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

Affair Recovery Q & A: Answers from an Expert

At AffairRecovery.com, we’re committed to helping both couples and individuals find new life on the other side of the devastation infidelity can usher in. One of the ways we help our Recovery Library members is what we call our Expert Q & A. Sometimes there is something more you want to know to help work through your recovery. Every week Rick answers up to 10 of your submitted questions and makes his answers available to the Affair Recovery membership community.

These Q and A blogs are also available for our members to sift through and find practical insight for their specific situation, drawing from Rick’s 30 years of experience treating infidelity.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Subscribe to our Recovery Library Membership
  2. Submit your question
  3. Rick will post his answer typically by Tuesday of the following week.

You will also be able to sift through over 1,400 of these articles, video blogs and Q and A sessions by accessing our Recovery Library

As an example of Rick’s Q & A, we wanted to share three different videos Rick has done just recently:


Question:
Why do you think infidelity is such a trauma for people? I was never a jealous person in relationships prior to my marriage. I'd had a few girlfriends who were not monogamous and it was not a big deal to me. When my wife and I were first dating but had not yet committed to each other, she was still with another boyfriend for an overlapping period of time, and that also did not bother me at all. And in our marriage, I was never bothered if she was attracted to other men; I even enjoyed our honesty with each other about topics like that. But: we are now 20 months after she had an affair, and I am still very affected by it. It is on my mind so much of the time, and I spiral easily into uncomfortable images and still have difficulty sleeping. She did continue with dishonesty that went way past D-day, and I understand that this often sets back recovery, but in general she has been 'safe' and empathic and has taken responsibility for what she did. I am not sure why I still care so much about what she did with someone else almost 2 years ago now.


Question:
Hi Rick,
I'm having trouble distinguishing the difference between:

(1) boundaries to keep myself safe
vs.
(2) boundaries that provide consequences.
(I am the betrayed).

There are some articles or vlogs on the AR site that talk about tough love which I interpret as consequences, and if I'm not mistaken, I think the word consequences may have been used on the AR site (not sure though). For example, if an unfaithful keeps relapsing and contacts the AP, he has overstepped a boundary that was drawn by the betrayed spouse to keep her safe, and a consequence of that is that he needs to move out of the house. Or if the unfaithful keeps contacting the AP, then the betrayed can file divorce papers as a consequence of the broken boundary. So what is the difference between (1) and (2)? I told my unfaithful husband that a "consequence" of him overstepping a boundary is that he needed to move out. (The boundary is that I will no longer tolerate him lying to my face.) Doesn't each boundary we draw need to have the corresponding consequence?

Thanks.

Question:
We are 3 months past D-Day and are currently in an EMSO group. We have been married 37 years. Do you have any suggestions for how to begin connecting in new and different ways? As we begin walking through recovery in earnest, I fear that our old habits and ways of connecting will become a detriment rather than an asset to help us walk through this mess. We have a lot of entrenched ways of thinking and acting and need to be very intentional about approaching our relationship with new eyes. What are some specific things we can do to stay out of our old ruts?

In addition to Rick’s Q & A, you can also find more video blogs by actual survivors of infidelity who share their stories on our completely free Survivor’s Blog. Our December EMS Weekend is filling up fast and we only have a few spots left. If you’re looking for time with true experts who have been through infidelity personally and come out on the other side, our EMS Weekend is for you. You’ll find it to be one of the most comprehensive infidelity intensives in the United States, designed with both spouse’s recovery in mind. Please call 1-888-527-2367 for more information or email info@hope-now.com.

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Questions and Answers

Four years ago I was one of those people that wanted all of my questions answered about my husband's affair with his ex girlfriend. Now looking back , what I really wanted was to hear answers that made sense to me. If what he said he felt wasn't what I would have felt or thought , every word or feeling was false or untrue.
We went to three marriage counselors during this time and our marriage grew worse with each one. Then I gave up on the counseling. The reason I gave up so easily is because I knew by then there was no way to save us . I was angry all the time and he never told the truth about anything even when there was proof he was being dishonest.
Over the past few years my health has taken a drastic change for the worst. I am 51 with Parkinson's and a few other serious medical problems. Even though our marriage has not been good, my husband stayed and became my caregiver. I depend on him for almost everything. Last week while he was helping me bathe , I really saw him for the first time in four years and I began to cry. When he ask why ? It was the first time I had been truly been honest with him about all I knew about his affair. We both cried and talked for hours. For four years he had been hanging on to his guilt and shame about the affair . I had been holding on to things he said to the other woman during the affair long after it was over.We went all that time never asking the right questions or giving the correct answers. I am glad we didn't just walk away. Now we can get some help.

What type of affair was it?

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