Interrupting the Insanity and Chaos

The flow of recovery outside of any pathway or established curriculum is usually chaos, and even within those proven pathways are significant wind changes. The up’s the down’s, the back and forth, the uncertainty of what is going on behind the scenes is enough to push you to want to quit, only about every other day. It really does produce a chaotic uncertainty about what each day will look like, or each weekend with the kids will or won’t look like. It may also paint a picture of what the impending separation or divorce will one day feel like and look like.

Usually, when someone wants to interrupt the chaos of it all, unless there is a strategy involved, it’s a stubborn move of desperation. It typically is something along the lines of cutting off all communication with their spouse in an attempt to make them chase them, or stonewalling which is really about maintaining control over their spouse and the entire situation which usually is a hurtful, colossal mistake.

There is a better way. In many ways it’s such a struggle as you are trying to interrupt the momentum of past choices and behaviors of both spouses and you’re encountering immense resistance to try and find that new healthier pathway. It’s normal. But, as Rick quotes about every day from Albert Einstein “You can’t fix a problem with the same consciousness or approach that caused the problem in the first place.”

The momentum of past behaviors, tendencies and coping mechanisms is fierce.  Interrupting that flow if you will, will not prove easy or convenient, but it is possible. Counseling may help if it’s with an expert who has been through infidelity themselves. An EMS Weekend will help and the courses here on the site will also help interrupt the dysfunction.

My appeal to you is to recognize the momentum against you is anything but typical or usual. Just doing what you’ve been doing will not prove beneficial at all and will only frustrate you. We’re talking about a lifestyle change and a change in marriage patterns that will most likely necessitate someone standing their ground courageously and strategically with a refusal to sink back into “doing what we’ve always been doing.” It just won’t work. Just yesterday I had to ask someone, “How much frustration and hopelessness is it going to take for you to realize what you’re doing is not working?”

What you are probably encountering in your crisis is bigger than just you.  The rest of your life hangs in the balance, and potentially your kids, grandchildren and the second half of your own life.

It’s time for something new and something more interruptive than simply doing what seems easiest and most convenient. 

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I'm stuck in this cycle of hopelessness and desperation, wanting to stay hopeful only to encounter stonewalling. We can't seem to change our behaviors towards each other and even though we both say we want to reconcile, we both don't want the old marriage, but we are absolutely failing at trying to create and recommit to a new healthier one. We are impatient and struggling with our own individual healing that to also heal the marriage seems impossible.

Frustration is about to lead to giving up, i fear.


thank you so much for your comment. have you read these articles on stonewalling?
or this one too:
those may be of help for you. what else have you done? have you gotten any help through the program/emsw/etc? what you are dealing with is normal as NO ONE wants the old marriage back. there is a new one for you both. but it will need help and strategy and a process to get there. what action are you taking? if i were you, i'd run run run to the ems weekend. is that a possibility?


16 days since D-day although it feels like a lifetime ago. My husband(the betrayer) has a psychologist, we have a marriage counsellor, my son has a psychologist and I have a psychiatrist but none of this professional help is amounting to any progression, I am more confused than ever. I think he needs to get out then the cold reality of our finances makes this near impossible, I dont know if creating geographical distance makes it easier to move forward or not, how do couples make progress at this time when you are both unsure of what you want?

great q indeed, but there is hope Nina

Nina, couples make progress by getting help from an expert in infidelity. it's just the cold hard truth of it. i hear and see situations like this more than i care to. the fact is, unless you're seeing someone who is an expert in infidelity, most of the time you just circle the drain and lives are damaged more and more. though you are unsure on what you want to do, getting the right help is what will provide clarity and direction. help me with why you're not attending the ems weekend or doing something like that? at this point, there really is not much reason to do anything else. if you are out of the country I would consider doing the ems online course. the only obstacle that may be a bit of a unique nuance is having the son see a specialist in terms of his own needs. but you'll be happy to know many counselors and psychiatrists actually come to our ems weekend for help as well. they can be just as traumatized in life as we are, but less they have been through infidelity and have been treating it as a specialty for 10 to 20 years, they will not provide much help or hope, sadly.

I wish we could do EMS...

Thank you for your reply, Finally in my relentless efforts in soliciting empathy for my pain, he finally just embraced me in my prickly state and we both cried together. I know that he needs to be willing to hold my hand and sit with me in my pain, but he is soo good at ducking and dodging that he avoids that kind of intimacy. He has much pain that he avoids I think. I appreciate your writings in the articles. I wish my husband had that kind of self awareness and I hope and pray that we come to that point in our therapy. We are seeing a therapist at Crossroads who assures us that we have done many of the exercises from ems. but it's the empathy from a group dynamic that I think we are lacking. He needs a support , too. but he is so typical as an american male in being a lone wolf and he doesn't have many friends or close family.
I am in HH and we are doing marriage counseling once a week. But it is the every day that I feel like I need him to truly realize he needs to do so much work.

the next move...

ah, i see. well i know all the therapists at crossroads and they are exceptional. the group dynamic is excellent as it will speak to things and necessitate the processing of information which you cannot get in a 'grind it out counseling session,' even if it is weekly with rick, or wayne or john or leslie. here's a great article from the site about it if you haven't read it already: you'll also be encouraged to know many who have blind spots or can't see what needs to be seen who attend the ems weekend and see things completely differently due to processing the info which they were never able to see objectively. it's so key to have objectivity and a group dynamic.
i hope that helps and gives you some insight and perspective.

Thank you, Samuel...

I am doing HH and counseling with Wayne. my husband just wants to pretend like it never happened somehow. but my triggers and my knowledge cannot be overlooked. But I know I need to hold back my tongue and let him come into all of it all in his own timing. It's been almost a year since he started the affair and since November that he ended it and wanted to reconcile with me. There's been so much backlash and so much more hurt to forgive from both ends since discovery that it sometimes seems insurmountable. but I am ultimately hopeful.

wayne etc

wayne is a wonderful guy and therapist. he is right though, without the group dynamic, you are behind the 8 ball so to speak. the fact is, many couples do what you're doing, but never gain much ground as without the ability to process other situations objectively and in a controlled environment, you stay stuck. i would tell you that when i went to the ems weekend, i was able to see things far more clearly, rather than just stuck in my own hurt and my own defensiveness. when i was forced to see things differently and from a 3rd party, i was able to see how self absorbed i was, and see where samantha didn't see any empathy from me at all. i also was able to see that samantha would ask me, 'do you feel the way he feels....' and I was amazed at how she was able to connect the dots. i remember one time i said to her, "so i see janet at the emsw...and she's constantly talking about how he wont get it, and he won't let her talk and he won't let her 'emote' that the way you feel? she wept and said,yes, but you just haven' been able to wrap your mind around it as you think i'm attacking you, or shaming you when i'm just trying to feel and just trying to heal. i could tell you of about 5 moments like that when we went o the ems weekend, and we were seeing rick personally (and still needed the emsweekend.) i swear by it friend. it will change your life. and rick guarantees it too or money back.

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I would highly recommend giving this a try.
-D, Texas