Why Doesn’t My Loyal Spouse Just “Move On” and “Get Over It”?

Broken Plate

When a Disloyal Spouse ends the affair and decides to reconcile, they often can not understand why their Loyal Spouse keeps bringing it up, asking question, and not moving on.  Why not just “get over it” and let the marriage be the way it was?

This image helps explain why.  The Disloyal Spouse knew what was going on the whole time; they saw the bigger picture.  But the bigger picture was hidden from the Loyal Spouse, (the Disloyal lied about who they were with, what they were doing, where they were, when they’d be at certain locations, etc.) — or the Loyal Spouse just didn’t want to admit the truth to them self and frankly denied what was obvious!  Either way this is NEW INFO to them.

The Disloyal Spouse did the damage: they “threw the plate on the ground.”  The marriage is the plate.  Now, here at Affaircare, we recognize that some marriages/plates had chips and even some serious cracks–but the plate was not smashed.  After the affair, the marriage/plate is broken into a zillion pieces.  And even though Loyal Spouses do want to hear the regret for breaking the plate (how sorry you are, how you’ll never do it again, that you regret what you did and what you said)–that IN NO WAY repairs the plate! The plate is still completely shattered!

Taking the time to glue the pieces back together is what repairs the plate, and even then it’s not “like it was.”  It may be weaker.  It may have scars. Maybe you can’t use the plate in the microwave because it’s not as tough as it used to be…  But yelling because the Loyal Spouse is not “getting over” the plate being shattered, or telling the Loyal Spouse to just “move on” because the plate is fine, still in no way repairs the plate!

In order to repair the plate (the marriage), the person who broke it (the Disloyal Spouse) has to DO SOMETHING in addition to saying they regret breaking it.  They have to do some actions, and the #1 action is to stop throwing the plate on the ground (end the affair)!

If you have questions, leave them in the comments and we’d be happy to explain more

10 thoughts on “Why Doesn’t My Loyal Spouse Just “Move On” and “Get Over It”?

  1. Cindy,
    The disloyal spouse wants the shattered plate to tell him how to fix it. I would think the answer is obvious but when asked “what can I do to make you feel better” and your previous comments or requests are ignored or are the topic of an argument that brings us back to zero. But with each such argument the plate is missing pieces. Any suggestions ..:(

  2. I am the loyal spouse. I found out myself about my husbands affair with a co-worker. He denied, he rugswept, and he continued to lie for well past a year post d-day. I also had to deal with being co-dependant. He did not change jobs for over a year and continued to work with her for over a year. It made the wound even deeper. I have tried to understand and I know I have a ways to go. I have found that I have cut myself off from him emotionally and still having feelings of resentment and anger towards him.

  3. This really hits home. I am the loyal spouse in the relationship and we are working it out but I still have a hard time letting go of what happened. Even though my spouse is trying really hard to help me by showing me his love in numerous ways (month after months) my mind still has these images in my head. How do I let go of these and allow myself to heal?

  4. I actually just had to show my cheater H this picture. It is so simple, yet so perfectly describes the state of the betrayed spouse after discovery. If the plate represents the ‘old’ pre-affair marriage, then maybe it’s not possible to repair that plate to it’s original state. Maybe we have to just buy new plates….. as sad as it is to let go of that old broken plate. Maybe the new plate is a new marriage with your husband or for some, that new plate might signify moving on from the broken marriage onto something new. Regardless of the path taken, the old plate is broken and nothing can change that. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. What to do when the disloyal spouse has regrets for throwing and smashing the plate but makes no effort to clean up or repair the pieces beyond saying he is sorry he broke me while overlooking the fact that I am literally in pieces scattered all over the place? The disloyal spouse is unable or refuses to see and acknowledge what they have done. The disloyal spouse hasn’t even gone to the store to buy glue let alone realizing that glue is even necessary to fix the plate. I can’t write anymore right now.

    1. Bugsmetwo,

      Reconciliation is a two-person process. The Loyal Spouse is responsible for looking at themselves and working on anything they do that causes harm to the marriage, and that may be small things. But the point is that the Loyal Spouse is NOT responsible for what the Disloyal Spouse is (or is not) doing, nor pointing out all the failings of the Disloyal Spouse. Likewise the Disloyal Spouse is responsible for looking at themselves and working on anything they do that causes harm to the marriage, and we know the biggie there is the deliberate choice they made to be unfaithful! Again, the Disloyal Spouse is NOT responsible for what the Loyal Spouse is (or is not) doing, nor pointing out all the failings of the Loyal Spouse.

