Q&A How Do We Both Deal with My Mates Shame?

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Question: 

Five years ago my husband had an affair. I thought we had recovered, then four months ago I found out he was having another affair. As we are recovering this time I am learning more about shame and I am concerned that my husband’s shame is pushing me away. I am concerned that his shame is not allowing him to absorb the love I am giving him despite the pain he has caused me. In turn his unintentional reactions as a result of his shame are causing more hurt. When we are in a low place he has said things like “I don’t think this is going to work. I don’t deserve you. How can you even look at me? What if I am not enough? What if I can’t be what you need me to be? What if I do it again? I have a hard time looking at you because I see all the pain I have caused. I can understand how he can have these feelings however, I feel like he is pushing me away with this thought process not allowing me to have the opportunity to make those decisions for myself. Recently when we talked about him sleeping back in our bed. He said he was more nervous to sleep in bed with me than he was looking forward to it. This made me feel unloved and unwanted. He then expressed this reluctancey was because he felt like not sleeping in bed with me was his punishment and he still deserved it. His shame was not letting him feel the love I was extending to him and his reaction then left me feeling hurt. How do we both deal with his shame?

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