Affair Recovery Stories
NOTE: The stories listed below are used by permission of the people involved and cannot be reproduced or redistributed without permission. Personal identifying information has been changed to maintain privacy, but the stories are true. The views expressed reflect the unique opinions and experiences of each story-teller. - Tim Tedder, LMHC, NCC
- Jen & Ryan's Story
A young couple's recovery from a husband's multiple affairs. Story | 7 Yrs Later
- Tim & Lori's Story
A husband comes to realizations as he reacts to his wife's affair.
- Mark's Story
A man's full, detailed account of an affair that ended his marriage. Story|Interview
- Craig & Lauren's Story
A husband and wife talk about their affair recovery.
- Robin's Story
One woman’s account of losing her marriage, finding it again, and changing in the process
- Sheri's Story
A woman confesses an affair secret she held for 5 years.
- Celia's Journal
Excerpts from a wife's prayer journal following her husband's affair.
- Annika's Story
A woman writes about her affair. Story|Interview
- Randi's Letter
A letter from a daughter to father, with comments from both.
- Kim & Chad's Story
Two children look back on their father's affair.
Comments from people having (or who had) an affair...
- I went through a horrible experience. I was that guy who got involved with someone who became a psycho after I terminated the affair. Who then betrayed me in ways that I would've ever imagined from someone whom I totally trusted and thought of as my soul mate... It was like being in a fog and one day I awoke and realized that I needed to get out. Just at that time, an anonymous email to my wife exposed the affair. I firmly believe this email came from my ex-OW. I found out many things about her after D-day that indicated to me that my decision was the correct one. Her viciousness, cruelty and immaturity afterwards to me and my wife, merely because I wanted "out" of something I was never 100% comfortable with.
- I now live a better, more honest and authentic life. I am loving my wife the way she deserves, and I feel the love coming back to me. I got involved in my affair fairly slowly and for a lot of the reasons as stated by "Mark" on your website. Then I was in over my head, and it ended badly. Thank God I found that I had an amazing wife, full of strength and character, forgiveness and love. More than I realized. It actually makes me tear up to just write it.
- I have been mentally preparing myself to confront my wife about my 3 year ongoing relationship with another woman whom I have fallen in love with. The hardest thing is that I do love my wife of 17 years but I don't love her like I used to...We have 2 great boys. My dad got caught having an affair and after that I didn't see him for 15 years. I don't want that to happen to me.
- My affair is currently a secret to all and I'm afraid the only way it will end is in discovery, which would ruin the lives of so many. I pray for the strength to let him go and let God fill in my empty spaces.
- I'm currently involved in an emotional affair with a wonderful man, and I don't know what to do. I've been married for almost 10 years, and I have a wonderful 7-year old son. My husband is a great guy—he has his own business, makes a lot of money, is a great father—but I am not in love with him.
- It's a nightmare...a seemingly never-ending nightmare. My nerves are shot to hell, I don't sleep at night, and I feel like I'm doing something horribly wrong. I'm distant to my friends and family, I don't want to do anything but be by myself. I'm confused and frustrated...confused because I don't know what to do (or how to go about doing it without hurting my husband and my family), and frustrated for allowing myself to get into this situation to begin with. I never thought I'd be involved in an affair...EVER. This completely goes against the grain of my nature. I am educated, attractive, outgoing and I do have morals (believe it or not). And I can't believe I'm involved in something that I swore I would never do.
- I had an affair. It's over now. I always wonder how he feels about the way it ended. I chose immediate No Contact because I knew if I stayed in contact I would go back. I think of him everyday. I haven't been found out, as far as I know he hasn't either. It was killing him; it was slowly killing me.
- I lost many close friends, because I felt like a phony when I was around them. They didn't know about my secret life. It was easier not to be around them, so I hid in my house, and fantasized about my lover. Shutting people out is easier than admitting what I'm doing.
