Light (Ha!) reading. The first thing I did was go out and Kindle the hell out of books that had to do with affairs both for healing and leaving. I found some gems among them.
- For the betrayed:
Love this blog: ChumpLady.com as well as her book, The Chump Lady Survival Guide. Feel taken advantage of? Is your cheater still playing you? Get your ass over and buy her book. I read it in just a couple of days and only because I still had the responsibility of taking care of my children.
From the book, by Tracy Schorn, “The greatest indignity – the biggest mindfuck? Is that you lose your story. You thought you were a partner, husband, provider, father, confidant, wife, mother, family person. You thought you were a couple, part of a larger family, a fixture in your community. And then you discover that everything you invested in was a lie. That wasn’t your identity. Your identity was CHUMP. Once you know you’ve been betrayed, you can’t un-know it. Every memory is tainted or suspect. That Christmas, when we were opening present with the kids? You were texting him then? When I was studying for that exam and you were going to give me time alone, you were really with her? What was real? What was a lie? Chumps torture themselves questioning their lives’ narratives.”
How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair Read this if you want to make sure your cheating spouse is doing everything they can if they are trying to reconcile.
How Can I Forgive You? This is a good book if you’re struggling to forgive your partner for the betrayals. It actually helps you navigate if you want to, if you should and in fact helps you move on if you don’t forgive your partner. It’s okay to accept it and move on without forgiveness.
Partners of the Chronically Unfaithful This is a great piece written by a CSAT (certified sex addition therapist). If you think you are out of your fucking mind and want to see if what you are feeling and thinking is completely normal, read this. I guarantee, what you’re feeling IS normal. I think this is a realistic piece, which is hard to read sometimes because he basically says, we can’t expect our chronically unfaithful partners to adhere to a vow of monogamy. He does talk about ways the fuckers can help their chances though.
- For betrayers:
How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful – this is a TERRIFIC short read for the both the betrayed and betrayer. It gives the betrayer a road map to helping your spouse and realizing your pitfalls because sometimes you cheaters are just idiots. You’ve lost all sense of reasonable thinking and you’ll admit that a few months out of the fog, I promise. It’s also a great read for the betrayed because you can see what else you should expect in case your expectations are too low.
This is something betrayers should read just to familiarize themselves with how it really is for the partners. Partners of the Chronically Unfaithful. I know my husband doesn’t like to read, but even he could handle 2o pages.
STD Testing. One of the worst things about my partner’s multiple affairs is that he never used a condom. So not only was he a fucking cheater and liar, he was a cheater and liar and one who put his kids’ mom’s life as risk. What an asshole.
Please, get yourself tested. When I thought it was one one night stand 8 years prior I didn’t rush for testing. When I found out it was multiple partners I got my ass online and found a testing site nearby. It was worth every penny.
My tests came back clean for the biggies. No one is as surprised as I am that that mutherfucker and his whores didn’t pass something along to me.
Take the Quiz – is sexual acting out a problem for you or your partner? Take the test. I took the test for my spouse and yeah. I answered all but ONE or TWO yes based on my knowledge of him.
SurvivingInfidelity.com – the old fashioned kind of network/forum, particularly helpful no matter what stage you find yourself in be it Just Found Out, Divorcing, Reconciliation. You name it.
Codependent of Sex Addicts CoSA- it’s a 12-step program for the co-dependent of the “sex addict” especially if you find yourself putting your own needs second to your partners. Personally the codependent model doesn’t work for me, but we all have to find what works and they’ve helped countless people.
Therapists who Specialize
There’s something to be said for a therapist who is certified in “Sex Addiction” and I swear by ours who specializes in couples and infidelity recovery. Here’s information about them and a to therapists in your area. Some even offer telephone and video appointments. Sex Help.
The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists – you can search their list of counselors and coaches certified in their program to help partners in the trauma model not the codependent model. One of the people who started the non-profit is Dr. Barbara Steffen, whose book follows the same logic. Betrayed partners are traumatized. That is certainly my situation. Her and co-author, Marsha Means‘ book, Your Sexually Addicted Partner resonates with empowerment instead of “You’re codependent.”
Groups for the Betrayers
Again, I’m not sure I buy all the addict talk, but I do believe in the 12-step model for recovery and so if it’s helpful for people to seek a higher power, a sponsor, accountability partners and meetings, who am I to judge? To each his or her own.