Mended is a genuine story of restoration and grace that opens a window into the lives of an ordinary family with an astonishing account of their personal recovery from infidelity.

By Sarah P.

Mended
Tiffany and Rick Bulman~ Authors of the award-winning book Mended

It is an unusual experience to unearth one of the uncommon gems in the infidelity recovery genre: a book written by a betrayed husband.

However, it is extraordinary to have the opportunity to gain insight into how a mother’s infidelity affected the entire family system as well as an entire community.

In their book, Mended, Rick and Tiffany Bulman had the courageousness to give the world a peek into what happens behind closed doors when infidelity levels a marriage.

The two outline their story in their newly released and award-winning book, Mended, One couple’s journey from betrayal to imperfect beauty. 

Mended is a genuine story of restoration and grace that opens a window into the lives of an ordinary family with an astonishing account of their personal recovery from infidelity. 

Mended is a perceptive and highly relatable account of the Bulman family’s miraculous marital restoration. This book does not skirt any serious issues, but instead courageously explores the destructiveness of infidelity and its resulting pain. 

The story of Tiffany’s gut-wrenching betrayal is relatable to all families who have suffered in the wake of infidelity. The eventual restoration of their marriage is awe-inspiring and nothing short of miraculous.

Rick and Tiffany, are my heroes because they have fearlessly opened their hearts to the world by sharing their personal experience of tragedy, loss, forgiveness, and redemption.

In the past year, we have noticed many betrayed men reaching out to us for material that resonates with them. I have decided to review this book because it will certainly resonate with men. However, Mended has another important and often overlooked aspect: it describes how the children within the family were affected by their mom’s affair.

Mended – The Journey of a Thousand Steps

Mended, One couple's journey from betrayal to imperfect beauty
Rick and Tiffany Bulman have been married for over 26 years. They have four children: Kaleb (25), Joshua (23), Jared (21), and Faith (18).

Affairs do not occur in a vacuum. No one wakes up one day and decides they want to have an affair. I have often referred to infidelity as the journey of a thousand steps and Rick and Tiffany’s story follows this pattern.

However, from the outside looking in, Rick and Tiffany Bulman seemed to have the perfect marriage. But, life appeared to be even better than that: the way Rick and Tiffany began their journey together is the substance of which fairy tales are made.

In his early 20’s, Rick was sitting in the audience of a new church he had started to attend. Rick noticed a singularly stunning dark-haired woman, who sang with the voice of an angel. As he watched her singing worship music on the stage, it was love at first sight.

Little did Rick know that the angelic and sapphire-eyed brunette, Tiffany, had also noticed Rick in the audience.

Tiffany wanted to meet this intriguing stranger who stood out from the rest of the audience, just as much as Rick wanted to meet her.

That was the day their destiny was sealed. After the church service ended, Tiffany’s friend and fellow singer introduced Tiffany and Rick.

There was a year when they parted ways due to Tiffany’s college location. But, a year later, they met up again and began dating immediately.

That was the first day of the rest of their lives.

Rick could not wait any longer to make the stunning, kind, and wise Tiffany his bride. Tiffany and Rick were engaged within four months of meeting each other. They had a lovely wedding and as most of us do, they started life with high expectations.

But, soon Rick and Tiffany came face-to-face with real life: work, children, and different expectations of what it meant to be a family drove a rift between the two. In their marriage, the metaphorical perfect storm was brewing and then hit land:

Rick fell into patterns that all of us can fall into; he metaphorically became married to his career and this caused his wife, Tiffany, to feel as if she was always competing for his attention. This drove a larger fissure between Rick and Tiffany that also affected their children. Since Rick was always at work, Tiffany quite often felt like a single parent, left to raise four young children on her own.

Then the day came that would forever alter the course of the Bulman’s life: D-Day. Rick’s D-Day occurred precisely on December 26, 2013, at 10:42 PM.

Tiffany had been having a 3-year-long affair with her best friend’s husband. This astonishing and heart-breaking information sent shock waves through their family and their marriage of 20 years. Since Rick was pastoring at a church in Bellingham, Washington, this news laid ruin to all: Rick, their kids, their extended family, and their church family. Rick relayed the following about his experience:

“For the last few years, I knew that the relationship between Tiffany and me seemed a little more volatile or strained than normal, but it seemed to me to be typical married seasonal stress. I had moved our family and started a new job. I genuinely believed the tension would smooth out soon. Because sex was great and frequent, and we still had times of laughter together, I truly felt blindsided by the news.” (Mended, pg. 69)

Like nearly all cases of infidelity, Tiffany’s affair took on a life of its own. Immediately after hearing the news, Rick stepped down from his role as pastor. Then, Rick had to bring Tiffany’s indiscretion before the board of the church to which he ministered.

