2, ages 16 and 20

Discovery Date: 

Spring 2009


Looking back, the warning signs were there before I even got married.  My quest for the next exciting thrill was very much alive during my college years.  Sure, I had multiple 1 night stands with single/divorced women, along with a brief affair with a married woman, but I thought that was just the thing to do, sow as many oats possible before settling down and becoming a responsible husband.  The problem was that I was doing all this while dating my future wife.

When I did get married, right after graduating from college, and 2 weeks before heading to medical school, I got busy immediately with my training to be a doctor. For the next 8 years, I was faithful to my wife.  Life was very busy, being a medical student and resident, I didn’t have much time for anything else (well, we did have time to become the proud parents of 2 beautiful daughters). I thought our marriage was going to be just fine.

After moving to a new town, joining a medical group, and finally getting settled into a lifestyle, the old feelings of searching for the next thrill, the next conquest, started to return. I thought I had overcome all that by getting married, but all I had done was suppress it. I poured all my efforts into my practice, while my wife became busy with the raising of our daughters and being involved as a volunteer at their school.  We slowly drifted apart. Having erratic, long work hours and getting called back to the hospital at any time during the night didn’t do wonders for quality time. The affirmation I received elsewhere, being the alpha-male doctor in a stressful work environment composed mostly of women, only fed my ego.  Within a year I had my first physical affair. I soon became involved in several physical affairs. No problem there, I thought, until I became emotionally involved with one of these affair partners. That ended quickly and badly when that partner confessed to her husband. My wife was very upset, I was remorseful. We went to a marriage counselor, who did help us reconnect again. Things were better in our marriage for at least the next few years. Something was still missing, but I remained faithful. 

But then we slowly drifted apart again. Lust and the thrill of pursuing the next young female reared its ugly head. I had not learned from my past mistakes, and I was going to satisfy my selfish desires. I would be discreet; I would keep it purely physical, not get emotionally involved. I would have my cake and eat it too. It worked, for awhile.


Soon the inevitable happened. I got emotionally involved again with another affair partner (AP). She was a nurse, and I worked with her a lot. What started out as friendship, confiding personal and marital issues with each other, became a physical relationship, and this time I fell hard. This time I fell in love.  She understood me. She was fun. She was hot. She was mature. She and I enjoyed the same things. She completed my sentences. She completed me. She was also 16 years younger than me, married, and with 2 kids. I had found my soul mate.

This affair continued for a full year before my wife found out. She had heard rumors, confronted me, and I confessed. My wife was devastated. I was thinking, now what do I do? I told my wife I would end it, but I didn’t. I attempted to convince her that it was over, but all I did was tell more lies. I moved out after 4 months. It was horrible to have to tell my daughters and then walk out. It tore me up inside, a most sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. While I was living in a rented apartment, I attempted to get individual counseling from a psychiatrist. It didn’t work out, as I was basically just going through the motions and still seeing my AP, who in the meantime, had moved out of her own house and was   divorced.

My wife and I tried counselors, couples counseling, even went to a marriage seminar on the west coast. It was not infidelity based and didn’t really address our issues. I broke it off with my affair partner, and moved back in with my wife and family.  It felt warm, comfortable, and reassuring to be back home, but within 3 or 4 days, I felt like I was going crazy, wondering what I was missing, and texted my AP. Six weeks later, I moved out a second time. This time, I moved into a condo two doors down from my AP. It was during this time that I began to sink into despair, depression. I was slowly killing my wife. I was losing the respect of my girls. I did not know what to do. I knew that deep down I still had a love for my wife that had not yet been completely extinguished. We were still talking, yet I could not let go of my AP.  It was during this time that my wife, in desperation, told me about Affair Recovery. She said that it had programs geared specifically for couples like us, who had been affected by marital infidelity. Surprisingly, I actually said yes, I would be willing to go to a weekend session in Austin.  I had tried it on my own, tried it with numerous counselors, and still failed, so what did I have to lose?  I’m convinced this was a God-send.

