The Waiting Game My wife, Samantha, was not going to sit and wait to see if I pursued recovery. I guess it’s better said that she’d wait and see how I handled myself early on in discovery and the beginning stages of recovery, and see if I was really serious about saving our marriage. If I wasn’t, she would end things. She really wasn’t sure if I still wanted to be with my affair partner, regardless of what I said to her. She actually wasn’t even able to believe that I truly wanted to be with her, considering the last two years of my behavior. After over two years of serious emotional and physical contact and living a double life, there was no reason to believe me at all. Unfortunately, many times a betrayed spouse will wait and see how the unfaithful responds, then take action either way. I’m not a therapist, but when asked this question yesterday, I felt led to write something about it. The fact is, as unfaithful spouses, we usually don’t change because we want to. We usually don’t break things off with our affair partner because we want to. And, though not all of us are this way, many of us won’t get help because we want to. We’ll get help, give in to an EMS Weekend or online course, or begin actually working on recovery because you make us have to. We realize there will be loss if we don’t. Whether that be the loss of time with our kids, loss of time with you, loss of assets, loss of a potential second chance, or loss of the life we live now in the case of divorce-it’s loss we fear. I would say to give us time to figure it out only empowers the affair, and empowers the darkness we are living in. Some might say it enables our dysfunction and selfishness. To give us time and just let us decide where we want to be only envelops us in our fear of taking action either way. We have our affair partner clamoring for us and telling us anything and everything to not lose us, then we have you (and maybe the kids) looking to us for clarity and for us to “do the right thing,” but we have no idea what the right thing is. It’s complicated. The right thing for whom? For you and the kids? Or for me? And our consciences are so seared and so dysfunctional we can rationalize any decision that benefits us to be a good one. We are not healthy. We are not sober. We are a wrecking ball. We need to have a line drawn most of the time. We need an ultimatum most of the time. We quite frequently need to know that you are not playing games and maybe for once in our lives (and maybe yours too) we don’t get to have things the way we want it. We’ll probably get mad. We’ll probably try all our other tactics of manipulation, bullying, distancing and whatever else you can think up in our inebriated state. We may even go back to our affair partner and complain about you, to them. But ultimately, we’ll more than likely come back and acquiesce and say, “OK, let’s get help. Let’s do ________.” If we don’t come back and do that, and if we don’t come to the point of wanting to get help even when we stand to lose you and/or the kids, or whatever there is for us to lose, fortunately for you (the betrayed) you’ve pushed this situation to the point of where you get to make a choice. The choice you should make and need to make, even in the face of grave uncertainty. The choice to do what you need to do for you and all parties involved, which is to further your own healing and put an end to the insanity of this nightmare. You’ve stood up for yourself, and made a statement that you’re not under my control and you are worth devotion, love, and fidelity. You have protected yourself and though things may not turn out the way you wanted them to, you are taking ownership of your part and getting help and moving on with taking care of you. What this end-choice is will look different for every situation. Maybe you just focus on your own healing and pray that change in you will produce change elsewhere (while distancing yourself from an unhealthy atmosphere at home if applicable). Maybe the unfaithful is removed from the house and the children. I don’t know what the choice will look like for you, but don’t be afraid to make it. The waiting game never works.