Loving Your Spouse During the 'In-Between' Stage

Samuel discusses one of the most difficult, yet important parts in the process of recovery after infidelity.

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Time line

I know Samantha lost a lot more than most of us betrayed spouse loose at discovery. Y'all lost it all, job, home, friends..
I to have had multiple personal losses, not directly because of my husband's actions but all with in a short time span. (Death of my mother, an uncle,
And 2 grandmothers in 3 years also many friends that have not supported my choice to stay and the relationship with my father) I actually have so much I am grieving about that it feels so overwhelming. I keep healring these time lines and feeling like I should be "further" a long. And my husband hears the time lines and I think he thinks the same thing. My question is what was y'all's time line? And maybe you can answer this or ask Samantha are there any things she found helpful in her recovery to grieving multiple losses at the same time? Watt helped her the most.

Hi Samuel,

Hi Samuel,
Like SLM, I'm also interested in your timeline. During our first three months of recovery work, you have become the gold standard for us. We sometimes argue whether or not Samuel did some of the stupid blunders like I have done early on in your recovery. At what stage did you "get it"? When did you start gaining Samantha's trust? When did Samantha start feeling safe enough for there to be more good days than bad ones? For how long did Samantha entertain and express the thoughts of leaving? When did you two start feeling like your marriage had become stronger than it had ever been? I know, many questions... Thank you so much for your wonderful blog!

you're very kind....

Unfaithful1979, you're extremely kind. but that makes me incredibly nervous. hahah. let me say i am NOT the gold standard at any level. i did do some things right though, due to exceptional professional help from Rick and accountability and a couple of mentors who had been through it before personally. we had some great people that truly helped save my life and save my marriage and as the adage says, they walked into my life when most everyone was walking out. without them, i don't think we would have had a chance. here is an article from the site, just for reference points on what the first year or two may look like: https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founders/2010-03-timeline it's NOT exact at any level. It's also NOT perfect but more of a guideline of trends and what to expect. the first two months were hell. non stop anger and resentment and barely being able to function. separate, not separate. divorce? not divorce. then we found these mentors and they helped us immeasurably. but they were one state away and talking on the phone wasn't enough I don't think and quite honestly, samantha thought i was putting her against them early on. i wasn't, yet i had mastered the art of making her look bad, even if i wasn't trying to. it was just part of the self deception i was in. then we found Rick and went to an ems. about a month or so after the ems weekend, the lights started to come on. i began to see so much more about how i was acting and what i was doing to make things worse. i realized i wasn't showing much empathy at all towards her and her struggles. it took a good three months to get me to really start to see things differently. even then, it took a while to implement it and convey to her that i wanted to be with her and no one else and be nowhere else. samantha started to have more good days than bad days at about 6 or 8 months, but i was about 10 months that we really were doing very very well. at 12 months we celebrated our wedding anniversary at a luxurious hotel downtown and we were doin great. but then a month or so after that we had some really tough times, and then regrouped and were doing great again. samantha probably expressed thoughts of leaving for only about three months till we got the right help from Rick and our mentors and then that kind of talk really ceased altogether due to: 1. as we both knew each others hearts, 2. we realized we needed to give it a shot and stop talking about ending it or bringing it up time and time again as that was going to do nothing good for us. 3. we were taught that this was all part of the process and that if i was unsafe, and wasn't getting help and doing recovery work, that would in fact, be the biggest concerns which would prompt samantha to consider not pursuing restoration 4. we were in fact gaining momentum and seeing things improve drastically so the 'ending the marriage thoughts had dissipated significantly' and 5. we were both doing the work we needed to do and minimizing the bad days and turning them into bad hours or two as we knew how to repair the moment if you will, when there were reminders and flooding and what not. i hope this all makes sense and helps you my friend. thank you for posting and for your kind words about the blog.

but when is it too much?

I am trying to love my husband in the "in between"...it has been 15 months since d-day, however, I "truth tricked" until about 9 months ago. Since then, he has known everything....complete honesty and openness. His response to that honesty was exactly why I feared giving it in the first place. He has yelled and me and called me names(just about everyone you can think of...and often in front of our 3 year old), broken and thrown away items of monetary and sentimental value ( 2 laptop computers, large mirrors I used to teach Zumba, my cell phone, my ninja blender, our wedding guest book, flower vases we used at our wedding, photos, a book of mine, my nail polish collection), he has posted rude and crude things to my social media accounts, sent emails to my friends and co-workers about my emotional infidelity, locked me out of the bedroom, threatened to kill himself and burn our house down, attempted to pour bleach on all my clothes, taken away my wedding rings and other jewelry, said cruel things about my family and my deceased parents, spent thousands of dollars on random stuff on amazon (when we have plenty of debt), taken my keys and purse so I couldn't use the house, locked me out of my phone and the computer so I couldn't contact anyone...

so my question is this...when does it cross the line from "dealing with my anger" to emotional abuse? I know it would be rough...but a lot of this behavior seems to cross the line. I don't feel like I am loving him well if I allow it to continue. ADVICE?

seems like rage...

anonymous, thank you for posting your question...first of all, i'm very sorry for the pain you both are in and i'm even more sorry for how it's erupted around you. fact is, it's obviously a concern. for him to do those things would reveal his anger is pretty out of control and quite frankly, i'd begin to be concerned for your safety now. while a lot of that behavior can be perceived legitimately as normal to a certain extent early on upon disclosure, now I would be concerned. do know that trickling out the truth makes it all that much harder and all that much more painful. but, 9 months out from that, one would hope that those types of explosions would dissipate, unless you've not had much help. so that leads me to my next q, which is what kind of help have you both received? what type of support do you have for your recovery? it's highly likely that unless you intervene and get the right help now, I feel you're in significant trouble and i'm not sure how much change you're going to see. his behavior is over the top and also just scary quite frankly. i'd be concerned about what may happen next to your situation and especially with a three year old there to see it all happen, it's concerning. will he get help with you? have you considered the ems weekend? that's probably the level of help/intervention you both are going to need. happy to continue to dialogue with you. thank you for posting and watching.

we have had help...

