Healing from an affair
We hope you will join us on our continued journey to healing from an affair and rebuilding our marriage.

When we began this journey three years ago I was not prepared for the pain and work that would be involved to save our marriage.  I foolishly believed that once Doug ended his emotional affair everything would be fine.  We would continue on with our marriage and our life together and live happily ever after.

I can’t believe I was so naïve, thinking it would be that easy.

I honestly did not know that I was strong enough to battle these three years and come out with a relationship that is stronger, secure and gratifying as the marriage that Doug and I now share.

It took patience and work on both of our parts to make it as far as we have.  We have failed hundreds of times but have somehow managed to pull ourselves up and persevered.  I guess in many ways it shows the immense commitment we have to be together, which was something that was lacking previously in our marriage.

I feel that because we have experienced so much pain during this journey, and have realized what real love and commitment entails, I am not willing to settle for a marriage that is less than “perfect.”  In some ways I may come across sounding like a spoiled brat, but I feel we both deserve this kind of marriage and we will continue to do everything needed to accomplish it.

I have learned that this is not an easy task.  It entails knowledge, awareness and willingness on both partners to change in order to achieve this goal. I know that once you feel that you are in the best relationship you could possibly have, you cannot become comfortable. Just as life is not static, neither are relationships.  Hopefully, we continue to constantly change and grow and therefore we need to always be aware and communicate what our changing needs are.

So, where do we go from here?  What else do we need in order to continue healing from an affair and the rebuilding of our marriage?  What else do we need from each other? What goals do we have for our future and how are we going to obtain them?  How will we be aware of future issues and do we have the tools to deal with them?

See also  Our Exhausting Weekend

These are just some of the questions we will attempt to the answers for as we journey forward.

Two Kinds of Affair Recovery

I’ve come to learn that recovery takes two forms: there is personal recovery (healing) from the emotional impact of the experience—and then there’s rebuilding the marriage. These are two completely different kinds of recovery, and they can be applicable whether you are a betrayed spouse or a wayward spouse.

Some people who remain in the marriage heal very nicely and manage to overcome the damage along with re-committing to the relationship. But many others who stay married have a terrible time and may never recover emotionally. They spend the rest of their lives bitter, hurt and resentful, and the relationship is forever strained and distant at best.

The same is true for those who leave the relationship. Some make a good recovery and go on to form a more satisfying relationship with someone else. And some never recover, carrying the emotional burden with them into whatever relationships they have in the future—or perhaps even avoiding any future involvement in relationships altogether.

Obtaining personal recovery involves educating yourself as much as possible about the dynamics of affairs in general.  This can help to make the experience somewhat less personal – even though infidelity is an extremely personal issue.

Author Peggy Vaughan (“The Monogamy Myth”) states that…

Personal Recovery or “Healing” involves:

  • Accepting the fact that it happened
  • Understanding the complex reasons for affairs (not just “personal failure”)
  • Deliberately focusing on dealing with it and talking openly about what happened
  • Allowing time to heal
  • Believing it’s possible to recover

“Rebuilding the marriage” involves:

  • Being willing to answer your questions
  • Hanging in while you deal with the understandable emotions
  • Demonstrating a commitment to the relationship by severing contact with the other person

Note the difference in the two lists above:

  • “Healing” is about what you need to do
  • “Rebuilding the marriage” is about what your spouse needs to do

By learning as much as you can about affairs, it helps you to gain enough perspective so that you might be able to have a more rational understanding of the experience to counteract the strong emotional reactions that can dominate your life.

See also  Emotional Healing from Painful Memories

By actively focusing on the subject you can take control of it instead of it controlling you.  Yet even if you can accomplish that, there is often a problem with applying everything that you’ve learned  to your own situation so that you can indeed fully recover.

The Journey to Complete Affair Recovery

This leads me to the changes that are about to take effect on our site with the addition of the Higher Healing member area and our converting the entire site to a member’s only model. (See this post for more explanation)

Our main focus for the Higher Healing area will be on the two different kinds of recovery:  healing and rebuilding the marriage.  For those who are ready for that journey, we hope that you will join us ($9.95 per month).

