His illusions reveal his character

Sign that says "Home of the World's Biggest Liar."
Source: Flickr.com; some rights reserved.

This article was piercing for me. It talks about understanding what a cheating spouse was thinking during the affair. It was written by Rick Reynolds, founder and president of Affair Recovery, a marital counseling company.

I have never been able to grasp my husband’s mindset about his affair, and probing doesn’t help. He clams up. Any info I get by forcing the conversation is scant, begrudgingly given and long-lasting in the guilt/depression he displays afterward.

How can I get past his affair and grow a deeper, more intimate and more fulfilling marriage with him when he is walled off like this because of his shame, embarrassment, and (frankly) ass covering? He seems to think that just acting nice will fix everything.

Rick is a former cheater himself, and to be honest his YouTube videos are by far my least favorites of the ones his company creates. He seems too flippant and unrepentant to me, so I just find him distasteful. But he still has some wise words.

Here’s what he said about cheaters.

“Fantasy is the window to our soul. The illusions we create through fantasy and acting out reveal what’s broken about us, not what’s wrong with our mate. Much of recovery is based on learning to see our own defects rather than those of our mate. It’s based on learning to see how our actions impact others rather than focusing on how our mate affects us. It’s learning to make the best with what we have rather than fantasizing about different circumstances to make things better. It’s about learning how to give rather than take.”

Oh, my aching heart. This is so true.

I wish I could turn on this lightbulb for my husband. He’s either silent or conciliatory. But it doesn’t feel like he changed; he just stopped his bad behavior. It’s cold comfort, because he could fall back on it at any time.

What do you think? I believe his recovery path needs to be include dismantling his illusions and helping him to be stronger. He is so cowardly.  All my husband’s therapist is doing is applying an emotional Bandaid to the problem, encouraging him to stay the course.

Mine wants me to accept the truth of how my husband is, rather than being frustrated at who he is not.

Sounds good. Not sure I can do it.

He keeps his thoughts and actions too close to his chest, locked up for safekeeping. I need some bolt-cutters. Photo source: Flickr.com; some rights reserved.
He keeps his memories and feelings about the affair too close to his chest, locked up for safekeeping, even four years afterward. I need some bolt-cutters. Or for him to hand me the key. (Photo source: Flickr.com; some rights reserved.)



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