Why the Unfaithful Don’t Want to Talk About It It’s a common understanding; we just don’t want to talk about what makes us feel uncomfortable or ashamed. We certainly don’t want to talk about our failures, unless we’ve experienced a great deal of healing for those failures. Early on in our recovery, I made the mistake of saying to Samantha several times “Let’s not talk about this anymore. Let’s start over, move on, and save us!” What a great heart’s intent right? Who wouldn’t love that? Sounds sincere enough right? What I thought I was conveying was “I want to be with you, and I’m willing to work on the marriage at all costs.” But what I was conveying was, as long as we don’t talk about the affair or how I failed and I am ready to get healthy (as long as we talk about you and not me) and here we go, off to the next chapter of our lives (focusing on you and not me). Looking back, it was really quite selfish and dysfunctional. I didn’t want to talk about anything that produced in me a negative feeling or consequence. I was willing to do anything to not talk about me, or how I failed, or how I blew it, or the shame I was filled with. But I was more than willing to talk about how we could change Samantha so I would never cheat again. Yep, that was the reality of my intent. It didn’t seem like it then, but looking back, I can see ever so clearly my motives and my desire to shield me, but talk about her struggles and how to keep me home. Pretty ridiculous I know, but that’s what selfish, unhealthy, dysfunctional people do: they focus on the faults of others, not themselves. It wasn’t that I refused to get help, but I truly felt like I couldn’t open up and talk about me. I was sure that if we did, Samantha would leave and my therapist (Rick Reynolds) would give up on me. I didn’t feel safe at all and was terrified of rejection by both of them. I had become convinced that my shame was real and that I was something bad, not that I had done something bad. You see, when we are something bad, we deserve to be rejected and given up on, even thrown away when we fail. But when we simply do something bad, and make a mistake, but are worth saving and redeeming and helping, we don’t give in to shame. We rise up, take ownership of our mistakes and move forward, wiling to get all the help we can and display true empathy. I believed the lie that is perpetuated time and time again, and it’s this thought: Shame says I am something wrong. Grief, sorrow, brokenness (or as some would say Godly sorrow) says I’ve done something wrong, but am worth loving and caring for. There’s a country mile of difference between the two my friends. If your spouse, male or female, doesn’t want to talk about it, my hunch is they simply don’t know how to talk about it and are scared to death of talking about their own failures as they think they will be forsaken. They are probably so full of shame (I am something wrong) that they tend to mask their feelings by anger or blame, and even push back against their guilt and shame with anger or hostility towards you. What they need to realize is, if they do not talk about it in a safe way, in a safe place, you can never heal. It will simply stunt your growth and prohibit the betrayed spouse from understanding what happened, why it happened, and how to help protect against relapse in the future. Their decision is based more upon ignorance and confusion than it is a willingness to focus on you and not them. They probably just don’t get it (as I didn’t) until an objective third party helped me. The EMS Weekend saved my life, and my time with Rick (who had been through this before and could relate to me) helped me understand what I was truly feeling. When I was unlocked, the safe grief and contrition if you will, began to pour in like lead to my soul and it was then that empathy began to manifest towards Samantha and the list of others I hurt by my failure. I hope and pray this ministers to you and helps lead you and your spouse into the light and out of the darkness of shame.