      Both spouses are grown adults, and although FOO issues may explain the likelihood of “why” some choices were made–FOO issues do not excuse personal responsibility! When an adult has FOO issues, being personally responsible means that they recognize they have an issue, they ADMIT it to themselves, and they go pursue counseling and biblical accountability! To put it simply, if an adult knows they have a tendency to not understand what love is due to childhood abuse, then they go to a counselor (or better yet, a biblical counselor) and pinpoint their frozen, child-like way of thinking and learn what love is and is not! It takes personal courage.

      It’s the same courage that it takes to say to themselves “I committed adultery and it was wrong. I need to stop doing the wrong thing.” Well… you don’t just stop doing the wrong thing! You START doing the right thing!

      So think of a child who was caught red-handed in the cookie jar. They got the cookie they wanted and felt good for a while, but now they are potentially facing the consequences of their actions a) getting sick from eating so many cookies and b) punishment for disobeying mom and dad! The child REGRETS eating the cookies. But to truly repent the child has to admit to themselves and out loud to the adults that what they did was wrong, face the consequences of their choice, and also have a desire within their heart to learn to be ‘good’ and do the right thing!

      Here’s my thought: I’ve looked at your website and I see in your post that you wrote that “he makes no effort to clean up and repair” –and yet I also see that he’s been going to Hounselor and you’ve had some good, break-throughs at the sessions. That sounds like making some sort of effort to me. It also sounds like he has more to work through than just the affair–he may have to work on his issues and tendencies before he is ready to work on addressing what was done during the adultery. But that doesn’t mean he’s making no effort! So my recommendation to you would be to take your focus OFF of him and put your focus onto YOU. Do you have FOO issues that you need to work through? Now would be a great time! Do you have tendencies to be self-centered or codependent? Work on that now. What kind of spouse are you? Do you nag? What is your Myers-Briggs Personality and your spouse’s? Could personality differences explain some of the clashes you guys are having? What is your love language? Do you read your bible? Pray for others? Volunteer? My point here is that your husband is going to have his own journey and it may or may not be the way you want or in your timing, so rather than struggling against it, why not let go of it and put your focus on being who YOU need to be?

  6. Husband cheated, I found out and was devastated. He ceased contact with affair partner and her friends. I arranged a weekend intensive marriage repair workshop with 8 follow up meetings. He wanted to repair the marriage. I had high hopes. After the 8 weeks, he was done! In his mind…..Problem solved, it’s over, move on. Not really 😦 We were given guidelines, suggestions of how to make the marriage better, how to connect, spend time together, dialogue, etc. He does not want to do any if those things. He just wants to continue to live his life, invest in his hobbies with his guy friends, work, hang out in his garage, come home to home cooked meals at night, have his children cared for, have surface conversations with me, retreat to his den, watch tv, shower and go to bed. He is pleasant enough to me and one would think he is attentive to me, however he is not interested in spending time with me or learning to speak my love language. I asked for kisses and hugs, but he does not want to do those things. (He says we are not young kids any more and that’s not something he wants to do. ) O f course we don’t have sex, he says it’s too much repetition…yet he sought out another woman for sex…I found out he went to strip clubs, had subscriptions to porn sites, and had several women friends that he did favors for such as; helping them move, fixing their : cars, ice makers, fences, pools, etc. This went on for FIVE years. He acts like it was no big deal. He says, he likes to Help people. Well, a married man should not be going around “helping” women that his wife does not know about. He was sneaking around for years and even had a SECRET cell phone. He told his siblings not to tell me about the phone because he did not want me bugging him. The reality is that he did not want me knowing about his women. I have taken the hit for that and it hurts. Bad enough to lie about me to people I don’t know, but to say dispariging things about me to his family is more than painful. Furthermore, i can honestly say that i never bug him, I dont call him at work, (cause he is so busy) don’t ask him to run errands for me, pick up kids, grocery shop, inquire as to his whereabouts when he’s off doing his hobbies, he has had free reign our whole marriage. I trust people ESPECIALLY my husband. MISTAKE!!!!!!!! I still don’t check on him. That is not my JOB. I did not marry a 12 year old and I certainly do not want to be the police or his parole officer. I have expectations of how a married man should comport himself. We have children, so I’m still in the marriage. Some days I’m good, lately. . not so good. It’s been 18 months since this revelation. I’m having a really bad day.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear your pain. I too am the loyal spouse, though I’m not innocent by any means. My situation is quite different than yours but if you need a ear/friend feel free to email me.

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