Empty Houses

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 old. As I walked through the house, it all began to hit me like a ton of bricks. Life as I knew it was completely over and so many memories of my family began to overtake me emotionally. Memories of so much happiness with my kids and seeing them grow and experience life…my oldest learning to walk, my middle child getting baths in the sink when she was soo small. Sleepless nights of cholic, party after party with our friends and staff; all of it a distant memory overshadowed with regret due to my failure.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt such pain before in my life than that moment. It’s one of the most present feelings I can go back to at any moment I choose. I think I had to make myself go numb out of sheer self protection as I would have to start the drive to Texas in just a few moments. I simply couldn’t feel all that there was to feel. I didn’t have the capacity. If I did, I don’t think I would have ever stopped crying to leave for Texas.

We had no hope and we had very little support system. The uncertainty of life was immense, but yet we eventually chose to go forward. I think if I’m being honest, in recovery, the sheer willingness to not quit is moving forward.

Now, 7 years later, I sit in our Texas home, far greater in size, stature and freedom than our previous homes. It has more space, beauty and signs of emotional restoration than I could ever imagine when I left California that day.

Restoration is just like that. We don’t want restoration to what once was. After all, what once was created the opportunity for the failure in the first place. We want restoration to what we can’t even see or fathom. A restored place of hope, strength, joy and unforeseen beauty that will be both rewarding and fulfilling for all parties involved.

It’s possible. Sure it’s messy. Sure it’s tough and an absolute emotional grind some days.

But what is in fact possible and available, is more than worth it.

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I really appreciate your honesty in this blog.  It was my husband that cheated, and I get really angry sometimes thinking it's more me that has to deal with his affair.  I have to be understanding with him in getting over his relationship.  He doesn't share his feelings, so I have no idea what he is feeling - the devastatiion of it, the loss, the regret....so in reading what you have felt, I have an understanding.

thank you for sharing.



I can totally relate to that!  My ex is wanting to restore our marriage but he too is mourning his lost relationship with the other person...and same scenario.  He won't talk abou it and I just get left with feeling I'm 'the evil one who's causing all this pain since I've asked him to cut off all contact.'  I feel as though when he's depressed it's somehow my fault!  Totally ridiculous on a rational level....but my heart feels it.



Nice to be understood, isn't it?

I feel like I'm in this alone.  I relate getting over my husbands affair the same way I dealt with the loss of my mom, brother and sister 22 years ago.  For the initial shock - there are friends and family by your side, while you struggle to get back on dry land.  Then - after 6 months - everyone has left you it seems.  And you don't know what you're doing.  You're trying to follow your heart, but your mind says "why would you stay" you're such a fool.  You were lied to, cheated on for so long -- why would you stay????????????????  And it seems like you're doing all the work to restore your marriage, and comparing yourself to the "girlfriend" when deep down you know you're ok with who you are....you're suddenly trying to make yourself prettier, more interesting again, because you're so scared.  You want to trust, but somehow it feels like you will never get that back again.  Once you've lost that security that you're supposed to have in a marriage - you're just waiting for the next shoe to drop so to speak.  There are days I feel like we've made it and our marriage will be stronger -- but I'm so tired of dealing with his regret and guilt that he can't voice -- it comes out in other ways.  Why can't the one who hurt us just own up to it in a big way?  And say you know what?  I so regret hurting you like this....because saying sorry just once when you're caught - doesn't cover a year of lies and deciept.  I would like my husband to see when I'm hurting and say I'm so sorry I did this to you....I see the impact it has had even now - six months later.  I spent Canada Day (July 1st) what he was doing this time last year.  I'm sure he was with his girlfriend instead of his family - and what's especially hard is I never knew then -- I've been playing "catchup" over the past few months.  Each event is a reminder of what he might have been doing with his time.  I want to be the only one again in his eyes - but I don't know how to get that back.


I Understand Completely

I understand completely your pain and frustration. for me, it wasn't until i found affair recovery and Rick Reynolds that i began to understand just how bad i had hurt my wife. many times, betraying spouses dont find contrition or brokenness on their own, but actually need to have someone help them who has been there before and understands how to help them. without that, many times they wallow, or struggle, or remain deceived about how their choices have affected others. have you considered the harboring hope program? it was soo beneficial to my wife and helped her in her own recovery with comparison and understanding infidelity as a whole. that might be a great place to find hope and healing for YOU my friend. I'm so glad you found us and our blog. any way I can help id be happy to.

I keep doing that as well;

I keep doing that as well; thinking about what he was doing when he should have been doing something with me and our family.  It makes me feel like I was crazy (and stupid for not recognizing what was happening).

Thank you

It does seem impossible today, thanks for sharing hope.

Buzz, Denver CO

Empty Houses

As I read your story I started to cry.  This morning (14 months after discovery) I still don't know if I should leave my unfaithful spouse or stay.  I stay day after day and some days I don't know why I should.  I love him and I know he loves me but I still get bogged down in the "if you loved me then why"  If you could do this then why should I stay.  But I stay and some days we have wonderful days and some days we have days like today.  I just wish I could see the end in sight.


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-D, Texas