How Do You Deal With Infidelity in Relationship? What Is a Shame Spiral?

The journey of the unfaithful spouse eventually reveals a need to confront shame. Those who feel ashamed often continue to do shameful things, and we know infidelity can be incredibly shameful for all parties involved, even for peripheral family members and close friends. Without a plan to confront and heal shame in the life of the unfaithful, both parties in the relationship or marriage can feel behind schedule, if not altogether stuck. The good news is, shame doesn’t have to be the taskmaster in the relationship, nor does it have to be the ruling force in the life of the unfaithful party. As it’s been said before, “there is a better way.” When an unfaithful spouse can do specific and targeted work to heal their shame, they proceed further and further toward forgiving themselves. When a former unfaithful enters into the process of genuinely forgiving themselves, they become safer and more empathetic to the betrayed party in every facet of communication and recovery work. Today, our alumnus Samuel discusses his own journey of self-forgiveness, and how he too had to diffuse shame.

Registration for Harboring Hope Opens Soon!

You don't have to do this alone. Our online course for betrayed spouses is life-changing, encouraging and full of hope.

"I just completed the Harboring Hope program. My husband was unfaithful to me emotionally, physically and sexually with a co-worker. What I wished I would've known is that forgiveness and reconciliation are two different things. People who refuse to forgive can never live their own lives, they are too busy obsessing about the life of the one who hurt them. They are stuck. They are unable to enjoy friends, family or even their children. They imprison themselves in a bondage of their own making. I definitely recommend the Harboring Hope program as a support for healing. To be in a safe community with other women who know what you're going through and how you're feeling is comforting. Whether you're able to reconcile or not, there is hope." — M., Michigan | HH Participant, April 2021.

Space is limited! Use the button below to subscribe and be notified before registration opens.

Subscribe to Registration Notifications!
Add New Comment:


Thank you! This is what I have been trying to say to my UFH

HI Samuel, this is exactly what we are dealing with 5 years post first Dday.. are you available to speak with anyone over phone or thru zoom? My husband is a walking ball of shame, depression, and anger. When I first realized he was living a double life, I forgave him, told him we could work it out. REbuild..IF he coukd commit to fighting FOR US,instead of fighting us. He hasn't cheated again as far as I know, but he is drinking. Adding whiskey to his nightly wind down routine. The kids see it, I grew up with a father who battled this demon, so did he. So this really hurts, like he is opening up the wound even more. He has many hobbies, and distracts himself from healing choices. Even went thru H4H without doing any homework with me.. I found that out later, on my own. Checking boxes, but not sticking to any plan for protecting us. I am so vulnerable, we are very vulnerable. I have separated from him in body and mind, just praying for him. He still wants the benefits of a healing marriage.. but I absolutely 💯 can not be intimate with him the way I was. I have told him that his lack of transparency and humility is paralyzing us. Holding on, looking up, 🙏, but going to separate soon as his shame and anger are affecting our 3 young children now. I can not, in this climate we are in of post covid, and raising kids ( lack.of babysitting avail) find a good therapist that won't add to the trauma. We have 4 therapist's that I stopped seeing for my own health. I have followed you on this roller coaster, and thank you for always being honest no matter the circumstances. Life saver!

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer

Free Surviving Infidelity Bootcamp

Our experts designed this step-by-step guide to help you survive infidelity. Be intentional with your healing with this free 7-day bootcamp.
I would highly recommend giving this a try.
-D, Texas