Is Your Spouse Merely 'Checking Boxes' in Recovery Work?

Samuel discusses the effect of going through the motions in recovery for both spouses.

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he choose not to change

What's sad for me is my unfaithful husband is just pretending to be checking boxes, but in reality he just chooses to fool and lie to me and does not want to change or recover.

sorry to hear that.

Wendy76, very sorry my friend.  what types of consequences are you administering since he's continuing to do that?  

are you doing anything to take some of the power back for you?

Another great vlog. What

Another great vlog. What kind of consequences do you recommend? We have done in home and out of home separation already.


hi there terms of consequences, it depends on what's he unwilling to do work, or is he still acting out or?  if you'll provide more background i'll see what i can speak to. 


Yes, he is still acting out.

Yes, he is still acting out. He refuses to do EMSO, drags his feet on MC, attend IC 2x a month with a therapist who has reportedly told him that I act like his parent and this has become his justification for his affair. I have expressed my concern about the his IC but he refuses to see anyone else. He claims he has read two books on recovering from affairs - I don't believe it. He read two articles on AR about ambivalence. He tried to sign up for H4H and it was full (verified this) but he did not try to sign up again or talk about it. We separated for 3 months - I moved out. I have kicked him two times - he returns without asking. Basically, he is in the mindset of no one is going to tell me what to do. No he is not safe. I am attending counseling weekly and meeting with my lay minister weekly. I completed HH. I know I have done everything I can at this point except completely let go.

sounds like...

perhaps it does sound like you need to let go.  i bet, if you pull back and no longer attempted to get him to do this kind of work, he woud end up doing it.  he wants to be able to do it himself and use his pride and his self sufficiency as a basis for doing it.  typically, in these situations, when the betrayed spouse pulls back and no longer chases him or pursues them, they then will start to do work.  if they don't, then it's pure confirmation that it may be time to walk away and be done as you've tried everything.  this is a high stakes poker game.  if i were you, i'd completely pull back and no longer pursue him, chase him, mom him (joking but you get what i mean) and leave him to himself.  i would also consider separating again under the intent to divorce soon as you can't keep doing what you're doing and expect a different result.  i would communicate to him that you need space and that obviously something isn't working and you don't want to keep spinning your wheels .  then put some space between you two, but do not reach out.  don't keep initiating contact him or talking to him.  start to see what life will be like without him and without the relationship.  it may convince you, that you still have some fight in you for him and the marriage, or it may help you to see that your heart is done and it's time to officially move on. 


Thank you so much Samuel. I

Thank you so much Samuel. I deeply appreciate your response and wisdom. Maybe it is my pride or something else, but I am unwilling to be the one that leaves again. I am on the verge of not being able to work (I work as a counselor) b/c of my own pain seeping in. So financially not sure I could leave again. In home separation, yes. I have asked to talk about it - he said yes, then nothing. So for the time being, I am being cordial but I am not initiating any conversations, etc. It is just too draining to continue to initiate and get nothing back. I am trying to prepare myself for the end - I am watching videos on here about separation and divorce, work in my co-dependency book, etc. Any other resources on preparing for the end, I welcome.

Yes, I had to ask him to

Yes, I had to ask him to leave the house so he can focus on his own recovery. In a way, it made me free from torturing my mind with what he might be doing when I'm not at home. By doing this I have realized that my priority should have been focused on God, instead of my husband. I truly appreciate what you do. I thank God for you and Samantha, both of you have been a such blessing to me.

that's some great insight right there Wendy76

thank you so much for such great feedback and kind words.  it's so encouraging to hear that.  it's great you're seeing clearly now what your priorities should be and how to walk it out.  thanks for being here and watching.  take care and take it slow and steady, one day at a time.  



I can’t find help if I don’t ask

Samuel, thank you for your videos. I thank your wife even more. You may not be doing these videos or her if she didn’t have the courage to stand. I am a betrayed husband. Long story as short as possible. we started young but have been married 17 years now. she has been cheating for 16 of those years. I have lost count of how many d-days I have had and how many different versions of each story I have heard. That I know of there has been 10 other men involved. 6 of which I would have taken a bullet for and considered my close circle. I have lost count of how many counselors we have seen. I have been in individual counseling for 18 months on my own now. I have gotten some healing. AKA I don’t want to hunt these men down as badly as I use to anymore. Lol. Either way I am stuck. I am a successful business owner and thrive away from home but at home this is something I can’t fix and it’s tearing me apart. We have 3 boys and due to the environment in the home it is affecting them a lot more than I want to believe. They are 17,13 and 10. They are not fools and read between the lines. I’ve been watching your stuff for about three weeks now, am working through Bootcamp and am on the list for harboring hope. Please help. The daily question of am I crazy for staying and the follow up question of if I go how will deal with the punishment she will throw at me haunts me. Thanks Samuel.

hey brother....

man, you've been through it.  so glad you're on the site, are watching and reached out.  so how can i help?  I didn't understand the exact question(s) i can answer for you but will certainly answer it.  you can also email me if easier at