Understanding Safety in Recovery

Samuel discusses what safety is and why it's needed for recovery.

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Is safety necessary for the unfaithful?

It seems you alluded to this, but does the unfaithful need an environment of safety as well?
If they're confident that all they'll get is condemnation, vile, threats to tell others, etc. what are they to do? Suck it up and deal with it since they're the first line wrongdoer?

good question...

excellent question....true, the unfaithful needs a safe environment. the betrayed can't say 'tell me everything....tell me it all.....with a proverbial gun to their head, then they tell them it all and the betrayed blows their head off with anger yelling screaming and a decision that right there, at that moment it's over... that's not safety. the betrayed also can't create an environment where all they get is in fact "condemnation, vile threats to tell others" the betrayed also can't keep punishing the unfaithful........ however, remember they may not be willing to hear that right now due to the trauma, the anger, the confusion, the ptsd or the complete chaos of it all....or they may not hear that from YOU, the unfaithful. They will need an expert third party that can help them hear that, embrace that and understand that. it would be a toxic environment as well. HOWEVER, it's common for them to do that early on and not have a safe environment. the two biggest struggles I see early on are: 1. the unfaithful drip feeds information.....over time....trickle truthing as some call it. 2. the betrayed wont get help or wont get help to help them in their response mechanisms and then tries to commit to early to the marriage or to divorce. there is a better way for both to react and move forward. it's hard as hell. this is life crisis. it's not a simple bump in the road at all. there is a sense of suck it up my friend as quite frankly, we cheated. we have to deal with the consequences. we shouldn't have cheated if we didn't want all hell coming our way, not that our spouse is hell. the pain and trauma is hell. so, i'd have to say that at some gut level honesty.....suck it up. get help. get the right people involved in your recovery and then you can create safety for both of you the unique ways that both of you need safety. i hope that helps.

Hi Samuel - This was a very

Hi Samuel - This was a very good blog for me and I want to thank you so much for giving such good examples of safety; and also your above answer is extremely helpful to me. I am the betrayed and it is good for me to be reminded that my unfaithful spouse needs safety, too. Many times in our talks I start out reasonably well with my questions/comments but then my hurt/pain starts to build and I end up flooding and my husband literally shuts down, and then it is not long before he explodes into a horrible anger - an anger where I can see he is functioning from the reptilian part of the brain. I am working very hard to gain a new perspective on my emotions since my husband is working incredibly hard on doing all the safe things similar to what you talked about in this blog. It is SO hard sometimes to stay in the present and focus on all the safe things my husband is doing, but I am trying so hard to do that and see my husband in this new light. Thank you again so much for this blog, it helps to hear this information and is a great review and reinforcement for me as my husband and I move through the healing.

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