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...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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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Alumnus. Unfaithful. Doing his best with his 2nd chance in his marriage and life.
Alumna. Member, EMS Weekend Retreat Team. Hope and healing are possible for anyone willing to work through the pain.
Alumna. Betrayed. Striving to recover and thrive after betrayal. I believe gratitude is the antidote to grief. If I can help you in your healing, therein lies my own.
Alumnus. Betrayed. Trying to find his way back.
Alumna. Unfaithful. A broken and undeserving mess who is learning what real love looks like.
Alumna. Betrayed. Determined to be positive as I navigate the quagmire of recovery.
Alumna. Betrayed. A soul restored. Encouraging others to keep walking because there is a way through. Author of Keep Walking: 40 Days to Hope and Freedom After Betrayal
Alumna. Betrayed. Grateful for God's love and grace. Recognizing that with God as my priority, I will be okay no matter what.
Alumnus. Betrayed. No matter how long it takes or how hard it is, my wife is always worth it!
Alumna. Betrayed. Learning to love recklessly while I cross the monkey bars of recovery.
"You have to let go at some point in order to move forward." - C.S. Lewis
Alumna. Betrayed. Walking in obedience to God's direction and experiencing a richer life and Renewed marriage.
Alumnus. Unfaithful. Living life differently, enjoying my wife and family, and grateful for God’s love.
Alumna. Betrayed. Experiencing God's love after divorce. Celebrating the healing of myself and my identity.
Alumna. Betrayed. Continuing to fight for my marriage and my children.
Alumnus. Unfaithful. Living proof that seeking truth offers both incredible pain and amazing freedom.