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As past participants, we want our walks through infidelity to bring hope, inspiration, and courage to your own journey.
, 6 years 10 months ago

Francis Schaeffer wrote, “We do not want to deny ourselves. Actually we do everything we can…to put ourselves at the center of the universe. This is where we naturally want to live.”

If there was one struggle, one colossal mistake, among the myriad of smaller ones that helped lead to my affair, it was that of outright self-absorption. Somewhere along the line, life became about me and what I wanted and needed and deserved. So when my wife Samantha was having babies, and spending up to 6 months in bed during her pregnancies, vomiting more times in a day than I care to describe, my needs were sent to the back of the bus.

For a few weeks I was able to grin and bear it. Sort of put a face on it of sacrifice and humility, and look at how good of a dad and husband I...

, 6 years 10 months ago

I was recently sharing with a woman some of the pain that I had gone through after discovering my husband’s betrayal. She asked me if we were together now. When I told her we were, her next question was, “How did you know you were safe to let him back in?”

I knew exactly what she meant. She wasn’t asking me when I let him back into our home after our separation. She was asking me when I was able to trust him with my heart. Somewhere deep inside all of us we understand the truth about our hearts. They are our most treasured possessions, and because of that we instinctively guard them.

As I thought about how to reply to her question, I realized that the answer was going to be a difficult one. That season in my life was so messy and complicated. Trying to pin-point exactly...

, 6 years 10 months ago

I never thought in my wildest imagination that I would be “that guy.”

I was the last person most would have suspected of infidelity – including myself. I was not a “player.” I was not a monster. I was a good guy raised in a good environment with good values. My parents seemed to love one another and love my sisters and me. I wasn’t aware of any history of infidelity in my family. I had not been molested or experienced any trauma that could help me to explain away my behavior.

I always believed I loved my wife. When we got married 28 years ago I sincerely wanted to spend the rest of my life with this woman. On my wedding day I had given myself to my wife with the full intention of loving and cherishing her until my heart stopped beating. I could not conceive ever...

, 6 years 10 months ago

When I was around 9 years old I had to have my Appendix removed. It had not burst but it was very close. I remember well the extreme pain before the surgery. Debilitating, double-you-over pain. After the surgery I remember I was still in quite a bit of pain. I did not want to cough because the coughing stretched the surgery site. Over the next days, weeks and years the wound healed. I no longer have pain but occasionally if I stretch just the wrong way I can feel twinges at the site of the scar. The experience is now part of my past. I can’t change it or pretend it didn’t happen. It’s just another piece in the puzzle of my life.

As I have been involved over the past few years with Harboring Hope and EMS programs, one common thing I see is couples or individuals trying to sweep...

, 6 years 10 months ago

No one likes an ambush, least of all me. At the beginning of the day I like to know what is going to happen so I can plan accordingly. Three years ago I walked into the mother of all ambushes. Not only did I discover my husband’s betrayals, but I was also immediately assaulted with lies. They were almost a constant daily and nightly attack. It was like I was constantly bombarded with thoughts that I was not enough. I began to feel like I never truly was loved or celebrated, and I was never the true love of my husband’s life. I felt I had been dumb for falling for the trick that my husband had played on me. Having already been cut deep to my very core, these lies fell straight into my heart like salt in a fresh wound. To say they hurt would be a gross understatement. They were...

, 6 years 10 months ago

When it all came out, to say my life was rocked was an understatement. Due to the public nature of my position and affair(s), many lives were altered forever. I knew little about life at that point, but I knew I wanted my kids, my family, and I wanted life to be what it once was.

It would never be again. (At least not the way it was before and truth be told, I’m glad it’s not what it once was)

As I started down the long road to recovery with Samantha, it was frustratingly apparent that I was NOT in control. This realization hurt like all hell, as I’m a control freak. Whether it was my professional position, or during college and professional baseball, or almost every other thing in life, I had learned how to “will it so” in my own strength, power and tenacity.

...

, 6 years 10 months ago

I’ll bet you never thought you would see these two statements together did you? Before you close this blog and delete your membership let me explain.

Most betrayed spouses are well acquainted with the normal reactions after discovery day (D-Day). Shock. Anger. Pain. Disbelief. Throwing up, etc. Most of the reactions are considered normal to anyone facing a loss like this.

One of the reactions that I had surprised me and made me wonder if I was going insane. I was relieved!

Most types of affairs happen gradually over time. Not many people wake up one day and say “I’m going to have an affair today.” Slow, small, seemingly innocent steps lead up to the terrible tragedy. A friend request from an old flame on Facebook leads to clandestine texts and IM’s. This may lead...

, 6 years 10 months ago

Lately I have had many pose the question, “Do you think my spouse, who’s been unfaithful, can fall back in love with me again?”

It’s interesting that the betrayed spouse is asking this question, as they know their betrayer is distant and has allowed their heart to either temporarily or ultimately beat for another. With most affairs eventually and completely blowing up, many wonder if the damage can be restored and the carnage repaired.

The answer is a resounding YES, from personal experience.

