“I Want to Get Back at Him/Her” and Confronting the Other Person

Affair number five is “I want to get back at him or her.” The underlying theme here is one of resentment or anger. Usually, it means that the cheating spouse believes that his or her needs were not being met in the marriage, and they got angry about it, so they said, “I’m going to teach you. I’m going to go find somebody else to be with.”

Confronting this type of person may help get it, which means some of the anger or some of the frustration, out in the open. There may be more discussion, there may be more dialogue, and it may shift the focal point to the marriage, on the underlying resentment and hostility for needs not being met. I’ve seen that happen often, in this type of affair.

A risk is that there may be an intensification of the anger or the rage. It may up the level of anger, and the anger may turn into rage. Or, if it’s more quiet, you may increase the passive aggressive behavior. You’ll find yourself in situations where, the anger is subtle, but very, very pronounced. That’s a risk.

Let me talk here a little bit about pattern entrenchment. What we’re getting at here is that there are certain patterns that we have. Do you ever observe yourself going through patterns, or cycles, and at some point, saying, “Oh, I’ve been here before?” Or, “This is really familiar.” Or, “I know what he’s going to say before he says it, and I know how I’m going to respond to what he says, before, I just know what the patterns going to be.”

This is called pattern entrenchment. And when patterns are really entrenched, when they’re very, very solidified, they happen frequently, they’re intense, and people have a difficult time getting out of them, then you have more difficulty as a person who’s trying to generate influence or change, to change that pattern. So, it’s always helpful to look at how deeply this person is entrenched in their particular theme and pattern?

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