Are You Safe Enough for Your Marriage? Part 1

Samuel begins a new series on safety in recovery for both betrayed and unfaithful spouses.

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Thanks for the great video blog. We are early in recovery 5 weeks post discovery, already completed a private instensive weekend session with another infidelity specific recovery company, already completed your online boot camp, and registered for the July 20th EMS. These two websites and your blog have been especially helpful. I am really looking for guidance on establishing what is a safe boundary. My boundary for the first 2 weeks was to ask him to move out as I felt it was my safety boundary as I was so initially in shock I didn’t trust either of us to act in a safe manner however once I trusted my own reactions and once I saw significant honesty and honorable actions in him through disclosure and positive steps on recovery I invited him back. My question is can you help me think of another appropriate boundary for safety as I feel unsafe when I do not observe momentum and actions of our outlined recovery plan; it’s hard to observe what I preserve as enough action on his part and not instinctively feel like I need to put back in place a safety boundary like distance so I don’t see it first hand.


hi there. i'm so glad you're coming.  thank you for the kind words about the vlog.  some other boundaries are:  no physical intimacy, sleeping in separate bedrooms, asking him to go to 12 steps meetings once a week, or having someone who is an accountability partner that you can call when things get out of control.  those are options.  the weekend will help you identify what is enough action, as it's tough to find that balance of what is enough.  you do have to give up the idea of perfection and celebrate momentum.  the goal as we say here is always progress not perfection.  but i do understand if you're feeling unsafe you want to be able to soothe yourself and utilize your boundaries.  hope this helps you.  


Hi Samuel, I've loved this series of safety. I've felt unsafe in the marriage for far too long. D-Day is coming up on two years and he has done almost zero recovery. He was in an emotionally and sexually entangled affair with a co-worker. (who he still works with). We did marriage bootcamp on affair recovery and I've just completed Harboring Hope (which I looooved). Anyways --- He's done no other recovery work and keeps shifting blame on me for his actions. I've put up my boundaries by writing a letter with all the things I need to feel safe. In it I'm asking him to get individual counseling, get into a group and give me passwords etc. I've emphasized that will all help me heal. He has not responded well and became angry at the letter. He just doesn't get it. I've asked for a separation and I have stopped talking to him. I told him he has the letter and I'm not going to talk this thing to death anymore I need to see actions. But they don't seem to be happening --- should I reiterate to him that I need to see action? Or just keep up the silent treatment?

hi there....

for starters, i'm very sorry he's been resistant to you and the letter.  i think it's great you put your needs in writing.  how long has it been since he received the letter?  it will take time for the strategy to work to get him to cooperate.  it won't be overnight and it won't be a couple days.  it's different for everyone, but I would expect a couple weeks or so before maybe he gets it and understands you're not going to just overlook this.  in terms of the silent treatment, what have you been doing with communication?  just not talking or ?  I would allow him to see that you're not wavering on this and these are your needs.  he can get angry all he wants, but this isn't changing and his anger is probably a typical bully tactic he is using against you and has used against you no?  proud of you for standing up for yourself. 


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