
If you are experiencing the turmoil from betrayal in your marriage, then I encourage you to look at our extensive resources on infidelity and affairs and explore our confidential online or in-person classes. You don't have to be alone in this process. There are those who can and want to help. I urge you to take advantage of the community of hope and healing at affairrecovery.com.
Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President