Overcoming Infidelity in Marriage: Where’s Your Focus?

Today’s blog is about the benefits of focusing on one’s own happiness as a strategy for dealing with a spouse or partner who vacillates, has mood swings or changes their mind continuously. One day, one moment he or she wants a divorce, the next day or moment he or she feels remorseful and wants to work on the marriage. We feel jerked around, like a puppet on a string, uncertain of which mood or desire is going to show up next. Often this pattern of relating with our spouse or partner has been in existence for a long time, even years. We do have the power and ability to break free from the dizziness of these swings. We do not have to be a helpless victim of our partner’s wavering commitments. Overcoming infidelity in marriage is all about calling back our own power of choice, standing in our ability to choose our response to ANY circumstance and not feed our partner’s wavering indecisiveness (the redundancy of the experience can be really wearisome too!). The key to breaking free of these swings is to change one’s focus. Shift from “I wonder what he or she is going to want next?” to “What do I want next? What do I want (and NEED) now?” Not in a childish, selfish, “I’ll show you” kind of way, but in a way that focuses on what it is that would make a real and substantial contribution to your

overall and long term happiness. Peace and Blessings.


jeryl Jeryl Swantack Your Break Free Coach




About Jeryl Swantack, MA, JD

Go to http://www.break-free-from-the-affair.com/coach to learn more about Jeryl Swantack, Relationship Coach.
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12 Responses to Overcoming Infidelity in Marriage: Where’s Your Focus?

  1. Vanessa Latham says:

    My husband was the unfaithful one (Ashley Madison).
    In all honesty, I’ve been the one going back, and forth. One day I want a divorce, another day I want to work it out.
    He’s had his bags packed for weeks, because I have asked him to leave so many times.
    I want to protect myself, and never be lied to again, then, I don’t want to throw away 15 years together.
    We are in counseling, it’s been a long, hellish year.

  2. Joe says:

    Hi Vanessa. Sorry for your pain. It takes a long time for the pain you are feeling to lessen. You love your husband and want things to be like they were before he cheated on you. You can’t get the images of him being emotionaly and physically connected with this ow. When those videos start playing in your mind you have a bad time dealing with it and you want to throw him out. Your Hart breaks all over again. Because of the love you still have for your husband you feel this pain. He is lucky to have a wife that still loves him dearly after what he had put you thru, and what you still have to go thru. I hope he is feeling real remorse for what he he did with this ow and how it hurt you. Your hopeing what he had with the other woman was a bad mistake and that she couldn’t hold a candle to to you.

  3. Carol says:

    It seems reasonable to tell someone to focus on their own happiness. Trouble is, with infidelity, if you’re attached to your spouse, it’s like telling someone to just enjoy shopping for kitchen curtains when you know the entire foundation of your house is crumbling to dust! If you decide to sever your relationship, then you can work on your own happiness much more successfully. If you remain married, I suggest you forget the kitchen curtains for now and focus on your relational foundation with all your heart and soul. Although I had my own activities and things that mattered, without a firm marital foundation, I couldn’t enjoy myself nearly as much. Now that our foundation is firm again (it took 7 years!) , I am enjoying life more than ever. That’s just what worked for me. Good luck, everyone!

    • Mary says:

      Please share how you established a solid “foundation” for your marriage. Were you able to do this while your spouse continued his involvement with the other woman?

  4. Jean-Maria Langley says:

    My spouse had a long time affair with my best friend. I was worried he was having another affair (yes the is OW #2) and I confided in her only for her to tell me no how could he, he is always working. She works with him by the way. Well long story short the affair came out 9/16 and supposedly was over but they insist on their friendship and can be hateful of myself her her husband protest. He went on a “guys” trip and she was there and they slept together again, just 4 months ago. And I still stay and he still insists on keeping their friendship it’s awful. I love my husband but everyday he is with her at work and then he wants to still be her friends and hang out. How do you move on and create a foundation when you feel forced to accept their friendship? I feel if they continue their friendship it is temptation for them and heartache and a reminder for me. I am afraid to put my foot down because he will probably leave. He gets very frustrated and angry and says mean things when I say anything against their relationship. He says I refuse to move on and that I live in the past. Isn’t that what he is doing? Not moving on from his mistake, holding on to his OW and living in the past. I feel lost and scared. To add to it we have a 7 year old son.

    • Diana Shang says:

      There is no moving on when your husband is still seeing the other woman and insists on keeping their “friendship” when the boundary of friendship has been breached. The fact that he gets agitated and angry when you bring up this affair and how you don’t want them to be in contact again shows that he’s burying his head in sand and not acknowledging your feelings at all, when in fact you are married and are supposed to be one.
      I know how you feel – fear and uncertainty, especially when you have a seven year old. However, your husband knows this feeling and is using it to his advantage to make you accept his behavior.
      I found out my husband’s affair when our daughter was seven. It took me a good year and half to stop thinking about “What’s he gonna do next?” or “Are they still with each other?” to ignoring him and his behavior. I took my daughter on trips on my own, and sometimes with other families, so that she doesn’t miss out on any fun time during school holiday. I went back to full time work and keep myself busy. It takes a while to establish new routine etc. but I knew the old routine was unsettling and made us all very unhappy.

    • Eyesopened says:

      I think you’ll find there is no “friendship”, there’s a relationship and they are both playing you for a fool.

  5. Sean says:

    how long till the back and forth, love and hate feeling settle. It’s been 1 year and 2 months and I still can’t put it behind me even though I want to.

  6. Dee crawford says:

    It is extremely difficult to focus on yourself. What helps me is to realize that this is what he does/did. He doesn’t trust me, never did. He lies constantly. He has no regrets about lying and feels justified in what he does/did. Makes up the best stories. I write them down.
    I decided awhile ago that his bad behavior was not going change my values, commitment and love. I have different moral compass, I guess. I’m a great person. He’s not.
    I don’t trust him anymore and never will. If he can live that way with me, I can too. I’m not about to start over. This is hubby #3. I have a house and great job and I’m a good caretaker. Feeling good about who I am after having my marriage destroyed by this idiot is how I survive. CHARGING NEUTRAL keeps him wondering and any bad behavior is on him, not me. It takes awhile, but my focus , (just like his) is on me. So I did learn something from his infidelities!

    • Healingheart says:

      Wow, I commend you for being so strong. Coming from a betrayed person myself, I know how hard it is.

      I read about Charging Neutral in Dr Huizenga’s book, it’s something about the way we say it right? But I still don’t completely understand how to do it. The last time I tried to do it (pointing out the truth/ facts in a calm way) I got screamed yet (and yes, it might shock you that the screamer is a man – my husband, screaming at me, a woman/ his wife. In our whole marriage I have never screamed at him). Can you give specific examples how you did it?

  7. weddingbelle says:

    Actually, this comes at a great time. As the betrayed, I have finally, just last week realized that I have to find my voice and brain and decide what I’d like to do. I have been the one going back and forth after so much emotional and verbal abuse. I have found a person inside and it’s time to start nurturing HER!

    • Kathy Turkell says:

      Weddingbelle, Thank you for your insight. It has been just 6 months post D-day for me and I too am the spouse undecided and pulling away and am focusing on me. My husband is being so remorseful and has severed all contact with the OW (a person in our close social circle). I just feel dead inside…I miss the feelings of love I had for him. I cannot imagine living a life like this for years but I realize I need to do the work and not give up too soon.

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