They Can't Hear You

It’s a daily comment I hear from both spouse’s on both sides of the infidelity:  “They won’t hear anything I say.” “They just don’t get it.”  “They don’t respond to anything I say.”

In reality, your spouse can’t hear what you’re saying. They may not WANT to hear you, but fact is, objectivity is lost, they have tuned you out and you’ve probably become noise to them.

If you’ve been married for any length of time, you have a lens that you see each other through from all the years of marriage prior to the affair.  That lens is thick and when you’re talking, your spouse is seeing you and hearing you through that lens of past behavior, previous actions, hurts, wounds, and resentment. If you’re the unfaithful and you’re trying to get your spouse to hear you, they are not only seeing and hearing you through your past actions but also through your affair.  They have lost trust and the lens is more fogged than you can imagine. Their ears are plugged with hurt and animosity and confusion. They simply cannot hear what you are saying with any objectivity.

If you’re the betrayed spouse, trying to get your spouse to ‘get it’ or to respond, will prove more than just frustrating, more like excruciating.  They are trying to hear you but only seeing and hearing you through a very thick lens of shame and resentment and blame.  A majority of what they hear from you is through the lens of justification they use to see everything and anything right now.  There is no objectivity and you won’t be the one to crack the code.  

However, in most cases, one or both spouses keep pushing harder.  They talk louder.  It escalates and it escalates, and before you know it one spouse has left, moved out, done something stupid (again) or just plain turned off. They can’t hear you and nothing you can do is going to make them hear you or get it or wake up. 

If we’re really stubborn, we don’t believe it and take on a form of a Messiah Complex.  We think we can be the messiah that our spouse needs.  The hero that rides in with a rope to lasso away deception,  justification, stubbornness, pride, and the entire litany of confusion we perceive they are under and lead our spouse into a new pasture of truth and peace.  Unfortunately, the thing is, it’s usually the pasture WE think THEY need and we can’t see everything in perfect objectivity either.

It’s the old adage:  there’s your side, their side, and somewhere in the middle, truth exists. 

I would highly encourage you to stop trying to make your spouse get it.  Stop trying to get your spouse to wake up and see how right you are and how wrong they are.  Stop trying to get your spouse to see the light, when they just can’t hear you.  They should be able to.  They are supposed to hear you.  They should be malleable and open to your insight.  But they are not, and overpowering them will fail miserably and more than likely do even more damage than what’s already been done.

They will need help to get it.  Not just any help, but expert help.  Samantha was never able to hear a word I said in some areas of her life, but Rick was able to touch on them with magnificent grace and precision.  I blocked out what Samantha had to say time and time again.  Yet, with scalpel-like surgery, Rick was able to help me see things in a new light.  When that new light hit my soul and my life, healing came both in an instant and over time.

The ground we gained by his help was far more impacting and restoring than we could have ever obtained ourselves. So stop trying to do ti alone, because it simply won’t work.      


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I can see that trying to make my husband "get it" can be counter productive. But he refuses to talk to anyone about the situation even though he has many options. He says he isn't "comfortable" talking about it. We are in EMSO, he does the bare minimum and doesn't seek out any additional information. How long do I wait for him to " wake up"? I feel completely disregarded by his lack of understanding or even the lack of wanting to understand.

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