Pain of Infidelity: Knowing his/her “Hole” Helps with Your Infidelity Pain

A key to diminishing the pain of infidelity and agony is to see your cheating spouse as having the problem.

And, the reality is: It IS his/her problem.

The affair or infidelity is his/her problem – his/her attempt to somehow fill a “hole,” fill a void, meet some intense long-suffering personal need or undo some theme or pattern in his/her life that has been haunting him/her long before s/he met you.

And you can say…”Sure, how do I know that? Or, “That’s easy for you to say!”

It does take some understanding of the complexity of the affair or infidelity to come to the conclusion that it IS his/her problem. After all you have been so invested in him/her, your lives entangled with one another, with the children, with your work, with your activities that it’s difficult to believe that you had nothing to do with his/her choice to pursue an affair which has caused this horrific pain of infidelity.

As well, the affair triggers in you, your points of vulnerability, your unresolved patterns that go way back, your doubts and fears about your adequacy, sexually and in other ways.

So, it is difficult to disentangle and see an affair with clarity and for what it truly is.

I’ve been thinking long and hard recently about the impact of my materials and why people contact me frequently thanking me for the relief from the pain of infidelity they experience with my information.

I think I present a practical, in-depth look at the complexity, patterns and nuances of infidelity that is not found elsewhere.

Let me give you an example of how I address the pain of infidelity:

I list 7 types of affairs, each unique, each with underlying patterns.

And for each affair I attempt to present the motives one might have for engaging in that type of affair.

To get at the motives, I list the personal characteristics of a person who most likely would pursue that type of affair.

Let’s look at the “My Marriage Made Me Do It” type of affair.

My research and clinical experience allowed me to come to the conclusion that such a person typically expresses these characteristics:

• At one time was clingy and fairly passive in the marriage
• Does not want to take responsibility for his/her behavior
• Attaches self to others. Others become the guiding star
• May have bouts of sadness and dejection
• Deep down thinks of self as inadequate, weak, reluctant and seemingly incapable of expressing own desires wants, needs, ideas (doesn’t know what they are)
• Can be very generous and has difficulty saying no
• May be naive or Polly Anna like
• More passive, does not like competition
• May be closely attached to parents
• May be overprotected by parents
• May typically express put-downs about self
• Complains. Whines. Things are never right or good enough
• Those who know him/her well will usually be exasperated and frustrated

Now there are solid psychological reasons for coming to these conclusions. I won’t bore you with those details.

Suffice it to say that many when coming across this list (and I have a list for all 7 types of affairs) breath a sigh of relief and say… “That’s him/her!”

And, they are off… feeling better, breaking free from the pain of infidelity and beginning to chart a very specific well designed plan that will alter the course of the affair.

This entry was posted in Dr. Huizenga's Blog Posts, Emotional Distance, Emotional Infidelity, Infidelity Marriage, Infidelity Reasons, Surviving Infidelity, Types of Affairs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Pain of Infidelity: Knowing his/her “Hole” Helps with Your Infidelity Pain

  1. Sherry Jackson says:

    my husband fits all 7. My husbands mother still is allowed to control him, he is 50 yrs old. His mother talked him into divorcing me, we have children. He allows his mother to hurt us and the children.

  2. Terry Moore says:

    In reference to my marraige made me do it. Really hit home with me. Can’t wait to view the rest of the list

  3. MISTY says:

    This realy hit him to the core…except the parents part. He’s not close to his parents at all, but everything else fir perfect. NOW WHAT?

  4. harry says:

    very eye opening
    good advice

  5. ZAHIRA says:

    I have been through a lot of pain and I found that this is an EXCELLENT ARTICLE. It describes my husband in every detail. Thank you for this information. I agree that it will help me to ease the pain and understand what is going on.

