By Eddie Capparucci, Ph.D., LPC, C-CSAS
Her world has been rocked. She thought her marriage was stable until it crashed in seconds as she discovered the secret life her husband had been living for years. A life filled with infidelity, lying, deceit, gaslighting, etc. This scenario occurs daily worldwide, where thousands of women are dragged into the world of betrayal trauma.
For these women, now comes the one-to-three-year process of individual and group counseling, reading endless books and articles, viewing online videos, and participating in chat forums, all in an attempt to return life to its pre-D-Day state.
As a counselor or coach, it breaks our hearts to see the emotional and mental torment these women endure as they ponder how they will ever be able to lift themselves out of the cesspool created by their husbands.
But there is hope. Along with the long and challenging recovery work, one key component of betrayal recovery must occur to move these women from the hellish torment they face and return them to a life where the sun shines again.
The Need For Transformation
And that hope comes in the way of the men who crushed them, making significant changes in their lives. A wife can breathe easier and feel more confident when she witnesses a transformation of her husband’s attitude and heart. So what does this transformation look like?
It starts when selfish men learn to be outwardly focused. These guys must learn to stop focusing on their needs and instead begin focusing on the needs of others. Transformation comes when men become emotionally mature and put aside their self-centered desires.
“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned like a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” 1 Cor. 13:11
Too many men never grow up. Their objective is to maintain an environment surrounded by comfort; therefore, they do not sit and process emotional distress. Instead, they flee from it, seeking destructive distractions. When a wife sees her husband being vulnerable and sharing his emotional anguish, it provides hope his running days are over.
She is Made to Feel Special
Another aspect of a husband’s transformation is ensuring his wife feels like the center of his world. This includes prioritizing and being attentive to her needs and desires. To accomplish this, he should always ask himself, “how will this action or inaction impact my wife.” Slowing down and thinking ahead before making decisions such as – “I am stopping by the grocery store; I should call and see if she needs anything” – will instill in her the mindset “he is thinking about me even when we are apart.” And that will be very different than how she felt when he was busy being unfaithful.
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life.” Prov. 31: 10-31
Men must work on other aspects of the transformation process to reach a point where their wives feel safe again. It is a long process. In fact, it is a life-long process. No individual who travels this route does so with perfection. But the key to dealing with failures is determining what went wrong and how to learn from those mistakes.
For those men who elect to take this journey to become emotionally mature and attuned, they, along with their wives, will awaken not only their relationships but also their souls.
Dr. Eddie Capparucci is a licensed professional counselor and creator of the Inner Child Model for treating Problematic Sexual Behaviors. He is the author of Going Deeper: How the Inner Child Impacts Your Sexual Addiction and Why Men Struggle to Love: Overcoming Relational Blind Spots.