What do the words 'I'm sorry' really mean? They are used so frequently that they don't seem to carry much weight. If you are like me, however, they are the first thing we mutter when we realize we have made a mistake or done something wrong. When it comes to the pain of infidelity, the words 'I'm sorry' have to feel downright insulting to a betrayed spouse. As they should, because it isn't enough. The truth of the matter is, it will never be enough to...
My husband and I have two teenagers in our house, and we are trying our best to raise them into responsible and caring adults. For those of you that have already been there and done that, I'm hoping you can look back on that time with a smile. You survived it. Teenagers, after all, can be quite fun, and they can add a lot of energy to the house.
For those of you that haven't or might not ever get a chance to raise these strange little people that look like adults and make you think they are adults (when in fact they are not), it really hasn't been as bad as some people...
You have been working really hard. Since discovery, you have received a chance at a new life, and you are determined to change your behavior. You want to see crumbs of hope in your marital relationship, but all you see is pain. What is likely underneath that pain is a violation so deep that you might not even be able to comprehend it for the first year.
Maybe you feel shut out as your betrayed spouse acts in ways you don't think are...
Today, my heart is reminded of the pain that once was, the pain that so many of you find yourselves in today. For me, it is a distant, tender scar. It is healing, but if I stare at it long enough or touch it in just the right ways, the pain can all come rushing back.
If you are in the middle of this kind of suffering, you are likely desperate for relief of any kind. Violently painful memories have carved your heart into pieces, and maybe you can't even remember what life looked like before this whirlwind of torment...
These are words that I have had to unlearn and relearn—words that I thought I knew, but now realize I misunderstood for most of my life. Now, they actually mean something to me.
Growing up, I would attend church with my mom and siblings. I had just enough of a smattering of church "sayings" and knowledge about the Bible to become familiar with them. But honestly, there was far more I did not understand than what I did understand....
This is a question that almost all of us have asked or heard at some point during recovery from infidelity. It might have been screamed in anger, or muttered in a barely audible cry of exasperation. And it is a question we often hear over and over again, "How could you?" It is a good question, and it lies at the heart and sum of all of the pain created when people like me have affairs. It is as if we look to the heavens and we cry out in our pain, a guttural "why?"
To forgive somebody is to say one way or another "You have done something unspeakable, and by all rights I should call it quits between us. Both my pride and my principles demand no less. However, although I make no guarantees that I will be able to forget what you have done, and though we will both carry the scars for life, I refuse to let it stand between us. One day, I...
Today I am sharing with you something that someone sent to me after my dad died years ago. I have never forgotten it, and I share it with you today for encouragement wherever you are within the waves and wreckage of infidelity.
(This was originally posted on the website thatericalper.com by someone unnamed)
I stink at being alone. I have never been alone; not even my time in my mother's womb was in solitude—I am a twin. I have always shared birthdays, rooms, busses, spotlights, cookies, bathrooms, etc.
When I first arrived at college, I remember sitting in my new dorm room by myself. My soon-to-be roommate would never show. Apparently she got cold feet and withdrew from the university. I remember for the first time in my life having a very primal...
When we entered into recovery from infidelity, there was a long season of disbelief—even though I was telling the truth. Granted, after what I had done to my marriage, I didn't deserve to be believed; nevertheless, it is a very disheartening and discouraging time.
After discovery, I knew I had hit what many would call "rock bottom." I was so tired of my lies, my life, and myself—so I came clean. I told the entire truth about what I had done. For the first time in my life, it felt good to...
I am the other woman.
By admitting that, I know I am the one person that truly and most easily deserves your hatred and your spite. I know I am a source of your anger and contempt. I am a huge source of your pain. Essentially, I am the person that is largely responsible for the ache in your heart that seems like it will never go away.
I am quite certain you must periodically wish that I had never existed. Of course, I am making a...
This past month, I had the opportunity to take a two-week trip traveling through Germany, Poland, Austria, the Alps, and the Czech Republic with my oldest daughter. Although I have journeyed to three of the other continents, I had never been to Europe. It was an educational trip, full of history about Jewish culture, the Nazi regime, and World War II. Growing up, I had an appreciation for history but never had great teachers on the subject. Because of this, I left for the trip excited, yet...
For the unfaithful spouse, there will come a point in your recovery where you will begin your grief process. It will likely not happen at the same time or in the same way as your spouse, and it should not come as a surprise to us.
Grief is the vehicle in which we carry our pain. For betrayed spouses, grief begins immediately; they are bombarded and overwhelmed by the shock waves of finding out that their spouse has cheated on them. They are in horrendous pain, and the grief...
When it comes to God, one of the most beautiful things about Him is also what I find most fascinating about Him --- He simply won't change. He doesn't budge and He is who He says He is. Yesterday, today, forever.
God does not keep office hours or change His mind on a matter. He won't get bored and He sure isn't fickle. His compassion will never end. He will never tire of hearing or listening to our broken hearts.
For all of us trying to sort out the...
