How to Start the Healing with Charging Neutral

I received a number of emails saying,

“I don’t really get charging neutral.”

“Tell me more.”

“Give me more examples.”

Let’s work on this…

A characteristic of the skill charging neutral is almost always “making the other person right.”

Ok, now take it easy. Make him/her right!!!??? Are you kidding me??

Hear me out.

In almost all cases of infidelity there are underlying motives, unfinished business, levels of immaturity, questions about adequacy, a sense of lostness or lack of purpose or direction that triggers the act of infidelity.

Infidelity is not a very healthy choice.

The exception may be in the case of the sociopath – the “I Don’t Want to Say No” type of affair – where one may run into one who is truly “evil” (if you want to use that word.)

“Making him/her right” means you develop the capacity emotionally disengage from your tendency to argue, blame, criticize, attack and form negative judgments about that person.

Give plenty of S P A C E and dig beneath the obvious. And, then hang on to your self as you truly take the risk of knowing this person.

Listen to this example of charging neutral and what happened:

My spouse told me many times that the low level of intimacy in our relationship made him insecure and he found some of the security with the OP.

One of the reasons for the feeling of not connected with me was that he mentioned was that he never really felt that we both truly knew each other.

Although I do not find it to be in any way a justification for cheating on me for two years (or longer), I thought it would be great to get to know each other a little bit better.

One evening we met up at a local restaurant. I asked if he would like to play a game (asking each other questions about our likes, dislikes and desires).

The game soon developed into a conversation about how he always desired to experience sexual freedom.

Had I not known that I needed to charge neutral, this conversation would have ended up in me screaming at him or crying (most possibly- both). I would get him all defensive and my goal (making him analyze himself with possibly reaching the realization of all the inconsistencies in his thought patterns) would be even further away.

Instead I remained calm and supportive. It was amazing to me how honest I could be, without him feeling rejected or judged. I did not praise him for anything, I was even able to tell him how I felt about the issue.

He actually felt more understood and relaxed after the conversation. He even shared with me that he realizes wanting things that are mutually exclusive (me and the sexual freedom).

We still have a long way to go, and the future is uncertain, however, if there is anything that makes me hope at all it would be the charging neutral skill.

I can imagine that using the neutral charge in communication would be one of the building blocks of a truly honest and loving relationship.

This entry was posted in Charging Neutral, Emotional Infidelity, Infidelity and Intimacy, Infidelity Coaching, Infidelity Marriage, Infidelity Pain, Learn How to Confront the Other Person, Real Life Infidelity Stories, Relationship Communication, Relationships: Marriage, Surviving Infidelity, Trust Building and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to How to Start the Healing with Charging Neutral

  1. Elizabeth says:

    And then what? It is a scenario, what happend next? Should you say: “yes, Darling, I understand you, go and have a go”?

  2. L says:

    I’m a little worried. I tried almost everything, my husband keeps on vacillating. I’m trying my best to charge neutral or maybe I’ve fallen out of love already. But this I noticed about standing back/charging neutral or giving space is that there are positive changes towards how he treats me and our children and his work but we are definitely becoming strangers, I’m a little worried. I don’t know if he is waking up from this affair fog induced emotional affair or they’re relationship is getting more stronger, and he might be thinking he can do both, because it is what it is. Please advice.

  3. Dave M says:

    I wish cheaters were that honest, they are not. I believe that a liar and cheater comes as a package. If you hear a reason for indifference to a basic need of “A&I”; affection and intimacy, that excuse will be a passive aggressive lie to trick you to work on a task or turn it to working on yourself. If he/she doesn’t participate or own the problem; lack of intimacy, then no one gets anywhere.
    Here’s an example. I was told that her lack of initialization or touch, was because I was “smothering” or I was doing a “180” from past indifference. Maybe some past complacency, but never ignoring; there was always touch on my end. When I stated: “maybe it’s better if I don’t touch”, unless she initiates, she said; “baby steps” not too much touch, however, she may or may not initiate. Meanwhile, the idea of sex has bad timing, “I need to sleep in, or I’m tired” etc. All excuses and
    I am accused of only “wanting 1 thing”
    The idea of charging neutral to me is great, because , “it don’t matter to me” anymore and I will speak with action/no action and act like I can walk away or take “1 step forward two steps back”. She calls that “back to square one” back when I was indifferent (complacent). That mind game I won’t fall for anymore, I will charge neutral through her complete narcissism.

    • DJ says:

      here’s a follow up; since she isn’t interested in initiating, I have to be the leader and show up to my own rescue of this hunch of infidelity that she calls men-pause…
      So here it is, based on what I learned with Karen Brody & Bruce Muzic “LoveATfirstFight” to make an appointment with my partner for a “reflective” conversation, like tennis to break through the issues/concerns or barriors, hear her out with 30 sec. exchanges and keep questions going and try and solve the issue. If the relationship is worth saving, she will open up. It may take some time, however after many direct leading constructive fights or discussions, we should be left with only “plan” or project as a team, so we are both giving and then there’s hand holding and hugs to follow. No frowning, anger or walk-outs, unless the partner looses, it, reschedule and don’t let it escalate. The more stormy he/sh is, the more narcissistic that person is, which sometimes can be turned around but with lots of training and practice.