  6. kolleen thompson says:

    I have been following your emails for a rediculous amount of time…(rediculous in terms of I thought this nightmare would be over by now). Aproximately 4 years now, in hopes to finally be on the road to recovery. I find this article to be very helpful and I am amazed at how right on you are in so many areas of this sorted social issue of infidelity. You think it will be a quick fix to recover from once you have the materials, but soon discover it is a long arduous process filled with twists and turns as you can not control your spouse’s responses to things you say or steps you take or anticipate your own emotional feelings that are as a result of their responses. Thank you for your research and expertise.

    • Liz says:

      Hello, Kolleen. I am in the same boat as you. It has been 2 years since this nightmare started, and I do not see it ending any time soon. Mine messages with the OW constantly on FB and messenger. I hear the alerts when she is messaging him back, yet he denies doing anything wrong. I hear “I love you” all of the time, but his actions do not match his words. He is becoming more unstable with rages over minor things. During these rages, he says very hurtful things. We have been together for more than 40 years. The OW is 40 years younger than he is. I think she is a gold digger.

  7. june says:

    The initial appeal to me, regarding this article was that my ex was in a hole! ha
    But I can relate to it in an odd sense, that yes my ex has a hole/need to fill, but my failure is that i couldnt do it. I couldnt even be aware that he had a need. I was just going along domestically, ignorant and blind. So now I do not wish him well and that is so unlike me. The grass is not always greener, but what if it is? That fuels my failure.
    I am angry and wish awful things, I struggle , i have had my life changed by a choice that was not mine and he is off whistling Dixie in his girlfriends mansion, crying poor to the judge while I work 4 jobs, face foreclosure and homelessness……I wish he was in a hole.

  8. Rebemae says:

    I’m the one with the “hole!” I got on this site, hoping for help to disentangle myself from an emotional addiction that has ensnared me. I see that this site is mainly for the wounded spouse, but I need help. I am determined to the right thing. I want to be free from these feelings for someone who is not my husband. And yes, I can see myself in some of the things mentioned in the list–sadness, dejection, negative self-talk, difficulty saying no. But now what? How do I fill this proverbial “hole?”

  9. rhonda6274 says:

    I wish he had listed the other types, so I had an Idea where my husband fits . So very hard to deal with when he won’t stop the affair.

  10. Donna Doss says:

    Thank you so much your emails and information has helped me so much.

  11. Donna Doss says:

    Thank you so much for the emails. They have really helped.

  12. JB says:

    A lot of this really rings true about my wife. But it’s not quite the whole story. I think she has tendencies towards borderline personality, always sees things as black and white, never seems to see the shades of grey. It’s not that everything she says when complaining about the previous state of our marriage is wrong, but it is way exaggerated and my role in it has become almost the embodiment of evil rather than just a flawed human trying to do his best but sometimes not succeeding. I think some of the way she behaves now may spring from sexual abuse she suffered as a child. We have talked about this, but she doesn’t want to face her demons and sort herself out. Although better understanding all of this does help to some extent, it also leaves me feeling powerless and frustrated. I still love my wife very deeply and I feel for her pain as well. I’d just love for both of us to come back together and help each other deal with all of our pain.

  13. Kathryn says:

    Thank you for all the information.

  14. Wayne says:

    I found the information and newletters you provide through your website to be very helpful while going through a very difficult (affair) situation. Having the right information has enabled and empowered me to to handle my emotions and save my marriage. Thank you.

  15. quixote says:

    I would like to understand my STBXW’s psychology. What _are_ the solid psychological reasons? You nailed my cheating wife totally. Do you have that described in a book or article?
    Can you refer me to any books on the matter?

    You mention:
    • At one time was clingy and fairly passive in the marriage
    • Does not want to take responsibility for his/her behavior(snip)

    Now there are solid psychological reasons for coming to these conclusions. I won’t bore you with those details.

  16. quixote says:

    Buy the e-book. Worth every penny. Best thing I read about the whole affair psychology by far. I have no relationship with Dr H.

  17. Nicki says:

    Thanks so very much for all the info you have so freely given. It has been a great help to me during the past year+.

