Finding a New Perspective

Webster’s dictionary defines frustration as a deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs.

I have to tell you, as impatient as I am, and as wired as I am to control, I have experienced incredible frustration; not only in recovery, but in life in general. Even when I was young, I can remember extreme times of frustration and the sense of paralysis I felt at not being able to get the outcome I perceived to be best for me. Anyone else see the glaring pride there? Quite frankly, I’m easily frustrated in life even now and I have to be careful for this particular season I’m in right now.

One thing that helps me is perspective. When I see things in a long term perspective, or from God’s perspective, it helps me to understand why I am so frustrated, or why I’m so upset that I’m not able to control the situation. When I try and control people or circumstances, I relapse in my behavior and understanding.

Often times in recovery, if there is one universal feeling that many experience, it’s pure, unadulterated frustration. I knew it well with Samantha. I was frustrated at her inability to get over the triggers. I was frustrated at her inability to connect sexually, or why she couldn’t see that my affair was birthed out of unmet needs (so I adamantly thought, anyway, before getting healthy). I was frustrated at myself, as I wasn’t able to make the changes I wanted to make fast enough. Ultimately, I was frustrated and mad at God for not doing what I wanted him to do, when I wanted him to do it.

I feel for any of you who are deeply frustrated with your mate and/or your circumstances. Regardless of what side you are on, it’s so easy to get frustrated and our hurts, our pains, our trauma and our fears exacerbate the entire feeling and process. It reduces us to feeling paralyzed and hopeless.

But there is hope. Where there is willingness, there is always hope.

For starters, if you’re frustrated today, I encourage you to take a step back and itemize what you are truly frustrated about. Get it out of your head and on to paper and then see it from another angle altogether. It will also help to get your mind around what it truly is you’re frustrated about. Perhaps it will reveal an imaginary timeline you created, assuming certain outcomes if you or your spouse continues down the path you’re walking. Keep in mind, that potential timeline may not even happen. It might be from your own pride or impatience.

Once you get it out, I’d encourage you to consider the possibility that perhaps you don’t know what’s best for yourself. I’ve just lost a few of you, I know.

For those of you who stuck around, I did say that. Maybe YOU don’t know what is best for you. Perhaps there is a bigger plan that you’re unaware of. Maybe what is seemingly bad and terrible right now is actually what you NEED. God the Father frequently gives us what we need instead of what we want. We aren’t great at fixing us. We really aren’t. We are exceptional at thinking we know what we need and self-diagnosing; but more times than not, we fail miserably at diagnosing ourselves, our situation, and our spouse. It’s just pure truth that has been birthed out of my own life, after countless times of assuming I know what is best, only to realize how stupid I was being and how short sighted I had become.

For example, when my affair became public, it hurt multitudes. None more so than Samantha, and I’d have told you it was the worst thing that could have happened to us. Looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened to us and to me, and in the best timing. The man I’d be now, the human wrecking ball I’d still be, the lives I’d have hurt, the lives that would have been even more damaged would be more than I could count. The dysfunction in our marriage, the hurt and pain and bitterness in Samantha’s heart, would be diabolical.

I’ll never forget when Rick once told me, very directly I might add, “Stop judging your life right now and live it. Get the help you can get, do what you need to do, use patience, and stop judging what may be the best thing for you right now. Maybe you need to be tight on money for humility. Maybe you need to have difficulty so you can be purified to get the pride out of you. Maybe what you hate is what you need.”

I’ll share more later, but perhaps you too need to hear this today?

Add New Comment:


I am mired in frustration...

Samuel, your writing is exactly how I wish my husband felt.. I wonder what he is feeling all the time. I feel like i have been shut out from his inner life since his affair began almost a year ago. He blamed me and saved every negative comment i made as a justification for his affair. His needs were not getting met by me, but I wonder if I will ever know what he needs. He chooses not to look back on his behavior to find any meaning on how we must proceed, and I think it's shame that he is mired in that is preventing him from having any empathy for me. I love everything you write about how you as the unfaithful have had to unravel and make sense of this journey that involves your poor choices and how it hurt so many people. How you learned from it to create the marriage that you probably always wanted minus the scar tissue.

I try to send him all these articles and I don't think he reads any of them... I don't even think he has God in his life... D-day was last July and we nearly divorced, separated for 3 months and so much bad stuff in between. He was addicted to his broken taco affair partner and I couldn't get him to tell me the truth. I still feel like i don't know the whole story. He has and always will protect her and hold her, I fear, in higher esteem than he holds me. I pray every day for the Lord to give me the strength to know wether i should stay with someone who doesn't value me and protect my heart and the sacred connection I thought we had. He's been home since Christmas and he is my biggest trigger. Not sure how to handle the triggers in a way that he will respond positively towards me.

I recognize that God is giving me this Cross to bear for a purpose and I know that it is more about honoring who I am and my faith in God, not in my spouse.

Thank you for all your insight into the psyche of the unfaithful.

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