If They Won’t Then I Won’t

“If you’d do your part, then maybe I’d work a tad bit harder at doing mine!” 

“Well, if you didn’t DO what YOU did, we wouldn’t be here in the first damn place.  It continues to be all about you doesn’t it!  You remain such a ……………” 

Actual dialogue between Samantha and I while we were in recovery.

It’s not an entirely uncommon thing to be stuck, or feel like only one party is doing more work to try and move forward than the other.  The fact is, you don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.  You can move forward, albeit somewhat incrementally, even if your spouse is hesitant or stuck in their own pride, shame, hurt or pain.

“If they won’t then I won’t” is a recipe for disaster as it means that perhaps your pride, or your inability to control their behavior, means you won’t get help for your own healing. This is true whether you’re betrayed or the betrayer. 

I was there. Believe me.  I sat on my kids’ swing in the back yard crying to Rick Reynolds on the phone one day as I was convinced Samantha wasn’t doing her part.  This time Rick didn’t laugh, as he knew I was in pain.  But he did speak softly and graciously and ask me a question:  “Samuel, what can you do right now?  Maybe this is about YOUR sanctification and maybe this needs to be about you right now?”  I threw up the white flag and said, “You’re right.  I can’t get her to get it right now.”  Rick emphatically said to me, “Samuel you need to allow Samantha to have all the time she needs since she’s the betrayed, and let God work on you in any way you need it right now.  You obviously can’t change things right now, so embrace it dude, and realize it is the way it is right now.  You can still get healthy, but right now, stop trying to control your wife’s behavior.”

I’ve always been a control freak.  It’s a recipe for disaster and frustration.

I needed to trust the process.  I needed to know that process required someone to drive the healing bus.  Right now I was the driver. Sometimes Samantha was on and ready to go, helping me map out our travel plan.  Sometimes, she would get off and I would be driving alone. Sometimes I’d jump right out the window and leave her to man the bus alone.  Sometimes she would take the wheel and I would get to sit and relax and watch.  Sometimes she would yell and scream and even throw things at me from the back of the bus while I continued to drive.  There was air conditioning, but there was no ear plugs.  

Maybe you’re that person right now.  Maybe you’re the betrayed, and you’re driving the bus.  That’s the worst situation I know.  Having to be the one who was betrayed, and still take the reins, or find help, is excruciating.  But many times it’s normal.  It’s normal as the unfaithful may not be healthy enough to even know what to do or how to do it.  I was so locked in shame, failure and self-deception, not to mention so disoriented, Samantha was the one who found Rick and Affair Recovery. 

It happens frequently, and it’s very difficult friends.  But it’s not impossible.  I hope you don’t feel alone in your journey, as you’re not.  You can move forward in your own recovery and healing.  I hope and pray you do, and if I can help, please let me know by emailing me at support@hope-now.com.

For more help on this subject, I hope you’ll read Rick’s article as well called “Healing from Infidelity: Going It Alone”.

You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.

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That is me.

That is me I have been directing the recovery after my wife's affairs, I have had to do the changes ( which needed to be done) I found AR got us signed up in EMS have had to keep her moving forward. I was totally broken by this but had to get over it bury my pride and start the process of bringing love back into our marriage, if it had not been for Christ in my life I would not have been able to get started. Our love has grown daily and I wait for the day my wife will be able to take a more active role in the rebuilding, it is what my heart really longs for. I trust that Christ is working on her heart and that day will be soon. It is not easy turning things over to Christ, my life is all about fixing things myself but this is not something I can fix, it has to come from the inside so I have to continue to trust and wait. Before this people said I had the patients of Job, now it is much harded and takes a lot more effort but I need to learn to keep my focus on what we will have and were we will be not on the moment.

wish i had some answers....

I'm now a month knowing and my wife has giving me little information about the details, her plans, or her thoughts. I discovered the affair through her texts one morning after suspecting something. she says she needs time to think since I was neglectful for her needs and she's afraid to move forward. told me she "hates me for making her do this." I know she's having trouble with this too but how long can I wait for even a glimpse of caring /healing /or anything else from her? I'm willing to move forward to heal our marriage and I know my part in this. it hurts so much as I know everyone here can relate.

Same position

I found out my wife has been having an affair with a married co-worker who lives in another country just before Christmas 2013. In fact, I remember asking if there was someone else in 2012 and when I found emails(Christmas time again), the two of them had discussed my accusations and proceeded to cover up everything!

