Surviving Infidelity: 2 Case Studies

Surviving infidelity is often an extremely challenging task (I’m being kind here… Survival is often a very appropriate word.)

However, as in all challenges and crisis, we find a way through. And often that way through leads to an evolutionized (I just created that word) person and relationship.

Please study these two case studies of those who moved through surviving infidelity:

Case study #1:

First and foremost is to understand that in no way was this your fault. With that accomplished you can move on to understanding the how and why fores of the infidelity, and while this takes a little time and honesty on both parts I feel it is what helped me get to a better place. I also entrusted one person with whom I could share my feelings with and gather their perspective. In just 3 meetings I had a sense I was where I needed to be. I also found that forgiving is a very powerful tool but you must honestly get to that point in your mind. With this all said she has come to know me with an all new respect. Life is good!!!!!!!

Case study #2:

I was fortunate to have downloaded your E-Book Break Free from the Affair very early on after my husband’s disclosure that he was involved with another woman — within a week or so. I read it obsessively and made notes in the margins wherever things resonated. I determined that the affair was predominantly an “I Want to Get Back at Her or Him” affair, with characteristics of “My Marriage Made Me Do It” as well. I practiced charging neutral early on, but I also used other measures as recommended, like “leap your partner,” and “make him right” and several others, too. I also was fortunate to have had the means to move out of our home to let him have his “fling,” although we did still interact as a family with our adult children and our youngest son, who is a teenager. I was also very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take several months off from work and so I immersed myself in taking care of me, counseling, reading everything about affairs I could get my hands on and reconnecting with old friends. One stipulation I had asked my husband was to not bring the OW around our area or around our kids until our divorce was finalized. (He had said he wanted a divorce.) He pretty much honored that request, except for one incident that I know of where she showed up at our marital home, where he and our son stayed. (I guess she just couldn’t resist leaving her ‘scent’ on my territory!) I tried my best to follow all the Do’s and Don’ts listed in the E-book. In fact, I copied them onto an index card and kept it folded in my pocket or wallet and I would read it throughout the day whenever I felt panicked, which was very often in the early stages. (I still have that card folded in my wallet and I still take it out from time to time to remind myself of things — like don’t cry, plead, whine, or complain, act happy, get sexy in a healthy way, etc.) In truth, I was a basket case on the inside but thanks to the advice I read, I kept up a good front to my husband for the most part. Not wanting to expose our marriage to the opinions of too many people who might later prove a problem if we chose to reconcile, I confided only in a few close friends and my sister about the “tactics” I was employing. This proved to be a very wise decision because they gave me support all along the way and never judged him or me when we reconciled. Early on I did let my husband know that I still loved him and would be willing to talk about reconciling if and when he decided to end the affair. For the most part, though, I BACKED OFF and LET HIM HANG HIMSELF. I had had the intuition all along that the woman my husband had gotten involved with was the possessive and clingy type and as it turned out, I was right. Within six weeks he was calling me just to “chat” and he would drop little hints that let me know he was finding the grass wasn’t greener. Our chats were more like that of a brother and sister for that time period. It took a tremendous amount of self-restraint not to scream or yell at him about how hurt I was. I would simply “charge neutral” and then cry in my pillow afterwards. A few times he came over to my rented place and do dinner at my invitation and we’d talk about the kids or whatever, but I didn’t hound him about the OW. I pretended she didn’t exist unless he brought up the topic, in which case, I’d remind him to watch out for himself above all else. He never did come up with any divorce papers and when he came to tell me he had ended the affair (within two months of its inception, as far as I know, that is), I expressed my hopefulness for our marriage, but I wasn’t overly anxious to reconcile. (I knew that would be a turn-off for him). So we began dating for several months and then I moved back home at his and our son’s request. I’ve been home four months now and we’re rebuilding our marriage. It’s hard because I don’t think the pain and mistrust caused by the betrayal will ever completely go away, but I choose to live in the present. I’m not sticking my head in the sand about it, but neither do I dwell. We’ve worked through the initial stuff that needed to be said and we’ve examined the why’s and wherefores of our marriage’s dynamics prior to the affair and identified areas of vulnerability in hopes of preventing such trauma again.

This entry was posted in Charging Neutral, Emotional Distance, Emotional Infidelity, Infidelity Coaching, Infidelity Marriage, Infidelity Pain, Infidelity Reasons, Marital Crisis and Self Esteem, Real Life Infidelity Stories, Rebuilding the Marriage or Relationship, Relationship Communication, Self Care, Surviving Infidelity, Types of Affairs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Surviving Infidelity: 2 Case Studies

  1. Thomas Menix says:

    I feel that the “charging neutral” idea seems to be a good one and have been trying it with what appears to be some luck. This case study helps me have hope that things can get better.

