Affair healing Blog
Last weekend, a clicked on a documentary that showed up on recommended watch list, expecting to be inspired by a story of one man's triumph over adversity. Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story.
Charged was that, but so much more. It was also a story of infidelity, of family wounds, of the purpose of our lives. The documentary can be rented using most services, but is currently streaming for free on Amazon Prime Video if you happen to have an Amazon Prime account.
In my work with men and women who have had affairs and are confused about what it means to live a meaningful and fulfilling life, we often discuss the difference between lives motivated by doing (meeting expectations, satisfying others, doing the right thing) or getting (attaining outward goals, achievements, satisfaction) and why those legitimate motives should be secondary to a focus of being (the story we tell with our live, who we are and who we are becoming).
If you had an affair in your past, I would recommend watching this documentary. The traumatic event in Eduardo's life can be seen as a dividing point in his life experience. Think about this division as the Eduardo Before and the Eduardo After. Some things will remain constant in the before and after; some things will change. After you watch the video, consider these questions:
I talk to clients nearly every day, helping most of them work through choices and changes that affect their marriage or relationship. When I first meet a new couple, I usually don't know their full story. There is a lot to find out, but I typically start by assessing the overall stability of the marriage by finding the answer to three questions:
This is an edited copy of the letter one woman wrote to her husband after her affair. It is used with her permission. The entire letter is included as an extra resource in the Understanding WHY course.
If you had told me seven months ago that I would be writing this letter, I might not have believed it—not because I am not profoundly sorry and regretful for my actions in the past, but because I never believed I could survive telling the truth, that you would survive hearing it, that we could survive its aftermath, or that you would even be willing to offer me the chance.
Helen Tower is one of the people I follow on Twitter and am often encouraged by what she writes. Recently, she posted a letter she wrote to her "ex-unfaithful" husband. She gave permission to post it here, too. You can read the entire post on her Sailing Through Infidelity blog.
Dear ex-unfaithful husband,
I want to thank you for sticking with me during the trying times after I discovered your affair. I am so happy this is now in the past.
We went through periods during which I was willing to hurt myself just to hurt you, in a desperate attempt to soothe my pain. You never lost focus on your commitment to do whatever it took to save our marriage.
We usually expect our marriage to last a lifetime. What starts with promises of faithfulness and endurance, we believe, will survive any challenge "for better or for worse." Most marriages do; some even thrive. But many die in ways never anticipated.
When the death of a marriage is a mutual choice between two partners, grieving its loss may be a short-term process. The decision to end their relationship often follows a period of prolonged suffering, making divorce feel like relief. Similar to a funeral, partners make the appropriate arrangements, pay their final respects, bury the marriage, and move on with their lives.
But a marriage killed by betrayal is not so easily mourned.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written by Tim Tedder, a licensed counselor and creator of this site and its resources.