I didn't go about everything correctly, meaning I didn't collect enough evidence before approaching her. Why? I didn't want to hurt her but I did want her to tell me the truth, which she still hasn't done. So I started digging again and I have found out that she has had an abortion already, just around my birthday in 2013 and proceeded to go on the pill (told me it was to regulate her periods). Long story short, I have enough information to really approach the subject again but I haven't and not sure I want to...

Just to add to the pain, we spoke on Christmas day and she told me she didn't love me any more. In fact, I think this hurt worse than anything else to be honest. I feel like a 'wimp' by saying that and don't get me wrong the physical stuff makes me extremely angry but the fact that she is in love with someone else and won't even tell me - that kills me. Especially when we have a 4 yr old daughter at home that I was taking care of while she was in NYC having an affair!!!

We are 2 weeks into a 'trial separation' so we can sort out our feelings. My wife knows that I know but we haven't really had a chat about this. I am depressed and feel 'bipolar' at times. I swing from wanting to save this marriage to second guessing whether or not she really does. She has agreed to marriage counseling, I am in individual counseling, and she has contacted a counselor for herself. We have ground rules for the separation including not speaking to the other guy but I know it is still going on, I just know it.

My heart that says 'we had a tough time, I was an idiot and didn't do my part in our marriage, she is human and made a mistake, and we can move on from this'. Then there is my head that tells me 'mate, she's still covering things up, she wants space - seriously you believe that you idiot, she won't even admit anything - what would you do in this situation?, and she has never even come out and said that we need to work on this marriage - these are my words'.

What ever happens with the marriage I am in control of how I come out of this. I can allow myself to be broken or I can get stronger from it. I have no strength but I know it's there....

wishing had some answers...

it's so sad to read what she's said: she hates you for making her do this." it only reveals the self deception unfortunately. there's a six part series in the free resources called "how could you" which will give some excellent insight into what she is thinking and has been thinking to justify her affair. https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/why-we-commit-betrayal... she's had to do a litany of things to justify her affair to herself and to you and she is in pretty deep I'm sure. but all hope is not lost at all, but again, with only a month under your belt, and without expert care, it is understandable she would feel the way she does from a dysfunctional perspective. what sort of help have you gotten if any? have you looked at the ems weekend on the site my friend? I'd highly recommend that to you both as I think it would be just what you both need to get insight, clarity and understanding into each other's world.
she doesn't need time as much as she needs the right kind of help to help her reason through all of this and reconnect with truth, and what her actions have done to you and what her actions have cost her, you and possibly the kids if there are any.
hope that gives you some insight into it. i'm truly sorry for the pain you are in. i know it's miserable, but you can get help and you can get a pathway established for you both if you take the right steps.


thanks Samuel, our marriage counselor is now just my counselor since she doesn't want to go back. she says she doesn't need it and wants to work it out for herself, and she never really connected with the counselor either (maybe because of the affair!). ive gotten my counselors partner's numbers for her but nothing yet. I hope all is not lost but we talk little, and less about the situation. our 2 kids are glue for us right now. i also has a few friends that help me out as well to listen and have been good to not pass judgement in either direction. don't think she is interested in ems yet, I hope soon. I'm waiting for a harboring hope course soon for myself. thanks for the link too I'll check it out!!

what and when to tell children

My dday was Jan 1st. Fear, scared, angry and numb are just a few of the adjectives that describe the utter pain and sorrow I feel. We have 2 children, ages 18 and 22. Our18 yr old will be going off to college in the fall. She knows something is wrong as I have been weepy. We both sat her down and told her we were going to counseling to work on our marriage. Is it necessary for children to know about their father being unfaithful? I think it would be devastating to her to know that her dad has been unfaithful for 2 yrs

Telling the kids or not for Gay

Gay, it's a tough one. I appreciate you reaching out and reading the blog. The fact is, you are correct your children will be devastated. Right now it seems as though it's pretty early to assess what may or may not happen in the future. Personally, I'd hold off telling them anything other than what you've told them. I think it's wonderful you simply said you're having marital difficulty and getting help. it's very premature to think you need to share that with them yet, however, in the future if he is resistant to getting help, or if he continues in his behavior, you may have to tell them. it gets very tricky, but I'd wait to worry about that till you get some movement in the 'now' of it all if you will.
this article may help in terms of giving you some perspective:
https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/2011-07-27-children-in... and this may give you some insight as well: https://www.affairrecovery.com/node/22639
are you all going to get any help? What are your next steps? happy to help in any way I can my friend.

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