Frustration in Marriage and the Affair

Portrait Of Frustrated Couple Sitting On Couch Quarreling With Each Other

A tremendous amount of frustration and resentment builds in your marriage when you believe you must squelch yourself and spend inordinate time and energy going that extra mile to meet the personal needs of your spouse.

Resentment emerges as you begin to expect reciprocity. “I’ve met your needs; now when are you going to do the same for me?” An internal scorecard emerges and the game playing begins. Intimacy, knowing and being know, flies out the marital window.

You feel the frustration because, from your point of view you have attempted to meet his/her needs, and yet s/he says, “Not enough! Nope, that wasn’t quite right! I need more! Do it again! Etc.

Type in your comments below. Has the frustration and resentment been a trigger for the “Revenge Affair?”

This entry was posted in Emotional Distance, Infidelity and Intimacy, Rebuilding the Marriage or Relationship, Relationship Communication, Relationships: Marriage and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Frustration in Marriage and the Affair

  1. Diane says:

    I believe this is true in our marriage. It creates an atmosphere of tension as the veiled anger and resentment seeps out around the edges from the spouse who keeps tally. It is not an atmosphere in which growth can occur in either spouse, and it will certainly not inspire the one who is perceived as not doing enough. It will likely chip away at his/her self esteem, leading to the exact opposite outcome of the original intentions for positive growth. It is stifling.

  2. Angelica Grado says:

    That so happens to me… he in somewhat apply withyour needs… clothing.. hygiene products food on table… above all that I have cheated… not once several.. so he goes off on my infidelity and humiliate me…

  3. Jim says:

    I just feel like she uses behaviors, such as my drinking, as her excuse for her affair. I haven’t drank in like 7 years and 6 years after I stopped drinking she has an affair and uses that as her crutch. I think she’s holding a grudge then and the affair is the revenge. Otherwise I corrected issue she had so why did she cheat way after I stopped. She always says I put up with your alcoholism for years.

    • Franco Aquino Oropesa says:

      she’s just making excuse to justify her narcisistic bahavior. just ditch tha hag

      • Bill M. says:


        You seem to advise everyone who had s cheating wife to dump her. My wife cheated but broke it off immediately. She’s apologized numerous times and shared many details of the affair.

        Why do you always recommend dumping the wife who cheated?

        • Franco Aquino Oropesa says:

          i don’t always advise to dump the cheater. If the cheater blames the BS for thier affair then i do advise to dump the cheater. but if the cheater acknowledges his/her mistake and owns it and takes responsibility in correcting them, then the BS should give a 2nd chance

    • Matt says:


      I am a recovering alcoholic myself. I struggled with staying sober for along time. My wife did not sweep things under the rug. She was very up front about my drinking resulting in consequences. She would made sure to tell people close to us about my relapses. We were seperated 3 times and she filed for divorce having me sign the papers while I was in treatment.
      I put her through a lot. She Often compared my love for alcohol and chemicals to someone having an affair.
      She would tell me that the only way to better was to accept my alcoholism and take reaponsibility for my actions. Get honest with myself. She was a walking billboard for spiritual help and finding A higher power. Her tough love helped get me on track to a better way of living….
      Or so I thought so initially.
      I finally got sober- she went back to school got her masters and I took care of the kids sober. For the next 5 yrs she became more independent, less tolerant, very moody, she never seemed to have time for me or us. She had began a 2nd life without me in it. Meanwhile I kept the Course caring for the kids allowing her to do whatever she wanted, while trying to encourage her to work on us – but she said I was “in her space” I needed to back off. At 3 yrs sober we went to counseling and she told the counselor that she had forgiven me and that she just needed room to breath. Things got worse fast and I began to think I was losing my mind. I kept telling myself to stay that course and support her no matter what bc I was making up for my wrong doing. Fast forward to my 20 yr wedding anniversary. Things got really bad and I knew something was very wrong. By now she was hateful, distant, never let go of her phone and we had no sex. She had 100 excuses. I don’t know about what other feel when things seem wrong. Unfortunate for me- I remember all the really weird things that transpired while she was cheating on me. I now can’t get all the memories out of my head.
      After 9 mos I found out she was having an interracial affair with a friend of mine. They both denied and 2 mos later I got the proof I needed to confront her again. This time she didn’t Deny it but she had not been willing to give up many details, we go to counseling but she doesn’t do what he is asked to do. She tells me that I am to blame for her cheating. That I need to move on bc it’s been 2 years but she opening admits that she has not forgiven me for my wrongs when I was drinking and that she knows the pain I’m in.
      Now the affair partners son is on my sons baseball team. He is an ex NFL Player who has tried to intimidate me mentally and verbally. This has been the toughest situation I have ever experienced. I never told his wife. She hasn’t been to one of her sons games thus year. Needless to say I have been very upset and angry.

      Needless to say – I’m torn between staying in a marriage that she refuses to accept her responsibility in her choice to cheat regularly and Often. She no longer compare affairs to drinking. She hasn’t bought the first self help book. She refuses to look at proven methods to repair the marriage. However she won’t leave – I believe bc of the embarrassment she will bring on herself. It’s a very tough scenario. I’m struggling with what to do. I don’t want to live like this forever. I sometimes thinks She is holding on to the alcohol card bc that’s Always been be her trump card. It’s just a bad bad situation.

