Infidelity: Get Your Cheating Spouse to Notice Your Power by Charging Neutral

I believe that we don’t know much about infidelity, that the public doesn’t know much about infidelity and the more you know, the more distinctions you make. I try to make distinctions in the seven types of affairs. The more distinctions you make, the more you peel back the onion and discover what’s underneath it and then peel back another layer, and another layer. It gives you more options. It gives you more options to phrase different words. It gives you more options to try different behaviors and that equals your own sense of personal power. When you have your sense of personal power here, when you know that you can target something, rather than blast away, man, you are on a powerful road and other people around you, your cheating spouse included, will notice.

So what you want to do is act rather than react. Acting means stating your position. That’s what I do a lot in coaching. I help people state their position. I say, “What do you truly, really want to say to this other person, without referring to the other person?” In other words, “State your position.” That’s very powerful. You do that by charging neutral. Charging neutral is a general skill that I teach that’s good in all seven different kinds of relationships, all seven different types of affairs. Charging neutral destroys triangles, and affairs are really nothing but a triangle.

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15 Responses to Infidelity: Get Your Cheating Spouse to Notice Your Power by Charging Neutral

  1. Shirley Bean says:

    If your spouse says he doesn’t know why he slept with someone three, four, or five times, does he really not know or won’t tell you? If he says he was stupid, is that a legitimate reason.? Having trouble not knowing WHY.

  2. Nancy says:

    I agree with Ellen. My husband initially repeatedly stated, “I don’t know, I don’t know” and I continued to say there is a reason(s). From his therapy sessions and from us opening up more, it appears that cheating was a very common behavior practiced by most of his relatives (including his mother, uncles {one was a preacher} and siblings). He saw this as a child and thought it was wrong but as he grew older and begin to get in relationships he did the same thing and did not find it to be wrong anymore since I did not know and was not being hurt. He continues to say that he has always been happy in our marriage and our sex life. So, I guess, he would be in the ‘I Can’t Say NO and the I Don’t Want to Say NO’ categories. We have been together since we were 16 and 17 years old and he revealed he has always cheated on me. He states that it was not until he was in his early 50s (he is 62 now) that he finally became disgusted with himself and decided he could not continue to do this. According to him, the guilt was eating him up and he could not keep from telling me and also there were relatives of his that knew his behavior and he was afraid they would reveal this to me and my adult daughters. We are both in individual therapy at this time. I am shocked, hurt and do not trust him or my feelings anymore.

  3. Nan says:

    My husband has been with his AP for 3 years. During this time, it was determined by a Psycologist, that he is passive aggressive, has all or nothing thinking, is a pathological liar, lacks empathy and has a flat affect. No one seems to address these real issues. I think there needs to be an 8th type of affair, one that is the result of impaired thinking and unresolved family of origin issues.

    • Olivetta says:

      That sounds like my soon to be ex-husband. The real question we need to ask ourselves is: “Is this person worth it or is it better to cut our losses?” Life is short. Despite the pain, it is worth it to start over afresh, especially when the spouse has issues like this. We do not need to nor should we care what sort of affair or the reasons. We should only care if we want to spend the rest of out lives trying to straighten a decades old bent trunk only to realize that our happiness in this world has and should only depend on us making ourselves happy and not trying to change the unchangeable.

    • Ann says:

      I absolutely agree with Nan…my husband is just the one she describes!!

    • stephanie says:

      sounds like my husband
      he calls his sex addiction

  4. Derek Nash says:

    I’ve been married for 7 years. a couple months ago, my wife said she wanted to separate. We had been having problems, but nothing i thought was bad enough to end our marriage and break our family up over. A week after that, I found out she was talking to another man. I panicked and packed my clothes to go stay with my dad for awhile. She is now in a full blown relationship with the scumbag, and according to her, shes not doing anything wrong, and its not an affair or cheating, because she broke up with me. But I was under the impression that marrige didn’t work that way. You don’t just “break up” with your spouse. When you marry someone you make an emotional, mental, physical, financial and LEGAL commitment to that person. But she convinces me time after time that our marriage is ending, and shes with this slime ball because I was a bad husband, and made her feel unloved, and unappreciated, and all of our problems were my fault. I have always struggled with depression and anxiety, and I know I took out my feeling of inadequacy, depression, and low self worth and self esteem on her. I know I’m not perfect, I was lazy and argumentative, and could be distant and unappreciative and unaffectionate at times. I did take her, and our life together for granted, and deeply regret not being a better husband to her. But I also know somewhere inside, that what she is doing is wrong, regardless of whatever I did or didnt do in our marriage. I am seeing a counselor to try to make sense of everything, because I have had several mental breakdowns in the last couple months, and really struggled with depression and anxiety and guilt, shame, shattered sense of self worth, low self esteem, and regret. The struggle is real. Iv lost everything. My wife, my family, only get to see my son less than half the time(so she has date nights with her douchebag), and my home. Am I wrong, or is she cheating, and what she’s doing is wrong? My friends and family tell me I’m being manipulated into letting her make me believe that everything is my fault, and what she’s doing to me is wrong. Its so confusing and heartbreaking. I know I’m a good person, despite being a flawed, imperfect human being, and that I don’t deserve this. It helps reading other peoples experiences and stories on here, and knowing that other people are going through similar crises.

