Debra
Hi,

I have been working with a couple for 9 months, with little progress.  The lack of progress has mainly been due to the betraying spouse's feeling she doesn't have to be  the primary healer of the relationship.  After nine months, she continues to justify the affair because of the disconnection of the marriage prior to the affair.

The betrayer believes she is punished since she has to take on the role of the healer. Also, she laments about the negative consequences of the affair and believes the consequences should be over.

Any advice or similar experiences?

Thanks
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TimT
Debra wrote:
I have been working with a couple for 9 months, with little progress.  The lack of progress has mainly been due to the betraying spouse's feeling she doesn't have to be  the primary healer of the relationship.  After nine months, she continues to justify the affair because of the disconnection of the marriage prior to the affair.

The betrayer believes she is punished since she has to take on the role of the healer. Also, she laments about the negative consequences of the affair and believes the consequences should be over.

Any advice or similar experiences?

Hi, Debra. Sorry for the delayed response. (Just got back into town last night.)

One of two things have to happen in order for the relationship to start progressing. The preferred change would be for the unfaithful spouse to shift in her awareness of her responsibility for the affair by gaining more insight into her own "stuff" or by exploring a more empathetic response to her husband's betrayal. The other change would be for the betrayed spouse to sacrifice expectations, at least for a while, for his wife to make these shifts. Sometimes it takes time for that to happen, although the longer it takes, the more complicated recovery becomes.

My recommendation would be to combine joint sessions with at least 1 or 2 individual sessions to focus on those issues. 

The real proof that the wife is committed to the marriage will be in her willingness to work on making renewed connections with her husband, demonstrating love and honesty. IF she is willing to do her part in this, then that work will begin to soften her heart and the "breakthrough" may eventually come. If she is not willing to do that (and continues to blame him for the affair and the state of the marriage), then this couple will never experience intimacy and trust.

He'll eventually have to decide if he's willing to accept that kind of marriage.
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Debra
Hi Tim,

Thanks so much for the information.  I am in total agreement and believe the husband will have to make the sacrifice.

Thanks!
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Intuition77
I'm not a therapist but My opinion is like Tims- sacrifice expectations for a time. A short time. If the CS does not come around to these realizations and own her own responsibility the marriage is toast except maybe on paper. The BS will get angry resentful and bitter-quickly. This will make him doubt himself more. He'll try to be more understanding, hell
Try to sacrifice, then he'll suddenly blow up, she'll claim she's attacked, it cycles and cycles. And the CS will most likely cheat again.

In the scenario you describe the Cs takes no personal Responsibility for the affair. And expects the husband to make sacrifices. That's a lot of entitlement. To me that reeks of selfishness and being stuck there. And coming from a BS who tried (without counseling however as he refused) to give him a short time to come around to responsibility and owning his own reasons for the affair etc-I grew extremely angry bitter and resentful very quickly. It drained me. It tripled my personal pain and to be blunt-it made me think Divorce would be a precious gift compared to a marriage hell like that of a CS stuck in entitlement selfishness and crying no more consequences. He'll lose all and any respect for her and she'll treat him like a doormat if it continues long. Just my opinion. Even worse if he's a "fixer" & feels a duty to sacrifice regardless of what it costs him. If that husband posted here I would suggest he get individual counseling to help him through this.
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Debra
Hi,

Thank you for your response.  You made a lot of valid points.  I do believe this couple stays stuck because of the wife's selfishness and sense of entitlement.

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