Q&A How Do I Get to a Place of Safety and Intimacy with My Mate?

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Question: 

I am struggling with leaning in with my mate. I am the wayward spouse and have had affairs and I am also in recovery for sex addiction. We attended EMSO and are now working with our group doing the Married for Life exercises. We are almost 1 year from our first trickle disclosure and there are still a lot of triggers my mate experiences. I desire a connection with my mate, but sometimes when we talk it seems like more of a confrontation than a conversation and I get defensive and either withdraw or lash-out. I am reading books about vulnerability and acceptance which are all very good so far, but I'm not sure yet how to break from the natural defensive posture when I finally get the courage to talk. When I get defensive or my mate perceives me getting defensive the conversations escalate quickly. I know there's anger, and the anger is justified. How do I, as the wayward, get to the point of safety so I can really open up and have intimate conversations with my mate?

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