Q&A Is It Normal for the Betrayed Spouse to Comfort the Wayward Spouse?

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Question: 

We are 9 months post d-day. My husband has been unfaithful twice. Once about 12-13 years ago and then the second time over 9 months ago. The first one he hid for almost 10 years. We didn't really fully address, grieve, heal from it. We didn't know what to process. Since the second d-day, in the past 2-3 months I feel like the shift has been from focusing on my healing to his comforting. I find myself having to comfort him more as he is taking the guilt and shame to a level of having suicidal tendencies. And when I find out new information, it creates shock waves that sets us back which in turn elevates the guilt and shame more. Is it normal that the betrayed finds themselves trying to comfort the wayward spouse while they are both working on their individual healing as well as the healing of "Us"? I feel that being angry, hurt, or upset only pushes him further into self-pity, guilt, remorse, etc. I don’t want to see him so torn down that he feels no other way out other than death. Mainly because I don’t know how to fully help him. Going through the courses, I know that I cannot be his accountability partner either. I am in a state of confusion as to what role I need to be in during this process or if it is normal to switch places in being comforters to each other.

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Thank you for asking that

Thank you for asking that question. I am going through something very similar and I have the fear that I may send him over the edge if I talk about my pain too often. It is a difficult and unfair position to be in.

Switching roles

I am so glad you asked this question. You are so courageous. I have too been struggling with dealing with my healing and having to comfort him. I feel that in this process you have to comfort each other, but to a certain point. I did have to tell my husband that I couldn’t do it all the time and that he needed to seek help for himself. I have been having to heal with the trauma of finding out of his betrayal in January that he had been unfaithful to me in October and then later finding out he had first betrayed me ten years ago was devastating. He struggles to disclose on his own all of what he has done. I have found out all of his betrayals on my own and after I confront him he seems to feel so much shame and pain and tells me I would be better off without me and that he could not live without me if I left him. I have had to explain to him that God is the only one that can take our lives. I have found much comfort in knowing that God can heal me by giving the strength to seek help through affair recovery. I believe God has heard my prayers when I found out about Harboring hope and hope for healing. I am waiting to attend the conference and my husband has already signed up for the Harboring Hope course. I pray for each and one of us that has been betrayed by our spouse and for the betrayers as well. God created marriage and I know He wants us to continue in our relationship but as new creations through Jesus Christ. I pray that our hearts heal and continue to fight against the works of the enemy to destroy our families. God will make us stronger. I have faith in Him that it will happen. I find most comfort through Him. I know He will bring healing to us all. Thanks again for your question. I know I am not the only to go through such trauma. May God bring you hapiness and peace and strength to overcome it all! God Bless.

Switching roles

I am so glad you asked this question. You are so courageous. I have too been struggling with dealing with my healing and having to comfort him. I feel that in this process you have to comfort each other, but to a certain point. I did have to tell my husband that I couldn’t do it all the time and that he needed to seek help for himself. I have been having to heal with the trauma of finding out of his betrayal in January that he had been unfaithful to me in October and then later finding out he had first betrayed me ten years ago was devastating. He struggles to disclose on his own all of what he has done. I have found out all of his betrayals on my own and after I confront him he seems to feel so much shame and pain and tells me I would be better off without me and that he could not live without me if I left him. I have had to explain to him that God is the only one that can take our lives. I have found much comfort in knowing that God can heal me by giving the strength to seek help through affair recovery. I believe God has heard my prayers when I found out about Harboring hope and hope for healing. I am waiting to attend the conference and my husband has already signed up for the Harboring Hope course. I pray for each and one of us that has been betrayed by our spouse and for the betrayers as well. God created marriage and I know He wants us to continue in our relationship but as new creations through Jesus Christ. I pray that our hearts heal and continue to fight against the works of the enemy to destroy our families. God will make us stronger. I have faith in Him that it will happen. I find most comfort through Him. I know He will bring healing to us all. Thanks again for your question. I know I am not the only to go through such trauma. May God bring you hapiness and peace and strength to overcome it all! God Bless.