survivors Blog-Elizabeth-Sadness-one of the things i have found to be true about the walk of recovery from infidelity, is the longer i walk, the less i know. and the less i know, the more i feel.

One of the things I have found to be true about the walk of recovery from infidelity, is the longer I walk, the less I know. And the less I know, the more I feel.

The feeling that has overwhelmed me of late is one of pretty intense sadness. It seems I feel sorrow in every bone and fiber within me. I feel it deeply, and it feels like a dam around my heart that can break loose at any moment. When I look at my husband, I just feel so sad for what I did to him and what I have put him through.

I don't feel sorry for him. I know he will be okay and he has really, in light of it all, handled this far better than I would if I were in his shoes. There is something incredibly beautiful and moving to me when I see betrayed spouses carry such pain with dignity and grace. I don't know that I would be able to handle my hurt that way.

One of the things I am particularly sad about is how much I missed of our life and marriage. The other day I was in Target and I passed by the aisle full of Easter candy. There I saw them: the fifteen-dollar gigantic chocolate bunnies that every kid dreams of getting on Easter morning. I remember vividly the first time as a child I bit into one of those and to my shock and dismay, it was hollow! There was supposed to be chocolate all the way through!

Oh, how I have been exactly like those dumb chocolate bunnies on the shelf. Hollow and empty. Nothing inside.

When we first started with Affair Recovery, I remember not feeling or understanding how my husband kept grieving the loss of our marriage and vows. I know that may come as a shock to some, but I really did not feel anything. I had no idea how unattached I was. I was pretty much void inside...of any of the really good stuff anyway. Things like compassion, grace, empathy, understanding and honesty were not overflowing in my heart. I was compartmentalized and in hiding and fear.

Over the last year and a half I have become pretty attached to my husband without even realizing it. I miss him when I don't get to see him. Most days, I see his decency and humanity and I just downright like him. I genuinely find him pretty funny. I long to just be near him and sometimes sit in wonder at why on earth he would still see any hope and goodness in me after all I have put him through. How and why could I have been so cruel and inconsiderate?

Never once in my affair, did I stop to consider how he must feel. Basic human decency went out the window. I hate how he now has to battle with feeling disregarded and unimportant because that is EXACTLY what I did to him. I hate the demons that betrayed spouses have to fight.

If you are unfaithful, you may not feel any of this sadness yet. I know I couldn't for a long time. I don't know your story, but for me I think I had to begin to feel sadness for my own story first. That may seem odd or selfish, but by giving myself compassion for how I got to the point of being unfaithful (let us just say we could all buy a new car with the amount of money we've invested in my therapy!), I now am a little less hollow than before. The saying 'you can't give away what you don't have" applies here. I have a heart full of love and therefore only a full heart can be broken.

Every time I even think about all of us at Affair Recovery….I just feel sad. If you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for letting me lean into the sadness of your own stories. For what you've done and what has been done to you. It's just not the way it's supposed to be.

"Her sins. . . and they were many----are forgiven. For she loved much; but one who is forgiven little; shows little love".
Luke 7:47

In sorrow,

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Again.. wow!

I cant even begin to express how much your vulnerability, honesty, and willingness to share means to me (and so many others I'm sure). The change that has occurred in you has given me hope and faith that it can happen. I bear the same burden as your husband and fight everyday for the ability to live in grace and mercy as my wife battles hard in her recovery. Listening to your stories of transformation fill my "encouragement tank" to be still, be calm, and love on. You have become quite influential to her. For that, I am grateful.

That was so kind of you to

That was so kind of you to write and it made me feel nice and warm inside! I hope we can change, I really do. I know I have to stay away from vows b/c I have been the kind of schmuck that broke them, but I really know God can take any sin and have the last word if we let Him. I bet you and my husband would be friends. :)

I am same the unfaithful

I am same the unfaithful woman. After starting AR, leaning more and more about myself, I sure feel the same about the hollowness. I was a chocolate Easter bunny. I thought I had it all, but I have nothing inside to offer. Now I am learning to be empathetic and compassionate. I love each of your blog post. Thank you for posting your raw emotions, making me not feel alone in this journey.

Well, I can assure you

Well, I can assure you (unfortunately because there are so many of us), you aren't alone. I am happy to hear of your growth and learning. Thanks for the encouragement.


This article comes at the perfect timing. Just exactly the emotion Im feeling. Deep sadness. Same reason. I feel the same way when I look at my husband. I wish so bad I could go back and change how I was, How I thought, how I acted. Our oldest son is getting married and I look at him and his fiancée and I am so thankful they are on a different path from the start. I would never wish this regret on anyone. My husband is such a handsome, strong, man and I have crushed him. I am not the person he thought I was. I wish I was. I don’t know how i got so broken at such a young age but no more excuses. I want so badly to make something beautiful out of this broken life. I want so badly to give back my husband those years of bad memories. I wanted so badly for him to be happy. Thank you again. You truly have a gift for words. Let’s keep on changing and growing.

Amen. I am thankful for you!

Amen. I am thankful for you!


