Are You Matching Their Emotion?

“As the truth of the situation slowly began to penetrate, I found myself overwhelmed with emotions I had never felt so strongly: shock, disbelief, horror, despair, anger, pain, sadness. With a newborn and two small children, I didn’t know how I was going to make it. I switched to autopilot to provide just the essentials for my children. I sifted through the options on an hourly basis, separate, divorce, or stay? All the while, the theater in my mind continued playing the details of the affair over and over again. I didn’t sleep, barely ate, and cried constantly. Every time I looked at Samuel, hate would well up in my heart, and I couldn’t stand to be around him. I got on a plane with all three children and fled to a friend’s house.”

Samantha wrote those words several years ago when her story was featured in an article here at When I read her story and heard her use the word ‘hate’ I was perplexed. I spoke to Rick about it and he confirmed what I have called “temporary hate.” He said, “Yes, Samuel, she hated you but yet loves you. If she just hated you, she’d probably divorce you and leave you.”

Samantha most definitely “temporarily hated me.” Strong words for sure, but after all I had done and all I had lied about for two plus years, it was understandable.

So when I was saying “can’t we just get over it” and “do we have to relive this each and every day” I had no idea the hate that was inside of her.

When I said “can’t we just take a break from all this and relax,” I was giving no credence to the fact that just too merely be around me was an exercise in self-denial for her.

When I was disengaged and disoriented upon practically losing everything within 48 hours, Samantha was more focused on the reality of her own hurt and pain and how the man that was supposed to protect her had betrayed her like never before in her life.

I had no idea what I was up against inside of her. The hate she was feeling was so much stronger than my understanding of what had been done to her and what was actually happening inside of her while also trying to care for a 5 year old, a 4 year old and a newborn.

I wonder today if you, the unfaithful, need to be made more aware of just how intense the emotions are that your betrayed spouse is feeling? Perhaps you need to step back and read Samantha’s tale of temporary hate and factor into your situation a level of (temporary) hate, anger and rage that your spouse may be feeling? I wonder if maybe you’re trying to match your spouse’s emotions, but not realizing the level of pain and hurt they are encountering is more palatable than they are able to express to you right now?

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Me too

Oh man, I remember my wife definitely "temporarily hating me".... In fact, I thought it was more semi-permanent than temporary because it seemed like it lasted forever. Looking back, it wasn't. There were many times where she felt love towards me, but in the middle of the worst of it it was hard to see the good times as I was focusing on the bad. One thing that was pointed out to me in my recovery that really helped was that hate actually comes from the same place as love. It's just the reverse feeling. If my wife didn't love me so deeply, she wouldn't have hated me so much. It would have been easy for her to leave if there was no hatred. After I had that explained to me, it was much easier to see her hatred and emotions in a positive way and knowing she was choosing to not leave me was what I decided to focus on. Thanks Samuel. Very valid and important understanding piece for recovery.

I mirrored Samantha's

I mirrored Samantha's emotions, except my kids were grown and had families of their own, so I didn't have to deal with little ones except in my classes at school. It was so hard to get through each day. The hate for him and the AP consumed me. At the time, he did not seem to care about my pain, ( I expressed it quite clearly and loudly!) and I can honestly say I temporarily hated him for quite a long while -- intensively! Luckily, that hate has dissipated into just a manageable overall sadness. I know I love him. I don't want a divorce. He is showing what appears to be real remorse and understanding of my feelings after taking Hope for Healing, and it is that remorse and understanding that has helped me move past the hate I felt. Realizing that I have a choice, I have now chosen not to leave. I am working on the constant sadness and the intrusive thoughts that seem to be indelibly stamped into my brain, and I am looking for my joy again. Sometimes that joy shows up unexpectedly for a moment, and it makes my day. I'm looking forward to the day that the joy returns for good and the intrusive thoughts and the memories of this horrible season of my life are just faint and as painless as possible.

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