Course of Action: 

We went to EMS weekend, not knowing what the result would be, but hey, at least we gave it one more shot, right?  It was the beginning of a journey that did not end once the weekend was over. Although it was an emotional weekend, I felt very comfortable, accepted, understood, and safe. I didn’t feel like I was being judged. Everyone was there for the same reason. It was an intense weekend, with time to discuss how I got into the destructive cycle of an affair, how to end it, how to heal, and how to protect myself from future affairs. I also got a better understanding of the pain and agony that my betrayed spouse endured, and that it was a not a quick recovery process. We were among couples who were going through the same issues and emotions as we were. Not only that, Rick and Leslie had experienced the same trials as we had, so they knew where we were coming from.  They were the right people at the right time.

My wife and I left the EMS weekend feeling more optimistic than we had in a long time.  We had a plan in place, and I was going to break it off with my AP, which I did. After moving back home, I thought it was going to work out, but within a few days, I started to get restless again. I felt as if there was something missing in my life.  Yes, I had closed off the usual means of communication – emails, texts, even got a new cell phone.  But when I allowed these feelings to get so intense, it’s like an addiction, it’s like I was a man possessed. Nothing could stop me, and within 2 weeks, I relapsed.

I moved out for the 3rd time, this time to another house that, fortunately, was not near my AP.  I once again disappointed my wife, my daughters, my friends, and the many people who had been praying and encouraging me.  It seemed hopeless, that I was never going to change.  This back and forth, indecisiveness was so unlike the other parts of my life.  I usually made wise, intelligent decisions, and stuck with them.  But not when it concerned intimate relations.  I could not break this cycle.  Yes, I knew what was right, what needed to be done, but I felt powerless to follow through and stick with it.  I did continue phone counseling with Rick and with another mentor recommended by Rick to work on my personal and spiritual issues.  I am so glad that God, through his many talented and caring servants, did not give up on me.  I continued to go to church intermittently, sometimes with my wife.  It was during this tumultuous period that our oldest daughter was leaving home to begin college, while our youngest was beginning high school.  That fall, we reached an all time low. My wife became so depressed, that she made plans to take pills and put an end to her misery.  Fortunately, that never happened. My wife met with an attorney and began the divorce process.  

I was still seeing my AP, but the affair was beginning to show signs of strain, the newness was wearing off, and my AP was getting impatient. I felt very guilty that my AP had made that leap, gotten a divorce, and was now a single mother.  As for me, I just couldn’t.

 Sometimes my wife and I would go for weeks without much communication, but then we would start talking again. There was definitely still something there between my wife and me.  There was a bond, there was something still holding us together.  I still loved her, even though I had a strange way of demonstrating that to her.  As we talked more, and our fondness for each other began to grow again, she suggested that we call a truce for a month during the holidays and spend one more time together as a family during the Christmas season.  I readily agreed.

My AP was not too thrilled with that idea but allowed me my space.  This was the beginning of the end.  It was during this time that my AP began seeing another man.  It all came to a head when I discovered that my AP had jetted off to a Caribbean island to spend New Year’s with this man.  We never saw each other after that.  Our affair had finally come to an end.

I felt betrayed, and yet I felt like I had been freed.  I was shocked that I would be “cheated” on.  Ok, so this was just a tiny glimpse of what it must have been like for my wife.  This was poetic justice.  I got a taste of my own medicine.  I understood. I got the message. I finally got it.

Lessons Learned: 

God works in mysterious ways. He knew I had to experience some things for myself. He also demonstrated through my wife the meaning of true love, love that is long suffering, love that endures, love that survives betrayal, love that sacrifices self for another, love that forgives. Now that my eyes were opened, I knew that I had to make changes. But how? I had tried many times before. I had the knowledge, the tools, Rick, and EMS. What was the one thing I needed to incorporate all that into a new life-long fulfilling relationship with my wife? I realized I was powerless; I couldn’t do it on my own. I knew I had to submit, to surrender myself, my life to the One who is love. I had to let go of my pride, my selfishness, and give it all to God. God is what I had been missing in my life. God is what I had been searching for all this time. All these desires, all this searching for excitement, all these feelings of hopelessness, all these repeated failures, I simply had to give to God. That was the only way. For me, it was a process, one that began even while still in the affair, not an instantaneous Saul to Paul conversion. I officially moved back in with my wife within a couple of weeks. We had to make sure that this time the move (and the changes within me) was permanent. This time, we decided to put God at the center of our marriage. We prayed together, and we had devotions together. I began to study the Bible daily, first thing in the morning (something I had never done before, even though I had grown up as a preacher’s kid). We continued our phone counseling with Rick and Leslie. A few months later, we decided to go back to EMS for a “refresher” weekend. This time it was different, even though it was the same. I came with a different perspective. It was emotional to retell the events of the infidelity, but there was also rejoicing.


