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As past participants, we want our walks through infidelity to bring hope, inspiration, and courage to your own journey.
, 7 years 3 weeks ago

Facebook is an American as apple pie and baseball. Everyone has a Facebook account don’t they? Actually I don’t and neither does my wife. We used to have them. It was one of the ways our marriage almost ended.

In 2011 the group Divorce Online researched 5000 divorce filings and found that 1/3 of them mentioned Facebook as a reason. In the Harboring Hope courses I have been involved with here at AR approximately 70 percent of affairs by the women were started by contact on Facebook or other social media sites. One of the ways my wife communicated with her affair partners was through Facebook/Myspace, In fact rarely a day went by without some sleaze ball trying to chat up my wife.

Facebook can be an incredibly useful and entertaining tool for some. For others, especially...

, 7 years 3 weeks ago

Generally I feel called to write about the emotions that I felt during the first year of my healing process. Today, if you will allow me, I want to share where I am right now. If your wound is still fresh, the insights that I have recently received may not apply to you yet, but I think they are still worth reading. I certainly would have benefited from these words had someone spoken them to me a few months ago. So just put them away for later. You can reach back into your memory file for them when you are ready.

Several months ago I was asked to write about my experience as a betrayed spouse for Affair Recovery’s blog. I should tell you that I felt like the most unlikely choice for this. Not only had I never written anything other than an occasional letter, but I also had never...

, 7 years 3 weeks ago

“How many times will I have to answer the same questions about my affair?” This was the thought I had as my wife asked me once again, “Why did you have the affair?”

It had been many months since she had learned of my yearlong affair. Immediately we got into counseling, and within weeks we attended an Emergency Marital Seminar Weekend with Affair Recovery (AR). From the early days of discovery, she asked this question – along with a myriad of others.

At first I was resistant to come completely clean. But after a while, with good coaching from AR, I chose to be as honest as possible. Lying had gotten me into the hell I had created. I figured I would give the truth a chance. And it was a much better way. I am not saying that telling the truth was pain-free. Oh no – there...

, 7 years 3 weeks ago

Was he a better lover? Was he better endowed? Am I weak or too feminine? Why did she do ......with him that she never did with me? Maybe if I was a better lover she wouldn’t have cheated. How could she not have used a condom?

These painful, humiliating and embarrassing questions and thoughts running through the minds of husbands whose wives are involved with sexual affairs with another man or men strike at the very core of our being. I remember the pain I felt when I found out my wife had done sexual things with her affair partner she had refused to do with me.

Statistics have shown that most women involved in sexual affairs give sex in return for emotional connection. Most men involved with sexual affairs give emotional connection in return for sex. It has to do with...

, 7 years 3 weeks 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, I wanted 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...

, 7 years 3 weeks ago

In my last entry I shared some of the blessings that I have discovered can only be found in grieving. Today I want to share some practical ways that I learned to grieve. The world around us doesn’t help us with this at all. We grow up hearing “Big girls (or boys) don’t cry.” So what do we do when life hands us pain? How does one properly mourn a deep heart wound?

Finding a few trusted people with whom I could be completely open and honest was very helpful. These were women who rejoiced with me when I had moments of hope and cried with me when I was sad.

Another thing that stands out to me as being particularly helpful was setting aside one day a week to grieve. At that point in our life both of our boys went to school Tuesday-Thursday. This was a huge blessing because I...

, 7 years 4 weeks ago

Recently my family and I went on a two week vacation, picking up a travel trailer along the way and journeying across 4 or 5 different states. The trailer is a bit of a beast, I think at least 24 feet long. My SUV pulls it, but not very well and the gas mileage is something to marvel at (in an expensive, almost regretful way). My oldest wanted to see Vegas and Jodi wanted to see The Grand Canyon again, so we decided The Grand Canyon would be our last stop before we headed home to Texas.

I had no idea what kind of drive was ahead of me. The drive there was easy, in fact too easy, and now I was pulling a trailer with (at the very least) a 50 gallon water tank that was completely full.

Having so much fun in Vegas, I thought the drive to The Grand Canyon would be...

, 7 years 4 weeks ago

If a person had told me that there are blessings found in grieving before I went through it a few years ago, I would have thought they were crazy.

Today’s culture tells us that blessings are found in things that are easy or fun, or in things that generally feel ‘good.’ Situations or people that cause us pain are generally seen as curses to be avoided at all cost. We are also told that when we are hurt the strong among us will ‘suck it up,’ or ‘put on our big girl panties’ and move on. The implication is that crying - or even the mere feeling of pain or sadness- is a sign that we are weak.

One thing I learned after discovering my husband Wayne’s betrayals is that I truly did have a choice. I could choose to ignore and stuff down the pain, or I could sit in it and allow...

, 7 years 4 weeks ago

This was one of the great truths I have learned through the recovery process from my affair. My choice to have an affair ripped my wife’s heart in two and almost destroyed our 25 year marriage.

I used to fixate on the fact that I had ruined what I believed had been a good record. I no longer could boast as a superior husband, father, or even human being. I had cheated on my wife and I was now considered lower than pond scum. No longer could my wife or my children be able to say at my funeral, “he was a good man and faithful husband.” I had destroyed any chances of receiving a eulogy that would compel all those present to say to my grieving widow, “Jack was such a wonderful man. Knowing him has changed my life. My greatest regret is that I didn’t know him better.”

Yeah...

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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.

...

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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 (...

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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....

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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...

, 7 years 1 month 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,...

, 7 years 2 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...

, 7 years 2 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...

, 7 years 2 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...

, 7 years 2 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...

, 7 years 2 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 3 months 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...

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