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

How to Find Answers

I have a dream!! (but more about that later)

Has a lack of knowing what to do ever made things worse? You can bet I’ve found that to be true. For instance, when I was a kid a few close friends and I decided to go cliff jumping in the dark of the night. Our plan was birthed from watching “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. For some strange reason we thought the excitement would be intensified if we leapt off the cliff in the dead of night. Can you imagine the rush from jumping off a 20 foot cliff not knowing when you’d hit the water? Only we failed to consider the ramifications of our night jump; a little education and forethought would have been useful. We had yet to learn about the problems associated with swimming underwater in the dark. Hitting the water from 20 feet left me totally disoriented. I couldn’t find my way back to the surface. In the dark I had no way of telling if I was swimming up, down, or sideways. I was in a pickle. After about 45 seconds of futility, I began to panic. I had to face the reality that I was in serious trouble. Thankfully, David hadn’t jumped and when he didn’t hear us he turned his light on, and as the saying goes, I went toward the light.

If you’re like Stephanie and me and infidelity has disrupted your marriage, you’ve experienced that same disorientation I experienced when swimming in the dark. The shock created by my actions was so painful and disorienting we had no way of knowing which direction to swim. Like swimming in the dark, you can’t tell if you’re improving, regressing, or stalled in recovery after the affair. Without a point of reference it feels like swimming in the dark.

This weekend Stephanie and I were with our friends, Jeff and Liz. Jeff used another analogy to explain what they experienced after his betrayal. He said, “It was like running through the forest at full tilt in the dark. Every time you hit a tree it knocks you for a loop. Until someone turned the light on there was no way to avoid smacking into trees.”

Like most of you, Stephanie and I were paralyzed. We had no idea where to turn, no road map to follow? Even worse, some of the suggestions we received were downright destructive. In years past we posted a bad advice blog. What well-meaning friends and professionals offer as words of wisdom would be humorous, if not so tragic. If not for the blessing of finding another couple who had already traveled this road, I’m not sure we could have made it. Our newfound friends not only provided much needed hope, but answered our questions and gave us direction. Having their journey as an example, we could see where we were and where we needed to go. Before that, we were swimming underwater in the dark not knowing which way to go after the affair.

For most of us the complexities of infidelity make finding help for a specific situation difficult. The Affair Analyzer on our website has over 850 possible outcomes and we were being conservative at that. There is no one size fits all. Don’t give up if initially you fail to find something that speaks to your situation. If you keep searching, eventually you’ll find someone or something who can speak specifically to where you’re at.

For 10 years I’ve dreamed of providing a resource library where people could find answers for their specific questions. The difficulty of creating an affordable resource proved far greater than I imagined. For me personally, last week was a huge milestone. We now have a way to provide answers to specific questions. If you get a chance I’d appreciate it if you’d check out our New Recovery Library and give us feedback. We still have the same number of free resources with the expanded ability to see everything else that’s available. To give feedback, please leave a comment below. 

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Advice

Rick this is Dead on. My wife and I have received "bad" advice to advice which was intended to destroy. Thanks be to God that We found the Help we prayed for! Thanks

any other answer

Rick - Is there any other answer than acceptance? For more than two years, I have not found any comfort, peace or resolution toward understanding, accepting, or forgiving my wife's affair. In fact, only time and medication seem to have made it better. But I feel as if I am losing my love for her.

The only real answer that I seem to find is acceptance.
* Accepting what caused the dysfunction.
* Accepting that she made a bad choice.
* Accepting that I did not make that choice, only she did.
* Accepting that it happened and there's nothing I can do to reverse it.
* Accepting all of it as a part of our history and just moving on.

It feels very defeatist and as if I just have to give up and surrender to her affair. Logic tells me that this is just a part of life, but my heart feels differently. It is broken and shattered and cold.

I'm so sad and disappointed in her, that I feel I've lost desire for her. I've lost respect for her. I've lost my marriage. It's there, but for me...it's only a shadow of what it once was. I wish that I did not feel this way.

any other answer

You took the words right out of my mouth. 2 years later and I feel like the pain and memories of my husband's affair are never going to go away.

Not Knowing

I am currently swimming around in the dark despite. When my wife's affair ended, she immediately launched into two emotional affairs, one of which has continued now for several years. I believe, but cannot convince her, that these emotional affairs which she refuses to acknowledge are keeping us from connecting at a husband-wife level. We have made very little recovery progress because she gets her emotional satisfaction from them. I feel our marriage is drowning because I cannot get her to see the "light." Hoping maybe she will agree to a weekend with Rick.

Bad advice

Can you provide a link to the bad advice blog you referred to in the article please ?

Bad Advice Blog

Here is the link to the Bad Advice Blog, as requested: https://www.affairrecovery.com/experts/Rick/bad-advice Wishing you well in your recovery!

What type of affair was it?

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