Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

Life After Divorce: How the Unfaithful Sees It

Should I Get a Divorce? A Two Part Series

Part 1: Am I Being Naive?
Part 2: Life After Divorce: How the Unfaithful Sees It

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I once heard it said,"love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener." As a professional, I've always believed people to be profoundly naïve about marriage. However, that naïveté may be even more pronounced when it comes to life after divorce. After our previous article on infidelity and divorce and the challenges faced by the injured spouse, it seemed only appropriate to address the challenges after divorce for those who have been unfaithful.

Here are their thoughts and portions of their stories.

Life After Divorce for Unfaithful

"Divorce didn't solve our problems—it only delayed the resolution."

Frequently, the bitterness about the betrayal fuels the injured spouse's anger for months and sometimes years after the divorce, making divorce recovery more difficult."Issues such as how to deal with our children weren't solved by our divorce," one man stated,"Rather, the kids became even more trapped between the two of us as a result of my mate's anger about my infidelity and divorce." Even if nothing is said to the children regarding the betrayal, ongoing anger can still cause the children to feel they are being disloyal when visiting the unfaithful mate. Making amends and doing anything possible to help your injured mate heal before and after the divorce is advisable.

"Financial support after my infidelity and divorce got complicated. Due to my guilt, I felt as if I had no choice when my mate would ask for additional financial assistance."

While this could be a problem for any divorce, it's complicated for those who have been unfaithful. If they feel responsible for the divorce as a result of their unfaithfulness they may feel an additional burden to help their mate. If they didn't want the divorce, they may even use finances as a way to manipulate their ex into believing they have changed in hopes of regaining their ex-partner's affection and admiration. This can lead to both parties living beyond their means, turning life after divorce into an even worse financial crisis.

"The relationship with my children was complicated by their knowledge of my infidelity. They blamed me for the infidelity and divorce and didn't want to see me."

Far too often, the children are used as pawns in the struggle that goes on after an affair. The injured spouse will threaten to tell the children about the infidelity to get the unfaithful spouse to conform. If that's the case, then divorce usually ends up with the children knowing what happened. This can cause the children to mirror the injured spouse's hurt for the loss of the family and take on the same feelings of betrayal that the injured spouse exhibits. In these cases, forgiveness becomes as big an issue for the children as it is for the injured spouse.

"Nothing prepared me for the intense loneliness. Many of our friends remained in support of my mate as a result of my infidelity."

It's one thing to split up assets; it's another to split up friends. Many unfaithful spouses find themselves isolated after divorce due to the judgment of friends and family post-divorce. It hurts if the marriage doesn't work out, but far too often the"infidelity factor" results in the unfaithful spouse feeling judged and isolated, losing much of their support after divorce making recovery more difficult.

"Divorce didn't take away my feelings of guilt for the infidelity. I thought being away from my mate would make it disappear, but it didn't."

"To this day, I carry a heaviness in my heart when I think of the pain that I inflicted not only on my former husband, friends, and family, but primarily on my very own children. The children whom I carried within me, gave birth to, nursed, and raised are the very ones whom I have hurt the most. It hurts my soul to this day to see the agony and life-interruption that my selfishness has caused. Nothing in the world is worth the price of one's family. No person is worth the pain inflicted upon the ones that are dearest and most-loved. To have had an affair is the single most selfish thing in the entire world that I have ever done, and I wish with all of my heart and soul that I could go back and change things or wake up to find that it was all a bad dream. Instead, I must own up to my own deception and selfishness, pray for forgiveness, and hope that I somehow am able to deter another from making the worst mistake of his or her life. It is an empty promise and a deception of self to believe otherwise. Life after divorce is heavy... trust me." If one's mate doesn't extend forgiveness, the unfaithful spouse has to find forgiveness elsewhere. At the same time, they may also be trapped by the bitterness created as a result of the divorce. Learning how to receive forgiveness as well as extending forgiveness are major recovery tasks for the unfaithful spouse post-divorce.

"I thought my mate's anger would subside after the divorce, but it didn't."

The opposite of love isn't hate—it's indifference. Love and hate are both passion; all you are doing is changing the balance from positive to negative. When a relationship dies after divorce, both parties let it go and move on. There is a tombstone placed over that relationship that reads, ‘rest in peace.' When infidelity occurs, however, this isn't the case. Not only does the passion not die, it actually escalates to new heights. The attachment wounds created by the infidelity can leave the betrayed spouse struggling with hatred for years to come, again making divorce recovery an uphill climb.

