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

Dealing with Reminders

Back in the mid-eighties, I had a business fail. I guess that's not unusual in the world of business, but it was new to me. In fact, when I went down, I went down big. I lost just about everything as I desperately tried to save the business. I spent our savings, our retirement, even borrowed money, all in an attempt to hold out until the market turned.

The only problem was the market never turned, so we ran smack dab into financial ruin.

Thankfully, God was faithful. He met our needs and took us in a new direction. As usual, he was able to take the worst thing that ever happened to us and make it the best.

Now, you may be wondering why I'm sharing this story, or what this has to do with surviving an affair, but I have discovered that almost every crisis has stinging parallels. How we respond has little to do with the type of crisis but, rather, it has to do with the impact of the crisis and the process we go through to heal. The pain of infidelity is unmatched in its long-term effects and reoccurring hurt, pain, and trauma. I assure you, there are few things that impact life quite like infidelity, but even so, the impact of financial ruin has a few similarities.

Emotional Flooding

From my financial crisis, I began to notice some interesting responses. Hopefully, you can relate to them as you are dealing with betrayal. Every time I encountered a reminder of my business, I experienced an emotional firestorm. Each time I drove by a location where I had worked, I would emotionally flood. If I ran into someone with whom I had previously worked with or known, I became overwhelmed with palpable feelings of dread, insecurity, and paralyzing anxiety (and I'm normally a person who is emotionally constipated).

There seemed to be reminders everywhere, and I continually had to battle my emotions just to barely be able to function in life's regular responsibilities.

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Itemizing the Losses

The trauma experienced by a couple upon the revelation of a betrayal is no small matter, and it creates an emotional firestorm that has to be dealt with by both parties in order to eventually recover. To be sure, the initial stage of recovery is about grieving. For the hurt spouse, the pain of the many losses is, in no uncertain terms, overwhelming. Oddly enough, identifying the losses can be a tool to actually work through them and diffuse their impact on both the betrayed spouse as well as the unfaithful spouse.

Take, for example, the list of practical losses below that a betrayed spouse feels:

  • The loss of self-confidence.
  • The loss of the life they thought they had.
  • The loss of their dreams.
  • The loss of security.
  • The loss of their belief about who their mate was.
  • The loss of the future which seemed so certain.
  • The loss of innocence.
  • The loss of reputation.
  • And. . . the list goes on and on and on.

It's crucial for losses to be identified and grieved. These stages of both loss and grief, simply stated, cannot be avoided. There will be anger, bargaining, and depression, but ultimately, if the right help is utilized and acquired, there comes a point where we find meaning and acceptance in what has occurred.

But the act of grieving does not resolve the issue of reminders.

So How Do You Resolve It?

How does one move beyond the trauma and position themselves for the potential healing of the relationship?

Long after affairs have ceased, if the betrayer is an addict and has pursued and (hopefully) achieved sobriety from sexual addiction, the battle of the thought life and the impact of raw trauma sets in. In many ways, how they deal with their own recovery will determine how quickly, or if at all, a couple will be able to recover from an affair. At some point, each party has to make a conscious decision to either live in a past hurtful event or recommit to the marriage and focus on the life they can have in the future.

That decision is even more difficult than it sounds because it's not just a matter of a choice, but rather, a battle that must be fought by the will, sometimes over months or even years. It takes a great deal of motivation to be willing to engage in this daily battle of survival, recovery, and transformation after an affair.

Tangible Occurrences

Dealing with Reminders

For each partner, there can be multiple daily reminders of the catastrophic events. For the betrayed, it can be a name, the arrival of a cell phone or visa bill, ads for a topless club, certain songs, crass TV show or movie remarks, or news of someone else's betrayal in the news or on a TV show. Even seeing a couple who seems to be out having a wonderful date can be enough to send the hurt spouse down memory lane, which can easily lead to a painful and emotional remembrance.

For the unfaithful spouse, though, life is also filled with these reminders. Each time their mate says they want to talk, coming home from work not knowing what type of mood their mate will be in, using the home computer, or attending recovery groups and counseling can all serve as reminders that might cause the betrayer to flood mentally and emotionally. This is hard for them too. It is at this point that the battle in the theater of the mind begins. The greatest distance known to mankind is the eighteen inches between the head and the heart. In fact, it takes up to seven years for truth to move from our head to our heart, but for some strange reason it only takes a lie about three seconds to travel the same distance! At some point, as you're dealing with betrayal, each party has to come to the point where they choose to focus on something other than the betrayal itself. They must decide that it is not this event that will define or control the rest of their life. There has to be a conscious choice to move beyond the carnage and truly recover from the affair. The couple must break free from that in order to see what is possible in the future.

