Infidelity and Tough Love

I’m doing research on confronting the other person. Although this man did not confront the OP, he did confront his wife in a powerful way, and it seemed to work for him.

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

After my W decided to separate I discovered few e-mails exchanged with her high school lover with whom she had a one night stand during their reunion and with whom she continued a long distance affair, even during our marriage therapy! To my shock I also discovered erotic messages exchanged with a co-worker and a message from a friend of hers telling “the hell with your H, go out and find somebody with whom you have chemistry and brings food on your table”. I was shocked, I vomited and I wanted to sort our problems under the same roof, w/o physical separation.

2. What happened? What was the outcome?

My W turned white when I confronted her; said with the 1st lover it happened only once and with the co-worker is only a flirt and if I say something more about this guy she will go and “#$&% with him” the following day. When asked how she feel sleeping with her first lover she said she felt sorry for me finding out. Then turned nervous about me snooping through her e-mails. After a day she turned nice and was obsessed about what am I going to do with the evidence. She was afraid I will expose her affair to her boss.

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

Absolutely. If involved in affairs, cheaters will continue to lie, minimize their actions. I waited three excruciating days until I confronted my W, but I would stay longer, get more evidence, a backbone and definitely support. Do not beg, ask for another chance, cry. Set clear boundaries and if the cheating spouse is willing to repair the broken trust, relationship, marriage, state clear you want proof the OP is completely out of the picture. The impression you can stop the behavior by exposing the evidence is false, they will continue on the infidelity path until they hit rock bottom. When having suspicions about an affair going in your spouse life it is usually what is happening. Get info on cheating people behavior and not be fooled by lack of complaining and improved sex life; you are simply a body, used in the most dirty manner. Definitely, do not involve family, close friends about the affair. They mean the best either for you, your spouse, but they cannot make decisions for you.

Coach’s comments:

I give this man credit for thinking through his actions and for learning. It sounds like this was a tremendous learning experience for him. He did his homework. Set some goals. Stuck with them. And got the optimum result he wanted.

He describes a strategy that some call “tough Love.” Set some boundaries. Hold firm. Don’t give in.

This strategy works best for the “I Don’t Want to Say No” Affair. Her “turning white” was her humiliation for being found out and the fear of being exposed. Once he held his ground, and she knew he would NOT back down, she called off her threats.

There may be thrown in here a tad bit of “My Marriage Made Me Do It” and perhaps “I Need to Prove My Desirability.” There is an undercurrent of anger or outright hostility emerging from somewhere and she seems cut off from appropriate feelings toward her husband.

Do you have thoughts? I and others would appreciate your comments below.

Infidelity and Confronting the Other Person: The Drama of Narcissism

Continuing our exploration of: “Should I confront the other person?”


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

To inject some reality into the fantasy that they were building. I met the other woman and asked her what her intentions were toward my husband. He had been pretending that they were “just friends” (no sex), but as their meetings had been going on for 5 years in secret and they couldn’t live a day without texting/emailing multiple times, this was super-fishy.

2. What happened? What was the outcome?

This creature’s first sentence was, “I don’t have feelings for your husband any more.” For someone who was married and had two little children, and was “just a friend” of my husband’s, that she admitted having “feelings” for my husband was a (small) surprise. That she wanted me to think, “well, I don’t want him any more, you can have him back now that I’m done with him” was certainly not a surprise. She had never allowed our families to meet, to let an actual wholesome friendship develop. It was all about, could she seduce one of her stable of a dozen married, drooling mid-life dupes into flattering her ego by leaving their wives. That I had been very ill and had suffered a bad car accident simply allowed her to show off in front of my husband in her lycra outfits at the gym on the excuse of “helping him be a better athlete.” She proceeded to tell me how their “relationship” was so “hot” that she had had to call it off, it was affecting her marriage and she’d had to go to marriage counseling with her husband, her children, etc. (Never a thought for how it might be affecting me, of course.) When I told my husband she’d said this he was very upset that she’d said SHE had to break up with him, he wanted me to believe HE’D broken up with her. He was nearly in tears that she’d said this. I had trouble not laughing. I told her my husband’s true financial position, and that whoever wound up with him would have his debts, and my alimony to pay, and he would need their help. She certainly didn’t like that, but didn’t believe me, and kept contacting him, even later that day, ostensibly to ask him “how (your wife) was doing.” As if she cared. Well, I was ok with my husband admitting that it had been an affair, and that he was very sorry he’d hurt me…Right up until she called him at work to tell him that everything she’d said to me, she hadn’t said. He saw an opportunity to make me wrong and switched his line to, “You made this all up to make me look bad, what kind of a wife are you? I can never forgive your deception.” Alice Through the Looking Glass. The poor OP was even jealous of a third woman in his life that he was also courting at work. I followed my attorney’s advice not to leave the house, and my husband saw and had to admit that I hadn’t made up his 5-year romance, or the other women, what with all the evidence and admissions, etc. So he promised me he would end it and sent me his “final” email to the hussy, saying a “friend would never do what she had done” blah, blah, blah, only to fall into her arms “accidentally” at her place of employment a month later. A month after that, he asked me to rededicate our marriage and promised not to see/communicate with her anymore, and I accepted him back. He then kept on seeing/emailing/texting/calling her until she finally gave up. Her attempt to use lying to drive a wedge between us didn’t work, but it certainly exposed the weak underbelly of my husband’s ego. His excuse? “She admires me more than you do!” I have to laugh. He hasn’t forged her signature on everything from tax documents to loans and caused her foreclosure, poverty, ill health and betrayal in many arenas of life. If he had, she would admire him exactly as much as I do, and he’d have to go find someone else to deceive to get his narcissistic fix all over again. Players deserve each other, but she got away. If he’d only find a rich one next time, I’d let her buy me out.
3. If you were to do it again, would you do it differently? What did you learn?
That I married a narcissistic, weak man. I paid the price for learning what all that was. I couldn’t do anything differently, as I was too ill to leave. I’m getting stronger now, and who knows what the future will bring? Your website certainly gave me strength and made me feel not so alone and not at fault. It still hurt a very great deal, but I know that, like many who have been betrayed, it’s the betrayer who is most at fault, who actually commits the act that is most cruel. Those of us who suffer these “slings and arrows” must learn to protect and value ourselves and to build a life that has no room in it for people who have criminal standards about keeping their vows and promises. We can take responsibility for our futures, and never put it in the hands of another. We can make it good for ourselves, no matter what they are doing, in some small way that’s just our own. Crazy people are pathetic. And liars are all crazy.

Coach’s Comments:

I may be wrong but, the majority of her story strikes me as a “I Don’t want to say no” affair.

He, the narcissistic male, needs more than an adequate share of adoration and someone to mirror back to him his grandiosity.

The spouse’s intervention in confronting the other person seemed to work well. The truth was exposed and the husband and wife could go from there.

However, here’s a warning. The spouse implies that that he had a series of problems or failures that he failed to mention or cover up. The narcissistic person becomes most vulnerable when s/he fails.

Interventions of confronting the other person may work at this point because of his vulnerability.

My experience tells me that confronting the cheating spouse in the “I Don’t want to Say No” affair where there is as good dose of narcissism AND the narcissistic person is not suffering humiliation or failure has a far less chance of succeeding. Extreme denial, disdain and rage may emerge from the cheating spouse.