"Fulfillment was slower in coming than I anticipated."

Of those interviewed, many said finding fulfillment after their infidelity and divorce was far more difficult than anticipated. They advised a significant degree of patience when it came to finding fulfillment. It is possible, but it took longer than any of them had anticipated. Research from the Institute for American Values supports this, showing that only 19% of unhappy spouses who divorced or separated were happily married five years later, while 64% of unhappy spouses who avoided divorce ended up happily married five years later*. For the unfaithful spouse, letting go and moving on can be just as difficult as it is for the injured spouse. As one woman put it,"Were I to have known then what I know now about life after divorce and infidelity, I would never have even entertained the thought of being attracted and allured by another man's affection. Were I to have fully experienced and felt the magnitude and depth of pain associated with the betrayal and destruction of my family beforehand, there is absolutely no doubt that I wouldn't have given it a second thought. Ironically, however, I was fully aware of the pain and destruction of divorce because I also was affected by the devastation of my parent's divorce and swore that I would not make the same mistake. Unfortunately, I did." Learning to find peace and forgiveness within one's self is critical to moving on, but infidelity and divorce frequently leave the unfaithful spouse under their own self condemnation and unable to move on.



Divorce is difficult and, at times, unavoidable. Our hope is that each person is restored; unfortunately, that doesn't always mean marriages survive. It's not fair, but recovery requires work on the part of both the betrayed and unfaithful spouse. When that doesn't happen, divorce frequently occurs. I hope that being forewarned will somehow help those on their recovery journey.

Finding new life always requires letting go and finding forgiveness within one's self. For those who are struggling with this problem, I'd highly recommend finding support through a 12 step group, pastor, or therapist, along with an infidelity-specific process for healing, like Harboring Hope for the betrayed, or Hope for Healing for the betrayer. Specialized support is absolutely critical for long-term healing and personal restoration.

If you're ready to start the journey of finding freedom and forgiveness, I hope you'll consider registering for EMS Weekend. This 3 day intensive is a safe place for you both to learn, grow and heal.
Our 3-day weekend intensive for couples to heal after infidelity now offering $1,000 discount for virtual months during the pandemic. Limited availability.

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  1. *Waite, Linda J., Don Browning, William J. Doherty, Maggie Gallagher, Ye Luo, and Scott M. Stanley. "Does Divorce Make People Happy? Findings from a Study of Unhappy Marriages." Institute for American Values (2002). Print.

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Comments

Divorce Comments

Great Article and I agree on most parts however, you don't talk about those of us where were betrayed, wanted to work on the marriage and were forced to deal with abandonment and divorce on the heels of our unfaithful spouses leaving us for their affair partners. I do not take divorce lightly and hate the impact on my young kids however, sometimes these affairs do not blow up in time to salvage the marriage. And all the work my soon to be ex-husband has to do is all on him. I can only work on me, his issues are his to fix - if he ever chooses to take responsibility and look in the mirror.

Divorce comments

I agree with the reply above. There are those of us who were betrayed and yet willing to work on the marriage and our unfaithful spouse divorced us and left for the affair partner. I'd like to hear from any unfaithful spouse who did this what their regrets were if any. I have yet to hear one remorseful word from my ex husband. It's especially hard to heal when infidelity is not even recognized as damaging or wrong.

Any remorse from the unfaithful ?

My husband is hiring divorce attorneys and going through our finances, changing passwords to our accounts, this week.

He has shown no remorse about his 3.5 year still ongoing affair.

He still lies about it. He cannot admit what is going on, what he does with her every day - even though he knows I know everything.
And I have proof - lots and lots of it.

He maintains the denial. I cannot understand the hold she has on him to make him do this.

I wonder if there will ever be any remorse from him.
He blames me for everything - he even says that I am the one destroying our family.
Everything I say, he says the opposite.

Agree

Ive completed EMS weekend and Harbouring Hope. I can completely understand you. Although he cheated...he moved out. And now I believe next step is divorce. I’m very sad by this but I’ve tried my best. Hope things turned around for you.

