Here is Jamie’s story:

“I became a part of the AMA Facebook group in April 2019 when there were less than 100 members. At that time, I was in the midst of a NC period with AP, on the verge of yet another relapse and so horribly broken. Debbie Rose’s website [] was the first I stumbled upon in gaining some clarity and insight.

The women in the AMA Facebook group encouraged me and gave me hope.
I remember thinking I can’t wait until I am on the other side of this and can do the same for others. So here I am…

My AP was a co-worker, 9 years younger than me and I wasn’t at all attracted to him in the beginning. When I went back to work in June, 2015 after my second son was born, I was in a horrible state of postpartum depression but I didn’t realize that then. I had never been depressed before.

AP was pursuing his master’s degree in counseling and given that summertime was a slow time at work, we had a lot of time to talk. He was just a friend and a colleague then but when I look back, I remember that summer beginning to see him in a different light, more attractive. I was bummed on days he was out for some reason. It still felt innocent, but something in me was changing.

Husband and I had been married 12 years at that time, we were involved in our church, I was/am a Christian and there is nothing bad to say about H. He was a great father and husband, he still is. I wish I had known then what I know now about true love and marriage. I do know now that God can take the worst thing and make it the best thing.

In September, 2015 I came out of my depression and I spent a lot of time with co-workers including AP. We were a tight group. About that time, AP’s girlfriend broke up with him. He was vulnerable and I could tell he was already attracted to me.

The emotional and physical A started in March, 2016. I started it. I kissed him.
Looking back, I was totally caught up in infatuation/limerence. I knew it was wrong but it didn’t matter, it felt so good and it was so fun. I told myself, I’ve always been a good girl, this is a phase, no one will ever know and I’ll come out of it. We texted all the time and ran errands for work together and were just high on each other.

In June, 2016 he decided to pursue an available girl and I was out of my mind jealous and sick over it. It didn’t work out, we started the A up again in August, 2016. We both knew it was wrong and struggled with guilt so he again tried pursuing another single girl in September, 2016. Again, I was jealous and sick. He broke that off in November, 2016…Thus began my living 2 lives. AP and I were in a relationship all of 2017. I lied all the time to H and family. We saw each other whenever we could. I signed up for lots of out of town work training and he went with me.

My life at home was not bad but this felt exhilarating. It was an escape, a high.
I was still Christian. I knew I couldn’t lie to or hide from God but I did shy away from him and told myself he’d always forgive me. H and I had a good relationship although clearly distant and he never suspected that I’d be unfaithful.

In February, 2018 AP and I decided we couldn’t live without each other and the only choice I could see was to tell H the truth and leave to be with AP. I told H that February and his whole reality crumbled in an instant. He begged me to give it 6 months, to do counseling, to “try”. I agreed because what kind of horrible person doesn’t try? My heart was not in it. We went to counseling and I even tried NC but it was short lived.

In May, 2018 I moved out, telling H I was no longer in A but I needed space and time for me. I was taking another step closer to “freedom” and what I so desperately wanted. I convinced myself that AP was my soulmate and God has someone better for H because H deserved so much better after what I’d done.

I also began to feel between a rock and a hard place. My family and friends were upset with me. Everyone thought I’d gone crazy. AP was a good guy (who obviously made bad choices) who was single with no kids. However, he had nothing to offer me that I didn’t already have and everyone loved H. It was totally limerence/affair fog. I know it was.  But I believed it would last forever.

After I moved out, I’d go home weekly to see my boys. I remember my youngest, 3 the time, waking up with me sitting next to him on the couch and he looked at me with distrust and said “Mommy, you came back.” I was choosing AP over my boys and they didn’t even trust me anymore and it hurt. It was so deserved – but it hurt.

I had/have the most amazing mother in law in the world. The epitome of Christ-like love. She was running my home while I was getting ready to break up my family One day she said, “Jamie, what do you know in your heart without a doubt to be true?” I said God’s word, the Bible. She said don’t look at it as choosing between H and AP, just look to God’s word, where does it lead you? At that moment, I knew I had to break it off and come home not because my heart wanted to, but because I knew it was the right thing.

