What Does the Betrayed Do When the Unfaithful Moves on without Them?

Samuel discusses what actions a betrayed spouse can take when the unfaithful refuses to end the affair.

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moving on but need to move past

Hi Samuel,
Thanks for this latest video, I have relied greatly on yours and Wayne's videos for over a year in my recovery. You can share my info with him if he has a comment for me. I am glad to see you are including content for those of us that are not able or willing to heal the marriage. Though most of the videos give great insight on the unfaithful's mind and actions, I find that many are geared toward healing the relationship (obviously I understand why) and that leaves some of us out as we have no intention or hope of the relationship making it. I have come to grips with the fact that my UH has moved on but my question is, how do I get past the fact that he never owned the actions or destruction, never apologized nor made any amends and in fact only minimized, justified, and blamed.
Our marriage was over 30 years and we have been separated almost 2 years and estranged for 6 months (his choice).
He was living a double life, one foot in the church (actively participating), one foot in the world. I only found out of his acting out because he overdosed on drugs and required medical attention (what a blindside), subsequently all the information of the acting out was found on his phone. He was talking sex with a handful of women a few half his age, dating one (denies having sex with her but definitely talked sex with her) did go out, go to her home, party with her. He was involved in many street drugs and alcohol as well as marijuana. Admitted to porn and also spoke alcohol and drugs to the women, offered to purchase or share both with them. Subsequently I found out there had been lies woven throughout the marriage and the lies continued after D day. Since the separation there has been a handful of jobs and an out of state move on his part as well as out of control debt of his alone.
I see a therapist and my pastor on a normal basis for my own intervention.
So Samuel, I find I am still struggling in my own healing because when something comes up that involves him in any way I am thrown for a loop. I get anxious and angry and afraid all over again. I am otherwise functioning well when I hear nothing about him, I am active in my church, working, have many close friends and family, etc. I have no vices, no drugs, no alcohol, and no addictions, never have.
What can you tell me that will help me deal with the fact that I will never get any apologies from him, he will never own it. I need to move on with my life but he reappears because we share children and grandchildren. I want to be able to not be thrown into a tailspin whenever his name is mentioned. I have accepted that he has moved on but apparently have not accepted that he still denies any wrong doing and has no interest in owning the destruction he caused. Only one of his children will even speak to him because of all this. I don't need him in my life, but I NEED to know how to not be thrown for a loop if I have to face him or hear from him. All I ever wanted was for him to own it and make amends for what he caused his family, I guess I am not going to get that and want to move on with my life despite that fact. The acting out hurt tremendously, but no where near the denial, minimizing, justifying, and not owning it. Like I said, I do very well until something about him pops up from time to time. Then, I feel like I am tossed into the whirlwind again. What should I do to get past this? I am working on my own healing and trying very hard to move on on my own.

i'm sorry....that's a lot of pain indeed

for starters, forgiveness is about setting ourselves free.  perhaps it's another layer of forgiveness that's needed by you?  maybe it's time for something along the lines of trauma care like EMDR or ETT or EFT even?  it appears to me that there isa  decent amount of residue which needs to be addressed through trauma care and forgiveness.  sure hope that helps.  i'm so sorry for what you're going through but proud of your courage and dedication to heal.  also, don't forget self empathy as well as that's a much needed principle for those who are in pain. 


Thank you for this blog post, your words are true and meaningful

My d-day was over three years ago now. I've been listening to your blogs for years now and while most are about marriage healing I find gems like this one to be so encouraging. While I wanted to save the marriage, engaged in affair recovery activity, my now ex-wife only wanted to 'just move on' with no work or healing. She chose to remain in contact with the affair partner and chose to do nothing but say 'just get over it'. Eventually I had to give her the ultimatum and faced the reality that she was moving on. Everything you said is true, and once I accepted this, faced the pain, engaged the healing process I found myself returning to a life of joy, true joy. This isn't want I thought my life would be today but I have a real peace about what happened and a real excitement about my life to come. I encourage anyone who is in this position to listen to this blog many times! I'm now finding opportunities to use what happened to me as a way to help other men in the same position. As someone told me, "never let a good tumor go to waste". I intend to do just that!

so kind of you...

thank you so much for your kind words.  they mean more than you know.  i try and do the best i can and will continue to try ando more videos along these lines to help those in situations like you.  thank you so much for affirming the video.  take care of yourself my friend.  one day at a time and i'm so proud of your courage and self empathy you alluded to.  


