The Betrayed Wants the Marriage More than the Unfaithful

It's not uncommon to see the betrayed spouse wanting the marriage more than the unfaithful. When this happens, take heart, there is hope and there is a strategy to implement.

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Hi Samuel - thanks for the

Hi Samuel - thanks for the postings as always. I think I have missed the point on what you are saying for this. I feel like phrasing it as "taking a break" from the AP still gives the unfaithful spouse reason to just say - well I tried. For me, my husband had a long-term affair and I just don't know if that would be a long enough "break" for him to really put in the effort to save this marriage. I feel like no contact means no contact and for me when you phrase it as the unfaithful is taking a break from the AP means, they still have hope to start something up again. As the betrayed spouse, that just seems unfair to me. If my husband came to me and said, I will give this 30-90 to see if things get better and I will take a break from my AP for that long but if things don't change, I am going to be with her, I would feel angry and hurt. I would not feel safe at all and not believe that he was giving a sincere effort. Can you explain where I am missing the point... I feel like going "no contact" and "taking a break" are completely contradictory - I guess am not far enough into recovery for this post not to rub me the wrong way.

great point and q AW

i understand totally what you mean. howver, when you're dealing with someone as ambivalent as this situation, pushing them for total commitment usually doesn't go well and they end up not committing or running away with the ap or the like. so, the lesser of the two evil and the way to at least get them to take a step towards solid recovery work, is to ask them to 'take a break' but please know, taking a break implies no contact with the ap for 30 to 90 days for sure. again, it's not perfect. it's progress and for the super ambivalent couple, getting them to at least give the marriage a shot is worth it. now, some would say, either come be with me or go be with her, is the answer. i get that approach, but in certain situations like this, it doesn't work or go that way. reasons are because: 1. the unfaithful won't take any action and that doesn't work with the stubborn or even rebellious so to speak. 2. the betrayed isn't healthy enough to draw that kind of line and is willing to do something of that sort, but not go to the full line drawing to the unfaithful's off the chart ambivalence. i think you're already angry and hurt as you've been through crisis and hellish types of hurt ya know? so it's about doing no more harm and at least getting the ambivalent to take some sort of action rather than wallowing in indifference and non commitment. and, if we can at least get him to take a break, no contact break, it gives you a chance to pursue recovery with him with an open mind and give the marriage a fair shot at healing without the ap's current involvement and voice in his ear every day/night or when you have a difficult moment and he runs to her. so it's about at least gaining some momentum and action. this isn't the approach for everyone, but when ambivalence of this sort is present and it's causing the whole process to stall. wide open to discussing more with you if you'd like. thank you for commenting.

follow-up comment

Samuel, my H AP would not stop contacting him. Unknown to me she kept emailing him and letting him know he "deserved" to be happy and to move on without me and that she would "be around". He continued to be angry and hurt me for almost 6 weeks after D-Day and I could not take it anymore. He filed for divorce, took 3/4 of our money out and started his own bank account, started looking for places to live, but refused to leave out marital home. I had to turn away from him because I was crushed. I had to do a 180 and go ahead living my life and get used to the fact that he wasn't gonna be around. He was very angry at me, it was all my fault, he had that perceived rejection you talked about on another vid. We ended up staying together. He changed his mind when I started going my own way and stopped interacting with him. We are 2-1/2 years out and I am still very, very hurt because of these actions in the 1st 6-8 weeks post D-Day. We've done counseling, retreats, and read a couple books. I feel like he wasted our pain. Im not sure he knows the real "why" or maybe he has and doesnt want to share that with me. Our family life is better but our emotional intimacy is not. I feel he doesn't or cant let me in emotionally. I cant move further in my healing or my trust in his actions. We have been married 30 years and I really would like to leave and start over without him. Its hard to untangle all those years but I am not happy. An unfaithful person can push their spouse too far.

deeb, you're absolutely right...

great points Deeb. thank you for posting that. i couldn't have said it better. sometimes though, the unfaithful is unaware that they are pushing you as, they are unhealthy and not self aware. remember we can't ask the unhealthy to make healthy decisions as they are a mess and he was unaware of it. have you considered any help on the site to help you/him/? it's not fun to not be able to be one emotionally, and i get that. i would consider the ems online or maybe the harboringhope course for you and hope for healing for him? or, if you think he won't be receptive to that, maybe something a bit more general like a marriage retreat weekend, or imago therapy or something of that sorts? i would encourage you to do something and to take some sort of action though, as you cant' last long going that way. thank you for posting.

what if the unfaithful just wants to be friends

it's been 2 years since discovery and 18 months since the end of the affair. My unfaithful wife does not want to give up the life we have but does not wont to work on us. I'm stuck in this rejected but freinds painful spot. Is it time to start planning for moving on with my life?

For a time the betrayed wants

For a time the betrayed wants the marriage more than the unfaithful, but after a period of being hurt and being rebuffed by the unfaithful, their heart starts to change. They are tired of being hurt and blamed for the affair and they begin to attach and want to move on without the unfaithful. I would caution an unfaithful person not to push their spouse too far away.

unfaithful wants marriage

I am the unfaithful. Had a long term affair, 12 years. Married 25 years. D-day was 17 months ago. It was with a coworker. Actually an employee. I took the affair analyzer and it seems like mine was like an addiction, although this was my only affair, in that I repeatedly wanted to quit the affair but would go back. We would go months and at one time a few years without physical contact but still worked together and talked and therefore were still in the affair. When my wife found out, I panicked and lied. But in a way I was glad she found out because I was able to fire the AP and have her totally out of my life once and for all. I didn't want to lose my wife and family. I really do love them. It makes me sick to think of all I did. I've had to untell lies which takes us back to D-day. Because of this trickle truth and the fact that there were things from years ago that I had forgotten or remembered differently later and had to change my story that my wife no longer trusts me. She wants to end it. Can't blame her. Who would want to be in a relationship with someone who did all I did. However I love her so much, now more than ever. I had told myself all these things about her as I was in the affair that were just wrong. I did it to justify in my mind what I was doing so I could live with myself. I have problems with shame, not just guilt. Last night I laid in the bed next to her crying as I watched her sleep and rubbed her head and hand. Just wanted people to know there are some unfaithful who deeply regret what they did and want the marriage to work.

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