Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

The Definition of Freedom - Before and After an Affair

“None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.” Goethe My wife, Stephanie, has a friend who decided to give up drinking alcohol. She's not an alcoholic and does not drink to excess. At first, the concept of eliminating alcohol from her life seemed novel, and at the very least, an interesting experiment. Her husband, while not understanding why, since alcohol had never posed a problem, was at least accepting of her choice. Historically, her alcohol use had …
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The FREEDOM factor

What an excellent article. My husband has often used (abused) the word freedom to me - saying it's what he needs!!! Especially the freedom to spend his time doing what he wants, pursuing his interests, etc... which has in turn communicated to me that I am "bondage" or the proverbial "ball & chain." He tries to hide or gets very defensive if I asking him about what he is doing. That waves HUGE red flags to me, because I figure if you have nothing to hide then you will boldly (& kindly) account for your time, or whatever you are doing. It is my belief that TRUTH SETS YOU FREE!!!


My spouse of 28 years recently had a brief (less than 30 days) emotional affair (lots of texting, phone calls and one evening they met for drinks, this was a secret friend that I had no knowledge of, a client) that was headed from emotional to physical when I caught her when she came home form having drinks. Her comments went something like this (sound familiar): I was retiring after 45 years in the same profession, turning 66 years of age and a 48 year old (single person) started flirting with me. My attitude was "I'm not going t have a boss at the end of 2016, I'm going to do what I want to do and have the friends I want to have and its all about me." We're now in couples counseling and I know we will make it through to the other side. I wonder how many of these scenarios happen with retirement looming and willing single folks on the prowl? Our therapist says it was a late life mid life crisis, regardless, the betrayal and the pain will take a long time to forgive.


This article actually reminded me of when I was first to be married in 1976. Coworkers in the office and in other buildings knew of my engagement and would congratulate me. I received a call from a "gentlemen" in one of our sister offices and even though we had talked (business) several times this time he was very personal and invited me for drinks to celebrate my upcoming wedding. I put him off and finally after several invitations I told him I was NOT interested so stop asking! When I mentioned this to my coworker, she was upset and told me he was a "dog" that had actually persuaded her to just have lunch and drinks to celebrate her new marriage. She was having second thoughts and confided in him. She was less than a month married when she had an affair with him. I realized he probably wanted to be my "last" fling before I tied the knot. It is sick to think there are people like this, but that is why we all must be aware of transition periods, stressful times, difficult times in our lives because I have noticed that this is when people are the most vulnerable and commit the most horrible mistakes of their lives.

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