Our Story

Stephanie and I just passed our 28 year mark and for us it's been more than worth it. However, the journey had lots of lessons along the way and we'd like to help you avoid the same pitfalls we discovered on the path. Moving beyond a betrayal is difficult enough without complicating the journey by taking wrong turns.

If you can remember 28 years ago, you'll know there were limited resources. We could only find one book even addressing the topic of infidelity. Even worse, my affair cost us everything: our friends, my career, our home in Denver, Stephanie's dignity, our self-respect. We hardly knew where to start and we found it darn difficult to find anyone we could trust to give us direction.

Our story is probably not that different than yours. Extreme ups and downs, along with isolation, seemed to be the order of the day. In the beginning, I never knew from one day to the next if we were going to be married. In fact, I wasn't even sure if I was ever going to get a good night's rest again. If I was sleeping well and Stephanie wasn't, she'd wake me up so we could talk about how I could sleep after all I'd done and the inequity of the reality of her sleeplessness.

Everyone that knew about our situation seemed to have an opinion about what Steph needed to do, or what I needed to do, but few had been in our shoes. We had no idea who to tell, who to listen to, or how we could ever heal.

If it hadn’t been for the blessing of finding another couple that had already been through this and had not only survived, but also thrived, I’m not sure we would have made it. It was their constant encouragement, their listening ear and sound advice that helped us through. They helped us work through the issues and to create a safe place for us to begin healing. They even showed us ways to deal with the trauma and facilitated our ability to have heart-felt talks that weren’t so emotional that we couldn’t hear one another.

The hypocrisy of my work as a marriage therapist in Denver, Colorado necessitated a career change. What right did I have to tell others how to fix their marriages when I had just wrecked mine? So we moved from Denver to Austin, Texas to begin a new career as a home builder. That move left us even more isolated and alone, but thankfully Stephanie stuck it out and with time we began to heal.

A friend once told me you can never tell the end of the story by the beginning, and about 5 years into my new career opportunity came knocking on my door. I was approached to work again as a therapist. Only one small problem: my potential employer wanted me to work with couples dealing with infidelity since I had personal experience.

Well, the last thing I wanted was a job where I had to live with the shameful reality of my worst failure. Stephanie on the other hand had a different perspective; she felt maybe it was a way for our losses to be transformed into something good. She kept reminding me that ‘failure teaches what success cannot’ and finally I agreed to take the job.

And you know what? She was right. There is no better teacher than personal experience. It didn’t take long for me to incorporate what Stephanie and I had learned from our recovery into a new methodology for the treatment of infidelity. It was more than counseling; it was about providing a community who could help with the journey. It was more than information dissemination; it was modeling how it was done using that community. It wasn’t shaming; it was about providing dignity and hope for all involved. It was about using failure as a necessary catalyst for change.

What surprised me was how effective those techniques proved to be. Other therapists soon began consulting me on difficult cases; couples began flying in from all over the U.S. to work with me. I was shocked. Eventually, because of the effectiveness of our approach, my clients, other therapists and even my wife began encouraging me to find a way to reach more hurting couples. So I reluctantly began contemplating the best way to help those recovering from the trauma of infidelity.

Affair Recovery and the EMSO course are the result of their encouragement. It is based not only on our personal experience, but also on solid research.

If you’re any thing like Stephanie and me you’re not only wondering how to move forward with your life, but if you can even make it. Can your marriage be saved and is there anything worth salvaging?

What makes it even harder is the fact that our culture seems to be more tolerant of divorce than we are of exploring the cause of infidelity and whether a marriage can be healed. In fact people who choose to work on their marriage after an affair are often seen as weak. They are not weak; they are the most courageous people I know. Recovery isn't for everybody, but it's certainly an option to be explored.

Now you know my story. I’d like to hear yours, too. How are we similar? How are we different? What have been your highs and lows? I’d love to get to know you. Just click this link and add your comment at the end of this blog post.