I can relate

I’m in the thick of it now, going through a divorce after betrayal and ultimately abandonment even after I stayed to work on the relationship. I need some encouragement for the future as I face single parenting my 17, 15, 13 & 12 year old kids with minimal interaction from my soon to be ex.

Hang in there and take care

Hang in there and take care of yourself. Go for walks, hit the gym, pursue old and new hobbies, you will be okay. Surround yourself with family and friends. Your kids will appreciate you even more seeing what you are dealing with. Hopefully they will help out with things.
Like you I tried for 5 months to work on my marriage with my STBXW. For the most part of the past year she abandoned the kids (20, 16, 9, & 6) & myself. I finally had enough of watching her run around on me and bring her “just friends” around my kids especially my 9 year old son and 6 year old daughter. I hope they understand what their mother has done and I hope she will eventually realize what she has done to our family. I had to take my cake, sparkles, and kibbles away by filing. Of course he is a super great guy who has 5 kids with 3 women but they all cheated on him. Lol. They deserve each other. Just know that there is someone out there who will treat us the way we deserve to be. We will be okay.

Divorce Comments

In this instance, I am the unfaithful spouse. I was Unfaithful to my wife of 27 years on several instances. When she discovered what I had been doing, I could not deny it as she had all the proof. We started living apart immediately, and got divorced a few months later. I would like to share with you that I deeply regret my actions. I never had any good relationship with my parents nor my siblings, and I never knew what it was to hold a good relationship. I was unfaithful not because my spouse did anything wrong, but because as silly as this sounds, I was completely insecure. I felt that no one would be happy in a relationship with me, so let me cheat so when she leaves me I will be ok. Guess what. I am not OK. I am the furthest person from OK. I wish that I could turn back the clock and that GOD would give me another chance to be the Husband I want to be. I know that this is not possible but we can all have hope. I truly hope that one day her path crosses with mine again. As now, I live with a lot of resentment and hatred, for MYSELF. I know that what I have done and behaved, scarred her for a lifetime, but I really wish that I could take it all back. I am truly sorry for whatever I have done and all I have now is hope.

I have no sympathy for

I have no sympathy for unfaithful spouses who have trouble healing. They should

Unfaithful Spouse Doing the Divorcing Even After Being Forgiven

What is an unfaithful spouse thinking when they are the one that has decided to leave the marriage, even after they have been forgiven by their mate? This is my situation and I just can't make any since of it. I love her and want to make a new marriage for us, but she does not even want to try.  She is not thinking about our kids.  I am daily leaning toward God and praying for a miracle.

 

Life after the D word

Interesting how this information is written from the unfaithful's perspective. It some ways, it enforces or provides validity to the betrayer in his or her reasoning to avoid separation or divorce. Items may be shown by research to be of common conclusion, however, when the spouse who was unfaithful chooses to remain in the patterns which led to infidelity, there is little resolution for the one "left".  Items mentioned above seem to support the unfaithful's line of blame or lack of commitment to change in that they suggest that divorce really does not make one happy.  Happy or not, the reality of the brokenness and despair is monumental and if there is not an exact, intentional, and sacrificial choice made to repair what was broken by subscribing to vows of marriage and the biblical mandate for marriage, then divorce becomes a viable solution to place one on the road to healing and self-restoration.

Life After Divorce

Thank you for the invaluable insights into life-after-divorce. I am the hurt spouse. Three years after D-day I am very hopeful for our marriage. I thank God for sparing our children the pain of infidelity and giving me Himself to forgive, love, wait and grow. Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times. Romans 12:12 NCV

Too bad, so sad

I am the injured party. Not only did my wife lie, deceive, cheat (with multiple partners), and abandon myself (and our 2 children), she blames me for everything. I tried, even after discovery, to extend grace...I begged her to stay...I didn't want a divorce. She would have no part of it. I wept, I prayed, I tried to wait for her to come back. All to no avail. And now, my heart is cold toward her. I grew tired of hurting...and she still takes no responsibility for her transgressions. Oh, she admits the affairs...but that's only because she got caught. As the injured party, I should have been the one to want a divorce...but I didn't...though I was forced to seek an attorney and begin the process (for my own protection). I have said all of that to say this: It's really too bad if the unfaithful spouse feels torment over what they have done. They deserve to feel every bit of the pain and anguish they have wrought upon their families. Fine if they can find it in them to forgive themselves...fine if the injured can find it in them to forgive the unfaithful. But, in my particular case, I was forced to let her go, and since I have, well, now I have to rebuild my life with broken pieces. I do not care about how this affects her...it SHOULD make her feel bad. Heck, if she even showed the slightest bit of remorse over this, it would go a long way to help us heal...but it wouldn't save the marriage. If the unfaithful spouse feels bad over what they have done...I say, good. They deserve it.

