How Does Destructive Entitlement Sabotage Restoration for Both Spouses?

The foundations of any healthy, life-giving marriage or long-lasting relationship are built in humility, compassion and self-sacrifice, (just to name a few). The antithesis of these is something called “destructive entitlement.” Believe it or not, after the disclosure of infidelity or addiction, one or both spouses can feel destructively entitled to various ways of handling the pain, trauma, and of course, perceived abandonment and rejection. The truth is, most marriages can be saved after this life-altering disclosure. The other half of that truth is that not all spouses are willing to do what it takes to see the marriage or relationship healed and restored.

When a spouse or partner falls into the trap of destructive entitlement, the foundation of repair work crumbles rapidly. For restoration to thrive after infidelity, both parties must focus on their own self-care, while also doing work to care for the marriage. While an uphill climb, it is not an impossible climb. When we can identify and confront these instances of destructive entitlement, the relationship inherently gains positive momentum and potential for long-term salvation.

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This concept of destructive entitlement does resonate on what is going on in my relationship. I am the betrayed spouse. My husband has not been willing to acknowlege the wrong doing of the affair, or my hurt, pain and anger. He keeps saying he needs to deal with his own issues before he can work on us as a couple. So I push and push. I feel like I am doing all this work - the research, talking to people, looking for experts to help us. But he doesn't want to engage in anything. He sees his own general therapist. After I reached my limit of depression/anxiety and constant pain, I gave him a deadline to leave the house if he couldn't "get to the starting line." Then he blames me for "kicking him out" and says how disappointed that I cannot see his pain and hurt. But he shows me nothing. He tells me he is numb and doesn't feel any emotion. Now he has decided he wants to leave. He wants to have his time to himself to have no distractions around him to deal with his demons and his act together. He expects me to sit here and wait, run the house, take care of the kids and maintain my career. Am I exhibiting destructive entitlement because I expect him to "get to the starting line" and do it "my way" - which is to deal with this in the manner that is honest, fair, and open in communication and thru counseling, groups, websites, etc?