5 Reasons the Unfaithful Spouse Remains Stuck

Samuel shares five significant reasons unfaithful spouses remain stuck in their situation.

Add New Comment:


Is there always hope or is there a point that there is none?

I found out about his affair mid-September. He kept telling me he broke it off, only to find out that he didn't. I know the emotional affair has continued. I finally asked him to leave because of the damage it was doing to me. He still says he doesn't know what to do (who to choose). I know that this is still fresh, but how do I move forward in healing if he continues to remain stuck? We have two children who know nothing about the affair, just that their dad needs some time and space to get better (he's dealt with depression and other stuff and they think that's all that it is).
Any advice or thoughts? I am a Christian, so I know where my ultimate hope lies. I just don't want to be in this pit any longer and I'm afraid of the anger I feel toward him for putting me here.

yes there is a point...

hi there.  there is a point when enough is enough and the damage is done and he's unwilling to heal and do what it takes and you have to move on to help repair the damage and heal you.  you have hope in the Lord, but you have to ask the Lord when enough is enough and when you should consider moving on and no longer waiting for him.  you need help.  you should give some thought to the ems weekend, not for 'saving' the marriage but for healing personally and developing a protocol to give the marriage a chance over a period of time, where work is being done.  if he gets to be in the middle, he'll stay in the middle.  if he gets to not decide and there are no consequence, then he'll continue to do that.  people will sober up or change typicallyl due to 1. pain, 2. consequences 3. loss and right now there isn't much of those in his life and those are tutors that lead us to change and humility.  hope all this helps you.



Hi Samuel I found out about my husbands affair 10 mo. Ago we have been back and forth and each time he tells me he is unsure. I felt like we reconnected sexually and emotionally and it opened our our to how bad we neglected our marriage. My husband says he has felt numb and let go a long time ago but we kept going back and forth until he said it again I told him it's time he needs to make a decision I sent him the articles decision, lock the door, throw away the key etc. I thought it made a positive impact on him only it didn't and he said he could let it go (the AP) I told him that nit well you just let me go and he needed to get his things and leave over the weekend I'm a flight attendant and flew a trip over the weekend. He was there when I Came home I asked him to be there, maybe hoping he would say he made a mistake but he emptied everything of his out. I can't let the hope go he has been to counseling separately to deal with his issues from his childhood (sexual abuse) we tried couple counseling and he didn't like the man counselor and I Said I Would find a women. I think because he was straight forward and my husband shuts down when confronted so we have never been to counseling I feel I get mine through you videos letter emails etc. He recently sent me 4 pg. letter saying he sorry for all the pain he has cause me the affair the blaming etc. he admitted it was all him his fault his issues but I Know I contributed to the neglect as well, in the letter he also asked if I would maybe be open to seeing his counselor with no expectations just to figure out where we went wrong and to help us both get through this and heal. I get from that letter he is sharing his feelings to let go and not feel guilt then I Feel there may be hope I said Imwould be open to go let me know when and that was it I didn't want to push. What are your feelings should I give up hope I'm scared this may be just for him to get over the guilt he carries but I will still go because I still want my marriage. He never said he has ended it with her. Thank you Colleen and thank you for all your information and helping me cope. Colleen

hi colleen

i would find an expert therapist or consider the ems weekend.  it's vital you find a safe place for both of you to heal  not just him.  he may not like confrontation but you both need someone who is safe for you both.  the ems weekend would be a great place for both of you to come to get help and professional care for the guilt, pain, uncertainty and abuse.  i wouldn't give up hope just yet, but get to a specific program and protocol you can use and work that protocol.  if he refuses to, then perhaps it's time to create more space between you two and start to pull away.  if he's not willing to do the work, then it's hard to feel safe or like there is hope.   sometimes we blame ourselves but spill over into shame and still make it all about us, the cheating party and won't get help to change or heal. 


I have gone through HFH. I am

I have gone through HFH. I am not a graduate because I just checked the boxes.
Today I realized that it is the man I met 30 years ago who I could wholeheartedly apologize to.
Seeing the top reason in this vide that I am stuck totally explains today’s “realization”. I have to get rid of my resentment. I thought I did but I was wrong.
Thank you.

thank you bethross

does my heart so good to read that this little video caused you to see some things fresh and new.  thank you so much for posting and commenting.  means a ton.  i hope you can do some repair work that will help you and he heal.

take care.  



Thank you so much for this.... I have been trying to figure out why I can't get out of this mindset after being unfaithful to my husband of 10 years.
I have spent the past 4 years trying to figure out who I am, how I got here, and why I couldn't take responsibility for what I had done to my family.Shortly after D-day, we started going to a marriage counselor. I was so back and forth and couldn't cut things off with my AP. I felt like no one understood how I felt and that I was constantly being told that my feelings for him weren't "real" and were just a "fantasy". I didn't trust the process and I didn't feel like I could trust my husband to actually ever forgive me. The fear of being alone and actually having to own up to what I had done was too much to bear. Our therapist explained that "you can only sit on a chain link fence for so long until it eventually tears you in half." And that's exactly how I have felt for 4 years. Like I'm still on a fence, and it's splitting me in two.