This past July 23, we celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary by renewing our vows on the beach in the presence of our daughters. It has been over 2 years since the affair ended. My wife and I are much closer than we’ve ever been. Mutual respect and admiration for each other are a big part of our relationship, as is the ability to just enjoy each other and have fun together. We are experiencing a new kind of love that continues to grow.

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Thanks for the story of hope! Through the pain and brokenness Ihave hope for redemption.


If this isn’t true forgiveness and love, then I don’t know what is. I was retraumatized just reading this. Lischia is a saint and an inspiration. God bless her. I am concerned about the effects of these traumatic events on your daughters - I feel for them. I hope they are being counseled, too. In all our depravity, brokenness and sin, to think that God still welcomes us with affection, is astounding. It is only understood or accepted in the spirit. Please, do not squander the immense gift of forgiveness and second chances you have been given. Walk in newness of life for His sake, because you love Him, your precious wife and daughters, and because you are His beloved son!

Moving on after an affair- The anger and rebuilding Trust !

Having been cheated on for most of my relationship for over 30yrs , I found out that our entire marriage was a lie .. he even used our house and our bed for his numerous conquests. He never admitted until I found recordings on his phone from what he was exchanging with these women.Yes I stayed , but I should have left .. it is over 3 Yrs since I found out and it still hurts like it was yesterday... the kicker is that he becomes the victim when I try to share how I feel. He gets quite and blame drugs and Alcohol for his behavior! It might have contributed but he made a conscious decision to continue this behavior for years .. until he got sick and I had his phone that is how I found out .. I cannot trust fully any more!

How is your marriage

Are you still married? My husband of 36 years cheated with the woman pretending to be my best friend and her husband my husband's best friend. After that ended he slept with 2 other women. Changed careers so didn't have any convenient females around. This lasted 12 years than found another women which was our employee. He first took her to TN. On a business trip. Not an overnight, but about a 6 hour trip. He didn't realize his messages were showing up on his tablet, which I had read that evening. I questioned him about his day he never told me about her going. When I told him I knew and asked to see his phone he had deleted the text from her about the trip. I begin telling him I was broken. Stayed in bed and cried uncontrollably for two days. Blood pressure went out of control. Had to go to Dr. get on lood control medicine. I did not know about the other affairs at the time. Only had caught him and the woman pretending to be my friend talking behind my back. With my blood pressure out of control he still went and slept with the new employee two times. Within the next few weeks. He finally confessed to me he had slept. With "friend" one time. I stayed for a year trying to salvage the marriage,but God kept telling me he was still lying. We were back in church,him pretending he was on the right path,but I still had serious issues. Finally feeling exhausted I kicked him out Dec. 22nd of 2020. In January around the 7th he showed up and said God said he had to tell me everything. We just got through the boot camp,but I still have major issues. I cried and beg over the years for the truth, I got so many I'm sorry for all his flirting with other women. How is this I'm sorry suppose to be different! Please help me if you can. I want to do God's will,but struggling.

Affair and forgiveness

I know what it feels like to be forgiven and loved. I had an "affair" with a male co-worker beginning 12 weeks into my 2nd marriage. My ex-husband had passed away (we had 3 children together, married 16 years, together 22 - I never cheated, he did, he dealt with alcoholism) 2 weeks after my new marriage. We had moved into his house and changed schools for my 2 children. So when he told me he was miserable 8 weeks in to our life together, I lost myself. A co-worker, whom had been a friend of mine was unhappy in his own life and was offering compassion. I, in my grief, was consoled by him. I did not want to be unhappy. I was looking for happiness so I would not break all the way. we saw each other over the course of 4 1/2 years (outside of work about 15 times). I thought God sent him to me to bring me alive and give me hope that I needed. I did not need it. I needed God. When his wife confronted me finally I told the truth. I was living in so much guilt. I knew what I was doing was wrong and felt so guilty. I did not want to hurt him or anyone. That is why I kept seeing him. I felt his sadness and pain. I can honestly say I cared about him. I wanted to be happy, which I was not. Doing the wrong thing is miserable. Hiding things is miserable. We are all broken humans in some way. Thank God my husband gave us a chance (it has been a hard 3 years.) God gave me a chance and showed me what a caring and loving husband I have. I thank him for that. I had to let my children, my family, his family down. If you are in pain silently, seek God and help. Not another
person in pain. I wish you much love and happiness. Remember, things from our past affect our future if we let them.


