Make It About Two Things Early on in recovery it was ugly. Everything seemed like it was my fault. No matter what happened it would eventually be tied to the fact that I had an affair. It was a painful way to live. Looking back even my wife Samantha would tell you that most things ended up being my fault. It wasn’t accurate but Samantha was in so much pain, and flooding so quickly, it was hard not to put it all on me.If we were going to heal it was going to have to be that way for a short time. Let’s just be honest: I had a two year affair. The fact that I had to go through some emotional pain and hurt and even some ‘shaming’ from my Samantha, is not that big of a deal when you consider the bigger picture. If we are going to compare which sin is worse, I will win every time. When I talk to spouses who say things like “She just won’t move on….she won’t stop talking about it…..” I wonder how much selfishness and self-deception there is to take the mindset that we’ve hurt our spouse’s so much, and yet, we don’t want to give them time, space or permission to simply FEEL the weight of it all. I was once the chief offender in this mindset and I know how destructive it is.Privately, I had two individuals I could trust to ask questions to: Rick Reynolds and a new friend I sought out who went through infidelity. Often times I’d ask them, “When do we get to talk about Samantha’s issues…..” Both of them said, “Not until you take responsibility for your own.” Rick even explained to me one day “Samuel, the affair is 100%, YOUR FAULT and responsibility. The marriage is 50% her responsibility. Let’s not get confused here on where we’re going.” It was life changing indeed.If you’re in recovery right now, make the recovery about two things:Make it about the betrayed spouse. Ask them things like “What can I do for you right now? What would make you feel safe today? What can I do to help you find peace today, if anything at all? Would you like to ask me anything today?” And then do what they ask. Stay home from work. Listen to them yell. Let them process their feelings and ask you questions. Do it. Mean it. Commit to it. Give them permission to be angry and bitter and hurt. Give them permission and help them feel OK with the fact that they are a mess emotionally right now. To not allow them to do that, is to not allow them to heal which means the marriage has little hope of ever being restored and you have close to zero chance at making them ever feel safe again.Make it about your own recovery right now if need be. You can never make another person heal, or make another person forgive you, or make another person move on. You must realize they will do it in their own time when they have received the right kind of help, perspective and healing. So, as an unfaithful spouse, or as a betrayed spouse whose spouse will not get help, take care of your own recovery. Get yourself the right perspective and the right infidelity specific expert care. Take ownership of your own responsibilities and make it about what you can do for your spouse first (if they let you) then your own recovery.Believe me when I say I get it. I remember the hopelessness and heartache recovery can be at times. But don’t give up friends. Don’t quit on yourself or God’s ability.