Affair healing Blog
A wife sat in my office yesterday, explaining the many ways in which she continued to figure out why her husband had an affair, with special attention to wondering what was wrong with their marriage... what was wrong with her. She felt that somehow she must carry blame for his unfaithfulness.
I told her the same thing that is often repeated to betrayed partners: "You are not responsible for your husband's affair." Not even a little bit.
Sure, any partner can take an honest look at their contributions to a dissatisfying marriage or relationship, but whatever problems existed are never justification for lying and cheating. A betrayed spouse carries NO responsibility for those choices.
But they do carry responsibility for what comes next...
If you have been betrayed by an affair you are not responsible for the injury, but you must take responsibility for your healing. An unfaithful spouse's attention to your relief and comfort will be tremendously helpful in recovery, but what if their efforts are weak or absent altogether?
I have watched too many wounded spouses become stuck in an expectation of "you broke me, you need to fix me." They make no progress in personal recovery because they wait for the change they desperately want their partner to make.
I am not referring to the repair of a marriage. That definitely takes the efforts of both partners and the unfaithful spouse must assume a greater responsibility to start healing the relationship. But relationship healing is not the same as personal healing. They are linked, but separate. Even if your marriage does not get well, YOU need to get well.
Do not fall into the trap of depending on an unfaithful partner to heal you. If they make efforts to help, all the better, but you need to accept responsibility for this regardless of their choice. It's not fair, it's not what you deserve, but you must do it anyway or you run the risk of remaining a victim of the tragedy. You have a better story to tell than that.
Whatever it takes (counseling, support groups, new pursuits, honest prayer, reading, etc.), determine to take your own steps toward personal recovery. If your spouse joins you and helps you, all the better. If they do not, move forward without them.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written by Tim Tedder, a licensed counselor and creator of this site and its resources. Twitter: @TimTedder