Happiness only comes when you open the door to pain. You simply can't have one without the other. As a betrayed spouse, I know this all too well.
I've learned to live with what happened to me. It's become a part of my history, something profound that I went through. This brokenness has become a part of me, one that's interwoven with the fabric of my life story. This revelation is what I think they call "acceptance."
Most of us who have experienced betrayal have, at least for a season, anger as our front seat driver.
But who is riding in the back seat fueling that angry driver? Fear? Frustration? Betrayal, Sadness? Loneliness?
Once I uncovered loneliness and injustice as two of my backseat driver emotions, I've discovered that loneliness and injustice was part of my childhood when I struggled to be the 'good child' as my parents were trying their best to handle a difficult son, my only sibling.
More damaging than that was my mother's very natural tendency to worry about...
My friend recently had a terrible burn accident while frying bacon. A stumble and the hot grease splashed across the palm and side of her hand. As an EMT, she knew she must douse the injury in cold water and clean it. And not just clean but rid the area of the skin that was peeled away. The pain was exquisite. A trip to emergency room quickly followed.
"Give me two minutes," the ER doctor pleaded. "You did a good job and the right thing in cleaning your burn, but I have to get the rest of the dead skin and debris so it won't get infected."
"You have to trust the process."
I've heard this mantra of sorts from many research-based and well-respected betrayal recovery sources. It is the very backbone and lifeblood of expert help such as what is offered through Affair Recovery's Programs and Courses. It is so hard to do when your heart is shattered into a million fragmented pieces, and...
I recently made this family favorite. The first two batches came out perfectly. On the third and final batch, the kitchen timer did not go off. I use this timer for all sorts of cooking and baking projects. It is the type where you rotate the dial past the time you want and turn back to the exact number of minutes desired. It ticks like a time bomb and rings as a school...
Sometimes, my thoughts are punishing, my brain on fire.
Have you experienced this?
I am someone who deserves to be understood and cherished rather than criticized and improved.
It is time to arrest the process of depletion caused by the trauma I have suffered. It's time to stop ignoring my body's signals and instead allow them the authority to teach me about myself, time to keep my life as simple and quiet as possible, to allow myself comforts of the senses and small pleasures:
"Wondering if I will come to a happy place in surrender to self-care. Surrender to me. Myself. And I. Self-talk, positive affirmations of my worth. It's my time now. My season of me. I've given and given and given. No time for guilt over self-care anymore. Over rediscovering who I was…who I am apart from my spouse. I really am still me. How wonderful that she, the little girl inside, has not been extinguished?
Even through the incredible trauma of...
Before what we in the infidelity community call "D-day," my life was full—full of gratitude, challenges, and mostly good. My life was nowhere near perfect—punctuated with the losses one experiences when we are lucky enough to live long enough. I had lived a largely intact existence blessed with friends, a beautiful place to call home, and good food on my table.
As a function of my positive, benefit-of-the-doubt...
This quote flashed on the screen behind the minister in church today. He'd already said he was not going to comment on any of the quotes behind him as he had his own schtick to say. When I read this, he lost me for a few moments as I took in the wisdom within the printed words.
And then it occurred to me—I have attempted to pour out the effect my husband's betrayals have had on me in hope that you, the reader, might...
Remember Inside Out – the Disney Pixar movie where each character represents different parts of a little girl's emotions? Each emotion – or character in the film – vies for attention and control inside her mind. It's a cute idea, and one steeped in reality.
Riley Anderson is born in a small town in Minnesota. Within her mind's Headquarters, five personifications of her basic emotions —...
I've been reading about something called 'neural plasticity' in Emily Nagoski's book, Come As You Are – a book often recommended by Rick to learn about women's sexuality. In the midst of this seemingly endless period of 'recovery,' I really needed to read something positive and hopeful and validating.
How could a book discussing...
"For what it's worth: it's never too late to be who you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over."
– Eric Roth
Three years can sometimes seem like three thousand years, and at other times, it...
Last blog I posed a thought life challenge I've heard many betrayed express. Was my life 'real'? I don't know what to believe. What was real and what wasn't?
To say that my life had not been what I thought it was would be quite an understatement. Real in every way to me, yet I was in fact controlled via the withholding of vital information to believe I was safe and in the gentle care of a loving, faithful spouse.
I won't pretend to say my thoughts on this are true for anyone but myself, but you may find threads of similarity with my feelings....
How did you have the good fortune to come across Affair Recovery?
I found AR while I scoured the internet for help. Post D-day, I did what I have always done when there is a crisis in my family---research.
To be fair, first I cried.
I cried and cried and cried. I simply could not believe my husband could do such a thing; the person who was one half of the golden couple of our college. One half of the couple all our friends envied. The guy our female friends called such a wonderful husband. "He's so affectionate. He washes dishes! He is so nice to us. He likes all...
When I received my first contract to publish in 2006, I never imagined the path of the next decade. The biggest 'high' of my life ended with the biggest low. For the first time in my life I'd ventured into a pursuit completely of my own making, my own dream. The story I'd spent six months crafting was considered enviable, a work worth taking the risk a publisher takes every time they invest time, money and effort into a new author. I'd accomplished what few aspiring authors would: a book publishing...
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Alumnus. Unfaithful. Doing his best with his 2nd chance in his marriage and life.
Alumna, Betrayed. Seeking God's grace to find meaning and purpose in the pain. Hoping to share my life raft with others drowning in the despair of infidelity.
Alumna. Betrayed. Discovering the benefits of a fully transformed marriage through the recovery journey. Committing to giving comfort to others in their storms.
Alumna. Unfaithful. Striving to become a woman of integrity. Together, we can find light in the darkness of infidelity.
Alumna. Member, EMS Weekend Retreat Team. Hope and healing are possible for anyone willing to work through the pain.
Alumna. Betrayed. Striving to recover and thrive after betrayal. I believe gratitude is the antidote to grief. If I can help you in your healing, therein lies my own.
Alumnus. Betrayed. Trying to find his way back.
Alumna. Unfaithful. A broken and undeserving mess who is learning what real love looks like.
Alumna. Betrayed. Determined to be positive as I navigate the quagmire of recovery.
Alumna. Betrayed. A soul restored. Encouraging others to keep walking because there is a way through. Author of Keep Walking: 40 Days to Hope and Freedom After Betrayal
Alumna. Betrayed. Grateful for God's love and grace. Recognizing that with God as my priority, I will be okay no matter what.
Alumnus. Betrayed. No matter how long it takes or how hard it is, my wife is always worth it!
Alumna. Betrayed. Learning to love recklessly while I cross the monkey bars of recovery.
"You have to let go at some point in order to move forward." - C.S. Lewis
Alumna. Betrayed. Walking in obedience to God's direction and experiencing a richer life and Renewed marriage.
Alumnus. Unfaithful. Living life differently, enjoying my wife and family, and grateful for God’s love.
Alumna. Betrayed. Experiencing God's love after divorce. Celebrating the healing of myself and my identity.
Alumna. Betrayed. Continuing to fight for my marriage and my children.
Alumnus. Unfaithful. Living proof that seeking truth offers both incredible pain and amazing freedom.