If you are a betrayed spouse (Since about 90% of our readers are), this page is written for the unfaithful. However, that doesn’t mean you have to leave! There might be some important information that you can use to either pass along to your cheating spouse or use to get into the mind of a cheater, so to speak.
If you are the unfaithful spouse and you are reading this, then I can only assume that your affair has ended and you have at least a moderate desire to fix the wrong you’ve done and work to repair your marriage. This is a very important step and one that should not be taken lightly.
Usually, you are the one who is in the way of your spouse’s recovery
During the four years or so that we’ve been involved with our Emotional Affair Journey blog we have noticed hundreds, if not thousands of betrayed spouses who are stuck in their recovery and in their healing. This feeling of being stuck might happen several months or even years after the discovery of the affair. Linda was at the same crossroad at one point not too long ago.
We were recovering nicely. The thoughts of the affair didn’t invade her mind nearly as much. The triggers were occurring far less frequently and when they did, their effects were minimal. We were getting along great. Yet something was holding her back.
It turns out it was me. Don’t get me wrong. In our case, it wasn’t as if I wasn’t trying hard, and even Linda said I was doing the right things. I simply wasn’t doing all the things she needed in order for her to heal.
This same theme has been played over and over again with the folks we mentor and from our blog readers. Most of the time however, the stuck feeling occurs because the cheater is helping very little – if at all – during the recovery process.
In a nutshell, the most prevalent underlying reason for this feeling of being stuck is the lack of consistent help and effort from the cheater to do the things that the betrayed spouse needs them to do in order for them to be able to recover and heal.
It seems like such an easy thing to do, but for some reason the cheater either refuses to give the betrayed spouse what it is they’re most longing for or they simply just don’t know what it is they need to be doing on a consistent basis.
For those of you who are not interested in saving your marriage and are not putting forth any effort by choice, you really need to sit down and figure out why that is. Is it because of your own feelings of guilt and shame? Are you hoping this will all just goes away? Is it that you have strong lingering feelings for your affair partner? Do you question your love and commitment and whether you even want to try to fix your marriage? Are you just giving up? These are just some of questions that you need to ask yourself.
Are you on the fence?
I realize that almost every cheater goes through the fence sitting stage at some point when you really don’t know what it is you want and you don’t know what to do or where to turn. You’re in limbo, and so is your spouse. This is a very dangerous and frustrating place to be.
You may even be to the point where you’ve decided to stay in your marriage though you are unsure why. It may be because of the kids. It may be due to financial issues. It may be for a myriad of other reasons, but the fact is you decided to stay.
The reason you stayed doesn’t really matter at this point. What matters is that you at least give things a try and put 100% effort into your marriage. If at the end of six months, or a year, or two years you just don’t think that you can go on, then at that point you need to sit down and really make some decisions on whether or not to continue your marriage.
I can tell you from personal experience that by doing these things and working to connect with your spouse, you can fall back in love with her and you can create a marriage that is wonderful, fulfilling, fun and actually feel as if you were starting all over again. It ain’t gonna happen though if you just sit back and not do the work.
Finally, if you came in with a spouse who, in your opinion is “the problem,” please remember that however much that may or may not be the case, you are reacting and your reactions may have room for change.
Relationships are like a dance, with each person’s movements somewhat dependent on the other person’s. Therefore, it will be absolutely necessary for you to examine your own feelings and behavior as much as that of your spouse.
Below are some additional posts that may be helpful for any person who is or has been unfaithful.
Though most of our site tends to be geared towards the victim of infidelity, there are a lot of articles that are geared toward the unfaithful as well. Many of the posts and comments reflect the thoughts and emotions of betrayed spouses. If an unfaithful person were to read them it would be a very eye-opening and sobering experience.
There are also many articles where Doug writes about his thoughts and experiences over the years since his affair. Any unfaithful spouse could learn and follow his direction as they try to recover and mend their relationship.