  2. CLK says:

    I feel like I’ve done about half right and half wrong. He is sooo depressed and I don’t know how to move on if he won’t get himself some help

  3. PM says:

    I am 23 months into the recovery phase of our break up. My husband left and declared his love and passion for a woman he had been having an affair with for two years. That was August 2007. I implored him to consider his choices that day. I had no preparation for what hit me but I invoked our connection over our 28 year marriage and the
    adult children.He left suddenly and unexpectedly and returned the next day proclaiming his love for me and his paramour. It was not until I read Breaking Free From the Affair that I saw the characteristics of his behavior described. Yes it was like a revelation and a release of my “guilt”. I knew of this woman and her various attributes and extreme lack of character. Despite knowing intellectually I am the better woman, I was sinking in self doubt and recrimination. Conventional marriage counseling did nothing for me but create more debt. I had already begun returning to self help and personal focus to improve and overcome my severe emotional chaos. I have meditated and exercised my way to better health and emotional balance. Today I feel I am making more progress than my husband but my family is significantly healed and I am much more effective in finding ways to influence my husband to help himself and find the source of the “hole” in his emotional life that has contributed to his counterproductive choices. Oh yes the OW is history as of the day he returned, but it is true that letting go of what he believed to be “the greatest love and passion of his life” has been am intensely painful and difficult process for both of us. The last significant artifact of his attachment to her that I am aware of was rooted out by me in June 2008. I congratulate myself daily on my strength as should any spouse that has made a choice to find the way to healing and growing together even in the face of irrational and random behavior.

  4. Mollie says:

    Charging neutral is essential. It really helps the infidel (your cheating spouse) stop them in their tracks and wonder “what have I done”. If you are unable to charge neutral it only gives them more reason to not be with YOU. They are so blinded right now to the hurt and pain they’ve caused you because they can only see how great being with the other person makes them feel. It is very hard to feel rejected and not want to scream and yell; especially when you still LOVE your spouse and they were the ones that chose to stray. But that was their choice. And now you have teh choice to focus on you – think of it as a weird little vacation to no longer let your life be consumed with your spouse and his actions – but a door has opened for YOU to do and become what YOU want. Enjoy it. If they return to you, think about it long and hard. We all like the sense of normalcy we’ve always had, but normal isn’t always good. One day at a time, it will get better. I’m only 40 days into the discovery and Break Free From the Affair is a savior to me.

  5. Katia says:

    I think the best way to break free from the affair is to move on and get a divorce. “Once a cheater – always a cheater”
    I am happily divorced, and this was the best decision I ever made.

  6. B.M says:

    Inow have the positive feeling that my situation can change when i recieve the e-book after reading case studies,THOUGH things are still very bed.

  7. Lloyd L says:

    Thank you, Dr. Huizenga.

  8. Linda says:

    Thank you. You make more sense than any counselor I saw while trying to find my way back from hell. I look forward to further advice from you.

  9. K says:

    I am trying to rebuild after my husbands affair and his diagnosis of bi-polar disorder. He is now on medication which has helped tremendously. Even though the dianosis has helped explain his most recent behavior it is so very painful and still no excuse! He has been home for 4 weeks. We have one daughter still at home and she is struggling also. I am still not sure if I will continue the marriage, even though I am trying and he is receiving couseling. The only love I have for him now is brotherly or friendship type of love.

  10. Pete says:

    Been a little over a year and I still can’t get things out of my head. Right now she believes me to be feeling better and we’re moving forward but I can’t get that I f’ing hate you for your bull$&@! Out of my head. I may end up checking myself in

  11. Exsel says:

    Charging neutral seems to help a lot of people, but I don’t think it would have worked for me. My h of 30 years met someone who called herself Jeniffer Bellezas (not her real name, Bellezas means beauty, she should have called herself Fea) through a dating site, skypt and called with her for 3 weeks, then stayed with her for 1 week which turned out to be a complete flop.
    It was completely out of the blue and I became a mess, mentally but also physically because my left arm and right leg and sometimes my whole body started to get shakes. My husband could literally see what it had done to me, which made him realise the impact of his stupid actions and feel really, really sorry and guilty. I think if I had stayed calm and collected, he would have been convinced I didn’t care as he had put that in his head anyway, not realising how much I loved him and what a good marriage we had because of his depression/burnout. It has been 8 months and we are getting through it, he is taking full responsibility, he loves me more than ever and knows that the grass was definitely not greener on the other side of the fence, that in fact it was quite barren.

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