What Defensiveness Does to the Betrayed Spouse

Samuel discusses how defensiveness diminishes safety from the recovery process.

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Game changer

Great video and you are spot on! Defensive triggers survival mode. No betrayed wants to feel that initial pain ever again so it’s fight or flight. Letting go of defensiveness is a gift the unfaithful gives both people in the equation. I’d also add that when unfaithfuls are safe and they feel like they have revelations, that them bringing it up is huge for betrayed. We love to see personal growth especially if it it doesn’t involve us. When my husband sat me down (months later) and said he could really see what a complete sham and fantasy the affair was and that he could now see that there was no real connection, it was huge for me. On that he was digging deep into himself and that it didn’t come from me trying to make him see the light. Not all of those moments are huge revelations, but all voluntary ones are huge for progress.

I completely agree!

I completely agree!

thanks for the feedback.....

defensiveness has done so much damage to all of us...i'm so glad the video helped.  thank you for the kind words and for sharing my friend.

 

Game changer

Great video and you are spot on! Defensive triggers survival mode. No betrayed wants to feel that initial pain ever again so it’s fight or flight. Letting go of defensiveness is a gift the unfaithful gives both people in the equation. I’d also add that when unfaithfuls are safe and they feel like they have revelations, that them bringing it up is huge for betrayed. We love to see personal growth especially if it it doesn’t involve us. When my husband sat me down (months later) and said he could really see what a complete sham and fantasy the affair was and that he could now see that there was no real connection, it was huge for me. On that he was digging deep into himself and that it didn’t come from me trying to make him see the light. Not all of those moments are huge revelations, but all voluntary ones are huge for progress.

Trying so hard.

Hello Samuel, My name is Freddy I am 48 and I have been married for 20 years. In the process of discovery of my infidelities with my wife, she told me that she also was unfaithful in 2012. I am doing so much work trying to take all of your advise from your blogs, but I keep letting my hurt, anger, betrayal and curiosity hinder my attempts to be there for her. I have not asked about details and have kept the focus on her. I already have problems showing empathy towards anyone do to my own issues. I have grown a great deal mentally spiritually since this all began. She admits this but it just doesn't feel like I'm growing fast enough for her. She attacks me verbally and brings up stuff that does not even pertain. I feel attacked and either shut down or argue back that she needs to respect me and my efforts, (progress not perfection). I have so much empathy for her, but when anyone is aggresive towards me in anyway, it is a trigger for me. It should be noted that I was severely abused as a child until I was able to fight back and win. If you have any words for me, I would greatly appreciate it. I am going to continue to watch you blogs, read articles and pray. Also, please tell Mr. Reynolds how much I learn and enjoy his work as well.

With much gratitude,
Freddy

getting help...

freddy,

thank you for sharing.  my friend, you've got to get help asap.  you both are stuck in a destructive cycle that while it is highly normal, it's self defeating.  here is the free bootcamp, have you done it yet? https://www.affairrecovery.com/surviving-infidelity/first-steps-bootcamp

will she do the ems weekend with you?  you can find it here:  https://www.affairrecovery.com/product/ems-weekend

what your experiencing is normal but destructive big time.  i would ask her to do the weekend so you can both break free from the patterns you're stuck in.  what do you think?  would she do something like that to help you both not just her? 