Leaving the Old, Pursuing the New

What "was" is now, sadly, gone. True restoration is about the possibility of something new. Though seemingly incomprehensible right now, the fact is that a saved marriage is absolutely possible. I can introduce you to many couples who will testify that their post-affair marriage is actually better than their pre-affair marriage. Our invitation to you and your spouse is to work toward the glory of a restored marriage. It will take effort, struggle, expertise, and tangible grace. However, it will prove more than worth it should both parties remain committed to the process; and trust me, recovery is a process. More than likely, your situation didn't develop overnight, and it will not be fixed overnight either. There is a hope that transcends the very heartache and hopelessness you are feeling right now. I hope and pray that you will soon be able to feel this hope.

If you are the unfaithful spouse, you might find it useful to ask your spouse to make a long list of reminders that they could have on any given day which send them to their personal house of torment. Your understanding of their struggle might go a long way in helping your spouse to heal. If you are the hurt spouse and you believe your mate is becoming a safe person and has moved into recovery, then choosing to no longer be a victim of painful reminders would be an excellent step toward health. You'll know when the time is right. When possible, be willing to fight the battle by attempting to focus on what is good and pure and noble instead of focusing on the failure. Counterintuitive to what we may feel about life, as we work through our own recovery, we can find meaning in the suffering. We can allow the suffering to provide a richness to life that we never knew existed. It's my hope that you can turn the worst thing that has ever happened to you into the best.

Registration for Harboring Hope Opens TODAY at Noon CT!

You don't have to do this alone! Join other betrayed mates on the path to healing with our life-changing Harboring Hope online course. With Harboring Hope, learn how to weather the pitfalls and hardships following infidelity and start a better, brighter chapter.

"I just completed the Harboring Hope program. My husband was unfaithful to me emotionally, physically and sexually with a co-worker. What I wished I would've known is that forgiveness and reconciliation are two different things. People who refuse to forgive can never live their own lives, they are too busy obsessing about the life of the one who hurt them. They are stuck. They are unable to enjoy friends, family or even their children. They imprison themselves in a bondage of their own making. I definitely recommend the Harboring Hope program as a support for healing. To be in a safe community with other women who know what you're going through and how you're feeling is comforting. Whether you're able to reconcile or not, there is hope." - M., Michigan | HH Participant, April 2021.

Space is limited! Use the button below to learn more about Harboring Hope and enroll in this restorative course.

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Thank you

Thank you for being the voice of the deepest place of the wounds of betrayal. While I was not the victor in my marriage's surviving, I am living the healing divorced life. One person alone can heal, but it takes both marriage partners to continue in the healing of a marriage. While this is probably a known fact, I didn't believe it for years, and worked alone, through repeated affairs, as the betrayed. This is why I need to thank you for the words of understanding expressed in this "Reply to Comment-Dealing With Reminders". God bless marriages with two surrendered, committed lives, and the ones who must grow and go on alone.

MY Fault?!

I was utterly maddened at the comments "...unwilling to accept your contributions to problems in the marriage. You may a have a self-righteous attitude that prevents you from taking an honest look at yourself." How fec*ing dare you...even my husband who was having both an affair which was both sexual and emotionar with this married woman BEFORE we married and even booked a holiday to Tenerife for a week with her nearly a year in advance, said it wasn't my fault and he believes you can love more than once person. SO,h e just thought he 'fill his boots' - have a marriage and all the comforts that go with it but also have the selfish, lust-filled, spiteful 'excitement' of an affair - where he could for his regular sh*gging session with her while I was at home picking up the house, emptying the bins, changing the blown light bulb, cleaning the bathroom that we BOTH used, cleaning the kitchen that we BOTH used, getting him something nice from the butcher - even though I'm vegetarian and taking my elderly Mom shopping. I know what you're thinking - you were busy with chores and he found you boring - I was knackered doing just about everything while just golfed or sh*gged - then expected to come home to me from sh*gging her and he'd say "Get you kit off". It wasn't like I never asked him for help - I even put a note on the fridge. If we'd shared tasks - if he'd been less selfish and lazy and more grown-up, of course I'd have been up for it more often. I'd hear my brother and his wife, and my brother-in-law and sis-in-law and other couples at work talking about how they'd got the tasks out of the way over the weekend and then done something nice. Not us, ever. They'd had an affair together years ago - both with small children at the time so they used to dump their children on their partners so they could go sh*g somebody else's partner.

