BeStillAndKnow
My marriage has been troubled for quite some time.  My husband cheated with someone around 2 1/2 yrs ago.  Having him own it and do the work I needed him to do has been like pulling teeth.  He still blames me.  So I asked to see his phone last week and he had a conversation with someone he plays racquetball with telling him that he asked out a co-worker.  I was devastated to say the least and I handled very poorly with lots of screaming and yelling on my end.  I said so many hurtful things. Including telling him I am divorcing him.   And his response?  That he didn't "act" on it so he didn't do anything wrong.  He is in a rage now and has removed money from bank accounts and tells me HE is filing.  He keeps screaming I threatened him with divorce so now it's OVER.  This is not the character of the kind of man I want to be married to.  We have only done marriage counseling a handful of times and it didn't really make much difference.  I am considering working with an AH counselor to see if I can get through to him.  I am reading what I can here but I feel so lost.  Please help!
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TimT
BeStill, Trying to get an unfaithful spouse to do what is necessary for your healing is bound to be fruitless if they are not truly repentant for what they did. I use the word "repentant" because sometimes the the idea of being "sorry" does not carry enough weight. People who have cheated can be genuinely sorry for unintentionally hurting a spouse, getting caught, making life complicated, etc. but without any true sense of what they're betrayal really means and what effort is needed for recovery & renewal to take place.

It's a bit unfair to judge your husband without knowing the whole story, but if your description is a fairly accurate one, it is consistent with similar reactions I've often seen from unfaithful partners who simply want to move beyond their betrayal without taking full responsibility for it. In those cases, there is little hope for a return to intimacy and trust in the marriage because those things cannot return unless the unfaithful spouse takes responsibility for what they have done. That means more than a quick "sorry, let's move on." If fact, I'm pretty sure that if the roles were reversed he would expect something much more from you, too.

One book we've often recommended is How To Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair. If your husband wants some guidelines for what he should do, the book spells them out. (It also lets you know that it really is normal to need certain actions if your heart is going to mend in a way that lets you love him freely again.) You can also listen to the podcast interview I had with the author, Linda MacDonald.

Just know that you cannot make your husband change. You can only be honest with him about what you need. If he is not willing to do those things, then you are left with a choice to either accept a marriage that remains unhealed, or separate yourself from it.
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