MC: “Atonement and vows.”

This brings our story back to the morning after second D-day.  I skipped work that day.  I called in sick.  I was afraid if I left for work, I’d lose any chance of reconciling with TL.  We called Phil, our counselor from back home.  In the weeks that followed, we had phone appointments with Phil every week. Finally, a colleague in the medical field was able to help us find a local counselor.  We started seeing our new counselor every week instead.  Our second counselor — we decided to call her Counselor Troi here — had a very different style than Phil.  Both were helpful.  Phil helped me call out my sick obsessions and start addressing them.  Troi helped TL start to work on the trauma I had caused.  Troi also helped us gradually work on rebuilding our relationship. Shortly after second D-day came Yom Kippur, the annual Day of Atonement.  For the first time during this holiest of holidays, I dug deep for genuine pledges for the new year.  Second D-day had freed me.  I was no longer constrained by a need to hide years of previous sins, even in my discussions with God. Second D-day began my most real and most significant round of begging forgiveness and making atonement.  It set the stage for my full religious conversion that began a few weeks later and took me a year-and-half to complete,  That Yom Kippur I vowed:  I will not cheat, I will not lie, I will put TL and the kids first, and I will strive to be more flexible.  In the year that followed, I recited those vows to myself — often aloud, so TL could hear — daily. It was also in this period that we began Rick Reynold’s Affair Recovery online course.  This was about 12 weeks of reading, watching videos, doing discussion activities as a couple, and participating in a support group with other couples in the class.

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