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Testimonials about BAN (Beyond Affairs Network)

For information about BAN, see Beyond Affairs Network.

BAN has been an incredible lifeline for me when I needed it. Until it happens to you, there is just no way to truly convey the feeling of devastation.

As I look back on our meeting, I realize that not one of us said, "Do you know what I mean?" We all knew. What a relief, knowing that someone understands—really understands.

I felt lost, alone and afraid. Finding BAN was my lifeline. I was no longer alone in my pain. I found healing.

BAN helped me realize it takes longer to 'get over it' than on TV. Knowing that others have those thoughts and it's normal.

Finding people through BAN helped me realize that the feelings of despair and the pain I was experiencing were shared by many others. The knowledge that I was not alone in that dark place helped me on my journey back to life.

I can come here and share and even if ya'll think I'm nuts (you won't be the only ones) at least here a group understands part of my struggle.

I am so appreciative such a group was started and I feel fortunate to have dialogue with others who have experienced the same pain.

Thank you so much for the meeting tonight. It makes me stronger to be around people who understand what I am experiencing. Thanks for your encouragement, the books and information and most of all for your friendship.

BAN helps to change scattered destructive thoughts into focused thinking as one struggles to accept and understand the normal healing phases after affairs. Betrayed spouses are finally breaking the "Code of Secrecy," talking about the trauma associated with affairs.

I only wish that such a group had existed here many years ago; it would have saved me years of pain and anguish.

I never would have dreamed that the day would come when I would need a support group to help me through the aftermath of an affair.

I find the interaction more helpful than just simply reading a book.

One man drives two hours each way and has never missed a meeting. He had talked to no one for four years before BAN. (From a Coordinator)

Needing a group like BAN and without one in my town, Peggy encouraged me to start a group. Now, comes this outpouring of people in need of a group like BAN. (From a Coordinator)

One of the first amazing things to me is how international this group is... I felt so alone in my small little city ...and then suddenly with e-mails from Maui and Memphis...South Africa and Australia...I felt part of something bigger and safer in an interesting way." (From a Coordinator's perspective)

Can't tell you how grateful I am to have you and your group at our church. (From the coordinator of support activities at our host location)

Yes, there is a life beyond the affairs, and this support group encourages that a good life is possible, beyond the affair.

I am very glad I went to the BAN meeting. You all made me feel at ease, and I left feeling better about myself and my situation. I especially benefitted from realising that a personal recovery may take more like 2 years, than 6 months. Probably I had already read that from the Dearpeggy website, but to hear it face to face from people who have real experience made me feel less worried that I have not coped and dealt well enough with my crisis in my relationship with my wife. Also, as I said at the end of the meeting, it is helpful to see that others, who seem to be good, attractive, and capable people, can have similar problems, not all of their own making. Hearing the hurtful experiences of some of the group made me realise with gratitude that my wife at least did not deceive me, and did not walk out on me as she might have.

Thank you for your commitment to this most awful issue - you were great cheer person at the meeting giving us all a chance to speak. (Comment by a member to their Coordinator)

It was so helpful to hear from others who are years down the track, particularly about the length of time it takes to heal and what it requires to heal. Also helpful just being able to talk and listen to other people's stories.

I now understand that healing takes time and lots of talking about the subject.

It was nice to have people all in one room who have gone through similar situations and can empathise with the wide variety of feelings involved when one is on the receiving end of an affair. So thank you for the support and keep up the good work.

So helpful just talking to other people and finding I am not the only person in this situation.

I came to the meeting broken and in despair. I met women with similar casualties and suddenly my aloneness disappeared. However, the most monumental help for me was that I stopped divorce procedure because I realized something very important. I realized, as our group got larger and larger, that even if I left my husband of many years, chances were that another man I might meet would probably be an adulterer. Just look at all these women!! Their husbands and exes would be out there for me to meet, yuk, what a thought! I realized it's better to work out my situations with the father of my children, with a man that I had a very long history, than risking a repeat with someone new. Society and human beings being what they are today, a similar encounter is a huge possibility.

