Hearing that your cheating spouse is “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 to give herself emotionally and “love” someone else…man, that is hard.” (Feel free to substitute the word he for she in this article.)
What can you specifically do to increase the odds of saving the marriage?
So often the offended spouse reacts with intense feelings and pulls out all stops to “win her back.”
He applies pressure. Begs. Cajoles. Makes promises. Gets in her face. Sends flowers. Arranges for dates. Talks to her family and friends. Calls her on the phone. Asks questions…daily, sometimes hourly. He is on her like a fly on doo-doo.
It doesn’t work.
Why? Well, for one reason she has found all the stimulation and excitement she supposedly needs in her new found “love.”
At a deeper level this is confusing enough for the cheating husband or cheating wife. Any additional input will be overwhelming and she is liable to close the door on the marriage even further. Plus, she is really looking for some stability, some solid centered core that will hold her firm when the wind of drama entices her and blows around her.
If you bombard her with your neediness, you are certainly not the person who can help her in ways she really seeks.
She also is liable to create a polarity and begin comparing you to him. 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.
It’s called “back off!”
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. Stop being a pain!
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.
She needs the space. She needs some quiet moments to truly hear herself and face the emptiness within. There will be a voice within her 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 him? Why do I feel this empty pit in my stomach when I’m not with him? What does this say about me?”
This is her opportunity to learn about TRUE love. Don’t get in her way.
I know. I know. This is easier said than done. But, you must do it. It is vitally important that you learn to quiet yourself, control yourself and keep on the straight and narrow path.
At this point with those I coach, I teach them a skill called “charging neutral” to help “back off.” Use that skill.This will take some effort. It might take some coaching or therapy. It most likely will demand that you get to know yourself better, that you gain more confidence in you apart from what she does with him 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. She will notice! And….she might like it.
Backing off does not mean that you don’t have anything to do with her. Quite the contrary. You want to maintain your contact with her, but it will be QUALITY contact. It will be contact that does honor to you, confronts her with the reality of her decisions and works toward resolution for the marriage.
Summary: Less often means more when facing emotional infidelity. Learning a specific skill such as “backing off” enhances one’s chance to save the marriage.