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

Coping with Infidelity: 6 Barriers to Recovery

Talk about stuck! When Randall and Suzie showed up at EMS this past weekend they were really stuck. Randall had just ended a 1.5-year affair with his boss at work, his boss had lost her job, and Randall had been placed on probation. Work however, was sure to become the least of his problems. (Please note: names and details have been changed to protect identities.) Upon discovery in several months ago, Randall and his affair partner had decided to break it off. However, Suzie would discover t…
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Good info

Its a relief to see my husband and I are moving through recovery well...he was so patient with my questions although I could see it pained him to re- injure me...He trusted me when I said I needed the info, and now I understand why the answers were so important. He's been honest and transparent and he truly gets the damage he's done to me and our relationship. Excellent video...sure wish we had this kind of weekend retreat in my area! Any advice to one little obstacle I'm having...my hubby works with his affair partner...they only see each other for 30 to 60 minutes a shift. When he can, he switches that duty with a colleague - but that's not always possible. Finding another job is not a financial option...there's not much available in his job classification that pays so well and he has 20 years seniority. I struggle with the fact there is ANY interaction between them. He says that when he does have to be in the same area as her, he doesn't speak to her beyond what's needed to do his job. When she tries to engage him in small talk, he comes up with an excuse to walk away. How do I get comfortable with this?

I'm sorry

Oh Jana! I'm sooo sorry for your pain...my situation was different but the pain's the same. My husband fell in love with a waitress where he works. She was living with a guy (for nearly a decade), had a boyfriend on the side for 5 years (who was married when he met her - they were "just friends" at first too!) , had 3 kids by 3 different dads, was on 9 medications for mental illness, used recreational drugs, got high with her teens and just wanted to be friends with my hubby. But she would blow off her boyfriend to be with my husband, and they spent nearly every afternoon together, then work together and then go out after work together. She would disparage me and encouraged my husbands lies to me. This woman was my polar opposite. She made my H feel like a teenager and he was convinced she would come around and fall for him. I've figured her deal was she was loving his attention and he was supplying her with his prescription pain killers. He was using my money to pay for their get togethers - and I was clueless the whole time. My husband has been battling depression for some months before he started with her, but the double life was making it much worse. He finally confessed he'd fallen in love with someone else but didn't want to lose me. He didn't tell me the extent of their relationship, making it out to be time spent during breaks at work. He promised to stop all contact with her. I was devastated but recognized the part I played in our failing marriage. I believed he ended it with her and then found out he was still texting her a month later. I searched his phone and found all of his deleted texts with her and saw the true extent of their involvement and that once he had told her it was over, her texts intensified and they began to actually see more of each other. There was no sex - only because she didn't need to sleep with him to get his pills and attention - he gave those freely. Once I found out the truth, I asked for a divorce and he pleaded for another chance. He texted her that it was really over and then showed me every text she sent - all of which he ignored. He changed his number, took a 6 week leave of absence from work, has been comPletely honest and transparent, is in marriage counseling and our marriage has never been stronger - except for the fact he had this emotional affair. I'm afraid to believe its over since I completely believed him last time. It's awful - the pain is brutal - I just wish it had never happened. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do but didn't want to throw away 20 years of marriage. I'm a professional so I know I could survive without him. It's funny how I didn't realize how much I loved him until I nearly lost him. Like I said originally, he still works with her but can go weeks without having to be in the same room together (he works at a large-scale gaming facility). When he's scheduled to work at her bar, he switches with a colleague - which has worked out well so far. I know there was nothing physical between them because she was actually trying to set him up with another waitress she worked with - smh! Dr.Phil says you can't make sense out of nonsense and so I've stopped trying to figure it out. I think of her as a symptom of my husband's disease - much like diarrhea or projectile vomiting. I hope you find healing Jana - I hope I find it too!

My husband needs to watch this

He is guilty of all six.  It's been just over two years, and we are nowhere near feeling like we are healed.  I have less pain but am more severely depressed than ever.  I hope that I can get him to watch this.