Elizabeth, you write so beautifully. I am the betrayed spouse in our case. My husband has lived a double life for our entire relationship, 28 years but he is now at the place of surrender and brokenness and I can love and respect him for that. We both walk through the pain and sadness together, I think at times as the BP I can lapse into thinking that I’m the one who hurts the most, Thankyou for the reminder of what I know he feels too.

You are welcome. It is a

You are welcome. It is a privilege that God even allows me to use my brokenness to help others. Your comments mean a lot to me.


Thank you for your insight. I am the unfaithful husband and have been wondering what is wrong with me cause I honestly dont feel anything- yet! I know I did my wife wrong. I know I hurt my family and I know I sinned against my God.
I said goodbye to the AP in Feb. But even now I wonder what my AP is doing. I wonder if I made the right decision even though she has moved on and found another “ true love”.
I cant believe I hurt my wife all last summer. Saw her crushed and hurt and I just didnt care. What a self centered Ass I am.
I am starting to learn through HFH that I am worse off than I thought. But I still feel like that Hollow Easter bunny.
I so want to fix this and my gracious Wife is still by my side waiting for me to be the man she knows I can be.
I am thankful for you too to explain that this hollow feeling isnt just me. Cause lots of times I feel like it is just me. The triggers are still every day for me so I can imagine how much worse it is for my wife.
I pray for you Elizabeth as I pray for my wife too.
Thank You

Hollow, too

I'm with you, Jeff. I'm about a year and a half out from D-Day, and haven't had contact with my AP in nine months. My feelings for her are mostly gone, but she still comes to mind in some way just about every day, whether it's me wondering how she's doing or some trigger brings back a memory. I also know what I did was wrong, but don't feel the remorse that I believe I should. I truly don't feel much of anything at the moment. My wife has been supportive, but we're kind of just living together at the moment, outside of brief moments of intimacy. I wonder sometimes if we will make it...not just stay together, but have a happy marriage. And I truly don't know how to break out of the rut we're in.

My hope for each of us as

My hope for each of us as that we keep doing what we need to do until the feelings come back fully. On both sides of the fence, this recovery thing is no easy task and takes its toll on everyone. I'm going to vote to keep giving ourselves time. Thanks for the comments and resonating.

Thank you for the sincere Sadness

Elizabeth thank you for the sincerity of your post. My wife has shown no remorse, no sorrow, and no acceptance for any of her actions... She is living in a pretend world that hides the hollowness of her existence. It did me good just to know that SOMEONE feels the kind of sincere remorse that you show... even if it is not my wife... and I suspect it never will be. Thank you.

This broke my heart to read.

This broke my heart to read. I am really sorry she isn't in a space where she realizes whatever she is chasing isn't real. I really hope you can keep figuring out who God wants you to be. Thanks for taking the time to comment and I am really sorry for what happened to you. I know I can't change what I've done but I really hope to keep doing whatever I can to help all of us reach a place of brokenness and repentance.

Sad too

I too, miss our marriage, miss my husband. I hate all the sadness and sorrow my affair has caused him. He's a great guy and struggling to get through the heartache and pain I've caused. Please keep him in your prayers.

I definitely will. The only

I definitely will. The only thing I can think is to offer and encourage you to read the book of James, chapter 4 verses 9-10. It is okay to become a woman of many sorrows.

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your experience!!!
My story and question:
My wife disclosed almost 5 months ago that she was having an affair (emotional) and wanted to get a divorce, to be with the other person. I was shocked, but did not want to hold her back, so without clinging or begging I told her, fine, let us get separated. It was a strange separation, about 85% of the time I was still at home with my family. I only went away when I felt suffocating. Also started personal therapy to find what lead here from my side and worked out some major things in my life. I gave her plenty of space. Whenever the affair came up, I told her this is something she has to work out on her own, I do not want to intervene. She was struggling in that situation. I was basically moving on. As much as possible after a 25 year relationship and 2 teenage daughters. I felt no anger, blame whatsoever towards her. It was hard, hurt like hell some days, but seeing my mistakes helped a lot. One month ago she broke off the affair, before it could have gone physical. What she is saying now, that she wants to be with me, wants our marriage but she feels empty towards me. She said that I became the person she always wanted to be with, having the best conversations ever. But cannot work on the marriage without feelings. I totally understand her, seeing her depressed, some good days and some bad days. I do not expect her feelings instantly, they are not operated by a switch. I told her to take her time, try to focus on other things and let the bad feelings to be, so they will pass. She seems to be inpatient, wants things to go faster. She asked for more space, which I am happy to provide, I need it myself. It is hard to see her in pain, struggling. I would like to help, but my instincts tell me to back off. I am open for conversation, but not pressing it, unless she initiates.
Can you share your thoughts about how I could help her, what she really needs?

It sounds like she could

It sounds like she could really benefit from the Hope for Healing class if she hasn't taken it. It is 17 weeks long, and there she would be able to talk with other women about her ambivalence and feelings about the marriage and AP. It was the single best thing I did in my recovery.

I have the same feeling of

I have the same feeling of sadness... however I also still feel really sad, 10 months later, that I don’t talk to my AP anymore.. I reallly miss her and think of her often. Hopefully that fades with time

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-D, Texas