Our Emotional Affair Recovery One Year Later

emotional affair recoveryToday is the first year anniversary of starting this blog and we thought it would be appropriate to present to you a status update of sorts on our emotional affair recovery over the last year.  I’ll warn you in advance that this is a long post, so hit the bathroom, grab a sandwich and something to drink before you read on.

First of all, it has been amazing to us to see how much this site has grown over a year’s time.  We have gone from zero readers to averaging just shy of 700 unique visitors a day.  Visitors have viewed 542,264 pages year-to-date.  People from 96 countries from around the world have visited our blog so far this month alone. At the time of this writing, we have posted 268 times and there have been 3223 comments.

And when you think about it…we’re just a small blog.  Imagine if you would combine the readership of all the blogs and other various infidelity websites on the Internet. The numbers would be staggering.  This tells you that there are a lot of people suffering from infidelity all over the world, and that it is a huge problem and source of pain.

Obviously we appreciate all of you who visit and especially those of you who contribute and comment.  We’re pretty confident that this blog has helped some people over the last year (including us), and you all are a major cause of that.

Our intent when we started this blog was to share our experiences and pass along some resources in the hopes that we could help others — as well as ourselves —  along the way.  I think we have had some success with that, and all of you are to be thanked for your contributions and viewpoints.

For Linda and myself, our affair recovery continues.  Who ever said that recovering from an affair is a roller coaster ride was not exaggerating one bit.

We will go through periods where things couldn’t get any better, and then a week later you would think we were just a week after D-day.  This has been a powerfully painful emotional struggle that will continue, though it does get easier as time goes on.

Dr. Bob Huizenga says that it can take 2-4 years to recover from an affair (visit his site). I venture to guess that many people can get over a death of a loved one in less time.

On the positive side of things, Linda and I have reinvented our marriage to a point where our love is at an all time level. I would say even more in love than when we got married.

We appreciate each other in many ways and truly enjoy being with each other on a daily basis.  We are also much more physical with each other.  Not just sexually, but also hugging, holding hands, cuddling on the couch, etc.

We have learned to communicate our wants, needs, feelings and desires much better than we ever used to do.  We don’t back off from confrontation with each other anymore, but we do “fight fair.” I can still work a little on suppressing my frustrations when Linda wants to talk about the affair, but I have become much more patient and understanding when she feels the need to do so.

We have become much more in tune with each other’s needs.  We work all the time at doing things for each other – and they may just be little things – in order to fulfill each other’s most important emotional needsIt is important to us that we never fall back into that emotionally sterile rut that we existed in prior to my emotional affair. We even check with each other periodically to make sure that we are still on track in this area.

As Linda and I build on the positives and move forward, in my opinion our biggest struggle is to find a way for Linda to totally overcome the pain she feels from my falling in love with another woman. She battles the emotions and insecure feelings from that everyday.  In hindsight, what I thought was real love was more infatuation, but it is very painful for her nonetheless.

Though she trusts that I will not have another affair, she has troubles at times believing that I truly love her and that I didn’t just “settle” for her. Convincing her that is not the case has been a challenge to say the least.

We both realize that it will take time for her to heal completely, though sometimes she doubts she can do it.  She has acknowledged that I’m doing all the right things and trying hard, but has asked me to be patient and continue to help her in this battle. And of course I am willing to do so.

She also will battle against certain “affair triggers” every now and then, but all in all, she has done a good job in learning how to minimize their effects.  As you can imagine, sometimes this blog is one big trigger for her, but she manages it well for the most part, and it continues to be therapeutic for her in many ways.

For me, I feel that I have learned a tremendous amount about Linda, myself and relationships over the past 12 months.  I realize the emotional traits and character flaws in me that caused me to have the emotional affair. I was selfish, immature and irresponsible.  I have grown a lot over the last year and will continue to do so.

I need to continue to work on following the path to inner discovery; really understanding what makes Doug tick, and to grasp ways to continue to move in a positive direction both mentally and physically.

At the same time I must continue on the path I’m on as far as supplying Linda with what she needs to completely heal from my infidelity.  Patience, understanding, honesty, transparency, empathy, sympathy, loving, caring, helping, are just some of the components that come to mind.

Sometimes I need a little punch to the head to remind me that these are the highest priorities right now, and that everything else is of secondary importance. At the same time, I must remind myself that though I’m over the affair, Linda still has a ways to go to get over it.

It is amazing to me how I can know someone for over 30 years and take for granted many of her qualities and strengths, as well as her faults.

I always knew that Linda was talented, creative, giving, intelligent and a hell of a mother among many other things, but this past year has opened my eyes  and made me appreciate her more and the fact that she is a remarkable and strong woman with an innate ability to relate to other people and to truly and honestly help them with their problems.

She often says that she could be a great relationship coach and write a book, and I firmly believe that she should because she has so much to offer people in need of her expertise gained from her experiences.  So you may just see a coaching program and a book introduced at some point in the near future.

