Q&A Any Practical Advice for Our Cycle?

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Question: 

I am the betrayed spouse. I have a question about the cycle of grace. One cycle evident in most of our marriage goes like this: I am hurt (usually lonely). I express it to him. He perceives it as me telling him he is a failure, he's not accepted the way he is and he will never be good enough. He gets very defensive. I cry. He yells at me asking me "why can't I be good enough!" Sometimes he throws things and has other outbursts of anger and violence. Eventually, I put aside my hurt to calm him down. I reassure him he is not a failure. He is a good father. I tell him things I appreciate about him and try to encourage him in the Lord. We end up talking calmly about his feelings of inadequacy for a very long time. Then we go on into "pretend normal" without my original issue ever being dealt with. Without me being heard, validated or understood. I feel like I am choosing love which is suffering. But this just isn't working. In other groups I'm told these actions of mine are because I am codependent which is wrong. I really am confused. If my actions are choosing love why don't I get to the peace, freedom and attachment that the cycle of grace should lead to? I want to take responsibility and change but I really am so confused. Could you explain practically where I am going wrong?

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Very, very helpful answer!

Very, very helpful answer! On a similar issue, when triggers come up for me, and I calmly mention that "such and such" was a trigger today and I used my coping techniques to handle it, the discussion can become a trigger for my spouse, too. Thanks to the EMSO program, he now understands the deceived thinking that lead to his infidelity and the deep pain that it caused me. Precisely because of this therapy, reminders of his actions are still pretty painful for him, especially when old texts from an AP surface. He is learning to consider my feelings first and make statements that make me feel safe, but I do see a deep sadness. I wonder if it's OK, when he's down, after he's taken care of my feelings, to restate some of my "truths in love" to him. He's doing everything possible to save our marriage. He's been a great provider, a great dad, etc. I don't think that would be a codependant thing.

What type of affair was it?

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