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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 2 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...

, 7 years 2 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...

, 7 years 2 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...

, 7 years 2 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...

, 7 years 2 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,...

, 7 years 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 4 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...

, 7 years 4 months 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 4 months 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 5 months 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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