I read this story and felt all of my hurt resurface! I discovered my husbands affair in February 2019. I don’t know if it was a one time or a long time affair because I don’t trust anything he tells me now. He also does not get a one time pass! My biggest issue or one of them is he insist he loves me yet he cheated! His first wife cheated on him and after knowing that he said he still didn’t cheat because he loved her! Yet he can cheat on me? He doesn’t see an issue with these mixed statements! I am shattered, numb and lost!
I stayed because we are raising his Grandaughter who came from an abusive situation with his adopted daughter. The same child I was home taking care of after my major surgery when he went on a business trip, got intoxicated and spent the night with a woman who is constantly around him and pursued him with a vengeance! I guess my comment or question to this story is how can a man, this man or any man claim to love their spouse, do they have a warped definition of love?

I didn't understand either.

May 2020 will mark twenty years of marriage for me, but cohabitation for him. He has never been faithful during our marriage and I never understood why I put up with him. I confronted him each and every time my heart knew of his affairs (online and physical), but he always gaslighted me. October 21, 2019 I discovered him again, but this time I took the kids (and animals) and left. He came home from work to a very empty house. After he discovered what was happening, he packed up and left so the kids, animals and I could have the house. He has the fortunate ability to live at work. In working through his behavior, we discovered he does not really know what love really is, because he equated love with physical pain due to how he was raised. He believed since I never did physical harm to him it meant I did not love him. I have also come to understand why I have stayed with him. God revealed to me I had to love him so he could learn to love himself so he could learn to love God. In this process he has learned about the agape love God and I have for him and he is learning to love God, himself and me. We are still separated and I am no where ready for him to come home, but he is making A LOT of wonderful changes. A couple evenings ago I asked him, "You say you love me. Why? Why do you love me?" and he began to answer with all the reasons he loves me and by the time he was finished he was in such tears it was hard for him to talk. I believe he understands, now, what love really is and it does not come with/from physical pain. He has never physically harmed me or the children, but he was searching for the pain for himself, because he equated love with pain. I share my story so you can ask yourself...does my husband really understand what love is?

Thank you so much for sharing

Thank you so much for sharing this. It gives me hope that God can work through my husband. He is going through this same along with some other issues. But what was the one thing that wife did to let you know that she never gave up on you? I’m currently uses the the Love Dare to help show my husband that I’m here and not going away.

Sticking it out

What a courageous woman!

why do we stay?

As the wayward spouse, being a female. It is SOOOO hard for a male to be the betrayed. It's not in their DNA to stay, in history women have been psychologically made to stay. But a truly honest question. WHY DO WE STAY IN A RELATIONSHIP that is ONLY HURTING US BY STAYING?? I am reading all these comments, and a lot of people are <6 months out and no one is able to trust, they regret, they stay for the kids, truly cannot love or be feel loved. Please answer that question. The wayward spouse obviously has childhood traumas and things they have to work on. But so does the betrayed. at the end of the day there is something wrong with both parties. And some people feel like is a calling from GOD. This is so tough.

One Final Chance

I'm only 30 days past discovery. I'm in so much pain that I feel all day like I'm having a heart attack. New weird health problems are arriving, like I think I'm going deaf in my right ear. There is some strange cramp in my right leg. Why do we stay? I don't know. I'm staying just long enough to make sure that my decision isn't made while emotional. My husband has agreed to counselling and has had two sessions with infinite more booked. I start counselling tomorrow. I do not trust him at all. We don't have kids. An appointment with a lawyer has already been completed. She will write up my separation papers when I'm ready. I guess I'm waiting to heal then hear from God. I love my husband so much but I am a daughter of the King of Kings and I will be respected. If he won't respect his wife then his wife will walk out the door. I can't even begin to guess how many women there have been in the last 13 years. I only know because he pocket dialed me while on a date with another woman. He described his member to her. (lol) Keep it classy! A bit of snooping has shown me three women. They delete things fast so if you aren't suspicious you would never know. They can lie right to your face and you don't know! I can't believe the man I love is so deceitful. I had no idea. Why am I still staying? I'm not in a hurry because I sure won't ever date again. I'm in my fifties, no biological clock is ticking. I have my own career and money. I guess I have no hurry and can wait to heal my heart and see if he will prove himself. He claims he wants nothing else in the world but a life with me. That's so hard to believe.