Not only from a clinical perspective is it possible, but from a personal, experiential perspective, it is possible for our hearts to beat with passion, romance, and joy for our spouse whom we’ve betrayed, and possibly even fallen out of love with.

Upon D-Day (...

, 6 years 10 months ago

During the last several years I have heard quite a bit about the ‘battlefield of the mind.’ Generally the speaker or writer is talking about the battle to keep our minds pure and clean. Being married to a man who lives in the trenches of this battle, I can appreciate the importance as well as the difficulties involved. The world we live in is fighting against us from every side. Whether we are standing in line at the grocery store, watching TV, or on the computer, both our spouses and ourselves are surrounded by temptation. So at least in some small way, I get it. It is a daily battle.

But it occurs to me that the battle for purity is not the only one being fought. Those of us who have been betrayed by our spouse have a battle to fight as well. The enemy does not fight fair. He...

, 6 years 10 months ago

I believe I was in middle school when I first began noticing “SAFE PLACE” signs around town. I remember asking Mom what they were about. She explained that they were posted on buildings where a person could go if they were in trouble and in need of a safe place to find help. About fifteen years later, after I discovered my husband Wayne’s betrayals, I found myself in need of a safe place. Not a physical one with a black and yellow sign out front, but an emotional one where I could be real without fear of judgment or unsolicited advice.

The first few months after discovery, I felt anything but safe with Wayne. Looking back, it is very obvious to me what a blessing it was to be surrounded by about a half a dozen women who poured love on me during that time of such brokenness....

, 6 years 10 months ago

Three months later my wife had a change of heart and decided to give it one chance at reconciliation. We attended EMS Weekend and my wife was involved in Affair Recovery Counseling. I also participated in the Affair Recovery Harboring Hope program. Slowly, over time, things turned around.

Today, three years later, I am faced with the reality of what “recovery” looks like. It’s not exactly what I had expected. I expected my wife to turn into a perfect wife and for us to have a perfect marriage. I expected all the triggers and scars to fade to nothing. I expected my wife to crawl on her knees begging me for...

, 6 years 10 months ago

I just remember standing in my living room yelling at the ceiling, “What now?! What am I supposed to do now?!!” It was two days after my husband left, and I was at one of my lowest points. I literally felt like I was climbing the walls. It was somewhere in that moment when I realized I had absolutely no control over the situation.

I had disclosed my affair more than six months before and then quickly got myself in counseling, started going to weekly recovery meetings and enrolled in a twelve-step study program. I was going through all the right motions attempting to figure out where I had gone wrong, trying to feel something. In all of that, though, I now realize I was doing nothing more than trying to maintain control of the situation so my marriage could be saved. I...

, 6 years 10 months ago

“Broken” almost seems too small a word to use when describing how I felt when I discovered my husband’s infidelities. Like being in a five-car pile-up on a major highway and later telling a friend that my severely wounded body was simply bruised. It felt like I had been hit by an emotional Mac-truck and was internally hemorrhaging. And understandably so. With the click of a mouse and the stroke of a few keys I had come face to face with a reality that even my worst nightmares never managed to conjure up.

In the same way that a person’s body can go into shock when they are severely wounded, sparing them from an intense amount of pain, I too went into emotional shock. Parts of what I saw on that screen my mind rejected as not possible. The room literally went black and began to...

, 6 years 10 months ago

Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs, was such a wonderful book of clarity and insight for Samantha and I that I try and re-read it about once or twice a year. If we hit a rough spot in our marriage, I read it even more. (Let’s hope I only have to read it once this year.)

A quote I originally took issue with in Love and Respect was, “She doesn’t cause me to be the way I am, she REVEALS the way I am. If I react in an unloving way, then it reveals I still have issues going on inside me.”

I first hated that statement as I took a totally different approach to the realization that if she was this way, then I’d be that way. But what I quickly came to realize was, I was responsible for my reaction REGARDLESS of what came my way both in marriage and in life. I’m old...

, 6 years 10 months ago

Stephanie and I just passed our 28 year mark and for us it's been more than worth it. However, the journey had lots of lessons along the way and we'd like to help you avoid the same pitfalls we discovered on the path. Moving beyond a betrayal is difficult enough without complicating the journey by taking wrong turns.

If you can remember 28 years ago, you'll know there were limited resources. We could only find one book even addressing the topic of infidelity. Even worse, my affair cost us everything: our friends, my career, our home in Denver, Stephanie's dignity, our self-respect. We hardly knew where to start and we found it darn difficult to find anyone we could trust to give us direction.

Our story is probably not that different than yours. Extreme ups and downs,...

, 6 years 11 months ago

It’s funny the things one thinks about when in a moment of intense pain or personal crisis. A friend once told me about the events surrounding her father’s death. He had lived with her family for several years and was an important part of their daily lives. Her young daughter had a special relationship with him and often ran into his room early in the morning so he would be awake in time to take her to school. One morning when she ran into his room she was unable to wake him. So it was through the hysterical screams and sobs of her daughter that she learned of her father’s passing. While attempting to calm her daughter she looked out the window and saw a friend passing by on her morning walk. I remember her telling me, “I don’t know what came over me. In that moment of intense loss all...

