TimT
Probably longer than you think. At least months, possibly years. One popular rule of thumb is that the time required for marriage recovery is often equal to the length of affair (from start to absolute end). That is not a scientific measure, but I believe it is helpful for a couple (especially the offending spouse) to be prepared to invest as much time for healing as was invested in the betrayal. 
 
Unfortunately, many couples try to short-cut the recovery process. Once the affair is confessed and some sort of apology is made, these couples attempt to move ahead with "life as usual" even though the confession is only the beginning of healing and restoration. Both you and your spouse will need to be committed to the process. (In most cases, the offending spouse is ready to move forward before the betrayed spouse has the ability to do so.)
 
The road to recovery is difficult. You'll have to be willing to go through a lot of pain to get to the other side. Your partner will have to exercise a lot of patience and care to help you get there. You'll have good days, bad days, and really bad days, but as time goes by you'll discover that the bad days diminish and the good days increase.
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Godspeach
Amen to all of the above! I'm just taking it one day at a time, and through prayer, counseling, Godly friends, and websites such as affair healing: I'm determined to work through the painful process of rebuilding my life, my family, and finally my marriage,if and ONLY IF my husband keeps working through his addiction AND devastation he caused me and our children.
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TimT
AHmember91 wrote:
I'm just taking it one day at a time...


Sometimes that's all we can do... all we have the strength to do in the moment. But there is enough grace for this thing at this time. I hope your husband will continue to find his way. Even if not, I hope you will find yours.
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EAM
Good rule of thumb. I'm at the start of the process. We'll see how that rule applies.
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Searching4
"Probably longer than you think. At least months, possibly years. One popular rule of thumb is that the time required for marriage recovery is often equal to the length of affair (from start to absolute end). "

Based on this, we may never recover totally. I do understand this and have accepted it. We may spend the rest of our lives trying to recover our marriage, but the alternative doesn't promise healing either.
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Kalsi
One day at a time,one foot in front of the other and focus on the positives....all in all it takes time
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TimT
Searching4 wrote:
Based on this, we may never recover totally. I do understand this and have accepted it. We may spend the rest of our lives trying to recover our marriage, but the alternative doesn't promise healing either.


Well, I should probably add that affairs that last many years (or many affairs that span many years) don't necessarily require the same number of years to heal. If there has been a long-term affair and IF the unfaithful partner and betrayed partner are both willing to invest in repair and reconnection, then I think you can expect anywhere from 18 to 30 months before things settled into the new normal (which, honestly, can be quite good).
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Craig
It does take time. But all things are possible if the parties REALLY want it. Truth, commitment and more truth. It's been over 4 years for us, and I put her through hell; but we are proof that it can work...
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CrippledLamb
I'm probably one of many that's in the midst of "shouldn't some healing have started by now?" I'm going on 2 years with the emotional affair still in full swing. It's hard sometimes to look at the present when you spend a lot of time looking forward to the future. 
Haha, I guess the question that I would ask is: "How long do the affairs take to run their course?"
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TimT
CrippledLamb wrote:
I guess the question that I would ask is: "How long do the affairs take to run their course?"


There are so many factors to consider in answer to that question. Here are a few I would want to know...
  • What was the history of connection & disconnection in the marriage?
  • How long has the emotional affair been going on? How available is the affair partner?
  • Are secrets being protected?
  • What has been the betrayed partner's response to the wayward spouse? Does the wayward spouse have to choose, or is he able to live in his "confusion" without real consequence?
  • What is each person's motive for the choices they're making: a sense of duty? desire for happiness? values/character? Have there been any significant shifts in motive?
There are more, but those are the ones that come to mine immediately. Some affairs run their course quite quickly. Others can last for years without seeming to move in any direction with any permanence.
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CrippledLamb
Tim-
I'm working on "my story" in the tell your story section, but I tend to get wordy. There are definitely issues with the marriage that are not being addressed, and one of several factors is the availability of the OM, codependency of BS, and WS ability to remove herself from the marriage via separation.
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Godspeach
Good luck with drafting your story, Crippled Lamb. I don't think I can share it again, and move forward. It's still too painful. Most of my young life was stolen by the devil via my husband's addiction.
This pain is somewhere between childbirth and a root canal.

But, it must be done. I've told it in groups before. I guess when the healing has truly come, I'll be able to tell the story more easily. I want to help other Betrayed Spouses. Especially those whom have had decades of their lives stolen by their partners' sexual addiction.

I keep telling myself: IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT, IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT (eyes closed, heals clicking together)
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Bridge
What do you do when your spouse is more concerned with getting over the affair than rebuilding trust and the marriage? How do you learn to totally trust again?
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TimT
Bridge wrote:
What do you do when your spouse is more concerned with getting over the affair than rebuilding trust and the marriage? How do you learn to totally trust again?


Unfortunately, the rebuilding of trust and intimacy in your marriage will be difficult, perhaps impossible, if your spouse is not willing to focus on what you need to heal. If they are at all open to understanding what you need, you might recommend the reading of the short book "How To Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair." I've mentioned it elsewhere in these forums, but it is straightforward, to-the-point.

I understand the unfaithful partner's desire to forget the past and just move on, but these deep wounds won't heal well if they are simply ignored. 

Of course, you cannot MAKE your spouse do this; all you can do is be vulnerably honest about your need. If they are not willing to put your need above their own, then their behavior is untrustworthy. You need more than that. You deserve more than that.
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Bridge
When is it enough? A person cannot be expected to wait for ever hoping for the best. You do that once when you said "I do". But now that inherent trust is gone. The expectation and reality of things, at times, seem insurmountable.
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