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My infidelity story

I have done so many things to my wife of over 40 years, that have and continue to hurt her to the very, very core depth of her heart and being.  I will not give details, but to this day she is still hurting so very much, that she can only think that divorce is the happiest option.  She has felt rejected by me and others all through the years.  I have and do love her, in spite of my behavior toward her.  Like you indicated, there are times when I feel there is no rest for the wicked.  I also am having difficulty bringing forth the details of the infidelity with other women, so that makes her believe that I truly don't love her, and that I am making a choice to withhold information, thus I am called a liar when I indicate the difficulty of remembering things.

Thank you for your newsletters and your resources.  I am not able to purchase any resources at this time, however I appreciate your blog and your thoughts.

Thank you.

Ed B.

No excuse

Ed, If you love her please give her what she needs to heal. If she wants to know why not tell. her. It would be be an act of love to trust her with the information she needs. Your wife can never heal unless you stop the behavior and put her first by being honest. Do what you can to help her. To healing, Rick

These blogs from AR are truly

These blogs from AR are truly helpful...am sure there is no hope for my marriage of 25 years. Found out about my Husband's affair of several years with a close friend of ours one year ago this month.....July won't be my best month. We are still together at the moment because of our son, but his affair continues. She has basicly no problem talking on the internet about the amazing time she's having as she does plenty of activities that we use to do all together. This last year has been sheer anguish to my soul and every part of my being. I love my husband and always will, but the anger and sadness just won't go away right now. Forgiveness is tough. Thank you all for the sharing you do.

I'm so sorry...

There is no way to heal as long as he continues in the affair. You must be an amazing woman to have survived. all of this. Forgiveness is tough, but it can happen over time. However reconciliation is impossible as long as he continues in the relationship. I do hope you can find a way to protect yourself in this insanity. To healing, Rick

If I had to do it all over again, I'd still choose my husband.




My husband and I have been together for 8 years. We have had a roller coaster of a ride these past 8 years. Throughout our marriage my husband has continually watched pornagraphy, visited strip clubs, prostitued himself online for sex, he has been on every dating, hookup, and personal ad known to man, and has had emotional and physical affairs with 6 different women that I know of. It makes me numb to even write about all of these things. I also have been unfaithful, after years of sweeping the things my husband was doing under the rug. I began to seek after something or someone to make me feel better. I slept with a co-worker, embarassed and ashamed, I quit working. I then found myself wrapped up in drugs and alcohol, during that time I was taken advantage of twice. I feel like I am insane for wanting to work this out with him but the fact of the matter is I do love and care about him. We filed for divorced and I moved from Tennessee to Texas twice now. We never went through on the paperwork because I begged him back. Everytime I have begged him to please get help and work this marriage out because I love and care about him deeply and I don't want to see him struggle anymore. He has been living his whole life as a lie, in secretiveness is no way to live. My husband was finally convinced we could work through this when I sent him a huge album of photos of us together. I cried the entire way leaving Texas to drive back up to Tennessee, I have never felt so crazy in my life, one second I was excited to be with him, the next I felt like I would flip a lid once I saw him again. As much as I want to believe him when he says he loves and cares about me I do have mixed emotions like, "YIKES! What in the world am I doing?!" or "He has said that to so many different women, why am I different?" I think my biggest concern is that my husband has sturggled with teen pornagraphy for many years, even before we were together. I didn't find out until a year into our relationship. Even though I had seen what he had been watching, it didn't really hit me until 8 years into our marriage. When my husband was with physical and mentally with a teenage girl, it hit me hard, he may have a serious issue.