Its been six years since you

Its been six years since you wrote this. How are things now?

Intense lonliness and divorce recovery

I was married for 26 years and with my now ex for almost 5 years before we got married.  We brought 2 children into the world and had a wonderful, loving marriage and family until I found out he was sleeping with a MAN.  Then he decided that he was lying to himself all of those years we spent together and wanted to be with men and go to gay night clubs...Not only am I lonely now because I cannot seem to trust anymore, but I've been divorced now for 6 years and because of the extent of his betrayal, recovery seems impossible at times.  I had fallen in love with him at first sight when I was 19 and we were together for almost 31 years until that horrible night...not to mention that this man, who I loved and adored, became abusive toward me...how does one get over that kind of betrayal and deep hurt?

Being the Betrayer AND the Betrayed.....

I agree with the comment about how having an affair that it is the most selfish act a person could commit. After living in a loveless marriage for several years I turned to the love and affection of another man. And I can honestly say it was the most horrid mistake I could have ever made. Like mentioned above in another comment I hurt everyone that I love and care about most. The guilt literally makes me sick. I have completed 4 weeks of intensive partial inpatient treatment to attempt to deal with the consequences of what I did. My husband could not forgive me and chose to move on and have an affair also. At that point I could 100% understand the magnitude of the pain I had caused my spouse. He did at one point say he would try to work on things and broke it off with the affair partner. But he could not get anywhere near healing or forgiving and with in a few weeks had contacted a ex-girlfriend from college and proceeded to start an affair with her. The divorce has been filed and he appears to be completely content with his current relationship. I must say that I have begged for forgiveness, tried eveything I can to remedy the situation and he is cold to it all. So now I am dealing with the devestation of him leaving me and being with the new partner. While I have a great deal of remourse over what I did and suffer with it greatly, he does not care a bit about what I am going through or the devestation that he is causing by his actions. A lot of comments above say who cares about the betrayer and that they are going through and that they deserve it. I disagree, no one deserves the pain and devestation. I grieve horribly about the pain I caused my husband and I take full responsibility for what I did. We are all human and God would never want use to wish pain on others. We are all called to love and forgive others. And believe me I know how difficult that is to do. I continue to struggle with the anger that the pain causes me and have to lean totally on the Grace of Jesus to continually struggle to forgive daily.

This is huge! I took

This is huge! I took Harboring hope and just forwarded this to my unfaithful, soon to be ex husband. I filed 2 days ago and served him at our counseling session today. The man of my dreams has crumbled into depravity, and I know it's not up to me to save him. I truly do hope we both find peace, and have the strength to move forward and become better versions of ourselves. These recent articles/posts couldn't have come at a better time!

Not all divorce is bad

I'm a Christian Catholic and believe in the sacrament of marriage with all my heart. You must do everything possible before considering a divorce. I agree with the powerful consequences of divorcing after an affair that are outlined in this article, but I also believe the article was not balanced. There are some good reasons to consider a divorce. My husband had an affair and although he was caught red handed, he never apologized, was remorseful or took responsibility. He refused counseling, wouldn't meet with our priest, but blamed me and told me off constantly while continuing to lie that he had stopped the affair. I was bed ridden from debilitating chronic disease during his affair and taking intravenous meds a couple times a day without any help from him. Finally, after forgiving him, being kind and loving, and doing everything I could to repair things, my priest said that he felt divorce was the healthiest option for the situation. While I was devastated by the divorce, it's been two years now and I'm so happy. Plus, my kids are doing great. I found a kind, loving, trustworthy man and I haven't looked back. Sometimes there's a better future with moving on.

Restored fully.

Thanks for your courage. However, forgiveness and happiness work hand in hand. You will find true happiness and peace when you genuinely forgive the fallen one. He or she need to he saved. Do your own part and let God do the rest, and you will find that true peace and wholeness you're searching for.
Most of the time what follows after divorce is bitterness and eternal reminder of the sins of another.
Good luck and may God give you peace and heal your tender heart. Amen.