What surprised me about the board’s reaction were the stereotypes that surround all affairs:

  • “Rick how could you have not known something was off with your marriage?”
  • “How could you be fooled by her betrayal?”
  • “How could Tiffany have led worship yet lived a life of duplicity?” (pg. 103)

For us betrayed spouses, we know questions like this very well. We are asked how an affair flew under our radar. We are asked how our spouse could lead a double life. Yet, we too are left wondering the same things:

  • Who is this person I am married to?
  • Why didn’t I see what was apparently under my nose?
  • How can such a good, upstanding citizen cheat on me?

We all know these questions well. Research has shown these are pervasive stereotypes that exist in all cultures, religions, and within the secular world. Indeed, no group is safe from betrayal or the stereotypical belief systems about betrayal.

A Brave Family

One of the things that I admire about Tiffany and Rick Bulman is the utter transparency with which they approached everyone around them, including their children.

It’s a tragedy sexual stimulation outside of marriage is more important than keeping the family foundation intact; it is the children who are often hurt the most.

The affect that infidelity has on children is not something that many partners are tuned into. Yet, Rick and Tiffany knew the affect that their family’s season of turmoil had on their children, so they addressed it head on.

Kate Figes noted, “Look around today and in many ways modern parents have never been so tuned into their children’s needs. They know that to thrive, children require enough sleep, additive-free food, and stimulation through the best educational toys, sports, music and after-school activities.

Yet, all too often, parents fail to provide what their offspring need most: a constructive and loving relationship between the only two parents a child will ever have.

Over the past three years, I’ve interviewed experts and talked to dozens of men and women who have experienced (or are still having) affairs. What resonated most for me was the emotional fall-out on the young.

There’s something badly wrong with society when we put our entitlement to sexual stimulation and release above the needs of our children. If we then rush into a separation or divorce, we fail them at least as much as we fail ourselves. 

Jean Duncombe, a sociologist who has conducted extensive research on the subject, says: ‘I’m puritanical when someone tells me they’re having an affair — because of the work we’ve done on the impact of divorce on the children.

‘If people say to me that the children don’t know, I say: “Are you sure?” or “Think about what you’re doing to the children” — and I never would have said that 20 years ago.’

For parents who have affairs are not only lying to their partners, they are often deceiving themselves about the impact their infidelity can have on their offspring.” (2)

Rick and Tiffany worked through the affair alongside their children. One of the most important parts of their book is that each child in their family was given a voice. Each of their children has their own chapter and was given the opportunity to honestly convey how how they were affected. Giving children the opportunity to convey their emotions about a parent’s infidelity is a game-changer.

Forgiveness

Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts. – Cicero

Forgiveness is for the brave-hearted, the resilient, and the unshakable. However, forgiveness is even more so for the shattered. Forgiveness has the ability to become a paradoxical tool for healing; to locate and to pull the your broken pieces and cobble them together again.

Infidelity is a betrayal that can shake your very core. It can sometimes make you your ability to love again. Forgiveness can seem like an meaningless word when you are hurting. Nonetheless, when you forgive, you give yourself the freedom to leave the past thoughts and actions that are no longer helpful and build a new future.

When Rick was brought to his knees and shattered by grief, the following Christ-inspired thought came during prayer. God told Rick:

“You provide the heart; I’ll provide the miracle.” Rick clung to this idea during the recovery phase of his marriage.

Rick and his family certainly got their miracle.

Mended

Where are Rick and Tiffany now?  Well they are in a good place and they have found themselves experiencing the same positive paradox that others have reported after recovering from infidelity.

The good news is that Rick and Tiffany fought for their marriage and wrote a best-selling book.

Rick mentioned, “We finally have the marriage we always wanted. Our kids have all gotten counseling, and everyone is doing great. We even still talk about what happened. We do not speak about this a lot these days, but it’s not a forbidden topic in our household. Instead of running from the pain or sweeping what happened under the rug, we decided to be open and talkative with our children. Our children knew what happened and understood what adultery was. Continuing to have open dialogues within our family unit has been surprisingly healing.” (1)

However, before Rick and Tiffany got to this point, they heavily and actively  invested in repairing their marriage. Through the help of Drs. Ted and Diane Roberts, Rick and Tiffany found their way back to a loving, healthy marriage. 

Indeed, Rick and Tiffany have been through the proverbial trial fire. Yet, they feel called to return. Instead of getting through it by ignoring infidelity around them, they have felt called to grab buckets of metaphorical emotional water for those experiencing the same trials.

Sources:

www.rickandtiffany.com

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2313246/How-ruin-childs-chance-happy-love-life-Have-affair–damage-WORSE-older-stray.html

Links:

Rick has been in the ministry community for over 25 years while having seasons of secular work. Rick and Tiffany are also making their mess into their message by traveling and doing conferences, retreats, and other inspirational talks. Tiffany and Rick provide seminars and marriage coaching to couples of all backgrounds. If you would like to buy their book, kindly take the time to visit Rick and Tiffany’s website.