This was very helpful to me.

This was very helpful to me. Thank you for what you do.

Dealing with reminders

My marriage did not survive.  In his words, it was easier to move on with her than it was to try and fix what was broken with us.  As devastating as it was at the time, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I got into counseling and worked on myself. I can finally say that I know his addictions and indiscretions were not my fault.  I will admit, the reminders can be brutal.  After 23 years of marriage there are plenty!  But you learn to deal with them.  The hardest part are the kids.  They are the best part of your marriage and remind you of the good memories.  I try and embrace that and I can at least smile now.  I have since moved on and met a man of faith, strength and integrity.  I can laugh again and am learning to trust again.  It is a LONG, hard road, but survivable.  AND...WORTH IT.  Blessings to those that found the strength to BOTH fight for your marriage and blessings to those who were strong enough to move on alone if that was your path.  God is good!

How will I ever feel safe in

How will I ever feel safe in this relationship again?

Thank you for this article.

Thank you for this article. I unfortunately am living the betrayed side of a marriage dealing with an affair. I have been dealing with reminders for some time now and thought this to be non-typical. I could be fine for an hour, a day, or week and then something simple would set me on an emotional rollercoaster all over again. With your article I am learning to get past these reminders and move ahead with my spouse as we try towards a new life and future together. Thank you again.

"Get over it!"

My spouse betrayed me, denied it until faced with undeniable evidence, said he was sorry and that it would never happen again, and now considers the matter closed. When I bring up the things that remind me of the betrayal or point out that he's placing himself into the same circumstances, he tells me to get over the past and live in the present. Unfortunately, reminders of what happened ARE part of my present. He wants to go back to the status quo and minimize the conflict - after all, he's said he's sorry and can't understand why I need more. What do I do?

5 years since D day

Unfaithful husband says I am to get over it because. He has stopped having affairs. No can I be sure and trust him?

Dealing with it

The constant reminders are awful. Your brain deals with these thoughts and your heart dies a little each time. I know that whatever happens, God is in control and his love is stronger than anything we'll ever experience an He will never betray us.

Thank you this came to me at

Thank you this came to me at a time I desparately needed to read this. I am four months out from D day and we are both trying hard. I suffered a meltdown yesterday, just when I though I was finally coming out from this craziness I feel I have been living in. My husband was upset at first and later apologized and was very loving. I do know this is hard on him as well and I truly wish in my heart I could move to a better place for me.  

Help me

You sound a lot like me…I am only a year into this his and I’m dying inside.
I realize your post is old so I wonder where you are at now? Do you have any advice or encouragement for me??? 😭

Dealing with Reminders......

So we are both in recovery moving along to a better place together. The old marriage has died and we are creating a new one dailey. Good. I trust him, he trusts me. Safe place to be honest with each other without getting all crazy. Better. Kids open about the affairs and are in counseling. More Good. Moving at warp speed and here comes the email from AP that wasn't deleted 7 monthes ago, the business account still has her listed as a contact, my AP's mother sends me a letter, husband notices jewelry is missing, husband finds old check book in garage from seperate account with my AP, I find card from his AP stuck to the bottom of the trash can....etc. Time to talk about our initial reconciliation and clear up any unanswered questions  that we may or may not have clearly defined during the first few months back together. Both flooding. We were honest with each other during disclosure but slightly out of our minds. Somethings were vague in the beginning because there was so much going on with both of our AP's. Scary, don't like thinking about him or her. Back to sanity three days later. Good. We know every detail about what happened. One week later. Kids use his AP's favorite words, they don't know those were her fav's. Bought new CD that has the name of the state my AP lives in on just about every song. That's OK. Husband looks at me and we die laughing. We let go of AP's ownership of anything.

AP's don't get to own anything- resturants, movie theatre's, books, town's, words, and they don't own us! Especialy mentaly, no free rent for them. Bye Bye and good luck to ya. We will go and do anything we want too anytime we chose to. I have walked into the resurant that my husband took his AP to  and the confusion on the hostess's face is just that HER confusion not mine. "Who is this woman? We have only seen you with your wife?" is the look. I am the wife she was not, get over it and I'll take the ceaser salad with chicken please and thank you. We will vacation in the state that my AP lives in if we want to.

