These were some of the thoughts I had as I made my way home to tell my wife of 18 years that I was seeing another woman. The strange feeling of being 2 different people at the same time was overtaking me as I was loosing my firm sense of reality.
What months earlier seemed as an innocent chit chat, had turned into a full-blown affair and now was about to tear apart my marriage and family, and even more so, it was about to break the image that I once had of myself. My proverbial clock was about to strike 12 and I was terrified.
The life I had built, the family I had raised, the friends I’d established and the church I’d been attending all were about to be faced with the damage I inflected on them as a result of my actions.
I had an affair, the thing that a few months earlier I would have held others in contempt who did that sort of thing.
But “How did I end up doing the thing I thought I never would?” This was the big thing that I needed answers for! If I didn’t know this, then I would not ever find myself again.
The thing was that I did love Anne and had not intended to ever hurt her. However I did devastate her, and I was not sure that we could ever recover, even if she were to give me a chance. I’d never met anyone that truly recovered, sure they stayed together, but their life seemed to be tainted by the affair. I knew that is not what I wanted to live my life like, but I also knew that I did love Anne and did not want to give up, quit or start over with another.
That started our recovery process. 2-1/2 years later we were healed. At times it seemed as if we’d never get to the end, and that we were doomed to struggle and fight forever. Yet there were times that we’d seemed to get along better than we ever did.
I worked hard, along with Anne, to get to the place I did where Anne was able to forgive me, and to where I was able to forgive myself. I became aware of who I really was, no longer pretending or just hoping. I became the man I was destined to become.
Then my wife decided to write a book about our story! Wow. Was I ready? How would this affect our lives? But I was healed, I was freed from the guilt and shame, my wife looked at me with love and respect, so this then would be OK.
The work we began started slowly, but each step of the way we were seeing real results of recovery and healing. We’d share what we did; the good and the bad, what worked and what didn’t work. We added education to our experience.
My professional years in the construction industry had taught me the things I needed for healing from affairs. It helped me to see the plan needed to recover and make the marriage better than ever before. My past construction experience helped me to understand that if one builds slowly, brick upon brick, then you can expect a certain result, the building will come together provided everyone does their part.
And as I have hung up the construction career I am even more excited about the new ‘re-construction’ career, now based in re-constructing marriages and relationships that have been rocked by an affair. And like those people that I used to build for, sometimes the people we work with today have a hard time seeing the final results. That’s why it is important to get direction from one that has done this before.
I want you to know that if you are facing the painful aftermath of an affair, we’ve walked in those shoes, and while we don’t know each specific detail, what we do know is how to heal.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Note: While Brian's infidelity experience is unique to him, the patterns of infidelity remain quite consistent. Each unfaithful spouse we work with tells us, "My experience is different because ..." usually, because they are good people, because they never meant to do this, because they were so hurt in their marriage the affair was different, because they really loved their affair partner, because their affair was only about sex, because their affair was only emotional, because their affair was not about the sex. Please read further about affairs on this site to learn more and to gain greater understanding, of what is, and perhaps what isn't unique about the affair in your marriage.