I’m in the process of completing a study on how people best survive infidelity.
Surviving infidelity depends on the type of affair facing you as well as a myriad of other factors.
In my research I asked my readers to describe as best as they could, the key factors enabling them to survive the affair.
In this case study the woman points to charging neutral – a skill I teach in Break Free From the Affair – and her commitment to her daughter who was triangulated with the affair.
After reading, please bookmark and/or leave a comment. Others will appreciate your effort.
Here are comments from a wounded wife surviving the affair:
My sorrow was intensified by the fact that my 19 yr. old daughter was the one who discovered her father’s adultery with another married woman. In a brave effort to shelter me, she did not disclose the information for 2 years. Meanwhile her father knew that she knew, but he continued to live in what I can best describe as a narcissistic bubble of denial. She believed that if she kept quiet, he would eventually tell me the truth, but after 2 years of avoiding each others glances, she finally confronted him and told me. This man, who had been impotent for 9 years, had been given a handful of Viagra from a friend, and had behaved like a high school boy with his first six pack of beer, starting to date the “first one he could get.” He said that it was not adultery because “it happened on a golf trip.” He said that the only way to deal with problems like these are to repress them. At the time, I did not know it , but I began “charging neutral.” I felt I had to provide my daughter with at least one rational parent, so my behavior was directed primarily at helping her. I gradually got my husband to say that he was wrong and that he was sorry we got hurt. He to this day will never say that he was sorry for what he had actually done, only that we got hurt. Any attempts at discussion leads to him holding his hand over his face and walking away. I decided that he had no concept of how deeply he had hurt his daughter, so I knew that I would be the one to help her heal. I have told her that she must respect her father because he is her father, but he must earn respect as a person from her by his future actions. My daughter is now able to be cordial with my husband three years later, but I doubt they will ever be close. I can see that we have both gone through the stages of grief in our different ways. I was told that trauma like this can take 5 years to resolve and I believe it. I have frequent flashbacks to my husband’s actions. I know that my daughter will always have trust issues. I have tried to put her emotional health ahead of my own. By doing so, my daughter is now also my friend, and I am a stronger, wiser person. My message I guess is to step up, have the guts to accept what happened, because if you have children of any age, they need something in this world to respect, or they will never be able to see the difference between right and wrong. I continue to pray daily that my husband can look in the mirror and see himself as others see him. It is always possible to retrace your steps and make things right. I am grateful for your continued information on charging neutral. It truly works. The progress is gradual. I understand that you can never fix another person, only lead.