Q&A How Is Healing from a Long-Term Affair Different Than Healing from a Short-Term Affair or One Night Stand?

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Question: 

My husband had an affair with a coworker. He told the AP from the start that he would not leave me or our children. There were 4 periods of involvement over the course of 13 years. The first lasted a few months until he broke it off. He got involved again a year later and broke it off after several months. 2 years later, the affair restarted and lasted 2 years on and off as he tried to distance himself from the AP for periods of time, only to become involved again. Finally, he sought counseling, but the counselor was unqualified to deal with infidelity, so the affair continued in the same fashion. The next year, he told our pastor, who made it clear to my husband that he needed to stop contact and disclose the infidelity to me. My husband broke it off, but out of shame and fear of losing me, never told me. Our pastor never held my husband accountable because he had his own addiction to pornography and soon lost his job and marriage. 6 years passed with noninvolvement, then the affair restarted. I discovered it January 2016 after it had been going for a little over a year. I have wished many times that it had "only" been a short term affair or a one night stand. I find the duration of the affair especially devastating.

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