affair recovery
Here is a fantastic affair recovery story that will inspire and encourage you.

Some of the best information that lives on this site comes from the various readers who comment on the blog or share information in the Higher Healing forum.  This past week while we were away on vacation, one of our long-time readers (“E”) wrote an inspiring post sharing her story and her thoughts on affair recovery.  Her story has a happy ending as she and her husband recently renewed their wedding vows!  We got her permission to share her story with the rest of you, so please read on!

This first part was a post “E” wrote a few weeks back in our Success Story section of the forum.

“I really do want to write a success story to encourage others but I admit that I have been hesitant. I think there is still some fear in me about calling this a success, and because there is still so much work to do on mine and my H’s recovery both personally and for our marriage.

Also, this is still fairly recent history for me … a little over a year from Dday #1, followed by a few more.  I heard the “I don’t know what I want” followed by “I want you and our marriage.”  I also heard “I’ll move out for a few weeks to clear my head,” but he never left.  The OW wanted my husband and my life.

Last summer I was ready to file for a divorce, and prepared myself again in the fall.  I made it very clear that I didn’t want this, but I could no longer be married to a man who could not break away from the OW.

When Dday #4 happened, I could not wait around anymore for him to leave – he had proven that he wouldn’t.  I could not wait around for him to end his contact with OW – he had proven that he wouldn’t.  This is when I left.

Someone had to take a step to end this nightmare and it was obvious that no one else was going to do it.  After all of this hell – I was still holding on to a slight hope of saving my marriage, but had accepted that it was likely over.  I had begun preparing myself for a new life and let him go.  This is when things finally changed.

My H is no longer telling me to move on and get over it.  He is understanding and patient when we discuss the affair, which is getting less often.  I can feel that my H has fallen back in love with me and that has had a huge impact on my healing.  When we passed the 1st anniversary of Dday #1, I decided to view that day as the beginning of our recovery.

The pain is overwhelming when you have been betrayed by a person who is supposed to be the one person that you can totally depend on and trust.   It does not go away easily or quickly.

The work it takes to recover personally and for your marriage is overwhelming and often feels like it is not worth it.

Sometimes just doing the next thing can help the recovery process (this could be just a matter of taking the next breath!).  This is where time comes in – recovery takes time and you have to be willing to let time pass.

I am still recovering.  My marriage is still recovering.  But I am extremely hopeful and it wasn’t long ago that I was without hope.

All of this had me thinking are we ever done working on our marriage or ourselves?  I think the answer for me is going to be No, and I’ve decided that is a good thing.  This realization for me is also a success.”

This next part was written by “E” just last week

Final Thoughts

“I would not want to go back to the marriage I had.  My husband and I are closer and our relationship is stronger than it has ever been.  We both made mistakes and we both neglected the other.  My husband made the choice to break his vows by having an affair and it was like my eyes opened to the fact that my life was not at all as I thought.

The pain and heartbreak was unbearable.  Being betrayed by the one person who is supposed to be your partner in life and the person you should be able to trust with your life has without a doubt been the most horrible experience of my life.

I am so very thankful that a year and a half ago I came across this website.  Prior to knowing for certain that my husband was having an affair I began my relentless pursuit of research to get my hands on anything that could help me win my husband back because I knew that I was losing him to something or … someone.

It took me a while but I finally was strong enough to say “enough is enough”.  I knew in my heart that I loved him and knew I wanted to save my marriage, but I decided that I needed to let my husband go.

I had resolved to begin a new life for myself, but there was still a part of me that held onto hope for us.  The strength I finally found inside myself to let him go came with help from friends, family, this site and the people here, but most of all from God.  My faith grew through all of this because I felt like it was all I had.

Forgiving my husband came easy for me. I’ve always thought of myself as a forgiving person.  I believe God wants us to forgive others after all, we are all human and we all fall short.  God made us that way.   I would forgive my husband again today if he went back to her – although I would not stay married to him.

I have learned so much through all of this and there are so many things I would say to someone who was in the midst of a spouse’s affair today.   A marriage can not only survive this turmoil but it can be better and stronger.  In my opinion – both parties have to desire to save the marriage, and both parties have to do the hard work.

The CS has to be transparent, abide by no contact, be willing to be open and honest and to talk about not only the affair but their own personal shortcomings, be truly remorseful, do the things that are requested of them by the BS, suffer through the shame and guilt, apologize – over and over and over again, develop boundaries with their opposite sex friends at work, etc., re-commit to the marriage, commit to re-building the relationship and meeting the emotional needs of their spouse.