Today I am going to share the biggest mistake that I made since my last affair, and how it almost cost me everything. It was, in my opinion, even worse than my infidelity. That mistake was my inability to reach full disclosure the first time. For six weeks, I held on to secrets about my behavior and I continued to lie about what I had done.
Our world started crumbling down on our wedding anniversary two years ago. Every single detail of the disclosure process is awful, but it really...
Research shows that there is a growing number of unfaithful women. Exact numbers are hard to come by, and I expect that will always be the case. If unfaithful spouses are lying, why would they be honest in research? Regardless, I think we can all learn qualitatively. And I feel called to put a voice behind the myths and questions out there.
Last night we were attending church. If you are not a church goer, no judgement here. The number of times I set foot inside a church before I turned 25 was few and far between. Church can be such a healing place for many, yet such a triggering place for others. Throughout my own life I have seen so many good things done by the church. I have also witnessed the very worst of humanity inside the supposed church walls. However, I still believe in the church simply because I choose...
The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful,
A puzzle that no one can figure out.
But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
Not as they pretend to be.
Remember those shallow roots we are developing?...
But blessed is the one who trusts in Me alone;
the Eternal will be his confidence.
He is like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots beside the stream.
It does not fear the heat or even drought.
Its leaves stay green and its fruit is dependable, no matter what it faces.
To betrayed spouses everywhere: other than the obvious apology that is owed to you for the injustice thrown upon you due to infidelity, I have yet another confession to offer to you.
I am embarrassed to say how deep my fears, insecurities and shame have reached. For much of my recovery (for most of the first year anyway), I have been afraid of you. I have feared your pain, your emotion, your comments and your rawness of emotion. I know...
Today I wanted to share something that happened in my office that was incredibly moving to me. At work, we get to see people of all ages and ailments. Whatever your profession is, have you ever had a moment when someone walks in your door and you quickly realize (even though you are the so called professional) that you are the one about to learn?
This morning, that was me. An 84 year old woman I had been helping came in. Her daughter usually drives her, because she...
When I hear the words liar or cheater, I get a yucky and icky feeling in my stomach. I do not have the strength to face the realization that all of us are broken, without also knowing all people are able to choose humility and redemption. If I don't accept the possibility for change and repentance, I will drown in a spiral of shame.
It is hard to look back on my life and admit or pinpoint when I started telling lies instead of the truth. Like water is to a fish, it is something I have always lived with. That might sound strange to some, but perhaps a better way to explain would be to say that I have...
Chances are if you are reading this, you are waiting for something. I remember early on in our recovery from my infidelity, it seemed that I was waiting mostly for some sort of relief from the circumstances I had created. I was lost in a complete shame spiral, and I wanted relief! I wanted the pain to go away. I have to admit now, I also was so ready for my husband to not be in pain anymore. I humbly can't even say I was healthy enough that I wanted healing for us. I only wanted relief.
When we first...
If you are reading this and your affair has been discovered, chances are you don't know where to turn, where to go, or have any idea what will come of your life.
You might feel like your life is over. Humiliation probably doesn't begin to scratch the surface of what you are feeling. You are now exposed for who you really are. You are a cheater. You are a liar. And you are a sham. There is nowhere to hide and it is time to face what you have done. You probably don't like what you see in the mirror...
I am writing this as I sit on a flight to a sunny destination with my husband; the same man who has courageously fought to give our marriage another chance.
So much has changed in our lives over the past few years. We have aged. We have toughened. We are different now. The innocence we once had is gone.
Yet many things...
When you begin sorting out the mess of infidelity, life gets complicated. As an unfaithful female, I started to question all interaction I had with the opposite sex following D day. I honestly considered at one point, that it might be easiest to just convert myself into a nun so I could avoid men for the rest of my life. If that is what would make me safe, I would do it!
Some of the questions we wrestled with early on were:
I was reading through many of my journal entries during the first year after discovery. I have several journals that are stuffed with scribbles, thoughts, and pages of raw and bloodied emotion. As I thumb through the hundreds of pages, I can see the narrative of God slowly eradicating my shame. When it came to my betrayed husband though, the theme of my writing seemed to revolve around a feeling of...
If there was a scale of emotions, I think it's safe to say we all prefer to be somewhere right in the middle; somewhere between 65 and 75 degrees. . . not too hot, not too cold.
If your story and recovery has looked anything like ours, then you've probably realized that you and your mate's emotions can go way off the charts. We have been on roller coasters of highs and lows. We've experienced days where there seems to be no love or hope left at all. Days where frozen is an understatement...
If you find yourself in the first few months of discovery, chances are you are enduring many mornings that you don't see the point of getting out of bed. Your world and life as you knew it are gone. Life can seem empty and cold. Looking back on our first six months after discovery, there were days it seemed like an eternity of pure hell.
Grief doesn't even begin to describe it. Like many of you, we have all endured losses. We've lost parents. We've lost jobs....
In the Bible, one of the most beloved, well known, and controversial stories is one that Jesus told of the Prodigal son.
Prodigal actually means
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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. 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.