Help for the Unfaithful: My Betrayed Spouse Refuses to Get Help

Samuel answers a viewers question on what to do when the betrayed refuses to get help.

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Feeling like we are failing at recovery

Thanks again for a great video. Recovery is so tough and it’s so unpredictable. Some days we are feeling on top of the world and the progress seems amazing, then the next day it can all fall apart. It’s so hard as a betrayed to not beat yourself up for what you feel is one more thing “not going right or one more thing you feel like a failure as”. Then I see my UH basically go catatonic because he doesn’t understand where the crazy came from. I hope the message the Unfaithfuls can take away from your video is patience. We as betrayed don’t like these emotions, don’t like how overwhelming they are and we aren’t always sure how to regulate them. We miss our old view of life and we are trying really hard to drink the “cool aide” that tells us it can be better than it ever was. Even though our brains are listing out evidence like a spreadsheet of all of the infractions that hurt us. Besides actually changing himself fundamentally, the next best thing my husband does is stay with me in the crappy times and not leaving me in despair alone. It’s a weird way to build a connection, but it shows me he isn’t that old guy. (Even though I know he’d prefer to run)

Very well said happygirl2018.

Very well said happygirl2018. I so appreciate how you articulated the emotional standpoint of the betrayed in these sentences:

"We as betrayed don’t like these emotions, don’t like how overwhelming they are and we aren’t always sure how to regulate them. We miss our old view of life and we are trying really hard to drink the “cool aide” that tells us it can be better than it ever was. Even though our brains are listing out evidence like a spreadsheet of all of the infractions that hurt us."

Thanks!

23 months 18 days and 2 hours out...

We are almost at the two year mark from Dday.
We've struggled with it ALL... therapy, communication, understanding, empathy... infidelity can truly turn human beings inside out.
The first 'therapy' we encountered was not good for us, and afterward I struggled with even wanting to continental in (insert noun here... therapy, counseling, marriage, life). It was horrendous. The counselors, a husband and wife team, we're so focused on forgiveness on my part (the faithful) to release him of his shame (multiple affairs of every level for two years) that it left me full of guilt and confusion and my unfaithful spouse full of inflated pride and a sense of entitlement. I can't express enough to couples trying to wade these waters, please, for the love of God, be careful who you entrust with your mental health. Good intentions are nor enough... you need real help.
I can only speak of myself... post Dday I was so engulfed in every emotion possible that looking back I was not even capable of finding real help. And if like me you live in a more rural area, your options are few. Unfortunately, it took another 15 months (12 months after the initial therapists) before I sought further help. First it came from my medical doctor, who diagnosed me with complex PTSD, trauma related depression and anxiety. I lost sixty pounds in a year. My hair started to fall out. 8 was suicidal, i was so sick of living in the darkness of my mind. And my husband... could not help me.
Your spouse cant FIX you. Spouses, you can NOT fix your messed up, confused, hurt to the core wife/husband. You can support, you can become safe as a quiet harbor, but you can't do it for them. Stress will KILL you... so please, seek help.

It took (is taking) God, a therapist, a doctor, two pills a day, meditation, lots of self awareness, and a million prayers by every friend, family, and even some strangers to put me together after my husband's infidelities. And this is just the starting point. My point is not to depress or scare anyone, just debunk the myth that you can wade these waters on your own. You can't, but more than that, you don't want to. I thought prayer, my own stubbornness, and time could do it. It's simply not true. God can heal it all, but I was not (mentally or physically) in a place to receive it. I needed to get well, I needed guidance... I needed help.
Also... unfaithful... pay attention. What you're doing (have done) is WHY your spouse is off their hinges. They can TRUST you to fix them, your opinions, nor your intentions. Get creative in your way of loving the ones that you have literally destroyed. Have patience. Pray. Get healthy yourself. Pray for them. Pray with them, even if they turn away. Your faithful spouse won't admit it, but they are ALWAYS afraid, and it's paralyzing. Stop expecting normal responses from someone that feels anything but normal. And accept... you hurt them. Bad. Forgive yourself, but don't excuse yourself. Don't live in shame, but don't shame them for their pain and unforgiveness. Time is only your friend in healing if you make good use of it.

By the way, we're still together. Moving to a new house. I'm excelling in my career. My children are healing now that Mom is. We're forever changed though... I guess we'll see what the next chapter holds.
Best of luck and my prayers to all of you.