Website: www.rickandtiffany.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mendedbook/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/getmendednow/

 

    45 replies to "What Happens When Mom Has an Affair: A Review of the Book Mended"

    • Exercisegrace

      M husband was also a workaholic, leaving me a functionally single parent to our four kids. If you looked at our situation objectively, you would guess that I was the one who had the most “reasons” to cheat. Yet I didn’t, despite even having the opportunity. It ultimately comes down to character and attitude. I chose to be grateful that my husband worked so hard to provide for our family, and that I had the opportunity to be a stay at home wife and mother. Sure I had my moments, but overall I chose to see him through a lens of thankfulness.

      I have come to believe that people who are capable of cheating are missing some core facet of character. There is a selfishness that is present that demands to be satisfied and ultimately they don’t care who they have to wreck to attain it. It trumps even the innate and fierce nurturing instinct that most mothers have to protect their children (if not the marriage and family) from harm, including the devastation of an affair.

      Even seven years out from d-day, having achieved a great deal of healing, I find phrases like “we finally have the marriage we always wanted” etc, to be very cringe-worthy. The marriage I always wanted was one where my husband valued it enough not to cheat. And one where permanent damage wasn’t done to our children. As we moved through therapy, we were lucky to have counselors who were careful not to pander to my husbands inner narcissist, and focus on “marital problems” as a reason for his poor life choices. Too often it seems that cheating spouses are more eager to move on to “making the marriage better” (read as …pander to me!!) and glaze over the part where they need to focus on themselves and how they could make choices that devastated everyone around them. To be clear, no marriage is perfect, no spouse is perfect, and there is always ALWAYS room to improve ourselves and improve our relationship. But the basis for that MUST be two healthy, grounded INDIVIDUALS who are committed more to the relationship than themselves.

      • Another One

        I agree with every word!

    • Sarah P.

      Hi EG,

      Big hugs to you. I know your story well and I agree with you.

      My review didn’t do the book justice. And I agree with you, cheating is a choice. No matter what.

      This book caught my eye because everyone in the family (even the children) wrote eyebrow-raising chapters on how the affair impacted them. I have never come across a book where an entire family bared their souls to the world. But, most of all I have never seen a book this extensive that is for betrayed husbands. This is more of a “hey we have something for men” review and a “hey even the children will tell you about their personal hell” review.

      EG, how are you doing these days? All okay?

      Double big hugs,
      Sarah

    • TryingHard

      Good for them that her poor, life changing choices are not a taboo subject in their home. That each, including the children, can openly discuss to sort it out. Not so for many of us. DDay was 8 years ago and any talk or reference is long ago and I’m pretty sure forgotten, AGAIN, by my h. He was and still is loathe to being reminded. I still read and learn about infidelity probably as a way to keep my eyes wide open to impending doom 🙄. I never want to be blind sided again. The hyper vigilance is no longer but just as someone who’s been hit by another car i still check intersections twice before crossing.

      For me DDay coincided with that book that came out My Husbands Affair was The best Thing That Happened to Me or some iteration of a title about one woman’s survival of her husbands affair. Cringe worthy indeed. Talk about making lemonade from lemons. Wow!! I’m pretty sure the proceeds from the book and their lectures helped to soften the betrayal. Big money making gig. Yeah that wouldn’t work for me because my husbands affair is most def NOT the best thing that happened to me no matter all the personal growth I’ve experienced since. I was pretty damn awesome before discovery 😊

      I don’t know how many betrayed husbands will gain anything from this book. I seems men take betrayal much more personally as well they should. I believe there’s a huge difference between the sexes with regards to cheating as has been written many times on this site But maybe it will help some men to not feel so alone with their thoughts on the experience.

    • Nearly Normal

      Hi, Sarah.

      As a Y-chrome, I need to say that I am thankful for sharing this rare gem. Appreciate the insights.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Nearly Normal,
        If you do read the book, I would like to have you post your thoughts. The book has complexity to it and I did a terrible job at conveying it.

        Sarah

        • Nearly Normal

          Hi, Sarah.

          If I do, it will not be anytime soon. I am getting creamed by the holiday season.

          Have a Merry Christmas, by the way.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Just like EG and TH I find the statement “We finally have the marriage we always wanted” cringe worthy as well. Not only did Tiffany betray her husband for three years she also betrayed her best friend.

      I understand being home with four children and being married to a hardworking husband who was also over involved in church activities. But to have a three year affair and to top it all off to have it with my best friend’s husband……wow. So nice that it’s all “mended now”!!! I wonder did the best friend get to write a chapter?

      There is a good chance that I will take the time to read the book but I feel several reservations just reading the review. I am interested in the children’s chapters. Even though I can see how perhaps some good can be found while working through the the pain of infidelity but in my opinion so much more was lost than was gained. Yes I found some strength I never knew I had. Yes It took courage to fight through the pain of the last six years but the scars are awfully deep and something very precious was lost. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it.

      • TryingHard

        SI— yes that would really be something if the best friend had written a chapter. I dont know why but i am much harder and judgmental on women who cheat. I guess as a woman I’m judging a fellow female after my own values. I know i shouldn’t and who am i to judge them because I’m sure they are judging me for staying with my cheater husband?!?

