Fighting For Your Own Heart

Life comes at you fast. Between pressures and responsibilities, obligations and duties, each day carries fluctuating odds on how long it takes to sometimes lose it. I hate to sound like a downer but lately there has been a good deal of pressure I’ve been walking through. Finding the balance to manage everything has taken some work for sure.

To those struggling with the effects of infidelity, each day is a long haul. For the betrayed it’s excruciating with reminders, triggers and confusion. The task of finding hope can seem exhausting in and of itself. Rising above the roaring waves of depression to simply care for kids, go to work, or care for your self can feel like a upward trek that has no end.

For the unfaithful, their journey is challenging in that it also feels endless and like they are continuously fighting uphill. Will it be this way forever? At the end of the climb, is there a life repaired and restored, or is it a new life, without their spouse and family and a plaguing reminder of how they failed? The confusion and perceived helplessness can suck the life out of you before you take your first deep breath in the morning.

We often times find ourselves fighting for the heart of our spouse. It’s gut wrenching when we try and fight to care for the condition of another’s heart. Quite honestly, we can’t. With children, we do our best and try to train them, love them and care for them, but with our spouse it’s radically different. We can’t control them or always see what they are feeling or experiencing or even doing behind the scenes. It’s frustrating as all get out to try to care for their heart and be met with opposition, indifference, or worse, outright defiance and resistance.

We’re left with the need to care for and fight for our own heart. What I’ve learned most recently is a deeper understanding of the nobility and necessity of fighting for the condition of my own heart in the face of an attack from life itself. My heart is my responsibility. Infidelity is traumatic and feels disabling. Nevertheless, my reaction is my choice and my approach to it is vital. Whether you’re betrayed or unfaithful, you must take up the cause of fighting for the condition of your own heart to ensure you are not imprisoned the rest of your life. Not by your spouse, or by challenges and pressures, but by the condition of your own heart which will build bars around itself if you’re not diligent to preserve its health, healing and clarity. 

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Well said.

Well said.

However, I do feel it is the responsibility of the betrayer to tenderly care for his/her partner. It will sometimes come as a sacrifice of one's own self esteem, pride and worth. ...but if you'd held up your end of the relationship, you wouldn't be in this place. You put yourself here through a conscious choice, now it is time to do the right thing (what you should have done before having an affair) and make selfless decisions and be as caring and tender with your partner's heart , soul and mind.

point taken

Anon, point taken. i would hope that inherent in recovery is this principle of caring for your spouse or partner's heart as well. but, as you can tell it is not always on the forefront of the unfaithful's mind in recovery, which is where a proper process comes in. i don't disagree with you at all but was simply using the moment to focus on caring for our own hearts rather than always trying to control, change, manage, even bully, our partner's heart. thank you for your comment and taking the time to post.

I am starting to realize I

I am starting to realize I have codependency issues I need to work on, and really need to start working on my own heart and self. However, it's hard when you don't see your unfaithful spouse working on himself. We're 3 months out from d-day, 2 months from his last contact with the AP, and almost 2 months from EMSW. He doesn't want to continue with beyond ems, and keeps questioning whether counseling is even worth it. Has not written in a life plan journal or been responsive with his H4H email group. I have lost more hope this weekend and feeling more detached from him. He just wants to move on, doesn't want to answer more questions, and feels since he cut off the relationship with the AP what more do I want. What I want is to kick him out for a long period of time, but he won't leave. I know the kids will be unstable for a bit, friends will ask questions, but I'm growing tired of the charade.

the charade...

momof2, it's got to be excruciating i'm sure. i'm very sorry for his delay in any sort of passion for healing. obviously there is some sort of disconnect. have you had a follow up session with Rick at all? id' probably do that ASAP. you are right, you'll need to address your own codependency issues, just as Samantha in a weird way, had her own to deal with too. they were real and they were tough, but she was able to move forward relatively easily as she got the right help. it's not uncommon in the least bit for the betrayed to have codependency issues. i see it more and more and it's normal, but not something that can't be addressed and healed. if he's unwilling to do anything more than what he's doing, I'd schedule a session with Rick or Leslie, then I'd take a serious look at what you need to do for YOU and your girls and consider what the future may need to look like. if he's not getting it now, either 1. ramping up the consequences to let him know that this will not simply 'go away' will have to help him or 2. perhaps he may never get it and this is the best he will give you and the future may need to be reevaluated. i know it's not an easy fix or simple answer, but if he's unwilling to continue the beyond ems group and still wants you to just get over it, it's very concerning. i hope this helps and makes sense. but still keep fighting for you. it's very cathartic and has to be done for your own long term healing and health. thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Thanks Samuel for your

Thanks Samuel for your perspective. I am realizing that I may need to start setting firmer boundaries tied to consequences, or perhaps start letting go -- just praying about that and trying to hear what God is telling me, but so hard to hear His voice. It's hard to balance setting boundaries v. being controlling. We have done a couple sessions with Rick so far, and I'm hopeful that I'll see some changes after a few more. But I also need to start thinking about myself and getting myself healthy in more ways than one. Your article you posted today about the unfaithful's actions determining the future was incredibly helpful too - it said what I feel like my heart has been screaming.

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