Here’s a brief affair recovery success story from a reader that demonstrates that recovery doesn’t have to mean simply “surviving;” it can actually mean “thriving.”
There’s a tendency to think that recovering from an affair means simply being able to “survive” the experience and hopefully stabilize the marriage.
So, it can be a positive motivation to know that some couples go far beyond simply surviving, and actually create a better relationship than they had before this happened.
It’s helpful to realize that while no one would choose to go through this ordeal, it is possible to develop a stronger relationship if this crisis is used to develop a deeper connection based on responsible honesty.
When someone is in the early stages of dealing with the devastating emotional impact of a partner’s affair, it’s difficult to hear that it’s possible (with lots of time and effort by both people) to eventually come through this with a stronger marriage.
On the other hand, it can be helpful to understand that it’s possible for this to happen. Recovery doesn’t have to mean simply “surviving;” it can actually mean “thriving.”
We recently received an email from a reader, “Jim” sharing his affair recovery success story, that demonstrates this, along with the power of forgiveness:
Here is My Affair Recovery Success Story…
I’m not a great writer but I wanted to share my story in the hopes it might help others.
My wife and I have been married for 10 years and have 3 children together. One day she said, “I have love for you but am not in love with you.”
So, we decided to try marriage counseling, and actually it was going pretty well. Yes, I had my suspicions that she might be having an affair. I even searched her bags looking for condoms. Well, my intuition was right.
I came across a text message between my wife and her friend that said “I’m going to stop talking to ‘Mike’.” Right then my heart broke, my feelings went numb and I even threw up.
I immediately confronted her about the message. She said it was just a guy at work who she started talking to – and that they were “just friends.” Then it became much more.
It was an emotional affair for months, with some sexting and touching. The other guy felt uncomfortable and would not let it get sexual.
Slowly truths trickled out as time went on. I got all the details. She promised they did not sleep together. My wife did all the right things; she quit her job right away, she never blamed me – though she did blame me for problems in our marriage. She felt horrible and had remorse.
She knew my feelings and how hurt I was. I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t get the images out of my head. I even went on medication.
I wanted to know everything about affairs. I found Linda and Doug and read their emails every day. I clicked all their links. I had mental issues and I thought I would never get better. I also had sexual issues that caused ED.
But we worked it out.
I was beginning to forgive her and in some ways I was learning to trust her again. Then I had some medical issues that motivated her to tell me that she indeed had sexual intercourse – but with another man (not her friend she was texting).
I was broken. I was hurt. I could not focus. It was hard to be a parent. My sexual health was gone. I hated her. I was disappointed and disgusted. I vomited on a daily basis. I could not believe she could do this!
However, I still wanted to stay. I still loved my wife and I could see how she too was hurting. She was disgusted in herself even more. She wanted to tell me everything so badly, but as in most affairs, the truth trickled like water from a leaky faucet.
We stayed together because we loved each other. We decided that we had to be completely honest and transparent with each other going forward. Then came the hysterical bonding. We had sex – a lot. The passion was crazy.
As time passed and even more details came out, I wanted to know everything. But sometimes I wished I did not get the details, as they just intensified the images and thoughts of my wife in the arms of another man. And as soon as those thoughts calmed down, out came the triggers. Eventually my sexual desire went away as a result.
My wife was there for me through it all and even though I was angry with her – even hated her at times – I also was worried about her. She was going through a lot of pain as well. It got so bad she wanted to separate because she could not handle seeing me hurt. We did stay together and she supported me and was patient with me during the healing process. There were many ups and downs with plenty of doubt – and we made more than our share of mistakes along the way – but we managed to survive.
It’s only been about a year but my wife has proved to me that I can trust her and I am at a place where I have forgiven her. Yes, I still get triggers, but they go away. Our sex life is amazing and we are actually closer than ever.
This process has consisted of a lot of soul searching in order to find myself. The person I once was is gone forever. My wife is certainly not the same – and our marriage isn’t either. It’s all changed. We’re all changed.
But if any one reading this is wondering if there is hope, wondering if it will ever get better, or wondering where your life will ultimately end up… I will tell you that it gets better. It will calm. You will be alright.
Where your road takes you, I cannot say for certain, but I can tell you we made it. I’m stronger as a result of this whole thing. Our marriage is more powerful and more amazing than ever. Our connection and intimate knowledge of one another is unreal.
It takes hard work, understanding, forgiveness for yourself and for the betrayer – and even forgiveness for the other person. Forgiveness won’t erase the past or take it all away, but I can tell you it will make a better future.
Thanks Jim! – Please feel free to add a comment and/or share your affair recovery success story.