Here are some responses from my readers to the list I posted previously about self help strategies (I listed 8) being limited:
- I think many people, me included, know that all that lovey-dovey crap isn’t going to help them through the critical points. If we can’t make it work from day to day, taking a ‘romantic’ vacation ain’t gonna work either.
- I agree with you that most of these items are only temporary fixes at best and some don’t work at all. I can say I have tried most of them in my 25 year relationship and though some helped a little, it didn’t last.
- It seems easier but it is not in real life. When you really try to follow this advice, it looks artificial, false. You become more a performer, and at the end, the frustration for lack of results is even bigger. You end feeling ridiculous.
- Been there done that…. I started with most of these points. I like the comment about needy. We did the dating…. Correct! The elephant was still in the room. It’s amazing to me that even though every situation is different, our emotions and actions all seem to be the same.
- After trying most of the items on the list over the past year, I feel that these have not cured my devastating pain and anger nor have they helped with rebuilding love, respect, and trust I had previous to his affair. Romantic vacations and get-aways brought out increased anger and pain, as they were in hotel settings, which made me think about the sex shared by my husband and his mistress and further alienated me from him. Intimacy is a REAL problem for me.
- These are the things you often hear you should do to fix your marriage. But you are right – they don’t help. The problem is that if the other one is not willing, there is not much you can do. But sure – going out regularly with your partner may prevent the problems but does not necessarily help when you have hit the rock bottom and there is the elephant in the room that no one really knows what to do about. Also – there can be the problem that I am experiencing that the other one is in a hurry of just leaving the scene because he sees everything so hopeless (and is in love with someone else = quick fix!)
- Everyone says to spend more time together after an emotional affair and go out on dates and talk and talk. But you’re right that big fat elephant of the affair always goes with you wherever you go. There is no getting away from it. You can talk and talk and still not get any issues resolved. It’s emotionally exhausting with no or little improvement. I just wish the cheating spouse knew the depth of pain this caused for the other spouse and just maybe these types of emotional affairs would not happen. No one deserves to be in this deep of pain.
- I completely agree with your comments to the “tried and true” common advice. I especially agree with what you say about date nights etc. being overrated and feeling forced and how that makes you feel like a failure when, as a couple, it just doesn’t work.