How Do You Know If You're Too Far Gone to Be Saved?

Samuel discusses the common question in recovery; are we too far gone to be healed?

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Too Gone?

Samuel, Had we not gone to EMS this weekend, I'm not sure our marriage would survive. After two marriage counselors, 3 years, we were at the end of our rope -- at least I was as the betrayed spouse. EMS and all the caring counselors in attendance made me/us believers. I witnessed the impossible (at least in my heart and mind) of seeing my UH show remorse and empathy. Divine intervention took place in our small groups; I finally have hope for our 33 year marriage. Thank you to the entire AR Team. What a blessing you are to those of us traveling this journey of infidelity. Yes, we were the oldest couple there -- it's never too late for 'senior folks' to learn new tricks! My spouse was able to connect with you in your videos, that was a blessing... We are so grateful and hopefully will continue to use the tools shared with us at the seminar to continue to build a better marriage as we move forward. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

i'm so glad.....

that makes it all worth it my friend.  i'm so glad you came, but even more glad that you found hope again for you both and your marriage.  i know it's a tough ride, but i'm so thankful for your kind words and belief in what we do.  you're going to make it and come out on the other side and help so many others heal.  thank you for sharing that with me. i'll share it with the team as well.  it means so much to receive notes like that. 



I can only hope that I will be able to say the same after attending EMS next weekend. Thank you for sharing your story.

I have a question, when does

I have a question, when does remorse,loving behavior and wooing back of the betrayed come? When can the betrayed know that there is hope for their marriage because the wayward spouse is proving that they love them? I know that the timeline varies from situation to situation depending on the amount of work that both parties put in, but there comes a time when the betrayed doesn't want to do anymore because it doesn't seem like it is making a difference. I have read several books about couples that had dealt with infidelity, like Anne Brecht and Cindy Beall and Gary and Gary and Mona Shriver, and although they have dealt with the tragic and heartbreak of the situation, the spiritual side of it with forgiveness and finding inner strength and the practical side of it with the learning to trust again, they never talk about what the wayward spouse did that made it so that they knew they were truly chosen, that there was hope for their marriage, not because of the obligations of it and that it was what God would want, but because they were loved and wanted. I want to know at what point in the timeline does that happen and what does the wayward spouse do that proves that they are truly choosing and loving their betrayed spouse?

that's an excellent question....

sorry for the delay.   i get it.  that's a great question.  here are a few bullet points:

1. after they receive expert care and that expert care has some time to work.  like coming to an ems weekend, and then giving it a few months for all that work to take effect.  

2. to expect the unf to work on wooing or pursue the betrayed and try to win them back, usually only comes after expert help as they are usually, not always, but usually so filled with shame condemnation and despair, (not to mention pity and self absorption) they don't usually woo back their spouse until they get expert help and see WHAT they need to do.  again, like a weekend intensive or seeing a true expert for an extended period of time. 

3. i think it's about creating safety....again, after they have gotten help and realize they need to actually do this, then i think it's creating safety in our show trust and establish trust again.  as i was able to show samantha safety, it really showed her i was trying and willing to do whatever it takes.  for me, creating safety meant some few but non negotiable expectations:  1. seeing my therapist regularly  2. meeting with my mentor once a week  3. leaving the ministry and working a normal, regular job and not being gone at night more than once or twice 4. i was to always always answer my phone unless i was with a client and then i would need to text her back in 10 minutes or she was calling again and this would be a big deal if i did not answer.  

those things and a few more would show her safety and reliability.  we would also date once a week, alone.  things like that helped her feel safe. 

i was taught all of those things.  they did not come naturally at all.  i had to be taught them and then they started to click with me and I would implement them as best I could.

i hope all this helps.  


Hope vs Emotional Abuse

samuel, yr video is great thank you. do you feel like the advice is different if you've been married to an addict who from yrs of addiction has developed borderline personality disorder (extreme narcissm). i have strong faith, n believe that all people can change if they want to and with the right level of help but the consensus in physcotherapy seems to be saying people with the 25 yr history of addiction and bpd don't really change, they appear to but then revert once yr back in and comfortable. i truly believe in ar and its principles. ems was great but unfortunately my H addiction relapse over shadowed any n all progress made. do i need to recognize that maybe we cannot apply the principles because we are overcast by a larger problem than the affair with the addiction and bpt. i am working on it all, setting boundaries etc and still participate in my married for life group w/o my H whose been in relapse on all fronts. we r living sepatetly and I've gone no contact for a several weeks now once I realized he was still living two lives (still lying n seeing AP). my h has a desire to reconcile, regular promises for future rehab but has been getting no help for either addiction. we do have small children which adds to the dynamic too, whom he has gone no contact with of his own choosing for 3 months. feel stuck btwn codependent caregiver, hopeful wife/mother and fool? thanks as always for all you do, it is at times the only thing that brings me peace