I think your article is very descriptive of the truth and what we choose to do with our dailey walk together and seperately. It does take work to move forward and leave that crap were it belongs. In the grave yard! No good comes from digging it up and dragging it into today.

D-day was March 2011 for me and June 2011 for him. We reconciled in November of 2011. So it does take time and we had days that we thought "Ain't no way we are going to make it." We made calls on those days for help and had the "Talks" together no matter how awful it was. We did it. Pain and work that is worth it.

We are starting another marriage study this weekend and this morning my husband prayed "Help us to be honest with each other and just tell the other person what we think they want to hear." You can't buy that! God puts what we need in front of us and we do the work. Done.


commenting on my own comment....hahah

First of all I don't have spell check well I think I do and just don't know how to use it.

Second he prayed "and NOT Just tell each other what we think they want to hear"



Thank you for the words, "the

Thank you for the words, "the other person does not get to own anything.". I am struggling with that and your words helped me so much.

This was about the best thing

This was about the best thing I could hear right now about reminders. It's my choice if I want reminders to rule my next set of holidays, my day to day life, or change my history. Thank you.


Jana, you are one tough lady. I wish I could be this way instead of every reminder being painful and causing a fight and putting us one step closer to divorce. I wish instead of crying at a reminder that I could laugh. I wish that when I found that hotel receipt it hadn’t taken my breath away and made us both cry and scream and cuss…would love to hear how you are doing today after posting this so many years ago and if you have any advice or help. 😞💔❤️‍🩹

dealing with reminders

another wonderful article. It is very timely. We are 2 1/2 years out and we are stronger than ever before the affair.  My husband and I did the works to heal our marriage from the painful wounds of infidelity,   But i still have reminders of the affairs, i don't feel the pain but really want to just have a day without any thoughts or reminders and your article has helped me what to do with reminders-  to focus on the  pure, noble and good things what is happening now, what my husband and I have right now. Very true and very helpful. I am learning a lot from this website. The writers, their stories just made me cry everytime I read their blogs their stories are so encouraging and inspiring. They have been a blessing to me. My husband is remorseful and helped me restored my trust. I want to thank you again and again for all your work in giving hopes and insights to us betrayed.

God Bless,


I wish I could say God is

I wish I could say God is doing the same thing in m "was-band" that he's done in me - forgiveness and eyes to see the good, honorable, right, pure lovely, praiseworthy things in him. For two years after his affair I poured validation and affirmation into him, all of which he took as manipulation. he's getting counseling now with yet another woman - and that hurts me deeply, as he rejected all of our counsel - but I do pray the Holy Spirit will be al the Bible says he is in this man who so needs a transformation. What John Bevere writes is true - offense is the bait of Satan and murders your heart.

Trying to move forward

I'm just over 4 months in after learning of my husbands long term affair with his ex gf.  for years he has swor that nothing was going on.  I feel like such a fool, I should have known.  His affair has lasted almost as long as our marriage.  He says it was mostly an emotional affair but because of the details of the past, reminders are everywhere.  All these year's I've considered my husband the most honorable and trustworthy person I've ever met.  How lucky was I to have one of the few great guys left....  We made decisions together and never really had an arguement.  Learning of his affair has destroyed my belief in love, marriage, people.  I ask him why he chose to continue hurting me after I found the text a few years ago and he said he put an end to her "annoying and bothersome text messages" He keeps saying "I don't know and she was just someone to talk to"  He never even gave our marriage a chance and I feel like there is nothing left in our marriage to hold on to.  Counceling hasn't helped much because the counselor tells me I need to just let it go and start moving forward but I don't work that way.  I need to know why.  I can't focus because everything in my life up to this point has been a lie.  Knowing now his views on our marraige, I have no idea how to be his wife anymore.  I thought I knew him so well but I don't know him at all.  He was my best friend, the person i went to when I was sad or upset and I feel like I can't do that anymore.  When I try, I get angry.  We've tried talking about things but he wan't to leave what he did in the past and if it is even mentioned he gets mad and starts yelling at me.  I'm so lost and confused.  I can't imagine staying married.  I can't imagine being without him.  I can't imagine having to make the decision to break up our family!  It's not fair to our daughter and it isn't fair to me that he didn't consider her or me when making the decisions he made.  If he needed someone to talk to why couldn't he just come to me!    Our marriage never had a chance and it wasn't because she pursued him... I can see from the phone records that he needed her in his life but why??? I've done everything for him.  I've waited on him hand and foot.  I can't even clean my house without being reminded of him saying he thought I felt like I had to do it and he was just waiting on me to get sick of him and leave but he loved me!  WTF!!! If he loved me and thought there was something wrong why didn't he come to me.  He asked her about our problems!  I feel so hopeless and alone!  My life makes no sense anymore and I'm drowning in this! 