        Yeah i do t like all the I’m a better person because of this. Hhhmmm NO, no you’re not is my response to them

        • Sarah P.

          SI, Th, Eg,

          Yup I deserved this one. I should have just written a short FYI about the fact that a betrayed man has put himself out there along with his family. Also, there were many “walks of shame” for his wife through the book.

          Now as for the best friend writing his part of the story- yes that would be interesting indeed. But, in the book it comes through pretty clearly this was the type of guy that had many women on the side, not just Tiffany.
          I would imagine if the friend wrote a chapter, it would just be a list of random, female names. Or maybe it would be one blur of a name like amyjenabarbannakaren. I doubt there would be any insight.

          Yes, the kids chapters ARE valuable. For anyone out there who has kids, reading what the kids went through is interesting. I hold that the book adds much value to the affair recovery library. I don’t have to agree with choices made or relate to choices. I am as monogamous as the Alaska summer days are long. But I would say everyone could relate to the children’s ideas. If anyone has a dense spouse that thinks an affair did not affect the kids, this book shows otherwise. Affairs do affect kids. That’s probably going to be the most relevant part of the book for readers here.

          I will say one thing. I would not have the courage to write such a book. I am a coward in this way.

          How is everyone doing?

          Sarah

          • Shifting Impressions

            Sarah…..in your article you say that Tiffany cheated with HER BEST FRIEND’S HUSBAND. Is that correct? If so I would be interested in this betrayed friend’s story….not Tiffany’s other man’s story. Do I have this wrong? Because if she did cheat with her best friends husband I imagine there is another whole family that has been shattered.

          • TryingHard

            Hi Sarah–I wasn’t implying you gave a bad review or recommendation with regards to the book. Also it’s good that there is reference from the males POV.

            I am skeptical of those who write these books and are making money off someone else’s heartache. I’ve been through the same stuff these folks have been through and I in NO way feel qualified to write a book about it. Frankly I’d be too embarrassed to. So yeah I don’t get it and I do think the $$$ are helping in their “healing” process.

            I too wasn’t interested in hearing from the AP. I would love to hear from the AP’s betrayed spouse AKA her former BFF. Wonder if she has a book in the works.

            So yeah I’ll just risk Satan getting me and say this chick did a double dirty deed. She cheated on her husband AND her best friend!! That’s her sin. No excuse me while I go finish off this can of Pringles because that’s my sin. JUDGE AWAY

            • Exercisegrace

              Sarah, I second what TH said. I do plan
              To read the book, because it’s rare to have the children’s’ viewpoints and very valuable. Cheaters across the board seem to think there is a magical shield that protects their kids from their crappy life choices. I know my kids will carry the damage done (on some level) for the rest of their lives. Studies have even shown that having a parent who cheated, DOUBLES a child’s likelihood to grow up and cheat in a relationship. Sad. I’m thankful that’s not on me, and I pray it never happens to my kiddos.

    • TheBrunetteinthesecondrow

      With each re-read of EG’s comments I find myself needing to respond.

      We are ALL missing some core facet of character. Your missing “facet” is different than Tiff’s, and both of yours and hers are different from mine! That’s why Jesus came, because we are a broken people in need of a Savior.

      You and I have both chosen to not cheat in entirely different circumstances than Mrs. Bulman. I don’t know that a round of applause is due either of us. Sin is sin. We both have other areas of brokenness where our sin is expressed and acted out differently. And, we are probably relieved that our personal sin isn’t as visible as Tiffany’s was. (1 John1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.) Yes, hers hurt others, but dollars to donuts you and I have both hurt others in various ways—let’s not pat ourselves on the back because we didn’t sin the way “she did”.

      As for the “cringe-worthy statement” of having the marriage they always wanted…the better marriage they have now is not *because* of the betrayal, hurt, devastation, but in spite of it as the result of redemption and hard work. I find nothing cringe-worthy about it. There are others intimately involved with the betrayal written about in Mended. Some are still working through the pain. I have known and loved EACH one of them. I am so grateful that at least these six people are advancing through healing. It’s been a choice and a hard one. I am grateful that the destruction Satan meant for all involved is being brought into the light in an effort to warn others from falling into the same trap. Redemption. It’s a grace word we need to be ready to encourage.

      As for the more recent statements about money making. Unless you’ve published a book you have no idea of the costs involved. I also have not seen any hint of “I’m a better person”. I have seen humility, brokenness, willingness to stand emotionally naked in front of others in an effort to prevent others from taking the same painful path. And, as for making assumptions about whether or not the best friend was offered a chapter…well, as my hubby has often stated “when we make assumptions we make an a$$ out of ourselves” because we usually are operating on imagination, not facts.

      I’m thankful this family is working at health and wholeness regardless of the past. I, for one, am willing to give them grace as they continue their journey and attempt to throw out a lifeline to others.

