An Interview with a Betrayed Male Spouse Part 1

Samuel provides a much anticipated interview with a betrayed male spouse.

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Thank you for putting this

Thank you for putting this together. I am a betrayed female, and while this is 'supposed' to be directed at betrayed males, I found this really validating and helpful. Last night, my husband and I were discussing the probability of our relationship heading towards divorce. The emotions and reactions you discussed in this video were SO on point and really give a lot of insight to both sides of the situation. Thank you Samuel and John for your personal and professional comments. I 'look forward' to part 2.

thank you klrm....

so glad you are here and watched it.  i'm also glad it helped and provided clarity for you.  thank you again for watching and leaving a comment. 

 

I loved this and John led our

I loved this and John led our group at EMS last year and he was so helpful. We are two years out and I can relate to his feelings as a betrayed male (even though I am a betrayed wife). That feeling of starting to settle into life and this new marriage and sometimes thinking wait..... is this really what I wanted?!? When the emotions were running rampant at the beginning I wanted the connection/then would rage. Now I’m just blah sometimes? Is that normal?

Ps. My husband and I live

Ps. My husband and I live close to Austin and you sometimes mention that you talk to people going through this. Is there a group there or is it through your social media platforms? I think we are at that point where we aren’t in crisis mode but I think we know we can’t slack either. We feel like we are in the place where we see the promise land exist but we aren’t real sure that we won’t mess this up (with our lingering emotions that pop up). We didn’t know if there were couples in their 40’s like us with kids that we could meet or talk with that are ahead of us in the process.

hi there. we don't have any in person....

unfortunately we don't have any in person groups that people can attend.  have you done the married for life follow up course on the site as it's our post ems work that's helpful for some?

 

Thanks!

Thanks for the reassurances. I actually saw the Ap today and I am so ready for this to not feel like a punch in the gut or make me react and make me feel disconnected. Still have processing to do I guess. We did martiedcfir life for a while but our group dissolved. I am in touch with the girls from our group. Especially one of them and community has proven a real godsend.

very normal.

we go through so many ups and downs and stages of all sorts of feelings.  sometimes we're blah before we're hopeful. it's like we were so down and discouraged, now it's manageable and we're like 'meh' and then, slowly but surely as long as we don't give up we find ourselves to be very hopeful and encouraged.  it takes time and the process to work. what you're feeling is absolutely normal.

 

As a betrayed female, I feel

As a betrayed female, I feel that this was spot on for me. Maybe some unfaithful men are like the female version of the unfaithful?

I appreciate this insight

As my blog explains, I am a betrayed male. At close to 2 years out, I can truly relate to every struggle John describes. Often it feels betrayed and unfaithful get clumped together - male and female. I obviously only truly know my own experience, but certainly there is clearly differences generally in how men and women process. I suspect we post less, have more of a social stigma to overcome in seeking help, and then when we do - at times face a push back that we some how have a chip on our shoulder. I recently listened to a new Berne Brown book (now there is a blow to the stereotypical male... in full disclosure I just overheard what my wife was playing on a long drive...) and she talked about how her work on shame had focused almost solely on females until she was challenged by a man at a book signing. He explained how his wife said she wanted him to share his feelings and be more in touch with hers, but it felt insincere as what she really expected was for him to stay high on that white horse and be stoic and strong. I have found over time that this recovery path for me has been one where I had to identify what parts of me - my masculinity - I had allowed to be defined by my wife. Then I had to take these back and find an internal source for their definition. For me this involved much EMDR and therapy relating back to my father and grandfather - both men of extraordinary character and loyalty - then ultimately tie it all back to my faith and God. I do not in any way want to minimize or dismiss the pain of anyone else, male or female. I just wanted to say I appreciate these efforts to validate and explore the nuances in how males and females truly experience things differently. Please keep it up.

thanks so much for the feedback chase...

means a ton you'd post my friend.  i really value and appreciate you taking the time to post and share your heart and thoughts.  thank you again for doing that. 

My MFL group has stayed

My MFL group has stayed together, for the most part, for over 18 months now. It is mixed with couples with husbands and wives betrayed. This has been a very powerful thing for all of us - to develop friendships and admiration for the recovery work of others whether they are male, female, betrayed or unfaithful. It also help diffuse a stigma in me for "the other man" and for my wife to see herself in other betrayed women's eyes as "the other woman." This served to be very powerful in helping to diffuse shame for all. I say this to point out I definitely notice that we all seem to draw from the entire group when seeking growth and support in our marriages, I gravitate towards all the men when seeking perspective on growing as a father or husband, and I gravitate towards the other betrayed males when dealing with the specific pain of betrayal like triggers. I think my wife would say the same about her experience with the group, hence its power. It took me likely longer than it should have to realize I shouldn't try to be all these resources for my wife, nor expect her to be for me, if that makes sense? I think it was the struggle of the typical male response to fix this.

BTW you and I first met in person by the coffee pot moments before my EMS weekend began close to 2 years ago. You would have no reason to remember but I was full of anxiety and a huge "flight risk" in that moment. This seemed like the absolutely weirdest spot I had ever found myself and I was hoping the world would end or perhaps I would simply implode spontaneously. I literally kept referring to it as a ":cheater's convention." You cornered me in a casual conversation and started talking about your sons baseball tournament near where I lived. By the time we stopped talking, the program was starting and my sneak away was blown. I appreciate your unintentional intervention greatly at this point...

