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

A Betrayed Spouse Chimes In - How I Recovered After My Husband's Infidelity

As my husband walked through the door, I immediately knew something was wrong. He was supposed to be on a plane to speak at a conference, but instead was home, staring at me saying, “We need to talk.” I don’t think I had ever seen that look in his eye, and I knew something was wrong. We both stood looking at each other uncomfortably, and at that moment I heard the Lord say, “You love this man and you will forgive him.” What did that mean?? What was going on?? My heart froze... You m…
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This article.

I SO needed to read this message this morning when I feel such hurt, despair, and anger over my husband's betrayal of my trust. This experience has crossed over to ALL of our relationships, especially church. PRAYING for the MIRACLE that this couple and family have had. I, also, sent this message to my pastor.

a betrayed spouse chimes in

I am where you were and hope to be where you are now. Hearing from people like yourself gives people like me hope. I feel little hope in my current situation. I only have hope in myself right now. I am torn giving this my best shot knowing my husband does not yet get it and giving up. When you are so tired of beating your head against a brick wall. When it's all up to the hurt spouse to make things happen. When all you want is a bit of intiative on his part, a bit of active involvement. Congratulations I hope I get there someday. 

To betrayed spouse

Please get help from the affair recovery program...I too was where you are now. But through God's grace and this program I have come to forgive him. There is HOPE when you get help. Since your husband doesn't get it yet, you need the extra help from these people. Thank God they were here for me. I am in love with my husband,he loves me, and he truly is sorry and repentful and our marriage is stronger. Praying for you...


Thanks for sharing your story

Thanks for sharing your story and experience.  It helps to comfort my broken heart and hurts from my husband's infidelity.

betrayal by spouse

hello, like you i found out about my husband's infidelity by accident. however, it is still raw with me its been five months and I haven't reach to the place where I can forgive or trust him. I do not believe in him because what he did  was the ultimate disrespect  and selfish act unlike you I have to deal with a baby who will be born in a few weeks. this had robbed me of everything because we have two boys and I do not want to raise them in an environment that is toxic. Everytime I see him (spouse) I'm filled with rage but has to be there for my sons.at this point I'm at the crossroads I want to take my boys and move away but that will rob them of their father but then he do not deserve to be around them because he betrayed their  trust. To be honest my first instinct is to get a divorce but I have been married for 14 years and where do I begin  

This story helped me so much,

This story helped me so much, perhaps more than anything I have read her yet. I can sense the author is and was a good woman with depth and integrity, and I feel like we have that in common. And like her, we are both guilty and horrified after physically attacking a betrayer. That gives me so much relief. I am so ashamed and distraught that I did that. It doesnt matter that I am small and he is not and that he was only scratched or hit. It is assault and was wrong. The pain of my behavior after learning of his betrayal, left me feeling like I had betrayed myself too, and I felt truly alone. I have attacked him briefly twice when the pain overwhelmed me as we talked it over. I was obsessed with destroying her property and cannot refer to her any other way except as the "whore." I refer to her two little girls the same way. This is not like me and makes me so sick when I hear the words leave my lips -- but it helps somehow too, in a significant way that I cannot explain rationally. She is a family, anger management and domestic violence counselor and I feel betrayed by the profession -- and that she used her professional training to cultivate, coax and maintain a leg up in this emotional and ultimately sexual relationship with him. I view her as a predator and am sick that she has access to unsuspecting potential victims and fantasize about putting up a billboard de-advertising her professional services. I have found a lot of relief reading the articles and blog here. But this article helped me so much, because it is specifically, internally where I am at today -- this minute, facing this struggle inside my own self. I have never felt such uncontrolled rage. It frightens me and worries me that I am not normal. I have refocused all of my energy and hurt into running and biking and being in the vicinity of positive people -- even if they polite smiling strangers in the hallway at work, when I feel triggered or flooded and its helped. But the shame and fear that my physical feelings and reaction in the past month or two, are sick or abnormal has really tormented me. I have prayed that God will forgive me for the way I behaved and I know that it is already done. But it is like a whole new hurt on top of the other. Thank you for your frank story. I have been too ashamed to discuss this with anyone. I feel a huge sense of relief and release and self-forgiveness reading your story and learning that temporary hatred happens, but that it isnt where I will stay stuck, not if I keep pushing forward and focusing on grace. Thank you again and to all of you who join in these blogs. You are my life preserver in choppy water these days.

Spot on

She totally expressed the multitude of emotions one goes through beginning with suspicion that something is NOT right, the pooh poohing of those suspicions by spouse and others, the crazy feelings  that the problem must be ones self, the fear at realization that acknowledgment of betrayal is coming down, and the massive see sawing emotions and horrific consequences of that awful day of disclosure.  An absolute Tornado of epic proportions drops into a marriage with devastating destruction.  Do I rebuild or do I leave? The voices of the multitude counsel like shifting winds.  But out of the chaos and storm, a ray of hope-- do I dare hope?  What more is there to lose?  Is their a reason to hope? ---  Affair Recovery Center--Harboring Hope, Hope for Healing.. A reason to hope, support for the healing process, honesty,  sympathy, empathy, compassion born out of experience, their own devastation turned toward comforting the grieved.  Encouragement of better days ahead ..can I trust it will happen for me, for my marriage? .. Many days just  Hanging onto the hope that they must be right... They've been here, walked this path and they are still standing, full of joy and restored.  And they were right. 

