What You Don’t Need In Recovery

In recovery, as my previous post indicated, you’ll have some needs that must be present. Alternatively, there are some things you just don’t need. Call them principles, mindsets or approaches if you like, but if they are present, I can assure you they will make things very difficult and probably even exacerbate the already excruciating process.

Continuing our approach, here’s what you DON’T need in recovery:

1.       You don’t need pride. As indicated previously, you’ll need courage like never before. But pride likes to say “I shouldn’t have to do this.” Or, “This is your issue….you go fix this. I’m not doing anything.” The problem is, those mindsets assume a betrayed spouse has nothing to take ownership of. Please keep in mind, as I have said thousands of times, and will never retreat from saying, an unfaithful spouse’s affair is never the fault of a betrayed spouse. We cheated due to our issues (and pride is very likely among those issues). Some unmet needs or dysfunction in the relationship may have made their spouse vulnerable, but the cold hard truth is, we cheated due to our inability to handle complex issues. It will forever be our fault, even if the marriage was difficult. However, this is a union and we cannot operate on a one sided approach. Both spouses must be willing to humble themselves and accept that their best efforts got them here in the first place, so change does need to happen. WE cannot be saved by what THEY do; we are responsible for our own recovery.

2.       You don’t need to expect a quick fix.  It simply won’t happen quickly. Most experts on the subject of infidelity (and there are not many) will tell you it’s an 18 to 24 month process. No it’s not impossible, but you and your spouse need time for the adequate process to run its course and deal with what needs to be dealt with. It will take several tough conversations and some very dark nights for both spouses. It will take a methodical approach at times, and then other times it will be an approach where you’re simply thankful for progress, not perfection. It’s a marathon, but once you gain momentum in the process, the momentum compounds pretty quickly. I wish there were short cuts, but I can assure you, there are not.

3.       You don’t need to believe that one size (or method) fits all. Infidelity is the Ace of Spades when dealing with emotional trauma. It’s one of the worst emotional struggles to deal with. I’ve talked to many women and men who have both been betrayed and lost children, and sadly every one of them are astonished that the pain, the loss, is so similar. Your situation is unique. If you are an unfaithful female spouse, there are most certainly some very unique idiosyncrasies to deal with and any expert on infidelity will tell you that. It’s not MORE complicated, but one of the worst mistakes to make is to treat an unfaithful female spouse the way you’d treat an unfaithful male spouse. The complexity of any situation dealing with infidelity is off the charts and requires a process and strategy that is specific to what you are dealing with. The type of affair, the length of time, were they coworkers, will you see them at church or social gatherings….these are questions which require a specific plan of attack if you are going to heal and get on the other side of all this trauma and collateral damage. Remember, it’s possible, but not without a strategic and calculated approach.

4.       You don’t need too many cooks in the kitchen. Respectfully, everyone has an idea of what they would do if their spouse cheated, till they cheat. Then all bets are off. Between the kids, assets, future’s alone or together, everyone has an opinion until they are in the middle of it. You’ll want to talk to people who have gone through infidelity before. You may want to sample both sides of the story and speak to people (of the same sex) who have survived with their marriage intact as well as those who divorced because of it. Neither divorce nor restoration is easy, but you’ll want to know what you’re getting yourself into either way. Expert professionals can help you understand that, but so can survivors who have been through it and remember what it was like. To talk to those who have never felt what you’re feeling or experienced what you’re experiencing in many ways confuses you, triggers you, and can cause great despair and disillusionment. You will spare yourself from this unnecessary pain and hurt if you’ll get the right kind of help from the right kind of people.

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