You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know It’s a very common occurrence, that when a spouse is trying to heal from either their own infidelity or their spouse’s, they try to make decisions about the future. On the front end, there would appear to be many strikes against them. From the nature of the affair, to the length of the affair, to multiple affair partners, to having to work with the affair partner: the issues can be mind boggling. Many still think Samantha is mentally imbalanced for staying with me. Many times spouses will utter phrases to me like “There’s so much going against us, how will we ever make it?” Or, “Our situation is so different,” and quite usually it’s not, but they are trying to get an idea of what the future will look like. They’re also pondering whether there is a future at all with their spouse. But, they are not there yet, and they are on the very front end of the journey trying to decide what to do. To try and make decisions about what you will do down the road isn’t proactive. Just like the spouse that says early on in marriage, “If you ever cheat, it’s a deal breaker and I’ll be gone.” Then their spouse has an affair, kids are now in the picture, and life looks a whole lot different. What we seemed so sure about then isn’t the case anymore: and that’s OK. It’s just not that easy. As we all say, everyone says what they will do if there is infidelity until they have to go through it. What I’ve heard Rick say to many people is to stop making decisions about events that haven’t happened yet. I’m not sure how you will overcome situations. I’m not sure how your spouse will be able to still work with the affair partner, or if they can at all. I’m not sure how you’ll be able to police your spouse while they are away from you, and if that’s even a real option. I’m also not sure what life will look like for the spouse that’s been unfaithful several times, over several years. I don’t know if you can forgive them and really enjoy freedom. I know you can, but I’m not sure you will want to. What I do know is there is a plan to help you, for now and for then. When we need to cross that bridge we’ll cross it. For now, even though every one of us is in a different stage, I’d encourage you to focus on the moment you’re in right now and make decisions to get help to start to forge ahead. If after you get the help you need, and your spouse is unwilling to then manage their own recovery, perhaps you’ll need to create space between you and them. If after you both have gotten expert help, and your spouse refuses to stay accountable and share where they are at, or to return calls quickly or other accountability measures, then you may need to take a step back and implement some consequences to that behavior. Having to still work with the affair partner for example, will only work after help has been implemented. It is possible, but requires expert strategy and requires getting the right kind of help for the situation. Who knows if your spouse will be able to forgive you, or you will be able to experience forgiveness as you go forward in your marriage. But to sit and wonder and remain paralyzed, and not try to forgive and see what life will look like, is a recipe for disaster indeed. There are a few must needed questions you do need to answer now. Such as where are you going to get help? Are you open to restoration? Are you or your spouse willing to get help? Are you really aware of what divorce looks like? Are you prepared to go through all the stages to finally divorce, when possibly there could be change? I’d suggest answering those questions before you try and answer questions about how you’ll enjoy your later years together, or whether or not you can be physically intimate again, or the litany of questions along those lines. You don’t know what you just don’t know….and that’s more than OK. But if you do know you want to try, then here’s what I would emphatically say to you my friend: 1. Get expert help. 2. Get it right now. 3. Take it slow and watch the progress before you make any final decisions. 4. Don’t quit till you’re convinced there is no hope.