As for the future of this blog, we intend to continue blogging about our experiences and offering helpful resources as always, though perhaps a little less often.

With the kick-off of the Affair Recovery Group just a few weeks away, Linda and I, along with Jeff Murrah (visit his site) must create a ton of content for those who join.  There are only so many hours in the day, so we anticipate the need to cut back on the blog posts a bit.

The Affair Recovery Group is an exciting leap for us, as we plan on taking the recovery process to a new level, and with that we should gain new incite and knowledge along the way.

This group format will not only help the members involved a great deal, but us as well.  There is  real therapeutic value in researching, writing about, teaching and discussing various ideas and techniques to recovering from infidelity. We encourage any of you who are struggling with affair recovery to check out the Affair Recovery Group.

As the name of our blog suggest, it has been a journey this past year, and it’s a journey that is not yet complete.  As the saying goes this is a “marathon not a sprint.” Much like the marathon runner who trains hard every day for that tortuous race, we must also work hard everyday on our affair recovery so that one day we can actually look back on this and realize there can be much to gain from all the pain.

Thank you all once again for being a part of our lives!

 

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17 Responses to Our Emotional Affair Recovery One Year Later

  1. maryanna1962 December 16, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    Written from the heart Doug, well done ! Must get my H to read it tonight, sounds like he’s doing a lot of the things for me that you mentioned you are doing for Linda these past 10 months. He’s well over the affair lilke you as it happened over 2 years ago. I’m still like Linda in the “triggers” dept but I’m getting there slowly but surely some days surely and more days slowly but I’m getting there ! Have a great day !

  2. karen December 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Doug: Thanks for this post. My H and I are going to read it together tonight before we go to sleep. I wish you and Linda and Jeff the best as you start the Affair Recovery Group. I know this blog here has been a lifegiver to me after my H’s EA, and I am now reading many of the books Linda and you have recommended. My heart goes out to those on this blog whose cheater spouses are not giving them what they need to recover – I so hope they join your Affair Recovery Group. I also hope the cheaters trying to get out of the fog consider doing so also if they feel they can’t get out on their own as they need to figure out what allowed them to break their moral code and their marriage vows over a fantasy, albeit a great fantasy.

    For those like me that have a supportive cheater H (so far), I have chosen to at this time not join the group, mostly because I feel I would be unfairly taking a space that could benefit someone else. I do want to make a year-end donation to this site thought – but I can’t find the donate button I used before. Anyone want to join me???

    Thank you, Doug and Linda, from the bottom of my heart. Okay, I’m tearing up now. Back to work :)

    • Doug December 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

      Karen, Thank you for the kind words and the recommendation. I too think that many will benefit from the Affair Recovery Group. Also thank you for your generosity with the offer of a donation. I took the other button down as it was just taking up space. Click the following link to Paypal, and it should work. If not, let me know.

  3. AlmostOutofIt December 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    I would be happy to make a donation to the site – This site has been a tremendous help – from learning from others and just being able to talk about my own feelings.

    • Doug December 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

      AlmostOut of it, that is very kind and generous of you to offer. We used to have a donate button on the site, but I removed it a little while back. I think this link should work. If you don’t get a Paypal page that says EAJ, let me know.

    • karen December 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

      Almostoutofit: I knew there was a reason I wasn’t too harsh with you even though at times I would have like to have been. To me, this site, along with the recommended resources, is very helpful to both the betrayed and the cheaters – it’s like the first step in finally dealing with your
      marriage issues. You may need to use other resources, counseling, support groups, etc., but I feel what I’ve learned on this site, along with a spouse who is doing the right things so far after his EA, has given me the tools to reinvent my marriage, and I see it working day by day. I so wish the same for you and your W. I think many of us are very thankful for your candor and your willingness to listen and comment on our feedback on your affair. I know Doug appreciates you taking some of the heat off him, and all us BS’s strive to be like Linda (on her nontrigger days, of course.) Take care.

  4. mil December 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    With Christmas a week away, I have ‘snooped’ (can we ever stop??) in the place my H hides my gifts. He has bought me the most amazing card….’To my wife, the love of my life’ with the most fabulous verse. Every Christmas/birthday etc. he has bought beautiful cards but this surpasses them all. Am I still to believe he doesn’t want me as his soulmate/wife for life or is it just another ‘empty’ dream??

    • Doug December 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

      I certainly would take it as a good sign of his feelings for you.