I had no idea how strong the relapse struggle would be. I broke it off and chose my marriage in May, 2018. AP was devastated but he wasn’t mad and he didn’t try to guilt me into staying. I think he knew it was the right thing too as much as it hurt. The depression I felt then I now know was withdrawal. It was worse than postpartum. I was a shell of myself. I felt so empty. I lost so much weight, my heart felt shattered. I just wanted AP. He reached out a couple weeks later, which felt like an eternity, to give me some of the stuff I’d left at his place. We relapsed.

This time the A was different, worse, because we now knew the fairy-tale future we’d planned together didn’t exist. We knew we could never be together in real life but we couldn’t let go either. I call 2018 the year of purgatory, it was the worst I’ve ever experienced. Our A wasn’t fun and exciting anymore. I was in a place where I wanted something so badly I knew I could never have and I was tormented. There were a couple days I couldn’t even get out of bed. We carried on until December, 2018 and I broke it off.

He knew what a mess I was and I knew I really had to work on my marriage and try to get out of this cycle. I lasted until spring 2019, and reached out on his birthday. We stayed in contact until a month later 2019- then he broke it off saying it hurt too much to live like this anymore. It was a hard two months until April, 2019 when he caved and reached out on my birthday.

This is when I found AMA and Debbie told me don’t respond to him, you will lose the 2 months of progress you’ve made. I didn’t listen. I couldn’t resist. I no longer felt in purgatory through 2019 but I was stuck in darkness, depending on AP,
afraid to let go and therefore not healing or moving forward in my marriage, my life.

Finally in December, 2020. He met someone. Someone who attracted him and gave him hope of a future. I know it was God’s divine intervention. God knew that’s what it’d take to break us apart because clearly my H and my faith hadn’t been enough. AP broke it off for the final time to pursue a healthy relationship.
I don’t know how long I would’ve stayed stuck in that cycle if he hadn’t.

2020 was my year of healing and progress. I accessed resources from Affair Recovery, I took their Hope for Healing class, I watched tons of videos from Dr. Joe Beam on Limerence and infidelity through Marriage Helper.

I was finally present in my home, my marriage, my family. My relationship with Jesus was and is more real than ever. Honestly, I was grieving the loss of AP but not like before. As much as I initially hated thinking of AP with someone else, it was absolutely what needed to happen to draw me out of that dark, deceived place and into the light I am currently in.

I have personally experienced God’s rescue, grace and mercy in my life. 2020 was my first full year of NC and healing. I’m now in year 2. I haven’t arrived by a long shot but I am healthier than I’ve been in 6 years.

I have a whole new respect and appreciation for my H. He has stayed faithful and committed. Loving at me at my worst through my withdrawal and depression.
We have both been in individual and couples counseling which helps immensely but it took a few fails to find the right therapist. He and I are currently in a better place than ever before. I won’t lie, he still struggles with triggers and memories but we communicate and work through them. I still struggle with triggers and memories but I logically know now that it’s not AP I miss. It was the excitement, the escape, the high. It truly was a dangerous addiction and NC is absolutely necessary to get out of it. I know I’m a stronger, more compassionate woman because of the experience.

I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through and it was not linear… so much up and down. I failed over and over but God was always with me. He never left, I chose to walk away from him. He chased me down and saved me from the destruction I was choosing at the time. God loves me enough that he saved me from a whole lot worse kind of guilt, shame and regret. Not because I deserve it but because of his grace. I never ever have to doubt or question that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. This is the life God called me to. I belong in my marriage, in my family, in my home.

There is never a reality where God will call you to violate his most sacred covenant, marriage, and start a life with someone else. That could never be in anyone’s best interest including yours. On days (which are becoming less) that I struggle with triggers I am comforted by this truth. I used to believe that love is a feeling. I now know love is a choice, a commitment and an action. My love for AP was jealous and self-seeking. True love is never self-seeking and it is always kind. Following God is so simple but it is not easy because the world is broken and we are broken and the temptation of our flesh is strong. Always remember that God is stronger and our true victory and freedom can only be found in him.”

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