7 Days: Taking Responsibility

C: You have caused this situation. You need to take responsibility.

Me: How do I “need to take responsibility” for my betrayal? What does it mean to you? Please be specific because I don’t know what your expectations are?

Notes from January 1, 2018 email

I’ve been reading about betrayals, secret-keeping, and lies. There is no excuse or justification for my behavior but I cannot unring the bell.

Now what? Slink off? Ignore it? Talk? Don’t talk? Be patient? Wait? Move away? Stay? Be vulnerable? Write more? Write less? Pay bills? Don’t pay bills? Try? Don’t try?

No matter what I do it won’t be right or responsible in someone’s opinion. My commitment to C was life-long but I’m also a realist. As such, I’ve waited one month for every year we lived together as Partners. April 22 will be just about 5 months.

C has kept saying take responsibility but when I asked what that meant to her I was met with silence. I’ve been left to guess. I’ve been left to fill the vacuum.

Maybe she didn’t know either.

Here is my question to my readers and fellow writers:

What does taking responsibility for infidelities, secret-keeping, and lies mean to you?

  • As the betrayed?
  • As the betrayer?
  • As a professional therapist?

4 thoughts on “7 Days: Taking Responsibility

  1. First of all, what do you mean by third person? The affair partner? If you mean the affair partner, once the affair is out they should quietly disappear, crawl back under the rock they crawled out of and never be seen again, in my opinion.

    Second, as a friend of either betrayed or betrayer or 3rd person in the triangle – there shouldn’t be a third person – it’s none of their business. Friends should provide support for their friends. Their only concern should be for their friend’s happiness. They can offer opinions, but should not try and influence any decision as ultimately we’re the ones who have to live with our choices, right or wrong.

    As a betrayed wife, I wanted my husband to take responsibility by telling the truth and coming clean with whatever details I wanted. My initial reaction was filing for divorce. When we finally talked and he said he wanted to reconcile, he still refused to come totally clean and kept trying to make excuses which I had no interest in hearing. Trickle truth would just set us back every time I learned something new. We don’t want to hear excuses, lies or blame. We want answers to our questions. We want to know why. We want to know how you could do that to us? And even if we get those answers, it doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation, but at least we get the smallest amount of our dignity back by receiving full disclosure. The affair is knife in the heart, and the subsequent lies in order to cover up, or not ‘hurt us’ anymore is an insult to our intelligence and erodes trust even further.

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  2. My husband took responsibility in the following ways which have made a tremendous difference:
    1. He asked a good friend for a Therapist. He got us the best & started himself asap. He’s been consistent too. In fact, he looks forward to therapy & his personal therapy bec he’s adamant a/b figuring himself out as to why he did what he did. He was always anti therapy b4. So it’s a big deal.
    2. Full transparency & gave up all privacy which was very NOT like him: Phone- my fingerprint on his phone & I have his passcodes
    3. Gave up all social media
    4. Added himself onto our family Life360 where I can track him at all times. He calls to tell me if he’s going somewhere that i would not recognize from the app. I can even track him in another country if needed.
    5. After a few weeks of trying to avoid this, he finally told me all the truths. I told him I had to know everything especially bec I was in the Dark and she was “in on it”. He told me about all their meetings and it killed him bec he knew it was hurting me and he was ashamed.
    6. Blocked her right away. First sent her a text basically telling her the sharade is over. Then we blocked her. She whatsapped him a/b a week later and he showed me. He ignored it & together we figured out how to block her on WhatsApp.
    7. He asks me how I’m doing. He listens. It’s hard for him to hear how heartbroken I am but he listens and holds me. He writes me letters and is super attentive and aware.
    8. He joined SAA unsure wether or not he belonged there. He’s learning a lot especially how there’s some sex addiction in almost everyone even if he’s not an “extreme case” and everyone’s story is different and there so much to learn about regardless of how big or small your story is.
    9. He doesn’t use life’s other stresses to back out of recovery. He’s proven that Recovery and making our marriage amazing-better Is paramount.

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  3. I am speaking from the betrayed perspective, taking reponsibility means also accept the consequences of your choices. The chance that your partner does not want to mend the relationship no matter how much you regret it. Accepting that sometimes no matter what you do, the other person will just move on without you.
    If we are talking about infidelity, sometimes the right thing to do has an expiration date, and that was right before you decide to cheat.

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