Thank you

This was exactly the article we needed today, thank you!

Dealing with reminders

Great article - puts everything into perspective. What I am struggling with- my H' s revelations took place over a period of a year, then he retriggered my trauma for several years after that - never by having affairs or one night stands, but many "lesser offences", ie lap dance, secret porn use, etc. which of course retraumatized me all over again. After 8 years, it still keeps happening, but less and less (ie months in between "incidences"- the last one about a month ago was him looking up attractive news anchors to get full body shots to "see if their body was as beautiful as their face"). Not porn, not "hooking up" in any way, but now I am so kindled that the least little thing triggers flight or fight, which has been very detrimental to my health. After each "incident", he first minimizes, then vows not to do it anymore. He is otherwise a good husband, father, wonderful grandfather, etc. We are in our 60s and it would be tramatizing to divorce - I recently was diagnosed with heart disease, we would both suffer financially if we split, etc. But I feel like I am forever "kindled" - sensitive to any and all reminders and still a little on guard. He is sometimes empathetic but sometimes just tells me I need to move on. But I think due to the length and severity of his past infidelities and deceit, I am forever going to be dodging triggers. Anyone in my situation who's healed all the way?

To read your words signified

To read your words signified I am not alone with the continuation of being victimized by infidelity. Word for word, case scenario. It's been 7 long years since DD and as the article stated, recovery still hasn't gone from his head to his heart. I have no solutions for our dilemma, only support in knowing you are not alone.

I'm just sending my support.

I'm just sending my support. Not sure there such a thing as "less" offenses, once we've been betrayed and lied to. I am in a similiar situation...married 35 years with so much history. My H had a 51/2 year affair until I discovered it 16 months ago.It's funny, I question who am I that would stay and accept unfaithfulness? I find the triggers have less of an impact on me, but they are still present and hurtful. One day at a time. YOU can do this! WE can do this! Good luck, Tracey


Count me in two. 5 years since I found my wife drunk asleep in our bed with a burner phone sexting the OM. That was the first of ddays over a couple years. This time I hadn’t even thought about it, until she triggered in a conversation about 28 years ago I hurt her feelings on a dinner and neither of us could remember the circumstances. I still don’t feel her remorse, honesty, no empathy. Instead when it gets difficult I get contempt, stonewalling. I go to counseling myself as she refused any more after a few months. There are many good days but in a rough patch her tone and words are hostile and disrespectful. Feeling hopeless today, not knowing how much more I can sacrifice to save our 30 year marriage.

Dealing with reminders

I definitely am there with you! Although the physical affair ended some time ago. I can’t get my husband to understand no contact means NO CONTACT. He continues to want to be her friend. Evan though it’s sporadic, it still sets off awful triggers. I’m just numb now waiting for next “oops “
It’s exhausting ! But we too our in our 60’s and divorce seems improbable due to my health issues. I just pray that. he wakes up and see how selfish he is

Thank you!

Thank you so much Rick. Your articles are always so helpful and give so much comfort. We are in 27 months, doing very well but it’s still so painful at times. Just when you think “what’s the point”, you pop into the inbox and give hope again. I only wish we were close enough to do the courses with you.
God bless and so much love xx

Images and triggers

I am constantly fighting a battle within myself. Every day I get flooded with images, and triggers of reminders of the things he did to me. No matter how much counseling I go to or how many books I read, I can’t seem to defeat this. I have more bad days than I do good ones. The sad part is, my husband is doing everything in his power to try to help me and I just keep waiting for him to say I give up. If he said he would never cheat on me, and he did... then why would I believe he would never leave when it gets too much for him to bare? I hate being miserable all the time. I hate trying to fight this battle in my head and I hate not having control of my body and emotions. When is it ever going to end?

