Dealing With Infidelity: My Top 9 Mistakes

The hardest part of dealing with infidelity is not the affair itself, but what happened after I found out. I had a hard time understanding why Doug didn’t stop dead and I had a hard time getting those loving feelings back for myself. Now learning about the dynamics of affairs and reading what Doug had to say about the chemical benefits received from falling in love allowed me to see his situation differently and I now realize that Doug was addicted to the feelings he was getting from his affair. .

Unlike being addicted to drugs or alcohol, where there is a 12-step program, along with medications available to counter withdrawal symptoms, there is no such program available to help steer you away from the temptations of an affair. As much as it doesn’t seem fair, I think Doug could have benefited from the support and guidance of his remarkable wife. At the time, however, he was neither notable nor supportive. And when it came to offering guidance, he was running on pure emotion without an ounce of logic.

Looking back, I now realize that there are many things I should have done differently. Things that would have possibly kept Doug out of addiction, making my recovery less painful. This advice really only applies to those of you whose partners may still be on the fence about having a hard time moving away from your partner. If your spouse has confessed, you’re sure the affair is over, and he’s doing everything in his power to make things right, then this advice may not be as helpful in dealing with infidelity.

Mistake 1: My first mistake actually happened before the adventure. I was too naive to think that this kind of thing would never happen to us. I have read a ton of books over the years on a variety of topics, but at some point I stopped reading about how to have a good marriage. And it’s not a subject they teach you in school. Maybe I didn’t read about it because I was afraid to find out the truth about the way our marriage really was. Maybe I was in denial or thought love would conquer all.

I wish someone had left a copy of Paul Blanchard’s “Why Men Cheat” on my desk years ago. This book would have opened my eyes to what was going on in our marriage and therefore saved me a lot of pain and suffering. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and I bought the book long after Doug had his affair. From time to time I still read it as a reminder of what I should be doing to make my husband happy.

Mistake 2: I overreacted when I initially saw Doug’s cell phone use. Looking back, she should have tried to stay calm, assess the situation, and gather more evidence while he worked out a logical plan for how to proceed. Instead, I looked at his phone constantly. He was getting Doug out of bed and firing questions at him. I was acting out of pure emotion and didn’t really hear or understand most of what he was saying. All I remember are statements like “We’re just friends” and “I care about you, you’re the mother of my children, but I’m not in love with you anymore.”

mistake 3: Turning me around on a dime. I mean, act like the perfect wife and do everything I thought Doug wanted me to do. This confirmed to Doug that it was all my fault. If he believed that he needed to change so much, he was right in thinking that I was a bad wife and that he had been the perfect husband. He also made him suspicious of my changes and added to his existing resentment. Do not misunderstand. He needed to make personal changes and those changes have benefited me as well as our marriage. But when it comes to our relationship, we should have explored each other’s problems, taking equal responsibility for our relationship problems, and discussed ways we could improve our marriage.

mistake 4: Believing that everything he said came straight from his heart. I read somewhere that when a spouse is involved in an affair, he shouldn’t believe anything he sees or hears. When we had those late-night discussions, I believed that he had individually explored his feelings and come to his own conclusions. Doug is a very intelligent man, but thinking and expressing his feelings is not one of his best attributes. I wish I had realized that he was getting help with all of his ideas. Tanya had been there for the past nine months affirming, discussing, and manipulating her thoughts about her unsatisfactory marriage. When I heard some of the things that came out of her mouth, like “Feeling in love…” “I deserve this…” “Children are resilient…”, she surely hoped that she didn’t really want to. believe what she was saying.

Mistake 5: Being ignorant about what I was really up against and that an affair is not just about love. Now I know that an affair is based on falling in love that produces the same effects as a powerful drug. Combine this with the comparisons that occur and constant affirmation from the partner, and it’s hard not to get addicted.

Realizing that comparisons are being made between the spouse and the affair partner helps the betrayed spouse understand what is really going on during the affair. It really is an unfair comparison. They are comparing someone new and different to someone they have known for years. They are comparing a relationship free of responsibility to one that had stress and was based on real life events.

Also, during an affair, the cheating spouse receives constant affirmation from their partner. They’re hearing how great they are and that it’s not their fault for the state of their marriage. They have someone who agrees with their thoughts and thinks they are wonderful.

Mistake 6: Being personally attracted to the illusions of the matter. I shut down when I think about everything I said to Doug. He would tell her that she must be the perfect woman for him and that he deserves to be with her. I told him over and over again that he should leave me and be with her and that I would take care of our family. I told her that she was her soul mate and that I was not a very good wife. All he was doing was helping to root these thoughts in her mind, whether they were real or not.

mistake 7: Acting like a woman who was one step away from the funny farm. I acted clingy, neurotic, jealous, insecure and suspicious. Compared to Tanya, I must have seemed crazy, making me the last person Doug wanted to be with. In a matter of minutes, she would go from being a loving wife to an angry and violent person, and then to someone who would fall to the ground in a fetal position crying uncontrollably. He didn’t know which woman would show up and that scared him and made him very angry. No wonder he kept running towards her. The little bits of jealousy and insecurity in her were nothing compared to the crazy bird he was married to.

To Tanya, I was the perfect betrayed wife. Every morning she would wake up and wonder what I would do to ruin my relationship with Doug and make her look better. It wasn’t really that hard. I was a scared and powerless wife who knew no other way to save my marriage. I was dealing with infidelity the only way I knew how.

Mistake 8: Trying to control him and tell him how he should feel. Throwing my moral convictions at him, showing him books, bookmarking websites, and telling him he was wrong. Doug hates being controlled and this gave him and Tanya a chance to talk about their feelings and their relationship. He opened up opportunities to discuss that their love was real and put the focus on them instead of me and Doug.

Now that it’s all over and I know everything will be okay, it’s easier to say just let them go and trust that they’ll make the right decision. I know you can’t force someone to do what they’re not ready to do.

Mistake 9: Not be myself. I tried so hard to be like her, or at least the woman I thought he wanted me to be hers. If only he had known that the woman he longed for was the person he fell in love with 30 years ago. He missed the person he used to be before he had three kids, a full-time job, a mortgage, and a laundry. The person who thought Doug was the most important person in my life, who laughed at his jokes and wanted to spend time with him. It would have been so much easier to become that person. After all, I know how to be that person. I, too, had missed being that person as much as Doug.

Obviously, every situation is different when it comes to infidelity, but if your cheating spouse can’t make up their minds, still sees your partner, or just doesn’t seem to want to come back to you at all, then you may want to watch your actions. to make sure you’re not making some of the same mistakes I did.

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