For the next several months we went through the typical roller coaster that is the affair recovery process.
There were some good times, but lots of not-so-good times as well. It seemed like every time we took a nice step forward, we took a couple bad steps back. Typically, I was to blame for that.
As any Steve would do, I didn’t want to talk about the affair at all. When I did, I dripped information over time. This trickle truth was quite destructive and certainly slowed our recovery.
When Linda wanted to talk about the affair my fight or flight instincts would come out and I’d do my best to shut Linda down by showing anger, frustration and more gaslighting.
I made every mistake in the book and was the main cause of our being stuck.
On the positive side of things, I was pretty good at acts of service to show Linda I was remorseful, loved her and wanted to make things up to her.
These acts were all well and good, but were not what she needed at the time. And one day she informed of this.
She said that she appreciated what I was doing but it wasn’t the right things that she needed. So she was “done.” (That word scared the crap out of me!)
She was done doing all the work. The ball was now in my court. And Linda was going to focus on her own self-care and healing, while I needed to figure out what the heck I was going to do.
So, there it was. I had to make a choice.
Do I continue as is and surely lose my marriage, or do I transform myself into a healer?
And it is a choice.
Do it or don’t do it.
A decision. Like Paul Arden explains in, Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite:
Not everyone will make the right decision that can propel a marriage towards reconciliation and healing.
It can be risky. The work required can be daunting. Scary. Uncomfortable.
You might fail. Your marriage might not make it.
If your choice is to commit to your spouse and your marriage and do whatever it takes to heal from this mess you created, then you need to embrace it.
Lean into it.
If this is for you, time to meet our first archetype, Steve.
Steve is likely to represent you (or your spouse) right now; if not entirely, certainly a close enough match to make you a little uncomfortable as you read this.