How are you fairing? Any

How are you fairing? Any change or are you still going through the divorce?

Divorce

My wife and I are signing our divorce papers tomorrow after over forty five years of marriage. None of the topics listed and covered in this series address my situation directly, though Harboring Hope helped solidified my decision. I have been lonely for years as my wife goes about her adulterous life. A wasted life (forty four years/ thirty affairs), waiting for her to change. I have been advised that divorce will eliminate my financial exposure; not that it matters. I am hoping this will end the nightmare.

30 years down the drain

My expectations were reasonable...they were not met...now I will have to live with the status quo which is obviously cheating and being "forgiven" for it. Which to me means the unfaithful can feel extremely thankful that I accept him as my room-mate, financial partner and father of my children for the remainder of our long lives...Depressing

Divorce?

Thank you for Part I &II of this article. I have been contemplating divorce, and really trying to take my time to process everything. As the betrayed; I wanted reconciliation but he did not. I'm told that the affair is over all the whilst the other woman has befriended his family; which has placed me and my kids in an awful place. He chooses not to speak on it offer any type of way to work around these issues. This is why I've contemplated divorce. The entire thing makes me feel anxious and unsafe (emotionally) because I'm not being offered or provided with "next steps" to maintain or end the marriage. Its very confusing. Sometimes I ask myself is he doing alot of things out of guilt. This article gave me some insight

This article terrifies me.

This article terrifies me.

Still Makes Me Angry

Even after 3 1/2 years, over 2 years divorced, this topic still enrages me. I was the betrayed and did not want divorce, she filed for divorce 2 months after discovery. She is still with her affair partner, his marriage ended in divorce as well. Every time she contacts me or thoughts of her come up, I get angry. I have only been to an event with her present once (our son's wife's baby shower) and that was uncomfortable. I don't go to family events where she is present, and even her contacts to try to make arrangements so I can attend feel condescending and controlling. I can definitely say divorce did not make our relationship better, the opposite.

After some thought, I think what makes this difficult for me is the fact that she ended her marriage, his marriage, and now remain together, all the while repeating that she would like to become friends, maybe closer friends than when we were married. Give me a break!!!

Gender difference?

I noted that the person who expressed regret and sadness about the pain caused to spouse and children and extended family is a woman. I would faint dead away if my children’s dad expressed such poignant remorse. When I filed for divorce, he said he felt as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. I understand why he would feel that way about being rid of me, but I didn’t know at the time that he was shrugging off the weight of loving and pursuing reconciliation with our almost grown daughters. My heart breaks for him and for them. I wonder if an unfaithful divorced man would care to weigh in about regret and sadness. . .

Gender difference?

I noted that the person who expressed regret and sadness about the pain caused to spouse and children and extended family is a woman. I would faint dead away if my children’s dad expressed such poignant remorse. When I filed for divorce, he said he felt as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. I understand why he would feel that way about being rid of me, but I didn’t know at the time that he was shrugging off the weight of loving and pursuing reconciliation with our almost grown daughters. My heart breaks for him and for them. I wonder if an unfaithful divorced man would care to weigh in about regret and sadness. . .

I'd like more on this subject

For me, my x walked out and never looked back. I just can't imagine that he has an ounce of remorse and if he did/does there's no way, I feel, that he'd ever tell me or our son (an adult). Addictions and narcissism, I think, hold him back. I wanted counseling - individually and for our marriage - but not him.

I am just about 2 years post-divorce. He assured me and our son that he would make sure I was taken care of. He only minimally supports me financially (which ends soon) because he got caught spending well into 6 figures and violating standing orders. Does he feel guilty about it - dubious.

I would like to see more about this for both sides. Thank you for sharing.

My ex also just walked out

My ex also just walked out and continues the affair with a married woman. He has never expressed any remorse whatsoever. He tells me he was never happy in our marriage, funny he never mentioned being unhappy until I confronted him with proof of his affair. He still says he is just friends with the married affair partner. He schedules no visitation with our child and goes weeks without any contact with our child at all.