Hi Samuel, thanks for the great video.
For me, the situation could not be worse. He left and I only found out about the affair 2 years later, he has been in a long-distance relationship with the AP since before he started acting strange. We were 25 years together since we were really young and everyone thought of us as the perfect couple. He was my rock and my best friend and became a monster. The best father did not hesitate to leave me with a 3 and 6-year old to be with a woman that is nothing but plain and awful. I wonder if he will ever regret anything or if he already did and is too proud. It doesn't matter anymore I guess since he is gone and I tried to live in denial for a while but it finally sunk in. He never talked to me about the affair, said he was sorry, nothing. I feel so betrayed and abandoned I don't think I will ever recover. How I wish he would have the same insights you do and would be willing to work on things, I just can't accept that my "soul mate" was a lie. I still catch myself coming here trying to look for hope but this video was eye opening. Thanks.

Facing the Reality - Finding Strength

I stumbled onto your video blogs and have found so much help and courage in them for the last several months. The precision, breadth and delivery style are impeccable. Ours was a 10-year second relationship (for both of us - I have 3 20 year old kids he took that on so wonderfully and we were so aligned with the kids). Such a great partner. But it is almost embarrassing this affair is by your blogs, is such a text book case...US started up with the recently divorced younger neighbour across the street (someone we both knew well enough - she has two adorable little kids) while I worked out of town for the last 3 years and he worked out of the house (convenient). I was oblivious even when he was acting odd. Last Sept. bc things were rough (I now know why) he moved out (without disclosure about doing that or the affair) and we immediately went to counselling - all good - except he was seeing her too. He disclosed the affair after we ended the 4 months of the counselling - I took empowering steps then, but wanted him back. So we "tried" since Jan. Up and down. Anyway for months, as you predict, he has been back and forth. And I have believed every time - almost two weeks to the hour when he says how he loves me, so sorry and it is over for sure, but it is not - this is the 4th cycle (Your blog about the back and forth being worse than D-day was also profound). But today after the last two week cycle (he is a day early on this one), and an extremely heartfelt letter to him last week, he went back - I can feel it. The signs at her house are right under my nose. I have to move on. Please do more of these...thank you.

thank you for your kind words

encouragement like that means everything.  thank you so much for the kind words my friend.  i'm so sorry for the pain you're walking through. i know it hurts and i know it's awful.  

Double betrayal is the worst

Double betrayal is the worst extramarital affair from the betrayed spouse point of view especially if it’s going on behind your back for a good number of years.

Hope is not always lost

It's important to note that there are several people I've been able to meet and learn from where the spouse left to be with the AP for years due to limerence. Then following a year, two years or more, the fog cleared and because their significant other chose to work on themselves, grow, and was also a safe place, they returned and have thriving marriages today. I have a coach that was the unfaithful, had a child with the affair partner, and has been happily remarried to her significant other going on four years strong. My unfaithful left suddenly and abandoned our marriage but I have chosen not to move on with another person, but to instead grown, heal, and also learned how to not push her away with my words, actions or behavior. Divorce may still be the outcome she pushes, but for now, I'm happy to say she's been encouraged by my work to enroll in Hope for Healing. I believe she's still with the AP but I'm still standing for my marriage. Limerence and affairs can be like a drug that pulls someone you love away. But as Samuel once said, "Infidelity is an awful mistake, but the people who commit infidelity are not mistakes as a whole." I'm giving grace for as long as I can and focusing on my healing while I hold onto hope that perhaps my unfaithful wife possibly turns to growth and healing as well.

What type of affair was it?

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-D, Texas