I remember the feeling inside me when I first read about BAN, what it was about and that there was a support group in the place I lived. Not only had my husband left me, but he had betrayed me and the pain, hurt and sadness was in reality, unbearable. I was so anxious to be able to attend a BAN support group. Knowing you are not alone and you are not insane and it is okay to feel what you are feeling really does give you permission to grieve your loss. In all this confusion to know that all you are experiencing is "normal" is such a relief! It is amazing that we all have different stories, yet the common denominator is we all feel the same pain and are able to talk openly knowing each and everyone of us understands exactly what the other is going through. Having a man in the group is inspiring as you learn that they have all the same feelings and emotions, but are not as able to express them quite the same as a woman. BAN, for me, has been a major support, as well as informative and comforting. There is so much care and concern for each of us by the others in the group because we have all been there or are still there. BAN is a safe place and you can cry and even laugh and it feels okay. We truly do receive help for ourselves as well as give help to others.

I left the BAN meeting with so much going thru my mind. I did so much process and pondering that night. It gave me a little more sense of peace than when I first entered that first meeting. I was actually in the presence of others who knew exactly how I felt. I felt no shame or embarrassment when sharing my story. I was with people who knew all the emotions that have been stirring in my heart, body and soul. This is the comfort of the BAN Group. I am thankful to have found BAN and others who take the time to offer me the support I need at this time.

For many long, lonely years I kept the secret of my pain. A chance reading of an article about BAN in our local newspaper brought me to a meeting. Finding BAN, talking and sharing with others, marked the beginning of my healing. My pain was out of the closet and into the light. One of the most helpful aspects of BAN was listening to others' stories. It helped me to see that the pain and shame I felt were not unusual. Being in a group like this helped me to sort through the myths and misconceptions about adultery. It has been a wonderful sharing and learning experience. I do not think I could have come so far without this group experience.

I find it hard to talk about what happened with most people. I have very few people I can share this with. My parents and a few close friends know what happened and I am grateful for their support. Although for me the comfort is greater when the person has experienced the same or similar shock and betrayal, like the others in BAN. I never thought I would try to work through a situation like this. I always thought that I would leave a marriage if my husband had an affair. Those were all thoughts before I even met my husband because after meeting him I never thought he would have an affair. Yet here I am giving it every ounce of my being trying to build up this marriage.

Longer testimonials are included below:

For many long, lonely years I kept the secret of my pain. A chance reading of an article about BAN in our local newspaper brought me to a meeting. Finding BAN, talking and sharing with others, marked the beginning of my healing. My pain was out of the closet and into the light. One of the most helpful aspects of BAN was listening to others' stories. It helped me to see that the pain and shame I felt were not unusual. Being in a group like this helped me to sort through the myths and misconceptions about adultery. It has been a wonderful sharing and learning experience. I do not think I could have come so far without this group experience.
     Before joining BAN I felt very alone in this battle; I felt beat up, let down, worthless, ashamed, embarrassed and stupid. I was completely discouraged with life. I could not see a future being possible for me. I prayed many times for God to just let me die. But after my first BAN meeting I realized that I didn't do anything to deserve this and my shock and my wanting to make it work was normal for some. I truly can not begin to say how much at ease I was after a few meetings to know I was not alone and someone did understand pretty much what I was going through. If someone has not survived being cheated on they can in no way understand how you feel, no matter how much they love you or how much they want to understand.
     BAN gave me a ticket or a pass to go on with life. It gave me hope that I could survive and that my marriage could survive, if we both worked at it. It showed me that it was ok to not know what I wanted, and to not know what I really believed. It was good to know I was not a bad person for all the sneaking around that I did, checking out the other person or completely hating the other person so much that there were no words to describe. In BAN, I learned that the feelings, thoughts and actions, were very much like other people who had experienced a spouses infidelity.
     BAN gives me a sense of self worth when I can use my crazy unfortunate circumstances in life to comfort that new person who has just found out about their spouses infidelity and encourage them that they can make it. My heart breaks in sympathy for what the new person feels, but, if I would have had BAN when my husbands infidelity first came out, I know that I would be a much different person. I had so many days that it took everything in me to get out of bed, what I would not have given to have had someone who had been there and gone through that hurt. I was fortunate to have a counselor (social worker) that I had meet with at different points in my life to turn to. She was a Christian and she too had experienced infidelity, so she helped me to express my feelings. BAN gives the victim a way to reach out for help without being judged or ashamed.
     I would tell counselors to encourage people in our position to journal their feelings, and to help them to realize the extent of mood swings from "I can do this" to "God, please let me die" are normal; that it is ok to still love someone even thought they have hurt you- even when you don't understand why they acted in such a way. The realization of an affair, in my opinion is far more devastating than the death of a spouse, because it makes you doubt yourself and your self worth.
     I will never be able to express in words the gift of hope that BAN has given me!
(Note: She just did express--in beautiful words--what BAN has meant to her!)