Staying no better than divorce after betrayal

Forgiveness has nothing to do with reconciliation. People easily get that confused. The final step in the forgiveness process is to release or reattach. Regardless of the unfaithful spouse being a ‘poster child’ of recovery this is a deeply personal choice for a betrayed. I read many more blogs, books, articles, about people who have healed better and found fulfilling relationships after leaving an unfaithful spouse than staying in a marriage that left part of them dead. You cannot love a full life being dead! The kids will all know one day what their unfaithful parent did. It’s MUCH better having an ongoing age appropriate conversation with the kids than to have them hear about it from a relative (as I did hearing about my father’s cheating on my mom). Open conversations are imperative in healing!
More often than not it’s the kids that are the reason betrayeds are ‘guilted’ into staying in a marriage that was abusive. And yes, cheating is terribly emotionally abusive. I rarely hear encouragement for the betrayed to overcome their fear of change and ‘responsibility’ to the family and do what’s best for them. How many quotes about fear are out there?! Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Yes, you have to heal, forgive, stop taking their actions personally, but can you do this with your abuser still in your life ...truly? Even if they ‘get it’ now and are ‘over it’ the horrendous damage is done and cannot ever be undone. You will forever be on guard. It’s part of our biological make up to avoid what causes us pain and you cannot get rid of that no matter how much therapy you do. Your unfaithful spouse chose to throw away you and your children like garbage. They dropped a nuclear bomb on your lives. It is NOT your responsibility to save this. The incredible about of work an unfaithful has to do within themselves to ‘get it’ is daunting and most wont make it. They may make a stab at it but looking into the depths of themselves is too painful and one of the reasons why they cheated in the first place! They can’t face themselves and you’re left having to ‘fix’ it. Which you can’t! It’s more likely than not your close friendships and extended family have already been affected by the damage caused. A nuclear bomb is not self contained. Remember you are NOT the problem OR the solution.
At the end of the day we are on our own spiritual journey, separate from our spouse, kids, family, friends. People come into our lives to teach us lessons and vice versa. It takes much more courage to let go of what no longer serves your highest good than it does to stay clinging to what you wish would’ve been. It’s the whole ‘devil we know is better than the one we don’t’ fallacy. It’s time you truly face what negativity you’re willing to surround yourself with. It is costing you your life. Resentment is the biggest factor of illness and disease.
If you stay in a marriage ‘pretending’ you’re ok the kids will feel it. You can’t fake your energy. The damage is there. Talk about it, focus on what’s best for you, heal yourself, come to peace with yourself and if then you think you can really be all ‘in’ in your marriage again then stay. If not, leave with peace of mind that you are an amazing person that overcame Hell and let it go. Your children will be much better off being separated from parents than living in an emotionally dead house. They will see how you can overcome hard things and that leaving does not mean quitting any more than staying does.
As long as you are doing what’s true for you (and it takes a ton of work to figure this out sometimes) than it is true for everyone! Even if it causes pain in others. Give yourself permission to trust yourself and believe in a better future. There are ‘horror’ stories with staying and divorcing. Your life does not have to be a horror story. Take the path forward with courage. Love yourself with all of your heart!
God bless you all. Being betrayed is a death blow but you will rise like a Phoenix!

Inverse response

My spouse had a affair and it was a real eye opener for me. I immediately began therapy in order to understand my role and began to make life changes on the way I communicated and passive agressive behavior that chipped away at our 18 year relationship. My spouse continues to blame me for the affair saying they have no regrets and that my behavior made them feel so vulnerable they had no choice. After two and a half years of showing up every day, owning my contribution to the problems in our relationship and changing my perspective on many levels, I am losing hope that the relationship can ever work. My spouse continues to make lists of all my short comings and mistakes, siting these as the reason for their unhappiness and inability to start fresh. I don’t want to divorce, especially understanding how it will affect our child, however I don’t want to live like tolerant roommates ether. So it seems the tables are turned in our case. I have forgiven the affair, however my spouse doesn’t seem willing to do the work on our relationship to restore connection, trust and intimacy. Wondering if anyone else can relate?

I can relate

Trust me, I can relate. 8 months our from DDay and even with intensive therapy for both of us, she still struggles to not make me a major reason for the infidelity. I'm leaning heavily on my faith, and God not giving me the clear signs to leave is what keeps me here, struggling not to be passive aggressive, not reflect her vitriol, and just maintain grace and care for her when I really am struggling to do it.

