But When Are We Going To Talk About HER?

I’ll never forget one day talking to Rick and I interrupted him and said “But Rick, when are we going to talk about HER??!! What about all the things SHE did wrong too?” (While I’ve been stupid at times in my life, very stupid indeed, I was smart enough to ask this question when I was meeting with Rick alone.)

I felt like I was being hammered on time and time again so I figured it was time to ask that question. I mean, Samantha wasn’t perfect. She was unkind,  rude, rejecting, never wanted to have sex, never said anything encouraging about me and what I was doing, so when were we going to talk about her crap?

Rick was patient with me and my stupidity. He simply smirked and said “As soon as you are able to talk about and own all of your own crap first, without being constantly defensive or justifying it all.”

Although deceived and stupid, I wasn’t being a jerk in my tone. I simply was frustrated and wanted to know when we would address Samantha’s insufficiencies.  I think Rick knew that, and didn’t lay into me like he could have. He realized I was genuine but still lost.

Until the unfaithful is willing to talk about and own THEIR unfaithfulness, the betrayed will be reluctant to own or talk about any of their own struggles and failures as a spouse. They just don’t feel safe yet. They also are still too angry and vulnerable and can’t see straight for the hurt and pain.

Rick didn’t hammer me or shame me. He educated me. I’ll never forget when he said that. He explained more about the betrayed and helped me understand that until I would humbly own what I did and embrace the fact that I could have done a litany of things instead of cheat, Samantha would never feel safe enough to discuss where she failed too. He literally promised me that if I would do what he was encouraging me to do, things would change.

When I owned my crap if you will, and didn’t revert to defensiveness and justification, it was like clockwork. Samantha started to discuss her own shortcomings and where there were vulnerabilities in the marriage that she allowed. Looking back it seemed I would own up and embrace my failures on a scale of about four to one. Illustrating that I would probably have to own up to four times as much blame and then she would eventually feel safe enough to own maybe one part of her own. This continued for several months and is the way I would describe year one.

The next year, it decreased to about three, sometimes even two to one.

By the third year, it was a level playing field. She would own her own shortcomings and failures about equal as I would. It was not, or ever will be a mentality that she caused my affair. Not at all, so before a few of you hit send and try and get me fired up by your accusations and unresolved personal anger, please re read that.

Yet, she finally felt safe enough to own about the same amount of blame for vulnerabilities in the marriage as I did. Is this a true paradigm for all marriages in recovery? Absolutely not. Is it a trend? Without question.

I wonder what your paradigm looks like. I bet it’s all over the board, depending on the help you’ve received and how far out you are from disclosure.

If you’re an unfaithful and you want movement in your recovery, own as much as you can. Stop being defensive and blaming your mate. You cheated. Maybe you both did. Who will own it more and who will own it first, genuinely, humbly? Face it like we did. You could have done a congressional library of other things, but you didn’t. As soon as you own that fact, it will help pave the way for your spouse to embrace and own their own responsibility. 

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Quit attacking your wounded mate

If you are an Unfaithful spouse I can tell you as a betrayed spouse that your betrayed mate already feels like you despise, and hate, and disgusted by everything about them.They think "why else would you have wanted someone else if you found them appealing?" They already feel like you find them repulsive inside and out. When they are trying to talk to you about the pain you caused them but you want to point out how they interrupt you, or how they always do this, or how they always do that, all you are doing is wounding and completely breaking an already crippled person. It's like beating up the handicapped child on the playground when you unfaithful spouses do this to us. Stop it, and own your own crap first, like he says, and you will start to find that the betrayed mate who loves you will begin feeling safe enough to own their own crap too. And if you want them to own it first oh, well you're just wrong . They didn't ask for this. You chose to do this to your marriage and your mate. This is an issue me and my spouse struggle with to this day. And he doesn't realize he is just continuing to damage me even more and creating more carnage we are going to have to deal with down the road from today, and that's only if I'm still here. Because he won't stop doing this, I have been preparing to plan a life of being single. If you want to see light at the end of the tunnel, quit telling your betrayed spouse everything that's wrong with them and how they are wrong, and how they take things wrong, and how they think things wrong, and how they do things wrong and say things wrong. They already feel like you're disgusted by them so you can't make them feel any worse than they do after choosing someone else over them so what are you trying to do by being even more critical of them? Are you trying to break them completely?

I’m with you

Your comment hit such a nerve for me. The things my husband said about me in order to justify his actions were just horrible. It’s taken months for me to forgive him for having a relationship with another woman, but I felt like I was really working toward that. What I can’t get past are the ugly, hateful things he’s said to and about me. He can tell me he loves me and wants our marriage to work all he wants to my face ... but they are meaningless words now that I know what he says behind my back. I’m damaged and I’m broken and I’m not sure there are enough words in any language to fix it.

makes sense for sure...

hi jeepbeachgirl.  thanks for sharing.  i get it.  it's awful to deal with those things.  i would tell you though, that it's highly normal.  have you read the six part series that explains why they do what they do and why we say what we say to justify it?  it's all about our own dysfunctional, selfish attempt to justify our choices.  this series may help you understand more about what we do and why we do it and how we have to do it to justify our choices: ((i'm not way justifying or excusing it but explaining why we do it))  i hope this helps you....


the fact is, you can heal and forgive it....if you want to as i'm not trying to sway you to do anything just to give you insight into the mind of the unfaithful.


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