Surviving the Long Road Back Pursuing recovery after infidelity is no easy or short task. It can seem insurmountable and exhausting on any given day and reduce you to hopelessness within 1/200th of a second. From reminders to triggers to thoughts of what life could have been like, recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. I believe that when you are able to sprint, sprint like there’s no tomorrow. When the pace slows, it’s about finding a new pace. I’ve seen over the years Samantha and I find new paces. Some were thrilling and so enjoyable; some were memorable for all the wrong reasons. Yet, in a surreal way, there was a pace to it. As you’ll hear from both Rick and myself, as well as almost anyone who has gone through infidelity and has their head on straight, this is a long road but it isn’t impossible and doesn’t have to always be excruciating. As my previous post stated, for some it’s about a two year ordeal to find a new normal which isn’t volatile and ever changing with the feelings of the day. For others, it can be even longer due to extenuating struggles, confusion or ever appearing new information. While it is a long journey, there are things you can do to help enjoy the ride. While you cannot shorten the journey, when your spouse is helping to create more chaos or even prolonging the pain, you can take control of your own choices and do some things to help ease the pain. Here are a few I utilized when I felt like I was on a different pace than Samantha: Find one or two safe people who you can vent to who will NOT give you advice or try and tell you what to do, but will only listen and hear you out and let you get things off your chest. While you may not be sure if you’re dedicated to your spouse during this difficult season, find expert ‘infidelity-specific’ help and dedicate yourself to that program and that plan with ruthless attention to detail and commitment. Don’t take any short cuts, and don’t give up too early and don’t allow the program you’re in to become the problem. Dive head first into the right program and curriculum and finish it. Unless of course the program is not working, not infidelity specific, or is not run by people who have actually been through it before. If that’s the case run, run, run from that source of confusion. Stop the blame game. You’re where you are because of what seems like an infinitesimal amount of reasons. But continuing to blame him, her, them, or those people will only chain you longer. You may be right in your blaming and attacking, but it doesn’t make your journey any easier. It only prolongs the pain and only deepens the hole you find yourself in each day. Stop blaming and accept and start to overcome, day by day. Take lots of walks with scenery that is comforting to you. I love the beach. There’s no place on earth like the beach for me and when I’m there, I’m centered. Find a place that centers you and spend lots of time there as best you can. Find an outlet. I struggled to find the right verbiage here, but maybe it’s working out. Perhaps it’s eating better or cleaner. Maybe it’s painting or some sort of artistic expression. Maybe it’s getting a membership to a gym where you can learn to box and beat the living crap out of a punching bag and help you have some sort of cathartic release. Sure, if you’re a male, make sure you have a male trainer, and if you’re a female, find a female trainer or workout partner. For those of us in this ever unfolding saga, that’s just common sense. If you don’t find an outlet, you’ll find yourself wanting to explode more days than not and crisis caters towards bitterness, sickness and overall frustration. You can beat it but you have to get out of yourself and out of the blanket of oppression you probably feel every day. If you have kids, love them and spoil them as best you can. With time and attention and love, be with them and be present with them every day. Do your best to shield them. Love and attention is one of the best shields you’ll find.