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

Hope Rising 2018: Apology from the Unfaithful

For Hope Rising 2018, which is now available On Demand, one of our Survivors, Laurie, wrote a beautiful and profound Apology Letter delivered to the betrayed men at the conference. Samuel in turn delivered a version of her letter to the betrayed women. Since the conference, we have been flooded with emails requesting a written or recorded version. We are happy to be able to share these powerful words with you today:

Letter to Betrayed Men

When I began thinking about writing this letter to you all, and considering what I wanted to say, God impressed on me to set aside what I wanted to say to you for a moment, and start with what He would say first.

He would tell you that you are his child and He loves you beyond your understanding; that you are not a disappointment to him in any way; that you have personal dignity and honor and value, and that none of those can be diminished by anything that someone else did because He created these in you from the beginning; that this betrayal doesn’t and will never define you; that He offers strength and healing and hope for you, even if your circumstances make it seem impossible to see.

I know you are now living in a story that you never expected to be yours, one you certainly wouldn’t have chosen, that you’ve been disrespected and disregarded and traumatized in ways that no person should ever have to experience. Your losses must feel almost innumerable, and you add to the list of those losses continually as you realize new depths of what has been taken away. It’s a new reality that isn’t welcome, one that exhausts you in every way, one that you can’t ever seem to get away from. I understand that often, the pain is so hard to see around, and it disrupts even the best of days without warning. You’ve learned how fast you can be taken down by intrusive thoughts, and how hard you have to fight to push them out and get back up. Some of you wonder if it’s possible to ever put things back together in your life; some of you are conflicted inside over the choice to stay or walk away; and some of you are not even being given the chance at having that choice. You carry the heavy weight of shame from being betrayed by the person you loved and trusted most in your life. This has been overwhelmingly the worst thing you’ve ever had to endure.

I want you to know with absolute assurance, that nothing about your wife’s betrayal was because of anything you weren’t, nor was it about anything you did or didn’t do in the marriage. She made the choices she did - I made the choices I did - because of something terribly broken and wrong inside of us. We are responsible for every little step we took over time that led us to ultimately make the choice to be unfaithful to you. None of it was ever your fault.

And so I want to offer to you, on behalf of all unfaithful women, an apology, first for our destructive and unloving behavior, which has brought complete and utter devastation to your heart. We were so wrong to do what we did.

I apologize to you for the seemingly casual way in which we tossed aside your love and everything right and true;
For how easily and quickly we fell for someone’s empty ridiculous words of affirmation or validation;
For trading sex as currency instead of protecting it as the sacred and beautiful thing it really was;
For disrespectfully giving our very self to someone who absolutely didn’t have any right to it.
For our deceitfulness and all the lies we told you to protect our shameful secrets;
For all of this, I apologize.

And I apologize for the ways you’ve been further mistreated . . .
For the refusal to accept full responsibility for our actions;
For all the baffling contempt you’ve experienced on the other side of us, without knowing why or where it’s coming from;
For the attempts to manipulate and control you;
For the defensiveness we have shown when you just needed answers, and the refusal to give you the full picture of what happened;
For the blame that some have tried to put on you for what we ourselves did, and how it stings you deeply;
For how we’ve been more sorrowful for our own painful consequences than we have been for the pain we’ve caused you;
For the lack of empathy toward what you are feeling and going through, not just on our part, but a lack of empathy from others in your life as well;
For putting you in a position to need so much support;
For our hard-heartedness toward you;
For the loss of your dreams of the future;
For the trauma and devastation inside;
For the way you have felt totally isolated since your world was blown apart;
For the nightmares and thoughts that intrude peaceful moments and constantly reopen the wound;
I apologize.

I apologize for the impatience you’ve been shown for not already just getting over it;
For the pressure you feel to either forgive and forget and put it behind you, or maybe conversely, to walk away and just start over;
For what this is doing to the kids;
I apologize.

For so many other losses…your confidence, peace of mind, future dreams and plans, trust, sleep, health, your ability to celebrate and feel happiness, finances, time, productivity and focus, your whole belief system, your self-esteem, your spirit, hopes for the future, your faith in your spouse, your faith in God, even your faith in yourself;
And for the losses you haven’t even realized yet,
I apologize.

Whether your trip here today was from across town or from across the country, it took courage to be here and to seek help in facing this. You probably came with questions like “Is this worth it?” and “Is there really hope?”, and you came with expectations and an open mind and hope for some solid help. I hope and pray that when you leave here today, you can say without a doubt that you felt understood, you felt compassion, and that you gained tools that will be beneficial and truly helpful for your recovery, and that in this room you find comfort and support in the presence of others walking the same road, and even new friends, and that the answer to the question “Is there really hope?” for you, will be a resounding “yes!”

If you loved this apology letter, you’ll love the other topics discussed at the 2018 Hope Rising Conference! Now that it’s On Demand, you can watch it anywhere, anytime. Click here to find out more: https://www.affairrecovery.com/hope-rising-2018-on-demand



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Apology letter 2018

Could I please get a copy of this letter in writing?

Just attended the Oct EMS weekend, traveled from Florida

We had a chance to meet you Friday morning and tell you just how much your video blogs have helped us ... we watch them several times a week for months now ... we have never found anything more helpful. This presentation on the "the apology" had us both in tears not tears of sadness but of hope actually hope rising! Thanks for all you do and please keep the video blogs coming they have the power to heal and change lives!!!!!

Letter of Apology

I would also like a copy of the apology letter...the one for men from women and if the one to women from men is available, as well, in print.
Thank you.

request letter of apology

thank you

Apology letter 2018

May I please have the apology letter 2018 to share with a friend who doesn’t have access.

It is available to the public

It is available to the public via our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM1de3FTXnc

Copy of letter

File this under:
Stuff My Spouse Could Have Said To Start Healing

Perfect Apology

This is exactly what I need to hear from my husband. But not just hear....believe. I'm hoping my husband someday "gets it", as Samuel now does. We are 1 year out and in the right direction but I still have doubts that he truly gets it. Hearing this speech at least gave me comfort that someone gets it. How my life has been turned inside out and upside down. Prayers for everyone who are still waiting to hear AND believe their unfaithful partner's apology.


Thank you so much for this. How it captures the very innermost aching of my soul. If these words weren't just meant for me, then that means I'm not alone in feeling this pain, sorrow, whatever it is called. I'm sad that there are others who hurt like I do, but glad to know I'm not crazy or alone for feeling this way.

Emo Affair

My husband had a 3+ year emo affair with a colleague at work. During that time, he mentioned her name to me only two times so I had no idea. He is a performer on the side, however, and she showed up at his Christmas show by herself and dressed to the nines. He introduced us and she didn’t let me have a chance to say anything as she went on and on about how wonderful my husband was while hers went with their son to see him get his athletic letter. I knew in 10 seconds that she was in love with him. It took over six months for me to get my husband to admit to anything more than just best friends. He finally admitted he had feelings for her but denied having a physical relationship. She is nothing like me—she’s extroverted as he is, beautiful as I once was, happy in her job (I’m not), and 12 years younger

In the almost three years since D Day, my husband has done and said everything necessary to put this behind us and make it up to me but they still work together and he still finds ways to see her, at least periodically. He says there is nothing to it and then becomes defensive and makes it my problem that he thinks I should be counseled for. I feel isolated and back to square one every time he gives me an update. I feel that he thinks a residential relationship with her is permissible because (he says) they never had intercourse. He sat with her at a funeral last week and the story he told me had all kinds of holes so he still lies to me because of her.

I want him to get another job but he’s almost 58 YO (I’m 61) so I’m not sure that he can. He tells me he’s looking but I see no sign of it. I told him last week that I am giving him all the rope to hang himself and he doesn’t have to tell me anything. I gave him permission to go back to the old days when she was his work-wife (who never had anything good to say about me).

I feel hopeful some of the time but these episodes take me all the way back to square one. I want to be a survivor and stay with him to see our 30th wedding Anniversary next year but sometimes it feels that I am dying as I try to swim upstream against a current that has invaded our relationship. I have never contacted her or her husband because I of course want them to remain together but it feels so unfair that her marriage was not blindsided by this as mine was.

So sorry

He doesn’t get it yet. I feel so bad for you. He’s defensive and justifies his connection with her. It can get better, but he’s not ready to give her up.

E1, I am almost where you are

E1, I am almost where you are, except my husband has been involved for about 2 years, also with denial of a physical relationship. He's 58, I'll be 61 soon, and the colleague is 31-and single. I completely understand how each episode takes you back to square one. It's hard to heal when the wound keeps getting reopened, and when we are the ones who are considered at fault for their choices. I am changing things now though. I am reaching out and getting help to move forward and heal, with or without him. I hope we end up staying together, but I simply refuse to continue living the way we have been. We went to marriage counseling earlier this year for about 6 months. Things seemed to have improved, but then I discovered--that they really didn't. So I'm going to work on myself and deal with whatever comes. I am strong enough to make a life for myself, though at my age I know it won't be easy. I know you can recover too. I pray you don't isolate yourself but reach out to other healthy friends or a counselor to help you work through this. It isn't fair. It isn't fun. It isn't easy. But there has to be life on the other side. We just have to get there!


Amazingly thorough and perfect in every way. If they would just have come from my own betrayer earlier, I may have been able to heal sooner.

Apology Letter

I’m meeting for the first time with my wife alone since my Affair was uncovered. It’s been 2 months. Based on history this conversation will only be about financial items. Any suggestions other then just listening to her.

I feel I need to let her know how sorry I am for my mistakes.

Apology from the unfaithful

That was wonderful so very heartfelt and sincere. Your timing is perfect I so needed that today. Thank you

Apology letter

Wow. Thank you. That was so good to hear....If only it was from my husband....

apology letter

I have to tell you that the apology letter was the most impactful part of the retreat for me. To hear Steve read this apology letter was almost too much for me. It was exactly what I had always wanted to hear. I have shared it with my spouse now, because he never knew I was looking for this in an apology but Steve nailed it. I will never forget the silence that fell over the audience that day, and I will never forget the tears I shed and the tears I watched so many shed. It's what I will always remember the most about this retreat. I just wanted to say Thank You !!!

correction to previous comment....

I said Steve by accident, I meant Samuel. Sorry for that !



that letter - is the letter that every betrayer who cares about his or her spouse, who wants to make things right, who wishes they could make it all better, who wishes ............it never happened, who wishes they could go back and live life over differently, would have loved to write. The words in that letter read by Samuel are the words that have been swirling in my brain since this all started- but in no semblance of order, not able to be spoken, not able to be written, despite my deep desire to do so. My multiple apologies i am sure fail in comparison. Certainly i would not expect this apology letter in any way meet the needs of my betrayed spouse, but I do pray that perhaps in some way it helps.


Wow... if only. But never, not even close.

This is beautiful though.

I know. If only is sad.

I know. If only is sad. Wishing this letter was written by my soon ex-husband.


Every single word from this letter resonated and touched on the emotions, hurt, and confusion I have felt over the last year since discovering my husbands emotional affair with his boss. I can’t help but wonder how much damage could have been avoided if these had been the words I heard from him early on....

Apology letter

Wow, wonderful letter. Sincere, heartfelt, understanding. What I would have given to get anything like this. Several years out and stuck in no where land. Not really married, not really free. Sharron

Sharron...we share the same

Sharron...we share the same space in this world...not really married not really free...its a very strange existence one that I know deep in my heart I cannot live because it Isn't Living! 6 yrs out from DD on Jan 3, 2019...nothing there's just nothing that even resembles what marriage is supposed to be. I would rather serve The Lord single with like minded people and find Joy & Happiness again (it's what I miss most about my "before" life)...Scripture teaches us "u will know them by their fruit"...I have waited too many seasons..fertilized, watered, cared for and loved..but not fruit to pick..time to chop it by the root knowing I did everything to help it but nothing to show for the effort..apparently it is content in the state it is..who am I to judge? The only decisions and choices I can make are for myself. The World is a HUGE field to sow the seed...ppl are dying to be Loved, Nurtured, Cared For and WILLING to Grow..that is what draws me now. I don't want to waste this precious gift of Life that was so dearly paid for!!


I am 6 years out and only ever really got a back handed apology that kept reiterating how I was also to blame. This was amazingly well done. I just wish the unfaithful would fully realize they have to stop doing things that require them to be sorry and have to apologize.

Amazing, but terribly sad

That is probably the most perfect apology and would help the healing process SOOO much, but sadly it only makes me realise how much my wife doesnt get it and is stuck in her own selfish fantasyland.

Apology letter

I have been trying to explain how I feel after being betrayed, trying to understand myself why it still hurts so much after 3 years - this letter, these words, this understanding by the betrayer is mind blowing. I hope and pray that my husband finally “gets it” like Samuel has.

Still sobbing!

This is a beautiful letter. It made me use a box of tissues. Well worth the tears. These words are written by someone who really “gets it”. The person really relates and understands the pain her infidelity has caused her betrayed spouse. Samuel you did a great job delivering this letter. Thank you.

All that glitters, is not gold

Cheerfully I accepted my wife’s apology letter which included all the above and more!

She articulated, she was sincere, she apologised for things I thought she hadn’t noticed because I’d hidden them well.