  4. Clay says:

    Thank you Dr. Huizenga. Your messages/points have been appropriate and helpful. I’m responding now specifically because of your “Your Spouse is Not Your Enemy” video, which coincidentally (or not) I just received from you right after my wife had told me why she left me. Your video alludes to the main reason why she fooled around on and left me. She says that she had been trying to “make me happy” and eventually realized my needs couldn’t be met by her. I, by contrast, never expected her to meet my needs. Nobody can make anyone else happy. I just wanted her to comfort me, which she did. She’s an amazing woman. I love her so much and miss her so much. Anyway, thank you. I will draw her attention to your video, which I hope she listens to. It’s so appropriate in our case. She was definitely “Daddy’s little girl” growing up. Thanks so much for your insights. The ironic thing is that she left me “to find (her)self,” but I’m the one who’s found the joy I’ve been looking for my whole life. That weekend, six months ago, she defended the other guy and my heart seemed like it was being ripped out. I had no option but to entirely surrender to God, and God instantly stepped in to catch me. It was an indescribable feeling, finding joy amid such heartache. I want that joy for my wife; I have always wanted her to be happy. No marriage can succeed if you don’t want the best for your spouse. Thank you, again. … Clay

  5. Carmen says:

    Thank you Dr. Huizenga. All the emails I received from you first thing in the morning helped me in my healing after my husbands affair 2 years ago. It was such a struggle to “make him” see my point of view and see what he did to our family. The ironic thing is, I didn’t HAVE to make him see anything, he already saw it, the view was hidden deep within him but he dug it out, eventually! They key was to let HIM dig for it! I used your methods and to my unbelief, it worked! 2 years later we have the best marriage we could of hoped for. Our communication is superb, the time we spend together is Intentional and without interruptions with electronics, we make love more and guess what, the OW still works in the same building! TRUST needs to be rebuilt, and it was. It took some time, a long time but he certainly earned it and till this very day assures me of his commitment to our marriage. One thing too, I also took responsibility of MY lack of being a good and attentive wife (NOT SAYING WHAT HE DID WAS JUSTIFIED bc OF THAT) but after 21 years of marriage and three boys my alignment of our Marriage was all off! I still have “triggers” till this day, but with God’s help I overcome them and my husband helps me through them, lovingly! LIVE in the PRESENT, not the past. It doesn’t help to keep reliving what happened, push forward and most importantly, love yourself! These are the things I have learned from listening to you and reading your emails! THANK YOU

    • Margo says:

      Hi Carmen, I hope I can get to your place in my marriage. My husband had a two year affair with a woman at work. She still works in the same company as he does. How can you know for sure your husband is telling the truth? My husband told me he has broken off all ties but I have a hard time now with trust. I found out 6 months ago and I still have such pain over triggers but I’m trying very hard to make my marriage work.

      • Carmen says:

        Hi Margo, How do I know my husband is telling the Truth? I TRUST GOD!!! I wanted so badly to follow him, to ask his coworkers if they ever come into contact with each other, check his phone, the whole nine yards, but I asked myself, what will that all accomplish? I drove myself crazy with so many INTENTIONAL THOUGHTS that triggered me everyday. There came a day when I just Surrendered it to God because I knew HE would always take care of me and let the Light shine where there is darkness. God revealed this affair to me for a reason and I believe it was to “WAKE US UP”. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for My Lord and Savior we would be divorced by now but HE showed me what TRUE Forgiveness looks like vs. what the World would want you to do. My husband repented for his actions, but not until I left him alone! I quit badgering him, I quit being the “Pursuer” I quit telling him what I needed and quit telling him how to treat me. I basically quit putting him first and focused on ME! That gave him space to see for HIMSELF the stupid choices he made and what he could stand to lose! Seeing me be Independent, Strong, taking care of myself and moving on from this nightmare made him see that what he was doing was living a lie with this OW, it wasn’t real, what we had/have is REAL!

        Margo, your triggers will be around for a while but heres what helped me. Give your triggers a name and speak to them and REBUKE THEM, that’s the enemy trying to drive a wedge and make you think something that might not be. If your honey is REALLY wanting to make amends with you and work on making your marriage whole again then he will play a big part in your healing, but I have to tell you, it will mainly come from your own strength powered by God! Hang in there sister and give yourself time to heal. Most of all….BE GOOD TO YOURSELF!

  6. Janelle says:

    Thank you for this! I am struggling with resentment,anger, hurt, trust issues etc.., my husband had an affair last year for 8 months straight, I stayed for the sake if our children, but sometimes I wonder if its doing more harm than good, I’m misersble… I’ve tried my hardest, the best I know how to forgive and meet his needs in every way shape and form, however I feel like he could care less about meeting Any of my needs…it’s just very hard to keep smile on my face for my children, pretending to happy is exhausting…and my kids are very receptive, they know something is going on…I need to find peace with everything so I can move past this and be the Mom and Wife I want to be.

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