This 3 Step Awareness Helps You Move From Reactivity to Power in Marriage

Angry Couple

Don’t be in the reactive mode. Ever get caught or stuck in the “circle” and not be able to get out?

Dr. Huizenga describes a 3 step awareness that helps you move from the reactive mode to exercising your personal power which has a much better chance of influencing the direction of the affair.

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15 Responses to This 3 Step Awareness Helps You Move From Reactivity to Power in Marriage

  1. Ed says:

    Week 5 and I am only just beginning to get control over my reactiv emotions. Truest me, I’ve experienced virtually all of them. Even as I watch the conversation taking the same old turns down the same dark streets, it seemed I could not help being drawn into it–again. It’s too early for me to be able to contol my reactions each and every time but By keeping our talks brief, succinct, and to the point, I have been able to shift the focus a bit and let my power dominate. Interestingly, she feels I am being harsh and she definitely doesn’t like it. Perhaps I am to an extent but primarily I make a conscious effort to be cordial and even keeled. That makes me feel better and drives her crazy. So far, it is having the desired effect because I am not being victimized in our conversations. Got a long road ahead but I already realize I will survive this. I’m still not sure what the long term outcome will be, but I WILL survive this. Not only that, I will come out of it a stronger, much more aware person. Wish me luck.

  2. Barry says:

    Ed ,I can really relate to your comment. Keep conversations short, to the point. Be as normal and “yourself” as you can be. Be the decent person you know you are. Dont expect to get back when you give. You cant keep score. You will only be dissapointed in her. I dont know whether I will be able to stay with her buit I too know that I will survice , be stronger, and that life goes on. Infidelity is like a death. Its the death of the relationship you knew. Whether it can be reborn, like a phoenix from the ashes is what remains to be seen

  3. Shawn says:

    WOW- you two have summed up my last week to a “T”- Hang in there- it is (unfortunately) a great feeling to know that I am not alone….

  4. Steve says:

    Proactive, Proactive, Proactive!! IN all aspects of your life, this is how I turned my life around after I found out about my wife’s affair.

    Not just in how you act with your wife, do it with your kids, your work, your family.

    My marriage was in a dark place and I was waiting for it to get better, waiting for my wife to lift out of her mood, waiting for the good days to come back. But they are never going to come back, you have to make them happen.

    Since reading Stephen Coveys “7 Habbits of highly effective people, the first habit is to be proactive.

    It changed my perspective on everything, My relationship with my mum & dad flourished, my career took off, my kids became closer and I became so much more of a man and happier with myself. After all of those changes my wife’s eyes were opened and now we are happier than ever.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    It has been 7 years! The pain is still there. He will not talk about it. Even 7 years ago most answers were “I forget”. Our marriage changed drastically, little emotions, cold, says”I love you”, but actions dont show it, very distant.. Lots of triggers but 35 years is hard to make a move and I still love him. If only he would talk to me. But the marriage does change big time, after discovery.

  6. Carmen says:

    Elizabeth, I feel for you and FEEL YOU! 7 years is a long time to suffer sweetie, Here is some great advice, why not start paying attention to YOU!!!! Be good to YOU! 35 years is along time to throw it all away and know this, He cant talk about it because he doesn’t know how to! Very few men are gifted with a communication skill, ESPECIALLY when they have done something horribly wrong such as Betray their spouse! SO they clam up, act cold because they would rather make you out to be the bad guy then deal with what they did wrong, they are ashamed! How about Instead of reading about WHY he cheated, start reading “How to make me Strong after Infidelity”. Shift your focus from HIM to YOU! You’ll see how fast he comes around! Don’t you DARE go one more day feeling bad and alone, start living!! He is NOT your reason for existence, your worth does not come from HIM, your worth is much more valuable. GO LIVE Elizabeth and he will see a confident, woman who respects herself! My husband cheated with a coworker, still works with her. we have been married for almost 24 years. When I feel a trigger coming on, I walk away and pray and ask myself “If I bring this up will it hurt us or make things better?” 9 times out of 10 it would hurt. I have a non talker as well so it does me no good to ask ANYTHING 2 years later! But he is remorseful and shows me in otherways that he loves me and is truly sorry! He avoids this tramp as much as possible and I am beginning to trust him. Hang in there warrior!

