Moral Disengagement It's been several years since my affair was disclosed and life took a turn for what felt like the end. Almost every time Rick writes an article it hits me in one way or another. This newest one was no exception. The fact is, time doesn't permit me to share the enormous litany of reasons why, if anyone shouldn't have been having an affair, it was me. If anyone was in a position of authority, integrity, and alleged impeccable character, it was me. Yet, the numbers of people affected by my moral failure (more like moral disaster) is no short list, and to this day lives still show the residue of a leader who failed them and left a sea of disoriented lives a drift, looking for direction and hope. Today I'd like to talk about how I disengaged from my moral compass and justified my affair. In many ways, it was the perfect set up and my own needs, slowly but with incredible fervency, began to outweigh my morality and commitment to the truth. Samantha was having babies; sick in bed during her three pregnancies, and taking care of the home while I was out "changing the world." Somewhere along the way it all became about ME. What I needed and what I wanted, look at me and my accomplishments; not what others needed or wanted, and certainly not what Samantha needed. I told myself that since Samantha wasn't caring about my emotional and sexual needs, at least my affair partner was. At least SHE thought I was successful and SHE thought I was talented, and SHE thought I was sexy. She wanted to be with me all the time and she appreciated my efforts. Samantha did too, but Samantha wanted me to be a man who took responsibility and took care of everyone else above myself, and my affair partner worshiped the ground I walked on. I told myself my affair was justified and there was no way out anyway. I’ll never forget the day I told myself that there was no way out and Samantha was never going to change. I'll just celebrate the fact that Samantha is an exceptional mom, but a terrible wife and I'll just get my needs met with my affair partner, and be the best dad I can be. This moment in time would solidify my reinforcement of more self-deception and self-betrayal than I care to itemize. For over two years that was the life we led. What's almost incomprehensible though, is my affair partner and I never talked about getting caught. We never had a fallout plan, or a 'meet up here if we get caught plan.' The hiding and double life had become such a normal part of our lives, we never thought there would be any sense of accountability or any exposing of the affair. We just thought it would go on forever, and it seemed like it did. Until one day I would have to share with Samantha all the details, which would be corroborated by the church leaders the next day. So had I considered lying, I couldn't as it would all come out then. It's been said no one talks to you more than you, and I had told myself this was the best it was going to get, and that there was no way out from the mess I had created. I was wrong. But I was the sovereign voice in my life. I could have done an innumerable amount of things to get help, but had justified my affair to myself for so long, I had become self-deceived and saw no way out. If you're trapped today, or if you are just starting to walk in recovery, I hope you don’t expect to know what you should do next without the right guidance. I hope you'll reach out and get the help you need now, from an expert who has gone through this before and knows more than you do and knows how to help. You can find expert help here at Affair Recovery. Don't waste your time with people who've never been through it before and are speculating. You need the right kind of help my friend. It will make all the difference in the world and help guide you through the process to either personal recovery, or perhaps even marital recovery.