We've been in counseling since the entire truth came out...we did about 4 months with our first marriage counselor. My husband went back and forth between being open to the process, and being very closed off....where he will flat out refuse to talk, pray, even go to church. After 14 sessions, the counselor "fired" us, saying that unless he was open and willing to be in the process and take responsibility for his actions and reactions, she wouldn't be able to help us. I have kept seeing her as my own counselor. I've been working on my people pleasing tendencies and unhealthy need for affirmation, which were definitely some of the contributing factors.

About three months ago, we started seeing a new counselor together, and for the last month, have been meeting with a "mentor couple", rtedan older couple from our church that we both respect. It hasn't helped. He continues to find more and more things "wrong" with me...complains about my cooking, parenting, the clothes I wear...literally anything and everything. A sweet gesture, or a glimmer of "trying" will be sprinkled in now and again...but he has also started drinking more and more, and will make references to suicide from time to time.

Last night we met with our mentor couple, and I told him I needed him to get help, for the sake of his health. I asked him to stop drinking for three months, to go to the doctor for an evaluation, and to go to a counselor or anger management group. He could not agree to these things, and was still calling me names, and justifying his actions, saying that everything he has done has been an appropriate response to my 6 week emotional affair and the subsequent lying. I then told him that since he is still unwilling to work toward reconciliation, and is still treating me so poorly, I need to separate until he IS ready. I went back and forth for so long with this decision, but I know I am not loving him well if I continue to tolerate his crazy behavior and let him spiral down any further. I will never be perfect enough to earn his forgiveness...and that's not how it works, anyway.

Knowing that doesn't make it any easier, though....

proud of you...

i was responding to someone else when your comment came in, so I hope you see this soon. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU. I think what you've done is HUGE AND INCREDIBLY COURAGEOUS AND THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE for sure. I know it's gut wrenching. i know it's scary. i know it's incredibly intimidating, but I will tell you I think it needs to happen. I think he's crossed several lines and if he's unwilling to get help, and unwilling to go with you to get the right help, you have very little choice but to do what you're doing and find help for your own healing and your own journey and let him have some time alone with his thoughts, rage and bitterness and sort that out. to me it sounds like you've done all you can to get at least some kind of help and some kind of recovery work and own it, but you can't make someone get help and heal. now, if there is change or if there is some form of willingness that comes, I'd recommend nothing short of the ems weekend. he needs help from experts, who have been through it before and can get to the deeper issues he's facing. he MAY even be dealing with PTSD like symptoms with that form of rage and anger. ...just a thought as it happens quite often. at any rate, I would do al the work you can right now to get healthy. i'd be on the site as much as you can, take hope for healing, watch videos etc etc. this is the time to do all you can to get as healthy as possible and find the right perspective so that IF he is one day willing, you'll be able to be in a much better place and help him even more. is there anything else I can do for you? i'm so proud of your courage in the midst of incredible pain and humility....

Wow, really powerful stuff. I

Wow, really powerful stuff. I'm a unfaithful spouse and d-day was 5 months ago. I only wish I had found this site and these blogs right after discovery it would have saved so many missteps and stupidity on my part. I've watched so many of these blogs and each one is like a bonk on the head to say "see dummy! Thats what you should have been doing!" So I am really trying to embrace the in-between time this last week. I have a person I'm seeing dealing with my issues (past childhood issues as well as my marital issues) and I have tried to get my wife to agree to seeing a counselor for us, but she has resisted because she feels its just so I can blame her for my affair. And I admit that I have done the "well I wouldn't have done it if..." and "you didn't want me or make me feel the way I needed" horrible horrible mistakes. But I want to save my marriage, I love my wife. I know she has to take things at her time and speed. Lots of anger towards me and resentment from years and years of perceived slights and bad treatment. And I fully admit I was not caring enough toward her for many years which I blamed on her and I know its wrong. I don't know if my wife will stay with me. But I do know now that I will love her during the times she loves me and love her more when she hates me and rages against me. I'm doing the 7 day bootcamp by myself although I did invite her but she isn't doing it yet. Thank you for sharing your insight on this site. It's been so helpful for me (and lots of other people also I can see!) and I only hope I can continue to grow to be a better man and husband and save my marriage. Thank you.

When the Betrayed Asked to be let go


How do I respond and love when my Betrayed wife wants and asked me to "let her go". That I am selfish for not letting her go and I am not loving her more than myself? I, the Unfaithful abuser, WANT my wife and WANT my marriage and WANT my family. How can I show love in this? Is love saying okay I'll give you the divorce you as for? Or is love to say take as much time as you need and want and I understand why you feel that way but I choose you and I choose our marriage and our family.

it's tough.....

MD2006, is she saying that when she is emotionally flooding?  or?  when does she say that to you?  if it's during an emotional flooding episode, she may not mean that is just flooding and kinda over the edge.  are you separated or are you still together?  if you'll give me some context I'll see if I can speak to it.  but i need more context and understanding of what is transpiring for you both.


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