I'm Not Alone

It is actually comforting to know how the writer behaved while going through such a hard time. I have often imagined doing all of the things she did to her husband, especially physically attacking. At least I know I am not alone in having these emotions. Thanks for being so candid and open.

Thank you so much for sharing

Thank you so much for sharing your story.  Although the infidelities I've experienced over the past 16 years or so from my husband probably didn't involve a sexual aspect, the emotional infidelity and deceipt, amongst other issues has rocked my world, and destroyed my trust in him little by little over the years.  I had gotten to the point about 2 weeks ago, that I told him I was basically through.  I did not have any feelings for him whatsoever, and was ready to move on, and secretly making plans to do so.  He begged me to give him "30 days" to prove his love for me, and give him one last chance to be the husband I needed him to be.  Inside I 

But then a week ago, my strong, robust 54-year old husband had a massive heart attack.  He had to be flown by helicopter to a hospital in a larger metropolitan area that could handle the severity of his heart attack, and he had quadruple bypass surgery.  The following is something that I wrote to a friend to try to express the miracle that took place in my heart:

"I had crazy, mixed feelings when this first happened. Knowing immediately that if he survived, his rehab would be lengthy and the role I would play would be consuming, emotionally mentally, and physically - I asked God to give me the exact kind of love that he needed to get him through this ordeal. Plus, I thought, why do I want to care for him merely out of duty? I would be even more miserable. This will be a very tough process on many levels, and i needed the Holy Spirit to fill me with a selfless love, if nothing else, to assist him in getting to a healthy, independent state again - because I had already made some decisions and had begun to take actions in regards to my future. A miracle has happened and feelings for him that I absolutely did not have have evolved over the last few days. He needed me not only as a friend, as I have been. He needed someone to deeply love him. I see in these early days (post heart attack) spiritual changes. Only time will tell if they'll stick, but for now I must stay committed, after all, I was the one that has prayed for God to do whatever it takes to draw him back to Him."

So, I still don't know the end to our story.  The changes he is experiencing from his near-death experience may or may not stick.  I will give this more time, although at age 47, and almost 22 years of marriage, I feel like I've given him more than enough time so far.  God's timing is perfect; my understanding is finite.  I just have to lean on Him more than ever for wisdom, strength and endurance.

Your story gives me home though.  Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your story and for the bravery it took to put it "out there"...gives me a lot of hope.  God bless you and your family.

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your story.  I have had and am still having all of those emotions.  I am only 2 months post D-Day.  My husband's affairs(2) covered the last three years in which in the middle we also planned and added to our family with baby #4, which has been a big hurdle for me knowing now that he was having an affair the entire time we tried to conceive this baby.  Of course, baby #4 would not be here if I had known what was going on.  It's bitter sweet.  Your story gives me hope, when some days I don't feel hopeful.  I know God is telling me the same thing he told you, but right now it's hard to see happiness in my future with all of this raw pain.  Thanks again.

My Marriage

It was great that you were able to save your marriage, and move ahead.  For me it was back in 2006 that my husband came home at 3:00 in the morning only having me worried sick where he was, to only have him tell me he was having wine with a woman.  After that all fell apart for me as he didn't want to be with me any more.  Now nearly 6 years gone by without any real repentance on his part, and me thinking he wasn't seeing her any more, he has had a stroke and during his hospital stay I had found out that just a few months before in 2013 he was still seeing her in secret.  So I am still trying to be the loving wife with all the weight of this mess on my shoulders.  I Know he never before wanted to get any help for us, but now I don't know how to handle all of this.  I do have a close friend who has helped me in many things, but my husband  isn't home yet and I'm not sure how things will be for us.  It's a scary thought!!!  

Wow! That was so good to

Wow! That was so good to hear! Thank you for sharing that story with us. God is amazing and I am so thankful that he has given you all at affair recovery a passion for helping others in these horrible situations...

Inspiring Story

I only wish I felt like my husband was sorry for his actions, but I am still hearing that I am to blame for what he decided to do.  I keep hearing that men are men and they cannot help themselves.  I keep forgiving hoping things will get better, but then things fall apart again.  He does not want counseling or to attend church or seek any help of any kind, and that keeps me at arms length.  I feel like we are just back to where we were on D-Day.  I want the hope and forgiveness, but unfortunately have become so numb to him that I want out.  I do not feel any reassurance that this will not happen again.  I am not sure he has changed, or I am just finally seeing the person he really is.  Just lost and alone at the moment, hoping, and praying, that God will intervene.

You are not to blame!

YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME! Please don't let anyone tell you that! Your husband made the choice to cheat. HE is to blame. NOT YOU! My husband tried to push his poor choices on me and it took ALOT of counseling for me to see that HE made the choice and by blaming me for not doing such and such was a cop out. I pray you are well tonight.

wow. I am so glad you shared

wow. I am so glad you shared this. So much of what you shared parallels my situation. I discovered less than a week after it happened about my husband's affair. I begged him to stop, told him he couldn't have a relationship with her while married to me, but he continued. The lies-oh the lies. But sometimes I feel I didn't do enough, go the extra mile and now I feel foolish and naive. The affair ended for him after he was arrested for stealing money from his job (a church). The public shame of that, losing church relationships and now struggling to be able to live (we have small children) have taken priority it seems. There are times I feel I'm just here for the kids, that I am a shell of a person, that I was never strong enough, didn't have convictions. I want to call her, months later just so I can feel I've taken control, that she knows the awful things he did, that she knows the truth. Some days I just can get her out of my head. But I know it takes times. Your story strikes my heart and gives me hope. Thank you for sharing