I felt huge relief when I finally found the BAN information (after a year) saying that others had felt the same need as me taking whatever moves were necessary to get totally out of contact with the third party to begin to recover. We took one more move and changed schools. Also that it was 'OK' that I had 'broken the code of secrecy' letting some people know about the affair as soon as I knew, I instinctively knew I had to allow natural consequences in the early effort to get my husband's affair into the real world and out of fantasyland (I saw what I now know is an 'affair bubble' burst for myself, he still wanted his family in our case).
      Some of the information such as why affairs happen, I found difficult to comprehend and accept on my own, I had to see it illustrated in the others I met to believe it, to take it in, and to apply it to my life as it went against the myths I had believed before.
      Starting a support group was difficult for me, and for my husband who wanted the affair to be kept totally private at that stage. I did it really because I wasn't getting better on my own after 1 1/2 years and was willing to believe what I'd read that it could help. And it did. I learned something from each person of the 26 I met.
      Without the group I'd say I would have faced another affair after this one had been buried long enough as that was the way my husband preferred to deal with it. However in the group I saw so many people who had tried to move on too quickly from a first affair in the past only to have it happen again.
      So I felt empowered and became able to negotiate a more fair relationship with my husband. He too had to work through the impact of the affair and came to accept it can never be forgotten as it has become a major learning experience for both of us.
      Six years on we have five children, three young children at the time of his affair and two since. We took about three years to begin to work through it effectively, now finally it hurts less and less. I'm no longer traumatised. He feels "bitter" about what it's cost him in terms of my trust. He is helping me get brochures out there for our local group including at the army base. I guess we both learnt anybody and any marriage is vulnerable to an affair as we thought we were safe before because we were happy.
      It is mainly a learning experience we continue to apply to all aspects of our lives (short term pleasure vs long term pain, someone you meet vs someone you know warts and all 24/7 etc), and it comes up as we think of how to prepare our 14 year old for her future with boys etc.. Thankfully in our case it was possible for us to stay together with our children. Whatever the future I can cope now I know alot about infidelity.
      So far, so good, with good odds for the future (thanks to the BAN support group) which is all anyone can say actually!

Testimonials from Therapists about BAN:

As a therapist, I'm especially aware of the deep sense of isolation that clients often feel when they are trying to heal. So I'm grateful for having a support system to recommend. I've sent people to books and websites, but there's nothing like talking with "fellow travelers" to help ease the journey.

I will start sending out information about BAN to the counselor's network I am a part of. It is much needed here, and I am hoping this will really explode. I think there is a lot of "suffering" in silence and "saving face" that may keep some from joining a support group. But it is worth exploring.

I am glad we have this important, needed resource in our area.
(Note: This therapist encouraged and supported one of her clients in becoming the local BAN Coordinator—and continues to support the work of BAN.)

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