      • Shifting Impressions

        TheBrunetteinthesecondrow
        No assumptions were made regarding whether or not the best friend was offered a chapter but if my questioning makes me an Ass…..so be it. I just can’t help but wonder about her situation. I realize I have not read the book but was going off of my gut instinct from Sarah’s post. Also if something in the excerpts from the book made us cringe…..then again so be it. It’s not necessary to quote scripture judging us.

        You see many of us are not the ones sitting in the second row…..we have experienced first hand the devastation of infidelity. We are allowed to call a spade a spade.

        • TryingHard

          Woot woot SI!!! That goes double for me:)

          • Shifting Impressions

            TH….if you recall we are married to brothers…..we may as well be asses together Lol!!

            • TryingHard

              SI. Lol and indeed i do remember 😊. I don’t take moral lectures and presumptuous name calling to seriously from people like that commenter. Being an ass with people like my dear friends here puts me in good company. Happy Holidays to you my friends

            • Exercisegrace

              TH and SI…I will continue to “bray” along side my fellow asses, LOL. This is a journey I couldn’t have made without dear sisters like you guys. You are two of the finest ladies I have ever “met”. Just wish it could have been on a different type of discussion board, ha ha.

          • Shifting Impressions

            TH and EG….happy holidays to you as well. And I appreciate you both more than you know. The understanding and support over the last years has been amazing. Not to mention the humor…..nothing like a good laugh to get one through.

      • Exercisegrace

        Second row: be thankful you aren’t sitting front and center. Be thankful you get to observe this particular sh*tshow from an observers seat. Because it is devastation on a level like no other. Only people who have been betrayed can truly understand it. I applaud your love and support for your friends. Couples need people who are friends of the marriage.

        Next, there is no need to hop up into your internet pulpit. I am a Christian. I’m in my fifties and I have taught in women’s ministries for years, studied my bible, served on church boards at high levels, volunteered more hours than you can imagine. You may recall that adultery is a sin that is called out SPECIFICALLY and one of the very few reasons God gives to condone DIVORCE.

        Am I a sinner? Oh yes. Living in a fallen world and redeemed by His mighty grace. Missing character facet? LOL. Nah sis. Cheaters are in a league of their own. The selfishness, the brutality of their betrayal, their total disconnect from their spouse and children, the list goes on and on. God DOES see sin as SIN. He doesn’t weigh it, He doesn’t measure it. HOWEVER, I believe he understands our emotion, and the place of hurt we come from when WE DO. The key question is….do we stay in that place or do we fall on His unending love and grace to pull us up out of the mired pit?

        I take offense to your statement that you and I chose not to cheat ONLY because we weren’t put in Tiffany’s situation. Let me be clear. I will never say I am without sin. But I am not a cheater. Circumstances are IRRELEVANT. You either have integrity in this area or you DO NOT. You are either willing to throw your spouse and children under the wheels of an emotional Mack truck for your own perverse pleasures or you are not. To be even clearer, I understand the factors that go into driving cheaters. I know my husbands alcoholic father and emotionally bankrupt mother didn’t help set the stage for him to make mature decisions when life three is some curveballs.

        Every single precious friend here is on a journey of healing and forgiveness. Not a single one of us has ever claimed to be perfect. Not a single one of us has ever claimed to be without sin. But we have taken the moral high road. We have chosen to forgive what most would consider unforgivable. For that reason, I DO applaud my friends here. I DO pay them all on the back. They deserve it. You can’t jump into the middle of the play and think you’ve got the plot. It’s far more complex and layered than that. I’m glad you don’t find anything “cringeworthy”, but a marriage where someone has never dishonored God, exposed their spouse to sexually transmitted diseases and subjected their children to life-long psychological trauma is always a better marriage…….WHEN the would be cheater communicates their needs, seeks Godly counseling, and fixes things in a healthy productive way. We are ALL here trying to build a new and strong marriage from ashes. Kudos to your friends for trying to help others sidestep these horrors.

      • Soul mate

        Greetings Brunette,

        I hope you would also pray and can feel empathy for the betrayed folks commenting here on this website. You may not agree with the thoughts and feelings all of us share here as this is a place of sorrows and pain inflicted by those the Creator and others you believe have forgiven for being the cause. Others who have had thier lives infiltrated, abused, raped and betrayed by such disgusting behavior may still be working on forgiveness and that is between them and thier belief system and the people who betrayed them. The woman who committed adultery in this book also coveted her best friend’s husband and betrayed and raped her as well. We betrayed wives are definitely going to wonder about her best friend as she was the one who was doubly betrayed, both by her husband and her best friend. The best friend’s husbands philandering does not negate the betrayel from her best friend and her emotional healing, to us the betrayed means way more than a cheating wife and friend.

        Your comment sounds chastising and defensive. I’m very curious why that is……

    • Anon

      Why do people write that men take affairs more personally than women? I find this very hard to understand.

      Nor do I believe it to be true.

      • Nearly Normal

        I agree. I think it’s a myth.

      • TryingHard

        LOL I left off a very important word. They take the sexual affairs much more personally. Women take the emotional part personally and men it’s the sex. Not my opinion. Lots of research and empirical evidence to say so.

