Archives for May 2009

Infidelity: Depression is Only A Part of the Journey

Being “depressed” – seemingly unable to function and closing off from the world is a common response to the discovery of infidelity in a marriage.

Often “depression” is given a very toxic and negative label. However, being “depressed” if used properly can be a springboard to new patterns and perceptions.

Read what this person says:

I used to focus on what mood is he in, is he going to talk to me today, is he going to look/act like he’d rather be anywhere else with anyone else other than me. This habit/pattern is hard to break, but I’m working on it. I was so hurt and rejected that sometimes in my depression that I didn’t leave the house for days. All this in an attempt to figure out how to be okay with my life and how lonely I was. This was his excuse for his affair (“if you thought it was bad being that way, you have no idea how hard it is to live with a person like that” – thoughtful words from him after I learned of his affair). I’ve been figuring out “what makes me happy” as friends refer to it, but that seems selfish and that’s just not me. I’m learning how much living like that has affected the simplist of things – mood, attitude, communication and my relationship with our 13 yr old daughter. I wrestled with deciding whether or not to stay in my marriage and even though we’re still living together, I was non-committal and that hasn’t helped things much. But lately, I’ve been getting more clarification. I still don’t have all the answers as for our marriage, but I do know that I’m doing what I’m called to do right now. He has been making changes although I’ve been frustrated that they’re not the ones I think he should be doing. I realized that he’s trying and doing the best he can and I’ve not acknowledged the changes that he has made and that tears down the very thing that I said that I wanted. Regardless of where this leads, I’m ready to move forward with my life. He has an opportunity to rise higher in his life and our relationship and if he’s unable, I can accept that, but I know with all my heart that I need more than that and I love him enough to let him go. Otherwise, it’ll continue to tear us down as individuals and as a couple. That to me would be unforgivable – to intentionally choose that. I’ve finally forgiven him and I’m excited to be able to share that with him when I see him (he’s working 4 hrs away for a couple of weeks). I believe it’s a gift that both of us need and it’s necessary for healing regardless of whether we stay together or not. In addition to asking him to forgive me for where I fell short in our relationship, I’ve finally forgiven myself. The reality is that he made some wrong decision(s), but as painful as all of this has been (this was his second affair), I’m grateful for the opportunities that it’s opened in my heart. There’s great power in “pressing on” and getting through. I’ll even go as far as to say that I’m starting to determine my call and purpose in life. I don’t have the specifics yet, but I know that my past experiences were not given to me just to keep them inside and hide them away (survival of growing up in physical, emotional and verbal abuse, death of my child at age 7, two abusive ex husbands, battling depression, etc). I believe they can help others too. I’ve always believed that, I just lost sight of it. I’m excited to see how all of this unfolds. Well, I know you didn’t ask for a book, but I’ve never been one short on words. Thanks for letting me share.

Confronting the Other Women: Drama X 3

Don’t need this juice in my life… read this Case Study:

1. What was your purpose for confronting the OP and what did you say/do?

My purpose was to tell all 3….that I found out about their affairs with my husband, and to let them know what I think of them…sluts. And never to contact him again, or they will have to deal with me.

2. What happened? What was the outcome?

One just walked away from me angry, and has avoided me and my husband every since whenever we unfortunately would run into her, and on one occasion, she spit on the ground after my husband walked by…I was behind him walking and saw it. The second one we had a decent 2 hour phone conversation, but she tried contacting him again on his cell phone, as she is one of his clients, and said she was inquiring about some work being done at her house, and said she wasn’t getting any answers from his staff, so went directly to him. I sent her an email, reminding her that we (my husband and I) had sent her a text message from his phone saying never to contact him again, to deal with his staff instead…in my email I also said if she still has a problem with the staff, to either go above my husband to the owner, and I gave her his cell phone number, or, contact me and I will make sure her work gets done, and gave her my cell number, and I also told her if she is still not satisfied, then I suggest she find herself another company to do her work, there are plenty of them out there hungry for the work. With the third one, I showed up at a bar that she and my husband were at, I had found out, and told her to get out, and never contact my husband again. Both of them were very angry at me, too bad. Tough nuggies and all of that. She turned on her heel and left. She called the next day to talk to my husband again on his cell phone, about the previous night confrontation, so I called her back that night when I found out about her phone call from my husband….I called on his cell phone so that she would pick up, and I spelled out specifically that she is to never contact him again, that he has been trying to get rid of her (he told me this himself), and am I making myself perfectly clear, or do I have to go to her house or work (I knew where both were), and tell her in person? She said nothing, and hung up. Never heard from them again since. Also, on the third one, my husband said he was actually glad I showed up at the bar because that ended it…he had “no idea” how to end it with her, and I did the trick. I am sick of this. I feel like his mother. I have my own boyfriends now, that he is too stupid to stumble upon, as I was too smart to stumble upon his 3, maybe their are or have been more, though, I don’t know…yet, anyway.

3. If you were to do it again, would you do it differently? What did you learn?

I wouldn’t do it again because I did it 3 times, 3 times too many…I am not putting up with any more of his affairs again…if I find out, I don’t care anymore…I have my own “friends” now…I would just keep it to myself…or divorce him…but, he has alot of money, so, why? I have a great life otherwise, with our children too, don’t have to worry about money thank God and live in a beautiful house in a beautiful area…and am a very good looking woman, so, now, I don’t turn down any advances anymore…it ain’t too bad! I’ve lost all love for him after finding out about these affairs, so, what does it matter anymore…who cares.

Stuck in the Triangle after Confronting the Other Woman

When confronting the other person always keep in the front of your mind the triangle – you, your spouse and the other person. You are not merely confronting the other person; you are confronting the dynamics of the triangle.

Confronting the other person brings the affair front and center. No more hiding – the fact of the affair, at least.

However, confronting may not change the dynamics of the triangle. Over time, the dynamics of the triangle may stabilize and the three parties live with an “unspoken agreement” to co-exist due to a variety of personal needs, as in the case study below.

In the case study, the responsibility for telling the other person to “back off” lies with the husband. He refuses.

In refusing, he either ignores the needs and pain of his spouse or he rides roughshod over them with perhaps passive aggressive behavior.

A strategy for this wounded wife to become “unstuck” is to mercilessly and relentlessly confront her husband with her pain, her personal needs, and her definition of emotional entanglement, as well as elicit from him his personal needs in regards to the third party.

The wounded spouse does this, of course, by charging neutral.

Case Study:

1. What was your purpose for confronting the OP and what did you say/do?

To tell her to back off. My husband and I wanted to sort out our marriage, but with them still being partners together she was with him all the time, and she kept discussing all her personal issues with him which I wanted her to stop.

2. What happened? What was the outcome?

She first said she would back off as she did not want to be the cause of a marriage breakup, and that if my husband left me then it would be because he wanted to and there was nothing left to work on and not because of her. But as time went by she still talks to him about all her problems in life and even though its nearly two yrs down the line and the affair is over they still have a very emotional connection that I cannot get my husband to understand cannot be. But she also does not stop.

3. If you were to do it again, would you do it differently? What did you learn?

I don’t know how i would do it differently, but yes I would do it again, as every now and then I still mail her and say she is going too far, but she now just ignores me and does what she wants, and they still work together every day. What did I learn – that is does help to get nasty with the other person no matter what anyone tells you and it still gives me joy when I contact her that at least she knows my husband is telling me what she tells him, and that now matter what she will not stop telling my hubby all her personal issues and my hubby does not tell her either to stop talking about it, so I either have to live with it or give up 24yrs of marraige.