This is Your Issue!

"If you weren’t so cold and unloving, I wouldn’t have had the affair,” he yelled.

“So now it’s MY fault you cheated and blew up our lives?!” she screamed back at him.

It happens time and time again. Almost all of you at some level could finish the dialogue above. It’s pitiful how many blame their affairs on their spouse, and many won’t take any responsibility for the marriage.

I love what Rick says: “The marriage is 50% your responsibility, 50% your spouse’s responsibility. The affair is 100% the unfaithful spouse’s responsibility.”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there was a litany of things I could have done before I had an affair.   

Forever it will be my fault I had the affair, and forever it will be wrong. There’s just no way to ever excuse, justify or rationalize affairs. Samantha didn’t make the choice for me to betray her, I did.

However, I do believe it is possible for both spouses to admit to struggles which may have allowed for the vulnerability of the marriage. It’s about taking responsibility for the state of the marriage. When a spouse says “This is your issue, so you need to be the one who goes and gets help,” I know we are destined for a very long, difficult road that usually doesn’t end well. Both spouse’s need help and care when there has been infidelity. To ultimately find healing and restoration for the marriage, while also preventing relapse, both spouses need to be involved in the process of recovery if it is going to work.

Yes, the affair was wrong and will never be justifiable.

Yes the betrayed absolutely did not deserve nor cause this pain. But where are we going from here?

My wife Samantha displayed humility and grace when she took responsibility for her failures in the marriage. She was rarely intimate, pushed me away and treated me like our fourth kid.  Once I began to own my affair though, and completely take responsibility for what I had done without blaming anyone, eventually Samantha would then start to see, hear and understand the struggles I was experiencing. It took time. It took patience. It took me being willing to absolutely let the focus be on me for a while, till Samantha felt safe enough to let her guard down and be vulnerable.

Did the weaknesses of our marriage justify an affair on my part? NEVER.

It’s not about finding blame all the time. It’s about understanding how we got here, and where we are going from here.

Our hope is for restoration. The process to that restoration is filled with incremental steps which need to be taken, yet seem like an eternity. For some, it picks up speed and momentum is gained. For others, it hurts. It stalls. It seems to even flounder due to a spouse refusing to take responsibility, be honest and forthcoming, or pursue recovery. It’s not a process I’d wish on anyone.

But it is possible to heal. And it is possible to find restoration; first for yourself, then perhaps for your marriage.

It may have been my affair, but recovery for the marriage is about us.

I hurt for those of you who have had to pursue recovery on your own. It’s incredibly painful and, although eventually fruitful on a personal level, I know it is gut-wrenching. I’ve met many who, although their spouse was resistant, have found their own new life.

 

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I am at the end of my rope.

I am at the end of my rope. It is impossible for me to tell whether there is any hope for my marriage. My husband (unfaithful) will "agree" to anything that might help the marriage (it has been 2.5 years since the affair), but then not actually follow through on any of it. We are stuck and I don't know how to move forward. I don't know even know if it's worth it.

end of your rope bewell...

Bewell, I'm so glad you reached out for help. Not following through is a pretty normal routine for those that perhaps just don't know how to follow through. don't get me wrong, i'm not defending your spouse, or trying to make allotment for your husband's unwillingness to finish things. but i know for myself, there was a time when i had very little understanding for what following through looked like, or for what following through on things would mean to Samantha. once i really 'got it' and learned from Rick and a couple others HOW to follow through, and what following through meant, then I was able to seriously gain some momentum not to mention really show love to my Samantha. so my question is, has your husband gotten any good help, say from an infidelity specific medium like AR? I bet if he would attend the ems weekend with you, he would for sure be able to know how to follow through and what following through looks like and what it means to you. if you have gotten help from this sort of medium and he still refuses to follow through, I would then suggest implementing some consequences that he would begin to see when he or if he doesn't follow through then...................... needs to be implemented. for Samantha and I, it meant less sex. it meant me understanding I was hurting her and if was to continue doing what would be hurting her, i was in fact, in bad shape and our future was completely uncertain. maybe he sleeps in the guest room.....or whatever you think needs to be implemented. i know for me, and countless others on the site, the lights didn't come on so to speak till i was able to get the right kind of help. I sincerely hope that helps you and gives you specific insight. thanks for reading the blog and I hope you keep reading. I'll be praying for you my friend.

Yes

Yes, my cheating spouse blames me because I did not listen to him about his love for farming and she did. I guess one thing led to another with them talking about cows, tractors, planting, etc. I signed my name to two mortgages so he could have his acreage to farm, each time telling him that it is his "toy" and that I really wasn't interested in it myself. I did this because I loved him and wanted him to have his dream. Now , all of a sudden, I'm the bad guy because I'm still not interested (we've had the land for 24 years). So it was OK for him to go to her to talk about it because I wouldn't listen. It doesn't matter that he really didn't talk to me much about it or include me in any decisions about it in the past 24 years. If it was so important that I listen, then he should have made the effort to talk to me and tell me. Since this is the SECOND TIME he has had an emotional affair with her, and we didn't have both farms at the time of the first EA, I'm wondering what the cause of the first EA was and how I will be blamed for that. I guess I am just a bad person for not growing to like the things HE wants me to like as we have aged and I guess he will never appreciate our differences. So I am guilty of not listening to him, going out to the farms much, driving all the way out there from town to bring him a beer....and SHE will do those things, according to him. That was the whole basis for our marriage difficulties, he says. I am by no means perfect, but I have a hard time with this since he has known for decades about my lack of farmiing interest and he really never talked much to me about it. I think he just wants me to be like his mother. SHE did all those things for his dad.l HIs mother is a saint and I adore her. But I cannot BE her. I did not choose for him to have 2 affairs with the same woman, but he coulod have chosen to talk to me about his concerns instead of blame me and then go to her. Don't know if this one can be fixed....I will never be a "country girl". NOt sure restoration of this marriage is possible since he isnot budging and I think he is still talking to his AP. Maybe I SHOULD have gone out the farm more than I did, which was many times over the years to have lunch or whatever with him and his dad. It's not like I never went out there. I just don't enjoy it that much. WE have been through EMS weekend, he has been mentored by a couple from EMS, he has seen a therapist, I have seen a therapist, I have taken Harboring Hope.....the anger is still there, there is no forgiveness due to abuse because of my questioning, and I just don't know how this marriage can be reconciled. And all because of a bunch of cows, goats, tractors, feed, and a woman who "listens to him about the country". This hurts so badly.

new start?

My husband was my knight in shining armor, lifted me up when I was at my lowest, and was always there for me. I felt worthy of love for the first time in my life with him. Having said that he took it all away after 25 years and had an affair. Hates his self for it and tells me everyday how much he loves me and appreciates my forgiveness. Problem is I don't see that knight in shining armor any longer. Its not even that I don't forgive him , just that I again feel as I am not worth loving. If he can do this I must be seriously flawed. I know those are not true thoughts , but what bothers me most is after one yr and a half , I still can't look at him with that special feeling I always had. I do love him but can't stop believing all the mean things he said to me at that time. Even after it was over he told me "she completes me, you are needy" Now he says he really didn;'t even know the real her , only what she showed him and it was always me he loved. How does one come to believe he loves you again when he was so determined he didn't at that time. He convinced me and I still believe he doesn't even tho I want to believe it and he tries so hard to show he does.

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