        • Sarah P.

          TH- Agreed. Women take affairs very personally. Didn’t the Great Bared Shakespeare say: “Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d, Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.” ?

          Nuff said!

    • Hopeful

      I have so many thoughts. I do like that this book has various perspectives especially the kids. And the AP/best friend would have been interesting. No matter how wrong it is what someone did they do have their perspective. Even if it is warped and off base. I never thought I would be that person but I can say 100% I hate what my husband did but we are closer than ever and our marriage is better than ever. This is not said with an everything is perfect now mindset or naive. But after going through the recovery process together it has brought us to a new, different and better place in our marriage. I will say I have not changed significantly. But my husband has and we both agree without him facing everything he did and the reasons why we would never be this close. He thinks it is sad we were married for so long, made the decisions he did and it took that for him to be where he is today. It is not how either of us would have chosen when we started dating and got married. But this is where we are and every day we make that choice. We still work though things, talk out a lot and his betrayals still come up. He still thinks about them every day. I watch to make sure his actions and words match. He has committed to live a life of authenticity and transparency. For this it has changed and given both of us the marriage we always wanted but did not have. He has said he almost destroyed us, himself, me and our family. He is 100% responsible and aware. The last thing is in our case I do believe if the roles were reversed and I cheated on my husband in the same scenario he would have been more devastated, taken it more personally, and less resilient. Granted he says he knows I would never do that to him. And he is right. At the core I do believe his personality is so different. I won’t go on and on and get into details but we are two very different people in this regard.

      • Sarah P.

        Hopeful,
        Do you have any specific things you and your husband changed in order to recover from the affair and have a better marriage? You have shared in the past what you have done, but do you have more to add?

        Sarah

        • Hopeful

          We both committed on dday to stay together and put all our effort into our marriage and ourselves individually. My husband did not tell me but at the time he told himself to give 100% for 6 months before making any decisions. From his professional background six months is a milestone. We took a step back from all non essential obligations. It was just about work, kids and us. We also figured out scheduling one time a week to talk worked well. Talking daily or sporadically was not a positive scenario. I wrote in a journal every day and would review what I had written before we talked. It helped me be more concise and not going off on tangents. For him he was less defensive since he knew it was coming. I found it was a lot more productive. Then the rest of the time we spent together was more positive and focused on us vs the affairs. We set very precise boundaries and expectations. It took about a year for me to process what had happened and the pain, It was a roller coaster of feeling great about us then not so sure. At times it felt like we were reverting back to pre dday or that what life was like pre dday was no longer enough. For me once I worked through the pain it has been about what do I want my life and marriage to look like. The one surprise was my husband processing all of this. I figured he had done that since he broke off both affairs on his own at least 15 months before dday. I was so wrong. Once I was in a better place he really started to express himself and look inward. I could go on and on but that is the snap shot view. It will always be a part of our marriage and life. I see that as a good thing since it is in the past but I feel like we should never forget.

    • Sarah P.

      Hi All,

      This thread is on fire, which I did NOT expect. But, a debate is always good.

      Here are some questions for everyone and please know that I am NOT singling anyone out.

      -Men…. please speak up.

      -How many have children who knew about the affair (openly) and how was it handled with children?

      -How did your children react and have they ever been able to fully forgive the cheating spouse?

      -Has anyone had suicidal children due to a parent’s affair?

      -Does anyone have special needs children and how have they been affected by an affair?

      -What was your most heartbreaking moment when your children found out?

      Sarah

      • Shifting Impressions

        Those are some really good questions, Sarah. I have four adult children that know about the infidelity. Your questions make me wonder if I should approach them about how they are feeling about it all now. It’s been six years since d-day and each one seems to have a really good relationship with their father but I have never really asked that question of them.

        I have to think this through and will comment more when I’m not rushing out the door as I am today.

        • Sarah P.

          SI,
          What are your thoughts?

          Sarah

          • Shifting Impressions

            Sarah
            In some ways I wish my children did not know……to spare them the pain. But for those of you who are new, I will give you my story.

            We have four adult children and each came to have the knowledge of my husband’s two Emotional affairs (about fifteen years apart) at different times. I will share how each one came to know. We were married almost forty years at the time of D-day and six years have passed since that day. We are still together but the last years have been a painful journey to say the least.

            Child number one to know……oldest daughter (age 33 at the time of d-day). I happened to be babysitting her two very young children, the day I inadvertently stumbled across the the incriminating emails. I felt myself go into shock but I had two little ones to care for. I went to the phone and called my husband and told him what I had found. He came home immediately. We were very careful with our words as the children were there. I went to leave the house but my husband cautioned me not to drive in my state of mind. I went out into a cold for a long walk. I knew I couldn’t face my daughter when she came to pick up the kids so I told my husband to tell her I was in bed with a migraine (which by then was probably true). I knew if I saw her I would fall apart, She came and had dinner with my husband and hugged him before she left telling him he was the best. He told her no he wasn’t and she picked up on his misery. As it happens she is a psychologist so not much gets by her. She has always been really close to both my husband and I. The next day I met up with her for lunch and she grilled me…..telling me that she knew something was very very wrong. Her love and support for us never wavered!! It brings me to tears just thinking about how amazing she is.

