June 14, 2010 – Should I Stay or Should I Go? – setting healthy boundaries & giving ultimatums – What do you do if the betrayed spouse wants to end the marriage, but the betrayer does not?
Tammie: This was the first question I asked my counsellor when I found out about my husband’s affair. She told me, “I cannot tell you what to do, but I can tell you that the answer lies inside of you.” For my personal situation, I did not want to stay in the marriage. When I found out, my response was, “No need to discuss.” I was out the door! That was a knee-jerk reaction, not taking any important factors into consideration. It was based on my emotions. Emotions are indicators, but they should not be navigators.
We all need to come to a point that we can say we’ve done everything we can, and then decide.
Anne: Get as much perspective as you can. Do not make that decision in the first 3 months post disclosure. This is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, so you need to make the right one. Not every marriage is salvageable after an affair. If you want to leave the marriage, you have every right to do so.
The one who will live with the out come of the decision you make now is you. So you need to do what’s right for you.
One of the important considerations is the behavior of your spouse. The unfaithful spouse will say things to you like “just get over it.” That’s not realistic.
Sometimes even therapists say, “don’t look at the past.” That doesn’t work. You have to honor the healing journey.
There is a tremendous reward for staying, but only if your spouse is willing to do the work. It’s not good to stay in an abusive situation. If your spouse is continuing to have affairs that is abusive.
It also takes time. Most unfaithful spouses act like idiots after disclosure.
Participant Diana: It’s been 3 months since I found out. My husband is going back and forth between her and me. He still wants me, but he can’t give her up. What about when he can’t decide? He’s depressed. He feels empty he says.
Anne: That’s a great question and it leads into what we want to discuss this evening. My husband, Brian, told me that ending his affair was like cutting his right hand off. That’s a pretty powerful analogy.
… This is just the beginning. To listen to the rest click on the audio link above!