Most People Can Get Over the Affair

My years of experience pale in comparison to Rick’s, however I’ve realized several principles while working for him these past years (and living through my own nightmare) and helping couples and individuals heal from the effects of infidelity. The other day Rick and I were talking and I alluded to something that he confirmed. I was discussing the struggle of a particular couple and asking him for some thoughts on it and he shared with me his perspective from close to 30 years, THAT’S 30 YEARS of treating infidelity and compulsive behaviors. He said “Samuel, most people can get over the affair(s): it’s the lying they can’t get over. It’s the continual discovery of new information they can’t get over.  It’s the continual relapses they can’t get over.”

In no way is that to minimize the fact that you or your spouse have broken a covenant and trust and completely annihilated the marriage boundaries. The fact that this has happened is devastating in every sense of the word and is not to be overlooked.

However, I have found that many men and women are able to overcome the existence of infidelity and forgive their mate. However, oddly enough, there are certain things these same spouses are not able to overcome and likewise there are certain actions the unfaithful are unwilling to let go of.  For today, we’ll discuss the fact that betrayed spouses are not able to overcome and endure the perpetual lying.

Believe it or not, with the right help, spouses can forgive and overcome the reminders and triggers associated with infidelity.  However, when the lying does not cease and the deception continues on, spouses are simply not able to get a read on when their spouse is telling them the truth and when they are lying. (Yes, to those who are already thinking what I’m about to share…...) Some spouses just plain refuse to be honest again about much of anything. They are so used to lying and telling half-truths, they just will not be totally honest about anything. From their feelings, to how long the affair was, to who they talked to today on the phone, to what this person said or that person said to a litany of other instances. The reasons are another blog altogether, but the fact is, the inability of the unfaithful spouse to return to honesty is what many times is the undoing of the marriage altogether, not the infidelity per se.

The betrayed spouse is then no longer able to discern between what to believe, what not to believe and cannot reestablish trust. Trust is rebuilt on intimacy and intimacy is rebuilt though honesty and if there is no honesty, trust can never be restored and the marriage has little true hope. It can be as simple as a spouse saying “I had a sandwich for lunch” yet later that night the betrayed spouse sees on the credit card statement that he/she went to a Chinese food restaurant.” The appearance of recurring deception seemingly punches the betrayed in the gut and it creates the appearance of never ending deception. The betrayed spouse is no longer paralyzed by the affair, but paralyzed by the lying.

This may shed some light to both spouses in terms of understanding recovery. For example, if you’re an unfaithful spouse and having trouble being honest, perhaps this will help you understand why the slightest bit of mistruth or untruth launches your spouse into a panic attack. Additionally, if you’re spouse feels they can’t trust you about where you eat lunch and what you eat, how can they trust you about the business trip, the night out with clients or where you were for a two hour meeting?

For the betrayed spouse, I know it’s all overwhelming. Maybe this explains why your emotions run riot when there is any form of deception. It’s a huge reminder but it’s also a return to ground zero in your mind and heart and so it causes you to return to the same emotions you felt weeks, months or years ago. You may initially feel like it’s the affair that’s the root cause, but I would ask you to reconsider and perhaps realize it’s the deception which is the culprit here.  Yes the affair was wrong and devastating, but maybe you’ve gotten a grip on that and forgiven it, yet the lying or deception is what is stealing from you? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions if you need help. 

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When I had my second Dday 8

When I had my second Dday 8 months ago and found out the real truth, I discovered it was a 20 year deception. Don't know how to get over something that was off and on for that long-- with the same AP-- and don't know how to forgive myself for being so blind and stupid. I think I can get over the fact that he had sex with her, although the thought of intimacy with him only brings on horrendous intrusive thoughts, but the long-term deception? How does one get over a deception that lasted for two-thirds of a marriage? Everything that happened during the past twenty years-from vacations to graduations to weddings to grandchildren - is now tainted and impure because his poor choices and selfishness. After almost 2 1/2 years, I still feel devastated.

Deception and transparency

This is me!! Yes, yes, yes!!
How do you move past if there are still lies about even everyday stuff?
And the blame!!?? It would all be okay if you weren't looking for something.
But the problem is I find things!!!
And when there isn't any accountability I feel like I am going crazy sometimes.
I believe the apologies are real, but also motivated by wanting to simply move past the affairs.
It makes me tired, it hurts my heart, I lose hope.
I don't want to live this way.

Lynette....

Hi Lynette, thanks for the q and comment. what help have you both received? he may not be able to overcome the blame as he doesn't understand what's really going on in his heart and in yours? if there are still lies about everyday stuff then it's obvious there is a disconnect and a fear of coming clean even about little things. that usually reveals a fear of being honest for fear of the consequences of being honest and I'd say he's 'unsafe' in many ways. so, I'll start by what help have you been able to receive? were they experts in infidelity? is he OPEN to getting further help because if he is, then I think there is a great amount of potential for help and for healing, but it will require expert help and insight to get there. so glad you reached out for help.