            Child number two to know….oldest son. (Age 39 at d-day) Meanwhile my oldest son was picking up that something was wrong. It was several month later that he said that he could hear it in my voice that I was not okay. He started wondering if I was sick or if we had a problem with him. So I told him what had happened. His response was that he was so ANGRY FOR ME. He actually went and confronted his father. You have to understand my son is a very non-abrasive and non- confrontational type of person so that took a lot of courage. He also works with my husband so he managed to do that without jeopardizing his relationship with my husband. My son was a rock for me….I cried on his shoulder more than once.

            Child number three to know……second oldest son (age 37 at the time of d-day) This son had no idea anything was up but after the oldest son confronted my husband…..my husband decided to tell the second oldest “that we were having problems”. Of course he did this without mentioning his EA. So then that forced me to sit down with this son and tell him what was going on. Once again I was blown away with his support and understanding. He said that no matter what I decided….whether to go or to stay he would always be there for both of us. Pretty amazing!!

            Child number four to know….youngest daughter (age 29 at the time of d-day) Now here it get’s more complicated. At the time of d-day she was living on the other side of the country so I felt relieved that she was out of the fray….so to speak. She returned home almost a year after d-day to live with us for several months, as she was dealing with some serious health issues. So one day she says she knows what is going on. So rather than give away anything I ask her what she thinks is going on. To my utter shock she tells me about evidence she found several years ago about a previous EA (fifteen years prior to the more recent one). So then I told her about the more recent one. I think perhaps she has been the one most effected as she carried the knowledge of the earlier on unbeknownst to me. So there were two d-days almost one year apart.

            How has that effected them six years later……I am somewhat fearful to ask them. I think over the next year or so I will wait for the opportunity for such a sensitive conversation with each one of them.

            My take on this is that things are not quite as hidden or secret as we think they are. Secrets have a way of coming out. Sometimes just the fact that there is a secret sends out a certain negative vibe. Sometimes the truth takes fifteen years or longer to come out. I did not go looking for either d-day yet the evidence fell into my lap each time. Each time I literally stumbled across the truth.

            To this day my children have a close relationship with both my husband and myself…..something that I am extremely thankful for. The fact that he has always been a very involved and caring father has contributed greatly to that out come. Maybe watching us struggle and work through this gives them some hope, when it comes to the struggles in their own lives.

            Have they forgiven……again I don’t know the answer. Something I hope to discuss in the future while treading lightly. Something I do know…..they never stopped loving.

            • SARAH P.

              Hi Shifting,
              Wow, you have really been though A LOT, haven’t you?

              I cannot imagine how you kept it together during the anniversary dinner. I would have been crying the whole time. You have some great children as well; so supportive.

              And for your daughter to have knowledge of a prior EA. Yikes? Did she confront her dad at the time?

              Thanks for sharing all of this well us, especially for the new readers. I always love your comments.

              Blessings,
              Sarah

            • Shifting Impressions

              Sarah
              No more than anyone else that has been betrayed. I also consider myself fortunate that my husband cut all contact immediately after d-day.

              No my youngest did not confront my husband when she stumbled upon the earlier EA. By the time she stumbled upon it….the EA was long over. She was living on the other side of the country at the time. She talked it over with her partner at the time and they decided to bury it.

              My husband has always been very involved with the kids……a very loving and caring parent. It would take a lot to break the relationship between him and the kids. He is a wonderful person that made some very poor choices.

              The fact that such a kind and loving man could fall that way is something I have a really hard time wrapping my head around. He went against his own moral code….something that has been a huge struggle for him to face,

      • Hopeful

        Sarah,

        These are great questions. My kids are still at home. They do not know that it happened. During the time after dday when I was not eating and was at my low I was quiet. My one child did ask me what was wrong since I was so quiet. It was easily explained that I had a lot of strain in my life juggling things and I am an introvert and taking stock in where I am and what decisions I want to make about my life to see improvements. My husband worked a lot and did a lot with friends. The kids when they were younger would ask why he spent so much time with his friends. So the other thing they did notice was when he was home more and spending time with me and them more. It was more curious than anything.

        My husband and I talked about telling them some version of what had happened. I did not want to tell them but left it up to him ultimately. I do not think anything good would come of it. My kids are both more like me and based on our conversations it would be a huge struggle for them to have a relationship with him. Especially if they knew the entire truth about what he did. My husband is deeply bothered by this though since he feels he is not being authentic with him and he expects them to be authentic and tell us the truth. But I just think this would be too much for them and I do not see the benefit or positive since we are still together.

        • Sarah P.

          Hopeful,
          I do remember you saying that your children do not know. How much does this weigh on your husband’s conscience? Do you feel a need to protect him at all? Or is it more about them just not being able to handle such serious information? If he were to tell them, what would he say?

