Have you Suffered Abandonment in Recovery?

In today's video, Samuel begins a new mini series on abandonment in recovery from infidelity and affairs.

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Thank you for your video blogs

Samuel, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your video blogs: how genuine you are, your compassion and humor make the hard work of recovery easier. But the point I want to emphasize is that while I am an avid reader, my husband is not. So it has been so crucial that I can say to him, "Do you have the time to watch/listen to this video about recovery?" He always says "Yes". Providing the information in a format more comfortable to him has been a lifesaver. I bet this is true for others as well. So thank you!

thank you so much....we didn't see it coming...

sharon, thank you so much for your kind words. fact is, we didn't have a clue how effective these were going to be by video. we've just kinda stumbled upon this effective medium that people just seem to love. i'm amazed at it's reach and how many people seem to love them. so thank you for being brave enough to share your thoughts and encourage me. i often times wonder if these help at all and comments like this are so life giving. thank you.

Sharon

I so agree with everything you said. My husband is that guy too!! So much so that the books he has actually used in recovery have only been in auto format.

Samuel I truly believe you're going to be shocked when you make it to heaven and see all the peoples lives that you've actually touched with just these video blogs. I don't have any idea how much time they take for you to do I'm sure it's a lot longer than that 8 to 10 minutes that the video last but they are so appreciated at least by me and I know the ppl in my married for life group. Thank you for your sacrifice of Time and for your willingness to be honest and open.

Where is the beard?

First I have to wonder what happened to the beard? LOL!!

You have hit the nail on the head!! Each one of your points was spot on!! I would just like to add some points that I have discovered during this in the area of relationships and abandonment.
1) I have discovered more often than not the friends that abandon you are not actually rejecting you as the Betrayed spouse but they run in fear. If it could happen to you and your marriage then I could happen to them in their marriage. They cower in fear.

2) it has been my experience and that's not necessarily everyone's experience but it has been mine that in the church community we are not really good at getting dirty. We have a tendency to mount expectations up on Christians and when they failed to meet our expectations we allow our own disappointment to drive a wedged in the friendship. We also tend to put levels on sin. We'll tolerate gluttony,
we'll tolerate dept, we'll tolerate gossip, we'll tolerate the "little sins" and we'll even tolerate not loving others as we love ourselve which is our number one commandments from God But the big sins like murder lying cheating stealing and adultery that we can't tolerate those we tend to wash her hands of the people that have committed those bc big sends murder lying cheating stealing and adultery that we can't tolerate those we tend to wash her hands of the people that have committed "the BIG sins". It's often heard how could they do that they were a Christian. And that's how they say it "WERE A CHRISTIAN"
as if now they're not. Again is that fear. If I could happen of them, it could happen us.

3) this one is my favorite the wives that don't want their husbands hanging out with THAT GUY. Or the husbands that don't want the wives hanging out with THAT WOMAN. It is again almost as if they say LOOK OUT THAT COULD BE CATCHING!! They lack faith in their own faith.

4) And for some they just don't know what to say or what to do be use we can't talk about sex in church. Sex is dirty. Sex is to personal. Sex is just for procreation. We can't talk about sex in the church. It makes ppl to uncomfortable. Really?!? Cause it was designed by God. Maybe if it was more discussed in church there would not be so many affairs?? Samual you were preacher let me ask you a question. How many times did you preach on marital sex? How many sermons did you prepare On how to avoid the entrapment of an affair? I've been in church for 30 years I've never heard Sermon like that. Just saying.

5) I have been abandoned by friends that just can't wrap their head around my choice to stay. They say I just don't know how you do it, I could never get past all that. Or they offer the fake support of your a better woman than me. I would have tossed his cheating butt out. I don't know how you are doing it. Then there is the few that are willing to be honest. I just can't look at your husband the same. I had to end those relationships. Maybe just for a season or maybe for a lifetime idk yet. But for me I had to close that door and for my husband.

6) then there is the last one. And this is gonna sting. But I need to say it and I think someone on here needs to read it. We have to many church leaders that are caught up in affairs and pornography that are still leading. I have seen ppl in chat forums who are dealing with the fall out of their affairs and addictions that are still in the leadership positions. They are still hiding. They are playing the system. They can't address the underlying issue of the sin in the church because of their active participation. I firmly believe that the devil or the darkness or whatever you name it is seeking to kill and destroy and this is his number one weapon. If you destroy the family (church family and personal families) then he wins. The fall out from an affair in the church leaves so many walking wounded. The baby Christians leave. The seasoned Christians question their faith and all that they believe. Families fall apart. Isolation causes more damage. God never intended on us to face things alone. Our strength is in numbers. Let some person come out that they are battling an alcohol or drug addiction and the support is there. But come out and say I have a prom addiction well then your just some sort of pervert or sexual deviant. We have to push them away for the "protection" of the kids or women in the church. If the devil he can divide he can conquer. But the church is really good at shooting their wounded.

Abandonment or the feelings of abandonment have been a huge HUGE thing to overcome. For me personally it has caused me to lean more heavily on my faith bc Jesus did not abandon the hurting and he loves to use the broken. Just like he uses Rick and Samuel. God is all about redemption and using even the worst circumstances to bring glory to Him.

I will put away my soap box now.

Thank you for reading.

Thank you, Samuel, for this

Thank you, Samuel, for this vlog, as I've struggled with the disappointment of friends not reaching out despite my opening myself up to them and asking them for support. I know I should give them grace but I get tired of the excuses of not knowing what to say or not wanting to say the wrong thing. After all, doesn't that just show that they are thinking of themselves and not about you? I actually had one person say that this was so out of the realm of their experience they didn't know what to do. Come on, really? Of course it is - I mean, this was so out of the realm of MY experience, too! I think one of the most helpful things I've read recently regarding what we go through in terms of rejection/abandonment was from Michele Cushatt: http://michelecushatt.com/how-to-bring-relief-to-those-who-grieve/ Also, I found this other post right on in expressing what I want:

One-day-at-a-time living is hard for me, especially during a crisis. In my fear of death, I often miss out on life, isolating myself from those who love me most. I grow consumed with my circumstances, all the what-ifs I can’t control. In the process, I miss out on what is.

