This gentleman had just found out his wife was guilty of another infidelity and was now at the end of the road. He had tried to forgive her before, but this time in terrible pain, he couldn’t see a way forward and was now planning his divorce.
His wife came to me looking for a marriage in-crisis expert to help her understand why she had these affairs and how she could save what seemed like a doomed marriage.
Below this couple have been kind enough to share their story with you independently.
Firstly these are her words…
I contacted Stephen Hedger after my husband had found out that I had been unfaithful to him. It hadn’t been the first time, so we were at crisis point.
We were in a place, where I thought I would never be forgiven and my husband was clear that he no longer loved me.
The irony was that I knew that I loved my husband deeply and I didn’t even know why I was repeatedly doing this. I knew that if I didn’t resolve this unhealthy pattern, I would keep repeating it and I was desperate to not lose my marriage or the man I loved. I knew it was time to understand the root of the problem.
We went to see Stephen and agreed a process where I would first have a series of sessions by myself and Stephen would provide feedback to my husband. Following that, if my husband would consider taking me back, we would continue to have joint sessions.
Throughout those sessions I was able to understand myself at a much deeper level. Although I had attended self-development courses before, none were as structured or as expertly delivered as by Stephen.
I was able to see that my patterns were related to my childhood and low self-worth and self-esteem. We worked on re-building my confidence and I was able to see that I didn’t need to escape into external relationships to validate myself. Nor did I have to continue in self-destructive behaviour because I felt like I didn’t deserve a wonderful relationship or a man like my husband. As a result of the coaching, within a short space, I felt a lot stronger, happier and content within myself.
After these one-to-one sessions, my husband and I began having joint sessions. During these we were able to get an insight into each other lives and worlds. I was able to see how much I had hurt my husband and feel genuine remorse and ask for his forgiveness.
Naturally there were moments when issues arose and Stephan helped us see the other’s point of view. We learnt so much about the difference between men and women, how we behave, respond and handle situations differently because of our gender and this has helped us navigate through what before would have been difficult situations. Now instead of being confrontational and critical of one another we generally are able to laugh about one another’s foibles.
Everything that I learnt through the coaching sessions with Stephen has altered my life and actions in a way I would never have dreamt. Not only do I have an amazing relationship with a man whom I worship, my confidence has impacted my work, focus, relationship to money and much more.
I am eternally grateful Stephen for giving me myself and my marriage back. After infidelity, you may think that your relationship is unsalvageable.
My husband and I are testament that with the right support, you can be the best version of yourself and have the relationship of your dreams.
Now his words
I agreed to see Stephen after I found out my wife had been unfaithful to me on what turned out to be several occasions. I felt I wanted confirmation from an outside source (Stephen) that I could feel totally vindicated in blaming (and punishing) her for it all.
To say I was bitter was an understatement. We were obviously in a very bad place but as I had subconsciously realised something wasn’t right between us for a while, and whilst devastated and reeling from the latest revelations, I wanted to understand whether any of it was partly my fault or not. So I stopped staying in the office late at night doing the ‘divorce’ spreadsheets and went along.
My wife had already had a couple of sessions ahead of me but we had agreed not to discuss these until Stephen and I had met and he could explain his understanding of the situation from what he had been told by my wife.
For me, his ability to listen to my concerns and then rationalise them back to me in a sympathetic, considered and respectful manner really impressed me.
Over two more one-to-one sessions, he took me on a journey of discovery of what men and women expect from relationships and why disconnects happen. Ultimately it’s down to communication and the ability to listen properly and not jump into ‘fix it’ mode whenever we (men) can – often before the full point/thought has been made.
Our meetings were frank, open and purposeful. Questions like “Would you miss her?” and “Could you live a life without her?” made me realise that even though I couldn’t, I had to have answers from my wife directly.
So we then had the rest of our sessions together.
It was through these, with Stephen acting as both translator and coach, that I realised my wife’s actions were actually a cry for help and because I never had the ‘tools’ to deal with it we grew apart through resentment, suspicion and apathy. Stephen not only taught me the tools needed but explained to both of us what it would be like using them and when to use them.
Suffice to say that they work and my wife and I have come out of this stronger than ever before. We both still have our ‘moments’ when work and life get in the way but, somehow, we know when we’re not really listening and we then make proper time to catch-up and reconnect.
Everyone deserves a better relationship and Stephen is a great catalyst, a confidant and perceptive mentor.
I can’t recommend him highly enough.