    • Mandy says:

      Carmen your attitude is inspirational. I got back with my husband 2 years ago and am struggling. Trying to talk gets us nowhere and draws attention to her. I feel myself becoming more and more bitter. Thank you

    • Lynn says:

      Thanks, Carmen! I am beginning to focus on myself instead of him and the ‘why’; I feel more in control, though there are hard days. My husband of 14 years began his affair in October, told me in January, and moved out in June (would have sooner if he could have afforded it). The affair is still ongoing, though he did end it in April and again in June only to return to her. The OW is giving him rent money. He says he needs space to figure out if he can trust me enough (!!) to be emotionally vulnerable with me and return to our marriage. I feel I’m being played. Now I’m wondering if I should pursue a formal separation agreement (he still has keys to the house), but am not sure that’s the best course of action. He has been coming over each week to help with house renovations; sometimes it seems we’re making progress toward reconciliation and then he spends time with the OW and becomes distant toward me. It pains me to read comments about two-year affairs, yet many couples recover. I feel hurt and hopeless much of the time, and feel like giving up. But my faith tells my heart to hang in there and bear this cross. Logically I know Dr. Huizenga is right that this too shall pass, but at the moment it seems that it never will.

      • Beth says:

        It is all just so hard for those of us who are the ones that are betrayed. I feel like I have had to endure such craziness in my situation–briefly–married 31 years, 6 months ago found out he has been having an affair for 2 years, she divorced her husband for mine, they are now living together and they are getting ready to move in to one of our houses (we have two places that we were living in during the different seasons) but he still wants to remain married to me only for Business purposes (we have multiple businesses that will be very complicated to split apart). We did start spending some time together again only for her to find out and put the end to that. He gave me a very bad STD as well during that time. But despite all of this, I am continuing to heal and move to a better place. Bob’s eight stages was very helpful and eye opening for me because even though our relationship has not really made progress in him ending the affair and wanting to reconcile, I have made a lot of progress personally. Bob’s types of affairs also has helped me see what he is doing and that I am not to blame for his choices. I try every day to do something positive for myself, for my family (we have two daughters who are out of college), for my business, and around whatever house I happen to be living in at the time (he keeps making me change houses as well). That is what keeps me going every day and not thinking about what they are doing together because I know that they are two unhealthy people in an unhealthy relationship and that will never make either of them happy. Hang in there, stay positive even in your darkest days/hours/minutes and know that there are a lot of people who care about you.

  7. Mary says:

    Thank you all for the encouraging comments. Carmen, I especially appreciated your post. I struggle with reactivity and emotions, too, as my spouse of 47 years is engaged in an affair with his high school sweetheart. He is angry, non-communicative and blaming. Your comments and Dr. Bob’s help me understand, remain compassionate and open while struggling with my own self-esteem. It feels at times as though I am in a bad dream, unreal, confused and off-balance – other times I feel empowered, strong, encouraged. In reading others’ comments, I recognize this is normal. I am just taking it one day at a time.

  8. DD says:

    Is there any male BS out there now who are surviving and can talk to me? I am 9 months from DD and am having a difficult time right now.

    • Jay says:

      I’m a male BS myself, would be ok with communicating, I realize this post is a few months old.

      It’s hell but it does get better. Hang in there!

      • DD says:

        Thanks Jay! I forgot about my post. I have hoping to talk to someone like you for a long time.

        I will get right to it then. I can provide you a phone number to call. This will allow you to keep yours confidential. I am on EST. What time of day is easier for you?

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