The Rest of Our Lives? Often times, when confronted with discovery or the early beginnings of recovery, many think they will be dealing with this infidelity the rest of their lives. The unfaithful believes and fears they will be a doormat and reminded of their failings and shortcomings the rest of the marriage, and sees little hope to stay dedicated. The betrayed wonders if they can ever trust their mate again, and fears they will have to resort to all sorts of tracking devices, accountability measures and the like. They also wonder if it’s really worth it to make someone want to be with them in the first place. On the front end of recovery, the darkness is far more prevalent than light. It’s almost impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We create a tunnel that is so long, so dark, and has vast amounts of opportunities to take another course at any time and assume that because that is what we feel it must be truth. It concerns me when I hear couples who are too dark in the early beginning allowing their pain, hurt, and growing resentment override their ability to see there is truly hope and there can be a wonderfully restored and redeemed marriage. Alternatively though, I’m also always concerned when I hear a spouse say things aren’t that bad and we’ll be fine and we just need to do this…..It’s typically a sign that the pain and the reality of it all probably hasn’t set in just yet. The middle of the road is a bit more palatable. It’s going to hurt like hell at times, on both sides. It’s going to be very unpredictable and very confusing at times. You’ll feel like you’re at opposite sides of the world communicatively. You’ll feel like one day you want to be with your spouse, the next day you’ll want to say “And you wonder why I had an affair……you just don’t get it….” It gets western, as Rick says. But if you get the right kind of help, and if you have an expert involved, you will not deal with this the rest of your lives. We don’t. It’s been 8 years and only a handful of people know about the affair, and quite honestly sometimes we laugh and joke about what stupid people we both were at times. Samantha realizes so much about her behavior, and I realize so much about my own lust, selfishness and stupidity. Sure, the affair partner’s name is hardly mentioned, but at times, her name has been said and no one had an aneurism. Samantha didn’t shoot me and tell me to get out. We’ve healed and we’ve accepted what happened and embraced today. There are untouchables and things we don’t talk about, but that is out of respect for Samantha and me, and not for fear someone’s head would be blown off if it was addressed or talked about. Don’t get me wrong, we do live differently. Samantha does trust me, but in a much different way. She’ll never trust me blindly ever again. And I don’t want her to. But she’s not checking up on me. She’s not following me around. I live openly and have a few new lifestyle habits I have adopted in my life for my own protection and for Samantha’s security, but I’m happy to embrace them and utilize them in my everyday life. We’re not “there” yet and haven’t “arrived” yet, and aren’t perfect at any level. But what we deal with is normal, everyday marriage struggles. One day, you too will find healing and a new sense of momentum where you are no longer living under the shadow of infidelity and betrayal. If things are challenging right now, it’s normal. Probably more normal than you think. When it becomes abnormal is when you are trying to do this on your own, utilizing a recovery approach that is not specialized and not infidelity-specific. At that point, as a friend I would highly encourage you to consider changing your approach. Even then, there will be difficult days but you will be moving systematically through a proven process towards recovery and restoration. It’s not impossible my friend. It’s not the rest of your lives. Get the right kind of help. I can tell you, if you don’t get the right kind of help and if you don’t take appropriate action, you may be dealing with this for the rest of your lives. No one wants that. If you’re not sure where you fit, and wonder about your recovery timeline and wonder if you are where you should or should not be, get an evaluation from the team. Call Affair Recovery to get help and understand if you are where you should be or if you need to do something different.