Surviving the Affair and Infidelity Scenarios
Surviving the affair is possible. Yes, it does happen. And there are usually moments along the way that enable the survival and even move a person to greater healing, understanding and self-awareness.
A couple months ago I asked you to tell me your story of surviving the affair. I’ve had literally hundreds of responses and continue to digest them.
Your strength, your courage, your perseverance, your willingness to address your pain and sometimes the pain of your spouse is to be admired. Reading your stories continues to affirm in me that there is more to surviving infidelity; there is the wonderful opportunity to find, embrace and express one’s strength, courage and faith.
Gold is refined through intense heat. :)
And, the stories are so varied. Your relationships are so varied. What works for one of you may be a disaster for another. Please keep this in mind as you read, study and apply principles and strategies to your situation.
Here are some guesses:
Scenario #1 below was with a “I Want to be Close to Someone.. but can’t stand intimacy” kind of affair.
Scenario #2: “I Don’t Want to Say No”
Scenario #3: “I Fell out of Love… and just love being in love.”
Just guesses, mind you. But they are educated guesses, honed with much research, study and experience.
Notice the different flavor and different strategies for each kind of situation.
It has now been 6 months. After the dust settled I asked all the questions I need answers to. We decided we wanted to stay married & sought counseling right away. I made certain rules for him to abide by. He became totally transparent. I had access to everything I needed, computer, cell phone, ALL credit & bank statements. He stayed home, unless I knew exactly where he was. This started to restore the trust I had lost. We opened up more & talked more. This started the healing process. We began having “dates” & doing more together as a couple. If anything, this whole earth shattering experience has made us closer, we appreciate each other more than we have in years. The pain remains, but gets better every day. There is hope and a way to survive.
The first days, weeks and even months are much of a blur as I was in a state of total shock and disbelief over my husband’s 4 year long affair and strip club addiction, both of which where discovered at the same time through different means. Probably the most helpful thing for me was to reach out trusted friends and family members for support, to immediately start weekly counseling, and to take things a day at a time, sometimes even an hour at a time. Even though my situation was horrific beyond belief, I kept telling myself day in and day out that “things could always be worse.”
When I found out that my husband had been having an affair for three years with a woman ten years younger that me, and I actually caught him with this person I was calm at first, he told me he didn’t love me anymore and did I want him to leave, I said ‘yes, will you live with her’ to which she replied ‘ no he will not’ so my senses tell me that he had lied to her about me. Anyway, I got very upset and I smacked him across the face and then I smacked her, which is out of character for me and I am ashamed that I did it. I filed for a divorce but he refused to sign the papers, he asked me to forgive him and as we had been married for thirty four years at the time and we had three lovely children and two lovely grand daughters I prayed about it and gave him a chance. It hasn’t been easy, in fact it has been the hardest thing I have had to do, when you forgive someone then you must put in the past what they have done to hurt you. Four years on we are getting along just fine, I still feel pain every now and again when I think of him with the other person but I don’t dwell on it, I push it out and get on with my life. My family helped me to survive this horrible time and also my will power, I am responsible for my own happiness and I do not depend on my husband to make me happy.
Getting Him/Her to Talk
Struggling through infidelity can put a bash on communication. One tries to get the other person to talk. The other refuses to disclose… much of anything.
Or, there is communication but there is this elephant in the room that no one wants to look at or discuss.
A common question: How do I get him/her to talk to me (about things that are important to me?)
Well, you can’t directly. The method of coaxing, probing, prodding, asking questions, demanding answers hits a brick wall.
Generally speaking, self disclosure begets self disclosure. Sharing myself opens the door and invites the other to share; perhaps hesitantly at first, but to share nonetheless.
But, what do you share? What do you disclose? The heavy stuff? No, you don’t want to start there. That pretty much guarantees the turtle sticking his/her head back into the shell.
That’s why I devoted much of my Marriage Makeover ebook to the personal foundation program which begins a couple talking about things “out there.” Safer, but a great starting point.
Here’s another ebook I recommend: 1000 Questions For Couples.
Great, non-threatening questions that serve as a starting point. They start and warm the fires of increased intimacy. It’s not specifically targeted at couples coping with infidelity, but the process will work well for such couples.
Here’s a review of the ebook:
Book Review 1000 Questions For Couples
One of the biggest reason marriages end in divorce is because couples fail to ask the big questions before they walk down the aisle.
If couples simply spent some time asking each other the questions that really matter, they’d greatly increase their chances of staying together.
The great thing about a “question book” is that it makes it easier to ask those difficult questions and encourages an environment to address them.
But is Michael Webb’s “1000 Questions For Couples” the right book for this?
In short, yes. Most question books ‘beat around the bush,’ never really providing the important questions, and others simply don’t have enough questions.
On the other hand, Webb has put together the most comprehensive collection of questions, covering every single topic you’d ever want to know about.
It includes tough subjects like money, children & child rearing, career, past and present relationships, religion, morals, convictions & beliefs, personality, and even sex.
But don’t get me wrong while there are many serious and tough topics to discuss, there are also many “lighter” yet just as important topics, including the car and driving, vacations, food and well being, pets, and your favorite things.
That’s one thing I really loved about this book. It covered every conceivable topic from the super serious to the light-hearted and fun, making it easy for couples to start with easy questions and build their way up to important ones.
Also, a great bonus is having the ability to deliver 3 – 5 of the questions to my email each day, making everything automatic. I just go about my day and get new questions to ask my loved one, without having to really think about it.
In all, there’s nothing really negative I can say about this book. It delivers exactly what it says and covers every question you would ever want to ask your loved one.
I highly recommend this book for everyone. NOT just couples who are thinking of getting married but also couples who just want to feel closer together, or people dating, who just want more things to talk about.
For all the details check out: