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

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.


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


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.

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.