Most People Can Get Over the Affair

I am the betrayed and have been married for over 52 years. From the beginning of our marriage, I found myself being placed somewhere else than first place in my husband's life He was almost 23, the last son to be married coming from a large family. He had never been given the feeling of being loved as he grew up, having been born 10 1/2 months after twins, and then followed by another brother born 17 months later. The twins, it was felt, needed so much extra care due to the death of at least one of the two in those days, and then the younger brother was always the on with no responsibilities in the family while all the other family had to work like slaves.
On the morning following our return from a short honeymoon, we were in the parent's home, and at four in the morning his dad (unannounced) stuck his head in the doorway to tell my husband that it was time to get up. From that day onward our lives were not our own. I was never liked or accepted by his dad, and only years later after our three children were born and the dad had died, did my mother-in-law seem to accept me. I will not give examples of the reasons for feelings of being second place in my husbands affections but with the whole family's non-acceptance, plus the fact that there were not enough hours in the day for my husband to feel he had worked enough, nor enough jobs for him to complete, I was left alone and lonely most of the time.
Enter three children, born in four years and two months time, and then I began to be too busy, what with taking care of children, home, garden, canning, freezing, grocery buying, and cooking three squares a day to feel the loneliness as before, but I felt I was doing the whole job alone. I can truthfully say that my husband has been a wonderful provider, never begrudged anything I spent, has been helpful in the home (if by any chance he happened to be there, but since he was gone from 6 or earlier in the morning and worked [farmer] most times till late in the night, neither I nor the growing children saw much of him. THEN when our youngest was 6 months old, he added his lover. That was the very month that I had gotten saved, and truly began to live for God. He was supposedly already a christian. She was working for him, in our hen houses. I never felt comfortable with her presence, never trusted or liked her, and shortly following our 19th anniversary, I walked in on them in the act of their affair. I was devastated, and didn't know what to do. Therefore, due to the fact that I knew my three children would be coming home from school later in the evening, and that I was in no condition to face them and pretend, I forgave him, and tried to move on, even to initiating sex myself that night. YES, you don't have to say it, I was stupid. Things went on, the children grew up, left home, and because I never rocked the boat, he felt all was right with his world, never mind that there was no real binding together as a family. The only thing we did together was to go to church together on Sunday and any other time there was a function at church. Now, in 2010, my son told me that I needed to be checking on my husband, that he was seeing someone. At that time I found out that my son had known of the affair since he was about 4, having been in her house playing with her son, when his dad and she went into the bedroom and closed the door.) My son now has had problems with drugs, is now an alcoholic and cannot stand to be around his dad. He tells me he watched the man play church all his life, taking on leadership roles, teaching and that he wants no part of him. One of the other children saw them hugging and kissing when she was very young, and since she was being molested by an older cousin (a fact we later found out when she got on script drugs and was going through rehab) she felt she had done something that "caused daddy to do this."
When my son had told me of his dad, I confronted him, and he denied that he was seeing her, that he had only gone down because "the girls" (by the way, at least one of them belongs to him, if not both) had called him, asking him to come see their new homes. I had come unglued to say the least, having been told he had not seen any of them in years; told him in no uncertain terms that if I ever heard tell of him seeing any of them I would leave him. He pretended to not be able to understand me as "he didn't think I would mind him going, and that was why he hadn't mentioned it to me." Fast forward to about a month ago. I don't think from that point onward that I was ever able to just let it be. I asked him, "before God, tell me when and if and when the affair ended." He told me that it had ended about six years ago. So all together, I have lived with a liar, a deceiver, and an adulterer who has done all he could to destroy family and home. Now he has retired, health is gone, and he has finally committed his life to God (never mind the fact that he didn't even have the courage to tell me that he had done that) as he had been living a lie all those years. He said God let him know, "this is the last time I will deal with you, you either end it now and get things right with Me or..." and NOW he tells me I am all he has ever wanted, loved or needed. She was just for SEX. (All our marriage I have had pain during sex, so he says he had the affair to "spare" me). ALWAYS he is the self-sacrificing one! We are in counseling, (something he disdained when I caught him, and told me either forgive me or we just leave me), but I feel like it is too little, too late. I don't know if I have any love left for him, or if I am just emptied of it. A friend called him, asking if it were true what he had heard, and my husband said he didn't know why I had left (later returned) that our son had just gotten me "stirred up" and I flew off angry and left. If you have any advice or comment, please let me know.

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