The BS has to accept that the affair happened, decide what they need to know and what they don’t need to know about the affair, let their spouse know that they expect certain things to be done in relation to their dealings with OP, accept the fact that the relationship had weaknesses prior to the affair, they need to understand that somewhere along the line their CS’s needs were likely not being met within the marriage.

The BS needs to keep going, day after day and through the pain even though it feels sometimes like it’s not worth it, like it would be so much easier to leave.  In my opinion the BS needs to forgive, the BS needs to move on and the BS needs to eventually let go of holding a grudge over the head of the CS, because in my opinion that is no way to live and no way to rebuild a marriage and for me personally, that would not be the kind of marriage worth having. I believe love is a choice.  I also believe giving someone forgiveness is a choice.

So, I am writing today I suppose to finalize my success story.  I’ve been encouraged recently by others who have taken the step of no longer being a part of this site or at least not visiting as often. I expect that I will still visit here occasionally to check in and am subscribed to any new postings on this topic, but I have been visiting less and less recently.

As I told my counselor a few weeks ago at my last and final visit with her – I need to end this chapter of my life and not allow it to consume so much of “who I am” anymore.  My husband did a horrible thing, but it was something he did – it is not “who he is”.  My husband is no longer my CS, he is my husband.  I am no longer the BS, I am his wife.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I renewed our vows and the tears that flowed down my husband’s face were evidence again that he hurts from causing the pain that he did and is grateful for my forgiveness.    All of the suffering, pain and hard work was worth it.

My heart will always go out to any betrayed spouse and my prayer will be that anyone who wants to save a marriage can do so.  I am thankful for this site, for Doug and Linda, and for all of you who will always hold a special place in my heart and in my thoughts and I wish you all the very best.”

Hopefully you have found “E”s story to be inspirational and encouraging. We love affair recovery stories like this and even though “E” may never return to our site again, it’s great to know that she leaves as a survivor and she is happy!

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    12 replies to "A Reader’s Final Thoughts on Her Affair Recovery"

    • Healing Mark

      E. So happy for you, and thanks for being able to express so well what many other BS’s have and are experiencing. So much of what you have described has been similarly experienced by me and my wife. To all, read and re-read what E has written and take it to heart. With time and in combination with other factors described by E, the hell that is discovering your spouse’s affair can end and your life, while certainly different than it was before, can return to being one that you look forward to living each day.

      I especially like the parts about giving up any grudge you feel against the CS and about at some point no longer being the CS or BS, but instead you are only the husband and the wife. Hard to imagine having a satisfying relationship with someone who is constantly holding over your head the fact that you had an affair. I recognize that many BS’s post about the CS having brought about the negative consequences following affair discovery and having no right to insist on anything other than what the BS feels like “dishing out”. And to the extent that dealing with emotions of the BS as a part of affair recovery is exactly that, I agree with such posts. However, at some point insisting that the CS deal with anything that the BS wants them to deal with becomes detrimental to recovery and damaging to the relationship that the parties should be working to establish post-affair discovery. At least that is my opinion, and imagine that others, like E, share as well.

    • Battleborn

      I am happy for E. I am happy for her husband. What I find amazing or perhaps sad, is the lack of responses when someone writes happy endings.

      We are all here for one thing, to get ourselves through a massively destructive, life changing occurrence and happy endings are very few and far between. We should be rejoicing in E’s happiness.

      I may get a lot of comments here, but it is my opinion that
      if you are not happy or just beginning this horrible experience, you should not respond here. This is a wonderful thing that has happened and to put a damper on it just doesn’t seem right. You can talk about your experiences on another post, but this is a significant post that E has shared.

    • Battleborn

      Oops forgot this part. And no, Healing Mark, I wasn’t referring to your response. I was referring to several other responses on happy messages from the past two weeks. Just a pre-emptive strike.