Images and triggers

OMG! You sound just like me! I also wonder if it’s ever going to end. I struggle with it every day. And my husband is doing everything he can possibly do to make it better but it just doesn’t work. I, too, wonder when he is going to give up and move on because he knows it’s I’m never going to heal from this. Sometimes I don’t think I ever will and if getting back together was a good idea. I love my husband, but I just don’t feel safe. His affair partner is a coworker of his which makes things even harder. I see her all the time and it’s gut wrenching! He can’t leave his job because he’s under contract. It’s just a really hard situation. Even though he doesn’t talk to her or work the same shift as her.... it’s still hard. I close my eyes and all I see are images of him and her. I have nightmares about the two of them together. I go to see him at work and all of his coworkers know about him and her. I feel like a complete fool. I just don’t see any light at the end of this tunnel

Same here

It’s been 12 months since the first D-day, then we had multiple disclosures after that for months on end. He now says he has told me everything and I want to believe him because he’s working so hard to restore our marriage and win my love and trust back again, but I still don’t believe him. I trust him…he proves it to me every day. But I don’t believe home because he lied to me about the affair and now I can’t get over that. Intrusive thoughts daily, nights are the worst when everything is quiet and he gets to lay there sleeping soundly while I am dying inside. So much anger still. My heart hurts so much! I want to leave him but ai want to stay and rebuild…I’m so torn up! One day he’s going to get fed up and leave and I’m screwed but then I think at least we will both have peace. I offered this to him and he said he doesn’t want to live without me.
I would love to hear how you are doing today…did you make it work? How?!?

The 'Perfect Marriage' Shattered

I wished I had wrote down my thoughts earlier when I went through the discovery of my husband's affair. He has worked overseas for the last 15 years to earn a living. It was only in 2015, I was able to visit him and noticed there were female items in his rented house. He used to say he has rented out rooms to couples and single men. Upon questioning, he admitted it was the landlady of the house. In short, early 2016, he admitted she was the affair partner and was only there to assist him in the household things. I went through a year of hell as all the ugly thoughts ran through my mine and each seconds she is on my mind. I just could not block out all the nasty thoughts and of them in the same house. I have not seen her personally but photographs of her in the house and on her watsapp profile. I really turned into a monster and ugly person. My attitude towards people, life and church turned the opposite. I lost interest in church activities and became a loner. At times, I will just go away from the house (staying with my inlaws) and stayed in the hotels for few days. No one to turn to, I searched google for solace. Then I chanced upon this website and latch on to the emails I received. I must say it has helped me tremendously and I must thank AR for the comfort and avenue to be at peace. Infact, before reading articles from this website, I already gone through most of the symptoms and reactions after discovering an affair. My spouse and I had a roller coaster time, as I will question him each time we meet about his affairs but he will be patient to provide me the answers he wants me to know. In 2017, he decided to shift out of the house to another area (30km away) but I know they will still communicate. He requested for some time to break off the affair and will mend our broken marriage. In late 2017, he decided to put a stop to his affair and surrendered her back to her father (the culture as he advised). She has also shifted to another state but I know he will take some time to erase her totally as he confessed to a 10 year affair with her. This word broke my heart again as I felt cheated as both of them kept their secret affair well. But it was me who was blinded as I loved and trusted my husband. His colleagues and circle of friends knew about his keep and they have accepted that fact. Another heartache was he honored her as his mistress. I felt even more useless and incapable as he has to have another woman to be in his life. Thought I have told him in our early years that I will not share my husband with anyone nor there must be another woman in our life. Looks like it fell on deaf ears. My consolation, he knows this affair cannot last as he will finish his work assignment and will return home. So timing was right when I discovered their affairs and he decided to put an end to it. Through all this, I really went through hell and almost mental. I fell into depression for 1 year and hated all my inlaws (they are unaware, except for my mom inlaw). Even the thought of suicidal has crossed my mind. However, due to a church friend who had advised me before I got married that I cannot and must not take my life no matter what happened. Reason being, ones life belong to God, only He can have the right to take it. Due to this, I have to fight through daily, crying, texting my husband ugly messages and quarrel when we meet. I was slacking in my house work, social life and even lost interest in my children's activities. I am thankful to God that this year, my husband has committed to change and I am relieved that my ordeal was shortened. I still struggle to block out the reminders, images, hatred for the mistress, unsatisfied or feeling of being cheated. However, I am much calmer and I know its not good for my health to continue to harp on his past. Last but not least, I look forward to all the articles coming into my inbox from AR. Its where I gained my strength and find comfort in the comments given.

Not sure it is worth the trouble

Not gonna lie. I gave up so much to keep my family together for 30 years. Some days I think it would be easier to just move on and start a new life.