Divorce

I found your resources so helpful at the start of my discovery of my husband’s betrayal and when I thought he wanted to work on restoring the marriage. However 12 months later he said his feelings have changed and despite therapy he no longer wants me. I may not have a choice in a divorce although it was NEVER what I wanted. Perhaps you could include more resources for people like me who have tried everything but cannot force a spouse to work on healing. I feel your resources no longer help me as I feel judged because this marriage is over - even though it breaks my heart to admit it.

Never wanted to be here

I’m in the middle of a divorce and hate that I’m here at all. Never wanted this to happen. I fought tooth & nail to keep our marriage together but in the end he wouldn’t try, didn’t love me, and wouldn’t do the work. He just....gave up and checked out. It’s devastating.
Even in this darkest place God has shown His goodness to me though. I have chronic illnesses that stress makes a LOT worse ... and since separating (9 months so far) my health has slowly improved - I sleep better, my chronic body pain has all but disappeared, and my chronic health conditions are stabilizing. Mentally the depression and anxiety are becoming bearable, whereas before I was so drained from single-handedly attempting to keep our marriage together, that I could barely function for the last six months of our marriage. Now I actually feel human again some days...it’s slow progress, but it’s there and I’m so thankful to God for carrying me through this nightmare. It’s amazing what feeling emotionally safe can do for your health!

There’s a book I would recommend to every divorced/divorcing person - it’s written by a wonderful Christian woman named Gretchen Baskerville, and it’s called The Life-Saving Divorce. This divorce was unwanted on my part, but living in a loveless marriage out of stubbornness was also just...pointless. Sometimes I still dream that he’ll come back around one day. But he hasn’t even tried in any way since I left...he’s surfaced a few times to psychologically manipulate/emotionally abuse me some more....but he won’t even drive 10 mins to where I live now to talk to me. He truly doesn’t want me in his life and accepting that will probably be the hardest thing I ever have to do.
I read stories where the unfaithful spouses feel so sorry and terrified of losing their families that they love, and wonder what that’s like. It’s been mostly apathy from my ex-husband and he’s not willing to take responsibility or commit to recovery. I feel so sad for him, but I can no longer put myself in the path of his destructive choices. It was killing me, and I’m thankful to still be here.

Gretchen’s book is Biblical, and contains very helpful exhortations for the common myths we often believe about divorce. I truly cannot recommend it enough - God has been using it in a profound way to begin to heal my heart and forgive myself for this path, knowing that He knows I gave it everything I had and more.

My heart goes out to every single person who experiences betrayal in marriage - it is a truly devastating experience, and I know that I am forever changed. But I also know that Jesus brings beauty for ashes, and I trust that He will make this beautiful in its time. The future is scary, but I know He remains the same, and some days that is all that keeps me going.
May God comfort you, and courage, dear hearts💙 There is more to all of us, and all of our stories, than this chapter. He will finish the work He has begun in us. 💚

When the adulterous ex-husband is still angry

15 months post-divorce, I find myself and my ex-husband in a very different situation from the self-reflection offered in this video. He had the affair, but post-divorce, is filled with hostility toward me. I am indifferent, but cordial, toward him as I am relieved to no longer be burdened by the chaos of his choices. I am sad for him and my children, because our children want little to do with him, and he rarely tries to see them. I'm sure he blames me for the consequences of his choices. His pride and narcissism will likely prevent him from ever fully engaging in acknowledging his poor decision-making, much less attempting to make amends. He seems to spend his days trying to figure out how to cut financial support for me and my children, but spends on himself and his affair partner endlessly. I am interested in the psychology of such people, but recognize that I may never fully understand. Thank you.

understanding the anger of the adulterous ex-husband

15 months post-divorce, I find myself and my ex-husband in a very different situation from the self-reflection offered in this video. He had the affair, but post-divorce, is filled with hostility toward me. I am indifferent, but cordial, toward him as I am relieved to no longer be burdened by the chaos of his choices. I am sad for him and my children, because our children want little to do with him, and he rarely tries to see them. I'm sure he blames me for the consequences of his choices. His pride and narcissism will likely prevent him from ever fully engaging in acknowledging his poor decision-making, much less attempting to make amends. He seems to spend his days trying to figure out how to cut financial support for me and my children, but spends on himself and his affair partner endlessly. I am interested in the psychology of such people, but recognize that I may never fully understand. Thank you.

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