- I am trying so hard to end an emotional affair. If I had only known how bad this would hurt and how bad I could have hurt my family I would have NEVER started it up. They don't know and I pray they never do. I hate the fact that I could have lost it all. I hate myself worse for doing it and the guilt is enormous!
Comments from betrayed spouses...
- A few years ago, my husband had an affair with a woman he worked with. To this day he swears it was just sex, but when things were uncovered at work and they were moved to separate departments, he still refused to sever contact with her, which is what I wanted. I didn't feel I could ever learn to trust him again if he continued his friendship with her. I was hurt, angry, and I kept asking the same question over and over, "Why?" Ultimately, it came down to her making herself obviously available to him at all levels (emotionally, sexually, mentally) at a time that he felt I wasn't. While I do lay the full blame of his choices on him, and refuse to take blame for the affair itself, looking back, I do see the places where I contributed to the deteriorating state of our marriage.
- I am about 10 months from my husband's admission of his affair. The words still cut like a knife, "I just don't love you." We had a good life together, everything we needed plus a few wants. I tried to find answers, seek counseling, offer forgiveness but he just didn't want to hear it. Someday he may, but I can already see that it is too late. I loved him more than words can say and he betrayed everything we had. His eyes are dead. He put all his emotional energy to her; none was left for myself and our 3 children. I worry that I may never trust again; I fear he took that from me.
- I am so mad and so hurt right now that I am reacting out of emotions; I know this, but that is how I feel right now. It's like, I just want to hurt him as much as I am hurting right now. I'm sure that is really unhealthy but I just wish he could feel what I am feeling.
- On a Friday evening in June, on the way home from work, we picked up a friend, Beth, who was 10 years younger than I, who we had invited over for dinner. While my husband was preparing dinner (he was a hobby cook), Beth and I were chatting outside on the veranda. An hour later, my husband came to us with a bowl of salad in his hands, and was crying. He looked and me and said, “I am in love. I am in love with someone else. I am in love with her,” pointing to Beth. I felt like someone had put a knife in my heart. It was a shock; it was a pain stronger than I'd ever felt before. My reaction was something I never thought I would do—I walked towards him, took his hands into mine and said, “It’s ok, this could have happened to me, too.” But in September we were divorced. He married Beth, but three weeks after their marriage he filed for divorce because he wanted to come back to me.
- Forgiveness is certainly something to strive for and something no doubt my husband (as well as most other wayward spouses) would have loved to have been granted. But forgiveness is something that can't just be "willed" into being no matter how badly you want it. I tried harder to achieve that than probably anything other thing in my life, and found myself completely failing at getting there. I even went out and had a one night stand with a stranger in a screwed-up attempt to show my husband how devastated I was.
- Although I had enough evidence of the affair, my husband never admitted it to me. It was with someone that we had countless dinners with in our home and double-dated on trips with as well. I felt and still do feel the ultimate betrayal. Although my husband never fully admitted nor has she to her husband, I sense a bond with them that I am jealous of. I don't know if I could ever compete with the unknown of what they had.
- I am free falling and literally do not know what to do. I don't feel like I have anyone to turn to and just want someone to hold me and tell me that it is going to be okay. But that person would normally be [my husband] and he simply is not there and doesn't want to be. I am in a very risky place for the marriage right now. I am BARELY hanging on and don't know how much longer I will wait for him to figure it out.
- Everything changed for me this year. This has been a life altering experience and one that I am grateful for. I know that sounds bizarre. I have suffered greatly. We both have. But, this experience has stripped away all the dysfunction that existed between us and allowed something wonderful to emerge from the wreckage.
- It would have been easier to find out he had died. At least then it wouldn't have been a matter of choice and I wouldn't have to deal with wondering why he stopped wanting me.
- While his affair is over, I wish he realized how broken he has left me. I feel that the broken pieces were so easy for him to just pick up. He just goes on. For me it's not like that. There are issues that have been swept under the mat. I worry that I will be the only one who will live with the consequences of his actions.
