You Don’t Have to Decide Now

So often, a spouse feels forced to make a decision right now on what to do. If you’re a betrayed spouse, it can feel like you need to know what to do right now. If you’re an unfaithful spouse, you can feel overwhelmed and pressured with thoughts of “this is what you need to do, right now.”

As any of you know, once friends, family, and surrounding relationships find out about the situation, there is usually no shortage of people who are willing to give advice and tell you what to do.

Everyone knows what they will do when infidelity happens, until it actually happens and kids are involved, ten or twenty years of marriage involved, futures are at stake and actual lives are in the balance. Then, what was a sure deal breaker is hesitantly reevaluated.

I often tell people, you don’t have to decide right now. Recovery is a process and to borrow a line from John Maxwell, “The power is in the process.” As you get into a proven process you can then make a decision later, AFTER you’ve gotten the help and perspective you need. After all, it’s usually AFTER you have received insight, healing and expert perspective that you can typically see much more clearly than you can probably see right now. Hurt, pain, chaos and uncertainty are blinders in a big way. We just can’t see clearly sometimes, so to make a decision in the midst of the fog and in the midst of the uncertainty of it all can affect your life and your spouse and children’s lives beyond our current comprehension.

Take the time and take the methods which are proven to start to formulate a decision. You don’t always have to decide right now, what to do. There is hope. Hope can come in an instant, but the process will evolve and will reveal the hearts of those involved.  That, I assure you. 

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How long should I give this process? I do not feel that I have the total truth from my unfaithful spouse and it has been 17 months. We have done EMSW, we have done couples counseling, we have done individual counseling, we have done the after care group phone calls (he is still doing them) I have done Harboring hope. I don't know when enough is enough.Yes, he is trying to be nice for now and he says he wants me, but I don't know his heart or his motivation. He still evades or completely ignores questions and I still don't know the details of both affairs that he had (coworker - same woman both times). I can't get past all this until I do know the answers. He won't tell me, and frankly at this point, I'm not sure I would believe him without a polygraph. Does he really want me or does he really just not want to lose a sizable amount of assets in a divorce, so he will try to stick with me and just see her on the side when he thinks the coast is clear again? I just don't know! How do you know when the process has had time to do its work, and if it hasn't, is it time to throw in the towel? I just don't know what else I can do to make things work if he wont' be honest with me and give me a timeline of his affairs and answer my questions honestly without becoming abusive and show any remorse. What else can I do? We should be well into recovery by now and I don't feel any different than I did at Dday, except I can't seem to cry anymore.

moving forward

Karen, after what you've done, and put your hand and heart to, I would move on. Or, i would absorb the fact that you may never know any more than you do. if you can't embrace that and come to grips with it, then perhaps it's time to move on. if you are able to come to grips with you know what you know, and that you may not know any more in the future, and he won't take a lie detector, then I'd face the fact that you have two choices in my opinion: 1. accept where you are at, and realize it may be the best it can be and be good enough as they say and begin to embrace it and put it to rest and move forward. 2. realize you don't know enough and can't know more than you know right now, and that he's not desperate and not committed and perhaps it's time to seek that divorce and then be happier in life. after all you've put your hand to, if he's still not able to 'get it' and show he's committed then I would pursue the divorce. if he then does not get more desperate, then it's a good sign it's done and over. if he changes, then perhaps there is another gear to his recovery and it may have taken the real threat of losing you to wake him up to the point of your satisfaction. i hope it helps, but it does sound like you need to find some clarity soon so you can pursue your own recovery. hope that helps and thanks for commenting.

Thank you

Thank you Samuel, for your input. I just want my life back.many people have told him to divorce me because I can't seem to get past HIS mistakes and the horrible abuse he inflicted while I asked questions about the affairs. I am truly damaged emotionally and am frightened to even try to reconnect with him because I am so afraid of it -- the abuse and the affairs--happening again. I will prayerfully consider what you said and I truly appreciate your help.

Need answers...

Samuel, I found out on December 10 of this year that my wife has been having an affair for the last 8 months. We have had a rough last 2 to 3 years. I was addicted to prescription pain pills and she found out almost 2 years ago. During my recovery I was depressed and ashamed. I was not myself at all and told her I would get better. I didnt want to do much, I didnt realize we were losing oir connection. She also fell out of love with me. So she started to talk to a mutual guy friend one day after we had an argument and she just let go with him and he said his marriage was not great either. One thing led to another and they started texting, talking, and having relations. I love my wife and have chamged so much these last 6 to 8 months. She hid her feelings from me for the last few months. I was in such shock when I discovered an email exchange between the 2. She says it has been over since Dec 17. She tells me she needs space and she isnt sure she can be happy with me and isnt sure we will work out. Her andwer is a seperation to see if her feelings change. We have 3 children between 7 and 13 years old. I'm not sure what to do. Should I stay and try to ride it out for awhile, or give her the spave she says she wants. Our relationship was almost perfect for 11 years... what do I do now....?

tough situation...

hi kgibbs ....i would find an expert third party and consult them first.   i would try and seek help before separating so that you can get expert perspective and then they can help you with the ground rules for separating as well.  are you positive she is done with the affair or is she separating to continue the affair?  tough question i know, but it's a fact that we need to look at as many do that.  also, would she do something like our bootcamp or an online course while you're seeing if the marriage can be saved?  our programs will do that too: help you SEE if you can save the marriage.  how open is she to getting help, not just separating? 


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