Infidelity Quickie #2: Hanging on to the Silver Lining in infidelity
By Dr. Robert Huizenga
Learn from these real life extramarital affair coaching scenarios.
In the first section the person struggling with the marital infidelity summarizes the scenario or concern and what he/she would like to say to his/her cheating spouse.
I then outline some goals that help him/her break free from the affair.
The last and important section gets at shifting the focus away from the spouse/partner to him/her self. In other words, what does all this mean for the person on the receiving end of infidelity? After that mental shift (which is NOT easy for someone in the pain and turmoil of perhaps losing one’s spouse, family, and home) I, the coach, offer phrases that he/she can relay to his/her spouse in a way that speaks directly of his/her concern and has the best chance of being heard and getting positive results.
Section 1: The “offended spouse” says:
Even though I know his infidelity is not my fault, I think about ways I could make myself better. I continue to try and push away the negative and think about what positive has come out of this. Weird thing to say but I can breathe easier knowing that some positive things have come of this. My life is completely different, my husband has decided after 45 days of me finding out and not seeing or speaking to me about anything that he wants a divorce. Needless to say I was absolutely crushed, my family is destroyed or feels that way, we have two children of our own and my nephew who we are guardians for. Our son is 7 and our daughter is 18 mos old. All of a sudden, the dream I thought we both were striving to achieve was on pause while he was put on active duty to support the war. Instead I find that he had an affair with a married woman who has four children, he didn’t even cheat right, he told her he was divorced that his wife, whom he still loved left him. I am torn inside in a way that I have never felt before. Our friends and family were surprised but I wasn’t and that is the part that hurts. Through this I have found faith to help me through the rough days and family and friends support is always good. I spend my time trying to stay busy.
Section 2: Personal goals suggested by the coach:
Continue to work on self improvement goals.
Journal or reflect on your internal dialogue. Be aware of the part that has negative thoughts. Try to understand the intent of this part and what this part wants for you.
Continue building your support system (family, friends).
Allow yourself to grieve the loss of your marriage after infidelity.
Section 3: What the affair means for the “offended spouse” and what he/she REALLY wants to say to his spouse/partner having the affair:
This seems so sudden. I hope you know what you are doing. Looks like you might be buying yourself a bucket of responsibility and perhaps trouble.
I wonder some days why you need to hide (the truth).
What is your situation? Describe your situation. Let it flow. Don’t hold back. Then, ask yourself, “What does this marital mean for ME?” What impact does his/her extramarital affair have on my feelings, thoughts and actions? Then rehearse approaching your spouse/partner with phrases that convey the meaning and impact of the infidelity for YOU.