    • Bob says:

      Wow, a perfect description of my wife and myself while we were seeing a counselor before she decided to leave. Narcissism is the key word. Everything is about her and no one else matters. She has left behind all of her old friends and just likes to hit the bars and party. On and off with the boyfriend, whom I know about. I wonder over and over if the real girl will return or if this is her choice for the remainder of her life. Our kids are even telling me to move on, but I tell them that no one else will ever know the woman I know is in there. Temporary (hopefully) insanity is how I’ve heard so many others describe the behavior.

      • Willard says:

        Bob
        Unfortunately I have faced a similar reality with my wife. The narcissism is very real, as is the insanity. However, the insanity as you see it may or may not be temporary. It may have been a part of her that you never saw and she kept repressed. Now that she feels free of the constraints of marriage all of this wild, crazy behavior surfaces. Good luck. Hang in there. I hope she comes around and you win back the girl and your marriage.

  4. Bob says:

    After 29 years of marriage with the first 15 being great while raising 4 kids what a roller coaster of a ride it’s been. I could write a book on how messed up both of us are. One thing for sure is the more you focus on them the farther you will push them away. Turn your energy and thoughts inward and become your best self. Be loving, be happy even when your stressed out cause no one wants to be with a downer. Make plans to travel and visit friends and family with out them. You can invite them but who cares if they come or not. Help out around the house, do nice things for them with out being asked. Date Date Date not for a replacement but for friendship and get your mind off of your wife or husband. You have to let them go 100% and be honest with your self. IF things ever change and they start to move towards you let them in and welcome them with open arms. If not and you move on then you can later be friends. Heck she / he is the Mother / Father of your kids. And your children will forever want their parents to be nice to each other. Love is about giving not getting. Give all you can and live your best life.

    • Survivor says:

      I’m saddened by all the folks who are suffering from adultery! What ever reason for doing such a horrible thing to their spouse there IS NO EXCUSE! Not a reader on the world can repair the pain! I really want to understand why it’s not being against the law and jail is the punishment . If you have to have a marriage license why isn’t being taken more as a crime than a stupid, selfish excuse! I personally am fed up with! My life has been blown out of the water and for what? I like what this man said of 29 years. My. Husband did this after 30 years and I believe she’s the only one he got caught with. How stupid am I.

      • Julie LaBell says:

        I am in the same boat as you. How can your charge neutral when yuou have a s house who doesn’t ever say anything. He has been in a long terfm affair. I refuse to leave my hokme for his decisions. He refused to leave our home and pretends that all is well. He doesn’t see her much but will not cut of t hat contact. I haved a roommate nothing more nothing less. I give up I no longer want to try. I just want out so I can move on with my life. It is what it is aznd I ca not change him or his actions and he doesnt want t o change but he don’t want out erither. I am the one feeling stuck. What abpit my feelings and what it does yo me on a daily basis. 32 Years and i think i mau havs bwedn married yo a liar and a chest my entire life only I didn’t know it. We havrv2 grown boys….pne of wehom is going thru a divorce because his eifed cheated on him. I can relate t o eveyfeeling my son has because his fatyher is doing the same to me. Hard to live with.

  5. Lynn says:

    You say to give them space. What does that look like exactly? I thought I was giving space, but am told I am not. I figure space means let him alone to pursue the OP. Distance was what got us here in the first place. Suggestions?

    • Dr. Bob Huizenga says:

      Attend my Q & A this Thursday, the 16th of June, 3:00 PM EST and I will respond to your question. Bob

  6. Eliza says:

    2 months from discovery date, not sure what to do at this point. I found out after the facebook affair plus afternoon tryst was over. I found the string of break up messages.

  7. Carol says:

    I think there is a time and place for “charging neutral”, or maintaining a “wall of pleasantness” as one of my recovery groups put it. However, after 40+ years of marriage and 7 years post D day, my experience is that healing only occurs when both parties are authentic- and sometimes that meant my screaming and crying and sometimes it meant we were both having a great “neutral” discussion. We both needed to get real. He needed to see my agony; I needed to see his shame. We’re finally doing really well. But as far as the “charging neutral”- I would consider it a tool, not the whole toolbox. If I always charged neutral, he would never have seen my pain, and I doubt we could have come this far.

  8. Schnueffel says:

    Charging neutral is a great tactic to get the cheater talk , think etc.and has a look within himself . However I just want to stipulate most of us are traumatised not only a little bit hurt or else. Infidelity affects all aspects of your being. Turning neutral might work in a relative short term relationship or in a relationship where the emotional and financial investment was pretty equal. But in most of the cases on a power base meaning financially and emotionally there is no equality. That’s why a lot of cheaters behave so cruel.Firstly they cannot feel the pain and secondly they feel that they are in a stronger position. They think they know that you just can’t run. Then they try to gain the moral high ground by inventing all the needs crap.
    When one is really and truely unhappy in a relationship they just can leave. Our law will not force any of them to stay. So if my hubby was so unhappy with his life I did not pick up on it .We all are not consciously aware of our needs and wants at all times and also not all needs and wants can be met by the outside. We all have dark sides which we maybe even didn’t know we had them unless they are challenged.
    It is a tactic to gain more power over us and therefore be more able to control the show.
    The terrible thing is turning neutral is a great thing and for all people who have that stage of control that is the only tactic which is a positive approach to a dire situation however in the first crucial stages of the discovering of the affair for most of us not doable.
    Firstly you would have to display no hurt and a neutral behaviour which I couldn’t do for a very long time. Not everybody is passive aggressive because it would mean to show neutrality where in truth there is only pain.

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