      • ppl December 17, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

        its been more than a year for me. last two weeks events have really put thing in perspective for me. its not about infidelity but about not putting spouse as most important or at least most important after kids. wife went to england two weeks ago after death of grandmother (whom she was close to as young child but barely spoke since with exception of last year when she visited us for a month). she went to england for two weeks because she needed that much time to help with arrangements. almost every contact initiated by myself yet viewing by phone records she has been talking up a storm on phone. never called our children who are dealing with the first death in the family. today 6 hrs after the funeral was over, i called to remind her to call the kids to help include them (because of school they could not travel there). she told me that post funeral get together still going on and she would call them later. i can not imagine not sharing these events with those you care about the most. i have to assume she has already and myself and kids are not on the list. now it sounds selfish. she has lost her grandmother and is grieving. i dont fault her for her feelings and priorities. i just realize we are not one of those priorities and not top of her list for feelings. “those who care the least, have the most power in a relationship” i dont know who to attribute the quote to, but its true. its my aha moment. No going back. actions stronger than words. i plan to take the upper hand and not care anymore. a word to the wise, if your spouse doesnt think of you or kids first, dont think about them any longer.

  5. Jane December 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Very well written. I will reach the year mark on January 28, 2011 and I could have written much of what you did hear. Keep up the great work :)

  6. Donna December 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    Thanks for a great blog and sharing your past lives with us who are still going through the trauma and also your current lives with us. This blog has been my lifesaver in so many ways.

    I do have a question and I am not sure if this is the place to write it, but here goes anyway!

    My husband is a cheater.. he had an emotional affair. I think it has ended for now, who would know. I know physically it has, not sure if the contact has ended, what I do know is that the contact is getting less and less. Something has changed in our relationship, something is happening in my husband. He is more loving to me, more considerate, more fun again.. still a LONG way to go, but something is happening. I can feel it, just can’t really put my finger on it. He is staying at the house more and more and seems quite content, well he appears more content, inside it could be another story.

    Now my question… with Christmas so close, do i get him a gift? I don’t think he is gettingme one! I would love to get him something really meaningful, but don’t want to incase it makes him feel bad.. Any advice?

    • Doug December 20, 2010 at 8:00 am #

      Donna, it sounds like perhaps the “fog” is lifting. If you want to get him something for Christmas, then in my opinion, I would do so. You may want to tell him that you want to get him something, and that you don’t expect him to get you anything, and not to feel bad about it.

  7. DD December 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    These blogs have helped me a lot,this is my first time writing, it has been 7 months since D Day, we are working things out with my husband, he has taken on responsibility and is being very understanding. I have a positive attitude and because I decided to give him an and us an opportunity, I am going into it 100% otherwise I would have chosen not to continue with him.
    I look forward and try not to look back, I have 20 people who report to me at work, so I have to be professional and leave issues outside the door.
    By biggest challenge has been getting over this sadness and beleiving, beleiving it will not happen again and that he loves me.
    This has been his first and only time, we have been together for 24 years and we are both 43.
    Why is this sadness so overwhelming? why can’t I enjoy things anymore? why am I scared that if I give my 100% I’ll end getting hurt again? I wish I could just forget and even though I admit that it does get better each day with a lot of work and patience, still, it is so hard, I dream 2 or 3 times a week, with scenarios of infidelity, with him telling me that he doesn’t want me.
    I am ok with that if it’s what he wants, as I trully believe that the persoan who decides to share his life mine has to want me.
    Anyway, good luck everyone and Merry XMAS.

  8. maryanna1962 December 20, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    DD, we have all gone through a roller coaster of emotions since DDay but I think it appears like it is a normal process for all of us that have been betrayed. You will have good days and bad days and I know how you feel when you say you have to leave your personal life outside the work door thats difficult. Being positive and communicating with your H will help. When you get a chance you should read the earlier posts, they will surely help. Good Luck

  9. Joanna Wall December 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Thanks for a great blog and sharing your past lives with us who are still going through the trauma and also your current lives with us. This blog has been my lifesaver in so many ways. I do have a question and I am not sure if this is the place to write it, but here goes anyway! My husband is a cheater.. he had an emotional affair. I think it has ended for now, who would know. I know physically it has, not sure if the contact has ended, what I do know is that the contact is getting less and less. Something has changed in our relationship, something is happening in my husband. He is more loving to me, more considerate, more fun again.. still a LONG way to go, but something is happening. I can feel it, just can’t really put my finger on it. He is staying at the house more and more and seems quite content, well he appears more content, inside it could be another story. Now my question… with Christmas so close, do i get him a gift? I don’t think he is gettingme one! I would love to get him something really meaningful, but don’t want to incase it makes him feel bad.. Any advice?

  10. DDay Debbie March 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for this blog. We are 3 months out from dday, and I was just starting to get to a better place. So yesterday my husband (the cheater) was calling to let me know he would be late and as we finished the call I couldnt hang up right away, and he failed to hang up by accident. As I walked over to hang up the phone I heard him buzz a security gate and ask to be let in to see HER. Needless to say, I completely freaked out. I hung up and called him back and told what I heard and let him have it. He turned around and came back home right away and we had it out. His story is that he ran into her, and she mentioned a broken pool pump and he offered to stop by and have a look. He is begging and pleading offered everything and anything to get me not to leave, and continue to work at our marraige. He says he gets “it” now and seems remorseful. We are in therapy. I am so co dependendant I cant see clearly. I do love this man, and for 10 years he was a great husband, please, please help me.

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