Hearing that your spouse may be in love with someone else is devastating. I hear often, I can handle her having sex with someone else. I think I can live with that. But, for her or him to give themselves emotionally and love someone else man, that is hard.
Emotional infidelity can be as or more damaging to a marriage than physical infidelity.
Innocent flirting and office banter turns into lunch together, texting or emailing in off hours. Correspondence enters the personal realm and you begin to share intimate details about your life and relationship with this person. The secret feels exciting as you hide it from your spouse and rationalize that this is not “cheating” since there is no physical contact; but the emotional attachment you develop with this person can be devastating to your spouse. The more intimate the connection with someone outside your marriage, the deeper the head and heart bond with your spouse becomes compromised. A physical affair may not be far behind.
What can you specifically do to increase the odds of protecting your sanity and possibly saving the marriage?
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Caught Off Guard
She applies pressure. Begs. Makes promises. Gets in his face. Arranges for dates. Talks to his family and friends. Calls and texts him repeatedly on the phone. Asks questions daily, sometimes hourly. She is smothering him now, which can lead to another bag of negative issues in their relationship.
It doesn’t work. Why? Well, for one reason he has found all the stimulation and excitement he supposedly needs in his new found love.
At a deeper level this is confusing enough emotionally for the cheating husband or cheating wife. Any additional input will be overwhelming and he is liable to close the door on the marriage even further. Plus, he is really looking for some stability, some solid centered core that will hold him firm when the wind of drama blows around him.
If you bombard him with your neediness, you are certainly not the person who can help him in ways he is seeking.
He also is liable to begin comparing you to her. With your neediness dripping all over you, you don’t stand a very good chance of coming out on top. Sorry!
Here’s a tactic that helps solve the dilemma and gives you a greater chance of saving the marriage.
Stop pressing. Slow down the pace. Be silent most of the time. Stop making requests. Stop asking questions. Stop trying to wiggle out some assurance. Just stop.
Remember, this “in love” state will fade. You need to have the confidence that it will. You need patience. The relationship will run its course.
He needs the space. He needs some quiet moments to truly hear himself and face the emptiness within. There will be a voice within him that says…. This will not last. Is this what I really want? At some time I must live in the real world. Where is this taking me? Is this where I really want to go? Why am I so dependent on her? Why do I feel this empty pit in my stomach when I’m not with her? What does this say about me?
This is his opportunity to learn about TRUE love. Don’t get in his way.
I know this is easier said than done. However, it has to be done. It is vitally important that you learn to quiet yourself, control yourself and keep on the straight and narrow path.
At this point you have to work on backing off. It most likely will demand that you get to know yourself better; that you gain more confidence in you apart from what he does with her; that you build a strong foundation under yourself that can weather any storm.
This is your opportunity to grow to another level.
Oh, by the way. He will notice! And he might like it.
Backing off does not mean that you don’t have anything to do with him. You want to maintain your contact with him, but it will be QUALITY contact. It will be contact that does honor to you, confronts him with the reality of his decisions and works toward resolution for the marriage.
Less often means more when facing emotional infidelity. Learning a specific skill such as “backing off” enhances one’s chance to save the marriage.
Note: This is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition.
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