          ALWAYS appreciate you chiming in!!

          Sarah

          • Hopeful

            Sorry for the delay, away from the computer over the holidays! I hope you had some time to relax and enjoy your family.

            In the end I left it up to my husband to decide before giving my opinion. I did agree with him to not tell them though. When it came out our kids were in grade school/middle school. I do not want to protect him so much as I worry about the damage it would cause them and their relationship with their father. Honestly I think from years of being detached and me being the primary caregiver I am closer with them. We cannot go back in time and change that. The opinions my children have expressed related to cheating/betrayal is very strong and disgusted with that behavior. One side note I remember when it came out I remember saying to him our kids know how wrong it is and would never do what he did which I believe is true still to this day. I worried/worry it would affect them in their relationships moving forward.

            For me this was all contingent upon the work my husband was willing to put in to himself, us/our relationship and as a father. He was a good dad but he was detached from them through the affair years. So my expectations and boundaries also extended to the kids and family time. I never granted a pass for them to never be told or if we separated then we would need to address it of course. I had talked with my therapist and we agreed they would need to know some details but not the full extent. And not to throw my husband under the bus but my therapist felt he should take more blame if it did not work out. More along the lines of not being honest, transparent or authentic. We also discussed if it go to this we would have the kids in therapy for sure.

            He had thoughts of what he would tell them and we discussed it would have to be planned and I would have to agree to what he was saying. I know he would have fallen on the sword somewhat but he would have handled it well. His ability to use words and express the necessary emotion and statement is one of his strongest attributes.

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Hopeful,
              I was unaware that your children were aware of his affair. What kinds of questions did they ask when they found out? Now that they are older, does it come up? What do you say if and when it does?

              Sarah

          • Hopeful

            Sarah, Sorry about that my kids do not know. I was talking in what if terms. I will say the one ow had kids and was single mom and I think played that up. And how hard she had to work for everything she had. I will say that it is interesting the people I know who are divorced they play super parent when their kids are around then party when they are with the other parent. I get the impression that is how the one ow was since it went in spurts. The other ow was single and played that up. Again she was so hard working…. And guess what I would actually like and be friends with the one if I knew her….

            I still question what these women want. The one single one was from what I can tell a drunk/party girl willing to do anything with anyone. I think it was more of a fling to her and she brought her drunk friends into it. She was the one they would go a year without communicating. The other one, the single mom, tracked him for he thinks three years trying to get his phone number. Found out where he was one night and got dropped off at the bar and happened to not have a ride home. I still think she had to have wanted more. He claims no but that she was pushing for a vacation together which he refused to do. I can see why she would target him but I just don’t get it. Oh well. He eventually gave in after all the years so it is his fault. She never made a promise to me, but I would never do that to another human being. And she knew he was married with kids and he never wanted to leave us and he told her that. He finally broke it off with her.

            • SARAH P.

              Hi Hopeful,
              Sorry, I got confused there. I thought your children did NOT know, but you were explaining what it would be like in such detail I had wondered if you have told them. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

              Do you have any regrets around not telling your kids?
              Sarah

      • Another One

        This is a really interesting question. My husband’s AP used her children as a way to draw my husband in. She almost immediately understood children to be one of his big weaknesses (long story about our own children’s severe disabilities omitted for brevity) so she arranged and encouraged for them to spend a lot of time together. She even had the gall to claim one of her sons asked why she wasn’t married to my husband instead of to their father! I don’t know if this is true or simply another lie she told him but my heart breaks for those poor children who were so heartlessly used by their own mother to try to break up two families. While I’m more than happy to consign the OW to hell I feel very sorry for her poor children. And I do wonder how she explained why mummy’s “friend” wasn’t coming around anymore.

        • Sarah P.

          Hi Another One,
          Using children in this way is heartless, manipulative, and sociopathic. It sounds like the OW attempted to use your children and hers as pawns in her sick game. People who use children in this way – to attempt to snatch a man from his wife – are truly sick individuals. She was trying to install herself as their new mom.

          Another One, where are you at your point in recovery? Did you stay with your husband or go with your husband? Does your husband see what happened? Or is he in the affair fog?

          • Another One

            Hi Sarah P.
            We’re now almost four months post Dday and doing surprisingly well. Hubby and I are both working on ourselves and the relationship.
            I believe he’s mainly out of the affair fog but is still a little sensitive to criticism of the OW so I’m trying not to bring her up in conversation.
            She actually wasn’t trying to establish herself as our children’s new mum. She was trying to detach hubby from his own children and establish him as a new father figure to her own children. She would simultaneously praise him as a good father while also telling him his children were too much work to look after and he was better off spending time with her own non-disabled sons. She also told him that I didn’t appreciate all his effort at being a good father so he shouldn’t try. But she would, of course, praise him to the skies for every nice word he said to her children.
            What really gets me is that H didn’t see the hypocrisy of her complaining about her husband not spending enough time with his children while encouraging H to behave the same way.

    • Another One

      My comment was meant as a reply to Sarah P’s post above!

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