Self-Reliance and Surviving Infidelity

Infidelity absolutely rips at the seams of self-reliance.  I was in fact, one of those people years ago. I believed the adage “If it was to be, it was up to me.” I was a “make it happen” kind of guy indeed. I believed my destiny and the outcome of anything was up to me and my choices and my ability. My self-will factor was off the charts.

Then my infidelity surfaced and my life was ripped apart. One of the biggest struggles of my recovery was absorbing the reality that I was NOT in control of Samantha’s recovery. I was barely in charge of my own recovery due to the fact that I was such a mess mentally, emotionally and even spiritually.

Success in life seduces us into self-reliance and self-sufficiency. When we hit a crisis and life changing events like infidelity, our self-reliance can explode. Sure we try to manage things, manage our spouse and manage this collective upheaval with the same self-reliance that caused the situation in the first place, as we are about to implode with frustration and exhaustion.

I’ve found that when we hit this sort of trauma, it’s a call away from self-reliance and self-sufficiency. It’s a push for us crying out for something bigger than ourselves. It’s a cry for someone else to be in charge. If you subscribe to any sort of faith in Christ, these thoughts may resonate with you. If you are not a believer of any sort, I understand and believe me, there is no condemnation from me at all. I support your right to believe what you like and live accordingly.

For me, I’ve found that the pressures in my life, including the past crisis of infidelity, was and is a call away from self-reliance, and a call to living in humble dependence upon Christ for his grace, mercy and strength to go on. It’s a huge reminder to where my strength comes from and where my eyes are to be focused upon. I’ve seen what I’m capable of when I presume I am in charge of everything.

It is not an excuse to do nothing. Nor is it permission to remain shackled in indifference and ambivalence. But is an awareness that I can’t make this happen on my own. I couldn’t make Samantha forgive me. I couldn’t make her trust me again. I couldn’t make my marriage better. I had to submit to a process that was bigger than me, and then do what I needed to do out of obedience and commitment to possible restoration. The list of what needed to be done was endless….but I was doing it out of surrender and trust in Christ, not out of manipulative strategy to control all variables in life, to gain the upper hand, forcing my will into existence.

It was one of the toughest parts of my own recovery and I think I hated about all of it.

But it was a reprogramming to me as a person and to our marriage. After all, my self-sufficiency and self-reliance only created a world of selfishness, dysfunction and control. I was a human wrecking ball and it was my doing, not anyone else’s.

I hope and pray you give way to surrender today. I pray you are able to see just how much of a lifestyle change this moment is for you and for your spouse.

If I can help at all, please feel free to reach out.

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Comments

Good Summary

Thanks Samuel. You have put to words what I have been trying to express to my wife (the betrayed) and to others. There are no excuses for what I chose to do. But, my affairs have driven me to the realization that my best efforts of self-sufficiency and self-reliance are what brought the train wreck I am now in. I always "talked" a good Christian life before. Now Christ is teaching me to let go and and let Him live and love through me.

Just Beginning

Thanks for the helpful post. I just confessed 13 days ago to my wife of having two affairs over the past 2 years. She immediately moved out and went to her parents house with our 3 young children. Right now my life is completely leveled and she is proceeding towards a quick divorce. I am begging her for a separation so that we can try to calm down and work through things. On day 3 or 4, it hit me like a ton of bricks on just how awful and selfish I truly was. I grew up a "christian" and had the perfect image and reputation. That's why I hid my secrets for so long - the shame of allowing all my dirty secrets out plus the fact that I wasn't fully aware of how awful I truly was. I was completely self-absorbed and most of my daily activities were motivated by the urge to get attention from women.

But now that its all out I don't care anymore. I just want to focus on getting help and I found a wonderful counselor who showed me this website and we begin sessions on Monday. After reading many of these posts, I know I can't change my wife's feelings or anger, but I am going to try my hardest to seek real Christian based guidance and change my lifestyle going forward because I don't want to live that life anymore. Right now I am just trying to make it day to day without crying through the work day. My poor wife is barely speaking to me at all right now - although she is letting me see my children a couple times a week and agreed that I can let them stay with me every other weekend.

Knowing that I hurt my wife so completely crushes my heart, but reading these posts makes me see that its just part of the process of healing. I don't want this to be the end of our marriage or our family. I want to learn how to become the Christian man my wife and family deserves. I am going to try and do anything I can to keep my family together. I know its going to be one day at a time, one step at a time, one meeting at a time, and changing one habit at a time - and I am just beginning my journey. So please keep the testimonials coming. I hang on every single sentence, praying that there is still hope for my family after reading these success stories. I know it starts with me fixing myself and changing my habits. I just pray that over time my wife decides that I am worth keeping once I defeat my old bad habits, because right now it appears that all hope is lost.

nick.....

so glad you found the site and so glad you found the blog my friend. 13 days out, i think my wife left me to go to another state to be with the only friends we had left. i mean, SHE had left. she was contemplating divorce for sure, but was so angry and so hurt, that there was no telling what she was going to do or say or think. she had already hit me, and taken off. she was searching for security, as her entire world had been turned upside down. there was no security anywhere, but God was faithful to us. right now, the best thing you can do is press in to God and draw near to him and get every ounce of sobriety and clarity you can get. what she is feeling or doing right now, is not what she may be doing in a few days weeks or months. i hope she doesnt go through with the divorce, but it's not uncommon early on to do everything, but go through with it. she may be searching for some sort of power and control, for the complete feelings of helplessness she may be feeling. so i'd say give her time and allow her to do what she needs to do, and when and only when she gives you a chance, i would communicate you are wiling to do whatever you can do to simply get help before deciding on a divorce. i would also get help for you too as there is a great source here on the site. between the library and hope for healing course, i think you'll be able to get some wonderful insight and direction and encouragement. i'll be praying for you my friend. day by day, day by day.

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