- I will say that the now three years that have passed have been very hard at times. I deal with forgiving him every day and some days it seems to be an up hill battle. Most of the time, I am very glad that we have decided to reconcile. He has been extremely accountable for his whereabouts and seems to be committed in being faithful and totally focused on our marriage. Our marriage is now better than it was before the affair. I do hate that he felt he could not try to work on our problems but chose to cross the line with another woman that turned out to be an even bigger problem. He says he feels that a weight has been lifted off of his shoulders and is so glad to be out of that now.
- I'm currently going through the aftermath of my husbands infidelity. It has been a year now, and we've been in counseling, but the one thing I have not been able to do yet is forgive him. I hope some day I am able to say "I forgive you" to my husband, but right now there is still a lot of anger in me.
Comments from the other woman or other man...
- My affair partner recommitted to his wife (or at least at that time) and I've been left to pick up the pieces of my life... keeping no contact, praying one day it will stop hurting, move out of my mind... and yet, thoughts of "why" always remain; why doesn't he contact me, why doesn't he want me, why wasn't I enough?
- I'm having an affair with a man I love very deeply, but our affair is destroying his relationship with his son (who found out about us). I ask myself how could I do this to him if I love him so much? I am selfishly torn between wanting him so badly, and yet wanting to do the right thing by walking away from him, so that he does not suffer that pain of losing all those 'moments' with his son. He wont let me go, and so I know that I must be the stronger one for both of us, but I am just not sure I can do it!
- The other woman is often forgotten. Nobody has empathy for you, you are labeled a homewrecker, Jezebel, selfish bitch, whore, slut, etc. You lose friends, your self worth, & dignity. You always feel powerless because you have no say so in the end.
- The affair is over but I can't seem move on...every minute of every day I am thinking about him, wondering if I will ever see him again, does he miss me, does he ever think of me, is his wife forgiving him etc. Its driving me totally insane. My friends are sick of it all, tell me he isn't worth it, try to fix me up with dates but its hopeless. I wish to God I had never bumped into this guy...My life has just never been the same again and I can't get out of this hole.
- The affair I was having with a married man ended, but I don't want it to be over. I feel like I am dying. I keep calling and he won't answer; he has cut me off. I feel so rejected, hurt and lonely. I have tried reading, praying, anything to make this feeling stop, but it wont go away.
- I have just ended a brief relationship with a married man. It was a very intense and passionate relationship, for which we have been friends for a year before becoming "involved". Although we both are still in love, we believed that to part is the best decision for both of us as the difficulties are too much for us to overcome. He cannot break his marriage vow; I am unwilling to live in a life of uncertainty and deceit. It was a painful separation. To anyone reading this: do not enter into an affair with a married man. Waiting for the man to leave his wife is futile. I tried and knew the consequence.
Comments from family & friends...
- I found out as an adult that throughout my child hood my father had SEVERAL affairs. I only found this out after he passed away and all the dirty laundry was addressed. I was angry, hurt and depressed for months. People would say to me, "But, he cheated on your mother, not you." WRONG. He cheated on all of us as far as I am concerned. I have finally forgiven him—what else can I do but, the scars will never go away of what he did to my mother, to our family, to me.
- My daughter is going through a difficult break up right now and is seeing a counselor to help her sort out her thoughts. On the drive home from her recent session, she also told me the only time she cried during the session was when she was talking about her Dad and his affair. She said to the therapist: "He told me he was going away on a business trip, but he went to see her. He lied to me." I felt so bad because here it is six years later, and she's still dealing with this, at the young age of 20.
- My son recently said to me, "Mom, he may have apologized to you [about the affair] but he never apologized to us." I think the couple involved in the affair, at the time, need desperately to believe that the affair does not affect the children.
- My dad cheated on my mom, and I don’t feel like I'll ever get over the pain. Nothing seemed so bad in our house that he would've have to have done that. I love him, but I hate him too, especially on days when I feel our whole family should be together and we can’t because of what he did.