After listening to your videos, I finally understand what being "ambivalent" really means, and how all along that the issue wasn't about choosing my AP over my husband. It was about letting him go so I could face the truth about myself. I have been running from facing the hard truth about who I am and what I have done and how many people I have hurt for a long time now. I have loved my husband all of these years and have not known how to face all that I have done, so we ended in divorce 2 years ago because he couldn't take my ambivalence any longer. I thought things would be better afterwards, but they've only gotten worse. I know I need help to face all of this and I have gone to therapy but have never found a resource like this that I feel like it finally is penetrating my heart in a way that nothing has. The hardest part for me now is still trying to understand how I can heal and get help, without my ex-husband alongside me. It feels like I am leaving him to deal with my mess and it seems so unfair. I have a lot of shame and guilt about even trying to get healthy again because I don't feel like I can unless he is. I am going to sign up for the online course and hope that he will attend EMS with me so we can both finally face the trauma we have both been avoiding. The sad thing is, that there are so many professional counselors who genuinely want to help, but they don't understand the dynamics of an affair and the unique properties of one. I want to take ownership of the pain I have caused, but every time I try, I'm just told that I ruined everything and deserve whatever pain I am in. It's a vicious cycle and I want to get out of it so badly. Thank you so much for using your story to help others. I wish I had found you guys a long time ago. You're amazing!

i'm so glad you found us...

i'm terribly sorry for the pain you're facing and the hurt you're in.  it's true so many want to help but have no clue how to get in the foxhole with us and help us as they've never been through it before.  it's painful for sure, but there is a way out and a way through.  you still have worth and you still have value and don't deserve to be 'left for dead' because of what you've done.  your healing will take time and effort but it's possible and it's necessary for the next chapter of your life my friend. i know it's painful and confront the inner demons and inner voices, but it sounds like you're willing to and if you go slow and steady and continue to confront it, you'll see things more and more clearly.  i hope you come to ems as i'll be there to meet you.  i also hope you take the hope for healing course as it will be a safe place for you to find healing and clarity on this whole nightmare you've been trapped in.  so proud of you for being so courageous and confronting the pain.   thanks for the kind words too my friend.  means a ton. 



making amends

I am 21 months from d-day. I cheated on my wife for many years. Some would say a serial cheater. I have cleaned up my act and I have been in counselling. The 2 big stumbling blocks I face are. 1) Why? Counselling has lead me to contributing factors but how I could be so hurtful of someone I love is proving to be impossible to explain with actions or words. 2) What am I doing to make up for it? I am trying to be a better person, listen, act, the way a loving partner should but it never seems right or enough. How can I possible make up for all the damage I have done? Please help.

Resentments And Bitterness

Is there a way the betrayed spouse can help the unfaithful talk about the resentments and bitterness they may feel? I would like to talk to my unfaithful about forgiveness and I think what you said about resentments is a good start. He is so very very stuck in all areas you spoke about. I think my spouse wants forgiveness but does not know how to forgive. The only time he said he was sorry for the pain he caused me and the children he added on but he too was in pain. I want to bring it up in our counseling session. Maybe it can help us move forward.

there are ways....

hi mamad, there are ways to do it.  it's about creating a safe atmosphere for both of you and in this case, for him to be able to hear that there aren't any deal breakers.  so if he says he's upset, or angry or hurt about x, y or z, that you won't shame him or attack him for sharing his side of the story. it will probably require doing that with the therapist for sure as things may be too raw right now to do that.  also, he should take the hope for healing course on the site to help him get a handle on his own pain and hurt and shame.  here is the course: https://www.affairrecovery.com/product/hope-for-healing  the course will do wonders for him learning how to communicate and learning how to share his own pain and feelings.  he will need to do some heavy work on shame as well.  this series may shed more light on it for you:  https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/infidelity-recovery-understanding-the-paralysis-of-shame  hope that helps you


How to defeat resentment?

Samuel, thank you so much for speaking about resentment and bitterness. My betrayed spouse and I have done EMS online, I talk to a therapist regularly, and we have done quite a lot of reading and introspection. As an unfaithful spouse, I believe I am not harboring resentment about things my spouse has done, said, or not done since D-Day, which was in 2012. I believe I am gradually improving in my empathy in that regard.

However, as I think back to before D-Day, it is clear to me that I harbored resentment -- which was unjustified and unfair on my part -- for things my spouse did or did not do during and even before our marriage. Yes, I was pretty illogical, self-centered, and judgmental in that regard. I resented things I had no right to resent.

In terms of preventing relapse and staying safe for my spouse, we want to completely eliminate that original resentment of mine; the resentment that I used to justify my infidelity. I think I have mastered that resentment. But, how can I be sure? I think that if it pops its head up from my subconscious into my conscious mind once in a while I can deal with it rationally instead of ignoring it and letting it fester. Is that enough? Is more possible? I know that original resentment came from insecurities of mine from growing up in a very conservative environment and then comparing myself to my spouse and my peers in my adult life which is in a more progressive, cosmopolitan, modern environment.

good question...

thank you for watching sage....the reality is, if you're 'present' that's a big deal as you can deflate and diffuse if any comes up.  however if it's still coming up, and if you're still having to confront it, there may still be some and you'll need to consider writing it down and forgiving your spouse or anyone that you may feel you have resentment towards.  if you are encountering it, then perhaps some is still there?  or, it does come in layers and you may be approaching a new layer of needed forgiveness.  you could write them down, then work through them with forgiving your spouse and letting those resentments go.  it may take a week or two...or couple months depending on the severity.  i don't think we ever master resentment.....i think we master the art of forgiving.  does that make sense?  

thank you

Yes, I think that makes sense. Thanks for the quick reply. So, perhaps I should do some reading and speaking with my therapist on the topic of forgiveness.

As I told my wife just now, I recognize that she has every right to react with something like: "What do you mean forgive me? I've done nothing wrong. You resent me for unfair and irrational reasons."

And, she'd be right. Nonetheless, maybe forgiveness is the most useful process for me, regardless of whether my resentments are rational, justified, or compatible with modernity.

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer

Free Surviving Infidelity Bootcamp

Our experts designed this step-by-step guide to help you survive infidelity. Be intentional with your healing with this free 7-day bootcamp.
I would highly recommend giving this a try.
-D, Texas