She went to above and beyond and told me how she was going to make it up to me. She told me how she was going make sure she never puts me, our 17 year marriage or our 5 children in that position ever again.

She thanked me for sticking by her and never giving up on her. She acknowledged that no man would do what I did for her and that she’d spend the rest of her life rebuilding our relationship and earning my trust if that’s what it took........

Then, less than a month later; we had a 5 minute argument and according to her; whilst I was at work the next day waiting for her to call and apologise, she took the the argument to mean we’d broken up.... she just forgot to mention that little fact to me; her husband.

She had a whole day to make things right but then BANG, she was at it again. This time however; instead of some random who used her and tossed her away; she hit the jackpot when she found someone who was as broken as she was.

In under three hours of making contact, they latched onto each other like they’d been lovers for decades! They were professing their affinity and the connection they felt for one another.

In under six hours the were calling each other baby, honey, bub and gorgeous; pet names that her and I had reserved for each other for 17 years and were calling each other only a day before. He even went as far as to say “I feel like I love you” and “if things work out, you can move in with me!” ...... saddest part is; they hadn’t even met yet; this was all online!!!

Then, about 48 hours after that 5 minute argument; they sealed the deal in the back seat of his car at the drive ins her and I gone to almost every single week for over a decade!

I apologise if my response is all doom and gloom. I apologise if I’ve put a dampener on the mood. I apologise if my story takes away from the hope that’s felt by those who’ve watched and listened and thought “Yes! I can wait it out! I can hang in there and put up with them if that’s the pot of gold waiting for me at the end!” I apologise not because I’ve taken anything away from you; but because my truth has maybe altered the fairytale ending you’d dreamt of.

What I don’t apologise for is making you question whether it’s a fairytale you’re after because you may be shocked when instead you get an episode of “Where are they now?” where you’re the star who is now living in a cardboard box!

What I also do not apologise for is telling you that while she’s still in denial and living like one parasite attached to another..... my kids and I have learned that “NO ONE DEFINES MY LIFE!”, they either compliment it, or aren’t a part of it!

I love each and every one of you

God bless you all



I took some me tome today to read and watch the letter and video on the apology letter. Now Im laying jere in bed...alone....she's down stairs in "her room" and I'm up here in "mine."

Today was another day led be some irritation and resentment. I managed to keep my anger in check though and I asked for space when I felt the blood pressure rising.

See, whether she wants to or not, I have to keep on going. I don't have a choice. Doing it alone is just a fact of life. She just can't find the importance in a daily commitment the way I do. But, it's nothing new, I've been in this thing alone ever sence day one. The person I THOUGHT I was living with doesn't actually exist...nope, I made her up in my head as a way to not only enable her but also as a way to finally take a break from the loneliness of wanting a spouse and a friend.

Boy was I wrong. Of course, I knew this from the beginning...I knew she hadn't worked on her infidelities from her last marriage, and I also saw the signs that (as a result) she would bring these same values, morals, and goals into ours..

. I chose to overlook the obvious and not only gave her the benefit of the doubt (that she would work and fix the underlying issues causing the prior cheating and the current micro cheating) but at the same time I also allowed myself to make up who she was in my head so that I would have no reason to walk away before I had my feelings, heart, and future dragged into the mud. Boy was I wrong...

Wanna hear who I made up? OK, here goes...she was a Christian woman. Loved the Lord and put Him first EVERY day come rain or shine. She was a fair fighter. She would only argue if she had a solution and was willing to admit her own shortcomings. She was attracted to me and SHOWED it by her actions and flirting. She trusted me enough to be honest...and she trusted herself so little that she was able to call herself out on her own baggage so she can work to fix it....

That's who I made up...It's as if I partly assumed my wife was this way and partly figured that In the coming years, we would be growing together and would eventually be the person by default.

So who did I marry then? Well, that's actually pretty easy on e you know what someone "ISN'T." All you have to do is say..." none of those things." I don't need to spend 40 min bad mouthing her to the gang, Lord knows I did enough damage with this tactic to almost have the outsiders thinkin' that I AM THE PROBLEM! Isn't this how it works? The unfaithful is mostly calm and looks good from the outside lookin' in, while we (the betrayed) look like the problem child because we are yelling and upset "all the time?"

This is all I will share today. I NEED to figure out how i can get involved with this group and press forward even if al9ne. I have to. The letter thatjust citified I listened to Tony read tonight, it really mad me sad and alone. Why? Because for the first time, I actually heard what a REAL apology sounds like and this information (once again) gave me a starting point a d front row seat into the mind of a repentant spouse who Is truely ready to commit a d heal. She's NOT that.