    • Some guy says:

      First off – being a non-perfect husband is no excuse. BTW there are no perfect husbands or wives either.

      second – The affair is about HER not YOU. She could have chosen differently but didn’t. That is ALL ON HER! Don’t let her blame you for HER actions.

    • G says:

      I have the exact same issue. I. Fact I’m surprised to see somebody with almost exactly the same problem. I have had counseling for 7 months now(about the length of her on going affair with the OM) and I realized a lot of her feelings came from me making her feel inadequate. She did everything for me at one point and I really did act entitled to that treatment. Over time she just got tired of it. She is very passive aggressive. So she isnt very direct at communicating things. And if she is direct she will say something one time. I’m not sure I I can get her back but I know the OM makes her feel special. She is totally disconnected with me and makes no effort to patch things up. We are In counseling together but the only thing this counselor cover is why she is disconnected from me. This makes her feel justified in seeing the OM because he makes her “happy”. It almost feels like the counselor enjoys seeing me take 100% blame. She clearly has a hard time looking at the cause of my behavior to her. That is, my anger towards myself is what really cuss me to be unappreciative to her. She really didn’t do too much except she wants willing to push me into the marriage like she is willing to push me out. Seems like now that she found a man for now that excepts her for who she is- she feels safe. But he doesn’t hav to deal wiTh the bills or the special needs child.. he just gets to do the fun part. The pet I cannot ignore. So it’s like she lives the life of a teenager which is dating and being with a new sex partner when she pleases. And she claims this is what her counselors are telling her to do because it makes her happy. If I thought like that we wouldn’t have made it as girlfriend and boyfriend. Point is she hasn’t got to the part in which she takes accountability nor understands why she step out on the marriage just weeks after separation.

    • L says:

      Other than the fact that it is my husband, your story sounds exactly like mine. I don’t know for a fact that they have consummated the relationship (I get the “she’s just a friend” line). I too understand marriage to be something you don’t just walk away from. It’s heartbreaking. I love my husband. The crazy thing is I think he loves me. But he blames his unhappiness on me and can’t see a way to get over al the hurt.

  5. Bruce says:

    I did NOT CAUSE GET TO HAVE AN AFFAIR. She did that part ALL by herself.

  6. Phil says:

    Thank you everyone for posting your experiences in your marriages. My wife and I are golden, on paper, but in everyday life are in a dead marriage. This has occurred during the last 5 years (married since 2010), and began falling apart after the birth of our second child. So 1st thing: kids wreck marriages! 2nd thing: we did not undergo any pre- marriage counseling (we are not religious, and the only kind of pre- marriage counseling is through churches), and we did not create any sort of marriage agreement. Our wedding vows were vague, and did not address what our expectations and boundaries were/ are. My wife’s actions, behavior, and attitude the last 2 years or so suggest she is having an affair(s). She has never admitted to it, and I have no proof of affair. Stuck in dead marriage. But I have been researching marriage and relationships, and am taking action to address the issue. Bottom line: we are at a fork in the road. Either we take the high road and remake our marriage to mutual benefit, or she can move out and be divorced. I am not perfect, just uneducated about how to have a happy, healthy marriage (but I’m learning!). I know what I want, and we are going to a mediator soon to discuss going forward. I wish all of us in troubled marriages the best possible outcomes! If separation/ divorce happens, sorry, but we all go on. I appreciate all of the comments.

  7. Matthew says:

    The right Q is not ‘why cheating?’ but ‘why not?!’

    On one hand, almost all people naturally like Sex and diversity. On the other hand, there is most probably another person better than our partner in at least one aspect logically. Therefore, cheating is normal and almost all have had the experience somehow (as telling a lie!)

    But ‘why DO NOT some people cheat (or lie)?

    In contrast to all other creatures, human needs morals for his prosperity otherwise mankind behaves much wilder than any ‘wild’ animal.

    We are the only part of the universe who are able to act out of the norm. That’s why we creat controversy norms to live safer.

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