For those of you who may not be quite to that point in your recovery process, the 500 or so posts in our blog along with some additional content will be available for you as a Premium Member ($4.95 per month).  And for those of you who have just been introduced to this roller coaster world of infidelity, you may get a feel for things and find direction by becoming a Member (free).

When we decided to do this we wanted to make sure that the price points were such that most everyone could afford it – but don’t let that fool you.  There is a tremendous amount of content involved and we will be adding to it on a regular basis.

Also, as you may recall, we are offering Charter Memberships for all of our current readers where one can join for life for the price of just one month.  In other words, a lifetime charter membership for the Higher Healing area is just $9.95 and $4.95 for the Premium Membership – and you never pay another dime.

See also  Remembering the History of a Marriage

In the meantime, the plan is to convert everything over by this coming Monday morning.  It will be necessary to shut the site down on Sunday for Doug to be able to configure everything, so we apologize for that, but he has to do it so everything isn’t a jumbled mess.

Since he is not exactly a computer wiz ;), if something should go wrong and we have to postpone things, we will let you know.

We will send everyone who is on one of our mailing lists an email offering the Charter Membership.  So if you are interested in continuing your journey to  total affair recovery – and saving some money – then it is imperative that you sign up for our list by entering your email address below before Monday morning at 9:00AM Eastern.  If you are already on one of our list there is no need to enter your name below.

The email we send out on Monday will have all the details of the new membership area.

Thanks for your patience as we make this conversion and we really look forward to this new direction in our journey.   Thank you all for everything!


    19 replies to "My Journey to Healing and Rebuilding Our Marriage"

    • Healing Mark

      Wow. Powerful statements as follows: “Some people who remain in the marriage heal very nicely and manage to overcome the damage along with re-committing to the relationship. But many others who stay married have a terrible time and may never recover emotionally. They spend the rest of their lives bitter, hurt, and resentful, and the relationship is forever strained and distant at best.”.

      Doug and Linda. Thank you so much for all that you have done and will likely continue to do to provide information and guidance for persons who are trying their best to avoid becoming the second type of person you describe above.

      • Doug

        HM, Thanks! We also appreciate all of your contributions and I am positive that you have also helped many, many people along the way.

      • Shannyn

        Just wanted to let everyone know that I came across this website yesterday. It is the best source of info by far. Great job!

    • Ifeelsodumb

      Looking forward to the new format…and thanks for the charter membership offer 🙂

    • Paula

      Linda, all beautifully put, with your usual poise and grace, thank you for those gifts to us all. One of the things that stands out in this post for me, other than what HM has stated above, about not wanting to get stuck, and therefore bitter, which I was aware of from day one, I was struck by the line from Peggy Vaughan about personal recovery, that there has to be belief that healing can occur. I have really struggled with that, despite knowing full well that this was absolutely necessary, together or alone. As time marches on, and you are still struggling with believing that you will ever feel whole again, paradoxically, the further you travel down the path (in time terms) those goalposts move further and further from you. The human mind can be a very difficult thing to gain control of!

    • Patsy50

      Just a Thank You, Linda and Doug for helping me with the information I needed to get my own marriage back on track.
      I am happy to say, my husband and I are one of those people who remain in the marriage, healed and still healing very nicely and have managed to overcome the damage done along the way.
      I am looking forward to your higher healing.

      • Doug

        Patsy50, That is great to hear that your marriage is back on track. Perhaps in the Higher healing area you can share more of how you were so successful in doing so. Maybe we can chat at some point. Thanks for being a part of this community!

    • on the edge

      I have been following your posts for 8 months now and i want to thank you all for opening up and sharing your stories and insight. This is my first comment. It has been 8 moths since dday. I am now at a crossroads as to weather to continue my marriage or walk away. It took my husband 4 months to really apologize for having an emotional affair with a co-worker. Prior to that he would say he was sorry for hurting me but not for finding someone that made him happy. All that i have asked for is for him to verbally express his feelings for me and to make me feel wanted and important in his life. The most he has been capable up until then was to give me a hug and tell me he loved me but that he had no idea what that meant. Now 8 months in he is telling me that he doesn’t know what he wants any more and that i just let it be. How long should one wait? I am going crazy waiting for him to decide. Thanks for letting me vent.

