Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The 18 to 24 Month Period of Recovery

There is something very real about the 18 to 24 month period of adultery recovery. Many couples it seems have lost the battle to survive and recovery from adultery during this time frame. Why is that?

Well, I can't say for sure, but there are some strong possibilities that my wife Amy and I have experienced that makes sense to us:

1. The initial months, even year or so, is VERY overwhelming. It seems that God provides extra doses of grace and allows us to endure those early times. There is NO WAY to deal with everything all at once. It's too much. It is a process that takes times and work. I believe the initial stages of recovery are vitally important. Getting things out in the open and trying to deal with it as openly and fully as possible is key. Sweeping it under the "rug" and brushing past the hard work in the early months can cost you dearly later. It seems that when this pain and harsh reality of betrayal is buried alive, it makes its way out into the open around the 20 to 24 month period. You no longer can keep it pushed down and hidden. It has to come out at some point and when it does, it isn't "pretty." That's why it is best to do this in the beginning of the discovery of the affair.

2. It signifies another chapter of grieving beyond the initial crisis. In our first year or two of recovery, we experienced some very DARK and painful days. We also experienced some amazing reconnecting and growth days. God showed up and transformed us personally and in our marriage relationship. Now, we are in the 20 to 24 month period. Last week was probably one of the hardest weeks we've had since the first few months following the discovery of my affairs. It was ROUGH! We were not sure how much more we could endure. By God's grace we were able to make it through it and talk about it FINALLY. It is the painful reality of adultery recovery. There will still be hard days, painful reminders (i.e. triggers), and ups and downs. We've had way more ups than downs thankfully. God is faithful. If we will continue to talk openly with each other, trust in God and rely on Him, and stay in the fight, then I believe we will survive the first two years and bust through the 20 to 24 month period.

Don't give up hope. God is more interested in your marriage working out than you are. He is for you. Let Him do His work in you, through you, and despite you. Trust His promises. Lean on Him and not your own understanding. He is able to do far more than you expect or maybe even believe.

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