i'm so sorry for the pain you're in

hi bmerangel....i do believe that in cases like this, healing COULD  be possible.....however, and it's a huge, poignant however, this statement really sets the tone:  "regular promises for future rehab but has been getting no help for either addiction."  there is hope even in the face of addiction, as it does have a bit of a different protocol, however, if he won't get help for those addictions then you are right....there isn't much hope at all.  i do believe in both God and God's miracles, but we have free will and we have consequences to that free will...and if he won't own and get help for what he's struggling with, it's hard to believe that things will magically get better.   i'm so sorry for your lot right now....i know it's hard as hell, but you refusing to quit on you and those kids is paramount my sweet friend.  

Should we keep going or turn back now?

Samuel -

Your video blogs are very inspiring and they are a blessing. I am the unfaithful spouse that by the grace of God, was exposed of my having an affair to lead me back to His loving grace. As a consequence of my prior selfish actions and demons, I have witnessed the extreme devistation, trauma and pain that I have caused my wife. We didnt have the best of a relationship before, and in my selfishness, I made it worse. I am extremely remorseful and as I said, with God's grace, been rescued from that lifestyle. The core love I have for her is still strong... and I am all in to this relationship. I can't say that she feels the same way though.

Determined to getting myself closer to God's everlasting love, because of the covenant of marriage (which I broke), my goal is to biblically be what a husband is to be for his wife. I have been praying constantly, attending counciling, watching video blogs from AR all to heal myself and hope for her forgiveness.

We are 11 months past D-day, and immeadiately cut ties with the affair partner - and ran as far away as fast as I could from it. Started counciling right away to get to the bottom of why I did what I had done. I expressed and continue to express my shame and ask for her forgiveness. I have told her repeatedly that I am committed to her. During this whole period, I have been hopeful that my wife would also attend some type of individual counciling or relationship counciling. We tried to start BootCamp, but she was not interested. I have tried so hard to get her to talk to someone at AR... but she refuses to. I know it is her decision, and she says that she has the best counciler - Jesus... and that is all that she needs. However, I have noticed that her bitterness is getting more intense and hostile, and she re-lives every detail and moment in the affair period responding as if it happened yesterday, only to compound the memories, relive childhood scars, previous relationship trama and blur them into a new truth that she believes and embraces... simply put, she is so tramatized inside.

I listen to you when you say - be patient. I am encouraged when you say many people have made it through this and come out with a deep loving relationship... I truly believe that is what God wants me to do... to hang in there - and thats what I chose to do. However, when looking back at my personal recovery (which I am so thankful for), I want the same for her, yet see her becoming more bitter, full of rage, full of hate, unable to cope, unwilling to get any help outside of the Holy Spirit. Without council and being able to talk to others that have been down this path, I dont see her recovering any time soon.

It is my steadfast prayer, that at some point she will embrace someone that she can confide in and that will open the floodgates of recovery and forgiveness (and she would not allow me to suggest that) - but with no friends, no family and being alone all day - it concerns me.

At what point do you say we have gone to far to be saved? Not there yet, however it is appearing on the far distant horizon.

thank you for the comment...some thoughts...sorry for the delay

hi there.  i'm very sorry for the delay, but didn't see the comment and was out of town today till now.  again, my apologies as i never want viewers to feel ignored, but there is life that gets in the way. i know what it's like to be alone and hopeless so i'd like to be as responsive as i can be.  for starters, i'm sorry that she won't get help.  it's always very concerning when a spouse won't get help and one therapist put it this way:  if a spouse is unwililng to get expert help, often times (though not always) it's because they know what they are doing or how they are handling themselves is wrong and they don't want to be confronted by an expert.  so there's that.  

2nd of all, as you'll hear in my videos, if spouses/partners are NOT willing to get expert help, there is a point where you have to ask yourself, are you willing to be patient enought that even if they don't get help, you're willing to stay in the marriage?  it varies for people.  some are, some aren't and that's totally OK either way.  YOU have to walk this out, not me, not counselors, not friends, not family etc,....YOU so you have to do what you feel is right and what you feel like (in your case) God is telling you to do.  so, if you're not willing to stay in the face of her refusal to get help, then your days may be numbered.  if you are willing to do all you can, even in the face of her not being willing to get help, then i think you have to do all you can for you and all the work you can on you, to get healthy and hope and pray that she may one day be wiling to get help due to the significant changes in your own life due to your own recovery work.  does that make sense?  i hope it helps you.  

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