not sure

Sorry but this doesn't feel right. Basically, the only thing that made you finally stay with your wife, is that the other woman left. This means that your wife was always option #2.
Real change would imply YOU leaving your mistress for your wife, not you going back to the "back up plan" (wife) because your mistress left you.


I 100% agree Barbara123. The second I read the part where his “lesson was learned” because he felt the betrayal his wife felt … you sir will NEVER feel what your wife felt. An AP jetting off with another guy is insanely different than your MARRIAGE partner (of many years, parent to your children) cheating on you with multiple partners; not only completely shattering trust but putting everyone’s physical health at risk (increase risk of spreading stds). A true man of change would have ended the affair themself, the first time around. But this man just waited to be caught or be left—multiple times. This man is taking zero responsibility, and put the onus on the woman for everything (to be caught and/or be left) to change his situation. He is a grown man who needs to take control of and change his own situation.


Babara123 and oneeyeopen, its an addiction. He is human. he did something to hurt his spouse profoundly but kept on trying to atone,failing each time. We are not perfect like God, but we recognize what we are doing wrong, so please give some grace. There are other examples of men and women continuing affairs w others indiscriminately and without a conscience, so please take that into consideration - at least this guy recognized what he was doing was very wrong and kept working at it until accepting God into his life. Remember as well that there are always two sides - we dont know anything about her and why he felt the need to stray in the first place.

Addiction ?

I’m far from perfect but, as an unfaithful, i have a hard time calling my affair an addiction. It was a brief period of weakness where my ego was being fed with things i wanted & needed to hear. Unfortunately, these words were not from my wife and i got sucked into something i never should’ve been near to begin with. I knew it was wrong. I tried to break it off multiple times and was physically successful, but the phone calls kept coming. I blocked them every way i knew how. When my wife found out, it had been over for a long time, but the phone records showed calls of 30m to an hour.

The AP had Stage III breast cancer and wanted to kill herself. However, that was not my problem. I had made my mistake and had moved on but was trying to be supportive as a friend because I had known her for 30 years. Second time she had breast cancer and I felt bad for her. That’s a terrible hand to be dealt. This is not a reason or excuse, but I think most people would have a soft spot for someone that had been through breast cancer twice, their body riddled with dozens of rounds of chemo plus radiation. Later it was discovered that the AP was an alcoholic. What a nightmare !

Although my wife knew I had cut the cord before she found out, it took telling the AP if she ever contacted me again I’d file a police report for harassment and have her arrested. I also changed my number. I agreed emphatically to go to marriage counseling, but we did not have a good experience. I went to individual counseling and finally let go of the enormous weight of guilt and shame. I found a way to forgive myself, per se. I’ll never be able to completely forgive myself, but that period of my life has left my brain. I rarely think about it and if I do it’s more about the pain I caused and my path to finish the journey that my wife and I started. We have 3 children.

I say this to say that an addiction is not how I would classify stepping outside the relationship. Plain and simple it’s a bad decision. A person that makes this decision once isn’t automatically forgiven any quicker than one that has had multiple encounters. It takes work. And it takes getting pushed backwards a number of times and still leaning ahead and trying to heal as much as you can. I have friends, both male & female, that have had multiple affairs and others that have had one affair for 13 years. All are still married. Have the courage to stay.

We make mistakes. Our spouses make mistakes. Family makes mistakes. We sin. We hope to be forgiven by everyone, in time, but patience is a virtue. If you love them, draw the line in the sand. If they love you they’ll never cross it again. We do feel an unmeasurable amount of pain. Two fold. However, much different than someone that has been betrayed.

Second chances are a gift not an expectation. If you get one treasure it. If you give one hold them accountable. Not sit on their shoulder accountability, but enough transparency to make you feel safe.


Wow I don’t think I’d ever be able to trust my husband ever again much less continue to take him back.