Thank you.

So clear

My spouse had an affair for five years, i have chosen to forgive but after 12 months still have my 'bad days'. I thought I wasnt coping and if I really wanted the marriage to work then i should have moved on by now. I felf a failure for letting myself still think of the OW every single day. This video has made me realise that everybody goes through the same stages. You have restored my faith in my own sanity and now know I am fairly normal. I am the road to recovery and I will beat this bitch!!! Thank you very much

6 barriers were all the issues

It was sad, as you brought each road block up, they were all there and I might be a bit jaded, but being the betrayed spouse, I felt that they were almost entirely on my spouses side.

It was good to hear this, even though every  step of the way that could go wrong did for me. In the Question phase, I got very general answers and vague items. The counselor we had wanted to have a single 45 min session to have her give me a time line of what happened and for me to ask question. I was still realling from the information to even formulate questions. The puzzle analogy was good, affairs are cultivated, developed and nurtured to get to where my ex-wife got to. But the answer to my question of why was "It just happened"

You know with that answer there was no safety in the relationship. She could step out side today and it could just happen. Funny you would think after a 20+ year marriage, that it would be a little more difficult than that.

Empathy - wasn't, as I was going through having my reality destroyed, she was more worried about my questions and my wanting to have assurances of what she was doing with her time. I was all about her?

And where she wanted to go with all the counseling sessions was that I didn't hear her. Asked what hearing meant to her, she could not describe it. Was it being able to recite back exactly what she said, no, was it that I was suppose to agree with everything she said, no. Was it that I was suppose to give responses that I understood the words being spoken, no. I got so frustrated with this line, because it had no meaning.


We have already discussed the lack of safety, I can recall with clarity the moment I asked her why the guy's phone number was still in her phone, it gave her a sense of security. Wow and what do you think it did for me. Then came her filing for seperation and walking out the door again on me and her 2 boys, until I got it. Well, I got it, that I would need to put my life together with out her.

She would have love to deny the reality, but I had some very good friends, a couple that I was very close too that had gone through the exact same thing and had put it back together. But the ex-wife didn't want to listen to anything that the wife in this relationship had to say. All my ex wanted to know is when would it all be over.

I grieved the loss all the time, my 20+ marriage up to a bit before the affair was great, in my situation it really was like some one turned off the light switch, one day we were working together and building and the next I didn't know who this woman was. I described it as watching a train wreck from a cliff, I saw it coming, tried to do anything I could to change the course but ultimately it happened.

Failure to commit, well with the withdrawal from the relationship for her to make room for her new love interest, her leaving the first time to be with him and leaving me with my kids and just driving off, was pretty devestating, then her returning, but with a foot out the door until she filed for seperation and left the second time. Yes there was a real failure to commit.

I have re-read this and funny I thought I had processed my anger pretty well, but I guess this was a bit of processing it again.


barriers video was very helpful

I alone sat and watched this video. Yes I know I need more work as the betrayed spouse. 14 years of marriage and a hubby who had an 10 year affair and few emotional affairs all at same time. The continual finding out (8+ times atleast) by hard evidence that the long affair is "connected" (there is many miles now between him and her) even after he constantly tells me its over, that he doesn't want a divorec..etc... there is zero trust in our marriage 90% of the time we have been married. This video it home when he said "giving information freely to the betrayed spouse before the betrayed spouse finds out or asks.. if gold. I have always told my husband this. Its one thing that would actually put on ounce of trust in our marriage. Why... because it shows bravery, honesty, transparent, that the spouse is trying to heal the marriage. I would love him more for this type of honesty then to be lied to until evidence is shown then he walks away because he has been caught again in affair and lies. I think he is ashamed when caught.. but this video also hit home when Rick said don't play the jump through the hoop game. Make a decision to either be all in or get out. This is where I need to work.... I will rewatch it again.... very humbling.

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-D, Texas