Changing the Dance of Ambivalence

Today, Samuel continues his video discussion on how to deal with the ambivalent spouse after infidelity.

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How to deal...

I'm the betrayed... Though my spouse feels that I have betrayed him as well just not due to infidelity. I have recognized and I have tried to correct any bad behavior... Of course, I haven't done it perfectly. He's ambivalent and has been for years. I have to do something different but I don't know how to respond to his anger... I have taken responsibility for my actions. However, he still resents me and has so much bitterness. It's hard to bear. I can honestly say that I'm not angry and only have an occasional moment where I'll feel mad but it usually passes quickly. It's more at the situation than him.

I do want my marriage... I've listened to almost every video blog. I've read pretty much every article.

I'm struggling with my reactions. I don't want to cause any more harm than has been caused. For me... Him ... Or our kids. Nothing I say seems to move us forward. He doesn't seem to want me at all and says he's very happy with the AP.

He is currently not interested in counseling as we have tried that in the past.

I am praying.

I would appreciate advice.



sorry for delay...was out of town...

grace, sorry, was out of town and kept losing signal or internet. after reading what you've said, if he's so happy with his ap, then at some level, i think you need to consider pulling back and simply letting him go. fact is, you can't make him want you. you can't make him pursue you. have you tried your own ambivalence towards him and tried to pull back and not pursue him? i know you want your marriage and that's admirable, but you can't want it for him and you can't make him want it and it seems as though he just doesn't want it. the bitterness could be coming from 1. shame 2. self hatred 3. anger that he's projecting on you that he has toward himself 4. unhealed pain and hurt from childhood etc.... for him to have so much anger, it's concerning and to have anger towards you, when he's been the unfaithful one, is a bit absurd on his part. but, chasing him, pursuing him, won't work. i would keep praying, and drawing near to the lord, but also pull back and not pursue him at all. if you keep pursuing him or trying to get him to do work, then he will only resent you more and you enable him and the dysfunction and you also continue to allow the pattern to continue and make him your captor so to speak. you make him the main focus and i would suggest making the lord your main focus. it may be time to pursue your own healing and your own peace and allow him to be alone or with his ap and allow God to work on you and him as he, your husband allows. i'm sorry it's not better news, but he seems to be filled with a ton of unresolved anger and bitterness.

Thank you

I'm going to read this a few times before I reply.

Yes, you're right

There is a ton of unresolved anger towards me. He admits.

There was childhood trauma for him that I don't believe he ever fully dealt with.

My biggest thing now is how to explain it to our children. We have 2 under 10. Do you have any good resources?

Wants the marriage

My husband wants the marriage but seems ambivalant about doing the recovery work. He just drags his feet and what he does do is done is done half a$$ (pardon the expression but nothing else seems to fit). He says I am willing to do whatever it takes. But is actions are not living up to that.

Any suggestions?

its normal to say that....

it's normal for him to say that he's willing but if he's not putting the work in, or not responding to your requests then he's not willing. however be careful: if you say let's do this and he then says yes, and you'r frustrated he's not taking the lead, that's normal. if you give him something you can do...hence, let's do the ems weekend and he says no, then he's not willing and he's giving you lip service. ya know? if you want him to take the lead, he won't, until he gets good quality help that can actually teach him that he needs to take the lead. what work have ykou done? have you considered the ems weekend? will he do it? will he do an on line course? bootcamp? anything at all you've done thus far? it's normal to get him to have to follow your lead early on till he gets good help. keep that in mind though. sorry for the delay. was on vacation and in mexico and internet was spotty AT BEST. :) thanks for your patience.

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