But sometimes the isolation I feel isn’t my doing. Sometimes my life circumstances lead others to pull away.

I was recently asked if people treat me differently now, after such a long season of struggle, than they did right after my first diagnosis.

Yes, sometimes they do. Not always, not every day. But it happens.

If you've been through multiple hardships, perhaps you've experienced this, too. When friends and family don’t know what to do or say, they pull back, do and say nothing.

But sometimes it’s more than that. People like to believe that we're doing something to cause our suffering. Because if we're doing something to cause, say, cancer, then surely we can do something to fix it. And if we are somehow responsible for our circumstances, then that means they can avoid it.

In short, we’re scared to bump into the reality that sometimes you can do everything right, and things can still go wrong. And that suffering can’t always be fixed or cured. Instead, it must be endured. As a result, sometimes we shrink back from those who suffer—often without realizing it—as a means of self-preservation.

Pain frightens the tar out of us.

But for those who struggle and those who stand on the fringes and watch, what we need most in the moments of our greatest fear isn’t a cure or fix.

We need presence.
Someone who will sit with us and say,

My friend, there is no judgment and no shame.
You do not need to carry this alone.
This is just hard, messy, & ugly.
And I'm sorry.

Star

I love what you had to say. I would have loved to have a friend that rode in and said YEP been here, done this. Here is the step by step guide on how to clean up and clear up this mess. But it just does not work that way. However I was blessed to have 1 friend and my sister that said No Judgment and feel no shame. I know that this is hard, mess, and ugly and I am sorry that this is happening to you. I will sit with you until you until you can stand on your own.

SLM

Handling Abandonment

Samuel:

I agree with Sharon, you are so valuable and have helped me greatly. I am not even sure how many times I forward your blog to one person or another who I think can use the message you are delivering. Thank you for that.

Anyway, I get the abandonment and all the reasons friends, acquaintances and other families may abandon the couple. I may have thought it was justified until I began this journey. There are some people that can abandon you and also remain in your life and the reason I am reaching out is to ask how to deal with them.

At some point before disclosure I went to my in-laws and expressed my concerns and their response was that, "we raised our son to be a moral man." (yes, they said that to me). The day after the first disclosure (we had a few until the truth came out), my husband asked me to go with him to his parents and he disclosed that he had been having an affair. Collectively, their response was, "we don't want to know the details," and that was the end of the conversation.

I spent days/weeks in bed following the first disclosure, you know the routine; couldn't eat, sleep, wanted to die, etc. My in-laws who were very involved in our lives, remained in our family life and ignored what I and their son was going through. They visited the house, went to the kids sporting events, bought Christmas presents, etc but to this day, have not given one ounce of support, not justification at all.

I go between hating them, ignoring them and then I have some bright spots where I can deal with them. I have forgiven my husband, I harbor no anger toward him any longer and while there are scars, we did get remarried in a religious ceremony last year. I feel very conflicted when I think of my in laws and how I feel about them.

I don't have the choice to leave them out of my life because my children really love them and see them regularly. How do you push beyond people that have abandoned you, yet are still in your life?

BF response...

BF thank you for your kind words. forward away my friend. it means a ton to me and i hope these little vlogs help ease the pain in some way for you and so many others. thank you for your question as well. what i've had to do is forgive those who abandoned and even have tried to be friends of some sort. i have found that extending mercy does me a ton of good to them and to me. i'm able and have been able to tolerate situations/people like that when i give them mercy allowing for the fact that 'they don't have what i need.' i have also found that i'm able to see them in a different light when i realize they have probably been through something that has prevented them from being involved with us or me. they themselves are wounded and can't engage due to their own pain. many family abandon as they simply can't handle it, ya know? like they just have been wounded and damaged or traumatized and they had to check out as they just didn't have what i needed or we needed to get from them.. they just don't have what i need. so, mercy triumphs over judgement if you know what i mean. i see them as a victim. i see them as those damaged as well and are unable to give what i need. yah they may be a victim to the ostrich syndrome and putting their heads in the sand but i extend forgiveness and mercy and realize they just don't have to give what i or we need. you have to see them in that light or you'll continue to be angry at them and hold a grudge and at this point, i'm sure you're far enough along to realize what unforgiveness will do to you and your own heart. they don't know what they did or are doing and as you release them and don't look to them for affirmation, or support or engagement, it frees you to see them themselves as victims. i hope that helps as it's what helped me release so many from any expectations at all.

abandonment issues

This was so helpful. Everything you said is true. The isolation, the loss of friends, the disconnect from family and long standing relationships. If i had not the Lord to turn to, I do not know what I would do to deal with the pain and loneliness
. regina

Abandonment

First of all i am very grateful for the blogs and especially for the series on Abandonment.
But one thing I kept listening for but did not hear much about were the people we need to / have to abandon as the Betrayed spouse and getting the spouse who cheated to abandon those people that they should not be around - not just the AP - but those with connections to the AP and those that were a part of the entire charade while it was going on. Could you shed some light on that aspect of abandonment and how one gets the other to at least admit it let alone do it.

And yes I have suffered much abandonment during this process. I don't know how you can't. Even if you don't say a word to people, those that know you well will see there is some difference in you when you go through a trauma like this. it's impossible not to change from it and see yourself clear of it not having an effect on you. I don't care who you are.

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