Seeing The Light

Hello again Samuel,

I wanted to let you know how much your response means to both myself and my wife. When we saw tat you had responded, we jumped off the couchand hugged each other and cried. You were real, this program was real, hope and your story were real. THANK YOU! I wanted also to be more transparent/honest with you and myself. I have had 5 affairs in 20 years, all of them discovered. The only one that was physical was my bachalor party in 2004. All of the others have been emotional. We live in a small town (Santa Teresa) in Cost Rica. We biult a small hotel and live from that income. My wife always new of affairs 1, 2, and 3. My 4th (discovery Jan 21, 2018) affair was with a mutual friend and my 5th affair (discovery July 14th 2018) was with my wifes best friend. In addition I have lied, betrayed and was disloyal in countless ways. My maenality in the beginning was to deflect, gas-light and try to blame her for my actions. Today is #281 since DDAY #4. I have finally gotten on board and I am educating myself as fast and as thorough as possible. We started Boot Camp yesterday and we wre feeling so good. This morning /today, we have only spoke of what I have done to her for 20years. I am not complaining, I am GRATEFUL she is still here. We will resume Boot Camp when she is ready. When we relocated, sons, pets and everything we owned we were so full of ourselves and our ego’s were off the charts. We even biult our hotel with a plan to hold couples retreats ( dual sinks, dual showers, lights on dimmers etc.) We thought we/our relationship were/was superior. Along the way and for many years prior, “Us” was ignored by me and taken for granted. We pulled from the work we had done on our relationship but stopped replenishing it (The Giving Tree). We are unable to attend the EMS program in the states. We will be attending your online program. Thank you for your suggestion. I would really appreciate any kind of response to this comment, even if you only say “I saw it Freddy” I have so much appreciation for you and Samantha for sharing your experience so thoroughly, you both make such an positive impact.

With all my gratitude,

Freddy

honored i could help you both

Freddy, what a great comment to read and receive.  I get it my friend.  samantha and I had so many moments like that.  

so for starters, a good book on trauma and undersanding how we process trauma is here:  https://www.chegg.com/textbooks/the-body-keeps-the-score-1st-edition-9780143127741-0143127748  it will help you both  understand what trauma does to us both.  here is another great book for you:  https://www.audible.com/pd/After-the-Affair-Audiobook/B002UOZDHY?source_code=GPAGBSH0508140001&cvosrc=ppc%20cse.google%20shopping.195512940&cvo_crid=167185622046&cvo_pid=41680864790&gclid=CjwKCAjw54fdBRBbEiwAW28S9mNGFD_kBn0fvJzAA5ZYr9f3DQq4KTF5xha5KNjTBzIYctEJaBTlmxoCUW8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds  i know of a trauma specialist you may consider seeing over the phone in november when she has openings again.

that's awesome you have a hotel in costa rica.  i've been wanting to go there for years and take samantha.  maybe we could come see you one day?  

Anytime

Hello Samuel,

Thank you for the suggestions on the books, ( The Body Keeps the Score, After the Affair ) We have started up once again with Boot Camp. We have had some great constructive discussions and positive progress. I am letting her lead the charge with her recovery and focusing on supporting her in every way. If you are ever in Costa Rica, it would be a pleasure to have you and Samantha stay at our hotel ( Zona Azul de Santa Teresa ) as our guests. Thank you for your compassion, knowledge, experiences, vulnerability and raw truth.

Pura vida,
Freddy

let's stay in touch....

after you finish the bootcamp, let's see how things are going and we can discuss next steps and options and/or books.  

I would love to come to costa rica soon.  let me discuss it with samantha and get back to you.  you can email me if you like so i don't miss any updates at samuel@hope-now.com

 

Your Shirt lol

So I just wanted to tell you something cute that happened to me today that involved you, Samual.

Awhile ago my husband wore a polo collared shirt (his was a grey color though) just like many of the shirts you wear in your videos. I made an off handed comment that I liked that shirt on him and when he asked why I was honest that it reminded me of Samual in his videos so it made me feel safe for some reason, like he was trying to be like Samual by wearing that shirt. Lol

Today, weeks later, he text me to let me know he was heading into town for some shopping and I replied “have fun, stay safe”.... he replied that he was wearing his “Samual shirt” so I can feel safe because now whenever he wears it it’s a reminder to be safe for me!!!

I had to share to show that even the most mundane things like the shirt you wear can have a huge impact on the help you are giving out through these videos! Wouldnt know where we would be without you, Samual! Thanks!

what a great little story

ya know, that was touching in such a pure and kind way.  thank you for sharing that.  it's so encouraging to hear stories about how we can help other people in their pain.  to hear that story touches me as I just want to help as best I can and to hear that i'm part of your daily discussion, really means a ton. thank you for sharing that.  means so much more than i can communicate here.  have a great day.