I write this with hesitation

I write this with hesitation almost because part of me thought for a second that you are my husbands AP’s husband. Your mention of when you went to EMS weekend and your description of your group, startled me for a bit.
I had spoken to him a few times and he had described the “recovery program” they were doing and it sounded just like that conversation. If by chance you and he are the same and I have no need to confirm, I am so happy for you and your healing.
Aside from that.... I really think it sounds like you gained compassion for the AP side with the help of your group. That is an area that has been so much harder for me. After d-day my husband has never seen his AP or her husband, yet I did and it killed me. He was so able to see it as the past and didn’t have that aspect thrown in his face. Our group at ems was only UH’s. It took a longer time for him to deal with his shame over what he had done to her husband. He really tried to keep that out of sight out of mind. Once he did look at it, it was ugly. He saw that he had always seemed himself as someone of status, integrity but that was all who driven and he realized the AP’s husband was really the type of man he should be inspired by and that he violated that man. He finally saw the human he hadn’t allowed himself to acknowledge in the affair. Like I said... not pretty.
Because I have mainly been surrounded by BW my journey to compassion for our AP has not been good. I think because my husband introduced her and brought her to me and she complied. It felt like such a personal attack. She has since apologized and still I see her around and I feel no grace. Which is so embarrassing and shameful to say as a Christian. What part of recovery with the UH that you know helped you the most. The resentment can run so deep and I know I she shouldn’t get to me, but when I do it’s very ugly what I see in her. Not a mom, wife, Christian
.... just ugly stuff.

Sorry for so many spelling

Sorry for so many spelling errors!
I meant he was ego driven.

Don't think that was me...

My wife's APs were all unmarried - men she had met online - so I do not think I am the same person. I have never met her APs as they all live several states/country away. The friendships I have developed among my group on the unfaithful side are based in respect for them taking responsibility for their actions and trying to grow from it. In my opinion, we all hurt others at some level and we all should have an opportunity at redemption if we are willing to own it. I have a much harder time finding real forgiveness for the APs in my life as they have taken no responsibility for their actions. Regardless, I have gotten to a place where any thought of them is with pity and insignificance, which is good enough for me for now.

To healing!

Chase

I can’t lie I have a sigh of

I can’t lie I have a sigh of relief!
I feel very much the same toward my husbands three other ONS that were out of town. Definitely think that the exposure to the part one over the last few years is something that drags on the resentment. She is a tangible reminder of all the pain. At home after all this time I see redemption in my husband and we are doing so much better that it isn’t the only thing going on in our lives. Then wham I see her and it’s like darn it. Honestly she is insignificant to me at all other times. I resent how seeing her makes me revisit who he was and how I don’t ever want to see him as that guy. AR has been great, group and videos have been a God send.
I can’t wait for the possibility to one day be a mentor couple or help others in some fashion.
Recovery is Real!

It can be the same feeling for both sexes

Although this is directed for the betrayed male, I am a betrayed female (X3 all at the same time over a 2 1/2+ year period) I have felt nearly ALL of these feelings, emotions, longing and then the questioning and anger. We are all human and at times feel the exact same feelings so I really appreciated this video, it has helped me to understand even better all that I am feeling and going through. It’s been just over 5 years and we’re still not “there” he wants to not not talk,about it and forget that it ever happened but I can not accept that. I feel we need to work it out and dig deeper to see why this could happen in the first place to assure it wouldn’t happen with him again if given if the opportunity presented itself. He says he knows he’d NEVER do this again and I’m not so sure that if a door was opened a little crack, he would walk right through that door easily. I am not fully invested in the relationship and the passion and the yearning for sexual intimacy is just not yet there for me. In the beginning I was practically begging for it and throwing myself at him and now I don’t have much desire because I’m not sure he is fully in that safe zone. I don’t know what to do, I feel I should be all over this guy but feel so very much smothered by him. He says I love you at least 20 times a day and I can’t walk past him without him grabbing me by the butt, the breast or grabbing me and forcing a kiss - it’s like I have to “pay the gatekeeper” to pass! I am getting so frustrated by all of these acting out, I’m not sure I even want this relationship to continue. Is there hope for us?

definitely hope....however....

hi there.  there is hope, for sure.  but, it won't be by 'just forgetting it' and 'getting over it' and his own will power being enough to make sure he never does anything else again.  in many ways, will power is what causes us to trend towards relapse...we think we're strong enough and that we can resist things on our own, when in fact, we need support and we need a plan and we need accountability measures of some sorts.  it's normal you'd feel what you're feeling as resentment and/or unresolved issues like this are intimacy killers.  not saying you're full of resentment, just that resentment and unresolved trauma are examples of intimacy killers and you're probably not feeling close to him as he won't talk about it and won't address it and just wants to move beyond it.  it doesn't have to be this way.  but you should give some thought to getting expert help and getting into some sort of process to bridge the gap so to speak and get you both on the same page.  i don't see it getting better on your part if you don't.