, 6 years 11 months ago

The racing heartbeat. The lump in your stomach. The pain and sorrow and anguish.

If you have been affected by infidelity than you know what I’m talking about. The song on the radio. The scene in the movie. The color of the car. The hotel “they” were at. The anniversaries and infamous dates.

Soon after my marriage exploded the triggers began. They were relentless. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I lost 20 lbs in one month. Everything was a trigger. Email, Facebook, text messaging alerts. My life was a living hell. I couldn’t go 5 minutes without the pain and anguish. What was my wife doing now? Where was she? What should I do?

Slowly over the weeks and months and years of recovery things have gotten better. One day I only thought about the...

, 6 years 11 months ago

This morning while writing notes on my daily devotional, I noticed the vivid blue color of the pen I was using. A very beautiful blue color that contrasts nicely with the white paper I use. I have been using the same pen and paper for months. Why am I now just noticing this?

The metropolitan area I live in is located in a valley between two beautiful and magnificent mountain ranges. We can drive to a ski resort in the winter in 30 minutes. The Wasatch Mountains are on the east and the Oquirrh Mountains on the west. Every day I drive towards the Wasatch Mountains on the way to work. Daily the beauty and magnificence fills my windshield. Unfortunately on most days I don’t even notice the mountains. I notice the guy who cut me off. I notice the tasks I have to complete at work. I...

, 6 years 11 months ago

It’s a pretty common occurrence during recovery that anger can arrive like a freight train out of nowhere. What’s even more common than anger is depression and raw hopelessness. These emotions are never triggered more than when a fight arrives due to a “reminder” or due to some sort of trigger in the betrayed spouse, or sometimes even the betrayer. When the exchange takes shape, both spouses can feel “stuck,” frustrated, or just plain exhausted. How we react in this moment can be very defining for recovery and for the humility we the betrayer have arrived at, or failed to arrive at. How we diffuse the argument, the trigger, the reminder, and the intrusive thought can be ground easily gained, or ground horribly lost. Due to our inability to be in the moment or aware of just how much...

, 6 years 11 months ago

I recently went to a new salon to get my hair highlighted and cut. What I had envisioned as a cute, strawberry blonde highlight and cut turned out looking like blood streaks. Another trip back to the stylist proved to be even more disastrous. I walked out after the second try with brown, blonde, red, and pink stripes, all of which were so over-processed that the outer shaft of my hair was sloughing off in my hand as I drove away. By the time I got home I looked like a mangy calico cat. Needless to say there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth at my house that night. The first thing I did when I got home was get on the phone with several friends for some much needed sympathy.

A few days after my hair disaster, I was scheduled to work. I had about 12 nurses ask me at...

, 7 years 1 week ago

Samantha and the kids were on a plane to Texas and I was at our California home, finishing up the cleaning out process of moving. At one time, I think I would have had probably 50 people helping us move and clean out our home that we loved. Now, after the fall, and after the dust was still trying to settle, it was just me. I had lost all our friends and staff due to my failure and it had been a long few days with movers, deep contemplation, overwhelming depression and a weight of uncertainty I’ve not ever felt in my entire life.

Finally, after I had removed all the debris from the home and it was just an empty shell, I experienced one of the darkest moments I’ve ever experienced. We had lived in that home since my middle child was born. She was now 4 and my youngest was 5 weeks...

, 7 years 2 weeks ago

Several years ago my family went to the Gulf of Mexico for a weekend at the beach. As soon as we arrived we began to hear rumors of a hurricane heading in our direction. It was still a few days away, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but when we got in the water we could feel the storm brewing. What was normally a relatively laid back ocean with an occasional lazy wave here and there had turned into an angry foam. Its waves stood up twice as high as normal before they crashed back down into the water below. Then without hesitation they would raise right back up again in preparation for their next thunderous break.

As a general rule, I am a pretty laid back, easy going kind of girl. You may get an occasional wave out of me, but even then they tend to be pretty harmless...

, 7 years 2 weeks ago

This is the question I asked my counselor. I was the one who had been unfaithful and wanted to know how long it would take for my wife and me to recover from what I had done. It had been a week since she had found out about my affair and I wanted to know how long before the end of the pain. I wanted a date. A small measure of time. Preferably something in the area of a few months. I would have even been all right with six months. My counselor was silent. I had a sneaking suspicion that the longer the silence the longer the recovery would be. I asked again.

 

She paused a little bit longer and said that things would be better in 90 days. We both would feel different. And in six months we would feel even better. And in one year we would feel even better.

...

, 7 years 1 month ago

I stared at the email. My head began to throb as my blood pressure soared out of control. I was short of breath. My arms went numb. I don’t know what a heart attack feels like, but it felt like I was having one. My wife had just received an email from my affair partner (AP) telling her what had been going on. My wife then forwarded it on to me with the question above. I thought I had ended things with my AP with the understanding that we would not tell anyone. Obviously, she had other ideas.

My wife was totally blindsided and was devastated. I was devastated. I had let myself believe that I had narrowly missed catastrophe. I had done everything I could to “manage” my situation to insure to keep my life as-I-knew-it intact. And now, the end of my affair...

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