I still feel crazy at times for wanting to work things out with my husband but I feel like if I do not try to make this work 110% it will just come back to haunt me. In marriage you cannot have cake and eat it too. You cannot have a lover, porn, strip clubs, and a spouse. You do have an amazing spouse and a great marriage. In my opinion, it is all about how you make your cake, how you make it, and bake it together. Marriage is about making the cake as a team and enjoying it together. First you have to mix completely different ingredients. Some ingredients mix well, some don't mix very well, that is until you stir, work harder, and don't give up. During the struggles of the stirring their can be accidents, of course these accidents do not happen intentionally. Opps, some spilled out of the bowl. You aren't just going to leave the cake batter there halfway stirred and give up. No, you get a clean towel and clean up the mess. That can happen more than once, but still you never just give up on the batter and leave it as if it can't ever be a beautiful cake. You know already what it can become because you've seen it before. So, you pour all of your hard work into a pan and you watch it rise. Against all odds of the ingredients not being easy to mix together, the spills and clean ups, it has turned into a beautiful cake. I feel like I am still stirring the batter of my marriage and we have had a lot of spills and we need more clean ups so we can pour our caking into the pan to watch it rise.

I am trying my best right now to work on my own recovery without wondering if he is doing what he should be doing or could be doing. It is very hard for me. I do not want to see my husband continue on this destructive path of lies and infidelity. I know it has to be upon his own will as well to make this work and I am trying not to be so controlling over his recovery. I don't want it to happened again but I keep telling myself if I force him to do these things and he does not do them on his own, then yes, it probably will happen again. Also, if I don't recovery myself I will be worse off. Some have told me to just to forgive and forget. In my opinion that is like like a drug addicted who was addicted to drugs saying "I'm good now, forget it ever happened." So, they have been clean for a week now or even months. Sure you can forgive and forget but their chance of relapsing is very high because they never sought out proper treatment or rehab to aid them into sobriety and keep sober when times get tough. Thank God for Affair Recovery!



Stay focused on your own recovery

You are right. If he does it for you it will only happen again. I do hope he finds healing, but as you know it has to be for him. You're right you can forgive, but why would we even want to forget? That might be dangerous. I certainly don't want to forget my own discretions and what I'm capable of. I believe it's the only way for me to remain safe enough for Stephanie. To healing, Rick

My Story

I was married to my husband in August of 2008.  I was pregnant with our first son.  We didn't have much time to ourselves, because my son arrived in December of 2008.  As we moved on with our lives, my husband and I grew apart.  We got pregnant with our daughter in July of 2011.  We were both so excited.  My huband started his affair on facebook with a girl he went to 9th grade with.  She needed t-shirts made. (my husband owns a graphic company)  The affair started out as a lot of text messages (8,800 from Jan-Feb) Their affair was both physical and emotional.  It lasted only 4 months.  I found on in May when my daughter was 2 1/2 weeks old.  The OW husband found my number and called me.  I will never in my life forget how I felt on that day.


Currently we are trying to work things out.  We see a therapist about once a week.  My husband at this points seems very remorseful and answers all of my questions about the affair.  The OW still tries to contact him, which makes it harder to move on.  (He blocked her number and ended it with her on the spot)   It has been a very rough two months.  I am praying that I have the strength to forgive him.  As bad as our marriage got, I never thought he would cheat on me.  It hurts even worse because I was pregnant.  I hope I can one day trust him again. 

It's possible.

It is possible to trust again, but it takes time and intentionality. I don't know if you've had a chance to read the 20 most common mistakes, but it would might be helpful. About 1/3 of affairs occur during pregnancy. I know that doesn't help, but it's a transitional time and people cope in the wrong way. I am glad to hear he's taking responsibility and trying to help with your healing. I do hope you'll get a chance to do one of the couple's courses. I know it's helpful to have a specified path and support in recovery. To healing, Rick

Husband had an affair with my sister-in-law

D- day was Feb. 24, feeling crazy and unable to function since I confirmed my husband was having an affair with my brother's wife. Husband is repentant and is doing all he can to save our marriage, initially I wanted too but now I don't. How can I continue to be with a husband who not only cheated but did so with a member of our family, destroying my heart, our relatives and church ministry? We have 3 children and 15 yrs of marriage and I thought it was a good marriage. I want out but don't want to hurt my children. I think reconciliation is impossible because he crossed a delicate boundary by being unfaithful with my brother's wife. Please help.