      • Healing Mark

        Battleborn. I understood your message, and a good suggestion at that. I like to think that there are more happy endings than there seem to be based on the posts on this site. Sure, some relationships are headed for endings regardless of the discovery of an affair, and it’s a shame that the CS’s in that case are not man or woman enough (or decent enough) to at least begin the process of ending their existing relationship before starting a new one with what would then not be an affair partner. But I suppose that takes away a bit of the excitement attendant to the new relationship. And since so many of those coming to this site are at stages of recovery that many steps short of the proverbial happy ending (Lord knows I was like this for quite a long period of time, and would have then read E’s post and thought to myself “Can that really be true?”), what they post will, of course, not reflect much happiness. What I have gotten the most benefit from here is reading posts from BS’s who have successfully navigated the recovery process in which they share what did and did not work for them and their CS’s, what aspects of the “process” were more difficult for them than others, and what good and bad things their CS’s did or did not do along the way. Hasn’t meant, of course, that I followed or agreed with everything I read, or had similar experiences/hurdles, but it meant so much to me at times to see that others were struggling with things that I struggled with (Hey! I’m not crazy!), and to see that others had, over time, put affairs behind them and moved on to a happier life and apparently healthier relationships with their CS’s.

    • CA

      What a great story with a wonderful ending. I have just passed the one year mark from D day and am in a very similarly good place. I also am trying to spend less time here and focusing on all the good that we have right now.

      After a year of healing, with my husband doing as much work at making things right as myself, I am really ready to focus only on our wonderful love, friendship, and life. My husband is the love of my life and he made a mistake…a terrible mistake that took us down for quite a while. He has done soooo much to make it better and we are getting ready to celebrate our 30th anniversary. When I say celebrate, I really mean celebrate. Life is short and precious and I am ready to live it to the fullest with the best man I have ever known.

      • Battleborn

        CA,
        That is such a good thing to hear and read. I commend you not coming here too often. It isn’t that we haven’t appreciated all you have done, it’s purely because I am happy for you and your husband. May you two continue to find bliss in your coming years and this be a distant memory.

    • Anne

      E and CA, I am with you. I am so proud of the work we’ve done and the tremendous progress we’ve made. We’re also over a year past dday, which is when I believe our recovery began, but there were many other painful days as other shoes dropped. We just celebrated our anniversary and it was truly a celebration. I don’t want this affair to define me, my husband or my marriage. As helpful as this site has been, I find that I visit less and less. At a certain point, recovery isn’t about understanding the mechanics of infidelity (the whys and hows), it’s about understanding yourself and how you will move forward. He did something horribly hurtful and destructive, and he has taken responsibility for it and has used it as an opportunity to figure out what was happening within himself. I’ve done the same. As the saying goes, it’s not the mistake, it’s how you solve it. I’m proud to be married to a man who is capable of self reflection and change. And I’m proud to be the kind of woman capable of growth and forgiveness. We’ve both changed (for the better), and are happier as a result–individually and as a couple.

      Thanks for sharing your successes. E, your message was perfectly phrased.

    • tsd

      I am so happy for her…but even happier for her husband….he was given a gift, a beautiful gift and has risen to becoming a better man, a lucky man…I wish her happiness in all that she seeks…a life that is rich and full…and I’m grateful we were able to witness this as hope for all of us….brava!!!!!

    • Patsy50

      I wish you continued happiness E. So very well said.

    • Anita

      E,
      Congratulations on your renewed vows.
      I do hope you stop in time to time, and help others who are experiencing the heartache of an affair.
      You have the knowledge of what it takes to help a marriage survive an affair, and to be happily married.
      In my case the only advise I could give was to forgive, and
      put the past behind. However since I’m divorced and waitng for my annulment to see if its granted or not. I can’t
      offer advice in how to save a marraige and be happy.
      The advise I can offer is how to find happiness peace and
      joy after a divorce, which is a different path then saving
      a marriage and finding happiness peace and joy.
      You and others who have survived an affair would be a great inspiration to those who now are suffering from the
      heartache of an affair. This site is a good site, and Doug and Linda and your efforts are greatly appreciated by many others. However now you have couples who survived an
      affair and have found happiness again, who could be
      a great inspiration for others.

    • chiffchaff

      so great to read another success story, all the best to E and her lucky H.

    • kim

      I came across your posting as I sat here at work obsessing about the affair and the OW. Thank you so much for being so honest…..it helped me to read your story. I found out about the affair 5 months ago. The whole horrific incident was made worse by the OW who posted pictures of them kissing on facebook and called me to tell me all the intimate times they had spent together…. I was at an emotional breaking point. I had been married for a decade and had a beautiful 10 year old boy. My husband said he was 100% committed to working on the marriage and stopped all contact with the OC. He has listened to me scream, cry and ask he a million questions and even gave me access to all his passwords when I went through my detective phase. I see my part in our marriage falling apart. I still believe in him and us and am trying to make it work but it can be so hard sometimes. How do I let it go?????? I don’t know how….k

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