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

Hope Rising Conference 2021 Announcement: Words of Wisdom from Keynote Speaker Shauna Shanks

Today, I’m thrilled to announce registration is NOW OPEN for our 4th annual Hope Rising Conference for Betrayed Spouses. I know this past year was an especially hard one for couples, particularly those healing from infidelity. If you're the betrayed spouse, I invite you to do something restorative for yourself by joining our one-day virtual event. If you’re the wayward spouse, consider giving the gift of Hope Rising to your mate. At this conference, they’ll gain invaluable guidance, information and inspiration as they continue their journey to wholeness.

Our Hope Rising Conference speakers have all experienced infidelity. They’ve all done the work, and they’re all proof that you can survive and thrive after infidelity. Join me, Wayne and six other speakers on October 2 for Hope Rising to learn about boundaries, acceptance, forgiveness and many more healing and rebuilding fundamentals. For a limited time, early bird tickets are available for $68, so be sure to grab discounted entry while you can using this link.

This year, our Hope Rising Conference keynote speaker is infidelity survivor and talented author Shauna Shanks. In her book "A Fierce Love: One Woman's Courageous Journey to Save Her Marriage,"* she talks about transforming herself and her relationship after being betrayed. Today, Shauna shares her betrayal story as well as how she weathered this difficult season using the “Love Filter.”

By: Shauna Shanks
Author of "A Fierce Love" & Keynote Speaker for Hope Rising 2021

In October 2013, my husband came home one day out of the blue and asked for a divorce. In the next weeks that followed, I found out that he was having an affair and that he had, at that moment, completely and mentally checked out of our marriage. In the months that followed, I didn't have much hope that we'd be able to salvage our relationship.

When I first found out about the affair, I wanted to die. We have three little kids, and the discovery was on the heels of our 10-year anniversary. I was just fumbling into this dark hole, and I didn't know that I was ever going to be able to come up from it. In desperation, I turned to my Bible and I found 1 Corinthians 13, which is the love chapter: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast."

Growing up in church, I knew these scriptures my whole life; I'd heard them over and over. But in this season of being so hurt and heartbroken, I saw them in a whole new, different light. What the Love Filter in 1 Corinthians 13 did for me, it was like a road map for me, it was a starting place in recovery: This is where you start. I didn't have to worry about five minutes from now or five months from now or even five years from now, I was able to focus on the present. I knew that I could immediately be kind, and I could show love to this man who's not giving me anything in return.

Learning What You Can and Cannot Control

In my book "A Fierce Love: One Woman's Courageous Journey to Save Her Marriage," I talk about how the Love Filter changed my perspective of love and changed my idea of love. Before, I had one idea of what a marriage was and what love was. In doing these disciplines every day and working through the list of things in the Love Filter, I realized that love is much deeper than what I thought.

What I found in those verses was a love that was not based on feelings; it was a love like I'd never known before. Because rather than it being an overflow of love because someone was doing something for me, it was changing who I was and empowering me that I could love someone regardless of what they were doing to me.

As a woman, I like lists and things to be done in order. At the beginning of the betrayal, everything felt so out of my control. I had no control over my husband wanting me or him working with me on trying to save the marriage. But if all I had to do that day was be kind, then that was the one thing I could focus on. And at the end of the day, I could check that off my list. That's what 1 Corinthians 13 became for me; it was like a to-do list.

Finding Endurance and Hope During Difficult Seasons

At the very end of 1 Corinthians 13, it talks about endurance and hope, and those began to be my keywords during infidelity recovery. Every day, despite how my husband was acting or the fact that he was not working on the marriage alongside me, I still had the ability to hope and endure. Those things really began to be my motivation in that season.

The Love Filter helped me to control not only what I said, but it also helped me realize I have control over my thoughts and what I'm allowing myself to dwell on every day. There's actually a scripture in the Bible that talks about guarding your thoughts and taking them captive. I also started working on this discipline because for betrayed spouses, it is so easy to replay those images in your mind over and over and over, and it's so easy to fall into this rabbit hole of self-loathing, comparison and all of the things we torture ourselves with — that are normal in that situation.

When I realized that I could not think two thoughts at once, it gave me my control back; it was empowering for me, and it was very important for keeping myself whole and mentally present for my family and myself. I was already learning discipline with the Love Filter — with being kind, being patient and all of those things — so when I learned that I could take my thoughts captive, that was another discipline that I added into the mix. This was very helpful for me because, again, it rerouted my attention; rather than it being on my husband and all of that worry, it transferred that energy back to myself and things that were in my control.

Getting Back Your Confidence and Joy

In the beginning, I was desperate to get my husband's love. But at the end, I realized that wasn't the make-all, break-all for me because I was already loved by God. Even if we didn't get back together, I knew I could come back from this and I could keep myself whole. I told my husband if he continued to divorce me, then I was going to be the best ex-wife he ever had because I was still going to love him that way.

In the end, these practices changed who I was and who I was becoming; I was happier with the person I was, regardless of whether my marriage worked out, because I was free and I was empowered. It's really encouraging to know that you can still love someone and do all of these things no matter what the future holds.

As a betrayed spouse myself, I know that healing is absolutely possible and I'm so excited to get to encourage you all at the Hope Rising Conference this fall. I hope you'll join me on October 2, where I'll be talking more about the Love Filter inspired by 1 Corinthians 13 and other strategies I used to transform myself and my marriage. Early bird registration is now open for the Hope Rising Conference, so don't wait to grab a $68 ticket. To learn more about Hope Rising, visit: www.affairrecovery.com/hope-rising.

Early Bird Tickets are NOW AVAILABLE for our 2021 Hope Rising Conference!

There is hope after infidelity and betrayal. If you're the betrayed spouse, we invite you to take the first step in transcending your pain by attending our 2021 Hope Rising Conference on October 2. Our eight incredible speakers have been through the heart-wrenching, devastating experience of infidelity, and they want to inspire you and empower your healing and rebuilding.

"I felt like the speakers were speaking directly to me. Understanding my thoughts, struggles and pain. The Hope Rising Conference met my needs and gave me great direction for healing and perspective." — Previous Hope Rising Conference attendee.

Regardless of whether the unfaithful spouse is supportive, unsupportive or gone, we want you to feel hope again; we want you to feel whole again. Join us at Hope Rising to learn from and grow with others as you navigate this challenging season. Early bird tickets are now available for $68! Don't wait to purchase your tickets; space is limited.

Purchase 2021 Hope Rising Tickets!

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