Things You Can't Take Into the Next Season of Recovery

Samuel discusses concepts and mannerisms you can't take into the next season of recovery for your marriage or personal life.

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how about be a better friend

the question i have is describe "aloof"? My ww desire to improve herself seems to becoming at the expense of her doing any recovery work on us. She has taken 4 individual vacations/ workshops over the last 14 months to work on her hobby of energy healing. Refusing to do EMS or going to BAN. She has relapsed 3 times over this period and the after dday did not stop contact for 6 weeks until the AP did. She keeps on insisting that she needs to feel connection. It is her feeling of disconnection that she has said let her go into the affair. Perhaps a blog for what women should be doing to connect after the affair is needed. It seems to me like she wants to go back to what it was before with her freedom to be independent. I feel it was her lack of making time for us that led to much of her feeling of disconnection. She started working out at work, not with me at home, had her own individual hobbies, did not engage with my hobbies or show any interest in calling me during the day at work. All of these still continue and we feel disconnected. Its like she has forgotten what friendship looks like. I have tried several times to move to that place of connection while asking for her to do the work with me. Every time I am met with defensive hostility on how i keep punishing her. How do you bring some one who unwilling into the new season?

confusedman.....hard question...there's hope

confused man, thank you for posting here. it's very difficult: trying to want it for them. but you can't. if they don't want it, then you cannot want it for them OR want it more than they want it themselves. i think i would pull back and leave room for her to pursue you. if you are the one pursuing her, then there isn't much room for her to actually pursue you. i'm not saying that's the issue only or that you're smothering her...not at all, but if you're doing the pursuing and she's not, perhaps it's time to change the dynamic a bit. now, i know, it's going to mean coming to the conclusion that 'what if she doesn't pursue me or want me back?' well...at that point, we have a problem. the truth of the matter is, if she continues to not pursue you after you stop pursuing her, for a reasonable length of time, then i think it may be time for separation and a sobering digestion of the fact that it may be over for now. however, if you pull back and she eventually starts to pursue you then we have a serious breakthrough and there is some clear hope there. this article will make more sense about it: https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/healing-infidelity-alone also, you may consider changing the dance of ambivalence and creating your own ambivalence. the simple truth is we want what we can't have and that may change things. these vlogs may help you: https://www.affairrecovery.com/survivors/samuel/changing-dance-ambivalence https://www.affairrecovery.com/survivors/samuel/when-betrayed-spouses-are-perceived-needy-or-codependent https://www.affairrecovery.com/survivors/samuel/what-do-you-do-when-your-spouse-ambivalent while tough to absorb, I've seen that approach work far more times than any other approach. let me know your thoughts on this after you read and watch the videos and we'll stay in touch.

Loving this Blog

Samuel - thank you for sharing your story. I'm an unfaithful, and currently separated - I believe mainly because I brought all 3 of the things you noted - being aloof, downplaying (not owning what I did), and not being fully committed to recovery. All three of those things destroy any sense of safety, and it was ultimately a lack of safety that caused my wife to ask me to leave. I wish I would have found your vlog 8 months ago on D-day, I was a mess, was unempathetic, bitter, and selfabsorbed. I pray daily that my wife will be willing to give me another chance, but I do not deserve it - at this point I'm grateful that as Rick said in his vlog - I'm not dead - so anything short of death is merciful. God bless you for having the courage to put your and Samantha's story out there for the world to see. These AR vlogs are a part of my daily healing - I appreciate your clear - direct style. Sugar coating things helps no one in this process of recovery. Thank you - Jeff (unfaithful)

so glad you're here jeffnwhit

it's a tough road my friend. recovery is never easy, but rewarding nonetheless. i'm terribly sorry things are so hard but am so glad you're here, in a safe place to help you heal. God's not done....despite how painful and uncertain things are right now. your encouragement means more than you know so thank you for that. i'll certainly stand with ya and hope for eventual restoration.

Christmas Day will be 4 years

Christmas Day will be 4 years out from dday 1....there have been about 10 ddays since, the last one occurring this past April....every time I have gotten to a point that I was beginning to let go of the pain, bitterness, and desire for vengeance, another detail would pop up. You say don't carry this into the next phase, but how can I do that if i keep expecting another bomb to go off at any time? We had a huge fight last night, he went back to his usual abusive screaming self when I tried to explain to him that I had been crying all day because it's an anti-versary and 4 years of my life have now been wasted on the pain and bitterness of his 20 year infidelities with his coworker plus a Mexican prostitute he went to while in a business trip in Mexico and we could have been farther along if he had just come clean in the beginning. It just set us back months, if not years, in recovery. I am beginning to think that there will be no new phase for us. My religious convictions prevent me from divorcing, so I have to find a way to move forward. We've taken EMS twice, he took Hope for Healing, and I just signed up for Harboring Hope for the second time since the first time I took it I didn't have full disclosure....how do I let go of all pain bitterness etc when I can't shake the feeling that there is more I don't know and he is still getting very angry when I try to talk about it? Thanks for your help Samuel.

Reply to Karen58

I couldn't help but think while reading your comment, what boundaries have you set up? After he confessed about an affair, were there some agreements made between the two of you? For example, you said to him if you go to any other woman for physical intimacy besides me from this point forward you will have to move out of the house Or (and don't say this unless you're really willing to do it) I will file for divorce. This is not extreme...you are worth total faithfulness. I'm not saying new things from the past won't come up, but if he saw a prostitute after Dday, then you have to value and protect yourself. You can't use religion as your cover to not act. I say this as someone who has lived this.

hi Jennifer. His "fun" with

hi Jennifer. His "fun" with the Mexican prostitute happened before dday 1, but also during his second affair with his coworker. So I guess technically he also cheated on the AP! I found out about his affairs and 20 years of deception beginning 4 years ago. I oonly found out about the prostitute this past April and he told me that the encounter happened 5 years ago. He has cruelly trickled truthed disclosure for 3 and a half years...I'm sure there is more out there that I don't know.
Since we have taken EMSW and EMSO and he has taken Hope for Healing, you would think we would have gotten to ground zero, but he chose to lie his way through all of it as well as to 5 different therapists. He is emotionally abusive and physically intimidating when I ask an affair question because (and I quote)
" he's tired of it all and he's already answered some the questions before..." because he gets abusive, I am staying safe by sleeping in another room and not allowing myself to get close to him. We live as roommates. This may be as good as it gets. I don't know. But if it is, that's ok. I don't trust him and I truly don't believe he will make lasting changes. I guess only time and consistency will tell.

Boundaries are in place now. If I find out he has lied to me, if he abuses, if he contacts his AP or starts up with any other woman or prostitute, he knows that's it. No more chances. I am finally strong enough to kick his lying cheating butt to the curb and not look back. He knows it. Even now, I am not sure of my feelings for him. I am pretty empty of love, however I know that feelings change and I am hoping that the man I married re-emerges again and I can learn to to love him again. He is trying (as much as his narcissistic self allows ) to be transparent and he says he loves me and wants the marriage .I can't stand for him to touch me and I can't say "I love you" and feel like I really mean it. Yet I am committed to staying married due to my religious convictions. Hopefully God will work in both of us to help
Us start a new marriage since our covenant marriage ended 20 years ago when he chose to have sex with her. I will be ok no matter how our marriage turns out.

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