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

Handling Betrayal

Years ago, as a younger man, a single event radically altered my life. Returning home for the summer, I discovered that three years away at college had radically curtailed my circle of friends in my hometown. Making the effort to reconnect with old childhood friends seemed like a plan. My friends met my spontaneous outing enthusiastically and a good time was had by all out at the lake. But that night everything changed. I had gone home with one of my best friends growing up to crash for the n…
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So true... even after healing has begun.

Rick & community:  I wanted to share with you how helpful your newsletters & articles are.  I'm the betrayed spouse (I believe we're both the hurt spouse) and I was fortunate to trust in our vows and our love beyond that pain.  We'd been married about 3 1/2 yrs.  Discovery was St. Patrick's Day 2011 and it wasn't until July that my husband truly ended it with his partner.  They did not see each other for those months after discovery, but texting continued.. at an astonishing rate.  We tried therapy but it was too soon- My husband thought the counselor would make me understand that he didn’t love me anylonger.  She told us we were not ready for counseling; That individual counseling may help.  Months later, in early August, we began couple's counseling with a different psychologist who was much more direct.  He immediately stressed the importance of openness & of the full discovery... being willing to be open and relive what my husband hated having done, reliving it enough to answer my on-going questions although it was the thing he wanted to move past & forget most in this world.  As our therapist told my husband, "She needs to know what she's forgiving you for..." 

Well, we are now in a place so much better than where we were- We've become the couple our vows were written for... We haven't been this open and engaged since before we were married.  I'm not saying the healing is over--- not by a longshot!  I'm in individual therapy for the triggers and continued fear of trusting.  I grew-up in a very loving home with no reason to ever not trust those I loved, so I was destroyed by that break of trust--- from a man I'd have sworn had never lied to me in the 7 yrs we'd known one another.  It was a true trauma- and that is exactly how my therapist has treated me... for PTSD.  Also, I needed to learn that trust is not something you decide to give to someone and life goes on... Oh, no... I needed to realize my choice to trust my husband (and my own ability to trust I know what's best for me) was something I would need to do daily.  -Frequently, several times a day.  That seems like something so small, but it was (and still is) so foreign to me.  I believe healing will be ongoing… it will be a part of our daily life for many months (years?) to come… but we will be better for it.

I found Affair Recovery late last year and although we had been in therapy and made wonderful strides in healing, your weekly mailings & articles have been extremely validating… exactly for the reason mentioned here- the community.  I’ve never spoken with anyone here, but just knowing Rick was helping so many through what we were working through was comforting.  I would tear-up weekly while reading the articles because my feelings and experiences were articulated so well right in front of me.  I also shared these with my husband- especially the ones about the hurt spouse’s healing.  One obstacle my husband faced was that he doubted he could forgive himself for what he had done, ie. his affair, but more so for what he had done to me.  He knew what I was going through, but those emails helped him understand that I was not alone; therefore, he was not alone.  He was not the only person on Earth who had so severly hurt someone he loved.  I know this was a huge instrument to his healing.

I wish I had known about AR for all the available support when discovery first happened. I was able to hold-on, but I know it would have been easier with this community.

Isolation

The problem is when you don't have a close friend that has been through it or if they have, they don't want to just listen, they want to tell you that you should handle everything just the way they did and keep comparing their situation to yours, like it's a competition or something. Acquaintances don't want to talk about something so personal. In my area there are not support groups and I don't have faith in most ministers because I see how they act when they are not behind the pulpit. I am isolated. I am depressed. I am humiliated that this happened to me and don't want people to know.

What type of affair was it?

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