      • Better

        Ontheedge-I struggled with the same issues with my H. It took my H 10 months to tell me he was 100% back in love with me. He would say it once in a while (only when he felt that way at the moment) It killed me, and wore on my already fragile emotions. I too felt like “why bother staying anymore?”

        When I was finially ready to give up he told me he was head over heals for me again. It made me happy, but, it didnt take away the pain of the EA. Time, time, time…….. You just need to wait and see. If hes saying he loves you (even if hes not sure right now) thats a good sign that hes comming around to getting his head out of the fog. If you love him you need to be paitent.

        For me it seemed to help when I pulled away from him a little bit (emotionally) and had the “whatever” attitude. H would always come around eventually.

        I wish you the best!

        • On the edge

          Thank you for your encouragement. I know that patience is the key with my H. I have tried pulling away a little bit but if I do not respond to his “I love you’s” then he becomes irritated and simply offers me nothing instead. He believes that if he says it I should take it to mean that he truly loves me, even though he admits that he has no feelings for me. very confusing and hurtful:( I suppose that only time will tell…

      • Disappointed

        We are 6 months out and my H has said that he is sorry he hurt and betrayed me, that I did not deserve it. But he is not sorry for the feelings he had, that she awakened him from his deadness in his life and he will be forever grateful. I do not think I will ever get a real apology. I guess we both have to decide if we can accept the lack of true remorse as much as it hurts. He is telling me he feels dead again and I fear a relapse or new distraction. He sees himself as a superior being surrounded by others, including me, that dont evolve. Makes me tired with the rationalizations for bad behavior. All we can do is allow time to heal and reveal what is best for us. I will follow my gut. It will know if and when it is time to give up.

    • DJ

      I’ll be joining the higher learning group, too. Looking forward to it!

    • Lynsey

      Doug & Linda, your website has been my saving grace in getting through my H’s EA. Like you, Linda, I have a strong need for information and learning about affairs. This site is a wealth of information and resources, and such a supportive community. I didn’t feel so alone because of you all. Thank you. I will definitely join your higher heeling group. My H and I still have a very long way to go, but because of you, I know we can get there!

    • nw

      I do not know how I will heal or how we will rebuild our marriage. My response when we try to talk is always to end in tears and my OH now doesn’t want to talk at all. His view is that, after three months, we have covered everything and that all we are now doing is going over things and he can’t stand to see me hurt over and over again. I find trying to keep my emotions to myself hurtful too, I just don’t know where we go with this. He loves me and wants to be with me but is suffering pain of his own having been very unhappy in our relationship for a long time. We both find the language of the books and sites we access very difficult to handle with words like ‘betrayed’ causing an immediate defensive response in him.
      It is always good to read of others’ healing journeys – but I am not convinced that I can heal at all, or that our marriage can be rebuilt which is very sad because we love each other so much.

    • Anita

      Forgiveness with time and healing does mend the wounds
      of our past. I can only speak for myself so my experience
      may be different then others on here.
      I have learned that forgiving others is the most essential key to healing. By forgiving we no longer have to carry the
      baggage of unforgiveness. It frees us to move foward with
      our own lives and leaves behind the wrongs of others, so
      were not carrying the past with us everyday, instead were
      free to live in the present, and live the life God intended us
      to have.
      The past is over and shouldn’t be carried into the present
      or future.

    • Hopeful

      Thanks for helping me through the rough patches where our counselor fell short. I’m looking forward to the new site.

    • melissa

      Brilliant post, thank you.

    • Shela

      I just found your site yesterday evening and have spent many hours reading. I just want to say thank you! God has truly blessed you with the ability to reach thousands in the same circumstance as you were both in. I just discovered in December, thank The Lord it was soon into the EA, that my husband was in an EA with a co-worker. I have bent over backwards to make things better yet he is still not wanting to end the, as he says “friendship”. It’s tough to hear, he says their communication has slowed down and what they talk about is far different than before, and that they have been “friends” for years, but I don’t care about that…… I don’t want him to have any communication. I realize I am a big part of why this happened but I am committed to do whatever it takes, except compromising on this. I have felt bad about wanting to snoop on his phone and tablet, but after reading some things on your site I will be insisting I have his passwords. Again thank you! I am determined to have a stronger marriage than ever.

      • Doug

        Hi Shela and welcome! Stay strong and stick to your guns!

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