WE have relapsed? Not too long ago, I was talking with a therapist who explained to me what it means for a couple to relapse. I was immediately thrown for a bit of a loop when I heard him say that even the betrayed spouse can relapse. It basically boils down to not doing what both spouses did early on in their recovery. If you're a betrayed spouse reading this, I can hear your blood boiling, but please let me finish before you get too angry with me. Now, does it mean the betrayed spouse has an affair of their own? NO, absolutely not. Nor does it mean that the unfaithful spouse has another affair. It also is not meant to suggest that the affair was the betrayed spouse's fault in the first place. What it does apply to though is allowing old behaviors and old mannerisms and old ways of engaging our spouse and our life to resurface. It's when we get away from what we did early on in our recovery which initially made restoration so joyful and exciting and sweet. It's going back to behaviors, reactions, and dysfunctions which helped make the affair and private life possible in the first place. Not only by the unfaithful spouse, but by the betrayed spouse as well. After all, we both have decided to save the marriage and pursue transformation. I did what I did and I'm responsible for that ridiculously self-absorbed behavior; but moving forward, we are in this together. For example, just recently Samantha and I had a terrible couple of weeks. She then had a difficult discussion with me where she said she felt like the old Samuel was back. I was hurt deeply by her comments as I felt like I had made so much progress in my recovery. But, alas, after leaving my anger on the treadmill, I took some time to think it through and really pray and make sure I didn't overreact. As I took this time, I also noticed that she had slipped back into some of the same behaviors which were active before the affair happened years ago. We just couldn't gain any traction, even after I had apologized several times. It prompted me to play the archaeologist and dig down to extract what was going on in me emotionally and mentally. Finally, it began to resonate with me: we both relapsed and we both were going backwards rather than forwards. We were both on a crash course to find ourselves back where all this trauma occurred in the first place. This is the part that really sucks. As the head and leader of our home, it was up to me to get us going in the right direction. I was dreading the need to share with Samantha my impression that we had BOTH relapsed. Nevertheless, I believed it to be true and asked for the strength of Samson to have the discussion. I was not going to slip back into the old behavior of not being able to express myself or share my concerns, which helped lead to such a private, double life for me in the first place. As a testament to the grace and health of Samantha, she absolutely agreed that we BOTH had relapsed and that we BOTH needed to get back to the early basics of recovery and restoration. It was a wonderful picture of moving forward as a couple, not two disjointed individuals living in separate worlds. This may be controversial for some, but I would suggest you heartfully look at your recovery right now. Perhaps one spouse has indeed relapsed or maybe both of you are going backwards rather than forwards and it’s time to admit that you both are exhibiting old behaviors. Maybe it’s not about who started the relapse behavior, but about deciding neither of you want to go back to that life ever again.