I feel almost to tired to even care- but something keeps me reading, listening, and listening for the

Until next time,


Apology Letter

Wow! This letter and Samuel’s version is exactly what the betrayed spouse needs from the unfaithful spouse to start healing from something that has no time limit to heal from. Listening & reading this apology letter really made me cry like a baby because it’s everything we as a betrayed spouse have felt was done to us. It is absolutely incredible how the unfaithful simply just don’t get what they did and how paramount it is for the betrayed to get a genuine, sincere apology just like this one! I pray everyday that someday my spouse gets what he just did to me & my family, because it affects everyone! Blessings to all,(including the unfaithful).

Laurie - thank you for

Laurie - thank you for putting your heart down on paper and being so courageous to share your apology with so many hurting men in that live audience setting. I just wanted to share my thanks as remorseful, former unfaithful.

Will I ever hear these words?

Wow. I printed this out. It is like the Lord has sent this out to me letting me know that what I'm feeling is real and significant. Still waiting to hear what I need to hear. There's been a lot of words passionately put out there but I haven't received heard the heart truly acknowledge the scope of the destruction. I'm so broken even as we are moving forward to 'fix' things I find I'm still waiting for him to get it. Yes. The words in this letter truly touch the tip of understanding the complete destruction of which my heart has experienced. And daily I bottom out and wonder if I am a fool and that's where the love of God steps in and I know I will be ok. But this letter helped me understand what I need to hear. Thank you.

If after reading this you as

If after reading this you as the the Unfaithful can feel a terrible remorse and empathy for your spouses pain, you have begun to understand.

But only just begun.

Because I promise you that you will never truly understand the breadth and depth of the pain you inflicted.

Take the most painful event in your life and multiply that by one hundred. Try to imagine a pain that leaves you begging to die to escape it.

Now imagine having to live in that kind of agony every moment forever because too many good and decent people depend on you.

Welcome to our world.


Thank you for a beautiful letter.....that is everything that I'm living. If I was your husband I'd say....you're forgiven, and I'd mean it.

Thank you.

This letter really summed up what I experienced as a betrayed.
The lines about how easily you fell for someone else’s validation and trading sex for currency hit the mark directly. I had to replay that part!
I shared it with my husband and as we are 2 years out, done tons of work including EMS weekend in April he was compassionate & caring to me while I cried watching it again.
The next day he approached me with so many tears and I’m sorrys. He has apologized sincerely before and he’s letters at EMS were right on and touching.
But I think this video allowed him to see the whole picture at once and hone in one some of the specifics.
He said “I’m sorry I got drunk, I’m sorry I ever let her touch me, she didn’t deserve me because I am only yours.”
I needed those words more than I realized before.
He went on to apologize for my pain and how he s committed to my healing because of how much he loves me.
So thank you for all the work you do on this site but especially for this!
I can honestly say my husband is a better man today than his was before the affair and I know it’s because of the hard work we’ve put into it. I’m so glad we had this resource to help us through it!!!

More than enough...

These are the words I have so desperately needed to hear but have to accept that I may never hear them from my own husband. As I move forward in my healing journey in the face of divorce, shame, and pain I will remind myself I am not alone. Your words and presentation in this apology will be enough for me when I am reminded of the injury and wound of betrayal.

Apology Letter

Every single word of that letter touched my heart and had me in tears. I finally got to hear the words, but they weren’t from my husband. I don’t think he will ever understand how he completely shattered my heart and singlehandedly destroyed our family. Unfortunately my husband of 35 years would prefer we just sweep his affair under the rug, and that I need to get over it. Thank God for your ministry, and the videos and blogs. You don’t know how very grateful I am for you.

Beautifully Written

So much of this resonates with me. Though I did not actually have sex with anyone I had inappropriate discussions and other situations and kept it a secret. To those that have been the betrayer, how do you deal with the guilt & shame of how you made your spouse feel? It’s so heavy on me, and I’ve truly changed though I did keep the secret for over 7 years before d-day I haven’t nor would I ever think about doing this again, but I feel this tension that even on good days seems to be there. Does that ever go away? Does the pain of this ever go away or do you just live with it? I don’t want to separate and he says he doesn’t either but he so hurt, what else can I do? I feel so bad so defeated and I feel bad for him for feeling like he has to stay. I’d love to take this course but I honestly can’t afford it. Just looking for some advice.

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-D, Texas