When my wife found out about my affair, I was quick to repent and do what was necessary to reconcile and make amends. One of the principles I learned from Affair Recovery was that I needed to be totally honest. That means every time my wife asked a question, I was to answer it truthfully.
Now this was new behavior since I had been lying for over a year. It was very hard to tell her some of the details of my deception. And yet, I understood that if I was going to rebuild trust, I needed to do so. And so I answered her every question – no matter what it was.
It seemed like all the questions were difficult since every answer revealed what a self-centered, self-involved, low-life scumbag I had been. But the truth was the truth and now I was choosing a different path. And so...
How can you go through “the happiest time of the year” after having your world destroyed by the revelation of infidelity? How can you celebrate the birth of Jesus when all you feel like doing is mourning the death of your marriage? Is it even possible to have some sense of a Merry Christmas when triggers abound and all you feel is pain and misery?
These were all questions that plagued my wife, Jill, as we headed into the holiday season after I had admitted to my year-long affair on October 1. We had gone to the EMS Retreat the first weekend of December and I felt like we had received some great coaching. We both wanted to believe what they told us – that we could experience healing over time if we practiced recovery principles.
However, that didn’t change the fact that...
“If my husband ever cheated on me I’d leave him in a heartbeat.”
This is what one of our friends blurted out in reference to the news of some celebrity’s infidelity. The woman who made this comment didn’t know that I had been unfaithful to my wife. This was not the first time we heard someone say this – and it would not be the last.
It was early on in our recovery and this was a major trigger for my wife. My wife was flooded with a rush of emotions. Sadness. Fear. Panic. Along with being bombarded with these feelings, she was also deluged with questions:
Right after “D Day” I asked my wife for forgiveness.
I desperately wanted my wife to forgive me. I had sinned against her and deeply hurt her and now I wanted to make it all right. I wanted this horrendously terrible destructive episode in our lives to be behind us. I wanted to move on. I wanted her to say “I forgive you” and for her to mean it. I didn’t just want lip service; I earnestly wanted it to come from her heart. I wanted to turn the page on this chapter of our lives and move forward.
But that was what I wanted. I look back and see that so many of our problems were a result of what I wanted. I had made our marriage about me. And now I wanted her to forgive me. Again I was making it about what I wanted.
It was my fault that we were here...
This was one of the first questions my wife asked me after she found out about my infidelity – “Why?”
We had been married for 25 years, had two beautiful children, she had stayed at home with the kids when they were young, we were deeply involved in our church, we were active in the community, I had coached my kids’ soccer, basketball, and baseball teams, and we enjoyed each other’s company. Life seemed good. We did have our problems, but every couple does. That’s part of marriage. That’s part of life. But not every couple experiences infidelity. So why did I cheat?
It took a while for the chaos in my life, my spirit, and my mind to settle down before I was able to explore deeply why I cheated. Once I established some equilibrium and received good counsel, I was able to...
It’s on the television, in the movies, in the news, on the internet, in the papers; infidelity is everywhere. Infidelity has always been around, but we live in a time when we have access to more information than ever before. And it seems that many find infidelity entertaining or newsworthy. Of course - I don’t and I am sure that anyone reading this doesn’t either.
Infidelity is horrible and destructive and I wish that the world would just shut up and allow us to work on our recovery without constant reminders, harsh judgments, and really really really bad advice. Let the experts who know what they are talking about give their wisdom and speak the truth (like the people at AR). The last place we will find sound counsel about recovery is in theatres or late night talk shows....
I am a liar. I have lied all my life. .
For much of my life, my lies had to do with my inner world. That is, what I was thinking or feeling. I tried to paint a picture of a strong, mature, fearless, good – even godly man. I didn’t have insecurities or disappointments or fears. No, I forged ahead in the face of adversity, never doubting my resolve or my God. It wasn’t true, but it’s what I wanted others to believe. And so I lied.
I maintained this facade with my wife as well. It wasn’t that she didn’t know me at all, but there were parts of me that I was relentless to keep from her. I believed that if she knew the real me - she would not respect or love me. And so I lied.
I had been experiencing dissatisfaction in my marriage and I didn’t want to admit it to...
“How many times will I have to answer the same questions about my affair?” This was the thought I had as my wife asked me once again, “Why did you have the affair?”
It had been many months since she had learned of my yearlong affair. Immediately we got into counseling, and within weeks we attended an Emergency Marital Seminar Weekend with Affair Recovery (AR). From the early days of discovery, she asked this question – along with a myriad of others.
At first I was resistant to come completely clean. But after a while, with good coaching from AR, I chose to be as honest as possible. Lying had gotten me into the hell I had created. I figured I would give the truth a chance. And it was a much better way. I am not saying that telling the truth was pain-free. Oh no – there...
This was one of the great truths I have learned through the recovery process from my affair. My choice to have an affair ripped my wife’s heart in two and almost destroyed our 25 year marriage.
I used to fixate on the fact that I had ruined what I believed had been a good record. I no longer could boast as a superior husband, father, or even human being. I had cheated on my wife and I was now considered lower than pond scum. No longer could my wife or my children be able to say at my funeral, “he was a good man and faithful husband.” I had destroyed any chances of receiving a eulogy that would compel all those present to say to my grieving widow, “Jack was such a wonderful man. Knowing him has changed my life. My greatest regret is that I didn’t know him better.”
I never thought in my wildest imagination that I would be “that guy.”
I was the last person most would have suspected of infidelity – including myself. I was not a “player.” I was not a monster. I was a good guy raised in a good environment with good values. My parents seemed to love one another and love my sisters and me. I wasn’t aware of any history of infidelity in my family. I had not been molested or experienced any trauma that could help me to explain away my behavior.
I always believed I loved my wife. When we got married 28 years ago I sincerely wanted to spend the rest of my life with this woman. On my wedding day I had given myself to my wife with the full intention of loving and cherishing her until my heart stopped beating. I could not conceive ever...
This is the question I asked my counselor. I was the one who had been unfaithful and wanted to know how long it would take for my wife and me to recover from what I had done. It had been a week since she had found out about my affair and I wanted to know how long before the end of the pain. I wanted a date. A small measure of time. Preferably something in the area of a few months. I would have even been all right with six months. My counselor was silent. I had a sneaking suspicion that the longer the silence the longer the recovery would be. I asked again.
She paused a little bit longer and said that things would be better in 90 days. We both would feel different. And in six months we would feel even better. And in one year we would feel even better.
I stared at the email. My head began to throb as my blood pressure soared out of control. I was short of breath. My arms went numb. I don’t know what a heart attack feels like, but it felt like I was having one. My wife had just received an email from my affair partner (AP) telling her what had been going on. My wife then forwarded it on to me with the question above. I thought I had ended things with my AP with the understanding that we would not tell anyone. Obviously, she had other ideas.
My wife was totally blindsided and was devastated. I was devastated. I had let myself believe that I had narrowly missed catastrophe. I had done everything I could to “manage” my situation to insure to keep my life as-I-knew-it intact. And now, the end of my affair...
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Alumnus. Unfaithful. Doing his best with his 2nd chance in his marriage and life.
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.