  18. Linda says:

    Order Dr. H’s “Break free from the Affair” and you will find the other ones listed. I ordered it, and found my husband, to a “T”. Was also glad it confirmed that our marriage had a very good success rate of recovering. We are going on year 3 since his affair, and although it has been a painful road I think we are going to make it — sometimes things seem better than before. He realized what he could have lost (me/his family) and how we were all he ever wanted/needed. He is more than sorry for the pain he has caused us all.

  19. Liz says:

    My husband would say it was a fault of our marriage but his personality does not fit the description. My personality fits that description more–maybe that’s why he did it???

  20. stefi says:

    Dr Bob’s info always helps me. It’s an incredibly slow, lonely journey to work thru infidelity but with Dr Bob’s wonderful help, I’ve gained alot of strength and understanding and I’m very grateful. Infidelity has forever changed me with no path back to my previous views of life but Dr Bob’s information continues to help me as I slowly become less confused and realize my husband’s actions actually had very little to do with me. My marriage is going to survive the devastation but I continue to visit the site to keep my thinking as broad as I can.

  21. ru says:

    I simply want to say Thank You for not only helping me to understand his behaviour but also the ‘psychology’ behind it. Thank You so much for clarifying what I felt were his issues but could not put into words.

  22. Gina says:

    Well done Wayne! I salute you for making the best decision you ever could have made, not only for your spouse and children’s – especially if you have any – sake, but also for yourself, your self-respect and most of all your dignity, in order to avoid the self-repulsive feeling you would feel afterwards. Adultery is an life-shattering and an extremely distructive road which only leads to indescribable hurt, anger, loss of respect, trust and so much more negative emotions. I doubt that the wounds would ever heal. I wish my husband was sensible enough to stop his affair before it was too late. He was caught about a year ago, having a very permissive affair with a very available and lustful married woman. One that he wouldn’t want to be seen with even dead! According to him it was not an emotional affair but driven by vulgar sex. She tapped into his carnal instincts, that he did’nt even no he possessed until she uninvitingly popped up. Eventually he unfortunately fell for her crude and gory advances. Of course I did not suspect or detect anything whatsoever. The ‘big news’ was absolutely devastating! I was shattered, stripped of everything I ever believed in and held onto in ‘n knick of time, and had a severe nervous breakdown, despite the fact that I actualy am a strong person. To engage in an extramarital affair was totally incontgruent with his profile as a ‘godly man of virtue’. I still find it very hard to believe that he actually betrayed me with somebody he apparently didn’t have any ‘feelings’ for, risking virtually everything we have built up over a time-span of 25 years. Back at the ranch, whilst being intimate with his bimbo, he also pampered me and made me feel that he loved me endlessly. I sincerely thought we were very happily married at the time. He also told me that he enjoyed my body immensely and that we (our daughter of 11 and myself) were the only persons in his life worth living for! It now is a year later and his perverse affair involuntarily still clouds my mind most of the time. Istill do not feel any better than a year ago and cannot stop to rant and rave. Of course I love him, however, it hurts so badly that my emotional pain, disappointment, anger and disgust in him outweighs the love-part. Ever since his infidilety was discovered by her hubby, I have been asking him to release me, since I cannot face the future with a man who could not keep to his marraige vows, without any explanation, motivation or reason for his betrayel to date. All he offers is that he was stupid and does not know why he did it. He evidently was not a deprived man in any regard. His pleadings and tears can never restore my previous faith, respect and love for him. I hope that he will shortly realise that there are serious consequences involved in adultery, which he has to take ownership of and responsibilty for. I sincerely hope your wife never, ever has to suffer the intense emotional pain that I and other women (and men!) in such an inamiccable position has to suffer, probably for life, for such selfish moments of unpermissable pleasure. All the best with your decision to rather work on your marraige. The grass is not greener on the other side, my husband now thinks when he reflects back at his ‘dumb’ mistake.

  23. Stephanie says:

    thank you for your insights and advice.

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