I feel the same way! 😭


I feel the same way 😢

Any better?

Same for me…30 years of pouring myself into my husband and he flushes it all down the toilet!
Yet I love him and we are trying to build a new marriage but it’s SO HARD!!! I still have so much anger and hurt and resentment and am SO offended at him! 😫
Are you doing any better? ❤️‍🩹


One year in. Nightmares have started again. It seems they undo all the movement forward. It’s like watching a movie of husbands affairs for past 10 years. It just makes me come undone all over again.

This article neglects the

This article neglects the third option of healing and having a wonderful life without the betrayer. Sometimes the damage is too great, even with a repentant spouse.

Lies and yet more lies

Agreed that the journey is hard but for me the DD was early 2019 and his lies continued with either ‘I can’t remember’ or blatantly lieing about what happened. I stayed and kept asking only to meet with defensive anger and self pity for over two years whilst being told ‘you know everything now’. Therefore he has done as much, not more but as much, damage by orotecting himself and his trash side piece rather than work on himself and his self improvement. The reminders are two fold- the four and a half year double life affair itself and where they went what they did and the constant reminder of the lengths he would go to to keep the truth from me. That has done as much damage to us .. I have only ever asked for the truth … the lack of trust in me has nearly killed any chance we had if recovery as I am now ambivalent to his version of truth AND love!

I hear you!

I’m in the same boat LilyRosie. My spouse is repentant and desperately wants to reconcile but the way I see it I can find someone else to build a life with that didn’t cheat. Or not find anyone at all!

We’re two years out and

We’re two years out and really doing well, but I DO have those sleepless nights where what I call “the junk” plays over and over in my head. Without the distractions of the day, my brain digs those reminders out of the dark recesses.
I tried to talk to my husband about this but it didn’t go so well. I told him that during those times I start wondering if I’d be better off alone, without him. After all, he’s the biggest reminder of what happened. I tried to explain that I love him and I don’t want to leave, but the fear part of me wants to run away and hide. Love is risky. Loving AGAIN after infidelity even riskier. So yes, the fear does overtake me at times and I question if I’d simply be happier in a little apartment somewhere, living a relatively quiet pain-free life.
He doesn’t get it when I express this. All he hears is that I want to leave and it makes him disheartened because we’ve both worked so hard. I tried to explain that I don’t want to leave, I’m not leaving, it just seems attractive at times because it feels like the less hurtful, painful choice.
My logical side argues that I’d never escape the pain of what he did to us, it will always be present, until the day I die. Moving out and living alone won’t make it magically disappear. What he chose to do is now something I’m forced to live with forever. That’s the part I hate. I can’t go through a single day without this thing disturbing my peace, destroying my joy. I DO have happy moments and times of forgetfulness, but then it pops into my head to rob and steal from my good times.
I long for a day when this fades to insignificance, I just can’t imagine that day very well. I’m weary if it all. I just want it to go away.

You read my mind!

Man, it’s like you read my mind!! I feel exactly the same way. It’s scary to me that it’s been 2 years and you still feel this way but I don’t expect that it will ever go away for me either.

Were two years out and

Your comment hits hard. This is exactly how I am feeling. We are almost 1 year out. It's so hard!

It’s on him, not you

One sentence in your thoughtful comment really stood out to me as a fellow betrayed spouse 2.5 years since DD. You said you have to deal forever what he did to you. I get that sentiment and felt the same. One thing that helped was the realization that my spouse didn’t do anything to me. Rather she did it to herself! It’s a comment on her character and poor decision making at the time. Not mine. What a fool, so to speak, for ruining a great relationship. I have forgiven for that. Does your husband know how bad he hurt himself in your eyes? Has he forgiven himself for damaging the marriage? For knocking himself down a few notches in your eyes? Anyway—just thought a different perspective may help you.

Not to me

I’m trying to understand your comment.
My husband blames no one but himself for his affair. He is doing everything possible to win back my love and respect and trust and to restore our marriage.
So he knows and admits what he lost, how much damage he caused, etc. But that doesn’t seem to help. I am still so angry at him! I still have meltdowns and yell at him and cuss him out and he takes it but he’s reaching a boiling over point…he’s only human and he can’t be the good man he is trying to be if I keep tearing him down…what do I do?! Talking to a therapist or friend or telling my feelings at the wind doesn’t help…it only helps when I do it to him because I want to make sure he knows how much I hurt and I want him to hurt just as much…he has to suffer the consequences of his actions…it seems like I am the one paying for his crime.
So how is it that he did this to himself?
Please help me understand…😭💔

My experience

My wife of 20 years who cheated on me is like your husband only blames herself for the affair. I am still very angry with her, but I chose to hide it most of the time. It has been about 4 months since DD and I have daily sometimes hourly triggers. I have weekly nightmares about what happened and see them both in my dreams together, its horrifying. I choose to hide most all of this because I know she is hurting too and I don't want her to hurt her. We talk about it often enough and I know that she has told me everything. I can tell from her that she is disgusted by what she did and the person that she became when she was with her AP. She loathes herself and doesn't think that she is worthy of me.

In my case if I chose to yell at her and attempt to punish her then she would likely just say screw it, I'm not worthy of his love and leave. I love my wife and do not want this to happen. I know that I did nothing to cause this, did not ask for this, BUT take my vows seriously. When I said for better or worse I meant it and will always be there for her. So in the end, I try my best to hide my pain and move forward. We have told no one else and have decided to deal with it ourselves.

On a positive note, we have a closer connection than we have ever had in our 20 year marriage and this is because we BOTH are trying very hard to save the marriage. This is just me and what I am going thru I realize that everyone is different.

Wishing you all the best.

This didn't help

After reading this all my cheater husband does is say, see even he says "my affair was a good thing and will help our marriage!" Really!!!


This is a very confusing message they send. I also find it offensive on the surface. 'Marriage will be better than ever.' No. Never. You gain some but you lost all, so...

And the gains aren't exactly gains either. They are just insights one learns when living with something horrible and sometimes though insights can be helpful for the relationship. Talking through the worst relationship trauma does improve communication. So yea, someone could say, marriage is better after becaues you've learned to communicate better.

It's a message of hope, not reality. And it's too easy to twist. My UW once told me she thought the affair saved our marriage. This was early on when she was still confused and in the fog. But i got quite upset. You want me to, what, thank you? JFC.

Nothing in a marriage is fixed by infidelity. And there is nothing in a marriage that can't be fixed in a better and healthier way.

But these realities don't help those barely hanging on.

So that's the helpful lie - your marriage will be better than ever...

The affair is forever, whether you live with it or not. It's cancer that's in remission.

Five years out

We are five years passed the event that smashed my heart. Encouragement, eventually the thoughts slow down. Sometimes I go a month or more. But when certain Things happen: dates, sometimes… but usually when my mind has time to imagine: that’s when it goes to the ugly place. Sometimes I literally have to shake my head while driving down the road and say I’m my mind “I’m not going there today.” I find that it is critical that I “take every thought captive” and not let my mind run wild.

Reply to Big horn mountain

You are so right. The reminders never ever goes away. There is always a sense of dread of sadness deep down. Because I decided to stay in the marriage, I gave my adult children hope that we will work things out. So now I fake being happy and contented. I compliment their dad and polish his marble for him to the kids, keeping the crown upon his head. My husband is oblivious to the carnage he caused me and our four adult children. He is just so ‘happy’ that nothing changed for him, he came off rather good with little consequences. I did not leave, my children and I had forgiven him, I am indifferent to him, but that’s a small price to pay, he is being looked after and as we have moved away from the town of his sinfulness, his reputation has been saved in the new town. So he is perfectly fine. He goes about his way without ever wanting to talk about what is still today after 2007 an elephant in the room. He just says he doesn’t know why he did it and why he continued his deeds for 7 yrs until he was caught out. He wants sex still and I hate him touching me. I should have left but wanted to do my four children and grandchildren the ‘favour’ of keeping us together. They are crazy about their granddad and father. Mostly I encounter him as being emotionally retarded. So now I don’t try to talk about his betrayal anymore and oh, he is so satisfied with life. What a frase!

Pain neverending

What about the other half of AP? They get off scott-free and the laws of the land protect them from any consequences. They continue living their best life, and likely continue their behavior with others, while the victims live in a hell they helped create. I always keep a 4" razor sharp lockblade on me for the off chance the two of us one day meet.

Worst/best thing that happened?

While I can appreciate that, should my husband and I make it to the other side of reconciliation from his affairs, that our marriage will be better than it was before the affairs, I will never consider his infidelity as the best thing that ever happened to us. God took the worst thing that happened to us and made something good from it, as only He can do. But this season of my life will never be the best thing that happened. God is making the best out of my husband’s horrible choices.


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