Archives for July 2008

Cheating Revenge: Not a Pretty Picture

Thought this was “cute:”

Cheating Revenge

Surviving Infidelity: If I forgive am I a doormat?

One of the perks of being an infidelity coach is meeting a bunch of insightful authentic people. Here are some comments from a coaching client who is struggling with the concept of forgiveness (as perhaps we all are… since this concept is a tough one to conceptualize and practice).

Here’s what she says:

Over the past couple of months I tossed around the idea of forgiveness in my head. I talked myself out of it numerous times until finally I could not resist it any longer. I read a great article about forgiveness and what it means. I was tired of building a wall every time I encountered (my husband) and becoming a person who was so different from the me I know myself to be. I had also decided that by not forgiving I was hanging onto resentment and not allowing myself to move forward.

Here’s a little quote from the article:

Forgiveness is an act of the imagination. It dares you to imagine a better future, one that is based on the blessed possibility that your hurt will not be the final word on the matter. It challenges you to give up your destructive thoughts about the situation and to believe in the possibility of a better future. It builds confidence that you can survive the pain and grow from it.

So, I sat down with (my husband) and forgave him. I’d already forgiven him in my mind but I felt I needed to say the words. I also told him that I had no idea how this idea looked in reality. I also let him know that it in no way indicates that I condone anything that he’s done. I’m just tired of building that wall and want to move on and perhaps establish a relationship that we can both live with. He was speechless.

This ‘Operation Forgiveness’ has resulted in spen (my husband) spending more time here. He’s eaten dinner with us a couple of times, we took the boys swimming together, he’s fixing things around the house and making plans for more repairs next month. We’re talking more and laughing about the kids and sharing stories about them.

On the other side, I’m questioning the fine line between forgiveness and doormat.

I’m very worried about allowing myself to be manipulated again and in a position where (my husband) clearly sees he has this safety net here for him to abuse as he pleases.

I think the only way I can move forward is to charge neutral with some really good observations about his behavior. It will help me to feel like I have power in this situation again and not like I’m sitting around waiting to be disappointed again. That’s where I need your help.

The wall I was always building was there for protection but it was exhausting. I do feel totally different now and I’m glad to not feel I need to do that anymore but I do need to find a way to make this situation work for me and be sure that I can clearly see that line between forgiveness and doormat! Is that possible???

Extramarital Affair: Should I Confront the Other Person?

Here’s a touchy topic that often runs through the mind of someone discovering infidelity.

Some people I’ve coached had great results confronting the other person. For others, it’s been a disaster. There is no definitive right or wrong answers here, but let’s look at a few guidelines:

1. If s/he is involved in the affair “I fell out of love and just love being in love,” I suggest you refrain from talking to the other person. It will most likely intensify the drama which gives them their juice.

2. The same may be said for “My Marriage Made me Do it.” In addition to the juice for the “My Marriage Made Me Do It,” your spouse is often controlled by his/her anger, projects it outward – toward you. Confronting the other person may justify and intensity his anger targeted toward you. As well, s/he probably is oppositional – no one is going to tell me (us) what to do.

2. There really is no need to talk to the third party in the “I need to prove my desirability” affair. This often stalls the healing process.

3. No need to talk to the third party in “I Can’t say No.” Words, conversations and the need to persuade are highly ineffective.

4. You might run into a buzz saw contacting the other person in the “I Don’t Want to say No” affair. Since there is little remorse of sense of guilt in these kinds of affairs, the dialogue will be turned back on you as in, “What’s wrong with you? You’ve got the problem, I (we) don’t.”

5. In the “I Want to be Close to Someone, but can’t stand intimacy,” one often has the best chance of a successful encounter with the other person. It sometimes breaks up the impasse, especially of a long-term affair, and creates movement that leads to resolution.

6. Sometimes the other person is itching for the opportunity to talk to you – hoping to drive a wedge between you and your spouse to end the marriage. A male other person by mistake (yeah, right!) called the office of the husband. He profusely apologized, stating he was trying to call the home to talk to his wife. It became obvious in the conversation that he was having an affair with his wife.

7. If sexually transmitted diseases are an issue, it is wise to contact the other person, if at risk, but stick to the topic at hand. Short and to the point.

8. On the whole, talking to the third party is risky. You see, affairs are built upon triangles of people. Typically intense interaction (usually not very healthy) amongst these three individuals keeps the affair alive and energized. Stating your position strongly to your spouse and refusing to react to this negative energy gives the best and lasting hope of resolution.

9. If you intend to confront the other person, have a strategy. Have a plan. Know what you will say and why you will say it. Above all, charge neutral (a difficult but terribly important skill.) Have an exit strategy – how to end the confrontation.

Ok, is this helpful? But, now I would like your input. If you have had experience confronting the other person, I would like to hear your thoughts. I want to do some research to learn more about his topic, since there is not much out there.

You are the experts. Remember, others can learn a great deal from you. You have much to give!

Here’s what I want you to do.

I’m giving you a link to a survey where I want you to tell your story. Respond to some basic questions. Leave out names and anything that might identify anyone. I probably will use parts of the stories to help others sort out this issue.

Please help out, won’t you? I appreciate your input, believe me!

Please go to: Confront the Other Person Survey