One of the Main Reasons Betrayed Spouses Can Feel Angry, Isolated, and Hopeless during Counseling

Samuel shares insight into one of the biggest mistakes made when helping betrayed spouses.

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Needed to hear this

Thank you, I needed to hear this today. Thankfully we have a counselor who does not give me this message. One on one he and I have discussed my emotional distance the last few years that was not healthy for our marriage, but he has not used this to excuse my husband’s behavior. We have been married almost 26 years.
We are 3 months into this process, last night was horrible. Initially, these last 3 months, my husband was very empathetic and loving, doing his best to comfort me, sorrowful for my pain and what he had done. The last couple of weeks there have been angry outbursts from him when I’ve tried to talk about my pain. Last night we were watching a movie where a father loses his teenage son and was holding him in anguish. I felt myself getting angrier and angrier about my husband’s choice to be unfaithful and essentially risk the security of our family. He says he loves me and our family and never stopped loving us, but where was he off and on these last four years? 3 years of intermittent online affairs and then one in person affair last year. I don’t have angry outbursts, in fact I was very calm when I told him the effect of that movie scene, how during these affairs his kids or I could have been hurt or grieving while he was off having fun with someone else. We could have needed him, in fact last June I held my 20 year old son as he grieved the loss of his girlfriend of two years. My husband’s first words were, “That betrayal is hard for you.” Which was appropriate to say. But then I waited. Nothing. No apology, no offer of comfort, nothing. I could tell he was angry with me being angry. In fact, this has been the bane of our marriage, I am never allowed to be angry with him because he will find a way to deflect my anger and make it about him, he’ll look back over our history and find something to stir up his anger against me. It gets ugly then. Last night he said, Yep, I wasn’t here for you because I was screwing her!” It felt like a knife in my back after weeks of him trying to comfort me and to restore our love and our marriage.
Im trying to trust the process. He sees our counselor one on one too, and I know he’s been trying to work through some horrible childhood wounds. I just don’t know how to handle these painful anger scenes. He left our room to sleep alone last night which he hasn’t done since this all started. He woke up angry and hurt and didn’t want to talk, he left his phone with me and went for a bike ride. I’m frozen. I don’t know if I should move toward him (in the past I removed myself emotionally and eventually became very cold and distant) or pursue him (this usually ramps up his anger). So here I am praying and reading posts on AR and writing this in response to your video. I know his anger is both fear-based and shame-based, he hates being the bad guy and there’s no way out of that because of his choices, and he fears me leaving him or loving him less.
I feel stuck in knowing what to do.

We are almost 30 months out

We are almost 30 months out from day #2 . We started counselling after day #1 July 30th, 2017. I blamed myself for my wifes affair. I blamed myself for not being a better husband. Our counselor let me blame myself. 3 months ago, I finally decided to stop seeing that marriage counselor. I do not blame myself, my wife had choices and chose the wrong path, in my eyes. We have been together over 30 yrs and I will not give up on us. I am hoping to get proper counselling once covid is over.

thank you for sharing

so glad you're sharing and so glad you're seeing things clearly my friend.  you can still get help over zoom while covid is going on.  have you considered that 78Monte?

 

Counseling

My experience in counseling has been very similar to what you describe in the video. Does AR offer a list of recommended counselors that specialize in infidelity by region?

thank you for posting...

unfortunately, not yet.  we just are inundated with those in crisis.   my suggestion would be to consider our ems weekend intensive either in person or virtually as you'll be dealing with experts that can help you face to face/screen to screen.  have you considered that route at all?